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Thread: God Exists?

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    3Vandoo's Avatar
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    God Exists?

    Can anyone bring proof that God really exist, dont say "faith" dont use irrational thought" dont use the Bible, Torah and Koran as they were written by men and corrupted in their pursuit!

    The only proof I believe that God exist are when I look into my Dog and I see that beautiful creature and when I look into nature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3Vandoo
    Can anyone bring proof that God really exist, dont say "faith" dont use irrational thought" dont use the Bible, Torah and Koran as they were written by men and corrupted in their pursuit!

    The only proof I believe that God exist are when I look into my Dog and I see that beautiful creature and when I look into nature.
    take a big long look around u!!!! theres ur proof!nuff said bout that

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    Quote Originally Posted by justin2305
    take a big long look around u!!!! theres ur proof!nuff said bout that
    hmmm

    Okay I see a flat screen LCD with a Tower Server proof that geeks exist.
    I see roids, proof that juiceheads exist
    I see an Irish flag, proof that the Irish republic Exist.
    I see a stetson hat, proof that redneck exist
    I see a 27" TV, proof that tv exist
    I see a mess in my room, proof that pigs exist
    I see a box with hundred of used kleenex, proof that my flue is there!
    I see two libraries, proof that writers exist

    no god yet

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3Vandoo
    Can anyone bring proof that God really exist, dont say "faith" dont use irrational thought" dont use the Bible, Torah and Koran as they were written by men and corrupted in their pursuit!

    The only proof I believe that God exist are when I look into my Dog and I see that beautiful creature and when I look into nature.

    this is very true as I too love my dogs.


    the only PROOF!!! real proof would be if they ever find the arc of the covenent in my opinion.

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    faith is involved in the everything. you cant get around it. you have faith that when your gas indicator is on half full, you arent running on fumes. you have faith that when you send your kids off walking to school that you'll see them again in 8 hours. you have faith when you look around and see how perfect everything must have been to get what we have today that it could not have been by accident. you cant get around the fact that in order to believe in god, there must be faith involved. that isnt blind faith. you see evidence everday that you go below half a tank of gas, your car doesnt stall. that doesnt mean one day it wont happen. you see evidence your kids will come home from school because they have every day for the past 6 years...one day that may not happen. you see everyday people not believing in God...one day that wont happen.

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    no faith I say no faith, intagible business faith is, let's talk solid fact

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    Your does "God" exist question is flawed in the sense, what do you term God as?

    God as the creation?

    God as the univerise?

    God as a mighty being sitting on a thrown in heaven counting your sins?

    God as the one supreme being?

    God(s) of war, love, religion, fertility, etc.?


    If you want the solid facts -- science can narrow down all existence, all matter to only two things: Energy & Motion (Space & Time). Perhaps if you look into the source of those two things you might be on to something...

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    Quote Originally Posted by A_Pro
    Your does "God" exist question is flawed in the sense, what do you term God as?

    God as the creation?

    God as the univerise?

    God as a mighty being sitting on a thrown in heaven counting your sins?

    God as the one supreme being?

    God(s) of war, love, religion, fertility, etc.?


    If you want the solid facts -- science can narrow down all existence, all matter to only two things: Energy & Motion (Space & Time). Perhaps if you look into the source of those two things you might be on to something...

    Ok pro, I have been studying Philosophy, Theology, and science for a long time now. Its not that easy. Do some reading in metaphysics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by books555
    Ok pro, I have been studying Philosophy, Theology, and science for a long time now. Its not that easy. Do some reading in metaphysics.
    What metaphysics have you studied? What Philosophy?

    From what I have seen you post, you have no grasp of any of it. As someone with a degree in philosophy, I can say that your knowledge of that subject area is at best, nearing the freshman level, and generally far below.

    For all that reading, you have no degrees in any thing, no measure of ability in any of that.

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    can you show me proof that gravity exists? No, but you see it's effects. So in my opinion, I look around and see God's creation, which is proof for me that he does exist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aXe
    can you show me proof that gravity exists? No, but you see it's effects. So in my opinion, I look around and see God's creation, which is proof for me that he does exist.

    but what happens if your proof are unfounded and then later showed to be something else that created it.

    So if we look at my dog and we say "darn superb dog (actually she is) so we all say to ourselve what a magnificient god creation. But, then we look at ther father who was the Husky canadian champion, so he created her, but he was also created by another bitch, that was created by something else, and this something else was created by something that never was there before. So actually we were created by nothing so therefore are nothing.

    *passes the joint to someone else for phili concept*

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3Vandoo
    but what happens if your proof are unfounded and then later showed to be something else that created it.

    So if we look at my dog and we say "darn superb dog (actually she is) so we all say to ourselve what a magnificient god creation. But, then we look at ther father who was the Husky canadian champion, so he created her, but he was also created by another bitch, that was created by something else, and this something else was created by something that never was there before. So actually we were created by nothing so therefore are nothing.

    *passes the joint to someone else for phili concept*
    Hey, you asked for proof now, not later

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    Quote Originally Posted by hooker
    What metaphysics have you studied? What Philosophy?

    From what I have seen you post, you have no grasp of any of it. As someone with a degree in philosophy, I can say that your knowledge of that subject area is at best, nearing the freshman level, and generally far below.

    For all that reading, you have no degrees in any thing, no measure of ability in any of that.

    I know a fair amount about metaphysics. Oh wait, you forgot to mention you have a degree in that too. I dont get it, I understand Humes arguement, but you dont understand my layman rebuttal. Its not rocket science, but it takes some understanding in philosophy.

    -Your only arguement is Hume. You refer back to it constantly. I defeated it, but you still try to hold onto it. Your degree in philosophy is worthless. You obviously didnt learn much. Take an introductory course in logic. You might learn what a self defeating arguement is. I probably know more about philosophy than you do. Why, because I am very passionate about it and enjoy studying it. I study it with my free time. But I dont really care, this is not a contest. You can tell us all about your degree in philosophy.

    P.S. I was able to sit down with professor of philosphy at Grand Valley State University and hold my own. Your not the first person I have talked to who claims to know a thing or two about this subject.

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    My only argument is not Hume. He just gave the best rebuttal to the design argument, which is one which you often seem to present as evidence for God's existence.

    I could easily quote Russell on the same subject.

    You haven't "refuted" or "rebutted" Hume at all. I can't even discern from your post any sort of understanding of the subject.

    As far as an intro course in logic, You may want to know that logic (Symbolic, Sentential, Modal, Advanced-Sentential, Existential/Universal, predicate, etc...) was my area of concentration. Isn't it more likely that you are defecient in this area than Me?

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    ... never heard of him?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hooker
    My only argument is not Hume. He just gave the best rebuttal to the design argument, which is one which you often seem to present as evidence for God's existence.

    I could easily quote Russell on the same subject.

    You haven't "refuted" or "rebutted" Hume at all. I can't even discern from your post any sort of understanding of the subject.

    As far as an intro course in logic, You may want to know that logic (Symbolic, Sentential, Modal, Advanced-Sentential, Existential/Universal, predicate, etc...) was my area of concentration. Isn't it more likely that you are defecient in this area than Me?

    -This silly, you dont know how to respond to my response. So you claim I havent refuted.

    -Why qoute russel on what he believed, when he constantly changed what he believed.

    -That interesting, considering you cant spot a self defeating arguement.

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    Post Hume's argument and why it's self defeating, or stop saying you refuted it.

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    Ok.....

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    I say we set up a cage match between Hooker and Books555 and the loser must start believing in the winners own beliefs maybe we can end this once and for all lol

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    -I will make this first statement very simple. If you make the statement, no one can know, How do you KNOW that no one can know.

    -Further, I believe that there is a single fundamental mistake in the theories of knowledge of Hume and Kant, on which their objections to rational theism depend and which vitiates their accounts of other types of knowledge. That is, that any entity or state of affairs the existence of which might be verified by appeal to experience, must itself be an actual or conceivable direct object of experience. But the particles of modern physics, the thoughts and feelings of persons other than oneself, and the events of the remote past are prima facie evidence at least to the contrary. Attempts to shore up empiricism by a behaviorist reduction of other minds or an operationist reduction of psychology are not especially impressive in themselves, but seem to venture well beyond the borders of lunacy when applied to statements about the past as when one contends that "Abraham Lincoln died of gunshot wounds" means nothing more than that contemporary professors of nineteenth-century American history will tend to emit one set of noises rather than another when suitably stimulated or that certain books in libraries will be found to contain some patterns of marks on paper as opposed to others.



    Yeah, I cut and paste. So what.
    Last edited by books555; 03-16-2005 at 12:19 PM.

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    can you prove that he dosent exist?
    ~HOP

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    Quote Originally Posted by houseofpain
    can you prove that he dosent exist?
    ~HOP

    Beat me to it HOP!!!

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    believe in god. you got nothin to lose. if he does exist, you're in like flynn. if not, you'll never know the difference anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aXe
    can you show me proof that gravity exists? No, but you see it's effects. So in my opinion, I look around and see God's creation, which is proof for me that he does exist.
    I want to hear some arguments for this point. I'm not versed in philosophy, but when I took an entry level class, this was a point my professor brought up that I liked.

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    Here is proof God exists. Not the God that sits there and counts your sins. I think that is about as believable as the Tooth Fairy. God is nothing more than undifferentiated energy/matter and conscious/will.

    You breath in air. Without your intervention there is an automation. That automation takes the oxygen out of the air and puts it in to your blood to feed your organs. It then releases carbon dioxide. You are not doing this, it was never taught to you how to, it is an automation. God is part of that infinite automation or onmipotence.

    Another example is matter. Every living creature is made of cells. All cells and all non-living things are made of molecules. All molecules are made of atoms. All atoms are made of protons, neutrons, and electrons. All protons, neutrons, and electrons are made of photons, all photons are made of sub-photon particles, this can be broken down to the point of absolute infinity tieing every bit of matter in the universe together. That is an example of God's infinite omnipresence.

    OK, have you ever dealt with a problem you in which you had absolutely zero experience or education on. You think like crazy until you realize you can not come up with a solution. Then as soon as you give up the answer comes. That was God's omniscence. All consious and will is tied to an infinity like matter is.

    There is some scientific reasoning for a God, but there is no proof about a God that has a list, and he checks it twice, he is going to find out who's naughty and nice. That sort of God is childish to me, and faith is for people that don't want to make their own decisions or destiny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lozgod
    Another example is matter. Every living creature is made of cells. All cells and all non-living things are made of molecules. All molecules are made of atoms. All atoms are made of protons, neutrons, and electrons. All protons, neutrons, and electrons are made of photons, all photons are made of sub-photon particles, this can be broken down to the point of absolute infinity tieing every bit of matter in the universe together. That is an example of God's infinite omnipresence.
    WHat you wrote sounded good. Just wanted to point out the thing in bold. Protons, neutrons and electrons are NOT made out of photons. Photons are massless particles and you could take a billion billion photons and put them togheter and they could never be a proton cause a proton has mass just as a electron and neutron. Quarks are what makes upp protons and neutrons and we dont know if there is anything smaller then quarks but the best bet is string theory and if that is correct then we have reached the smallest "particle".

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    Well if I messed up on the name but ignore that part, small detail (but I think I am right, but the name isn't important) but instead look at the pattern. Everything can be traced back to ininity.

    Quote Originally Posted by johan
    WHat you wrote sounded good. Just wanted to point out the thing in bold. Protons, neutrons and electrons are NOT made out of photons. Photons are massless particles and you could take a billion billion photons and put them togheter and they could never be a proton cause a proton has mass just as a electron and neutron. Quarks are what makes upp protons and neutrons and we dont know if there is anything smaller then quarks but the best bet is string theory and if that is correct then we have reached the smallest "particle".
    Last edited by Lozgod; 03-16-2005 at 08:11 AM.

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    Again... I see people quoting philosophy and gibberish.

    You arn't going to find the answer about God in a philosophy book -- or is that not already abundently clear?

    PROOF of God as a creator: You exist. You can say, "I am".

    How much more do you need than that? Accept it. YOU WERE CREATED. You are not the most powerful thing in the universe, in fact -- your an intellectual ant who doesn't even have enough intellect to answer simple questions. Fact is, a rock could crush you and you'll still be thinking about how "thats not possible because I can't prove gravity exists."

    **** it -- meditate on this: GOD is CONSCIOUSNESS. We are all ONE CONSCIOUSNESS experiencing itself. There is NO END, life is an illusion -- our objective reality only exists in the object... for if I close my eyes, you disappear *POOF* out of my reality.

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    Apperantly you didn't read every post. Read mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by A_Pro
    Again... I see people quoting philosophy and gibberish.

    You arn't going to find the answer about God in a philosophy book -- or is that not already abundently clear?

    PROOF of God as a creator: You exist. You can say, "I am".

    How much more do you need than that? Accept it. YOU WERE CREATED. You are not the most powerful thing in the universe, in fact -- your an intellectual ant who doesn't even have enough intellect to answer simple questions. Fact is, a rock could crush you and you'll still be thinking about how "thats not possible because I can't prove gravity exists."

    **** it -- meditate on this: GOD is CONSCIOUSNESS. We are all ONE CONSCIOUSNESS experiencing itself. There is NO END, life is an illusion -- our objective reality only exists in the object... for if I close my eyes, you disappear *POOF* out of my reality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lozgod
    Well if I messed up on the name but ignore that part, small detail (but I think I am right, but the name isn't important) but instead look at the pattern. Everything can be traced back to ininity.
    This might be small details againd and I agree most things can be traced back to infinity. But when it comes to particle physics we are most probably very close to finding the smallest building blocks. Maby we are wrong(I bet scienticst when they found the atoms thought that was the smallest thing). But I hope we are not. Anyway not trying to sound like im nitpicking here.
    I for one would be very suprise if we found out photons consist of smaller particles lumped togheter since photons just are quantified energy packages and not realy a particle like in something with a mass.

    Anyway this isnt realy ontopic lol, just one thing that most probably cant be traced back to infinity. So I will leave this discussion now

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    Wanna know how/why Books555 often seems dumb, and then sometimes seems very bright? The dumb thoughts are his own, the intellegent ones are plagorized. Here is an example of Books plagorizing, word for word, Hugo Meynell's thoughts on Hume and Kant, followed by the exact article, as written by Dr. Meynell. I re-posted Books555's comments, then the entire article he STOLE them from (as an attempt to rebutt me), with the matcing parts from the article highlighted. Pathetic.

    Quote Originally Posted by books555
    -

    -Further, I believe that there is a single fundamental mistake in the theories of knowledge of Hume and Kant, on which their objections to rational theism depend and which vitiates their accounts of other types of knowledge. That is, that any entity or state of affairs the existence of which might be verified by appeal to experience, must itself be an actual or conceivable direct object of experience. But the particles of modern physics, the thoughts and feelings of persons other than oneself, and the events of the remote past are prima facie evidence at least to the contrary. Attempts to shore up empiricism by a behaviorist reduction of other minds or an operationist reduction of psychology are not especially impressive in themselves, but seem to venture well beyond the borders of lunacy when applied to statements about the past as when one contends that "Abraham Lincoln died of gunshot wounds" means nothing more than that contemporary professors of nineteenth-century American history will tend to emit one set of noises rather than another when suitably stimulated or that certain books in libraries will be found to contain some patterns of marks on paper as opposed to others.

    Hume, Kant, and Rational Theism

    Hugo Meynell
    It is very commonly held that there are no sound arguments for the existence of God. Believers are sometimes inclined to make a virtue of this, maintaining that in the highest and holiest matters one should rely not on reason, but on faith. Unbelievers are apt to retort that, if there are no good reasons for believing in God, one ought to be atheist or at best agnostic; if appeal is to be made to a revelation which sets aside reason as inappropriate, by what token is any irrational absurdity better or worse than any other? And there is surely a strong case for saying that, if indeed there are no arguments which make it more reasonable to believe that there is a God than that there is not, then things look bad for the religious believer.
    But, one may ask, are there really no good arguments for the existence of God? In claiming that there are no such arguments, those who reject faith in God as irrational, and those who would cling to faith in spite of reason, commonly appeal to the authority of David Hume and Immanuel Kant.[1] In what follows, I shall try to show that the case made by these philosophers against some at least of the traditional arguments for the existence of God can be refuted. By "rational theism," I shall mean the view that there are sound arguments for the existence of God, which do not either overtly or surreptitiously assume what they set out to establish. Now it is often stated or presupposed that the aspersions by Hume and Kant on rational theism have no connection with those implications of their thought which are generally rejected out of hand, like Hume's scepticism,[2] and Kant's confining of human knowledge to a merely seeming world of "phenomena" as opposed to the real world of "things in themselves." I shall try to show that such an assumption is quite mistaken. Science and common sense both presuppose that by means of our experience we can get to know about a world which exists, and largely is as it is, prior to and independently of our human existence, let alone our enjoyment of the relevant experience. For example, it was not until the late eighteenth century that William Herschel, by making the relevant observations and using his intelligence, discovered the planet called Uranus. But there was such a planet long before the discovery was made; and indeed there would have been even if the earth had been destroyed, say by the impact of a comet or an asteroid, before human beings or astronomers had ever evolved on it. But neither Hume's nor Kant's philosophical principles are really compatible with such a view; since Hume in effect confines our knowledge to experience, Kant to an apparent world created rather than reflected by our thought.

    Traditional scholarship has emphasized Hume's scepticism; in the last few decades more stress has been laid on the view of his which I mentioned last, that we have "natural beliefs which neither need nor are capable of rational support."[9] Those not predisposed to agree with Hume may wonder whether an uncritical dogmatism supposed to redress the balance of an intolerable scepticism really does much to mend matters. But Hume's demonstration that, while causality is utterly crucial to our understanding of the world, a consistent empiricism[10] cannot justify belief in causality,[11] is a tribute to his genius and an indication of his permanent importance for philosophy. It was Hume's failure (on either interpretation of the bearing of his thought) to justify causal reasoning which particularly impressed Kant; and he brought about his so-called "Copernican revolution" in philosophy largely to meet the difficulty. It was not the case, as previous philosophers had thought, that our minds must or could conform to a world existing prior to and independently of themselves; on the contrary, the world so far as we can know it must conform to our minds.[12] The significance of Hume, as Kant saw it, was that he had shown that the former route was impossible to follow. Hume's notorious analysis of causality had indeed demonstrated that, unless causality were imposed on the real world by our minds, it could have no firmer foundation than our mental habits. Furthermore, as Hume had also pointed out, we treat and must treat the causal connection as necessary; and it would be bad logic to treat it as so merely on inductive[13] grounds, assuming it would have to obtain in the future just because it had always happened to obtain in the past as far as our experience went. Nor is it any part of the meaning of the concept "event," that every event must have a cause. The only solution to these problems, as Kant saw it, was that our minds impose the causal connection upon events, rather than, as earlier philosophers had supposed, somehow reflecting a real causal relation which obtains between events prior to and independently of the apprehension of them by our minds.

    Kant saw that causality is not the only aspect of the world for which the problem arises. The "categories" (to use his own term) of thing and property, necessity and contingency, unity and plurality, and so on, are also imposed by the mind upon phenomena.[14] Even space and time are rather modes of our apprehension of things, than aspects of things as they really are.[15] What can we say, then, of "things in themselves," or things prior to and independently of the apprehension of them by our senses and our minds? All we can say of them is that they do somehow give rise to the phenomenal world by impinging on our subjectivity;[16] we are necessarily and forever debarred from real knowledge of them. However, according to Kant, there are positive gains to be had from this restriction of our knowledge. Perhaps the most important is that the bogy of determinism as a threat to human free-will can be laid to rest once and for all. Sure enough, determinism applies to human beings as appearances, in which respect we are totally subject to physical and chemical laws. But as we are in ourselves we may all the same be free; and indeed we ought to believe we are, in order to behave responsibly.[17]

    The traditional arguments for God's existence all make, from Kant's point of view, what is fundamentally the same mistake; they assume that the intelligible structure or framework which the human mind imposes upon things, in the course of gaining knowledge of them, belongs to things prior to and independently of human knowledge. Those who try to argue for the existence of God on the usual traditional types of ground are like people who gaze on the heavens through a telescope, and confuse what is in fact a piece of dust within the telescope with a star or a planet. For example, to argue that a God must exist as cause of the world, as very many have tried to do, is to overlook the fact that causality is one of the categories and so inapplicable to things in themselves, and furthermore that it is to be applied within the world of phenomena, rather than to the world as a whole. But the believer in God should by no means be discouraged by this; Kant regarded himself as destroying the pretensions of knowledge in order to make room for faith. He points out that the very considerations which show that proof of God's existence is impossible, dispose equally of the possibility of disproof. And we ought to believe in the existence of a deity on moral grounds, as an omnipotent being who will ensure that in the long run the happiness of finite persons such as ourselves will be in proportion to their deserts. Not-this is particularly emphasized by Kant-that our morality should be conditional on our religious belief; on the contrary, religious belief is to be derived from moral principles which are to be established independently and in their own right. We must act dutifully for duty's sake; but we have a right to hope that such conduct will be rewarded in the hereafter.[18]

    It was pointed out by the school of "idealists" who succeeded Kant that the latter's conception of the "thing-in-itself" is not really compatible with his other basic principles. Is not the belief that appearances are somehow derived from-that is as much as to say, caused by-things in themselves, in conflict both with the notion that things in themselves are utterly unknowable to us, and with the doctrine that causality is imposed on things by our minds? The German idealists, represented most notably by Hegel, actually inferred from Kant's other principles that there were no things-in-themselves. The common-sense world of phenomena was for Hegel merely a projection of Mind or Spirit representing itself to itself at a relatively early stage of the development, of which the scientific world-view is a later stage. At the culmination of this development, in idealist philosophy itself, Spirit finally achieves clarity and self-realization as thought thinking itself.

    Still, the absurdities, that there was no cosmos before there were human minds, and that the human mind as we know it is not dependent on matter, can only be inferred from idealism if one either presupposes that the cosmos depends only upon the human mind, or, as Hegel has seemed to many virtually to do, identifies the divine mind with the human. If one accepts the strength of the case which the idealists developed by making Kant's philosophy self-consistent, that the material world is derivative from mind; but also admits that the world exists and is as science progressively discovers it to be, prior to and independently of the human mind; then one is driven to the conclusion that the world depends on a mind or minds which are other than the human. The idealists argue persuasively that the material universe is dependent on mind; their opponents rightly insist in effect that it is absurd to suppose that the mind or minds it depends on are human. That the world exists and develops on the basis of a single self-consistent set of laws seems to suggest that theism is a more rational option than polytheism.[20]

    It may well be felt that while Hume's crude form of empiricism did indeed lead to scepticism, and while Kant's attempt to repair the breach is ineffective for all its prodigious ingenuity, a more refined variety of empiricism has much to commend it. There does seem to be something in Hume's insistence, re-affirmed in his own way by Kant, that knowledge-claims do have to be justified at the bar of experience. For example, if someone professes out of the blue to know that there is a moose on the campus of the University of Calgary, a state of affairs which so far as I know has never obtained, I am liable to be sceptical; but I quite properly become more confident when several independent witnesses assure me that they have seen the animal in the place in question. But no-one has ever seen a positron, the thoughts or feelings of another person, or an event which happened more than two hundred years previous to her own time; yet we do often claim knowledge of such things as a matter of course.

    A modification of empiricism which may be felt to meet these objections is this. While we can properly be said sometimes to know what is not and cannot be the direct object of our experience, we can be said to know only what commends itself as the best explanation of our experience. While no-one has ever seen a positron, very many have seen experimental results of which the best available explanation is that there are such entities. I cannot perceive another's feelings of anger or boredom; but I can certainly perceive evidence in her attitude or speech or gestures of which the best explanation is that she is bored. No-one can now perceive the death of Abraham Lincoln by shooting; but they can perceive a vast amount of evidence, in records surviving from that time, which can hardly be explained except on the assumption that he did die in such a manner.

    However, if the basic principles of empiricism are expanded to take account of such awkward cases in the way I have just described, it is by no means clear that they any longer rule out rational theism. For it may be insisted that the existence of something like God is needed to account for a very general fact which is a matter of experience in a wide sense-that the universe is intelligible. Alternative explanations, or claims that no explanation is needed, may well be held to be less satisfactory. One might suggest in the manner of Hume that only the sensible aspect of the universe is real, while the intelligible is either an illusion or a useful subject device. But this leads to scepticism, since so much of what we usually count as knowledge, as Hume himself found, depends on the assumption that such elements of its intelligible aspect as the causal nexus are real. And the Kantian explanation, that intelligibility does not belong to the world as it actually is, but to a merely apparent world on which we impose it, has the rather similar consequence, that our knowledge is confined to a seeming world, and is barred forever from a grasp of reality. If someone were to say, "Do not ask for an explanation of this fact!" what possible justification could there be for this, except perhaps that the postulation of God should be avoided at all costs? And as Northrop Frye has remarked, to be told not to ask a question is, to a healthy mind, the strongest possible inducement to go on asking it. It may be concluded that empiricist principles, when clarified, lead to atheism, but also to scepticism; but that when they are modified to avoid scepticism, it is by no means certain that they do not accommodate theism, or even lead to it.

    In The Recluse, Wordsworth wrote:


    How exquisitely the individual mind
    . . . to the external World
    Is fitted:-and how exquisitely too
    The external World is fitted to the Mind.
    I have been arguing in effect that the fact that the world is thus fitted to the mind, and the manner in which it is so fitted, give good reason for believing that theism is true. In a rather explosive marginal note to this passage, William Blake exclaimed:- "You shall not bring me down to believe such fitting and fitted." Northrop Frye comments:-"Blake criticized Wordsworth sharply for ascribing to nature what he should have ascribed to his own mind and for believing in the correspondence of the human and natural orders."[21] The active and quasi-creative power of the human mind involved in getting to know about the things and events of which nature consists is rightly stressed by Blake; who objects very properly to any conception of human knowledge in accordance with which the external world merely imposes itself on a passive mind. But unless we are to take the absurd (subjective idealist) view that we really create the world mentally in the process of (as we think) coming to know about it, Wordsworth's point is by no means invalidated if one concedes so much to Blake. Human beings must not only be open to experience, but they must actively hypothesize, if they are to get to know about dinosaurs, pulsars, or omega particles. But there were presumably dinosaurs, pulsars, and omega particles long before any human being came to think about them.

    My main object in this article has been to describe an argument for the existence of God which seems to survive the counterattacks of Hume and Kant. Something brief should be added about actual arguments on the matter attended to in their work. Two of those discussed by Hume may be singled out-that there must be a cause of the world, and that there must be a designer to account for otherwise inexplicable order within it. The second of these, the so called argument from design (it is more properly an argument from order to design), is brilliantly attacked in Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Since Hume's time, it may plausibly be maintained that Darwin has hammered the final nail into the coffin of the argument, by showing how the apparent design which is so striking a feature of all living things may be explained by mutation and natural selection over a very long period of time. It would take a great deal of space adequately to consider the question of how far the argument to design can be defended against such objections;[23] but here it suffices to say that the points raised by Hume and Darwin in this connection are simply not relevant to the argument that I have been setting forward, which infers creative intelligence from the intelligibility of the world, not design from its order. The other argument has been attacked by Hume and his successors on the ground that we have no experience of the kind that could justify such causal inferences.[24] It might be a different matter if we had often observed universes being created by gods; we could then argue, with some show of plausibility, that since other universes of a nature similar to this one had been created by gods, it is reasonable to say that this one too has been so created. However, we are clearly not in this position, as we have not observed many universes being created each by a god; hence, on the conception of causal reasoning here presupposed, we are not entitled to draw the inference. But I have already suggested that the underlying conception of the nature of causal reasoning is fallacious; and that the radically empiricist theory of knowledge which it presupposes must lead either to scepticism or to uncritical dogmatism. Physicists do not say that streaks of a certain sort on photographic plates are caused by alpha particles because they have often seen alpha particles moving about and leaving such streaks. They say it because a wide range of phenomena can only be explained if there are alpha particles, among the effects of which are visible streaks of the kind described. Nor can anyone truly say that the noises, gestures, and marks on paper which she sometimes observes, are due to the thoughts and feelings of other people, on the ground that she has often observed such thoughts and feelings immediately succeeded by such noises, gestures, and marks on paper. And yet, we assume as a matter of course, and rightly assume, that the words, actions, and writings of other people are often expressive of their thoughts and feelings.

    Kant distinguished three theoretical arguments or types of theoretical argument for the existence of God, all of which he said were fallacious. (He had a moral argument supposed to yield this conclusion, which I have already summarized. My own view of this argument, for what it is worth, is that it shows very well the importance for human living of the belief that God exists, but does not begin to show that such a belief is true.) The "ontological" argument (Kant invented this term for it) concludes that God must exist, in rather the same kind of way that bachelors must be unmarried; God's existence may be inferred directly from an analysis of the concept "God," just as any bachelor's being unmarried follows from an analysis of the concept "bachelor." Kant answered, in effect, that it was one thing to analyze a concept, another thing to say that something exists which falls under the concept; even the concept "God" cannot constitute an exception.[25] Whether Kant's counterargument is sound, or merely begs the question, has been much disputed by subsequent authorities.[26] Certainly the majority of contemporary philosophers would agree with Kant that no version of the ontological argument is sound; but this has no bearing on the main argument of this article. A similar point has already been made about arguments from or to design, which Kant called "physico-theological."

    On strictly causal arguments from world to God, which he labelled "cosmological," Kant has special strictures. The "physico-theological" argument, he says, is an argument from experience, while the ontological depends on sheer reasoning. But "cosmological" arguments are a confusing mixture of the two.[27] I would concede to Kant that "cosmological" arguments, of which the one that I have advanced is an example, blend considerations derived from experience with ones based on sheer reasoning. But I would deny that this invalidates them; and would urge that just the same applies to most of the judgments which we make, especially in science. For example, due to a certain range of experiences enjoyed by herself or reported by others, as of fossils in rocks, a paleontologist may assert the existence some seventy million years ago of a previously unknown species of dinosaur. But to do this she must assume that, as a result of one's experience, one is entitled to judge that states of affairs are the case which obtain prior to and independently of one's experience; and it is sheer confusion to say that we know that by experience. Again, it is due to a wide range of observations that astronomers since 1844 have asserted the existence of the planet Neptune; but it would be a very odd sort of astronomer who said that there was no such planet prior to or independently of such observations by astronomers. And the relevance of our observations to knowledge of what exists and is the case whether we make such observations or not can only be shown, if it can be shown at all, by sheer reason.


    I believe that there is a single fundamental mistake in the theories of knowledge of Hume and Kant, on which their objections to rational theism depend and which vitiates their accounts of other types of knowledge. That is, that any entity or state of affairs the existence of which might be verified by appeal to experience, must itself be an actual or conceivable direct object of experience. But the particles of modern physics, the thoughts and feelings of persons other than oneself, and the events of the remote past are prima facie evidence at least to the contrary. Attempts to shore up empiricism by a behaviorist reduction of other minds or an operationist reduction of psychology are not especially impressive in themselves, but seem to venture well beyond the borders of lunacy when applied to statements about the past (as when one contends that "Abraham Lincoln died of gunshot wounds" means nothing more than that contemporary professors of nineteenth-century American history will tend to emit one set of noises rather than another when suitably stimulated or that certain books in libraries will be found to contain some patterns of marks on paper as opposed to others).


    In the course of impugning rational theism in The Critique of Pure Reason, Kant writes: "All synthetic principles of reason allow only of an immanent employment" (that is, one within the world of experience); "and in order to have knowledge of a supreme being we should have to put them to a transcendent use, for which our understanding is in no way fitted. If the empirically valid law of causality is to lead to the original being, the latter must belong to the chain of objects of experience, and in that case it would, like all appearances, be itself again conditioned."[28] But if we are to have knowledge of events, things, and states of affairs of the three kinds just mentioned, we have in any case to put them to "a transcendent use" to get at what is over and above "the chain of objects of experience", taking what Kant almost immediately afterwards calls a "leap beyond the limits of experience".[29] And if we are able properly to do this in these cases, why should we not invoke something which cannot be an object of our experience to explain the very general fact of the intelligibility of the universe?

    Certainly, if there is no comparison which may properly be made between the entity thus invoked and anything within the range of our experience, the inference will have no validity. In this respect, exponents of extreme forms of the via negativa in philosophical theology have done rational theism no good-as is, in fact, brilliantly brought out by Hume in the Dialogues. Early in that work, the rigidly orthodox Demea and the sceptic Philo agree that there is no "analogy or likeness" between the mental properties of human beings and those attributable to the deity as cause of the world [30] (and a fortiori, it is implied, between divine attributes and those of material things); much later, Philo concludes, to Demea's consternation, that at that rate the theist might as well admit that there is no difference between him and the atheist.[31] However, the argument which I have set forward certainly does ascribe to the supposed cause of the universe some "analogy or likeness" with what is available to our "experience," at least if this last term is understood in a fairly broad sense. Each of us knows in our own small way what it is intelligently to conceive a state of affairs among a range of possibilities and to will to bring it into effect. Similarly, on this account, the divine cause of the world intelligently conceives all possible worlds and brings this one into being. To put it in Hume's way, [32] our "idea" of God is firmly based on "impressions" of our own activities as "spirits" or conscious subjects. The rational theist as I have presented him can thus cheerfully at this point concede to Hume, once suitable qualifications have been made, the latter's famous or notorious principle that one cannot have an "idea" of anything of which one has not previously had an "impression."[33]

    The upshot of all this is that, in the interest of their very worthy cause, atheists would be well advised to abandon the rather routine gestures towards the arguments of Hume and Kant against rational theism which have become fashionable. Here as elsewhere, it is as well to be on one's guard against uncritical traditionalism.

    I conclude by summing up the argument which I have put forward in this article. Plato discovered the real intelligible world which lies behind the merely sensible world, and which (as Aristotle emphasized after him) is to be found by inquiry into the sensible world. The whole subsequent development of science is a massive vindication of this discovery. Plato's Christian successors soon caught on to the fact that one intelligent will, which conceives and intends it rather as human beings conceive and intend their own actions and products, is ultimately the only satisfactory explanation for the existence and nature of such an intelligible world. Hume, as a consistent empiricist, in effect denied the world's intelligibility, and his account of knowledge, which has proved a fruitful source of atheism, leads just as ineluctably to scepticism. Kant, who was impressed by the sceptical conclusions which followed from Hume's premisses, strongly reasserted the intelligibility of the world as apprehended both by common sense and by science; but wrongly inferred that, since such apprehension plainly involves mental creativity, the world thus apprehended must be a merely seeming world of appearances dependent on human minds, and not, as would be held by all who are not subjective idealists, existing and being as it is largely prior to and independently of those minds.[34] The right conclusion is (following the idealists, and Kant's objections to Hume) that the world shows signs of mental creativity, but (following common sense and materialist objections to idealism) that it is absurd to say that this mental creativity is human. The creativity is consequently to be attributed to a Mind (or minds)[35] other than the human.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by johan
    This might be small details againd and I agree most things can be traced back to infinity. But when it comes to particle physics we are most probably very close to finding the smallest building blocks. Maby we are wrong(I bet scienticst when they found the atoms thought that was the smallest thing). But I hope we are not. Anyway not trying to sound like im nitpicking here.
    I for one would be very suprise if we found out photons consist of smaller particles lumped togheter since photons just are quantified energy packages and not realy a particle like in something with a mass.

    Anyway this isnt realy ontopic lol, just one thing that most probably cant be traced back to infinity. So I will leave this discussion now
    Good info even if it is an attempted hijack.

    I think defining God using science is very possible and it is something that is tangible. Anything beyond that where you get in to tradition and philosophy, well that is to help people find comfort in dying, but the fact of the matter is energy is neither created or destroyed, so we never truly die.

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    Ok...for anyone who didn't read my last post...just go back and look at the quote by books555, and then the patr in bold/italicds....and you'll see that while I am attempting to discuss things in good faith, he is plagorizing other people's thoughts and having me rebutt them.

    Whats the AR policy on Plagorizing?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by hooker
    Ok...for anyone who didn't read my last post...just go back and look at the quote by books555, and then the patr in bold/italicds....and you'll see that while I am attempting to discuss things in good faith, he is plagorizing other people's thoughts and having me rebutt them.

    Whats the AR policy on Plagorizing?

    I read it. Just waiting for his reply

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    Duh...I told him I have a degree in English...how many stupid High-School Kids have tried to get one over on me by submitting a plagorized term paper? He should've known better....

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by hooker
    Ok...for anyone who didn't read my last post...just go back and look at the quote by books555, and then the patr in bold/italicds....and you'll see that while I am attempting to discuss things in good faith, he is plagorizing other people's thoughts and having me rebutt them.

    Whats the AR policy on Plagorizing?
    spanking

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3Vandoo
    spanking
    I gave you a scientific explaination to explain God. Wasn't good enough?

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    Quote Originally Posted by A_Pro
    Your does "God" exist question is flawed in the sense, what do you term God as?

    God as the creation?

    God as the univerise?

    God as a mighty being sitting on a thrown in heaven counting your sins?

    God as the one supreme being?

    God(s) of war, love, religion, fertility, etc.?


    If you want the solid facts -- science can narrow down all existence, all matter to only two things: Energy & Motion (Space & Time). Perhaps if you look into the source of those two things you might be on to something...
    Yes but when you start looking into the source of such things you find yourself in the pardox of creator vs created. Which came first the chicken or the egg? If two mirrors reflect each other, which initiated the reflection?

    I don't like the idea of blind faith, but I do have a feeling and a belief. I believe God is an energy, the energy that makes us all, the plants, the animals, everything we see, hear, and feel. We are all united. Gods energy just like all energy, never ceases to exist, it can't be destroyed.

    There is obviously energy in the human body (electricity). Since we know that energy can never be destroyed, we know this energy must live on after our physical existance. It must therefore become a part of something else, whether that something else be another being or simply space.

    I could ramble forever, but that's the basis of my belief.

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    Quote Originally Posted by co2boi
    Yes but when you start looking into the source of such things you find yourself in the pardox of creator vs created. Which came first the chicken or the egg? If two mirrors reflect each other, which initiated the reflection?

    I don't like the idea of blind faith, but I do have a feeling and a belief. I believe God is an energy, the energy that makes us all, the plants, the animals, everything we see, hear, and feel. We are all united. Gods energy just like all energy, never ceases to exist, it can't be destroyed.

    There is obviously energy in the human body (electricity). Since we know that energy can never be destroyed, we know this energy must live on after our physical existance. It must therefore become a part of something else, whether that something else be another being or simply space.

    I could ramble forever, but that's the basis of my belief.
    Didn't I already say all of that? What is my post a mirage?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hooker
    Duh...I told him I have a degree in English...how many stupid High-School Kids have tried to get one over on me by submitting a plagorized term paper? He should've known better....
    busted .

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