Jump to content
Realitycheck

What is your justification for believing in a God?

Recommended Posts

I dont understand why people need discuss religion for the justification of god. Any attempt at justifying god by religion is fallacious in terms of its definition not being your own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We've established, I certainly hope, that we are talking about the way the objective universe is -- not a mistaken impression of it like your tomato example. Things, like you say, that have no false assumptions, no ambiguous terms, no flawed logic, and overwhelming empirical evidence.

Granted.

 

Also, that our interpretation of the bible, whatever it may be, is not in error. It is not a false interpretation. It is not, as Spin put it, a series of asterisks added to the otherwise obvious meaning of the text (although... and I digress... what Protestant wouldn't describe Catholicism exactly that way?).

 

The premise is that some observable fact (which is well founded by science and is empirically correct) does not agree with some scriptural truth (again, equally well interpreted). Spin's solution to that problem, and the point of my contention, is that there is no need for empirical and objective truth to agree with biblical truth because God transcends logic and materialism.

This is where I think the discussion's gone off the rails. The premise is specifically about the age of the world, and the texts are HIGHLY ambiguous on that point. The Church has not made (and will not make) any dogmatic assertions about it, therefore Catholics are free to take whatever position they care to. But if the evidence points to an old earth and the friend thinks the bible means a young earth, I think he needs to take Bellarmine's counsel.

 

The Catholic position is the exact opposite. Truth cannot contradict truth. The same God who designed scripture word for word designed also the objective universe. Whether one peruses the first with faith or the second with rationalism should be led to the same God and the same truth.
Of course. But one needs to remember that this doesn't mean that the two disciplines must overtly agree; that would be like insisting that the reading of a thermometer must agree with the reading of a pressure gage. The test is not agreement, but rather lack of disagreement.

 

If you abandon the innate communion between the world and the bible then you have abandoned Catholicism.
With qualifications, I can agree with that.

 

Back on topic? I've been hoping that someone would respond to my ost of 6 September 2011 - 06:00 PM

Edited by chilehed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@iggy,

 

First off I think the discussion of compartmentalization is on topic given this thread is about the justification of one's belief in god as this is a quantification of now a catholic friend of mine who also happens to be a scoentist believes in god.

 

To the other poster's comments, compartmentalization is exactly what you'd ca what my fried does. There is no other appropriate word for it. He leaves religion out of science and science out of religion.

 

Iggy thinks the catholic church does not allow this, but I disagree. The catholic church turns a blind eye to many things that would make being a catholic unpatable.

 

For example, natural family planning is preached and preached - BUT - many western Catholics in 1st world countries have only one or two kids. How is this possible, when many of them are still sexually active? It's obvious they use birth control, but it wouldn't be very lucrative for the church to start denying these people communion and/or excommunicating them - so the church turns a blind eye.

 

My friend has made his position clear in numerous bible studies and has never been chastised by any members or priests associated with his church.

 

My objection to iggy's position is that if 90% of Catholics loosely interpret the church's position as well as those stated in the bible then taking literal tranations of texts and even statements made by the Pope surely means that there are very few real Catholics.

 

Many priests say that the Pope does not tell people what to believe in regards to science. As a link I quoted earlier points out, the Church doesn't even require catholics to believe the world is round, or that virgins cannot have children. I find that strange, since science has proven many times over that virgins don't get pregnant and the world can in fact be circumnavigated.. Thus clearly the application of truth cannot contradict truth is not as literal as iggy makes it out to be and this can surely be seen when observing the lives of everyday catholics.

 

Thus I maintain that science cannot explain religion, even for Catholics as they have yet to rewrite some foundations of their religion - like the virgin birth, genesis, age of the earth - to reflect things that have been proven scientifically.

Thus, it is my interpretation that the Pope should rather have said truth cannot contradict the interpretation of the bible and thus said interpretation will become dynamic depending on what science proves. He even cautioned that new interpretations might not be swiftly forthcoming and that apparent contradictions may sti exist - they clearly do - and the church's position is that people like my friend should during the interim trust in the bible - even if they don't understand.

 

This is what he does, and it is quite necessary as a scientist then to compartmentalize.

 

Only iggy's interpretation disallows this. Clearly the majority of Catholics do not interpret these statements made by the pope literally and neither does the pope himself or surely Catholics would be forced to believe that rather ridiculous things.. Iggy's notion that Catholics do not believe god is above the law/sciene of man and capable of miracles is also incongruent with catholic teachings as no catholic expects their daughters to become randomly pregnant as virgins. Thus Catholics very clearly believe that there are times when god can and does violate the laws of nature.

 

Thus I maintain that compartmentalization of religion from science remains a valid approach. Even if I personally prefer to have no opinion on god at all and thus feel that my position is the ONLY scientifically valid position, that doesn't mean that people who are both religious and scientists (like my friend) are not sensible nor does it mean those who are religious are not sensible, but rather simply they are using subjective reasoning whereas science relies on objective reasoning, thus the two remain incompatible.

 

To be more clear, one cannot interpret science iggy - it either is or is not valid based on observations. The fact that the interpretations of the bible can be changed by Catholics further proves my point that there is no place for scientific reasoning in religion.

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...To the other poster's comments, compartmentalization is exactly what you'd ca what my fried does. There is no other appropriate word for it. He leaves religion out of science and science out of religion.

My point is that a ruthlessly disciplined approach to Catholicism would obviate the need to do that. I refer again to Cardinal Bellarmine.

 

Catholic thought includes the idea that one can understand something of the nature of God by studying his creation. That's one of the reasons the modern scientific era was born in Christendom, and why so many of the great names in the history of modern science were Catholic priests. Contrary to popular opinion, the Church is and always has been a great supporter of the sciences.

 

...The catholic church turns a blind eye to many things that would make being a catholic unpatable.

 

For example, natural family planning is preached and preached - BUT - many western Catholics in 1st world countries have only one or two kids. How is this possible, when many of them are still sexually active? It's obvious they use birth control, but it wouldn't be very lucrative for the church to start denying these people communion and/or excommunicating them - so the church turns a blind eye.

Your characterization of the dynamic here is flawed, but a discussion of the relevant Canon Law would take us even farther afield.

 

...My friend has made his position clear in numerous bible studies and has never been chastised by any members or priests associated with his church.

That doesn't mean that his position is consistent with Catholic thought, what it means is that the people he's encountered are insufficiently catechised in that particular subject. Yes, it happens even to priests.

 

...Many priests say that the Pope does not tell people what to believe in regards to science. As a link I quoted earlier points out, the Church doesn't even require catholics to believe the world is round,...

Neither would your music teacher. I don't suppose you'd find fault with that.

 

...or that virgins cannot have children. I find that strange, since science has proven many times over that virgins don't get pregnant...

Now perhaps we can get back on topic. What science has proven is that the natural way a woman get pregnant requires that she cease to be a virgin. But science is not capable of proving that virgins absolutely cannot get pregnant under any circumstances, because that conclusion would first require science to proove that there is no God, which it cannot do.

 

The objection to miracles is "science proves that miracles can't happen, therefore any evidence that one happened must have some other explanation". But there is no valid reason to believe the premise.

 

...The fact that the interpretations of the bible can be changed by Catholics further proves my point that there is no place for scientific reasoning in religion.

You say that as if our understanding of the workings of the physical world doesn't change as science undergoes development.

 

Part of the difficulty in these kinds of conversations arises out of the compartmentalization of physical sciences apart from the other branches of Philosophy, which was a result of the so-called Enlightenment period. It would be more accurate to call it the Endarkenment.

Edited by chilehed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe in God because I when I sought God things happened that I interpreted as a response from God.

 

These events convinced me that God exists, and that His nature is good.

 

The nature of these occurrences, from my perspective, seemed to be specifically designed to achieve both items eg.

 

1. God exists. 2. God's nature is good.

 

The events do not seem to be designed to only achieve #1, or to be used to convince someone else of #1 without #2.

 

Thus, I have become convinced that God desires #1 and #2 together, so that

He can reveal His nature at the same time that He reveals His presence.

Edited by dedo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My point is that a ruthlessly disciplined approach to Catholicism would obviate the need to do that. I refer again to Cardinal Bellarmine.

Did you mean that he could amend his interpretation of the bible to one more consistent with the objective universe?

 

I could understand if he found that an impossible task -- as I would.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you mean that he could amend his interpretation of the bible to one more consistent with the objective universe?

 

I could understand if he found that an impossible task -- as I would.

Why? The language and literary forms used in the texts in question do not demand a conclusion that the earth is some specific age, much less that it's only 6000 years old.

 

I've never understood how people can be so irrational as to completely ignore the importance of the literary forms used at the time the texts were written, so that they misunderstand the texts, and then complain that the conclusions they arrive at don't make sense so the texts must be wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why?

I hope you don't think I'm answering hyperbolically... I can't believe the bible is factual in the same way that I could not make myself believe the Harry Potter books are factual.

 

The language and literary forms used in the texts in question do not demand a conclusion that the earth is some specific age, much less that it's only 6000 years old.

The age of the earth isn't a great example. The time between the first human and the first Temple, on the other hand, is given in the form of an unbroken lineage with the ages of individuals.

 

I've never understood how people can be so irrational as to completely ignore the importance of the literary forms used at the time the texts were written, so that they misunderstand the texts, and then complain that the conclusions they arrive at don't make sense so the texts must be wrong.

I believe you are greatly mistaken. The literary form of the Torah -- the first 5 books -- is historical and legal. The form of the next few books -- Joshua through Kings -- is historical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You honestly believe that humans lived 900+ years, that the story is not just exagerrated to explain the benefits of a responsible and civil family life, as opposed to raping and pillaging? Or is it against your religion to say it?

Edited by Realitycheck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I believe you are greatly mistaken. The literary form of the Torah -- the first 5 books -- is historical and legal...
I guess you aren't aware that the wy we tell history isn't the same as the way the ancients did. Literary forms and all.

 

But we really are quite off the topic of the thread. From here on I'll respond further on the thread topic.

Edited by chilehed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your own words suggest otherwise, and despite your claims to accurately understand the non-belief position, what you type betrays your ignorance. When I said, "Everything you just said is wrong," it was in direct response to the below post you previously made:

 

 

 

 

So, given your response here:

 

 

 

It sure appears that you have zero concept of what it means to proselytize, or perhaps alternatively you are lying to both me and also yourself. You might alternatively call this evangelization, but even if that's the case the difference is so minimal as to be irrelevant.

 

 

 

 

Your conclusion does not follow from your premise. It's as if you're saying "because today is tuesday, bananas are yellow." Regardless of the central topic of the thread, it is absolutely possible that one's contribution to it can accurately be considered proselytizing.

 

 

 

Prove it. I dare ye. People have been trying and failing to do exactly that for millenia.

 

The "atheist point of view" is truly that there is at present no good reason to believe in god(s), nor in the abrahamic mythologies, since there is no evidence in its favor. I trust that it would be equally insulting to you if I said that "the problem with Ponderer's lack of belief in Thor and Apollo is that, although it seems very reasonable, it is wrong."

 

You apparently cannot fathom how silly you sound to someone who does not share your delusion, despite the fact that hold the exact same position I do for 99.99% of the world's other gods.

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever met a strawman argument which you didn't like?

 

 

 

Nope, no proselytization here. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. :lol:

 

 

 

 

 

Uhuh. I'll perhaps be less dismissive when you stop spouting such unfounded nonsense as this.

 

 

then-a-miracle-occurs-cartoon.png

 

I have no delusions. I know for a fact that God exists. Your problem is that you don't. What I am saying is well founded. I just haven't explained it to you. I told you I found God. You have heard many times that people have found religion, or that they found God, and you think this is what I mean. This is not what I mean. I have no intentions of further explaining to you or anyone else. You have to find God on your own.

 

To you I seem like a overly confident fool.

 

To me you seem like you have much to learn, but this is a lesson I may not teach you.

Edited by ponderer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no delusions. I know for a fact that God exists.

These two statements are mutually exclusive.

 

 

I told you I found God.

Unfortunately, that's just not good enough. You could tell me you'd found santa claus, the easter bunny, leprechauns and unicorns... I wouldn't accept that as valid, either.

 

 

I have no intentions of further explaining to you or anyone else.

Thank you.

 

 

To you I seem like a overly confident fool.

This is true, except for the "over confident" part.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess you aren't aware that the wy we tell history isn't the same as the way the ancients did. Literary forms and all.

I have no idea what you're talking about. The books I referenced were written as a historical narrative.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You honestly believe that humans lived 900+ years, that the story is not just exagerrated to explain the benefits of a responsible and civil family life, as opposed to raping and pillaging? Or is it against your religion to say it?

If you believe in the theory of evolution, then just that a cell exists defies more odds than humans living hundreds of years longer than they do now. I do not see that as much of a stretch.

Edited by Brainteaserfan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just that a cell exists defies more odds than humans living hundreds of years longer than they do now.

Show your work. What numbers are you using when drawing this conclusion, and how are you accounting for the vast eons of time involved?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on your understanding of how a primitive protocell would work. If the first cell had a few million base pairs in its DNA, (like for a million different functions, characteristics, and defense systems) I would agree then, but we're talking eat, drink, maintain an outer wall, and divide/replicate. That's not exactly a long list of programming code. We're talking about a few hundred lines of programming code, compared to millions today. Baby steps.

 

And if you knew that the basic building blocks of organic materials naturally assemble by themselves in the most primitive of conditions, then you should see how the formation of life isn't necessarily so farfetched since the world has a lot of square millimeters to work with over the course of billions of years, second by second.

Edited by Realitycheck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on your understanding of how a primitive protocell would work. If the first cell had a few million base pairs in its DNA, (like for a million different functions, characteristics, and defense systems) I would agree then, but we're talking eat, drink, maintain an outer wall, and divide/replicate. That's not exactly a long list of programming code. We're talking about a few hundred lines of programming code, compared to millions today. Baby steps.

 

And if you knew that the basic building blocks of organic materials naturally assemble by themselves in the most primitive of conditions, then you should see how the formation of life isn't necessarily so farfetched since the world has a lot of square millimeters to work with over the course of billions of years, second by second.

That was exactly my point. That, "And if you knew that the basic building blocks of organic materials naturally assemble by themselves in the most primitive of conditions, then you should see how the formation of life isn't necessarily so farfetched since the world has a lot of square millimeters to work with over the course of billions of years, second by second." Right. If it is possible for humans, trillions of times more complicated, to come from basic cells, why couldn't 900 year living humans come from basic cells too? (only perhaps a few million times more complex.) And if it could evolve, we could devolve as well, and it is much easier for something to devolve than evolve, and devolution can happen much quicker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is bordering logical fallacy. Why would Jews lose their ability to live so long? DNA doesn't just up and walk away on a massive scale across an entire family of hundreds and thousands. We can trace Jewish ancestry back thousands of years based on their DNA today. You think they all just miraculously lost this superlongevity gene with all of the children that they bore? Or are they all living in hiding, Illuminati vampires flying under the radar? If they could live to be 900 years old, this would be an evolutionary advantage. They wouldn't just go extinct. They would be smarter, wiser, more experienced, able to beat the curve. But no, we are all the same.

Edited by Realitycheck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Illuminati vampires flying under the radar?

A genetic mutation causing extra-long lifespan? I would have gone with James Howlett.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Over 7 out of ten Jewish men and half of Arab men whose DNA was studied inherited their Y chromosomes from the same paternal ancestors who lived in the Middle East in the Neolithic Period in prehistoric times. (8,000 years ago) the research was carried out by Prof. Ariella Oppenheimer, a senior geneticist at the Hebrew University's Hematology Department.

 

Along with plenty of other gems at "Experts Find Jewish-Arab Genetic Link", Judy Siegel, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 6, 2000.

 

http://www.khazaria.com/genetics/abstracts-jews.html

 

But this is kind of getting off topic.

Edited by Realitycheck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is bordering logical fallacy. Why would Jews lose their ability to live so long? DNA doesn't just up and walk away on a massive scale across an entire family of hundreds and thousands. We can trace Jewish ancestry back thousands of years based on their DNA today. You think they all just miraculously lost this superlongevity gene with all of the children that they bore? Or are they all living in hiding, Illuminati vampires flying under the radar? If they could live to be 900 years old, this would be an evolutionary advantage. They wouldn't just go extinct. They would be smarter, wiser, more experienced, able to beat the curve. But no, we are all the same.

I always wondered why these super long-lived Jews didn't have more children. You'd think they'd have a lot more than 15-20 children with the benefits of both 900 years and a divine command to "go forth and multiply". Yet some only had 3 or 4 (and Adam and Eve had only two boys, right?).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i cannot believe, given the history of its creation, that the bible is an invaluable tool for discerning the truth about religion.

 

the old testament was written by Jews to overt the religious prosecution of their people by the Roman Empire.

while the stories told may be true and accurate, they were SELECTED by a people who wanted to show their dedication. not by a people searching for truth.

 

The New testament was written later, many of its books were omitted.

 

. . .

 

even if it were all a COMPLETE and direct account of events -handwritten by Jesus-,

it was still translated from spoken Armenian to written Hebrew to Latin to Old English. and now, brainteaserfan, you want to use the NIV version?

is that a good secondary source?

 

do you know all of those men personally? those translators? were they, indeed, intent on preserving the truth? all of them? and did they, themselves, understand the parables which Jesus spoke in?

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the old testament was written by Jews to overt the religious prosecution of their people by the Roman Empire.

I'm not sure what you mean, but the Roman empire began in 44 BC. The Roman republic conquered Israel a decade or so before that. The books of the old testament were written well before that time... Perhaps you mean the Babylonian empire?

 

even if it were all a COMPLETE and direct account of events -handwritten by Jesus-,

it was still translated from spoken Armenian to written Hebrew to Latin to Old English.

You probably meant Greek rather than Hebrew.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I wouldn't accept that as valid.

 

 

Of course.

 

What you really want is proof. You already said it.

 

I understand your position.

 

However, you did not ask for proof of the existence of God in your OP. You asked how we justify our belief in God.

 

Finding God is not like finding Santa Claus. You know what Santa Claus looks like and you know what you expect to find. Do you know what God looks like and what you expect to find? It's not like Where's Waldo.

 

Now you know how I justify my belief in God. Whether you accept it or not, that is my justification.

 

Good luck to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.