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Disproving the existence of God


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If there is a hell, and if you find yourself there... Don't make the mistake of getting mad at someone and yelling, "look, why don't you just piss off and go straight to..."

You may not realize it, but you've just invoked Pascal's wager, which is a complete load of shit.

 

 

http://www.alternet.org/belief/149920/why_it%27s_not_a_%27safe_bet%27_to_believe_in_god/?page=entire

 

"Why not believe in God? If you believe and you turn out to be wrong, you haven't lost anything. But if you don't believe and you turn out to be wrong, you lose everything. Isn't believing the safer bet?" In debates about religion, this argument keeps coming up. Over, and over, and over again. In almost any debate about religion, if the debate lasts long enough, someone is almost guaranteed to bring it up.

 

<...>

 

If you're relying on Pascal's Wager for your faith, you might as well believe in unicorns or elves, Zoroaster or Zeus, the invisible dragon in Carl Sagan's garage or the Flying Spaghetti Monster who brought the world into being through his blessed noodley appendage. Pascal's Wager is every bit as good an argument for these beliefs as it is for any religion that people currently believe in.

 

If you had a better argument for God, you'd be making it. You'd be offering some good evidence for why God exists; some logical explanation for why God has to exist. You wouldn't be resorting to this lazy, slippery, bet-hedging, shot-full-of-holes excuse for why you don't have to actually think about the question. <continue reading>

 

 

 

http://saintgasoline.com/2008/12/28/what-if-youre-wrong/

 

But the failings of the wager are huge and insurmountable. Even the most ardent theist who clings fervently to Pascal’s wager as the basis of his belief would find himself rejecting it in other circumstances. For instance, if I were to propose to the theist that magical unicorns who fart deadly rainbows were waiting at his workplace to pounce on him and smother him with their colorful and odorous emissions, it is doubtful that the theist would take any heed of this. If I went even further and proclaimed that these unicorn farts had the capacity to cause great suffering and had the magical power to sustain one indefinitely, keeping them alive solely to suffer the great, colorful torments for eternity, the grand upscale in suffering being proposed would still not sway the theist. He would return to work without fear, barely worrying about any such creatures. But why? The wager applies just as well here. The untold suffering that awaits the theist by going to work and being tortured at the hands (or hooves) of these deplorable unicorns is infinite and surely surpasses whatever limited negatives would result from not showing up to work, quitting, and finding another job. Wouldn’t it be more reasonable to assume the unicorns exist and cover your losses? Of course not, and the theist is quite reasonable to pay no heed to the potential consequences.

 

Ultimately, Pascal’s wager as it is often formulated fails because it doesn’t address probability or evidence in any legitimate sense. For instance, we can be relatively certain that not showing up to work or calling the boss with wild tales about homicidal unicorns would lead to the loss of one’s job. However, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that any such unicorns exist, that there exists a mechanism by which a fart could sustain a life indefinitely and cause untold suffering (most of the suffering from farts is not untold, but quite told), or that farts can indeed be rainbow-colored. When we make decisions, we don’t just consider the consequences that could potentially result from every possibility. We also consider how probable those possibilities are to begin with. So while the fear of infinite punishment from unicorn farts is certainly very great, it is decidedly counteracted by the almost infinite improbability of such a thing even existing. We can’t just assess consequences in the absence of any evidence.

 

With God, there is much similarity to these unicorns.

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Can you tell me why we exist? What's beyond the universe? Why there was a Big Bang? Until then belief in a creator or puff the magic dragon are equally feasible. Until you can give me evidence suppor

So, you don't care whether or not the answer is true, you just want one regardless of whether the question is even valid? Why not just leave the answer at 42 and be done with it then?   This quote a

Just to add to this point... Respect is something that is earned, not entitled.

You may not realize it, but you've just invoked Pascal's wager, which is a complete load of shit.

The edit I added to that post while you were posing yours works here to. Why assume "If God exists then believing in him will get you a reward"? If anything I'd guess that "if God exists then he is hiding from us". I don't know what other people's impressions are, but in my experience people who are hiding are not very happy about being found. We might as well assume "If God exists then believing in him will get you sent to hell". I think that would be a fine addendum to Pascal's blackmail, or whatever it was called.

Edited by Iggy
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If there is a hell, and if you find yourself there... Don't make the mistake of getting mad at someone and yelling, "look, why don't you just piss off and go straight to..." It's terribly embarrassing.:D

 

If I find myself there i am going to kick the devil out and take over, he hasn't seen anything like me, i am not your average idiot... :rolleyes:

 

edit: I heard that once and thought it was funny. your post reminded me of it. Of course, I agree... "if god exists..." is the biggest 'what if' that people have ever collectively assumed, and it amazes me how many people are happy filling in "if God exists then _______". Like "if God exists then I can't wear a condom", or "if God exists then women have to wear burqas".

 

It seems like people should, on the average, be quite a bit smarter than that.

 

 

Sadly the average intelligence of people seems to go down as the number of people increase. For some reason religion seems to attract the lowest level and everyone who believes seem to fall to that level.

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For some reason religion seems to attract the lowest level and everyone who believes seem to fall to that level.

 

 

Congratulations on being a part of the intellectually elite! I wish I were as intelligent as you!!!

Edited by Appolinaria
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I wish you were too, :rolleyes:

 

Oh well.

 

 

Anyway, was reading a random article, "Dr David Hardman, principal lecturer in learning development at London Metropolitan University, said: 'It is very difficult to conduct true experiments that would explicate a causal relationship between IQ and religious belief. Nonetheless, there is evidence from other domains that higher levels of intelligence are associated with a greater ability - or perhaps willingness - to question and overturn strongly felt institutions.'"

 

On a neutral note, this article is interesting...

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120119133926.htm

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I've probably said it 5 times in this and other threads: You cannot prove or disprove god

 

Religion is set up in such a way as to make it impossible.

I agree that you can not disprove that some god (or gods) might exist. But, it is possible to prove or disprove specific claims about a specific god, and if the existence of that god is dependent on those claims being true, then it becomes possible to disprove a god if you can disprove those claims.

 

For example: If the claim what that a god made the thunder and lightning by banging his hammer (think Thor) and this god could only exist if this is true. Then when we investigate how thunder and lightning are produced and find that it is not created by a hammer, then we disprove that, that particular god does not exist.

 

This however, does not preclude some other god making thunder in the way we see it being made.

 

Another example is a God that knows everything, can do anything and is completely good.

 

If a god is completely good, then they can not allow unnecessary suffering (although necessary suffering would be allowed). If they know everything, then they can conceive of a universe that does not require any suffering. If they can do anything, then they can create this universe without suffering.

 

The next question is: Do we live in a universe with any unnecessary suffering? To this, the answer is yes. Thus we can conclude that no god that claims to have those 3 attributes (All knowing, All Powerful and Good) can exist.

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I agree that you can not disprove that some god (or gods) might exist. But, it is possible to prove or disprove specific claims about a specific god, and if the existence of that god is dependent on those claims being true, then it becomes possible to disprove a god if you can disprove those claims.

 

For example: If the claim what that a god made the thunder and lightning by banging his hammer (think Thor) and this god could only exist if this is true. Then when we investigate how thunder and lightning are produced and find that it is not created by a hammer, then we disprove that, that particular god does not exist.

 

This however, does not preclude some other god making thunder in the way we see it being made.

 

Another example is a God that knows everything, can do anything and is completely good.

 

If a god is completely good, then they can not allow unnecessary suffering (although necessary suffering would be allowed). If they know everything, then they can conceive of a universe that does not require any suffering. If they can do anything, then they can create this universe without suffering.

The next question is: Do we live in a universe with any unnecessary suffering? To this, the answer is yes. Thus we can conclude that no god that claims to have those 3 attributes (All knowing, All Powerful and Good) can exist.

 

 

If god is all knowing/powerful then maybe the suffering you speak of is necessary.

 

Who are you to decide what counts as necessary?

 

My point is that whatever you present as proof can be falsified by religion because of its inherent ambiguity and the element of "magc" involved (eg: "god did it by magic")

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If god is all knowing/powerful then maybe the suffering you speak of is necessary.

 

Who are you to decide what counts as necessary?

 

My point is that whatever you present as proof can be falsified by religion because of its inherent ambiguity and the element of "magc" involved (eg: "god did it by magic")

If god could have made the universe without suffering, then no suffering is necessary as god could have achieve the same ends without it.

 

This is the inherent contradiction between an all powerful and good god and that evil exists. This can't be explained away by magic because the dilemma has nothing to do with how it was done, only that the existence of an all powerful god that claims to be good and the fact that suffering exists.

 

They are mutually exclusive, and because we know that suffering exists, then the conclusion is that the other can not.

 

It is like something can't be completely white and completely black at the same time. Magic couldn't make it both at the same time, it might be able to change it from one to the other, but it can not violate existence.

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If god could have made the universe without suffering, then no suffering is necessary as god could have achieve the same ends without it.

 

This is the inherent contradiction between an all powerful and good god and that evil exists. This can't be explained away by magic because the dilemma has nothing to do with how it was done, only that the existence of an all powerful god that claims to be good and the fact that suffering exists.

 

They are mutually exclusive, and because we know that suffering exists, then the conclusion is that the other can not.

 

It is like something can't be completely white and completely black at the same time. Magic couldn't make it both at the same time, it might be able to change it from one to the other, but it can not violate existence.

 

You make a good point, but again this can be argued against with free will.

 

If god gives us free will he also gives us the capacity for evil. If god then removes evil he also removes free will (at least to some extent - Why can't I choose to be evil?).

 

One could argue that god has made the choice to allow us to learn our own lessons, having given us everything we need to eliminate evil ourselves (with the bible and whatnot).

 

Of course being all knowing he knows things will work out fine as soon as we learn our lesson.

 

In the same way that a parent will allow a child to make mistakes in order to learn valuable life lessons.

 

 

I am certainly not trying to make a case for god, I am merely pointing out that with so much room for interpretation there is nothing that can be regarded as proof against religion.

 

This is something that has been pondered since the first notion of god by some of the greatest thinkers of all time.

 

If it (religion/god) were falsifiable it would have fallen apart a long time ago...

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You make a good point, but again this can be argued against with free will.

 

If god gives us free will he also gives us the capacity for evil. If god then removes evil he also removes free will (at least to some extent - Why can't I choose to be evil?).

This is a good argument. However, there are two flaws. First if it were possible to create a universe where you could choose to do evil freely, but that evil never gets visited on other people, then this argument would not be valid.

 

As an example of this idea, I'll use a computer game (an MMO as there are other real people in that game).

 

Now, with this game, the computer detects if you are going to harm another player, and then creates a new zone where everything is identical to just before the harm takes place. The only difference is that anything that occurs in this new "instance" of the world does not occur in the main world.

 

Now, as the "Griefer" (the player wishing to do harm) is then moved into this duplicate instance and removed from the main instance. The griefer is then allowed to perform their action and then once the action is completed, they are moved back into the main world. This way the griefer has free will to choose to cause harm, but no harm is ever visited on another player.

 

This is a universe which allows free will but prevents people from harming others.

 

The second flaw in that argument is that not all suffering is caused by people. There is suffering caused by natural events (think of a tsunami washing people out to sea and drowning). These events are not created by the will of people, and yet they cause suffering. This means that even in a universe with free will, and people choosing to never cause harm, then there is still harm and suffering being caused.

 

As God has supposedly created the universe this way, then we can conclude, that without regard to the existence or non existence of free will, suffering is still being caused.

 

All this means that the argument of free will is an invalid argument.

 

One could argue that god has made the choice to allow us to learn our own lessons, having given us everything we need to eliminate evil ourselves (with the bible and whatnot).

But God being all powerful does not have to do it this way. In other words He deliberately chose to make a universe that has suffering, but had the ability to make a universe without it. Thus any suffering is unnecessary, and a God that creates a universe deliberately where people have to suffer must be evil.

 

Of course being all knowing he knows things will work out fine as soon as we learn our lesson.

But he also know that it is an imperfect way for us to learn that lesson and that some people will never learn (and it could be argued that God created them not to learn that way). This means that if there is any alternative way of learning without violating free will, then this argument is invalid too.

 

In the bible, it says that God places knowledge into the minds of people. As this does not seem to violate the "prime directive" of not interfering in free will, then this means it is ok for God to place knowledge into our minds.

 

Here then is an alternative to the hit or miss learning the hard way, God could just impart this knowledge directly. Of course, it would be up to us to choose to follow that knowledge or not, so free will is not violated.

 

And there is your alternative, meaning that this line of argument does not actually work.

 

In the same way that a parent will allow a child to make mistakes in order to learn valuable life lessons.

A parent is neither all powerful or all knowing (or all good, or perfect either). Thus this argument fails.

 

If, as a parent, I could impart my knowledge directly into my child's mind wihtout them haivng to suffer to learn it. I would. Why, as someone who loved someone, would I wish them to suffer if I could avoid it in any way?

 

I am certainly not trying to make a case for god, I am merely pointing out that with so much room for interpretation there is nothing that can be regarded as proof against religion.

As I said, this is not proof against religion or gods in general, only that it is proof against gods that have specific claims as to their properties (specifically, all powerful, all knowing and good).

 

I am willing to admit that these argument has no impact on a god that does not claim to be good, or a god that is not all powerful or all knowing.

 

This is something that has been pondered since the first notion of god by some of the greatest thinkers of all time.

 

If it (religion/god) were falsifiable it would have fallen apart a long time ago...

I don't think so. The thought behind this argument is quite involved, and not all people accept logical or rational arguments. If you do not accept that logic is a valid way of thinking, and that belief is more important than reason or evidence, then this argument will not convince you of anything.

 

If you look at the doctrine of religions, they actively discourage thinking in rational ways.

 

If you have it drilled into you that to question God (or more specifically what an authority figure tells you about god - eg: the inquisition :rolleyes: ), or to even think of questioning god would mean that you spend an eternity in hell, then of course you are not going to have thoughts like this. It is only because at this time I have the freedom to think, that I don't believe in any god(s) and that there have been other people who are in the same situation and I have read books on their thoughts that I could come up with this.

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This is a good argument. However, there are two flaws. First if it were possible to create a universe where you could choose to do evil freely, but that evil never gets visited on other people, then this argument would not be valid.

 

As an example of this idea, I'll use a computer game (an MMO as there are other real people in that game).

 

Now, with this game, the computer detects if you are going to harm another player, and then creates a new zone where everything is identical to just before the harm takes place. The only difference is that anything that occurs in this new "instance" of the world does not occur in the main world.

 

Now, as the "Griefer" (the player wishing to do harm) is then moved into this duplicate instance and removed from the main instance. The griefer is then allowed to perform their action and then once the action is completed, they are moved back into the main world. This way the griefer has free will to choose to cause harm, but no harm is ever visited on another player.

 

This is a universe which allows free will but prevents people from harming others.

 

I see this as a violation of free will.

 

If I use my free will to chose to smash your face in with a hammer and then find that no harm has been done to you in reality, my free will got me nowhere.

 

What I'm saying is that the choice has been removed: I chose to harm you but I cannot - That's not free will - it's an illusion

 

If god is good, surely he has to give you the choice?

 

The second flaw in that argument is that not all suffering is caused by people. There is suffering caused by natural events (think of a tsunami washing people out to sea and drowning). These events are not created by the will of people, and yet they cause suffering. This means that even in a universe with free will, and people choosing to never cause harm, then there is still harm and suffering being caused.

 

As God has supposedly created the universe this way, then we can conclude, that without regard to the existence or non existence of free will, suffering is still being caused.

 

All this means that the argument of free will is an invalid argument.

 

The point was about necessary suffering, natural events, however destructive, are necessary

 

 

But God being all powerful does not have to do it this way. In other words He deliberately chose to make a universe that has suffering, but had the ability to make a universe without it. Thus any suffering is unnecessary, and a God that creates a universe deliberately where people have to suffer must be evil.

 

Hardship builds character, some suffering is necessary - you learn from your mistakes even more so if they are painful ones.

 

If god has a plan, then maybe it involves people learning these lessons on their own and using their free will to chose the right path, as it were.

 

Sure, god could make the choice for you, but it defeats the object.

 

 

But he also know that it is an imperfect way for us to learn that lesson and that some people will never learn (and it could be argued that God created them not to learn that way). This means that if there is any alternative way of learning without violating free will, then this argument is invalid too.

 

In the bible, it says that God places knowledge into the minds of people. As this does not seem to violate the "prime directive" of not interfering in free will, then this means it is ok for God to place knowledge into our minds.

 

Here then is an alternative to the hit or miss learning the hard way, God could just impart this knowledge directly. Of course, it would be up to us to choose to follow that knowledge or not, so free will is not violated.

 

And there is your alternative, meaning that this line of argument does not actually work.

 

 

Again, this defeats the object of free will. If god wants people to make their own choices and learn for themselves then zapping knowledge into them is cheating

 

A parent is neither all powerful or all knowing (or all good, or perfect either). Thus this argument fails.

 

If, as a parent, I could impart my knowledge directly into my child's mind wihtout them haivng to suffer to learn it. I would. Why, as someone who loved someone, would I wish them to suffer if I could avoid it in any way?

 

True, but could that be detrimental in the long run?

 

For example, how did you learn to ride a bike? I would wager it involed a bit of help and advice but mostly a lot of falling off the thing.

 

You learned from that experience and came out the other side with a great amount of satisfaction at having acheived something difficult.

 

 

Would you rob your children of that?

 

If the ability to ride a bike were "given" to you magically it would reduce its value

 

 

As I said, this is not proof against religion or gods in general, only that it is proof against gods that have specific claims as to their properties (specifically, all powerful, all knowing and good).

 

 

Even specific claims cannot be disproved (logic does not apply to religion).

 

Example:

 

Claim A: "god made the universe yesterday"

 

Evidence goes against this claim, but if claim A then goes on to say:

 

"Being a discreet sort of chap and not wanting to spoil the ambiance of the univerese he made it look much older and removed all evidence of himself by use of his magical powers"

 

It then becomes impossible to refute claim A

 

 

If you look at the doctrine of religions, they actively discourage thinking in rational ways.

 

If you have it drilled into you that to question God (or more specifically what an authority figure tells you about god - eg: the inquisition :rolleyes: ), or to even think of questioning god would mean that you spend an eternity in hell, then of course you are not going to have thoughts like this. It is only because at this time I have the freedom to think, that I don't believe in any god(s) and that there have been other people who are in the same situation and I have read books on their thoughts that I could come up with this.

 

I agree with you here. Religion it seems does not like independant thought and values followers over thinkers.

 

 

Again, I'm not making a case for god because I do not believe in any of it.

I am only trying to show the impossibility of disproving religion/god.

 

Surely logic dictates that if a being has unlimited knowledge and power it's methods and reasons for doing certain things could be beyond understanding by human beings.

 

 

Again, you've made good points and argued them well, but anything backed by infinite knowledge + magical powers is going to be impossible to disprove

 

 

Edit: I can't believe I've switched sides on this :D

Edited by Tres Juicy
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Again, I'm not making a case for god because I do not believe in any of it.

I am only trying to show the impossibility of disproving religion/god

 

/snip/

 

Edit: I can't believe I've switched sides on this :D

No problem. I think it is important to explore ideas, even if you disagree with the idea you are taking in the discussion.

 

I see this as a violation of free will.

 

If I use my free will to chose to smash your face in with a hammer and then find that no harm has been done to you in reality, my free will got me nowhere.

 

What I'm saying is that the choice has been removed: I chose to harm you but I cannot - That's not free will - it's an illusion

 

If god is good, surely he has to give you the choice?

You still have the choice to act, but it is only that your actions do not cause harm.

 

If it is a violation of free will for someone to choose to act in such a way, but then that action does not work, then I can easily prove that we have no free will by choosing to levitate off my seat. As I have not levitated off the seat, then I conclude (using the argument you used above) that free will does not exist.

 

However, if you accept that free will is the ability to choose, but not that the choice has to result in a successful action, then it is fine for someone to choose to harm and then no harm eventuate and it not to violate free will.

 

The point was about necessary suffering, natural events, however destructive, are necessary

Are they?

 

Remember, God is supposed to have infinite power and knowledge (and also good). Thus God could cause the same effect without anyone needing to suffer for it. Or, god could just design things so that the effect was no needed in the first place (ie: that the effect of the disaster is built in already without the need for it to occur).

 

Also, God is supposed to have created Heaven where no suffering occurs, so it is possible for god to create a "universe" without suffering.

 

Hardship builds character, some suffering is necessary - you learn from your mistakes even more so if they are painful ones.

But god created us in that way. He could have created us in a way that it was not necessary for hardship to build character.

 

God has unlimited power and knowledge. He could create us so that character would develop over time, or that character was inbuilt into us (think something like an instinct).

 

If god has a plan, then maybe it involves people learning these lessons on their own and using their free will to chose the right path, as it were.

But, then that would mean gods plan was to have us suffer. remember this discussion is about whether or not god could have done things differently. In your argument, God could have done things differently, but instead chose to cause suffering.

 

As this is the point I am making, then your argument here actually supports my position.

 

Sure, god could make the choice for you, but it defeats the object.

No, you still make the choices, it is just that you have the knowledge imparted into you before you have to make the choice.

 

Again, this defeats the object of free will. If god wants people to make their own choices and learn for themselves then zapping knowledge into them is cheating

But if God wants us to learn this way, then it is because He chose to force us to learn in a way that required suffering, even though there is an alternative that he could have used.

 

This is my argument. It is possible that a god exists that does not have the three qualities I am using for my point. If these types of gods exist, my argument has no bearing on them.

 

It is if God is all powerful, all knowing and good and valid alternatives exist that a mere mortal with limited knowledge can come up with, then if a god or gods exist then they can not have the properties of all powerful, all knowing and good.

 

True, but could that be detrimental in the long run?

 

For example, how did you learn to ride a bike? I would wager it involed a bit of help and advice but mostly a lot of falling off the thing.

 

You learned from that experience and came out the other side with a great amount of satisfaction at having acheived something difficult.

 

 

Would you rob your children of that?

 

If the ability to ride a bike were "given" to you magically it would reduce its value

But what if you could have that same experience without having to suffer? What if there was someone with the power to prevent you from injuring yourself?

 

God (because he has infinite power) has to power to prevent you from injuring yourself, but still allowing you to try and fail and learn from experience. So your argument doesn't hold.

 

Actually this is a common problem when dealing with the concept of an all powerful being. People tend to think of it as just: Much more powerful.

 

There is nothing an all powerful being could not do. This is the source of my argument. In a way I have turned the argument: "That if something could be done magically, then you can't disprove it" and applied it in reverse.

 

If all things can be done magically and there is no limit to what can be done, then it is possible to do anything. This means that there can be no argument that relies on the all powerful being being limited in any way as to what they can do.

 

The result of this is that if the all powerful being could do anything without limits, then it is possible for them to create a universe where no suffering is possible ant plan the being has would still occur.

 

It means there is no counter argument to the claim that the god could make a universe without suffering. It means that any suffering is unnecessary.

 

But because of that, it means that a god that is good would not willing create a universe with suffering. And that a god that is all knowing would know that, and know the way to create a universe without that suffering.

 

Even specific claims cannot be disproved (logic does not apply to religion).

 

Example:

 

Claim A: "god made the universe yesterday"

 

Evidence goes against this claim, but if claim A then goes on to say:

 

"Being a discreet sort of chap and not wanting to spoil the ambiance of the univerese he made it look much older and removed all evidence of himself by use of his magical powers"

 

It then becomes impossible to refute claim A

There problem with this argument is that there is nothing self contradictory about that claim. As I said, I am not trying to refute all claims of a god, or refute religion in general.

 

I am only arguing that certain aspects claimed to be attributes of god can be self contradictory and thus refutable.

 

Surely logic dictates that if a being has unlimited knowledge and power it's methods and reasons for doing certain things could be beyond understanding by human beings.

Yes and no. If this were completely true, then we could know nothing about god. It means that no god we could conceive of can not be a representation of the true god. Even the existence of such a being would be intractable to us.

 

The result is that this would effectively disprove of every god and every religion.

 

So, if it is possible to even speculate anything about god, then it must mean that there are some aspects of god that we can understand. We might never fully understand, but we could understand, and that if something can be proven not to be part of that god, then we can understand that it is not part of the god.

 

My argument is that god can not be all powerful, all knowing and good at the same time. Thus at least one of those qualities can not be part of god.

 

Again, you've made good points and argued them well, but anything backed by infinite knowledge + magical powers is going to be impossible to disprove

What I have done is just to turn that argument on its head. By using the issue of not being able to disprove magic, I have use it to make the claim that if it can be done magically (by an all powerful, all knowing and good being) then you can't disprove it.

 

Thus by recognising that an all powerful being could make a universe without suffering can then not be disproved, it creates a discontinuity with what is observed (ie: that suffering exists).

 

This means that one of these things can not be true (it is not consistent). As we know that reality exists, then this means that the all powerful, all, knowing and good god can not exist.

 

As many religions require the existence of such a being, then this disproves these religions.

 

But, if someone said that their god did not have all three of these qualities, then my argument does not apply (and I would have to look for some other set of inconsistencies).

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I agree that you can not disprove that some god (or gods) might exist. But, it is possible to prove or disprove specific claims about a specific god, and if the existence of that god is dependent on those claims being true, then it becomes possible to disprove a god if you can disprove those claims.

 

For example: If the claim what that a god made the thunder and lightning by banging his hammer (think Thor) and this god could only exist if this is true. Then when we investigate how thunder and lightning are produced and find that it is not created by a hammer, then we disprove that, that particular god does not exist.

 

This however, does not preclude some other god making thunder in the way we see it being made.

 

 

The explanation given by science is not convincing enough to completely rule out the possibility of such a God and hence it is not enough evidence against the evidence of such a God. Weather patterns, lightning and thunder are complex systems with many variables and they all boil down to interactions in the atmosphere of the earth and these reactions happen at the most basic fundamental level of quantum physics and therefore Heisenberg's uncertainty principle implies that it is impossbile to simultaneously measure and extract precise information about the position and momentum of a particle with a product of uncertainty smaller than half the dirac's constant.

 

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle doesn't arise due to any limitations on the measuring device and it is the basic rule of nature. In other words it is impossible to simultaneously determine the particle and wave properties of entities in the quantum realm and this would mean that it is impossible to determine the future behaviour of such a quantum system.

 

The inequality of John Bell and the experiments uphelding the view of quantum physics confirms that a particle will not always have pre-determined values for position, momentum, polarisation etc. According to Copenhagen Interpretation only the possible outcomes of the quantum system which are observable through a detector are real and no element of reality should be attributed to the physical quantum system itself and such a quantum system is closed. If those particles do not have the properties of position, momentum and polarisation and such properties only appear when one wants to measure the value of such a property then what is the ontology of those physical particles?, what is its physical nature?, what are they made up of? Do physical properties exist in the objective world or are they subjective creations? Can science answer these questions?

 

Science has to give an explanation for quantum entanglement and how a system can be treated has a single system even though its individual parts are oceans apart, this would mean that we need to impenetrate into the physical realm of the quantum system in order to explain such a phenomena and just measuring the possible outcomes of such a system will not be sufficient enough to explain such phenomena and nature has acted in ways that it is impossible to penetrate into the physical quantum realm.

 

When Natural Sciences was first developed it was believed that the universe is comprehensible to humans and humans had the ability to model this universe. The findings of natural science and the answers it provides are perplexing, we can not predict the future behaviour of this universe and therefore the answer it gives is that we can not model this universe and we also can not know how it works at the most fundamental basic level and what we know is that as the size increases, the number of particles increases too and the quantum theory predicts that the average probabilistic distribution of such particles will produce the effects we see in the classical world that we normally live in and this is what has led to the technological advancements which are based on quantum phyical principles such as charged coupled devices, scanning tunneling microscope, superconductors and superfluids.

 

Few computer scientists have a gut feeling that we are under a simulation and if we think about the possibility of artificial intelligent machines and extraterrestrial beings responsible for simulating our universe we can not rule out the possibility that the hand of God is behind such a simulation. The aim of this thread was to indicate that it was too soon for few scientists to say that "God is Dead". There are a lot of questions which is left and which science has not answered yet and it might never be able to answer those questions because of the basic rule of nature which is the Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. We need new science here.

 

 

 

 

 

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The explanation given by science is not convincing enough to completely rule out the possibility of such a God and hence it is not enough evidence against the evidence of such a God. Weather patterns, lightning and thunder are complex systems with many variables and they all boil down to interactions in the atmosphere of the earth and these reactions happen at the most basic fundamental level of quantum physics and therefore Heisenberg's uncertainty principle implies that it is impossbile to simultaneously measure and extract precise information about the position and momentum of a particle with a product of uncertainty smaller than half the dirac's constant.

 

So humans with the aid of technology are more powerful than gods? We can prevent lighting from striking, if it is due to a god that makes him pretty weak as the concept of god generally goes...

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You still have the choice to act, but it is only that your actions do not cause harm.

 

If it is a violation of free will for someone to choose to act in such a way, but then that action does not work, then I can easily prove that we have no free will by choosing to levitate off my seat. As I have not levitated off the seat, then I conclude (using the argument you used above) that free will does not exist.

 

However, if you accept that free will is the ability to choose, but not that the choice has to result in a successful action, then it is fine for someone to choose to harm and then no harm eventuate and it not to violate free will.

 

That kind of system would raise all kinds of questions - Why can a dog bite you and cause you harm, but I cannot?

 

I can clearly smash up objects with my hammer that I cannot smash up with my face - yet I cannot smash up a face with my hammer?!

 

It would deny the laws of physics.

 

This in itself could be contrued as proof of god, which is surely not acceptable to god. A god needs belief not just knowing he exists because of the evidence.

 

Remember, God is supposed to have infinite power and knowledge (and also good). Thus God could cause the same effect without anyone needing to suffer for it. Or, god could just design things so that the effect was not needed in the first place (ie: that the effect of the disaster is built in already without the need for it to occur).

 

Also, God is supposed to have created Heaven where no suffering occurs, so it is possible for god to create a "universe" without suffering.

 

This again can be argued by the fact that you appreciate the good things more when they are complimented by the not-so-good things.

 

If every day is a sunny day, then what's a sunny day?

 

 

But god created us in that way. He could have created us in a way that it was not necessary for hardship to build character.

 

God has unlimited power and knowledge. He could create us so that character would develop over time, or that character was inbuilt into us (think something like an instinct).

 

Again, the difficulty of the task is proportionate to the satisfaction and inherent value of its successful completion - I think that's important.

 

Hypothetically, god could create you with infinite knowledge and power and to be infinitely good, but in the end it would be worth more to you if you had struggled to get to that point. You would apreciate it more.

 

 

But, then that would mean gods plan was to have us suffer. remember this discussion is about whether or not god could have done things differently. In your argument, God could have done things differently, but instead chose to cause suffering.

 

As this is the point I am making, then your argument here actually supports my position.

 

Yes, I suppose it does a bit.... But religion would say that his reasoning is unfathomable and he moves in mysterious ways

 

 

No, you still make the choices, it is just that you have the knowledge imparted into you before you have to make the choice.

 

 

But if God wants us to learn this way, then it is because He chose to force us to learn in a way that required suffering, even though there is an alternative that he could have used.

 

Mysterious ways....

 

We have free will, we will chose whether or not we learn.

 

Someone once told me that pain is the universe's way of reinforcing a lesson

 

 

This is my argument. It is possible that a god exists that does not have the three qualities I am using for my point. If these types of gods exist, my argument has no bearing on them.

 

It is if God is all powerful, all knowing and good and valid alternatives exist that a mere mortal with limited knowledge can come up with, then if a god or gods exist then they can not have the properties of all powerful, all knowing and good.

 

How would you, as a mere mortal, know that they were valid?

 

 

But what if you could have that same experience without having to suffer? What if there was someone with the power to prevent you from injuring yourself?

 

God (because he has infinite power) has to power to prevent you from injuring yourself, but still allowing you to try and fail and learn from experience. So your argument doesn't hold.

 

The value of the knowledge is almost defined by how difficult it was to obtain - Don't you agree?

 

 

Actually this is a common problem when dealing with the concept of an all powerful being. People tend to think of it as just: Much more powerful.

 

There is nothing an all powerful being could not do. This is the source of my argument. In a way I have turned the argument: "That if something could be done magically, then you can't disprove it" and applied it in reverse.

 

If all things can be done magically and there is no limit to what can be done, then it is possible to do anything. This means that there can be no argument that relies on the all powerful being being limited in any way as to what they can do.

 

The result of this is that if the all powerful being could do anything without limits, then it is possible for them to create a universe where no suffering is possible ant plan the being has would still occur.

 

It means there is no counter argument to the claim that the god could make a universe without suffering. It means that any suffering is unnecessary.

 

But because of that, it means that a god that is good would not willing create a universe with suffering. And that a god that is all knowing would know that, and know the way to create a universe without that suffering.

 

Mysterious ways....

 

Like I said, because of the free will issue, maybe it's the only way?

 

 

There problem with this argument is that there is nothing self contradictory about that claim. As I said, I am not trying to refute all claims of a god, or refute religion in general.

 

I am only arguing that certain aspects claimed to be attributes of god can be self contradictory and thus refutable.

 

Even self contradictory claims can be backed up in this way.

 

Think of something that cannot be done with infinite knowledge and power...

 

 

Yes and no. If this were completely true, then we could know nothing about god. It means that no god we could conceive of can not be a representation of the true god. Even the existence of such a being would be intractable to us.

 

The result is that this would effectively disprove of every god and every religion.

 

So, if it is possible to even speculate anything about god, then it must mean that there are some aspects of god that we can understand. We might never fully understand, but we could understand, and that if something can be proven not to be part of that god, then we can understand that it is not part of the god.

 

My argument is that god can not be all powerful, all knowing and good at the same time. Thus at least one of those qualities can not be part of god.

 

Maybe we do know nothing of god. Maybe we've completely missed the point.

 

Maybe that's part of the plan, who knows...

 

 

What I have done is just to turn that argument on its head. By using the issue of not being able to disprove magic, I have use it to make the claim that if it can be done magically (by an all powerful, all knowing and good being) then you can't disprove it.

 

Thus by recognising that an all powerful being could make a universe without suffering can then not be disproved, it creates a discontinuity with what is observed (ie: that suffering exists).

 

This means that one of these things can not be true (it is not consistent). As we know that reality exists, then this means that the all powerful, all, knowing and good god can not exist.

 

As many religions require the existence of such a being, then this disproves these religions.

 

But, if someone said that their god did not have all three of these qualities, then my argument does not apply (and I would have to look for some other set of inconsistencies).

 

I like your reasoning, but I feel that you cannot defeat god with logic, after all it's his universe right? ;)

 

I would love to see a logical argument that does disprove god, but I don't think it's possible.

 

 

I am only playing devils advocate on this and already I can wriggle out of perfectly sound logical arguments (it pains me to do so, but is also quite satisfying), imagine what someone with more knowledge on the subject than me and backed with real belief could do

Edited by Tres Juicy
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