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DrRocket

Defining God

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I think you hit the nail on the head with "we have not defined God" and when you say "interpreted as Pontius does". Doesn't that highlight the highly subjective nature of it all? That's why I can confidently say I am a hard atheist and still claim to have given the "god hypothesis" a fair chance. If you give the existence of god a hard unbiased, objective analysis of any kind, be it experimental, logic, or whatever; it will fail consistently.

 

 

You have identified the major problem with the "Does God Exist ?" debates -- there are at least as many unstated concepts of God as there are debaters. I strongly doubt that any consensus on a definition could be reached. Ergo, the debate is pointless.

 

When you address the question on a personal level you are free to formulate your own definition of God. It is on that definition that the outcome of your personal decision process hinges.

 

If you define God as some sort of entity that not only can but with some regularity does intercede in natural physical processes, then there is a great deal of objective evidence that no such God exists. In fact, the existence of anything that regularly upsets what we have come to expect as the orderly processes of nature is antithetical to science, which seeks to uncover and explain that natural order in terms of predictive models. Without that order there can be no science.

 

Science seems to work rather well. So any concept of God or any religious tenets that directly contradict science as buttressed by experimental evidence is clearly indistinguishable from superstition. Superstition is, essentially by definition, wrong.

 

If you define God as some sort of entity that exists outside of the natural universe and does not regularly disrupt the operation of that universe according to the principles discovered by science, then science and religion are disconnected, and neither has anything to say about the other. In this situation neither science nor logic can be brought to bear on the question of the existence of God. The order of the universe could be mere happenstance or it could be the result of God. The question is logically undecidable.

 

You are free to reach your own conclusion, or forego a final conclusion. But do not deceive yourself that whatever conclusion you reach is based on rigorous logic, unless you formulate a sufficiently narrow definition of God to be able to apply empirical data. In any case you should recognize that, despite the marvelous progress of science, there is a lot that we don't know. If we knew everything the satisfaction and outright fun of scientific discovery would be lost.

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The above comment was split from the thread, 'Christian Evidence,' as something we felt to be an eloquent summary of a problem we often counter with people who argue in favor of the existence of God both here and elsewhere. DrRocket kindly gave us permission to sticky it so that more people are able to benefit from it. Members are welcome to link back to this, should it become relevant.

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