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Creator God--Plausibility and Substance


B. John Jones
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This really isn't a fair category to start a thread about the plausibility in nature of a Creator God so I selected it somewhat randomly:

 

1) Does science permit that a Creator God is indeed:

1. conceivable (possible)?
2. plausible (reasonable or believable)?

2) If science does permit that a Creator God is indeed reasonable, how must science reason (determine God's substance) concerning a Creator God?

a. disregard due to uncertainty.
b. consider available evidence including:

  • science (granted)
  • nature (allow/reject)
  • historical/archeological evidence (allow/reject)
  • contemporary facts (allow/reject)
  • contemporary information (allow/reject)
  • human testimony (oral and written) (allow/reject)
  • restricted human thought (analysis/logic) (allow/reject)
  • comprehensive human thought (analysis/logic, judgment and intuition) (allow/reject)
  • other forms of evidence (as discovered)
Edited by B. John Jones
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This really isn't a fair category to start a thread about the plausibility in nature of a Creator God so I selected it somewhat randomly:

 

 

This seems the obvious category.

 

 

 

1) Does science permit that a Creator God is indeed:

 

1. conceivable (possible)?

2. plausible (reasonable or believable)?

I would say possible (because it is impossible to disprove) but not plausible (as there is no supporting evidence nor any need for such a hypothesis).

 

 

2) If a Creator God is indeed reasonable, how must science reason (determine God's substance) concerning a Creator God?

There would need to be specific, objective evidence to support the hypothesis. Evidence that could not be explained any other way. That evidence would probably have to include several, or all, of the forms you mention (any one of them alone would not be sufficient). As they say, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

 

(Although several items in your list are pretty meaningless.)

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The common claim goes that by faith we can see God. In your experience has anyone you've known, who became Christian, specifically, claimed that they could or could not clearly see God, while still holding to the Christian faith? Has science tested this? This is the fairest test that I can imagine at the moment. The results, though not proof, of or against the existence of a Creator God, it would certainly be evidence.

Edited by B. John Jones
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There seems to be an implication that a "creator God" is a single, individual entity and not, say, a team of Gods working together. Why is that?

 

You're jumping to another question without addressing the first question. Should I answer your question privately, or would you prefer to take the steps to your more important one?

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What first question? Your presupposition that "creator God" is singular, is what I'm querying.

 

Not a presupposition. "A" Creator God is in English. The English term, "God," capital-G, is established on the Judeo-Christian notion of God. The Hebrew (Jewish) basis is "El," or "Elohim," being a term used interchangeably for the same God. "Elohim," is singular in meaning, plural in form. The Judeo-Christian (notion of) God is manifest in several forms--for example, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; singular in meaning; one unity; one nature; one God. So, if we're going to have a discussion in English, there have to be some such assumptions.

 

 

This really isn't a fair category to start a thread about the plausibility in nature of a Creator God so I selected it somewhat randomly:

 

1) Does science permit that a Creator God is indeed:

 

1. conceivable (possible)?

2. plausible (reasonable or believable)?

 

2) If science does permit that a Creator God is indeed reasonable, how must science reason (determine God's substance) concerning a Creator God?

 

a. disregard due to uncertainty.

b. consider available evidence including:

  • science (granted)
  • nature (allow/reject)
  • historical/archeological evidence (allow/reject)
  • contemporary facts (allow/reject)
  • contemporary information (allow/reject)
  • human testimony (oral and written) (allow/reject)
  • restricted human thought (analysis/logic) (allow/reject)
  • comprehensive human thought (analysis/logic, judgment and intuition) (allow/reject)
  • other forms of evidence (as discovered)

 

Edited by B. John Jones
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As above, I agree that the wording of the question assumes that there is one God/Creator.

 

The problem with justifying the exclusion of other explanations as to how the world might have been created (e.g., by several Gods, as is the case with Hinduism...a major religion that is ignored by the question) is something that, I suggest, those trying to examine this question scientifically would not do, as one is immediately manipulating the possible findings (e.g., the finding that several Gods created the universe).

 

A technical issue is that many if not most Muslims describe Christianity as being polytheistic. Whether this is a reasonable description is another question. But the point is, that one cannot assume that all the major monotheistic religions are indeed monotheistic, or that they have the same God, or rather, think that they have the same God.

 

Also, what is one to make of the phrase in the opening post that the God is "in nature." Does that suggest that one is looking for some natural religion? If so, I would note that the major monotheistic religions do not see God as equatable with Nature (as if exactly the same thing), or even as just immanent in the world (e.g.., omnipresent), but as both immanent and transcendent. In other words, God is, in terms of the major religions today, described as some Being who is supernatural...not natural. It does seem logical to ask whether science might study a natural God, as if God was, for example, a natural higher power that prompts the universe into existence, and/or makes sure that it runs as such a God thinks it should.

 

However, if that is ones approach, I would hardly suggest that such a natural God is compatible with the supernatural/transcendental God found in Islam, Judaism, and Christianity as espoused by the vast majority of worshipers.

 

Another issue that comes to mind is whether there is some assumption that if science did find some Godlike power that brought the universe into existence, would scientists or the general public assume from such a discovery that the rest of the teachings of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are correct. And if so, which of the teachings would be deemed the best, given that the teaching of these three major monotheistic religions contradict each other on several main points, among which are such things as what are the attributes, plans, and moral tenets of God.

 

Finally, I would note that, among your list of possible things that might support the existence of a Creator God, you list analysis and logic. If one is referring to alleged proofs for and against the existence of God, for example, I would suggest that that argument has been going on for centuries (at least from Aquinas to Bertrand Russell) without any significant outcome.

Edited by disarray
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I don't think that science has a lot to say on the issue. For sure, science does not need a 'god of the gaps'. As there is no scientific evidence of a creator, and taking the stance that the Universe is everything, then we are free to dismiss the notion of god/creator etc as a totally human invention.

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The common claim goes that by faith we can see God. In your experience has anyone you've known, who became Christian, specifically, claimed that they could or could not clearly see God, while still holding to the Christian faith? Has science tested this? This is the fairest test that I can imagine at the moment. The results, though not proof, of or against the existence of a Creator God, it would certainly be evidence.

 

 

What people believe is not evidence.

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Typically, those who report seeing God see the God that is representative of their culture, e.g., St. Bernadette seeing the Virgin Mary, and not Allah. With a little research I think I could list a few dozen such examples, but you get the point. This suggests that those having the visions were given the material for such hallucinations by their particular culture, much like one might have a nightmare about the Joker if one watched enough shows about him. On the other hand, one might take the religious view that God reveals himself to individuals in a manner that is consistent with their culture so that they can better understand him. Given what we know about paranormal events, the former explanation seems more credible.

 

And again, note the inbuilt assumption that God is either a singular or plural deity depending upon the culture.

 

A few egregious examples come to mind: At various times in history, women who were told stories about the dangers of the devil visiting them in the night, lo and behold, these same women often made claims that this actually happened to them, complete with all the weird details. Now, I don't think that God, who, presumably, is a benevolent Being, would bother visiting damsels in the night in the first place. A related example is that of Zeus, who, of course, visited earthly maidens in order to create half-human/half god beings, e.g., Danae, Europa, Hercules, etc.. As with the story of Abraham, etc. the idea that there is a male figure (deity or prophet) that is prolific and propagates someone great or has a lot of great descendants is a common (and I would suggest, rather patriarchal) theme that runs through many religions....This leads me to wonder if far more men than women had a hand throughout history in writing holy stories and scriptures, but this is, I think, a rather rhetorical question.

 

So, if one were take an approach that was at all scientific (e.g., sociological, mythological, anthropological, psychological), one will interpret such visions, I would suggest, as if they were a product of the human imagination....as opposed to the religious claim that humans were from the start the product of God's imagination.

 

Besides, the sheer enormity, for lack of a better word, of a power so great (be it a personal or impersonal god) that it could create and maintain the universe would be overwhelmingly incomprehensible to us mere mortals. Even the Aztecs couldn't look their god, the Sun, directly for fear of being blinded. (And indeed, there were Hindu ascetics who directly looked at the sun until they did go blind as an exercise in spiritual development).

 

And in Christianity we get this:

"But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live." Exodus 35:20
"No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is Himself God and is at the Father's side, has made Him known." John 1:18
"He alone is immortal and dwells in unapproachable light. No one has ever seen Him, nor can anyone see Him." Timothy 6:16

So "evidence" about the existence of God based upon personal testimony (e.g., visions, voices, etc.), even if based on the experiences of living people as opposed to those who supposedly lived two or three thousand years ago, is not really what one would call substantial evidence, if it can be called evidence at all.

Edited by disarray
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The common claim goes that by faith we can see God. In your experience has anyone you've known, who became Christian, specifically, claimed that they could or could not clearly see God, while still holding to the Christian faith? Has science tested this? This is the fairest test that I can imagine at the moment. The results, though not proof, of or against the existence of a Creator God, it would certainly be evidence.

 

 

Some people (as the folklore goes) believe they are Napoleon. That doesn't make it true. Belief, nor conviction of belief, count as evidence. You might truly believe that you can fly, but that belief is not going to keep you airborne when you jump off a cliff.

 

Do you really need a scientific study to tell you that people can believe in things that aren't true? There are so many examples that show this without studying that specific question.

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Without going into too much detail or addressing the list of inquiries that the OP raised, let me be blunt: scientific knowledge is heavily stacked against superstitions or beliefs involving supernatural gods, demons and the likes.

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Without going into too much detail or addressing the list of inquiries that the OP raised, let me be blunt: scientific knowledge is heavily stacked against superstitions or beliefs involving supernatural gods, demons and the likes.

 

 

Because it's stacked against things for which there is no objective evidence. Belief is subjective evidence. Faith as evidence is like trying to argue that personal preference or opinion is fact.

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Quite. I think it is important to stress that science doesn't dismiss those things because they are gods or whatever. But because there is not, and probably cannot be, objective evidence for them.

 

I'm not sure why this is a problem for people of faith. If you believe in God, why would you need science to validate that?

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What people believe is not evidence.

 

If you know that somebody has just lied, the sheer fact that they have lied is evidence that they are a liar. You have to evaluate what they said, as evidence, before you can judge their lie.

 

If someone states that Jesus is alive, you have to evaluate what they say, as evidence, if you have any right to preclude anything about Jesus, or about the Bible.

Typically, those who report seeing God see the God that is representative of their culture, e.g., St. Bernadette seeing the Virgin Mary, and not Allah.

 

Actually, where the Christian church is most richly multiplied by new believers, tends always to be where diversity is concentrated. For just the first of many examples to follow: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+2%3A5-13%2C+41&version=NLT [observe the second section, where 3,000 people from very diverse cultures, including Arabic, were added to the church, in one day, at it's birth].

 

I will try to continue here, et al, tomorrow. 'Tis late here in Hawaii (Aloha!)

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If you know that somebody has just lied, the sheer fact that they have lied is evidence that they are a liar. You have to evaluate what they said, as evidence, before you can judge their lie.

 

That really doesn't make much sense (and doesn't seem to be relevant to the point).

 

If someone tells you something you know to be a lie, that is because you have external evidence. That has nothing to do with whether they believe what they say or whether you believe what they say. Belief is not evidence.

 

 

If someone states that Jesus is alive, you have to evaluate what they say, as evidence, if you have any right to preclude anything about Jesus, or about the Bible.

 

So the only way to know if they are correct when they say that is to look at the evidence. So, if you can tell us where he lives, show us his ID card or passport, get him to appear on TV, then there might be some evidence. But the fact you believe it is true does not make it true.

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If you know that somebody has just lied, the sheer fact that they have lied is evidence that they are a liar. You have to evaluate what they said, as evidence, before you can judge their lie.

 

 

 

How do you do this? By divine inspiration or by objectively evaluating their statement by comparing it to known facts?

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Quite. I think it is important to stress that science doesn't dismiss those things because they are gods or whatever. But because there is not, and probably cannot be, objective evidence for them.

 

I'm not sure why this is a problem for people of faith. If you believe in God, why would you need science to validate that?

 

I said, "bedtime," but I must.

 

The notion, on my part, of needing science to validate Christ, in the deepest part of my being, truthfully, is absurd. My heart aches for humanity, who is dead, in large part due to the total secularization of science, and it's self-exultation above nature, which nonetheless (nature) prevails over science and over every human invention (except repentance).

Edited by B. John Jones
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My heart aches for humanity, who is dead, in large part due to the total secularization of science, and it's elevation above nature, which nonetheless prevails over every human invention (except repentance).

 

Science isn't elevated above nature. It is ruled by, limited by, and tested against nature. Science is subservient to and dependent upon nature.

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Science isn't elevated above nature. It is ruled by, limited by, and tested against nature. Science is subservient to and dependent upon nature.

 

That's the way it should be. But it hasn't been. Not modern science.

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That's the way it should be. But it hasn't been. Not modern science.

 

Please provide some evidence to support this claim.

 

All the evidence I am aware of indicates that you are lying. (Is that OK with your god?)

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I said, "bedtime," but I must.

 

The notion, on my part, of needing science to validate Christ, in the deepest part of my being, truthfully, is absurd. My heart aches for humanity, who is dead, in large part due to the total secularization of science, and it's self-exultation above nature, which nonetheless (nature) prevails over science and over every human invention (except repentance).

 

 

What is lost from science with its secularization? And what is this BS about "it's self-exultation above nature"? Science is the study of nature and how it behaves. It's religion that places itself above nature.

 

That's the way it should be. But it hasn't been. Not modern science.

 

 

I second the call for actual examples, rather than bald assertions.

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If you know that somebody has just lied, the sheer fact that they have lied is evidence that they are a liar. You have to evaluate what they said, as evidence, before you can judge their lie.

 

How do you do this? By divine inspiration or by objectively evaluating their statement by comparing it to known facts?

 

 

@ swanson: Are you trying to force me further past my bedtime (kidding)?

 

Seriously, it depends. If the person died in antiquity, you have to determine the facts. If the facts themselves are inconclusive (usually due to sheer volume, in increasing measure), you have to depend on the facts, and you have to trust something in order to state anything concerning what they said, or anything about what they said, and/or about what people say, who are his or her adherents. Anything beyond "I don't care."

Edited by B. John Jones
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