Could A God Prove Its Existence?

Posted by on June 27, 2012 in Featured, Thoughts | 35 comments

This is a revisit to an article I did a while back, a though experiment entitled Thought Experiment – What if God appeared. In that article my brother posed to me the question:

God – the bearded white guy who looks a lot like me (he wears more robes than I do) – turns up on Earth, having decided to prove his omnipotence once and for all.

The article goes on to talk about how a god might prove that it is actually a god, and the real gold in that article comes from the comments below the article. But I’ve had a few thoughts since then, mostly prompted by an interview I did recently at Deity Shmeity where I was prompted to answer the question “Is there anything that would convince you that there is a god? If so, provide an example”. Even more difficult than designing an experiment to prove the “god-ness” of any entity claiming to be god, would be actually convincing me with irrefutable proof that the apparent claimant god was actually… well… God.

I guess for me the most important aspect of this question is, “What would entail proof?”

There are a few things that could go a long way toward proving that an entity was in fact a god, but the fact remains that I am a skeptic. I am skeptical of anything that seems too good to be true. If it seems too good to be true, then it probably isn’t true. If a being came out of the sky and proclaimed in a booming voice “I AM GOD!” and then proceeded to perform miracle after miracle, I’d still be skeptical. Remember, we know so little about this universe and its inhabitants, it is very possible that there exists a race of beings capable of god-like “miracles” using technologies we are yet to possess. As the third of Arthur C Clarke’s laws states “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” So, for instance, if you were able to travel back in time in a helicopter to 200 BC, take out a lighter and set a bush on fire, the inhabitants of the day would think you were a God. And that’s only 2200 years ago, imagine what a difference of 100,000 years might make to technological advances for any given species. The miraculous to us could be the mundane to them. Even a box of matches would seem like magic to a caveman.

Even if this being were to repeatedly break the laws of physics, I would be skeptical. We can’t define the laws of physics well enough at this time to rule out any possibilities of molecular manipulation. Under a reasonable test environment, as we understand it today, the being may be able to repeatedly create water from wine, or make a pile of dust into a living breathing man, and this would seem like a godly miracle. But I would not put it past a sufficiently advanced technology to be able to create something from what we now call “nothing”. It’s unlikely, but not beyond possibility. Remember this could be an incredibly more advanced being, many things could be possible for it that we currently deem as being impossible.

The problem here is of convincing me; in order for me to be sure that an entity was actually the one, real, true god, the hardest part for them would be to convince me that this was the case, and not just a rouse to trick me into compliance with their wishes. Just as the character Q in the  Star Trek series is not god, but rather an apparently omnipotent being capable of anything (by current human standards), so too could a being capable of interstellar travel to earth be sufficiently advanced to appear to be god.

One sure way a being could convince me that they were God would be through involuntary manipulation of my mind. Brainwashing. Since we perceive our universe through the faculties of our own minds and bodies, if it were possible to manipulate a person’s mind in such a way that they were convinced (no by their own faculties) that such a creature were actually a god, then there would be no choice but to submit to this apparent reality. If your brain tells you it is so, then you will see it as so. Again, there’s no reason a sufficiently advanced civilisation couldn’t have discovered a way to alter brain patterns in such as to convince us of their godlike status.

It is feasible that such an advanced being could see that enslavement of the entire human race, using concepts designed to fit within already existing human archetypes and belief systems, would be a relatively easy feat. I mean, people already willingly believe that a magical dead carpenter can bend reality enough to make his face appear, for nor reason, in the melted pieces of cheese in a piece of toast, so imagine how easy it would be to conquer the earth with the level of gullibility we already show. It wouldn’t be that difficult for an advanced being to gather up all the information needed about what people already believe, then conform their illusion to these beliefs. I’m sure there are many on earth who would love for their deepest wishes, i.e. the return of Christ, to be fulfilled, and if the illusion were even the least bit convincing, I’m sure many would follow. Another scenario where I may be convinced of the existence of a god would be brain injury or illness (tumour or otherwise) causing an altered perception of reality. If I thought god was real due to this, would I even question it? Possibly not.

This only covers off possibilities of a being appearing to me, and trying to convince me of their godliness. What other scenarios could be imagined that might be convincing enough to make me concede the existence of a god or gods?

Transcendence? Given that I see all of our experiences as taking place inside our brains, I doubt that I would be moved by a hallucination or an inner moment enough to see god as inevitable. Observation? Well as I already view the universe, there’s nothing there that would point me at a god. Faith? Hmmm, I’m not sure I’m capable of that. The miracle of birth/life/nature? I think current scientific explanations cover that all off quite well enough.

So I guess it comes down to this; I think it may not only be difficult to convince me that a god exists, it may actually be for all practical purposes impossible. I can’t disprove a god’s existence, but having dwelled upon it, I think it would be just as difficult to prove this existence.

What sorts of measures would you require to convince you that a god or gods exist?

 

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35 Comments

  1. Given Shermer’s Last Law, “Any sufficiently advanced extraterrestrial intelligence is indistinguishable from God,” I have my own doubts as to the ability of a being to prove itself a god. An alien from an advanced-enough civilization could conceivably possess the technology to create entire universes, though I can only speculate how it might work. Since many gods in comic-books and fantasy faction are said to draw power from their worshipers, I might be convinced if a being showed this trait, but then perhaps not, since in some settings, wizards can also draw such power too. I’m more likely to be convinced by some form of mental aberration or delusion on my part than a demonstration of power.

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  2. God would have to appear to me personally. He would have to give satisfactory answers to my questions.  If he would not only talk to me and answer my questions regarding all the bullshit surrounding his life, and our future. Explain all this heaven and hell bullshit. but if he could rid the world of hunger and disease specially amongst children that would go a long way. I guess if he were able to do that; maybe stop these crazy religious wars. If he were to clarify the inconsistencies in the story of his life then I might believe. But not till then. 

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  3. An intelligence of some sort presents itself.  It claims divinity, and can readily perform feats that we would naively consider impossible.  What would our criteria be to distinguish divinity from a “sufficiently advanced technology”?  This suggests that we ask what it means for something to, in fact, be divine.
     
    A god, by definition, would have to be supernatural: beyond that which is natural.  An advanced natural intelligence, of any degree of technological sophistication, would be a product of nature, and reside in the natural world.  It will have a different conception or formulation of what the laws of the natural universe are, but it will conform to these, by definition.  In a natural universe, we can trust that some things will be possible and that some things will not be.  Our imperfect codifications of these notwithstanding, a <i>natural</i> being will constrain itself to some subset of actions, and those will be a subset of actions that are possible in nature.
     
    Now, we may not be skilled at identifying a proper test question.  And a supernatural entity might not be able to perform every impossible action (Can it square the circle?  Can it identify a largest integer?  Can it make a not equal a?)  But it seems from this that the only sure way an entity could prove its supernatural status would be its ability to perform at least one action that is by definition impossible.
     
    This is a bigger claim than impressive parlor tricks.  And this means more than giving up our beliefs about what actions are possible.  It means giving up the ability to make logical distinctions.  The entity would have to “defy logic”, not in the loose sense of causing confusion, but in the actual sense of breaking the laws of formal logic.
     
    I have identified only two possibilities.  The first is that logic has no place in our universe — if it had, the entity’s actions would not have occurred.  The other is that any claim of divinity is, by definition, false, because the being could not perform a literally impossible feat, were one to be chosen properly.  A theist might smugly say that logic indeed has no place in our universe — that the personal god of his childhood can and does defy logic on a regular basis.  But not only would I wager that the theist reserves that loophole only for his personal god, I would argue that this concession gives everything away.  If any given thing is neither possible nor impossible, then the whole exercise of our argument is pointless — the deity can do anything it damn well feels fit to, our words and logic notwithstanding.
     
    So, an intelligence of some sort presents itself.  It claims to do something impossible.  Either logic has no meaning, in which case argument has no meaning — or the entity is lying, and it is a natural being.  I’m staking my claim on the latter.

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  4. We’re getting ahead of ourselves wondering what kind of hocus-pocus it would take to prove godhood.  To persuade me there’s a God there would have to, before anything else, be some intelligence, some candidate for the position <i>obviously making the effort</i> to convince me he’s the real deal.  It doesn’t look to me like anyone wants the job.

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  5. This question is always in the back of my mind whenever I make te statement that there is zero evidence for a deity. Also in the back of my mind is the realization that there is likely nothing that would convince me through my own “free will” (whatever that is) absent traumatic brain injuries, mind-altering substances (yes please!), brainwashing or some other manner that would subsume my normal operations.

    I agree that it would likely be nearly impossible to convince me of the existence of anything supernatural. As soon as “it” popped its head up, said hello and started to attempt to convince me it ceases to be supernatural and therefore I would assume it has limitations and therefore isn’t a god.

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  6. Glad the interview brought on further conversation. Are you saying that nothing supernatural could happen because, if it happens, that means it’s natural? I wrote a post about how an alien culture could immediately gain the trust of a large percentage of the population by posing as Jesus or Allah or whoever using holographs and the like. So I know where you’re coming from.
     
    If a entity claiming to be God came to me and provided certain knowledge of the future, that would do it for me. To the best of our human knowledge time travel should be impossible, so I would admit that the entity was God. However, that doesn’t mean I couldn’t change my mind if new evidence came about. I also wouldn’t worship this hypothetical God if he/she/it wasn’t worthy of worship.
     
    (I’m defining God as a creator of the universe)

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  7. ‎’Remember, we know so little about this universe and its inhabitants, it is very possible that there exists a race of beings capable of god-like “miracles” using technologies we are yet to possess. ‘so you have no problem with the potential existence of someone who can do any of the things God is claimed to have done, therefore you have no problem with the actual existence of someone who has done all of those things. In effect someone who calls themself God and can genuinely claim responsibility for the actions of the God in the bible could exist. You just wouldn’t call them God. Why not? It seems to me that your issue is not with believing that God might exist, but rather with giving said God the rightful position as creator, parent, monarch or redeemer.What if they let you watch them destroy the universe and create another one just like it, or another that was nothing like it, or both? Would that make them God? 

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    •  @Mortified You’re taking some leaps there, aren’t you?  You go from “no problem with the potential existence of someone who can do any of the things God is claimed to have done,” to “therefore you have no problem with the actual existence of someone who has done all of those things.”  Why?  How did you jump that gap?
       
      So, you’d accept the word of “someone who calls themself God”?  Why?  Because he “can genuinely claim responsibility for the actions of the God in the bible.”  Do you understand that the issue under discussion is whether anyone could “genuinely” make such a claim and how?
       
      You seem to hop right from the “potential” of deity to not only god, your favorite “God”?  Why?  How do we get from that potentiality to “rightful position as creator, parent, monarch or redeemer”?  Because “they let you watch them destroy the universe and create another one just like it, or another that was nothing like it, or both”?  I’ve already seen that, in science fiction.  An important question is why anyone should believe such a display might be veridical and not just a staged illusion or even a hallucination?

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      •  @mspeir  no problem with the potential – this, by definition, allows the possibility that the actual exists. no great leap there. If it is possible that such a person could exist, then it is possible that such a person does exist. If it s possible that someone could demonstrate the abilities that God is reported to have demonstrated, then it is also possible that someone actually has, and that they did, which is why we have historical evidence that they did. Actually, i agree that it is not possible for a person to prove they are God by doing magic tricks. I talk about the God of the bible because we actually have historical evidence that he did something in history and that he makes claim about himself as our creator and parent.
        The question was what would make you believe, if you are determined not to believe, you might deny all kinds of things. The issue is not whether someone can demonstrate it, but rather whether you would be prepared to be open-minded enough to accept it if they did.

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        •  @Mortified What “historical evidence” do we have that “demonstrate the abilities that God is reported to have demonstrated”?  What beyond a bunch of old outlandish tales that can’t possibly be verified?
           
          And how about dropping the insulting “determined not to believe” crap.  It doesn’t take any “determination” but the determination not to be gullible.  What you don’t know about me is that I was a believer most of my life.  Trust me, I wasn’t “open-minded.”  I fought hard to hang onto my faith.  I was dragged kicking and screaming away from it.  So I’ve been on both sides of the fence.  How about you?

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        •  @mspeir the bible is a reliable collection of historical documents written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses the new testament is verified accurate  both by internal and external sources and shown to be accurately recorded by over 6000 manuscripts or portions there of in the original language alone. don’t take “determined to believe” personally it is normal for a person to be determined to believe what they have decided is accurate. As it happens, i didn’t believe for a long time, and now i know that I was being lied to by a lot of people who didn’t know the truth but claimed to.  

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        •  @Mortified No, the Bible is not “a reliable collection of historical documents.”  No, the NT is not “verified accurate  both by internal and external sources.”   Your move.

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        •  @mspeir yes it is. your move.

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        •  @Mortified you say “written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses”
           
          Wikipedia says “The oldest surviving Christian Bibles are Greek manuscripts from the 4th century; the oldest complete Jewish Bible is a Greek translation, also dating to the 4th century.” — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible
           
          4th century is 300-400 AD.
           
          Any living eyewitnesses would’ve needed to be 250+ years old.
           
          The authors of those texts didn’t themselves see the characters they wrote about.

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        •  @blamer the oldest surviving texts we have for the new testament were written within 25 years of the originals. the originals were written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses.

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        •  @Mortified  @mspeir @blamer The most reliable and most reputed part of the New Testament was written by Paul of Tarsus, who wrote his manuscripts as early (and no earlier than) 70 AD. This is more than 30 years after Jesus’ death. It is likely that Paul never met Jesus in person, and the only “contact” he had with Jesus was, after being delirious with hunger, was stricken down, where he met Jesus in a vision. And it is also likely that many of the books which are ascribed to likely be from the pen of Paul (such as 2 Timothy)  were actually written by completely different authors whose names were wither lost or never known. The rest of the apostolic writings were not written by the apostles, rather they were ascribed the names of the apostles some 300 years later, at the first council of Nicaea. Not only were these writings given the names of Mark, Luke, John etc, but at this same council, the many religious books of the time were decided upon, thus making up the New Testament we now know… sort of… Each revision of the bible changes, depending upon the beliefs of the person making he changes at the time. Whether it be revisionism of the translations available, or changes to whole passages, these changes have been so numerous that the bible we see today barely resembles the bible of the 4th Century.
           
          Far from being a “… reliable collection of historical documents written by eyewitnesses …” it is rather a poorly preserved series of stories gained from hundreds of pagan, christina and mythological sources dating back to before the times of the ancient Greeks.
           
          Interesting to keep in mind also is the fact that when Constantine sought to “formalise” the New Testament, his motivation was not a religious one, but rather a completely political one. He hoped to bring together the various belief systems around at the time and create a new formalised religion, which ended up being Christianity, with Jesus Christ as the son of God. Up until this point, there was no formal recognition of Jesus as the actual immortal son of God.
           
          There is so much more that can be learned from history, as written by actual historians. Un fortunately for the Christ story, there is little or no historical documentation of Jesus’ life at all/

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        •  @martinspribble  @mspeir  @blamer that’s a nice fairy tale

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        •  @Mortified  @mspeir  @blamer love it… *SMH*

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        •  @Mortified  @mspeir  @blamer so Mort, tell me why you think my reply is a fairytale. Please, enlighten me.

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        •  @Mortified such as…? Please, do tell. It’s not any of the gospels, so which texts of the New Testament are you talking about?

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        •  @Mortified Read what Martin said, below.  That’s pretty much the story.  You’re right that some of the NT–the genuine Pauline stuff–that was written early.  But divorced from the preconceptions instilled into the reader by the much later Gospels, the Jesus of Paul was a character you likely wouldn’t recognize.  You’re living a fantasy if you think the NT is historically accurate.  And the OT?  How many bona fide archeologists actually working in the field do you suppose accept the foundational parts of the OT–such as Exodus and the Conquest–as history?  Actually, good luck finding one.  William Dever, for instance, one of the preeminent biblical (he prefers the term “Syro-Palestinian”) archeologists in the world today, began life as the son of a Baptist tent revival preacher, pastored churches himself while going for his PhD at Harvard, but ended up learning too much to keep his faith.  I’m pulling Dever out of a hat because I have several of his books on my shelf right now, but it’s a story that’s told over and over with many different names.  Knowledge–real, evidence-based knowledge–is no friend of faith.

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        •  @Mortified Okay, it turns out Martin’s comment is above, not below.  Whatever.

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        • @Mortified @martinspribble @mspeir @blamer

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        • @Mortified @martinspribble @mspeir @blamer Ok I’m no theologian or have any religious background, ( my mother tried I went to church when I was young and I just laughed at the absurdity of it all ) but back to the original question could a god prove their existence. If we believe the popular parts of the bible 1) god made man in his own image. 2). We are all gods children. 3) god loves his children. Then how come if god created this existence in 6 days and then had a day off and he cares for all of us, then someone explain all the evil in the world perpetrated by man against man , the planet , animals you name it. If there was a god and they turned up, I’d be asking some serious questions about ( oc health terms ) lack of duty of care. Even if they could perform the biggest miracle of all and turn fosters into beer, me personally I’d be saying well you haven’t been here for how long so F U.

          So on the other hand if everything is part of gods plan and he’s responsible for everything why has been in Africa for 20 years giving AIDS to children.

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        •  @Smithersoutback  @Mortified  @martinspribble  @mspeir  @blamer Well, they have “theodicies” to deal with all that.  Grand sounding word, “theodicy.”  Let’s coin a new fallacy: Argument from Bombast.

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  8. Good post.  I also got that question from Grundy for my interview on Deity Shmeity and have been thinking about it since then (good question to ask Grundy).  First, I would certainly want the definition of god defined.  Below, DeityShmeity mentions he means god as the Creator of the Universe.  I am not sure what it would take to convince of that definition of god. 
     
    If a being presented itself to be truly omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, if a being could work some miracles along the lines of wiping out disease with a thought—etc– I could see myself giving some serious thought to “is this creature god”–even if I grant that—I do not see how I would make the leap that this being is the Creator of the Universe.  I am not sure I can go that far.
     
     

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  9. >>“Is there anything that would convince you that there is a god? If so, provide an example”
     
    What convinces a brain to promote some god-entity it currently has in mind to a historical figure?
     
    I’d nominate Marti’s superweakness would be storytelling. Successful rhetoric.
     
    Him personally weighing up evidence for some “act of god” event sounds like it should be a non-starter. The skeptical and atheistic tend to concede that their mind defaults to telling itself unreliable fictions. Hence our interest in doubting beliefs. So even if Marti experiences a miracle, he’ll notice it’s incredible (not credible, inherently uncompelling to others) so he’ll doubt it.
     
    Psych 101 tells us a mind will resist updating its beliefs that relate to identity. That personal beliefs start with imagination and emotion. And cognition is blind to its own linguistic conflations, reifications, anthropomorphisms, internalisations, re-imaginings, rationalisations, confidence feedback loops, etc.
     
    Marti changing his mind seems to be dependent on him deferring to trusted group members. Or converting them.
     
    eg. Leah Libresco “Moral Law loves me”, she now identifies as catholic.
     
    She’s re-evaluated fictions (about morality) to be believable, credible, and sufficiently factual. Her mind’s “god” is feeling more like an external person. It’s become a live option that her’s is the same god that has influenced other minds and matter, in line with modern RCC teachings.
     
    Conversion stories seem to be persuasive because they involve –not deep insights but– superficial group corroboration. That is, they all describe the Divine the same way. (No accident since they’re all literally singing of the same hymn sheet) This makes de-conversion stories quite asymmetrical although still rather compelling, particularly from ex-clergy.

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  10. Great article! I am an atheist. Here is what i think of god. IF, there were a “god”, it would not be magical. To exist it would have to exist within the bounds of physics. To exist it would have to be real. It could not have created the universe. It would have to come into life as the universe allows it. (Insert abiogenesis comment here). At some point, perhaps it begins to evolve a mind that is able to exist free from the brain. Everyone who is born would always leave a mind after death. This would be the only way a species could travel between galaxies. You might ask why they don’t help us out. Why would they? We would be an ant farm to them. You can’t tell ants what to do. I’ve tried. The only way there could be an actual god, Is to not be the god of man. Evolution and physics, that is the stuff of life. If the human race survives another million years, maybe we will all have those big, veiny, alien brains. That would be cool.

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  11. When you set up a conceptual being like Yahweh who has somehow “evolved” from a god that couldn’t handle iron chariots into a spaceless, timeless, formless, whateverless all-powerful, all-good, all-loving, all-this-that-and-the-other deity. This “evolution” is specifically designed to resist any and all questioning, coming up with even the tests to gather evidence becomes difficult, as you’ve pointed out with this article. What’s even better is that if any of the tests fail, they immediately move to rationalize the failure (not enough faith, you can’t test my god, etc. etc.). Most deities have become little more than good luck charms to the masses, supplicated when ones car keys go missing. There’s no difference between praying to a cat and Yahweh (though at least the cat will appreciate the attention).
     
    At some point, the claim becomes so ridiculous that no evidence is possible, as several modern models of Yahweh are. It is not dissimilar to trying to test for the unicorn-riding skills of pixies, specifically blue pixies, and only the unicorns who use homeopathic performance enhancing quantum ion water (yes, I’m trying to shove in as much woo as possible here). If believers want to make their god further and further out of the realm of possibility, then that’s their problem, not ours.
     
    If you ever watch/listen to The Atheist Experience, one of their lines of questioning goes “What do you believe, and why do you believe it?” These two questions are very effective in determining what tests, if any, we can perform.
     

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    • I grammar real good in my first sentence, blah.

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  12. Hi! I’m an agnostic that has left monoteism for good after having read the bibles (well most parts of it anyway). Now I’ve approached a more nature oriented self made pragmatic religion. E.g. if more people believed in recycling of the soul, perhaps they would stop litter the world in the same manner as with the one-life-believe?
     
    I’d like to make four notes:
     
    1) According to Bible I there exists actually more than one god. You are just talking about the possibility of just ONE god. Why? Ok, this particular god is extremly vain and jellous and wants all worship for himself. He is also tempered like a five year old in a store and is uneager to forgive or forget. But still in the Bible I there actually exists competing gods, just not mentioned so much.
     
    2) The god in Bible II is nothing like that, and hence it is not the same god we’re talking about. Unless he attended a peace and love festival and completely changed his mind about everything. Well, the new god also wants total blind faith from his people. Other people can go to hell. But in all other aspects, they are completely different.
     
    3) If there were almighty gods as described either in Bible I or II, there would not be ANY doubt at all that he existed. I mean, if Superman actually existed, we’d all KNOW. Why would he go and hide and play this elusive game? There’s just no point in it if the super vain gods in Bible I and II actually exists.
     
    4) If we stick with the one-god-beliefe and god made man to worship him, why all this tons of extra stuff in universe? Why on earth would he create 100 billion galaxies, with god knows how many stars in each? Ok, he might have installed some vaste bins by introducing black holes to make the universe clean itself up somewhat. But there’s not just way too much stuff in the universe, there’s too much strange stuff on our planet too. Like oil. Why would a god create huge pockets of oil under just some countries? Jesus never mentioned anything about this. Then we have these mountains seemingly created by colliding continents, but this is also omitted in the Bibles. Ok, maybe not so important, but anyway one wonders why a god would create all this extra illusive stuff which really has no point when it comes to just creating the human race to worship him after he was bored by looking at nature for a day.

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    •  @Martin Lundholm >> 1) You are just talking about the possibility of just ONE god. Why?
       
      Because that today’s popular religious opinion. ie, that their book contains fictional “godlike” characters (Pagan gods, the devil) and a central character who’s both historical and divine (Yhwh, INRI).
       
       >> 2) The god in Bible II is nothing like that
       
      Nonetheless, christians are most commonly teaching that their savior is that creator (one god) or is the successor (son of).
       
      >> 3) there would not be ANY doubt at all that he existed
       
      Doubting is something brains do. By default we doubt the historical accuracy of historical characters called gods and events called “acts of god”. However the Abrahamist teacher by default has confidence-beyond-doubt (claims he hasn’t ANY doubt) in their god’s historical existence, because they accept the Genesis miracle was an act of a god. If our world’s history contains profound divine miracles, then it casts doubt on modern earthly knowledge of which historical figures we can be sure existed and those that merely appeared to have. We’d need to entertain arguments that it might be good to keep teaching kids that the historically fictional poet Homer “existed” and “lives”.
       
      >> if more people believed in recycling of the soul,
       
      We ought beware of believing in fictions we tell ourselves, instead of the known facts of the matter. Believing in falsehoods about humanity is a good way to skew your behaviour away from that which is ethically defensible. For example, there’s wrongness in spreading your personal spiritual beliefs and moral principles (fictions that might be true) if you’re non-trivially mistaken about key facts. That is, if your claims about the divine are in fact incorrect.

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      •  @blamer “Doubting is something brains do.” My point is if there were a super power present such as a single almighty god who has created universe, all matter and living beings in it, surely he could make sure there were no doubt if he wanted to. Then we would not need to spend so much time debating and discussing the matter, but we could just go on with our lives doing other stuff.
         
        I sometimes believe that the day we gave up listening to our hearts and instead had to look in a cook book for how we should behave, something bad happened. Fact is that people spend a lot of time looking for loopholes in the teaching to justify weird behaviours. If god gave us a brain and a heart we ought to use them together. Fighting over religous statements in a book instead of looking into our hearts has never been constructive. There has been civil wars among christians as well as among muslims about which interpretion of their books is the best. That’s just plain sad and depressing. And very destructive.
         
        Normally I try to let people live with their faith. Faith can be a saviour in difficult times and one should not strive to make people lost. Still it’s fun to discuss among insterested people. I give some thoughs and I pick up some. Some toughts I incorporate in my own personal religion.
         
        I have one question that really puzzles me. It is a hard fact that if one works or makes a fire (of any kind) on the sabbath, one should be killed. Instantly and without hesitation. It’s written in bible 1 and every person that has bible 1 as base ought to follow this direction even though it’s hard or one thinks it’s not nice. It’s there. Luckily I hear of very few people that has been killed for having violated this hard fact rule. How is it possible to leap over such a statement and follow others and still claim to follow a religion?
         
        I think that anyone who cross out certain statements in the bibles are creating their own religion. And then the fight begins between those who have crossed out different things… For me starting with a blank paper and listening to my heart and brain makes more sense. Still I like to have some kind of faith because it stills my sole and adds some magic to my life. Being atheist was a too hard way to walk, for me.

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        •  @Martin Lundholm Thanks for your response.
           
          My disagreements over the facts will be rather minor, particularly since your rhetoric isn’t one-eyed, political, nor evangelical. Your worldview stays personal.
           
          However the godless have concerns that many of our nonreligious allies –and liberal christians to an even greater extent– are providing significant cover for religio-political moralizers who teach Ivy League Unis are wrong. If “soul” fictions aren’t facts, soul teachings insisting they’re real aren’t ethical.
           
          >>surely he could make sure there were no doubt if he wanted to
           
          No, not “surely”. 14.6 billion years on, there’s literally no telling what control a universe-creator has over Martin’s created-primate-brain.
           
          >>Fighting over religous statements in a book instead of looking into our hearts
           
          It’s the opposite. Moral intuitions dictate how the religious will interpret their book.
           
          >>How is it possible to leap over such a statement and follow others and still claim to follow a religion?
           
          As above, the believer only takes on the canons of conduct that match the god he has in mind. Claiming to follow a religion doesn’t mean you swallow the entire doctrine and dogma, hook, line, and sinker. Catholics use contraception.
           
          >>Faith can be a saviour in difficult times and one should not strive to make people lost
           
          Anecdotally. That’s a church teaching. Is it a fact of psychology? CBT suggests emotional benefits for overturning beliefs we hold about ourselves that simply aren’t facts.
           
           
          >>Still I like to have some kind of faith because it stills my sole and adds some magic to my life. Being atheist was a too hard way to walk, for me.
           
          Really appreciate your honesty. Godlessness isn’t necessary, only calling out god’s spokesmen who’re religionising otherwise sensible public debates about our physical universe, humans, and ethics.

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        •  @blamer Soul teaching? Couldn’t agree more. It just comforts me to beleive in it. There’s no facts as with any religion. That’s a nice thing of being born today. One can pick and choose among the glossy brochures which religion suites one self best, or create ones own if nothing really fits. To me the thought of god (or gods) being vain like a North Korean leader wasn’t appealing, but we’re all different. I’ll leave the door open for a universe creator (or creators like a supernerd team with the souls of Einstein, Schrödinger, Bose, Hocquenhem, Bohr, Tranströmer and others :).

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