Jump to content

  • Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account


Proof God doesn't exist?


Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.

  • You cannot reply to this topic
410 replies to this topic

#261 mikeman   Members   -  Reputation: 2208

Posted 29 January 2011 - 06:40 PM

Enlighten me.



I can't.

All I was trying to say is that religion is a world view that is not, necessarily, illogical or irrational or a "fantasy land". Not that it is the only correct world view that explains reality. Correct for whom? Obviously not for you and for many other people. Of course I don't expect anyone to be convinced because I have been convinced. Or anyone to believe because I believe. That would be, of course, completely irrational. We all make our choices, and have our own lives to live. You can't do that with borrowed experiences. Don't we agree on that? It's not my fault if you're used to judgemental or fundamentalists Christians or whatever. I believe, for instance, that the bible is not "infallible" per se, it's a compilation of books describing events thousands of years ago, re-written, translated, compiled a thousand times over, but still believe it contains great truths(especially from Jesus), so that's what I get from it. That's me. Me. End of story. I was merely defending how 'rational' religion can be. I believe it can. I also believe that everyone has the right to think the opposite. Ok?

And the experience wasn't that mystical anyway :P And yes, I chose to give it the meaning I did. So what? That's all anyone can do. So?

And with that, I said pretty much all I had to say about all this, so I retreat...

Sponsor:

#262 et1337   Members   -  Reputation: 1488

Posted 30 January 2011 - 12:18 AM


Enlighten me.



I can't.

All I was trying to say is that religion is a world view that is not, necessarily, illogical or irrational or a "fantasy land". Not that it is the only correct world view that explains reality. Correct for whom? Obviously not for you and for many other people. Of course I don't expect anyone to be convinced because I have been convinced. Or anyone to believe because I believe. That would be, of course, completely irrational. We all make our choices, and have our own lives to live. You can't do that with borrowed experiences. Don't we agree on that? It's not my fault if you're used to judgemental or fundamentalists Christians or whatever. I believe, for instance, that the bible is not "infallible" per se, it's a compilation of books describing events thousands of years ago, re-written, translated, compiled a thousand times over, but still believe it contains great truths(especially from Jesus), so that's what I get from it. That's me. Me. End of story. I was merely defending how 'rational' religion can be. I believe it can. I also believe that everyone has the right to think the opposite. Ok?

And the experience wasn't that mystical anyway :P And yes, I chose to give it the meaning I did. So what? That's all anyone can do. So?

And with that, I said pretty much all I had to say about all this, so I retreat...

As a Christian, I'd like to say that I really wish more Christians had your attitude toward non-believers. Too many get so wrapped up in main-stream Christianity, to the point that they get uncomfortable associating with non-Christians. It's ridiculous, judgmental, and sinful.

On the other hand, I have to respectfully ask... how do you rationalize your worldview? If I understand correctly, you are a Christian but believe that other religions which teach things contradictory to yours can still be correct.

#263 DontBotherNone   Members   -  Reputation: 102

Posted 30 January 2011 - 01:33 AM

You look at two people like Einstein and Oppenheimer, essentially good guys, but you take them solely in the context that they created a device to completely annihilate two japanese cities to dominate an enemy who executed attacks on American soil, and you could argue that they were unjust, unforgiving, blood thirsty, racist, malevolent, vindictive, pestilential, sadomasochistic, mass murderers.


In college, Oppenhemer tried to poison his tutor (an eventual Nobel Prize winner) because the tutor made him attend lectures on experimental physics, which he didn't like (his gift was for theoretical physics)...

Einstein might've hated puppies, for all we know, too.
Published writer with a background in journalism looking for experience in game writing.


#264 SamLowry   Members   -  Reputation: 1629

Posted 30 January 2011 - 04:33 AM


Enlighten me.



I can't.

All I was trying to say is that religion is a world view that is not, necessarily, illogical or irrational or a "fantasy land". Not that it is the only correct world view that explains reality. Correct for whom?

Obviously not for you and for many other people. Of course I don't expect anyone to be convinced because I have been convinced. Or anyone to believe because I believe. That would be, of course, completely irrational. We all make our choices, and have our own lives to live. You can't do that with borrowed experiences. Don't we agree on that?



We do agree on that.


It's not my fault if you're used to judgemental or fundamentalists Christians or whatever.



There does not lie my problem and it has nothing to do with the discussion.

I believe, for instance, that the bible is not "infallible" per se, it's a compilation of books describing events thousands of years ago, re-written, translated, compiled a thousand times over, but still believe it contains great truths(especially from Jesus), so that's what I get from it. That's me. Me. End of story. I was merely defending how 'rational' religion can be. I believe it can. I also believe that everyone has the right to think the opposite. Ok?


I never said the opposite.




And the experience wasn't that mystical anyway :P And yes, I chose to give it the meaning I did. So what? That's all anyone can do. So?

And with that, I said pretty much all I had to say about all this, so I retreat...

The problem with these discussions is that the two debating sides are arbitrary and merely illusions. Every member of each side has his/her own arguments which are not necessarily consistent with what the others on the same side say. And when attacking the other side, people focus on the weak arguments, which keep popping up because new people enter the discussion with old arguments they think are brilliant such as Pascal's Wager, which have to be discredited yet again.
It reminds me of a previous religious thread where the atheist side subsided and suddenly the christian side split into two and they started arguing fiercely among themselves. I guess discussions among groups are doomed to failure as long as the groups are not coherent themselves.

Goodbye.

#265 Prefect   Members   -  Reputation: 373

Posted 30 January 2011 - 04:35 AM


Mathematicians have been at it for thousands of years too, and they've produced a new body of knowledge...



And yet noone has ever been able to provide any kind of proof for say, the 4(+1) axioms that Euclidean geometry is based on(although attempts have been made, similar to, for example, squaring the circle or constructing a perpetual motion machine). Still, no deductible proof. They are taken as true and the whole 'Euclidean Geometry' construct is built on them as such.

So what do you say, Euclidean geometry is illogical, seeing as is it based, as a whole, on statements that cannot be proven? Is it circular? Or just axiomatic? As in, choose those axioms, you get Euclidean, choose others, you get hyperbolic geometry?

Can you prove the parallel postulate? Or any other of the axioms? What's the difference between an Axiom and a theorem? Notice this?

That's silly. Mathematics makes no claims at all about the real world. Mathematics is all about "what-if" type question in entirely abstract logical settings. The fact that conclusions in mathematics are often useful in the real world is just a nice side effect.

The parallel postulate is actually a very good example of that "what-if" thinking. People were uncomfortable with the parallel postulate for a very long time, because they thought they should be able to prove it from the other axioms. Eventually somebody said "Hey, let's try and see what happens if we replace the parallel postulate with something else!" That's how non-Euclidean geometry was invented, and it turned out to be quite interesting.

Let's continue with that theme. Your question "Can you prove the parallel postulate?" is, by itself, meaningless. You have to clarify what you really mean by it. Did you mean to ask "Can you prove the parallel postulate from the other axioms of Euclidean geometry?" The answer to that question seems to be no, given that we have models for non-Euclidean geometries, i.e. geometries where the parallel postulate is false. Another question you could ask is "Is the parallel postulate true in the physical world we live in?", or some variation thereof. However, this is no longer a mathematical question, but a question of physics. It has nothing to do with axioms and theorems, just like the question "Is C12 radioactive?" has nothing to do with axioms and theorems.

There are actually much, much more examples of those "what-if" type questions in mathematics or logic. You may want to read up on the different axiomatizations of sets, for example.

In that sense I would like to disagree with SamLowry slightly. Mathematics is about absolute truths. It's just that the absolute truths in mathematics are ultimately of the form "If ... then ...", when you really drill down and formalize them, e.g. "If we work in that system of axioms, then such and such is true". Even more important, mathematics is not about the real, physical world we live in, whereas any claims of the existence of a God ultimately are about the world we live in, and therefore different rules apply to them.
Widelands - laid back, free software strategy

#266 mikeman   Members   -  Reputation: 2208

Posted 30 January 2011 - 05:05 AM

In that sense I would like to disagree with SamLowry slightly. Mathematics is about absolute truths. It's just that the absolute truths in mathematics are ultimately of the form "If ... then ...", when you really drill down and formalize them, e.g. "If we work in that system of axioms, then such and such is true". Even more important, mathematics is not about the real, physical world we live in, whereas any claims of the existence of a God ultimately are about the world we live in, and therefore different rules apply to them.


Well, I have to disagree with this slightly too. Ok, mathematics is, formally, a logical formulation that is not about the "real,physical world we live in". Except we use mathematics everywhere for real, physical purposes. Economics. Biology. Chemistry. Physics. I hardly consider it a "nice side effect". Mathematics and Geometry were not invented as a nice abstract game, even if many treat it as such today. They were invented, in ancient times, to measure field areas, predict motions, organize economies, communicate to your co-worker about how many rocks you need when you're building your house. When you use mathematics to do a complex and expensive physics experiment, do you admit that there's no way to 'prove' that this tool(Mathematics) is going to work? Do you think that if we weren't using mathematics everywhere, they would still even exist?(and I'm not talking about 'well, practical applications bring us funds for math unis", I'm talking about the trait of most human minds to want to invest time in something when it's worthwhile- not necessarily 'profitable').

It's just this word I have problem with. "Prove". "Prove the existence of God, and I fall on my knees with the rest of you". That is all. If someone secretly put a holographic show on the sky , what, would you believe? Of course you wouldn't, you would search for what is really going on. So would I, because I don't believe "that way". Maybe I was wrong to quote SamLowry on this one, I didn't want to seem like I was debating him, it's just that the thread's name is 'proof God doesn't exist', so all I wanted to say is that all these mind games are futile(and yes, I believe Pascal's wager is a bit silly, and even a bit immoral and opportunistic if you think about it).

On the other hand, I have to respectfully ask... how do you rationalize your worldview? If I understand correctly, you are a Christian but believe that other religions which teach things contradictory to yours can still be correct.



As I said. Everyone is different(and I don't mean that as a punchline, as some do). Everyone has a whole history and background and personality of his own. Since I believe there is God, I believe there are things in life installed for everyone that noone can know. As such, I accept what I said earlier in this thread: That most religions are like different recipes given to different patients. My spiritual needs are not exactly the same as anyone else's needs, so they will be answered a 'different' way. And of course there's 'cause and effect' play here, I was raised a Christian, so I will, probably, translate what I experience through the Christian point of view. If I was born in a Muslim country, I would translate it through the Muslim point of view. It would be illogical, even immoral to consider youself superior just because you happened to be born where you were born, and think that, in order for the other person to be saved, he needs to clash with his family and friends and abandon many of the things he takes for granted, when you on the other hand were born in the 'safe' side from the beginning. So, necessarily, I consider religions, as I said, different ways to say the same thing to different mindsets. That's how I see things anyway. What else can you do, really?

#267 SamLowry   Members   -  Reputation: 1629

Posted 30 January 2011 - 06:58 AM

In that sense I would like to disagree with SamLowry slightly. Mathematics is about absolute truths. It's just that the absolute truths in mathematics are ultimately of the form "If ... then ...", when you really drill down and formalize them, e.g. "If we work in that system of axioms, then such and such is true".

That's why I consider them relative. There's always the if-part, the axioms on which everything depends. But other than that, we agree.







#268 Telastyn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3726

Posted 30 January 2011 - 08:19 AM

First off, kudos for going 14 pages of religion thread with no close.

My spiritual needs are not exactly the same as anyone else's needs,


This rather assumes that people have spiritual needs, which... I disagree with.



#269 et1337   Members   -  Reputation: 1488

Posted 30 January 2011 - 08:44 AM

As such, I accept what I said earlier in this thread: That most religions are like different recipes given to different patients. My spiritual needs are not exactly the same as anyone else's needs, so they will be answered a 'different' way. And of course there's 'cause and effect' play here, I was raised a Christian, so I will, probably, translate what I experience through the Christian point of view. If I was born in a Muslim country, I would translate it through the Muslim point of view. It would be illogical, even immoral to consider youself superior just because you happened to be born where you were born, and think that, in order for the other person to be saved, he needs to clash with his family and friends and abandon many of the things he takes for granted, when you on the other hand were born in the 'safe' side from the beginning.


Ah, makes sense. I was thinking you were one of those people who believes truth is not absolute. I agree with you in principle, but I don't see how you can reconcile Christianity and Islam. I recognize there are concepts in Christianity which have been twisted by us humans through the years and are probably incorrect, but the Muslim worldview seems to be fundamentally different. As an example. Nothing against Muslims particularly.

About the clashing with family and friends, I would say that if a Christian gets through life without doing some serious clashing, to quote lolcats: YOUR DOIN IT WRONG. Which can be said of a lot of us lukewarm American Christians.

#270 DaWanderer   Members   -  Reputation: 538

Posted 30 January 2011 - 09:28 AM

In that sense I would like to disagree with SamLowry slightly. Mathematics is about absolute truths. It's just that the absolute truths in mathematics are ultimately of the form "If ... then ...", when you really drill down and formalize them, e.g. "If we work in that system of axioms, then such and such is true". Even more important, mathematics is not about the real, physical world we live in, whereas any claims of the existence of a God ultimately are about the world we live in, and therefore different rules apply to them.


Saying Mathematics is about absolute truths is a bit misleading. Like you said, formalization always leads to those "truths" being relative to some system of axioms that itself can only be proven with a different set of axioms, and so on. This isn't to say that there is no such thing as objective truth, it just is unreachable or unprovable from a single set of axioms (i.e. Gödel's incompleteness theorems). Deductive proofs are an idealized subset of a much more interesting class of questions where uncertainty is given first-class status. Bayesian analysis is an excellent framework in which to express formal model comparison in the face of uncertainty, though we are forced to make our assumptions explicit (a good thing, in my opinion).

I also disagree that Mathematics is not about the "real, physical world we live in". Even something as detached and abstract as a Turing machine embeds serious physical assumptions, such as a tape cell only containing a single symbol or blank at any given time (this assumption is broken in quantum computing models). Solomonoff, Kolmogorov, and Chaitin have produced an extensive body of work demonstrating that Mathematics itself is an empirical science, requiring the same inferential tools we apply to the "real, physical world" (see Algorithmic Information Theory).

#271 mikeman   Members   -  Reputation: 2208

Posted 30 January 2011 - 10:08 AM

This rather assumes that people have spiritual needs, which... I disagree with.


Right. I like chocolate too. Do you disagree with that? Please do tell.

Wtf.

#272 Telastyn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3726

Posted 30 January 2011 - 10:29 AM

No, I do not presume how you define it, hence I did not elaborate. I certainly don't want to take pot shots at something you don't believe in. I was hoping for a more even keeled response where you perhaps spelled that out for me so that we could have a discussion on points. [edit: after mikeman's edit, it certainly is even keeled.]

From what in the thread that I've seen, your main basis is the need for answering 'why is the universe like it is?'. I don't perceive this as being anything spiritual at all.

But that's rather an ill-informed guess at your beliefs based on a forum of all things.


My main argument is that there is no such thing as an innate spiritual need in humans. That would presume a spirit.

People might need to feel comfort that some guiding force is there. They might need to know the answer to why are we here. They might need comfort in knowing that there's an afterlife. They might need to know why we have sentience. None of these are particularly spiritual in nature. Philosophical, psychological? Certainly.

#273 mikeman   Members   -  Reputation: 2208

Posted 30 January 2011 - 10:30 AM

About the clashing with family and friends, I would say that if a Christian gets through life without doing some serious clashing, to quote lolcats: YOUR DOIN IT WRONG. Which can be said of a lot of us lukewarm American Christians.


Yeah, I probably phrased it wrong. But it doesn't mean one has to be cutoff from the people they love. Which is what would probably happen if I announced my family I was to become a Muslim, or a Muslim announced to their family that they're going to be Christian.

The parts of the Koran I've read aren't opposing Christianity as such, as far as I can tell. I could be wrong. But they(or similar texts, like Rumi's beautiful poems) even have helped me look at some of the OT with new light. I don't want to pretend I'm one of those 'open to any religion' type of folks. I'm not. But of course the worldview is different, because people are different. My view of Christianity is probably very much different from many other's. There's no real problem with that, the way I'm thinking it. Everyone's got his own 'language' when thinking to himself and about his life and general. The fact that we still want and achieve, some times, to communicate in a common language is kind of amazing, if you think about it.

People might need to feel comfort that some guiding force is there. They might need to know the answer to why are we here. They might need comfort in knowing that there's an afterlife. They might need to know why we have sentience. None of these are particularly spiritual in nature. Philosophical, psychological? Certainly.



I don't disagree with anything you said above, actually. That's what I meant. I don't mean 'spirit' as an invisible ghostie thingy that occupies space. I'm not into metaphysics much, anyway. Not my cup of tea. Not even in movies, even(I think I have discussed here my beef with BattleStar Galactica :P). I mean it as a combination of questions about our nature,intelligence,courage,kindness,forgiveness and such things.


#274 Fiddler   Members   -  Reputation: 839

Posted 30 January 2011 - 03:42 PM

Ah, makes sense. I was thinking you were one of those people who believes truth is not absolute. I agree with you in principle, but I don't see how you can reconcile Christianity and Islam. I recognize there are concepts in Christianity which have been twisted by us humans through the years and are probably incorrect, but the Muslim worldview seems to be fundamentally different.

Actually, Islam is very very close to Christianity. Both religions believe in the same "one and only" god (yhwh/allah) and the differences lie mostly in the details (Jesus is a prophet rather than the son of god, the greatest prophet is Muhammad, etc).

Muslims commonly refer to Christians and Jews as "People of the Book" (Ahle-kitaab), people who follow the same general teachings in relation to the worship of the One God (Tawhid) as known by Abraham.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, the official doctrine document released by the Roman Catholic Church, has this to say regarding Muslims: "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."


Yes, those evil Muslims are actually Christianity's best pals. Your choice if you wish to eat into media propaganda.

[OpenTK: C# OpenGL 4.4, OpenGL ES 3.0 and OpenAL 1.1. Now with Linux/KMS support!]


#275 Fl4sh   Banned   -  Reputation: 30

Posted 30 January 2011 - 08:03 PM

Proof? Turn on Animal Planet and see animals getting torn apart soon as they are born, see animals getting eaten alive...just a cycle of violence because dead flesh feeds living flesh.

Then turn on the 6 o'clock news and see humans doing worse to each other when we don't even need to. There's proof. Posted Image


<----- Philosophic prophet
They hated on Jeezus, so you think I give a f***?!

#276 et1337   Members   -  Reputation: 1488

Posted 30 January 2011 - 10:05 PM

Yes, those evil Muslims are actually Christianity's best pals. Your choice if you wish to eat into media propaganda.


Without even counting the history of these two religions *cough*crusades*cough*, I'd say Christianity and Islam are about as far apart as you can get. Compare the U.S., which like it or not is basically Christian, to the only nation where Islam is fully implemented.

#277 Telastyn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3726

Posted 30 January 2011 - 11:14 PM


Yes, those evil Muslims are actually Christianity's best pals. Your choice if you wish to eat into media propaganda.


Without even counting the history of these two religions *cough*crusades*cough*, I'd say Christianity and Islam are about as far apart as you can get. Compare the U.S., which like it or not is basically Christian, to the only nation where Islam is fully implemented.


The actual tenets, outside of the sharia are decidedly similar. Even within Christianity, wars have been fought over relatively small details of faith.

And let's be honest here: the US still has the largest prison population per capita, segregation and womens rights have only (partially) existed for under a century, homosexuals are second class citizens, hispanics are persecuted many places, muslims are persecuted, and that's ignoring pretty much everything done in the name of the War on Terror. I'm not saying Saudi Arabia has a better human rights record than the US; or even close. But it's closer than many Americans care to believe. And the country has only industrialized recently. Give both countries a few decades and I suspect the score will be a lot closer (barring a fundamentalist revolution in either location).

#278 Fl4sh   Banned   -  Reputation: 30

Posted 30 January 2011 - 11:59 PM


Yes, those evil Muslims are actually Christianity's best pals. Your choice if you wish to eat into media propaganda.


Without even counting the history of these two religions *cough*crusades*cough*, I'd say Christianity and Islam are about as far apart as you can get. Compare the U.S., which like it or not is basically Christian, to the only nation where Islam is fully implemented.


rofl... Islam and Christianity are as far apart as one can get? Their histories are practically interconnected as-well as the huge intertwining of the stories in each. Muslims believe many things Christians do except for certain parts. Ex: Jesus was a prophet not the son of God.
They hated on Jeezus, so you think I give a f***?!

#279 et1337   Members   -  Reputation: 1488

Posted 31 January 2011 - 12:50 AM

And let's be honest here: the US still has the largest prison population per capita, segregation and womens rights have only (partially) existed for under a century, homosexuals are second class citizens, hispanics are persecuted many places, muslims are persecuted, and that's ignoring pretty much everything done in the name of the War on Terror. I'm not saying Saudi Arabia has a better human rights record than the US; or even close. But it's closer than many Americans care to believe. And the country has only industrialized recently. Give both countries a few decades and I suspect the score will be a lot closer (barring a fundamentalist revolution in either location).

I have no facts to back this, but I would say America's problems are due to human failings (including failings of the earthly church), whereas many of Saudi Arabia's issues are encouraged by their text.

My link there had a little too much "Christianity > Islam" in it. I don't mean to bash Muslims; I know they're generally great people. I just wanted to point out examples of when both religions are allowed to run their course.

rofl... Islam and Christianity are as far apart as one can get? Their histories are practically interconnected as-well as the huge intertwining of the stories in each. Muslims believe many things Christians do except for certain parts. Ex: Jesus was a prophet not the son of God.

Sure, they're both Abrahamic and they share the same stories. The similarities pretty much stop at the New Testament though.

I apologize, this is a HUGE thread hi-jacking. Carry on with the mathematical proofs. Posted Image

#280 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 29704

Posted 31 January 2011 - 01:13 AM

I have no facts to back this, but I would say America's problems are due to human failings (including failings of the earthly church), whereas many of Saudi Arabia's issues are encouraged by their text.

America's problems are caused by religious texts too, but people have been brainwashed into not realising it's a religion.




Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.



PARTNERS