Nerdfighters

I have been an atheist for a while and have always been looking for an argument that will prove the existence of A GOD. A GOD is in all caps to show that I am not looking for you to prove the christian god or the greek gods, all i want is proof of the existence of a higher power that created all things. He does not have to be a moral being, nor does he have to give to craps about his creation. I just want someone to prove that he is there (I use he because in the English language we assume masculine when no gender is put forth). So anyone of any background of any knowledge level go for it. 

Oh and as a side note, yes you do have to prove that god is there, i don't have to prove he is not. It is like asking someone to prove that a dragon exists when the dragon will become undetectable the minute a person looks at is. The same is true for god. He does not exist in our plane of being as I have been told oh so many times and therefore cannot be detected in any way. So don't come in here and say that I have to prove that there is no god. That is for another debate.

Tags: eleven, existence, fish, god, moose, pie

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People claiming to be the messiah? Can't say I knew about that, but I suppose it makes a certain amount of sense.

 

What made him famous? That's easy. Some of his chums wrote an autobiography about him after his death: apparently, it's a best seller. Mind, some bloke named, "Gideon," keeps forgetting his copy at practically every hotel I go to, so maybe that's why it's so famous. I think it's called, "Book," or something, only in Greek or Latin or one of those other forn dialects. Perhaps you've heard of it?

 

In other words, people wrote about him so he's famous. People talked about him, so he's a household name. I'll betcha dollars to doughnuts that if God came down here and had a son, and that son was Him, and he performed miracles on the street and clearly was the Messiah, if nobody wrote about him, nobody would know about him two thousand years after. It's obvious that either every myth is true or not all myths have to be true to be known today, so I think it goes without saying that it's not impossible for some bloke named Josh to be escalated from manhood to godhood through the printing press alone...figuratively speaking.

 

I said nothing about him not being a good teacher or being nothing more than a myth. First off, I kinda like what the Bible says--though it's not exactly revolutionary in terms of what it endorses, if ya don't mind me saying. Peace, love, et cetera? What a concept.

 

Second, I'm apatheistic. Maybe the Christian blokes are right. Maybe they aren't. Who am I to tell reality what to believe?

Evidence, no matter how convincing (In this case, not very), is not the same thing as a proof.

Douglas Adams said it best:

"Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mindbogglingly useful could evolve purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God. The argument goes something like this:

"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing".
"But," says man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It proves you exist and so therefore you don't. QED."
"Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
"Oh, that was easy," says man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white, and gets killed on the next zebra crossing.

Most leading theologians claim that this argument is a load of dingo's kidneys. But this did not stop Oolon Colluphid making a small fortune when he used it as the central theme for his best selling book, Well That About Wraps It Up for God. Meanwhile the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different cultures and races, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation."

God's existence should only matter to the people concerned with his existence - nonbelievers need not apply, and they probably don't mind much anyway.

I don't.

Well, if someone could just prove once and for all the existence of ghosts, I would be much more inclined to accept the possible existance of other transcendent things such as gods and whatnot. It ought to be pretty easy also. All you need to do really is meticulously monitor multiple haunted houses for significant periods of time until something moves. Heck I might even do it, if no one else beats me to it.

It's going to sound weird as hell, but I see proof of God in the desire to procreate. I mean, think about it. You're an animal, you're already trying to survive on your own...what the hell would you want to bring a little one into the world for? It can't help you survive; in fact, it hinders your chances of finding food and shelter and escaping predators. It whines, it cries, it requires constant training and attention. And yet you create an offspring, possibly multiple offspring. Why? The whole desire for 'continuation of species' doesn't apply on an individual level, so what motivates it? The motivation is instilled and intrinsic and must have been placed there by something, since it's clearly not logical in its own right. Ergo, God.

It doesn't sound wierd, and reminds me of one of my own arguments against Dawkin's view. IE that it is circular. My genes exist to perpetuate my gene's existance. I exist so that I continue existing. Pointless. Which then raises the question, why would we have evolved to a state where we can observe the pointlessness of our own existance? Surely it would have been better to evolve differently, so that we do see function in our existance.

@ Katherine:

The whole desire for 'continuation of species' doesn't apply on an individual level, so what motivates it? The motivation is instilled and intrinsic and must have been placed there by something, since it's clearly not logical in its own right. Ergo, God.

You have to remember that reproduction began asexually; most likely to increase the likelihood of continuing one's existence or that of the genetic material. Think of it as making backups on your computer, one hard-drive can fail with a certain probability, when having two hard-drives the chance of them both failing at the same time decreases dramatically (unless your house burns down). This is essentially what asexual reproduction does, and since it happens very fast it is quite sound since the number of copies doubles with each generation. When multicellular organisms first came about asexual reproduction occurred in the form of budding, essentially the cutting off of parts of the organism which then started growing and being an independent organism.

The most likely reason that sexual reproduction came about is an improvement of this continuing the existence. Asexual reproduction roughly creates 1:1 copies, save for mutations that happen when cell division takes place. Sexual reproduction reorganises genetic material through a process known as recombination, thereby diversifying the genetic material of one's offspring. This could be seen as to not "put one's eggs all in one basket". You also have to remember that sexual reproduction pretty much started off with just spewing gametes into the ocean en-masse, thus there was no dependence of the offspring to reduce survival chances of the parents. This spewing your gametes into the ocean turned out to be a very good protection against local threats. If we use the hard-disk analogy from the previous paragraph the spewing gametes into the ocean is making on-line backups, so the data is preserved when the house burns down.

The direct dependence of offspring on the parents for a longer period of time came about much later and apparently proved to be a very, very evolutionarily stable strategy (7 billion people and tons and tons of other animals).

Given this basic history of asexual reproduction (suddenly there's two of you, oh and then four, and then eight, and then 16, 32, 64, 128, etc.etc.) it is very logical to have this desire at the individual level. Because well, having two of you is better and four even better, etc. With budding it isn't much different, and with sexual reproduction as it first occurred there's only some energy expense for the creation of gametes. This explanation makes it very logically and does not need a god to account for it.

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@ Vertigo:

IE that it is circular. My genes exist to perpetuate my gene's existance (sic). I exist so that I continue existing. Pointless. Which then raises the question, why would we have evolved to a state where we can observe the pointlessness of our own existance (sic)? Surely it would have been better to evolve differently, so that we do see function in our existance (sic).

1. Please read my explanation above.

2. Why do you always assume such a purely nihilistic view when you're trying to take a look from the point of non-believing people? As an example, I place value in experience and can see function in our (my) existence beyond mere continuing my existence. These functions and values, however, are almost certainly subjective but that doesn't mean they're completely worthless or pointless. Of course, on a grand universal scale I'm agreeing on adopting a nihilistic view because humans are only a teeny tiny part of it all, and all we've built up likely won't leave any traces thousands or millions of years from now.

As to why we evolved this way? I would like to point you at your teleological viewpoint again because you seem to have the idea that evolution has some sort of definitive goal to it. Evolution happens because those who are most adapted to their environment generally are the ones with the greatest chance of reproducing and passing on their traits as encoded in genetic and epigenetic material. This all happens and change happens, but there is no goal in evolution in the way you seem to think there is. The only way your question could be answered is in a 'how come' way and not a 'what for' way.

We could indeed dream all we want about what things could have been better to have evolved because there is so much room for improvement in our bodies, but that simply didn't happen (though it might). Evolution is a tinkerer, not an engineer. And in order for us to look at the evolutionary process in a proper manner we need to get out of our humany-wumany engineer perspective and try to wear the glasses of a tinkerer. Because face it, we humans are very engineer-like in our point of view. We look at things and try to make them better with a perspective in mind, and yes that is also something that came about thanks to evolution (but that story I'll save for another time).

Thanks for replying! I do understand your point about asexual reproduction beginning as a sort of computer backup system for life, but (and warning, this will sound very nihilistic) I don't much see the basic point of life itself. We exist to generate. And pardon my nihilism, but from a coldly logical viewpoint life in itself seems rather ... pointless. Of course the experiences that I have had are subjectively very important to me, but I am looking at those experiences as an individual. The Universe doesn't care when I play laser tag with my friends or even when I die. And while I hope to influence others' lives and ways of thinking for the better up until and past the point of my demise, I in no way think my legacy will be permanent. Referencing existentialism, then; why would I exist only to be taken out of existence by the passage of time? What would the point of my living at all be if one day I was simply to not exist any more, to be wiped out of the universe altogether? If there is nothing after death, then life, in itself, becomes logically (if not subjectively) worthless. Or at least that's the way I view it; I'm delighted to hear your take on the matter!

Although, please don't misunderstand what I'm saying - I love life, and as an individual I think my life is very important and even great. However, speaking for a moment as the Universe, I could die in some terrifically mundane or horribly fantastic way tomorrow and the cosmos would continue on.

Does this make any sense? 

You're very welcome.

And ah yes, the great quest for the meaning of life! I completely see where the nihilistic viewpoint is coming from and, as I mentioned in my previous post, I agree with it on the universal scale because indeed the universe doesn't care (as far as we know). So yes, it makes very much sense. The first chapter of TFIOS springs to mind, where Hazel talks about oblivion.

As for your questions referencing existentialism, I'll save those for a later time in favour of sleep and to allow myself to ponder some.

I place value in experience and can see function in our (my) existence beyond mere continuing my existence.


Yes, but that function is not real. It is what you see, but it has no objective reality and as a result, no real value. You may value it, so may others, but in reality it is nothing.


As to why we evolved this way? I would like to point you at your teleological viewpoint again because you seem to have the idea that evolution has some sort of definitive goal to it.


Yes, survival. That is evolution's primary goal. And it doesn't make sense that evolution would give us to tools for survival which at the same time allow us to see the fruitlessness of it.

Yes, but that function is not real. It is what you see, but it has no objective reality and as a result, no real value. You may value it, so may others, but in reality it is nothing.

Whoa there, hold it. You're saying that my valuations and/or my experiences are not real, because they're not objective? You gotta be kidding me!

But wait a second. If you're serious about this 'not objective thus not real', then you're effectively saying that everything we experience is not real. Why is that? Neuroscience tells us that everything you experience is encoded by the brain, and the brain does not encode objective values. The brain encodes everything based on shifting reference points while the reference points themselves are not encoded. So everything in our brain that has to do with experiences, and that is to say everything, is relative; so according to your notion nothing we experience is real.

But I disagree with that view. Please allow me to quote a very wise man on that matter. "Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?" - Albus Dumbledore

Yes, survival. That is evolution's primary goal. And it doesn't make sense that evolution would give us to tools for survival which at the same time allow us to see the fruitlessness of it.

Welcome to life; the place where things don't make sense. If life were an engineer, then I'd have agreed with your view that it doesn't make sense. But life is not an engineer...

Of course I could give you an evolutionary psychological / biological theorem that perfectly explains it, but let's not do that here. I'm going to keep it short and hint at two things; 1. computational power and 2. spare time.

We humans have tremendous computational power in our brains and this allowed us to do many things that increased our chances of survival, such as creating a food surplus. We humans also have very much spare time; we're not really very busy with survival any more with our excess food and shelter and cities allowing us to have hobbies, to watch football, to obsess over fictional characters and the actors who portray them. Because these two coincide (so much computational power making us so good at survival) we humans are allowed to do all manner of things like create things that fly all across the world, study the sciences, and to ponder over the meaning of life and see the fruitlessness of it.

Whoa there, hold it. You're saying that my valuations and/or my experiences are not real, because they're not objective? You gotta be kidding me!


Not real in a meaningful sense, no. They need not bear any relation to the world around.

But wait a second. If you're serious about this 'not objective thus not real', then you're effectively saying that everything we experience is not real.


No. Much of our experiance is created by that which objectively exists.

We humans have tremendous computational power in our brains and this allowed us to do many things that increased our chances of survival, such as creating a food surplus. We humans also have very much spare time; we're not really very busy with survival any more with our excess food and shelter and cities allowing us to have hobbies, to watch football, to obsess over fictional characters and the actors who portray them. Because these two coincide (so much computational power making us so good at survival) we humans are allowed to do all manner of things like create things that fly all across the world, study the sciences, and to ponder over the meaning of life and see the fruitlessness of it.



I can very easily imagine ways that evolution can and indeed should have taken us that would mean that we would not be in this position. I find it very hard to believe that we are here just because of our desire to survive.

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