Opinion

Five rational arguments why God (very probably) exists

(The Conversation) The question of whether a God exists is heating up in the 21st century. According to a Pew survey, the percentage of Americans having no religious affiliation reached 23 percent in 2014. Among such “nones,” 33 percent said that they do not believe in God – an 11 percent increase since only 2007. The Conversation

Such trends have ironically been taking place even as the rational probabilities for the existence of a supernatural God have been rising. In my 2015 book, “God? Very Probably,” I explore five rational reasons why it is very probable that such a God exists.

Laws of math

In 1960, the Princeton physicist — and subsequent Nobel Prize winner — Eugene Wigner raised a fundamental question: Why did the natural world always — so far as we know — obey laws of mathematics?

Most working mathematicians today believe that mathematics exists independent of physical reality. It is the job of mathematicians to discover the realities of this separate world of mathematical laws and concepts. Physicists then put the mathematics to use according to the rules of prediction and confirmed observation of the scientific method.

But modern mathematics generally is formulated before any natural observations are made and many mathematical laws today have no known existing physical analogues.

Einstein Memorial, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.
Wally Gobetz, CC BY-ND

Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity, for example, was based on theoretical mathematics developed 50 years earlier by the great German mathematician Bernhard Riemann that did not have any known practical applications at the time of its intellectual creation.

In some cases, the physicist also discovers the mathematics. Isaac Newton was considered among the greatest mathematicians as well as physicists of the 17th century. Other physicists sought his help in finding a mathematics that would predict the workings of the solar system. He found it in the mathematical law of gravity, based in part on his discovery of calculus.

At the time, however, many people initially resisted Newton’s conclusions because they seemed to be “occult.”

How could two distant objects in the solar system be drawn toward one another, acting according to a precise mathematical law? Indeed, Newton made strenuous efforts over his lifetime to find a natural explanation but in the end he conceded failure. He could say only that it is the will of God.

Despite the many other enormous advances of modern physics, little has changed in this regard. As Wigner wrote, “The enormous usefulness of mathematics in the natural sciences is something bordering on the mysterious and there is no rational explanation for it.”

In other words, as something supernatural, it takes the existence of some kind of a God to make the mathematical underpinnings of the universe comprehensible.

Math and other worlds

Other leading physicists and mathematicians have since offered similar views.

The great British physicist Roger Penrose in 2004 put forward a vision of a universe composed of three independently existing worlds – mathematics, the material world and human consciousness. As Penrose acknowledged, it was a complete puzzle to him, how the three interacted with one another outside the ability of any scientific or other conventionally rational model to explain.

How can physical atoms and molecules, for example, create something that exists in a separate domain that has no physical existence, human consciousness?

It is a mystery that lies beyond science.

This mystery is the same one that existed in the Greek world view of Plato, who believed that abstract ideas (above all mathematical) first existed outside any physical reality. The material world that we experience as part of our human existence is an imperfect reflection of these prior formal ideals. For Plato, the realm of such ideals is the realm of God.

Indeed, in 2014 the MIT physicist Max Tegmark argued in “Our Mathematical Universe” that mathematics is the fundamental world reality that – acting in a God-like fashion – drives the universe.

The mystery of human consciousness

The workings of human consciousness are similarly miraculous. Like the laws of mathematics, consciousness has no physical presence in the world; the images and thoughts in our consciousness have no measurable dimensions.

Yet, our nonphysical thoughts somehow mysteriously guide the actions of our physical human bodies. This is no more scientifically explicable than the mysterious ability of nonphysical mathematical constructions to determine the workings of a separate physical world.

Until recently, the scientifically unfathomable quality of human consciousness inhibited the very scholarly discussion of the subject. Since the 1970s, however, it has become a leading area of inquiry among philosophers.

Recognizing that he could not reconcile his own scientific materialism with the existence of a nonphysical world of human consciousness, a leading atheist, Daniel Dennett, in 1991 took the radical step of denying that consciousness even exists.

Finding this altogether implausible, as most people do, another leading philosopher, Thomas Nagel, wrote in 2012 that, given the scientifically inexplicable — the “intractable” — character of human consciousness, “We will have to leave [scientific] materialism behind” as a complete basis for understanding the world of human existence.

The supernatural character of the workings of human consciousness offers a second strong rational grounds for raising the probability of the existence of a supernatural God.

Looking beyond Darwinism

Darwin’s theory of evolution in 1859 offered a theoretical explanation for a strictly physical mechanism by which the current plant and animal kingdoms might have come into existence, and assumed their current forms, without any necessary role for a God.

In recent years, however, traditional Darwinism — and later revised accounts of neo-Darwinism — have themselves come under increasingly strong scientific challenge. From the 1970s onwards, the Harvard evolutionary biologist Steven Jay Gould, for example, complained that little evidence could be found in the fossil record of the slow and gradual evolution of species as theorized by Darwin.

In 2011, the University of Chicago evolutionary biologist James Shapiro explained that, remarkably enough, many micro-evolutionary processes worked as though guided by a purposeful “sentience” of the evolving plant and animal organisms themselves – a concept far removed from the random selection processes of Darwinism.

With these developments bringing standard evolutionary understandings into growing question, the probability of a God existing has increased correspondingly.

Miraculous ideas at the same time?

For the past 10,000 years at a minimum, the most important changes in human existence have been driven by cultural developments occurring in the realm of human ideas.

In the Axial Age (commonly dated from 800 to 200 B.C.), world-transforming ideas such as Buddhism, Confucianism, the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle, and the Hebrew Old Testament almost miraculously appeared at about the same time in India, China, ancient Greece and among the Jews in the Middle East – these peoples then having little interaction with one another.

Many world-transforming ideas, such as Buddhism, appeared in the world around the same time.
Karyn Christner, CC BY

The development of the scientific method in the 17th century in Europe and its modern further advances have had at least as great a set of world-transforming consequences. There have been many historical theories, but none capable of explaining as fundamentally transformational a set of events as the rise of the modern world. It was a revolution in human thought, operating outside any explanations grounded in scientific materialism, that drove the process.

That all these astonishing things, verging on miracles, happened within the conscious workings of human minds, functioning outside physical reality, offers further rational evidence in my view for the conclusion that human beings may well be made “in the image of [a] God.”

Different forms of worship

In his commencement address to Kenyon College in 2005, the American novelist and essayist David Foster Wallace said that “Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.”

Even though Karl Marx, for example, condemned the illusion of religion, his followers, ironically, worshiped Marxism. The philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre thus wrote that for much of the 20th century Marxism was the “historical successor of Christianity,” claiming to show the faithful the one correct path to a new heaven on Earth.

In several of my books, I have explored how Marxism and other such “economic religions” were characteristic of much of the modern age. So Christianity, I would argue, did not disappear as much as it reappeared in many such disguised forms of “secular religion.”

That the Christian essence, as arose out of Judaism, showed such great staying power amidst the extraordinary political, economic, intellectual and other radical changes of the modern age is a fifth rational reason for thinking – combined with the other four – that the existence of a God is very probable.

(Robert H. Nelson is a professor of public policy at the University of Maryland. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article)

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Robert H. Nelson

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  • Pretty silly arguments, on the whole.

    1) mathematics describing the physical world. If the macro universe did not have order, it probably could not exist. That does not appear to be the case on the quantum level, where very small things are reduced to probabilities. But as the probabilities move to the macro world, they become more and more certain. Mathematics is not a cause, it is a description.

    2) Math and other worlds. Just because we cannot YET describe how consciousness, math, and the physical world interact, does not mean that we can’t or won’t. Positing what we cannot explain as “there must be a god” simply will not cut it. We also cannot explain THAT, except to claim that god has always existed, something that also cannot be proved, only assumed. Though it has been some decades since I really immersed myself in physics, there is a great likelihood that when we discover the unified field theory, the theory of everything, we will find that life itself is at the bottom of that well.

    3) the very term Darwinism attempts to turn science into ideology. Was Darwin perfect? no. Does it explain and describe a lot? Absolutely. Evolution is not simply a fact, but the best description we have of the reality of life. It is billions of facts from large numbers of disciplines.

    4) and the silliest thing of all: the existence of religion indicates that there is probably a god, which the author wants to be the Christian god. Not surprising, because that’s the culture he was raised in. No. It merely proves the existence and persistence of religion in the human psyche, something well documented. Also well documented is the appearance and disappearance of hundreds, if not thousands of religions. It does not prove the existence of any deity, let alone the Judaeo Christian deity, let along the three in one Christian god who had a son that redeemed the world. There have been many such solar myths throughout the history of the world’s religions; Jesus is just one more of them. That’s why they are known collectively as solar myths.

    And this guy is a professor of anything?

  • As a former “Terp”, I am deeply embarrassed that the author has a professor position at the school. The scholarship of the article was amateurish. Someone speaking with authority and knowledge they obviously did not possess.

  • Thanks for these insights. Interesting to put the question in terms of the material and the non-material (math, consciousness, and I will add, music). There may be a connection among these as yet unknown. But I see no ‘proof’ of a god in the article. For all we know, we are, collectively, the source of all that is. I tend to think that the physical world is secondary to the ‘spiritual world’ (whatever that is) and derived from it, or is like an illusion governed by what? perhaps by mathematical formulas or by music. (Think of the role of hymns in religion.) Teillard de Chardin was mistaken? in making the physical primary.

    I would not assume that the rise of monotheistic religions was not coordinated. The Sower’s Sevens number sets in the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, Κoran, Vatican documents, US Constitution (Freemasons), etc., indicate that historically, some group or related groups has recognized the importance of math as part of our reality. My experiences with sacred math make me tend to believe there is intelligence in the math. My experiences with suffering lead me to be agnostic. Monotheism cannot explain a lot.

  • Thanks for FINALLY proving the existence of god. Now all of the atheists and agnostics can choose up sides and continue on as if the doubt never existed. You are easily the wisest human on the planet, since no one before you has successfully formulated such indisputable proof.


    (wait for it…)


    NOT!

  • Wow, a list of arguments that all share the same fallacy…the “Argument from Ignorance”….

    …Math, consciousness, gaps in evolution, different religions, a common Axial Age, etc. all exist or are true — and we don’t know why…So…there must be a God(s) !! We could just as easily explain all of this with magic dragons.

    And finally…when will the religious folks finally understand that Darwin did not propose “evolution” — which was understood by naturalists long before Darwin’s time. Darwin proposed ‘Natural Selection” as an explanation for biological evolution. The God loyalists and apologists never quit even when they embarrass themselves.

  • The comments seem uniformly critical, but I wonder. His citations all date from the 70’s or later. I took my degrees before that time, and while I consider myself fairly well read, much has been written since I formed my views of the world. You all have knocked down his points, but remember this is a brief summary of a book. If you happen to be my age, you might join me in wondering, “What am I missing?”

  • Meanwhile, Prof. Nelson at least proved that theism is clearly and rationally more probable than atheism.

    Not only that, but he proved it across multiple avenues of human experience and inquiry.

    And then you all just sit there like old bread mold, totally unable to show that atheism is more probable than theism.

    And THEN you wonder why today’s young “Nones” refuse to abandon theism, even though they dropped outta church.

  • So Damien, please explain to me specifically HOW random mutation and natural selection,
    (which ONLY operates on material objects and therefore has ONLY produced material outcomes),
    was able to originate the immaterial human mind and consciousness.

    If you get accidentally get stumped on this one, just ask Ben, Spuds, Violet, or the other Usual Suspects for an emergency bailout. 🙂

  • theism: belief in the existence of god(s), especially belief in one god as creator of the universe, intervening in it and sustaining a personal relation to his creatures.

    atheism: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of god(s).

    How is one of these “more probable” than the other?

  • No he didn’t. He did what everyone else does when claiming religious belief is rational. He begged the question, used special pleading, post hoc reasoning and assumption. The same stuff which was old hat by 3000 BCE.

  • I would not be praising the “rise of the modern world . . a revolution in human thought.” Some might see this as an accomplishment, but actually it is the destruction of the Garden, disorganization, over-population, violence, environmental destruction and diseases, global warming, racism, consumerism, colonialism, wars, a host of horrors. Something that needs to be fixed. Rather than praising what ‘man’ has done, why not admit maybe humanity is irreversibly lost. The mess is not a point in favor of a god’s existence unless the god personifies incompetence and neglect and greed and white maleness (latter usually credited with the ‘rise of the modern world’ and supposedly superior thinking). Not a rise but a flop and descent into darkness. When they integrate the colleges and universities and parliaments and churches so women have equal access, then maybe these institutions will be saying something significant.

  • Sure. Take the existence of human consciousness.

    The theist offers you a specific hypothesis: an immaterial God supernaturally created humans with an immaterial but very real component called consciousness. (Rom. 2:14-15).

    The atheist, in contrast, offers you NO hypothesis at all. None. You don’t even get any guesstimates (despite over 150 years of Darwinism), as to when the atheist will give you a hypothesis.

    Theism offers you a hypothesis. Atheism offers you NOTHING.
    So theism is more probable.

  • I’m almost 67, and let me tell you, you’re not missing a thing. Most of these arguments have appeared in the past hundred years or so. But there is really no there there. (I’m from Oakland, so I can say that).

    “I can’t explain this. Therefore, god explains it.” Its intellectual laziness, to put it mildly.

  • You are engaging in exactly the same intellectual fantasies and fallacies as the author. It may just be the nature of life. We don’t have all of the answers yet. Your answer is your god. Other people’s answers are other gods, not yours.

    Richard Dawkins has given some fairly cogent explanations of what we do know. But you won’t ever read his books. Will you?

  • Theism offers you any number of gods and religions as an hypothesis, each of which contradicts the others in terms of the names of god, the numbers of gods, their actions to create anything, assuming that they created anything at all,and didn’t just come into being.

    Theism, In short, offers you as many hypotheses as there are religions. Which means it offers no hypothesis at all.

    Try again.

  • Easy. More than material outcomes are produced, so your premise is wrong….

    Consciousness of the mind is related to our nervous system which implements electromagnetic theory, not just matter. Electromagnetic energy is massless. The photon is the quantum basis of electromagnetism, and…as discovered by Max Plank, Einstein and others…the photon is clearly massless and immaterial.

    So I am not stumped at all — and I’m glad my Physics degree still comes in handy. So you, Ken Ham and your Sunday school science can’t keep up…recommend you stop trying before I hit you with Schrodinger’s, Heisenberg’s and Dirac’s ideas about human thought and the consciousness’s relationship with relativistic quantum mechanics…which has made the most accurate scientific predictions in history.

  • Millions of reasons that there is no god:

    Strong evidence that there is no god (or did they all die as martyrs?)

    Number of “god’s creations” who died horrible deaths from the following diseases:

    1. 300,000,000
    Smallpox

    2. 200,000,000
    Measles

    3. 100,000,000
    Black Death

    4. 80,000,000–250,000,000
    Malaria

    5. 50,000,000–100,000,000
    Spanish Flu

    6. 40,000,000–100,000,000
    Plague of Justinian

    7. 40,000,000–100,000,000
    Tuberculosis

    8. 30,000,000[13]
    AIDS pandemic

    9. 12,000,000 ?
    Third Pandemic of Bubonic Plague

    10. 5,000,000
    Antonine Plague

    11. 4,000,000
    Asian Flu

    12. 250,000 or more annually Seasonal influenza

  • There are so many shortcomings with this article, it’s embarrassing. In so far as this summary is any indication of the quality of the book, it’s pretty damning, actually.

    1. First off: the author fails to offer a definition of what he means with terms like ‘God’ or ‘probable’. What concept of God are we talking about exactly? Are we talking about some mystical Force or a theistic Creator? The word ‘supernatural’ offers a clue (the author is probably a Christian, thinking of a traditional intervening God), but it’s still very broad.

    When the author says: probable, is he thinking of mathematical models of probability, or is he using the word as a synonym for ‘likely’. Likely according to whom? Well, according to him, but then the choice for the word ‘probable’ is merely a rhetorical strategy, to lend the gravitas of the semblance of objectivity as to a strictly subjective intuition by the author?

    2. Secondly the author glosses over all kinds of alternative choices while jumping to conclusions, without examining his own presuppositions and assumptions.

    For example, Nelson starts with an observation that mathematics seems to be able to accurately frame aspects the nature of reality into models that ‘work’ in terms of their applicability to the material world, even preceding empirical data by decades.

    Nelson frames this observation in such a way which presupposes not just the reality of mathematical laws, but even mathematical platonism (step 1); he then spends way to much time belaboring this assumption without considering the alternatives (step 2); and then in his conclusion, all of a sudden he pulls a trick by suddenly calling this mathematical reality ‘supernatural’ (step 3) and linking it to the reality of a ‘supernatural God’ (step 4).

    If the author wants to argue for mathematical platonism that’s fine, but then he should offer the alternatives and why they fail to explain the marvels of math, instead of just assuming it and then offering some evidence that seems to fit it. “Most working mathematicians today believe..” is merely an argument from popular authority.

    Did most mathematicians receive formal academic training in philosopically examining this belief though? One might be a brilliant mathematician, yet have little or no formal traning into how to think things through with philosopical rigor; what the alternatives are to mathematical Platonism; what the pro’s and cons are to each position, etc. Without knowing what the expertise-level of ‘most mathematicians’ is regarding such questions, there’s no way of even knowing how much weight to attribute to their opinion.

    But let’s say that mathematical platonism is correct, that there are mathematical ‘laws’ that govern material reality, perphaps even exist independent of material reality and that our brains are somehow suited to examine these laws. Does it follow from here that this is supernatural? Wouldn’t this mathematical dimension of reality then be just another aspect of natural reality? If not, why not?

    At best, so it would seem to me, we’d arrive at some form of Descartian dualism, with reality having both a material and an immaterial dimension. Would it follow from there that a supernatural God exists? Again, what is understood as ‘God’? Certainly a theistic God wouldn’t logically follow from the existence of a non-material dimension to reality. It would merely be yet another aspect of reality that we do not yet understand. Reason to marvel, yes; but there’s no compelling argument why one should therefore jump ahead and say: and therefore, God! QED!

    Most philosophers of religions who are apologetically inclined would a different and more cautious route. They wouldn’t so much argue that it’s likely that God exist, but that the nature of reality is fully compatible with the existence of a theistic God, and that a Christian, Jew or Muslim is therefore rationally justified in maintaining that belief. From there on, they would argue that there are aspects of reality that atheistic worldviews won’t quite account for, so that a believer in a theistic concept of God is actually in a somewhat better position, if we’re going to make it a contest between which worldview is the more rational. (Basically saying: ‘Oh, yeah, you think we’re the gullible ones with the irrational worldview? Think again, atheists!’)

    The point being: I don’t know what Robert Nelson’s particular expertise is on this array of philosophical subjects (he’s an economist by training), but if the article above is any indication, he seems blissfully unaware of all the crossroads, issues, choices and pitfalls that come with his line of argument, and jumping to conclusions.

    Furthermore, the article betrays sloppy thinking, with bold claims not bolstered by serious argument (even the links which suggest they’ll offer it, direct to book sites or the author’s own book – yeah, as if that’s not circular).

    I guess it was amateur hour at Religion News?

  • Nah, the guy had some books to sell, and found a way to flog them.

    Thanks for your analysis. Far more in depth than I went into But it did remind me of the word that was missing from my posting: reification.

  • Not quite true about photons. You can teach photons as particles on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and photons as waves on tuesdays. THursdays, and Saturdays. You will be equally correct.

    On sundays, you can just go out an enjoy the sunshine.

  • Duh!

    Atheism is the absence of belief in god(s) – it is not a system which tries to explain anything. Expecting atheism to answer any question is a false expectation based either on ignorance, irrationality or the deliberate use of inequivalance ,

  • Umm, don’t look now, but you actually FAILED to challenge the existence of God.

    All you’ve done is bring up the old “Problem of Evil.” And even your patron saint, the famous atheist David Hume, openly conceded that the PoE was not sufficient to show “that there is no God.”

    Honestly? 20 seconds of Google, and it’s game over for the PoE. Pfft.

    http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=890

  • Atheism certainly cannot answer why ben Affleck can’t make a good movie, despite his adorable cleft chin.

  • In Mr. Nelson’s attempt to assert that, essentially, Eternally Existing Math made the universe in its own image, he uses the example of gravity. But that example contradicts his assertion: facing the quandary of objects attracting each other in the solar system, Newton et al eventually developed (as opposed to discovered) a coherent mathematical structure that fit (as opposed to caused) the phenomenon.

    His premise, that “modern mathematics generally is formulated before any natural observations are made”, is more analogous to using an old wrench to screw (as opposed to create) a new bolt.

    Of course, the time-honored belief that an Eternally Existing God created the universe, and gave humans the ability to develop mathematics consistent with it, is a perfectly coherent and respectable religious explanation which will find no argument from me.

    However, regarding the time-dishonored belief in the necessity, productivity, and worthiness of firing theistic and atheistic potshots at each other: as far as I’m concerned, this entirely made-up conflict is nothing but an extremely toxic red herring. Science focuses on the what, when, where, and how. Religion focuses on the who and why. Science and religion don’t fight each other. Why should we?

  • Oh please, Ben. Do they even OFFER philosophy-of-religion courses in Oakland? Sheesh.
    Again, human consciousness. You lack any naturalistic, evolutionary-biology explanation or mechanism for it. But this is clearly NOT a “God of the Gaps” situation. Nobody is positing God to cover up a lack of data.

    For we actually know two observed facts about human consciousness: (1) it’s totally real, (2) it’s totally immaterial.
    So now there DOES exist a hypothesis, based on the two observed facts, and the historical claim of Rom. 2:14-15. An immaterial Creator God, created an immaterial component of all humans, called consciousness. So theists have a hypothesis; you atheists don’t.

  • “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”
    ― Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers

  • “Your answer is your god. Other people’s answers are other gods, not yours.”
    But it only takes ONE god, of any flavor (including deism), to falsify and kill atheism. That’s why your side is on the ropes, rationally speaking.
    (By the way, is that the same Richard Dawkins who openly agrees that evolution is incompatible with Christianity? Hmm?)

  • It disproves some, but not all god concepts. If you define a god as something that’s omni- or maximally- benevolent yet omni- or maximally- potent/powerful then the existence of -any- suffering in the world immediately disproves its existence. For it’s either unable to or unwilling to intervene (or too stupid to foresee the suffering afforded in his creation). Either way, it’s not consistent with what most people think of when they hear the word “god”.

    Yet we not only see suffering in this world but we see it in needless/horrendous amounts. Most of it has nothing to do with “free will”: think of the perpetual fear and misery, the mutations, disfigurements and health conditions necessitated by the diversity needed for natural selection in almost all animal species. Think of the slew of earthquakes, floods, famines, tsunamis, etc. that wipe out entire cities of innocent people on a regular basis. And of course the pathogens mentioned by Rational Conclusions.

    As for gods of pantheism, deism, etc.? They’re unfalsifiable and therefore not worth discussing given they’re indistinguishable from a god that doesn’t exist.

  • “Probably” implies probability, i.e. numerator of (proven) outcomes over a denominator of possible outcomes. Since neither a god nor the possibility of gods has been demonstrated, there’s a divide by zero error.

    I wouldn’t have written this out if not for the authors affinity for using “mathematics” to point to a god.

  • The Rich Man and Lazarus Luke 16:19-31 – ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.’ ”

  • The Town was interesting. Argo was pretty amusing. But Live by Night was just really bad.

  • I fail to see why atheism is on the ropes? Atheists are taking the default position of not believing something for which there’s not the slightest shred of empirical evidence (evidence that theists are burdened with meeting — yet have consistently failed in doing so over thousands of years). Not only that, but the more we learn about the universe the more we find wrong with religious claims of it.

    As for the “it only takes one god” comment. This carries as much weight as saying “it only takes one teapot orbiting the sun to reify Russell’s “The Celestial Teapot”. Do I have any reason to think either proposition has merit? No, I don’t think I do.

  • “Sacred math” (the fibonacci sequence, symmetry, etc.) arises out of natural efficiency. It’s the most efficient physiology for a number of natural artefacts — natural artefacts that are all subject to the same physical laws. And it’s pleasing to our eyes because we adapted to see beauty in the world around us for psychological/survival reasons — not the other way around.

    I’m very sorry to hear of your suffering *hugs*.

    P.S. I think it might be worth checking something out quickly: http://www.areyouanatheist.com

  • The fact that “Very probably” is used in the title of the article instead of a concrete confirmation and assertion I would say that even Robert H. Nelson has little confidence or faith in the list.

    It is a fact that God does not exist, it is a fact that no proof can be found or brought to prove there is a God.

  • Okay, so when you’re asked to say specifically how the driving mechanisms of biological evolution, (random mutation & natural selection), originated the immaterial human mind and consciousness, you are unable to do so.

    (But don’t feel bad. There’s NO evidence that biological evolution’s mechanisms, which only operate on natural objects, can originate the immaterial human mind and consciousness AT ALL.)

    The situation on THAT issue, is clear and overwhelming. So seeking an escape hatch, Damien claims that, well, the photon is immaterial as well.

    First problem: An immaterial photon doesn’t even begin to offer any kind of evolutionary hypothesis for the origin of human consciousness. How does a mere physics proton get you a natural-selection mechanism for the complicated yet immaterial human mind? No answer.

    Secondly, the photon is massless but it clearly IS a part of the material world. The high-school “wave particle duality experiment” shows that even teenage kids can physically access and manipulate photons to interfere with each other. Behaves like a wave sometimes and like a particle at other times. Material-world stuff, unlike the human consciousness.

    I apologize for the length, but this post spells out why Damien did NOT escape what Prof. Nelson said. Damien’s science background is truly a gift from God, but Damien’s unsupportable atheism is truly a gift from the…

  • I am struck by the seeming contradiction between the harmony in math and the chaos, universal suffering, and universal ‘sinfulness’ which is the human condition. Thanks for the sympathy and for the link. I prefer to be ‘agnostic’ as the term clearly excludes being a ‘gnostic atheist’ who claims to know no god exists. Nice spiral.

  • Deeply irrational points; suffering from all sorts of logical fallacies.

    1. Mathematics were invented by humans to -describe- the state of the universe. There’s no evidence of anything in the universe being -prescribed- by a deity. In fact, the vast majority of physicists (experts most knowledgable about the current state of the universe and most qualified to comment on it) are atheists. The higher up the academic echelon you go in science the less religious people are: 93% of luminaries in the National Academy of Sciences are atheists. Why do you think this might be?

    2. If it’s a mystery then it’s a mystery. You don’t get to slot a god in because you don’t know. This is the classic “god of the gaps” or “argument from ignorance” fallacy and it’s dangerous and stifling thinking (if you already claim to know the answer, why should anyone bother trying to find out?). Secondly, you need to provide actual evidence that there’s “separate domains” to what’s physical, because as far as we know consciousness is a physically emergent property of brains. Show me a mind without a brain and maybe these claims will gain some traction.

    3. Again, if it’s a mystery then it’s a mystery. If it were shown to be a god it wouldn’t be mystery, right?

    4. There’s no serious controversy in science regarding evolutionary biology (“Darwinism”). Even if there were, and the model was completely overturned tonight, you wouldn’t be any closer to evincing a god — you’d need separate positive evidence for that; independant of evolutionary theory being quashed. I wish you’d do as evangelical Christian and ex-head of the Human Genome Project (US) Francis Collins has and accept the overwhelming evidence/try to consolidate it with your theology somehow.

    5. Lots of “miraculous ideas” happened at the “same time”, because this was an incredibly ignorant and superstitious time-period — yet not quite prehistoric (people kept written records). Despite what you claim, there was considerable interaction and trade between these civilizations: not just as a market place of goods, but of ideas too.

    6. No, not everyone worships. I don’t. Most of my friends and family do not. In fact, most of the people in my country of birth do not. So David Foster Wallace is either ignorant, dishonest or using an incredibly broad (and therefore useless) usage of the word “worship”. Besides, even if I conceded the point, it isn’t a rational argument for a god: it’s fallacious on quite a few levels (appeal to the bandwagon/popularity/non-sequitur/argument from ignorance, etc.). Even ignoring this: you fail to mention that the majority of people who worship do not worship by way of Christianity but of religions that make mutually exclusive claims.

  • How about simply establishing that “some god exists” is absolutely more probable than atheism?

    Oh wait a minute, that part is all proven already.

  • At about 200,000 years ago our predecessor ‘Eve’ realized the mental capacity to ask ‘Adam’ “Why am I?” and gave birth to humanity. ‘Adam’ didn’t know and instinctively fearing the unknown he made up an answer with which he tried to fill the void. In the years since, our ancestors ability to question accumulated an astronomical amount of knowledge and also an unlimited number of ways we try to fill the void, ‘answers’ to why we can’t. Sadly we haven’t realized the mental capacity to quit trying for our continuing tries to fill the void including this one, will be our death. https://thelastwhy.ca/

  • “Theism offers you a hypothesis.”

    your ignorant assertion is laughable. there is no testable hypothesis for god claims or the supernatural. there is no predictive mathematical model for your claim that theism even approaches what we would refer to as a hypothesis.

    atheism makes zero claims. it’s only a lack of belief.

    evolve, son.

  • ok… show your evidence.

    BAM! YOU CAN’T BECAUSE THERE ISN’T ANY!

    know why? because it isn’t true.

    wake up! abandon the slavish middle eastern bronze age blood cult and EVOLVE.

  • “You lack any naturalistic, evolutionary-biology explanation or mechanism for it.”
    Found one in a quick google search
    Titled: “Evolution and Consciousness”
    https://bsj.berkeley.edu/?p=384

    “Many scientists agree that self-awareness evolved because of the benefits it contributes understanding others and social situations, implying that self-awareness is intrinsically connected to other-awareness. This suggests that there was an advantage for the individual in understanding others, and therefore that competition and cooperation played a pivotal role in how human evolution progressed. Consciousness, then, is an experience, and our capacity for mental construction and time travel allows us to compare current situations with past and future ones. Mental trial and error is much more efficient than actual trial and error, so this part of the decision making process greatly reduces the chance of failure. This extends to our interactions with others – we use our own experiences in order to predict the behavior of others. Mirror neuron experiments in humans and monkeys favor this view.”

  • That’s actually very true. But back when I was a teenager, even though I was solidly convinced of the truth of the Scriptures, I kept wishing there were Christians in my small town who would take on the tough issues of the skeptics and atheists (and some of the mainline Christians too!!).

    Unfortunately, the churches I attended were rather small, and seemingly not much interested in apologetics. They thought if we kids just kept going to church, Sunday school, sing in the choir, that’s all we needed.

    It wasn’t, for many of us. School, military, workplace, the skeptics got to us. Even now, there are young casualties in the making, and somebody’s mom will be crying soon. Not joking. I decided to fight back.
    So I’m like Ben — I’m putting it out there. Not gonna let the other side win.

  • Oh please. Take another look. Notice that they are not even trying to TELL you how it specifically happened via materialistic evolution — they are only trying to SELL you that it specifically happened via materialistic evolution.

    (Remember, the so-called “theistic evolution” refutes and destroys atheism just as fast as biblical creationism. So either it’s materialistic evolution exclusively, or else your atheism goes straight to the boneyard).

    Remember, the issue is how the immaterial human consciousness, human self-awareness, the human mind, actually originated for the first time. But these guys are selling you on stuff (like “competition”, “cooperation”, “understanding others and social situations”), that already assumes that human consciousness, self-awareness, has taken place. They’re cheating, Spuds.

    Meanwhile, what happened to random mutation BEFORE the self-awareness appeared? They duck it. What happened to natural selection BEFORE the consciousness appeared? They duck it. Don’t duck it with them.

  • “(Remember, the so-called “theistic evolution” refutes and destroys atheism just as fast as biblical creationism. So either it’s materialistic evolution exclusively, or else your atheism goes straight to the boneyard).”

    Doesn’t work that way.

    All science is by the Creationist nonsense lexicon “Naturalistic Materialism”. Evolution is independent of religious belief as is all scientific ideas. Theistic evolution is a religious philosophy. It has no effect on scientific ideas. What you would call “materialistic evolution” is really just the scientific theory of evolution. It has nothing to do with religious belief. Creationism is not so much a religious belief in of itself as it is a tactic to coerce belief.

    All in all you are still engaging in an argument from ignorance. If you do not get the answers you look for, the default is “God did it”. That works in religious circles but lacks credibility in any objective sense. If you can’t leave a question open for future information and inquiry, you are just being lazy in your thinking. Looking for an easy answer rather than look for the most correct one.

  • So Mr. Dominic, is asking for evidence. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.
    Besides, other than the Bible, my best evidence-based disproof of atheism, just happens to be Dominic anyway, (so thanks for showing up!).

    Now, you’ve probably been following the discussions I’ve had with the Usual Suspects, and you sure sound like a Usual Suspect to me. Probably got a good mind on you, all ready to go.

    So let’s bring in some Alvin Plantinga. Nothing heavy, just a little softball pitch to git’cha warmed up. (Folks, give the man time to take his swing).

    First question: Do you believe in the existence of other minds? E.g. mine’s, Ben’s, Shawnie5’s, Violet’s, DirtyHarry’s? If your answer is “Yes, I do”, then exactly what is the evidence by which you believe in the existence of other minds?

    Second question: If you said yes to the first question, then (based only on the evidence or reasons by which your currently believe in the existence of other minds), wouldn’t you also agree with Plantinga that, umm,
    “If my belief in other minds is rational, so is my belief in God. But obviously the former is rational; so, therefore, is the latter.”

    So, what sayest thou? What’s your answer on both questions there, Mr. Dominic?

  • a conscious mind is the emergent property of a functioning human brain. an understanding of that emergent property isn’t evidence for gods.

    it’s just gibberish.

    there’s no good substantial evidence for the existence of anything supernatural, or gods. that evidence doesn’t exist, because neither are real.

    you’re trapped in the ugly delusional clutches of a failed, retarded, divisive, belief system founded in the bronze age, by primitive middle eastern tribes.

    your mental gymnastics won’t produce evidence for your delusion…

    ever.

  • “Theism offers you a hypothesis. Atheism offers you NOTHING.
    So theism is more probable.”

    I’m afraid your conclusion doesn’t follow from your assumptions (non sequitur), even if we grant these. Just because a certain worldview offers an ‘explanation’,
    doesn’t automatically make it probable, or even rational to assume its validity.

    Take the ancient Norsemen for instance: they would experience lighting and
    thunder and say that Donar was smithing. A skeptic back then might have
    said: sorry guys, but we simply don’t know what causes this phenomenon; we lack the understanding, so there’s no need to jump to all kinds of speculative conclusions.

    According to your logic however, the Donar-hypothesis is more probable, since at least it offers some explanation, however speculative or far fetched.

    Yet I’d say the skeptic would have been right. At that point, people simply didn’t have the methods, let alone sufficient information to understand what caused lightning. And their imagination about some supernatural god being responsible was not more probable than acknowledging that we simply don’t know.

    To bring the same counterargument home, let’s take it to the point of the absurd:

    Scientology offers an explanation as to where emotional anxieties come from (the result of spirits of alien beings clinging to human bodies, after being mass executed in volcanoes with hydrogen bombs by the Intergalactic tyrant Xenu 75 million years ago), whereas atheism doesn’t. Therefore, the worldview that Scientology offers is more probable than atheism. So there!

    Furthermore, atheism is perfectly compatible with physicalism, in which consciousness is conceived of as a neurobiological function of the central ervous system.

    Once you’ve got living matter which starts to reproduce, it’s easily grasped how increasing levels of awareness of it’s surroundings (not to mention itself) offer a better chance at survival and reproduction, thereby favoring the evolution of
    consciousness.

    Intelligence in the sense of problem-solving skills and means of communication also offer such benefits, as seen in lots of different animals, ranging from birds to octopi to mammals.

    Self-recognition is shown in many animals: put an elephant or chimp in front of a mirror with a white smudge on it’s face, and it’ll start inspecting it’s own face. Confronted with their own image in the mirror, dolphins will start playing with their own image, like a child.

    The only truly unique feature of man, that which distinguishes him from all the other animals, is that he talks about things and discusses things. Not just with others, but with himself: the famous dialogue intérieur. Man is a chattering ape, and most of the time, he’s chattering to himself, in his mind. Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts – a constant boombox of internal noise.

    Now, elsewhere in the comments, you claim that it is “an observed fact” that human consciousness is “totally immaterial.” But if it’s immaterial, then how can it be observed, I wonder?

    In fact, it’s not observed at all, it’s experienced. We experience our own subjective consciousness, with it’s sense of self, thoughts, impressions. This is also knowns as the Hard Problem of Consciousness. Oliver Burkeman offers an engaging introduction to the issue in an article in the Guardian, called ‘Why can’t the world’s greatest minds solve the mystery of consciousness?’

    But as said: just because we don’t understand what consciousness is exactly, or how it operates, or perhaps even how or why it came about, doesn’t warrant the postulation that therefore God made it come into being.

    Whatever consciousness is, it’s still a natural phenomenon. Just like everything else. You could just as well point to the way matter in the physical world organises itself, from galaxies to the first microbial life. I don’t mind you marveling at it, but to say: aha, and therefore God must exist, haha, take that you silly atheists, is very much a variation of the God-of-the-gaps.

    It’s not just a cop-out: you’re basically transferring the problem, because I might simply ask: okay, and why does this marvellous o so speculative and elusive eternal creator-God exist? At which point you’d have to answer; there is no why: God just is there, it’s always been there, and it always will be there. Just because.

    So why not marvel at stuff that we actually know exists and that is at this point too complex and grand to fathom, and say: okay, as long as we don’t understand this, I’ll just take it for what it is and ponder it in a state of wonderment? You could do that with things we kind of do understand the mechanics of as well, by the way, like the sun shining on the lake, or a majestic mountain ridge, or a waterdrop or a snowflake, or beauty, or the horrors of life.

    How come that isn’t sufficient?

  • Well, if your going to go all mathematical on me…

    as I see it, there are three logically possible outcomes. Either there are no gods and no religion is true, there is only one true god and one true religion, or far more entertainingly, all religions are equally true.

    Taking the total number of religions or gods gives you your denominator of possible outcomes. Let’s say it’s 5493 total gods, Therefore, the likelihood of any one being true is actually quite tiny– exactly 1 in 5493. Now the probability of any two of them being true is not 2 out of 5493, but 1 in 5493 squared. The selection of the two is random, and determining their truth basically Creates independent events. We’ll round down to 1 in 25 million.

    The only other option uses up all of the probability, so to speak. 5492 out of 5493 chances that none of them are true.

    Now there’s mathematics for you!

    You’re welcome.????

  • This is what I figured out a long time ago. Maybe it will be useful to you.

    Life is chaos because man is a doing animal, and defines himself by his doing. That disturbs what you call the natural harmony. There is suffering and there is happiness because there are no rewards and no punishments, thereare only consequences. (The Buddha said that the cause all suffering is desire. He was not exactly right about that, because it is equally true that the cause of all joy is desire. Perhaps suffering is desiring wrong things) Karma therefore explains the universal sinfulness, which really is a moral concept and not a practical one, Karma is quite practical.

  • Pretty silly stuff is what I think.

    One is based on evidence, the other based on wishful thinking.

    Everything that we do, everything that we think is true, is predicated on faith that it will continue to be true. That’s absolutely the case. But the accumulated experience gives us a very strong likelihood that our faith is valid.” I don’t take it on faith that the sun will rise tomorrow, but on evidence,

    Your religious faith hasn’t got anything like that amount of actual evidence going for it. In fact, there is the evidence of every single faith ever in the history of the world, that every faith but THAT one is entirely false and damnable.

    But here are the two real problems with your smart boy’s question. 1) of my belief in other minds is rational, so is my belief in god. Sorry. It that has yet to be proven, it it was a good try. And 2) All he is really saying is that if all ways there are of knowing anything, faith is the least reliable.

    But nice try.

  • Consciousness is dependent on the brain. Thoughts and different states of mind and be mapped with medical equipment. When some parts of the brain gets damaged, personality, the expression of consciousness changes. This suggests a physical basis for consciousness rather then a supernatural.

    Unless you mean sense of morality when your inclusion of Romans 2:14-15 implies. Then it can be easily attributed to to a combination of social learning and instinct.

    Since you want a hypothesis for consciousness: Neuroscientist Christof Koch, chief scientific officer at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, thinks he might know the answer. According to Koch, consciousness arises within any sufficiently complex, information-processing system.

  • An interesting but highly speculative exploration. I find no fault with it as a philosophical argument, but those who identify as rationalists will reject it as not quantifiable in the realm of the physical universe, which is the only realm they recognize. Mr. Nelson will gain no new adherents here.

  • I would further add that mutation creates a loss of information, not a net gain; in other words it works downward rather than upward in defiance of the precepts of evolution.

  • None of those are rational arguments against the existence of God, they are examples of the consequences of living in an damaged world.

  • Not exactly to the point, but sound in a way that unbelievers will fail to see. “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.” From the Words of Jesus in the Gospel of John.

  • The interesting thing is that when faced with this 5 things humans cannot yet fully comprehend even if one were to subscribe to the existence of a supreme being, or the Word, that is common among all humanity, one would realize that individual religions are merely cultural manifestations of that Word. Therefore, no one religion is better than another since they are all attempting to seek the “truth” or the “word”. That would lead someone, if armed with this philosophical knowledge, to be spiritual but not religious. Unfortunately, the article does not yet get to that point since it is clear at the end that it is biased toward a Christian perspective.

  • Amen- and articulated by a well-educated example of evolution at its finest!!

  • And the operative word here is “many” not “all” not “most” just “many”. That leaves a lot of room for dissent. And based on your explanations of behavior chickens and cows are self aware and aware of others and even fish too.

  • No, it is not. It is fact that no proof can be found or brought to prove there is a God.

  • Great article, in principle. You mentioned Einsein, Newton, Plato and other Westerners who ‘discovered’ these concepts and ideas, both natural and philosophical. From where did they obtain them? Have you considered the contributions of the Egyptians, Asians, Easterners and Middle Easterners who have employed those concepts and ideas to build great civilizations eons before the Western ‘discoveries’. And of course, they all believed in and worshipped God.

  • Irrational points; suffering from all sorts of logical fallacies.

    1. Mathematics is conceptual/invented by humans to -describe- the state of the universe. There’s no evidence of anything in the universe being -prescribed- by a deity.

    2. If it’s a mystery then it’s a mystery. You don’t get to slot a god in because you don’t know. This is the classic “god of the gaps” or “argument from ignorance” fallacy.

    3. Again, if it’s a mystery then it’s a mystery. If it were shown to be a god it wouldn’t be mystery, right?

    4. There’s no serious controversy in science regarding evolutionary biology (“Darwinism”). Even if there were, and the model was completely overturned tonight, you wouldn’t be any closer to evincing a god — you’d need separate positive evidence for that; independant of evolutionary theory being quashed.

    5. Despite what you claim, there was considerable interaction and trade between these civilizations: not just as a market place of goods, but of ideas too.

    6. No, not everyone worships. David Foster Wallace is either ignorant, dishonest or using an incredibly broad (and therefore useless) usage of the word “worship”.

  • Yeah, it is a shame people can’t be objective and have their blinders on all the time.

  • “The question of whether a God exists is heating up in the 21st century. According to a Pew survey, the percentage of Americans having no religious affiliation reached 23 percent in 2014. Among such “nones,” 33 percent said that they do not believe in God – an 11 percent increase since only 2007.”

    So let me get this straight: The Pew research outfit takes a survey so they can tell us whether or not God exists? REALLY? And they report that one-third don’t believe in God, while two-thirds do? I didn’t take the “new Math” in school, but most places I’ve been call that a majority!

    The Psalmist summed it up well in just 11 words: “The fool has said in this heart that there is no God!”

  • For me the rationale for believing in God is God calling me personally, encountering me, and directing me in many discernible and dynamic ways. In other words, a personal meeting with God. Trying to intellectually explain God, even if one could, is of no effect. Only the Lord can reveal himself to a person.

    We think of power as the ability to build, direct, overpower, coerce, and remove obstacles and disturbances, falling short of that we experience powerlessness. Powerlessness is death. If we had zero power we would be dead. But God’s use of power not only exceeds human power but is manifested in ways that are contrary to our rationalization of our own use of power. God not only can and does at times remove obstacles, but also, with the obstacle in place works through it to bring about divine purposes for the life of humanity. Even death is not unsurmountable to God, suffering becomes a means of finding grace, not as design by God, but as an obstacle to humans that God uses for our good.

  • Actually, atheism has *always* been on the ropes.
    Many people have asked the simple but powerful question, “Why is there something (in the universe) instead of nothing?”

    And just that quickly, no PhD requied, you’ve just sacked atheism all the way back to the one-yard line.
    That doesn’t even include Rom. 1:20 and Ps.139:14.

    Atheism can’t even answer the question of your own existence, let alone account for your own biology.

    Finally, if deism or pantheism is true, can atheism still be rationally true at the same time? NOPE. Thus it only takes one deity to kill atheism. Care to disprove?

  • And in Matthew 5:22 we find, “… whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.”

    Have fun!

  • Thanks, Ben. Blaming Karma is better I suppose than blaming a god or blaming Adam and Eve. But Karma is blaming the victim. And for deeds that may have been done in an earlier existence. Unknown deeds. Not provable if unknown. Still better than Satan being unleashed by Yahweh as in the Book of Job. My take on Karma is that much negative feedback can be attributed to what is done in this life or what will be done in this life. Just a guess. How can anyone know for sure

  • Actually, I disagree. Karma is not blaming anyone, but then, I’m not using it in he strictest Buddhist or Hindu sense. I’m only using it in the sense that actions have consequences. And my experience is that what someone puts out into the world is what comes back to them.

  • Then your solution is simple. Prove the existence of your deity. But the Bible isn’t proof, it’s an assertion. So prove the existence of any deity to squash atheism.

  • Excellent. Not that you will convince Floyd. He has his answers, and his questions are only intended to deflate yours.

  • o Is it an error/crime/sin/waste to believe in mythical gods especially when said belief relies on the monetary support from those who believe in these inanities when said money could be used to feed the poor?

    Provide medical care? Provide education?

    Indeed it is an error/crime/sin/waste that cries out for immediate rectification !!!

    Added details:

    Putting monetary values on these errors/crimes/sins/wastes:

    The errors/crimes/sins/wastes of Islam:

    There never were and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam and therefore no more koranic-driven/criminal acts of horror and terror LIKE 9/11.

    – One trillion dollars spent in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    – Eighteen billion dollars/yr. to Pakistan

    – Four billion dollars/yr. to Egypt.

    The Christian errors/crimes/sins/wastes:

    There were never any bodily resurrections and there will never be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity!!! And as above, there was/is no angel Moroni of Mormon infamy.

    – The Mormon tithe empire is tax exempt as are all Christian “religions” and evangelical non-profits costing the taxpayers billions a year in tax revenue.

    – the faith-based federal projects supported by both Bush and Obama and Trump: $385 million/yr. and another $2 billion/yr. in grants.

    Giving to religious groups mostly Christian in 2010, totaled $95.8 billion,

    – The errors/crimes/sins/wastes of Judaism:

    Abraham and Moses never existed.

    – Four billion dollars/yr. to Israel.

    – All Jewish sects and non-profits are tax exempt costing again billions in tax revenue

  • These religious “nones” of yours, Robert H. Nelson, practice a RELIGION OF DOUBT; they exercise DOUBT RELIGIOUSLY. The name of their god or demon, their icon or idol, is one: DOUBT. Yet many: Reason, Logic, Dialectics, Criticism, Deconstruction, Education, Science.

    So, mark my word, yeah? This article of yours is inspirational to them alright, but only to inspire further DOUBT. That’s why, after going through your article, these religious “nones” of yours will come back at you with all the RELIGIOUS MIGHT OF DOUBT 5 times:

    DOUBT 1: “It takes” NO SUCH THING as the “existence of some kind of a God to make the mathematical underpinnings of the universe comprehensible”!

    DOUBT 2: “Mathematics” – as a “fundamental world reality” that “drives the universe – ISN’T “acting in a God-like fashion”!

    DOUBT 3: “The workings of human consciousness” ARE NO “grounds for raising the probability of the existence of a supernatural God”!

    DOUBT 4: “Astonishing things … happen(ing) within the conscious workings of human minds (and) outside physical reality” DOES NOT MEAN “that human beings may well be made ‘in the image of [a] God’”!

    DOUBT 5: “That the Christian essence … showed … great staying power amidst the extraordinary of the modern age is” NO “reason for thinking … that the existence of a God is very probable”!

  • When I was a small child I asked my mother “If God made everything, then who made God?” The biggest mystery is that there is anything at all, including a (creator?) God.

  • Annie fuul nose a repetitive psalmist outranks that wimpish, pesky Christ character.

    For TRUE CHRISTIANITY (TM) you need the cruelty of the Prophets, the detachment from reality of of the psalmists, the nastiness of Paul and the fear that drove the imagination of whoever wrote Revelation. No TRUE CHRISTIAN (TM) wants a good god who cares for others (and worse – expects them to do so), what they crave is a strong (read psychopathic) leader who they can blame for everything. Now that Zeus; he was a proper god.

  • Do you really understand the precepts of evolution?

    Any road up – don’t confuse the poor lad – his faith is so paper thin he has to reject any and every comment which threatens his assumptions.

    If we were trying to respond to him we’d point out that fitness for survival and successful reproduction isn’t usually affected by a single genetic variation. Most variations are neutral and remain as part of the succession’s inheritance until a further variation (sometimes several variations) produce a cumulative effect in the gene’s expression which leads to a (for good or bad) change which affects that reproductive ability.

    You’d think he knows that wouldn’t you – maybe he does.

  • My preference goes to the only one that makes sense, which is Koschei the Deathless, Who Made Things As They Are.

    As Koschei says, “What are your beliefs to ME, Who Made Things As They Are?”

  • “what is the evidence by which you believe in the existence of other minds?”

    It seems to me you’re making the logical fallacy of equivocation (and apparently, so is Plantinga).

    You see, we start from the experience of our own consciousness.

    a) We experience ourselves as conscious beings, with a sense of self, sense perceptions/impressions, thoughts, feelings, desires, volition, etc. And we notice that we have a body, with a core torso, limbs which allow us to manipulate the world, eyes to see, ears to hear, a mouth to eat, dring and articulate what we see, hear, want, think, feel; and a face with which we express our emotions.

    b) From then on we notice that there are other beings who look and act like we do; who interact with our surroundings, with each other and with us like we do with them. So it would seem perfectly rational to attribute consciousness and a self like we perceive ourselves (this ventures into ‘theory of mind’)

    c) Obviously step a & b aren’t even taken consciously; for most people they come natural and without reflection; the human brain seems wired to take these things for granted, so intuitive are these cognitive steps: infants learn them without pondering them.

    d) Even though man seems intuitively inclined to think of his own conscious self as something ethereal, and to experience the body as a husk inhabited by an individual(ized) lifeforce or ‘spirit’ breathed into him; a soul if you will; and to speak of this conscious self as a ‘mind’ – that doesn’t actually mean that there actually are non-physical entities as such. Nor do there need to be for these words to function on the level of metaphor.

    Even physicalists like me could freely use the word ‘mind’, as long as it’s implicitly understood that we’re using the word ‘mind’ as a metaphor for something that we assume is a function or process of the brain. Just as we use the word ‘digestion’ to refer to the processes of the stomach and bowels.

    Or take the word ‘life’. This is used as a word to refer to certain behaviours of matter. There are particular types of matter we call ‘organic’ because it organizes itself to synthesize energy, grow and replicate. That doesn’t mean there is some mystical ‘life force’ out there, some pixie dust that magically makes stuff behave in that way.

    e. But even if we were to grant that consciousness has extra-physical properties; it still wouldn’t follow from there that therefore God exists. We posit other minds on the basis of seeing our mirror image reflected in others, based on observation of their likeness and behaviour; but it’s not as if we find ourselves confronted with a giant Guy in the sky, or even an Alien tentacled being interacting with us as if it is sentient.

    The notion of heavenly gods (which mankind has so imaginatively created in their own image, sometimes in idealized form) seems therefore highly speculative and a form of projection; the projection of our own minds onto the screen of eternity. I don’t see the warrant for that. You might just as well claim we’re living in a computer simulation by some metaphysical Science Lab. That would be just as hypothetical.

  • No major world religion posits G-d as an individual. It is only the minor literalist sects, such as Atheism, that do that. Their doing so is an amusing side show.

  • There are different religions because there are different cultures, geographies, and histories but the core of those religions is the same. Those religions are only different paths toward the same light. In addition, the spiritual messages of religions are necessarily given in figurative language only. For some peculiar reason Atheists insist on misrepresenting that figurative language as literal and then they argue against their own creations. Not very convincing.

  • Atheism’s core claims are that empiricism is applicable beyond its limits and flaws, that empiricism is the only method of attaining knowledge and wisdom, and that the only goal of humans is materialism – getting stuff, keeping stuff, and preventing others from obtaining stuff you want. Not too commendable.

  • “All religions are one, and represent the same reality” is nonsense. Certainly, no conservative religionist believes that. Certainly, no fundamentalist Christian believes that,

    They are not paths towards the same light, or even, towards light at all, as the testimony of anti Muslims on these very pages indicates. Rather, they are simply a leftover from older cultures.

    Necessarily given in figurative language only? Then there is only a figurative truth to be found in them. It is not atheists who are making this claim, but the religionists themselves. Projection is not just for the movies, friend.

    Religion, like everything else we humans produce, is a tool. Sometimes it produces great music and poetry and architecture, other times it produces a baseball bat upside the head.

  • Which bit do you not understand – maybe I can clarify it for you.

    Edited to add
    Ah – Re-reading – the poor lad was a reference to floydlee – got my indents wrong! Sorry for the confusion caused.

  • atheism makes precisely zero claims. it is ONLY the rejection of a claim. atheism is ONLY the suspension of belief. it’s ONLY a non-belief in gods.

    it really is that simple.

  • “No major world religion posits G-d as an individual.”

    islam very strongly disagrees with you.

  • We’re not living in a computer simulation? The matrix was a fantasy! Oh, noes!!!! Cancel my Netflix subscription!

    OK! Incredulous sarcasm (not directed at you) is officially turned off.

    Floyd is trying to argue– I’m not sure that that word actually applies– that there is something mystically right or mystically wrong with Cogito Ergo Sum. I’m not sure which.

    If I didn’t exist, why would someone, anyone, including myself, be trying to convince me that I do? How could they? how would I know it if I didn’t exist?

    Therefore, I exist. therefore, my mind exists. whatever my mind is, it clearly exists. What it may be is another question entirely. It would probably be interesting to find out.

    CS Lewis tried the same silly argument with his statement that (not an exact quote) “if my mind is simply the random motion of molecules in my brain, then I have no reason to think that my mind is the random motion of molecules in my brain.” Not correct even if that was what anyone was actually saying was happening. But they weren’t. And obviously, it isn’t true, otherwise, there would be no reality, at least not one that we could perceive. But I can predict with fair accuracy that if I punch Floyd or CS Lewis in the nose, he will feel pain, be very upset, and may even file charges against me, if not punch me back. A highly predictable universe is hardly random, or a fantasy.

    My own belief– and that is ALL it is, is MY belief– based upon three years of college physics when I wasn’t a major, five years of college mathematics (I was a major) and a Large number of books concerning the philosophy of physics, and s lot of thinking many decades ago:

    Whatever life is, whatever consciousness is, they may express themselves, or be expressed, in terms of quantifiable chemical and biological processes. That doesn’t surprise me in the slightest– it’s pretty obvious that it not only is the case, but MUST be the case. We abstract information from what we perceive and use that process of reification to describe reality. But if I pick a star, and abstract from it all of the qualities– size, age, location, chemical makeup, energy output, whatever you like, as long as you like– what is left of the star? Those qualities, or others, or even, otherness?

    I think the same thing is true about the mind. I am pretty sure we will not understand life or consciousness or the mind until we can reliably formulate the Unified Field Theory. My belief, as far as I understood Heisenberg 40-50 years ago, is that there we will find how the observer interacts which that which is observed, and well have a much better understanding of life and consciousness.

    But what we will find I have no idea.

  • Your denial is not refutation. But it is an indication of the depth of your ignorance. If you are too dense to understand figurative language then you will never understand the core messages of religion but that ignorance will not stop you from complaining.

  • Atheism is a belief system centred on the flawed and limited empiricism. Its aim is to promote materialism, a deeply flawed notion.

  • Islam agrees with that idea. it is your misconception of Islam that is wanting.

  • you’re going to have to back that up with some form of evidence. islam is quite singular in regards to the abrahamic god. if you dispute that, then i’d love to see what you have to support your assertion.

  • That must be it. I bow to your eloquence and smartiness. Or, possibly…

    People are always talk big about the clear word o god. Other people disagree Keith them, and the history of the world is writ large in the blood of those conflicts. You’d think that the Creator of the entire universe, if he had an important ,essays to impart. Would probably want it to be clear. And yet. You are now claiming that he deliberately obfuscates his message, so much so that a Hindu worshipping many gods and a Christian worshipping one, or three, or a whole pantheon, are all r ally talking about the same thing,

  • In using the word “singular” you are already hedging your bet. Islam is composed of many sects. As I have said earlier it is only the literalist/fundamentalist sects, such as Atheism, that claim an individuated God. There may well be some fundamentalist Islamic sects, Salafism, for example, that agree with you but they and Atheism are a tiny minority, an amusing sideshow in history.

    As the Quran states, ““No vision can grasp Him” [al-An’aam 6:103]. Allah is considered as omnipotent, omnipresent, and omnisicient. Because Allah is one without an other there is no individuality. This similar to the Christian G-d and G-d and Allah are used interchangeably in the Middle East. You should be aware that Jesus said that G-d is spirit (John 4:24). Same with Allah.

  • You raise three points and they are all wrong:

    1. If G-d is love and mercy why are some many killed in G-d’s name? The answer is that because some who profess a religion misunderstand or misuse that religion their doing so does not invalidate that religion. But if you want to go that route, I remind you that it took only three Atheists – Stalin, Pol Pot, and Chairman Mao to murder hundreds of millions in the name of Atheism and that in less than a century.

    2. God “deliberately obfuscates” his message. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no obfuscation. Figurative language is used in scripture due to the limits of language and its reliance on sensory data. Figurative language rises above those limits. Your comment is a tired plea for the supremacy of empiricism despite its flaws and limits. Remember that Jesus explicitly said the he speaks in parables (Matthew 13:13, John 16:25). I suggest you take a writing course and learn about figurative language.

    3. Then you talk about religions worshipping gods as if “they” were individuals. No major world religion posits G-d as an individual. It is only the minor,
    fundamentalist, literalist sects, such as Atheism, that do that and their doing so is an amusing side show in history. Those “gods” are again figurative attempts at presenting the core of spirituality. Incidentally, your view of Hinduism is wrong. Hinduism has one ultimate god and that is Brahman, the pervasive, genderless, infinite, eternal consciousness and truth

  • ok, so basically, all i’m taking away from your barely literate reply – is that you cannot back up your assertion that god is not an individual in islam.

    also – that word – “individuation”…. i don’t think it means what you think it means. what’s funny is, i fully expect you to do some sort of gymnastics in order to find a way to fit that word into the context of the rest of your gibberish.

    you’re dismissed.

  • Re: “That the Christian essence, as arose out of Judaism, showed such great staying power amidst the extraordinary political, economic, intellectual and other radical changes of the modern age is a fifth rational reason for thinking – combined with the other four – that the existence of a God is very probable.” 

    That’s a fairly massive leap of logic. The author implies Christianity’s “staying power” is solely due to the veracity of its content. That, however, is nowhere in evidence. Beliefs can, and often do, have “staying power” that has nothing to do with the veracity of their content. In fact, due to something called “the backfire effect,” it’s possible for absolutely and provably false beliefs to maintain a fierce hold on people, and continue to be propagated in spite of their falsehood. 

    The assumption that a belief is widely held, therefore it must be true, is a fallacy known as argumentum ad populum, or the bandwagon fallacy, appeal to the many, the democratic fallacy, appeal to consensus, and many other names. But whatever one calls it … this trope, no matter how compelling it might seem, remains a fallacy. 

    Likewise, appeals to tradition (which this also is) are fallacious, as well. Just because beliefs have been held a long time does not make them true. Until just a few centuries ago, for example, it was widely believed — and yes, this belief most assuredly had a lot of “staying power”! — that the world was at the center of a universe only a few thousand miles in diameter, with the sun and everything else revolving around it. 

  • You asked for support and explanation which was supplied. It proved that your original post was greatly mistaken and to avoid having to admit your ignorance of religion, in this case, the Abrahamic religions, you deny and engage in ad homs. That is what I expected. An Atheist cannot admit error because he/she has no other way to access religious/spiritual truths than the deeply flawed and inadequate empiricism. Atheists are locked into hate, fear and a shallow materialism because of mental inabilities to move beyond sense data.

  • Your first point. Pol pot and mao were buddhists. Stalin went to seminary. However many people they killed, it was NOT done “in the name of atheism”, but in the name of the state, and destructive ideologies.

    Your second point. Sure. That must be it. Figurative, from the dictionary: “used with a meaning that is different from the basic meaning and that expresses an idea in an interesting way by using language that usually describes something else : not literal”

    Your third point: atheism is not a sect. Not a religion. Not anything like you describe.

    Your fourth point: I’m too polite to tell you to check the top of your head, so I won’t. Is that figurative enough for you?

  • If you find that an amusing side show, you must really enjoy the snake handling, the speaking in tongues and the wine and cracker parties!

    Also, I’m pretty sure if I go down South and suggest the idea that more than one god created the earth, I’d get shot, then lynched, then my tarred-and-feathered corpse set ablaze in my Prius.

  • Stalin, Pol Pot and Chairman Mao murdered those hundreds of millions in the name of Atheism. Stalin called for an “atheist five year plan” from 1932–1937 to eliminate religious expression. That anti-religious campaign lasted until 1941. Chairman Mao was an Atheist who murdered millions in the name of Atheism. Mao even told the Dalai Lama that religion was poison. Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge attempted to purge religion in he Cambodian Genocide. He banned all religious practices, closed all the Buddhist monasteries and murdered millions of people to ape the Atheism of Stalin and Chairman Mao.

    Atheism is most definitely a religion. Atheism is a religion based on greed, fear and hatred. It is similar to the militant Islamic groups such as ISIS or Boko Haram. It has scripture, holy days, ceremonies, saints, sages, sects, etc. If it waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck, swims like a duck and looks like a duck, it is a duck. Let me know if you want more details on your religion.

    I only made three points so I will let your reference to a point four, swirl around in your consciousness in splendid isolation.

  • As you have shown many times in the past, you have your own way of seeing things.

    Atheism is simply the non belief in god or gods. I’m just atheistic about one more religion than you are..

    Have a nice day.

  • That belief of Atheism is just a conclusion arrived at after a long list of false premises. I notice that you are no longer arguing against about the errors I exposed about your post. I will assume you cannot refute them and therefore agree that your post was ridiculous.

  • God is the worst human construct ever.
    It justifies atrocities is fed by arrogance, endorses gullibility and wishful thinking.
    An idea not worth defending, unless one thinks atrocities, arrogance, gullibility and wishful thinking are virtuous

  • All very interesting. Much more interesting than the original post. To me it all comes down to three pounds of meat between the ears, and the electrical/chemical surges that take place in there. Calm your mind and it doesn’t really matter if there’s a supreme being, or not. Does make for a lively discussion, though. How about this: humans are the consciousness of the universe.

  • It is indeed a classic vehicle for disrespecting people with differing beliefs, isn’t it?

  • G Key…it’s a joke, I think we can take this lightly. The theologians are not identified by sect, so any number of religiously oriented people can appreciate it. Admittedly it pokes fun primarily at scientists (rather than non-theists), but since many members of the scientific community poke fun at spiritually minded people with some regularity, in far more egregious terms, I cannot understand your pique.

  • Have you ever seen a post from me that dismisses others’ metaphysical beliefs? Ever?

    I’ve previously cited you, Edward, for your respectfulness, openmindedness, and humility. Yet here’s your “joke” in 3 words: “Laughably stupid atheists.”

    What a disrespectful way to speak of your otherbelieving peers. What a closedminded way to speak of strangers’ inviolate (emphasis) beliefs. What an arrogant way to subordinate your equals and dismiss their sacred (yes) pastures.

    Is that how you would have me treat you and your inviolate beliefs, your sacred pasture? By joking about your and their clearly, inescapably implied “stupidity”?

    I hope that you can understand my pique now, and that you will reconsider the worthiness of defending “classic” jokes that “lightly” disparage others and dismiss their metaphysical beliefs. Meanwhile, I’m going to resume my break from posts that poke fun at laughably stupid strangers who simply have differing beliefs.

  • My sincere regrets for having so offended you, one cannot always measure the tenor of the impact of one’s remarks on others’ feelings, though most of the atheists of my experience have pretty tough hides, as has been demonstrated here amply and often. But I will try to remember your argument when someone from a differing perspective makes a “humorous” remark at the expense of my beliefs. That is the best Mea Culpa I can offer you.

  • If we were to accept the existence of the Judeo-Christian God, we would then be forced to accept the existence of all gods and goddesses present in any religion (Indian, Chinese, Aztec, Mayan, Inca, Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Viking, etc) . All the ways that these religions view afterlife would have to be real, which is also contradictory. Plus so many other supernatural creatures (dragons, sea monsters, mermaids, unicorns, fairies, demigods, medusa, the minotaur, apis, and so many more) who’s existence is argued with the same kind of evidence that is used to claim that your God exists. Therefor all Gods and supernatural entities and creatures would be real and that would just be contradictory!

    The most likely reason anyone belongs to a certain religion is because they were taught to, grew up in a country and time where that religion was predominant, or it was a family thing. Odds are you didn’t even choose to belong to that religion, it was “forced” to your life by adults when you were an infant (at a time where you could not distinguish between what was a fact and what wasn’t, like whether the tooth fairy was real or not, or Santa Claus, or whatever grown ups told you was real) because that was the way they grew up too. So, did you choose to be Christian/Catholic (whatever religion you have)? Or was it imposed on you by those who surrounded you?

    Just because the Judeo-Christian God is what you choose to accept as a truth, doesn’t make it true or real!!!

    So tell me please why is your religion more likely to be true than any other religion

  • Even if nobody on this site or in the entirety of the world can precisely explain that, it does not therefore mean your particular god exists. That requires it’s own evidence.

  • “That the Christian essence, as arose out of Judaism, showed such great staying power …” This is not correct. Both Christianity and Hinduism have been significantly distorted by money power. There is no God in Vedas, but Hinduism now believes that there is a creator of the universe. There was a time when Bible had reincarnation, but it was removed later. Destiny was replaced by freewill in both of them.

    There is no proof that mathematics works for nature and in engineering. Kepler’s law is one such example. The path of a satellite cannot be an ellipse. Because earth moves around the sun, and therefore the satellite can never come back to the same point to from an ellipse. In fact in GPS Kepler’s law completely failed even after significant modifications. Take a look at various chapters in the free book at the blog site https://theoryofsouls.wordpress.com/

  • “consciousness has no physical presence in the world; the images and thoughts in our consciousness have no measurable dimensions.”

    Yes it does, it’s called the human brain.

  • The fact that you’re citing Dawkins an intellectual void completely biased without any real scholarship in terms of philosophy kind of derails any criticism you have of the author.

  • Wow. Thousands of minds far greater than yours have believed in the supernatural and the divine. The disgusting arrogance shown in these comments is truly repulsive. You cant disprove there’s a god yet you scream for evidence to be provided by people of faith. Until you can prove absolutely that there is no creator your critique is pure opinion and while you have a right to that opinion it doesn’t make you better or more intelligent than those who believe in something beyond the meager and often barbaric workings of the human spirit.

  • Wow…you are slow. Name one instance where we have believed a process to be natural, and later discovered that process to be supernatural. You can’t because that hasn’t ever happened… in fact- the exact opposite has ALWAYS happened. Never once in the history of humanity has any supernatural claim e v e r been substantiated. And so we are clear, it isn’t incumbent on me or anyone else to disprove the assertion that gods exist – as they have never been shown to actually exist. The onus of evidence rests firmly on the shoulders of those delusional enough to make these silly assertions in the 21st century. You are the product of protestant inculcation….a slave to levantine mythos. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  • No – I am saying I’ve read Dawkins and he comes off as a close minded pompous egomaniac who dismisses all ideas but his own.

  • Why? Because some toxic internet couch troll tells me to be ashamed? I don’t give one damn what you think of me or anyone else who believes in something beyond the material – I don’t even care that you believe in nothing beyond the physical world. That’s your right. I’m just not bored or arrogant enough to spend 24 hrs of my day telling everyone how stupid they are. There’s no evidence that would satisfy your qualifications for “evidence” because you would automatically scream down anything offered to you. You’re not some crusader for the better of humanity – you’re literally someone who is so incensed by something they don’t even believe in to the point of insanity that you can’t even begin to offer a rational argument against what floydlee is saying. Just shout and throw a tantrum. How evolved can you be?

  • Lol. What do you do for a living? I’m a 12 year old Christian and I’ve been doubting my faith so I come to sites like these. People like you give me a prospect of how horrible and sad my life can become. Your either going to ignore this or repltpy with some obnoxious statement but Christianity is more than God. I’m not going to be a slave to sentiment and drone on, but actually read the Bible and do not rely on misconceptions from the media. You can’t see my TV, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. But just because I said I have a TV doesn’t mean it’s there. I choose to believe because no matter what, God or no God, I win.

  • I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. If your life is horrible and sad, and your god isn’t doing anything about it, Then I suspect you either need a better class of god, or need to take some steps to make your life better.

    Christianity, as practiced by bible believing christians who wish to use their faith as a weapon against other, is far less than god. That is one the biggest problems with it,

    As for winning by believing in a god that you admit may not exist— that all depends on what you mean by winning. Personally, I would suggest you go out and enjoy the sunshine.

  • All these arguments will be invalid when we die. Everyone that commented on this page will probably live for no more than another 60years. Our thoughts and ideas will be forgotten. Isn’t it sad? It’s nice to be alive right now though, also nice to see others alive like yourself. Also weird how some little things happen to me in my life, yes coincidences they say, sometimes I really hope it’s not. I wonder why it happens if it’s not a coincidence everytime. Everyone tells me to just suck it up as there’s nothing more to it. It’s still so weird though, if I tell you the things that happen to me, then I wonder what you’ll think. Probably the same.

  • That makes no sense. The belief against something does not guarantee that thing’s existence. Wut.

  • First, you are drifting towards an Ad Hominem. Not quite there yet, but close. The hUmAN MiND anD COnscIoUSness is just electrical activity in our brain. That’s why scientists can measure dream patterns. It’s not some mystical shit. It’s literally just Brain OS running on a Brain Core i7.

  • Mathematically, your religion has just as high of a probability of being wrong. It only takes one god to falsify and kill atheism. It also only takes one god other than your own to falsify and kill your religion.

  • The Bible is literally a book. With no historical documentation or anything whatsoever. Lol. I might as well say Percy Jackson is real. Why? Because the Percy Jackson books said so. So other than the Bible, there’s pretty much no proof.

  • Yes, atheism has always been on the ropes. So has every single religion and belief. We all have an equal chance of being wrong. And our lack of knowledge is not proof of God. That’s an argument from ignorance fallacy. We can answer the question of our own existence. Comets carrying certain chemicals crashed into Earth, something like a lightning strike caused those chemicals to form the most basic of prokaryotic organisms, and through evolution, developed into the wide variety of species we have today. And if any god other than your own exists, or atheism for that matter, can your religion still be rationally true at the same time? NOPE. Care to disprove?

  • That’s true. How about simply establishing that “either atheism or some religion other than your own is correct” is absolutely more probable than than your religion?

  • …Why do you type like that? You literally just used the term git’cha. Learn to type like a 21st century person.

    As for your question, I will refer to Tjerk Muller’s response.

    So, what sayest thou?

  • I will proceed to answer all your sentences in order.
    1. Wow.
    2. That’s an argument from false authority.
    3. That’s an Ad Hominem.
    4. Yes, that’s true.
    5. Until you can prove absolutely that there is no creator skepticism is the default stance.

  • 1. Do you not realize how irrational it is to believe in something beyond the material?
    2. There are so many Ad Hominems in here I’m not even going to bother counting them.
    3. That’s because none of your evidence satisfies science’s qualifications for evidence.
    4. He’s a crusader for the reversal of the unregulated brainwashing of children since birth to believe in a big magic sky man.
    5. You seem more incensed than him.
    6. Us mere mortals have an instinct to correct someone who is wrong. Something wrong with that?

  • So if some prehistoric giraffes had a mutation that gave them a slightly longer neck that allowed them to reach more food, that’s a disadvantage? Hmm. Seems legit.

  • 1. I do homework every day for a living.
    2. How? Because we are rationally debating?
    3. A statement that disagrees with your opinion is not automatically obnoxious.
    4. We have better things to do than read a long af fiction book that doesn’t even have a good plot.
    5. When have any of us Usual Suspects given evidence from a misconception in the media?
    6. Yes, but you can see your TV, and the seller has records of you buying it, and it makes sense for you to have a TV, so I would assume that it is there. Can you say the same of God?

    7. But the existence of your TV is not responsible for the brainwashing of many children from a young age (like you), unlike Christianity.
    8. But if you believe that there is a God, and there’s no God, then you lose. You don’t win in that case. Not sure what that was all about.

  • 1. I can. Smarter creatures were better at surviving, so some creatures evolved a smarter brain in place of stronger muscles. Which in turn led to the development of a more complex consciousness.

    2. Yes there is. We have fossil and genetic evidence for the evolution of a smarter brain over time, particularly in primates.

    3. He never claimed that the photon was an explanation for the development of a consciousness.

    4. And we have psychoactive drugs to control someone else’s consciousness, or knock them out entirely.

    5. Damien’s science background is not a gift from God. It is a result of his study and hard work in school.

    6. Why didn’t you finish your comment? Is a gift from the what?

    7. You make the consciousness seem like some mysterious mystical shit, but it’s really just electrical activity in an organ. The consciousness is just Brain OS running on a Brain Core i7. Ever considered that? You’re overcomplicating something so you can use it as evidence for an argument from ignorance.

  • Well, here’s something. Just see my response to your previous comment. That should clear up your delusions.

  • I can accept that a couple different cultures might have come to slightly different conclusions. But how do you explain the difference between Christianity and Greek mythology? You’d think that such different conclusions would not be possible if there really was a God. When conducting a scientific experiment, it would make sense if one guy got 2.58 and one guy got 2.60, but it would make less sense if one guy got 2.58 and the other guy got 500.

  • It only took a single Pope to cause the Crusades and cause the murder, rape, and looting of many cities in the name of purifying religion or whatever.

    I’d say figurative language falls pretty clearly under the category of deliberate obfuscation. Why not just say, “Do this and you get to go to heaven.”
    God God God God God God. I just swore 6 times. Offended yet?
    Yeah, Hinduism has one ultimate god but it still has a ton of others tho…

  • They didn’t commit mass murder in the name of atheism specifically. They did it to prevent expression that was different from their own. Don’t pretend like Christians have never done that.

  • 1. No it’s not
    2. Christianity is a belief system centered on believing what is written in an old af fiction book. It’s basically a more developed Percy Jackson fan club.

  • Notice that u choose to not reply to Tjerk Muller’s comment because you know he’s right but haven’t gotten over it yet.

  • If God wanted us to believe, he would appear in front of everybody and say, “Hey, I exist, so y’all atheists and other-religion-ists can go suck yourselves.”

  • It is illogical to apply empiricism and science with all of their flaws and limits to that which is beyond those limits. G-d will appear in mysterious ways to different cultures. Consider that the various gods of Greek mythology may be representing various aspects of G-d and various aspects of humans. Monotheistic religions such as Christianity and Islam do not. Hinduism is a monotheistic religion that also represents the various aspect of Nirguna Brahman in its pantheon.

  • Your arguments are pretty silly, on the whole:

    1. Science and mathematics depend on difference in order to compare and contrast. God is everywhere, all the time/ There is no non-God against which God can be delineated by science and mathematics.

    2. Did you know that modern science owes its existence to ancient Hinduism which gave the world our number system, the concepts of zero and infinity, our binary number system, algebra, calculus, the “Pythagoras” theorem, atomic theory, quantum physics, the age and structure of the universe, electronics, electricity, and the list goes on.

    3. a. God is not an individual and no major world religion claims that. It is only scriptural literalists such as Atheists, Appalachian Snake Handlers, and you that make that claim. You are essentially arguing against a chimera of your mind. Good luck with that.

    3.b. There are different religions because there are different cultures, geographies, and histories but the core of those religions is the same. Those religions are only different paths toward the same light. In addition, the spiritual messages of religions are necessarily given in figurative language only. For some peculiar reason people such as you insist on misrepresenting that figurative language as literal and then argue against their own creations. Not very convincing.

    4. In claiming that mathematics and science cannot yet explain God you have trapped yourself in an infinite regress. (see point 1)

    5. Your “billions of facts from large numbers of disciplines” is just plain wrong because your beloved science is coming to the conclusion that your reality and hence the “facts’ derived therefrom is a hologram.

    6. Your beloved Darwinism is suspect.

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2010/mar/19/evolution-darwin-natural-selection-genes-wrong

    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/03/why_evolutionar/

  • rather, atheism exists because theism exists? But even that isn’t precisely correct. If nobody believed in a god, then everyone would be an atheist, but we probably would not have the word “atheist” to describe everyone. It would not be necessary.

  • an unsubstantiated assertion of a god does not explain any of that, either. It just tries to answer a mystery with a bigger mystery. We explain things in terms of what we know, not my making assertions about a magical being nobody has been able to demonstrate even exists.

    Nice try at shifting the burden of proof. The person making the claim that a deity exists has the duty to substantiate the claim.

    The “why is there something instead of nothing” question must also be applied to your god………

  • not necessarily………
    Most mutations can be reversed by subsequent mutations – a DNA base can be turned from an A to a G and then back to an A again, for instance. In fact, reverse mutation or “reversion” is common. For any mutation that results in a loss of information, logically, the reverse mutation must result in its gain.

  • belief is not a choice…..you can’t believe something unless you think it is true. Try not believing that gravity exists.

  • nothing of the sort has been demonstrated. Where are the probability calculations? How would you even begin to produce a mathematical model demonstrating a god?

    Atheism is simply a lack of belief in a god. we know atheism exists because there are people who do not believe in any gods. How is that hard to grasp?

    nobody knows what the “nones” believe or don’t believe, except that they do not identify with any religion listed on the form. Many dropped out of synagogues and temples of various religions (or never entered them in the first place), so your focus on churches is misguided.

  • It is not a hypothesis…it is merely an assertion. But for the discussion, let’s suppose it is an actual hypothesis….How do we go about testing the hypothesis in a scientific manner so that it can be brought to the level of a scientific theory?

  • All your links show is the nature of science- we learn more as time goes on.

    Credo in unum deum— one god. Except, it’s yet a lie, except we really believe in three gods, who are somehow one god, and a host of demigods.

    If everything is a hologram, which is also not what they are saying, except, perhaps, by way of analogy, then we don’t really exist. Except that someone is trying awfully hard to convince people who don’t exist that they do. Why would someone do that.thr Hindus do say that all is Maya, an illusion. Not very useful if you want to bake a cake,

    And so on.

  • So your approach to god, apart from declaring that he has always existed, in all places and everywhere, which you could not possibly know or prove, only assume, or need to believe, is that we are really dealing with the Blind Men and the Herd of Elephants, and goes right back to…

    We don’t understand—wave of hands— therefore god— we don’t understand— wave of hands— therefore we do.

    Did I say you have some pretty silly stuff?

  • The Christian argument, or more accurately, the hyper Christian argument, seems to be that we can’t explain everything, and therefore, the explanation is God. It’s pretty silly, on the whole, and as northern witness has done above, attempts to use the uncertainty of science — it’s very nature is uncertainty, with predictive power attached – As proof that science is wrong and that God is right. What I find interesting here, to bring up what seems to be a totally irrelevant topic, is the whole Holocaust denial thing. Everything from what happened 80 and 90 years ago is fairly well documented, including eye witness statements, photographs, and written accounts. And yet there are people, people who frequently declare themselves believers of the Christian God, who denied that it ever happened. And yet, they are willing to take one book, which has no credible witnesses whatsoever and no historical documentation apart from itself, which was contradictory, and was written 60 years after the fact, to declare that it must be the absolute truth. And then they refer to articles which don’t say what they claim they say.

    Shaking my head.

  • So if it is beyond the limits of empiricism, whatever that is, then it is beyond what we can know by our usual means of knowing it.

    So you’re right back where you started.

    Try again.

  • Like before, answers are all in order. Just fyi.

    1.
    Applying empiricism and science seemed to do a pretty good job of making
    the computer you’re typing on and the air conditioned room you’re
    sitting.

    2. Why is the existence of an omnipotent, omnificent, omnipresent, and omniscient entity beyond the limits of empiricism?

    3.
    So because something is completely irrational, your excuse is that
    “It’s beyond the limits of empiricism and science”? Oh, no, something
    disagrees with me, it’s because my opinion is beyond the limits of
    comprehension of the thing that disagrees with me!

    4.
    Even if He appeared differently to different cultures, you’d think that
    they would at least come to the conclusion that there was a single God,
    at the very least. See my experiment example above.

    5. You gave examples of monotheistic religions, but there are also a heck ton of religions that are polytheistic.

    6. Theoretically, I could claim that the Ultimate Rainbow Nyan Cat from the twelfth dimension spoke to me in my dreams and asked me to take over the fast food industry and put chocolate flavoring in hamburger buns. I could claim that the Nyan Cat was a octo-gender being who peed out our universe after drinking a big soda. And since there is no evidence against this, we can’t say it is wrong, so I could present it as a real religion where the goal of life is to take over the fast food industry. And this is true because I said so in this comment, which I will now treat as my religion’s Bible.

  • 1. You are comparing apples to watermelons with you computer reference. As we are reminded in Matthew 22:21, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s”.

    2. Aside from its inherent flaws, empiricism requires that in order to know G, there must be non-G against which to compare, contrast, and define. But G is everywhere, all the time and there is no non-G, therefore empiricism is inadequate for accessing G.

    3. G is not irrational. God is suprarational. You are dependent on the wrong tools.

    4. God is not an individuated entity and no major world religion makes that claim. Christianity, Islam, Hinduisim, Judaism are all monotheistic.

    5. The so-called polytheistic religions are merely using metaphor to emphasize different aspect of God or different aspect of humans.

    6. You are losing it. Stay calm. There are other means of accessing God. Learn them. Use them.

  • 1. That Bible quote doesn’t explain how I’m wrong to make that comparison.

    2. Empiricism doesn’t have any flaws or whatever. It’s only limit is that it depends on rationalism, which I would say is more of a benefit than a limit because it prevents (unsuccessfully, in this case) the spread of false information that is logically fallacious. And I’m not even going to bother trying to figure out what the rest of number 2 means. But you saying so doesn’t make it correct.

    3. It is indeed superrational. It is beyond reason. Reason can’t successfully be applied to it. Reason disagrees with it. Therefore, it is irrational. Changing it to a fancier word doesn’t make you correct.

    4. What about minor world religions? And do cults count? Again, see my Nyan Cat example.

    5. But there are other religions that are so incredibly ridiculous, could you possibly claim they are describing the same God? Again, see my Nyan Cat example. And if you say they are simply wrong, why are they wrong and your religion isn’t?

    6. No I’m not. I know that text does not convey emotions very well, but I promise you I am in no way salty, triggered, tilted, or incensed.

    7. Every single comment, you use the same logic. “You are convincing me with cold hard logic that I can find no flaws in? Well, I’ll just say that it’s because God is beyond logic, reasoning, and rationalism.” And if God is really so mysterious and immaterial and supernatural and beyond observation, how do you know he exists? What gave you that idea in the first place? That’s right. Someone else. And someone else gave him that idea. And someone else gave that idea to him. If you trace it back all the way, it really was just a group of ancient people who used God as an explanation for things they didn’t know. And no, you can’t use God as an explanation, because we know today that that is a fallacy called the “Argument from Ignorance”.

    8. I see you didn’t write a response for my Nyan Cat example. Did you not have one?

  • 1. Apples to watermelons. Science producing a computer has zero to do with the inability of science to access that which is beyond its flaws and limits.

    2. Empircism doesn’t have limits??? Ever heard of hearing aids, eye glasses, dark matter, dark energy? But you did identity one of the major errors of empiricism – its dependence of rationism which requires differences to work, compare and contrast. I can understand your difficulty in “trying to figure out what the rest of number 2 means” because it is logic and thinking makes your head hurt.

    3. I didn’t say “superrational”, I said “suprarational”. Suprarational is defined as transcending the rational, or being based on or involving factors which are incomprehensible to reason alone Yes, God is beyond the limits of rationalism for the reasons stated in two which you were admittedly unable to understand.

    4. There are cults and sects that are scriptural literalists – Atheism is one of them. Appalachian Snake Handler are another. The antics of both are both amusing.

    5. Your view of ridiculous is what doesn’t agree with your limited understanding and learning abilities and it is merely a defense mechanism that attempts to cover up your entrenched ignorance.

    6. Do you realize that your screed demonstrates that you are losing it?

    7. God is not a “He”. That is your first mistake. There are other means of accessing God. Learn them. Use them.

    8. Your example is gibberish.

  • 1. You keep talking about the flaws and limits of science and empiricism. What are those, specifically?

    2. I bet a computer would have seemed pretty godly to a Roman emperor.

    3. Hearing aids and eyeglasses are completely rational, not sure what you’re getting at there. Dark matter and dark energy we simply don’t know much about because they are hard to observe. I don’t see how those defy reason.

    3. Rationalism doesn’t require differences to compare and contrast. I don’t know why you think that. It’s just the practice of reason.

    4. I have difficulty in understanding number 2 because you are purposely using confusing vocabulary and sentence structure to try and throw me off.

    5. The last time I checked, you were the one who was denying logic and thinking, not me.

    6. How do you know God is everywhere, all the time? Who told you that? The Bible?

    7. Even if he is, why does that mean he is beyond rationalism? Gravity is everywhere, all the time. I’d say we have a reasonably thorough understanding of gravity, which, by the way, is based on empiricism. Nothing really to compare gravity with.

    8. “Transcending the rational” is just another way of saying “it doesn’t make sense”.

    9. There are cults and sects that are scriptural literalists – Christianity is
    one of them. Appalachian Snake Handler is another. The antics of both
    are both amusing.

    10. No, my view of ridiculous is a magic sky man who created the universe in six days and the evidence for him is a book that says so and a person who responds to every argument with “God is beyond reason”.

    11. So because my arguments disagree with yours, they are considered a screed.

    12. You committed more Ad Hominem fallacies in that comment alone than I think I’ve ever committed in this entire comments section. I think I can fairly say that you are the one who is losing it.

    13. Again, text does not convey emotions well, so I promise you that I am in no way salty, tilted, triggered, or incensed.

    14. It says “He” multiple times in the Bible.

    15. I never said there’s one means of accessing God. And, could you tell me the other means, by any chance? Learning them and using them has to start somewhere.

    16. Your view of gibberish is what doesn’t agree with your limited
    understanding and learning abilities and it is merely a defense
    mechanism that attempts to cover up your entrenched ignorance.

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