Is God real?
so many times this question has popped up in history. Why can't it be solved? Is God real or not? What is the one true answer?
Side Score: 65
Side Score: 62
If God doesn't exist, where did we come from? The classic comparison is to a watch in a desert; it obviously didn't just appear there. Just by probability, there is only a 1 in 10 to the 39,950th power chance that, even after billions of years, a single bacterium would evolve on its own, let alone a complex organism such as a human being. Even with this statistic, there is no explanation as to how the world could have begun without including a God factor, due to the fact that, to quote Newton, "an object at rest remains at rest until acted upon by a force." (I don't believe these are his exact words, but the point remains; it is impossible by the laws of nature for the world to have come into being without some sort of triggering force, and without God there is no place for such a force to exist.) As per all the questions that are of the genre, "If God exists, why does he do...?" There is one sweeping answer that may not be so convincing, may not be easy to accept, and may require a study of religion to comprehensively understand, and that is that who on earth are you, a human being, to question what God does? God is omnipotent and therefore knows exactly what to do, when to do it, and why to do it, while until the end of his life a human can live in denial of basic facts.
One more point, possibly the most important, although this is irrelevant to the debate, is that there is absolutely no risk in believing in God, and there are even benefits inherent to being religious, while there is ne obvious risk to denying God's existence. The idea is to look at the other side: If you are religious and God really doesn't exist then, although you may live a life with a false purpose, it makes no difference to you it because is no more false than any of the other purposes people believe they have; if, however, you deny God's existence and are wrong, you will likely lead a very empty life and be in deep trouble after you die.
There is a lot more to write on this subject and I would love to continue, but I do not have the capacity to anticipate all of the points that can be made against my position. I will therefore try as best as I could to respond to all those who disagree with me. I also must advise anyone that wants to see a clear work on this subject to read Lawrence Kelemen's "Permission to Believe"; this book responds to many of the doubts that people have about God and religion.
Last but not least, to all those who reply to my "thesis", guess which denomination of which religion I belong to.
If your central argument is the idea that God must exist because we must come from somewhere, I am still somewhat unsatisfied. How does the fact that we exist imply that religious texts, for example are accurate. And if a creator exists, what implies that that being is, as you say, "omnipotent and therefore knows exactly what to do, when to do it, and why to do it."
If some being exists that created the universe and life and such, where did that entity come from? The answer: We don't know. But not knowing isn't evidence either way, and it's certainly not evidence for any specific religion.
If some 'triggering force' existed, what are the odds, do you think, that it would be exactly as described in some book that was written a mere 2000 years ago when life has existed on this planet for billions of years?
In regards to the idea of 'risk,' I think that religion is actually one of the scariest things you can think about because of the reasons for morals. Scenario 1: As a religious person, you are holy and good so you can get into heaven. Not too bad, right? People do the right thing, and even if they are doing it because they are afraid of burning forever (literally FOREVER) it's ok.
Well imagine if the morals laid out in religious texts are false. Then people do the right thing because… it's the right thing to do. They aren't responding to scare tactics or being kind out of fear, they are being good because they want to make the world a better place.
Which world sounds better?
The only evidence you presented was that the universe must have had a triggering force. To sum it all up, my main issues are this.
1) An imaginary being does not solve the problem you raise. Any force would require some sort of triggering force, which would require it's own origin. If you say God can be eternal, why can't the universe be eternal without God? Where did God come from if everything needs to come from something?
2) Your evidence does not give any reason why any religious texts or beliefs should be followed. The fact that we don't know about the origins of life has no direct connection to man-made writings and teachings.
I hope this doesn't come off as a direct attack because I do want to have a real discussion about this and you seem quite reasonable. (I wrote this kind of late at night so I hope all my points got across effectively and respectfully)
First off, thanks for your openess to discussion.
As you acknowledged, most of my arguments were based on the fact that there are certain phenomena, such as the world that we live in, that seem inexplicable without the existence of God. That said, I don't believe I touched on anything about specific religions in my arguments; that is something I can discuss but at the same time the issue at hand is God's existence, which I believe, is more basic and pressing than religion itself. I would also like to keep this discussion as far away from religion as possible so as to lay a foundation for the arguments for and against each religion.
In regards to what you wrote about the universe being eternal, I would like to bring in the following two scientific theories about our universe's status. According to one theory, the universe comes into being, expands, implodes on itself, and starts from the beginning. This cycle would fit in with your point. According to the other theory, the universe has one starting point and has since that beginning been expanding, never to stop. Until recently scientists believed that either option was viable but scientific developments in the past 50 or so years seem to be leaning towards the constantly expanding theory. According to this, the world must have had a beginning. As to where God comes from, if He is eternal, He technically would not have come from anything.
As per your other point, I would like to bring in a concept that I believe ties in to both of your points and that is the idea that that we exist in a "physical" dimension and God exists in a "spiritual" dimension. According to this idea, the physical dimension is an existence within that of the spiritual dimension; a figment of God's imagination is the easiest way for me to describe it, although this is not such an accurate description. If such is the case a) God obviously knows and feels everything within the both physical and spiritual universes and b) Since time is relative it would only exist in our, physical, dimension, whereas in the spiritual dimension time would not exist in the first place. While I cannot directly prove this, I believe that this is a sensible way of explaining the concept of the God that exists in my other arguments that can address a few of the problems you bring up.
About "the book that was written a mere 2000 years ago," (which, I assume, is referring to the New Testament,) keep in mind that the Old Testament dates back to the revelation at sinai in approximately 1312 BCE and, if claims are true, has been in some form of existence for an eternity. As per scientific evidence showing that the world is billions of years old, could God not have created this planet with different isotopes of carbon at different levels, thus making it appear that the levels are arranged the way they are due to their age? If this is so, the world could have been created a "mere" 5775 years ago (I chose that number for a reason, by the way) and Bible could accurately describe that creation.
Lastly, your argument about risk has two main problems:
a) If God and religion do not exist, nothing you do matters in the long run, and therefore anything that might make the world a better place under the auspices of religion is pointless. One might as well become a selfish hedonist.
b) While having a false sense of purpose may also in the long run be pointless, at least there's a chance that it is not false. (I am writing this in respone to your paragraph beginning "Well imagine...," but I don't get the feeling that I understood what you were writing. If this is a good response fine; if not try to clarify that paragraph further.)
I know I have not yet proven any definite connection between God and religious texts and have tried to keep away from religion in this debate yet have used religious ideas in this argument; I will attempt to have a go at that if you feel there's still a problem.
First of all, I would like to point out that by asking "If God doesn't exist, where did we come from?" you are simply adding another step to the answer to the classic question "how did we get here." Science is in the process of discovering the origins of our universe (although I suspect we may never fully understand it). In response to your question, I have one thing to ask: where did your God come from? You argue that the universe could not have been created without a God, yet this still leaves the question of where God came from. You refuse to believe that the universe itself could have began without "divine intervention" but you seem to have no problem with accepting the fact that God was just always there; end of story.
Another point I would like to make is that you made no reference to where you got your probability argument from. If you want me to take you seriously don't just quote a number you found on AnswersInGenesis.com and use a reputable source.
Furthermore, your argument concerning Newton's First Law of Motion is, in my opinion, irrelevant and redundant. If you were to correctly employ logic in your reasoning, you basically argue that nothing should exist, because, using your logic (" it is impossible by the laws of nature for the world to have come into being without some sort of triggering force") then the existence of God is unreasonable as well. That is, of course, unless you have "faith."
Now, about your next argument. You state "who on earth are you, a human being, to question what God does? God is omnipotent and therefore knows exactly what to do, when to do it, and why to do it, while until the end of his life a human can live in denial of basic facts." Unfortunately this is not a live debate, so I will give you something to think about instead of respond to immediately. How do you know all of this? Perhaps the question we should be asking is who are you to assume that God is all of those things? It seems that religious people are rather skilled at knowing exactly what God wants, despite the fact that according to you he is an infinitely more advanced and omnipotent being. And, all of this is based on a few religious books such as the Qu'ran and the Bible ,which have both been translated and rewritten hundreds of times over thousands of years. Does that sound like a reliable source of information to you? You also state that " while until the end of his life a human can live in denial of basic facts." I would like to point out that religious people are infamous of doing this; they deny things science has proven and simply state "we must have faith."
In response to your point that you said is irrelevant to the debate, I agree for the most part. People can find enlightenment and comfort through religion and I am in no way saying that it is evil or useless. it is just that my morals lie in the truth, logic and the furthering of human knowledge, which religion (in my opinion) does nothing to propagate.
Finally, I hope that you find the time to reply to my reply (lol) and thank you for the book recommendation. I am curious as to the other side of the argument and like to see what my "opponents" believe and think in order to have more empathy and understanding. (Instead of just butting heads on the topic endlessly).
By the way, if I would have to guess, I'd say that you belong to Christianity as you referred to God as "God" and not "Allah." Also, you may live in the Caribbean as your profile picture may suggest, and I know that the Caribbean is rife with Christianity.
Thanks for giving me time to think and respond; I haven't been on in a while.
I am writing this minutes after reading your response to my arguments in attempt to make up for the time you've had to wait for a reply so I hope my haste doesn't reflect in the quality of my arguments; if I have time I'll try to come up with a more thought-out response.
In your first paragraph, you disputed what I wrote about the lack of natural explanation of the universe's existence proving God's existence. I liked your point about science being the process of discovering the origins of our universe; however, the fact of the matter is, as you suspect, we may never fully understand it. There are many concepts in science that humans barely begin to understand. Take bonds, for example. While at fist glance one may think that it is simple to attach two items, at the molecular level there are invisible forces that, as much as we can measure, analyze, and harness them, we simply don't understand. Why do protons and electrons attract? While I know that the science of Quantum Physics is centered around this sort of question, will we ever be able to understand electromagnetism the way we understand why a sticky note stays on the wall? Somehow I doubt it. Assuming this one example is enough, I will move on, although if you want more examples there are plenty.
Once we realize that we will likely never find physical explanations for happenings in the physical universe, we must understand that there is something beyond physical at work. This is the part that seems to be turning many people off so I'll try to explain as I best could. Forget about the word God for a second. At this point, we are sitting in a physical world, that, when thought about, makes no sense. "How did it start?" is the question we must attempt to answer. At this point I'd like to throw in some Talmudic logic (I'm Jewish by the way): a question proves the answer. An explanation can be proven by lack of viable alternatives. This question proves that there is a force outside of the physical that envelops it, and that force would be a spiritual being; in other words, God. The key here is to realize that according to this answer, God is not a physical being that can be sensed by our bodies, rather He exists in a a different dimension ungoverned by physical limitation. The way I like to think of it is that God "imagines" us; not imagine in the literal sense of the word but that we are to God as a thought would be to us(. The last sentence is not a proven theology, rather a possibility as to what a being outside of the physical realm would be like).
With this answer I'd like to respond to your point about Newton's First Law. Newton's laws are laws of physics and would only affect physical beings; in a nonphysical realm there would be no such constraints. I know that this may not feel like a satisfying answer, but seeing as that entire point of what I have written so far is essentially that whatever created the physical world is neither within it nor constrained by its laws, there is no issue. (Again, you must keep in mind that the question proves the answer.)
I have more to write but I am out of time at the moment; I will try to continue as soon as possible.
The fact that things are happening is not proof for an all powerful being who can do whatever it wants. By your logic, how would you differ from an argument about the Christian God (saying 'look at the miracle of birth God is real') and say, Greek gods (look at this rain. Breathe this air. Feel that love. Gods are real!)
Science has plenty of explanations. Just because you aren't aware of them doesn't mean they don't exist.
you speak of miracles but have you seen the state of the world lately. War, famine, rampant poverty are all realities many people have to face.
Miracles I believe are not magic tricks such as separating the seas, miracles are derived from our ability to surpass ourselves, to prove to others that we are fundamentally good and selfless people. What someone calls a miracle can just be someone else helping that person such as helping homeless people get back on their feet, giving children the opportunity to receive an education and not have to live in ghettos where drugs and violence are what they face every day. Miracles come from us.
In my opinion as a Christian, I believe God exists. The only proof that I need to believe God exists is faith. You have to have faith in order to believe.
Yes, I know that is not scientific proof which many of you require in order to believe. Although how can you prove God doesn't exist? This debate is really opinion related.
If you want some extra proof you should watch the movie God's Not Dead.
Ok, you believe because you have faith. But… why do you have faith? It clearly isn't innate, otherwise everyone would be Christian. So… where did this faith originate?
If it came from like, your family or the way you were raised, then how can you say this is a legitimate belief? If your only reason is because someone else told you to have faith, how can that truly be your belief?
You can't prove God doesn't exist, but you can't prove Harry Potter doesn't exist either and people don't formulate their life morals, figure out how they treat others, and start wars based on Harry Potter…
Okay so you think that God doesn't exist because you cannot see him or touch him. Also my faith did not just come from my family telling me that to believe in God you must have faith, my parents didn't force me to be a Christian, I chose to be a Christian by reading the Bible and personally witnessing miracles myself.
If you can't prove God doesn't exist you can't prove your brain, cold, or darkness exists either. Because darkness is merely the absence of light, and cold is the absense of heat. You say that God isn't real because you can't see him or feel him. Well you can't feel cold, you are just feeling the absence of heat.
Man take off the blinders, I guess you never heard of any other religion besides Christianity and Secular Humanism. But there is a whole world full of religions out there . who told you about your faith of secular humanism, how can you say that your secular humanism is a legitimate belief .
Maybe you missed where he said he has a belief /faith in God so your rant about him not being able to prove the existence is moot and irrelevant, and is an attack on his beliefs.
Intolerant people like you have been the bane of humanity forever
Although I support your side of the argument, I believe that most of what you wrote does more to undermine our position than support it. Firstly, "faith" and "belief" are synonoyms, so your second and third sentences contain some warped logic. Secondly, whether God exists is a fact and facts are not opinion related.
Ironically, though, your mention of a movie, which was what originally what turned me off from your arguments, turned out to be, after I saw a synopsis of it, the one thing you mentioned that I do support. Although the movie doesnt quite seem to prove God's existence, it definitely puts the dispute into perspective.
Everything has a beginning.I might be a beginner to debating yet i believe god is very real.Yes we might not see god but that is hardly a excuse to stop believing in god.It doesnot define who we are otherwise.if theres no god who are we? thnk about it.To prove my point we are seeing many strange things nowadays which scientists cant explain.So i say it again god is real.
Yes we might not see god but that is hardly a excuse to stop believing in god.
Well, it certainly isn't a reason to start believing in God. If there is no evidence of something existing, then don't believe it. What you should do is say "I don't know," not just pick an unsupported explanation.
It doesnot define who we are otherwise.if theres no god who are we? thnk about it.
We are human. If there is no God, we should be moral/correct because it's the right thing to do, not because we will be punished for eternity if we don't. We should be good to eachother because that's how society will flourish, and it will make our lives good.
To prove my point we are seeing many strange things nowadays which scientists cant explain.
Like what? Please, do tell! This is exciting, since it has never happened before.
Cool you seem to be great at finding faults. Ok then lets see your first counterargument is that i should just say there is no god if i cant explain it. Well yes Being a human like you I can only prove the existence of god through many evidences. Also being a muslim i know that the Quran didnot just fall into existence. As we believe the Quran are the words of God. Yet look around you except for athiest every religion has a god. Because all of us believe one thing there must be a creator or else who could have created the earth itself the seas the sky itself!The creatures that scientists have shown to have lived before even mankind like dinosaurs those didnot just pop into existence.They were created by God.Lets see your next problem.ah! so you think if theres no God we would be moral and correct.Can you say me nowadays how many people are good and honest. its a very rare number. That is because most of us are moving away from the path that God has enligthened us with through many prophets.There is murder,treachery,betrayal and all other new kind of activities that have developed. Do you think if god havent intervened our lives through the teaching of prophets we would still be the same today. And the last one I wanted to say about one incident . It happened recently where a man died and couldnot be buried because there was a snake with him although the people were sure there was none at first. At last they had to tug the snake out to bury him. when the people were quiestioned they had no answer. strange even and about unexplained things by scientist you seem to say that scientist understand everything that is happening in the universe.
Yes, what determines fate? Science, I think not. Science does not know when a persons number is up. Doctors and no member of the scientific community can,t tell you why somebody with barely a scratch dies and others continue to live despite all their complications. God is the only answer that works and even doctors trained by science will tell you it is out of their hands.
Depends on your definition of God. If you think of God as Western religions define him, then no God doesn't exist. There is no person type thing that created the world in 7 days or whatever and will send you to Hell if you displease him.
My definition of God, being Hindu, is greatly different. God isn't a him or a her but an omnipresent force that has existed before time. It didn't create the world, and doesn't decide anything about the world. It exists inside of everything; me, you, Gandhi, Hitler, a tree, a rock, space, etc.
Scientists call it consciousness. Scientists know consciousness exists, so you can say my definition of god is wrong. You may argue that rocks don't have consciousness, but once you read the link you will have a new outlook on consciousness.
I know my definition of God isn't what many of you are thinking of,but if you look deeply God in all of the theistic religions is just a manifestation of consciousness. In Hinduism there aren't "many Gods" there is one God that is the consciousness in every thing on Earth.
I believe in God but the way you are acting, is not the way a Christian would act. A true Christian wouldn't discriminate and bash other people's religions. Why do you think that people have started hating Christians? Because they are the ones discriminating other people's religions. I have many friends who are Atheists and yet do I bash their belief? No, I do no such thing as that is not right.
there are philosophers who want to draw an ontological distinction between existence and reality. Take for example Russell: in The Problems of Philosophy, Russell defines existence as the set of all things that can be located in space in time; however, he claims that there are also Universals, which have reality or subsist, but are not spatiotemporally located.
Similarly, you might use an existence-reality distinction to talk about fictional mental content, e.g. The content of my thoughts about unicorns is in a sense real, insofar as those thoughts are intentional mental states, that I actually in fact have, about unicorns, but the content of my thoughts about unicorns doesn't exist, insofar as those intentional properties fail to refer to anything in the real world.
Questions for Christians on their belief of a deity, if you can answer them intellectually go ahead, I would love to hear your response.
Whose prayers does God answer? And if it's ultimately His Will, why bother praying?
If your child were dying, and I hope that never happens, would just pray for them or would you take them to a doctor? And if you'd do both, which one do you think has more of an impact?
If you have an exam coming up, what would contribute more to a higher score: Prayer or more studying?
What matters to God more: The quantity of people praying or the quality of their prayers? If quantity matters, shouldn't the most popular team always win the Super Bowl? If quality matters, why do people you love sometimes die no matter what you do?
What do you make of Muslims who think the Koran is the true holy book? Are they wrong? Have you read the Koran? Why do you dismiss them so easily?
Why would God make people gay and then punish them for being gay?
In reality, you are right about prayer; God, being omnipotent, has no real need for prayer in regard to decision-making. However, there are a few things to keep in mind about prayer and religion before jumping to conclusions:
Prayer is telling God what you want (as I mentioned before God's omnipotency allows him to know what we need and what is good for us); prayer is a way of demonstrating our belief in not just God's existence but in the fact that he has the power to do what we want and need. For example, if one is sick and prays to God, they are not begging God to heal them; rather they are accepting the fact that if it is best for them to be healed they will be healed and if it is not to be than it is because that is what is best for them. The result is that the patient becomes more accepting of God's power; a "side effect" is that he becomes more worthy of living.(I do have more to write on this subject and will try to pick this up again soon.)
In regards to gays, please answer the following question for me: Men and women can be differentiated between due to certain phyiscal characteristics that they have. If you would like to look at it through a racism perspective, so can blacks and whites. There is one group of people that claim to have characteristics that make them different but have no biological, herditary, or physical features that set them apart. What about a person makes them gay?
some people just choose to be gay.
If you can choose to be gay, and it is easy, care to demonstrate? Become gay for a week or something. Don't worry, you'll be able to change back and I'm sure God will understand because you'll finally be able to settle this debate.
When did you choose to be straight?
You are aware that there is exactly 0 evidence that supports this claim, right? If there is, please provide it.
Why would anyone choose to be gay in this day and age? When people like you exist who say that homosexuality is sinful?
People can't choose their preferences. Try picking which food tastes the best to you. Or 'choosing' anything else that your brain is naturally attracted to.
You are a stupid boy if you think gay people choose to be gay. Please explain why people would choose to be gay in places like the Middle East where they are killed for being gay. Why would they choose a life of persecution? It's far from easy to be gay even in western countries. For example in the in the UK 1/6 people believe that gays should be persecuted. The idea that gay people choose to be gay is retarded. You are a fine example of why I am justified in hating Christians. You are scum.
You cannot choose what gender you are attracted to. You could not have chosen to have been attracted to the same gender could you? It is the same for gays in the way that they could not choose to be attracted to the opposite gender. You are attracted to who you are attracted to and it is not a choice.
Ok, so the war that has raged on for years. Is god real? For centuries humans have relied on the idea of a greater being than ourselves. Ancient paintings, writing prove this. But, weird things happen all around us EVERY DAY the fact that the earth is at an exact position for it to keep at a temperature for us to neither burn or become ice cubes. The fibbonachi sequence is quite amazing. To say it is just a coincidence is ridiculous. I do not believe in the bearded god that is described in various places. Maybe in a superior consciousness.
But, weird things happen all around us EVERY DAY the fact that the earth is at an exact position for it to keep at a temperature for us to neither burn or become ice cubes.
That is patently false. The Earth lies within a rather large (relatively) range necessary to support life. This claim you made is one that is repeated often and made out of ignorance.
The fibbonachi sequence is quite amazing. To say it is just a coincidence is ridiculous.
You declare this, yet provide no argument to support it. What evidence do you have to suggest that it didn't come about via "coincidence"?
I firmly believe that it's the fear of sin and fear of loss that’s existing in a physical form or in the form of an idol which is given the term called GOD. If someone closely observes into the fathom of Indian mythology and read "Mahabharatam" which is the background of how and why one started worshiping, for those who don't know the story let me tell you at a glance:
Nakula and Sahadeva are the sons of Pandu,
When Pandu is on the death pier he calls his sons Nakula and Sahadeva and asks them to eat his pinkies, after they follow his suite they will get the power to foresight and can visualize the whole KURUKSHETRA war, meanwhile Lord Krishna who got the information regarding this walks up to these young people and throws a nemesis at them that if they reveal what they knew out of their foresight their skulls will go into pieces. Burning in rage Nakula and Sahadeva shot by throwing a curse to Krishna, that their dead bodies should be burnt on his heart. Taken aback Krishna promised to accompany them at the KURUKSHETRA as the nemesis once thrown can't be taken back" this is a small part which most of the mythological books will not emphasize.
The points I would like to draw in relevance with the context of the debating topic are as follows:
1. Lord Krishna who is the almighty is worried about the physical form which he is in and that is one of the utmost reasons for him be biased with the PANDAVAS, 'GOD' is more beyond its verbal form, like a word that refers to pupil who take tutelage or educate to tear apart the innocence but instead in the above context the form is carrying torch for his own physical form rather than look at the survival of many others lives. Nakula and Sahadeva started to worship Krishna because of their fear of loss of their lives and the vice-versa
2. On a vis-a-vis look at your mother, if you are trying to touch a hot body, she picks up the reflexes more fast than our reflexes update us. That is also indeed from the fear of loss, fear of losing her own blood. The thesis of godliness says that all are equal, in that case why should there be a division into casts and sub-casts.
Well, the very old saying, depending on the quality of bread the division is done. But GOD has to be somebody who will be able to foresee things, If he foresighted that the division will create a lot of turmoil in a common man's life he (the form) should not encourage it.
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar the writer of the Indian Constitution was a bit biased towards the lower sections of the society for their uplift, he had a clear foresight that a span of decade will help them get a better quality of life and bread, and the laws can be amended once the span is finished. Unfortunately, no such amendments are done.
Here from this I would like to emphasize two points:
a) The foresight of Ambedkar helped a lot to the country of India and his prolific penning down of constitution of India would symbolize the thesis of godliness.
b) Also excelling at the point given helps you define rules and regulations. Society and stature can't buy peace.
Rather than painting the towns in red on occasions of festival, it would be helpful if we paint the toilets of schools and make kids get the difference between myth and fact.
If GOD is a physical form then YES, it’s your mother who gave you birth, YES! your father who made you sit on his back and walked the roads for you instead. The teacher who taught you how to look at life
If GOD means just an idol, stagnant and motionless in the sanctum sanctorum of a temple then definitely it’s the other side of the coin.
To date there is no empirical, measurable, testable, nor observable evidence of a god. There is nothing that can be verified through the scientific method that leads us to conclude that a god exists or had any part in our existence. I cannot say god doesn't exist 100% but there is literally no reason to believe that one does. And if one does it hasnt made any effort to make itself known to us in any tangible, meaningful way.