Debate and Discussion

Proof of God?
StaceyMontgomery at 8:10PM, Sept. 1, 2008
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Internet debates tend to wander - so I'm always trying to focus them a little bit. Forgive me if this one is not interesting.

But the various “evolution” threads have me thinking. Many people seem very determined to find “proof” of god, that is, material evidence of god's existence. Like, evolution doesnt really work so god must create all the species.

For me, this is “the god of the gaps,” the idea that you find proof for god in the gaps in scientific knowledge, until some creeypy scientist fills those gaps in (which must be annoying!). I often notice that when I make an argument about science (say, in favor of the theory of evolution) many people get quite distressed, as I seem to be arguing against their God. This always confuses me.

Now, Im an atheist, but if I accepted Theism tomorrow (it happns to atheists every day, after all, so it could happen to me) I don't think i would have to edit any of my scientific knowledge. Surely God is big enough to create gravity and electricity and number theory and evolution. I do not see why you need to find proof of miracles to find proof of God. If there is proof for god, surely we would find it in our hearts - that's where he seems to have done all of his best work anyway.

If guess that idea of “Proof” and “God” just don't seem to mix for me. God is not a murder trial or geometry puzzle, surely! i dont think “proof” of God would ever convince me - I would need an Experience of grace, i think, or something equally profound.

So my question is - do you need physical proof for God? Do you look for it? Does the idea make any sense to you? And if you do need and find physical proof, what does that mean to you?
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
HippieVan at 8:55PM, Sept. 1, 2008
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If I were to believe in god, I would definitely need some pretty heavy evidence, if not proof. The answer, “It is God's will,” isn't even close to enough for me to begin to have faith in god. Generally, the idea of god and religion doesn't make much sense to me. That's not to say that I don't think there could be some force out there somewhere, but a big man who wants us to all follow his ten rules just doesn't seem logical to me.
I don't look for proof of god because it doesn't matter to me. I just don't think the idea of the Christian god seems any more plausible than, say, the Greek gods or Norse gods.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:49PM
ozoneocean at 9:24PM, Sept. 1, 2008
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I'm having a break from debate for a while, but you've always got good posts Stace so I can came back for this. :)

I don't believe in gods, but I don't think you need “proof” to believe in them either. If there are such things as gods, I'd imagine they'd be rather difficult for humans to comprehend in any normal way.

What I hear over and over and over again regarding the “proof” thing usually involves what I would consider people with a very rudimentary outlook on life and… Well they say bizarre things:
It's usually all this crap about finding Noah's Arc, “speaking in tongues” (a concept they don't even understand), answered prayers, the very existence of the Christian bible, etc. And that “proves” that their faith is genuine. On the converse those doofuses tend to turn into the Atheists that everybody hates; you know, the annoying proselytisers out to tell everyone the “good news”. The reasoning goes that they needed “proof” to believe in the first place, then later on that “proof” is undermined and so the whole thing's not real.
-Usually involves some closet racism as well because other culture's faiths are automatically false and don't need their “proof” undermined.

With those people, I ignore what they say about their religion being either the one and only or not being real at all for two reasons:
1. Their reasoning is rudimentary.
2. I know they'll likely bounce back and forth between those concepts all their lives, from one aspect of zealotry to another, like a pendulum, except for them there's never much middle ground.
—————-

In the end, I say leave proof for the things that need it (all aspects of ordinary life). If you've got a faith of some kind and you're happy about that, then good for you! But if you need “proof” for it, then you probably have some trouble with the concept of “faith” to start with… So it might be an idea to reconsider the whole religion thing. It might not be for you ;)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
DAJB at 12:54AM, Sept. 2, 2008
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Yup - seems to me that proof and faith are very different things. But then “proof” can be a very subjective thing!

When some of the earlier probes were being sent to Mars, a guy I worked with said that - if they found life on Mars - it would destroy his belief in God. I've never understood that. As an atheist, I wouldn't consider finding life on another planet “proof” of anything other than that there is life on other planets. But, if you do believe there's a God capable of having created every form of life on Earth, how is it any harder to believe he created whatever forms of life there may be on other planets, too? Surely it would just be extra proof of his omnipotence?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
ozoneocean at 1:28AM, Sept. 2, 2008
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DAJB
Yup - seems to me that proof and faith are very different things. But then “proof” can be a very subjective thing!

When some of the earlier probes were being sent to Mars, a guy I worked with said that - if they found life on Mars - it would destroy his belief in God. I've never understood that. As an atheist, I wouldn't consider finding life on another planet “proof” of anything other than that there is life on other planets. But, if you do believe there's a God capable of having created every form of life on Earth, how is it any harder to believe he created whatever forms of life there may be on other planets, too? Surely it would just be extra proof of his omnipotence?
Exactly!
It almost makes you want to become religious just t show them how to do it properly…
lol!

If that didn't involve a fundamental level of hypocrisy. :(

Still, I think that “requirement of proof” type of religiosity sort of cheapens and devalues the religions that those people follow, changing them from on-going cultural institutions into fair-ground side-show experiences.
-And if the sideshow fails to live up to expectations, or that pickle in their religious Big Mac tastes different one time… Well, then those centuries of culture, art and history mean NOTHING
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
Sea_Cow at 10:52AM, Sept. 2, 2008
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If there was proof of God, then everybody would have to believe, which would defeat what I think is the point of religion in the first place. God and Christianity is about belief. People who believe in God without definitive proof are Christian, or Jewish(which also depends on if they believe Jesus was our savior or not), and people who don't are atheist. Same goes with Islam, Hinduism, and the others. I don't know about Buddhism. It's kind of hard to explain unless you are one.
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arteestx at 1:04PM, Sept. 2, 2008
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Sea_Cow
If there was proof of God, then everybody would have to believe, which would defeat what I think is the point of religion in the first place.
Even when I was Methodist, I never understood this reasoning. Why is the point of religion to believe in something you can't see? Why does God have to hide? If an absentee father said to his child, “You won't see me most of the time, but I'll come help you after you call me, otherwise I'll stay out of your way” I think we'd all agree that's pretty pathetic parenting. So why is this ok for God?

The only argument that remotely made sense is the “free will” argument. As in, if you *knew* God was there, then you wouldn't have free will to follow Him, do good, choose your own path, etc. and therefore who spends eternity in Heaven. But the effect of that reasoning means that God needs to figure out who to send to Hell, and the only way to do that is to hide. Not very nice if you ask me.

Plus, I'm not sure that *knowing* God is there means you're gonna do what he wants. I mean, we *know* our parents are around, yet we don't do what they always say, even if we know deep down they're right. Surely a being as creative and powerful as God could come up with a system that keeps free will in place, without resorting to sending the vast majority of His children to eternal torment.


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StaceyMontgomery at 2:01PM, Sept. 2, 2008
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arteestx
The only argument that remotely made sense is the “free will” argument. As in, if you *knew* God was there, then you wouldn't have free will to follow Him, do good, choose your own path, etc. and therefore who spends eternity in Heaven. But the effect of that reasoning means that God needs to figure out who to send to Hell, and the only way to do that is to hide. Not very nice if you ask me.

Plus, I'm not sure that *knowing* God is there means you're gonna do what he wants. I mean, we *know* our parents are around, yet we don't do what they always say, even if we know deep down they're right. Surely a being as creative and powerful as God could come up with a system that keeps free will in place, without resorting to sending the vast majority of His children to eternal torment.

That's well said. The Free Will argument seems like a weak argument for Christianity, since the Angel Lucifer appears to have used his free will to reject God even though he knew God's love as a personal fact. Would proof of God really remove our free will? I am not at all certian. I will have to think about that.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
Sea_Cow at 2:25PM, Sept. 2, 2008
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StaceyMontgomery
arteestx
The only argument that remotely made sense is the “free will” argument. As in, if you *knew* God was there, then you wouldn't have free will to follow Him, do good, choose your own path, etc. and therefore who spends eternity in Heaven. But the effect of that reasoning means that God needs to figure out who to send to Hell, and the only way to do that is to hide. Not very nice if you ask me.

Plus, I'm not sure that *knowing* God is there means you're gonna do what he wants. I mean, we *know* our parents are around, yet we don't do what they always say, even if we know deep down they're right. Surely a being as creative and powerful as God could come up with a system that keeps free will in place, without resorting to sending the vast majority of His children to eternal torment.

That's well said. The Free Will argument seems like a weak argument for Christianity, since the Angel Lucifer appears to have used his free will to reject God even though he knew God's love as a personal fact. Would proof of God really remove our free will? I am not at all certian. I will have to think about that.

Well, if God revealed himself and gave proof, then nobody could argue about it, or decide for themselves what to believe in. Everybody would have to have complete faith in God, thus killing free choice. Also, if you think about it, what would proof of God to to civilization?
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StaceyMontgomery at 2:47PM, Sept. 2, 2008
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Sea_Cow
Well, if God revealed himself and gave proof, then nobody could argue about it, or decide for themselves what to believe in. Everybody would have to have complete faith in God, thus killing free choice. Also, if you think about it, what would proof of God to to civilization?

One always has to be careful when seeming to say “this is how the universe should be run…” because I do not actually pretend to have such superhuman competence. But plenty of sinners are believers. I've even met people who claim to be atheists who clearly believe in God but are just terribly angry over some tragedy they percieve - or as one of them said to me recently: “Then why did God kill my wife?”

So it seems to me that even with absolute proof of god, many people would still follow Lucifer and turns their backs on god.

As to what it would do to civilization - it sort of depends on which God we are proving. I mean, I have met Christians who were so positively kind, merciful and loving that they made me weep with shame at my own failings - and I have met cruel, even sadistic Christians who seemed to worship a thug-like patron saint of bullies. Heck, if the Bully turns out to be the true God, I am following Lucifer gladly - wouldnt you?

All in all, it seems to me that Proof of God would be a good thing: that is, if there IS a god, it would be better to have proof. Why not? In fact, it seems like such a good idea that I am tempted to say that if there was a god, he would be easier to prove. After all, if there is a God, but no proof, then it is just a trick to make sure that people who mostly make descisions rationally, like me, should go to hell. Do I really deserve to be treated like that?

But I wont go any further down that path - one always has to be careful when saying “This is how the universe should be run…” even for an Atheistl like me it seems impious.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
arteestx at 3:34PM, Sept. 2, 2008
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StaceyMontgomery
…After all, if there is a God, but no proof, then it is just a trick to make sure that people who mostly make descisions rationally, like me, should go to hell. Do I really deserve to be treated like that?….
Reminds me of what Bill Hicks, the deceased comedian, used to say about fossils and fundamentalism…

“Get this, I actually asked one of these guys, ‘OK, Dinosaurs fossils - how does that fit into you scheme of life?’ He said, ‘Dinosaur fossils? God put those there to test our faith.’

… Does that trouble anyone here? The idea that God might be f@#%*ing with our heads? I have trouble sleeping with that knowledge. Some prankster God running around: ‘Ha ha ha!! We will see who believes in me now, ha ha!!’ (mimics God burying fossils) You know? You die, you go to St. Peter:

Peter: ‘Did you believe in dinosaurs?’
Bill: ‘Well, yeah. There were fossils everywhere. (mimics trapdoor opening) AAAAAHHHH!’
Peter: ‘Flying lizards? You’re a moron. God was f#^%&ing with you!'
Bill: ‘It seemed so plausible, aaaaaahh!’
Peter: ‘Enjoy the lake of fire!’”


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R370YkYhV0w (note: I cleaned up the language for the posting; the youtube clip is not so edited, so be forewarned about language)

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DAJB at 12:38AM, Sept. 3, 2008
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Bill Hicks
… Does that trouble anyone here? The idea that God might be f@#%*ing with our heads? I have trouble sleeping with that knowledge. Some prankster God running around: ‘Ha ha ha!! We will see who believes in me now, ha ha!!’
Actually, I quite like that idea. A God with a mischievous sense of humour is definitely one I could relate to!

In fact, if I was a god, that's exactly the kind of thing I might do!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
ozoneocean at 1:29AM, Sept. 3, 2008
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The Bill Hicks thing is interesting, considering he was religious himself, so his comedy wasn't so much a denial of religion, just of a certain approach towards it.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
arteestx at 6:54AM, Sept. 3, 2008
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Sea_Cow
Well, if God revealed himself and gave proof, then nobody could argue about it, or decide for themselves what to believe in. Everybody would have to have complete faith in God, thus killing free choice.
Then how does one explain the story of Adam and Eve, who could not argue about the existence of God, yet they had free choice? How does one explain the story of Lucifer, who could not argue about the existence of God, yet did not have complete faith in God? Whether you take these stories literally or not, the Bible seems to make it pretty clear that knowing the existence of God does not diminish one's ability to have free choice one iota. So on what basis are we to assume that God revealing Himself would kill free choice?





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ifelldownthestairs at 7:02AM, Sept. 3, 2008
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i'm perfectly comfortable with athiesm, i don't really seek anything out. i used to, and it would end up with conversations-turned-debates. it would resemble that family guy gag with the argumentative donkey…

“i just don't understand that merely NOT accepting jesus christ damns me to hell”

“well because the only way to heaven is through him”

“but what about all the other people in the world, like buddhists? there are more of them than christians”

“no, no, no”

“what kind of god would send ALL of them to hell?”

“NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!”

i don't think that if an athiest suddenly accepted god that it would be because of anything tangible, even if god himself appeared and was like “douche! i exist, and you're being bad. stop the bad.” i imagine that the belief in a deity adds a certain fulfillment to your life, but because it's by choice, not because you're bullied into it. i mean isn't that the whole point?

i think that seeking proof of god's existence and then basing acceptance of him on that is missing the point entirely. not to suggest that blind faith is the result of accepting god, but.. maybe just thinking “yeah, there's probably something in charge with a reasonable idea of what they're doing.” would that be enough?

….i don't even know what i'm talking about anymore. i'm going back to bed.
you know why birds don't write their memoirs? because birds don't lead epic lives, that's why. who'd want to read what a bird does? nobody. that's who.
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Sea_Cow at 9:57AM, Sept. 3, 2008
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arteestx
Sea_Cow
Well, if God revealed himself and gave proof, then nobody could argue about it, or decide for themselves what to believe in. Everybody would have to have complete faith in God, thus killing free choice.
Then how does one explain the story of Adam and Eve, who could not argue about the existence of God, yet they had free choice? How does one explain the story of Lucifer, who could not argue about the existence of God, yet did not have complete faith in God? Whether you take these stories literally or not, the Bible seems to make it pretty clear that knowing the existence of God does not diminish one's ability to have free choice one iota. So on what basis are we to assume that God revealing Himself would kill free choice?






I guess I worded that wrong. I mean, we'd all have to believe that God exists, narrowing it down to the Christians/Jews and the Satanists. Then he would send the Satanists to hell and…

uh…


You know, this whole “proof of God” thing would kind of make sense.
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subcultured at 2:05PM, Sept. 3, 2008
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I think God is the quantification of everything. every string, atom, molecule of the universe. it's like the red blood cells, organs, bones, neurons…etc of the human body. alone those materials cant affect much, but together they can create a functional and thinking being that is able to make decisions. intelligent design…your body does it already.


why wouldn't the universe work in the same way. suns, planets, people just part of the great equation…
J
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kyupol at 5:08PM, Sept. 3, 2008
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proof of God?

Sure he does exist. Things dont just happen because they just happen because it so happened to just happen out of nothingness. You know what I mean?

There has to be a cause. Because if you say that there is no cause, its like saying that the keyboard I'm just typing on just manifested itself out of thin air. Poof. It just appeared. Just like that. Its magic!!!

And what about the time before God? What was there before God? Who created God?
You know, people ask that question because of the perception that time exists in a linear fashion. How sure are you that that is the case? What if time exists in a cycle? What if it is true that everything past, present, and future are just part of a big cycle?

How sure are you that our current perception of time is what it really is? Kind of reminds me how people in the middle ages thought the earth is flat and the sun revolves around the earth.
NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:26PM
Ronson at 7:29PM, Sept. 3, 2008
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To all citing specific part of the Bible to argue the need for belief:

The Bible was written badly. The historical figures act very wooden and the made up ones had unbelievable motivations.

To the previous post about there having to be a cause for things

This is true. But does not require a God.

About Proof and God

The clever thing about religion is that God isn't just impossible to prove, his very existence is anti-proof. Douglas Adams said it best - and SpANG quoted it earlier in another thread - without faith, God is nothing. Faith is the trust that something is true without any analysis. Analyze your beliefs and you lose faith. Lose faith and God is gone.

What would one require as proof? Well, unambiguous physical evidence. Proof will never be improbably lucky events or images in food products.

If God actually knows what's going to happen, a prediction of the future in vivid detail would probably suffice. If he's all powerful, some reality bending display should at least bolster the argument of his existence.

If you go though life believing in God, that's fine. But I guarantee you that your version differs from everyone else's … in both small and large ways. And if no two people believe exactly the same thing (even within the same religion), is that not further evidence that God is in the mind? Or, in my case, not in my mind?

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ozoneocean at 10:54PM, Sept. 3, 2008
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Ronson
If you go though life believing in God, that's fine. But I guarantee you that your version differs from everyone else's … in both small and large ways. And if no two people believe exactly the same thing (even within the same religion), is that not further evidence that God is in the mind? Or, in my case, not in my mind?
That's tricky. Approaching this as a non-believer, I don't really think the differences matter. It's like all the different types people in America: People have vastly different backgrounds, beliefs, cultural heritages, and beliefs about what the country is, but they're still Americans.

And just because a god concept doesn't match up with what people and tradition says it should be, that doesn't logically invalidate the concept of something like that, especially if it would be beyond normal comprehension- as you'd imagine such a thing would have to be, if it were to be. Theoretically, it's a very interesting idea.
 
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statikpunk at 2:15AM, Sept. 4, 2008
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I have to go with Ozone on that one just because there are different views of what God is doesn't necessarily mean that God doesn't exist just that no one has “pinned God down” yet

Im not an overly religious person (I dont go to church or anything) I personally believe in God I just find it hard to comprehend that all “this” that all we have mountains, baby laughs, love, fear, cartoons, is all just one big cosmic accident.

beside that though I find arguing over proof of God to be really silly. A religion is based on “faith” the definition of “faith” is the belief in something that can not be proven. so really arguing about proof of God is like arguing why apples don't taste like oranges. they just have nothing to do with each other.

ok here is my big mind trip. My “proof” for God is the fact that we (as humans) have the capacity to even comprehend God. what scientific survival trait are we using to create God. because many other species on this planet prosper without the need of a God.

ho ho that was so deep it drug bottom huh…JK hehe I mean really science is just the newest faith, when we cant explain something we put or “faith” in science to explain it to us with “theories” and facts that are based on more theories.
thats just the human condition to look for answers. Some people have faith that science will explain it, and some people just have faith.
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Theodore Roosevelt.
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DAJB at 5:25AM, Sept. 4, 2008
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“Proof” is a red herring. As I said before, what constitutes proof is subjective. “Proof” of God, therefore, wouldn't convince everyone any more than Jesus and his miracles (assuming we're talking about the Christian God) was enough to convince all Jews, or Moses and his plagues were enough to convince the Egyptians.

Those who have faith believe the “proof” is already all around us. Those who (like me) don't, don't. If God (assuming there is one) did decide to provide “additional” proof, there would still be people who would choose to believe it was all a hoax or a conspiracy manufactured by the CIA or a Communist plot to undermine the West.

One man's proof is another man's speculative theory.
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dueeast at 10:49AM, Sept. 4, 2008
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You know, I have to admit, I'm getting a kick out of this now…the athiests are starting, and often completely maintaining, all the God threads.

Okay, that said, it depends on what your qualifiers are. Many seem to use scientific criteria, such as those used in defining evolutionary theories. There's nothing wrong with that but you are right, terms defined by man don't “get” God. Why should that be surprising to anyone? :)

DAJB said it well, the proof is all around us. To Judeo-Christians, the proof of God is in looking at the intertwinings of the universe, the balance of all things working in an ecosystem, a planet that spins at thousands of miles per hour while to our perceptions, we may be sitting still. By logic, by science, some if not many unique phenomenon in the known universe technically shouldn't exist – but they do. There is proof that they do exist and theories as to why they exist but rarely proof for why. A Christian can see the handiwork of God in that, or the complex patterns of biosystems that make up a human body. It all works together (mostly) in harmony. If it doesn't, that person can die.

Also, to Christians, the proof of God is also found in the proof of Christ: the power to be “reborn” – not physically, but spiritually. And yes, that is based on faith…but there is a proof behind it, the proof of an actually changed life.

I could not only tell you who I was before giving my life to Christ, I could play you music that I wrote and recorded which is like a time capsule to who I was at that time. I could tell you facts that might or might not shock, chill or at least surprise you. It's who I was.

I'm not proud of those times but I acknowledge them. I think of myself as no better or higher or whatever than anyone else. However, I'm better than who I was and I no longer have the desire to be that person. The proof is in my life and what I choose to do or not to do with it, compared to what I used to do. I can only speak for myself.

So, tying it back to StaceyMontgomery's original post: I had an Experience of Grace and as a result of that experience, the rest of my life has been changed as a result. That's what made the difference for me (though I was never an athiest). For someone who's determined to look for physical proof of a spirit, it's just not going to happen in any kind of scientifically proveable way…at least not to anyone's satisfaction. It does take firsthand experience.

Thanks for reading.
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ttyler at 2:15PM, Sept. 4, 2008
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Historically, main points of the Bible can be proven without a doubt. Ancient jewish markings in Egyptain caves (where Jewish slaves were held) document the fact of their writings and pleas to God,…actually naming him by name, just as it is written in the Bible, thousands of years before the Bible was written.
Egyptain records, tell of the Great Exodus, the plagues,…just as they were written about in the word,…Thousands of years before it was written. Historical records of the Earth, tells of a Flooding at some point. Jesus, the apostles, the trial and execution,..all documented in actual Historical records. Some say that it was all a hoax, made up by the Apostles…..why?? Historical documents tell that the Apostles, after the death of Jesus, continued in their beliefs, and each was each dealt a horrible death. If it was a Hoax or a Joke, they all died for it horribly. How far would you take a Hoax? To the point of being beheaded or crucified upside-down?
If you know anything about Phrophesy, you will also know that every predicted event in the bible, has come true.(except the coming of the anti Christ, who , the bible tells, will come out of the European common market, which, the Bible also tells, is the re-born Roman Empire itself.) The odds are astrinomically Impossible for this to happen.
Dinosaurs, the effects of an Atomic blast, the creation of the European common Market (the Eu) …everything predicted by a book written thousands of years ago.
I can't see the wind….but I can feel the effects of the wind. I can't see “God”…but I feel the effects of his precense and truths.
In the end, its just Faith I guess.
No matter what, I have learned that there is no arguing this stuff. Arguing ones beliefs is a moot activity. You believe, or you don't. I've seen too much fact, to throw it to the wind. Whats so ad about Loving your neigbor as yourself anyway?? I think this old, tired planet could use a bit more of that.
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arteestx at 3:03PM, Sept. 4, 2008
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There seems to be this strain of thought that says “proof” is over here and “faith” is over there, and once you look for proof you lose faith, and faith that seeks proof means you have problems with your faith, etc. And I just don't buy it. I think it's all on a spectrum, like most things. There's faith based on evidence and there's blind faith that has zero evidence. There's faith that some friends will come through for you now, because they've done it before. And there's blind faith that some friends will come through for you, even though they've never ever come through before. Is blind faith better than faith that has supporting evidence? Is blind faith a more real faith because it completely lacks evidence?

dueeast
There's nothing wrong with but you are right, terms defined by man don't “get” God. Why should that be surprising to anyone? :)
I'm not sure I buy this either. In the Old Testament, God didn't rely on hiding, he was very much evident. He was tangibly IN the garden with Adam and Eve. He appeared as a tangible burning bush. He tangibly flooded the world. He tangibly turned people into pillars of salt. Those are all things that are scientifically verifiable. God wasn't hiding as a spirit, He was right there in the world. Scientific criteria used to be able to get God, or at least have a chance, but things are different now? Why is God hiding now?

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
dueeast at 3:58PM, Sept. 4, 2008
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arteestx
dueeast
There's nothing wrong with but you are right, terms defined by man don't “get” God. Why should that be surprising to anyone? :)
I'm not sure I buy this either. In the Old Testament, God didn't rely on hiding, he was very much evident. He was tangibly IN the garden with Adam and Eve. He appeared as a tangible burning bush. He tangibly flooded the world. He tangibly turned people into pillars of salt. Those are all things that are scientifically verifiable. God wasn't hiding as a spirit, He was right there in the world. Scientific criteria used to be able to get God, or at least have a chance, but things are different now? Why is God hiding now?

That's an interesting question and I have an answer but it's biblically based. All are fair warned… :)

There was no sin in the world, either, at that time. According to the Bible, which I do believe, God hates sin although He loves virtually everyone (there are a few people in the Bible that God said He hated, so I can't exclude that). When Adam and Eve were driven from the garden, they were physically and spiritually changed (and they were already changed by the eating of the fruit). Man could no longer physically look on God. Although I do not fully comprehend the magnitude of why, if a person were to look directly at God on the Earth, they would physically perish because of this change.

This is why in Exodus, God would only show his back to Moses and it was enough to make Moses' hair silver and the residual presence of God left on Moses was enough to frighten the Hebrews when Moses came down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments.

That's why God chose Hebrew priests and prophets and preachers to speak His Word to the people in the Old Testament. Then He sent His Son to offer reconciliation and His Holy Spirit, which lives within – a bridge back to God, if you will, and the means to have a changed life through the presence and help of that Holy Spirit working within each day, along with the help and guidance that studying the Bible brings.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:18PM
arteestx at 4:22PM, Sept. 4, 2008
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dueeast
…This is why in Exodus, God would only show his back to Moses and it was enough to make Moses' hair silver and the residual presence of God left on Moses was enough to frighten the Hebrews when Moses came down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments….. Then He sent His Son to offer reconciliation and His Holy Spirit, which lives within – a bridge back to God, if you will, and the means to have a changed life through the presence and help of that Holy Spirit working within each day, along with the help and guidance that studying the Bible brings.
I've heard various forms of this thought, but it still doesn't quite unravel the conundrum. Even in Exodus, and throughout the OT, God made His presence known in scientifically verifiable ways. Not in “I'm not sure what happened, it must be God” ways, but in physical ways that go against the fundamental laws of nature. People becoming pillars of salt, the sun stopping in the middle of the sky, etc. etc. And all scientifically verifiable. But not any more. Whatever you want to say about the sacrifice of Jesus, it didn't demand that God go hide. It didn't require God to go to a scientifically unverifiable place. But He did. Seems weird.

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
Sea_Cow at 7:11PM, Sept. 4, 2008
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arteestx
dueeast
…This is why in Exodus, God would only show his back to Moses and it was enough to make Moses' hair silver and the residual presence of God left on Moses was enough to frighten the Hebrews when Moses came down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments….. Then He sent His Son to offer reconciliation and His Holy Spirit, which lives within – a bridge back to God, if you will, and the means to have a changed life through the presence and help of that Holy Spirit working within each day, along with the help and guidance that studying the Bible brings.
I've heard various forms of this thought, but it still doesn't quite unravel the conundrum. Even in Exodus, and throughout the OT, God made His presence known in scientifically verifiable ways. Not in “I'm not sure what happened, it must be God” ways, but in physical ways that go against the fundamental laws of nature. People becoming pillars of salt, the sun stopping in the middle of the sky, etc. etc. And all scientifically verifiable. But not any more. Whatever you want to say about the sacrifice of Jesus, it didn't demand that God go hide. It didn't require God to go to a scientifically unverifiable place. But He did. Seems weird.


That's a good argument. Time to bring out the big guns!

*ahem*


THE LORD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS.
I am so happy to finally be back home
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:26PM
StaceyMontgomery at 6:03AM, Sept. 5, 2008
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This seems odd to me - when we talk about evolution, we get lots of posts from religious people insisting that there must be physical proof of God and his intervention over natural processes. Things can't just evolve, they insist, God must do it all personally!

But when we devote a thread to the idea of such proof, all the religious people say relax, don't worry about it, you don't need that kind of proof, take the Universe as you find it.

Mysterious ways indeed.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
dueeast at 7:43AM, Sept. 5, 2008
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There's a difference between what you're saying and at least what I've been saying.

I haven't said so much that you don't need proof, I'm saying that the physical qualifiers you are seeking are going to be difficult if not impossible to apply to spirit.

As far as taking in the Universe, that's actually just a respect for what some (myself included) see as God's handiwork. Yes, it is seen as proof but faith comes before the need for proof.

And of course, that was not the only example I gave of proof.

I find it interesting how you choose to blend the two ideas of the evolution discussion and this one.

StaceyMontgomery
This seems odd to me - when we talk about evolution, we get lots of posts from religious people insisting that there must be physical proof of God and his intervention over natural processes. Things can't just evolve, they insist, God must do it all personally!

But when we devote a thread to the idea of such proof, all the religious people say relax, don't worry about it, you don't need that kind of proof, take the Universe as you find it.

Mysterious ways indeed.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:18PM

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