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proofs for God's existence

User Thread
 32yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that secret07 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
proofs for God's existence
give me your opinions, objections, questions. this is a pretty simplified version of aristotle's and anslem's proofs, fist done by my teacher, and then by me, and i admit i havnt studied it as much as i should, so if anyone sees something i said incorrectly, please let me know.

Aristotle's proofs of God's existence

Cosmological Proof
Basic Idea: everything must have an adequate cause.

Things are here. We are here, the universe is here, the world and planets and animals are here. All things have an ending. Therefore, all things must have had a beginning. If they had a beginning, then the beginning must have been capable of causing them to come about. For instance, take a clay pot. The pot is there, so it stands to reason that something must have made it. The pot couldn't have made itself. It had to have been made by something. The maker of the pot is the potter, the maker of the universe is God.

Teleological proof
Basic Idea: the universe and the things within it are intricately detailed and extremely organized. This organization must have an adequate cause.

We shall again take the pot for an example. If a person came upon a perfectly shaped pot, with detailed inscriptions and writing upon it, the person's immediate thought would not be, 'Oh, look, somehow the winds and tides must have come together and made this perfectly shaped thing. What an extraordinary occurrence!' No, they would say, 'Someone must have left this pot here.' Looking at the intricate detail of the world around us, and, in fact, at our own bodies, we must say, 'I wonder who made this, it could not possibly of come about by itself.'

Anthropological proof
Basic Idea: the humanity of people must have had a cause.

People have a purpose to their existence. We do not exist solely for the sake of staying alive. We question the world around us. We have curiosity, personality, emotions, loves and hates. The being that made us must have had these same traits, in order to put them in us. We have morals that sometimes override even our own desire to survive. How many people have given their lives for their god, or their friends, or lovers, or ideals? The willingness of people to sacrifice themselves shows that the drive to survive is not in fact the strongest drive in us. Only a creator could have put in us this second, and higher, drive. The drive to die for our morals.

The Ontological Proof by Anslem (this is an extremely abstract idea, that is to me alternatively brilliance and idiocy.)
Basic Idea: The idea of God proves His existence. People are not creative thinkers, we cannot imagine something that doesn't exist. If we try, we will merely combine things that we already know.

Our concept of perfection proves the existence of a perfect being. In the same way, our concept of a god, or a force superior to us in every way, proves that something superior then us in every way must exist.

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"life sucks but its better than the alternative"
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Cosmological proof is nonesense. Or rather, it decides to label 'original cause' as 'God' which is arbitrary and pointless.

Teleological makes sense, it is a valid argument if one doesn't know about the anthropic principle.

Anthropological proof is nonesense.

Ontological proof is nonesense.

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
 32yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that secret07 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
i love your spelling of nonsense.

what is the anthropic principle?

if your going to tell me something is nonesense, then you need to give me a reason. do not give me your superior opinion, without backing it.

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"life sucks but its better than the alternative"
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Hmm.. you're right I got it wrong. Ah well, nonsense it is then. Gotta love English.

The Anthropic principle simply states a universe to be observed must be compatible with the existence of an observer. IE, life is necessary. There might be an infinity of universes without life, but they are unobservable and for all intents and purposes do not exist.

Thus the teleological argument no longer holds. For, its true that it was very unlikely that we get a universe with properties condusive to life, however, if life is necessary for the existence of a universe, this is no longer an issue. The likelihood of a universe with life being observed goes from 0.000001 to 1.

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
 32yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that secret07 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
i'm not sure i follow. you're saying that since life is nesasary to observe the universe the universe has to have life and hence is probable? that may be completely wrong, but i didnt follow, as i said.

what about Cosmological, Anthropological, and Ontological proofs? what is your objection to them? you see, i've only had one side of this argument, and i really want to hear every possible objection.

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"life sucks but its better than the alternative"
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"i'm not sure i follow. you're saying that since life is nesasary to observe the universe the universe has to have life and hence is probable? that may be completely wrong, but i didnt follow, as i said."
Yes, that's basically it. But it makes life more than probable, it makes it necessary.

"Cosmological"
Strictly speaking, the Cosmological argument isn't *wrong*. But it isn't very meaningful. All it says is there is an ultimate cause to everything. That's it. It doesn't have to be an intelligence either, that cause can be completely arbitrary. Some might call that cause "God", however, it is little more than a label. Most definitions of God at least attribute him intelligence (and preferably morality), however, an original cause doesn't necessarily have intelligence.

"Anthropological"
Its based on so many presumptious assumptions about ourselves it isn't funny. It relies on the assumption humans have things like purpose, free will, morality and 'real' emotions. I would dispute very strongly the existence of any. But more importantly, even if they exist, why couldn't they arise out of evolutionary need? There seems little need to throw in God.

Man's only attribute we know for certain is that he believes, in something, even if it's his own ignorance. I do not think God is necessary to possess this attribute.

"Ontological"
Based on too many assumptions about human thought to be a reliable argument.

The teleological one is the most legitimate one as it is based on observation and not assumptions about man (too many philosophers make inadequate speculations in the psychologist's realm). But I think the anthropic principle counters it.

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
 32yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that secret07 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"i'm not sure i follow. you're saying that since life is nesasary to observe the universe the universe has to have life and hence is probable? that may be completely wrong, but i didnt follow, as i said."
Yes, that's basically it. But it makes life more than probable, it makes it necessary"

so because we exist, we have to have existed? the argument makes little sense. by that reasoning, if i flip a coin and get a head, looking back, i would have to have gotten a head, because i got a head.

cosmological
is something created the universe, i would assume it would have to be intelligent. if it created human beings that have morals, i would assume it to have morals itself.

anthropological
all people have some knowledge of good and evil. in general, murder is bad, helping someone else is good. cowardess is bad, heroism is good. you don't think people have emotions? explain, how can you look around you, and at yourself, and say we don't have emotions? emotions could arise from evolutionary needs yes, but purpose couldnt. "The willingness of people to sacrifice themselves shows that the drive to survive is not in fact the strongest drive in us. Only a creator could have put in us this second, and higher, drive. The drive to die for our morals." evolution would never have created such drives.

ontological
it isnt based on assumptions, it's provable. tell me something new, and i'll forego belief in the ontological proof.

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"life sucks but its better than the alternative"
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"so because we exist, we have to have existed? the argument makes little sense. by that reasoning, if i flip a coin and get a head, looking back, i would have to have gotten a head, because i got a head."
No that isn't the argument. If we got a head, that wasn't necessary, because we could have observed a tails.

We observe life. It is necessary, because without life, we wouldn't be able to observe at all. Universes without life are unobservavle, universe with tails are observable.

"is something created the universe, i would assume it would have to be intelligent."
Or could be totally random.

" if it created human beings that have morals, i would assume it to have morals itself."
I don't need to be made of tuna to make a sandwhich.

"all people have some knowledge of good and evil. in general, murder is bad, helping someone else is good. cowardess is bad, heroism is good."
Therefore there is a God? I think not. Just because people associate certain events and actions with disgust and guilt does not mean anything.

" you don't think people have emotions? explain, how can you look around you, and at yourself, and say we don't have emotions? emotions could arise from evolutionary needs yes, but purpose couldnt."
I don't deny emotions. I deny that they have higher value. I deny things like "true love", there is no true love, there is a feeling we call love, that is all. You assume we have purpose. I have seen no evidence to this. The closest thing we have to purpose is a myriad of emotions and drives we have, designed to make us protect our community and family while propagating our genes.

"The willingness of people to sacrifice themselves shows that the drive to survive is not in fact the strongest drive in us. Only a creator could have put in us this second, and higher, drive. The drive to die for our morals." evolution would never have created such drives."
What makes you think things like self-sacrifice aren't derived from emotions created from evolution? Even suicide bombers act out of hate for a country or love of an idea. These are biological, not spiritual.

I would argue that giving human beings the IMPRESSION of things like morality, free will and 'true emotion' allow them to function better in hunter-gatherer society. The impression of morality, free will and 'true emotion' are biological advantages that we have aquired through evolution.

We have essentially two debates here, so that we stay on track:
- If the anthropic principle doesn't apply, then there is intelligent design and a greater intelligence (God) must exist
- If man is special then something more special than randomness (God) must have made him that way

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
 32yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that secret07 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"Universes without life are unobservavle, universe with tails are observable."

someday, human beings may look at another universe, one without life. then, a universe without life is observable.

"is something created the universe, i would assume it would have to be intelligent."
Or could be totally random."

then it wouldnt be the creation of something, it would be a random combination of many somethings.

" if it created human beings that have morals, i would assume it to have morals itself."
I don't need to be made of tuna to make a sandwhich."

no, but you would need tuna.


"all people have some knowledge of good and evil. in general, murder is bad, helping someone else is good. cowardess is bad, heroism is good."
Therefore there is a God? I think not. Just because people associate certain events and actions with disgust and guilt does not mean anything."

yes it does, it means we all have general morals, that, in all likelyhood, would not have evolved on their own, and must have been given.

"The willingness of people to sacrifice themselves shows that the drive to survive is not in fact the strongest drive in us. Only a creator could have put in us this second, and higher, drive. The drive to die for our morals." evolution would never have created such drives."
What makes you think things like self-sacrifice aren't derived from emotions created from evolution? Even suicide bombers act out of hate for a country or love of an idea. These are biological, not spiritual."

if we all sacrificed ourselves for our ideals, then there would be no humanity. this doesnt make sense according to evolution's theme of natural selection, where every creature does it's best to survive.

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"life sucks but its better than the alternative"
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"someday, human beings may look at another universe, one without life. then, a universe without life is observable."

By definition, universes cannot interact. If they do, then they aren't real universes. Thereby we can never observe another universe.

"then it wouldnt be the creation of something, it would be a random combination of many somethings."
The universe is a combination of many things. Is it random? I would argue it is, within the confines of allowing for the existence of an observer.

"no, but you would need tuna."
Touché.
But, I still dispute the existence of any higher morality/will/feeling we possess which would make God necessary.

"yes it does, it means we all have general morals, that, in all likelyhood, would not have evolved on their own, and must have been given."
Nonsense! I can think of COUNTLESS examples of how our sense of morals and justice would help us in hunter-gatherer society. For example: how do you make sure the humans don't kille each other? Easy, you make the act of murdering friends/family disgusting to most humans.

"if we all sacrificed ourselves for our ideals, then there would be no humanity. this doesnt make sense according to evolution's theme of natural selection, where every creature does it's best to survive."
But it DOES make sense to sacrifice yourself for your community. Remember, your community tends to have the same genes as you. In terms of evolutionary strategy, protecting your family/community is the next best thing to protecting yourself. Hence, having a set of emotions designed to protect your kin is an evolutionary advantage (though I will not dispute that these emotions have been usurped by other things than the family).

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
 32yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that secret07 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"someday, human beings may look at another universe, one without life. then, a universe without life is observable."

By definition, universes cannot interact. If they do, then they aren't real universes. Thereby we can never observe another universe."

good point. I can feel something wrong with that argument, but i can't seem to articulate it. it's a hard concept to get one's mind around to start with, and that makes it hard to work with, but i'll post once i figure out my own argument.

so, really, what we've come down to is this. if there are higher emotions then those instilled by evolution, then there is a god.

might i ask a personal question? Does it ever depress you to think that we have absolutely no point in being, save to reproduce, and that all this questioning and thinking and debating is really entirely pointless, as there is no answer anyways, and we're all going to die and rot, no matter what we do now?

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"life sucks but its better than the alternative"
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"good point. I can feel something wrong with that argument, but i can't seem to articulate it. it's a hard concept to get one's mind around to start with, and that makes it hard to work with, but i'll post once i figure out my own argument."
The main issue with the Anthropic principle is that, it basically assumes that there must always be a universe. If there was say, only one universe and once it ends, that the end of everything, then the anthropic principle isn't valid. It only works if, once a universe ends, another one replaces it.

"might i ask a personal question? Does it ever depress you to think that we have absolutely no point in being, save to reproduce, and that all this questioning and thinking and debating is really entirely pointless, as there is no answer anyways, and we're all going to die and rot, no matter what we do now?"
It did for a while... But that was mainly because I was depressed about other parts of my life. Just because there is no God, no higher goals for life doesn't mean we, as beings capable of decision-making, don't have goals. Your goal should only be to try to be happy, I don't think we need anything higher then ourselves to be happy.

There are some philosophical questions about time and especially, memory, which I find much more depressing.

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
 53yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Patrish is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
The question is NOT the question of is God necessary.

The question is why did He made man necessary?

He will be justice, and regardless if you believe in Him or not, doesn't mean He will acknowledge you at your judgement.

Mankind needs to find answers when the entire system is evidence that a creator of Intelligence had created it.

WE cannot assume the wind in the desert will create the letters SOS in the sand, so we know an intelligent being created the letters.
Not the universe, and not the wind created those words on impulse.

To see a piece of art work rendered we know an artist of a specific intelligence created that art...and therefore did not create itself randomly.

Just as the universe did not create itself.

Pursuing answers in man made science is only going to give you man made answers.

Searching for truth of a Higher Being will give you an answer to a Higher being...just open your eyes.

The earth, solar system and the universe are all in an order, nothing is random nor chaotic.

Everything has a design that works of or from another. This is a system...like we have a dewy decibal system in a library. IT has order and meaning. Nothing is within working order of itself. Someone put the organization together for it to work.

Someone put it all together to work in unity with everything around it.

Each species, and creature lives off or works with another.
Life is not a random system, and science even evaluates the mystery of how uniform it all is.

But to believe we have no God, is to believe we have no order in the universe, and THAT the artist of the work does not exist...even tho we do NOT know whom the artist was...we see the artwork.

Therefore an intelligent creature can ascertain that the artist exists or the art work would not have been created.

So, when you see a piece of artwork...can you deny its creator? Just because you have not met them.

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"Life is full of lemons, and the lemonade is sweet."
 32yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that secret07 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
which is basically the teleological proof.

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"life sucks but its better than the alternative"
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Patrish, stop with the poetic metaphors and make sense.

The order in life is easily understood through evolution, if you don't understand evolution, then I am sorry for you.

I will concede, that it was unlikely that the universe take physical properties that make life possible. However, this is countered by the anthropic principle. I will not waste time reexplaining it as I have posted on it extensively.

To argue your case without emotional and inappropriate poetry I suggest you start by arguing how the anthropic principle might not be valid.

You should also try to clarify with yourself if your belief system is based on faith or reason. You are arguing there is empirical evidence for God, that's interesting, but if you believe in God through reason, what need is there for faith?

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
proofs for God's existence
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