God: a failed hypothesis or something more?


(Marvin Adams) #241

The axiom of the theological worldview is to define God as eternal exitent, transcending time space. For an object that transcends time and space a beginning is not a rational concept if you accept that causality is a time dependent function. If not - please explain your concept of causality which must be interesting.

Now if you look at time we all seem to agree that the universe had a beginning. If the universe would be infinite in its existence it should have reached equilibrium as far as I understand thermodynamics unless you propose the addition of energy into the universe from outside of it, and even even if you would propose a cycling / oscillating universe you would have the same dilemma. So if you have any evidence that physical reality has no beginning but is past eternal claim the nobel prize for it as everyone is waiting for that. As far as I understand no one has done so so far, and the Borde-Vilenkin-Guth theorem proved that any universe which has been on average expanding cannot be past eternal.

If you look at websites like “Why doesn’t God heal amputees” from Marschall Brain you will see that atheists demand miracles such as spontaneous regrowth of limbs of healing from heart disease upon prayer etc, so it is clearly atheists that demand magic as a proof of God. It does not get you of the hook saying that there are Christians that believe that God does magic, but then there are a lot of materialists that believe to be Christians. As an intellectual one should be aware of the conflict and incoherence such thinking creates, Thus to demand incoherence in the argument from your opposition of intellectually dishonest.


(Marvin Adams) #242

Now do you want to postulate that the laws that govern the behaviour of gas are created by the random movement of the molecules e.g. govern the law or do you think that the random movements of the gas molecules follow a law.

by definition of God :
ΕΝ ΑΡΧΗ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.

The idea is that God, being metaphysical, is the causality of the physical existence. Perhaps you can enlighten us with your understanding of what God is to you and we might find out why you therefore believe such God not to exist.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #243

Gas does not move randomly. Warm air expands and rises, which is not random. Gas laws are rational because gas moves predictably

Molecules are rati0onally structured. They act in a predictable manner.

The laws of gas do not create beings who think.


#244

Gas as a whole acts predictably. Gas molecules move randomly. Gas pressure is a measurement of the average speed of the molecules.


#245

Here is the first postulate for the Kinetic Theory of Gases:
"1.Gases consist of particles in constant, random motion."
link

It is the random movement of the particles which give rise to the gas laws.[quote=“marvin, post:242, topic:37310”]
The idea is that God, being metaphysical, is the causality of the physical existence.
[/quote]

So now it is just an idea? I thought God being the causal agent of existence was a logical conclusion. Is this not the case anymore? It seems you are just trying to define God into existence which isn’t much of an argument.[quote=“marvin, post:242, topic:37310”]
Perhaps you can enlighten us with your understanding of what God is to you and we might find out why you therefore believe such God not to exist.
[/quote]

I don’t know if God exists or not, hence I lack a positive belief in the existence of God. The reason I lack a positive belief in God is because I have yet to see evidence that convinces me. Using circular arguments, bare assertions, and semantic arguments certainly isn’t going to convince me.

Just to make my position and argument clear, I am not here to attack religious faith. Christians have faith in God, and I do not. I am not saying that one is superior or inferior to the other, and I completely respect the path a person has chosen to take through life. The arguments I choose to engage in are those where people claim there is evidence and logical arguments that lead to a conclusion, and I try to do so in an open and non-judgmental way (with varying degrees of success). I hope that through such interactions we will all walk away understanding each other a bit better.


#246

Just a repeat from above, the first postulate of the Kinetic Theory of Gases:
“1.Gases consist of particles in constant, random motion.”

Scientists sure think that individual gas molecules move randomly. If you have evidence otherwise, I would be interested in seeing it. As it stands now, it is the random motion of gas molecules that produces the predictable characteristics of gases.

Let’s use dice as an example. An individual roll of the dice is random. However, you can predict the distribution of outcomes for millions of rolls. In the game of Craps, you can predict that 7 will be the most common outcome after 1 million rolls even though each roll is random. In nature, there are many, many examples of random processes leading to rational laws. In fact, that is the basis for much of quantum mechanics.


#247

If you have to establish this as an axiom this would mean that evidence doesn’t lead you to this conclusion.[quote=“marvin, post:241, topic:37310”]
If you look at websites like “Why doesn’t God heal amputees” from Marschall Brain you will see that atheists demand miracles such as spontaneous regrowth of limbs of healing from heart disease upon prayer etc, so it is clearly atheists that demand magic as a proof of God.
[/quote]

It is some Christians who offer miracle healing as evidence for the existence of God. It’s not as if atheists are just making up the fact that some Christians have claimed to have been healed by the power of prayer. Have you never heard of Benny Hinn?

https://www.bennyhinn.org/


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #248

That is not quite true. There are two basic aspects of motion for gases and molecules. One is the random movement that all particles and the other is the intensity of that movement.

Strange as it seems, the random movement per se does not cause change, but the intensity of that movement does when there is an imbalance between the intensity or energy of that movement between molecules.

The evidence for that is the condition we call entropy, which is the situation where there is no movement within a liquid or a gas because the differences are nil or almost nil. To put it another way there is no motion because there is no imbalance between temperature. Warmer air rises, while cooler air falls. When there are no differences, there is no movement or entropy. .

The question is: Most people say that the Big Bang Theory is evidence that the universe has a Beginning. I can understand that you do not agree that the Big Bang is proof for the existence of God, but I find it very puzzling for you to claim that the Big Bang theory doe not provide any evidence for the view that the universe has a beginning.

These are not circular arguments. A circular argument cannot be falsified. You are trying to prove that it is false, so it is not a circular argument.

You have said that the existence of God make no difference. At what level are you speaking? THe scientific, the moral, the philosophical, the spiritual?


(GJDS) #249

We have stated on many occasions that if someone claims to examine and perform scientific experiments on a god, Christianity declares such a material being and not God. Atheists may, or may not, accept this, but it is the unambiguous position of Christianity. So the constant insistence by atheists begins to look like a disappointed person whose wishes were not fulfilled.

I claim that it is reasonable to conclude that God exists, and because of this, my beliefs are based on God’s revelation through Christ. Since it is reasonable, and since all lines of inquiry within myself are consistent with reason (to me), I have come to my outlook.

I again ask for a reasonable argument from atheists - it seems to me that they either: (a) hope Christians cease to have faith, or (b) they cannot come to a settled, reasoned position regarding God and faith, and seek debate.

However I too am open minded on this matter, and would welcome any other reason for the objections from atheists.


(John Dalton) #250

I can’t say it better than @T_aquaticus did in the last couple of posts! Also take a look at my response to MB above; I think I laid it out pretty clearly.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #251

Revisiting your earlier reply to me above, I’ll pick up on this:

Explanatory power (in some scientific or predictive sense) is probably not a proper role of Christianity or even religion generally I shouldn’t think. That is the job of science. Trying to force Christianity into that same role warps it into something else … though again, I can see (as in the prosperity gospel example already discussed) how you could be forgiven for thinking Christianity vies for such a role. The ever popular vending machine concept of a god is pressed into the ‘crystal ball’ business with equal ease. But apart from an occasional prophecy that God imparts, Christianity does not put priority on predictive power like science does. Jesus even touches on this (Matthew 16) though his intersection with what we now call ‘science’ is incidental to the deeper point he is making. “You know how to interpret the earth and sky … but you can’t interpret the signs of the times.” The way I read this is that Jesus grants the assumption that people have learned to successfully predict physical phenomena, but they are blind to the spiritually significant reality all around them. So even in Jesus time, a rudimentary science is acknowledged (even assumed), but is also judged as inadequate by Jesus, though the Pharisees seemed to want a sign that could register for them at that more trivial level.


(John Dalton) #252

I don’t think it does necessarily, and I’m not trying to force it into that role. That being said, it’s pretty common for people to bring up the idea–as Marvin has been doing above–that the existence of the universe for example necessitates the existence of a deity. That’s how we got on this track, and that’s the idea I’m speaking against. A belief that God created the universe is one thing, and an assertion that God is necessary to explain the existence of the universe is another. I’m definitely not trying to say that religion should or must have explanatory power.


(Marvin Adams) #253

It is the random movement that follows a law, it does not generate it. If it would, do you postulate that gas molecules have the consciousness to create a law? Please tell us how laws are created by matter. You are surely up to something here worth a nobel prize.

looks like my translator chip failed me. As far as I am concerned that something is a logical conclusion of something is still a thought that is formed. To define the think you think about is essential for your thinking. Otherwise it is futile to debate it.

the evidence for a creator is clearly his creation, e.g. our existence . Now if you are not convinced by the existence of creation you must expect something better than what you’ve got - the most likely issue for some atheists disgruntled existence - or have a belief that our existence is not based on creation. Tell me what evidence you would expect to find of a creator. If it is not the beauty of creation, what would it be? And if you do not think that the universe was created bot always existed you should explain how you think matter has created laws, logic and meaning as that must be your belief if you claim that meaning, e.g. the logos did not predate the existence of matter.

And no, I never heard of benny hinn, so thanks for the enlightenment. If you do not realise that he sells Santa and not God/Jesus I would question your intellectual faculties. Prosperity preaching is making him rich for sure but it is only a reason to reject people like him, not God. If however someone demands miracle healing in order to convince them of the existence of God they are far less of an intellectual then Benny Hinn’s followers. Whilst they can be excused by being naive and easily mislead, for someone claiming to be an intellectual to demand a healing miracle as a proof of God’s existence is a declaration of intellectual bankruptcy. So please enlighten us what evidence you would expect to see that convinces you for God to exist


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #254

I am going to respectfully disagree, If the first is true, that God created the universe, then the second is also true, God is necessary to explain the existence of the universe.

If George Washington is the Father of the USA by virtue of his military leadership during the Revolutionary War and his statesmanship as the first president, then how can a historian explain the existence, how the nation came into existence) without including the role of this great person and all he did.

Now perhaps the USA would have won its Revolutionary War and become a democracy without George Washington, but it is hard to se how the universe could have come into existence without God. Of course if one does not believe in the existence of God, that is a problem.

That is why the Big Bang is central to the discussion of the reality of God. If the universe was created out of absolute nothing as the Big Bang Theory implies, then YHWH/God brought it into existence.

I will say that Christianity does have explanatory power in that it gives necessary meaning and purpose to our lives.


(John Dalton) #255

I understand you, but then you would have to demonstrate that God created the universe. I think that’s a matter of belief, currently.

That “God is necessary to explain the existence of the universe”, however, could stand on its own as a logical proposition, even if the former proposition or the existence of God can’t be demonstrated.

I don’t believe it can stand without resorting to some form of special pleading–setting up conditions which explain why things must be created, and then setting aside God as a special case which doesn’t have to be created. Again, this could work as a belief but I don’t see how it can be a logically valid argument which stands on its own two legs.

it is hard to se how the universe could have come into existence without God.

For me, it is as hard to see how God could be eternal.

Of course if one does not believe in the existence of God, that is a problem.

Yes :slight_smile:

That is why the Big Bang is central to the discussion of the reality of God. If the universe was created out of absolute nothing as the Big Bang Theory implies, then YHWH/God brought it into existence.

Currently though, there is disagreement on this point. I would suggest that you’re in the minority with your opinion that the Big Bang represents an emergence from a literal nothing.

I will say that Christianity does have explanatory power in that it gives necessary meaning and purpose to our lives.

Sure. I didn’t mean to say it can’t have any explanatory power any more than I meant it must have it. I was only referring to the single question of the logical necessity of God for the existence of reality.


(Marvin Adams) #256

I would have hoped you can.

If you demand a creator for the ultimate creator you are logically incoherent and have to explain why you do not understand the word ultimate. Created Gods have been worshipped by cultures in the past but that is what makes the abrahamic God concept different from those by defining God as the ultimate reason himself. The fundamental element of the abrahamic God is, that God created time and space, being himself eternal, making the demand for this God to have a cause logically incoherent. If you feel insulted by stating that the demand for a cause prior to the existence of time/space is childish, be reminded that a time transcending entity clearly cannot have a cause as it is not constrained by time, thus the sequence of cause and effect breaks down for such an existence, It’s really not that difficult to figure out that causality is dependent on being subject to time as the effect follows the cause.
For starters I’d suggest you read https://explorable.com/internal-validity to get refresh your memory on the concept of cause and effect relationships. If you have a different idea of causality outside time/space, give an explanation how causality works for you. I am sure it will be interesting :-)[quote=“John_Dalton, post:255, topic:37310”]
I don’t believe it can stand without resorting to some form of special pleading–setting up conditions which explain why things must be created, and then setting aside God as a special case which doesn’t have to be created.
[/quote]

Perhaps the clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWcSBzbyaaA by WLC might help you out of your confusion of causality of God. But if you think the concept of causality or, like those suffering from WLC-phobia, feel listening to WLC insults their intelligence, I’m sure you’ll give it a pass.

My evidence for that is the general consensus of the scientific community and the evidence presented so far, being in line with the big bangmodel of an expanding universe. https://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Did-the-universe-begin-to-exist-or-is-eternal-a-brief-survey-20150718 gives you a summary of that. Now the physical evidence points to the expanding universe which apparently can not be past eternal, so I look forward for your evidence to show us otherwise.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #257

Okay, Gas is composed of particles in constant motion. I really do not think that the word random is needed here because it has too many meanings which are not relevant. It has nothing to do with chance as does dice. The basic movement of gas particles is the result of the fact of E = mc squared. Mass contains energy. All atoms and molecules move in a constant motion.

You say that the laws of quantum physics are based on this basic motion, but I did not think we ere talking about quantum physics, which is a very new science that is poor understood. Thus we are talking about ordinary science, which is not concerned a individual particles, but about “Gas as a whole, (which) acts predictably,” according to @Bill_II.

Gas does not move randomly, but according to the rules of Newton.


(John Dalton) #258

Well, I’ll give it a shot then :slight_smile:

If you demand a creator for the ultimate creator you are logically incoherent and have to explain why you do not understand the word ultimate. Created Gods have been worshipped by cultures in the past but that is what makes the abrahamic God concept different from those by defining God as the ultimate reason himself. The fundamental element of the abrahamic God is, that God created time and space, being himself eternal, making the demand for this God to have a cause logically incoherent.

It doesn’t matter how God is defined in this context. How people define things has no direct bearing on their truth or logical coherence. What I am interested in here is the suggestion that things must be created, and how God can be considered exempt from those rules while other things cannot. You saying “that’s how he’s defined” doesn’t accomplish anything.

Put another way, you can believe that God is uncreated, but without evidence that that is actually true, you can’t just then forge ahead and use that as an underpinning for the suggestion that things must be created by him–much less suggest that arguments that don’t confirm with your personal definition are intellectually lacking :astonished:

All of this also traces back to your unsubstantiated definition. OK, I define our reality as being time transcendent. God is therefore unnecessary. You don’t demand a cause for that, do you? Don’t be childish.

You seem to have a great deal of certainty about some things that don’t look at all certain to me. You seem to suggest that our universe is coterminous with the totality of reality, but I have no idea if that’s the case. In my understanding there are many different opinions about that.

In my opinion you are operating under an interlocking web of assumptions that aren’t grounded in fact.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #259

Of course it is hard to see how anything could be eternal, because eternity is outside of our realm of experience. Nonetheless the understanding that eternity exists as the flip side of limited time, space, matter, and energy for a long time.

The choice is between the universe which does not have any boundaries and is as such infinite, or YHWH/God Who is the Boundary of the universe and is infinite and complementary to the universe. God is infinite because God is non-spatial, non-physical, and beyond time, which the universe is not.

That I am in a minority would not be surprising. From what I have read it does seem that before the Big Bang, there was no matter, no energy, no time, and no space, even though this is not spelled out. It seems to me that this is a literal nothing and the reason most scientists are rejecting Krause’s book.

Again as I understand the Big Bang based on Einstein’s Theory, it days that the universe came into existence at a certain time through the emergence of mass, energy, space, and time. Thus we do not have set up > “conditions which explain why things must be created, and then setting aside God as a special case which doesn’t have to be created.”[/quote]


#260

@Relates you might want to read the Wikipedia article on the Ideal Gas laws. The particles in an ideal gas are all moving at different speeds and in different directions, hence random. If you want to get technical each particle has a different velocity and these velocities all fit a statistical distribution. The random outcome of throwing dice also fits a statistical distribution.

When I said Gas as a whole acts predictably I was referring to the ideal gas law which allows us to predict the temperature, pressure, or volume of a quantity of gas but this law is based on random particle movements. There is no contradiction.