Why There is No Proof of God

@Shawn_Murphy

I would also like to respond to this for I think I can add some clarity with the question of, what is rationality?

There are three levels of rationality as I see it.

  1. Logical coherence its the bare bones of rationality without which a belief is meaningless.
  2. Consistency with the objective evidence (i.e. the findings of science) puts some flesh on the bones without which a belief is unreasonable.
  3. Agreement with the ideals of a free society puts some hair and clothes on this without which we might say a belief is immoral.

Faith really doesn’t have anything to do with any of these. It simply recognizes that logic isn’t enough, but can only take you from the premises you accept to the conclusions which follow from them. Expecting proof and absolute certainty is a wild goose chase and we simply cannot live our lives without taking some things on faith. A denial of this only means you have made yourself blind to the premises you have simply accepted and thus you are technically delusional.

Now it is true that some of the things people call faith, and which many of us call blind faith doesn’t agree with all three of these levels of rationality. In particular some will ignore the objective evidence to insist on believing things which are unreasonable. But that most certainly is not “the whole point” of faith. The most you can say is the “whole point of” faith is a recognition that rationality isn’t enough or everything. But that does not mean that faith is not rational. In fact because logic ALWAYS starts with premises it is easily argued that you cannot even have rationality without faith – and to think you can is solid evidence of delusion.

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I guess there has to be some sort of rationality, even it is to decide to ignore physical evidence (or lack of) and to accept the biblical message. Yes there is a rationality of what we perceive as morality, goodness, idealism, and the concept of God. IOW there is thought, which means there must be rationality.
There is also an element that goes beyond reason and thought, which must be undefinable to exist at all.

Richard

You seem to be suggesting that maybe you cannot have faith without rationality. I don’t know about that. I am certainly saying that you cannot have rationality without faith, but I doubt it goes the other way. Part of the problem is that rationality is a quality much like health, in that we don’t usually think of this in a quantitative manner. If you have a disease then you are not healthy and likewise if there is logical inconsistency then a belief is not rational. I am not saying that we cannot or shouldn’t think of health and rationality in a more quantitative way but only that we usually do not.

Let’s return to the idea that the universe was created this morning with all our memories as they are and universe in its current state. Is there any evidence whatsoever that this did not happen? No. Sure we can argue and argue much like the theists do for their God that this is something we cannot expect any objective evidence for and just like the theists do for their God we can list lots of subjective evidence and pragmatic reasons for believing that the universe existed yesterday. But ultimately we just believe it because we choose to do so even if their is no objective evidence for it.

Except that you absolutely don’t have to to remain rational. What you seem to be lacking is the proper rational framework.

I’m going to work through this here, thanks for posting. To be honest, it’s a little confusing to me though I have heard the argument that God’s so called divine hiddenness is done so that we can have a choice in the matter. What would be some things that you would consider evidences for God?

· The Bible consists of 66 books written by over 40 authors spanning a period of 1500 years (~1400 BC-90 AD). Its human authors came from several different cultures and numerous occupations. Yet, it is harmonious throughout, underscoring the role of its chief editor and author, the Holy Spirit.

· Subtle evidence that the Bible is written by the Holy Spirit found at my website dedicated to the book, “Trouble with the Trinity”: https://thetwtt.com.

· Grasping the whole of a doctrine requires time mining the information on that doctrine from various books. In other words, it appears to be designed to provide protection from false doctrines arrived at by selecting only a few verses.

· The Old Testament sets the stage for the New Testament. The stories of Abraham & Isaac, the exodus, Job, Psalm 22, Isaiah 53 contain just a few of the many Messianic passages in the Old Testament.

· Theophanies in the Old Testament. The Ultimate Theophany from The Gospel Coalition provides a good overview. (17 04 11)

· Jesus fulfilled many prophesies in the Old Testament.

· Centrality and Validity of the Resurrection

  • During his trial, Mary mother of Jesus could have saved Jesus by saying, “No, he really is Joseph’s son.”
  • Jesus, who later suddenly appeared in a room with closed doors, could have left the grave without the stone’s being removed. It was removed as a testimony to the empty tomb.
  • The empty tomb. All the objection hypotheses start with an empty tomb. His body was never found.
  • Women, who were regarded at the time as unreliable witnesses were the first to see the empty tomb and Jesus. No one making up the story at that time would have written it that way.
  • Apostles had nothing to gain from their testimony and much to lose.
  • Apostles were martyred rather than deny their testimony.
  • Two men, who were opposed to Jesus, suddenly experience a revelation that led them to become leaders of the movement: Saul, who changed his name to Paul after his miraculous confrontation with the resurrected Jesus and James, the denying brother of Jesus, after he also was visited by the resurrected Jesus.

· The Gospels were written within years of the crucifixion and resurrection.

  • The chain of custodianship of the Gospel’s was carefully documented so we can be confident that Mark, the earliest Gospel, was written only a few years after the crucifixion.
  • The early Gospels left out critical names to protect those involved. The later Gospels included the names.

· None of the Gospels or letters refers to the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D.*–an event predicted by Jesus. If they had been written after 70 A.D., the authors would have had good reason to reference it.

· Jesus is credited by many doubters as being a very wise person with very iconoclastic, even shrewd, thought-provoking teachings.

· These same doubters deny his claims to be God such as his “I am…” statements in John and other verses discussed in “The Trouble with the Trinity.” As C.S. Lewis so correctly points out, because He makes these statements about His deity, He is either a lunatic, a demon, or exactly who He says he is. The idea that He was just a brilliant person is not among the options left open to us.

· Genesis begins with the Creation story. The 12 Fundamental Principles of Christianity show why it had to begin there.

· The Gospel is God reaching down to man. All other religions are man reaching up to God.

· The only focus of religion used as a name in vain (a swear word) is “God,” “Jesus,” and “Christ.” What is so special about Him that He warrants this attention?

· The Gospel is an example of intricate simplicity-something I see again and again in the world and talk about in Eight Phenomena Which Recur Often in Cosmological, Chemical and Biological Evolution That Suggest a Creator.

· A deeper understanding of the human mind & condition revealed in the Gospel that far exceeds the understanding found in all other belief systems.

· The “God-shaped vacuum” in our mind. Riches, drugs, knowledge, fame, crowds of admirers are some of the many things we try to fill it with. None of them brings the Satisfaction and sense of completion that only God brings when He is allowed to fill it.

· The conviction upon the instant after conversion (crossing the line) that you, the new believer, have just made the most significant decision in all your life as the Holy Spirit indwells you.

· The role of the Holy Spirit in the “lives of the believer” resulting in too many coincidences to be just chance. For an example of our “Godincidences” see The Holy Spirit in Our Lives. Ask any serious believer who’s walked with the Lord for some time and you’ll find a similar collection of unbelievable events.

· The alignment of his World with his Word through the phenomenon of natural revelation (the alignment of natural revelation and supernatural revelation)

· The Shroud of Turin. I am not convinced all the evidence is in on this yet. I suspect when it is, it will be proven to be the actual burial cloth of Jesus.

· Archaeological/historical support for much in the Old Testament and New and the growing examples of archaeological finds supporting the historicity of the Bible from before the Babylonian exile. Many articles in Biblical Archaeological Review that present this extrabiblical evidence.

· The continued existence of the nation Israel and Judaism. This was driven home by a brief book by Anthony H. Futerman, a leading biochemist at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, “Defending the Messianic Faith with Honesty, Humility, and Integrity.” Although I had used this argument before on occasion, I had neglected to include it in this list. This is some of what I say in “The Trouble with the Trinity,” “It is the only ancient religion still followed by a significant number of people. The best explanation for this is that God has preserved it over the millennia. The Bible clearly indicates that the Israelite’s are of great importance to Him.”

· The suggestive way over 1000 references to the Trinity scattered throughout the Old and New Testaments logically bring together deep insights into the Triune nature of God to form a symbol significant to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

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This one for me, even as a Christian doesn’t make much sense. Can you share some specific examples of what you mean? Like what are some specific examples that you find particularly harmonious and evidence that the Holy Spirit is the author which goes beyond simply later authors having access to earlier authors and repurposing older material to speak to a matter in the present?

I have more thoughts and questions for you but let’s start here.

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Yes, this is an oft quoted assertion–from the original Evidence That Demands a Verdict, as well, I think. It’s hard to quantify and defend, though many say it… Good point for discussion. There is a parallel in the Qur’an, saying that it’s perfect in both content and in predictions–internally verifying. Thanks.

There is no backing for the claim that the Holy Spirit (or God) authored Scripture…

Richard

Nor any backing for the claim that the Bible is not what God would have you know about Himself and how to be a Christian, if that takes any of the sting out it.

Only if you haven’t read.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

I’ve often thought that. Even the stones will cry out.

That does not mean what you think.

God breathed does not mean dictated. Useful does not mean exclusively, or complete.

Richard

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A few too many double negatives for my liking.

Yes Scripture is the revelation of God, but if you think it gives you everything you are sadly mistaken. We cannot comprehend all of God. And, if there are not enough books in the world to hold all of what Christ did what makes you think that one small compilation is enough to contain all that God as done, or wishes us to know.

Richard

That of course is far more positive than I can sign off on. But my post was meant, like yours, to comment on what claims are justified. So I was just pointing out that the positive atheist claim was likewise not justified.

That doesn’t mean I’m ready to join your statement of faith. I have my own faith commitments, thanks anyway.

Neither does authored.

As the Holy Spirit has no corporeal form, how else does it author?

Richard

A Holy Spirit can author through a medium, like Joshua, using automatic writing or verbally through a deep trance medium. But after that, all is left in man’s hands. The editing, translating and publishing is all in the corrupt hands of man.

How does God work through providence? That would be a comparable question.

There is no justification for such notions. The Bible does not read as one author. here are many different styles let alone two languages. Besides. the words themselves are from the human perspective not God, unless actually quoting Him.

No, it is a human tradition, and a false one.

Richard