waterdog

Proof of God's Existence

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The existing facts being what they are, you are not going to take issue, right?  You yourself presented the facts in your initial post on the matter.  To take issue over conditions that do not exist would be senseless.

I'm not exactly sure what your saying there Picard :blink:.???

Are you referring to the fact that I had already said that the moon is slightly more dense than the sun in the original question? If so then that's a fair point.

Anyway, what I was saying is that it's not really obvious or self evident (based only the qualitative reasoning about the moon being closer etc) that the moon would have the larger tidal influence.

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Anyway, what I was saying is that it's not really obvious or self evident (based only the qualitative reasoning about the moon being closer etc) that the moon would have the larger tidal influence.

Anyway, what you said before was that if conditions were different, then it would not be so apparent. Since they are not, that would sensless to take issue. What you said about the moon having a more pronounced effect is true, it does. The moon is closer, denser, has a strong pull for its size. it is closer, it is denser, it has a strong pull for its size. Tides goes in, tides goes out. Of course it has readily visible effect on tides.

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There is also the factor of the Earth and the Moon having a common gravicentre which is situated within the Earth. This is the main cause of tidal fluctuations.

Yes tealeaf, that's quite true but it is actually just another way to look at the same underlying thing.

As the Earth and the Moon "dance" about their common center of gravity, each being pulled toward the other, the solid mass of the Earth behaves approximately as a rigid body. The acceleration of the solid Earth is therefore governed by the gravitaional force effectively acting as though it were a point mass concerntrated at the center of the Earth.

The surface water on the otherhand is also dancing with the moon, but the force it feels varies depending on it's location, whether its on the near-moon side of the Earth or otherwise. Thus the surface water and the solid Earth are both doing slighlty different dances, dancing slightly out of step if you like, and that is another way of qualitatively explaining the Moon's causation of ocean tides.

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There's actually something on the Discovery channel right now about the moon. The show says that it originally formed 14,000 miles away which is significantly closer than it is now. Using laser technology, scientists have measured that the moon is still drifting further away from the earth at about 1.5inches a year which is why the earth's rotation is slowing and requires and additional second to be added on each year.

The moon and sun have not always been roughly the same size in the sky, and they won't be in the future either. In other words there is no connection at all between God and the visual size of the moon and sun, and the only coincidence is that we happen to be on the planet during the period that they are similar.

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Simple proof?

Ok how about this:

The Mighty Ducks. 90:1 long shots for winning the stanley cup, has forced a 7th and final game in the series. Now normally this wouldnt be proof of anything beyond statistical improbablities. However in this case, the team they have to beat, is the NJ Devils... Now if the Ducks do pull it off tonight, and win, what further proof would you require?

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Re: The Sun and the Moon; How are we to know if it is God's doing or the Devil's? Or The Giver's for that matter?

Come on Bill, your not that old ;)

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... which is why the earth's rotation is slowing and requires and additional second to be added on each year.

I'm glad you brought that up KingGremlin, it's a fairly common misconception (based on the leap second thing) that the Earth is actually slowing down at that rate of approx one second per year. This is however quite wrong, the true figure is more than one hundred times less than this. (The true slowdown rate is about 0.0055 seconds per year.).

The reason for the common misunderstanding is that many people assume that the "leap seconds" are a direct indication of the rate of the Earths slowdown, but this is not the case. The discrepency is based on the definition of the length of a second (and number of seconds in a year) some 100 years ago. The fact that the accumulated slowdown of the Earths rotation over this hundred year period (coupled with a slightly inexact definition of the number of seconds per year to begin with in the pre-atomic clock era) has led to the situation where on average we need to add about three quarters of a second per year.

But it is very important to realise that even if the Earth somehow magically stopped slowing down right now and spun at exactly constant rotation forevermore, then we would still have to add the leap second (approx) every year due simply to the inexact definition of the second some hundred years ago.!!!

BTW, If the one second per year slowdown was actually true then you'd only need to go back a few tens of millions of years and the Earth would have been spinning at such an incredibly high rate that it would have generated weather systems so severe that life as we know it would never have evolved. Creation "Scientists" often use this erroneous arguement to "prove" that the Earth can not be anywhere near as old as conventional Science predicts.

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quote you Waterdog:

"that it seems judicious to attend church regularly and to read your Bible every day.""

You must be joking. :huh:

François

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quote you Waterdog:

    "that it seems judicious to attend church regularly and to read your Bible every day.""

You must be joking. :huh:

François

No, sorry lad, I wasn't joking.

You may be part of the post-Modernist crowd that eschews religion, but I for one, still fear God. Evidence of his existence is found all around us.

"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things which are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse..." Romans 1:20

My point in this thread is that the perceived size of the sun and moon is evidence of God. We are surrounded by evidence: our complex and miraculous hands, our vision, our sense of humor, the beautiful blue sky, the ability to write a sonata. I could go on all day. Sorry if my religious conviction strikes you as anachronistic.

Waterdog

Is your sig a joke? Hate may be the most narrow-minded emotion of all.

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Waterdog,

You are I are congruent in our belief that God exists. We have evidently arrived at our beliefs on different roads, which is no indictment of either journey or the destination. My graduate (Masters' & Doctoral) studies were business and law by genus, but I really took a keen interest in Christian apologetics, and it is from that discipline that I'd like to comment.

You are scripturally sound in the mechanics of giving an account for your faith. I personally would not use planetary configurations as a basis for theology, however, as it is rather specifically warned against in scripture: Deuteronomy 4:19, 17:2-5, 18:10-12, Isaiah 47:13-14, et. al. It is important to use the language and intent of the autographia (the original writings, in their native language; Hebrew) to discern these precedents without encountering Hermeneutical difficulties.

I believe that Romans 1:20 does not address, expressly or implicitly, the issue of planetary relationships. Rather, its context is of God's characteristics (see Romans 1:19).

Concerning the participants in this forum who believe that there is no evidence of God, particularly as He is revealed in the Christian Bible, I'm not anxious. I don't wish to be perjorative, but it's a matter of ignorance. It is important to avoid low-level philosophizing (intellectually pulverizing evidence) about the issue since the question is binary (either there is or isn't...), and there is plenty of tangible, virtuous evidence on which to judge the question. I have found that there is no reasonable doubt for the claim of Jesus' resurrection. See my signature, below.

However, if someone is unfamiliar with Origen's issues on Hebrews, cannot identify the importance of the Antilegomena, and is profoundly unfamiliar with ancient Hebrew culture and communicative mechanics, (etc.) they are probably not qualified to broadly and arrogantly dismiss the Judeo-Christian constitution.

There is another scriptural mandate which I (admittedly) struggle with frequently and is particularly relevant to this present situation: Matthew 7:6. Simply and judiciously proclaim the Gospel and give the stones they hurl the same consideration that Stephen did.

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I have to go to the toilet every day.  A sign of god's existence as well?

Yes, of course it is. Do you know the miraculous system inside your body consisting of many, many feet of intesting, a stomach that contains powerful acids (yet doesn't burn us unless something goes rather awry), and teeth and saliva that prepare food for swallowing and digestion? It's all evidence of god.

These kinds of ideas are elements of a proof of god known as the theory of god from design (or the intelligent design theory). It states something like the following: if we look at the complexities of the world around us, in the way that life seems to create order out of a relative chaos of molecules, we must realize that none of this could have developed on its own, and must be the result of intelligent design. Thus, there must be a designer (god).

There are two things that are wrong with this idea:

  • It assumes that the "order from chaos" could only be the result of intelligent design. This premise is entirely arbitrary, and is really an attempt of sorts at an ontological argument that makes god an a priori truth if on accepts this premise. It binds the idea of complexity or "order" to design, where "design" is something done by a conscious being (rather than a natural law, etc.).
    However, there is no logical way in which the two are linked -- to link them, one needs to show that order is impossible without design. Crystal structures are an example of order that existed far before any intelligent animals on this planet. We are able to show how crystal structures are formed based on chemical laws. These laws (or forces, if you prefer) in no way logically require the existence of a god to function, nor is there any evidence suggesting they were anything but always existant.
    Hence, there is no universally apparent or a priori link between order and design.
  • Even if we accept the premise above, there is a problem. If order from chaos -- or the general "amazingness" of life -- requires a designer, doesn't the designer himself represent order and amazement, and thus require his own designer? In other words, who brought order to the designer?
    The typical response is that no one did; god is infinite, and the beginning of everything is with him.
    The counter-response to that is that if god is infinite, why couldn't the laws (which are really a description of the ordered behavior we observe) that are currently behind all causality have always existed, without a "being?" The idea of god is just as arbitrary as the idea of no god.

As you may have noticed, both objections boil down to the same issue: stipulating the existence of god as a condition of the existence of order is arbitrary. It is arbitrary even if you accept the premise that order requires an intelligent designer.

In short, the proof from intelligent design fails to prove anything. It merely offers a silhouette of evidence for those who already believe -- a fig leaf.

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Excellent advice, lgeis.

I wish I had the theological knowledge to get into this with you -- you have obviously studied a fair bit of redaction and other criticism, and I have barely scratched the surface of that.

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Waterdog,

I personally would not use planetary configurations as a basis for theology, however, as it is rather specifically warned against in scripture: Deuteronomy 4:19, 17:2-5, 18:10-12, Isaiah 47:13-14, et. al. It is important to use the language and intent of the autographia (the original writings, in their native language; Hebrew) to discern these precedents without encountering Hermeneutical difficulties.

I believe that Romans 1:20 does not address, expressly or implicitly, the issue of planetary relationships. Rather, its context is of God's characteristics (see Romans 1:19).

Concerning the participants in this forum who believe that there is no evidence of God, particularly as He is revealed in the Christian Bible, I'm not anxious. I don't wish to be perjorative, but it's a matter of ignorance. It is important to avoid low-level philosophizing (intellectually pulverizing evidence) about the issue since the question is binary (either there is or isn't...), and there is plenty of tangible, virtuous evidence on which to judge the question. I have found that there is no reasonable doubt for the claim of Jesus' resurrection. See my signature, below.

However, if someone is unfamiliar with Origen's issues on Hebrews, cannot identify the importance of the Antilegomena, and is profoundly unfamiliar with ancient Hebrew culture and communicative mechanics, (etc.) they are probably not qualified to broadly and arrogantly dismiss the Judeo-Christian constitution.

There is another scriptural mandate which I (admittedly) struggle with frequently and is particularly relevant to this present situation: Matthew 7:6. Simply and judiciously proclaim the Gospel and give the stones they hurl the same consideration that Stephen did.

Igeis:

Thanks for your comments. You have certainly educated yourself to a laudable degree.

I disagree, however, with your estimation of Romans 1:20. I believe it is a NT parallel (and many scholars agree) of such OT scripture as Ps 19:1-3:

The heavens declare the glory of God

And the firmament shows His handiwork

Daya unto day utters speech

And night unto night reveals knowledge

There is no speech nor language

Where their voice is not heard.

The prohibitions you refer to are concerned with pagan worship based on observation of the heavens (winter solstice, Christmas celebrations). It is, in my estimation, not innappropriate to use the 'heavens' as a mechanism to cause people to question their religious prejudice.

Waterdog

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The idea of god is just as arbitrary as the idea of no god.

Howdy!

In the Old Testament, there are some 300 prophecies of Messiah, including extraordinary specifics such as virgin birth, place of birth, manner of death, resurrection, etc. The opportunity for one person to fulfill all of those prophecies can be reasonably described as unrealistic.

Yet, someone did fulfill them all, to the jot and tittle, with no deviance.

That someone claimed that there is a God.

I respectfully submit that describing this as arbitrary is insufficient.

The argument distills then to the reliability of scripture. I stand ready to defend the authenticity and virtue of scripture, specifically the original writings and for the sake of simplicity, I'll describe their original canonical composition as the KJV. If someone does have something solid that fundamentally and materially indicts scripture, there are millions of us waiting...we've been waiting ~2,000 years, in fact...

Incidentally and respectfully to any takers...Googling up "Bible Difficulties" isn't going to work. They've all been chewed to a pulp by a great collection of people with looooong alphabets behind their names. You'll likely need to produce something quite radical. Additionally, I'd like any challenges to reference the original Hebrew or Greek, please.

Thanks!

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Waterdog,

I have to run...please excuse my flightiness. I'll try to whip up a response this afternoon.

I do believe I understand your point, but there is a great Exigesical challenge to the denotations of the nouns used in your referenced passages (which, BTW, I really appreciate!). Extending them (the definitions) to include tertiary traits such as the size and geometric relationships of individual bodies seems presumptive.

Also, I submit that the warnings against overt pagan engagements are only an element of the polemic/argument. The broader point is that any reliance upon such things is classic sin ("missing the target"). The tie to paganism is simply further indictment of the action. We'll have to visit the autograph to investigate...

Again...gotta zoom-apologies.

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The counter-response to that is that if god is infinite, why couldn't the laws (which are really a description of the ordered behavior we observe) that are currently behind all causality have always existed, without a "being?" The idea of god is just as arbitrary as the idea of no god.

You quoted the red of my statement, and responded to that. I think you may have somewhat miscontrued my statement; you have taken it out of context. I did not intend to imply that my argument in any way proved the idea of god in general is just as arbitrary as the idea of no god (though one might be able to make arguments along those lines, I have not done so).

My statement had specifically to do with the argument from design, the premises of which I have adequately shown to be arbitrary. If you prefer, my statement should be revised:

"The idea of god existing due to the order that we observe is just as arbitrary as the idea of the "natural laws" existing in the absence of god."

That said, I may still engage you in the theological issue -- provided you don't mind my using a few external sources (which I will happily directly quote, or direct you to, if you like), as my own knowledge is rather shallow in that area.

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balding_ape,

Apologies. I interpreted differently and in haste.

You're very gracious ("You have certainly educated yourself to a laudable degree"). I have to qualify myself in that my education was fairly broad and reinforced to me how little I actually know...a decade of schooling (cum laude, no less) and all I can truthfully say is that I have only the realization that there is far too much for any one person to know. Specialization only narrows the aperture...it doesn't really increase "knowledge" in the exercise of human interaction.

The context too is that among the folks that I run with, I'm on the very low end, intellectually. It's very humbling.

I have an acquaintance who's an MD, PH.D., JD...if memory serves...I think those are the three. Can you imagine? Three unrelated doctorates (medicine, law, and some lab science tangential to the MD).

Anyway, yes, fire away on the questions of theology. I love it...it expands me as well because I unashamedly research such things. There are a couple of issues in Matthew I still haven't found what I consider to be solid answers on, so my progression continues.

waterdog,

Psalm 19: 2-the word heaven comes from the Hebrew shamayim, which refers specifically to the visible and lofty collection of stars, atmosphere, and even the identity of the Throne of God. There seems to be no assignment of geometries or measurement, or the evidentiary value of those characteristics. It seems to me that it is the presence/generality of shamayim being referenced, not it's astronomical function or any occult issues (occult = hidden).

Link A

Link B

Link C

Variety of Links

I have reviewed several sources including Darby and no interpretation seems to suggest either an invitation to expand the connotation of heaven to include geometries or physical measurement, rather, the general idea is one of testimony of omniscience, grandeur...

Please let me know what you think.

Thanks!

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If god exists, where did it come from?

1. If the answer exceeds our cognitive capacity, does it mean that He doesn't exist?

2. Why does it matter? We have reasonable, if not incontrovertible proof that He does exist. He is not subject to our review.

BTW, the reason that we do not have incontrovertible proof is the limited nature of our communication and understanding, not limits on His provision.

This question is often used (not an accusation here) to frustrate discourse by folks who feel cornered by facts. It's a dead end since it is not explained for us in scripture.

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If the universe exists, where did it come from? Does the universe really exist?

If god exists, where did it come from?

God was put in your head thanks to your parents.

So and i will say this again, usually if your parents where Christians then you probably will be too, if they where Muslims you probably would be too.

François

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You may be part of the post-Modernist crowd that eschews religion, but I for one, still fear God. Evidence of his existence is found all around us.

"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things which are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse..." Romans 1:20

My point in this thread is that the perceived size of the sun and moon is evidence of God. We are surrounded by evidence: our complex and miraculous hands, our vision, our sense of humor, the beautiful blue sky, the ability to write a sonata. I could go on all day.  Sorry if my religious conviction strikes you as anachronistic.

Waterdog

Is your sig a joke? Hate may be the most narrow-minded emotion of all.

This is a perfect example of a person attributing to supernatural forces that which is beyond the persons ability to comprehend.

Even high-school level science could provide the knowledge necessary to understand such as this. aaterboy, how young are you? Nine? Ten?

And yes, by Waterdogs logic, taking a crap is evidence of God's existance. That is just pitiful!

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i will answer you here Waterdog:

quote you:

"Is your sig a joke? Hate may be the most narrow-minded emotion of all. "

I think believing in God is the most narrow-minded emotion of all. Furthermore believing in any God can be very dangerous, it influences your straight thinking.

As for interpretation of the word "hate" in the way i use it, it is the same as saying "do not like" and if you where not narrow-minded you would have read it the way i explain it.

François

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Igeis wrote:

The argument distills then to the reliability of scripture.

Um... no offense, but if you truly think that a debate about the existence or non-existence of an omnipotent being who created and is responsible for the whole universe can be cut down to deciding whether some self-contradictory scripture honored by a handful of self-serving human religions supposedly inspired by said being are legitimate or not, I respectfully suggest that you ponder that more thoroughly.

If someone does have something solid that fundamentally and materially indicts scripture, there are millions of us waiting...

Likewise, if you truly believe that the contents of the Bible are wholly and provably accurate, you need to take a look at some of its obvious contradictions. I don't want to spend a lot of effort looking the specifics up now, but I can recall a few from memory. In the two universe creation stories in Genesis, God creates things in different orders- in one, I think he creates humans before animals, but in the other he creates animals before humans. So, which is it? The story of people going to Jesus's tomb and finding his body missing in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is different in each. Again I can't recall the details, but I vaguely recall that the presence or absence of an angel talking to Jesus's pals is inconsistent, as is the number of Roman guards, as is the number of Jesus's friends who go to his tomb, etc. I definitely recall reading that someone has offered a substantial monetary award to anyone who can convincingly hone these stories down to one "real" story with no contradictions, so if you'd be interested in attempting the challenge, I will look to see if I can find who's doing that. I suspect it would have made the news if someone had already. I regret that I do not know Hebrew, Aramaic, or Biblical Greek, but if you really want some examples of contradictory Bible passages, I'm sure I could dig a number of them up from a translation.

Incidentally and respectfully to any takers...Googling up "Bible Difficulties" isn't going to work. They've all been chewed to a pulp by a great collection of people with looooong alphabets behind their names.

One problem here is that all these people have a substantial interest in "disproving" challenges to Biblical accuracy (their own salvation, as they see it) and have audiences who primarily are interested in seeing them succeed brilliantly (and who can thus justify their faith). Another problem is that all the education in the world won't help someone produce a logical and/or scientific argument if there isn't a sufficient amount of subjectivity involved. It would be foolish to argue that anyone with a doctorate, or even two or three, can write with unassailable authority on his given field(s). And again, it is clear that these highly educated people still have a very strong interest in making their findings "work" with their own beliefs. To do otherwise, in their eyes, would require either a loss of faith- which would essentially be an admission of a rather huge error in judgement about an enormously important subject- or, presumably, damnation. I wouldn't say either of these is a very appealing end for a believer.

If the answer exceeds our cognitive capacity, does it mean that He doesn't exist?

I didn't see Drakantus say anything about how the ability of any human to comprehend the answer having any impact on the question- comprehension is immaterial to the reality of things. In any case, I've heard believers attempt to use the understanding, or rather non-understanding, "argument" to try to prove that God exists, e.g. "I just can't understand how [x] could exist without an intelligent God creating it," ergo God must exist. This is a non-argument and holds no value for debate.

Why does it matter [if we can answer where God came from]?.

One common argument for the existence of God is that the universe couldn't have just come into being on its own, so something or someone must have been there earlier to create it. Of course, that someone must be God. Thus, the question follows, if nothing can spring into existence on its own, how did God come into being? That's not to say that you are embracing this argument, but that is my guess as to why the question was asked. Given our current knowledge of the history of the universe, it seems that we will never be able to know what happened before the Big Bang- and there even "before" might not be an accurate word to use, since apparently no time dimension existed previous to that event, if our current understanding of astrophysics is accurate enough in that area.

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