If God did try to speak to us, would we even recognize or accept it?
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28-12-2012, 10:26 PM
RE: If God did try to speak to us, would we even recognize or accept it?
What is wrong with you people, of course I'd know! But the people who put me in a straightjacket might disagree.

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28-12-2012, 10:58 PM
RE: If God did try to speak to us, would we even recognize or accept it?
(28-12-2012 09:53 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  If God "tried" to speak to us? If there was "an attempt by Him to communicate with us?

Are you serious???

God is freaking OMNIPOTENT. He doesn't "try" or "attempt" anything - he just does it. Furthermore, he is OMNISCIENT. He knows exactly what to do to communicate with each and every one of us in a way that each and every one of us will understand and accept, and he's omnipotent enough [sic] to pull that off, instantly, accurately, and infallibly.

Try? There is no try; there is do, or do not. But when Yoda said that, he was talking about Jedi. Sometimes Jedi fail. God never fails - omnipotence precludes any chance of failure. For him, there is no try; there is do. Perdiod.

You said "the signal would have to be something that science can validate. But is that impossible" Wrong. Nothing is impossible for God. Nothing.

So your question is entirely invalid.

What you meant to ask is "If god infallibly communicates with us to perfectly convince us that he is God and he is very real, would we be willing to accept or validate it?" But that is in itself a silly and useless question. Of course we would accept and validate infallible, perfect, convincing communication from a very real god. How could we not?

Or did you mean to ask if we would fall on our knees and worship him? Well, that depends. If he sticks with the "worship me or burn in Hell for all eternity" game plan, then yes, I'd pucker right up and kiss his divine ass. Humiliating, yes, but suffering a million such humiliations is only the tiniest tip of the iceberg compared to the insufferable eternal agony of Hell. But if he is a kinder, mellower god, like say, the Mormon version, where kissing his ass is optional and there is no Hell, just a less awesome Heaven, then yes, I'd probably tell him to kiss his own ass. Or maybe not; a little ass-kissing for a few more decades and then I get to be an actual god with a universe of my own - I'd probably still go for the ass kissing.

Can you rule out Occam's Razor, or is what you hear just a delusion of your mind?

I'd say the ultimate test would be a uniformity to the experience of sensing God's nature.

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29-12-2012, 04:56 AM
RE: If God did try to speak to us, would we even recognize or accept it?
If he is omnipotent, he can make it clear to us without a doubt that he is there.

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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29-12-2012, 08:33 AM
RE: If God did try to speak to us, would we even recognize or accept it?
(28-12-2012 10:58 PM)Carlo_The_Bugsmasher_Driver Wrote:  
(28-12-2012 09:53 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  If God "tried" to speak to us? If there was "an attempt by Him to communicate with us?

Are you serious???

God is freaking OMNIPOTENT. He doesn't "try" or "attempt" anything - he just does it. Furthermore, he is OMNISCIENT. He knows exactly what to do to communicate with each and every one of us in a way that each and every one of us will understand and accept, and he's omnipotent enough [sic] to pull that off, instantly, accurately, and infallibly.

Try? There is no try; there is do, or do not. But when Yoda said that, he was talking about Jedi. Sometimes Jedi fail. God never fails - omnipotence precludes any chance of failure. For him, there is no try; there is do. Perdiod.

You said "the signal would have to be something that science can validate. But is that impossible" Wrong. Nothing is impossible for God. Nothing.

So your question is entirely invalid.

What you meant to ask is "If god infallibly communicates with us to perfectly convince us that he is God and he is very real, would we be willing to accept or validate it?" But that is in itself a silly and useless question. Of course we would accept and validate infallible, perfect, convincing communication from a very real god. How could we not?

Or did you mean to ask if we would fall on our knees and worship him? Well, that depends. If he sticks with the "worship me or burn in Hell for all eternity" game plan, then yes, I'd pucker right up and kiss his divine ass. Humiliating, yes, but suffering a million such humiliations is only the tiniest tip of the iceberg compared to the insufferable eternal agony of Hell. But if he is a kinder, mellower god, like say, the Mormon version, where kissing his ass is optional and there is no Hell, just a less awesome Heaven, then yes, I'd probably tell him to kiss his own ass. Or maybe not; a little ass-kissing for a few more decades and then I get to be an actual god with a universe of my own - I'd probably still go for the ass kissing.

Can you rule out Occam's Razor, or is what you hear just a delusion of your mind?

I'd say the ultimate test would be a uniformity to the experience of sensing God's nature.
I don't know why you replied to Asceptic's beautiful post with this challenge about "Occam's Razor". It's more fitting for mine.

In defense, against both your reply and Amy's, I did say that there could be alternate explanations for any of those events. Hearing voices (which was merely one example) could be explained otherwise, and I agree that Occam's Razor would posit that it would be a "simpler" explanation to posit a natural explanation such as a mental illness over a supernatural explanation such as The Voice of God.

Asceptic is right, though, and I wish I had said it first. If God existed, even ambiguity would be one of His creations. He could make His voice unambiguous in the world we live in (given omnipotence), and if we posit that He created everything then He could have made ambiguity (especially in this area!) a non-factor. God's voice, given the whole of everything alleged about God, should be easily recognizable if God wanted it to be so. The apologist has to come up with reasons for why God wants to be heard (because otherwise it's not logical for Him to communicate at all) but doesn't want to be heard (because He isn't) simultaneously. Drooling

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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29-12-2012, 04:52 PM
RE: If God did try to speak to us, would we even recognize or accept it?
Related (hypothetical) questions:

If God (for some reason) chose to speak via a medium internal to us (a voice in our heads, feeling in our hearts, etc), could we distinguish it from our own internal, naturally occurring mental, emotional, or cardiovascular processes? How easy would it be to mistake this message as, say, too much salami and anchovies on last night's pizza? Or, from the other direction, how easy is it to mistake a wacky but otherwise mundane dream or thought from divine inspiration? Or combining the two, if we have two impulses, one naturally occurring internal to us and one a gentle nudge from this God, how possible would it be to interpret what we want to do anyway as God's mission to us and dismiss as personal foolishness the actual God-given mission? If there is a God communicating in this matter (which I'm still regarding as a hypothetical, so put down your torches and pitchforks), how could we nail down the Type I and Type II errors? What would be best practices for distinguishing false positives and false negatives? For reducing them?

My read on the religious who interpret God as communicating this way is that they don't seriously consider that there might be error. Not just in the question of whether God communicates with people in this way in general, but the specific failure to consider that they might, personally, be misinterpreting or misattributing the messages in question, for whatever reason. There are no best practices for discerning such errors, because there are no practices at all, and there are no practices because the believers don't think they're needed.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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29-12-2012, 05:52 PM
RE: If God did try to speak to us, would we even recognize or accept it?
It's something I've wondered about. I think it for me to really believe, it would have to come directly from HIM,,not anyone saying its a message from god....

And other people would have to hear it as well -- not just me alone in my room when a plant starts speaking to me. If god allowed people to ask questions and get real answers.

That might be enough of a start.


Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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30-12-2012, 01:17 PM
RE: If God did try to speak to us, would we even recognize or accept it?
(29-12-2012 04:56 AM)Dom Wrote:  If he is omnipotent, he can make it clear to us without a doubt that he is there.
That's almost word for word exactly what I was thinking. An omnipotent god could find countless ways to make such a communication undeniable.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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30-12-2012, 08:20 PM
RE: If God did try to speak to us, would we even recognize or accept it?
Or maybe when we wake up and wonder if it were just a dream, we would find the marimbas in bed with us...

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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30-12-2012, 10:50 PM
RE: If God did try to speak to us, would we even recognize or accept it?
As I said in another thread, all if would take is an indestructible holy book which automatically translated itself into the language of it's beholder. Child's play for the creator of the universe.

"To hate man and worship God seems to be the sum of all creeds." — Robert Ingersoll
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31-12-2012, 01:33 AM
RE: If God did try to speak to us, would we even recognize or accept it?
(28-12-2012 08:36 PM)Carlo_The_Bugsmasher_Driver Wrote:  It makes me wonder. If there was a sign from God or an attempt by Him to communicate with us, would we be willing to accept or validate it?

So holy books are easily refuted as are miracles. So what would be acceptable?

On possible solution is that the signal would have to be something that science can validate. But is that impossible and at the end of the day, just a matter of faith?




For me it would take something that science cannot validate. I know what technology we have now available to our species. I have a reasonable idea of what is coming down the line in the short term. We have massive pumps that could take the water out of a lake and pump in something that looks, feels, and tastes like blood almost seemlessly in a matter of seconds or minutes. I am reasonably certain that we could also make it appear that a tree is burning without using actual fire. Through the use of silent helicopters and some nice speakers, we could make it seem as if the tree/bush is talking. There are many so called miracles in the bible that range from huge undertakings to just simple pollar tricks that would easily fool early man that we are capable of doing now. I know that digital camo exists. I know that if the government had a blimp or similar vehicle 1k feet above my head right now outfitted with digital camo, I would never know it unless someone on board seriously fucked up and dropped the disguise. Imagine if someone back then had the tech that we have now or something better. I can imagine at some point when we have no other choice than to turn to space travel, using the religions of primitives we encounter to turn them to slaves is probably easier than a war. If we fight them, we would kill them all. Make them think we are gods, and they would do whatever we demand. So, for god to prove him/her self would take something that I am pretty sure we would not be able to do even with another 1000 years to work on it. I can't exactly name what it would be, since I would have to test it to see if I could come up with a natural explanation.
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