Surefire ways to prove God exists
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27-10-2013, 10:07 PM
RE: Surefire ways to prove God exists
(27-10-2013 08:41 PM)sporehux Wrote:  1. Put an amputee in the center of a stadium and have the whole world pray for him.
(also a genuinely blind person, deaf. )

I don't think this counts as evidence for the existence of a God. It would be good evidence of the power of prayer because since that is what would have been observed. The mechanism of the effect would remain an open question.
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27-10-2013, 10:08 PM
RE: Surefire ways to prove God exists
(27-10-2013 08:48 PM)pppgggr Wrote:  2. Have the whole world pray for him to manifest in physical form, in front of working cameras.

How would you verify that it is Abrahamic God and not some malicious and deceptive demon?
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27-10-2013, 10:12 PM
RE: Surefire ways to prove God exists
(27-10-2013 08:49 PM)Jeffasaurus Wrote:  3. Extend your hand, ask God to instantly fill it with a stack of $100 bills/a gold bar/a grilled cheese sandwich.

Again, doesn't count as evidence for the existence of God. If we did witness that we would have to admit that something very irregular and supernatural occured but how would we make the jump from that event to the existence of the Abrahamic God. Why even attribute that event to God?
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27-10-2013, 10:21 PM
RE: Surefire ways to prove God exists
(27-10-2013 08:41 PM)sporehux Wrote:  Please help me create a list for my Born again m8:
only thing Ive got so far:

1. Put an amputee in the center of a stadium and have the whole world pray for him.
(also a genuinely blind person, deaf. )

I don't think there is any single event or criterion that would serve as a "[s]urefire ways to prove [that] God exists". We don't have any means of establishing the identity of a God or any other immaterial person. You can construct a huge list of supernatural requirements but there is no way to link their fulfillment to the Abrahamic God. We could reasonably assume that their exist some persons with supernatural power, but that is all.
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27-10-2013, 11:01 PM
RE: Surefire ways to prove God exists
(27-10-2013 08:41 PM)sporehux Wrote:  Please help me create a list for my Born again m8:
only thing Ive got so far:

1. Put an amputee in the center of a stadium and have the whole world pray for him.
(also a genuinely blind person, deaf. )

Further to my previous reply, there is no way that I can think of for either you or your born-again friend to identify God. Assume that the narrative in the Book of Revelation plays out. How could your friend confirm that it is in fact the work of God and not the mischief of technologically superior aliens that are just messing with Christians? In Contact the aliens could read human thoughts and construct for them a virtual(?) world that appeared real. How could you be certain that you were encountering God and not aliens like these?

As far as I can determine there is no way to confirm the idenity of an immaterial person. Every notion that relates to identity that we have is tied to material reality. The problem appears to me to be that once you surrender metaphysical naturalism you have deprived yourself of fundamental concepts that enable you to make sense of the world and be competent in it.
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27-10-2013, 11:13 PM
RE: Surefire ways to prove God exists
I guess spontaneous limb growth could just as easily be harry potter magic

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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28-10-2013, 12:25 AM
RE: Surefire ways to prove God exists
(27-10-2013 11:13 PM)sporehux Wrote:  I guess spontaneous limb growth could just as easily be harry potter magic

If you are going to sever the tether to reality as we know it then spontaneous limb growth could be due Harry Potter magic, aliens, a malicious demon or anything your imagination can dream up. That's one of the problems of supernaturalism, it defines itself in terms of what we know to be impossible or very highly improbable. Further, because it is inherently unlawful (unlike the fundamental results in basic science) it is essentially unbounded and limited only by the limits of the laws of classical logic (and in some cases even those are violated).

If the natural world is so utterly bizarre and we are so misguided about how it works that spontanerous human limb regrowth is actually real then there would be no point in trying to understand how or who caused that miracle. How would we even begin to try an attribute it to a God? How could we confirm that it was the Abrahamic God that heard the prayer and answered it?

But more generally it is impossible--as far as I can determine--to establish the identity of any supernatural person. How could you confirm that it was actually the angel Gabriel that was visiting you? What means of establishing identity that we are familiar with could be used to establish that we are dealing with the angel Gabriel? I can't think of any that would resist subversion via supernatural means.

I am reminded of a delusion of a paranoid schizophrenic that I once read about. The delusion was that at night while asleep aliens would enter this person's bedroom and induce general anaesthesia. Once unconscious the aliens would cut open the person's abdomen and remove all of his organs and then replace them with exact copies. The aliens would also use a special surgical technology that would cause the wound to heal before the person woke up and would leave no scar. The alien technology was so sophisticated that they would leave no evidence of their visit. Of course the aliens wouldn't visit if anybody stood watch while the person slept or they would use sepcial alien technology to put the guard into suspended animation. The technology of the aliens is effectively supernatural. Anything that you propose can be answered. Closed-circuit video cameras can be disabled by alien technology, perimeter alarms can be subverted by alien technology etc. etc.

You can't refute this delusion because it preemptively denigrates all human epistemic power. The delusion itself is about the supposed limits of human knowledge and technology so any objection you can possibly raise is preemptively dealt with by the premise of the delusion.

I suppose my point is that you can't reason within a supernatural world because supernaturalism is inherently unreasonable. If an amputee did spontaneously re-grow their limbs we would just be utterly confused and there would be no way to confirm that it was the work of the Abrahamic God.
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28-10-2013, 12:42 AM
RE: Surefire ways to prove God exists
4. Die. Observe any resulting afterlife for contact with God.

Problems with methodology: Uncertainty that observations will be possible. Difficulty discerning observations from hallucinations arising from brain hypoxia. Non-repeatability. Severe side effects from experiment. Difficulty in submitting observations for peer review... it's supposed to be publish OR perish.
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28-10-2013, 07:39 AM
RE: Surefire ways to prove God exists
The only way I can truly think of to prove that a god exists or doesn't exist would be to make everyone in the world all knowing or rational, which ever is easiest.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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28-10-2013, 08:20 AM
RE: Surefire ways to prove God exists
Hmm, somehow I see this going like this:

Me: Prove God exists.

*God appears before me*

Me: How do I know you're God?

*God does something miraculous like instantly making an enormous pile of food - enough to feed all the starving people in the world for a week.

Me: Nice. So you definitely have powers that we humans don't have. But how to I know you're God and not just some alien with super powers...?

*God scratches his head and blinks a few times; then vanishes*

"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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