What sort of evidence would it take for atheists to believe in a creator?
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28-01-2014, 11:36 AM
What sort of evidence would it take for atheists to believe in a creator?
This is a curiosity question. I've been having some interesting discussions with some people in these forums and the comment that I seem to get the most often is, "there is no proof of a creator's existence."

Now, first of all, I'm not using the term "God" as I have been advised that it is loaded. All I mean, by the term creator is some sort of "first cause" for the existence of the universe who created the universe purposefully (an "agent").

Anyways, I came on this site to try to understand the atheist viewpoint better, as I just recently got engaged to an atheist. In doing so, I have had some lengthy discussions with some of the regulars on these forums. I have tried discussing some of the arguments and philosophical 'proofs' for the existence of a creator, but I keep coming up against the statement of "there is no proof/evidence for the existence of a creator". Instead of simply being annoyed by the fact that the comment seemed to ignore my arguments and philosophical 'proofs', I figured that I would ask this question of the atheists on this page:

What sort of proof or evidence would you require to believe in a creator?

The question was raised in my head when an atheist said to me, "if God wanted to settle this argument he could easily do so." So, I thought to myself, "Is that actually true?"

If a creator did care what humankind thought of him, I suppose he could just come down and tell us that he exists, but I wonder how many of us would believe him if he did. After all, any number of people claim to have heard the voice of God. Even as a believer in a creator (I'm told by people on this page I either fall into the category of a deist or an agnostic theist), I find the accounts of those people to be highly questionable. I'm just not willing to take someone else's word for it.

I have been listening to The God Delusion by Dawkins recently, and he explains away a lot of claims of hearing the voice of God through multiple means, whether it be our brain tricking us into believing that a naturally created sound (ie. the wind hitting something in a certain way) is actually the voice of God, or simple hallucinations. Even if the creator spoke directly to me, I tend to think that I might consider it to be a hallucination or trick of some kind.

Well, so what about miracles? Miracles (defined as an event that violates the laws of nature) have been used throughout history in support of one religion or the other. While they do provide sufficient proof for some people, I believe that the atheist perspective (and, for the most part, my own) is encapsulated by David Hume's Argument Against Miracles:

Hume's first and primary argument is:
1) Miracles are of necessity very rare and improbable.
2) It is much more probable that the historical testimony is false than that the miracle actually occurred.
3) Therefore a wise man will not believe the historical testimony to the miracle since no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle.

So, if that's the case, then miracles can't convince a "wise man" of anything.

Imagine someone coming up to you and claiming to be God personified. Imagine that they performed crazy miracles for you, what would your reaction be? Would it be, "Oh, that's just a magic trick I don't understand"? What if an alien creator came down claiming to have created the universe and performed incredible miraculous feats? Would the response simply be, "Well, his technology must just be more advanced than ours"? And, what if someone actually changed the laws of nature permanently in a way that allowed science to repeat experiments that proved the new law of nature? Would your response be, "Well, I guess our previous law of nature must have simply been wrong"?

So, how about science? Could science ever solve the problem?

The primary problem with this is that if a creator created the universe, then everything that we study in science is also created by that same creator (unless you believe in polytheism). The consequence of this is that we have no point of comparison. It's not like we can look at other universes and say "this one demonstrates qualities of a created universe while this one does not." We only have one universe for science to analyze, and if the only options are 1. a creator made everything, or 2. a creator created nothing, then neither option is scientifically testable because we lack a comparitor.

So, if philosophical 'proofs' and arguments are dismissed as not being scientific or providing no "evidence" of the existence of a creator, what is it that atheists are looking for that would convince them? And, I suppose, the corollary to that would be:

Is it reasonable to hold any belief (atheism included) when no "evidence" could possibly exist that would change your mind, and how is that any different than having blind faith?

Don't take that last question as being an attack, it is simply meant as a friendly challenge. I hope that you guys will be willing to either take up the challenge of my first question (what evidence it would take) or my last question. I look forward to hearing the answers and am ready and prepared to be convinced.
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28-01-2014, 11:45 AM (This post was last modified: 28-01-2014 01:13 PM by Vosur.)
RE: What sort of evidence would it take for atheists to believe in a creator?
Edit: Never mind, I'll rephrase the whole thing and post it later.

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28-01-2014, 12:12 PM
RE: What sort of evidence would it take for atheists to believe in a creator?
The creator would know.

Check out my now-defunct atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
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Atheism promotes critical thinking; theism promotes hypocritical thinking. -- Me
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28-01-2014, 12:21 PM (This post was last modified: 28-01-2014 12:37 PM by Taqiyya Mockingbird.)
RE: What sort of evidence would it take for atheists to believe in a creator?
(28-01-2014 11:36 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  This is a curiosity question.

No, it's not. It's a full-up "apologetics" snake-oil sales pitch. Funny how you all never actually seem to get around to apologizing.


Quote:I've been having some interesting discussions with some people in these forums and the comment that I seem to get the most often is, "there is no proof of a creator's existence."

OH, look, NOTlookingforanswers is going to start off by disingenuously hedging its bet.


Quote:Now, first of all, I'm not using the term "God" as I have been advised that it is loaded.

So is your "creator".


Quote: All I mean, by the term creator is some sort of "first cause" for the existence of the universe who created the universe purposefully (an "agent").

"WHO"? Already starting to steer toward your own imaginary friend.


Quote:Anyways, I came on this site to try to understand the atheist viewpoint better,

The atheist view can be summed up as "I don't believe in your fairy tales."

Quote:...as I just recently got engaged to an atheist.

I rather doubt the truth of that. What person who panders inane shit like the Kalam would even consider hooking up with a godless heathen. What does your silly fairy tale book say about lying again?


Quote:In doing so, I have had some lengthy discussions with some of the regulars on these forums. I have tried discussing some of the arguments and philosophical 'proofs' for the existence of a creator, but I keep coming up against the statement of "there is no proof/evidence for the existence of a creator".

Which stops you dead in your tracks, as it should. The Emperor Has No Clothes. Pay no attention to the Man behind the curtain.

Saying "creator" in place of your "gawd" is hedging your bet. Disingenuous.


Quote:Instead of simply being annoyed by the fact that the comment seemed to ignore my arguments and philosophical 'proofs',

PhiloSophistic snake-oil sales pitches aren't proof. And no one IGNORED your comments and claims. YOU ignored our rebuttals and explanations why your apologetic shell games are shell games.

Quote: I figured that I would ask this question of the atheists on this page:

What sort of proof or evidence would you require to believe in a creator?

Trot your "greator/gawd/deity/whateverthefuck" out in front of us and have it perform all sorts of magic tricks. Have it create a new planet just like ours populated with all sorts of species of animals somewhere between here and the moon.


Quote:The question was raised in my head when an atheist said to me, "if God wanted to settle this argument he could easily do so." So, I thought to myself, "Is that actually true?"

I thought you didn't want to talk about "gawds", only "creators". If your GAWD could create the universe out of nothing, it certainly could show itself and demonstrate its supposed powers convincingly. It created a fucking UNIVERSE, didn't it? It sure could figure out how to convince us of its existence.

Quote:If a creator did care what humankind thought of him, I suppose he could just come down and tell us that he exists, but I wonder how many of us would believe him if he did. After all, any number of people claim to have heard the voice of God. Even as a believer in a creator (I'm told by people on this page I either fall into the category of a deist or an agnostic theist), I find the accounts of those people to be highly questionable. I'm just not willing to take someone else's word for it.

Have it conjure a fucking PLANET where we can all see it and send a shuttle out to look around, kick the tires, etc. Easy-peasy for the supposed creator of the fucking universe.

Quote:I have been listening to The God Delusion by Dawkins recently, and he explains away a lot of claims of hearing the voice of God through multiple means, whether it be our brain tricking us into believing that a naturally created sound (ie. the wind hitting something in a certain way) is actually the voice of God, or simple hallucinations. Even if the creator spoke directly to me, I tend to think that I might consider it to be a hallucination or trick of some kind.

Oh, look -- at least it has GRAIN of imagination.


Quote:Well, so what about miracles? Miracles (defined as an event that violates the laws of nature) have been used throughout history in support of one religion or the other. While they do provide sufficient proof for some people, I believe that the atheist perspective (and, for the most part, my own) is encapsulated by David Hume's Argument Against Miracles:

Hume's first and primary argument is:
1) Miracles are of necessity very rare and improbable.
2) It is much more probable that the historical testimony is false than that the miracle actually occurred.
3) Therefore a wise man will not believe the historical testimony to the miracle since no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle.

So, if that's the case, then miracles can't convince a "wise man" of anything.

Yeah. Unless you hang a new planet out there right in our face.


Quote:Imagine someone coming up to you and claiming to be God personified.

GirlyMan does it all the time. We all believe him. really.


Quote: Imagine that they performed crazy miracles for you, what would your reaction be? Would it be, "Oh, that's just a magic trick I don't understand"? What if an alien creator came down claiming to have created the universe and performed incredible miraculous feats? Would the response simply be, "Well, his technology must just be more advanced than ours"? And, what if someone actually changed the laws of nature permanently in a way that allowed science to repeat experiments that proved the new law of nature? Would your response be, "Well, I guess our previous law of nature must have simply been wrong"?


Not necessarily. Not if this fictional person told us first what s/he was going to change, then changed it, and perhaps reversed it back and forth a few times on cue. S/he could make the new planet vanish back into nothingness and reappear again and again. Or fill the solar system up with new planets.

Quote:So, how about science? Could science ever solve the problem?

If your "creator" shows up and puts on a sufficient show, yes.

Quote:The primary problem with this is that if a creator created the universe, then everything that we study in science is also created by that same creator (unless you believe in polytheism).

You haven't shown any evidence to indicate that such a thing exists. If it was big enough to create the fucking universe, it should leave some pretty big turds behind.


Quote:The consequence of this is that we have no point of comparison. It's not like we can look at other universes and say "this one demonstrates qualities of a created universe while this one does not." We only have one universe for science to analyze, and if the only options are 1. a creator made everything, or 2. a creator created nothing, then neither option is scientifically testable because we lack a comparitor.

Oh, look, you are trying to sneak another question-begging bullshit "argument" in. Topped off with a false dichotomy.

Quote:So, if philosophical 'proofs' and arguments are dismissed as not being scientific or providing no "evidence" of the existence of a creator, what is it that atheists are looking for that would convince them?

New. Planet. Get to working on it.

Quote:And, I suppose, the corollary to that would be:

Is it reasonable to hold any belief (atheism included) when no "evidence" could possibly exist that would change your mind, and how is that any different than having blind faith?

Oh, look -- MORE hackneyed apologetics bullshit. Atheism isn't a BELIEF. It's NON-belief. I have already cited ONE exaple of evidence that would change my mind and likely everyone else's here. And NO, you fucking idiot, disbelief in your fairy tales is NOTHING like your blind "faith"/belief in them. Are you one of those fucktards from Dumbski's class trying to get your word quota in?

Quote:Don't take that last question as being an attack, it is simply meant as a friendly challenge.

Bullshit. We will take it as we see it. We don't buy into snake-oil-saleman schmoozing.

Quote: I hope that you guys will be willing to either take up the challenge of my first question (what evidence it would take) or my last question. I look forward to hearing the answers and am ready and prepared to be convinced.

I seriously doubt it. I doubt you'll even answer this post -- and thus prove just how disingenuous and intellectually dishonest you are.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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28-01-2014, 12:24 PM
RE: What sort of evidence would it take for atheists to believe in a creator?
Very simple - watch him create something.

If he shows up here and creates a live animal and I see him do it, I'll believe he can create animals.

[Image: dobie.png]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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28-01-2014, 12:24 PM
RE: What sort of evidence would it take for atheists to believe in a creator?
(28-01-2014 12:12 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  The creator would know.
Good point. A creator that is both omniscient and omnipotent would not only know how to convince everyone of his existence, he would also be able to do it.

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28-01-2014, 12:27 PM
RE: What sort of evidence would it take for atheists to believe in a creator?
You want to know what proof I'll accept? Here's what proof I'll accept:

I challenge God/The Creator to a debate on His existence.

Topics to be discussed:
1. Does He exist?
2. What would constitute irrefutable proof of His existence?

That's it. That's the whole topic of the debate.

It would just be me and God. No intermediaries.

And if He JUST FUCKING SHOWS UP, He WINS!!!!!
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28-01-2014, 12:28 PM
RE: What sort of evidence would it take for atheists to believe in a creator?
Your other thread has died so you start another one asking the same basic question.

I will give you a new answer, if the fucker stood in front of me and said I created you and you shall obey me.

Well maybe not, my father tried that and I refused to agree.
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28-01-2014, 12:43 PM
RE: What sort of evidence would it take for atheists to believe in a creator?
How would i distinguish between a "god" and an entity with advanced technology beyond our wildest dreams? Also, even if this entity demonstrated sufficient power, on what grounds would worship be required? If you can create everything why does it care about a flawed delicate creature on one planet in a universe of a billion billion planets?
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28-01-2014, 12:45 PM (This post was last modified: 28-01-2014 01:05 PM by Phil Hill.)
Re: What sort of evidence would it take for atheists to believe in a creator?
The first thing would be any direct manifestation of the divine to me and not to another that I was not there to witness. As long as I was neither drugged, drunk or hallucinating and there was no natural explanation then I would believe in god on the spot.The second would be if their holy book [any religion] had any verifiable scientific knowledge that was not available at the time it was written. This would serve not only as evidence of god to me but evidence that a specific religious text was correct and therefore the correct religion. This would have to be pretty specific. For instance if there was a concrete description of  Special or General Relativity or a description of Quantum Mechanics then I would have to believe that a god was responsible for the knowledge. To date, not one religious text has that though.The third would be verified genuine miracles. Not anything that can be explained by natural means nor do I mean things like the Virgin Mary appearing in a grilled cheese sandwich. A true miracle would definitely serve as a sign there is a god.The fourth conclusive evidence to me would be any verified, specific and unambiguous prophecies written in a religious text or even spoken [not in tongues for you Pentecostals reading]. To be fair this rules out vague, trivial, contrived, self-fulfilling or past prophecies. Also I must mention that throwing out many predictions in the hope that one of them may be true is an automatic disqualification from consideration that a prophecy may be true.

Here are three more for you only this time they point to a specific religion.

The first would be if a religion’s holy book [notice I am not restricting this to any specific religion] was totally flawless and consistent with itself. This rules out all three of the monotheistic religions immediately.The second would be if the followers of the religion [again not specific to any religion] never committed or have taken part in any atrocities and attributed it to their faith. For example just look at the genocides in the bible, the inquisitions, 9/11 and other Muslim terrorist acts, etc.Last would be no internal disputes that show themselves as factions or sects. For example inJudaism we have Orthodox, Conservative and reform. In Islam we have Shia and Sunni and in Christianity we have the over 33,000 different denominations.

You have seven reasons. Four for god and three for specific religions. That is skeptical, atheist, critical thinking, etc. IOW an evidence based view. Now what would change faith? Nothing - so keep it to yourself and shove your lies up your ass.

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