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Old 10-23-2013, 12:51 PM
 
Location: The point of no return, er, NorCal
7,232 posts, read 4,654,299 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
I think this question has two parts:

If a logically consistent, falsifiable god-hypothesis had sufficient empirical evidence and demonstrated predictive power ( i.e. we could confirm that our god-hypothesis accurately models god), I would have to agree it exists.

Where it gets sticky is that an entity that met the previous conditions I probably would not consider a god. I think that there is some measure of transcendence and ineffability in the idea of a god. It would strike me as bizzare to treat a sufficiently powerful man as a god, because no matter how much power, influence and control he has, he is still a man just like me, and is subject to the same reality as I am. Even if we postulate an advanced alien, if it is scientifically verifiable, then it fits within some theoretical and mathematical framework that is understandable by scientific exploration. I would hesitate to consider it a god any more than I would consider a powerful man god.

So anything that is within the purview of science, evidence, reason, and possible human understanding, I would tend to argue should not be given a god label. To me, "god" requires that it be beyond, other, incomprehensible, somehow outside of all possible human comprehension. Otherwise, it is just a natural being or phenomena to measure, understand and use for our own ends...

So the conundrum is anything we had sufficient evidence for me to be confident of its existence, I would probably not consider to be God, even though I would acknowledge its existence... likewise, anything that is sufficiently transcendent, incomprehensible, and utterly beyond human understanding to be a god, probably cannot be empirically verified...

-NoCapo
This. I would not even call such "god" because such term carries with it too many limitations.
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,143 posts, read 19,201,834 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
The standard position of atheists is that the theists assert and declare, but do so in the absence of evidence or proof that a god, or the god, exists. "Show us the proof" we write....but...

We have Arthur C. Clarke's Third Law:
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

So, even if there was a sudden global wide display of an entity which is capable of performing things we believe outside natural law, would that be god or would it just be an entity with abilities outside of our understanding? If some alien entity made the stars in the night sky move about and spell out "I am your god", would that be sufficient or might we still be suspecting that the alien's actual ability was to plant illusions in our brains?

How would we know if we had at last met a god...or met the god of gods? What could satisfy you as unassailable proof of a god rather than an extremely advanced alien magician?
My random thought:

There is no god as we understand the concept but there could be higher beings who could be "god" (for lack of a better term) if we were capable of understanding them.

Life on this planet exists on many different levels of consciousness which are based on the cognative capabilities of the organism. For example, a mouse knows it exists on some level (because it tries to preserve it's own life) but it is incapable of exhibiting higher concepts (loyalty, for example) like a dog. A dog can be pretty smart compared to other animals but cannot get up to human level; your dog will never learn how to do algebra or understand the concept of the inevitability of death.

The level of consciousness stops there for us but who's to say it doesn't go on to higher levels of consciousness that we are currently physically incapable of comprehending just like how it stops at lower levels for the dog or the mouse?

So the bottom line is that you can't literally "know god" unless your mind functions at a level which is capable of comprehending things beyond normal human comprehension. You've gotta be a dog instead of of a mouse (or a human instead of either!).

That means anyone who claims to be god as you understand it is NOT god by virtue of the fact that you can comprehend the concept, and the concept itself is clearly false. They are simply beings with a technological (or magic ) edge over you.

But if some being tries to explain something to you and you just look at it like your dog looks at you when you try to explain Algebraic Rational Expressions to fido, you know you've got a higher level being who may possibly be "god" (or at least closer to god).

Does that make any sense? It's very hard to explain things the human mind cannot comprehend!
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:02 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,259 posts, read 19,555,335 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
I think this question has two parts:

If a logically consistent, falsifiable god-hypothesis had sufficient empirical evidence and demonstrated predictive power ( i.e. we could confirm that our god-hypothesis accurately models god), I would have to agree it exists.

Where it gets sticky is that an entity that met the previous conditions I probably would not consider a god. I think that there is some measure of transcendence and ineffability in the idea of a god. It would strike me as bizzare to treat a sufficiently powerful man as a god, because no matter how much power, influence and control he has, he is still a man just like me, and is subject to the same reality as I am. Even if we postulate an advanced alien, if it is scientifically verifiable, then it fits within some theoretical and mathematical framework that is understandable by scientific exploration. I would hesitate to consider it a god any more than I would consider a powerful man god.

So anything that is within the purview of science, evidence, reason, and possible human understanding, I would tend to argue should not be given a god label. To me, "god" requires that it be beyond, other, incomprehensible, somehow outside of all possible human comprehension. Otherwise, it is just a natural being or phenomena to measure, understand and use for our own ends...

So the conundrum is anything we had sufficient evidence for me to be confident of its existence, I would probably not consider to be God, even though I would acknowledge its existence... likewise, anything that is sufficiently transcendent, incomprehensible, and utterly beyond human understanding to be a god, probably cannot be empirically verified...

-NoCapo
I agree with this. Basically, the whole concept of God is a contradiction of reality as we know it and probably will ever know it.

God is pure make-believe... something produced by the minds of ancient people who were not equipped at the time to understand the universe the way we understand it today.
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:26 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,259 posts, read 19,555,335 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
How would we know if we had at last met a god...or met the god of gods? What could satisfy you as unassailable proof of a god rather than an extremely advanced alien magician?
Actually, it is very easy to "prove" God. How you ask? Just ignore all science.

Since science has systematically shown over the centuries every concept and idea about God to be false, all we need to do is to eradicate this pesky little thing called science from our collective consciousness and voila! God reappears once again.
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Downtown Raleigh
1,650 posts, read 3,009,194 times
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If there were a god who wanted us to be aware of it, we would be. All of us. All of the time.
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,022 posts, read 18,578,670 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roscomac View Post
If there were a god who wanted us to be aware of it, we would be. All of us. All of the time.
We could postulate a god with great creative abilities, but poor communication skills.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Vermont
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Because of the fallibility of human perception nothing like a vision, even shared, would be adequate. On the other hand, if he started regrowing limbs for people that might be a start.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,697 posts, read 23,672,920 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
The standard position of atheists is that the theists assert and declare, but do so in the absence of evidence or proof that a god, or the god, exists. "Show us the proof" we write....but...

We have Arthur C. Clarke's Third Law:
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

So, even if there was a sudden global wide display of an entity which is capable of performing things we believe outside natural law, would that be god or would it just be an entity with abilities outside of our understanding? If some alien entity made the stars in the night sky move about and spell out "I am your god", would that be sufficient or might we still be suspecting that the alien's actual ability was to plant illusions in our brains?

How would we know if we had at last met a god...or met the god of gods? What could satisfy you as unassailable proof of a god rather than an extremely advanced alien magician?
I am not looking for proof. Why would I believe an alien when he said "I am your god" any more than I would believe a prophet who allegedly claimed he or some other entity could part the seas or come to life after death or any of the other alleged feats already out there?

Even in the alien could perform feats I had never seen before they would not make him God or a god.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:50 PM
 
Location: NJ
17,579 posts, read 39,782,292 times
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Some miracles would be a good start. And ones shared by the world, not a select few. And no, the image of jesus on toast does not count.

How about if we wake up tomorrow and the deserts of Africa are transformed in to lush food producing areas to feed the starving population. I mean just instantly. Along with an accompanying voice everyone hears and understands no matter what language you speak.

Every person with cancer instantly healed. All amputees have their limbs appear.

That would certainly be a good start.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:13 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,282,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
What could satisfy you as unassailable proof of a god rather than an extremely advanced alien magician?
You are requesting that people provide the evidence, or parameters for evidence, on behalf of the people making the claim. This is not good.

"Evidence" is a process, not a thing. It is a process as follows:

1) State exactly what it is you are claiming.
2) List clearly the things you think support that claims.
3) Explain exactly how the things listed in 2 support the claim in 1.

As such it is not for me or anyone else to say what evidence will "satisfy us". The onus lies instead ENTIRELY on the person making the claim to very clearly lay out what the claim is, what the evidence for the claim is, and how that evidence supports the claim.

Take the ongoing Evolution debates around here. How often do you see people, let alone those well versed in science, demand to know of creationists "What evidence WOULD convince you of evolution"?

I personally fail to recall a single example of it. There certainly are not many I think you will agree.

No, what we do is continue to explain, and re-explain, exactly what we think evolution claims and exactly what we see as evidence for it. We do not ask others to tell us what the evidence could be or should be. We solely present the evidence as WE see it and explain WHY we see it as evidence.
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