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I was wondering which of the many arguments for God (Cosmological, Teleological etc) people found most convincing, or is it the combination of many arguments?


 


Personally I find the Cosmological Argument the most convincing (although it is clearly flawed and I have remained an Atheist) due to the comparative lack of understanding about the origins of our Universe.


 


I suspect that this will turn into a discussion into the validity of the arguments, but discussions will be beneficial for both believers and non-believers, so I would highly encourage people to critique the
arguments.



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Why can’t we find God by normal wisdom, it seems odd to make a special exception?
Why do you think we even have a spirit?
My objective is to better understand what you believe and maybe get you to question (not change necessarily) your beliefs.
I’ll try your method. So if I get no reply would you agree that there is no God?

Juanita said:
Francis,
I had said earlier, "you can't get to a personal relationship with God through your approach."

The scripture says that you are unlikely to find God by normal wisdom that exists in the world. The world can be perceived by our body/soul (or intellect), but God is perceived through our spirit. I told you this earlier. Your reply indicated that you didn't agree. Ok. That is fine.

So... if your objective is to 'play with Christians' - I would say that is a waste of time for everyone, although people are free agents to make their own choice.

On the other hand, if, at some level, your objective is to see if there is a God, I would suggest this...

Ask Him if he is there to help you to see and understand him. If he is not there, it would be a foolish exercize like leaving cookies for Santa. If He is there, you may find what you are looking for. :-)


Francis Thomas said:
Surely discussing opinions will either strengthen them or convince us to take the correct opinion.

Juanita said:
Discuss?

Why? What is your objective? What do you hope to accomplish?
Francis Thomas said:
Why can’t we find God by normal wisdom, it seems odd to make a special exception?

Francis
Are you serious? Why would that seem odd? Even in the natural world, the eye can't hear sounds, and the ear can't feel the sunshine that our skin feels? Surely you can see that just as it takes various senses to explore our physical world it could be CONCEIVABLE that it might take a spiritual sense to explore the spiritual dimension of the universe? That wouldn't be a statement of 'exception', it would just be talking about how to perceive something.



Francis Thomas said:

Why do you think we even have a spirit?

I think I have a spirit because I percieve God and experience Him. You (or others) can put up some possible explainations for what I and others experience. But, it should be noted that across many civiliations there are claims of supernatural experiences. I would think that this is a dimension of spirit. I would understand that you would think there would be a naturalistic explanination. That is ok. Different points of view and there is really no way to prove that I am right or to prove that you are right. Supernatural experiences cannot be reproduced in a lab to evaluate them, so there is no way to scientifically evaluate them.


Francis Thomas said:

My objective is to better understand what you believe and maybe get you to question (not change necessarily) your beliefs.
I’ll try your method. So if I get no reply would you agree that there is no God?


(((smile)))) Let me answer the last part first. If you get no reply, will I agree there is not God?
Surely you don't think this is logical? If you call my husband on the phone and get no reply, shall I conclude there is no husband?

Now, regarding getting me to question my beliefs.... Why do you want to do this? Why? What do you gain from getting me to question my beliefs?

Hi Francis,

 

I think when we take a look at the cosmological argument, being that it is the most convincing to you, I think that the evidence weighs on the side of the theist.

 

The basic argument is formed as follows:

 

1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence [that did not begin to exist].2

 

It's a valid argument and from there we can examine each premiss to investigate whether or not the theist holds the burden or the atheist.  

 

Also, I believe both reason and faith are faculties that God instilled in us.  I think faith, above all things, has been a faculty that has been severely damaged by sin.   It's understandable to reject a certain faith because you feel as though it is a compromise on your reason, but I can assure you that the Christian faith is both intellectually and spiritually satisfying. 

 

 

How do you know that everything that begins to exist has a cause, and that the universe had a beginning? You’re rewording the argument so that an eternal god could exist without a cause, yet it is just as reasonable, if not more so, to claim that the universe had no beginning.

Also regarding the burden of proof, it is rather obvious that the person making the positive claim, in this case the existence of a god, has the burden of proof.

What reason do you have for believing that “both reason and faith are faculties that God instilled in us”? If I did accept all of your premises, you still haven’t shown that this entity is even intelligent. I also fail to see how faith, believing something without or in contradiction to evidence, is a good thing. You can assure me all you like but and belief which is based on faith is not intellectually satisfying.



Daniel Maldonado said:

Hi Francis,

 

I think when we take a look at the cosmological argument, being that it is the most convincing to you, I think that the evidence weighs on the side of the theist.

 

The basic argument is formed as follows:

 

1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence [that did not begin to exist].2

 

It's a valid argument and from there we can examine each premiss to investigate whether or not the theist holds the burden or the atheist.  

 

Also, I believe both reason and faith are faculties that God instilled in us.  I think faith, above all things, has been a faculty that has been severely damaged by sin.   It's understandable to reject a certain faith because you feel as though it is a compromise on your reason, but I can assure you that the Christian faith is both intellectually and spiritually satisfying. 

 

 

 


Francis
Are you serious? Why would that seem odd? Even in the natural world, the eye can't hear sounds, and the ear can't feel the sunshine that our skin feels? Surely you can see that just as it takes various senses to explore our physical world it could be CONCEIVABLE that it might take a spiritual sense to explore the spiritual dimension of the universe? That wouldn't be a statement of 'exception', it would just be talking about how to perceive something.
People use spiritual sense to feel the presents of many gods around the world,so then any god that anyone can feel using there own spirtual sense must be as real as the god you feel using your spiritual sense.  
 Come to think about it spiritual sense could be used to feel all kinds of spiritual life forms. Unicorns,leprechauns and dragons  are the first to come to mind. I must be feeling them with a spritual sense.

 I got to go now I sense a  magical garden fairy comming my way. Hmmm, thats funny for this time of year.

Well, we can reasonably assert this by simply looking at the facts at our disposal.

 

One thing we should take a look at is the concept of infinity.  All of the modern day mathematicians will agree that infinity is NOT an actual number.  It is simply an idea that exists in our mind.  To posit that infinity actually exists would cause huge contradictions.  For example, what is infinity minus infinity?

 

We do however know that past events are real, so it follows that, since an actually infinite number of things cannot exist, then the number of past events are finite.

 

Some of the greatest discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics have confirmed this truth.  One of those discoveries has been the cataclysmic event 13 Billion years ago known as the Big Bang. It shows that the Universe had a finite begining where literally everything came into existence, even physical space and time.

 

There are plenty of theories that have been formulated over the years to counter act this conclusion.  Afterall, it is a difficult conclusion for most scientists in these fields.  None of them hold water though compared the evidence for the Big Bang.

"In 2003 Arvind Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin were able to prove that any universe which is, on average, in a state of cosmic expansion cannot be eternal in the past but must have an absolute beginning. Vilenkin pulls no punches:

It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning."

So any atheist who submits to the discoveries of modern cosmology would then have to submit to the idea that nothing created nothing. But this does not make ANY sense.  This is why I say the atheist in this case holds the burden.  It can be summed up in this quesiton: What is the best possible explanation for something existing rather than nothing?

 

I think from there we can reasonably deduct, through our experience and scientific discoveries, that:

 

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause

 

If there is a cause to the Universe and a universe that is so finely tuned, it would have to be an intelligent being that caused this existence, for He would have to know things in order to create a finely tuned Universe.



Francis Thomas said:

How do you know that everything that begins to exist has a cause, and that the universe had a beginning? You’re rewording the argument so that an eternal god could exist without a cause, yet it is just as reasonable, if not more so, to claim that the universe had no beginning.

Also regarding the burden of proof, it is rather obvious that the person making the positive claim, in this case the existence of a god, has the burden of proof.

What reason do you have for believing that “both reason and faith are faculties that God instilled in us”? If I did accept all of your premises, you still haven’t shown that this entity is even intelligent. I also fail to see how faith, believing something without or in contradiction to evidence, is a good thing. You can assure me all you like but and belief which is based on faith is not intellectually satisfying.



Daniel Maldonado said:

Hi Francis,

 

I think when we take a look at the cosmological argument, being that it is the most convincing to you, I think that the evidence weighs on the side of the theist.

 

The basic argument is formed as follows:

 

1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence [that did not begin to exist].2

 

It's a valid argument and from there we can examine each premiss to investigate whether or not the theist holds the burden or the atheist.  

 

Also, I believe both reason and faith are faculties that God instilled in us.  I think faith, above all things, has been a faculty that has been severely damaged by sin.   It's understandable to reject a certain faith because you feel as though it is a compromise on your reason, but I can assure you that the Christian faith is both intellectually and spiritually satisfying. 

 

 

 I don’t see why an infinite chain couldn’t exist; look at numbers, if you start at 0 you can go either positive or negative, but there is no upper or lower limit. The line of numbers is infinite. Sure you can’t minus infinity
from infinity, but that doesn’t demonstrate that an infinite chain cannot
exist.

 

What the Big Bang shows is that the Universe as we know it had a beginning, it’s perfectly plausible for something to have preceded it. Also as far as I’m aware the concept of the Big Bang isn’t that everything came from nothing, but
rather that everything was condensed into a singularity which expanded to form
the Universe as we know it today.

 

Atheists do not have the burden of proof; Atheism is a lack of belief in a god and a god is not the default answer, it’s a positive claim. Sure if an Atheist makes a claim about the origins of the known universe etc then they
would have the burden of proof, but it’s not their Atheism which gives them the
burden it’s the assertion of a positive claim.

 

 Since the 1920s, theoretical physics has raised the question of whether there are indeterminate events taking place at a subatomic, quantum, level that have no cause, including the appearance of the Universe
itself. If this is a genuine possibility then it undermines your premise: the
certainty that everything that begins to exist must have a cause. Besides your
premise doesn’t rule out the Universe existing (in some form) ad infinitum, because
if it doesn’t begin to exist then no cause is required. Also one would have to
ask what caused the cause and so you would either have to accept that an
infinite chain of cause and effect exists or that there is something which has
always existed, in which case why multiply entities beyond necessity? Why not
just conclude that the Universe has always existed?

 

Also how is the Universe “finely tuned”? And for what purpose? Also if the designer does not need a designer to create it, why should other things? 

The burden of proof is on whoever is making the positive claim. If I was claiming that X existed then I would have to offer evidence for the existence of X, rather than say that X exists if you can't disprove it.

Rob said:
You came to a christian web site. The burden is firmly on you. If a christian goes to an atheist site, the burden is on the christian. I think that sounds fair.
That is the worst possible argument I've heard in a long time. If I created a pro-unicorn website and you commented on it, would you have the burden of proof? No of course not. What if the discussion was on a neutral website? Or what if it wasn't even on a website?

Rob said:
Nope. You came here. Burden is on you.
If the majority of people believed in unicorns and were making political decisions based on their interpretations of unicorns, wouldn't you feel obliged to point out that there is no reason to believe in such things?

Rob said:
I don't believe in unicorns so I would not frequent the site. I, unlike you, do not waste my time on things I don't believe in.
 Well then ya got a few thousand god to prove are not real. There are over 3000 named gods,many of which still have followers living. How many do you believe are real?

Rob said:
Yes! As the non-believer I would feel the burden of proof was on me. I would feel obliged!

Francis Thomas said:
If the majority of people believed in unicorns and were making political decisions based on their interpretations of unicorns, wouldn't you feel obliged to point out that there is no reason to believe in such things?

Rob said:
I don't believe in unicorns so I would not frequent the site. I, unlike you, do not waste my time on things I don't believe in.

Well if you don't believe in them then using your logic doesn't that mean that you have the burden of proof, so until you disprove Thor, Odin, Zeus etc then you should accept their existence?

Do you believe in everything until it has been disproved, or do you believe things which have been proven and not things which haven't?

Rob said:

What gods other people believe in is of no concern to me quite honestly.

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