1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Does science prove the existence of god?

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by Ceridwen018, Aug 5, 2004.

  1. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Messages:
    44,608
    Ratings:
    +2,360
    Religion:
    UU/ panentheist/ neopagan/ process theology
    Thank you! :yes:
     
  2. astarath

    astarath Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,825
    Ratings:
    +84
  3. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Messages:
    44,608
    Ratings:
    +2,360
    Religion:
    UU/ panentheist/ neopagan/ process theology
    "huh?" what?
     
  4. Mr Spinkles

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Messages:
    12,683
    Ratings:
    +3,065
    In the OP of a separate thread that I've started, I argue:

    [Science] does not disprove the existenceof any supernatural entity, from Ahura Mazda to Zeus. Technically, no scientific theory can categorically disprove anything, especially not vaguely-defined supernatural beings.

    However, what [science] does imply is this: belief in Zeus, Thor, and all supernatural entities, has nothing to do with the existence of said entities. Any previously unknown natural process, or fact about the universe, or inter-dimensional/extraterrestrial beings discovered by science bearing any resemblance to Zeus or Thor would be a coincidence. [There is] scientific evidence for the following: if Zeus or Thor exist precisely as believers have described them, it would be a coincidence only slightly less extraordinary than if it were discovered that the Easter Bunny exists. Zeus and Thor are merely two examples [but all empirically unfalsifiable god-concepts apply]

    Here's the thread: Beyond Disbelief: Religion as Human Invention
     
  5. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    40,223
    Ratings:
    +14,323
    Religion:
    Judaism
    I am aware of no such evidence. Certainly none has been offered, either here of in your referenced post.
     
  6. Mr Spinkles

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Messages:
    12,683
    Ratings:
    +3,065
    The ideas of Zeus, Thor, and the Easter Bunny originate and spread by natural means. Assuredly, these means do not include the results of scientific studies verifying the existence of Zeus, Thor, or the Easter Bunny. You are aware of no such evidence for this? In fact, in my referenced post I do offer evidence, including:

    Countless new cults, or new versions of old religions, spring up all the time, and the vast majority of them die out...

    ...the tendency of people to unwittingly accept the views of those around them (geographic distribution of religions), to project patterns and intelligent agency onto randomness or natural forces (planets and patterns of stars assigned god or spirit status), and so on...

    The existence of gods/spirits/supernatural realms...is not empirically testable...
    I also mention the absence--despite a great deal of searching--of the following, which also constitutes evidence:

    ....religious rituals were demonstrably proved to have non-physical effects on the world significantly beyond what one would expect by chance (e.g. controlled studies show that rain dances increase the chances of rain, or intercessory prayer heals amputees)...

    ...two civilizations who have no contact with each other (say, the ancient Hebrews and the ancient Aztecs) to produce identical books of ancient scriptures with identical proper names and commandents (say, they both receive an identical Ten Commandments from YHWH as brought by Moses)....

    ...that an ancient people had knowledge, which they claimed to be revealed by the divine, of something that they could not have possibly known with their technology...

    a religious text/prophesy/creation story should never have many specific, correct beliefs about things that could not have been known by natural means--especially for things as specific as numbers, dates, and pronouns (e.g. the universe is 14 billion years old, on Sept. 11 2001 19 men will crash four planes to kill 2,974 people in the United States, etc.)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. charles brough

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2006
    Messages:
    242
    Ratings:
    +14
    I notice in this thread a lot of reference to the Biblical "God," but why pick on Him? The world's religions have a host of gods and none of their believers are able to show good evidence they exist. In fact, to me, an athiest is someone who does not believe in ANY god---in fact, belief in no such thing as "spirits" at all. Anything else is hedging, compromising, unwillingness to take a stand. To me, prinicple is involved, a matter of intellectual self respect.

    If I am asked by believers to show proof their "Spirit" does NOT exist, I tell them I believe in Santa Claus because no one can prove he does NOT exist. Can anyone here?

     
  8. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Messages:
    44,608
    Ratings:
    +2,360
    Religion:
    UU/ panentheist/ neopagan/ process theology
    Yes, we've been to the North Pole. Not a toyshop in sight.

    The problem with arguments like this is that they never come up with a valid comparison. They work just fine as justifications for disbelief, but fail as as promotions.
     
  9. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    3,768
    Ratings:
    +399
    I'm in no way suggesting that science is intentionally trying to smoke out supernatural ideas--it doesn't have to. Like I said in the post I made on pg. 34, "prove" and "disprove" are relative terms here. Science cannot "prove" or "disprove" anything with 100% certainty, but that doesn't discredit the theory of relativity, nor does it mean that when a microbiologist discovers an unknown process within a cell and seeks to understand its mechanism, she considers the idea that "God did it" as a viable possibility.
     
  10. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    3,768
    Ratings:
    +399
    That's not what I'm trying to say. I agree with you that if one idea about the supernatural is shown to be false, that doesn't mean you can conclude that everything about the supernatural is also false. What I mean to say is that that is the entire problem right there: Because we have no evidence for the supernatural to back up any claims we might make, people can make any sorts of claims they want. I can claim that my cat is Buddha reincarnated, and you can't prove me wrong.

    That's why, in science, things and ideas without evidence to support them are considered to be unsubstantial.

    I am really trying to not come off like that, and not because I want to "hide my true motivation," but because I want people to consider what I have to say.

    I am not saying that "God does not exist." That may be what I personally think, but that's not the point of this thread. I'm talking about how God and all supernatural things are treated by science. They are treated like they don't exist. So as I said before, I'm not trying to tell anyone not to believe whatever they want, I'm just trying to be realistic.

    An important thing to note is that your Wiki article is not about science. If you want to talk about God's existence based on philosophy, general logic, spirituality, etc., then that's a whole other ballgame. Lack of evidence equalling lack of existence might not be a good argument from a philosophical perspective, but from the perspective of science, it is. According to the scientific method, God is considered nonexistent. However, I will analyze your article:

    You just said that "your logic does not fall prey to either side of the negative proof fallacy," but I don't understand how you don't fit into this category.
     
  11. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Messages:
    44,608
    Ratings:
    +2,360
    Religion:
    UU/ panentheist/ neopagan/ process theology
    I am NOT saying that God must exist simply because it has not been proven false. If you thought I was, we have miscommunication.
     
  12. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    40,223
    Ratings:
    +14,323
    Religion:
    Judaism
    This is not about what you think she meant. It's about:
    You are simply wrong. If and when you choose to initiate a thread supplying a scientific disproof (relative or otherwise) of leprechauns, gods, and the supernatural, I will follow it with interest.
     
  13. Mr Spinkles

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Messages:
    12,683
    Ratings:
    +3,065
    That only disproves specific human beliefs ABOUT Santa. It doesn't disprove Santa in general. Maybe Santa exists but we got the North Pole toyshop part wrong. Right?
     
  14. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Messages:
    44,608
    Ratings:
    +2,360
    Religion:
    UU/ panentheist/ neopagan/ process theology
    Wrong. Santa is a specific and detailed myth. What's more, we can trace the historical roots and development of the myth. God is not in the same category.
     
  15. logician

    logician Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    6,890
    Ratings:
    +379
    There's probably more evidence that Santa Claus exists than that Jesus ever existed.
     
  16. Random

    Random Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,057
    Ratings:
    +694
    Science has not proven anything @ all "exists", therefore it cannot know what does not "exist" either. Questions about what constitutes "existence" are not the purvue of science, but rather epistemology and other branches of philosophy (strictly speaking).

    Whenever anyone claims something exists by contrast to something else that allegedly does not, fallacious assumption is involved.

    Matter is a constant in the 5-sense realm, that is all we can say.
     
  17. Jaiket

    Jaiket Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    8,740
    Ratings:
    +2,316
    Religion:
    Something else
    Can we not trace the historical roots and development of God?
     
  18. Mr Spinkles

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Messages:
    12,683
    Ratings:
    +3,065
    We can also trace the historical roots and development of the god myth, beginning with the ancient conception of a sky-god. Furthermore, I am free to imagine a Santa whose toyshop cannot be observed, just as you are free to imagine a god which is less "specific" than traditional conceptions. It is true, of course, that a foggy conception of Santa is not as popular as one of God....but that has no bearing on the existence of either entity.
     
  19. Mr Spinkles

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Messages:
    12,683
    Ratings:
    +3,065
    So, like God, Santa cannot be scientifically disproved. Only particular human conceptions of Santa can be falsified. From a scientific perspective, then, both God and Santa and all unfalsifiable entities are equally possible.

    Yet some of these entities--equally plausible in terms of scientific evidence--are more popular than others. Perhaps we can use scientific inquiry to find out why that is? I think the first hypothesis we would have to reject is that such beliefs become popular because they are accurate.....
     
  20. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    40,223
    Ratings:
    +14,323
    Religion:
    Judaism
    The statement is cognitively meaningless, much like stating that Tuesdays and Thursdays are equally salty.

    Yes, argumentum ad numerum is fallacious argument rather than valid hypothesis, but I recall no one making such an argument in this thread. So how is this anything other than a strawman?
     
Loading...