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Featured Is God an Unnecessary Hypothesis?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Sunstone, Aug 8, 2020.

  1. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    It is sometimes said that "God is an unnecessary hypothesis" -- meaning there are no cases or instances when one must resort to claiming god did it in order to explain anything about the nature of the physical universe.

    Are you inclined to agree or to disagree with that notion?





     
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  2. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Sākṣī
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    I think there are still many in this world who believe that in order for something to happen or for something to come into existence, there must be some intelligent force behind it, ergo, God.

    So for me, I agree with the notion that God is an unnecessary hypothesis, but I'm certain there are those belonging to the aforementioned group that will be inclined to disagree.
     
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  3. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I'm sure there are too. That is, some who would disagree with you.

    Would I be correct in assuming that you, like me, do not see the notion that god is an unnecessary hypothesis as incompatible with the notion that god exists? That is, to whatever extent one might ascribe existence or being to deity.
     
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  4. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Sākṣī
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    You'd be correct in that assumption.
     
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  5. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    I agree with it, but then I think that belief in God has little to do trying to explain the physical world. (Thinking that that is what God is ‘for’ is what I sometimes think of as Dawkins’ error;).) It seems to me God and religion are much more to do with the interior world of a person: subjective feelings and experiences and aesthetics.

    Also, it is worth noting that explanations of the physical world only go so far. Once one gets to the limits of what can be observed, science cannot go farther. Some people hope or believe God supplies purpose, meaning or structure beyond the observably verifiable. Or even, like Einstein and Spinoza, that God is the order in the cosmos.
     
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  6. QuestioningMind

    QuestioningMind Well-Known Member

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    I've certainly found it to be a wholly unnecessary hypothesis.
     
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  7. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta, Theosophy, Spiritualism
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    I see Brahman/God as a concept above all the physical details to explain. I guess it’s only a necessary hypothesis for those who can’t find happiness without peace with the big questions.
     
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  8. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    God is not necessarily an 'explanation' of anything, as your quote presumes. Which then makes the point of the quote irrelevant.
     
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  9. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    That depends on what are the criteria for testing for intelligence in nature. God could be a natural phenomenon.

    God's that are totally separate from our reality is quite unnecessary.
     
  10. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    Why would any hypothesis be unnecessary?

    This choice of words sounds like someone with a bias using an equivalent of Occam's Razor to eliminate the explanation not preferred.
     
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  11. Left Coast

    Left Coast Plant-Based Plebeian
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    I'm inclined to agree. I think this relates to the reason the Buddha didn't talk about God. It's basically a distraction from more fundamental issues of how we treat one another and how we understand how the world works.
     
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  12. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    Whether it is a necessary hypothesis or not depends on what you want to do.

    In understanding how the universe around us works, none of the current scientific theories require the existence of an intelligent designer, an intelligent cause, nor anything usually associated with a 'God'.

    I also find the 'God hypothesis' to be irrelevant to morality (and often actually harmful to such).

    I'm not sure by what criteria to determine whether the hypothesis is 'true' or not. At the very least, it seems to be independent of the other axioms and not to be very useful when adopted (sort of like the Continuum Hypothesis in math).
     
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  13. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    If we're going to appeal to Einstein, I prefer: "The most incomprehensible thin about the world is that it is comprehendible."

    If there is a First Cause, God is a reasonable inference. And even if there is not a first cause, Emergence, such as we encounter in a natural world that sputters from microbe to Mozart, is literally awe inspiring.
     
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  14. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    I agree even as a religious person, who believes in God.

    Though I also disagree with the notion that the universe is physical.
    In short, if we are to avoid all unnecessary hypothesis, we end with a version of phenomenology, where we "bracket the world" and go for science with only methodological naturalism and not metaphysics.
     
  15. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    Not only is it an unnecessary hypothesis, it is a bad hypothesis.

     
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  16. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    To me, either existence is meaningful or it is not. If it's not meaningful then there's no reason to hypothesize God.

    If it is fundamentally meaningful, then that leads to the 'why' question. If we hypothesize God, then one answer to why existence is meaningful exists: God made it so.

    If existence has intrinsic meaning but God does not exist, whence comes the meaning? Personally I don't accept intrinsic meaningfulness without God as the first cause. Anyone who claims I'm wrong and I suspect there are a bunch, can explain how a universe that randomly came into existence, is governed by laws which randomly exist can lead to true rather than illusory meaning.
     
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  17. bobhikes

    bobhikes Nowoligist
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    I disagree because it's not about saving the world it's about helping individuals. If everyone helped others everyday the world would naturally be better for all.
     
    #17 bobhikes, Aug 8, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2020
  18. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    In most contexts yes, but there are things you can't talk about without touching the concept of God. Its like pi or exp(). It shows up in things. For example when you try to be extremely good to other people you inevitably harm yourself. The question arises how good can a person be? How is perfection to be defined and does it exist? When two different groups try to get along they have to compromise. How should they do it and under what rules? Then you find yourself asking theological questions. What is the way that all people can live together? Look back at your history and ask how we got here. Its a theological question not just a historical one. What did we do right or wrong? Is the world chaotic, and does it operate under multiple sets of principles or under common principles? Its a theological question.
     
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  19. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg World Citizen
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    I see that the world is finding out the hard way that God is the most necessary hypothesis. In all aspects of mind and life.

    The further that God is religated to the mind of unnecessary hypothesis, the more we face the ripples of change brought on by Godless thoughts and actions.

    Regards Tony
     
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  20. Piculet

    Piculet Active Member

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    It's automatic, natural, something that cannot be suppressed. But the arrogant do sometimes think that it is unnecessary.
     
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