This is a quote from C.S. Lewis from the same book Mere Christianity that I quoted in the other thread:
I may say God is good, and you may say God is not, very true, but God, like the art in question, is there nonetheless
Why should one expect the definition of God to be as clear-cut as the colors of paint? Oh, Ok, now I see what your saying. I agree that there is no agreed upon definition of God. (lol I agree we haven't agreed.) However agreeing upon a definition is quite different from discounting the idea altogether.
Well I just said for the most part because I can't account for everyone everywhere. Why doesn't the entire scientific community agree about the origin of the universe? These questions are difficult to tackle.
Is science really progressive? Has the nature of the universe changed with our progression? I should think not. What has changed is our own understanding. In the same way God has not changed but our understanding of Him has. As we learn more the picture becomes more clear. Or as sometimes is the case with science, one step forward can mean two steps back. But each arena is attempting to better understand something.
Not exactly. Just as the Ptolemaic system of planet movements wasn't wrong, they just didn't have the whole picture. People have always served God, they just didn't always have the correct/whole pictures. It's doubtful we have the whole picture now.
About as well as science is sure of its latest discovery. I could be wrong I grant this, however, in matters of God, IMO, it is about what's in our hearts. And in my heart I believe I am serving God. If God turns out to be different than my conception then so be it. I served Him as well as could be expected.
In the words of Fr. Frederick C. Copleston, "To say that one has not found it is one thing; to say that one should not look for it seems to me rather dogmatic." Be it your friend that you were playing hide-and-go-seek with or be it God
True, god "could" be there but at the same time god could be a flying pink elephant too. The part I keep trying to point out you accept and then immediately erase it or something from your thought or thinking and rebuke on it. I mean absolutely no offense, but sometimes it seems like I am having a conversation with a four year old. I know I probably shouldn't have said that, but I guess it was necessary for this point of this particular topic.
Since we can't agree it points out something fundamental about the idea of god. Either he exists in the state that what ever you think god to be, that is exactly what god is. So if I think god is a flying pink elephant then god is a flying pink elephant. But if you argue that god is not a flying pink elephant then how could he not be and be at the same time?
Fair enough. Difficult definitely, but impossible? No. However; I feel answering the question if god exists is impossible.
Yeah, the whole picture. What if the whole picture reveals that there never was a god, it just seemed to look like there was? I guess the best way to put it is, it's dark, you think you see someone in the shadows ahead of you, but once you get there, you see it was only a bush in the shape of a person's silhouette.
How do you know you are serving him? Or doing what the service he would want you to be doing? How do you know he isn't annoyed that you are doing something he didn't want you to do? Would you be receiving some kind of punishment? If you are, what is the punishment?
I was wondering if you were going to get my little story or not. The point I was trying to make wasn't so much about trying to find god, but instead that everyone you ask has a different answer for you. These different answers are contrary to what our every day experience does for us. We don't have to wake up every day and relearn everything from scratch.
The reason is because there is information that is reliable. Like language, you don't need to relearn it every day to be able to utilize it. This is because we are relying on the information we have acquired to be accepted by others. If no one did that then we would have to relearn language every day. It would be like changing word meanings on a dailly basis. Language would fall apart.
My point is, with the god idea, there is no foundation for it, so every day you have to relearn what god is because as you already pointed out, it is progressive.
for in the absence of God life itself is devoid of any ultimate meaning or ultimate purpose. It matters not that I even lived at all
I give myself purpose. I make my life meaningful. I don't need God.
1. I value my time. If I think I have eternity to visit with my loved ones, the moments I spend with them now aren't as rare.
2. The problem of evil and suffering is solved. The reason why suffering seems so random is because it is random. That explains why there are two month old babies dying of painful bone cancer.
3. I get credit for my moral actions. When I'm generous, it's because I want to be generous. I'm not simply following rules, hoping to get an eternal pat on the back. When I keep my promises it's because I want to be honorable, not because I'm worried about "sin".
It wouldn't matter if you, I , or mankind as a whole ever existed at all.
Each moment I have the amazing opportunity to proclaim the good news, to love, TO LIVE.
For you a baby is murdered and that's it. A woman get's raped and that's it. It's pointless. For the theist, he knows these things have meaning, there is a purpose. All is not for not. Light will prevail over the darkness. The sun will rise. God is in control.
Get credit from whom? Morality only gets the value you arbitrarily decide to place on it. It makes no difference either way. You are headed the same place whether you live as Stalin or Mother Teresa. You have nothing grounding your morality.
A question to the theists:
Who or what was the creator of god?
If you tell me god just existed since ever, ill just say the universe etc. Existed since ever. So please dont use that argument, thanks.
It also wouldn't matter if God never existed. Who would be there to complain? The existence of God doesn't add meaning.
I love. I live. You haven't shown me anything I'm missing.
God is in control but babies die of painful bone cancer? Then your idea of God is rather feeble. If I personally had the power to prevent my child from having bone cancer, I would. God has that power but doesn't bother using it? For me, it makes sense because it's random. For you, the fact that God lets babies suffer takes some explaining.
I have a conscience. Maybe you only care about being a good person if you're going to get a reward in the afterlife but I don't think that even counts as being a truly a moral person. A moral person doesn't need to be bribed or threatened into doing the right thing. The reason why I don't want to be a mass murderer isn't because I want to go to heaven or because I'm scared of hell. It's because I don't want to be a mass murderer. You're right that nothing's stopping me. That's why the fact that I'm a good person means so much more. I didn't have to be a good person but I did it anyways.
Let me make it simpler, who's more generous, the person that gives away everything he owns and then has nothing left, or the person that gives away everything and then gets a palace as a reward.
If you knew you were getting a palace then you would be stupid NOT to give away everything.
The problem with this is that God is a necessary being. Necessary beings must and cannot not exist.
There's no such thing as a necessary being. Anything that exists, exists contingently.
In other words you're saying there is an infinite series of contingent things?
Finite or infinite, it's all contingent and random.
Let me ask you this, let's say there is a reason why God has to exist necessarily. How do you explain the existence of this necessary reason? Don't you have to have a reason for the reason and so on, an infinite series of reasons?
I think at some point you have to say that some things exist for no reason at all, the universe, God or even the reason why God must exist. I think contingency is inescapable.
The problem with this is that a finite series of contingent things or an infinite series of contingent things is as unable to cause itself as one contingent thing is able to cause itself.
We must, to come to a complete reason for a contingent thing, come to something which is not contingent. But contains within itself the reason for its existence.
The only way I see around needing God is for the universe itself to be necessary.
Or it can just happen without a cause.
To do that you would need to show that if God didn't exist then that would result in a contradiction. The problem is, that can't be done. Existence isn't predicated like that. Deductive arguments can't show that something must exist. You're looking for tautology that proves the existence of something but tautologies don't say anything meaningful about the world e.g. "it will either rain or not rain tomorrow". That's true but also tells you nothing about the weather tomorrow.
No, the existence of the universe is contingent and without cause. It exists for no reason at all. Are you going to say that's impossible? If so, what argument can you give for that?
Please explain to me something which has begun to exist without cause. Science does not work this way nor does anything. There is sense in looking for causes to things because things have causes, contingent things that is.
God cannot not exist because He is a necessary being. If He were not, He would need a cause and we would simply be forced to continue further down the line. The point is that we cannot proceed to infinity in any sense with contingent beings because as I stated this does not explain anything just continues shifting the problem. An infinite series of contingent things is as unable to cause itself as a single contingent thing. Therefore we must reach something which is necessary if we wish to explain existence at all.
I don't see how you can claim the existence of the universe is contingent AND yet say it has no cause. Contingency implies cause or reason. Contingency means the object in question cannot fully explain itself by itself. That it is dependent upon something else.
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin contingent-, contingens, present participle of contingere to have contact with, befall, from com- + tangere to touch - more at tangent
Date: 14th century
1 : likely but not certain to happen : possible
2 : not logically necessary; especially : empirical
3 a : happening by chance or unforeseen causes b : subject to chance or unseen effects : unpredictable c : intended for use in circumstances not completely foreseen
4 : dependent on or conditioned by something else <payment is contingent on fulfillment of certain conditions>
5 : not necessitated : determined by free choice
synonyms see accidental
It it my contention that the only logical view for an atheist to hold is that the universe is necessary or is eternal and cannot not exist. That is to say it is logically impossible for there to be nothing as opposed to the something that is. However this seems to not follow. At least not as intuitively as say the idea of a square circle.
It it my contention that the only logical view for an atheist to hold is that the universe is necessary or is eternal and cannot not exist. That is to say it is logically impossible for there to be nothing as opposed to the something that is. However this seems to not follow. At least not as intuitively as say the idea of a square circle. I see no clear cut contradiction in asking why is there something rather than nothing. At least nothing explicit.
However, you contend that the universe is indeed contingent but that it has not cause which I find quite curious. I would hope that you will expound upon this further.
Definition of Contingent being
Theological and Philosophical Biography and Dictionary
Something that does not exist in and of itself but depends for its existence upon some other being.
Well, that's not the case. I think the universe is completely random, without any causes at all.
I will not press the issue further, my last request will be to give me an example of anything else in existence which is contingent and without cause
In the Preface to the Prolegomena Kant considers the supposed science of metaphysics. He states that "no event has occurred that could have been more decisive for the fate of this science than the attack made upon it by David Hume" and goes on to say that "Hume proceeded primarily from a single but important concept of metaphysics, namely, that of the connection of cause and effectProlegomenatrial with Hume's problematic concept (his crux metaphysicorum), namely