An argument for God's existence

Again, in my view, none of this really addresses the points that I raise with you above:

Instead, for reasons I believe are rooted in dasein, you have managed to think yourself into believing that you are reading the Bible in the “right way”. And the way in which [subjectively/subjunctively] you read it “works” in that through it you believe in your own rendition of a God world. And that belief by itself establishes [in your head] there is an essential purpose and meaning. And that, what, this allows you to differentiate between behaviors God would approve of and behaviors God would not approve of? And that when you die you will, what, attain immortality and salvation?

And even though there are hundreds of the faithful out there with their own Scriptures and their own Gods and their own spiritual paths, each and everyone of them have managed as well to think themselves into believing that merely believing what they do makes it true.

Only over and over again, in regard to the countless conflicting goods that have plagued humankind now for thousands of years, there are in turn countless conflicting God and No God moral/spiritual agendas regarding what does “good” and what does “harm”. Both in terms of the behaviors you choose on this side of the grave, and what you imagine the fate of “I” to be on the other side of it in choosing those behaviors.

Instead, you think away the arguments that I confront you with by reconfiguring me into a very lonely dragon.

But this remain: you are comforted and consoled merely in the belief that you sustain.

Let’s just leave it at that.

Unless, of course, you are willing to address the points I raise in a substantive exchange.

Yeah of course that’s the reasonable response, except when there’s other reason to rule it all out - such as with my proof. Without that proof, you should indeed admit that it can’t be known, but the proof can put it all to rest because it turns out to be logically impossible for God to exist to us despite all the uncertainty that there would be without the proof.

Ah the old “Pascal’s Wager”. One famous issue with that is the idea that God could be fooled by your gamble, amongst others if you’re not already familiar.
“Why do people have beliefs” makes me think of an “appeal to popularity”. It’s possible for even a majority to be wrong, so personally I wouldn’t rely on trends.
Also people are infamously susceptible to psychological biases, and it’s intimidating and hard work to both not rely on trends and be ruthless in rooting out and accounting for your emotional preferences. So yeah, the only way through is to investigate empirical evidence as objectively as you can to appreciate what happens independently of what you’d like to think happens - and when you find contradictions you know they override beliefs, because logically contradictions necessarily cannot exist by definition no matter how hard and long you search for evidence for them.

There definitely seems to be something appealing to beliefs, and if you define rationality in the utilitarian sense of beneficial regardless of the means to those ends, then I can see how you could call it rational. But in the technical objective sense, rationality wouldn’t be the right word. If “seeing on purpose” seems to you to work for you, then it might seem to be rational to do so, but the thing about science and reason is that it reveals whether “the apparent” is actually working. The collective effort of using the scientific method is the best way that we’ve discovered so far to determine right/wrong/between. If it didn’t work, then all our technology would never have progressed so effectively. Take a moment to appreciate all the technology we take for granted in today’s world and how amazing it is that it works at all. Doubt can serve you well, to keep your mind as open as possible, but there is at the very least a strong indication as to what is “more right”. And as for logic itself, there seems to be no doubt whatsoever that direct contradictions cannot ever exist in reality. How could a married bachelor or square circle ever exist? The definitions are irreconcilable. So for all the benefits of doubt, I think at least some certainty about certain particular things is warranted.

Certainly real,

From “For example” I agree, yes.

This is a topic in and of itself. I don’t believe there is a simple or straightforward answer to this question. What I mean is, there isn’t a consensus on it. From my perspective, existence is both conceptual and tangible. I can conceive of it and experience it. Infinity is not the same in that respect. I can conceive of infinity, but I cannot experience it, to me, it is purely conceptual. Therefore, even if I lived for 10 million years, I could never say that infinity is real, so it isn’t real, in the same way, that existence is real.

Again, this seems like a topic in itself. I don’t know if existence is finite or infinite. Logic has its limits, and the origins of existence are one of those, because of infinite-regression. Knowing that this is a problem that logic encounters because logic requires information that we don’t have regarding the origins of existence. I’d rather not say either way.

How could I possibly know? I don’t know of anything that is infinite.

Suppose your friend tells you ‘I was at the park and at home, at the same time’. Would you believe him? No because what he claims is paradoxical/absurd/hypothetically impossible.

Do you agree that if something leads to a paradox/absurdity/hypothetical impossibility, then it is certainly false?

You don’t need to experience anything to be aware of the fact that no one thing can be in two different places at the same time, or, that something can’t come from nothing. These are facts of pure reason. It is via pure reason that you make sense of your empirical observations. Where your empirical observations aren’t in line with pure reason, you reinterpret your observations so that they become in line with pure reason so that they are understandable. It is with pure reason in mind that good science tries to interpret its experiments and observations. Where some observation shows contradictions in a given scientific theory, that theory is abandoned or reformulated so that it is not absurd/paradoxical.

If something is absurd, then its absurd and should be treated as such. To suggest existence had an origin, is to suggest there was non-existence and then there was existence. This is not a matter of logic having limits. This is matter of logic clearly highlighting that non-existence existing is absurd. Just as your friend telling you ‘I was at the park and at home, at the same time’ is absurd. You would not believe your friend because logic tells you not to. So why would you not maintain logic when it tells you that Existence Is Infinite? Look again at 1 and 2. 2 is clearly absurd is it not? 1 is not absurd. So what are you suppose to believe in? That which is absurd? Or that which is not absurd?

How could you possibly know that your friend is mistaken or lying to you or joking with you when he says ‘I was in two different places at the same time’? Via semantics, reason, and logic. How else would one know anything? If x contradicts reason and logic, then x is wrong. Existence is finite. This contradicts reason and logic. Therefore it is wrong. Therefore Existence Is Infinite. Nothing can be in two different places at the same time. Your friend claims he was. Your friend contradicts reason and logic. Therefore your friend is wrong.

Even if you say infinite regress is the case, this is not an absurdity. Saying there was non-existence and then there was existence is an absurdity. You cannot separate Infinity from Existence without being absurd. Thus, since Existence is at least as real as us and it is Infinite, something Infinite is at least as real as us.

Thank you. I read the first part and I already know I agree.
When I was drunk on my birthday long ago in Tuscon I talked to a fortune teller who was living in the street if he knew God. He said: we could know God exactly we would also know how to create a world and living souls. But we don’t so we don’t know God so well that we can deny him entry in our heart, and that is the whisper of the Holy Spirit. Since then I believe in the Trinity.

Silhouette,

I observe some things which appear to have purpose, but I’m naturally a sceptic, so I keep an open mind. Doubt, as you say, can serve us well. I understand an atheist’s choice and a theist’s choice, but I remain on the fence. I agree, when it comes to finding out if patterns are actually patterns, the scientific method is the most suited and the best. I couldn’t say whether that applies to religious considerations though, because of their purported nature. It seems to me that they would be a fuzzy area for the scientific method, and even logic to get into.

Hilarious, Desiny! :laughing:

Certainly real,

Rightly or wrongly, my ability to comprehend stops at infinite regression. I don’t know if existence is infinite or finite, both suppositions apparently have illogical aspects to them, so my conclusion is that I don’t know. Can we just leave it there, please?

The problem with this is that perfection has three aspects, not one:

  1. the highest degree of proficiency, skill, or excellence, as in some art.
  2. a perfect embodiment or example of something.
  3. a quality, trait, or feature of the highest degree of excellence.

So perfection isn’t just that which can’t be conceivably improved, it is the embodiment of something. It is that which achieves a pre-disclosed quality or trait. You have to disclose what that quality or trait should be before acknowledging perfection.

The second thing is, what is perfect existence? Existence is:

  1. the state or fact of existing; being.
  2. continuance in being or life; life: a struggle for existence.
  3. mode of existing: They were working for a better existence.
  4. all that exists: Existence shows a universal order.
  5. something that exists; entity; being.

So do you mean an existence that embodies a certain quality or trait? Or do you mean an entity that has a feature of highest excellence?

So you want everybody to get what they truly/perfectly deserve – what does that mean? How will you know? How do you know that this isn’t what we experience already?

You see, you have to clear a lot of questions up before you embark on defining perfect existence. That is why the ancients wrote their complex mythologies and why not all mythologies are “perfect”, because they leave too much unclear. We tend to leave these attempts at clarity behind us and assume it is easy. It isn’t.

I keep finding your statement that “so much is at stake”. Considering all the things you protest about, why don’t you just ignore everybody and get on with your life, making it as best you know how to? In the confusion of religions, which are superficially so diverse, it might be the best way to take what you find best in any tradition and stick to that. There is no point in trying to find the perfect one, if you have struggled for so long. Life is short my friend.

Your obsession with “judgement day” seems to be the big problem. How many traditions have that? Where do they conflict? Why are the Christian/biblical requirements named so problematic? Do you feel the need to repent? Why don’t you do that and trust in the love of God? I think the reason is that you are stuck in a vicious circle and can’t make the step that takes you out of it.

I believe that the “right” way to read the Bible is in the way it was meant, and there are indications showing that the symbolic meaning opens up the stories to show a deeper meaning than just the story on the surface. Maybe I’m wrong, but that is the way I have decided to approach it rather than turning in vicious circles and not knowing how to go ahead. But that is it! You have to have the courage of your convictions, make a choice and go down that road.

I can leave you in your circle of desperation – sure. I just thought I’d give you an idea of how to move on.

I’m not gonna force someone into a conversation that they don’t want to have. I disagree that there is any illogical aspect to Existence Being Infinite for reasons I’ve already stated. You think it is illogical because your ability to comprehend stops at infinite regression. I want to highlight the following from you so that you may see why I continued to discuss with you:

You have said you can conceive of infinity. You have said you can conceive of existence. You have not said you can conceive of something coming from nothing. Yet you say you don’t know if existence is finite or infinite.

If you are happy leaving it at this, then so be it. But given what I’ve highlighted, I think such a move would either be insincere to truth and reason and logic and semantics, or lacking in attention/focus, or just lazy. It is never good/right for someone to be insincere to truth and reason, or to be lazy. Insincerity, unreasonableness, and laziness, are always bad/wrong. Sometime lack of attention/focus is not wrong. When something is not important, there is nothing wrong with not giving it your full attention. Regarding matters of God and morality, the more attention you give It, the morally better. The less, the morally worse.

Perfection has many aspects to it. We are not in disagreement on this. But my question to you is the following:

Is there anything better than a perfect existence? I don’t know if you are a yes, or no, or I don’t know on this question. Your reply seems more like ‘I don’t know’. Can you really think of anything that is better than a perfect existence to be I don’t know on this? I mean if you picture a perfect life or a perfect car or a perfect anything, surely if it is within a perfect existence, it is better isn’t it? As in it’s better for your perfect car or your perfect life, or yourself, to be in a perfect existence with no injustice in it than to be in an imperfect existence with some injustice in it. So clearly there is nothing better than a perfect existence, right?

Call that which everything exists in, Existence. Existence Is Omnipresent. If it is not Perfect, then logically speaking Perfection is hypothetically impossible because that which no greater than can be conceived of is Existence Being Perfect, or Perfection Being Omnipresent, and if It Is not Perfect, then Perfection is absurd/hypothetically impossible.

For example, if in Existence you have one instance of injustice, then Existence is imperfect because it would be better for there to be no instances of injustice in Existence. So Existence would then not be that which no greater than can be conceived of when there is injustice within it.

I know this is what we experience already (as in I know everyone is getting what they deserve) because per the dictates of pure reason, Existence Is Perfect and I am in It. It is paradoxical to deny Existence Being Perfect. An imperfect existence is absurd. Thus everyone is getting what they deserve is a certainty like triangles having three sides is a certainty.

I don’t know what a perfect existence is. I know what existence is, but what quality or trait must it have to be perfect? It seems to me that what I regard as perfect is something that we could disagree on.

Okay, if existence is one, why does one person curse their existence and another praise it? It is a matter of perspective. However, we all exist, whatever perspective we have and have no influence on that. It just is. By using the word perfect, you are assuming some trait or quality, which we would have to agree upon.

Okay, so now (because injustice exists) existence is imperfect.

But you said that that it is imperfect because of injustice, which exists.

What I’m trying to show you is that to make such statements, you have to start at the beginning and clarify things before you try to use logic to prove those claims.

If in any given existence injustice exists, then that existence is imperfect. We cannot empirically know if injustice exists in our existence or not because we are not Omniscient. We don’t have all the premises. However, since it is paradoxical to reject Existence Being Perfect, it is paradoxical to believe that there is injustice in our Existence.

Existence is such that everyone gets what they truly deserve. The one that curses their Existence (or Lord as I would like to call It) is clearly unhappy with their manner of existing. Them being unhappy with their manner of existing is what they deserve. What does one person hating existing and another person loving existing have anything to do with what I’m arguing here?

Existence = that which is Omnipresent.

Compare two existences A and B. There is no injustice in A. There is some injustice in B. Can we not objectively agree that B is certainly not Perfect and that A may be Perfect? With this being the case, can we not say that it’s perfection for everyone to get what they truly deserve? Such that if x is such that it is imperfect or encompassed by imperfect (in this case B) then x is certainly not Perfect. With this being the case, can you see how you have some idea of what a perfect existence is?

In order for everyone to get what they truly deserve, then Existence (the Omnipresent) must be Omniscient (so that It Knows who has good/evil intent) and Omnipotent (so that It Handles all affairs). If It lacks one of these traits, It cannot bring about the condition of everyone getting what they truly deserve.

And with that being said, hopefully an objective idea of Perfection begins to form.

Hi CR,
I think that your “Perfect Existence” doesn’t work as you would like it to. I would suggest that there are other ways to name God.

This is, of course, all based on Christian theology. The Bible, however, never sees a human being outside of mankind and so, anything that we see other people as needing, we need the very same. You can just build on this, unless you have objections.

Hi Bob,

Why not? Where is there a problem with the following:

  1. Perfection = that which no greater than can be conceived.
  2. Nothing is better than a perfect existence, therefore perfection = a perfect existence

You then said you don’t know what a perfect existence, to which I said:

Existence = that which is Omnipresent.

Compare two existences A and B. There is no injustice in A. There is some injustice in B. Can we not objectively agree that B is certainly not Perfect and that A may be Perfect? With this being the case, can we not say that it’s perfection for everyone to get what they truly deserve? Such that if x is such that it is imperfect or encompassed by imperfect (in this case B) then x is certainly not Perfect. So 3) With this being the case, can you see how you have some idea of what a perfect existence is?

In order for everyone to get what they truly deserve, then Existence (the Omnipresent) must be Omniscient (so that It Knows who has good/evil intent) and Omnipotent (so that It Handles all affairs). If It lacks one of these traits, It cannot bring about the condition of everyone getting what they truly deserve.

  1. And with that being said, has an objective idea of Perfection (a perfect existence/being) began to form?

So that I understand you better, between 1-4, which is problematic?

If you say that Existence equates to Being (with a capital B) you have no quality or trait that you can use on it. Perfection means ideally fitting requirements. What requirements can we make on Existence? It is as it is. If you say it isn’t perfect, it means nothing, other than your requirements of it are flawed. You have no choice therefore you cannot claim that Existence has any quality at all. You either have Existence or not.

The “Ground of Being” is a phrase that says that God underlies Being and consequently everything in existence. Without God there is no existence, so there is no comparison to make and therefore no way to call it perfect or not. For that reason, the idea of saying a perfect existence would be …. Is null and void.

Is Omnipresence a quality or trait? Can it denote anything other than Existence? I say this because Existence exists everywhere. What else exists everywhere?

Something which is omnipresent is everywhere at the same time. It is an adjective and describes something, so it is a quality or trait. It is usually said of God, the Ground of Being, without which there is no existence.

So you say “Something which is omnipresent is everywhere at the same time”. I agree. Is it not true of Existence that It exists everywhere at the same time? Would it not be absurd for us to say ‘there is no Existence there’, or that ‘there is non-existence there’ ?

Do you believe God to be Omnipresent? If not, do you believe God to be Omnipotent?