Do you claim to know any specific details that could only be explained by the existence of the God you believe in? Because, as you well know, the existence of the universe is no more evidence for the God you believe in than it is for any other possible creating force, including a completely natural one. While the existence of the universe is a fact that lends support to the God theory, it also lends support to the Zeus theory, the Thor theory, the Vishnu theory in exactly the same way.
No, I do not. For any finite set of points, there are an infinite number of equations that go through all of them. Similarly, there's at least one alternative explanation for every phenomenon.
Zeus, Thor, and Vishnu are all conceptions of God.
What tool do you find works better than the scientific method at determining objective truths about the universe?
I haven't found any. Therein lies the problem. I know of no tool that determines objective truths about the universe.
You’ve said you believe your God is real and you believe you have a personal relationship with it.
I did not invent God, nor do I claim any ownership over Him. He is no more "my" God than the laws of thermodynamics are "my" laws.
The first thing we need to do is establish exactly what your God is. That’s why I’m asking you to provide a factual description of it. If you can’t even define or describe your God then it isn’t possible to prove that it is real, in which case your belief is nothing more than self-deception.
Actually, I think that's a few steps down the road, but since you went to the trouble of making the thread, I won't argue the point.
God is, to the best my human mind and language can describe, the eternally omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent source of all being.
A phenomenon is a fact or situation observed to exist or happen, especially one whose cause or explanation is in question. Saying you don’t believe your God can be observed to exist or your personal relationship with it could be observed to happen only serves to negate your beliefs.
What I said is that God can be observed, but that He's not observable as a phenomenon. It might be more clear to say that God can cause phenomenon and/or make Himself known directly to our senses, but He is not a constantly observable phenomenon like your computer.
Well then what is the foundation of your belief if it isn’t dependent on experience with or observation or detection of your God? Is it just an emotion or internal feeling you have? That would make your personal relationship with it a fantasy.
You really do like answering your own questions for me, don't you?
God is ontologically prior to experience, observation, detection, emotions, internal feelings, and imagination. If God were to suddenly stop existing (or start, for the atheist), the meaning of all those things would change in some way. Thus, I cannot base my faith on these any more than I can use polar coordinates to prove the equation for the area of a circle (since polar coordinates are derived from said equation.)
So where can it come from? It can't come from the universe, since if I believe God is eternal and the universe is not, then God must be prior to the universe. Can it come from my own reason, Decartes style? No, for the same reason.
So what's left when I discard all experience, observation, detection, emotions, internal feelings, imagination, the universe, or even myself?
Interesting. Not sure I've presented a view, but implicit in what I've been saying so far is any view I would choose to present to you would be (a) capable of being described and articulated, and (b) capable of verification.
I don't think you have, but I was assuming that you have some
view of the universe. My point was that the door swings both ways: you currently have no reason to buy my view, and I have no reason to buy yours, whatever it may be.
Are you saying that you see no need to consider a view that can be articulated and verified?
No, I would definitely consider any view that could be articulated and verified in establishing objective reality.
Insofar as I understand, her theological beliefs are basically an exercise in semantic vagueness. 'God' exists, but isn't a person, force, or presence in reality. But exists, mind you. She'll tell you a whole lot about what god isn't but will make damn sure to let you know that she can't tell you what god is. But god is real.
Interesting. Perhaps she feels she lacks the words to describe God properly? She sounds like she'd be interesting to talk to, at any rate.
In what ways does this differ then from the claim "If the 64th Regiment of Rigel 7 didn't create the universe, we might not even be here!"
Well, for starters, I don't know who or what the 64th Regiment of Rigel 7 is. Is it ontologically prior to the universe?
...so is it simply inadequate or principally flawed?
As a tool? Neither. For empirical investigation? It's great. For establishing objective truths? It's inadequate.
Much as a screwdriver is good for screwing screws, so-so for hammering nails, and terrible for tightening bolts, so is the scientific method good at what it does, but not good at what it doesn't.