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On another note regarding the proof of god, Azdgari you accused me of putting the detection of God out of reach for safety's sake. Please provide definitive evidence that is in reach that would show the nature of God's existence.

Before he (or anyone else, for that matter) can do that, you will need to define your god.

Like Pianodwarf says, "god" is a woolly word that can mean dramatically different things to different people, even when those two people profess to believe in the same "god".  So yes - the first criteria towards proving "god" is to define exactly what "god" means.

Its the scientific principle - you clearly define your hypothesis, and come up with a test that can prove the hypothesis, or falsify it.  Any test where the results can be ambiguous is pretty much worthless, as indeed are assertions that "one day we may be able to do it, just not yet".

Actually, I believe that that is a HUGE cop-out - at least if the "god" we are talking about is anything other than a non-interventionist deist creator-type god.  And as I've said before, if THAT is the only god we are talking about, then I'm not particularly interested anyways - if he's not ever EVER going to interact with me, then I don't care whether he exists or not, same as I don't particularly care whether Mr.John Smith of Des Moines who died in 1803 ever existed.  I can see perhaps how specific scientific disciplines might have an interest in that god, but for the "day-to-day person"?  Nope.

Fortunately, that question seldom arises.  Believers in non-interventionist deist creators seldom tend to want to force their views on other people, and even when they do, its not usually an issues precisely because of the "non-interventionist" aspect.  Their god doesn't want anything, so there is nothing they have to push onto others.

But I digress - the bigger reason I see it as a sneaky question because it tries to shift the goalposts back - "provide definitive evidence that is in reach that would show the nature of God's existence" indeed!  "Please prove there are no black swans", as some might put it.  Of COURSE nobody here is going to be able to ask a question, or show the evidence, that there are NO gods out there at all, and its a rather disingenuous thing to ask.  I can't prove there are no black swans in the world, either.

But what I - and we - CAN do is ask questions, and provide the evidence, that knock down all the interventionist gods with particular characteristics that get put forward.  Does your god live in a certain physical place?  Then (as PD points out) we can go there.  Does your god say it will do particular things?  Then we can look to see if those things get done.  Does your god do this, look like that, manifest here, miracle that?  Then we can ask those questions, and (because we are looking at specifics) we can say "NO - THAT god does NOT exist". 

Its a process that has been going on for centuries.  Way back when, EVERYTHING was evidence for god.  But as we move forward, "god" has to retreat, and retreat, as slowly but surely everything that makes that god specific is revealed away as the smoke and mirrors it is, and we end up with an insubstantial and non-interfering "god" that would have been unthinkable to the people of a thousand, or even a hundred years ago.  We NEVER ask a question that makes the likelihood of a god a little MORE likely - NEVER devise the test that says "if there is a god, we should see X, and if there is not, we should see Y", and have X be the outcome.

So I'll repeat PD's question.  What exactly IS your god?  What does it do?  What is its nature?  Answer those questions, and we'll start to nail down the tests and the evidence that will "provide definitive evidence that is in reach that would show the nature of God's existence" - or, rather, the lack of it.  I'm confident that we will blow away the mists that surround your god - whatever that may be - and either reveal that there is nothing there at all, or we will have amended the description of "god" to something completely irrelevant to mankind.

Is there a man behind your curtain, mhaberling?  What IS your god? 

Work with us and lets get to the truth.
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Azdgari Just perfect December 28, 2012, 08:27:41 AM