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Main Discussion Zone => General Religious Discussion => Topic started by: HAL on May 07, 2012, 06:11:57 PM

Title: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: HAL on May 07, 2012, 06:11:57 PM
Jstweb suggested I create a new thread for this, so here it is.

You asked me once what evidence I would require to believe in your god, and I asked you to help me out. I asked you how I could differentiate between a god and a highly advanced alien. I truthfully don't know how I could do that, so I need your assistance. I need to be able to tell the difference if something astounding should happen that I can't explain. I need to be able to tell if what I might be seeing a god do is really happening because of this god, or an advanced alien technology is doing it, or causing my mind to "believe" something that isn't real. This is not a joke question, it's very serious.

Can you help me out?
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on May 07, 2012, 06:31:48 PM
Jstweb suggested I create a new thread for this, so here it is.

You asked me once what evidence I would require to believe in your god, and I asked you to help me out. I asked you how I could differentiate between a god and a highly advanced alien. I truthfully don't know how I could do that, so I need your assistance. I need to be able to tell the difference if something astounding should happen that I can't explain. I need to be able to tell if what I might be seeing a god do is really happening because of this god, or an advanced alien technology is doing it, or causing my mind to "believe" something that isn't real. This is not a joke question, it's very serious.

Can you help me out?

No this is actually intriguing and I have lightly thought about this before.  Are you asking if we took God out and replace him with an alien pretending to be God how could we tell the difference?
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: magicmiles on May 07, 2012, 06:38:01 PM
The bible says 'Knock and the door shall be opened, seek and you shall find', however it also clearly teaches that God first loved us and that we cannot find God apart from Him making Himself known.

If you have searched for God and not found Him, it means He either has not made Himself known or you have ignored Him when he did make Himself known.

I suspect most people on this site will claim the first option (those that have sought God, I mean). So in response to that I would say "keep on searching" and don't ignore Him when you find Him. How will you know when you found Him? I think it's a different experience for everybody.

Constantly dwelling on reasons why he doesn't or couldn't exist probably isn't the best way of going about it.

Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: HAL on May 07, 2012, 06:38:19 PM
No this is actually intriguing and I have lightly thought about this before.  Are you asking if we took God out and replace him with an alien pretending to be God how could we tell the difference?

Thanks for engaging.

Well first, I don't know what evidence your deity could or would present, so you need to help me out with that, because you asked me what evidence I would accept, and I haven't a clue what your deity can provide for evidence.

Second, if you answer my first point, then how can I make sure that a highly advanced alien technology isn't pretending to be "god" to me, for whatever reason. As I said, if the technology is advanced enough, then I couldn't tell it apart from magic (i.e., a god).

So I have two huge problems for you to assist me with.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: HAL on May 07, 2012, 06:40:02 PM
If you have searched for God and not found Him, it means He either has not made Himself known or you have ignored Him when he did make Himself known.

This doesn't address the problem in any way.

Quote
Hope this helps.

It doesn't.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: magicmiles on May 07, 2012, 06:41:58 PM
I'll tiptoe away then.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: HAL on May 07, 2012, 07:28:57 PM
I'll tiptoe away then.

Mkay. You've done barely more than drool on your keyboard in my thread, but I hope you find better opportunities elsewhere on the forum.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: One Above All on May 08, 2012, 12:53:44 AM
BM
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: magicmiles on May 08, 2012, 12:57:26 AM
Does posting 'BM' simply mean you can check on the progress of the thread with the "new replies to your posts" option?
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: One Above All on May 08, 2012, 12:59:46 AM
Yes.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: ILOVEYOU on May 08, 2012, 01:05:13 AM
<snip>

Removed for preaching.

Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: joebbowers on May 08, 2012, 01:43:19 AM
The bible says 'Knock and the door shall be opened, seek and you shall find', however it also clearly teaches that God first loved us and that we cannot find God apart from Him making Himself known.

If you have searched for God and not found Him, it means He either has not made Himself known or you have ignored Him when he did make Himself known.

Do you understand what "make Himself known" means? If he was ignored it is because he was not recognized as God, and therefore did not make himself known. In order for God to make himself known, it must be unambiguous. It must be clearly understood that this is God, and not easily explained as something else.

You theists tend to interpret anything you want as God making Himself known. Rainbows, butterflies, cute puppies, etc. Sorry, but our bar for evidence is a bit higher than that. I mean, do Christians think that there were no rainbows or butterflies before Christianity came along? Don't they realize that anyone could claim that same evidence as proof of their god too?

"Rainbows, therefore Odin" is just as logically sound an argument as "Rainbows, therefore God."
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: ParkingPlaces on May 08, 2012, 01:51:45 AM
ILOVEYOU

Apparently god doesn't heal deafness either, because our warnings against preaching are still falling on your deaf ears.

Just be willing and stop reaching out. Have faith in our ability to listen to rational dialog. Go forth and multiply your consideration of our rules.

It sucks doesn't it. Stop.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: magicmiles on May 08, 2012, 01:59:03 AM

Do you understand what "make Himself known" means? If he was ignored it is because he was not recognized as God, and therefore did not make himself known. In order for God to make himself known, it must be unambiguous. It must be clearly understood that this is God, and not easily explained as something else.


What would cut it for you, Joe?

Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: lomolo on May 08, 2012, 02:41:53 AM
If you have searched for God and not found Him, it means He either has not made Himself known or you have ignored Him when he did make Himself known.

I'm currently talking to a Christian on a different forum (he seems to be getting upset with me, but anyway), and he's also trying to use this argument against me.

If I saw some evidence that God was there, then I would absolutely believe. He keeps asking, "What are you calling evidence?", to which I can only reply, "I don't know, but an omniscient God should".

I can hardly believe that you would think someone would ignore God if he made himself known to them beyond the shadow of a doubt.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: magicmiles on May 08, 2012, 03:00:45 AM


and he's also trying to use this argument against me.

I'm not trying to use any arguments against anyone. I just give my perspective and challenge others.


I can hardly believe that you would think someone would ignore God if he made himself known to them beyond the shadow of a doubt.

There are many examples in the bible of just that, all the same.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: dloubet on May 08, 2012, 03:16:23 AM
Quote
What would cut it for you, Joe?

This is the very question we're addressing. Is English not your first language?

The only way one could be certain that one is experiencing a god is to be omniscient. Failing that, any reasonable person would have to admit that they could be fooled by sufficiently advanced technology, and thus there is no way to be certain you are experiencing a god or an alien.

This should be a problem for theists, but they apparently think they can't be fooled or mistaken about the identity of supposedly supernatural beings. This is odd when you consider that theists are as likely as anyone else to be swindled by ordinary humans, yet they believe they are immune to the blandishments of a supposed supernatural Father of Lies armed with unknown powers of persuasion. I mean, if I was the Devil character, the first thing I'd do is claim to be the god character and tell the believers exactly what they wanted to hear. I'd feed their expectations and justify their bigotry and hatred. I'd convince them that my opinions match theirs. I'd write the bible in all its vague and cherry-picking glory to facilitate this. I'd laugh all the way to the soul-bank.

Theists believe they're infallible concerning the identity of supernatural beings. They never explain where they got this superpower, but I think they should all take to wearing capes and colorful underwear on the outside of their clothes.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: joebbowers on May 08, 2012, 03:27:29 AM
I can hardly believe that you would think someone would ignore God if he made himself known to them beyond the shadow of a doubt.
There are many examples in the bible of just that, all the same.

In the real world, if unambiguous evidence of God were found, I doubt anyone would ignore it. You said it happened in the bible, but citing examples from fairy tales is not good enough. We do not believe the bible is true, as there is no evidence to support it, and tons of solid evidence to refute it. Stop citing it as a resource. For the billionth time, the bible is not evidence, so please stop using it as such. Unless I can start claiming Spiderman is real, because it says so in my comic books. Seriously, do you not get that?


Do you understand what "make Himself known" means? If he was ignored it is because he was not recognized as God, and therefore did not make himself known.  In order for God to make himself known, it must be unambiguous. It must be clearly understood that this is God, and not easily explained as something else.


What would cut it for you, Joe?

Already answered. Frankly it would be easy for a supreme being to prove it exists. Hell, I can prove I exist I and don't even have super powers.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Anfauglir on May 08, 2012, 04:03:51 AM
Do you understand what "make Himself known" means? If he was ignored it is because he was not recognized as God, and therefore did not make himself known. In order for God to make himself known, it must be unambiguous.

What would cut it for you, Joe?

For me, it is exactly what Joe said there.  For me to pray, and then (say) see a rainbow, or have a JW knock at the door, or win the lottery.....none of those would cut it.

So what would cut it for me?  Well, an answer would be favourite.  Like I've said in another thread, something like "hey god, are you there?"  "yes I am"  "Cool - let's talk"  "Okay then".

You know - the exact same way that you would make yourself known if someone was trying to open conversation with you.  If you are a loving god who sincerely wants a relationship with someone, sincerely wants them to know you....then you would be clear and open and direct about it.  You'd answer when someone speaks, not hide behind a cryptic "maybe-message".
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: magicmiles on May 08, 2012, 04:10:55 AM
Actually, having carefully read the OP again, Hal seems to be saying that if something extremely unexplainable happened he would assume it was something outside his intelligence but not necessarily God. And he appears to be saying that in response to jstweb asking in another thread what evidence he would need.

So I rather think the onus is still on Hal or anyone else to actually answer Jstweb with a specific example of something that would convince him/you of God.

Or is that all just a bit too hard?
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: magicmiles on May 08, 2012, 04:22:00 AM

So what would cut it for me?  Well, an answer would be favourite.  Like I've said in another thread, something like "hey god, are you there?"  "yes I am"  "Cool - let's talk"  "Okay then".

You know - the exact same way that you would make yourself known if someone was trying to open conversation with you.  If you are a loving god who sincerely wants a relationship with someone, sincerely wants them to know you....then you would be clear and open and direct about it.  You'd answer when someone speaks, not hide behind a cryptic "maybe-message".

So what you're saying here is that you demand God meet you on your terms, and your terms only?

Think about it. We're talking about God, who spoke the universe into being...who owes you nothing. And you would say to God...you do it myway.

Even in normal, everyday life, is it not better to discover things by searching?
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: bertatberts on May 08, 2012, 04:25:32 AM
Jstwebbrowsing, Magicmiles, and I LOVE YOU:

I suggest that the probability of there being life more intelligent than Human beings is probably very good, considering the size of the universe and the possibility of other universes, etc

So what I think Hal is asking is what is it that separates aliens from gods? What separates a god from simply an extremely advanced and influential conscious entity?
Any god, regardless of what religion, would just be a very advanced and influential conscious entity or being.

So what makes the distinction between an advanced alien and a god?

I'll assume that your response would be "gods are supposed to have magical/supernatural abilities"

My response would be, "what is magic?" After all, even if magic does exist, it would be nothing more than a mechanic of reality we don't understand.

But more importantly, how do we distinguish "magic" in the classic sense from just really advanced technology?

And when Hal says super intelligent aliens I'm sure he means that they can, influential the laws of nature, with their advanced technology. 

As I see it a god is nothing more than a really advanced and influential conscious entity, so simply just another alien.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: bertatberts on May 08, 2012, 04:26:26 AM
Actually, having carefully read the OP again, Hal seems to be saying that if something extremely unexplainable happened he would assume it was something outside his intelligence but not necessarily God. And he appears to be saying that in response to jstweb asking in another thread what evidence he would need.

So I rather think the onus is still on Hal or anyone else to actually answer Jstweb with a specific example of something that would convince him/you of God.

Or is that all just a bit too hard?
I'd read it again that is Hal's answer to Jst.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: bertatberts on May 08, 2012, 04:28:18 AM

So what would cut it for me?  Well, an answer would be favourite.  Like I've said in another thread, something like "hey god, are you there?"  "yes I am"  "Cool - let's talk"  "Okay then".

You know - the exact same way that you would make yourself known if someone was trying to open conversation with you.  If you are a loving god who sincerely wants a relationship with someone, sincerely wants them to know you....then you would be clear and open and direct about it.  You'd answer when someone speaks, not hide behind a cryptic "maybe-message".

So what you're saying here is that you demand God meet you on your terms, and your terms only?

Think about it. We're talking about God, who spoke the universe into being...who owes you nothing. And you would say to God...you do it myway.
No he is not talking about your god. He has no concept of god.

 
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: kaziglu bey on May 08, 2012, 04:30:14 AM
So I rather think the onus is still on Hal or anyone else to actually answer Jstweb with a specific example of something that would convince him/you of God.

Or is that all just a bit too hard?
I can't speak for anyone, but I think quite a few of us would be convinced if God mooned us, like he did Moses. Furthermore, since we are alleged to have been made in his image, he should appear to each person as an exact double of them in order to demonstrate this. Though this still wouldn't necessarily address the problem of the OP, since it might still be possible for highly advanced aliens to appear to us to be God.

It would also be helpful if someone could show us that a combination of animal blood, anointing with oil, and incantations can cure disease, just as the Bible says it does. It would he helpful if there was evidence of the flood, or the exodus story. These things would demonstrate that the God described in the Bible is true. Since we know that such things are false, it is safe to conclude that the God of the Bible is a myth.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: magicmiles on May 08, 2012, 04:48:11 AM


No he is not talking about your god. He has no concept of god.

Yes, we are, and yes he does. We're talking about the God of the bible, and because Anfauglir has read the bible, or lots of it, he has a concept of it.

And so, in demanding the God of the bible to do things a certain way he is doing so knowing the God of the bible is unimaginably great, and has no obligation to us at all. You can't demand God only be real if He isn't who He says He is.

Does that make sense?
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Anfauglir on May 08, 2012, 04:49:10 AM

So what would cut it for me?  Well, an answer would be favourite.  Like I've said in another thread, something like "hey god, are you there?"  "yes I am"  "Cool - let's talk"  "Okay then".

You know - the exact same way that you would make yourself known if someone was trying to open conversation with you.  If you are a loving god who sincerely wants a relationship with someone, sincerely wants them to know you....then you would be clear and open and direct about it.  You'd answer when someone speaks, not hide behind a cryptic "maybe-message".

So what you're saying here is that you demand God meet you on your terms, and your terms only?

Your god can choose to make himself clear to me, or he can choose not to.  It's entirely down to him whether he decides to do that or not, as it is with any person I might try to contact.

However, if everyone who talks about that god is also telling me about how much he loves me, how much he wants to get to know me, how much he deeply wants me to be saved......then I find it very difficult to reconclie those two points of view.  Someone who really wants me to know them....but who won't answer me in a way I can understand when I ask?  THAT is where I have the issue, with the complete disconnect between those two points of view.

Of course, if your god DOESN'T want to know me, DOESN'T really want a relationship with me, then his decision not to answer me in a way I can recognise and understand is quite reasonable.  Just tell me that god doesn't really care about me or want to know me or want me to be saved or want me to find him, and I'll be quite content.  It'll save me a lot of time as well, as I can stop asking.

I'm also intrigued as to why you are claiming I "demand" anything.  I'm asking god if he wants to talk to me.  If he doesn't, I'm not going to throw a paddy - I'll just say "fine", and walk away.  He doesn't want to reply, that's entirely his perogative.  But I WILL get annoyed with the next True Believer who says "why don't you just ask god, he really wants to know you!"

Think about it. We're talking about God, who spoke the universe into being...who owes you nothing. And you would say to God...you do it myway.

Yes.  For one thing, this god apparently brought the world into being for me to have dominion over, and for me to enjoy.  I'm not an afterthought for creation, I'm the reason for creation....which sounds big-headed, but I think you know what I mean!  Which all means that I'm fairly high on his list.

And also, of course, as a being of limitless power and resource, its not like I am taking him away from something by asking him to respond to me.  He's everywhere, at all times (or so I understand).

Final point, which relates to the above: compared to this god, I have very little understanding or ability or resources, very little options when it comes to communicating.  I believe it is therefore incumbent on the person with the greatest resource and ability to conform to the needs of the lesser.  If someone is paralysed, and can communicate only by blinking.....and does that as best they can.....would it be reasonable for the healthy person to say "well, if they can't be bothered to talk to me at my house, why should I stoop down to their level?"

Even in normal, everyday life, is it not better to discover things by searching?

Depends on what the thing is.  Remember that your god is only one of tens of thousands there might be.  Even if I tried to contact one god a day, it would take me most of a lifetime to get round to them all.  Why on earth would I spend a vastly disproportionate amount of time trying to make contact with one particular god, especially when every attempt I make meets with failure? 

Please understand, I have no more reason to believe in your god than any other one, so all I am after at the moment is the "making contact" part so that I have some reason to think that a more in-depth search would have some merit.  But when every overture I make is met with silence, what possible reason would I have to try again (and again, and again), rather than move on to the next possible god on my list?
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: magicmiles on May 08, 2012, 04:51:58 AM

I can't speak for anyone, but I think quite a few of us would be convinced if God mooned us, like he did Moses. Furthermore, since we are alleged to have been made in his image, he should appear to each person as an exact double of them in order to demonstrate this. Though this still wouldn't necessarily address the problem of the OP, since it might still be possible for highly advanced aliens to appear to us to be God.

It would also be helpful if someone could show us that a combination of animal blood, anointing with oil, and incantations can cure disease, just as the Bible says it does. It would he helpful if there was evidence of the flood, or the exodus story. These things would demonstrate that the God described in the Bible is true. Since we know that such things are false, it is safe to conclude that the God of the Bible is a myth.

Seems like a few hedged bets there KB..."it would be helpful"

Is helpful going to be good enough? or do you need the same as Anfauglir, God to come and knock physically on your door. You sure you wouldn't find a way to explain that away as well?
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Nozzferrahhtoo on May 08, 2012, 05:06:26 AM
You asked me once what evidence I would require to believe in your god, and I asked you to help me out. I asked you how I could differentiate between a god and a highly advanced alien. I truthfully don't know how I could do that, so I need your assistance.

I do not think there is an answer to this as how to interpret the evidence should be built into the evidence itself. As such a general rule on how to approach evidence is likely not going to exist, or be helpful. That was madness lies and you will find people touting a Matt Slick style of "presuppositional apologetics" at you before you know it.

I also tend to refuse to answer a theist when they ask me what kind of evidence I would accept from them. First it is not up to me to dictate to them what evidence I will take. It is their claim, so they need to inform me of the evidence. Second if I do decide what evidence I will accept then I risk missing the actual evidence when it arrives because it does not fit with my expectations. So instead I choose to remain entirely open to all the evidence anyone wishes to approach me with.

To me "evidence" is a process, not a thing in and of itself and that process has three steps:

1) State clearly what your claim is.
2) State clearly what you think supports that claim.
3) Explain clearly how what you listed in 2 supports what you claimed in 1.

Part 3 there is the answer to your question / thread. If/when the person explains exactly how his evidence supports his claim then inherent in that is answers on how the speaker feels you should be interpreting / considering the data presented by him/her. This can of course differ wildly depending on 1 and 2 and as such a general rule for how to interpret 1 and 2 is not really possible.

The issue however I have noticed in my conversations with theists is that they do not engage in the three step process above but rather a two step process as follows:

1) Make a rather vague claim.
2) List some stuff and leave.

In essence they are saying nothing at all but using a lot of words to say it. My favorite example of this being one I hear more often than you would guess.  It is usually some variation on: "There is evidence that there is a god everywhere, just look in the mirror as YOU are evidence of god". A statement that says literally nothing but never fails to make the speaker look smug as if he has just slapped you with the best QED ever.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: bertatberts on May 08, 2012, 05:21:15 AM


No he is not talking about your god. He has no concept of god.

Yes, we are, and yes he does. We're talking about the God of the bible, and because Anfauglir has read the bible, or lots of it, he has a concept of it.
Note I said your god (I've highlighted it.)Yes he has knowledge of gods in the bible, for instant. (In Psalm 136:2 god is referred to as the god of gods, just like Zeus in Psalm 82:1-2: god takes his place in the divine council in the midst of the gods. Apart from gods like Baal and the Egyptian gods of which god will execute judgment, exodus 12:12).

No christians have a proper concept of their god (There are after all 38.000 denominations) including you. This is why Hal is asking the question in the OP.

And so, in demanding the God of the bible to do things a certain way he is doing so knowing the God of the bible is unimaginably great, and has no obligation to us at all. You can't demand God only be real if He isn't who He says He is.
But he doesn't know this, that is your belief, he has no belief in the bible, thus you can't claim Anfauglir believes that, he is after all an atheist.

Quote from: magicmiles
Does that make sense?
No.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Samuelxcs on May 08, 2012, 05:39:08 AM
The bible says 'Knock and the door shall be opened, seek and you shall find', however it also clearly teaches that God first loved us and that we cannot find God apart from Him making Himself known.

Knock on which door? God's door? If we could find god's door (assuming there is one) quite a few people would do so. Maybe God is playing hide and seek with us. We would certainly find something if we knock on random doors of people's homes. Maybe  afew strangely angry people? If they become a threat, just tell them "I was trying to find Jesus!"
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: kaziglu bey on May 08, 2012, 06:39:02 AM
Seems like a few hedged bets there KB..."it would be helpful"

Is helpful going to be good enough? or do you need the same as Anfauglir, God to come and knock physically on your door. You sure you wouldn't find a way to explain that away as well?

Well, typically one does not believe in something based on a single piece of evidence. I think that it is only reasonable to have at least the same burden of proof for God as for any other phenomena. Gravity is a phenomena that is really difficult not to notice. Yet no one is claiming that gravity is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, etc etc. Anything that possessed such qualities and frequently interacted with the universe (as I think most theists would posit that God does) would necessarily be even more noticeable than gravity.

As far as explaining away, well I just don't see it that way. Why is it that the same types of questions and level of certainty that you would expect of ANYTHING else is suddenly not fair to apply to God the almighty?

Furthermore, I don't see how you can imply that I am "explaining away" anything. Theists have been "explaining away" the mistakes and errors and inconsistency of their religion for a really long time. It's called apologetics. Because naturally an all powerful being needs his minions to make excuses for his mistakes.  &)

I say "it would be helpful" because it would. It would in fact be helpful if the evidence that should be present if the Bible is true actually was present. It is not. The only reason we know about mass extinctions is because they left a lot of evidence. Considering that the great flood would have happened much more recently than the Chicxulub impact, the amount of evidence should be that much more significant. There should be countless fossils of all forms of life present in the corresponding geological layer. There is not. There should be evidence of a massive fern spike, as is seen with other extinction events and catastrophes, and in fact it would necessarily be the largest fern spike ever. This is not the case.

Given the number of failures for religion to produce even a single shred of evidence for any of its magical claims, taking the position of "I need some substantial proof for that" is the most sensible course to take, as opposed to "There's no evidence at all, even where it should be abundant, so I will definitely believe!". One position has the benefit of intellectual honesty. Hint: it's not yours.

Perhaps I should remind you that the task of finding evidence of 10 good deeds of God vs 1 evil deed of God was cut short, because apparently it was too time consuming for you to do so. If the book allegedly inspired by a benevolent being is so sorely lacking of evidence that said being actually is benevolent, it is safe to conclude that either the being that inspired the Bible wasn't a benevolent god, or wasn't god at all. If God was as good as people say (and boy, do they ever say this!) the Bible should be overflowing with examples of God's generosity, kindness, selflessness, tolerance, acceptance, and unconditional love. God should be displaying these behaviors constantly. Yet, you gave up after, what, the first round? You said that it was too time consuming. If the Bible was rife with examples of these things, it would take no time at all. Instead, we see God being jealous, angry, wrathful, pitiless, mocking, arrogant, and deceitful. These are not things that we would consider good or loving. One could easily do the reverse, and find 10 verses of violence, intolerance and hate, with almost no effort at all. If people want to say that God is Good, then he should be doing things that we would actually consider to be good. "By their fruits shall ye know them." The fruit of God is death, destruction, violence and hate.

So, given the evidence for the case of "The God in the Bible is real", we must conclude that is not true, and furthermore, if the God of the Bible were real, he would be the manifestation of humanity's worst qualities. The Bible shows us enough to say that with certainty.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: HAL on May 08, 2012, 06:49:50 AM
What would cut it for you, Joe?

I thought you were tiptoeing away, yet here you are. Now you're back babbling in my thread again.

You don't understand the problem, and neither does Jstweb (still waiting on his reply). Suppose you asked be what evidence it would take for me to believe in a god called Zoetocks. I would say, well what kind of evidence can Zoetocks provide? How do I know what evidence to accept from Zoetocks if I don't know what it can do - what evidence it can provide? When can it provide it?

Now, the next problem - how do I know an advanced alien technology is doing what Zoetocks can do, if the evidence appears. Remember any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. How do I, a mere human, distinguish between the two? In fact, how do I know that Zoetocks isn't the aliens? Maybe they are one and the same?

I now send it back to any theists that can answer, especially Jstweb, who suggested I start this thread.

For reference -

No this is actually intriguing and I have lightly thought about this before.  Are you asking if we took God out and replace him with an alien pretending to be God how could we tell the difference?
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: magicmiles on May 08, 2012, 07:21:22 AM

I thought you were tiptoeing away, yet here you are. Now you're back babbling in my thread again.

Crazy, right? Almost like I sometimes change my mind on the fly based on an unfolding discussion.

More from me tomorrow (probably)

Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: HAL on May 08, 2012, 07:25:05 AM
Crazy, right? Almost like I sometimes change my mind on the fly based on an unfolding discussion.

Yea except you returned to the thread without addressing the OP (my question). Why, I've no idea.

Quote
More from me tomorrow (probably)

I can't wait.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Anfauglir on May 08, 2012, 07:49:41 AM
.....do you need the same as Anfauglir, God to come and knock physically on your door.

Just to add to my last post, since you've referenced me here.  You seem to have forgotten that I am trying to make the first move here.  In fact, since my last post and this one, I tried again.  I sat quietly, tried to empty my mind, and said "is there a god there?".  And I listened, very hard, for some time.  But answer again came there none.  I am knocking on your god's door, MM - and nobody is answering.

Remember, "we're talking about God, who spoke the universe into being".  A being with infinite resource who is everywhere at all times, and who could - if he chose - simultaneously knock on the door of each and every person on earth and come in and talk to them at length and answer their questions. 

And actually, if he did that, then the implied "you wouldn't believe" in your question would become moot: if everyone I speak to tells me the exact same thing - and, BTW, I DO mean "everyone", all faiths and atheists all saying the exact same thing, not some saying this and some saying that - then belief would no longer be a concern.  Your god would become as real to me as anything...... 

For a limitless being like your god, it would be the merest trifle to answer the questions of every being in the world, a piece of cake to eliminate all sectarian and inter-religion strife, to quell all the doubts of his existence, and allow us to move on to the next, and more important question.

It rather presumptious of you, as well, to assign so many petty emotions to your god - to confidently assert that for some reason he is too proud, or bored, or disinterested, to answer my call.  Or, come to that, to imply that he is spending his time on something more important.  This is GOD, MM, he can do everything and anything all at once and have infinite time and energy remaining.  So there is no question of me taking him away from his other duties and annoying him with my impertinent questions. 

I'm regularly assured that your god is like a father, and a father - a good and loving father - will ALWAYS take the time to answer the honest questions of his children, so how much more reasonable is it to assume that your god will do the same?  An earthly father may sometimes be too tired, or busy, to answer his children in detail, but once again I remind you that this is GOD, the all-loving, all-powerful creator of all.  He will never be too busy or too tired, so to be honest I'm baffled at your suggestion that your god doesn't want to answer me when I call. 

Because its certainly not the actions of the all-powerful, viceless, omnipresent, and supremely loving Father of all that most Christians assure me he is. 

Or is that description somehow incorrect?



<<edit - fixed quotes>>
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Maggie the Opinionated on May 08, 2012, 07:52:48 AM
Jstweb suggested I create a new thread for this, so here it is.

You asked me once what evidence I would require to believe in your god, and I asked you to help me out. I asked you how I could differentiate between a god and a highly advanced alien.
Why not deal with the question of God first? If you can clear that up, it would be possible to discuss how to distinguish God from a superior alien. What evidence would you expect there to be if God exists? Well, I can suggest some.

We would expect to find that the universe had a beginning point. That's what Christianity has always taught and believed. Interestingly, before the Big Bang theory was accepted, the dominant scientific view was the "steady state" theory which said that the universe had no beginning. "Big Bang" was a term of derision coined by Hoyle who saw painfully clearly the implications of BB. However, Lemaître's, oops, make that Father Lemaître's, science was sound and prevailed.

Why does the universe behave in a law-like manner that it's describable in the language of mathematics and is accessible to human rationality? What scientific evidence do you think should have been found, if God is real? Of course, this is a trick question. Supposing that science can answer all questions is scientism and very poor philosophy, indeed.

 
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Anfauglir on May 08, 2012, 08:05:41 AM
You asked me once what evidence I would require to believe in your god, and I asked you to help me out. I asked you how I could differentiate between a god and a highly advanced alien.


What evidence would you expect there to be if God exists? Well, I can suggest some.

We would expect to find that the universe had a beginning point. That's what Christianity has always taught and believed..... Why does the universe behave in a law-like manner that it's describable in the language of mathematics and is accessible to human rationality?

Problem is, what you've said here still won't help Hal out.

1) The universe WAS created by a god - but a different god to Yahweh.
2) The universe WAS created by Yahweh - but he has since departed for another universe, or ceased to exist.
3) Whether and god or gods existed is moot, because THIS universe was indeed created by incredibly advanced aliens.
4) Plus of course, the fact that "Christianity has always taught and believed" that the universe had a starting point is hardly conclusive: there really aren't that many options for the universe, either it wasn't and then was, or it always has been.  Only two choices for someone trying to make sense of the world back in the year 3000BCE: and since pretty much everything ELSE they saw - trees, people, animals, rain - "wasn't, and then was", it would hardly be surprising if that was the creation story they decided to settle on.

So Hal is still pretty stuck.  As indeed am I, since there is nothing you've said here that specifically points to your particular god being the one who is actually the one that really exists - should any god really exist at all.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Hatter23 on May 08, 2012, 08:11:22 AM


and he's also trying to use this argument against me.

I'm not trying to use any arguments against anyone. I just give my perspective and challenge others.


I can hardly believe that you would think someone would ignore God if he made himself known to them beyond the shadow of a doubt.

There are many examples in the bible of just that, all the same.

Which completely and utterly invalidates the usual Christian argument of "Were God made himself known that would invalidate freewill/faith." when asked WWGHA?

Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: joebbowers on May 08, 2012, 08:13:44 AM
If the question is what would we consider evidence of God's existence, I would again say that it should be pretty damn easy for a supreme being to prove it's existence. He could appear in a puff of smoke and say "Hey, I'm God." That would be good enough for me. I could make an endless list of stuff he could do to prove it, but to put it simply, it must be unambiguous and not easily explained by any other explanation.

If the question is how could we tell God from any sufficiently advanced alien, we couldn't. First, the very meaning of the word sufficient makes that a moving goalpost. A theoretical alien of infinite power could do anything God could do.

Second, God himself is an alien. He is an advanced intelligence and he isn't from Earth. So the question is flawed.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: gonegolfing on May 08, 2012, 08:37:16 AM
Jstweb suggested I create a new thread for this, so here it is.

You asked me once what evidence I would require to believe in your god, and I asked you to help me out. I asked you how I could differentiate between a god and a highly advanced alien. I truthfully don't know how I could do that, so I need your assistance. I need to be able to tell the difference if something astounding should happen that I can't explain. I need to be able to tell if what I might be seeing a god do is really happening because of this god, or an advanced alien technology is doing it, or causing my mind to "believe" something that isn't real. This is not a joke question, it's very serious.

Can you help me out?


Hal: As a matter of fact this is something that I've been hashing out in my mind lately as well.

If we're going to stick with the original question: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?...Then I think that both theists and atheists have a serious problem on our hands.

"god" is still very much in the idea stage--and cannot be considered existentially due to the absence of direct or supportive evidence.

Therefore, going by the standard human definition of what a "god" is, we quickly see that this idea becomes abstract, incoherent, and in contradiction of our understanding of the natural order.

Your question then becomes: Evidence for a deity - How do I find it, when the very idea of such an entity is abstract, incoherent, and contradictory to human understanding ?

Would it not be absurd to try find evidence for the truth of an idea that is by definition incomprehensible, beyond human understanding and scientifically untestable ?

In "god", we have an abstract idea, and not a physical object with a concrete existence. Abstract thoughts cannot be hard evidence for real physical things. It's the things themselves that affirm their existence.

We err badly I now believe to expect an "event"-->the providing of evidence for deities--to come somehow, when all we're dealing with, with regards to deities, is an abstract and contradictory idea. The human mind, out of its emotionally driven imaginations, created a bizarre and incomprehensible idea that is, and will always be, out of reach for its own understanding.

I'm in the process of changing my whole approach to this argument.

I'm not looking for evidence of "deities" anymore, as there could never be evidence for such an absurd figment of the imagination.

It's not my responsibility, nor to I feel compelled, to side with irrationality and search for things that by definition, and the facts of reality, are shown to not exist and that they cannot exist.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: HAL on May 08, 2012, 08:49:13 AM
Why not deal with the question of God first? If you can clear that up, it would be possible to discuss how to distinguish God from a superior alien. What evidence would you expect there to be if God exists? Well, I can suggest some. We would expect to find that the universe had a beginning point. ...

The universe might go through cycles over a time period we can't investigate yet, so it doesn't nesessarily have one starting point. It might collapse again, have another Bang, and keep going through cycles. We don't have a conclusive answer. Even if it did have one Bang, there are other theories that attempt to explain the Big Bang, such as the collision of "branes" that constantly create universes. These are not proven, but your assertion that the Big Bang was a once time event caused by a deity is not proven either, and it certainly isn't the only possible explanation.

Quote
Why does the universe behave in a law-like manner that it's describable in the language of mathematics and is accessible to human rationality?

I don't know.

Quote
What scientific evidence do you think should have been found, if God is real? ...

You're asking me? I'm asking you.

Now we're back to square one. Should I repeat the question Jane? Guess I'll have to since neither you nor the other theists haven't yet tried to answer it. One of them - ILOVEYOU - enters the thread and commences to preaching, the other, Magic, does little more than make hunt and peck answers barely making any sense of what I'm asking for.

Tell me what this deity can do to provide evidence for itself, and then tell me how I can tell that the evidence is not from a (non-god)alien technology billions of years advanced, perhaps one so advanced that they can even create universes, or cause my mind to think they are the deity I'm looking for. I didn't think this would be so hard for your side but apparently it is.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: HAL on May 08, 2012, 08:50:38 AM
Would it not be absurd to try find evidence for the truth of an idea that is by definition incomprehensible, beyond human understanding and scientifically untestable ?

Maybe that's what I'm trying to get the theists to understand.  ;)
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Alzael on May 08, 2012, 09:50:29 AM
What would cut it for you, Joe?

As I always try to point out to theists, before you can begin to prove anything you need to actually have a definition of it.

So the first step in trying to prove your god would actually be bein able to define your god so that we can tell him about from other gods or an advanced alien. If you can't even define what a god is, then you can't find evidence that points to its existence. Which is why religious claims fail from the start. You can't even begin to define your terms, so your claims are useless.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: joebbowers on May 08, 2012, 10:11:54 AM
I don't get your line of questioning Hal. If an alien were advanced enough to mimic God, we couldn't tell the difference. So what? Any being with the power of God would still be essentially a god by our standards. Why split hairs over a purely hypothetical argument?

A more practical line of questioning is just what evidence would we accept to believe in God? That's what I thought you were asking when I saw the thread's title. They accuse us of being just as unwilling to face facts as they are, and often claim that we would still deny God even if evidence were right in front of us.

Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: HAL on May 08, 2012, 10:25:23 AM
I don't get your line of questioning Hal.

Joe, I understand what kind of responses atheists have to the OP, that's not what I'm interested in. I'm interested in what theists have to say about what evidence their deity can provide and how I can make sure it's a deity and not an advanced (non god) alien. They are the ones who ask me what evidence I would accept, and I'm asking theists what the deity they believe in can provide, and I'm asking theists how I can tell the difference between their deity and an advanced (non god) alien. Let's allow them to answer the question, if they can.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Tinyal on May 08, 2012, 10:41:03 AM

So what you're saying here is that you demand God meet you on your terms, and your terms only?


Totally wrong, at least in my view (and, I suspect, in the view of many other atheists here) - all he was asking for is the same terms as for anyone else we meet in life - I mean, come on!  I know my boss exists, even though I don't actually see him but twice a year.

Twice a year is fine to convince me he exists.  I have emails from him - even regular mail with his signature.  I've heard his voice in person, then matched that voice with his phone calls.  All this mundane stuff is sufficient to convince me another human being exists whom I can have a relationship with.

So this god of yours - the most powerful being ever, who knows my head intimately - indeed, who knows my every thought and bowel movement from infant to grave, knows what I'm going to do from second to second - who, coincidentially, apparantly cares who I sleep with at night and whether or not I'm working on Sundays - this being can't get it up enough to walk up to me and say howdy pardner twice a year, as my boss does?

You (and every other xian) mean to actually tell me this crap collection of stupid (provably wrong, in many cases) stories called the bible is the best he can do?  It's the best he can do when 6 billion souls are on the line for eternity?  The best he can do when 300,000 people die at nearly the same instant due to a tidal wave?  The best he can do when children never reach age 4 without knowing what a real meal is, and they die that way in their mothers arms (and this happens at least 30K times each and every month!)....

And this bible - and speakers like you magicmiles - is the best he can do??

I can't even properly say how unlikely and idiotic that sounds - I can't even grasp, after all these years as an atheist (and 15 years as a believer) how people can believe this stuff, I just can't.

Words (and gif icons) simply fail :(
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Alzael on May 08, 2012, 10:51:08 AM

So what you're saying here is that you demand God meet you on your terms, and your terms only?

You've tried to make this kind of failed point before, Miles. The implication that we're somehow being unreasonable or unfair in asking god to do the exact types of things that he himself says that he does.

God had no problem showing up in person to convince people that he exists before. He says that he wants to speak to us and know us and he certainly had no problem yammering off before when it suited him. He says he will perform miracles for us, and he certainly did before.

All we are asking is why he only seems to do that sort of thing in works in fiction, not reality. I think it's hardly unreasonable to expect a god to actually do the things that he says he will do. Do you?
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: joebbowers on May 08, 2012, 10:57:14 AM
So what you're saying here is that you demand God meet you on your terms, and your terms only?
Totally wrong, at least in my view...

Magicmiles, you're also forgetting that many have knocked, and the door hasn't opened, many have sought, and not found. In other words, they tried to find God on his terms, and couldn't.

You can pull out the No True Scotsman fallacy here and claim they weren't looking hard enough or didn't really believe, which of course is bullshit. Or you can point out the millions of people who did knock and did seek and found God, to which I will respond that not a single one of them found God based on a shred of evidence. They simply convinced themselves to believe what made them feel better.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Hatter23 on May 08, 2012, 11:10:59 AM
I will respond that not a single one of them found God based on a shred of evidence. They simply convinced themselves to believe what made them feel better.

OR, more likely, just went along with what their parents and neighbors said was good and true.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: velkyn on May 08, 2012, 12:44:51 PM
if we mistook an advanced alien (be they extraplanetary, extradimensional, etc) for this god of the Christians, then we would, at best be just be putting back the creator problem one step and/or pissing off this god for worshipping something wrong (aka the problem with Pascal's Wager). I believe Hal is trying to avoid those two scenarios and thus his OP.

If there is no way to tell, then the Christian god isn't what its bible claims that this being is something unique and omni-everything. 

If one claims that there are no aliens that could be seen as this god, *and* claim that this god is real, then there needs to be evidence that would support this and only this god.  Not excuses that one ignored this god, because this god shuold have no problem in being noticed.  It would only be by *its* choice that one could ignore its message.




Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Maggie the Opinionated on May 08, 2012, 01:20:39 PM
Why not deal with the question of God first? If you can clear that up, it would be possible to discuss how to distinguish God from a superior alien. What evidence would you expect there to be if God exists? Well, I can suggest some. We would expect to find that the universe had a beginning point. ...

Bang was a once time event caused by a deity is not proven either, and it certainly isn't the only possible explanation.
I made no such claims. I certainly didn't say that BB was a one time event. You are jumping to conclusions that are not justified by anything I wrote. You don't understand, however, that change of any kind, one time or repeated, requires an agent of change. You can't get to BB in any form without one. This is where a little knowledge of Aristotle would help.

Quote
Why does the universe behave in a law-like manner that it's describable in the language of mathematics and is accessible to human rationality?

Quote
I don't know.

Quote
What scientific evidence do you think should have been found, if God is real? ...

Quote
You're asking me? I'm asking you.
If you don't have any idea what evidence you think you should be able to find, how will you recognize it when  it appears?

Quote
Tell me what this deity can do to provide evidence for itself, and then tell me how I can tell that the evidence is not from a (non-god)alien technology billions of years advanced, perhaps one so advanced that they can even create universes, or cause my mind to think they are the deity I'm looking for. I didn't think this would be so hard for your side but apparently it is.

It is an absurd question. You don't know whether or not there is such an alien out there. Why is that more likely than God? In fact, you are simply multiplying hypotheses and creating a big old mess.  If that is what you want to do, go for it. But why expect anyone to make sense of your question when you can't?
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Maggie the Opinionated on May 08, 2012, 01:24:07 PM
Would it not be absurd to try find evidence for the truth of an idea that is by definition incomprehensible, beyond human understanding and scientifically untestable ?

Maybe that's what I'm trying to get the theists to understand.  ;)
You are failing, because you are wrong. There are a number of lines of logical reasoning that can get you to "God". However, that is not the same thing (yet) as the God of the Bible. Little steps, then big ones.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: HAL on May 08, 2012, 01:34:15 PM
If you don't have any idea what evidence you think you should be able to find, how will you recognize it when  it appears?

Beats the hell out of me Jane. Theists come here and say we can find their deity. Is that what I should be able to find? I have no idea what I should be able to find in this regard, or what evidence for itself it can offer. I'm not claiming anything - theists are. I have no idea what's "out there" but if a god is out there and you theists are the experts, then tell me how to recognize it. Since I don't know what's out there, perhaps advanced aliens are too, and so I need to know what your deity could theoretically do that technology billions of years advanced from what we know couldn't do.

Tell me what I should be able to find and what evidence is there for it, or what it can offer me. Your ramblings don't answer my question.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: ILOVEYOU on May 08, 2012, 01:36:17 PM
Hal... or anyone....

Why would anyone be offended by my response. Especially when it was in line with the topic and question being asked.

OK.. this seems a litte off the beaten path but here it goes anyway....

So you want to be able to know the difference  just in case "maybe" you may find yourself in a similar situation...?

Does anyone..... I mean anyone see the irony in this...?

Here we are at WWGHA Forum in which many of you reject Jesus Christ, The Gospel. Yet how on Earth could anyone be qualified to answer this question...? Seriously, you would accept the answer of someone else but refuse the "Only One" qualified to answer the question. Doesn't make any sense folks. Especially when your question deals about how to differentiate between GOD or ?..........

You don't even believe in GOD so if you encountered intelligent extraterrestrial life or some unusual suprnatural event, how "could" you know...?

The question remains, who are you going to trust...? Who do you put your fatih in...?

Here a question.... on what would you use or whom would you listen to, to base your assumption from...?

What qualifications would suffice to satisfy you...?

I would think that a question such as this would need to be met by a very specific set of qualifications.

I believe Jesus Christ has the answer to this question, for those who want the truth. The "Only One" qualified to answer this question.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: HAL on May 08, 2012, 01:40:23 PM
You don't even believe in GOD so if you encountered intelligent extraterrestrial life or some unusual suprnatural event, how "could" you know...?

Bingo.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: kaziglu bey on May 08, 2012, 01:47:21 PM
Wow, two pages in, and we have yet to see from a theist "You could tell Yahweh from a super advanced alien because...". All we have seen is excuses to avoid addressing the question. It's not even a difficult question to understand. No, just dodging the question, and questioning of the validity and motive behind Hal's inquiry. Such as this gem just posted by ILOVEYOU
Quote from: ILOVEYOU
Here we are at WWGHA Forum in which many of you reject Jesus Christ, The Gospel. Yet how on Earth could anyone be qualified to answer this question...? Seriously, you would accept the answer of someone else but refuse the "Only One" qualified to answer the question. Doesn't make any sense folks. Especially when your question deals about how to differentiate between GOD or ?..........

So, in spite of the fact that ILY apparently has no better means than HAL does to determine the difference between God and highly advanced aliens, ILY accepts without question the Bible and it's teachings. If God is the only one qualified to answer this question, then why are there priests? Why are there churches? Why do theists come here with their apologetics for questions that they admit only God could know the answer to? That is really rather contradictory.

Also, ILY says
Quote from: ILOVEYOU
You don't even believe in GOD so if you encountered intelligent extraterrestrial life or some unusual suprnatural event, how "could" you know...?
Which HAL points out is the entire point of the thread to begin with. So, ILY, know that you have posited the question in your own terms, care to answer it? Oh wait, you just said that only God knows, so even you as a believer have no actual advantage in such matters as a non believer. One has to wonder then, why bother believing in this nonsense anyway, if it produces no discernible difference, and can't be understood.

Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: ILOVEYOU on May 08, 2012, 01:58:00 PM
The question was pretty straight forward as was my answer. I put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ. I am a Believer. I am a Christian.

I believe these questions are satisfied through the knowledge of Jesus Christ and have already been addressed through His Word. Which is The Lord Jesus Christ.

Based upon the personal evidence in my own life, in accordance to His Word and what things I know to be true in my heart and bare witness to His truth. I believe that He is the truth and really is whom He says He is by faith.

Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: HAL on May 08, 2012, 02:03:40 PM
The question was pretty straight forward as was my answer. I put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ. I am a Believer. I am a Christian.

I believe these questions are satisfied through the knowledge of Jesus Christ and have already been addressed through His Word. Which is The Lord Jesus Christ.

Based upon the personal evidence in my own life, in accordance ...

That post is worthless to the discussion ILY. It has nothing of value whatsoever as pertains to my question. It was an utter, complete waste of your time and the reader's time. I suggest you don't post any longer in my thread unless you attempt to try and directly answer my OP. Please don't clutter my thread with such ramblings again.

Good grief.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: jaimehlers on May 08, 2012, 02:17:31 PM
Okay, fine, you (ILY) believe.  But that does nothing as far as convincing others to believe.  Which is entirely the problem here.  I've seen this same line of reasoning from other Christians; they say that it's impossible for them to actually convince a nonbeliever, and only Jesus, can actually convince them.  The rhetoric doesn't sound too bad until you consider the implications - that, in effect, Jesus was unable to provide believers with real, legitimate evidence that would convince people who didn't already believe.  Yet somehow, Jesus will be able to convince them himself directly, if only they're willing to believe.

Do you not see the problem with this line of reasoning?  Jesus should have had no problems providing believers with evidence that would convince nonbelievers.  Despite not doing this, people are supposed to simply accept that Jesus will come to them and convince them himself.  Even though he apparently wasn't able to.  A facet of a god, supposedly omniscient, omnipotent, omni-whatever, could not give his believers evidence which would convince others, rather than relying on manipulating their emotions.

Reminds me a bit of that movie, V.  You know, where the aliens stuck people in their mental torture chamber in order to convert them to obey the aliens?  It was set up very cleverly so that the people would look to the aliens as their rescuers and saviors, from a danger that only existed in their minds.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: kaziglu bey on May 08, 2012, 02:30:41 PM
The question was pretty straight forward as was my answer. I put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ. I am a Believer. I am a Christian.

<blah blah blah>
So, the only way a person can discern the difference between Yahweh/JC and an advanced alien is faith. There's a shocker. Honestly, why even bother providing such a useless and meaningless answer.



edit: minor grammatical/spelling error.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: velkyn on May 08, 2012, 02:46:35 PM
The question was pretty straight forward as was my answer. I put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ. I am a Believer. I am a Christian.
I believe these questions are satisfied through the knowledge of Jesus Christ and have already been addressed through His Word. Which is The Lord Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, ILY, the only way that your bible gives for telling if a believer is a real true Christian or that your god is real at all, you've failed to show you have the gifts that your savior supposedly promised.

Quote
Based upon the personal evidence in my own life, in accordance to His Word and what things I know to be true in my heart and bare witness to His truth. I believe that He is the truth and really is whom He says He is by faith.
  and this would make any god that a believer claimed such things about, to be true. 
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: stuffin on May 08, 2012, 02:53:31 PM
So what you're saying here is that you demand God meet you on your terms, and your terms only?
Yes, what is wrong with asking God to meet me on my terms? Why must it always be on his terms?
Please don’t say because He is God.

Think about it. We're talking about God, who spoke the universe into being...who owes you nothing. And you would say to God...you do it myway.
Yeah, so it’s God. He disowned me after Adam ate the apple, I owe him nothing. Ya know, if He Just forgave Adam after he ate the apple, we wouldn't need this complicated worship me, I'll kill My Son for you, repent and be forgiven crap.

Even in normal, everyday life, is it not better to discover things by searching?
Yes, but people have been searching for God since the beginning of consciousness and many are having trouble finding Him, so a little help from Him would be nice. Especially if He can prove He is God and not some intelligent advanced alien posing as God.

If Bible God don't like may attitude he can strike me dead and when I'm in hell I'll have my proof.


Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: stuffin on May 08, 2012, 02:58:00 PM
You don't even believe in GOD so if you encountered intelligent extraterrestrial life or some unusual suprnatural event, how "could" you know...?

Bingo.
I thought you asked that first?
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Bix12 on May 08, 2012, 03:03:19 PM
I'd wager that if a "true christian" were to be confronted by an alien so advanced that it could assume any parlour trick that could be conjured in the mind of said "true christian", that "true christian" would fall to their knees knowing full well and most assuredly that they were in the presence of their lord god. Just sayin....
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Maggie the Opinionated on May 08, 2012, 03:06:16 PM
I'd wager that if a "true christian" were to be confronted by an alien so advanced that it could assume any parlour trick that could be conjured in the mind of said "true christian", that "true christian" would fall to their knees knowing full well and most assuredly that they were in the presence of their lord god. Just sayin....
The Bible is very clear that Christ will come again and that no one will be under any misapprehension about who he is. The alien, no matter how advanced, is going to have trouble duplicating that.

But beyond all that, how hilarious is it that you actually believe in the possibility of this incredibly advanced alien but don't believe in the possibility of God. The mind boggles. It really does.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: stuffin on May 08, 2012, 03:06:45 PM
The question was pretty straight forward as was my answer. I put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ. I am a Believer. I am a Christian.

I believe these questions are satisfied through the knowledge of Jesus Christ and have already been addressed through His Word. Which is The Lord Jesus Christ.

Based upon the personal evidence in my own life, in accordance to His Word and what things I know to be true in my heart and bare witness to His truth. I believe that He is the truth and really is whom He says He is by faith.

I am a Non Believer, I put no faith in Jesus Christ or what the Bible says.

But what you're telling me is to shut up, stop questioning and just do what the the Bible says.

Sorry, I make decisions based on my powers of observation, applied science and common sense. None of those are pointing me towards GOD, but rather away from him.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: stuffin on May 08, 2012, 03:11:45 PM
The Bible is very clear that Christ will come again and that no one will be under any misapprehension about who he is. The alien, no matter how advanced, is going to have trouble duplicating that.

But beyond all that, how hilarious is it that you actually believe in the possibility of this incredibly advanced alien but don't believe in the possibility of God. The mind boggles. It really does.

You posted that backwards.

2000 years and he aint shown yet. We kept his seat warm and the table set. The greatest story ever told was so wrong.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on May 08, 2012, 03:31:52 PM
Quote
Well first, I don't know what evidence your deity could or would present, so you need to help me out with that, because you asked me what evidence I would accept, and I haven't a clue what your deity can provide for evidence.

Well there many things a god could do to give evidence of his presence.  But proving any one thing, is in itself evidence and not evidence for something else, is hard to determine.

The universe can be evidence, but of what?  It is evidence of a Big Bang, but does the evidence stop there?  Is it also evidence of a divine being?  This is not so easy to determine and the possibility cannot be entirely ruled out.  The best anyone could hope to do would be to make an "educated guess".

But a God could leave any kind of other evidence he desired.  Could he inspire a book to be written?  Absolutely.  Could the ancient people have mistaken an alien for a god?  Maybe.

I would expect a God, a loving one anyway, to reveal himself in some way either to groups or individuals.  And I would expect this to be universal.  I wouldn't expect him to ignore some people and I would expect such revelation to be certain and not open to interpretation.

How he could do this could range from coming down and slapping us around to speaking in audible tones to planting thoughts in our heads to affecting our emotions.  It could range from obvious to subtle.

What do you think?

Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on May 08, 2012, 03:42:58 PM
Quote
Yes, what is wrong with asking God to meet me on my terms? Why must it always be on his terms?
Please don’t say because He is God

It is possible that God only wants to associate with those that have an obediant attitude  This attitude can be demonstrated by approaching him in his way rather than you own.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Bix12 on May 08, 2012, 03:47:26 PM
But beyond all that, how hilarious is it that you actually believe in the possibility of this incredibly advanced alien but don't believe in the possibility of God. The mind boggles. It really does.

Firstly, how revealing to be judged "hilarious" by you. Secondly, based upon my knowledge of proved science, I do believe in the possibility of an incredibly advanced alien race.

Beyond all that, how sad is it that you believe in a book that has caused so much murder, pain and destruction over the last 2000 years. That boggles my mind. It truly does.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on May 08, 2012, 03:50:56 PM
Quote
Beyond all that, how sad is it that you believe in a book that has caused so much murder, pain and destruction over the last 2000 years.

Because the book predicted murder, pain, and destruction.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: One Above All on May 08, 2012, 03:52:05 PM
Quote
Beyond all that, how sad is it that you believe in a book that has caused so much murder, pain and destruction over the last 2000 years.

Because the book predicted murder, pain, and destruction.

The book predicted something that happened regularly back then? That proves it! The book is magical and prophetic!
>_>
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: relativetruth on May 08, 2012, 04:06:29 PM
To get back to the OP.

How can you tell if Alien A created life on earth?

Then Alien B did some interacting with mega scale tweaking with volcanoes and the odd diverted asteroid every 65 million years or so?

Then Alien C starts fucking with the minds of humans with dreams!?

Then aliens D,E,F etc  communicate with a certain sector of humanity to create all the religious diversity we now see in the modern world?
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: HAL on May 08, 2012, 04:24:27 PM
The Bible is very clear that Christ will come again and that no one will be under any misapprehension about who he is. The alien, no matter how advanced, is going to have trouble duplicating that.

Duplicating what Jane? What is Jeebus going to do, and why couldn't an advanced technology do the same thing?

That's what I'm asking. You just claimed Jeebus could produce undeniable evidence, but didn't go into the details. That's dodging the point of the thread.

Quote
But beyond all that, how hilarious is it that you actually believe in the possibility of this incredibly advanced alien but don't believe in the possibility of God. The mind boggles. It really does.

I never said I didn't believe in the possibility of a god. I said tell me what kind of evidence it can produce, and tell me how I know the produced evidence wasn't created by a technology billions of years advanced from what we know. We know life forms exist, we know technology exists, and we know technology advances. We don't know gods exist. It's at least more rational to hypothesize in extraterrestrial life with advanced technology than it is in these gods that religions claim.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: kaziglu bey on May 08, 2012, 04:25:28 PM
I would expect a God, a loving one anyway, to reveal himself in some way either to groups or individuals.  And I would expect this to be universal.  I wouldn't expect him to ignore some people and I would expect such revelation to be certain and not open to interpretation.
That is precisely what one would expect of God, and that's precisely what has never happened.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: relativetruth on May 08, 2012, 05:08:42 PM
I would expect a God, a loving one anyway, to reveal himself in some way either to groups or individuals.  And I would expect this to be universal.  I wouldn't expect him to ignore some people and I would expect such revelation to be certain and not open to interpretation.
That is precisely what one would expect of God, and that's precisely what has never happened.

And even if it did happen how do we know it was not just some alien pretending to be a god?
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Maggie the Opinionated on May 08, 2012, 05:32:57 PM
The Bible is very clear that Christ will come again and that no one will be under any misapprehension about who he is. The alien, no matter how advanced, is going to have trouble duplicating that.

Duplicating what Jane? What is Jeebus going to do, and why couldn't an advanced technology do the same thing?
Read the Gospels and see for yourself. I thought all of you knew the scriptures so well.

Quote
I never said I didn't believe in the possibility of a god. I said tell me what kind of evidence it can produce, and tell me how I know the produced evidence wasn't created by a technology billions of years advanced from what we know. We know life forms exist, we know technology exists, and we know technology advances. We don't know gods exist. It's at least more rational to hypothesize in extraterrestrial life with advanced technology than it is in these gods that religions claim.
ROTFL! If you say so.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Alzael on May 08, 2012, 05:36:48 PM

It is possible that God only wants to associate with those that have an obediant attitude  This attitude can be demonstrated by approaching him in his way rather than you own.

However this is not what is claimed by Christians. And is certainly not what he does in the bible. He never shows any problem with proving himself or demonstrating his existence in the kind of ways we're talking about. It's telling how for someone who uses the bible so much you don't hesitate to ignore it when it suits you.

You say that you have to approach god in his way before you can see him, but this is not what god says, it is not what he does.

Again you're simply making excuses for why your theology obviously fails to confrom to reality.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: HAL on May 08, 2012, 05:39:47 PM
Read the Gospels and see for yourself. I thought all of you knew the scriptures so well.

You're dodging Jane, and that's against the rules.

What do the scriptures say Jeebus will do? Furthermore, how can one discriminate what he might do from an alien technology billions of years advanced from current state of the art. I'm beginning to think you are trolling the forum.

Quote
ROTFL! If you say so.


I say so.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: kaziglu bey on May 08, 2012, 06:02:51 PM
And even if it did happen how do we know it was not just some alien pretending to be a god?
Indeed, this would still be a problem and is of course the subject of this thread. You have to admit though that it would be a much better start than what theists can currently present us as evidence. At the very least we would be confronted with the possibility of sentient life far more advanced than ourselves[1], but it is still a non-sequitur to say "This really is God!". You could just as easily say "This really is Thor!". You still would need to provide additional evidence of the difference between God and a super-alien. That's the million dollar question that our dear theistic friends here are doing their best to avoid. I really can't say that I blame them. It's really got them in an uncomfortable spot. If it wasn't the case, they would have answered this question by now. The best we have gotten so far is "faith".
 1. Which, in itself, would be an absolutely extraordinary discovery.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: stuffin on May 08, 2012, 07:03:35 PM

It is possible that God only wants to associate with those that have an obedient attitude This attitude can be demonstrated by approaching him in his way rather than you own.
He made me disobedient, I have always challenged/questioned authority. So, by being myself, I have led myself away from God.

Oh yeah, see my response to ILOVEYOU.

Quote
But what you're telling me is to shut up, stop questioning and just do what the the Bible says.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: kaziglu bey on May 08, 2012, 07:51:37 PM
Because the book predicted murder, pain, and destruction.
And then it's followers dd, and still do, everything in their power to ensure that such murder, pain and destruction shall be manifest. Hence, the Holy Land, which has been ravaged by war and bloodshed and intolerance and ignorance for millennia because that's what God's followers think is supposed to happen. All because of ancient myths fabricated by primitive, sinister, backwards, racist, sexist, ignorant, barbaric desert dwelling goat herders from thousands of years ago.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: jdawg70 on May 08, 2012, 07:52:16 PM
Quote
Well first, I don't know what evidence your deity could or would present, so you need to help me out with that, because you asked me what evidence I would accept, and I haven't a clue what your deity can provide for evidence.

Well there many things a god could do to give evidence of his presence.  But proving any one thing, is in itself evidence and not evidence for something else, is hard to determine.

The universe can be evidence, but of what?  It is evidence of a Big Bang, but does the evidence stop there?  Is it also evidence of a divine being?  This is not so easy to determine and the possibility cannot be entirely ruled out.  The best anyone could hope to do would be to make an "educated guess".

But a God could leave any kind of other evidence he desired.  Could he inspire a book to be written?  Absolutely.  Could the ancient people have mistaken an alien for a god?  Maybe.

I would expect a God, a loving one anyway, to reveal himself in some way either to groups or individuals.  And I would expect this to be universal.  I wouldn't expect him to ignore some people and I would expect such revelation to be certain and not open to interpretation.

How he could do this could range from coming down and slapping us around to speaking in audible tones to planting thoughts in our heads to affecting our emotions.  It could range from obvious to subtle.

What do you think?

The purpose of HAL's question is to try to get some level of specificity regarding god.  Asking for what evidence one would expect to see from some phenomenon is pretty much how one goes about determining the existence or non-existence of that phenomenon.  If, for example, you are positing some new fundamental force to explain dark energy (let's call it the Axesomesauce force), you would need to ask yourself the question "evidence for the Axesomesauce force - how do I tell?"

And you get to start at the obvious - well, dark energy exists, and the Axesomesauce force causes that.  Which is all good and well, but that doesn't actually explain anything, or give any real further credence to the existence or non-existence of the Axesomesauce force.  So then you get to ask "what else would the Axesomesauce force do, provided it existed?"  Based on your mathematical models, you notice that the mechanism of the Axesomesauce force should cause a  net positive charge to be present within sufficiently large masses contained in a sufficiently small volume.  These masses and volumes, you discover, are what you expect to find in stars with a solar mass greater than 3.5.  In this case, some of the evidence for the Axesomesauce force is the presence of a net positive charge in starts with a solar mass above 3.5.

What will *not* fly is to posit that the Axesomesauce force causes dark energy, may or may not have any effect on the charge of particles or large scale masses, may or may not cause crystalline shapes to break down, may or may not cause light to do undetectable loopty-loops, may or may not....

Now obviously I made all the above crap up for illustrative purposes.  But in order to proclaim if some piece of evidence is in support of or in contradiction to some claim, you need to be able to establish some specific property of that claim.  Without any specific properties established behind a claim, one cannot tell one way or another if some observed phenomenon could be explained by the truth-value of that claim.

Perhaps it would help if you looked at HAL's question in a different way: what are the differences between "god existing" and "god not existing"?  For example, the differences between "neutrons existing" and "neutrons not existing" are pretty clear cut: in the latter case, crap like 'stars' wouldn't look the way they look.  What HAL is looking for are some examples similar to that I think.

P.S.
Also, Jstwebbrowsing, there was a different thread where we were having a small conversation.  By the time I got back the thread had ballooned another 6 pages or so and I figured it would have been poor taste to try to bring you back to that, especially since I think some other board members tried to address your points.  Didn't mean to ignore you outright or anything - apologies.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: ParkingPlaces on May 08, 2012, 08:40:47 PM
But beyond all that, how hilarious is it that you actually believe in the possibility of this incredibly advanced alien but don't believe in the possibility of God. The mind boggles. It really does.

Having an easily boggled mind is not something to be proud of.

Since you've never eaten the flesh and blood of an alien, I can see why you favor the other guy. Those of us not into cannibalism or giving priority to the afterlife see the world and the universe differently. Your self-assured certain knowledge of unquestionable realities would be impressive if I too longed for high quality fantasies. However, I'll stick to what is knowable, which, as I understand it, is not your cup of tea.

I understand that you think the Jesus story is true. Which is fine. Except for the part where you think your knowledge and passion is transferrable. Its not. And to make matters worse, what you don't understand is that if Jesus is indeed real, he is a prick too.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: joebbowers on May 08, 2012, 08:53:23 PM
^^ Is the no preaching rule just a joke or are we eventually going to ban this idiot? He's not contributing anything.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Alzael on May 08, 2012, 08:58:42 PM
^^ Is the no preaching rule just a joke or are we eventually going to ban this idiot? He's not contributing anything.

Mostly it's an amusement thing. She's hilarious. It's like having your own personal clown, only louder and with significant brain trauma.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Alzael on May 08, 2012, 09:31:38 PM
^^^^^

You see what I mean? She just wrote "Mean, spiteful and very ignorant." on the comment for that neg she gave me. It's absolutely hilarious the level of utter stupidity she represents. I guarantee that at no point did she stop and think that she was essentially describing herself. her brain just does not function that way. And I suspect we haven't even begun to plumb her depths. I really want to see just how far down the scale her idiocy extends.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Maggie the Opinionated on May 08, 2012, 09:39:41 PM
You can't reach that high, I am afraid. But I must say it is fascinating and horrifying to watch a demon in training.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Alzael on May 08, 2012, 09:42:20 PM
You can't reach that high, I am afraid. But I must say it is fascinating and horrifying to watch a demon in training.

I love you too.

By the way, how far along am I as a demon? And at what point does the tail sprout? I need to know so I can update my wardrobe. Do I have to wear red? I hate that colour, I look terrible in it. What's the fashion rules on the horns, is it ok to whittle them down small, or should I let them grow to a good long length?

Oh yeah and when does the sodomy kick in? Or is that optional? I just ask because you say you have all the answers and that you're here to clear up our misconceptions.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Omen on May 08, 2012, 09:52:23 PM
No this is actually intriguing and I have lightly thought about this before.  Are you asking if we took God out and replace him with an alien pretending to be God how could we tell the difference?

Your claims are vacuous, empty of any meaningful objective means to describe what you're claiming much less why.  You're appeals are reduced to ever increasingly absurd rationale oriented towards your own confirmation bias in such a way to make it impossible to determine your own beliefs true even if they were.  It's just the mindless repetitive use of rhetoric tied to promoting an insular belief system, much like how a cult brainwashes people.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: joebbowers on May 08, 2012, 11:26:16 PM
It's really unfair to chide the Christians for being unable to answer this question.

It's like asking "If you had enough water, could you fill a glass of X size?" Of course. That's what enough means. No matter how big the hypothetical glass is, I could fill it if I had enough water. An advanced being of hypothetically infinite power could do anything God could do. Regardless of any answer they give, or whatever act or demonstration that God could muster, a sufficiently advanced alien could, by definition, imitate. It's a moving goalpost.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Alzael on May 08, 2012, 11:30:06 PM
Maybe, but they're the ones claiming to have the evidence.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: joebbowers on May 08, 2012, 11:56:40 PM
The Bible is very clear that Christ will come again and that no one will be under any misapprehension about who he is. The alien, no matter how advanced, is going to have trouble duplicating that.

I think you have overestimated the intelligence of Christians.

They see Jesus in toast.

I think an advanced alien could pretty easily convince people who have been fooled by toast.

Not to mention, hundreds of people have claimed to be Jesus, many of them have been able to attract followers who believed them. A few of them have attracted millions of followers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_claimed_to_be_Jesus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_messiah_claimants

But beyond all that, how hilarious is it that you actually believe in the possibility of this incredibly advanced alien but don't believe in the possibility of God. The mind boggles. It really does.

Humans are pretty advanced. To an ant, we must seem like Gods. We can wipe out an entire colony with a swift kick. Even among certain more primitive humans today, westerners with our advanced technology and methods are thought to be gods.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult

Now, considering that there are literally trillions of planets out there at the right distance from their star to support life, are you really so naive as to believe that our planet the only one that does? It's almost a given that there are other civilizations out there, and logically they would be at varying stages in their technological development. Some just discovering fire, others building their first steam engines, and likely more than a few having ventured out beyond their own star system.

Now it's true that there is no evidence of this, but the conditions are in place for it to happen, and we know it's already happened at least once (on our planet) so it is absolutely possible. On the other hand, God as defined by the bible is impossible, and has been conclusively disproven.

Created everything in six days Big bang and 14 billion years universally accepted among credible scientists.
Adam and Eve Evolution universally accepted among credible scientists.
Great Flood No record and plenty of contradictory evidence.
Exodus No record and plenty of contradictory evidence.
Miracles No record and plenty of contradictory evidence.

So either you can claim the bible is metaphorical and not literal, in which case you're admitting it's a storybook and isn't true, or you can wittle your God's powers down to the equivalent of not existing, or like most Christians you can ignore all the scientific evidence and stick your fingers in your ears.

So yes, we believe an advanced alien race is far more likely than God. Based on evidence and observation, not on faith.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Anfauglir on May 09, 2012, 02:53:13 AM
It is possible that God only wants to associate with those that have an obediant attitude  This attitude can be demonstrated by approaching him in his way rather than you own.

Jst,

I cannot be obedient to something that I do not believe exists, for starters.  Hence my open questioning to the silence "are you there, god?"  Its done quite politely.

Once again though, you are ascribind human wishes and desires on your perfect god.  Saying that your totally loving and wonrous being will get all huffy because I sit there instead of there to pray, say that instead of this.  Will, in effect, sit on his cloud in a huff and say "well, if that insignificant insect won't toe the party line, then to hell with him".  (literally).  That's what a spoiled child would say, NOT an all-loving and perfect god.

As I've said before though, if you are saying your god is NOT all-loving and perfect and above petty human desires and foibles, then that's fine.  Just come out and say so.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Anfauglir on May 09, 2012, 03:04:14 AM
The Bible is very clear that Christ will come again and that no one will be under any misapprehension about who he is. The alien, no matter how advanced, is going to have trouble duplicating that.

Duplicating what Jane? What is Jeebus going to do, and why couldn't an advanced technology do the same thing?
Read the Gospels and see for yourself. I thought all of you knew the scriptures so well.

So...Jane's first point is that the ONLY time we would be able to tell Christ from an alien is at the end of times, when it's already too late to start to believe?  Hardly helpful for Hal's question....was that really what you were saying Jane?  That - until the end of the world comes - there IS no way of telling Christ from an alien?

Anyhoo....Jane's talk of what Christ will do, coupled with her talk of demons, prompted me to re-read the Revelation.....

Quote from: John the divine
.....his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.....and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword.....

You know....if I had to sit down and draw a picture of a demon, it wouldn't look much different to that.  Which of course begs a subsidiary question to Hal's: how can I tell Jesus from a demon, if they look so alike?
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: freakygin on May 09, 2012, 03:51:33 AM
^^^
Even Angels look pretty scary too  :o

(Ezek 1 : 4-21)
As I looked, I saw a great storm coming from the north,
driving before it a huge cloud that flashed with lightning and shone with brilliant light.
There was fire inside the cloud, and in the middle of the fire glowed something like gleaming amber.
From the center of the cloud came four living beings that looked human,
except that each had four faces and four wings.
Their legs were straight, and their feet had hooves like those of a calf and shone like burnished bronze.
Under each of their four wings I could see human hands.
So each of the four beings had four faces and four wings.
The wings of each living being touched the wings of the beings beside it.
Each one moved straight forward in any direction without turning around.
Each had a human face in the front, the face of a lion on the right side,
the face of an ox on the left side, and the face of an eagle at the back
.
Each had two pairs of outstretched wings--one pair stretched out
to touch the wings of the living beings on either side of it, and the other pair covered its body.
They went in whatever direction the spirit chose,
and they moved straight forward in any direction without turning around.
The living beings looked like bright coals of fire or brilliant torches,
and lightning seemed to flash back and forth among them.
And the living beings darted to and fro like flashes of lightning.
As I looked at these beings,
I saw four wheels touching the ground beside them, one wheel belonging to each.
The wheels sparkled as if made of beryl.
All four wheels looked alike and were made the same;
each wheel had a second wheel turning crosswise within it.
The beings could move in any of the four directions they faced, without turning as they moved.
The rims of the four wheels were tall and frightening, and they were covered with eyes all around.
When the living beings moved, the wheels moved with them. When they flew upward, the wheels went up, too.
The spirit of the living beings was in the wheels.
So wherever the spirit went, the wheels and the living beings also went.
When the beings moved, the wheels moved. When the beings stopped,
the wheels stopped. When the beings flew upward, the wheels rose up,
for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels.
Spread out above them was a surface like the sky, glittering like crystal.
Beneath this surface the wings of each living being stretched out to touch the others' wings,
and each had two wings covering its body.
As they flew, their wings sounded to me like waves crashing against the shore or
like the voice of the Almighty or like the shouting of a mighty army. When they stopped,
they let down their wings.
As they stood with wings lowered, a voice spoke from beyond the crystal surface above them.
Above this surface was something that looked like a throne made of blue lapis lazuli.
And on this throne high above was a figure whose appearance resembled a man.
From what appeared to be his waist up, he looked like gleaming amber,
flickering like a fire. And from his waist down, he looked like a burning flame, shining with splendor.
All around him was a glowing halo, like a rainbow shining in the clouds on a rainy day.
This is what the glory of the LORD looked like to me. When I saw it, I fell face down on the ground,
and I heard someone's voice speaking to me.

The question is. What would you do if you EVER saw something as hideous like that?
For me, I'll shoot that damn thing for sure. And ask questions later..
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: joebbowers on May 09, 2012, 05:18:51 AM
It is possible that God only wants to associate with those that have an obediant attitude  This attitude can be demonstrated by approaching him in his way rather than you own.

Atheists are not disobedient. It has to be proven that there is a master and that a command has been given before you can claim we have disobeyed. Your argument also ignores the fact that millions of people have tried to find God but couldn't, and the millions of people who used to believe that have lost their faith.

A better comparison would be a father who abandons his children at birth.

One of the children believes his father still loves him and dutifully and faithfully writes letters to his father every day, which go unanswered, calls every night but nobody picks up. Day after day, month after month, year after year. He tries to live the life that he believes his father would want, and lives in constant fear that one day daddy will come home and mommy will tell him he has been naughty.

The other child isn't even sure that the man was his father, or believes daddy is either dead or doesn't care about him, and so chooses to live a good life based on his own choices.

Now would you say that this is a good father? A loving parent? Is the child to blame?
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: HAL on May 09, 2012, 06:49:55 AM
Give me an advanced alien, maybe only several thousand years advanced from us, and I can guarantee you it could have SweetDearLovelyPreciousJane, Jstweb, and all the other theists grovelling at it's knees in no time (well if it had knees). The reason is they have proven in this thread they can't define or differentiate between the two (god or advanced aliens). The alien could appear as Jeebus and fool them so easily it wouldn't be funny. They can't give any answer besides "we will know the difference". Ha! They haven't a clue or they would have stated it by now. Has anyone read in this thread how they could tell? It's not here after 4 pages. They could be fooled so easily, while at the same time we (the rational atheists) would simply be asking more questions just like we always do.

The theists like these are prime examples of gullibility and irrational thinking. That's why so many of this mindset even kill themselves for a religious idea (i.e. Jim Jones, Heaven's Gate, etc.). That's why the way they think isn't harmless, it's very possibly dangerous and it's certainly a foolish way to use the wetware.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: rev45 on May 09, 2012, 07:07:02 AM
^^^
Even Angels look pretty scary too  :o
Angels are quite frightening creatures.
cherubim
(http://i.crackedcdn.com/phpimages/article/6/3/2/33632.jpg?v=1)
thrones
(http://i.crackedcdn.com/phpimages/article/6/3/1/33631.jpg?v=1)
seraphim
(http://i.crackedcdn.com/phpimages/article/6/3/0/33630.jpg?v=1)
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Maggie the Opinionated on May 09, 2012, 07:10:09 AM
^^^^^

You see what I mean? She just wrote "Mean, spiteful and very ignorant." on the comment for that neg she gave me. It's absolutely hilarious the level of utter stupidity she represents. I guarantee that at no point did she stop and think that she was essentially describing herself. her brain just does not function that way. And I suspect we haven't even begun to plumb her depths. I really want to see just how far down the scale her idiocy extends.
Pull up your big girl panties. You can dish it out but you sure can't take it. Heed the lesson you have just learned (I hope).
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Maggie the Opinionated on May 09, 2012, 07:17:00 AM
Give me an advanced alien, maybe only several thousand years advanced from us, and I can guarantee you it could have SweetDearLovelyPreciousJane, Jstweb, and all the other theists grovelling at it's knees in no time (well if it had knees). The reason is they have proven in this thread they can't define or differentiate between the two (god or advanced aliens). The alien could appear as Jeebus and fool them so easily it wouldn't be funny. They can't give any answer besides "we will know the difference". Ha! They haven't a clue or they would have stated it by now. Has anyone read in this thread how they could tell? It's not here after 4 pages. They could be fooled so easily, while at the same time we (the rational atheists) would simply be asking more questions just like we always do.

The theists like these are prime examples of gullibility and irrational thinking. That's why so many of this mindset even kill themselves for a religious idea (i.e. Jim Jones, Heaven's Gate, etc.). That's why the way they think isn't harmless, it's very possibly dangerous and it's certainly a foolish way to use the wetware.
You asked a meaningless question and yet we are irrational. Uh huh. Just exactly what does your fabulously advanced alien have to do with anything? Where did he come from? All you do is push the question of origins back by positing such a creature. And yes, origins is the real issue. If the universe had a beginning, something caused it to come into existence. Something does not come from nothing. (and spare me talk about energy, et al. Energy is not nothing.) I already alluded to the need for you to deal with the question of change. I suppose it is possible that you didn't even understand the relevance of that question. Doesn't anyone study Aristotle any more?
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: HAL on May 09, 2012, 07:19:18 AM
Just exactly what does your fabulously advanced alien have to do with anything?

How can you tell the difference between an advanced alien and your deity Jane? The rest of your post is off-topic.

You still are dodging and fail to provide an answer. Any more posts with dodging will be moderated.

Either answer the question or avoid the thread.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Maggie the Opinionated on May 09, 2012, 07:20:38 AM
This post was off-topic. Please remain on topic and stop dodging.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Maggie the Opinionated on May 09, 2012, 07:21:40 AM
This post was off-topic. Please remain on topic and stop dodging.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Anfauglir on May 09, 2012, 07:30:59 AM
Just exactly what does your fabulously advanced alien have to do with anything? Where did he come from? All you do is push the question of origins back by positing such a creature.

If you are unable to distinguish between your god, and an advanced alien who claims to be your god then:

1) You have no way of determining if any religious experience you may have is "real" or not.
2) Further, you have no way of determining if any Biblical statement is "real" or not.
3) You then have no way of determining if the creation of this universe was carried out by your god or not.

True: it would still leave the question of ultimate origins to be answered.  But consider this hypothesis.....

The universe was created by the Great God Aa.  He created it just for something to do, setting the laws of physics in motion that would eventually lead to formation of planets, evolution, and so forth.  Over time, a race of aliens (the Zz) evolved, developed incredible technology, and visited Earth some 7,000 years ago.  They then embarked upon a long-term experiment wherein they orchestrated every alleged action of "Yahweh" (their chosen fictional deity), ensuring that all revelations put down in the Bible and given to believers all tied in with the observed facts of the universe.

Result?  There never was, never has been, any such being as "Yahweh" - aliens did it all.  With no way of discriminating between the two, it is impossible for you to prove or disprove either option.  And the important point of all this is that since you cannot determine if the Zz existed or not, you cannot then answer the real origin question and ascertain what it is that Aa wants you to do (or not to do), and hence you have no idea what the requirement are for the afterlife - or even if there is an afterlife at all.

THAT, I believe, is the thrust of Hal's question - that if it is impossible for you to reliably determine whether or not something is the action of the Zz, then you likewise have no way of determining whether Yahweh actually exists or not.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: HAL on May 09, 2012, 07:52:36 AM
PJ keeps wanting to talk about origins, and that has not the slightest thing to do with my OP. Nothing. Zero, Zip, Zilch.

Even if Bibullgawd exists, or any god, it still doesn't answer my OP. Even if Bibullgawd created the universe, advanced aliens could still come here and you'd still have to tell me how you can tell them or it from the Creator. For some reason I think the question has got you so tied in mental knots that you can't bear to even formulate an answer, most probably because you haven't the slightest idea how to do it. You probably have never thought about it before and it has you afraid to attempt an answer, so you won't be embarrassed I'd imagine.

Suggestion: eat some of those kracker-things they hand out in church, drink a glass of sacramental wine, relax, and try again later.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: naemhni on May 09, 2012, 07:55:12 AM
The question is. What would you do if you EVER saw something as hideous like that?
For me, I'll shoot that damn thing for sure. And ask questions later..

That sounds like a plan to me.

I'm currently in the process of reading the bible cover-to-cover for the first time ever, as I've discussed in another thread.  I haven't made it to Ezekiel yet (right now, I'm at Second Chronicles), but I've heard of it before.  There are some people who claim that the section you quoted is a UFO sighting.  Which would, of course, bring us right back to the "deity vs. alien" thing we're discussing in this thread.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Alzael on May 09, 2012, 08:14:34 AM
Pull up your big girl panties. You can dish it out but you sure can't take it. Heed the lesson you have just learned (I hope).

What exactly can't I take? I've taken everything so far and begged for more.

I think your perceptions of reality are starting to break down a little BabyJane.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Maggie the Opinionated on May 09, 2012, 08:17:01 AM
Post removed because it is simply preaching with no explanation. This is against the rules.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Alzael on May 09, 2012, 08:19:32 AM
Another neg? There's a good little monkey. You serve me well. Bravo. Negs are so much easier than real arguments aren't they?

By the way you never answered my question about the sodomy. You're the expert on these things so I need to know?
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: HAL on May 09, 2012, 08:25:22 AM
PJ's last post was deleted because it consisted of preaching only. This is not allowed. She still can't answer the question.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Maggie the Opinionated on May 09, 2012, 08:29:26 AM
Another rant with no value added. Answer the question or avoid the thread.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: Alzael on May 09, 2012, 08:33:18 AM
ROTFL!! You are pathetic and unworthy of the time of an adult.

Pot.Kettle,Black. My dirty little Monkey-Man.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: HAL on May 09, 2012, 08:34:39 AM
The thread is being locked for a while due to PlainJane's lack of focus/ranting/inability to rationally answer the OP, resulting in undue moderation. I will re-open it later for further comments.
Title: Re: Evidence for a deity - How do I tell?
Post by: ParkingPlaces on May 09, 2012, 09:01:50 AM
Plain Jane. Do you have a sister? I need to know because I don't want to meet her either.