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Therefore, God exists

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Therefore, God exists

Postby ThomasGR » Sat May 06, 2006 6:45 pm

Normally, discussing God’s existence, argumentations would look quite similar to this one:

(1) God exists.
(2) [Atheist's counterargument]
(3) Yes he does.
(4) [Atheist's counterargument]
(5) Yes he does!
(6) [Atheist's counterargument]
(7) YES HE DOES!!!
(8 ) [Atheist gives up and goes home.]
(9) Therefore, God exists.

I searched the internet, and to my surprise, I found more interesting and serious arguments proving God’s existence. The most convincing argument so far is considered Goedel’s ontological proof, though I have to confess, I could not get a sense from the equations. Here are the equations taken from Wikipedia:

Image

And there is lot of discussion going on in the Internet and the academic society is really having hard time straining their heads about these equations. Could it be possible that God really exists at the end, and mankind found at last the all-desired proof?
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...

Postby elis » Sat May 06, 2006 6:59 pm

hello

it's been months since I worked with formal logic, but I remember Goedel's proof is a formalisation of an older proof by Anselm of Canterbury. I believe it derives existence from posibility.
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Postby pyrheraklit » Sat May 06, 2006 8:05 pm

I don't know much about formal or modal logic, but I think what turns many to atheism is the following paradox (the question of Evil):

-God is Good and Almighty
-Evil or bad things happen in this world

How can these two assumptions be compromised?

I mean, when you think of the Holocaust, 11 September, children dying in Africa, or even more, so many innocent victins of earthquakes, tsunamis etc, omnipotence and goodness becomes a bit questionable.

The question of Evil appears already in Job, maybe the most interesting text of the Old Testament and troubled a lot of theologians and philosophers ever since (Theodicies etc.)
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Postby Chris Weimer » Sat May 06, 2006 9:18 pm

There is no evidence for God.
There is evidence against God.
Therefore God does not exist.

Simple enough, eh?
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Sun May 07, 2006 5:20 am

pyrheraklit wrote:-God is Good and Almighty
-Evil or bad things happen in this world


Assuming God exists, I really don't think its up to us mere mortals to judge God. If God, in his infinite wisdom, decides to let disasters and atrocities happen, perhaps there are reasons which our weak human brains cannot grasp. If God decides that the human race must perish, I do not see how we can argue against that. Of course, I DO NOT mean to say that people who cause/let atrocities/disasters happen should not be held accountable, since I am a part of God as much as they are a part of God.
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Postby ThomasGR » Sun May 07, 2006 8:17 am

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Postby Kasper » Mon May 08, 2006 2:22 am

pyrheraklit wrote:I don't know much about formal or modal logic, but I think what turns many to atheism is the following paradox (the question of Evil):

-God is Good and Almighty
-Evil or bad things happen in this world

How can these two assumptions be compromised?



Don't mistake suffering with evil/bad things, it's cartoonesque. Good and evil are simply matter of preference and view point. I, personally, continue to find it fascinating that God is generally perceived as pure good. To my knowledge He said himself no more than "I am who/what I am".

Edit: oh - and that He is envious, which is almost certainly a vice.
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby Bert » Mon May 08, 2006 3:05 am

Kasper wrote: Good and evil are simply matter of preference and view point.

Really?

Kasper wrote:
oh - and that He is envious, which is almost certainly a vice.

Is it a vice for me to be a jealous husband? I.e. for me to feel that my wife is MY wife and not someone else's wife?
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Postby Kasper » Mon May 08, 2006 3:09 am

Bert wrote:
Kasper wrote: Good and evil are simply matter of preference and view point.

Really?


Yes. Although I am open for persuasion by a good examples, I personally fail to find any scenario where a man acts out of pure evil, without benefit to himself, however futile or temporary that benefit may be.


Re being jealous over your wife, I must admit that's a good distinction, Bert.

"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his a**, nor any thing that [is] thy neighbour's. "

Thou shalt certainly covet thy own wife.
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby Rhuiden » Mon May 08, 2006 1:56 pm

Chris Weimer wrote:There is no evidence for God.
There is evidence against God.
Therefore God does not exist.

Simple enough, eh?



Didn't we solve this in the other thread?
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Postby Bert » Mon May 08, 2006 10:07 pm

Kasper wrote:
Bert wrote:
Kasper wrote: Good and evil are simply matter of preference and view point.

Really?


Yes. Although I am open for persuasion by a good examples, I personally fail to find any scenario where a man acts out of pure evil, without benefit to himself, however futile or temporary that benefit may be.

If the motives to a man's actions are "benefit to himself, however futile or temporary that benefit may be", does that make his actions less evil? I would think that most evil actions are fueled by this sort of motive.
I must have mis-understood you.
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Postby Kasper » Mon May 08, 2006 10:43 pm

Bert -

You said: "If the motives to a man's actions are "benefit to himself, however futile or temporary that benefit may be", does that make his actions less evil?"

I hope you will agree that a benefit per definition means something good. Consequently, if you accept that (all) actions of evil contain an element of benefit, something good, for someone (most likely the actor) then doesn't that confirm the idea that it is a matter of viewpoint?

Perhaps we need a definition of 'evil' to get the discussion clear? Personally, i regard the word evil to mean something that is purely harmful to everything and everyone. For this reason, I don't consider evil to exist, because all things have a benefit to someone. Therefore it is a matter of viewpoint/preference.
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby edonnelly » Mon May 08, 2006 10:58 pm

Kasper wrote:Personally, i regard the word evil to mean something that is purely harmful to everything and everyone. For this reason, I don't consider evil to exist, because all things have a benefit to someone. Therefore it is a matter of viewpoint/preference.


Do you define "good" the same way? That is, for something to be good must it be purely helpful to everyone and everything? Why can you have a little bit of good, but evil must be absolute?
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Postby Kasper » Mon May 08, 2006 11:05 pm

edonnelly wrote:
Kasper wrote:Personally, i regard the word evil to mean something that is purely harmful to everything and everyone. For this reason, I don't consider evil to exist, because all things have a benefit to someone. Therefore it is a matter of viewpoint/preference.


Do you define "good" the same way? That is, for something to be good must it be purely helpful to everyone and everything? Why can you have a little bit of good, but evil must be absolute?


Fair point, i will have to revise my definition perhaps! Are you able to provide a different definition of either good or evil?

Regardless, are you saying that good actions can contain negative aspects? That is, a combination of good and bad? That there consequently is no pure good, and no pure evil?
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby Bert » Tue May 09, 2006 12:01 am

Kasper wrote:Bert -

You said: "If the motives to a man's actions are "benefit to himself, however futile or temporary that benefit may be", does that make his actions less evil?"

I hope you will agree that a benefit per definition means something good. Consequently, if you accept that (all) actions of evil contain an element of benefit, something good, for someone (most likely the actor) then doesn't that confirm the idea that it is a matter of viewpoint?


Well, I quess something evil might be something good from someones viewpoint but that does not make it good. It makes his viewpoint wrong.
Someone might kill so that he can have the money of the murdered one.
The benefit to him does not make it a good action. If he thinks it is a good action because it benefits him then his view point is wrong.
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Postby edonnelly » Tue May 09, 2006 12:23 am

Kasper wrote:Regardless, are you saying that good actions can contain negative aspects? That is, a combination of good and bad? That there consequently is no pure good, and no pure evil?


I have to think about how I would define them, but I think that I believe there can be actions (things?) that have different levels of good and evil, including aspects of each, but also that there can be things that are purely good or purely evil. I'll have to think about examples.
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Postby Kasper » Tue May 09, 2006 12:49 am

Bert wrote: Well, I quess something evil might be something good from someones viewpoint but that does not make it good. It makes his viewpoint wrong.
Someone might kill so that he can have the money of the murdered one.
The benefit to him does not make it a good action. If he thinks it is a good action because it benefits him then his view point is wrong.


I didn't say it makes it right. I said there is no pure good and no pure evil. Actions just happen. They are motivated by a person's perception of what will benefit him - regrettably, often to the detriment of another. Although this perception may be short lived, at the moment of acting it is perceived to bring a benefit (again, however futile or temporary that may be). The cause of this perception, or the moral judgement whether it was right or wrong, are different matters.

In the case of your example, I too cannot deny that it is wrong. But was it evil? Would it depend on the actor's motivation/cause?

On a side note, can a person be evil?
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby Kasper » Tue May 09, 2006 12:51 am

edonnelly wrote:I have to think about how I would define them, but I think that I believe there can be actions (things?) that have different levels of good and evil, including aspects of each, but also that there can be things that are purely good or purely evil. I'll have to think about examples.


Yeah - I think we need to define these terms before we can really discuss them.
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby IreneY » Tue May 09, 2006 11:50 am

Well, to begin with, I don't think comparing God's jealousy with that of a husband is a good comparison; a husband's jealousy may not (or may) be considered a vice if there IS reason for jealousy. I hope we agree that in an Adam-Eve situation (i.e. if a couple was stranded in an island) the husband jealousy would be at the very least considered ridiculous since there wouldn't be a reason for it. :)


Secondly I can't see why a definition of what is good and evil is needed or helpful because
a). God is all good. Evil does exist and manifests in the world according to the religion
b) Even if we agree in a definition of both, it can always be argued that this is our definition and not the one of God who is above human measures and intellect.
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Postby pyrheraklit » Tue May 09, 2006 12:35 pm

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Postby Kasper » Tue May 09, 2006 10:43 pm

IreneY wrote:Well, to begin with, I don't think comparing God's jealousy with that of a husband is a good comparison; a husband's jealousy may not (or may) be considered a vice if there IS reason for jealousy. I hope we agree that in an Adam-Eve situation (i.e. if a couple was stranded in an island) the husband jealousy would be at the very least considered ridiculous since there wouldn't be a reason for it. :)


Secondly I can't see why a definition of what is good and evil is needed or helpful because
a). God is all good. Evil does exist and manifests in the world according to the religion
b) Even if we agree in a definition of both, it can always be argued that this is our definition and not the one of God who is above human measures and intellect.
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Although I agree that the jealousy of a husband may not be accurate, I didni't want to go into it because I preferred to stick to the discussion of good and evil.

I don't really understand why you don't see a need for definitions. You say God is all good and evil does exist according to religion. Isn't this a matter of religion placing a moral judgement on a certain happening, judging it to be good or evil? Are you saying that right and wrong are the same as good and evil respectively?

Of course our definition of good and evil would be human definitions. But it is by human definition that we hold God to be pure good. So what does it mean when we say that God's actions are pure good? For example, let's take the flood (Noah's story) where God drowned the whole of mankind and all animals as well (with the exception of the ark of course). This would seem to be rather excessive force. Similarly, you will find in the OT various accounts of entire peoples, women and children, being murdered on the order of God. Are these instances of good or evil? Are they perhaps a necessary evil in order to promote hte good? If so, then this action of good clearly contains an element of evil, and is therefore not pure good. For clarity of discussion I therefore think that we should agree on a definition of these terms.

Please correct me if you see this differently!!
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby Kasper » Tue May 09, 2006 10:44 pm

“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby IreneY » Wed May 10, 2006 5:17 pm

Kasper wrote:Although I agree that the jealousy of a husband may not be accurate, I didni't want to go into it because I preferred to stick to the discussion of good and evil.

I don't really understand why you don't see a need for definitions. You say God is all good and evil does exist according to religion. Isn't this a matter of religion placing a moral judgement on a certain happening, judging it to be good or evil? Are you saying that right and wrong are the same as good and evil respectively?

Of course our definition of good and evil would be human definitions. But it is by human definition that we hold God to be pure good. So what does it mean when we say that God's actions are pure good? For example, let's take the flood (Noah's story) where God drowned the whole of mankind and all animals as well (with the exception of the ark of course). This would seem to be rather excessive force. Similarly, you will find in the OT various accounts of entire peoples, women and children, being murdered on the order of God. Are these instances of good or evil? Are they perhaps a necessary evil in order to promote hte good? If so, then this action of good clearly contains an element of evil, and is therefore not pure good. For clarity of discussion I therefore think that we should agree on a definition of these terms.

Please correct me if you see this differently!!


Well, I thought of it like this:
a) As I said before, agreeing in any definition can help us into drawing some conclusions but one can always say that our definition is wrong and therefore our conclusions are wrong etc
b) It is not necessary to define evil. If we agree that evil exists, then the discussion about how does an all good God allows it to exist can proceed without the need of that.


The "is God is all good?" is a totally different issue in which the definitions of 'good' and 'evil' are indeed necessary.

Now as to
Isn't this a matter of religion placing a moral judgement on a certain happening, judging it to be good or evil?


My position on that matter is that a religion can only judge what is a sin and/or what is according to the divine "rules". If we call these evil and good respectively then yes :) If not no.

But it is by human definition that we hold God to be pure good

Are you sure about it? I am not asking if you think it's by human definition but if that is what the religion teaches us.
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Postby Chris Weimer » Fri May 12, 2006 6:02 pm

Rhuiden wrote:
Chris Weimer wrote:There is no evidence for God.
There is evidence against God.
Therefore God does not exist.

Simple enough, eh?



Didn't we solve this in the other thread?

No, you gave up, remember? And everything else afterwards is merely special pleading.
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Postby Rhuiden » Fri May 12, 2006 6:46 pm

I think you are mistaken, I did not give up. I think you are the one who quit participating.
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Postby easternugget » Sat May 13, 2006 12:37 am

I am curious. We have all heard that the existence of Evil shows that God does not exist because He would not let something like that happen. However, my philosophy teacher gave us something interesting: the existence of Evil shows that God does exist because without God we would not know what Good is; there would be no objective reference to compare with to decide what was good and evil. Just something to be gnawed upon.
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Postby edonnelly » Sat May 13, 2006 1:08 am

I don't have anything to add, I just liked the thought of having 4 posts in a row from Tennesseeans.
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Postby Rhuiden » Sat May 13, 2006 1:32 am

Go VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Postby Rhuiden » Sat May 13, 2006 1:34 am

easternugget wrote:I am curious. We have all heard that the existence of Evil shows that God does not exist because He would not let something like that happen. However, my philosophy teacher gave us something interesting: the existence of Evil shows that God does exist because without God we would not know what Good is; there would be no objective reference to compare with to decide what was good and evil. Just something to be gnawed upon.


Haven't ever really thought about it from that perspective but it does seem to make sense.
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Postby Bert » Sat May 13, 2006 2:34 am

It is a Biblical principal.
Romans 7:7-9
....I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; <snip>
....for apart from the Law sin is dead. <snip>
....but when the commandment came, sin became alive,....

(I am going to take it as a given that the Law, in this context, comes from God.)
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Postby IreneY » Mon May 15, 2006 1:08 am

that does sound a bit like the babelfish proof :wink:
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