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Author: Jammer2 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 196947  
Subject: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/7/2000 2:44 PM
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Serriously, I'm interested.

Jammer2
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Author: FoolishFredFlyer Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36542 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/7/2000 3:06 PM
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To paraphrase John chapter 3...

Just like you see evidence for the existence of air as the wind blows the leaves in the trees, we can clearly see the hand of God in the lives of the people who have trusted him.

Personally, I believe in God because I know him. I convinced that I'm not delusional because of the compelling evidence that others know him as well.

Cheers,

FFF

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Author: klinedanner Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36549 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/7/2000 3:23 PM
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LOTS of reasons. Take any one reason away and i'd still likely believe in Him, with one possible (major) exception. So what is that reason, my ultimate basis for belief in God? ... <suspenseful pause> ...



I have experienced Him in my own life. I have personally felt His presence, His love, His healing, His power. I know Him. This above all else gives me complete confidence in His existence. Apart from that...

All evolutionary debates aside, how did we get here without a creator? Whatever your belief on how we got to where we are now, how could nothing have become something without God?

The concept of beauty. Naturalists explain your hearts out, but i don't buy into any reasoning that attempts to remove God from the beauty of nature and the beauty we see in other people.

The ability of humans to literally sacrifice their own lives out of love for other people. Natural selection alone cannot account for love that makes a person willing to die for another.

The existence and teachings of Jesus--well attested to, consisting of better evidence than we have for most of what you read in history books. If you believe any number of the events in the lives of Lewis and Clark, why not believe the events in the life of Christ? More people who actually witnessed the life of Jesus and/or those who knew Him personally have written about it than have for the lives of those two explorers.

The fact that virtually every culture has a concept of God and/or gods and goddesses. I'm no anthropologist, so i can't say that every culture has such a concept, but i feel pretty confident in saying that ALMOST all of them do, if not in fact all.

Miracles can and do happen. I have never witnessed one in person, but i've heard firsthand accounts from trusted people. The Bible also attests to many miracles. Occasionally something happens that just can't be rationally explained.

If i sat here long enough, i could provide more. But i think this will do for now...

Respectfully,

Danner

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Author: kristanmaddox Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36557 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/7/2000 3:56 PM
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Always a question that makes you stop and think-not because you don't know, but because you want to give the asker the right answer so he doesn't come back at you.

So, in blind faith, here goes...

I was raised in church. I have never known another lifestyle. I spent some time in a university and that was as "worldly" as I've ever been.

I was never delivered from crack or alcohol. I've never been healed from a broken bone or deadly disease. I've never witnessed, first-hand, anyone's divine transformation from these things.

However, until about 2 years ago, I didn't really care whether He existed or not. I went to church and did most of the right stuff, but just because it was all I knew.

In January '98 I realized my dilema (sp?). I understood that I had been living my life a certain way without a single reason why. I went through a time of re-defining every Christian word and phrase I had ever heard. I asked professors about some of them. No one could explain them to my satisfaction.

In that same month, I took a trip to Toronto. I went to a church there. I can honestly say that I FELT that somebody big was there. That same feeling that nobody admits to when a CEO or governor walks in and you don't know them personally -- not fear or "oh, no" just intense and weighty.

I don't really know what the purpose was or why I felt that way, but I knew who it was. I have never doubted His existence, but before this I had not cared.

Jesus is my savior and I have absolutely no doubt. I did not come to this by anything that any person or persons have ever said to me. He is, and He sees and knows me. AND, He wants me to get to know Him.

In Christ.

KM

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Author: Jennycats Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36560 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/7/2000 4:03 PM
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Warning: Way-long message

There's lots of complex reasons, but this is what happened that got my attention:

I had renounced my belief in God senior year of High School. However, I could not figure out how to tell my parents, because they had just shelled out lots of money for me to attend Catholic HS. Also, I knew it would hurt them.

The last Sunday before Sophomore year of college, I was on my way to church, and decided that I would tell my parents about my agnosticism when I got home. However, in the service, particularly during communion, I sensed a "something" drawing me, and I new I couldn't do it. This irritated the snot out of me, BTW. I figured it was some kind of learned, culturally-produced mechanism that had essentially addicted me to church. However, on the off chance that it wasn't, I told God: "Okay, I'm going to give this one more shot. If you're there, you've gotta do something, because I can't live with this limbo anymore."

I went back to school, determined to go to church every Sunday (which I never did Freshmen year). The first Sunday, though, as I walked to church, some friends drove by on their way to IHOP, and asked me to join them. I wavered, saying, "I was going to go to church." As I hesitated, my buddy said: "C'mon, Jen, Heaven or Hell?"

I went to IHOP.

Okay, it was just one Sunday. The next Sunday, some friends were going to a local diner, and then on to a Cubs game. Well, a Cubs game--that's not something you did every day. So I went along. At the diner, we were given separate checks, and lined up at the cash register to pay them. Everyone else paid without incident. When I got to the front, though, the cashier paused, looked me in the eye and said: "Why aren't you at church?"

It freaked me out, but I explained him away as one of those weird, uneducated religious fanatics (oh yes, my SAT score was only exceeded by my arrogance).

In the meantime, I had considered going to an in-dorm Bible study that I had seen advertised, but it kind of got lost in the shuffle. I was taking an acting class in which we all had to tell a significant story about ourselves. One girl, Karla, got up and told a story about something God had done in her life. At the end, she said: "You know, I love a good religious discussion. If you're ever interested, grab me."

Later that day, I saw her in the lunchroom and told her that I'd love to talk about God sometime. And about a week later, there was a message on my "101 Dalmations" memo board that said "Jenny, Come to the Bible study tonight. Karla." I was psyched! Not only did she remind me about that dorm Bible study, but she was going to be there, as well! When I showed up, it turned out that Karla lived in my dorm, and she and her roommate led the Bible study.

Over the next month, I found something happening inside me anytime I went to the Bible study, although I thought the discussion was sometimes a little manipulative, and some of the people were downright weird (in retrospect even, the latter was true!). Karla and I also became acting partners.

One day, coming back from class, we got to the dorm, and Karla started opening the door. We had never walked back from class together, and it was a surprise to her that I lived in the dorm--she thought someone else had invited me to the Bible study. This puzzled me, and I invited her up to my room. When we got to my door, she gasped, and told me this story:

Early in the quarter, she had been walking around the dorm, praying for the dorm and the Bible study. As she was climbing one stairwell, she all of a sudden saw a flash of a picture in her mind of "101 Dalmations"--very strange, since she had never seen the movie. Once she got to my floor, though, she saw my message board, and took it to be a sign. My name was on the door, too--Jenny, a very common name. So she wrote on my message board: "Jenny, Come to the Bible study tonight. Karla."


---Jennycats

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Author: FoolishFredFlyer Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36566 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/7/2000 4:28 PM
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Jennycats,

Cool!

FFF

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Author: youngfod Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36590 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/7/2000 7:11 PM
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I believe it is more logical to believe in God than not to believe in God. There are so many questions for which the answer is there is a God, and the alternative is to say, well believing in God is sissy.
Once you get past that then look at what God is What He has done for us, what He teaches us to do and it just makes sense. Then when you accept God into your life and try to live how He wants us to live, then it is pure unadulterated happiness that someone as fanastic as God loves you.

YF



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Author: gingerrocker Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36597 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/7/2000 8:18 PM
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I look at my son, and I believe in God.
I see any sunset, and I believe in God.
I pray, He answers, and I believe in God.
I look at my life and see what it would be without Him, and I believe in God.
I learn something about the human body, and I believe in God.
I see, and I believe in God.

To me, I don't honestly understand how anyone couldn't believe.
Romans 1:19-20...For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. From the time world was created, people have seen the earth and the sky and all that God made. They can clearly see His invisible qualities-His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing Him.

Gingerrocker

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Author: Frecs Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36604 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/7/2000 9:28 PM
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That's a very good question. Do you have a while? ;-)

1) I look around me at the wonder of nature and (unlike most scientist of today) I realize that chance didn't create such beauty and wonder. I've tried to reconcile what the scientists say happened with what I see and with logic and I just don't see it.

2) Through some really horrible times in my life I asked (quite a bit) "what's the point". If there wasn't something beyond this world--something more to live for--there was really no point in going on. At the worst point I had turned from my childhood faith and looked for other answers. My journey back to God was one of exploration and questions and self-examination and examination of the invisible world.

That's why I believe that God exists--the evidence seemed rather overwhelming.

Now, why I decided to put my faith in God--again--is something else. My testimony (see the FAQ) goes into more detail but the short story is that I came to a moment when God spoke to me through a song on the radio and finally helped me understand that HE LOVED ME AND HE DIED FOR ME.

I think it is because of that struggle that I had that I am so interested in studying Christian Apologetics. My belief in God goes beyond believing in something that my mommy told me to believe in. My belief in God is not like a childs belief in Santa Claus. But, that isn't to pooh pooh the need for faith. I just don't think that it has to be blind faith.

I'm rattling on and not sure if I've answered your question.....

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Author: ericjh Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36610 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/7/2000 9:40 PM
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Why do I believe in God?

It takes faith to believe in God and equal faith to disbelieve in God.
Being a science / math orientated person evolution never made sense. It is contrary to the principle of survival of the fittest. It is contrary to the law of entropy. It is a mathematical improbability. There is no fossil record of intermediate species. No two scientists can agree on how evolution occurred. The more they dig the more of their theory they disprove. Note: my view here was pre-Christian.
Therefore since I did not believe I came from apes there must be a God.
During my college years I figured God saw what he created and had a heart attack and died.
So I believed in a dead God.
I was reintroduced to Jesus via a Billy Graham TV crusade and decided to 'check him out'.

I examined the evidence about Jesus.
The bottom line for me is, did Jesus really raise from the dead.
If he did then I would believe.
How did I judge?
Four choices came up:
1. Jesus was a good man, teacher, prophet.
2. Jesus was a liar.
3. Jesus was insane.
4. Jesus is God.

1. Jesus could not have been a good man, teacher, prophet. He said he was God. Only he had the right to forgive sins. Only through him could we get to God the Father.
2. If he was not who he said he was he was the worlds most deceptive liar. He did/set up miracles or at least his followers conjured up the idea he did miracles. And he either planned his death or his plans got out of hand.
3. He was insane he really thought himself God, and convinced others he was God. He did such a good job that his followers made up fantastic stories about him. He either planned his death, or the authorities just got fed up with the madman.
4.The only way he could be God is if He actually raised form the dead.

The apostles especially Peter & John were keys. What transformed them from scared beaten men to powerful fearless preachers? What would Peter and John die for? How could the apostles keep up a lie? Could they live the lie? Could they get thousands to believe the lie? Someone would crack under the pressure of torture and the threat of death wouldn't they? Eleven of the twelve were martyred.
How did Peter get from the courtyard during the trial denying Christ to the Sanhedrin boldly preaching to the leaders of Israel? How did these men give up everything, buck the system, and preach Jesus? They were not TV evangelists making big bucks. Did they really see Jesus alive? Did God give them some spiritual power?
After weighing the evidence I came to the conclusion that they must have seen the risen Jesus, God gave them power, and Jesus is God.
If He is God then I had to make a decision, the rest is history.
Next came studying the prophecies about Jesus and growing my faith.
Yours in Christ

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Author: Jammer2 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36658 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 9:00 AM
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gingerrocker:

To me, I don't honestly understand how anyone couldn't believe.

Well, actually, it's a lot easier than you think.

Jammer2

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Author: FoolishFredFlyer Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36661 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 9:11 AM
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To me, I don't honestly understand how anyone couldn't believe.
_____

Well, actually, it's a lot easier than you think.



It's just my own completely non-provable belief that we all, way deep down, believe. I think God has wired us so that we are always aware of his presence, even though it's forever elusive and just beyond our grasp.

It reminds me of looking for faint objects in the night sky. Unless you're in a very dark area, you can only "see" the Andromeda Galaxy with your naked eye if you don't look directly at it. By looking slightly to one side of it, you can just detect a faint smear of light. You're aware that it's there, but you really can't quite see it.

So it is with faith. By giving us free will, and by giving us just a hint of his awareness, God's brilliant plan allows each of us to choose our destiny. Will we "go it alone," or will we turn towards our faint, but compelling awareness of him?

Jammer, I probably already know your response. But I would challenge you to consider the possibility that God really is there.

FFF

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Author: Jammer2 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36662 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 9:19 AM
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FoolishFredFlyer:

It's just my own completely non-provable belief that we all, way deep down, believe. I think God has wired us so that we are always aware of his presence, even though it's forever elusive and just beyond our grasp.

Jammer, I probably already know your response. But I would challenge you to consider the possibility that God really is there.


:) It is entirely possible that God has wired us to we are always aware of his presence. However, one could argue it is also entirely possible that society has wired us so that we believe that we are aware of his presence. 2000 years of the teachings of God can have a pretty strong influence on any one and anything.

I have considered the possibility taht God really is out there. Maybe that is one of the reasons I came to this board.

Jammer2



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Author: FoolishFredFlyer Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36663 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 9:22 AM
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2000 years of the teachings of God

The teachings of whom? :o)

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Author: Jammer2 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36666 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 10:03 AM
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FoolishFredFlyer:

The teachings of whom? :o)

My apology, should I have said the teaching of Christ?

Didn't Christ teach of a Christian God? If so, then isn't my original statement true? If not then I'm honestly ignorant.

Jammer2

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Author: Kazim Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36674 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 10:58 AM
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It's just my own completely non-provable belief that we all, way deep down, believe. I think God has wired us so that we are always aware of his presence, even though it's forever elusive and just beyond our grasp.

Psalms 14:1 "The Fool hath said in his heart, There is no God."

Is saying something "in your heart" not the same as believing? Or don't you think that the Bible is right?

Fool on. ;)


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Author: Frecs Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36683 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 11:59 AM
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Psalms 14:1 "The Fool hath said in his heart, There is no God."

Is saying something "in your heart" not the same as believing? Or don't you think that the Bible is right?

Fool on. ;)


I think the emphasis there is "fool" (little "f" not big "F"). A wise man knows there is a God.

Of course, the question then is "Who is God?"

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Author: Kazim Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36713 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 3:01 PM
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I think the emphasis there is "fool" (littsle "f" not big "F"). A wise man knows there is a God.

I'm sure you do think that.

You didn't answer the question, though. The issue is not whether it is foolish or Foolish to believe in God. You claimed that everyone really believes in God even if they say they don't. But the Bible would appear to indicate that there are fools who really don't believe in their heart. Or are you reading it differently?


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Author: Frecs Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36722 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 3:16 PM
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You didn't answer the question, though. The issue is not whether it is foolish or Foolish to believe in God. You claimed that everyone really believes in God even if they say they don't. But the Bible would appear to indicate that there are fools who really don't believe in their heart. Or are you reading it differently?

Actually, it wasn't me that made the statement you are refering to. But, I'll answer your question. :-)

My interpretation of the passage is that to claim that there is no God is a foolish thing. A fool ignores the facts before him. A fool rejects what he knows because he doesn't want to know it. That's my "read" of the passage. It isn't that the fool doesn't believe in God, but rather than the fool denies that he believes there is no God.

A logical question to ask anyone who makes a claim that God doesn't exist is "Can you prove it?" Can you prove that there is no God? If not, then how can you be so sure that there isn't a God?

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Author: Jammer2 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36726 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 3:28 PM
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Fecs:

A logical question to ask anyone who makes a claim that God doesn't exist is "Can you prove it?" Can you prove that there is no God? If not, then how can you be so sure that there isn't a God?

Oooh, oooh, I want that one!

People don't have to try and prove that God doesn't exist. Why? Because it is the responsibility of people who believe in anything, not just God, to prove that the thing they believe in exists.

For example. I believe the chair I am sitting on exists. It's not your responsibility to prove to me that it doesn't exist because you didn't bring it up in the first place. I did. Therefore, it is my responsiblity to prove to you that instead of nothing, there is something, a chair.

So, just because someone says something exists, like God, doesn't mean that someone else has the responsibility to prove it doesn't exist. The person who claims there is something from nothing must prove that it is something, not the other way around.

It's kinda like the innocent before proven guilty thing. Just because I say someone is guilty doesn't mean that s/he is. I have to prove it. I have to make something out of nothing. So, one day someone said that there is a God, something is out there instead of nothing. O.k., prove it. Unitl then, there's nothing.

So how do you prove there is God? Well, everyone has their own opinion on that. That's why I posted the original post on this thread. If you look at the answers to that question, most of the people who answered it believe that they have met/connected with God in someway. O.k., that's good enough for them. Then someone said, how can anyone not believe in God. Well, it's easy, some people still see nothing, and no one has taken on the responsibility to prove that there is something.

Jammer2



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Author: gingerrocker Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36730 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 3:31 PM
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Jammer

Trust me, one day, you will see. Everyone will. I'm betting my life on it.
Gingerrocker

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Author: Frecs Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36732 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 3:33 PM
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So how do you prove there is God?

Oh, now we are getting somewhere!

Have you heard the argument about the uncaused cause?

Every effect has a cause, right? Every cause is the effect of something else. You follow the cause and effect (or effect back to cause...) back until you get to the cause that is not caused by something else...the uncaused cause.

God is the uncaused cause that set the whole thing in motion!

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Author: Jammer2 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36733 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 3:33 PM
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gingerrocker:

Trust me, one day, you will see. Everyone will. I'm betting my life on it.

Do you mean your job in life is to provide others with knowledge of your faith. I don't honestly understand what you mean by betting your life on it. No offensive, but that's a pretty big bet. :) I wish you the best of luck.

Jammer2

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Author: Jammer2 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36735 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 3:38 PM
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Frecs:

Have you heard the argument about the uncaused cause?

Every effect has a cause, right? Every cause is the effect of something else. You follow the cause and effect (or effect back to cause...) back until you get to the cause that is not caused by something else...the uncaused cause.

God is the uncaused cause that set the whole thing in motion!


No, I had not heard of the uncaused cause. It is an interesting theory.

Here's a good question: isn't the theory on cause and effect a scientific one? I mean, didn't a physist come up with it or something. I honestly don't know.

Let's assume it is a scientific theory. Let's also assume I know what I'm talking about. :) Serriously, don't most scientific and religous theories clash? Maybe they don't, that's why I'm asking. But if they do, is it wise for a religous theory to be based on a scientific one?

Jammer2

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Author: ericjh Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36736 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 3:39 PM
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Jammer2:
Please comment on my post 33610.
I would be interested in your response.
EJ

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Author: Frecs Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36738 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 3:45 PM
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Here's a good question: isn't the theory on cause and effect a scientific one? I mean, didn't a physist come up with it or something. I honestly don't know.

Let's assume it is a scientific theory. Let's also assume I know what I'm talking about. :) Serriously, don't most scientific and religous theories clash? Maybe they don't, that's why I'm asking. But if they do, is it wise for a religous theory to be based on a scientific one?

Jammer2


Scientific, I suppose. Its also event in the world around use. This is a case of philosophers using the known (cause and effect) to explain the unknown.

Science and religion do not have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, the most famous of early scientists were Christians.

Why shouldn't I use science or philosophy or both to answer the question "Does God exist?"? If I just said, "God exists, trust me", you would rightfully say "Why should I?".

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Author: Kazim Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36743 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 3:56 PM
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So how do you prove there is God?

Oh, now we are getting somewhere!

Have you heard the argument about the uncaused cause?

Every effect has a cause, right? Every cause is the effect of something else. You follow the cause and effect (or effect back to cause...) back until you get to the cause that is not caused by something else...the uncaused cause.

God is the uncaused cause that set the whole thing in motion!

Whoa boy, here we go again.

Let's follow the logical chain:
1. Everything has a cause.
2. There must be something that doesn't have a cause.
3. That something is God.

This is not a valid argument because 1 and 2 contradict each other. Either 1 is true, and everything has a cause (including God), or 2 is true, and something exists without a cause.

But if things can exist without causes, then the whole argument is moot. Thus, you are denying the truth of the very thing you set out to explain.

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Author: Jammer2 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36746 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 4:12 PM
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Frecs:

Why shouldn't I use science or philosophy or both to answer the question "Does God exist?"? If I just said, "God exists, trust me", you would rightfully say "Why should I?".

Oh, I don't mind if you do. I think you, or anyone, should pull out all the stops when attempting to justify anything, since nothing is simple. I just was wondering about how the two of them got along.

Jammer2

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Author: Jammer2 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36747 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 4:16 PM
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ericjh:

Jammer2:
Please comment on my post 33610.
I would be interested in your response.


I think you may have the wrong number. Post 33610 is about a poster other than yourself having four kids.

My response to that one is "whew!" :)

I'll be happy to share my opinion on the post you meant. I'm honestly honored that someone wants to hear what I have to say.

Jammer2

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Author: youngfod Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36749 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 4:22 PM
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Let's follow the logical chain:
1. Everything has a cause.
2. There must be something that doesn't have a cause.
3. That something is God.

This is not a valid argument because 1 and 2 contradict each other. Either 1 is true, and everything has a cause (including God), or 2 is true, and something exists without a cause.

But if things can exist without causes, then the whole argument is moot. Thus, you are denying the truth of the very thing you set out to explain.


Hi Kasim,

Logic is a wonderful thing, but you have to ask the right questions.

We know the rule of cause and effect. We also know that there is no evidence of anything before the start of the universe. Now either the universe does not exist or there must have been one exception to the rule. There have been theories that we don't exist but I think these have been conclusively put to one side by - I think therefore I am.
The very fact that the universe exists makes it more likely that God exists, and unless you are firmly convinced of your faith that He does not, you have to believe that. As we have discussed before pascals wager is only successful when you add a likelyhood to it. You may have done cost benefit analysis so you will be aware of putting percentage figures into equations and arriving at the benefit/cost of each possibility. With any likelyhood of God existing the equation becomes a killer.

YF



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Author: klinedanner Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36750 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 4:23 PM
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Serriously, don't most scientific and religous theories clash?

No. Most scentific theories are simply a means of understanding the world God created. Even the staunchest, most devout naturalist who fully believes no God is REQUIRED to have brought life on earth to its present complexity cannot positively rule out the chance that it was God who set it all in motion.

In fact, there are many of us who don't think the Bible is a scientific document at all, and that it doesn't even attempt to tell us literally how we got here or whether homosexuality can be genetic or anything else like that. I believe the point of the Bible is that God is responsible for our existence, and it is our purpose to glorify Him. I know of no respected, commonly accepted scientific theories that contradict my core religious beliefs.

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Author: FoolishFredFlyer Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36751 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 4:24 PM
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Jammer2:

Frecs sez:

A logical question to ask anyone who makes a claim that God doesn't exist is "Can you prove it?" Can you prove that there is no God? If not, then how can you be so sure that there isn't a God?

Then you sez:

Oooh, oooh, I want that one!

People don't have to try and prove that God doesn't exist. Why? Because it is the responsibility of people who believe in anything, not just God, to prove that the thing they believe in exists.


Do you really think that I have to prove that God exists just because I believe in Him? What if I'm right. If you find yourself before the God of all Creation, asking if you accepted the risen Lord, what are you going to say?

"Uh, well, uh...Hey! FoolishFredFlyer never proved you exist! That was his responsibility, not mine!"

Rock on, my man.

FFF



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Author: jmls Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36757 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 4:46 PM
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Dear Jammer,

Serriously, don't most scientific and religous theories clash?

I don't know what you mean by "most". But I definitely think that science and religion, to a great extent, work in different spheres.

Science is concerned with "experimental truth". By this I mean that science uses observation (experiment) to find patterns (natural laws). Science then uses these natural laws to predict or explain nature. Science makes no claims to have the ultimate answer; in fact the essence of science is that there is no theory that may not be destroyed in the future by new experimental evidence.

Religion is concerned with "ultimate truth". Religion seeks to answer why we are here, if there is a god/gods, how we should live etc.

For the most part, science and religion operate in separate spheres. Certain predictions of religion may be scientifically testable however. Most of us do not believe that the earth is on the back of an elephant on the back of a turtle in a big ocean; also the majority of people don't believe that the earth is roughly 6000 years old. Religion, which often deals with omnipotent beings, gives one an out (e.g. the earth really is 6000 years old, God arranged the fossil evidence to trick us), this is something that science can never fully refute but can cast doubt upon.

However, while scientists do spend some effort looking for the "ultimate cause", this isn't really where science really shines. There are always big questions which are beyond the reach of science (e.g. what came before the Big Bang?) These sorts of questions are much more in the realm of religion.

Some of the greatest scientists in history were/are religious. Albert Einstein, probably the most famous of all scientists in the 20th century, was Jewish and made many comments about God; Sir Isaac Newton, possibly the greatest physicist ever, was Christian. Today, there are many famous scientists who are Chrisians. However, many other great scientists have other religious or atheistic beliefs. I believe that science is fairly neutral in regards to religion - to some, scientific evidence is testimony to their particular religion, to some it disproves it, but I would say as a whole science really has nothing to say here.

But if they do, is it wise for a religous theory to be based on a scientific one?

I think this is a more difficult question. One can use science to say, for example, there really was a Solomon's Temple. But I don't think that this really gets to the bigger questions religion attempts to answer. I would say that it would depend on the context (do you have any in mind?)

Best,

Lleweilun Smith



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Author: gingerrocker Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36759 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 5:11 PM
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Do you mean your job in life is to provide others with knowledge of your faith. I don't honestly understand what you mean by betting your life on it. No offensive, but that's a pretty big bet. :) I wish you the best of luck.

Hardly. I'm not too good at witnessing. I just know the things that have gone on in my life before and after I let Him in. I wouldn't go back. I just hope that when people see me, they see someone at peace amidst all the confusion. I don't need luck, there is no such thing. I'm betting my life on it, because I know there is more. Ever hear the saying " Save your fork, the best is yet to come."?
Gingerrocker

I'm glad you came to this board. There are some very cool people on here that are way more eloquent than me at getting something across the right way.



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Author: Kazim Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36761 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 5:17 PM
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Youngfod, why am I having a feeling of deja vu all of a sudden?

Kazim:
Let's follow the logical chain:
1. Everything has a cause.
2. There must be something that doesn't have a cause.
3. That something is God.

This is not a valid argument because 1 and 2 contradict each other. Either 1 is true, and everything has a cause (including God), or 2 is true, and something exists without a cause.

But if things can exist without causes, then the whole argument is moot. Thus, you are denying the truth of the very thing you set out to explain.


Youngfod:
Hi Kasim,

Logic is a wonderful thing, but you have to ask the right questions.

We know the rule of cause and effect. We also know that there is no evidence of anything before the start of the universe. Now either the universe does not exist or there must have been one exception to the rule.


What in tarnation are you talking about????? For someone who pays lip service to logic being a wonderful thing, you sure do make some lovely non sequiturs.

The very fact that the universe exists makes it more likely that God exists, and unless you are firmly convinced of your faith that He does not, you have to believe that. As we have discussed before pascals wager is only successful when you add a likelyhood to it. You may have done cost benefit analysis so you will be aware of putting percentage figures into equations and arriving at the benefit/cost of each possibility. With any likelyhood of God existing the equation becomes a killer.

With any likelihood that Allah exists, you have to believe in Allah or risk the Muslim hell.

With any likelihood that Zeus exists, you have to believe in Zeus or go to Hades.

If Jack Chick's version of Christianity is right, then YOU'RE already going to hell, for being a lousy liberal Catholic.

With any likelihood that I am God (and can you prove that I'm not?) you'd better send me some money right quick before I consign you to hell myself.

Pascal's Wager is a joke. I'm still waiting on that check, youngfod...

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Author: gingerrocker Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36763 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 5:25 PM
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ya know, one of the most awesome things about God, is that He gives us free will. The opportunity to choose. Even if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.(I think that is a Rush lyric)heehee
Gingerrocker

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Author: Kazim Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36765 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 5:36 PM
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Do you really think that I have to prove that God exists just because I believe in Him? What if I'm right. If you find yourself before the God of all Creation, asking if you accepted the risen Lord, what are you going to say?

"Uh, well, uh...Hey! FoolishFredFlyer never proved you exist! That was his responsibility, not mine!"

Rock on, my man.


Once you resort to this line, you have pretty much given up proving that God exists. Now you are effectively saying "Well you'd better believe in Him because if you don't, something really bad will happen." It's okay if you want to try and prove His existence by threats, but at least acknowledge that that is what you are doing.

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Author: coralville Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36771 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 6:03 PM
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Jammer asks why believe in God?

Ultimately, the decision to believe in a God comes down to personal experience. It is not an issue that one can prove or disprove by science or logic or philosophy. That afterall is what a test of faith is all about.

But let me throw this out to you. In my gut I believe that there is an absolute right and wrong in this world. IMO, the holocaust of Hitler was wrong, and it would still have been wrong had the Nazis won the war. How can one justify an absolute morality (versus a relative morality that changes with society)? I see no other way than by the existence of an absolute moral Authority (i.e., God). Take away God, and morality is defined by whoever one the last war.

I have to admit however that for me, it comes down to stuff like seeing my 8 month old kid laugh. I need no further proof of God's existence than that.

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Author: FoolishFredFlyer Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36774 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 6:57 PM
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Do you really think that I have to prove that God exists just because I believe in Him? What if I'm right. If you find yourself before the God of all Creation, asking if you accepted the risen Lord, what are you going to say?

"Uh, well, uh...Hey! FoolishFredFlyer never proved you exist! That was his responsibility, not mine!"

Rock on, my man.
______

Once you resort to this line, you have pretty much given up proving that God exists. Now you are effectively saying "Well you'd better believe in Him because if you don't, something really bad will happen." It's okay if you want to try and prove His existence by threats, but at least acknowledge that that is what you are doing.


Not at all. There's no threat. I wasn't trying to use a threat to convince anyone that God exists. My point was just this. Jammer said that the person who has a belief bears the respoinsibility for proving that belief. I think that's wrong.

Some people try to prove that God exists or that He doesn't exist. I think both camps fail miserably. Perhaps at some point in the future there will be proof that God exists--but when that happens I suspect that the end is at hand.

All I can do is tell you that God is real to me, that He has impacted my life. I see compelling evidence of his existence in creation around me. I see overwhelming evidence of his existence in the lives of a few saints that I have had been blessed to know.

But if Jammer's really interested in finding out if God exists, then he will find out on his own. That's how it works.

If you've spent any time at all reading the posts on this board, you realize that I'm not afraid to get into a debate. It's just that, no, I don't have the responsibility of proving God exists. And yes, Jammer really will be confronted with the reality of God sooner or later. Whether it's sooner or later depends on Jammer.

FFF



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Author: Frecs Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36787 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 8:57 PM
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With any likelihood that Allah exists, you have to believe in Allah or risk the Muslim hell.

With any likelihood that Zeus exists, you have to believe in Zeus or go to Hades.



I'll get back to your claim that the "uncaused cause" argument is illogical, but for now I wanted to address the above.

We aren't talking at this point about who God is (Yahweh, Allah, Zeus et al) but if there is A god. Its only after one has established the existance of a Supreme Being that one then moves on to the question of who that Supreme Being is.

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Author: Frecs Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36788 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 9:00 PM
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Once you resort to this line, you have pretty much given up proving that God exists. Now you are effectively saying "Well you'd better believe in Him because if you don't, something really bad will happen." It's okay if you want to try and prove His existence by threats, but at least acknowledge that that is what you are doing.

I agree with you on this one. This approach is popular with the fideism group (faith is everything, reason is nothing). There are those who are willing to go solely on faith, but its obvious that you and Jammer aren't in that group.

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Author: FoolishFredFlyer Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36789 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 9:11 PM
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Once you resort to this line, you have pretty much given up proving that God exists. Now you are effectively saying "Well you'd better believe in Him because if you don't, something really bad will happen." It's okay if you want to try and prove His existence by threats, but at least acknowledge that that is what you are doing.
____
Frecs:
I agree with you on this one. This approach is popular with the fideism group (faith is everything, reason is nothing). There are those who are willing to go solely on faith, but its obvious that you and Jammer aren't in that group.


Good golly! I'm getting flamed and then receiving a second and I never even intended to say, "just take it on faith."

There's a huge difference, as Geisler would surely agree, between proving God exists and showing that belief in God is reasonable.

FFF

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Author: Frecs Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36793 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/8/2000 10:20 PM
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Okay, the following is from Geisler's Book "Christian Apologetics":

The Theist need not claim that everything has a cause; he need not use the Leibnizian principle of sufficient reason. Rather, he can return to the thomistic principle of existential causality which claims that every finite, contingent, and changing thing has a cause. If this principle is sound and leads to an infinite, necessary, and unchanging Being, then this Being will not need a cause. God will be the Uncaused Cause of everything else that exists.

The Overall Logic of This Argument That God Exists

1) Some things undeniably exist (e.g., I cannot deny my own existence.)
2) My nonexistence is possible.
3) Whatever has the possibility not to exist is currently caused to exist by another.
4) There cannot be an infinite regress of current causes of existence.
5) Therefore, a first uncaused cause of my current existence exists.
6) This uncaused cause must be infinite, unchanging, all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-perfect.
7) This infinitely perfect Being is appropriately called "God".
8) Therefore, God exists.
9) This God who exists is identical to the God described in the Christian Scriptures.
10) Therefore, the God described in the Bible exists.

<end of quote - all italics and bold are as appears in text>

So, as you see, he first deals with the logical argument of the uncaused cause (and why there can be one uncaused cause) and then goes on to argue that that uncaused cause is God, and then that God is the God of the Bible.

Is that sufficient or would you like me to expand on that (with Geisler's help of course)?

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Author: jmls Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36810 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/9/2000 2:51 AM
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Dear Frecs,

First time I've seen this argument.

I agree with 1) (of course, one cannot prove that one exists, but that's a bit too abstract for me :)). 2) seems OK, but a bit of a red herring.

I can't actually understand what 3) says. Is it saying that "all things that can exist do?" I'm confused...

I don't understand the reasoning for 4). It seems to me to be quite possible that there be a "infinite regress of current causes of existance."

I agree that 5) follows from 4).

I don't understand why 6) has to be so; and I must admit to being confused by all of the notions of "infinite". At least in the realm of mathematics, one must be careful when playing with infinities, else you run into the likes of Zeno's paradox. And there are different "sizes" (cardinalities) to infinity.

7) is a definition, so no problem. I agree that if I accept 1)-7), 8) follows.

9) of course is a biggie. Why?

10) follows from 1)-9).

So I guess I don't understand what 3) says, and don't understand why 4), 6) and 9) need be true.

Best,

Lleweilun Smith

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Author: youngfod Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36813 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/9/2000 3:51 AM
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Hi Kasim,

Logic is a wonderful thing, but you have to ask the right questions.

We know the rule of cause and effect. We also know that there is no evidence of anything before the start of the universe. Now either the universe does not exist or there must have been one exception to the rule.

What in tarnation are you talking about????? For someone who pays lip service to logic being a wonderful thing, you sure do make some lovely non sequiturs.


There used to be a joke about what do you not understand in the word "No". This feels somewhat similar. OK, then in simple steps.

1. Science says there is no effect without a cause.
2. The universe exists.
3. Nothing existed before the universe.
4. But there must have been a cause.
5. The cause therefore must be outside of our frame of reference.
6. The cause must have been powerful beyond anything we can appreciate.
7. The universe is well ordered. The likeihood of intelligent life coming from a random big bang is in the realms of infinity.
8. There is a God.

The more interesting question in my mind is why do people not WANT to believe there is a GOD. We are pretty small powerless creatures, fairly insignificant. Anyone who thinks they are special enough to be strutting about thinking they are significant make me laugh. Sorry, I probably should not say that. I'm always being told to be more polite by those on the board. Actually, we are significant in the eyes of God.

YF






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Author: Frecs Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36844 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/9/2000 11:31 AM
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3) Is saying that anything has the potential to NOT exist (such as you or I) but does exist (such as you or I) is caused to exist by another.

4) If you reject #4 then you think that the universe had no beginning, that everything always was. Even scientists accept that there was a point in time when time began and when existance began. Thus, scientists accept that there cannot be an infinite regress of current cause of existence.

6) This would have to be so if the preceding is true because in order for the Uncaused caused to BE the uncaused cause that caused it all that Cause would be infinite (outside of time and always existant), unchanging (if it changed then it is an effect of some other cause), all-powerful (otherwise how did it become the Uncaused cause?), all-knowing (it knows everything because it created or "caused" everything), and all-perfect (again because it "caused" everything).

9) That, I believe, is simply comparing the above described Cause with the God described in scripture and saying, "they match".

Does that help or generate more questions? If you like, later I'll take the time and quote Geisler again to expond on this idea.

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Author: lhaselden Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36846 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/9/2000 11:51 AM
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I started believing in Jesus because of his teachings, I started putting my faith in the Father because Jesus led me to Him.

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Author: jmls Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36858 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/9/2000 1:52 PM
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Dear Frecs,

OK, I think I understand what you're saying in 3) now. I guess I can accept this provisionally; but I am not certain. In quantum mechanics, there is the problem of how measurement affects an experiment (e.g. can't tell what state an electron is without measurement which destroys the state the electron is in). I'm not sure if this is quite the same thing (one can say that the measurement "caused" the electron to be in a certain state)... All to say that, my present understanding of quantum mechanics would say that, at the very least our normal notions of "cause and effect" don't quite work at that level.

I don't agree with 4). There is a difference between "everything always was" and "what is the cause of everything". For example, one could say that atoms "cause" matter, in the sense that you can build up molecules etc. from atoms. You get atoms by dividing up matter "real small". But you can divide up atoms to get protons, electrons etc., and you can divide up protons and neutrons to get quarks. Can we keep going? Perhaps, but we don't have the technology yet.

Incidentally, in the same way what scientists claim is that there is evidence for the "big bang", and we don't know what came before (if anything). I think that saying that this is "the beginning of time" is a matter of philosophy though.

Really, 6) is beyond my understanding - too many "infinites". But I won't object further at this point.

Of course, 9) to me is the biggie. Always interested to see why the Christian God is the Cause. Probably to answer 9) I'll have to buy the book(s) or do some more reading, but I think that 9) is a tough thing to prove (and which must ultimately be taken on faith).

Best,

Lleweilun Smith

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Author: rbednarski Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36862 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/9/2000 2:06 PM
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"This is not a valid argument because 1 and 2 contradict each other. Either 1 is true, and everything has a cause (including God), or 2 is true, and something exists without a cause."

The argument given was a shorthand version of a much more tightly argued and complete philosophical argument. Hence, while your counter seems to address the argument as given, it would not work in the full blown argument. If you're interested you can find a fuller descrption of the argument, complete with references to the Big Bang theory (which is arguably a validation of the uncaused cause argument) and Stephen Hawkings analysis of the first nanoseconds in the universe's history I can recommend the book Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0891077642/qid=976387781/sr=1-1/002-7644418-9029657

God bless,

Rich

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Author: Frecs Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36925 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/10/2000 9:44 PM
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Of course, 9) to me is the biggie. Always interested to see why the Christian God is the Cause. Probably to answer 9) I'll have to buy the book(s) or do some more reading, but I think that 9) is a tough thing to prove (and which must ultimately be taken on faith).



Short of my quoting the entire book here, I would encourage you to read it! ;) I'm afraid that my summary of Geisler's explanation is not sufficient. Honestly, I'm very much a student of this myself.

I agree at least in part with you, though. This would be the jumping off point where the heart (faith) much go where the brain (knowledge) can't.

I don't agree with 4). There is a difference between "everything always was" and "what is the cause of everything". For example, one could say that atoms "cause" matter, in the sense that you can build up molecules etc. from atoms. You get atoms by dividing up matter "real small". But you can divide up atoms to get protons, electrons etc., and you can divide up protons and neutrons to get quarks. Can we keep going? Perhaps, but we don't have the technology yet.


Again, Geisler's discussion of this point is much more complete and well stated than I can hope to present (and I forgot the book in my car--its cold out or I would go get it) but let me try (quantam physics aside because I'm not prepared to argue that topic :-) ). ummm...well, no, I think I'll wait, if you can indulge me, until tomorrow. I want to answer correctly and without using the book as reference I'm sure I will get all discombobulated.



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Author: Jammer2 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36954 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/11/2000 8:34 AM
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FoolishFredFlyer:

Do you really think that I have to prove that God exists just because I believe in Him? What if I'm right. If you find yourself before the God of all Creation, asking if you accepted the risen Lord, what are you going to say?

"Uh, well, uh...Hey! FoolishFredFlyer never proved you exist! That was his responsibility, not mine!"


: ) Actually, I can think of about 50 better things to say to him that that! Do you think he would engage me in a conversation? I have a bunch of questions.

That reminds me of a Simpsons episode where Homer is talking with God in a dream.

Homer: God, what's the meaning of life?
God: I'm sorry Homer, I can't tell you that unitl you're dead.
Homer: Oh, I can't wait that long.
God: You can't wait six months?

Jammer2

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Author: Jammer2 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36956 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/11/2000 8:45 AM
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gingerrocker:

I'm glad you came to this board. There are some very cool people on here that are way more eloquent than me at getting something across the right way.

Thank you very much, it's nice to be here. I honestly wish I had the time to read every message. : )

And thanks for the book idea.

Jammer2

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Author: youngfod Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 36960 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/11/2000 9:30 AM
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That reminds me of a Simpsons episode where Homer is talking with God in a dream.

Homer: God, what's the meaning of life?
God: I'm sorry Homer, I can't tell you that unitl you're dead.
Homer: Oh, I can't wait that long.
God: You can't wait six months?

Jammer2


I saw that. You can't help smiling, they are very clever.

YF



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Author: Kazim Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37011 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/11/2000 3:29 PM
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I'll get back to your claim that the "uncaused cause" argument is illogical, but for now I wanted to address the above.

We aren't talking at this point about who God is (Yahweh, Allah, Zeus et al) but if there is A god. Its only after one has established the existance of a Supreme Being that one then moves on to the question of who that Supreme Being is.


Frecs,

You are sort of implying here that it doesn't matter what God you believe in, as long as you believe in some God. I suspect that this is in strong opposition to what most people here actually believe.

Suppose I decide to accept Zeus as my patron deity, and live my life according to the precepts of what Zeus would want me to do. I build altars to Zeus, and pray to Zeus every day, and hold parties and wars in honor of Zeus, just like a good ancient Greek would do.

Does that probably get me into heaven, as far as you know?

Remember, this was originally in reference not to the Uncaused Cause argument, but to Pascal's Wager.

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Author: Frecs Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37016 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/11/2000 3:46 PM
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You are sort of implying here that it doesn't matter what God you believe in, as long as you believe in some God. I suspect that this is in strong opposition to what most people here actually believe.


Nowhere did I say or imply that. What I said was "We aren't talking at this point about who God is...". Please note the "at this point". I want to take the discussion from the general "is there a God" to the specific "who is God". That's all. Anyone who has read even a sampling of my posts knows better than to suggest that I think it is irrelevant which god one believes in! I am quite infactically zealously bold in saying that there is only one God, Yahweh, and only one way to God, through His Son Jesus Christ.

I just think that its better not to muddy the waters by trying to discuss too many points at the same time.

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Author: Frecs Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37018 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/11/2000 3:50 PM
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Remember, this was originally in reference not to the Uncaused Cause argument, but to Pascal's Wager.

I don't know enough about Pascal's Wager to know whether he deals with the specific issue of who God is. I'll look that up and get back to you. Sorry, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I don't consider myself an expert apologetist so I don't have answers to these off the top of my head. That is my goal but I'm not there yet!

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Author: Kazim Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37022 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/11/2000 4:40 PM
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Frecs,

Sorry about this... the discussion is getting confused because youngfod entered it and I'm now talking about two arguments at once. Youngfod and I have had this conversation before, which is why we look like we're picking it up in mid-sentence.

You are presenting Geisler's "uncaused cause" argument, which is an argument that, logically, God really has to exist. Youngfod brought up Pascal's Wager, which is an argument that, even if God's existence can't be proved, you ought to believe in him anyway. My examples about Zeus were responding to youngfod, not you.

Here's Pascal's Wager in a nutshell (though I'm sure you've looked it up in Geisler already). Pascal, a 17th century mathematician, said that you had better believe in God even if there's a good chance that He doesn't exist. Because even if there's an extremely small chance that He might exist, you lose heaven and risk hell.

I was responding to Pascal's wager by saying that, even if it could prove that believing in God is a good bet, it still wouldn't tell us anything about the nature of God. I think you would agree that using Pascal's wager to justify belief in Allah or Zeus wouldn't get you any closer to heaven if the Christian God is the right one. By the same token, accepting Jesus as the savior could equally well get you consigned to Muslim hell if that turns out to be the right religion.

Therefore, the best thing to do is focus your arguments on why God really must exist, rather than playing tricky word games about believing things that you don't really believe, or picking whichever religion has the worst hell. Wouldn't you agree with that, Frecs?

Now, the first cause argument is a different type of discussion entirely, and I'll get back to that shortly.

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Author: youngfod Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37030 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/11/2000 5:23 PM
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Frecs,

You are sort of implying here that it doesn't matter what God you believe in, as long as you believe in some God. I suspect that this is in strong opposition to what most people here actually believe.

Suppose I decide to accept Zeus as my patron deity, and live my life according to the precepts of what Zeus would want me to do. I build altars to Zeus, and pray to Zeus every day, and hold parties and wars in honor of Zeus, just like a good ancient Greek would do.

Does that probably get me into heaven, as far as you know?

Remember, this was originally in reference not to the Uncaused Cause argument, but to Pascal's Wager.


I read that and the conclusion you came to is the same as when I wrote much the same thing. I would guess you don't like the direction the argument is going.

Pascals Wager is affected by likelyhoods otherwise it is 50/50 however with the likelihood of a God existing it is no longer 50/50.

YF



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Author: youngfod Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37031 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/11/2000 5:30 PM
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Hi Frecs,

Pascals Wager:

There is not a god - You don't believe, no hardship
You do believe, no hardship

There is a God - You don't believe, bad mistake
You do believe, Wayhey.

So you can see that if it is more likely that there is a God then you would be foolish to disbelieve. And if there isn't it still doesn't matter.

YF



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Author: Kazim Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37032 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/11/2000 5:38 PM
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I read that and the conclusion you came to is the same as when I wrote much the same thing.

I have a hard time understanding what you are trying to say sometimes. Do I get into heaven for worshipping Zeus, a la Pascal's wager, or don't I?

Pascals Wager is affected by likelyhoods otherwise it is 50/50 however with the likelihood of a God existing it is no longer 50/50.

Fallacy. Just because you don't know the odds of something doesn't make it 50/50.



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Author: Kazim Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37036 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/11/2000 5:50 PM
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1) Some things undeniably exist (e.g., I cannot deny my own existence.)
2) My nonexistence is possible.
3) Whatever has the possibility not to exist is currently caused to exist by another.


IMHO, the weak link in this argument is 3. If you say everything must be "caused to exist by another", that is a fine thing as long as you are already assuming that there is a God causing everything. It doesn't work as an argument why God has to exist, though, because it simply begs the question. What does it mean for something to be caused by another thing? If a pebble rolls off of a cliff and creates an avalanche, was the avalanche "caused to exist" by the pebble? If so, was the pebble therefore an intelligent agent? Was gravity an intelligent agent?

4) There cannot be an infinite regress of current causes of existence.
5) Therefore, a first uncaused cause of my current existence exists.
6) This uncaused cause must be infinite, unchanging, all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-perfect.


This is the other great logical leap. Again, if you are predisposed to see God as the cause of everything, then of course you will say that whatever the earliest cause is (if there is one) has to conform to this all-perfect model. This isn't an argument, but an assertion that the thing you set out to prove has to be true because you say so.

In my pebble example earlier, the pebble falling (cause) was a smaller scale, simpler event than the avalanche (effect). Then there's the example of a butterfly flapping its wings and causing a hurricane. When things get caused, that doesn't mean that something caused them on purpose.

Geisler is very clever, but he still doesn't get around the basic contradiction in this argument. Either everything has a cause or it doesn't. If everything has to has a cause then, yes, there can (and has to) be an infinite regression of causes and effects. If not everything has a cause, then you are free of the rules that led you to seek a cause in the first place. You can't have it both ways.

The rest of the argument relies on the first six being right, so I'll have to stop there.


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Author: youngfod Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37037 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/11/2000 5:52 PM
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Pascals Wager is affected by likelyhoods otherwise it is 50/50 however with the likelihood of a God existing it is no longer 50/50.

Fallacy. Just because you don't know the odds of something doesn't make it 50/50.


You obviously did not read what I said about cost benefit analysis. You don't have to know the exact data only an estimate, perhaps you are familiar with the monte carlo system of working out practical problems with not enough data. I must admit it has been a long time since I used it but it was very practical in application.

YF



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Author: youngfod Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37043 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/11/2000 6:13 PM
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IMHO, the weak link in this argument is 3. If you say everything must be "caused to exist by another", that is a fine thing as long as you are already assuming that there is a God causing everything. It doesn't work as an argument why God has to exist, though, because it simply begs the question. What does it mean for something to be caused by another thing? If a pebble rolls off of a cliff and creates an avalanche, was the avalanche "caused to exist" by the pebble? If so, was the pebble therefore an intelligent agent? Was gravity an intelligent agent?


If the pebble wrote a poem as it rolled down the mountain then it would be intelligent. The universe is logical not chaotic. eg It's creator was logical not chance, chaotic.

YF



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Author: Kazim Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37046 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/11/2000 6:20 PM
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If the pebble wrote a poem as it rolled down the mountain then it would be intelligent. The universe is logical not chaotic. eg It's creator was logical not chance, chaotic.

The pebble didn't write a poem on the way down, but it still caused the avalanche. So you agree that the avalanche was a chaotic, undesigned event?


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Author: youngfod Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37048 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/11/2000 6:28 PM
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Ah, but remember: If you make people think they are thinking, they will love you; but if you make them really think, they will hate you.


No if it rolled uphill it would be, but it would not do that in a logically structured world.

YF



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Author: youngfod Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37049 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/11/2000 6:30 PM
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Ah, but remember: If you make people think they are thinking, they will love you; but if you make them really think, they will hate you.


No if it rolled uphill it would be, but it would not do that in a logically structured world.

YF


Sorry about that I forgot to copy your comment.

YF



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Author: Frecs Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37067 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/11/2000 9:44 PM
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I don't agree with 4). There is a difference between "everything always was" and "what is the cause of everything". For example, one could say that atoms "cause" matter, in the sense that you can build up molecules etc. from atoms. You get atoms by dividing up matter "real small". But you can divide up atoms to get protons, electrons etc., and you can divide up protons and neutrons to get quarks. Can we keep going? Perhaps, but we don't have the technology yet.



Okay, Geisler provides a long explanation of this and uses several different approaches to explain this principle.

Geisler: "There is perhaps an even easier way to see the need for a cause of every contingent or possible being. An infinite and unchanging being must be uncaused. But there can only be one such being, as was shown earlier. Therefore, every other being must be caused by another, since to be self-caused is impossible. Since I am not a necessary Being, it must be concluded that I (and every other contingent being that exists) must be caused to exist by a cause beyond me."

I doubt that that fully answers your question. Its hard for me to summarize several pages of philosophical reasoning into a paragraph or two. [That really means that I still do not have a complete grasp and understanding of it myself. But, it helps my learning process to try. :-) ]

As for point 9. The God described in the Bible is described as eternal (Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2), changeless (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 6:18), infinite (I Kings 8:27), all-loving (John 3:16), and all-powerful (Heb. 1:3). Since there can only be one Necessary Being [the concept of the Necessary Being is described in detail in another section of the book], and that Necessary Being necessarily has all perfections attributable to them, then the God of the Bible must necessarily be the Necessary Being or Uncaused Cause.

There certainly is an element of fideism -- the mind can only take us so far, the heart (faith) must take us where the mind can not go. But, it is also unnecessary to say that the mind has nothing to do with belief and faith in God.

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Author: Frecs Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37071 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/11/2000 10:03 PM
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Sorry about this... the discussion is getting confused because youngfod entered it and I'm now talking about two arguments at once. Youngfod and I have had this conversation before, which is why we look like we're picking it up in mid-sentence.



No problem. :-)

Here's Pascal's Wager in a nutshell (though I'm sure you've looked it up in Geisler already)

Yep, I did and he summarizes Pascal's Wager just as you did and I did get the sense that Pascal left a big issue undealt with -- "who is God". I think he made an assumption that he shouldn't have made. Or, would he have considered that an "axiom"? Anyway, it is a sticky wicket!

Therefore, the best thing to do is focus your arguments on why God really must exist, rather than playing tricky word games about believing things that you don't really believe, or picking whichever religion has the worst hell. Wouldn't you agree with that, Frecs?


yes, indeed! I don't think that "beleiving for the sake of covering one's aaa... ummm backside" is a good reason to claim belief in something one doesn't really belief in. And, as you say, it still doesn't tell you whether you should be believing in Allah, God, or Zeus. Perhaps that is why some today are covering their bets by believing in pantheism.


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Author: SBXJavadude Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37073 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/11/2000 10:07 PM
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I went all the way to the beginning of this thread to see why this was asked. What I found was a short, sweet, they just want to know.

I have thought alot about this during the course of this thread. I believe in God, because I do. There was never a time I did not believe in God. Now, God and I have had our differences.

For years I held him accountable for the death of my brother. He had been struck by lightning, and I was told at a young age that God wanted him in Heaven. You tell a 5 year old, and see if they do not get a little angry at God.

My parents turned away from church, and I think God as well. Our weekends were spent at my family's wonderful cottage on Lake Michigan. I never really minded not going to church or talking to God, after all, he was a murderer in my mind.

In college I encountered a youth group determined to make me understand that my borther was better off in Heaven than on Earth. I have to say, I still have a hard time with that one. When you know you had a brother, and he was taken from you, that arguement makes little sense.

I was determined though to start reconciling with God. It was bumpy. Mostly I was mad at well meaning people who kept barking in my ear I was going to Hell for this or that. Sorry folks, that is not what gets my attention. I was looking for proof god was not a killer, not a judgemental meanie.

My proof came April 12, 1988. I hit rock bottom. I had been misdiagnosed with HIV, was alienated from my family for several reasons, and I botched a good friendship. That night, I drank over a gallon of wine, and a couple hundred sleeping pills. I would have taken more, but I dropped some on the ground, and my dog came by, and I thought he would try to eat some.

To this day, I believe that was a message from God. God did not want me to die. I started crying, and asking God for help. I finally called some friends to take me to the hospital. Eventually I got my act together.

My relationship while mending was still tenuous. Life was good for several years. I felt my dilligence and trying to achieve a realtionship with God was going well. Then mom got diagnosed with Cancer. A few months later she died.

While we were making arrangements for her services, my dad wanted little religious reference. He said Jesus was a fine philosopher, but he did not have the answers. Sadly, my dad was holding on to the thought that God took away two of the people he loved the most, and he was bitter about it.

I felt it was important to bring God to the service. It was a nice one. And I felt appropriately religious.

This year, in an effort to move on, I made it my New Year's Resolution to grow more spiritually, to get closer to God. I think I have done a good job. I have found a good church, a good pastor, and I am understanding more about who God is. In the meantime I have a good job, a wonderful realtionship, and a new life I am exploring.

God is helping me along the way. Now it may seem rather simple, my belief in God. That is fine with me. At least I have a relationship with him. I see God as a partner in my life. And when I get to Heaven, I think he and I are going to have a good face-to-face talk. For now though, I am happy with my talk with him each night.

Cheers,
Charlie

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Author: Frecs Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37074 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/11/2000 10:08 PM
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<i.Pascals Wager:

There is not a god - You don't believe, no hardship
You do believe, no hardship

There is a God - You don't believe, bad mistake
You do believe, Wayhey.

So you can see that if it is more likely that there is a God then you would be foolish to disbelieve. And if there isn't it still doesn't matter.

YF

thanks, YF. the basics of Pascal's Wager I was familiar with, I just wasn't sure if Pascal dealt with answering the question of who is God. So far, I haven't found that he did.

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Author: Frecs Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37081 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/11/2000 10:39 PM
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the weak link in this argument is 3. If you say everything must be "caused to exist by another", that is a fine thing as long as you are already assuming that there is a God causing everything. It doesn't work as an argument why God has to exist, though, because it simply begs the question. What does it mean for something to be caused by another thing? If a pebble rolls off of a cliff and creates an avalanche, was the avalanche "caused to exist" by the pebble? If so, was the pebble therefore an intelligent agent? Was gravity an intelligent agent?

Whatever has the possibility of nonexistence must be caused to exist by another because potentiality is not actuality. If something is but has the potential to not be is only a potential existence. I exist but I have the possibility of nonexistence. Since I do exist I am either self-caused, caused by another, or uncaused; there are no other possibilities. Since its impossible to be self-caused that option is out. To be uncaused would mean that mere possibility would be the ground for actuality -- ie, nothing cannot produce something. Thus, my existence must be caused by another.

While gravity is the cause of the avalanche, it is the effect of something else. It is not necessary for gravity to be an intelligent being because it is not the uncaused cause.

This is the other great logical leap. Again, if you are predisposed to see God as the cause of everything, then of course you will say that whatever the earliest cause is (if there is one) has to conform to this all-perfect model. This isn't an argument, but an assertion that the thing you set out to prove has to be true because you say so.

In order to be the uncaused cause, The Uncaused Cause must be necessary, changeless (if it changes then something else is acting upon it to change it and so it is the uncaused cause but rather the thing that causes it to change would be), nonspatial, nontemporal, one, simple, infinite, and uncaused.

All-powerful: In order to be able to cause the very being of all that exists, the Uncaused Cause must be All-Powerful. It stands to reason that if it is the Uncaused Cause it has the power to cause which means that in comparsion to that which it caused to be it is All-Powerful. Of course, it doesn't have the power to do what is impossible because the impossible cannot be.

All-Knowing: It must be All-Knowing because a cause can only communicate to the its effect what it has to communicate. If the effect has some characteristic, then this characteristic is properly attributed to its cause. Since we are knowing beings, the cause of our being must be a knowing being. Since there is only one Uncaused Cause, it must know (at least) all that all its effects (us) knows.

All-Good: for the same reason that it is all knowing, it must be all-good. In order for it to impart goodness to its effects it must have goodness.

etc. etc.

Then, of course, you compare this Uncasued Cause with the God described in the Bible and they do seem to match. Since there can be only one Uncaused Cause, the God of the Bible must be that Uncaused Cause.

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Author: jmls Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37095 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/12/2000 1:12 AM
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Dear Frecs,

As for point 9. The God described in the Bible is described as eternal (Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2), changeless (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 6:18), infinite (I Kings 8:27), all-loving (John 3:16), and all-powerful (Heb. 1:3). Since there can only be one Necessary Being [the concept of the Necessary Being is described in detail in another section of the book], and that Necessary Being necessarily has all perfections attributable to them, then the God of the Bible must necessarily be the Necessary Being or Uncaused Cause.

This is a weak argument because you have not shown that the conditions you mention are sufficient to identify the Uncaused Cause uniquely.

To put it another way, Allah satisfies all the criteria (eternal, changeless, infinite and all-powerful); does this mean Allah = the Uncaused Cause? Does this then imply that Allah = the God of the Bible (since both satisfy your criteria)?

Let's back away from religion for a second, and use the example of a goose. A goose has feathers, a beak, and wings. A raven also has feathers, a beak and wings. Is a goose = a raven?

Best,

Lleweilun Smith

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Author: youngfod Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37103 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/12/2000 5:18 AM
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Therefore, the best thing to do is focus your arguments on why God really must exist, rather than playing tricky word games about believing things that you don't really believe, or picking whichever religion has the worst hell. Wouldn't you agree with that, Frecs?


yes, indeed! I don't think that "beleiving for the sake of covering one's aaa... ummm backside" is a good reason to claim belief in something one doesn't really belief in. And, as you say, it still doesn't tell you whether you should be believing in Allah, God, or Zeus. Perhaps that is why some today are covering their bets by believing in pantheism.


This is not an argument for a committed christian. It was intended for those with atheist beliefs.

YF



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Author: Jammer2 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37109 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/12/2000 8:43 AM
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ericjh:

You asked me for my views on your post last week and I apologize for not getting back to you soon.

Therefore since I did not believe I came from apes there must be a God.

I was struck most by this statement, and I find it a common one through the years. People who are very religious pinpoint certain theories within evolution, say that it can't possibly be true, and then discard everything else. Wait, wait. Don't get defensive yet everyone. I find this true the other way around as well. People who don't believe in God pinpoint certain aspects of a particular religion, become offended, and discard everything else.

My point? I don't think it is wise for people to say, "it's not one way, so it must be another." Life has never been that black or white for me. Maybe it is for other people, but I haven't seen it yet. Scientific theories, especially evolution, are not perfect. People are making it up as they go along. Why? Because new evidence is coming in daily that shifts the thinking. There's nothing wrong with that.

I think religions are the same way. Sure, Christians have the Bible, but do you do everything a 2000+ year old book says, or have you and society modified it to fit your personality and society's way of life? I see people everyday making up their beliefs, rooted in the Bible, as they go along through life. Is there anything wrong with that? Of course not.

We have laws older than the Bible, but we are changing them everyday as new ideas and issues come up that have never been seen before. Again, there is nothing wrong with that. As we grow things need to change, they can not stay the same if we are to survive.

So, what in the heck am I getting at? Things are not black and white. It's too difficult for me to say there is no God, therefore we came from apes, and it's too difficult for me to believe the opposite either. There must be a middle ground. Maybe it's a combination of both, with parts of evolution and parts of the Bible being both right and wrong. Maybe, gasp, they're both wrong. Sure, there are two prevailing theories out there, but there are huge gapping holes in both of them. For every argument you make for God, there is one against Him. For every argument against God, there is one for Him. So what if both sides are wrong and there's a third or forth explanation? I don't know, I'm not that deep, but I am open to the possibility that there is something else. The simplest answer is usually the correct answer, we just haven't found it yet.

Whew.

Jammer2

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Author: Frecs Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37110 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/12/2000 8:56 AM
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This is a weak argument because you have not shown that the conditions you mention are sufficient to identify the Uncaused Cause uniquely.

At the point when you get to asking "who is the Uncaused Cause", one then must analyize the options. If, as you claim, Allah fits the description of the Uncaused Cause as well as Yehweh, then since there cannot be two Uncaused Causes, they must be the same. If they are the same, that leaves us with two religions that are different that claim to be the religion of the Uncaused Cause (Allah or Yehweh). Which is true? One must then analyize the two religions and determine which is the authentic since neither would say that either way will get you the same result.

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Author: Frecs Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37111 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/12/2000 9:00 AM
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This is not an argument for a committed christian. It was intended for those with atheist beliefs.

YF


But, does it do the job Pascal intended it to do? I don't think so because as has been pointed out it doesn't clarify which "god" to wager on.

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Author: ericjh Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37115 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/12/2000 9:11 AM
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Jammer2:
Thanks for the reply.
I would correct you on one misconception. I decided evolution was no possible before I became a Christian. I had plenty of 'church' but no confidence in 'church'. My disavowing evolution was purely scientific and mathematical. It did not fit with the principle of survival of the fittest, the law of entropy, or the fossil record.

My dilemma if not evolution and not God then what?

The first issue I tried to resolve when I became a Christian was the 'beginning'. I tried creation/evolution; God used evolution to create. The Biblical account and any theory of evolution do not mix. I was back to square one. My logic now was my faith, if evolution is scientifically and mathematically improbable, if not impossible, then God must have done it with out evolution. If I now believe the God of the Bible why not believe He did it as recorded? The step of faith, do I have faith in ever-changing theories of evolution or in God, I chose God.

I was more interested in your opinion of the liar, lunatic, or Lord theory.
EJ


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Author: youngfod Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37119 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/12/2000 9:21 AM
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This is not an argument for a committed christian. It was intended for those with atheist beliefs.

YF

But, does it do the job Pascal intended it to do? I don't think so because as has been pointed out it doesn't clarify which "god" to wager on.


Let's say you are an atheist. You have come to the conclusion that there probably is a God. You start looking, what more do you need to start?

YF



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Author: Frecs Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37123 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/12/2000 9:30 AM
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Let's say you are an atheist. You have come to the conclusion that there probably is a God. You start looking, what more do you need to start?

YF


You are now outside the realm of Pascal's Wager. Pascal isn't dealing with someone who thinks there probably is a God, he is saying that even if you don't there there is a God, its safer to wager that there is. But, which "god" do you wager on? If you don't really think there is a god and you are only hedging your bets you better know which "god" to put your chips on, right?

Now, for your question, if an atheist recants their position by saying that there probably is a God they then need to know "who is God?" Other systems of apologetic arguments work better to answer that question than does Pascal's Wager or any other fideism argument.

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Author: Jammer2 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37125 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/12/2000 9:34 AM
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ericjh:

I was more interested in your opinion of the liar, lunatic, or Lord theory.

Sorry, I didn't realize that was what you were after.

I examined the evidence about Jesus. The bottom line for me is, did Jesus really raise from the dead. If he did then I would believe. How did I judge?

Four choices came up:
1. Jesus was a good man, teacher, prophet.
2. Jesus was a liar.
3. Jesus was insane.
4. Jesus is God.


So, just to make sure we understand each other, you are saying that you basically had to make a choice between options 2 and 4. 1 went out the window when Jesus proclaimed he was God, and 3 doesn't work because people would not have believed a madman.

So, option 4 won the day because a lie that big couldn't have survived that long and been built into the religion it is today.

Sounds well thoughtout and insightful to me, if I understand you correctly.

Jammer2

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Author: youngfod Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37129 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/12/2000 9:50 AM
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You are now outside the realm of Pascal's Wager. Pascal isn't dealing with someone who thinks there probably is a God, he is saying that even if you don't there there is a God, its safer to wager that there is. But, which "god" do you wager on? If you don't really think there is a god and you are only hedging your bets you better know which "god" to put your chips on, right?

Now, for your question, if an atheist recants their position by saying that there probably is a God they then need to know "who is God?" Other systems of apologetic arguments work better to answer that question than does Pascal's Wager or any other fideism argument.


Frecs,
I am not saying that I take notice of Pascals wager. But if an atheist starts to look for God it has to be a benefit. I do not believe that if he starts he will not end up with Gods grace helping him. There may be better arguments and I do not doubt there are, for instance just reading the NT and thinking "Is this a good way to live life, are these teachings valid. Then is this man Jesus who they claim He is.

YF


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Author: Kazim Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37137 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/12/2000 10:17 AM
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I would correct you on one misconception. I decided evolution was no possible before I became a Christian. I had plenty of 'church' but no confidence in 'church'. My disavowing evolution was purely scientific and mathematical. It did not fit with the principle of survival of the fittest, the law of entropy, or the fossil record.

And did you decide that evolution was not possible before or after you studied the subject as a biologist?

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Author: youngfod Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 37181 of 196947
Subject: Re: Why do you believe in God Date: 12/12/2000 2:21 PM
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And did you decide that evolution was not possible before or after you studied the subject as a biologist?

You can't be wrong all the times.

YF



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