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Passions in Poetry

Does God Exist?

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jbouder
Member Elite
since 09-18-99
Posts 2641
Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


25 posted 05-11-2000 09:16 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

WOOOOOOO-HOOOOOOOO!!! SOMEONE ELSE EXISTS WHO HAS HEARD OF THE KALAM ARGUMENT!!!  

Cypher, it has been quite a long time since I have even heard anyone mention the Kalam Argument.  As a philosophical apologetic it has few equals.  Have your read Moreland's "Scaling the Secular City"?  Okay ... to the argument.  What the Kalam Argument best demonstrates is that scientists (while very accomplished at their profession) become extremely vulnerable philosophers.

"1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence."

Can't argue with that.

"2. The universe began to exist.    
    2.1 Argument based on the impossibility                                        of an actual infinite                                  
        2.11 An actual infinite cannot exist.
        2.12 An infinite temporal regress of
             events is an actual infinite.
        2.13 Therefore, an infinite temporal
             regress of events cannot exist."

This line of reasoning demonstrates that the universe had to have a beginning.  If the universe always existed, an infinite number of years in the past, now would never get here.  I believe the Cosmic Flux Theory errs along those lines.

"2.2   Argument based on the impossibility
       of the formation of an actual      
       infinite by successive addition.
       2.21 A collection formed by  
            successive addition cannot be  
            actually infinite.
       2.22 The temporal series of past    
            events is a collection formed  
            by successive addition.
       2.23 Therefore, the temporal series  
            of past events cannot be
            actually infinite."

Actually, this better describes the Cosmic Flux.  I believe it holds that the universe has been expanding and contracting, expanding and contracting, expanding and contracting.  Even with a million such fluxes you would not make a dent in infinite time.

"3. Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence."

Again, I can't argue with that.  But the Kalam Argument is just the beginning.  It demonstrates the need for a cause for the universe and, while it suggests an Prime Mover, it does not tread on identifying that mover (and shouldn't, in my opinion ... it is a solid line of reasoning, not divine revelation).

Rosebud:

"If you go back to our founding fathers you would see they also believed in God."

Yeah, most of them believed in a God.  Some had really odd beliefs that spread like the plague during the post-Renaissance years but most were at least well educated in the great theological traditions of the Early Church Fathers and the Reformers.

"Our nation needs to get back to God. Let's start with the ten commandments."

There are a couple of problems I see with that.  First, what is meant by "back to God"?  You say: "Let's start with the Ten Commandments".  It is interesting to note that more than 80% of Christians cannot recite 6 of the 10 Commandments from memory.  When people start talking about "getting back to the Bible" I get a little nervous because I fear that they haven't put the diligence into understanding what the Bible teaches and, rather than investing the time, they end up making thing up as they go along.

"Our nation is founded upon God."

I suppose it would be more accurate to say that our nation was founded on thoughts and principals that proceeded forth from Christendom.

&dispose:

"Ever heard of "Pascal's Wager"?"

This is interesting to me.  I suppose it sets a person on the right path (away from agnosticism).


Lucius:

"Lets go back to greek times, when we had zues and hates, and all that jazz. Why do you suppose they made those gods up? Because they needed an explanation for the things around them, for there lives, a reason to live. That same reasoning hasnt changed at all today. All the religions that have come to since the greek gods have all been made with for the same reason, and christianity is no exception."

Why is God, necessarily, a creation of man?  If God revealed Himself in history (this is the only way I think He could be objectively known), then perhaps one religion or another has a reliable record of this revelation.  

"The fact that some people today choose not to just shows that they are confident in themselves and can live there lives without fear of death."

This is sort of like Nietzche's position.  I think one must be careful to distinguish between confidence and arrogance.  I think Nietzche was more of the latter than the former.

"But most people are not that strong and need a God or gods to depend on."

This begs several questions.  I am running out of time though and will have to come back to it.

"btw myslinky, the big bang was proven.  But the reason for it is not known"

Not quite.  The Big Bang is a theory (maybe).  There are some interesting inconsistancies with the theory ... What caused the Big Bang?  Why are stars moving in a direction different from that predicted by the theory?  Whoever told you it was proven is not being honest with you.

"Also myslinky, the book of genesis is pretty much as good as a book about the hardy boys if you are talking about beleiving it."

Really?  Why, specifically?

"Human beings made everyone book in the bible up, and the probability of them all being false is much greater then them being true in word."

How about an example?

"And I have to disagree when you say theists are rational people. I think the opposite, people who beleive strongly in God totally shut out other possibilities."

This is sometimes true.  But you are presenting generalities as absolutes.  Have you ever sought out a rational theist?  I can name a couple dozen off of the top of my head.

"If you ponder the question of faith long enough, you may realize its true meaning is not absolute faith like many beleive should be. But sceptible faith is a smarter move on anyones part."

Finally, I think we agree on something.  But there is a difference between the skepticism that constantly asks questions and the skepticism that repeatedly ignores answers.  Cypher's Kalam Argument is a great example of a strong, well thought argument supporting theism.  It alone, I think, bridges the gap from atheism and hard agnosticism to soft agnosticism and eventually theism.


Robin:

"But I have but two points I can go into.
You make it sound as if being christian will give you the secret extra pages in the handbook of life. When in reality it tears a few pages out of your copy. It puts you in blinders and thrusts you focal point upwards then whispers bad things about what you saw before you had them on."

I agree and disagree.  I have personally experienced and been involved with the types of Christian groups you describe.  It more often leads to disallusionment than enlightenment (in my opinion).  But not all Christian traditions are like this.

"How did it ever come about that the Church and Bible set our moral standards?"

That is a rather involved history lesson.  

"The thing I find rather odd is that the bible doesn't say whats right or wrong, it just lets you know what will get you into the "club" and what will get you kicked out."

Actually, the Ten Commandments outline out "right and wrong" in the Judeo-Christian traditions thoroughly:  "You shall have no other gods before me, You shall not worship any graven images, You shall not take the name of the Lord in vain, You shall remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy, You shall honor your father and mother, you shall not kill, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, you shall not covet."

Interesting points, folks.  Gotta go.

Jim


Robin Goodfellow
Junior Member
since 06-29-99
Posts 26


26 posted 05-12-2000 03:39 PM       View Profile for Robin Goodfellow   Email Robin Goodfellow   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robin Goodfellow

Oh! I almost forgot that point. The hypocritical nature of God is another factor that makes him seem foolish to me.
He is constantly setting the rules and and never adhering to them. That's fine, a tyrant is much easier to spot. But it's not the proper image for a god of the people.

One of the Ten commandments is not to covet. But if you go up the list you see that you aren't allowed to worship another god and I quote "for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God" Now who's been coveting our worship? =o)


 "The one-eyed view of our universe says you must not look far afield for problems. Such problems may never arrive. Instead, tend to the wolf within your fences. The packs ranging outside may not even exist" ~ The Azhar Book; Shamra 1:4
jbouder
Member Elite
since 09-18-99
Posts 2641
Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


27 posted 05-12-2000 04:35 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Robin:

Coveting involves the excessive desire to have what is not yours.  If God is the one true God, then isn't all worship rightfully His?  If all worship is rightfully His then doesn't it follow that His jealousy is not covetous?  Just a thought.

Jim
Christopher
Moderator
Member Rara Avis
since 08-02-99
Posts 9130
Purgatorial Incarceration


28 posted 05-12-2000 10:56 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

Since I have to be tactful, I guess I'll be quiet. So here's my response:

........
.....
............!!
Lucius Cade
Member
since 03-23-2000
Posts 239
Saskatchewan


29 posted 05-13-2000 03:09 AM       View Profile for Lucius Cade   Email Lucius Cade   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Lucius Cade

Jboulder I would like to comment on this statement yo made.

"If God is the one true God, then isn't all worship rightfully His?"

Now I point out to you where religion actually does act like a cult in making people beleive in what it teaches no matter how dumb it sounds. You just totally bent the rules just to make your God seem rational but truely he is not. I am not going to go into this further, but if you read over jboulders statement you will see what I am getting at.

 Lucidity is the answer to all problems
jbouder
Member Elite
since 09-18-99
Posts 2641
Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


30 posted 05-13-2000 06:48 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Lucius:

"You just totally bent the rules just to make your God seem rational but truely he is not. I am not going to go into this further, but if you read over jboulders statement you will see what I am getting at."

I agree that God transcends human reason.  Belief in God, however, does not necessitate an escape from reason (see Cypher's "Kalam Argument" as an example).  What rules did I "totally" bend, btw?  I'd really like to know.

Christopher:

Are you feeling okay?  You are concerned about being tactful?  

Later.

Jim

rene
Member
since 04-24-2000
Posts 114


31 posted 05-13-2000 10:01 PM       View Profile for rene   Email rene   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rene

do i know god exists? no. i know money exists. if it was proven tomorrow that god didn't exist i would still be expected in work. if money ceased to exist the world would be trapped in it's own web. (oooooohhhhh get me)
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


32 posted 05-14-2000 04:50 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Hey Jim (or anybody else),

May people seem very interested in this topic but why not start another thread? This one's getting pretty long. If you want to connect the two, just call it Does God exist (part 2).  

Brad
 
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