TED Conversations

Bernard White


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Can we ever design an experiment which can determine whether God exists?

I just find it hard to believe when people say : "There is no evidence for God". Yes there isn't because we can't design an experiment to prove or disprove this hypothesis.
However a very important thing, Which I devoted a whole TED Debate to (Here is the link to that debate : http://www.ted.com/conversations/17001/can_god_be_defined_or_in_othe.html), is that to work out whether the hypothesis is true we must first define what we mean by "God" (and "existence" for that matter), which I have found doesn't prove to be very successful. Otherwise we can't advance into going to making experiment for this hypothesis.
In science (I believe) theories can only be disproved and never proved to be "certain", so in this sense everybody has to be an agnostic about God, unless some genius in the TED community can come up with an experiment.
While another problem remains that we base all data we have on experimental data we have gained from the past, and expect the future to be consistent.

So in this sense I am a strong agnostic / Ignostic because God hasn't really been defined (and only has subjective definitions) and that I can't genially think of an experiment to determine whether God exist of not. So yes in the literal sense there is no "evidence" but that's only because no experiment have been done.
(Also there remains the slight problem with the fact that there is a degree of uncertainness in everything, and that no matter how logical and rational a hypothesis may seem it can always be proved false, or untrue)

My final point would be I see no correlation with an absence of evidence, and an evidence of absence! (This is very important)

And of-course, I apologize for repeating myself (if I have done so!) and my awful spelling and grammar.
Just so I say now, so I get no confusion, this is just an honest enquiry as to whether it can be done! (Not trying to reduce "God" in any way!)


Closing Statement from Bernard White

I'm slightly worreid I won't do a good job of this summary but here I go :

I must first say this :
I implore everybody to look at my "new" God debate :
What does the theological implications do the "Psychology" and "Neuroscience" (and possibly biology) of religion/ "God(s)" have?
Link : http://www.ted.com/conversations/18226/what_does_the_theological_impl.html

This has been a wonderful debate with lots of interesting idea's. However I view, with the majority consensus, (and please correct me if I have got this wrong) that there isn't a experiment which can (dis)prove the existence of "God(s)".
I would just like to congratulate everybody for their amazing contributions to the conversation. It has given me a lot to ponder.
Kind regards (to all),

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    Apr 2 2013: Hi Bernard,
    try this experiment.
    Stand in front of the mirror. What do you see ? Technically speaking you see 300 TRILLION cells; each one subtly different, each one much more complex than the Space Shuttle, and all of them working in partnership to keep project Bernard on schedule. None of them is older than 10yrs or so, they replace themselves continually to keep you healthy.
    Now ask yourself. How did this happen ?
    Next go out to your driveway & sit in your car.
    Now ask yourself. How did this happen ?
    If you leave your car in the drive for a million years, do you think it will become a Space Shuttle?
    Some will say; but Bernard is alive, the car is not. Press the starter; the car is alive, it consumes fuel, & does work. The most simple form of life.

    This is so obvious to me. Our bodies are nothing more or less than a veeeeeery complex machine. They have motors, pulleys, switches, cables, transport systems etc, just like your car. You know how your car came to be; remove the preconceptions & think hard.

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      Apr 2 2013: There is an odd dilemma though which "can" arise.
      If solipsism is "true" then the thing you see in the mirror is not "you" so to speak, because the external world is not real.
      (Just a mind-blowing thought) I am personally and agnostic about Solipsism, but through process of elimination (possibilities) I view it is far more probable that the external world exists. (And that we should act as if the external world exists).
      Sorry for this, got a little bit side-tracked didn't I?

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