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 7 2013: No. God is within you. You can only feel him. Do a good deed and you will feel him. He is within each of us. Make yourself free of evil thoughts and intentions. This is VERY difficult to do but believe me, the day you will achieve it, you will see HIM everywhere, in everybody. Dont waste your time searching for him through experiments coz he is within you. Understand?
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      Apr 7 2013: What is "evil"? (Is it going against "God", and if so, how do you know what is "going against God", and how do you know what his "will" his.) Thanks.
      And what basis do you know that the "God" (almighty) is a "he", except for cultural upbringing?
      And Yes, why label (playing Devils's advocate) various positive emotions, such as happiness as "God". For if that is how you choose to define "God" then I can accept that God probably does exist, using your definition of God being happiness. (Hope I have understood properly!)
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      Apr 9 2013: Why is your god a he?

      Are you suggesting these feelings confirm the existence of god without any doubt?

      Couldn't they just be feelings.

      Also seems to me you are suggesting we visualise a god and over time it will seem real. No surprise there. You have just constructed a mental pattern that could be completely unconnected to any real gods.

      You could visualise and converse with a football, or a tree and over time your cognative processes would take over.

      Or you could visualise the devil or demons in people with a similar result.

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