TED Conversations

Bernard White


This conversation is closed.

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),

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Apr 16 2013: First of all I would like to say that I will try to address this question on the assumption that the God we are referring to is the one that has created everything, the Universe in its entirety.
    I believe that God was created by man. Since man is capable of asking questions, he is capable of designing answers.
    The God question is Paradox. Such paradox doesn't need to exist. It only does exist because of want and need. Do we need God? A lot do. Do we want God? I dare to answer this as 'yes' the human race wants one. This would ensure the everlasting life that religion promises. Now, how enticing is it when somebody tells you that there is a soul and promises you ever lasting life?? Pretty exciting!! They now have your attention and what precedes is a brainwashing process that has the potential of lasting a life time. This happens because religious zealots demand that you do not question, because questioning would put you in the lap of temptation, and not only would you not have a great afterlife but, you would spend it in eternal inferno. WOW This I call, CONTROL, brain washing. Man has a need and man provides the solution. Now to answer the question. The experiment would have to be on the Human brain, however this is no experiment at all. It is a study well in progress. Little by little we will realize what we truly are. Carl Sagan said it best. We are Star dust. Can this truth not be enough??? I find this amazing, wonderful, poetic, beautiful, truly everlasting. ...It is all God!! Therefore the proof is .... LOOK AROUND.
    • thumb
      Apr 16 2013: So basically your saying your a pantheistic.
      • thumb
        Apr 17 2013: No Bernard, not a pantheist. That would imply that I see the Universe as some sort of divine place. The Universe is a very dangerous place, it constantly tries to kill us. I was merely trying to imply that for those that need a God, they need only to look around, that it can be looked at as God. Theology tells you that we come from God. I am implying that we are of the Universe and if you want to call that God, then, we are part of God, and there is NOTHING ELSE.
      • thumb
        Apr 17 2013: Committing to that kind of certainty is a dangerous move. :) :)

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.