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 17 2013: Here is a definition of God : ' God is the relationship between all the finite points of creation'. An experiment to test for God would be to see if and particular part of the universe is related to any other part, If a relationship is proven. then God exsists. To check this, if any finite parts of the universe or creation can be shown not to have any kind of relationship, then the omni-present, omni-potent God cannot exsist.
    • Apr 18 2013: I like the idea, it's good, it's more than good, actually ! :)
      There is a problem, though ... what are the "all finite points of creation" ?
      The Whole is never complete.
      Let's make it an abstract, thought experiment.
      Take Chaos Theory , Holographic principle , Mandelbrot set , Bohm's interpretation of QM ( with non locality in it , it's important ) add all these quantum ' weird ' stuff, like entanglement , superposition and all the rest of it. And what we'll get as a result may look like :
      " Nothing has independent existence from anything else "
      or mystic metaphor ' the seer is the seen "
      Let's make a leap ..."The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me."
      Iow. it should take place in me.
      I believe it's that simple :)

      Thanks !

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