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 25 2013: To continue with God's problems, and a possible solution of them, Let's remember that basic elements of the Universe, like electricity, are not created by motors and generators, but merely reside there temporarily. And when the motor wears out, the electricity does not "die" or even change quantity, merely flows back into the "Ground". So then with "Life" consciousness. God does not need to worry about dying. As for the Incarnated "Individual " he or she may think "death "is occurring, but that is just another high class constructed illusion, as Life was. So the bottom line is that all conscious beings together are "God", there is no more real separation than there is between the Indian Ocean, and the Atlantic, but it is carefully arranged to SEEM that way, otherwise, evolution would not work. By the way, I understand that the original meaning of the Hindu greeting of a "prayerful" stance was at least originally, a mutual recognition of this Divinity in everyone. If you follow out the conclusions from this scheme, you will see that it neatly answers the "incomprehensible-to-humans" puzzles that Christianity , and Agnosticism , provides. At the present time, we cannot say what "electricity " IS, or what "consciousness" is, either,because they are TOO BASIC as "Primitive Terms", but that doesn't mean science cannot proceed.

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