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 30 2013: Salman,
    OK, you assume by default a creator that requires no explanation as to its existence and that is part of his creation ( but which God?)
    The soul,the concept of an immaterial consciousness-'vessel' that somehow retains systematized information and leaves your body to go to some other realm as the body dies seems unintelligible to me. There is no way I can come up with a mechanism for how such an entity could function, and so it would have to be taken on faith as 'magic'. I can't see that ballpark. If I were in a Physics conference and said: "X exists, but don't ask me for evidence"-it would be a short conference. But if ask for evidence for the supernatural i get stuff like: "You need to believe before my evidence convinces you", "You can't understand", "You are spiritually blind", reason don't apply", "why trample on other's hope", "the demon insults God" etc (when ego, hope and identity attach themselves to so-called claims asking for evidence becomes a threat).
    Your assumption of self criticism is too bossy.
    In the other hand I love "Motown" music
    Death? Why people has to die? What is after death? I cannot follow you there Salman
    I'm familiar with Popper, I suggest for you L Krauss Universe from Nothing

    Neither should a ship rely on one small anchor,
    nor should life rest on a single hope.
    - Epictetus

    I'm running late...

    • Apr 30 2013: Hi Carlos, if you'd like to read something about after death (of the body) this may help. The first section is about heaven, the next is about the 'world' we are in now and what happens when our body dies and the last section is about hell. Some people rather go to hell than heaven. Here we also can say One person's junk is another's treasure.

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