TED Conversations

Henrik Martenzon

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Is the "does God exist?" question really relevant?

I question whether or not we should abandon the question of gods existence in order to move on from unprovable questions.

I have followed The Four Horsemen (Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, Dennet) on their tour to debunk gods existence.
I was born in Sweden with very little exposure to religion and questions of religion were/are mostly consider rare and obviously stupid. Similar to the question if Santa exist or not.

Now I have witnessed experts in the field (however it is possible to be an expert? didn't Jesus have some sort of copyright on this?) debating each other whether or not truth lies in the existence of god. What difference does it make? The tsunami won't change? Human behavior won't change whether
or not we solve this question with our human reasoning skills. It doesn't prove a thing. We need proof.
Its still only a matter of language construction. "How can something come out of nothing" is just as useless. Unless we realize that language puts a constraint on our cognitive abilities. From science we know that the better vocabulary you have the better you can describe something more accurately and you have a more in-depth cognitive ability. Remember that native snow people can distinguish between many "types" of snowflakes which general population refers to as simple snowflakes.

You have the right to believe in anything. You choose if you want to believe in a supreme being, any of the religions on the table or just make up your own idea. What essentially motivates you is primal needs and after that stimulation of your mind (music, sport, philosophy etc).
This way you can choose to believe in god when things are tough but you don't need to prove his existence to others. Thats what fundamentals do. Leave it.

This way everyone can live as they choose and we can move on to relevant questions.

Please don't respond out of emotional issues or contempt as it tends to disrupt constructive arguments.

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    Nov 23 2011: Is the "does God exist?" question really relevant?
    Well, these threads seem to spark the most discussion.
    So my guess is everyone commenting here thinks it is at least somewhat relevant.
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      Nov 23 2011: Well, when you put God in a sentence most people want to sound the their voice. This was expected. The tiring issue is that the majority clearly don't bother to read my opening statements and just post comments, maybe because God is a sensitive issue, maybe because everyone wants to feel important on the topic, I don't know if one reason is superior to another.

      The popularity of this thread has no bearing whether or not the question is relevant. If so, then the topics arisen from mass psychology and conspiracy theorists would be more relevant the more people involved, which is clearly not the case. Deluded people, twisted arguments are common among us when one wants early to believe in a distorted truth. Its a very interesting phenomena however.. somehow people can find the means to pursue belief despite contradictions literally displayed right in from of them. Dan Dennet calls it "Belief in Belief" which is a very natural phenomena in human nature, he says. I can understand that part. Like me, I haven't decided my final belief yet, Im waiting for evidence and I keep an open mind. That is why I consider the question irrelevant for higher level discussions.
  • Nov 23 2011: Christianity (e.g., "I am the Light of the World" - Gospel of John), Hinduism (e.g. "I know that Great Person of the brightness of the sun beyond the darkness.Only by knowing him one goes beyond death. There is no other way to go." - Svetasvatara Upanishad) , Buddhism (Amitabha Buddha, Buddha of Infinite Light), maintain that "God IS Light".

    Does light exist? Does consciousness exist? Can anyone or anything exist or be conscious without light? The God question being debated on the Internet is largely exclusionary of the theology of "God as Light", yet this definition of God represents the very foundation of major religions. The theistic/atheistic debate seems rather intent on disproving various religions and their sources from a pseudo intellectualism that excludes modern cosmology and contemporary physics.

    The writings of theistic philosophers of the ancient religions contemplate human existence in context of conscious and super conscious experience and observation.

    Despite all attempts, I have found only theistic sources defining God as Light. There are no atheistic (ancient or otherwise) source offering a treatise on light in context of consciousness.

    Further, the (Hindu) contemplative philosophers of these religions elaborate on super consciousness (e.g. Sat Chit Ananda) and merging waking, dream, and deep sleep state consciousnesses into a one concurrent experience via meditation on God (the Light, or His Energy (e.g. OM/AUM/AMEN). In Judeo-Christian the aforesaid transcendental states are represented allegorically. (e.g. Canticles 5:2. I sleep, but my heart waketh)

    It is disingenuous for one to enter a debate about super consciousness, light and consciousness, and the possibility of a Lexis/Lexicon/Logos, i.e, a "DNA of the Universe" coded in "the Big Bang, i.e. Light) with mundane 'flying spaghetti monster' arguments. You as a question, which by definition, is beyond the limited speculative reasoning by the ordinary human mind.
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    Oct 25 2011: I should have stated my reasoning more clearly I now notice. Some of you misinterpret the question as to wether or not God exist, which is of course ironic in a very Douglas Adamsísh way.

    I question if the question itself is relevant and worth to be discussed among scholars, expert etc. instead of just letting believers believe in belief and and all others live as they chose.

    I say it again, NOT ABOUT "GODS" ALLEGED EXISTENCE, its about asking for answers to unprovable Catch 22 posed questions,
  • Oct 23 2011: In science we formulate hypothesis and then test it.

    In religion they make an assumption that is then tested.
    The problem is that the assumption is impossible to disprove completely.

    I think in many regards its the same as the 'innocent until proven guilty' and the 'guilty until proven innocent' mentality.
    It all depends upon where you want to stand.

    honestly, I don't care where someone is standing as long as they are still able to think rationally and take in rational arguments.
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      Oct 23 2011: Aren't you trying to apply the scientific method to faith when you go looking for 'proof', thereby failing from the outset?
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        Oct 24 2011: Science was born out of a desire to "know the mind of God." If this mode of human inquiry fails, (and so far it has) then I don't hold out hope for others.
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          Oct 24 2011: Thats how they stated the origin of the word Science. Thats like saying Language was born out of the desire to know the meaning of communication.
          The first fire? Is that possibly an accident or an idea derived from watching lightning strike in nature, discovering that heat seems to be play a big part in this phenomenon. Lets go explore.
          Surely they tried to command or ask for it again, using body language and growls but after failing to many times Im having a hard time to imagine them not trying every method they can think of to increase their chances. Id say science was involved.
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    Oct 23 2011: It's irrelevant.
    Believers just believe it so question is irrelevant.
    No proof of god is there for non believer so again the question is irrelevant.
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      Oct 23 2011: I'm with you.

      There have been countless thousands of intellectual hours squandered on this topic.

      What might have been achieved with that brainpower?
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      Oct 23 2011: I don't think questions are ever irrelevant. Questioning is always good, it makes people think more critically about their own beliefs, or at least it should.
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        Oct 23 2011: Very true. On the top of my head I can think of a few people who benefited from discussions on religion, including myself. It's too easy for those who've had the choice made for them to discard the whole exercise as a waste of time. Ones experience of countless fruitless exchanges is not everyone's experience.
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          Oct 24 2011: I believe the unity, compassion and puzzle solving within that group of yours which was being shared is of overwhelming value to you, I respect that. I have felt similar things, I can't for sure conclude to what extent its identical but Im pretty sure both "experiences" were built on the same underlying biological mechanism for what drives social behavior and feeling of exchange and unity. Neuroscience is fascinating in this area!
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        Oct 24 2011: I also consider questioning is good !!! As that's the sysmptom of curiosity, and we have so many killers of curiosity around we lose curiosity in process of growing up, which in turn is killer of creativity and innovation.....

        However as I came across following story which I shared in some other thread here , I am bit careful about questioning. It's a old story of villages of my country

        Once one very shy guy got married. He was very shy to talk anyone. Well after marriage as custom he was going to his in law place, where again as part of custom he was supposed to had dinner with his father in law every night.The mother of the groom was a bit nervous that her son could be percieved as dumb or not smart enough as he does not talk being shy which a mother would never can accept her kid to be a dumb.

        Mother repeatedly told her son before the travel that he should talk at dinner table with his father in law. The guy asked his mother how can I start a talk, what to talk? Mother thought a bit then gave a tip "ok you find any subject to talk then start by asking question".

        At dinner table , the shy guy in front of his father in law got more nervous. Remembering his mother's repeated advice .......so finally he asked his father in law his first question....."Are you married?"

        Note : In our culture still today no one can have a socially accepte kid without marriage for whom they can arrange marraige in a socially accepted way
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          Oct 24 2011: I love the story, its funny! and yes too many has claimed its good to ask questions. It is generally, but its good to eat too. No too much. Ask relevant questions (by relevant I mean the Q aims to provide a useful answer to context).
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        Oct 24 2011: I agree about questioning but logically there is more or less relevant questions. wether or not you wanna come up with them is yours freely to decide.
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          Oct 25 2011: Hi Henrik
          Got your point about relevance of question.
          I feel open ended questions are better than close ended question where answer is limited to "YES" or "NO"
          If you look in to both questions of your main premise you will find answer can be YES or NO.
          With first question Believer will say YES, Non Believer "NO".
          Answer to 2nd part of questions both party can say "NO".

          Context of useful answer is limited.....even than answers are there with much context you will find both are seeking answer from on different basis i.e. believer will seek answer based on belief which can be even blind , while non believer will based on lgic, reasoning, proof etc....so end result will be something as described by Gisela above .....
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    Oct 23 2011: Removing the concept of god or ultimate concern about the mysteries of life significantly limits the capacity for compassion and understanding. Believing oneself is the ultimate purpose creates domination and control as those who fail to see their place in the cosmos tend to lose perspective.

    There are two paths in the yellow wood - one leads to domination and control and the other to reverence of the webs of creation. You decide which one to leave your kids and grand kids.
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      Oct 24 2011: Both believers and non b´s have lost their perspective of their place in the cosmos many times. Psychology and psychopathology can explain this in depth. No need for different belief system to be a causality.

      Would you consider Sweden to be a compassionate place? Would you reckon that country to embrace understanding?

      A wise man once said: I divide people into two categories; those who divide people into two categories and those who do not.
  • Oct 23 2011: Only to believers.
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      Oct 24 2011: But they never ask it, other than as a linguistic tool to convince others of what they already seems to know its true. Therefor I argue its not even relevant to believers, coz they don't expect to explore the answer.
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    Nov 23 2011: It is interesting however that often it is the people who have the most negative things to say about the idea of a god that seem to want to chime in the most. Not saying its bad just interesting.
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      Nov 23 2011: If religion would have been a minority and no cases of child abuse and no awkwardly absurd statements from scriptures would been made, I doubt any intellectual person would devote serious time debunking it.
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    Nov 21 2011: I would however agree to you last question, which is stated with underlying uncertainty. Congrats.
  • Nov 21 2011: Of course the question "Does God exist?" is completely irrelevant, because we all know very well that God exists, "What is God?" however, continues to be a relevant question :-)
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      Nov 21 2011: That is not a rare magnitude of arrogance from a religious person. When you meet God, ask him why Fritzels family was spared from his love. Consider looking into the eyes of his daughter, raped and beaten every day for over 10 years, praying for help.
  • Nov 4 2011: Yes, I believe so. it's simply a matter of exchanging faiths. Believing that life and its excruciating complexity happened by accident and that anything turned completely into everything else there ever has been - a leap of faith. Or a Godlike intelligence set something here into motion - also a faith. More like what is god? I am saying that science should remain open to possibilities. God may be so beyond what we can even comprehend now it may be foolish to discard what we think is like Santa. Look at alchemy once thought foolish now is fact. One element can change to another.
  • Oct 26 2011: The question is relevant. "Does God exist ?" is as relevant as many other questions. Do you believe that infinite symbol exists ? You have never seen it and nor does anyone. Where does it come from ? 1/0=non describable ? But we use infinity symbol to express and help us understand mathematical operations. The same for imaginary number.

    The point is, when we cannot prove the real origin, we try to probe what was caused by it. No one can see electron, nor can explain the duality of electron as wave and particle well enough, but people at least try to explain it as simple as possible.
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      Oct 27 2011: Then you might be getting me wrong here. Im all for teasing the hypothesis that god exists. I curious, since its a lot of questions that will stumble us if he exists. The question seems however irrelevant since its not useful to for anyone to ask it. You may do it rhetorically. When believers ask it they have already made up their mind, which is not very useful if you search for the closest to objective truth.
      Electrons can be predicted in various ways and we invest millions in testing hypothesis in the area. Again, design a study that will show some predictions of his holyness
  • Bob S

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    Oct 25 2011: Yes, arguing about religion is somewhat futile. I wouldn't do it if the consequences weren't so high. Christianity can be used as a negative force within society, and that's what drives me to try to keep it within bounds.
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    Oct 25 2011: Now, back to our originally scheduled programming....is the, 'does God really exist?' question really relevant? ;)


    For me, the experience of feeling preached to, or being judged/condemned for one's deeply held values, are equally uncomfortable for those on the listener end, and doesn't lead to understanding. It's always a difficult, and challenging place because both sides carry great passion. Would it be ok if we returned to the topic at hand?
  • Oct 25 2011: What about anomalies in the Bible? The Epistle to the Hebrews is written in a higher quality of Greek than all of the other books of the New Testament. Now if there is any kind of divine influence in the writing of the Bible can that be accidental? Is there anything else weird about Hebrews? There is this dude that doesn't have a mother, Melchizedek. How could that be possible?

    If God is all knowing and created the universe then wouldn't he have to know about Relativity? Hebrews also talks about Enoch and says he did not die and was TRANSLATED. How do you translate a human being? Enoch and Melchizedek were first mentioned in Genesis so whoever wrote Hebrews should not have known them or the writer of Genesis. Genesis says that Enoch was "no longer here for God took him and Enoch walked with God". How fast does God walk?

    So suppose God snatched Enoch and took him on a little trip relativistically speaking and drops him down a few centuries later and Enoch tells everyone his name is Melchizedek. That would mean he arrived in the world of that time as an adult without being born. NO MOTHER! No ancestors and genealogy.

    So how would anybody know about relativity to describe the results whenever Hebrews was written?

    What if God is just more sneaky than most religious leaders think. LOL
  • Oct 25 2011: Faith is beleiving in something that cannot be seen, that is God. Everyone has the right to choose if/what they beleive in. Personally I don't need someone to prove to me that God exists, I already beleive he does. Does someone who disbeleives need it proven to them??? I think not.
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    Oct 25 2011: Henrick. I don't have a clue as to what you just said. Can you try again please.
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    Oct 24 2011: Well sure if you have those premises its looks pretty good. Did I have those?

    Let A = "Asking the question Does god exist?"
    Let T = "Finding out wether or not the answer is useful as a believer or as a non-believer"
    Let G = "Living and resting in peace while searching and finding a good way to use the intervening time in between."
  • Oct 24 2011: Relevance is one of those philosophical words I do not use a lot, so I will use the Wiki definition: "Something (A) is relevant to a task (T) if it increases the likelihood of accomplishing the goal (G), which is implied by T."

    Let A= Is the question "Does God exist?" really relevant.
    Let T="Keeping the faith that God exists" or "Believing that God exists"
    Let G="Getting/feeling closer to god through faith", "Getting to heaven when you die by showing faith in god", or something similar

    I would argue it can be mashed into the given definition, although because of the undefinedness of the concept of faith relative to god, it lacks specificity.

    On of the tidy little logical conveniences of faith.
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    Oct 24 2011: The question is only relevant if He actually exists. So I guess until one has made up their mind one way or the other, then the question is relevant. Then there is the danger that the no camp may have it wrong, so again it is relevant.

    Ultimately the problem lies with eternity. This life pales into insignificance if we are immortal; which many faiths teach. Are they all wrong ? Science deals with the material; it discounts the supernatural. The main reason is that they have decided that everything which is non-material is not science. So we have circular reasoning, or a self-fulfilling prophecy if you like.

    When we look at the world around us; most people instinctively know that there is something weird going on. The complexity is overwhelming. Individuals can be kind & gentle, but as a race we seem to delight in mayhem. We are on a big ball hurtling through space at thousands of miles per hour. A mobile nuclear explosion is flying along beside us, but it seems strangely benevolent. There is definitely something weird going on.

    I believe in God, I would even admit to being a fundamentalist. What option do you have when your best buddy created the universe? I am happy to talk about it & answer questions, but most folks don't like the answers. Why ? Beats me; there is definitely something weird going on.

    :-)
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    Oct 23 2011: It isn't until answering this question with the affirmative makes you think that you have access to all sorts of privileges and can run other people's lives for them, even if they don't ask for it.

    A quick survey of humanity makes me conclude that the answer is yes, it is relevant. I really wish it wasn't. I wish we could all live by the 'live and let live' that everyone prones in a civilized conversation, but it's just so at odds with the ambitions of most of the non-liberal religious.

    Living in Sweden, this reaction makes sense. You live in a society where secularism keeps all religions in check. The landscape is much different in a place like the US.
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      Oct 24 2011: //
      Less than 5 minutes ago: A relevant question is one who aims to provide a useful answer. Since the existence of god can't be proved nor disproved, and it doesn't affect a believers outcome (since he already knows it to be true) and doesn't affect a non believers outcome (since he doesn't recognize this human claimed supreme being to exist).
      //
      I don't mind living with religious people, I don't give a shit as long as we agree on how to treat each other properly, which seems to be innate and heavenly burdened with different levels of mental illnesses among our vast population of 7 billion people. In britain its estimated to be 1 psychopath in every 200 people. Thats enough to create chaos and madness. Imagine all the levels of illnesses in between. No wonder our world has suffered evil leadership. Again, nobody has evidence of a peaceful purpose on earth. Just different forms of violence for survival.
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    Oct 23 2011: The question "does God exist?", is futile without explanation of what that word stands for.
    As I ask any believer, "who is God?", they don't answer.
    So no one knows and those that do know don't talk about it.

    As Nietzsche said: :"God is dead.". He meant: to create life one has to precede life.
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      Oct 24 2011: Franz....I cannot answer the question..Who is God ? The God I believe in cannot be referred to as a who. God is not a being. God is the ground of being.
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        Oct 24 2011: Helen, let me give my answer on that question: "Who is God?", that is not 'a being' but being itself.

        If before creation there was nothing but a creating force then that what was created must have been created out of that force what I will call self.

        If you choose to call that primordial force God than this can be found in its creation because outside it there isn't anything.

        If this is so than it is in all living and not living beings and in all presence whether it is detectible or undetectible.

        If that initiator of creation created from itself than every self is that one self, that all living being are aware of or at least react from.

        If human beings feel themselves separated as a undivided unity within a world that appears to be outside than this is because they identify themselves each with the characteristics of their body and all distinctive impressions on it.

        If this has any logic than the word God can be erased with the true understanding of ourselves as to be each a unique expression of the one and only self that we are and all is.

        To erase the word God we erase at the same time all uncountable misconceptions and childish ideas that different people associate with it.
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          Oct 24 2011: I will have more to say but I have to get my ducks in a row. (:>)
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          Oct 25 2011: You sure do have a lot of stretches there....bunches of ifs, etc. ....Time,......... .that is our invention to make sense of progression as we know it in our environment.God has nothing to do with time. O = God. What do we know about not beginning and not ending. I cannot say that I believe God created matter. I am a panentheist.I see myself as a spark off the Divine Flame, as is everything else. Who says that our universe was the first and that there are not many many more. I do have a problem with ideas that propose to know our cosmogeny as much as I do with people who claim to be very sure that God does not exist. Some ducks are still missing (:>)
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        Oct 25 2011: Helen,

        Can you talk more about the concept God is the ground of being? How can you describe that to another human being?

        Paul Tillich once said, God is one's ultimate concern. Thus for many God is money or the acquisition of it. His definition attempts to include human consciousness and intent into the definition which I believe is very relevant.

        What do you think?
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          Oct 25 2011: You're not asking me but I've read your comment 3 times over and can't make anything reasonable out of it. Maybe my English is insufficient to understand.

          You say:"Thus for many God is money or the acquisition of it.", is this your conclusion or something that Paul has stated?

          If it is your conclusion it seems to me that you can't understand what the man has said or it is all totally out of context and I can't derive anything from it.
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          Oct 25 2011: From my point of view, man is as Timothy said "a worshiping animal. Some people worship Love, Others worship money and possessions or status, power to control others, ad nauseam.
          God is ineffable.We cannot describe God.
          That is Timothy O'Leary
          There is a good book by the eminent Professor, Erich Fromm. Fromm is not a theist , and the name of the book that deals with this is "To Have Or To Be"
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          Oct 26 2011: I see, thank you Craig.
          Our development is transcendental.
          It often starts out with basics to see that it only was a mean for something else.
          Where you focus is where you are and what you value is what you become.
          One step after another.
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        Oct 25 2011: Helen you use another set of words to express the same thoughts.

        The point is with the question of Henrik: can we be better off without the word God in understanding ourselves.
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          Oct 25 2011: Frans,
          The statement I made is
          Paul Tillich once said, God is one's ultimate concern. Thus for many God is money or the acquisition of it.
          Extrapolate from ones ultimate concern. Thus God is Money
      • Nov 18 2011: I read/hear this often, but what does this mean: "God is the ground of [all] being?"
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      Oct 24 2011: Hi Frans
      {As I ask any believer, "who is God?", they don't answer.
      So no one knows and those that do know don't talk about it.}

      God is the creator of the universe!
      Simple really!

      :-)
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        Oct 24 2011: Peter, how simple are answers that give no answer.
        If I asked you:"Who is Jim?", you could have answered: "That's the smith on the corner."
        Then I know the bussiness of Jim and his location, but what do I know about Jim?

        About God, you only named its bussiness but that's long done to your view. Is God sleeping now?
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          Oct 25 2011: Hi Frans

          There are lots of Jim Smiths, there is only one creator of the universe. He came & introduced himself as Jesus. Proved who he was by his actions. Returned to reign from Heaven, where he is preparing places for his people. His spirit lives within his people meantime.
          You don't understand that, do you ?


          1Cr 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
          1Cr 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

          :-)
        • Nov 18 2011: @ PeterLlaw:

          Why would an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent god need to sacrifice himself to himself in order to save us from eternal punishment?

          I've asked this question to many over the last 40 years, and I still await a reasonable answer.
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        Oct 25 2011: Peter,
        if you believe that foolishness is the summit of your understanding why do you partake with any discussion?
        And another thing, from what do you need to be saved?

        What you can read in 1Cr 1, is total confusion. Like the Arabian spring today then it was a revolt from the low and oppressed majority against the Roman occupation and their collaborators that were wealthy and mighty.
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          Oct 25 2011: Now, back to our originally scheduled programming....Is the, 'does God really exist?' question really relevant? ;)

          For me, feeling preached to or being judged/condemned for one's deeply held values, can be uncomfortable for the person listening, and limits understanding. It's a difficult place because both sides contain a genuine and deep passion. Would it be ok if we returned to the topic at hand?
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          Oct 25 2011: Frans
          "if you believe that foolishness is the summit of your understanding why do you partake with any discussion?"
          It is not foolishness to me. At one time it was, but I changed my mind, so it's worth discussing.

          "And another thing, from what do you need to be saved?"
          Death!


          Hi Linda
          Sorry if you think we are off-topic. I would say the question is relevant, otherwise why are we here discussing it ? What would you like to discuss?

          :-)
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          Oct 26 2011: I feared you might be starting down a road Henrik asked us not to travel. And that's all right. Conversations are dynamic :) That said, I thought the question he posed was a good one. I find wisdom in the question - why do we bother, or why is it relevant? The argument is rarely constructive or conclusive, unless there is a genuine curiosity about the other’s point of view. I often wonder why atheists sometimes feel the need to judge or ridicule those of faith, or why those of faith feel the need to convince others, when they intuitively know pressure creates resistance if a person is not receptive.

          Don’t both of these behaviors cause division, and sometimes, hate?

          My limited understanding has shown me that people of faith have had an experience, or spiritual awakening, shaping their beliefs. One who has not had this experience can't possibly understand it, and those that have, simply know. On the other hand, if one bases their decisions only on verifiable evidence, it’s a dead end argument. I like learning from both. My logical and reasonable friends stretch me with food for thought, and my friends of faith remind me to never abandon the mystery.:)
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          Oct 26 2011: Hi Linda,

          "if one bases their decisions only on verifiable evidence, it’s a dead end argument."

          I appreciate your open handedness & largely agree with you. However my own experience of finding God (so to speak) was initiated by weighing up the 'verifiable evidence' on either side. That is the attraction of this site for me. Many here are into verifiable evidence, just as I am, but make the assumption that faith & facts have no common ground. I doubt I could have faith without evidence.

          To get a flavour; all you have to do is google 'creation evolution debate' on video & browse a couple. It's always interesting. btw I could never hate an atheist.

          :-)
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        Oct 26 2011: Peter,
        Life and death are to sides of the same coin.
        Without death life wouldn't be possible but if you'd like to talk about your soul you maybe better start your own thread.
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      Oct 25 2011: Franz..........Sorry, ,,,,,,,I overstepped the boundaries of this conversation. Goodbye
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        Oct 26 2011: @Helen,
        It's a pity you sign off Helen. I liked your contribution.

        @Linda

        I can't reply directly for technical reasons.

        You’re right in that I was tempted to react as Henrik thought to be futile and unproductive.

        I like your way of learning and it resonates with me because I’m trying to reconcile heart and mind.
        My attempt is it to do the unthinkable and make the mystical knowing visible for the reasoning mind.
        Yet I like your pictures, you can catch the light in the most expressive way.
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    Oct 23 2011: What would you call a relevant question?

    Why am I here? No answer. How did the universe come into being? No answer. Or do you accept the scientific theories on blind faith?

    Man was born to wonder why and die.
    Machine was made and specified to go,
    And morally unfettered, bettered, until
    Who knows who'll run the show.

    None of the important questions have an easy or obvious answer and the world is a better place for it.
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      Oct 24 2011: A relevant question is one who aims to provide a useful answer. Since the existence of god can't be proved nor disproved, and it doesn't affect a believers outcome (since he already knows it to be true) and doesn't affect a non believers outcome (since he doesn't recognize this human claimed supreme being to exist).
      Why am I here? = provides aim for the answer of purpose. Anyone has use of this. B or Non B. I currently think my genes want to be passed on and use me as method. In the mean time I shall try to help them since it brings me joy. When I am joyful so is my surrounding and we as a group take pleasure from the earthly temptations we can find.

      I accept big bang as a theory, not an absolute. Its probably hard mathematical work behind it and I appreciate that kind of effort to help us explain things. When math make sense, theres a lot of fun answers to derive, usually. Sometimes the math is correct and nobody understands it, thats where its getting interesting, do we have a mathematical catch 22? Is this our limited cognitive capacity? Dunno. But its fun.
      The origin should be explored as a fairytale that might come true and be validated, predicted and re-runned. Maybe thats possible. Lets continue and see if they have got it right; aren't you curious if big bang really is the origin? I would love to pursue the god phenomenon if I could only see any evidence in any discipline that would provide evidence.

      You mean the world is a better place because of it? Well, why do you say important questions doesn't have easy and/or obvious answer? Who would you know? The fact that you haven't understood it doesn't mean its complicated. (please don't read this as a statement of alleged stupidity). Im simply pointing out that answers require proper, logical questions. Why Im I here might not be very logical after 100 more years of neuroscience research or proven string theory. Einstein said " if you can't explain it simple, you don't understand it."
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        Oct 24 2011: It still sounds like the same argument in different clothes to me.

        I don't know why some humans need empirical data to believe something. As I understand it, "religion", "philosophy" and "science" all point to existence as illusion.

        The day humanity has an answer for everything will be a poor day for all, is what I mean.

        I like not knowing. I prefer a mysterious universe over a mechanical one.

        I don't subscribe fully to religion or science. Both are lacking. I believe in people (also lacking but glorious in our folly).

        My view is like John Lennon's "whatever gets you through the night, it's alright".

        Also different strokes for different folks.

        To answer the original question - of course it's relevant but probably not to everyone.
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          Oct 24 2011: I respect your view of the world. Its an intriguing one since Im your antagonist, I breed on answers. Just as a hobby or lifestyle. Not as compulsion to eliminate lives. You are welcome to make a counter argument preferably to what you consider my argument/s "sounds" like. It kinda ends the conversation since I don't have a clue what you actually mean.
          Thats a weird statement? Empirical data to believe, as a Need? Believe whatever you want. Do you find food mysteriously satisfying your hunger as predicted at every need? So you eat when your hungry. Do you believe in food? We want to predict things, hence empirical data with scientific measures. Its a tool. Not a believe.

          I think mechanical objects are very mysterious:) We can build so much weird and complicated shit, and still were stuck on this existence matter - thats mysterious too mee=)

          My world view is not static and completed- I love to wake up and have the feeling of something is about to be discovered today. Thats joy.
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        Oct 25 2011: The question is relevant because there are many views of the universe.

        My personal view is that it's all one and the same.

        I prefer not to think in terms of cause and effect in the same way that I don't believe in miracles. And also that I believe in both, and more. All at the same time.

        I don't hold it against you that you don't know what I mean because most of the time, I don't either.

        I suppose what I'm really getting at is why the necessity for people to have one, universal theory when they all make sense to me.
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    Oct 23 2011: I understand your point but here's the problem with trying to take belief of God out of the equation, it changes how you view the world. It influences every single thing we talk about from how we view human behavior to how we look at the natural world. I'm not on here to prove God, as you say, it can't be done, and neither can He be disproved. The problem lies in when people with opposing world views start to have a discussion. Inevitably there is conflict as the fundamental ideas of how the world works start to clash. I try to keep the argument to provable ideas until I realize we've hit a 'world view' issue. Then I decline to continue the discussion, since I know it will thereafter be fruitless. Happens all the time in my house since I married a Humanist. ^_^

    The other issue that comes up is when trying to talk some one figures out that one of the participants believes in God and makes a disparaging remark impugning that persons ability to think rationally and there you go, religious discussion ensues. It's going to come up no matter what we do, the answer is to be respectful and kind to people and not insulting and derogatory.

    Bottom line, you can't leave God at the door, He comes with us no matter where we go.
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      Oct 24 2011: Well believers ability to think rationally in terms of language is well established to be of high frequency. One of my most logical friends is a believer and it runs in the family. He only states that he believes in a god and afterlife. Nothing more. He never states it as a fact, just belief. And he is really good at math. Now usually those two subjects contradict each other, but he remains very clear in his thinking in most subjects. This infer that its possible to be leveling the amount of rationale in accordance to belief.

      By the way my point of the main question is merely of the usefulness of what the question implies. A theory that can't be proved or disproved is useless.
  • Oct 23 2011: interesting questions. I believe that god exists because when we look everywhere,we seek evidences of god's existing
    thanks to god ,many things which are been used by us has been created by god and other occurances such as animal ,plants ,people... have been occured and we mustn't forget one thing that everythings in our around universe prove existing of god
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      Oct 24 2011: No it doesn't. To no surprise does your premises not follow any red trail. Go ahead and look for god, be sure to come back with a theory to disprove law of probability and predicted outcomes. Enjoy the journey and watch out for the laws of physics, they can be tricky!