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taniwha

There is no God

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J. K.

It's interesting that your comment is not based on knowledge that it is how God operates but belief that it is how he operates.

Belief involves knowledge; it is trust and faith that is built upon knowledge. We have evidence which proves to us (Christians) that God exists. You won't accept it as evidence, but that doesn't invalidate its relevance to us.

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Leonardo

Since time is the measure of events as they happen, without the events you wouldn't be able to have time would you?

Without time, there could be no initiation of any events, thus the Big Bang could not occur if time (and, by extension, space) was not already in existence.

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J. K.

Operates via belief is walkers phrase, that's his belief not mine. I don't believe in god.

I know that you don't believe in God. You quoted Mr. Walker, and incorrectly interpreted his phrasing. I was providing the context for you.

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bigjim36

I know that you don't believe in God. You quoted Mr. Walker, and incorrectly interpreted his phrasing. I was providing the context for you.

Explain to me then how I misinterpreted his phrase? He said "god operates via belief". On that we agree? So god uses belief to perform. That's the literal meaning of those words. So where have I gone wrong?

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Paranoid Android

I've seen the opposite 'conversion' happen. So, what is 'conversion'? For me it's just a personal psychological state of mind having no external effect on the universe. 'Belief' is a psychological state of mind. People can convert to some very strange beliefs. I think all 'belief' states of mind are fundamentally the same psychological process.

In the end, it all comes down to one's opinion.

I never said the opposite conversions don't happen, I was just pointing out what I think is a key difference and why they can't therefore be comparable. And I do agree that it is a matter of opinion. But for me, that opinion is not on whether or not God exists. I KNOW God exists. My opinion is a faith proposition that the attributes of God are correctly provided in the Bible. If I didn't believe the Bible is stillaccept the existence of a deity. Edited by Paranoid Android

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J. K.

Explain to me then how I misinterpreted his phrase? He said "god operates via belief". On that we agree? So god uses belief to perform. That's the literal meaning of those words. So where have I gone wrong?

You said:

If god operates via belief how did he manage before he created the universe and everything in it? If no one was around to believe in him how did he exist? Please explain this paradox without saying that "god believed in himself" because if that's the case he certainly doesn't need us to worship him does he?

"Operates via belief" describes a function of the relationship between God and believer. Your statement implies that God is powered by belief; He is not.

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Paranoid Android

I don't see why the age of the converted, assuming they are old enough to comprehend language and concepts sufficiently, necessarily matters on this topic. Your religious belief is largely (I think almost entirely) based on faith and, unlike reason and empiricism, I don't see why a younger person is any more unable to ascertain 'truths' by faith than you are. For all we know they are better able to ascertain religious reality as there minds usually aren't cluttered with the corruptions of 'the world' that most adults have little choice to engage in.

The clearer difference is that people don't typically argue for the belief in Santa based on faith, kids believe it based on reason (usually based on some deception on the part of parents), and end up rejecting it based on reason also. In that sense, the evaluation of Santa's existence is more rational than believing in faith-based propositions like Jesus is our savior, et al. Even kids have criteria by which they would accept that Santa doesn't exist; I can't say the same for most believers I engage with, faith is typically impenetrable.

As noted to Star Mountain Kid, my faith is in the Bible, and over the fifteen years of my life since converting it has not let me down and I therefore consider my faith to be justified. But if I wasn't Christian I'd still accept the reality of God. I've had too much personal experience to say I have faith in God's existence because I know God exists. I can't empirically prove to you that he does? But my views don't require me to prove them to you. That it had been proven to me is sufficient.

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Einsteinium

With respect and awe of Stephen Hawking's intellect - I disagree, there is a God! Not much more to say, really.

Prove it! ;)

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Frank Merton

Prove it! ;)

Well proof of such an assertion is not in the cards. It is based on "faith." This is of course the cop-out of the ages.
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Einsteinium

As noted to Star Mountain Kid, my faith is in the Bible, and over the fifteen years of my life since converting it has not let me down and I therefore consider my faith to be justified. But if I wasn't Christian I'd still accept the reality of God. I've had too much personal experience to say I have faith in God's existence because I know God exists. I can't empirically prove to you that he does? But my views don't require me to prove them to you. That it had been proven to me is sufficient.

And Stephen Hawking knows God doesn't exist. Which one of you is correct?

Answer: you both are. To Hawking God does not exist with just as much certainty as God does exist to you. Belief in God or lack thereof is a belief taken on faith, nothing more, nothing less.

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Almagest

Sigh... Hawking is being misleading here and he knows it. It's to bad.....I grew up reading his stuff and like his work, but he is a scientist not a philosopher. When he started pushing his beliefs and misleading the public in certain things, I lost a lot of respect. Suskind however is a much more honest atheist scientist that's less interested in his ego.

And if he was a philosopher you could move the goalposts further by saying he isn't a theologian. I don't see why a scientists opinions on the matter are less valid than those of any other expert. Hawking has been asked the question a million times and until recently has skirted the issue. I don't see how he has been misleading, do you have any examples?

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Paranoid Android

So tell me which religious conversion is correct and which is not?

I can give you my opinion but that is really beside the point. Probably all conversions are correct. It doesn't matter what the conversion is, rather the point is that it happens. That no one converts to a belief in Santa that makes any comparison incorrect.

Note- in saying that all conversions are correct I'm not saying all religions and beliefs are correct. My previous paragraph was looking at conversion from a societal point of view. People adopt new beliefs, that makes it right on a societal level. Whether they are right on actually what religion explains God correctly is another matter entirely.

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Davros of Skaro

Prove it! ;)

I asked him that but he steadfastly refused.His excuse was that he was not a Prophet.

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Paranoid Android

Prove it! ;)

I can't. And I've never claimed I could so that's that. And I'm comfortable with that :tu:
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Frank Merton

Lack of belief in anything should be the default if one is rational in their approach to the world. We are not entitled to "belief," but at best only to strong opinion.

I don't think (I have a strong opinion) that there is no God or gods. This is based mainly on the weakness of the arguments presented for Him -- I have no need to assume the burden of providing evidence against. Still, there is lots of evidence against -- from logical arguments to an objective look at the uncaring universe to the existence of suffering. Theists have to rationalize out the kazoo to get around these problems with their view -- not a basis for sensible opinion forming.

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Paranoid Android

And Stephen Hawking knows God doesn't exist. Which one of you is correct?

Answer: you both are. To Hawking God does not exist with just as much certainty as God does exist to you. Belief in God or lack thereof is a belief taken on faith, nothing more, nothing less.

No, only one of us can be correct. Unfortunately we will likely never reach a place where everyone will agree, so in the meantime I'll respect the intellect of an individual like Hawking but that intellect doesn't make him more qualified to answer this question. I'm not the dumbest person on the planet either, my intelligence serves me well enough, though I'm nowhere near Hawking on that score.

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Einsteinium

No, only one of us can be correct. Unfortunately we will likely never reach a place where everyone will agree, so in the meantime I'll respect the intellect of an individual like Hawking but that intellect doesn't make him more qualified to answer this question. I'm not the dumbest person on the planet either, my intelligence serves me well enough, though I'm nowhere near Hawking on that score.

God is in the mind, not objectively real, if God were objectively real, then one could prove his existence by observation and measurement. Because this is not possible and never will be possible, God is therefore of the mind only, which in my opinion does not make him any less real to a person (to say so would be to say by extension that feelings and emotions are also not real, obviously the experience of feelings and emotions is very real). Because this is obviously true, the existence of God is dependent on what you believe. If you believe wholeheartedly that God exists, then to you, he does. To you, he is just as real as sadness, or love. But to someone who does not believe in God, he is not real, just as not real as Santa Clause, or the Easter Bunny is to you.

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Paranoid Android

God is in the mind, not objectively real, if God were objectively real, then one could prove his existence by observation and measurement. Because this is not possible and never will be possible, God is therefore of the mind only, which in my opinion does not make him any less real to a person (to say so would be to say by extension that feelings and emotions are also not real, obviously the experience of feelings and emotions is very real). Because this is obviously true, the existence of God is dependent on what you believe. If you believe wholeheartedly that God exists, then to you, he does. To you, he is just as real as sadness, or love. But to someone who does not believe in God, he is not real, just as not real as Santa Clause, or the Easter Bunny is to you.

I'm not disagreeing. Whether God is real to us is relative and depends on our own views and opinions. BUT the point I'm making is that on a universal scale God (or gods) either exist or they don't. One day we may find out (ie, upon death). If God/gods/esses exist in a universal sense then it won't matter whether someone thinks they do or don't, because they would exist and waking up after your death and saying to a deities face "you don't exist" might just be a realty.

But as I said, in our world as it currently stands it depends on each individual. But not everyone can be right on a universal scale.

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bigjim36

You said:

"Operates via belief" describes a function of the relationship between God and believer. Your statement implies that God is powered by belief; He is not.

And as I said that is Mr Walkers phrase not mine, there's no other way to interpret it so again I ask how am I wrong? How are the questions I posed wrong? Mr Walker made that statement as a believer to help argue his case, I disputed it. Now you're arguing with me over it? Talk to mr walker as I believe you two have a major disagreement over how god works.

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Liquid Gardens

I've had too much personal experience to say I have faith in God's existence because I know God exists.

Meanwhile at the opposite end of the spectrum we have science whose methods are constructed in a way to remove personal experience, at least as you are using it here, entirely from the evaluation. Why do you think that is? Obviously science has a far better track record than anything supposedly 'known' via mere 'personal experience'; does that really say nothing about the supposed value or veracity of 'personal experience' that lots of people find so convincing to themselves?

I can't empirically prove to you that he does? But my views don't require me to prove them to you. That it had been proven to me is sufficient.

That's fine PA, you're right, you don't have to prove anything to me, nor do I think that was really what we were talking about, which was your assertion that the age of people who believe in Santa is of some relevance when comparing that to religious belief. I'm not questioning what is sufficient to you to believe something as, with all due respect, I don't see enough consistency in the underlying principles by which you arrive at your beliefs. You've touched on the relevant point in your response to Quaentum: "Whether they are right on actually what religion explains God correctly is another matter entirely." That is the far more relevant matter, at least to me and I'd bet in principle to you on almost all other topics except your religious beliefs. I doubt that you want a cardiologist or dentist who says, "I have enough personal experience to know that this procedure is the most effective treatment, and I feel no need to prove it to you, that it's been proven to me is sufficient".

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J. K.

And as I said that is Mr Walkers phrase not mine, there's no other way to interpret it so again I ask how am I wrong? How are the questions I posed wrong? Mr Walker made that statement as a believer to help argue his case, I disputed it. Now you're arguing with me over it? Talk to mr walker as I believe you two have a major disagreement over how god works.

Mr. Walker and I agree on most points, based on what I have seen. You are wrong when you say "there's no other way to interpret it." There are several possible meanings for "operates via belief". You are limiting yourself to one sole meaning in order to bolster your argument, and I am providing another possible meaning.

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Paranoid Android

Meanwhile at the opposite end of the spectrum we have science whose methods are constructed in a way to remove personal experience, at least as you are using it here, entirely from the evaluation. Why do you think that is? Obviously science has a far better track record than anything supposedly 'known' via mere 'personal experience'; does that really say nothing about the supposed value or veracity of 'personal experience' that lots of people find so convincing to themselves?

I can't just change what I know. Sure there's science and empirical study, but I would be dishonest to myself if I were to say anything except "I know God exists". In essence I'd be lying to myself, and I've said it before but how can I claim to seek truth if I'm lying to myself to find it?

That's fine PA, you're right, you don't have to prove anything to me, nor do I think that was really what we were talking about, which was your assertion that the age of people who believe in Santa is of some relevance when comparing that to religious belief. I'm not questioning what is sufficient to you to believe something as, with all due respect, I don't see enough consistency in the underlying principles by which you arrive at your beliefs. You've touched on the relevant point in your response to Quaentum: "Whether they are right on actually what religion explains God correctly is another matter entirely." That is the far more relevant matter, at least to me and I'd bet in principle to you on almost all other topics except your religious beliefs. I doubt that you want a cardiologist or dentist who says, "I have enough personal experience to know that this procedure is the most effective treatment, and I feel no need to prove it to you, that it's been proven to me is sufficient".

You're right, to a cardiologist or dentist that would not be wanted. My pastor, on the other hand, it would be a comfort hearing that. As I said, I'm comfortable with that.

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bigjim36

Mr. Walker and I agree on most points, based on what I have seen. You are wrong when you say "there's no other way to interpret it." There are several possible meanings for "operates via belief". You are limiting yourself to one sole meaning in order to bolster your argument, and I am providing another possible meaning.

You are not providing me with another meaning you are just saying I'm interpreting it wrong and I'm pulling you up on that. The words of mr walker very clearly only have one meaning. According to the OED, operate = to perform a task or duty, via = by, belief = a thought process or faith. So according to mr walker god performs his tasks by faith. The only other way to get any other meaning out of it is to change those what the words mean and you can't do that. So how did god exist without those to believe in him to perform his task of creating the universe? It's a paradox. He can't exist until he creates someone to believe in him. Please answer my questions and points without ignoring them just because it doesn't suit your argument.

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White Crane Feather

And with all due respect to Mr Hawking, if time didn't exist before the Big Bang, then how could that Big Bang have happened?

I respect his intellect and dedication to science, but even smart people are stupid at least some of the time.

I humbly curtsy to this statement because I don't really know the emoticons for Bowing.

Now hawking is not an idiot, he is using a different definition of "time" than what is understood in common language and he knows it and is purposely misleading people toward his own philosophical beliefs.

Edited by White Crane Feather

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Einsteinium

I can't just change what I know.

The problem with this sentence is that the denial of evidence that is contradictory to what one knows is at the heart of a lot of societal problems.

ISIS fighters would say the exact same thing about their belief in Allah and their devotion to Jihad. They just know that they are right, and will continue to just know and kill and rampage around costing the world lives and billions of dollars.

It is NOT enough to just know and this is while providing innocent comfort to some, causes unimaginable suffering and spreads the cancers of extremism, willful ignorance, and indoctrination across society. Your "I just know" and the extremism version of it are not the same I know, but they are brothers in the same family of thought (or lack thereof).

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