Compare opinions of world leading experts and influencers.

Does God exist?

God is the central being in Abrahamic religions, who is the creator of the universe and the ultimate arbiter of human affairs. Many philosophers have also used the word in a more abstract way, yet still in way that shares and strives to capture a sense of ultimate profundity. Atheists believe that God does not exist, for such reasons as the degree of suffering in the world, or because God is superfluous to a naturalistic universe or because the very concept of God lacks determinate meaning.

Implications to Other Questions

Experts and Influencers

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Experts In Christianity

The Catholic Church    Largest Christian Church
The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is created immediately by God
01 Jan 1992    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Is God just?
Does life have a meaning?
Do we have an immaterial soul?
Can science prove or disprove the existence of God?

John Clayton    Christian Teacher
In Genesis, you are reading a description analogous to Flatland. The concept is that, a God, who is in a higher dimension than are we, a God who has the same kind of relationship to us which the sphere had to Flatland, that, this kind of being touched our little "Flatland" so to speak, and in violation of all of our laws of science created matter out of nothing. God is so superior to us, he exists in such a higher dimension than do we that what is natural and ordinary to him is miraculous to us.
01 Jan 1990    Source

Experts In Philosophy

Ludwig Wittgenstein    Iconic Philosopher of 20th Century
To pray is to think about the meaning of life. ... To believe in God means to see that the facts of the world are not the end of the matter. To believe in God means to see that life has a meaning.
01 Jan 1916    Source

Experts In Science

Kenneth Miller    Biology Professor, Christian
Miller proposes that God set the world in motion and nature is evolving just as planned. "We cannot think of God as a part of nature. God is the reason for nature," he explained.
29 Feb 2008    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Can science prove or disprove the existence of God?

Experts In Law

Barack Obama    United States President
[My baptism] came about as a choice and not an epiphany; the questions I had did not magically disappear. But kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt God's spirit beckoning me. I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth.
16 Oct 2006    Source

Experts In Entertainment

Bill Maher    Political T.V. Host, Comedian
Religion to me is a bureaucracy between man and God that I don't need. But I'm not an atheist, no.
16 Feb 2007    Source

Experts In Politics

Kevin Rudd    Australian Prime Minister, 2007-2010
You can't simply have, in my own judgment, creation simply being a random event because it is so inherently ordered, and the fact that the natural environment is being ordered where it can properly coexist over time. ... If you were simply reducing that to mathematically probabilities I've got to say it probably wouldn't have happened. ... So I think there is an intelligent mind at work.
29 Aug 2008    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Is the world explainable without God?

Ron Paul    U.S. Politician, Libertarian
I get to my God through Christ. Christ to me, is a man of peace. He is for peace.
16 May 2011    Source

Experts In Literature

David Foster Wallace    Novelist, Essayist, English Professor
There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship -- be it JC or Allah, bet it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles -- is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.
21 May 2005    Source

Experts In War

Osama Bin Laden    Former Leader of Al Qaeda
All praise is due to Allah, who built the heavens and earth in justice, and created man as a favor and grace for Him. ... and from His law is retaliation in kind: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and the killer is killed. And all praise is due to Allah, who awakened His slaves' desire for the Garden, and all of them will enter it except those who refuse. And whoever obeys Him alone in all of his affairs will enter the Garden, and whoever disobeys Him will have refused.
08 Sep 2007    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Is God just?


Conservapedia    Christian Encyclopedia
God is the sovereign creator and eternal ruler of all things and beings that exist, whether in the physical universe or in the spiritual realm (Heaven).
24 Jan 2010    Source

Experts In Law

Thomas Jefferson    3rd United States President
Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.
01 Jan 1787    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Do we have an immaterial soul?

Ambiguous or Flip-Flop
Experts In Physics

Albert Einstein    Physicist, Icon of the 20th Century
I believe in Spinoza's God, who reveals himself in the lawful harmony of all that exists, but not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.
24 Apr 1921    Source

Albert Einstein    Physicist, Icon of the 20th Century
The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions.
03 Jan 1954    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Is God just?

Experts In Philosophy

Ayn Rand    Philosopher, Novelist
“God” as traditionally defined is a systematic contradiction of every valid metaphysical principle. The point is wider than just the Judeo-Christian concept of God. No argument will get you from this world to a supernatural world. No reason will lead you to a world contradicting this one. No method of inference will enable you to leap from existence to a “super-existence.”
01 Jan 1976    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Do we have an immaterial soul?

Austin Cline    Philosopher
It's not that [theists are] lacking in labels and characteristics to attribute to their gods, it's just that so many of these characteristics contradict each other. To put it simply, not all of these characteristics can be true because one cancels out the other out or a combination of two (or more) leads to a logically impossible situation. When this happens, the definition is no longer coherent or understandable.
01 Jan 2008    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Can science prove or disprove the existence of God?

Friedrich Nietzsche    Iconic Philosopher of 19th Century
Mostly Disagree
The Christian concept of a god — the god as the patron of the sick, the god as a spinner of cobwebs, the god as a spirit — is one of the most corrupt concepts that has ever been set up in the world: it probably touches low-water mark in the ebbing evolution of the god-type.
01 Jan 1888    Source

Bertrand Russell    Iconic Philosopher of 20th Century
My conclusion [to the question: is there a god?] is that there is no reason to believe any of the dogmas of traditional theology and, further, that there is no reason to wish that they were true. Man, in so far as he is not subject to natural forces, is free to work out his own destiny. The responsibility is his, and so is the opportunity.
01 Jan 1952    Source

Experts In Science

Richard Dawkins    Evolutionary Biologist, Writer, Atheism Activist
God is a delusion. ... Human thoughts and emotions emerge from exceedingly complex interconnections of physical entities within the brain. An atheist in this sense of philosophical naturalist is somebody who believes there is nothing beyond the natural, physical world, no supernatural creative intelligence lurking behind the observable universe, no soul that outlasts the body and no miracles - except in the sense of natural phenomena that we don't yet understand.
18 Oct 2006    Source

Paul Z. Myers    Biology Professor
Atheists don't believe in God. We deny the Holy Spirit. Jesus was just a man, at best, as were Buddha, Mohammed, and every other prophet and religious figure in history.
11 Apr 2010    Source

Steven Pinker    Psychology Professor
Mostly Disagree
My criticism of religion [...] was defensive, meant to counter the argument that morality can only come from a belief in a soul that accepts God's purpose and is rewarded or punished in an afterlife. I think the evidence suggests that this doctrine is false both logically and factually. I don't make a point of criticizing religion in general. Some hard-headed biologists and evolutionary theorists believe that an abstract conception of a divine power is consistent with conventional Darwinism.
30 Oct 2002    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Is God just?
Does belief in God have a significant genetic component?

Eliezer Yudkowsky    Artificial Intelligence Researcher
I have weighed the evidence as best I can, and I do not believe the universe to be evil, a reply which in these days is called atheism.
18 Nov 2004    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Is God just?
Can science prove or disprove the existence of God?

Steven Novella    Neurologist
First, to be clear I don’t believe in God or any supernatural being …
22 Feb 2011    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Can science prove or disprove the existence of God?

Experts In Entertainment

Seth MacFarlane    Animator, Writer, Creator of Family Guy
I'm an atheist. Not to be a dick but because it seems to be the most likely scenario. ... It's a blessing and a curse to be so pragmatic. You do miss that cushion that people seem to have.
17 Mar 2009    Source

Ricky Gervais    Comedian, Creator of The Office
So I was about 8 and my brother must have been 19 and he came in once and I was doing something from the Bible, and he says "What are you doing" and I went "Drawing Jesus" and he went "Who was Jesus?" and I said "The son of God" and he went "Why do you believe in God" and my Mum went "Bob? Shut up." And I knew she had something to hide and he was telling the truth from body language and I worked it out and I was an atheist in an hour.
22 Apr 2009    Source

Experts In Law

Julia Gillard    Prime Minister, Australia
I am not going to pretend a faith I don't feel. I am what I am and people will judge that. For people of faith, I think the greatest compliment I could pay to them is to respect their genuinely held beliefs and not to engage in some pretence about mine. I grew up in the Christian church, a Christian background. I won prizes for catechism, for being able to remember Bible verses. I am steeped in that tradition, but I've made decisions in my adult life about my own views.
29 Jun 2010    Source

Experts In Politics

Karl Marx    Father of Communism
The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. ... Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness.
01 Feb 1844    Source

Experts In Skepticism

James Randi    Magician, Illusionist, Writer, Skeptic
To make sure that my blasphemy is thoroughly expressed, I hereby state my opinion that the notion of a god is a basic superstition, that there is no evidence for the existence of any god(s), that devils, demons, angels and saints are myths, that there is no life after death, heaven nor hell, that the Pope is a dangerous, bigoted, medieval dinosaur, and that the Holy Ghost is a comic‐book character worthy of laughter and derision.
01 Jan 1995    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Is God just?
Can science prove or disprove the existence of God?

Experts In Art

Roger Waters    Musician, Pink Floyd
I think the Holy Scriptures are superstitious nonsense. I think more and more the empirical evidence goes to support that view. It's great that people like Dawkins are actually writing very easy to read and coherent expressions of my point of view [he chuckles] so I'm pleased about that. So, yes, you're right, [religion] is absolutely central to all I do now.
23 Jan 2007    Source

Experts In Feminism

Amanda Marcotte    Blogger, Author, Feminist
It’s always been my sense that feminism, skepticism, and atheism are a natural fit. Woo-based feminism that engages in wishful thinking about a non-existent matriarchal past and non-existent goddesses has never appealed to me. I think feminism is strongest when it’s feet are planted firmly on the ground. Moreover, skeptics and active atheists actually go after two of the biggest weapons used to abuse women: pseudo-science and religion.
13 Jun 2010    Source


Add Your TakeOnIt (click to expand, no login required)
0 Points      dionisos      22 Aug 2016      Stance on Question: Disagree
Nothing special to say. (just trying to have enough data to see who agree with me on other subjects)

0 Points      Side Effect      21 Apr 2015      Stance on Question: Neutral
yeah, God is invisible to the natural eye.

0 Points      Capricious      25 Mar 2015      Stance on Question: Disagree
It's highly unlikely.

0 Points      Sherlock Holmes      23 Nov 2013      Stance on Question: Agree
I beleive that God exists that loves us so that he gave His One and only Son to die on the cross for our sins and rise from the dead on the third day.I am a Christian.

0 Points      MTC      23 Feb 2013      Stance on Question: Disagree
There is simply no good evidence to suggest that any gods exist.

1 Point      Nashhinton      12 Feb 2013      Stance on Question: Disagree
"God" is a delusional fantasy conjured up by our paleolithic ancestors to explain natural phenomena that couldn't be explained during the time. It was also socially constructed and popularized during the Neolithic Revolution to police the early tribes, cultures and common people through propagandized information that would appease their fears of death and misery (Terror management theory). It is the biggest cop-out ever created and has caused nothing more than technological regression and wars upon humanity.

0 Points      Zach      22 Jan 2013      General Comment
Personally saying, I have none religious background and I am a students majoring in Psychology.
I think God is a biography of someone in real life. I don't believe there is something that can influences our real life by physical means. I consider GOD and RElIGION as one of the stereotype foundation in society. We, HUMAN, created it. Based on the Social system, the incredible creativity of story has influence our life. I hate to say this, but, GOD is the one exist if we believe it in mental aspect; However, GOD doesn't exist if there is no faith involved. In my opinion, I believe FAITH as a emotional equation to us. In another word, GOD only exist when we maintain faith to his story. Yet, we should focus on where is our faith comes from, it is not possible that this emotion just comes from our heart. It should be developed in somewhere and shows up whenever we need it.

-1 Point      Haruka      14 Apr 2012      Stance on Question: Neutral
I am completely neutral. I am non-religious as well.
There is no proof that God exists.
There is also no proof that he doesn't.
Religion is just something for people to rely on, so I say believe whatever you want!

0 Points      max      11 Mar 2012      Stance on Question: Neutral
If it is true that the politician has accompanied many phases of human history, it is equally true that the deepest dimension of human religiosity and philosophical wisdom have sought the reason most radical of the world and human life in one God, the foundation of reality and fulfillment of our aspiration to happiness

0 Points      South American      03 Mar 2012      Stance on Question: Disagree
No, people used to believe in plenty of other gods before GOD. This is simply because people can't tolerate

-no life after death
-being alone
-not having all the answers

There is also this "moral" steps some people need to have, because there is some lack of will in them. There is also this use of control coming from religion, and yes Pope I'm pointing to you and your little castle.

0 Points      Evolving Christian      03 Dec 2011      Stance on Question: Neutral
God by purpose and intentional design is invisible to the natural eye and inaudible to the natural ear. God is a just and righteous God who loves good. His overall plan was to create a world in which: both good and evil exists, people have a choice between the two, and the good-doers are rewarded. The good-hearted people will seek and search diligently, and find in their own heart, the irrefutable truth that God must exist, that He is the Creator of all things, that He has supernatural powers, that God must be good and good must win and prevail over evil, that there must be reward for good and punishment for evil by an all-knowing ultimate Judge (God), that this life must have meaning and purpose, and that there must be an after life in which restitution occurs of all things that occurred in this life (because obviously all good and evil is not rewarded or punished in this life, and since so much suffering is allowed by God in this life, He would not be just if He did not allow for a better life with no suffering to those who were good). Even without the Bible, these truths can be found out by diligent search in our own minds and hearts, and are common threads established in many different religions that have evolved independently throughout history in many different cultures and regions of the world. The spiritual realm is discovered by diligent search through wisdom, knowledge, and understanding--not by the natural eye that can only see the tangible things of the natural world. Again, this is by God's intentional design. He exists in a realm totally different and indiscoverable by natural means and scientific explanations, since science is by discipline exclusive to only the natural world and tangible methods for explaining it.

0 Points      Hannah      18 Nov 2011      Stance on Question: Neutral
Does it matter if God exists?

I can see how the discussion might be both interesting and beneficial, and I can see how the idea might have advantages (and disadvantages) in terms of adding meaning to people's lives, whether through deciding that he does or does not exist (in existentialism for example, accepting that God does not exist creates the liberty to establish one's own meaning).

When, however, we are so very far from conclusively proving it one way or the other (I guess that's my take on it), does the question of whether he actually exists matter as much as the implications of believing that he does, or does not? In fact, does it matter at all ?

0 Points      South American      03 Mar 2012      General Comment
It does..?

Most people are bound to this God figure, and that limits a lot of things. There's also division and prejudice between religions, would be clearly different if we all acknowledge we created those religions and there is no need to think less of the other or act holy almighty or something.

And the Pope and friends wouldn't keep so much gold in their place, and people wouldn't waste time in church. We could stop leaving it to "God" and actually get our ass up and do stuff ourselves.

It would change the way people think, so it is a big deal.

0 Points      Evolving Christian      03 Dec 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
Because if God exists, then we best acknowledge him and find out what he expects of us, or perhaps he could punish us severely, right?

0 Points      Nashhinton      09 Oct 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
It is impossible to know if God can exist or not, because currently, the scientific method cannot disprove nor prove the existence of God. So far, religious books such as the Bible and the Quran have not met their burden of proof by proving the existence of God.

Also, the person who must prove God is the person who is making the nonsensical claim that God exists- without even proving or justifying that claim.

The burden of proof does not rest on the person who questions or rejects such insanely nonsensical claims.

-2 Points      Evolving Christian      03 Dec 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
The proof of God's existence lies all around you! Don't go exclusively to the Bible to prove God. Search your own heart, and rationalize with your own mind. Bottom line is that life itself, and the universe, is way too complex and organized to have all happened simply by random chance. The knowledge of this (brought on by common sense and understanding of probabilities) is all you need for proof. Science has never been able to prove by any valid explanation, although some will fabricate a story full of holes and speculations, how life ever originated. I am a secular college Biology professor, and I have read all the theories and stories, and NO scientific explanation given for the origin of life is valid or even possible. The hundreds of required processes, structures, reactions, nucleotide sequences, etc., to sustain even the most simplest and primitive forms of life could have never evolved all at the precise moments and in the exact environment simply by pure random chance events. Yes, again, some scientists will formulate a theory that they think explains how it all happened, but ironically, when you investigate and examine their theory closely, they leave out many details, because to jump from one step to the next in their process of forming life, it is absolutely impossible both mathematically and with all probability in their favor. Just to mention one, what about the complex process off mitosis alone? And how would a randomly sequenced string of nucleotides ever get in the proper order to form just one gene that would help regulate just that one process? (One would have to understand and truly comprehend just the complexity of that one process alone to fully appreciate my point here.) And that is just one of the MANY processes required, and many of them occurring simultaneously, for even one living cell to exist or survive, much less originate! So, the proof that God exists is all around us. It is the foolish scientists that have not been able to adequately explain otherwise.

2 Points      Nashhinton      05 Dec 2011      General Comment
So viruses, bacteria, natural disasters and poisonous plants that can kill people are all evidences for the existence of God? Genetic mutations, death and the frailties and weaknesses of the animal kingdom is definitely NOT evidence for a perfect creation. I'm sure you're a decent Christian who actually uses your brain to reject the Genesis account. If you strongly believe in the literal account of Genesis you're not worth debating. Let me ask you a question: If God is all knowing and perfectly omniscient why did he create Satan and people who are destined for hell if God fully knew that Satan will rebel against him and deceive millions? This illusion of design is actually not evidence for design.

0 Points      PG      12 Jun 2013      General Comment
How would you know what "evil" is if there was no "good" and how would you know what "good" is if there was no "evil". All entities, human or not, make the choice.

0 Points      PG      12 Jun 2013      General Comment
Also, what one deems to be evil or good could be deemed otherwise by any other human or entity.

0 Points      Evolving Christian      05 Dec 2011      General Comment
Good point. This is exactly where I think many contemplating the question at hand are stumped. It stumped Darwin, when he lost his innocent child to illness and death. How can a "good" God create evil things or allow bad things to happen? The fact is, both good and evil exist, correct? Is it evil to rape someone? Is it evil to murder? Is it wrong to abuse children? Of course! So we must search our minds and ask the question, If good and evil exists, then we must be held accountable for evil. But who could do this besides an all-knowing God?
According to the Bible, God created a perfect paradise called heaven where there are no viruses, disasters, or death. By His design, He also created an imperfect earth full of suffering, death, and destruction. Also by His design, He gave both angels and mankind his own decision-making ability to choose good over evil, in lieu of creating robots who would just do good because they were programmed to do so. The test is: will we choose to do good in face of adversity and evil? Will we choose good even when it means suffering? How committed are we in doing the right thing? How trusting and honest are we? And so these are the things that the Bible encourages man to do: be good, trustworthy, honest, and right--and be rewarded with the very place that you are expecting from God--a place of no suffering or evil or death. Yes, God knew that many would choose evil; but that shouldn't keep the righteous from a chance of eternal life! God is also just like us--He has emotions, feelings, and desires. He wants true relationships with beings that choose to love Him and all He stands for, not with ones who are forced to love Him, because that would not be true love. For example, I want my wife to love me because she wants to, and chooses to, not because she has to. Then and only then do I gain the satisfying gratifying feeling of being truly loved. And she sticks with me even when I get sick, she is faithful to me even when I am out of money, etc., etc. She is committed to me for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, til death do us part. That's true love. And God wants that too. It's easy to love when everything is going well and you're getting everything you want. But what about commitment when things turn for the worse? What about when haters and false witnesses begin to shout "Crucify him!" when you have done nothing wrong? Would your love be strong enough to go all the way to the cross? Love without sacrifice is not true love. Thus a world without suffering and evil could not build the intimate relationship that God desires from each one of us.
Also, since you mentioned hell, hell like many things in the Bible is totally misinterpreted. Though hell is an awful place of punishment, a close study of the biblical description of hell indicates that it is a final sentence of death, with no way of living again. In other words, there will not be millions of people suffering the torment of fire for millions and millions of years like many ignorant readers declare. Thus, the punishment against evil-doers will fit the crime and will be just. If someone lived their whole life doing evil and did not like me, I wouldn't let them in my house either! Thus I see no problem with God judging Satan and anyone else who chose to do evil over good. And my calculations of probabilities for the origin of life remains the basis for all my other philosophical and religious beliefs.

0 Points      Nashhinton      05 Dec 2011      Stance on Question: Mostly Disagree
Well now that you affirm your belief in the literal account of the Book of Genesis, let me ask you a question: Why did God need to place the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the garden if God fully knew that Adam and Eve would be deceived to partake of its fruit thus causing the fall of man to induce all universal suffering? After all God is omniscient. So when he commanded Adam to not eat the fruit, God fully knew that it would cause the Fall of man and the entirety of universal suffering. God made everything perfect, but since God is all knowing and omniscient, he fully knew that if he placed such a magical tree in the midst of Eden, that Adam and Eve would bring about all of the imperfections of the universe because of their careless choices. This leads me to conclude two main reasons why God did such a thing:

1. God loves to test his creations while enjoying occasional suffering. After all if God wanted to automatically prevent Adam from being deceived, he would instantly annihilate Satan and his minions from even testing Adam's innocence.

2. Or... God is an imperfect and completely incompetent buffoon.

Also I can't choose to accept the God of the Bible. After all, there are too many flaws and contradictions within the Bible. The Bible endorses child abuse, genocide, and unscientific claims.

The Bible explains that the earth is a circle, which we all know circles are flat. - "It is he that sits upon the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are as grasshoppers; that stretches out the heavens as a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in." (Isaiah 40:22)

To contradict that particular verse, the Bible affirms that the earth is a square:
Isaiah 11:12
12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the FOUR CORNERS OF THE EARTH. (KJV)

Revelation 7:1
1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on FOUR CORNERS OF THE EARTH, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. (KJV)

Job 38:13
13 That it might take hold of the ENDS OF THE EARTH, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? (KJV)

Jeremiah 16:19
19 O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ENDS OF THE EARTH, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. (KJV)

Daniel 4:11
11 The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the ENDS OF ALL THE EARTH: (KJV)

Matthew 4:8
8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; (KJV)

Another verse says the earth sits upon pillars or columns - "He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD's, and he hath set the world upon them." (1 Samuel 2:8)

The Bible promotes the murdering of babies:
(Hosea 13:16 & Psalms 137:9)

It mentions unfulfilled prophecies made by Jesus:

"Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." Matthew 16:28

"I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened." Matthew 24:34.

And he said to them, "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power." Mark 9:1

0 Points      Zach      22 Jan 2013      General Comment
So, do you believe in GOD just based on what you have read in the book instead of looking at the truth? Oh, dear. I am worrying about you.

-1 Point      Evolving Christian      08 Dec 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
ME: There are a lot of misinterpreters who read parts and pieces of the Bible, but do not fully study it as a Bible scholar would and so often totally misunderstand the scriptures, blindly criticizing them without first honestly learning both the whole, and the parts. If one studies closely the speech of Christ, it will soon become apparent that He often spoke in parables and riddles, and that He actually said things intentionally to mislead those that did not want to believe in Him regardless. He actually helped His adversaries out by saying things that would give them occasion against Him falsely, so that in the end they would look like the fools that they were.

ME: Jesus often would speak of one topic, and then retort something that sounded related to the same topic, but had actually a whole different spiritual meaning. If you will go back and read the gospels, you will see many of these instances. The scriptures you quoted here are examples of this. Jesus spoke first of the vengeance prophesied against Jerusalem and Israel, to be carried out by Rome, and also of His second coming at the end of the world (notice the disciples asked Him a 2-part question here) but then went automatically into speaking of a spiritual kingdom. If you study closely, there are two kingdoms which God promised. One was the promise of His coming in Spirit, which happened soon after His ascension when His Spirit was poured out in the book of Acts. This was actually His setting up of the prophesied "kingdom of God". He spoke of this kingdom often while on earth, and told His disciples at one time that the kingdom of God was within them. He told them that "ye shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit is come on you." Thus they saw "the kingdom coming with power", spiritually. This is where Jesus often snared the Pharisees who were determined to doubt Him and find fault with His speech no matter how many good deeds He did, because their political status was threatened by this "new king" bringing in a "new kingdom".

0 Points      Evolving Christian      08 Dec 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
ME: I never said I was a literalist. When I stated "perfect paradise", I was referring to the "heaven" that God lives in, not the earth Adam and Eve were formed on.

ME: Yes, God fully planned this all alone from beginning to end, knowing that Adam and Eve were fallible, and that He would then come to the earth as their needed Saviour. This does not mean that God joys in evil, but He did allow a world to exist in which there would be evil, for the reasons I've mentioned earlier.

ME: The problem is you are approaching the Bible as a literalist. You are reading the Bible as if it is a science book. You are taking every metaphor, symbolic gesture, riddle, parable, and figure of speech in the context of exact science. However, the Bible is far from a science book. It depends on the stand point of each poetic writer on what they were actually referring to. For example, from certain view points there are many "circles" of the earth. The "ends of the earth" is simply a figure of speech meaning its entirety. I doubt the metaphorical writer actually thought the earth literally was held up by pillars. And if you divide the earth into hemispheres, I suppose it could also have corners. There are many many scriptures I could quote that are also full of symbolism and are obviously not to be taken literally.

ME: Vengeance upon certain peoples often included all within that nation or tribe, including all the innocents. The adults that rebelled against God were often severely punished by also the riddance of even their children. This does not mean that God expects us to take it upon ourselves to kill innocents. But if God judges it so, then since He is both the giver and taker of life (while we are not), He is just in allowing lives to end in various ways, whether by famine, disease, disaster, or war. Again, it goes back to God's plan to allow evil in the present world, but to assure restitution of all things in the life to come. The good thing that comes from such evil allowed is that every single one of the innocents instantly go to that perfect paradise called "heaven". God knows this, of course, when he allows the tragedies (often as punishment of wicked adults) to happen.

0 Points      Nashhinton      11 Dec 2011      General Comment
Fair enough. Your explanations were sound, but I still have many doubts concerning the veracity of the Bible because of it's absurdities. I will continue to investigate this from an unbiased point of view. Take care.

I'm an agnostic and a former Christian. The reason why I left Christianity was because I felt like it didn't have enough supported evidence for the claims mentioned in the Bible.

0 Points      Benja      09 Oct 2011      General Comment
"It is impossible to know if God can exist or not, because currently, the scientific method cannot disprove nor prove the existence of God."
That's a controversial opinion that has a dedicated page on TakeOnIt. See Can science prove or disprove the existence of God?.

0 Points      TheJackel      16 Apr 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
"and in violation of all of our laws of science created matter out of nothing."

First off this is False.. Science doesn't say our universe came from literal "Nothing". In Science nothing isn't nothing anymore.. And it might be a good idea for you to look up terms like:

1) Ground state
2) Zero-point energy
3) Vacuum Energy
4) Volume
5) Capacity
6) Conservation of Energy
7) Mass

Little clue.. Zero capacity and volume are impossible to exist, contain existence, or sustain and contain any informational value what-so-ever. Energy is the capacity of the volume. And energy and information are two sides of the same coin. they are =/= .. One can not exist without the other or exist without the capacity to exist. Thus existence is like that of the energy to which is it's substance, it can neither be created nor destroyed..

Even empty space has mass and energy/informational value. It has capacity and volume..

"God is so superior to us, he exists in such a higher dimension than do we that what is natural and ordinary to him is miraculous to us."

The higher the dimension, or the higher in complexity you attempt to make something out to be, the more cause it will require to exist.


Power is powerless without the lowest level of power.. Just like consciousness can't exist without information, capacity, a system with feedback, or a base of inquiry.

0 Points      Zach      22 Jan 2013      General Comment
Um... I think church people think GOD is so special that he can do miracle tricks like M.J. did.

0 Points      TheJackel      16 Apr 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree

"So Let's look at why this argument is key to addressing the "Christian GOD":

We can just take a moment to address the Fount of Knowledge:

St John of Damascus, The Fount of Knowledge:

Abstract 1:


"The uncreate, the unoriginate, the immortal, the bound- less, the eternal, the immaterial, the good, the creative, the just, the enlightening, the unchangeable, the passionless, the uncircumscribed, the uncontained, the unlimited, the indefi- nable, the invisible, the inconceivable, the wanting nothing, the having absolute power and authority, the life-giving, the almighty, the infinitely powerful, the sanctifying and com- municating, the containing and sustaining all things, and the providing for all all these and the like He possesses by His nature. They are not received from any other source; on the contrary, it is His nature that communicates all good to His own creatures in accordance with the capacity of each."

Abstract 2:


"And yet again, there is His knowing of all things by a simple act of knowing. And there is His distinctly seeing with His divine, all-seeing, and immaterial eye all things at once"

1. Boundless
2. Uncontained
3. Unlimited
4. Omnipresent
5. The containing and sustaining of all things
6. Omniscient
7. Immaterial

Thus it can be said that such an argument self-collapses in every area of the supposed attributes given when anyone of them is taken out of the equation by another conflicting attribute, or thing (such as ourselves). Especially in the case or state of absolute Omniscience. So here is what it boils down to under information theory:

* I = reference to all the information that gives I an Identity. It's the entire essences of "I am".

So let's see where this entire GOD concept completely falls apart. Especially when concerning "Omniscience".

1) A "boundless" GOD? Can a boundless GOD be boundless if you are to claim all of us to separate individuals? What boundaries lie between GOD being me, and not being me?

2) If he is "uncontained" then what separates him from me?

3) If he's "without limits", what limits define GOD apart from who I am?..

4) If he is "omnipresent", where do I exist?

5) If he "contains and sustains" all things, would he not be existence itself? Thus am I, and everyone else here not the conscious representations of god, or GOD himself?

6) If he is "Omniscient" and knows infinitely everything to which is knowable, would he not know me in every infinitely knowable way to where he himself would literally be I, me, or who I am in every infinitely knowable way?

7) If he is "immaterial", would he not be made of nothing? Thus how does nothing exist as a person, place, or thing? How does nothing as a substance be the property value of something? How does nothing contain and sustain informational value?"



This is where it get's interesting in regards to the posted video and science. Pantheism may sound religious, but it's really just saying that we are obviously made from, and apart of the natural world, or reality.. And it doesn't matter what form, place, or state that might be in. But I take it more in regards to Materialism as a realist point of view.

"Pantheism is the view that the Universe (Nature) and God are identical.[1] Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal, anthropomorphic or creator god."

The Christian GOD concept can only ever at best describe existence itself as a whole. We may as well be worshiping ourselves :/ I don't know about you, but I don't worship existence itself as a whole as a GOD even though you can metaphorically suggest it as GOD in terms of source cause, or the container and sustainer of all there is ect.

Science, logic, and reason win!.

0 Points      Evolving Christian      03 Dec 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
The problem with your argument is that it attempts to explain spiritual phenomena exclusively in light of only natural, tangible, or physical realms. God is not natural. God is not tangible. God is not physical. Therefore you can't disprove Him exclusively with such arguments. For example, you're thinking it is not possible for God to be "omnipresent" because two separate masses cannot occupy the same space simultaneously. That's ludicrous! We are talking about apples and oranges here. God is a spirit, exists in a spiritual realm, and cannot be explained by scientific laws, etc. For example, you have an idea, right? Okay, what is an idea? Is it tangible? no! Does it occupy space? no! So can you prove it? Does it exist? Yes! You still have an "idea". Same concept applies here. God exists everywhere because He is spiritual. This is a concept many seem to never grasp. To expound further, we can explain scientifically how neurons fire electrical impulses, sending messages within the brain. We know which ion channels open and close to allow for such action potentials. We can explain these processes scientifically and naturally. But the truth is, with all of these complex networks of neurons firing at once, our brains are able to rise to a higher level that we call "reasoning", "forming ideas and opinions", "feelings of emotion", etc. This is the realm of the spiritual world. We have moved from the level of explaining something naturally (i.e., neurons firing) into a realm that is able to communicate in a spiritual world. Now we can develop ideas, debates, philosophies, opinions, religions, etc. This is where God exist. He's not tangible. Make sense?

0 Points      TheJackel      16 Apr 2011      Stance on Question: Neutral
Another argument that collapses The concept in Christianity is how do we make sense of this? :

"It's the Volcano GOD described by Moses, and the fear of the lake of fire...Err lava flows!... Not kidding!.. Or maybe it's the the Babylonian creation story..errr polytheistic Genesis 1, or was that monotheistic Genesis 2?"

However, I think the Greek GODs are so much more awesome than some EGO maniac blood thirsty Volcano GOD!

1 Point      pineconedegg      25 Mar 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
God, as commonly known, has no accepted definition. However, nearly every definition put forth has either been false or unfalsifiable. Furthermore, an allegedly just God who wants people to know of Him, such as the God of major religions, is incompatible with the evidence provided by unnecessary suffering and the vast theological inequalities of people. An omnipotent God would know exactly what it would take for me to believe in Him and there seems to be no reason that a God who wants me to know Him wouldn't provide that evidence.

0 Points      Anonymous      30 Sep 2011      Stance on Question: Mostly Agree
A fundamental part of religion is faith, but also freedom of choice.
If God were to categorically prove His/Her existence then you would have no choice to believe.
It is then up to us to decide whether we believe or not.

-1 Point      MThorne      12 Mar 2011      Stance on Question: Agree
He does exist, he positively exist and you all that don't believe in him will soon find out that he does exist!!!!!!

0 Points      TheJackel      16 Apr 2011      General Comment
How do you burn in hell without electromagnetism, and those jiggling atoms? Pretty hard to burn nothing..errr an immaterial substance. ;) And it's really hard to experience and meet nothing.. Perhaps that is why he doesn't exist ;)

This comment is collapsed because it has -3 points or less.Expand/collapse comment.
0 Points      blacktrance      10 Feb 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
There is no evidence for the existence of anything beyond the material world. If there is no evidence for something existing, I have no reason to believe in it.

0 Points      Mark Embleton      19 Jan 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of a god or gods. Pointing to man-made scripture or other religious texts as evidence is unacceptable as an argument. The argument from 'personal faith' is also unacceptable because that merely exists in the mind of the believer and is meaningless. I'm constantly amazed that in 2010 so many people still want to profess blind faith in the existence of a god as if it was a virtue. Your god is in your head - please keep it there.

0 Points      gman5284      28 May 2010      Stance on Question: Agree
If you could prove or disprove the existence of God, there would be no need for faith. This world says that this is all there is yet I believe the one who says there's a life after this. How much more open can my mind be? The "wall" between scripture and science is based upon a flawed premise. The two are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, when viewed with true objectivity, the two are quite complimentary.

0 Points      Benja      08 Jun 2010      General Comment
"If you could prove or disprove the existence of God"
See Can science prove or disprove the existence of God?

"This world says that this is all there is yet I believe the one who says there's a life after this."
See Is there life after death?

"How much more open can my mind be?"
See Are people who reject theories as unscientific closed minded?

"The 'wall' between scripture and science is based upon a flawed premise. The two are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, when viewed with true objectivity, the two are quite complimentary."
See Are the core truths of science and religion complementary?.

0 Points      gman5284      29 Dec 2010      General Comment
If science insists that there is no supernatural or intelligent designer behind creation, then science must ultimately show how natural processes can produce something from nothing, consciousness from unconsciousness, emotion from non-emotion, intelligence from brute, unintelligent matter, life from non-living matter, etc. To presuppose that the universe was created by nothing, from nothing, and for nothing with no known scientific theory to explain it seems a bit biased.

0 Points      Benja      30 Dec 2010      General Comment
"science must ultimately show how natural processes can produce something from nothing"
See Must God exist to explain how the universe began?.

"science must show how natural processes can produce ... life from non-living matter"
See Did complex life evolve through the process of natural selection.

-1 Point      gman5284      03 Jan 2011      General Comment
Science is the search for the best explanation and so far, other than intelligent design, there is no better explanation...just a lot of speculation and conjecture. As far as the complex life forms through evolution. The "biological" big bang in the Cambrian period pretty much puts that question to rest. Thousands of complex lifeforms just appear quite suddenly in relation to geologic time with no transitional species appearing before or after. Irreducible complexity drives another nail into that coffin and Darwin himself suggested it would. Much of the criteria Darwin outlined that he said would successfully refute evolution have been proven. Evolution was never a theory if one applies the standard definitions of the scientific method. At best it is a hypothesis.

0 Points      Benja      04 Jan 2011      Editorial Comment
This website tries to split each specific contentious issue into a separate page - if you're going to mainly talk about evolution and fossils, please do so on those pages.

2 Points      the27th      26 May 2010      Stance on Question: Disagree
No. The existence of God really doesn't make sense if you hold it to ordinary standards of belief. And I do, for better or for worse, think in terms of evidence and reason; that is my language, as a scientist, and it's the only standard my mind will now accept.

Sometimes I still ask for God's forgiveness in case I'm being a fool.

0 Points      Tordmor      10 May 2010      Stance on Question: Disagree
If to say about any entity that it exists should make any sense then it must refer to this entity's power to affect other existing entities. Those effects should then be observable. Therfore if such an entity as god existed we would have to be able to distinguish the universe as it existed from a hypothetical universe without god's existence. Since we can't god doesn't.

0 Points      chetan      10 Apr 2010      Stance on Question: Disagree
Physically, God does not exist.
Or he/she is hiding too well ;-).
If he/she is hiding, there are next to nothing chances that he/she will show up ever.

Mentally, God does exist as image/impression/concept in too many people's brains.

Semantically, it depends.
You can give specific meaning to word 'God' and can show that God exists or it does not.
You can play with words and meanings for whole of your age.
Some examples:
what if God is taken to mean Universe itself?
what if God is taken to mean some guy living in space, punishes us for our sins?
what if God is taken to mean something beyond human's comprehension?
what if God is taken to mean consciousness?

This sums it up well, I think.

1 Point      Adam Atlas      10 Apr 2010      Stance on Question: Disagree
It's important to distinguish between "God" and God.

"God" — the word, the symbol in people's minds (even the minds of non-religious people) — can be a powerful rhetorical and metaphorical device, for instance in its use by Einstein and Stephen Hawking.
But then religious people quote you out-of-context to make it sound like "Hey, look, Einstein believes in the same bearded cloud-dwelling patriarch that I do!"
I think poetic/metaphorical uses of the word "God" are best avoided.

For most definitions of the word "God" (a very broad category, certainly), the answer to "Does God exist?" is no. Still, making an unequivocal statement like that can be troublesome, because some people will say "Einstein called the laws of physics 'God', are you saying you don't believe in the laws of physics? You think you're smarter than Einstein, mister smarty man?" or "Pantheists believe that the entire universe is God, are you saying you don't believe in the universe?" and eventually the question doesn't mean anything at all. So let me say this instead: Neither life, the universe, nor the laws of physics were created by an intelligent being, nor do any supernatural beings intervene in this world. Any use of the word "God" that doesn't fall under that description is probably a rhetorical trick/mistake that only confuses things.

1 Point      Benja      10 Apr 2010      General Comment
P.P.G. Bateson said:

"Say what you mean, even if it takes longer, rather than use a word that carries so many different connotations."

Interestingly, I can't actually think of a word with more connotations than "God". Perhaps this is a function of the fact that:

1) All definitions of "God" agree that "God" is the most important thing.
2) There is nothing more disagreeable than what is the most important thing.

0 Points      OmnipotentRabbit      10 Apr 2010      Stance on Question: Neutral
I do not think there is a God, at least not in the Abrahamic conception of things. I sympathise, however, with some force creating universal order, whether it be a God or merely the Collective Unconscious. This assumption therefore allows for "God" to be in harmony with science, rather than crush it with meaningless dogmas.

1 Point      Adam Atlas      17 Apr 2010      General Comment
For that idea to be in harmony with science, it needs to be testable in some way; it has to anticipate some observations and prohibit others. Regardless of whether you can formally define it, how would the universe be different if this "force creating universal order" were absent?

0 Points      OmnipotentRabbit      17 Apr 2010      General Comment
That's the thing. If there is no force, there is no universe; at least, not as we know it. We'd have utter chaos, until it eventually regresses back into order again, creating the force once more. Think of it like the Discordian Hodge-Podge principle. Take out either order or the underlying chaos on the universe, and it all falls apart.

The thing is that we as a scientific community look at things as disjointed random coincidences. Once you string them together toward something (whatever this may be: a goal, etc.), then you start to notice how the universe "nudges" you toward a particular path. It's an odd view to consider once you've already reached your sort of level of atheism-isolationism.

It's an intrinsically difficult idea to define, as Benja said. I'm not entirely good at conveying it. I don't think anyone can, really, though I am very sure many know this mindset.

0 Points      Adam Atlas      17 Apr 2010      General Comment
"That's the thing. If there is no force, there is no universe; at least, not as we know it. We'd have utter chaos, until it eventually regresses back into order again, creating the force once more. Think of it like the Discordian Hodge-Podge principle. Take out either order or the underlying chaos on the universe, and it all falls apart."

Are you saying that there are some things in the universe that do not follow precise mathematical laws? Or is this force just another name for those laws, or some epiphenomenal result of them?

"It's an intrinsically difficult idea to define, as Benja said. I'm not entirely good at conveying it. I don't think anyone can, really, though I am very sure many know this mindset."

Oh, I know the mindset too. I've experienced it first-hand, and I wasn't even raised into any religious or spiritual beliefs. It is one that comes very naturally to us, and in some form or another, it rises to prominence in just about every human culture. But that suggests to me that this mindset is an artifact of the way the human mind works (and, most likely, an evolutionary adaptation, or a side effect of one) rather than a conclusion about how the universe works that can be defined and verified. "Don't believe everything you think", as they say.

0 Points      OmnipotentRabbit      17 Apr 2010      General Comment
I'd say it is basically a name for the result of universal laws on, well, the universe. But since these laws are fairly chaotic (or ruthlessly deterministic, depending on your point of view), their nature is basically never understood. So what I am saying is not to believe in some invisible Abrahamic omnipotent God, but rather in the way the universal laws relate and create the mishmash we look at now. Precise mathematical laws can't define everything. That's where the randomness factor kicks in.

What I propose is that maybe it is not randomness; rather, there is a purpose, a goal behind the fact that they are utterly incomprehensible, not because of a Creator but rather to keep everything in place.

Hell, if you think about it, the Universe could just be a multi-galactic game of the Sims. Both science and religion can't agree on anything universal.

It's a really tough question to argument, from my viewpoint at least. The atheist viewpoint is far easier to take and establish.

0 Points      Benja      18 Apr 2010      General Comment
"The atheist viewpoint is far easier to take and establish."

Indeed, atheism is not "utterly incomprehensible".

1 Point      Adam Atlas      17 Apr 2010      General Comment
"But since these laws are fairly chaotic (or ruthlessly deterministic, depending on your point of view), their nature is basically never understood."

I don't think their nature depends on anyone's point of view. They were working the same way billions of years before there was anyone to have a point of view on anything.

I just find it unnecessarily confusing to identify the laws of the universe as "God", even more so to identify as "God" our lack of perfect understanding of the universe. Once something is promoted to Sacred Mystery status, the idea of investigating and eventually understanding it seems a lot less appealing (a lot less permissible, even), and in science, that will not do. (Thus spake Yudkowsky: "To worship a phenomenon because it seems so wonderfully mysterious, is to worship your own ignorance.")

"Precise mathematical laws can't define everything. That's where the randomness factor kicks in."

What is an example of something that does not follow the laws of physics?
Even random quantum events (which are only truly random if something like the Copenhagen interpretation is correct, which I'd bet against) are systematically, predictably random, and quantum effects tend to average out once you get to the level of molecules anyway.

0 Points      Benja      10 Apr 2010      General Comment
I'm really interested in exactly what you mean by "Force creating universal order" and "Collective Unconscious". I was defending the notion of God below, but the good counterarguments seem to be that the non Abrahamic notions of God, when you try to define them more precisely, don't really mean anything at all.

For example, the word "force" has a precise meaning in physics, as does the word "order", which is defined in thermodynamics. So what precisely do you mean when you used them? Similarly, what do you mean by "Collective Unconscious"? Even if we just look at the word "Conscious", it's terribly difficult to define precisely.

0 Points      OmnipotentRabbit      10 Apr 2010      General Comment
It is difficult to define, I must say. Much like the universe is difficult to define by pure physical laws.

What I mean is that I believe in a sort of determinism which is still modifiable. The "universal force", as I call it, sets a sort of general pattern for all, and sort of nudges along depending on how you affect others and how others affect you (whether "you" be a planet, a person, etc.), creating some sort of "order". Collective Unconscious factors in with the recent analogies done by people like Amit Goswami, which say that all human beings are connected, and each individual's actions factor into all the others, which is basically the same but on a more directly human level rather than universal.

0 Points      Benja      10 Apr 2010      General Comment
I understand that your explanation, in part, is an explanation of other experts' explanations, such as Goswami's, and I don't want to unfairly attack your arguments when the arguments are intrinsically difficult to convey. However, I believe there's a critical mistake you've made, that I will to do my best to articulate.

The universe is either deterministic or it's random. There's really is no middle ground here. There's no wiggle room for non-deterministic "nudging". If something "nudges" then it can be measured. If it can be measured, then we can find laws explaining those measurements, and those laws apply deterministically. Now, if the nudges have no pattern at all, then the nudges are, by definition, random. Therefore all possible "nudges" fit within this framework, which means that either that a "universal force" is synonymous with "the laws of physics", or if not, a "universal force" doesn't actually explain nudges at all.

1 Point      Packbat      28 Mar 2010      Stance on Question: Disagree
There has never been any evidence of the existence of God which is not been better evidence of the existence of human irrationality. Except where the word "God" is used to refer to something which is not a god in any real sense, it has referred to something which ought to be dramatically well-confirmed - much easier to prove than the existence of quarks, for example - and yet the only evidence presented is mutually-inconsistent (and often internally inconsistent) accounts of personal experience.

0 Points      Benja      28 Mar 2010      General Comment
I agree the Abrahamic conceptions of God are incoherent.

What should we make of the term 'God' as used by Wittgenstein and David Foster Wallace? I certainly find their conception of God inspiring. On reflection however, it seems they're using the term 'God' as a rhetorical device to drive home what they believe is an insight of great existential significance. 'God' therefore becomes a moniker for 'centrally important existential concept'. Under this conception, a rationalist could say 'God is truth'.

0 Points      Adam Atlas      10 Apr 2010      General Comment
"Under this conception, a rationalist could say 'God is truth'."

Indeed, but saying "truth is God" might be less confusing.

0 Points      Packbat      29 Mar 2010      General Comment
Just because you use the word "God" doesn't mean you're talking about a god. Einstien's notorious comment about dice is as easily understood as a rhetorical gesture, for example.

I'm not familiar with either of these people, but I suspect they never describe God in a way which describes a god, rather than an emotional reaction.

0 Points      Benja      30 Mar 2010      General Comment
Both Wittgenstein and DFW are talking about a principle that affects a person's entire attitude towards life. Given the profoundness of such a principle, they associate that principle with God, which is a word people use to convey a profound principle of life.

Using God in this way is much more than "just an emotional reaction". In a similar way, reductionists often say "love is just an chemical reaction" without taking into account the chemical reaction is one piece of a much broader phenomenon.

Under the conception of God expressed above by Wittgenstein and DFW, by saying "God does not exist" you're denying the profound principles of life they espouse. In other words, you're advocating nihilism. Now, as a fellow rationalist, do I think when you say "God does not exist" you're necessarily advocating nihilism? Absolutely not. But do I think that's exactly how a religious person will interpret you? Absolutely yes. If we care about truthfully communicating to others, then we can't ignore the way people will interpret us because we think they should be using our conceptions.

If you were to say "God embodies truth" you would accurately convey an important concept in your mind to a religious person, given the conceptual framework in their mind that they will use to interpret your statement. Furthermore, with that statement you wouldn't be compromising atheism by introducing mysterious metaphysical woo woo (in fact, that statement rules out the conceptions of God that atheists are reacting to in the first place). And by avoiding saying "God does not exist" you remove a huge barrier in terms of starting a dialog with a religious person.

1 Point      Packbat      30 Mar 2010      General Comment
I didn't say "just", and I don't want to be dismissive of foundational principles - but that still isn't actually a god being described. A god is a person, definitionally, if you ask me. These things aren't.

I don't think we're going to agree on this. I don't even think I can concede the speaking-to-the-religious angle - to quote Dennett:

"I listen to all these complaints about rudeness and intemperateness, and the opinion that I come to is that there is no polite way of asking somebody: have you considered the possibility that your entire life has been devoted to a delusion? But that’s a good question to ask. Of course we should ask that question and of course it’s going to offend people. Tough."

0 Points      Benja      01 Apr 2010      General Comment
Aumann's agreement theorem is a pillar of this website. If there is a significant disagreement in answering a question, rather than ending in a "conversational halt", a new question should be added to the website, capturing the contention.

In this case, the 'God' question is muddied, because the answers range from the completely metaphorical to the devout religious. Perhaps it's time to split this question into two or more precise questions. We could also have a separate question with regards to whether soft vs. "tell it like it is" language should be used when an atheist talks to a religious person. Dennett's quote would be great for that question.

What do you think?

1 Point      Packbat      01 Apr 2010      General Comment
The first: I don't know how the wording should go. The only ideas that come to mind are along the lines of "Do metaphors exist?", which doesn't sound like the right question.

The second: how broad - just atheism? The just-atheism version would be reasonable, actually - lots of quotes to be found there. "Should atheists directly challenge religious beliefs?"

1 Point      Benja      01 Apr 2010      General Comment
I added your question "Should atheists directly challenge religious beliefs?", and added logical implications from that question to other questions on this topic.

1 Point      JGWeissman      27 Mar 2010      Stance on Question: Disagree
Humans invented God to play a role in story they told to feel like they understood things that confused them. At this time in human development, we should notice that science is providing actual answers to the things that used to confuse us, constantly pushing back our ignorance in ways the stories about God could never have achieved, and never turning up any evidence for the actual existence of God. It is past time to discard this obsolete belief.

0 Points      JCBartlett      04 Mar 2009      Stance on Question: Disagree

Isn't he the main character in a top selling fiction novel.

well, that about sums it up.

i understand what your trying to achieve with it. It's a good system, if you'd stop using it as an excuse to kill, torture and burn people alive. =]

0 Points      Benja      13 Sep 2008      Editorial Comment
This is a great example of where experts contradict themselves purely because the question itself is ambiguous. In this case, Einstein both believes God exists and doesn't exist, depending on the definition of God.

We could have implied sub-questions here, where the definition of God in each sub question is more precisely defined.

0 Points      Moise Anilus      26 Sep 2010      General Comment
I think it is an existential arrogance not to believe in a creator and that we have been created by a super intelligent being; however, it is debatable whether the creator in whom we believe is analogous with the Abrahamic God we have come to know. When I pray, I pray to my creator because I know I am created. I am just not sure whether my creator is namely the Abrahamic God to whom we have been introduced.

0 Points      Benja      26 Sep 2010      General Comment
"I think it is an existential arrogance not to believe in a creator and that we have been created by a super intelligent being... When I pray, I pray to my creator because I know I am created..."

How obvious it is to you that there's a creator, and that everyone - including great religious figures - who have tried to prove it, not only must be somehow missing the truth that is obvious to you, but furthermore that those who have failed to find that proof are the arrogant ones.

0 Points      dug      31 May 2013      General Comment
Test your faith. Read entire link. You may never believe in God again.