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  #16  
Old Apr 29, '12, 5:22 pm
mdcpensive1 mdcpensive1 is offline
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Default Re: What do you view ad the best defense of the existence of God

If you think about it we all want a sense of justice. If someone wrongs us and we can't get even or have justice either in the courts or whatever we usually have a subconsious thought of that person being given justice maybe in the next life, but not ours so things even out somehow in the scheme of things. That thought of things evening out in this life or the next means that there is a God that somehow is the arbitor of good and evil and will repay evil with justice.
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  #17  
Old Apr 29, '12, 5:30 pm
mdcpensive1 mdcpensive1 is offline
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Default Re: What do you view ad the best defense of the existence of God

If you ever got angered at the brutality or crimes against others then you have to think about what determines good and evil. Good and evil acts are not just acts but have meaning associated with them. These actions stem from principles that are beyond human beings and come from a higher authority. For example, it is said that the sermon on the mount is so profound it must have come from a supernatural source since nothing like it had been heard before.
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  #18  
Old Apr 29, '12, 5:41 pm
mdcpensive1 mdcpensive1 is offline
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Default Re: What do you view ad the best defense of the existence of God

I must be on a role:

If you go to the zoo and see the many types of animals you will notice that there is a hierarchy of animals. The frogs are not as intellignet as the apes and some can do more complex things than others. It is like what we experience in our lives. There are creatures less than us (animals) and we have more intellignence than them. We can rationalize and build. We know that we cannot control things like rain, clouds, wind, weather, sunlight, etc. We know that there has to be something greater than us that can control or make things happen, or at least get them started.

Or think of this. If you leave a car outside and do nothing to it for twenty years it will deteriorate. The paint will fade the tires will go flat and the interior fabrics will start to rot. A yard left unkept will grow weeds and soon there is a jungle instead of a garden. But that is not happening to the world. We are keeping things in some order and building and constructing. If there were not a God then the world I think would tend to unravel instead of being in some sort of order. Order shows that there is an intelligence who designed things so as to not allow the creation to be ruined.
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  #19  
Old Apr 29, '12, 5:43 pm
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Slaney Slaney is offline
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Default Re: What do you view ad the best defense of the existence of God

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Ruiz View Post
Ive been doubting God for some time now and have been looking for solid evidence of God. I'm leading a lot toward Padre Pio. I mean could anyone possibly be that insane, that delusional? His character seems to good to not be genuine. I am however, a little afraid that some stories about him were made up. Like some of his readings of people and his confrontations with the devil. Although the healing of the man who lost his eye seems quite credible. I also love CS Lewis. I love the eloquence and beuty of his words. So really what I'm asking is for reassurance that the stories of padre pio are true. I have recently started really trying to rekindle my relationship with God. And also any personal experiences and other evidence for god is highly appreciated. I guess all I can do now though is pray and pray and pray.
What helped me as someone struggling with faith, belief, etc; was the Gospels, I mean does Jerusalem exist ? yes.
Does Bethlehem exist ? yes.
Where there 12 Apostles ? yes.
Did one betray ? yes.
Did St Joseph exist ? yes, and a Lady called Mary his spouse ? yes.
Did Simeon exist ? yes.
Was there a King Herod ? yes.
Where there Roman soldiers who crucified a man called Jesus ? definitely a big yes for me.
You can add your own on here if you like.
Did Jesus die and resurrect from the dead, did He talk about His Father, (God) in Heaven ?
Did He heal the blind, the deaf, the dumb and raise the dead to life ?
If I believe in all the above, then I have to say I believe in God, because I believe in Jesus the Son of God who was sent to this earth by the Father to redeem mankind........
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  #20  
Old Apr 29, '12, 6:24 pm
Ignatius Ignatius is offline
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Default Re: What do you view ad the best defense of the existence of God

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Ruiz View Post
Ive been doubting God for some time now and have been looking for solid evidence of God. I'm leading a lot toward Padre Pio. I mean could anyone possibly be that insane, that delusional? His character seems to good to not be genuine. I am however, a little afraid that some stories about him were made up. Like some of his readings of people and his confrontations with the devil. Although the healing of the man who lost his eye seems quite credible. I also love CS Lewis. I love the eloquence and beuty of his words. So really what I'm asking is for reassurance that the stories of padre pio are true. I have recently started really trying to rekindle my relationship with God. And also any personal experiences and other evidence for god is highly appreciated. I guess all I can do now though is pray and pray and pray.
If you're talking to athiests or agnostics who claim to have their beliefs because of a scientific basis, the book "New Proofs for the existence of God" gives very sound evidence from Physics and Science. It's by PhD R.Spitzer from eerdmans press and
unassailable.
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  #21  
Old Apr 29, '12, 7:04 pm
Gaber Gaber is offline
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Default Re: What do you view ad the best defense of the existence of God

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Originally Posted by Matthew Ruiz View Post
Ive been doubting God for some time now and have been looking for solid evidence of God.~~~ I guess all I can do now though is pray and pray and pray.
It is very easy to understand why someone would look to "signs and wonders" for reasurance. But when it comes down to it, that is still what's called a "third psrty verification." someone else did it or experienced it.

For my part, God is not known as an object of personal mind, and therefore no argument, feeling, faith, or lack of faith has anything to do but be a placeholder until a certain point of inquiry into one's nature and existance is passed. In one system of reconing, that would be the nineth fulcrum of human awareness. Most humans are not near that, or at least one can make that assesment from viewing the news. And most of us are stuck somewhere between 2 and 12 in terms of emotional development, all protests to the contrary notwithstanding.

I am not an atheist. Nevertheless, one might think so, as I put no stock in the Abrahamic paradigm of God being a personal God, and to me the Trinity is a rarely useful educational tool that can be gotten past eventually, however explanatory it might be in the meantime. I will quote here from somone I respect abouit the ordinary understanding of God:



Quote:
The word God has become empty of meaning through thousands of years of misuse. I use it sometimes, but I do so sparingly. By misuse, I mean that people who have never even glimpsed the realm of the sacred, the infinite vastness behind the word, use it with great conviction, as if they knew what they were talking about. Or they argue against it, as if they kinew what they were denying. This misuse gives rise to absurd beliefs, assertions, and egoic delusions, such as "My or our God is the only true God, and your God is false," or Nietzsche's famous "God is dead."

The word God has become a closed concept. The moment the word is uttered, a mental image is created, no longer, perhaps, of an old man with a beard, but still a mental representation of someone or something outside you, and, yes, almost inevitabley a male someone or something.

Neither God nor Being nor any other word can define or describe the ineffable reality behind the word, so the only important question is whether the word is a help or a hindreance in expereincing That toward which it points. Does it point beyond itself to that transcendent reality, or does it lend itself too easily to becoming no more than an idea in your head that you belive in, [or don't] a mental idol?

(my addition in brackets)
What might be said, somewhat controversially on these pages, is that the referent for the word God is, as Catholic and other contemplatives have discovered. experiencible. That comes through hard work and/or grace. And it doesn't, as some spontaneus experiences show, ncessarily require faith, but primarily the exhaustion of mental process, prayer being one way to do that, to the point wher the discursive mind stops. It, at some point, just cannot cope and goes into overload, and goes silent with its commentary and story about you.

What's left, then, is what appears to the intellect as nothing, blank, zero, zip zilch. And yet, it is ALL. It is significance itself. It is That which allows anything else to appear. All that is left in that state is pure, unqualified, unadulterated, Consciousness with no other attribute than Being. At that point the world changes radically in an instant. And a few things become clear.

It becomes clear how the mind works. It becomes clear why it is said that as long as you think you are a person, you will have a personal God. (A Catholic said that, btw, as well as that being implied by many others, and certainly I say it too.) You will also see that nothing of the world as it was seen before is different. As the Zenists say "Before enlightenment, chopping wood, carrying water. After enlightenment, chopping wood, carrying water. It is very true. Only your understanding and attribution of Identity changes.

So how do I know? It happened to me. There just are not words as to the astonishing and instantaneous change in perception that happens. And one who hasn't had that might readily say that "Oh, it's an illusion or a hallucination." If that is so, then it is one built into the human mind. And there would need to be an explanation of why, since there is written history, regardless of time, place, or condition, religious or not, so many have come up with the same conclusion and can speak extemporaneously of that State with complete consistencey, with or without the benefit of havng know or not others who have had the same realization. It's damn near scientific in its repeatabiliy, And in fact ther is a time honored way with small variations, that will yeild that result over time. It is implicit even in the sort of prayers recorded to have been used by Catholic contemplatives. Kd of makes sense if you are one who says that we are all "Made in the image and likeness of God."

So there it is. It matters not a whit whether you personally belive or not, It is exactly the same. It is mental/emotional, only the contents takes one side or another of the same coin, and is therfore made of the same substance. Get past your thinking mind by one of the prescribed methods, and see for yourself. No one cares, really, if you do it or not. But those who don't will continue to aregue one side or another of what isn't there except as the awareness to it. God/no God points only to that yu have awareness. What is the Source of that awarenes? If you find That, you may then be able to use one word or another to point to it. And you will be competely competent and consitent in your explications, which wil have zero meaning to anyone who hasn't "been there," but it might give them encouragement to make the journey themselves.
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  #22  
Old Apr 30, '12, 5:55 am
Perplexity Perplexity is offline
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Default Re: What do you view ad the best defense of the existence of God

Following Oppy, I think a good argument is one which compels rational individuals who don't already accept its conclusion, to accept its conclusion. Also like Oppy, I don't know of any arguments for or against god's existence that are in this sense 'good' on a wide scale at least. So, I think while the answers so far provided might suffice for folks who already believe, they shouldn't move a non-believer to theism, because he wouldn't be irrational in rejecting their conclusions.
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  #23  
Old Apr 30, '12, 5:57 am
danserr danserr is offline
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Default Re: What do you view ad the best defense of the existence of God

I don't know about the best argument to defend God. I think different ones work for different people. Here is a sample of some that I find personally useful, but like I say, different people prefer different ones..

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/does-god-exist-1
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  #24  
Old Apr 30, '12, 6:01 am
danserr danserr is offline
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Default Re: What do you view ad the best defense of the existence of God

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perplexity View Post
Following Oppy, I think a good argument is one which compels rational individuals who don't already accept its conclusion, to accept its conclusion. Also like Oppy, I don't know of any arguments for or against god's existence that are in this sense 'good' on a wide scale at least. So, I think while the answers so far provided might suffice for folks who already believe, they shouldn't move a non-believer to theism, because he wouldn't be irrational in rejecting their conclusions.
That seems to be a pretty high standard of proof, though. What do you think of Craig's suggestion that it risks being self-refuting (if I read Craig right), since by that standard Oppy's argument is a bad argument since it does not require that one agree with it on pain of irrationality.
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  #25  
Old Apr 30, '12, 6:25 am
danserr danserr is offline
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Default Re: What do you view ad the best defense of the existence of God

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perplexity View Post
Following Oppy, I think a good argument is one which compels rational individuals who don't already accept its conclusion, to accept its conclusion. Also like Oppy, I don't know of any arguments for or against god's existence that are in this sense 'good' on a wide scale at least. So, I think while the answers so far provided might suffice for folks who already believe, they shouldn't move a non-believer to theism, because he wouldn't be irrational in rejecting their conclusions.
Does it have a weird consequence? You have tried to convince Christians that atheism is true (problem of evil). But you don't think that you were using good arguments (because you accept Oppy's view that there are none). So you were trying to convince people with arguments that you knew were bad arguments. For shame
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  #26  
Old Apr 30, '12, 7:20 am
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AmbroseSJ AmbroseSJ is offline
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Default Re: What do you view ad the best defense of the existence of God

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perplexity View Post
Following Oppy, I think a good argument is one which compels rational individuals who don't already accept its conclusion, to accept its conclusion. Also like Oppy, I don't know of any arguments for or against god's existence that are in this sense 'good' on a wide scale at least. So, I think while the answers so far provided might suffice for folks who already believe, they shouldn't move a non-believer to theism, because he wouldn't be irrational in rejecting their conclusions.
As some have already pointed out, an overly intellectual approach will only go so far. So IOW, no rational argument will actually COMPEL someone to become a believer.

However, depending on the individual, and his antecedent probabilities, first principles etc., certain arguments WILL resonate and cause that person to continue on the path toward belief.

Ultimately belief in God is a supernatural virtue, IOW, it comes from God alone. With Faith, the rational intellect is guided further on her quest toward belief. Nothing will be irrational, yet not everything can be proven. However, the lack of proof will not be an insurmountable difficulty. Just as a jury can convict a murderer on circumstantial evidence, although there be no eyewitnesses, or other proof, a preponderance of evidence can outweigh a lack of proof.
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  #27  
Old Apr 30, '12, 10:54 am
Kasama Kasama is offline
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Default Re: What do you view ad the best defense of the existence of God

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Originally Posted by Ignatius View Post
If you're talking to athiests or agnostics who claim to have their beliefs because of a scientific basis, the book "New Proofs for the existence of God" gives very sound evidence from Physics and Science. It's by PhD R.Spitzer from eerdmans press and
unassailable.
Thanks, nice find.
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