God's existence superstitious?


#1

What do you say to someone who claims that Christianity is basically nothing but myth? Anotherwords since one can’t “prove” God’s existence or disprove it, then one could just as well say invisible fairies encircle us daily, or that another god created our God. You can’t prove it or disprove it, but then that goes the same for our God’s existence.

I’m in a conversation with one who levels Christianity down to that level. Of course I realize there is no church founded on invisible fairies as there is for Christ, but this doesn’t seem enough since there are numerous religions. What else could one say?


#2

Good for you for standing up for your beliefs! Bless you for your faith!

I wonder though…Is there a lot of point in engaging in argument about the existence of God with someone who has no faith? Perhaps it makes sense if the person is seeking truth, but if they’re not, is it better to agree to disagree and pray sincerely and faithfully to the person?

“Have nothing to do with the pointless philosophical discussions and antagonistic beliefs of the ‘knowledge’ which is not knowledge at all; by adopting this, some have gone right away from the faith. Grace be with you.” [1 Timothy 6 20-21]

“The time is sure to come when, far from being content with sound teaching, people will be avid for the latest novelty and collect themselves a whole series of teachers according to their own tastes; and instead of listening to the truth, they will turn to myths.” [2 Timothy 3:3-5]

Even so I’m sure someone will be able to post reasonable arguments for you to pass on or links to help out.

God bless you and keep you flourishing in faith and gospel life. :slight_smile:


#3

Pagan beliefs have always existed.

I agree with the poster above - pray for this person.


#4

Trishie seems to have covered the answer pretty well. If a person is not convicted of their own volition, there is little one can do.

I would basically agree that there is no way to prove or disprove the existance of God scientifically other than the proof of our very existance. Modern Science is very good at explaining how, and in some cases why things occur, but it cannot explain existance itself.

Science is limited. Every answer sparks another “Why”. God exists on the other side of that “Why”. Where Scientific Knowledge ends, there one finds God.

One other thought. Often times the problem with these discussions is the definition of “God”. Each person comes with a belief or understanding of what God is. In other words some “definition”. Since God is Infinite and undefinable by our intellect, andy attempt at a definition must fail.
Even the simple idea of naming Him is too limiting.
God, Yaweh, Jehovah, Allah, Heavenly Father, Creator, All of these as well as others immediately call to mind some specific ideas. Each containing some limitation in our inadequate mind.
Remember what God told Moses when Moses asked His name - I AM that I AM.

Sorry if I seem to ramble some. Another problem with trying to explain God - even to each other. Anyway, I hope that some of this might be of use in discussion and easing your friend into the idea that belief in God is not as odd or superstitious as she thinks. You just need to think in terms of baby steps with her.

I agree with the need for prayer. Pray for her to be enlightened and pray for yourself to be Guided by the Holy Spirit in what to say and how to say it.

Peace
James


#5

Argueing that “Christianity is based on a myth”, isn’t about God existing, or not existing. It has to do that with Christians making extrodinary claims without demonstrating the evidence. Some of these include what God wants, is, temperment, needs, attributes, etc etc.

Here’s an excellent video that explains it further
youtube.com/watch?v=80nhqGfN6t8

Its founded on belief of a man-god who sacrificed his life to save humanity from himself (God the father), then rose from the dead. If I one wanted to be really cheeky, you could word that differently to sound as ridiculous as belief in fairies :stuck_out_tongue:


#6

It has already been done:

WARNING - The following text may cause apoplexy in people of a nervous disposition. May contain traces of nuts.

So you believe that a cosmic Jewish zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so that he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in all humans because a woman made from a rib was convinced by a talking snake with legs to eat from a magical tree and thereby upset the invisible wizard who lives in the sky?

Don’t say I didn’t warn you :slight_smile:

Not mine, google “cosmic jewish zombie”.

rossum


#7

I have said this to someone who basically said what the OP is stating …

“What if… for the sake of argument… That you are right in saying that God is made up by man… I, in beleiving, that God does exist will die and nothing will happen to me. I have lived a good life and nothing will come for me after death… right?”

"Well, again for the sake of argument… What if I am right? "

“Now, knowing the scenerio and the consequences, … Are you willing to take the chance and not believe? What do you have to lose?”

After I finished speaking there was a silence… And I think I heard wheels turning…squeeky… but at least they were turning. I hope that was a seed that fell on fertile soil.

Paul


#8

I found this on a blog and it sounds like a good book to buy.

acatholiclife.blogspot.com/

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#9

You know, inherently this kind of question isn’t really fair. On the one hand, in order to respond adequately, you need to explain the nature of manuscript evidence, evidence from testimony, evidence from historical consequences, logical evidence, philosophical evidence, personal experience of salvation, and so on. In other words, you basically have to instruct a person in the history of Christian belief.

But on the other hand, all the other has to do is give a non-thinking, off-the-cuff answer like, “It’s all just a bunch of myth anyway,” and you’re back to square one.

In my experience, PEOPLE WHO WANT TO MOCK WILL NOT DO THE RESEARCH ANYWAY. When I’m dealing with the Dawkins clones, I like to ask them, “What’s the last serious Christian work of theology you’ve read?”

Typically (after some prodding) the answer comes out to be: “I’ve never read ANY.”

But we’re the ones who are supposed to have all the right answers at our fingertips. As I said, this type of discussion inherently is lopsided.


#10

Trishie’s point was quite excellent, if applicable. Eventually those conversations need to be had at some level, not least, as she points out, when someone is honestly seeking God. This is an age-old question so there should be some great answers out there, even for free (I myself would start with the Catholic Encyclopedia).

I think JRKH is right to say that we have to look at our own existence first and foremost. How in the heck did we get here? An accident? That seems far more proposterous than God. How did the universe come into being? The Big Bang? Perhaps, but who created the material/matter that produced the explosion? Ultimately we have to come to some non-created thing which we call divine. (By the way, I doubt the Big Bang can be proved any more than God the Creator can.)

More evidence for God’s existence is the integrity of her Church - only the Church can offer a plausible explanation, based on reason, for every single facet of human history. Whatever ‘fault’ one finds with her teaching, they can bring here, and find a reasonable explanation.

Eventually, the body of evidence becomes so complete that faith is but a simple step. May all come to know Him!


#11

This is Pascal’s wager. It might have worked in that case, but it will not work in all cases. For example, would I do better to attend a Hindu temple with 100,000 gods and so a much better chance of finding the right god than in a Christian church with just one god. Buy 1 get 99,999 free.

Do you attend a synagogue on Saturdays just in case the Jews are right about Jesus? Are you willing to take that chance considering the consequences of being wrong?

Pascal’s wager is not specific to any one god and many who use it do not follow through on the logic themselves. It is not as powerful an argument as some seem to think.

rossum


#12

What if I told you that if you didn’t run outside right now and start barking out loud in public in your skinnies, a monster would come and boil you in acid? Sounds ridiculous right? But it might happen. How compelled do you feel right now to go outside and bark at people in your birthday suit?:stuck_out_tongue:


#13

Very true, we can’t be theists on a mere penalty-free hedge bet. If the Wager helped some people arrive at faith, then good, but I suspect it has caused more harm than good, if non-theists believe that is the extent of Christian reason.


#14

What do you say to someone who claims that Christianity is basically nothing but myth? Anotherwords since one can’t “prove” God’s existence or disprove it, then one could just as well say invisible fairies encircle us daily, or that another god created our God. You can’t prove it or disprove it, but then that goes the same for our God’s existence.

I’m in a conversation with one who levels Christianity down to that level. Of course I realize there is no church founded on invisible fairies as there is for Christ, but this doesn’t seem enough since there are numerous religions. What else could one say?

I guess the first question is, “what’s your proof?” One could equally argue that “1+1=2” is nothing but a myth, as well. If you get down to it, there really isn’t proof of anything at all in the world. You could ask the person who makes this challenge to prove that he himself exists. And you could respond, “I only believe you’re a figment of my imagination, therefore, there’s nothing you can do to prove to me you exist outside of some phantasm in my brain.”

He’ll protest that’s not a fair comparison. Absolutely it’s fair, when the power of deduction is eliminated. Mankind has deduced the existence of God and the Sonship of Christ through various physical signs and manifestations, as well as supernatural ones, as well. You’ve deduced the existence of your friend based on other physical signs. But in the end, his existence is actually less provable than God’s, because, in the least, you can use your own self-awareness as proof to yourself that you were created. You can’t necessarily prove it about something external to you. Your friend, after all, may not exist at all.

As for the truth of Christianity and supposed “myth”, a study of compared “myths” shows absolutely no resemblance to the Holy Trinity, Christ’s mission, or the manifold prophecies that pre-announced His arrival. Nothing even comes close. Ancient myth may have come about as a step in the process of figuring out Who, exactly, created all of this, but it wasn’t until God revealed Himself as I AM that all those myths became totally irrelevant. That they are resurrected by skeptics as proof against Christianity is merely intellectual laziness or a deep fear of discovering that Christianity is not hogwash.


#15

Ask them if they love anyone. If they say “Yes”, ask them to scientifically prove that there love exists.

Acceptable “Proof” is not neccessarily physical evidence. Let them read Thomas Aquinas: newadvent.org/summa/1002.htm


#16

I believe you’ve just given weight to the arguement that fairies, Sanata Clause, and the Flying Speghetti Monster all exist:rolleyes:


#17

I nearly spurted coffee out my nose when I read that. In case this has never happened to you, it is much worse than milk.

I’ve had the Pascal Wager argument at least a dozen times with my Dad. He trots out the argument. I come up with half a dozen ways why it isn’t valid. And he repeats it.

Good times. I think its best use is as a way of annoying people.


#18

Well, I’m not a huge fan of Pascal’s Wager either. But what most people forget or never know is that it is located inside about 300 pages of apologetics. What Pascal was saying is that some people will never accept any logical arguments on behalf of Christianity. So his Wager is a last-ditch effort to point out that even the bare minimum of self-interest should point people toward belief.

P.S. It only applies, as do most theistic arguments, to a Supreme Being. A singular being, in other words. If someone told me seriously that he or she had a million gods, I’d say fine. However, I’d also know that none of the million is God. Even in Hinduism, the multitudes of deities are usually seen as aspects of the One.


#19

Originally Posted by terryobrien80
*Ask them if they love anyone. If they say “Yes”, ask them to scientifically prove that there love exists.

Acceptable “Proof” is not neccessarily physical evidence. Let them read Thomas Aquinas: newadvent.org/summa/1002.htm*

How do you figure that?
My first sentence demonstates that real things (such as Love) do not necessarily have physical evidence to back them up.
My second sentence - a referrence to Aquinas’ Summa Theologia - is hardly proof for “fairies”


#20

The real crux of Pascal’s Wager is the concept of justice. If God as taught by the Catholic Church does exist, then as a matter of justice we owe him our total allegiance. Pascal appeals less to self-interest than he does to self-pride. After all, what kind of person doesn’t want to be do what is just?

– Mark L. Chance.


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