If God exists, why do so many people doubt?


#322

Right. I think the same about your following comment quoted here:
Russell_SA <<<<Your points seem to indicate you don’t really have a grasp of the length of time biological creatures have been developing on this planet and the age of the solar system and universe.>>>>


#323

I don’t think that branches in a flood in any way describes consciousness. Your argument appears to be a poetic one, not a scientific one because you have not explained the mechanism explaining consciousness other than to say it is complex. How do you account for the fact that the earth rotates about the sun every 365.25 days? Answer: It is complex and it involves a whole lot of things coming together to reach the functioning level of stable gravitational motion.


#324

Let us try answering your question by considering a computer. Without an external power source a computer is just a box of no utility, containing circuits and various softwares. When it is connected to a power source, it comes alife and becomes a computer. It then can perform various functions such as piloting airplanes etc, depending on the software inside it. The software was written by us human beings who share very little in common with the computers; by that I mean that we humans have a different form of existence from the computer. There is no way the computer can know that human beings exist and that we need water, blood, oxygene, fried rice, etc to live, unless we communicate such information to them by means of softwares. In other words, the existence of the computer depends on external manipulations by human beings. Can you imagine computers arguing among themselves whether human beings exist, never mind that it is we human beings that gave them the ability to ask such a question by means of the software we wrote inside them.

So think of us human beings as computers with the software of life written in us by our Creator. However, our intelligence is so limited, like those of the computer, that we cannot imagine or comprehend the attributes and level of existence of God.

You can see that it is absurd for the computer to question the existence of human beings. The fact that the computer exists is proof enough that human beings exist; similarly, the fact that human beings exist is proof that God exists. Without human beings there will be no computer and without God there will be no human being.

So let us be humble enough to accept that Something bigger than us created us and that the attributes of that Something is beyond our knowledge.


#325

If that’s true, then why is so much stock put into making kids believe?
Just engage their intellect.

As my intellect was engaged, throughout my life, I found only reasons for the notion of god to have been made by man.
I’ve recently come across some attempts at rationally arriving at a god-like entity, but philosophy seems to play with common-sense in conditions where common-sense may not apply and hence, its conclusions may not hold true. The conclusions that they claim are watertight and unshakable by any science or reason… are not so watertight… so the intellect is still left with some exploring to do.
Until then, as it seems to me, gods are man-made and unevidenced.

Please bring forth your “evidence”.


#326

Interesting take on things…!

Ahh, but the angels have infused knowledge. Their ‘knowing’ is part of them. So, knowledge of God is part of who they are. The fallen angels’ decision (“I will not serve”) speaks to a different dynamic – largely because they’re a different sort of creature than humans are.

If this is what you thought I was saying, you’ve missed the point entirely. :man_shrugging:

There’s a critical difference between knowing that Australians or neighbors exist and knowing (through personal experience of the Glory of God) God exists. Moreover, these two bits of knowledge carry different responsibilities, and that’s the real point here. When you know your neighbor exists, you owe him certain behaviors (basic human respect, etc, etc). When you know God exists, you owe him worship and obedience.

See the difference now? :wink:

God’s moral actions and pronouncements proceed from His divinity.
:wink:

Not what I said, although it’s clear that, through whatever lens you see things, that’s what you read. My claim isn’t about “magic” – it’s about direct perception of the creator of the universe. But hey… if you’re looking for a magic god, good luck with that one! :+1:


#327

Your deity has the power to not over power our free will. So our loss of free will is on it, not us.
It is also on record for “hardening the heart of the pharaoh” so that he couldn’t make any choice but to sin against this deity as well. So if it can “harden hearts” it can give us the power to choose if it reveals itself as well.

No one, ever, is owed worship and obedience. Sorry but bending the knee is not in my design. Blame your deity for making me this way. Respect and adoration and immulation is something I can do for someone, once I have been convinced that this person has earned those accolades based on what I know about that person’s character, not their existence. It’s things like this that make my skin crawl and why I could never become religious if this is what it turns people into.

You presuppose your deity is incapable of fault. Again, you are shelving your ability to assess someone as moral just because of their divinity. It get’s a pass no matter what it does. Sorry but that’s abhorrent to me and is something to fight against and be driven from civil society.


#328

Consciousness is just the label we put on actions that higher intelligent creatures exhibit. Once their brains have reached a higher functioning state that presents these characteristics, then we label that creature as “conscious”. These are emergent properties that all fall under the label of “conscious”. We’ve evolved these expressive traits that we label as “conscious” just as we evolved brown hair, hearts, and everything else about us. Empathy, compassion, self awareness, etc. these are all evolved traits from a higher function brain. Different higher functioning animals express these traits in different degrees and it’s a characteristic we look for when we apply the label “conscious” since these are the traits we look to be expressed for that label. So any being that does not appear to express these traits, we label as Non-Conscious. such as mushrooms, trees, rocks, etc.
It’s really not anymore complicated than that. Now at what level of expression of those traits makes something conscious or not is up to us to define.


#329

We love God by loving our neighbour. Clearly there are people who don’t love their neighbours, and this shows a lack of love for God.


#330

I would disagree that consciousness is just a label. I think it involves self awareness and I don’t see how you can produce self-awareness in a laboratory,


#331

Wait… where do we ‘lose our free will’?

That’s an expression of the prevailing view (in that time and place) that there was no such thing as secondary causation – that is, the view (expressed as recently as the medieval Islamic philosophers) that anything that occurs in the universe is the direct action (and will) of God. But hey… if you want to interpret the Scriptures anachronistically and without understanding, be my guest! :wink:

Yep. He gave you free will. Of course, you’re responsible for the way in which you exercise it. :+1:


#332

Perhaps because intellect is not the only aspect to being human?

Merely knowing or believing the set of correct or true ideas isn’t sufficient.

One other aspect is doing or agency. How are we to act as agents in the world? For what purpose or end do we act? There is a whole other set of virtues relative to acting in the world that need not merely to be understood, but to be exercised as part of what it means to be human.

In other words, both intellect and will are involved in our becoming a certain kind of being. Coming to know what is true about the natural or observable world doesn’t help very much in terms of becoming a particular kind of being unless that is coupled with self-awareness – i.e., awareness of one’s ‘self’ as an autonomous agent in the world – and exercising the powers or virtues consistent with exemplifying the qualities of what it means to be human. Self-awareness provides insight into self as being in relation with the world, with other beings, with being or metaphysical reality itself, and with oneself as a being.

To claim consciousness is merely an emergent “property” of the brain says nothing about why consciousness does emerge nor its significance to the individual brain, nor about the virtues required to be a ‘good’ human specimen.


#333

Did you know that a “why” question presupposes a reasoning agent conveying reason unto whatever comes after the “why” in the question?
Your whole post is riddled with this same presupposition.

In this case, an emergent property, it’s like you’re putting two contradicting forces against each other and the result is - either one is wrong or the other - either it’s not an emergent property, or there’s no underlying reason for such an emergent property.

As with all successful products of evolution, one can claim that consciousness does provide a survival advantage. And that will satisfactorily answer the “how” question.


#334

I suppose one could assert that evolution does answer the “how” and bask in the satisfaction of having satisfactorily answered the “how” question, but merely asserting that evolution does answer the “how” is not actually an answer explaining how it does, is it?

Assuming that because successful products of evolution do exist does not entail every product of evolution will, in fact, be successful, does it?

Unless you resolutely believe question-begging reduces to the same thing as question-responding.

I suppose one might assume that the answer is an emerging phenomenon that always follows from the mere asking of the question.


#335

No. The actual mechanism is probably an extremely complex series of small evolutions of the brain.
The answer provided by my simple assertion is more of an overview.

No one said anything like that, but… sure, you’re right.

Roll with it.

Keep rolling.


#336

There is no known natural reason that allows matter to be aware of its own existence let alone abstract concepts.


#337

I fail to see the difference between “more of an overview” and “sheer speculation,” especially since the best you have done is “probably an extremely complex series of small evolutions of the brain.”

The problem with it is as follows…

We can make sense of a cheetah evolving the capacity to run at the speed of 100+ kph. It is a sustainable and plausible claim regarding the adaptive benefit to a cheetah with regard to hunting fast prey such as gazelles.

However, what if we came across a cheetah that could attain speeds of 1200 kph on land, 3500 kph in the air and 500 kph in/on water? Could you possibly attribute those to “an extremely complex series of small evolutions of the [cheetah’s] brain and morphology?” Seems an outlandishly extreme adaptive jump with regard to benefiting survival, no?

Yet those are speeds attained by human beings using what you claim are a “complex series of small evolutions of the brain.”

To further compound the issue, the human brain [or, more specifically, those complex series of small evolutions of the human brain] now are placing the human species and possibly the planet itself in danger of not surviving.

So how does an evolving survival mechanism that “jumps the shark,” so to speak, vis a vis the survival of any life whatsoever, continue to be the go-to principle by which survival must, by sheer presumption, be the outcome?


#338

How did life start without God? How could life evolve without God?


#339

No known natural reason, huh?..
How about survival?
A fly must be aware of its existence, otherwise, why would it fly away when a potential threat comes close to it?

Or are you expecting a reason of the kind that flows from Quantum mechanics, through Chemistry, Biochemistry and then pooof Psychology and awareness of the self?
If you want pooof to be magic, then feel free to make it so… I’d first assume there to be a way for biochemistry to bring forth the psyche… and it certainly does look like it does.

Sheer speculation… if that’s what you’re calling it, then… show me a scientific field where sheer speculation and appeal to probabilism isn’t how things are done.
I’ll sit down while I wait…

The planet?.. the planet will be fine.
The human species, however, you’re right… a survival trait that has served it well for hundreds of thousands of years has recently been able to do things that are very destructive. Seems to come in line with the old sense of greed - “heck, if it works for my lifetime, why should I care?”. Greed works well in some settings… not so good when it has global repercussions, but I’d call that abuse of the tools evolution has provided us with.

HAHA!
The evolution mechanism is solely interested with the survival and reproduction of the self… who said anything about “any life whatsoever”?


#340

I am speaking in terms of any mechanic. There’s no reason mere electrical signals should allow for abstract thought or concepts.

It is a nonstarter and the most obvious thing in the world that the process that brought forth life which has abstract thinking and self awareness brought forth like which had abstract thinking and self awareness. It’s a truism, and nothing anyone is denying.
One word about your idea with the fly, though, is that you should be very careful to not personify animals. Simply because they run away when confronted by danger does not mean they are self aware, when a bird sings, it is not because it is in a very good mood, etc.


#341

A mechanism now has “interests” does it?

How does foresight embed itself into such a mechanism, except by the presumption of the advocate speaking on behalf of the mechanism?

Must be another emerging property, eh?

What precisely about the mechanism is the mechanism trying to preserve and reproduce? And how precisely would the mechanism hit upon the need to preserve that aspect of itself?

It ought, also, to be pointed out that if “sheer speculation and appeal to probabilism” is permissible for science, then it is equally permissible for a theist proposing a Creator and sustainer of the universe.

I mean the fine tuning of the universe is exorbitantly beyond any appeal to probability, to say nothing of the probability of complex genetic code arising by sheer chance – and here I am speaking of just getting to the possibility of self-replication before natural selection has any effect.

So you cannot give science a complete pass regarding “appeal to probabilism” but then turn around and insist theism cannot make any equivalent appeal to the same probabilism.


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