Why Require Proof of God's Existence?

Why does one require proof of the existence of anything?

Most people structure their entire lives around a God not proved to exist.

Most people know that humans cannot flap their arms and fly safely from the top of the Empire State Building. Facts like that keep us alive.

Facts and proof are part of the fabric of our society, the reason why our laws are written and the basis of our entire system of mercantile commerce. Without proof, claims cannot be validated and without validation there exists no standards to which we may draw upon for truth.

Would you invest in companies or give out your credit card number over the phone without any proof of the caller's claims, or even proof that the company exists?

The reasons to require proof are far too numerous to name.

The countless millions of people who have lost their lives through murder, torture and as the result of terrorism, along with the countless trillions of dollars in property that have been destroyed are directly due to the lack of proof of diametrically opposing propositionally ideological philosophies.

Religions that believe they have the only path to God, the only book that has been authored by God, that certain geological locations have been given to them by God and that all those who do not believe must be either subjugated, converted or killed cannot exist within proximity to one another.

This has been a catalyst for local destruction for millennia, and now that we have what appears to be a portal from the fourteenth century open onto our world with inhabitants pouring through by the tens of thousands that have access to twenty-first century weapons puts it on a global scale of potential mass homicide.

Imagine all this NOT ever having existed if proof was required outside of ancient texts written by ignorant men with little or no understanding of the world, the universe and basic human physiology.

Yeah, we should demand proof - proof is, well, kind of important. It may even mean the difference between life continuing on this planet or our extinction.

37 comments:

  1. An open minded study of probability theory combined with DNA structure should be all than is needed to show the necessity of a higher power.

    Probability without guidance is pretty useless at building anything.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It all boils down to what you feel in your heart. That's where the rubber meets the road. Some of us have experienced absence and presence, hardness of heart, or transformed heart. These are subjective intangibles, but who is to say that they are not valid? If a person's beliefs cause them to do good, how can that be bad?

    I also don't believe in stereotypes of "all" religious people rejecting science or research. It's been my experience that although there are egregious examples of that, it is a low percentage phenomenon that often acts as a lightening rod for non believers to point at. We wouldn't have all of the Catholic and Protestant hospitals if religious people hated science. It's a wonderful tool, actually.

    BB

    ReplyDelete
  3. Exactly what is it about the structure of DNA that shows the necessity of a higher power?


    Paul Ray

    ReplyDelete
  4. Different folks obviously require different levels or types of proof of various things.

    Unfortunately for some folks all they need is for proof is what some 'qualified' resource says in word or in print. Others need to see it or hear it.

    My personal standard is, I don't *have* to believe anything. If it isn't something I wish to pursue and someone wishes me to subscribe to it, then the burden to provide proof that meets my qualifications is on the person or organization pushing the concept. Having learned my lesson the hard way, my 'proof' threshold is high. Consensus or "The bible tells us" doesn't even come close. That goes for matters theological as well as scientific.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Byker Bob said...
    It all boils down to what you feel in your heart.

    Uh, no. The "heart" is very misleading, as our past experiences have shown.

    What it boils down to is presenting proof of existence.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What we are looking for, Questeruk, is validating PROOF for the existence of God.

    If you have any, present it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Charlie said...
    Different folks obviously require different levels or types of proof of various things.

    AND, some people (most people) require absolutely NO PROOF that a God exists before blindly accepting that it does.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Paul Ray asked ‘Exactly what is it about the structure of DNA that shows the necessity of a higher power?’

    In reality Paul, the answer should be self evident. However I will expand it a little, to explain the reason for matching probability theory combined with DNA structure.

    Let’s take the old chestnut of monkeys typing Shakespeare – you know how it goes – ‘given enough time etc.’

    If you were JUST trying to type the phrase ‘to be or not to be, that is the question.’ (Just 41 specific characters and spaces). If your monkey were typing the whole 41 characters once a second, for the age of the Universe (I mean maybe 15 Billion Years, not 6000 years!), the chance is as good as zero – but let’s expand it.

    It’s estimated there may be 17 Billion galaxies in the Universe. If we say that each galaxy has 17 Billion planets in it, and each planet has it’s own 17 billion monkeys, all typing away for 17 billion years, and each second producing another 41 character string. Even if they never typed the same thing twice, and every 41 character set produced was different to every other one – they will only have produced less than 1/18,000,000,000,000 of the possible combinations – and of these combinations, only one is right.

    So this means that they have one chance in 18,000,000,000,000 of typing the correct 41 character sentence. (I haven’t gone through the maths on this, but it is relativity straightforward, if tedious).

    What’s that got to do with DNA and genes?

    It has been stated that over 200 genes would be the minimum set required to support a viable cell. One gene is more complex than selecting one character from a range of about 30. The whole thing is vastly more complex than the monkey problem.

    Are we supposed to conclude that Shakespeare himself was the result of a random process when it is clearly as good as impossible for even one short sentence of his work to have arisen by chance

    Paul, that is exactly what it is about the structure of DNA that shows the necessity of a higher power.

    But as Charlie said ‘Different folks obviously require different levels or types of proof of various things’.

    So Paul and Corky – how about it? Or maybe probability isn’t your thing…………..

    ReplyDelete
  9. For one thing, Questeruk, you are comparing apples to rocks and for another thing evolution has nothing whatever to do with your statistics about the monkeys typing. Where'd you get those silly statistics anyway? AiG?

    Somehow, I doubt very seriously if you even know what DNA is much less understand anything about it. But, rest assured that science knows enough about it to get a criminal convicted in court.

    ReplyDelete
  10. That'd be the carnal heart, Corky. Not the transformed one.

    BB

    ReplyDelete
  11. Carnal heart or transformed heart, it's all from the human brain and the heart still only pumps blood.

    So, where is your verifiable proof of the existence of a God?

    ReplyDelete
  12. And what sort of proof would you need? Jesus rose from the dead and that was proof enough for some! I hope you wouldn't fit into the same category.

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sorry that should have read "wasn't proof enough for some"

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  14. "In reality Paul, the answer should be self evident."

    But it isn't, unless one is operating on a previous assumption- that a supernatural being created DNA by divine fiat.


    "It has been stated that over 200 genes would be the minimum set required to support a viable cell."

    You are working under the false assumption that primordial life consisted of "cells" as we know them today. Which it wasn't. You are also working under the assumption that primordial life needed and used a modern genome. Which a primitive "cell" wouldn't. You're doing what every other Kreationist does- totally misrepresent what the theory of evolution is, build a strawman from this erroneous assumption, then smugly set it on fire.

    And probability- yes, it seems very improbable to you but there is a possibility of it happening. Which it did. And this should also be self-evident, for we are living and breathing and communicating.


    Paul Ray

    ReplyDelete
  15. "So this means that they have one chance in 18,000,000,000,000 of typing the correct 41 character sentence."

    What do you mean, "correct" sentence (gene)? There was no "correct" gene. Only pieces of data that led to the production of molecules that gave the organism (I use this term loosely)some sort of an advantage. You speak as if there were a set of genes necessary for organism A to exist- while ignoring evolution as a whole- organisms evolve and sometimes they evolve to such a point that certain genes become necessary. But their precursors didn't have those same genes and yet lived.

    Look, I know it pains you to actually study the subject since Jebus gives it a "thumbs down," but you could only benefit from seriously studying evolution in greater detail instead of being just another Kreationist drone.


    Paul Ray

    ReplyDelete
  16. Since DNA has been mentioned and "proof" in the same thread I suggest some read "The Language of God" by Francis S. Collins. The author is an evangelical Christian and head of the Human Genome Project. He works at the cutting edge of the study of DNA.

    He wrote: "...no scientific observation can reach the level of absolute proof of the existence of God." (p. 78)

    "Rational argument can never conclusively prove the existence of God." (p. 164)

    "Belief in God will always require a leap of faith." (p. 201)

    His book is subtitled: "A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief." Note that the word is evidence, not proof.

    This is an interesting book in that Collins believes in Darwinian evolution and an ancient earth while at the same time rejecting a literal interpretation of Genesis 1and 2. He also faults the foolishness of the Intelligent Design proponents.

    A good read for both atheist and theist.

    ReplyDelete
  17. You say “You are working under the ‘false assumption’ that primordial life consisted of ‘cells’. Which it wasn’t....Which a primitive "cell" wouldn't.” – Proof? Again, the theory might require this, but the evidence?

    It's not a matter of the theory requiring it- it's what the theory postulates, which is what you are criticizing, though you seem to be criticizing a version of the theory that is your own.

    Nevertheless, we can see examples of cells less complex than others, for example the eukaryotic cell versus the prokaryotic cell and even more primtive, membraneous vesicles that can auto assemble (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v454/n7200/full/454037a.html).


    "That is a complete cop out Ray, and you know it."

    It's not a cop-out, it's reality. A cop-out is believing that an imaginary being had a hand in things you can't yet explain. That's not only a cop-out, it's intellectually lazy. Which isn't your case, though. Your case is worse. You don't even bother grappling with trying to explain it. For you, the Bible said so and that's all there is to it. There are no other possibilities for you.


    Paul Ray

    ReplyDelete
  18. 15 Evolutionary Gems


    http://www.nature.com/nature/newspdf/evolutiongems.pdf

    (Free)



    Paul Ray

    ReplyDelete
  19. Questeruk, I see what you mean and I sympathize (maybe that's empathize?)

    However, evolutionary biology is the best humans have so far figured out about our natural world.

    Unless we create a creator who creates and destroys 90% of life from time to time and just starts over again - evolution is what we are stuck with, sorry.

    The fact is that there is evidence for evolutionary biology and no evidence what-so-ever for a multi, omni, or any other supernatural anything.

    I'll stick with the evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Actually, science is hopelessly flawed at this point in time, since it is not advanced enough to be able to detect God. Perhaps sometime in our lives as research into string theory becomes deeper, God will be able to be detected and measured in our own primitive human ways.

    You can rely on science for many many things, but unfortunately, not for information about the spiritual. That's why faith is so important to all of us.

    BB

    ReplyDelete
  21. "I find it intriguing that while you seem incapable of even considering the possibility of any form of higher power, because in your mind in cannot be proved..."

    But I did consider that possibility- in fact, that was the only possibility that I allowed myself for over twenty years. I refused to entertain any other possibility because of the Bible. But of course, in my own mind, I thought my viewpoint was based solely on logic. Evolution? Ridiculous! There's no way it could have happened! With the Bible in one hand and GTA's "A Whale of a Tale" I refused to allow any other possibility than God (er, I mean a "higher power"- and it was based soley on my belief in God (oops- I mean "higher power"). My belief trumped any new evidence. My belief acted as a filter, disregarding anything whatsoever that contradicted the Bible. So I know exactly where you are coming from, even if you don't.

    And, no, I don't accept the existence of God without proof, just as I don't accept the existence of leprechauns without proof- just like you. This is a very reasonable approach for a rational human being.

    If there arises proof for God, such as some of the same events described in the Bible, then yes, I will have to revise my view (unlike Believers, who revise the evidence instead of their view).


    Paul Ray

    ReplyDelete
  22. "You can rely on science for many many things, but unfortunately, not for information about the spiritual. That's why faith is so important to all of us.
    "

    You can rely on science for many many things, but unfortunately, not for information about invisible magical dragons and imps. That's why faith is so important to all of us.


    Just to put your words in perspective.


    Paul Ray

    ReplyDelete
  23. Things exist, therefore, they came to exist by either supernatural means or natural means. Ruling out the supernatural, since there is no evidence to support that nightmare, we are left with the natural means.

    As it turns out, the natural means of evolutionary biology has gobs of evidence to support it and the supernatural supporters have yet to produce one iota of proof.

    ReplyDelete
  24. "Life is flexible, and can adapt to a degree. (e.g. Darwin’s Galapagos finches). But it cannot adapt that much (witness past mass extinctions)."

    Why not? Is there a "stopping point" to adaptation? Why can't an organism, seen to adapt and change physiologically over a hundred years or so, cannot undergo incredible physiological changes over the course of a few thousand years? Million years? But the fossil record shows that organisms have continued to adpat past what you refer to when you say "flexible."


    "...but I am unsure just how significant this may be."

    Well, think about it. If a membraneous vesicle, capable of containing molecules and allowing certain molecules in and out, and can maintain it's integrity- let me just add that this is basically your garden variety eukaryotic cell membrane, like the cells in your body- if this vesicle can SELF-ASSEMBLE and this has been shown in the laboratory, then this is strong evidence to support the theory that a primitive "cell," given the materials, could SELF-ASSEMSBLE and continue to evolve.

    In fact, the first Nature article I posted concerns this very situation.



    Paul Ray

    ReplyDelete
  25. We need to contemplate this for a moment. What would we need to do to prove the existence of leprechauns?

    We'd need to prove that they actually do what the legends say that they do. In other words, find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Unfortunately, since rainbows last for such a short duration, and span such a long distance, this would be impossible. By the time the leprechaun left the pot of gold, the rainbow would be already gone before another person could find it.

    Leprechauns are supposed to be physical beings, so you could also prove their existence by finding one. But, this has proven to be just as elusive as finding the Abominable Skunk Ape, Bigfoot.

    Based on the descriptions of what God is supposed to do, it's much easier to see where He has been working. Changed lives, blessings against all odds, answered prayer, sustenance of the laws of physics, unexplainable anomalies such as uranium, and the law of biogenesis all speak very strongly to God's existence. The fact is that if He were to take so much as a five minute vacation, there would be such massive carnage that nobody would probably be able to question His existence for decades. Knowing mankind, the disbelief would once again set in after a time. It's simply the way some people are.

    BB

    ReplyDelete
  26. "Knowing mankind, the disbelief would once again set in after a time. It's simply the way some people are."

    Yes, Bob - and it would be a very short time too. Weeks, not years, is my guess.

    ReplyDelete
  27. "Leprechauns are supposed to be physical beings, so you could also prove their existence by finding one. But, this has proven to be just as elusive as finding the Abominable Skunk Ape, Bigfoot."

    There is a reason for that. It's because they do not exist. Like gods and godesses. But are yopu willing to apply this reasoning to your god? Nope. Of course not. There are special reasons why we don't see God.

    "Based on the descriptions of what God is supposed to do, it's much easier to see where He has been working. Changed lives, blessings against all odds, answered prayer, sustenance of the laws of physics, unexplainable anomalies such as uranium, and the law of biogenesis all speak very strongly to God's existence."

    Bob, do you any evidence that all of these occurences aren't natural occurences? Why do you immediately ascribe subjective experiences and nature to a supernatural diety? How do you make that leap? Because a book told you?

    I could probably find similar statements from Muslims, Hindus, Satanists, and even New Agers, and all would be convinced that their god(s) or spiritual forces are responsible.


    Paul Ray

    ReplyDelete
  28. No, Paul. I just have anecdotal empirical evidence, such as before and after stories in my own life and thought processes and those of some others who are or were close to me.

    BB

    ReplyDelete
  29. "No, Paul. I just have anecdotal empirical evidence, such as before and after stories in my own life and thought processes and those of some others who are or were close to me."

    So a series of internal thought processes and subjective events in your life and others around you is enough to convince you that there is a god, and that he is the god of the bible?

    Once again, you realize that this is exactly the same reasoning used by all believers of all religions?
    Including pagan gods which I am sure you do not believe in?

    Paul Ray

    ReplyDelete
  30. Your description doesn't quite fit the reality of it, Paul, although it's a halfway decent attempt.

    In my case, I saw some examples of something working in some formerly hopeless peoples' lives. Though I would not have believed this even remotely possible, since I was actually hostile at one point, the people were close enough to me, and I loved them enough, that their success inspired me to try it myself, and guess what? I found that it works for me, too.

    Very few atheists or agnostics will attempt to put their money where their mouth is, by taking God for a sincere test drive. For one reason or another, there's a steel trap door there. I guess I became just open minded enough, having pretty much recovered from the spiritual rape of the past, to take my search for answers to a different level.

    It would be difficult now, given the success I've experienced, for anyone to convince me that there is no God out there. My quality of life has improved exponentially.

    Two years ago, if someone had posted the paragraphs which I just did, I would have laughed and felt sorry for them. So, it's even ok for you to laugh at me if you wish. I totally understand.

    BB

    ReplyDelete
  31. Gullibility and open-mindedness are two different things. But only in religion is blind gullibility labeled "open-minded."

    I still don't understand why you don't accept the literal existence of Allah, or some of the Hindu gods- all of whom are verified to be working in the lives of their respective believers- by the believers themselves. This is the exact same criteria you use to determine that your god exists.

    Paul Ray

    ReplyDelete
  32. OK OK OK! Enough harping on Bob already!

    The thing you have to understand is, Bob's god IS real --- FOR BOB.

    "Men create gods. That is the way it is in the world. Men create gods, and worship their creation. It would be fitting for the gods to worship men!" Gospel of Philip

    So long as Bob is doing no harm to himself or others, let him make whatever god he wants to.

    The minute he starts trying to foist his god onto other people, however, then it's open season. IMO.

    Right now, I don't see much of Bob trying to force us to conform to his belief (although I admit that I used to read his Christianizing screeds that way at one time); I look at Bob's posts now and they, to me, read as though he is still trying to convert himself.

    Maybe that's what Bob wants or need (consciously or otherwise) out of his god though. Who knows? No one can get behind Bob's eyes and see through them. But Bob can't get behind anyone else's eyes and see through them, either.

    Hmmm. There's this thing I read somewhere once, a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, something about "judge not"..... ??

    ReplyDelete
  33. "So long as Bob is doing no harm to himself or others, let him make whatever god he wants to."

    It's funny; if Bob worshipped and talked to and followed the dictates of The Voltarian Volcano God from Sirius Delta Six, society would place him in the nuthatch. But since he worships and talks to follows the dictates of Jehovah, it's perfectly reasonable.

    ReplyDelete
  34. "There's this thing I read somewhere once, a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, something about "judge not"..... ??"

    Hey, I have an idea! Let's perpetuate mental illness by respecting the delusions and hallucinations of the mentally ill! Our goodwill and tolerance will make the world a better place! Instead of reasoning with them and trying to help them, let's all just get along and strum the guitar!

    And it isn't harping. It's asking rational questions. Just like questions Bob may ask when someone tries to sell him a new Harley for only $5, or when his friend tells Bob that he has an invisible dragon living in a garage. Bob will be quite skeptical and ask questions to try to understand the truth of the matter. It's only when people ask these questions of religion is it seen as "harping."


    Paul Ray

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hey,

    I'm not complaining. Life is good, finally. And, I really wish it could be for everyone. As a charter member of the ABA (anything but Armstrongism), I really have nothing against atheists. I just happen to believe that science has not yet advanced to its full potential because it is unable to detect, quantify, and definitively prove God.

    About $5 Harleys. Yes, you do have to be careful. But there has been the occasional disgruntled wife, in the midst of a divorce, who has paperwork and is vengefully selling said Harley for $5 to rake hot coals over the head of her ex. It happens.

    BB

    ReplyDelete
  36. Ha! I forgot about the disgruntled ex-wife. All the rules, including rationality, exit stage left in that situation.


    Paul Ray

    ReplyDelete
  37. "And it isn't harping. It's asking rational questions."

    That are futile. I mean, you don't honestly expect to change his mind, do you? And even if you did, there's no way in hell he'd admit you had.

    "Hey, I have an idea! Let's perpetuate mental illness by respecting the delusions and hallucinations of the mentally ill!"

    So what you're saying is, Paul, when we were in the church, we were "mentally ill" too.

    Don't know if I can get behind that, necessarily. Brainwashing as a mental illness? Mmmm, nope, can't go there. Sorry.

    "It's only when people ask these questions of religion is it seen as "harping.""

    That wasn't my point at all. I say it's harping to ask these questions of close-minded, hard-hearted religious believers.

    "Let the dead bury the dead," and all that jazz........

    ReplyDelete

Please be nice when writing comments. Thank you.