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What would count as proof of God

steve_bank

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Paraphrasing what I have heard before.

If some super being manifested itself with apparent supernatural powers we would have no way to know if it was 'god' or advanced technology. A recurring theme on the Star Trek saga.
 

Learner

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Paraphrasing what I have heard before.

If some super being manifested itself with apparent supernatural powers we would have no way to know if it was 'god' or advanced technology. A recurring theme on the Star Trek saga.

If it was an entity like Q that created you, then he would still be your god (in your analogy), whether you like it or not. The creator IOWs makes the rules!
 

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Paraphrasing what I have heard before.

If some super being manifested itself with apparent supernatural powers we would have no way to know if it was 'god' or advanced technology. A recurring theme on the Star Trek saga.

If it was an entity like Q that created you, then he would still be your god (in your analogy), whether you like it or not. The creator IOWs makes the rules!

But i still choose whether or not to worship him.
If he's a major butthole, then even if he creatified je, i don't owe him worship.
Obedience, maybe. Fear.
Not necessarily worship.
 

Learner

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Paraphrasing what I have heard before.

If some super being manifested itself with apparent supernatural powers we would have no way to know if it was 'god' or advanced technology. A recurring theme on the Star Trek saga.

If it was an entity like Q that created you, then he would still be your god (in your analogy), whether you like it or not. The creator IOWs makes the rules!

But i still choose whether or not to worship him.
If he's a major butthole, then even if he creatified je, i don't owe him worship.
Obedience, maybe. Fear.
Not necessarily worship.

True, and you can't be forced to really love a creator. especially if he doesn't love you.

(Mind you..Q was rather fond of Picard)
 

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Paraphrasing what I have heard before.

If some super being manifested itself with apparent supernatural powers we would have no way to know if it was 'god' or advanced technology. A recurring theme on the Star Trek saga.

If it was an entity like Q that created you, then he would still be your god (in your analogy), whether you like it or not. The creator IOWs makes the rules!
Steve isn't (to my understanding) talking about Q, but an episode where a woman claims to be a planet's god. Ultimately Picard is able to reenact her god-like abilities. The Q were god like.
 

Keith&Co.

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Paraphrasing what I have heard before.

If some super being manifested itself with apparent supernatural powers we would have no way to know if it was 'god' or advanced technology. A recurring theme on the Star Trek saga.

If it was an entity like Q that created you, then he would still be your god (in your analogy), whether you like it or not. The creator IOWs makes the rules!
Steve isn't (to my understanding) talking about Q, but an episode where a woman claims to be a planet's god. Ultimately Picard is able to reenact her god-like abilities. The Q were god like.
The Q were not god-LIKE. They were omnipotent, omniscient petty immortal assholes.
I never could understand how Picard could keep looking at Q and flat out telling him, "You're no god!" What the fuck was he (they?) lacking?
 

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Steve isn't (to my understanding) talking about Q, but an episode where a woman claims to be a planet's god. Ultimately Picard is able to reenact her god-like abilities. The Q were god like.
The Q were not god-LIKE. They were omnipotent, omniscient petty immortal assholes.
I never could understand how Picard could keep looking at Q and flat out telling him, "You're no god!" What the fuck was he (they?) lacking?

Respect. Worship. Adoration.

Picard's response was appropriate - sure, you can do anything. You choose to use this power to be a twat. Fuck off.
 

skepticalbip

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Steve isn't (to my understanding) talking about Q, but an episode where a woman claims to be a planet's god. Ultimately Picard is able to reenact her god-like abilities. The Q were god like.
The Q were not god-LIKE. They were omnipotent, omniscient petty immortal assholes.
I never could understand how Picard could keep looking at Q and flat out telling him, "You're no god!" What the fuck was he (they?) lacking?
It wasn't what he/they were lacking. It was that he/they revealed too much. Modern-day gods stay invisible, so more mysterious.
 

abaddon

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Steve isn't (to my understanding) talking about Q, but an episode where a woman claims to be a planet's god. Ultimately Picard is able to reenact her god-like abilities. The Q were god like.
The Q were not god-LIKE. They were omnipotent, omniscient petty immortal assholes.
I never could understand how Picard could keep looking at Q and flat out telling him, "You're no god!" What the fuck was he (they?) lacking?

Respect. Worship. Adoration.

Picard's response was appropriate - sure, you can do anything. You choose to use this power to be a twat. Fuck off.

Yeah. A god is a great being which people venerate. No veneration = no god. "Godhood" is not an inherent trait.

Now the supreme being, creator-of-all-the-universe God is another matter. If that entity decided to show himself, the correct thing to call him is "God" because of long tradition.

But a powerful creature like Q (even if has a couple omni-traits) is a "god" only if you think he's so awesomely venerable that you bow to him and worship.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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Steve isn't (to my understanding) talking about Q, but an episode where a woman claims to be a planet's god. Ultimately Picard is able to reenact her god-like abilities. The Q were god like.
The Q were not god-LIKE. They were omnipotent, omniscient petty immortal assholes.
I never could understand how Picard could keep looking at Q and flat out telling him, "You're no god!" What the fuck was he (they?) lacking?
I thought Q was of a continuum, and in general the remainder of Q didn’t care.
 

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Steve isn't (to my understanding) talking about Q, but an episode where a woman claims to be a planet's god. Ultimately Picard is able to reenact her god-like abilities. The Q were god like.
The Q were not god-LIKE. They were omnipotent, omniscient petty immortal assholes.
I never could understand how Picard could keep looking at Q and flat out telling him, "You're no god!" What the fuck was he (they?) lacking?

Respect. Worship. Adoration.
but not all gods are respected or adored.
Some are scorned, feared, despised, scapegoated.

I suspect all of them are scorned by SOMEONE. Loki's followers talk trash about Thor, Thor's people scorn Loki, Kali's people scorn everyone...
At hest, Picard was really saying, you're not MY (idea of) god.
 

Keith&Co.

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Respect. Worship. Adoration.

Picard's response was appropriate - sure, you can do anything. You choose to use this power to be a twat. Fuck off.

Yeah. A god is a great being which people venerate. No veneration = no god. "Godhood" is not an inherent trait.

Now the supreme being, creator-of-all-the-universe God is another matter. If that entity decided to show himself, the correct thing to call him is "God" because of long tradition.

But a powerful creature like Q (even if has a couple omni-traits) is a "god" only if you think he's so awesomely venerable that you bow to him and worship.
So, when did Jehovah cross the line from reeeeeeeally puissant being to god?
When he made the angels?
Adam?
Woman?
When Adam and Woman knew enough to venerate?
Abel's first sacrifice?
First altar?
First church?
 

abaddon

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When he got called "God" a lot. Again, it's merely a convention. There's no intrinsic "godness" that makes some super-powerful beings gods and others not.
 

steve_bank

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Paraphrasing what I have heard before.

If some super being manifested itself with apparent supernatural powers we would have no way to know if it was 'god' or advanced technology. A recurring theme on the Star Trek saga.

If it was an entity like Q that created you, then he would still be your god (in your analogy), whether you like it or not. The creator IOWs makes the rules!
Steve isn't (to my understanding) talking about Q, but an episode where a woman claims to be a planet's god. Ultimately Picard is able to reenact her god-like abilities. The Q were god like.

That was one story, there were a few.

To learner, it would be a god only to the ignorant.

If you take Genesis and god as metaphor then your parents are metaphorically god. Archaeological evidence indicates the early Semites had both a masculine and feminine image as god. In the Abraham traditions the male patriarch of the family was god with power of life and death. Ut is still that way in conservative Muslim areas. Honor killings. A daughter executed for what is considered red acting dishonorably.

A Saudi royal woman was publicly beheaded around the 8s for sexual relations in Europe. A British film crew caught it.

We were not mdse in the image of god. The Abrahamic god is a reflection of the male misogynist patriarch.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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When he got called "God" a lot. Again, it's merely a convention. There's no intrinsic "godness" that makes some super-powerful beings gods and others not.

Think of the word as an emotional utterance, a kind of grunt of relief because it covers a lot of ground and fills in lots of holes for people. It's comforting to bring in one of the most pretended group of beings of human history when you need to chill. Can make a person feel connected.

I heard a cop saying "it was only the will of god...." Lots of people got killed and more got shot but somehow it was only the will of a god that more didn't get shot or killed.

Sometimes I use the word "mercy." I think it has the same effect.
 

atrib

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I concur. But the conversation always heads in this direction…………….


Some supernatural event. But then………….

That would be impossible for everyone on the planet at the same moment. I can't think of any possible explanation that wouldn't entail some form of supernatural,
But supernatural events aren't allowed. We philosophically limit our explanations to nature only explanations. There can be nothing beyond nature. You won’t allow yourselves to follow the evidence where it leads.

And when you present evidence that we can test and verify, we will follow it to where it leads. In the meanwhile, you have nothing.

You have made this claim before, and you have been challenged on it.

Completely with you, you are arguing against miracles…..but your argument is begging the question…..you are arguing in a circle. I’ll attempt to show you that at the end. But first…………

1. This is big. This is what you are not accounting for when you speak against resurrection. Our definition and understandings of miracles is different. Yours is governed and limited by your epistemology of strict materialistic naturalism. Thus to you miracles are a violation of nature and must be naturally explained. I get it. You are begging the question for naturalism. Specifically more on that later.

At the end of the day, I am interested in the truth. And I am willing to consider whatever epistemological tool works best. So I put forward this challenge to you:

Show me a way to seek and reliably evaluate truth claims about the supernatural or spiritual world.

I am calling your bluff. I am asking you to define the epistemological tools you used to construct the ontology you believe to be factual.

(1) Describe the ontology you have constructed where gods and spirits are allowed to exist and intervene in our universe,
(2) describe how such interactions work and how they are in conformance what we observe (the laws of nature), and
(3) describe the epistemological process you used to construct this ontology.

When you were called out on your claim, you ran away. And now you are back, repeating the same nonsense.


You are stuck in the cave of nature only by philosophical choice. Reminds me of the movie….The Croods.

Would you find this convincing? If not, what alternative explanation could you give?
The evidence is there you just philosophically choose to suppress the implications. You can’t even step out of the cave far enough to see where the evidence leads. Because it can’t lead outside the cave. The cave is all there is. I feel safe in the cave. There might be a Santa Claus riding a unicorn out there chasing a bad fairy.

Shameless!
 

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What would count as proof of God

A start would be that if everyone got whatever they prayed for like Jesus promised.

I believe that he said this only respect to those who had "faith"; a category of people so exclusive, it seems not to have included his own disciples. Presumably, miracles would not happen often if they happen only for a small and particular group of people.
 

skepticalbip

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What would count as proof of God

A start would be that if everyone got whatever they prayed for like Jesus promised.

I believe that he said this only respect to those who had "faith"; a category of people so exclusive, it seems not to have included his own disciples. Presumably, miracles would not happen often if they happen only for a small and particular group of people.
Ah, but that is just an out. If someone doesn't get what they ask for, which is normal, then it is blamed on them for not having enough faith, even if they had absolutely no doubt.

The question was, "What would count as proof of God". I have to assume that this is asked of nonbelievers because believers already think anything is proof of god, including a carbuncle on their butt. As a nonbeliever, I would consider that if anyone got whatever they prayed for then that would be a good start in 'proving' god.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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I believe that he said this only respect to those who had "faith"; a category of people so exclusive, it seems not to have included his own disciples. Presumably, miracles would not happen often if they happen only for a small and particular group of people.
Ah, but that is just an out. If someone doesn't get what they ask for, which is normal, then it is blamed on them for not having enough faith, even if they had absolutely no doubt.

The question was, "What would count as proof of God". I have to assume that this is asked of nonbelievers because believers already think anything is proof of god, including a carbuncle on their butt. As a nonbeliever, I would consider that if anyone got whatever they prayed for then that would be a good start in 'proving' god.

The argument from anal carbuncles.
 

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I believe that he said this only respect to those who had "faith"; a category of people so exclusive, it seems not to have included his own disciples. Presumably, miracles would not happen often if they happen only for a small and particular group of people.
Ah, but that is just an out. If someone doesn't get what they ask for, which is normal, then it is blamed on them for not having enough faith, even if they had absolutely no doubt.

The question was, "What would count as proof of God". I have to assume that this is asked of nonbelievers because believers already think anything is proof of god, including a carbuncle on their butt. As a nonbeliever, I would consider that if anyone got whatever they prayed for then that would be a good start in 'proving' god.

The argument from anal carbuncles.

;) It seemed as reasonable as any other thing for a believer to take as proof of god. What other possible reason could there be for them getting an anal carbuncle than god punishing them for some transgression they had committed? If god is punishing them then that is proof that there is a god to do the punishing. Their dilemma now is to figure out their transgression so they can atone. Are they not pious enough? Did they eat to much the other day so are guilty of gluttony? Is it lust because they noticed that cute new neighbor? etc.
 

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The argument from anal carbuncles.

;) It seemed as reasonable as any other thing for a believer to take as proof of god. What other possible reason could there be for them getting an anal carbuncle than god punishing them for some transgression they had committed? If god is punishing them then that is proof that there is a god to do the punishing. Their dilemma now is to figure out their transgression so they can atone. Are they not pious enough? Did they eat to much the other day so are guilty of gluttony? Is it lust because they noticed that cute new neighbor? etc.

OR, they're fine. In fact, they're so good, God gave them this challenge, knowing it would not start them doubting his beneficience and mercifulicationness. Like Job. OTHERS get depressed when they get anal carbuncles, but the GOOD christain doesn't doubt, doesn't pause, doesn't even get grumpy, because he still trusts in the Lord. So no need to change.

This is why my Uncle got Cancer, to show the world how a Good Christer responds.
 

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The argument from anal carbuncles.

;) It seemed as reasonable as any other thing for a believer to take as proof of god. What other possible reason could there be for them getting an anal carbuncle than god punishing them for some transgression they had committed? If god is punishing them then that is proof that there is a god to do the punishing. Their dilemma now is to figure out their transgression so they can atone. Are they not pious enough? Did they eat to much the other day so are guilty of gluttony? Is it lust because they noticed that cute new neighbor? etc.

OR, they're fine. In fact, they're so good, God gave them this challenge, knowing it would not start them doubting his beneficience and mercifulicationness. Like Job. OTHERS get depressed when they get anal carbuncles, but the GOOD christain doesn't doubt, doesn't pause, doesn't even get grumpy, because he still trusts in the Lord. So no need to change.

This is why my Uncle got Cancer, to show the world how a Good Christer responds.

:encouragement:

Yup, There are any number of ways anal carbuncles can prove god. Not having an anal carbuncle is proof of a god that cares and protects you from those things.
 

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If a God exists and wants me to know he exists, then I would know it. No special evidence is required. He could just magically make us all know. It need not be any more complicated than that if he is actually all powerful.

That we DONT know, and that faith needs to be a thing is a clear demonstration that if there is any God, he/she/it doesn't want us to know.

The nature of an all powerful being, means things are as the being intends.
 

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Biblegod apparently enters a 'Who's Yo' Deity' contest in I Kings 18 (just to rebut those believers who'll say that God never deigns to prove himself to man.)
What better canvas than the surface of the moon does God have, BTW? Let's all pray that God reveals himself by inscribing a message to mankind in, say, 10 different languages on the side of the moon visible from earth. At that point I'll join with all the Franklin Grahams that I formerly assumed were crazy as craphouse rats. Until that happens, God is imaginary and Franklin Graham is crazy as a craphouse rat.
 

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Curiously: Lets say there is such a thing of a new world and new heaven. Would you or anyone here want to live there .. with God?
I do not believe in after-life, God, soul, heaven, etc. strong atheist. This world too is but an illusion. :)
 

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Curiously: Lets say there is such a thing of a new world and new heaven. Would you or anyone here want to live there .. with God?
I do not believe in after-life, God, soul, heaven, etc. strong atheist. This world too is but an illusion. :)
I just spent 8 hours in the emergency room for possible appendicitis. If that's illusory, i could wish the special effects in movies were this convincing....
 

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Yeah, you, the hospital, the doctors, the appendix, all are illusions. Only atom were there, points of physical forces.
 

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Yup, There are any number of ways anal carbuncles can prove god. Not having an anal carbuncle is proof of a god that cares and protects you from those things.
Or that God has already condemned you and is not interested in any further test.
 

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Yeah, you, the hospital, the doctors, the appendix, all are illusions. Only atom were there, points of physical forces.
Lots of CONVINCING atoms, though, as i said. Gotta say, YOU telling me it's an illusion isn't even close to convincing.
 

abaddon

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And what are atoms, solid balls?
I think the point is you're at a too-simple level of reduction to say atoms are real and the emergent phenomena are illusions. If I'm the result of atoms interacting, then I'm real. Trying to find the littlest pieces we can chop the world into doesn't get a person closer to a realer reality. It's just another vantage-point on reality and therefore a delusion to take it as a kind of "ultimate" reality.
 

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And what are atoms, solid balls?
Ever see that video of the guy that makes toast at different degrees of doneness, an assembles them on a wall to make a portrait?
You could certainly say that since each individual piece of bread is not an actual part of, say, Martin Luther King, Jr., then the composite view that seems to be a portrait us an illusion.
However, functionally, if 23 people look at the wall 22 will see MLK (My nephew sees Batman, but he always sees Batman.).
And if you zoom down into the individual pixels or pigments of any picture, they don't resemble the macro at all. But we can still reliably tell the difference between Dogs Playing Poker and Starry Night up here at our scale.
And our scale is where we live, so it's as real as i need it to be.
 

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This whole discussion reminds me of the movie "What the Bleep Do We Know." Kid hurls a basketball at the main character (if you can call her that) and she says, "That hurt!" Kid says, "Never touched you" and then they go into this particle-level discussion of reality.

The fucking basketball hit her in the gut, and in real life it would hurt. Scientific inquiry may not yet have uncovered everything there is to know about how stuff works at the quantum level, but progress is being made constantly. What we don't know at the quantum level doesn't nullify what we can know about physics at real-world levels. Anyone who really has faith that it ain't so is welcome to test their theory with the old "Sledge hammer to the side of the head" test.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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This whole discussion reminds me of the movie "What the Bleep Do We Know." Kid hurls a basketball at the main character (if you can call her that) and she says, "That hurt!" Kid says, "Never touched you" and then they go into this particle-level discussion of reality.

The fucking basketball hit her in the gut, and in real life it would hurt. Scientific inquiry may not yet have uncovered everything there is to know about how stuff works at the quantum level, but progress is being made constantly. What we don't know at the quantum level doesn't nullify what we can know about physics at real-world levels. Anyone who really has faith that it ain't so is welcome to test their theory with the old "Sledge hammer to the side of the head" test.

Maybe the title of the thread should be, "What would count as proof of Insanity?"
 

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So it's been asked here and within philosophy generally, what would qualify as convincing evidence of God to a skeptic not ideologically inclined to believe?

I thought of something that would be rather compelling. Suppose one day every person on the planet simultaneously saw the face and heard the voice of God in the sky. That voice simultaneously declared to every human some personal fact unknown to anyone but that person, then also told them some personal fact unknown to anyone about a total stranger they never met along with that person's contact information so they could verify it. It wouldn't be surprising to for those who already believe to claim both facts they were told are accurate. But this would mean that every non-believing human would also verify their unique facts, which means many millions of people worldwide. While mass hallucinations can occur, they do so b/c all the people are within a particular shared context and frame of mind. That would be impossible for everyone on the planet at the same moment. I can't think of any possible explanation that wouldn't entail some form of supernatural, either God or at least some moment of unified psychic type consciousness.

Would you find this convincing? If not, what alternative explanation could you give?

World Peace
 

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Proofs of God's existence are mentioned in the first chapter ("Never talk to strangers") of Bulgakov's famous novel The Master and Margarita
...
The poet, for whom everything the editor was saying was a novelty, listened attentively to Mikhail Alexandrovich, fixing him with his bold green eyes, occasionally hiccuping and cursing the apricot juice under his breath.

'There is not one oriental religion,' said Berlioz, ' in which an immaculate virgin does not bring a god into the world. And the Christians, lacking any originality, invented their Jesus in exactly the same way. In fact he never lived at all. That's where the stress has got to lie.

Berlioz's high tenor resounded along the empty avenue and as Mikhail Alexandrovich picked his way round the sort of historical pitfalls that can only be negotiated safely by a highly educated man, the poet learned more and more useful and instructive facts about the Egyptian god Osiris, son of Earth and Heaven, about the Phoenician god Thammuz, about Marduk and even about the fierce little-known god Vitzli-Putzli, who had once been held in great veneration by the Aztecs of Mexico. At the very moment when Mikhail Alexandrovich was telling the poet how the Aztecs used to model figurines of Vitzli-Putzli out of dough-- the first man appeared in the avenue.

Afterwards, when it was frankly too late, various bodies collected their data and issued descriptions of this man. As to his teeth, he haid platinum crowns on his left side and gold ones on his right. He wore an expensive grey suit and foreign shoes of the same colour as his suit. His grey beret was stuck jauntily over one ear and under his arm he carried a walking-stick with a knob in the shape of a poodle's head. He looked slightly over forty. Crooked sort of mouth. Clean-shaven. Dark hair. Right eye black, left eye for some reason green. Eyebrows black, but one higher than the other. In short--a foreigner.

As he passed the bench occupied by the editor and the poet, the foreigner gave them a sidelong glance, stopped and suddenly sat down on the next bench a couple of paces away from the two friends.

'A German,'' thought Berlioz. ' An Englishman. ...' thought Bezdomny. ' Phew, he must be hot in those gloves!'

The stranger glanced round the tall houses that formed a square round the pond, from which it was obvious that he was seeing this locality for the first time and that it interested him. His gaze halted on the upper storeys, whose panes threw back a blinding, fragmented reflection of the sun which was setting on Mikhail Alexandrovich for ever ; he then looked downwards to where the windows were turning darker in the early evening twilight, smiled patronisingly at something, frowned, placed his hands on the knob of his cane and laid his chin on his hands.

'You see, Ivan,' said Berlioz,' you have written a marvellously satirical description of the birth of Jesus, the son of God, but the whole joke lies in the fact that there had already been a whole series of sons of God before Jesus, such as the Phoenician Adonis, the Phrygian Attis, the Persian Mithras. Of course not one of these ever existed, including Jesus, and instead of the nativity or the arrival of the Magi you should have described the absurd rumours about their arrival. But according to your story the nativity really took place! '

Here Bezdomny made an effort to stop his torturing hiccups and held his breath, but it only made him hiccup more loudly and painfully. At that moment Berlioz interrupted his speech because the foreigner suddenly rose and approached the two writers. They stared at him in astonishment.

'Excuse me, please,' said the stranger with a foreign accent, although in correct Russian, ' for permitting myself, without an introduction . . . but the subject of your learned conversation was so interesting that. . .'

Here he politely took off his beret and the two friends had no alternative but to rise and bow.

'No, probably a Frenchman.. . .' thought Berlioz.

'A Pole,' thought Bezdomny.

I should add that the poet had found the stranger repulsive from first sight, although Berlioz had liked the look of him, or rather not exactly liked him but, well. . . been interested by him.

'May I join you? ' enquired the foreigner politely, and as the two friends moved somewhat unwillingly aside he adroitly placed himself 'between them and at once joined the conversation. ' If I am not mistaken, you were saying that Jesus never existed, were you not? ' he asked, turning his green left eye on Berlioz.

'No, you were not mistaken,' replied Berlioz courteously. ' I did indeed say that.'

'Ah, how interesting! ' exclaimed the foreigner.

'What the hell does he want?' thought Bezdomny and frowned.

'And do you agree with your friend? ' enquired the unknown man, turning to Bezdomny on his right.

'A hundred per cent! ' affirmed the poet, who loved to use pretentious numerical expressions.

'Astounding! ' cried their unbidden companion. Glancing furtively round and lowering his voice he said : ' Forgive me for being so rude, but am I right in thinking that you do not believe in God either? ' He gave a horrified look and said: ' I swear not to tell anyone! '

'Yes, neither of us believes in God,' answered Berlioz with a faint smile at this foreign tourist's apprehension. ' But we can talk about it with absolute freedom.'

The foreigner leaned against the backrest of the bench and asked, in a voice positively squeaking with curiosity :

'Are you . . . atheists? '

'Yes, we're atheists,' replied Berlioz, smiling, and Bezdomny thought angrily : ' Trying to pick an argument, damn foreigner! '

'Oh, how delightful!' exclaimed the astonishing foreigner and swivelled his head from side to side, staring at each of them in turn.

'In our country there's nothing surprising about atheism,' said Berlioz with diplomatic politeness. ' Most of us have long ago and quite consciously given up believing in all those fairy-tales about God.'

At this the foreigner did an extraordinary thing--he stood up and shook the astonished editor by the hand, saying as he did so :

'Allow me to thank you with all my heart!'

'What are you thanking him for? ' asked Bezdomny, blinking.

'For some very valuable information, which as a traveller I find extremely interesting,' said the eccentric foreigner, raising his forefinger meaningfully.

This valuable piece of information had obviously made a powerful impression on the traveller, as he gave a frightened glance at the houses as though afraid of seeing an atheist at every window.

'No, he's not an Englishman,' thought Berlioz. Bezdomny thought: ' What I'd like to know is--where did he manage to pick up such good Russian? ' and frowned again.

'But might I enquire,' began the visitor from abroad after some worried reflection, ' how you account for the proofs of the existence of God, of which there are, as you know, five? '

'Alas! ' replied Berlioz regretfully. ' Not one of these proofs is valid, and mankind has long since relegated them to the archives. You must agree that rationally there can be no proof of the existence of God.'

'Bravo!' exclaimed the stranger. ' Bravo! You have exactly repeated the views of the immortal Emmanuel on that subject. But here's the oddity of it: he completely demolished all five proofs and then, as though to deride his own efforts, he formulated a sixth proof of his own.'

'Kant's proof,' objected the learned editor with a thin smile, ' is also unconvincing. Not for nothing did Schiller say that Kant's reasoning on this question would only satisfy slaves, and Strauss simply laughed at his proof.'

As Berlioz spoke he thought to himself: ' But who on earth is he? And how does he speak such good Russian? '

'Kant ought to be arrested and given three years in Solovki asylum for that " proof " of his! ' Ivan Nikolayich burst out completely unexpectedly.

'Ivan!' whispered Berlioz, embarrassed.

But the suggestion to pack Kant off to an asylum not only did not surprise the stranger but actually delighted him. ' Exactly, exactly! ' he cried and his green left eye, turned on Berlioz glittered. ' That's exactly the place for him! I said to him myself that morning at breakfast: " If you'll forgive me, professor, your theory is no good. It may be clever but it's horribly incomprehensible. People will think you're mad." '

Berlioz's eyes bulged. ' At breakfast ... to Kant? What is he rambling about? ' he thought.

'But,' went on the foreigner, unperturbed by Berlioz's amazement and turning to the poet, ' sending him to Solovki is out of the question, because for over a hundred years now he has been somewhere far away from Solovki and I assure you that it is totally impossible to bring him back.'

'What a pity!' said the impetuous poet.

'It is a pity,' agreed the unknown man with a glint in his eye, and went on: ' But this is the question that disturbs me--if there is no God, then who, one wonders, rules the life of man and keeps the world in order? '

'Man rules himself,' said Bezdomny angrily in answer to such an obviously absurd question.
...
 

steve_bank

Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
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Off hand I'd say a few lines in an ancient writing by unknown authors would be more than enough.
 

Stephen T-B

Stephen T-B
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If a god were to demonstrate it exists in a way which made denying its existence impossible, it would have transferred itself from the metaphysical realm to the physical.

And having become part of the natural order, it might be fascinating and intriguing in the way an octopus or slime mould is, but not an object of worship, in which case those humans who require an old-fashioned sort of deity would pretty soon invent one...though more probably a pantheon of gods, and humanity would be back to square one.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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Steve isn't (to my understanding) talking about Q, but an episode where a woman claims to be a planet's god. Ultimately Picard is able to reenact her god-like abilities. The Q were god like.
The Q were not god-LIKE. They were omnipotent, omniscient petty immortal assholes.
Have you read the Tanakh?! You pretty much explained Yahweh.
I never could understand how Picard could keep looking at Q and flat out telling him, "You're no god!" What the fuck was he (they?) lacking?
Probably branding.
 

steve_bank

Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
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If a god were to demonstrate it exists in a way which made denying its existence impossible, it would have transferred itself from the metaphysical realm to the physical.

And having become part of the natural order, it might be fascinating and intriguing in the way an octopus or slime mould is, but not an object of worship, in which case those humans who require an old-fashioned sort of deity would pretty soon invent one...though more probably a pantheon of gods, and humanity would be back to square one.

It was a common theme on Star Trek. Is it a god or is it advanced technology?
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
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If a god were to demonstrate it exists in a way which made denying its existence impossible, it would have transferred itself from the metaphysical realm to the physical.

And having become part of the natural order, it might be fascinating and intriguing in the way an octopus or slime mould is, but not an object of worship, in which case those humans who require an old-fashioned sort of deity would pretty soon invent one...though more probably a pantheon of gods, and humanity would be back to square one.

It was a common theme on Star Trek. Is it a god or is it advanced technology?

On Scooby Doo, every supposedly supernatural phenomenon turns out to be some asshole trying to scare people for personal gain. Scooby Doo is perhaps one of the best shows ever for teaching kids that vital lesson.
 

Coleman Smith

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"What would count as proof of God?"

Publication of testable evidence in peer reviewed scientific journals published and reviewed by members of the National Academy of Science and the equivalent organizations in Europe and Asia.
 

ideologyhunter

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atheism/beatnikism
My standards are more stringent. I need more than some dubious claims from a lab. I want to see a message blasted on the surface of the moon, in English, please (unless it can be magical and everyone can read it in his/her native tongue...but otherwise, in English), and visible with ordinary binocs from Target.
Suggested wording (we can tweak this):

Hello. Yes, I'm real.
Thanks for interrupting my weekend. You're welcome.
Dawkins, Harris, Dennett, sorry about your publishing contracts, but you can all go to hell.
Literally.
OK, some stuff in the Bible is crunk-ass. I did not actually tell Ezekiel to lie on his side for 13 months and cook his barley cake over dookie.
Do you peeps believe everything? I mean, Jesus.
Also, it is not true that when deities orgasm they shout, "Me, Me, Me!!" I heard that on a Comedy Central roast.
Yes, I said deities. There are a couple of us, and not just the Big Three. Like Quetzlcoatl. Where did you think tacos came from?
More, later.
Jeeeeeehovah, OUT.
 

Artemus

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Bible Belt, USA
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Atheist and general cynic
I want to see a message blasted on the surface of the moon, in English, please (unless it can be magical and everyone can read it in his/her native tongue...but otherwise, in English), and visible with ordinary binocs from Target.

I would be far more inclined to believe that was from highly advanced alien (space-type) race with an excellent sense of humor than believe that any sort of "god" that transcends the laws of physic did it. The former is much more plausible.
 

steve_bank

Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
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Seattle almost broke a record for rainless days.

I prayed for rain to whatever or whoever controls the rain, and yesterday it rained with more on the way.

Absolute proof there is a god of the rain. Prayer works. In order to prevent a drought I will build a temple to the god of the rain and worship.

The god of the rain gave me a revelation, leaky faucets are an opination to the god of the rain.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

Traditional Atheist
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PA USA
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egalitarian
Seattle almost broke a record for rainless days.

I prayed for rain to whatever or whoever controls the rain, and yesterday it rained with more on the way.

Absolute proof there is a god of the rain. Prayer works. In order to prevent a drought I will build a temple to the god of the rain and worship.

The god of the rain gave me a revelation, leaky faucets are an opination to the god of the rain.
Via its infinite wisdom and power the rain god has brought me plastic, water containers with which I can go to the local spring and bring its rain back to my home when the rain barrels run out. As such my plants are able to continue to grow and live, thanks to the rain god.

We are blessed.
 
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