Existence versus belief - blog by JackCarlson


Rate this Entry
Existence versus belief
Submit "Existence versus belief" to Digg Submit "Existence versus belief" to del.icio.us Submit "Existence versus belief" to StumbleUpon Submit "Existence versus belief" to Google
Posted 06-Jun-2013 at 07:33 PM (19:33) by JackCarlson

The debate over the existence of a god is a question about the factual existence in reality of a specific entity. Since no objective, verifiable evidence has been presented by religious believers that establishes beyond a shadow of a doubt that their particular god, or gods in generic form, exists in reality, we are left with inferences from and interpretations of natural events that suggest to some that their god exists. That no conclusive evidence can be presented assures us that the debate over those interpretations and inferences will continue forever, or until such evidence can be produced. The standards for evidence that would establish the existence of a god are quite high, for as Carl Sagan said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

The debate over the belief that gods exist addresses a reality we can all accept, whether through personal experience or the testimonies of others. The standard for evidence that people believe gods exist is much lower than the standard for the actual existence of a god. We can easily determine that people genuinely and sincerely believe their particular version of god exists. We shouldn't even question that people do in fact believe their god exists.

The debate over religious beliefs challenges the particulars and specifics of those beliefs. The belief that god exists is a philosophical argument, not a scientific claim, and we know that philosophy is not a scientific field. Science asks, "Can you show that..." while philosophy asks, "Do you think that...". Even believers in a particular god question and challenge the beliefs of those who have faith in another god. That's the basis for the observation that we are all atheists, we all disbelieve in some gods even if we believe that our particular god is real. At least I have never heard of anyone who believes that all the gods ever worshiped by humans throughout history all exist in reality, a sort of ultimate pantheism.

It's worthwhile to challenge and debate the belief in gods. That process is what led me beyond my own belief in god. If someone's beliefs cannot withstand scrutiny and skepticism then they are shallow beliefs that may not be the most firm types with which to guide a person's life.

On the other hand, it's generally pointless to debate the actual existence of gods. Not only does the hypothesis lack quantifiable evidence but no framework has been suggested by which the question could be objectively confirmed or discounted.
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 3476 Comments 5
Total Comments 5


                   Post a Comment   Post a Comment
  1. Old Comment
    ouinon's Avatar
    Do you believe in justice, or equality, freedom, free will, cause and effect, the self, or any number of other abstract social constructs which guide/motivate/inspire people to behave in certain ways?

    How do you stand up for your belief in such things, ( in the face of "scrutiny and skeptism" ), except by pointing to the ways in which you believe that the world, and/or your behaviour, is better ( using yet more abstract social constructs/symbols to define "better", like kind/humane, more comprehensible etc ... ) for that belief?

    I believe that god is "just" another kind of social construct, which many people find inspiring, motivating, supportive, illuminating, or helpful in some way to believe in, no less important or valuable than other constructs like justice, and perhaps more important in some ways, as "meta-social-construct"/the most abstract "construct" of all.

    Perhaps as useful to some ( or many ) people as the symbol "zero" has been to mathematics since its invention 1500 ( ? ) years ago. A sort of tool for solving complex equations of human behaviour, and the mysteries of human experience.

    Some people need that sort of symbol for their "maths" of life/experience. Some people can barely "count" without it.
    Posted 06-Jun-2013 at 07:45 PM (19:45) by ouinon ouinon is offline
    Updated 07-Jun-2013 at 07:28 AM (07:28) by ouinon
  2. Old Comment
    Well, now you've sort of met me, electronically, but I could be a figment of your imagination, really can't prove otherwise. Gods are thoughtforms that are part of consciousness, much of human ideologies and society has been shaped by the existence of these gods.
    Posted 06-Jun-2013 at 09:44 PM (21:44) by Unregistered
  3. Old Comment
    Gurdur's Avatar
    Goodness. We have a new blogger! Good to see!
    Posted 07-Jun-2013 at 09:34 AM (09:34) by Gurdur Gurdur is offline
  4. Old Comment
    While I don't challenge the need for anyone to hold a belief in some deity or other, as I think it's a comfort to them, I do politely challenge the actual belief and ask for reasons. That is, I do unless they are in a state of life where they need that comfort more than they need to look at their beliefs.

    The existence of something abstract is not verifiable as is the existence of something concrete.

    Good start, Jack.
    Posted 07-Jun-2013 at 03:37 PM (15:37) by Shadowfox Shadowfox is offline
  5. Old Comment
    lifelinking's Avatar
    A belated welcome Jack. There is much more to philosophy than your reduction / polemic suggests. The philosophy of science for example applies disciplined, critical thinking to scrutinise things such as the logic / validity of scientific claims and the interpretations of results.
    Posted 23-Aug-2013 at 12:52 AM (00:52) by lifelinking lifelinking is offline
Post a Comment Post a Comment
Total Trackbacks 0


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 02:02 PM (14:02).


Credits and thanks:
Basic Style design: Design By: Miner Skinz.com
(much altered by Gurdur)

For smilies:

Koloboks, including Aiwan, ViShenk, Just Cuz, Laie, Connie, snoozer, Viannen,
and especially Mother Goose too.
KitKatty. and PederDingo, and phantompanther.

For help, coding, and/or modifications:

Different people at vBulletin.com, and a whole lot of people -- too many to be individually named, sorry -- at vBulletin.org

For artwork, avatars, backgrounds and so on:

KitKatty, and verte, and britpoplass

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright is asserted for the Heathen Hub itself and for its owner by its owner, from 2008 onwards. Copyright of individual posts remains the property of the original poster, however by posting on the Hub the poster grants the Hub the rights to host and present the posted messages for perpetuity. The Hub is in no way responsible for opinions or messages posted in any way on the Hub by its members. Please also see this here. Copyright of individual icons and other graphics, as for individual vBulletin styles, remains the property of the original owner/creator. Copyright for the vBulletin software itself, and the vBulletin Blogs software, remains with Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd, as in the copyright notice above.
Welcome to a place to talk about atheism, religion, science, humanism, evolution, politics, Creationism, literature, reason, rational inquiry, logic, cooking, reading, and travel - the Hub: a community for everyone.