God’s Existence Proven Beyond Doubt

One bright sunny day, the Lord God paid a visit to Earth. He arrived in a huge flaming chariot that was visible to millions of people as he circled the globe a few times. Behind the chariot was a banner that read “The Lord God, Creator of the Universe” in every human language. After a few circuits, the Chariot landed, and God stepped out. He looked a lot like Morgan Freeman, but with a beard.

Angels were busy handing out press releases, and several news cameras were trained to catch His first words.

He spoke in English, at least according to those around him (He had landed not far from Oxford University), although the Portuguese news team swore he spoke Portuguese, and the Swedes, Arabs, Japanese, and so on all commented on the fact that He expressed his thoughts to the world in their own native languages.

“Greetings, human beings” He said. “I am here for one purpose only. To prove that I exist.”

At that point he raised his hand toward Oxford University, and with a small puff of smoke it was gone. An instant later, Professor Richard Dawkins, who had been sitting in his office, ignoring all the hoopla, was standing next to God, looking somewhat perplexed.

God spoke again

“Any questions?”

A reporter from the Southern Baptist Conference Newsletter asked “Are you really Black, I mean African American, I mean, you know, African?”

“Of course I am. I made man in my own image, right? And what color do you think Adam and Eve and all the first humans who were living in Africa were? Next question”

“Is the Bible literally true?”

“Yes, are there any useful questions?, what about you Richard? Do you have anything interesting you would like to say?

Dawkins stared in disbelief. Then he caught himself. “Is evolution true?”

“Of course it is. Another dumb question. OK, I’m out of here. Gabriel here will set up an answer line, and you all can call in. Bless you all, and try to be good.”

And with that God was gone.

A month later there were no more doubters on the planet. Gabriel had been very clear and specific. Christianity was the true religion, specifically, the Dutch Reformed Lutheran Church. Heaven and Hell were real, and, sinners had better repent.

Dawkins became an ordained minister in the Lutheran Church, and millions of Muslims, Hindus, Catholics and Buddhists became Protestants. Most of the Jews held off for a bit, claiming that they wanted to open some further discussions with God, which Gabriel finally agreed to after muttering some slightly anti Semitic comments.

A year later, everyone in the world was attending the local Lutheran Church, where they would be told the latest edict from God. There were no more atheists, or agnostics. Everyone believed. The proof of God’s existence and power was undeniable, as the big hole where Oxford University used to be clearly testified.

Two years later, The Church put out an advertisement for ministers, because nobody was signing up. Church attendance was down to practically nothing. Surveys showed that while everyone believed in God, nobody expressed any pleasure in worship or attendance at Church. Satan worship was the new big thing, even though Gabriel had made it clear that Satan was finally defeated, and would never show his face on Earth again.  The leader of the Satan cult, a man named Joel Osteen, gathered millions of followers with his slogan, “Have Faith. Only Satan can overcome the tyranny of Gabriel”.

God looked down and sighed. “Oh brother,” he said to Michael. “I guess I blew it. By proving my existence, I destroyed faith. Big mistake.”

Michael shook him. “Lord, wake up, you were having a bad dream.”

God woke up and looked at Michael. “A bad dream? Which part? You mean creating humans was just a bad dream?”

“No Lord, that part is true. You really did that. The bad dream was that ridiculous thing about proving your existence.”

“Phew, what a relief. I didn’t think I would be that stupid. I can never allow my existence to be proven. That would be the end of free will.  Also, why the hell would I have saved Dawkins like that? I can’t stand the man.”

 

Sy Garte

About Sy Garte

Dr Sy Garte earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the City University of New York, where he also holds a bachelor’s of science degree in chemistry. In addition to publishing more than 200 scientific publications in genetics, epidemiology, the environment and other areas, Dr. Garte is the author of Where We Stand: A Surprising Look at the Real State of Our Planet (Amacom) and Genetic Susceptibility to Environmental Carcinogenesis (Kluwer) and is co-editor of Molecular Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases (Wiley).
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37 Responses to God’s Existence Proven Beyond Doubt

  1. aniko says:

    So, what happens in God’s dream is the scenario in which people are certain of His existence and of the truth of a set of religious claims (now facts), but we are still in the imperfect world we know, not in the promised new creation/Kingdom. I think you’re right that in such a scenario many would turn to the Other Guy, or just anything else, because those relative unknowns would be able to offer mystery and hope in something different from the status quo, something maybe better – faith, in other words.

    But I’m wondering if even God’s appearance, complete with flaming chariot, demonstrations of precision-targeted smiting power, and press releases finally answering all our questions would be able to bring about certainty for everyone down here. Could someone like Dawkins perhaps suspect some kind of mass hysteria he himself has sadly fallen victim to, or a joke played on us by bored extraterrestrials of superior intellect and technology? And could a Christian not partial to the Dutch Reformed Lutheran tradition figure it’s all a trick of the Father of Lies to divert us from the Real True Path, and provide cautionary Bible verses to the point?

    • Jon Garvey Jon Garvey says:

      Hi aniko, and welcome. Thought-provoking tale of Sy’s, isn’t it?

      I suppose the problem with such fables is that, because they picture God as he actually isn’t, the non-Dutch Reformed Lutherans would actually be right about it being from the Father of Lies… which only underlines there are good reasons for the world being created as it is, by God as he is.

  2. pngarrison says:

    In George Marsden’s The Soul of the American University (a great book which I lost somehow in a move), he had a quote from B. B. Warfield in about 1903 where Warfield said he fully expected that science would in the coming years prove the Bible to be inerrant and perfect, and as a result he expected that the world would be converted to Christianity. It still amazes me that someone as well read as Warfield could have believed that at that date. I think the desire and expectation for such a knockdown proof says something deep about that brand of Enlightenment influenced intellectual Christianity. It also seems connected to a kind of triumphalist post-Millennial commitment.

    • Jon Garvey Jon Garvey says:

      That’s sounds a little triumphalist for Warfield, but he was certainly committed to theology as a science amongst sciences, which may explain it. And it may well reflect an Enlightenment influence – the myth of progress was strong in that generation, and for most of the following century.

      What unconscious influences to we adopt now, I wonder? The guys next century will certainly be crawling all over them!

  3. Cal says:

    I appreciated the fiction,but like it seems to say with Osteen and the Satan cult, the truth is we have seen the Creator and yet denied that is what he who he is. Jesus walked among humanity, and was despised. We explore glitzy and glamor and yet we’re told that God’s glory was in his death on the cross.

    I think if God were to just pop up, it would look more like Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor from the Brothers Karamazov. Our best politicians, generals and clergy would quickly snatch him up and set him right.

    Cal

  4. This is all very well, as long as we don’t slip into thinking that faith is required in the absence of evidence, or that evidence for God’s existence compromises our free will.

    Jesus (‘believe me for the very works’ sake’), the disciples and the apostles seemed to have no problem with providing evidence – ‘attesting miracles’ – to back up their preaching. Is vaporising Oxford University any more ‘knock-down’ than a walking paralytic or a congenitally blind man who can see or a man raised from the dead?

    Paul thought that the evidence in the natural world is strong enough to render us ‘without excuse’. Evidently our free will remains intact even if, through what God has made, we can ‘clearly see his invisible qualities’.

  5. Hanan says:

    >Most of the Jews held off for a bit, claiming that they wanted to open some further discussions with God, which Gabriel finally agreed to after muttering some slightly anti Semitic comments.

    Well, we are always looking for a bargain 😛

  6. Sy Garte Sy Garte says:

    Following the comments of Peter and Aniko, I think it quite likely that in another 2000 years, its likely that the destruction of Oxford (which I should hasten to say, is NOT at all any sort of subconscious wish on my own part. Im quite fond of the place, and many of its denizens) would be ascribed by scholars specializing in the early second millennia to purely natural causes such as an earthquake or meteor, and that the Freeman look alike guy either never existed (a product of mass illusion, as Aniko suggests) or was clearly a fraud.

    I agree with Peter that we have all the evidence we need. One of the points of the post is that the demand by atheists for “proof” of God or “evidence” for God’s works is not worth discussion or consideration (such demands having been made on this site and on Biologos quite recently). No such proof is possible, desirable or relevant to anything. I used to argue a lot with my former brethren in atheism, I no longer see the point, and will refer to this post when confronted in the future by any demands for “proof”.

    • Lou Jost says:

      “One of the points of the post is that the demand by atheists for “proof” of God or “evidence” for God’s works is not worth discussion or consideration”

      Nice of you to just come out and say it. Evidence just gets in the way of blind faith. This attitude of disdain for reality is good to see out in the open.

      • Lou, I think that is an unfair characterisation of Sy’s position. He may respond for himself; however, I doubt if he would differ significantly from my view on this, which is that there is indeed evidence for God and his works but that atheists say that the proffered evidence is either inconclusive or insufficient. For some, no amount of evidence will be sufficient to render faith reasonable, let alone to constitute ‘proof’.

        As for ‘blind faith’, I have never encountered anyone who espouses it. It’s a straw man. Faith without evidence is wishful thinking.

        • Lou Jost says:

          Peter, maybe I was unfair, but look at what he said: asking for evidence for god is pointless, and not worth discussion or consideration. I agree that “proof” is probably too much to expect, but evidential issues are worth discussing.

          About the straw man–I have often seen arguments by religious people explaining the absence of obvious evidence for god by saying that an obvious revelation would ruin the beauty of faith. I of course agree with you that faith without evidence is wishful thinking, and I agree with your previous comment too.

          That is why it is so galling to see Sy come right out and say that evidential matters are not worth discussing. Let’s face it, the positive evidence for the particular core truth-claims of Christianity is weak, and there is much evidence against those truth-claims. Someone who ceases to be interested in examining and re-examining this evidence is insulating himself from reality and closing his mind.

          • Lou Jost says:

            Skepticism is warranted even in the parable that Sy wrote. It is reasonable to blame the Oxford hole on natural causes unless there is strong contrary evidence. Even Sy would probably not accept the major miracle claims of most other religions (eg Mohammed’s night flight on a magic horse), and he’d be right to be skeptical of them.
            If god had really wanted to convince people of his reality, he would know people would be skeptical (he’s supposedly the one who gave us reason, right?) and he could easily figure out permanent ways to convince us that he exists.

            • Sy Garte Sy Garte says:

              Lou I didn’t say that evidential matters are not worth discussing. I said they are not worth discussing with atheists, since (as you have often illustrated) they will not be accepted as evidence. Its much like trying to convince a tribe of totally color blind people that color is real. How do you do that?

            • Lou Jost says:

              It is easy to demonstrate that color exists, through consistency tests across observers, physics experiments, behavior of instruments, etc. It should be even easier to demonstrate the existence of a personal omnipotent god who wants us to know him, if such a thing existed.

        • Sy Garte Sy Garte says:

          Thank you Peter. I entirely agree.

      • aniko says:

        I agree with Peter. Sy certainly didn’t say that “evidence just gets in the way of blind faith”. He demonstrated (using the playful, tongue-in-cheek method of satire) how the kind of evidence often demanded by atheists might not be very useful. In addition, several of us commented, and you yourself confirmed, Lou, that skepticism would still be possible in that scenario. So the question is, what kind of “easy” evidence are you thinking about that would exclude the possibility of doubt? And what would you say to the color-blind person who says “Yes, you can show that different wavelengths of light exist, but this experience of color you talk about, the loud excitement of red, the cool calmness of blue, I think you’re just imagining it all. You have no objective evidence I can examine.”?

        • Lou Jost says:

          It’s easy enough to show that a person’s excitement about color is loosely based on a real cause external to him. Though the color illusion I mention below shows we would be right to be slightly skeptical of some claims about the external world’s colors based on our perceptions.

          Regarding standards of evidence, frankly I bet you and I have nearly identical standards on any subject other than this particular religion. The evidence for the truth-claims of your religion is more like my alien parable below than like Sy’s parable above, and I bet you don’t believe in alien abductions and visitations any more than I do. We probably both think the claims are extremely unlikely but not impossible.

          In Sy’s estory, there was physical evidence, global witnesses (“seen by millions”, some of whom surely wrote about it from the perspectives of many different cultures), celestially-printed press releases (which likely used technology not available at that time on earth), and contemporaneous recordings. No one would be skeptical about the events in question with this evidence (though we might still wonder what kind of being this was). But none of this is analogous to the evidence for Christianity today. There are no physical traces of any miracles, no first-hand accounts of any of the important events, etc.

          In Sy’s scenario, if the evidence disappeared after two thousand years, it would be reasonable to be skeptical of the original event, for one glaring reason that also applies to your religion: Sy’s premise was that this being is all-powerful and wants to prove his existence, but the scenario of lost evidence contradicts this premise. If the evidence was lost, this being screwed up. If he wanted us to know him and believe in him, and if he was all-powerful and all-knowing, he would have realized that people would be skeptical, and he would have made sure the evidence didn’t disappear.

          The same point applies to your own religion. On BioLogos I argued, for example, that the Bible could have automatic updates every few nights, or there could be messages hard-coded in the physical constants, or an endless number of other things that could clearly show us that that your god existed. His lack of clear signals is significant evidence against the existence of a god that wants us to believe in him.

          Finally, I do think Sy and others treat faith as a virtue here, and that this is mistaken. He puts these words into god’s mouth: “I guess I blew it. By proving my existence, I destroyed faith.” The implication seems to be that it is better to have faith than to have real evidence.

          • Sy Garte Sy Garte says:

            The problem here Lou, is that you have no idea what faith is. You don’t know its beauty, its grandeur and its soul changing properties. Faith and evidence don’t belong in the same sentence. I love evidence, I remain a scientist, and I think evidence is just great. And sometimes its beautiful. But faith is in a different category. I know exactly how you feel about it, because I was in complete agreement with you for most of my life.

            The problem is I don’t know how to describe faith to you. I don’t know if anyone does. That’s why we keep talking past each other. Your concept of faith (something you really want to believe in even though it might not be true) is analogous to a child’s definition of science (its true stuff). And so, I have nothing more to say, Im afraid. (at least for the moment). 🙂

            • Lou Jost says:

              Our life histories are reversed. I grew up in a religious household and was very devout myself until late high school. I do know what faith is. It is only beautiful if the thing you have faith in actually exists. A child’s faith in his parents is touching; a grown-up’s faith in Santa Claus is sad. Faith needs to be guided by reason and evidence (remember reason does not usually lead to proof), otherwise faith can be used to justify any religious belief whatsoever, including belief in alien overlords or scourges of humanity like radical Islam.

            • Lou Jost says:

              If you want to read a heartbreaking example of misplaced Christian faith, read this:
              http://thedublinreview.com/%E2%80%98matthew-you-cannot-be-sick%E2%80%99/

  7. Sy Garte Sy Garte says:

    Me “Im telling you that I can see that the sky is blue and the grass is green”
    Lou “Define blue, define green”
    Me, “I cant define them, they are colors you have to see them”
    Lou “You are delusional. Its all in your mind”
    Me “Wait here are some of my friends from outside this tribe. Jon, do you see colors? Merv, do you see any colors in the sky and all around you”
    Jon “Yes, of course, today is a lovely day with a bright blue sky”
    Lou “You are all delusional”
    (So much for consistency of observation)

    Me. “OK, I will show you with experimentation. Here I have a trained mouse, that associates red with food. Look how he always identifies the red painted door to get to the food.
    Lou “You’re kidding, right? Of course what you call the “red” door looks different from the other door. We know there are many many shades of gray. So what? I still don’t even understand what you mean by red or blue of any of those words”.
    Me “OK, lets do spectroscopy. Look at the data. See how the wavelengths go from low at the red end to blue at the high end?
    Lou “What are you talking about? That data proves nothing. We know all about the effects of wavelength on gray shading. Its true that there are some anomalies there, but we will figure those out soon. You are using a Color of the Gaps argument. Your belief in the existence of color is blinding you to the truth.”
    Me “OK, look, here is an entire set of literature going back centuries, where all the colors are mentioned. Do you think all of those writers were delusional also?”
    Lou “Yes. The color myth has been around for a long time. It has fooled billions of people. But as you have just demonstrated, it cannot be proven”
    Me “OK Lou, fine. Don’t believe in color. That’s your choice and your right. I will continue to fool myself into thinking that I see the magnificence of God’s creation in the yellow, red and golden leaves every autumn”
    Lou “Did you say god …..?”

    • Lou Jost says:

      In case anyone thinks that we shouldn’t be skeptical that our own direct experience of color reflects the real world, check this out (Jon’s spam filter appears to block my comment if I insert the full link, but paste this in Google (including spelling error and dashes) and you should get it as the first result):

      richardwiseman.wordpress.com, possibly-the-best-optical-ilusion-i-have-seen-all-year

      We should be skeptical even of direct sensory perception, and even more skeptical of our perceptions of things that are not physically present. Our sensory neurons and our brain pre-process everything we experience, so what we experience is dependent on our expectations and past experiences. Science is just a way to avoid being fooled by these sorts of things.

      • Sy Garte Sy Garte says:

        Ah yes, the real world. Science tells us what it really is, as opposed to what we think it is based on our feeble incorrect perceptions. As an example, to explain the fine tuning of physical constants, and also to make any sense at all of quantum mechanics, we have the multiverse, a purely scientific construct. And when we observe the behavior of a particle, it decides what path to take. That is true reality.

        I was exactly where you are now, Lou, about 15 years ago. And then I started thinking, wait, if what we see, and what we think from our senses isn’t really real, then how can we know what’s real? How, for example can we eliminate the possibility of God, simply because we don’t yet have the tools to scientifically measure Him, the way we can measure how a single photon acts? We cant. If what “science” tells us is true, is really true, then everything can be true, until proven not to be.

        That isn’t how I became a theist, but it opened the door, it allowed the possibility which I had previously rejected. And to my good fortune, once I unlocked the door, Christ came to me. We all pray He will come to you as well, Lou, because you have shown yourself ready to receive Him. Be patient.

        • Lou Jost says:

          Most atheists don’t think that science eliminates the possibility of god. They simply note that there is no evidence for a personal god of the kind you believe in. And there is considerable evidence against the specific Christian version of that god.

          I hope you and your readers will some day be honest enough to recognize that the bible is a cultural document, produced by humans, with no signs of divine inspiration and plenty of signs of human motivations behind its stories. The close analyses of scripture which you guys present here seem to ignore this elephant in the room.

          • aniko says:

            The mainstream of Christian tradition, going back all the way to the “Church fathers” (and excluding some very recent trends of naive inerrantism of a primarily North American flavor), has always understood the books of the Bible to have originated at the hands of human writers, with clear marks of both the culture within which they wrote and of their individual personalities and motivations. The only thing missing from your list, Lou, is “with no signs of divine inspiration”. (Which, we might note, differs from all the other assertions in being a negative existential claim for which no evidence is, or could possible be, provided.)

            • Lou Jost says:

              Partly agree—I should have said “no unambigous signs of divine intervention.”

              About proving a negative existential claim, the non-existence of something can be proven when the search space is finite and can be exhaustively searched, as it is for Bible verses. There could have been unequivocal signs of divine inspiration. There are not.

              The closest we come is some prophecies whose validity is hotly debated.

              • aniko says:

                Well, in addition to the search space being finite, a solid and agreed-upon test for divine inspiration (or divine presence/revelation, as in Sy’s story) would be helpful. I disagree that no one would be skeptical in Sy’s story (and you yourself said at one point that even in that case skepticism should be called for). There isn’t in fact any situation that would be “unambiguous”, unequivocally excluding any possibility of a different explanation. On the other hand, plenty of people see signs of divine inspiration in the Bible or in their favorite pianist’s rendition of Chopin’s Nocturnes or in a child’s drawing of a forget-me-not.

  8. Lou Jost says:

    Sy: “I’m telling you that aliens come to visit me at night….not always corporeal, but I can feel their presence, and I can talk with them. And when they do have bodies, they can walk through walls, and can levitate!”
    Lou: “That seems wildly unlikely. You’ll need to give me really good evidence if I’m to believe you.”
    Sy: “Sorry, they usually don’t leave any physical traces. But I experience them, I swear I do! Experiences are as real as anything else.”
    Lou: “You are delusional; it is all in your mind. You’ve watched too many late night movies. I don’t deny the reality of your experience, but you are a fool to take it at face value.”
    Sy: “No, I can prove it. I have met many other people who experienced the same thing. They all give very similar descriptions of the aliens.”
    Lou: “Were any of these people raised in cultures which didn’t have TV and exposure to alien movies?”
    Sy: “Well, no, but I can still prove it. Some of the people I knew had such strong experiences that they were willing to die for them. They killed themselves because the aliens told them this was how they could join them forever in space. Nobody would kill themselves for a lie.”
    Lou: “You knew some of those idiots in the Heaven’s Gate mass suicide? And you still take this stuff seriously? Don’t you remember the leader of that cult made false predictions about what was going to happen on earth?”
    Sy: “He just interpreted them wrong. There really are aliens visiting us, and they really can levitate, and bring dead things back to life, and walk through walls and read minds, I swear! Those people wouldn’t die for a lie. And I experience them too!”
    Lou: “Wait a minute, did you really see them bring something back to life?”
    Sy: “Well, no, but I read a pamphlet by an anonymous but very trustworthy writer who said they had heard of someone who saw it. Oh, and I also saw a letter by a guy who said he saw a vision of the dead thing, so it must have come back to life.”
    Lou: “That’s pretty poor evidence for something so hard to believe, if the thing was really dead. Did you check out the story? Was it in the news?”
    Sy: “No. But there was a news report on the group that published the story. So the group existed. And they wouldn’t be mistaken about a thing like that. You are so darned closed-minded. It’s pointless to talk to you. Your life must be so shallow and meaningless. I bet you don’t feel anything at all when you look up at the stars at night. My friends and I get goosebumps just thinking about all those aliens looking down at us as we watch. We know they have a plan for us, and we will be saved when they come to destroy the world. I pity you, you closed-minded fool.”
    Sy again after catching his breath, newly inspired: “Wait, I can prove what I’m saying is true Every culture has had these experiences, they just didn’t have the language to express them correctly, so they called the aliens “gods”. And how do you think humans got to be so different from the animals? Huh, smarty-pants? The aliens have been genetically engineering us since forever. Where do you think orphan genes come from?
    “The Homo Sapiens who first appeared in Africa 200,000 years ago did not fish, had no jewelry, used primitive tools, did not travel much, did not use ceremonial burial, probably had very primitive language, if any. By 50,000 years ago, these creatures were people, and began to burst out of Africa, and were as modern as we are. That is not a gradual change. That is a remarkable explosion of biological and cultural advance. There is only ONE creature on this planet that stands above the rest, only one that can communicate with language the way we are doing, and that is us. Human beings are special, thanks to the aliens. And they WANT to help us, and want to communicate. Too bad you are too close-minded to listen.”
    Lou: “You said they want to destroy us.”
    Sy: “No, just those who don’t believe in them. That’s why I am telling everybody about them, to save them. The aliens told me to tell everyone so they have a chance to be saved. You are not taking advantage of the opportunity, I might add.”
    Lou: “So they want to communicate with us and convince us they exist and that we should do what they say?”
    Sy, exasperated: “Of course. They really care about us. Look how much work they’ve done already here! They told me and my friends to talk to everyone about it.”
    Lou: “So why don’t they just put up a sign in the sky, or tell us something that proves their existence? It would be easy, since they know so much more science than us. Then virtually everyone would believe in them and not be destroyed.”
    Sy: “Oh, that would be boring for them. They care about us but they don’t want to make it too easy.”
    Lou: “But if they were the gods of the past, and those stories that I thought were myths are actually real, then they did make it pretty easy sometimes.”
    Sy: “Look, the evidence is all around us. You are just too blind to see it.”
    Lou: “I guess so…”
    Lou goes back to his boring natural world, and mistakenly feels awestruck every time he studies the way nature works. Silly him, if only he realized it was all being manipulated by aliens, he would feel so much more appreciation and awe.

  9. GD GD says:

    This approach may be entertaining, but it may (inadvertently) indicate a major fallacy regarding religion and faith – in that once the imagination of human beings has been excited, we can have as many religions and beliefs as people can make. All religions have undergone phases involving a great deal of intellectual and cultural effort, and for various reasons, communities (and civilisations) have adopted the belief system. During this, a seemingly endless variety of (fringe/strange) cults and groups have formed. A reasoned understanding would require a study of history, and the way major religions have formed, and to their purpose.

    The Christian faith has also undergone a similar history – serious consideration of the Christian message is needed to enable us to understand the core/truth statements’ one relevant core truth has been that ‘not all of us who consider ourselves called to Christ are in fact so called’. This aspect of Grace, makes the entire affair under the providence of God Himself. It is both humbling, and also ‘liberating’ to understand that Christ has taken the entire responsibility of God’s purpose to himself.

    It is thus pointless to consider aliens, movie actors, lost universities (I have visited Oxford and I would be sorry to see such an interesting place reduced to a crater, even if that served Sy’s purpose!!?). It is interesting however, to consider the proliferation of so many sects, cults (and even churches of atheists), all apparently responding to the religious impulse in humanity.

    • Lou Jost says:

      Humans want to find meaning in random events, and are very quick to see agency when there is none. We want to be comforted, we want to believe that the injustices of this world will be fixed in a future one. People in power want to justify their position (“the Divine right of kings”). Societies want to justify their ethical rules and bond their members together in a common belief system. But the existence of these impulses has no bearing at all on the truth value of the solutions we have invented for them.

      And of course different cultures have invented dramatically different solutions. The Chinese and Japanese solutions have little resemblance to our western solutions

      • GD GD says:

        I find myself at a loss when confronted with such remarks – just what does one atheist’s somewhat jaundiced view of the faults of humanity have do with Grace, Providence, and other core truths of the Christian faith? None!

  10. GD GD says:

    An interesting discussion on perception (what are those colours we see), experience, and the ‘state of affairs’ that are the workings of reason, intellect (and in which the world of theory and affirmation of physical reality that seems so empirically certain to the imperial scientific outlook), is given by Max Velmans, in “WHERE EXPERIENCES ARE: DUALIST, PHYSICALIST, ENACTIVE AND REFLEXIVE ACCOUNTS OF PHENOMENAL CONSCIOUSNESS”. This paper can be found in Phenom Cogn Sci (2007) 6:547–563.

    I am making a selective quote simply to convey one point, “….this consequence of biological naturalism is incredible….. Put your hands on your head. Is that the real skull that you feel….. If that makes sense, the reflexive model makes sense. Or is that just a phenomenal skull inside your brain, with your real skull beyond the dome of the sky? If the latter seems absurd, biological naturalism is absurd.”

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