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Argument for the existence of God Options
rmberwin
Posted: Saturday, July 11, 2020 3:30:20 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/30/2012
Posts: 113
Neurons: 924
I would like to offer an argument for God that I call "proof from the existence of persons". First, let us accept that natural selection is tantamount to a physical law, one which would obtain in any number of hypothetical universes. Second, let us accept that God would only truly be God if he is a person. Now consider the types of life forms that have evolved on earth. Clearly consciousness is not a feature of all of them. Furthermore, organisms can act in intelligent ways without being conscious, for example how honeybees communicate to each other the exact location of a food source. And, I would suggest that something like awareness can occur without consciousness per se, as with the phenomenon of blindsight. But what is the sine qua non of consciousness. It is the "first person perspective". So how is it that the universe should be constituted such that it allows for this apparent "add on" feature of humans, one that seems superfluous in terms of mere survival? (Again, there are various modes of existence and intelligent behavior does not require consciousness.) And most astoundingly, it is precisely this feature that we invest in any relevant conception of God. Therefore, it is the very existence of ourselves as persons that points toward the universe being, as Fred Hoyle remarked, a "put-up job". However, in order for the argument to avoid circularity it needs to be accepted that the personhood of God is an a priori consideration.
whatson
Posted: Saturday, July 11, 2020 5:35:35 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/19/2016
Posts: 523
Neurons: 3,999
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I'm certain everybody would like to know what

nascent sect's teaching influenced you to come up

with such a bizarre offer in the XXI. century.
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, July 12, 2020 10:58:11 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 14,641
Neurons: 69,796
rmberwin wrote:


You believe in God. I have no problem with that. But if your argument for God here is supposed to convince me that God exists, it fails to do so for several reasons.

This is a variation of the "Watchmaker's" argument for the existence of God. In it's simplest form, it says that because the Universe is complicated and complex, there must be a creator. It's similar to saying because we can create a watch, someone must have created the Universe.

In your argument, you posit that God exists because you have conscious awareness, or to reverse that argument, because you have conscious awareness, God exists. That is not logical.

Basing God's existence on your characteristics is a mistake, since the fact that you also can die means God can die, too. You can also choose to be evil. That would also mean that God can be evil. But that violates the idea of a God who is perfect and does no wrong. But if God says killing is wrong, then He kills, how can killing be wrong when we do it, if we are acting as God does?

You ask, "So how is it that the universe should be constituted such that it allows for this apparent "add on" feature of humans, one that seems superfluous in terms of mere survival?"

I would ask what would prevent the Universe from having a creature with this ability? To do so would have to be by design. A Universe of random spontaneity and development would be unlimited in its creations. That no creature ever exists with consciousness, that such a creature is prevented from existing, that would indicate a Creator.


I would like to offer an argument for God that I call "proof from the existence of persons". First, let us accept that natural selection is tantamount to a physical law, one which would obtain in any number of hypothetical universes. Second, let us accept that God would only truly be God if he is a person. Now consider the types of life forms that have evolved on earth. Clearly consciousness is not a feature of all of them. Furthermore, organisms can act in intelligent ways without being conscious, for example how honeybees communicate to each other the exact location of a food source. And, I would suggest that something like awareness can occur without consciousness per se, as with the phenomenon of blindsight. But what is the sine qua non of consciousness. It is the "first person perspective". So how is it that the universe should be constituted such that it allows for this apparent "add on" feature of humans, one that seems superfluous in terms of mere survival? (Again, there are various modes of existence and intelligent behavior does not require consciousness.) And most astoundingly, it is precisely this feature that we invest in any relevant conception of God. Therefore, it is the very existence of ourselves as persons that points toward the universe being, as Fred Hoyle remarked, a "put-up job". However, in order for the argument to avoid circularity it needs to be accepted that the personhood of God is an a priori consideration.
rmberwin
Posted: Sunday, July 12, 2020 12:15:55 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/30/2012
Posts: 113
Neurons: 924
FounDit wrote:
rmberwin wrote:


You believe in God. I have no problem with that. But if your argument for God here is supposed to convince me that God exists, it fails to do so for several reasons.

This is a variation of the "Watchmaker's" argument for the existence of God. In it's simplest form, it says that because the Universe is complicated and complex, there must be a creator. It's similar to saying because we can create a watch, someone must have created the Universe.

In your argument, you posit that God exists because you have conscious awareness, or to reverse that argument, because you have conscious awareness, God exists. That is not logical.

Basing God's existence on your characteristics is a mistake, since the fact that you also can die means God can die, too. You can also choose to be evil. That would also mean that God can be evil. But that violates the idea of a God who is perfect and does no wrong. But if God says killing is wrong, then He kills, how can killing be wrong when we do it, if we are acting as God does?

You ask, "So how is it that the universe should be constituted such that it allows for this apparent "add on" feature of humans, one that seems superfluous in terms of mere survival?"

I would ask what would prevent the Universe from having a creature with this ability? To do so would have to be by design. A Universe of random spontaneity and development would be unlimited in its creations. That no creature ever exists with consciousness, that such a creature is prevented from existing, that would indicate a Creator.


I didn't claim to believe in God. I was simply offering an argument. You wrote, "In your argument, you posit that God exists because you have conscious awareness, or to reverse that argument, because you have conscious awareness, God exists. That is not logical. Basing God's existence on your characteristics is a mistake". But I said that the personhood of God must be accepted a priori (theism vs. deism). This is a delicate point, but all of our knowledge depends on a priori considerations. My argument as originally stated was perhaps muddled. Whether there is a survival value to consciousness or not (whether it is an "add-on" feature) is irrelevant to the point of our ultimately contingent existence as persons. It is the dichotomy between the necessary personhood of God and ourselves as contingent conscious creatures that is astonishing.

I would like to offer an argument for God that I call "proof from the existence of persons". First, let us accept that natural selection is tantamount to a physical law, one which would obtain in any number of hypothetical universes. Second, let us accept that God would only truly be God if he is a person. Now consider the types of life forms that have evolved on earth. Clearly consciousness is not a feature of all of them. Furthermore, organisms can act in intelligent ways without being conscious, for example how honeybees communicate to each other the exact location of a food source. And, I would suggest that something like awareness can occur without consciousness per se, as with the phenomenon of blindsight. But what is the sine qua non of consciousness. It is the "first person perspective". So how is it that the universe should be constituted such that it allows for this apparent "add on" feature of humans, one that seems superfluous in terms of mere survival? (Again, there are various modes of existence and intelligent behavior does not require consciousness.) And most astoundingly, it is precisely this feature that we invest in any relevant conception of God. Therefore, it is the very existence of ourselves as persons that points toward the universe being, as Fred Hoyle remarked, a "put-up job". However, in order for the argument to avoid circularity it needs to be accepted that the personhood of God is an a priori consideration.
FounDit
Posted: Monday, July 13, 2020 12:12:42 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 14,641
Neurons: 69,796
rmberwin wrote:
FounDit wrote:
rmberwin wrote:


You believe in God. I have no problem with that. But if your argument for God here is supposed to convince me that God exists, it fails to do so for several reasons.

This is a variation of the "Watchmaker's" argument for the existence of God. In it's simplest form, it says that because the Universe is complicated and complex, there must be a creator. It's similar to saying because we can create a watch, someone must have created the Universe.

In your argument, you posit that God exists because you have conscious awareness, or to reverse that argument, because you have conscious awareness, God exists. That is not logical.

Basing God's existence on your characteristics is a mistake, since the fact that you also can die means God can die, too. You can also choose to be evil. That would also mean that God can be evil. But that violates the idea of a God who is perfect and does no wrong. But if God says killing is wrong, then He kills, how can killing be wrong when we do it, if we are acting as God does?

You ask, "So how is it that the universe should be constituted such that it allows for this apparent "add on" feature of humans, one that seems superfluous in terms of mere survival?"

I would ask what would prevent the Universe from having a creature with this ability? To do so would have to be by design. A Universe of random spontaneity and development would be unlimited in its creations. That no creature ever exists with consciousness, that such a creature is prevented from existing, that would indicate a Creator.


I didn't claim to believe in God. I was simply offering an argument. You wrote, "In your argument, you posit that God exists because you have conscious awareness, or to reverse that argument, because you have conscious awareness, God exists. That is not logical. Basing God's existence on your characteristics is a mistake". But I said that the personhood of God must be accepted a priori (theism vs. deism).
I took your "proof from the existence of persons" as evidence of your belief, but if you don't believe, I see no reason to argue for God's existence. Speaking of which, to posit the personhood of God, one must a priori accept the existence of God.

This is a delicate point, but all of our knowledge depends on a priori considerations.
I don't think that is so. You can approach the idea from a completely neutral/objective viewpoint and merely examine what, if any, evidence exists for a God without any preconditions.

My argument as originally stated was perhaps muddled. Whether there is a survival value to consciousness or not (whether it is an "add-on" feature) is irrelevant to the point of our ultimately contingent existence as persons.

It is the dichotomy between the necessary personhood of God and ourselves as contingent conscious creatures that is astonishing.

And here you once again assume the existence of God and His Personhood, as compared to us as conscious creatures.

I think you make a mistake in using us as proof, or evidence, of anything, especially as evidence for the existence of God. All religions demonstrate that it is faith itself that is the only "proof" of God.

The Humanist position is this:
"Our planet revolves around a medium-sized star, which is located near the edge of an average-sized galaxy of as many as 300 billion stars, which is part of a galaxy group consisting of more than thirty other galaxies, which is part of an expanding universe that, while consisting mostly of cold, dark space, also contains perhaps one hundred billion galaxies in addition to our own. Our species has existed only a very short time on the earth, and the earth itself has existed only a short time in the history of our galaxy. Our existence is thus an incredibly minuscule and brief part of a much larger picture.

In light of this, we find it curious that, in the absence of direct evidence, religious thinkers can conclude that the universe or some creative power beyond it is concerned with our well-being or future. From all appearances it seems more logical to conclude that we alone are concerned for our well-being and future.

https://americanhumanist.org/what-is-humanism/humanist-philosophy-perspective/

This makes sense to me. The idea of some God who is concerned about us is, to my mind, the equivalent of us concerning ourselves with a microscopic life form on a grain of sand at the beach.

That said, I do believe religion is a good thing when we use it and it's moral code for the benefit and well-being of all people. A religion that doesn't fit that description is worthless, in my opinion. But great good has been done for all humans when religion is exercised in its good and proper form.

But as we are the inventors of religion, we see that it reflects our nature also, having been used for terrible acts against other humans. Since it will likely never disappear, the goal should be to make sure its good teachings are followed rather than its corrupted versions.

I would like to offer an argument for God that I call "proof from the existence of persons". First, let us accept that natural selection is tantamount to a physical law, one which would obtain in any number of hypothetical universes. Second, let us accept that God would only truly be God if he is a person. Now consider the types of life forms that have evolved on earth. Clearly consciousness is not a feature of all of them. Furthermore, organisms can act in intelligent ways without being conscious, for example how honeybees communicate to each other the exact location of a food source. And, I would suggest that something like awareness can occur without consciousness per se, as with the phenomenon of blindsight. But what is the sine qua non of consciousness. It is the "first person perspective". So how is it that the universe should be constituted such that it allows for this apparent "add on" feature of humans, one that seems superfluous in terms of mere survival? (Again, there are various modes of existence and intelligent behavior does not require consciousness.) And most astoundingly, it is precisely this feature that we invest in any relevant conception of God. Therefore, it is the very existence of ourselves as persons that points toward the universe being, as Fred Hoyle remarked, a "put-up job". However, in order for the argument to avoid circularity it needs to be accepted that the personhood of God is an a priori consideration.
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