Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

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Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:37 am

Has anyone read the book "Divinity of Doubt: The God Question"? Been hearing a lot about it. Heard the author speak a bit about his book and its contents. I may pick it up, but the interviews with the guy seem to indicate to me that his argument about the existance of god relies largely on inconsistancies within the Bible and other religiuos writings, coupled with the premise of "if you can't prove it it exists, you can't know that it exists".

I actually agree with that premise though. And that's where faith comes in for most people that beleive in any given religion. And for me, the existance of god and the truth of a religion are two completely separate things.

Anyway... if anyone wants to pick up the book and read it, I will as well, and we can have a good discussion about it.

Let me know!
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:57 pm

Embar Angylwrath wrote:And for me, the existance of god and the truth of a religion are two completely separate things.
Same here. I believe that there must be some higher power, but I think formalized religions exist mainly to control people. Creations of mankind tend to be self-serving, and religion is one of them.

That and I think everyone has faith in something. You can't prove the world will be around next week but everyone still goes to work. The average person probably takes dozens of things on faith every day. A famous trial lawyer (Gerry Spence?) said that we all have built-in "truth detectors" that are mostly accurate. And most people's truth detector says that there's a higher power. I know mine does!

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:00 pm

I believe it was Spinoza who argued that if the existence of something (i.e. God) couldn't be disproven then it must exist and we're just not smart enough to perceive it. I think the gist was that everything that can exist does exist, and that means that God does exist.

Edit: Voltaire said pretty much the same thing. It's funny that the philosophers who gave us this fine-tuned ability to reason, mostly all believed in a higher power that reasoning has a hard time accounting for.

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:53 pm

You can't prove the world will be around next week but everyone still goes to work.
Reasonable expectation based on historical consistency =/= faith.
if the existence of something (i.e. God) couldn't be disproven then it must exist and we're just not smart enough to perceive it.
That's...complete nonsense. You can't disprove the existence of leprechauns and unicorns either, but a reasonable person will conclude that they don't exist based on absence of evidence.

Omnipotent entities are logically impossible, plain and simple. Can God commit suicide? If yes, it's not omnipotent. If no, it's not omnipotent.
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Fallakin Kuvari » Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:55 pm

Jarochai Alabaster wrote:Can God commit suicide? If yes, it's not omnipotent. If no, it's not omnipotent.
Flawed logic.
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:04 pm

Explain how.
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Fallakin Kuvari » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:02 pm

You're implying that He wouldn't know that He was or was not going to be doing it at some point in the future.

Being Omnipotent means being all powerful and seeing all things.
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:15 pm

Being Omnipotent means being all powerful and seeing all things.
I rest my case. If it's all powerful, it can do anything (In this example, destroy itself). If it can be destroyed, it's not all powerful.
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Fallakin Kuvari » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:27 pm

All powerful does not mean invincible.
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:27 pm

Jarochai Alabaster wrote:Reasonable expectation based on historical consistency =/= faith.
dictionary.com disagrees with you. Faith is the belief in something that cannot be proven.
Reasonable expectations do not equal proof.
You're just arguing semantics.

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Ddrak » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:56 pm

I believe in my God. It's probably illogical. Whatever. It's like the idea of romantic love, soul mates, etc.

I also enjoy reading people like Dawkins, not because I think they're wrong but they provide a fascinating framework to frame my illogical faith.

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Kulaf » Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:01 pm

Jarochai Alabaster wrote:
Being Omnipotent means being all powerful and seeing all things.
I rest my case. If it's all powerful, it can do anything (In this example, destroy itself). If it can be destroyed, it's not all powerful.
There are so many holes in this it is sort of laughable. For one you are postulating that a supreme being is in some way corporeal and therefore can "kill itself". What if the supreme being is composed solely of energy? Can you destroy energy?

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:26 pm

Ddrak wrote:I believe in my God. It's probably illogical.
Some of us live by "fuzzy logic" :)

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:29 pm

The author addresses issues just like that. His observations and logic are... well... challenging for someone that wants to hold onto a position that logic doesn't easily support.

I'm a little obtuse when it comes to the nuances of this kind of stuff, but he makes a lot of interesting observations. The most interesting to me is how Christianity bases its foundations on contradicting biblical tenets, and then uses those contradicting tenets to construct an argument on why god exists, using logic, but derived from contradiction.

Its an interesting thing to think about.
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:54 pm

Faith is the belief in something that cannot be proven.
By that definition, given nothing can be "proven" with absolute certainty, literally everything we experience in the universe is taken on "faith." Personally, I reject that notion, as it produces no greater understanding of the universe or our place within it.

Of course, dictionary.com also defines proof as "evidence sufficient to establish a thing as true." Reasonable expectation based on historical consistency should suffice here. For example, if I have a reasonable expectation that the sun will rise in the morning and set in the evening, it's an evidence-based belief (As to the best of our understanding this has occurred every day for over 4b years), not a faith-based belief. In that same vein, the belief that the earth will still exist (Largely in its current state, though in a different position relative to the sun, the galaxy, and other structures of the universe) in a week is not faith-based, it's evidence-based.
For one you are postulating that a supreme being is in some way corporeal and therefore can "kill itself"
If you're suggesting it can't do so, then it cannot be reasonably regarded as all-powerful, since you're suggesting an action outside the limits of its power.
if the supreme being is composed solely of energy? Can you destroy energy?
Most God concepts involve the deity in question creating all matter and energy of the universe. I cannot destroy energy (This would be a violation of conservation, after all), but an entity that can create matter and energy should have no problem destroying it. To suggest it can't is, again, to suggest there's an action outside the limits of the entity's power.

Honestly, I'm open to the concept of a God, I simply haven't seen any evidence to suggest such an entity exists. And the logical contradictions espoused by many religions (Omnibenevolence + Eternal torment) are flat-out insulting nonsense.

If there is an unimaginably powerful entity that created our universe, it went out of its way to make everything appear to be the product of natural processes. In my estimation, the only way to honor such an entity is to ignore claims of its existence until such time as it decides to reveal itself or evidence of its existence.
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Fallakin Kuvari » Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:44 pm

You know.. because that hasn't happened already... then he was killed, then he resurrected himself... And he foretold all of it.

Mind you there are different belief structures. Some adhere to the trinity all being the same omnipotent being ideology, others believe them to be 3 separate entities.
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:50 pm

You know.. because that hasn't happened already... then he was killed, then he resurrected himself... And he foretold all of it.
And what evidence do you have to support the claim?
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Freecare Spiritwise » Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:57 pm

I would agree that nothing taken on faith expands our knowledge of the universe. But that's not the purpose of faith. The rational mind already does an adequte job of expanding our understanding.

No, I would say the purpose of faith is to give comfort, not understanding. I couldn't imagine living in a world with no meaning. Faith that there is some sort of meaning and/or underlying purpose in all this bullshit gives me enormous comfort. It's not something I need or even want proof of.

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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:05 pm

I couldn't imagine living in a world with no meaning.
Neither could I. My existence has meaning - the meaning I and those I love ascribe to it. I find no faith necessary to live a purposeful life.
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Re: Divnity of Doubt: The God Question

Post by Fallakin Kuvari » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:06 pm

Jarochai Alabaster wrote:
You know.. because that hasn't happened already... then he was killed, then he resurrected himself... And he foretold all of it.
And what evidence do you have to support the claim?
1) Theres books written about it, some of which were written by witnesses.

2) Theres millions of his followers (believers) around the world who go to multiple different faith churches.
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