A "Proof" for theism

A "Proof" for theism

Postby Bill » Sat Aug 09, 2014 2:40 pm

It was mooted on the introductions thread that, provided a god was willing to take part, it would be simple for it show that theism is the "correct" world view.

It was further hinted that all it would take is for a real miracle to occur.

A miracle is defined as being an event that cannot be explained by natural or scientific laws, and therefore requires the intervention of a supernatural being.

There is a hint of special pleading in the definition, for it does occur to me that "real miracles" could occur spontaneously from time to time, without necessarily having any divine intervention, but, for now, let us table that objection and go to the heart of the problem we still face.

And, at its simplest, all events we ever observe take place in the natural universe and - if the underlying law is still yet to be discovered - by being in the natural universe it denies that supernatural forces are at work.

But that theory can be quickly dismantled: all we need is a single example of some event that would constitute a "real" miracle, and the case would be settled.

Now its your turn. All you have to do is hypothesize an event that can only occur by divine intervention.
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Re: A "Proof" for theism

Postby AB517 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:11 am

for me it is simple to see the need for theistism. What is not so simple for me is why we can't change a world view with new information?
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Re: A "Proof" for theism

Postby romansh » Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:21 am

Hmmn miracle?

Something caused by a god perhaps?
An event where all causes have been eliminated.

I will leave the first to those that care about such things.

The second ... say a nuclide decaying ... is that a miracle? We can't see the underlying cause (assuming there is one). Does that count as a miracle?
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Re: A "Proof" for theism

Postby Bill » Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:54 am

romansh wrote:The second ... say a nuclide decaying ... is that a miracle? We can't see the underlying cause (assuming there is one). Does that count as a miracle?


That, I think, is an example of any event occurring in the natural universe is therefore a natural one through some cause even if that cause is not understood.

An interesting tid-bit: on average, the average human being will encounter a million-to-one coincidence every thirty days or so. On average. According to some guy with a stop watch and a pile of actuarial charts.
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Re: A "Proof" for theism

Postby romansh » Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:03 am

Bill wrote:
romansh wrote:The second ... say a nuclide decaying ... is that a miracle? We can't see the underlying cause (assuming there is one). Does that count as a miracle?


That, I think, is an example of any event occurring in the natural universe is therefore a natural one through some cause even if that cause is not understood.

An interesting tid-bit: on average, the average human being will encounter a million-to-one coincidence every thirty days or so. On average. According to some guy with a stop watch and a pile of actuarial charts.

Fair enough
But then this begs the question who is the arbiter of what is natural and non/super/un natural?

As you understand ... I come from the school of if there is an exchange of energy ie cause and effect ... regardless of the source ... we can consider it part of the natural world. Divvying things up into natural and supernatural seems somewhat tenuous to me ... or at least an arbitrary definition. Does god (assuming such creatures exist) respond to cause and effect?
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Re: A "Proof" for theism

Postby Bill » Sun Aug 10, 2014 12:35 pm

I simply reported that it had been opined that a "real" miracle would be in itself sufficient proof that there is a god.

It turns out, I fear, that the word miracle is highly prone to ignostic debate.

Having said that, I suppose that most of those who rely solely on cause and effect to explain everything natural must have some considerable difficulty with coming to terms with the creation of the universe itself: there is, as yet, no really accepted "cause" for an event that clearly took place. And uncaused events must be something of an anathema - perhaps of such magnitude that the only acceptable solution would be for divine intervention to be trigger that caused the universe to be initiated.
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Re: A "Proof" for theism

Postby romansh » Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:13 pm

Bill wrote:Having said that, I suppose that most of those who rely solely on cause and effect to explain everything natural must have some considerable difficulty with coming to terms with the creation of the universe itself: there is, as yet, no really accepted "cause" for an event that clearly took place.

I think I don't know is quite often a simple answer. Also at the limits of our science, by definition, we cannot see the underlying causes. And should the universe ultimately be acausal, I have not worked out how we can tell.
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Re: A "Proof" for theism

Postby Bill » Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:08 pm

That is where the mystical monist may have it over both of us. If I properly understand their case, it goes along the lines of "Everything is caused, ergo the universe is caused. Not knowing the cause makes it mystical. At least for now."

(I am paraphrasing and in simplifying the case made to me, maybe I am oversimplifying it to such a degree as to make it appear unsustainable. Not my intent, but perhaps an unwitting consequence of trying to simplify one answer to the greatest mystery ever presented to us.)
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Re: A "Proof" for theism

Postby Red » Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:21 pm

To me it's like:

"God told me to tell you to go to the bakery in Jersey today," while you're thinking about where to get the best donut.

You go, "heck... I'll go there"

The other bakery was in the World Trade Center (I dunno).

Something like that. But you can't necessarily prove that to anyone else.

Maybe this isn't the best example, but it's that kind of process.
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Re: A "Proof" for theism

Postby Red » Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:39 pm

Okay, that was a bad example, because it would need a demonstrable cause.

So, that person told you to go to the Jersey donut shop and gave you a Bible verse about Jesus.

Something to that extent.
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