What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

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Sanjuricus
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What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby Sanjuricus » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:10 am UTC

First Post so please forgive me if I break all of your rules!!!

This is a question I've had buzzing around in my head for some time. I've discussed it with what I call "dimtellects" (without meaning to be at all derogatory) and I thought I'd come see what you greater minds think of it (without meaning to be sycophantic!). It also kind of flies in the face of reasonable arguments in some aspects so I ask you all to bear with me in those areas...anyway, here goes:

Suppose (despite all personal opinions as to the improbability or impossibility of such an occurrence) that empirical, repeatable and incontravertible proof of the existence or non-existence of God were to be published and verified by peer review etc.
1. Which do you suppose would have the worst effect on human society: Proof of existence or proof of non-existence of a supernatural deity?
2. What scenarios do you envision occurring in the aftermath of this evidence becoming accepted fact?

My opinion: As a staunch atheist with strong anti-religious tendencies I would have to say that proof positive of the existence of God would be the worst possible outcome. Monotheistic religions would be vindicated, their religious texts (at least in the eyes of their clergy) would become fact...and eventually law! Progress in many areas of science and culture would all but cease (a concept supported by the consequences of the religious dark ages and the stagnant nature of many islamic countries) and humankind would cease to try to progress. Critical thinking would be stamped out over the coming generations and the new found power of the clergy would inevitably corrupt them.
On the flip side though, absolute proof of the non-existence of a deity would cause conflict and turmoil for a good few generations, there would likely be fatwahs on the scientists who made the discovery and debates on TV and riots in less well-developed countries but eventually it would settle down (EDIT: and football players would apparently be much better funded) and man could get on with what he does best: Learning. He could do this free of the yoke of religion, something that has tried its best to hold back science for centuries. Islamic women would be free to show their faces in public, keep their clitoris and labia; Jewish boys could keep their foreskin right where its supposed to be; pedophiles wouldn't have to wait until they were Catholic Bishops before they violated those placed with them in trust. People might just stop....take a breath...and look with wonder at the universe around them in all of its glory and appreciate just how much more poignant their brief existence is, knowing that when they die...Thats it! The list goes on and I'm going to stop their because I'm in danger of getting up on my soap box!!!
Though I acknowledge that all of this is merely "what if?" and conjecture, it does strike me as being quite relevant to the current situation we face in this world now.
In many areas of the world, religion is now in conflict. In my beloved Britain we are being beset by islamification while Christianity shrinks and apathy toward religion grows. In the US, creationism is dangerously gaining ground as a subject worthy of being taught in science classes, all across the Arab world, citizens are in revolt against islamic dictators whose existence and position of power is largely a by-product of islam.
By looking at the absolutes we can loosely extrapolate where mankind might be heading on the "theist/atheist graph" and what global culture might be like as a result of either side achieving ascendency. Interesting times?
Last edited by Sanjuricus on Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:06 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby gingermrkettle » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:41 pm UTC

Sanjuricus wrote:Progress in many areas of science and culture would all but cease (a concept supported by the consequences of the religious dark ages and the stagnant nature of many islamic countries) and humankind would cease to try to progress.


Perhaps you would like to consider the origins of the words algebra, alkali and alcohol and do a re-edit? Considering the origins of universities in the UK might also be interesting.

/trollfeeding

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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby KrazyerKate » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:25 pm UTC

pedophiles wouldn't have to wait until they were Catholic Bishops before they violated those placed with them in trust

That's really the worst thing about being a pedophile, isn't it? All that waiting.

I think a world in which God's existence was scientifically proven would be a fascinating topic of discussion (or at least a good Sci-Fi book). Which version of God is it? What form would the proof take? What would that mean for the role of Prayer and/or Meditation in our lives? Would we figure out how to begin work on another Bible? Would we be able to reproduce and harvest Miracles?

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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby Chen » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:30 pm UTC

My opinion: As a staunch atheist with strong anti-religious tendencies I would have to say that proof positive of the existence of God would be the worst possible outcome. Monotheistic religions would be vindicated, their religious texts (at least in the eyes of their clergy) would become fact...and eventually law! Progress in many areas of science and culture would all but cease (a concept supported by the consequences of the religious dark ages and the stagnant nature of many islamic countries) and humankind would cease to try to progress. Critical thinking would be stamped out over the coming generations and the new found power of the clergy would inevitably corrupt them.


Ostensibly we'd be able to ask this god if his texts were meant to be literal or allegorical (I can't see any way to prove gods existence save him actually showing up). I also don't see why scientific progress would stop. I mean you cite Islamic countries, but the US is pretty damn religious for the most part (or at least had been in the past) and technology kept moving forward. Religion's position would clearly be stronger but if there was an omnipotent/omniscient god out there, it seems pretty logical to follow what it says. Even if its a malevolent god, it seems better to side with it than oppose it, if it is actually omnipotent.

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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby Sanjuricus » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:57 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
My opinion: As a staunch atheist with strong anti-religious tendencies I would have to say that proof positive of the existence of God would be the worst possible outcome. Monotheistic religions would be vindicated, their religious texts (at least in the eyes of their clergy) would become fact...and eventually law! Progress in many areas of science and culture would all but cease (a concept supported by the consequences of the religious dark ages and the stagnant nature of many islamic countries) and humankind would cease to try to progress. Critical thinking would be stamped out over the coming generations and the new found power of the clergy would inevitably corrupt them.


Ostensibly we'd be able to ask this god if his texts were meant to be literal or allegorical (I can't see any way to prove gods existence save him actually showing up). I also don't see why scientific progress would stop. I mean you cite Islamic countries, but the US is pretty damn religious for the most part (or at least had been in the past) and technology kept moving forward. Religion's position would clearly be stronger but if there was an omnipotent/omniscient god out there, it seems pretty logical to follow what it says. Even if its a malevolent god, it seems better to side with it than oppose it, if it is actually omnipotent.


I think it would be fair to say that the vast majority of scientists in the US (especially at the bleeding edge of science) are either atheist or sceptical of religion...or they are religious purely because of tradition! Science and religion are directly opposed: Science seeks seeks to learn, to understand, to progress. Science admits it doen't have all the answers...but it's going to do its damndest to find out. Religion tells you it has all the answers and that you need not think for yourself. It is a closed book. :)

Other than that, I completely agree with you!

As KrazyerKate said in her post (assuming gender there, apologies of its wrong!) it would be a fascinating concept to consider the nature of and the manner in which the proof was obtained. Obviously, in the real world it's a moot point, we don't have the means to determine the definite existence or non-existence of "god" even in a philosophical sense. I find myself agreeing with Dawkins in that, while the question cannot be answered in an absolute sense, the existence of a deity is far more improbable than the non-existence of one.

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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby Chen » Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:02 pm UTC

Sanjuricus wrote:I think it would be fair to say that the vast majority of scientists in the US (especially at the bleeding edge of science) are either atheist or sceptical of religion...or they are religious purely because of tradition! Science and religion are directly opposed: Science seeks seeks to learn, to understand, to progress. Science admits it doen't have all the answers...but it's going to do its damndest to find out. Religion tells you it has all the answers and that you need not think for yourself. It is a closed book. :)


Religion may have answers to some things but it won't tell you how to build a car. Sure there might be less research into the origins of the universe or things like that, but technological progress would not stop. People need new things. There's no bible that will tell me how to make a bigger 3D TV or a faster more fuel efficient aircraft. Technology has progressed throughout the ages even with religion at the forefront. You might even get MORE technological advancement if the new god were to say "No no you misread that, Stem cell research is FINE". The only reason you'd have a complete stop in any technological or research fields would be if the god decreed "Don't study X anymore, I forbid it" or something similar.

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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby Sanjuricus » Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:27 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
Sanjuricus wrote:I think it would be fair to say that the vast majority of scientists in the US (especially at the bleeding edge of science) are either atheist or sceptical of religion...or they are religious purely because of tradition! Science and religion are directly opposed: Science seeks seeks to learn, to understand, to progress. Science admits it doen't have all the answers...but it's going to do its damndest to find out. Religion tells you it has all the answers and that you need not think for yourself. It is a closed book. :)


Religion may have answers to some things but it won't tell you how to build a car. Sure there might be less research into the origins of the universe or things like that, but technological progress would not stop. People need new things. There's no bible that will tell me how to make a bigger 3D TV or a faster more fuel efficient aircraft. Technology has progressed throughout the ages even with religion at the forefront. You might even get MORE technological advancement if the new god were to say "No no you misread that, Stem cell research is FINE". The only reason you'd have a complete stop in any technological or research fields would be if the god decreed "Don't study X anymore, I forbid it" or something similar.


A very good point well made. :) I would counter that science has made progress inspite of religious interference. The opening topic here discusses absolutes, if religion were to be absolutely vindicated by the proof then extremism would be rife. Just take the Taliban as an example, let's suppose that this particular group gained ascendency in a few islamic states shortly before the proof came to light. They would drag those states kicking and screaming back into the dark ages...which would be a trifle unpleasant to say the least.
In contrast, think how much more rapidly we could have advanced had religion had no place in our history. Galileo, just as a single example, would not have had his ideas ridiculed. Astronomy may well be centuries ahead of its current position had religion not asserted that the earth was the centre of everything. The arab nations would not have been held back from their phenomenal scientific progression by the advent of Islam. The european dark ages would likely never have happened and we'd be 3 or 4 centuries further along in our understanding of the universe around us.
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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby Azrael » Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:38 pm UTC

This is not House of Leaves, please refrain from colorization.

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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby Sanjuricus » Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:39 pm UTC

Sorry Sir. :)
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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby Glass Fractal » Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:06 pm UTC

Sanjuricus wrote:Suppose (despite all personal opinions as to the improbability or impossibility of such an occurrence) that empirical, repeatable and incontravertible proof of the existence or non-existence of God were to be published and verified by peer review etc.
1. Which do you suppose would have the worst effect on human society: Proof of existence or proof of non-existence of a supernatural deity?
2. What scenarios do you envision occurring in the aftermath of this evidence becoming accepted fact?


It depends entirely on what the proof actually says. Is it "there is a god of some kind" or "there is a god and the Mormons were right" or "there is a god but no one had it right" or "there is a god and somehow everyone was right"? Without knowing that detail an answer is probably impossible.

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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby Mo0man » Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:25 pm UTC

I'm pretty sure his argument is based on "There's a God, and he is the worst, most regressive God ever"
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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby alexh123456789 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:27 pm UTC

If a god was proven to exist, it would only expand science by giving scientists one more thing to study to try to recreate miracles/creation/whatever this god can do. There wouldn't really be any reason to codify its desires in law, nor would there be much reason to worship it, for the same reason I don't worship my parents. I'd imagine god coming down to earth to have a similar outcome as advanced aliens visiting earth - lots of questions and scientific advancement.

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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby KrazyerKate » Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:44 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:This is not House of Leaves, please refrain from colorization.

- Az

Is the thread staying open? I thought you'd merge it with the religion thread if we continued along the line of discussion of "Is Religion A Positive Force In The World?"

Sanjuricus, you are wrong from so many different angles that I'm not even going to try and address those, especially since most of your points are pretty heavily-tread ground for these sorts of discussions.

However, I will say that in a hypothetical situation where God's existence has been proven/disproven, I would much rather live in a world with God, even the one preached by the over-exaggerated witch-hunting medieval caricature of religion that you describe. Even in your oversimplified version where God commands that masturbation be illegal and nonbelievers are put to death, the ridiculous rules that people have to follow are only miserable for this life, and I wouldn't mind putting up with any of it if it meant I'd live the rest of forever in perfect bliss. I would mind even less if the only alternative scenario featured a much better earth but no afterlife.

alexh123456789 wrote:I'd imagine god coming down to earth to have a similar outcome as advanced aliens visiting earth - lots of questions and scientific advancement.

Well, there was that one time 2000 years ago...
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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby PeterCai » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:29 pm UTC

But what if unicorn exists?

Seriously, like the other posters said, you may as well ask the question more directly: what is the irreplacable function of religion in our society?
My view: none.

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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby Greyarcher » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:39 pm UTC

In the event of some existence proof? Hmm, well, there may be a slight shift by some fence sitters towards some brand of theism. Or maybe they'd just be deists. After all, existence wouldn't be very useful unless there were further information as to what particular religion, denomination, or policies the God preferred. Polytheists, well...I don't know quite nearly enough about Hindu folks or such to guess.

As for non-existence, well, many societies already are secular. So it would just be like a shift towards secular society. With people doing such things as replacing any useful or desired social functions of religious institutions and religious thought with non-theistic counterparts. Human adaptability and all that.
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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby duckshirt » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:42 pm UTC

Sanjuricus wrote:The european dark ages would likely never have happened and we'd be 3 or 4 centuries further along in our understanding of the universe around us.
:)
I've heard this sentiment before and I don't buy it. The reason we seem to have developed so much in the last couple centuries is because the world population has exploded - and thus the number of scientists, inventors, and supporters has exploded. And if you account for a teamwork factor, the "rate of improvement" of technology would be O(n^2), whereas the population remained flat-ish during the Middle Ages. So, if we assume a couple things:

1. nothing was accomplished for the entirety of 500 to 1500, so technology was the same in both of those years, and
2. all scientists work alone, so a team of 10 accomplishes exactly 10 times as much as 10 individuals living on opposite ends of the earth, and thus technological development is directly proportional to the number of person-years who have ever lived

Then, considering the average world population in the middle ages was about 300 million, about 300 billion person-years would have been "lost" in the middle ages. With today's population of 6 billion, this amounts to a very very liberal estimate of 50 years behind. And of course, the biggest assumption of all is that the Christian dark ages ceased all technological developments, which it didn't, and even if it did, what about the non-Christianized parts of the world who were possibly even more advanced than they (China). And if we're assuming that Europe was a/the world's main driver of technology at the time, then their ages couldn't have been *that* dark now, could they?
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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby pizzazz » Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:19 am UTC

Sanjuricus wrote:I think it would be fair to say that the vast majority of scientists in the US (especially at the bleeding edge of science) are either atheist or sceptical of religion...or they are religious purely because of tradition!

Vast majority is probably an exaggeration. wikipedia notes about 60% of scientists are atheist. As for those that do, your statement is baseless conjecture as far as I can tell, so I'm going to guess that most scientists who do believe in God have, in fact, thought about their belief, so I doubt you're right.
Science and religion are directly opposed: Science seeks seeks to learn, to understand, to progress. Science admits it doen't have all the answers...but it's going to do its damndest to find out. Religion tells you it has all the answers and that you need not think for yourself. It is a closed book. :)

This is completely wrong. The Church was one of the primary supporters of universities and of research for hundreds of years; most surviving knowledge of Greece and Rome is due to monasteries. Moreover, ideas prevalent in the Abrahamic religions, and at least in Protestantism in particular, are very conducive toward the development of technology and societal advances; note the tremendous advances made in the 1800s in largely protestant countries such as the US, Germany, and Britain. I will also have you note that the theology of the Catholic Church is still evolving more than 2000 years later.
As KrazyerKate said in her post (assuming gender there, apologies of its wrong!) it would be a fascinating concept to consider the nature of and the manner in which the proof was obtained. Obviously, in the real world it's a moot point, we don't have the means to determine the definite existence or non-existence of "god" even in a philosophical sense. I find myself agreeing with Dawkins in that, while the question cannot be answered in an absolute sense, the existence of a deity is far more improbable than the non-existence of one.
:)

How does that even make sense? Any attempt at a "probability" argument is going to end up resting on the same points that people make arguments for or against the existence of God, because any reasonable person is going to accept that you can't prove or disprove God's existence on objective grounds, and thus ALL arguments are essentially probability arguments.

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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby Duban » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:44 am UTC

Honestly I don't think undeniable proof that an all powerful deity does not exist would change much. The atheists and scientists would just keep doing what we've been doing. The moderate religious people would probably be somewhat disappointed but not change much. The fundamentalists who might actually go crazy without their "God" would probably stick their fingers in their ears and go "NANANANANANA NOT LISTENING NANANANANA" anyways. Honestly, if you ask me it’s fairly easy to disprove the concept with logic as it is.

As for “what if undeniable proof of said deities existence came forward”… Honestly I have no idea. There are so many different mutually exclusive things that could happen. I would rather not speculate on this.
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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby elasto » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:54 am UTC

Quite clearly the universe we live in is broadly subject to laws which are possible to discover, and any verification of the existence of God wouldn't change that one bit.

If miracles are possible they are clearly not the norm (almost by definition), and therefore the reasons for pursuing scientific discovery - to understand nature and better our lives - would continue unabated. The only reason that wouldn't be true would be if (a) God gave us a Bible 2.0 which laid out all the physical laws for us and (b) gave us all infinite wish wands whereby we could do anything we wanted without need to recourse to new technologies.

I disagree strongly that religion is innately anti the acquisition and pursuit of knowledge - scientific or otherwise. Sure, various church leaderships have frequently been against people thinking for themselves if it threatens their powerbase, but that's not the same thing. The verification of a just God who will chastise church leadership for exploiting those under their care is as likely to bring leadership to heel as anything else - especially if this God actively intervenes to express his displeasure.

If God exists, he gave us brains for a reason - to use them - else he'd have made us mindless puppets. Sure, he would expect us to use our brains to better understand him, but, given the innate order to the universe, he would expect us to seek to better understand and tame the universe too.

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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby thorgold » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:44 am UTC

I almost take offense at the OP's opinion regarding religion's opposition to the humanities in describing your worst case scenario. The parallels drawn between religion and learning have a weak historical basis, though for sake of staying on topic I won't delve into that. In short, religion's opposition to science was in defense of a society with no source of epistemoloical authority outside of the church, and any ideas that threatened the reality-defining Church were put down in an attempt to maintain stability. Misguided, but good motives, plus a few power-mongers thrown in to boot.

Anyway, my interpretation - God-verifying evidencewould be a superior event to God-disproving evidence.

In the OP's reasoning, the validation of religion is the death of education. This, in itself, is a fallacy in the belief that religion and science don't mix. Why wouldn't it? If an all-powerful deity made all of Creation, that would provide a completely objective basis for reality. If someone made it, and said "It is good," then we can obviously study the laws that govern creation. Hell, we'd have even more reason to study it, knowing that it's not just chaotic chace, and half the scientific community would be freed from Evolution vs. Creation arguments to go work on something constructive. So, in a God-proven scenario, the objective truths that God brings would improve scientific endeavors, whereas in a God-disproven scenario nothing would change from the present situation.

To boot, the OP ignores the philosophical and socialogical implications of a God/no-God scenario. If God was disproven, I wouldn't be surprised if a good chunk of the world population just started dying off. Suicide, depression, just snuffing out from despair, et cetera. The majority of the world's population is religious, and of that majority a sizeable chunk is fervently spiritual. What would happen to those people if their faith was proven false? It'd be like telling half the world that they were adopted, but on a more horrifying level. In addition, without God, even atheists or agnostics might feel despair, with the proven fact that life really is just random chance, and that we don't matter. Human extinction groups (the whole "don't have kids" thing) would pop up overnight - without a supernatural element, even a rejected element, the idea would be unquenchable that a temporary, physical existance wouldn't be worth the pain of existing.

In the face of postmodernity, where the relative is fact, religion is truly the only objective force left. Without a religious footing, where do we justify morality? Law? Justice? There's no supernatural element, so there can be no right or wrong, and I'll do whatever best suits my survival and comfort. Sure, as OP says, Catholic Bishop rapes will stop, circumcision (which is a medically wise practice, by the way) would stp, et cetera, but on the flip side you'd have an eventual breakdown of any semblance of the current moral code.

Okay, I want to type more, but my computer is freezing up randomly, and I'm tired of waiting for it to unfreeze just to type one sentence. If I can find another computer I'll finish this, if not, dang.
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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby TheAmazingRando » Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:02 am UTC

I don't really see how undeniable evidence of the existence of God would stop scientific progress. I mean, yeah, we would stop trying to, say, understand the cause of the big bang if said deity said "oh, yeah, that was me, here's how I did it" but that wouldn't be because we were giving up, it would be because we'd already reached our limits of understanding. We would stop making progress in that area because there was literally no more progress to be made.

But in most areas, I don't see how it would really change. Many early scientists were very religious, and many scientists today still are. Just because they believe in a creator doesn't mean they aren't interested in understanding the way the universe was created to work.

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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby Plasma Man » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:04 am UTC

Knowing humans, I'd expect that if the existence of a deity / deities were proven and this also proved the validity of a particular system of belief, I would expect immediate loophole exploitation and rules lawyering to determine the easiest way of complying with that system, while otherwise continuing pretty much as normal.
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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby quantropy » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:11 am UTC

If it was found that a being (God1) created the universe, did the things recorded in some holy book, and rewarded believers in an afterlife, then a new religion would spring up, worshiping a new being (God2) who was more powerful than God1, and rewarded believers in the after-afterlife. People would then argue about whether God2 existed or not.

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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby Czhorat » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:08 am UTC

If there were incontrovertible proof of God, then belief in it wouldn't be religion. It would be science.

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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby Sanjuricus » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:15 am UTC

Some nice replies and interesting comments (some of which certainly deal out a bit of a smackdown!) for which I offer my thanks. I make no apology for my opinions on religion, I made it quite clear from the off that I am quite strongly anti-religious and I definitely appreciate the frankness of some of the replies.

But back on topic:
The main thing I have come to understand with regards to the original question is that my opinion on what would happen with proof positive of a god was fundamentally flawed. My arguments were based on the principle that religions almost universally try to suppress critical thinking as a means to retain control. Cults pretty much all have methods to suppress critical thinking (religions also but in most cases to a lesser extent)...yet in a world where God is proven, the insecurity which gives rise to suppressive behavior would be largely irrelevant, the need for "faith" would be drastically reduced in the face of actual proof. The Church (whatever form that church takes) would effectively be able to "rest on its laurels" so to speak, confident in the knowledge that belief is no longer an issue. There would be no need for the suppression of scientific progress as it would not be a threat to this god or its church. There would be no need for any clergy to attempt to retain (or gain) power as their positions would be secure.

I also found it quite interesting to read some of the comments about what might happen to religion and religious peoples in light of proof of non-existence. As Thorgold put it just a few posts above:
Thorgold wrote:If God was disproven, I wouldn't be surprised if a good chunk of the world population just started dying off. Suicide, depression, just snuffing out from despair, et cetera. The majority of the world's population is religious, and of that majority a sizeable chunk is fervently spiritual. What would happen to those people if their faith was proven false? It'd be like telling half the world that they were adopted, but on a more horrifying level.

Interesting point very well put. :)

I must however disagree with this part:
Thorgold wrote:In the face of postmodernity, where the relative is fact, religion is truly the only objective force left. Without a religious footing, where do we justify morality? Law? Justice? There's no supernatural element, so there can be no right or wrong, and I'll do whatever best suits my survival and comfort. Sure, as OP says, Catholic Bishop rapes will stop, circumcision (which is a medically wise practice, by the way) would stp, et cetera, but on the flip side you'd have an eventual breakdown of any semblance of the current moral code.


I see this argument time and time again. There is a significant amount of evidence that in the animal kingdom, altruistic behavior is an innate behavior in animals that live in groups. From the way soldier ants will quite happily sacrifice themselves in the defence of the hive right through to packs of wolves or chimpanzee family groups. Sure enough they all (except the ants of course!!) have their disagreements and bickerings...occasionally even a savage beating from the pack leader but they all generally cooperate in order to survive. Take a look at the many tribes of the Amazonian rainforest (or indeed any isolated tribes) who have no monotheistic religion to guide their moral compass. Sure, many of them may be what we would call savage but (Aztecs & Incans excepted!) they very rarely aim that savagery at their own tribe. The overriding urge of our genes is that of survival and if an organism is better able to survive by cooperating with fellow organisms then it is in its best interests to do so. Morality is just the thin veneer that we humans have placed over these altruistic tendencies inherited from our ancestors.
In this sense, I doubt morality would be negatively affected to any significant or lasting extent by the proof of the non-existence of God.

Last minute edit: Czhorat makes a very very good point. The birth of theology in a truly scientific context perhaps?
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby DSenette » Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:59 pm UTC

Czhorat wrote:If there were incontrovertible proof of God, then belief in it wouldn't be religion. It would be science.

WORD!

ironically i would wager that the people that would have the easiest time with this would be scientists and atheist. i'd place money on a bet that a large group of the religious would reject the incontrovertible proof because the god that showed up didn't match their beliefs, or their beliefs flat out dictate that you can't know god so any "proof" of his existence must be false.

those who live their lives based on logic and science would just say "neat" and carry on.
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby Sanjuricus » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:39 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:
Czhorat wrote:If there were incontrovertible proof of God, then belief in it wouldn't be religion. It would be science.

WORD!

ironically i would wager that the people that would have the easiest time with this would be scientists and atheist. i'd place money on a bet that a large group of the religious would reject the incontrovertible proof because the god that showed up didn't match their beliefs, or their beliefs flat out dictate that you can't know god so any "proof" of his existence must be false.

those who live their lives based on logic and science would just say "neat" and carry on.

HA HA HA very true!
Can't say I can envision the Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins of this world just kind of shrugging and saying "Oh!...seems I was wrong after all!!!" though... ;)
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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby pizzazz » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:39 pm UTC

Sanjuricus wrote:Some nice replies and interesting comments (some of which certainly deal out a bit of a smackdown!) for which I offer my thanks. I make no apology for my opinions on religion, I made it quite clear from the off that I am quite strongly anti-religious and I definitely appreciate the frankness of some of the replies.

But back on topic:
The main thing I have come to understand with regards to the original question is that my opinion on what would happen with proof positive of a god was fundamentally flawed. My arguments were based on the principle that religions almost universally try to suppress critical thinking as a means to retain control. Cults pretty much all have methods to suppress critical thinking (religions also but in most cases to a lesser extent)...yet in a world where God is proven, the insecurity which gives rise to suppressive behavior would be largely irrelevant, the need for "faith" would be drastically reduced in the face of actual proof. The Church (whatever form that church takes) would effectively be able to "rest on its laurels" so to speak, confident in the knowledge that belief is no longer an issue. There would be no need for the suppression of scientific progress as it would not be a threat to this god or its church. There would be no need for any clergy to attempt to retain (or gain) power as their positions would be secure.

You're confusing or conflating philosophical critical thinking with (I don't have the best word, but let's call it "scientific") critical thinking (essentially, critical thinking about the way the world really works). Though some religions may have some reason to suppress the former, they will generally only want to suppress the latter on the off-chance that it specifically contradicts their doctrine. Notice how no major religion (as far as I can tell) ever cared about the development of abstract math or the discoveries of Newton or Planck or Avegadro. Heck, it was a monk who first did experiments (mindblowing, right?) to come up with genetics.
Thorgold wrote:In the face of postmodernity, where the relative is fact, religion is truly the only objective force left. Without a religious footing, where do we justify morality? Law? Justice? There's no supernatural element, so there can be no right or wrong, and I'll do whatever best suits my survival and comfort. Sure, as OP says, Catholic Bishop rapes will stop, circumcision (which is a medically wise practice, by the way) would stp, et cetera, but on the flip side you'd have an eventual breakdown of any semblance of the current moral code.


I see this argument time and time again. There is a significant amount of evidence that in the animal kingdom, altruistic behavior is an innate behavior in animals that live in groups. From the way soldier ants will quite happily sacrifice themselves in the defence of the hive right through to packs of wolves or chimpanzee family groups. Sure enough they all (except the ants of course!!) have their disagreements and bickerings...occasionally even a savage beating from the pack leader but they all generally cooperate in order to survive. Take a look at the many tribes of the Amazonian rainforest (or indeed any isolated tribes) who have no monotheistic religion to guide their moral compass. Sure, many of them may be what we would call savage but (Aztecs & Incans excepted!) they very rarely aim that savagery at their own tribe. The overriding urge of our genes is that of survival and if an organism is better able to survive by cooperating with fellow organisms then it is in its best interests to do so. Morality is just the thin veneer that we humans have placed over these altruistic tendencies inherited from our ancestors.
In this sense, I doubt morality would be negatively affected to any significant or lasting extent by the proof of the non-existence of God.


Those animals, with the exception of the ants (who I highly doubt are altruistic), exhibit such behavior only in very small groups. But humans can be altruistic to people thousands of miles away that they have never met and who are as genetically different from them as possible. That being said, I'm not going to try to speculate on what would happen if God's existence were proved or disproved now.

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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby DSenette » Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:04 pm UTC

Sanjuricus wrote:
DSenette wrote:
Czhorat wrote:If there were incontrovertible proof of God, then belief in it wouldn't be religion. It would be science.

WORD!

ironically i would wager that the people that would have the easiest time with this would be scientists and atheist. i'd place money on a bet that a large group of the religious would reject the incontrovertible proof because the god that showed up didn't match their beliefs, or their beliefs flat out dictate that you can't know god so any "proof" of his existence must be false.

those who live their lives based on logic and science would just say "neat" and carry on.

HA HA HA very true!
Can't say I can envision the Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins of this world just kind of shrugging and saying "Oh!...seems I was wrong after all!!!" though... ;)

except that Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins have both said that they would do EXACTLY that if ever presented with proof of any god's existence.

it's absolutely ridiculous to proceed through life following the scientific method and reason and logic and claim to behave in any other manner. real, effective atheists don't "not believe in god" because it's fun, or trendy, or easier, they do so because there's no evidence for god's existence and until there is evidence for some thing's existence it's kind of silly to assume that it exists. the SECOND that there is credible and repeatable evidence then it's perfectly reasonable to believe in it's existence

pizzazz wrote:
Sanjuricus wrote:Some nice replies and interesting comments (some of which certainly deal out a bit of a smackdown!) for which I offer my thanks. I make no apology for my opinions on religion, I made it quite clear from the off that I am quite strongly anti-religious and I definitely appreciate the frankness of some of the replies.

But back on topic:
The main thing I have come to understand with regards to the original question is that my opinion on what would happen with proof positive of a god was fundamentally flawed. My arguments were based on the principle that religions almost universally try to suppress critical thinking as a means to retain control. Cults pretty much all have methods to suppress critical thinking (religions also but in most cases to a lesser extent)...yet in a world where God is proven, the insecurity which gives rise to suppressive behavior would be largely irrelevant, the need for "faith" would be drastically reduced in the face of actual proof. The Church (whatever form that church takes) would effectively be able to "rest on its laurels" so to speak, confident in the knowledge that belief is no longer an issue. There would be no need for the suppression of scientific progress as it would not be a threat to this god or its church. There would be no need for any clergy to attempt to retain (or gain) power as their positions would be secure.

You're confusing or conflating philosophical critical thinking with (I don't have the best word, but let's call it "scientific") critical thinking (essentially, critical thinking about the way the world really works). Though some religions may have some reason to suppress the former, they will generally only want to suppress the latter on the off-chance that it specifically contradicts their doctrine. Notice how no major religion (as far as I can tell) ever cared about the development of abstract math or the discoveries of Newton or Planck or Avegadro. Heck, it was a monk who first did experiments (mindblowing, right?) to come up with genetics.

the fact that some scientists identified themselves as religious or were even monks has no bearing on whether or not religion has a history of stifling free thought and science.

it's cute to pull out names like mendel in these regards, but you need to remember that his work (in his time) was viewed as husbandry and the study of heredity, and NOT anything to do with genetics and hybridization. as far as the people looking at his work (again in his time) no one thought it was anything other than normal animal/plant husbandry (which was widely accepted). hell even darwin had no idea who mendel was and hadn't read any of his work.

it didn't cause a stir in the church so they left it alone.
pizzazz wrote:
Thorgold wrote:In the face of postmodernity, where the relative is fact, religion is truly the only objective force left. Without a religious footing, where do we justify morality? Law? Justice? There's no supernatural element, so there can be no right or wrong, and I'll do whatever best suits my survival and comfort. Sure, as OP says, Catholic Bishop rapes will stop, circumcision (which is a medically wise practice, by the way) would stp, et cetera, but on the flip side you'd have an eventual breakdown of any semblance of the current moral code.


I see this argument time and time again. There is a significant amount of evidence that in the animal kingdom, altruistic behavior is an innate behavior in animals that live in groups. From the way soldier ants will quite happily sacrifice themselves in the defence of the hive right through to packs of wolves or chimpanzee family groups. Sure enough they all (except the ants of course!!) have their disagreements and bickerings...occasionally even a savage beating from the pack leader but they all generally cooperate in order to survive. Take a look at the many tribes of the Amazonian rainforest (or indeed any isolated tribes) who have no monotheistic religion to guide their moral compass. Sure, many of them may be what we would call savage but (Aztecs & Incans excepted!) they very rarely aim that savagery at their own tribe. The overriding urge of our genes is that of survival and if an organism is better able to survive by cooperating with fellow organisms then it is in its best interests to do so. Morality is just the thin veneer that we humans have placed over these altruistic tendencies inherited from our ancestors.
In this sense, I doubt morality would be negatively affected to any significant or lasting extent by the proof of the non-existence of God.


Those animals, with the exception of the ants (who I highly doubt are altruistic), exhibit such behavior only in very small groups. But humans can be altruistic to people thousands of miles away that they have never met and who are as genetically different from them as possible. That being said, I'm not going to try to speculate on what would happen if God's existence were proved or disproved now.

moral frameworks develop ALL the time in the absence of a belief in god, or in the presence of a belief in god that's WIDELY different than other beliefs in other gods.

IF morality came from a universal god, then morality would be fixed and it would be uniform across all beliefs in any god as their beliefs all go to the same god ultimately.

IF morality comes from a unique god (i.e. "the one true god") then morality would be variable across different faiths, but one set of morality would be demonstrably better than another (i.e. people who believe in "the one true god" would be "better off" than those that don't)

since neither of those are actually true, then either no god exists, or morality doesn't come from god.
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby Sanjuricus » Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:41 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:moral frameworks develop ALL the time in the absence of a belief in god, or in the presence of a belief in god that's WIDELY different than other beliefs in other gods.

IF morality came from a universal god, then morality would be fixed and it would be uniform across all beliefs in any god as their beliefs all go to the same god ultimately.

IF morality comes from a unique god (i.e. "the one true god") then morality would be variable across different faiths, but one set of morality would be demonstrably better than another (i.e. people who believe in "the one true god" would be "better off" than those that don't)

since neither of those are actually true, then either no god exists, or morality doesn't come from god.


Can't fault your logic there, Nice use of If, Then, Else!!!

Also: My Hitchens/Dawkins comment was meant very tongue in cheek...my bad. I often forget that tone of voice and inflections don't come across at all on forums! I'm saying stuff in my head as I type it so I have the full benefit of the tone and intent! (that was quite wierd, saying what I was typing in my head as I was typing about what I was saying in my head....eeeegads!)
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby BeerBottle » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:33 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:moral frameworks develop ALL the time in the absence of a belief in god, or in the presence of a belief in god that's WIDELY different than other beliefs in other gods.

IF morality came from a universal god, then morality would be fixed and it would be uniform across all beliefs in any god as their beliefs all go to the same god ultimately.

IF morality comes from a unique god (i.e. "the one true god") then morality would be variable across different faiths, but one set of morality would be demonstrably better than another (i.e. people who believe in "the one true god" would be "better off" than those that don't)

since neither of those are actually true, then either no god exists, or morality doesn't come from god.
Not that I accept either of your premises or your conclusions are valid, but how are you judging that morality is not uniform? I would say individual morality is very uniform across much of the world, almost everyone would agree it's immoral to murder, steal, rape, be prejudiced due to race. Very few people defend incidents where that happens. And in your second conditional statement, how are you judging 'better off' - surely the point of much of morality is that you do things that don't necessarily make you better off, but are simply the right thing to do? This works on an individual and societal level.

Addressing the original question, I think if God was disproved, many religious people wouldn't accept it. There are lots of disproved things that many people believe even in the face of compelling evidence. Conversely, if God were proved, I think a good number of atheists would too refuse to change their mind, for the same reason.

And finally (as a Muslim scientist) to address the general Islam bashing. Much has been said about the historical inaccuracies in the original post. I don't think anyone has mentioned that in fact the Quran strongly encourages scientific and rational thinking. That at times Muslims have not says something about muslims not Islam. My favourite quotes for those who claim Islam is anti science are the following - compare and contrast:
Quran 17:36 wrote:Do not follow that of which you have no knowledge (whether it is good or bad), and refrain from groundless assertions and conjectures.
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Re: What if there were incontrovertible proof of God?

Postby DSenette » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:47 pm UTC

BeerBottle wrote:
DSenette wrote:moral frameworks develop ALL the time in the absence of a belief in god, or in the presence of a belief in god that's WIDELY different than other beliefs in other gods.

IF morality came from a universal god, then morality would be fixed and it would be uniform across all beliefs in any god as their beliefs all go to the same god ultimately.

IF morality comes from a unique god (i.e. "the one true god") then morality would be variable across different faiths, but one set of morality would be demonstrably better than another (i.e. people who believe in "the one true god" would be "better off" than those that don't)

since neither of those are actually true, then either no god exists, or morality doesn't come from god.
Not that I accept either of your premises or your conclusions are valid, but how are you judging that morality is not uniform? I would say individual morality is very uniform across much of the world, almost everyone would agree it's immoral to murder, steal, rape, be prejudiced due to race. Very few people defend incidents where that happens. And in your second conditional statement, how are you judging 'better off' - surely the point of much of morality is that you do things that don't necessarily make you better off, but are simply the right thing to do? This works on an individual and societal level.


for morality...wait what?

there are A LOT of people on this planet that are perfectly fine with rape, as long as it's raping people of a different tribe or social group (large portions of tribal africa), or where genocidal murder is their moral imperative (think nazis, darfur, etc..)

a LOT of people, historically and currently are perfectly fine with discrimination based on an untold number of things, not limited to race, gender (or gender identification), creed, or sexual orientation

in some cultures it's amoral to walk around with your hair showing. in some cultures is amoral to walk around without your penis inverted and sheathed by a gourd.

what's "the right thing to do" exactly?
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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby KestrelLowing » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:51 pm UTC

I just want to point out that science and religion aren't as opposite as everyone seems to believe. I wouldn't call them opposites - just completely different things. Sure, it may be possible to disprove a certain god, but the concept of a god, not so much. There are quite a few scientists who believe in God. Many who even practice an organized religion. They're not incompatible. They're just two different things. (I'm not trying to say that the church has never had influence over science - just that one can believe in god and still be a damn good scientist)

I don't really doubt that the proof of god existing would probably be accepted by many (but not all) atheists. The question then is what do they do about it. My guess is the majority of current atheists would have a problem with worshiping god.

If there was proof of no god (which would be really difficult as is very difficult to prove a negative - you need to look at everything, while to prove a positive, you just need one example), my guess is that a fair amount of religious people would continue to be religious - just perhaps without so much emphasis on evangelism. (Ok, some would still be the crazy people on the street corners, but you'll always have those) A lot of community is built around religion, and if there's no god, you don't need to worry about pissing anyone off. So continuing to do the majority of what your religion did before wouldn't be a bad thing - it could still be a positive force.

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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby DSenette » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:58 pm UTC

KestrelLowing wrote:I just want to point out that science and religion aren't as opposite as everyone seems to believe. I wouldn't call them opposites - just completely different things. Sure, it may be possible to disprove a certain god, but the concept of a god, not so much. There are quite a few scientists who believe in God. Many who even practice an organized religion. They're not incompatible. They're just two different things. (I'm not trying to say that the church has never had influence over science - just that one can believe in god and still be a damn good scientist)

I don't really doubt that the proof of god existing would probably be accepted by many (but not all) atheists. The question then is what do they do about it. My guess is the majority of current atheists would have a problem with worshiping god.

If there was proof of no god (which would be really difficult as is very difficult to prove a negative - you need to look at everything, while to prove a positive, you just need one example), my guess is that a fair amount of religious people would continue to be religious - just perhaps without so much emphasis on evangelism. (Ok, some would still be the crazy people on the street corners, but you'll always have those) A lot of community is built around religion, and if there's no god, you don't need to worry about pissing anyone off. So continuing to do the majority of what your religion did before wouldn't be a bad thing - it could still be a positive force.

what would be the specific requirement for worshiping god? even if there's proof that god exists? that doesn't prove that god gives a shit if you worship him or not. or that he's planning on you going to heaven if you do, or that heaven exists, etc.. etc... etc...

proof of the existence of a god (any god) does not prove correctness of religion (which is where the notion of worshiping god, existence of heaven/hell/afterlife comes from)
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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:08 pm UTC

thorgold wrote:In the OP's reasoning, the validation of religion is the death of education. This, in itself, is a fallacy in the belief that religion and science don't mix. Why wouldn't it? If an all-powerful deity made all of Creation, that would provide a completely objective basis for reality. If someone made it, and said "It is good," then we can obviously study the laws that govern creation. Hell, we'd have even more reason to study it, knowing that it's not just chaotic chace, and half the scientific community would be freed from Evolution vs. Creation arguments to go work on something constructive. So, in a God-proven scenario, the objective truths that God brings would improve scientific endeavors, whereas in a God-disproven scenario nothing would change from the present situation.


Just to clear up a few things: neither evolution nor the Big Bang theory are based on chaotic chance. And the vast, vast, vast, majority of the scientific community doesn't care at all about creation versus evolution, because that argument was settled, as far as science is concerned, over a hundred years ago in favour of evolution (and most scientists don't work on evolution anyway).

thorgold wrote:To boot, the OP ignores the philosophical and socialogical implications of a God/no-God scenario. If God was disproven, I wouldn't be surprised if a good chunk of the world population just started dying off. Suicide, depression, just snuffing out from despair, et cetera. The majority of the world's population is religious, and of that majority a sizeable chunk is fervently spiritual. What would happen to those people if their faith was proven false? It'd be like telling half the world that they were adopted, but on a more horrifying level. In addition, without God, even atheists or agnostics might feel despair, with the proven fact that life really is just random chance, and that we don't matter. Human extinction groups (the whole "don't have kids" thing) would pop up overnight - without a supernatural element, even a rejected element, the idea would be unquenchable that a temporary, physical existance wouldn't be worth the pain of existing.


I would be very surprised by this. We already have examples of irreligious populations who don't seem to have any problems surviving or being happy or productive. We also already have examples of people getting by after catastrophic failures of belief: for example, after the failed Rapture this year, there have not been reports of hundreds of Camping's followers suddenly committing suicide or becoming homicidal maniacs or any such thing, and these people were likely far more invested in their belief system than the average religious person. Moreover, we already have examples of large irreligious populations that don't suffer from the sorts of problems you're describing (eg. much of Europe). For most people, it really just probably wouldn't make a huge difference to them: they would just go on living their lives exactly as they did before. Finally, I think the most likely thing that would happen is denial. No matter how ironclad or powerful the proof is, some elements of the religious community would find avenues or excuses to ignore the evidence and go on believing exactly what they believe anyway. This already happens: there is a huge community of people who are Young Earth Creationists, for example, despite the fact that there is not a shred of evidence to support such a claim, and there is an unbelievably large and continuously growing body of evidence supporting an old Earth, an old universe, and life originating from evolution by natural selection. Yet in spite of the evidence, these people continue to believe.

thorgold wrote:In the face of postmodernity, where the relative is fact, religion is truly the only objective force left. Without a religious footing, where do we justify morality? Law? Justice? There's no supernatural element, so there can be no right or wrong, and I'll do whatever best suits my survival and comfort. Sure, as OP says, Catholic Bishop rapes will stop, circumcision (which is a medically wise practice, by the way) would stp, et cetera, but on the flip side you'd have an eventual breakdown of any semblance of the current moral code.


Religious morality changes alongside cultural morality. It is just as relative. See, for example, how religious views on slavery, racism, women's rights, hereditary monarchies, capital punishment, torture, genocide, etc. have changed over the last thousand years or so. Religion is a justification for our current moral system, it is not a moral system in and of itself. If our moral system changes, religion will adapt to accommodate those changes. Frankly, I find the idea that people who aren't religious have no semblance of a moral code to be deeply and profoundly insulting and bigoted.

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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby DSenette » Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:29 pm UTC

thorgold wrote:To boot, the OP ignores the philosophical and socialogical implications of a God/no-God scenario. If God was disproven, I wouldn't be surprised if a good chunk of the world population just started dying off. Suicide, depression, just snuffing out from despair, et cetera. The majority of the world's population is religious, and of that majority a sizeable chunk is fervently spiritual. What would happen to those people if their faith was proven false? It'd be like telling half the world that they were adopted, but on a more horrifying level. In addition, without God, even atheists or agnostics might feel despair, with the proven fact that life really is just random chance, and that we don't matter. Human extinction groups (the whole "don't have kids" thing) would pop up overnight - without a supernatural element, even a rejected element, the idea would be unquenchable that a temporary, physical existance wouldn't be worth the pain of existing.

as typically happens when laserguy quotes things, i've found something that someone said, that i missed, and makes me angry.

it's EXTREMELY insulting to state that without God there's no reason to live. and that "even atheists or agnostics might feel despair".....having proof that there is no god is the same to an atheist as there being no proof that there is a god, the same state exists for them (us) at that point. the net result is living your life without the existence of a god. the only difference is the level of certainty.

i live a PERFECTLY happy life without your god being in it (arguably i live a MUCH happier life now that i don't believe that he's there)

your statement is tantamount to the religious argument that all atheists will pray to god on their death bed (or the "there are no atheists in fox holes"). it's utter nonsense and it's offensive
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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby KestrelLowing » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:01 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:what would be the specific requirement for worshiping god? even if there's proof that god exists? that doesn't prove that god gives a shit if you worship him or not. or that he's planning on you going to heaven if you do, or that heaven exists, etc.. etc... etc...

proof of the existence of a god (any god) does not prove correctness of religion (which is where the notion of worshiping god, existence of heaven/hell/afterlife comes from)


Well, obviously it depends on what god really is. But if he/she/it required everyone to worship, I just think it might be a harder pill to swallow for atheists.

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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby DSenette » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:06 pm UTC

KestrelLowing wrote:
DSenette wrote:what would be the specific requirement for worshiping god? even if there's proof that god exists? that doesn't prove that god gives a shit if you worship him or not. or that he's planning on you going to heaven if you do, or that heaven exists, etc.. etc... etc...

proof of the existence of a god (any god) does not prove correctness of religion (which is where the notion of worshiping god, existence of heaven/hell/afterlife comes from)


Well, obviously it depends on what god really is. But if he/she/it required everyone to worship, I just think it might be a harder pill to swallow for atheists.

do you think it would be harder for an atheist to start worshiping a god that is now proven to exist than it would be for a person who already believed in A god (just not the one proven to exist) to be forced to worship in a different way

like, if Muslims are right, do you think the Southern Baptists are going to just jump right on the ship?

it's a lot easier to go from nothing to something* than it is to go from "that thing i've done from birth" to "this thing that i've been taught was wrong from birth"

*this is with regards to religion, not a suggestion that atheists believe in nothing
The Righteous Hand Of Retribution
"The evaporation of 4 million who believe this crap would leave the world an instantly better place." ~Andre Codresu (re: "the Rapture")

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KestrelLowing
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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby KestrelLowing » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:15 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:
KestrelLowing wrote:
DSenette wrote:what would be the specific requirement for worshiping god? even if there's proof that god exists? that doesn't prove that god gives a shit if you worship him or not. or that he's planning on you going to heaven if you do, or that heaven exists, etc.. etc... etc...

proof of the existence of a god (any god) does not prove correctness of religion (which is where the notion of worshiping god, existence of heaven/hell/afterlife comes from)


Well, obviously it depends on what god really is. But if he/she/it required everyone to worship, I just think it might be a harder pill to swallow for atheists.

do you think it would be harder for an atheist to start worshiping a god that is now proven to exist than it would be for a person who already believed in A god (just not the one proven to exist) to be forced to worship in a different way

like, if Muslims are right, do you think the Southern Baptists are going to just jump right on the ship?

it's a lot easier to go from nothing to something* than it is to go from "that thing i've done from birth" to "this thing that i've been taught was wrong from birth"

*this is with regards to religion, not a suggestion that atheists believe in nothing


Hmm, maybe. I guess I would just expect there to be more resistance from atheists as to "why in the heck should we worship you?" whereas people who already worship in some way would probably find it less odd to basically be told to worship.

Obviously everyone will act differently, it's just one possible reaction that I think would be relatively likely.

DSenette
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Re: What if there were incontravertible proof of God?

Postby DSenette » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:22 pm UTC

KestrelLowing wrote:
DSenette wrote:
KestrelLowing wrote:
DSenette wrote:what would be the specific requirement for worshiping god? even if there's proof that god exists? that doesn't prove that god gives a shit if you worship him or not. or that he's planning on you going to heaven if you do, or that heaven exists, etc.. etc... etc...

proof of the existence of a god (any god) does not prove correctness of religion (which is where the notion of worshiping god, existence of heaven/hell/afterlife comes from)


Well, obviously it depends on what god really is. But if he/she/it required everyone to worship, I just think it might be a harder pill to swallow for atheists.

do you think it would be harder for an atheist to start worshiping a god that is now proven to exist than it would be for a person who already believed in A god (just not the one proven to exist) to be forced to worship in a different way

like, if Muslims are right, do you think the Southern Baptists are going to just jump right on the ship?

it's a lot easier to go from nothing to something* than it is to go from "that thing i've done from birth" to "this thing that i've been taught was wrong from birth"

*this is with regards to religion, not a suggestion that atheists believe in nothing
Hmm, maybe. I guess I would just expect there to be more resistance from atheists as to "why in the heck should we worship you?" whereas people who already worship in some way would probably find it less odd to basically be told to worship.

Obviously everyone will act differently, it's just one possible reaction that I think would be relatively likely.
but why do you think it would be more likely?

if today we prove that a God exists, and that God turns out to be Cthulu, what is your response going to be?

i do find your assumption that the religious are the more flexible group to be a little funny
The Righteous Hand Of Retribution
"The evaporation of 4 million who believe this crap would leave the world an instantly better place." ~Andre Codresu (re: "the Rapture")


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