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Stealth3si

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Proving that God Exists
« on: January 01, 2010, 03:10:58 am »
i stop Debating with People On this Post ..because we cant convence people   that dont believe in jesus that there is one and they cant convience us that theres not..so only they can diecide for themselfs all we can do is help and go on our way  and let god take care of it ....im pretty positive thats  statement is going to start a controversy but o well
I am done replying to people like you. So have fun living in your little Godless World.
totosli_08 and marieelissa:

This was the handout at our discussion group last time.  I figured it might spark some conversation or offer a different look at 'witnessing.'

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Proving The Existence of God

A common project among Christian apologists is to produce arguments which will prove the existence of God to non-Christians.  No one can deny this clear logic, it is said, and so clearly once all of the Christians’ proofs have been heard others will be compelled to become Christians.  Thomas Aquinas made use of some of Aristotle’s arguments in order to provide us with the so-called cosmological arguments, which are based on causation:

Everything in the world has a cause.
Therefore, the world must be caused from something outside of it.
That cause is God.

This is a simplified version, of course, so if there is a minor error then please ignore it.  The basic idea is this:  Doesn’t there have to be some reason, some cause for the world?  Why is there something rather than nothing?

This has been persuasive to some extent to many people.  However, in the end it only works if all sorts of Christian assumptions get smuggled into the argument.  For instance, who says that there must be a first cause?  What if there is a chain of infinite causes?  Similarly, who says that the world as a whole must have a cause, just because particular things in the world have causes?  And who said that this cause must be God?  What if it is an impersonal force or law of nature?  These questions do not end.

Another common argument is the teleological argument, the argument from design:

The world is very orderly.
Order does not come from chance, so the world must have been designed.
That designer is God.

Again, this is a bit simplified, but focus on the basic idea:  Doesn’t the world seem to “work” a bit too well to be simply the product of chance?

An older response to this argument is the Darwinist counter-interpretation:  Things appear orderly because of naturalistic evolution, the fundamental principles of which may serve to explain anything from biodiversity to the formation of galaxies.  However, more recently the “design” argument has been based on the apparent order or design in basic constants in physics, which are not said to be determined by any type of evolutionary hypothesis, so the Darwin-inspired counter-interpretation will not work in the end.  Of course, at this point we are no longer dialoguing with anyone who is amazed merely by the beauty of trees and stars, but instead only to scientists who are impressed with the mathematical precision of obscure scientific constants.

Even so, this argument still requires that all sorts of Christian assumptions be smuggled in in order to get anywhere.  For instance, if God is so great, who designed him?  Who says that this designer was personal?  What if it is just the impersonal forces and laws of nature?  Who says that there was only one designer?  What if there were all sorts of competing designers?  Who says that this designer is good?  After all, isn’t there all kinds of evil in the world, from hurricanes to murder?

I will spare you the ontological argument, but suffice it to say that all of these arguments are embarrassingly inadequate at proving anything meaningfully Christian on truly non-Christian grounds.  They can always be re-interpreted to prove whatever the re-interpreter already believes about the world, even for the atheist who believes the world is governed by impersonal forces and chance.  And if they can at all be salvaged, it will only be after such prolonged debate that no one will be convinced.

What About Christian Theology?  What Do Christians Already Know About God?

At this point I hope the Christian will stop for at least a moment to reconsider the motivations in this so-called natural theology (basically, proving God’s existence on “naturalistic” terms).  After all, the cosmological arguments come to us from Aristotle, and today’s great proponents of the teleological argument are Deists!  If we are trying to do something Christian, why are we just using shoddy, question-begging versions of arguments that are owned by prominent non-Christians?

Now, the proofs are about knowing God, so what does Christian theology have to say about how we come to know God?  In Christian theology we come to know of God by means of divine revelation.  There are two kinds of revelation – general (revelation in all of creation) and special (the Bible).  The following is a prominent text about general revelation which is often cited to promote natural theology.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. (Psalm 19:1)

This text has been used as the basis for the design argument.  Upon further inspection, however, it has nothing to do with the design argument.  It says that the heavens declare and proclaim God’s glory, not that they serve as evidence which can be used as the primary premise in the teleological argument.  The text says that they themselves reveal God, not that there is an argument that reveals God which uses them as evidence.  While God reveals himself to us where we are, it is not on our terms.

Instead of agreeing that we come to know about God by means of God’s revelation, the “proofs” say that we know about God by means of arguments we form using God’s revelation as evidence.  This is very hostile to the doctrine of divine revelation.  After all, is God’s revelation insufficient; did God accidentally forget something crucial?  Is God’s revelation superfluous; did God give revelation even though we could have reached him on our own steam?  Is God’s revelation not authoritative; is there some human standard by which it is best to judge God?  Is God’s revelation unclear; does God need to speak using anti-Christian structures (naturalism) in order to say Christian things?

Yeah, But That Just Isn’t Working

But, we still have to ask, why does a bald appeal to God’s revelation, whether special or general, not prove effective when arguing with non-believers?  Here we discover that natural theology uses a faulty doctrine of man (anthropology) in its project, because natural theology treats humans as basically thinking machines.  We are, it says, led around by our “reason” alone.  Notice how this works just as well for a flesh-and-blood human as it would for a very advanced computer; this is an overly narrow understanding of humanity.  Instead, as philosophers are recognizing more and more, it is less that we are thinking machines and more that our reasoning abilities serve to direct and focus our actions.  Much more basic are our ethical commitments or values; these drive the use of our reason.

The cash value is this:  According to the doctrine of sin, all people are fundamentally committed against God in an ethical way, and if these ethical commitments prevent “neutral” reasoning then the proofs will never and can never work because they do not get to the core issues which divide the “believer” and the “unbeliever.”  More broadly, natural theology treats man as the sufficient judge of truth in and of himself, meaning that man has some sort of ultimacy or autonomy.  But if God is truly to be God, the sovereign creator and governor of all, then man cannot be ultimate or autonomous, for if man is ultimate then God is not.  If man can make sense of the world on his own terms without reference to God, then God is not truly the sovereign creator and governor of all.  If man can truly understand the world while considering the cross foolishness, then the cross cannot be the summary narrative of the entire world.  For this reason, if the “proofs” for God’s existence work then Christianity is false, because the “proofs” only work if humanism and not Christianity is true.

What, then, can the Christian do?  The Christian can reason with non-Christians, and often intellectual confusions about Christianity are important to discuss, but the Christian can never redeem someone from the ethical commitments which drive his reason against God – only God can do that.  Does this sound like, ultimately, we can do nothing?  Of course, that’s the point; God is ultimate, not man, and so man is not capable of reaching out and grabbing God on his own; God must grab man.

In addition, here is a great text I feel is pertinent to discussion, which demonstrates why natural theology is not only unnecessary but also misguided.

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
Rom 1:19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
Rom 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2010, 10:09:01 am by Stealth3si »


beams

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Re: Christian PSA: Proving the Existence of God
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2010, 06:35:56 am »


Free will, GOD gives us that, we chose which way 2 go Heaven or Hell you chose your way :angel12: SAVE or UNSAVED , BELIEVE or UNBELIEVE
BUT I BELIEVE IN MY LORD AND MY CHRIST. I not a perfect CHRISTAIN and never will be :angel12:
HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN THERE 4 ME FROM CHILD HOOD TILL NOW,
WHAT IS IN UR HEART DO U BELIEVE THAT HE DIED ON THE CROSS FOR YOUR SINS ANS RISEN FROM THE DEATH 2 MAKE A HOME FOR US IN HEAVEN. ONLY YOU CAN TELL YOUR SELF THAT: IT BETWEEN YOU AND GOD THE FATHER.
aLL YOU HAVE 2 ASK GOD 2 COME INTO UR HEART. THEN U ARE A CHRISTIAN. NO IT WANT BE EASY FROM THEN BECAUSE THE DEVIL WILL DO HIS BEST 2 BUT BLINDERS ON U AND TELL U ARE EVERYTHING AND USE UR FEARS AGAINST YOU  :angel11:
SO HOLD ON STEAD FAST.

I AND MY HUSBAND LOST OUR ONLY 2 CHILDREN 8 YRS AGO DO TO A WRECK AND I CAN'T MAKE WITH OUT HIM EACH DAY. SO U C IT WILL NOT BE EASY EACH DAY U LIVE.

monster84

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Re: Proving that God Exists
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2010, 03:16:45 pm »
I think referring to Scripture to prove God's existence is a little pointless.  It's circular reasoning. 

So as to incur slightly less wrath, I will say now for the record that I believe in God.  I also "believe in Jesus" as some of you folks like to put it, but it is important to make the simple distinction between Jesus' having existed and his being divine.  You would have to be extremely ignorant not to believe Jesus existed.  No historical text of any merit will deny this fact, nor that he was a significant figure.  As to his being the Son of God, of course this is debatable. 

Since citing Scripture (of whatever faith) that says God exists is a fallacy (God exists because the Bible says He exists, and God says in the Bible that the Bible is fact), it is more helpful--and quite interesting--to read rhetoric by people who attempt to prove this is the case.  I highly recommend Socrates/Plato/Aristotle, who, though existing before Christ, all help firm opinions on the immortatity/divinity of the human soul (take a look at The Divided Line).  Rene Descartes also had much to say about the existence of God and how humans can know he exists (try Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy).

The interesting thing about these men is that they attempt to convince you of God's existence through tried and true methods of logic.  Descartes' exclusive use of deductive reasoning makes a compelling and convincing argument.  The best part is that via Descartes, you can see that athiests are proof of God's existence, because even they must have had a thought of God in order to deny that He exists.

SherylsShado

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Re: Proving that God Exists
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2010, 03:36:39 pm »
The best part is that via Descartes, you can see that athiests are proof of God's existence, because even they must have had a thought of God in order to deny that He exists.
     ;D  That little sentence has been the "marachino cherry" to my "Sunday" today, you're a riot!!   

HallidayNN

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Re: Proving that God Exists
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2010, 04:27:28 pm »
People will believe what they want to believe. I know that the lord does exist. He is with me every step I take. Nobody can tell me what to believe.

koty92

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Re: Christian PSA: Proving the Existence of God
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2010, 09:17:52 am »
The Holy Spirit works in those who believe in Jesus.  I could not face each day with out the presense of His angels beside me.



Free will, GOD gives us that, we chose which way 2 go Heaven or Hell you chose your way :angel12: SAVE or UNSAVED , BELIEVE or UNBELIEVE
BUT I BELIEVE IN MY LORD AND MY CHRIST. I not a perfect CHRISTAIN and never will be :angel12:
HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN THERE 4 ME FROM CHILD HOOD TILL NOW,
WHAT IS IN UR HEART DO U BELIEVE THAT HE DIED ON THE CROSS FOR YOUR SINS ANS RISEN FROM THE DEATH 2 MAKE A HOME FOR US IN HEAVEN. ONLY YOU CAN TELL YOUR SELF THAT: IT BETWEEN YOU AND GOD THE FATHER.
aLL YOU HAVE 2 ASK GOD 2 COME INTO UR HEART. THEN U ARE A CHRISTIAN. NO IT WANT BE EASY FROM THEN BECAUSE THE DEVIL WILL DO HIS BEST 2 BUT BLINDERS ON U AND TELL U ARE EVERYTHING AND USE UR FEARS AGAINST YOU  :angel11:
SO HOLD ON STEAD FAST.

I AND MY HUSBAND LOST OUR ONLY 2 CHILDREN 8 YRS AGO DO TO A WRECK AND I CAN'T MAKE WITH OUT HIM EACH DAY. SO U C IT WILL NOT BE EASY EACH DAY U LIVE.
:angel11:
Quote

kenrachel1993

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Re: Proving that God Exists
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2010, 01:01:21 pm »
we have a creator , not made by chance  .  and when ppl say tried being a christian but that doesnt work for them, since when does god work for us , arent we supposed to work for him ?

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