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What Do We Know Is False About God?


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"Feeling god's presence" in a Pentecostal church service is nothing more than a corporately shared emotional experience. The goose bumps and the "feeling" that the spirit is in the house is all just emotional. The music and the atmosphere create the intense emotional feelings. Its the reason why in catholic and many other orthodox churches I have attended that I don't "feel" god's presence. The services aren't bent on catering to emotions.

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It is false that Gods are falsifiable. 

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It is false that Gods are falsifiable.

I have heard that, but I disagree. I suppose it comes down to definitions of "Gods" and "falsifiable".

 

The only proof I can imagine for that claim is that society will eventually refine its concept of God to reduce cognitive dissonance, but we all know that cognitive dissonance is very strong for some Christian theologies. Cognitive dissonance only happens when believers think. As long as the falsehoods are only obvious to a few people, the religion can ignore the cognitive dissonance. Also as human knowledge of science, archaeology, and history increase, we tend to discover new falsehoods in our concepts of God and mess-up the previous concept.

 

I've never taken a philosophy class. Maybe what you say would make more sense if I knew more.

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All arguments for religious beliefs and experiences ultimately depend on introspection and first person testimony.  Therefore, God experiences are self-referential and religious claims dependent on circular reasoning.  Self-reference and circularity are not falsifiable.  A sign that points to itself points nowhere.  How can you falsify a nowhere?  You can't examine feelings, visions and revelations from a third-person public perspective in order to verify that they correspond to empirical facts one way or the other.  God always hides within the non-falsifiable first person perspective cloaked in ineffability. 

 

Falsifiability is what distinguishes science from theism.  Scientists can find agreement on what it would take to make them change their minds.  The only thing theists ever agree about is that "nothing" could ever make them change their minds.  They just keep telling themselves, "I know, that I know, that I know." 

 

The theist dictionary entry for God reads like this:  God:  see god.  A measuring stick which is the measure of its own measuring stickness {without even measuring anything else} might be thinkable, but that does not mean it is sensible to ask whether such a self-measuring measurer could be falsified.  God is just such an ultimate, absolute yard stick. God is always tautological. Again, there can be no more a falsification of an awareness of having read the mind of God than there can be a falsification of an awareness of having read your own mind. 

 

No scientist ever had to prove the non-existence of Odin, Zeus or any Gods to get rid of them.  Self-referential, circular, tautological God-ideas are never disproved for falsified.  They are simply forgotten.

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It took me awhile to finally come to the conclusion that god isn't real. I don't remember the sequence of discoveries. but one was that if he was really there, he'd have no trouble letting me know for sure. but once I started asking that particular question (are you really there god??) all I got was silence. I used to think that he was involved in every part of my life. now I realize I was simply deceiving myself all those years. not sure I answered your question, lol.  

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That prayers are answered, Take an obvious example. Health care. Praying to guide the surgeon's hands in a delicate surgical procedure, for example. Prior to modern surgery there were many conditions for which there were no surgical remedies. The further one goes back in time, the more conditions existed which were not treatable by surgery. If one goes back far enough there were no surgeries available at all. But many Xtians really believe that god may assist the surgeries performed by doctors if He receives prayers, Isn't it interesting that the success of participation in surgeries by god corresponde precisely to the improvements in medical surgical procedures?  bill

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I'd have to be able to name something true about god, before I'd be able to name something false. Seeing I don't believe in one anymore, either is hard to claim. My hunch however, is that 'it' is nothing like we have read or heard about, in any religion conjured up by mankind.

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Thanks, everybody.

 

(1) As I look at the changing properties and personality of God (from the older books of the OT to the newer books of the OT and finally to the NT) I feel fairly confident that the real God (if any) is not the God of the Bible. Sometimes I think I have been in contact with the real God and the real Jesus, but I remember Yahweh and animal sacrifices and I feel there is no way they are the same God. So I wonder if God may interact with believers of any religion using their religious vocabulary.

 

(2) As a practical matter God must not leave any scientific evidence of interactions with the world. I'm not sure if it is possible to interact with the world without leaving scientific evidence, and I'm not sure why God would limit interactions in this way.

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This is simple really. On the 2 problems with Genesis threads in this forum the foundation of belief in the Judeo-Christian God is falsified straight away. The God(s) who were first polytheistic pagan  Gods (Elohim) who do the creating in Genesis start out absolutely false. They create the heavens and earth, that is, a multi-layered geocentric universe without the sun, moon, or stars. The creation is false per modern science. Dry land on earth, yielding grass before the sun, moon, and stars are created is false. And with that so too are the Elohim Gods creating a false creation. The same people who didn't know how the universe works used a man made concept of Gods to try and explain the forces of nature. The Bible starts off false from the outset and doesn't come into accord with reality through to the outset. 

 

So why in the hell would the God of this man made fiction be anything other than fiction? 

 

And you can take this same approach to every other established religion with a creation myth that seeks to explain origins per a God or God(s). Each one is false from the outset. False as in these Gods and origin tales do not accord with the observable universe. 

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Talking donkeys can see invisible angels holding invisible flaming swords.

 

Because if you had technology so advanced that you could teleport troops, make them invisible, phase shift them so they are incorporeal and arm them with continuous spontaneous combusting incendiary weapons you would want to fashion those weapons to look like the crude tools bronze-age humans would make.  Or maybe the donkey was confused and the animal wasn't smart enough to tell the difference between a sword and a laser.  If you think about it just how reliable is the testimony of a donkey?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edit:

 

Okay I just looked up Numbers 22 again and I remembered it wrong.  It wasn't a flaming sword, just an regular one.  But it is still funny that Balem is riding along when all of a sudden his donkey starts talking to him so he just carries on a conversation with it as if this isn't so unusual.  Can you say hallucination warning sign?  And sure enough after talking to the donkey then Balem sees the angel with the crude bronze age tool.  I've got magic invisibility power but a sword is the best weapon I can dream up.  Nothing beats a sword for it's classic fashion style.

 

And sure enough the creator of the whole universe (a universe billions of light years across and 99.9999% full of stuff or lacking stuff that would kill us) is deeply concerned that one group of humans is going to marry the wrong other group of humans.

 

Because God is always whipping up the masses to support your local political movement.

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It's quite easy to dismiss all of god's omni attributes.

 

Omnipresent: What about hell?

 

Omniscient: Then there's no free will and he's complicit in creating beings destined for hell.

 

Omnibenevolent: See Omniscient.

 

Omnipotent: Then why is his plan of salvation so constrictive? 

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For a prime example of how God-botherers make their beliefs unfalsifiable, look at the Pinned General Christian Theological Issues section above and note the first thread titled "Atheist Demolishes Christian's Beliefs".

 

The OP observed a debate on Christian Forums and provided a 10-point list of belief tactics utilized to ignore falsifying data. In addition, others added their own observations:

 

#15 The goalposts kept shifting.

 

#19 Double standard utilized.

 

#24 Re-framing the question to suit believers. Sidetracking with theological speculation.

 

#26 Arbitrarily redefining doctrine and deity, leaving the non-believer at a disadvantage for trying to actually play by the rules and hold to Christianity/Bible.

 

#33 Circular reasoning (it can make your head spin).

 

#42 The believer just drops out of discussion and reappears later as if nothing had been refuted.

 

#57 The thread was shut down by a moderator as if that was not a place for apologetics, However, the main site was reportedly said to be a place for apologetics...."for Christians only"! In other words, just preaching to the choir and patting each other on the back for believing.

 

Here is exhibit A for how Christians go to any lengths imaginable to insulate their beliefs from falsifiablity. Their arguments are not actually FOR a God, but turn out to be arguments AGAINST arguments. When they find they can't argue against an argument, they shut down and just walk away. No one has ever succeeded in falsifying the belief of a believer while they are still in a state of belief.  Belief and unfalsifiability are the same thing. 

 

Can anyone deny this un-falsifiability applies to Odin and Zeus as well as to Jehovah?

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For a prime example of how God-botherers make their beliefs unfalsifiable, look at the Pinned General Christian Theological Issues section above and note the first thread titled "Atheist Demolishes Christian's Beliefs".

 

The OP observed a debate on Christian Forums and provided a 10-point list of belief tactics utilized to ignore falsifying data. In addition, others added their own observations:

 

#15 The goalposts kept shifting.

 

#19 Double standard utilized.

 

#24 Re-framing the question to suit believers. Sidetracking with theological speculation.

 

#26 Arbitrarily redefining doctrine and deity, leaving the non-believer at a disadvantage for trying to actually play by the rules and hold to Christianity/Bible.

 

#33 Circular reasoning (it can make your head spin).

 

#42 The believer just drops out of discussion and reappears later as if nothing had been refuted.

 

#57 The thread was shut down by a moderator as if that was not a place for apologetics, However, the main site was reportedly said to be a place for apologetics...."for Christians only"! In other words, just preaching to the choir and patting each other on the back for believing.

 

Here is exhibit A for how Christians go to any lengths imaginable to insulate their beliefs from falsifiablity. Their arguments are not actually FOR a God, but turn out to be arguments AGAINST arguments. When they find they can't argue against an argument, they shut down and just walk away. No one has ever succeeded in falsifying the belief of a believer while they are still in a state of belief.  Belief and unfalsifiability are the same thing. 

 

Can anyone deny this un-falsifiability applies to Odin and Zeus as well as to Jehovah?

I don't claim to understand all your analysis in detail, but I'm sure it is correct.

 

My goal for this thread was to gather info to help me organize my thinking on God. Sometimes I think there is a God and a Jesus of some sort, but how do I reconcile that with reality?

- I don't think the real God wanted the Israelites to build a temple and throw the blood of thousands of passover lambs on an altar.

- How can God interact with people and not leave any tracks for scientists?

- If Jesus was divine why wasn't that the belief of the earliest Christians (apparently)?

- Why did the earliest Christians expect the Kingdom of Heaven in their lifetimes?

- Does God simply role play as the Christian God for Christians?

 

I have lots of questions about God that I need to organize.

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If you want to organize your thinking about God, then I suggest you:

1.  Find a way to demonstrate to yourself the difference between the reality of God and the reality of your thoughts/feelings/beliefs about God. 

 

If there is no way to clearly distinguish between God and your own thoughts/feelings, then:

1.  You will never know for sure whether you've organized your thinking about God or organized your thinking about your thinking. 

2.  You will mistake questions about how God is supposed to "feel" for questions about how God is supposed to be "real".

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If you want to organize your thinking about God, then I suggest you:

1.  Find a way to demonstrate to yourself the difference between the reality of God and the reality of your thoughts/feelings/beliefs about God. 

 

If there is no way to clearly distinguish between God and your own thoughts/feelings, then:

1.  You will never know for sure whether you've organized your thinking about God or organized your thinking about your thinking. 

2.  You will mistake questions about how God is supposed to "feel" for questions about how God is supposed to be "real".

What makes thinking about God different from thinking about something else? The "brain in a vat" possibility comes to mind.

 

I have memories that might be evidence for supernatural (God, ESP,...) or they might be unlikely coincidences, hallucinations, confabulations. But this whole world might be a dream for all I know.

 

I just don't see the problem as black and white where I can assume certain truths and apply mathematics to test everything I experience. It seems more like I'm feeling my way forward in the darkness.

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That the God of the Bible is good and loving.

 

Sure, there are a few isolated verses (1 John 4:8 and Psalm 145 come to mind) that claim that God is loving and holy and pure and all of that, but the vast majority of scripture clearly portrays him as a murderous, genocidal maniac who makes Hitler look like an awesome guy by comparison.

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^ Maybe I should rephrase the question "What do we feel is not likely to be true about God?"

 

I agree that "know" and "false" are too strong.

 

 

Can we know that anything is false about Harry Potter?  I don't see the difference.

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^ Maybe I should rephrase the question "What do we feel is not likely to be true about God?"

 

I agree that "know" and "false" are too strong.

 

 

Can we know that anything is false about Harry Potter?  I don't see the difference.

 

I think you could make a set of assumptions about Harry Potter and then show that they lead to a contradiction, show that recorded facts don't match the assumptions, or something.

 

Also, I think people are implicitly assuming (i.e. knowing) that God and Harry Potter are fictional (i.e. false) by claiming that we can't know anything is false about them.

 

So I'm looking for sets of assumptions about the nature of God (Hindu, Christian, New Age, whatever) that lead to a contradiction, don't match recorded facts, etc. We all must have these types of ideas that led to cognitive dissonance and deconversion.

 

O.k. "cognitive dissonance" - that's a better description of what I'm looking for. wink.png

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Well, we have the "loving God" vs. the genocidal God that destroyed he Amakelites. Is that what you mean?

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I think you're going about this whole search all wrong.  Why take the convoluted route of trying to figure out if the xian god is feasible based on scriptural claims?  Why not just use evidence as your standard?  If there's no evidence to support scriptural claims in the first place, isn't the only reason you're giving them more room than you're giving Allah, Ganesh, and Zeus your cultural proclivities? 

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Directionless knows there is no evidence, but wants to find a way to believe anyway.

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