If God did not exist then would people even have come up with a concept of God?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by xdisciplex, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. xdisciplex

    xdisciplex
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    i heard that scientists are seeking for a "god-gene" because they dont understand why people believe in god. if god was a product of society or our civilization then why do even people far off from civilization believe in a god or gods?
    i think the typical argument is: because they cannot explain natural phenomena otherwise.
    but this is true. people really attributed a lot of natural phenomena to god but the question is wether they automatically did this or what other reason exists for doing this. i mean why would a person which has no concept of god suddenly make up a being which is immortal and which controls everything and so on? why should humans do this?
    but on the other hand you also cannot say that everything which humans invented has to be real because otherwise they would never have invented it. because then batman would also be real. :confused:
     
  2. Amy.G

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    Romans 1
    20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,


    If there's a God gene, then God put it there. But even though God has revealed Himself through nature, some will still reject Him.
     
  3. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    I like that Amy

    This is kind of a messed up question. If God was not real then where would we be. If chickens and pigs had never been created could I still have bacon and eggs for breakfast?
     
  4. Dustin

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    you could eat ostrich eggs, and cat bacon...mmmm.
     
  5. Snitzelhoff

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    You have stumbled onto what is, in essence, Anselm of Canterbury's ontological argument for the existence of God; that is, the fact that we conceive of God is proof that God exists. His argument went a little bit different, but the idea was the same. He argued it from the idea that God is the greatest possible concept, but the concept of a God who does exist is greater than the concept of one that doesn't exist, so in order for God to really be the greatest possible thought, He must exist. Still, the argument progressing from the concept of God to His reality is the same.

    Scientists may or may not find the "God gene" but there is an area of the brain that neurologists are saying seems to be wired to understand that there is a God. To me, that's evidence of His existence. After all, we have eyes because there are things to see, ears because there are things to hear, etc. If we have a part of us designed to make us aware of God, then it stands to reason that there is a God to be aware of.

    Just my two cents.

    Michael
     
  6. BobRyan

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    If God did not exist there could not be people - or life, read the Gospels start with John chapter 1 vs 1-5 and see for yourself.

    Your question is the nonsensical Atheist darwinist question of the form "If humans never existed would their airplanes all use autopilot". Get a grip on reality sir.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
    #6 BobRyan, Mar 1, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2007
  7. Snitzelhoff

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    In Disciple's defense, Bob, I think his question is more of a defense of theism than an attack by atheism. That is, he's implying that if the atheists were right (that we exist and God does not), then we shouldn't have ever even come up with the concept of God. The fact that we have such a concept implies that God exists.

    Michael
     
  8. DQuixote

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    xdx I appreciate the post by Snitzelhof. However......... I'm guilty of circular reasoning, etc., and wonder if the existential expression.........

    ..... should be we see things because we have eyes, hear things because we have ears? Did God create us with the ability to see and hear, or did he create things to see and hear so that we could?

    What's your take on existentialism, xdx? It seems that many of your questions are existential in nature.
     
  9. BobRyan

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    In the same way I would argue that the fact that airplanes exist proves that airplane designers and egnineers exist.

    So the question "if humans did not exist would their airplanes all use autopilot" is analogous to "if God did not exist would the humans He created invent the idea of worshippinh Him". I would love to call it circular reasoning - but I am not sure that it qualifies even for that.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  10. billwald

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    Because ancient people were afraid of natural events and because sentient beings are afraid of dying.
     
  11. BobRyan

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    We actaully have no examples at all (other than God Himself) of a "sentient being not made by God". We do know that God "does not imagine a higher God" so he could conclude from the ONE example we DO have of a being who exists without a "God" to create Him - that "no- He does NOT imagine some higher god".

    ahhh there we get back to "just the facts ma'am" again.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  12. xdisciplex

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    @ DQ

    I don't know. I'm not a philosopher and also don't really deal with such concepts. It's pretty vain in my opinion to get into philosophy.

    Basically my question is: Imagine you had a group of people which is raised under controlled,artificial conditions. They grow up, get food and everything but they are never introduced to the idea of God. What would happen if these people were suddenly confronted with phenomena they cannot explain? According to most people they would attribute those phenomena to a god. Because this is the official explanation for the belief in a supernatural being. People argue that humans somehow simply have the habit of attribution things which they cannot explain to a supernatural or more powerful being. But I ask myself if this is true.
    I cannot imagine how this is supposed to work. Why should being exposed to something which you cannot explain trigger such a response in all or at least many humans?
    Why should they come up with a theology or a concept of a god when they have never heard about something like this before? Now if people can come up with a god concept ex nihilo then why should they not also come up with other concepts as well? Where is the difference between a god and aliens or something else? Why do humans which live far off from civilization not believe in something totally different? Why do they all believe in gods which they worship?
    But the bible also mentions this, that when Paul healed people at one town they thought that he's a god and they wanted to worship him. Now why is this? Why did these people automatically think that he's a god only because he did something which they could not explain?
    What if this is indeed correct and humans simply always attribute everything which they don't understand to the supernatural? Then the explanation of God which atheists use would be correct. :confused:
     
  13. BobRyan

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    So are you asking if natives living in a jungle far from civilization would invent stories about gods and spirits? Really?

    God sends the Holy Spirit to "Convict the WORLD of sin and righteousness and judgment" John 16.

    "The invisible attributes of God are CLEARLY SEEN in the things that have been MADE" Romans 1.

    OR are you asking if we can test a mythical world of people where there is no God working at all and then see them either invent gods or not? But you have such a thing when it comes to God himself - a sentient being NOT created by another god and as it turns out - "He imagines no other gods".

    So the experiment is "in".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
    #13 BobRyan, Mar 3, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2007
  14. xdisciplex

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    Okay. But how does it help them if the attributes of God are seen and they end up making up their own idols? This doesn't help them.
     
  15. DQuixote

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    Hundreds of thousands of people in China and India have had handed down to them the concept of gods. When they see the Jesus Film, thousands upon thousands convert to Christianity. Why? They have this concept of a god or gods in control, a spiritual force that they hope they can look to and depend upon. Jesus answers the cry of the heart for a single anchor "out there" who will not only sustain them in the hardships of a lost and dying world, but who will deliver them out of it at some point. Every person in China and India who hears and receives the gospel does not necessarily comprehend everything about being a Christ-follower. God equips missionaries for that purpose. His word does not go out among them and return empty. It produces results, growth, determination, hope, trust.

    You had a concept of a force outside of yourself that was worthy of your attention. You asked that force into your life. You became born again. Why all the questions? Why all the doubt? Why all the fears? You are safe and secure in him. Now you need to grow. You won't grow sitting in front of your computer. You need an authentic, born-again believer to mentor you, one who believes that the bible is God-breathed (therefore infallible) and is his only revelation. Waste your life creating irrational, improbable, impossible situations, or call upon a mentor. Where are your results, growth, determination, hope, trust? Pray for God to send a mentor your way.
     
    #15 DQuixote, Mar 3, 2007
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  16. BobRyan

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    You need to actually read the text of Romans 1 when responding to the point -- notice the "detail" it says "they are without excuse" speaking of these pagans who have no Bibles and yet choose to live in rebellion against God.
     
  17. Alcott

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    If there is a "god gene," and [human] evolution is true, that should mean that belief in god(s) is an advantage over disbelief for the propogation of the species. Perhaps that advantage is something 'higher' to live for and aspire to and desire to leave descendants to carry on.

    If there is a "god gene," and biblical literalism is true, then Calvinism, in its 'extreme' form, is ultimately true. A minority (inherantly, by all competent measurements) could not believe in God if they wanted to, as a left-handed person cannot be truly right-handed even if he earnestly wants to and strives to be.

    If there is no "god gene," then regardless of evolution or literal Genesis, belief in god(s) is subject to environment and outside stimuli.

    IMO the 3rd option above, that there is no "god gene," best explains the world as we observe it now. Most people retain a relationship with the set of beliefs they were first exposed to (perhaps exclusively) from earliest childhood. And the more exclusive-- as upbringing in Saudi Arabia, or in isolation like the nomads of northern Siberia or the Biomi-- the least variations are seen. In America, where we have many Christian churches and denominations, often we change to conform to the beliefs we put a greater priority upon, or we come to believe they can't 'all' be right so none of them are right; the result is withdrawal and apathy, agnosticism, or joining some group very different from our early environmental persuasion (often not permanently).

    But clearly, whether there is such a gene or not, there is something about 'religion' or 'spirituality' that goes deeper than simple tastes or preferances. That is the reason we include such qualities as part of "freedom" and protection from overt discrimination; that we can't simply change what we believe, nor should anyone suffer for it.
     
    #17 Alcott, Mar 4, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2007
  18. BobRyan

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    IF there is a God and Christianity is true - THEN Humans are strictly a product of HIS divine Creation -- God created HUMANs -- humans did not CREATE God.

    If there is a God and Christianity is true -- then Satan and his followers are trying to do just what the Bible -says -- get rid of all of God's Laws and restrictions -- replacing SELF and HUMANISM in the seat of God. Declaring man to be the "author" of God.

    IF there is a God and Christianity is true -- then there is no such thing as "humans that evolved without god who then INVENTED god" -- so no way to test the easter-bunny scenario "yes but what if there were no god".
     
  19. Snitzelhoff

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    You're right, Bob. There's no way to test it, but that worldview can be logically analyzed, as we are doing right now, and the fundamental issue that the concept of a God would not exist without the reality of God can be exposed as a gaping hole in that worldview.

    Michael
     
  20. BobRyan

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    I am still stuck on the illogical premise "what if airplanes brought themselves into existence over time - would they only use autopilot?"

    It requires such an "imaginary realm" to even begin to start a "thought experiment" for testing that it seems insane.

    "What if all life and humans could create themselves without needing God would they simply invent the idea of god along with creating heir own god-gene?"

    It requires such a disconnect with reality - I don't know how you "Reach conclusions" in that realm.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     

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