Debate:Does God exist, and if so, what God?

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Proposition[edit]

As an agnostic, I don't know whether They exist(ed). Also, I'm bored. Okay, it's mostly out of boredom. Some pretty volatile debates about Their existence have occured on this wiki, so I created this as containment. Bleat away. —(((вιgℓʝвιgℓ))) (ᴛᴀʟᴋ/sᴛᴀʟᴋ) 21:47, 7 September 2017 (UTC)

Why #shouldn't# 'a deity or many such exist, of as many kinds and genders as you wish' exist?
Perhaps the universe/multiverse is the product of the deity's/deities' boredom/arguing over the practicalities (or even 'anything rather than tidy out the DeityCave/DeityShed'). Anna Livia (talk) 22:10, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
Are you really asking a wiki full of atheist on whether God exists? The answer is a resounding "no". If you go to a religious wiki or site, the answer is likelu yes. And the real, existing God is their favorite one.—Hamburguesa con queso con un cara Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 00:47, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
I have not seen any evidence for any interventionist gods. If anybody has any it would be interesting to see.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:11, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
I think contributors to RW probably have a range of belief systems - various types of atheist, deist, theist, 'a sense of wonder at the universe', 'my belief in (deity or deities of choice) does not contradict with working on RW (and I will be courteous to others about belief systems)' to 'my religion compels me to evangelise among the benighted inhabitants of Rationalwiki (and having to deal with the snark about my faith on the relevant RW page is suffering for benefit)' and 'I will use some version of the atheist professor trope to convert these fools.' Anna Livia (talk) 10:47, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
Depends what kind of God. A Demiurge, including someone who created the Universe by accident playing with a particle accelerator, who at best may be observing how it evolves for scientific purposes and the like is conceivable even if his existence is very likely unfalsifiable, so for all effects there's little difference between him existing or not. The Biblical (and Quranic, etc.) God, very likely not and if something as him existed, it would be far beyond our understanding -certainly he'd not worry about the inhabitants of a small region of an insignificant planet lost in the spiral arm of a typical galaxy located in an unremarkable part of the Universe-. Still, I like the Pantheist idea of God being the entire Universe, plus physical laws, etc. Panzerfaust (talk) 13:25, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
It's very difficult to argue against the existence of the pantheist God. Or any other non-interventionist deity. God is love. God is the universe. God is energy. God is this coffee cup. If "god" is just some thing which has no measurable deliberate impact and with which we cannot communicate - what difference does it make? Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:29, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
If understanding God is beyond our comprehension and un-falsifiable, how did we discover God in the first place? Truly, humans created God.—Hamburguesa con queso con un cara Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 15:44, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
To Bob: Absolutely none. The crystal-clear thing is that is useless to venerate such entity, at least in the sense of hoping that he/she/it will help you, as he/she/it could not care less about what's going on. To @CheeseburgerFace, very much so and the result leaves a lot to be desired at least in the Abrahamic religions. Panzerfaust (talk) 21:47, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
All durable human societies have embraced the existence of God, or at least a world of spirits. And even the nominally atheist ones such as Communist states kept so much of the trappings of religion, including cult images, processions, saviour figures, and apocalypses that it's fair to say that they achieved nothing by getting rid of deities. No proof of God's existence will be forthcoming. Still, it seems to me that human beings are hardwired to perceive Him. We are built to perceive motive and purpose in what may be random natural phenomena. Rivers seek to flow downhill. Hurricanes threaten us. Chemical reactions obey laws. Etc. So even if God is entirely a figment of our neural programming, there's no getting rid of religion. We can't make sense of our world without it. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 22:17, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
Well being hardwired to perceive intention, perhaps even malicious intention is certainly a good idea when you live in the jungle and some nasty thing may just be behind the rustling of the leaves over there. Unfortunately our brains still have some catching up to do. But they still scream for sodium and fat when we can have plenty of them and are mostly silent on vitamins and trace elements, when we risk deficiencies of some of them. Evil Zionist (talk) 22:51, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
Indeed. The fact that we may be "hardwired to believe X" is not the same as saying that "X is true". I'm also not entirely convinced of the "hardwired" bit anyway. If we were truly "hardwired" to believe in gods or fairies or whatever there would be no non-believers. As for not being able to make sense of the world without religion - I certainly don't need a religion to make sense of the world. (At the risk of someone starting to redefine "religion".)Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:09, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
The assertion "humans have a tendency to do X" is a paraphrase of "people are hardwired to do X." This type of statement is a statistical claim. and not a logical assertion disprovable by exhibiting a single counterexample: e.g., people are hardwired to live in buildings or shelters. Yet there are homeless people who do not: or, adults are hardwired to identify with one of two genders, except for transgender people, ( pop. in US < 1%). The typical problem with the expression "hardwired to do X" arises when it is used in a nominal fallacy. i.e., a renaming of a statistical effect or observation and presented as an explanation. The God-object humans tend to believe in isn't just a guy with a beard, it can be many things: Jesus, Mohammed, Communism, Capitalism, Social justice, etc.Ariel31459 (talk) 13:59, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
Transgender people identify as male or female. Christopher (talk) 14:22, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
Yes. I should have written hardwired to identify their gender with their biological sex. Again, just a statistical claim.Ariel31459 (talk) 14:32, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
Just so. In any case, there's no getting rid of religion. Religions have lost followings and credibility before; classical paganism in old Europe, Christianity in Europe, arguably Communism as well. What followed was not getting rid of religion, but the replacement of the old faith by a new one. What will replace Christianity is unlikely to be an improvement over it. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 17:11, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
I tend to agree. People do have a tendency to believe in the supernatural and they will probably continue to do so. But that says nothing about the accuracy of that belief.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:24, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
Though now I think about it some more recent research suggests that about 50% of the UK is non-religious. So there is hope yet. (Though I'm sure this will inspire even more redefining of religion.)Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:42, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
Where is the boundary between 'There is more to heaven and earth than in scientific philosophy'/belief in some sort of 'creative process' and religion? Anna Livia (talk) 10:43, 9 September 2017 (UTC)
Very good question. As for the existence of one God above others, why YHWH has to exist, just because is mentioned in "the book" and none of those almost seventeen hundred of the mentioned here not? (even accounting for the fact some of them are deities coming from the literature and games) Panzerfaust (talk) 07:42, 11 September 2017 (UTC).
'Belief systems' predate humans (see Neanderthal burial practices 'wherever'); why #should# we find beauty in peacock feathers and the rest of the natural world, and wish to be creative; and there seems to be an innate belief in ethical systems etc - and these aspects are quite separate from religious beliefs. Anna Livia (talk) 14:09, 11 September 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I am reminded, by this question, of the joke about the philosophy exam. The teacher places a chair in the front of the room and asks the students to write a proof that the chair actually exists. An A+ was awarded to the student who simply wrote: "What Chair?" So you ask: "Does [a] god exists and, if so, which god?". I think the answer to the first question (contrary to cheeseburger's response) is a resounding "Yes". The answer to the second question is "That one."  ;-)  :-P~ --Bertrc (talk) 17:38, 27 October 2017 (UTC)

The answer is obviously Azathoth, the Daemon Sultan, the Nuclear Chaos. The only problem is that he's a blind idiot, so he can't really intervene in our affairs. Oh, and his presence would inadvertently destroy the planet, so...yeah. RoninMacbeth (talk) 18:19, 27 October 2017 (UTC)