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For those of you who don't believe in God, how do you believe the world and all that exists would be different if God did exist?

For those of you who do believe in God, how do you believe the world and all that exists would be different if God didn't exist?

I believe if God did exist, this God would keep in constant contact with everyone, giving them the same message, and everyone would recognize the same God thus there would be no more religious wars, religious bigotry, or religious hatred and the world would be a bit more peaceful than it is right now

I also believe the world would be a little more perfect than it is right now; all water would be fresh water, and fruit & vegetables would grow wild the way usless weeds and crab grass do now thus ending starvation and famine world wide along with the wars and violence that results from such suffering

Women wouldn't have to endure the monthly inconveniences during their child bearing years and no animal would be a predator animal; no animal would have to kill another in order that he might live.

I also think if this God were good, he wouldn't require his creation to worship him; just loving him would be enough.
This God would require his creation to disrespect themselves by groveling at his feet, and begging him for mercy in a way I wouldn't even ask of my dog!
And as far as Hell, my imaginary God wouldn't provide eternal punishment for a limited crime; only a monster would tourture a child for stealing a cookie.

Well that's my take. What do you think?

Kevin
Original Post

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quote:
Originally posted by kevin1122:
For those of you who don't believe in God, how do you believe the world and all that exists would be different if God did exist?...

I believe if God did exist, this God would keep in constant contact with everyone, giving them the same message, and everyone would recognize the same God thus there would be no more religious wars, religious bigotry, or religious hatred and the world would be a bit more peaceful than it is right now

I also believe the world would be a little more perfect than it is right now; all water would be fresh water, and fruit & vegetables would grow wild the way usless weeds and crab grass do now thus ending starvation and famine world wide along with the wars and violence that results from such suffering

Women wouldn't have to endure the monthly inconveniences during their child bearing years and no animal would be a predator animal; no animal would have to kill another in order that he might live.

I also think if this God were good, he wouldn't require his creation to worship him; just loving him would be enough.
This God would require his creation to disrespect themselves by groveling at his feet, and begging him for mercy in a way I wouldn't even ask of my dog!
And as far as Hell, my imaginary God wouldn't provide eternal punishment for a limited crime; only a monster would tourture a child for stealing a cookie.

Well that's my take. What do you think?

Kevin

Perhaps you have already dealt with this elsewhere, but what about the possibility that God does exist but is capricious or malevolent? You don't seem to take that into consideration.
Kersge says:

quote:
“what about the possibility that God does exist but is capricious or malevolent? You don't seem to take that into consideration. ”

That’s because I believe if God DID exist, he wouldn’t be capricious or malevolent; he would be as I described
What about you? How do you think things would be different if you were wrong concerning this issue?

Kevin
quote:
Originally posted by kevin1122:
Kersge says:

quote:
“what about the possibility that God does exist but is capricious or malevolent? You don't seem to take that into consideration. ”

That’s because I believe if God DID exist, he wouldn’t be capricious or malevolent; he would be as I described
What about you? How do you think things would be different if you were wrong concerning this issue?

Kevin



Why should he be as you describe? Are you God?
quote:
Originally posted by shulamite:
quote:
Originally posted by kevin1122:
I believe if God DID exist, he wouldn’t be capricious or malevolent; he would be as I described.


If God doesn't exist, on what basis are you able to determine what is "capricious or malevolent"?



If God does exist, on what basis are you able to determine what is "capricious or malevolent"?

Even if I believe that the God of the Bible is God ... it is still the case that Yahweh at times appears to me to be "capricious and/or malevolent" ... but then who am * I * to determine that? ... I am only I.

It appears to me that "We are able to determine this by God's standard" is an inadequate response. Since we are not God. And his standard doesn't even make sense to believers sometimes (just try explaining the Trans-Atlantic slave trade or the Holocaust).

The standard might exist. But it's beyond our finite reach.
Last edited {1}
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Originally posted by shulamite:
If God doesn't exist, on what basis are you able to determine what is "capricious or malevolent"?


If God does exist, on what basis are you able to determine what is "capricious or malevolent"?.


The basis that if God does exist, I have a relatively good chance to assume that the normative human ideas of what defines capriciousness and goodness came from God.


quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
The standard might exist. But it's beyond our finite reach.


Agreed. If God exists, we may or may not be able to adequately determine what is "good" or "bad" simply because we don't know things exhaustively.


But if God doesn't exist, then we have no way to even rationally begin to broach what is "good" or "bad", imo. That's why I asked Kevin on what basis, if God doesn't exist, could he determine what God should be like if He did exist.

I, believing that God exists, could be wrong in my concept of how God defines good and evil. But Kevin, believing that God does not exist, cannot even raise the question (imo).
quote:
Originally posted by kevin1122:
For those of you who don't believe in God, how do you believe the world and all that exists would be different if God did exist?

For those of you who do believe in God, how do you believe the world and all that exists would be different if God didn't exist?


Since I have a vastly different god/spiritual concept than most. To answer this question properly, I would have to know what definition of 'God' are you using, or rather, what god concept you are adressing.

My concept is that of panentheism, so I do not think of 'god' as an exclusively external being seperate from us or nature. My 'god' concept mirrors that of 'The Force' in Star Wars(to put it in laymans' terms).

quote:
I believe if God did exist, this God would keep in constant contact with everyone, giving them the same message, and everyone would recognize the same God thus there would be no more religious wars, religious bigotry, or religious hatred and the world would be a bit more peaceful than it is right now.


Since 'god' is largely akin to 'nature' in my world view, it already is in contact with everyone, internally and externally. It would be impossible for everyone to get the same 'message' or come up with the same spiritual/god concepts(deified cultures) from the vastly different environments that man lives in, and developed different cultural worldviews from. Religious wars are a product of imperialism for the most part, and since my god-concept isn't that of an exclusively external, all powerful being...It wouldn't have much to do with the above.

quote:
I also believe the world would be a little more perfect than it is right now; all water would be fresh water, and fruit & vegetables would grow wild the way usless weeds and crab grass do now thus ending starvation and famine world wide along with the wars and violence that results from such suffering


Water isn't fresh because of human polution. Fruits and vegetables do grow wild, human populations have just expanded our populations past the point of what the natural environment would have allowed, without the invention of agriculture. From what I can tell, the god-concept you are addressing is very limited, and isn't shared by many theists of the non X-ian fundamentalist type... You do know this right?

quote:
Women wouldn't have to endure the monthly inconveniences during their child bearing years and no animal would be a predator animal; no animal would have to kill another in order that he might live.


Check above about the god-concept you are dealing with... This is just part of nature. Life, death, and rebirth... What's the problem? We all pass in and out via blood. Indigenous spiritual sciences do not see this as a 'negative'.

quote:
I also think if this God were good, he wouldn't require his creation to worship him; just loving him would be enough.
This God would require his creation to disrespect themselves by groveling at his feet, and begging him for mercy in a way I wouldn't even ask of my dog!
And as far as Hell, my imaginary God wouldn't provide eternal punishment for a limited crime; only a monster would tourture a child for stealing a cookie.


On this we pretty much agree, although veneration, and ritual, are not always 'degrading worshipping', and/or 'begging' ect, but are about celebration... and in different spiritual paths, they are not meant to just deal with an external god... ie. meditation and trance. You sound like one of those atheists who is largely an atheist in reaction to the literalist X-ian god-concept, which IMO is understandable but limiting.

quote:
Well that's my take. What do you think?

Kevin


I have no problem with atheism or atheists... but I think you need to stop limiting the conversation by only dealing with one god-concept which is not universal whatsoever.
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quote:
Originally posted by shulamite:

I, believing that God exists, could be wrong in my concept of how God defines good and evil. But Kevin, believing that God does not exist, cannot even raise the question (imo).



Of course he can ... given that he is willing to accept that neither good nor evil are absolute terms.

I don't need for God to exist ... or even for circles to exist (in any absolute sense) ... in order for me to coherently talk about circles.
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
I don't need for God to exist ... or even for circles to exist (in any absolute sense) ... in order for me to coherently talk about circles.



Can you expand upon this?

My pre-supposition would be that both God and circles would have to exist (in an absolute sense) in order for one to talk coherently about them at all, particularly if one is to ascribe value-judgments (e.g. "capriciousness or malevolence") to them.
If God did not exist...

...hmmmmm...I STILL think I'd wonder about the origin of the entire UniVerse.

Heck, for me, God DOES exist and I still want to know who "James the Just" is and how God fully came to fruition. We have read that God came into being "on his own and by the light"...and until God chooses to reveal the entire story to us, I'll be satisfied with that.

But I won't lie: I like the ideal of a free world where I have free choice. I like that I have a father/teacher/discipler/comforter/friend who's got my back....and I like the idea that people can actually "get along" and help each other, exhibiting the love, caring and compassion that a Creator has for what is created.

"Wisdom Is A Woman Who ReSpects!"
Wow lots of replies in just one day! I will address some of them:

Honestbrother said:
quote:
"Why should he be as you describe? Are you God?"

No bro, I ain't God; ya see I have an idea of a being I would call "God". This being would have to be superior to humans in a way we could never equal morally, logically, and in knowledge and power. He would also have to be a non evolving being that is responsible for all that exists.
If a being did exist that was anything less than the above discription, in spite of what others might call him, I would not call him God.

Vox said:
quote:
"For those of us who believe in God, the question of what the world would be like without him is simple: there would be no world.

If you could rephrase the question a bit, it might be possible to have a fuller discussion from a non-atheist."
Okay I shall rephrase. Supposed the world did exist and you were simply wrong concerning the existence of God; how do you think it would be different than it is now?

Shulamite and Honestbro said:
quote:
"If God doesn't exist, on what basis are you able to determine what is "capricious or malevolent"?"
The dictionary defines capricious and malevolent. If behavior is according to what is defined in the dictionary, I would conclude that behavior as capricious and malevolent.

Shumalite again:
quote:
"But if God doesn't exist, then we have no way to even rationally begin to broach what is "good" or "bad", imo."

I disagree! If that were true, than those who have never had any contact with your idea of God wouldn't be able to broach what is good or bad. A quick look around you and you will see that isn't the case.

Oshun Auset said:
quote:
"Since I have a vastly different god/spiritual concept than most. To answer this question properly, I would have to know what definition of 'God' are you using, or rather, what god concept you are adressing."
The God concept I am addressing is the one (whatever that is) YOU believe exist. If this God didn't exist, how would things be different?
quote:
"From what I can tell, the god-concept you are addressing is very limited, and isn't shared by many theists of the non X-ian fundamentalist type... You do know this right?"
You are getting a little off the subject chief! The question is not about the example of a God concept I gave, that's my own personal discription of a being I would recognize as a God; the question is about YOUR concept of God and how things would be different if he didn't exist.
quote:
"I have no problem with atheism or atheists... but I think you need to stop limiting the conversation by only dealing with one god-concept which is not universal whatsoever."
As I said before; the question is about YOUR concept of God, not mine.

Shayabuther said:
quote:
"I like the ideal of a free world where I have free choice. I like that I have a father/teacher/discipler/comforter/friend who's got my back....and I like the idea that people can actually "get along" and help each other, exhibiting the love, caring and compassion that a Creator has for what is created."
Okay; supposed your God didn't exist? How would things be different than they are right now?

Kevin

PS
I find it interesting that "Listener" was the one person who obviously doesn't believe in God is the only one who actually answered the question.
quote:
The God concept I am addressing is the one (whatever that is) YOU believe exist. If this God didn't exist, how would things be different?


If consciousness/energy did not exist then the natural universe would not exist...

quote:
You are getting a little off the subject chief!


I'm no chief... yet. Razz

quote:
The question is not about the example of a God concept I gave, that's my own personal discription of a being I would recognize as a God; the question is about YOUR concept of God and how things would be different if he didn't exist.


But my god-concept isn't that of an external 'being' or a 'he'. The language you are using in itself excludes my god/spiritual-concept from the question, and narrowly defines the question to the exclusively external, X-ian literalist type 'being'... So I can't answer... cuz the question doesn't apply to anything I concieve of.

quote:
As I said before; the question is about YOUR concept of God, not mine.


Like I said, the language is limiting it, I even find the word 'god' limittting in itself, since it conotes an external 'being' most of the time in modern English. If you substitute conscousness/energy for your word 'god' you could see the problem with the rest of your questions...
quote:
Originally posted by listener:
quote:
For those of you who don't believe in God, how do you believe the world and all that exists would be different if God did exist?

a God wouldn't have created a creature which will destroy all what such God created. Therefore, if God existed, there wouldn't be humans on planet earth


"Humans"? or culture? Are you aware of any cultures that are defined by their peaceful co-existence with earth and one another at any time in history?
quote:
Originally posted by kevin1122:
For those of you who don't believe in God, how do you believe the world and all that exists would be different if God did exist?

For those of you who do believe in God, how do you believe the world and all that exists would be different if God didn't exist?

I believe if God did exist, this God would keep in constant contact with everyone, giving them the same message, and everyone would recognize the same God thus there would be no more religious wars, religious bigotry, or religious hatred and the world would be a bit more peaceful than it is right now

I also believe the world would be a little more perfect than it is right now; all water would be fresh water, and fruit & vegetables would grow wild the way usless weeds and crab grass do now thus ending starvation and famine world wide along with the wars and violence that results from such suffering

Women wouldn't have to endure the monthly inconveniences during their child bearing years and no animal would be a predator animal; no animal would have to kill another in order that he might live.

I also think if this God were good, he wouldn't require his creation to worship him; just loving him would be enough.
This God would require his creation to disrespect themselves by groveling at his feet, and begging him for mercy in a way I wouldn't even ask of my dog!
And as far as Hell, my imaginary God wouldn't provide eternal punishment for a limited crime; only a monster would tourture a child for stealing a cookie.

Well that's my take. What do you think?

Kevin


Okay wouldn't the world exist as it does now?

No matter what one "believes" there IS a reality in which live and attest to with sensory observation and reasonable probable prediction... and a reality for which we have not attained sensory validation/verification.. Neither the theist or atheist has proven the existence of that which is beyond our ability to prove..(GOD).. at best we posit about an intelligent designer" and debate whether designer should be singular, plural or best left undefined...

and yet we still live..

If God DOES exist.. then this deity(ies) is(are) witness to humanity as it exists...

If God DOES NOT exist.. then Humans are witness to themselves as we exist...
Just to clairify, my last response was to Oshun Auset. I would also like to reply to a point he made on his last post.

quote:
But my god-concept isn't that of an external 'being' or a 'he'. The language you are using in itself excludes my god/spiritual-concept from the question, and narrowly defines the question to the exclusively external, X-ian literalist type 'being'... So I can't answer... cuz the question doesn't apply to anything I concieve of.

The question is: "How would things be different if God didn't exist". It is a very simple question; and you will notice I did not use the term "he" and I in no way implied that God was an external being; there are no limitations or narrow definitions to the question, thus you should be able to apply whatever god concept you have to the question at hand

Kevin
Wow Khalliqa it appears when I decide to reply you "beat me to the punch" by a minute or two. Anyway you said:
quote:
"Okay wouldn't the world exist as it does now?

No matter what one "believes" there IS a reality in which live and attest to with sensory observation and reasonable probable prediction... and a reality for which we have not attained sensory validation/verification.. Neither the theist or atheist has proven the existence of that which is beyond our ability to prove..(GOD).. at best we posit about an intelligent designer" and debate whether designer should be singular, plural or best left undefined...

and yet we still live..

If God DOES exist.. then this deity(ies) is(are) witness to humanity as it exists...

If God DOES NOT exist.. then Humans are witness to themselves as we exist"
If I understand you correctly, you appear to be saying that things would be the same weather God existed or not. If this is your answer then thanks for the reply.

K
quote:
Originally posted by kevin1122:
Wow Khalliqa it appears when I decide to reply you "beat me to the punch" by a minute or two. Anyway you said:
quote:
"Okay wouldn't the world exist as it does now?

No matter what one "believes" there IS a reality in which live and attest to with sensory observation and reasonable probable prediction... and a reality for which we have not attained sensory validation/verification.. Neither the theist or atheist has proven the existence of that which is beyond our ability to prove..(GOD).. at best we posit about an intelligent designer" and debate whether designer should be singular, plural or best left undefined...

and yet we still live..

If God DOES exist.. then this deity(ies) is(are) witness to humanity as it exists...

If God DOES NOT exist.. then Humans are witness to themselves as we exist"
If I understand you correctly, you appear to be saying that things would be the same weather God existed or not. If this is your answer then thanks for the reply.

K


Yep..
quote:
Originally posted by kevin1122:

Vox said:
quote:
"For those of us who believe in God, the question of what the world would be like without him is simple: there would be no world.

If you could rephrase the question a bit, it might be possible to have a fuller discussion from a non-atheist."
Okay I shall rephrase. Supposed the world did exist and you were simply wrong concerning the existence of God; how do you think it would be different than it is now?


Okay, I have a feeling I may know where you're going with the question, but I don't think you're conceptually on target here. When posed to someone who DOES believe in God, the question conceptually doesn't really make sense. If the world did exist, but it turned out there was no God, then it would mean that the world exists as it does now, just having gotten there on its own. You're asking a question about how things would be different, but conceptually the question requires that things have to be exactly the same as they are.

On the other hand, the question as posed to atheists can lead to some interesting answers. An atheist might answer, "If there were a God, there would be no tsunami," and so on. But one who believes in a higher power really can't logically answer the question as originally worded, other than "there would be no world," or the rephrased version because it's circular and unanswerable.
Peace...


quote:
Okay I shall rephrase. Supposed the world did exist and you were simply wrong concerning the existence of God; how do you think it would be different than it is now?



There would be serious civil unrest it it were somehow determined that God did not exist.

If the Earth was visited by aliens who were able to demonstrte the creation of a new universe by processes such as random quantum fluctuations behaving in accordance to sheer probablistic mechanics in a manner which was repeatable and provided predictive power and the same was convincingly demonstrated to everyone through some psychic medium which allowed everyone to experience this truth and understand it on a personal level...Anarchy would erupt..and the world would quickly fall into utter chaos..


Whirling Moat
quote:
Originally posted by Whirling Moat:
Peace...


quote:
Okay I shall rephrase. Supposed the world did exist and you were simply wrong concerning the existence of God; how do you think it would be different than it is now?



There would be serious civil unrest it it were somehow determined that God did not exist.

If the Earth was visited by aliens who were able to demonstrte the creation of a new universe by processes such as random quantum fluctuations behaving in accordance to sheer probablistic mechanics in a manner which was repeatable and provided predictive power and the same was convincingly demonstrated to everyone through some psychic medium which allowed everyone to experience this truth and understand it on a personal level...Anarchy would erupt..and the world would quickly fall into utter chaos..


Whirling Moat



Isn't your answer really that if God doesnt exist you think human beings would have to depend upon benevolent aliens?

If the aliens were interested in human destruction perhaps the scenario above would take place.. but what if the aliens were peaceful? Wouldn't they know how to impart such information in a wise enough manner to avoid global violence?
Peace...


quote:
Isn't your answer really that if God doesnt exist you think human beings would have to depend upon benevolent aliens?

If the aliens were interested in human destruction perhaps the scenario above would take place.. but what if the aliens were peaceful? Wouldn't they know how to impart such information in a wise enough manner to avoid global violence?



I would imagine that the al;iens would have to do something to pacify the religious masses while revealing the truth as it relates to the God.

Perhaps these aliens would not calculate how such a revelation would impact the human civilization.

If the revelation is delivered and the messenger ensures that the people are not confused and take them as Gods..And leave the people with nothing but the facts as they are determined..

Anarchy would result..


Whirling Moat
quote:
Originally posted by Vox:
quote:
Originally posted by kevin1122:

Vox said:
quote:
"For those of us who believe in God, the question of what the world would be like without him is simple: there would be no world.

If you could rephrase the question a bit, it might be possible to have a fuller discussion from a non-atheist."
Okay I shall rephrase. Supposed the world did exist and you were simply wrong concerning the existence of God; how do you think it would be different than it is now?


Okay, I have a feeling I may know where you're going with the question, but I don't think you're conceptually on target here. When posed to someone who DOES believe in God, the question conceptually doesn't really make sense. If the world did exist, but it turned out there was no God, then it would mean that the world exists as it does now, just having gotten there on its own. You're asking a question about how things would be different, but conceptually the question requires that things have to be exactly the same as they are.

I am still having problems with the way the question is phrased, or perhaps it is more accurate to say that I can read the question in a fashion that arrives at the same answers as Sister K or Vox, but I can also read it in quite a different manner, one that is more existential. In other words, if I alone came to realize that I was wrong about there being a God, I do not think that much would change for me. I think that I would still live my life for the most part in the same fashion as I do now. Yet, if it ever was the case that most if not all people came to an awareness that there was no God, all at the same time, I think that Whirling Moats scenario is much more likely.

If I recall correctly, Freud deals with this in Future of an Illusion. He gives a his theory on the evolution of the God concept/religion, and how it has functioned for good and ill in human society. He is a strong advocate of moving away beyond the illusion, following a developmental model based on the human maturation process, but realizes that it must be accompanied by a process of education of persons so that they might be able to live lives of mutual benefit and edification. Otherwise, you are going to have something akin to a global version of the first weekend for freshmen who have gone away to college and are free from parental control/oversight.
quote:
Originally posted by Whirling Moat:
Peace...


quote:
Okay I shall rephrase. Supposed the world did exist and you were simply wrong concerning the existence of God; how do you think it would be different than it is now?



There would be serious civil unrest it it were somehow determined that God did not exist.

...Anarchy would erupt..and the world would quickly fall into utter chaos..
Whirling Moat
I'm reading the question differently. If the world was as it is, and the question is simply that we realize that there is no god, then I'd say it would surely happen exactly as Whirling Moat and Kresge suggest.
quote:
Originally posted by kresge:
In other words, if I alone came to realize that I was wrong about there being a God, I do not think that much would change for me. I think that I would still live my life for the most part in the same fashion as I do now.


I guess I have a similar confusion.

The way in which I've lived my life has never depended upon whether I thought God existed. In fact, the threat of punishment for doing "bad" things is (for me) the least compelling reason to believe.
quote:
Originally posted by kevin1122:
Shulamite and Honestbro said:
quote:
"If God doesn't exist, on what basis are you able to determine what is "capricious or malevolent"?"
The dictionary defines capricious and malevolent. If behavior is according to what is defined in the dictionary, I would conclude that behavior as capricious and malevolent.


(Actually, HonestBrother didn't say this. I did. He just introduced a play on words to my question.)


You wrote: "The dictionary defines capricious and malevolent." My question is "who wrote the dictionary?".

I'm not being puposefully obtuse, but you're using value-laden language to determine what kind of God God would be if He existed, and I'm asking if you don't believe that God exists, then from what source do you determine behavioral value?


quote:
Originally posted by kevin1122:
Shumalite again:
quote:
"But if God doesn't exist, then we have no way to even rationally begin to broach what is "good" or "bad", imo."

I disagree! If that were true, than those who have never had any contact with your idea of God wouldn't be able to broach what is good or bad. A quick look around you and you will see that isn't the case.


Well, that's my point. We *do* know what "good" and "bad" are. And those definitions are pretty normative across most (if not all) cultures. I'm asking, without a God, where does the *concept* of making value judgements come from?

Whirling Moat's aliens?
quote:
Originally posted by shulamite:
Well, that's my point. We *do* know what "good" and "bad" are. And those definitions are pretty normative across most (if not all) cultures. I'm asking, without a God, where does the *concept* of making value judgements come from?

Whirling Moat's aliens?

There are a myriad of theories of morality and religion that are naturalistic/humanistic, that are not predicated on the existence of some external, transcendent arbiter. Good and bad are social constructs, and to the extent that there are those which extend beyond a particular social group, I think an argument could be offered that such values are more than likely derived from such this as human physiology and morphology.

For example, Nietzsche offers several "genealogies of morals," which are basically predicated on feelings and will. That which is pleasurable is the good. That which is not is the bad. This is mitigated, however, to the extent that I come in contact with another. It is then that one has to deal with issues of power. Similar theories, albeit with different emphases are offered by anthropologists like Durkheim, sociologists like Weber, psychologists like Freud, and socio-political theorists like Marx.
quote:
Originally posted by kevin1122:
Just to clairify, my last response was to Oshun Auset. I would also like to reply to a point he made on his last post.

quote:
But my god-concept isn't that of an external 'being' or a 'he'. The language you are using in itself excludes my god/spiritual-concept from the question, and narrowly defines the question to the exclusively external, X-ian literalist type 'being'... So I can't answer... cuz the question doesn't apply to anything I concieve of.

The question is: "How would things be different if God didn't exist". It is a very simple question; and you will notice I did not use the term "he" and I in no way implied that God was an external being; there are no limitations or narrow definitions to the question, thus you should be able to apply whatever god concept you have to the question at hand

Kevin


Right above my post, in your clarification you stated....

quote:
The question is not about the example of a God concept I gave, that's my own personal discription of a being I would recognize as a God; the question is about YOUR concept of God and how things would be different if he didn't exist.


Not sure how you missed that...

quote:
Originally posted by Vox:
quote:
Originally posted by kevin1122:

Vox said:
quote:
"For those of us who believe in God, the question of what the world would be like without him is simple: there would be no world.

If you could rephrase the question a bit, it might be possible to have a fuller discussion from a non-atheist."
Okay I shall rephrase. Supposed the world did exist and you were simply wrong concerning the existence of God; how do you think it would be different than it is now?


Okay, I have a feeling I may know where you're going with the question, but I don't think you're conceptually on target here. When posed to someone who DOES believe in God, the question conceptually doesn't really make sense. If the world did exist, but it turned out there was no God, then it would mean that the world exists as it does now, just having gotten there on its own. You're asking a question about how things would be different, but conceptually the question requires that things have to be exactly the same as they are.

On the other hand, the question as posed to atheists can lead to some interesting answers. An atheist might answer, "If there were a God, there would be no tsunami," and so on. But one who believes in a higher power really can't logically answer the question as originally worded, other than "there would be no world," or the rephrased version because it's circular and unanswerable.


yeah

And one more thing... I'm a 'she'. Oshun is a feminine power of nature/energy, and so is Auset. Smile
quote:
Originally posted by Khalliqa:
quote:
Originally posted by listener:
quote:
For those of you who don't believe in God, how do you believe the world and all that exists would be different if God did exist?

a God wouldn't have created a creature which will destroy all what such God created. Therefore, if God existed, there wouldn't be humans on planet earth


"Humans"? or culture? Are you aware of any cultures that are defined by their peaceful co-existence with earth and one another at any time in history?


yeah
quote:
Originally posted by shulamite:
quote:
Originally posted by kevin1122:
Shulamite and Honestbro said:
quote:
"If God doesn't exist, on what basis are you able to determine what is "capricious or malevolent"?"
The dictionary defines capricious and malevolent. If behavior is according to what is defined in the dictionary, I would conclude that behavior as capricious and malevolent.


(Actually, HonestBrother didn't say this. I did. He just introduced a play on words to my question.)


I'm glad someone is paying attention. lol


quote:

You wrote: "The dictionary defines capricious and malevolent." My question is "who wrote the dictionary?".

I'm not being puposefully obtuse, but you're using value-laden language to determine what kind of God God would be if He existed, and I'm asking if you don't believe that God exists, then from what source do you determine behavioral value?


Is a "source" necessary to determine behavioral value?

Values can be contradictory.

Would contradictory values issue from the same source?


quote:

Well, that's my point. We *do* know what "good" and "bad" are. And those definitions are pretty normative across most (if not all) cultures. I'm asking, without a God, where does the *concept* of making value judgements come from?


Perhaps they are behavioral adaptations which are conducive to orderly human societies?


quote:
Originally posted by kresge:
quote:
Originally posted by shulamite:
Well, that's my point. We *do* know what "good" and "bad" are. And those definitions are pretty normative across most (if not all) cultures. I'm asking, without a God, where does the *concept* of making value judgements come from?

Whirling Moat's aliens?

There are a myriad of theories of morality and religion that are naturalistic/humanistic, that are not predicated on the existence of some external, transcendent arbiter. Good and bad are social constructs, and to the extent that there are those which extend beyond a particular social group, I think an argument could be offered that such values are more than likely derived from such this as human physiology and morphology.

For example, Nietzsche offers several "genealogies of morals," which are basically predicated on feelings and will. That which is pleasurable is the good. That which is not is the bad. This is mitigated, however, to the extent that I come in contact with another. It is then that one has to deal with issues of power. Similar theories, albeit with different emphases are offered by anthropologists like Durkheim, sociologists like Weber, psychologists like Freud, and socio-political theorists like Marx.


yeah
More replies in just one day. I shall go down the line and answer them

Vox:
quote:
"When posed to someone who DOES believe in God, the question conceptually doesn't really make sense. If the world did exist, but it turned out there was no God, then it would mean that the world exists as it does now, just having gotten there on its own."

NO. The question does not require you answer under the assumption that things are the way they are now, example; If you believe it is impossible for humans to exist without God, then your answer would be that planet earth would be different because humans wouldn't exist.
Whirling Moat:
quote:
"There would be serious civil unrest it it were somehow determined that God did not exist.

If the Earth was visited by aliens who were able to demonstrte the creation of a new universe by processes such as random quantum fluctuations behaving in accordance to sheer probablistic mechanics in a manner which was repeatable and provided predictive power and the same was convincingly demonstrated to everyone through some psychic medium which allowed everyone to experience this truth and understand it on a personal level...Anarchy would erupt..and the world would quickly fall into utter chaos.."

You answered the wrong question. You answered how people would react if they found out God didn't exist. My question was; how would things be different if he didn't exist. Assuming God doesn't exist but humans do, I am sure there would still be humans who believe he does (theists) and those who know the truth (atheists)
Using this scenario, how do you think things would be different than they are right now?

Kresge:
quote:
"if I alone came to realize that I was wrong about there being a God, I do not think that much would change for me. I think that I would still live my life for the most part in the same fashion as I do now. Yet, if it ever was the case that most if not all people came to an awareness that there was no God, all at the same time, I think that Whirling Moats scenario is much more likely."

It appeaers you've made the same mistake Whirling Moat made. However; do you really think it would be that bad if people knew the truth... oops... I ment became convinced God didn't exist?
I am reminded of a time, a religious person upon discovering I don't believe in his God asked me why do I choose to behave morally; why don't I go out and rape children, and kill people if I were able to get away with it. I asked him; "is that what you really want to do"? Would you do that if God weren't looking? He finally admitted he loved his children too much to cause them harm even if God weren't looking.
You say; you would behave morally but everybody else won't. I suspect everyone else will have intregrity under such conditions just as you.

Shulamite:
quote:
"I'm not being puposefully obtuse, but you're using value-laden language to determine what kind of God God would be if He existed, and I'm asking if you don't believe that God exists, then from what source do you determine behavioral value?"

Humans determine behavioral value, and humans change; that's why what is moral today was immoral yesterday and visa versa. Example: in the past slavery, racism, and human sacrafice was considered moral behavior (I know of at least 1 religion that is built around human sacrafise) but today those practices are considered evil.
Homosexuality and interacial relationships were considered evil yesterday, today it is considered okay! Same people, and in many cases, of the same religion, yet different ideas of morality. If an eternal God were makin up the rules of morality, do you really think there would be such changes in morality? I suspect much of what is moral today will be considered immoral in the future and visa versa.
quote:
"We *do* know what "good" and "bad" are. And those definitions are pretty normative across most (if not all) cultures. I'm asking, without a God, where does the *concept* of making value judgements come from?"
It comes from people; just like you and me.

Kevin
quote:
Originally posted by shulamite:
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
I don't need for God to exist ... or even for circles to exist (in any absolute sense) ... in order for me to coherently talk about circles.



Can you expand upon this?

My pre-supposition would be that both God and circles would have to exist (in an absolute sense) in order for one to talk coherently about them at all, particularly if one is to ascribe value-judgments (e.g. "capriciousness or malevolence") to them.



There is a famous problem from the history of geometry having to do with Euclid's "parallel postulate".

There are many equivalent formulations of the parallel postulate, but (I think) the easiest to grasp is: Given a straight line and one point which is not on the line there is one and only one line through the point that is also parallel to the first line.

For 2000 years, it was thought (but not definitively known) that this statement could be logically deduced from the other 4 axioms of Euclidean Geometry... and hence was itself unnecessary as an axiom.

As it turns out, it can not be logically deduced from the other axioms. In fact, there are several possible geometries consistent with the other axioms in which the postulate does not hold. It is actually possible (for example) to conceive of an internally consistent geometry in which there are no lines through the point parallel to the first line.

A geometry then is a formal system of internally consistent assumptions and the statements that can be logically deduced from them.

But a straight line in one need not be the same as a straight line in another.

Ditto with circles.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_postulate
When I responded:
quote:
"The question is not about the example of a God concept I gave, that's my own personal discription of a being I would recognize as a God; the question is about YOUR concept of God and how things would be different if he didn't exist."

Oshun Auset replied:
quote:
"But my god-concept isn't that of an external 'being' or a 'he'. The language you are using in itself excludes my god/spiritual-concept from the question, "

When I said that, do you really think I was insisting your repsonse remain in the context of God being a male being? C'mon Oshun you know better than that.
Look if you don't wanna answer the question, that's fine! I understand.

K
quote:
Originally posted by kevin1122:
Kresge:
quote:
"if I alone came to realize that I was wrong about there being a God, I do not think that much would change for me. I think that I would still live my life for the most part in the same fashion as I do now. Yet, if it ever was the case that most if not all people came to an awareness that there was no God, all at the same time, I think that Whirling Moats scenario is much more likely."

It appeaers you've made the same mistake Whirling Moat made. However; do you really think it would be that bad if people knew the truth... oops... I ment became convinced God didn't exist?
I am reminded of a time, a religious person upon discovering I don't believe in his God asked me why do I choose to behave morally; why don't I go out and rape children, and kill people if I were able to get away with it. I asked him; "is that what you really want to do"? Would you do that if God weren't looking? He finally admitted he loved his children too much to cause them harm even if God weren't looking.
You say; you would behave morally but everybody else won't. I suspect everyone else will have intregrity under such conditions just as you.

Kevin

I noticed that you excised the first part of my response, which is unfortunate. You also assert a conclusion that I do not make. I do not say that I would act morally but everyone else would not. I also did not raise a question about integrity. Those are your words, not mine. I am thinking much more along the lines of faith development theories and how different people handle matters of cognitive dissonance. Some people are able to integrate disparate concepts or experiences, and others are not. Again, this is not a matter of integrity. It is a matter, I would maintain, of human psycho-social life. This was the point of the last part of my commentary. What I describe in terms of first-year student behavior is pretty well documented (binge drinking, sexual promiscuity, etc.)
quote:
Originally posted by kevin1122:
quote:
"When posed to someone who DOES believe in God, the question conceptually doesn't really make sense. If the world did exist, but it turned out there was no God, then it would mean that the world exists as it does now, just having gotten there on its own."

NO. The question does not require you answer under the assumption that things are the way they are now, example; If you believe it is impossible for humans to exist without God, then your answer would be that planet earth would be different because humans wouldn't exist.
But most people who believe that humans wouldn't exist also would say that the whole universe wouldn't exist. So we're back to my original answer: if there were no god, the world would be different in that it wouldn't exist.

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