Is There Visible Proof of God?



I have made the observation one can not distinguish between a God who fails to give evidence of his existence and a God that doesn’t exist.

At least with a miracle you have some observations to work from. This is quite different from a God who doesn’t perform any miracles or produce any detectable observation within nature.

(Retired Professor & Minister.) #82

I think a great many would indeed agree that one cannot scientifically (i.e., by application of the Scientific Method) distinguish between a deity who fails to give evidence of his existence and a deity that doesn’t exist.

Yes. Agreed. Historic Christianity (and the Judaism of the Old Testament) has always emphasized the existence of miracles—with ultimate emphasis on the miracle of a bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ (as @swamidass often reminds us in his posts.)

Thus, versions of Christianity which entirely reject miracles have long been considered by traditionally orthodox Christ-followers to be heretical and thereby effectively estranged from the teachings of Jesus Christ.


It bears repeating, if you’re asking me.


The scientific method is a bit restrictive in this case. I would label it more as methodological skepticism, or Cartesian doubt. The main point is that you don’t assume your beliefs are true, and instead start with things that you can demonstrate to be true outside of your beliefs.

That’s what has us atheists asking why we don’t see these miracles anymore. As you mentioned, it is rather difficult to differentiate between miracles and things we are just ignorant of, but I think many people would be convinced by the miracles described in the Bible. If I were being led through a desert by a pillar of smoke or fire, and had food raining down from the sky, I think I would be quite convinced.

(Retired Professor & Minister.) #85

Even many of the theists mentioned within the Bible itself asked why they didn’t see miracles. And that’s because even within the Bible’s own timeline miracles were extremely rare—and those miracles which did occur were restricted to a very few, relatively short periods of time and definitely limited geography. Indeed, the miracles described in the Bible were not at all “impressive” in terms of frequency except in:

(1) the Exodus from Egypt (e.g., Moses and the plagues of Egypt pericopes) and
(2) the three years of the ministry of Jesus Christ.

Yes, there were other “eras” in the Bible when miracles occurred, such as the lives of the Genesis patriarchs, the conquest of Canaan, some of the deeds of the Judges before the Monarchy, the ministries of Elijah and Elisha, as well as with the Apostles of the early Church. Nevertheless, those less frequent miracles were not at all like the daily miracles that were described in association with Jesus’ three year ministry nor even like the series of miracles associated with Moses before Pharoah. Even a casual reading of the Bible reveals that one could wait many centuries fell before another miracle occurred.

Why? That’s another thread topic but Jesus taught that a demand for miracles was not necessarily a virtue, to say the least.

(Dale Cutler) #86


The Latin anagram answers Pilate’s question:

Quid est veritas? “What is truth?”
Est vir qui adest: “It is the man who is here.”

(Dale Cutler) #87

(A response to the ‘poof’, ‘abracadabra’ objection):

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Arthur C Clarke.

God’s ‘technology’ is above and super- to natural, more than a little advanced compared to ours.

Then there is the ‘magic’ moon and our correspondingly magic place in the universe. From earlier:

//Last year around the time of the total eclipse of the sun, I read where one secular astronomer called the fact that the disc of the moon in the sky matches [for all practical purposes and without pedantic TMI] the disc of the sun “magic”.

The universe was designed to be discovered – from here, with our special moon. Huge amounts of knowledge about how stars work has been discovered – and more is still being discovered – during total solar eclipses. And that is not to mention all of the other details about why so much of the cosmos is visable, unobstructed, from here.//

And try this on for size :slightly_smiling_face: (also from earlier):

(John Mercer) #88

Apply what metaphor to what?

  1. You’ve stridently claimed that both sides are interpreting the same evidence.
  2. Yesterday, in a thread about abiogenesis, you cited a paper from 1952 as an “example” (that you’ve probably never even read)
  3. There are many other papers containing evidence relevant to abiogenesis published in the past 66 years.

Therefore, you’re obviously ignoring the evidence and falsifying your claim.

(Guy Coe) #89

What jury trial have you ever been to where each juror, after hearing the same evidence, had exactly the same views on what it meant? As a court observer, have you ever heard the prosecution and the defense merely talk past each other, rather than being on exactly the same wavelength? Of course “both sides,” having heard the same evidence, can hold to vastly different interpretations.
Where did I cite a 1952 paper? Please refresh my memory on that.


Actually, during trials, if prosecutor presents enough evidence so there is no reasonable doubt about the suspect’s guilt, nine times out of ten, the entire jury will come to the same conclusion. Which is more or less exactly what’s happening with evolution right now so you’ll need to find a better analogy. One that actually supports your position.

(Guy Coe) #91

That’s definitely the goal, but not frequently the result. Study up on the subject. Definitely NOT nine times out of ten.


Exactly, that’s the goal, and that’s the exact scenario I used. And I repeat:

(Guy Coe) #93

I will also clarify that conviction is not invariably the result, even given your qualification of evidence presented beyond a reasonable doubt --which is, of course, already question-begging.


The only reasons why, in such case, conviction wouldn’t be a result is because someone in jury is either a dumba$$, amoral, apathetic or corrupt as hell.

If you’re talking about evolution, no, it really isn’t. I’m gonna let professionals discuss that, though. If they have inclination.

And, please, quote me. Going back to the main page just to see whether you answered is really tiresome.

(Guy Coe) #95

Go watch “Twelve Angry Men.” Cheers!

(John Harshman) #96

It is to you. And my thinking is sufficient evidence for me. I don’t know of any scientists who would disagree. Perhaps you do.

What is the definition that makes this the case? I find that an odd claim.

I thought you had already settled it by definition? This is confusing.

I’d settle for testing for the influence of a deity. Leave the transcendence for later. If the stars all suddenly moved into a pattern that spelled out, in English, “Hi, I’m God”, I’d accept that as very good evidence. Or if they spelled out anything, really. Or if they just moved at all.

Ah, Clarke’s First Law. Sure. But I’d say that would be good enough for our purposes. We just don’t see any of those things, so there’s no need to distinguish God from super-advanced aliens. Call me when we see such phenomena.

(John Dalton) #97

Yet miracles are integral to the belief in Jesus as God.

What makes a god more probable?

(Dale Cutler) #98

That’s odd. :slightly_smiling_face: I am presuming that you mean methodological naturalism, with regards to how the scientific method is currently practiced and through which conclusions are drawn, and the extra- or super-natural are not subject to naturalistic methodological falsification.

(John Mercer) #99

That’s not analogous, because you’re not hearing the same evidence. You’re ignoring the evidence.

An accurate analogy would be that the 11 scientist jurors would look at the actual evidence and vote guilty, while you would refuse to look at the evidence and vote not guilty because some guy on YouTube said that you should.

(John Mercer) #100

On the subject of abiogenesis, you pretended that the Miller-Urey experiment, performed in 1952, was the only evidence.

But by asking that question, you’ve tacitly admitted that you’ve never bothered to look at even the old evidence and are just regurgitating creationist hearsay, pretending that you’ve engaged with evidence.

So you’ve proven beyond any reasonable doubt that we’re not looking at the same evidence.