Talk:Arguments for the existence of god

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Physical existence of objects called god[edit]

I have yet to spot a section that refers to god(s) that can be demonstrated to exist now, let alone to have existed in the past, vis:

  • Sol (the sun)
  • Prince Phillip
  • The Emperor of Nihon

...etc, and so-on.

In my mind, to omit these gods, who clearly exist, is a failing in the atheist argument that needs to be addressed. --Michael Gray

That is not a legitimate failing of the argument - it is an equivocation. The 'atheist argument' is not claiming that the physical objects of worship do not exist, but that the divine qualities attributed to them have not been demonstrated.
For brevity, we should agree that people call something a god only because it is attributed with some uniquely divine or supernatural qualities. It is those qualities that must be demonstrated. Less that, we must simply find a word other than "god" to make our argument, but the point is not defeated. --Jaban 16:39, 10 May 2010 (CDT)

I second Jaban's argument. The "idea of god" clearly exists. The "idea of god" is no more incompatible with atheism than the "idea of Star Trek" or the "idea of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal". The relevant difference is that neither Star Trek nor the Bugblatter Beast are considered to be factual depictions. Theists, by definition, consider the idea of god to be factual. The atheist argument does not challenge the existence of the "idea of god"; it challenges that this idea is factually true. -- Rival 09:59, 11 May 2010 (CDT)
The problem with any argument about "existence" is that only logical things can be proved by logical arguments. For example, you can prove that negative numbers exist using logic. But you can't prove an apple exists using logic, because an apple is not a logical thing. It's a physical thing and the existence of physical things can only be demonstrated by physical evidence. The only way to "prove" an apple exists it to provide sufficient physical evidence. "Proof" in this case is never certain. For example we might all be dreaming or it may be possible to find contrary evidence, as is sometimes found in murder trials. "Sufficient" means enough to convince any number of other people. It also relates to the nature of the claim. The existence of an apple is a trivial matter. The existence of a supernatural being is not a trivial matter, so the evidence required is proportionately greater. Physical evidence takes many forms, for example, first-hand sightings, laboratory measurements, photographs, video etc. Sometimes the evidence requires processing in some way, for example, statistical analysis, enlargement etc. It is important that the data be made available to others and all methods and workings clearly exposed in an un-biased way. Any bias in the presentation or methods used, must be rigorously avoided. Remember, in logical arguments and in physical demonstrations it is possible to make mistakes. New evidence sometimes indicates an earlier judgement is suspect, as was the case with Newtons theory of gravity. We have to act on our best judgement, but always be ready to re-consider our treasured beliefs. Sometimes theories, although accepted, seem to contradict each other under certain conditions or seem to be incompatible. Some people think that Quantum Mechanics in incompatible with the General Theory of Relativity. This is an example of "Could do Better".

Other Gods[edit]

If there are such arguments demonstrating the existence of those specific gods, then let us know, so we can dissect them. However, a very small number of people believe in these gods and a demonstration of their non-existence would be unnecessary; anyway, we do have arguments against the existence of all possible gods. You can spot these arguments in the atheology center, "arguments against the existence of God".--wissam hemadeh 04:25, 10 May 2010 (CDT)