General Question

aaronou's avatar

Does God exist?

Asked by aaronou (735points) June 25th, 2008

Many of us have been versed in the philosophical debates surrounding this particular topic. But rather, I am more concerned here with more personal reasons why God does or does not exist, such as seeing a picturesque sunset and attaching it to a Divine Creator or maybe falling into awful circumstances that would nearly cause one to say, God surely cannot exist because this atrocity. I just am looking for some more personal thoughts on this subject.

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59 Answers

thetypicalusername's avatar

What a can of worms.

Randy's avatar

In my beliefs and experiences, yes. God does exist.

@thetypicalusername- you are very right about that. I am and am not looking forward to this shake down.

delirium's avatar

Which god? (I say none)

I really hope a mod deletes this Q before it gets heated.

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

God exists simply because of faith, and in early times the founders of most religions where most likely in some way shape or form a philosopher.

Now also in those times, the only way to make something was by human means, so my theory is that they thought of an all powerful being modeling a human that created the world and everyone on it when they themselves wondered where they came from and how they were put there. Also there is no way to be certain that all the stories that are told in the Bible are true, some possible but there are many many many stories that seem unlikely ei: Noah living beyond 400 years of age, Moses parting the Red Sea, Sodom and Gomorrah being destroyed by fire and brimstone from Heaven, and Lucifer falling from Heaven for betraying God only later to spoil God’s perfect creation. Also there are a few things that bible says but are scientifically false, such as men having one less rib the women. To stop rambling and get to the point I would say that God exists with people who believe that he does.

If you want to get technical, then we could incorporate quantum mechanics (even though you really shouldn’t), you not able to prove that he does or doesn’t exist which in turn would give the answer that he does and doesn’t exist at the same time until more information is given.

@the people who are sure there is no God I would like to see you back up your answers, keep in mind I do not follow a faith with a god, but one that has certain values to include in life to promote happiness.

I’ll get back to you all tomorrow I’m tired.

MercenaryWriter's avatar

As Umberto Eco said, “If God had not created man, man would have created God.” Which brings us all firmly into chicken vs egg territory—that way madness lies.

delirium's avatar

A light backup… There is nothing that makes the Christian god more logical or likely to be real than all the other gods and goddesses. What about Zeus? Odin? Hestia? Allah? FSM? Monkey? Great spirit? Adibuddha?

I just believe in one all powerful mythological character fewer than christian individuals do.

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

Before I bid you adieu, the chicken vs egg is quite simple, the egg was first, I’ll suggest you mull that for a while before you ask why.

Randy's avatar

@pork- the bible says Adam
had one less rib because that’s what God used to create Eve. It does not say that all men have one less rib. At least not my bible anyways.

Edit- I just realized that sounded snooty. Its only ment as a correction. I didn’t mean it bad, I promise.

MercenaryWriter's avatar

How can you make the statement that God exists for people who believe that he does, and then tell those who do not believe to back up their answers? Wouldn’t their lack of belief imply that he does not exist for them, thereby validating their answer even in the absence of proof that you so readily admit does not exist. By your logic, isn’t their lack of belief proof of their position’s validity?

babygalll's avatar

Yes, God exists.

MercenaryWriter's avatar

I don’t need to mull, and, while I am admittedly not a member of MENSA, I don’t think I’ll need to ask you why either. I was using the question as an example of something debatable, and therefore never wholly answerable. As for your previous post, I would further point out the absurdity in your display of flawed logic—but instead I will allow you to mull it over for awhile.

Randy's avatar

This is an impossiable debate and neither believers nor unbelievers can persude the other to change, normally. Can’t we all just believe what we want and leave eachother alone about it?

I respect the fact that not everyone believes how I do but from time to time, I get put in a position where someone (be it a full out nonbeliever or just someone of a different division of my religion) trys to tell me I’m wrong. Its kinda ridiculous if you ask me. We should just be tollerent and accecpting of others beliefs.

delirium's avatar

I am tolerant as long as your/any religion stays out of my schools, government, and uterus.

MercenaryWriter's avatar

Amen, Delirium. Preach the word.

babygalll's avatar

Calling all moderators!

Randy's avatar

@Del- haha, so basically your tolerant of everything but Christianity? Its not all Christians that want to police the globe. Because a select number believe the “you must believe and do as we do” rule, all of us get a bad rap. I see what your saying though, and I agree. No religion belongs in government or schools. Its just tough to pull off though since almost everything comes down to religion in some form or another.

delirium's avatar

randy, I love that you went to all that effort… But notice how my answer says your/any? ;)

Randy's avatar

Yeah, I saw it. It’s just, using context clues I assumed you ment Christianity. It wasnt ment to be derogatory in any way. I see your point and reasoning, and with that, I agree.

delirium's avatar

No prob, just making sure I wasn’t being interpreted as just being against the Christian god in TSW(the secular world). I would be against any god being in it.

Tsw= gov and aforementioned stuff

Randy's avatar

Agreed. Its a crazy thought to found a country on a certain religion when
the basis of starting the country is to create a place where everyone can believe as they see fit. I have the thought that is wasnt quite as simple as they tried to make it sound back in high school.

delirium's avatar

Its funny, though, because most of the great founding fathers were secularists about their government. The idea that the country was founded with a particular religion in mind is a very modern one. The definition of freedom here is getting more and more narrow as people become more and more afraid, it seems.

joeysefika's avatar

What makes God more real than the Flying Spaghetti Monster

cheebdragon's avatar

I don’t know if he exists, but I know you can find him in prison….

shrubbery's avatar

I think I believe that an unexplainable force caused the universe to be created, but I’m not sure, and If I do eventually decide this, I’m not sure if this force has stuck around or pissed off, or if it has stuck round it’s involved or just hanging back. I have plenty of time to decide, or not to decide, so I’m not worrying about it at the moment.

Vincentt's avatar

I believe Descartes said something along the lines of “the definition of God is a perfect creature. If God is perfect, he must exist, otherwise he wouldn’t be perfect. God is perfect, therefore he exists”.

Of course, that’s a bunch of gobbledegook. However, I feel there is something which I call God because that’s easy. No proof, no logical sense, just a feeling of knowing. That’s what makes God more real to me than the Flying Spagetti Monster :)

tinyfaery's avatar

I’ve always said no, there is no god. I believe religion is a detrement to society, and “spirituality” is for those who don’t want to call themselves religious. However, lately I’ve been mulling over the following idea… If we are all one, and we are connected to everything and anything in existence through a universal energy, then that collective could be considered god. Every sentient beings knowledge and experiences as a whole, consolidated, would be omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent; again this can be considered god. But, I don’t believe in an all powerful being, and I never will.

Harp's avatar

As tinyfaery demonstrates above, unless the term “God” is defined in some way, the question of whether or not God exists loses all meaning. I’ve heard even Christians postulate that God is “the super-set of all that exists”, more or less as tinyfaery has.

But the problem with that on an epistemological level is that the question of God’s existence becomes circular: if it exists, then it is God, therefore God exists.

That’s not at all to criticize tinyfaery’s insight. As a Buddhist, I think she(?) is on the right track. But overlaying the concept of God onto that appreciation of the unity of the whole is, to my mind, superfluous.

mzgator's avatar

I am a believer. You guys know that about me. I am also an individual. With that being said, all individuals are different and have different belief systems. I am proud of the life I have chosen for myself. I believe that there is a God. I worship him and pray to him. That doesn’t make me a bad person, nor do I think that people who don’t believe are bad persons. Religion is personal to me. I would never want to judge someone else for their beliefs just because they are different from mine.

Over the course of several discussions about God and religion and Christianity on fluther, it seems that non-believers get so angry about people who believe. These same people would have a fit if someone attacked someone else on fluther for being gay or for wanting to keep abortion illegal. We are free in America. Free to believe an support the things we choose to. You are what you are. Just because it is different or unpopular or even seems stupid to you, doesn’t mean that you are wrong.

If you believe in God, great. If you don’t , great. There is no point arguing or discussing this anymore. I guess we’ll all find out who was right when we die.

tinyfaery's avatar

Harp…I’m not a Buddhist, but I do see how what I wrote can be construed as such. And I think you’re correct; I do not need to define that concept as god. Thanx.

Harp's avatar

Sorry, clumsy sentence. I’m the Buddhist.

Vincentt's avatar

@mzgator – maybe some visitors from Fluther aren’t from America? And maybe they’re even from a country where you aren’t free to believe and support the things you choose to.

flameboi's avatar

I don’t know for sure if God exists or not, I do believe in God and I’m happy with my beliefs (I mean, no religion – questionable existance but I do believe in God)...

mzgator's avatar

@Vincentt: It doesn’t matter where we are on this Earth. We are all human beings. I am a straight, married, white, Christian mother. I do not judge or condemn anyone who is not like me or who do not share my beliefs….even if I happened to believe they were wrong. What works for me often does not for someone else .

nikipedia's avatar

I see no data either way.

PupnTaco's avatar

Most likely not. It’s impossible to know with 100% certainty, but all indications point to the non-existence of a supreme creator. My opinion is that God is a mythic notion created by earlier cultures in an attempt to explain that which cannot be understood.

flameboi's avatar

Good answer, actually great answer PupnTaco

vectorul's avatar

People believe there is a man that lives in the clouds and they think that giving money to a church will help them meet him.

I have some space in the clouds as well, so can I get some of that money?


xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

@MercenaryWriter, there is no need to get angry, I wasn’t trying to act snooty or better than you, also I didn’t even say that you had to ask me. It is simple logic that egg came before the chicken because of the dinosaurs, they laid eggs before chickens existed. I can also see what your saying with how that contradicts its self. Allow me to go into a little more depth of what I was looking for, I was asking what makes them not believe, whether it is a simple statement or if was a complex half a monitor full. I have always found it interesting how people do not have minds of there own and believe what others say without thinking twice. I ask questions like these strictly for the answers I get back and I usually think it’s funny. Like one day at school I asked everyone that smoked pot, “Where did the significance of 4/20 come from?”, more than half answered that it was Bob Marely’s birthday, and I think out of 100 students, only 2 two said the right answer. Of course the question I asked of the Flutherites is all opinionated and would have no definite answer, I would still like to see into their thoughts and mull over something like that.

@Delirium(the other gods question), well there are about 2 billion reasons why he/she would exist over the other religions. About 2 billion people are Christian and are the world leaders of religion as of mid-2005 which means the dominant faith would be Christian, so if a god did exist, it would most likely be Christian.

I am not arguing to prove myself right, but to prove you wrong. I do not believe in God and do not follow one.

brownlemur's avatar

I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: A foolish thing said by 50 million people is still a foolish thing.

Babo's avatar

I believe in Goddess!

Knotmyday's avatar

The notion that there is no god/gods is a relatively recent one. Does that make us enlightened or cynical?
Having no god seems to be much more difficult for human beings to accept, when (with no other option) it’s easier to fall back back on the hope of deus ex machina or “fire insurance.”
The debate (intellectual and emotional) rages on.

delirium's avatar

Yes, knotmyday, but the notion that there can be such thing as free speech is also a relatively recent one. Same for the earth going around the sun. Same thing for slavery based on race being inappropriate. etc. etc. etc. Just because its a new idea doesn’t automatically invalidate it.

porksoda: I can’t say it better than brownlemur did. But I can add that if your postulate were true, there’d be many other things that would have to equally be true.

Knotmyday's avatar

So you choose enlightened rather than cynical.

Works for me.

@pork- The whole egg vs. chicken vs. dinosaur was a bit logically flawed. Obviously something had to lay an egg (or the equivalent) once, but it was a much simpler organism than either fowl or sauropod.

The question ostensibly refers to the debate between creation and evolution, but it is fundamentally nonsensical.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Man created god, not the other way around.

delirium's avatar

Knot: I try for the logical point of view and try to not have any passive-aggressive cynicality towards the world. I may not do perfectly, but I make an effort.

Knotmyday's avatar

Good for you! The world needs more people like you.

Reading some of the repartee here, I feel like I’m watching the Marx Brothers in A Night at the Opera:
“Why did I sit with her? Because she reminds me of you, that why I’m here with you, because you remind me of you… your eyes, your throat, your lips, everything about you reminds me of you, except you. How do you account for that?”

If you can figure that one out, you’re good.

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

@knot, MercenaryWriter said something and compared it to the chicken vs the egg thing and I just told him the egg was first, now I am sure there must have been something that laid eggs before them but It would just sound kinda nerdy to say the pseudomicroplactarium or something complicated like that laid the first eggs.

Now I just made that thing up so please don’t get on me for anything, I wasn’t trying to sound like a know it all.

Knotmyday's avatar

I don’t think sounding “nerdy” is going to make you seem out of place here, at all…
Present company included.
need a new pocket protector

I just laughed out loud, and no, I will not abbreviate “laugh out loud” ever. I nerdily refuse.

brownlemur's avatar

@knot – Thank you, thank you, thank you. Seeing “LOL” makes me want to scrape a cheese grater across my corneas.

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

HAHAHAHA! wow I love this website.

cheebdragon's avatar

Thats a knee slapper

tupara's avatar

I know my God exists because I’m standing on Her. She’s called Papatuenuku, She’s the Earth.

buster's avatar

Satan and Santa exist.

cheebdragon's avatar

santana also exists

delirium's avatar

Knot: I absolutely ADORE that movie. Groucho marx is one of my absolute heroes.

Knotmyday's avatar

(wiggles his eyebrows, grins behind his cigar)

teacher_mom2's avatar

Yes, God definitely does exist.

kld0655's avatar

I think people want and need God to exist in order to give meaning to their lives. There is something…though what I wouldn’t dare say. I don’t presume to know.

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