There is currently in our society a great debate over the existence or not of God.
We refer here specifically to the current definition of the Judaeo/Christian/Islamic God, as we, the American people, have dismissed , for the most part, all the other gods, i.e. Brahman, Odin, Baath, Ra, Spaghetti Monster, etc. etc. With few exceptions, in the U.S.A. this is the god that is accepted most widely of the one true god. Hmm...
Belief in god then is firmly based upon faith. Faith as we all know is the belief in something without any evidence. As in, there is currently absolutely no empirical or factual evidence for the existence of any god whatsoever, yet we the American people in general, still insist upon said belief in this one particular god.
On the other side we have the scientific community who, regardless of their personal belief(s), require facts and evidence only to provide probabilities about those things in the cosmos that are yet unknown and as yet to be discovered. Both sides have their arguments.
The faithful require no evidence whatsoever, the non-believers require evidence. To be sure, the sole basis of the religious community for their argument as to the existence of god is their book, written during times of absolute ignorance to the true nature of reality. On the other hand, science refuses to accept any notions of reality based upon anything but empirical and evidence-based facts, based upon keen observation and critical experimentation, reviewed and critically purview-ed by all within the scientific community.
Apparently there is only one solution to this debate. Unfortunately the solution would be somewhat detrimental to both sides and of course, until it actually happens, be totally hypothetical.
What IF, said god finally and actually exposed it's existence to all of us? However and regardless of the manifestation, my hypothetical solution here is to state that this god's exposition would remove all doubt and with no ambiguity of God's actual and true existence. OK?
The scientific and atheistic members of our populace would be compelled as is their modes, to re-visit any and all of their theorems and as they always do, to throw out any of their previous conceptions and conjectures and re-assemble their inquiries and mathematics to account for said new information. But there would be no love lost as the scientific community, historically, is and always have been compelled to re-think and re-view their theories based upon any new and in-controversially evidence. Not a big deal from a scientific point of view. Happens all the time.
However, as the term 'god' never enters into the scientific realm, there would be absolutely no real changes necessary, other than the why?, questions of course.
The theistic crowd would finally be vindicated and the world in general would be compelled to accept the new reality that belief in God was the correct and unequivocal way to go.
But herein lies the rub.
So far faith is the one and only inarguable foundational argument for the religious point of view. So, in the hypothetical solution stated above, proof positive of the religious belief in god would dispel any need for faith at all. Religion, in other words would be completely stripped of it's faith if god's existence were to be proved unequivocally as absolute truth. So, if it is, that faith is the engine for which drives our society's religious belief system and as has been stated over and over again both to me personally and in public debate(s) by the faithful ; "Without faith we are nothing" , so how then would the faithful proceed? Your belief will be vindicated yet your faith will be rendered useless.
My point is then, whether or not god does indeed exist, faith cannot possibly be the mitigating factor in the actual belief in any god. For, if it is ever proven god does not exist, faith wanes reduced inexorably from the truth. If it is ever proven god does indeed exist, the faithful as mentioned above will have become, in their own words, "nothing", for with truth, faith means nothing at all. So may we ask upon the religious faithful to pray collectively as hard as they can to ask of your god to present itself once and for all to alleviate us from this tedious and never-ending debate?, for y'all constantly insist your god does indeed answer your prayers! And you won't. Why? Because......
If God did answer such a prayer, faith, and indeed religion itself would inexorably dissolve into mere acquiescence of the real truth and the need for either would well become moot.
One good reason for all of this, Loren, is that the book that sources the fairy tales was never intended to be a book.
Imagine 66 of us (give or take) who are told to write a book about various aspects of a god and later all those books are bound into one. The Good Book is a Frankenstein creation.
It's actually even worse than that, Michael. Forensic analysis of the bible indicates such madness as the fact that Genesis 2 had a different author from Genesis 1, never mind the blatant contradiction those two represent. That internal disagreement is only one of many, well documented by Steve Wells in his Skeptic's Annotated Bible and corroborated by others.
The creature invented by Mary Shelley isn't a patch on the monster which is the bible.
I wonder if I'm the odd man out here.
Debating, discussing, thinking about the existence of a magic guy in the sky holds zero interest for me.
If there were such a being, since I already exist, it wouldn't matter to me.
That somebody clever enough to design the universe would be stupid enough to set up a garden with a talking snake and a magic apple doesn't make sense.
And ordering Isaac to agree to murder his own son as a test of faith is disgusting. If I had proof that this being existed, I still would never worship it. I wouldn't even respect it.
So folks, go right on debating, splitting hairs. But I won't be joining you; I just don't care.
I don't debate much because it's stupid. Examples are fine tuning arguments, who or what caused the big bang, how perfect the earth is for life just for us, etc. It's ridiculous!
Imagine a car that you came up with but now you have to fine tune it. That's almost as bad as saying you now have to give it an engine.
What about that big bang? Who caused it? How in the hell do I know?
The earth is perfect for life just for us. Yeah, and every other damned thing that lives here too.
The problem with all these arguments is that the believer already believes, or they want to believe. There's also not one shred of evidence to back up what they believe, and most certainly not in their bible. The bible is static - dead! There is no way to put anything new into it. Ideas of the apologists are simply "what if" arguments injected and fine tuned into whatever you want them to be. In fact, I use the bible, how we got it, and all the many books that could have been a part of it to prove that our origin and destiny story is flat out myth and lies. There is nothing supernatural about it at all and its origin is exactly why it has contradictions.
This is also why I maintain that once you have seen behind the curtain you can no longer believe in the Wizard of Oz. Those words fly right over the heads of many. That curtain is the writings that disguise the imaginary god.