It is scientifically, philosophically and psychologically impossible to prove or disprove the existence of God, as many posts have said. Why not move on and eliminate the possibility of going to hell?

I have adapted this mindset because it is the most beneficial choice for myself, and after I'm in the mindset, I find no flaw in it so far, unlike all the atheistic theories that I believed in, could we conclude that before any reasonable and valid argument forms, this can be considered as the truth?

  • because all the atheistic argument that is valid so far solely concerns about the lack of proof of God, but isn't that what u investigate after you adopt the mindset? – Fanger Nov 25 '17 at 23:36
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    I agree with Descartes when he said: "One should note that what is known by natural reason [...] may serve to prepare infidels to receive the Faith, but cannot suffice to enable them to reach heaven. For that it is necessary to believe in Jesus Christ and other revealed matters, and that depends upon grace." Rather than being unbiased, the unbeliever is at enmity with God (Romans 8:7), and that is not something that is overcome merely by arguments or adopting a mindset. It requires the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. – user3017 Nov 26 '17 at 2:27
  • Well you - a priori- must believe in the existence of hell. the existence of God is not dependent upon the existence of a hell. – Swami Vishwananda Nov 26 '17 at 4:44
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    You can disprove the existence of certain types of God, and can similarly prove the existence of certain types of God: it just depends on how you define God. Your "eliminate the possibility of going to hell" is Pascal's Wager, which is known fallacy. – barrycarter Nov 26 '17 at 15:17
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    @PédeLeão I agree with you, they are biased in their own way, the state of being unbiased is nonexistent, anyone with an opinion is biased. – Fanger Nov 28 '17 at 0:56

You say...

"It is scientifically, philosophically and psychologically impossible to prove or disprove the existence of God, as many posts have said. Why not move on and eliminate the possibility of going to hell?"

This is a very bold statement and not correct. Some proofs of the non-existence of God are famous and effective. Examples would be Nagarjuna's 'Fundamental Verses on the Middle Way' and (less-formally) Bradley's 'Appearance and Reality'. The whole of existence is reduced by their arguments, including that of God. This is not quite atheism, or this interpretation is not forced on us, but it is a denial of any God we might imagine.

In his comment above Conifold notes crucially that by some definitions of existence God does not exist but is believed to be real even so. This would be the God endorsed by Keith Ward in his 'God: A Guide for the Perplexed' and is the 'classical' Christian view of God. To exist is to 'stand-out' but what would God stand-out from?

In metaphysics it is possible to prove the non-fundamental nature of existence and thus of everything that exists. I think maybe you underestimate the power of logic and analysis.

You may also need to decouple Hell and God. Many atheists believe in Hell (or hell-realms) and many theists do not.

In the end your view is guesswork. You may find it comforting or useful but your reasoning does not get as far as settling the question of God's existence but rather just gives up on it. If you have in mind the most common forms of folk-theism then your argument may have some value but as soon as we move on to a sophisticated concept of God it misses the mark.

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    Both hell and God belongs to the metaphysics, and both are concepts that you know nothing of. Does that mean others can't have experience with them? No. Other people could(and there are so many cases) have experiences with things that you never experienced with, and that doesn't make their statements wrong or has to be explained in the known realm. Just like if you've never seen or touched a tiger flatworm, does that mean those organisms don't exist? No, it simply means you have no experience with them therefore you have no right to interpret their experience. – Fanger Nov 28 '17 at 0:49
  • @Fanger - What makes you think I've had no relevant experience, or that metaphysics does not answer these questions? You seem to be guilty of projection. – PeterJ Nov 28 '17 at 11:36
  • @Fanger The problem with your claim here is that it relies on testimonies of people and their experiences, which are incredibly unreliable. Even if the person giving the testimony is being truthful, an assumption far from justified, it is entirely possible that their "experience" is nothing more than a projection of what they believe they know over what is actually real. Many people of many faiths have claimed to experience a god or other spiritual being, when it must be that if one is real, none of the others are. – Dallas Crenshaw Dec 18 '17 at 23:25
  • @Dallas Crenshaw - I don't think it's possible to dismiss the entire Wisdom literature so easily. It becomes too difficult to explain the unanimity of reports and their equivalence. Of course, if we choose not to look through the telescope..., – PeterJ Dec 27 '17 at 13:28
  • @PeterJ It's not difficult at all to explain the "unanimity" of such reports. Religion is a moderately well constructed concept, so there's no surprise whatsoever that people of the same faith would believe they are seeing something similar. After all, they believe in the same deity. While some sects of a religion dispute specificities, all believe in the same basic being, and "sightings" usually are very simple. In principle, experiences of deities are quite a lot like sightings of Bigfoot. – Dallas Crenshaw Dec 28 '17 at 21:01

I hope this response answers your question, because I'm not certain I've understood it.

The existence or nonexistence of a thing is a purely scientific question. To assert that it is impossible to prove or disprove the existence of something is absurd with proper reasoning. Take the example of a teapot which orbits Earth but cannot be detected by any means. I can make the conjecture that it is there, and use the flawed reasoning of saying that the teapot absolutely must be real because you cannot prove that it is not real, and one of the main facets of its existence is its property to be undetectable by any means at any time. This does not mean, however, that you cannot prove that it does not exist. While you cannot get concrete and absolute evidence that my teapot is not real, you can say that there is absolutely no reasoning or evidence for such a teapot because of its property to be undetectable.

What I have taken a long-winded approach to saying is that you do not have to use this method to disprove the existence of a god, because the burden of proof does not lie with you. Just as you cannot say that my teapot does not exist, you cannot say that a god which is "mysterious" and undetectable does not exist. You never had to. It was the responsibility of whoever presented the conjecture that the teapot or god existed to prove it to be so.

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    You are construing "existence" too narrowly. When we go beyond everyday objects and such it becomes much more equivocal. Do good or beauty exist? does consciousness? does aleph one or energy, for that matter? If they do it is certainly not in the same sense as a teapot, and one can adopt conventions under which they do not exist and are just figures of speech. Those who believe in God often say that he does not exist in the same sense as the material world, so it may turn out that on their conventions about "God" and "exists" God does plausibly exist. – Conifold Nov 27 '17 at 1:45
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    No, all the atheism theories, primarily based on Darwinism, are incomplete and flawed(If you are against this go look up). A metaphysical being like God that exceeds matter, time and space cannot be proved in this world because it is limited to time matter and space. Also, current science is not sufficient enough to detect all the metaphysical, does that mean it doesn't exist? No, just because you and other atheists never experienced metaphysical doesn't mean it doesn't exist. In fact, having no experience in this field should limit the weight of your interpretation in this. – Fanger Nov 28 '17 at 0:41
  • @Fanger - Oddly, I would disagree. A metaphysical substance or phenomenon that transcends time and space can be proved, or at least the necessity for one, as many philosophers have shown, (Parmenides, Zeno, Kant, Nagarjuna, Hegel, Bradley and so forth). The question remains of whether this can rightly be called 'God', As you say this is unanswerable without direct knowledge, but against your view such knowledge is said to be possible by a great many people. , – PeterJ Nov 28 '17 at 13:02
  • @Conifold Good and beauty are all constructs of the mind. None of them truly exist. We have constructs under which many people can agree on the existence of such qualities, but those are completely subjective. If you want to speak of a god in that sense, then you absolutely have a point. Many people believe there is a god. But that does not answer the scientific question of existence, and I personally would not like to lead my life under the assumption that a figure of speech is an absolute being. – Dallas Crenshaw Dec 1 '17 at 0:09
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    Science may one day discover that there is some complicated physical correlate to good and beauty, we certainly can not decide this a priori from an armchair. And if people can agree on a construct it is not "completely" subjective, many constructs of science are of similar partly conventional nature. As for your personal preference concerning the use of concepts, you can not expect other people to be bound by it. – Conifold Dec 1 '17 at 0:16

I don't believe in the Christian/Judaic/Muslim god. Nor do I believe the universe was created five minutes ago.

However, my budding understanding of philosophy tells me that none of the above can be disproved. We have to accept the possibility that the universe is nothing but a computer program. And, as others have pointed out, there are different ways to define "God," some of which resonate with me.

But your reference to God was apparently just an example framed by your larger questions.

1. Is it possible to stay completely unbiased?

For all practical purposes, I think it's impossible for "normal people" to be unbiased. People who are into Eastern religion, meditation and the search for Nirvana might be capable of achieving such a state.

2. What is a good balance between the pursuit of truth and stay happy?

As a political activist, I learned long ago that truth can be a very painful thing. On there other hand, ignorance can be equally painful. So I pursue truth in the hope that I'll some day find some magic answer that will improve my lot (and hopefully help others at the same time).

As far as balance goes, most people need some form of escape from life's drama, and if you're constantly brooding about social injustice, war and climate change, you're probably acutely aware of the need for a respite.

So a good balance might be as simple as taking a break from philosophy and taking a walk, watching a movie, etc.

Of course, that's a practical answer, when you were probably searching for a more philosophical answer. One form of balance I find very helpful is humility - accepting the fact that a) there may be other options, and b) it's possible that the ultimate answer is beyond your comprehension.

For example, I've been doing some research on determinism, a belief that pretty much nixes free will. Some people believe we live in a deterministic universe and others don't.

Though some may not agree, it appears to be nearly impossible to prove it either way. So I'm resigned to the idea that a) there may not be an answer to this puzzle in my lifetime, and b) if some astro-physicist solves it, it could be beyond my understanding.

In the meantime, my biases prompt me to embrace free choice. I prefer to believe that free choice truly exists, even if there are nagging doubts in my mind that it could be an illusion.

  • That the universe is a computer program is as much as a myth as the Abrahmic religions you mention - where's the computer program it runs on? When Newtons star was in the ascendent, the universe was envisaged as a kind of clock, a Newtonian mechanism; now that computers are in the ascendent, this has changed to a computer program... – Mozibur Ullah Jan 27 '18 at 2:15
  • I don't believe the universe is a computer program. Nor do I believe it was created five minutes ago. But, according to the rules of philosophy, neither claim can be disproved. – David Blomstrom Jan 27 '18 at 2:55

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