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"Scientific" theories require proof, and there are certain guidelines and standards for the proofs to be acceptable to the "scientific" community in that domain (Algebra, Computer Science, etc.). Hence I am keen to know: What can suffice as a "scientific" proof for the existence of a monotheistic God? to what domain can such a proof belong to?

And Is "science" mature enough to come up with scientific instruments and methods that can assess such a proof as we are dealing with a thing which is supposedly more complex then the Atom which physicist are still struggling to understand ?

closed as not constructive by Joseph Weissman May 28 '13 at 20:41

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    Science has 'theories', not 'theorems'. The difference is that 'theories' are best explanations based in empirical observations (and therefore not 100% or absolutely correct) but 'theorems' are formal proofs what are 100% correct if premises are correct. Science uses math but it isn't math. – zaarcis Mar 8 '13 at 11:30
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    Which monotheistic god are we talking about here? Different god concepts require different burden of proofs. – k0pernikus Mar 9 '13 at 3:43
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What can suffice as a scientific proof for God:

Before you know how someone can prove a concept like a God you need a proper description of a God's nature. If a God is something beyond proper description with any of the concepts or properties that we can employ, a being that defies comprehension, it cannot be clear to even the believer what he believes, or whether his pious belief has any content at all. There has been no unanimity in human conceptions of the divine. There is little evidence of common consent here. On what possible grounds can it be asserted that these seemingly radically different concepts are, at bottom, the same concept? If there is a same concept, what it would take for an idea of the divine not to share in that same concept?

To a proof to be a scientific proof of a God it must cohere with our other beliefs, the scientific theories. It would be necessary that a God hypothesis would not be superfluous to explain and understand better the workings the world we observe. The God hypothesis may be challenged if it make no contribution to the predictive success of actual science.The history of science gives us reasons to be wary of committing ourselves to the existence of the unobservables postulated to explain observable phenomena. Since there are many ontologically incompatible yet empirically equivalent Gods, some ‘principle of privilege’ is required if we are to think that a God that we can have under consideration is the true God. How we can know that none of the other possible God's we have not considered until now is not better than the best that we have now? Obsolete Gods, which no longer have active adherents, are evidence that holy books are not so eternal.

Is the God you want to prove a necessary God? Of all possible proves, a deduction is the strategy that we would expect to be successful were there a necessary God. As there isn't a valid deduction of any non logical existence, we can conclude that there is no necessary God.

What domain can such a proof belong to?

The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence, but what can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The burden of proof lies upon a person making scientifically untestable claims. My or your inability to invalidate the existence of Zeus or an Hindu God or your imagination, is not at all the same thing as proving it true.

We do not have a priori disproof that many things do not exist, yet it is reasonable and justified to believe that they do not: flying pink unicorns are not real, there is no Santa Claus, a defendant is not guilty, a patient does not have a particular disease, so on. None of these achieve the level of deductive proof. Believing that something does not exist is reasonable even though no logical impossibility is manifest. Believing that something exist or even being agnostic about their existence on the basis of their mere possibility would not be justified.

Believers in a God don't want treating the hypothesis of a God as just one more scientific hypothesis, to be evaluated by the standards of science in particular and rational thought in general, their faith is quite beyond reason, not a matter to which such mundane methods of testing applies. But there is no evidence that a religious faith that rejects reason would also serve us while seeking truth. If faith is the only way to know the truth of a God, how are we to know which God to have faith in?

Final Words

Atheists just believe in one fewer god than the monotheistic believers. When monotheistic believers understand why they refuse all the other possible gods, they will understand why atheists reject the myth of them too. A religion rejects other religions precisely because they are faith-based, there is no evidence for them. One can't prove that a God doesn't exist, but science makes a God unnecessary.

  • -1(virtual) I dont wont to prove God . that was not my question. Question is not about any religion including the atheist religion – Ali Mar 8 '13 at 12:46
  • Your question "What can suffice as a scientific proof for God?" Your answer is in the first three paragraphs. – Annotations Mar 8 '13 at 12:57
  • You ended up to try to argue that there is no God. Only the first para is somewhat useful – Ali Mar 8 '13 at 12:59
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    No, I argue that science makes a God unnecessary. To a proof to be a proof of a God it must cohere with our other beliefs, the scientific theories. It would be necessary that a God hypothesis would not be superfluous to explain and understand better the workings the world we observe. The God hypothesis may be challenged if it make no contribution to the predictive success of actual science. – Annotations Mar 8 '13 at 13:01
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    Why is so much of your post in boldface? It makes it harder to read, and gives the impression that you're saying it rather forcefully. – Niel de Beaudrap Mar 8 '13 at 16:51
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The question is based on a mistaken assumption that scientific theories are "proven". They instead--to reach the level of "theory" rather than "hypothesis" or "speculation"--are heavily supported by relevant evidence. In particular, one expects both good direct evidence and a demonstration that every other somewhat plausible hypothesis fails to match at least some important fraction of that evidence. I recommend you read any decent account of the workings of the scientific method--Popper is perfectly fine for these purposes, for instance.

Anyway, all you need to have a God-existence-theory is really good evidence that God exists. For example, if we had really good evidence that God is infallible, honest, is good at and does communicate clearly, and that God wrote (or caused to be written) a faithfully-transcribed book, then if we get our hands on that book and read:

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation"...And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day....He also made the stars....fourth day

then we predict that since God said that stars were made after vegetation, all our physical evidence would be consistent with that. If we instead had extremely good evidence that stars are at least twenty times older than vegetation, and indeed that vegetation grows on the remnants of old exploded stars, we would consider this good evidence against at least one of our assumptions: that God exists, that He is truthful, that He is infallible, that He communicates clearly, that He wrote or caused the book to be written, that it was faithfully transcribed, etc. etc..

If the book instead said something about the next ten thousand years of high-energy gamma ray events at earth, and they turned out to be accurate, it would be very good evidence that something had an astounding ability to predict or produce high-energy gamma ray events; together with many other pieces of evidence this might render some entity deserving of the name God as the hypothesis that best fit all the data.

It is also formally possible that there could be a theorem that God exists (i.e. a logical/mathematical proof, and this really would be a proof), at least for a given axiomatic system. For example, you can color a 2D map using only four colors such that no two countries of the same color are adjacent. Unfortunately, most attempts at a proof so far have gone something like, "Let's assume knowledge is like this; and look, we can't have that sort of knowledge unless there is a God; and therefore, God!" when of course the other possibility is that a mistake was made in assuming what knowledge was.

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    @Ali Although I won't recommend not reading Popper, alternatively you could watch a scientist explain the scientific method in 40 seconds. If you have the time, you might want to see the clip from the beginning, but I linked to the key point. – user3164 Mar 8 '13 at 20:01
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God would first have to present itself in a way we could measure.

If God propose it is the creator of all things, God or its followers should provide compelling evidence on how this was done that could be peer reviewed and scrutinized by experts.

If God is omnipotent it could very easily do some miracles in a ordered way. Perhaps by making flawless predictions of events. God could change events of random patterns, say tossing a coin to always show heads for a long period of time. More drastic: God could make the moon stop for 3.14 seconds, just after announcing that this will happen by Gods will.

But note that the examples above all require God to help along in the effort. Scientist have no reason to invoke the magic of a surpreme being, on the contrary; science try to unveil any form of magic in its findings.

And so it is the part of 'God works in mysterious ways' that makes proof of God inaccessible to science.

  • see the edit to the question for clarification, And Is "science" mature enough to come up with scientific instruments and methods that can assess such a proof as we are dealing with a thing which is supposedly more complex then the Atom which physicist are still struggling to understand ? – Ali Mar 10 '13 at 9:07
  • One such struggle would be string theory. It looked so promising in the early years, but in order to get it mathematically sane; a string had to be shrunk down in size to such a scale it simply cannot be observed my any means we can imagine. It is our current knowledge our imagination that sets the limits here. Hence, while string theory still produces a lot of great math and other insights into symmetry, it is not really science anymore. So if God could only manifest itself on planck scale, then we could not prove the existence of God. Guess one could call that science being too immature. – Michael Viktor Starberg Mar 10 '13 at 10:21
  • But what is crucial here is that most religions describe Gods/God doing a lot more than interact on a planck scale. Catholics have hard time explaining transubstantiation to a chemist. Also, if the very same church applied rigerious scientific methods when declaring miracles and performing excorcism, you would find the number of saints and demons would drop to zero. – Michael Viktor Starberg Mar 10 '13 at 10:31
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What can suffice as a scientific proof for God? to what domain can such a proof belong to?

Would scientific proof be different then any other type of proof? What would constitute proof to you. 100 percent certainty or the best explanation for the evidence at hand? Even if you have proven the lack of evidence have you then proven God non existence? I do not think so.

Aquinas was a famous Christian who posited explanations to what characteristics the cause of a finite universe may have been. Now some have argued that his argument is based on a finite universe where it is in actuality infinite. That was a very prominent view in te early 20th century. Some have argued You can off course not assume a cause of the universe when their may have actually been none.

They are all theories and I hold that all of them are "evidence" in the broad sense of the word yet in all likelihood only one could constitute proof.

Also I find it curious why you would ask a question on whether science can prove God's existence in the philosophy section of a website and then even go on to label it as "Philosophy of religion"

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