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Thread: Why must theists prove god exists?

  1. Top | #11
    Cyborg with a Tiara
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Brown View Post
    God's a big boy and can demonstrate his own existence. Apologists are not needed.
    I would go so far as to say apologists reveal the paucity of any evidence by the fact of their trying.

    These are people who want to believe VERY MUCH but the evidence even they see is not enough to set them at ease. They keep searching for more and for validation.

    They cannot be accused of rejecting or avoiding or praying wrong - they want to believe very very much. But they demonstrate that they are not at peace and content with their belief. Very anxious to get a reason to believe.

  2. Top | #12
    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    I guess that believers want to feel that their belief is justified.

    If evidence is absent it becomes a matter of numbers...the more people that can be convinced that the belief is true, the greater the feeling of justification.

    "All these people believe that it is true, so it must be true."
    Yes. I mean, if we restrict the meaning of the word 'prove' in the OP to what we might call formal philosophical proof, then there may indeed be no particular widespread obsession among religious people for that. That particular obsession might be more of an atheist thing, even if it's a feature of some religious approaches too.

    But if we widen the definition to something less formal, something that might be described as you put it, justification (for the belief that god exists) then I think that is a widespread concern among the religious, by which I mostly mean Christians in the 'west'.

    In a way, how could it not be. Their beliefs are under fairly sustained attack, culturally-speaking. People are leaving, or not subscribing, in droves. Could that many people be doing that if god's existence was not being doubted by large numbers of not-already-atheist people?

  3. Top | #13
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    As to who is more interested/obsessed these days, I don't know. Both atheists and theists seem to be involved. I guess that when god's existence started to become widely questioned, both 'sides' took a big interest.
    This seems to me like a much more plausible claim.

  4. Top | #14
    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    To me it seems it is not us atheists they are trying to convince, they are really tying to convince themselves.
    Imo, this may be true in some cases to some extent. Depends on the Christian, and the context. The early church apologists, for example, may well have had as a priority the establishing of the credentials and respectability of their own particular and quite new woo-god formulation, to others I mean, not themselves.

    As to who is more interested/obsessed these days, I don't know. Both atheists and theists seem to be involved. I guess that when god's existence started to become widely questioned, both 'sides' took a big interest.
    This seems to me like a much more plausible claim.
    Online atheists do appear to be somewhat obsessed about it. I'll give you that. Possibly more than the average believer.

  5. Top | #15
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    I note that most believers don't give two shits about proving that God exists.....






    Watch out folks, poli is on the defensive........again.
    Oh? What, pray tell, am I defending? I don't agree with the OP, certainly. But neither do you, so the criticism seems a bit odd...

  6. Top | #16
    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    A litmus test for this might be a survey (informal or otherwise) of topics on an online religious discussion forum. It's been a while since I was on one, but from memory I don't think the question of, let alone proofs for, god's existence, came up as a topic anywhere near as often as on the atheist forums I've been on.

  7. Top | #17
    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Oh? What, pray tell, am I defending?
    I don't pray.

    But, what I was implying was that you were relying on a slightly narrow and formal definition of the word proof. Widen it a bit and I think your point would not be so true. See what I said to DBT just above.

  8. Top | #18
    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    This is to correct a Freudian slip I made a few posts ago:

    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    This seems to me like a much more plausible claim.
    Online atheists do appear to be somewhat obsessed about it. I'll give you that. Possibly more than the average believer.

  9. Top | #19
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post

    This seems to me like a much more plausible claim.
    Online atheists do appear to be somewhat obsessed about it. I'll give you that. Possibly less than the average believer.
    I realized long ago that online atheist communities, like any other sort of online religious community, are not a good populational representation. But I suspect the question of "proof" or lack thereof is pretty important to most people who self-identify as atheists. Would you agree?

  10. Top | #20
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Oh? What, pray tell, am I defending?
    I don't pray.

    But, what I was implying was that you were relying on a slightly narrow and formal definition of the word proof. Widen it a bit and I think your point would not be so true. See what I said to DBT just above.
    The OP is very specific though. They did not ask "Why do people, in general, defend their faiths?" Probably because that would sound stupid.

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