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Hiya!What if there is a powerful being out there, you know that guy in space, with magical powers knowing our thoughts? and if I become religious which religion should I join: Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism etc?

Is God real???
 
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I'm an atheist, but more so I study anthropology, which allow to get quite a view on a lot of religions and/or what people call spirituality in the modern era.

It's basically either a submission to a political order, or to a set of political orders, for religion. And for spirituality, disconnected, at least partially, from a clear set belief so we feel like having more freedom compared to the more religious people, act like an individual justification of our behaviour.

What is important to keep in mind is that everyone does that, even as an atheist, I'm kinda religious and kinda spiritual, because I defend a certain view of what would be a good societal order, and I have a set of values to help me in my decisions of the behaviour I have to engage in.

You can try to back them up with scientific knowledge, but in the end, science is always progressing, the society too, and we, as individuals, too. So we never quite keep with the time, more so because science cannot do it either.

So, through this point of view, heavely influenced by anthropology, the question would become: Are those religions actual? Or is the spirituality you're willing to embrace actual? In a way, yes, they're practiced, but at the same time, you'll see homophobia being justified by the sacred books. You could argue that it's a bad interpretation, but is it? Who are you to know what is a good interpretation? You better rewrite the book so there're no parts which allows people to interpret it in a way that they're willing to engage in a exclusion of a part of the society. But it doesn't mean you got it right either, you can just create a new parallel religion which will be actual with an expressed will, from a part of the population, to include gay and lesbian, and bi, into the society as equal. It will be nothing more.

This struggle clearly show that those religions are kinda stuck somewhere in the time. Buddhism was created within its own set of social struggle, tried give advice on how to live to fight back those struggle, and there're no gods in this religion, even if some buddhist movement kinda take the bodhidarmma as a god. So you'll see, again, some problem with most of the inclusive political movement of today, buddhism isn't feminist for example, not so much because they're explicitly sexist, but the struggle that women have so they can be heard, isn't discussed at all, and so oppression is kept intact.

This lack of plasticity has never really been a problem before, cause the tradition were oral, and people had hard to not reinterpret them related to the actual struggle. So religion were constantly changing through subversion, now that most people have their religion kinda set in stone while we live in a modern era where the pace is very high when you're willing to deal with social issues, and actually any issue. Gods and Goddesses are kinda dying, they're not able to keep the pace, religion wasn't meant for the modern times, and the modern times aren't made to last very long either, but that's another debate.

If we want to use power words, in the sense of magical words like if we had to cast a spell, I would do, relative to our times, cast this one: "If Gods and Goddesses are real, if there's a spiritual world, metaphysical truths, then I'll gladly deny them any entrance to our world." Now, you may want to keep the door open, and it may feel good for you, but time is kinda running out, and the time you loose to keep the door to a religion and/or to a spirituality, trying to see how they fit in the actual order, most of us will be away. A lot of religious people do go to the church without believing in God, even at medieval times, if this wasn't even more the case than now. Being religious is kinda being blind to the time which never stop going forward, it's to rest.

Now I'm not against rest, but if, in your rest, you learn things which clashes with your way of acting, with some of your belief, this rest is finally not a rest. If you still want to do that, but it's very individualistic, kinda like stoicism, buddhism can be good cause you have to meditate. Meditation allows you to take rest and at the same time, to take a grasp on your emotions, that's good for your health actually, even science isn't denying that. But I wouldn't listen to the teachings, to me, it was boring and laughable to say the least.

If before religion was not only to connect with your self, but with the society you were in, which is too, constructing your self. The very fact that you express the choice of religion like a food menu, means that our society don't rely anymore on religion to build the self. Religion left us, and we left the religions. To have such a distance with religion, is something completely new for the religions themselves, they were never meant to be on a food menu, all their usefulness is dying.

It won't connect you to this society, and your self hasn't been built by one religion but by a far more complex set of ideologies, you better consider all religion and ideologies from afar, as you're not meant for any of those, your origins aren't there, in one religion, your origins are social and many. Consider them before going forward, some time, but then go forward, and when you need some rest, meditate or look at your social origins, then again, continue to go forward, keep discovering, keep giving what you can to others. Don't stuck yourself too much with those questions.

God is real if you were meant to want it, to be real.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I'm an atheist, but more so I study anthropology, which allow to get quite a view on a lot of religions and/or what people call spirituality in the modern era.

It's basically either a submission to a political order, or to a set of political orders, for religion. And for spirituality, disconnected, at least partially, from a clear set belief so we feel like having more freedom compared to the more religious people, act like an individual justification of our behaviour.

What is important to keep in mind is that everyone does that, even as an atheist, I'm kinda religious and kinda spiritual, because I defend a certain view of what would be a good societal order, and I have a set of values to help me in my decisions of the behaviour I have to engage in.

You can try to back them up with scientific knowledge, but in the end, science is always progressing, the society too, and we, as individuals, too. So we never quite keep with the time, more so because science cannot do it either.

So, through this point of view, heavely influenced by anthropology, the question would become: Are those religions actual? Or is the spirituality you're willing to embrace actual? In a way, yes, they're practiced, but at the same time, you'll see homophobia being justified by the sacred books. You could argue that it's a bad interpretation, but is it? Who are you to know what is a good interpretation? You better rewrite the book so there're no parts which allows people to interpret it in a way that they're willing to engage in a exclusion of a part of the society. But it doesn't mean you got it right either, you can just create a new parallel religion which will be actual with an expressed will, from a part of the population, to include gay and lesbian, and bi, into the society as equal. It will be nothing more.

This struggle clearly show that those religions are kinda stuck somewhere in the time. Buddhism was created within its own set of social struggle, tried give advice on how to live to fight back those struggle, and there're no gods in this religion, even if some buddhist movement kinda take the bodhidarmma as a god. So you'll see, again, some problem with most of the inclusive political movement of today, buddhism isn't feminist for example, not so much because they're explicitly sexist, but the struggle that women have so they can be heard, isn't discussed at all, and so oppression is kept intact.

This lack of plasticity has never really been a problem before, cause the tradition were oral, and people had hard to not reinterpret them related to the actual struggle. So religion were constantly changing through subversion, now that most people have their religion kinda set in stone while we live in a modern era where the pace is very high when you're willing to deal with social issues, and actually any issue. Gods and Goddesses are kinda dying, they're not able to keep the pace, religion wasn't meant for the modern times, and the modern times aren't made to last very long either, but that's another debate.

If we want to use power words, in the sense of magical words like if we had to cast a spell, I would do, relative to our times, cast this one: "If Gods and Goddesses are real, if there's a spiritual world, metaphysical truths, then I'll gladly deny them any entrance to our world." Now, you may want to keep the door open, and it may feel good for you, but time is kinda running out, and the time you loose to keep the door to a religion and/or to a spirituality, trying to see how they fit in the actual order, most of us will be away. A lot of religious people do go to the church without believing in God, even at medieval times, if this wasn't even more the case than now. Being religious is kinda being blind to the time which never stop going forward, it's to rest.

Now I'm not against rest, but if, in your rest, you learn things which clashes with your way of acting, with some of your belief, this rest is finally not a rest. If you still want to do that, but it's very individualistic, kinda like stoicism, buddhism can be good cause you have to meditate. Meditation allows you to take rest and at the same time, to take a grasp on your emotions, that's good for your health actually, even science isn't denying that. But I wouldn't listen to the teachings, to me, it was boring and laughable to say the least.

If before religion was not only to connect with your self, but with the society you were in, which is too, constructing your self. The very fact that you express the choice of religion like a food menu, means that our society don't rely anymore on religion to build the self. Religion left us, and we left the religions. To have such a distance with religion, is something completely new for the religions themselves, they were never meant to be on a food menu, all their usefulness is dying.

It won't connect you to this society, and your self hasn't been built by one religion but by a far more complex set of ideologies, you better consider all religion and ideologies from afar, as you're not meant for any of those, your origins aren't there, in one religion, your origins are social and many. Consider them before going forward, some time, but then go forward, and when you need some rest, meditate or look at your social origins, then again, continue to go forward, keep discovering, keep giving what you can to others. Don't stuck yourself too much with those questions.

God is real if you were meant to want it, to be real.
Whoa! that's quite intense and high in detail. anyways love ya. I think I'll stay agnostic. There's more to be discovered with the launch of the new James Webb Space Telescope in upcoming 2021.
 

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I'm an atheist, but more so I study anthropology, which allow to get quite a view on a lot of religions and/or what people call spirituality in the modern era.

It's basically either a submission to a political order, or to a set of political orders, for religion. And for spirituality, disconnected, at least partially, from a clear set belief so we feel like having more freedom compared to the more religious people, act like an individual justification of our behaviour.

What is important to keep in mind is that everyone does that, even as an atheist, I'm kinda religious and kinda spiritual, because I defend a certain view of what would be a good societal order, and I have a set of values to help me in my decisions of the behaviour I have to engage in.

You can try to back them up with scientific knowledge, but in the end, science is always progressing, the society too, and we, as individuals, too. So we never quite keep with the time, more so because science cannot do it either.

So, through this point of view, heavely influenced by anthropology, the question would become: Are those religions actual? Or is the spirituality you're willing to embrace actual? In a way, yes, they're practiced, but at the same time, you'll see homophobia being justified by the sacred books. You could argue that it's a bad interpretation, but is it? Who are you to know what is a good interpretation? You better rewrite the book so there're no parts which allows people to interpret it in a way that they're willing to engage in a exclusion of a part of the society. But it doesn't mean you got it right either, you can just create a new parallel religion which will be actual with an expressed will, from a part of the population, to include gay and lesbian, and bi, into the society as equal. It will be nothing more.

This struggle clearly show that those religions are kinda stuck somewhere in the time. Buddhism was created within its own set of social struggle, tried give advice on how to live to fight back those struggle, and there're no gods in this religion, even if some buddhist movement kinda take the bodhidarmma as a god. So you'll see, again, some problem with most of the inclusive political movement of today, buddhism isn't feminist for example, not so much because they're explicitly sexist, but the struggle that women have so they can be heard, isn't discussed at all, and so oppression is kept intact.

This lack of plasticity has never really been a problem before, cause the tradition were oral, and people had hard to not reinterpret them related to the actual struggle. So religion were constantly changing through subversion, now that most people have their religion kinda set in stone while we live in a modern era where the pace is very high when you're willing to deal with social issues, and actually any issue. Gods and Goddesses are kinda dying, they're not able to keep the pace, religion wasn't meant for the modern times, and the modern times aren't made to last very long either, but that's another debate.

If we want to use power words, in the sense of magical words like if we had to cast a spell, I would do, relative to our times, cast this one: "If Gods and Goddesses are real, if there's a spiritual world, metaphysical truths, then I'll gladly deny them any entrance to our world." Now, you may want to keep the door open, and it may feel good for you, but time is kinda running out, and the time you loose to keep the door to a religion and/or to a spirituality, trying to see how they fit in the actual order, most of us will be away. A lot of religious people do go to the church without believing in God, even at medieval times, if this wasn't even more the case than now. Being religious is kinda being blind to the time which never stop going forward, it's to rest.

Now I'm not against rest, but if, in your rest, you learn things which clashes with your way of acting, with some of your belief, this rest is finally not a rest. If you still want to do that, but it's very individualistic, kinda like stoicism, buddhism can be good cause you have to meditate. Meditation allows you to take rest and at the same time, to take a grasp on your emotions, that's good for your health actually, even science isn't denying that. But I wouldn't listen to the teachings, to me, it was boring and laughable to say the least.

If before religion was not only to connect with your self, but with the society you were in, which is too, constructing your self. The very fact that you express the choice of religion like a food menu, means that our society don't rely anymore on religion to build the self. Religion left us, and we left the religions. To have such a distance with religion, is something completely new for the religions themselves, they were never meant to be on a food menu, all their usefulness is dying.

It won't connect you to this society, and your self hasn't been built by one religion but by a far more complex set of ideologies, you better consider all religion and ideologies from afar, as you're not meant for any of those, your origins aren't there, in one religion, your origins are social and many. Consider them before going forward, some time, but then go forward, and when you need some rest, meditate or look at your social origins, then again, continue to go forward, keep discovering, keep giving what you can to others. Don't stuck yourself too much with those questions.

God is real if you were meant to want it, to be real.
What a load of word salad bullshit, you explaining why religion is and came to be is nothing more important than religion explaining why someone like you exists and came to be
 

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god exists, it is not what you conceptualise it to be.
he? she?
how can one assign gender to god? to make it communicable to humans we might assign it a gender but the construct as it exists in reality is agender, and perhaps even beyond that concept entirely.
does god care what you do with your life? yes and no, it is both at once.
does god know what you will do? always
can you anger god? never
is any action you perform in conflict with god? no, both the left and right operate to the will of god.
lucifer only falls at the behest of god's will. you get it?

i mean shit the best way to explain this shit is via the force from star wars tbh.
the force is both the light and dark side, it is the will of the galaxy, it's two halves are constants as they are it's whole self.
nothing occurs in star wars that is not according to the will of the force on either side.
the sith operate to the will of self, the jedi operate to the will of the collective.
the self is required to shape the collective, the collective is required to regulate the self.
all are dictated to by the force.
one does not become a sith by choice, they were preordained to become a sith in an attempt to escape their own determinism.
one does not become a jedi by choice, they were preordained to become a jedi in an attempt to accelerate their own determinism.
the force does not care for either, the force is only concerned with finding balance in time, whatever that is, and so uses the light and dark side practitioners as tools to that end.

same thing happens here.
god makes people love, god makes people hate, everyone has a script to play out and even rejecting said script is a part of the script.
is it malicious? unlikely, one wouldn't have capacity for mysticism then.
what is the higher purpose? no one would agree on it anyway so best to keep going and find it by virtue of our design, every piece matters in the design of anything afterall, nothing is superfluous.
can the dark side be accepted in full? unlikely, but it shall remain a constant as the collective requires regular testing by the will of the self.
and so we go, on and on.

as for what religion to join, well, no one has the full picture, everyone only has pieces of it.
 

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Someone must either provide logical or scientific proof for the existence of God for any reasonable person to begin believing in it/her/him.

Scientific proof cannot be provided for something supernatural. No known metric allows us to investigate the supernatural.
Some people might say that it's ignorant to remain so invested in the scientific method, that it's not very open minded, yadda yadda.
Ask these people, 'If not science, then what?'

There is no better tool for understanding the nature of the Universe, regardless of how much these people pretend there is.

Logical proofs are usually quite easy to see the flaws in.

The most important thing is to recognise what people can and cannot know and that you do not have to prove them wrong, they have to prove that they are right.
It is their burden of proof to provide evidence for their beliefs.

The null hypothesis is that X does not exist. The claim is that X does exist, therefore the claimant must provide evidence that X exists.

They might try to fight you on this and claim that it isn't their burden of proof, but then they are setting a precedent for hundreds of other faulty beliefs to be on equal footing with the existence of God.

Also, bear in mind that the most reasonable Atheistic position is 'Weak Atheism'. This does not say that God definitely does not exist, but that God has not been proven to exist by Theists and as such we do not believe that the assertion that God exists is true.

I do not believe that God exists =/= I believe that God does not exist.

People will make a lot of claims about God, but will rarely (I have never seen it so I'm being generous) give reasonable explanations for why they believe those claims to be true when you ask them.
'Why' is the worst question you can ask a Theist because it reveals the faultiness of their assertions.

Keep your standard of evidence reasonably high and your logical reasoning sound. You'll have your answer in no time.
 

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Hiya!What if there is a powerful being out there, you know that guy in space, with magical powers knowing our thoughts? and if I become religious which religion should I join: Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism etc?

Is God real???
That sounds kind of like some theories on extraterrestrials. : / And I don't think anyone knows if they exist, and certainly not whether they are telepathic.

But as for your spiritual desire. If you feel like you need to learn about spirituality I would suggest you begin reading about the major religions, unless you know that there is one religious/spiritual belief that seems most interesting and good to you, then just start there.

Depends on what you need religion for.

How am I supposed to know if God is real. I do believe that sometimes believing in God/Goddess can be psychologically helpful. I'm not interested in proving other people's gods/goddesses don't exist or forcing them to believe in one.
 

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What a load of word salad bullshit, you explaining why religion is and came to be is nothing more important than religion explaining why someone like you exists and came to be
I don't know how you see existence and being, if it's on the level of metaphysical truth like for most of religions and/or any essentialist view, but if it's on a constructivist view, so the view we have on existence is actually a social construction, yeah you sum it up pretty well. Religion is just like any speech which has the goal, directly or indirectly, to justify how things seems to be by actually creating a set of idea allowing us to see like they say it is. And introducing a logic or more which link those created perceptions of the world further down the road, we feel like our perceptions of the world are actually intentional, an intention above humanity. It feels like there has to be a logic behind all this, which can't be proven and will never be, but actually there're intentions, but human ones, or to be more precise, social ones.

So in conclusion, religions and ideologies and any speech on the world, is a social construction with a social intention embedded in it which is above you as an individual, but not above us as a society. But generalisation coming from our intuitions and feelings, and the generalisations being the rationalisation of them, are so common in the life of an individual, that it's no wonder that we want to see like it's more than just a individual thing or a social one. So it has to be a divine or a spiritual thing, an universal truth, but again you won't be able to prove it, that's what is universal objectivity, a speech which speak to your intuition. We build objectivity, universality, intuition and feelings, none of them are given, they're all social constructions. That's the constructivist point of view.

And then we should talk about the materialist point of view, because a pure constructivist view has its bias too. But for another time.
 

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Someone must either provide logical or scientific proof for the existence of God for any reasonable person to begin believing in it/her/him.

Scientific proof cannot be provided for something supernatural. No known metric allows us to investigate the supernatural.
Some people might say that it's ignorant to remain so invested in the scientific method, that it's not very open minded, yadda yadda.
Ask these people, 'If not science, then what?'

There is no better tool for understanding the nature of the Universe, regardless of how much these people pretend there is.

Logical proofs are usually quite easy to see the flaws in.

The most important thing is to recognise what people can and cannot know and that you do not have to prove them wrong, they have to prove that they are right.
It is their burden of proof to provide evidence for their beliefs.

The null hypothesis is that X does not exist. The claim is that X does exist, therefore the claimant must provide evidence that X exists.

They might try to fight you on this and claim that it isn't their burden of proof, but then they are setting a precedent for hundreds of other faulty beliefs to be on equal footing with the existence of God.

Also, bear in mind that the most reasonable Atheistic position is 'Weak Atheism'. This does not say that God definitely does not exist, but that God has not been proven to exist by Theists and as such we do not believe that the assertion that God exists is true.

I do not believe that God exists =/= I believe that God does not exist.

People will make a lot of claims about God, but will rarely (I have never seen it so I'm being generous) give reasonable explanations for why they believe those claims to be true when you ask them.
'Why' is the worst question you can ask a Theist because it reveals the faultiness of their assertions.

Keep your standard of evidence reasonably high and your logical reasoning sound. You'll have your answer in no time.
Technically that's a claim that you can't back up with either of those things.

I mean, you admit to making a category error but then try to justify it with "fuck it, it's the best we have." which doesn't seem very reasonable at all. But I think we can just point out the contradictions in naturalism as proof. As well as the unproven things that it asserts.

Can you tell me how scientific understanding gets around solipsism?

Is this a conclusion you came to logically.....?

Well you've made a bunch of claims that you haven't backed up and don't you think it's much easier to sit there and judge other peoples arguments and write them off cause you're personally unconvinced then it is to come up with your own? The former doesn't seem like an honest way to have a conversation.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Also what if we have no proof either way? Abiogenesis is true but also not true? Btw it's very easy to phrase a positive as a negative and vice-versa so....

The burden of proof literally just means you have to give reasons why you believe something to be true, it doesn't have to convince the other person, that would just be silly.

That's a claim and again, you being unconvinced isn't the metric for something not being proof. I'm confused, do you believe there isn't a God, or are you just on the fence?

Again with this point, also the problem with that is from what I've seen of atheists they will insist it's not God but will entertain any other theory, no matter how lacking in proof. I've also seen atheists rule out God for being "irrational" but then when I ask them what a reasonable explanation would look like they can't tell me.
 

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Technically that's a claim that you can't back up with either of those things.

I mean, you admit to making a category error but then try to justify it with "fuck it, it's the best we have." which doesn't seem very reasonable at all. But I think we can just point out the contradictions in naturalism as proof. As well as the unproven things that it asserts.

Can you tell me how scientific understanding gets around solipsism?

Is this a conclusion you came to logically.....?

Well you've made a bunch of claims that you haven't backed up and don't you think it's much easier to sit there and judge other peoples arguments and write them off cause you're personally unconvinced then it is to come up with your own? The former doesn't seem like an honest way to have a conversation.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Also what if we have no proof either way? Abiogenesis is true but also not true? Btw it's very easy to phrase a positive as a negative and vice-versa so....

The burden of proof literally just means you have to give reasons why you believe something to be true, it doesn't have to convince the other person, that would just be silly.

That's a claim and again, you being unconvinced isn't the metric for something not being proof. I'm confused, do you believe there isn't a God, or are you just on the fence?

Again with this point, also the problem with that is from what I've seen of atheists they will insist it's not God but will entertain any other theory, no matter how lacking in proof. I've also seen atheists rule out God for being "irrational" but then when I ask them what a reasonable explanation would look like they can't tell me.
The answer "We don't know." Is perfectly fine. Solipsism? We dont know. It's a known problem. Science doesn't claim to even be able to understand everything. It can't investigate the supernatural for instance, but if someone isn't going to use scientific evidence to prove that God exists then they need to use some other system and justify why that system works.

If Science isn't the best we have then what is, and if there isn't anything else that you can point to as being better then why would you believe anything else?
It isn't a category error to claim that one way of investigating the world provides consistently better results and gets more right than any other method. It is only a category error if someone is claiming to believe in a God which doesn't interact with physical reality at all. If God interacts with physical reality then those actions fall under the purview of scientific investigation. It is not the fault of science if those interactions with reality happened 2000 years ago, were not subjected to testing at the time and were only recorded by people hearing eye witness statements a generation after the fact, for example.

You write off other people's arguments if they are making unsubstantiated claims as though they were substantiated. I have made my claims about religion and God, the answer that I have come to is that I don't know if God exists and I am very interested to see how those who do believe he/she/it exists have come to that conclusion. This isn't me just writing off their claims and not coming up with my own.

I have my own claims and I can substantiate them by pointing out the flaws in every other view.
I don't deal in absolutes, it is just a question
of what is the most reasonable position to hold.

The view 'We dont know.' can only be substantiated by pointing out flaws in supposed explanations.

When it comes to convincing the other person I was speaking in terms of OP going and having conversations. These people need to meet his burden of proof to convince him.

We don't need to give 'reasonable' explanations in order to show that another explanation is unreasonable. We just need to show that the argument is unreasonable even if we dont replace it with our own explanation.

You saw Bigfoot flying around the sun on a Unicorn through your telescope?
Even though we know that Unicorns and big foot haven't been proven to exist?

There might be more reasonable explanations that I can point to, you can probably think of some, but if I dont point to them does that mean that my reasons for why your explanation is unreasonable are null and void?

Notice that you have tried to shoot down my reasons for why I believe what I believe and haven't yet replaced it with why you believe what you believe. Does this mean that you are taking the easy road like you have accused me of doing? Or is this just how these kinds of conversations work? I make a claim, you argue against the claim, I defend the claim or admit that I am wrong, then ask you to make a claim, etc. ?

It is easy to phrase a positive as a negative, that's why the concept of a null hypothesis exists, isn't it?

I can logically back up everything I have said above I just have to know the arguments that are being presented against what I have said before I do.
 

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Decide for yourself, whose arguments are more convincing:

https://markhumphrys.com/atheism.arguments.html
https://www.conservapedia.com/Arguments_for_the_existence_of_God

Personally at 34 I still find it difficult to decide whether I should believe in God or not. If there is a God, I don't thing he is a specific human-centred deity like Jesus, Allah, Odin or Zeus. I find it way easier to believe in a Cosmic Mind, who started the Universe but doesn't care about individual beings.

Finally, disbelieving in a personal God shouldn't lead you to reject Christian morality. I like the following upshot by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (the first man to design a spaceship):

There is no omnipotent God, but there is the Universe, which governs the fates of all celestial bodies and their inhabitants. There are no sons of God, but there are mature and thus rational and perfect sons of the Cosmos. There is no Christ, but there is a brilliant man and a greater teacher of mankind.
 

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The answer "We don't know." Is perfectly fine. Solipsism? We dont know. It's a known problem. Science doesn't claim to even be able to understand everything. It can't investigate the supernatural for instance, but if someone isn't going to use scientific evidence to prove that God exists then they need to use some other system and justify why that system works.

If Science isn't the best we have then what is, and if there isn't anything else that you can point to as being better then why would you believe anything else?
It isn't a category error to claim that one way of investigating the world provides consistently better results and gets more right than any other method. It is only a category error if someone is claiming to believe in a God which doesn't interact with physical reality at all. If God interacts with physical reality then those actions fall under the purview of scientific investigation. It is not the fault of science if those interactions with reality happened 2000 years ago, were not subjected to testing at the time and were only recorded by people hearing eye witness statements a generation after the fact, for example.

You write off other people's arguments if they are making unsubstantiated claims as though they were substantiated. I have made my claims about religion and God, the answer that I have come to is that I don't know if God exists and I am very interested to see how those who do believe he/she/it exists have come to that conclusion. This isn't me just writing off their claims and not coming up with my own.

I have my own claims and I can substantiate them by pointing out the flaws in every other view.
I don't deal in absolutes, it is just a question
of what is the most reasonable position to hold.

The view 'We dont know.' can only be substantiated by pointing out flaws in supposed explanations.

When it comes to convincing the other person I was speaking in terms of OP going and having conversations. These people need to meet his burden of proof to convince him.

We don't need to give 'reasonable' explanations in order to show that another explanation is unreasonable. We just need to show that the argument is unreasonable even if we dont replace it with our own explanation.

You saw Bigfoot flying around the sun on a Unicorn through your telescope?
Even though we know that Unicorns and big foot haven't been proven to exist?

There might be more reasonable explanations that I can point to, you can probably think of some, but if I dont point to them does that mean that my reasons for why your explanation is unreasonable are null and void?

Notice that you have tried to shoot down my reasons for why I believe what I believe and haven't yet replaced it with why you believe what you believe. Does this mean that you are taking the easy road like you have accused me of doing? Or is this just how these kinds of conversations work? I make a claim, you argue against the claim, I defend the claim or admit that I am wrong, then ask you to make a claim, etc. ?

It is easy to phrase a positive as a negative, that's why the concept of a null hypothesis exists, isn't it?

I can logically back up everything I have said above I just have to know the arguments that are being presented against what I have said before I do.
That's a non-answer, and you can't make assertions and then say "we don't know" Logic and reason is a better system. Are you familiar with what solipsism is?

X is the best method we have isn't a good argument for X being true or even reliable. How is that true if there's a good chance that we may just be in a simulation or something like that? If we are then everything we know about science is worthless. There's no way to know we're not and no reason to think what we experience is real. Not really, miracles tend to be unfalsifiable so people just assume they're untrue. Most conceptions of God is that he is timeless, spaceless, and immaterial. So yes, it's a category error.

It kind of is though, you seem to be arguing more against a God here due to the supposed lack of evidence. Well then what would you think the explanation is? What would a reasonable explanation look like? Cause I'm not seeing what metric you're using to gauge what constitutes as rational or irrational.

That's not really how the burden of proof works though, it's not a subjective thing. I think I see what you're saying but to say someone hasn't been convinced by what you say therefore you haven't met your burden of proof is incorrect (assuming that's what you're saying).

That's true if you have a rubric for what is and isn't irrational, but we don't when it comes to how we got here so it has no leg to stand on in this instance.

I'm confused as to how you're defining proof here. What's the difference between if you just saw it as opposed to everyone seeing it?

Yes, because they're one in the same.

No, I have my reasons, I just haven't mentioned them to you yet.

I don't think you're understanding here. The null hypothesis could be life can only come from life is false, it could also be life can't come from non-life. One of these has to be true but they would both be the null hypothesis. I think absence of evidence is not evidence of absence works better.

Didn't you previously argue that logical reasoning is flawed?
 

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That's a non-answer, and you can't make assertions and then say "we don't know" Logic and reason is a better system. Are you familiar with what solipsism is?
I can absolutely say that it is unreasonable to believe that you saw Big Foot flying on a Unicorn through the telescope, but that I don't know what you did see.
If you are making the claim that X is real then you have to provide evidence for X.
If I say that your evidence for why X is real is faulty I do not then have to say that Y is real instead for my reasons for why your evidence is faulty to have any credibility.


Think about it in terms of a court of law. When the prosecution makes their argument for why the defendant is guilty and then the defence argues against the prosecutions claims, does the defence also HAVE to provide a different course of events in order for their refutations to be considered?


Of course not. I'm not sure where you have got this idea from but it is completely wrong and isn't how basic logic works.


X is the best method we have isn't a good argument for X being true or even reliable. How is that true if there's a good chance that we may just be in a simulation or something like that? If we are then everything we know about science is worthless. There's no way to know we're not and no reason to think what we experience is real. Not really, miracles tend to be unfalsifiable so people just assume they're untrue. Most conceptions of God is that he is timeless, spaceless, and immaterial. So yes, it's a category error.
You didn't ask me to prove why Science is reliable. You stated that Science can't be applied to God claims. The reliability of science is proven every single day whenever you use a computer, get in a car, or stand in a structure which isn't blown over by a strong gale.


People in your position always tend to fall back on the Solipsism argument in these kinds of conversations as though it is a 'gotcha' for the scientific method, when in reality it is a 'gotcha' for everything. Every worldview, every system for analysing the world, it reduces everything to meaninglessness.
Let's say that Science isn't worth anything because if we throw physical reality out of the window then it's not really describing or analysing anything.


Does that sound like an honest position to argue from? Sure, if you want to walk away from this conversation thinking that you have the better position because if Solipsism is real then science isn't worth anything, that's fine.
Meanwhile, Scientists and philosophers will continue to work under the assumption that reality is real, that other people are real, and that actions have consequences and that beliefs inform actions.

Yes, God may be timeless and spaceless, but if that God interacts with the physical Universe in any way then that falls under the purview of scientific inquiry.
So when Theists claim that God flooded the world as evidence for Gods existence and Geologists can see no evidence of a worldwide flood, it isn't a category error to want Scientific evidence for the existence of God.
If you are talking about a Deistic conception of God then that would be where logical proofs are more applicable like the cosmological argument.

If God interacts with physical reality then Scientific inquiry is applicable. Not a category error.




It kind of is though, you seem to be arguing more against a God here due to the supposed lack of evidence. Well then what would you think the explanation is? What would a reasonable explanation look like? Cause I'm not seeing what metric you're using to gauge what constitutes as rational or irrational.
The metric(s) that I am using is either a logical syllogism which is internally consistent and matches the current scientific understanding of the outside world or a body of scientifically verified facts which all point towards one conclusion to the exclusion of any other.

I do not have to provide an alternative explanation and any other explanation would be irrelevant unless stating that explanation is a requirement of disproving the Theistic explanation.

As in - "The world was created by God 6000 years ago because the Bible says so." - "That's incorrect because we know that the Earth formed 4.5 Billion years ago because of scientific facts X, Y and Z."


That's not really how the burden of proof works though, it's not a subjective thing. I think I see what you're saying but to say someone hasn't been convinced by what you say therefore hasn't met their burden of proof is incorrect (assuming that's what you're saying).
OP is (possibly) going to go and have conversations with Theists, or listen to their arguments.
I stated that he should have a reasonable burden of proof that they need to meet before he believes what they are saying to be true. The burden of proof isn't a set standard, if it isn't subjective then what is the objective burden of proof standard? How could there be an objective standard for the burden of proof? Even in law it isn't an objective thing.


For me, if someone could provide one scientifically verifiable fact which necessarily entailed the existence of a God or one logical syllogism which was flawless in demonstrating that a God must logically exist then that would be enough proof for me to believe.


That's true if you have a rubric for what is and isn't irrational, but we don't when it comes to how we got here so it has no leg to stand on in this instance.
You're wrong about this for the same reason that you are wrong about needing to have an alternate explanation to say that someone is wrong about something.


What is rational comports with the facts, what is irrational does not.


I'm confused as to how you're defining proof here. What's the difference between if you just saw it as opposed to everyone seeing it?
The more people who see it, the less reasonable it is to believe that there was a group hallucination, but just because lots of people saw something doesn't necessarily mean that what they believe they saw is accurate, there are other factors to consider.


Yes, because they're one in the same.
Explained above.


No, I have my reasons, I just haven't mentioned them to you yet.
Exactly my point. So in your first reply when you said:


"Well you've made a bunch of claims that you haven't backed up and don't you think it's much easier to sit there and judge other peoples arguments and write them off cause you're personally unconvinced then it is to come up with your own? The former doesn't seem like an honest way to have a conversation."


You assumed that I didn't have my own reasons. Now you see that your own reasons come out when you are asked to defend them (if you feel it is relevant, which I don't).


I don't think you're understanding here. The null hypothesis could be life can only come from life is false, it could also be life can't come from non-life. One of these has to be true but they would both be the null hypothesis. I think absence of evidence is not evidence of absence works better.
Ah I see, I think I took the null hypothesis too much at face value.

Is it the job of the person who claims that God exists to provide evidence for their belief?
If someone is not convinced by that supposed evidence then what is their job?
Do they have to defend why they are not convinced, or do they have to provide an alternate explanation? If so, why?


Also, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, except where evidence would be expected to be found.


Given that apologists have been trying to provide evidence of the existence of God for 2000 years and not a single bit of evidence has been provided.


Didn't you previously argue that logical reasoning is flawed?
When I said that 'Logical proofs are quite easy to see the flaws in?' I think it was quite obvious that I meant supposed logical proofs for the existence of God.


I have also said:


"Someone must either provide logical or scientific proof"
"Keep your ... logical reasoning sound."
"I can logically back up everything I have said above"


Are you being charitable? Or are you cherry picking parts of what I say which could be interpreted to look like I'm saying something else?
 

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the proof for god existing btw is you.
you are it.
by the numbers, by all accounts of probability, it is more likely that god exists than you exist as you do in current.
you can search for the probabilities yourself no doubt.
yet you exist to choose to make the search or not, in stark defiance of the numbers that will or won't be viewed.
 

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the proof for god existing btw is you.
you are it.
by the numbers, by all accounts of probability, it is more likely that god exists than you exist as you do in current.
you can search for the probabilities yourself no doubt.
yet you exist to choose to make the search or not, in stark defiance of the numbers that will or won't be viewed.
Metaxas:

Astrophysicists now know that the values of the four fundamental forces—gravity, the electromagnetic force, and the “strong” and “weak” nuclear forces—were determined less than one millionth of a second after the big bang. Alter any one value and the universe could not exist. For instance, if the ratio between the nuclear strong force and the electromagnetic force had been off by the tiniest fraction of the tiniest fraction—by even one part in 100,000,000,000,000,000—then no stars could have ever formed at all. Feel free to gulp.
Lawrence Krauss:

It is true that a small change in the strength of the four known forces (but nowhere near as small as Metaxas argues) would imply that stable protons and neutrons, the basis of atomic nuclei, might not exist. (The universe, however, would—a rather large error in the Metaxas piece.) This is old news and, while it’s an interesting fact, it certainly does not require a deity.

Once again, it likely confuses cause and effect. The constants of the universe indeed allow the existence of life as we know it. However, it is much more likely that life is tuned to the universe rather than the other way around. We survive on Earth in part because Earth’s gravity keeps us from floating off. But the strength of gravity selects a planet like Earth, among the variety of planets, to be habitable for life forms like us. Reversing the sense of cause and effect in this statement, as Metaxas does in cosmology, is like saying that it’s a miracle that everyone’s legs are exactly long enough to reach the ground.


In fact, one of the most severe apparent fine tunings often referred to by creationists like Metaxas is that of the so-called cosmological constant, the energy of empty space that has recently been discovered to be causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate over time. It remains one of the biggest mysteries in physics, as it appears to be over a hundred and twenty orders of magnitude smaller than our theories suggest it could be. And if it were as large as the theories suggest it should be, then galaxies, stars, and planets would never have formed.


Is this a clear example of design? Of course not. If it were zero, which would be “natural” from a theoretical perspective, the universe would in fact be more hospitable to life. If the cosmological constant were different, perhaps vastly different kinds of life might have arisen. Moreover, arguing that God exists because many cosmic mysteries remain is intellectually lazy in the extreme. The more we understand the universe, the more remarkable it appears to be. Exploring how this remarkable diversity can arise by potentially simple laws has been one of the most successful, and intellectually beautiful, efforts in human history.
The mistake made by the author is akin to saying that if one looks at all the factors in my life that led directly to my sitting at my computer to write this, one would obtain a probability so small as to conclude that it is impossible that anyone else could ever sit down to compose a letter to the WSJ.
 

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I can absolutely say that it is unreasonable to believe that you saw Big Foot flying on a Unicorn through the telescope, but that I don't know what you did see.
If you are making the claim that X is real then you have to provide evidence for X.
If I say that your evidence for why X is real is faulty I do not then have to say that Y is real instead for my reasons for why your evidence is faulty to have any credibility.


Think about it in terms of a court of law. When the prosecution makes their argument for why the defendant is guilty and then the defence argues against the prosecutions claims, does the defence also HAVE to provide a different course of events in order for their refutations to be considered?


Of course not. I'm not sure where you have got this idea from but it is completely wrong and isn't how basic logic works.



You didn't ask me to prove why Science is reliable. You stated that Science can't be applied to God claims. The reliability of science is proven every single day whenever you use a computer, get in a car, or stand in a structure which isn't blown over by a strong gale.


People in your position always tend to fall back on the Solipsism argument in these kinds of conversations as though it is a 'gotcha' for the scientific method, when in reality it is a 'gotcha' for everything. Every worldview, every system for analysing the world, it reduces everything to meaninglessness.
Let's say that Science isn't worth anything because if we throw physical reality out of the window then it's not really describing or analysing anything.


Does that sound like an honest position to argue from? Sure, if you want to walk away from this conversation thinking that you have the better position because if Solipsism is real then science isn't worth anything, that's fine.
Meanwhile, Scientists and philosophers will continue to work under the assumption that reality is real, that other people are real, and that actions have consequences and that beliefs inform actions.

Yes, God may be timeless and spaceless, but if that God interacts with the physical Universe in any way then that falls under the purview of scientific inquiry.
So when Theists claim that God flooded the world as evidence for Gods existence and Geologists can see no evidence of a worldwide flood, it isn't a category error to want Scientific evidence for the existence of God.
If you are talking about a Deistic conception of God then that would be where logical proofs are more applicable like the cosmological argument.

If God interacts with physical reality then Scientific inquiry is applicable. Not a category error.





The metric(s) that I am using is either a logical syllogism which is internally consistent and matches the current scientific understanding of the outside world or a body of scientifically verified facts which all point towards one conclusion to the exclusion of any other.

I do not have to provide an alternative explanation and any other explanation would be irrelevant unless stating that explanation is a requirement of disproving the Theistic explanation.

As in - "The world was created by God 6000 years ago because the Bible says so." - "That's incorrect because we know that the Earth formed 4.5 Billion years ago because of scientific facts X, Y and Z."



OP is (possibly) going to go and have conversations with Theists, or listen to their arguments.
I stated that he should have a reasonable burden of proof that they need to meet before he believes what they are saying to be true. The burden of proof isn't a set standard, if it isn't subjective then what is the objective burden of proof standard? How could there be an objective standard for the burden of proof? Even in law it isn't an objective thing.


For me, if someone could provide one scientifically verifiable fact which necessarily entailed the existence of a God or one logical syllogism which was flawless in demonstrating that a God must logically exist then that would be enough proof for me to believe.




You're wrong about this for the same reason that you are wrong about needing to have an alternate explanation to say that someone is wrong about something.


What is rational comports with the facts, what is irrational does not.




The more people who see it, the less reasonable it is to believe that there was a group hallucination, but just because lots of people saw something doesn't necessarily mean that what they believe they saw is accurate, there are other factors to consider.



Explained above.



Exactly my point. So in your first reply when you said:


"Well you've made a bunch of claims that you haven't backed up and don't you think it's much easier to sit there and judge other peoples arguments and write them off cause you're personally unconvinced then it is to come up with your own? The former doesn't seem like an honest way to have a conversation."


You assumed that I didn't have my own reasons. Now you see that your own reasons come out when you are asked to defend them (if you feel it is relevant, which I don't).




Ah I see, I think I took the null hypothesis too much at face value.

Is it the job of the person who claims that God exists to provide evidence for their belief?
If someone is not convinced by that supposed evidence then what is their job?
Do they have to defend why they are not convinced, or do they have to provide an alternate explanation? If so, why?


Also, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, except where evidence would be expected to be found.


Given that apologists have been trying to provide evidence of the existence of God for 2000 years and not a single bit of evidence has been provided.




When I said that 'Logical proofs are quite easy to see the flaws in?' I think it was quite obvious that I meant supposed logical proofs for the existence of God.


I have also said:


"Someone must either provide logical or scientific proof"
"Keep your ... logical reasoning sound."
"I can logically back up everything I have said above"


Are you being charitable? Or are you cherry picking parts of what I say which could be interpreted to look like I'm saying something else?
You're equally making a claim by saying not X. You have to say what it is that happened though. Also the problem is if you weren't there then how do you know?

The defendant has to provide good evidence that they weren't if good evidence was presented that they were. The problem with what you're saying is the courts make no distinction between not guilty and innocent. Practically speaking not guilty is innocent cause they can't be convicted. Even though they still may in actuality be guilty. So what I'm saying is in such a situation it's not relevant for THEM. But it is still relevant for the courts. If the person is not guilty then they are unrelated to whoever committed the crime. So why should the defendant have to prove who did it?

As a side note I don't think you bringing up how the courts work is a valid argument. The courts also accept testimony as evidence and I assume that you wouldn't.

How is it proven if it can't get passed solipsism?

I'm just being honest here, you're pretending scientific understanding is the be all and end all for knowing things. My method is logic, I'm not throwing everything out the window btw.

But like I said, you're just pretending out of convenience.

I am a deist but like I said and you admitted, miracles are unfalsifiable. Regardless, even atheist historians for the most part agree that Jesus was a real man at least.

Even if he does it would be a category error because it can't be traced back to anything concrete as he isn't.

But not even science has that. To answer the question of the origin of the universe we have to throw away all that we know about science. We have to throw causality out the window and say things can happen just cause, literally something from nothing (which would be supernatural and anti-science) or we have to say the universe always existed, just cause.

You kind of do though as nothing fits the criteria of what you're talking about. So you essentially don't have a metric.

You're arguing against specific religious claims that I already agree with you on.

I see what you're saying, I'm just saying that "I'm not convinced" isn't an argument.

But you were unable to give an example of anything that does. Does what you're asking for even exist? Also this is wrong. If on September 10th 2001 I predicted that two planes would crash into the world trade center but I had no reason to think so that would be factual, but ultimately irrational for me to think.

Anecdotal evidence is useless to others but not to the person who experienced it. That's what people don't get about anecdotes. You're also just making an appeal to popularity fallacy here.

You never really gave me a metric. You've given no examples of anything that would fit what you said or proof that anything could. You also didn't tell me why you believe in naturalism beyond it being practical to believe.

Anybody making a claim has it, beliefs alone are not claims so no burden of proof. What you just mentioned would require it. To say X is irrational is a claim and would incur a burden of proof. Being unconvinced doesn't.

Yes.

Arguments are evidence, if you disagree then please point to a scientific theory that doesn't rely on interpretation and argumentation.

I don't, you should have specified.

"There is no better tool for understanding the nature of the Universe, regardless of how much these people pretend there is.

Logical proofs are usually quite easy to see the flaws in."

You're saying scientific understanding trumps logic and then go on to say that logical proofs are easy to see the flaw in. This seems more related to why scientific understanding is better than logical reasoning than there being flaws in theistic arguments. You have to admit the latter doesn't follow as much.
 

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Metaxas:



Lawrence Krauss:
in your own words now.
i find the idea that one should make a universe more hospitable incoherent with what has served progress here.
why would any meaningful progress be found by anything that achieves existence in an environment that doesn't test that existence?
you have to prove here, with actual live subjects, this universal improvement to habitability bearing better results than current universe.
this is an impossible thing to prove btw, with computer models already tainted by the limited perspective of the observer.
 

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You're equally making a claim by saying not X. You have to say what it is that happened though. Also the problem is if you weren't there then how do you know?

The defendant has to provide good evidence that they weren't if good evidence was presented that they were. The problem with what you're saying is the courts make no distinction between not guilty and innocent. Practically speaking not guilty is innocent cause they can't be convicted. Even though they still may in actuality be guilty. So what I'm saying is in such a situation it's not relevant for THEM. But it is still relevant for the courts. If the person is not guilty then they are unrelated to whoever committed the crime. So why should the defendant have to prove who did it?

As a side note I don't think you bringing up how the courts work is an invalid argument. The courts also accept testimony as evidence and I assume that you wouldn't.

How is it proven if it can't get passed solipsism?

I'm just being honest here, you're pretending scientific understanding is the be all and end all for knowing things. My method is logic, I'm not throwing everything out the window btw.

But like I said, you're just pretending out of convenience.

I am a deist but like I said and you admitted, miracles are unfalsifiable. Regardless, even atheist historians for the most part agree that Jesus was a real man at least.

Even if he does it would be a category error because it can't be traced back to anything concrete as he isn't.

But not even science has that. To answer the question of the origin of the universe we have to throw away all that we know about science. We have to throw causality out the window and say things can happen just cause, literally something from nothing (which would be supernatural and anti-science) or we have to say the universe always existed, just cause.

You kind of do though as nothing fits the criteria of what you're talking about. So you essentially don't have a metric.

You're arguing against specific religious claims that I already agree with you on.

I see what you're saying, I'm just saying that "I'm not convinced" isn't an argument.

But you were unable to give an example of anything that does. Does what you're asking for even exist? Also this is wrong. If on September 10th 2001 I predicted that two planes would crash into the world trade center but I had no reason to think so that would be factual, but ultimately irrational for me to think.

Anecdotal evidence is useless to others but not to the person who experienced it. That's what people don't get about anecdotes. You're also just making an appeal to popularity fallacy here.

You never really gave me a metric. You've given no examples of anything that would fit what you said or proof that anything could. You also didn't tell me why you believe in naturalism beyond it being practical to believe.

Anybody making a claim has it, beliefs alone are not claims so no burden of proof. What you just mentioned would require it. To say X is irrational is a claim and would incur a burden of proof. Being unconvinced doesn't.

Yes.

Arguments are evidence, if you disagree then please point to a scientific theory that doesn't rely on interpretation and argumentation.

I don't, you should have specified.

"There is no better tool for understanding the nature of the Universe, regardless of how much these people pretend there is.

Logical proofs are usually quite easy to see the flaws in."

You're saying scientific understanding trumps logic and then go on to say that logical proofs are easy to see the flaw in. This seems more related to why scientific understanding is better than logical reasoning than there being flaws in theistic arguments. You have to admit the former doesn't follow as much.
How do you use logic without referencing scientific facts?

Can you disprove The Cosmological Argument, for instance, without referencing any scientific facts?

Can logic get past Solipsism? According to you, if it couldn't that would render it 'unproven', right?
 

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in your own words now.
i find the idea that one should make a universe more hospitable incoherent with what has served progress here.
why would any meaningful progress be found by anything that achieves existence in an environment that doesn't test that existence?
you have to prove here, with actual live subjects, this universal improvement to habitability bearing better results than current universe.
this is an impossible thing to prove btw, with computer models already tainted by the limited perspective of the observer.
I'm sorry, I don't understand what you are asking.

Are you asking me to prove that another Universe with life in it could exist if the parameters at the beginning of the Universe were different at all?
Because if you are, I don't have to.

I'm not the one claiming that we only exist BECAUSE the parameters were as they were at the beginning of the Universe.
You have to prove that if they were different nothing would exist, which as you have pointed out, is impossible.
 
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