Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

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AgnosticBoy
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Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

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Post by AgnosticBoy »

Many Christians interpret Romans 1:18 to mean that deep down we all know that God exists.

Romans 1:19-20
19 because that which is known about God is evident [n]within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, being understood by what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21
In my view, the apostle Paul goes too far in claiming that non-believers know that the Christian God exists. However, if I'm to look for any validity in his statement, I find that I do have this feeling and/or need for something transcendent. That certainly is not enough to point to anything as specific as the God of the Bible, but it does point to spirituality, in general. One book that touches on this idea is The God Gene by Dean Hamer. Here's one review:
In Hamer's argument, spiritual experiences and religion are nearly universal human attributes. Hamer measures spirituality on a scale of 'self-transcendence', or the ability to see beyond oneself, a concept first introduced by psychologist Robert Cloninger. He draws a sharp distinction between spirituality, which is a personality trait that some of us have to a greater or lesser extent than others, and religion or belief in a particular god, which is a culturally transmitted expression of spirituality.

Hamer admits in his introduction that the volume is misnamed; he isn't talking about genes for being a god, but rather about those that predispose us to religion-neutral spiritual beliefs, experiences and interpretations. Spirituality is not controlled by the product of a single gene but is complex, involving many genes, each making a small contribution to the phenotype, combined with a very strong environmental influence.
I really want to know the following:
1. Did this feeling or sense or need for something greater play any role in leading you to religion or spirituality?
2. For the non-believer or atheist, are you aware of this feeling? Does it lead you to doubt atheism? (in my case, my doubt does not lead me to believe, but instead it drives me to search even more).
Last edited by AgnosticBoy on Thu Dec 30, 2021 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

Post #81

Post by David the apologist »

William wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 12:39 am [Replying to David the apologist in post #75]
Given that His return will be associated with the General Resurrection, and (if Paul's words in Romans 8 are any indication) a large-scale reversal of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, I don't think that there's going to be much room to think that it's a natural event.
Point being, our knowledge-base is sufficient that we can surmise advanced technology associated with any such 'unnatural' event.
You think that it's epistemically possible that a technology exists that could reverse the Second Law on a cosmic scale?
"The Son of God was crucified; I am not ashamed to say it, because it is most shameful.
And the Son of God died; I believe it, because it is beyond belief.
And He was buried, and rose again; it is certain, because it is impossible."
-Tertullian

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Re: Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

Post #82

Post by David the apologist »

brunumb wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 1:12 am
David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:02 pm
brunumb wrote: Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:00 pm If God exists, why shouldn't we expect to have direct scientific confirmation of His existence? Is it just because God has inbuilt into its definition that it can't be observed?
Being immaterial, impassable, and transcendent... yes.
Man-made definition including attributes that have never been demonstrated.
They've been demonstrated at length by authors from Aristotle to Aquinas.
David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:02 pm
brunumb wrote: Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:00 pm The imagination is very useful in creating loopholes to shore up religious beliefs.
Less "imagination" and more "deductive reasoning."
Yet another claim with nothing to support it. Unfortunately, religiously based deductive reasoning is riddled with a lot of faith based claims or just plain leaps of faith.
If you want me to start posting quotations from the Summa Contra Gentiles, I can do that.
David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:02 pm
brunumb wrote: Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:00 pm Until the existence of God is on the table it can't be used to explain anything.
Doesn't apply to dark matter. Shouldn't apply to God.
The existence of neither has actually been verified, but so far dark matter has a lot more going for it than God. God doesn't explain anything anyway. It is just an invented answer. Make up a God that can do anything and surprise surprise, your God can do anything.
Better God who can explain everything than "laws of physics" that explain nothing.
"The Son of God was crucified; I am not ashamed to say it, because it is most shameful.
And the Son of God died; I believe it, because it is beyond belief.
And He was buried, and rose again; it is certain, because it is impossible."
-Tertullian

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Re: Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

Post #83

Post by William »

[Replying to David the apologist in post #81]
You think that it's epistemically possible that a technology exists that could reverse the Second Law on a cosmic scale?
Sure.

For example, we could be existing in a simulated reality which is so technically advanced that it can efficiently and effectively produce anything which can therefore be experienced as real, by any consciousness placed within it.

So - re your 'cosmic scale' reversal event, it would simple be a matter of extracting said consciousness from one reality experience and placing said consciousness into another reality experience - one which is fundamentally different from the other, and which any consciousness experience that, couldn't fail to acknowledge the difference.

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Re: Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

Post #84

Post by William »

[Replying to David the apologist in post #82]
Better God who can explain everything than "laws of physics" that explain nothing.
Laws of physics do explain something, though they are scantly understood - even so, they serve to assist us with our building projects quiet adequately.

I think when materialists argue there is no requirement for "creator gods", their focus is on what can be done with what reality presents, and there appears no need for any 'god' to exist, in order for that to happen.

Which makes perfect sense unless one understands that "God" and "Consciousness" are different 'names' for the same 'thing'.

Then it becomes something one can [consistently] chuckle about....

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Re: Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

Post #85

Post by William »

[Replying to TRANSPONDER in post #80]
I'm not sure that's true. This has been discussed before and the half -conclusion was that the skeptic, predictably, was dubious about this Jesus but as compelling evince was presented, they would come to accept him as such..
The skeptic has been asked on numerous occasion to explain what they mean by 'compelling evidence'. [assuming 'evince'= evidence]

Perhaps you have the answer?

While skeptics remain quiet about that, it is my opinion that no discussion can take place further than I have taken it.

Would it just be a matter that the one returning and calling himself "Jesus" produced this so-called "compelling evidence" which would convince the skeptic to "accept" this one "as such"?
[what does this 'accepting' involve? Whatever the entity demanded/required? Such as worship as a god?]

Given this returning one could be extraterrestrial, rather than some Son of a Creator-God, how would the skeptic respond to any requirement for the skeptic to worship a being claiming to be something it may not even actually be?

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Re: Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

Post #86

Post by David the apologist »

William wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 11:50 am [Replying to David the apologist in post #81]
You think that it's epistemically possible that a technology exists that could reverse the Second Law on a cosmic scale?
Sure.

For example, we could be existing in a simulated reality which is so technically advanced that it can efficiently and effectively produce anything which can therefore be experienced as real, by any consciousness placed within it.

So - re your 'cosmic scale' reversal event, it would simple be a matter of extracting said consciousness from one reality experience and placing said consciousness into another reality experience - one which is fundamentally different from the other, and which any consciousness experience that, couldn't fail to acknowledge the difference.
There are titanic and insuperable problems with the simulation hypothesis. If a naturalist has to resort to that in order to save their naturalism, it's safe to say that naturalism has been definitively falsified.
"The Son of God was crucified; I am not ashamed to say it, because it is most shameful.
And the Son of God died; I believe it, because it is beyond belief.
And He was buried, and rose again; it is certain, because it is impossible."
-Tertullian

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Re: Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

Post #87

Post by William »

[Replying to David the apologist in post #86]
There are titanic and insuperable problems with the simulation hypothesis.
Is that an opinion or an unsupported claim?
If a naturalist has to resort to that in order to save their naturalism, it's safe to say that naturalism has been definitively falsified.
Search "Naturalism"
1.
(in art and literature) a style and theory of representation based on the accurate depiction of detail.

2.
the philosophical belief that everything arises from natural properties and causes, and supernatural or spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted.


Perhaps it is a case that naturalism is incorrect...

Simulation theory does not invoke "supernatural" and regards "spiritual" as akin to consciousness [the spirit/immaterial] experiencing reality simulations ["material"].

No thing is regarded as being 'supernatural' although If I were asked to identify anything 'supernatural' re the theory, it would have to be the simulations themselves which would most closely 'fit the bill'.

So it depends upon from what position one is perceiving and then describing. If "God" is the real [source of all that is] - then all else which is created from that position, can be considered simulated.

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Re: Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

Post #88

Post by mgb »

AgnosticBoy wrote: Thu Dec 30, 2021 10:09 pm Many Christians interpret Romans 1:18 to mean that deep down we all know that God exists.
I personally have come to the conclusion that all are aware and it is God we are aware of. So it really is a question of how we talk about what we are aware of;

is it God or beauty?
is it peace from God or just peace?
is love spirit or molecule?

It is largely a question of interpreting our consciousness because spiritual questions are more about consciousness than academic argument.

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Re: Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

Post #89

Post by TRANSPONDER »

William wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 12:08 pm [Replying to TRANSPONDER in post #80]
I'm not sure that's true. This has been discussed before and the half -conclusion was that the skeptic, predictably, was dubious about this Jesus but as compelling evince was presented, they would come to accept him as such..
The skeptic has been asked on numerous occasion to explain what they mean by 'compelling evidence'. [assuming 'evince'= evidence]

Perhaps you have the answer?

While skeptics remain quiet about that, it is my opinion that no discussion can take place further than I have taken it.

Would it just be a matter that the one returning and calling himself "Jesus" produced this so-called "compelling evidence" which would convince the skeptic to "accept" this one "as such"?
[what does this 'accepting' involve? Whatever the entity demanded/required? Such as worship as a god?]

Given this returning one could be extraterrestrial, rather than some Son of a Creator-God, how would the skeptic respond to any requirement for the skeptic to worship a being claiming to be something it may not even actually be?

Image
Yes. This was discussed on former occasions and Jesus or God would answer questions, explain things and frankly do miracles (not say 'I did miracles back in in the old days; that should be good enough') and generally provide the evidence that is sorely lacking just now and would at least make a credible case. Of course there might be doubts about it could be Satan trying to fool us or an extraterrestrial playing as a god, but at least would make a good case for their being who they say they are so the possible alternatives are less likely.

Whereas those who believed a different religion would never accept that this was really Jesus or God, no matter the evidence, as that's how Faith -based thinking works. Or maybe they would. It's not a mind experiment, but a rebuttal of the accusation that atheists would never be convinced even if God came down (used by both Christians and Muslims to bash atheism).

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Re: Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

Post #90

Post by TRANSPONDER »

mgb wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 2:08 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote: Thu Dec 30, 2021 10:09 pm Many Christians interpret Romans 1:18 to mean that deep down we all know that God exists.
I personally have come to the conclusion that all are aware and it is God we are aware of. So it really is a question of how we talk about what we are aware of;

is it God or beauty?
is it peace from God or just peace?
is love spirit or molecule?

It is largely a question of interpreting our consciousness because spiritual questions are more about consciousness than academic argument.
I'd argue that it is beauty, it is peace and it is a molecule (or a whole bunch of them). There is no reason to call it 'God' (name your own) when we are now beginning to understand that beauty, peace and love are all based on and derived from Human instinct (survival/social) elaborated by social complexity and turned into art and philosophy by the questions asked in the past about what these things were about, how they worked and where they came from. Of course since DNA hadn't been discovered and we didn't understand the mechanisms of instinct, we just said 'God'.

Always the easy answer.

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