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 #91

Post by William »

[Replying to TRANSPONDER in post #89]

Poor ol' bashed up 'atheism'.

Only I speak of sceptics not lackers of belief in gods.

Not to say that many sceptics do say that they lack belief in gods, but the question I asked of sceptics is related to their being convinced through displays that they would consider evidence re Jesus returning.
Jesus or God would answer questions, explain things and frankly do miracles
What would constitute 'doing miracles'? Something which an average sceptic would not regard as possibly the product of advanced extraterrestrial technology?

Do you have examples?

Re that, the miracles claimed re biblical Jesus could not be explained as the product of advanced extraterrestrial technology?

If not, why not?
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.
So in the advent that there is a condition placed upon the [former] skeptic faced with such evidence, re the 'worship' demand - is that good enough reason for the sceptic to display the new belief by performing the worship required?

Or would the skeptic be skeptical due to the variables which still exist in the possibility that "it could be Satan trying to fool us or an extraterrestrial playing as a god"
It's not a mind experiment, but a rebuttal of the accusation that atheists would never be convinced even if God came down

[362]
It could be Satan trying to fool us
The evolution of consciousness


It is still to be shown any actual rebuttal was accomplished - hench my questions - even that the questions themselves do invoke the necessity to use the mind experimentally ... [engage imagination for the purpose of placing oneself into a given scenario]


338
An extraterrestrial playing god
The idea of Worship- what does it mean?

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

Post #92

Post by David the apologist »

William wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 1:15 pm [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?
Mostly, the issue seems to involve the computational resources required to simulate even the simplest of irl many-body quantum systems. Things will get even more intractable once gravity gets involved.

The sheer scale of the postulation - in addition to some mind capable of programming the machine, you also have to have a device with at least 10^123 Nats of storage - most of which will be Q-nats, so if the system approximates classical storage, we're looking at something closer to e^10^123 classical nats. Whatever "meta-nature" may be, it is on too large a scale to be meaningfully compared to the meagre petabytes of storage our computers have.

Add to this the problems in getting intrinsic semantic meaning out of syntactic information - a problem which, to my knowledge, has yet to be solved - and you get an issue explaining rational agents in terms of things within the simulation (the same problem reappears on "computational/functionalistic" theories of the mind).

Then there are other issues. All computers we can conceive of are "digital" - the information is discrete. This is inconsistent with certain continuous symmetries of spacetime. So if our world does ultimately emerge from information, it cannot be the "discrete" kind we use in modern computers, it has to be somehow continuous.

Frankly, Theism is simpler. At least the solid forms of it take the problems using terms from nature to describe what lies Beyond seriously.
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'.
I request clarification.
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.
I would disagree. While creatures may be "less real" than the Creator, a simulated entity wouldn't be real at all. It would exist only as syntactic information contained in a larger system.
"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 #93

Post by TRANSPONDER »

William wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 4:05 pm [Replying to TRANSPONDER in post #89]

Poor ol' bashed up 'atheism'.
:D We'll survive.

Only I speak of sceptics not lackers of belief in gods.

Not to say that many sceptics do say that they lack belief in gods, but the question I asked of sceptics is related to their being convinced through displays that they would consider evidence re Jesus returning.
It doesn't matter. At all. Skeptics, unbeleivers, doubters, atheists..same argument, same point, same red herring left where it is
Jesus or God would answer questions, explain things and frankly do miracles
What would constitute 'doing miracles'? Something which an average sceptic would not regard as possibly the product of advanced extraterrestrial technology?

Do you have examples?

Re that, the miracles claimed re biblical Jesus could not be explained as the product of advanced extraterrestrial technology?

If not, why not?
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.
So in the advent that there is a condition placed upon the [former] skeptic faced with such evidence, re the 'worship' demand - is that good enough reason for the sceptic to display the new belief by performing the worship required?

Or would the skeptic be skeptical due to the variables which still exist in the possibility that "it could be Satan trying to fool us or an extraterrestrial playing as a god"
It's not a mind experiment, but a rebuttal of the accusation that atheists would never be convinced even if God came down

[362]
It could be Satan trying to fool us
The evolution of consciousness


It is still to be shown any actual rebuttal was accomplished - hench my questions - even that the questions themselves do invoke the necessity to use the mind experimentally ... [engage imagination for the purpose of placing oneself into a given scenario]


338
An extraterrestrial playing god
The idea of Worship- what does it mean?

[/quote]

A miracle would obviously be making a natural disaster stop, just as it says in the Bible. You can probably think of other lesser ones. Now Startrek knows, an advanced alien technology could look like a god, but if they showed themselves to be as morally advanced as a credible God or Jesus would be, why would they lie to us? We are in the realm of far less likely hypotheses which can't be disproven but are less credible than the simpler one that fits the facts better.

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

Post #94

Post by William »

[Replying to David the apologist in post #92]
Frankly, Theism is simpler. At least the solid forms of it take the problems using terms from nature to describe what lies Beyond seriously.
Simulated Universe stems from theistic thinking. The very idea that a "God" created this universe strongly implies simulation.

Search "how much energy do brains use"

For the average adult in a resting state, the brain consumes about 20 percent of the body's energy. The brain's primary function — processing and transmitting information through electrical signals — is very, very expensive in terms of energy use.


Since brains are types of computers, what one imagines takes what we call energy and while we might marvel at 'how much energy" a computer would need to use to create our current reality, this may be nothing more than 20% of the energy such a brain would have to generate in order to project the reality simulation onto its mind-screen - maybe even much less.

It is not out of the ball-park of possibility. More importantly it removes magical thinking from the equation re the theory of ex nihilo from both theistic and non-theistic arguments...


...something from something is the better argument
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'.
I request clarification.
IF:

"God" = That which is real and;

IF:

"That Which is Real" = Natural

THEN:

Anything created by that which is real, must - in comparison - be simulated

So IF;

That which is created = simulated and simulated = 'not natural'

THEN;

Not natural = "supernatural"
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.
I would disagree. While creatures may be "less real" than the Creator, a simulated entity wouldn't be real at all. It would exist only as syntactic information contained in a larger system.
Yet that is precisely what form functions as. Anything "less real" than the creator of said critters, are simulated entities which exist only as temporary information gatherers/distributors contained with a larger system of information gatherer/distributor which we call the "universe".

The idea of humans being only slightly lesser than angels - while appealing - really only acknowledges that there are different varieties of information gathers/distributors which function as intended rather than it being a matter of competing egos on some imagined ladder of success...

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

Post #95

Post by brunumb »

David the apologist wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 9:55 am
brunumb wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 1:12 am
David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:02 pm 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.
Really? Please quote exactly how any of those authors actually demonstrated those attributes. Opinions don't count.

David the apologist wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 9:55 am
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 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.
Exactly how do you propose that said quotations will contain anything beyond faith based claims?

David the apologist wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 9:55 am
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 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.
But God doesn't explain anything. God itself is unexplained. God is only an hypothesis at best. An invented answer granted countless free passes by virtue of man-made definitions and wishful thinking. The laws of physics are not there to explain anything. We have managed to explain a lot after we discovered those laws and applied them. The God concept hasn't got us anywhere. So far you have provided nothing of substance to counter that.
Christianty: 2000 years of making it up as you go along.

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

Post #96

Post by mgb »

TRANSPONDER wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 3:47 pm
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.
But are these things you are saying established by science? Is love genetic? This is just dogmatism and the Gene-Of-The-Gaps theory.

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

Post #97

Post by TRANSPONDER »

mgb wrote: Fri Jan 07, 2022 5:58 am
TRANSPONDER wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 3:47 pm
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.
But are these things you are saying established by science? Is love genetic? This is just dogmatism and the Gene-Of-The-Gaps theory.
This is the way that research seems to be going. I won't try to bamboozle you, I haven't done deep research into this, and I'm not sure that the various disciplines are pulling it all together, but I recall various interesting bits of research. DNA is the trigger of instinct. Instinct is seen as an evolved survival trait. Social interaction is seen as a survival instinct. Emergence of farming around the new stone age makes family society urban. Urban society requires law codes and ethics. This is all stuff that I have seen mentioned in science articles and videos and it may be just me who sees it all as explaining ethics and morals being evolutionary, not religious. It's a lot of work to set it all out - there was a video with Bernstein explaining how language and emotions helped to shame tunes and harmony. I han hardly post all of that. So it has to be kept to an overview. It is at least an alternative hypothesis if anyone asks 'what explanation other than God?'

It's one reason I see the regular referrals to Nietzsche rather passe. He fretted about morals without God, but he didn't know that Morality can now be seen as evolutionary and he was worrying about the wrong thing. Morals are a human affair and always were. Just as art, music and literature.

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

Post #98

Post by William »

[Replying to TRANSPONDER in post #97]

The quicker way to say that is "God" is the "Life" - and more comprehensively, the consciousness which experiences the nature of the Holographic Experiential Reality Simulation [HERS] and learns through said experience of that nature, ways in which to 'make the experience easier' and thus morals evolve through the natural course of nature unfolding re consciousnesses involvement within said nature.

That way, the 'gap' is filled...

Image

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

Post #99

Post by mgb »

[Replying to TRANSPONDER in post #97]
TRANSPONDER wrote:DNA is the trigger of instinct. Instinct is seen as an evolved survival trait.
We immediately have a problem here. I am hardly going to argue that genes do nothing, but the question is what do they do? Correlation is not always causation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlati ... _causation) and just because genes are correlated with certain things does not mean they cause these things. Science writers often ignore this complication and a lot of 'science' is sold on this ignorance. This whole area is a minefield.

Social interaction is seen as a survival instinct. Emergence of farming around the new stone age makes family society urban. Urban society requires law codes and ethics. This is all stuff that I have seen mentioned in science articles and videos and it may be just me who sees it all as explaining ethics and morals being evolutionary, not religious.
Yes, you can subjectively comprehend these things in purely physical terms but I believe that physical society is only an image of deeper things: human reality expresses the nature of spiritual reality just as physical reality expresses mathematical reality. The physical world is 'the world within the world'. It is a physical expression of non physical nature. "As above, so below." What this means is that one level of reality can be mapped onto another level of reality. For example, emotion can be translated into physical music or art.
Take the squares of the integers, 1, 2, 3,... These are 1, 4, 9,...
Now draw a graph of the squares of real numbers. This will be a quadratic graph. But a graph is an object in physical space while numbers are abstract. So why can ideas in the mind be so naturally translated onto space? There must be a natural corrospondance between ideas and space. That is, they must have the same nature, otherwise translation would not be possible.
It's a lot of work to set it all out - there was a video with Bernstein explaining how language and emotions helped to shape tunes and harmony.
Yes, all is one. Music and emotion are the same thing on different levels, just as colours are the same thing (electromagnetism) on different wavelengths. This is why reductive science comes in for such heavy criticism: when things are broken into their separate parts the connections are lost and the whole is lost. The connections are as important as the things they connect because these connections reveal meaning. When scientists break everything into pieces they can't find meaning.

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

Post #100

Post by TRANSPONDER »

William wrote: Fri Jan 07, 2022 4:32 pm [Replying to TRANSPONDER in post #97]

The quicker way to say that is "God" is the "Life" - and more comprehensively, the consciousness which experiences the nature of the Holographic Experiential Reality Simulation [HERS] and learns through said experience of that nature, ways in which to 'make the experience easier' and thus morals evolve through the natural course of nature unfolding re consciousnesses involvement within said nature.

That way, the 'gap' is filled...

Image
Aside the quasi -poetic appeals to wonder and amazement, it boils down to 'God' is another way of saying 'nature/physics. Known processes. The unknown or explained (e.g qualia) are...unexplained, as yet. They are not evidence of a god - by which we don't mean unplanned and intended natural processes but a forward -planning intelligence.

Science has not shown it yet. Ball is in the Theist court.

Repeat, the known does not exhibit a credibly proven intelligent cosmic mind. The unknown is - unknown. The very common theist appeal to unknowns is fallacious and I think you are better than denial of science and dismissal of logic.

The complexity, wonder and mystery of amazing and astonishing nature and physics is there and known with atheists too. We just don't think that because it's big and complex it must be Intelligent. Not until you prove it. That you have to resort to trying to wow us with complexity suggests that you can't.

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