Are the claims of Christianity being proved false?

In the light of the closure of a different thread I thought I would open one on a similar subject which is more purgatorial.
There is no strong evidence for or against the existence of God, or that Jesus was his Son and Messiah. As we find new things about life here on this planet does that erode the case for. Christanity?
«134

Comments

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Your last sentence doesn't quite follow from the rest, I'd say. How much we find out about life on this planet doesn't connect to the question of whether God exists. We could multiply our knowledge about the processes of terrestrial nature a thousandfold, and it would still leave us no further ahead or behind on the question of God.

    (Though I suppose if you're a creationist, for whom disproving the literal truth of Genesis would cause your whole belief system to collapse like a house of cards, you might think there is a connection. Pretty sure not too many people here are like that.)
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    No.
  • DavidDavid Shipmate
    How? Give us an example of what you mean. I can't see how anything new we might discover about life on earth can have any bearing at all on the Divine Love for humankind.
  • David wrote: »
    How? Give us an example of what you mean. I can't see how anything new we might discover about life on earth can have any bearing at all on the Divine Love for humankind.

    Now this seems a bit worrying, if nothing could ever affect our view of it at all. Surely there should be some connection to experienced reality?
  • It's the supernatural, innit. Unfalsifiable.
  • TurquoiseTasticTurquoiseTastic Shipmate
    edited February 26
    It's the supernatural, innit. Unfalsifiable.

    Well no otherwise we would all be believing in everything.

    Less snarkily, why should the supernatural nature of a claim affect its falsifiability? Elijah didn't take this line!
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited February 26
    David wrote: »
    How? Give us an example of what you mean. I can't see how anything new we might discover about life on earth can have any bearing at all on the Divine Love for humankind.

    Now this seems a bit worrying, if nothing could ever affect our view of it at all. Surely there should be some connection to experienced reality?

    Well, is there anything we could discover about, say, the biology and habits of squirrels that would impact our thinking on the existence of God? If you answered no(as I would), then why would any other aspect of life on Earth be relevant to that question?

    (There are a few big scientific questions which I think might be relevant to religious discussion, but nothing related to life on earth, in and of itself.)

  • Darwin's view certainly seemed to be affected by what he discovered about the biology of parasitic wasps. I disagree with his conclusions, but not with his attempt to relate the world-as-we-see-it to our view of God.

    If God cares about the fall of a sparrow and numbers the hairs on our head, why shouldn't He be relevant to the biology and habits of squirrels? If I were a squirrel, I'd probably find such a view offensive! HEY YOU HUMAN YOU THINK YOUR HAIRS ARE SO IMPORTANT WHAT ABOUT US SQUIRRELS
  • DavidDavid Shipmate
    David wrote: »
    How? Give us an example of what you mean. I can't see how anything new we might discover about life on earth can have any bearing at all on the Divine Love for humankind.

    Now this seems a bit worrying, if nothing could ever affect our view of it at all. Surely there should be some connection to experienced reality?

    But that's not what I said.

    I said nothing we discover in science and nature could alter the Divine Love for us. How we experience that is an entirely different, and very human, thing.
  • caroline444caroline444 Shipmate
    edited February 26
    Reading popular science books, and learning more about the amazingness of life on this planet, if anything my belief in a creator God is strengthened. My belief in Christianity as a form of explanation about God is however wobbly, although I consider myself fortunate & feel grateful to be accepted in Christian communities.
  • It's the supernatural, innit. Unfalsifiable.

    Well no otherwise we would all be believing in everything.

    Less snarkily, why should the supernatural nature of a claim affect its falsifiability? Elijah didn't take this line!

    Well, take quasars. When they were being investigated in the 60s, there were odd features - they seem to be bodies that are far away, very bright, with a huge redshift, or they might be much closer massive stars. OK, you can try out various ideas, and test them via spectography, X-ray viewing, etc. Alternatively, you could think that they are vast angelic beings.

    Which view can be tested?
  • I forgot to say that being unfalsifiable is a plus and a minus. The plus is that my faith is not affected by empirical discoveries, e.g., evolution. The minus is that there are few constraints, so if you believe in the Nigerian ant god, who am I to query this?
  • You see I'm not sure that is a plus. I certainly used to think so, but then I began to worry that I was essentially constructing an unfalsifiable dream-world.

    Also, why shouldn't our faith be affected by empirical discoveries? Our faith is hopefully affected by our personal experience of other people, of prayer, of Scripture, of self-examination. Why shouldn't it also be affected by our experience of the natural world?

    As far as the quasars go I think both can be tested, if you think that vast angelic beings do anything. If not, then maybe it doesn't matter whether they're vast angelic beings or not?
  • Or like the Klingon gods who they killed because they were capricious. The godly paradise still exists but run by Klingons.

    We define truth without maybe understanding myth and what it means. Foundational understandings of cosmology which serve purposes in a society. I'm continually struck with the the putting together of Euro-Christianity with First Nations (indigenous) understanding. The Euro-Christians say they are orthodox and that other cultures are wrongly adding and subtracting. Which is only true from that standpoint of not listening to other cultures.

    Example: indigenous people will understand that they've always lived here. Eden is here,in a way. And will understand that they need to teach respect for the world of plants, animals, water, rocks etc which Euros believe are dead or less than humans. Which leads to a cosmological 'truth' that we need to address the Euro-derived exploitation and desecration of the natural world.

    Thus in this context, science has shown that cultural Christianity from Europe is inadequate to deal with current human problems. Which could also be expanded to discuss government, economics, justice, rights.
  • I'm not sure Europeans derived that attitude to the natural world from Christianity though. It seems a more Enlightenment-driven approach.
  • David wrote: »
    David wrote: »
    How? Give us an example of what you mean. I can't see how anything new we might discover about life on earth can have any bearing at all on the Divine Love for humankind.

    Now this seems a bit worrying, if nothing could ever affect our view of it at all. Surely there should be some connection to experienced reality?

    But that's not what I said.

    I said nothing we discover in science and nature could alter the Divine Love for us. How we experience that is an entirely different, and very human, thing.

    OK fair enough. But is it not in the essence of Christianity to be incarnational? The Divine Love is not some disembodied abstraction - we say that God is with us, that Jesus became a real human being, that God is involved with the world. So shouldn't we hope and expect to discover something about that Divine Love as we experience and study the world around us?
  • You see I'm not sure that is a plus. I certainly used to think so, but then I began to worry that I was essentially constructing an unfalsifiable dream-world.

    Also, why shouldn't our faith be affected by empirical discoveries? Our faith is hopefully affected by our personal experience of other people, of prayer, of Scripture, of self-examination. Why shouldn't it also be affected by our experience of the natural world?

    As far as the quasars go I think both can be tested, if you think that vast angelic beings do anything. If not, then maybe it doesn't matter whether they're vast angelic beings or not?

    I think a lot of it boils down to utility. VABs are actually a bit boring. I suppose my faith ebbed away, as on Dover Beach. I have a vestigial Zen type non-dualism.
  • I read an article yesterday where an atheist writer argues that COVID-19 completely debunked Christianity. The premise of the argument was basically "Well Christians are praying for healing from Covid-19, they are all dying from Covid-19, therefore there is no God."

    All I could do was to sigh and wonder, did this writer ever heard of the Black Death?
  • DavidDavid Shipmate
    David wrote: »
    David wrote: »
    How? Give us an example of what you mean. I can't see how anything new we might discover about life on earth can have any bearing at all on the Divine Love for humankind.

    Now this seems a bit worrying, if nothing could ever affect our view of it at all. Surely there should be some connection to experienced reality?

    But that's not what I said.

    I said nothing we discover in science and nature could alter the Divine Love for us. How we experience that is an entirely different, and very human, thing.

    OK fair enough. But is it not in the essence of Christianity to be incarnational? The Divine Love is not some disembodied abstraction - we say that God is with us, that Jesus became a real human being, that God is involved with the world. So shouldn't we hope and expect to discover something about that Divine Love as we experience and study the world around us?

    Absolutely. But I wasn’t answering your question, I was answering the original one, which was "As we find new things about life here on this planet does that erode the case for. Christanity?". My answer is no.
  • It's pretty hard in my experience to look at a work of art and suss out things about the creator. Beyond the obvious, such as "Oh, look, there's a fingerprint, he must have fingers."

    I mean, you can look at Star Wars askew and decide its creator wants us all to run around doing dastardly deeds and breathing heavily.
  • Hugal wrote: »
    In the light of the closure of a different thread I thought I would open one on a similar subject which is more purgatorial.
    There is no strong evidence for or against the existence of God, or that Jesus was his Son and Messiah. As we find new things about life here on this planet does that erode the case for. Christanity?

    I do not see why it would. There is nothing in the Scriptures or sacred tradition that suggests "The faith rests on the understanding that we know everything about biological life at this point, and there is no need for further exploration."
  • The problem of using science to disprove creation is the wrong way around. The Christian faith begins and ends at the resurrection. Christians look at the Biblical story through the prism of the resurrection. My understanding of creation has changed quite significantly over the years. I still do not understand the resurrection, but I choose to accept it.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    The problem of using science to disprove creation is the wrong way around. The Christian faith begins and ends at the resurrection. Christians look at the Biblical story through the prism of the resurrection. My understanding of creation has changed quite significantly over the years. I still do not understand the resurrection, but I choose to accept it.

    Mine doesn't begin and end with resurrection. Mine mostly ignores that. It begins and ends with kindness and helping others. Which English cheapens by using the word love and alluding to the commanding of feelings instead of acts.
  • TelfordTelford Suspended
    I am unable to prove what I believe in but I am content none the less.
  • RussRuss Shipmate
    I thought they'd done experiments which showed that people who are prayed for don't recover from illness any more quickly than those who aren't. Or doesn't that count ?
  • I wouldn't think prayer is something that can be studied that way. Because, if you stick to the strict study guidelines, you'd have to forbid participants to pray for certain people (i.e. the control group), and pray-ers being what they are, they are unlikely to obey you. (I wouldn't. The mere existence of an unprayed-for group would prey on my mind.)

    And those who would cheerfully agree NOT to pray for certain people are possibly not the kind of people you'd expect to get a divine response to, when they pray for others.

    In short, if prayer is some sort of automated push-button-get-benefit action, it would work; but pretty much everybody denies that of prayer.
  • I think that absolutely counts, and it indeed influences our view of God. In fact it's often cited to oppose certain views of God. You could says it falsifies some claims that some people make about God. I don't think it "erodes the case for Christianity" but I think it erodes some arguments that have been made for Christianity. Similarly evolutionary biology did not disprove God, but it eroded certain forms of the argument from design.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    edited February 26
    Hugal wrote: »
    In the light of the closure of a different thread I thought I would open one on a similar subject which is more purgatorial.
    There is no strong evidence for or against the existence of God, or that Jesus was his Son and Messiah. As we find new things about life here on this planet does that erode the case for. Christanity?

    The only evidence for God is Jesus. There is no 'evidence' whatsoever apart from Him: it's 100% physicalism and Jesus. Nothing we can find on Earth or anywhere on out for 13.8 GLY can increase that percentage. Ever. Jesus stands alone, on His own recognizance, crap historiography and all. As the ultimate, outrageous orthogonal claim against 100% meaningless nature.
  • Darwin's view certainly seemed to be affected by what he discovered about the biology of parasitic wasps. I disagree with his conclusions, but not with his attempt to relate the world-as-we-see-it to our view of God.

    If God cares about the fall of a sparrow and numbers the hairs on our head, why shouldn't He be relevant to the biology and habits of squirrels? If I were a squirrel, I'd probably find such a view offensive! HEY YOU HUMAN YOU THINK YOUR HAIRS ARE SO IMPORTANT WHAT ABOUT US SQUIRRELS

    Right but where is the line? These three things about squirrels are irrelevant to faith, but when we found out this FOURTH one, by Jayzoos, this proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that God {does|does not} exist! It seems inane on the face of it.
  • I read an article yesterday where an atheist writer argues that COVID-19 completely debunked Christianity. The premise of the argument was basically "Well Christians are praying for healing from Covid-19, they are all dying from Covid-19, therefore there is no God."

    All I could do was to sigh and wonder, did this writer ever heard of the Black Death?

    Yes every new disaster is trotted out as disproof of God. "Okay all of those other catastrophes didn't disprove God, but this one, finally, does!" Give it a rest, atheists.
  • TelfordTelford Suspended
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    In the light of the closure of a different thread I thought I would open one on a similar subject which is more purgatorial.
    There is no strong evidence for or against the existence of God, or that Jesus was his Son and Messiah. As we find new things about life here on this planet does that erode the case for. Christanity?

    The only evidence for God is Jesus. There is no 'evidence' whatsoever apart from Him: it's 100% physicalism and Jesus. Nothing we can find on Earth or anywhere on out for 13.8 GLY can increase that percentage. Ever. Jesus stands alone, on His own recognizance, crap historiography and all. As the ultimate, outrageous orthogonal claim against 100% meaningless nature.

    Christians believe that God was reponsible for creation. The Earth exists and so does everything that has been created. That's what I call evidence
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited February 27
    Telford wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    In the light of the closure of a different thread I thought I would open one on a similar subject which is more purgatorial.
    There is no strong evidence for or against the existence of God, or that Jesus was his Son and Messiah. As we find new things about life here on this planet does that erode the case for. Christanity?

    The only evidence for God is Jesus. There is no 'evidence' whatsoever apart from Him: it's 100% physicalism and Jesus. Nothing we can find on Earth or anywhere on out for 13.8 GLY can increase that percentage. Ever. Jesus stands alone, on His own recognizance, crap historiography and all. As the ultimate, outrageous orthogonal claim against 100% meaningless nature.

    Christians believe that God was reponsible for creation. The Earth exists and so does everything that has been created. That's what I call evidence

    You spelled 'begging the question' wrong.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    At risk of repeating my self. There is no absolute evidence to prove that God is there or not. You cannot put a piece of God under a microscope and say that is God. I suspect many people still wouldn’t believe. My faith in God, is not based on empirical evidence but on my experience. Which has lead me to a pint were I cannot deny God
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited February 27
    Thing is, my experience has led me to very much doubt that he exists. Inasmuch as despite identifying as a Christian for decades I can point to nothing as a reason to suppose he does.

    It doesn't seem to me that experience is a reliable guide in this respect, since everybody's leads to such different conclusions.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    edited February 27
    Telford wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    In the light of the closure of a different thread I thought I would open one on a similar subject which is more purgatorial.
    There is no strong evidence for or against the existence of God, or that Jesus was his Son and Messiah. As we find new things about life here on this planet does that erode the case for. Christanity?

    The only evidence for God is Jesus. There is no 'evidence' whatsoever apart from Him: it's 100% physicalism and Jesus. Nothing we can find on Earth or anywhere on out for 13.8 GLY can increase that percentage. Ever. Jesus stands alone, on His own recognizance, crap historiography and all. As the ultimate, outrageous orthogonal claim against 100% meaningless nature.

    Christians believe that God was reponsible for creation. The Earth exists and so does everything that has been created. That's what I call evidence

    Evidence of what? Belief?

    This Christian believes that God has always been immanent, has always grounded being. There is no evidence of that whatsoever and never will be. Until we die. The only possible warrant for it is the earliest writings of the Church.
  • Ah, now some fancy pants has introduced the idea of warrant, so we could go into Plantinga and proper function, oh dear, I suddenly feel tired, so maybe another day.
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    How would you begin to prove that the claim that God exists is false?
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    edited February 27
    If a concept can't be proven to be false that is a bug not a feature.
    In the case of God you'd need to show that the consequences of the concept are incoherent.
  • As far as "being convinced by empirical evidence" goes there are still huge numbers of people who believe in homeotherapy, or don't accept that smoking causes cancer, or think the Moon landings might be fake...

    I agree with @Telford actually in that the questions "why is there something rather than nothing" and "why am I here experiencing self-consciousness rather than being an unconscious robot faking self-consciousness" are to me evidence against pure materialism though not for Christianity in particular.
  • Not sure about evidence against materialism. It just means we don't know why things exist. It's a long way from don't know, to God. (Also, nothing can't exist).
  • Why can't nothing exist? I suspect that is a word game. Just rephrase as "absence of existence".
  • Why can't nothing exist? I suspect that is a word game. Just rephrase as "absence of existence".

    Well, there are different versions, a semantic one, that existence is something, to a more hard core view that being without gravity seems hard, to the clever, the undifferentiated potential whence all things emanate. For myself, when my wife goes to the shop, I experience the full horror of the existential void.






  • Referring to the OP - have the claims of Christianity ever been proved true ?
  • The claims of Christianity are not even wrong.
  • In the light of the closure of a different thread I thought I would open one on a similar subject which is more purgatorial.
    There is no strong evidence for or against the existence of God, or that Jesus was his Son and Messiah. As we find new things about life here on this planet does that erode the case for Christianity?
    And many differing views already of course! Not only is there no 'strong evidence for' God, there is only subjective evidence and that is why atheists, well, this one anyway, totally lack belief in any God/god/supernatural-anything.
    To erode Christianity would be - and is being done, I suggest -, by a process of replacing the entirely faith beliefs with beliefs whose faith is backed up by objective evidence and usually more reliable.
    Also, we are well aware that humans make mistakes and allow for that.

    I'm not happy with the word 'erode', as I think it gives an impression of something disappearing, worn away by natural happenings, whereas there is no need for those who are Christians to feel their way of life is being eroded, leaving a vacuum. All christians are humans, with natural altruism and all our other emotions and behaviours, so that will remain, but a great deal of scientific evidence is available now to support the greater knowledge and understanding of us as humans, so I see no reason why humans should or would be less strong without a faith. I think they would be stronger, butt then, that's just me!


  • TelfordTelford Suspended
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Telford wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    In the light of the closure of a different thread I thought I would open one on a similar subject which is more purgatorial.
    There is no strong evidence for or against the existence of God, or that Jesus was his Son and Messiah. As we find new things about life here on this planet does that erode the case for. Christanity?

    The only evidence for God is Jesus. There is no 'evidence' whatsoever apart from Him: it's 100% physicalism and Jesus. Nothing we can find on Earth or anywhere on out for 13.8 GLY can increase that percentage. Ever. Jesus stands alone, on His own recognizance, crap historiography and all. As the ultimate, outrageous orthogonal claim against 100% meaningless nature.

    Christians believe that God was reponsible for creation. The Earth exists and so does everything that has been created. That's what I call evidence

    Evidence of what? Belief?
    Evidence of the existence of the earth and all that's on it. That's what we have

    If you want to prosecute someone for theft, the first thing you need to do is prove that something has been stolen. If you want to prove that God made the earth the first thing you need to do is prove that the earth exists

  • TelfordTelford Suspended
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Telford wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    In the light of the closure of a different thread I thought I would open one on a similar subject which is more purgatorial.
    There is no strong evidence for or against the existence of God, or that Jesus was his Son and Messiah. As we find new things about life here on this planet does that erode the case for. Christanity?

    The only evidence for God is Jesus. There is no 'evidence' whatsoever apart from Him: it's 100% physicalism and Jesus. Nothing we can find on Earth or anywhere on out for 13.8 GLY can increase that percentage. Ever. Jesus stands alone, on His own recognizance, crap historiography and all. As the ultimate, outrageous orthogonal claim against 100% meaningless nature.

    Christians believe that God was reponsible for creation. The Earth exists and so does everything that has been created. That's what I call evidence

    You spelled 'begging the question' wrong.
    What on earth are you on about ????

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Telford wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Telford wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    In the light of the closure of a different thread I thought I would open one on a similar subject which is more purgatorial.
    There is no strong evidence for or against the existence of God, or that Jesus was his Son and Messiah. As we find new things about life here on this planet does that erode the case for. Christanity?

    The only evidence for God is Jesus. There is no 'evidence' whatsoever apart from Him: it's 100% physicalism and Jesus. Nothing we can find on Earth or anywhere on out for 13.8 GLY can increase that percentage. Ever. Jesus stands alone, on His own recognizance, crap historiography and all. As the ultimate, outrageous orthogonal claim against 100% meaningless nature.

    Christians believe that God was reponsible for creation. The Earth exists and so does everything that has been created. That's what I call evidence

    You spelled 'begging the question' wrong.
    What on earth are you on about ????

    You're assuming the conclusion - that God created the universe. The conclusion and the starting premise are the same thing.
  • TelfordTelford Suspended
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Telford wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Telford wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    In the light of the closure of a different thread I thought I would open one on a similar subject which is more purgatorial.
    There is no strong evidence for or against the existence of God, or that Jesus was his Son and Messiah. As we find new things about life here on this planet does that erode the case for. Christanity?

    The only evidence for God is Jesus. There is no 'evidence' whatsoever apart from Him: it's 100% physicalism and Jesus. Nothing we can find on Earth or anywhere on out for 13.8 GLY can increase that percentage. Ever. Jesus stands alone, on His own recognizance, crap historiography and all. As the ultimate, outrageous orthogonal claim against 100% meaningless nature.

    Christians believe that God was reponsible for creation. The Earth exists and so does everything that has been created. That's what I call evidence

    You spelled 'begging the question' wrong.
    What on earth are you on about ????

    You're assuming the conclusion - that God created the universe. The conclusion and the starting premise are the same thing.

    What's that got to do with "You spelled 'begging the question' wrong."
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    Thing is, my experience has led me to very much doubt that he exists. Inasmuch as despite identifying as a Christian for decades I can point to nothing as a reason to suppose he does.

    It doesn't seem to me that experience is a reliable guide in this respect, since everybody's leads to such different conclusions.

    I'd say that overstates your case. YOUR experience may not be a reliable guide for ME, but my experience very well may. Indeed, if you will indulge me in a bit of Locke, there is absolutely nothing else I have to go on but my experience.
Sign In or Register to comment.