All "scientific evidence for God" can only argue that some creating thing exists, not that it's God
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Suppose the evidence shows that such a thing must have been responsible for the universe.
How go from there to any religion on earth? The religions of earth all go beyond the evidence. They tack on extra information that there's no evidence for. Maybe the complexity of genes suggests an ordering thing, but it tells you nothing about whether the ordering thing is conscious, or nice, or still exists, or is omnipotent, or supernatural.
Maybe the universal constants prove something outside the universe must have acted upon the universe.
That doesn't tell you anything about whether the outside action is blue or green or knows about us or heals diseases or has angels or is a person or anything!
And nothing about these arguments suggests that the causes behind the existence and order in the universe are the same thing. Maybe one created the universe (a being), another set the constants (some weird force we don't understand), and another caused the order in the universe (aliens).
Does the evidence suggest this is less likely than that it's all the result of a single causing thing?
Or maybe some blind idiot being coughs out universes at random, without caring or knowing anything about them. Then there are so many universes with different constants that one just happens to have the constants we have in our universe.
In short, grant it all, the evidence never takes you to theism. Not even to deism, since deism makes the jump of assuming that the creating or ordering thing must be some person or being. What evidence leads to that conclusion?
Then, you go on to write about a theory that all the evidence points to an intelligent designer. From that unsupported theory, you claim that still would not point to a specific religion's God, or theism, or even deism.
Also, in your opening statement, you write about "some creating thing." You claim that even if evidence pointed to some creating thing, that wouldn't mean it is a God.
Therefore, you make three assertions:
1. Actual evidence DOESN'T prove a specific God.
2. Theoretical evidence pointing to a creator WOULDN'T prove a specific God.
3. Evidence for some creating thing IS NOT evidence for a specific God.
Let's start with assertion number one. It is easy for many religious people to claim that actual evidence (that is evidence we do have) does point to their specific God. For instance, a Christian could argue that because in Genesis it says that man was created from dust, then evolution proves that statement is true because non-living matter existed before living matter. From that point, it would be easy for a Christian to say science proves their God because Christians believe that God is the same thing as their Holy Book.
Essentially, a Christian would be asserting actual evidence is proving their specific God.
On to assertion number two, any theoretical evidence that pointed to a creator could very well prove a specific God.
If the evidence is theoretical, then it could also be theorized that the evidence proves a specific God.
Essentially, this doesn't matter to the debate of evidence proving a specific God.
Finally, if mankind held sufficient and perfect evidence to prove that everything exists because of a creator. That creator would then become "God" for all reasonable purposes. Other Gods that do not align with the new and perfectly proven God would be done away with. Perhaps, and this is only a theory, the new God would hold the attributes of the laws of our universe and we would worship God on the basis of his laws which grant our existence.
Essentially, a theorized universe creator, if realized, would become a new, specific God.
Let me think about how I would characterize my points...
This is all in context of the ACTUAL evidence-based arguments people go around making for their religions.
I might phrase it more like this:
Three parts, one idea
Proof that the universe couldn't exist by itself proves something outside/beyond/"before" the universe must have caused it to exist. But that could be not God.
Proof that the universe's constants must have been caused proves something must have affected the constants. But that could be not God.
Proof that the order in the universe must have been caused by a causing thing proves there must have been an order-causing thing at some time. But that could be not God.
Then I point out that there could even be a separate cause for each of the three things.
And that none of the things is necessarily a person.
The basic point being: I'll grant you all the arguments based on evidence, and you'll still not have proven theism, or even deism.
Even if the arguments are TRUE, they only manage to prove something else, not God.
Now if you want to call the cause or causes "God," use whatever word you want, though you'll probably confuse people, and maybe yourself. But the point is, grant all the arguments, and nobody still has any reason to believe in a supernatural being of any kind. Not one that is conscious, or omnipotent, or loving, or that answers prayers.
So as far as wording goes, I'd be satisfied if we come to the conclusion that:
IF the evidential arguments used by theists were true
THEN we would have no reason to believe in a supernatural being who knows we exist. But "God" does exist, since it's a word that just refers to whatever caused the universe to exist with its constants and order.
And for clarity's sake, it'd be better to just say:
IF the evidential arguments theists use are true:
THEN we know that some thing or things caused the universe to exist with its constants and order. This is all we know; we can't say what kind of thing or things they were.
I hope this is clear :)
Referring to our universe, you wrote that it has "constants and order."
Allow me to lay out your argument simply.
A. The qualities of universe creators are not able to be determined through evidence securing the existence of a creator.
B. If complex universes with constants and apparent order exist, they need a creator.
C. Our universe exists and is complex with constants and apparent order.
D. Therefore, a creator exists.
E. The existing creator does not have definable qualities through the avenue of evidence securing the existence of a creator.
Your argument is invalid because:
There is one thing that can be said about the creator.
1. The creator has creative qualities which allow order and constants to come into existence.
In summary, you said that "we can't say what kind of thing or things" exist. However, we are able to "say what kind of thing or things exist." In a very limited manner, we are able to confidently assert that the creator has creative qualities which allow order and constants to come into existence.
I'm not saying that our observations prove a creator. Other people say that. Then they say that proves their religion's god is real.
I'm saying that even if we grant them the conclusion that something must have caused the universe, or must have caused its constants and order, our observations do not lead us to conclude anything ELSE about the cause.
I'm totally cool with the quality of the cause that you mentioned. Whatever the creating cause did didn't make it impossible for universal constants and order to exist. Fine.
I'll just say again that theists' evidential arguments do not fulfill their intended purpose. Even if they are correct, they don't support the idea that the creating thing, the constant-setting thing, and the order-making thing are one and the same, or that they're a conscious being, that it's supernatural, or omniscient, or loving, or answers prayers.
Thus, there are no evidence-based arguments for theism or deism.
That is, there is no evidence for the most important or most basic religious beliefs of the vast majority of the religious world.
Does any religion have any evidence to justify the qualities they ascribe to their God?
I've thought about this question quite a lot.
It all comes down to what one personally accepts as evidence.
A young man joining ISIS probably considers their caliphate as evidence for a Muslim God.
A woman who finds out her husband is cheating and then has a dream about going back to church and finding love in the arms of other believers could consider that evidence for a Christian God.
A prospective Jainist, Sikh, Buddhist, or Catholic could determine evidence through thousands of different ways.
Are you a philosophical materialist?
If so, you'll want your evidence to be tangible.
I can see that. I can respect that.
All evidence has to fall under this definition, if I'm not mistaken:
Something which is more likely to exist if something is true than if it is false.
If you know how much more likely, you can use Bayes' Theorem to calculate exactly how strong the evidence is.
The woman's experience with finding love at church after a dream is evidence iff it is more likely to happen if her religion's god is real than if it isn't.
I'll note that it might be difficult to say, but it might actually BE more likely for that kind of thing to happen if God is real. That would make it evidence.
But is it enough? Those kinds of things happen all the time anyway. It's probably very weak or no evidence.
And so it is with all of those examples.
Now as for scientific evidence, that anyone can observe, I hope I've made my point sufficiently clearly.
The arguments are false, I think. But even if they are true, they don't prove what theists would like them to prove.
They don't prove a God. At best, they prove the existence of a or of some causes behind certain features of the universe, and nothing more.
I suppose I'll wrap it up as it applies to the vast majority of believers as:
There is no scientific evidence for God
That leaves just philosophical arguments, and experiences. Maybe we could go over those in two more debates?
Regarding two more debates, I politely decline.
Perhaps I'll see you again on this wonderful website.
Thanks for a great discussion.
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