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Can God communicate with people?

civilbuthonest
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6/13/2014 10:48:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Can God (for simplicity let's say the Christian God) communicate with people?

As far as I am aware, there is no evidence that God can communicate with people.

Saying 'I feel' or 'I know in my heart' does not constitute evidence. However, many studies have been done with praying for the recovery of sick people, and the results are always the same as would be expected from chance alone. In other words, even if God hears you, he does not act on your wishes.

I have a lot of respect for the present Pope Francis. He strikes me as a an honest person, with a genuine desire to do good in the world. We can safely presume that if the Head of the Catholic Church cannot communicate with God, then no one else can. However, and I have always found this extraordinary, no Pope has actually claimed to be able to communicate with God. This was made clear when Pope Francis (to his credit), said of homosexuality 'Who am I to judge'?' In other words, he is not able to elicit an answer from God, so as a mere human with no contact to God, can only give the honest answer that he doesn't know and it is not for him to judge. I admire Pope Francis for his frankness and honesty.

I deliberately do not seek debate as to whether a God exists. However, if he does, then his most notable characteristic is an inability (or disinclination) to actually do anything of material or measurable effect in the present-day world in which we live.

Indeed, I would argue that his existence is academic, given that we cannot communicate with him, and he can't or won't do anything.
civilbuthonest
Posts: 110
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6/14/2014 10:22:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/13/2014 10:48:38 PM, civilbuthonest wrote:
Can God (for simplicity let's say the Christian God) communicate with people?

As far as I am aware, there is no evidence that God can communicate with people.

Saying 'I feel' or 'I know in my heart' does not constitute evidence. However, many studies have been done with praying for the recovery of sick people, and the results are always the same as would be expected from chance alone. In other words, even if God hears you, he does not act on your wishes.

I have a lot of respect for the present Pope Francis. He strikes me as a an honest person, with a genuine desire to do good in the world. We can safely presume that if the Head of the Catholic Church cannot communicate with God, then no one else can. However, and I have always found this extraordinary, no Pope has actually claimed to be able to communicate with God. This was made clear when Pope Francis (to his credit), said of homosexuality 'Who am I to judge'?' In other words, he is not able to elicit an answer from God, so as a mere human with no contact to God, can only give the honest answer that he doesn't know and it is not for him to judge. I admire Pope Francis for his frankness and honesty.

I deliberately do not seek debate as to whether a God exists. However, if he does, then his most notable characteristic is an inability (or disinclination) to actually do anything of material or measurable effect in the present-day world in which we live.

Indeed, I would argue that his existence is academic, given that we cannot communicate with him, and he can't or won't do anything.

How strange. I would have thought that whether God could communicate with people was pretty damn important.

Yet, inexplicably, this post maybe sets a new record for no replies, no discussion.

Why? It's not because the topic is not important, so there must be another reason. Is it because everyone agrees with my original posting? Perhaps atheists do, so that may explain a lack of response from them.

Come on people. If you agree then let us know, if you don't then let us know as well.
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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6/14/2014 10:54:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/13/2014 10:48:38 PM, civilbuthonest wrote:
Can God (for simplicity let's say the Christian God) communicate with people?

As far as I am aware, there is no evidence that God can communicate with people.

Saying 'I feel' or 'I know in my heart' does not constitute evidence. However, many studies have been done with praying for the recovery of sick people, and the results are always the same as would be expected from chance alone. In other words, even if God hears you, he does not act on your wishes.


Is the christian God a being with his own will, own free will, own agenda, own personality etc... God is not a vending machine.

So if you did a study on how many homeless people I give money to, compared with how many ask for money the result would be statistically be like chance alone.

I have a lot of respect for the present Pope Francis. He strikes me as a an honest person, with a genuine desire to do good in the world. We can safely presume that if the Head of the Catholic Church cannot communicate with God, then no one else can. However, and I have always found this extraordinary, no Pope has actually claimed to be able to communicate with God. This was made clear when Pope Francis (to his credit), said of homosexuality 'Who am I to judge'?' In other words, he is not able to elicit an answer from God, so as a mere human with no contact to God, can only give the honest answer that he doesn't know and it is not for him to judge. I admire Pope Francis for his frankness and honesty.


It is a Catholic belief that "Judge not, that ye be not judged"

I deliberately do not seek debate as to whether a God exists. However, if he does, then his most notable characteristic is an inability (or disinclination) to actually do anything of material or measurable effect in the present-day world in which we live.


That's debatable. There are measurable effects. What you have contention with is attributing those effects to God.

Indeed, I would argue that his existence is academic, given that we cannot communicate with him, and he can't or won't do anything.

God is under no mandatory requirement to communicate with sound or image, or do want people want god to do.
civilbuthonest
Posts: 110
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6/14/2014 11:40:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Thanks for the reply.

At 6/14/2014 10:54:07 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 6/13/2014 10:48:38 PM, civilbuthonest wrote:
Can God (for simplicity let's say the Christian God) communicate with people?

As far as I am aware, there is no evidence that God can communicate with people.

Saying 'I feel' or 'I know in my heart' does not constitute evidence. However, many studies have been done with praying for the recovery of sick people, and the results are always the same as would be expected from chance alone. In other words, even if God hears you, he does not act on your wishes.


Is the christian God a being with his own will, own free will, own agenda, own personality etc...
Well you tell me, is he? Be honest, you don't know. I have never met anyone who actually knows what their God is.

God is not a vending machine.
Yeah, I'm fairly sure God is not a vending machine :)


So if you did a study on how many homeless people I give money to, compared with how many ask for money the result would be statistically be like chance alone.

All just so, but it doesn't alter the truth of what I said. You have given no evidence that any God can communicate with people or act on their wishes. All you have said, is that if he can, then it is so rarely as to be undetectable. Agreed, in which case I maintain his existence is academic.


I have a lot of respect for the present Pope Francis. He strikes me as a an honest person, with a genuine desire to do good in the world. We can safely presume that if the Head of the Catholic Church cannot communicate with God, then no one else can. However, and I have always found this extraordinary, no Pope has actually claimed to be able to communicate with God. This was made clear when Pope Francis (to his credit), said of homosexuality 'Who am I to judge'?' In other words, he is not able to elicit an answer from God, so as a mere human with no contact to God, can only give the honest answer that he doesn't know and it is not for him to judge. I admire Pope Francis for his frankness and honesty.


It is a Catholic belief that "Judge not, that ye be not judged"
Quite so, but you apparently missed the more important point. If Pope Francis cannot communicate with God, and elicit answers on important questions, then we should doubt that it is possible at all, surely. I was not asking whether the human Pope could or should judge matters such as homosexuality, I was asking whether, as Head of the Catholic Church, he was able to able to communicate with God to obtain advice, and I think we agree the answer is NO.


I deliberately do not seek debate as to whether a God exists. However, if he does, then his most notable characteristic is an inability (or disinclination) to actually do anything of material or measurable effect in the present-day world in which we live.


That's debatable. There are measurable effects. What you have contention with is attributing those effects to God.

Well this is a debate forum after all, so debatable is OK. What are these 'measurable effects'? If you cannot positively attribute them to God, then the fact that they are 'measurable' is a moot point, is it not?

Indeed, I would argue that his existence is academic, given that we cannot communicate with him, and he can't or won't do anything.

God is under no mandatory requirement to communicate with sound or image, or do want people want god to do.

Quite so, but that does nothing to alter my claims and conclusion, does it?

You are a very smart guy, so I presume you can see my point. We (meaning everyone) can argue forever about whether a God actually exists, but who cares.

If we can't communicate with him, and he either can't or won't actually do anything detectable or measurable in our present world, then who cares whether he exists or not? Comments everyone?
Illegalcombatant
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6/14/2014 11:57:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
People have being making claims about God/s for a very long time.

I have a theory God is a CIA operative cause once all the human chatter dies down........

It neither confirms nor denies.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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6/15/2014 12:48:38 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/14/2014 11:40:13 PM, civilbuthonest wrote:
Thanks for the reply.

At 6/14/2014 10:54:07 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 6/13/2014 10:48:38 PM, civilbuthonest wrote:
Can God (for simplicity let's say the Christian God) communicate with people?

As far as I am aware, there is no evidence that God can communicate with people.

Saying 'I feel' or 'I know in my heart' does not constitute evidence. However, many studies have been done with praying for the recovery of sick people, and the results are always the same as would be expected from chance alone. In other words, even if God hears you, he does not act on your wishes.


Is the christian God a being with his own will, own free will, own agenda, own personality etc...
Well you tell me, is he? Be honest, you don't know. I have never met anyone who actually knows what their God is.

God is not a vending machine.
Yeah, I'm fairly sure God is not a vending machine :)


So if you did a study on how many homeless people I give money to, compared with how many ask for money the result would be statistically be like chance alone.

All just so, but it doesn't alter the truth of what I said. You have given no evidence that any God can communicate with people or act on their wishes. All you have said, is that if he can, then it is so rarely as to be undetectable. Agreed, in which case I maintain his existence is academic.


I prefer to present arguments for the claims I make. I don't have to support or prove "...that any God can communicate with people or act on their wishes." to show that your argument may be faulty.

When you want to measure the temperature of soup, you don't use a volt meter. My suggestion is the prayer example may not be an effective test for the existence of god.

I personally think a christian god answers prayers to accomplish his own will. An example I like is:

My son asks for keys to the car for a date out. I don't have to give him the keys. I don't have to deny the keys to him all the time. This would be a random occurrence.

When I tell my son to mow the lawn, If he asks for a lawn mower and gas, then I am obligated to provide him the tools for doing the job I want.

If we accept what I propose, then a test would also include what God has commanded. But then we get into self-fulfilling prophecies.


I have a lot of respect for the present Pope Francis. He strikes me as a an honest person, with a genuine desire to do good in the world. We can safely presume that if the Head of the Catholic Church cannot communicate with God, then no one else can. However, and I have always found this extraordinary, no Pope has actually claimed to be able to communicate with God. This was made clear when Pope Francis (to his credit), said of homosexuality 'Who am I to judge'?' In other words, he is not able to elicit an answer from God, so as a mere human with no contact to God, can only give the honest answer that he doesn't know and it is not for him to judge. I admire Pope Francis for his frankness and honesty.


It is a Catholic belief that "Judge not, that ye be not judged"
Quite so, but you apparently missed the more important point. If Pope Francis cannot communicate with God, and elicit answers on important questions, then we should doubt that it is possible at all, surely. I was not asking whether the human Pope could or should judge matters such as homosexuality, I was asking whether, as Head of the Catholic Church, he was able to able to communicate with God to obtain advice, and I think we agree the answer is NO.


Could you quote the pope saying he does not talk to god?

You quoted him saying he does not judge, which is inline with scripture.


I deliberately do not seek debate as to whether a God exists. However, if he does, then his most notable characteristic is an inability (or disinclination) to actually do anything of material or measurable effect in the present-day world in which we live.


That's debatable. There are measurable effects. What you have contention with is attributing those effects to God.

Well this is a debate forum after all, so debatable is OK. What are these 'measurable effects'? If you cannot positively attribute them to God, then the fact that they are 'measurable' is a moot point, is it not?

I think the cause of the universe was god. I think the expansion and energy in the universe is a measurable effect.

I think the arrangement of biological chemicals require an intelligence.

You seem to be asking if anyone has heard the voice of God. But on this forum if someone said that they would be ridiculed. Such a personal experience would not aid in confirming your premises.

Some people have heard voices that have lead them to safety and attribute those sounds to God. period.

I'm trying to understand what you would take as evidence of God communicating with someone? If the person God spoke to is not a justifiable source for confirming that event?


Indeed, I would argue that his existence is academic, given that we cannot communicate with him, and he can't or won't do anything.

God is under no mandatory requirement to communicate with sound or image, or do want people want god to do.

Quite so, but that does nothing to alter my claims and conclusion, does it?

You are a very smart guy, so I presume you can see my point. We (meaning everyone) can argue forever about whether a God actually exists, but who cares.

If we can't communicate with him, and he either can't or won't actually do anything detectable or measurable in our present world, then who cares whether he exists or not? Comments everyone?
civilbuthonest
Posts: 110
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6/15/2014 1:29:06 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
All just so, but it doesn't alter the truth of what I said. You have given no evidence that any God can communicate with people or act on their wishes. All you have said, is that if he can, then it is so rarely as to be undetectable. Agreed, in which case I maintain his existence is academic.

I prefer to present arguments for the claims I make. I don't have to support or prove "...that any God can communicate with people or act on their wishes." to show that your argument may be faulty.

When you want to measure the temperature of soup, you don't use a volt meter. My suggestion is the prayer example may not be an effective test for the existence of god.

The prayer example was never claimed to be a test for the existence of a God. That is the whole point. Who cares if your God exists, if there is no measurable way of knowing if he exists, and no measurable evidence that he actually does anything. Unanswered prayers was just one example of where research has shown that there would be no difference (within the statistical noise) whether the God existed or not.


I personally think a christian god answers prayers to accomplish his own will. An example I like is:

My son asks for keys to the car for a date out. I don't have to give him the keys. I don't have to deny the keys to him all the time. This would be a random occurrence.

When I tell my son to mow the lawn, If he asks for a lawn mower and gas, then I am obligated to provide him the tools for doing the job I want.

If we accept what I propose, then a test would also include what God has commanded. But then we get into self-fulfilling prophecies.

I don't understand your example, or what you are trying to show. Can you explain further? Unless I'm missing something, your car key and lawnmower examples don't provide evidence that a God is doing something.

I'll address your other points in another post.
Mhykiel
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6/15/2014 1:59:34 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/15/2014 1:29:06 AM, civilbuthonest wrote:
All just so, but it doesn't alter the truth of what I said. You have given no evidence that any God can communicate with people or act on their wishes. All you have said, is that if he can, then it is so rarely as to be undetectable. Agreed, in which case I maintain his existence is academic.


I prefer to present arguments for the claims I make. I don't have to support or prove "...that any God can communicate with people or act on their wishes." to show that your argument may be faulty.

When you want to measure the temperature of soup, you don't use a volt meter. My suggestion is the prayer example may not be an effective test for the existence of god.

The prayer example was never claimed to be a test for the existence of a God. That is the whole point. Who cares if your God exists, if there is no measurable way of knowing if he exists, and no measurable evidence that he actually does anything. Unanswered prayers was just one example of where research has shown that there would be no difference (within the statistical noise) whether the God existed or not.


I personally think a christian god answers prayers to accomplish his own will. An example I like is:

My son asks for keys to the car for a date out. I don't have to give him the keys. I don't have to deny the keys to him all the time. This would be a random occurrence.

When I tell my son to mow the lawn, If he asks for a lawn mower and gas, then I am obligated to provide him the tools for doing the job I want.

If we accept what I propose, then a test would also include what God has commanded. But then we get into self-fulfilling prophecies.

I don't understand your example, or what you are trying to show. Can you explain further? Unless I'm missing something, your car key and lawnmower examples don't provide evidence that a God is doing something.

I'll address your other points in another post.

The example is to show that the only real obligation to answer prayers is if God was asking for his will to be done. Which takes the evidential value of prayer out, without answering first, How do we know if God is asking someone to do something?

Your claim is there is no evidence that God communicates with anyone.

I offered 2 examples to show that I don't think the prayer tests flow to the conclusion you are making.

If the person claiming God has spoken to them is not evidence then what can be? When a friend talks to you they are not being recorded all the time. Eye witness accounts in court are accepted. What do both of these have in common. The amount of trust people can have in a person making a testimony.

Are you rejecting to trust anyone who says they talk to God? Because that is what it sounds like.

But if someone writes it in a Science book, are you now more likely to believe it?

Is it the method of communication or the subject of the claim itself that makes you reject it as evidence?
civilbuthonest
Posts: 110
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6/15/2014 2:14:07 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I have a lot of respect for the present Pope Francis. He strikes me as a an honest person, with a genuine desire to do good in the world. We can safely presume that if the Head of the Catholic Church cannot communicate with God, then no one else can. However, and I have always found this extraordinary, no Pope has actually claimed to be able to communicate with God. This was made clear when Pope Francis (to his credit), said of homosexuality 'Who am I to judge'?' In other words, he is not able to elicit an answer from God, so as a mere human with no contact to God, can only give the honest answer that he doesn't know and it is not for him to judge. I admire Pope Francis for his frankness and honesty.

It is a Catholic belief that "Judge not, that ye be not judged"
Quite so, but you apparently missed the more important point. If Pope Francis cannot communicate with God, and elicit answers on important questions, then we should doubt that it is possible at all, surely. I was not asking whether the human Pope could or should judge matters such as homosexuality, I was asking whether, as Head of the Catholic Church, he was able to able to communicate with God to obtain advice, and I think we agree the answer is NO.


Could you quote the pope saying he does not talk to god?
No

You quoted him saying he does not judge, which is inline with scripture.

You still don't get it, yet I don't know how to explain more clearly. If God can actually communicate to people, then I would most certainly expect that he would be able to communicate with the Pope, the head of the Catholic Church for goodness sake. Furthermore, on an important moral question such as homosexuality, I would fully expect that if God is real, and communication between people and God is possible, then the Pope of all people should have no trouble getting an opinion from higher authority, God, even if the answer was not provided immediately. I feel very sure that Pope Francis has thought about the moral question of homosexuality many times over a long period of time, and would dearly like clear guidance from God, especially as scripture dictates he should not judge the matter himself as a human. Follow me so far. Now, if Francis was a less honest man than he is, he may well have presented a ruling or guidelines on the matter, probably with a clear implication that the guidance had been communicated to him from God, even if it had not been, or if he had been less than sure it had. But, to his credit, he has not done that. He has instead been very upfront that he has received no clear guidance on this matter from God, for if he had, then obviously he would have said so, and let us all know the result. I respect him for his honesty, but of course what this makes clear, is that even the Pope is not able to communicate with God and receive divine guidance on an important moral issue such as homosexuality.

And if the Pope, Head of the Catholic Church no less, cannot obtain divine guidance on an important moral matter that Francis must have been struggling with for many years, then we should conclude that in general God either can't or won't communicate with or provide guidance to humans in general.
Mhykiel
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6/15/2014 2:47:35 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/15/2014 2:14:07 AM, civilbuthonest wrote:
I have a lot of respect for the present Pope Francis. He strikes me as a an honest person, with a genuine desire to do good in the world. We can safely presume that if the Head of the Catholic Church cannot communicate with God, then no one else can. However, and I have always found this extraordinary, no Pope has actually claimed to be able to communicate with God. This was made clear when Pope Francis (to his credit), said of homosexuality 'Who am I to judge'?' In other words, he is not able to elicit an answer from God, so as a mere human with no contact to God, can only give the honest answer that he doesn't know and it is not for him to judge. I admire Pope Francis for his frankness and honesty.

It is a Catholic belief that "Judge not, that ye be not judged"
Quite so, but you apparently missed the more important point. If Pope Francis cannot communicate with God, and elicit answers on important questions, then we should doubt that it is possible at all, surely. I was not asking whether the human Pope could or should judge matters such as homosexuality, I was asking whether, as Head of the Catholic Church, he was able to able to communicate with God to obtain advice, and I think we agree the answer is NO.


Could you quote the pope saying he does not talk to god?
No

You quoted him saying he does not judge, which is inline with scripture.

You still don't get it, yet I don't know how to explain more clearly. If God can actually communicate to people, then I would most certainly expect that he would be able to communicate with the Pope, the head of the Catholic Church for goodness sake. Furthermore, on an important moral question such as homosexuality, I would fully expect that if God is real, and communication between people and God is possible, then the Pope of all people should have no trouble getting an opinion from higher authority, God, even if the answer was not provided immediately. I feel very sure that Pope Francis has thought about the moral question of homosexuality many times over a long period of time, and would dearly like clear guidance from God, especially as scripture dictates he should not judge the matter himself as a human. Follow me so far. Now, if Francis was a less honest man than he is, he may well have presented a ruling or guidelines on the matter, probably with a clear implication that the guidance had been communicated to him from God, even if it had not been, or if he had been less than sure it had. But, to his credit, he has not done that. He has instead been very upfront that he has received no clear guidance on this matter from God, for if he had, then obviously he would have said so, and let us all know the result. I respect him for his honesty, but of course what this makes clear, is that even the Pope is not able to communicate with God and receive divine guidance on an important moral issue such as homosexuality.

And if the Pope, Head of the Catholic Church no less, cannot obtain divine guidance on an important moral matter that Francis must have been struggling with for many years, then we should conclude that in general God either can't or won't communicate with or provide guidance to humans in general.

I understand the case you are making in regards to the pope. I think the pope is a man and prone to worrying public opinion.

What if the pope said he had talked to God. Then you would deem him dishonest. And it would not be proof of God communicating to people.

And the situation is the Pope said he hasn't talked to God. The pop is being Honest. And this is your proof of God not communicating to people.

Am I understanding you correctly? That regardless of what the pope says about communicating with God, there would still be no evidence god communicates with people.

If that is how you feel about the question of God communicating no matter what the scenario, then the question, "Does God communicate with people?" will be meaningless and academic to you.

I think using the pope as a specific case to extrapolate the validity of the claim, "God communicates with people", is drawing a faulty generalization. I understand it is the Pope. And in some christian circles that would be an appeal to an expert authority. But not for me.
Mhykiel
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6/15/2014 2:54:35 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/15/2014 2:14:07 AM, civilbuthonest wrote:
I have a lot of respect for the present Pope Francis. He strikes me as a an honest person, with a genuine desire to do good in the world. We can safely presume that if the Head of the Catholic Church cannot communicate with God, then no one else can. However, and I have always found this extraordinary, no Pope has actually claimed to be able to communicate with God. This was made clear when Pope Francis (to his credit), said of homosexuality 'Who am I to judge'?' In other words, he is not able to elicit an answer from God, so as a mere human with no contact to God, can only give the honest answer that he doesn't know and it is not for him to judge. I admire Pope Francis for his frankness and honesty.

It is a Catholic belief that "Judge not, that ye be not judged"
Quite so, but you apparently missed the more important point. If Pope Francis cannot communicate with God, and elicit answers on important questions, then we should doubt that it is possible at all, surely. I was not asking whether the human Pope could or should judge matters such as homosexuality, I was asking whether, as Head of the Catholic Church, he was able to able to communicate with God to obtain advice, and I think we agree the answer is NO.


Could you quote the pope saying he does not talk to god?
No

You quoted him saying he does not judge, which is inline with scripture.

You still don't get it, yet I don't know how to explain more clearly. If God can actually communicate to people, then I would most certainly expect that he would be able to communicate with the Pope, the head of the Catholic Church for goodness sake. Furthermore, on an important moral question such as homosexuality, I would fully expect that if God is real, and communication between people and God is possible, then the Pope of all people should have no trouble getting an opinion from higher authority, God, even if the answer was not provided immediately. I feel very sure that Pope Francis has thought about the moral question of homosexuality many times over a long period of time, and would dearly like clear guidance from God, especially as scripture dictates he should not judge the matter himself as a human. Follow me so far. Now, if Francis was a less honest man than he is, he may well have presented a ruling or guidelines on the matter, probably with a clear implication that the guidance had been communicated to him from God, even if it had not been, or if he had been less than sure it had. But, to his credit, he has not done that. He has instead been very upfront that he has received no clear guidance on this matter from God, for if he had, then obviously he would have said so, and let us all know the result. I respect him for his honesty, but of course what this makes clear, is that even the Pope is not able to communicate with God and receive divine guidance on an important moral issue such as homosexuality.

And if the Pope, Head of the Catholic Church no less, cannot obtain divine guidance on an important moral matter that Francis must have been struggling with for many years, then we should conclude that in general God either can't or won't communicate with or provide guidance to humans in general.

So if I understand you correctly:

1. You trust a person to make a truthful claim
2. If that person makes a claim they spoke to god you distrust them.
3. no person you trust has made a claim they have spoken to god.

refer to bold in your reply.
Skyangel
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6/15/2014 3:12:12 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/14/2014 11:40:13 PM, civilbuthonest wrote:
At 6/14/2014 10:54:07 PM, Mhykiel wrote:

Is the christian God a being with his own will, own free will, own agenda, own personality etc...
Well you tell me, is he? Be honest, you don't know. I have never met anyone who actually knows what their God is.


God is whatever people imagine him to be. Some imagine him to be good and others imagine him to be evil. However they mostly seem to imagine him to be an invisible entity in the heavens or space or the sky someplace.
If they do communicate with him they are only communicating with their own mind.

I deliberately do not seek debate as to whether a God exists. However, if he does, then his most notable characteristic is an inability (or disinclination) to actually do anything of material or measurable effect in the present-day world in which we live.


That's debatable. There are measurable effects. What you have contention with is attributing those effects to God.

There are also measurable effects that Mother Nature exists.
There are also measurable effects that Father Time exists.
Should we attribute all measurable effects to invisible mythical characters?

If we can't communicate with him, and he either can't or won't actually do anything detectable or measurable in our present world, then who cares whether he exists or not? Comments everyone?

God is the "voice" within your own mind and conscience. You can communicate with that "voice" and either follow the directions of your own conscience or ignore it and violate it. It directs the person who follows it and brings guilt to those who violate it.
civilbuthonest
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6/15/2014 5:29:35 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/15/2014 1:59:34 AM, Mhykiel wrote:

The example is to show that the only real obligation to answer prayers is if God was asking for his will to be done.

I see no relevance in whether God has an 'obligation' to answer prayers. Given that he doesn't answer them to a measurable extent, who cares why? That's my whole point.

Which takes the evidential value of prayer out, without answering first, How do we know if God is asking someone to do something?

Strictly speaking we don't, but it is a meaningless question. As you know, there are countless billions of events on earth that either we cannot predict, or cannot be predicted even in principle because of chaos or the butterfly effect. For example, long term weather forecasting, or even the dripping of a tap. A similar meaningless question is whether God has been involved in these non predictable events, and of course it is impossible to say he has not. However, that said, there is no reason to believe he was involved either, so in the absence of any such evidence, we should logically assume that no God was involved. Your question of whether God is asking someone to do something (in effect controlling their mind) is of that type, so we are entitled to assume he is not, unless you can provide good evidence to the contrary.

Your claim is there is no evidence that God communicates with anyone.
Correct, noting that I said measurable evidence.



If the person claiming God has spoken to them is not evidence then what can be?
When a friend talks to you they are not being recorded all the time. Eye witness :accounts in court are accepted. What do both of these have in common. The amount :of trust people can have in a person making a testimony.

Are you rejecting to trust anyone who says they talk to God? Because that is what it sounds like.

I hear what you are saying. I'm sure many people honestly believe that God has 'spoken' to them, or that they have 'felt' the influence of God in their heart or mind, but humans are very fallible in such matters. Unfortunately, simply 'feeling' or 'believing' that they have been in contact with God doesn't prove anything and, if you are honest then you would concede that is true. The question then becomes, how could we know if a person really can communicate with God? The obvious answer is that :

(a) Communication TO God could be confirmed by praying, and observing if God responds in a measurable manner beyond that which could be expected from chance alone.

(b) Communication FROM God could be confirmed by receipt of information that could not possibly have been obtained in any way.

To my knowledge there is no evidence of a scientifically acceptable nature of either (a) or (b), and it would be reasonable to expect there would be if such communication was possible. I am not interested in the usual cop-outs that God deliberately behaves in such a way that we can never observe or measure the results. If that is true, then my case is proven, that the existence of such a God is academic.

An excellent analogy would be claims of mental telepathy. Many people claim to be able to do it, but the more you look the less you find, and to my knowledge there are no scientifically reputable examples of mental telepathy - if there were then science would be intensely studying the subject. If you believe in mental telepathy, then you probably have the right mental temperament to believe in communication with God as well. I don't believe in either, until and unless some evidence shows up, and you haven't provided any. Which is in no way your fault.


But if someone writes it in a Science book, are you now more likely to believe it?
Yes, because scientific claims are verifiable - you don't have to take them on faith. More importantly, they are based on objective measurement rather than subjective 'feeling'. When scientific measurements are done subjectively, you can easily find what you expected to find, like N-rays. (If anyone doesn't know what N-rays are, Google it for an interesting read)

Is it the method of communication or the subject of the claim itself that makes you reject it as evidence?
I already described what would constitute acceptable evidence, in (a) and (b).
Another reason to doubt the existence of God-human communication is there is no known method by which such communication could take place, not to mention no known location for 'God', nor even the slightest understanding of what such a God is. It is therefore a supernatural claim, just as mental telepathy. That does not make it fundamentally impossible, but it does make it an 'extraordinary 'claim, for which we should require excellent evidence, yet in fact the evidence sits somewhere between very weak and non existent. Given all these factors, I regretfully conclude that it is exceedingly unlikely that God (if he exists) can communicate with people.

Which makes his existence of little practical significance. Who cares whether God exists or not if we can't communicate with him and he can't actually do anything of a measurable nature.
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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6/15/2014 6:03:02 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/15/2014 5:29:35 AM, civilbuthonest wrote:
At 6/15/2014 1:59:34 AM, Mhykiel wrote:

The example is to show that the only real obligation to answer prayers is if God was asking for his will to be done.

I see no relevance in whether God has an 'obligation' to answer prayers. Given that he doesn't answer them to a measurable extent, who cares why? That's my whole point.

I'm having a mature discussion with you. If anything your arguments will become stronger.

You say what does it matter if God only answers the prayers that are for his will. Because he doesn't answer any to a measurable degree.

If you are trying to measure the temperature of soup, you don't use a volt meter.

The measurement must match the subject in question. Don't you think the sample size of all prayers will muddy the well, and make seeing God answering the prayers that are his obligation harder to see?



Which takes the evidential value of prayer out, without answering first, How do we know if God is asking someone to do something?

Strictly speaking we don't, but it is a meaningless question. As you know, there are countless billions of events on earth that either we cannot predict, or cannot be predicted even in principle because of chaos or the butterfly effect. For example, long term weather forecasting, or even the dripping of a tap. A similar meaningless question is whether God has been involved in these non predictable events, and of course it is impossible to say he has not. However, that said, there is no reason to believe he was involved either, so in the absence of any such evidence, we should logically assume that no God was involved. Your question of whether God is asking someone to do something (in effect controlling their mind) is of that type, so we are entitled to assume he is not, unless you can provide good evidence to the contrary.


I understand, like the null hyothesis


Your claim is there is no evidence that God communicates with anyone.
Correct, noting that I said measurable evidence.




If the person claiming God has spoken to them is not evidence then what can be?
When a friend talks to you they are not being recorded all the time. Eye witness :accounts in court are accepted. What do both of these have in common. The amount :of trust people can have in a person making a testimony.

Are you rejecting to trust anyone who says they talk to God? Because that is what it sounds like.

I hear what you are saying. I'm sure many people honestly believe that God has 'spoken' to them, or that they have 'felt' the influence of God in their heart or mind, but humans are very fallible in such matters. Unfortunately, simply 'feeling' or 'believing' that they have been in contact with God doesn't prove anything and, if you are honest then you would concede that is true. The question then becomes, how could we know if a person really can communicate with God? The obvious answer is that :

(a) Communication TO God could be confirmed by praying, and observing if God responds in a measurable manner beyond that which could be expected from chance alone.

(b) Communication FROM God could be confirmed by receipt of information that could not possibly have been obtained in any way.

To my knowledge there is no evidence of a scientifically acceptable nature of either (a) or (b),

This is the same evidence the Hebrews in the Bible asked for. Now CSI hasn't been around forever, or science. So do you throw the baby out with the bath water and reject all statements made by ancient sources because a team of scientist wasn't on hand to video tape, record, measure the event?

What is the method used by historians and archeologist to reconstruct past events?

and it would be reasonable to expect there would be if such communication was possible. I am not interested in the usual cop-outs that God deliberately behaves in such a way that we can never observe or measure the results. If that is true, then my case is proven, that the existence of such a God is academic.


I agree why would I God (christian God as you stipulated) say seek wisdom, ask receive, be blessed, blah blah... If God didn't want to be found. This is eternal damnation over a game of hide-and-seek. Not fair.

An excellent analogy would be claims of mental telepathy. Many people claim to be able to do it, but the more you look the less you find, and to my knowledge there are no scientifically reputable examples of mental telepathy - if there were then science would be intensely studying the subject. If you believe in mental telepathy, then you probably have the right mental temperament to believe in communication with God as well. I don't believe in either, until and unless some evidence shows up, and you haven't provided any. Which is in no way your fault.


But if someone writes it in a Science book, are you now more likely to believe it?
Yes, because scientific claims are verifiable - you don't have to take them on faith. More importantly, they are based on objective measurement rather than subjective 'feeling'. When scientific measurements are done subjectively, you can easily find what you expected to find, like N-rays. (If anyone doesn't know what N-rays are, Google it for an interesting read)


Not getting semantic or anything, but the only real objective measurement is a direct measurement. With that in mind then a lot of science is built on subjective measures. Also Science is called an inductive methodology, drawing generalizations from specific events. Which in the real world there are so many more variables. Variables, that were not present in the experiment, that could interfere or reinforce the event.

But as I said before, before Science can make a measure a good case for what how to measure must be made. Before looking for a black hole, scientist had to figure out what to look for. Your (a) and (b) are good examples of this.

Is it the method of communication or the subject of the claim itself that makes you reject it as evidence?
I already described what would constitute acceptable evidence, in (a) and (b).
Another reason to doubt the existence of God-human communication is there is no known method by which such communication could take place, not to mention no known location for 'God', nor even the slightest understanding of what such a God is. It is therefore a supernatural claim, just as mental telepathy. That does not make it fundamentally impossible, but it does make it an 'extraordinary 'claim, for which we should require excellent evidence, yet in fact the evidence sits somewhere between very weak and non existent. Given all these factors, I regretfully conclude that it is exceedingly unlikely that God (if he exists) can communicate with people.


Well God is everywhere. So if he did talk to someone, God would not need to generate an environmental vibration of air molecules, but could just effect a few neurons in a persons brain.

Which makes his existence of little practical significance. Who cares whether God exists or not if we can't communicate with him and he can't actually do anything of a measurable nature.

Well we can touch on the nature evidence later. I would like to discern how no evidence in the history of mankind is evidence to you.
12_13
Posts: 1,361
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6/15/2014 6:08:32 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/13/2014 10:48:38 PM, civilbuthonest wrote:
This was made clear when Pope Francis (to his credit), said of homosexuality 'Who am I to judge'

I don"t think that means pope can"t communicate with God. It could just mean that Pope respects what Jesus said and don"t judge because:

"Don't judge, so that you won't be judged. For with whatever judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you."

Mat. 7:1-2
heart_of_the_matter
Posts: 408
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8/10/2014 2:39:39 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/13/2014 10:48:38 PM, civilbuthonest wrote:
Can God (for simplicity let's say the Christian God) communicate with people?

Yes He can. A being with all power and all knowledge certainly has the ability to communicate with people.

As far as I am aware, there is no evidence that God can communicate with people.

proof or evidence? There are several different ways that God communicates with people. He speaks through living prophets and apostles, He listens to and answers prayers (if they are right, and He answers in His own way, and own time, and according to HIS will). He speaks through the Holy Ghost to prompt, guide, and direct and confirm truth to the sincere seeker of truth. He speaks through visions and direct revelation. He also uses people to answer prayers...the level of communication a person can obtain from God is based on their level of faith and obedience to God.

Saying 'I feel' or 'I know in my heart' does not constitute evidence. However, many studies have been done with praying for the recovery of sick people, and the results are always the same as would be expected from chance alone. In other words, even if God hears you, he does not act on your wishes.

There are many instances of healings that baffle doctors...miracles.

I have a lot of respect for the present Pope Francis. He strikes me as a an honest person, with a genuine desire to do good in the world. We can safely presume that if the Head of the Catholic Church cannot communicate with God, then no one else can. However, and I have always found this extraordinary, no Pope has actually claimed to be able to communicate with God. This was made clear when Pope Francis (to his credit), said of homosexuality 'Who am I to judge'?' In other words, he is not able to elicit an answer from God, so as a mere human with no contact to God, can only give the honest answer that he doesn't know and it is not for him to judge. I admire Pope Francis for his frankness and honesty.

Pope Francis does not hold the true Priesthood of God. God's prophet on the Earth today is President Thomas S. Monson and He does communicate with God.

I deliberately do not seek debate as to whether a God exists. However, if he does, then his most notable characteristic is an inability (or disinclination) to actually do anything of material or measurable effect in the present-day world in which we live.

To those without faith, there will be no miracles or intervention. To those with faith God has and does intervene.

Indeed, I would argue that his existence is academic, given that we cannot communicate with him, and he can't or won't do anything.

We can communicate with God and He will bless the faithful. Faith in Jesus Christ is the FIRST principle of the gospel...other principles and knowledge can be added upon faith.
celestialtorahteacher
Posts: 1,369
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8/10/2014 4:00:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
God does communicate directly with human beings. Since the Advent of the Spirit of Christ into the world 2000 years ago God often "speaks" mentally to the spiritually receptive with the voice of Jesus Christ. Many people hear spiritual voices though so spiritual discernment is necessary to tell the true Voice of God among all the contenders, such as the phony one posted above. Jesus Christ gave us the tool to tell true prophets of God from false ones. It is by their fruits you can tell the difference. Bad Religion produces bad human behavior and that usually ends up with people dying or having their human rights taken away. Mormonism banned blacks as the founder was racist thus showing Mormonism true false colors as a theology from God.

True prophets of God haven't been seen in the world for a long long time. Now one's back, a Jewish Christian prophesy bearer in the old time Elijah tradition and bearing a new yet very old Christian theology direct from God Most High and the Spirit of Christ. Celestial Torah Christianity is here to cleanse the religious belief in God of man-made tribal politics and false doctrines.