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We certainly cannot prove the existence of God scientifically. As mentioned, the sciencific method cannot prove anything. It can only make some formal hypothesis about the nature of physical reality more (or less) likely to be correct than other competing theories.

And I do not expect any so-called religious experience to prove the existence of God, but it could make such a hypothesis significantly more probable than (e.g.) a strictly materialistic explanation of reality. It is likewise impossible to absolutely prove our own existence and/or the existence of other human beings, but we can experience every day that such a theory is very likely to be true..


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Immanual Kant said that if we could prove the existence of God, we would deny ourselves the
greatest capacity we have: Faith.


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Bart... i am confused, are you saying even a personal experience with God is not proof. at least for the person that has the experience? of-course he will never prove it to another person, but he does not have to, the experience was for him.

Could you clarify for me.


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J. Barry wrote:
Bart... i am confused, are you saying even a personal experience with God is not proof. at least for the person that has the experience? of-course he will never prove it to another person, but he does not have to, the experience was for him.

Could you clarify for me.


I'm not Bart, but I'd like to comment on this.

I cringe when the word "proof" is used in this context. To prove a claim is to establish it beyond any possibility of rational deniability. Outside of mathematics and formal logic, there isn't a lot of proof to be found. Even the legal sense of the term, as its used in American jurisprudence, of "proof beyond a reasonable doubt", is vague, since "reasonable doubt" is undefined.

It's much more reasonable to speak of evidence. Strictly speaking, proof is all or nothing, but evidence has degrees. To claim that there is evidence for a belief is not to claim that there's no evidence against it. Making a judgment involves discerning which way all the evidence points, and this is precisely why rational people of good will can fail to agree on many things.

It's not easy to define evidence, but a reasonable approximation is: Evidence for a belief, B, is any facts that make B less unexpected than B would be if those facts didn't obtain. More formally, facts E are evidence for B if and only if B is more likely to be true given E than given not-E. This is the Bayesian conception of evidence; I think it's pretty fair.

So then the question is: What kinds of facts can count as evidence? This is a much disputed point, but one reasonable position is that the facts should be of the publicly accessible sort. That is, to count as evidence, facts should be things that can be discovered or confirmed by anyone. Private religious experiences wouldn't qualify.

But, as you say, wouldn't a private religious experience count as evidence to the person who has it? Perhaps, but it might be better to say that a person who has an experience like that is in a completely different situation, and no longer needs evidence, or proof, for that matter.

Still, I'm not willing to concede the point so readily that private religious experiences have no evidential value, even for others, who don't have those experiences. Skeptics are often quick to say that religious experiences are pathological in some way, but I don't think that claim holds up unless it is supported by independent evidence of mental illness. If there is a person who has a religious experience and who becomes more stable and higher functioning as a result--and there are many such cases--there's little basis to say that the religious experience is pathological. So it seems to me that the occurrence of such positively transformational religious experiences is somewhat less unexpected given the existence of God than they would be if God didn't exist. This falls far short of proof, no question about it, but I think it still counts as evidence for the rest of us. It doesn't "trump" all other evidence, in my view, but it's not to be dismissed either.

Incidentally, I believe that exactly the same kind of analysis can and should be applied to questions such as the revelatory/celestial authenticity of the UB.

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pertti wrote:
While reading TUB I realized something: it is impossible to prove the existence of God.



Is true.
You can not prove God's existence through reason or evidence.

So another person can never be convinced by us.

But the extraordinary thing is that in the future we may devote ourselves to this great find of God through our work for the universe.
Meanwhile, right now we have finded God within.
Find God even outside of it will take all eternity.
It would be a mistake if we had been able to find God, and out of us.
In this case we would be bored for eternity. Just kidding of course but we can not do for teachers to God, that's for sure.

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J. Barry wrote:
... are you saying even a personal experience with God is not proof. at least for the person that has the experience? of-course he will never prove it to another person, but he does not have to, the experience was for him.
Hi JB. I agree with Todd. Outside of mathematics and formal logic, proving the reality of anything is (fundamentally) impossible. The term proof denotes some formal logical truth that we can understand. But no logical/mathematical model of reality can account for all microscopic complexity which apparently underlies real macroscopic (experiential) phenomena. Any formal model of reality must be just a (crude) simplification (or metaphor) of reality.

The so-called scientific method may validate (not prove) such a theory by testing its predictions through real observable phenomena. Each independent observation/verification of a real phenomenon that is predicted or explained by the theory, thus adds to the evidence in favor of the theory. But no matter how much independent positive results are (experimentally) obtained, this can never absolutely prove that the theory will always be correct..

Incidentally, it was in the news yesterday that Einstein’s special relativity theory (the most accurate and important formal model of physical reality we have) may be into serious trouble as a result of experimental data indicating that its most fundamental prediction is wrong. Scientists from CERN have shown 15,000 times that certain sub-atomic particles (neutrinos) can travel faster than the speed of light, whereas according to special relativity theory, nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. For now, the scientific community remains sceptical. If special relativity is wrong, our laws of nature will have to be rewritten.. More replications of the experiment must be done to (statistically) justify such a conclusion (see: http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la- ... 7738.story).

Anyway, in answer to your question, I think so-called religious experience might well be a fundamentally different way or level of (personally) attaining true knowledge of reality. But I guess the mind will never stop asking for physical proof.. :)

Nevertheless, TUB seems to suggest an experiment to verify the reality of religious experience that can be performed by anyone. The evidence may be publicly observable as "fruits of the spirit": love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.. :)


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Another thing to consider is that most people 99.999 percent have never been exposed to the -4th revelation- of jesus christ and his teachings which are included in the Urantia book not so much in the bible hahah and the 5th revelation of the urantia book. The bible is more a less a good representaton of the 1st 3 revelation's. Soo with that in mind, you have to look at what is on the table.

Many spiritualists today are not unlike people in the olden day's. Many spiritualists will sit in their room and meditate for hours trying to achieve some sort of peace with the cosmo's and themselves. Many will still starve themselves, sacrifice themselves, search the world for some sort of revelation of reality when in the 4th and 5th revelation we are assured of being bestowed an exhalted gift of sonship by simple faith. It is difficult for people to envision the reception of such an incredible gift of sonship without sacrificing themselves in some extreme way. Or without doing something extreme.

Even the belief in doing Gods will is believed to be a sacrafice of your own will in some sort of slavish way, but that is not the case, you are merely concentrating your will to the fathers will. "Let your will be my will"

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Heretofore it had been believed that salvation could be secured only by works—sacrifices and offerings; now, Melchizedek again brought to Urantia the good news that salvation, favor with God, is to be had by faith. But this gospel of simple faith in God was too advanced; the Semitic tribesmen subsequently preferred to go back to the older sacrifices and atonement for sin by the shedding of blood

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actuallydoingrightUnselfishnesisthebadgeofhumangreatnes
Thehighestlevelsofselfrealizationareatainedbyworshipandservice
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I'm sure you all have heard of Schrodinger Cat...(sorry if i miss spelled his name)...
So let say one person was able to find a way to travel up into space and open the box, and beyond all expectations he found the Cat alive, for him it would be a fact, his eyes see the proof, but for reason not able to explain or understand he can not bring the cat back ..thus he has no proof to show any one, but his word.

Obviously now one will believe him, but in him he know what he was and what is truth, deny it every one if you will, but for him...he has all the proof he needs.

and so it is for every one of us that has had a personal experience with God.


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I’m not disagreeing with you, JB.. The Urantia Book states that "The existence of God is utterly beyond all possibility of demonstration except for the contact between the God-consciousness of the human mind and the God-presence of the Thought Adjuster." (1:2.8 ) And, "The fact that you are not intellectually conscious of close and intimate contact with the indwelling Adjuster does not in the least disprove such an exalted experience." (5:2.4)

Proof can be defined as: the evidence or argument that compels the mind to accept an assertion as true. (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/proof) We cannot prove the existence of God by "demonstration"; in a scientific (or logical) sense. Nevertheless, it may be possible to personally experience "the fact of his presence"..
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1:2.8 Those who know God have experienced the fact of his presence; such God-knowing mortals hold in their personal experience the only positive proof of the existence of the living God which one human being can offer to another. The existence of God is utterly beyond all possibility of demonstration except for the contact between the God-consciousness of the human mind and the God-presence of the Thought Adjuster that indwells the mortal intellect and is bestowed upon man as the free gift of the Universal Father.

5:2.4 It is because of this God fragment that indwells you that you can hope, as you progress in harmonizing with the Adjuster’s spiritual leadings, more fully to discern the presence and transforming power of those other spiritual influences that surround you and impinge upon you but do not function as an integral part of you. The fact that you are not intellectually conscious of close and intimate contact with the indwelling Adjuster does not in the least disprove such an exalted experience. The proof of fraternity with the divine Adjuster consists wholly in the nature and extent of the fruits of the spirit which are yielded in the life experience of the individual believer. “By their fruits you shall know them.”


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What Bart said.

That a private experience isn't proof doesn't imply that it isn't just as powerful as proof or more so for the one who has it. It's just a different kind of thing.

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I guess the reason i posted all that is because i have been on a ..some what crusade to raise the awareness of the Evident and Experiential relationship with God the every Healthy minded Human Can Have.

debating the Literal term in Science or Webster, is of little importance to me, the Reality that God can be know, and Experienced, is one of my active mission while i am alive to do so....


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J. Barry wrote:
the Reality that God can be know, and Experienced, is one of my active mission while i am alive to do so....

Indeed - experiencing God is the best "proof" we can get! In fact, it surpasses any proof and goes straight into our hearts.


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J. Barry wrote:
... debating the Literal term in Science or Webster, is of little importance to me, the Reality that God can be know, and Experienced, is one of my active mission while i am alive to do so....
I try to see/believe that.. And I think a discussion of what "knowing" the reality of God actually can or cannot mean is quite relevant. After all, "it is exceedingly difficult for the meagerly spiritualized, material mind of mortal man to experience marked consciousness of the spirit activities of such divine entities as the Paradise Adjusters." (5:2.5) So, any bit of information regarding the nature of so-called personal religious experience or God-consciousness may be of interest; such as the (not so obvious) conclusion that religious experiential "proof" and scientific or logical proof, are basically different things..


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Maybe the discussion should be about all the reasons a person doesn't experience the Dynamic presence of God?


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Well, The Urantia Book indicates that science and religion are "separate but interdependent domains of thought", which may be "logically correlated into a well-balanced philosophy of scientific stability and religious certainty.."
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103:7.9 The science of the material world enables man to control, and to some extent dominate, his physical environment. The religion of the spiritual experience is the source of the fraternity impulse which enables men to live together in the complexities of the civilization of a scientific age. Metaphysics, but more certainly revelation, affords a common meeting ground for the discoveries of both science and religion and makes possible the human attempt logically to correlate these separate but interdependent domains of thought into a well-balanced philosophy of scientific stability and religious certainty.
It seems that science and religion are both important perspectives of reality. I think it may be possible to logically understand (not prove) the existence of an immanent and transcendent God. And both paths (called jyana yoga or path of knowledge of the absolute, and bhakti yoga or path of worship/devotion of God, in Hindu philosophies), or some combination, may ultimately lead to the same result: God-consciousness..


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