Hey let's all go and worship!
That's a funny thing. I am atheist, was born atheist (like all of us), but if "God" was to show up, and somehow, prove that he was God, and has the abilities of God, and that when we die, we will go to heaven, then I'd start believing God in a hot minute. There's probably some mechanism behind gravity that we don't yet understand, but so far as we could show that it exists, and fits within our framework of knowledge, then I'll believe that too.
That's the thing with this topic: it's like a trick question. "If" -- meaning "suppose it's true" -- so suppose it's true that science proves God's existence, then what? Well, then, atheism would be quite illogical, wouldn't it?
Perhaps someone could make a legitimate point for believing in God's existence, but not following God's rules, something that involves free will.
The thread topic presupposes the existence of God. The word "if" is grammatically the conditional operator. In a logical statement, anything that follows this word is assumed to be true. People who absolutely refuse to entertain hypothetical questions -- why they even respond to this thread is beyond me. I'm sorry for being rude, but it's like if someone asked a silly question, such as: "Where would you escape to if you were wanted for murder?" And you answered, "I'm not wanted for murder, therefore your question is just falsely conceptualized in your brain." (facepalm)
God may always be a human concept in the real world, but "what happens if science proves God's existence?" It's rational to disbelieve God, sure. But ifscience proved God's existence, then it would be irrational to disbelieve God. I wonder how those who absolutely refuse to consider hypothetical questions feel about scientists formulating hypotheses in order to advance science. I can just imagine someone going, "That's absurd, there's no proof that your hypothesis is true. Case closed."
Believers go further, with various wacky add-ons like "God knows what you're thinking," "God hears your prayers," and "We can't understand God's plan." This means that a hypothetical god would have to be omni-telepathic and able to process trillions of prayers a minute (including those from intelligent beings on other planets than ours). Busy as a Chinese waiter, as Mel Brooks once said. It would take at least that to impress me. Or how about simultaneous communications on every channel and cell phone?
There's an early Star Trek episode where they encounter the aliens who were taken to be gods in ancient Greece. Roddenbery was a staunch atheist.
"We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing, all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes."
-- Gene Roddenberry --
GREAT quote archaeopteryx!!
Science isn't going to prove any god described in any scripture of any religion. I can't vouch for others but as far as I am concerned, I am here because I am convinced that god is a fiction. Science will take us to the god, not a creator god, not a personal god but to the most elementary source of material, like the god particle, and may be the most elementay source of energy or something like that. I do not exert my brain by thinking about a hypothetical question, since the matter is fully settled in my mind.
This is the reply I most agree with. I have long since become bored with activities like reconciling a perfect God with an imperfect, often evil world, or with logically proving that God does not exist. Case closed. Raising impossible hyotheticals like the original question is more of the same.
Nobody's there. Case closed. I'm concentrating on what comes next.
Alan, Changing the focus from trying to prove creationists fallacious to learning how to flourish under the influence of freethinkers, is a bit of an adjustment.
Years ago I was invited to teach college classes on an Indian Reservation preparing women to leave dependency on government "handouts" which were actually treaty agreements for their land and agreeing to go peacefully onto reservations. The USA government failed to live up to promises to educate the young or to supply basic necessities. Many women did not like the male leadership in their tribe, feeling left out in decision making and financial planning. Women wanted to learn leadership skills and improve the quality of their lives.
The first thing I did was invite in women elders to tell their personal stories. Then we teased out things they did to survive in face of failed treaties. Natives felt angry because they had kept their part of treaties but USA did not. Many Native men and women turned to religion, many to alcohol, some gave up trying, others committed suicide.
I wanted to learn what these women experienced and how they coped. Then we moved to how they could overcome their history and create lives that were healthy and happy. My goal was to celebrate their Native history and enter a very different culture successfully. Today I would call that "flourishing", as defined by Martin Seligman, Sam Harris and others.
Many women of all races and cultures and men as well, have left religion behind and live with different ways of defining morality, some want better marriages and family life, others want better working conditions and wages, increasingly, women want leadership roles.
Being an atheist, agnostic, freethinker, secular humanist, or skeptic opens opportunities never dreamed of by women of my generation, and perhaps not for men, either. The one basic underlying thinking is there is no god, yahweh, allah or whatever name one would use for a deity. From there on, thriving and flourishing is open to interpretation.
It seems to me that an individual who is flourishing has a strong sense of self, of realizing one has physical and emotional needs, most are equipped with sensory organs providing needed senses to perceive the internal and external world; that one is endowed with interests and skills unique to the individual that supports and sustains life; that one lives in communities of families, neighbors, nations, Earth and participates with others in ways that can be enriching for all; that one has a mind to think and reason and make decisions and solve problems and resolve conflicts.
With a strong sense of self and respect for other, meaning people, flora, fauna, water, soils, and air, one can learn how to live non-destructively.
With an ability to think and reason, linked with the ability to act, one can make a difference in one's own life and in the lives of others, as well as the well-being of the Earth.
All of that said, one has a scaffold upon which to build a life.
Madhukar, You make good sense. In addition to not thinking about hypothetical questions, trying to remember refutation of creationist or christian or religious claims, is a waste of time and energy. Just as soon as one irrational claim is countered, religious folks find another ... ad infinitum.
Nice to see your response. It has been a while since we shared comments.
So true Joan. Irrational claims are infinite.