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Do any of our life experiences ever qualify as evidence for the existence of God?

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posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 08:01 AM
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A girlfriend of my wife tells this story about the girlfriend's mother growing up with three sisters. The three sisters were teenagers and they were doing a 10,000 piece puzzle. The girlfriend's grandmother decided to be mischievous and took one of the pieces from the puzzle thinking she would be the one to put in the final piece. The three sisters finish the puzzle and to the amazement of everyone the one piece the grandmother put in her pocket was the one piece in the puzzle that was a duplicate piece! How is that even possible!! The probability of this happening is just mind boggling.

So my question is do any of our life experiences which are so outrageously improbable ever qualify as existence of a greater organizing power or God?

I would imagine most atheists would say no life experience would ever qualify. Not because atheists deny the existence of God. But because an atheist lacking any belief in God would always choose random coincidence over God as a cause. There's nothing wrong with this way of thinking.

But my interest, if one believes in the possibility of God's existence, then what type of experience, if any, would qualify as evidence?

Note to moderators: Please change the title from "quality" to "qualify". My fingers just do not listen to what my mind is saying!


edit on 18-11-2016 by dfnj2015 because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-11-2016 by dfnj2015 because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-11-2016 by dfnj2015 because: (no reason given)

edit on 11.18.2016 by Kandinsky because: fixed title typos




posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 08:22 AM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

I would imagine most atheists would say no life experience would ever qualify.

I would imagine most atheists would say a direct experience of the divine intervening would qualify.


But because an atheist lacking any belief in God would always choose random coincidence over God as a cause.

The issue here is that when xyz aspect of the Universe is not yet fully understood by science the theists posit god as the only explanation by default. Doing this they remove all other possibilities. This is fallacious. When we don't yet know the answer, it means there are many possibilities. To suggest god is therefore the explanation they are essentially saying they know no other naturalistic possibilities exist. How could they know that?

So it's not that skeptics of faith 'always choose random coincidence as the cause', it's that we are always going to wait for the reasonable explanation before settling. It's never going to be a reasonable explanation if we have to use faith to reach the conclusion.


So my question is do any of our life experiences which are so outrageously improbable ever qualify as existence of a greater

I can entertain this if we leave it at "greater". I've had profound and unexplainable experiences that fill me with certain beliefs. I believe reality is stranger than fiction. I believe if we fully understood our reality our minds would implode from the magnitude of it all. This doesn't convince me of anything religious in nature. It does demonstrate to me that we have lots left to discover, and I think science is our best way of traversing those seas.



posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 08:44 AM
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I do believe in the existence of God, but I don't think any kind of experience/event/whatever could ever confirm it for everyone. At this point, not even a giant face in the sky speaking "I AM YOUR GOOOOOOD" in a thundering voice would be enough evidence. I believe because...I do. Can't explain why.



posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 08:49 AM
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The problem is that people have this false sense of intelligence and therefore think that if they cannot understand it that it must not exist or that people are stupid for understanding something they dont or will not.



What was created, evolves, adapts and science is the attempts to understand the creation and its programming.

Creation = evolution and science attempts to explain the creation. Sometimes you just have to admit that no matter your grade level or social status or how many followers you have on quaora etc.... you are still an idiot.



posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 08:55 AM
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Most believers I know have had personal experience with God... but I might run with a kind of "holy roller" crowd. haha!

The holy spirit has allowed them insights into someone's life that they couldn't otherwise know, miraculous healing, etc. I've personally had more experiences than I can list. We (Christians) are always eager to share both the reasons for our faith (and, yes, there are rational reasons!) as well as personal testimony.

Can personal testimony qualify as evidence for God? Yes, absolutely. Mostly to the individual experiencing it - but sometimes to those we either witness the "moment" themselves or see the profound transformation of the individual who has the experience.

Hearing testimony 2nd or 3rd hand - it is much easier for a skeptic, unbeliever, or seeker or dismiss. But for the individual, unless their hearts are very hard, a personal experience can be a turning point in their faith. The thing is, the people that "need" this sort of experience the most are the least likely to be open to it. Sometimes it can still happen (just look at Saul and many modern day surprise conversions) ... but experiencing God more often happens because a person is open to and seeking out experiencing God in their every day living.
edit on 18-11-2016 by VegHead because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 09:00 AM
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Please change the title. Hurting my brain. "Qualify as"
edit on 18-11-2016 by GemmyMcGemJew because: (no reason given)

Got to say that puzzle scenario definetly doesn't qualify as proof of god, only to those that are looking for proof/ already believe.

Statistical Improbabilities are nothing more than that, highly improbable.

Even meeting god near death is a by product of self preservation. But to others it's proof

Only ever proof we can all relate to is something truly miraculous. Not curing an individual, curing the world. Separate the sea and I will believe.

Problem is most things have a logical explaination if you are objective enough.
edit on 18-11-2016 by GemmyMcGemJew because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 09:09 AM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

To be hounest I'd say that these kind of story's or "events" proof the opposite of what you oppose.


The great maker doesn't seem to care that much about us, looking back at history and present.
But yeah, the great maker will intervine in things like duplicating a puzzle piece....
...

I ask you , what is the morality of something like that?



posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 09:18 AM
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a reply to: VegHead

Problem is people who have these experiences are already indoctrinated. If not they find god in jails or after severe trauma /loss of friends family/ near death experience. It's very rare you hear of cases where people doing grocery shopping are approached by god.

Many of these experiences are self fulfilling prophecies. And how do you know that voice is god? Why not a demon deceiving you or a form of multiple personalities. Are you sure it's your particular religious god? How do you know? ( without he filled my heart BS, real meaningful sentences plz, helps with the credibility/debate)

Those that speak to spirits exhibit the exact same behaviours of schizophrenic people but have a positive outcome from the interaction based on recent research.

Many people struggle to articulate their experiences because when written down it seems similar to known psychological issues ( not saying they all are) and when prompted won't share what they truly experienced in fear of being ostracised. It's difficult for skeptics when the same sentences are repeated by those that have had experiences without much substance outside love, cleansing, filling etc.

I could possibly, only just, accept that the creator of the universe is intrigued by you and wishes to speak to you ( very very unlikely) but not a religious god. If I said zues filled my heart with love and compassion for my fellow man you would all laugh at me. I believe it applies to all religious gods. Creator is something different.



posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 09:20 AM
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a reply to: Dimirszadex
Part of the journey I suppose. "I thought I was incomplete but god completed me" type statements.

I don't think god could even complete the baked bean puzzle.



posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 10:00 AM
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I had an experience last summer that changed my view from being atheist to believing in a higher power. My girlfriend and I had traveled home to attend the funeral of her grandfather, and were staying in our house we had recently purchased ( still pretty excited about it
).

This was after the funeral and she was having a nap due to being emotionally drained. I was pacing around, as I usually do, thinking about life, and the legacies we leave behind and such. As I was pacing, I was looking at pieces of furniture he had made, and some tools he had passed on me. I started feeling fairly sad, and sort of depressed ( not in a bad way ).

Out of nowhere I felt an overwhelming presence. It was something I had never felt before. I could not see anything, but was something there. Have you ever heard stories about people who say they have felt the presence of god, and it was an overwhelming, indescribable, unconditional love? Well, that is exactly what I felt. In fact it was so overwhelming I began to weep, and I mean uncontrollably weep. I was sure I was going to wake up my girlfriend so I went to the basement. For the first time in my near fourty years, I felt a presence that seemed to be made up of everything, the very air around me even. I also felt I was being give a much better, clearer understanding of the cycles of life. It was all so very personal, like it was specifically for me.

Shortly after the presence left, I heard my girlfriend getting up and walking around upstairs. I went up and she knew I was off and that something had happened. I'm sure she could tell I was crying. I took me until the next day before I could speak to her about it. Everytime I time I tried, I would get all choked up and couldn't talk.

Anyway, I'll leave it at that. I know that sounds absurd, crazy even. And to be honest, had it not happened to me I likely wouldn't believe it.

Rhodin



posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 12:20 PM
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originally posted by: Lucid Lunacy
a reply to: dfnj2015

I would imagine most atheists would say no life experience would ever qualify.

I would imagine most atheists would say a direct experience of the divine intervening would qualify.


But because an atheist lacking any belief in God would always choose random coincidence over God as a cause.

The issue here is that when xyz aspect of the Universe is not yet fully understood by science the theists posit god as the only explanation by default. Doing this they remove all other possibilities. This is fallacious. When we don't yet know the answer, it means there are many possibilities. To suggest god is therefore the explanation they are essentially saying they know no other naturalistic possibilities exist. How could they know that?

So it's not that skeptics of faith 'always choose random coincidence as the cause', it's that we are always going to wait for the reasonable explanation before settling. It's never going to be a reasonable explanation if we have to use faith to reach the conclusion.


So my question is do any of our life experiences which are so outrageously improbable ever qualify as existence of a greater

I can entertain this if we leave it at "greater". I've had profound and unexplainable experiences that fill me with certain beliefs. I believe reality is stranger than fiction. I believe if we fully understood our reality our minds would implode from the magnitude of it all. This doesn't convince me of anything religious in nature. It does demonstrate to me that we have lots left to discover, and I think science is our best way of traversing those seas.


You could have said "no evidence qualifies" instead of typing so much.



posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 12:29 PM
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Yes because of the fact that all of those experiences are possible to begin with. What's happening right now is miraculous, life is a miracle and we are all children of God even if we don't share the same ideologies and beliefs all the time. God and spirituality both transcend all major religions, belief systems and ideologies.
edit on 11/18/2016 by LumenImagoDei because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 01:47 PM
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a reply to: Rhodin

I absolutely believe you! Thank you for sharing that!

There are many people who have such experiences, even famous ones...

...C.S. Lewis, the author of "The Chronicles of Narnia" books was an atheist who had a similar experience and then became a Christian.



posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 02:07 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

There is a big difference between evidence and proof.

Existence is evidence of God, life is miraculous, but it is not proof.

I think it is supposed to be a mystery, you can only prove to yourself he exists because it's a personal experience.



posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 03:36 PM
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a reply to: VegHead

Can personal testimony qualify as evidence for God? Yes, absolutely.

There is a rather big issue here though. Lots of people of various religions say they have a relationship with their god(s), or that they've had some transcendent experience that relates to their particular religion. So if we take these personal testimonies as solid evidence, then wouldn't this be evidence for all these various religions being true. This wouldn't be an issue in of itself except for the fact the World's religious creation narratives are incompatible with one another. Meaning, they can't all be true.



posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 03:39 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

You could have said "no evidence qualifies" instead of typing so much.

I gave as genuine of a response as I could.

Also, I didn't suggest no evidence would ever qualify. In fact, I said, and I quote:
"a direct experience of the divine intervening would qualify".
edit on 18-11-2016 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 10:05 PM
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originally posted by: Lucid Lunacy
a reply to: dfnj2015

You could have said "no evidence qualifies" instead of typing so much.

I gave as genuine of a response as I could.

Also, I didn't suggest no evidence would ever qualify. In fact, I said, and I quote:
"a direct experience of the divine intervening would qualify".


What would the experience be like out of curiosity?



posted on Nov, 18 2016 @ 11:18 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

I have no idea, dfnj2015. This isn't from a lack of trying. 'God' and other supernatural ideas are said to exist outside of nature. I've never experienced anything outside of nature, so I don't have a frame of reference. I really have no idea what it would be like. I suppose i'm assuming if it happened to me i'd be able to recognize it wasn't natural.
edit on 18-11-2016 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 19 2016 @ 12:43 AM
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''qualify'' LOL
out of satans dog kennel people and into the river!
edit on 19-11-2016 by sophie87 because: (no reason given)



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