Legitimate Arguments for the Existence, and Non-Existence, of a Higher Being Research Project

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posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 10:54 AM
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After my experience with my first research project here on ATS, I have been eager to start another research project. Again, with your help I bet we can make this research project one of the best ones on ATS. I thank everyone in advance who will participate with this research project.

Introduction

Ever sense man has had the ability to use their minds; the concept of a “higher being” has been around. For thousands of years, man has thought about this “higher being” and wondered if it exists. Man has given this being many names such as: Aten, Shang Ti, Ahuramazda, Allah, and God. Despite all of these names, and the many beliefs that have to do with a “higher being” worldwide, there is absolutely no scientific proof of the existance, or non-existance, of a “higher being”. This research project will bring the “legitamate arguments” for the existence, and non-existence, of a higher being into a single place.

“Legitimate Arguments for the Existence, and Non-Existence, of a Higher Being” Research Project

Purpose

The purpose of this research project is to put the “legitamate arguments” for the existence, and non-existence, of a higher being into a single place. Obviously there is no scientific proof of the existence, or non-existence, of a “higher being”. Thus, “legitamate arguments” can be anything for a person, personaly. For this research project: “legitamate arguments” can be anything except things along the lines of “there must be a God because the Bible says there is”. Instead, let us at least attempt to find some “evidence” for, and against, the existance of a “higher being”. Then, we will “examine” these “legitament arguments” by reading them over and discussing what we think of them. Finally, the readers of this reseach project can make their own personal decissions of whether to believe in a “higher being” or not. This is my intention for this research project.

Goals

- To find the “legitamate arguments” for the existance of a “higher being”…
- To find the “legitamate arguments” for the non-existance of a “higher being”…
- To examine the “legitamate arguments” for the existance of a “higher being”…
- To examine the “legitamate arguments” for the non-existance of a “higher being”…
- And whatever is deemed relevant (by me) to make a positive improvement to this research project...

Anyone who wants to participate in this research project should u2u ADVISOR to receive a "scholar" status if you do not have one already. If you have one, u2u me and I will assign you a task to do. Do not add on to this research project without u2u'ing me first.

Anyone who wants to make suggestions about this research project (this includes adding goals to the "goals" list) should u2u me.

Members

they see ALL- team leader (TL)



new goals could be added so check throughout this thread for updates…






posted on Jun, 28 2005 @ 09:37 PM
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hopefully, this research project, will be getting some new scholars:

"LuDaCrIs" and "MCory1"


as always, new scholars are always welcome...

just u2u me if you want to join in on the fun


anyway, i will be posting my own research tomorrow, now that my debate is over...

also, hopefully, we will see posts from "LuDaCrIs" and "MCory1"...





posted on Jul, 2 2005 @ 12:06 PM
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First, I would like to thank "they see ALL" for letting me be part of this research project.

The topic we are discussing is a sociological common ground between all cultures of the world. Our curiosity has enabled us to question our natural surrounding in very interesting ways. I believe sociological evolution is driven by questions such as the existence of a higher being. The point i am trying to make though, is that this could lead us into a belief system that is not based on logic or rationality. It seems that the human brain has a natural tendency to put meaning into events. This would also include natural random processes. Our brain creates order when sometimes there is just chaos. We want to see patterns. We are good at recognizing and using patterns in our natural environment to survive and thrive.

A problem arises when it comes to situations where no logical explanation is observed by the person, even though a logical explanation is there. A "filler" explanation is given by the brain, no matter how illogical or irrational it might be. We can’t cope with not understanding a concept. This is where false beliefs come into play or beliefs grounded on a slippery slope.

The issue I will be tackling for this research project is what are some major triggers for a belief in a higher existence and evaluate those triggers with a critical eye. For now I will be researching into the following four subjects:

(1) OBE's and NDE's (Out of Body Experience and Near Death Experience)
(2) Ghosts
(3) Miracles
(4) Psychics

I would like to mention that these subjects will not be proof of the non existence of a higher being, but rather a supporting arguement for the non-existence of a higher being. There really is no proof for non existence simply because proving a negative is impossible. Just because I've proven these things as bogus doesn't mean a higher being doesnt exist, but rather that its not evident through these subjects.



posted on Jul, 4 2005 @ 10:56 AM
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I too would like to thank they see ALL for allowing me to partake in this project. This is a subject that has interested me for quite some time, and I am glad to have the chance to participate.

The initial research I am planning on doing deals with the sociological and political background of religion in general. As LuDaCrIs pointed out, the use of a higher power can be seen in many ways as an explanation for naturally occuring events. However, when one looks at the influence that religion has on society even in this age of seemingly rampant secularism, it can also be seen that the worship of a higher power can lead to vast political power.

I do not plan on looking at any one religion in particular, although the available research material will most likely focus on Christianity and Islam given the popularity of these two religions.

The main political points I will try and cover are:

1) The natures of the deities in some of the more prolific religions.
2) The political environment in which these religions form.
3) The political environments in which various religions flourish.
4) The political environments in which various religions fail.
5) The religious environments in which various governments flourish if applicable.
6) The religious environments in which various governments fail if applicable.

Similar to LuDaCrIs' research, none of these will be conclusive arguments either for or against the existance of a higher power. These will merely be used to determine if there may be political reasons for the "creation" of a higher power.

There may also be more individualistic and non-political sociological needs for the existance of a higher power, and I plan on looking into these aspects of various religions as well. Primarily:

1) The proliferation of individual-based worship (i.e. no churches/mosques/etc.) religions (if any).
2) The types of communities in which various religions form.
3) The types of communities in which various religions flourish.
4) The types of communities in which various religions fail.
5) The earthly "benefits" of partaking in various religions (as in gain through prayer, etc.)
6) The earthly "liabilities" of partaking in various religions (as in fear of sin, etc.)

In exploring these aspects, I plan on determining if a higher power is something that humans as individuals and as communities feel the need to believe in. Again, this is not to deliver any strict argument, but to try and put religion, and therefore the belief in a higher power, into a different perspective than many people have.



posted on Jul, 11 2005 @ 10:15 PM
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first of all id like to thank "they see all" for letting me join his research group. I will explain my goals to achieve and the tasks I will try to tackle in this first post of introduction

in my studies of research on this, as my first project, I will take an honest look at the mission statement posted by "they see all" and achieve the goals listed. I will not be making legitiment arguments on the existance, or non existance of a "higher being" thru ANY religion at all, just thru examples, but not favouring of religion of any kind. I plan on finding the “legitamate arguments” for the existance of a “higher being”, as well as examining the “legitamate arguments” for the existance of a “higher being”. I will be primarily focusing on "God", although not limited to a definition, most closely defined as "A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe" and secondary focus shifted to "god like" beings. I will rule out the characteristics of these "higher being" forms, and what makes them "higher beings" to ultimately fulfill the goals mentioned in this research project, while using personal experiences as examples, common sense logic, knowledge and guidlines of these higher beings, and rational thinking.
These goals I plan on achieving will be in my personal opinion favouring of a higher being existing, this will not be proof but will be evidence for the existance of such beings in rational thinking and evidence, and putting a new perspective on the existance of these beings without the use for religion in their purpose and goals in existing.

[edit on 11-7-2005 by Slicky1313]



posted on Jul, 16 2005 @ 03:40 AM
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The first thing I want to explore, which has recently been documented in the news, is the belief in ghosts. A recent article in "USA TODAY" shows that one in three Americans believe in ghosts[1]. This is quite a number of people we are dealing with here. We are talking about millions of people. This is just what I need to examine for my part in the research project. For what reason does one third of America believe in ghosts? Why do two thirds not believe? What is one side not seeing or the other lack there of? Where has this belief been demonstrated before? When did we as a human race begin to believe in ghosts, souls and afterlife entities? These are the questions I will be tackling. A concrete summary of religious history needs to given in order to explore further.

Almost every social culture has had a belief in ghosts, starting from Mesopotamia, often regarded as “The Cradle of Civilization”.

Being the first civilization to document their writings in physical form, a whole new world opened up to them. The Sumerians, Assyrians and the Akkadians were able to advance nearly every key aspect of their respected civilizations.

Sumerian religion and creation was based on the workings of “An”, the god of heaven, and king of gods. The universe was thought to be a flat disk enclosed by a tin dome. The afterlife was the descent into a nether-world where eternity will be spent as a Gidim (ghost). Both the Assyrians and the Akkadians held a similar religious paradigm. It seems right from the start mankind has held the notion of ghosts existing [2].

Later civilizations and empires demonstrated religious belief systems, which incorporated a “soul”. Ghosts were simply souls that had remained on Earth after death instead of departing to an external afterlife. In some religions and belief systems, this external place is referred to as a “heaven” or a “hell” depending on your moral actions in the physical world. Christianity is the forerunner in this belief system, meaning the majority of the religious global population believes in ghosts and that they are tied exclusively to an afterlife of some sort [3].

It shouldn’t be shocking then, that a recent gallop poll finds one in three Americans believe in the existence of ghosts as mentioned earlier.

Exploring the cognitive psychology and reasoning behind ghosts and their validity will follow shortly.



[1] Wagmeister, Alan "One in three Americans beleive in ghosts" USA TODAY, July 14th, 2005.

[2] Encyclopedia Britannica "Sumerian Cultur and religion"

[3] Wikipedia article "Worlds Largest Religions"



[edit on 16-7-2005 by LuDaCrIs]





 
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