Thoughts on economics and liberty

Is there a God?

This is a question about which I've been curious but not sufficiently anxious to find a firm answer – given the huge amount of work involved and the low probability that mankind will ever be able to say something sensible on this matter that everyone can agree with. So I've kept this question open  – whether there s a God or not, whether there is one God or many, whether there is a 'devil' or 'rakshsa', or even whether we are all part of 'God' (advaita). This question is, to me, work in progress. I politely listen to everyone, then move on, unconvinced. It is very hard, in my view, to scientifically prove or disprove the existence of God.

However, on matters on which evidence is clear – the harm that organised religion has caused – I do have a firm view. I firmly oppose organised religion. See my 1982 article in the Caravan magazine – a view that I've continued to hold. To me there are evidence-based costs and benefits of the God belief, and that's what really matters. And all roads lead to tolerance and religious freedom, a prototype classical liberal view. 

Yesterday I accidentally chanced upon Victor Stenger's book : "God, the Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows that God Does Not Exist", and am currently browsing through it. From what little I've read let me say I'm thoroughly impressed with it, and will purchase one for my personal library. In particular, certain scientific facts that have not been as clear to me as they should have now become clear. It is always good to find a good book that teaches new things.

Have a read of the book yourself and tell me what you think.

Here's a presentation (here or here) in which Stenger summarises his book. And here's a short article by Stenger on this topic. Below, is a Youtube video where Stenger debates with a God believer: Stenger also has a number of other Youtube videos.


Before you get swept away, here are some contrarian views (and I'm sure many others)

Victor Stenger Imposes a "Convention" on Science

Conservation of Information?

Does the Theory of Evolution Make Predictions?

Victor Stenger's Science

Victor Stenger’s Puzzle

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charvaka

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13 thoughts on “Is there a God?
  1. Vineet

    Classical Liberal view on this ideally would be of non interference in the individual beliefs. I can believe whatever I want to as long as I dont impose that on others. Supporting the idea of no God would again affirm the same. Being an atheist is not Liberal. Hell even an agnostic cannot be a true Liberal. As long as he believes in a view and doesnt abhore others for their differences of the same he cant  be a liberal. True Liberal is neither anti religion nor non religious nor is he a theist. He is just insolent to what others think or feel. He merely sticks to himself

     
  2. ramesh

     
    From facebook,
     
    जिज्ञासु जिज्ञासु
     
    Q: WHAT IS GOD?

    A: Compare God to the ocean

    Compare the individual to the wave

    and Compare the self, the AtmA, to the water

    The very content of the wave (water), is also the content of the ocean (water)…

    You, the self, manifest as jeev (individual), jagat (universe), and ishvara (God)

    Imagine, in a dream the dream floor, the dream sky, the dream people, the dream mountain etc, they are all manifested from you alone, and yet inside the dream they appear to be outside of you, when in reality they are all within you, a projection of your mind.

    This entire universe is a projection of the self.

    Again, this will not be digested by many of you, and might be considered as blasphemy, but these are the teachings of the Vedas, and here is the evidence :)

    Sarvam khalvidam brahman- All that there is, is brahman (chAndogya Upanishad, chapter 6 verse 2, from the Sama Veda)

    Ayam AtmA Brahman – This self (AtmA) is brahman (Mandukya Upanishad 1.2 of the Atharva Veda)

    Prajnanam Brahman – Consciousness is brahman ((Aitareya Upanishad 3.3 of the Rig Veda)

    Tat tvam asi – You (the self) are that (brahman)…Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7 of the Sama Veda)

    Aham Brahman Asmi – I am brahman (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10 of the Yajur Veda)

     
  3. Jack

    @sanjeev This is very sensitive issue.

    When i look at the night sky, i filled with feelings of awe and wonder at the overwhelming beauty and power of the universe. And, when i look at people in my society, i filled with feeling of damn, Mr. Einstein is so right, “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former”

    I am a Pantheist (not Panentheist). I don’t believe in personal god (so, No Hare Rama No Hare Krishna and my parents don’t like this at all). I believe in the unity of universe and god, in simple words universe itself is God.

    Some useful links –
    1- http://www.pantheism.net/, The World Pantheist Movement
    2- http://tinyurl.com/74rzxqo,Panthesim vs Panentheism
    3- http://tinyurl.com/bwngeo,
    4- http://tinyurl.com/cjfsyv, A message by Carl Sagan.

    Sidenote:
    While choosing your party members, please judge their religious views. You need leaders who will see things from a different perspectives, otherwise you will face communal politics with in your party and of-course in India.
    India really need to get out of superstitions and communal politics.

    Doing something good for India would be a phenomenal achievement and great contribution to humanity beacuse India has about one-Sixth of the World’s Population.

    Regards,
    Jack

     
  4. allwyn

    THERE IS NO GOD I”M SURE I KNOW IT
    its the definition of the word GOD – most ppl from all religions think of god as a person who has supernatural powers like someone who is standing next to you but is INVISIBLE and all its just bullshit .. i dont even see the need to argue/debate/think abt GOD but the world today is ruined by INDOCTRINATION – creating bots and teaching them not to question the scriptures JUST DONT QUESTION and if anyone does then have “FAITH, it’s true” and then all those laws to keep on lives on ppl i’m born catholic and the church wants full control till say u r 18 – till then ders baptism(at birth), catechism(kid age), confirmation(at age 17 or 18 or later for marriage) .. anyway the war against god and religion is on with guys like sam harris, dawkins, hitches leading the front with their amazing explanations and research so lets say a 100 more years of this nonsense will go on.

     
  5. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    I’m respecting others right to their beliefs. We need to be clear that these are beliefs that do not stand up to reason. Also, any action to harm others because of these beliefs is inconsistent with liberty.

     
  6. Major(Retd)Rudra. Rebbapragada

    The question is not about verification of God’s existence. The question that you may want to ask is about the biological basis for human existence on planet Earth. You have the subjective, and objective evidence of the physical reality of existing as a man. What is the basis for this existence that you personally experience as a fact which may not require further validation? In other words, to speak about yourself, how is the subject called “I” is established as an object called “I am” that can be observed by others?

     
  7. Danish

    yes GOD exist…plz read the book by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan-GOD ARISES and IN SEARCH OF GOD….(publcation-Goodword publication…www.goodwordbooks.com)

     
  8. carlos

    I like your stance on God. There’s a lot of scientific facts against the existence of God, none of them however can prove that God doesn’t exist. The problem with this question I think is not whether god exists or not, but what people will do for their beliefs. For more analysis on philosophical questions check out my blog at http://www.ourlifemindset.com/.

     
  9. Singh

    My problem with religion is Man. Man will take anything with the potential to be beautiful and turn it into something ugly. For every saint there are two million sinners.

    So called holymen spoil it all. We need to accept that we just do not know if god exists. All religion is man made crap. Christians started preaching gospel 65 years after death of Christ. Then around 325AD constantine 1 the roman emperor put all the different competing christians together at the council of Nicea to sort out their shit and come up with one doctrine, they excluded many “gospels” not considered towing the party line. They just made up shit. Mohamed is a peadophile sex addict who murdered too many people his koran is just crap. The Hindus have so many contradictions that ot state all will require too much space. ISKCON and the Hare Krishnas are just a filthy cult. Their Prabhupad was just a con man who stole from others and presented as his own, He never practised what he preached. There is so much wrong there that it will take too much time, Sai Baba was a peadophile con man. I can go on and on.
    Truth is we need to admit the we just don”t know. Best way to live is free from religion and just treat fellow mankind with respect and kindness, best religion is to be good and do good. If their is a great god out there then he does not want us to know about him. Why always god came in the past, come now when there is TV and Ways to record his word exactly. It is always in the past and only a few can speak for him that is all fucking bullshit propaganda to control you FREE YOUR MIND. Many will now say that I am a blasphemer well to that I say FREE YOUR MIND. Eat, drink, enjoy life and be happy.