Why There isNo Empirical Proof That God Exists


Atheists are intent upon echoing the constant refrain, "no empirical proof for God."   If God is empirical then the lack of empirical proof counts against belief. Yet, there's more to this than just a demand for evidence of some fact. They have vested an entire world view imn the notion that empirical knowledge is the only valid knowledge. So they are willing to give up logically obvious positions in order to get this child's advantage of being able to insist that our little limited view point on this dust mote in a vast sea we have yet to plumb,  is somehow indicative of real empirical proof of the nature of the universe.

One example of the sacrifice of logic to push empiricism is seen in my recent confrontation with an atheist (call him "Dusty") on Victor Reppart's Dangerous Idea blog. [1] Defending Hartshorne's modal argument I advanced the notion that if God can be conceived analytically without contradiction then God is not impossible. He of course assumes that science is the only form of knowledge so for him empirical evidence is more real than deduction. In fact he thinks inductive reasoning is just pretending, He treats my argument a though I said if there's no contradiction then God is empirical. If there is no logical contradiction then God is possible not proven. The thing that takes God beyond mere possibility is being non-contingent not being uncontradictory.

From time to time atheists have tried to disprove God with parsimony. Or they might at least argue that parsimony renders belief less likely. [2] If God is not given in empirical data then God is not subject to the demands of parsimony its unfair to expect it. I don't imagine that parsimony would prove anything anyway it'snot a proof. There are different kinds of parsimony and belief in God meets some of them. For example, God is a more elegant and economical as a solution than naturalism. [3] Just as the more insightful atheists, such as Parsons, don't argue to disprove God but in terms of likelihood, then so to do i argue not to prove god but to warrant belief. Belief may be warranted without proving the existence of God.

To many atheists God is contrary to the rules of science because he's the product of something called "supernatural."[4] They don't have the slightest idea where the concept comes from or what it really says, but they are sure it's stupid and don't' want anything do to with it. So God can't be parsimonious because he's supernatural. These atheists are merely reacting to the modern post enlightenment concept of SN as that which stands in opposition to scientific data or modern secular thinking.It really ha nothing to do with the Christian concept of the Supernatural.[5] The so Called Rules of science are not a guide to ontology.That God is not given in empirical data is a function of God not given sense data, that is not a disproof it merely means that God represents an aspect of beyond that beyond our ability to spy on.

God could only be the subject of parsimony if he is the object of empirical investigation. I can see why atheists want this to be true, because they could pretend that they've ruled out God, with their penchant for ignoring God arguments, and their glass half empty outlook which always finds the negative, the dark, the bad, refuses proof, refuses the benefit of a doubt only the cutting edge of doubt. But God is not the object of empirical investigation, nor can he be by definition. thus he cannot be judged by parsimony. The whole idea contradicts phenomenology in the first place. So typical of atheists to cherry pick reality so they accept the schools of philosophy that help them and consign as hog wash any kind of thinking that they can't understand (which is most of it).

God cannot be empirical. There are three reasons. These reasons are deductive. The reasons themselves do not require empirical proof because they are deductive. In fact they could not be empirical and claim to  prove that God is beyond the empirical because they would have to have empirical evidence of God to say that, which would be a contradiction.

The three reasons are absolute:

God is not given in sense data.

Empirical means experienced first hand. In modern terms we speak of empirical proof in  terms of scientific observation but it's not really empirical in the traditional sense. It's really inductive reasoning, it's extrapolation from a representative sample to a generalized probability. If God was a big man in the sky with a localized existence I would say the lack of empirical proof is a good reason not believe. But God is more basic than that. God is more analogous to the laws of physics in that we know his effects but he has no localized existence that can be observed directly.

God is not a thing  in creation, 

Not a thing alongside other things  that is, but is the basis of reality: God is being itself. If we could say the universe contains trees and oranges, and mutt dogs and swizzel sticks and mud pies and jelly and fish and comic books and flt tires and roofs and taxes and stupid people, and God, then they would have a point. What's wrong with this list? God is not just another thing. God created all that stuff and everything else. Nothing would exist without God. So God is not along side jelly and swizzle sticks in creation. As St. John of Damascus said "God exists on the order of Being itself." God is not a product of things in creation, god is the basis of all reality. Thus, God may not be treated as things in creation. God is not contingent because he' snot produced by a prior thing. He's not part of creation, the basis of it, so obviously he can't be given in sense data he can't be understood in a empirical way.

The graphic that I have chosen above really says it all. Reality itself is framed by God, by God's being and creative energies but we ca't see that because it's the frame it'most a tangible thing in tyhw world or not given  in sense data.

God is eternal.

Because God always was, never came to be, is not dependent upon anything else for his existence, we can say that God, if there is a God, then God had to be, it's not a matter of maybe God might not have existed. God must be either necessary or impossible. This is what Harsthorne drives home in this modal argument.

Because the concept of God is that of eternal necessary being, God cannot be contingent and since empirical things can only be contingent, God cannot be the object of empirical study. These arguments prove conclusively and beyond question that God cannot be empirical. Since God cannot be empirical it makes prefect since that there is no obvious evidence for God in of the kind some atheists seek, such as  stars lining up to spell out his name or any of that nonsense. It might just be that God is parsimonious in some sense, but not in the sense of being more scientific. which is I think the way most atheists use the term "Parsimony" (because they don't know any better).

Of course there is empirical evidence that can warrant belief in God. For that I recommend my book

 photo frontcover-v3a_zps9ebf811c.jpg 

Order from Amazon 
Ground breaking research that boosts religious arguemnts for God to a much stronger level. It makes experience arguments some of the most formidable.Empirical scientific studies demonstrate belief in God is rational, good for you, not the result of emotional instability. Ready answer for anyone who claims that belief in God is psychologically bad for you. Order from Amazon 


[1] Stardusty  psyche, "Exchange with David Brightly," "comments," Dangerous Idea blog
(accessed 1/18/17)

there are 221 comments and still running,

[2] Stenger 2007, pp. 17–18, citing Parsons, Keith M. (1989). God and the Burden of Proof: Plantinga, Swinburne, and the Analytical Defense of Theism. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-0-87975-551-5.

Original Stemger is Victor J. Stenger,  (2007). God: The Failed Hypothesis—How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-1-59102-652-5.

[3] Joseph Hinman, "Eligance of The God Hypothesis," Doxa: Christian Thought in thei21st Century, On line Resoirce no date imndicted. URL:
http://www.doxa.ws/cosmological/Elgegance.html (accessed 1/18/17)

it is not a contradiction on my part to say that my Parsimony argument might offer rational warrant to believe, but that God is not a subject of parsimony. I said there is a distinction in types. What atheists mean by it and what I mean by the term are two different things. My argument turns upon being an elegant idea, so God need not be empirical to be judged elegant; all one need know is a concept

[4] Benson Saler, “Supernatural as a Western Category,” Ethos, Vol. 5, issue 1, first published online 28 Oct., 2009, 31-53 35. PDF URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1525/eth.1977.5.1.02a00040/pdf (accessed 1/25/2016).

see also Stenger, Failed hyp.... op cot

[5] Benson Saler, “Supernatural as a Western Category,” Ethos, Vol. 5, issue 1, first published online 28 Oct., 2009, 31-53 35. PDF URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1525/eth.1977.5.1.02a00040/pdf (accessed 1/25/2016).


BK said…
I guess a picture is worth a thousand words, but some might find this a little too abstract. Do you care to elaborate using words?
Joe Hinman said…
I did talk about it in the body of the essay. We cant producer reciprocal proof of things like the laws of physics. The world at large is empirical proof indication of physical aw but there is no one proof that proves there are laws of psychs, that;s all theoretical. yet we accept it.

The more basic aspects of reality that work as foundation to all other aspects are not given directly in sense data. We know the realty of God by the effects mid upon the workings of nature and our own experiences for God's presemce.

Joe Hinman said…
wow I can't believe I did that. What a fool I was got to start being awake when I post.
Anonymous said…
I agree there is no absolute proof of the laws of physics, but as you say the world all around us is overwhelming empirical evidence of those laws. So why are you saying it is "theoretical" as though that evidence is lacking?

Joe Hinman said…
Pix empirical evidence can;t be had for many things, String theory for example is probably no amenable to empirical evidence but its defenders use the consistency of the math and argue they don't need empirical for that, so they will go beyond when then need to. I never said don't use empirical. my RE studies are empirical.
Anonymous said…
As I have pointed out to you numerous times, string theory is just a hypothesis a possible explanation. It is not accepted as mainstream science. When we reduce religion to the same level as string theory, it will be a great day!

Joe Hinman said…
It is mainstream science. It's not accepted as fact yet but they don;t it they way you treat belief in god. Your acceptance of empiricism is is inconsistent.

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