Categories
Philosophy Skepticism and NDEs

Skeptical Argument: The Existence of God is Unlikely

Skeptical Argument: “By looking at human behavior as objectively as I can, from an anthropological perspective, all paths lead me to support the hypothesis that God is the combination of projection and transference of a given culture’s (and individual’s) ideals and ideal relationships onto an unseen (yet psychically, very real) entity. Borrowing from analytic psychology, what I believe happens is the creation (or greater potentiation) of a complex, charged emotional contents with attendant thoughts and images, continually reinforced through normal operant techniques through institutions such as churches and their various rituals.

“My latest thinking on the topic of God is that it’s hard to look at the DNA sequence for a particular trait (speaking as a software engineer), and not say, ‘You know, that looks a lot like machine code! And that, in turn, presupposes a programmer, a Creator!’ At the same time, this is far removed from the idea of a personal, loving, Christian God who cares about us individually and will somehow rescue us from extermination at death.

“Don’t get me wrong: I very much hope that there is a loving God, but in light of what I know of neuroscience, it seems unlikely. It seems much more likely that we are the miraculous products of natural selection. I also believe that religion is very much man-made, and that if God does exist, he appears to be utterly and absolutely silent, having nothing to do with humankind, other than in man’s dreams, hopes, and fantasies (though these are products of man’s minds). I don’t say any of this to be disrespectful, and I’m painfully aware of how emotional an issue religion is, but I say it in the spirit of honest exploration.”

Kevin Williams, B.Sc.: “Testimonies from those having near-death experiences probably support much, if not all, of what you are saying. Man certainly did create religion and the idea of god(s); and the idea of a “Master DNA programmer God” does seem much more like an impersonal concept compared to the Christian notion of a wrathful/loving God.

“The only realistic answer to the question, ‘What is God?,’ is that ‘God’ is only an idea representing whatever people want it to mean. Many Christians believe God is a divine Father. Hindus believe God (Brahman) to be life manifesting itself everywhere with no exceptions. Cave men may have believed God to be the sun. To tribal cults, God may be a stone statue. Certainly, people throughout history believed things that seem utterly ridiculous to our enlightened minds today. ‘God,’ as a concept, has so many different meanings to so many different people throughout history that it is practically useless to talk about the idea of a God until empirical evidence for such a Supreme Being or Supreme Consciousness can be discovered.

“However, NDE experiencers have much to say about their encounter with a light so vast and personal that words are inadequate to describe it. A consensus among NDErs seems to be that this light represents all knowledge, all consciousness and all creation which is so pervasive and yet so subtle, it borders on panentheism – minus any impersonal aspect. In quantifying the nature of his light, I have read many NDE testimonies where experiencers use descriptive words such as Love, Life, Light, the All, the Source, the Force, the Oneness, Divine Consciousness, the Master-Vibration, etc. But according to many of these same experiencers, even these descriptions are woefully inadequate. One experiencer preferred to describe this light as ‘the Light that Loves.’ Another experiencer, Chuck Griswold, stated in the NDE documentary entitled Shadows, ‘Life is love is God. If you add anymore to this definition then you are not making it any better.’

“When NDE experiencers say that life itself is ‘God,’ they usually mean everything is a part of this light or ‘God’ or simply that everything is ‘God.’ Given all these definitions, we might as well claim that all of reality is this ‘God’ – nothing excluded. For this reason, we should probably just assign the term ‘God’ to the children’s toy box – because of all the ‘baggage’ associated with it and simply say there is no ‘Grand Old Man’ sitting on a Throne ruling everything. It is possible that there is only one Ultimate Reality incorporating everything and this may be what people throughout the ages have been worshiping as ‘divinity.’

Also, religious faith implies the possibility of doubt. Knowledge implies certainty due to scientific methods. This is why knowledge will always be greater than faith; and why scientific support for the existence of God is always stronger than faith in dogma. Kurt Godel, the foremost mathematical logician of the 20th century, offered a theorem and ontological proof that atheism is not logical. If you visit the atheist Keith Augustine’s website, Infidels.org, on the home page you will find the following statement:

Naturalism is ‘the hypothesis that the natural world is a closed system, which means that nothing that is not part of the natural world affects it.’ Thus, ‘naturalism implies that there are no supernatural entities’ – including God.” – Quote from Keith Augustine’s website

However, Kurt Godel’s Incompleteness Theorems shows that no consistent formal system can prove its own consistency. See this Wikipedia article for the mathematical logic. In plain language, it proves that all closed systems depend upon something outside the system. So according to Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem, the quote on the Infidels website cannot be correct. If the natural world is a closed, logical system, then it has an outside cause. Thus, according to Godel’s theorem, atheism violates the laws of reason and logic. Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem definitively proves that current scientific models can never fill its own gaps. We have no choice but to look outside of current scientific models for answers concerning illogical statements such as, “A God does not exist in the natural world.”

The incompleteness of the universe’s own consistency regarding its existence isn’t proof that the God of any particular religion exists; but it is proof that in order to construct a rational, scientific model of the universe, a new scientific model that includes an outside, all-powerful Cause is not just 100% logical – it’s necessary. Kurt Godel also developed an Ontological Proof of God’s existence which has been proven by German computer scientists in 2013. However, Godel’s theorems and proof cannot be applied to prove the existence of Santa Claus, nor to prove the existence of a Flying Spaghetti Monster flatulating the universe into existence.

Dr. Juleon Schins, professor of Chemical Engineering at Delft University of Technology, declared that Godel’s theorem and Alan Turing’s thesis:

“…firmly establish the existence of something that is unlimited and absolute, fully rational and independent of human mind. What would be more convincing pointer to God?” — Dr. Juleon Schins

Dr. Antoine Suarez, of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies Center for Quantum Philosophy, in turn states that, because of Godel’s theorems, we are “scientifically” led to the conclusion that it is reasonable to reckon with God.

Then there is the logical argument from the Christian philosopher C.S. Lewis whose former belief in an unjust universe led him away from atheism to theism:

“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too – for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist – in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless – I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality – namely my idea of justice – was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning.” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 1952)

So Lewis concluded that if the universe is meaningless, we would never have discovered it to be meaningless. And because the burden of proof lies with those who illogically claim the world is meaningless, and not upon those who disprove the claim by giving it meaning, shows the claim of a meaningless universe is false. The same is true of a Godless universe.

Near-death experiences also support the existence of God. On Wikipedia, other logical arguments for the existence of God can be found.

Categories
Research Conclusions Science

God and the Near-Death Experience

People having near-death experiences (NDEs) know the light they have seen during their NDEs is what religions refer to as “God“. Once people enter into this light, the consensus among experiencers is that they never want to return to their body. They are also told it is not their time to die and so they return having this experience of the light of God seared into their soul. They carry this experience back with them to share with others, but they sometimes find difficulty doing so. But their experience with the light and the lessons they learned are just too important to keep to themselves. For example, one particular experiencer said he was told the time is now for humanity to know for certain there is life after death. Many aspects of the NDE are now considered common knowledge among the public such as the light, the tunnel, the being of light, etc. Clearly, NDE testimonies are bringing information about God and heaven to earth. In this article, experiencers describe how God is life, light, time and space, the pattern for all life, the energy of all matter, the heart of all that matters, the very essence of all being, the source behind every sun, the source of all light and love, the core of all things, the single point of infinite light and absolute love, and the very life force of the universe.

Table of Contents

  1. God is Light
  2. God is Love
  3. God is Life
  4. God is Everything
  5. God is Darkness
  6. God is Energy
  7. The Nature of God
  8. God Encompasses All Religions
  9. P.M.H. Atwater’s Concept of “God”
  10. Kevin Williams’ Concept of “God”

1. God is Light

“Within the Light of God, we realize that everyone and everything is connected to God … Within the Light was the cure for all diseases; within the Light was all the knowledge of every planet, every galaxy, every universe. Indeed, the Light was Wisdom and Love beyond all comprehension.” (Dr. Dianne Morrissey)

“The closer one gets to God, the closer one comes to all the light, love and knowledge in the universe.” (Jayne Smith)

“The joy of being in the light of God can be so intense, we may think we are going to shatter. But God will not let us shatter. We are not permitted to take in more of this bliss and joy than we are able to handle at a time.” (Jayne Smith)

Bible: “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)

Bible: “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (John 3:20-21)

2. God is Love

One of the best NDE revelations concerning God, the universe and everything in it comes from Larry Hagman of the Dallas television series whose NDE testimony is described in this article. Here is the revelation he learned: “Everyone has within them a unique “celestial song” – an inner melody wanting to burst forth. The inner vibration within us connects us to the deep, modulating, harmonious music of the “celestial orchestra.” This cosmic orchestra is the collective energy of everything that’s ever lived and everything that’s ever going to live. It is the life force. It is the power of the universe. It is ecstatically happy. The culmination of this energy is love. Love abounds with its feelings of ecstasy and deep bliss. It is the love holding every atom, every sparrow, every galaxy, everything together. Everyone has forever been a part of this life force and always will. We are already familiar with this at a deep level. We know it. The problem is we bury it under so much apprehension and worry. Don’t worry. Be happy and feel good. There are an infinite number of levels of existence and each level adds to the hum of the cosmic orchestra. It’s as if we’re always spiraling upward until we reach a state of atomic bliss. Life continues. The show goes on in ever varied and unfolding settings.” (Larry Hagman)

“God is love in its purest form … To be in his presence and share his love, we must become as he is and learn to love without judgments or conditions.” (Betty Eadie)

“God’s standard is pure love. Our lives will be compared to this standard in the light of God. Pure love is serving God and others without any self-centered motives. Self-centered motives are what makes our acts (as the scriptures say) “dirty rags” before God.” (Daniel Rosenblit)

Bible: “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love… And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” (1 John 4:7-8; 1 John 4:16)

3. God is Life

“God is everywhere because nothing exists that is not a part of God. God is neither a man nor a woman nor a thing. Life itself is God.” (P.M.H. Atwater)

“All creation is God exploring God’s very being through every way imaginable, through every one of us.” (Mellen-Thomas Benedict)

“The Biblical name for God, ‘I AM,’ really has a question mark behind it. ‘I AM? WHAT AM I?'” (Mellen-Thomas Benedict)

Bible: “From one man he (God) made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ [1] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.'” [2] (Acts 17:26-28). Notice in this Bible verse how the Apostle Paul references the Greek philosopher poets Epimenides [1] who lived in the 7th or 6th century BC, and Aratus [2] who lived from 310 BC – 240 BC.

The following is Edgar Cayce‘s description of God as paraphrased in Thomas Sugrue’s book, There is a River:

People usually demand a beginning, so in the beginning there was a sea of Spirit and it filled all of space. The Spirit was static, content, and aware of itself. It was a giant resting on the bosom of its thought and contemplating what it is. Then the Spirit moved into action. It withdrew into itself until all of space was empty. In the center, the sparkling Mind of the Spirit shone. This was the beginning of the individuality of the Spirit. This was what the Spirit discovered itself to be when it awakened. This Spirit was God. God desired self-expression and desired companionship; therefore, God projected the cosmos and souls. The cosmos was built with music, arithmetic, geometry, harmony, system, and balance. The building blocks were all of the same material – the life essence – God simply changed the wavelength and rate of vibration of these building blocks thereby creating the patterns for multitudes of life forms. This action resulted in the law of diversity which supplied endless patterns. God played on this law of diversity as a pianist plays on a piano – producing melodies and arranging them in a symphony.

Each design carried within it the plan for its evolution – both physical and spiritual. This plan corresponds to the sound of a note struck on a piano. The sounds of several notes unite to make a chord; chords in turn become phrases; phrases become melodies; melodies intermingle and move back and forth, across and between and around each other, to make a symphony. Then in the end, the music will stop and the physical universe will be no more; but between the beginning and the finish of the music, there was glorious beauty and a glorious experience. The spiritual universe will continue on. Everything assumed its design in various forms and their activity resulted in the laws of attraction and repulsion. All forms would attract and repel each other in their evolutionary dance. All things are a part of God and an expression of God’s thought. The Mind of God was the force which propelled and perpetuated these thoughts. All minds, as thoughts of God, do everything God imagined. Everything which came into being is an aspect of this One Mind. All things, including the souls of individuals, were created as “fractals” of God for companionship with God – the “Whole.” This revelation from Cayce revealed the astonishing fact of how self-similar the universe is on every scale: from the atom to biological organisms, from human beings to the planet earth, from solar systems to galaxies, from the universe(s) to God. (Edgar Cayce)

4. God is Everything

“The only reality is God and God is love. God loves without limit. God is everything.” (Linda Stewart)

“God is everything.” (Dr. George Rodonaia)

Bible: “He (God) is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17)

Dr. Dianne Morrissey wrote: “God is in everyone, always and forever … Being one with the Light was like suddenly knowing every grain of sand on every planet, in every galaxy, in every universe, and at the same time knowing why God had put each grain of sand in its particular place. The Light held within it the knowledge of every book in every language, from the beginning of creation to the end of time. The Light knew why every author had put every word exactly where it was. The Light conveyed the message that each gain of sand, each plant, rock, animal, and human being has a purpose and that nothing ever dies because after death, there is a new life on the Other Side.” (Dr. Dianne Morrissey)

5. God is Darkness

“God is more than light. God is also the darkness.” (Dr. George Rodonaia)

Bible: “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7)

6. God is Energy

“The Master-Vibrational energy of God controls the universe and seems to regulate everything except the ignorance within the minds of people on Earth.” (Arthur Yensen)

“God is the creative energy of the universe, expressing itself as us and everything else. Wherever we are, God is. Like God, we are constantly expressing ourselves in some way.” (Jan Price)

One of the major laws of physics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. E = mc2 (or energy is the product of mass times the speed of light squared, shows how important the properties of light are to energy.) (Albert Einstein)

7. The Nature of God

“God has a vantage point we can never perceive. He sees into our eternal pasts and futures and knows our eternal needs. In his great love he answers prayers according to this eternal and omniscient perspective. He answers all prayers perfectly.” (Betty Eadie)

Sandra Rogers wrote: “God is Love, Light, and energy in all. God is the source of perfect Love and all; life. Everything is a part of God. Just as the smallest atom of your physical body is part of you, you are a part of God. God is in all places at all times. Our soul is a part of God and God is a part of us; therefore, our souls are immortal and eternal. Listen to that small inner voice in your thoughts; it is the voice of God. All you do and think is known to God, and God understands everything perfectly, and loves everyone just the same. God loves and forgives you, and expects you to love and forgive others. We are all one with God, and to hurt even the smallest part of God hurts us all. God does not punish, He only loves. He has given us free will to grow in knowledge and find happiness. Every thought or action causes a reaction by which we must live with the consequences. As an example, if I choose evil over good I suffer the natural consequences which I may perceive as God punishing me. Light is the single source through which all are united. God sends truth through many channels to those who ask.” (Sandra Rogers)

“God wants us to become as he is, and has invested us with god-like qualities. I understood that he wants us to draw on the powers of heaven, and that by believing we are capable of doing so, we can.” (Betty Eadie)

“The little voice inside us that prompts us to do good things comes from God. It is the light of love inside each of us.” (Kerry Kirk)

“God doesn’t force anyone to heaven, hell, or anywhere. We are free to choose and build our destiny. All paths lead back to God.” (Edgar Cayce)

“God perfectly understands our lack of knowledge. He knows that most of us do not remember our commitments to him. In his eyes we are like little children: susceptible and even expected to make mistakes.” (Betty Eadie)

“In the light of God, it is impossible to lie to yourself, or to others or to God. There is no place for secrets to hide.” (Dr. George Ritchie)

“God does not judge us when we die. In the clear light and understanding of God, some people may judge, condemn and punish only themselves. There is no judgment except the judgment one levels at oneself. And self is the worst enemy we will ever have to face.” (Kevin Williams)

“God has promised not to intervene in our lives unless we ask.” (Betty Eadie)

“It is God’s love for us that sends us on our journey and it is our love for God that allows us to return to God’s loving arms again.” (David Goines)

“God feels the pain we feel and inflict on others.” (Sandra Rogers)

“One of the grandest mysteries of God is his foreknowledge. Truth is knowledge of things as they were, as they are, and as they are to come. God, possessing all truth, has the ability to know all things in advance. This being the case, we can trust him to give us only that which will be good for us in completing our life’s mission successfully.” (Betty Eadie)

“God’s overriding desire is to purify the darkness of our souls, irrespective of the suffering it puts us through to achieve that end. If we learn to accept our situations in life, instead of getting angry, then our suffering is greatly minimized.” (Daniel Rosenblit)

“God never uses his love to hurt us. To do so would countermand his own law of judgment. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” So he will never let us down, will never forsake us. His love is extended to all, and he knows exactly how to reach each person.” (Betty Eadie)

8. God Encompasses All Religions

“God does not care about theology. God cares mostly about your heart.” (Howard Storm)

“It doesn’t matter what you call God. The different religions have different ways of explaining the same God.” (Mellen-Thomas Benedict)

“Your beliefs shape the kind of feedback you get from God.” (Mellen-Thomas Benedict)

“God is not concerned about a person’s sexual orientation whether gay or straight.” (Kerry Kirk)

10. P.M.H. Atwater’s Concept of “God”

P.M.H. Atwater, L.H.D., Ph.D. (Hon.) survived three near-death experiences in 1977. She is one of the original researchers of the near-death phenomenon, having begun her work in 1978. Today, her contribution to the field of near-death studies is considered on par with those of Raymond Moody and Kenneth Ring. Her first two books, Coming Back to Life and Beyond the Light, are considered the “Bibles” of the NDE. Here she explains the concept of God learned from her experiences and her research:

“God IS. God is the one presence, the one power, the one force and source of all. There are no competitors to God, no reality existent outside of God. God is omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), and omnipresent (present everywhere). There is no place where God is not, simply because nothing exists without God.

“God is neither a man nor a woman nor a thing. God is no one’s father or mother or benefactor. These terms are used only to help us understand relationships — ours to God — not to establish a more human type of parentage. We use such terms as a matter of convenience or because it is comforting to do so. We call ourselves children of God because we do not know what else to call ourselves, and it seems as good a term as any to use. We are made in the image of God, not in the sense of physical appearance, but with respect to the power of our souls and the potential of our minds. God is the Creator; we are co-creators. It would be more appropriate and more in line with Truth, if we called ourselves extensions of God or, perhaps, thoughts in the Mind of God. It would even be appropriate to use another name for God, like The Force, The One, The All, The Is-ness, The One Mind, The Source, or whatever conveys that sense of deity that is without limitation or boundary, beyond what can be comprehended.

“While God is more than any name, protocol, hierarchy, concept, or grandiosity could describe or define; God truly is as near as our next breath – as close as our next thought. We are part of God and existent with God. A belief in separation, that we could possibly exist and have our being apart from God, is the only real sin. This belief is of our own making. God has not decreed separation; this we did ourselves by our own perception that somehow, some way, we could transcend That Which Cannot Be Transcended.

“God is not dependent on our belief, for our belief or disbelief in God does not affect God — only us. God is not a member of any church or religion. It is the churches and the religions that are members within the vastness and the glory that is God. There is no one religion just as there is no “chosen” people or person, nor any single way of regarding what cannot be fully comprehended. We are all “sons” of God in the sense that we are all souls of God’s creation, without gender, without form, without nationality, complete and whole and perfect as we explore the never-endingness of God’s wonderment. A spark from the essence of All God Is resides in each and every one of us has an unbreakable connection, that thread or cord that ensures we remain a part of That Which We Could Never Leave.

“The splendorous joy of recognizing and acknowledging our special-ness, our greatness, as creations of God and as co-creators with God, is akin to being engulfed by overwhelming floodtides of God’s Glorious Love.” (P.M.H. Atwater)

11. Kevin Williams’ Concept of “God”

Kevin Williams wrote: “Many near-death experiencers have tried to describe God and it’s clear words are useless when trying to do so. Even the word “God” is useless because it has so many different meanings to so many different people. With this in mind, I will give my two cents worth in attempting to define the indefinable based upon NDEs:

“Suppose everything is a dream by one Supreme Cosmic Dreamer. The dream is everything that has happened, is happening, and will ever happen. We call this Dreamer ‘God’. Everything is a part of the dream, and therefore, a part of the Dreamer. In this sense, God is everything — life itself. Everything is made of light, including all minds. This universal light is spirit and is God. There is an Energy which holds every atom together, every solar systems and galaxies together, a Force which holds everything together. This universal Force is unconditional Love. So to sum it all up: Life is God: everything that exists. Light is God: what everything is made of. Love is God: what holds everything together.

“Trying to describe God is like trying to describe what is indescribable and unlimited. Words, by their very nature, are limiting. Once you define something with words you have set limitations on it. So words are never sufficient enough when defining God. The best way to know God is through an experience of God.” (Kevin Williams)

For my debunking of atheist philosopher Keith Augustine‘s arguments against NDEs as an afterlife phenomenon, his atheistic position against the existence of God, his support for “naturalism“, and his book “The Myth of the Afterlife“, visit the link provided.