Could God be necessary without being actual

When arguing the case for God I always come to the conclusion that the atheist argument always has ontological loose ends especially when speaking of values and morality.
Recently David Attenborough said that we, as humans, have no more rights than the animals And therefore we have the obligation to be good caretakers of the world and not abuse it like we own it -but, for me, that argument doesn’t work. However, to oppose that there must be a Transcendent creator as the reference for the value. However, my thought here was that even if it were so that there was no actual God, humans would require a necessary God to coherently and logically tie up the loose ends of their rights - And so if God must be a necessary truth must he also be an actual truth? What do you think!? I’ve tried to keep this short So you don’t get bored - so if you need clarification Please ask

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David The wise. @davidsmith. Yes, I agree with you completely and as you dig through RZIM and other places, you are going to come to that exact conclusion. But we dont have to stop there, our faith is not blind. There are many supporting evidences through history, resurrection of Christ and many more to give us the assurance in the existence of God. We cant fit God in a test-tube but there are many ways to know He exists, just the same way we can know that a crime was committed in court room without being at the murder scene at the murder time/location.

Let God continue to show you the way.
God Bless.

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Good question, @davidsmith!

Even Voltaire, a famous atheist, once said that “If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent Him!”

But I think that if he had thought through that admission it would have exposed some of what we’d now call “cognitive dissonance”. Nothing unreal is necessary. If God is necessary, then that in itself implies His reality.

I hope this will help you.

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Hi @davidsmith, you have brought up a very important argument. Whenever the need for things like justice, rights, ethics, morality, guardianship of the earth etc. come up, I see a great lack of a foundation for such lofty ideals in the naturalistic godless worldview. Without a moral framework that is objective, absolute and transcendent, it is hypocritical to argue that we humans should be ethical or moral. This is why I find it illogical when naturalistic commenters say that man is only an animal yet insist that we are destroying the planet, as though we were doing something morally wrong. Leo Tolstoy saw this long time ago when people were beginning to argue about evolution and a godless creation. He said in essence - ‘In a universe without God, anything goes’ - we can do anything we like and justify anything and anything can come from anything else or from nothing if we give it a few billion years. (paraphrased)

I think God is both necessary and actual (and the two are not mutually exclusive). He is actual because He is the truth that fully and deeply satisfies - His existence is rational/logical, empirically verifiable and experientially relevant. It just makes sense to believe in God who is transcendent - and millions over the centuries can testify (me included) that He is experientially real and persistently experientially real.

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Nietzsche, I feel, had this longing for a God That could Allow him to indulge his nihilism and not fall in to the bottomless void - and then he did

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Yes, he looked long into the darkness - and found it looking back into him!

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Dear David,
That‘s a really interesting discussion and I enjoy how you put it in philosophical terms. I also sometimes try to make this argument, but i noticed that sometimes people don’t really understand the philisophical terms of „necessity“ and „actual truth“. I will explain further down how I try to pain the picture to make it more accessible.

The interesting point you are mentioning when talking with atheists is actually the idea of „rights“ and of „obligations as caretakers“. Both of these notions are actually moral notions. Where do the rights come from? Does one lion discuss with another monkey about their right of being cared for when they are ill, about their right to be a leader as well, the right to not be abandoned when they are old? „Rights“ as such are solely a human idea. Rights enable us to live in societies where the strongest doesn’t always win, but where we take care of each other.
The same goes with the idea of being obliged to care for the world. Why should we care for the world? Where does this „ought“ come from? In a world that is solely materialistic, doesn’t it make more sense to simply be egoistic and take care of ones own needs no matter how other people or animals are doing?
These are the logical inconsistencies you mentioned.

I think often it is easier to actually have discussions with people and ask questions rather than debating with them. Questions reveal a lot about what people believe and oftentimes atheists aren’t strong materialists or nihilists, but humanists by tradition without really knowing where their love for human rights, equality etc comes from.

You might find people saying „we don’t need God to know how to live well together. Theists think that atheists are immoral, but we are actually more moral through ourselves and without being egoistic and looking for reward.“ This is an interesting statement.
What if you tried not to rebuke it but instead ask questions that reveal the assumptions of this person.
„What do you mean by living well?“ „why is it important for you to live well in community?“ „why should we live well?“ „what if a person choose not to live well according to your standards?“ „why should your standards of living well count and an other culture‘s standards shouldn’t?“ „what if this country‘s standard were so bad that they actually cause a genocide, would you want to intervene or would you give them the freedom to carry out the genocide?“

And in the end you might see that this person actually holds human rights dearly. And that somehow he or she has an idea of what is good and what is bad. The question is „why?“. Why is there a moral ought in all human beings? And it makes no sense to refer to the human rights Charta because it‘s not even 100 years old.

I see it as follows. We each have a mental image like a puzzle in our head how the world works. This mental image has to function in itself. For example if you are an atheist the pieces must fit together. There is no space for a mental puzzle piece of a soul or of an afterlife. This would be a mismatching puzzle.

At the same time, after putting this puzzle together it must show the actual reality we see outside around us. The full picture it shows must be reality, not an alternative reality.

So for example if this person has a picture of atheism where there is no space for meaning and morality, but then in the actual world finds himself/herself craving for love, meaning and justice, then this indicates that his/her mental puzzle is false, because reality is different.

If you‘d like to learn more about this topic I recommend reading the book „Great central questions“ by Abdu Murray where he addresses what central question each worldview asks and how the gospel answers them all.

I hope this was helpful :slight_smile:

Best,

Anna

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Yes thank you Anna - I agree with your thoughts. My main focus tho is in the question ‘can We say that if a truth be necessary then it Must also be Actual’?
What ‘ought to be the case’ comes out of our mind but ‘what is the case’ comes from our experience however, our experience is limited to Sense and interpretation Of senses.
So we say there ought to be God based on our thinking but our experience may not support that posit.
I like your ‘puzzle’ analogy - but what if the counter to that is the Hegelian posit of reciprocal morality. In this case doesn’t the ‘ought’ become ‘is’ Since this is what we would or wouldn’t like if what we did to them was done to us??

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