Garry,

I most agree with what Nominal posted, "For me to consider God as factual I would have to run "God-facts" through the scientific method. Simply, if there are no God-facts which I can accumulate then there is no debate to be had.
If I am strolling down a dusty road and in my purview a burning bush speaks to me: a) I've had a psychotic snap, or any other inumerable explainations....
Further, perhaps God is not meant to be taken as fact..but to only exist through faith."

Not entirely sure what would constitute a "God-fact", moreover I do not think science can prove God's existence, rather I believe God can be disproven much more readily. But science said the world was flat at some point and that the Earth was the center of the solar system (and universe?). Then science corrected and shifted itself adopting a paradigm where the sun is at the center of the solar system. Science adjusts and evolves, does God? Or is God a constant with one set of messages (e.g. the bible) that does not change and adapt to modern times. A physics book written 100 years from now WILL paint a drastically different picture of our universe; whereas the bible will have the same words, yes? A television evangelist will tithe your money, in the name of God. Was it foolish to believe that the Sun revolved around the Earth? Of course not, because our eyes see the sun traverse across the sky. But again it was science and not God which corrected our observations. Is it foolish to fork over your hard earned cash to an evangelist (acting sincerely and purely [wink wink] on God's behalf)? I think so yes. But then ask the people who do fork it over and they say a resounding, "NO". Why do some have ardent faith in God while others do not, while still others are undecided? Such a vast array of perceptions (even hostility) regarding the belief of God.
Perception. We, as individuals, are exposed to unique life-learning experiences and as a result what we are exposed to (often early in life) can dictate the rest of our destiny. I grew up in a catholic household where my parents were patently irish-catholic, church every Sunday etc.. I never enjoyed it and found it a complete waste of time and energy. But that is my unique experience. After my parents ceased forcing me to attend mass I immediately halted my presence at Sunday mass. I did not "get it". Others did "get it" and found church and religion and God most satisfying, and yet I took a different path, even though I was exposed to the same information (as my young peers). To those who believe in "God" just "get it", they "understand". Maybe they can not explain why they "get it", but they do none-the-less. Maybe they are more perceptive to something that I am not; maybe they have more skill at understanding the benefits of religion than I do. Science, as it is, is my religion. Though, at the same time, I do enjoy Christmas and the "spirit" of the season.

One thing that strikes a seeming paradox is that physics seeks a "theory of everything" and, theologically predestination (the doctrine that God has foreordained all things) is its religious counterpart.

"In fact, many physicists take the position that physics is the only fundamental science. Their argument runs as follows: all sciences--biology, chemistry, geology, etc.--are concerned with matter; all matter is composed of atoms; physics describes the dynamics and internal configurations of atoms. Extension of this physico-centric view can result in profound philosophical consequences. For example, if one accepts that the human brain controls all human behavior, and if one accepts that the brain is composed entirely of atoms whose behavior is completely described by laws of physics, then one may reasonably question whether a person has the free will to control his behavior. Nevertheless it is not the task of physics to answer philosophical questions."

"In physics a theory of everything (TOE) is a theory that unifies the four interactions of nature: gravity, the strong nuclear force, the weak nuclear force, and the electromagnetic force. There has been progress toward a TOE in unifying electromagentism and the weak nuclear force in an electroweak unified field theory and in unifying all of the forces except for gravity (which in the present theory of gravity general relativity is not a force) in grand unified theory. One missing piece in a theory of everything involves combining quantum mechanics and general relativity into a theory of quantum gravity."

Fine.

So if a "universal law" that explains the universe in an equation exists...then there is no "free will" because everything is pre-determined in a mathematical formula?

"It is not the task of physics to answer philosophical questions".

Why not? Is there no spontaneity in human behavior because of the existence of a fundamental universal equation? Does not physics and philosophy intersect??

Most people do not question what is force-fed to them in school or question the veracity of what they digest through the media. Critical thinking. I always asked, "why" or "why not?" This is not to say that people who believe in God or religion are misguided. Like I said, "I just don't get it".

Perhaps unknown future sciences can better address this question as presently humanity is ill-equipped and immature. We need a deeper acumen of the workings of the macro and micro physical (physics) universe(s) before we can answer questions of scientifically proving God. Whether or not one believes in God is irrelevent; as one is expected to abide by the social contract. If one wants to live in society one must play by the rules, so to say.

Good and evil occur independent of God's existence. Many things are relative, using the terms "good" and "evil" is a spectacular instance of this. Who defines that which is "good" or "evil"? God? No. Humanity defines these words, whether literally (taken from the American Heritage Dictionary), or through action (aiding the tsunami victims last December), or through inaction (not addressing social equality, in the United States until the 1960s).

My point is that whether or not God exists or whether or not people believe in a God (or higher spiritual power), it is the responsibility of humanity to BE GOD. And hopefully a, wise, fair and benevolent humanity/God at that.

I mentioned in some other forum post that technology has far outpaced our "social maturity". Another post asks if science has failed humanity? Where are the flying cars we were promised? To paraphrase (either DA or Uncle Al I do not recall which) "science flies airplanes and God demands you upon your knees" (or something to this effect).

So again, perhaps God is meant to be taken as fact through faith and faith alone.
Sincerely,
_________________________
"My God, it's full of stars!" -2010