Does God exist?

A spiritual perspective on phenomenon

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Re: Does God exist?

Postby Rintendo » Mon May 03, 2010 10:48 pm

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Re: Does God exist?

Postby Crackajack » Tue May 04, 2010 3:55 am

egg wrote:That human beings have so many gods seems to suggest that perhaps, we are the creators. God and the gods are our creation.


This is very logical in terms of idols. Some people need and worship a god as an idol, not for any other reason than they need someone/something to believe in which will ease their personal burdens and let them feel love. Some worship a god to keep them grounded in their own or their religion's version of what is 'right' and to reinforce a set of common communal values. Others refer to God as a higher power or source for the existence of everything. Some all of the above. Each to their own I guess.

Is it just a humanistic way of explaining/expressing universal energy and the results thereof?

What if that computer programmer in the sky has had us meatware programmed to just believe we are conscious, stuck in a 4D matrix?

Ahhh the possibilities. The beauty is most probably in not ever knowing and the infinite quest for such knowledge.
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Re: Does God exist?

Postby egg » Tue May 04, 2010 4:16 am

Crackajack wrote:What if that computer programmer in the sky has had us meatware programmed to just believe we are conscious, stuck in a 4D matrix?

Ahhh the possibilities. The beauty is most probably in not ever knowing and the infinite quest for such knowledge.


Exactly. What if we are that programmer and we are the meatware, too.

How about the translation for adonai in Hebrew - "I am that I am". Seems like God was fine with himself and left the big questions to others. Maybe, we should do the same.

Although, then we wouldn't have threads like this, and I like threads like this.
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Re: Does God exist?

Postby ryguy » Tue May 04, 2010 2:29 pm

egg wrote:If anything, I think God may be the crutch that we create to give us hope and to find it in ourselves to do things we would otherwise never do. Face it, how much credit do you give yourself? You need someone to help you through this life. At least, sometimes.


mmm...this is a dangerous proposition in my mind. It lies at the core of why I dislike the "New Age" so much - the core belief system being that the concept of God limits us as humans and that we should give ourselves all of the credit...

Consider this scenario...let's say that you are a genius scientist who was able to invent an intelligent, conscious Android with free will. The Android went on to become a real-life superhero, saving countless lives...then one day a news reporter confronts this amazing Android and asks it who deserves credit for all of those saved lives?

Should the Android say that it deserves all of the credit, or should it be honest with itself and admit that yes, its creator really deserves most, if not all of the credit, because without the creator, none of this would have ever come to be?

Although - the humility of giving credit where it's due, rather than taking it for ourselves, is hard on the ego - so I wouldn't fault anyone for taking the other road, but I do personally feel that it's the wrong one.

-Ry
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Re: Does God exist?

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Tue May 04, 2010 3:04 pm

egg wrote:I would hate to think of It as sentient in the human sense.


Rintendo first hit the nail on the head about the tendency to anthropomorphize God, and this comment by Egg reinforces that. If God, in whatever form you wish to believe, exists, trying to pigeonhole God into "looking and sensing" as human is just way too easy, and quite the cop-out. It leads to the kinds of deductive reasoning that give rise to statements like "God would want it this way because it only makes sense to any human." As if any human has the "big picture" purview that an alleged God has?

Indeed, I would expect God to be "super-sentient" if we define human sentience as the norm. What that means and how it affects ones reasoning capacities, I can only guess at. This is why I think it is also too easy to say "the proof there is no God is because of all the suffering in the world around us." Just because we see something as suffering does not mean that all sentient beings would see it as such. It is possible that all things that occur, if we assume there is a God, are for a purpose. Do we know that for a fact? Of course we don't.

The thing about systems, and especially systems-of-systems, is that they exhibit emergent behaviors. That means they exhibit behaviors that one would NOT expect to see as a result of a mere accounting of the behaviors of its sub-components. Now apply this systems understanding to a God, and you should come to the conclusion that God should exhibit behaviors that would be beyond our level of understanding or reason. They would be emergent behaviors that are in-line with a higher level of systemic organization. But at our level of reasoning, they may even seem cross-purpose, mostly because we are trying to enslave God with human purpose and reason.

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Re: Does God exist?

Postby Zep Tepi » Tue May 04, 2010 3:12 pm

ryguy wrote:Consider this scenario...let's say that you are a genius scientist who was able to invent an intelligent, conscious Android with free will. The Android went on to become a real-life superhero, saving countless lives...then one day a news reporter confronts this amazing Android and asks it who deserves credit for all of those saved lives?

Should the Android say that it deserves all of the credit, or should it be honest with itself and admit that yes, its creator really deserves most, if not all of the credit, because without the creator, none of this would have ever come to be?


Flipping that analogy around, that also means we can't ever blame ourselves when something bad or evil happens. "Don't blame me, blame the creator. It's all their fault." That, in my mind, is way more dangerous than people legitimately taking credit for something good they may have done.

Although - the humility of giving credit where it's due, rather than taking it for ourselves, is hard on the ego - so I wouldn't fault anyone for taking the other road, but I do personally feel that it's the wrong one.

-Ry


It's a moot point. We know in the case of the android that it has a creator, but the same cannot be said for us. We are all responsible for our own actions, good or bad. That means credit where it is due, and punishment when it is deserved. Anything else is just daft.
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Re: Does God exist?

Postby ryguy » Tue May 04, 2010 4:18 pm

Zep Tepi wrote:Flipping that analogy around, that also means we can't ever blame ourselves when something bad or evil happens. "Don't blame me, blame the creator. It's all their fault." That, in my mind, is way more dangerous than people legitimately taking credit for something good they may have done.


I suppose blame and credit are terms that are too simple - maybe positive & negative energy resulting from actions? In the end, yes, I do believe that there's a source from which our actions are motivated, and the results of our actions go back to the source (higher power), ultimately with repercussions for everyone. But I don't believe the source is us... I guess this is the crux of the question - are we the center of the universe - "god" - or is that something much larger than us and we are only a small part of it?

Although - the humility of giving credit where it's due, rather than taking it for ourselves, is hard on the ego - so I wouldn't fault anyone for taking the other road, but I do personally feel that it's the wrong one.

-Ry


It's a moot point. We know in the case of the android that it has a creator, but the same cannot be said for us. We are all responsible for our own actions, good or bad. That means credit where it is due, and punishment when it is deserved. Anything else is just daft.


Daft? Given that logic - everything anyone is hypothesizing in this entire thread is daft. Or is it only the "creator" scenario that's held to a higher standard?

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Re: Does God exist?

Postby ryguy » Tue May 04, 2010 4:32 pm

By the way - there's a cultural basis for collective blame/credit versus individual credit/blame. While it may seem like an alien concept to those of us living in an individualistic society - it's perfectly normal in a collectivist society.

Parents take blame for the actions of children, husbands take blame for the actions of wives, etc... Collective credit/blame isn't an alien concept...

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Re: Does God exist?

Postby Zep Tepi » Tue May 04, 2010 4:44 pm

No, there's nothing wrong with hypothesising at all. I wonder why you would think I have a problem with that?

Essentially, you are saying that people cannot be held responsible for their own actions, because their "actions are motivated" from another "source". I couldn't disagree more with that. Yes, I personally think such a thought to be daft.

To reiterate what I actually wrote:
We are all responsible for our own actions, good or bad. That means credit where it is due, and punishment when it is deserved. Anything else is just daft.

You wrote:
Daft? Given that logic - everything anyone is hypothesizing in this entire thread is daft.


How do you work that one out? Cue Twilight Zone music...
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Re: Does God exist?

Postby Zep Tepi » Tue May 04, 2010 4:47 pm

ryguy wrote:By the way - there's a cultural basis for collective blame/credit versus individual credit/blame. While it may seem like an alien concept to those of us living in an individualistic society - it's perfectly normal in a collectivist society.

Parents take blame for the actions of children, husbands take blame for the actions of wives, etc... Collective credit/blame isn't an alien concept...

-Ry


What society are we part of now?
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Re: Does God exist?

Postby ryguy » Tue May 04, 2010 4:57 pm

Zep Tepi wrote:Essentially, you are saying that people cannot be held responsible for their own actions, because their "actions are motivated" from another "source". I couldn't disagree more with that. Yes, I personally think such a thought to be daft.


That's not what I said. I said these exact words:

mmm...this is a dangerous proposition in my mind. It lies at the core of why I dislike the "New Age" so much - the core belief system being that the concept of God limits us as humans and that we should give ourselves all of the credit...


I didn't say people shouldn't be held responsible, but that the blame (or credit) isn't entire one's own. I guess you have every right to call the opinion of others "daft" if you like.

To reiterate what I actually wrote:
We are all responsible for our own actions, good or bad. That means credit where it is due, and punishment when it is deserved. Anything else is just daft.


You wrote:
Daft? Given that logic - everything anyone is hypothesizing in this entire thread is daft.


How do you work that one out? Cue Twilight Zone music...


Just because you disagree with an opinion that lacks supporting evidence doesn't make it daft, using that argument I (or anyone) could call any opinion in this thread daft.

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Re: Does God exist?

Postby ryguy » Tue May 04, 2010 4:58 pm

Zep Tepi wrote:
What society are we part of now?


A global one - where "we" aren't always right.
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Re: Does God exist?

Postby Zep Tepi » Tue May 04, 2010 5:23 pm

Emphasis mine:
Should the Android say that it deserves all of the credit, or should it be honest with itself and admit that yes, its creator really deserves most, if not all of the credit, because without the creator, none of this would have ever come to be?


You are saying that the creator deserves most, if not all of the credit. Conversley, by this logic, the creator should deserve most if not all of any blame for whenever anything goes bad or wrong.

But now you're trying to say that isn't what you meant?

And no, I do not think any of the opinions in this thread are daft, so stop trying to put words into my keyboard. I think that particular notion is daft. What would be the point of our existence if those were the rules?
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Re: Does God exist?

Postby Rintendo » Tue May 04, 2010 7:45 pm

I think that the temporal nature of our plane of existence should lead us to believe that everything, good or bad, is just an experience. If we had a limitless view of G-D/Universe then the tragedies would not seem so tragic. They are experiences felt much like that strange feeling of your foot falling asleep and then waking up again. We are part of a system so we can neither take credit or blame for good and bad, but experience it and learn from it. The human capacity to blame and reward means nothing and is an extension of ego.

Does this mean that I believe that we shouldn't strive to do good? No, not at all. It just means that we ought to put everything in the best perspective that we can and reduce the antagonistic form of blame atheism or agnosticism; if God doesn't perform on command or save us from the mess we created ourselves then he does not exist.

Evil exists because it draws space from the passivity of the good. There is much we can do but don't and label our apathy "pragmatism".

G-D more than exists. God is existence, including all of you.
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Re: Does God exist?

Postby egg » Tue May 04, 2010 8:18 pm

ryguy wrote:
egg wrote:If anything, I think God may be the crutch that we create to give us hope and to find it in ourselves to do things we would otherwise never do. Face it, how much credit do you give yourself? You need someone to help you through this life. At least, sometimes.


mmm...this is a dangerous proposition in my mind. It lies at the core of why I dislike the "New Age" so much - the core belief system being that the concept of God limits us as humans and that we should give ourselves all of the credit...

Consider this scenario...let's say that you are a genius scientist who was able to invent an intelligent, conscious Android with free will. The Android went on to become a real-life superhero, saving countless lives...then one day a news reporter confronts this amazing Android and asks it who deserves credit for all of those saved lives?

Should the Android say that it deserves all of the credit, or should it be honest with itself and admit that yes, its creator really deserves most, if not all of the credit, because without the creator, none of this would have ever come to be?

Although - the humility of giving credit where it's due, rather than taking it for ourselves, is hard on the ego - so I wouldn't fault anyone for taking the other road, but I do personally feel that it's the wrong one.

-Ry

Actually, if you look at what I wrote, I said, "How much credit do you give yourself? You need someone to help you through this life. At least, sometimes." In no way did I mean that we should give ourselves all of the credit.

As for disliking New Age spirituality, I understand. I don't like all of it either. However, I don't like much of the Old Age religions or spirituality either.

Let's look at your scenario. I suppose God is the genius scientist and I am the super-android. However, unlike in your example, God has created everything (if you believe in God). So, God (the genius scientist) has created me (super android) and a bunch of regular old androids. God has created sub-par androids who in many situations NEED to rely on me, the super android. They cannot save themselves. They cannot rely on themselves. They NEED an outsider to literally save their lives or the lives of their friends and loved ones. Why should they give any credit to God who could have made all of us super androids?
Now, if you believe that the world was set up as some sort of training ground for we humans to break free of our egos and become humble humans, fair enough. It's a possibility. However, that doesn't seem to be a central precept which is spelled out in any major religion (aside from Buddhism/Bonnism and perhaps Taoism). Most of us, I'm guessing, were raised under one of the "Western" religions (Hey, I thought they all came from the Middles EAST). Nowhere is it said, straight out, break free of the shackles of your ego. Yes, there are most certainly places where you can infer this or where something somewhat similar is said. However, the Koran (being the newest holy book) was written in the 7th century B.C.E. by a human being. All the other books (or major parts of the book) were written, at least, 300 years before that or more. We have to take the word of a writer who wrote between one and a half and two millennia ago. Mmmmmm...... where's God?
Your belief of humility in approaching God is your own decision. I don't say it is a bad one. In fact, even if we are part and/or total God, I think it's probably the right approach. But, that may be the New Age influence talking :wink:
Yes, breaking the ego shackles which bind us is difficult but so is lifting 260 lbs or saving $100,000 (for most people) or learning Kung-Fu. Difficulty does not necessarily measure anything but difficulty. Of course, we're all different to a degree. For a few, being humble is easy but baking a souffle is difficult.
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