Are we made in God's image?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by James R, Apr 23, 2020.

  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    In another thread, I have been collecting definitions of God from both theists and atheists.

    I have noticed that some of the definitions that theists have given have essentially defined God as "whatever it was that caused the universe to begin". While it is debatable as to whether the universe needs a cause in the first place - something I don't want to discuss in the current thread - this raises a separate question for me.

    This version of God, as defined, doesn't appear to describe the God of the Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) very well at all. It is a sort of abstract god, a god removed from human concerns. This god, as defined, doesn't have any obvious human-like attributes. It could be just about anything - an abstract force or even a tinkering alien computer programmer creating a virtual world on a whim.

    If we read the bible, say, then we are told that God created human beings in his own image. But that doesn't sound much like this abstract whatever-it-may-be that is needed to start the universe going.

    Do you believe that God made us in his image? If so, what does that mean? How is your God like a human being? What attributes of God are reflected in us? Does this God relate to the abstracted kind of God we tend to hear about from the kinds of theists who are careful to make sure that their God, as they define it, is always a God of the Gaps, used to fill in only what we don't know from science, but otherwise compatible with its findings?
     
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  3. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I started a thread in early March on this, couple of replies but didn't go far.
    Alex
     
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  5. elte Valued Senior Member

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    Study of Roman mythology made me aware how people could create gods in their image. It helped form my deduction that everything supernatural was created by humans.
     
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  7. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I have just now been watching YouTube videos on how the Romans created Jesus and find the proposition most compelling that Jesus was also created by humans.
    Alex
     
  8. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

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    Well I guess we only need to look in a mirror to find said image (at least in a physical blueprint sense)

    If you are considering attributes, we got short changed there, as he made us no where like a can do anything god

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  9. elte Valued Senior Member

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    I thought at times how there could have been a charismatic man people in the first century knew, but his popularity would seem to have been very limited unless the Romans or Jews sought and eliminated written references to him to try to protect their power.

    However based on further recollection that Paul's writings were some of the earliest about Jesus, I'm thinking that he was basically Paul's creation. I think Paul wanted to believe in his hero a lot, though, dedicating his life to the man he thought had supernatural power and could save him from permanent demise. I don't know if Paul really knew someone he based Jesus on. He might have been a figure he had dreamed or hallucinated about.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2020
  10. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    There are various videos re Jesus being mythical and a mere invention. I particularly like this one. It goes for some time but I doubt if you will find it boring.
    It tells how Jesus was invented by the Romans basically for political reasons...Ordinarily I would say more but I don't wish to spoil the ending for you.
    If you do get to watch it I would love to hear if you find the proposition credible...and for those who think I wander off topic the video is very much about god being in the image of another...





    Alex
     
  11. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    God creating us in his image reminds me of the theory of evolution that humans are similar to monkeys. I'm just a salmon heading upstream.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2020
  12. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Do you know that humans and monkeys share a common ancestor ...a fish.
    Alex
     
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  13. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    It hardly requires the theory of evolution to notice that. It's a no brainer.
     
  14. elte Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks. Indeed I find it very credible.
     
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  15. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    What exactly is god's image? Just think of this question relative to the size and scope of the universe.
    Then think of the size and scope of human existence. Man is made in God's image? You've got to be kidding.
     
  16. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Just to exist as a human shape or an outer appearance would seem to compromises a supreme deity's absolute nature of not being dependent on anything else like a surrounding space, extrinsic properties, or mutable, perspectival relationships.

    OTOH, it might alternatively be reference to God's Primate form subsisting in a purely intelligible way as a rational object rather than a phenomenal one -- sort of like a triangle expressed by formula rather than visual or felt appearance. Only the visiting, localized avatar of an abstract or immaterial entity would become a manifested corporeal shape when "interfacing with people" in the context of their environmental experiences.

    But Plato influences or yet earlier Greek philosophy presumably didn't infiltrate Abrahamic religious thought until either the era of Christian disciples or well afterwards. (Genesis is also contended by Biblical literalists to have been written centuries before such could even be speculatively applicable -- which is to say, kind of shooting itself in the foot.)

    The option of the world being a computational simulation run by an anthropomorphic being at a prior-in-rank level similarly erodes god from omnipotent, invulnerable status. If the "deity" is just a resident subject to the regularities, restrictions, and characteristics of that realm. Though arguably still lofty and powerful from the viewpoint and situation of the denizens of the simulation, especially in terms of occasionally violating its normal autonomous development with "miracles" and what-not.
     
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  17. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    They're humans now, maybe one day we will evolve into angels.
     
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    We would need to see the specific examples in order to understand more precisely what they mean.
     
  19. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    God's image might be a mathematical pattern....

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
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  20. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I had to laugh when I read this...my experience with theists is they do not do " more precisely" at all well.

    Whatever they mean presumably will vary from individual to individual given none of them can employ objectivity.

    I think it is sufficient to accept theists are thinking creator and that this creator did create the universe.

    I would be very surprised if one found a theist who said they believed in a god but they don't believe that he created the universe.

    Alex
     
  21. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, usually whatever God you describe their response is "that's not my God". It's similar to the new found "Communists". Whatever communism you describe..."that's not my communism".
     
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Sentence for sentence:

    1) Similarly, I sighed when I read your post ... you missed the point.

    2) A truism with open bigotry welded onto the end of it.

    3) Do try making sense, next time.

    4) The statistical reality is whatever it is, but that's still your problem.

    †​

    The thing is, the topic post can't get any more specific than, "theists", because it's author isn't capable of being any more specific.

    Toward that end, and perhaps your point four, look around for Sproul's Primal Myths. You needn't read it through, or anything; just look at what it is and maybe peruse a couple creation tales to understand how they are recorded and compiled. Normally, I find myself pointing out that creation stories tend to deal with the people who tell them; it's actually surprising how often people haven't stopped to think about that point.

    More to our context in the moment, though, something else you might notice in creation tales is that often, the Creator spirit, while broad in function, is not a monotheistic godhead. And as you read through other various scriptures and lores from around the world, you will find much seemingly implicit sentiment that the ultimate reality is what it is, and the stories deal with mundane questions of daily life. It seems worth reminding that, in history, philosophy has, at times, been something of a luxury; the underlying philosophies of religion are, generally, even more esoteric than those of politics, economics, or history. Among the Salish tibes, for instance, not much has changed about the old religion. And where Shaker Christianity found inroads, it's much more experiential than philosophical.

    To wit: Compared to daily life, it seems worth noting that if Francis Barrett was apparently born to a humble family, he was of sufficient means to fail repeatedly at attempted balloon flight, in addition to translating and speculating on Qabalistic and Christianist-metaphysical manuscripts. Moreover, if Éliphas Lévi was born to a shoemaker, he also abandoned Seminary and became a political philosopher of the sort who earned repeated prison terms for offending the Catholic Church. Say what we will of luxury and political philosophers°, but it only took the priesthood washout turned Christian socialist, and the 1st Baron Lytton°°, to bring the failed balloonist's book to more influential notice among the sort of folk who did, indeed have the luxury of education and opportunities of association, being a Freemason, sitting around royal libraries translating and speculating on old manuscripts, marrying into prominent literary and political circles, and, well, y'know, running the Golden Dawn. Because, really, if the Salish people don't happen to have finely resolved and metaphysically determined tables describing which angel has what authority over which day of the week, and, furthermore, the daily schedules of diverse angels given which authority over what hours on any given day of the week, there might be a reason. I'm pretty certain they also never invented an invisible college, either; and if there was ever a 1st Earl Nisqually, it wasn't a Squalliabsch appointment. If there is no Nisqually angel of three o'clock in the afternoon on Wednesday, it does not seem so much to hope the reasons why are apparent.

    †​

    Okay, work with me, here:

    • See those people over there? They're wrong. And you and I both know it. Still, though, why does it matter? Oh, they're causing harm? To others? And themselves? And, y'know, we care, right? And go ahead and dissent at this point; harm to self and others, and caring about people, is a pretense offered me by this guy I know, in justification of his own behavior toward those people over there, because he, like us, knows they're wrong. But if they're wrong, and it matters substantially that they are wrong, the part I don't get is why you or that other guy I know, or anyone else asserting a stake in resolving the questions about which those people over there are wrong, would go about it in a manner intended to encourage entrenchment in their wrongness.

    When those people over there see you, or that other guy I know, asserting they are wrong, but just sort of phoning it in as cluelessly and offensively as it reads, what are they supposed to think? When you go out of your way to disqualify them from the discussion you pretend to want to have, how do you expect they will respond?

    That those people over there are wrong does not automatically make anyone else right, and so, if I consider that guy I know, what we can say is that his excuse is to blame the people he mocks, and holds in such contempt that he would rather invent gods and worshipers to complain about than address anything real. Any pretense that he cares about those people over there requires fine scrutiny.

    But what about you, or anyone else? There's the part where your beliefs are your beliefs, and other such platitudes, but when you declare that, "none of them can employ objectivity", what, aside from the ephemeral thrill of judgment and contempt, does that statement intend to accomplish?

    You can be as right as right, and they can be as wrong as wrong, but if the only thing you show them is fallacy and contempt, they have no reason to trust you.

    And insofar as any of us might pretend to care about the harms those people over there deliver to others and themselves, that outcome is problematic. Sure, that other guy I know can't speak for you, per se, but he does provide an example. And by his own pretense of caring about people, his behavior in such matters is ridiculous; he only makes things worse.

    And to a certain degree, your reasons are your own, as much a platitude or not as the part about your beliefs. Independent of that question, for it remains true, he cannot speak for you, the fact remains that the results your behavior brings are problematic toward any pretense of of caring about the harms they bring unto others or even themselves. That is, whether you participate in that pretense or not, your address of the subject and those people over there is problematic nonetheless.​

    To be clear: My side, or factions, in politics recently won a tenuous legalistic victory over dangerous American Christianism, and there are many other groups of people who need this much relief at least. What makes our victory tenuous is that the opposition is powerful, enraged, and entrenched. And, to be certain, there are influential organizations, and individuals with such luxury as spend their days in high office or invented colleges to reinterpret and speculate about philosophy and the historical record. Away from those, on the proverbial front lines of the culture wars, where people struggle through questions affecting mundane life, say what anyone will about the flock needing to think for itself, but going out of one's way to present the all too easy examples of the opposition they are told to be wary of for having nothing to offer save uneducated, self-gratifying mockery is only going to reinforce Christianists' fears about the dangers of those other ways of looking at things. What this tenuousness means is consequential backlash; and if right now, the only thing we can do to assuage those Christianists over there is destroy ourselves in order to give them everything they want, that just isn't going to happen, and if there is ever a way to get beyond that impasse, it is possible for people like you, or that guy I know, to become a problematic circumstance I must in some way account for.

    It would be surprising if I ever had to answer for you, or that guy I know, so particularly outside Sciforums, but those Christianists over there are just as anxious to hide behind excuses of the unworthiness of their opponents as that guy I know seems to be, so it's easy to encounter melodramatic, even pathetically hilarious examples of what's wrong with atheism and atheists, as such. And complain about those examples all you want, the simple point is these are among the obstacles to breaking an old cycle. There are reasons I would prefer those histrionic examples remain silly hyperbole.

    Flouride, vaccines, condoms, sex ed, LGBTQ, needle exchanges and addiction treatment, now societal prophylaxis. Research toward potential cures. Censorship of books and music and movies. Supremacist favor and exclusion at the grocery store or lunch counter, or hospital or courthouse. In questions mundane on through mortal, there are certainly reasons to attend what certain theistic believers actually believe and say and do.

    And in that context, some outcomes really are problematic. This isn't mysterious. An atheist's reasons for wanting cheap, dysfunctional religious iterations to entrench, endure, and even synthesize, however, are as human as they come. Some mysteries are answerable, except we're human.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    ° There's a Marx joke, there, and I do mean Karl.

    °° Who also had such opportunity as to turn down a foreign kingship, appoint the founder of British Columbia, sire the future 1st Earl Lytton (who would, in turn, serve a term as Viceroy and Governor-General of India), and write novels, including one of the most infamous sentences in English-language literature.
     
  23. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    One could continue to be passive-aggressive or one could replace "that guy I know" with a name.

    But on to bigger problems, to wit, when mom is talking while I'm trying to watch TV. To the one or to the other when I'm trying to blog stream of consciousness thoughts that no one will be able to understand and mom interrupts. Y'know.

    It took Bohr and a few others (a certain general) y'know, General Electric to lead us into our present age, to wit, the age of electrics where now our stream of conciousness can be interrupted by an electronic devise while we are trying to share with the world our intense thoughts.

    This brings the question to bear, is a thought shared in a blog that no one has read, truly a though?
     
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