God is an impossible object.

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Ted Grant II, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    If one is going to think philosophically and investigate underlying foundations, it raises more questions than it answers.

    What is a "deity"? How are 'deities' distinguished from everything that isn't a deity? Why is worshipping a deity so important, why isn't the deity's simple existence sufficient?

    Compare 'God' with 'the Big Bang'. Seemingly physical reality is dependent on both of them. But nobody worships the Big Bang or builds temples to it.

    That sounds like you are defining God as the transcendent. That which lies... beyond. I personally like that and often think in a similar way.

    But the question remains, what distinguishes 'God' from 'the unknown', from 'whatever remains mysterious to humans'? What makes God a proper object of religious worship?

    'God' seems to mix together the idea of 'mysterious' and perhaps 'impossible to put into words', with the idea of 'ultimate goodness and value', or 'best possible being', and with the idea of human personality that possesses intentions, motives and emotions. (And hence desires and responds to worship.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
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  3. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not convinced that we have to accept your basic premise that 'mind cannot exist without matter'. I'm personally inclined to agree with you (without necessarily committing myself to the idea that everything that exists is matter), but many very smart people in the history of thought haven't agreed with the priority of matter and with other aspects of reality emerging somehow from that supposedly-fundamental material level.

    After all, one can make this kind of argument:

    How do we know that physical reality exists? By experiencing it. But our experiences shouldn't be equated with the things experienced (insert argument from illusion, qualia arguments and similar things here). So according to this line of argument, what we experience is experience, an inner representation of some kind. An inner representation that's mind- dependent and mind-constructed.

    So, this line of argument tries to argue that mind is prior to matter and that our belief in the reality of matter and the physical space-time world it resides in is entirely dependent on mind.

    If we make that move, then your argument against the possibility of an entirely non-material God seems to collapse.
     
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  5. Newbiephilosopher Registered Member

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    A deity is a supernatural being, either a god or a goddess that is worshiped by people who believe the deity controls or exerts some kind of force over an aspect of the world. Many worship because God responds to worship and people would prefer an interactive relationship with God versus a relationship that is sufficient with knowing his existence.

    The Big Bang does have its worshipers and temples, take for example the trillions of dollars spent each year on observatories and underground particle accelerators. Many people are devoted to understanding the first seconds of creation and go on to proclaim multidimensional worlds or quantum states where observing matter determines its reality. Science can be as outlandish as the belief in a god.

    The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who is also the God Allah is the one god most worship. What distinguishes him from the unknown is that people have had a spiritual experience with that god. This god has appeared to many and caused them to prophesy events that came true in the future (although it is a matter of interpretation). The church will vow that they experience God's Spirit and Word daily. Many followers believe in this and when the foundation of all your commandments is love, there is no stopping the worship of God. Tomorrow will always be a mystery but God's love will always remain.
     
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    No. Some people may have a religious attitude toward science, but that is not the same thing.

    The principles of science are incompatible with faith without evidence. If there weren't good evidence of the Big Bang, you can bet scientists wouldn't be trying so hard to study it,
     
  8. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    At least that is what the scriptures of the three monotheistic religions claim. Moses...Jesus..Mohammed..all superheroes in stories passed down and redacted numerous times till we end up with this idea of prophets and messengers living thousands of years ago seeing God and working his miracles. Strange isn't it how all this happens only in the ancient past isn't it? How nobody nowadays speaks to God and works miracles for him. Almost as if those old stories were all made up.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
  9. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    Ummm

    Lets do a small comparison

    SCIENCE

    The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world's largest and most powerful particle collider, most complex experimental facility ever built, and the largest single machine in the world.

    It was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) between 1998 and 2008 in collaboration with over 10,000 scientists and engineers from over 100 countries, as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories.....

    .....Its first research run took place from March 2010 to early 2013

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_Hadron_Collider

    Some of the highlights in the extract mine

    Science in general puts out hundreds of research papers with thousands of ideas each year

    In true Darwin tradition only the most rugged survive due to the ability of the concept to describe the world and make predictions

    The predictions are free for any Scientist to use and test for themselves

    RELIGION

    According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world.

    Religion is a collection of cultural systems, beliefs and world views that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spiritualityand, sometimes to moral values. While religion is hard to define, one standard model of religion, used in religious studies courses, was proposed by Clifford Geertz, who simply called it a "cultural system.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religions_and_spiritual_traditions

    Still working from a 2,000 year old comic book and if any new interpretation comes out

    BINGO a new religion is born

    This is a very simplistic comparison so feel free to make up a two column (more if you wish) comparison list to post

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  10. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    Reminds me of something Ricky Gervais once said in an interview:
    "Science is constantly proved all the time. You see, if we take something like any fiction, any holy book... and destroyed it, in a thousand years' time, that wouldn't come back just as it was. Whereas if we took every science book, every fact, and destroyed them all, in a thousand years they'd all be back, because all the same tests would [produce] the same result."
     
  11. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    I believe the mind (thoughts) is part of the experience. What I find is that there is nearly always an observer, the "I" at the center of any experience. Even for those suffering a mental disability, the observer is always present, whether we recognize it or not. It is elusive to be sure. You cannot pin it down because it has no substance. It has the weight of air.
     
  12. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    There could be beings who are naturally and/or technologicly much more powerful than us & could easily fool theists into worshipping them.

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    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
  13. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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  14. The God Valued Senior Member

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    I like this big bang evidence.

    This is more like religion or faith, an un-understood fantastic event can be attributed to the God by theists (miracle), similarly few so called good evidence of Big Bang are attributed to the BB God. Trust me we have no means to exclude that these evidences cannot be by any other process. The biggest evidence in favour of BB is CMBR, and who knows it is the biggest game being played in science.
     
  15. The God Valued Senior Member

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    Should one be naturally or technologically more powerful to fool others? Look around......how easily mass get fooled by politicians and here mass = Theist + Atheist + Neutral.
     
  16. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    The problem that I'm poking into is what does and doesn't make some x a suitable object of religious worship.

    Remember the 1990's movie Independence Day? Simply appearing in the sky in a giant light-show doesn't seem to justify our confidence that something is a god. Having tremendous power over this world, such as the ability to exterminate humanity, doesn't make something a god.

    There's something else involved that justifies all the religious passion. Some mysterious and perhaps undefinable quality of holiness. That looks like the vital ingredient.

    What is it that distinguishes a god from a super-space-alien that wants to reduce humans to its cute little pets? We presumably should surrender ourselves to the god while resisting the alien. But how can we distinguish between them when both of them operate in mysterious ways and totally exceed our human understanding?

    I agree that the more speculative reaches of theoretical physics are certainly outlandish from a layman's perspective. That's one reason why I retain some skepticism about such things.

    But while I've compared astronomical observatories and things like CERN to religious temples myself, I think that the vital element of holiness and worship might be missing. The scientists do come close, they certainly think that they are discovering the hidden secrets of the universe. They act like pursuing science is a higher calling than pursuing fame or money. They are unveiling Secrets that may, in some cases, give those who wield them tremendous power. Seen this way, scientists start to look like the direct descendants of ancient and medieval wizards and ritual magicians who imagined that they were doing much the same thing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
  17. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    Found the total post a very interesting point of view

    Yes scientist are at the forefront of discovering secrets the Universe and CERN can be seen to be a alter to worship at

    The undefinable quality of holiness which you you indicate is missing I would add to the holiness the personal aspect

    The hoards of advanced technical space ships appearing is in a sense easy to understand how to defeat

    Just throw more technology at it

    A personalised god doing good (like a super hero) is harder to understand because miracles of super powers do not involve technology

    In a very minor way as you detail direct descendants of ancient and medieval wizards and ritual magicians I would include in the modern world sports persons and so called celebs who seem to have powers

    The last point I would make would be facts and evidence discovered by scientist are neutral

    The feature of worship is as you indicate is a mysterious non understanable force

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  18. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Just suppose someone(s) communicates with theists when they pray. Suppose events claimed by scripture actually happened. Theists take these things & others as proof of god but any such might be accomplished by beings who are as natural as we are yet very powerful & theists would never know the difference.

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  19. The God Valued Senior Member

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    Things are not so insane nowadays even in the minds of theists. Many scientists are theists, in mythology or religion texts many absurd things are written which are proved incorrect by science, but these things do not trouble educated theists.
     
  20. Anti-stupidity Registered Member

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    So these educated theists are lying to themselves? Or are admitting ignorance? Why don't these ploy's trouble educated theists? It is because they want to believe rather than have good reason aside from emotional console?
     
  21. The God Valued Senior Member

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    Why theists believe in God or are they ignorant or do they need emotional console or are they lying to themselves...these are some of the questions atheists keep regularly asking in general to bring in rationality but theists are unmoved and faith remains intact.
     
  22. Anti-stupidity Registered Member

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  23. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    ^^^
    I think the 2 main factors are children being taught to have faith in religion & the overwhelming prevalence of religion in culture & society. And as you hinted at, religion is not the only thing people have faith in.

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