If God is real, how would you know?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Jan Ardena, Apr 8, 2020.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

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    Which thread?
     
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  3. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe you edited and or moved it.

    You'd know already.
     
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  5. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I don't understand...in this context or outside it...
    What is anti identification?
    What is political dressage?
    And why are such positions negative with nothing to offer when after all atheism is no more than treating reality as one finds it which necessarily excludes the recognition let alone the acceptance of a god...any of them.

    I am not accusing you of overthinking it but perhaps the opposite and even though I enjoy your style I sometimes find you difficult to follow and certainly impossible to determine where you are going with this general thrust I pick out from your posts.
    Further I question why you seek to generalise upon atheists past the definition of an atheist as here we only have a few atheists all individuals presumably better categorised upon their personalities rather than their commonality to reject nonsense.
    Isn't the game here just a local event with very few players and even less spectators ..it certainly is not the Super Bowl with the best atheists running the ball.
    Alex
     
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  7. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    The history of worship, a behaviour unique to the human animal one supposes, always finds an object involved at some point in that history.
    Probably we began doing this worship thing with fire and its ability to light a path at night, the more we needed it the more homage we had to pay, type of thing. We tamed a capricious spirit. At least that's my pov.

    That paleological evidence of seashell trading and early bodily decoration with the likes of colored clay implies ceremony, so some kind of worship (we jammin'). It needed an object and the object was the human ability to become an animal, say, by wearing its skin. Possibly.
     
  8. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    So the thesis goes, early forms of worship were animist (fire is alive), today we've developed the ability to worship the overlord of fire and everything else. But we or our ancestors, were the first overlords of fire. And who's to say painting animals on cave walls wasn't an early form of worship?

    Eventually world-creation myths started to show up, I'm not too sure about when. Most religions include fire and creation mythologies.
     
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  9. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Martin Sweatman has a series of YouTube videos (And of course he has a book) relating to the hypothosisised cosmic impact re the Younger Dryas event wherein he suggests that early cave paintings related to astrology ie he states that certain animals were draw at certain times as they relate to the progression of the zodiac...and I find his suggestion very compelling. His views re astrology from what he sees in the relief stone carvings at Gobeki Tepie also seem plausible certainly he seems to have a rigorous approach and an excellent manner in his presentation so who knows..well I guess that's the thing we don't know all that much however he is much more plausible than say unauthored ancient scripture...and it would seem those who support that ancient scripture are going out of their way to discredit his papers but on my observation he is beating them at every turn.If one traces religious practices over the years it is possible to observe an evolution culminating in what we have today in the West but clearly it started well before page one of the good book which does not appear to be original but borrowed from earlier works, the great flood for one..but much more.
    It is interesting how theists, again a wide generalisation but entirely reasonable, do not wish to look further back than page one of their good book and some suggest one can not comment upon religion unless one is not a scholar in that , narrow, part of history.
    Here is a link to his first video however there are at least 13 videos..all worth the investment of time...he presents as credentialed and credible.
    Alex
     
  10. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    I'll drink to that!!! I mean didja all see the King Kong movies?

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  11. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    So we tamed fire, H erectus did this about 1 million ya. Then later the mythology arose that fire was stolen from the gods, this one persisted. My conjecture is that a myth persists because a society needs it to, and when it doesn't it discards or replaces the myth with another one.

    viz:
    The theft of fire for the benefit of humanity is a theme that recurs in many world mythologies. Examples include:

    America

    • Among various Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest and First Nations, fire was stolen and given to humans by Coyote, Beaver or Dog.[1]
    • In Algonquin myth, Rabbit stole fire from an old man and his two daughters.[2]
    • In Cherokee myth, after Possum and Buzzard had failed to steal fire, Grandmother Spider used her web to sneak into the land of light. She stole fire, hiding it in a clay pot.[3]
    • According to a Mazatec legend, the opossum spread fire to humanity. Fire fell from a star and an old woman kept if for herself. The opossum took fire from the old woman and carried the flame on its tail, resulting in its hairlessness.[4]
    • According to the Muscogees/Creeks, Rabbit stole fire from the Weasels.[5]
    • In Ojibwa myth, Nanabozho the hare stole fire and gave it to humans.
    • According to some Yukon First Nations people, Crow stole fire from a volcano in the middle of the water.[6]
     
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  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Native American Myths
    Fire

    A Myth from the Alabama Tribe
    retold by S.E. Schlosser

    In the beginning of the world, it was Bear who owned Fire. It warmed Bear and his people on cold nights and gave them light when it was dark. Bear and his people carried fire with them wherever they went.

    One day, Bear and his people came to a great forest, where they found many acorns lying on the forest floor. Bear set Fire at the edge of the forest, and he and his people began eating acorns. The acorns were crunch and crisp and tasted better than any other acorns Bear and his people had ever eaten. They wandered further and further away from Fire, eating the delicious acorns and seeking out more when the acorn supply grew low.

    Fire blazed up merrily for awhile, until it had burned nearly all of its wood. It started to smoke and flicker, then it dwindled down and down. Fire was alarmed. It was nearly out. "Feed me! Feed me!" Fire shouted to Bear. But Bear and his people had wandered deep into the forest, and then did not hear Fire's cries.

    At that moment, Man came walking through the forest and saw the small, flickering Fire. "Feed me! Feed me!" Fire cried in despair.

    "What should I feed you?" Man asked. He had never seen Fire before.

    "I eat sticks and logs and wood of all kinds," Fire explained.

    Man picked up a stick and leaned it on the North side of Fire. Fire sent its orange-blue flames flickering up the side of the stick until it started to burn. Man got a second stick and laid it on the West side of the fire. Fire, nourished by the first stick, burned brighter and stretched taller and eagerly claimed the second stick. Man picked up a third stick and laid it on the south side of Fire and laid a fourth stick on the East. By this time, Fire was leaping and dancing in delight, its hunger satisfied.

    Man warmed himself by the blazing Fire, enjoying the changed colors and the hissing and snapping sound Fire made as it ate the wood. Man and Fire were very happy together, and Man fed Fire sticks whenever it got hungry.

    A long time later, Bear and his people came back to the edge of the forest, looking for Fire. Fire was angry when it saw Bear. It blazed until it was white-hot and so bright that Bear had to shade his eyes with both paws. "I do not even know you!" Fire shouted at Bear. The terrible heat rolling of Fire drove Bear and his people away, so they could not take it and carry it away with them.

    And now Fire belongs to Man.

    https://www.americanfolklore.net/folklore/2011/07/fire.html
     
  13. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    So now all that we need is an explanation as to why a fire-stealing myth replaces the (more rational) history of fire use by ancestral humans; usually animals are involved in the American mythologies, but probably this is not unique (what am I, an anthropologist?).

    Why invent a mythical explanation, when the ordinary one is perfectly acceptable? Why believe that rubbing a stick to generate heat and a spark, or striking a piece of flint likewise, so some dry straw starts to smoke and burn, is something stolen from the gods? What gods?

    Well, maybe, those gods we become when we dance wearing the skins of other animals, and chant or sing, take mysterious substances, then paint on cave walls. Those ones. Maybe we invent a mythology that the ceremonies and the mysterious effects of certain natural products, are gifts from somewhere.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2020
  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    The unseen gods that dwell in the clouds and throw fire and water at the people that dwell in the forest.

    This primitive association can still be observed in chimpanzees, where during a thunderstorm an Alpha will run around and shake a stick in the air to scare off this powerful but unseen enemy who throws fire and water at his family. The first acknowledgement of an unseen "higher power".

    Thus, quite understandably, the earliest gods in human history are the gods of thunder and lightning.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightning_in_religion
     
  15. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    Early humans probably scavenged the remains of animals burnt to death in natural bushfires, as parts of Africa became 'savannafied', and rainforest disappeared. Lightning would have started many of these bushfires.

    Thus, fire from the sky would burn a lot of prey animals, these become gifts from above, say. I'm wingin' that one although it sounds kind of reasonable.
     
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  16. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I assume because these stories were for small children and maybe it's the way parents will often try and make a story for a child.

    I mean we do it in this era by laying a myth over say the Easter festival that there is a bunny who delivers eggs or like celebrating Xmas we have a mythical man delivering gifts.
    We have a fairey who collects teeth.
    Why folk can't just tell it the way it is I don't know.
    And this desire for myth and fairey tales never leaves some folk who not only like to have make believe in their reality but also are prone to use of metaphore rather than speaking plainly and leaving little to be misinterpreted.
    Alex
     
  17. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Don't forget that that any gifts must be earned by good behavior or sacrifice. The gods only favor those who believe in them.
     
  18. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    Huh. So why invent the idea that animals stole fire and brought it to mankind? A bedtime story for children? That's a rather weak argument for why early humans invented mythology.
    Ok. Well I guess H habilis or H erectus quite possibly didn't know either. Nonetheless it doesn't sound like early mythologies were about keeping the kids happy. The adults believed it too, and it doesn't sound like a good argument that they did so for a bit of a lark. It was serious stuff, and it still is, but why?
     
  19. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah. Isn't it strange though, how people who realise this kind of thing also exhibit an almost mythical belief in the correctness of their arguments?
     
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  20. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    IMO, it is really not that difficult.
    When the human brain does not have a observable causality of an observable phenomenon it invents (makes a best guess) one. And an unseen causal agent meets the definition of a god. It's humans (hominids) who invented gods precisely because they are not observable, yet create all these strange phenomena and throw them down from the sky. Gifts (or punishment) from the gods.

    How many people have been sacrificed to placate volcano gods. How did the concept of hell start?
     
  21. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    humans appear to require mythological explanations, of why for example they can make fire, a thing that comes down from the sky.

    I guess you could assume that all the trappings of religion were really about social control and keeping the elites in power. I doubt that early humans really considered the concept of sin. The mythologies existed then as they do now because we need them, somehow myths give societies more stability.

    You could argue that the laws of physics are a set of myths devoid of religious meaning. Physics is an arcane, even magical, kind of art.
     
  22. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I could develop it into a strong arguement but I would rather let you work out for yourself that is probably as good an explanation as any given we have no evidence to support any arguement over another.

    Presumably because it started as childhood stories and we can look at various myths today that could support such a conclusion.
    Alex
     
  23. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    It was not too long ago that illness was believed to be caused by demons which had to be exorcised.
    The first recorded labor strike in history was during the pyramid age, when a pharaoh cut back on the rations of garlic. The workmen refused to work on a spiritual monument without protection from demons with generous rations of garlic. The scribe duly recorded that strike and the reasons why.

    The fight or flight response is based on the possibility that an unseen rustle in the bushes is caused by a hungry lion.
    An unseen causality of storm, fire and flooding and drought is easily seen as a form of punishment from "above", where the "unseen" dwell and clearly show they are actively involved in some kind of warfare among themselves and very likely with humans.

    Lets sacrifice a live person to appease the Kraken, loosened by Hades to punish mankind for losing faith in the gods.

    Alex is showing us many constellations that have names . Astrology is based on the influences of cosmic patterns. This is not an unreasonable assumption if you don't know any better. Humans are one of the few creatures who can ask; "why"? And if we cannot get a clear answer, we make one up.....

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