Why does god have to be an entity?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Oniw17, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    No I don't care if people accept the idea, because it's something that's true when you don't think about it, that is, it's true even when you don't have ideas about anything.
    Why do you believe that knowing you are God means you can alleviate suffering? You mean, you should be able to cure yourself of cancer?
    Ok, well keep guessing, I guess.
    But you're the one doing all the supposing.
    Why should anyone, including me, think that you know how knowledge "works"? I mean, considering your inability to put a logical statement together, then ignore the mistake when it's pointed out to you?
    Well, most, perhaps all of of what you've had to say would qualify as not much to care about, so yeah.
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  3. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Sweetie, since I can't stop my teeth from decaying, my hair from getting thinner and greyer, I can't manifest the money I'd like to have, and so on and on and on about all the things I cannot do but would like to be different, I am quite quite sure I am not God.

    And if you think that God can't do those things either - well, then you're not talking about God. Then you're talking about Arf.

    "When in doubt, do the negative" - that's your solution??

    Of course it changes things. If nothing else, it attracts the attention of theists from various denominations.

    *tsk tsk*

    Never underestimate the simple and rather common human desire to be admired.
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  5. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    That's nice, but it isn't true since you are, and so is everyone else (even if they don't believe it).
    I am talking about God, and obviously, I'm not talking about your idea of what that is.
    Why do you think not caring about whether people have realised something is negative?
    No it doesn't change anything, since you can say it to your neighbour's cat, if you really want. But suppose I say it on a forum so it attracts the attention of theists, atheists, wannabes etc, so what? Should I pay more attention to them than the cat?
    But is it admirable to seek admiration?
    If you're thinking I came into this "discussion" looking for approval, then I should inform you you're mistaken.
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  7. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    meanwhile your molars rot
  8. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member


    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    To quote you:

    Well, if you're a walrus, then maybe it isn't.

    But then again, maybe you keep saying that you don't care to balance out all those ideas of you being so so sure about how things really are.

    So you're suggesting a universe in which action makes no difference? A universe in which there is no cause and effect? Yes, that goes hand in hand with your I-don't-care attitude.

    You tell me.
  9. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I'll probably get a stint in hell for this - but I just love to make fun of impersonalists!
  10. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Maybe. Maybe, as I've mentioned, I see no compelling reason to "balance out" ideas. Maybe I don't have the same kind of attachment to ideas as you.
    That looks like quite a leap. From: "saying you are God doesn't change anything" to: "a universe with no cause and effect". How did you do that?
  11. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Maybe your attachment to ideas is even stronger than mine.

    It's not a leap. Either one believes that action has consequences, or one believes it doesn't.

    Uttering the words "I am God" is an action. You say this action doesn't change anything. How can that be?
  12. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Saying something which is true doesn't change "anything" about it being true. The consequence of saying something obvious is that it's still obvious.

    So you don't "have" to say anything, in that case, in order for what is true to remain so. What is true before you said it was, is still true after you say it. Hence, saying the words doesn't change anything (about their truth or falsity).
  13. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Truisms don't explain anything.
  14. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Well, that's quite likely, erm, true.

    But aren't there things in your worldview that don't need explaining? Say you want an explanation for your awareness of "sound". Well, there are libraries with shelves of books that explain perception of sound. However, none of the books can explain why you prefer particular sounds to others, why some kinds of sound are "pleasant", others are "unpleasant"; according to the explanations, your "hearing apparatus" responds/functions in the same way, it's all the same stuff.

    Hence, although such books are full of explanations, they don't give you any more information than: "people with functional hearing can hear (sounds)". Do you "need" to think this, or do you just accept that you can hear?
  15. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    _By now_, I don't feel a need for such books offering explanations or to think much about these things, because _by now_, I have learned and internalized these things to a point where the knowledge has begun to feel a given, something that has always been there, something that I have not learned. Sure, I haven't learned about hearing from books, but I have learned about it from what my parents etc. told me, from my experiences, from contemplating them etc.

    A person could have perfectly functional ears and brain, but if they would be born and raised in a society of the deaf, such a hearing person would likely have vastly different ideas and competencies about sound and listening in comparison to those born and raised in a society that hears.

    A mistake that people often make is to think that if something "feels natural", then it hasn't been learned, but has instead always been there or is otherwise somehow inherent as opposed to attained. But this is not necessarily so.
    For example, now, you can walk, and you have likely forgotten what it took to learn to walk. But if an injury or disease would place you into a situation where you'd have to re-learn to walk, you'd notice that walkling is learned.

    And arguably, the same principle of learning applies to many other things, including a person's metaphysical outlook.
  16. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Well I guess that's mostly true, given that you were able to hear sounds before you were born.
    Well, I would imagine that a person who has functional hearing and is raised by a society of deaf people would "require" some kind of coping strategy: they might learn to act as if they are deaf like everyone else.
    I suppose. Nonetheless, most animals (including humans) are born with innate abilities, which are not learned. Animals react instinctively to "dangerous" sounds, for instance, they don't need to learn how to distinguish "dangerous" from "not dangerous" kinds of sound. Again, I suppose this is because it's adaptive (to be born pre-equipped with instinctive behaviour patterns), it aids survival of a species, hence it's "natural", in that sense.
    I would say so, since learning to walk is another innate behaviour found in humans, so is learning to speak. The "motivation" in each case is again, instinctive.
    I think that's a rather fine line you're drawing. There are two extremes: one where the person is temporarily incapacitated, the other where the incapacitation is permanent; the "re-learning process" would be different in each case.

    No argument here.
  17. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    They very much do need to learn these things. Instincts appear to be very general, and for some purposes, are useless or counterproductive. Training dogs and horses reveals very well how these animals may sometimes also have an instinctive fear of non-dangerous sounds, but lack a useful fear of dangerous ones. Not all dogs learn that the sound of an approaching car suggests danger, and some horses panic if a bucket is placed next to them.

    I can imagine that a person with a particular humanist background and some additions could over time so much internalize the idea that humans are gods, that it feels innate to this person to think they are God. Because they have internalized this idea so much, they don't realize it was learned at some point, it feels instinctive to them. But thi doesn't yet mean it is true, nor does it establish their identity as God's.
  18. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Like I alluded much earlier, pointing out the idea that humans are parts and parcels of God, it may be innate to humans to feel some kind of kinship to God, to have a kind of "God sense".

    However, just like, say, English is not innate, nor German, nor Italian or whichever particular language, so it is not innate how this "God sense" will be expressed by each particular person.
    Some may express it as declaring "I am God," and others as "I am God's servant," "God owes me," "I hate God," "God doesn't love me," "God is everything" etc. etc.
    And arguably just like English - or German or Italian - need to be learned, are not innate, even though the ability for language is innate, so the particular expressions of the "God sense" are learned too, even though the "God sense" is innate.

    The analogy between our innate ability for language and the innate "God sense" may apply even further:
    In the past, some curious people performed experiments to find out what is the native human language. So a king took some newborns and placed them in the care of nurses, under the strict command that the nurses must not talk to the babies, nor ever expose the babies to any human vocal sounds. The hypothesis was that the babies would begin talking in the native human language. In the course of the centuries, this experiment was performed by several people in positions of power, and it always ended up the same way: the babies died long before they were even old enough to be physically able to speak.
    In a similar manner, people who never talk to anyone about God, who never read on the topic of God, have no notion of God, or at least are unable to articulate it in any coherent manner.

    Even though we have an innate ability for language, we cannot converse in that, we have to confine ourselves to English, or German, etc. with all their specifics and rules etc.
    I'll argue that the "God sense" is in itself similarly inarticulate, and that one has to learn one or more theological discourses (ie. Christian theology, Islamic theology, Hindu theology etc.) in order to be able to express that "God sense" in some way.

    And I'll argue that even those who utter "I am God" and who claim that no definition of God is necessary to understand what God is - I'll argue that those people too have learned and internalized a particular theological discourse or portions or interpretations thereof.
  19. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Even if you assume God was created in the imagination, why does this persist? Marketeers and quick talkers would love to be able to push the same buttons and get you perpetually addicted to buying their products. But these science based pitches all wear out in weeks or months; marketing science. But the God concept perpetuates for centuries, because it reaches deeper into the psyche. I would guess it is connected to an extrapolation of natural instinct; human brain's newest firmware.

    For example, marketing a new car will try to appeal to sexual desire. They make use of an existing instinct (sexual) and try to create an association, to overlap the dynamics of the instinct. The goal is the compulsion to buy based on a romantic or macho fantasy. But this wears off and gets boring, so new adds have to appear.

    The concept of God does not use instinctive sublimation, but rather appears to activate its own firmware within the brain. This explains why the faithful and faithless never stop talking about God in their own positive or negative ways. The marketing people would love to be able to make one add that works for centuries. But they can't since they make use of instinctive firmware, and don't know how to trigger this newest firmware like religion.
  20. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Wellwisher -

    At whom are you addressing the above post?
  21. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    No, I don't agree. What you're saying is that evolution "fails" to produce species that can react instinctively to danger.
    How do you "know" that the reaction is to non-dangerous sounds? You mean non-dangerous to humans must have to mean non-dangerous for animals? That's mere anthropomorphism.
    I can imagine that a person who has never heard the word "God", so has never thought or said "I am God" can have an innate feeling too.
    But they can't do this unless the subject of "God" is explained to them? Whose explanation "should" they believe?
    So you're saying this innate sense doesn't need to be expressed in words?
    So you're saying the realisation can only come after you've picked up on some definition? One cannot first realise what they really are, then encounter the "definitions" and also realise that these describe "what they are"?
  22. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    No, that's your interpretation, and it's wrong.
    Given that a considerable percentage of many populations is killed by predators or otherwise perishes in situaions that seem avoidable (as other members of said species are able to avoid such situations), it seems a bit questionable how reliable instinct is.

    I've given you examples: dogs that don't fear approaching cars (and so get hit) and horses who fear buckets standing next to them.

    Sure, as I've been saying.

    We already agreed that they can feel it. But they can't talk about it, like I already said.

    This is a problem that has only emerged relatively recently, with the onset of multiculturalism and many religions being present simultaneously in the same geographical area.
    As long as people live(d) in monocultures with one religion, there is on principle no problem of whom to believe in matters of "God," because there is only one theological doctrine avaliable - so it's either that or nothing.

    ? Not sure how you came to this question. But no, I'm not saying this innate sense doesn't need to be expressed in words. On the contrary, it seems that people generally have a need to express this innate "God sense" in words somehow, whether in a theistic form or in an atheistic one.

    On principle, what you describe may be possible. It's when people come to a religion or a philosophy and they instantly feel at home, like they've known all their lives already what they then hear in that religion/philosophy.

    But for many people, it's not like that, and they have to start with definitions.

    And of course, in order to have a meaningful conversation on the topic of "God," one has to know the definitions and abide by them.
  23. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Well, evolution doesn't guarantee that your instincts will ensure your escape from danger, it does giuarantee that your species has the means to detect it. Those individuals who get caught by predators would have been aware of the danger, even if too late, like all the others who escaped from it would have been.
    And you believe that dogs should know as you do, that cars are dangerous. And horses should know the noise a bucket makes isn't dangerous, and nor is the bucket. You aren't anthropomorphising. O. K.
    Whose definitions, though? Which ones do we "abide by"?

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