The Philosophical God

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  • #1
How can one extol the existence of God and not sound like a zealot, deny Him and not profess to be an athiest, or shrug one's shoulders in ignorance to reveal an agnostic point of view? Do these labels make God as a topic of intellectual discussion less relevant or imperative? This doesn't have to be a "religious" viewpoint, as religion seems to perplex a great number of pseudo-intellectuals. God seems to be an unknown in a sea of equations. Does He become a non-entity in your pursuit of knowledge out of your inability to define or assign parameters to His existence? Try this...He is, He exists, He is all. Until we reach a level of intelligence to realize and incorporate this ultimate truth; our attainment of knowledge/technology will be void of a moral temperence and maturity and will ultimately pervert into a horror that we will not be able to erase. Michael Mason, 6/3/03, Texas
 

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  • #2
God almost seases to exist because it nowadays became practically undefined.
 
  • #3
quantumdude
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Reality is not something that can be known a priori, and it is not subject to logical or mathematical definitions. One cannot declare that something exists simply because one can conceive of it, and one cannot declare that something does not exist simply because one cannot so conceive of it.

That is only true of ideal forms. But we are not idealists, are we Alexander?
 
  • #4
Eh
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Does the mighty sdghsgsh exist?
 
  • #5
Iacchus32
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Originally posted by Eh
Does the mighty sdghsgsh exist?
Yes. Do you know why? Because if science says it can't discern the matter because it's "too subjective," then obviously you can't trust science. In which case it becomes a piss-poor excuse to accept Science's word for it. So guess who becomes the expert by default then? That's right, you, me and everyone else, and rightfully so! Because we're the ones who own the "original equipment." This is how we "know," at the very least, that we have a soul and, that a soul doesn't exist without a greater reality or, "spiritual dimension" that it extends into. Don't let anyone else fool you!
 
  • #6
Laser Eyes
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God can indeed seem like an unknown in a sea of equations. The concept of God means different things to different people. If you are discussing the God of the Bible then the task of understanding becomes a lot easier because there is much information about God's qualities, his personality and nature in the Bible. But I guess before you could accept the truth of what the Bible tells us about God you would have to accept that there is a God and the Bible is his inspired word.

I think of God as the ultimate reality. Before the universe existed, before anything else there was only God. All creation could pass away but there will still be God. He is the one constant in an ever-changing universe.
 
  • #7
Yes. Do you know why? Because if science says it can't discern the matter because it's "too subjective," then obviously you can't trust science. In which case it becomes a piss-poor excuse to accept Science's word for it.
Uh, all science claimed in your example was that it couldn’t discern the matter. What is wrong with that, I mean, it’s not like science was lying to you was it?
 
  • #8
heusdens
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As far as I can adress meaning to the existence of God, God is just a fixation of thought, and does not have real existence.

I could add that for some, in a way of trying to understand 'it all', the concept of God is a catalysing entity for the mind, to think about the reality in total. If one tries to understand the universe for instance, and asks questions 'where does it come from?' and in this way postulating an implicit assumption that such a question can have a meaningfull answer, and that 'reality' or 'the universe' have something like a 'cause', then one 'invents' in ones own mind an answer to this, in the form of God.
The line of thought goes like this: assume the universe, the chain of causal events, has a beginning, then God must be thought of as the first cause.
But it can be cleared out, that such is not very meaningfull, cause we could still ask then: and what about the cause of God? This is answered then with: God has no cause, or is eternal, and has no begin or end.
But then it is immediately clear, our first assumption, the universe has a begin, there was a first cause, is then a wrong assumption, cause we still come up with the concept of eternity, that is a causal chain without begin or end.
And that is of course what causality is: it has no begin or end, cause ever cause is at the same time an effect, and every effect is at the same time a cause.
The conclusion then is that we need to think about the universe as not having any begin or end, cause the negation of this assumption (the universe or cauality having a beginning) will result in a contradiction.
So the concept of the world we have then in conclusion, will be a world without the need or help of a 'creator'.
 
  • #9
Iacchus32
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Originally posted by BoulderHead
Uh, all science claimed in your example was that it couldn’t discern the matter. What is wrong with that, I mean, it’s not like science was lying to you was it?
Let me put it another way, you obviously can't bring the weight of science to bear upon the matter which, is what so many (i.e., scientifically inclined) people try to do anyway. This is what I mean by "lousy excuse." Take for example, Heusdens' reply above.
 
  • #10
Eh
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
Yes. Do you know why? Because if science says it can't discern the matter because it's "too subjective," then obviously you can't trust science. In which case it becomes a piss-poor excuse to accept Science's word for it. So guess who becomes the expert by default then? That's right, you, me and everyone else, and rightfully so! Because we're the ones who own the "original equipment." This is how we "know," at the very least, that we have a soul and, that a soul doesn't exist without a greater reality or, "spiritual dimension" that it extends into. Don't let anyone else fool you!

Oh wow, did you ever miss the point.
 
  • #11
Iacchus32
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Originally posted by Eh
Oh wow, did you ever miss the point.
And yet 25 years of personal experience tells me otherwise. It's just like anything else, if you don't work with it, you "won't" get it. So please tell me who's more qualified here? ... Well, actually you can't, unless of course I say "appears" to be more qualified. So what else is new?
 
  • #12
Eh
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I don't care if you have 25 years experience in basket weaving - your reply had nothing to do with the point.

Just to clarify, the point was that before answering if sdghsgsh exists, you must define what the word sdghsgsh means. It had nothing to do with the drivel you posted in response.
 
  • #13
Iacchus32
2,313
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Originally posted by Eh
I don't care if you have 25 years experience in basket weaving - your reply had nothing to do with the point.

Just to clarify, the point was that before answering if sdghsgsh exists, you must define what the word sdghsgsh means. It had nothing to do with the drivel you posted in response.
And yet it's obvious that I can't depend on "you," or anyone else to confirm anything! By the way, what does "drivel" mean?
 
  • #14
Iacchus32
2,313
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How Do I Know?

What is it about me that "knows" what it knows? Wouldn't it be fair to say that the acknowledgment of truth is inborn? If not, then how can we acknowledge the truth of anything? Even if it's the truth that science reveals to us? Science is still a by-product of the human endeavor, meaning it's still subject to human interpretation which, by nature is "subjective." Therefore, how do we get around the fact that we're human? Is it possible? Not according to science.

So what could that possibly suggest? ... that the answers has, and always will be, contained within the parameters of being human. Meaning, if we want to "know" the truth, then we must look within (ourselves) in order to find it.
 
  • #15
Originally posted by heusdens
As far as I can adress meaning to the existence of God, God is just a fixation of thought, and does not have real existence.

I could add that for some, in a way of trying to understand 'it all', the concept of God is a catalysing entity for the mind, to think about the reality in total. If one tries to understand the universe for instance, and asks questions 'where does it come from?' and in this way postulating an implicit assumption that such a question can have a meaningfull answer, and that 'reality' or 'the universe' have something like a 'cause', then one 'invents' in ones own mind an answer to this, in the form of God.
The line of thought goes like this: assume the universe, the chain of causal events, has a beginning, then God must be thought of as the first cause.
But it can be cleared out, that such is not very meaningfull, cause we could still ask then: and what about the cause of God? This is answered then with: God has no cause, or is eternal, and has no begin or end.
But then it is immediately clear, our first assumption, the universe has a begin, there was a first cause, is then a wrong assumption, cause we still come up with the concept of eternity, that is a causal chain without begin or end.
And that is of course what causality is: it has no begin or end, cause ever cause is at the same time an effect, and every effect is at the same time a cause.
The conclusion then is that we need to think about the universe as not having any begin or end, cause the negation of this assumption (the universe or cauality having a beginning) will result in a contradiction.
So the concept of the world we have then in conclusion, will be a world without the need or help of a 'creator'.

Agreed.
 
  • #16
Originally posted by Iacchus32
By the way, what does "drivel" mean?

'Drivel' is vague nonsense very much along the lines of what you've been saying.

Since you gave exactly the same answers on the 'conscious universe' thread and with equal irrelevance, I'm beginning to wonder if you are really a chat bot.
 
  • #17
Iacchus32
2,313
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Originally posted by akhenaten
'Drivel' is vague nonsense very much along the lines of what you've been saying.
Oh it's so easy to dismiss rather than to disprove now isn't it? That's fine with me, I can accept that.


Since you gave exactly the same answers on the 'conscious universe' thread and with equal irrelevance, I'm beginning to wonder if you are really a chat bot.
Well you know, there's only so much of me to go around. Besides, I hate to repeat myself ... in the sense that I have to re-invent the wheel all over again. Most of my posts "are" original though.
 
  • #18
Originally posted by Iacchus32
Oh it's so easy to dismiss rather than to disprove now isn't it? That's fine with me, I can accept that.

I answered identical points on the other thread, but you failed to grasp the need for reason.
 
  • #19
Iacchus32
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Originally posted by akhenaten
I answered identical points on the other thread, but you failed to grasp the need for reason.
And yet all I have heard from you is of my "inability to reason." I only go with it because it works ...

Have started a new thread by the way, called https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2764" If you would like to continue arguing (discussing) this then perhaps we should go there. I don't think we need to take up any more space here. Don't be too alarmed though, because it's a repost! Actually I have to admit, it is one of my better posts, really! I'm sure you'll recognize it.
 
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  • #20
heusdens
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
What is it about me that "knows" what it knows? Wouldn't it be fair to say that the acknowledgment of truth is inborn? If not, then how can we acknowledge the truth of anything? Even if it's the truth that science reveals to us? Science is still a by-product of the human endeavor, meaning it's still subject to human interpretation which, by nature is "subjective." Therefore, how do we get around the fact that we're human? Is it possible? Not according to science.

So what could that possibly suggest? ... that the answers has, and always will be, contained within the parameters of being human. Meaning, if we want to "know" the truth, then we must look within (ourselves) in order to find it.

Why can't you admit that through science we know a lot more about what being human is, where humans came from, how our bodies and brains were formed in billions of years of evolution, how human societies have formed through human history, etc.

This is something we should acknowledge. Through science (and education) we have a possibility of taking our lives and society into our own hands, and built a better world for everybody, to end wars, starvation, poverty, exploitation, lack of healtcare, etc.
 
  • #21
Iacchus32
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Originally posted by heusdens
Why can't you admit that through science we know a lot more about what being human is, where humans came from, how our bodies and brains were formed in billions of years of evolution, how human societies have formed through human history, etc.
And yet it's the "inner reality" that "observes" the outer reality. So you tell me which is more real? Whereas if my inner reality ceased to exist, there would no longer be an outer reality (at least for me anyway).


This is something we should acknowledge. Through science (and education) we have a possibility of taking our lives and society into our own hands, and built a better world for everybody, to end wars, starvation, poverty, exploitation, lack of healtcare, etc.
I don't doubt that science is not without merits, to say the least, I just can't get over the fact that it continues to overlook something which is so inherent to human nature.
 
  • #22


Originally posted by Iacchus32
And yet it's the "inner reality" that "observes" the outer reality. So you tell me which is more real? Whereas if my inner reality ceased to exist, there would no longer be an outer reality (at least for me anyway).

The 'inner reality' is a set of models of 'outer reality' and representations of its own information mapping. What do you mean 'real'? If you mean 'apparent' or 'phenomenologically real' then, yes it is real. But by that count, everything we can conceive is real. If you think it guarantees truth, then you are wrong, because there are many instances where our perceptions can be shown to be fallible and those errors explained by reference to 'external reality'.
 
  • #23
Iacchus32
2,313
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Originally posted by akhenaten
The 'inner reality' is a set of models of 'outer reality' and representations of its own information mapping. What do you mean 'real'? If you mean 'apparent' or 'phenomenologically real' then, yes it is real. But by that count, everything we can conceive is real. If you think it guarantees truth, then you are wrong, because there are many instances where our perceptions can be shown to be fallible and those errors explained by reference to 'external reality'.
A bird in the hand ... Real is "tangible." And yet it's entirely possible to grasp an idea, whether tangible in the material sense or not, and it still becomes tangible, so long as you have a means by which to sum up the details (evidence). Whereas the key factor here becomes experience, for to the extent that you work with something, and apply what you know, you then begin to get the jist of what it's about.
 
  • #24
Seeming real is not the same as being real, not to a grown up anyway.
 
  • #25
Iacchus32
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Originally posted by akhenaten
Seeming real is not the same as being real, not to a grown up anyway.
Everything is real, even "My kingdom" -- "Is-rael!" ... Sorry, I had to add that! :wink: And it's all just a matter of when you come to "real"-ize it. :wink:
 
  • #26
Originally posted by Tom
Reality is not something that can be known a priori, and it is not subject to logical or mathematical definitions. One cannot declare that something exists simply because one can conceive of it, and one cannot declare that something does not exist simply because one cannot so conceive of it.

That is only true of ideal forms. But we are not idealists, are we Alexander?

i like this answer, very intellengent and humble its the same as the age 'ol question which we no one can prove but I will provide for you now. You don't see air but we breathe it, how do you know this is air you breathe. You BELIEVE! Same with GOD, you can not see HIM but you know he's always here. HE loves us for HE gave his only son for us. Some things can't be explained, maybe they don't want to or maybe one day the mysteries will unfold so until then "never stop believing!" because its air your breathing now?
 
  • #27
quantumdude
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Glad you liked my answer Dx, but that's not where I was going with it. I am an atheist, but at the same time I recognize that a statement such as "God does not exist by definition" reflects some serious misconceptions about what it means for something to exist.
 
  • #28
Can I ask why or what made you an atheist? I respect your beliefs but just don't agree with you that GOD doesn't exist. I've had brushes with death many times and couldn't have imagined my life without HIM leading my way. Don't get me wrong, I am not a religious nut "Im Catholic!" LOL! But, I can't see us not having some balance of a higher power vs. a lower one, you know? Just trying to understand aethesim and your beliefs even though I don't see myself as one, sir.
But I did like your answer just inspired in a different text is all.
2 thumbs up, Tom!
Dx :wink:
 
  • #29
quantumdude
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Originally posted by Dx
Can I ask why or what made you an atheist?

I was a Christian once, and then I came to the realization that there is no evidence for any of the supernatural claims of the Bible. Then, I realized that there is no evidence to support any supernatural claims or any gods. Furthermore, "The God Hypothesis" is by its very nature unfalsifiable. I dismiss it on those grounds.

I respect your beliefs but just don't agree with you that GOD doesn't exist.

Atheism is not a belief. I do not say "god doesn't exist". I say "I do not believe that god exists". There's a difference!

Actually I should qualify that a little bit: I do not believe that god exists as anything other than a man made concept. Certainly, god exists as an idea. But for all I know, that's as far as it goes.
 
  • #30
I think a point is missing in this discussion and that is this fact that God is inherited to us. God is not a new concept that humanity has just come up with but it has come to us through a long history of human race struggling to survive. IMO, to understand God we should look at past, in fact as we look farther away we understand the matter more clearly. Like almost everything else, there is a reason why human psychic needed an all-powerful being called God.

In any case, the concept of god is not something that can be understood, proved, or disproved. However, this issue is far greater than pseudo science’s other topics such as “Bigfoot” for example, since either god exists or not, this notion has huge effect on our destiny. Since the down of humanity, mankind always have fought, killed, and was killed for this God so this is a very powerful idea. As far as man and its past or future is concerned, the issue of if god exists or not is totally irrelevant.

As long as there are masses of people who believe that God exists then God will continue to exist and affect our lives in good or bad. You can go on and believe that God is the figment of our imagination, but you cannot ignore the effect that this fabricated god has in your life (religious fanatics, as an example). My point is that a “made up” concept such as god is not a fake god if millions passionately believe in its existence.
 
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  • #31
M. Gaspar
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Originally posted by Dx
i like this answer, very intellengent and humble its the same as the age 'ol question which we no one can prove but I will provide for you now. You don't see air but we breathe it, how do you know this is air you breathe. You BELIEVE! Same with GOD, you can not see HIM but you know he's always here. HE loves us for HE gave his only son for us. Some things can't be explained, maybe they don't want to or maybe one day the mysteries will unfold so until then "never stop believing!" because its air your breathing now?

The Universe is "real"...isn't it?

Might it be a "living, conscious Entity that's responsive to all of It's parts?" Maybe.

Might It have components of "consciousness" and "spirit" (yet to be defined themselves)? Possibily.

If, however, the Universe were a spiritual, conscious and eternal BEING...it wouldn't need an outside "God" as It's "Creator"...nor would It (the Universe) need to be called "God" Itself.

We -- as a species with our evolving brain that thinks in metaphors -- love our STORIES! Problem is, after we make them up...we BELIEVE them!

Hence, the one about the "God" who gave is "son" so we can all get off the hook with regard to the consequences of our own actions. This story appeals to a lot of people for obvious reasons.

However, if it IS a "cause & effect" Universe...then "consequences" are part of the package. Thus, a conscious attempt to take "right action" to get "good results" seems a better path to SPIRITUALITY than the "primrose" one.
 
  • #32
Royce
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I don't think of God as the outside creator. I think more that the universe is in a sense part of him and that He is involved in the care and running of the universe as well as continuing to create. The consciousness and spirit we've talked about in other similar threads all apply here. He, God is the universe but more than just the universe.
 
  • #33
M. Gaspar
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Originally posted by Royce
I don't think of God as the outside creator. I think more that the universe is in a sense part of him and that He is involved in the care and running of the universe as well as continuing to create. The consciousness and spirit we've talked about in other similar threads all apply here. He, God is the universe but more than just the universe.

I don't think there needs to be "more" than Everything That Is.

Why can't we just view the Universe as a living, conscious Entity that's responsive to all of Its parts?

Let's give the Universe Its PROPS!
 
  • #34
Iacchus32
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Originally posted by M. Gaspar
I don't think there needs to be "more" than Everything That Is.

Why can't we just view the Universe as a living, conscious Entity that's responsive to all of Its parts?

Let's give the Universe Its PROPS!
The only problem with your description is that you make it sound like an automaton, as if everything were on automatic pilot or something, in which case it entails "some substance" -- which, may or may not be "special" -- but doesn't really involve the "faculty of being." How can you refer to a "conscious Entity," without referring to the properties of that entity or, the qualities of "character" of that entity?

How is it possible that the human body, being the "higher life form" that it is, can take the form that it has, without experiencing the level of consciousness that it has? Meaning, why shouldn't the same rules apply (at the very least) to a "conscious Entity" called the Universe? Don't you think it should also have an "identiy" associated with it?
 
  • #35
M. Gaspar
679
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
The only problem with your description is that you make it sound like an automaton, as if everything were on automatic pilot or something, in which case it entails "some substance" -- which, may or may not be "special" -- but doesn't really involve the "faculty of being." How can you refer to a "conscious Entity," without referring to the properties of that entity or, the qualities of "character" of that entity?

How is it possible that the human body, being the "higher life form" that it is, can take the form that it has, without experiencing the level of consciousness that it has? Meaning, why shouldn't the same rules apply (at the very least) to a "conscious Entity" called the Universe? Don't you think it should also have an "identiy" associated with it?

Look ...if I say the Universe is a living, conscious Entity that's having a very complex Experience...isn't that the start of the Being's "identity"?

Consciousness is -- IMO -- awareness of self, of others, of context, of experience, of meaning. Only the Universe Itself can "know" what It is, what It is experiencing, and what It is making it all mean .

I say the Universe is out to have an Experience...a real COMPLEX one, as I have said, that includes the lifetimes of Everything that It gives rise to (past/present/future). If It has a "central question" it might be "What can I create THIS time?"...with regard to each incarnation. Then It goes about RE-ASSEMBLING Its "parts" to create new settings (physicality), new experiences (consciousness) and new emotion-and-meaning-laden memories (spirituality).

I most certainly do NOT think It's on "automatic pilot": It -- and Its PARTS (us included) have INTENTION ...which is the "joker in the deck". To shift to another metaphor, the Universe is like a "sea of potentialities" wherein INTENTION impinges on the "lynchpin" of randomness, causing certain things to manifest while others do not.

That's why the Universe is not "all-knowing" like "God": It hasn't a clue (well, maybe a CLUE...but not much more) about how things will "turn out". It doesn't know what YOU are going to DO next minute or next year...nor what results you're going to get when you do! That's what makes it INTERESTING...I would think.

But "identity"?! What are you looking for?
 

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