created by God

13

Comments

  • Boogie wrote: »
    Or you could see God as a necessary human construct - the necessity reflected in the universality of gods.

    The outworking of that idea is that God is created when humankind needs the purpose in life, the codification of morality, a direction in which to steer (thy Kingdom come), a way to praise the wonder of their world, a focus for the creative spirit. The problem is always when God is made in punitive form or ossified in earlier forms.

    Yep - either way works for me.

    What doesn’t work is a void, a nothingness.

    But, like you say - that’s a human need. I find atheists replace it with something else to give meaning to life. For my son it’s care for the environment. A perfectly valid stance imo.
    Ah, I did not see this before posting mine above.
    For me there was not a replacement but simply a final disappearance of something, and thus closed seamlessly a tiny gap.


  • Or you could see God as a necessary human construct - the necessity reflected in the universality of gods.

    The outworking of that idea is that God is created when humankind needs the purpose in life, the codification of morality, a direction in which to steer (thy Kingdom come), a way to praise the wonder of their world, a focus for the creative spirit. The problem is always when God is made in punitive form or ossified in earlier forms.

    Depth psychology has argued that gods flow from the structure of the psyche. Well, Jung did, Freud described it as an infantile illusion, (not delusion). Ah well, there's always a grumpy old man shouting at the clouds. Pity Jung's writing is so turgid.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited February 10
    @SusanDoris said - Boogie, may I ask – and please ignore the question if you’d rather – what you think it is that stops you short of accepting a don’t know rather than a God answer?

    I’m very happy with ‘don’t know’ answers. None of my answers are accompanied by any degree of certainty.

    But, when pushed, even by myself, for an ultimate ‘why?’ I still come back to God.

    (Even after this morning, when I sat through a truly awful, literalist hell fire sermon - enough to put anyone off the ‘Christian’ God for life. 🙄)
  • Boogie wrote: »
    @SusanDoris said - Boogie, may I ask – and please ignore the question if you’d rather – what you think it is that stops you short of accepting a don’t know rather than a God answer?

    I’m very happy with ‘don’t know’ answers. None of my answers are accompanied by any degree of certainty.

    But, when pushed, even by myself, for an ultimate ‘why?’ I still come back to God.

    (Even after this morning, when I sat through a truly awful, literalist hell fire sermon - enough to put anyone off the ‘Christian’ God for life. 🙄)
    Oh dear! :smiley:
    Thank you for replying.

  • Boogie wrote: »
    @SusanDoris said - Boogie, may I ask – and please ignore the question if you’d rather – what you think it is that stops you short of accepting a don’t know rather than a God answer?

    I’m very happy with ‘don’t know’ answers. None of my answers are accompanied by any degree of certainty.

    But, when pushed, even by myself, for an ultimate ‘why?’ I still come back to God.

    (Even after this morning, when I sat through a truly awful, literalist hell fire sermon - enough to put anyone off the ‘Christian’ God for life. 🙄)

    Why do you submit to such abuse?
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    @Martin54 said -

    Why do you submit to such abuse?

    Who is abusing who?
  • The spiritual cretin who 'preached' abused their - his - self-captive auditors including you.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited February 10
    Martin54 wrote: »
    The spiritual cretin who 'preached' abused their - his - self-captive auditors including you.

    Ah yes. A good question.

    She was a visiting preacher - I won’t be going again when she’s on the plan, hopefully it’ll be a rare occasion. I did escape the second half of the sermon when my pup had a ‘call of nature’ - but I did wonder to myself why I didn’t just go home. The reason was that my friends are there and I enjoy the coffee and chat.

  • I fully understand. I can only do high church, RC and Quakers now!
  • mr cheesy wrote: »
    It's impossible to win this argument, isn't it.

    ...

    It's almost like you have the answer that you want and are determined to explain or wave away information to the contrary.

    Isn't that why this is a dead horse?

    The OP seems to come from a position that any belief in God is irrational and should be discarded, because it is not scientific. A position which is obviously wrong. Art, for example, is not scientific, and yet most would argue that it still has value and should not be disregarded out of hand.

  • mr cheesy wrote: »
    It's impossible to win this argument, isn't it.

    ...

    It's almost like you have the answer that you want and are determined to explain or wave away information to the contrary.

    Isn't that why this is a dead horse?

    The OP seems to come from a position that any belief in God is irrational and should be discarded, because it is not scientific.
    That was not said or implied in the OP and I have several times made it clear that I have not anywhere said it should be discarded, or rejected or whatever other similar verb is used.
    A position which is obviously wrong. Art, for example, is not scientific, and yet most would argue that it still has value and should not be disregarded out of hand.
    something else which I believe I have made clear in this topic.

  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    edited February 11
    All the OP does is ask how and when God created us. A perfectly valid question. It doesn't seem 'to come from a position that any belief in God is irrational and should be discarded, because it is not scientific' in the slightest, a 'position' which is itself 'irrational and should be discarded, because it is not scientific'.
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    All the OP does...
    You do know that OP has more than one meaning?

    And the essence of her (?) posts (here and elsewhere) does indeed suggest a belief that faith should be discarded out of hand.
  • My answer to the original question is that God created "in the beginning". Whenever that was. It seems obvious that He created the universe some 15B years ago or so. When did He create the first man? After that. What I am certain of is that He created.
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    All the OP does...
    You do know that OP has more than one meaning?

    And the essence of her (?) posts (here and elsewhere) does indeed suggest a belief that faith should be discarded out of hand.
    That is the second time you have asserted that that is what I think. You are wrong both times
    In your next post you say that god created in the beginning and was 'obviously' there at the start of the universe, so I will now ask how you deal with the question of what created God.
    Note: I am not asking in a confrontational way - this is not that kind of thread - and am interested in the answers.

    I wonder sometimes why it seems quite difficult for some believers to accept that an atheist is genuinely interested in the opinions and discussions in SofF.

  • sharkshooter

    I have just listened again to the first of your last two posts. Synthetic Dave pauses after 'her', so I listened character by character to hear why, and heard 'left perem, question...!!


    Yep! And a tap dancing one too, as you probably know. :smiley:
  • My answer to the original question is that God created "in the beginning". Whenever that was. It seems obvious that He created the universe some 15B years ago or so. When did He create the first man? After that. What I am certain of is that He created.

    When did He begin the first universe?
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    edited February 11
    SusanDoris wrote: »
    In your next post you say that god created in the beginning and was 'obviously' there at the start of the universe, so I will now ask how you deal with the question of what created God. Note: I am not asking in a confrontational way - this is not that kind of thread - and am interested in the answers.

    I (mousethief) reply: I will take you at your word that you are asking for the sake of learning and not as an exercise in "gotcha." I'm going to try to phrase things so that your screen reader won't trip on stuff. I hope I am not being condescending; that is not my intent. Moving on.

    This is the age-old question of why is there something rather than nothing at all. One hoary attempt to solve the problem runs like this: since it is clear that something can't come into being unless something else causes it to do so, it follows that there must be something that has always been in existence. The argument goes on: either that eternal something is the universe itself, or something outside of what we call the universe, such as some kind of self-existing god.

    One version of the quote "the universe has always been in existence" unquote possibility is the bang-and-crunch model, in which there is a "big bang" that expands out, then slows, then contracts back down to a singularity, at which point it bangs again, and this oscillation continues for all eternity. Of course one version of the self-existing god theory is the Judaeo-Christian-Muslim God, who creates what we call the universe out of nothing but his or her own energies (as we say in Orthodoxy).

    On the self-existing god theory, the god is perforce outside of the spacetime realm, which we call the universe, and thus it is meaningless to seek to subject the god to the laws of physics, or demand that there is scientific or objective evidence for his or her existence. Those terms and ideas operate within the spacetime realm, but do not pretend to apply to anything outside that realm.

    One note on one weakness of the dichotomy that forms the heart of the argument. The major premise quote "something can't come into being unless something else causes it to do so" unquote is taken as axiomatic, and not proven from other premises. This either forms a glaring weak spot in the argument, or it is the genius of the argument, depending upon one's point of view. The theist might argue that when we look around at the world, we never find something coming into being without cause, although this may break down on the quantum level. I don't know nearly enough about quantum theory to say. On the other hand I think it might be argued that the premise is trying to apply criteria or observations from inside the bubble that is our universe to the universe as a whole, which kind of looks like the composition fallacy.

    A final note: I think it might be problematic to want to shut down talk about God's being subject to physical laws, while at the same time using physical laws to support the major premise that there must be an eternal something. It smacks of wanting to eat one's cake and still have it.

    I hope I haven't blathered on too long.
  • Far from it. But I don't see a problem with the premiss of cause and effect. It doesn't help theism more than a-theism. For me eternity is the greatest rational fact. I like what appears to be a nod in the direction of the independence of physics.
  • mousethief

    thank you very much - that is a most interesting reply. I have listened once (with no difficulty) and will come back to it tomorrow to listen more carefully. I'm a morning person, and tend to doze off in the evenings, I'm afraid!
  • SusanDoris wrote: »
    ...so I will now ask how you deal with the question of what created God.
    ...
    Obviously, my answer is that He was not created. He simply "was".

    Why do you think God was created?

  • SusanDoris wrote: »
    sharkshooter

    I have just listened again to the first of your last two posts. Synthetic Dave pauses after 'her', so I listened character by character to hear why, and heard 'left perem, question...!!


    Yep! And a tap dancing one too, as you probably know. :smiley:

    Sorry, I wasn't aware. My comment there was a question mark, encased in parentheses, because I used a female pronoun yet was uncertain of your gender.
  • mr cheesy wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    In that case there's no point reading him.

    Ooookay then.

    Yeah I'm OK with that. If it can't be put in to a one line proposition to start, it's an empty claim. A take at best.
  • SusanDoris wrote: »
    ...so I will now ask how you deal with the question of what created God.
    ...
    Obviously, my answer is that He was not created. He simply "was".

    Why do you think God was created?

    She don't. Although her question is a meaningless one. Now comes from a previous now. Always has. Turtles all the way down. Eternity rules.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    SusanDoris wrote: »
    In your next post you say that god created in the beginning and was 'obviously' there at the start of the universe, so I will now ask how you deal with the question of what created God. Note: I am not asking in a confrontational way - this is not that kind of thread - and am interested in the answers.

    I (mousethief) reply: I will take you at your word that you are asking for the sake of learning and not as an exercise in "gotcha." I'm going to try to phrase things so that your screen reader won't trip on stuff. I hope I am not being condescending; that is not my intent. Moving on.
    thank you - much appreciated.
    [This is the age-old question of why is there something rather than nothing at all. One hoary attempt to solve the problem runs like this: since it is clear that something can't come into being unless something else causes it to do so, it follows that there must be something that has always been in existence. The argument goes on: either that eternal something is the universe itself, or something outside of what we call the universe, such as some kind of self-existing god.
    I don't think anyone can disagree with that, and the only difference between those who believe in a God and those who don't is that the latter leave the question as a 'don't know', rather than giving it a name. This goes slightly against our human instinct to find answers, though!
    One version of the quote "the universe has always been in existence" unquote possibility is the bang-and-crunch model, in which there is a "big bang" that expands out, then slows, then contracts back down to a singularity, at which point it bangs again, and this oscillation continues for all eternity. Of course one version of the self-existing god theory is the Judaeo-Christian-Muslim God, who creates what we call the universe out of nothing but his or her own energies (as we say in Orthodoxy).

    On the self-existing god theory, the god is perforce outside of the spacetime realm, which we call the universe, and thus it is meaningless to seek to subject the god to the laws of physics, or demand that there is scientific or objective evidence for his or her existence. Those terms and ideas operate within the spacetime realm, but do not pretend to apply to anything outside that realm.
    I wonder whether this is the sort of idea that makes one step back in amazement at the infinite capacities of the human imagination, not only to consider these ideas, but to suggest and test possible solutions. If we are to be consistent, then to say that there is always a cause, then logically that must continue beyond the God idea. Do you agree with this?
    One note on one weakness of the dichotomy that forms the heart of the argument. The major premise quote "something can't come into being unless something else causes it to do so" unquote is taken as axiomatic, and not proven from other premises. This either forms a glaring weak spot in the argument, or it is the genius of the argument, depending upon one's point of view. The theist might argue that when we look around at the world, we never find something coming into being without cause, although this may break down on the quantum level. I don't know nearly enough about quantum theory to say. On the other hand I think it might be argued that the premise is trying to apply criteria or observations from inside the bubble that is our universe to the universe as a whole, which kind of looks like the composition fallacy.

    A final note: I think it might be problematic to want to shut down talk about God's being subject to physical laws, while at the same time using physical laws to support the major premise that there must be an eternal something. It smacks of wanting to eat one's cake and still have it.
    Well, you're definitely right on that point! No subject of discussion should ever be shut down. The insatiable desire we have to know the answers to everything has enabled us to live in the way we do, with all its faults but also with all its wonders and sophisticated knowledge.
    I hope I haven't blathered on too long.
    Certainly not! I have always found, in all the discussion groups I have belonged to over the years, that there is no need to have a vote at the end, since the exchanges of facts and opinions have been the main benefit, resulting in the interesting and broadening of understanding that brings.
    Please tell me f you think I have missed any points.
    Writing this has made an interesting start to the day!

  • SusanDoris wrote: »
    ...so I will now ask how you deal with the question of what created God.
    ...
    Obviously, my answer is that He was not created. He simply "was".

    Why do you think God was created?
    Even wen I knew there was a God, I never thought of asking the question, who created it, and since my belief evaporated, the lack of objectivity or method of finding a logical answer has gradually taken precedence in my thinking.


  • Eternity is the logical answer that makes the question meaningless. Ultimate reality, whether God or not, is not caused.
  • I.e. has no beginning.
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    I.e. has no beginning.
    And I wonder whether we humans, having evolved not to just ask questions but to find solutions, can never quite get used to the idea that our lives will end with a bit of our understanding of life, the universe and everything still missing!
    Yesterday evening, I happened to turn to Radio 3 where there was a programme on how sequences of notes and chords leadto a satisfactory resolution, but that composers have always used this not to come to a resolution there, but to move to a different note and choose a different way to the resolution. I did not listen until the end because it became rather repetitive, but I think mentioning it is relevant here.

  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    SusanDoris wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    I.e. has no beginning.
    And I wonder whether we humans, having evolved not to just ask questions but to find solutions, can never quite get used to the idea that our lives will end with a bit of our understanding of life, the universe and everything still missing!
    Yesterday evening, I happened to turn to Radio 3 where there was a programme on how sequences of notes and chords leadto a satisfactory resolution, but that composers have always used this not to come to a resolution there, but to move to a different note and choose a different way to the resolution. I did not listen until the end because it became rather repetitive, but I think mentioning it is relevant here.

    Yes, we do tend to like narratives to be nicely wrapped up with a strong beginning and a satisfactory ending.

  • Projection. Reality doesn't even shrug that off.
  • Boogie wrote: »
    SusanDoris wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    I.e. has no beginning.
    And I wonder whether we humans, having evolved not to just ask questions but to find solutions, can never quite get used to the idea that our lives will end with a bit of our understanding of life, the universe and everything still missing!
    Yesterday evening, I happened to turn to Radio 3 where there was a programme on how sequences of notes and chords leadto a satisfactory resolution, but that composers have always used this not to come to a resolution there, but to move to a different note and choose a different way to the resolution. I did not listen until the end because it became rather repetitive, but I think mentioning it is relevant here.

    Yes, we do tend to like narratives to be nicely wrapped up with a strong beginning and a satisfactory ending.
    Hmmm, thinking further about that, I think that I am far more comfortable, in fact as far as I could possibly be with the don't know answer than the alternative, which would be not exactly right.
    Also, I've re-written that several times - stil not sure it says what I mean!
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited February 12
    But nothing is ever exactly right. All is ‘good enough’ and all is improved over time.

    There are many examples. Evolution, relativity, particle physics - all knowledge changes, grows and is built upon.

    Sometimes ideas are scrapped completely and revised.

    Mobile phones are a practical example - from being clunky car phones to mini computers. Who knows what the future holds for them. But, if we’d called it a day at the clunky bricks we’d have missed out on amazing advances.

    That doesn’t mean they don’t work - the knowledge is good enough at the time for the practical uses it’s put to. But science can never be described as exact any more than theology can.
  • It's all levelling out. That's all.
  • SusanDoris wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    I.e. has no beginning.
    And I wonder whether we humans, having evolved not to just ask questions but to find solutions, can never quite get used to the idea that our lives will end with a bit of our understanding of life, the universe and everything still missing!
    Yesterday evening, I happened to turn to Radio 3 where there was a programme on how sequences of notes and chords leadto a satisfactory resolution, but that composers have always used this not to come to a resolution there, but to move to a different note and choose a different way to the resolution. I did not listen until the end because it became rather repetitive, but I think mentioning it is relevant here.

    I think quite a lot of modern art sets out to frustrate our appetite for coherent narratives. I was thinking of Kafka who plunges the reader into bewildering situations. I assume this connects with postmodernism, and the resistance to coherence.

    In relation to the universe, "I don't know" seems important today, about beginnings and endings, and stuff like morality, and my own existence. There are coherent narratives, of course.
  • Boogie wrote: »
    But nothing is ever exactly right. All is ‘good enough’ and all is improved over time.

    There are many examples. Evolution, relativity, particle physics - all knowledge changes, grows and is built upon.

    Sometimes ideas are scrapped completely and revised.

    Mobile phones are a practical example - from being clunky car phones to mini computers. Who knows what the future holds for them. But, if we’d called it a day at the clunky bricks we’d have missed out on amazing advances.

    That doesn’t mean they don’t work - the knowledge is good enough at the time for the practical uses it’s put to. But science can never be described as exact any more than theology can.
    Agree with nearly all of the above, but I can't let the last sentence pass without a comment! I think that to put science (including the scientific method) on some sort of equal footing with theology (study of the nature of God ) doesn't make sense. The one begins with observations, the other without. the former is, or should be, objective, the latter is subjective. It can look at artefacts, words written at various times during history, about God/gods and people's beliefs.
  • Well, science is usually wrong. I don't know if religion can be.
  • from Quetzalcoatl
    I think quite a lot of modern art sets out to frustrate our appetite for coherent narratives. I was thinking of Kafka who plunges the reader into bewildering situations. I assume this connects with postmodernism, and the resistance to coherence.
    I'm afraid I know very little about Kafka. I googled it and a site aboutsome cloud method of storing data came up!
    In relation to the universe, "I don't know" seems important today, about beginnings and endings, and stuff like morality, and my own existence. There are coherent narratives, of course.
    coming towards the end of life, I realise, as we must all do, that there is so much I haven't learnt about and that continues to increase rapidly.
    science is usually wrong. I don't know if religion can be.
    That's rather a sweeping claim! If science was indeed 'usually wrong', we'd be still communicating with semaphore or something!
    I'm sure there's a really good answer to whether religion can or cannot be wrong, - and I'll have a go at trying to write it if I can!

    Apologies for muddling up the tags.
  • Well, the famous quote is that science is always wrong, Shaw I think. Perhaps it's better to say that science is always capable of being wrong, and often turns out to be. I don't think art can be wrong, although it can be bad. Religion, dunno.
  • Well, science is usually wrong. I don't know if religion can be.

    Science approximates. Religion? Binds and blinds.
  • "Science is always wrong" is a truism of a sort, since it doesn't seek to be right. She (or he) would be a very foolish scientist indeed who thought they had found the final answer that could not be either discarded or improved upon as further evidence warrants.
  • SusanDoris wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    This is the age-old question of why is there something rather than nothing at all. One hoary attempt to solve the problem runs like this: since it is clear that something can't come into being unless something else causes it to do so, it follows that there must be something that has always been in existence. The argument goes on: either that eternal something is the universe itself, or something outside of what we call the universe, such as some kind of self-existing god.
    I don't think anyone can disagree with that, and the only difference between those who believe in a God and those who don't is that the latter leave the question as a 'don't know', rather than giving it a name. This goes slightly against our human instinct to find answers, though!

    I'm not sure what is gained by splitting that hair. Whether one calls the uncaused cause "God" or whether one refuses to name it, one is left with an uncaused cause.
    If we are to be consistent, then to say that there is always a cause, then logically that must continue beyond the God idea. Do you agree with this?

    No. One does not say that there is always a cause. One says there is either a self-existent thing that is the universe, or that if the universe has a beginning, it must have been created by a self-existent thing. By definition a self-existent thing does not have a cause.

    A third possibility is an infinite regression of things caused by prior things. Whether this idea of prior has to do with time, or with logical progression, I do not believe matters much. This might be called the turtles all the way down theory. From the imagined discourse in which the seeker is told the world is carried on the back of an elephant, and the elephant stands upon a great turtle. When asked what the turtle stands upon, the seeker is told, "It's turtles all the way down."

    This route seems intellectually lazy to me. But I suppose one could say that the entire string of caused beings, taken as a whole, is the self-existent thing itself. The stack of turtles, so to speak. Which plugs the hole with a third type of plug. But does not change the nature of the hole. That is to say, there must be something that is self-existent.
    Well, you're definitely right on that point! No subject of discussion should ever be shut down. The insatiable desire we have to know the answers to everything has enabled us to live in the way we do, with all its faults but also with all its wonders and sophisticated knowledge.

    And yet you were willing to stop your investigation and say "I don't know" when there were other potential answers. That is to say, on the naming and nature of the uncaused cause we call God.
    Please tell me if you think I have missed any points.

    No, I am not sure that any points needed to be answered; I was setting forth one philosophical avenue of thinking about such things, as I remember bits and pieces from my studies in the philosophy of religion. I hoped you might find them interesting, and am rewarded that you have.
    Writing this has made an interesting start to the day!

    Glad I could offer some amusement, in the old sense of that word!
  • mousethief

    Thank you for another very interesting read to start another day.
    thinking again about being satisfied with a don't know answer, it is not of course completely satisfying, but since none of us is ever going to be able to see what's below the lowest turtle, it will have to do!
  • Quite. But don't forget there is no bottom turtle. There is an infinite number of turtles. They keep on going. Because the turtles are symbolic of the infinite chain of causation. To stop the chain, you must have a being whose existence is eternal, or posit that all existence popped into being without any reason whatsoever, out of absolutely nothing, without having been caused by anything.

    It is this bizarre impossibility that the uncaused cause scenarios are meant to avoid.
  • Ah, that would mean a beginning. And there can be none. Unless there have always been such beginnings from null, not a field. The ultimate steady state of nature abhorring not even a vacuum.
  • In other words it is turtles all the way down. An infinite chain of causation. Regardless of whether that's in God or not. There can be no beginning of beginnings.
  • I think that was one of Hawking's ideas, that there is no beginning or before, since they involve time, and time is of the universe. It produces an odd effect, of no before or after, until there is.
  • Aye it was. But it goes beyond this universe. For eternity.
  • *long and serious pause for contemplation of the amazing never-endingness of it all*
  • Aye, 13.8 Ga is just one heartbeat of an already eternal life.
This discussion has been closed.