God, gods, or none of the above?

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by Hobbes' Choice »

Greylorn Ell wrote:
David Handeye wrote:
GreatandWiseTrixie wrote:My theory of god is neither atheistic nor theistic in nature. My theory has no agenda to convert anyone, nor do I hold dear these beliefs. I do not hold these truths as propaganda, only what I have come to observe.

My theory is that "God" is only intelligent in the sense that we perceive it as such. That is, God is Nature, and as we transform as part of Nature we align with God. Is an ant less intelligent than a human? Ants are nature also, to an ant reality seems real to their experience. We cannot understand an ant, and ant cannot understand us. If an ant could understand us, it would cease to be an ant, and would be instead human.

Intelligence is a misleading term. Intelligence, like science, are matching games, simply Nature matching itself to itself, creating a feedback loop of sorts. A=A, 2+2=4, it is nature simply matching nature.

It is easy to say a God being creates out of need, out of desire, but these are misleading terms as well. It creates because it just does, because the void causes a feeling, and causes action to create. A god could not perceive the universe because the universe is pain, pain is what we reject, a god subdivides itself and creates what we call pain, which is the natural order and chaos of the universe. The God wishes to delude itself and become nothing, the universe causes things which exist yet do not wish to. Existence is the passing and changing of light. Feelings are light (electrical signals) time is change, moments are defined by change. Without change there is no moment, no experience. The universe does not create but changes from form to form. A house is but a layer of bricks. My question is does light travelling at 60% c behave the same way as 100% c light.
but what did you write?
You wrote, God is nature.
Then you wrote, a God could not perceive the universe, as the universe is pain.
Then you wrote, God creates what we call pain.
Then you wrote, the universe does not create, but changes from form to form.

Now, according to your observations,
the universe, that is pain, is created by God, but God is nature, so that pain is created by nature, which is God, who creates pain, that is the universe.
Finally God creates the universe.

You started writing that your theory was neithet atheistic nor theistic, but I think you are a bit confused.
You are helping Trixie the Transexual hijack this thread. Stop it.

Greylorn
Threads can't be hijacked, they simply go it directions not imagined by the author.
Your claim is a claim about your lack of imagination.
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by Greylorn Ell »

Immanuel Can wrote:Dear Greylorn:

I will gladly take up your invitation to experiment freely with the implications of this idea that a Creator or some sort of creators, or some creatorial entity yet to be defined exists.

While it appears there is no end of the interlocutors prepared to question this hypothesis, my suggestion is that we let them do it elsewhere. For both you and I are content, for the present experiment, to get past this stage-one question in order to get the chance to address the stage-two concerns. Those disinclined to accept our hypothesis can view the entire experiment as mere heuristics if they wish. But unless we bypass the level-one question, we would have to await a universal solution there before proceeding.

I think we both think there are interesting second-level questions here. So for the awareness of others commenting, please understand that we are engaging each other on the implications of accepting the idea of a Creator or creators, not debating the original notion itself. A word to the wise is sufficient, and I'm sure you will all understand the distinction.

Greylorn, let me make, if I may, a few preliminary responses to you opening position, along with the invitation for you to question me likewise.
I am certain that the universe in which we live was created, intelligently and deliberately-- but not all of it. Energy, the stuff from which all forms of our reality are constructed, cannot be created or destroyed. This is a well-tested principle of physics.

Thus, no "God" could have created energy. Why should he? Would a potter strive to create the clay for his pots when it already lies beneath his feet?
I think I'm in partial agreement here. But I'm not quite sure about the reasons you adduce, and here's why. If the "clay" (energy) pre-existed the potter, then which is the ultimate reality -- the Potter, or the clay? Does not your account, then, make the truly supreme being (the truly original reality and source of all things) out to be energy itself?
Immanuel Can
Yes, let's ignore the non-constructive and hijackers, as best we can. This might be like having a picnic lunch after the blowflies hatched.

I'll reply to your comments one at a time. They are too relevant to be addressed altogether. Let's begin with clay vs. potter. Why must there be a "vs?"

Several millennia ago the notion of monotheism appeared in Egypt. My favorite theory is that a fellow who was too smart for Greeks to abide escaped or was exiled and managed to find a small sailboat, and SW winds. Later he found himself in Egypt where he passed himself off as an extremely important and wise man, since known as Hermes Trismegistus. He may have been the father of monotheism. Whatever, according to the lore, he proposed the belief that although the entire universe operated because of the interactions of two opposing things or forces, every one of these proceeded from the action of a single thing.

This is the underlying principle of monotheism. It is also the underlying principle of cosmology's Big Bang theory, which is merely a scientized version of the Almighty and arbitrary God. IMO this is an absurd principle.

Why? We live in a cause-effect universe wherein (at least) two things or forces are required to cause an event. There is zero evidence that a single thing will, by its own "volition," spontaneously create more or other things. This is just a theory, somewhere between 3000 and 5000 years old.

I can understand why modern day theists have adopted it, ignoring Old Testament references to the plural word Elohim. Never figured out why cosmologists have repeated their mistake.

Finally, to answer your question, why not hypothesize the separate and independent existence of two distinct spaces, one containing dark-energy, the other containing our potential creator, or creators?

Thus both dark-energy and creators are inherently independent of one another.

God, secondary creators, and ourselves might be composed of the same stuff. This stuff cannot be energy, because that would return us to creation from a single thing. I propose that all conscious beings have one essential property-- we are counterforces to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, beings capable of shaping energy to our own ends.

Greylorn
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by Greylorn Ell »

Immanuel Can wrote:
greylorn wrote:
Immanuel Can

I propose not that there is no God, but that the God defined by monotheistic religions is a hypothetical concept that does not work out well when applied to reality. That this hypothetical God is not omniscient is shown clearly in the Old Testament. If God really knew what jerks the humans he created would become, why would he have created them?
Maybe this is one where you can take me to task. :) 2,000 years of Christian thought has devoted a lot of ink to this...and me, I have given a little of my poor brain power to it as well. But it's an excellent question, and we can kick it around a long time.
The only task to which I care to take you is that of clarifying your understanding of reality. It is the same task to which you can take me.

Rather than kick the can that represents this question back and forth as others have done, why not nail it atop a fence post and use it for target practice? My weapon of choice is reminiscent of Harrison Ford's classic fight in Raiders of the Lost Ark, where, if I remember correctly, he was trying to use his bullwhip to defeat a big guy with a scimitar. Ineffective and frustrated, Indiana Jones pulled out his pistol and "shot" the bad guy in a spontaneous, unscripted, but filmed scene.

Why not adopt the simple hypothesis that while biological mechanisms and human bodies are created (I prefer engineered, of course), the soul has always existed?

Thus, God cannot be blamed for any poor choices in creating it.

This simple hypothesis makes many problems go away.

Greylorn
Last edited by Greylorn Ell on Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by Immanuel Can »

Regarding your post two ago...

An interesting reply, Greylorn. Thank you.

It's interesting that you mention "Elohim." Did you know that Theists -- at least Christians -- far from ignoring the plural nature of this word are quite enthused about it? It is one of the textual evidences for Trinitarianism, actually. Just a side note.

Now, to my ensuing question. It is true that within a natural causal relationship there needs to be at least two things...say, a flammable chemical plus fire, or a chemical compound and something that reacts with it. Fine. But my suggestion would be that natural causal relationships cannot themselves be infinite, since they are by definition events in time, having a specific cause, origin point and duration. And though they may be related to other causal events, either those that came before or those produced as a consequence, each natural causal event is a discrete event in time, and is not infinite.

The maths we have show very clearly that actual infinite sequences are impossible. This, of course, has major implications for causal chains. Natural causal chains cannot be infinite, then. So whatever else we think, our trek backwards in time to the base of the causal chain is going to end in something: and that something is not going to be subject to natural causal necessities, but is rather going to be the explanation for the causal chain itself. Were it subject to natural causal necessities, it would then not be the cause of the causal chain, but rather just the first link. Moreover, it would be governed by laws greater than itself, which would then have to be explained in their own right. So then we would need an additional explanation for that link...you get the idea.

Since the explanation for the causal chain is itself cannot be a natural-causal event, it will require something other than a natural-causal description. So the characteristic of needing two things would not be a property of that original Cause. (If we did imagine it did need two things, then we would have to explain their existence -- and their duality -- as well.)

Thus I suggest that perhaps extrapolating from our present knowledge of how natural causality works may not be the right strategy for describing whatever occupies the place at the ultimate bottom of the causal chain. Perhaps super-natural causality?

Your thoughts?
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Immanuel Can
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by Immanuel Can »

Now, concerning your next message, regarding the existence of "jerk humans"... :D
Harrison Ford's classic fight in Raiders of the Lost Ark, where, if I remember correctly, he was trying to use his bullwhip to defeat a big guy with a scimitar. Ineffective and frustrated, Indiana Jones pulled out his pistol and "shot" the bad guy in a spontaneous, unscripted, but filmed scene.
I love that scene. I understand he was feeling sick as a dog at the time, and was supposed to get into some big physical thing with the swordsman...but he just pulled out his gun as a joke, and it was so funny they kept it.

Good call. :lol:

Why not adopt the simple hypothesis that while biological mechanisms and human bodies are created (I prefer engineered, of course), the soul has always existed?
Thus, God cannot be blamed for any poor choices in creating it.
This simple hypothesis makes many problems go away.
I've run into similar statements about the soul in various places in world religions, primarily the Eastern traditions and Gnosticism. For me, this would raise a whole lot of questions. I know the Gnostic answers, and the Hindu answers, and the Buddhist answers as to why the soul ought to be considered eternal. And I understand Plato's view having some similar elements on that particular point (though not, of course, on others). But I'm not sure which of those -- or a new one of your own -- you would favour.

So I guess I'd ask, are you saying the "soul" is the ultimate reality? Is the physical an illusion? And I would wonder why, supposing the soul was "good" in its eternal state, it would suddenly produce "jerk-ness" when expressed in humanity...
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by Greylorn Ell »

GreatandWiseTrixie wrote:
Greylorn Ell wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:You are going about the problem in completely the wrong way.
If you are going to assume that the Universe is the result of "intelligent" design, then to characterise that intelligence, you can only infer from the character of Nature.

You seem to have started by comparing historical versions of god , one with the other, which date from times in which our understanding of the vastness of the universe, and the details of its structure were very poorly understood.

It seems to me that, given our improved understanding, we are much better placed to understand the volition and purpose of "god/gods/entity" through reference to Nature.

So what kind of God, places intelligent humans with a fear of death, but with the certain knowledge of death; that designs elegant and terrible diseases which cause maximal suffering.
H.C.

Your assessment of how we "are going about the problem" is based upon an incorrect assumption on your part, namely that you actually know how we are going about the problem. This is not possible, since neither I.C. nor myself know that. We're "winging it."

I don't see that we've done any comparison of gods, yet, so please be less anxious to make things up.

I.C. and I have different approaches to the creation question, agreeing only that the universe is created. I will not speak for him except on things we have personally discussed and clarified. He will present his own thoughts as this thread progresses. However, I pretty much agree with you about nature. My creator-concept is derived entirely from nature. Not simply biological stuff, but mainly physics.

Before answering your last excellent question, it would be good to know if you make the usual assumption that God created both the human body and soul. I do not.

If you know anything about the military, you know that the U.S. and Royal Marine boot camps are not for sissies. The men train hard and suffer, growing stronger in the process. The training is intended to be worse than battleground experiences so as to maximize their chances of returning from warfare alive.

Consider the possibility that the soul ("beon" is my word for it) is not a created entity, and is being trained for independent conscious life in a universe opposed to that.

Greylorn
Soldiers are trained for war. War is hell. You're saying our purpose in life is to get used to suffering so when we die we go to hell?
You are conflating one common metaphor for another. You know better than that.

Hell, a concept devised by the Catholic Church to keep people from fucking one another without first paying dues to the Church, is a silly notion that assumes an eternity of intolerable suffering. War is, for moderately serious warriors, merely two to four years of living away from home and not getting laid, with occasional deadly engagements. Don't think for a minute that war is not serious. Those engagements will result in the death of warriors. War is not for sissy dipshits like Bergdahl, who was doing his best according to his Muslim beliefs.

Our job is not to get accustomed to suffering. That's stupid. Our job is to become accustomed to pain, and to not suffer on account of it. Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

Greylorn
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by David Handeye »

Greylorn Ell wrote:You are helping Trixie the Transexual hijack this thread. Stop it.

Greylorn
Wow, you say Trixie's a transexual, Trixie says Bill Wiltrack is a woman... I guess you're the mum
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by marjoram_blues »

IC to Greylorn:
I think we both think there are interesting second-level questions here. So for the awareness of others commenting, please understand that we are engaging each other on the implications of accepting the idea of a Creator or creators, not debating the original notion itself. A word to the wise is sufficient, and I'm sure you will all understand the distinction.
I look forward to reading your conversation on the implications of accepting the idea of a Creator or creators. ( or 'God, gods' as per thread title? Strange how 'none of the above' has already been taken out of the equation).

Also how this will be 'experimental'.
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by GreatandWiseTrixie »

Greylorn Ell wrote: If you know anything about the military, you know that the U.S. and Royal Marine boot camps are not for sissies. The men train hard and suffer, growing stronger in the process. The training is intended to be worse than battleground experiences so as to maximize their chances of returning from warfare alive.

Consider the possibility that the soul ("beon" is my word for it) is not a created entity, and is being trained for independent conscious life in a universe opposed to that.

You are conflating one common metaphor for another. You know better than that.

Our job is not to get accustomed to suffering. That's stupid. Our job is to become accustomed to pain, and to not suffer on account of it. Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

Greylorn
It's a metaphor to help you understand the rammifications of what you said. You said Earth was a training grounds for us to get used to the next life. So it seems what you say is the next life would be even worse than this one, why else would you claim pain is gain?
Trix the Transexual,

Do us the courtesy of getting off this thread. We do not need a hijacker. Start your own, run whatever agenda you want. I promise not to intrude and hijack your thread with other ideas.

Thank you.

Greylorn
You whine in the the original post about knee jerk responses, yet triple post and whine and namecall when someone presents a concept of God (what you asked for) that differs from your own. How laughable really.
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by Greylorn Ell »

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Greylorn Ell wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:You are going about the problem in completely the wrong way.
If you are going to assume that the Universe is the result of "intelligent" design, then to characterise that intelligence, you can only infer from the character of Nature.

You seem to have started by comparing historical versions of god , one with the other, which date from times in which our understanding of the vastness of the universe, and the details of its structure were very poorly understood.

It seems to me that, given our improved understanding, we are much better placed to understand the volition and purpose of "god/gods/entity" through reference to Nature.

So what kind of God, places intelligent humans with a fear of death, but with the certain knowledge of death; that designs elegant and terrible diseases which cause maximal suffering.
H.C.
Your assessment of how we "are going about the problem" is based upon an incorrect assumption on your part, namely that you actually know how we are going about the problem. This is not possible, since neither I.C. nor myself know that. We're "winging it."

I don't see that we've done any comparison of gods, yet, so please be less anxious to make things up.

I.C. and I have different approaches to the creation question, agreeing only that the universe is created. I will not speak for him except on things we have personally discussed and clarified. He will present his own thoughts as this thread progresses. However, I pretty much agree with you about nature. My creator-concept is derived entirely from nature. Not simply biological stuff, but mainly physics.

Before answering your last excellent question, it would be good to know if you make the usual assumption that God created both the human body and soul. I do not.

Greylorn
This is a clear demonstration that the question is being asked the wrong way.
I did not mention "soul" I don't see what that has to do with it. In the vastness of the Unvierse, a puny thing like a "human" is pathetic enough. What even is the soul? And who cares? Not god surely?
Why do you have ANY idea of a god. But if you do, why ignore some aspects of nature and favour others. What you are doing is silly anthropomorphism.
What is you concept of 'god" for? A theory that does no work is meaningless.
H.C.
Although you did not explicitly mention "soul," it is implied in your question,
"So what kind of God, places intelligent humans with a fear of death, but with the certain knowledge of death; that designs elegant and terrible diseases which cause maximal suffering?"

Those who accept the idea of a God-created or at least intelligently engineered universe also assume that human consciousness survives biological death. Something must convey consciousness, even if one's brain ends up in a pickle jar. "Soul" is the term given to whatever that mechanism might be.

Moreover, between God and soul, soul is the most important notion from the human perspective. It is what leads men to define and worship a God whose intentions might give the soul some purpose. Do you think that people would attend churches that denied the existence of soul or any possibility of an afterlife?

These considerations lead to an answer to your last question. Any God-concept, I.C.'s or mine, has one primary purpose, to offer an explanation for the creation of man and his soul. I tend to take this a bit further than conventional religions, thinking that a valid God-concept must be consistent with principles of physics.

Greylorn
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Immanuel Can
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by Immanuel Can »

I look forward to reading your conversation on the implications of accepting the idea of a Creator or creators. ( or 'God, gods' as per thread title? Strange how 'none of the above' has already been taken out of the equation).
Well, I shouldn't speak for Greylorn, and he's good at speaking for himself. But we've been chatting a bit off the main boards, and he proposed that perhaps we should try to arrange something conversational to focus down on issues we're both interested in exploring. We're right now trying to feel out how to do something that does not quickly deteriorate into the usual cacophony of diverse opinions, and works consistently on a coherent problem defined by the chief interlocutors. It seems like a different way to go at things, if we can figure out how to make it work.

We're happy to have input, but we're trying to figure out how to avoid the discussion become derailed by the local trolls and scavengers that occasionally crop up in places like this. I'm not sure either of us knows how to make it work, but we both think it's worth trying.

As for your second question, I'm a Theist, and Greylorn is a variety of polytheist, it seems. But its hard to find an Atheist who is even remotely interested in entertaining the implications of a Deistic or Theistic supposition. So while we remain open to the possibility that some sort of denial of the whole problem could be an outcome of our exchange, we don't have that third polarity in place...and I don't know that we could have it without the whole thing turning into yet another one of those "Does God exist?" discussions. Good as they may be, they're done to death. and we don't want to lapse into that.

Also how this will be 'experimental'.
Well, largely because, as you see above, we're not exactly sure of how to make something different come out of this conventional format, but we're willing to try. If it turns out to work, great -- if not, we have a lesson learned on how not to do it.

Any thoughts, Greylorn?
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by Arising_uk »

Immanuel Can wrote:...
We're happy to have input, but we're trying to figure out how to avoid the discussion become derailed by the local trolls and scavengers that occasionally crop up in places like this. I'm not sure either of us knows how to make it work, but we both think it's worth trying.
...
Try reading this,
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=394
You want the third post.
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by Greylorn Ell »

Immanuel Can wrote:
Greylorn wrote:...I propose to abandon the traditional omnipotent, omniscient God-concept in favor of multiple creators, each with limited capabilities. This hypothesis solves most problems with respect to the initial and ongoing creation processes.
My thought here would be this: does this not create the old polytheistic problem? That is, if "god" means one of multiple beings, then there is, by definition, no Supreme Being. There are only more or less powerful super beings. Moreover, these super beings are not "God" in the monotheistic sense at all, but rather a sort of super-powered-alien...a set of contingent beings more powerful than humans but far less powerful than any Supreme Being would be, and not a necessary Being, as He would be.

The ancient Greeks would have said their gods were contingent products of the Titans; but then, they also predicted the fall of their gods and the end of all things as a result. So did the Norse: they called it Ragnarok...the day when the snake coiled around the world wakes up and devours all...gods included.

It would seem to me that whatever these beings are contingent upon then becomes our account of the ultimate Reality, the God behind the gods. But if the ultimate reality is the God behind the gods, then does not the existence of these intermediate gods become somewhat absurd and unnecessary? And just as you raise the issue of why God would create "human jerks," as you so delightfully put it, It would seem to me that whatever these beings are contingent upon then becomes our account of the ultimate Reality, the God behind the gods. But if the ultimate reality is the God behind the gods, then does not the existence of these intermediate gods become somewhat absurd and unnecessary? And just as you raise the issue of why God would create "human jerks," as you so delightfully put it, are we not faced the question of why an Ultimate Creative Force would bother creating inferior, intermediate gods at all?
Immanuel Can,

I love conversing with someone who poses excellent, well-considered questions that get to the core of things. Thank you!

Let's look to an internet dictionary for a definition of "supreme."

1. highest in rank or authority; paramount; sovereign; chief.
2. of the highest quality, degree, character, importance, etc.:

There is nothing within the definition that would preclude one god from being supreme among others. Supreme humans exist within human social structures. We more commonly refer to them as "the boss, the governor, or the president." The Presidents of IBM and Apple Computers are the supreme leaders of their large corporations. Ghengis Khan was once the supreme ruler of China. In better times, the President of the United States was the supreme leader of the free world.

Consider that for an entity to be regarded as supreme, other entities of the same nature must exist. Else how could its supremacy be evaluated? A human dolt might be supreme among a group of squirrels if comparisons were based upon written IQ tests-- but not if the test involved nut gathering and tree climbing.

Thus, other gods must exist for any one of them to be regarded as supreme. They are necessary to the existence of a Supreme Being.

Immanuel Can wrote: And if so, we might ask ourselves, what are they "contingent" upon?
Another crux of the problem.

Conventional thinking makes a lot of invalid assumptions that are derived from human experience. Our experience tells us that intelligent life is the product of the interbreeding of intelligent life forms. This observation has been raised to the level of universal truth by incompetent philosophers.

Biological science is about a half-tick ahead of that notion with its assumption (a non-scientific theoretical assumption that has not been validated) that biological life forms arose spontaneously from primeval muck and evolved as the consequence of mindless random forces into beings who imagine themselves to be intelligent for accepting such a stupifying belief system.

To get a full tick ahead of that notion, I assume the existence of two separate spaces. One contains dark energy, the time-independent version of the energy forms that comprise our universe. The other space contains something to which I've given the name, Aeon.

Each is a simple space with three properties: Existence, a boundary condition, and the natural manifestation of a simple force. One force for each space.

The properties for the dark-energy space are defined by the three original laws of thermodynamics. Those for Aeon space have not been investigated, so I do not know its boundary condition. The force it exerts is a counterforce to energy's Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Neither space can do anything on its own because each, to paraphrase Michael Behe's description, is irreducibly simple. But imagine the effect of a collision between these spaces! Such an event represents the answer to your question, "what are they contingent upon?"

It is an answer that make the endless, "who created whom," questions irrelevant, because at the outset there was no "who," no conscious intelligence. Consciousness arose from the stuff of the universe, simple interacting forces that operated accidentally, without purpose or intention, yet leading to purpose and intention.

Immanuel Can wrote:It would seem to me that whatever these beings are contingent upon then becomes our account of the ultimate Reality, the God behind the gods. But if the ultimate reality is the God behind the gods, then does not the existence of these intermediate gods become somewhat absurd and unnecessary? And just as you raise the issue of why God would create "human jerks," as you so delightfully put it, are we not faced the question of why an Ultimate Creative Force would bother creating inferior, intermediate gods at all?

Previous thoughts lead to the resolution of this question. Under my assumptions, yes, dark energy and Aeon space become our ultimate reality-- a simple but powerful version of ultimate reality. There is no need to track it backward to more fundamental forms. This resolution has a singular advantage over others in that it is absolutely mindless and motivation-free. Thus the forces involved can be experimentally verified by the usual methods of physics.

The Ultimate Creative Forces are two original forms of stuff, dark energy and Aeon. No deeper God lies within, or beyond these simple forms of mindless reality. Being mindless, they are blameless.

Greylorn
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by Greylorn Ell »

Immanuel Can wrote: Regarding your post two ago...

An interesting reply, Greylorn. Thank you.

It's interesting that you mention "Elohim." Did you know that Theists -- at least Christians -- far from ignoring the plural nature of this word are quite enthused about it? It is one of the textual evidences for Trinitarianism, actually. Just a side note.

Now, to my ensuing question. It is true that within a natural causal relationship there needs to be at least two things...say, a flammable chemical plus fire, or a chemical compound and something that reacts with it. Fine. But my suggestion would be that natural causal relationships cannot themselves be infinite, since they are by definition events in time, having a specific cause, origin point and duration. And though they may be related to other causal events, either those that came before or those produced as a consequence, each natural causal event is a discrete event in time, and is not infinite.

The maths we have show very clearly that actual infinite sequences are impossible. This, of course, has major implications for causal chains. Natural causal chains cannot be infinite, then. So whatever else we think, our trek backwards in time to the base of the causal chain is going to end in something: and that something is not going to be subject to natural causal necessities, but is rather going to be the explanation for the causal chain itself. Were it subject to natural causal necessities, it would then not be the cause of the causal chain, but rather just the first link. Moreover, it would be governed by laws greater than itself, which would then have to be explained in their own right. So then we would need an additional explanation for that link...you get the idea.

Since the explanation for the causal chain is itself cannot be a natural-causal event, it will require something other than a natural-causal description. So the characteristic of needing two things would not be a property of that original Cause. (If we did imagine it did need two things, then we would have to explain their existence -- and their duality -- as well.)

Thus I suggest that perhaps extrapolating from our present knowledge of how natural causality works may not be the right strategy for describing whatever occupies the place at the ultimate bottom of the causal chain. Perhaps super-natural causality?

Your thoughts?
I.Can,

Perhaps the comments that I just posted in response to your previous questions will answer this. If not, kindly let me know. Even better, mention the areas in which that post was insufficient to this query.

Thank you.
Greylorn


Greylorn Ell
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by Greylorn Ell »

Immanuel Can wrote:Now, concerning your next message, regarding the existence of "jerk humans"... :D
Harrison Ford's classic fight in Raiders of the Lost Ark, where, if I remember correctly, he was trying to use his bullwhip to defeat a big guy with a scimitar. Ineffective and frustrated, Indiana Jones pulled out his pistol and "shot" the bad guy in a spontaneous, unscripted, but filmed scene.
I love that scene. I understand he was feeling sick as a dog at the time, and was supposed to get into some big physical thing with the swordsman...but he just pulled out his gun as a joke, and it was so funny they kept it.

Good call. :lol:

Why not adopt the simple hypothesis that while biological mechanisms and human bodies are created (I prefer engineered, of course), the soul has always existed?
Thus, God cannot be blamed for any poor choices in creating it.
This simple hypothesis makes many problems go away.
I've run into similar statements about the soul in various places in world religions, primarily the Eastern traditions and Gnosticism. For me, this would raise a whole lot of questions. I know the Gnostic answers, and the Hindu answers, and the Buddhist answers as to why the soul ought to be considered eternal. And I understand Plato's view having some similar elements on that particular point (though not, of course, on others). But I'm not sure which of those -- or a new one of your own -- you would favour.

So I guess I'd ask, are you saying the "soul" is the ultimate reality? Is the physical an illusion? And I would wonder why, supposing the soul was "good" in its eternal state, it would suddenly produce "jerk-ness" when expressed in humanity...

Immanuel Can,

I do not regard soul as ultimate reality, but merely as a small component thereof. However small, it is essential. Consider the soul as a dancer on the floor of space-time, perhaps one of many. But without dancers there would be neither music nor a convivial parlor.

I use the term "beon" when referring to soul in my formal writings, so as to distinguish it from various soul-concepts that you and I have already studied. Beon is an entirely different concept from soul.

In younger times I felt that it would integrate nicely with Christian beliefs, and although I still feel that way, Christians never have.

The physical universe is no illusion, although we cannot directly observe it. It is absolutely real, and is essential to beon's development of consciousness.

I see beon, my version of the soul, as having an origin. (As does Christianity, although our versions of the cause differ.) It does not seem logical to me that something with an origin can be regarded as inherently eternal. Perhaps there are ways for it to earn a long span of existence, if that is what it desires.

Shall we move on to the jerkiness of soul?

Before doing so, a disclaimer: I have participated in life as a jerk more times than I can recall or want to admit. Amid the life process I also experimented with being a good kid, nice guy, sissy, top student, law breaker, troublemaker, and someone who surprised the shit out of few jerks who picked an easy fight by beating the shit out of them. Quid pro quo.

I've learned to enter a biker bar and leave with a few friends. Not so much with faculty parties. There's no better way to know jerks than by being one.

If an entity is created by a conscious being, its properties are built into it by its creators. E.g. automobiles, robots, and God-created souls. It is impossible for such entities to have complete freedom of choice, i.e. "free will." If it's a robotic or human jerk, that's because it was designed to be a jerk.

However, if the component of consciousness was the consequence of a natural event, as I propose, it can have free will. It can be the driving component of an exemplary human being, ordinary person, serial killer, lawyer, Democrat politician, thug, or jerk.

Greylorn
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