God, gods, or none of the above?

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

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

Post by marjoram_blues »

GE to me:
So please peruse the information on the excellent link you provided, and take it home. Don't invent stuff that is not there
Please stop with the assumptions and misrepresentations. It is a side-show distraction.

Carry on.
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GreatandWiseTrixie
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by GreatandWiseTrixie »

Hobbes' Choice wrote: You are no longer asking "god, gods, or none of the above", and really you were never interested in that question.
Are you mad?
I believe so. Misleading thread topic is misleading.
Greylorn Ell
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by Greylorn Ell »

marjoram_blues wrote:My point in introducing the 'principle of charity' (and one of many explanatory links) was a simple one.
It is not necessary to enter GL's virtual courtroom with its legalese shouts of 'Objection!' which a judge ( him or IC) can over-rule. Entertaining as that might be, it is inherently biased.

An idea, or ideas, can be explained and evaluated in turn. Clearly, it is better to focus on one view/theory and its justifications at a time. This will enable the 'seller' of the idea to clarify and explain his 'product' before any would-be customer decides to buy.

If I've got this right, IC wants to discuss the implications of the acceptance of the idea of a Creator/creators and GL has his beon theory to sell. And the process is to be 'experimental'.

So, who is judging who?
Well, we are all judge and jury here, as customers in an open market-place. Let IC and GL set out their stalls so that we can examine the produce and decide.

This could be done in a fairly, standard - traditional way. Perhaps easier to view and examine one at a time?
It could be a head-to-head debate. GL stating his view/reasons and IC examining, analysing and judging - and then v.v.

However, the issues seem to have been set-up so that it is 'None of the above' or the 'Undecided' that are on trial. The judges are the very people who wish to sell us their ideas. If we're not buying it, the judge GL wants to send us to jail.

So far, so confused?
M.B.

I'd venture, so far, the better clarified-- with your help, thank you. Through this process you have been a fine juror, albeit an imperfect reader. (e.g. I want to send NOTA, None Of The Above, to jail-- not you. You get to deliberate NOTA's verdict. What would be the point of a trial that sent the jurors to jail? And BTW, "undecideds" belong in the jury box, not the defendant's chair.)

In jury trials the judge does not proclaim guilt or innocence, which is the jury's task. The judge's work is to maintain order in the court, and insure that rules of jurisprudence are followed with respect to the admission of evidence and testimony.

It is irregular enough to hold a trial with two attorneys both trying to convict the same defendant, but on different grounds. That the defendant is a ghost in an empty chair (alas, Danial Dennett and Richard Dawkins burned our subpoenas) is not too common. In the context of those irregularities, prosecutors also acting as judges seems but a minor insult to convention. By way of compensation, the jurors receive great latitude and are allowed to question the testimony in a relevant manner-- as you've been doing freely. They are also allowed to leave and enter the jury box at will, for lunch, to take a pee, have a beer-- whatever.

Moreover, while hearsay evidence is not allowed in a conventional trial, here there is no way of escaping it. Is not all religion and philosophy based upon hearsay? Likewise scientific concepts offered by those who have studied physics but not performed all the experiments?
_______________________

Some clarification on my and I.C.'s respective agendas: Of course I will be pitching Beon Theory, and on this thread I hope to be able to fully explain it for the first time on any forum. B. T. hypothesizes multiple creators of various talents.

Although we've not discussed this, I am fairly certain that I.C. is not interested in multiple gods and will not be trying to sell such ideas. If he does I will fall off my chair. To the best of my knowledge he is a fine Christian whose life is shaped by his beliefs and conducted fairly and honestly. I invited him to join me in our mutual venture because I admire his mind and am certain to learn from him. He will, I trust, be presenting Christian beliefs of the sort that I once held.

He and I operate independent stalls under the same tent. We both believe that we live in a created universe, although our opinions about the extent and purpose of creation are different. What would be the fun of this if we agreed?

You are correct that our setup is I.C. and me vs. NOTA. Your proposals for how to proceed seem reasonable, and I don't know if we'll be able to follow them. He and I are independent. For my part, I'm about to get to work today, Good Friday. I.C. may prefer to enjoy this weekend and honor his beliefs.

With this post of yours, I think that we've done enough preliminary work to keep this thread on a coherent track.

Perhaps we've set forth some guidelines for managing other possibly contentious threads in a fair and coherent manner. I think it would be cool to see Gee, Trixie, and everyone with an axe to grind present their opinions in a similar counterpoint style. An objective forum member might even take on the work of judge, saving Amod and Imod some trouble.

Please be mindful that after I.C. and I rest our cases, it will be up to the jury to decide the outcome of the case. I invite you to take on the job of Jury Foreman.

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

Post by Immanuel Can »

Well, we've established that some people don't like the topic heading. And we've heard that they feel cheated out of their chance to camp on the Theism-Atheism debate and work it yet again. So fine: people don't like the title.

Time to move on, I think. The horse is dead.

We're left with this: for this thread, and only for this one, we're not contesting the basic supposition of a Creator or creator(s), and atheism is not the starting point, since we're moving past that issue in order to address implications of those who believe in some sort of Creator.

So, Greylorn, do we go or no?
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ReliStuPhD
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by ReliStuPhD »

Unless there's work here you odn't want to abandon, I'd say start a new post with a new title. Lay out what's not being debated, then make sure AMod kills off-topic posts.
Greylorn Ell
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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?
Immanuel Can

My thoughts on this are simple. Philosophers who have over-thought the cause-effect problem need to find a useful day job or take some basic physics classes, calculus-level. I trust that while you have learned from them, you are not necessarily wedded to their opinions and may already have that day job.

Let me briefly define the term Absolute Miracle as an event, state of being, or combination thereof that cannot possibly be explained, not even by a hypothetical omniscient God. Christ clearly knew the paranormal technology needed to perform actions seen by men as miraculous, but since he knew how to perform them, they were no more miraculous than an anthropologist visiting primitive tribes with a Zippo in hand-- or even better, an old handgun.

We are all required to accept the reality of at least one Absolute Miracle. It is that anything whatsoever exists.

Non-existence of anything seems the most natural state of being. If nothing existed, no one would be around to wonder why. The non-existent universe could stay non-existing forever without being troubled by non-existent philosophers wondering why it does not exist.

It is only the existence of something-- our own selves, the planet we live on, or the bird that shit in my face this morning when I went outside and gazed up at the sky-- that causes us to consider the universe. However they came to be, that universe and our own minds are the consequence of a deep-level miracle, an Absolute Miracle.

The need for an Absolute Miracle (A.M.) is implicitly recognized. Christians and other religions have their omnipotent God. Scientists have co-opted Christian beliefs, dropped the God-concept, and merely renamed them-- the Big Bang, and biological abiogenesis. Every version of the Absolute Miracle has this in common:

One single thing or entity that contained all the laws and physics principles necessary to create our universe always existed, without cause, and about 13.5 billion years ago it got to work. No one knows why. What might have prompted a God who existed forever to suddenly create a universe? What might have triggered cosmology's micro-pea/singularity to explode? Such questions cannot be answered without introducing an outside force-- a second Absolute Miracle.

So, let's assume that for the universe to fire up, two miracles are required.

This presents another question. There is a mathematical theorem that I know of but cannot replicate, which declares that if the state of something within a given space can move, there must be a space at least one dimension higher into which it can move.

Simple analogy: A theoretically two-dimensional sheet of paper lying flat atop a 2-D table-top. Imagine picking up one end of the paper and curling it upward, off the desktop surface. This requires a third space, a 3-D space into which the paper can curl.

By non-rigorous analogy, if our two hypothetical 3-D spaces are to interact and change, they must exist within a 4-D space containing them. This concept is not important to our current level of discussion and is presented so that any drunk mathematicians who found this stuff late at night, by mistake, will not immediately write these ideas off after their morning coffee.

So why not start at a different place? Three Absolute Miracles:

  1. A space containing raw, unformed and unstructured energy. It is defined by the Three original Laws of Thermodynamics-- straight-up classical physics. This is an open, unstructured space. I'll borrow a term from recent astrophysical research and call it "Dark-energy" space."

    D.E. space manifests a single force, defined in physics as the "Second Law of Thermodynamics." This is a settling, stabilizing force. It's job is to maintain D.E. space in its original unstructured form and to keep it at the lowest possible temperature, Absolute Zero, as defined by the Third Law of Thermodynamics.
  2. A highly structured, tightly-wound space with a potential for intelligence that cannot be realized within the space itself. It's job is to keep itself tightly wound.

    Imagine an old wind-up clock whose owner has been told that the clock will tick down to the time of his death, and no tick can be undone. Fearful of death, he keeps the clock with him at all times, his fingers grasping its winding-handle, holding it tightly, preventing the spring from unwinding and the clock from ticking. When asleep he puts the spring-winding handle in a vise.
  3. Suppose that the force internal to dark energy is the perfect counter-force to that which holds Aeon space together.

    Finally consider the possibility that dark energy and Aeon space exist within a super-space, and collide.
This event would not compare to the hypothetical Big Bang and would not instantly create all the matter in the universe. It would not create any matter at all, not a quark, not a neutrino, not a single structured particle of the sort that atomic physicists describe.

It would, however, break up Aeon from its tightly bound form into myriad tiny components, beons, no longer integrated into Aeon, but perhaps striving to return to that bound state as natural forces do their work. This will be forestalled by dark energy, as much a counterforce to beon as beon is to it.

The collision between Dark Energy and Aeon space changes a quiescent universe into a potentially active, busy place in which non-conscious beons interact unconsciously with some dark energy. The change comes when at least two beons development rudimentary forms of consciousness. They become the entity that we now conceive of as "God."

At the outset they are less intelligent than two farting termites, but unlike the termites they have the potential to realize self-awareness. It might arise from a process like, What stinks? Not me? Who farted? What's a fart? You tell me-- oh, damn, the stink! I didn't do it. Who did? What's a who? Etc.

Of course this is an absurd analogy. Beons at the preliminary levels of consciousness are less likely to possess language capabilities than are the characters in Star Wars movies to speak modern English. I'm just trying to introduce ideas into minds ill-disposed to comprehend them.
__________

Finally, a momentary disclaimer. This is difficult material that few other philosophers will take the trouble to peruse a few times and investigate, so they will not understand a word of it. It's a distillation of about six chapters from my book, "Digital Universe -- Analog Soul."

The material is included because it needs to become part of the disagreeable record that philosophers choose to dismiss.

It has been a long and troublesome day. No doubt that tomorrow or later I'll regret many words or turns of phrase.

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

Post by Greylorn Ell »

Immanuel Can wrote:Well, we've established that some people don't like the topic heading. And we've heard that they feel cheated out of their chance to camp on the Theism-Atheism debate and work it yet again. So fine: people don't like the title.

Time to move on, I think. The horse is dead.

We're left with this: for this thread, and only for this one, we're not contesting the basic supposition of a Creator or creator(s), and atheism is not the starting point, since we're moving past that issue in order to address implications of those who believe in some sort of Creator.

So, Greylorn, do we go or no?
I.C.

Dead horse? Not mine. He needed a rest, a drink, a grassy pasture and a few apples, We've just started up a mountain trail, and he wanted proof that he'll not be neglected along the way. He does not care about my agenda, about getting a better view of things from atop the mountain. He just wants some assurance that he'll find food and water along the way up and back, and not get snakebit.

I know where the mountain lake is, and I'll be carrying a suitable snake terminator.

I'm riding up, inviting you to stay the course. Happy Good Friday!

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

Post by Greylorn Ell »

ReliStuPhD wrote:Unless there's work here you odn't want to abandon, I'd say start a new post with a new title. Lay out what's not being debated, then make sure AMod kills off-topic posts.
How do we insure that Amod or iMod kills such posts? After hanging out on this forum for better than a year, the only thing either has done was to drop me and my posts into never-never land for about a month, and I've yet to learn why.

Do you know something that I do not, like Amod's Swiss bank account number?

Or do you expect me to go crying to mommy with my finger up my ass, instead of in some clown's eye, whenever someone intrudes upon a thread I've initiated? Methinks you are over-civilized, someone who thinks that Obama is doing all the right things.

Nonetheless, thank you for your thoughts.

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

Post by marjoram_blues »

A brief reply:

There will always be interjections on a thread of such a title and remit. Given your experience on this forum, you already know that.
Therefore, your 'experimental' thread is doomed to fail from get-go. And I think you know that too.

If you are judging 'NOTA', then it would have to be the 'implications' of not accepting the idea of a God/Creator or gods/creators.
This requires a separate and clearer thread.

If you are trying to sell your difficult beon theory with a full explanation, this this kind of set-up can only complicate matters.
If IC wishes to discuss the implications of accepting the idea of a Creator/creators, again that could be read and better understood as a stand-alone.
If you wish to combine or compare, then batting posts to and fro is not the way to go. How many pages so far...?
You both seem to be resisting a fresh start, a clearer thread. As things stand, my participation in this thread is now over, thanks.

Carry on.
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GreatandWiseTrixie
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by GreatandWiseTrixie »

You consider it an Absolute Miracle? It is an Absolute Curse. This world is a terrible creation that I am ashamed of.

The thing about Curses is they tend to appear unsuspecting, when you least expect it. They tend to stick too. When you think about it as a curse, it begins to make more logical sense.

As for your theory it sounds nice but you cannot prove it right...I am not so simple as mere energy particles...
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ReliStuPhD
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by ReliStuPhD »

Greylorn Ell wrote:
ReliStuPhD wrote:Unless there's work here you odn't want to abandon, I'd say start a new post with a new title. Lay out what's not being debated, then make sure AMod kills off-topic posts.
How do we insure that Amod or iMod kills such posts? After hanging out on this forum for better than a year, the only thing either has done was to drop me and my posts into never-never land for about a month, and I've yet to learn why.

Do you know something that I do not, like Amod's Swiss bank account number?

Or do you expect me to go crying to mommy with my finger up my ass, instead of in some clown's eye, whenever someone intrudes upon a thread I've initiated? Methinks you are over-civilized, someone who thinks that Obama is doing all the right things.

Nonetheless, thank you for your thoughts.

Greylorn
As far as I know, AMod has stated in a post that he/she will monitor discussions like these and remove threads if the creators report them as off-topic. It has to be something started on our side (as in, they're not going to follow the discussions and make that decision themselves).
Greylorn Ell
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by Greylorn Ell »

ReliStuPhD wrote:
As far as I know, AMod has stated in a post that he/she will monitor discussions like these and remove threads if the creators report them as off-topic. It has to be something started on our side (as in, they're not going to follow the discussions and make that decision themselves).
That's new information. So far this thread has quieted down so assistance may not be needed, but I'll keep your advice in mind in case I start another thread.
Thank you!
Greylorn
Greylorn Ell
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Re: God, gods, or none of the above?

Post by Greylorn Ell »

GreatandWiseTrixie wrote:You consider it an Absolute Miracle? It is an Absolute Curse. This world is a terrible creation that I am ashamed of.

The thing about Curses is they tend to appear unsuspecting, when you least expect it. They tend to stick too. When you think about it as a curse, it begins to make more logical sense.

As for your theory it sounds nice but you cannot prove it right...I am not so simple as mere energy particles...
Trix,

No need to be ashamed of something for which you are not responsible. The best I can say at this point is to treat life like a game of cards. Play your best with the hand you've been dealt. I've told myself the same more times than I want to count. It may be a boring platitude, but over the long term it seems to work.

Look at the positive side. You have access to a few very bright people via the internet and this forum. You also have our history of convivial conversations, which I hope to top off with an excellent theory that has the potential to transform the manner in which you interpret your existence-- and hence your life. Perhaps we can revisit the "not so simple as..." comment when you learn more about the ideas.

Beon Theory is verifiable via the methods of science. I promise. Next I'll resume its presentation.

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

Post by thedoc »

Greylorn Ell wrote: Greylorn

Greylorn, The Package has arrived.

Arrrgh! Let the horrors begin!

I promised myself that after opening, I'd have a full pot of coffee, and all the lights on.

I'd even have my granddaughter hold my hand so I wouldn't be afraid.

Seriously, I started reading Ch. 0 and will continue slowly as you have recommended.

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

Post by Immanuel Can »

I think we might be well-advised to retire, rethink and relaunch our experiment, Greylorn. I think too much of a distracting nature is already clogging the start of this discussion -- partly because we failed to anticipate that in listing three possibilities instead of two we were perhaps not being inclusive so much as being unintentionally misleading. What was intended (I think) as a willingness to entertain all conceivable results on our part was taken as some sort of welcome to the old Atheist-Theist debators, and then as disappointing exclusion when that did not turn out to be our intent.

Some experiments fail: that's life. I'll take the blame: I should have caught the potential for confusion before we launched. You did ask me.

From my perspective, if the moderator will kill the thread, I think then that works as a solution. But, of course, if you feel you wish to pursue the start we've made I have no objections. I only submit that I'm not certain how to find a place in the sort of exchange that has evolved out of that start. Nevertheless, I shall be happy to chip in if such a place ever appears, and of course, I'm not inclined to create pointless controversy if it does not.
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