Is the concept of "God" necessary, let alone real?

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

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Reflex
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Re: Is the concept of "God" necessary, let alone real?

Post by Reflex » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:56 am

Greta wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:09 am

However, there is no way of knowing whether that is conditioning of the mind from an early age or not. Mine certainly was conditioned that way and my parents weren't even much religious - just what was fairly usual at the time. Yet a huge chunk of society was telling me about God - it was an assumed truth just about everywhere. It's not easy to shake off that kind of conditioning when it starts from early childhood.
It's not just about conditioning. There's a whole host of reasons we take the paths we do, not the least of which is initial conditions (the "butterfly effect).
So I too find it hard to dismiss the notion, which runs against my commitment to staying on the fence when I don't know something rather than allowing myself to only accept the ideas I like best.
How do you think the world would fare if everyone had that POV? Would the world be a better place? How could civilization, and even science, even get off the ground?
It's a discipline I demand from myself because sometimes no one is easier to fool than oneself.


Absolutely, which is why I think it is more important, and much more demanding, to be absolutely honest with one's self than chasing after data like the robot in the movie Short Circut.
So I instead try to assess reality purely by what appears most likely and at this point it leads to to a naturalistic view along with the sense that nature has been very much underestimated due to a tendency to think of humans as not part of nature, rather either a divine or destructive addition. Rather, ideally humans will rethink what nature is and its potentials to take their own minds and achievements into account - we are part of the systems, no matter how powerful we may think ourselves.
Limiting myself to a "naturalistic" view would, for me, be unnatural. I would be a proverbial bird in a gilded cage. I otherwise concur.
I actually think that the existence of a godlike intelligence (or whatever may succeed "intelligence") is plausible - or in multiples, for that matter. If a universe like ours can potentially support stars and life for a trillion years - whatever may evolve to meet the never-ending challenges thrown at them by cosmic events may conceivably even survive the heat death of a universe. It is hard to imagine a life-bearing universe not managing to be so extraordinary over such an unknown length of time - the same age of our current universe a hundred times over. Further, there is no evidence that says that this universe was the first. For all we know we may live in a universe of serial big bangs numbering in the billions. That seems at least as likely as ours being the first or only. Thus, the surviving godlike beings at the end of each universe might even accumulate for all we know.
Heh, heh. :) “As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become.” You'd never guess where that comes from. I didn't like the context, but there's no denying the impact it had on me. What came out of it could fill volumes.
Another feasible possibility based on the above "Omega angle" is that God is not yet existent, still just an emerging potential. It may be that the ideals that life dream up indicate an intuitive sense of the future - what we (or other life forms) may become (barring not being wiped out by asteroids etc at inopportune times).

Another possibility is that there's some strange dimensional activity underpinning our familiar dimensions, and a godlike entity exists at the most fundamental dimension. Or the godlike entity may not be fundamental, perhaps being subject to complete nothingness (or something else) in an even more fundamental dimension.

Or it may be that the arrow of time is a perspective effect rather than a reality, in which case a posthumous existence may be possible but seemingly says nothing about any kind of god.

So, while I question regularly, I don't have much in the way of beliefs to question, largely only potentialities. Persuasive information could have me add to or subtract from that list any time.
:lol: Wonderful! If you are suggesting that there could be one God, an evolving God or "Supreme Being" in the space-time universe(s), and another that transcends it in ways we can't imagine, then I'd suggest the likelihood of a hidden influence in your thinking, an influence like the Jungian archetype. I incorporate all those ideas in some form. If you had any interest in reading a supposed "revelation," I'd have the book for you!

Reflex
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Re: Is the concept of "God" necessary, let alone real?

Post by Reflex » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:09 am

Nick_A wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:12 am
I will consider it if you can express how the ONE can be created from nothing. If you can do that you can sell anything.
Does that go for me, too? It is here we part company, Nick.

In mathematics, zero and infinity represent powerful adversaries at either end of the realm of numbers that are used in modern science. Yet, zero and infinity are two sides of the same coin -- equal and opposite, yin and yang. "Multiply zero by anything and you get zero. Multiply infinity by anything and you get infinity. Dividing a number by zero yields infinity; dividing a number by infinity yields zero. Adding zero to a number leaves the number unchanged. Adding a number to infinity leaves infinity unchanged." Yet, the biggest questions in science, philosophy, and religion are about nothingness and eternity, the void and the infinite, zero and infinity.

I take from this that, in a sense, God is nothing.

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Greta
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Re: Is the concept of "God" necessary, let alone real?

Post by Greta » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:55 am

Nick_A wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:12 am
Greta
Why limit one's inquiries for the sake of a formula? Why not consider them all - bottom-up, top-down, outside-in and inside-out - all of it?
I will consider it if you can express how the ONE can be created from nothing. If you can do that you can sell anything.
Okay but with a disclaimed that this is purely speculative. Next it will be your turn to explain how the ONE (presumably God) can be created from nothing.

We start with Krauss's "nothingness" - the quantum foam. "Empty" space has been measured to be vibrant with energy, rather than truly empty. As far as we know, true emptiness has never been and may not even be possible. To greatly simplify, the space was replete with what's known as virtual particles, fluctuations popping in and out of existence immediately. There was "something" but none of those things persisted. Then, for whatever reason, perhaps simply probabilities after so many iterations, one of the virtual particles did not pop out of existence but inflated, taking in all around it in a feedback loop. As the universe cooled atoms formed and order could increase without the turbulence of ubiquitous high temperatures. Since then, in a sense, reality has always entailed a kind of natural selection - survival of the persistent. Patterns capable of persisting remained as part of reality while less robust ones disappeared into the environment. This appears to still be the case - with objects like galaxies, stars, planets and black holes proving to be remarkably robust and persistent, and these dominate the skies (visually, anyway).

Over time life evolved, then intelligence. Each time entities needed to solve the problem of survival - against volcanoes, ice ages, meteors, predators, disease, drowning, malnutrition, thirst, conflict, and so on. Since the Sun is now dying with the climate already warming, in time life will need to solve the problem of their planet no longer being viable. Somewhere, sometimes, in the universe surely species are finding a way to live on other worlds. However, there comes a time when the solar system itself stops being viable. Even then, there are risks of black hole blasts, rogue planets, stars and black holes, not to mention occasional hazardous energetic emissions from the heart of the galaxy.

In time, as described above, perhaps each subsequent universe reaches its own Omega Point via time, probabilities and intrinsic/natural selection?

Do I believe this? Of course not. It's just one possibility.

Your turn. How do you posit that all came to be?

Nick_A wrote:
I remain agnostic, as you well know. You continue to only make assertions without the reasoning that underpins those assertions. Please provide reasoning for assertions.
It is pretty much agreed that the universe came into existence and will gradually run down and “die” This means that it didn’t always exist. Existence is a process that either began from nothing and evolved from the bottom up or began with no-thing and the conscious creation of universal laws involuting creation from the top down. I’d like you to explain the logical process by which creation develops from nothing.
It's a big and overly ambitious job for nobodies like us but I was silly enough to take on the challenge above.

As above. Your turn now - and with much details as I provided please.

Nick_A wrote:
Incorrect information. Only Abrahamic religions start with a conscious source. Buddhism remains agnostic to the idea and it has various creation myths. The Tao has no deity, and Hinduism is polytheistic.

Aside from appeals to authority, do you have any other basis for believing that the first fluctuation of reality was conscious?
Buddha never denied God. He discouraged speaking of it since he knew it would inspire meaningless arguments getting in the way of the intent of Buddhism. He was right.

The universe is governed by both consciousness and mechanical laws. Mechanical laws don’t arise by accident. They are expressions of consciousness. If you disagree, show me how they can arise by accident.
Still, Buddhism can incorporate atheism as easily as it incorporates monotheism or polytheism. It surely is not a monotheistic religion.

"Accident" is the wrong word - it's via the kind of selection above. Any mutation that persists more than a standard gene is more likely to be found in subsequent populations. "Survival of the fittest" is a powerful concept but I think that "persistence of the suitable" is broader and captures the dynamic in non-sentient entities. For instance, why did the proto Earth persist while many other similar planetoids did not? Basically for the same reason that the biggest piglet gets the most milk while the runt misses out. It was larger and thus more robustly present in reality than smaller objects.

Why do you think abiogenesis did not occur more than once on Earth? Any new and fragile fledgling life would simply be an easy meal for existing "battle hardened" organisms. Why do no new humanly sentient species emerge? Because if they did they would be competition for humans and we'd kill or enslave them.

Your turn, and again with similar detail - how did God create (or become) the laws of physics? How did God bring all this about?

Nick_A wrote:
The schism between science and religion in the west is increasing and now organising politically, with the far right increasingly claiming to have God on the their side, the far left claiming to have the planet on their side, and the centre and centre-left claiming the scientific angle.

Rather, it seems that there is a growing link between science and spirituality while while religions are becoming ever more political and social and less spiritual.


You keep referring to secular religious expression while I refer to the essence of religion which asserts meaning and purpose for Man while spirituality only admits a source for the logic of the universe. It is a step in the right direction but until universal purpose is admitted as well as Man’s purpose within it, spirituality will lack meaning for Man.
There's an old sporting saying: "You can only play what's in front of you". I would like to report that religions with sophisticated ideation and metaphysics are growing but increasingly the most influential adherents in church hierarchies seem to be the most conservative fundamentalists.

Still, as you say, this is just the fluff - not the "meat" of the great question: "What is really going on?".

Nick_A wrote:
I do somewhat resent that I was conditioned into the God meme and how this has has coloured and tainted my views. It's so indelibly ingrained in my mind that it interferes with my capacity to see reality without that filter. It's frustrating but I don't apportion blame; religion was more dominant when I was young and it was simply a matter of course for kids to be indoctrinated.
It is unfortunate that you were harmed in this way. It does seem that you have become fixated on a personal god concept which makes you deny the god concept which refers to a source for creation itself. The God concept is not the same as the concept of a particular god..
Not harmed so much as I lost the opportunity to imagine reality. The loss is akin to that of a child observing a bird, whose attention weakens when given the label "bird" - naturally shifting focus to that which most helps survival these days, ie. improving connectivity potential.

I assure you that if there were not so many people fighting against the teaching of evolution, women's and gay rights, first trimester abortions and so on for irrational reasons I would be much less "fixated" on the personal deity.

Consider the "God concept" - "a source for creation itself" - that's extremely speculative. What do you think of John Hagelin's unified field as God?

Are you much keen on sacred geometry? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rx31y1KKK3E

Nick_A wrote:
So I don't care about removing the concept, as you think. I simply want to engage in a thought experiment of imaging how we might see reality if we'd never heard of the God concept. Have you ever tried it, Nick? Imagining how reality may appear if you never knew the God concept? Just out of curiosity to see what it might seem like?
As far back as I can remember I’ve always had the impression that a reality existed far greater than me of which I was a part. I cannot imagine not having this impression. My guess is that there is something deep within Man that is drawn to its source. When a person for some reason learns of God and begins to think of God it nourishes the seed of the soul. It is a natural rather than indoctrinated process.
But why assume the greater entity is God? Why not humanity or the Earth or the solar system or the galaxy, known entities in which we are constituents?

Nick_A wrote:
When I do that I find that the awe and love one would normally associate with a deity shifts to nature, the Earth and the cosmos. One might say that Spinoza sits neatly between theism and atheism - where the grandeur, complexity, beauty, creativity and mystery of universe and nature evokes spiritual ideation, feelings and sensations, and especially so when one sees humanity as a part and expression of the emerging edifices rather than a divinely corrupted antagonist.

So, in the sense that humanity is a part of nature, I do worship this "beast" because I find nature impressive in all of its forms, including the human ones. Under inspection, the nature of reality is simply breathtaking and extraordinary, deity or not.
http://www.iep.utm.edu/plotinus/#SH2a
The 'concept' of the One is not, properly speaking, a concept at all, since it is never explicitly defined by Plotinus, yet it is nevertheless the foundation and grandest expression of his philosophy. Plotinus does make it clear that no words can do justice to the power of the One; even the name, 'the One,' is inadequate, for naming already implies discursive knowledge, and since discursive knowledge divides or separates its objects in order to make them intelligible, the One cannot be known through the process of discursive reasoning (Ennead VI.9.4). Knowledge of the One is achieved through the experience of its 'power' (dunamis) and its nature, which is to provide a 'foundation' (arkhe) and location (topos) for all existents (VI.9.6). The 'power' of the One is not a power in the sense of physical or even mental action; the power of the One, as Plotinus speaks of it, is to be understood as the only adequate description of the 'manifestation' of a supreme principle that, by its very nature, transcends all predication and discursive understanding………………………………
IMO you’ve experienced dunamis within our planet. It is a very meaningful experience. Some are satisfied with that. Others in need of meaning are drawn to philosophy to answer what it means to be human within dunamis. Why seek to destroy this natural impulse only to strengthen the influence of society as the source for objective human meaning and purpose?
Re: your last question, I think the answer is "collateral damage". Cultural selection amongst nations continues to favour those who are most controlled and least tolerant of non-conformity. The advantage of the cohesive over the chaotic has been a feature of human societies for millennia. Once it was religion that galvanised ancient societies and their increased coordination and internal cooperation gave them an advantage over their less organised and committed foes. Now it's nationalism, but they were still societies governed under a strict command system.

So there is certainly a tradeoff between beauty and power, as we are currently observing in nature as the beauty, innocence and complexity of other species is being superseded by human functionality, knowingness and self awareness. The dynamic is not miles from the innocence and sweetness lost for the sake of survival when the child grows to be the adult. Fortunately, a new beauty emerges in the adult (and the "child" is often not truly lost), and so the cycles continue.

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Greta
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Re: Is the concept of "God" necessary, let alone real?

Post by Greta » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:59 am

Reflex wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:09 am
Nick_A wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:12 am
I will consider it if you can express how the ONE can be created from nothing. If you can do that you can sell anything.
Does that go for me, too? It is here we part company, Nick.

In mathematics, zero and infinity represent powerful adversaries at either end of the realm of numbers that are used in modern science. Yet, zero and infinity are two sides of the same coin -- equal and opposite, yin and yang. "Multiply zero by anything and you get zero. Multiply infinity by anything and you get infinity. Dividing a number by zero yields infinity; dividing a number by infinity yields zero. Adding zero to a number leaves the number unchanged. Adding a number to infinity leaves infinity unchanged." Yet, the biggest questions in science, philosophy, and religion are about nothingness and eternity, the void and the infinite, zero and infinity.

I take from this that, in a sense, God is nothing.
Some years ago I started a short story called the Fable of the Immature Deity - in the story God had no idea how it emerged from The Void, which it considered to be primary and mysterious, and was destined to return to it like everything else.

Have you seen the Jim Al-Khalili's documentaries on chaos, nothingness and everything. They are carefully reasoned and deeply thought provoking.

Dubious
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Re: Is the concept of "God" necessary, let alone real?

Post by Dubious » Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:38 am

Greta wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:41 am
If de Chardin is right, then something like God will evolve in the later universe (many billions of years, possibly a trillion or more) but at this stage, the universe seems more chaotic and formative than ordered, in which case God would only exist as an evolutionary potential.
Dubious wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:12 am
Yes. His overall description of it being cosmogenesis based on the involution of the organic from simple to complex which corresponds as a "correlative" increase in consciousness described by him as "interiorisation"; a sublime idea while remaining deeply questionable on both fronts, human & cosmic.
Greta wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:11 am
I must have missed that but first thought is that something like interiorisation is actually happening all the time. What aspects did you find questionable?
I’m not certain by what you mean by “interiorisation” but what TdeC seemingly describes is a compounding of complexity or organic involution denoted as a ceaseless“doubling back” on itself as if it were spiraling inward; once it surpasses certain limits with its correlative effects on consciousness being co-active in the interiorisation process, the journey toward the Omega Point is inevitable and irrevocable.

It’s all a profoundly human theory on human destiny especially in the way he describes the sequence leading to the goal of the Omega Point.

One has to remember that Teilhard died in 1955. On the human front, he couldn’t have imagined - not only scientifically but also on religious grounds - how technology in the form of AI, etc, could have the potential to preempt all that from happening (if it was ever going to happen); also that complexity may create as much error and stupidity in its wake as to preempt the inevitability TC prescribes as a synthesis of evolution and theology or generically, nature and god. Nietzsche understood long before TC the relationship between intelligence and stupidity and how the latter so often appears to be the obverse side of the former.

Cosmically considered, the universe seems to be getting less complex. Star formation is in recession; far fewer stars by report, are being created. Complexity on a macro scale is likely to decrease as the density of star stuff decreases thus diminishing the evolutionary paradigm.The Great Cosmic Fugue, as it appears, isn’t holding together quite well as we once imagined.

De Chardin’s speculations are indeed sublime and still worth the read inculcating a sense of the mystic within life as a whole because at its root, that’s what life is and palpably so as it becomes self-aware striving for expansion. Having said that the Omega Point remains more of fantastical speculation by a brilliant writer with hardly any possibility to consummate it. A little less ambition would be more realistic.

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Re: Is the concept of "God" necessary, let alone real?

Post by Reflex » Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:57 pm

Greta wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:59 am

Some years ago I started a short story called the Fable of the Immature Deity - in the story God had no idea how it emerged from The Void, which it considered to be primary and mysterious, and was destined to return to it like everything else.

Have you seen the Jim Al-Khalili's documentaries on chaos, nothingness and everything. They are carefully reasoned and deeply thought provoking.
No. I looked him up on YouTube. He must be a very busy man with all those videos. I haven’t had the time to look at them, but it’s just the kind of thing I like. Thanks. :D

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Re: Is the concept of "God" necessary, let alone real?

Post by Nick_A » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:29 pm

Reflex wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:09 am
Nick_A wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:12 am
I will consider it if you can express how the ONE can be created from nothing. If you can do that you can sell anything.
Does that go for me, too? It is here we part company, Nick.

In mathematics, zero and infinity represent powerful adversaries at either end of the realm of numbers that are used in modern science. Yet, zero and infinity are two sides of the same coin -- equal and opposite, yin and yang. "Multiply zero by anything and you get zero. Multiply infinity by anything and you get infinity. Dividing a number by zero yields infinity; dividing a number by infinity yields zero. Adding zero to a number leaves the number unchanged. Adding a number to infinity leaves infinity unchanged." Yet, the biggest questions in science, philosophy, and religion are about nothingness and eternity, the void and the infinite, zero and infinity.

I take from this that, in a sense, God is nothing.

Zero may be nothing in terms of math but I’ve come to appreciate zero also as a limit in order to understand the relationship of dimensions.

Zero has no dimensions and best considered a “limit.” The first dimension is length and is understood a as spanning zero to infinity. The second dimension is created by extending lines out from the first dimension creating an infinite plane. This process continues creating the dimensions of universal realities.
For her part, Simone Weil, in one of her last essays, wrote:
"Toujours le même infiniment petit, qui est infiniment plus que tout."
[Always the same infinitely small, which is infinitely more than all.]

If zero is a limit with no dimensions it can refer both to NO-THING or consciousness within which all potentials exist and NOTHING void of any potential. Two limits and both are zero. I believe God is No-thing beyond the scope time and space as opposed to nothing; void of potential. Creation then is a process existing within the eternal present or NOW. Zero then can be appreciated as both infinitely small and large in terms of the process of creation. However the manifestation of a potential may appear larger than the potential which appears small but actually the potential or idea is more than the manifestation.

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Re: Is the concept of "God" necessary, let alone real?

Post by Nick_A » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:34 pm

Greta
Your turn. How do you posit that all came to be?
I begin with what I AM means. What does it mean “to be?” We are creatures of reaction and serving the process of eternal change and always becoming. God IS and the universe is a process always becoming.

This is difficult to explain in a post but I or pure conscious potential must actualize its potential to sustain itself.

Where God as ONE is pure conscious potential, the three elemental forces which are united in ONE, divide into three initiating creation. God then is simultanously one and three. Creation then is the body of God, The process of the eternal repetitions of creations sustain God as ONE outside of the confines of time and space,

Look at the star of David. It has two triangles. One points up and the other points down. They represent the universal continuum. Creation is structured on two flows of forces. The first is involution which creates levels of reality by lawful levels of involution. It is the same idea as the octave of Pythagoras. Each note of the octave is also a level of reality. As you know for example, the note mi in a musical octave doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Its existence is both defined by the scale it is in as well as the notes above and below it. Each level of reality is a middle as well as all created things are middles. The laws of creation are lawful expressions of the laws of vibration and lawful densities of matter. In this way one level of reality exists within the other much like a liquid exists within a solid and a gas within a liquid.

As a potential conscious demiurge, Man has the conscious purpose of serving this great universal structure. We can serve both the process of involution and evolution by receiving from above and giving to below. As we are, we only serve the same mechanical purpose of reaction as does all animal life arising from the earth.

So it seems reasonable to me that we are drawn to conscious evolution much like a moth is drawn to the light. But nature is against it. It needs Man to serve its purposes as does all animal life. The fallen human condition has made it so that we cannot recognize our conscious purpose. So the initial meaning and purpose for Man is to become capable of giving to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. We have to serve the world but at the same time devote our conscious attention to developing our connection with the above and receive help from above. Recognizing and experiencing our dual purpose is the beginning of conscious evolution.

The world doesn’t want it and the powers that be within the world seek to destroy the impulse since it threatens its dominance. The person awakening to see that the emperor has no clothes is in a dangerous position. Society doesn’t serve the deeper needs of the heart and the new seeker does not know where to turn. I’m on the side of keeping conscious influences alive in a world dominated by secularism which desires their elimination by all means possible.

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Re: Is the concept of "God" necessary, let alone real?

Post by Reflex » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:44 pm

Good post, Nick.

When I say God is nothing, I don’t mean it to be taken in a literal sense of course, but to point out the paradoxical nature of reality. The concept of the One is meaningless without diversity and vice versa. The same holds true for “something” and “nothing,” light and dark, good and evil, etc., etc. There are innumerable ways God can be conceived without any one idea being completely devoid of truth. For example, divine simplicity, the One, God being the perfect balance between unity and diversity, God as the Universal Father and God as an infinite sphere whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere (an idea that predates Christianity), all contain an element of truth.

It’s incredibly frustrating for me to engage in debates regarding the existence or nonexistence of God. It matters little idea of the Father we entertain so long as we are spiritually acquainted with the ideal of his infinite and eternal nature. This ideal, which seems so obvious to me, seems to be very difficult for most people to grasp.

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Re: Is the concept of "God" necessary, let alone real?

Post by Dubious » Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:48 am

Reflex wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:44 pm

It’s incredibly frustrating for me to engage in debates regarding the existence or nonexistence of God. It matters little idea of the Father we entertain so long as we are spiritually acquainted with the ideal of his infinite and eternal nature. This ideal, which seems so obvious to me, seems to be very difficult for most people to grasp.
That could be because the ideal or ideas of some remains unreal to others operating only as projected metaphors with a myriad of variations. It's self-evident that those who don't subscribe to these imaginary inflections of divinity also can't know what exists at the root of creation. What usually happens is these high-minded laminations of a higher reality simply get subtracted without much further addition; what survives is the mystery without giving it a name. There are those who don't need to paint with theories that which is impossible to know, realizing they're only sand castles doomed to get leveled not long after they're built.

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Re: Is the concept of "God" necessary, let alone real?

Post by Nick_A » Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:16 am

Reflex
It’s incredibly frustrating for me to engage in debates regarding the existence or nonexistence of God. It matters little idea of the Father we entertain so long as we are spiritually acquainted with the ideal of his infinite and eternal nature. This ideal, which seems so obvious to me, seems to be very difficult for most people to grasp.
I agree. I've experienced that both blind belief and blind denial are habitual reactions to idolatry. When these people dig their heels in it is impossible to introduce the conception of an objective source beyond subjective idolatry.

I started a thread on the Devolution of the Socratic method.
https://forum.philosophynow.org/viewtop ... =5&t=23991

The idea is that at one time philosophy encouraged learning and respecting what we don't know as a door opening to understanding. The method seems to have devolved into justifying our ignorance as truth. The God concept is a perfect example. Debates are now concerned with belief or denial about idolatry. Why must the God concept be limited to reactions to idolatry? What if the reality of the triune universe is beyond the dualism of our senses? Could there be a God discussion designed to reveal our ignorance and encourage the quality of contemplation which can open the mind using the Socratic method? Of course it is possible but if you consider how violently it is opposed it is almost impossible in practice. Secular Progressive education has developed a powerful egoism it will only accept Socratic dialogue. It doesn't want to surrender its prestige by admitting its ignorance.

It doesn't bother me. I've heard it all. I feel sorry for the young in universities who are being indoctrinated into suppressing the inner needs of their heart and its relationship to higher consciousness. They need alternatives. Where can they find them?

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Re: Is the concept of "God" necessary, let alone real?

Post by Walker » Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:49 am

Nick_A wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:16 am
They need alternatives. Where can they find them?
Here’s a link with good writing that stresses the beauty of knowledge.

Nonaccredited though, which translates to worthless in the paradigm of jobs jobs jobs.

Great Courses, Great Profits
https://www.city-journal.org/html/great ... 13393.html

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Re: Is the concept of "God" necessary, let alone real?

Post by Reflex » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:21 am

Nick said:
The idea is that at one time philosophy encouraged learning and respecting what we don't know as a door opening to understanding.
“I don’t know“ is not the same thing as not-knowing. Unlike not-knowing, “I don’t know” is an idea, a belief, shutting the door to the unknown. All too often, “I don’t know” is used as an excuse to avoid discussing or exploring the unknown. (Note the last sentence in Dubious’ last post.) How many times have you seen it in this forum, Nick?

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Greta
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Re: Is the concept of "God" necessary, let alone real?

Post by Greta » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:26 am

No feedback on my story so it seemingly no one has problems with the logic and reasoning. It appears to be one feasible possibility.

Nick_A wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:34 pm
Your turn. How do you posit that all came to be?
I begin with what I AM means. What does it mean “to be?” We are creatures of reaction and serving the process of eternal change and always becoming. God IS and the universe is a process always becoming.

This is difficult to explain in a post but I or pure conscious potential must actualize its potential to sustain itself.

Where God as ONE is pure conscious potential, the three elemental forces which are united in ONE, divide into three initiating creation. God then is simultanously one and three. Creation then is the body of God, The process of the eternal repetitions of creations sustain God as ONE outside of the confines of time and space,
This is more like it! :)

Interestingly, the story of today's science has it that four elemental forces were originally combined in the "ONE" and when it inflated it split into gravity, the strong and weak nuclear forces and electromagnetism. It really depends on the angle one takes - and there appear to be many of them.

We seemingly agree with "endless repetitions", though. That's what I see - everything constantly inverting and everting at different rates. Feedback resulting in new fractal layers seems to be ubiquitous, although variable in tempo, intensity and complexity.

Nick_A wrote:Look at the star of David. It has two triangles. One points up and the other points down. They represent the universal continuum. Creation is structured on two flows of forces. The first is involution which creates levels of reality by lawful levels of involution. It is the same idea as the octave of Pythagoras. Each note of the octave is also a level of reality. As you know for example, the note mi in a musical octave doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Its existence is both defined by the scale it is in as well as the notes above and below it. Each level of reality is a middle as well as all created things are middles. The laws of creation are lawful expressions of the laws of vibration and lawful densities of matter. In this way one level of reality exists within the other much like a liquid exists within a solid and a gas within a liquid.
I appreciate that you are trying to describe in hundreds of words that which ideally needs much more than a forum can accommodate, so I will approach your ideas generally rather than critically.

We seemingly mostly access different or parallel bodies of knowledge that are increasingly separated by subcultures. The result is we can argue about something while actually being in agreement. Often we seem to describe roughly the same things, but with different language, boundaries and categorisations. Thus, I find myself "translating" your ideas into my familiar language and categories.

So your reference to two great flows of forces means to me that we have one set of forces pushing inwards and another pushing outwards, or it could be thought of as one force with variant characteristics. Inwards forces are gravity, centripetal force, the strong nuclear force, opposite pole magnetism, while the outwards forces are dark energy, centrifugal force, the weak and same pole magnetism. In terms of life, the inwards drive is survival and the outwards drive is growth. Emotionally that translates to fear and love.

Much of the above sacred geometry you describe seems to echo the work of Russian mystic, Gurdjieff, and his Ray of Creation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_of_Creation:
The first level is "The Absolute", followed by "All Worlds", "All Suns", "Sun", "All Planets", "Earth", "Moon", and "The Absolute"
Trouble is, G devised this model before other levels were found such as galaxies, galactic clusters and galactic superclusters. Meanwhile, there is something ridiculously huge called The Great Attractor that is pulling millions of galaxies towards it, so that could be another level again if we ever find out what it is.

Maybe the additional elements will lead to a chromatic rather than a diatonic scale? Then again, what of the Indian quarter tone divisions? There's a lot of ways of harmonising effectively.

Nick_A wrote:As a potential conscious demiurge, Man has the conscious purpose of serving this great universal structure. We can serve both the process of involution and evolution by receiving from above and giving to below. As we are, we only serve the same mechanical purpose of reaction as does all animal life arising from the earth.

So it seems reasonable to me that we are drawn to conscious evolution much like a moth is drawn to the light. But nature is against it. It needs Man to serve its purposes as does all animal life. The fallen human condition has made it so that we cannot recognize our conscious purpose. So the initial meaning and purpose for Man is to become capable of giving to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. We have to serve the world but at the same time devote our conscious attention to developing our connection with the above and receive help from above. Recognizing and experiencing our dual purpose is the beginning of conscious evolution.
Who to serve, if anyone? Without putting too fine a point on it, yes, people generally tend to be far too dickheaded to be worthy of service, and our technological corporate structures too antithetical towards our personal individual interests - but "Caesar" has his demands and we basically either play along with him or be punished.

Meanwhile, conscious evolution continues apace for the elites, but that is seemingly not the case for the masses when one considers the increasingly basic and unchallenging nature of entertainment. Due to intelligent technology, the increasing dullness of the masses seems to advantage the progression of those at the top by simply presenting less competition. There is a physical analogy: as Olympic athletes break ever more records, their audiences become ever more fat and sedentary. In terms of the ancients, most of the masses would be thought of as geniuses in one area and disabled in every other way.

It's fascinating - the bifurcation of humanity in in train. It probably won't be pretty, but what in life is?

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Greta
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Re: Is the concept of "God" necessary, let alone real?

Post by Greta » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:50 am

Dubious wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:38 am
Greta wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:41 am
If de Chardin is right, then something like God will evolve in the later universe (many billions of years, possibly a trillion or more) but at this stage, the universe seems more chaotic and formative than ordered, in which case God would only exist as an evolutionary potential.
Dubious wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:12 am
Yes. His overall description of it being cosmogenesis based on the involution of the organic from simple to complex which corresponds as a "correlative" increase in consciousness described by him as "interiorisation"; a sublime idea while remaining deeply questionable on both fronts, human & cosmic.
I’m not certain by what you mean by “interiorisation” but what TdeC seemingly describes is a compounding of complexity or organic involution denoted as a ceaseless “doubling back” on itself as if it were spiraling inward; once it surpasses certain limits with its correlative effects on consciousness being co-active in the interiorisation process, the journey toward the Omega Point is inevitable and irrevocable.

It’s all a profoundly human theory on human destiny especially in the way he describes the sequence leading to the goal of the Omega Point.
That beautifully expresses a fairly unformed notion in my head - thanks!
Dubious wrote:One has to remember that Teilhard died in 1955. On the human front, he couldn’t have imagined - not only scientifically but also on religious grounds - how technology in the form of AI, etc, could have the potential to preempt all that from happening (if it was ever going to happen); also that complexity may create as much error and stupidity in its wake as to preempt the inevitability TC prescribes as a synthesis of evolution and theology or generically, nature and god. Nietzsche understood long before TC the relationship between intelligence and stupidity and how the latter so often appears to be the obverse side of the former.
These are all just growing pains. I was off-the-wall for my first half century of life so I rather relate to humanity's current crazy period. I thus remain optimistic that we will improve (failing killer asteroids etc, of course). Humanity's has been a potted course, but the distance travelled has been extraordinary in a short time. Humanity per se is not in danger, just most individual humans.
Dubious wrote:Cosmically considered, the universe seems to be getting less complex. Star formation is in recession; far fewer stars by report, are being created. Complexity on a macro scale is likely to decrease as the density of star stuff decreases thus diminishing the evolutionary paradigm.The Great Cosmic Fugue, as it appears, isn’t holding together quite well as we once imagined.
Once could say that the cup of the observable universe taken from the ocean of the actual universe is half empty. I note that planet formation stopped in our solar system 4.5 billions years ago, and that made life possible. Anywhere that stars are forming is a place that life as we know it can't exist.

Just as it's problematic to think of humanity as a whole, the same can be said for the cosmos. Complexity increases locally at the expense of complexity of the environment. Even if humans fail, who is to say that life forms elsewhere won't be luckier or more effective?
Dubious wrote:De Chardin’s speculations are indeed sublime and still worth the read inculcating a sense of the mystic within life as a whole because at its root, that’s what life is and palpably so as it becomes self-aware striving for expansion. Having said that the Omega Point remains more of fantastical speculation by a brilliant writer with hardly any possibility to consummate it. A little less ambition would be more realistic.
Fair enough and this comes to exactly the point of this thread. If de Chardin had never known of the God concept, what might he have envisaged?

How do you describe an entity or entities with what we'd consider godlike capabilities without ever knowing of the concept of deities? Wow-things? Oh my [...] I don't believe its! What the Fs? :)

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