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

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

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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 5:22 am

Nick_A wrote:
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.

[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.
As far as we know there has only ever been something, plenty of it being too subtle for us to detect from our limited perspective as relative Flatlanders on the Earth's surface. That we have found out as much as we have is an extraordinary achievement.

While NOTHING appears to be purely a relative concept, I think most people take infinity as a given, that reality doesn't seem to have an edge - and even if it did, it might be growing at an incomprehensible speed, in which case infinity is as good a description for it as any. While nothing is purely relative, infinity is basically a shrug of resignation by little beings within a much larger entities, well within a nested fractal Russian doll reality.

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

Post by Reflex » Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:12 am

About your story, Greta. An evolving God of space and time is not a new idea and it’s one I considered long ago. It’s a viable idea on that level, the level of space and time, but not at the level of infinity and eternity because such a God is, by definition, contingent on a prior or more fundamental reality.

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

Post by Nick_A » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:50 pm

Greta had mentioned Gurdjieff but I dislike discussing ideas he introduced into the West since they can acquire a negative connotation for those into debate because they do challenge what we think we are. Yet like all great ideas they are like an enema. If we need them they are very good for cleaing us out of all the inner BS that guides our lives. If we don't want them they are just a pain in the ass.

But Gurdjieff's description of the difference between knowledge and being is essential for the topic question if the concept of God is necessary. This excerpt is from Ouspensky's book "In Search of the Miraculous." Gurdjieff is explaining "understanding --pages 64-65
"There are, he said, "two lines along which man's development proceeds, the line of knowledge and the line of being. In right evolution the line of knowledge and the line of being develop simultaneously, parallel to, and helping one another. But if the line of knowledge gets too far ahead of the line of being, or if the line of being gets ahead of the line of knowledge, man's development goes wrong, and sooner or later it must come to a standstill.

"People understand what 'knowledge' means. And they understand the possibility of different levels of knowledge. They understand that knowledge may be lesser or greater, that is to say, of one quality or of another quality. But they do not understand this in relation to 'being.' 'Being,' for them, means simply 'existence' to which is opposed just 'nonexistence.' They do not understand that being or existence may be of very different levels or categories. Take for instance the being of a mineral and of a plant. It is a different being. The being of a plant and of an animal is again a different being. The being of an animal and of a man is a different being. But the being of two people can differ from one another more than the being of a mineral and of an animal. This is exactly what people do not understand. And they do not understand that knowledge depends on being. Not only do they not understand this latter, but they definitely do not wish to understand it. And especially in Western culture it is considered that a man may posses great knowledge, for example he may be an able scientist, make discoveries, advance science, and at the same time he may be, and has the right to be, a petty, egoistic, caviling, mean, envious, vain, na•ve, and absent-minded man. It seems to be considered here that a professor must always forget his umbrella everywhere.

"And yet it is his being. And people think that his knowledge does not depend on his being. People of the Western culture put great value on the level of a man's knowledge but they do not value the level of a man's being and are not ashamed of the low level of their own being.

"If knowledge gets far ahead of being, it becomes theoretical and abstract and inapplicable to life, or actually harmful, because instead of serving life and helping people the better to struggle with the difficulties they meet, it begins to complicate man's life, brings new difficulties into it, new troubles and calamities which were not there before.

"The reason for this is that knowledge which is not in accordance with being cannot be large enough for, or sufficiently suited to, man's real needs. It will always be a knowledge of one thing together with ignorance of another thing; a knowledge of the detail without a knowledge of the whole; a knowledge of the form without a knowledge of the essence."
Which do you prefer: being indoctrinated through knowledge offered by education or acquiring the quality of being capable of understanding? But if we don't know what "being" is how can we appreciate the relativity of human "being" much less its relationship to its Source? The God concept is understood by human being but it is easily denied by conditioning. We know what is necessary to acquire more knowledge but in general we don't know what is necessary to develop our being. But if a balance is necessary between knowledge and being for our species to evolve, it is obvious that these qualities when out of balance must lead to inevitable destruction.

Is God necessary? How can we acquire the quality of being which enables us to verify the answer?

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Eodnhoj7
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Re: Is the concept of "God" necessary, let alone real?

Post by Eodnhoj7 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:57 pm

Covered this some months ago.

Existence does not always imply necessity:

https://forum.philosophynow.org/viewtop ... 11&t=23399

fooloso4
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Re: Is the concept of "God" necessary, let alone real?

Post by fooloso4 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:51 pm

The concept of God in some form is necessary for those who desire God. The desire creates a reality, for a desire must be a desire for something; but it forgets its origin and calls it “reality”. Because this is what it desires it creates the illusion of unchanging stability, certainty, and meaning. Aquinas and others held that philosophy is the handmaiden of theology. Reason is put in the service of a desire that leads beyond itself. But reason has never been up to the task of what is needed - a mythology, a creation of the imagination that creates creation and imagines it is not imagined, that is, the making of an image, but revealed or intuited or present to consciousness in transcendence.

The problem, in my opinion, is not personification but the claim of knowledge of things unknown. The deception often follows along these lines: conviction leads to certainty and certainly to knowledge. The unknown becomes the blank canvas on which one paints. The images are deemed worthy of worship and those who worship these idols become perturbed by and indignant to those who dare claim that what they hold in highest esteem are images made in their own likeness.

Amen.

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

Post by Nick_A » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:55 pm

Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:57 pm
Covered this some months ago.

Existence does not always imply necessity:

https://forum.philosophynow.org/viewtop ... 11&t=23399
The question of God is difficult because people argue idolatry and idolatry isn't necessary. But for us to know if creation necessitates a source requires abandoning idolatry and discovering what human being is in the context of the great scale of being. Only then can we impartially consciously verify that a Source for creation is a necessity.

Secularism maintains its self justification by imagination provoking blind denial of what allows for the conscious experience of the human condition. Humanity is fortunate that a minority still exists in the world who are willing to sacrifice the egoistic benefits of blind denial in order to pursue the pearl of great price or conscious understanding. If the world ever completely loses the help of conscious influences, Man cannot survive in it.

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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 11:22 pm

Reflex wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:12 am
About your story, Greta. An evolving God of space and time is not a new idea and it’s one I considered long ago. It’s a viable idea on that level, the level of space and time, but not at the level of infinity and eternity because such a God is, by definition, contingent on a prior or more fundamental reality.
Yes, my tale is a rough retelling of current orthodoxy - that works with the laws of physics as we know them. The issue here is, as you allude, "as we know them".

We will always be wrong to some extent in that our models are always incomplete (and we will never know everything) so a posited reality that fits into that incomplete model is an incomplete reality at best, although it will probably be more reliable than less grounded speculation.

The biggest gap in the story is the issue of insides and outsides, and my tale was one of outsides, not insides. The emerging story of "insides" is more mysterious, raising questions of relative panvitalism or panpsychism and the nature of the contrast between chemical and physical reactions and conscious responses.

One possible solution to the problem of other minds is the idea that it is actually all one mind - that each mind is the same mind as others, just in a different setting. It is that one mind that some would call God or a "collective unconscious". Then again, who is to say that one mind isn't a collective human mind, or the Earth's mind, or that of the Sun or the galaxy?

While great value seems to be afforded to The Ultimate, this seems to detract from the value afforded to the intermediates. The dynamic reminds of the way Olypmic gold medal winners are lauded while a silver medallist unluckily missing out by the barest of margins is forgotten - degrees of recognition in the public sphere are apportioned exponentially rather than linearly.

Simply, it seems that God is getting a lot of the good publicity that was more likely "earned" by humanity en masse, the Earth, the galaxy etc.

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

Post by Dubious » Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:33 pm

”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.
Greta wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:50 am
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?
I think, based on the main import of his theory, not unlike what was written without the theological gloss. The significance of the Omega Point demands more of philosophy and science; it doesn’t need to be wrapped in any kind of Christian apologetics or synthesis the inclusion of which only adds to an inert type mysticism.
Greta wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:50 am
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?

...by any generic abstraction you like, most of the them you already know.

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

Post by Greta » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:07 am

Dubious wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:33 pm
”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.
Greta wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:50 am
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?
I think, based on the main import of his theory, not unlike what was written without the theological gloss. The significance of the Omega Point demands more of philosophy and science; it doesn’t need to be wrapped in any kind of Christian apologetics or synthesis the inclusion of which only adds to an inert type mysticism.
Yes, evolution does not need to be wrapped in anything. However, when one considers how utterly outclassed humanity would be by aliens just a hundred years more advanced than us, when we consider the possibilities of evolution over the best part of a trillion years, then we may be akin to a toddler, or even embryonic as compared with what's to come.

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

Post by Dubious » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:26 am

Greta wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:07 am
Dubious wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:33 pm
”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.
I think, based on the main import of his theory, not unlike what was written without the theological gloss. The significance of the Omega Point demands more of philosophy and science; it doesn’t need to be wrapped in any kind of Christian apologetics or synthesis the inclusion of which only adds to an inert type mysticism.
Yes, evolution does not need to be wrapped in anything. However, when one considers how utterly outclassed humanity would be by aliens just a hundred years more advanced than us, when we consider the possibilities of evolution over the best part of a trillion years, then we may be akin to a toddler, or even embryonic as compared with what's to come.
Personally, I would be very wary of that conclusion. Who says that evolution can't lead to devolution even by some unknown we ourselves initiate; or how many possible alien civilizations may have suffered, in spite of their advancement, that kind of fate. T de C's conclusion that once we reach a certain boiling point in consciousness the odyssey toward complexity can no-longer be infringed is a dangerous assumption in a universe which offers no guarantees at any level.

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

Post by Eodnhoj7 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:29 am

Nick_A wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:55 pm
Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:57 pm
Covered this some months ago.

Existence does not always imply necessity:

https://forum.philosophynow.org/viewtop ... 11&t=23399
The question of God is difficult because people argue idolatry and idolatry isn't necessary. But for us to know if creation necessitates a source requires abandoning idolatry and discovering what human being is in the context of the great scale of being. Only then can we impartially consciously verify that a Source for creation is a necessity.

Secularism maintains its self justification by imagination provoking blind denial of what allows for the conscious experience of the human condition. Humanity is fortunate that a minority still exists in the world who are willing to sacrifice the egoistic benefits of blind denial in order to pursue the pearl of great price or conscious understanding. If the world ever completely loses the help of conscious influences, Man cannot survive in it.
God can be both necessary and unnecessary in the same time in different respects. In regards to "necessity" being a standard for his existence, it does not apply. God can exist without being necessary... in very short terms existences does not always imply necessity.

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

Post by Nick_A » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:48 am

Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:29 am
Nick_A wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:55 pm
Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:57 pm
Covered this some months ago.

Existence does not always imply necessity:

https://forum.philosophynow.org/viewtop ... 11&t=23399
The question of God is difficult because people argue idolatry and idolatry isn't necessary. But for us to know if creation necessitates a source requires abandoning idolatry and discovering what human being is in the context of the great scale of being. Only then can we impartially consciously verify that a Source for creation is a necessity.

Secularism maintains its self justification by imagination provoking blind denial of what allows for the conscious experience of the human condition. Humanity is fortunate that a minority still exists in the world who are willing to sacrifice the egoistic benefits of blind denial in order to pursue the pearl of great price or conscious understanding. If the world ever completely loses the help of conscious influences, Man cannot survive in it.
God can be both necessary and unnecessary in the same time in different respects. In regards to "necessity" being a standard for his existence, it does not apply. God can exist without being necessary... in very short terms existences does not always imply necessity.
I agree. The world is a living machine governed by universal laws.The conscious source for creation is unnecessary for the machine. Mechanics are necessary to support the workings of the machine, not the conscious source of creation. Expressions of the Source such as grace are necessary for animal Man feeling the impulse towards conscious evolution and the necessity for becoming conscious Man participating in objective human meaning and purpose.

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

Post by Nick_A » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:28 am

Is the concept of a whole necessary to define fractions? Can halves, quarters, eigths and so on exist without a relationship to a whole? Why not. We believe we can have opinions without any connection from the whole from which they originated. If creation doesn't require a source for its devolutions, does that mean the perception of colors doesn't require white light as its origin and Man doesn't require a source for its creation?

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

Post by Greta » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:43 am

Nick_A wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:28 am
Is the concept of a whole necessary to define fractions? Can halves, quarters, eigths and so on exist without a relationship to a whole? Why not. We believe we can have opinions without any connection from the whole from which they originated. If creation doesn't require a source for its devolutions, does that mean the perception of colors doesn't require white light as its origin and Man doesn't require a source for its creation?
But why the whole necessarily be God? Why couldn't it be the universe or multiverse or maybe something else we haven't thought about?

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

Post by Reflex » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:56 am

Greta wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:43 am
Nick_A wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:28 am
Is the concept of a whole necessary to define fractions? Can halves, quarters, eigths and so on exist without a relationship to a whole? Why not. We believe we can have opinions without any connection from the whole from which they originated. If creation doesn't require a source for its devolutions, does that mean the perception of colors doesn't require white light as its origin and Man doesn't require a source for its creation?
But why the whole necessarily be God? Why couldn't it be the universe or multiverse or maybe something else we haven't thought about?
Because those things are contingent.

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