original religion

Tell us a little about yourself.

Moderators: AMod, iMod

Post Reply
samofsinope
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:28 pm

original religion

Post by samofsinope »

Over the last fifty years I have developed what I believe to be a unique religion/theory of God/theology/philosophy. I would like to share this with others and get CONSTRUCTIVE criticisms. I have shared this with a few friends and gotten a response rather to the effect that it is 'kinda interesting, maybe right, but not very uplifting.' (I'm paraphrasing). Well my attempt was not to be uplifting, but to get it right. My theory reconciles science with religion. It is a logical theory of God, one that neither dismisses the nearly universal search for spiritual truth as plain stupidity; nor accepts as facts, religious claims that simply cannot be true.

I am looking for a forum where I can present this theory for review without having it either summarily dismissed as silly without comment, or politely affirmed also without comment. Would this be the place to do this?

Thank you
chaz wyman
Posts: 5305
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:31 pm

Re: original religion

Post by chaz wyman »

samofsinope wrote:Over the last fifty years I have developed what I believe to be a unique religion/theory of God/theology/philosophy. I would like to share this with others and get CONSTRUCTIVE criticisms. I have shared this with a few friends and gotten a response rather to the effect that it is 'kinda interesting, maybe right, but not very uplifting.' (I'm paraphrasing). Well my attempt was not to be uplifting, but to get it right. My theory reconciles science with religion. It is a logical theory of God, one that neither dismisses the nearly universal search for spiritual truth as plain stupidity; nor accepts as facts, religious claims that simply cannot be true.

I am looking for a forum where I can present this theory for review without having it either summarily dismissed as silly without comment, or politely affirmed also without comment. Would this be the place to do this?

Thank you
You could try, but this is a philosophy website, and not a theology one.
To be fair most people who contribute here do not have much in the way of philosophy credentials, but they might give you a good challenge.
But also to be fair, many will have heard it all before.
Might I suggest a place where you would be less likely to get insulted?

http://forums.philosophyforums.com/

... as this Forum is only lightly moderated.
User avatar
The Voice of Time
Posts: 2234
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:18 pm
Location: Norway

Re: original religion

Post by The Voice of Time »

I'm gonna promise to not be entirely deconstructive... although I never visit religion-forum anyways these days so you won't stumble upon me there...
thedoc
Posts: 6473
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:18 pm

Re: original religion

Post by thedoc »

Welcome to the forum Samofsinope, Actually this question is something I've been contemplating for some time now. I would recoment that you start with Joseph Campbell's work on Mythology. As religions grow out of Mythology, and Campbell has proposed that all Mythology had the same origins, because thay all have the same basic Myths, then all religions would have the same origins. The process then would be to find the earliest versions of all religions and the Mythology out of which they developed and look for the commonalities. If you have been looking into this for any length of time you should have found references to the Christian Mythology, as recorded in the Bible, being mostly borrowed from earlier traditions. And the time the Jewish people spend in exile in other areas would certainly have given them the opportunity to absorb those Myths and incorporate them into the Old Testament stories. This has been expressed in Campbells writings. In another book "The Egyptian Ideas of the afterlife' the author clearly states that the Egyptian religion is basically Monotheistic and since the Hebrews spent time there in captivity that is another concept that they could have addopted or it could have reinforced their earlier beliefs. There is a lot to explore with this idea.

BTW Campbell's 'Thou Art That' seems to be the work that deals the most directly with this, but then I haven't read everything he has written.
Nikolai
Posts: 232
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:36 pm
Location: Finland

Re: original religion

Post by Nikolai »

I think you'll find me a useful sounding board -fire away!!

Nikolai
chaz wyman
Posts: 5305
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:31 pm

Re: original religion

Post by chaz wyman »

Nikolai wrote:I think you'll find me a useful sounding board -fire away!!

Nikolai
I hope you are not holding your breath.
samofsinope
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:28 pm

Re: original religion

Post by samofsinope »

OK. Thank you all. In a nutshell, God is the opposite of entropy. More precisely, God is the essence life and life is the opposite of entropy. You may recall that entropy is a generally destructive process without any particular focus. It is mostly about destroying distinctions (in physics between hot and cold (this translates to a loss of energy)) and information. Life is always directed in its behavior and generally produces distinctions (energy gradients) and information. Entropy destroys organization. Life creates organization.

I have fleshed this out more completely in a one act play called ‘Judgment Day’ which is intended to distinguish my theory of God from the Judaic-Christian theory. It is a dramatization and as such differs from pure theory in that it utilizes a conscious, sentient God inclined to carry on conversations with the recently deceased in order to explain itself. Obviously something operating on the same field as entropy is not apt to carry on conversations with anyone or to even be able to. Also, I include in the play a theory of heaven. My description of heaven is consistent with my theory of God, but is really separate from it and unnecessary for it. However, most of what is otherwise contained in the play is part of my theory. The spirit of Life, God, functions as the opposite of entropy. Both are entirely mutually pervasive, entropy penetrates and undoes the effects of life, life penetrates and undoes the effects of entropy.
All life forms are the agent of the essence of life or God, that is how the essence of life functions. Life forms organize the world around them. They create order and meaning. The higher the life form, the more evident this is. The fact that humans fight with and try to destroy one another is just an example of entropy having worked its way into the system, spreading mis-information; but each human is trying to improve things by his or hers standard. The lack of control that permits things to go wrong amounts to free will. This is obviously the case with respect to humans and – by extension to all life. I maintain that it also pertains to inanimate events. In the play I have God choosing to allow random events. My essential theory doesn't really care. If there is, in fact, a Creator then It made life and entropy operate independently. If there is not a creator, then it just turned out that they operate independently. The point is that there are random events that allow both entropy and life to operate. If there were no random events, there would be neither life nor entropy.


Here is the play.



Judgment Day

Sam appears in a lavishly appointed office, elegant marble floor with an oriental rug and rosewood bookcases, an assortment of clocks moving at different speeds, plants, a large desk and a neatly bearded man behind the desk. Sam fearfully approaches the desk.
G: Sam! Good to see you. You're right on time. [smiles to himself]
S: Who are you?
G: God, of course. You know who I am.
S: You exist!
G: Obviously.
S: Well there was some doubt.
G: I don’t think so. Oh some people doubt the descriptions of me given by some religions – and with good reason - but there are very few people who doubt that I exist.
S: They say they do. Make a big deal out of it.
G: They are hurt and disappointed when they decide that the description provided by their church doesn't ring true. It is a call for help, really. They are, for the most part, people who are so desperate for proof of my existence that they are willing to risk going to hell to have it. And too, there are some that are just fed up with the nonsense their church is handing them. But they all believe in me, or want to.

S: (Looks around) What is this?
G: You're judgment day, of course. I've been looking forward to it. This should be fun.
S: My judgment day? [fear increasing].
G: Absolutely. [God stands up, and puts out his chest.] Okay. Let’s get started. No time like the present! (smiles again) Give me your best shot.
S: Do what? {terrified and confused]
G: Give me your judgment. Tell me how I did. Come on. You've been asking me questions all your life, and some pretty good ones. Now's your chance to get some answers.
S: You want me to judge you?
G: Absolutely!
S: I thought you were supposed to judge me
G: Ya Know, I get that a lot.
S: That’s what the bible says.
G: I don’t know if the people who wrote the bible thought I was a sadist or just stupid. Why would I judge you? Your life’s over. What would be the point? Wouldn't it have been better for me to tell you how you were doing a little earlier on?
S: I guess.
G: Turns out I did.
S: You did?
G: (nodding) Yes. And for the most part, you heard me. A lot of folks don’t.
S: Maybe you should have spoken louder. I’m sorry! None of my business.
G: No. It is your business. That’s what you’re here for. Look. If I went around making certain everyone listened to my voice in their head, I might as well just do everything myself. You existed to help me, not the other way around. The voice was as loud as it needed to be and not so loud as to drown out other, more immediate things. I know it wasn't always easy, but you listened to it. Most do.
S: Then you don’t judge us. Send the wicked to hell. All that.
G: No. Like I said, what good is it going to do to send folks to hell? Besides, you did quite well.
S: I did?
G: Yes! Very well, indeed!
(silence)
S: I remember getting kind of mad at you a few times.
G: More than a few, and rightly so.
(silence)
S: I’m supposed to ask you questions..
G: Yes. I expect it will be quite satisfying for you. And you deserve some answers.

S: O.K. O.K. Why is there evil in the world? [smiles]
G: Hmm. You would start with that one. You know. I actually find this question irritating. [in a sing song voice] ‘Why…is there evil…in the world’. I didn't used to find it irritating. The first billion times I heard it, I thought it was a good question. You are supposed to be concerned about good and evil. I made you to be concerned about good and evil. Then I realized that there was this undercurrent in the question. It’s really an indictment. I mean, I’m being accused of something here - mismanagement of some sort. [the room darkens and a cold wind picks up]
S: No! [alarmed] No. No. I just wondered. You said I could ask you questions.
G: I’m sorry. You’re right, of course. [lights come back up] Well the short answer is that evil happens because things aren't perfect, because it can happen. You know the old saw: In an infinite universe, anything that can happen will happen. Evil exists because it can exist. But that’s not really an answer. Tell me. Why do you think there’s evil in the world?”
S: My pastor says it’s a test, to see how we do in adversity. To separate the pure from the corrupt.
G: Ridiculous. I know how you would do in adversity. I made you, remember. Besides, what is the point of the test? If it’s to make people better, don’t you think I would have learned how by now. Try again.
S: My brother seems to think that evil is a teaching aid. So that people learn the consequences of greed and stupidity.
G: Nope. Why wouldn't I just give you the information? Why punish you in the learning process?
S: How about some sort of tempering process, not learning exactly. More like forging steel through heat, making us more devoted to good, by making us experience evil.
G: An interesting answer, but again, why wouldn't I just make you as devoted as I think you should be from the start? Fact is, I have.
Have you noticed that all your answers are about you? Not you, specifically, but about mankind. What if evil existed for reasons that had nothing to do with mankind?
S: I don’t understand. How can evil not have anything to do with mankind?
G. Hmmm. (God frowns) Let me tell you a little about myself. I came to consciousness a long time ago. well, actually, before the beginning of time. Time is one of my inventions. Infinitely long ago. I was alone. Now I wasn't alone in the sense of not having any friends or being the only one in the room, or even the only one on a desert island. There was no room. No island. There was no ocean. There was nothing. No light, no dark, hot or cold. There was no language since language depends on a variety of things and events. I was completely alone. I was powerful, of course. Well, you might suppose I would be with no physical laws to constrain me. I created a universe. You could say I did it out of anger or frustration or loneliness, but ascribing human emotions to me is misleading at best. I would say 'out of some divine motivation' and leave it at that. Well, that universe didn't last long. It didn't have any structure. It collapsed very quickly. You would say, in a matter of seconds, although it really existed beyond time.
Even so, it was a delightful creation. In those few seconds, I experienced what you would call physical reality, beginnings, endings, hot, cold, extents, beauty. It was absorbing. It was exhilarating. I created another universe, and another. After an embarrassing number of short-lived universes, I realized that I was going to have to start with some laws. The universe would be vast, ornate, beautiful and stable. And so it was. More vast than you can possibly imagine. More ornate too, with structures that started at the atomic level and worked all the way up to structures the size of planets. All perfectly stable. But ultimately, it was also boring. Then one day I let some things happen randomly. This is not as easy for me as it is for you. When you’re as powerful as I am, not controlling something is a little difficult, but I managed. The universe that was created was just as beautiful, as ornate; and it was something more. It was occasionally surprising. I was delighted. I started allowing random elements into all my universes. They were much more interesting than the things I created in their entirety, but they weren't stable. They ended up, well, dissipating, collapsing. Now you have to understand that before, when I designed the universe down to the last quark, they were perfect. Each was a little different, but each was exactly as I intended – which is to say - perfect. So these random variations were imperfections. This is an important point. I want to make certain you understand it.
S: I understand. It’s like a diamond. Those with imperfections are more valuable.
G: Right, except that these imperfections really ended up decaying planetary orbits, causing suns to die, etc. As I said, causing the universes to collapse. It was really to be expected. When I plan a universe in its entirety, every piece is part of the balance. If I allow any part of the universe to be unplanned, then the balance will eventually be lost and the universe will collapse. It happens at all levels, electrons collide, tides wash away shorelines, suns explode. Information is lost. I needed something that builds up. I needed something that builds form and function and information as well. The imperfections in a diamond don’t cause a diamond to collapse. If I might borrow a term from your human literature, it needed a divine spark. The universe needed something that was both a part of the physical world and part of me, something that would work to restore balance - and beauty. So, a dozen or so universes back I started dabbling with divine sparks. You call it life. The first life forms I created were too strident. They were too rigid, too unforgiving. They ended up spending all of their energies fighting harmless imperfections, instead of looking after their own needs. They ended up dying out before they evolved to anything that was really useful. Of course, in the next universe, the divine spark was too forgiving. They let imperfections go that were really dangerous to their own survival. They also died out quickly. It wasn't until quite recently that I succeeded in creating a universe where life developed to the point that you would call intelligent. Of course, that's just more of your human arrogance. The lowest garden snail is intelligent by any sort of impartial standard. Anyway, life has evolved in this universe to the point where you are aware of my existence, and are asking me questions. It was what, 10,000 years ago? Imagine my reaction. I remember it as though it were yesterday.
(pause)
That's a little joke. I mean I create little bubbles of time in order to do things that require time - like this conversation - but I'm really pretty much timeless. So it really was, I mean for all practical purposes - yesterday.
(another short pause while George tries to decide how to react to this.)
Never mind. Imagine my reaction. I had been completely alone for time beyond time. I had been alone in a physical universe thinking only physical thoughts for hundreds of eternities. Now there was someone to talk to. Their questions were fairly infantile, but out of the mouth of babes and all that. I wasn't certain that life was the answer to a perfect universe, but it was certainly worth creating.
S: So we’re devine sparks?
G: Right (smiles)
S: We’re supposed to restore the universe. Reverse this decay.
G: You were a scientist. Call it entropy.
S: Call what entropy?
G: The decay.
S: Entropy? Are you talking about the loss of energy in a system or the loss of signal integration in communication?
G: Both. I knew you’d understand.
S: I don’t understand at all! We’re supposed to stop entropy?
G: Not stop it. Balance it. Restore what needs to be restored. Think of the world as a garden and man as a gardener.
S: Except that were talking about the universe here.
G: Yes.
S: Mankind is supposed to keep planetary orbits from decaying and suns from dying.
G: Yes.
S: How are we supposed to do that?
G: Well. You’re not the only life in the universe and besides, you have a few million years before things really heat up. Heat up. Heat death, get it? (Smiles) Plenty of time for mankind to get their footing.
S: Wait. Wait. Tell me again why you don’t do it yourself. I mean, you being God and all, wouldn't it be easier…
G: No it wouldn't. Nor would it be as much fun for me, I kind of like having you guys around, and, besides if I did it myself, you guys wouldn't exist.
S: Because you wouldn't need us.
G: Well not just that. You more or less depend on entropy to exist.
S: But we’re supposed to fight it.
G: Hmm. Let me back up a little. I allowed a bit of disorder – randomness – into creation. The randomness allowed, caused really, the universe to disintegrate because things were no longer interacting perfectly. I mean, if things are perfect in every detail, there is no randomness. You must see that. When I introduced randomness, things were no longer perfect.
S: And randomness somehow caused life to exist.
G: Well, life is a chemical process that has consciousness and makes choices. If there were no randomness in creation, then there would be nothing for life to respond to. It is true there would be no need for life, but really more to the point, there would be no choices either. It’s difficult to imagine consciousness without choices. Besides, what would be the point?
S: You’re talking about free will here.
G: Hmm. O.K. For the third time. When I created the earlier universes, let’s call them the preternatural universes, I chose where everything went. Now, when people use the word ‘everything’ they mean ’most things’ or ‘everything they know of’ I mean everything. Every photon, every atom, I decided where everything went! There were no subatomic particles because the atomic particles didn't collide, didn't decay. Now, if I am predetermining everything, then what would ever go wrong? Nothing. If there were life-forms in such a universe, how would they differ from dead matter. They would do exactly what I predetermined they should do and nothing else. They would think exactly those thoughts that I predetermined they should think. Want exactly what I predetermined they should want. What would be the point? Think of it as free will if you like. But it extends beyond humans, beyond life. Supposing that free will only applies to humans is more of your arrogance. What you want to label free will is the spontaneity that extends to all matter and energy.
S: and it is destroying the universe.
G: Yes. Either there is randomness – entropy - or there isn't. If there is randomness then things can go wrong. And do! I could do away with the randomness, the entropy, but then there would be no choices to make. Everything would be pre-ordained. No need for choices. No possibility of choices. There could still be consciousness I suppose, but you wouldn't like it.
S: I don’t suppose you could make some things random, like our behavior – I mean up to us, not pre-ordained – and physical things – our health, for instance, not random.
G: Well no, I couldn't. Not and keep physical laws in place. You are physical beings. Your bodies have to obey physical laws, and the decay that affects those laws. And even if I could make everything else perfect, you wouldn't like that either. Imagine running around, having all these ideas about doing things, and in fact, not being able to change a thing. You wouldn't like it. Besides, this isn't about you. Remember? Humans have an annoying habit of thinking everything is about them. It isn't. This is about preserving creation.


S: So what does this have to do with evil?
G: Oh yes. Well, what is evil?
S: I don’t know. Harm done. Rules broken.
G: Good. Of course ‘harm done’ differs from ‘changes made’ because – in someone’s view – the thing being harmed can no longer function as well as it did. So it requires an observer and a value judgment. Is it intentional?
S: Of course it’s intentional! (Getting angry) The bastards that blew up the World Trade Center weren't intending to blow a stump!
G: People are a product of their environment. Do you suppose that the terrorist’s parents intended them to blow up a building in New York?
S: I doubt if they gave it much thought.
G: Exactly. What about the time you told your brother to go suck an egg?
S: (Sam is set back as he thinks about the event so long ago) - in a small voice - I didn't think he’d do it.
G: He was only seven years old. It nearly killed him.
S: (getting more insistent) I was only ten. I didn't think he’d do it!
G: That incident really poisoned your relation with him for the rest of your life.
S: (pause) I know.
G: You know he tried to kill you.
S: When!?
G: That boating accident. It wasn't an accident.
S: He saved my life. He pulled me out of the water. I would have downed.
G: He’s the reason you fell into the water in the first place, but he changed his mind. That incident cleared the air between you. It brought you down to earth for him, made you less of a symbol, more of a human being.
S: He tried to kill me?
G: Nearly did.
S: Why. Because of the egg?
G: No. Not just because of the egg. In fact mostly because of how it was handled both by you and by your parents. You insisted that he had been stupid and told everyone in the neighborhood. Your parents didn't help when they took your side in some other things, the business about the bike for instance.
S: What about the bike? That 15 speed bike I won? I didn't know he was upset about that.
G: My point exactly. There were things he said that suggested that he might be angry. Statements you and your parents ignored; and other indications that he could have made, but chose not to. In the end there was a failure to communicate. He eventually developed what you would call in inferiority complex. You were the center of it. When he realized he could, in fact, kill you – when you were about to drown – he changed his mind. But after that he was always a little more comfortable with harming others than he should have been.
S: You’re saying it was my fault he shot the policeman?
G: This isn't really about you Sam, It isn't about George either. We were talking about evil in the world and I’m saying that evil is the result unintended consequences.
S: Are you saying that the terrorists didn't mean to hit the World Trade Center or that they didn't expect anybody to be hurt?
G: Don’t be glib. [the windows darken] This is serious stuff. I mean that Mohammed didn't expect people to take the Koran as license to kill innocents. I mean that the God fearing (a bit too literally, I’m afraid) parents of those young men who caused their children to hate the west, didn't intend them to turn into mass murderers. I mean that when the transportation authorities decided to save money on air marshals, they didn't imagine that anyone would fly a jet into a building as a political statement. Unintended consequences.
S: And the terrorists themselves?
G: The terrorists are themselves unintended consequences. They are evil. Religion, your concern for me, your desire to please me, is a good thing, an intended thing. Your desire for organization, for order, is a good thing. But the two can get mixed together in a way that makes some people not only want to please me, but to organize the world to please me in specific ways. They are - correctly, if you will - devoted to making the world better, but are too unimaginative. As a result, they believe the world can only be made better in certain specific ways. They confuse things they find personally distasteful with things that are inherently bad. That passion for religious doctrine is an unintended consequence of mine. I have tried over the years to modify these passions in order to reach a better balance, but it’s been difficult. Too little concern for what I want and people are useless to me, too much concern and they are zealots and, as in the case of our terrorists, actually evil. Too little concern for organization and they’re ineffective, too much concern and they’re inflexible and, ultimately, also ineffective.
S: Why don’t you - you know - like you said before, go poof [makes a magic gesture] and fix the really bad things that go wrong like the terrorists, children getting cancer. Things like that.
G: I know people think I ought to be able to go poof [makes a much more dramatic gesture], as you say and save a dying child here and stop a war there without regard to the broader consequences. Well I can’t do that. I realize that many people think I function the same way they function, limited scope, being completely unaware of the broader consequences of their actions. Not only can I not do that, I wouldn't want to. It would destroy everything. Believe me, I've tried. Besides, I do have other things to do.
S: (After another pause) So life requires evil? (Gets irate). Is this another way of saying ‘acceptable losses’? My wife and daughter were killed in a terrorist explosion and your answer is ‘acceptable losses’?
G: Calm down. (Takes Sam’s hand and Sam is immediately calm and at peace)
S: What did you do? I feel – I don’t know how I feel – wonderful.
G: It is the peace the passeth understanding. A nice phrase for a nice gift I use occasionally.
S: Where were we?
G: I was saying that I didn't say life requires evil. What I said was that life requires the spontaneity that also - unavoidably - creates evil. Besides, there are a few other things that you need to realize. First, upon the instant of their death, your wife and daughter returned to me. They didn't suffer. You did and I’m sorry about that. I really am. But in the second place, many people spend all of their live caring about whether they are doing well in their jobs and whether their families prospered; and that’s fine. I built people to care for themselves and their families first. But if they’d raised their eyes up to the horizon once in a while – as you did - and realized that there was more to the world than their own front yard, if they cared about more than their own front yard, they wouldn't have been hurt so bad. Remember Mr. Mc Carty? He lost his wife in the World Trade Center explosion too.
S: He killed himself a couple months later.
G: This is part of the reason for my first commandment as Moses took it down.
S: (Ponders for a moment) Have no other Gods before me?
G: It isn't vanity as has so often been suggested. It is a matter of focus. And while it is certainly true that people do a better job with my work if they focus on it, it is also true that this focus protects them from much of the evil in the world. This concept has been handed down to people many times, in many forms. It is simply true that the people that are harmed the most – by whatever is doing the harm – are the people that are the most self-absorbed. People are happiest when they are doing what they are meant to do, and that’s what you people are for.
S: I beg your pardon?
G: You haven’t been listening, Sam. Why do you think you exist?
S: Too praise God? (Sam gets frightened again). Sorry. That was a little joke. Sorry.
G: (Smiles). That’s actually partially right. We’ll get to that in a minute. You've heard of Von Neumann machines, right?
S: Uh. Von Neumann machines. Like the black rectangles in 2001. Machines that replicate themselves and then do something else.
G: Right. And that ‘something else’ in your case is fighting entropy. You haven’t gotten into fighting on the cosmic plain that much yet, but you have always done it with more immediate things. Before you can help me with the universe, you have to get your own houses in order, your economy, your society, etc. Entropy, as you must have figured out by now, is not just a physical process. The same sort of randomness – think of it as spontaneity - that allows things to fall apart on the physical plain, of course applies to everything that depends on the physical plain; which is to say, everything else. So, entropy causes things on the social, financial, physiological and psychological plains to fall apart as well. Of course, you can’t fix everything at once. Entropy is too pervasive. It would be like holding up your hands to stop the rain. Beside, not everything needs to be fixed. Some spontaneity actually turns out to be pleasant - beneficial.

Same stares:

G: I didn't make life, and ultimately people, just to have these conversations, delightful as they are. Life exists to fight evil.
S: I thought life existed to fight entropy.
G: When harm is being done, the two are the same. I’m always surprised that this isn't self evident. The two are so clearly opposites.
S: Life and entropy?
G: Would you say that life consists of directed behavior.
S: For the most part.
G: And entropy?
S: For the most part not.
G: Entropy, in fact, affects everything. It’s not directed at all. And life’s behavior is entirely directed, even when it is distorted by some sort of entropy, it is directed. It is just ineffective. Entropy destroys distinctions, what does life do?
S: I’m guessing here: makes distinctions.
G: Bingo. Entropy removes energy from a system. Life puts energy into a system. Entropy destroys order and information. (points to Sam)
S: Uh. Life creates order.
G: Exactly. And information. Life, all life, does this. I dare say, you view evil as anything that upset’s mankind’s balance, but your view is a little parochial. Evil is anything that upsets any balance. Unless, of course, that balance is preventing growth or interfering with some greater balance. It all gets kind of complicated. Which is why I had to create something special – like life – to deal with it and why I've never tried to write it all down.

S: You’re saying.. Wait. Wait. Wait, Wait. Wait. You didn't write the bible?
G [shaking his head] I inspired it, along with many other scrolls, books, play, movies, etc. But I didn't write it. How could any written guidance apply to all circumstances, both foreseeable and unforeseeable. Remember the entropy part. Random. Unforeseeable. I tried absolute rules. And I was far more effective at getting the message out than I would have been if I had, in fact, handed Moses some clay tablets. Just as I gave you - all life on earth - the urge to make things better in a general sense; I tried giving creatures the absolute need to do - and not do certain things, care for the young, raise food, not kill each other. It didn't work out. I needed something that cares how the world is doing, that wants to protect and support those things that add to its beauty and function, and at the same time will work to correct those things that do not improve the world. And most important, I needed beings that - in a random and rapidly changing world - could tell the difference. I’m still doing the heavy lifting and, as your abilities, mature, you’ll be able to help me in more substantial ways. Right now it is enough that you don’t destroy the planet, don’t destroy each other. Enjoy what you've been given and grow in your abilities.

S: Don't you think things would go a little smoother if you had written it down, told people at least some of this from the get go. You say the bible isn't the word of God. All right, but how do you expect people to behave if they don't know what they're supposed to do?
G: I get this a lot too, and I have to tell you, I find it a little insulting. People not only know what to do, but they do it. Do you really think that I am so incompetent that I would create life forms that don’t do what I need them to do? This is more of your human chauvinism. People never compare themselves to other physical processes, or even to other life forms, so they think that because people aren't forming peaceful, bountiful communities, they are complete failures. Peaceful, bountiful communities are tough to maintain. People need to keep their eye on the ball. What often happens is people get complacent, self absorbed. Entropy can be insidious. And it is completely pervasive. The religious leaders get obsessed with their own doctrine. They spend their time creating elaborate cosmologies describing the universe and my place, and their place, in it; always making certain that they, personally, have a nice place in it. And that’s fine. If a people, a community is supposed to have no other God before me, then it is expected that the community will spend some of its collective time pondering my nature. But then they go further. They think that because some people don’t believe in these cosmologies that they, the religious leaders, created that they, the non-believers, are bound for everlasting damnation. Eventually the societies that don’t do this will prove the stronger and will prevail, but it takes time.
S: So mankind is O.K. Does what it’s supposed to do?
G: In some respects, all the time. Life – and mankind is included here – is supposed to try to make things better. And it does – all the time. There is not a life form out there that is not trying to make things better. Trust me on this! The problem comes when they decide how to do it – what to make better. Sometimes they’re wrong about what will make an improvement. Sometimes they’re wrong about what will work at all. But usually they simply need to look up. We've talked about this. Look beyond their own narrow concerns to what’s good for the larger community.

S: I see your point. Uh, why don’t you change them? You know. Go [makes a magic gesture] poof and people look up.
G: [frowns] Well I guess I have two answers for that. First, people are products of their environment. If I intrude on that fact; make people other than products of their environment there will be problems later. Trust me. I know. I know I’m supposed to be omnipotent. Well – as a matter of fact - I am omnipotent. It’s just that omnipotent doesn't mean what you think it means. Second, life exists to help me. If I have to stop it every seven nanoseconds to direct people’s attention upward how's that you helping me. If I go [makes a much more effective magic gesture] poof, I might as well just do whatever I wanted them to do.
S: What do I think omnipotent means?
G: You think it means I can do anything I damn well please, right?
S: Uh, right. Can’t you.
G: No. Not in the physical plane. Out here yes. Out here there is no cause and effect. I do something and that's the end of it. Not in the physical plane. In the physical plane I am limited by what’s physically possible. I set it up to run itself, right? That means that actions have consequences which have consequences which have - well, you get the idea. I can do anything that’s physically possible. It’s not possible to go poof without consequences.
S: But you could manipulate the events that shaped someone’s life. Mold them as you say.
G: Yes I could. There is actually quite a bit between the flame and the heat. I can’t interfere with cause and effect, but there are some things I can do. If I had wanted you, for instance, to be perfect, I could have spent time shaping and molding you, and the events around you, until you were perfect – or near to it. I did that once. It didn't really work out the way I had hoped. Anyway, you’re not separate from me. You’re a big part of my omnipotence. It is through you, through life, that I care for my one great prize.
[Silence]
S: What prize?
G: Creation, Sam. What do you think this is about?
S: How are we supposed to do this without any instructions? How were we supposed to know what was right and wrong?
G: You’re not listening, Sam. You had instruction. Who said you didn't have any instruction? And they are a lot more consistent than the bible. Listen to me. Here I am complaining about a book!
S: What instruction?
G: There! [G points to M’s chest and M feels a burst moral certitude.] And there [G points to M’s head and M feels a burst logical certainty .]
S: Uh. I've found these feeling to be a bit vague in the past.
G: [Nods his head] Would you have preferred them to be absolute. Killing is pretty bad. Would you have preferred it if everyone felt that killing another person was absolutely evil. No exceptions.
S: I have a feeling that the answer is supposed to be ‘no’.
G: Well, think about it. You couldn't kill in self defense then. Couldn't go to war. Couldn't kill to keep your family safe. Unfortunately, the world is not black and white. Sometimes a killing is the only thing that will work. The randomness, whether you want to call it entropy or spontaneity or free will – and it can be called free will – makes shades of grey. If your sense of right and wrong is sometimes confused, it’s probably because what’s right and wrong is sometimes confused.
S: Because of entropy?
G: Bingo.
S: I don’t know. It all seems so – well – physical. Life counters entropy. I guess we do it automatically. You said it yourself. Life does it all the time. And we may eventually be able to control entropy and keep planetary orbits from decaying – at least the ones that matter. But I have to say – and this may sound ungrateful but ‘What’s divine about that?’
G: Ah. You give mankind too little credit. Would you say creating the universe is a divine activity?
S. Yes. Creating the universe is divine.
G> You’re certain. This is important. You could say, ‘God creates universes. What’s divine about that?’
S. [thinks for a moment] Yes. I’m certain. Creating a universe pretty much has to be divine.
G. Well consider, Every person – and to a lesser extent, most other life forms - creates the world as they grow. You are all born into a struggle; I call it the Struggle Against the Darkness. You all develop ideas and beliefs about that world that make up personal fortresses, allowing you to find purpose and meaning and reasons to feel safe in the night. These fortresses that you build are made of values and principles. They are not physical. They describe what you can do and what can be done to you and what recourse and remedies you can expect against what goes bump in that night. You depend on these rules that you create to make the world safe and stable – much as I do. Most of you do quite well. Most, whether they understand what they are doing or not, build a world (in their minds) where they cannot do wanton harm to others and they can expect others will not wantonly do harm to them. You build in your mind a world where you can go after whatever it is you need or want while respecting the rights of others. Of course, you avoid obvious exceptions to your views, if only because you are trying to make life match what you think it should be; and thereby the virtuous avoid a great deal of real harm. Virtue, in a very real sense, is its own reward. You are all creators in your own right. Certainly you lean from those around you what is what; how things work. But the worlds you create in your minds are your own. That’s divinity. And I can see the world through the lens of these creations. I can view the world on my own, of course, but when I do I don’t see the rich reflections that echo back and forth through the events of the day.
Remember that I said that praising God was one of the reasons you exist? What I mean by that – what I hoped for from the first commandment, is that people would observe and consider the world around them and enjoy what they can. There is much in the world that is not to be enjoyed. It is the evil, or at least not so terribly good. We have discussed this. It is the cost of the entropy. And there are people who are in such sorrow, such misery, that they cannot enjoy anything. I understand that too and believe me when I tell you that I am in pain with them. But for most there is a certain amount of delight around them, a certain amount to be enjoyed. It is always my hope that living creatures will find and enjoy all that they can. You see, to a great extent, I experience my creation through the lives that inhabit it. Oh I have a certain perspective on creation all my own, but my perspective is multiplied and enhanced by seeing through the eyes of the living. Think of it as a favor to me when you enjoy what you see around you. But praise is a little more useful than that. You have to remember that you are creation made sentient. When sentient creatures observe the world, they provide useful information that I can use to move the world in one direction or another.
(Sam stares at God for a moment suddenly very serious, very fearless) When I lost Diane and Diana I hurt a lot. Bart hurt even more. I can’t describe to you how much he hurt and you – with all your Godhood – can’t imagine it earlier. He came to me every night for months asking when she would be back. It broke my heart. You’re whole wannabe perfect universe isn't worth the pain you caused him.
G: There’s one more thing you need to understand. (As God talks the wall behind him fades away and Sam realizes that the room he is in is actually an alcove off an impossibly large rotunda. Around it were an infinite number of alcoves like his where people were talking.) I've said this before. Heaven is timeless. This is your home. The time you spent in the physical world was less than a dream, more like a single thought. It started and ended at once. Don’t misunderstand. The pain is real. Some people are destroyed by that dream that is less than a dream. Some things are beyond my control. But I would not sacrifice my divine sparks just to perfect a physical world. Most people are enriched by what they experience.
S: Will I see Diane again?
G: Of course. You and she are linked. You will be rejoined with her in a moment and with little Diana and Bart. They are all here.
Bart is here?? What happened to Bart? [getting upset again] He was fine this morning.
G: Remember the process, Sam. Remember it all. [Taking Sam’s arm again] You’ve done this before. Bart lived a long life. He is back here now – at the same time as you, because here in heaven this is the only time there is. Remember.
. (God makes a sweeping gesture out towards the rotunda and Sam sees a man that might be him run towards a woman and joined seconds later by children and other adults. Then, as Sam watches, the meaning of what he is seeing comes back to him. The man and women, clearly husband and wife on earth, seem to merge, to flow together. Sam looks for and sees that parts of each flow to their children around them, just as parts of their parents – who are also there- are flowing to the man and woman. It is a re-apportionment, a rearrangement of soul stuff. Sam knows now, remembers now, that some new souls are being formed and some are ending, but for the most part what is happening is a reassignment of parts. The spontaneity that he so loved in Diane was being given to him, and she was getting his determination in exchange. He was also getting some of the passion that Bart always brought to the things he did. And he knew that both very soon and much much later he, somewhat altered, would be born again and these people who he held so dear would mostly be there in his new life along with some others. The battle to make the world better, or possibly just to make it last at all, would continue.
S: I still don’t get it. I can see where having more eyes on the ground (so to speak) can help you make a better world and I get what you say about surprises, and I accept that you could be omniscient and still be surprised, delighted, whatever. But I got a tell you. I've been delighted with surprises, and I've felt the pleasure of a job well done. And I’ll take the job well done. You being God and all, you could do it perfectly. In my experience, delight is mostly relief, because it could have been so much worse.
G: Well, there is one other thing. Meaning.
S: Meaning?
G: Life creates meaning. I don’t. I’m not talking about meaning in the sense that living creatures understand what’s going on. For the most part they don’t. But the world, the things in it, matter to them. This should be obvious, if for no other reason than that entropy destroys meaning. In a way, it comes back to being alone – which wasn't pleasant – and praising God which is really more of a venue than an activity. Before there was life, before there was entropy, there were perfect universes; but there was only me to enjoy them. Entropy was fun, but – like I said – it had to be balanced. When I created life and charged it with restoring what entropy had destroyed, I had to imbue it with reasons to care, reasons to try to improve things. I gave life the wherewithal to improve its lot, to know when things are better, to have a notion of better and, in return, life gave all of creation meaning. I created the world. Life gave it meaning. When I experience the universe through the hearts and minds of my creations, I appreciate it in ways that you would understand very well, but which I would never have understood if I hadn't seen it for myself. You said it yourself, you could save the planets that matter. Do you have any idea how foreign that concept - 'the ones that matter' - was to me? The universe that life will create has much more richness, much more content than anything I could create. For you , for life, the universe has meaning. It is something I wouldn't do without.
[Sam gets up and starts to go to his wife and children, but he stops and turns to God.]
S: If there is only one time here and you see all of eternity at once, then you know how it all turns out, don’t you.
G: Yes. It’s wonderful. (God smiles)
thedoc
Posts: 6473
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:18 pm

Re: original religion

Post by thedoc »

Samofsinope, I just started reading the play and I want to thank you for posting it, I much prefer to read a play. In a live preformance if you miss something you can't ask the preformers to back up and do the line again but reading it you can go back any time you don't quite get something, and I have a good imagination so I can easily have a picture in my mind of the scene. I only got to the first twist and I wondered if you have ever read the book "The Shack" by William Young, there is a similar theme there. Another play comes to mind just from the concept, "Outward Bound' by Sutton Vane. In the mean time I'm going to work on reading your play.
thedoc
Posts: 6473
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:18 pm

Re: original religion

Post by thedoc »

I just finished reading the play and in one part, about the middle, it seemed that you (God) was saying that the laws of nature, the physical laws, Were somewhat random and mutable as a necessary condition for entropy to exist. I would disagree to the point that Entropy and decay can very well exist within the framework of unchanging physical laws. Otherwise an interesting play and concept, I'll need to read it again for a second impression.

Also one small point, rather than saying that eternity has only 'one time' (which might be easier for some to understand) I would say that eternity has 'No time'. I have stated before that reality, as we know it, exists in the framework of time, but eternity exists outside of time, or with no time.
chaz wyman
Posts: 5305
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:31 pm

Re: original religion

Post by chaz wyman »

I loved the idea of turning the table letting god be judged by man, rather than the other round. But I don't think you can learn much from such a device, when all elements are fantasy, including god and an afterlife.
electronjonn
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:30 am

Re: original religion

Post by electronjonn »

Look up the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Your whole argument is null and void. And guess who probably set the laws of physics as they are. The creator of the universe. Tho I think we are in an ancestor simulation. It's far more likely than the work of one being like god.
chaz wyman
Posts: 5305
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:31 pm

Re: original religion

Post by chaz wyman »

electronjonn wrote:Look up the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Your whole argument is null and void. And guess who probably set the laws of physics as they are. The creator of the universe. Tho I think we are in an ancestor simulation. It's far more likely than the work of one being like god.
Whose argument?
Post Reply