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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 12:05 AM
Original message
On the Nature of God
Edited on Sun Jul-20-03 12:23 AM by kgfnally
Some of us believe in no god- as I take the sentiment, this means no creator or deity exists. Period. We're born, we're here, we're gone, and there is nothing beyond or outside of this life. We are not judged, we are not punished, we are not rewarded; in fact, after death, we simply are not. Well, fine. That absolves me of a lot of guilt and self-doubt, but that's just me.

Some of us believe in many gods, with varying aspects; we might have a male and female pair, or a trinity, or a pantheon. We might ascribe weather to one god and wisdom to another. We might send a prayer to one when we need money and to another when we desire love, or give an offering to a third that might gain us a rich spouse.

And there are those of us who bless or blame a single creator for all things and events. We might believe that this deity is absolute; that is, at the pinnacle of creation. We may pray to it, or sacrifice our material lives for it. We might believe this creator doesn't have much actual contact with its creation, but 'merely' a great deal of observation. We might also believe that this deity directly intervenes in events, altering the course of history for (from our point of view) the better or worse.

No name is necessary to describe any deity, be it the Christian God or Bob of the Stacked Turtles. Which camp do you fall into, and more importantly, why?

Detailed posts are preferred. I personally have no religion but respect and strive to understand all. I don't consider myself an agnostic, or an atheist, or anything else. I believe this Universe was created, and that there may have been a single creator or a team, but I also believe we can't know in our 10%-14%-use-of-our-brains mortality-limited bodies. I also happen to believe this creator or creators does indeed intervene in our reality from time to time, but again, that's just me. Where do you fall?

on edit: please read my other posts on this thread if you disagree with the subject matter.
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JackDragna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 12:11 AM
Response to Original message
1. A few things.
Firstly, the "we use only 15% of our brain" argument is horse shit. We use much more than that, although not all of it is for conscious thought. Much of our brain activity goes to autonomic processes of which our conscious minds are unaware. This 15% lie is propogated by new-agers, astrologers and anyone else looking to make a buck off of human ignorance.

That said, I do not believe in any sort of extra-physical deity. I hold that belief in supernatural entities and powers are one of the last stumbling blocks humanity has to remove from its path before becoming more reasonable and just. There is no evidence to support any notion of a God or spirits of any kind: those that hold such entities to exist usually do so based on ad hoc arguments, personal experience and other reasons that hold no logical water.

I respect those here that believe in some sort of God or spirits, but I disagree very violently with their philosophies. Belief in God has been a source of oppresion for too long. It is time that people stop believing in spirits and other malarkey and spend more time worrying about each other.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Hmmm.
Belief in a deity need not be a source of oppression, unless you believe you are right and everyone else is wrong; "my God is the only right God." After all, disbelief can, in itself, be a deity of a kind- if you believe enough in disbelief.

(This isn't meant to be judgemental. I'm only pointing something out.)
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Enraged_Ape Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 12:20 AM
Response to Original message
2. Not another fucking religion thread
Edited on Sun Jul-20-03 12:21 AM by Enraged_Ape
These things always, ALWAYS degenerate into a ridiculing of others for their differing religious beliefs, or lack of them. In fact, I thought these threads were banned.

There may or may not be a God or Gods. We don't know one way or another. Believe whatever you want and you have an excellent chance of being right. Everything else is verbal masturbation.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. I intended this to be
Edited on Sun Jul-20-03 12:27 AM by kgfnally
more of a philosophical discussion, actually. In fact, if you examine my initial post, you'll see that the only two religions mentioned are Christianity and Bobism- and Bobism is actually taken from an anecdote in Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time. If threads such as these are in fact banned, I invite the mods to please lock it ASAP.

Until then, I'd kind of like to know what the incredible fact that we are conscious beings means to you, personally.

Edited to make a point.
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Enraged_Ape Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. I apologize for coming off as an asshole in that last post
I didn't mean to bite your head off, but these threads ALWAYS end up locked due to an imminent "my (non)religion is better than yours" free-for-all between believers and the non-believers. What makes it even more ridiculous is that since NO ONE KNOWS, no one really has a high horse on which to sit.

But I'm sorry I sounded like a jerk.
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 01:45 AM
Response to Reply #4
20. nature of.....?
i do not practace any religion, I am a Buddhist. Buddhists believe the the universe just 'always was'. as Robert Thurman says,"That eleminates a lot of boring debate." the gods dont have dominion over us but are emensely powerful, they have their own faults, they also suffer the cycle of death and rebirth in the Wheel of Life, tho their life time is unimmagionably long, in Buddhism nothing inherantly exists, tho things do conventionally exist. the fundamental premise of Buddhism is the Four Noble Truths (1)is that life entails suffering/disatisfaction (2) suffering is caused by desire (3)there can be an end to suffering (4) and that the way to end suffering is the practace of the Noble Eight Fold Path. i like this because i get me out of this mess.. although there isnt any inherant 'me' or 'i'. I am not the toy or victom of a superior being. i get out by study and hard work, and the work is mostly developing compassion for others. In the Mahayana tradition we seek Enlightenment in order to be of greater help to others who are suffering because of their ignorance of the nature of the mind and emotions. we cultivate the compassion of the view that all "others" are as our Mothers that are suffering horrably. i'm not an authority or expert on this, i just find it sooo delightful... i dont burn in hell for ever if i dont get it right in one life time or dont make the proper verbal contracts.. there is no faith involved..you only practace because it works for you...
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Cointelpro_Papers Donating Member (305 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 12:35 AM
Response to Original message
6. I don't believe in any god.
The reason why, is a complicated deduction of reason, that is probably ridiculous to anyone but me. But with that said, I just cannot believe in a god, because It goes against all logic and reason. And for me to go against my logic, and my reason, their would have to be undeniable proof, and as I see it now their/there is no proof whatsoever.

The metaphysics of a god, is something that I abhor. If you proved to me that there was a god, I would hate it. Whether it be because of all the deception it has placed in front of me, or all the injustices it allows. I would a hate it, and deny it.

Many gods have been claimed, but they have ALL been proven wrong. And the only thing that is consistant is the fact that their is no god. Science is not there because a god put it there, but rather because of specific events that happened right after big bang, making our world laws how they are.

No where in any equation, or process does god enter. It was a concept that was created by humans for a purpose of having something to look foward to, or because they were weak. I have a believe that god is believed by many because they need a mother figure in there life, because they cannot handle the harsh world. It is a societal symptom.
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WannaJumpMyScooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 12:43 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. The more I study Physics, the more I believe there is
a God or Gods. Some kind of plan has to be in action for all the variables to work the way they do.

Do I believe that the Bible is the absoulte word of God, no.

I do not think the true God, the real reason for the Earth has been revealed to us, and may never be. It is the height of arrogance for humans to think that way, our entire timeline on this planet is so minute compared to other species, it is not even funny.

Perhaps, whoever the real kings of this planet are...cats? dogs? la cucaracha?... whatever that species is, sees the real God.

The fact that we do not, in spite of all our attempts, should speak volumes.
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Cointelpro_Papers Donating Member (305 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. The whole earth is minute,
compared to the universe, time and size.

The same human to species argument could be applied on species to universe.


For me Science reaffirms that their is no god, because as we learn more, I think we are getting further away from finding a god, not closer.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 02:26 AM
Response to Reply #8
24. The more I study Physics, the more I believe there is a God - I agree
It seems so obvious.

But then I guess those that say no way also feel that the correctness of that view is obvious.

Both science and athesism seem to require more faith than a belief in God.

Of course within its' limits science is great - and a great deal of fun. And Atheism, like any religion, gives comfort to its believers.

peace :-)

:toast:

:-)

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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 12:45 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. You can't disprove the existence of a diety
"Many gods have been claimed, but they have ALL been proven wrong."

You can't disprove faith. There is a difference in science and religious faith. Science seeks not to disprove religious faith.
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Cointelpro_Papers Donating Member (305 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 12:56 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Maybe not to you,
but to me reason and logic can be just as good as facts.
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Enraged_Ape Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 01:00 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Sigh....
Are you kind of getting the idea, kgfnally?
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Cointelpro_Papers Donating Member (305 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 01:01 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. What is that supposed to mean?
This god damn forum has made me defensive.
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Enraged_Ape Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 01:07 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. This happens in every fucking religion thread
People banter back and forth about why there is or is not a God. Tensions escalate, insults are hurled, and feelings are hurt.

Newsflash re: the existence of God: NO ONE KNOWS. So of what possible use could a thread like this be?
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JewelDigger Donating Member (440 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 01:20 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. 'State the Purpose'
There is no purpose other than to be 'thought provoking'.....you do DO that don't you? Debate, discuss, add another dimension, think outside of what you know/accept to be true or expand another persons mind?
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Enraged_Ape Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 01:38 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. I don't have a problem with "mind expansion" or "thought provocation"
But I've seen dozens of these types of threads, and by the time they inevitably degenerate into faith/science superiority contests, they become about as provocative and/or mind-expansive as a half-eaten bag of barbequed Cheetos.
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JewelDigger Donating Member (440 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 01:51 AM
Response to Reply #18
21. Sooooooooooo..............
......you've DECIDED. There is no God - ('it's BEHIND us now, no need to look at it any further') - you know who this sounds like don't u?

You can sound as hard and as cocky as you like, but not too many ppl will accuse you of being 'open minded*' and you REALLY fail to realize that if there wasn't some kind of God that believe in YOU - you wouldn't even BE here (read Job - Several times - to know what I'm pointing to).

(*disclaimer - Never be so open-mined that your 'brains fall out')
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Enraged_Ape Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 02:06 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. Your assumptions about my beliefs are kinda wrong, BUT...
that's not your fault. I never said that I, personally, don't believe there's a God or Goddess. I try not to proselytize about my beliefs, even though I don't know how to spell that word or, apparently, how it's even used in a sentence.

And I'm definitely not saying that there is no God and therefore there should be no debate about it; I'm just tired of people trying to logically debate a concept that TRANSCENDS logic. It's like those arguments we had in grade school over whether Hulk or Thor would win in hand-to-hand combat. There are perfectly good, logical reasons why Thor would win, but would he really?
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classics Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 12:38 AM
Response to Original message
7. God is a construct.
A means to confort those who would otherwise be blinded by the fear of knowing they will one day die.

Unfortunatly since the first person comforted his fear by believing that there was an invisible force that cared about him, that belief has been twisted into religion, which serves no purpose other than to concentrate money and power in the hands of a few elite, while dividing those who otherwise would have no reason to hate one another.

All said God is a lie, admittedly, a pleasant lie. Unfortunatly that small self delusion has been turned into the biggest swindle man will ever know.
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JewelDigger Donating Member (440 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 01:02 AM
Response to Original message
14. IMHO
there are some people who are in awe of what's been created and then there are other people 'who are in awe of what's been been created' and ask, "who is the creator - I want to know more of 'Him'"? - (SOMEONE said this already - more/less, don't know who)

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dweller Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 01:25 AM
Response to Original message
17. Is it b/c Saturday nite brings out the
the early Sunday morning worshipper in everyone, that religion (or lack of it) seems to keep cropping up this topic here?

like any day is different than any other...

like any other is different than one's self.

(add your own take on psychology/physics/philosophy/religion here and fight among yourselves)

it's just another form of self-importance, which we all recognize as hubris, yet never want to ascribe to oneself...

i have no quarrels with gods, and that leaves me free to be at peace with all i experience.

would not that please all the 'gods' ?

peace,
dp
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Enraged_Ape Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 01:40 AM
Response to Reply #17
19. Well said, Dweller
The sharpest thing I've ever read in any of these religion threads.

Believe whatever you want, and for yourself, you will be absolutely right.
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dweller Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 01:53 AM
Response to Reply #19
22. Thank you Brother/Sister_Ape
Edited on Sun Jul-20-03 01:56 AM by dweller
i'll carry on my arguments about god, with god.
as for the rest of creation

peace,

dp
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noiretextatique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 02:41 AM
Response to Original message
25. god is...the unclaimed and unacknowledged
of what is both best and worst in human beings, depending on one's pov. god is the big, bad daddy who sees and know all, and thus keeps all his children in check because they fear his wrath vis a vis the ever-unfolding plan. or god is the very essence of good, existing in an through all creation, and to some all is good in the ever-unfolding plan. in my happy moments, i subcribe to the latter pov. at other times, i think god is just a buffer for the fear of death...and life.
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 07:03 AM
Response to Original message
26. "Bob of the Stacked Turtles"?
Now that's an interesting concept.

I think that's something I could actually get behind.
;-)
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
27. I am an atheist
That is I do not believe in god or gods. The degree of my disbelief is variable depending on the god proposed. Thus the god that makes all rocks float in mid air all the time I pretty much am able to refute the existance of by dropping a rock. But the god that is simply nature I am less able to refute as the definition may be a bit removed from the notion of god.

Suffice to say that any definition of god that posits a conscious entity I find difficult to believe in. Particularly problematic are gods that created the universe. Positing such a god as the creator in order to answer the question of where the universe came from strikes me as intellectually dishonest. You have simply replaced our ignorance of the origin of the universe with another myster. Where did this god come from.

Belief in a god that interacts with us is an anomaly of the brain. Our individuality arises from the actions of the brain. This notion of self can be (confirmed by experiments) suspended and the brain loses its ability to apply the continuous flow of ideas as having originated from itself. The brain applies whatever cultural explanation for such a phenom may be. Thus some believe this experience is becoming one with the universe while others believe it is communing with god.

As to recognising god's actions around us, the brain is a patter recognising device. It finds ducks in the clouds and it finds patterns in the world around it. These patterns are not necissarily there but it is better for survival to find a false pattern than it is to miss a real pattern.

Studies have shown that atheists and skeptics tend to be better at resisting false patterns while believers tend to find patterns that are not present. Shown images and pictures on placards skeptics tended to select the pictures that were real patterns while the believers tended to have more false hits. There may be a neurological component to explain the differing stances on subjects of the paranormal.

Thus when a significant event happens in a believers life it is possible that the believers brain finds it easier to apply it as part of a pattern. They see it as having happened for a reason. Maybe caused by a power.

There are evolutionary advantages to being a believer. Sketpics may miss patterns that are really there sometimes. Where a believer is ready to jump at any percieved pattern the skeptic will stick around to ponder it. Thus a skeptic and believer in the jungle will react differently to a change in the enviroment around them. When the believer bolts and runs the skeptic is eaten by the saber tooth tiger lurking in the trees because he decided to investigate.
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