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All_Brains
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 2:18 pm    Post subject: WHY?  Reply with quote

Why do we often try to establish the existence of God through the validity of religions?

Shouldn't we first establish whether we think God exists or not, then if "yes" then move on to what could be his true message?
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 5:03 pm    Post subject: Re: WHY? Reply with quote

All_Brains wrote:
Why do we often try to establish the existence of God through the validity of religions?

Shouldn't we first establish whether we think God exists or not, then if "yes" then move on to what could be his true message?


That would make sense, but first wouldn't you need to establish for yourself what you think God should be and or why He/it should exist, in order to determine whether He/it could exist?
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:06 pm    Post subject: Re: WHY? Reply with quote

They call me Tater Salad wrote:
All_Brains wrote:
Why do we often try to establish the existence of God through the validity of religions?

Shouldn't we first establish whether we think God exists or not, then if "yes" then move on to what could be his true message?


That would make sense, but first wouldn't you need to establish for yourself what you think God should be and or why He/it should exist, in order to determine whether He/it could exist?


Sure! The establishment of the existence of God would subsequently need to define what should God be.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:56 am    Post subject: Re: WHY? Reply with quote

All_Brains wrote:

They call me Tater Salad wrote:

That would make sense, but first wouldn't you need to establish for yourself what you think God should be and or why He/it should exist, in order to determine whether He/it could exist?


Sure! The establishment of the existence of God would subsequently need to define what should God be.


No, no...I mean going at it from the reverse of how you just said.  Because, if you think about it, in order to establish the existence or non-existence of a god, one has to have a concept of how that god would be.

Let's take first the notion that many atheists (including yourself) has about man creating God in his own image and run with it for now.  Not that I believe it but we have to conceptualize these things and start from our own creative minds.

As an example, think of how many times you're looking for something (let's say a present for your wife  Very Happy ).  You don't know EXACTLY what you want to get, but you'll "know it when you see it".  You have a vague-ish concept of what the gift should be, but you don't really know where to find it or if it even exists. So you go looking at various stores until you find "it" or the closest thing to "it" that you can find.

Even more concretely, imagine an architect who is designing a house.  He doesn't just hire a contractor and start ordering supplies and start building.  Well, some do but the house most likely won't be well planned or built.  So the first step in realizing a concept (making it exist) is the brainstorming.  Then the programming/research, then the rough drawings, then the final plans.  The final "determination" of the house is after all these steps are done and the actual design is refined.

So, I say that if you've determined that God doesn't exist, you must have already had a predetermined idea of what God is--and is it possible that a God can exist that doesn't meet your predetermined criteria?  If you come away believing the answer is yes, then what kind of God is it?  This is the brainstorming phase.  Then you can search the "stores" to see if you "find the gift" (planning/research).  Remember that sometimes in the searching you simply stumble into it, not really knowing what exactly you're looking for.  This is why many people say God finds them, not the other way around.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:58 am    Post subject: Re: WHY? Reply with quote

All_Brains wrote:
Why do we often try to establish the existence of God through the validity of religions?


Because god, it seems, is a monarch. A king is defined by his kingdom. No kingdom, no king. (Ever heard the saying that the office of the president is larger than the president himself?)
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:34 am    Post subject: Re: WHY? Reply with quote

norwegian wrote:
All_Brains wrote:
Why do we often try to establish the existence of God through the validity of religions?


Because god, it seems, is a monarch. A king is defined by his kingdom. No kingdom, no king. (Ever heard the saying that the office of the president is larger than the president himself?)


It's like saying that the whole is greater than the sum of the separate parts. Any office be it that of a Teacher or Judge is greater than the actual physical, temporal holder of such a post. Hence God is greater than God.  A=A+1

The real problem afflicting many societies is precisely this "greatness"... the love or search (and posionous allure) of the unknowable  (infinity can be appreciated but not grasped), has blinded man to the details. This is what has kids freaking out for distant causes, but blind to their local realities.

Truths are both great and small. It is good to have justice, but Justice is blindfolded. A thief caught by society is judged differently than the same thief caught my his mother. If a piece of silver is stolen, the mother will know why... whether it was to feed a habit, give a gift to a girl, buy books, etc.. Knowing the details, only she could mete out a proper and personalized justice. For society instead, the big and anonymous "thou shalt not steal" princiiple was broken. What the mother would have consider vital to reaching the truth would instead be considered superfluous and petty in the sweeping justice of the state.

There has been a triumph of this second type of "unbiased" (blind, perfect and incomplete justice). This is why people can win 5 million dollars for burning their lips on a restaurant-bar's overheated coffee. That shows you how skewed some cultures are in favor of the Greatness of God to the detriment of (also) his smallness. Ironically, the more secular-atheist the country, the "greater" the God... and the further away he is from the details (of the kind appreciated by a mother). It can be argued that a man is freer in a hotel than he is at home with his family. This is the equivalent of what many Atheists think. They see the easy come-and-go as you please, the messes left behind and "magically" cleaned up, the ever "right" and smiling concierge. There is nothing that could justify the concierge's snarl. Even in extreme behavior he is instructed to maintain detachment and phone the police.

This detachment is fantastically grand, but it's not a home. A rationalist God knows only how to be big. It can design a compound, and even take a stab at creating a community, but where it is most needed, in the name of fairness, it must be inhuman and blind.

Societies must repair their families and communities to fight off the alienation caused by the atheist-big godders. This may sound crazy, but we've never been so legislated. And the smaller truths have never been so silenced.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:28 am    Post subject: Re: WHY? Reply with quote

IoshkaFutz wrote:
It's like saying that the whole is greater than the sum of the separate parts. Any office be it that of a Teacher or Judge is greater than the actual physical, temporal holder of such a post. Hence God is greater than God.  A=A+1


No. Its more like religion is greater than god. A=B+1.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:56 am    Post subject: Re: WHY? Reply with quote

norwegian wrote:
IoshkaFutz wrote:
It's like saying that the whole is greater than the sum of the separate parts. Any office be it that of a Teacher or Judge is greater than the actual physical, temporal holder of such a post. Hence God is greater than God.  A=A+1


No. Its more like religion is greater than god. A=B+1.


A case of Religion-Yech? With Pepto-Buddhism the soothing cure? Nah, except in rare circumstances there should be no confusion between religion and God. It's like confusing education and success. They're linked, but with no warranty.

Down the street from where I'm staying there is Don Bisco's first oratory. Torino was being industrialized and the streets were teeming with underprivileged kids. Don Bosco played sports with them, and then taught them how to sing and pray... and then taught them how to read and write and do sums amd learn carpentry. This was a case when A=A+1 was both God and Religion.

Now that same oratory is full of tough looking kids with urban haircuts and cell phones, speaking different languages. I really wonder how a modern day Don Bosco would have to operate to make a difference. Games, songs and prayers don't do it like they used to. What's needed today is serious advice and a safehaven from the cops.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 6:12 pm    Post subject: Re: WHY? Reply with quote

They call me Tater Salad wrote:
All_Brains wrote:

They call me Tater Salad wrote:

That would make sense, but first wouldn't you need to establish for yourself what you think God should be and or why He/it should exist, in order to determine whether He/it could exist?


Sure! The establishment of the existence of God would subsequently need to define what should God be.


No, no...I mean going at it from the reverse of how you just said.  Because, if you think about it, in order to establish the existence or non-existence of a god, one has to have a concept of how that god would be.

Let's take first the notion that many atheists (including yourself) has about man creating God in his own image and run with it for now.  Not that I believe it but we have to conceptualize these things and start from our own creative minds.

As an example, think of how many times you're looking for something (let's say a present for your wife  Very Happy ).  You don't know EXACTLY what you want to get, but you'll "know it when you see it".  You have a vague-ish concept of what the gift should be, but you don't really know where to find it or if it even exists. So you go looking at various stores until you find "it" or the closest thing to "it" that you can find.

Even more concretely, imagine an architect who is designing a house.  He doesn't just hire a contractor and start ordering supplies and start building.  Well, some do but the house most likely won't be well planned or built.  So the first step in realizing a concept (making it exist) is the brainstorming.  Then the programming/research, then the rough drawings, then the final plans.  The final "determination" of the house is after all these steps are done and the actual design is refined.

So, I say that if you've determined that God doesn't exist, you must have already had a predetermined idea of what God is--and is it possible that a God can exist that doesn't meet your predetermined criteria?  If you come away believing the answer is yes, then what kind of God is it?  This is the brainstorming phase.  Then you can search the "stores" to see if you "find the gift" (planning/research).  Remember that sometimes in the searching you simply stumble into it, not really knowing what exactly you're looking for.  This is why many people say God finds them, not the other way around.

Hellot Tater, I think you are assuming that the concept of a god is complex. That before we begin to assume if god exists or not, we have to know of god.

That is not the case. Because we will start really small. The first question will be, I exists through my parent, so who do they exist through?

The first question does not have to be god centric, it could be just parent centric, and then you can build the god concept from there as one possible permutation.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 1:53 pm    Post subject: Re: WHY? Reply with quote

Baal wrote:
Hellot Tater, I think you are assuming that the concept of a god is complex. That before we begin to assume if god exists or not, we have to know of god.

That is not the case. Because we will start really small. The first question will be, I exists through my parent, so who do they exist through?

The first question does not have to be god centric, it could be just parent centric, and then you can build the god concept from there as one possible permutation.


Hi Baal.  I guess the concept of God is as complex as you want to make it.  And yes, I think you can build a god concept that way but I didn't.  Do you not look at small children who don't have the ability to understand theology and see that they have already some kind of "god" concept?  I never looked at my parents like that.  Perhaps I was different...I never had the question of whether something unseen existed.  I grew up (my most formative years) without any religious upbringing at all.  The closest parent to me, my dad, always explained things to me in terms of "Mother Nature" or natural explanations.  I found out in my teen years, that he didn't believe in a God per se, but that he felt as though people called God what he called Mother Nature.

My mom was a "born again" but not until I was 10 or 11 so that for me wasn't much of an influence in my life--by that time I was beginning to assert my "independence" from my parents and could care less about my mom's religion.  Both my parents encouraged me to be curious about everything and not make decisions based on emotions.  The way I discovered what was "right" was by the process I wrote about here.  I spent a lot of time wandering (I love the phrase "those who wander are not always lost") and reading about all sorts of things--for a while I was very interested in the occult.

I guess I've always had any number of God concepts--for me it was identifying which of those concepts would be the most likely God and find the path that best met that criteria.  For me it was Christianity and the Bible.


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