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What Is God?
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 3:21 pm    Post subject: What Is God?  Reply with quote

Being both an x-Muslim and an x-Christian, I have enjoyed some of the most excellent discussions on the beliefs of both religions. Being a friend to a few Jewish people has also given me a keen perspective on how they view their relationship to God.

But after going through all these religious experiences, I came out of it as an agnostic. I came out of it with respect for Jesus, but a great loss of respect for Muhammad. I came out of it with a tolerance for Christianity, but a loathing for Islam.

The reason for my loss of respect for Muhammad and my loathing of Islam was simply because of the Muslim people themselves and their false Islamic traditions, and of course the history of Muhammad. It's not that I dislike Muslims, you see, but it's the utter uselessness of the traditions they follow, and the insistence of outright lying to not only the kafir, but also to themselves.

Islam was just completely devoid of spirit, and empty of love for the human race outside of Islam. Islam itself is directly responsible for me becoming an agnostic.

So as an agnostic I began to honestly question the existence of this God the three Abrahamic religions all worship. I determined that the god they believe in does not exist. Now, that does not mean that a god of some kind does not exist, it only means that the Abrahamic god does not exist.

My position on "God" is this:

I don't know.

Now the reason I am not an atheist is because of logic, and here is my logic. I will provide the only two possibilities regarding existence:

1.  Everything has always existed, and had no beginning and will see no end. This also means that even if the universe itself was created, something of non-intelligent origin must have existed previously, otherwise we wouldn't be here. It becomes a mirror verses mirror affect, whereas we hold one mirror up to another and we see an infinite number of images. There's no end to it. Non intelligent forms of existence simply create and replicate randomly forever. There never was a beginning, and there never will be an end. Everything always just was, and always just will be, and will only change forms over time.

2. Something very great and intelligent caused existence to be. But does this mean God?" No, but it could mean something of intelligence that is far greater than our ability to comprehend it whereas, with our limited perception, we could perceive it to be a god. Certainly it wouldn't be the Abrahamic God, because that one has been proven to be mistaken on so many things in all 3 religions that it simply does not make sense for this god to be the one who created the universe.

There doesn't seem to be a # 3 option for me. The only options I can think of are # 1 and # 2. Now, because I do not know which one is the truth, and because both appear to be logically possible, I am therefore an agnostic because I simply do not know.

But one of them must be the truth. What is "god," # 1 or # 2?

Which one?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://users.bigpond.net.au/manisall/silence.html
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mutley wrote:
http://users.bigpond.net.au/manisall/silence.html


And that's pretty much my point of view. Thanks.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
1.  Everything has always existed, and had no beginning and will see no end. This also means that even if the universe itself was created, something of non-intelligent origin must have existed previously, otherwise we wouldn't be here. It becomes a mirror verses mirror affect, whereas we hold one mirror up to another and we see an infinite number of images. There's no end to it. Non intelligent forms of existence simply create and replicate randomly forever. There never was a beginning, and there never will be an end. Everything always just was, and always just will be, and will only change forms over time.

2. Something very great and intelligent caused existence to be. But does this mean God?" No, but it could mean something of intelligence that is far greater than our ability to comprehend it whereas, with our limited perception, we could perceive it to be a god. Certainly it wouldn't be the Abrahamic God, because that one has been proven to be mistaken on so many things in all 3 religions that it simply does not make sense for this god to be the one who created the universe.


Note that option 1 and the idea of a godlike entity are not mutually exclusive - this is the case with Hinduism. Theistic Hindus do not view the universe as a creation of god, but an eternal manifestation of the divine, undergoing cycles of destruction and rebirth.

Also note that "what is god" can have multiple answers that may be contradictory yet equally true. A great analogy is the nature of light. Light can be viewed as made up of particles, light can be viewed as waves, but light can also be viewed with the much more advanced perspective of wave-particle duality. The Hindu view of god is similar. One does not move from falsehood to truth, but from lower truths to higher ones, which depends on ones mental state.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

roshan wrote:
Quote:
1.  Everything has always existed, and had no beginning and will see no end. This also means that even if the universe itself was created, something of non-intelligent origin must have existed previously, otherwise we wouldn't be here. It becomes a mirror verses mirror affect, whereas we hold one mirror up to another and we see an infinite number of images. There's no end to it. Non intelligent forms of existence simply create and replicate randomly forever. There never was a beginning, and there never will be an end. Everything always just was, and always just will be, and will only change forms over time.

2. Something very great and intelligent caused existence to be. But does this mean God?" No, but it could mean something of intelligence that is far greater than our ability to comprehend it whereas, with our limited perception, we could perceive it to be a god. Certainly it wouldn't be the Abrahamic God, because that one has been proven to be mistaken on so many things in all 3 religions that it simply does not make sense for this god to be the one who created the universe.


Note that option 1 and the idea of a godlike entity are not mutually exclusive - this is the case with Hinduism. Theistic Hindus do not view the universe as a creation of god, but an eternal manifestation of the divine, undergoing cycles of destruction and rebirth.

Also note that "what is god" can have multiple answers that may be contradictory yet equally true. A great analogy is the nature of light. Light can be viewed as made up of particles, light can be viewed as waves, but light can also be viewed with the much more advanced perspective of wave-particle duality. The Hindu view of god is similar. One does not move from falsehood to truth, but from lower truths to higher ones, which depends on ones mental state.


I have often seen arguments that state that there is no god, yet everything is fixed and things like "free will" do not exist. Everything we do has already been determined and there is nothing we can do about it. Yet, even this smacks of a "god theory" to me because it presents itself as some kind of preplanned creation. Oddly, this argument has been presented by atheists.

When scientists suggest the Big Bang as the catalyst for the origin of the universe, this simply fails to answer the question of "where did the matter come from to form the Big Bang in the first place?"

I cannot escape the possibility that an alternate universe exists; one which consists of anti-matter which is constantly recycling the matter back and forth from this universe, going from matter to anti-matter endlessly.

But even that does not answer the question of the origin of existence.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dont think that question is relevant to spirituality at all. Thats why Hinduism (and perhaps other Eastern religions as well) generally doesnt concern itself with it, assuming existence has always existed in one form or another. I think trying to answer such a question is a waste of time. In fact, why does existence need to have a beginning at all? It is better to question the questions rather than continously trying to find answers, because if answers cannot be found, it is likely that the question being asked is the wrong one in the first place. It is much more relevant to try to figure out the nature of existence rather than what caused it.

One great theory of how existence came to be is that of the Sankhya philosophy. It theorized that all of physical existence has evolved from a base substance called Prakriti, which evolved into the complex universe through Sattva (harmony), Tamas (inertia) and Rajas (action). If the theoretical "god particle" is discovered, that would essentially be the discovery of Prakriti. However Sankhya never dealt with where Prakriti came from. It was assumed to be eternal, and always dual to Purusha (the soul). Similarly monistic Hindus never postulated about the creation of Maya (the relative reality) assuming it has always been superimposed on Brahman, and theistic Hindus always assumed the universe to be an eternal manifestation of the divine.

Once you assume existence is the creation of a god, that means that such a god is mutable. And anything that is mutable will have to end someday. Therefore, such a god is not a god at all. Not only that, it raises the question of where such a god came from in the first place, and what in the world such a god was doing for the infinite amount of time before the universe existed, why such a god created the universe, and so on. Why answer a question with something that merely raises more questions and confuses matters further? It doesnt even make sense to reject the idea that physical existence has always existed in favor of the idea that physical existence has come from a god who has always existed. Therefore, the entire premise of a god creating the universe is foolish.

Quote:
I have often seen arguments that state that there is no god, yet everything is fixed and things like "free will" do not exist. Everything we do has already been determined and there is nothing we can do about it. Yet, even this smacks of a "god theory" to me because it presents itself as some kind of preplanned creation. Oddly, this argument has been presented by atheists.


Both the premise that universe that is purely physical and that it is the creation of a god with a plan lead to this idea of determinism. That does not increase the validity of either premise.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fathom wrote:
Mutley wrote:
http://users.bigpond.net.au/manisall/silence.html


And that's pretty much my point of view. Thanks.


Yeah, as I read what you were trying to say, that article immediately came to mind. Glad you found it interesting.
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Last edited by Mutley on Sun Dec 23, 2007 2:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

roshan wrote:
Quote:
1.  Everything has always existed, and had no beginning and will see no end. This also means that even if the universe itself was created, something of non-intelligent origin must have existed previously, otherwise we wouldn't be here. It becomes a mirror verses mirror affect, whereas we hold one mirror up to another and we see an infinite number of images. There's no end to it. Non intelligent forms of existence simply create and replicate randomly forever. There never was a beginning, and there never will be an end. Everything always just was, and always just will be, and will only change forms over time.

2. Something very great and intelligent caused existence to be. But does this mean God?" No, but it could mean something of intelligence that is far greater than our ability to comprehend it whereas, with our limited perception, we could perceive it to be a god. Certainly it wouldn't be the Abrahamic God, because that one has been proven to be mistaken on so many things in all 3 religions that it simply does not make sense for this god to be the one who created the universe.


Note that option 1 and the idea of a godlike entity are not mutually exclusive - this is the case with Hinduism. Theistic Hindus do not view the universe as a creation of god, but an eternal manifestation of the divine, undergoing cycles of destruction and rebirth.

Also note that "what is god" can have multiple answers that may be contradictory yet equally true. A great analogy is the nature of light. Light can be viewed as made up of particles, light can be viewed as waves, but light can also be viewed with the much more advanced perspective of wave-particle duality. The Hindu view of god is similar. One does not move from falsehood to truth, but from lower truths to higher ones, which depends on ones mental state.


Wave-Particle duality. Can one smile and frown simultaneously? You are applying a common misnomer of the superposition. It is not actually two things simultaneously, it can be one of two based on the measurement instrumentation one chooses and the conditions, but it is not both simultaneously.

About no beginning, do you have any examples of anything physical, or any physical process that has no beginning? If not, then why would one arbitrarily apply this characteristic to the universe? What's the basis for this view?
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mutley wrote:
roshan wrote:
Quote:
1.  Everything has always existed, and had no beginning and will see no end. This also means that even if the universe itself was created, something of non-intelligent origin must have existed previously, otherwise we wouldn't be here. It becomes a mirror verses mirror affect, whereas we hold one mirror up to another and we see an infinite number of images. There's no end to it. Non intelligent forms of existence simply create and replicate randomly forever. There never was a beginning, and there never will be an end. Everything always just was, and always just will be, and will only change forms over time.

2. Something very great and intelligent caused existence to be. But does this mean God?" No, but it could mean something of intelligence that is far greater than our ability to comprehend it whereas, with our limited perception, we could perceive it to be a god. Certainly it wouldn't be the Abrahamic God, because that one has been proven to be mistaken on so many things in all 3 religions that it simply does not make sense for this god to be the one who created the universe.


Note that option 1 and the idea of a godlike entity are not mutually exclusive - this is the case with Hinduism. Theistic Hindus do not view the universe as a creation of god, but an eternal manifestation of the divine, undergoing cycles of destruction and rebirth.

Also note that "what is god" can have multiple answers that may be contradictory yet equally true. A great analogy is the nature of light. Light can be viewed as made up of particles, light can be viewed as waves, but light can also be viewed with the much more advanced perspective of wave-particle duality. The Hindu view of god is similar. One does not move from falsehood to truth, but from lower truths to higher ones, which depends on ones mental state.


Wave-Particle duality. Can one smile and frown simultaneously? You are applying a common misnomer of the superposition. It is not actually two things simultaneously, it can be one of two based on the measurement instrumentation one chooses and the conditions, but it is not both simultaneously.


True, but my point was specific to light - its behaviour can be analyzed both in terms of waves and particles. Similarly, Hindus view that god can be analyzed in multiple ways.

Quote:
About no beginning, do you have any examples of anything physical, or any physical process that has no beginning? If not, then why would one arbitrarily apply this characteristic to the universe? What's the basis for this view?


This is a strawman. I have not stated that the universe is eternal - I have stated that physical existence is eternal.

Looking at physical processes only illustrates the non existence of god. Everything that is physical has a beginning and an end. Everything that is physical comes from other things that are physical. If physical existence was created by god, then god too is physical and will end someday. Such a god is not a god at all and makes no sense whatsoever. What makes much more sense is that physical existence is eternal, and the universe (possibly universes?) undergoes cycles of destruction and reformation (just like everything else that is physical) all of which is based purely on physical processes.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

roshan wrote:
Mutley wrote:
roshan wrote:
Quote:
1.  Everything has always existed, and had no beginning and will see no end. This also means that even if the universe itself was created, something of non-intelligent origin must have existed previously, otherwise we wouldn't be here. It becomes a mirror verses mirror affect, whereas we hold one mirror up to another and we see an infinite number of images. There's no end to it. Non intelligent forms of existence simply create and replicate randomly forever. There never was a beginning, and there never will be an end. Everything always just was, and always just will be, and will only change forms over time.

2. Something very great and intelligent caused existence to be. But does this mean God?" No, but it could mean something of intelligence that is far greater than our ability to comprehend it whereas, with our limited perception, we could perceive it to be a god. Certainly it wouldn't be the Abrahamic God, because that one has been proven to be mistaken on so many things in all 3 religions that it simply does not make sense for this god to be the one who created the universe.


Note that option 1 and the idea of a godlike entity are not mutually exclusive - this is the case with Hinduism. Theistic Hindus do not view the universe as a creation of god, but an eternal manifestation of the divine, undergoing cycles of destruction and rebirth.

Also note that "what is god" can have multiple answers that may be contradictory yet equally true. A great analogy is the nature of light. Light can be viewed as made up of particles, light can be viewed as waves, but light can also be viewed with the much more advanced perspective of wave-particle duality. The Hindu view of god is similar. One does not move from falsehood to truth, but from lower truths to higher ones, which depends on ones mental state.


Wave-Particle duality. Can one smile and frown simultaneously? You are applying a common misnomer of the superposition. It is not actually two things simultaneously, it can be one of two based on the measurement instrumentation one chooses and the conditions, but it is not both simultaneously.


True, but my point was specific to light - its behaviour can be analyzed both in terms of waves and particles. Similarly, Hindus view that god can be analyzed in multiple ways.

Quote:
About no beginning, do you have any examples of anything physical, or any physical process that has no beginning? If not, then why would one arbitrarily apply this characteristic to the universe? What's the basis for this view?


This is a strawman. I have not stated that the universe is eternal - I have stated that physical existence is eternal.


OK, but isn't it still the same question anyway? do you have any examples of anything physical, or any physical process that has no beginning? If not, then why would one arbitrarily apply this characteristic to anything physical or any physical process or physical existence? What's the basis for this view? Why did I have to ask this question a second time? Why is it strawman? Why do people use this term in inappropriate places?

roshan wrote:

Looking at physical processes only illustrates the non existence of god.


Can't there be something outside the physical or metaphysical? If you say that's impossible, then i will use a thought as my example. Can they open up your brain and pull thoughts out?

roshan wrote:

Everything that is physical has a beginning and an end.


But you just got done saying that physical existence is eternal, which not only means no end, it means no beginning as well.

roshan wrote:

Everything that is physical comes from other things that are physical. If physical existence was created by god, then god too is physical and will end someday.


There is no rule that says something physical must be created by something physical, only that if it is physical, then it must have a beginning. But there is nothing to stop us from saying something non physical creating the physical.

roshan wrote:

Such a god is not a god at all and makes no sense whatsoever. What makes much more sense is that physical existence is eternal, and the universe (possibly universes?) undergoes cycles of destruction and reformation (just like everything else that is physical) all of which is based purely on physical processes.


But again, you are applying the quality of eternal on to a physical thing or physical process. What about if the only thing that is eternal is a thing that is beyond the physical? That's the only solution. Otherwise, we have an infinite chain of backwards causations. So each link in the chain has a preceding link, but then we say the chain itself has nothing preceding it? The chain, in this analogy, would be just as physical as each of it's links. It is a collection of links and therefore would require something preceding it, just like all of it's links. At some point, either you have infinite regression, or a non physical or metaphysical starter, that itself, was never started. We can pull a fast one like that, because there is only the requirement of having a beginning for physical things, but if we go beyond the physical, then this requirement disappears. It is no longer necessary.


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