Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by rodereve, Jan 21, 2013.
Is this proof of God
proof that God and religion are man-made conceptions?
Log in or Sign up to hide all adverts.
Neither. It is proof that humans tend to aspire to some ideal.
Since different cultures have so many different and incompatible concepts of gods, spirits and so on, this can hardly be proof of any individual God.
That's true, but for the sake of argument, imagine that the same God visited each of those cultures. And those cultures just made their own account of the meeting/experience.
Considering how we learned of historic religions and all the methods of transmission of information (drawings, writing in different languages, oral transmission only, translating to other languages), do you think that it would be right to assume some errors along the way, and throughout the hundreds of years this lead to more distinct, and divergent views of God.
No. Many different things, from cultural and social constructs, to architecture and technology, have developed many times all over the world. The concept of God (or gods, since monotheism is a relatively new branch) is just another example of something that tends to arise when groups of people get together. The reason it's hard to imagine all faiths being attributable to one actual god or pantheon of gods is because they are in many cases incompatible (as James said), yet where there is some overlap, either in terms of region or era, we see evidence of borrowing. Such as how Jewish mythology borrows from Sumerian and Akkadian sources, while Christianity borrows from Jewish and pagan sources, and Islam is basically just a poor attempt at copying Christianity. (I think today we'd call it a "reboot") In other words, if all religions were talking about a real event, or a real god, they wouldn't be as disparate as they tend to be when you put some distance between them. You can see the common sources of Christianity and Islam, but how do you reconcile the differences between those two faiths and the religion of the Mohawk Indian?
And the problem a theist would have in making this argument is that it invalidates any scripture they might ascribe to their god, as there would be no way of knowing which is the true story, which are the false ones, or if they're all just sort of wrong.
Interesting. I recall you once saying that no position could be taken on this matter, something about not being sure enough about the scientific method, or maybe it was the evidence you said required a kind of self-assurance you couldn't muster. Yet here you are, taking a position.
It's a matter of definitions. The simplest form of defining transcendence is "to aspire to some ideal." Whether that ideal is then further specified as "God" or "reason," is secondary.
Why would the differences need to be reconciled?
So you weren't agreeing with his interpretation of the evidence, just his claim that people tend to aspire to some ideal?
For anyone to believe that they are all accounts of the same god.
I seconded this: "Neither. It is proof that humans tend to aspire to some ideal."
The rest is your doing.
Only for those who have difficulty with handling variety.
One thing that some theists have in common with some atheists, is a dislike or fear of variety, to the point where they insist "There can be only one religion, at all times and places, and all others are to be wrong."
Those theists apply this into "And thus my religion is the one and only right one."
Those atheists apply this into "And thus, since the existing religions are so different, none of them is or can be right."
Ok let me ask you this: Is disproving religion the same as disproving God? Isn't religion just the popular summaries [of man's account of how the world works, including a God] that have survived through the history. Religions may be the subjective account of God, but can't there still be an objective existence. Can't God exist without religions defining him. OK I guess by pointing out the faults and contradictions in each religion, we can rule out the christian God, or the jewish version of God, or Allah, but do we rule out the concept of God?
No, we can't rule out the concept of godhood. If all religion is mythology based on superstition (which it is) it wouldn't necessitate that there was no first mover, or movers, to the universe.
We can say that it seems unlikely for any gods to exist, of course. There's absolutely no evidence that one does. But even if there were, is a silent, non-intervening god even worth thinking about?
no more than the variety of visual representations of trees grants a host of incompatible features ....
The tendency for religious or superstitious thinking, that has gone back 100,000 years or so, likely factors into the scenario. The practice of giving supernatural causes for things like the sun and wind goes way back, and attributing the cause of things not understood to gods or God still happens today.
Which concept of god? The word is slippery and vague... Hairy thunderer or cosmic muffin? If you mean an old man with a beard and a telescope, then yeah - we can safely rule that one out. If you mean a more pantheistic description of the universe - the universe obviously does exist.
the notion of arriving at explicit causes from tacit knowledge systems (like empiricism) is also a superstitious mode of thinking ....
Most likely a testament to our faithful, and wishful natures. Experiencing the emotion of high faith, does it give 'God' in empirical sense?
We don't really view superstition that way. I'm pretty sure that in the early days science was thought to be the superstition, not as we see it now as observable things we can verify, and we know do get verified, and we actually benefit from them in real life. For example, we get our antibiotics because we think that researchers have observed that they kill the germs in petri dishes. I don't think faith healing works supernaturally because I've never seen evidence for it. What we know is best a guess based on evidence, however, the science works consistently while the superstition never seems to hold up to scrutiny. I can light a fire, and because of science, I know what is happening.
Basically, you're saying "Some people, especially in the past, didn't know how things work, so in their ignorance, they invented the convenient 'God did it'."
Do you have any evidence of that, or is this just your projection, conjecture?
This topic suggest that God was a natural part of human evolution and had practical purposes for all humans. For the sake or argument, say you took the atheits position and assume god was only in the imagination. This still creates the possibility of adding projection overlay onto sensory reality, which can cause departure from natural instinct.
An example is the night sky. The animal or the instinctive prehuman could see the night sky. Since the sky is nether a threat or food, they will pay no further mind. Those with a religion induction within the imagination, might see more than just the night sky, because they will the sky overlayed with images (gods) or odd vibes from the imagination. There is no instinct to deal with this composite, so they may continue to look out at the sky with fear or curiosity. Some plot the stars to explain what they sense or feel that have no precedent in natural evolution; first psychologically modern humans.
I would guess most early innovation was based on this religion projection basis, since natural instinct tends to be conservative and does not deviate, quickly. As an experiment, we can have two groups of apes. One group, we will similate unconscious projection with movie projector we shine onto reality.The second group of apes will the same background and no projector. Then we see team learns something new qucker.
Learning about reality is useful to modern times. But the religion projector is more useful if you need to get past natural and invent a new path.
Below is a list of gods of fire, which brough the use of fire and smithing to various cultures. The animal sees no need but the religious learn about fire.
BBlack God (Navajo mythology)
The Kitchen god
ZZhu Rong (god)
Separate names with a comma.