Concept of God arising in multiple, different cultures

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by rodereve, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    I understand that Newton's limited understanding of the potential of Gravity rendered his work incomplete. GR later completed the unfinished work of Newton. I believe that Gravity has now been Empirically proven. It is a universal constant. As is c (SOL).
    Cause/Effect, Momentum, Conservation of Energy are all Empirically proven Universal constants.

    These constants are expressions of the Potential of the Universal Wholeness and if you want to introduce pseudo intelligence, a Holomovement.

    Theism has identified this Potential as God, then proceeded to assign false claims in support of the proposition. Is it wonder that metaphysicists are somewhat confused. Current metaphysics gets really very close to the philosophical concepts of a Brahman.
    The problem is that the Abrahamic religions are too afraid or too entrenched to straighten the record and persist in fostering dogma and the formation of exclusivity and religious conflict.

    I am making the equation that GOD = POTENTIAL and POTENTIAL = GOD The difference is that theists attach a motivated loving sentient and intentional supernatural intelligence to an already (almost) complete understanding of our relationship to the Greater Whole. Why all those bells and whistles? It poisons the fruit it bears, it has confounded the languages, it has opened Pandora's Box and released all the possible POTENTIAL
    consequences of being wrong.'s_box

    IMO, the philosophy of Religion should emphasize caution in evoking spiritual claims, when dealing with such Potentially harmful consequences.

    hmmm, I have just made a moral proposition based solely on the theoretical scientific concept of (metaphysical) Cosmological Potential.
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    By which you mean that empiricism can't elucidate the only thing that you regard as "explicit", which is God. This is a circular argument: empiricism can't find God. Why? Because God isn't "explicit". How do we know God isn't explicit? Because empiricism can't find God. All you're doing here is redefining the word "explicit" to mean "God".

    What are these barriers you speak of? You're assuming there is a God at the base of everything. But there's no evidence of any such substructure or superstructure in the universe. Oh, but that's because it's "explicit" and not "tacit", you say, and we can't actually find evidence of explicit things.

    In fact, we do have a reasonable understanding of both the small-scale and large-scale structure of our universe. Science doesn't claim to have all the answers. There will always be things we don't know. But there's nothing that suggests that an invocation of God is necessary at any point to explain anything.
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  5. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    *Sigh*... trolling. One of the most over used words on the internet today. No, Balerion, I am not a troll.
    You would do yourself a favour by ceasing to blindly follow current trends and use words as they were meant to be used. And as for you not replying to me any more... *snort*. You started this, you want to run, then run, little pup. A few parting yips isn't going to change anyone's opinion. Well, not mine anyway. I shouldn't speak for anyone else. I'm fairly certain, however, you'd have worked out by now I have a sort of bemused frown on my face when I'm reading you, so I can only assume you're speaking for the wider audience... you know, trying to make some sort of impression.

    Yes, yes, I understood what you were trying to say the first time.
    You dismiss some primitive form of religion having been taken out of Africa when the initial migration started, and you prefer to believe that it kind of appeared all over the world like Minerva from the head of Zeus, somehow. If I'm misrepresenting you here, then perhaps you should sit back contemplate that for a while. It's certainly what you're trying to do to me.

    That you disagree, in itself, is not the problem. The problem is that, both being only theories and largely unprovable, you're banging on like a two bob watch.
    And as for it being a nonsensical statement... it isn't. Period.

    Actually, it was you who took this argument up with me... let's not forget that.

    The words you've added in there "of god" are not mine. They're yours.
    Think about that, Balerion. See if you can figure out where your problem lies.

    Oh dear. Another common and very, very worn out tactic, Balerion. Owning to a small mistake, and then claiming that your ownership of it is evidence that you'd own to a larger one.

    Probably wouldn't. Only.... it isn't what I said. You know that, and you're choosing to ignore it.

    And for the record... if you're having philosophical conversations on Stars, you're doing it wrong. What's the matter, sunshine... tried it once or twice, got your ass kicked and now they're all "dull minds" over there? Heh. No doubt many of them are. But Stars isn't exactly a philsophical discussion site and your words here sound more than a little bitter, don't they?
    How's your ROI? Mine's positive, thanks for asking, and no, I'm not going to tell you my username.

    I dole out these little tidbits from time to time, Balerion, to see if and how others will attempt to use them. You're becoming less interesting with every post you make... and, incidentally, it smacks of desperation and a desire to hurt.
    You think you're losing, in spite of your vociferous objections. Don't you.

    You keep saying it can't, but you've yet to say anything beyond that other than repeating over and over "it's nonsensical". Do better.
    And, I might be wrong, but I thought that last part as you saying that.... oh look. never mind, I'm becoming quite bored with you. I can't even be bothered going back a couple of pages to look it up.

    I suggest you look in a mirror.
    Your misrepresentations, continued even in spite of replies indicating otherwise, aren't fooling me. again, I can't speak for anyone else, but frankly you sound like someone who isn't even bothering to read replies. You've got something stuck in your head... and you're going to run it into the ground if you have to, out of sheer stubbornness.
    Here's a little clue for your future: Having typed the last words on a page does not mean you've won the argument. It can mean one of several different things, and you claiming one or another is only that; a claim.

    And again, it was you who replied to me, Balerion. It was You who started this.
    I wasn't attempting to have a one on one with another poster, I merely posted a general observation. Since then, it's been all you.

    Years ago, I don't remember now. Someone else here also brought up the language issue, which is another thing evidencing the nature of the human brain... but I'm sure you won't bother to look that up either. You want everyone else to do your work for you. I'm not going to.
    Fact is, if you're not going to bother checking on it, or that other point from someone else which can be found in much the same source materials, that's your loss. Not mine.

    I only said, Balerion, that feral children not being able to understand the concept of god (religion in general) only gives evidence toward religion being an invention of man, and that it might be evidence that the concept of god is not something which springs into being randomly across different cultures. That was, after all, what the OP was about.

    Not only that, but if you added something like "coupled with cultural interaction" to those last two sentences and you've just repeated what I've been saying all along. Again.
    I will ask you one more time: What the fuck are you trying to argue with me about? Or maybe.... the whole point of this is that you just want to argue with me.

    Where did you get this idea I ever claimed history was an unbroken line?
    There was actually significantly more advancement during the dark ages than most people realise. If you see them as a time when all advancement simply stopped, or stagnated, then I would suggest it is in fact you who needs to go back and gain a sense of perspective. And as for the pyramids... there are similarities between cultures separated by oceans and thousands of miles, but there is absolutely no reason to believe they arose independantly from one another without cultural contact somewhere along the way.

    You're trying to claim this is evidence that they somehow think of these things separately. I'm more inclined to believe that some form of contact between different cultures at some point led to those similarities.
    And once more, you have no more proof of your conjecture than I do. I'm the one who has been saying all along that there is no proof either way... and yet you carry on.

    Jeez... look, I'm going to swear at this point. That's what I said you fucking moron. Except the last sentence, of course.
    And if you're going to start denying now that sophistication increases with cultural contact, then you're even more an idiot than I realised.

    You're not showing me or anyone else a damned thing. You can use words like "implausible", "nonsensical" or what have you all you like, but unless you have a reason for doing so other than "This is what I think" coupled with "this is what I'm going to try to make everyone believe you said" then it means nothing.
    I was going to write a summary of what I've actually been trying to say, as opposed to what you're claiming I have... but you're an idiot, and frankly I can't be fucked.

    You're less bright than I first supposed, and now you're boring me.
    Look, I'm not even going to bother with the rest.

    You know, I'm beginning to fathom something here.
    You're trying very hard to be me, aren't you. Is that what all this is really about?
    That would be flattering, if you were at all competent about it.
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    According to Bohm, the Explicate is the physical reality of the Implicate. By that standard theists concept of God should be modified to "the Implicate".

    The voice of reason. I agree.
  8. Balerion Banned Banned

    What makes you a troll is that you're only posting for reaction. You've long ago realized that your ill-considered leap into the intellectual deep-end was a mistake, and since then you've been trying to win a semantic argument so as not to admit you were talking out of your ass all along. And I'm guilty for taking the bait, but I have a weakness for frauds who feign boredom at opposing arguments as an intellectual defense mechanism. I like to watch them expend energy as they desperately try to act like the whole thing is beneath them.

    Again, I'm not banging on about being right. I've already stated that it's a matter of probability, not fact, and I happen to think this particular scenario has a better chance of being true. What I'm "banging on" about is your nonsensical argument.

    As much as I respect the power of "Because I said so," it doesn't really have any authority here. But good try!

    The relevance of that being what, exactly? Did I ask you for your opinion, or did you post it here without being prompted?

  9. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I think the two of you are not actually using the same language; and even when you do use the same language, you are using it with quite different degrees of comfort and agility.
    Hence the tension.
  10. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    well no.

    If you read my posts you can understand that even a cup of flour has explicit qualities that evade empirical investigation

    Either you made a typo or you are muddled up

    I am quite certain I never said "God isn't explicit".

    I guess it wasn't a typo.

    You are simply being inattentive.

    I suggest you go back and try to understand what the words "tacit" and "explicit" mean.

    Actually however, I was working with standard non-controversial definitions of god for establishing god as explicit (summum bonum, cause of all causes, and active principle in the creation, maintenance and annihilation of the phenomenal world, etc etc). If you want to introduce a sub-standard definition of god for the sake of your argument I guess that is your prerogative but you should understand at the onset it doesn't lend any strengths to your argument (eg : "god has to be tacit otherwise there is no way we can bring that which is naught nor ought to be so exalted on the face of gods great earth as that prince of disciplines ... Empiricism! ... to the investigation).

    Once again, understanding that various posters here have numerous problems with the concept of god, I introduced a mere cup of flour to explain how even this simple thing evades empiric investigation due to its inherent explicit nature. As I recall, it was you who was having difficulty justifying a world view composed solely of tacit terms.

    I already explained them to you before in this thread and you dropped out of the discussion.

    If you want I can re-link them to jog your memory

    On the contrary its not my assumption. Its the standard definition of god.

    Empirically speaking, there is no evidence of any substructure to the universe.
    This is why even a cup of flour evades empirical investigation at a certain level.

    fancy that eh?
    Why do you suppose a metonymic investigation of reality struggles to come to such conclusions?

    And why, given the inherent limitations of metonymic investigation, do people try and play it as capable of in/validating an explicit term?

    A network of tacit terms still remains tacit.
    Adding more tacit understanding doesn't change this fact anymore than division of any whole number by two is capable of providing the answer of zero.

    Of course it doesn't.

    Yet this fact doesn't stop a certain class of person from trying to borrow from science's established authority to hijack philosophical questions for which it has no precedent.

    Thats because there is nothing in empiricism to suggest that it could ever come to the point of coming to that necessity ..... even if the subject in question is simply a cup of flour.
    Empiricism is perennially affected by holes in its presentation of "reality". If the length and breadth of its investigation is tacit and metonymic, no amount of hard work is going to get around this ... just like no amount of hard work by constantly dividing 10 by 2 is going to give the answer of zero.

    For this reason, saying "there is no empirical evidence for god" in order to try and shadow the notion of his existence in doubt is just like saying "there is no evidence of influenza in carpentry."

    The real question here is what prevents people from simply saying : "Empiricism is not a valid tool for disseminating this subject."
  11. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Seems like esp. due to lack of education; lack of agility of thought; being unaware that one is working with inferior definitions of "God."

    But essentially, this isn't something limited to matters of "God."
    The many problems with empiricism have been discussed in the philosophy of science, in ways that don't even remotely have anything to do with theism.

    For many people who are into science, the philosophy of science is a field they refuse to explore.
  12. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    That's the sort of thing that proud, but uneducated people tend to say about things they don't have education about.
    Whether it's about God, or nuclear physics, or French cuisine.

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  13. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    You're certainly not a big proponent of the philosophy of science.

    I find "supernatural" to be a loaded term, and use it rarely.

    I never said I perceive God.

    Some people put much stock in personal connections as such to begin with. It comes naturally to them to try to extend this sense of personal connection to every being, including God.

    You seem to be working out of the assumption that the process of theistic religion is on principle the same as that of empiricism: observe, hypothesize, test, conclude.

    If you pay attention to actual theists, especially the traditional ones, they generally never say that this is how they have arrived at their knowledge about God.

    Lol. Maybe you're just jealous or sourgraping.

    That's something a naive realist would say.
  14. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    So you are trying to argue that universal constants are absolute, irrevocable truths for all times, places and circumstances?
    Or do you think they represent the cutting edge of our attempts to analyze our environment empirically?

    You are not making sense.
    Theism has not identified the sum total of physical constants as god ... and in fact even goes to some length to explain how god exists independently from such constants

    There are philosophical concepts of even Brahman being a contingent quality of god, much like the sunlight is a contingent property of the sun.

    Again you are not making sense.
    Generally people who declare personal existence to be diametrically opposed to perfect existence are simply extrapolating their own conditioned existence to an omnimax level (which of course necessarily paints a morbid picture of individuality)

    You are not really being clear about many things.
    Namely what is a spiritual claim and how it interacts with Potentially harmful consequences (especially in a world view where there is no individual existence of any great importance or noteworthiness ... I mean who is it that is getting harmed by Potential - the sum total of universal constants???

    Generally the problem of advocating a world view that offers no higher truth than Brahman is that any discussion of benefit or harm or reward (or even value or goal) becomes entirely meaningless, since ultimately there is no issue of personhood.
  15. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    I guess the problem is that science is a philosophy but philosophy is not science.

    IOW it doesn't appear that they find it becoming to be contextualized.
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Half time in the Balerion vs. The Marquis match


    So, the dispute, minus most of the chest thumping, amounts to this:

    As an unbiased observer, it seems to me that either hypothesis could be correct. It is possible that the concept of gods or spirits or what-have-you arose in Africa before human beings distributed themselves across the planet. On the other hand, it may be that human beings evolved some mental capacity which predisposed us to believing in such things and then we went on to develop particular concepts independently.

    Balerion has it right that the "concept of god" is an idea, while the ability to conceptualise god is a mental capacity. But The Marquis is right that the mental capacity most probably evolved before the concept became embedded in a culture or cultures, and he may also be right in his hypothesis that a cultural concept was transmitted out of Africa to all other cultures.

    It seems to be an overstretch to claim that the idea that different concepts of God arose independently "doesn't stack up", and equally an overstretch to claim that this is "the only theory that does [stack up]".

    Certainly, there is nothing nonsensical about either hypothesis.

    In the absence of any evidence provided by Balerion or The Marquis, there's really nowhere further this argument can be taken. The rest is just chest thumping.

    At this half-time point in the match, I'd give a slight edge to The Marquis on the basis of honest argument. Essentially, he has conceded all of the above points already, while Balerion continues to thrash about making the empty claim that everything The Marquis has said is nonsense.

    Let's see how the second half goes, assuming both combatants have the will to continue...
  17. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    How did you come to that assumption about me? Detailed example please.

    But you don't get to pick god's qualities other than the known definitions, ALL OF THEM! That is the point of the diversity of religions in different regions. You cannot tell me now that all interpretations of God may be wrong but God is beyond all this and not subject to investigation to see if the assigned godly attributes are really godly and if so, which ones so that we can study and absorb that wisdom into our own gestalt.

    from Bing god&qpvt=god definition&FORM=DTPDIA

    If you are defending the concept of God, you are defending all the garbage that is attached to the commonly accepted properties of god. If you don't accept all that garbage then speak up man! Distill for me your concept of God or what you believe to be Truth.

    Then how can one extrapolate anything. You are talking about the Creative Force, but don't even know what you are looking for?
    I have cited David Bohm as my qualified intellectual guide into metaphysics. Whatever weakness or naivite you are presuming about me, you are also directing at Bohm. Good luck.

    This is getting annoying, In order to analyze the question posed by OP, we are trying establish the commonly held beliefs about God. But everytime something is shown as commonly held but opposing beliefs, the answer always is, "well it is not exactly like that, science is just trying to disprove something which is disprovable. Tiresome. Take a position and defend it on the known merits, not some concoctions of vague attributes and verbal sparring, which are meaningless.

    Yes, and that is the only way it can be done. You think that an early hominid sat down one day and received the revealed word from god? Give me a break. He heard thunder all about and saw no other living thing making that sound and he was afraid, He saw lightning coming from the sky and he stood in awe, He felt the water that made him wet and was angry at the thing that was throwing this water at him and was making him wet. A few tens of thousands years later this unseen Power was named Thor. There is the process of assumptions from ignorance, which became assumptions from authority and now has become assumptions from Divine Authority. I prefer to name it the "Wholeness" or "Cosmic Singularity", and it's properties are Energy and it contains unlimited potential for expression in commonly experienced reality.

    Impress me with your arguments from authority.

    You have again presumed to label my viewpoints. By way of comparison, can you provide me with your "defined" position?
  18. elte Valued Senior Member

    Apologies; I just can't understand what you are saying, and you, I, it seems. It's like we live in different universes with the way things work being different between the two, with much different dialects of English, too.
  19. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    [quote wynn,

    Some people put much stock in personal connections as such to begin with. It comes naturally to them to try to extend this sense of personal connection to every being, including God.= ........{/quote]

    The equation is God = Potential

    If that seems superficial to you, you better study the implications contained in the term Potential. If you want to discuss the relative importance of the term potential as a metaphysical causal force in the hierarchy of expressions of reality lets start a new thread. I admit it is only tangently related to the topic of discussion.
  20. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I think it is about more than just individuality - it is also about the communal, the social. Being an individual only becomes really relevant, really shows, really comes into play when interacting with other people (and other living beings). Probably the majority of the problems that people experience, are related to difficulties in interacting with others. (Succinctly summarized in Sartre's "Hell is other people.")

    So it's not just about extrapolating one's own conditioned - and unsatisfactory - individuality, but also extrapolating one's own conditioned - and unsatisfactory - ways of interacting and experiences with other people (and other living beings) to the omnimax level. So this results not just in a morbid picture of individuality, but also in a morbid picture of interacting with other beings.

    Monism then seems appealing because it does away both with individuality, as well as with the social. - No man, no problem; no woman, no cry; no other people, no hell.

    Contextualization requires admission of dependence on an authority, and as such, also an admission of one's own inferiority and insufficiency.
    For many people, this makes for too much of a blow to their ego to allow for contextualization.
    The reluctance to contextualize is understandable, though; if one is to acknowledge one's dependence and insufficiency, at least it should be to someone who is able to take care of one and who is worthy of being submitted to.
  21. elte Valued Senior Member

    I mean real like in the sense that all thoughts are real, but that the things in the thoughts fall onto a scale ranging from totally real to totally unreal. This clarification was important; you were right to say something. For example, a dream is real, but during the dream, the speeding car that stops at an outstretched hand isn't real. I should amend my view of the relationship between real and reality, too: reality is the domain where the real exists.

    Also, I'm glad that you've summarized those things about the god of the gaps.
  22. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    doubly posted
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  23. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I've been following your discussion with LG.

    My point is that each person can introspect and check what particular definition of "God" they are working with, and why.

    I'm not telling you any such things. For the purposes of discussion, I'm merely interested in the particular definition of "God" that you now choose to work with.


    Already done more than once in this thread.

    Apparently, one just can; as long as one has a somewhat functioning brain and body.

    Whatever word you hear, or anything you see, hear, taste, smell or touch - some association will appear in your mind. On principle, this is how extrapolation works.

    As long as Mr. Bohm doesn't personally participate in this discussion, you are the one I am talking to.

    Or you're just not being precise enough.

    Then you've missed out on quite a few things.

    Like I suggested earlier: It may be revealing to interview actual theists from various denominations at various levels of expertise, and hear how they say they have come to their knowledge of God.
    But that's your homework, nobody can do it for you.

    At this point, this is just projective conjecture, with no means to evidence it.

    I'm quite sure you don't want to be impressed.

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    On what exactly?

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