God is an impossible object.

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Ted Grant II, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. Ted Grant II Registered Member

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    Is a disembodied mind possible, such as one of the many gods that humans have dreamed up over the last several thousand years? I have thoughts on this matter. My thoughts are matter (!).

    A "thought" is a special dynamic arrangement of matter and is a well known fact from now on. It is actually a series of physical events in the brain (electro-chemical events) and can be monitored using a machine. It is possible to give me a drug that allows my existing memory to function normally, but prevent me from remembering anything new. It is well known that a bump on the head of a certain type could destroy my ability to remember the past or my ability to think. When you die, your brain will cease to function "properly". After 3 days, it would be impossible to get it functioning again because fresh blood is required to sustain the brain's activity and it's cells (they are extremely delicate).

    If you scratch a vinyl record badly, the reproduction of the music (software) will be spoiled. The software on your hard drive consists of a special arrangement of charged particles that can be converted to human readable form on the screen or in the speakers (for example) or be used to perform calculations by the CPU etc. A simple strong magnetic field nearby could destroy the software by re-arranging the charges in an undesirable way, although, strictly speaking, there would still be software on the computer, just not the kind you wanted.

    The BIBLE is a special arrangement (traditionally) of ink, paper, glue etc. It can be burned (shock) and edited when copied (heresy). People have been burned for reading the Bible in English. We don't have the original manuscripts, so the Bible (word of God) is dynamic (unlike the Koran in Arabic).

    Some software is relatively stable, such as a precious photo or an important email or your date of birth. Some software changes more or less continuously, such as your age, that is, it is dynamic. Our thoughts are dynamic (for most of us !) and they are special (they are not simply random) and they are an arrangement of brain matter as the above examples clearly show. So, it follows that your thoughts could not exist without matter. A disembodied mind or soul is an impossible object (like a round square or a married bachelor). Therefore a mind could not create matter where there was none previously. Therefore God did not create matter ! (sorry to spoil your wishful software). Does it matter? Never mind.
     
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  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Are you starting from the assumption that God is merely a mind, or perhaps distinct from the material world?
    Could God not be both mind and matter (and everything else, material and non-material)?
     
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  5. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    Perhaps an error occurs by the act of objectifying "GOD"?
    I would eschew it.
     
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  7. ForrestDean Registered Senior Member

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    So I'm just curious. What is the purpose of this thread?
     
  8. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Search me. Ted Grant 2 seems to be a sort of reincarnation of wellwisher, but without the hydrogen bonds or the liberals.

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  9. Ted Grant II Registered Member

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    One of the fascinating characteristics of humans is their ability to find an answer to challenging questions. It has to sound right in order to be acceptable to the listener.
    For example "What is the purpose of being born blind ? ". I'm sure Christians will think of an answer that is acceptable to their peers.
    If they are struggling, they might refer to something in their Holy Book, which is nearly always a good escape.
    They might simple waffle and make it seem like they've given an answer.
    I am quite happy to say "I don't know".
     
  10. Ted Grant II Registered Member

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    You have a good point. There have been many ideas about gods of course and I admit that the idea addressed is only one.

    In the past, people have worshiped trees and planets. They thought that god was made of some material and I have no argument against these concepts. In the Bible, the Israelites, who had intimate evidence for the god Moses wanted them to worship, got bored when he was up the mountain and decided to smelt some gold into the shape of a calf and worship it. For a while, they were happy with a golden god. Their enemies worshiped many gods and appear to have known about the god of the Israelites and feared him. Some worshiped Dagon and when they captured the Ark of God and placed it before their god, he fell on his face. They sent the Ark back to the Israelites as it was interfering with their worship.

    When the Israelites went to war, they carried the Ark in front and terrified the pagans, because they had heard of its power. Strangely, they were still reluctant to adopt the Israelites idea of god and preferred their own. When I was a small child, I believed God lived in the sky on a throne, surrounded by flying angels. Later, I learned that angels are spiritual beings. I never found out why they need feathers. As I grew up, I gradually adjusted my concept of God (as you do) and came to believe he was invisible and everywhere. Eventually, he disappeared completely.

    I've asked a number of believers about God and they seem to know a great deal about him, despite the fact that they also believe he is undetectable. For example, he is infinite, good, merciful, a spirit, a superior being, a creator. He has always existed, he knows the future, he knows your needs and thoughts, he will never let you down, he can speak any language, he is outside of time and space. He has many mansions. He created Hell to punish anyone who happened to have been brought up in the wrong religion (because he is just) or perhaps he didn't and such a person will be forgiven (because he is merciful) or perhaps that unlucky soul will simply be separated from god for eternity.

    They never offer any means whatever of testing the truth of these supposed facts about god.
    In science class, if the teacher said you can move mountains if you have enough faith, but it can't be demonstrated, you'd be justified in being a little skeptical.

    Basically, when inventing a god, you select the features you like. A bit like a bespoke bicycle.
    The only problem with any set of concepts of god, is that in order to form a religion around it, you have to convince lots of people that the concept is the right one.
    You are not going to make any money trying to convince people that God is an invisible fairy and lives down the bottom of your garden.
    If you think that is true, please send me a donation before Christmas and when I have enough money, I'll build a Temple to worship that fairy.
    I will, of course, need some of the money to buy a new car so I can spread the word to distant parts.

    Some people believe god is a disembodied powerful mind. I was addressing this idea and it seems to me to be unintelligible.
    I realise that god could be made of sometime else. Pure spirit perhaps ?
    Better still, nothing.
     
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  11. Ted Grant II Registered Member

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    You may be right, although I am not sure how to eschew something. Although I currently lack any kind of belief in the paranormal and think it very unlikely to be visited by the Virgin Mary in my bedroom at 3 am, I nevertheless find it interesting. I am especially fascinated by people who knock on my door on Saturday or Sunday clutching a worn out Bible and trying to get me to join their Church or Temple (and of course make donations). I take great delight in quoting from their book. My latest line is "Are you familiar with Exodus chapter 20?".
    "Not off hand" is the usual reply and they hurriedly open the book and after a few moments happily announce "It's the Ten Commandments!"
    I then ask them, " What about the next chapter, chapter 21?". Again they have to look. This time, they are not so happy.
    Of course they have a defense. Christians have had about 1500 years to study that book and dream up plausible defenses.
    I know this doesn't answer your point, but I did enjoy writing it. The thing is, I completely agree with you. God is probably not an object, although I have no idea how to confirm it.
    My view, which is common in the scientific community, is that an important claim, if it is to be considered seriously, should be accompanied by some plausible test.
    If I claim to have a cure for head lice, I should at least have an example of a person that had head lice and is now free of the pests.
    If I claim that I can move a mountain using only the force of my will and 500 people have seen me do it, would you believe me without a personal demo ?
    If I tell you I have a pet dog, you might find that easy to accept and in any case, it's not an important nor impressive claim.
    I think the most important thing in science is testing (obvious really). You wouldn't buy a cheap second hand car without doing a road test, would you?
    Similarly, you shouldn't donate to an organization that promotes belief in an invisible magic creepy guy that reads your thoughts.
     
  12. Ted Grant II Registered Member

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    This is my favourite answer so far.
    It raised a smile.
    At my age, that's the best I can hope for ( I hate ending a sentence with "for", but it's late and my time is up).
     
  13. ForrestDean Registered Senior Member

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    Ahh ok, fair enough. So basically the information is just meant to contemplate upon or perhaps research similar or rather parallel possibilities for anyone who may be interested.
     
  14. stretched a junkie's broken promise Valued Senior Member

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    I like this - "And everything else material and non-material" - perhaps G-d could be more than both mind & matter - perhaps "G-d" is the manifestation of the universe and universal consciousness?

    Interesting research from anesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff:

    "This universal approach to consciousness depends, in large part, upon quantum mechanics. In classical physics, you see a separation between basic units like protons, neutrons and quarks. But when you view the universe through a quantum lens, the separation, the void, drops away. Underlying everything is the fundamental spacetime geometry that makes it possible for the universe to exhibit consciousness."
     
  15. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Could you explain how this would work.
    I can't see a link between geometry and consciousness.
    Alex
     
  16. stretched a junkie's broken promise Valued Senior Member

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    Robert Penrose`s new physics of Objective Reduction (OR) involves correlation between macroscopic superposed quantum states, their spacetime geometries, consciousness via microtubules and other biomolecules in the brain and the universe.

    Apologies, I can`t share the full publication in the PD, but this Abstract gives a decent overview. Further info on OR here and nicely explained here.

    My though on this threads theme - God is an impossible object (to comprehend?) - is because "we" are embedded within "G-d", part and parcel. Are we inside looking out, outside looking in, or perhaps inside looking infinitely in?
     
  17. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I can not answer such a question but then I would never ask it.
    Thank you for your reply.
    Alex
     
  18. Newbiephilosopher Registered Member

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    I believe humans are the central actors in the battle between good and evil, not the gods and we have been telling ourselves horrible stories of punishment as far back as writing began. Religion has scared the shit out of humanity with this stuff too long; to the point that a countless number of people have been cruelly slaughtered in the name of an all seeing, all loving God. So why don't I give up on believing in the ideas of God? Because too many simple, honest, hard working people believe they have had a personal experience with God. I'd like to believe them! Yet the world continues along the same path as it always has, believing in a supernatural battle that God is going to bring to save humanity and thereby the world. I thought the idea of karma/holy spirit worth saving as a reward for good moral behavior, a blessing from God but the remainder of religion's beliefs are fanatical, a disease within humanity and should go. There must be a better way. Life is something else!
     
  19. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I think live avoiding superstition and to take personal responsibility for things that happen in your life is a start.

    Be happy that you are alive and not seek and after life or a relationship with a mystical made up entity.

    Stop seeking wisdom from texts written thousands of years ago by folk who could not understand the mysteries of their time.

    Alex
     
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  20. Counter Registered Senior Member

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    140
    God is the wheelchair guy who invented time. He came from "nothing" by proposing, "something cannot come from nothing. If there is nothing, there will be nothing forever." Out of the "nothing" came a human. A black man who lived in the dark. He gave birth to a Brother and Sister, Adam and Eve, and all of us are ultimately one family who came from this one single being. God's proposition (yes that's his name, it's not a title, that's His name) will remain forever, and not one single person can dispute it. It was true then, and will remain for all eternity.

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  21. Newbiephilosopher Registered Member

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    I am not saying there is a God probably because God has not introduced himself to me in a way that I can comprehend and I therefore think God is something that humans in general are least able to understand. But I agree with the proposition that God will remain with us forever as he always has but as Alex has said we as a human race must get rid of this superstition surrounding the idea of God. Jesus said mankind is not good, only God is good and that with one statement Jesus alone places God and holiness on a level higher than most humans can achieve; high in the clouds where only superstition can reign. Hermes Trismegistus, no doubt a fictional character but from the same time period as Jesus, who supposedly received the wisdom of God said that God was good because he gave everything and asked for nothing in return. Now that is a quality of holiness that humans can achieve (and do everyday) and that is what we as a race should only teach ourselves, that holiness can be achieved through goodness and thereby become closer to God through qualities of merit; Benevolence, justice, integrity, magnanimity,industry, patience, and tolerance to name a few. The bible is outdated, especially the Ten Commandments and the miracles that only popes can perform must go with it. If were going to worship a creative spirit because all things are, then we should only teach attainable goals that bring us closer to this God.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017
  22. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Why do we need to worship anything?
    Why should a God need to be worshipped?
    Why do we need to be close to God?
    Alex
     
  23. The God Valued Senior Member

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    1. Why do we need to worship anything?

    Why do we need to brush our teeth? Animals don't.

    2. Why should a God need to be worshipped?

    Why we respect elders in general? Animals don't.

    3. Why do we need to be close to God?

    Who told you this?
     

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