Should Humanity be more Important than any God?

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by river, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. river

    Should not Humanity be more important than any god?

    Show me that any " god " has demonstrated that Humanity is more important than this god ?

    Never happened and won't .
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    If you already know the answer, why ask the question?
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  5. river

    Because the importance of the question is fundamental psychology of Humanity .
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    But you already have your answer.
  8. ajanta Registered Senior Member

    I think at first we should make it sure about the existence/nonexistent of God and then may be we can compare between humanity and God.
  9. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    Is 'Humanity" truly a collective? Maybe if a god has a purpose, it is to give cohesion to a group.
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Honestly, on this occasion all I can do is shrug and say, "And?"

    It's a perverse spin on Darwin; a man stands up to quarrel in the pub, nobody cares. Maybe he was right to marry his cousin.

    • • •​

    Generally speaking, the monotheistic godhead is a surrogate or metaphor for the perfection, completeness, and totality of everything. That is to say, if there is a better, then there logically must be a superlative. If there is imperfection, we measure it against an abstraction of perfection. The reason I acknowledge "God" is that we don't have a better word for everything the monotheistic godhead represents.

    Religion, on the other hand, is a collective performance art fantasy derived from creative capacities of the human brain. God, within the religiosu context, is usually an anthropomorphization of our perception within this whole. To wit, any time in literature and drama we see that existential, "Why?!", we witness an enactment of the reason we anthropomorphize the abstraction of this perfect, total, whole everything.

    In the end, religion is more a reflection of ourselves and how we see ourselves within reality than any actual reality itself. As the Sufis say, religion is an accretion of superficialities around an ancient core or truth. That truth is actually larger than our mortal brains can conceive and calculate, so we invent miniature, anthorpomorphized deities to help explain what we're seeing.

    In the scientific era, Abramism in particular seems to face decline; it is comparatively unclear just how much of a conscience-clause fight Hindus and Muslims are going to put up akin to Christians during my lifetime, but Christianity is the only religion that has asked me to vote on their principles in societal law. That is to say, creationism and its mystical-but-not-religious, asexual bastard offspring, intelligent design, always rode into the school districts on Christian wings. Voting on "lifestyle" or redefining medicine? In these United States, it's Christians. And as we see from examples around the world, Islam and Judaism are not strangers to irrationality, though it's a slightly different profile. The Buddhists will probably do fine; we can always revive the joke from Huxley and say the Hindus will simply claim to have invented it all; it's not exactly a kind joke, though.

    Religion has some evolutionary purpose, else we would have shed it by now. I'm not certain, though, we can eliminate the religious impulse unless we lose a certain vital portion of our creative capacities. Superstition still has defensive value, so it's going to stick around for a long, long time. In terms of cohesion, the relationship with God seems to be one of authority and mandate, an asserted anchor around which our social instincts orbit.
  11. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    So who will surrogate that authority in place of our god?
  12. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Conceptually, God is connected to a human extension of natural instinct. The atoms, plants and animals do not have free will or choice, but rather function within the parameters of natural laws and natural instinct. These laws build upon each other, and thereby allow very complex ecosystems to integrate and evolve, with minimal waste of motion. Natural laws of science and natural instinct are like natural programs that allow extended coordination and integration in nature.

    God or the word of God, symbolize an extension of natural laws and natural instinct, needed to compensate for human free will and choice. Free will and choice adds a wild card to creation such that natural laws and natural instinct may not always be chosen or extrapolated properly. The tradition that God created the universe and life implies that the next layer of natural programing, will be another extrapolation, needed to take into account human with free will and choice, so this becomes an asset of nature.

    Free will and choice contain the potential to undermine natural instinct as well as the integration of nature. For example, if you believe in man made global warming, then this is an example of free will and choice that is not integrated with the natural picture. It is a choice, but not a natural choice, since the result is not an extrapolation of nature; does it make the earth better.

    A good analogy is say you had a supercomputer and was able, through a very complex program, allow AI to appear. The AI is the pinnacle of a highly advanced foundation of information and hardware.

    The AI has willpower and choices. It is more than the sum of it programing and hardware. Yet this does not mean the AI understands all the programming precedent from which it appears. As an analogy, a child may be able to make choices of food and clothing, but they have no idea how the neurobiology works from which these ideas are appearing. They just feel that way.

    If AI did form, it may not be a computer genius, even though it appears from computer programs that are genius. The same is true of humans. The human AI that allows choice and will power has the ability to make choices, and even make changes to the program from which it appears, yet does not always fully understand what it is doing. It may make changes that shut itself off, or narrow its original range.

    The drug addict has choice and will power, but these choices are not optimized to natural laws and natural instincts. They lead to subroutines appearing that are not natural which can undermine their biology right down to the cellular level. But even if one is making choices, that do not personal harm, do these choices allows you and the rest of humans, to integrate with natural laws, natural instinct and nature?

    God represents the ideal set of choices that will make the human AI, a master of its own nature, so choices will be made that extend natural laws. God symbolizes the past, present and future as well as the alpha and the omega, where all these things are built to be connected and integrated.
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Presently, inasmuch as I understand the question, we will continue to invent gods or other such surrogates. Consider atheists; I haven't really heard much chatter in recent years about religion actually going away; compared to, say, the turn of the century, that's different. The thing is that we're not getting rid of religion; old gods might fade away, but we'll find new myths to guide us.

    The alternative is perpetual pursuit of rational answers. It's not as intricate as it sounds except that it is, but the starting point is illustrated by questions of the meaning or purpose of life. For our purposes, let us try the phrase "purpose of life"; I'm going to redefine even further by suggesting in this case that the purpose of pertains more to species in particular and life itself in general―if the individual organism seems adrift in this, yes, it is.

    But there are contexts and valences of commonality; in politics sometimes argumentation comes down to exploiting general commonality in a particular context at a particular valence.

    In the Universe, we might attend a very particular context of general commonality in order to identify, acknowledge, and functionally accept that life is the manifestation of a particular range of relationships 'twixt matter and energy. In that context, it is true, we are no different from rocks or stars.

    There are, of course, differences. The rock itself is not in stasis, but its processes are much simpler and less apparent than the star. And while the star can draw small amounts of sustenance from its environment, the rock generally receives its reinforcement passively.

    And any physicist will tell you I'm still getting it wrong; the rock really is dynamic, but if we chase down this rabbit hole we end up at the basic idea of differentiation, and that's more complicated than we need right now. Suffice to say, for our purposes, identifying the rock is largely, if not entirely, subjective.

    Life, as a general phenomenon, can do something the star can't. Life can seek sustenance. And in this blend of abstractions, we find that life as a general phenomenon can be construed as defying the Universe, because while everything returns to its ground state, life persists and insists. The purpose of life is like the purpose of the rock or star, which is in turn to be.

    And for life, this means perpetuating.

    Once upon a time, life arose on Earth; it developed, became more complicated, and eventually expanded beyond its original habitat. The history of life on Earth includes a series of lineages or heritages that come together into what becomes human, an unbroken chain since the beginning of life on Earth. For our species, the object is to be, to exist and perpetuate. It's easy enough to look out at the Universe and see the liquids, solids, gases, plasmas, &c. But life is a particular arrangement of matter and energy; the Universe will continue along its way in such a manner as to create more rocks and stars, and also life.

    Imagine that lineage, from the first life unto you and I. Now look forward and imagine that it exists until the Universe can no longer support any iteration of life. No one of us gets to see the end of the show, but the purpose of life is to exist within this Universe.

    And from that, it should be possible to figure out a significant amount of right and wrong.

    After all, my generation raised in the American Christian context often heard variations on a theme about how God works in mysterious ways; it was generally a defense against indicting God for one's anguish. How can this murdered mother, or this brief flicker of incredible humanity that didn't even make it to his fourth birthday before neuroblastoma stole his last breath, be good? Because God is good.

    And this question has been around pretty much from the outset. Housman gets the famous line: "Malt does more than Milton can to justify God's ways to man". At some point―I would have to look up the obscure reference―I think it was Aquinas arguing about the question of evil, God's will, and the blind horse.

    Additionally, it should be noted that objective morality does not require dystopian results. While we often imagine emotionally cold optimization of the human endeavor, it seems worth reminding that pathos is an evolutionary result, too; it, also, has a reason for existing within our human function. In other words, there's a reason we didn't all go Spartan.

    Nor is there any suggestion humanity is anywhere near prepared for the more objective pathways; hence, more gods and aesthetic moral schemes.
  14. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    My thought is who will take the place of an authority, since it's human nature to anchor our social instincts around authority? The experiment has taken place throughout history, where the state assumes the role, sometimes with horrific results. At least the concept of god can be subjective for each individual to some extent. I would tend to believe that "God" lends diversity to authority as far as people are concerned, often overriding the power of the state. That is, providing the state has not hijacked the authority of god.
  15. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Might as well ask if humanity should be more important than any idea. Just as the pantheon of Greek gods were personified concepts, even the Abrahamic god seemed to be an anthropomorphic reification of a Semitic moral system -- or creation -- or both ideas. When shifting away from biblical context to a philosophical version of the Westernized god, then a humanoid symbol for general moral schemes / First Cause.

    The term "Humanity", when so capitalized, can refer to six virtues claimed to be universal. That would be akin to "is _x_ concept more important than other concepts?". So what seems preferred instead is the more concrete-sounding meaning of "all of the living human inhabitants of the earth" that's straddling both sides of the fence (empirical particulars / abstract set).

    So, refining further: "Are people more important than any concept?"

    Probably existence should at least be more important or prior in rank (that is: if there's no be-ing or capacity for be-ing, then no people). If there's a god in ancient or current mythologies that purely symbolizes or corresponds to the general idea of existence itself (not just creation or bringing forth a cosmos), then...

    "There you go." --Sam McCloud.
  16. wellwisher Banned Banned

    What makes humans different from the animals, is human have free will and choice. Animals lack free will and choice and operate under natural instincts. Therefore , animals, in a loose sense, are under God; mother nature, and not their own free will and choice.

    The question really is, is unifying principle we call mother nature, which integrates animals and eco-system, apart from will power and choice, inferior to humans each seeking their own subjective good, using free will and choice?

    People who believe in God, place the will of God, above human will power and choice. They try to simulate what the animals do with Mother Nature. They sacrifice will and choice for the word of God, like animal do wth mother nature. They don't full trust will power and choice to be objective, since it can often be subjective or deceptive.

    We have free will and choice to bulldozer ancient forests. This makes some people rich, which is some may will to do this. The religious are required to think longer before acting, because not all choices and will power sees the bigger picture. For those who can't think deep enough, there are guidelines to help. God keeps the religious people on the bigger picture, just like animals operate under the bigger picture called mother nature.
  17. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    @ wellwisher,
    That is an eloquent moral argument. The *devil* lies in the details, which God (Scripture) to "choose".

    Would it not be better to just worship the power and functions of Nature and Natural Balance*, and try to live in harmony with it. This requires a scientifically well informed public, not sheep.
  18. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Willpower and choice is something that is specific to humans, but not to the rest of nature. Living with nature and learning to be part of the natural balance is useful, but it is not quite enough to deal with willpower and choice. The reason is, nature does not have any precedent for these things. An integrated eco-system works well, because there is no choice and no willpower.

    Willpower and choice is not going away, which is why another layer of integration needed to form, called religion. Religions attempt to build upon and extrapolate from the natural integration, while taking into account will power and choice, as two wild card variables. Willpower and choice is not always bad, but it can also enhance, nature. How do you evolve this wild card and human nature, so it will be used to enhance nature, while building upon the natural foundation, so humans once again become part of the integration? (The fall and return to paradise)

    If you look at moral laws, these are not designed to optimize individual choice and will. Rather these are designed to optimize the group. Thou shall not steal, for example, if practiced by the entire group, allows it to become more close knit and integrated, like an eco-system. There is more trust. If you add stealing, although this may benefit the choices and will power of some members, it can make add stress to the group, which can then dissociate and/or require the use of extra resources; unnatural.

    There are animals in nature, who are the thieves. The hyena may steal food. If we copy only nature, some people will justify stealing by pointing to the hyena. But the hyena does not have will power and choice in terms of its actions. For the hyena, stealing is its natural role in an integrated eco-system. Its actions help to make the eco-system healthy.

    But with humans and the wild cards of will power and choice, there is no natural way to structure stealing, so this can help an eco-system become more optimized. Either too many people would prefer become the hyena and not have to hunt and gather, or some will steal too much.

    The new layer solution of religion, to maintain integration and still accommodate willpower and choice, was to say stealing was taboo, but for people to be generous with each other. The lion offers the hyena food from his excess, so stealing is not needed. The solution is to put affect before the cause, so natural cause is implied but not practiced.
  19. The God Valued Senior Member

    Where is the doubt ? And how can you compare two disjoint things ?

    Those who are killing in the name of God or religion are not human.....they are animals. They have no connect with the God either.
  20. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    I have o specific quarrel with your logic. I just believe that secular law based on science can be just as effective if taught properly. It is nice to have a symbolic representation of nature, and some deisms are secular in nature.

    But there is that warning, "Thou shalt have no false gods before you". How do you *know* your god is not a false god when critically analyzed?

    As I said before, the implacable mathematical essence and function of the universe itself can spontaneously create all that we credit to a benign, sentient, and intentional designer.

    Scripture is not factually supported, except where it offers philosophical secular moral imperatives, such as the "7 deadly sins" which history has told us seldom end up in good outcomes.

    Scripture is not all bad, it just isn't science, and that is why there can never be *consensus* between Scriptures as there is in Science.
  21. johnmusic Registered Member

    The question assumes a god exists.
  22. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    Agreed, mythology has it's place, but reality should always be more important than mythology.
    johnmusic likes this.
  23. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    For many that "mythology" is reality. And they live their lives accordingly. There's power and inspiration in myth that can't be found in the reality of a cold, lifeless universe.

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