God is imaginary by definition.
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31-05-2014, 05:10 AM
RE: God is imaginary by definition.
Hello all.

(30-05-2014 09:32 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  
(30-05-2014 07:45 PM)rampant.a.i. Wrote:  Some excellent, very well thought out replies in this thread. Thank you. Living thing, when I mean by "exist outside of space time" is that concepts are "immortal" in the sense that once they are recorded, they transcend time. We can pull concepts from throughout human history, contrast and refine them.
I think what he meant was that a concept is only a concept when interpreted by a mind. Once the concept is recorded, it is merely a code. It is just recorded information (which can exist for indefinite periods of time). However it is only when that information is then decoded and interpreted through the mind that it then becomes the intended concept.
(30-05-2014 07:45 PM)rampant.a.i. Wrote:  I really should have said they're independent of space time.
Thanks, rampant.a.i., for your clarifications, and thanks, evenheathen, for putting it better than I could ever dream of; that is almost exactly what I meant. Although I would like to point out an additional detail, but I'll probably fail miserably at summarising it; please forgive me.

When abstract notions occur in our minds, they occur in the context of time because they are conveyed by the motion of things in our brains and it always takes time for motion to happen. When we record them into graphical symbols that are meaningful by convention, two things happen.

One is that those meanings are implied by convention and, if the convention is forgotten, the meanings disappear even if the recordings remain. An example would be information written in "Linear A" from ancient Crete; the carved symbols are there, but the meanings have long been gone. Like evenheathen suggests, recorded abstract information that is meaningful by convention is only meaningful in our minds; that is, in the context of time.

Two; regardless of the writing system used, graphical symbols appear in the context of space. The geometrical shape of each symbol (how its features are arranged spatially), and very often its location in relation to other symbols, are critical in order to convey a specific abstract notion. The words "god" and "dog" use the same symbols but they convey different notions because the spatial arrangement of their constituent symbols is different.

But even the sturdiest carved stone will not last for ever. Eventually, every complex structure is likely to become disassembled into simpler components. Carved stones exist in space, but only for a length of time. Recorded abstract information does not seem to appear outside the context of space or time.

So once again, I am not sure it can be said that abstract notions are independent of space time.

(30-05-2014 07:45 PM)rampant.a.i. Wrote:  You can imagine the history of life without the constraint of actual time, or imagine objects that can't exist in 3 dimensional space, or remember dead relatives and relive experiences.
I may be able to imagine and/or remember all those things, but in order for me to imagine or remember anything, tiny things need to move inside my brain.

(30-05-2014 07:45 PM)rampant.a.i. Wrote:  In a way, the God concept is a way of conceptualizing the entire human race as a collective hive mind that also mirrors our collective understanding of the cosmos, and how we define ourselves in relation to the cosmos, in a sort of Hegelian dialectic.
Do you reckon?

I'd say deities reflect our collective ignorance of the cosmos, not our understanding. It is when we lack understanding of structures and processes when things seem magical, but when we learn how things work, all those mysteries become simple; sometimes disappointingly simple. Magic tricks generally lose their magic charm once the mundane tricks are revealed.

But in all, I agree with what I think is your main point, rampant.a.i.: that gods are abstract concepts in our minds.

Have a good day!
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03-06-2014, 11:14 AM (This post was last modified: 03-06-2014 02:02 PM by kim.)
RE: God is imaginary by definition.
(30-05-2014 05:39 PM)living thing Wrote:  Do you think it is impossible that hominids. prior to some mutant H. sapiens born some time around the end of the Middle Paleolithic, were able to understand the notions they learned through accidental discoveries but unable to make new notions up? I am not claiming that that is certainly the case, I am simply asking whether it is not possible.

I don't know and won't speculate about prior but, of course it's possible. However, how I'm understanding from your explanation, you seem to confine "creativity/inventiveness" to a mutation which may not have ever have been priorly available to happen. To me, creativity/inventiveness seems to be almost a "standard" kind of mutation - like something that has always been available but doesn't come about unless and/or until it's triggered by other things.

I think creativity/ inventiveness has been seen in other creatures and has always been there, ready to be utilized if/when other things happen or it becomes necessary. I think creativity/inventiveness is an attribute available at the challenge of adaptation.

I am sorry I wasn't really clear and I only mentioned in passing (as a brief example) my comment about chimps having been quite creative in the use of a thing they were taught… the part about teaching their offspring is not what was inventive or creative about the situation. (sorry about that digression)

Basic example I read about: a chimp was reportedly taught a specific vocabulary, which included words and the meanings of those words. All words and meanings were documented and among the many hundreds of words/meanings learned, two of the words happened to be bracelet and finger. However the word "ring" had never been taught to the chimp. When this chimp saw someone in a photo wearing a ring, she asked about the person's "finger bracelet".

That may seem simple or childish, but it is the very basis of how children become creative with language and indeed progress. The fact that the chimp was able to put these two words and meanings together to create a new word or phrase which described a particular thing never previously encountered, is quite significant. It not only displays creativity but also, to an extent, curiosity. Creativity and curiosity; pretty powerful things in my book. Wink

Tool creativity and inventiveness is quite commonly observed among primates and other creatures. It's probably what makes them sometimes so damned annoying. Tongue

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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07-06-2014, 10:26 PM
RE: God is imaginary by definition.
Some could argue that god does indeed manifest himself within the material world, that he is "all things", all energy, all life, but this thought and subsequent argument would serve absolutely no purpose, as the idea itself exists within the realm of imaginary delusion, but this is only an opinion that I currently hold to in this day and age, which is, of course, subject to change at any moment within the near or distant future, because for one to hold to certain beliefs for a lifetime would only prove their supposed infallibility to be false, as everything is fallible and everything must come to an end, just like this sentence (if you can call it that) should.
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