The Unification of God
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09-09-2013, 06:18 PM
The Unification of God
I was thinking today about the evolution of monotheism, and it's origins in polytheism.

I can't help but feel there's something in our nature to want to find a single, unified answer to everything. I was thinking that perhaps this is the reason for monotheism's rise and continuing popularity.

In a polytheistic religion, usually deities are assigned a role... sky gods, sea gods, nature gods etc, etc. As we know, the three main monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) developed from a polytheistic religion. A polytheistic belief generally raises more theological questions, and is inherently more complex than a monotheistic belief... which god is the most powerful? Which god created the others and in what order? Are there other gods we don't know about? And so on.

So the idea of an "Almighty God" seems to me to be an Iron Age attempt to create a "Theory of Everything", as theoretical physics is attempting to do today.

But the question is, is it a valid pursuit? Is it possible to create a "Grand Theory of Everything"?

As Stephen Hawking pointed out in the concluding chapter of 'A Brief History Of Time', we can only be scientifically accurate to a point, where the 'Uncertainty Principal' comes into effect, and ultimately we may simply end up with an increasingly large collection of ever more complex theories that predict with greater accuracy.

So, is a "theory of everything" really a possibility, or is it a wild goose chase, simply attempting to create a single theory to satisfy a natural, human desire for everything to be summed up neatly, as God does for theists?

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09-09-2013, 07:47 PM (This post was last modified: 09-09-2013 08:33 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: The Unification of God
Actually there were a number of attempts by the priestly/ruling class to impose monotheism on their populace, in the ancient world. None of them had to do with a "theory of everything". They all had different motivations. If there was a unifying theme, it was political. The rulers who cooked up Islam wanted to unify their tribes, and conquered territory. There are countless facts to support this view. The priests who imposed monotheism on the polytheistic Hebrews also were working with a culture which had lost it's otherwise culturally centralizing/unifying extended family groups, which were destroyed in the Babylonian Exile, and they needed something to unify a post-exilic Israel, with a national center/capital/history/story. Thus the Bible was created. And the prophets post-exile, insisted, increasingly, that monotheism be adopted. Christianity can hardly be called monotheism. The trinity is three gods. They say it isn't but *three persons* is not "one" in the English, (or any other) language.
I suspect the "theory of everything" is a modern idea. They seemed very content with a pantheon of gods. In fact there was a pantheon of gods, far longer in human history, than not.

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09-09-2013, 07:57 PM
RE: The Unification of God
(09-09-2013 06:18 PM)Paranoidsam Wrote:  I was thinking today about the evolution of monotheism, and it's origins in polytheism.

I can't help but feel there's something in our nature to want to find a single, unified answer to everything. I was thinking that perhaps this is the reason for monotheism's rise and continuing popularity.

In a polytheistic religion, usually deities are assigned a role... sky gods, sea gods, nature gods etc, etc. As we know, the three main monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) developed from a polytheistic religion. A polytheistic belief generally raises more theological questions, and is inherently more complex than a monotheistic belief... which god is the most powerful? Which god created the others and in what order? Are there other gods we don't know about? And so on.

So the idea of an "Almighty God" seems to me to be an Iron Age attempt to create a "Theory of Everything", as theoretical physics is attempting to do today.

But the question is, is it a valid pursuit? Is it possible to create a "Grand Theory of Everything"?

As Stephen Hawking pointed out in the concluding chapter of 'A Brief History Of Time', we can only be scientifically accurate to a point, where the 'Uncertainty Principal' comes into effect, and ultimately we may simply end up with an increasingly large collection of ever more complex theories that predict with greater accuracy.

So, is a "theory of everything" really a possibility, or is it a wild goose chase, simply attempting to create a single theory to satisfy a natural, human desire for everything to be summed up neatly, as God does for theists?
When you say "theory of everything", it is applying a scientific term pertaining to physical matter, whereas God transcends what we see as physical matter. However you are quite astute at drawing the similarities in the propositions. In that sense Dr. Hawkings is correct. It is impossible for a man to prove or disprove that a line that goes on forever does or does not in fact do so. Hence scripture is correct in stating that all is built upon faith. Either Love endures forever or it does not. What we believe will have profound influence upon who we are and the integrity of our moral center.
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09-09-2013, 08:11 PM (This post was last modified: 09-09-2013 08:34 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: The Unification of God
His name is Stephen Hawking.

Childish's attempt to hijack this thread into a discussion of his nonsense which he never once supported with any evidence, and which went on for hundreds of pages of crap, is out of order.

Allah, BTW also originally had 3 divine daughters. See the "Satanic Verses", and Robert Spencer's books.

It's only a "scientific term" because it has come to mean that in 2013. There is nothing particularly "scientific" about that phrase. There is no evidence for anything which "transcends physical matter". "Endures forever" is a temporal concept. Temporal concepts require spacetime. Referencing that to deities which, by definition, exist outside spacetime, is meaningless drivel. Please stop talking meaningless drivel.

Wink

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09-09-2013, 08:43 PM
RE: The Unification of God
To clarify my post a little...

Throughout most of human history a god or gods have been the best explanations for our and the universe's origin. Often polytheism is divided into fields, much in the way science is today... a god to explain the weather, a god for the oceans, a god for living things and so on...

In some cases these gods have become blended together into a single, unified "almighty god"... a single god to explain the origin of all nature and the universe.

Today we have scientific theories which have replaced gods as explanations for the things we see around us... Stephen Hawking often talks about a "theory of everything", almost as if we are gradually moving towards a complete "almighty theory"... Something Hawking believes should be clear and easily understandable to anyone interested.

Basically, God is not a scientific theory and therefore a poor explanation for the universe's origins... so is the attempt to draw together all fields of science under a single theory, encompassing all of existence an attempt to replace God?

One of the many reasons why I am an atheist is that I tend to think a single, all encompassing explanation for existence is illogical... and, as Hawking points out in the last chapter of 'A Brief History Of Time', it's entirely possible that there is no 'Theory of Everything', that instead we will simply continue to develop more and more theories which explain evermore specific aspects of nature.

People generally tend to like a simple, elegant explanation... General Relativity is a simple, elegant theory, as is Darwinian Evolution and The Big Bang. Quantum Mechanics on the other hand is an incredibly deep, complex and often baffling theory, yet it underpins everything... the more we discover, it seems the more complex and baffling it becomes.

So, by attempting to form this proposed 'Theory of Everything', that would be clear, easy to understand and elegant in nature... are we simply just trying to find a replacement for God in order to satisfy the desire for an equally grand and appealing explanation, when in reality it doesn't exist?

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09-09-2013, 09:37 PM
RE: The Unification of God
(09-09-2013 08:43 PM)Paranoidsam Wrote:  To clarify my post a little...

Throughout most of human history a god or gods have been the best explanations for our and the universe's origin. Often polytheism is divided into fields, much in the way science is today... a god to explain the weather, a god for the oceans, a god for living things and so on...

In some cases these gods have become blended together into a single, unified "almighty god"... a single god to explain the origin of all nature and the universe.

Today we have scientific theories which have replaced gods as explanations for the things we see around us... Stephen Hawking often talks about a "theory of everything", almost as if we are gradually moving towards a complete "almighty theory"... Something Hawking believes should be clear and easily understandable to anyone interested.

Basically, God is not a scientific theory and therefore a poor explanation for the universe's origins... so is the attempt to draw together all fields of science under a single theory, encompassing all of existence an attempt to replace God?

One of the many reasons why I am an atheist is that I tend to think a single, all encompassing explanation for existence is illogical... and, as Hawking points out in the last chapter of 'A Brief History Of Time', it's entirely possible that there is no 'Theory of Everything', that instead we will simply continue to develop more and more theories which explain evermore specific aspects of nature.

People generally tend to like a simple, elegant explanation... General Relativity is a simple, elegant theory, as is Darwinian Evolution and The Big Bang. Quantum Mechanics on the other hand is an incredibly deep, complex and often baffling theory, yet it underpins everything... the more we discover, it seems the more complex and baffling it becomes.

So, by attempting to form this proposed 'Theory of Everything', that would be clear, easy to understand and elegant in nature... are we simply just trying to find a replacement for God in order to satisfy the desire for an equally grand and appealing explanation, when in reality it doesn't exist?
I like the way you think. I will reiterate the calculation you are proposing. One cannot disprove or prove that a line that goes on forever does indeed go on forever. This does not hold true for a line that does not go on forever. Hence quantum mechanics must become more complicated even as relativity holds steadfastly true. Conclusion, there is a God and all is built upon faith.
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09-09-2013, 09:59 PM
 
RE: The Unification of God
(09-09-2013 09:37 PM)childeye Wrote:  
(09-09-2013 08:43 PM)Paranoidsam Wrote:  To clarify my post a little...

Throughout most of human history a god or gods have been the best explanations for our and the universe's origin. Often polytheism is divided into fields, much in the way science is today... a god to explain the weather, a god for the oceans, a god for living things and so on...

In some cases these gods have become blended together into a single, unified "almighty god"... a single god to explain the origin of all nature and the universe.

Today we have scientific theories which have replaced gods as explanations for the things we see around us... Stephen Hawking often talks about a "theory of everything", almost as if we are gradually moving towards a complete "almighty theory"... Something Hawking believes should be clear and easily understandable to anyone interested.

Basically, God is not a scientific theory and therefore a poor explanation for the universe's origins... so is the attempt to draw together all fields of science under a single theory, encompassing all of existence an attempt to replace God?

One of the many reasons why I am an atheist is that I tend to think a single, all encompassing explanation for existence is illogical... and, as Hawking points out in the last chapter of 'A Brief History Of Time', it's entirely possible that there is no 'Theory of Everything', that instead we will simply continue to develop more and more theories which explain evermore specific aspects of nature.

People generally tend to like a simple, elegant explanation... General Relativity is a simple, elegant theory, as is Darwinian Evolution and The Big Bang. Quantum Mechanics on the other hand is an incredibly deep, complex and often baffling theory, yet it underpins everything... the more we discover, it seems the more complex and baffling it becomes.

So, by attempting to form this proposed 'Theory of Everything', that would be clear, easy to understand and elegant in nature... are we simply just trying to find a replacement for God in order to satisfy the desire for an equally grand and appealing explanation, when in reality it doesn't exist?
I like the way you think. I will reiterate the calculation you are proposing. One cannot disprove or prove that a line that goes on forever does indeed go on forever. This does not hold true for a line that does not go on forever. Hence quantum mechanics must become more complicated even as relativity holds steadfastly true. Conclusion, there is a God and all is built upon faith.

Can you explain a bit further why there is always a God?
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09-09-2013, 10:11 PM
RE: The Unification of God
(09-09-2013 08:11 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  His name is Stephen Hawking.
Sorry.

Quote:Childish's attempt to hijack this thread into a discussion of his nonsense which he never once supported with any evidence, and which went on for hundreds of pages of crap, is out of order.
I am not hijacking anything. I'm just here saying what I think. It's not nonsense I am believing in just because it is too simple to be true.

Quote:Allah, BTW also originally had 3 divine daughters. See the "Satanic Verses", and Robert Spencer's books.
Don't see what that has to do with anything.

Quote:It's only a "scientific term" because it has come to mean that in 2013. There is nothing particularly "scientific" about that phrase. There is no evidence for anything which "transcends physical matter". "Endures forever" is a temporal concept. Temporal concepts require spacetime. Referencing that to deities which, by definition, exist outside spacetime, is meaningless drivel. Please stop talking meaningless drivel.
I really don't get where you're coming from. Just because you misunderstand or don't comprehend does not make what I say meaningless drivel.

Certainly any Creator would exist outside of time and space. That does not mean His energy is not in the creation. Nor does it exclude Him from entering it or declaring future events that He knew would happen according to His proposed purpose. Hence His energy and intentions would transcend matter since matter time and space were both conceived and composed by it. How you can claim nothing transcends matter is clearly a reach beyond your knowledge. You should admit at least that there exists an energy that all matter was composed of.

Everything we say speaking of what is eternal is automatically a concept from the temporal since we exist in the temporal. One would not distinguish the Light without the dark is essentially saying the same thing. So what is your point?

Finally, what exactly do you expect me to prove to you? I've proven Love exists and is the highest moral power for which most all sensible of mankind count as the highest reason to live and die for.
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09-09-2013, 10:40 PM (This post was last modified: 09-09-2013 11:01 PM by childeye.)
RE: The Unification of God
(09-09-2013 09:59 PM)Mike Wrote:  
(09-09-2013 09:37 PM)childeye Wrote:  I like the way you think. I will reiterate the calculation you are proposing. One cannot disprove or prove that a line that goes on forever does indeed go on forever. This does not hold true for a line that does not go on forever. Hence quantum mechanics must become more complicated even as relativity holds steadfastly true. Conclusion, there is a God and all is built upon faith.

Can you explain a bit further why there is always a God?
God to me is properly defined as the ultimate Truth. This thread is either embracing or denying that idea in its' concept. Therefore God must exist when defined as the ultimate Truth, otherwise there is no such thing as true knowledge nor ignorance.

I believe the greatest mistake an atheist makes is discounting that such Truth is pertaining to morality rather than to what physical matter is composed of. We already know that matter is all energy that came from somewhere. How is not as important as why to the believer. It makes sense therefore that an atheist would seek God in a physical substance rather than identifying what is spirit. Please note most all concepts of god concern a supreme moral authority and that politics are inevitable in all cultures. It does not mean that any single concept of god that is manmade is legitimate, hence there are false gods. It therefore all comes down to how one defines the term God. God generally is counted as the supreme moral authority to believers. He is Spirit and His substance is seen as such. Therefore believers see unbelievers as not believing in any supreme moral authority that exists spiritually in all or any of mankind. Nor do they see that the Truth of God has been corrupted through pride. Atheists only see the corrupt images which they are correct to disavow. Unbelievers therefore define God as superstition until they can see Him physically. It therefore does not matter how much a believer proves God to an unbeliever since all the evidence of his existence is never regarded as any evidence at all to an unbeliever. Therefore all moral Truth is built upon faith.
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09-09-2013, 10:44 PM (This post was last modified: 10-09-2013 09:38 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: The Unification of God
(09-09-2013 10:11 PM)childeye Wrote:  I really don't get where you're coming from. Just because you misunderstand or don't comprehend does not make what I say meaningless drivel.

Let's have a look at that, shall we?

Quote:Certainly any Creator would exist outside of time and space.

Evidence or GTFO.

Quote:That does not mean His energy is not in the creation.

Argument from ignorance.

Quote: Nor does it exclude Him from entering it or declaring future events that He knew would happen according to His proposed purpose.

Argument from ignorance.

Quote: Hence His energy and intentions would transcend matter since matter time and space were both conceived and composed by it.

Argument from ignorance.

Quote:How you can claim nothing transcends matter is clearly a reach beyond your knowledge.

Until we have evidence that this can happen, there is no reason to think that it can as you are asserting. Argument from ignorance.


Quote:You should admit at least that there exists an energy that all matter was composed of.

E=mc², matter and energy are interchangeable. Where the original energy came from is up to exploration and debate, positing 'god did it' gets us nowhere. Argument from ignorance.

Quote:Everything we say speaking of what is eternal is automatically a concept from the temporal since we exist in the temporal. One would not distinguish the Light without the dark is essentially saying the same thing. So what is your point?

Photons, and lack of photons, still exists inside temporal existence. You are positing something outside of temporal existence, something that we cannot verify exactly what that means or if it is even possible. Argument from ignorance.

Quote:Finally, what exactly do you expect me to prove to you?

At this point, I'd be happy with anything more than baseless assumptions.

Quote: I've proven Love exists and is the highest moral power for which most all sensible of mankind count as the highest reason to live and die for.

No you haven't proven that, claiming it as 'proven' does not make it so. One could easily argue that rational thought is the 'highest moral power' (whatever exactly that means), and is the highest reason to live and die for.

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