What’s the point of “God”?
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13-10-2013, 11:29 PM
RE: What’s the point of “God”?
(13-10-2013 11:08 PM)Raptor Jesus Wrote:  
(13-10-2013 10:25 PM)Paranoidsam Wrote:  ...
Some of the most devout people find their faith diminished when a real crisis hits. ...

And yet, oddly enough, others still will turn more to faith the more that disasters and crisis happen. A friend became more religious when her husband was diagnosed with cancer just after she became pregnant with their first, and only, child, and he died just months after is daughters birth.

Sometimes events like this, which should shake one's faith, draw them in more. The have this need for it to have a purpose, or meaning. And a chance to have it corrected in a make believe after live.

Perhaps in a situation like that yes, but in a genuine fight or flight moment, I think for a lot of people God just vanishes from their thoughts. The animal within takes control.

It sort of says to me that their faith isn't all as strong as they might claim, if it were, they might be more inclined to stay put.

Religious belief in its purest form is just vile. If the story of Abraham preparing to sacrifice Isaac is true, then its an example of pure, unquestioning faith, thankfully rare today.

If you ask a theist how sure they are in their faith, there's a good chance they'd say 100%. But ask if they'd sacrifice their own child for God, and you can easily work out who really believes fully. The chances are, most would hesitate when asked such a question (which alone speaks volumes), I'd like to think that all would say no... It would at least demonstrate a capacity for rational thought.

To put it bluntly... God may be at the center of your life when things are going well, but when the shit hits the fan all that fait counts for nothing.

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14-10-2013, 12:41 AM
RE: What’s the point of “God”?
(13-10-2013 10:35 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Is the Abrahamic god supposed to be transcendant of Space and Time?

Yes.

Quote:Does this mean that the Abrahamic god already knows everything thus is incapable of learning something new, is incapable of being surprised?

Yes

Quote:If this is the belief, then what is it that the god itself gets out of being "alive"? It would seem to me, that it would have no joy but only endless tedium.
If this is incorrect then please elaborate what value this god would get from its own life?

Time is a (relational) property of physical things, it is the rate of change of physical things. Absent change, the notion of time is meaningless. So this god that exists outside of space and time would not experience "endless tedium" because that idea is predicated on a "passage" of time. Also the notion of "tedium" is a subjective concept, a phenomenological notion. I don't think an omniscient person will experience a subjective/objective distinction. Subjectivity is meaningless in the context of omniscience.

The notion of value derives from our needs which ultimately derive from our physicality. All values eventually resolve into physical desiderata; even subjective states such as pleasure have a physical basis in our brains. Given that this god is immaterial it would have no needs; this deduction also agrees with the traditional understanding that the Abrahamic god is self-sufficient.

Does Yahweh, Allah, the Trinity emote? He apparently does in scripture but it can't be like our embodied emoting since he is supposed to be immaterial.

Quote:This is terribly circular.

It isn't circular it is unjustified, it is axiomatic. The legitimacy of the axiom is justified with reference to deductions based on that axiom.

Quote:The god exists so that it can create existence.

No, there is no "so". The god just exists and does what he chooses. He is supposed to be self-sufficient.

Quote:Now lets instead just assume that in the begining there is an all knowing, all powerful, uncaused god but no existence. The god does not need to create existence. In fact there is no point in it creating existence because it has nothing to gain from existence, nothing to learn, nothing to be surprised about, it already knows everything, so there is no point, from the god's point of view to create existence.
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Yes.

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If the god does not have to create existence then the god does not have to necessarily exist.

No, you have a false premise that this god exists to create, it doesn't. It can create and it chooses to do so but it need not.

Quote:So it exists anyway (we are assuming this), but the question remains, why does it exist? What is the point to its existence? What value does it get out of existing?

You appear to have conflated the "What created God?" question with the "What is the value of God's existence?" question. I've covered the issue of value already. Nothing created God, he is understood as having always existed.
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14-10-2013, 12:54 AM
RE: What’s the point of “God”?
(13-10-2013 09:02 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
Quote:So in that light, why would "God" exist in the first place?

Because he is the only necessary existent

(14-10-2013 12:41 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
Quote:The god exists so that it can create existence.

No, there is no "so". The god just exists and does what he chooses.
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14-10-2013, 03:44 PM
RE: What’s the point of “God”?
By relegating the God concept to our limited cognitive abilities we do not learn very much.
Essentially the notion of a higher and good transcendental Being is not dependent on thousands of different religions, though partial truths may be found there. We may choose to accept scientific reasonings and prognostications based on an alleged Big Bang occurring some 15 bllion years ago, or we can ponder over eternal possibilities.

If there is an eternal and transcendental purpose for our existence in a higher milieu then an ineffable force would need to engage us in ultra subtle manners indeed based on our experience, rationality, logic, scientific endeavours, and also our intuition.

Faith is an entirely different ball game to the phenomenon of scientific fact, the latter dealing within time and space, along with the immediate future, and in terms of probability factors. If we fob off all intuitive reasoning, allowing the ego to run riot, and demand so called hard line proofs of everything, then any small degree of spirituality that may exist is effectively killed off. This occurs both in fundamentalist religion and hard line atheism.

In life we witness misery and varying degrees of pleasure in their many forms.
Is it really insane to categorically claim that higher transcendental good is universally impossible, based on our limited time on this planet and lack of real existential knowledge relevant to such?
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14-10-2013, 06:54 PM (This post was last modified: 14-10-2013 07:11 PM by sporehux.)
RE: What’s the point of “God”?
Seems a crucial component of a sentient society.
I don't know of any cultures that weren't dominated by a magical / mystical belief.
Theist see this as proof
Atheists see it as a god of the gaps evolutionary processes. That is (apart from USA) unfolding as predicted with all educated societies turning away from dogma to science.

For every Atheist there is a hundred who think the bible is not literal or the word of god but keep a Pascal heaven invite just in case.

Athiests are just the Early Adopters . Though some claim ghost and alien beliefs. So its a work in progress.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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14-10-2013, 07:41 PM
RE: What’s the point of “God”?
(14-10-2013 03:44 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  Is it really insane to categorically claim that higher transcendental good is universally impossible, based on our limited time on this planet and lack of real existential knowledge relevant to such?
I think think the best we can do is state that it is quite an imaginative idea and until someone offers a well articulated, detailed, testable theory, containing risk (i.e. falsifiable criteria) then this idea isn't really worth entertaining. Unless of course you like to dream BIG.
It is a BIG dream as there is no precedence for this. An ounobservable being made of nothing, that was not created but always existed, that lives outside of time and space that can observe the universe, create it and interact with it.
At least fairies and big foot are supposed to be made of flesh and blood. We do know that there are species that are made of flesh and blood and we do know that species made of flesh and blood can interact with the material universe. We know that complex species can come about from simple organisms due to the process of evolution. So to me fairies and big foot are not as huge a leap as a god is.
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14-10-2013, 10:37 PM
RE: What’s the point of “God”?
Entertaining "a big dream" isn't that much of a problem for me.
So long as I separate secular knowledge from contemplative feelings I don't see it as a problem.
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15-10-2013, 08:05 AM
RE: What’s the point of “God”?
That's the first question I remember asking as a prophet. Thumbsup

Can answer that question, all day, in several volumes. Big Grin

Here's the short version - god is a fundamental unit of communication. Ever notice that when one meets a stranger, the conversational gambit begins with, "what's your name, what do you do for a living," and we do this shit because we are pattern-recognizing, tool-using monkeys. The tool here that we wish to utilize is classification to reduce the unknown.

Furthermore, a critical component of our evolutionary heritage is empathy, derived from simulation of mind of another in mind. Ever notice in the movies when the actor here's a bump in the night, he stumbles out of bed with a flashlight and goes, "who's there?" That's how we roll; we simulate "mind" of the house, of the sky, of the wind and the rain. What remains in the modern age is to simulate the mind of the universe, and it happens all the time with people saying "there must be a reason" for circumstance, because such is comforting.

And when we stand at the threshold of eternity - a.k.a. death - it is comforting to know that we do not walk alone. Once quipped that NDEs have a common thread in "light at he end of the tunnel," because we are intensely visual, and god doesn't let his monkeys die in the dark.

(Oh, it is said that "we all die alone," but the last thing I'm gonna do is kiss my Gwynnies goodbye. I ain't scairt. Wink )

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15-10-2013, 08:29 AM (This post was last modified: 15-10-2013 08:32 AM by grizzlysnake.)
RE: What’s the point of “God”?
God is a metaphor. Did anyone say that yet? It is beyond the self and can only be found in oneself. When a theist feels that you are regecting or insulting god you are insulting and rejecting them since god is part of his/herself. It could also be attributed to things beyond human understanding. Long ago volcanoes were beyond that so it then became god. It is why people have worshiped so many things in the past, the trees, the sky, the sun and moon. Now we have the "god of the gaps" argument. God was never meant to be a literal entity. Those who believe in a literal entity are wrong, simple as that.

"I don't have to have faith, I have experience." Joseph Campbell
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15-10-2013, 12:40 PM
RE: What’s the point of “God”?
(13-10-2013 12:37 AM)Raptor Jesus Wrote:  That’s it. The whole question is in the subject header. What is the point of “God”?

I mean, obviously there isn’t one, but from a Christian’s perspective, considering they do believe, what is the point, or purpose, or reason for “God”?

There are two ways to look at this:

The theistic point of view that believes in a creator god:
They would say you are approaching this the wrong way. It's not "why God", but rather "God exists, and he is why everything else exists." To them, this question is nonsense and completely unanswerable.

Of course, it's also non-falsifiable and raises more questions than it answers, so there's that...


The point of view that does not believe in such a god:
There are many reasons:
  • To explain things people didn't understand.
  • Politics.
  • To gain control over situations of life where there is none.
  • To create a greater meaning to life.
  • To give the hope of immortality.
  • To try to enforce desired behavior in others.
  • To help solidify a newly emerging nation state.
  • Particularly convincing dreams.
  • Particularly convincing hallucinations.
  • Because it's what one was told when they were young enough to believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, or the Easter Bunny.
I'm sure there are a lot that I didn't cover, but "god" fills a lot of roles that are useful to many people, even if the whole thing is completely non-falsifiable and without any actual evidence. I imagine various gods will live on in the minds of people so long as they continue to find a use for them.
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