"CONCEPT of God vs. BEING of God" . . . say what?

It’s obvious that humans created the CONCEPT of God, and equally obvious that humans couldn’t create the BEING God.

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been attending a college philosophy club and the other day I managed to squeeze a little critique outta someone and was caught off guard, once what he said actually soaked into my head, which took a little bit.

Cc: Thank you for taking the time to respond. Although your comment highlights why I’m seeking someone willing to actually tackle the specifics I’ve written down.
You write:

Second, your essays consistently make conceptual confusions; the ego-God piece is a good example of this confusion. In that piece, you waffle back and forth between having the word ‘God’ refer to a heavenly creator and having it refer to the CONCEPT of such a creator. … In the ego-God essay, you start out using ‘God’ to refer to a heavenly being but end by saying that we created God—obviously a switch to mentioning ‘God’ as a concept.

Cc: But when I read the essay I think you’re referring to, "It’s not a “Body-Mind problem” it’s an “Ego-God issue.” (4-5), it starts with: “Who is “God,” but a creation of our unique complex human minds dealing with our day to days?”

Cc: Where is this heavenly being you are seeing me refer to?
Or from another angle, how do I address the “God thing” as in that personal God that a big majority of people still believe in - without some reference to it?

It’s obvious that humans created the CONCEPT of God, and equally obvious that humans couldn’t create the BEING God. But your essay confuses the two.

Since I don’t want to antagonize, I’d rather ask you folks about it instead.

The only BEINGS I’m aware of is stuff we can sense and measure. It’s the stuff that science can study and that we can observe through our sensing instruments be they part of our body or part of human technology.

How can we refer to something as a BEING if it can’t be demonstrated in anyway beyond imaginative human intellectual arguments, which never produce a shred of evidence?

As for IS-ness of the Universe, okay call it God, but that has nothing to do with humanities religions full of their self-serving personal Gods of salvation.

The BEING of God is a human assumption.


Couple months there was another thing I asked about that caught me off-guard, one that’s tougher to resolve.

It was mentioned that Einstein proved Newton wrong, which gets under my skin, since we live within a Newtonian world reality, the way I understand it even our spaceships use Newtonian formulas, so to call Newtonian physics “wrong” seems sensationalistic and wrong.

Aha, but Newton was wrong in that his conception of space geometry was a fixed realm, whereas Einstein described our 4 dimensional reality with his E=mc2, which profoundly changed our conception of the very geometry of space and relativity of time.

Yeah, good point. Still, still, in the end we never touch that reality within our macroscopic Earthly reality.
Sure I know about astronauts returning to Earth a few milliseconds younger, still that’s the beat of bee’s wing, it’s beyond our awareness.

I’m not agreeing with your fellow student, but it might be about here, “Think about it, our relationship with our God is the most intimate relationship of our lives and reflects our ego in every way.” You precede that with a full paragraph or two of how that “our God” was invented, but the shift in the use of the word might be what they’re referencing. The section on Jesus is similar; parts of it are clear that you are talking about a mythological or at least mythologized character, but other parts could be heard in a progressive church, like, “Jesus can be seen as saint, a spiritual guide within our mindscapes and a teacher who can help many through our own personal trials & tribulations right here on Earth.”

I don’t know if the critique is about the spirituality of your piece, or if it’s just literary. Some clarity could be added if, when you were referring to the believer version of God or Jesus or whatever, you gave that a label, like, “the Biblical Jesus”, or “God as referred to in church”. Note, the comment you paraphrased says “your essays”, so it’s a general comment and then trying to give an example. The general comment can hold, while the specific “fixes”, the changes to phrases, can take some more work. Having someone willing to give that feedback is valuable. Sounds like you’ve found an interesting club.

I put up the graphic of that T-shirt with the formula that explains all the laws of physics that we interact with, the “macroscopic”, on the “Who is God” thread. It’s an amazing achievement that has gone somewhat unheralded while we focus on NOT having figured out the theory of everything. At the same time, I’ve heard things, like how GPS has to account for relativity and landing a robot on Mars. I don’t know how that works or why, but the quantum stuff is creeping into our daily lives.

Yes, it really is, that’s why I mentioned the astronaut thing.
Thanks to our technology. Problem with me is that I see no long term future with all that mega-complex, mega-tech magic we can do. I mean the whole thing continuing depends on the world providing the opportunities that it did over the course of the past couple centuries. Somewhere people really seem to have bought into the notion that endless exponential growth is possible.

How is high tech going to help California get out of the mess hitting it? Especially since this is the new normal, with but one guarantee, it’s going to get more intense with the passing years.
But this is taking us into a bad diversion. Though it might help explain my pissy attitude toward the latest and greatest - besides not seeing where it is taking us as humans,
the cognitive dissonance between the world so so many people are looking at, (the front of the TV), and my awareness of current drum beat of biological atrocities and weather related catastrophes all over the globe. Latest for me being, Arctic circle tundra’s pristine rivers are receiving so much runoff ‘tea’ from within the melting tundra permafrost that they are running acidic and getting loaded with heavy metals, and turning mustard yellow, as if there were mine discharge running into them.

And it doesn’t stop there, cascading consequences, still our billionaires want to invest in driverless cars and drones and robots on Mars and fusion energy to consume even more, while our children are getting plugged in their own digital boob tubes, before they can even think, hustlers are pouring ideas into their heads. In a way it’s tearing me apart.


Lets get back on track.

Okay, tru dat, I can see where that needs work. This is exactly why I’m so obnoxious about pushing for feedback, it makes me aware of blindspot. In fact, thinking on it seems to me you’ve hinted at much the same, but I can be dense. Which brings me back to this thread, the following that waylaid me.

What is this notion of “the BEING God” ?

How can philosophers refer to something as a BEING if it can’t be demonstrated in anyway beyond imaginative human intellectual arguments, which never produce a shred of evidence?

How does an assumption become a BEING?

I was really hoping more folks would be into weighting in on this,
so please excuse me for pushing it again, I’m really curious about how this is supposed to work.

What is this notion of “the BEING God” ?
I know of Beings and I know of Things, and both can be observed in one way or another.

How can something that’s never been observed on any level (beyond the human heart & mind) be categorized as a BEING of reality?
Even the super mystery of “Dark Matter” has evidence pointing at its existence.

How do philosophers refer to something as a BEING if it can’t be demonstrated in anyway beyond imaginative human intellectual arguments, without ever producing a shred of evidence?

How does an Assumption get transubstantiated into a BEING ?

I don’t know who you are referring to as “philosophers”. It is pseudoscience to refer to imaginary things as beings. I would replace “philosopher” with “theologian”, and it’s still pseudoscience.

Theologians, historians, and philosophers do agree that before written language, humans assigned agency to beings when it was actually the wind, other weather, inanimate forces, or even their imaginations (I’m excluding young earth creationists who don’t acknowledge time before their creation myths). At some point, those scholars split. Some say there is psychology to how religions evolved, some say it’s more like a defect, and some still believe there are beings but their explanations of where they are and how they function has become more complex. That last group, I can’t speak for.

It was presenting to me within the context of the philosophy club, and guess I can’t resist taking a jab.
But, it would probably have been better written:

Problem for me, is that the deeper we get into our self-inflicted mess, the less charitable I feel towards philosophers, but I shouldn’t belabor the point. Mia culpa.

I was trying to avoid that can of worms. We disagree on how to talk about the whole of philosophy, over the last 3,000 years. I don’t defend Descartes’ errors or anyone else’s bad philosophy through the ages. Any confusion about “gods as beings” are an indication of their time, not of a failure of “philosophy”. Spinoza opened up pantheism, and Nietzsche declared god dead. I’m grateful for that.

If a philosopher today said something about the “Being God”, I would understand that they were talking about someone’s belief in that, or the general category of religion. If they weren’t, if they were talking about their own point of view, that to them God is a being of some kind, that would complicate the conversation. We’d have to discuss definitions, kind of like the questions you are asking here. I’ve listened to enough debates and informal explanations to know that people get theology and philosophy confused, and that you won’t get much traction with statements like “that doesn’t count as evidence”, you have to explain what you mean, and sometimes explain what “reality” means.

How about,

Physical Reality is the physical world of atoms, molecules, universal laws of physics and Earth’s laws of nature. It is Earth’s dance between geology & biology and time, and Earth’s evolving creatures, along with everything else around us.

Human Mindscape is all that goes on inside of our minds. The landscape of your thoughts and desires and impulses and those various voices and personalities who inhabit our thoughts. The ineffable ideas that our hands can turn into physical creations, that changed our planet.

Works for me, but I’m not the problem. I could play devil’s advocate, or God’s I guess, but, that wouldn’t be much fun

From memory:

human mind uses concepts, for instance the concept of chair. When one use the word chair, every one knows in his mind what is a chair. by the concept, the chair exists “in itself”, independently of any representation.

Now, every chair differs from every other chair, each chair exists independently of the concept.

Now, Human beings are conscious of themselves, they exist " per themselves".

And god ?

I would say that Humanity has created the idea of god, but that the concept of god does not exist “in itself”, independently of the people perception and representation, as here are many variations about the idea of god, its functions, its representations.

Every one admits that a chair exists to be sited on. Each religion has its own concept of god. God "in itself " differs for each religion, and for each believer, according each representation

And for an atheist, not only god does not exists " in itself", but it does not exists " per itself". It does not exists.

[Thing-in-itself - Wikipedia]

[Being in itself - Wikipedia]

[Being and Nothingness - Wikipedia]

Marginalia fed me Hawking’s take on this, from his final book. After giving some analogies for how something can come from nothing, he ends with this,

I’ll admit that, unless mathematics is your thing, this is hard to grasp, but it’s true. The endless web of billions upon billions of galaxies, each pulling on each other by the force of gravity, acts like a giant storage device. The universe is like an enormous battery storing negative energy. The positive side of things — the mass and energy we see today — is like the hill. The corresponding hole, or negative side of things, is spread throughout space.

So what does this mean in our quest to find out if there is a God? It means that if the universe adds up to nothing, then you don’t need a God to create it. The universe is the ultimate free lunch.

And, there’s the rub. You have to first accept that the universe can be described with math, or that math is somehow the language of the universe that we can read. Even then, you end up with laws that allow for this zero sum of positive and negative energy, and no real explanation for where those came from. Given the choice of accepting that, or the High Priest who says first there was God, people choose the one that comforts them more.

Is There a God? Stephen Hawking Gives the Definitive Answer to the Eternal Question – The Marginalian


Both of you are making sense to me.

Thank you

Here’s my take…I used to be a completely “if you can’t measure it, it ain’t there” type of guy. And I still am totally pro-science, pro-technology, etc. BUT I’ve come to realize that it’s sort of a “chauvanism” to think that only that which can be measured, poked, prodded, etc. exists. It’s sort of like the ol’ If all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail. And scientists do have history on their side, because heck, technology works and it’s based on scientific research. So no matter what, the scientific method is not only a thing, but THE thing that’ll move humanity forward…inside the Cave! It’s what’s outside the cave that isn’t accessible by using the “hammer” of science. Of course guys like write4u will say there is no outside of the cave. But I believe that’s only because they haven’t used the right tools.

Even the idea that there needs to be a “creator” is a chauvanism. We’re miniscule, extremely temporary and limited clumps of consciousness, so of course everything seems to have a beginning and an ending. But that doesn’t mean that’s the way it is. So naturally we think in terms of creator/created.

That doesn’t seem fair to me.

Science is a discipline that operates according to specific rules that restrain their claims to within that realm of observation, measurement, repeatability.

There are scientists who do believe in all sorts of things beyond that realm, love, passion, soul, self, dreams, philosophy, even god and who knows what all. Seems to me a matter of Truth In Advertising, these things are outside the scientific domain.

But there are plenty of scientists who pontificate about The Beginning, and ultimate things, and many who try to bring science to bear. What I’m saying is, I think they are somewhat conceited to think that how us puny humans perceive things, and our puny (though relatively successful) tools are all there is to use. It’s kind of like a line from the Men In Black movie…“humans think they really have a bead on things”. And like I said, I’m pro-science all the way…except when it tries to think outside the cave using an in-the-cave mindset and tools.

It’s called a Tulpa.

Interesting, I wasn’t familiar with the term. After looking it up, it seems like as good a response as any.

Also a confirmation that it’s firmly within the domain of our Mindscape.

Now consider Max Tegmark’s proposition that the mind, while engaged in processing the body’s sensory data, attains a certain independence from the host, just as the new AI seems to be acquiring a “mind of its own”, while processing human data and requests.