God Exists, Sort Of

What if there actually IS what we’d call God, but it’s not omniscient? So maybe it intervenes occasionally but sometimes gets it wrong. I’m thinking of something like Deism plus minor intervention. Of course no matter what, you can always ask, Okay but who created THAT god? Good question. But short of that biggest of questions, more and more I think maybe there is some sort of creator, with a small c.

The problem with that, is that it’s still looking for god within your mind.

 

The dude you’re talking about in that comment, that can only be found through observing and experiencing and letting it find you. :slight_smile:

If there is a small c creator, is there anything to say there is not more than one?

If there are small interventions, would that support free will? We have made choices not of “his” liking.

Then on the flip-side, if “he” were too heavy handed, then we really wouldn’t have “free will”

 

People do believe in a god because they need explanations, because they need someone over them qui watches, protects, commands and punish.

In ancient times, as people did not knew nothing about diseases, earthquakes, hurricanes and so, they thoughts that gods and big magical forces where the ultimate cause. Nowadays science explains much but does not explain every thing. There is still a place for religion, but a different one.

For me, the second big matter is that in a given society, men create god or gods according to their image, theirs needs. If a god exists, it is for us impossible to know and understand him or her. Imagine a bacterie trying to know a man … and for a man to know and understand a god, the task is much more formidable.

If i was religious, I would be an animist. I would believe that the universe is a whole, that each living being, that each natural phenomena is part of it and that we have it in each of us. I would believe that the universe as a whole has a spirit and that we, that each living being, that each natural phenomena is part of it and that we have it in us. And i would believe that humanity is a very sick part of the universe and of his spirit as a whole.

Last item : We know that a unique god is an invention of some people in a corner of the world, between 1000 and 500 BC.

Before the destruction of the temple, Yhwh was the major god of the jews, becoming the only one with much resistance, but they recognized the gods of the other people.

It was not until a major catastrophe—the destruction of Jerusalem and Judah—that Israelites came to worship Yhwh as the one god of all, creator of heaven and earth, who nevertheless proclaimed a special relationship with Judaism.

Very shortly , for jews, the only explanation to such a disaster was that their god punished them. And by punishing them, he showed his power.

Even in Israel, monotheism took centuries and much efforts to become the only religion.

 

some sort of creator, with a small c -- Cuthbert
If I were to go that way, and I don't anymore, then I'd stick to a scientifically verifiable and discoverable version of the creator. It would have to be advanced beyond our abilities, but it's not inconceivable. It makes some unexplainable things explainable and it's better than the system where god is perfect but we don't understand it's ways. I'd rather that it was imperfect, and that we could figure out how given enough time.

How does one caterpillar explain to another caterpillar what it will be like to be a butterfly?

Imagination is limited to extrapolation of experience.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_rationalism: Theistic rationalism is a hybrid of natural religion, Christianity, and rationalism, in which rationalism is the predominant element. ... Some scholars have argued that the term properly describes the beliefs of some of the prominent Founding Fathers of the United States, including George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, James Wilson, and Thomas Jefferson.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_theology: Natural theology, once also termed physico-theology, is a type of theology that provides arguments for the existence of God based on reason and ordinary experience of nature. This distinguishes it from revealed theology, which is based on scripture and/or religious experiences, also from transcendental theology, which is based on a priori reasoning

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timaeus_(dialogue): Timaeus begins with a distinction between the physical world, and the eternal world. The physical one is the world which changes and perishes: therefore it is the object of opinion and unreasoned sensation. The eternal one never changes: therefore it is apprehended by reason. … in a description of the physical world, one “should not look for anything more than a likely story”.


I thought the part about several of the “founding fathers” interesting. They managed to conflate “we the people” and “their creator” in what must be considered, under their Christianity, flawed (compromised) documents which they intended to guide our civilization.

Our Founding Father’s liked using “Providence” as a more defensible term, then the <anything to anyone “God”> thing.

So long a folks keep ignoring that God is a product of our own minds, folks will keep missing half the pageant.

 

Then it occurred to me Gould was missing a much more fundamental divide that is crying out for recognition.

Specifically, the Domain of Physical Reality vs the Domain of our Human Mindscape.

While struggling to find and weave the words to explain myself, it became clear - Earth herself was not only central to my conception of reality, but supreme.

After all, heaven and hell had evaporated long ago and human hubris filled me with contempt rather than any shock or awe.

 

The Earth Centrist’s perspective acknowledges that Earth and her physical processes and the pageant of Evolution are the fundamental timeless touchstones of reality.

Part of Earth’s physical reality is that we humans were created by Earth out of her processes.

Science shows us that we belong to the mammalian branch of Earth’s animal kingdom. Yet, it’s undeniable that something quite unique happened about six million years ago when certain apes took a wild improbable evolutionary turn.


 

In seeking answers to unknowable questions it seems to me inevitable that Gods would inhabit our Mindscape. I suspect inspired by buried memories of being coddled within mom’s protective loving bosom those first couple years of life.

No doubt these “Gods” enabled further successes, though not through super-natural interventions, but rather through their ability to form, conform, reform and transform the Mindscapes of the masses of people beginning to congregate.


 

The missing key is appreciating the fundamental “Magisteria of Physical Reality,” - and recognizing that both science and religion are products of the “Magisteria of Our Human Mindscape.”

… Science seeks to objectively learn about our physical world, but we should still recognize all our understanding is embedded within and constrained by our brain’s Mindscape.

… Religion and Philosophy are all about the human Mindscape itself, with its wonderful struggles, fears, spiritual undercurrents, needs and stories we create to give our live’s meaning and make it worth living, or at least bearable.

What’s the point? I think it’s about better appreciating our ‘frame of reference’ - and especially recognizing that we aren’t the center of creation.


 

That is not to say they are the same thing, they are not! Science is dedicated to honestly and objectively understanding physical reality while religion is concerned with the human imagination and our soul and spirit and our struggles through our short live's. They are different, but both are necessary human inventions.

Still, both are destined to be swept away by the hands of time, while Earth and life will continue its dance.


:v:

 

 

If there is a small c creator, is there anything to say there is not more than one?

If there are small interventions, would that support free will? We have made choices not of “his” liking.

Then on the flip-side, if “he” were too heavy handed, then we really wouldn’t have “free will”


No there isn’t. Could be more than one. Free will? No idea. I like the idea of free will, but that doesn’t mean it either is real or isn’t. Given it is, small interventions doesn’t rule out free will. Just like a parent who without their child’s knowledge nudges things a little to help them.

Now I’d imagine if there was a small c creator it would definitely be a being of a sort that’s completely different from us. I know it sounds silly, but I think of the Q character on Star Trek Next Gen.

Now I’d imagine if there was a small c creator it would definitely be a being of a sort that’s completely different from us.
God help us if it's anything like us :D

 

 

... God is a product of our own minds ...
Many people are willing to accept that life came spontaneously from a chemical soup on this planet. Consider the limited opportunities for life to have happened at a small scale on a small planet in a short time versus the opportunities for something similar to have happened at a very large scale in the vastness of the Universe over a very long time. The one characteristic that sets life apart from all non-life is consciousness. Can we deny the probability of life on Earth? If not, how can we deny the probability of consciousness in the Universe? Consciousness of a group is not limited to physical existence of that group as an individual. Should we limit consciousness in the Universe to a physical individual? What would we call the total consciousness of the Universe other than "I am"? Perhaps our minds are just one part, a product, of that greater consciousness.
Many people are willing to accept that life came spontaneously from a chemical soup on this planet.
Yeah, but that's not how it was. You need to keep up on the science before thinking you can tear it down.
Consider the limited opportunities for life to have happened at a small scale on a small planet in a short time versus the opportunities for something similar to have happened at a very large scale in the vastness of the Universe over a very long time.
Seriously? I mean have you learned anything about how Earth evolved? Like during its first billion years and the next couple billion years? Do you have any conception of the things that had to happen here before Earth was inviting to simple life and what was needed for creatures to appear?

Bottomline, it requires a “small planet” there’s nothing in the very large scale vastness of the Universe to serve as an incubator for the fragility of biological life.

All the Vastness of the Universe can do is provide the building blocks and the neighborhoods. After that the job is handed off to an altogether different entity. “Small planets” that happen to be in the right place at the right time.

The one characteristic that sets life apart from all non-life is consciousness. Can we deny the probability of life on Earth? If not, how can we deny the probability of consciousness in the Universe?
That's philosophy at its very worst. Totally removed from appreciating the Physical Reality of what you think you are talking about.

How about, because there is nothing in the vastness of the universe that compares with the complexity of a biological organism.

Consciousness of a group is not limited to physical existence of that group as an individual.
Words that don't mean much. "Physical existence of that group as an individual." That's a non sequitur. Gibberish.

I challenge you to come up with an example of an individual here on Earth that is actually individual and separate on to itself.

Should we limit consciousness in the Universe to a physical individual?
Why not?

Consciousness is an emergent product of biology interacting with the exterior world. The more complex the more consciousness.

If you wanted to reverse that, a reduce things to prelife conditions, perhaps atoms do have some form of consciousness and complex molecules would have a slightly higher level of consciousness. That “consciousness” would be on such subtle level, that we can’t even conceive of. What do we gain by assumptions the Strong and Weak force as manifestations of consciousness.

What would we call the total consciousness of the Universe other than “I am”?
It IS.
Perhaps our minds are just one part, a product, of that greater consciousness.
Well, yeah, and, your point? Our minds are the product of our bodies and brain interacting with the Physical Reality we are embedded within.

And that entire package is the current sum total of all the evolutionary development that happened to get to this point. It can be regressed all the way to the Big Bang.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, considering that besides possessing the heart of a cold rationalists I also have a hippy dippy embrace the world heart within me, so way back in the '90s as I was learning more about Evolution from a scientific perspective I was also trying to sort out those wonderful imaginings about God and the Universe.

Should we limit consciousness in the Universe to a physical individual? What would we call the total consciousness of the Universe other than “I am”? Perhaps our minds are just one part, a product, of that greater consciousness.
Then one day, an emergent thought slammed me like an epiphany.
Humanity is the most exquisite example of God's need and desire to understand itself.
The reasoning behind that begins with supposing that God is real, beyond the physical stuff of this universe. But the Universe started out empty. How could a ineffable god know anything about itself within an empty universe? Then comes the Big Bang and time's arrow, and the pageant of evolution unfolds.

Consciousness requires interacting with something.

Only through it’s creations could god possibly get to know itself.

Okay so now we could make the assumption that atoms, molecules, stars, planets, etc. have a sort of limited conscious. Thus through their consciousness god begins to get an inkling of who itself is. But it’s an impoverished awareness for sure. Then Earth comes along, and life and creatures - and at every stage, thanks to the increasing awareness of this evolving pageant of life, god is constant becoming more aware of itself. God’s not happy, it’s still an impoverished consciousness that deals with the immediacy of life and surviving or dying.

The past half billion years has experienced an amazing explosion in the development of complex, then extremely complex, living organisms.

Now behold the human, with keen senses, and a mind that learns and remembers and communicates like nothing that’s ever existed before.

Now god, quite possibly for the first time ever, received the ability to see the Universe through its creature’s eyes, and our human eyes and mind, that can contemplate the universe and itself, thus provided a window to “god’s” Creation like none other.

Behold, Humanity is the most exquisite example of God's need and desire to understand itself.
 

Religion is easy! Where we run into problems is when we think it’s something real and outside of the mind that conceived it.

Again I’ll lay down the doodoo, that everyone seems to be doing their best to dance around.

... Which brings me back to Gould’s magisterium and his missing key.

The missing key is appreciating the fundamental “Magisteria of Physical Reality,” - and recognizing that both science and religion are products of the “Magisteria of Our Human Mindscape.”

Science seeks to objectively learn about our physical world, but we should still recognize all our understanding is embedded within and constrained by our brain’s Mindscape.

Religion and Philosophy are all about the human Mindscape itself, with its wonderful struggles, fears, spiritual undercurrents, needs and stories we create to give our live’s meaning and make it worth living, or at least bearable.

What’s the point? I think it’s about better appreciating our ‘frame of reference’ - and especially recognizing that we aren’t the center of creation.

This is important today because some have convinced themselves that they actually have a personal Almighty God in their back pockets, when in fact our Gods are as transient as governments and the human species itself.

Religions, heaven, hell, science, political beliefs, even God, they are all products of the human Mindscape, generations of imaginings built upon previous generations of imaginings, all the way down.

That is not to say they are the same thing, they are not! Science is dedicated to honestly and objectively understanding physical reality while religion is concerned with the human imagination and our soul and spirit and our struggles through our short live’s. They are different, but both are necessary human inventions. …


Incidentally, don’t forget, doodoo, when used properly, is good stuff that helps nourish crops and minds.

Where it turns into religion is when you realize you are the eye’s of the Universe. Here’s how that song goes,

 

This vague god of the universe possesses no senses. Thus only through Its creations could god observe the ‘reality” she created.

 

If that philosophy infuses your awareness, then life becomes an act of being god’s witness, a religious meditation even, impacting every aspect of it. Being present to your moments, behalf of more than yourself, changes how one approaches one’s day to days. That’s religion.

I Am the Eye’s of the Universe, as are your’s, and your’s, and your’s, …* Meaning each of us is as much, the only real question is how aware is one. What Will You Be PRESENT To?

*Besides, each of us is also made up of star dust that can be tracked back to our origins, all of us coming from the same infinitesimal point . Then, not a big bang, more like one big ejaculation. :wink: which is arguably a better metaphor.

 

 

What about Intelligent Design?

What about it?

Seems to me it’s a very natural human reaction to the ever multiplying layers of fantastical complexity within complexity. The thought of something behind it seems a very natural human feeling. Every symphony needs conductor, and all that.

But here again, it comes down to, what will you be present to?

Why not simply acknowledge the inner impulse, then get some perspective and place IT back into it’s particular niche of personal feelings, faith, opinion. Appreciating that Science and biology simply has no room for such personal emotions. Science is the realm of studying our Physical Reality. It’s what affords science and the community of scientists their legitimacy.

Again it comes down to appreciating the distinction between

what unfolds within our wonderful Mindscapes,

and what unfolds within actual factual Physical Reality.

I’m trying to keep up with your content, but I’m pretty bent on changing a couple of unchangeable minds. Anyway, here’s something you might like, if you haven’t seen it yet.

https://youtu.be/r6w2M50_Xdk

 

 

Great video. Bottom line to me is, people think way too small, and if they only knew like from watching this video. The creator wouldn’t operate IN the room of the universe, but would actually have created the physical laws that made it possible. Now THAT’s big and totally beyond what we could even imagine.

Now THAT’s big and totally beyond what we could even imagine.
So what good is it? What can be done with that notion?
But the Universe started out empty.
Did not.
Consciousness requires interacting with something.
Does not.
What can be done with that notion?
One just might consider the possibility that we are not at the top of the intellectual heap.

Or the possibility that life as we recognize it on Earth is just one of a million forms and that some might be beyond our capacity to recognize.

Or the possibility that consciousness just might exist without what we would recognize as a physical manifestation. What is the other 95% of the Universe that we can’t see?

Nice questions Bob, but I don’t think they will lead to much. This relates to something that came up here a few months ago, that we have pretty well determined the laws of the universe that govern the things we interact with using our basic senses. We can describe how we see what we see, describe time at the speeds we move, and all the things above the very tiny and below the very massive. It’s unlikely we will see any major breakthroughs in how we understand those laws. That other 95%, important, sure, but conscious, or directly caring about us and our daily actions, not likely.