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is GOD just our imagination?


DevilSolution
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i have been reading over some religious idea's covered by most theologians and it became self evident i dont belong to any particular religion, however i do have spirituality and self awareness, im willing to overlook all the fallacy's of religion to see what is meant behind the metaphors and such but i dont believe in any particular being as god, this brings me to my conundrum, imagination, what is it?, where did it come from?, is it the force that made us evolve or is it just the force that helps us prosper once were alive? after all these questions are answered i think every believer in god needs to ask himself or herself a single question to fully overstand the existence of their personal god, WOULD GOD EXIST IF YOU COULDN'T IMAGINE IT? we all have biases of what we imagine god to be, for example i quite enjoy imaging god as all the laws we must abide, the laws of physics, laws of nature and laws we created ourself via politics, all these laws are very real and we live our lives by them (or most of us, those who aren't in prison) this is what i IMAGINE god to be, someone else however, perhaps a Christian may idealise god in his/her imagination as a HUGE white bearded male in which our universe makes up a small sub-atomic particle of HIS beard (or lungs or guts or heart) all that being said you are still only imagining god and if imagining god makes god real then what does that make our imagination? any idea's on the matter would be greatly appreciated as im trying to come to terms with the human imagination (or life on the whole) thanks for reading guys...

 

 

worth watching if you understand what im saying

 

from 6:00 to 7:50 is very interesting

Edited by DevilSolution
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What do you mean "just?" If you would say that unicorns are "just our imagination," I could understand but "God" is a far more powerful aspect of subjectivity. People don't spend a fraction of the energy on unicorns that they do on arguing about God's existence, worrying about how the universe emerged and what their purpose in it is. People don't devote their sundays to unicorns and insist on marrying someone who shares the same unicorn beliefs that they do. People don't post threads on science discussion forums about whether unicorns are "just imagination" as if it would change things or be some great revelation if they were.

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i have been reading over some religious idea's covered by most theologians and it became self evident i dont belong to any particular religion, however i do have spirituality and self awareness, im willing to overlook all the fallacy's of religion to see what is meant behind the metaphors and such but i dont believe in any particular being as god, this brings me to my conundrum, imagination, what is it?, where did it come from?, is it the force that made us evolve or is it just the force that helps us prosper once were alive? after all these questions are answered i think every believer in god needs to ask himself or herself a single question to fully overstand the existence of their personal god, WOULD GOD EXIST IF YOU COULDN'T IMAGINE IT? we all have biases of what we imagine god to be, for example i quite enjoy imaging god as all the laws we must abide, the laws of physics, laws of nature and laws we created ourself via politics, all these laws are very real and we live our lives by them (or most of us, those who aren't in prison) this is what i IMAGINE god to be, someone else however, perhaps a Christian may idealise god in his/her imagination as a HUGE white bearded male in which our universe makes up a small sub-atomic particle of HIS beard (or lungs or guts or heart) all that being said you are still only imagining god and if imagining god makes god real then what does that make our imagination? any idea's on the matter would be greatly appreciated as im trying to come to terms with the human imagination (or life on the whole) thanks for reading guys...

 

 

worth watching if you understand what im saying

 

from 6:00 to 7:50 is very interesting

 

Hot damn, the more I think on what you said, the more I think you really got something.

 

This is exactly what I was thinking about when I woke this morning. How do people think of what is good without a concept of God? I normally contemplate God and my value to the universe when I wake and frequently throughout the day. For me, thoughts of God are like a compass. Thoughts of God hold everything that is good. It isn't just thinking about what is good, but also what is possible, and thinking of about us, and people around the world, the earth, the past and future, and the meaning of life. That is, it is wholistic and value laden thinking. That is something science lacks. Science is amoral, and often very narrowly focused. (please, don't confuse amoral with immoral, or science with scientist)

 

By checking in with my thoughts of God, I stimulate feelings of love within myself. I think love/hate is like the energy in a battery. It needs a positive and negative post to flow. I guess both positive and negative post are in me, but the flow is from me, to my thoughts of God, and back, or if it is hate, the thoughts would be from me to an object of hate and back. If we don't have this flow, than we don't experience of energy of love and hate. This makes sense, right?

 

If people believe in a loving God or a punishing God, their experience of God is different, right? For sure our experience of God depends on our thoughts of God. We stimulate the thought of it and experience the feelings stimulated by the thought. :) A child can be quite frightened by the monsters in his room, so I am giving my great grand son the thoughts he needs to master the monsters. Now those monsters are playing an important role in my great grandson gaining a sense of personal power. All the Greek Gods have power, when we hold an concept of them and call on them for help. Satan is pretty powerful for those who worship him too.

 

For me, God is all the laws, and science is the way of studying God. For sure, if we realize it is bad water that makes people sick, we will be more successful in over coming this "evil", then if we burning people as witches. Superstition is a very bad thing when it misleads people and prevents them from taking the correct action. I think any reasonable person can realize this, and then we must check our religious beliefs about supernatural beings and events. I think it is sad when people think we have to accept all the supernatural stuff in order to have God and morals. This just isn't true.

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I think it is sad when people think we have to accept all the supernatural stuff in order to have God and morals. This just isn't true.

 

With all respect, isn't that just a rationalization for you to believe what you know is false? By definition, god's are supernatural beings. If we don't believe in the supernatural, and we think that every occurrence in the universe is resultant from physical phenomena, then there is no need to evoke the existence of a god.

 

Why not cut out the middle man so to speak? Why not tell a child not to be afraid of closet monsters because closet monsters are not real! That gives the child a 100% assurance that he is safe from said monster. Why create an imaginary being to comfort a child who is scared of another imaginary being?

 

Bring a strict materialist you guys might simply disagree but the way I see it is: a being with no evidence of existence, and isn't logically required to exist doesn't exist. Trying to justify the existence of a god with a nebulous, transcendental mindset doesn't accomplish any intellectual work. You can make anything seem to exist by blurring the lines of it's definition enough. If I allow horses to fall under the definition of unicorn [hey, close enough right? :) ], then unicorns certainly exist. If I expand the definition of god to mean any thing, then I've just ensured that my "meaninglessly" defined god exists by default.

 

If I haven't caught the correct connotation from your post, I'm sorry, please correct my reasoning if so.

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With respect, the point i was trying to make and the question i asked was; could god exist without the imagination.

 

To everyone other than Athena; I was trying to show how two people with totally contradicting ideologies about god actually believe and use the same process of reaching god, the imagination, right~?

 

Athena, i agree 100%, i think what your saying about love/hate is that perhaps they are one and the same relative to who you ask? and also we have places in our selves we can look into to feel love and hate, posts as you refer to them such as god for the love and maybe bad experiences or understanding's of shortcoming for the hate? things we struggle in our day to day lives to understand and change?

 

EDIT: did anybody watch 6.00 to 7.50 of that video?

Edited by DevilSolution
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This seems pretty close in ideas to:-

 

"If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him".

(Voltaire)

 

yeh exactly, like if we couldnt imagine wouldnt we all just be logical machines? Like this computer im using to communicate with you right now, it manipulates logic but only for our purpose it doesnt have a self built purpose therefore if we didnt have an imagination we would be the same as this machine but the fact we do means that imagination itself is like the cross over from logic to consciousness? hmmmm

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yeh exactly, like if we couldnt imagine wouldnt we all just be logical machines? Like this computer im using to communicate with you right now, it manipulates logic but only for our purpose it doesnt have a self built purpose therefore if we didnt have an imagination we would be the same as this machine but the fact we do means that imagination itself is like the cross over from logic to consciousness? hmmmm

Imo, it is not ultimately necessary to personify "God" or other spirits in order to experience the existential benefits of believing. "Spirit" is an old-fashioned word, but I think it is pretty accurate in describing a particular state-of-mind that seems to inhabit you during particular moments or activities. "The spirit of giving," for example, inhabits people around Christmas and bdays, as well as other times. "God" could simply be thought of as "the spirit of creation," "the spirit of power," or "the spirit of goodness," "enlightenment," etc. I don't have any problem with the personification mythologies because I can easily translate/decode the language into mundane social-psychology, but I don't think personification is essential to the function and/or purpose of the philosophy.

Edited by lemur
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With respect, the point i was trying to make and the question i asked was; could god exist without the imagination.

 

To everyone other than Athena; I was trying to show how two people with totally contradicting ideologies about god actually believe and use the same process of reaching god, the imagination, right~?

 

Athena, i agree 100%, i think what your saying about love/hate is that perhaps they are one and the same relative to who you ask? and also we have places in our selves we can look into to feel love and hate, posts as you refer to them such as god for the love and maybe bad experiences or understanding's of shortcoming for the hate? things we struggle in our day to day lives to understand and change?

 

EDIT: did anybody watch 6.00 to 7.50 of that video?

 

If I couldn't imagine the existence of the ocean, does the ocean exist?

 

Not that I agree that God exists. I am simply making the point that not being able to conceive the existence of something does not necessirily mean it doesn't exist. Similarly, imagining something to be real does not mean it does exist.

 

I think that this idea is, in a way, how people began to believe in a God/s in the first place.

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What do you mean "just?" If you would say that unicorns are "just our imagination," I could understand but "God" is a far more powerful aspect of subjectivity. People don't spend a fraction of the energy on unicorns that they do on arguing about God's existence, worrying about how the universe emerged and what their purpose in it is. People don't devote their sundays to unicorns and insist on marrying someone who shares the same unicorn beliefs that they do. People don't post threads on science discussion forums about whether unicorns are "just imagination" as if it would change things or be some great revelation if they were.

 

 

Lemur, are you really trying to equate the likelihood of the existence or lack of existence of something with the number of people who believe it or the strength of their conviction of it's existence?

Edited by Moontanman
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If I couldn't imagine the existence of the ocean, does the ocean exist?

 

Not that I agree that God exists. I am simply making the point that not being able to conceive the existence of something does not necessirily mean it doesn't exist. Similarly, imagining something to be real does not mean it does exist.

 

I think that this idea is, in a way, how people began to believe in a God/s in the first place.

 

well obviously its a very philosophical concept which has 2 sides but i would certainly argue that subjectively if you couldnt imagine the ocean (which automatically means youve never seen it) then yes ovcourse it doesnt exist to you, how could it? it doesnt mean in reality it doesnt exist it just means in your comprehension and understanding of the world that the ocean is not present. someone can explain what the ocean is too you but then you dont understand what the ocean is you understand what someone told you what the ocean is.

 

you pretty much just answered my question with a different version of my question, if you read my first post tho and understand the above statement then what implication does it have on the imagination? so for example if someone has never seen the ocean but has had a good briefing on what it is but obviously doesnt have any first hand experience of it then is their imagination not creating the ocean for them?

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If I couldn't imagine the existence of the ocean, does the ocean exist?

 

 

 

If I ask you does a mountain exist? I feel sure you would answer in the affirmative.

I spent part of my life in the Maldives which is made up of small very flat islands. None of them has a point more than about 2m above sea level and I was on a one of the largest islands which was about 1 mile across. One day we tried describe a mountain to a maldivian person. It was hopeless - in fact I think he thought we were "pulling his leg".

So does a mountain exist? Does it make sense to say that a mountain exists for you but not for him?

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Lemur, are you really trying to equate the likelihood of the existence or lack of existence of something with the number of people who believe it or the strength of their conviction of it's existence?

The existence of subjective things is based on imagination and the ability to believe (faith). What I am pointing out is that some subjective/imagined things are more powerful in their influence on the human experience. "God" is one of those.

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The existence of subjective things is based on imagination and the ability to believe (faith). What I am pointing out is that some subjective/imagined things are more powerful in their influence on the human experience. "God" is one of those.

 

 

Ok, I didn't understand what you meant, I would have to agree with you that.

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With all respect, isn't that just a rationalization for you to believe what you know is false? By definition, god's are supernatural beings. If we don't believe in the supernatural, and we think that every occurrence in the universe is resultant from physical phenomena, then there is no need to evoke the existence of a god.

 

Why not cut out the middle man so to speak? Why not tell a child not to be afraid of closet monsters because closet monsters are not real! That gives the child a 100% assurance that he is safe from said monster. Why create an imaginary being to comfort a child who is scared of another imaginary being?

 

Bring a strict materialist you guys might simply disagree but the way I see it is: a being with no evidence of existence, and isn't logically required to exist doesn't exist. Trying to justify the existence of a god with a nebulous, transcendental mindset doesn't accomplish any intellectual work. You can make anything seem to exist by blurring the lines of it's definition enough. If I allow horses to fall under the definition of unicorn [hey, close enough right? :) ], then unicorns certainly exist. If I expand the definition of god to mean any thing, then I've just ensured that my "meaninglessly" defined god exists by default.

 

If I haven't caught the correct connotation from your post, I'm sorry, please correct my reasoning if so.

 

What is it called when people nit pick over the meaning of words? This is a good thing because it forces us to think about the meaning of words and about what we think.

 

Okay, I looked up the word supernatural and it has a pretty good meaning. "Not explainable by known natural forces or laws". This is a good explanation of God, up to the point of inventing false gods. So far this does not make God an unbelievable human like being. The problem comes when we humanize God, and add angels and demons, and add Satan who is the protagonist of this mythology. The problem is, this mythology is not based in nature, and I don't believe this is a good thing. Whereas, holding a concept of God as the creating and controlling of the universe, remains based in nature. :D So I will give in on the point that God is supernatural, and say this does not mean the God of Abraham or any other humanized God, ghost, angels, demons, Satan, or unicorns exist in reality. God exist, but the rest does not, except in our imagination.

 

God as the creative force exist, but the God in our imagination does not exist in the same way. As the unicorn exist because we share a knowledge of unicorns, but they do not exist as creatures of nature. I think this is why holy books are careful to say, God is beyond our comprehension, and we can not know God, and we should not be too sure of what we think know. It is also said, the moment you think you know God, you know God not, but what we know can only be a limited concept of God, and this is not God.

 

Why not cut the middle out when speaking to my great son about monsters? Because I have learn the importance of mythology. A most unfortunate thing happened when we started to believe we could explain everything with science. We began relying too much on science and lost our understanding of the importance of mythology. It is as Zeus feared. We now rival the Gods, and try to live without them. This is has made smart, but not wise.

 

A monster represents our fears, and for darn sure a little child's fear is very real. Convincing the child that monsters do not exist, only pushes the child's fear to the next thing, and teaches him nothing of how to manage his fear. By agreeing with him that monsters exist, and convincing him he can be the master of them, he is learning how to deal with his fears and people too. :) Our most fearsome monsters are humanized creatures, and project our knowledge of evil into them. Like the unicorn they both exist and do not exist. This is how we deal with life. It might be smart to argue that monsters do not exist, but this sure isn't wise. Monsters, demons, angels, unicorns, Athena and Zeus all exist. This is the realm of mythology and when we understanding the part mythology in plays in our lives, we can move from smart to wise. :)

 

The creative force and organizing forces do exist. This God is know through science. When we agree we can call this God, we open the door for many, many different discussions that we do not have without a concept of God. Side by side with this is mythology which helps us explore ourselves and to transition into personally strong and wise beings. This is essential in moving us from being technological smart to wise enough to manage our technology well. This shift is extremely important to human kind and perhaps the whole earth, which we could destroy if we do not gain wisdom fast enough. Without this wisdom, politics are a barbaric affair of power conflicts and nothing like the democracy our forefathers thought they were giving us. :(

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You reject the mythologization of God as a quasi-human entity such as Zeus or Jehovah, which you regard as not based in nature, but then you go on to commit your own mythologization of God as an entity separate from the rest of the universe but somehow still creating and controlling it. This reification of the power of the universe as implying that the universe is sustained by some thing existing outside of it and holding this power as a characteristic of itself is the very essence of mythologizing. A true liberation from mythologizing tendencies, a true return to basing things in nature, as you say you want to do, would be to say that there is power and creativity represented in the ordinary physical universe, and that that power and creativity resides in the physical world, rather than residing in, or implying the existence of, anything outside the universe which then 'gives' it these predicates of power and creativity.

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This seems pretty close in ideas to:-

 

"If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him".

(Voltaire)

 

 

Oh yes, this is exactly what I believe, because when we think God, we are thinking what is possible, what is moral, how are we all connected? Things we might want to think about as we go about changing the world, and doing things that can not be undone.

 

And along with,hat I think is an agreement with Devilsolution, our judgements are not purely based on facts. They are also based on how we feel about those facts. This feeling piece is what separates us from a logic machine, and, it is our capacity for logic that separates us from other animals. That means how what we believe, and therefore the pattern we set set for our emotional state of being, is important. Someone who habitually stimulates negativity thinking with a negative belief system, will make different decisions than someone who habitually stimulates positive thinking with a positive belief system. This is what makes the difference between a Bin Laden and a Gandhi. It matters if your God is a loving and forgiving God, or is a fearsome and punishing God, or if we reject any concept of God, because it is this root decision about God, sets our thinking habit, and our thinking habit, is determines how we will react to everything else.

 

You reject the mythologization of God as a quasi-human entity such as Zeus or Jehovah, which you regard as not based in nature, but then you go on to commit your own mythologization of God as an entity separate from the rest of the universe but somehow still creating and controlling it. This reification of the power of the universe as implying that the universe is sustained by some thing existing outside of it and holding this power as a characteristic of itself is the very essence of mythologizing. A true liberation from mythologizing tendencies, a true return to basing things in nature, as you say you want to do, would be to say that there is power and creativity represented in the ordinary physical universe, and that that power and creativity resides in the physical world, rather than residing in, or implying the existence of, anything outside the universe which then 'gives' it these predicates of power and creativity.

 

Not completely correct. The Greek gods and goddess are based in nature, and I believe this makes an important difference. The God of Abraham and Jesus mythology is not nature base but is heaven based, and can be angels or devils. :unsure: I am not sure I am finding the right words to express this point? Each Greek god and goddess is a concept and an archetype. We can learn much about nature and especially human nature, by studying them. This is something totally different form the God of Abraham and Jesus, which are heaven beings, not earth beings. I don't think we should speak of heaven beings without mentioning they can also be devils, because this battle of spiritual beings of light and darkness, is detached from our earthly experience, that is the meaning of humans being fallen, there separation from God, and than these spiritual beings are imposed upon us, instead of being part of it. These spiritual beings can break the laws of nature, and can do either good or bad things to us.

 

I am not aware of saying God is separate from the universe. I think I say God is the creative force and laws that are manifest as the universe. This idea of what exist in a non material way and really what is matter, and the relationship between the two, is surely worthy of our contemplation. I exist as energy and matter. The chair I sit on and my desk are both energy and matter. Can matter exist without energy, or can energy exist without matter? For me these are questions about God.

 

It seems others have accused of me creating my own mythology of God. Dare you explain that mythology to me, because I must have Alzheimer's disease. I do not remember tell anyone, "this is what God is", other than saying God is the creative force and laws of the universe, and beyond our comprehension. That is not my own mythology. It actually comes from the evolution of Greek thought. Now I would be thrilled if the good minds here desired to discuss the evolution of Greek thought, and why I object to the God of Abraham religions, while insisting there is a God and we come to know this God through science and this is essential to democracy. Like I use the name Athena, because this subject is so important to me.

 

I think I have been very clear about the importance of mythology. Darn I am out of time, but want to stress how extremely valuable these discussions have been to me. I want to sincerely thank all of you for pushing me to think about what think. Before I run off, I want to stress the important difference between a mythology based in nature and one that is not. Greek mythology is based in nature and brings us to science. The God of Abraham mythology is separated from its nature base, and is based on superstition not nature. Paradoxical isn't it. The followers of the religion that is based on superstition, believe they stand against superstition, and they killed the line of nature based god reasoning, that gave us science and democracy. Now my efforts to reawaken the Greek line of thinking that gave us science and democracy, often seems futile. This forum has been more intelligent and truer to the meaning and intent of freedom of speech than any other. Kudos to all of you.

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What is it called when people nit pick over the meaning of words? This is a good thing because it forces us to think about the meaning of words and about what we think.

I'm not nit picking over words. The definition of god is the only data we have on god. Or it's the only objective thing about a hypothetical god we can discuss.

 

Okay, I looked up the word supernatural and it has a pretty good meaning. "Not explainable by known natural forces or laws". This is a good explanation of God, up to the point of inventing false gods. So far this does not make God an unbelievable human like being. The problem comes when we humanize God, and add angels and demons, and add Satan who is the protagonist of this mythology. The problem is, this mythology is not based in nature, and I don't believe this is a good thing. Whereas, holding a concept of God as the creating and controlling of the universe, remains based in nature. :D So I will give in on the point that God is supernatural, and say this does not mean the God of Abraham or any other humanized God, ghost, angels, demons, Satan, or unicorns exist in reality. God exist, but the rest does not, except in our imagination.

 

But the only agreed upon way for anyone to worship any God is through some established religion or spin-off of an established religion. If all the religious text tell stories that only exist in our imagination, i.e. are false, then why would you agree with these texts that a god exists at all seeing as how they are the main proponents of the existence of god. What I'm trying to say is, I think that if you had never been exposed to the ideology of a major world religion, and had grown being taught science only, you would have absolutely no concept of a god. You can't try to separate your views from those of a mythological religion.

 

God as the creative force exist, but the God in our imagination does not exist in the same way. As the unicorn exist because we share a knowledge of unicorns, but they do not exist as creatures of nature. I think this is why holy books are careful to say, God is beyond our comprehension, and we can not know God, and we should not be too sure of what we think know. It is also said, the moment you think you know God, you know God not, but what we know can only be a limited concept of God, and this is not God.

This is always used as a back-door-out in religious debates. No matter what I say to the detriment of god, you can say that ultimately none of us can know god so my argument comes out of ignorance. But really, that argument only admits that none of us can know anything about any hypothetical or real god. So if you bring in that logic, then you must admit that your argument is at least equally as ignorant as mine.

 

I prefer not to bring it in though because it is fallacious and really shows how all supernatural claims are not falsifiable, and therefore likely to be false.

 

Why not cut the middle out when speaking to my great son about monsters? Because I have learn the importance of mythology. A most unfortunate thing happened when we started to believe we could explain everything with science. We began relying too much on science and lost our understanding of the importance of mythology. It is as Zeus feared. We now rival the Gods, and try to live without them. This is has made smart, but not wise.

Yeah we began relying too much on science. Its a shame that our lifespans are so long now and we have modern technology like the internet and supersonic travel. I miss the days when we burned witches at the stake and offered up human sacrifices to the sun; you know, back when the mentally retarded were demonically possessed. We really have missed the importance of mythology, nothing beats blind faith in an anthropomorphic boogie man who disapproves of your sex life and will readily subject you to infinite torture for a finite sin.

 

A monster represents our fears, and for darn sure a little child's fear is very real. Convincing the child that monsters do not exist, only pushes the child's fear to the next thing, and teaches him nothing of how to manage his fear. By agreeing with him that monsters exist, and convincing him he can be the master of them, he is learning how to deal with his fears and people too. :) Our most fearsome monsters are humanized creatures, and project our knowledge of evil into them. Like the unicorn they both exist and do not exist. This is how we deal with life. It might be smart to argue that monsters do not exist, but this sure isn't wise. Monsters, demons, angels, unicorns, Athena and Zeus all exist. This is the realm of mythology and when we understanding the part mythology in plays in our lives, we can move from smart to wise. :)

I disagree. Illogical fear is born from ignorance of objective truth. Are you afraid of Al Queda? I'll tell you that the odds of you dying in a terrorist attack are vanishingly small. Are you afraid of monsters? I'll tell you that the odds of you dying from a monster attack are infinitesimally small. Are you afraid of dying from cancer? I'll tell you that your fears are legitimate and you may well die of cancer.

 

Telling children the truth empowers them to be masters of their own destiny. If a child knows the truth about the world, he'll be forced to rely on himself to use intelligence and logic to solve problems enhancing his life greatly. I'm not critiquing your parenting skills by the way, he's your kid.

 

The creative force and organizing forces do exist. This God is know through science.

 

I didn't get that memo. That's a tall claim. I imagine you have a barrage citations to back that one.

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But the only agreed upon way for anyone to worship any God is through some established religion or spin-off of an established religion. If all the religious text tell stories that only exist in our imagination, i.e. are false, then why would you agree with these texts that a god exists at all seeing as how they are the main proponents of the existence of god. ......

 

One's personal approach to religion, or atheism, does not require the agreement of anyone else.

 

You are trying to apply a scientific perspective to religion. When properly limited there is no conflict between science and religion. Neither is there an overlap.

 

There are excellent scientists and mathematicians who are devout. There are excellent scientists and mathematicians who are atheists. There are atheists who are so dogmatic that they have turned atheism into a religion.

 

Religion has no business making statements of a scientific nature. It is abundantly clear that science has developed impressive theories that very accurately explain many natural phenomena and that new and better theories continue to emerge. Science is utterly reliant on the predictability of nature, and therefore the existence of a god that regularly interferes with natural processes is an anathema. But such a vision of God is more akin to superstition than to a reasoned approach to religion.

 

The existence of God is not a scientific question, once one has dispensed with pure superstition. Science can neither confirm nor refute that existence. "Existence" here is taken in a metaphysical sense and not in the sense of a realist.

 

One of the unexplained aspects of nature, likely never to be explained, is that it appears to be orderly and therefore understandable. Natural phenomena appear to be described by mathematically-formulated laws of great aesthetic beauty. Nobody has a clue why. One possible source of the order in the universe is God. This is not a scientific statement. It is neither provable nor refutable. It has no bearing whatever on science or the progress of scientific research.

 

It is important to separate science from religion, for the benefit of both.

 

There are some recent pseudo-scientific proposals, the string-theory "landscape' for instance that appear to be inspired by atheism cum religion. The proposals are impossible to test and are more akin to religion than to science. Basically the logic is that we have a plethora of competing string theories (forget about the fact that nobody can actually define them) and since there is no means to select any one of them over the others (no, none are clearly identified with what is actually observed) and since an arbitrary choice based on what we do see (if we isolate the choice) might be attributed by some to God, it must therefore follow that ALL such universes actually exist. This is particularly bad science. It isn't very good religion either.

 

Rather it is better to separate religion from science and let each attend to its own "magisteria".

 

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gould_noma.html

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One's personal approach to religion, or atheism, does not require the agreement of anyone else.

 

You are trying to apply a scientific perspective to religion. When properly limited there is no conflict between science and religion. Neither is there an overlap.

 

There are excellent scientists and mathematicians who are devout. There are excellent scientists and mathematicians who are atheists. There are atheists who are so dogmatic that they have turned atheism into a religion.

 

Religion has no business making statements of a scientific nature. It is abundantly clear that science has developed impressive theories that very accurately explain many natural phenomena and that new and better theories continue to emerge. Science is utterly reliant on the predictability of nature, and therefore the existence of a god that regularly interferes with natural processes is an anathema. But such a vision of God is more akin to superstition than to a reasoned approach to religion.

 

The existence of God is not a scientific question, once one has dispensed with pure superstition. Science can neither confirm nor refute that existence. "Existence" here is taken in a metaphysical sense and not in the sense of a realist.

 

One of the unexplained aspects of nature, likely never to be explained, is that it appears to be orderly and therefore understandable. Natural phenomena appear to be described by mathematically-formulated laws of great aesthetic beauty. Nobody has a clue why. One possible source of the order in the universe is God. This is not a scientific statement. It is neither provable nor refutable. It has no bearing whatever on science or the progress of scientific research.

 

It is important to separate science from religion, for the benefit of both.

 

There are some recent pseudo-scientific proposals, the string-theory "landscape' for instance that appear to be inspired by atheism cum religion. The proposals are impossible to test and are more akin to religion than to science. Basically the logic is that we have a plethora of competing string theories (forget about the fact that nobody can actually define them) and since there is no means to select any one of them over the others (no, none are clearly identified with what is actually observed) and since an arbitrary choice based on what we do see (if we isolate the choice) might be attributed by some to God, it must therefore follow that ALL such universes actually exist. This is particularly bad science. It isn't very good religion either.

 

Rather it is better to separate religion from science and let each attend to its own "magisteria".

 

http://www.stephenja...gould_noma.html

 

I disagree with you, because the morality and process of democracy depends on having a notion of an unknown God, and understanding of the laws of nature. We must bring both together to have a strong democracy and to continue to lift man to his highest potential. By the way, a God who violates the laws of nature is a false God, and I object to the argument that the only God is a false one.

Edited by Athena
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my imagination > your DOGMA!

 

Okay, let us assume God is just our imagination. Why would anyone want to argue this point? Why would anyone care if God is only a figment of our imagination or something else? What does it matter?

 

If I ask you does a mountain exist? I feel sure you would answer in the affirmative.

I spent part of my life in the Maldives which is made up of small very flat islands. None of them has a point more than about 2m above sea level and I was on a one of the largest islands which was about 1 mile across. One day we tried describe a mountain to a maldivian person. It was hopeless - in fact I think he thought we were "pulling his leg".

So does a mountain exist? Does it make sense to say that a mountain exists for you but not for him?

 

I love this argument. :wub: Now what difference does it make if we believe in oceans, mountains, or God, or not? Is it the same for an Eskimo to not be able to image the environment of southern California, as it is for us to not be able to image there is a God? If there is a difference, what is it?

Edited by Athena
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It has to matter to both religious and non-religious people whether God is just a creature of the imagination or not. For the religious, if it is an imaginative artifact, then while it may be a useful organizing principle to orient thinking about the world, it is ultimately just a hypothesis, an unproven 'what if' which provides no assurance that that orientation is valid. For the non-religious, proving to everyone that God is just a feature of the imagination is important for ensuring that society does not pass foolish laws against assisted suicide, free access to abortion, sexual freedom, etc., based on the superstitions associated with the supposed reality of a being whose bare existence settles arguments about social policy.

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Okay, let us assume God is just our imagination. Why would anyone want to argue this point? Why would anyone care if God is only a figment of our imagination or something else? What does it matter?

 

Really? we dont have to argue about anything, it simply establishes a religious base for which the implications can be endless ...

 

Also im just insinuating you took the topic away from imagination and back to dogma, im rather interested with what humans would exist as without the imagination?, perhaps what we all imagine god to be (minus arguing with each other about our own beliefs) and then finally the only point im actually trying to make and that ive already made is that the imagination is the only way of reaching god, weather your hindu, christian, muslim or agnostic respectively all your gods are the same...and ive just proved it

Edited by DevilSolution
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I disagree with you, because the morality and process of democracy depends on having a notion of an unknown God, and understanding of the laws of nature. We must bring both together to have a strong democracy and to continue to lift man to his highest potential. By the way, a God who violates the laws of nature is a false God, and I object to the argument that the only God is a false one.

 

Morality need not be tied to religion. There are moral atheists. There are immoral clergy.

 

How morality and democracy can possibly depend on "understanding the laws of nature" eludes me. Were the ancient Greeks uniformly immoral and was Athens not a democracy ?

 

I am certainly glad to hear that either God will conform to the laws of nature or else (and that you can handle the "or else" part). You had better get to work on "the miracle of the five loaves and two fish". Let us know how you work that out with the Vatican and all Protestant religions.

 

Your stance in dictating acceptable behavior for God rather reminds me of the local religious leaders who stated that God was only allowed to speak directly to their named prophet (and presumably He must first fill out the proper forms in triplicate and have them approved by the apostles). If you are a believer is this not a rather contradictory position ? [Einstein: "God does not roll dice." Bohr: "Einstein, don't tell God what to do."]

 

Tying religion to politics is far more dangerous than tying it to science. I seem to recall that pursuit of freedom of religion resulted in the founding of a nation. We have fought wars to make sure that your philosophy would not be implemented.

The Constitution of the U.S. was written to prevent just such an event.

Edited by DrRocket
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