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    (Original post by NeuroticSurgeon)
    The issue of God. Interesting.

    Firstly, I agree that the arguments for the existence of God are extremely fallible. Secondly, I believe in God. I'll give you my definition of God:

    There is a Great Spirit; Brahman, and every living organism is a part of this Great Spirit. My personal view of the Great Spirit is panentheistic in the belief that that which is made of nature and is preserved by nature is a part of it. Therefore the Great Spirit is immanent, for nature cannot not exist without it. The Great Spirit is necessary – there is no possibility of it not existing.

    The Universal Soul may be immanent, but it is also immutable in the true sense of the word. So, although nature appears ever changing and in constant flux, and so does the universe as the parts of the whole, this does not suggest that the whole itself is ever changing and in constant flux. Therefore, although the universe is in constant flux and changing shape every milli-second, the universe is only a part of the Great Spirit. The Great Spirit is thus transcendent, for there are other parts of it that are not part of our universe and yet it is also immanent, for much of it is present in nature.

    Nature is crucial to our perception and view of Brahman. Effectively, everything that we can experience is natural, because if it were not, it would not exist. Even man-made things are intrinsically natural, for man (who is natural), with the use of natural resources created that which is man made. Nature is the mirror with which humanity can create reflections and see a reflection of good and evil.


    That's my definition of God (long), but I must emphasise that most people will acknowledge that God is a matter of faith rather than something that can be "proved". The "other" two 'arguments' - the Argument from the Moral and the Experience perspective recognise that it is indeed a matter of faith. It is true that people believe in God because they want to, but looking at it from an objective view, that makes no difference to the "proof" for the existence of God. Our moral concepts, our religious beliefs can be seriously called into question, but the existence of God in itself cannot from that point.

    Perhaps we should ask ourselves, "Where did this idea of God come from?". I find it somewhat simplistic to say "Our concept of God is the God of the Gaps" and that is that. Remember, that if God really was a God of the Gaps, He would be an impersonal God, that was just "up there" and created us. But over time, this God has a personality, it is a personal God and yet still transcendent. Another thing that suggests that it is not all that simple is that many cultures, untouched by each other, have all had some sort of concept of religion and of God. So I do think it's a lot more complicated than just saying God is there because people wanted him to be there. Marx, Nietzsche and Freud's suggestions for the existence of God are all fascinating, but I find them all a little simplistic and unsatisfactory. I suppose it's better than going the Bertrand Russell way and just calling everything a "brute fact".
    Actually man-made is the opposite of natural. That is the definition. It is called synthetic. Man is part of nature, yes, but we hold much more evolved characteristics than other creatures...including the imagination of our own demise, as well as separating ourselves.

    Anyway, one thing I've always wondered was why our evolutions hold the same abilities of those who evolve in completely different circumstances.

    Take for instance pigs, humans, and dolphins. VERY different creatures (notably dolphins), yet we have very similar mental capabilities, personalities, etc. How can a human befriend a dolphin? The idea in itself seems absurd. Yet it's almost inevitable when a man and a dolphin accompany each other. Dolphins also perform tricks for people. This seems strange, and proves a connection. Earth, the universe, it is all one. It all exists with one peculiar truth. Life, no matter how different the bodies of the being, still evolve spiritually, strangely, together.
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    (Original post by curryADD)
    no how old are you when you take GSCE's?
    about 15-16
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    (Original post by 2776)
    about 15-16
    weird...we dont take any test like that until we're 17!
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    (Original post by caz)
    Actually man-made is the opposite of natural. That is the definition. It is called synthetic. Man is part of nature, yes, but we hold much more evolved characteristics than other creatures...including the imagination of our own demise, as well as separating ourselves.

    Anyway, one thing I've always wondered was why our evolutions hold the same abilities of those who evolve in completely different circumstances.

    Take for instance pigs, humans, and dolphins. VERY different creatures (notably dolphins), yet we have very similar mental capabilities, personalities, etc. How can a human befriend a dolphin? The idea in itself seems absurd. Yet it's almost inevitable when a man and a dolphin accompany each other. Dolphins also perform tricks for people. This seems strange, and proves a connection. Earth, the universe, it is all one. It all exists with one peculiar truth. Life, no matter how different the bodies of the being, still evolve spiritually, strangely, together.
    This again, shows why it was crucial for me to explain my definition of God. My view of what is "natural" is completely different to your perspective of "natural". I don't think from a dualist perspective...I don't have clean cut ideas of good/evil, black/white, natural/unnatural. It's not a part of my philosophical outlook. To me, that which is man made has its root in nature - so "unnatural" cannot ever be the complete opposite of natural as you have said.

    Your second and third paragraphs illustrate what I am suggesting about God (as I believe it) wonderfully . There IS a connection - but maybe it is not for us to identify? But being a species of philosophers and scientists...we will will at least TRY :P.
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    (Original post by Jonatan)
    Well, if I were to use words without presuming readers would understand which defenition I was reffering to I would have to define every concept I ever write about. Then I would have to define the defenitions etc etc. Therefore, I just was sleezy enough to post the message and let those people who wanted to discuss the same defenition as I did to answer. Of course, if one uses a different defenition, the discussion becomes meaningless as it no longer applies to the topic.
    It no longer applies? People believe in the existence. Believe the universe still responds; if not humanly, but just as a common truth. Which is why life exists, which is why we evolve, and change. Which is why things happen. The universe is one and the same, and where there is life, there is much more focused energy. Beyond the physical, this energy is being applied in a close physical region--or earth. Where we come, as beings, to exist physically in order to express ourselves, to find ourselves, to change.

    We hold the ability to take of something physical and make of it something else. We hold the ability to control a working physical machine, the body, and use this to communicate with other physical things, as to create. I can take a ball of clay and mold it into something. However, we also hold the all-powerful ability to choose death over strength, or life.

    When you speak of God, it would seem only stupid to limit it to the Christian view...as this is interpretation
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    (Original post by NeuroticSurgeon)
    This again, shows why it was crucial for me to explain my definition of God. My view of what is "natural" is completely different to your perspective of "natural". I don't think from a dualist perspective...I don't have clean cut ideas of good/evil, black/white, natural/unnatural. It's not a part of my philosophical outlook. To me, that which is man made has its root in nature - so "unnatural" cannot ever be the complete opposite of natural as you have said.
    Yes I understand what you're saying, but the definition of natural itself is to separate man's accomplishments, our world, from the other. You know? It is all one, however.
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    (Original post by caz)
    Yes I understand what you're saying, but the definition of natural itself is to separate man's accomplishments, our world, from the other. You know? It is all one, however.
    I too understand what you are saying about the definition of man's accomplishments in itself. In a way, the phrase "man-made" is for language's sake, otherwise we'd be going round and round in circles.

    Hell, I can't wait until I study Linguistic Philosophy at Uni.
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    What is peoples obsession with boiling any sort of belief that is beyond the realms of science and what we 'know' as stupid? Let me explain...

    I fully agree that the arguments for the existence of God are not brilliant, although there are no arguments that completely disprove God's existence or the possibility of it. So, does this not come down to Faith?

    I'm sure I'll have someone tell me we should not have 'blind faith' and in the infamous words of Hume the wise man proportions his believes to the evidence but we have blind faith in loads of things and I don't see you going around questioning those (i.e memory for example)

    Are we going to discount all Near Death Experience, strange occurrences, religious experiences and supposed 'miracles' ? going to have an excuse - oh science will solve them eventually? That seems a cop out to me almost as bad as the 'mysterious ways'

    Faith for me is something beyond the realms of logic, nice mathematics and probability, it is something inside of you - you either have it or you do not, either case all views should be respected.

    I think you should not try and discount God on the presence of Logic alone, there are many unexplained things in the world regardless of your beliefs we strive for answers for them. Maybe God is just man made, but you can never be too sure, you will never remove the faith from someone with logic, faith is absent of logic and reason.

    (Sorry may be a bit badly worded/off current topic)
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    Jesus H Christ!!! These religion threads are getting a bit boring aren't they? I mean there are only so many times one can state the obvious on both sides of the argument before it all becomes tiresome. Still if you like the discussion... But please stop trying to change the faith of others. Everyone seems to be doing it, and most people will say that all they really want is for people not to push views upon them, yet do it to others anyway. *sigh*
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    on comparitive terms, earth to the whole universe is like a speck of dust on top of a speck of dust in this whole world. man to earth wud again be so miniscule. so if god were to be running the entire universe why wud HE be bothered about something so small and trivial.... cannot fathom it???

    re-read my post and thought wud explain a bit...

    man to universe comparison is like an electron to this whole earth. so if the Big Man were to be keeping things in order, wud He give that much weightage to all the individual electrons in this world!!!
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    I don't think the writer can change people's beliefs, because essentially if someone already believes something, it doesn't matter what you say - they won't change. Perhaps the aim is to communicate to those whose minds are not closed to the issue, a discussion of the subject.

    One thing I find intriguing with the issue is although fundamentally there are only 2 answers to the question of God's existence (if God=creator), those who choose no as an answer tend to end their assumptions there. However, those who choose yes seem to have a tendency to make a multitude of further assumptions which eventually constitute a belief system/religion. i.e. it seems those who believe in God through religion are far more prevalent than those who believe in God as a matter of the universe requiring a creator. I can definitely understand why one would choose to believe in God as a creator, but to start defining God with our human terms - 'good', 'benevolent', 'punishing', etc seems just a little presumptuous.
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    (Original post by corey)
    What is peoples obsession with boiling any sort of belief that is beyond the realms of science and what we 'know' as stupid? Let me explain...

    I fully agree that the arguments for the existence of God are not brilliant, although there are no arguments that completely disprove God's existence or the possibility of it. So, does this not come down to Faith?

    I'm sure I'll have someone tell me we should not have 'blind faith' and in the infamous words of Hume the wise man proportions his believes to the evidence but we have blind faith in loads of things and I don't see you going around questioning those (i.e memory for example)

    Are we going to discount all Near Death Experience, strange occurrences, religious experiences and supposed 'miracles' ? going to have an excuse - oh science will solve them eventually? That seems a cop out to me almost as bad as the 'mysterious ways'

    Faith for me is something beyond the realms of logic, nice mathematics and probability, it is something inside of you - you either have it or you do not, either case all views should be respected.

    I think you should not try and discount God on the presence of Logic alone, there are many unexplained things in the world regardless of your beliefs we strive for answers for them. Maybe God is just man made, but you can never be too sure, you will never remove the faith from someone with logic, faith is absent of logic and reason.

    (Sorry may be a bit badly worded/off current topic)
    My objection is not that there may be elements of nature which are unexplainable through scientific means. Most scientists would agree that there are scourges of things we cannot explian and we will most likely never be able to understand every aspect of nature.

    The problem whith religion is not that everything must be understandable , in fact we know that there are many things which are close to impossible to understand, but that it creates an explanation without justification. Religion seeks to explain what we do not understand WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING IT. This is the problem. Religion is more or less based on assumptions which are defended without criticism.

    The assumptions are said to be true, not because theres any support in favour of them, but basicly because they are a part of the religion. The difference between a religious beleif and a scientific hypothesis is the attitude toward the possibility that it might be incorrect. Science include several guesses and assumptions, but in science these assumptions may be changed if they turn out to be false.

    In religion, the assumptions upon which the religion is based are rarely doubted, instead they are defended, even when experience indicates they are invalid. It's nothing wrong in assuming that the earth is the center of the universe, but when someone like Galileo manage to show that it might not be the entire story, the assumption should be corrected, or extended, and not defended merely because it is a part of the religion. Similarily, religion often claim the assumptions to be true, beyond any reasonable doubt, when theres in fact no justification whatsoever in favour of them.
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    (Original post by Sire)
    Jesus H Christ!!! These religion threads are getting a bit boring aren't they? I mean there are only so many times one can state the obvious on both sides of the argument before it all becomes tiresome. Still if you like the discussion... But please stop trying to change the faith of others. Everyone seems to be doing it, and most people will say that all they really want is for people not to push views upon them, yet do it to others anyway. *sigh*
    What is then so wrong about explaining what you beleive and why? If you do not want to have the opinions of other "pushed onto you" you do not have to read the threads. If you find the content boring, you may simply read something which entertains you more. Furthermore, new beleives are created when you doubt / atack old ones. If one cannot question already occuring beleives, no new ones would be created.
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    (Original post by 2776)
    Well said. So the big crunch. Do you believe in god?
    there is no way god exists. How could he? the church is all a big scam run by the goverment. The priests are evil and are generally paedophiles or rapists. some christians. i wonder if that is in the bible? you can probly get porn directed just at priests cos they are all sick ****s. the whole ****in church is a big massive waste of time. I mean what stupid ****in god says you can't hav sex before marriage and then lets things like world war 2 happen. Wot did he just call in sick that day? wot a stupid religion. i mean you would have to be so stupid to believe it. and no im not a devil worshipper, even though if i was religious i would probably belong to the satanistic church, but i'm not because that would mean i believe in god. all you bible-bashers out there should look at this website: www.evilbible.com. it helps you to realise the truth behind the bible.
    Have you ever noticed the biggest point about the bible. How do you know that they didnt just decide to right a book bout a bloke called jesus who got nailed to a cross.
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    Atheist here. That's all I have to say. Debating religion is just unproductive.
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    The belief that there is a god is easier to believe and try to prove than the belief that there isn't a god. I mean consider the big bang and evolution. The probability that the earth could form and that from this planet emerges life, mathmaticians never try to use math to prove either the big bang or evolution is that the odds are so bad. Even han solo wouldn't bet on this one. The only other choice is that there is a god.
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    You cannot prove a negative. Prove to me father christmas doesn't exist. The burden of proof lies with the people making the positive claim in the first place.
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    (Original post by Jonatan)
    <On request from readers, I have tried to clean up this post a little>

    I must say I find quiet interesting that people argue in favour of god's existance. God's existance appears to have no real justification , except a few semi-logicall arguments which could equally well be modified to work as counterarguments.

    It appears to me, although i do not like to offend anyone, that people argue in favour of GOD's existance, not because they have any real reason to beleive that GOD exists, but rather because they WANT GOD to exist. The logical arguments in favour of a GOD does not really imply the existance of a sentinent being. It could equally well be an imaginarry rock, one tried to prove the existance of.

    Yet, noone tries to argue in favour of the existance of this imaginary rock. Of course, some argue in favour of god, just in order to explore logic and its consequences, but those who really claim to BELEIVE in GOD seem to do so because of personal emotional reasons rather than any real reasonable argument. GOD exists, not because it makes sense, but because it would be nice if that was the case.

    I also find it remarkable how religion manage to pinpoint the accurate nature of a GOD when it is in fact impossible to even show that a GOD exist at all. Religions have detailed descriptions of GOD and his/her actions and wishes, even though the existance of GOD is in the first place improvable. Acourding to the Bible God created man kind in his own image. Id say it was the opposite way around. Man kind created God in man kinds image.
    I'm not religious and I think that religion causes more problems than it solves. and in general I think its weird how people believe God even though all the evidence seem to point the other way, they seem to be following their beliefs on blind faith.
    On the otherhand, there are so many uncertainties in science that there is still a possibility, however small that God exists. and its comforting perhaps for most people to know that there is more to life than just birth and death, that there is a reason for our existence.
    Religion pinpoints the accurate nature of God, because we could relate to it more perhaps, that there are sets of rules for which we could follow that determines whether we end up in heaven or hell. That we are in some ways in control of our destiny.
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    (Original post by Jonatan)
    Given that the probability of being correct among an infinite number of equally justified possibilities is an infinite against one, I must say no.




    Why? Must you say no? What is wrong with I don't know or yes?
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    As the great Mr. Pratchett said "people believe in God just in any case". I think that explains everything. It is meaningless to argue about god since their arguments are more emotional than logical. Moreover, I don't think that it would be great if god exsisted because I would look in its eyes as the monekeys from the zoo look in mine. Thare are more arguments against the exsistance of god and against the moral aspects of its exsistance. To sum up, "Better rule in hell than serve in heaven"
 
 
 
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