Must 'God' be a superior being?

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Count Bezukhov
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I watched Alien: Covenant last night, and those who have also seen it/know what it's about will know that 'creation' is the overarching theme of Covenant/Prometheus.

Now, most religious people as well as deists assert that the 'Creator' is undoubtedly superior to us, some even going so far as to call them omnipotent/omniscient etc. Yet, Covenant opposes this view. In the film, it is made apparent that David (an android) is (or at least, views himself as) superior to Mr Weyland, his human creator. Even in the real world, we are on the verge of creating sophisticated AI that will be superior to humankind cognitively, and through robotics physically as well. Computers can already store and recall vast sums of data, and are improving with every passing day. Humans have created something that is superior to themselves.

Therefore, it follows on that our 'Creator' (if such a being exists) need not be superior to us - its creations - in any way. If this is the case, then is it possible to justify the worship of such a creator? Does this not also imply that creation is not particularly special, as humanity has accomplished it in a relatively short period of time? Does this discredit the idea that 'God' must be a superior being? I think so.

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Those who are familiar with my posts on this site will know that I'm an atheist, so this post is not, in any way, asserting that humans were created by another (godlike) being. It's more of a thought experiment, inspired by the film.


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Whitewell
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Interesting. The problem is that, as far as i can tell, you assume the traditional reasons for believing God to be superior is that they argue for a creator being more 'superior' than it's creation? I can't think of many who argue like that.

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Count Bezukhov
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(Original post by Whitewell)
Interesting. The problem is that, as far as i can tell, you assume the traditional reasons for believing God to be superior is that they argue for a creator being more 'superior' than it's creation? I can't think of many who argue like that.

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Well yes, this is specifically aimed at those who do assert that 'God' is superior to humans. The Abrahamic religions all do this (God is omnipotent/omniscient etc). Since humans are not all-powerful, or all-knowing, I (and they) would argue that this is grounds for 'God' being superior to his creations. I'd like to know if they think this must be the case.
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Whitewell
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(Original post by Count Bezukhov)
Well yes, this is specifically aimed at those who do assert that 'God' is superior to humans. The Abrahamic religions all do this (God is omnipotent/omniscient etc). Since humans are not all-powerful, or all-knowing, I (and they) would argue that this is grounds for 'God' being superior to his creations. I'd like to know if they think this must be the case.
Ok. I was pointing out that the Abrahamic faiths dont hold the presupposition or the line of reasoning i outlined in my first reply.

As to why God is omnipotent or omniscient, that will depend on what argument for God they use. I'm not sure there is an explicit reason or even description of God as omnipotent in the bible. Or maybe another route will be through differentiating between the creator of everything and the creators in the universe (so a brief example would be the concurrent view of causation by Aristotelian Christians who thought God ultimately upholds the universe in existence from moment to moment).

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Count Bezukhov
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(Original post by Whitewell)
Ok. I was pointing out that the Abrahamic faiths dont hold the presupposition or the line of reasoning i outlined in my first reply.

As to why God is omnipotent or omniscient, that will depend on what argument for God they use. I'm not sure there is an explicit reason or even description of God as omnipotent in the bible. Or maybe another route will be through differentiating between the creator of everything and the creators in the universe (so a brief example would be the concurrent view of causation by Aristotelian Christians who thought God ultimately upholds the universe in existence from moment to moment).

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Whether it's the religion itself or just the followers that assert this superiority isn't really that relevant, I'm just addressing the fact that some people do assert that, for whatever reason they may choose

That is an interesting point. If there are multiple creators, then it is certainly possible for the creator of everything to be superior, with those who created us being a different group altogether. However, even if those who created the universe are superior to us, they may be inferior to the entity of the universe as a whole (although this is a much harder comparison, since one is presumably living/resembles a state of living, whilst the other is an inanimate collection of 'things' (everything that makes up the universe), although this assertion also requires assumptions of its own - we may be unable to comprehend either if they are beyond a certain level of complexity). Most religions also assert that the being who created the universe and the being who created humanity are one and the same. Either way, it still doesn't discredit the idea that 'God' does not have to be supreme. The idea of divine creation is generally upheld by those who follow human religions and deists alike, although our own creative abilities have demonstrated that there need not be anything 'divine' about creation, as we are capable of creating things that are superior/more complex than ourselves.
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TSRUser12345
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(Original post by Count Bezukhov)
Well yes, this is specifically aimed at those who do assert that 'God' is superior to humans. The Abrahamic religions all do this (God is omnipotent/omniscient etc). Since humans are not all-powerful, or all-knowing, I (and they) would argue that this is grounds for 'God' being superior to his creations. I'd like to know if they think this must be the case.
I think people of Abrahamic religions believe that God is omnipotent because they believe in their respective holy book (they may have lots of different reasons for believing their book). Then some may use creator vs creation as evidence to support their beliefs. I don't think people believe God is Omnipotent because they are not.

Also, what do you mean by superior? I know a basic calculator is superior to me when it comes to calculations but other than that nothing
Also from an Abrahamic view, the way God created us was solely through his own power without being subject to any conditions but the way we create things is based on the laws of nature and the (created) materials around us as well as the mind which we did not create ourselves.

Interesting Question. Personally, I am a Christian and also interested in AI.
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_gcx
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(Original post by Count Bezukhov)
I watched Alien: Covenant last night, and those who have also seen it/know what it's about will know that 'creation' is the overarching theme of Covenant/Prometheus.

Now, most religious people as well as deists assert that the 'Creator' is undoubtedly superior to us, some even going so far as to call them omnipotent/omniscient etc. Yet, Covenant opposes this view. In the film, it is made apparent that David (an android) is (or at least, views himself as) superior to Mr Weyland, his human creator. Even in the real world, we are on the verge of creating sophisticated AI that will be superior to humankind cognitively, and through robotics physically as well. Computers can already store and recall vast sums of data, and are improving with every passing day. Humans have created something that is superior to themselves.

Therefore, it follows on that our 'Creator' (if such a being exists) need not be superior to us - its creations - in any way. If this is the case, then is it possible to justify the worship of such a creator? Does this not also imply that creation is not particularly special, as humanity has accomplished it in a relatively short period of time? Does this discredit the idea that 'God' must be a superior being? I think so.

Spoiler:
Show




Those who are familiar with my posts on this site will know that I'm an atheist, so this post is not, in any way, asserting that humans were created by another (godlike) being. It's more of a thought experiment, inspired by the film.



This being would be at least superior in mental capacity, though many theists would argue that a supernatural being is not bound by such "mortal" restraints, as we have yet to fully grasp the process by which the "known universe" was created. Perhaps one could argue that the "creation" required an obscene degree of planning by this creator, with humanity being able to obtain such a degree of knowledge eventually? Then again, if they were not bound by such restraints, then surely the world would be in a more desirable condition.
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Count Bezukhov
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(Original post by TSRUser12345)
I think people of Abrahamic religions believe that God is omnipotent because they believe in their respective holy book (they may have lots of different reasons for believing their book). Then some may use creator vs creation as evidence to support their beliefs. I don't think people believe God is Omnipotent because they are not.

Also, what do you mean by superior? I know a basic calculator is superior to me when it comes to calculations but other than that nothing
Also from an Abrahamic view, the way God created us was solely through his own power without being subject to any conditions but the way we create things is based on the laws of nature and the (created) materials around us as well as the mind which we did not create ourselves.

Interesting Question. Personally, I am a Christian and also interested in AI.
If we are to make the assumption that the holy book in question is correct, and said book asserts that God is omnipotent/whatever, then that provides a solution to the problem. However, take the book out of the equation, and the assertion suddenly doesn't hold up (which makes the deist proposition of a divine creator difficult to justify, since they don't have a holy book to provide the answers).

And yes, I also realise that defining 'superior' is quite a difficult thing, as there are many facets that this covers. From a religious perspective, let's just say that 'superior' means omnipotence, omniscience and all the rest of it, since this is far beyond human capabilities. In your example, a being (God) capable of such creative abilities must surely be 'superior' to us, who are limited to following the laws he has the power to shape, whilst being unable to affect the world in such a way ourselves. But yes, I do recognise the ambiguity of a word, particularly when referring to a being that isn't divine. For this scenario, I guess we could call a being superior who is cognitively (and possibly physically, but I'd say cognitive is the main criterion) 'better' than another, in the same way that humans are cognitively superior to other animals on this planet.
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Count Bezukhov
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(Original post by _gcx)
This being would be at least superior in mental capacity, though many theists would argue that a supernatural being is not bound by such "mortal" restraints, as we have yet to fully grasp the process by which the "known universe" was created. Perhaps one could argue that the "creation" required an obscene degree of planning by this creator, with humanity being able to obtain such a degree of knowledge eventually? Then again, if they were not bound by such restraints, then surely the world would be in a more desirable condition.
Given the sheer complexity of the universe, it is likely that any being capable of creating it would indeed be cognitively superior to us (although even this is not guaranteed). If we are to talk of creation in terms of the creators of humanity, however, then I don't think cognitive superiority is a necessary condition at all, simply because we have proved capable of developing machines that have superior cognitive abilities than our own. Admittedly, we have not made superior biological beings, but since biological and mechanical beings are both made of atoms, is there even really any difference? If they can both think in an identical way, does it matter what its physical body is like? I'll stop here because this is moving onto an entirely different topic altogether lol (what is 'life'?), but my main proposition is that a creation can be superior to its creator. Given this, why do those who believe in a universal/species creator usually argue that they must be superior to us?
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_gcx
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(Original post by Count Bezukhov)
Given the sheer complexity of the universe, it is likely that any being capable of creating it would indeed be cognitively superior to us (although even this is not guaranteed). If we are to talk of creation in terms of the creators of humanity, however, then I don't think cognitive superiority is a necessary condition at all, simply because we have proved capable of developing machines that have superior cognitive abilities than our own. Admittedly, we have not made superior biological beings, but since biological and mechanical beings are both made of atoms, is there even really any difference? If they can both think in an identical way, does it matter what its physical body is like? I'll stop here because this is moving onto an entirely different topic altogether lol (what is 'life'?), but my main proposition is that a creation can be superior to its creator. Given this, why do those who believe in a universal/species creator usually argue that they must be superior to us?
Ah, thanks for the clarification on the usage of the word "superior". Arguably, AI has the capacity to be complex beyond human comprehension, as it begins to develop independent of human input. Many seem to struggle with the concept of creation, they seem to reject the Big Bang Theory, or any such theory, due to a lack of willingness, or lack of capacity, to do so, without much research. They often believe that the consensus among physicists is that the universe simply "came to exist", and humans appeared out of nowhere, with a vague idea of a collision of some description. As they are unable to understand it, and most physicists still do not have a complete grasp, they then invoke god of the gaps.
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TSRUser12345
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(Original post by Count Bezukhov)
Given the sheer complexity of the universe, it is likely that any being capable of creating it would indeed be cognitively superior to us (although even this is not guaranteed). If we are to talk of creation in terms of the creators of humanity, however, then I don't think cognitive superiority is a necessary condition at all, simply because we have proved capable of developing machines that have superior cognitive abilities than our own. Admittedly, we have not made superior biological beings, but since biological and mechanical beings are both made of atoms, is there even really any difference? If they can both think in an identical way, does it matter what its physical body is like? I'll stop here because this is moving onto an entirely different topic altogether lol (what is 'life'?), but my main proposition is that a creation can be superior to its creator. Given this, why do those who believe in a universal/species creator usually argue that they must be superior to us?
I've done some work with ML and the general principle behind it is that.
We have an idea about how something should work/behave based on studying something else
We program this idea into a computer
The computer predicts a result
We give the computer the correct result and then it adjust the model so that it will be more accurate in predicting that result next time.
As data increases accuracy increases.

If we assume God does not have anything to study then his creation is solely derived his own powers of creativity. His cognitive ability if we could confine it to such restraints would be limitless. Would it be possible for a human to create anything if he was alive in a realm of nothingness?
If we assume that there are things for God to study and learn then he cannot be omniscient. If he is not omniscient he cannot be omnipotent.(This argument is only true if we believe omniscience is included in omnipotence. If you are omnipotent but not omniscient you have the power to do everything eventually but you don't know everything that you can do. That means you can't do the stuff that you don't know at that very instance. Arguments like these are based on our lack of understanding of omnipotence/omniscience.)

So our creation is based on gaining knowledge outside ourselves but God's creation is based on information he must already possess(which in my opinion would need a limitless cognitive ability. And if God is confined to having to learn; see the argument above again.

I believe that there are no absolute proofs for things like the existence of God but some evidence and ultimately we have to believe by faith regardless of beliefs. I'm not including things which we have agreed on conventions for like 1 + 1 = 2 or whether blue is blue although if you were colour blind and were oblivious to the fact for your entire life you would have faith that colours which look blue to you are really blue even if they are not. We put our faith in different things every day.

Need to get back to revision now
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username3380984
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(Original post by Count Bezukhov)
I watched Alien: Covenant last night, and those who have also seen it/know what it's about will know that 'creation' is the overarching theme of Covenant/Prometheus.

Now, most religious people as well as deists assert that the 'Creator' is undoubtedly superior to us, some even going so far as to call them omnipotent/omniscient etc. Yet, Covenant opposes this view. In the film, it is made apparent that David (an android) is (or at least, views himself as) superior to Mr Weyland, his human creator. Even in the real world, we are on the verge of creating sophisticated AI that will be superior to humankind cognitively, and through robotics physically as well. Computers can already store and recall vast sums of data, and are improving with every passing day. Humans have created something that is superior to themselves.

Therefore, it follows on that our 'Creator' (if such a being exists) need not be superior to us - its creations - in any way. If this is the case, then is it possible to justify the worship of such a creator? Does this not also imply that creation is not particularly special, as humanity has accomplished it in a relatively short period of time? Does this discredit the idea that 'God' must be a superior being? I think so.

Spoiler:
Show




Those who are familiar with my posts on this site will know that I'm an atheist, so this post is not, in any way, asserting that humans were created by another (godlike) being. It's more of a thought experiment, inspired by the film.



We may have a creator but in this situation, it is not God. God by definition is omniscient, omnipotent. We could be a simulation within simulation but if we did have creators that were not omnipotent, they would not be God.
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butfirst_coffee
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God wouldn't be God if he wasn't superior
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Count Bezukhov
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(Original post by F.V.Wieser)
We may have a creator but in this situation, it is not God. God by definition is omniscient, omnipotent. We could be a simulation within simulation but if we did have creators that were not omnipotent, they would not be God.
Not necessarily. There have been plenty of gods from various cultures that were far from omnipotent and/or omniscient. My OP is merely a challenge to the idea that, as some people suggest, God must have these characteristics, by using evidence of humanity's own creative abilities to show that one does not have to be superior to one's creations.
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Count Bezukhov
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(Original post by butfirst_coffee)
God wouldn't be God if he wasn't superior
Just seen this comment, or else I'd have quoted you in my other post, sorry! Anyway, see above ^^^
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username3380984
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(Original post by Count Bezukhov)
Not necessarily. There have been plenty of gods from various cultures that were far from omnipotent and/or omniscient. My OP is merely a challenge to the idea that, as some people suggest, God must have these characteristics, by using evidence of humanity's own creative abilities to show that one does not have to be superior to one's creations.

So it depends on how you define God then?

We learnt at GCSE that God is all those features, so I am not the best informed but this is interesting. Would you class the creators as God?

If we are part of a simulation would then would the species that have us in a simulation be God? (then again if we are a simulation within a simulation then who is God? We can have creators who are not God).

How would you define God? That's the ultimate question.
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Count Bezukhov
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(Original post by F.V.Wieser)
So it depends on how you define God then?

We learnt at GCSE that God is all those features, so I am not the best informed but this is interesting. Would you class the creators as God?

If we are part of a simulation would then would the species that have us in a simulation be God? (then again if we are a simulation within a simulation then who is God? We can have creators who are not God).

How would you define God? That's the ultimate question.
The OP was originally referring to the 'Creator', it wasn't necessarily prescribing characteristics to this being. Again, it was nothing more than a challenge to those who assert that God/Creator/whatever must have these characteristics, like most people who follow the Abrahamic religions do so.

But yes, depending on how far you take it, it does get quite complex haha
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