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Wed Jun 26, 2013, 12:02 PM

What is a god (and problems with the concept of one)

God, especially in modern religion, is usually defined as being all good, all knowing, and all powerful (PKG). However, if God created humanity, and God is PKG, then why would humanity also not be PKG?

This is explained away in Christianity by the Adam and Eve story - however, Adam and Eve were already imperfect. The Adam and Eve story is a giant logical black hole because it claims imperfection came from imperfection - that makes no sense.

"God gave humanity free will" - wouldn't the ability to do evil things count as an imperfection in humanity? Surely a PKG being would not mess this up.

"God is imperfect" - Then wouldn't God cease to be a God if Gods are PKG?

"Satan exists and causes evil" - if God is PKG, why wouldn't it have just instantly killed Satan the moment Satan came into being, restoring good and perfection to the world? The inability to deal with Satan is an imperfection, meaning that God cannot be PKG.


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Reply What is a god (and problems with the concept of one) (Original post)
Dash87 Jun 2013 OP
ismnotwasm Jun 2013 #1
Tuesday Afternoon Jun 2013 #2
Sweeney Dec 2014 #3

Response to Dash87 (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 08:10 PM

1. Read "Answer to Job" by Carl Jung

"On account of its somewhat unusual content, my little book requires a short preface. I beg of you, dear reader, not to overlook it. For, in what follows, I shall speak of the venerable objects of religious belief. Whoever talks of such matters inevitably runs the risk of being torn to pieces by the two parties who are in mortal conflict about those very things. This conflict is due to the strange supposition that a thing is true only if it presents itself as a physical fact. Thus some people believe it to be physically true that Christ was born as the son of a virgin, while others deny this as a physical impossibility. Everyone can see that there is no logical solution to this conflict and that one would do better not to get involved in such sterile disputes. Both are right and both are wrong. Yet they could easily reach agreement if only they dropped the word "physical." "Physical" is not the only criterion of truth: there are also psychic truths which can neither be explained nor proved nor contested in any physical way. If, for instance, a general belief existed that the river Rhine had at one time flowed backwards from its mouth to its source, then this belief would in itself be a fact even though such an assertion, physically understood, would be deemed utterly incredible. Beliefs of this kind are psychic facts which cannot be contested and need no proof." CG Jung

I'm not a believer, but as Jung points out, that means nothing to those of faith. The logical fallacies, or even the ridiculousness of a river running backward, are true to those who believe and need no proof. (which is why church needs to stay far away from state)

Yet another quote I like, one of the type that keeps me just this side of being agnostic rather than athiest is this:

“If you wish to upset the law that all crows are black, you mustn't seek to show that no crows are; it is enough if you prove one single crow to be white.”

― William James

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Response to Dash87 (Original post)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 10:49 PM

2. god as a concept is bigger that any/all religions.

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Response to Dash87 (Original post)

Thu Dec 11, 2014, 02:58 PM

3. God is power, and not mind.

For humanity, morality is a choice; and everything is a moral choice. That is why slavery is so terrible, because it denies the moral choice, and depends on both ends of the relationship upon immorality. Even Christians whose name means slave of Christ have given up with one moral choice the chance to freely make all moral choices. If you want to put the blame on God, it is that he put us in the way of knowledge, and we accepted that challenge to turn knowledge into moral good. Did we pay a price for knowledge and will we always? Yes.

It reminds me of a story I heard in a class in college, where a monkey in an experiment had to cross a charged electric grid to get food, so hunger drove him to make a choice. In the next cage there was a monkey who could freely have food, who was shocked every time the first monkey was shocked. The first monkey developed an ulcer, and the second monkey was unchanged.

We suffer our choices, and no less so that when they are better pain and worse pain. It is not the pain alone that damages us, but the choice, the stress, the doubt. We could have stayed monkeys taking from nature and suffering our natures with never a straight thought about it. We chose this path, and now we need to walk it like men, or women.

God as revealed to us in Genesis is more human, and he also stands among other Gods, and was not then, one. Goodness was not really a quality of God until Jesus made it so. Might, and in All Mighty, was a feature of God through the ages. All that: hear the word of the lord, and up stand the dry bones of Israel is an example.

You have to understand, that as we have grown more powerful in our knowledge that heaven has receded from our grasp. The tower of babel was built to reach heaven. Jakob reached it with a ladder, and Jack with a beanstalk, and now we can fly to the moon, but never land in heaven.

To me, the conclusion is that people are the problem, and people are the solution. That knowledge that will best serve each and every one of us is self knowledge. But look at the best training of this. Philosophy is the art of old men to avoid serious labor, but it is not like youth, and wasted on the young. Philosophy is wasted on the old who usually have every other reason to be moral and decent folk. Philosophy needs to be taught in the first stages of life.

The classification of knowledge into forms, and the divide between moral forms and physical would set the willing mind up for a life of disciplined education. I won't tell anyone what to think, but I can certainly say how to think. The rules of reason such as they apply to physical forms should be taught. Equally essential is to learn our weakness, the weakness of reason in regard to moral forms. But reason wears away at morality worse than acid. People are not born moral, but with moral tendencies to bond and love. All of that morality fits into a context of culture which re-enforces moral feeling. Reason attacks culture with the weapon of individualism, and all reason is based upon continued individual life as a predicate. Death may be the moral next step, but it will never be the logical next step. In any event, individual good set above social good is immoral and the basis of our modern individualism that leaves humanity suffering loneliness and meaninglessness like a plague.

Yes; the concept of one, which it is a perfect concept does have it flaws. One penny is not the equal of another. No one person is the equal of another. We are not counting numerical equalities but an equality of concept, which it the equality people share in a democratic society.

The ideas associated with God, as being an effect without a cause, a first principal, a prime mover all have faults; but the whole story is not to make people think or to question, but to not question and to be certain. Wonder is the enemy of work. Work is essential to survival, so take this just so story, and turn your gaze from the heavens to the furrow beneath your feet.


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