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    Thread: Thoughts on the nature of God from an agnostic atheist

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      Thoughts on the nature of God from an agnostic atheist

      Yes, this is Darkmatters, and yes, your eyes don't deceive you. I'm starting a thread about God that isn't atheist in nature.

      I guess it's high time I put on my agnostic shoes and hit the dance floor.

      I wasn't always atheist - though I can't say I was ever strongly religious or anything. In fact I don't think I can say I ever truly believed, but when I was young I did attend church for a while and I read some tracts by a medieval Christian scholar - I think it was Martin Luther (in fact the church I attended was Lutheran, though I didn't and still don't really know what the Lutheran denomination's particular beliefs are). Or did I read Thomas Aquinas? It may well have been both actually - and this reading was not in relation to the churchgoing - it was many years later when I was in college I believe, looking for stuff to read to fill the hours in between classes as I sat in the library.

      My parents were both atheists and my sister and I knew that, but there was never really any talk about it at home - no reason to, since none of the family friends were religious, or if they were they didn't make it an issue. When we were young, I was probably 7 or 8, they sent us to the closest church, just up the street, for Sunday School, which was for kids, with the understanding that it wasn't to make us become Christians, but only so we could understand religion to some extent in order to make our own choices rather than be forced into any. And at that point they did tell us they were both atheist and what that means, in order to balance things out.

      So I went with a completely open child's mind, sort of like I was auditing a class to decide if I wanted to sign up or not. I never considered myself a Christian, but I did listen and I remember thinking about God and Christian concepts a good deal as a youngster. Sort of trying it on for size.

      I had a fairly sophisticated (I think, especially for a child) concept of what God must be, which is doubtless completely at odds with the concepts of God I used to argue against when I first arrived here 4 years ago after coming off several Carl Sagan books and later reading some Dawkins - not on religion but strictly to gain a better understanding of evolutionary biology, though of course it was Dawkins - he can't NOT say anything about religion, and he can't be anything but an asshole about it. And after several courses of Sagan, Dawkins fed into it and moved me to strong atheism. In fact for a while I was a very strong atheist and believed it was our duty to destroy organized religion and to try to change the minds of religious folk.

      I've softened on that stance since then (though occasionally I do find myself espousing strong atheist beliefs and ideals). Now I'm an agnostic atheist - I don't believe there's any way we can possibly know anything about God(s) (unless (t)He(y) decide(s) to make their (damn - can't make it work with that word! ) presence known, in which case we would know unequivocally.

      I always thought of God not as a He, because gender is something that only really applies to animals or plants - things with physical bodies that need to reproduce sexually. And even though God did the Nasty with Mary, she was a virgin, after as well as before, right? So it wasn't really Nasty in that sense - it was a truly immaculate conception. Ok, just having a little fun with that last part, but I really didn't see why an omnipotent, omniscient, disembodied divine being could in any meaningful way be considered to have a gender. I always assumed the Hebrews considered him male because he was the supreme ruler - of COURSE that would need to be a male in that part of the world at that time, right? Pretty well goes without saying.

      Also, already being educated (at a very grade-school level of course) in Evolution and the Big Bang Theory, I considered the biblical stories to be intended strictly metaphorically. In fact it seemed to me, when I heard people who seemed to take them literally, that that downgraded the ideas considerably.

      I also understood him to be everywhere at all times, so I didn't understand why it was necessary to pray to him, as if he isn't already aware of your every thought probably even before you are. I considered the formalization of prayer to be just a way to concentrate on your thoughts better, probably mostly in order to help you solve your own problems rather than because he has trouble hearing you unless you shout - metaphorically speaking of course.

      I also never believed that people were supposed to pray for favors or to ask for material possessions or things like that, I thought the only thing that made sense really - considering the nature of God as I understood it - was to pray for greater understanding or strength (emotional, not physical) or for the ability to cope with your problems rather than for the problems to be solved for you through external agency. So I definitely believed "God helps those who help themselves".

      So I saw God as pretty much a spirit that was suffused through everything all at once, not centered in some mystical Heaven up in the sky, but in between all the subatomic particles - in fact I had heard something to the effect that he should be thought of as some kind of musical note or vibration that came into existence before the rest of the universe did, or simultaneous with it, and that serves as a primal vibration - sort of the energy that all matter is made from or something.

      I saw good and evil as choices people make, not external forces that try to take over people. And I always thought God somehow was our conscience, and that as long as we 'listen' to it rather than to the metaphorical 'devil' on the the shoulder then we'd be a lot more likely to make the right choices, or at least to make our choices for the right reasons, not that that means things will always work out.

      It's been a long time since I've thought about any of this stuff. But I find that when I start to think in this way I slip right back into the same mode of thought - which is very different from the mode of thought I picked up from Sagan and Dawkins. I can also easily slip back into that mode whenever I start thinking about Science and Reason. It's weird how that works - I don't think I can hold both sides simultaneously - I'm either in one mode or the other. That's something I'd like to examine more. But after making a thread directed against religious thinking tonight (loosely, though I never specifically stated that in the title or the OP) and another one asking if atheists should pull their punches when debating with theists in order to not make them lose their faith, I found myself thinking like I used to again, back when I believed in God.

      And here's what I thought tonight.

      You know, if I were God, and if I had created human beings with Free Will so they could choose between Good and Evil, there's no way I would make them believe in me. What would the point be? If God did make us with free will, then it would be so some of us choose faith. I also wouldn't ensure that the Bible was written in such a way as to reveal actual factual scientific understanding about the nature of the universe, the course of life on earth, and etc (which would be very strong evidence that God does exist and that the Bible was divinely inspired) - because it's about faith.

      Oh, and probably goes without saying, but I don't believe in Hell or the Devil. I don't recall any particular beliefs about an Afterlife, but thinking about it now, it seems like simply believing there's an afterlife that's blissful would make people feel good right up until the end, which would tend to dissipate existential dread (the wages of atheism).

      And when I think like this, I feel like faith is a beautiful thing. Especially if it's not coupled with a literal belief in the Bible stories, and if you believe that people are ultimately responsible for their own actions.

      I also think we lost something precious when we lost the reverence for God that powered so much amazing artwork in Medieval and Renaissance times. Sometimes looking at some of those statues and paintings and cathedrals I find myself filling with a powerful sense of - something. Not sure what to call it. It's what religious people would call ecstasy I suppose. And yes, I get something very similar from the splendors of nature and the universe, but there's a basic difference. When it's religious in nature, or I should probably say spiritual - there's a sense of being filled with an overflowing force of goodness that flows through the entirety of the universe and fills all other people as well. Ok, no particular religion is necessary for this feeling - it's spiritual. And actually, thinking about it more, I do actually get the same sense of being filled with this force just from the splendor of nature, as long as I'm thinking in terms of the connectedness of everything

      I need to spend more time thinking like this. I like it.

      How about you?

      How do you conceive of God? Preferably those who have also belonged to other belief systems at times - atheist, agnostic, another religion, or maybe another denomination - you know, so you have some perspective on the subject rather than just repeating what you were told in your church. And please, I don't want this thread to be filled with Chapter and Verse or repetitions of the most familiar and well-known ideas about God.

      Also, what are your thoughts on switching between modes of thought like this? Either between religion and atheism, or maybe between different religions. I think its an amazing exercise for people to switch sides and each argue for the opposing side. Especially when they really get into the spirit of it and don't just espouse the straw man arguments, but really get into character like a method actor, really search your mind and your heart for answers that feel right to you.

      Try it - honestly, if you're religious, I ask you in all seriousness to write something from the perspective of an atheist (or vise versa), and try to really do it justice. See if you can find it inside you and be truthful. It probably gets even better if you do it for some time - a few days would be better than just ten minutes. I think it's amazing in terms of developing your self.

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      Try it - honestly, if you're religious, I ask you in all seriousness to write something from the perspective of an atheist (or vise versa), and try to really do it justice. See if you can find it inside you and be truthful. It probably gets even better if you do it for some time - a few days would be better than just ten minutes. I think it's amazing in terms of developing your self.
      I remember a thread like this. Do you as well? I had hope to participate in that discussion, so great that you made a new one.

      I'd conceive god as an incomprehensible force: an entity that would have views that wouldn't be based on human logic, but would be more equipped to grasp the actions like the creation of life and the universe. That god doesn't care what happens to life after is it created, in the same way you're not supposed to mess with the order of the nature: you shall not break a cycle. That's why god doesn't reveal himself to humans. It is not his job to guide us, or to inspire us. He's not a part of our existence because humans are simply a product that arises from a plan (life) that god defined much earlier. God also doesn't believe in any judgement: for him, moral is just an human concept, and god doesn't work in human ways. That means there is no devil, no jesus, no love for the poor and the nature, no truth, no hell or heaven. God can interfere at any point in any aspect of physical existence: but he chooses not to.

      Why did god create the universe? Because he needed a purpose for his existence. Not in the same way that we need a reason to exist, but because god saw himself as the beginning of "something" when "nothing" existed. He defined the universe as an affirmation of "I exist", and many atheists are presumptuous to assume that we grasped everything we could about the forces that rule the universe.

      I'll develop more later, I'm late for lunch because you create too many discussion threads and I want to participate in all of them xD
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      Ordinarily God is defined as the "creator of the universe", but I cannot comprehend the idea of creating the universe from nothing. For me therefore, God, in the traditional sense, is meaningless, in that there is no way I can fathom God and get any meaning out of it. God transcends my ability to grasp and reason, and so has no meaning.

      I tend to consider God the sum of all there is, was, and will be. And this definition works well for me, but it is of course a cop out.

      The closest to considering God, and the nature of all existence, which I seem able to get, is believing that existence was created with two opposing principles: attraction, and repulsion, and that these are evenly balanced in order to make the universe interesting. If only one of the principles had been participating, then everything would be very boring - either forever expanding, or forever contracting.

      These two principles can well be seen as love, and hate. At least I understand them like that.
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      I don't think God revealing himself to humans though will prove his existence because we can always say that it is an illusion, that our senses are deceiving us, that we went insane. Believing in God or not is a matter of faith, and I do not think God can or wants to prove his existence to any human who truely does not want to believe in him. Faith requires human choice in favor of faith: the leap of faith.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Zoth View Post
      I remember a thread like this. Do you as well?
      Yes! It's called Why God exists, started by Carousoul. I considered posting there, but that thread fell apart pretty quickly because as soon as somebody sees an argument they disagree with they forget the premise of the thread and come in guns blazing arguing their actual side rather than the opposing side. I was guilty of that toward the end, I just saw posts popping up in Live Posts and didn't notice they were on that thread, the title doesn't even indicate you're supposed to argue for the opposing side, so I forgot the nature of the thread and just fired away in my own beliefs. It went well for a while though.

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      I don't think God revealing himself to humans though will prove his existence because we can always say that it is an illusion, that our senses are deceiving us, that we went insane.
      Great point! If I may, I'll add something else to that argument:

      Even if god would convince us that hes no illusion or anything of that sort, look at all the different religions, beliefs, and ideas about god. Meaning that if god acted in a certain way that doesn't go in pair with a specific person or religion, those people would not perceive him as god. Meaning: how can god even prove us that he is god? If god exists, then it may actually be our fault that we don't see him manifesting his "individual" presence. Poor god dealing with these humans ^^
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      Quote Originally Posted by Zoth View Post
      Great point! If I may, I'll add something else to that argument:

      Even if god would convince us that hes no illusion or anything of that sort, look at all the different religions, beliefs, and ideas about god. Meaning that if god acted in a certain way that doesn't go in pair with a specific person or religion, those people would not perceive him as god. Meaning: how can god even prove us that he is god? If god exists, then it may actually be our fault that we don't see him manifesting his "individual" presence. Poor god dealing with these humans ^^
      Great point! And to be honest even though I believe that God exists and I have certain beliefs about God, but I also believe that no religion or individual human being got God completely correct.

      I believe and hope that I have a more correct understanding of God than I had in the past (when I only saw right and wrong, and nothing in between), but unfortunately I can be wrong in my beliefs. I sincerely hope that I am not wrong in some of my beliefs though, such as in my belief that God loves all humans because if God only loves Christians and only some of them, I would not be part of that number, nor would I want to be.
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      Joanna, I'd love to hear your beliefs about God, similar to the way I listed mine! I know you've mentioned a little about it before, both on the board and in PMs between us, but it would be amazing if you could take a little time and make a post about it. Hint - it took me probably 2 hours to put together that OP... and because I took as long as it required to write as eloquently as I could about it I think I ended up with a very good post that says things I never could have said if I just scribbled out a quick 2 minute post.. (Of course I don't ask you t take 2 hours! half an hour would suffice.. )

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      I guess the one way I could now think of God existing is a god of order or control. More like the universe and how life was able to form out of all the chaos. I don't think a god would care about human affairs such as gay marriage or abortion.

      @JoannaB I know it's kind of off topic, but if we found definitive proof of extraterrestrial life would you still be christian?
      Dreams are a part of reality, sadly too many people ignore this fact.

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      Quote Originally Posted by JoannaB View Post
      I don't think God revealing himself to humans though will prove his existence because we can always say that it is an illusion, that our senses are deceiving us, that we went insane. Believing in God or not is a matter of faith, and I do not think God can or wants to prove his existence to any human who truely does not want to believe in him. Faith requires human choice in favor of faith: the leap of faith.
      That is bullshit. People use that as an excuse, "Well god didn't show him self because you didn't 'truly' want to believe in him." So people can want to believe and it doesn't matter how hard they try people just say, "Well you didn't truly want it, so you couldn't see him." I want to know the truth, I truly with every fiber of my being want to know the truth. Yet I don't see any God. I prayed to god once and asked him to show me the truth, ironically enough that lead me to all the evidence revealing that he doesn't exist.

      So if God does exist that means he not only refuses to show him self to me, but he is actively planting evidence all around the world to trick people into not believing in him. If god is real and he is trying that hard to trick us into thinking he doesn't exist, maybe we should just leave him alone. It kind of makes sense now, all those people praying to him all the time? Must be a huge pain in the butt, no wonder God is hiding from us and trying to pretend like he doesn't exist and even creating evidence to trick people into thinking he doesn't exist. He just want to be left alone, but people keep worshiping him.

      Or on a more serious note, maybe the reason there is a ton of evidence that he doesn't exist, and the reason he refuses to show him self to people who want to believe in him, is because he doesn't really exist. Some times the simple, most obvious answer, is the one that is true.

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      maybe the reason there is a ton of evidence that he doesn't exist, and the reason he refuses to show him self to people who want to believe in him, is because he doesn't really exist. Some times the simple, most obvious answer, is the one that is true.
      I totally agree with your post, but for the purposes of this thread, why not giving it a try and come up with a different explanation? Do you think my invented explanation for why god doesn't reveal himself to us holds any sense?

      Pretend that you are being analyzed by a mind reader that will kill you if he finds out you're an atheist. Since he could detect your lies, you'd have to actually believe in what you thought. How would you convince yourself that god exists ?
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      Wait, how is the idea that god doesn't exist any more simple than the idea that god does exist???? And how is there more evidence against god, than there is for god??? I don't have any beliefs at all.... but really, how?
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      Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
      how is there more evidence against god, than there is for god???
      There isn't anything that could be considered real evidence either way, only belief and opinion. The only kind of ideas about God that can be easily refuted are stories from the Bible etc, which are demonstrably untrue.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Joanna, I'd love to hear your beliefs about God, similar to the way I listed mine! I know you've mentioned a little about it before, both on the board and in PMs between us, but it would be amazing if you could take a little time and make a post about it. Hint - it took me probably 2 hours to put together that OP... and because I took as long as it required to write as eloquently as I could about it I think I ended up with a very good post that says things I never could have said if I just scribbled out a quick 2 minute post.. (Of course I don't ask you t take 2 hours! half an hour would suffice.. )
      The problem is that in these past days I have been spending too much time on this, and I really should focus my energy elsewhere, not sure whether I will succeed though.

      I am not sure whether I can be sufficiently eloquent. the problem I have in many of these debates is that I am not sure that I am up to the task of communicating my beliefs well enough, also my beliefs are not static - they do change, which is not due to my not having strong beliefs but rather because my faith is like a path not like static dogma. I believe that since I came to DV I have grown spiritually, but I also realize that I may find in the future that I was mistaken about that. At times my beliefs are contradictory, and sometimes I seek to resolve the contradictions but at other times I accept the contradictions in the belief that they are actually due to a false dichotomy and that my logic is inadequate for realizing yet how I can hold contradictory beliefs, and since faith is not subject to logic alone it can be illogical and still be correct - yes I know that most of you will say that that is impossible, but my belief in logic is not as great as yours.

      My understanding of God changes over time, and I have more than one understanding of him/her/?. Some of my understanding is fully consistent with my Christian religion: I believe in a God who created the world, and for me the amazingness of is world is proof for God the creator. However, I have no problem believing in big band and evolution, and for me they do not contradict creation in any way. I also believe that Jesus was God incarnate, though I am open minded enough to be open to him being not the only incarnation of God. I believe in the Holy Spirit which is in every human being as potential of truth about God and God's will from within, and based on that I believe that spirituality can be explored by looking inside oneself, and by interacting with others (even if the others are atheists or other faiths etc.). I kind of like the metaphor of God as dreamer who created this world as a shared dream which we share with God, however I suspect that this is just a metaphor and not quite it. I believe in a God who is loving, all knowing, omnipresent. However, I also believe that when he was incarnate as Jesus, he did not know it all, and thus had the very important ability to learn from humanity.

      Yes, I know this is an incomplete picture, and the picture is not fully painted you see, I am still in the process of exploring the different paths and revising my understanding, and I expect that will continue to revise it for as long as I live. No, I did not take the half an hour that your requested, but I really should go, and do so etching else now, so I hope this will suffice.
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      But I'm not the only one
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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      There isn't anything that could be considered real evidence either way, only belief and opinion. The only kind of ideas about God that can be easily refuted are stories from the Bible etc, which are demonstrably untrue.
      That was the point I was trying to make, because Alric seems convinced that there is a plethora of evidence against god.

      But I think there has to be more evidence for one side or the other... we just can't figure out what that evidence is. yet.

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      Quote Originally Posted by JoannaB View Post
      The problem is that in these past days I have been spending too much time on this, and I really should focus my energy elsewhere, not sure whether I will succeed though.

      I am not sure whether I can be sufficiently eloquent. the problem I have in many of these debates is that I am not sure that I am up to the task of communicating my beliefs well enough, also my beliefs are not static - they do change, which is not due to my not having strong beliefs but rather because my faith is like a path not like static dogma. I believe that since I came to DV I have grown spiritually, but I also realize that I may find in the future that I was mistaken about that. At times my beliefs are contradictory, and sometimes I seek to resolve the contradictions but at other times I accept the contradictions in the belief that they are actually due to a false dichotomy and that my logic is inadequate for realizing yet how I can hold contradictory beliefs, and since faith is not subject to logic alone it can be illogical and still be correct - yes I know that most of you will say that that is impossible, but my belief in logic is not as great as yours.

      My understanding of God changes over time, and I have more than one understanding of him/her/?. Some of my understanding is fully consistent with my Christian religion: I believe in a God who created the world, and for me the amazingness of is world is proof for God the creator. However, I have no problem believing in big band and evolution, and for me they do not contradict creation in any way. I also believe that Jesus was God incarnate, though I am open minded enough to be open to him being not the only incarnation of God. I believe in the Holy Spirit which is in every human being as potential of truth about God and God's will from within, and based on that I believe that spirituality can be explored by looking inside oneself, and by interacting with others (even if the others are atheists or other faiths etc.). I kind of like the metaphor of God as dreamer who created this world as a shared dream which we share with God, however I suspect that this is just a metaphor and not quite it. I believe in a God who is loving, all knowing, omnipresent. However, I also believe that when he was incarnate as Jesus, he did not know it all, and thus had the very important ability to learn from humanity.

      Yes, I know this is an incomplete picture, and the picture is not fully painted you see, I am still in the process of exploring the different paths and revising my understanding, and I expect that will continue to revise it for as long as I live. No, I did not take the half an hour that your requested, but I really should go, and do so etching else now, so I hope this will suffice.

      It absolutely does suffice, and I thank you gracious lady!!

      Fortunately I think, the 3 threads I started last night are all hopelessly derailed already, and so we need not continue this line of reasoning and can now leave them at Wal-Mart for the wolves. But I do thank everyone who participated in goodwill and tried to adhere to my original intent for each thread.

      Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
      That was the point I was trying to make, because Alric seems convinced that there is a plethora of evidence against god.

      But I think there has to be more evidence for one side or the other... we just can't figure out what that evidence is. yet.
      How could there possibly be any evidence either for or against a supernatural being, when by definition science can only study nature?

    17. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      How could there possibly be any evidence for or against the existence of a being that exists outside of time and space? Science by definition can only study the natural, and God by definition is supernatural.
      That I don't know. but saying that god is 100% outside of space and time is an assumption. If it's god then it could be here, and there, or anywhere. And I'm not sure if I completely agree with science only being able to study the natural. How do we know that there is no possible way to study the supernatural(if there is anything), just because we can't at this point?
      Last edited by Michael; 07-04-2013 at 12:17 AM.

    18. #18
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      It's not an assumption - if God existed before there was a universe, then obviously he's not bound by the rules that hold sway within that universe. He freely breaks the laws of nature.

      I read it direct from Carl Sagan and other scientists, that science is the study of the natural world and cannot in any conceivable way study that which is supernatural.

      Of course, as I've already said science has thoroughly debunked a lot of Bible stories such as Genesis and the Flood etc... but it can in no way make any studies directly of God. How would that be possible?
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 07-04-2013 at 12:25 AM.

    19. #19
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      Did Carousoul delete your posts Darkmatters(???)
      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Yes!

      It's called

      ***

      Why God exists, started by Carousoul.

      ***

      I considered posting there, but that thread fell apart pretty quickly because as soon as somebody sees an argument they disagree with they forget the premise of the thread and come in guns blazing arguing their actual side rather than the opposing side.

      I was guilty of that toward the end,

      I just saw posts popping up in Live Posts and didn't notice they were on that thread, the title doesn't even indicate you're supposed to argue for the opposing side, so I forgot the nature of the thread and just fired away in my own beliefs.

      It went well for a while though.
      I haven't held the beliefs that I took up a month ago since about 1983 (30 years ago) so I was posting the opposit view to what I had a month ago.

      I am very happy that Dreamviews had a "dark" place to post where no one will see (or delete) your work.

      I stuck those two posts that you deleted, over there. (in forum > sleep and dreams > waking journal)

      Oh, and when I responded (late last night) this thread was called

      Thoughts on the nature of god

      So my two deleted posts would have fitted nicely don't you think.

      Sorry you found them sooo offensive.

      Think I will take a break from dreamviews. But I will lurk.

    20. #20
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      I didn't post anything on Carousoul's thread from a Christian perspective, so no, none of my posts there were deleted. The posts I made there were very recent, and were strictly from my current agnostic atheist perspective.

      And the reason I asked to have your posts deleted from the thread (and also the reason I asked a moderator to add a little bit to the title) is because I stated quite clearly in the OP that I do not want this thread filled with chapter and verse, and yet you started doing exactly that! I probably should have put that statement right at the beginning rather than at the end. But see, they weren't offensive to me, they just totally violated my express intentions for the thread - it's supposed to be about the more unusual thoughts people have on Christianity, not the standard ones taken straight from the Bible. In fact I almost suggested that you move them to a different thread where they'd be more appropriate. I'm glad you did that.

    21. #21
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      How do I conceive of God? You know I should try to conceive of God more often!

      But first I want to state that years ago I experienced something that confirmed my belief of the after-life, or the spiritual nature. I cannot worry about ceasing to exist, i only worry about ceasing to be human. Therefore, its actually impossible for me to even comprehend a strong atheists point of view, lol.

      I grew up catholic. I guess the biggest changes are:
      A. I reject the idea of God being strictly masculine. I will never use the word "he" to refer to God - lol - never.
      B. The BIGGEST change from being catholic to now is - I no longer separate God from reality.
      C. lol-God is reality

      My concept of God came from asking about the nature of God.

      Question 1: What the hell does omnipresence really mean?

      As a catholic, I separated the spiritual realm as being "there" and the physical realm as being "here" and that God was clearly in the spiritual realm. But I soon realized when it came to omnipresence, THAT MAKES NO SENSE!

      If God is over "there" then how can God also be "here?". Omnipresence must mean that the spiritual reality can not be separated from the physical reality. So, I am SMUSHING the two together as being literally the SAME reality. Its an on-going smushing process.

      With this, God is now a part of the physical reality. And if God is a part of the physical reality, then science can reveal the nature of God

      Question 2: Does it make sense to believe in an omnipresent God, and also believe that something can exist independently of that God? Think about it.

      Lets say theres this box. And this box exists independently of God. Wait a minute, wouldn't that box be as divine as God? Isn't the whole reason why God is a divine being is because God is said to have no maker? That God existed before all things? So if something exists OUTSIDE of God, isn't that something equal to God's status then?

      Its a weird delimna. If we accept the belief of an omnipresent God literally existing throughout all time and space and beyond, than can anything that exists, exist outside of that God? No. Hell, even the bible agrees! An omnipresent God means - anything that exists, literally exists within God.

      Now this is making God out to be, a very very big sort of container. You know, like a universe.

      Question 3: Why is learning about the Universe a spiritual sort of feeling?


      When I first understood the Big Bang as much as my little mind could, I would say it was one of the most spiritual experiences for me. It was like someone telling me, this is the face of God. It was because of science, more than anything else, that I decided that I should not separate God from physical reality.

      While space-time has a beginning, in a weird quantum way the universe does not have a concise beginning. Before it was space-time, it was this timeless-spaceless thing. IT EXISTED-but Timelessly. They call it the singularity.

      That singularity could have been a singularity for an eternity - how can we know? Time didn't exist!

      It was so tiny it fits in your hand and yet contains the fabric that will create everything. Lol, you know, in ancient times fitting a very big thing in such a tiny space is called MAGIC. For whatever reason still beyond scientific understanding, this singularity then expands - creating space-time and even the laws of physics.

      The laws of physics as we know them didn't even exist when the universe was this timeless-spaceless thing. Not only that, but its said that what was happening in the early universe is so bizarre, that there is no "law" stating that the laws physics even needed to be what they are today.

      We could have ended up with completely different laws of physics, where maybe gravity makes planets into cubes instead of spheres. But once those laws were set - everything else was set into motion!!!

      The story gets even stranger. It turns out this ever expanding universe makes no sense, unless we include dark energy. Dark energy turns out to be massive, I mean theres a lot of it. Its pervasive, kind of like everywhere. And, its completely invisible and mysterious. But this invisible and mysterious force turns out to be the most important force in the entirety of reality or else nothing we know of would exist! Oops.

      HOLY SHIT APPLEBEES!

      1. existence was originally a singularity. I was gonna say reality first started as a singularity, but start suggests time!
      2. but the singularity existed before time, you might as well say it - it had no beginning!!!!!
      3. it contained the seed for all of reality....nothing exists outside of it (but there are theories? multi-verse?)
      4. it expanded, 'creating' time, space, the laws of physics which didn't have to exist btw
      5. and a mysterious all-pervasive energy (inside of us last I checked??) that's completely INVISIBLE and yet is the most powerful force in all of the universe

      Huh. That kinda fits the definition of an Omnipresent God creating everything that exists within itself. And dark energy? Are you kidding? You can call it spiritual energy and it means the same damn thing! Both are invisible.......

      Question 4: So, why hasn't science accepted the big bang is well - God? What's missing?

      What's missing is the most important conceptual understanding of God. Without this thing-God can not be God and God would not exist. Its Consciousness.

      The word 'God' implies conscious being. Once you take consciousness away, its the same as saying God doesn't exist. Therefore, above all conceptual ideas about God, the first is -God is conscious.

      If we accept this, then this means, consciousness has no beginning and no end. This is the only thing that makes sense to me, on a personal level. Because saying that consciousness sprang from non-conscious material - thats just - thats just - delirious! But I know, thats what science says. Consciousness comes from...non-consciousness..pfff.

      But lets get to the fun stuff - lets just say for a moment that the singularity IS God. Then consciousness is a singularity. Isn't this a good description of consciousness? Doesn't it remind you of those dreams in which you were formless? A 'single point'?

      One last note...


      And lastly, all that good vs evil stuff? Throw it out the door. None of that is in the big bang so thats not why we exist, to be caught up forever in this immortal battle for our souls.

      No, if we look at science it tells us something very unique about our universe. Our universe is so massive, and time is so long, that anything that can exist probably will exist. And thats what I think our universe is really about, let anything that can be - be. And yes, that does include 'evil'. But like all created things, it has a beginning and an end.
      Last edited by juroara; 07-04-2013 at 06:07 AM.

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      Bless you Juroara! You make the greatest posts on DV. (< iz blessing Juroara)

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      youre the best pope ever!

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      I just wanted to make known that the way you described your former understanding of God, in paragraphs 8-13,very eloquently describes many of my own thoughts on the nature of God.

      Each point you made made my heart a bit happier, because I don't believe I've ever heard someone else point out all of those things at once. Especially the points you made about interpretation of scripture, and the purpose of prayer.

      I don't fit in with either crowd (atheist or theist), so I tend to leave my thoughts on the matter open for interpretation.

      As my forum name suggests, I tend to be skeptical of damn near everything. Even things I have strong feelings about are not free from scrutiny. I understand that faith is the whole purpose of organized religion, but being that I don't (usually) participate in those aspects myself, I don't feel compelled to allow such a belief to become elevated to the point that I can't view it from different angles.

      I endeavor to do the same with most other aspects of my life as much as possible, so for me personally the concept of God is no different.

      Blind faith is not a virtue to me...it is a slippery slope that if not acknowledged as such can lead to all kinds of other undesirable frames of mind.
      Darkmatters and Car˘usoul like this.
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      "you will not transform this house of prayer into a house of thieves"

    25. #25
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      Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
      Wait, how is the idea that god doesn't exist any more simple than the idea that god does exist???? And how is there more evidence against god, than there is for god??? I don't have any beliefs at all.... but really, how?
      First off we can rule out all man made versions of god, because we can trace back where the religion came from, and prove they are man made, plus we can pretty much prove everything they claim is true, is false. It is extremely easy to prove things like the bible is wrong. So first off, all current made made religions are wrong, there is overwhelming evidence of that.

      So what we are talking about is a god type being not mentioned by any religion. However, even if we are not talking about any specific religion the god being still has to fit in the definition of a god, or it isn't a god. Makes sense right?

      So the evidence we would look at would be the things like physics. The idea behind God is that God created the universe and that he controls the universe and how it changes over time. The counter side to that, and what I believe is that our universe is ruled by natural forces and was created by natural forces. When we actually look at the world around us everything seems to follow natural laws.

      God is a supernatural being that controls the world in a supernatural way but there no evidence that such a thing can exist within our universe, and there is a ton of evidence showing things follow natural laws. Things move due to things like momentum and gravity, not because of a supernatural being willing it to move.

      A supernatural being doesn't fit into our universe at all, and doesn't make any sense, and all the evidence is against such a being exiting. Now some might say God uses natural forces to control how the universe works, but such a being wouldn't fit the definition of the word god. If a being is limited by entirely natural forces, then it has no special power to influence our universe more than anyone else and can't be called a god. And something that exits as purely natural forces with no consciousness can't be defined as a god either.

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