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the "There is a god" game
#1

the "There is a god" game
Here is a little game/thought experiment for atheists and theists.

Let's imagine there is at least one god; that there must be at least one god. Let's also assume that there are no religious scripture and revelation or at least none of consequences as if hte world was virgin of all organised faiths and religions. Who and what would be this go or gods; what would he be, what would he want if anything from us, what would he offer, what kind of "person" would he be? Why do you think it make sense and could convince people (even thought it might be totally false)?
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#2

the "There is a god" game
This is just a strict case of natural theology. What does the state of the observable universe tell us about any possible God(s)?
God or Gods do not make unmistakable appearances to mankind. God, if existent, does not care about the natural living world if we judge by existence of viruses, diseases, parasites and the cruelty of nature as we observe it. There is no good God who creates mankind with a good moral nature and free will. Moral evil exists. when things like the holocaust occur, God does not make an appearance to end such atrocities.

Perfect being theology creates so many problems with it's claims that any possible God must be far less than the desired perfect being God. Few theologians want to admit that and work out what the minimal possible God would be like and if there is evidence for such a being.

Most serious and sophisticate theologians tell us that natural theology is a theoretical dead end.

Underlying theories such as the existence of a supernatural and transcendental order have no evidence and may just be non-existent. Naturalism seems to be the way things are, with no God at all.
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#3

the "There is a god" game
I imagine it would go pretty much the way it always does.....


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Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#4

the "There is a god" game
(03-12-2020, 04:18 AM)epronovost Wrote: Here is a little game/thought experiment for atheists and theists.

Let's imagine there is at least one god; that there must be at least one god. Let's also assume that there are no religious scripture and revelation or at least none of consequences as if hte world was virgin of all organised faiths and religions. Who and what would be this go or gods; what would he be, what would he want if anything from us, what would he offer, what kind of "person" would he be? Why do you think it make sense and could convince people (even thought it might be totally false)?

God could be conceived of as the one and only absolute, self-contained, non-contingent being in existence.  That means that everything else, to exist at all, would have to be contingent, i.e. dependent on relative circumstances.  The implications of being contingent would be that we must necessarily experience conditions under which we thrive or are harmed.  We must necessarily be subject to birth and death, change, and time in comparison.  Anything other than God is relative. Time, space, position, and so on. Evolution, quantum mechanics, and general relativity are all implied.  That being the case, if we take ourselves or anything other than God as absolute, because of our necessarily limited perceptions, we will be wrong and may suffer the consequences over time because of our misperception of this central truth.  Thus our keeping in mind that God is the only absolute, through regular reminders, would be of service to ourselves and our own ends. And because we are not necessary beings, we are subject to chance even to exist. We can be willful. Nothing we do, good or bad, can alter the existence of an absolute.

That seems to be the central idea behind monotheism. However, there are several implications which run counter to the usual theistic assumptions. For instance, ethics could only be relative to human concerns, no person could be God too, no book could capture "eternal truths," and no one could have an immortal soul. And of course, that means almost all other theists would not be able to recognize such a concept as God at all.
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#5

the "There is a god" game
I suspect Neo-Platonism would be the way to go. When we look at how we identify triangles and circles in our environment, it looks to me like there's a neural engine or network in our brain that takes the input and tries to see if it can be idealized as being an example of a perfect form. The brain takes the elements we see and extrapolates from them to see if they are derived from the perfect form. The perfect form doesn't exist in the environment, it's just the goal state if you will of our neural network. We can conceptualize perfect forms because our brains use them, conceive of them, in order to categorize phenomena in the environment. In the same way there may be a perfect form of agent or being that we apply to the universe and our environment in order to recognize agents in the environment. A God would then be that idealized form that only exists in our brain.
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#6

the "There is a god" game
If I were an egomaniac then I'd make myself god, or at least my penis.

Remember, making a god is all about manipulation.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#7

the "There is a god" game
It depends on the kind of personality this god has.    My personal image of a god would be an entity, not male or female,  that created the universe but has no need to be worshipped.  I never understand why people imagine that a god needs to be worshipped.  Why.... why would a god require worship?   This is a human assumption. 

To me this worshipful aspect of a deity is human reaction to being born, that somehow we must be eternally grateful for being alive and existing.  For millennia humans felt that life was such a mysterious thing that it must be god infused and somehow that translated into the need to prostrate ourselves before whatever deity was popular at the time so that god could visibaly see our gratitude and submission.  Where an alphabet and writing existed humans wrote storybooks about their gods with lots of rules and regulations on how to correctly worship their god.   

But whatever..... gods are imaginary creatures so it's all bunch of sillyness anyway.
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#8

the "There is a god" game
Jimi Hendrix
The lord Jimi brings compassion, peace, and understanding.
The lord Jimi asks for nothing in return.
Rap is cast back to the netherworld.
All is right with humanity.
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#9

the "There is a god" game
Natural theology, the attempt to prove God exists, without basing that claim on some revealed source, was essentially invented by Plato in his work "Laws, Book X". This work was Plato's attempt to lay out what would be a perfect society. It is a dialogue, where Plato plays the part of the Athenian stranger in a dialogue with a Spartan and a Cretan. Discussing the laws that would be best for a new Greek Colony, a city. Book 10 is about religion. The Athenian Stranger thinks atheism should be illegal, and subject to imprisonment, or death for repeat offenders. But Plato realizes that may not be enough. So he attempts to devise arguments to convince atheists God exists. Natural theology is born and that is aimed directly at atheism. Plato's arguments are actually pretty poor. And natural theology is still around, and aimed at us atheists.

And the arguments haven't gotten any better.
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#10

the "There is a god" game
Lemmy
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#11

the "There is a god" game
(03-12-2020, 10:43 AM)Alan V Wrote: God could be conceived of as the one and only absolute, self-contained, non-contingent being in existence.  

I think not. Tongue
Any god that exists does not possess the property of non-existence.
A real god has to be the totality of Reality...at least for a while.
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#12

the "There is a god" game
(03-12-2020, 08:08 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:
(03-12-2020, 10:43 AM)Alan V Wrote: God could be conceived of as the one and only absolute, self-contained, non-contingent being in existence.  

I think not. 
Any god that exists does not possess the property of non-existence.
A real god has to be the totality of Reality...at least for a while.

I guess we have different opinions about imaginary beings.
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#13

the "There is a god" game
(03-12-2020, 03:31 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: It depends on the kind of personality this god has.    My personal image of a god would be an entity, not male or female,  that created the universe but has no need to be worshipped.  I never understand why people imagine that a god needs to be worshipped.  Why.... why would a god require worship?   This is a human assumption. 

To me this worshipful aspect of a deity is human reaction to being born, that somehow we must be eternally grateful for being alive and existing.  For millennia humans felt that life was such a mysterious thing that it must be god infused and somehow that translated into the need to prostrate ourselves before whatever deity was popular at the time so that god could visibaly see our gratitude and submission.  Where an alphabet and writing existed humans wrote storybooks about their gods with lots of rules and regulations on how to correctly worship their god.   

But whatever..... gods are imaginary creatures so it's all bunch of sillyness anyway.

I tend to see the human need to invent deities as attempts to control the natural order -- to be(come) worthy of and obtain long / longer / eternal life, prosperity and success, freedom from disease and suffering and uncertainty and ignorance in all its forms. It is an attempt to remove the random or unpredictable or inexplicable or frightening from life -- and, when that enterprise fails, as it inevitably will, to explain why it failed (usually "it's all your fault somehow" or the ever-popular "mysterious ways").

Every god has ways to be appeased or appealed to -- usually some form of worship via ritual. That's where the worship comes in; it's more than gratitude and submission; it is a way to get what you need / want in life. It's a two-pronged effort; you show great respect and are very impressed with god (flattery) and you are very pleasing to him (obedience) and then comes the "ask". We usually think of this as prayer, but you don't even have to explicitly request anything because there are so many "if you do this, god will do that" types of statements in the holy books that you come to regard a salubrious life as your due, because a transaction has taken place: you've obeyed various rules, foregone various pleasures, given up some of your time and income to support the religion and spend time in various religious disciplines, so god will just see to it that you are happy and untroubled.

Our handyman was here today putting in a new front porch floor for us. He's a sunny little Italian guy, full of energy and positivity. He has an elderly mother up north of Venice somewhere, smack in the middle of one of the bigger Coronavirus outbreaks. We discussed his mother and the progress of the epidemic locally, and as he returned to work, he said, "well, vee don't control dees tings, so it is just in god's hands, yes?" And I think this is what god is for most people ... a safety valve, a vague, catch-all fallback explanation, a belief that god ultimately sorts everything out, one way or the other, if we simply leave our worries with him. It is kicking the can down the road so you don't have to worry and can keep whistling a happy tune while you work.

This is the only aspect of religion that I miss a little bit. When I'm worried about my wife or stepson or myself or anything basically, I sometimes feel an eensy twinge of nostalgia for the smug knowledge that god has "everything under control" and the sense that somebody, somewhere, is working behind the warp and woof of life to render it comprehensible and worthwhile, hopefully now but at least in the afterlife when presumably we'll all have a good laugh about the wild and crazy and dangerous existence we had on earth and how it all makes sense finally.

What I have learned though is that one's subconscious is gullible and easily fooled. It is just as effective to tell myself it will be alright "somehow" as to tell myself that god is in control. They work equally well. Both are just ways to let go of your attachment to particular outcomes and accept that life is just a series of things happening, that it's not personal, it just IS. I just don't impose some cosmic meaning on it anymore, or some particular explanation.
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#14

the "There is a god" game
(03-12-2020, 04:18 AM)epronovost Wrote: Here is a little game/thought experiment for atheists and theists.

Let's imagine there is at least one god; that there must be at least one god. Let's also assume that there are no religious scripture and revelation or at least none of consequences as if hte world was virgin of all organised faiths and religions. Who and what would be this go or gods; what would he be, what would he want if anything from us, what would he offer, what kind of "person" would he be? Why do you think it make sense and could convince people (even thought it might be totally false)?

With the way my mind works, the existence of any kind of eternal intelligent being thought of as a "god" is impossible. Because of that, I could not convince anyone of something that cannot be true.

My problem is that I am as certain of the non-existence of a god as I am as certain that in whole numbers 1 + 1 =2, and 1 + 1 = 2 is not a belief, it's a truth.
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#15

the "There is a god" game
But, the xhristards insist that 1+1+1=1

Math is fake news.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#16

the "There is a god" game
(03-13-2020, 03:07 AM)Free Wrote: My problem is that I am as certain of the non-existence of a god as I am as certain that in whole numbers 1 + 1 =2, and 1 + 1 = 2 is not a belief, it's a truth.

I would be curious to learn how you arrived to rock such solid conviction.
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#17

the "There is a god" game
(03-13-2020, 03:07 AM)Free Wrote:
(03-12-2020, 04:18 AM)epronovost Wrote: Here is a little game/thought experiment for atheists and theists.

Let's imagine there is at least one god; that there must be at least one god. Let's also assume that there are no religious scripture and revelation or at least none of consequences as if hte world was virgin of all organised faiths and religions. Who and what would be this go or gods; what would he be, what would he want if anything from us, what would he offer, what kind of "person" would he be? Why do you think it make sense and could convince people (even thought it might be totally false)?

With the way my mind works, the existence of any kind of eternal intelligent being thought of as a "god" is impossible. Because of that, I could not convince anyone of something that cannot be true.

My problem is that I am as certain of the non-existence of a god as I am as certain that in whole numbers 1 + 1 =2, and 1 + 1 = 2 is not a belief, it's a truth.

Yabut, 1 + 1 = 10.
Philosophy is about asking questions.
Science is about answering questions.
Theology is about avoiding questions.
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#18

the "There is a god" game
(03-12-2020, 10:43 AM)Alan V Wrote:
(03-12-2020, 04:18 AM)epronovost Wrote: Here is a little game/thought experiment for atheists and theists.

Let's imagine there is at least one god; that there must be at least one god. Let's also assume that there are no religious scripture and revelation or at least none of consequences as if hte world was virgin of all organised faiths and religions. Who and what would be this go or gods; what would he be, what would he want if anything from us, what would he offer, what kind of "person" would he be? Why do you think it make sense and could convince people (even thought it might be totally false)?

God could be conceived of as the one and only absolute, self-contained, non-contingent being in existence.  That means that everything else, to exist at all, would have to be contingent, i.e. dependent on relative circumstances.  The implications of being contingent would be that we must necessarily experience conditions under which we thrive or are harmed.  We must necessarily be subject to birth and death, change, and time in comparison.  Anything other than God is relative.  Time, space, position, and so on.  Evolution, quantum mechanics, and general relativity are all implied.  That being the case, if we take ourselves or anything other than God as absolute, because of our necessarily limited perceptions, we will be wrong and may suffer the consequences over time because of our misperception of this central truth.  Thus our keeping in mind that God is the only absolute, through regular reminders, would be of service to ourselves and our own ends.  And because we are not necessary beings, we are subject to chance even to exist.  We can be willful.  Nothing we do, good or bad, can alter the existence of an absolute.

That seems to be the central idea behind monotheism.  However, there are several implications which run counter to the usual theistic assumptions.  For instance, ethics could only be relative to human concerns, no person could be God too, no book could capture "eternal truths," and no one could have an immortal soul.  And of course, that means almost all other theists would not be able to recognize such a concept as God at all.

The operant phrase here is "could be conceived".  But why be conceived as that or even conceived of at all?

Trying to think something into existence always fails from the get-go.  All that ideation does is give us hypotheses.  Without evidence those things cannot be said to exist.
Philosophy is about asking questions.
Science is about answering questions.
Theology is about avoiding questions.
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#19

the "There is a god" game
(03-13-2020, 09:36 AM)Chas Wrote:
(03-12-2020, 10:43 AM)Alan V Wrote: God could be conceived of as the one and only absolute, self-contained, non-contingent being in existence.  That means that everything else, to exist at all, would have to be contingent, i.e. dependent on relative circumstances.  The implications of being contingent would be that we must necessarily experience conditions under which we thrive or are harmed.  We must necessarily be subject to birth and death, change, and time in comparison.  Anything other than God is relative.  Time, space, position, and so on.  Evolution, quantum mechanics, and general relativity are all implied.  That being the case, if we take ourselves or anything other than God as absolute, because of our necessarily limited perceptions, we will be wrong and may suffer the consequences over time because of our misperception of this central truth.  Thus our keeping in mind that God is the only absolute, through regular reminders, would be of service to ourselves and our own ends.  And because we are not necessary beings, we are subject to chance even to exist.  We can be willful.  Nothing we do, good or bad, can alter the existence of an absolute.

That seems to be the central idea behind monotheism.  However, there are several implications which run counter to the usual theistic assumptions.  For instance, ethics could only be relative to human concerns, no person could be God too, no book could capture "eternal truths," and no one could have an immortal soul.  And of course, that means almost all other theists would not be able to recognize such a concept as God at all.

The operant phrase here is "could be conceived".  But why be conceived as that or even conceived of at all?

Trying to think something into existence always fails from the get-go.  All that ideation does is give us hypotheses.  Without evidence those things cannot be said to exist.

What I wrote above was as far as I took my own God concept when I was still a theist working on it back in the 1990s.  Once the attributes of consciousness and willfulness fell out of my picture, I realized it wasn't a God concept at all, but a concept of universal truth.  But even that concept took a tumble when I realized that even truths could be self-organized, simply by what works.

I suppose this is why I am more sympathetic to theists who are still working on their own God concepts.  For them it's a placeholder for truth.
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#20

the "There is a god" game
(03-13-2020, 09:28 AM)Chas Wrote:
(03-13-2020, 03:07 AM)Free Wrote:
(03-12-2020, 04:18 AM)epronovost Wrote: Here is a little game/thought experiment for atheists and theists.

Let's imagine there is at least one god; that there must be at least one god. Let's also assume that there are no religious scripture and revelation or at least none of consequences as if hte world was virgin of all organised faiths and religions. Who and what would be this go or gods; what would he be, what would he want if anything from us, what would he offer, what kind of "person" would he be? Why do you think it make sense and could convince people (even thought it might be totally false)?

With the way my mind works, the existence of any kind of eternal intelligent being thought of as a "god" is impossible. Because of that, I could not convince anyone of something that cannot be true.

My problem is that I am as certain of the non-existence of a god as I am as certain that in whole numbers 1 + 1 =2, and 1 + 1 = 2 is not a belief, it's a truth.

Yabut, 1 + 1 = 10.

In whole numbers?

Tongue
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#21

the "There is a god" game
(03-13-2020, 03:58 AM)epronovost Wrote:
(03-13-2020, 03:07 AM)Free Wrote: My problem is that I am as certain of the non-existence of a god as I am as certain that in whole numbers 1 + 1 =2, and 1 + 1 = 2 is not a belief, it's a truth.

I would be curious to learn how you arrived to rock such solid conviction.

Believe it or not, it all begins with Newton's 3rd Law.
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#22

the "There is a god" game
(03-13-2020, 10:13 PM)Free Wrote:
(03-13-2020, 03:58 AM)epronovost Wrote:
(03-13-2020, 03:07 AM)Free Wrote: My problem is that I am as certain of the non-existence of a god as I am as certain that in whole numbers 1 + 1 =2, and 1 + 1 = 2 is not a belief, it's a truth.

I would be curious to learn how you arrived to rock such solid conviction.

Believe it or not, it all begins with Newton's 3rd Law.

To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction?
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#23

the "There is a god" game
(03-13-2020, 09:28 AM)Chas Wrote: Yabut, 1 + 1 = 10.

1 in 10 people understand binary.  The other half couldn't care less.   Big Grin
No gods necessary
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#24

the "There is a god" game
(03-13-2020, 10:14 PM)epronovost Wrote:
(03-13-2020, 10:13 PM)Free Wrote:
(03-13-2020, 03:58 AM)epronovost Wrote: I would be curious to learn how you arrived to rock such solid conviction.

Believe it or not, it all begins with Newton's 3rd Law.

To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction?

Yes.

1. For every positive, exists an equal negative. 
2. The negative is an existence equal in value to a positive.
3. Negative evidence is an equal existence to positive evidence.
4. Therefore, the absence of any evidence to support the existence of God is, in of itself, an existence of evidence.
5. That negative evidence is taken as equal in value to positive evidence of the non existence of God.
6. Negative evidence is equal in value to positive evidence.

Evidence of Absence
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#25

the "There is a god" game
(03-14-2020, 12:57 AM)Free Wrote:
(03-13-2020, 10:14 PM)epronovost Wrote:
(03-13-2020, 10:13 PM)Free Wrote: Believe it or not, it all begins with Newton's 3rd Law.

To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction?

Yes.

1. For every positive, exists an equal negative. 
2. The negative is an existence equal in value to a positive.
3. Negative evidence is an equal existence to positive evidence.
4. Therefore, the absence of any evidence to support the existence of God is, in of itself, an existence of evidence.
5. That negative evidence is taken as equal in value to positive evidence of the non existence of God.
6. Negative evidence is equal in value to positive evidence.

Evidence of Absence

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