• Benj96
    611
    Suppose that belief or faith had the intrinsic property of manifesting into reality whatever is believed. For example if I believe a delicious cheesy, tomato and dough based circle exists then pizza becomes a thing.

    But also suppose that this ability to manifest reality is the product of not just one individuals beliefs but those of society as a whole - a sort of democratic belief system where reality is the product of the collective average/ mean of ALL sentient desires and wants.

    In this scenario if I believe a little piece of paper has a certain value and I exchange it for goods and services, and others observe this and simultaneously also ascribe to the belief system that this particular piece of paper has value and they also use it to exert real work in the world through trading - it seems we have a currency.

    But let’s apply this to the notion of “god” Because of the importance of “faith” or “belief” in religious texts. Suppose hypothetically that god only exists if everyone believes unanimously by some defined doctrine describing such a god. And in the same sense god does not exist if everyone rejects a posited doctrine. A bit like solipsism. I have the following questions

    A). How would we “prove” gods existence if we could only observe it through collective faith?
    B). Would money be our god or the thing we worship in that we all ascribe to the existence of this arbitrary paper value.
    C). Is scientific method and the existence of god mutually irreconcilable in this case as science depends on objective measurement?
  • 180 Proof
    8.4k
    [R]eality is the product of the collective average/ mean of ALL sentient desires and wants.Benj96
    Consensual reality (à la shadows on the walls of Plato's cave) – much more than mere "social constructionism", right?

    A). How would we “prove” gods existence if we could only observe it through collective faith?
    What does "existence" mean in this scenario other than "manifest by collective faith"?

    B). Would money be our god or the thing we worship in that we all ascribe to the existence of this arbitrary paper value[?]
    Rephrase; the question as expressed doesn't make sense...

    C). Is scientific method and the existence of god mutually irreconcilable in this case as science depends on objective measurement?
    Again, in this scenario what does "objective" refer to other than "according to collective faith"?
  • Joshs
    3.2k
    Suppose that belief or faith had the intrinsic property of manifesting into reality whatever is believed. For example if I believe a delicious cheesy, tomato and dough based circle exists then pizza becomes a thing.Benj96

    This is in fact how perception and imagination work. To say we believe something exists is , at the most basic experiential level, simply to have it appear before us either as imagined, remembered, hallucinated , dreamt or perceived. The difference between scientific fact, common sense fact, hallucination, memory, brief perceptual illusion, dream and changing perceptual reality is a matter of the pattern by which our ongoing ‘believing’ , which is to say, actual experience, unfolds. Does the experience of the pizza persist or disappear? If it persists, can I experience it with all my senses, can I touch it and eat it? Can I share it with others and have them experience it? Does everything I conjure by ‘belief’ function this way , and if so, can I control its appearance and disappearance at will? Why can Indo this? If I don’t understand why and how this happens, I can’t depend on it being reliable when I really need to count on it.

    What I’m getting at here is that all we mean when we talk about reality is a certain dependable stability and predictability to what we believe. Science is based on intersubjective consensus of belief. No one ever observes
    the exact same scientific phenomenon as anyone else , so we make our theoretical models general enough to compensate for this ambiguity. The precision of mathematical physics isn’t due to the mathematical exactness of physical reality, but to the models we choose to capture reality. Money as an intersubjectively created concept is different from physical particle in that our belief in money adjusts itself to what we know about its sensitively to economic conditions. We know that its value fluctuates in so many ways and this is part of its reality for us.

    Intersubjective belief in god and belief in scientific evidence aren't as far apart as you might think. Both rely on their own variety of evindence. One believes and continues to believe in one’s god to the extent that that belief allows one to anticipate and make sense of deep aspects of human functioning. The evidence can change in such a way ( the death of one’s child) that one finds it necessary to abandon or revise that faith.
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    Suppose that belief or faith had the intrinsic property of manifesting into reality whatever is believed. For example if I believe a delicious cheesy, tomato and dough based circle exists then pizza becomes a thing.Benj96

    :lol:

    I thought, a vision of gods is the belief or faith. Then the pizza circle moved in...
  • Wayfarer
    15.8k
    A). How would we “prove” gods existence if we could only observe it through collective faith?
    B). Would money be our god or the thing we worship in that we all ascribe to the existence of this arbitrary paper value.
    C). Is scientific method and the existence of god mutually irreconcilable in this case as science depends on objective measurement?
    Benj96

    All of these are very good questions. One way to approach the subject is to look at it through the perspective of the emergence of modern science and the corresponding idea of objectivity that began to become dominant in culture from the 17th Century.

    Prior to this, in pre-modern cultures, humans had an instinctively 'I-you' relationship with the world around them. Because the world was understood as the expression of a will (God's will) or as the manifestation of karma (in Buddhism), the criterion for what ought to be considered true were not provided by objective means. In classical cultures the capacity to see things as they truly are was the mark of a sage. That was invariably interpreted as being able to see and act in accordance with the divine will - and this applied even to the stoics, who were purportedly atheistic with respect to the deities but who nevertheless accepted that the Logos directed the entire cosmos.

    So with the advent of Galilelean and Newtonian science, a different mentality emerges, which aims to divest the world of all such 'vague and primitive' concepts such like wills, aims and purpose (telos) and instead provide an account resting solely on the measurable properties of objects and on reaching consensus in respect of those. The subjective, interior or intentional domain is banished to 'the past', or declared archaic. Newton still saw the need to God to set the cosmic machine in motion, but Laplace 'had no need of that hypotheses'. Thus begins what René Geunon calls 'the reign of quantity'. Within that overall paradigm, there is no way to accomodate God, or the numinous, or indeed any real idea of the transcendent. Welcome to modernity.
  • chiknsld
    195
    But let’s apply this to the notion of “god” Because of the importance of “faith” or “belief” in religious texts. Suppose hypothetically that god only exists if everyone believes unanimously by some defined doctrine describing such a god. And in the same sense god does not exist if everyone rejects a posited doctrine.Benj96

    I always feel that God exists to believers and does not exist to atheists. I do not hold that God must exist to atheists, for example.

    Would money be our god or the thing we worship in that we all ascribe to the existence of this arbitrary paper value?Benj96

    I saw where you mentioned money, but I would say that belief in God is categorized by God whereas money cannot categorize itself and it is merely an artificial belief that only holds value insofar as it is productive and conducive to society. It just so happens that money works for society and to me this has little to do with belief and more to do with social contracts.
  • Benj96
    611
    merely an artificial belief that only holds value insofar as it is productive and conducive to society.chiknsld

    Interesting however could a concept of a god not be conducive to a productive or cooperative society and has it not done so before historically- leaving out all the war and bloodshed done in the name of religions. In that people felt their bad behaviour would be punished in some form - be it by a deity or karma or whatever regardless of whether societal justice systems noticed and reprimanded them or not. There was and still is for many a moralistic imperative to not “piss off” some all knowing entity or in a non anthropomorphised way not to tip the fine balance, the equilibrium that nature demands of it’s systems.

    Furthermore I agree money is “artificial” but if a god existed based on exchange of belief by us - sentient beings what’s the difference- would a god that depends on our faith for potency/ existence not be artificial also?

    In any case the term Artificial for me is a bit of a strange notion as humans are organic and natural and one would ask where exactly something stops being a “natural progression” and becomes “artificial”. Artificial things come from the natural world and natural things also come from the natural world
  • Benj96
    611
    So with the advent of Galilelean and Newtonian science, a different mentality emerges, which aims to divest the world of all such 'vague and primitive' concepts such like wills, aims and purpose (telos) and instead provide an account resting solely on the measurable properties of objects and on reaching consensus in respect of those. The subjective, interior or intentional domain is banished to 'the past', or declared archaic. Newton still saw the need to God to set the cosmic machine in motion, but Laplace 'had no need of that hypotheses'. Thus begins what René Geunon calls 'the reign of quantity'. Within that overall paradigm, there is no way to accomodate God, or the numinous, or indeed any real idea of the transcendent. Welcome to modernity.Wayfarer

    I like how you explained the progression it was well articulated.

    Scientific method confuses me a bit though in that it is not completely objective in that it is restricted by ethics. If decisions were made without bias it would be open season on how to most effectively collect data and the most efficient ways are no doubt often immoral. So it is biased on principle towards the well-being and safety of humans, and every increasingly animals, the environment etc ( due to emerging laws).

    If subjects are those that exert unalienable rights and restrictions on how objectified they can be made, and objects are those things with no restrictions on how they can be tested, and if we are now applying rights and laws to protect non human things like the environment and animals etc... are we not “subjectifying” the world?

    And if so do we not increasingly limit the depth of knowledge we can attain with scientific method.
  • I like sushi
    3.7k
    Concepts ‘exist’ in a certain way. The comparison with currency shows this as a large rock striking you hard on the head is as for you as anyone else (regardless of their beliefs), whereas for ‘currency’ it is relative. Offering money to lion for some meat has no meaning to the lion yet throwing a rock at its head is pretty much the same as it would be for you having a rock thrown at your head.

    Be VERY careful with the term ‘exist’ and clarify how it is being used as well as how it can be used and applied in another way.

    Currency does not exist in the same way that a table or chair exists. The ‘use’ of something is often different from the reality - ie. I can sit on a table no problem but it does not morph into the form of a chair just because I sat on it (conceptually it is understood that I am sitting on a table though).
  • Benj96
    611
    Be VERY careful with the term ‘exist’ and clarify how it is being used as well as how it can be used and applied in another way.I like sushi

    Haha I’ve made whole posts based on this issue. Trying to define what exists and what doesn’t and how etc. Seems it’s creeping into my other threads. “Existence” as both a concept and physical property continues to elude my capacity to define
  • Banno
    16.9k
    Money is an artefact in the way any tool is an artefact, something made by people. What distinguishes it from stone tools and screwdrivers is that it is made using language instead of rock.

    But no amount of talking will create a rock.

    Or if you prefer, what distinguishes money from stone tools and screwdrivers is that it is made using belief instead of rock.

    But no amount of belief will create a rock.

    Thanks,
  • Tom Storm
    4k
    And if so do we not increasingly limit the depth of knowledge we can attain with scientific method.Benj96

    I was under the impression that there was no scientific method. The idea seems archaic.


    The idea of a method that contains firm, unchanging, and absolutely binding principles for conducting the business of science meets considerable difficulty when confronted with the results of historical research. We find, then, that there is not a single rule, however plausible, and however firmly grounded in epistemology, that is not violated at some time or other. It becomes evident that such violations are not accidental events, they are not results of insufficient knowledge or of inattention which might have been avoided. On the contrary, we see that they are necessary for progress. Indeed, one of the most striking features of recent discussions in the history and philosophy of science is the realization that events and developments, such as the invention of atomism in antiquity, the Copernican Revolution, the rise of modern atomism (kinetic theory; dispersion theory; stereochemistry; quantum theory), the gradual emergence of the wave theory of light, occurred only because some thinkers either decided not to be bound be certain 'obvious' methodological rules, or because they unwittingly broke them.”
    ― Paul Karl Feyerabend, Against Method
  • Benj96
    611
    I agree wholly with that extract
  • I like sushi
    3.7k
    Neither god nor money are physical concepts so asking to ‘prove’ the ‘existence’/‘value’ or either is pointless.

    Clifford Geertz made a definition of ‘religion’ and Colin Renfrew commented that the very same definition can be applied to money. Cannot recall the name of the book Renfrew mentioned this in but you can find the definition Geertz gave easily enough with a quick search.
  • Hillary
    1.9k


    Had you show me without language what you can do with money, with coins or banknotes, it would have become clear to me, without a single word, what money is. If instead, certain stones were used for money, stones would be money. Language accelerates the process of understanding.
  • Banno
    16.9k
    Perhaps. However, for this thread, the contentious term is belief.

    So change language to belief.
  • Tom Storm
    4k
    A). How would we “prove” gods existence if we could only observe it through collective faith?
    B). Would money be our god or the thing we worship in that we all ascribe to the existence of this arbitrary paper value.
    C). Is scientific method and the existence of god mutually irreconcilable in this case as science depends on objective measurement?
    Benj96

    I think many people hold a view that much of our lived experience is the product of subjective communities of belief/agreement.

    For me it seems (amongst other interpretations) that things which often don't have intrinsic meaning hold a significant status in people's lives because they are located within some tradition or established practice. There is nothing to investigate or 'prove' as such - what we can identify is behavior associated with these traditions. It doesn't require a transcendental foundation.
  • Hillary
    1.9k


    The belief that money has value creates the reality of money. The believe becomes the non-material reality. The piece of paper stays the piece of paper, which can be considered another belief. Like the just sold Warhol (for a reasonable 195 000 000 dollar) is just a piece of underground, colors, and a nice frame, which probably costs more than the paper and colors used). What belief is projected into the Warhol?

    What if we consider theologic belief? Do we project a reality or create a reality? Is there a difference with projecting onto pieces of metal and paper (or patterns of zeroes and ones)? Well, the material world itself is a belief, but it exists nevertheless. Not as in our belief, but there are objective qualities in the universe and the need larger contexts like brains to become endowed with properties emerging from visions, angles, POV's, perspectives, perceptions, etc.
    Same for gods.
  • chiknsld
    195
    In any case the term Artificial for me is a bit of a strange notion as humans are organic and natural and one would ask where exactly something stops being a “natural progression” and becomes “artificial”. Artificial things come from the natural world and natural things also come from the natural worldBenj96

    I think you're pettifogging a bit here, I was just saying that money is not real. Whereas you speak about God, to whom many people do think is quite real. Belief in God is belief in something real. Belief in money is merely a social contract (just my opinion at least).

    Furthermore I agree money is “artificial” but if a god existed based on exchange of belief by us - sentient beings what’s the difference- would a god that depends on our faith for potency/ existence not be artificial also?Benj96

    I think that God exists for some and not for others. And before humans came along, God still existed. But let's say that God needs us in order to exist, for instance, the greater our belief then the greater God's power, then you would still have a problem comparing such an idea to money. As I already said, money cannot categorize itself, whereas God can.

    Interesting however could a concept of a god not be conducive to a productive or cooperative society and has it not done so before historically- leaving out all the war and bloodshed done in the name of religions. In that people felt their bad behaviour would be punished in some form - be it by a deity or karma or whatever regardless of whether societal justice systems noticed and reprimanded them or not.Benj96

    I think that God is conducive to society but some people would disagree. It depends on if you think this gigantic world is some sort of artificial anomaly or if you see this world as a miracle from a transcendent source of power. Some people have a desperate need to believe in up and down black and white logic and get all their information from other people who do their thinking for them (such as scientists), because they are too scared to do their own thinking.

    But its possible some of these people have some sort of integrity and actually become one of the scientists whom they depend on for all of their knowledge. I am willing to bet there is at least one scientist who realized that he was pathetically dependent upon other people to do his thinking for him and so he actually became a scientist in order to see if his beliefs stayed the same or not.

    I cannot have respect for someone who lets others do his thinking for him and I probably will not become a scientist anytime soon, but I largely do my own thinking, and do not base my worldview on what other people say. I do not believe in giving any strange person authority and I decide if I believe something with my own mind.

    For instance, I have the vaccine after spending an entire year saying that I would not get it. Then after all the covid stuff died down, I went to Walgreens and got the vaccine and my entire family who does not have the vaccine were bewildered. I simply do not base what I believe on what others say, I refuse to have my worldview thought by someone else. If I see that a bunch of scientists do not believe in God, I could literally care less. And If I had any respect for those people I probably would stop believing in God too. But again, I do not look up to authority. I am not a weasel.

    And as far as God needing people to believe in him, this seems contradictory to what you say here...

    There was and still is for many a moralistic imperative to not “piss off” some all knowing entity or in a non anthropomorphised way not to tip the fine balance, the equilibrium that nature demands of it’s systems.

    So God created people so that they could believe in him so that he could exist? Or there is a balance that is needed in nature that has to do with said God? Whom also coincidentally needs us in order to exist? And this is similar to money? Give me a break buddy, try a little harder. :)
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    Currency does not exist in the same way that a table or chair exists.I like sushi

    Well, it used to, but less and less. The small coin I threw down from a high balcony of an Italian holliday hotel hit a person near the pool with considerable accuracy!

    Money is a material thing to exchange with. Be it a coin, paper, or ones and zeroes with a plastic card and chip or phone attached.
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    So God created people so that they could believe in him so that he could exist?chiknsld

    That's not the reason gods created the raw material for the universe. I was recently informed that the eternal divine heaven became victim of an existential void and paralyzing boredom. The only thing left to to was to collectively engage in a research program to develop the universe's fundamental ingredients and in deed create it. The life evolving after the act serves to fill the void, that so unfortunate fate.
  • I like sushi
    3.7k
    You are confused. The value we we may or may not imbue pieces of paper with is not an inherent physical property of said paper. The item we deem ‘money’ can literally be anything we agree upon … yet a rock thrown at your face is always a rock thrown at your face (be it regarded as money or not it will likely hurt/inure you).
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    You are confusedI like sushi

    Yes, because it is confusing. A euro is a coin with physical properties of money. It has a value stamped on it, an edge with words, a side with a country-dependent image in relief, etc. Pretty physical. And it has a value. It depends on who you ask if this value is intrinsic to the coin or not. Mist will say yes, in which case it's you who is confused: "How can a piece of metal have intrinsic value? It's just a circular piece of metal!" Yes, but we project an intrinsic value in it by belief. It's my guess you won't throw a golden 100 dollar piece in the river (or at my head). A stone is easily thrown though.

    And even your objectivity is a belief. Yes, a coin and stone both hit me hard when thrown hard. But the very picture you paint is a subjective picture. A belief...
  • I like sushi
    3.7k
    You continue to talk nonsense so I will have to resort to ignoring for a month.

    Maybe there is some topic where we can have a sensible discussion then.

    Enjoy :)
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    EnjoyI like sushi

    Thanks! :smile:
  • Hillary
    1.9k


    Just tell me, would you throw a 100 dollar note in the river?
  • ArmChairPhilosopher
    75
    I have a few thoughts about existence. I made an OP about them on another site. They may exceed the topic of this thread but may fit into your older threads (if you could kindly point me to them) - or I could make a new one.
  • chiknsld
    195
    That's not the reason gods created the raw material for the universe. I was recently informed that the eternal divine heaven became victim of an existential void and paralyzing boredom. The only thing left to to was to collectively engage in a research program to develop the universe's fundamental ingredients and in deed create it. The life evolving after the act serves to fill the void, that so unfortunate fate.

    :snicker: Hope they discover something interesting!
  • Gnomon
    2.3k
    Suppose that belief or faith had the intrinsic property of manifesting into reality whatever is believed. For example if I believe a delicious cheesy, tomato and dough based circle exists then pizza becomes a thing.Benj96
    What-you-believe doesn't create Reality, but Ideality. Yet, for subjective personal purposes, what-you-believe (your world model) is your Reality. The Matrix movie is a good metaphorical illustration of the principle that Reality is what you think it is. Of course, some of us think we're too smart to fall for the old smoke & mirrors trick. But professional magicians, who know how most tricks work, and are inherently skeptical of "real" magic, can be fooled by slick illusions. Such mis-led beliefs are manifest to the mind, not to the eyes. Belief is bliss. :joke:

    Matrix Reality Simulation :
    Cypher : You know, I know this steak doesn't exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize?
    [Takes a bite of steak]
    Cypher : Ignorance is bliss.

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0133093/characters/nm0001592

    Fool the magician :
    https://www.finchmagician.com/magic/who-has-fooled-penn-and-teller

    Manifest : 1. clear or obvious to the eye or mind.
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    Hope they discover something interesting!chiknsld

    Actually, they did. After a long time of collective tinkering (initiated by the delphin gods) in the planes, jungle, fields, waters, and air of heaven, they finally succeeded (well, actually they grew desparate, after initial enthusiasm, and by cheer luck the breakthrough was broken; a confused and weary philosopher god unvoluntarily did his part...), they succeeded! And they brought the stuff into being... And off went the first bang! A lot followed and still infinite are to come. Dunno if they are still bored...
  • MAYAEL
    201
    we seem to have the same belief
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