• god must be atheist
    4.7k
    You clearly don't believe God exists. In this and other posts you look for psychological reasons why people believe as they do. E.g. Pre-science and scientific mentality; Dormant mind; Faith vs. Intelligence. Your ideas are expressed in condescending language which shows a lack of respect for religious believers.T Clark

    What's wrong with that?

    1. I clearly do believe that God existsArt48

    Luckily, god exists or not, totally beyond the number, opinions, and fervency of believers scatter'd around on our globe and in the Universe.

    I read this or similar on a different philosophy website: Incredible amount of works have been written on the nature of god, without any real indication of consequence communicated by god to humans about it.
  • god must be atheist
    4.7k
    Indeed and the speculative constructions and reinventions can go on forever. But why?Tom Storm

    God is used among many things to support ideologies, and as such, it can SUBSTANTIALLY support an agenda. This is a very useful use to use. That's why.
  • god must be atheist
    4.7k
    We mold clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that makes the vessel useful. We fashion wood for a house, but it is the emptiness inside that makes it livable. We work with the substantial, but the emptiness is what we use.Gnomon

    This has so many practical verification as many practical denials. Empty statement, lacking wisdom. But it is with wisdom that the followers fill it with, and therefore the followers of Ching work with the substantial, but it is the voidful emptiness of this aphorism that they use.
  • hypericin
    680
    I wrote a similar post a few months back.

    I would add that a (typically) a parent occupies a overwhelming position of power in relation to their child. The parent decrees what is right and wrong, dispenses reward and punishment, at their whim as does the God of the OT. This power differential creates in your terms a mold which inevitably the parent cannot actually fill. But as you say, the mold remains, and is fulfilled by personal gods.

    Reading the texts of personal god religions, the parental character of God the Father is hard to overlook.
  • T Clark
    9.8k
    I would add that a (typically) a parent occupies a overwhelming position of power in relation to their child. The parent decrees what is right and wrong, dispenses reward and punishment, at their whim as does the God of the OT. This power differential creates in your terms a mold which inevitably the parent cannot actually fill. But as you say, the mold remains, and is fulfilled by personal gods.hypericin

    As noted earlier by myself and others, no evidence has been provided that this is really the way things work. It doesn't seem likely to me.
  • Gnomon
    2.6k
    This has so many practical verification as many practical denials. Empty statement, lacking wisdom. But it is with wisdom that the followers fill it with, and therefore the followers of Ching work with the substantial, but it is the voidful emptiness of this aphorism that they use.god must be atheist
    I'm not aware of any practical empirical way to verify the usefulness of emptiness, except to put stuff in it. Then it's simply a rational conclusion from experience, that empty space is a place to put things. This is the basis of the old glass "half-empty" vs "half full". That's not a true/false statement, but a matter of opinion, depending on how you see the future : pessimistic vs optimistic.

    When realtors advertise a house for sale, do they promote the physical studs & bricks, or the beauty of its organization & the utility of its spaces? Because there's nothing there, and some people can't imagine filled emptiness, many sellers use rental furniture to assist their imagination, to "fill it with wisdom". Homebuyers pay good money for such insubstantial non-things as Beauty & Utility. Perhaps because their future usefulness is only apparent to those who can "see" what's not there. Due to "quantum weirdness", even pragmatic Scientists have been forced to redefine common-sense "empty space" as "potential energy".

    In psychology, it's called "figure ground perception". And in architecture, the empty space between buildings is known as "negative space". That's because some short-sighted people are biased to view emptiness as nothingness, instead of potential usable space. Faithful Materialists have a practical prejudice against nothingness, because it is commonly equated with spirits & ghosts. But Neuroscientist Terrance Deacon has developed a detailed theory, that is just as reasonable as Darwin's Evolution of living organisms from non-living substance. But it fills the gap between Matter & Life, with a modern computer analogy for the power of Potential to create something new & meaningful from something that is not-yet-real. Don't judge without knowledge. Read it for yourself. :smile:

    The Power of Absence :
    There is a glaring gap in modern science, and Terrence Deacon aims to close it – in part by explaining how material things can have “aims”, and how “absence” can serve to fill functional gaps. He is a neuro-scientist whose expertise straddles the borders between Classical & Quantum, Physics & Metaphysics, and between Science & Philosophy. Deacon says, “we need a theory of everything that does not leave it absurd that we exist”. Ironically, his central thesis sounds absurd on the face of it : that non-existence can affect existing things. Although “absence” may be irrelevant to “inanimate things, it is a defining property of life and mind.” So, he hopes to open a dialogue “between our currently incompatible cultures of knowledge, the physical and the meaningful”. He laments that “scientific knowledge is viewed with distrust by many, as an enemy of human values, the handmaid of cynical secularism, and a harbinger of nihilism”. He aims to regain that trust by showing that Science is relevant to heart-felt human interests.

    Although Deacon's theory challenges the philosophy of Materialism, he takes great pains to avoid the slippery slope into Spiritualism as an explanation for meta-physical phenomena. Instead, he offers a naturalistic account for Life, Mind, Soul, Sentience, Consciousness, and most other immaterial features of the world. My own thesis of Enformationism also attempts to bridge the conceptual chasm between Physics and Meta-physics. But the main difference, is that I didn't automatically reject the possibility of a supernatural agent to serve as the First Cause of everything. Instead, I proposed something like a LOGOS, who created the plenipotent Information system that enforms the world via teleological power : a plan for the development of a cosmos. Of course, the deistic inferences I'm drawing from his evidence are precisely the ones he's trying to avoid. And I view his “Absence” as a religiously neutral term for causation that used to be known as incorporeal “Spirit”, but is now known as incorporeal "Energy".

    http://bothandblog4.enformationism.info/page17.html

    Universal Negation :
    All roads are blocked to a philosophy which reduces everything to the word ‘no.’ To ‘no’ there is only one answer and that is ‘yes.’ Nihilism has no substance. There is no such thing as nothingness, and zero does not exist. Everything is something. Nothing is nothing.
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nothingness/

    FIGURE - GROUND vs NOTHING - SOMETHING vs REAL - POTENTIAL
    toptal-blog-image-1522045559221-12e437d49472555fcc386865fbabd074.jpg
  • hypericin
    680
    As noted earlier by myself and others, no evidence has been provided that this is really the way things work. It doesn't seem likely to me.T Clark

    Consider this evidence: The relationship of extreme power between parent and child is more prevalent in more conservative societies and households, and far more prevalent in the past. The more this extreme relationship holds, the more religiosity we observe. Corresponding with liberalization, and the softening of the parent-child relationship, we see a corresponding trend towards secularism.
  • Tom Storm
    5k
    OK. Fair enough. Though dismissive of word-pounding Philosophers.Gnomon

    Not dismissive. Just charmed and sometimes exasperated by our attempts to wrest control by non-stop talking and writing.
  • Art48
    151
    As noted earlier by myself and others, no evidence has been provided that this is really the way things work. It doesn't seem likely to me.T Clark
    The OP is my attempt to understand a phenomena I've witnessed many times. It contains the example of King David's census, but multiple similar examples could be given. The OP presents a thesis, a possible explanation, but doesn't not present a proof.

    Question: can you offer a better explanation?
  • T Clark
    9.8k
    Consider this evidence: The relationship of extreme power between parent and child is more prevalent in more conservative societies and households, and far more prevalent in the past. The more this extreme relationship holds, the more religiosity we observe. Corresponding with liberalization, and the softening of the parent-child relationship, we see a corresponding trend towards secularism.hypericin

    I don't see that as evidence for your point at all.
  • T Clark
    9.8k
    The OP is my attempt to understand a phenomena I've witnessed many times.Art48

    I don't understand how you can observe this personally. It may be based on observation, but it is made up mostly of assumptions about children's motivations and thoughts, which are not directly observable.

    After the infant learns there are people and objects external to herself, in time she naturally attributes certain properties to the parent(s), qualities such as source of comfort and protection, as source of knowledge and instruction, as able to do wonderful things (feed her, give her toys, take her to the ocean or mountains for vacation). As she grows, she learns that the parent isn’t ideal, that the parent doesn’t fit the mold perfectly. Sometimes the parent makes her go to bed early, eat her spinach, takes her to the doctor for a needle.

    If the parent ceases to occupy the mold, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the mold collapses. Quite the contrary, the child has built the mold in her mind where it may continue existing. But it’s empty.

    In time, the person fills the mode with Jesus or Allah or Krishna.
    Art48

    The OP presents a thesis, a possible explanation, but doesn't not present a proof.Art48

    I have no problem with that, although I think you're theory is probably wrong.
  • T Clark
    9.8k
    Question: can you offer a better explanation?Art48

    I forgot to answer this. I don't know if this is better or not. I think a direct experience of transcendent phenomena is common, although obviously not universal. What does that mean? For me it is a sense that I belong in the universe. That we grew up together. That the world is a welcoming place. A sense of gratitude. I think that could be called a god, although not a personal one. I have talked to Christians who have what I would call similar experiences, although they probably would disagree.

    I recognize that is no kind of rigorous evidence.
  • hypericin
    680
    I don't see that as evidence for your point at all.T Clark

    Oh? Great. Why don't you elaborate?
  • Art48
    151
    I think a direct experience of transcendent phenomena is common, although obviously not universal. What does that mean? For me it is a sense that I belong in the universe. That we grew up together. That the world is a welcoming place. A sense of gratitude. I think that could be called a god, although not a personal one.T Clark
    The experiences may well be common. Do you have any idea how an experience of a non-person God could translate into accepting a religion with person Gods?
  • T Clark
    9.8k
    Do you have any idea how an experience of a non-person God could translate into accepting a religion with person Gods?Art48

    I described my personal experience and how I might interpret it. Other people could experience and interpret it differently. As I noted, I don't make any claim to certainty.
  • T Clark
    9.8k
    Oh? Great. Why don't you elaborate?hypericin

    I don't see any necessary connection between the conditions you describe and the results you claim.
  • hypericin
    680
    I don't see any necessary connection between the conditions you describe and the results you claim.T Clark

    You just restated more verbosely. Do you agree the correlation I describe exists?
  • T Clark
    9.8k
    Do you agree the correlation I describe exists?hypericin

    I don't know and I don't think you do either, but that's beside the point. As I noted, even if it exists, it isn't evidence for your position.
  • hypericin
    680
    As I noted, even if it exists, it isn't evidence for your position.T Clark

    How no?

    Large parental power differentials over their children leave an impression of an almighty parent after that differential is outgrown. The absence of the fictional parent-as-god is fulfilled by religion. If this were so, we would expect more religiosity in cultures where that power differential is larger, in cultures with paternalistic God figures.
  • Gnomon
    2.6k
    The OP is my attempt to understand a phenomena I've witnessed many times. It contains the example of King David's census, but multiple similar examples could be given. The OP presents a thesis, a possible explanation, but doesn't not present a proof.Art48
    I like the metaphor of a god-mold, filled with locally-available god-stuff. Which historically, has been mostly based on personal experience with physical human people in political positions of near-absolute power. And, it seems to be a novel take on the old "god shaped hole in the heart" argument.

    The OP begins with some examples of questionable behavior by "person gods". Presumably, the intent is to suggest a viable alternative : a non-person god. But that concept may not make sense to most on this forum, especially those with an unimaginative Materialistic worldview. So, they react as-if you are proposing just-another-anthro-morphic-god. Perhaps, you could get it back on track by presenting your thesis without reference to the Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions, and without reference to individual personal experiences. Though, that may be too abstract, and too non-sciencey, for those same Realist/Materialists. Law courts are often tied-up for days with "what did you know (i.e. experience) and when did you know (experience) it?"

    Maybe you could shift the focus to the art of transfer molding. That would avoid getting personality traits & behaviors confused with the notion of god models. With no physical human example to create the mold from, any resemblance to a "mere" human would be lost. And the artist would have to create his mold-model from scratch. :smile:

    AN ARTISTIC IMPRESSION OF ARIES, DAVID ???
    moldingcasting_eu_02_640.jpg
  • Art48
    151
    I like the metaphor of a god-mold, filled with locally-available god-stuff. Which historically, has been mostly based on personal experience with physical human people in political positions of near-absolute power. And, it seems to be a novel take on on old "god shaped hole in the heart" argument.Gnomon
    Yes, the OP can be taken as describing the origin of the "god shaped hole in the heart"
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    god shaped hole in the heartGnomon

    Daoism, some say, utilizes the metaphor of dihydrogen monoxide (water) when it describes itself. Water (liquids and even gases) is adaptive i.e. no matter what the shape, no matter how many tiny nooks and crannies there are, water will never fail to adjust its own shape to the vessel. The point Daoism seems to be making is fit in wherever, whenever, you are. Don't be a square peg in a round hole. Does the God piece fit with reality as we know it. The problem is that the God that we want is incompatible with reality and the God that is compatible is one we don't want. Wicked!
  • Gnomon
    2.6k
    Daoism . . . . Does the God piece fit with reality as we know it. The problem is that the God that we want is incompatible with reality and the God that is compatible is one we don't want. Wicked!Agent Smith
    Good point! That's the problem with presenting a philosophical god-model that "fits with reality". Most people don't like Reality -- it hurts -- so they want their G*D to be ideal, like a knight in shining armor. Taoism was intended to be more realistic than that. Lao Tse did not describe the TAO as a conventional prayer-granting ancestor deity, and the word for "God" only appears once in the Tao De Ching. Nevertheless, the popular religions that sprang from the Tao root did include a variety of deities to be worshiped and prayed to.

    So, I interpret the Tao, as more like Spinoza's impersonal-god-of-the philosophers (i.e. deus sive natura) The point you noted is that that the typical worshiper doesn't want an abstract nature-god, they want a god with the super-natural power to adapt capricious reality to their personal needs & wishes. Instead, Lao Tse faced the facts, and advised that we adapt ourselves to the reality of Nature. Such a nature-god is "compatible with reality" and with empirical Science; but not with human desires for a more perfect world. The "real world" is as good as it gets*1. And the natural "Way" follows the "path" of least resistance*2. Which is also a basic principle of Physics.*3 *4

    Even theistic religions have been forced by centuries of poor response to prayers, to postpone perfection to a New World and a second Life. Consequently, parallel to their idealized & romantic god-models, most religions also offer pragmatic advice similar to that of Lao Tse's golden rule : " “If only the ruler and his people would refrain from harming each other, all the benefits of life would accumulate in the kingdom.”— Tao Te Ching. :smile:


    *1. best of all possible worlds, in the philosophy of the early modern philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716), the thesis that the existing world is the best world that God could have created.
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/best-of-all-possible-worlds
    Note -- a perfect world would be purely deterministic ( a heaven), but a world with rational free-will physical creatures must be less than perfect, in order to allow options. So Leibniz' "best" compromise solution to the Freewill within Determinism paradox was to make a good, but imperfect world. For example, the metaphorical Garden of Eden was perfect, but the humans were mere instinctive animals, with no way to reason between Good & Evil. After expulsion into the Real World, they had to learn to adapt to a less-than-perfect environment. If they felt cold, they learned to killed cold-adapted furry animals, and to wear their skins as clothing. Their food no longer hung low on trees, so they learned to eat the flesh of those cute furry animals.

    *2. The path of least resistance is the physical or metaphorical pathway that provides the least resistance to forward motion by a given object or entity, among a set of alternative paths.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Path_of_least_resistance

    *3. Principle of Least Action :
    "“That is what we are going to use to calculate the true path. "
    https://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/II_19.html
    Note -- "Tao" = path of least resistance

    *4. The Principle of Least Action says that, in some sense, the true motion is the optimum out of all possible motions, The idea that the workings of nature are somehow optimal, suggests that nature is working in an efficient way, with minimal effort, to some kind of plan.
    https://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/nsm10/PrincLeaAc.pdf
    Note -- "Tao" = Stoic acceptance of imperfections
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k


    Excelente! All this while, for aeons on end, each living organism has been adapting to its environment, both living & nonliving and that's been the secret of our success. The long and short of it, our Mars ambitions, let them be fulfilled not by terraforming (adapting the planet to us), but via evolution (adapting us to the planet). It'll be slow ... real slow, but slow & steady wins the race. Of course if time is not our side, we'll havta take the other route, its obviously faster, relatively speaking.

    The rest of your post, superb! I wish I had time to reply.
  • Gnomon
    2.6k
    our Mars ambitions, let them be fulfilled not by terraforming (adapting the planet to us), but via evolution (adapting us to the planet).Agent Smith
    In the Sci-Fi TV series Expanse, Earthlings who lived for generations on Mars, became adapted to its low gravity. Unfortunately, upon return to Earth gravity, that evolved change became a mal-adaptation. :gasp:
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    In the Sci-Fi TV series Expanse, Earthlings who lived for generations on Mars, became adapted to its low gravity. Unfortunately, upon return to Earth gravity, that evolved change became a mal-adaptation. :gasp:Gnomon

    Aye, that be the downside. Best then to use technology to help us live on different planets.
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