• Maureen
    40
    Example: Any God or God(s) that are said to exist as part of a religion could in fact exist even if that religion itself did not exist. But assuming that the religion did not exist, then how would that (or those) God(s) exist pursuant to that religion? For instance, assuming that Allah did exist prior to the onset of the Islamic religion, then who or what exactly was he prior to that time, why was he not recognized, or at least not widely by anyone on earth prior to that time, and how did he suddenly become affiliated with Islam just because Islam was developed and became mainstream? The same could of course be said of the God of any religion such as Christianity, Hinduism, etc., assuming that these Gods or any God(s) exists. Granted the truth is that no one knows whether or not God(s) exist since you can only provide arguments for God(s) existence or absence and not prove it, but I feel like God(s) should not have, and almost could not have existed in the absence of any religion since no particular God(s) was recognized by humans prior to the development of that religion. If no one recognized or mentioned the Christian God prior to the development of Christianity, then you have to ask yourself if that God was merely formulated to be the center focus or theme of Christianity, or why else He was not recognized until Christianity came about.
  • christian2017
    415
    Some speculate when the human population on earth reached the millions and cities formed there was a need for organized religion. The book Sapiens by Noah Harrari attests to this. Ofcourse i don't agree with this but i do find this an interesting subject to study.
  • Maureen
    40
    Some speculate when the human population on earth reached the millions and cities formed there was a need for organized religion. The book Sapiens by Noah Harrari attests to this. Ofcourse i don't agree with this but i do find this an interesting subject to study.christian2017

    That is fair, however I am assuming that there was no God to speak of prior to the advent of any organized religion. Therefore my point is that a God is not just suddenly going to come out of nowhere when a religion is formed, nor is one going to become affiliated with a given religion without any integrity in the unlikely event that they already existed in the absence of that religion. Moreover, if they did exist in the absence of that religion, then (in my opinion) there is at least the possibility that their presence would still been acknowledged during that time, as opposed to them having no presence to speak of until a given religion was adapted. Of course I don't know what the case was, as I was not around prior to the advent of any major religion, nor was anyone alive today, but it can certainly be presumed in a hypothetical scenario that no God had any presence to speak of prior to the advent of their corresponding religion.
  • christian2017
    415


    Sounds like your a naturalist. Thats kind of what the book "Sapiens" is getting at.
  • TheMadFool
    3.4k
    I don't see a problem in this. The law of gravity existed from the time of the Big Bang which is said to have occurred 13.8 billion years ago but was only discovered in 1687 by Isaac Newton. It was then reformulated more accurately by Albert Einstein in the 1900's. I think God and our realization/discovery that He exists is a quite similar situation.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k
    the Big Bang which is said to have occurred 13.8 billion years ago but was only discovered in 1687 by Isaac Newton. It was then reformulated more accurately by Albert Einstein in the 1900's.TheMadFool

    Seems to me, gravity has only existed for about 300 years, and the big bang around a century.

    Get it? :grin:
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k


    Big Bang and Gravity are the new gods. Praise be to them. :clap:

    I couldn't help myself. :grin:
  • Frank Apisa
    896
    Whether gods exist or not...is not influenced or impacted by whether or not the species known as homo sapiens knows...or even suspects it.

    Gods either exist or not.

    No way to know...unless they are personal gods and want humans to know.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k
    Whether gods exist or not...is not influenced or impacted by whether or not the species known as homo sapiens knows...or even suspects it.

    Gods either exist or not.

    No way to know...unless they are personal gods and want humans to know.
    Frank Apisa

    You don't really believe that, do you?
  • BrianW
    844


    What was anything before we discovered it? What were atoms before we discovered them? Why should God(s) or anything else be any different?
  • Frank Apisa
    896
    Merkwurdichliebe
    752

    Whether gods exist or not...is not influenced or impacted by whether or not the species known as homo sapiens knows...or even suspects it.

    Gods either exist or not.

    No way to know...unless they are personal gods and want humans to know. — Frank Apisa


    You don't really believe that, do you?
    Merkwurdichliebe

    I do not do any "believing."

    If you are asking it that conveys my opinion...it does.

    Why would it not for you?
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k


    I never opine, but sometimes I might on occasion temporarily believe something.
  • Shamshir
    425
    Does God exist without religion?
    Well, do you exist if someone has never heard of you?

    If it's possible anyway, it's possible spiritually.
  • Richard B
    32
    Reminds me of the philosophical puzzle “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

    I wonder if a virtual particle pop in and out existence is this coming from some unseen world?
  • Wayfarer
    8k
    From the perspective of philosophy of religion, 'existence' is what 'the transcendent' is transcendent in relation to. So, whether or not there are deities, such beings do not exist; they're beyond existence, or the phenomenal domain, meaning that they're not phenomenal beings.

    As current culture is primarily sensate in nature, oriented wholly and solely around the empirical domain of tangible and measurable objects, then this understanding is completely alien to it. There is no way to understand what it means, from a tactile, empirical and sensate point of view. So here, the whole notion of the possible existence of supra-mundane beings is basically anchored in the discursive imagination of humans; as if the transcendent can only be endowed with reality by virtue of it being conceptualised by humans. But this is almost an exact reversal of the meaning of 'revealed truth'; such a view takes the relics of revelation, preserved in the form of social religious beliefs, and then tries to imagine on that basis, but with no actual insight or grasp of revelation, what is being indicated by them. Rather like how the figures in the Platonic 'allegory of the cave' imagine that the shadows cast by the fire behind them, dancing on the cave wall, are real.
  • Maureen
    40
    What was anything before we discovered it? What were atoms before we discovered them? Why should God(s) or anything else be any different?BrianW

    Does God exist without religion?
    Well, do you exist if someone has never heard of you?

    If it's possible anyway, it's possible spiritually.
    Shamshir

    That is different though, because I do exist even if someone has never heard of me, and so do you. Furthermore, everything that has been discovered at any point in history did exist from the time it was created, it was simply that it had not been discovered by humans until a particular point (take Papyrus 1 or the Rosetta Stone for instance). But with God(s), the general implication is that they should have been discovered or that their presence should be known in conjunction with the religion that they represent, in spite of the fact that no one actually does know if God(s) exist. To put it simply, if no humans knew that ducks existed, but then someone was the first person to see a duck and showed it to a bunch of other people and they took pictures of it and so on, then it would become widely known that ducks did exist, especially if other people actually saw ducks later on. In terms of God(s), however, the God of any particular religion did not exist as far as any human knows until the onset of their respective religion, and even now no one knows if any of said God(s) exists, which is why anyone can only provide strong evidence for or against the existence of God(s) and not actually prove it. But for instance, people do know if ducks exists and can prove that ducks exist.
  • Wayfarer
    8k
    Because deities and ducks belong to different orders of being?
  • Shamshir
    425
    the God of any particular religion did not exist as far as any human knows until the onset of their respective religion, and even now no one knows if any of said God(s) existsMaureen
    That's not true. Each religion is a consequence of many close encounters, which have been described in said religions.
  • BrianW
    844
    But with God(s), the general implication is that they should have been discovered or that their presence should be known in conjunction with the religion that they represent, in spite of the fact that no one actually does know if God(s) exist.Maureen

    This is your own conjecture, it does not become fact or determine the way of doing things.

    To put it simply, if no humans knew that ducks existed, but then someone was the first person to see a duck and showed it to a bunch of other people and they took pictures of it and so on,Maureen

    And suppose he gave no evidence, merely just stated his observation and left. Wouldn't the duck still exist?

    In terms of God(s), however, the God of any particular religion did not exist as far as any human knows until the onset of their respective religion,Maureen

    So it's not about existence, it's about human knowledge/awareness of that existence. And since we can act on information regardless of proof, it settles the matter because people can choose to use the information however they wish including using it to create a new reference point for their activities, mental, moral, social, etc, call it belief or whatever.
    Humans are not breaking any code of conduct/integrity just by believing, it is when the actions born of that belief become improper that we lose our fundamental bearing as humans who should be masters of their own faculties of consciousness and corresponding activities, instead of being ensnared by them into committing atrocities against fellow life or against the balance of nature/reality.

    When we don't know, we just don't know, whether it's about the existence of God(s) before our knowledge of them. And we should be willing to admit that too.
  • luckswallowsall
    61
    There's no reason why gods couldn't exist without religion ... they just couldn't be the gods of religion.
  • Maureen
    40
    So it's not about existence, it's about human knowledge/awareness of that existence. And since we can act on information regardless of proof, it settles the matter because people can choose to use the information however they wish including using it to create a new reference point for their activities, mental, moral, social, etc, call it belief or whatever.
    Humans are not breaking any code of conduct/integrity just by believing, it is when the actions born of that belief become improper that we lose our fundamental bearing as humans who should be masters of their own faculties of consciousness and corresponding activities, instead of being ensnared by them into committing atrocities against fellow life or against the balance of nature/reality.

    When we don't know, we just don't know, whether it's about the existence of God(s) before our knowledge of them. And we should be willing to admit that too.
    BrianW

    Let's just take any particular religion and acknowledge that religion has a God or Gods. Before that religion came about, no human thought or believed that there was that religion, let alone a God that represented it. For instance: Before the Islamic religion came about, there was no Islamic religion to speak of. Like any religion, though, Islam was created by humans at some point, and therefore it "exists" only in the sense that it was created in the first place. For this reason, we can effectively say that Islam (or any religion) did not "exist" until it was created or developed by humans, which in effect means that there could not be any knowledge or awareness that the religions existed until they did exist. Moreover, we are aware that Islam essentially did not "exist" until it was created by humans, but when ducks were discovered by humans it can at least be assumed that they existed prior to their discovery by humans since they were actually discovered at some point and not just created. In any case, the God(s) of any religion could ultimately only be defined or identified in accordance to that religion AFTER that religion was created by humans. Granted this does not automatically mean that the Gods themselves were also just created or made up by humans, but it does beg the question of why it is that Gods only seemingly came about or had any identity in conjunction with the creation of their respective religion. This certainly does seem to suggest that Gods were just created or made up in conjunction with the creation of their religion by humans, or if not then I actually have no idea how it is to be explained, that is, how exactly do you explain the presence of Gods in conjunction with their respective religions when the religions themselves were merely created by humans? Obviously a God did not just come out of nowhere when a religion was created, or at least those who follow a particular religion would deny this, and a God also did not just suddenly come to represent a religion when a religion was created, so there is really no clear explanation of the process other than that God(s) was also just made up by humans at the same time when humans created the respective religions of those Gods. I know that this is difficult for most people to accept, but at the same time what other plausible explanation is there?

    PS: I also understand that my theory might not be true just because there is no other plausible explanation, but I am merely pointing out the fact that no other plausible explanation seems to exist.
  • BrianW
    844


    Your theory misrepresents the identity (definition) of who/what God(s) are. In religions, God(s) were not created or invented by humans. In religions, God(s) are participants in the religious narratives just like the humans. So, just like humans, there's nothing preventing God(s) from existing before corresponding religions.
  • BrianW
    844
    Granted this does not automatically mean that the Gods themselves were also just created or made up by humans, but it does beg the question of why it is that Gods only seemingly came about or had any identity in conjunction with the creation of their respective religion.Maureen

    God(s) represent the bigger picture; they represent the part of life beyond normal human activity. Therefore, they played the part of providing inspirations and guidance and in manifestation of activities in higher consciousness. That was before humans coined terms like prophets, oracles or genius (remember in some cultures, those who were spiritually gifted were said to be possessed by genius or genii).

    how exactly do you explain the presence of Gods in conjunction with their respective religions when the religions themselves were merely created by humans?Maureen

    Firstly, religions did not develop from trends. They were propagated by gifted men primarily in service of their communities and as a way to direct their talents. The religious movements had purpose, primarily a well-organised mode of conduct in human interactions - morals. They also served the purpose of raising human consciousness from succumbing to instinctive behaviour by infusing philosophical musings of what the greater reality could be - and this is where God(s) come in.

    If you take into consideration the collective thoughts, emotions, trends, beliefs, etc of those times, and couple it with the modes of expression, the language, the forms of education and knowledge, the politics, the future outlook of those humans, etc, etc, you will realise there's nothing unnatural or misplaced about religious belief. For example, currently we as a collective human of this present time believe we can develop consciousness and manifest it in machines. And we have this belief that they will mirror human consciousness and so we act and react to these ideas in accordance with our present understanding of the stakes at hand.
    Now imagine a human being looking back from a future so distant none of our imaginings could capture anything about it. To them, profound as we think our application of consciousness is, we are exceedingly and unbelievably primitive.

    It's the same with religions. Right now, you (in particular) can't see any need, or use for religion. But you can't just project your consciousness back to the past and have it remain as it is now and expect to uncover the core of their actions. You must walk in their shoes and be what they were, see yourself choosing a religion for the same reasons they did, see yourself acting as they did to achieve what they did, see the value in the things they sought, then watch as their successes and failures unfolded into future endeavours by and by until today when in so many other ways we still continue to chase the shadows of enlightenment and perfection.

    God(s) exist. There is no doubt of that. The only query is what/who that/those God(s) are and why/how they are. If you want God(s) to be products of imagination and thus unreal, so be it. However, mental objects/subjects still have influence over us and our activities and therefore have real value. So, at the very least, God(s) have existed as is proven by the state of our consciousness today. Otherwise this discussion would not be.
  • Gnostic Christian Bishop
    459
    No. A god is not a god unless someone gives him that title.

    Gnostic Christians ignore the Roman created Jesus as he is quite immoral, but, if like us, you read Jesus who is more of an Eastern mystic or guru, which is how we Gnostic Christians view him, then you will ponder what he meant when he said that when two are gathered in god's name, he is there. To Jesus, there had to be at least two who agreed on who god was and that is when the label can be applied.

    As an Eastern mystic, this is what he taught and what the church never quotes as the Gnostic Jesus wants to free us from religions while the church wants to slave us to it.

    Here is the real way to salvation that Jesus taught.

    Matthew 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

    John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

    Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

    Allan Watts explain those quotes in detail.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alRNbesfXXw&feature=player_embedded

    Regards
    DL
  • Terrapin Station
    11.3k


    Just in case you don't know, I'm an atheist, so I'm not commenting on the following to try to convince anyone that God exists. I'm just addressing the argument as you're presenting it.

    You're conflating a couple different arguments in your comments. It's beneficial to separate them.

    One, you seem to be arguing that it's not plausible to say that x existed prior to relatively recent human knowledge of x. But as has been pointed out, that argument would have to go just as well for any scientific phenomena that we've figured out so far--that things are composed of atoms, for example. Or plate tectonics. Or any and everything else (since science, period, is a relatively recent development in human history).

    Two, you seem to be arguing that if something exists, we should be able to demonstrate to everyone (at least ideally, barring folks with mental problems, etc.) that it exists. This is a different argument than the previous paragraph, and it doesn't work to try to combine the two. This second argument ignores the fact that religions posit that deities are not (at least not usually) directly observable in the manner that, ducks (to use an example from earlier in the thread) are, and that this is intentionally the case, because faith is supposed to be an important element of religious belief.
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