• Benj96
    671
    I put forward the Christian God and doctrine, you say you are atheist. You show me the scientific evidence as well as historical events that contradicts such a God and doctrine and use that as your grounds to negate it and I say okay fair. I put forward the Islamic God. The same happens. I put forward the Jewish God, Hindu Gods, Norse Gods etc etc and always there seems to be current concrete objectionable grounds against them.

    You say "look... I'm atheist, I dont believe in any Gods." I think for a moment. "Any Gods?" I ask again. "Yup." "So you dont believe in my God and their doctrine. You say "Well what is your God/doctrine?" And I say "Why do you need to ask you already said you dont believe in any Gods?"

    You say "Well I'm sure I dont agree with your God either but you havent described him/her to me yet so how would I know?" And I say "So at most you are agnostic towards my God, as in you have not yet decided." "I guess" you reply. "So you only really deny Gods you have encountered so far? But the jury is out for others yet to be discovered and examined? Then you are agnostic, because to be atheist you would deny all gods regardless of whether you have entertained the notion of them or not.
    "Umm you hesitate. Well just tell me what your Gods doctrine is then."

    "My God... is good and true." I say. "Go on ...and" you encourage. "And nothing. That's it." I reply. "That is my Gods doctrine". "How could that be it? Thats too vague. Describe more." You insist. "I cant." I reply. "To describe more than the simple experience of good is to put my personal opinion on it, is to define it according to me. My God leaves you and I the free will to interpret goodness and the truth."
    "Hmm well how do I know definitely that your God exists if it's so ill-defined?" "Easy." I say. "Have you ever experienced something good. The sensation of good, of joy, pleasure, love?" "Well yeah." Then you know it exists. That good is true. Isnt that something to worship? The truth? The good?" "I suppose " you say.
    "But you still havent defined "good". How can I worship a God I dont know, understand or that isnt clearly defined for me?" "I already have defined it clearly and simply. Goodness is what I worship. Because it is a quality that exists in experience. How I worship it, how I perceive and attain it, well that's my personality. It will be different to yours and the next persons, but good... good still exists. The reason you're living right now is because you still believe it is fundamentally good to exist. If you didnt you would be committing the act of suicide."
    "So you believe that your God is the real God?" "Yes." "So all other religions gods are wrong?" "I didnt say that. They are simply over-defined. They have added too many rules and guidelines provisioned by human bias over the centuries." "Remember, I will not define good for you, I can only discuss and either agree or disagree on what is good. How to qualify that sensation in a way that does no exclude others."
  • Nuke
    116
    Ok, interesting post, thanks.

    Wouldn't good have to be in reference to something? You know, good for who or what?

    The lion eating the lamb is good for the lion. Not so good for the lamb. How do we deal with this within your perspective?
  • Banno
    18.6k
    "My God... is good and true."Benj96

    Why bother adding "God"? Why not just worship what is good and true?
  • Benj96
    671
    I suppose "God" would be the personified equivalent of good and true things - the ideal self. The ideal state of awareness. Or perhaps just an umbrella term for something exceptionally good to the point that it is near impossible to ever even conceive of. In essence it doesnt matter what you call it. As that is part of the definition -the collection of things that are good and go by many numerous names
  • Banno
    18.6k
    ...so, you put "god" in so as to confuse the issue. Bring in all that baggage then claim it doesn't matter.
  • Benj96
    671


    You will find that in the pursuit of defining ultimate good .ie the most accurate and all encompassing definition of that sensation we are all familiar with but cannot agree on, you will find many contradictions depending on "whom"/ "the point of reference" or the "self" from which the good is being perceived. The boundaries of the "self" are of course flexible and constructed from assumptions, the perspectives interchangeable and open to redefinition and thus the reframing of a sense of what is good or bad in the same scenario.

    For example if death was not feared nor negative but rather a point of great change and transformation, then how is the lambs death qualitatively bad? We were not suffering before we were born. Birth and death are natural, inevitable processes necessary to permit life. If balance and equilibrium is a good thing then surely death is a good thing as it prevents over abundance and underpins natural selection. The taoist philosophy sees life as a flow and we merely inflict upon it these concrete ideas of an "end" and "beginning" when really all there is, is change and points of ignorance or unknowing.

    Sacrifice as in your lamb analogy, is interestingly an integral part of many religious perceptions of God, generally seen as something imperative for the "greater good" of all. And in many senses the lambs death is the prevention of another lambs death or the saving of precious resources for others. A life of collective suffering in my opinion is worse then a quick singular and purposeful death. But of course this always contentious.

    There is good for me, then there is good for my family, good for my community, my nation, good for my species, good for my planet and so on and many of those levels may conflict with eachother. The ultimate good is thus as much about the person who considers it as it is about the definition of said good. A selfish person may consider his sacrifice for his species as a terrible and stupid thing whilst a good person may consider his sacrifice for his species protection as the ultimate good and noble selfless act. The outcome is the same, the peoples perspectives are different.

    If you want my honest opinion about what the ultimate good may be, it has less to do with notions of death or pain or suffering as all of these are required to give life, pleasure and peace any meaning at all by contrast, and has more to do with stability, equilibrium and opposites.
  • Benj96
    671
    the baggage attached to "God" is your baggage. Or anothers baggage. I dont claim to know what your understanding of that seemingly loaded term is but I just gave you mine. I know my perception of the word -it holds only what is necessary to me no extras.

    so as to confuse the issueBanno

    My intentions arent to confuse anyone simply to discuss. I try to articulate to the best of my ability something very difficult to define for anyone. Its interesting that you phrased my intentions as something "deceptive" with the purpose to "confuse" or "bring in baggage" rather than a more positive slant. This really speaks more about you than it does about me. I use the term "God" because I feel it is appropriate and sits comfortably with the philosophies and investigations I have done surrounding it. You can choose your own words even create a new word if you're not satisfied it makes zero impact on me.
  • Banno
    18.6k
    the baggage attached to "God" is your baggage.Benj96

    and yet

    I use the term "God" because I feel it is appropriate and sits comfortably with the philosophies and investigations I have done surrounding it.Benj96

    Odd.
  • Banno
    18.6k
    In essence it doesnt matter what you call it.Benj96

    Indeed. So why call it "God"?
  • Banno
    18.6k
    And why the need to worship?
  • Benj96
    671


    You seem to have an issue with the use of the word "God" despite me having already told you why I like to use it. Fundamentally, because it is my choice what vocabulary I use and that is already enough justification. Just as it is your choice what vocabulary you use to articulate yourself.

    But I'll put it this way... if you can indicate what exactly it is I'm referring to when I use the term "God" I'll stop using the term. When I use the term "pencil" it's likely you know exaclty what I'm referring to. But when I use the term God it is subject to my personal experience of the concept and that is why I use that term... it is the only one flexible and dynamic enough to encompass my usage of it in various contexts.

    Why the need to worship? Because if you dont worship the Good, then you worship the bad. I choose the option I prefer. Everyone worships some quality, goal or state of being; be it money, recognition, power, fame, knowledge, travel, whatever the case may be there is always something or a collection of things people hinge their lifes ambitions on and mine is " Good." Good being the objective. God being the subjective equivalent of Good - for me. My aim, to define accurately the greatest good I can and reevaluate it continuously with experience so that by the time I expire I can say I lived the way I wanted to and that it was a pretty good life.
  • Banno
    18.6k
    When I use the term "pencil" it's likely you know exaclty what I'm referring to. But when I use the term God it is subject to my personal experience of the concept and that is why I use that term... it is the only one flexible and dynamic enough to encompass my usage of it in various contexts.Benj96

    But isn't your use of "pencil" also "subject to (your) personal experience of the concept and that is why (you) use that term... "?

    One wants to do something transcendent, to ef the ineffable, and yet of "the other religions" you say

    They have added too many rules and guidelines provisioned by human bias over the centuries.Benj96

    So again, why add god? Isn't that just adding more rules and guidelines by specifying a personification that is to be worshiped?

    Why not just accept that there are things that cannot be said? Isn't that better than pretending to say what cannot be said? Why should a free man's worship entail some personification?

    That would be this atheists reply to your OP: that there is no need for your anthropomorphising.
  • Banno
    18.6k
    Because if you dont worship the Good, then you worship the bad.Benj96

    Argh. Is this why one needs God, so that one can have good and evil, Us and Them? So that one can avoid acknowledging that the choice is their own?

    God as an excuse for doing bad things.
  • Banno
    18.6k
    ...stability, equilibrium and oppositesBenj96

    The conservative fear of change?
  • EnPassant
    602
    Wouldn't good have to be in reference to something? You know, good for who or what?Nuke

    The existence of the good as evidence for God's existence is hard to argue with. But yes, what is the good? Ultimately the good promotes life and being. Evil is ultimately non being. The good is unity. Evil is egoism and separation; the black hole detaches itself from everything else and becomes darkness.
  • Benj96
    671


    How does defining Good and evil remove your culpability? Or generate an us and them? I never said you didnt have a choice nor did I ever say good people dont do bad things on occasion. We are flawed. You have a choice how to define good. Which means you have the choice to define bad things for others as good things for you. My God is not an excuse for doing bad things it is an object of speculation with a basic tenet- it is fundamentally good. How? Why? That is our challenge. An ideal that demands definition in order to satisfy a universal good, a good that unites people on a moral and just basis.

    Just because we make errors or manipulate the term God, just because it is a heavily loaded term or one that triggers angst or anger in people, doesnt negate the fact that my God is simply good because I have experienced it. As most people have when ever they experience desirable sensations.

    The conservative fear of change?Banno

    This for me is nonsense, change is absolutely necessary for progress, evolution, adaptation, for the exchange of information, interactions. Energy is capacity to change. There is not a single balance, no equilibrium established in nature that isnt dynamic - constantly changing in order to stay in a steady state. Chemical reactions, natural selection, orbit of planets, everything regardless of whether its motion or state can be predicted or is more chaotic, demands change. What on earth is there to fear? Equilibriums are conservative in the sense that these states of change are confined to certain parameters and often reciprocally self regulate to stay within those confines. Life is built on them. Homeostasis.

    Somehow you manage to string out several assumptions from my argument that were never there. Your interpretation is far removed from my current understanding of the topic I brought forth.
  • Benj96
    671
    That was very poetic. I like your personal take on it.
  • Nuke
    116
    Ultimately the good promotes life and being. Evil is ultimately non being.EnPassant

    The vast majority of reality at every scale is space, that which we typically call nothing, or non-being. Reality is overwhelmingly evil? If life is good and death is bad isn't that equation in itself bad, given that we will be presumably spending only a few decades in life and billions of years in death?

    Try this? Every act of creation is an act of destruction, and every act of destruction is an act of creation. Ok so far? If yes, then we can see that creation and destruction are not polar opposites, but rather 2 sides of the came coin, or perhaps two different words for the same process. That is, they are not two, but one.
  • EnPassant
    602
    The vast majority of reality at every scale is space, that which we typically call nothing, or non-being.Nuke

    In our simple human definition of being, yes. God is energy and being. Space is God. There is nowhere where God is not (space is no-thing but not nothingness (there's a difference) It has positive being.)

    Every act of creation is an act of destruction, and every act of destruction is an act of creation.Nuke

    Ultimately everything is evolving and moving forward. But you cannot judge these things in human terms. Even good and evil become unclear in the hurly-burly of human affairs. Ultimately being and life emerge from matter, time and space. We'll have to wait till the end to see how it all works out.

    That was very poetic. I like your personal take on it.Benj96

    Glad you enjoyed it.
  • Frank Apisa
    2.1k
    The notion that an atheists is "someone who lacks a 'belief' in any gods" is bizarre and self-serving. I think the publishers of every English language should rid his/her publication of wording of that sort.
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