Jump to content


Photo

Who Made God?


  • Please log in to reply
29 replies to this topic

#1 Skeptic

Skeptic

    Kappa

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,108 posts

Posted 31 March 2004 - 01:07 AM

This quote by Alethia is from the Agnostic Ethics thread:

If we are here by random chance, then it is axiomatic that life has no purpose or meaning. It simply is. Purpose implies an intelligence behind it. Meaning implies that there is something greater than life to which it conveys meaning. If it is random chance, then it has neither.

*snip*


This, as well as the snipped part following it, indeed applies to the agnostic outlook on human beings. The fact is, if we take God out of the equation, then we are left with these unanswered questions. (This is what puts many people off, because people hate not having the answers to questions. )

However, if we bring God into the equation, we are just 'bumping' all the questions that would have pertained to human beings, one level upwards.

For instance:

It has been argued that God just is. He wasn't designed or created.

If God wasn't designed, then surely he has no purpose. (The word "purpose" implies design, accoridng to the teleological argument). If he has no purpose, he has no meaning. If he has no meaning, why logically do we have to honour him? Do we argue that we need to obey him ad baculum?

Why would God bother to exist at all? Well, God ostensibly cannot "bother to exist"; God finds himself existing, without any purpose, the ultimate axiom.

So there exists this Being, who had no say in his own existence and cannot tell you why he exists, because since he wasn't created, he exists without purpose. This would have seemed sad, except that this purposeless being just happens to be the most powerful being in existence. So he can console himself for not knowing what his purpose is, by finding purpose in creating things. (Hey, this sounds a lot like the agnostic, making his own purpose in the absense of an objective standard!)

Is it objectively more logical to believe in this being, that exists who-knows-why, than to believe the universe just sprang into existence? I see very little difference.

Any thoughts?

Edited by Skeptic, 31 March 2004 - 01:38 AM.


#2 Fortigurn

Fortigurn

    Moderator

  • Admin
  • 34,729 posts

Posted 31 March 2004 - 05:30 AM

Auto-ontology... do we really want to get into that? :eek:

#3 Guest_Alethia_*

Guest_Alethia_*
  • Guests

Posted 31 March 2004 - 11:49 AM

I think that to try to carry the analogy of mortal humanity to eternal God is too great a leap for we who cannot even comprehend eternity. It is all but impossible for us to rationalize something that has no beginning. At the level at which a being who created the Universe acts and thinks, we are simply unable to have a meaningful discussion. An eternal being is simply not like a mortal one.

Also, one of the things that takes meaning away from life is that it will eventually cease, so any accomplishment or progress we might make will eventually come to naught. On the other hand, the thing that can give meaning to our life is the belief that it need not end, and therefore what has been accomplished will have eternal consequences.

#4 Keturah

Keturah

    Kappa

  • Christadelphian
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,810 posts

Posted 31 March 2004 - 01:15 PM

Also, one of the things that takes meaning away from life is that it will eventually cease, so any accomplishment or progress we might make will eventually come to naught. 

But then you could argue that we are not just a bunch of individuals who happen to die. We are a collective whole and that will live on. Kind of like passing on your name. That name is still there even if you are not.... :book:

#5 Guest_Alethia_*

Guest_Alethia_*
  • Guests

Posted 31 March 2004 - 04:00 PM

But then you could argue that we are not just a bunch of individuals who happen to die. We are a collective whole and that will live on. Kind of like passing on your name. That name is still there even if you are not....

I was not meaning only that individuals will eventually die. I meant that the race as whole will eventually cease (barring some sort of amazing scientific discovery of travel faster than the speed of light to a new world somewhere that just happens to be filled with all the appropriate atmosphere, plants and animals, but just no people, or else with a lesser race from whom we can steal their planet). The earth will not last forever. The sun will not last forever. In the grand vista of time, the entire existence of humans (even assuming an evolutionist's estimate) has been but an eye blink, and it will be gone again in a few more blinks. Even faster if the race continues to destroy the environment that sustains it.

We are like an ant hill that exists only until an anteater comes along and sucks them all out, or someone sprays it with insecticide or something, and the whole nest is wiped out. There may be other ant hills far, far, away, with which our ant hill has no means of communicating, and we will probably never know, but in the end, ours will come and go, leaving no trace of its ever having existed at all.

In then end, nothing that the race produces will continue forever. Even that Voyager spacecraft that is out beyond the edge of the Solar system, cruising to nowhere, will eventually fall into a star somewhere and be obliterated. I suppose there is some faint chance of it being discovered by some other race somewhere, leaving it as the only remaining trace of humanity. They will then puzzle over it, or worship it as a god or something, until their race too is eventually obliterated. Does that give purpose and meaning to the existence of life on earth?

#6 simondjames_*

simondjames_*

    Zeta

  • Non-Members
  • PipPip
  • 55 posts

Posted 31 March 2004 - 04:45 PM

i think the concept of 'forever' is over-rated. ;)


Doesn't it just mean 'outside the bounds of time'?

Your original question, Skeptic - essentially where does God come from - is made irrelevant by the fact that he exists outside of time - only in our human minds could we drag him down into our mortal realm, and apply our characteristics to him.

An absence of time removes the defenition of how we see life - as a span, a period of time. 'Everlasting' is really a period of time, too.
Therefore, are we not to be beings outside the powers of time, provided our bodies are changed, and we enter that glorious promised land?

Are we told we will recieve everlasting life because thats the closest thing we could comprehend to a timeless life?

We simply cannot comprehend (as i think was already mentioned) a dimension which has no time, and therefore it can seem a little fruitless to speculate about the processes which take place in it; including the origin of God.

Of course, don't let me stop you! Personal opinion only, right? :)

I guess the only way we'll find stuff like this out is, by God's grace, entering his kingdom.

#7 EXjw_*

EXjw_*

    Theta

  • Non-Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 205 posts

Posted 01 April 2004 - 04:26 PM

But then you could argue that we are not just a bunch of individuals who happen to die. We are a collective whole and that will live on. Kind of like passing on your name. That name is still there even if you are not....

I was not meaning only that individuals will eventually die. I meant that the race as whole will eventually cease (barring some sort of amazing scientific discovery of travel faster than the speed of light to a new world somewhere that just happens to be filled with all the appropriate atmosphere, plants and animals, but just no people, or else with a lesser race from whom we can steal their planet). The earth will not last forever. The sun will not last forever. In the grand vista of time, the entire existence of humans (even assuming an evolutionist's estimate) has been but an eye blink, and it will be gone again in a few more blinks. Even faster if the race continues to destroy the environment that sustains it.

We are like an ant hill that exists only until an anteater comes along and sucks them all out, or someone sprays it with insecticide or something, and the whole nest is wiped out. There may be other ant hills far, far, away, with which our ant hill has no means of communicating, and we will probably never know, but in the end, ours will come and go, leaving no trace of its ever having existed at all.

In then end, nothing that the race produces will continue forever. Even that Voyager spacecraft that is out beyond the edge of the Solar system, cruising to nowhere, will eventually fall into a star somewhere and be obliterated. I suppose there is some faint chance of it being discovered by some other race somewhere, leaving it as the only remaining trace of humanity. They will then puzzle over it, or worship it as a god or something, until their race too is eventually obliterated. Does that give purpose and meaning to the existence of life on earth?

In then end, nothing that the race produces will continue forever. Even that Voyager spacecraft that is out beyond the edge of the Solar system, cruising to nowhere, will eventually fall into a star somewhere and be obliterated. I suppose there is some faint chance of it being discovered by some other race somewhere, leaving it as the only remaining trace of humanity. They will then puzzle over it, or worship it as a god or something, until their race too is eventually obliterated. Does that give purpose and meaning to the existence of life on earth?


Look at it this way. Imagine the alphabet for a moment. In our alphabet there aer only 26 letters. By combining these in different ways everthing written can be communicated; Shakespeare to fortune cookies; all just 26 letters.

Well, the universe only has X amount of atoms. Everything that has every existed (or ever will) is a matter of combining and (IMPORTANTLY) recycling the very same atoms over and over.

In that sense we (and everything) get to exist in one fashion or another.
Just like those letters of the alphabet discover new forms.
Sigh.

#8 Billi

Billi

    Lambda

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,055 posts

Posted 01 April 2004 - 08:22 PM

Hmm... interesting question... Never thought of it that way before...

So God is forced to be an agnostic or atheist..., well, actually, as long as He believes in Himself, He's not really an atheist... ;)

Even Jesus prays to God the Father. Who does God the Father pray to? I guess He doesn't need to pray to anybody... Whatever His will is... it will be done! He is perfectly Holy... so there's absolute nothing He can do to make himself any better than He already is...

So since we are made in His image, we must've inherited some of His qualities... So the reason why that there are agnostics or atheist could be because... it's something we got from God himself! ;) Father like to have His will carried out, so do we! It's just too bad we are not God... and we're not perfect like God... whenever we emulate the Father to carry out our own wills, we usually screw up! :oops:

Anywho, really curious now about what God would say regarding this topic. When we are mortals, we ask our fathers where did we come from..., When we become immortal, I think the question to our Heavenly Father most like will be... "where did you come from?" And I wonder if we'll be able to truly understand the answers given to us... just like the birds and the bees explanations given to us by our earthly Fathers... ;)

Edited by Billi, 01 April 2004 - 08:24 PM.


#9 Interpretum_*

Interpretum_*

    Theta

  • Non-Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 449 posts

Posted 04 April 2004 - 06:54 PM

Hey Skeptic

<< Who Made God?, Why should he exist at all? >>

Good question... but I really think the only person who can answer the questions, "Who Made God"... and "Why should he exist at all"... is God himself.

All the philosophy and science in the world is not going to find you an answer to that question... only God knows!

The Bible says that God was not created... he just IS. But it doesn't say why! I have wondered about this for a long time, but now I realize that only God can ultimately reveal this to us... and I don't think he has yet done so.

Maybe that's a kindness... because, would we grasp it if He told us?

For instance, how many of us understand how quarks and subatomic particles work? If the average person does not fully understand these things of the physical universe, how would we understand the workings of the heavenly realm?

I certainly hope that One Day it will all be revealed to us... I just don't think we'd understand it yet.

#10 Skeptic

Skeptic

    Kappa

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,108 posts

Posted 05 April 2004 - 02:11 AM

Interpretum

Good question... but I really think the only person who can answer the questions, "Who Made God"... and "Why should he exist at all"... is God himself.


Well, the "why" part of my question above already implies purpose. And since there is no way God can have a purpose (because having a purpose implies having been created), even the question isn't valid.

All the philosophy and science in the world is not going to find you an answer to that question


Agreed!

... only God knows!


Well, it seems logical he also doesn't know. After all, who would have told him? :shy:

Remember, if he has existed forever, then he has simply always found himself existing. That would mean he would not know why he existed. As you say, he just exists... :) I suppose, being God, he has the prerogative to choose any purpose he likes, but that doesn't say anything about the "intrinsic purpose" of being God.

#11 simondjames_*

simondjames_*

    Zeta

  • Non-Members
  • PipPip
  • 55 posts

Posted 05 April 2004 - 01:29 PM

God has not 'always found himself existing' at all! He is outside of time, it seems people keep forgetting! WE can't understand how things wonrk without time, so we can't understand God or his origins - in fact, implying that he even has an origin implies that he too is bound by time - which he is not.

God is never changes becuase there is not time for him to change in! Did he EVER 'choose' a purpose? Thats also implying that time passes him so he can change - which it doesn't.

We just CANNOT COMPREHEND a space without time. It must be unbound by anything - if it has boundaries, that means they can be reached - and this implies that time passes in order to get from one boundary to another.

So is it even a 'space'? It can't be an area, because don't all areas have boundaries? Except space itself, of course, which is limitless...
Maybe timelessness is like space. Except its full of Gods love, instead of nothing.

Only being full implies that it has boundaries to contain som...BOOOM!

(head explodes)

#12 Skeptic

Skeptic

    Kappa

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,108 posts

Posted 06 April 2004 - 12:47 AM

Simondjames

God has not 'always found himself existing' at all! He is outside of time, it seems people keep forgetting! WE can't understand how things wonrk without time, so we can't understand God or his origins - in fact, implying that he even has an origin implies that he too is bound by time - which he is not.


OK, let's just clarify: saying God has always found himself existing, is the opposite of saying God had origin. For practical purposes, isn't the closest way to envisage a being who is outside of time, as something that exists for an infinite time? (Both infinite into the future and past?)

God is never changes becuase there is not time for him to change in! Did he EVER 'choose' a purpose? Thats also implying that time passes him so he can change - which it doesn't.


Good point. So if he doesn't have purpose (since 'purpose' is a term inconsistent with 'not created'), he has to remain without purpose. The word purpose has no meaning in relation to God.

We just CANNOT COMPREHEND a space without time.


Yet we go around telling people that such a space exists and God 'inhabits' it...!

How can we say "God exists outside of time", when we do not even know what "outside of time" means?

Edited by Skeptic, 06 April 2004 - 12:49 AM.


#13 EXjw_*

EXjw_*

    Theta

  • Non-Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 205 posts

Posted 06 April 2004 - 07:12 AM

Simondjames

God has not 'always found himself existing' at all! He is outside of time, it seems people keep forgetting! WE can't understand how things wonrk without time, so we can't understand God or his origins - in fact, implying that he even has an origin implies that he too is bound by time - which he is not.


OK, let's just clarify: saying God has always found himself existing, is the opposite of saying God had origin. For practical purposes, isn't the closest way to envisage a being who is outside of time, as something that exists for an infinite time? (Both infinite into the future and past?)

God is never changes becuase there is not time for him to change in! Did he EVER 'choose' a purpose? Thats also implying that time passes him so he can change - which it doesn't.


Good point. So if he doesn't have purpose (since 'purpose' is a term inconsistent with 'not created'), he has to remain without purpose. The word purpose has no meaning in relation to God.

We just CANNOT COMPREHEND a space without time.


Yet we go around telling people that such a space exists and God 'inhabits' it...!

How can we say "God exists outside of time", when we do not even know what "outside of time" means?

The problem I have with such discussion is this. Why use words when there are no fixed definitions, contexts or framework of understanding about them?
Words such as TIME and ETERNITY seem common enough but they are mere projections.
As I have mentioned before in a previous post; my view is this. Time is the distance between events. Time, as such, is not anything at all but a way of keeping track. We use the cipher ZERO in a similar way. You cannot hand me zero pennies.
It was fairly late in mankind's history before the concept of zero began to be used and defined.
But, in religious and philosophical discussions we must be clear if we are to actually be discussing anything at all other than shadowy words with elusive meanings.
I'll give you one example. The word universe means everything that exists. There is no "outside the universe". Yet, I encountered somebody the other day on television talking about this very thing.
Taking words and making them represent any darn thing you want them to is convenient; but, useless for understanding.
Another thing, if I may...
We either KNOW what we are talking about for reasons or we don't KNOW what we are talking about because of ignorance. But, we can't claim to know something out of ignorance.

God has not 'always found himself existing' at all! He is outside of time, it seems people keep forgetting! WE can't understand how things wonrk without time, so we can't understand God or his origins - in fact, implying that he even has an origin implies that he too is bound by time - which he is not


If we don't understand we can't insist that there is a fact to be understood.
In my view, God is a projection of our non-rational intellect in the form of a postulated superlative. We can throw all sorts of terms, words, concepts at HIM to breathe life into our postulate; but, it is an act of will that keeps him viable (or doesn't). That is why FAITH plays such a heavy role. In order to believe; you must BELIEVE. (i.e. you must INSIST he exists for your mind to continue postulating.
That's my two cents. It won't buy much in the marketplace. :bye:

#14 EXjw_*

EXjw_*

    Theta

  • Non-Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 205 posts

Posted 07 April 2004 - 05:24 PM

I think that to try to carry the analogy of mortal humanity to eternal God is too great a leap for we who cannot even comprehend eternity. It is all but impossible for us to rationalize something that has no beginning. At the level at which a being who created the Universe acts and thinks, we are simply unable to have a meaningful discussion. An eternal being is simply not like a mortal one.

Also, one of the things that takes meaning away from life is that it will eventually cease, so any accomplishment or progress we might make will eventually come to naught. On the other hand, the thing that can give meaning to our life is the belief that it need not end, and therefore what has been accomplished will have eternal consequences.

I always thought the opposite was true. Anything in short supply grows more valuable. Limited editions are far more sought after than plentiful editions.
If there were hundreds of you; would you be as unique as there being only one of you?
There is a law of diminishing returns to consider here.
What if all snowflakes were exactly alike? Would that improve the snowflake?
Was religious life better when men believed in hundreds of dieties?
No, I think sui generis (one of a kind) trumps the ubiquitious every time.
Life is valuable because it is finite.
We can desire more and more and more of anything, can't we? But, that doesn't mean the thing we value is worthless if it isn't supplied in the dozens.
You might want to rethink your dictum. :unsure:

#15 EXjw_*

EXjw_*

    Theta

  • Non-Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 205 posts

Posted 07 April 2004 - 05:38 PM

Hey Skeptic

<< Who Made God?, Why should he exist at all? >>

Good question... but I really think the only person who can answer the questions, "Who Made God"... and "Why should he exist at all"... is God himself.

All the philosophy and science in the world is not going to find you an answer to that question... only God knows!

The Bible says that God was not created... he just IS. But it doesn't say why! I have wondered about this for a long time, but now I realize that only God can ultimately reveal this to us... and I don't think he has yet done so.

Maybe that's a kindness... because, would we grasp it if He told us?

For instance, how many of us understand how quarks and subatomic particles work? If the average person does not fully understand these things of the physical universe, how would we understand the workings of the heavenly realm?

I certainly hope that One Day it will all be revealed to us... I just don't think we'd understand it yet.

Everything is made of matter/energy which is neither created nor destroyed.
We tend to confuse FORM with substance.
Think of a pile of bricks. There are only so many of them. If you want to build something out of those bricks you can; but, there is a limit to how much can be built. If you want something....else....you have to remove part of what was already built. That is "death". The disassembly. The bricks ( parts) are then available for new building projects.
We are very attached to our form as individual humans. But, we are made of our atomic parts. I don't mind in the least having a turn at life and then bequeathing my parts to the next generation.
Each of us probably has several molecules that once belonged to Julius Caesar, Moses and Ghandi in us somewhere. Do you wish those fellows were still here?
Where would that leave you?
The idea that TIME or SPACE is ___something___is to confuse an abstraction with a reality. Those are contingent concepts useful for a kind of bookkeeping.
To put GOD outside of time and space is to keep an extra set of books.
I'd like to think that maybe God got very very tired of being all alone and decided to break up the inescapable monotony of endlessness by experimenting with forms and recombinations. He went through his Dinosaur phase and built millions and millions of creatures he could play with. Then, he grew tired of all the fighting and eating and sent a meteor to wipe the slate clean so he could try more ambitious projects.
Humans would present him with a "hands-on" project he could personally involve himself with. But, it had to be a challenge. There had to be something outside his control for the game to be other than rigged. Free Will did the trick.
I think God had a grand old time interacting with his human playthings until it really became vexing. Finally, he decided enough was enough.
We haven't heard from him since.
He left his memoirs for us to figure out how to get ourselves out of our Free Will problem; but, he is on to other projects now.
The above is just about as solid a piece of reasoning as postulating that God is outside of time and space. Sauce for the goose. :coffee:

#16 SoaringEagle_*

SoaringEagle_*

    Zeta

  • Non-Members
  • PipPip
  • 55 posts

Posted 03 February 2006 - 03:07 AM

Is it possible that understanding certain things about God are impossible? I mean, it is true that we have natural minds, which are finite, not to mention that they have limited capabilities. So trying to understand EVERYTHING about the eternal, unseen realm in which the infinite God abides in with our finite capabilities would be like trying to read and understand what a mystery language says with no resources to learn about it. This may not be a satisfying answer to your question good friend, skeptic, and I don't know the answer. Got to go, maybe we could discuss more later.

SoaringEagle

#17 Skeptic

Skeptic

    Kappa

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,108 posts

Posted 03 February 2006 - 08:23 AM

Hi SoaringEagle

Nice name that.

Is it possible that understanding certain things about God are impossible?


I take it that is a rhetorical question. In fact, spoken like a true agnostic, I think.

You see, if you believe in God, you can only shake your head in wonder at the fact that non-believers could say things like "the universe just is". I mean, surely it is obvious: if the universe exists, then something must have made it, viz God.

However, you have to still admit then that the fact that God exists, is an even bigger mystery. In order to address the mystery, you have to postulate theories like "God exists out of time". That statement cannot be Biblically substantiated, nor can a basic definition be conceived as to what is meant by "exists out of time".

What I want to know is: how is saying "the universe exists uncaused" different from saying "God exists uncaused"? Any thoughts?

Edited by Skeptic, 03 February 2006 - 08:24 AM.


#18 Evangelion

Evangelion

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • 24,344 posts
  • LocationAdelaide, South Australia

Posted 03 February 2006 - 08:41 AM

What I want to know is: how is saying "the universe exists uncaused" different from saying "God exists uncaused"? Any thoughts?


The former is a scientific statement; the latter is a theological statement.

A theological statement can be made on the basis of faith, but a scientific statement requires empirical evidence (or at the very least, a scientifically legitimate hypothesis.)

Quentin Smith believes that the universe was uncaused. His explanation (which I call "Singularity Ex Nihilo") is more or less along the lines of "Quantum Theory Did It." That's a novel spin on "God Did It", but I don't believe it gets us any closer to the truth.

For those who are interested, the conclusion of his argument is as follows:
This review of the role of quantum mechanics in accounts of the beginning of the universe strongly suggests that the probabilistic argument to an uncaused beginning of the universe, although more complicated than we had been supposing in Sections 1-3, still goes through.

Its conclusion is summarized in this disjunctive statement: it is probably true that EITHER the universe began without cause at the beginning of this expansion

(a) subsequent to a singularity of infinite density, temperature and curvature, and zero radius, or

(b) at a singularity with finite and nonzero values, or

© in a vacuum fluctuation from a larger space or a tunneling from nothing,

OR the universe spontaneously began to exist at the beginning of some prior expansion phase under conditions described in (a), (b) or ©.
In other words: "The universe came into being in one of these three possible ways. Or something else happened."

Plenty of wiggle room there, wouldn't you say? :coffee:
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#19 Natajack

Natajack

    Kappa

  • Christadelphian
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,004 posts

Posted 03 February 2006 - 09:06 AM

However, you have to still admit then that the fact that God exists, is an even bigger mystery. In order to address the mystery, you have to postulate theories like "God exists out of time". That statement cannot be Biblically substantiated, nor can a basic definition be conceived as to what is meant by "exists out of time".

Skeptic, that statement can be Biblically substantiated.

#20 SoaringEagle_*

SoaringEagle_*

    Zeta

  • Non-Members
  • PipPip
  • 55 posts

Posted 03 February 2006 - 10:42 AM

I just spent about an hour typing a post, only to lose it as I hit a wrong button. :cry2:

Genesis 21:33 "Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there called on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God."

Isaiah 40:28 "Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable."

Isaiah 57:15 "For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place" "

Exodus 3:14 "And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.' "

2Corintians 4:18 - "While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

This seems to me that the bible declares there are two realms, one which is temporary, seen and one which is unseen and eternal, and it's in the former which we abide in and the latter in which God abides in. According to the bible, that is.
See this article if you haven't already: http://christianansw...g/aig-c039.html

Edited by SoaringEagle, 03 February 2006 - 10:52 AM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users