Misconceptions about God

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magmacube_tr
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Misconceptions about God

Post by magmacube_tr » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:33 pm

People tend to give God human characteristics. Like 'If an omnipresent, omnipotent and all knowing entity exist, it would not care about us.' or 'If god exist its not benevolent, because it allows evil to exist.'

First of all, all of this thing are human. What I mean is, if there was an extraterrestrial lifeform reading Droetis, it probably wouldn't understand our concepts or way of thinking and thus, even though it would (at least vaguely) understand what is going on, there would be some gaps in its understanding of the evo game. And God is NOT a human. They are like nothing we know or comprehend . Benevolence, malevolence, existance, emphaty... None of this actually means something to them. Saying God doesn't cares is not a valid argument because God does not care nor does not 'not care'. And does them at the same time and do both of them separately and also does every variation inbetween, and also does none of them (omnipresence does not only includes location. OMNIpresence, think about it). And this example includes everything imaginable or unimaginable.

I am not saying that God doesn't understand human concepts (haşa!). Let me set an example.

We know exactly how ants work, right. Hormones, Pheromones, colonies, eusociality whatever, I won't get into detail. But even if we know how ants work, we are not ants. This means this their 'concepts' or 'ideas' (they must be really instinctive and primitive but they are still concepts and ideas) don't apply to us and not a part of us. We are not eusocial. Our concepts like individuality or intelectual curiosity is incomperehensible to them.

So God understands us but is no human so our thoughts that influenced by our extremely narrow point of wiew are not a 'part' of God.

Think of this like HP. Lovecraft's Outer Gods. Outer Gods are omnipotent entites that are compeletly incomprehensible to human mind. But unlike an Outer God, God themselves do not carry human like traits because Outer Gods have slight tendency to be sadistic which is exactly what a HUMAN would be like if they had omnipotency (HP Lovecraft's biggest 'f' up).

At the end of the day, you cannot judge God from your very narrow point of wiew. Human concepts do not apply to God. Period.
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Re: Misconceptions about God

Post by BakedToast » Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:27 am

While I would agree that due to the definitions most people give when describing "god", you're probably right. Nothing like us.

But you've got to give people some credit.
If you were trying, in the ancient times, before any of these concepts existed for people, to imagine some higher being, would it not be fitting for god to AT LEAST be as complex as a human? Especially since we are the most complex beings we know? Remember that you are given no direction whatsoever as to any stipulation of what god is. That's probably why in many ancient mythologies the gods are represented as human, or animal-human hybrids, or some such. I think it's fair to think that god is at least as complex as a human being, if you're going for the traditional monotheistic definitions of an omnipotent deity, as you seem to imply.
Then, to go a step further, since this "god" would be at least as complex as a human being, and humans have emotions such as love, hatred, caring, anger, etc, that a being that is at least as complex may have those emotions too, but possibly more articulated or "real"?

The example you give between us and ants is more of a false parallel; you stipulate that we can't understand ants, and that's fair. However, given the statements you make about the "god" you are describing, such an entity would be omnipotent, meaning all-powerful, and thus would be capable of understanding lower lifeforms completely.

As for Lovecraft's work, while he references the Outer Gods as "gods", he was an atheist, and thus it wouldn't surprise me if he merely called them gods because the ancient humans in his mythos would have called them that; but he himself may have merely referenced them as "beings so far beyond our scope that they may as well be gods". So I don't think the parallel there actually applies. Almost all human variants of "god" or "gods" from real religions that were founded in ancient times have the gods actively involved in the world, and thus are not a similar vein to Lovecraft's self-made gods.

Like I said, I agree in part with your final statement. If god exists, specifically a god like the western-ish monotheistic religions (such as Christianity, Islam and Judaism), you wouldn't be able to conceptualize god fully. I take issue with your statements about whether or not such a god would have emotions.
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Re: Misconceptions about God

Post by magmacube_tr » Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:23 am

I get your point.

And also, What I meant was God has emotions but does not feel the same way as we do. That kinda come out half baked. Like an ant can feel anger against an intruder and care for the eggs and we care about people we know and might get angered by some dispute. These feeling are essencialy the same but vary in complexity, as you stated before with God probably having more 'real' emotions.

The ant example was supposed to be ''we understand their how they work but those things do not apply to us''. But God is all knowing so they would be able to compeletly understand them when we can't fully do it but only 'simulate' it. I think that example was kinda half-baked.

As for hp HP love craft, you are right. They are not the same. Similar in some ways but not the same.

Again, God would have emotions but have a different set of them, that are most likely beyond our understanding. Sorry, I am not used to communicating is this level complexity so I am really rusty.
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Re: Misconceptions about God

Post by BakedToast » Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:48 pm

magmacube_tr wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:23 am
Sorry, I am not used to communicating is this level complexity so I am really rusty.
All good. At least it's a civil discussion.
I think there's two basic ways of looking at this. (Well, way more, but we'll stick with two for now.)
1. God is a real divine entity and the conception of a monotheistic omnipotent deity is real/true.
2. God isn't really real (or whether he is or not doesn't matter), but certainly is a psychological depiction from humans for complexities in our consciousness we can't articulate fully.

If 1 is the view:
And although we cannot fairly judge a being we don't understand, I would also presume that if such a god were indeed to be humanity's creator, would he (I use the term "he" mostly due to humanity's perception to male sex's biological role in leadership, which we do see cross-culturally and also in animals, so is not misogynistic - another topic for another day) not have planned and understood how humans would view him -through the lens of human experience- and as such, we can definitely describe god with human characteristics?

If 2 is the view:
Since god, or the idea of a transcendent being, let's say, in the sky, watching our every move and judging us for our actions is very akin to the very real phenomenon of ourselves or others in the future judging ourselves for our actions in the past/present, it makes absolute sense to picture god as a human, or human-like entity, particularly a judgmental-father type figure, as we will be indeed judging ourselves for our behaviors in the past.
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Re: Misconceptions about God

Post by counting » Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:23 pm

BakedToast wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:48 pm
If 1 is the view:
And although we cannot fairly judge a being we don't understand, I would also presume that if such a god were indeed to be humanity's creator, would he (I use the term "he" mostly due to humanity's perception to male sex's biological role in leadership, which we do see cross-culturally and also in animals, so is not misogynistic - another topic for another day) not have planned and understood how humans would view him -through the lens of human experience- and as such, we can definitely describe god with human characteristics?
I feel this is still a misogynistic view using he here. A lot of cultures don't associated deities with any gender at all, and a lot of animals like elephant has matrilineal social structure, so not all social animals do. The monotheistic culture in ancient middle east has patriarchal society social structure for all the Abrahamic religions came from is the reason why their monotheistic "God"s are associated with patriarchal figures. I don't agree it is a common cross culture phenomena. Regardless, this shouldn't be discussed along with a possible real omnipotent god here, but for 2nd view point as a social construct. If it is omnipotent, it can choose or become whatever it can, there is no point assigning gender bias to it if it really exists.

As to how we human describe our experiences of our perceived Godhood, I don't feel it should affects God's essential being if it is omnipotent, it can act as it understands and we will be none the wiser. Consider a computer with infinite memory, with infinite processing speed that it can look up all the possible response of any possible human-God interactions and reply accordingly, will you consider this Oracle computer "understand" and "feel" the same as humans do? It doesn't even "think", but just a very complicated answering machine (maybe God creates such device just to answer all the prayers so it can be in all places at once :P). There is multitude of infinite versions of omnipotent beings can exist as by definition it is what it can be and want to be. One of them will definitely be able to understand limited human perspective.
BakedToast wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:48 pm
If 2 is the view:
Since god, or the idea of a transcendent being, let's say, in the sky, watching our every move and judging us for our actions is very akin to the very real phenomenon of ourselves or others in the future judging ourselves for our actions in the past/present, it makes absolute sense to picture god as a human, or human-like entity, particularly a judgmental-father type figure, as we will be indeed judging ourselves for our behaviors in the past.
If we want to discuss the source of a anthropocentric view of deities as a social/culture construct, we should include religious views other than monotheistic religions which are relatively new "ideas" in human history representing a very small samples of all the religious views developed by human cultures.

One of the major point of view needs to be considered is the ancestral worship, which is still much alive in many traditional folk religions all around the world, and are crucial in the past as archaeology and anthropology have shown burying ancestors within residents or even using ancestral body parts as relics in religious rituals are very common. If the root of religions evolved from some form of ancestral worship, it stands for reason why deities take on human characteristics and human-like, because they are humans once.

Another major point of view from most polytheistic religions are limited divinity, they might have hierarchy, but each has limited not omnipotent power. Deities are just as flawed, perhaps just more abstract and pure in their roles/functions. Just consider the crazy ancient astronaut theory for a moment, and imagine some aliens just a little bit advance compared to modern human technologies came to earth in the past and uplifted our ancestors. They would definitely be as flawed and limited in their point of views. So regarding limited divinity we need to consider emotions and intelligence not superior or unimaginable to humans, but just radically alien and still somewhat comprehensible to ours if we are put into their shoes. In polytheistic religion societies people often consider their deities have very different motives and thoughts than humans, and need not apply or explainable to humans. This also applied to the religious believes from Animism where everything has its spirituality alien from human perspectives.

One other major point of view for a "single" deity is that it is not a separate entity from humanity or the universe at all, but one and the same, where everything and everyone is just a part and a "face" of THE ONE. In this case, the supreme divine is not only able to comprehend us, but we also will be one day be able to join/become one with the divine and comprehend "it", since we are one and the same in essence, we just have not realized or enlightened yet.

And one final "religious" point of view is the no-deity view from Buddhism. Since there is no deity there is no human perspective to begin with. However one interesting view from many branches of Buddhism consider the University with many different Realms (some 10, some 6, some many many, some infinite many), and consider the "deities" of most cultures to be beings just reside in different Realms and have their own worlds, own world views, and humans are in the "lower-end" of the Realms "spectrum", while these deities came from "higher-end" (but from the enlightened ones point of view, deities and humans are all still stuck in the endless cycles and are pretty much the same "unenlightened"). However certain branches of Buddhism believe that there are "better realms" for beings pursuing enlightenment to ascend to, step by step and eventually break free from the cycles. And those in higher realms will have higher degree of enlightenment compared to those in the lower realms (need to keep in mind that this is just ideas from some branches, not universal in Buddhism)

I also like to add, if you don't think God view the world as we human do, what do you think the Devil view the world? Most I think would say Devil definitely understand human emotions and human point of views, and even master them in order to manipulate humans, and I think you would most agree the Devil is pretty powerful and nearly omnipotent. Why we have such distinction regarding how omnipotent beings perceive humanity? I think we are missing a crucial link in the evolution of religions - Dualism religions where at one time various forms of them dominate many part of the world before monotheism establish its system, and they still have influence in today's monotheistic religious idea.
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King: “I already asked.”
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Master: “What is THE question?”
King: “No question.”
Master: “No answer.”

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Re: Misconceptions about God

Post by MaximumJames » Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:06 am

Misconceptions about god is the best subject line I eve read.

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