Why did God make the universe at all?

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.

Why did God make the universe at all?

Post Number:#1  Postby Spraticus » April 2nd, 2017, 2:55 pm

Why did God make the universe at all. This is a question I heard asked in a TV drama and it seemed to me very important in the context of much of religious thinking. I should point out that I am not religious myself; on a strict day I am agnostic, but generally I have atheist leanings. I would be interested in hearing what religious believers think about it.

The question is not why did he make people, on at least one planet, but why make anything at all? Why not just continue in the bliss of perfection?
Spraticus
 
Posts: 106 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: January 29th, 2014, 6:43 pm

Why did God make the universe at all?



Become a member for less ads

Already a member? Login
 

Re: Why did God make the universe at all?

Post Number:#2  Postby Steve3007 » April 3rd, 2017, 11:43 am

A question like this faces similar problems to those faced in another topic in which we are asked questions about the Devil's actions and motivations.

The only possible ways to answer a question like "Why does X behave like this?" where 'X' is any conscious being, is to either:

1. be able to put yourself in their position and ask what you would do or
2. to look for examples of the behaviour of similar people for clues.

My understanding of the character called "God" is that neither of these two methods can be used. So we have no possible way to know why He/She/It decided that a universe was better than no universe. However, despite this, most people, whether they're religious or not, seem to attempt method 1 and, essentially, decide that perfection is something they would find boring so God must find it boring too.
"Even men with steel hearts love to see a dog on the pitch."
Steve3007
 
Posts: 3486 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: June 15th, 2011, 5:53 pm
Location: UK
Favorite Philosopher: Eratosthenes

Re: Why did God make the universe at all?

Post Number:#3  Postby -1- » April 3rd, 2017, 12:01 pm

I think God created the Universe because He had no choice but to.

I believe in -- or rather, i see the proof valid, for the doctrine of cause-effect determinism. (I had a long debate with some members here about that, who agreed with me, essentially, except they mistook "determinism" for "fatalism" and therefore they argued non-stop until I showed them the Wicki definitions of the two terms.)

According to determinism, nobody has any free will, choices are not chosen, however much we may seem to believe that that is happening.

Cause-and-effect also directs how God thinks, feels, and behaves. He can't escape from this "universal" mechanism.

So He had no choice, but. Likely He had explanations to Himself why He created the Universe; likely He rationalized it; but in the end, He did it because He had no choice in the matter.

(I think He ought to be tried for "crimes against humanity" for creating the world the way He did it.)
Sweat the small stuff... because then the big stuff will take care of itself.
User avatar
-1-
 
Posts: 438 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: December 1st, 2016, 2:23 am

Re: Why did God make the universe at all?

Post Number:#4  Postby Spraticus » April 3rd, 2017, 3:17 pm

Steve3007 wrote:A question like this faces similar problems to those faced in another topic in which we are asked questions about the Devil's actions and motivations.

The only possible ways to answer a question like "Why does X behave like this?" where 'X' is any conscious being, is to either:

1. be able to put yourself in their position and ask what you would do or
2. to look for examples of the behaviour of similar people for clues.

My understanding of the character called "God" is that neither of these two methods can be used. So we have no possible way to know why He/She/It decided that a universe was better than no universe. However, despite this, most people, whether they're religious or not, seem to attempt method 1 and, essentially, decide that perfection is something they would find boring so God must find it boring too.




I would agree with this, and add that forming conclusions about the behaviour of a non existent entity is pretty futile, but many religious people speak with assumed authority about the mind of god, and I am interested in why they think it was.

-- Updated April 3rd, 2017, 2:21 pm to add the following --

-1- wrote:I think God created the Universe because He had no choice but to.

I believe in -- or rather, i see the proof valid, for the doctrine of cause-effect determinism. (I had a long debate with some members here about that, who agreed with me, essentially, except they mistook "determinism" for "fatalism" and therefore they argued non-stop until I showed them the Wicki definitions of the two terms.)

According to determinism, nobody has any free will, choices are not chosen, however much we may seem to believe that that is happening.

Cause-and-effect also directs how God thinks, feels, and behaves. He can't escape from this "universal" mechanism.

So He had no choice, but. Likely He had explanations to Himself why He created the Universe; likely He rationalized it; but in the end, He did it because He had no choice in the matter.

(I think He ought to be tried for "crimes against humanity" for creating the world the way He did it.)



I can agree with a lot of what you say but religious people in my experience tend to place god somehow outside the normal laws of the universe.
Spraticus
 
Posts: 106 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: January 29th, 2014, 6:43 pm

Re: Why did God make the universe at all?

Post Number:#5  Postby Dark Matter » April 3rd, 2017, 3:41 pm

Why not?
Dark Matter
 
Posts: 562 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: August 18th, 2016, 11:29 am
Favorite Philosopher: Paul Tillich

Re: Why did God make the universe at all?

Post Number:#6  Postby Steve3007 » April 3rd, 2017, 4:09 pm

Why not?


Exactly. That's just what I would say if I was God.
"Even men with steel hearts love to see a dog on the pitch."
Steve3007
 
Posts: 3486 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: June 15th, 2011, 5:53 pm
Location: UK
Favorite Philosopher: Eratosthenes

Re: Why did God make the universe at all?

Post Number:#7  Postby -1- » April 3rd, 2017, 4:20 pm

Dark Matter wrote:Why not?

Well, there was nobody to stop Him, dat for sure.

-- Updated 2017 April 3rd, 4:24 pm to add the following --

Spraticus wrote:... religious people in my experience tend to place god [and His ablity to act, (ed: -1-)]somehow outside the normal laws of the universe.


You mean... the creation was a MIRACLE?

Well, that explains it in a little part. Gods are notorious of being fond of performing miracles.
Sweat the small stuff... because then the big stuff will take care of itself.
User avatar
-1-
 
Posts: 438 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: December 1st, 2016, 2:23 am

Re: Why did God make the universe at all?

Post Number:#8  Postby Spraticus » April 3rd, 2017, 4:44 pm

I don't mean that. Some religious people do.
Spraticus
 
Posts: 106 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: January 29th, 2014, 6:43 pm

Re: Why did God make the universe at all?

Post Number:#9  Postby Fanman » April 3rd, 2017, 7:20 pm

In his infinite wisdom, God looked into the future and saw what the universe be would like. He saw all of the chaos, suffering and loss, but lo, he beheld the pecan pie. God loved this dainty little pie. So he decided to create the universe and he said upon tasting it "the pecan pie was good" and God blessed the pie. :)
Once a theist, now agnostic.
User avatar
Fanman
 
Posts: 3257 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: December 14th, 2011, 9:42 am

Re: Why did God make the universe at all?

Post Number:#10  Postby Spraticus » April 4th, 2017, 4:12 am

Sounds perfectly plausible to me compared to the wriggling of the believers, who seem to be absent.
Spraticus
 
Posts: 106 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: January 29th, 2014, 6:43 pm

Re: Why did God make the universe at all?

Post Number:#11  Postby Felix » April 5th, 2017, 3:58 pm

The Hindu explanation for the creation of the Universe is that's "lila" = Divine play, i.e., it's a product of creative expression. Obviously human motivations and weaknesses such as: a remedy for loneliness, a fun way to pass the time, a smart career move, or whatever, would not apply to a Supreme Being who is reputedly omnipotent, omniscient, etc.

It could be play in the dramatic sense ("all the world's a stage"), as a game (having rules and goals), an experiment, an adventure.... a recipe: http://i.imgur.com/QbUW88T.jpg

Or all of the above.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin
Felix
 
Posts: 1791 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: February 9th, 2009, 5:45 am

Re: Why did God make the universe at all?

Post Number:#12  Postby RuleOnu » April 10th, 2017, 11:44 am

It looks like the question can be answered several ways. But, I will assume that questioner means the Christian idea of God, who is the only one true "god" by logic and reason. Biblically, God actualized the world, and all it contains, for His Glory.
I think what many non-believers(rejectionist) dismiss, or take for granted, is the intrinsic beauty and wonder of the world. This is part of what is meant by God's Glory. Our belief in and understanding of God is manifest in His creation which is an attribute of God's Glory.

I would like to discuss other aspects of the question, but I'm new here and will save some ideas for my own topics.
RuleOnu
 
Posts: 31 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: April 5th, 2017, 11:56 am

Re: Why did God make the universe at all?

Post Number:#13  Postby Spraticus » April 10th, 2017, 2:56 pm

RuleOnu wrote:It looks like the question can be answered several ways. But, I will assume that questioner means the Christian idea of God, who is the only one true "god" by logic and reason. Biblically, God actualized the world, and all it contains, for His Glory.
I think what many non-believers(rejectionist) dismiss, or take for granted, is the intrinsic beauty and wonder of the world. This is part of what is meant by God's Glory. Our belief in and understanding of God is manifest in His creation which is an attribute of God's Glory.

I would like to discuss other aspects of the question, but I'm new here and will save some ideas for my own topics.


Your assumption is wrong. I am not a Christian or any other sort of believer. I was asking why a god might think it was a good idea to create the universe. I don't want reasons that concern events after the creation, but the reasons you suppose a god might think it was a good idea at all. I am no more prejudiced against the Christian god than any other, though I do think that some are probably more stupid ideas than others, if the specifications of their believers are accepted.

As for the patronising idea that unbelievers don't get the beauty and awesomeness of the world; that is not only a rather hackneyed idea, it is quite insulting, and reveals a huge ignorance of other peoples' lives. That we don't attach religious meanings to our experience in no way detracts from the value of the experience.

Those issues apart, you haven't answered the why part of the question.
Spraticus
 
Posts: 106 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: January 29th, 2014, 6:43 pm

Re: Why did God make the universe at all?

Post Number:#14  Postby RuleOnu » April 10th, 2017, 6:12 pm

Spraticus wrote:
RuleOnu wrote:It looks like the question can be answered several ways. But, I will assume that questioner means the Christian idea of God, who is the only one true "god" by logic and reason. Biblically, God actualized the world, and all it contains, for His Glory.
I think what many non-believers(rejectionist) dismiss, or take for granted, is the intrinsic beauty and wonder of the world. This is part of what is meant by God's Glory. Our belief in and understanding of God is manifest in His creation which is an attribute of God's Glory.

I would like to discuss other aspects of the question, but I'm new here and will save some ideas for my own topics.


You asked "why God created the universe", not whether it was a good idea. Moving the goalposts? But, I think asking if creating the universe was a good idea is very intriguing! Including its psychological aspects coming from an atheist/rejectionist come agnostic.

Your assumption is wrong. I am not a Christian or any other sort of believer. I was asking why a god might think it was a good idea to create the universe. I don't want reasons that concern events after the creation, but the reasons you suppose a god might think it was a good idea at all. I am no more prejudiced against the Christian god than any other, though I do think that some are probably more stupid ideas than others, if the specifications of their believers are accepted.

As for the patronising idea that unbelievers don't get the beauty and awesomeness of the world; that is not only a rather hackneyed idea, it is quite insulting, and reveals a huge ignorance of other peoples' lives. That we don't attach religious meanings to our experience in no way detracts from the value of the experience.
Those issues apart, you haven't answered the why part of the question.


Ok, I did say that God actualized the world for "His Glory", from the Christian perspective. Maybe, I could have been clearer regarding the "intrinsic beauty and wonder of the world" in relation to God's Glory irrespective of atheistic reasoning.
I went on to say that the beauty and wonder of the world is but a part of God's Glory. Our ability to understand and appreciate the world (universe) in relation to the nature of God, if God's nature can be defined. God's Glory also intends value and purpose which "is" a non factor in atheistic material or naturalistic reasoning. Yes atheist/rejectionist or nonbelievers can identify something as beautiful, or wondrous, but not within context of God's Glory, it's purpose, value and design. Atheist/rejectionist, or nonbelievers can't answer the why something is beautiful or wondrous, whereby beauty and wonder can only be a matter of relative, subjective opinion. Whereas the Christian understands why something is beautiful and wondrous as a product of God's Glory, value and purpose. As I stated beauty and wonder are part of God's Glory. Other aspects can be our free will and ability to love and reason. None of these aspects can be explained by atheistic materialism, or naturalism.
-
Now, I'm speaking from the Christian perspective wherein you'd be hard pressed to find a definitive definition for "God's Glory" except by experience, such as beauty and wonder, and the fact this is what scripture tells us by way of explanation.
-
I also have a more scientific and philosophic explanation which I'll save for my own thread once I'm allowed. I can pretty much guarantee it will be of interest.
RuleOnu
 
Posts: 31 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: April 5th, 2017, 11:56 am

Re: Why did God make the universe at all?

Post Number:#15  Postby Spraticus » April 11th, 2017, 2:54 pm

Ok, I did say that God actualized the world for "His Glory", from the Christian perspective. Maybe, I could have been clearer regarding the "intrinsic beauty and wonder of the world" in relation to God's Glory irrespective of atheistic reasoning.
I went on to say that the beauty and wonder of the world is but a part of God's Glory. Our ability to understand and appreciate the world (universe) in relation to the nature of God, if God's nature can be defined. God's Glory also intends value and purpose which "is" a non factor in atheistic material or naturalistic reasoning. Yes atheist/rejectionist or nonbelievers can identify something as beautiful, or wondrous, but not within context of God's Glory, it's purpose, value and design. Atheist/rejectionist, or nonbelievers can't answer the why something is beautiful or wondrous, whereby beauty and wonder can only be a matter of relative, subjective opinion. Whereas the Christian understands why something is beautiful and wondrous as a product of God's Glory, value and purpose. As I stated beauty and wonder are part of God's Glory. Other aspects can be our free will and ability to love and reason. None of these aspects can be explained by atheistic materialism, or naturalism.
-
Now, I'm speaking from the Christian perspective wherein you'd be hard pressed to find a definitive definition for "God's Glory" except by experience, such as beauty and wonder, and the fact this is what scripture tells us by way of explanation.
-
I also have a more scientific and philosophic explanation which I'll save for my own thread once I'm allowed. I can pretty much guarantee it will be of interest.[/quote]

One of the downsides of this, like other similar sites, is that, at every opportunity religious believers will butt in to preach and preen. I don't want a sermon about how superior religious people are, (they aren't), I want them to explain why they think their god decided to make a universe. Things could have been so perfectly and simply divine if they just left it all alone.

Your claim to be able to explain free will, beauty etc., is empty since it depends on an unsupportable premise, the existence of a god.
Spraticus
 
Posts: 106 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: January 29th, 2014, 6:43 pm

Next

Return to Philosophy of Religion, Theism and Mythology

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Ranvier, Supine and 2 guests

Philosophy Trophies

Most Active Members
by posts made in lasts 30 days

Avatar Member Name Recent Posts
Greta 162
Fooloso4 116
Renee 107
Ormond 97
Felix 90

Last updated January 6, 2017, 6:28 pm EST

Most Active Book of the Month Participants
by book of the month posts

Avatar Member Name BOTM Posts
Scott 147
Spectrum 23
Belinda 23
whitetrshsoldier 20
Josefina1110 19
Last updated January 6, 2017, 6:28 pm EST