An explanation of God.

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.
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Chester
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An explanation of God.

Post by Chester » November 16th, 2017, 5:02 pm

Occam's razor demands that the simplest explanation should be accepted as truth unless there is sound reason for believing that it isn't the simplest explanation. It therefore stands to reason that thought should be seen as the only ingredient within reality...there is no such thing as thought independence, so called material reality can be dismissed as an unnecessary theory. The whole of reality can be conceived as existing within the realm of thought alone. In other words, we know thought exists because we experience it directly, material reality is only a supposition...a supposition that is not required to explain reality, therefore one we can cut away with the razor.

God is the encompassment of all thought, everything else that thinks is a subset of Him, dependent on HIm, though not necessarily controlled by Him.

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Dark Matter » November 16th, 2017, 5:24 pm

Welcome, Chester. What you said is something materialists hate to hear or seriously consider.
Today there is a wide measure of agreement, which on the physical side of science approaches almost to unanimity, that the stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears as an accidental intruder into the realm of matter; we are beginning to suspect that we ought rather to hail it as a creator and governor of the realm of matter. -- Sir James Hopwood Jeans, British professor of physics, astronomy, and mathematics

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Greta » November 16th, 2017, 6:50 pm

The hitch for me is, yes, my own solipsist existence is the only absolutely certain thing to me. Yet, how can I paint physical reality as an illusion when my perceptions are largely shared by a multitude of other people and animals?

If so many shared perceptions exist, what is the simplest explanation?

1. We perceive a subset of actual reality, or

2. we are subject to a shared illusion created by thought?

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Dark Matter » November 16th, 2017, 7:58 pm

Greta wrote:The hitch for me is, yes, my own solipsist existence is the only absolutely certain thing to me. Yet, how can I paint physical reality as an illusion when my perceptions are largely shared by a multitude of other people and animals?

If so many shared perceptions exist, what is the simplest explanation?

1. We perceive a subset of actual reality, or

2. we are subject to a shared illusion created by thought?
Why not both?

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Greta » November 16th, 2017, 8:17 pm

Dark Matter wrote:
Greta wrote:The hitch for me is, yes, my own solipsist existence is the only absolutely certain thing to me. Yet, how can I paint physical reality as an illusion when my perceptions are largely shared by a multitude of other people and animals?

If so many shared perceptions exist, what is the simplest explanation?

1. We perceive a subset of actual reality, or

2. we are subject to a shared illusion created by thought?
Why not both?
Because "created by thought" is a supposition that seemingly does not take emergence into account.

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Scribbler60 » November 16th, 2017, 8:23 pm

Dark Matter wrote:Welcome, Chester. What you said is something materialists hate to hear or seriously consider.
Today there is a wide measure of agreement, which on the physical side of science approaches almost to unanimity, that the stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears as an accidental intruder into the realm of matter; we are beginning to suspect that we ought rather to hail it as a creator and governor of the realm of matter. -- Sir James Hopwood Jeans, British professor of physics, astronomy, and mathematics
You know Jeans has been dead since 1946, right?

You also know that our understanding of intelligence, consciousness and mind has increased dramatically since that time, right?

As in all discussions such as these, the fundamental question remains unanswered: where is the evidence for anything supernatural?

So far, in thousands of years of trying, nobody has yet been able to provide said evidence. It's just never happened.

Does that mean it might not happen tomorrow? No, of course not. But so far, the track record of success in that regard has been exactly zero. No reason to think that it will be any different, anytime soon.

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Namelesss » November 16th, 2017, 9:07 pm

Chester wrote:An explanation of God.
Oh the hubris! *__-
God is the encompassment of all thought, everything else that thinks is a subset of Him, dependent on HIm, though not necessarily controlled by Him.
One Thought, many Perspectives.
Thought/ego is not manufactured in the brain, it is perceived.
No 'thinker', just 'thought/ego'.
Gotta Love Occam! *__-

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Dark Matter » November 16th, 2017, 9:38 pm

Greta wrote:
Dark Matter wrote: (Nested quote removed.)


Why not both?
Because "created by thought" is a supposition that seemingly does not take emergence into account.
The last sentence in the OP does: "everything else that thinks is a subset of Him, dependent on Him, though not necessarily controlled by Him." In other words, nothing exists except in direct or indirect relation to, and dependence on, the primacy of the First Source. Anyway, "emergence" doesn't explain anything unless one chooses to believe in magic. I don't. I don't believe an effect can be entirely absent in its cause. (And please don't use the tired old example of something like wetness "emerging" from H2O.)"

Besides, if Einstein was wrong about "spooky action at a distance," why can't he be wrong about the moon not being there when no one is looking? Countless experiments verify both (but people refuse to consider the implications of those experiments).
Scribbler60 wrote:
You know Jeans has been dead since 1946, right?

You also know that our understanding of intelligence, consciousness and mind has increased dramatically since that time, right?

As in all discussions such as these, the fundamental question remains unanswered: where is the evidence for anything supernatural?

So far, in thousands of years of trying, nobody has yet been able to provide said evidence. It's just never happened.

Does that mean it might not happen tomorrow? No, of course not. But so far, the track record of success in that regard has been exactly zero. No reason to think that it will be any different, anytime soon.
You do know that the observer cannot be the thing observed, don't you? Evaluation demands some degree of transcendence of, or separation from, the thing which is evaluated. The hitch is, there is no separation. We live in a participatory universe: every impulse of every electron, thought, or spirit is an acting unit in the whole universe.
“My brain is only a receiver, in the Universe there is a core from which we obtain knowledge, strength and inspiration. I have not penetrated into the secrets of this core, but I know that it exists.”
― Nikola Tesla
Even in mice, the brain works like a radio receiver

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Spectrum » November 16th, 2017, 10:31 pm

Chester wrote:Occam's razor demands
... ...

God is the encompassment of all thought, everything else that thinks is a subset of Him, dependent on HIm, though not necessarily controlled by Him.
You cannot simply rely solely on Occam's razor without subsequently proving your thesis. E = MC2 is merely a simple equation but it is proven empirically.
Note I have proven 'God is an Impossibility' thus no matter how you argue, it is impossible for God to exist as real.
http://onlinephilosophyclub.com/forums/ ... =4&t=15155

In your 'God is the encompassment of all thought' you assumed God exists without verifiable and sound proofs.

It is generally accepted a belief in God is based on faith, i.e. without proofs nor sound reasons, and the basis is psychological. So it is a waste of time trying to proof or justify God exists as real.

In reality, 'God' is NOT the encompassment of all thoughts, rather the idea of God is thought-of as driven by some inherent psychological existential crisis.
God is an individual thought and shared-thought by the majority of theists infected by some 'zombie parasite' and causing theists to suffer an active psychological existential crisis.

Assuming if you can prove all of reality is reduced to thoughts, the more likely empirical-based speculation is such thoughts could be controlled by human-liked aliens doing the 'Matrix'. It is also possible what is reality to us is merely Reality-TV to some human-liked aliens existing billions of light-years away. In this case, it is nevertheless empirically possible, but you have to consider the probability of such a speculation being real is likely to be 0.0000...1%. To conclude such speculations are 99% [no 100%] real, all one need is to bring the evidence.

As for the idea of God, God is an impossibility to be real to start with. Therefore there is no need find any proofs for God at all.

-- Updated Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:40 pm to add the following --
[b]Dark Matter[/b] wrote:
“My brain is only a receiver, in the Universe there is a core from which we obtain knowledge, strength and inspiration. I have not penetrated into the secrets of this core, but I know that it exists.”
― Nikola Tesla
Even in mice, the brain works like a radio receiver
It is a fact all information [senses] received by the human mind is based on waves from an external source, e.g. seeing an apple is based on waves, of color, patterns from an 'apple' and processed by the cognition processes to enable an apple to our consciousness.

Note my point above, "Assuming if you can prove all of reality is reduced to thoughts ..." it is more likely we are in a TV-Reality-Show done by some human-liked aliens in a Matrix method.

The idea of God is driven by the internal psychology of the theists who need such an 'idea' [like little children imagining their little friends] to soothe the rising and pulsating existential angst.

-- Updated Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:00 pm to add the following --
Dark Matter wrote:(And please don't use the tired old example of something like wetness "emerging" from H2O.)"
I claimed reality is a Spontaneous Emergent Reality.
One small clue of emergent is this;
In the above experiment, the question is how did an actual concaved mask 'emerged' into your [and all normal humans] consciousness as a 'convex' mask??
The reality we are in also emerged in a similar way but it is very complex to explain.
The philosophical argument is there is no independent reality out there waiting for humans to perceive it and realize its truth via correspondence of 'perception' with 'reality'. Note Philosophical Realism which is not tenable as a really real.
Besides, if Einstein was wrong about "spooky action at a distance," why can't he be wrong about the moon not being there when no one is looking? Countless experiments verify both (but people refuse to consider the implications of those experiments).
I am not sure Einstein claimed "the moon not being there when no one is looking."

But it is ULTIMATELY* true, there is no moon out there when no one is looking nor cognitively interacting with it [whatever that is].
* ultimately among many other valid perspectives.
It is the same with the above Einstein Mask illusion [actually it is reality], the 3D-convex Mask only emerged when you are looking at it because in this case we know it is a concave Mask from another perspective. This is akin to the Wave-Function-Collapse phenomena in Physics.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Greta » November 16th, 2017, 11:15 pm

Dark Matter wrote:
Greta wrote:Because "created by thought" is a supposition that seemingly does not take emergence into account.
The last sentence in the OP does: "everything else that thinks is a subset of Him, dependent on Him, though not necessarily controlled by Him." In other words, nothing exists except in direct or indirect relation to, and dependence on, the primacy of the First Source. Anyway, "emergence" doesn't explain anything unless one chooses to believe in magic. I don't. I don't believe an effect can be entirely absent in its cause. (And please don't use the tired old example of something like wetness "emerging" from H2O.)"
Back in the day, I thought of the magic angle regarding emergence too. Clever, but it doesn't work. Wetness occurring from H and O is certainly an example, but a better example is yourself. You, yourself, are emerging. You were not always this educated man speaking of philosophical matters online. That consciousness emerged from the mindless suckling infant of your past, and I don't need to believe in magic to believe that.

Nor need I believe in magic to believe that life on Earth was very much simpler (and mindless) and minds have evolved. Seemingly, the actuality of a conscious Earth did not manifest into us so much as some of the Earth's potentials have manifested.
Dark Matter wrote:Besides, if Einstein was wrong about "spooky action at a distance," why can't he be wrong about the moon not being there when no one is looking? Countless experiments verify both (but people refuse to consider the implications of those experiments).
The moon without an observer is present because its critical gravitational effects on the Earth's axial stability and the tides is predictably cyclic.

-- Updated 16 Nov 2017, 22:44 to add the following --
Spectrum wrote:
Dark Matter wrote:Even in mice, the brain works like a radio receiver
It is a fact all information [senses] received by the human mind is based on waves from an external source, e.g. seeing an apple is based on waves, of color, patterns from an 'apple' and processed by the cognition processes to enable an apple to our consciousness.

Note my point above, "Assuming if you can prove all of reality is reduced to thoughts ..." it is more likely we are in a TV-Reality-Show done by some human-liked aliens in a Matrix method.
The notion of the brain as a receiver and us as meat puppets has some merit IMO, and worth more than a brush off with a quick outline of sense/brain interaction.

The origin of the brain and nervous system needs to be considered here, and it's incredibly interesting (to me - it bores everyone I spoeak about with, though :). The brain is unlike all other organs. All of the other organs sprout from the endoderm, the blastocyst's innermost germ layer. This seems logical - one's innards sprouting from the innermost layer of the blastocyst.

However, the brain is also on the inside, but it started out as part of the blastocyst's outer layer, the ectoderm, along with the skin, spine, peripheral, tooth enamel, and the lining of mouth, anus, nostrils, sweat glands, hair and nails. The brain is physically "the outside brought inside", and its function would seem to echo that. So we have a feedback loop, with us things inextricably linked to the environment both physically and informationally (ie. in terms of order and configuration), and till death us do part.

It would seem that the "I" is, in truth, the link between inside and outside (which of course is, in turn, all inside some things and entirely outside of others). The fact that we are inside something bigger that we cannot get outside of stymies any chance of making a definitive argument as to the nature of "unknown unknowns". So where does the confidence come from - each of you, Dark Matter and Spectrum - when it is not actually logical to be so sure about the ultimate nature of reality?

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Dark Matter » November 16th, 2017, 11:58 pm

Greta wrote: Back in the day, I thought of the magic angle regarding emergence too. Clever, but it doesn't work. Wetness occurring from H and O is certainly an example, but a better example is yourself. You, yourself, are emerging. You were not always this educated man speaking of philosophical matters online. That consciousness emerged from the mindless suckling infant of your past, and I don't need to believe in magic to believe that.
Sure you do.

Sorry, but I prefer reason and logic to the magical belief that an effect can be entirely absent in its cause. It is both more reasonable and logical to think emergence/evolution is a transition from the potential to the actual, wherein the new powers and qualities constantly acquired are derived, not from the potential, but from a superior type of life which already possesses them.

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Spectrum » November 17th, 2017, 12:48 am

Greta wrote:It would seem that the "I" is, in truth, the link between inside and outside (which of course is, in turn, all inside some things and entirely outside of others). The fact that we are inside something bigger that we cannot get outside of stymies any chance of making a definitive argument as to the nature of "unknown unknowns". So where does the confidence come from - each of you, Dark Matter and Spectrum - when it is not actually logical to be so sure about the ultimate nature of reality?
Note Wittgenstein's

"Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." (Tractatus 7)

Personally I have not speak of the Ultimate Nature of Reality with any degree of certainty. To me what is reality is based on the empirical and the empirically possible as justified by philosophical rationality.

What the theists are asserting is they know with certainty[by default] God is the Ultimate Reality of all reality. From this assertion SOME evil prone theists - inspired by evil laden verses for such a real God - commit terrible evils and violence on non-believers and even their own believers.

What I am confident of via reason is God [as claimed by theist] is an Impossibility or in another sense,
"Whereof one [theist] cannot speak, thereof one [theist] must be silent." (Tractatus 7).
It am not 'speaking' as in making any positive claims, I am merely proving and advising the theists to shut up regarding the reality of an impossible God.

-- Updated Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:06 am to add the following --
Dark Matter wrote:Sorry, but I prefer reason and logic to the magical belief that an effect can be entirely absent in its cause. It is both more reasonable and logical to think emergence/evolution is a transition from the potential to the actual, wherein the new powers and qualities constantly acquired are derived, not from the potential, but from a superior type of life which already possesses them.
"Every effect must have a cause" is definitely a useful concept to be believed but it has its limit, note Hume's Problem of Induction. It is good to believe and prove that sickness are caused by bacteria, virus or whatever the proven root, proximate and secondary causes.

But for theists to jump with a leap of faith to assert and conclude without proof there is a first cause of all causes, this cannot be accepted as final and unqualified.
That a God exists as the final cause has no overall effective utility to humankind except primarily to soothe the inherent psychological angst and other positives on the side but significantly the idea of God exists as real also brought forth terrible negatives of evil to humanity since its origin.

Since there are alternative beliefs and approaches [without negative baggages] to deal with the same psychological angst addressed by theism, we should wean off theism* so that we can get rid of its terrible negative consequences.
* since theism is based on a belief of God which is impossible to be real.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Greta » November 17th, 2017, 1:18 am

Dark Matter wrote:
Greta wrote:Back in the day, I thought of the magic angle regarding emergence too. Clever, but it doesn't work. Wetness occurring from H and O is certainly an example, but a better example is yourself. You, yourself, are emerging. You were not always this educated man speaking of philosophical matters online. That consciousness emerged from the mindless suckling infant of your past, and I don't need to believe in magic to believe that.
Sure you do.

Sorry, but I prefer reason and logic to the magical belief that an effect can be entirely absent in its cause. It is both more reasonable and logical to think emergence/evolution is a transition from the potential to the actual, wherein the new powers and qualities constantly acquired are derived, not from the potential, but from a superior type of life which already possesses them.
You cannot play the "magic belief game" in this area as a believer in God - it's just a reversal of unfair criticisms of sophisticated theism, and similarly misguided and naively literalist. None of us are into magic, obviously.

I discussed the movement from the potential to the actual in the above post, and that is exactly what emergence is.

Again, consider your own growth. You weren't a theist and whatever else you are passionate about as an infant. You were passionate about shoving your face into a pair of breast as big as your head, not much else. This is where environment comes in. What emerged in you in this life may not have appeared had you been born to goat herders in the Himalayas, yet other qualities or abilities may have manifested in their stead. In a real sense we are partially our environment, as opposed to in it ("environment" also includes human environment in this instance), despite the opacity of other minds.

Further, whether we are pushing outwards towards something greater or if we are being pulled towards something greater strikes me as a moot point. Regardless, we critters still mature, novel properties still do emerge in nature (including human nature) and, with luck, the life of Earth can continue on to something greater via other worlds for many billions of years to come.

-- Updated 17 Nov 2017, 00:23 to add the following --
Spectrum wrote:
Greta wrote:It would seem that the "I" is, in truth, the link between inside and outside (which of course is, in turn, all inside some things and entirely outside of others). The fact that we are inside something bigger that we cannot get outside of stymies any chance of making a definitive argument as to the nature of "unknown unknowns". So where does the confidence come from - each of you, Dark Matter and Spectrum - when it is not actually logical to be so sure about the ultimate nature of reality?
Note Wittgenstein's

"Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." (Tractatus 7)
So, why are you not conceding even more abstruse definitions of God, such as DM's, as opposed to the perfect, omnipotent Santa of fundies and the terminally naive?
Spectrum wrote:Personally I have not speak of the Ultimate Nature of Reality with any degree of certainty. To me what is reality is based on the empirical and the empirically possible as justified by philosophical rationality.

What the theists are asserting is they know with certainty[by default] God is the Ultimate Reality of all reality. From this assertion SOME evil prone theists - inspired by evil laden verses for such a real God - commit terrible evils and violence on non-believers and even their own believers.
I think you know my views about your prospects of converting emotional people with logic.

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Dark Matter » November 17th, 2017, 2:34 am

Greta wrote: You cannot play the "magic belief game" in this area as a believer in God - it's just a reversal of unfair criticisms of sophisticated theism...
Yup, it sure is a game of reversal, but with one difference: logically, an effect entirely absent in its cause is magic by definition.
...and similarly misguided and naively literalist.
Well, at least it's better than shrugging my shoulders and saying, "Just because."
None of us are into magic, obviously.
It's not obvious at all. I'm not the one suggesting an effect can be entirely absent in its cause.
I discussed the movement from the potential to the actual in the above post, and that is exactly what emergence is.
Yes, but magical emergence is quite difference than a transition from the potential to the actual, wherein the new powers and qualities constantly acquired are derived, not from the potential, but from a superior type of life which already possesses them.
Again, consider your own growth. You weren't a theist and whatever else you are passionate about as an infant. You were passionate about shoving your face into a pair of breast as big as your head, not much else. This is where environment comes in. What emerged in you in this life may not have appeared had you been born to goat herders in the Himalayas, yet other qualities or abilities may have manifested in their stead. In a real sense we are partially our environment, as opposed to in it ("environment" also includes human environment in this instance), despite the opacity of other minds.

Further, whether we are pushing outwards towards something greater or if we are being pulled towards something greater strikes me as a moot point. Regardless, we critters still mature, novel properties still do emerge in nature (including human nature) and, with luck, the life of Earth can continue on to something greater via other worlds for many billions of years to come.
The way I see it, I am pushing outwards towards something greater and being pulled towards something greater simultaneously, so it's hardly moot.

-- Updated November 17th, 2017, 2:50 am to add the following --

I want to know that "superior type of life" in order to emulate it. I gives me direction (misguided though it may be). Logically, someone who denies the superior type of life is being randomly "pushed" or, if pushing at all, has a compass that points only to the self.

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Re: An explanation of God.

Post by Greta » November 17th, 2017, 3:44 am

Dark Matter wrote:
...and similarly misguided and naively literalist.
Well, at least it's better than shrugging my shoulders and saying, "Just because."
The alternative is admitting that one doesn't know, not making false claims of certainty, one way or another.
Dark Matter wrote:I'm not the one suggesting an effect can be entirely absent in its cause.
Why must a cause be conscious? Perhaps the story really did start with some chaotic fluctuations, with order assembling from there? I don't know. There's numerous non conscious causes in nature, eg. the Sun creating the Earth, the wind blowing a tree down. Still, a non conscious cause would not negate meaning in life, which obviously exists in any being that cares about staying alive or breeding, at the very least.
Dark Matter wrote:
I discussed the movement from the potential to the actual in the above post, and that is exactly what emergence is.
Yes, but magical emergence is quite difference than a transition from the potential to the actual, wherein the new powers and qualities constantly acquired are derived, not from the potential, but from a superior type of life which already possesses them.
There is nothing magical about, say, an adult emerging from a child (aside from the "Gosh, isn't nature magical?" angle).

Emergence is very simple. It seems magical but it's just about thresholds. For instance, clouds of molecular gas gradually form areas of concentration. The bigger they get, the stronger their gravitational pull on the material around them, so they grow ever more rapidly. As yet a star has not emerged. That only happens when the proto-star achieved so much mass that the hydrogen in its core fuses into helium, causing a chain reaction known as "ignition", and which blows the surrounding material away, and that material forms the proto planetary disc from which the planets emerged.

Not magical, just physics in this instance. What physics are occurring in consciousness I do not know.

Dark Matter wrote:
Again, consider your own growth. You weren't a theist and whatever else you are passionate about as an infant. You were passionate about shoving your face into a pair of breast as big as your head, not much else. This is where environment comes in. What emerged in you in this life may not have appeared had you been born to goat herders in the Himalayas, yet other qualities or abilities may have manifested in their stead. In a real sense we are partially our environment, as opposed to in it ("environment" also includes human environment in this instance), despite the opacity of other minds.

Further, whether we are pushing outwards towards something greater or if we are being pulled towards something greater strikes me as a moot point. Regardless, we critters still mature, novel properties still do emerge in nature (including human nature) and, with luck, the life of Earth can continue on to something greater via other worlds for many billions of years to come.
The way I see it, I am pushing outwards towards something greater and being pulled towards something greater simultaneously, so it's hardly moot.

I want to know that "superior type of life" in order to emulate it. I gives me direction (misguided though it may be). Logically, someone who denies the superior type of life is being randomly "pushed" or, if pushing at all, has a compass that points only to the self.
Yet it's possible that it's not God in actuality you are following but the ideals that you yourself have synthesised.

Would it be so bad if humanity had the capacity to imagine something better and strove for it, even if those ideals were yet to come?

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