The God Question

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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Jklint
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Re: The God Question

Post by Jklint » September 17th, 2020, 12:08 am

Angel Trismegistus wrote:
September 16th, 2020, 5:14 pm
Jklint wrote:
September 16th, 2020, 5:02 pm


What is god waiting for? The poles are rapidly melting! But as a conception it's a safe bet they will continue to melt until there's only a single ice cube left. Anyone who believes in an interventionist god when it had countless opportunities to intervene in our historical past hasn't quite grown up yet.
You may be right. On the other hand you may be wrong. The plain fact of the matter is we just don't know. And that "we" includes you.

So are you or are you not acquainted with Mahler's 2nd and Bruckner's 8th? If you're inclined to experience "Divinity" in classical music, you should check out these two works.
That's a surprise! No one I ever corresponded with recommended Bruckner or Mahler, especially the former! I know both these very long symphonies extremely well. You couldn't play a minute (literally) without my knowing what's on. The same goes for all of Mahler's and Bruckner's symphonies having long acquired multiple versions of their works, not just the symphonies. My love for Bruckner goes back to my early teens; Mahler took a little longer. I have a classical music collection of around 800 CD's going back to the crusades and Gregorian Chants.

Bruckner's sound world exists on an entirely different plane from anyone else. Unsophisticated with some very weird habits; a fanatical god believer with an inferiority complex, his music has a cosmic immanence to it like no other composer ever had. Bruno Walter described the difference between Mahler & Bruckner as the music of one searching for god and one who has found him. Not sure if that's completely accurate but it makes a good point. For me his music is the most unique in expressing a sound cosmology where even the scherzos, especially in the 8th symphony, resembles a monumental spiraling vortex of Sufi dances toward a coldly magisterial god realization.

If the universe were able to connote itself in sound I can imagine nothing more chromatically reflective of it than this, beginning with a very ghostly searching acoustic as if it were a precursor to a final journey traveling toward some final unknown destination.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23cLITkT16k

For something more at home, one of the best (for me) tone poem descriptions of nature from the perspective of an alpine summit view of sunrises and sundowns nothing beats this, hard imagine anything more panoramic...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj3Tbca7XHo

There's a power and philosophy contained in ALL of this which no one ever discusses.

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Angel Trismegistus
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Re: The God Question

Post by Angel Trismegistus » September 17th, 2020, 3:08 am

Jklint wrote:
September 17th, 2020, 12:08 am
Angel Trismegistus wrote:
September 16th, 2020, 5:14 pm

You may be right. On the other hand you may be wrong. The plain fact of the matter is we just don't know. And that "we" includes you.

So are you or are you not acquainted with Mahler's 2nd and Bruckner's 8th? If you're inclined to experience "Divinity" in classical music, you should check out these two works.
That's a surprise! No one I ever corresponded with recommended Bruckner or Mahler, especially the former! I know both these very long symphonies extremely well. You couldn't play a minute (literally) without my knowing what's on. The same goes for all of Mahler's and Bruckner's symphonies having long acquired multiple versions of their works, not just the symphonies. My love for Bruckner goes back to my early teens; Mahler took a little longer. I have a classical music collection of around 800 CD's going back to the crusades and Gregorian Chants.

Bruckner's sound world exists on an entirely different plane from anyone else. Unsophisticated with some very weird habits; a fanatical god believer with an inferiority complex, his music has a cosmic immanence to it like no other composer ever had. Bruno Walter described the difference between Mahler & Bruckner as the music of one searching for god and one who has found him. Not sure if that's completely accurate but it makes a good point. For me his music is the most unique in expressing a sound cosmology where even the scherzos, especially in the 8th symphony, resembles a monumental spiraling vortex of Sufi dances toward a coldly magisterial god realization.

If the universe were able to connote itself in sound I can imagine nothing more chromatically reflective of it than this, beginning with a very ghostly searching acoustic as if it were a precursor to a final journey traveling toward some final unknown destination.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23cLITkT16k

For something more at home, one of the best (for me) tone poem descriptions of nature from the perspective of an alpine summit view of sunrises and sundowns nothing beats this, hard imagine anything more panoramic...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj3Tbca7XHo

There's a power and philosophy contained in ALL of this which no one ever discusses.
Our relationship gets stranger with each post. First animals. Now Bruckner and Mahler. Bruckner and Mahler! I might have written the first paragraph of your post myself, except that I knew Mahler long before I discovered Bruckner. Your description of the opening of Bruckner's 9th is, by the way, as lovely as it is true to the musical passage it describes. Composing this last symphony Bruckner himself was nearing his own "final journey traveling toward some final unknown destination" -- he died planning its fourth movement.

And Strauss preceded Mahler in my lifelong love for classical music. His "tone poems" took me places rock 'n' roll never did. Starting with Thus Spoke Zarathustra, the World Riddle three-note fanfare opening of which receives thunderous full orchestral rendering midway though -- something those familiar with the fanfare only through Kubrick will never experience -- and then peters out into silence in the end! Incredible! I actually wound up liking the Domestic Symphony quite a lot, which seems to be ending three or four times before it actually does. I have all of Reiner's recordings on RCA and Kempe's box set of Strauss.

Who'da thunk we'd have so much soul in common, you and I?!?
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Belindi
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Re: The God Question

Post by Belindi » September 17th, 2020, 3:45 am

Jklint wrote:
September 16th, 2020, 12:19 am
Terrapin Station wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 6:03 pm


Is it possible to give a bit more detail than that? :)
Sorry for the glib reply. Normally I don't like discussing things like free will, objective vs. subjective, etc., because of the many philosophical absurdities that usually get applied more often obfuscating what it attempts to expound on. I'm always bored when I read all the useless interpretations without carrying the subject forward by one iota. Like god, most of these theories explain nothing except as a display of academic prowess or cleverness.

In my view there is no such thing as objectivity per se except what gets agreed upon as being objective. To classify anything as objective is a judgment call based on whatever criteria is used to denote it as such. Every experience arrives through our senses and processed accordingly which negates objectivity since then it would have to be the same in everyone which it's not. Objectivity defined as truth, is that which appears to us consistently repeatable even if the process which allows its conformity may be thoroughly wrong or misunderstood. Ptolemy's system is one such example when judged by result instead of evidence.

Objectivity, as I see it, also relates to being an inter-subjective progression yielding consensus as if it were a digital description of its corresponding analog process. God is the ultimate historical expression of that consensus whether voluntarily accepted or enforced.

...and I think I'll stop here.
But I have explained how Free Will belief is a social control mechanism, as it allows people to be punitive. And being punitive towards wrongdoers is a whole moral and political system away from unlimited extenuating circumstances that go hand in hand with determinism.

The debate about the roots of freedom and responsibility is very much applied philosophy.

-0+
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Re: The God Question

Post by -0+ » September 17th, 2020, 8:42 am

Gee wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 5:43 pm
-0+ wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 6:42 am
Is the concept of "God" not based on the concept of "god" - a god of something that evolved to become the God of everything, becoming increasingly powerful until someone said infinity? From infinity there is nowhere to go except the opposite direction ...
Is the concept of an American not based on the concept of America? I don't see your point.
The relationship is quite different. The concept of an American depends on the concept of America, but the natures of America and an American are very different. An American is not an America.

Whereas it can be said that God is (or was) a god ... god can be viewed as a class of beings called gods with properties that describe characteristics that all gods have in common - characteristics that a being must have to qualify as a god.

The point is that if the concept of God evolved from the concept of god, then it was born with a number of characteristics that it inherited from god. As the concept continued to evolve, extra characteristics may have been added. These can be stripped away as extras.

It is possible to strip away even more characteristics, but stripping away any characteristics that the concept of God was born with is questionable.

This would be like changing what it means to be an American, stripping away requirements that are needed to qualify as American, potentially to the extent where there is nothing significant about being an American.
Gee wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 5:43 pm
I can agree that the concept of "God" evolved along with our understanding of consciousness -- that doesn't mean "God" evolved with our understanding.
Sure, any discussion about "God" is really just about one or more concepts of God, which may or may not reflect the characteristics/development of any existing being.
Gee wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 5:43 pm
-0+ wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 6:42 am
If everything is stripped away from a concept, then it becomes omni-ambiguous?
I did not say "everything". What I said is the "extras", which leaves the commonalities,
Is has previously been suggested that the existence of God can be known without knowing anything about the nature of God. While this may not assert that God has no qualities, this renders all qualities irrelevant. There are no qualities that any being needs to have to qualify as God. This goes beyond stripping away some extras. Anything could qualify as God. If this is accepted then there is no commonalities.
Gee wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 5:43 pm
-0+ wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 6:42 am
The OP states this thread is devoted to the philosophical exploration of the distinction between two propositions. Any attempt to debate the truth of either proposition could be viewed as a deviation away from this devotion?
How can anyone study the "philosophical exploration of the distinction between two propositions" if they have no idea of what the propositions are????
The two propositions are stated in the OP. These can be analysed for differences without any need to debate the truth of either proposition. However, the temptation to affirm or deny the truth of "God exists" may be overwhelming.

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Angel Trismegistus
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Re: The God Question

Post by Angel Trismegistus » September 23rd, 2020, 12:29 pm

-0+ wrote:
September 17th, 2020, 8:42 am
Whereas it can be said that God is (or was) a god ... god can be viewed as a class of beings called gods with properties that describe characteristics that all gods have in common - characteristics that a being must have to qualify as a god.

The point is that if the concept of God evolved from the concept of god, then it was born with a number of characteristics that it inherited from god. As the concept continued to evolve, extra characteristics may have been added. These can be stripped away as extras.

It is possible to strip away even more characteristics, but stripping away any characteristics that the concept of God was born with is questionable.
Gee wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 5:43 pm
I can agree that the concept of "God" evolved along with our understanding of consciousness -- that doesn't mean "God" evolved with our understanding.
Sure, any discussion about "God" is really just about one or more concepts of God, which may or may not reflect the characteristics/development of any existing being.

Is has previously been suggested that the existence of God can be known without knowing anything about the nature of God. While this may not assert that God has no qualities, this renders all qualities irrelevant. There are no qualities that any being needs to have to qualify as God. This goes beyond stripping away some extras. Anything could qualify as God. If this is accepted then there is no commonalities.
Gee wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 5:43 pm
How can anyone study the "philosophical exploration of the distinction between two propositions" if they have no idea of what the propositions are????
The two propositions are stated in the OP. These can be analysed for differences without any need to debate the truth of either proposition. However, the temptation to affirm or deny the truth of "God exists" may be overwhelming.
You are no doubt familiar with the concept of a variable. Let's use x as our variable. Now x, as you know, is a placeholder for various values which render the full expression in which the variable holds a place as either true or false. Now let's say that the context of our variable is "There exists an x such that x grounds the existence of the universe." Without knowing anything about the nature of x this proposition is true for only one value of x, no?
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Re: The God Question

Post by -0+ » September 24th, 2020, 8:14 am

Angel Trismegistus wrote:
September 23rd, 2020, 12:29 pm
You are no doubt familiar with the concept of a variable. Let's use x as our variable. Now x, as you know, is a placeholder for various values which render the full expression in which the variable holds a place as either true or false. Now let's say that the context of our variable is "There exists an x such that x grounds the existence of the universe." Without knowing anything about the nature of x this proposition is true for only one value of x, no?
Without the insertion of 'solely' before 'grounds', why can't this proposition be true for more than one value of x?

Can not more than one entity be involved (say, God and Anti-God, or Mother-God and Father-God)?

Another possibility is that this proposition is not true for any value of x.

In order for this proposition to be true: the universe has to exist (not just appear to exist, like in a dream or Total Recall kind of experience); the existence of the universe has to be grounded; and x has to be something that grounds this.

Whatever it means to 'ground' in this context, x does this. Many other things about x's nature need not be known, but it seems that grounding must be part of x's nature. If x does not ground, if x is not a grounder of existence, then the proposition is not true.

Even if it is accepted that the existence of the universe is (or at least was) grounded by something, and x is this something, there is still the question of x's existence.

Does grounding the existence of something guarantee the continued existence of the grounder?

It is conceivable that the act of grounding the existence of something could end the grounder's existence. Like when a bacterium divides into two newly existing bacteria, what happens to the existence of the original bacterium? Is its identity retained by either of two new bacteria or does it cease to exist?

Alternatively, the grounder may survive the act of grounding but only for a limited period. A creation may outlive its creator.

Is it conceivable that the existence of the universe can be grounded in the present tense by something that does not actually exist?

This may depend on the definition of 'exist'. Can a mind have any control over anything that physically exists (like a body)? Does a mind physically exist?

Whatever definition of 'exist' is provided, more about the nature of x may need to be known before it can be determined if x qualifies as currently existing or not.

Gee
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Re: The God Question

Post by Gee » October 10th, 2020, 3:21 am

-0+ wrote:
September 17th, 2020, 8:42 am
Gee wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 5:43 pm
Is the concept of an American not based on the concept of America? I don't see your point.
The relationship is quite different. The concept of an American depends on the concept of America, but the natures of America and an American are very different. An American is not an America.

Whereas it can be said that God is (or was) a god ... god can be viewed as a class of beings called gods with properties that describe characteristics that all gods have in common - characteristics that a being must have to qualify as a god.

The point is that if the concept of God evolved from the concept of god, then it was born with a number of characteristics that it inherited from god. As the concept continued to evolve, extra characteristics may have been added. These can be stripped away as extras.

It is possible to strip away even more characteristics, but stripping away any characteristics that the concept of God was born with is questionable.

This would be like changing what it means to be an American, stripping away requirements that are needed to qualify as American, potentially to the extent where there is nothing significant about being an American.
Gee wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 5:43 pm
I can agree that the concept of "God" evolved along with our understanding of consciousness -- that doesn't mean "God" evolved with our understanding.
Sure, any discussion about "God" is really just about one or more concepts of God, which may or may not reflect the characteristics/development of any existing being.
Gee wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 5:43 pm
I did not say "everything". What I said is the "extras", which leaves the commonalities,
Is has previously been suggested that the existence of God can be known without knowing anything about the nature of God. While this may not assert that God has no qualities, this renders all qualities irrelevant. There are no qualities that any being needs to have to qualify as God. This goes beyond stripping away some extras. Anything could qualify as God. If this is accepted then there is no commonalities.
Gee wrote:
September 15th, 2020, 5:43 pm
How can anyone study the "philosophical exploration of the distinction between two propositions" if they have no idea of what the propositions are????
The two propositions are stated in the OP. These can be analysed for differences without any need to debate the truth of either proposition. However, the temptation to affirm or deny the truth of "God exists" may be overwhelming.
I apologize for taking so long to get back to you.

If you review the above, you will notice that I have bolded and underlined the word "being" several times in your post. I have brought attention to the word "being" because there are specific reasons why people use that term in relation to "God" concepts. They do it because they are religious and think of "God" as a being; or they are religious and think of "God" as a being, but also try to deny "God" and their beliefs by disputing the validity of "God" as being a "being. Or they simply want to argue, find the "being" argument convenient, and have no beliefs at all in this regard.

"God" is not a being and I have never enjoyed arguing just for the sake of argument. If you wish to discuss the "God" question with me, then go to the last post on Page 10 of this thread where I explain my Understanding of the "God" concept. After reviewing that, if there is something that you wish to discuss about the "God" question, I will try to oblige you.

Gee

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Tom_Pgh
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Re: The God Question

Post by Tom_Pgh » November 21st, 2020, 9:36 pm

Is it impossible for God to exist without be known?
Or is it strictly a human quality of existence that insists on knowing?

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Re: The God Question

Post by Belindi » November 22nd, 2020, 7:00 am

Tom_Pgh wrote:
November 21st, 2020, 9:36 pm
Is it impossible for God to exist without be known?
Or is it strictly a human quality of existence that insists on knowing?
That depends on what you mean by 'God'. Do you think God intervenes so as to change the course of history, or change the course of one life?

Or alternatively, do you think God created all the natural stuff and left it all to its own devices without any future interference?

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Re: The God Question

Post by Tom_Pgh » Yesterday, 3:22 pm

Belindi wrote:
November 22nd, 2020, 7:00 am
Tom_Pgh wrote:
November 21st, 2020, 9:36 pm
Is it impossible for God to exist without be known?
Or is it strictly a human quality of existence that insists on knowing?
That depends on what you mean by 'God'. Do you think God intervenes so as to change the course of history, or change the course of one life?

Or alternatively, do you think God created all the natural stuff and left it all to its own devices without any future interference?
To answer my thoughts directly concerning the 2 propositions that were put in front of this board:
1 - God exists.
2 - God's nature is in movement and repose. (Creation and destruction ((or re-birth))

I do not think that God intervenes as some sort of "puppet master" controlling history and lives on a whim. But I do believe that we are all a part of God and thus have a stake in how the course of life goes through either personal conscience or as a human collective conscience, whether that be through practicing higher moral standard or on a destructive lower scale of morality.

Belindi
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Re: The God Question

Post by Belindi » Today, 7:09 am

Tom_Pgh wrote:
Yesterday, 3:22 pm
Belindi wrote:
November 22nd, 2020, 7:00 am

That depends on what you mean by 'God'. Do you think God intervenes so as to change the course of history, or change the course of one life?

Or alternatively, do you think God created all the natural stuff and left it all to its own devices without any future interference?
To answer my thoughts directly concerning the 2 propositions that were put in front of this board:
1 - God exists.
2 - God's nature is in movement and repose. (Creation and destruction ((or re-birth))

I do not think that God intervenes as some sort of "puppet master" controlling history and lives on a whim. But I do believe that we are all a part of God and thus have a stake in how the course of life goes through either personal conscience or as a human collective conscience, whether that be through practicing higher moral standard or on a destructive lower scale of morality.
"All a part of " which version of God? Some people's versions of God still endorse slavery, racial prejudice, fences to keep refugees out, or capital punishment.

What is the origin of conscience? It is consciousness of particular moral values usually taught to children by significant others.

There is no "human collective conscience". That would be like claiming your conscience is the same as that of Jack the Ripper.

You believe in some "higher moral standard" and as a philosopher you are required to justify this belief, by reference to God, the Bible, the Koran, or practical reason and its criteria.

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