God is dying. Will he be dead?

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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gad-fly
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Re: God is dying. Will he be dead?

Post by gad-fly »

Papus79 wrote: April 7th, 2021, 11:30 am
gad-fly wrote: April 7th, 2021, 11:19 am What 's wrong? On the contrary, it may be healthy, like having government and opposition in a democracy. In this regard, Abraham theism is well ahead of its time, when master and slave abound.
Two different thoughts on the above:

1) Metaphysically It only makes sense in terms of a little 'g' god that cobbled things together out of a substance not of itself where it can get things wrong all the time and make constant blunders (somewhat the opposite of a omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent deity which would have to be all things).

2) It makes a lot more sense as a societal lock box for certain social contracts - ie. project it up into the transcendental, say that it's sacred, even better governed by a deity with a real temper problem for infractions on rules, and what you have is then a memetic structures that safeguards / secures those social contracts for as long as the memetic complex (particularly belief in heaven and hell) still holds sway over public imagination.

My bet is that it's almost entirely the second that's behind this and it's possible as well that there could have been other agencies involved but highly unlikely to be what they claimed they were.
I have never heard of little God. Are you talking about some minor ones in a heaven full of gods? If there is only one God, I cannot imagining him being little. More likely: God is Great.

A God, sophisticated and intelligent beyond our imagination, would bring along very complex creations, beyond artificial intelligence, to sin, to falter, to invent the Tower of Babel, to pick between right and wrong, to have free will, and to pay the price in hell, but not a factory worker cobbling up shoes.

Back to the title. God is dying because human has advanced to the stage when they can re-invent themselves to the extent that increasingly they do not need God's helping hand. If I were God, i would say: Fine. Make my day.
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Papus79
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Re: God is dying. Will he be dead?

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gad-fly wrote: April 7th, 2021, 5:03 pm I have never heard of little God. Are you talking about some minor ones in a heaven full of gods? If there is only one God, I cannot imagining him being little. More likely: God is Great.
So the term 'demiurge' generally gets thrown around for something that's just essentially like a human but made of other stuff - ie. it would be as much a mind spawned by the universe in a similar manner trying to figure out what to do with it's own consciousness. It would be within the stream of matter and energy, would at best be trying to figure out what it can or can't do, what would or wouldn't work, it could very well by our standards have an IQ that's in the 1000's but it would still be quite unlikely that it could predict the outcomes of its own behaviors and... not so much creations but whatever it 'built' out of same matter that it's made of.

The above is pretty much what I take for granted when people talk about polytheism, little 'g' gods and goddesses like Apollo, Athena, Aphrodite, etc. and when they aren't using those terms in Jungian or Kabbalistic ways but as literal identities.

If one were to look at the god of the old testament for example one gets the sense that it's a little 'g' god, and that's again only throwing around the parameters considered if we assume that the God of the old testament was actually a real agency interacting with Moses and Israel rather than a cultural contrivance.
gad-fly wrote: April 7th, 2021, 5:03 pmA God, sophisticated and intelligent beyond our imagination, would bring along very complex creations, beyond artificial intelligence, to sin, to falter, to invent the Tower of Babel, to pick between right and wrong, to have free will, and to pay the price in hell, but not a factory worker cobbling up shoes.
I think most of the ways of thinking that lead to these kinds of strange polarities, or stories of rebellion in heaven, would be shot to pieces on first principles - unless the idea was to cultivate us like mushrooms by feeding us manure at certain stages.
gad-fly wrote: April 7th, 2021, 5:03 pmBack to the title. God is dying because human has advanced to the stage when they can re-invent themselves to the extent that increasingly they do not need God's helping hand. If I were God, i would say: Fine. Make my day.
I'm somewhat agnostic on what we're dealing with.

I'd say the frame I feel comfortable in, at least from my best assemblage of the facts, is that the universe is a sort of Darwinian idealism, Darwinian in that everything's moving forward along the lines of Darwinian evolution, differential success, heritability, etc. and that on examination of matter it essentially seems to be mental - just that it's so tightly bound to law that you can make I11 processors with nanotransistors or predict what's needed to send a mission to Mars with accuracy.

Past that - NDE's strongly suggest that it's either one mind subsuming all other minds as extensions of itself or, in the reverse, it could simply be an emergent property of all other minds, ie. panentheism or hylozoism I suppose takes some stab at the question of whether lesser minds are emanation or whether greater minds are emergent. I suppose I'm open to either of these, along with process philosophy, so long as we get out a) a universe that behaves as if it's mental, b) Harry potter is just a book, movies, and merchandise), c) Darwinian evolution, d) we get all of the physics back out of it that we're accustomed to. To that last point and many others I see that Donald Hoffman and Chetan Prakash are quite serious about taking a stab at getting quantum mechanics and general relativity back out of conscious realism, and as far as modern theories of consciousness go theirs is the one that's probably impressed me the most so far.
People aren't fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, we're fundamentally trying to survive. It's the environment and culture which tells us what that's going to be.
gad-fly
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Re: God is dying. Will he be dead?

Post by gad-fly »

Papus79 wrote: April 7th, 2021, 6:47 pm
So the term 'demiurge' generally gets thrown around for something that's just essentially like a human but made of other stuff

If one were to look at the god of the old testament for example one gets the sense that it's a little 'g' god
I suggest that we stick to the conventional and predominant interpretation. God is omni and great. it makes no sense to postulate otherwise. Fine if you do not accept his existence, but to whittle him down from what you have wanted him to be is unconscionable. Darwin and Nietzsche have not done that.

I cannot see how you can find from the old testament that God is little. Perhaps you can quote and elaborate.
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Papus79
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Re: God is dying. Will he be dead?

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gad-fly wrote: April 10th, 2021, 7:27 pm I suggest that we stick to the conventional and predominant interpretation. God is omni and great. it makes no sense to postulate otherwise. Fine if you do not accept his existence, but to whittle him down from what you have wanted him to be is unconscionable. Darwin and Nietzsche have not done that.

I cannot see how you can find from the old testament that God is little. Perhaps you can quote and elaborate.
That's not my goal.

My goal is to think of different varieties of conscious agents larger than us and then consider that 'God' is a name that we've historically slapped on all sorts of different things. Little 'g' gods and goddess of the sort I described are fine - ie. plenty of people, today, work with them in various forms of ritual and pathworking from the polytheistic perspective.

What I was also trying to clear up - if you are the superset of all that is (the version of God that's predominant at least in Christianity and Islam) you're looking at something where it's impossible for anything to exist that is not 'It', meaning that you're dealing with something like panentheism - if not explicitly then by the extension that It can't make a move to which It doesn't know the outcome and It has nothing to build things out of other than its own mind-stuff.

The only way you don't have a panentheistic deity is if it were either reductive materialism or true polytheism in which case the universe simply spawned minds constantly and we'd be in a neighborhood filled with minds much larger than our own but which would still inherently be evolved/evolving beings trying to find meaning in a universe that put them together by relatively blind/random activity.
People aren't fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, we're fundamentally trying to survive. It's the environment and culture which tells us what that's going to be.
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Papus79
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Re: God is dying. Will he be dead?

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The reason I suggested the God of the old testament might be little-g is that it's behaving in a henotheistic manner - ie. attacking the gods of other tribes. That suggests either a) little g god or b) corporate repository and motivational whip for the people by the priesthood (ie. deities concocted by priests as a memetic / organizational tool).

There are quotes sprinkled all over the old testament that there are evil 'gods' that Yahweh is trying to defeat. He's also so partial to Israel that you see genocides of the sort that are in Numbers and Joshua being perfectly okay so long as it's Israelites confiscating from non-Israelites, then you have the strange stretch of time between the story of Jeptheh's daughter (ie. don't offer human sacrifice and don't kill Israelites) to the sagas of Samuel, David, and Absolom where Israelites can kill each other all day long so long as its family BS - but just don't perform a census because that will indeed bring the wrath of Yahweh down.

The God of the New Testament, particularly by way of John, is much more in the direction of where Plotinus went in the 4th century and some form of Platonic monotheism seemed to have feed in to the modern day Christian sense of what 'God' is. To that end though Christianity is very Neoplatonist and very much loaded with a universal deity, the OT not so much.
People aren't fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, we're fundamentally trying to survive. It's the environment and culture which tells us what that's going to be.
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