Social Question

gamefu91's avatar

How do you think we came to know about 'God'?

Asked by gamefu91 (588 points ) January 12th, 2011

Well I don’t think anyone has seen God.Then how we came to know about God without observing it?
How we came up with the idea of so very existence of God?
Do you believe in God just because so many other people or your parents or elders do?
Or is it just an assumption by humans accrediting ‘God’ for all the scientifically unexplained phenomena in order to ease ourselves out of all the confusions.

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122 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

We created God for multiple purposes and reasons over and over again throughout history. It was necessary millenia ago and seems to be somewhat necessary these days, as well, the concept of God (s).

sahuleka546's avatar

We felt we needed someOne to watch over us…

josie's avatar

Imagine an ancient human being. He does not have an organized epistemology. He does not know what science is. He knows nothing about the nature of reality nor how to discover it. He feels a breeze against his face, or hears it make the leaves rustle in the trees. He does not know what air is or that it moves.
It is reasonable to assume that he concludes that he has been touched by an invisible presence, that then moved off into the trees. He doesn’t really know what it is, but it is clearly there.
Voila!
The beginnings of pagan notions of a spirit in nature. Later, it becomes God.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Early people had no explanation for things that they saw every day, like the sun rising and setting, or rainfall, or how their crops came to grow. So they attributed these things to supernatural forces since they didn’t have a better explanation otherwise. As time went on, explanations came to be – so the things that are/have been explained by god(s) have also evolved.

tinyfaery's avatar

People made him up to explain the unexplainable. Unfortunately, we believed our own lies.

flutherother's avatar

There is no direct evidence for God though we may find a trace of His presence in our own souls and the existence of the universe itself can be seen as an indication that a creator must also exist.

6rant6's avatar

Perhaps the thing that made man the ascendant species – his need to know – drove him to create an explanation for all things unknown.

ucme's avatar

I thought it was common knowledge that it was indeed his father who spread the rumour of his exsistence. I didn’t get a harumph outta that guy!

Gregory's avatar

Warning: Christians perspective, dont read any further if you dont want it. In the book the evidence I discusses three main themes: The anthropic principle, life after death experiences and foreknowledge. I have known God all my life. In quite prayful meditation I have learned his voice. There are too many times in my life where that voice has led my life in directions that in retrospect were to the best results for my health heart or soul. There are too many times to count where the answers I have recieved have been outside myself for what I could have know. In prayer I recieved the name of my wife a couple of days before I met her. I knew about the conception of my son before we had any hint. on and on. There is nothing in what I say that can convince anyone else, eash individual must seek this in faith.

Qingu's avatar

Hold on.

Which god? There are lots of them (allegedly).

mrlaconic's avatar

The ancient sumerian’s document in there text that they were visited by a race called the anunnaki and that all of the God’s that the various peoples worship today were a part of that race. Similar writings can be found in ancient texts for the indians, the chinese, and Mayans)

If you are looking for more information on this, I suggest you watch the Ancient Aliens series.

Qingu's avatar

@mrlaconic, dude, the Anunaki were not ancient aliens. They were a classic example of a pantheon.

Stop getting your history from shitty tv.

mrlaconic's avatar

@Qingu either way the ancient sumerians claim they were visited by a race and most of the “gods” that we know today were a member of that race.

Qingu's avatar

They did not understand the Anunaki as a race. Unless you are using that term to include magical beings.

I’m also curious as to who you think was visited by the Anunaki. One person I know offhand who claims this was King Hamurabi. King Hamurabi, of the famous Code of Hamurabi, allegedly given to him by the Anunaki in the same fashion that Yahweh handed the ten commandments to Moses.

So let’s say these Anunaki (1) exist and (2) were space aliens. One wonders why space aliens contacted a Babylonian king to give him a set of laws that, among other things, treat women as the property of men, punish children for the crimes of their parents, and other things straight out of mundane, ancient Mesopotamian (human) culture.

mrlaconic's avatar

@Qingu this thread is not the place for this discussion. @gamefu91 asked how people thought we came to know of “god” and I offered my opinion. I believe that the ancient peoples were visited by an alien race who I believe were called the Anunaki and they pretended to be gods and that is how we came to adopt the gods that we know today.

Qingu's avatar

Actually, this thread is a place for discussion, since it’s in the social forum. I’m asking you why you believe that.

In particular, why do you believe that space aliens visited king Hamurabi and gave him laws that seem to be completely standard ancient Mesopotamian cultural norms?

6rant6's avatar

If some alien intergalactic traveling race seeded the human race here, then they have got to be the most incompetent alien intergalactic traveling race ever.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

There are lots of social reasons to invent god. My favorite theory however is that the hemispheres of our brains for a period of our sentience still hadn’t completely fused so at times it might seem like we were hearing the voice of god when we had ideas, much like how dreams might seem to us now, unprocessed by logic. Interesting idea anyway.

Gregory's avatar

Christian: You know the reason is found in Genesis, which was passed from generation to generation before being written down. But it claims God was present to Adams Senses, I don’t know what form but he was physically there.

Qingu's avatar

Genesis also claims the sun revolves around the earth, that the sky is a solid dome that holds up an above-sky ocean, and that a man collected tens of millions of individual animals and fit them all into a ship the size of a cruise liner.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

The first factory farm! @Qingu

choreplay's avatar

@Qingu, Genesis or man interpretation of Genesis?

Qingu's avatar

That is exactly what Genesis says. 1:6, 1:14, and chapters 6–8 for the flood myth.

Well, to be fair, it says “kinds,” not “species.” Which opens up a whole other can of worms if you interpret it to mean that Noah only took a few hundred “kinds” (like, how did several orders of magnitude more individual species then come into being?)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

For crying out loud, is there any hope to NOT make this question a scripture back and forth? I’m so sick of that. Just answer the q and move on.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

The whole idea of god can be boiled down to meta-philosophy, and since it’s beyond the realm of humanity’s ability to know anything about it is an enormous waste of energy to debate for or against. Everyone should believe as they want as long as that belief doesn’t tread on others beliefs or lack there of, ability to be with whomever they chose, educate themselves as they see fit, etc.

Earthgirl's avatar

There was an interesting case in a book/documentary by the neurologist Oliver Sacks. It was about a young man (early 20’s, I believe) who had feelings of omnipotence and oneness with the universe. Something had happened to his brain which then triggered this perception(? )reality(?). He did not want to have surgery because he did not want this feeling to go away. Unfortunately I don’t remember the book title or the man’s name but I’m sure it was Oliver Sacks. There is another book called The God Gene by Dean Hamer in which he posits that spirituality depends on a certain gene or brain chemical. I don’t give his theory much credence but then, I haven’t read the book. Here is an article about it.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2004/nov/14/20041114-111404-8087r/
This book, with a forward by Sacks looks like it would be quite interesting. So many books, so little time! I think I’ll put this one on my reading list. Thanks for your question!
http://www.nobeliefs.com/Ramachandran.htm

choreplay's avatar

What about documented life after death experiences?

SavoirFaire's avatar

Knowing God is really quite easy. As we are taught in Kings 18:22–39, we can discover which religions are true and which are false by a simple contest between spokespersons. Each calls upon his or her God to perform a very specific miracle. If the God in question is fake, no miracle will occur. If the God in question is real, there will be a miracle for all to see (instantly converting all doubters).

One caveat: it probably requires a true believer for the miracle to occur. In that case, the contest doubles as a test of faith. If the spokesperson fails, however, that is sufficient reason to cast aside what he or she has said. We’re only interested in true prophets, after all, just as we’re only interested in true Gods.

So have at it, believers.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@Season_of_Fall That’s impossible to assess with the tools we have available. Maybe it was life after death, but anyone who talks about it is clearly alive, so it could just be a degenerating brain dream state.

choreplay's avatar

emmmm, accounts of factors that should not have been known. I really don’t want to be in this dog fight, Im out after this statement.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

My god eats danger and craps nails, @SavoirFaire – see all the nails in the world? Miracle complete.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@Season_of_Fall Are you referring to electromagnetic activity in the brain… or are you talking about a spookometer type of thing? The latter is pseudoscience at best, and the former would certainly be present for some time, but isn’t life after death per-se. I’m not trying to be “in a dogfight…” but my stance is simply that we cannot know, and shouldn’t spend a lot of time on it.

eden2eve's avatar

From first-hand witnesses.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@JeanPaulSartre Your evidence is persuasive, but it has to be a public contest. That’s the only way we can know for sure!

classykeyser's avatar

Religion is a way to describe things science can’t or hasn’t yet. It is the only belief about life that hasn’t changed over hundreds of years and is now only used to explain the small pockets of life we haven’t been able to (yet). Since technology didn’t exist two thousand years ago to explain very much, it made sense that people believed in what is essentially magic to explain everything. We have since extended life expectancy, proved that the earth is round, and no longer believe it correct to bleed people in hospitals to cure them. But, humanity, as a whole, still believes in some form of higher power with no verifiable proof. The real question is, “Why does such an advanced society believe in god when there is not one shred of evidence?”
And before I get flamed for being intolerant, I will make three points:
1. I believe people should be free to practice whatever religion they want.
2. Miracles are not proof and are extremely subjective
3. I don’t have to prove something DOESN’T exist. The burden of proof in any instance is on the hypothesizer, not the defendant. If I said that there existed a type of plant that made you immortal, I’d have to come up with proof.

choreplay's avatar

@classykeyser , do you drive a car?

classykeyser's avatar

Do I drive a car?

choreplay's avatar

Ya, do you drive a car? It’s a question

choreplay's avatar

humor me with an answer

Summum's avatar

Wow this question answers so much for me and why there is so much contention in the world. Every time a subject relating to the spiritual side of life is asked in come those that take over and control the conversation with the evidence thing. Do we have a brain and a heart? Cannot we feel and know that there is something much higher than we are? Call it God, call it spirit, call it anything you want but why is it so important to put the idea of God down every time it is brought up. I will state again Open your hearts and minds and look deep for the answers they are there for all.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Season_of_Fall Please check your pm and please keep your comments to a single post…otherwise, it’s difficult to follow the question along without getting frustrated

I suppose there is no hope to just have this be a regular question with people’s personal responses without whatever side trying to prove whatever other side wrong forever and ever, case closed. This is why these questions never evolve.

classykeyser's avatar

Not only do I drive a car, but I use a cell phone and am typing this on a laptop keyboard.

choreplay's avatar

Prove it!

kess's avatar

We know God exist because of each of us posses some degree of Truth
Truth has its origin from God.

So even those who insist that there is no God,
can only do so because of Truth which is God.

classykeyser's avatar

I don’t need to prove to you that I drive a car. Google ‘car’ and you’ll see images of cars, serving as proof not only that they exist, but that it is possible for me to drive them. I could prove to you that I drive a car, but I’m not going to send you any pictures. That is a weak analogy. I tell you what, send me a picture of god, and I’ll post a picture of my car.

choreplay's avatar

So I must seek to find. But if I dont seek I can choose not to believe. Thats all, im out. I will stop for all who don’t want to see this debate here.

BoBo1946's avatar

Oh, I talk with Him everyday!

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Summum You criticize the request for evidence, but then you talk about our brains and hearts while implicitly treating them as sources of evidence. This is nonsensical. Because the request is not for a specific kind of evidence, but any evidence at all. You tell us to open our hearts and minds for the answers. I have, and I spent almost twenty years as a religious person seeking various answers. I found nothing. So by your own standard, I am free to reject the beliefs you wish to push on me (no matter how much you pretend not to be doing so).

The usefulness of publicly available evidence is that it is the only kind relevant to an exchange. If your evidence for something is private and cannot even in principle be shared, then keep it to yourself. It can have no relevance to a discussion.

Summum's avatar

You win.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I have no interest in your capitulation. My goal is mutual enlightenment. If I insist on certain rules of discourse, it is only because they are the ones best suited for this goal.

Summum's avatar

I could have taught you so much and I would have learned from you as well. But I give up You Win and I’m done.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I tried learning from you, but you refused to teach. And when I tried to show you a more helpful way to engage with others, you refused to learn. It’s unfortunate, really, but also the way things often go.

By the way, your insistence in responding really shows how done you are with all this.

everephebe's avatar

To answer the OP, I like what Douglas Adams has to say on the matter:
Where does the idea of God come from? Well, I think we have a very skewed point of view on an awful lot of things, but let’s try and see where our point of view comes from. Imagine early man. Early man is, like everything else, an evolved creature and he finds himself in a world that he’s begun to take a little charge of; he’s begun to be a tool-maker, a changer of his environment with the tools that he’s made and he makes tools, when he does, in order to make changes in his environment. To give an example of the way man operates compared to other animals, consider speciation, which, as we know, tends to occur when a small group of animals gets separated from the rest of the herd by some geological upheaval, population pressure, food shortage or whatever and finds itself in a new environment with maybe something different going on. Take a very simple example; maybe a bunch of animals suddenly finds itself in a place where the weather is rather colder. We know that in a few generations those genes which favour a thicker coat will have come to the fore and we’ll come and we’ll find that the animals have now got thicker coats. Early man, who’s a tool maker, doesn’t have to do this: he can inhabit an extraordinarily wide range of habitats on earth, from tundra to the Gobi Desert – he even manages to live in New York for heaven’s sake – and the reason is that when he arrives in a new environment he doesn’t have to wait for several generations; if he arrives in a colder environment and sees an animal that has those genes which favour a thicker coat, he says “I’ll have it off him”. Tools have enabled us to think intentionally, to make things and to do things to create a world that fits us better. Now imagine an early man surveying his surroundings at the end of a happy day’s tool making. He looks around and he sees a world which pleases him mightily: behind him are mountains with caves in – mountains are great because you can go and hide in the caves and you are out of the rain and the bears can’t get you; in front of him there’s the forest – it’s got nuts and berries and delicious food; there’s a stream going by, which is full of water – water’s delicious to drink, you can float your boats in it and do all sorts of stuff with it; here’s cousin Ug and he’s caught a mammoth – mammoth’s are great, you can eat them, you can wear their coats, you can use their bones to create weapons to catch other mammoths. I mean this is a great world, it’s fantastic. But our early man has a moment to reflect and he thinks to himself, ‘well, this is an interesting world that I find myself in’ and then he asks himself a very treacherous question, a question which is totally meaningless and fallacious, but only comes about because of the nature of the sort of person he is, the sort of person he has evolved into and the sort of person who has thrived because he thinks this particular way. Man the maker looks at his world and says ‘So who made this then?’ Who made this? – you can see why it’s a treacherous question. Early man thinks, ‘Well, because there’s only one sort of being I know about who makes things, whoever made all this must therefore be a much bigger, much more powerful and necessarily invisible, one of me and because I tend to be the strong one who does all the stuff, he’s probably male’. And so we have the idea of a god. Then, because when we make things we do it with the intention of doing something with them, early man asks himself , ‘If he made it, what did he make it for?’ Now the real trap springs, because early man is thinking, ‘This world fits me very well. Here are all these things that support me and feed me and look after me; yes, this world fits me nicely’ and he reaches the inescapable conclusion that whoever made it, made it for him.

6rant6's avatar

@everephebe Dunno about that. Kind of hard to reconcile the emphasis on sacrifice in those early religions with “Somebody up there likes me!” don’t you think…

And lots of religions had elements of animism – so were they thinking, “This world was made perfectly to fit us”? Hard to see how that works with taking the skin off the poor dead beast.

Finally, how does this fit the fact that many religions were founded by either people who claimed themselves to be deities or were named as deities by their followers?

starsofeight's avatar

One true living God: the core of existence, of life; man’s center. is spirit (that is to say mind). If the notion of God came into our mind from the very essence of mind, it is because God communicated himself to us. Our own spirit can recognize and understand God after the fashion of one tuning fork causing another of the same frequency to vibrate.

Man will never find physical evidence for non-physical reality, but you can get a ‘vibe’.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@starsofeight I have no problem with there being no physical evidence for God, but tell me how I can get this vibe. I’d like to test it for myself.

choreplay's avatar

will do this as private

faye's avatar

I can easily see sun gods, moon goddesses, gods of all manner of nature and natural happenings. I understand amazement of the sun, earthquakes, hurricanes, oceans, etc and the need to wish for food to grow. I don’t get how the connection that killing a virgin will stop a volcano got made. You’d think brains would say move away a little, the ground is rocky and stinky.

Vincent_Lloyd's avatar

I think mostly since we’re so insecure that we needed to believe in something, and apparently that something/someone was the almighty “god” Honestly I’m getting real sick and tired of religion. Mostly since I already had a stupid and bad experience with it and plus everything I hear is always about some type of Jesus or God…I’m not atheist, but I’m just sick of it. If god was soooo perfect why is it that this world and universe is so corrupt with people, animal abusers, child abusers, judgments and other things like that? There are so many questions. But I think the main reason is just that it’s for the lower minded, or insecure. (sorry if this sounds sorta…snide to others….)

PARAprakrti's avatar

Q: How do you think we came to know about ‘God’?
A: It is my stance that knowledge of God constitutes our natural position, and that due to contact with this material world, that knowledge has become covered.

Q: Well I don’t think anyone has seen God.Then how we came to know about God without observing it?
A: Although I don’t agree with your first statement here, I’d say that the process to know God involves tapping into one’s understanding of self, free from material consideration. Our conceptions of self greatly determine our metaphysical conceptions as a whole. If you view the self as nothing more than a series of firing neurons and synapses in the brain, then you are more likely to perceive God as something entirely outside of your perception of reality. If, on the other hand, you take a direct view of self as it is, irrespective of material consideration, you will also develop much more spiritual perceptions toward reality in general, which tend to be the building blocks for God belief or God realization.

Q: How we came up with the idea of so very existence of God?
A: It is the Ultimate idea (most literally) that is simply brewing beneath the surface, so to speak.

Q: Do you believe in God just because so many other people or your parents or elders do?
A: No. Definitely not. My parents do not believe in God, for one. And secondly, I’ve never been pressured into trying to fit-in with God-believers. In fact, I considered myself atheist for nearly the first 18 years of my life.

Q: Or is it just an assumption by humans accrediting ‘God’ for all the scientifically unexplained phenomena in order to ease ourselves out of all the confusions.
A: Scientifically explained or unexplained, either way doesn’t matter in regard to this topic. The “God of the gaps” idea is just less intelligent atheists attacking the weaker, so-called theists. They generalize all theists by making these sort of attacks as if they provide commentary on God-belief in general, but just a small amount of intelligence is all it takes to see through this. Understanding God hasn’t to do with the enchanting kaleidoscope of shapes and colors, tastes and smells, etc. that happen to come into contact with one’s material senses. Therefore, whether such things can be explained or not is most irrelevant.

jerv's avatar

There are many delusional people out there who think they know all sorts of things that they really know nothing about. This is very common with technology, and (I feel) universal among those that follow most organized religions.

For the record, I am an Agnostic. Accordingly, I sincerely believe that, if God exists, then He isn’t anything like we imagine Him. Probably not even a “Him” anyways; more likely an entity (or collection/pantheon of entities acting in concert) that transcends the human concept of gender.

gamefu91's avatar

@Season_of_Fall It is not like I don’t want to believe in the existence of God and I am not even very eager to go and find it out.You asked @classykeyser if he could drive a car.If he says he could I would go and watch him drive instead.If someone says he believes in God I will ask him to prove it to me or if someone has seen or talked to God like @BoBo1946 I would ask them show me how can I do it too.I choose not to believe it until I find it out myself.

gamefu91's avatar

@Qingu @mrlaconic so Gods are aliens who came from some other planet? I myself feel this would be correct.But did they enslave humans or forced us to worship them? And made us believe that they are the most powerful?
So Gods are just a species from some other planet that are much better and intelligent than us?
Is it that we humans already existed and we were not created by aliens (GOD)? And aliens imparted us knowledge and technology?
Or aliens brought life on this planet Earth or they took some species like monkeys mixed their genes with them and we humans were born? Was this their experiment? Like we do on rats/rabbits etc. these day?

If aliens are the ‘Gods’,how did those aliens were created? Initially they might be as we are today and were finding out answers for all the unexplained phenomena?
Like @josie says those aliens might also have felt the same and they might have came up with the idea of ‘God’ and they passed on this idea or opinion of theirs unto us?

The main question actually would be how was this universe created? Did some ‘God’ created a tiny spot and then caused a ‘Big Bang’ to occur in it? How did that initial ‘tiny particle/spot’ came into existence?

gamefu91's avatar

@jerv @PARAprakrti @Vincent_Lloyd @faye @SavoirFaire @starsofeight @Summum @Simone_De_Beauvoir @sahuleka546 @everephebe @eden2eve @Earthgirl @faye @flutherother @Gregory @JeanPaulSartre @kess @mrlaconic @PARAprakrti @psychocandy @TheOnlyNeffie @ucme @Vincent_Lloyd
Please read the above reply and comment.
And how many of you think the idea of God was brought up to make us fear Him and that we would be punished if we did anything bad or evil,and would be rewarded if we did good?

MartinDep's avatar

From where the birds learn how to make their nests when no one teach them or train them how to make it. Every particular specie of the birds is making the nests in the same style for thousands of years according to its need. Two parrots will make their home in the same manner even one is living in America and other in China. Who teaches them and how this symmetry comes into being without science, technology and mankind. Such examples which are truly countless make me believe in God.

choreplay's avatar

@gamefu91, Lots of people here don’t want this in this thread, start a new question and we can go from there if you like.

jerv's avatar

@MartinDep Things like that lead me to believe in intelligent design. The wars humanity has fought and the atrocities we have committed in God’s name lead me to believe that everything we think we know about God is wrong. Even Christianity cannot agree on what His will is, and four out of five people in the world don’t even believe in the Bible anyways, so humanity is not “programmed” knowing The Truth.

starsofeight's avatar

@SavoirFaire People who believe find more things to believe in, and their faith grows stronger. People who do not believe find more things not to believe in, and their non-belief grows stronger. Of which persuasion are you?

Addendum: in order to test the ‘vibe’, the tester must possess the mental mechanics found only in the first persuasion.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@starsofeight Your dichotomy is a false one. People who do not believe do not necessarily find more things not to believe in. When they do, it is because the things they come not to believe in were tied together. For instance, it is no surprise that people who stop believing in God also stop believing in angels.

That said, I was a very religious person whose pursuit of the truth led to a rejection of religious beliefs. And by “religious person” I mean “lay speaker in training for the clergy.” I was very committed.

iamthemob's avatar

Or is it just an assumption by humans accrediting ‘God’ for all the scientifically unexplained phenomena in order to ease ourselves out of all the confusions.

In the OP, this is the closest I believe.

We have attributed certain circumstances to magical explanations, including “God.” As we learn more, we attribute more to properly natural explanations. Part of this is because of a need to explain why things happen, surely.

But it is not, for me, that we “create” gods in that there is no god and therefore we create one. Who knows either way. But when we attribute things to god, and say god is a certain thing…that’s us creating that god…which always must be critically examined.

starsofeight's avatar

@SavoirFaire That is all well and good, my friend, but life proceeds on fundamental principles, one of which I’ve already stated – namely, those who have are given more, and those who have not have even what they think they have taken from them.

I, too, was a religious person that ceased to believe. Then, when I began to look into matters on my own, I believed again. Sometime, being a believer, in anything (and I mean that as it is so easy for any of us to stray in thought or intent or purpose), is like trying to be a non-smoker: that is, you are likely to fail at it several times before you can make it work in your favor.

You seem the decent sort, and I’m not trying to provoke an argument, but there is nothing false in what I say. I speak from my own studies, and anything I say will be true from that perspective, as I cannot speak for you or any other.

My example is plain and simple. If you are using a telescope, you will be unable to see microbes because you have the wrong machinery. For microscopic details, one requires a microscope. For seeing the moon, a telescope is better suited. For seeing and understanding things that are spiritual, a person requires mental machinery that is quite refined – for lack of a better term, I call such inner mechanics a ‘spiri-scope’. :)

jerv's avatar

@starsofeight And what do you use to see hyperspatial flux?

The way I see it, using religion to find Truth is like using a telescope to listen to whale songs; not only is it not compatible with the sensory input received, but even if you gave it the right type of signal (light instead of sound) you wouldn’t be able to figure out what the whales are actually singing about since we don’t speak the language.

Of course, that’s just my way of looking at it.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@starsofeight Do you have any evidence of this “fundamental principle”? I’ve known rich people who have lost all their money and then killed themselves (thus losing everything), and I’ve seen things turn out well for people who were quite sure that things couldn’t get any worse (they could have, but they didn’t). And I had great faith, but never received more. So again, your “fundamental principle” appears to be patently false. It makes for a fine slogan, but there’s no reason to accept it as true.

As for trying to be a believer, I’ve made several attempts. Some were on my own, some were not. All were unsuccessful. Perhaps you will say that I haven’t tried hard enough or enough times. I hope you will not, however, as this would be an example of a self-sealing argument an appeal to ignorance—both of which are fallacies of reasoning. The fact is, I had all the inner mechanics that you say are necessary for feeling the vibe, and I never felt it. As such, I have every reason to reject your thesis.

Finally, let me just say that you seem the decent sort, and I’m not trying to provoke an argument, but there is nothing false in what I say. I speak from my own studies, and anything I say will be true from that perspective, as I cannot speak for you or any other.

(See? I have simply repeated your own comment. I do think you are the decent sort, as it turns out, and I am not trying to provoke an argument. Nevertheless, including a comment such as the above accomplishes nothing as far as a discussion goes. It can be said by any party to the conversation with equal force, thus it has no rational force at all. Furthermore, it threatens to come across as an assertion that one is close-minded—even if no such thing is either true or intended.)

starsofeight's avatar

@jerv For hearing whale songs, all you need is a whale/English dictionary, but perhaps that is too much to hope for.

Or, try recording whale song and then play it in reverse.

Of course, no one who peels an orange, ends up with an apple.

starsofeight's avatar

@SavoirFaire You seem quite settled in who you are. I hope I have not appeared to be addressing that. As to ‘fundamental principle’, you are able to provide your own proof. For example, if you place your hand in a fire, you will get burned. The further away from the fire you move, the less warmth you will feel, until you reach a point where your body begins to lose it’s own heat.

My thinking was along these lines: a body builder has muscle, and through constant exercise of his muscle, receives more muscle. The person who says he has all the machinery necessary to be muscular, tells the truth, and yet may stand evident to all that he is a scrawny runt who has never exercised the way the body builder has. The difference between the two (the fundamental principle) is that in doing, the body builder gains, and in not doing the other person atrophies.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@starsofeight I’m not sure what you mean that I am settled in who I am. Regardless, you have now changed what you claim to be the fundamental principle. First it was “those who have, gain; those who have not, lose.” Now it is “those who act reap the consequences of their actions, those who do not act reap the consequences of their omissions.” This is a rather trivial statement. Moreover, it is repetitive insofar as omissions are types of actions.

Now, I expect that I am supposed to be the second person. But not only did I have all the machinery, I also “did the exercise.” Still, I have felt no vibe. Again, therefore, I have every reason to reject your thesis.

everephebe's avatar

@6rant6 Douglas Adams was imagining and asking us to imagine with him, where the concept of a Deity or creator came from.  As far as we know no other animal worships, prays or meditates.

Douglas Adams doesn’t know for a fact how this type of thinking came to be.  But his insight on the way the idea of a creator came to be, could very well be spot on.

You say it’s hard to reconcile sacrifice to “Somebody up there likes me!” I don’t.  If a great all powerful being likes you, you want to keep it that way.  And when you speak of animism, it sounds like you think they were vegetarians.  Belief that all things have souls, makes you respect the dead, and honor them.  The “poor dead beast,” as you put it provides food, shelter, warmth and tools.  It is greatly respected and nothing goes to waste.  It’s spirit or soul would protect them and guide them in turn, acknowledging their successful hunt and their skill.

Plus if you don’t understand how the idea of manifest destiny works then… I don’t know how to explain this to you.

“This world was made perfectly to fit us,” fits with the need being provided by having an animal that was ready for the cold when they weren’t.  An animal that wasn’t ready for them.

Douglas Adams was a comedic writer, and while very scientifically minded, he is not a scholar on this subject.  He is pretending what happened not putting out a thesis stating his theory.

Finally Douglas Adams isn’t trying to answer every fucking situition you can think of, yes many cults are formed by some egomaniac.  Bummer why didn’t he mention how that happens? Oh wait
they were egomaniacs or heard voices in their heads.

everephebe's avatar

@gamefu91

How was the universe created? Well, we really don’t know that yet. A creator is a placeholder that has been used to fill that gap of knowledge for a long time now. Most people believe that, a deity is the only answer. Others believe that a deity of some sort only raises more questions. I have a personal theory, my own cosmogeny that I can PM you if you like.

I see god, or a creator like the number zero in maths. 0 is an imaginary number and a real number; without which, all of maths would no longer work. It’s the placeholder. Order from chaos.

To answer you second question, people behave better when they think an invisible being is watching them.

Qingu's avatar

0 ain’t an imaginary number yo. /pedant

everephebe's avatar

@Qingu zero is even and rational and imaginary

Qingu's avatar

Well okay. I guess you could say it is. Though it’s probably better to say it’s complex.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@everephebe The claim you are making does not appear on the main Wikipedia page for 0. Maybe it’s only an imaginary number while mobile?

everephebe's avatar

@SavoirFaire did you read how zero is used in mathematics.

Source

Qingu's avatar

The wiki does note that 0 lies on the imaginary axis

SavoirFaire's avatar

@everephebe That’s a different source. I went to the Wikipedia article on zero and searched “imaginary.” My result was “phrase not found.” I’m not saying that 0 cannot be considered an imaginary number, I’m just pointing out a discrepancy.

everephebe's avatar

@SavoirFaire The source is from zero on wiki it’s #28. I was siting the original source which was used on wiki.

The “discrepancy” is in your search methods. Read the part on zero’s use in mathematics on wiki. This is a small fish to be frying.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@everephebe I’ve read the part on mathematics. I read it the first time I went to Wikipedia, just in case my search missed something. It’s not there. And source number 28 concerns how zero is neither prime nor composite. It’s not on the mobile Wikipedia that you cited, either.

everephebe's avatar

Except that it is @SavoirFaire

I am correct and you are not. Being able to read down to the end of a paragraph is requisite.

everephebe's avatar

“Elementary algebra

The number 0 is the smallest non-negative integer. The natural number following 0 is 1 and no natural number precedes 0. The number 0 may or may not be considered a natural number, but it is a whole number and hence a rational number and a real number (as well as an algebraic number and a complex number). Zero is, while a purely real number, also a pure imaginary number because it lies on both the real and imaginary axes on the complex plane. [28]”. Zero’s wiki.

“To better understand imaginary numbers, geometry may be helpful. Picture a standard number line: zero is in the center, positive numbers are found to the right of zero and negative numbers are found to the left. At the zero point, visualize another line perpendicular to the first, stretching up and down rather than right and left. This is the axis of imaginary numbers, also known as the y-axis in geometry, while the “standard number line” is the x-axis. Positive imaginary numbers extend up from the zero point, and negative imaginary numbers extend down. Zero is the only number that is considered both real and imaginary.”
[28] source.

SavoirFaire's avatar

We must be looking at different Wikipedia’s, because this is what I see when I load the page:

Elementary algebra

The number 0 is the smallest non-negative integer. The natural number following 0 is 1 and no natural number precedes 0. The number 0 may or may not be considered a natural number, but it is a whole number and hence a rational number and a real number (as well as an algebraic number and a complex number).

The number 0 is neither positive nor negative and appears in the middle of a number line. It is neither a prime number nor a composite number. It cannot be prime because it has an infinite number of factors and cannot be composite because it cannot be expressed by multiplying prime numbers (0 must always be one of the factors).[28] Zero is, however, even (see parity of zero).

[28] Reid, Constance (1992). From zero to infinity: what makes numbers interesting (4th ed.). Mathematical Association of America. p. 23. ISBN 9780883855058. http://books.google.com/?id=d3NFIvrTk4sC&pg=PA23&dq=zero+neither+prime+nor+composite&q=zero%20neither%20prime%20nor%20composite.

I get the same result when clicking on your link above. Have you clicked “refresh” at all? Because the obvious answer is that the page has been edited, this being Wikipedia we’re talking about. I was seeing if you’d get there, but I figured I’d point the possibility out since you’ve let things go this far. And what do you know? It was there two edits ago.

But hey, at least you got to assume I couldn’t read in the meantime. I’m sure that made you feel better.

everephebe's avatar

Wow. I can’t rationally explain this. I am still not sure if wiki has just switched during the course of this debate or if I am getting massively trolled.

everephebe's avatar

It appears that some time in the last couple of hours the wiki article was changed. By who, or why is yet to revealed.

everephebe's avatar

Ok so there is a math debate about zero. To be politically correct it’s a complex number which “is a number consisting of a real and imaginary part.”

Furthermore, “An imaginary number is a square root of a nonpositive real number,” so it all depends on how zero is viewed. If zero is positive or negative. I contend that it is neither and both. And the square root of zero is ____.

iamthemob's avatar

I’m confused – IS GOD THE NUMBER ZERO?

That would be weird and awesome.

everephebe's avatar

@iamthemob, for me the answer is yes. At least symbolically and in the role of the divine & universal placeholder.

everephebe's avatar

@SavoirFaire I must apologize, I really thought you were just being a jerk or else jerking my chain. It just so happened that the wiki page was updated inbetween the time of our posts. I didn’t refresh till you posted the quote. I apologize for being rude, it was just a bizarre coincidence, where neither of us was in the wrong. Unless you changed the page! ;) ok I’m guessing it was a flutherer, but which one! No it’s ok I’ve just got all this egg on my face, I can deal with that. I’ll find other sources.

I wondered why I was getting so much flak. I mean what are the odds?

SavoirFaire's avatar

@everephebe Don’t worry about it. I was massively confused as well!

SavoirFaire's avatar

@everephebe Interesting. Thanks!

everephebe's avatar

This is pretty good too. 0i!

And I’m not sure I even understand this

This is all being sent from my iPod, by the way.

Summum's avatar

ROFL Looking at the posts in the last few it is so understandable that no matter what an argument can be made of anything. On Boy!!!

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Summum Yes, an argument can be made of anything. A misunderstanding is quite likely to do so. But you’ll notice that @everephebe and I managed to solve our conundrum by appealing to publicly available evidence rather than just assuring one another we were right despite the lack of any possible evidence.

everephebe's avatar

@SavoirFaire, word.

@Summum, arguments aren’t necesarily bad. It depends on the way they are resolved. Things between @SavoirFaire and I are congenial now. I provided proof that was altered very shortly after my post. @SavoirFaire pointed that out, had I realized that the page was no longer valid then I would have noted that it had changed and provided further evidence. I was in the wrong. I failed my first time around to site a currently valid source. @SavoirFaire called me on it as any good Flutherer should.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@everephebe And to your credit, you had other sources to cite and did so as soon as the need became apparent. Thus my own confusion was resolved, and I am a little less ignorant than I was before the dispute. Win-win, I’d say.

“A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.”
—Alexander Pope

iamthemob's avatar

I heart @everephebe and @SavoirFaire right now. I’m actually tearing up a little bit. When intelligent people attempt to clarify their positions, their interests often get met faster.

It’s a good thing.

manolla's avatar

God send us his messengers, and send with them holy books with instructions and explanations on everything.

It is as simple as that =)

iamthemob's avatar

@manolla

Sure – but God sent so many different ones with so many different books and explanations, and so many different languages. And they say things that are much the same…but so so much is totally different.

So it’s simple to say – but not simple to compile.

manolla's avatar

@iamthemob I am not a religious expert, but using my common sense, I can tell you that we have holy books in different languages because that was the language that was used in that place and time, for example the Quran is in arabic, because that is the language the people used to speak at that place and time, same goes for the bible and all the holy books.
Also I know that in all the holy books, God has mentioned the other holy books and messengers.

iamthemob's avatar

@manolla

I don’t disagree. But are we on the same page that because of the many books and many different people saying they have the right message, it isn’t that simple?

Summum's avatar

To let you all know books are being written today of the events of the world now. The answers are very simple but getting them takes the work. LOL

SavoirFaire's avatar

@manolla You say that all holy books mention the other holy books and messengers. Could you please find me an unambiguous reference to the Abrahamic prophets and holy books in the Vedas or Upanishads (or vice versa)?

manolla's avatar

@iamthemob for me all the messages are the right message, since they have been send by the same God.
“It is as simple as that” is to the question “How do you think we came to know about ‘God’”, he sent us his messengers with his message, that is how we knew he exists.

iamthemob's avatar

@manolla – Ok. I’ll assume that you know that they all say different things, and it seems pretty sick that they would fight massive bloody wars over thousands of years because their books said different things….and just leave it at that.

Spreader's avatar

Jesus mentioned happiness in the very first words of his most famous sermon. He said: “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need.” (Matthew 5:3) To survive, we need to breathe, drink, and eat, just as animals do. But to be happy, we have a need that animals do not have—the need for understanding the purpose of life. Only the Creator of life can fill that need. Those who are conscious of their spiritual need are happy because they draw close to God, “the happy God,” and he gives them something vital for happiness—hope.—1 Timothy 1:11.

iamthemob's avatar

@Spreader – But recognizing a spiritual need to find one’s purpose doesn’t necessitate a god. Asking oneself how you are able to best serve, however that plays out, seems more direct than considering an intermediary.

Spreader's avatar

No that what you say ,not what the Bible says” are you a spiritual-minded person or are you a physical-minded person? This is a question that all who claim to be Christian.(1 Corinthians 2:14)

iamthemob's avatar

@Spreader – Many people do not believe the Bible to be the final word on God, though.

Spreader's avatar

true, that there choice but to know God you only have the Bible.

iamthemob's avatar

@Spreader – No, there are multiple religious texts, both external and internal to Christianity.

The Bible shouldn’t be accepted as the whole collection of Christian doctrine, considering that there are many texts that have been excluded with somewhat shady reasoning.

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