Social Question

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What is God?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (25620 points ) July 30th, 2010

What is God for you? Is She/He/It an all-seeing eye, an old man with a long white beard in the sky, the prime mover, the One, a logical construct, the result of the origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind, or the scent of marigolds on a hot summer day?

Do you believe or not?

For myself, I believe in a spiritual side of life, but I don’t know what it is or how it works. I simply believe there’s more out there than is dreamt of in my philosophy.

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261 Answers

ucme's avatar

Is it Charlton Heston?

TexasDude's avatar

I’m mostly agnostic, depending on the day, but I’ve always conceived of God as that weird, barely describable spark that separates us humans from the rest of the animals.

You know… that strange part of us that lets us write poetry and fly rockets to the moon.

Whatever that is… that’s the closest thing to God for me, and I think it’s good.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I don’t believe in “god.” But if I had to define something as “god”, for me it would be energy. Just that simple.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard : Faulkner called it the “quenchless lucidity.”

syz's avatar

God is Santa Claus for grown ups.

Think about it. All knowing, all seeing (he know if you’ve been sleeping, he knows if you’re awake), rewards you if you’re good (presents), punishes you if you don’t (coal)

ucme's avatar

What? So Santa doesn’t exist either? Oh now come on….

FutureMemory's avatar

@hawaii_jake I liked your uncredited Shakespeare quote, nice touch.

TexasDude's avatar

@hawaii_jake, that’s awesome. I’m a big fan of Faulkner, actually.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@FutureMemory : aw shucks. Thanks.

lapilofu's avatar

After reading the description on this question, I suddenly feel distinctly unqualified to answer it.

CMaz's avatar

Charlton Heston was Moses.

Zyx's avatar

Agnostic here, I think god is everything and the creator, not to be mistaken for anything. I put some philosophical questions before that of god, so for me he has to include many worlds and predestination and stuff like that. On a smaller scale “god” might be the barrier between us and the higher system we must be seated in. Probably not like the matrix or the sims though. It has been suggested and I personally love this, that the universe is only a song.

ucme's avatar

@ChazMaz Yeah yeah, keep taking the tablets I know.

ragingloli's avatar

A childish fantasy elevated to “truth”.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Zyx : A song? I just hope it’s not the blues.

ucme's avatar

What is God? Baby don’t hurt me, no more.

SuperMouse's avatar

This song pretty much explains it all.

CMaz's avatar

Yes, there is a God.

Just don’t be so set on God being a bearded man with his finger sticking out.
Remove the face of man. And God become a what and a how.
Still God. As far as I am concerned.

But greater then we can imagine.

CMaz's avatar

Besides… I am God.

Rarebear's avatar

God is a construct made by humans in an attempt to explain the world.

Zyx's avatar

@hawaii_jake We humans sometimes create informational constructs (like in the sims) simply for entertainment. In the end everything comes down to a massive pile of information, songs too. So the universe could just be a song.

syz's avatar

@SuperMouse I hate that sticky song!

This one speaks to me.

lapilofu's avatar

@Zyx Your understanding of what a song is is different from mine.

SuperMouse's avatar

@syz how about this one?

syz's avatar

@SuperMouse Now you’re talking! Janis is always a good choice.

SuperMouse's avatar

Because I am Bahá’í I also feel compelled to answer this question with The Bahá’í Concept of God:

“The Bahá’í belief in one God means that the universe and all creatures and forces within it have been created by a single supernatural Being. This Being, Whom we call God, has absolute control over His creation (omnipotence) as well as perfect and complete knowledge of it (omniscience). Although we may have different concepts of God’s nature, although we may pray to Him in different languages and call Him by different names—Allah or Yahweh, God or Brahma—nevertheless, we are speaking about the same unique Being.”

Ron_C's avatar

God is not necessary. We can have wonder, mystery, morality, and happiness without a god. In fact the world become much more interesting if you don’t have god to explain a mystery. Now we have to solve our own mysteries and everybody benefits in attempting to solve a difficult puzzle.

Crediting god as a reason is a lazy person’s approach to science/

ucme's avatar

She’s a model & she’s looking good.
I’d like to take her home that’s understood.

Blackberry's avatar

God is Chuck Norris, or the Old Spice guy.

FutureMemory's avatar

God is a pair of D cups in my face…can I get an amen!

CMaz's avatar

Amen brother!

TexasDude's avatar

@FutureMemory, that’s one God I wouldn’t have a problem speaking in tongues to…..

mYcHeMiCaLrOmAnCe's avatar

I don’t know. I think it’s someone you can talk to, someone who’s more like a friend….

Ron_C's avatar

God is whoever created the beautiful brunette driving past is a red Porsche.

Blackberry's avatar

Whatever this ‘god’ is…...I’m pretty sure it doesn’t want us to discriminate against gays lol.

earthduzt's avatar

God is our Sun that’s who God is. It is the light, it battles darkness every day, it has a crown of thorns (sun rays), It gives us life and takes it away.

TexasDude's avatar

@Blackberry, I can agree with that.

Jabe73's avatar

I do not believe in a literal god that hides above the clouds who is omnipotent. I personally believe “god” is the entire universe itself. Everything that exists is a part of “god”. Hard to explain.

Qingu's avatar

To me, the word “God,” if it is to have any meaning at all, cannot mean something as vague as “the universe” or “mathematics.”

A god is a very powerful being with a personal interest in human history and morality.

I don’t like the way the word “God” has been redefined and broadened to include scientific concepts that have nothing to do with any religion or the characters in religious scriptures.

Brenna_o's avatar

God is real yes. I have heard His voice in the middle of the night when I was crying and upset. He spoke to me about His home in heaven and how Heaven holds no saddness.
God is the one who died on a cross here on earth to forgive the peoples sins, so that all who believe in him would live forever with HIm in Heaven.
God created the world, man kind, animals, and everything that is good and peaceful here on earth. The bible says it is not Gods will that any shall perish and goto hell. But the only way to get into HEaven is through his father Jesus Christ. Eventhough we are all sinners, if we ask him to forgive us and we actually mean it, and we are truly sorry the bible says God forgives every sin. God is all powerful, he loves all, is a father to the fatherless, God is the God of hosts, and so much more.
Yes I know some of you dont believe this, and will probably critisize me over this post but I know what is true and what I believe it. And I know God is real. Also I know why I believe this.

Seek's avatar

God is the name Man assigns to anything he is incapable of understanding.

At one point, God was the shiny things in the sky.
Then it was the fire that cooked his food and the rains that fed his fields.
Then it was the thing that determined birth and death and what happened on either side
Then it was the thing that made the world.
Then it was the thing that determines morality
and the more humans learn, the more abstract the definition of “god” becomes.

Qingu's avatar

@Brenna_o, is the god who talked to you the same one who ordered the Hebrews to commit genocide on multiple occasions? (Deuteronomy 13:12, 20:16, the entire book of Joshua)

Seek's avatar

@Qingu @Brenna_o

Or the one that supposedly made the hell and defined the sin?

reijinni's avatar

A grown person’s imaginary friend.

Brenna_o's avatar

@Qingu
In genesis 18 God wants to destroy Sodom because the people in that city were all doing wicked things, God mentioned this to Abraham (from my understanding) and Abraham pleads with God saying what If I find 50 christians there. Will you not destroy Sodom for the sake of 50? God agrees and Abraham keeps making the number of people who believe in Him smaller and smaller and God agrees to not destory the village for the sake of even one christian. (if any christians were found there)
With God saying he will not destroy a whole city for even the sake of one christian soul proves that He is a just God, and He cares about all his people. I am not totally sure what your trying to ask but that is what i was able to come up with.
@Seek_Kolinahr
Hell was created because Lucifer (spelling?) the most beautiful angel tried to be better than God. So he got cast out of Heaven and brought with him ⅓ of the angels(who are now demons) I am not sure what to say because I cant totally grasp the story on this but hell was created for those who do not ask forgiveness of their sins, and for those who do not follow God. God doesnt want us serving him like robots so he gave us a choice to serve him or not. If we do not serve him though there are consequences. And the consequences are eternal death. If we follow him though we get to be with him when we die and goto heaven forever.

lapilofu's avatar

@Brenna_o I’m pretty sure the reason there weren’t any Christians in Sodom was because Christ wasn’t even embryonic yet.

Also I think you need to reread your stories. God definitely did not go as low as one person. (He goes as low as 10 righteous people would be enough to prevent destruction. Although, in his defense, that’s when Abraham stopped asking.)

Brenna_o's avatar

@lapilofu God has ALWAYS been and ALWAYS will be. However his son Jesus Christ was born from the virgin Marry later on

lapilofu's avatar

@Brenna_o Out of curiosity, what do you think is the origin of the word Christian?

Qingu's avatar

@Brenna_o, if I understand you, you’re saying that comitting genocide is morally acceptable, so long as God says so—because the Canaanite women and children obviously would have deserved to die. Is this your position?

How do you feel about slavery? I cited Deuteronomy 20; the same chapter has God commanding his followers to enslave people they conquer. Leviticus 25:45 explicitly allows enslaving foreigners. Exodus 21 explains that you can legally beat your slaves as much as the Romans beat Jesus before they crucified him.

Do you think your god is responsible for these laws, and that we should follow them today?

ragingloli's avatar

Or the same ones that created and put both the serpent and the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden of eden, fully knowing that the serpent would make eva and adam eat the fruit.
The same ones that punished the two for a transgression they committed before they had any understanding of right and wrong and thus could not possibly know that obeying God is good or that disobeying God is bad, a transgression that was obviously forseen, planned, set up, and orchestrated by God themselves.
Oh, and Lucifer and his Rebellion is a Christian invention based on a mistranslation.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I believe God is the external projection of internal human hopes, fears, emotions and abilities. He is said to be the ultimate of love and hate, vengeance and mercy, humility and pride, and all other human attributes. He is a standard by which religious people measure themselves, and is therefore the greatest being they themselves can conceive. He is an idea, but entirely human.

Qingu's avatar

Also, I’m confused as to why you think God is really giving us a “choice.”

Picture a father telling his son to clean the dishes. If the son obeys, the father will give him ice cream (or milk and honey). If the son disobeys, the father will beat him, infect him with diseases, and sell him into slavery. He will cause another man to rape his son’s wife. He will strike his son with blindness. He will force his son to eat his children, and the miscarraiges and afterbirth of his wife. He will “take delight in his ruin and destruction.” (Deuteronomy 28).

Does that really sound like a choice? Most judges in our legal system would say it’s coercion through threat of violence, not a choice.

Brenna_o's avatar

Adam and Eve had a choice to eat the fruit or not. God told them in genesis that they could eat from any tree in the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Eve blatantly disobeyed and brought Adam along into the sin as well. WHen they ate from the tree their eyes were open and they knew they were naked. And they hid from God. This was the first sin there ever was.
God gives us a choice because he doesnt want us serving him like robots. EHe wants us to love him on our own will..
God did not make all the laws like the one saying you can beat your slaves. The kings of those cities did.

Seek's avatar

@Brenna_o

The only thing I fear more than adults that truly believe killing in the name of God is okay, is adults that still believe in fairy tales. The former could be brushed off as an excuse. The latter is an utterly disheartening display of the sheer idiocy that has not yet been bred out of the human race.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

So, you should be able to pick and choose what you believe is the “word of god” from the Bible and what isn’t?
I hear that reasoning a lot when discussing theism vs atheism, and I don’t buy it. You can’t just make your own rules.

Qingu's avatar

@Brenna_o, hold on. Are you saying that Exodus 21, Leviticus 25, and Deuteronomy 20 are actually bullshit and someone made them up and attributed them to your god?

How did you arrive at this conclusion?

Do you think any other parts of the Bible are false stories made up by humans? Or just the ones that sound bad by modern standards?

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@TheOnlyNeffie Sure you can – but then they are your rules, not Christian rules, and the Bible cannot be cited as the sole source of those rules.

Qingu's avatar

Oh, and as for slavery… it’s codified in the Ten Commandments. The tenth commandments tell you not to covet your neighbor’s property, including his wife and his slaves.

(The Bible considers wives property, by the way… I suppose you think those laws were also made up?)

Paul also tells slaves to obey their masters in 1 Timothy 6, and Jesus makes a number of references to slavery without saying you shouldn’t own slaves.

lapilofu's avatar

@Brenna_o The bible actually does say it’s OK to beat your slave as long as you don’t kill him/her. You should really reread your bible.

ragingloli's avatar

@Brenna_o
You can not make a choice without knowing which decision is right which decision is wrong.
Adam and Eva did not know right from wrong. That knowledge was hanging from a tree, literally.
They did not know that disobeying God was ‘bad’, they did not know that eating the fruit was ‘bad’.
They were basically robots awaiting programming. When the serpent came and told them to eat the fruit, they had no choice but to do as the serpent told them.
They were incapable of thinking “I will not eat the fruit because God forbid it” because they had no reason to obey God in the first place, because they God did not give them the ability to discern right from wrong.

And besides, if God is omniscient, he knew what was going to happen, and if he knew what was going to happen, then all these events were predestined (guess by whom) and there can be no free will. Divine omniscience and free will are contradictory.

Brenna_o's avatar

God never said it was okay to kill. killing is against the 10 commandments (exodus 20)
And God spoke all these words, saying
2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
7 “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
8 “ Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
12 “ Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
These are Gods laws and they clearly say thou shall not murder.. Murder is killing and killing goes along with it. It says nothing to the effect of “killing in his name is okay.

Qingu's avatar

I don’t agree with the free will argument, @ragingloli. All of my actions are predetermined by the mechanistic properties of universal laws; however I still have “free will” on the level of my conscious experience.

lapilofu's avatar

@Brenna_o In fact it’s actually okay to beat your slave to death as long as he doesn’t die until a day or two after you beat him. Check it out, Exodus 21

21:20 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.
21:21 Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.

Brenna_o's avatar

They knew the shouldnt eat the fruit God told them not to

Seek's avatar

ahem

“Take your son, your only son – yes, Isaac, whom you love so much – and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will point out to you.” (Genesis 22:1–18)

Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

You should not let a sorceress live. (Exodus 22:17 NAB)

“If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.” (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death. (Exodus 21:15 NAB)

A priest’s daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death. (Leviticus 21:9 NAB)

They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12–13 NAB)

But if this charge is true (that she wasn’t a virgin on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father’s house. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst. (Deuteronomy 22:20–21 NAB)

Should I go on?

Qingu's avatar

@Brenna_o, the ten commandments do not outlaw killing, they outlaw murder, which is unlawful killing.

In fact, the punishment for breaking any of the ten commandments, according to the Bible, is death.

Numerous laws order you to kill people. For example, Deuteronomy 22 orders you to kill a newlywed bride who cannot prove her virginity on her wedding night. You’re supposed to stone her on the doorstep of her father’s house. Other parts of the Bible order you to stone to death disobedient children, astrologers, adulteresses, and unbelievers such as myself. (Please don’t).

Deuteronomy 20 lays out rules of warfare. You march up to a city and demand they surrender. If they do, you enslave everyone. IF they don’t, you kill all the men, but keep the women and children as slaves. Unless, of course, the city is in the holy land. Then you are supposed to commit genocide.

Seriously, why on earth do you think the Bible is against killing? Something tells me you never actually read much of it.

Qingu's avatar

It’s also worth mentioning, especially if you’re morally against killing—the Bible is the only religious text that actually commands genocide. Not even the human-sacrificing Aztecs committed genocide.

Brenna_o's avatar

I am done arguing with you people.. I know what I believe and you know what you believe.

Qingu's avatar

I actually don’t think you do know what you believe. Are you sure?

ragingloli's avatar

translation: “lalalala, I can’t hear, you lalalala!”

Seek's avatar

Couldn’t have said it better myself, @ragingloli

Blackberry's avatar

Another reason why I feel religious proselytizing should be deemed child abuse

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I suspect this may get me modded, but theism vs atheism discussions are like crack to jellies.

tinyfaery's avatar

I love how these questions always bring out the professional Bible refuters. I always learn my damning Bible quotes on fluther. Thanks.

Brenna_o's avatar

I cant believe you guys! I am done following this

Seek's avatar

@tinyfaery

The only thing more fun than doing it online, is doing it in person. Especially when you (as the refuter) have more of the Bible memorised than the proselytizer.

At least one good thing came out of the 15 years of hellfire and brimstone preaching I was subjected to.

Qingu's avatar

I just wish she would clarify if she thinks it’s actually the Biblical god who talked to her.

Seek's avatar

I kinda wish she would clarify whether she’s actually read the Bible she claims to base her life upon.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Blackberry have you seen Jesus Camp? It will further solidify your feelings on the subject! You might even want to start a career as a Prosecutor of Proselytizing! @tinyfaery, lol4rl!

@Brenna_o when you are discussing faith you will find as many intense anti-believers as you will find fanatical believers. Standing up for your faith in a room full of believers is one thing, doing so in the face of a well read and passionate opposition is a whole different ball of wax.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
Qingu's avatar

But it appears you don’t believe that much of the Bible is true.

Seek's avatar

In that case, @Brenna_o you should have no problem defending your support of the racist, violent, xenophobic, jealous god that the Bible describes. Especially if he speaks to you directly.

ragingloli's avatar

@Qingu
That maybe so in a Godless deterministic Universe, but when we are talking about a God that knows all the decisions you will make and specifically set up the universe in a way that you invariably are going to make the choices as he intended, then you can not in any logical manner, not even within the religious narrative, speak of “free will”.

Qingu's avatar

But you would, in your own experience, still have free will.

You also seem to be saying that free will is dependent not on whether your actions are determined, but whether some being created the set of deterministic conditions. Why would a pre-determined but godless universe allow “free will,” but not a pre-determined universe created by a god?

ragingloli's avatar

Actually, I reject the concept of free will not only in a god created universe but also in a physical universe, because for me it depends on whether your decision is predetermined or not, irrespective by whom or what it was determined.
It may be subjectively seem like you have free will, but it really is not.
Take throwing a die for example. Subjectively to you and the die, the result of a throw is random and each possible outcome has an equal probability of 1/6th. But in actuality this subjective randomness is not random at all, but one outcome has a probability of 1, the other 5 are zero. You and the die just do not know enough to know the result.
Subjectively you have free will. Objectively, you do not, but are a very complex automaton.

battousaikeller's avatar

ok theres certain laws that god gave them yes there were slaves because there were taxes that some of them couldnt pay so they came to work for the person that they own but at the 10 th year there were no longer a slave unless they chose to be in which case they were called bond servents

battousaikeller's avatar

and as for the killing yes for sinning and breaking gods word and law you were given death

Seek's avatar

If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom. If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him. If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master. But the slave may plainly declare, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children. I would rather not go free.’ If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will belong to his master forever. (Exodus 21:2–6 NLT)

Doesn’t sound very free to me.

Also, the very hope of freedom doesn’t exist if you don’t have a penis.

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7–11 NLT)

Even as a “free woman”, she’s away from her home and doesn’t even have her only Biblical bargaining chip: her virginity. Because that’s all a woman is worth, you know.

battousaikeller's avatar

but that was back then its not now

Seek's avatar

@battousaikeller

Malachi 3:6 “For I am the LORD, I do not change;

battousaikeller's avatar

Yes but when he sent jesus down he gave what none has done before he gave forgiveness

battousaikeller's avatar

and as time goes on things evolved and so things got tossed out what was needed no longer

Seek's avatar

17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven,

Words of Jesus, Matthew 5:17

Seek's avatar

* stretches *

Got any more?

SuperMouse's avatar

@battousaikeller I am confused as to why enslaving someone for any period of time is ok. Six hours, six days six years, no one should be enslaved, the God of your Bible (which should really be called Man’s Bible because whether it is the word of God or not, it is the word of God filtered through the perception of men and there is no denying that the men who wrote the Bible had an agenda) seems to approve of this treatment. I am also confused as to what Jesus bringing forgiveness has to do with God approving of slavery.

battousaikeller's avatar

yes he was talking about himself of the prophesies that were written about him and about the law he did fulfill the law because he was perfect

Brenna_o's avatar

Why dont you people try reading the whole bible and just stop arguing over something that is never going to end…!

Seek's avatar

@battousaikeller

The Law is the Law of Moses. Anyone with half a brain knows that.

@Brenna_o

I’ve read the Bible more than my own ex-pastor. So have many of the atheists on Fluther and around the rest of the world.

battousaikeller's avatar

right and didnt jesus fullfill that law to show he is perfect

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I have read the Bible. Multiple times. I know plenty of Christians that have NEVER read the Bible.

I suspect if more people actually read the Bible, fewer people would be Christian.

@battousaikeller I’m not seeing this perfection you’re describing.

Seek's avatar

Jesus was first mentioned in Isaiah. – correction… EMANUEL was first described in Isaiah.

Moses had nothing to do with Jesus. Jesus, however, was a Jew, who followed and supported the law of Moses.

battousaikeller's avatar

christ is sinless he never broke one or more of the commandments

Seek's avatar

* facepalm *

That has nothing to do with the Law.

You’re talking in circles, and not even doing so intelligently.

Let’s see if I can spell it out for you:

Slavery in the Bible = still slavery.
Oh, but that was a long time ago.
God doesn’t change
Jesus came to change it
God doesn’t change. Jesus even said that God doesn’t change
No, Jesus meant that he was sinless.
WTF?

battousaikeller's avatar

so what are you exactly want to know

Seek's avatar

I don’t want to know anything. I already know what the Bible says, and why it’s all bullshit.

Seek's avatar

Prove it.

battousaikeller's avatar

i dont need to the bible speaks for itself

Seek's avatar

To me, the Bible says

Kill anyone I don’t like (heathens, pagans, homosexuals, witches…)
I’ll kill the people I do like (Job’s family)
People who don’t like me will burn in hell for eternity.
Mutilate your children (circumcision)
Kill your children if they disobey you
Sell your daughters into slavery
Women are property
Children are property
People who don’t follow your god are property
Rape is justifiable
Jesus had violent tendencies

battousaikeller's avatar

right god does not like anyone who does not follow god knew their hearts and saw wickedness and wouldnt stand for it

battousaikeller's avatar

back then yes because there was no government system like we have today

Seek's avatar

@battousaikeller

And we’re back to

Malachi 3:6 “For I am the LORD, I do not change;

battousaikeller's avatar

and rape was never justifiable

battousaikeller's avatar

yes he never changes but we do

Seek's avatar

I’m sure the wife of Onan’s brother was completely willing to have her husband’s four brothers attempt to bed her within the week. And Bathsheba was dying to betray her husband to his death in order to marry King David.

battousaikeller's avatar

he gives mercy where mercy is due

Trillian's avatar

Torn between satisfacton and chagrin at the ruckus he’s raised, @hawaii_jake slips out the back, taking his six pack and pretzels with him. ;-)

Seek's avatar

@battousaikeller

Stop spouting useless BS and respond with some semblance of intelligence to what I’m actually saying, please.

battousaikeller's avatar

bathsheba never knew

Seek's avatar

Funny, because David screwed her before her husband got home. She obviously knew something was going on.

ragingloli's avatar

@battousaikeller
You see, that is the problem. People know the Bible is BS, because it makes claims that are factually wrong.
It did not get the emergence of earth and life right.
It did not get the shape of the earth right.
It did not get the makup of the atmosphere right.
It did not get the setup of the solar system right.
It did not get species classification right (it claims that bats are birds).
It is not even internally consistent.
It has two different creation myths that are incompatible with each other.
It has two incompatible stories about Jesus’ resurrection.
It has two incompatible stories about where Jesus taught (a field vs a mountain)

Yes, the bible does speak for itself. That is why it proves itself to be BS.

Seek's avatar

@ragingloli
Don’t you know all those scientists are being lied to by Satan?

Trillian's avatar

@Brenna_o You’re killin’ me.
I was going to leave it alone @janbb, I swear I was. I was ignoring the spelling, or lack thereof, I was ignoring the crap out of the punctuation, or lack…. then I saw….THIS; ”...not Gods will that any shall perish and goto hell. But the only way to get into HEaven is through his father Jesus Christ. Eventhough we are all sinners…”
I believe that for the sake of all of us here we’d appreciate all being on the same page, so let’s make clear that most Christans believe that Jesus Christ is God’s SON, not his FATHER. Are we clear?

battousaikeller's avatar

ok no she wasnt there David was fearful because she was preganot (sp)

battousaikeller's avatar

there 4 different gospels their were reprters who got it from witnesses and hear say but jesus did say blessed are those who dont see and still belive

Seek's avatar

Oh, you want to get into the Gospels?

How about the fact that only two of them state that Mary was a virgin? And Luke – the DOCTOR – wasn’t one of them!

Now, I know if I witnessed the birth of a child to a virgin, that would be damned interesting. Wow! Born by a virgin! And now, the apostle who should have been MOST interested didn’t even mention the fact in passing.

Brenna_o's avatar

@Trillian Jesus is Gods son yes…

battousaikeller's avatar

he didnt have to

Trillian's avatar

This is kind of interesting. I’ve read some of Dr. Ramachandran’s work before, he’s really fascinating. Anyway, here’s this tidbit;

SCIENTISTS believe they have discovered a “God module” in the brain which could be responsible for man’s evolutionary instinct to believe in religion.

A study of epileptics who are known to have profoundly spiritual experiences has located a circuit of nerves in the front of the brain which appears to become electrically active when they think about God.

The scientists said that although the research and its conclusions are preliminary, initial results suggest that the phenomenon of religious belief is “hard-wired” into the brain.

Epileptic patients who suffer from seizures of the brain’s frontal lobe said they frequently experience intense mystical episodes and often become obsessed with religious spirituality.

A team of neuroscientists from the University of California at San Diego said the most intriguing explanation is that the seizure causes an overstimulation of the nerves in a part of the brain dubbed the “God module”.

“There may be dedicated neural machinery in the temporal lobes concerned with religion. This may have evolved to impose order and stability on society,” the team reported at a conference last week.

There’s more of course. Here’s a link if anyone is interested:
http://cas.bellarmine.edu/tietjen/images/new_page_2.htm

battousaikeller's avatar

it was prohesied by god that yes his son was going to be born of a virgin

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
battousaikeller's avatar

is it not true

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Ew, I despise when people post scripture as an asnwer to anything – have your own answer please..you’re plagiarizing

Anyway, @Rarebear @Seek_Kolinahr reflect my views on this construct – which is what god is.

Seek's avatar

Is what not true?

battousaikeller's avatar

did not god say that his son was going to be birthed by a virigan

battousaikeller's avatar

scripture is truth

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@battousaikeller Please keep your regurgitation to one comment, thanks

Seek's avatar

I believe that is mentioned in Isaiah – not by god, but by a prophet. Which makes it all the more startling that Luke would make no mention of the prophecy’s fulfillment.

However, the topic at hand is the evil, violent nature of the Old Testament God, and the fact that Jesus reinforced the laws of that god. Can we get back to that?

battousaikeller's avatar

God created darkness for his own purpose so what

Seek's avatar

So, you support the malevolent, genocidal, racist, sexist, inconsistent god of the Bible? and you believe it is completely acceptable to own slaves, treat women as property, kill people who do not worship your god, etc?

Qingu's avatar

Would it be wrong to follow the laws about owning slaves?

Would it be wrong to stone nonvirgins to death on their wedding night?

Would it be wrong to kill unbelievers?

battousaikeller's avatar

acctually Jesus did

tinyfaery's avatar

This is just stupid, now.

ragingloli's avatar

He did not. Read the link.

Seek's avatar

I think we’re still in denial that someone can be this dense.

battousaikeller's avatar

prove to me in scripture that he didnt

Qingu's avatar

So you’re a moral relativist?

Seek's avatar

Scripture is spelled out for you in the link @ragingloli provided.

ragingloli's avatar

as I said, read the damn link. Spelled out on it for you.

Qingu's avatar

Be nice, fellow atheists.

Seek's avatar

* breathes * Sorry, @Qingu . Fixed.

battousaikeller's avatar

ok see hes coming again

Qingu's avatar

Whether or not jc fulfilled the prophecy in the gospels is a moot point. The gospels were written decades after jesus died and the authors made up a bunch of stuff about him anyway.

In Zelda: the ocarina of time, there’s a prophecy at the beginning of the game, then later, the hero ends up fulfilling the prophecy. This doesn’t prove anything since, like the gospels, Zelda is largely fictional; anyone can write a fulfilled prophecy narrative.

battousaikeller's avatar

and jesus was talking about setting a spirual kingdom not a physical kingdom

zophu's avatar

Strange how the one question no one is supposed to be able to answer has over 150 responses in a matter of a few hours. Or maybe it’s not strange at all.

battousaikeller's avatar

the prophecies were written decades before jesus

Seek's avatar

What does any of this have to do with BibleGod being Hitler’s role model?

Qingu's avatar

Wait, you never answered. Are you a moral relativist?

Why would gods morality change?

Why was it okay to own slaves and kill unbelievers in 33 ad but not 34 ad?

Are you saying Jesus abolished these laws?

ragingloli's avatar

Jesus was supposed to return before all of his followers died. He said so himself. And then all his followers died and he still was not back.
Not to mention that the messiah is supposed to achieve all his objectives in one life time, not in a second coming.

Blackberry's avatar

I suggest watching an informative debate between Sam Harris and David Wolpe: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sam+harris+vs+david+wolpe&aq=5
Most theist/atheist debates are a circle like this one (where the religious person ignores facts), but rabbi David stuck in there pretty long with the philosopher/neuroscientist Harris.

Qingu's avatar

Yes, anx the stories about how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies were written decades after he died. Do you believe everything you read?

battousaikeller's avatar

yes jesus did when he died on the cross he took the worlds sin from their past present and future

Qingu's avatar

You think Jesus abolished the law?

battousaikeller's avatar

what do you mean by abolished

Seek's avatar

Abolished = don’t count no more.

Trillian's avatar

Finshes drink. Stands up. I’m a little disappointed hat the Christian side is not better represented here. I hope everyone does not take these two as models. I know one scholarly man in particular who would have some good answers that actully address the questions being asked. I don’t know if he would convince anyone of anything, but he would at least let you know that he does have a thorough knowledge of the bible and would manage not to make an idiot of himself. I’ll check back later.

Qingu's avatar

Abolished as in, you shouldn’t follow the laws anymore.

battousaikeller's avatar

in a way yes the law is their to prove that we are sinners and that we do need his grace and mercy and that we need forgiveness

iRemy_y's avatar

GOD is whatever created the big bang

Afos22's avatar

God is a made up being. His purpose is to help people to feel that life has a meaning. People want to believe in a god, b/c they can’t accept that they will one day be gone, and the life that they lived meant nothing.

Qingu's avatar

So you disagree word for word with Matthew 5:17.

battousaikeller's avatar

god is a spirit

battousaikeller's avatar

no i dont that was him saying im fullfilling the law to prove im gods son and that the prophesies about the messiah i will fulfill

SuperMouse's avatar

@battousaikeller I honestly believe that you would be doing yourself and your Savior a favor if you stopped playing on this thread. At least before you post anymore read well this well thought out and very coherent post on a similar subject.

Qingu's avatar

Ok. So would it be good to follow the ot laws, or not? You keep on waffling on this.

battousaikeller's avatar

the ten commandments yes and the 2 other commandments that jesus gave

Seek's avatar

I think he thinks “law” means the same thing as “prophecy”. Like Matt 5:17 isn’t discussing two completely separate topics at the same time. He also seems to think that the only Law of Moses is the ten commandments – not the entire Pentateuch.

Qingu's avatar

But the other 603 laws that god gave us would be immoral to follow?

Btw, the tenth commandment allows slavery.

battousaikeller's avatar

it doesnt allow slavery at that time there was

Seek's avatar

“Slavery” isn’t a person that hung around for a while and went away.

It’s a social construct that existed and was encouraged by Moses in the name of BibleGod.

And only Hebrew slaves (yes, they were allowed to enslave each other) had those lovely rules we discussed earlier. All the women and children that were left alive after the Hebrews wiped out every male of fighting age and every non-virgin were taken as slaves – no indentures there. That was by order of your god, not passive “Well, if you have the slaves anyway, might as well not covet your neighbor’s”.

Qingu's avatar

Well it says not to covet my neighbors slave. Paul also says you can own slaves in 1 Tim 6 and elsewhere.

But ok. You never answered my question. Immoral to follow most of god’s laws today? Yes or no?

battousaikeller's avatar

i belive so because we have no use for them

Qingu's avatar

Interesting. You think god gave us immoral laws.

Why did jesus say you’d be “greatest in heaven” if you follow them and teach others to do the same?

Qingu's avatar

Likewise. Farewell.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@battousaikeller STOP spamming the thread!

evandad's avatar

Yo mama

Blackberry's avatar

Yo mama so religious…........

Coloma's avatar

All I have to say is that there is an infinite universal power that is interconnected.

I do not adhere to fundementalist christian beleif, but….I do adhere to universal law and there is truth in that, in the oneness of all creation, sans the argument of whether or not the creator is the biblical ‘God.’

I have had far too many sychronistic experiences to doubt for a moment that when one is open, present and in touch with source, amazing things happen.

I like the mantra of ” it is not see it and you will believe it” it IS ” believe it and you will see it.”

The power is there for everyone, but…. if you do not seek, you will not find, it’s that simple.

zophu's avatar

@Coloma I just want you to know that I think that nothing needs to be glorified in order for it to have true meaning.

YARNLADY's avatar

The concept of a God is whatever someone wants it to be. This includes believers and non-believers.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Coloma I like your little mantra. A lot of people seem to see things that aren’t there simply because they want to believe it. Kind of like the old Discordian parable of the man who found patterns in the fragments of a shattered boulder, and from that came to believe that there was some sort of purpose behind it that made sharp stones align in triangles and white stones in helices.

Coloma's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh

Mock me if you will… there’s a whole other unexplored dimension beyond science and logic…find it or not. ;-)

Cruiser's avatar

God for me has become the life force energy that provides the living spirit in all living things. You can feel it all around you if you simply tune it in and it is a spiritual moment when you do!

cockswain's avatar

God is what gives Jedis power.

Trillian's avatar

I used to think that Isaac Asimov was god.
@Cruiser, you rock.

rooeytoo's avatar

@hawaii_jake – did you ever dream you would get 208, 209 if you count mine, responses!

I heard a guy in a meeting say one time, he wouldn’t define his relationship with his new girlfriend because it would “set parameters, and assign limitations.” I don’t know if that is true but it sounds good and I would say the same thing about this god creature.

But as I have said before, I believe in insurance so when something good happens, I roll my eyes heavenward and say a silent thank you. Cuz, you just never know!

Frenchfry's avatar

God is a big blinding light. You can’t not look at him you will go blind. That is just my imagination talking.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

My version of a higher power is the energies within the universe. Both spiritual and physical.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@rooeytoo : No, I never imagined the thread would be like this, and it makes me want to scream, “I had an awesome date that lasted all afternoon and evening while some poor people were jerking around on their computers.”

@everyone : Thank you. I’m sorry. I promise not to do that again.

:)

turns his back Thank god that’s over. whips back around No wait! I didn’t mean that like it sounded! Oh no! Don’t start that again!

ipso's avatar

“We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.” –Richard Dawkins

“So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.” -Bertrand Russell

“We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing, all-powerful God, who creates faulty humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.” -Gene Roddenberry

“If it turns out there is a God, I don’t think that he’s evil. But the worst you can say about him is that basically he’s an under-achiever.” -Woody Allen

“Is god willing to prevent evil but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him god?” -Epicurus (341–270 BCE)

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Coloma I was not trying to mock you, I just wanted to point out that the saying goes both ways. In the end belief may or may not correspond with reality, but it cannot affect reality.

ucme's avatar

Hmmm, religion provokes vitriolic bile & hostilities!! Now there’s a suprise.

BoBo1946's avatar

@ucme the people involved would have something to do with it.

CMaz's avatar

“He spoke to me about His home in heaven”

So there is rain in heaven. Does it get too cold or too hot? Do you have to have a door to lock?
Or privacy from nosy neighbors? Walls to hang your possessions on?
What would be the purpose of a home in heaven?

That’s putting mans face on God.

And, its murder not kill. They never got around to fix that one.

Also, I see God when I look at all of you.

“I am done arguing with you people.”
There are no arguments on Fluther. Mods will not allow it. :-)

Good sold debating. God to love that stuff.

BoBo1946's avatar

God is the English name given to the singular omnipotent being in theistic and deistic religions (and other belief systems) who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism. Wiki

Read a lot of threads, not all. Don’t think anyone can fully explain who God is or isn’t. Personally, i just believe. I take it by faith. Sure, many things about the Bible that even theologians cannot fully explain. If you try to intellectualize Faith or God, it will not happen. It must be accepted as a little child would.

I’ve lots of questions unanswered, but will never, not believe because of things that have shaped my life. I don’t believe in God because I’m afraid to go to Hell. Just understand and believe in his goodness and mercy in my life. Sure, like everyone, see all the misery in this World, but i don’t question God’s plan.

Having said this, see so many evangelist on TV that give religion a bad name. The Swaggers, Tilson (cannot remember his first name), Baker, etc. It is a personally thing with myself. Don’t go around comdemning others or proselytizing my religion. Mine is done in the quietness of my home.

Believe me, I’m not an All-American Christian, but, as i always have said, i’m a good waterboy on the team.

ucme's avatar

@BoBo1946 Oh absolutely!! Nothing wrong with religion or faith. I myself have no interest but to each their own. It’s just that some have a tendency to shove their views down each other’s throats. Just an observation, funny really.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Cruiser-hmmmm—heard this somewhere before…..—;)

Coloma's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh

Gotcha…you’re a hard one to ‘read.’ lol

Coloma's avatar

‘God’ is a feeling, I feel ‘God.’

I feel ‘God’ right now on this magnificent summer morning, I literally FEEL every molocule in my being blending right into the rays of the sun as they play across my shady little canyon.

‘God’ is not a mental construct, a being as most are taught, ‘God’ IS pure energy, universal energy, the stuff of stars, the perfect totality of everything, AND…when I am fully in touch with this magnanomous force, miracles happen.

My desire to live in this river community and the co-correspondant feelings/imaging of such led me to this house, sealed the deal on a handshake, and it was mine in an afternoon!

Oh yeah…I am living proof that when one is in congruence, the planets do line up in ones favor. Expect miracles and you will get them, expect unhappy outcomes and you will get those as well.

whatnot's avatar

Someone asks “what is God?” and people argue over the Bible and Judeo-Christian beliefs. The question wasn’t “Are the Bible and Judeo-Christian beliefs valid?” Arguing over another’s beliefs doesn’t really answer the question. It only proves a strong opinion for or against another’s beliefs.

If I were to post my beliefs, and someone were to argue as a means to discredit those beliefs or to get me to change my beliefs, it would neither prove or disprove the existence or validity of God.

A real test of God’s existence is not found in the persuasive arguing of words. Any fool or brilliant person can argue – it neither proves or nullifies anything.

I would rather want to know how one lives the words, the argument. Say you’re an atheist? Fine, how do you live without a god? Say you’re a born-again Christian? Ok, does the love of Christ affect everything you say and do? So, you may be of some other religion or belief system. How does the God of your life change you from being just an ordinary person living an ordinary life?

You who argue with words, what aspect of your life is any better or worse because there is or is not God in it?

I cannot prove or disprove with words the existence or validity of God. However, I can show you my life – what it looks like with I live with God and when I choose to live without God.

Having had both experiences in a very intimate sense, having lived in both directions, I have seen along with others around me that there is a difference between the two. God is not someone or something I could ever create – although I am creative and imaginative, the God I know supersedes my limits. The God I know doesn’t need my Bible or my words to find existence or validation. Yet, the God I know somehow survives the weak attempts of man to prove or disprove His/Her/Its existence.

Talk about life, and you talk about God – no matter what you believe. Don’t agree with me? Ok. No problem. I didn’t prove God to you, and I know you won’t disprove God either.

Coloma's avatar

@whatnot

” I can show you my life- what it looks like when I live with God and when I choose to live without God.”

ZING!

Yep, I think inner peace speaks for itself, I always have people saying they want some of what I have, I tell them it’s theirs for the taking, I am not ‘special’, I just know the ‘secret’. ;-)

cockswain's avatar

@Coloma “I literally FEEL every molocule in my being blending right into the rays of the sun as they play across my shady little canyon.”

Literally? That’s a number with a lot of zeroes.

Seek's avatar

Say you’re an atheist? Fine, how do you live without a god?

I act for the betterment of myself, my family, and those around me. Not because I will be “rewarded” for my good deeds or “punished” for my bad ones, but because it’s the right thing to do.

I do not teach my child abstract concepts and lies that will confuse them in the future. (“What’s that?” “Rain and Thunder”., not “What’s that?” “The angels are bowling and God is crying”) or encourage belief in things without evidence. (Santa Claus will be a character in ”‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”, just as Willy Wonka is a character in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.)

I do not live under the assumption that people who do not believe the way I do are inherently evil, are criminals, are going to burn in hell, get multiple abortions because they relish foetal death, etc. I do, however, find it sad that so many people devote their time and large percentages of their family incomes to a deity that probably doesn’t exist. I do mourn for people who live in the bondage of their religion whether by choice or by edict of law, or the insistence of their families. I become angry when I hear of children dying because their parents decided to pray instead of seeking medical attention.

As when I was a Christian, I spoke to all who would hear about the perceived goodness of my god, I will now do all I can to help others with questions follow those questions to their logical conclusion—and I won’t even have to deal with the internal guilt that leading others to a lifetime of guilt and oppression once did.

Coloma's avatar

@cockswain

Hey, frequencies ya know? lol

Yeah, yeah, what can I say…you either feel it or you don’t.

Everything is made of the same stuff, just arranged a little differently.

Yes, sometimes I can literally ‘see’ the molecules in the air…it’s a hum, and it is visible.

I travel in my own little high frequency zone… ;-)

Ron_C's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr ” will now do all I can to help others with questions follow those questions to their logical conclusion—and I won’t even have to deal with the internal guilt that leading others to a lifetime of guilt and oppression once did.”

Excellent. A standard argument is that people are born in a state of sin and without god, they would be evil and sinners. With that logic, we atheist would be committing all sort of horrible crimes and murders and the “saved” would live lives of peace and harmony. I guess that the Crusades, witch trials, bombing in Northern Ireland, and suicide bombing, and genocide in Serbia are just anomalies and didn’t really happen.

The problem with the “Revealed Religions” is their ability to send non=believers to hell up to the point where they can expedite that trip. Thank god we are not a Christian country.

Coloma's avatar

Religion and spirituality have absolutely nothing in common, except the common misnomer that they are somehow one and the same.

There was no Christianity before Christ. Most of religion is a manmade construct, and about as far from the teachings of Jesus as one could get.

It has been said that if Jesus were alive today he would not be a ‘Christian.’

There is, however, an infinite source of power, call it universal law or whatever floats your boat, and it is real, one only has to tap into the eternal source that is within everyone.

Infact I just finished reading ” Faith and science in Orthodox Gnosiology’ and one thing that I found very interesting was the suposistion that if….

” Christianity were to appear for the first time in this era, it would have taken the form of a therapeutic institution, a hospital to reinstate and restore the function of man as a psychosomatic being.”

I LOVE that!

cockswain's avatar

@Coloma I like what you’re saying. I think of God as just whatever the universe actually is, but don’t like using the word “god.” That is too closely associated with what I consider to be just dumb ideas and mythology, and conflicts with the way things actually are. Some have similar experiences to yours, just kind of an open-minded appreciation and connection to energy, but then try to link it to the bible or whatever. This is where I end up getting really frustrated with people who believe this. It’s like they take what could be a pure learning experience and pervert it to religion and try to cram it in to fit something it isn’t. It’s kind of like quitting, not trying to continue to understand how things work even further. Like if I saw my remote control and just said, “I guess that is just a magical object.”

But I’m with you on the energy concept, that’s what appears to link everything. The closest I come to accepting any sort of philosophy is Taoism. All it really talks about is appreciating and trying to harmonize with energy. That’s a concept that I can get behind.

You say “I am not ‘special’, I just know the ‘secret’”. What are you talking about? This is where I can get hung up, wondering how much of my contemplation and meditation ends up being hallucination and imagination due to biology and mental blocks. Kind of hard to describe, but when trying to understand what truly is I end up suddenly doubting myself and thinking “hey, is this real or am I imagining it at this point. Where are the physical limitations (and thus delusions) of my brain, if any?”

I don’t know. If anyone has any ideas, I’d love to hear them. To me, all religion is full of handicaps and blocks. People may become religious trying to seek higher understanding, which is noble, but my opinion is that is eventually a dense thicket. I’m even wary of using the term “spiritual” for similar reasons.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@cockswain I thought that was the midichlorians…

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@cockswain : You wrote: when trying to understand what truly is I end up suddenly doubting myself and thinking “hey, is this real or am I imagining it at this point. Where are the physical limitations (and thus delusions) of my brain, if any?”

I wish I could help. I truly wish I could, because I have much the same question. When I meditate, am I tapping into a source higher than myself or am I deluding myself?

I have experienced things in and out of meditation that defy logic, and I choose to believe that there is something larger than me that I am tapping into. But…Yet…I still doubt.

My modern education causes me to question. I question my own senses at times and wonder if what I experienced was real or hallucinated.

Maybe I need to take up yoga or seek out a yogi.

Okay, Universe. This student is ready. Where is the teacher?

Coloma's avatar

@cockswain

Yes, the Tao and Buddhism resonates with me the best as well.

The ‘secret’ is to be in touch with your being, to drop the wild horses of mind and bask in beingness. When in this high frequency state of no thought, stillness ‘speaks.’

‘The small still voice’ cal it ‘God’ , Buddha nature, whatever works for you.

I do not have an issue with using the word ‘God’..although, I agree, ‘God’ is the most overused and abused word ever, well…maybe next to ‘love.’ lol

When aligned with appropriate ‘desire’ and the co-correspondant feeling state one manifests that which one puts the most attention on.

Quantum physics supports this truth, ( not theory, TRUTH ) ;-)

Like Sam Clemens said…’ A man is just about as happy as he makes up his mind to be.’

To put the ‘spiritual’ spin on that quoate, I’d say ’ Man is just about as close to ‘God’ as he UN-makes up his mind to be.’ lol

What we resist persists, resit finding ‘God’ and you will be succesful. ;-)

Aster's avatar

@Coloma and I believe indentically. I read her post and was astonished how much we’re alike. But I dont know if she also feels we have it “easier” than most because of personal experiences which are available to all who seek them. Why? I do not know. How it works? I do not know. But these experiences are wonderful. and personal

Coloma's avatar

@Aster

Yes. And usually one must have a spiritual ‘crisis’ so to speak, the process of alchemy.

I know when my ego was totally busted wide open, and through that suffering I was put in touch with the peace that passeth all understanding. :-)

This crash was many years ago, but I cannot express the profundity of my transformations and subsequent connection to something so much greater than the small selfs need to see itself as a separate and powerful being.

Hah!

Oh sweet surrender.

@cockswain

Btw….the more you effort at your meditations the more you miss the point…the ‘just this-ness’...it’s already always here, now. ;-)

Be here now, that is all. And in being here now, fully awake in the present moment, you allow the magic to work through you! ;-)

cockswain's avatar

@hawaii_jake I think admitting you have a problem definitely helps. I agree with everything you said: where is the difference between delusion and truth? I think sometimes people contemplate Christ, or Yahweh or Allah and have an exciting sensation that arises from contemplating large concepts and infinity. I believe people confuse this “spiritual” feeling with having originated in the deity he/she was contemplating. And that is a delusion. “Where is the teacher?” Intellectually, I understand it is in all of us. But how does one maintain such an attitude? I might walk away from this computer and get pissed off about something dumb.

@Coloma Your quantum physics point is colossal to me. Ever since I heard the Heisenberg Theory (you can’t ever be certain of anything since the act of observing an event influences its outcome) I’ve felt that is the way the energy of our atoms and quantum particles is connected to the universe. Our brains and thoughts must be similarly connected it seems. This, the math, physics, and beauty of it, is the path. Some condemn science for its lack of spiritual depth. I believe it is trying to practically define and explain all spirituality. How much have our lives improved by just improving our understanding of electricity? Imagine if we could understand the physics of thought.

@Dr_Dredd midichlorians are undoubtedly comprised of quantum particles. Even though I hate magical, supernatural thinking, the idea that we could willfully influence quantum particles with the correct mindset could evolve into Sith lords and Jedis.

cockswain's avatar

@coloma “Btw….the more you effort at your meditations the more you miss the point…the ‘just this-ness’...it’s already always here, now. ;-)
Be here now, that is all. And in being here now, fully awake in the present moment, you allow the magic to work through you! ;-)”

Sure, I’ve read that too. Putting it in action has always been my, and doubtlessly many others, dilemma. But I do feel I’m better at it now than 10 years ago. I feel I’ve developed a really healthy open-minded pessimism ;- )

Coloma's avatar

@cockswain

Yes, taming the wild horse of mind is a constant, no magic poof, practice makes perfect.

An excercise I like to employ is to be fully present with every movement, task, no matter how small or mundane, being in a fully present state of ‘mind’ allows the just this-ness to show up.

Presence ( attention ) is the key to fully living in totality.

Our minds are like radios, most people wander around in a static zone, not fully tuned into to a high frequency, lost in the ( as the Toltecs say ) ‘metote’...the ‘fog.’

Keep your attention, full presence, on everything in the moment, just walking, just watering, just looking, just SEEING, minus the intrusive mind chatter and rote conceptualizations.

I love to observe animals as they are the true Zen masters….just looking without thought, fully present and through that wonderful, natural presence right action always flows, effortlessy!

The bird on the branch does not think about the next branch it wishes to alight on, it is simply present and when it moves, it’s movements are always perfect, in total congruence with it’s needs in the moment.

zophu's avatar

@Coloma Yeah, life isn’t about a destination, or about being on a path to that destination; it is a frequency of being. People who have lost the ability to feel that are stuck in their point-to-point’s, until the only point left is somehow Afterdeath. It doesn’t matter where you will go, if you are harmonious with nature, you are where you need to be.

Coloma's avatar

@zophu

Yes, well said!

To everyone:

Great discussion, I love to chew the spiritual fat so to speak, but NOW…I have a goose thats been promised a swim in the draining hot tub…one must keep their promises ey?

Time to put my attention on fun in the ‘big, big, tubby!’ lol

Let it be a great day to all!

Jeruba's avatar

Nice answer, @Seek_Kolinahr.

I do think you have to qualify it, though. “Anything he is incapable of understanding” would have to include evil and suffering, and mankind does not usually give that the name of God.

I usually avoid questions on this subject because their rationality quotient tends to run so low, but there were some interesting responses here. Also I do look in from time to time just to remind myself of what we committed atheists are up against.

Aster's avatar

@Coloma I’m jealous )-:

Jabe73's avatar

@cockswain It sounds like your views on “god” are very similar to mine. Like I said I do not believe in some “omnipotent old man” hiding above the clouds waving his fingers “creating” things from nothing. The concept of “god” to me is more like a self-aware universe or “cosmic consciousness”.

I do not believe in “magic” or the “paranormal”. I believe in ghosts, spirits and some type of afterlife realm that interpenetrates our dimension. To me its not “magic” or “above science” but this concept to me is more like another part of science we are not familiar with yet. I believe the concept of “god” or the “paranormal” is a part of quantum physics not magic. Can I prove this? No. Its what I believe however.

Coloma's avatar

@Jeruba

I see no need to label anything. Isn’t this THE reason for all discord, personally and globally, egos need to set divisive boundaries where none need to exist?

‘The rationality quotient” is an arrogant statement implying that you have a monopoly on truth.

Is that so?

” Anything that he is incapable of understanding ” would have to include the not understanding of ‘spiritual’ truths as well.

The truth of non-divisive being and temperance of ego.

In other words, getting out of your OWN way so that space is made for something divine enter.

In the words of the late, great spiritual author James Allen ( As a man thinketh )

” The Christian condems the athiest, the atheist satirizes the Christian, the Catholic and Protestant are ceaselessly engaged in wordy warfare, and the spirit of strife and hatred rules where peace and love should be. Until you can regard people of all religions and of no religion with the same impartial spirit, with all freedom from dislike, and with perfect equanimity, you have yet to strive for that love which bestows upon its possessor freedom and salvation.”

Wise words indeed.

Coloma's avatar

“Evil” is only sick ego run amok.

Not some netherworldly demonic force set out to wreak havoc on humanity.

Suffering and ‘evil’ are part of what is, and they have nothing to do with spiritual truths.

Stuff happens, and it is perfectly possible to have a deep spiritual connection and accept the ways of the world as well without feeling the need to cast out those unsavory realities in the world of form.

zophu's avatar

I think it’s that people get into so much stress, they have to make their worlds small enough to deal with; so they start sticking labels on things. This makes things easier to conceptualize and manipulate, but it tends to keep things too stagnant to adapt efficiently. So we have to find ways to deal with the stress of the natural world while also dealing with the stagnant labels people used in the past to deal with their stress—which I’m slowly coming to accept as being a part of the natural world as well.

The most annoying problem is though, a lot of the obsolete labels are still being used by people who fall into stress today. And that’s not their own doing. There’s some sick stuff going on in how so many people are influenced in such ways. It’s like a constant bad-note playing in the back of my head. I just have to make sure I don’t fall into the same trap and start calling it evil.

Coloma's avatar

@zophu

Well said.

Yes, moy definition of ego is one who is mentally, emotionally and spiritually bereft.

This opens the door to all ‘evil’ conduct, petulence, greed, hatred, envy, and the force field of dark emotionality that drives one to commit grievious acts to satiate their unwell inner beings.

The constant, unremittant grinding ‘need’ for more, more, more..be it a substance, power, monetary gain….this is the sickness of humanity.

A total disconnect from self.

Damn…hate to leave this discussion again, but..I have dinner guests in an hour…gotta let the wine breathe, along with myself. lol

zophu's avatar

@Coloma Well, don’t make ego the substitute for evil. Like you said, it’s sick ego that causes problems. People label their egos, make them something unchanging—“immortal” even. Those egos become disconnected from the constantly changing world and, you’re right. They can be the central source for a lot of unhealthy stuff. But essentially, an ego is a part of a person’s self and not a bad thing.

I have at least three myself.

Coloma's avatar

@zophu

Agreed, yes, to clarify, it is sick egoic function not ego itself, which has it’s place as a survival mechanism.

But I do believe that it is unhealthy ego that perpetrates what some call ‘evil’, rather than a separate entity called the ‘devil.’ Altough ego caqn be devilishly clever in it’s myriad disguises. lol

cockswain's avatar

@Jabe73 I like your idea of the universe as being self-aware. Honestly, I never looked at it that way but it behaves so dynamically, why couldn’t we call it “alive?” Self-aware? I can’t answer that. What I sometimes wonder is could we view the universe as evolving? Is it changing, improving, and removing flaws? I’ve heard physics tends to break down at a sub-atomic level, and I wonder if this is only because we just don’t understand those laws yet, or if there are little imperfections in the universe. Like how our bodies aren’t perfect, they have immune systems, but they aren’t foolproof and we age and die. Or is the universe completely perfect at this and all moments? Who knows, not me. Probably depends on how you define perfect I suppose.

I’m with you on the idea of ghosts and spirits really just adhering to laws we don’t yet comprehend. However, having never personally witnessed a ghost, and unable to adequately define a spirit, I don’t know that they actually exist. It gets beyond my scope of understanding, but physics implies multiple dimensions existing, and they would have to interweave with ours. If you speculate spirits are penetrating our dimension, that sort of gets back to the idea of the universe having little imperfections, like that is something that is an error in the usual way things work.

Regarding an afterlife, I’ve really been struggling with the concept. I think most religion is founded on the fear of there being zero self-awareness after death, so we create ideas to comfort ourselves, and sometimes tie it to behavior. Obviously I (nor anyone) know what happens to our consciousness at death, so to me it seems silly to imagine we do. I just figure whatever it is is subject to the quantum rules of the universe and will also happen to me one day, as it has countless lifeforms before me.

On sort of a side note regarding the afterlife, I had a thought a while back that has really been nagging me: how do we know Hitler didn’t suffer the same fate as Gandhi after death? We don’t. A selfish, greedy, complete asshole, or a pedophile, could in all possibility have zero consequences for a life of terrible behavior towards fellow man as the kindest, most loving amongst us. This concept troubles me a bit, but it may be possible the universe works this way. Do “nicer” wolves or geese get a better afterlife that meaner ones? Do ants get any different experience than us, if any?

Coloma's avatar

@cockswain

I think it all comes down to compassion.

The way of the world has always included atrocities that confound the more loving amongst us.

But…to understand that all ‘evil’ is perpetrated by the walking wounded, that they are simply products of there own disconnect, pain, troubled soul and perhaps, mentally ill as well, helps to cloak the monster as something to pity not hate.

Also..( and this is a whole new can of worms ) IF there is such a thing as reincarnation, who are we to say that what we deem atrocious human behavior might not be but a spin on the karmic wheel for both the perpetrators AND the ‘victims’ ?

Perhaps the less evolved returning soul MUST experence more darkness and pain to ascend appropriately, and perhaps the victims willingly choose to be the the sacrificial lambs for anothers spiritual evolution.

In many ways this is the premise for trusting that everything is indeed, ‘perfect’, when all other explainations of mind fail to give us a satisfying answer that ego can latch onto to explain the inexplicable.

I dunno..but, more food for thought. :-)

I think this is where the concept of free will comes into play…the usual dichotomies…do we CHOOSE our behaviors, actions, thoughts and deeds, or are they predestined?

If one goes with the non-dual approach then no, it’s already a done deal, beyond our comprehension maybe, but..who’s to say that this orchestra of life is not already a play that has a pre-determined script?

Of course this line of thought is abhorrent to ego, which wants to beleve it is the master of it’s own destiny. lol

If you really wish to boggle your mind study Adviata Vendanta and other non-dual schools of thought

Talk about a mind fuck! haha

Totally shreds the ‘rational’ mind, but quite a liberating concept as well. ;-)

cockswain's avatar

Reincarnation is as believable as heaven/hell to me though. Sounds nice, but I’ve seen no true evidence. I would have to reason that if reincarnation exists for humans, it does for non-humans as well. Which is possible I guess, but again I’m not going to live my life as though it’s true when it could just be another illusion.

But I hear you on the other ideas. As you and I (and others) have found, the best we can do to enjoy life is appreciate it as clearly as possible. In fact yesterday I was doing some mundane work (hanging siding) and kept reminding myself to not “wander in the static zone” as you’d stated. Always a good idea, keeps the mind fresh and content. I just need a reminder like that occasionally.

I’ve read Tolle (Stillness Speaks) as you’ve mentioned and loved it. I’m also a fan of Krishnamurti. I’ll check out the Vendanta stuff some time, thanks.

Coloma's avatar

@cockswain

Awesome!

Some good ‘teachers.’

Yes, reincarnation is not necessarily something I adhere too, but, does add more to the soup pot of ‘spiritual’ thought.

All we know for certain is that the plot is a thick one. lol

Yes, Tolle & Krishnamurti, good stuff!

I have most of Tolles works on cd…I prefer listening to reading a lot of the time.

I’d reccommend ’ A New Earth’ as well….good work, but, there are lots of good works! ;-)

Coloma's avatar

Correction: All we know for certain is that we know nothing for certain…and there we hang! lol

zophu's avatar

Cultures are taught to revere “higher powers.” God, grade-point-average, money, etc.. But really, it is about respect—the throughly-questioned-awareness of what these things are.

It’s easy to confuse respect with reverence, but the fact is considering something grandiosely is just as disrespectful as belittling it. People will revere something, exploding their concept of it to span over much more than it would naturally, and think that they are respecting the thing. This is dangerous.

Existence doesn’t have to be self-aware to be awesome. And I find it disrespectful to apply human essentials like love and compassion to existence as a whole. The danger of that reminds me of a builder who waits for the earth to brick itself into houses. Atrocities do not confound me; people accepting them as being somehow unavoidable or meant-to-be does.

There is always uncertainty, but we shouldn’t use that as a excuse to keep our respect of things unchecked. Existence is too grand for us to understand; don’t try to emulate that with your own finite understanding—making it too grand to be questioned. We can’t hold the universe in ourselves; we are only what we are of it, and that’s no little thing.

Seek's avatar

@Jeruba Thank you.

I would say that almost all major religions have had gods of evil and suffering, even modern-day Christianity. They may not give him that name, but Satan/Lucifer/Beelzebub is at least a demi god of evil and suffering.

The older religions, like the stone-age fertility goddesses, probably didn’t have a separate god of evil and suffering – their suffering was personified by the ill health or unhappiness of the fertility god/goddess.

mattbrowne's avatar

The ultimate big picture.

wifeysays's avatar

God is Love

reijinni's avatar

The ultimate work of fiction.

Ron_C's avatar

God is the reason and the excuse. He (it) created man and was created by man. God is the personification of man’s dreams and nightmares, the reason to feel righteous and to feel guilty. He is the deliver of good and excused when things go wrong. He is the reason for all things to the ignorant and the wrong answer for the educated.

It is good to be god you get all the credit for when things go right and take none of the blame for misfortunes. It is kind of like being the King or Queen of England. They are His Majesty’s Ships but the government’s Navy so when the ship is launched it is to the credit of the Royals but when it sinks, the government is at fault.

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