Social Question

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Is God an atheist or does he/she/it, follow some higher rules like a super bible?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (13220points) July 16th, 2018

Maybe God has rules to follow when making his universe? I would like to read them.

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42 Answers

SavoirFaire's avatar

An atheist is someone who believes that no gods exist. So if there is at least one god, and if that god believes in itself, then that god is not an atheist. This is true regardless of whether or not it is limited by any sort of rules because being a god does not entail the non-existence of any sort of limitations or higher power.

kritiper's avatar

“God” would be smart enough to know that there was no higher authority.

Jeruba's avatar

Some atheists say they don’t believe there is a [G]od. Some say they do believe there is no god. Those are not the same thing. And some say something a little different, without calling themselves agnostic. As an atheist, I don’t like to be told what I believe.

If there is a god of any sort, I don’t think it’s going to be something that does any believing. Believing is for people. A being that doesn’t know can’t be a god.

Some years ago I enjoyed a humorous fictional treatment of this subject that depicted the god of the Judeo-Christian tradition as a sort of junior deity in a pantheon. He got called on the carpet from time to time by the real top guy and made to answer for his screwups and tantrums. Wish I could remember the name of the novel.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Who or what would have written the super-bible?

Supposedly the judaeo-christian god is the Big Mamoo himself, king of the universe and all of that. If god isn’t that powerful, why do people listen to him?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@elbanditoroso Fluther in 20 years . A source for all knowledge.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Jeruba Words have meanings. Not everyone uses words the right way, and we ought to do our best to understand what they are trying to say when that happens. But it doesn’t change the fact that I can’t reasonably expect to say “I’m a theist who doesn’t believe in God” or “I’m an atheist who believes in God” and not get corrected.

• A person who lacks belief in a god is a non-theist.
• A person who believes that there is no god is an atheist.
• A person who believes that there is at least one god is a theist.
• A person who believes that there is exactly one god is a monotheist.
• A person who believes that there are at least two gods is a polytheist.
• A person who suspends judgment on the existence or non-existence of a god is an agnostic.

Just because people don’t always use the words this way doesn’t mean that isn’t what they mean. And we should be especially suspicious about the ways in which “atheist” is misused because it is most often done as a way of illegitimately shifting the burden of proof in an argument.

And speaking of words being misused, belief is a prerequisite for knowledge. One cannot know something that they do not believe. So any knowing god would also have to be a believing god (just not a merely believing god). This is another relation that often gets used for illegitimate rhetorical purposes.

Zaku's avatar

God isn’t a person.

Bill1939's avatar

A problem with a belief in a God or Gods is that it is a personification of something existing within physical reality yet transcends it, and upon which a cultural perception of family and societal leadership is projected; God is a Father; God is a Lord. I believe God is not a thing, but the creative force that continues to be present from the moment time began and will continue till time ends.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^I have NO clue what you just said….

But I love it…

I never expected less from @Bill1939 .

I’m going to chew on that answer for a bit…....

canidmajor's avatar

@SavoirFaire, you omitted “anti-theist”: a person who, mostly on the Internet, will ridicule anyone (often with a component of anger) who expresses any kind of belief in any kind of deity.
For example, there are many on Fluther.

Yellowdog's avatar

@Bill1939 “God” is not limited to time and space but is creator of the space-time continuum and transcends it, and is present in all space/time at once, In other words, God did not merely begin with the beginning of time but created time.

We cannot currently conceive what is beyond space and time, because we exist within it and cannot imagine existence outside of it.

Furthermore, God is PRESENT in all time at once; the Alpha and Omega. God calls Himself the Great I AM— “before Abraham WAS, I AM.” God IS there at the beginning of time, at all points WITHIN time and at the END of time, and exists when time is no more,

Some of the best theologians describe how God is revealed in history itself, and how the events of scripture subsume the same story of God’s timeline over four thousand years of human history. What was fulfilled in the first century was written about thousands of years earlier as if it was currently a part of God’s plan.

God was already there, and is already at the end, and always has been.

rojo's avatar

Yes, and you too can order a copy from Amazon Prime. ($19.95; Hardback, $15.95 Soft cover).

Yellowdog's avatar

What are you talking about @rojo ?

kritiper's avatar

@Yellowdog Uh… can we dispense with all of the propaganda??

Yellowdog's avatar

What propaganda? The question was about God.

kritiper's avatar

@Yellowdog Your extensive ramblings on about it weren’t required. This isn’t a Bible class.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Yellowdog Yes, please save the thread space for mocking and crude jokes later.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Note: this question is in Social, so it’s fine to wander so long as we’re still in the general vicinity of the topic.

@Bill1939 That’s only a problem for theories that posit a god who is both immanent and transcendent. There are religions in which god or the gods are posited to be either wholly immanent or wholly transcendent.

@canidmajor In fact I’ve omitted several other possibilities (such as apatheism, ignosticism, and henotheism). But yes, I did skip over anti-theism. An anti-theist is a person who believes that theism is harmful to both individuals and societies (and who opposes its very existence on those grounds). And while the unfortunate side-effect that you describe is not necessarily required by the view, it does seem to be quite common.

@Yellowdog I’m pretty sure that @Bill1939 understands the doctrine. What he is pointing out is that immanence and transcendence can be very difficult to reconcile in one being. The doctrine that God is both immanent and transcendent has been controversial even among people who believe in it for hundreds of years and has led to sectarian divisions in Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. It is a problem that has received huge amounts of philosophical attention, and has never been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.

Again, even people who think it is true that God is both immanent and transcendent have expressed doubts about whether or not we currently understand how such a thing could be possible. And in the absence of an explanation, the room for doubt grows. That’s one of the main reasons that theology exists, after all: to explain to the doubting mind how matters of doctrine could be true (even if some of the gap must inevitably be filled by faith).

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, no. God makes the rules for everyone. No one makes rules for God. The Bible tells me so. And God is the only one who is allowed to break his own rules.

kritiper's avatar

I make a rule for “God.” There is no “God,”
And if there was a “God,” and he broke his own rules, I would NOT be impressed, nor would I respect him! Therefore, “God” does not make rules for me, Bible or no Bible.
(Really, @Dutchess_III , you need to add a “IMO” when you make wild statements like that ^ last one.)

SavoirFaire's avatar

@kritiper She’s being sarcastic.

LostInParadise's avatar

This reminds me of the Euthyphro dilemma of Plato. Does God do things because they are right, or are they right just because God does them?

If God follows an external set of rules then God does not have free will. To the extent that God improvises what rules to follow, these rules are arbitrary. So this is your choice: a God who is an automaton or a God who arbitrarily makes things up as he goes along.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@kritiper You DO understand that I am an atheist, right?

flutherother's avatar

Why did God make so many different kinds of beetle? He may even have made an infinite number of universes not just those few parallel worlds that belong to the multiverse but an infinite number of lunatic worlds each different and each lacking the “laws” we take for granted.

If God thinks all thoughts all the time about everything he might even doubt his own existence and so tend towards atheism.

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^^ We could almost attribute that to Trump it was so convoluted!

kritiper's avatar

@Dutchess_III Not really sure…you say you are, but I’ve met people that didn’t know the difference between Agnostic and Atheist. So I’ll keep wondering…

Bill1939's avatar

@Yellowdog, we seem to be in complete agreement about the existence of God, except for the common conception that God is a being. Many humans have experienced spiritual understandings long before religious philosophers codified their beliefs four-thousand years ago. I do not see this as a plan generated in the mind of something that exists throughout time, but individual’s recognition of the natural wisdom inherent in the laws of physical existence.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I know the difference @kritiper. Either way, either I flat don’t believe in God, or I have to say there is absolutely no proof of a God, and, in fact, if the Bible is some sort of guide line, if there is a God he’s a hypocrite.
I don’t believe in God. Got it? Now, keep your eyes open and flag me the instant I write something that implies a belief in a magic being, K?

kritiper's avatar

@Dutchess_III Sorry, but that doesn’t tell me anything. You’ll argue for one side of the story just as much as the other, so I’ll keep wondering…

Dutchess_III's avatar

So, what you’re saying is that somewhere you saw me arguing from a Christian POV, then else where from an atheist POV? I challenge you to find me even one example!

MrGrimm888's avatar

@Bill1939 . Yes, religious beliefs are older than the manipulations of people through religion. Someone observed how easily religion led/controlled men. Then the cat was out of the bag. Invent a religion, gain power and influence… See Scientology. The newest version, and doing ok. It had a lot of powerful people dupe/convinced…

Dutchess_III's avatar

That the crux of religion—power and control.

Yellowdog's avatar

Then why doesn’t religion have power or control people?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Not so much any more. Not in the last 100 years. But it sure used to.

rojo's avatar

Evidently you do not live in the Bible Belt. Religion has the power to control people and utilizes it. One example that comes to mind is the way every politician has to claim to be god-fearing even if they are not?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I do live in the Bible belt. I have a couple of ex-friends who refuse to talk to me any more after they learned I had a change of heart about religion. So yeah. They’re controlled. But not to the extent that France and England were hundred’s of years ago. The Pope controlled the kings and queens, ergo he controlled the entire nation(s).

MrGrimm888's avatar

Christianity has plenty of current power, in America. Essentially half of our government supports it in one way or another (Rs.) And even plenty of Dems. Our nation’s highest court will likely have at least 6 of 10 judges that identify as Christian, once Trump appoints whomever…

That’s pretty powerful. And many conservatives are used by republican politicians, to get votes for the GOP.

How about Islam? Yeah. That’s doing pretty well in the world. It dominates the Middle East, parts of Africa, and with the refugee crisis, they will likely dominate Europe in a few generations.

Russia, and China are constantly battling Islam in many of their provences, and outlying territories.

I didn’t even bring up catholicism. Uh. Yeah. Religions are VERY powerful. And they control ALL their followers…

Dutchess_III's avatar

Not like it once was.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Correct. But let’s wait and see what a Christian majority SCOTUS does to the former greatest country on Earth…. Then, we can see…

rojo's avatar

@MrGrimm888 Are you predicting a rise of the Christian Taliban?

MrGrimm888's avatar

I predict a cluster fuck. It will get worse, before it gets better. In other words, we haven’t hit rock bottom yet….........

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