Thought Experiment for the Theists

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by sonisis, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. sonisis

    sonisis New Member

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    Quick thought experiment, I welcome ideas from all theists of all religions!

    You meet a person who is and always has been deaf and illiterate. You must convey God to them using no words at all. How do you do it?
     
  2. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    .

    Here's my counter thought experiment for you:

    ^^ try doing that with words, and not failing.


    But 4 the sake of your thread:

    Even if they were blind on top of this, you'd still have to establish a system of communication before you can communicate. So teach them to read first. A physically challenged person still has a capable mind.
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    How about a hug?
     
  4. sonisis

    sonisis New Member

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    The experiment stipulates you must use no words at all.
     
  5. sonisis

    sonisis New Member

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    How does that show them God? All they would experience is a hug from you.
     
  6. NiceCupOfTea

    NiceCupOfTea Pathetic earthlings

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    You lay hands on them and heal them in the name of Jesus.
     
  7. Aardvark01

    Aardvark01 New Member

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    "You meet a person who is and always has been deaf and illiterate. You must convey God to them using no words at all. How do you do it?"

    I am puzzling over the use of the word MUST in the original post. What sort of compulsion are we to suppose ourselves to be under? ie. an external one (such as an instruction from a religious leader) or an internal one (such as compassion)? I will assume the latter since if I am not moved by compassion I see no point in responding to the former.

    In certain respects I would treat such a person the same way as any other: Listen to what God is saying to me through them.

    I think Wil's idea of a hug is good but it is not appropriate to initiate such a personal gesture with someone I only just met. For a stranger to behave this way could be considered patronising or otherwise suspect. I think I would start with eye contact and a smile and see what happens.

    This approach worked with the Downs Syndrome people I used to have lunch with during my teacher training (OK, they were not deaf, but this is the nearest experience I have to draw upon) and simply demonstrating a will to communicate friendship was met with such joy, and being subsequently greeted with hugs so bowled me over, that I felt they were conveying God to me. There was no exchange of complex ideas since they could not grasp them, but neither were there any hidden agendas, just a sharing of joy at each others' company.
     
  8. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

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    There is no way of knowing the outcome of the experiment, at least in terms of knowing whether that person has "experienced God." The person may or may not experience "God." Furthermore, because everyone's concept of God is different, what constitutes an experience of God is subjective.

    I noticed that you didn't say anything about being blind. In that case, a picture of a gorgeous lady could qualify as an experience of God. If God is so beyond one's independent imagination, well, this deaf and illiterate guy could never have imagined this beautiful woman coming into his life. It must surely be an act of God ...... his hormones would be up to the ceiling.

    I got this idea from watching American Dad! Steve Smith meets God in the form of a woman (he's in the desert thinking he's Moses and God comes to him as a "burning bush"). She undresses in front of him and ....... wow, what a wonderful sight.
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I start with a hug....regularly. And as I hug thinking Namaste, (the light (wisdom, Christ, Krishna, G!d) in me, sees, salutes, honors and respects the light (wisdom, Christ, Krishna, G!d) in you!)

    Tis upto them to reject my hug. To which I'll reply handshakes spread germs, hugs spread love. For the deaf illiiterate example it is also said with my eyes...
     
  10. sonisis

    sonisis New Member

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    Interesting response Saltmeister! I think I vaguely recall that episode!

    Aardvark, the compulsion behind the 'must' is irrelevant so don't worry about that.

    Wil, I'm afraid a hug is just a hug.

    Being deaf and illiterate, this person has no prior definition of God. You are starting from scratch, you cannot assume they know what a deity or God is.
     
  11. sonisis

    sonisis New Member

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    How would they be able to distinguish this apart from someone simply touching them and moving their lips?
     
  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Don't be afraid.
     
  13. sonisis

    sonisis New Member

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    To pick up again on the subjective nature of God, in this experiment we are specifically referring to the God of the Abrahamic religions.
     
  14. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    the entire thought experiment is in fact reducible to how communication takes place. if you can communicate at all in the first place, you can eventually communicate intangible concepts (or, if you prefer, imaginary ones) as soon as you develop an appropriate language for this. once you have done this, you can communicate about G!D, or cubist art, or heavy metal guitar solos, or neo-endogenous growth theory. i can't see how there is something specific about G!D that makes for a particularly insoluble problem.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  15. NiceCupOfTea

    NiceCupOfTea Pathetic earthlings

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    because they would experienced Gods miraculous healing power.
     
  16. sonisis

    sonisis New Member

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    How? What would they experience exactly? How would they know where it came from?
     
  17. sonisis

    sonisis New Member

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    You might be on to something :) Can you provide an example of how it might be done?
     
  18. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    just a hug
     
  19. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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    You love them, and allow them to see your love for others. You be as Christ was, and shine your light so they too might see the love of God. Even a child can understand love. It is all God requires from us. It is written that God is love, and we being vessels of his Spirit extend His love (For him) towards our fellow man. We make up the body of the Lord, and it is through us and our actions that God is made known to others, even those who are deaf and illiterate.
     
  20. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm with Wil – I'd start with a hug.

    We both come from the same tradition — that God is one who wishes to be known — so our notion of God (if I may speak for us both) is not a deist notion of a God who set the wheels in motion, and then 'walked away' as it were, but a God who set the wheels in motion as a vehicle for communicating Himself to His creature, it's His gift to us, and the gift says: "I care about you."

    So the message, in our tradition, is 'I care about you', and the moral of the message is 'care about others as you would have me care about you.'

    After that, it's all semantics. Half the time, when I talk about God, people look at me and seem to think ... 'what the hell are you on about?' :D

    I get the impression that if we all cared for each other, God wouldn't be too bothered about what we think He is. I think He'd be delighted to hear what we think ... and greatly amused ... but it's how we think about Him that counts, not what we think.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     

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