Does God exist?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Sensei, May 22, 2011.

  1. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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    I think we exist as a part of a greater reality that is God. We are a part of his being. Whether he has need for us is debatable. I'm pretty sure the greater reality I call God would get along just fine without us, though.

    I'm not sure we have a particular purpose OAT ... I do believe we have been given an opportunity to be co creators of something great. We exist no matter the reason "why" and I fully believe it is in our power and that it is our responsibility to establish (Maybe re-establish) a paradise on earth.
     
  2. OAT

    OAT Where is the TAO?

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    I don't subscribe to this line of thinking. It simply means that God partakes of all actions of man such as lying, helping, raping, fighting, giving, loving, hating, etc. It also means that all our stupidity and wisdom, our evils and virtues are all part and parcel of God. When we eat, we are eating part of God. When we defaecate, we are defaecating part of God. In the end, according to this line of thinking, God is nothing but one big confusing mess.
     
  3. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

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    You responded to my post and commented on what I said in that post. Because I was talking about the Abrahamic faiths, you were commenting on Abrahamic concepts.


    Assuming that this Abrahamic God created man........

    Would you rather that this Abrahamic God gave you the house, car and career of your dreams rather than dooming you to a big mortgage and having to pay off this giant debt over twenty years?

    Would you rather that this Abrahamic God gave you the life you always wanted, because He knows what you would want?

    .......or do you complain that this Abrahamic God created you in the first place without your consent, didn't ask you what you wanted and simply dumped you into this despicable world of imperfection?


    The Bible contains a lot of praise on the greatness of God, but we still don't know how "great" God really is. How powerful is God? How much does God know? I do not think that a God that wants us to love our neighbour really cares that much whether we think He is almighty and all-knowing. He may be supreme, but not necessarily as great as some say He is. I do not think the Abrahamic God is that obsessed with flattery.

    Nobody is asking you to regard this God as self-sufficient, so I wonder why you impose this requirement on the Abrahamic God.
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Do you see that which is on your plate as a big confusing mess? The glory of the carrot, the eggplant, the animal that laid down its life for your sustenance....and then when you defecate it out, it is all part of that plate...

    It is a part you can't use...but a part the earth can....a medium for growth...

    tisn't a confusing mess, it is a divine symphony.
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Some thoughts from the Perennial Tradition

    If one is going to discuss God, the first thing one must do is acknowledge that in all the great theistic Traditions (Abrahamic, Hermetic, Brahminic, Sufic, Kaballistic, to name a few), there is the apparent dichotomy of, to use the Christian terms, the apophatic and the cataphatic approach to the Deity. So, in whatever Tradition one speaks, God is, eventually and ultimately, a Mystery, beyond all human comprehension, precisely because the Deity will transcend anything that can be predicated of It.

    In light of that, one can say that for those traditions that recognise a deity, God is the hypostatic Word spoken out of the darkess — be it Memra, Logos, Verbum, Word, Aum — and the very idea of 'word' infers a communication, in the first instance, and the triad of communicator, communication, communicant in the second.

    God is the Absolute, and being the Absolute, God is equally the Infinite; being both the Absolute and the Infinite, intrinsically and without duality, God is also the Perfect. Absoluteness is reflected in the finite by movement; in space by the point or center; in time, by the moment.

    The Absolute by definition comprises the Infinite, and, as All-Possibility, it is the principle and cause of the finite, which is relative, contingent, ephemeral ... it is this which comprises everything this side of the Veil, or Maya, as it is known in the East.

    The Infinite determines the finite — in space by by extension; in time by duration; in matter by substantial indefiniteness; in form by the limitless diversity of formal possibilities; in number by a quantitative limitlessness.

    The finite speaks of the Divine Perfection and the Divine Plenitude. It should be understood that the finite is an aspect of, rather than 'other than', the infinite. To suggest the finite as something other than the infinite is to limit the infinite, which is illogical and contradictory. Furthermore to thus say that the Deity is not in some way present in or to the finite is to say that the infinitude of the Deity is conditional, which is a contradiction. Likewsie to say that the Infinite is the sum of all finitude is equally erroneous.

    The Infinite orders the finite, and then issues the Word as the source and origin of being, as well as its good and its end. Herein the Word will comprise the Law, intended to regulate the human world and above all to regulate the microcosm that is the individual.

    It is important never to lose sight of the fact that the term “God” designates the Divinity, either in all its possible aspects – hence also beyond every aspect – or in some particular aspect, notably that of the Creator. It is necessarily thus because this term cannot contain in itself a privative nuance.

    It should be noted here that the word “God” does not and cannot admit of any restriction for the simple reason that God is “all that is purely principial” and that He is thus also – and a fortiori – Beyond-Being; this one may not know or may deny, but one cannot deny that God is “That which is supreme” and therefore also That which nothing can surpass.

    God does not “exist” in the sense that He cannot be brought down to the level of the existence of things. In order to make it clear that this reservation implies no kind of privation it would be better to say that God is “non-inexistent”.

    When it is said that Jesus Christ is God, it should be understood that the Incarnation is the Supreme Principle “entering” into universal Relativity, hence still “Supreme” despite the “entering,” which enables one to affirm that God the Creator and Legislator is at one and the same time Atma and Maya, or Atma in Maya, but never simply Maya.

    On the one hand, God is the “Other” who is infinitely “above” the world, and on the other hand, the world is His manifestation in which He is present; this implies that without this immanence the world would be reduced to nothing, and that the world – and all that it contains – is necessarily symbolical. In a certain sense, nothing resembles God; but in another sense, everything resembles Him, at least with respect to positive, not negative, manifestation.

    Likewise, the human subject – the ego – is as though suspended between “elevation” and “depth”: between the Divine Being which resides “in the Heavens,” and the Divine Self which resides “in the depths of the heart.” The first is the separative dimension, that of adoration, worship, law, obedience, in short, of religion; the second is the unitive perspective, that of wisdom and union; or that of pure sanctity, which by definition is “being” and not merely “thought.”

    When someone says 'I am spiritual but not religious' it is tantamount to the denial of the aforesaid separative dimension. This dimension actually prepares and sanctifies the soul in readiness for the descent into the heart, and without it, union is not possible. The spirituality thus spoken of here is that of the psychic self, the ego, it is the realm of thought, rather than the pneumatic self, which is the realm of being.

    By saying "God is love" infers, even in a small and contingent way, that one loves God. It means one chooses Truth, and then the will is directed to and makes us conscious of an absolute and transcendent Reality – at once personal and meta-personal – and the will that attaches itself to it and recognises in it its own supernatural essence and its ultimate end.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  6. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Not according to the Christian Tradition — the world is 'good' (as the Hebrew Scriptures point out in Genesis), and man, as human, is 'very good'.

    The idea of 'escape' is a notion explicit to dualist gnosticism and some of the Hellenic philosophical traditions, Platonism being one, which is why the Philosophic systems have to be 'baptised' before they can adequately express the Christian Mysteries.

    Perhaps the most notable example is the reworking of the triune 'stasis-kinesis-genesis', fundamental to Platonism, to read 'genesis-kinesis-stasis' according to Christian Revelation.

    It is notable that errors which were 'done and dusted' in the 2nd-7th centuries emerge again today in the new Christian denominations, which have little or no continuity of understanding with the past, and are thus condemned to make the same mistakes.

    Christianity is not a way out of this world, it is a way of transforming this world. The doctrine we call theosis, or deification.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Some clarification here would be in order....
     
  8. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    I find this whole post quite laughable, I will attempt to explain why:

    You state the Gnostics are dualistic, but the nature of Romes issues with them was because they preached oneness. In reality, it is the Christian beliefs which are dualistic - holy and sinful, heaven and hell, god and devil. Everything about Christianity is representative of division. Even the very nature of God in the Bible is wholly dualistic to man.

    As for what you meantion about theosis or deification, again, ask any priest and they will state it is impossible for a man to become at least as Christ was. In reality, this actually refers to the same process as others call enlightenment or nirvana. The Gnostics understood it in this way and the leaders of the Church saw it as threatening. It is difficult to get truly liberated people to pay for the Vatican and the many other exquisite Christian buildings around the world. It is humorous because Jesus himself was an ascetic, he preached against material wealth - saying it was almost impossible for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God - and even stated that prayer should be done in private, not in public like the Pharasees and Seduccees.

    Overall, I find modern Christianity entirely separate from even what the Bible tells us was the nature of Christs mission.
     
  9. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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    If I'm not mistaken you don't subscribe to any concept of God, correct? I simply believe that life has been set in motion, and that we are a part of that cycle (Circle) of life. God doesn't lie, or rape, etc. God just IS (IMO) God sustains us with his own substance. The lying, raping, hate, etc. comes from the heart of man, and although we were formed from Gods substance I don't think we can honestly place our characteristics on God.

    What we do and who we are are two different things. For instance, the crimes of a father cannot honestly be placed on the fathers son who shares the same DNA, no? Likewise, the crimes committed by a fathers son cannot be pinned to the father. We are responsible for what we do individually.

    We are a tiny part of God as far as I'm concerned. Our environments play a major role when it comes to our actions. IF God is existence itself then there would be no environment outside his being to play on Gods desires, or needs, or actions. I'm quite content viewing God (Existence) as being much like a machine. It's up to us to learn how to live in harmony with the machine itself. Life is out tutor, or rather our classroom, and like I suggested previously .... It comes down to common sense, a broken rule a consequence.
     
  10. luecy7

    luecy7 Well-Known Member

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    If someone thinks of existence in terms of physical activity, or interaction, when does God not exist?
     
  11. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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    I view existence as being the totality of existing things. A rock is part of existence for example. Using this definition, do you think that God could ever cease to exist? Everything in existence goes through changes, but nothing ever ceases to exist. Something can change forms ... A rock can turn to dust for example, but the dust still remains.
     
  12. OAT

    OAT Where is the TAO?

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    You responded to my first post and brought in Abrahamic ideas. Subsequently, like I said, I merely tagged along. Do go and check.


    As for our discussion, let's just agree to disagree because we are clearly talking pass one another.
     
  13. OAT

    OAT Where is the TAO?

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    Correct. I follow Buddhism. In Buddhism there is no need to postulate the existence of a God as an explanation of the existence of the universe and all the creatures in it. In fact, such a postulate is seen as illogical.


    In Buddhism, life is set in motion without the need to postulate the existence of a God as a first cause.
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Lunitik —

    Gnostic systems refute the flesh and the material world, and posit the soul as an entity quite distinct from the body, and in conflict with it. They refuted the Incarnation on this basis.

    Within that, of course, as every gnostic master would personalise the system as he saw fit, but generally gnostic doctrines run the gamut from the 'radical dualist' systems of Persian origin, to the 'mitigated dualism' of the classic Syryian/Egyptian gnostic movements.

    I agree that exoterically so it would appear, but actually the orthodox doctrine is holistic. Whilst dualist doctrines assume body and soul, good and evil etc., exist in opposition, Christian doctrine sees it as something and nothing.

    Thus holy is man's potential state, sinful is the shortfall, heaven and hell again are quite simplistic teachings, whereas the theology is a lot more sophisticated and again reduces to the fullness of being, or non-being; Evil is not opposed to good, in that sense, evil is the absence of good.

    Beatitude then does not involve fleeing the human state, but realising its true potential.

    I am sorry, either you have been mis-informed, or the teaching mis-understood.

    Quite right, Christ is the Incarnate God ... Theosis is not becoming Christ, theosis is a union in and with Christ. He the head, we the members of the Mystical Body.

    Many assume so, but there are significant distinctions.

    Not so much a threat as a distortion of the teaching. 1 John 1 is an anti-gnostic tract.

    Yet He did not refuse the generosity of those who funded His ministry.

    If by modern you mean the various American denominations, I can understand the sentiment.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  15. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    They certainly make a distinction in explanation - quantum physics shows this distinction - as all things in existence are represented by their opposite, this is vital else otherwise we would know nothing.

    I would call your attention to this Gnostic text:

    Jesus said to them: when you make the two one,
    and when you make the inner as the outer
    and the outer as the inner, and the above as the below, and
    When you make the male and the female into a single one,
    so that the male will not be male and the female not be female,
    then shall you enter the kingdom.

    Clearly, while they teach how things are perceived - ie, dualistic - Gnostics also plainly teach that their spiritual path is intended to culminate in a realization of oneness.

    I have certainly seen nothing like this from Christian teachers... what denomination are you? Of course, enlightenment is possible during life, I have no idea where you have gotten this stuff about fleeing the flesh, it is only about realizing our spiritual or astral bodies as our true selves - that nothing which lacks permanence is real.

    This is dualistic, you are taught Christ is something else, God is something else - to my view this is plainly false. God is the ultimate consciousness, Christ is an enlightened being. Quantum physics seems to be confirming this at the moment by looking into the nature of consciousness and whether it originates from this quantum understanding of wave vs matter.

    It is quite interesting to me that in actuality science seems to be confirming most mystic thought frequently. You will disagree with this, of course, but that is fine. I have no real interest in converting you, I pursue truth for my own good. I do not care about believing anything which is not viable, so such findings are beautiful to me.
     
  16. luecy7

    luecy7 Well-Known Member

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    Potential energy ceases to exist, and physical change has been requiring it.
     
  17. greymare

    greymare Well-Known Member

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    @ the original post............

    YES.
    I dont know the details, or have many answers to questions, but I just KNOW that God DOES exist.

    Love the Grey
     
  18. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    Does it really cease to exist? I would argue no, it merely changes form - all things are in perpetual motion at all times, whether we perceive it or not.
     
  19. luecy7

    luecy7 Well-Known Member

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    What part of history changes form? What part of the future is pre-existing? What person rewrites history, or views the future as perpetual? As the pages of history are written, the pages of history are written. If the pages of the future are blank, the pages of the future are blank.

    There is something that can change form though. There is something that can change course. There is something that can alter the pages of the future. There is something that can make pages of history inconsequential, and make pages of the future full of purpose.
     
  20. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    History and future are a function of time, time itself is a measure of motion, it is not something which is real. All the time, history is getting written, all the time future moves to the past - it is always in motion... I am not sure what your point is here at all, it is really a silly statement.
     

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