Does God Learn?

A Cup Of Tea

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You have the right idea Tea, just take the individual out of the equation. It is hubris to think that people are the sole foundation of awareness that makes up the Cosmos.

Why hubris? Why assume there is any awareness when we see none? There are too many ideas about this to throw them all under the hubris-bus.
 

Senthil

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I'm in the camp that 'God is'. 'God (Siva) is immanent love and transcendent reality.' Summarises the Saiva Siddhanta philosophy. So not only is God the primal cause beyond time, form, and space, He is also simultaneously the underlying substratum of all that exists. The world is just temporary emanation from Him. So there is no learning going on. That's way too anthropomorphic.
 

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Tea, my argument would be quite the opposite. Why assume there is no other awareness just because we cannot see any? For the sake of discussion, let's limit the question to just our planet for a moment. Humans have decided that humans are in the image of God and are the ultimate in the creation saga.

Who is to say what direct relationship to God other creatures might have? How about dogs? Do they have as direct a relationship with the Divine as humans so? Who is to say they don't have an even more direct relationship with the Divine than humans do. The only ones who say that are humans! And what is their proof for this? Nothing. Zero. Zip.

What about a dolphin, or an elephant, or a lizard or a cockroach? Or an amoeba for that matter. We cannot know. There are potentially billions of nonhumans on this planet alone who might have an awareness with God, and it is only the hubris of humans to think we are the only ones.

Now multiply that a couple quadrillion times and that is the potential awareness that might be the Cosmos. In all this vastness is it really even reasonable that humans are the only ones?
 

A Cup Of Tea

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No, I'm saying there is no way to tell either way, you say that it is hubris. Your reasoning here sounds a lot like Russell's teapot?
 

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Perhaps. To quote another philosophical thought "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence". Fact is that I agree with your first statement. There is no way to tell either way. No argument there. It is fact. There is no way to know.

Have to stop there for now. Gotta get going. More later!
 

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So cynical for a young man you are (spoken like Yoda).

BUT.

Unfortunately, there is no but. There is only personal interpretation. Which mine is becoming more clear to me as I respond here. Which is one of the main reasons I respond here! To with:

Humans are the only entity we are aware of that is aware of God.
Why is that?
Because humans are the ones who say there is a God and who say we are the epitome of creation.
Why is that?
Because that is what we have written in our Holy Books down thru the ages (and elsewhere, of course).

So why is it hubris?
The entire philosophical construct is from people, thought up by people, for the benefit of people.
What is wrong with that?
A bit self centered and self serving, don't you think?

In life, it has been my experience that when people string self serving beliefs together, it is primarily for their benefit. We humans have a loooong history of doing this. During the 19th and most of the 20th centuries the held belief was that animals could not do things people did. Like dream. Or have emotions. Wrong!

During the same time period as we studied the origins of our species, we naturally believed that all previous cousins along the evolutionary line were primitive brutes. Why did we assume that. Because they weren't us, and we have picked ourselves as the pinnacle of evolution. Neanderthals were hulking nonentities with no culture, little ability to reason, and certainly couldn't make a smart decision if their life depended on it. Wrong again.

I could go on - the point is clear though? I hope?
 

A Cup Of Tea

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So cynical for a young man you are
Yes

Unfortunately, there is no but. There is only personal interpretation. Which mine is becoming more clear to me as I respond here. Which is one of the main reasons I respond here! To with:
This is clearly going to turn into a but.

Humans are the only entity we are aware of that is aware of God.
Why is that?
Because humans are the ones who say there is a God and who say we are the epitome of creation.
Why is that?
Because that is what we have written in our Holy Books down thru the ages (and elsewhere, of course).

So why is it hubris?
The entire philosophical construct is from people, thought up by people, for the benefit of people.
What is wrong with that?
A bit self centered and self serving, don't you think?

In life, it has been my experience that when people string self serving beliefs together, it is primarily for their benefit. We humans have a loooong history of doing this. During the 19th and most of the 20th centuries the held belief was that animals could not do things people did. Like dream. Or have emotions. Wrong!

During the same time period as we studied the origins of our species, we naturally believed that all previous cousins along the evolutionary line were primitive brutes. Why did we assume that. Because they weren't us, and we have picked ourselves as the pinnacle of evolution. Neanderthals were hulking nonentities with no culture, little ability to reason, and certainly couldn't make a smart decision if their life depended on it. Wrong again.
First, you example is a very specific and clearly hubris. You are right, THAT is hubris. BUT as I said "There are too many ideas about this to throw them all under the hubris-bus.", I for one don't use the Bible for my logical reasoning.

Second I thought that "It is hubris to think that people are the sole foundation of awareness that makes up the Cosmos." was a very general statement surrounding the nature of awareness, and was more thinking along the lines of a divine awareness. Did you mean awareness in all living being in your statement because I'll need to go back and reread some of the things if that is the case.
 

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To Wil. No we obviously have not a clue what animals experience as their connection to this reality. Which includes their possible awareness of what some call Gods, but which I would call their connection to the Cosmic Consciousness. Wouldn't it be interesting if it were to turn out that animals have a direct link to the Cosmic Consciousness that we humans have lost. That our more 'advanced' brain has actually been an impediment to our connection as we have the ability to wonder at its existence. Animal's less advanced brain functions allow them to accept the connection because they do not have the ability to doubt.

Pure speculation. A concept I find intriguing to contemplate though.
 

Devils' Advocate

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To Tea. I'm really not sure I understand your last post. To try and put my concept as succinctly as possible - The Cosmos, and all within it, are tiny segments that, when pulled all together, allow the Universe to experience itself. In my vision of this reality there are no Gods. Perhaps comparing it to a human brain will be a better comparison to what I am saying. There are millions of cells that act and react together to give us our brain.

The Universe is a Cosmic version of our brain. All within this reality combines to create a Cosmic consciousness; a brain the size of the Universe.

Getting back on track to the original discussion then, this would mean that the Cosmic brain does learn. Its very reason to exist is to learn. To experience. To expand its knowledge base ever outward.
 

Namaste Jesus

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Some very insightful responses to this thread thus far. Very good arguments both for and against the premise of a learning God. My personal conclusion is that God does indeed learn.

Some view the idea of God learning as anthropomorphic. I do realize that not everyone thinks of God in human terms as I do, but I don't think that the idea of something non-human having the ability to learn necessarily amounts to anthropomorphism. After all, animals for instance can and do learn. Sometimes completely on their own. I've witnessed it first hand. For that matter, my smart phone, which I believe may well be the 'Anti-Christ' learns based on my user habits.

Then there's the question of, omniscience, the idea that God is all knowing and all seeing, limitless in every way possible. Question is, would that preclude God from learning or even having the need to learn? I say no. Quite the opposite in fact. If God is indeed limitless, than it follows that God's capacity and need to learn is also limitless. No doubt in ways well beyond our comprehension.
 

wil

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If G!d needs to learn, wouldn't that by definition mean the knowledge is limited? If G!d can create the universe, and all that is in it... what is missing from the equation?

DA... I am with you on the eachness of the allness with the oneness that is... but still don't see the need to extrapolate that into learning.
 

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If G!d needs to learn, wouldn't that by definition mean the knowledge is limited? If G!d can create the universe, and all that is in it... what is missing from the equation?
I should tend to think that the need to learn, even for God tends to prove that knowledge is limitless not limited. As for what's missing from the equation; that's the part that's beyond our comprehension and for God to figure out not us.
 

wil

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My apologies...

I agree with much of what you said... G!d being in everything...but still disagree on the learning... G!d is... a book is... the book didn't learn just because it was updated and reprinted with more words of wisdom within.
 

EdgyDolmen

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Yes: "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." Genesis 22:12

No: For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart and [He] knoweth all things. 1 John 3:20

Numerous Biblical contradictions so once again it comes down to your favorite scripture/author.
 

wil

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Exactly.... just because pages and words and thoughts (new stars and people and thoughts) were added it does not mean the book (G!d) learned.
 

A Cup Of Tea

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Can we agree that it's a very literal reading of Genesis 22:12? Even I could come up with an explanation as to how God didn't know this would tun out this way. And I guess I'm reading it wrong because I'm assuming you're all saying that it's good speaking but I'm reading it as an "angel of the Lord", which is...not God?
 
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