How can there be a god?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by 'Amir Alzzalam, May 5, 2022.

  1. 'Amir Alzzalam

    'Amir Alzzalam Šayṭānist

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2022
    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    156
    upload_2022-5-9_19-25-43.png
     
  2. Ella S.

    Ella S. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2021
    Messages:
    703
    Likes Received:
    534
    I can't wrap my head around why you would interpret me pointing out that genocide and abuse is evil as me "whining." I don't understand where that comes from.

    I don't believe in God. As far as I'm concerned, God has done me no wrong. He is essentially a fictional character to me. So there's nothing for me to whine about.

    The actions ascribed to God in the Bible are objectively harmful and his stated motivations are malicious, though, which I think qualifies him as being evil.

    ETA: I think it's worth pointing out that this is essentially looking at the text in a bubble, which disregards much of the philosophy surrounding interpretations of the text which we see in fields like Kabbalah and Christian theology.

    Those are sort of different ballgames to me, and I probably should have made the distinction more explicit in my post. However, looking at the text by itself and interpreting it on your own is common practice in a lot of Protestantism.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2022
    badger likes this.
  3. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    Messages:
    3,700
    Likes Received:
    1,086
    That's my point. You made up your mind on the subject long before posing the question and no answer to the contrary is going to meet with your approval. That's all well and good, but please understand, on a forum like this you're going to get faith based answers.

    You may not like all of them nor agree with everyone's stance on God, but please know that we are all genuinely concerned for your continued well being and trying to help as best we know how. Hey, perhaps Interfaith is not the best place for you right now. Rather than continuing to label believers as delusional and possibly running amiss of our COC, maybe take a break for a while.
     
    badger and Ella S. like this.
  4. Ella S.

    Ella S. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2021
    Messages:
    703
    Likes Received:
    534
    This is fascinating to me. I've seen pets stop to admire paintings, too, and I've seen some of the more intelligent dog breeds like Collies sitting very still, upright, with their eyes gently closed.

    Did you know that some animals bury their dead?
     
    badger likes this.
  5. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    Messages:
    3,700
    Likes Received:
    1,086
    Yes, this is true. Elephants, chimps and such.
     
    badger and Ella S. like this.
  6. stranger

    stranger the divine ignorance (and friends)

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,037
    Likes Received:
    399
    My apologies, it was over the top.
     
    Thomas, RJM, Ella S. and 1 other person like this.
  7. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2022
    Messages:
    952
    Likes Received:
    361
    Religious diversity creates a much more interesting world imo. :)

    Lovely picture.
     
  8. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2019
    Messages:
    2,890
    Likes Received:
    633
    I suppose it's never occurred to you that it might be you who is delusional.

    Evolutionary psychology and theories about the origin of religion cannot be proved.
    They are just extensions of a core theory that grab your imagination.
     
  9. Ella S.

    Ella S. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2021
    Messages:
    703
    Likes Received:
    534
    No need to apologize, I was just a bit confused is all. I appreciate your candor.
     
    Thomas and RJM like this.
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    12,305
    Likes Received:
    2,587
    I heard one theologian say something akin to:
    "I have no information nor reason to believe animals go to heaven. Then again, I find it hard to imagine a heaven without dogs."
    I agree with him. In mine there would be at the very least a brace of Irish wolfhounds.

    All living things that have life have blood, "and blood is for the soul", according to Deuteronomy (12:23).

    Hebrew, Christian and I'm sure Islamic theology talks about the gradations of the soul and the indwelling spirit; that it is the spiritualised soul that rises to the highest ... I am quite happy with animals not having spiritualised souls in that sense, but that does not preclude them from paradise, simply that their experience of paradise will be unlike ours, as our experience of the world is unlike theirs.
     
    badger and Ella S. like this.
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    12,305
    Likes Received:
    2,587
    I remember a film report from a keeper sitting with a gorilla who'd recently lost his mate. You could clearly see the creature was grieving, and taking some comfort from the fact that the keeper was grieving with him.
     
    Ella S. likes this.
  12. Ella S.

    Ella S. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2021
    Messages:
    703
    Likes Received:
    534
    This is true in Gnostic and Hermetic cosmogony, too.

    Well, the Gnostic sects are actually divided on this issue. When I was a Gnostic, I took mostly from Sethianism and Manichaeism, and in both of those all living things are animated with the spirit, with Manichaeism even specifying that plants have souls, too. It was a big part of my conversion to vegetarianism.

    However, off the top of my head I think the Valentinians and the Mandaens both considered animals to be "hylics," therefore not having souls but being creatures entirely composed of matter.

    I know that most forms of Hermeticism believe in reincarnation, with animals being involved in that process, and they share the idea of a soul becoming more complex over time. The common idea within Hermeticism (although, keep in mind it's not a monolithic movement,) is that intelligent animals can reincarnate into humans and humans can reincarnate into a higher plane of existence if they fulfill their roles in nature properly.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2022
    Thomas likes this.
  13. Ella S.

    Ella S. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2021
    Messages:
    703
    Likes Received:
    534
    I don't fully agree with you here, but I do think there is some truth to your specific example of evolutionary psychology.

    I am neither a biologist nor a psychologist, although I have gone out of my way to learn more about evolution from scholarly sources and biologists to gain a deeper understanding of the topic simply because I think it's important in constructing a naturalistic mythos of man. That aside, you can take this with a grain of salt as I'm not a professional, just some random forum-goer.

    Evolutionary psychology has one recurring, major flaw to me, and that's that it assumes almost everything about the human mind is adaptive. There have even been arguments put forward that cognitive bias is, in itself, some form of adaptation. Personally, I find that specifically ridiculous.

    More generally, while evolutionary psychologists sometimes talk about how parts of the mind are developed for a type of society that we no longer have, they rarely give a lot of thought to various aspects of the psyche being potentially vestigial, neutral mutations, or even outright maladaptive. Every little piece has to be some sort of brilliant adaptation that played some integral role in our survival. This neglects the fact that evolution really only cares if an organism is "good enough" to survive and not some sort of genius engineer making sure every part of an organism is optimally designed.

    Even if we were to grant for the sake of argument that their approach to psychology is that the mind is a product of evolution, which I generally agree with in broad terms, the way they apply that often seems like borderline pseudoscience to me. I know I'm not the only one, either, and the field has had a lot of criticism from scholars who understand the topic in a lot more depth than I do.

    I don't think the entire field of evolutionary psychology should be thrown out, necessarily, but I think it's a topic that's still in its infancy and it has a lot of kinks left to work out.
     
    RJM likes this.
  14. 'Amir Alzzalam

    'Amir Alzzalam Šayṭānist

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2022
    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    156
    Sure is evidence . . . where's your evidence?

    Our ability to experience something spiritual or mystical is the result of a specific hereditary gene called 2 (VMAT2) that releases neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, histamine, and GABA which all create this God Illusion within some of us.

    This neural pathway is reinforced by religious indoctrination, thus making the delusion stronger and more permanent. Combined with psychological tools such as Shame, Guilt, Punishment, and Reward religion anchors itself into the psyche, and what is nothing more than a genetic illusion becomes a religious delusion. Fortunately, this gene is not passed down to everyone, and when it is, the neural pathway can be suppressed and defeated by not indoctrinating the brain at a very young age (e.g. religious rituals, schooling, etc.) and through critical religious thinking which is why more and more people are Atheists, NonTheists, and Agnostics.

    There is absolutely no evidence of some external, quasi-internal, mystical, what-have-you deity/god . . . there is, however, plenty of evidence that through evolutionary processes this illusion of a god/thing has taken place.
     
  15. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2022
    Messages:
    952
    Likes Received:
    361
    Where I live a large % of folks tick the Christian box in questionnaires but since they don't go to church, don't follow Christianity nor take any interest in it apart from attending Social Christenings, Weddings (where the couple have attended church for six weeks in order to get wed in a church), and Funerals ...I call these people 'Small Christians' or 'Convenience Christians'.

    Apart from Jehovah's Witness friends I don't know any real Christians, although my wife works with a Christian Colleague.....most rare.
     
    Ella S. likes this.
  16. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2022
    Messages:
    952
    Likes Received:
    361
    @'Amir Alzzalam
    Khayyam says it well....
    'How sweet is mortal Sovranty!'......think some;
    Others..... 'How blest the Paradise to come!'
    Ah, take the Cash in hand and waive the Rest;
    Oh, the brave music of a distant drum!

    :)
     
  17. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    8,864
    Likes Received:
    2,077
    Removed
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2022
  18. Ella S.

    Ella S. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2021
    Messages:
    703
    Likes Received:
    534
    That's fascinating. Most of the places I've lived, I've been surrounded by church-going evangelical Protestants, the kind of people that wear "God Saves" hats and end every interaction with "God bless you, have a nice day."

    I've been steeped in the culture for awhile now.
     
    badger likes this.
  19. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2019
    Messages:
    2,890
    Likes Received:
    633
    We are delusional .. we've got bad genes ;)
     
  20. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2022
    Messages:
    952
    Likes Received:
    361
    The last time I walked in to a church at 8am on a Sunday morning, there was a congregation of 5 very elderly people taking communion. The Catholic church has a better following but the busiest following is at the JW Kingdom Hall where our town is split in to East and West congregations because the recently built hall is mow too small.
     
    Ella S. likes this.

Share This Page