Does God exist

rudiger

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Does God Exist?
This is one of the best explanations of why God allows pain and suffering that I have seen. It's an explanation other people will understand. A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed.
As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about many things and various subjects. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: "I don't believe that God exists."
"Why do you say that?" asked the customer. "Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't
exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't imagine a loving a God who would allow all of these things."
The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt! The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: "You know what? Barbers do not exist." "How can you say that?" asked the surprised barber. "I am here, and I am a barber and I just worked on you!" "No!" the customer exclaimed. "Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside." "Ah, but barbers DO exist! What happens is, people do not come to me."
"Exactly!" affirmed the customer. "That's the point! God, too, DOES exist! What happens, is, people don't go to Him and do not look for Him. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world.
 
Namaste Rudiger,

thank you for the post.

i've seen this before... hopefully, i'll be able to remember my points from the last time i saw this...

rudiger said:
A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed.
so far, so good. all tangible things that we can see and measure.

As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about many things and various subjects. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: "I don't believe that God exists."
"Why do you say that?" asked the customer. "Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't
exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't imagine a loving a God who would allow all of these things."
hmm.. this seems to be implying a very specific sort of God and by that i mean to say a God with some specific attributes. however, it is my understanding that, amongst theists, God is generally held to be beyond human knowledge or understanding.

The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt! The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: "You know what? Barbers do not exist."
but you see, the customer does not believe that Barbers don't exist since he just left the very same barber. the customer beleives, in fact, knows that barbers exist, however, to make his point, he's resorting to a rhetorical argument which is invalid on its face, in my view.

"How can you say that?" asked the surprised barber. "I am here, and I am a barber and I just worked on you!"
and he would be correct. the customer has, in fact, just had a physical experience with the barber. other, non-customers, could visit the barber shop and independently investigate if the customers claim was true, that there are no barbers. the implication that God could be measured and tested like this seems to be incorrect.

"No!" the customer exclaimed. "Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside."
this is an invalid argument for the simple fact that you can go to any city and find a barber... even a barbers school where beings are trained to be barbers. you cannot, however, find a "god" school where beings are trained to be gods.

"Ah, but barbers DO exist! What happens is, people do not come to me."
"Exactly!" affirmed the customer. "That's the point! God, too, DOES exist! What happens, is, people don't go to Him and do not look for Him. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world.
if this is so, then it should be a simple matter to demonstrate that it is. do you suppose that you could provide some intersubjective evidence that we can all test and come to the same conclusions that you have?
 
Vajradhara,

Your logic is flawless, and reminds me of the line of reasoning that Louis Mackey used to refute Pascal's Wager. Good solid logic, well done!

However, part of me wonders what moon this finger points to. As allegorical and didactic as the story is there is an interesting idea presented by it. Logic would miss this in the same way as surgically removing ones brain to empirically display the mind. Where in the body is this mind? Where is this "Heart" we speak of when we chant "Om Mani Padme Hum?"

Perhaps we have no peace because man has not come to peace
Perhaps we have no love because man in his ignorance believes in a fragmented world where selves exist seperately.
Perhaps there is craving and desire because man does not see that all he ever needed was in fact something he already is.

This is why I feel that if the jewel is not in the lotus, there is much we can miss.

Peace,
Mark
 
Namaste Paladin,

thank you for the post and the kind words.

Paladin said:
Vajradhara,

Your logic is flawless, and reminds me of the line of reasoning that Louis Mackey used to refute Pascal's Wager. Good solid logic, well done!
well... i wouldn't go that far :) besides... Pascals Wager is invalid in it's formulation, it takes little effort to show how that particular wager is flawed, in my view.... even if Anthony Flew is changing his view just a bit :)

However, part of me wonders what moon this finger points to. As allegorical and didactic as the story is there is an interesting idea presented by it.
well... mostly, i think that it is an invalid for no other reason then barbers leave physical evidence of their work.. you know.. cut hair, reciepts for the money paid, pictures of before and after.. that sort of thing. generally speaking, God tends not to leave the same sorts of bread crumbs which we could use. God and barbers are apples and oranges :)

Logic would miss this in the same way as surgically removing ones brain to empirically display the mind. Where in the body is this mind?
is this a serious question or rhetorical in nature? if it's serious, i'd give a Buddhist answer, such that it is... if it's rhetorical.. well.. it's a good question to ponder :)

Where is this "Heart" we speak of when we chant "Om Mani Padme Hum?"
the same for this one :)

Perhaps we have no peace because man has not come to peace
Perhaps we have no love because man in his ignorance believes in a fragmented world where selves exist seperately.
Perhaps there is craving and desire because man does not see that all he ever needed was in fact something he already is.

This is why I feel that if the jewel is not in the lotus, there is much we can miss.

Peace,
Mark
i like it... i'm not sure if you're asking a question in any of it.. but i like the thoughts as expressed :)
 
I like to play with conceptual thought as much or more than the next person. But, as to "does God exist?"-I'd rather spend more time inhaling as deeply as possible of the fragrance of the "rose" and let its scent affect me than over-burden myself with figuring out the name of that which seems so entrancing in the moment..too much of that can lead to a "stuffy nose.":p Take care & don't forget to stop & smell the roses, Earl
 
I would like to point out, there is a difference between the non-physical and the supernatural.

The supernatural is that which is alleged to operate outside the natural laws of the universe, and exist apart from it. The supernatural is non-physical, and may also sometimes manifest physically according to common conception of it.

But there are many things, which are perfectly natural and part of this material universe, and are yet non-physical. These include concepts for things which are patterns of activity or relationship between parts. For example, a democracy is non-physical. You can't SEE democracy itself or put it on a scale. It is the name of a system of interaction between individuals. Yet, there is nothing transient or supernatural in it. Other examples would be "ecology" and "economy".

So, "mind" is like this. It is non-physical but not supernatural. It is the name given to the processes of the brain and the interaction of data in the brain. Like "ecology", mind can also not be put on a scale or seen directly because it is a pattern of relational parts.

"God" on the other hand, especially as envisioned in this story, is the name given to an entity who is alleged to exist outside of natural laws of physics (being the creator of them). This is an example of something which is supernatural.

That is the difference between "mind" and "God".
 
rudiger said:
people don't go to Him and do not look for Him. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world.
So you're saying he has the power to stop it all but doesn't because we " Don't go to him and do not look for him"

What a petty individual he must be.
 
I agree with your post, ATF.


For those of us who believe in God, we spend far to much time trying to figure God's thought processes and what God will do next - to the point where we easily reduce the essence of that being to equate with what we understand as humankind. I believe God exists. I also believe God exists only to those who believe.
 
I would also like to point out, respectfully, that the idea of the brain generating mind is only one view. There is also the metaphysical idea that mind generates the brain. In other words, from a quantum level, the "Word becomes flesh" so to speak.
If we approach Rudigers story in the same spirit with which we would enjoy a good zen story, or the misadventures of Mullah Nasruddin, I think we can make use of it.
Could the term "Come to God" be also understood as coming into a higher
consciousness?

I do so enjoy good solid logic, and the viewpoints of all the intelligent, loving people here inspires me no end, but I do wonder, albeit aloud, that perhaps if we could look deeply into Rudigers intent, beyond a didactic story, or an attempt at conversion we might see something different.

And if we could make this leap, and inwardly smile at what must be at it's very core a wish to share what is important, what is loving to him, we might understand a little more without sacrificing our own ideas.
After all, as Aristotle said: "To entertain an idea without accepting it is the mark of an educated mind"

Peace,
Mark
 
Humorous analogy. I must say, very neatly done, Vajradhara.

I am quite comfortable calling myself an athiest, as I have seen nothing warranting belief in a diety of any description. I would contend though that whether you label yourself theist or non-thiest you are foremost agnostic. As far as I understand it gods are, by nature, unknowable.

It is curious that the question is typically expressed as: "Does God exist?"

Which god are we talking of? (Came the typical athiest reply).

Why not gods? Godesses?

BTW, I'm sorry if you're rolling your eyes because you're reading that statement for the x thousandth time. I'm new here, have no knowledge of prior discussion, and, well, enjoy getting involved.
 
This got me curious re the etymology of the word "god," so looked it up. What I found was that word is Germanic and meaning origin somewhat hotly debated but the source I found says most likely meaning same as Greek derivative:

Greek: "khu-" "to pour."
Germanic-"geutan-" "to pour."

So, perhaps God is a verb. Life flows or pours and perhaps 1 definition of spirituality relates to going with that flow-not blocking its course, being "in that flow" of abundance and finding the wellspring of it. (also discovered that 1 definition of "theism," was the morbid condition of too much tea consumption, speaking of flowing:p ). Yours in the flow, Earl
 
Jaiket said:
Humorous analogy. I must say, very neatly done, Vajradhara.

I am quite comfortable calling myself an athiest, as I have seen nothing warranting belief in a diety of any description. I would contend though that whether you label yourself theist or non-thiest you are foremost agnostic. As far as I understand it gods are, by nature, unknowable.

It is curious that the question is typically expressed as: "Does God exist?"

Which god are we talking of? (Came the typical athiest reply).

Why not gods? Godesses?

BTW, I'm sorry if you're rolling your eyes because you're reading that statement for the x thousandth time. I'm new here, have no knowledge of prior discussion, and, well, enjoy getting involved.
Is the main argument then that the atheist eschews an anthrpomorhic, paternal idea of God, or that there is any type of conciousness common to but higher than the everyday mind of the human being?

Just curious Jaiket, I'm really not trying to get you to define your position, but was wondering if there is indeed any common ground on which to meet. Even secular humanism seems to entertain ideas about the subjective side of human experience, not so?

Peace,
Mark
 
It does seem an obvious point that seeking "God" as some sort of "object" amid other objects is to seek in vain...........in this sense the various arguments, for and against, will be endless........even futile.

"Nothing that knowledge can grasp or desire can want is God. Where knowledge and desire end, there is darkness. And there God shines" (Eckhart)

Anyway, the barber shop story reminded me of another..........and a slight switching of contexts!

A man walking through the forest saw a fox that had lost its legs, and he wondered how it lived. Then he saw a tiger come up with game in its mouth. The tiger ate its fill and left the rest of the meat for the fox. The next day God fed the fox by means of the same tiger. The man began to wonder at God's greatness and said to himself, "I too shall just rest in a corner with full trust in the Lord and he will provide me with all I need." He did this for many days but nothing happened, and he was almost at death's door when he heard a voice say, "O you who are in the path of error, open your eyes to the truth! Stop imitating the disabled fox and follow the example of the tiger."
 
earl said:
This got me curious re the etymology of the word "god," so looked it up. What I found was that word is Germanic and meaning origin somewhat hotly debated but the source I found says most likely meaning same as Greek derivative:

Greek: "khu-" "to pour."
Germanic-"geutan-" "to pour."

So, perhaps God is a verb. Life flows or pours and perhaps 1 definition of spirituality relates to going with that flow-not blocking its course, being "in that flow" of abundance and finding the wellspring of it. (also discovered that 1 definition of "theism," was the morbid condition of too much tea consumption, speaking of flowing:p ). Yours in the flow, Earl
Interesting... I think we do have a tendency to view things that are a verb (like love) as a noun. We say we are "in love," rather than saying that love is a choice we make each day, an action. We "know" God or "believe in" God, rather than participating in the process that is God, in much of modern Western thought.

As my experience of God deepened and grew, I found more and more that God was more than a personal Being and was also process, one with which I could unite. As Tariki quoted Eckhart, as I came closer to God I also came to the realization that I had to give up my attachments, including my attachments to my definitions of God and my expectations of what God would be like, in order to grow spiritually. This is a work in progress, but I was astonished at the realization that God is not only transcendent, but is also immanent in all- a process in which we are a part. Some of us call this process walking with God (or in Christ), but I have also recognized parallels to Taoism and other concepts (anyone heard of the concept of Des'tai?). My description is that it is walking the Path of Best Action, or the Path of Most Harmony. In the "life flows" idea that Earl is discussing, it is a gradual recognition of that Flow and the path that one should take to be at one with it. My experience has been that this is not the totality of God, but is certainly one facet of God; without going into detail, I will say that this aspect of God has given me incredible joy and peace, and the deep experience of this was a glimpse of heaven for me.

As for the story, nifty, but comparing barbers and gods doesn't quite work for me.

I like the tiger and fox analogy... :)
 
Tariki said:
It does seem an obvious point that seeking "God" as some sort of "object" amid other objects is to seek in vain...........in this sense the various arguments, for and against, will be endless........even futile.

"Nothing that knowledge can grasp or desire can want is God. Where knowledge and desire end, there is darkness. And there God shines" (Eckhart)

Anyway, the barber shop story reminded me of another..........and a slight switching of contexts!

A man walking through the forest saw a fox that had lost its legs, and he wondered how it lived. Then he saw a tiger come up with game in its mouth. The tiger ate its fill and left the rest of the meat for the fox. The next day God fed the fox by means of the same tiger. The man began to wonder at God's greatness and said to himself, "I too shall just rest in a corner with full trust in the Lord and he will provide me with all I need." He did this for many days but nothing happened, and he was almost at death's door when he heard a voice say, "O you who are in the path of error, open your eyes to the truth! Stop imitating the disabled fox and follow the example of the tiger."
The lovely Eckhart quote as well as your comment re seeking "God" as some sort of object-reminds me of your "spiritual materialism" thread-prompts me to share here a quote I recently encountered from Ken Wilber, the transpersonal or integral contemporary philosopher, who, given the volumes of things he's written, can certainly be said to me a fellow long dedicated to trying to "figure out the Ultimate" conceptually:

"In other words, all my books are lies. They are simply maps of a territory, shadows of a reality, gray symbols dragging their bellies across the dead page, suffocated signs full of muffled sound and faded glory, signifying absolutely nothing. And it is the nothing, the Msytery, the Emptiness alone that needs to be realized: not known but felt, not thought but breathed, not an object but an atmosphere, not a lesson but a life."

Have a good one, Earl
 
FAQ's
1.
Ask your science teacher why sunsets are beautiful.
2. If your eyes have a purpose for their existense then how about you?
3. How did the heart start to beat without the central nervous system telling it?
4. Who designed the stick bug to look like a stick?
5. Who taught the new born baby to cry and suckle?
6. Who told the ozone layer about the ultra-violet rays?
7. Why is the sky blue and not brown, and why is the ground brown and not blue?
8. If we came from monkey's, then why are there still monkey's?
9. How come for every cause there is an effect?
10. Does God exist?
 
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