Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by BlackHeart, Sep 18, 2003.
I've been told many times that human life is sacred
because we made in "God's image".
Which implies that we RESEMBLE God in some way -
that we SHARE some of God's characteristics.
But we are LIMITED beings and a God who resembles
us in any form would also be limited. Surely a limited
God would not be capable of all the stuff we atribute
to him ???
Good day Louis.
We are as limited as an atomic bomb...or as limitless as a nuclear power plant.
We are biengs housed in corporial bodies, and as such currently have physical limits (which even today are being stretched). But our minds and imagination have no limits save what we enforce upon them.
God does not resemble us, my friend. We resemble God. There is a significant difference.
Example: During the cold war, the Soviet Union made a knock off version of the Mercedez Benz 450 L. They called it the Moscva machina. It resembled the Benz...until you drove it (or tried to start the engine). That is where the resemblence (sp?) ended.
My mother likened our resemblence to God this way...we have a mind, a body, and a spirit.
God is made of of mind (The Father), body (The Son), and spirit (Holy Spirit).
We are whole, when the whole of us is taken into account. God is whole when we take the whole of Him into account.
Ever notice how angry a woman gets when only her body is considered? She will say, "I have a mind and a spirit as well you know!..." In other words - "Get to know all of me!"
Anyway, the bottom line is we are a cheap copy of the original, and we need alot of work in order to run as well as the real thing. We need to be fine tuned, and given the substandard parts we have...that will take a life time. ;-)
"Pantheism itself is unable to consider the existence of Divinty beyond the immediate boundaries of the universe."
As a Pantheist, I define God as Everything. Not being bound by the universe. I would think that if there are multi-universes then that would be yet another characteristic of God. I'm not limited or unable. I simply define the Divine in a very all-natural way.
Also, the supernatural is only "super" until we as humans wrap our minds around it. Lightning was a tool of the gods until we understood its nature.
I always rather enjoyed the story of how we were created in God's image. My question: In what way are we in His image? Taken at face value we should all look the same. Yet we're different. So we either assume that there are endless faces of God or interpret what is meant by "image".
Our imaginations are limited. They are limited to the filters of our own perceptions. This is why so many envision God as a white bearded grandpa-type on a throne of clouds and the devil is a man with horns and a tail. Mankind needs to feel associated to God and creates an image to fit the mold altered by that which is the only thing they currently comprehend.
I believe the question was, is God limited or infinate? That will depend on your definition of God. I beleive that God is infinate because anything that exsists is a part of God or a chacteristic of God. It's an intellectually lazy way out, but it seems right for me. To me, there can be nothing greater than God. So if it "is" it must be a part of that greatness. Remember when you were a kid and arguing with a sibling or friend, "No! I was first" "No. I was." "I was....to infinity." "No, I was to infinity plus one." Infinity plus one always lead to infinity plus infinity.
If God is infinate and I am outside of God, then that makes me the "plus one". And just like when we were kids, in hind sight, that just seems silly.
Good day Chewi,
The Bible says we were made in God's "Image and Likeness", yet we are under the impression that God is both omnicient and omnipotent...well that kind of knocks out the theory that He has a physical body like ours. Second, He creates a race of beings we call "Angels", and we are told often enough that in their natural state, they are non-corporial beings, but that they can appear in a physical form as required for our understanding.
And as a wise person pointed out to me here, that though we are considered Biblically a "little lower" than the Angels whilst we are here, the fact is there are at least eleven levels of Angels, before there is man.
Our bodies are but dust (again Biblical), and if one strips the water from the human body, it in fact become dust very quickly. That makes us very mortal. However, there is a part of us that seems to be immortal. This part is what the Bible keeps trying to reach in us.
I believe that immortal part of us is what is made in God's image and likeness.
I liken death to sleep. In sleep, when my body is at rest, and my brain is for the most part at rest, there is a part of me that is not. I dream, and move, and sense and feel, and reflect. Sometimes the emotion, or reflection is so strong it startles my body back to conciousness, causing a kind of little shock, that my body obviously was not expecting. The mind is often confused for a few seconds, because the experience was not brain generated, so there is no reference for the brain to corrolate to, line up with. And the "dream" dissipates quickly, which does not make sense, if it were brain generated.
Sometimes I feel the most free when I sleep. My self is unfettered from the confines of the shell in which I live. This I believe is the immortal part of us. This is what I believe is in the image and Likeness of God.
If it weren't for my body, my mind, and all the temptations that plague them, distract them, I suspect I would be a pretty good companion for God.
"Sorry God, I'd love to talk with you for ever, but I've got to eat, got to sleep, have this urge to pro-create, want to be around these other bodies, physically feel sick, must tend to my family...", you get the picture.
To answer your question, I opine that our finiteness is in our corporial existence. Our immortality is in our spirit. God has no finiteness because He authored our existence. Now perhaps in time we will find different, as we get to know more about God (at His level, and as our understanding grows).
But I am reminded about a thought I had, as I gazed into my first born child's eyes over twenty years ago. I knew there was a universe, but to him...
...I was the universe.
First time I'v seen "pantheism" mentioned here...
I've always thought that idea was a good way to explain
"creation". As I understand "creation", it means to make
something from NOTHING - which makes no sense to me
at all. Being cannot come from Non-being !!!
If things could come from nothing, there would be no
need to assume the existence of a God.
But pantheism suggests that everything IS God -
that God simply converted part of himself into reality..
How about that ...?
To be honest, I don't see either perspectives as being immutable - merely stating the same things in different ways. The big difference seems to apply to how we imagine the universe coming into a state of existence - and that process itself almost certainly depends upon events we cannot begin to even imagine in terms of physics. Statements that "God created the Universe" and "God realised a part of himself to Reality" I actually take as metaphors in themselves, and metaphors do not lend themselves to too literal interpretations.
Good Day to you Louis!
I am standing in a field, made of dirt, rocks, tree stumps...
But I have a vision of a house, corall, garden, and pasture. Five years later I am standing in my field, full of horses, cows, pigs, and my wife is tending her garden, while I remember I must repair the corral, slop the pigs, set the cows and run the horses.
From my point of view, I have created something - from nothing.
I am Von Braun. I have nothing, no life, and no where to go but to death. Then out of the blue the Americans snatch me up and eventually make me their top scientist for the Moon missions, and Mein Gott, do I succeed! I created something from nothing
My name is Thomas Edison. Someone pulled my ears so hard (which saved my miserable young life), that my ear drums ruptured and I went deaf. Yet among other things, I managed to invent the first sound recording device, called the phonograph. I created something from nothing.
My name is Beethoven. I am deaf since age five, but you can listen to my 5th, and 9th symphony, which I wrote in my 30s and 40s. I literally created something from nothing.
Something from nothing is relative (I hate that concept), But it seems to be prevelent in our lives, almost like a reminder of the beginning of existence.
Being coming from non-being. Finite considering the infinite, Man contemplating God.
"God is infinite!" Well yeah, but Man is capable of "Infinite thought".
Hey, it can happen! ;-)
God made humans in God's image..
and is, therefore, only limited by
one's perception of ....God.
1. The official who holds an office
1. (geology) lying or leaning on something else
2. Currently holding an office
I am constantly amazed that people of such obvious above average intelligence can disagree so vehemently on such an issue. Possibly I am amazed because I don’t have the intellectual wherewithal to understand the intangibles or because I have a simple mind. Philosophically speaking though, I suppose some of you can explain why a Rhodes Scholar required clarification as to the definition of “is”. Possibly intellectuals are stimulated more by logical arguments than by logical conclusions.
After reading the entire four pages of banter I am reminder of the dog chasing his tail. The question could be why does the dog chase it and the simple answer is clear; he expects to catch it! I suppose we could complicate matters by debating exactly what the word “expect” means.
Here’s more simplified philosophy. A man opens his closet and finds a stranger standing inside. The man asked the stranger, “What are you doing in my closet?” The stranger replied, “Simple, everybody’s got to be somewhere.”
I regard simplicity as being succinct and uncomplicated. My uncomplicated view is that creation and god have proven to be beyond the ability of human comprehension. Because understanding evolves the search for answers must continue. However, I don’t feel compelled to debate what the word “is” means.
I’ll add one more OPINION. Until we evolve enough, if we ever do, to understand creation and god we must admit to god being personal. Human comprehension falls short in the ability to understand; therefore god has to be a personal god of the heart because he cannot be an intellectual understanding of the brain. Not yet! Respectfully! mcedgy
Hi Pet Zepi, and welcome to CR.
Btw - I did take the liberty of reducing the size of your signature - size 7 was just a little too large.
As for mcedgy - I quite agree.
thank you for the post.
indeed... if this is so.... what need is there for faith?
Hello Vajradhara - You ask if my notion is correct, "what need is there for faith?" Look no farther than your signature quotation from Buddha! Respectfully mcedgy
Argh!! You mean atoms don't exist?!
Hello I, Brian - I know, you just had to ask, didn't you?
thank you for the post.
let me try another angle...
you assert that God is a personal God... i.e. one that is known personally. if this is the case, then faith is not requried since this is a known entity. faith, in my view, would only be required if you did not "know" God and God was not a personal God.
Joseph Campbell is at a party one evening and gets into a discussion with a Catholic priest who makes the same claim that you are... that God is a personal God. to which Joseph makes the same query that i have... the priests answer is to walk away from the conversation.
faith has no role in a relationship between a personal God and it's follower(s), in my opinion.
as for my quote... that doesn't take faith to believe, in my view
Hello Vajradhara – To elaborate on your question “what need is there for faith” I can only say it depends on who you ask. Some people’s belief is solely based on faith. These individuals ignore all logic for the comfort they experience by believing in what they choose despite any evidence to the contrary. Yet, for others, having faith that something greater exists is what motivates them to a greater good. As for me, I search for knowledge and answers because I have faith that something greater exists.
Regarding a personal god, my answer to you is the same answer I would have given Joseph Campbell - Personal indicates individual or it indicates one’s own and has nothing to do with “knowing”. It would by its very definition include all beliefs and notions of who or what god and creation is about. It is specific to the individual.
As to the Buddha quote I can only say, IMHO, that one could never accept that statement without faith. This in no way indicates disrespect for Buddhism. I find Buddhism and it’s history quite fascinating. However, accepting without evidence not only implies faith it requires it. Respectfully mcedgy
I agree with the above except for one thing, God is not entirely omnipotent. God cannot do two things: He cannot create another God like Himself and secondly He cannot hate any of His own creations. You might also argue that God is beyond time and place as well as within time and place where it not that the latter is included in/subjugated to the reality beyond time and place anyway.
thank you for the post.
if it's one's own.. why would faith be required? that's what i'm getting to... if it's "personal" what role would faith have in this equation?
did you miss the one from Einstein right above it?
"Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world."
they are saying the exact same thing.. though using different words. the quotes are from a book called Einstein and Buddha, the Parallel Sayings.
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