How do/don't you rationalize God | Page 9 | INFJ Forum

How do/don't you rationalize God

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Lerxst, Jul 1, 2013.

Share This Page

Watchers:
This thread is being watched by 19 users.
More threads by Lerxst
  1. robert

    robert Regular Poster

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2018
    Threads:
    0
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    463
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Earth
    MBTI:
    infj
    Enneagram:
    9
    peoples ideas about a deity seem to be pretty sophomoric, but that is understandable due to the quality and character of the so called cergy and schools of higher learning and what passes for free thinking nowadays.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    John K likes this.
  2. John K

    Donor

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2018
    Threads:
    2
    Messages:
    2,430
    Featured Threads:
    2
    Likes Received:
    21,614
    Trophy Points:
    2,332
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheshire, England
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    5 4 9
    It seems to me that there are a lot of double standards when it comes to the legitimacy of faith v proof - that for most people an appeal to science is equivalent to treating it as a faith system. For example, there are only a few eccentric people left in the world who don't think the earth is more or less spherical - but how many of us could actually prove it's round and measure its size using faultless direct observation and logic. And that's before we go anywhere near the validity of the standard model in particle physics, the validity of quantum mechanics, or the truth of the extinction event that finished off the dinosaurs. For most of us, even if we know a lot about such things, our knowledge rests on faith in the experts and what they have published - in fact few of us are able to read the original work by these scientific pioneers and we are informed by the derivative work that supplies it to "lay people" in a digestible form. This is no different to the way knowledge of God is presented to people at large - over the ages, the religious pioneers have encountered God in many different ways and have recorded their experiences. Again, the raw material is not easy to access for "lay people" and again we rely on derivative information, both written and spoken.

    A big misconception is that science is actually revealing the structure of fundamental reality - but it hasn't done that so far. The two big current theories of physics, both incredibly accurate predictors within their domains of validity, are quite contradictory about the nature of time and space for example, so they are just very good but very simplified models of the real thing. They are both almost certainly completely wrong on the fundamentals and I suspect that a theory of everything, the holy grail of physics, will rest on a completely surprising alternative understanding of time, space and the nature of its contents.

    There is of course a big difference between experience of the world that leads to scientific insight and experience of God - the science is reproducible on demand by those few of us who have the right theoretical and technical knowledge and the resources required. Experience of God is not reproducible like that, but there is such a lot of independent parallel description given by the pioneers that's pretty impressive - and many of these experiences are available to many of us, at least in principle, who go looking with an open mind. I always have to bite my tongue when people talk about the irrationality of Faith, because, like Gaze seems to be implying, personally I would have to deny something I have experienced directly if I were to reject God's existence. These things are not easy to talk about, though, because the relationship is very intimate – my impression is that direct experience of God is a lot more common than we might think, but that people tend not to talk about it much.

    I'm using the word God here as a placeholder for all kinds of possibilities - it's best to keep away from anthropomorphic projections as far as possible. My own experience is of both person and not-person - something that just won't fit inside any word. When people say they don't believe in God, or struggle with the idea itself, I often find I don't believe in what they don't believe in either. And a lot of organised religion allows their signposts to be treated as destinations - which is a stumbling block. The signposts are actually perfectly good at their job if they are left behind properly.

    Positive scepticism, with an open mind, some playfulness, a good sense of humour and a willingness to explore – that’s what I’d recommend, just as I would with the sciences.
     
    #162 John K, Nov 25, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
    Sebbybear, Ren, Wyote and 5 others like this.
  3. Milktoast Bandit

    Milktoast Bandit Reality... Sometimes, it's real.

    Joined:
    May 2, 2016
    Threads:
    57
    Messages:
    8,226
    Featured Threads:
    6
    Likes Received:
    36,270
    Trophy Points:
    3,606
    Gender:
    Male
    MBTI:
    MEAT
    It's unfortunate that we humans have to rely on human methods of communication to relay the experience of transformation of the human condition to other humans. Once we try to put into words things we can't accurately describe to one that has not experienced "God," the reality of the experience is reduced to an idea or allegorical word salad. How do we say, "God is the reality of a human being, being human at 100% actualized potential human beingness," without sounding like nonsensical weirdo?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Ren, Wyote, neko and 2 others like this.
  4. robert

    robert Regular Poster

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2018
    Threads:
    0
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    463
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Earth
    MBTI:
    infj
    Enneagram:
    9
    I wrote an article on this .My only complaint on it is I came across more like an intj than my infj writings .My rational on the existence of a god is on observation and logical and rational thoughts. I know rational thought and observation (Te and Se) are not strong suits of infj. But my Ti tells me its true. And though Re is my trickster Fe Ti agree that it is logical and true
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    John K, Wyote and Gaze like this.
  5. robert

    robert Regular Poster

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2018
    Threads:
    0
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    463
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Earth
    MBTI:
    infj
    Enneagram:
    9
    Te trickster
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    John K and Wyote like this.
  6. robert

    robert Regular Poster

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2018
    Threads:
    0
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    463
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Earth
    MBTI:
    infj
    Enneagram:
    9


    http://www.unknowntruths.online/freethinking/my-thoughts-on-the-existance-of-god/


    if I'm allowed to share if not I'm sure the mods will delete
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    John K, Ren, Wyote and 1 other person like this.
  7. Gaze

    Gaze My word . . . hmm
    Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Threads:
    2,365
    Messages:
    28,415
    Featured Threads:
    85
    Likes Received:
    21,350
    Trophy Points:
    1,906
    MBTI:
    .
    I didn't read all of it, but the first few paragraphs. I definitely agree that it's problematic when people keep describing a belief in God as an irrational, oversimplistic, naive belief system that has no proof. It's assumed from the beginning that there's no logical proof for the existence of God, and no real justification because e.g. If God exists, then He would do A or B, and since he doesn't behave in this way, then He doesn't exist. It's a faulty form of reasoning based on biased premises which say that something doesn't exist because it doesn't behave the way we think it should or want it to.

    It's like saying, that if I've never met one of my parents, and they were absent from my life, then they don't exist because they weren't there or weren't a "good" parent or didn't behave the way a parent should. Here's another, it's like looking at a painting and not knowing who the painter is, assume that the no painter exists, just because you don't know the author or don't like the painting. Maybe I'm using faulty analogies but I think the general gist is our reasoning against God is not really that sound if it's just based on a petulant child's belief that God is not real because life didn't turn out the way we want it to, as if life should simply be driven by what we want, feel, or see with your own eyes, believing this is all which exists or is true.

    If all of us lived like that, we would be like the allegory of the cave, looking at images reflected on a wall, and assuming those are real things. Our vision or knowledge of the world is never complete. There is always going to be something missing.

    Think of the types. Regardless of the critiques about the soundness of type theory, let's say the 16 types were accurate to a T. Each types brings something to the table, that's different. Each has a different or unique perspective. And without one of the types, we would not have a complete picture of humanity. And even then, why do the 16 types compliment each other so well? Is that random or coincidence? Just a collision of atoms? Would that explain it all? Tough to think it would. So, yeah, just based on analogical reasoning (which I realize has its weaknesses, it's still questionable this idea that God supposedly does not exist simply because we can't explain certain things about God based on our concept of who we believe He should be).
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #167 Gaze, Nov 26, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
    Fidicen, John K, robert and 1 other person like this.
  8. Wyote

    Wyote Con Risa Absoluta
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Threads:
    225
    Messages:
    27,818
    Featured Threads:
    15
    Likes Received:
    125,926
    Trophy Points:
    4,271
    Gender:
    Male
    MBTI:
    Ni Space
    Enneagram:
    9 Seas
    If our experiences are as insignificant as we presume they are, mathematically speaking, then it's not much of a jump in logic to justify "horrific" things.
    From the perspective of the universe, of the whole of time, a single act on our tiny blue dot is nothing.
    But our own experiences paint the whole of our own universal perspective. And our perspective creates our own universe.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Fidicen, John K and Ren like this.
  9. robert

    robert Regular Poster

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2018
    Threads:
    0
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    463
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Earth
    MBTI:
    infj
    Enneagram:
    9
    I do appreciate your input, It is the same when people criticize the Bible as not being "historically accurate" or "scientific". How can you judge anything by saying what it is not? It's like taking a cookbook and criticizing it for not having a musical theory in it. Those opposed to any manuscript of any kind can not criticize it for something it was not meant to be. But most lack the understanding to perform a criticism of ancient text because they do not read it in the same mindset as it was written, instead, they try to make sense of an ancient near eastern script in a post-modern western mindset where certain meanings of words have changed, or an idiom is used from an ancient understanding that has been lost in modern times.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Sebbybear, Fidicen, John K and 3 others like this.
  10. Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2017
    Threads:
    35
    Messages:
    6,487
    Featured Threads:
    25
    Likes Received:
    61,934
    Trophy Points:
    4,022
    Location:
    Geneva
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    548 spsx
    Personally I think this sounds great :sweatsmile:

    To be fair, the issue is not necessarily that people think they've proven that God doesn't exist - I agree that this is very difficult, I at least have never come across a convincing proof - but that they see no sufficient reason to believe that He exists.

    It does not follow from the fact that God may exist, that He does exist. The possibility is a necessary condition, but not a sufficient one.
     
    Gaze, Milktoast Bandit, Wyote and 2 others like this.
  11. John K

    Donor

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2018
    Threads:
    2
    Messages:
    2,430
    Featured Threads:
    2
    Likes Received:
    21,614
    Trophy Points:
    2,332
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheshire, England
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    5 4 9
    Very interesting article, Robert. I've not read it thoroughly, but deep enough to agree with a lot of what you say, at least in principle. I think you are on unsure ground at first sight rejecting the multiverse theory because you can see processes taking place within our own universe that probably lead to other universes being created under some circumstances - within the singularity at the heart of a black hole for example. It's easy too to get trapped into thinking about reality from the perspective of being locked into time, and I don't think time sequencing is essential for causality to be effected - any new universe born from our own will have been caused by an event we could in principle infer from observations, but if it has time at all, it will not be linked to the time in our world. There are conceivably other universes with more than one time dimension as well as some with none. I would point out too that intelligent design of our world does not actually imply a God - it's conceivable that our own descendents may one day be able to design new universes and set them going using the laws of physics and highly advanced engineering techniques, so they almost certainly don't need an oniscient all powerful creator to set them off. Perhaps our universe is the product of very advanced but quite ordinary beings in another universe.

    I don't think this invalidates the core of your case though. If there is only one universe, then your appeal to the fine tuning of its constants is very serious circumstantial evidence in favour of a divine creator. If there are uncountable numbers of universes, then this just pushes the creation problem back a step - how does that multiverse come to exist, and how does the possibility of a life-sustaining universe like ours come to be embedded within that multiverse. And quite honestly the idea of an uncountable number of other universes as an alternative to God sounds just as challenging to belief and just as difficult to prove one way or another.

    This is a great metaphor - I think my approach to the world is very like this Gaze. Both inside and outside, it just seems to be alight with personality. I'm very much on the same wavelength as what you are saying. :)

    I think this is a very reasonable position to take Ren, and it's where a lot of thinking agnostics are located. I have no absolute certainties myself - even down to whether the external world really exists as it presents itself to me. I go with what is very likely, given my life experiences, but stay willing to try on other perspectives. I don't think there will ever be direct proof of God's existence that will satisfy except for direct personal interior experience.
     
    Gaze, Ren, Wyote and 1 other person like this.
  12. robert

    robert Regular Poster

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2018
    Threads:
    0
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    463
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Earth
    MBTI:
    infj
    Enneagram:
    9

    I don't reject a multiverse, I'm just saying a multiverse is not conclusive evidence that there isn't need of intelligent design. As I stated, a multiverse might exist but Hawkins assertion that it comes into being from nothing and because there are so many is therfore proof that a creator doesnt exist is hogwash
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Gaze, Ren, Wyote and 1 other person like this.
  13. John K

    Donor

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2018
    Threads:
    2
    Messages:
    2,430
    Featured Threads:
    2
    Likes Received:
    21,614
    Trophy Points:
    2,332
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheshire, England
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    5 4 9
    Definitely - quite agree !
     
    Gaze, Ren and Wyote like this.
  14. Gaze

    Gaze My word . . . hmm
    Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Threads:
    2,365
    Messages:
    28,415
    Featured Threads:
    85
    Likes Received:
    21,350
    Trophy Points:
    1,906
    MBTI:
    .
    My point was in reference to the tendency for many to say that having the belief without supposedly "reasonable" proof is somehow irrational. Each person will have their own definition of 'reasonable proof'. What's good enough proof for one person, is inadequate or insufficient or no proof at all to someone else. So, that's where I am coming from. My belief is not based on having some kind of human defined "rational' proof or reason based on a lot of philosophical arguments. For me, God simply exists. I already have my experience as proof. Even if there was undeniable proof, someone may still decide they don't want to believe. Everyone has the right to decide their own beliefs. But for many, it really is just a matter of faith.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #174 Gaze, Nov 28, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
    Ren, John K and Wyote like this.
  15. John K

    Donor

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2018
    Threads:
    2
    Messages:
    2,430
    Featured Threads:
    2
    Likes Received:
    21,614
    Trophy Points:
    2,332
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheshire, England
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    5 4 9
    @Ren where does the idea of God lie within your Open Monism philosophy? Whether or not God exists, do you place "him" within the scope of being, of what is logically possible, or do you place him outside in the realm of the absurd?

    Just to add as a rider that I don't feel the concept of God necessarily invalidates a Monistic view of reality - it would add a certain piquancy to the openground perhaps?
     
    Wyote and Ren like this.
  16. Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2017
    Threads:
    35
    Messages:
    6,487
    Featured Threads:
    25
    Likes Received:
    61,934
    Trophy Points:
    4,022
    Location:
    Geneva
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    548 spsx
    That's perfectly fair. Often I think people distinguish between belief in God through revelation versus belief through reason.

    I'm open to having a revelation :)

    Good question, John. I suppose it once again depends on how we define "God".

    Not so very long ago in my notebook (chapters not published yet), I developed a reductio ad absurdum argument against the existence of God, understood as a perfect being. It runs more or less like this: for a being to be perfect, it must have open will. But if it has open will, then it must be open to virtuality. But if it is open to virtuality, it is neither purely actual, nor ominiscient, nor omnipotent. But a perfect being must be both actual, ominiscient, and omnipotent. Contradiction. By reductio, there is no perfect being (in OM). ■

    However, I think there is room in OM for God, understood in a different way. I am thinking in particular of the concept of the actualized totality of immanent space, i.e. the concept of the existence of all possible worlds, the complete actualization of reality. Maybe we could say: this is God.

    As an aside, this is why I said earlier in this thread that I agreed that God was a concept, but not a being.
     
    Wyote and John K like this.
  17. John K

    Donor

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2018
    Threads:
    2
    Messages:
    2,430
    Featured Threads:
    2
    Likes Received:
    21,614
    Trophy Points:
    2,332
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheshire, England
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    5 4 9
    Yes, this sounds like its in a good direction. I think it's equivalent to saying that the world is not a being, as you have been explaining in the Notebook. We inevitably project onto these everything concepts the ways we think about anything else - it's impossible almost not to have contaminations like that because all our experience is from within and limited to a small part of the within. The terms omniscient, omnipotent, perfect are really just this sort of thing - like ourselves but more powerful and better. But this is like trying to get at infinity by looking at very big numbers - it's useless because infinity is infinitely bigger than any finite number no matter how ridiculously big it might be.
     
    Wyote and Ren like this.
  18. Sebbybear

    Sebbybear Newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2018
    Threads:
    0
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    433
    Gender:
    Female
    MBTI:
    INTP
    Enneagram:
    Type 5
    Without spending all day on this one, I'd at least like to point out that the books of the bible were written by people for other people, and are full of so-called "inconsistencies" that are really more like attempts to explain something difficult in a way that everyone can understand. Reading through the bible with a critical mindset is a great way to start learning about Christianity, but a terrible way to stop. It's been 4000 years since the Ten Commandments were written down, and 2000 years since the most recent books made their first appearance, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that the OP's concerns and questions have been noticed and addressed many, many times before. My advice to you is, "Don't stop here." You've asked the questions; now go find the answers. Yes, they're out there. I'll help by offering some insight into the one concern you've stated regarding God and emotions: attributing jealousy and wrath to him is just a way to make him seem understandable. The reasons for the first four commandments (or first three, if you're Catholic: we divide all the statements that became the Commandments differently!) was to help the Jews separate themselves from the rest of the world. They had just come out of Egypt, where they'd lived all their lives, and their parents' lives, etc., and they suffered from a powerful tendency to worship Egyptian gods and goddesses and to engage in pagan practices, such as making idols and worshipping them. God didn't want this particular people to be assimilated into the surrounding religions because he was forming a people who would eventually produce both the person of Jesus and the theology behind his extraordinary act. God's multitudinous commands to the Jewish people were mainly geared towards this goal of separation, and they were enforced with shocking strictness because of the depth to which pagan habits had become ingrained in the Jews.

    As far as God's motivations go, they're harder to understand, and they seem to me to be almost entirely relational in nature. God is complete in himself and needs nothing, that's true, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have things he desires. I heard a story from a man once who was out for a walk and saw his neighbor mowing the grass. The neighbor's little kid was following behind him, pushing a toy lawnmower. On the second lap around the block, my storyteller saw the toy lawnmower lying forgotten in the driveway, and the child being held up by one of his father's arms, his tiny hands on the real mower's handle, "helping" his father mow. This is the relationship, and the true gift, that God wants from us, and I've found, after investigation, that all his instructions and commandments lead inevitably to this point: "I invite you, not to be followers, but to be FAMILY."
     
    Zoned Out Again likes this.
  19. Sebbybear

    Sebbybear Newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2018
    Threads:
    0
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    433
    Gender:
    Female
    MBTI:
    INTP
    Enneagram:
    Type 5
    Can't edit my post, so sorry for posting twice. Why does a perfect being need open will? What exactly IS "open will?" Is that the ability to make choices? Because that's only a thing in a temporal setting and can't possibly apply in a situation where all times are one. Are we defining a perfect being, or a regular being that takes perfect actions?
     
    Ren and Zoned Out Again like this.
  20. Zoned Out Again

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2018
    Threads:
    0
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    142
    Trophy Points:
    777
    Location:
    A blessed beautiful corrupt third world country.
    MBTI:
    INFJ

    Hmm, Interesting.
     
Loading...

Share This Page