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Question About God

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
I'm not a religious person and tend to disagree somewhat with the way organized religion has become, but at times I am spiritual. Lately I've been thinking a lot more about religious and spiritual issues, but I just had a thought a second ago. What is the purpose of god? Why bother to create humans, put them through a test on earth, then send them to heaven or hell? What does god get from this? If heaven is eternal, what is god's role in heaven? Does he hang out with all the spirits there? If there is a god, perhaps we are entertainment of sorts for him. Maybe, since some believe that humans are created in his image, we share a bit of human nature with him - that is, the urge to show people beautiful things. If that were the case, maybe god just wanted to show us his masterpiece - the universe. Obviously nobody knows any of these answers, I just wanted to pose the question and get some discussion. Perhaps AlanC can chime in and give me a little perspective on it.
post #2 of 40
I'm not trying to offend anyone, but maybe it is the other way around. Maybe humans created the concept of a supreme being to answer the unexplainable. Like why are we here and what is our role? The greeks created the myths to explain things that where otherwise unexplainable in their time. Maybe God is like that too. The Jews back in the day may have created the Old Testament just to keep people in line with the 10 commandments and to explain the origin of life, which was also unexplainable until recent times. Just my thoughts on it. Keep in mind that I am very well learned in the Bible. I went to a christian school for quite a while and in my case, the more I learned about it the more I disagreed.
post #3 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oddly Familiar
I'm not trying to offend anyone, but maybe it is the other way around. Maybe humans created the concept of a supreme being to answer the unexplainable. Like why are we here and what is our role? The greeks created the myths to explain things that where otherwise unexplainable in their time. Maybe God is like that too. The Jews back in the day may have created the Old Testament just to keep people in line with the 10 commandments and to explain the origin of life, which was also unexplainable until recent times. Just my thoughts on it. Keep in mind that I am very well learned in the Bible. I went to a christian school for quite a while and in my case, the more I learned about it the more I disagreed.

True, this is what I sort of believe, but lately for some reason I've been more open minded and actually sat down and thought about this stuff.
post #4 of 40
It's good that people have the capability to sit down and decide what they do or don't beleive in through a logical thought process. Relegion is what it is, and it is a faith. Trusting in the unknown. Many of the people I know beleive what they do simply because that's what has been forced down their throats for their whole life, and I think that is wrong. people should be offered the right to choose their own relegion. Sadly, many parents/grandparents/teachers/whatever have to force feed their beleifs into someone else.
post #5 of 40
If you define God as an all powerful, complete, perfect being, then the idea that he needs/wants entertainment is somewhat silly.
post #6 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oddly Familiar
Sadly, many parents/grandparents/teachers/whatever have to force feed their beleifs into someone else.
I was nodding as I read your post OF, until I reached this coda. I might not have objected had you not used the pejorative phrase "force feed their beleifs [sic]".

I am a parent, and have taken my children to my church, not to force feed them, but to give them a grounding in my Christian faith, from early childhood. As my children (one is now 27 and a parent herself) age and mature into their teens, I encourage them to read about "” and personally explore if that is their desire "” other denominations and faiths.

I was raised in a household of holiday Christians; we attended church services on Easter and Christmas, but little beyond that. I was never forced to attend anything. As a high school student, I took all the elective classes my school offered concerning religion and philosophy. Similarly, in university I took many religion classes. I "returned" to Christianity for comfort, for support, for guidance, for fellowship.

I don't mean to stray from VM's thread topic, as it is a good thought-provoker, but your characterization of parents force feeding a faith to their children is unfair, and a prejudicial supposition.
post #7 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamG
If you define God as an all powerful, complete, perfect being, then the idea that he needs/wants entertainment is somewhat silly.


True, but I also brought up the point that we may not have only been created in a physical likeness, but perhaps with a similarity in consciousness.
post #8 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by VersaceMan
I'm not a religious person and tend to disagree somewhat with the way organized religion has become, but at times I am spiritual. Lately I've been thinking a lot more about religious and spiritual issues, but I just had a thought a second ago. What is the purpose of god? Why bother to create humans, put them through a test on earth, then send them to heaven or hell? What does god get from this? If heaven is eternal, what is god's role in heaven? Does he hang out with all the spirits there? If there is a god, perhaps we are entertainment of sorts for him. Maybe, since some believe that humans are created in his image, we share a bit of human nature with him - that is, the urge to show people beautiful things. If that were the case, maybe god just wanted to show us his masterpiece - the universe. Obviously nobody knows any of these answers, I just wanted to pose the question and get some discussion. Perhaps AlanC can chime in and give me a little perspective on it.
It sounds like your questions come from the point of view of Catholicism (whether you meant that or not) and your questions also indicate that you think God is separate from you. Furthermore (to me) your questions indicate that heaven is a separate place with a hierarchy. Personally (and currently - though my beliefs do change), I believe that “God” created us (and everything else) and is still a part of all that has been created. Us and our universe are not separate from God but a part of God. Humans have the ability (consciousness) to recognize the “God” part of themselves and still be in the physical world differentiating between the two (which is an interesting place to be as it gives humans choice / freewill). Dying is nothing more than leaving the physical body/vessel and becoming, fully once again, a part of the energy of the universe which is actually God him/her/itself. Not a person, but everything (so to speak). God knows what it is like to be human as “he” (I say this because I am a guy - no sexual bias intended) basically created the humanity / life we have today. He created the awareness of all of the things that “are”. In other words, the atoms/molecules/ building blocks of life have a predisposed direction they are supposed to head thus creating life as we know it today (bugs/rivers/air/humans). To have created something, one (God) must have had an idea in mind to begin with. As humans, we’ve been given the gift of being able to look at what was created and “see” it, really with God’s eyes (so to speak). But, along with this gift (awareness) comes choice. This is why, to me, there is no “heaven and hell”. It's just a symbolic construct to represent good and bad. There is just a returning to God, which isn’t somewhere “up there” in “heaven” but really just a part of the universe in a nonphysical form. I don’t see how anyone can “go anywhere” after they die, when we already have one foot in “heaven” and we are already attached to God? Faith: Faith to me is intrinsic and doesn’t depend on religion. Has anyone ever not had faith? Of course. Whether or not one believes in Jesus, Muhammed, Noah, or whoever, still can lose or gain faith. Most people have faith most of the time and for me, faith comes (if I lose it) from other people (who I believe are connected to me and God also) and brings me back to my connection with "God" (which I only lost because of... ugh, another subject I guess). We / planets / plants / bugs / oceans are all connected to God at all times therefore to regain faith with any of these things is possible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oddly Familiar
I'm not trying to offend anyone, but maybe it is the other way around. Maybe humans created the concept of a supreme being to answer the unexplainable. Like why are we here and what is our role? The greeks created the myths to explain things that where otherwise unexplainable in their time.
This part of what you said is undeniably true. History clearly reflects humans beliefs about God and what God is as compared to their situations in time and place. This has been documented and discussed in several books I’ve read and is quite fascinating. I’m going to stop there as this is a huge topic with many sub topics and it’s time to go to bed.
post #9 of 40
Thread Starter 
Wow, Tck, wow.

That was a beautiful response, and really spun my head a bit.

I did not have a religious upbringing, but the majority of my friends were raised Christian (though today most of them do not believe in god).

Can't wait to see some of the other comments on this thread.
post #10 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota rube
I was nodding as I read your post OF, until I reached this coda. I might not have objected had you not used the pejorative phrase "force feed their beleifs [sic]".

I am a parent, and have taken my children to my church, not to force feed them, but to give them a grounding in my Christian faith, from early childhood. As my children (one is now 27 and a parent herself) age and mature into their teens, I encourage them to read about "” and personally explore if that is their desire "” other denominations and faiths.

I was raised in a household of holiday Christians; we attended church services on Easter and Christmas, but little beyond that. I was never forced to attend anything. As a high school student, I took all the elective classes my school offered concerning religion and philosophy. Similarly, in university I took many religion classes. I "returned" to Christianity for comfort, for support, for guidance, for fellowship.

I don't mean to stray from VM's thread topic, as it is a good thought-provoker, but your characterization of parents force feeding a faith to their children is unfair, and a prejudicial supposition.

I could have been more clear on that. You obviously gave your kids the oppurunities to choose what they beleive in. What I was trying to say was that some people are so close minded that they won't allow another person to study other relegions. Although this is not common, I have seen it happen before. For instance, a classmate of mine debated the existance of God to one of my teachers last year, and the teacher immediately had him removed and sent to the office. I don't know what happened beyond that, but I'm sure my principal didn't force anything down his throat, but he definately questioned him about his statements and gave him verse after verse proving that God is real.That is what I meant to say.
post #11 of 40
Check out this very recent thread on SF:

http://www.styleforum.net/showthread.php?t=19248

Here's the question as to the above thread. How long before one of the moderators pulls it down?

My only contribution to this thread is that if God exists or doesn't, he is clearly a conception of man!
post #12 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tck13
It sounds like your questions come from the point of view of Catholicism (whether you meant that or not) and your questions also indicate that you think God is separate from you. Furthermore (to me) your questions indicate that heaven is a separate place with a hierarchy.

Personally (and currently - though my beliefs do change), I believe that "God" created us (and everything else) and is still a part of all that has been created. Us and our universe are not separate from God but a part of God. Humans have the ability (consciousness) to recognize the "God" part of themselves and still be in the physical world differentiating between the two (which is an interesting place to be as it gives humans choice / freewill).

Dying is nothing more than leaving the physical body/vessel and becoming, fully once again, a part of the energy of the universe which is actually God him/her/itself. Not a person, but everything (so to speak).

God knows what it is like to be human as "he" (I say this because I am a guy - no sexual bias intended) basically created the humanity / life we have today. He created the awareness of all of the things that "are". In other words, the atoms/molecules/ building blocks of life have a predisposed direction they are supposed to head thus creating life as we know it today (bugs/rivers/air/humans). To have created something, one (God) must have had an idea in mind to begin with. As humans, we've been given the gift of being able to look at what was created and "see" it, really with God's eyes (so to speak). But, along with this gift (awareness) comes choice.

Have you read/are you reading Spinoza? A lot of this sounds an awful lot like Spinoza's explanations for God, substance, what we are capable of, etc.
post #13 of 40
So if I read that correctly God is not a person but a consciousness and an all-encompassing entity who is both everything and its own singularity. (That duality right there losses me.) Heaven and Hell are allegory. Death only leads to my energy being reunited in its wholeness with God even though God was everything all along so I was never apart from God to begin with but not fully with God either. Ok I dig it. Now if we believe via Einstein that energy can neither be created or destroyed then how does that jive with the transcendings of energy in your view?
post #14 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by metaphysician
Have you read/are you reading Spinoza? A lot of this sounds an awful lot like Spinoza's explanations for God, substance, what we are capable of, etc.


When I first went to college, I was a philosophy major. I did read Spinoza but that was several years ago. I changed my major after everything started to revolve around "logic".
post #15 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tck13

Dying is nothing more than leaving the physical body/vessel and becoming, fully once again, a part of the energy of the universe which is actually God him/her/itself. Not a person, but everything (so to speak).


Just this past weekend, I was watching a documentary about guy named Mark Bittner, who at one point in his life happened to become the unofficial caretaker of a transplanted group of wild parrots who used to visit his San Francisco neighborhood. What you said reminds me of something he said in relation to what he learned from the experience:

Quote:
In Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, Suzuki-roshi tells a story about a trip he took to Yosemite. While there, he stopped to watch a waterfall. It was one of the very tall ones, and he noted that when the stream at the top of the ridge hit the cliff, it split into many individual droplets on its way to the bottom. There, the individual droplets came back together into one stream. I'd read that story many times without comprehending his point. It's simple: There is one river until it hits that cliff, which is life. The one river then breaks up into many individual living beings - human, animals, and plants - until we hit the bottom of the cliff and become one river again. Each droplet loses only its identity as a single drop. But nothing is really lost. It's all still there. I'd encountered this idea in different ways many times over the years, but I'd never grasped it. It's an elementary idea, and not so difficult to understand. But my problem was that I'd been thinking about consciousness solely in human terms. It wasn't until I considered the minds of the parrots that my outlook broadened. So my problem was not with anthropomorphism; rather, it was with anthropocentrism, which is seeing human beings as the center of the universe. The parrots broke through that delusion. The understanding that ultimately came to me from looking in the parrots' eyes was that their consciousness is one with mine. We are all one consciousness, and each finite being embodies a little piece of it. This is the preciousness of all that lives.
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