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Thread: Why is there Something Instead of God?

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    Why is there Something Instead of God?

    Those who think gods are real might ask, "Where did the Universe come from?" Or they might ask, "Why is there something instead of nothing?" So I thought to ask, rather rhetorically, the obvious question, "Why is there something instead of god?"

    For me the answer is simple. First of all, things like gods and ghosts aren't real. Secondly, somethingness is obviously the default setting of the universe. So the universe is here and gods are not. "Nothingness" or nothing is just semantics, a word like ghost, not something real.

    So I'm quite content to observe the universe, know it's real, and know that it doesn't need an invisible cosmic magician to poof it into being.

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    Contributor Speakpigeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    Those who think gods are real might ask, "Where did the Universe come from?" Or they might ask, "Why is there something instead of nothing?" So I thought to ask, rather rhetorically, the obvious question, "Why is there something instead of god?"

    For me the answer is simple. First of all, things like gods and ghosts aren't real. Secondly, somethingness is obviously the default setting of the universe. So the universe is here and gods are not. "Nothingness" or nothing is just semantics, a word like ghost, not something real.

    So I'm quite content to observe the universe, know it's real, and know that it doesn't need an invisible cosmic magician to poof it into being.
    Thank you for this powerful argument...

    Thank you for this powerful argument that definitely proves gods don't exist. That kind of logic should shut the mouth of all these idiots who believe in God. It's reassuring to have such fine example of rhetoric on our side. Just a few lines but they put a definitive end to literally thousands of years of educated debate. That has to be an impressive achievement. I wish Aristotle, Descartes and Einstein were still around just so their great worried minds experience the relief we all feel now.

    You should start to apply your powerful logic to all remaining conundrums humanity doesn't know how to solve. You know, just a few lines and poof, it's gone!

    I look forward to see how you keep enlightening our days and nights in these dark, Trumpian times. I hope for a debate between you two on Fox and see how you shut his big mouth for good.
    EB

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    Zen Hedonist Jobar's Avatar
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    [pantheist hat]
    There isn't.
    [/ph]



    But note that identifying God and existence that way is actually equivalent to atheism, since there is no individual being 'God' apart from existence. And, since we ourselves are not apart from existence- thinking we are so is an illusion- it renders us all equally god-like.

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    Veteran Member PyramidHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    Those who think gods are real might ask, "Where did the Universe come from?" Or they might ask, "Why is there something instead of nothing?" So I thought to ask, rather rhetorically, the obvious question, "Why is there something instead of god?"
    That doesn't make any sense. Something and nothing are logically incompatible, but something and god are not, so the point of the question isn't really clear. In other words, we can all see that there is something, so we KNOW that there isn't just nothing. That's why the original question has its power: it's impossible to imagine nothing existing and also something existing. But it's not impossible to imagine something existing and also god existing.

    For me the answer is simple. First of all, things like gods and ghosts aren't real. Secondly, somethingness is obviously the default setting of the universe. So the universe is here and gods are not. "Nothingness" or nothing is just semantics, a word like ghost, not something real.

    So I'm quite content to observe the universe, know it's real, and know that it doesn't need an invisible cosmic magician to poof it into being.
    But that's not really an argument, because the question already assumes that god does not exist.

    A far more interesting question, from my perspective, is why there would be a universe + god, rather than just god. If god is real, and is perfect, then the state of reality that includes ONLY god is, by definition, a perfect state. Adding anything to that state would only subtract from it. And clearly this is not a perfect universe (even if, as Leibniz suggested, it's the best possible one, why is it better than none at all?). We are asked to believe that a perfect being, all alone in a state of perfection, voluntarily caused that state of perfection to become less than perfect... is that possible, on a logical level? Couldn't we imagine a perfect being that DIDN'T do that, and by definition wouldn't THAT being be more perfect than one who did?

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    Veteran Member phands's Avatar
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    Those who have decided gods exist have already opted out of logic, reason and evidence, so don't ask that question because their answer is goddidit.

    I usually end up with my argument around probabilities in these discussions, but when the other party has a closed mind, they just don't listen.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.” Terry Pratchett

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    Contributor Speakpigeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phands View Post
    Those who have decided gods exist have already opted out of logic, reason and evidence, so don't ask that question because their answer is goddidit.
    Not necessarily, no. You can believe in God and accept you don't know that it exists, which would be a perfectly logical position to have.

    There's indeed a long tradition of believers doubting God and struggling with their doubts and being rather vocal about it.

    Obviously, many believers want to claim God exists, but they may do this even while admitting to themselves at least that they don't really know God exists.

    You claim yourself that these people are necessarily illogical even though you can't know that since any one of them, maybe indeed all of them, are merely pretending to know that God exists. So, you're doing the same thing. You claim something you don't know. Seems we can't stop doing that, anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by phands View Post
    I usually end up with my argument around probabilities in these discussions, but when the other party has a closed mind, they just don't listen.
    I seems to me it's you who is not willing to listen to the voice of God. Open your mind!
    EB

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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    A far more interesting question, from my perspective, is why there would be a universe + god, rather than just god. If god is real, and is perfect, then the state of reality that includes ONLY god is, by definition, a perfect state. Adding anything to that state would only subtract from it. And clearly this is not a perfect universe (even if, as Leibniz suggested, it's the best possible one, why is it better than none at all?). We are asked to believe that a perfect being, all alone in a state of perfection, voluntarily caused that state of perfection to become less than perfect... is that possible, on a logical level? Couldn't we imagine a perfect being that DIDN'T do that, and by definition wouldn't THAT being be more perfect than one who did?
    Yes, the notion of perfection came somewhat late in the day in the history of religion and it's been causing trouble ever since. We started out with imperfect gods who were essentially just "superhumans" and that was just great. We could invent all sorts of stories without caring for the logic of them. Then Judaism added uniqueness and a moral dimension to God and Christianity came along and added perfection. Bad move.
    EB

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    Veteran Member PyramidHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    A far more interesting question, from my perspective, is why there would be a universe + god, rather than just god. If god is real, and is perfect, then the state of reality that includes ONLY god is, by definition, a perfect state. Adding anything to that state would only subtract from it. And clearly this is not a perfect universe (even if, as Leibniz suggested, it's the best possible one, why is it better than none at all?). We are asked to believe that a perfect being, all alone in a state of perfection, voluntarily caused that state of perfection to become less than perfect... is that possible, on a logical level? Couldn't we imagine a perfect being that DIDN'T do that, and by definition wouldn't THAT being be more perfect than one who did?
    Yes, the notion of perfection came somewhat late in the day in the history of religion and it's been causing trouble ever since. We started out with imperfect gods who were essentially just "superhumans" and that was just great. We could invent all sorts of stories without caring for the logic of them. Then Judaism added uniqueness and a moral dimension to God and Christianity came along and added perfection. Bad move.
    EB
    I've heard that Christianity borrowed the notion of a perfect divinity from the Greeks. Plato with his realm of ineffable, eternal forms. A lot of the stereotypical Christian sexual repression comes from there, too, from thinking of the physical world (and therefore the flesh) as degraded and vulgar by comparison with the world of pure essences.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    I've heard that Christianity borrowed the notion of a perfect divinity from the Greeks. Plato with his realm of ineffable, eternal forms. A lot of the stereotypical Christian sexual repression comes from there, too, from thinking of the physical world (and therefore the flesh) as degraded and vulgar by comparison with the world of pure essences.
    I'm no specialist and I'm not going to go into the scripture or the history of it but, as I see it, the Christian idea of God started out as the Judaic idea of God, transformed either by the teaching of Jesus himself, or the story of Jesus that emerged after his death, or by Paul's extensive proselytising and contribution to the New Testament. You could sum that up by saying that the Christian faith is the religion of the Bible 2.0. This is crucial in my view because Christianity has been very successful at some point and the original message had to come essentially through the Bible.

    Then I think the Church became an established Church and a political body, formed its own bureaucracy, and became much more intellectually demanding to its high-ranking officials. It also had to fight heresies and I think that's in large part what came to define the course of its evolution.

    There's no doubt I think as to the influence of the Ancient Greeks on these Church intellectuals. They would all have read Aristotle and then some, and that's indeed probably when God started to be thought of as a perfect being, first perhaps for moralistic reasons, i.e. as the epitome of moral perfection, but then morphing into the idealistic nonsense of perfection pure and simple à la Plato. But that will have come later.

    It was really a very significant evolution from, even an addition to, the original blueprint produced around the event of Jesus' crucifixion. The contradictions between the original message around Jesus and the later metaphysics coming from some Greek influence is still visible in my opinion. It won't go away now but you can try. You can almost see it at work between the highfalutin Benedict XVI and a more down to earth Pope Francis. Franciscans' rule is "To follow the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and to walk in his footsteps".

    Maybe a hard act to follow, though.
    EB

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    Veteran Member Lion IRC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    Those who think gods are real might ask, "Where did the Universe come from?" Or they might ask, "Why is there something instead of nothing?" So I thought to ask, rather rhetorically, the obvious question, "Why is there something instead of god?"

    For me the answer is simple. First of all, things like gods and ghosts aren't real. Secondly, somethingness is obviously the default setting of the universe. So the universe is here and gods are not. "Nothingness" or nothing is just semantics, a word like ghost, not something real.

    So I'm quite content to observe the universe, know it's real, and know that it doesn't need an invisible cosmic magician to poof it into being.
    This ...anti-nothingness, there is no nothing, nothing isn't never not real, approach reminds us that somewhere in amongst all of the possible worlds/universes/multiverses/megaverses there is one where God exists - where it's impossible for Him not to exist.

    Red pill? Blue pill?

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