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GOD!

Postby Craig Browning » 10 Jun 2010, 13:32

http://www.atheistcartoons.com/?attachment_id=1292

Image

So, who do you pray to? :lol:
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Re: GOD!

Postby caniswalensis » 10 Jun 2010, 23:53

LOL Thats a funny cartoon.

Being an athiest, I do not really pray at all. Although a few months back, when a dear friend was in great distress, I did one of those "just in case" prayers on her behalf. Having been raised as a nominal Bapist, I Prayed to Jesus. That was the only time in the last twenty years or so that I have done anything like that. It felt kinda wierd.

Regards, Canis
"It is proper for you to doubt ... do not go upon report ... do not go upon tradition ... do not go upon hear-say." ~ Buddha
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Re: GOD!

Postby Craig Browning » 11 Jun 2010, 21:25

caniswalensis wrote:LOL Thats a funny cartoon.

Being an athiest, I do not really pray at all. Although a few months back, when a dear friend was in great distress, I did one of those "just in case" prayers on her behalf. Having been raised as a nominal Bapist, I Prayed to Jesus. That was the only time in the last twenty years or so that I have done anything like that. It felt kinda wierd.

Regards, Canis


Yep... not atheists in fox holes :lol:
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Re: GOD!

Postby Indigo Child » 11 Jun 2010, 22:01

That one that soothes, and infuses meaning, and heals, and guides and gives courage and fills one with joy
is the same. People call him by different names.
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Re: GOD!

Postby caniswalensis » 11 Jun 2010, 22:11

Craig Browning wrote:
caniswalensis wrote:LOL Thats a funny cartoon.

Being an athiest, I do not really pray at all. Although a few months back, when a dear friend was in great distress, I did one of those "just in case" prayers on her behalf. Having been raised as a nominal Bapist, I Prayed to Jesus. That was the only time in the last twenty years or so that I have done anything like that. It felt kinda wierd.

Regards, Canis


Yep... not atheists in fox holes :lol:


lol!

The wierd part was that I tried to give it an honest go and make it as meaningful as possible, but i was cognizent the entire time that I really did not believe in what I was doing. I incorporated that into my words even, so as to not be deceitful. It's wierd to worry about deceiving someone that you do not believe in? :)
"It is proper for you to doubt ... do not go upon report ... do not go upon tradition ... do not go upon hear-say." ~ Buddha
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Re: GOD!

Postby NinjaPuppy » 11 Jun 2010, 22:24

caniswalensis wrote:The wierd part was that I tried to give it an honest go and make it as meaningful as possible, but i was cognizent the entire time that I really did not believe in what I was doing. I incorporated that into my words even, so as to not be deceitful. It's wierd to worry about deceiving someone that you do not believe in? :)

That is quite a quandry.
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Re: GOD!

Postby Indigo Child » 11 Jun 2010, 23:16

Everybody believes in god Canis. I do not mean a particular
god, but I mean the ontological god. Everybody strives for
perfection, for life, for happiness, love, meaning, fredom there is nobody
who does not strive for this, even though they may deny it.

The totality of these ideal forms is the one called god. Humans are
absolutely covinced in these ideal forms, that irrespective of how
contrary the world of experience is to these ideals, we still hold on
realising them. Why? Because it emanates from the root of being
itself. This is god.

This universal desire for god is present in every living being. Try trapping
an ant under a glass, and watch how the ant will spend its entire life trying
to get outside of glass. This is because the ant loves the ideal of freedom and
it hates limitation. Similarly, the human being also hates limitation, because
its being is unlimiited.
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Re: GOD!

Postby caniswalensis » 11 Jun 2010, 23:36

Indigo Child wrote:Everybody believes in god Canis. I do not mean a particular
god, but I mean the ontological god. Everybody strives for
perfection, for life, for happiness, love, meaning, fredom there is nobody
who does not strive for this, even though they may deny it.

The totality of these ideal forms is the one called god. Humans are
absolutely covinced in these ideal forms, that irrespective of how
contrary the world of experience is to these ideals, we still hold on
realising them. Why? Because it emanates from the root of being
itself. This is god.

This universal desire for god is present in every living being. Try trapping
an ant under a glass, and watch how the ant will spend its entire life trying
to get outside of glass. This is because the ant loves the ideal of freedom and
it hates limitation. Similarly, the human being also hates limitation, because
its being is unlimiited.

Interesting ideas, IC.

I think you have a different definition of "god" than I do. I am a general all-around athiest. I do not believe in any supernatural diety or spiritual entity that created our world, gives our lives meaning, etc.


I do strive for meaning and hapiness in my life as you have said. That does not equate with a belief in a diety in my mind. While some assume that athiests live a joyless and meaningless existance, I do not find belief in a diety to be neccesary for a good life. I have found a happy exisistence and the company of my family & friends lends it all the meaning I require. :)

I also do not believe it is possible for us to know what is going through the mind of an ant. Do they have an intrinsic grasp of an abstract concept of freedom? Maybe, but maybe they are just trying to get to food. ;)
"It is proper for you to doubt ... do not go upon report ... do not go upon tradition ... do not go upon hear-say." ~ Buddha
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Re: GOD!

Postby Eteponge » 12 Jun 2010, 04:33

I believe that God is a Cat. :3
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Re: GOD!

Postby Indigo Child » 12 Jun 2010, 07:19

I do not believe in a supernatural deity that creates the world and gives
us meaning either. I said that eveybody believes in the ontological god,
and so do I. You are striving for happiness and meaning, that is god.

This striving is not a concept, it is a natural drive within all living things,
including an ant. This is a drive that seeks life, something more than is
given. Ask yourself why does every living thing want to live? What causes
is to live another day, what causes it to go seek food? Life itself, the vital
principle. The purpose of life is life itself. This vital principle is what has
driven evolution from simple single celled organisms to human organisms.

Is the human organism content with just having food? No, the human organism
wants more than food, it wants a more loving, happy and blissful life. Again,
what is driving this? Again it is the vital principle impelling the human being to
seek something which is outside of the humans world of experience. The empirical
world is just empty matter, where then is this drive coming from? From the root of
being itself. It is transcendent to our world of experience. It is this transcendent being
that religions have deified, but it is actually the fullness of life, the eternal life that
we seek.

In other words our seeking for meaning, love and happiness is merely indicating that there
is a potential life, a state of being much higher and greater than us, compared to which
we are not really living, but dead. This supreme being is god.
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Re: GOD!

Postby caniswalensis » 12 Jun 2010, 11:08

Indigo Child wrote:I do not believe in a supernatural deity that creates the world and gives
us meaning either. I said that eveybody believes in the ontological god,
and so do I. You are striving for happiness and meaning, that is god.

This striving is not a concept, it is a natural drive within all living things,
including an ant. This is a drive that seeks life, something more than is
given. Ask yourself why does every living thing want to live? What causes
is to live another day, what causes it to go seek food? Life itself, the vital
principle. The purpose of life is life itself. This vital principle is what has
driven evolution from simple single celled organisms to human organisms.

Is the human organism content with just having food? No, the human organism
wants more than food, it wants a more loving, happy and blissful life. Again,
what is driving this? Again it is the vital principle impelling the human being to
seek something which is outside of the humans world of experience. The empirical
world is just empty matter, where then is this drive coming from? From the root of
being itself. It is transcendent to our world of experience. It is this transcendent being
that religions have deified, but it is actually the fullness of life, the eternal life that
we seek.

In other words our seeking for meaning, love and happiness is merely indicating that there
is a potential life, a state of being much higher and greater than us, compared to which
we are not really living, but dead. This supreme being is god.


Hello Indigo Child :)

You have a way of looking at things that is as interesting to me as it is different from my own.

I really do not subscribe to metaphysical concepts at all, so the ontological god does not exist to my way of thinking anymore than a spiritual one. I personally find no indication of higher states of being in our daily lives. That is just me, though. It is not always an attractive way of viewing the world, particularly compared to grand metaphysical ideas that promise something richer and more fulfilling than we can imagine here on earth in the physical existence. However, it carries the benifit of raising the importance of our daily existence and each of our actions greatly. For me, that is quite a critical point. It informs my aproach to issues both personal and far reaching, and instructs my morality. I try to make the most of things here on earth, not because it is a path to a better state of being or anything like that, but because from my viewpoint, it is all that we have.

Back to ants, I agree wholeheartedly with your statement that "The purpose of life is life itself." however, I suspect that statement carries vastly different implications for each of us. For instance, I do not subscribe to the idea that evolution has been shaping organisims in such a way to arive at human inteligence as the ultimate expression of life. That used to be a popular concept in evolutionary circles, and many people still assume that evolutionary theory contains the inherent goal of building towards a human type lifeform, but it does not. Evolution is in fact an a somewhat aimless process, with success being dictated by adaptation to the environment. It could thus be argued that sharks & crocodiles are higher lifeforms than humans. They have been around for quite a bit longer than we have with very few changes. They are so well-adapted that they are almost unchanged after many, many millions of years. At least that is one way to look at it. Now in the case of ants, they are highly evolved creatures, but I am not convinced that their striving for physical freedom represents an actual desire to be happy. While in some ways they may seem very much like us, there are strong indicators that they are not. I am not sure it is possible for us to conceptualize the way in which an ants thought process would work. They are obviously very social creatures, but their social structure could simply be a survival strategy. They are more sucessful if they cooperate together. Interestingly, some ancient wasp-like species show less social organization. I guess the point I am trying o make in this round-about fashion is that ants will share food, tend the community's young in nurseries, and coperate with each other in many ways, yet that in itself does not indicate the presence of human style intelect & emotions. I see no reason why trying to escape from a glass does so either. You are undeniably correct wwhen you say that "This striving is not a concept, it is a natural drive within all living things, including an ant." An organism that did not have a strong drive to survive and reproduce itself would die off quickly. However, I see it as an error to assume that ants would have the same feeling and desire for happiness as we do.

Regards, Canis
"It is proper for you to doubt ... do not go upon report ... do not go upon tradition ... do not go upon hear-say." ~ Buddha
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Re: GOD!

Postby Indigo Child » 12 Jun 2010, 13:29

Dear Canis,

The ontological god is a spiritual one because it is transcendent life, an absolute expression of life. It is what Aquinas says is the being in which all other beings borrow their beingess. Sometimes we are in touch with this higher being, and when we are we feel joy, bliss, freedom etc, when we are not we feel sorrow, anxiety, entrapment. You say there is no indication of higher states of being in our daily life. However, look closely sometimes our states of being are anxious, sorrowful, guilty, and sometimes they are full of joy, bliss etc. Is that not an indication that we have higher states of being? Do you not sometimes say to yourself, "I feel more alive today" and incidentally during these times our minds are clear. Is that not an indication of higher states of being?

It has long been maintained in the Eastern tradition that we do have higher states of being where we experience great bliss, joy and love, and this beingness can be cultivated and naturalized through practices like meditation whereby the mind is cleared, revealing a fuller state of being. Today, we have ample scientific evidence to show that meditation does indeed do this.

So relatively speaking, there are indeed higher states of being which one can realise, and the absolute expression of this being is what has been deified as god. When one experiences this absolute state they are filled with absolute love, joy, bliss and light. It is not that we are creating this state, in fact all we are doing is allowing life to be by suspending the mind. It is like allowing light to come in by dispersing the clouds.

Returning to Aquinase's notion that we only borrow being from absolute beingness. It is not the case that we are cultivating being, because being is already there, but rather we are allowing more beingness to fill us. So the very nature of being is that absolute joy, love, bliss and freedom and life. We do not experience this, because we do not let ourselves experience it. Rather than allowing life to unfold and express itself, we attempt to control it, analyse it and divide it and we lose connection with being. The biggest mistake a human being makes is to think that they can actually analyse the world as if the world is something existing outside of them, when in fact they are inside the world themselves. They are as much as part of that beingness as everything else. Then there is mistake of seeing ourselves as separate individuals and doers controlling our own destiny and possessing things, again forgetting the fact that everything is an expression of the whole. That ultimately they are not the possessors of anything, but are in fact possessed by being.
We also think we possess life, but do not realise it is in fact life which possesses us. The fundamental condition which allows us to be actors in this world is life itself, for without life there would be no world for us. So life precedes us as self-conscious actors. We are just expressons of life, not life itself. As expressions we do not have our own beingness, but rather we are just changing forms. Is that not the case? Are we not in the end just a cluster of fleeting thoughts, sensations, processes? How then can we be a possessor or doer of anything?
Realising this fact fill ones with absolute humility for the true being of which this entire creation is an expression. From which everything takes birth and returns. This is why god is so dearly loved by humanity . This true being is of the nature of love, joy, bliss, happiness, perfection, knowledge, and freedom and absolute life.

Now coming to evolution and purpose of life. Let us work with your idea that evolution is a random process without a purpose. It ultimately contradicts itself because you are in fact giving evolution a purpose by defining it by the goal of survival. The most well know fact of all life is that life is driven by self-preservation, it wants to live. But why? Why does life want to live? The answer is clear that something wants to life because it has a desire to live. Therefore evolution of life does have purpose, and that is the desire to live a more fuller life. If there is a desire underlying evolution then must be also be an intelligence which evolves that which is needed for life to express itself. If the climate is too hot, then the intelligence evolves darker skin to protect the skin from the scorching heat. If the organism is blind such as a bat, then the intelligence evolves sonar to guide the bat.
Nothing ever evolves in isolation or randomly, because everything depends on everything else to work. Your body for example is connected by a highly complex and intricate system that has to work in relation to one another to work, and in turn it has to work in relation to the environment. The mark of intelligence is very clear.
Everything is interconnected and depends upon each other to work. There are no spare parts working by themselves.
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Re: GOD!

Postby caniswalensis » 12 Jun 2010, 15:02

Hi IC,
We do have extremely differing outlooks! Not that there is anything wrong with that. :)

Good conversation, though. ;)

Regards, Canis
"It is proper for you to doubt ... do not go upon report ... do not go upon tradition ... do not go upon hear-say." ~ Buddha
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Re: GOD!

Postby Eteponge » 12 Jun 2010, 21:04

Ontological God ...

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Re: GOD!

Postby Indigo Child » 12 Jun 2010, 22:26

caniswalensis wrote:Hi IC,
We do have extremely differing outlooks! Not that there is anything wrong with that. :)

Good conversation, though. ;)

Regards, Canis


Indeed we do, are you reluctant to discuss these different outlooks? There are some points
I made you did not engage.

1) The fact that we do indeed have higher states of being
2) The fact we only have being insofar as it is borrowed or given, but not our own being
3) The fact that life precedes us
4) The fact that evolution has purpose to unfold life and everything is governed by an
intelligence for the purpose of life. This continues in the form of the human to experience
even greater states of life.

These are not just opinions or views, I am stating these as facts. If you disagree, you should
discuss why they are not facts with me.
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