This foundation module ask if the universe of matter is an arbitrary fluke or whether it is the function of an discernible (some might say - intelligent) design. Did the universe occur by chance or due to a set of macro/micro laws that govern the material existence?
If the universe came about by, or is based on, an arbitrary happenstance (fluke), is it possible to recognize the existence of God within such a framework?
Alternatively, if the universe is not the result of happenstance but rather governed by definable physical and metaphysical laws that apply consistently then, for example, does God intervene in the operation of these laws or even intervene in the affairs of mankind?
This belief modules would serve as a starting or foundation module to which other supporting beliefs might belong.
. . . . If universe is fluke - then . . . .
. . . . if by describable design - then . . .
I think this is an excellent foundational question for exploring beliefs. Of course I have been playing with the notion of paradoxical reality and therefore favor questions that look more like...
Why would God choose to manifest a universe which so convincingly appears to be accidental to so many?
How would an accidental universe create a pattern of discernible laws which could be interpreted at divine in origin?
Perhaps if there have been enough accidental universes, eventually one would look like this one - a universe of divine design.
Personally, the premise that I work from is God did not create the universe of matter. Science tells us that matter/energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Perhaps it was inevitable that single-god concept would evolve into the idea that God created matter and life - which is emitted or excreted from it.
Suppose Father-God did not create us (you & me). Would this not open the door to you and me being eternal entities. As such, you & me could be considered as unique - distinct from on another. But who or what am I.
To work under the premise that God did not create the universe opens a wide range of possible understandings regarding the Self, it's relation to the God and drama of life in which we exist. No longer is it God to be blames for creating the mess we live in and if we can no longer blame him or even use him to justify evil deeds, do we not become potentially more responsible for our own actions and reaction?
I am interested in the definition of God/Father-God within your context. It seems you are referring to God as a personification as in within the Judeo Christian formulation... but of course there is a difficulty in applying scientific laws to this kind of personified deity because a person of faith does not acknowledge science as acting as a limiting factor to an all powerful God. God will always trump science on the playing field of religious argument. On the other hand in the realm of scientific argument God is reduced to the status of a rodeo clown, drawing a few of the most out of control arguments straight off the field but ultimately acting as a laughable entertainment to those who know their information.
If one defines god as an embodiment of creativity... then the idea that god did not create the universe is an erroneous one... since one way or another creation will always be responsible for creation (but this becomes a somewhat unfair semantic argument)
When I speak of God I usually favor the definition of, conscious collective operating on a massive synchronistic scale in which all matter and all conscious beings participate in continually redefining the nature of both God and the universe. I apologize for the complexity of this sentence, but I think that may be my first attempt at ever defining my idea of god within a single sentence.
Because my idea of God is both potentially specific and abstract, I find it very easy to alter my perspective from one angle to another in order to consider the implications of various arguments. So both of the questions I posed in my first reply are ones that I tend to dwell on with fascination, not only from the perspective of my own conception of the divine but from other conceptions as well, which have every possibility of being legitimate from a limited perspective.
Do you think that if Father-God did create us that we are not then eternal entities? I ask this because it is my understanding that most persons of faith believe that Father-God did create us, but they believe that we (as in human souls) are eternal. That is not a contradiction that I have ever encountered in their faith. On the contrary it seems to me that the supposition of non creation resulting in eternal entities would be very jarring to most traditional atheists.
Please correct any misassumptions, but it appears as if you are positing a highly spiritual universe in which there is no god figure but rather eternal beings of consciousness, who did not play any role in creation and but may have the power to direct their futures individually if not collectively.
The idea that it is God as opposed to man who should be responsible for our very human messes, seems like a misuse of the concept of God regardless of the nature of creation. If God did create the universe blaming him/her for human behaviors, would be rather like a man trying to hold his mom accountable for loosing his job because she had the audacity to give birth to him. Any belief path that believes in free will to any degree would recognize this as a pointless argument.
So my questions... Could there be a higher function for God than merely receiving blame for human activities? What is the source of the eternal nature of humans in a universe that is otherwise temporary and accidental? Is it possible for humans to take responsibility for their own choices in a universe in which God is real and present?
I hope that none of my questions or comments have given offense. Religion and understanding can be a very difficult topic to navigate peaceably especially since there is often a great deal of misassumptions and miscommunications. If I have misunderstood you I welcome any clarification with an open mind, and I look forward to hearing more of your ideas on this matter.
Hi again Joy,
Interesting post. In it you refer to yourself 20 times or more (I/my), so I'm not sure if your response is about you or about God.
Correct, I do not define God as the embodiment of creativity.
I believe that to understand God, one must do so within an understanding of "The Self." How can one define or understand God without understanding the nature and purpose of The Self.
Once one has a framework for understanding The Self, one can begin to function within a larger cosmology or cosmological framework that includes and describes God, as well as, such things as - "Where did I come from", "Why am I here" and "What happens to The Self when my experience on this material plain is finished (Where to "I" Go?)".
Ultimately, what is important is not our understanding of Self and God but rather our experience of God. Kevin recently spoke about "Emanationism". So, from this perspective, even if God is unknowable (as our old friend dataswami suggests), we can receive the emanations of God to a greater rather than lesser degree. So how does one learn to receive these emanation?
Those who learn to maintain a direct connection with God become part of or connected to the Ema Nation : ).
If one is more interested in engaging in religious ideas than merely expounding on semantics, one might not pay such close attention to use of the first person in describing ones individual beliefs, thoughts and perspectives. One might just say what is on one's mind directly. Therefore use of the term "I" in a statement such as "I believe" or "I think" should not be read as a placing one's own identity as the primary subject matter of the conversation, but rather has highlighting the individual's personal perspective as opposed to what may be labled as a larger collective system of beliefs. It seems that the primary reason one might call attention to the use of language such as "I" and "my" especially within the context of my above post is to create a sense of self consciousness in the speaker/writer and avoid engaging with the substance of the statements in a meaningful and thoughtful way.
Interestingly enough... while you took great care to read the number of times the words "I" and "my" were used, seem to have completely ignored all but one of the ideas which were stated. One might assume from this that you know how to count words but not how to make sense of them. This assumption would not be true however... you could have engaged with the ideas, you have simply chosen not to, most likely because the previous post made you feel uncomfortable in some way and rather than openly expressing your discomfort you have tried instead to reverse our roles by picking at the presentation of my statements and then making vague generalized statements in retaliation.
Speaking from personal experience is something that I do intentionally and with thought. It does not mean that I am self centered. It means that I am willing to take ownership of my beliefs, my statements, my ideas. I am willing to listen and learn from your experiences, beliefs and ideas but only if you are willing to share them directly. It seems like you are trying to win a competition for most intellectual intellect. In that case you win. I'm just here to share thoughts and ideas.
So now that you have clarified that you do not care to discuss your understanding of God, because your experience is what matters, and you do not wish to discuss your experience of God because such a thing would require the use of the first person. I will leave you to your mysterious unknowable emanations.
Whatever emanations I receive from God come in the form of love, beauty, kindness, epiphany, poetry, hugs and about a thousand other non mysterious and completely knowable forms.
I do not believe that understanding God is a great mystery into which I must be inducted by a guru, priest, grand-high charlatan or other figure head. God is not something to be found by reading the right books or studying the right philosophies. I find God in the simple things always present around me.
I don't like it when anyone tries to treat God, religion and spirituality as part of an insiders club. Pretension prevents honest discourse, it reveals that you are a person of deep insecurity about your intellectual prowess, and it shows your willingness to turn to intellectual bullying whenever you are encountered outside of your comfort zone.
This conversation is over. Ps... I referred to myself 16 times in this post, plus I used the phrase 7 more times in quotations. That will save you some counting and free up your brain to maybe let one or two actual ideas soak through.
You might be right . . .