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March 08, 2010

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Fantastic post! I have to admit, I'm blown away by the fact that there is....IS.

Wonder at is-ness, no need for answers...great stuff.

Interesting post and makes one think which is good... I think.

Rain, I too think it is good that you said it is good to think. We're thinking beings as well as intuitive beings; pondering beings as well as dancing beings; rational beings as well as emotional beings. No reason not to be all that we humans are capable of being.

If matter/energy cannot be created or destroyed, where does it come from?

If such matter/energy has always just existed, then it appears to be the only thing in the universe that exists eternally and causelessly.

In contrast, every other thing or thought observed in our natural universe appears to exist temporarily and causally.

So at the very least it appears for something to exist there must be a phenomenon that has unique characteritics, which either transcend universal laws, or are an exception to them.

This is God and he does not play dice.

>>>If matter/energy cannot be created or destroyed, where does it come from?

If it can't be created or destroyed, it can't "come from" anywhere or anybody.

>>>In contrast, every other thing or thought observed in our natural universe appears to exist temporarily and causally.

Those "things" are manifestations of matter and energy, not matter and energy per se.

>>So at the very least it appears for something to exist there must be a phenomenon that has unique characteritics, which either transcend universal laws, or are an exception to them.

Not if matter and energy can never be created.


George and Robert, interesting interchange. Yes, it does seem that existence is virtually synonymous with energy. If existence was a bare nothing, just potential for being/creating something, where would the cosmos' energy come from? Seemingly energy is part and parcel of existence.

As you indicated, Robert, it's difficult to get away from usual ways of looking at things when we're pondering what lies beyond "things." I agree with your last observation: if matter/energy can't be created, then there is nothing transcendent to them.

So "God" is existence/energy, not the anthropomorphic being religions make out divinity to be. That can't be the ultimate, as this God is a entity within existence, not existence itself.

"it can't come from anywhere or anybody"
Oh right, so then why is their matter?

'Those "things" are manifestations of matter and energy, not matter and energy per se.'
Sure, so why is that matter and energy per se are permanent and causeless, while their manifestations are not?
Secondly, what causes the manifestations?

'Not if matter and energy can never be created.'
Precisely, there is an unexpainable paradox, since we know there is matter and energy which does exist. How is this paradox explainable by our natural scientific explanations? it is not.

George, it's interesting how, when we think about existence, it becomes apparent that not only does energy have to be part and parcel of existence, but so do the laws of nature. Otherwise, existence/energy would just sit there, not doing anything, and we'd have a featureless cosmos.

I agree that an understanding of all this isn't explained by science. But neither is it explained by religion. My feeling is that we simply have to take existence -- the cosmos -- as a given. Like I said, we can't get outside of existence and study it as is possible with things that exist within existence.

It's a mystery. Always was, now is, always will be. Sounds like God. Except without the dogma and preachiness. Works for me.

The infinite regress argument is dismissed too easily, since even its greatest detractors acknowledge that at some stage the causal chain of events needs to be broken, by some sort of acausal phenomenon.

The fact that things exist (something rather than nothing) - whether or not they were created or have always just existed - dictates there must be an acausal (or a self-causal) aspect to the universe.

But science does not explain such an acausality, worse it does not try to, it is simply assumed to exist like some sort of fundamental eternal ground that always exists and which requires no cause - the same as the believer's prime mover omnipresent God.

What i also cannot quite grasp is how a universe that leapt fourth from a spontaneous acausal lawless singularity manifested itself over time into a universe displaying a causally ordered multiplicity.

Anyone?

Brian,

Yes, there not only seems to be some sort of matter/energy existing, but some sort of dynamic flow which causes it to manifest itself into different forms.

The more i read about it the more i think you are correct about Taoism, which is actually an exceptionally good attempt at describing the subtle paradox's which physics or language seem incapable of doing, albeit a metaphysical philosophy or mystical tradition, which perhaps is exactly what is needed to try expand physical limits.

"What i also cannot quite grasp is how a universe that leapt fourth from a spontaneous acausal lawless singularity manifested itself over time into a universe displaying a causally ordered multiplicity. Anyone?"

-- how?? well, it's probably due to "a spontaneous" whim of the "acausal lawless singularity". thus saith the 'theory of whimsicality'.


lol, thanks

How about:

In the absence of the related and interdependent concepts of space and time no element of the apparent universe could be conceived, known or experienced and no entity could be imagined in order to know or experience any such element.

Therefore there can't be any factual entity to be born, live or die or any factual object to be brought into existence or taken out of existence.

So it follows that all phenomena are only objects in mind, perceived and cognized by mind itself by means of the dichotomy of division into subject and object, AND the process of reasoning by the comparison of mutually dependent and opposing counterparts which constitute the process of conceptualization. Whew.

What is implied by this understanding is a Unity, a totality of undivided mind. But this is itself a concept of its own division or duality because relatively.. relativity being relative to what itself is.. it can't be conceived or known at all.

All that could ever be known about it is simply that, being Absolute, it must necessarily be devoid of any kind of objective existence whatsoever other than that of the totality of all possible phenomena which compose its relative appearance.

This is why they have been saying for centuries or longer, "Objective existence is mythical and non-objective existence is absolute." This is what "we" are. This is the so-called "Self" without a self and the source of the paradox of the non-source of the Universe.

tucson - you had better be careful! People who speak the truth often come to a bad end.

Isn't this whole existance versus non-existance thing kind of like, "to be or not to be," that is not the question.

The most popular and logical question about God is: If God created the universe then who or what created God before that?
Science already proved that time is relative and it started with the big bang, if you take the time factor from your question then what do you think will be left from it? This is the answer that you will find in the Qur’an and all the messages that God sent to humanity before it. God is eternal, absolute, timeless,just search the internet for the relativity of time in the Quran and you’ll have the answer to your question. can God be any clearer than that for our scientific generation?

but who do you think created your existence but something? whatever that "something" is that created us whether a man in a cloud with a lightning bolt or a giant non-living thing like the big bang "something" created us. and one thing about God is that, no, we don't understand God and never will; the concept of God is incomprehensible. we put God into this box thinking He has these properties, but the thing is we'll never understand. i would say an agnostic is more on target than an atheist... something created us and that's what God is...

Mohammad, actually your proof of God isn't very clear, scientifically speaking. As you said, the big question is: if God created the universe, who created God?

Like you said, we're led to the conclusion that something must have existed eternally. Otherwise we have a never-ending regression of "who created..." questions.

But since the universe (or cosmos) is evident, and God isn't, then we can simply say "the universe has existed eternally." Where's the need for God? God is an anthropomorphic and unnecessary addition.

Dorian, you raise a different issue. Given that the cosmos exists, how do things (including people) come to be created within it? You say that whatever created us, we should call "God." Well, OK. But if this is the laws of nature, then "God" isn't like any divinity worshipped by religions.

This "God" that is nature is Spinoza's God and Einstein's God. I wonder, though, what the point is of simply calling nature by another name. However I sense that you believe in a God that/who is different from the laws of nature, a creator God. All I can say is that there's no evidence this entity exists.

Mohammed

Are you saying that the big bang is the start of time? The question of who or what was before time is therefore moot because only time came into existance then. Can you cite a particular part of the Quaran where that is mentioned?

Tucson,

Your ideas on nonduality are very interesting as is that book by \katz you recomended.

However, if the Self is all there is why does it make the error of dualistic perception in the fitst place?

I mean the nondualists speak of the ego and self and thought-aspect of mind as blocking or obstructing or masking the Self, but how can this be if all that exists is the Self?

why is the Self creating illusory objects and lesser perception apparatus that obfisctate Self?

If all is Self, then objects like a rock are actually also just pure consciousness, very strange.

I don't think 'Self' makes an error. At any moment it is as it is, forever. But there is this continuous unfolding where the 'Self' as awareness becomes the thought "I am" and from that comes the feeling that it is an object in time, and from that comes the ego, etc. Yet, it's fundamental "nature" remains.

It is always present 'as it is' similar to water being water whether it is rain, a river or a lake. The first idea of "I am" falsely conditions everything that follows..I am a raindrop, I am a lake, I am a river, but all along underlying all that is the fact that it is water appearing in different forms. That 'waterness' is continually available but it is so caught up in being a raindrop etc. that it thinks that's what it is, which it is but also isn't in any absolute sense. The mercurial essence remains but continually fools itself in the myriad of forms and circumstances of manifestation.

I don't think this so-called error is even an error. It is just another manifestation of itself as itself not knowing it is itself which, as itself, it doesn't know it is (as any sort of idea). So, there is this game of "leela", a term used by some traditions, where the self is always playing games, so to speak, with itself masqerading as all these different forms. Then there is an "aha!" moment when it recognises what it is. But it is not like a mental process where you reason it out and say, "Oh, now I see how it is." like an idea you can return to. It is not something captured, acquired or owned. It is like air. Ubiquitous. It is a timeless, eternal instant where leela spontaneously suspends itself and the awareness, not the thought, of "I am That" comes clearly revealed front and center.

The harder you try to find it, to engage in the the search, performing practices, study, straining to be still to gain understanding for yourself, the more you reinforce the illusion of separation. But it is always right here between the thoughts when 'you' are suspended and then you see "It" is not an 'it' to be found.

The finder is the found.

George, tucson offered a good answer to your question. Here's a different, more-worldly perspective.

In the Buddha's Brain book that I'm reading, the authors speak of how evolution has caused humans to embrace separation and be wary of engulfment -- meaning, when a tiger is after you, it's good to separate yourself from its jaw and claws.

We also feel anxious when our sense of independent selfhood is threatened. This goes to preserve our genes, because we can live to fuck again. However, evolution doesn't care particularly if we're happy, just that we survive.

So it could be argued that while interconnectedness, oneness, unity (whatever you want to call it) is how the cosmos is, we have evolved to see things as separate -- because an early human who looked upon predators in a warm, fuzzy "all is one" way wouldn't survive the day.

The chapter I just read in Buddha's Brain talks about how we have to struggle some to overcome these inherent primitive brain functions with our neocortex and such. This is compatible with Tucson's "don't strain" in a sense, because it isn't easy to realize how easy letting go is. (When tigers aren't around.)

George asked:

"if the Self is all there is why does it make the error of dualistic perception in the first place?"

the simple answer: yes the nondual Self is all there is. "dualistic perception" is illusory. there is no subject or object in nonduality. perception of subjective and objective is an illusion of duality. the Self does not perceive, nor can be perceived.

"I mean the nondualists speak of the ego and self and thought-aspect of mind as blocking or obstructing or masking the Self, but how can this be if all that exists is the Self?"

the simple answer: nondualism does not speak of the ego and thought as "blocking or obstructing or masking the Self". there is nothing "blocking" the Self. the Self alone is. there is nothing other than the Self. when sought for, the ego is found to be non-existant, like a phantom or a mirage. the ego is the illusion of duality. there really is no ego. there is only the Self.

"why is the Self creating illusory objects and lesser perception apparatus that obfisctate Self?"

the simple answer: the Self is not creating anything. there is nothing other than the Self. that is what non-dual means. so the Self is all there is. the Self is not an object, and it does not create objects. the appearance of objects is but the illusion of duality. the Self can not "obfiscate" the Self. objects are the duality of mind.

"If all is Self, then objects like a rock are actually also just pure consciousness, very strange."

the simple answer: actually, objects are not conscious. 'objects' is the illusion of duality. the Self alone exists and is consciousness, so objects exist merely as relatively illusory appearances within consciousness.

"The One Self, the sole reality, alone exists eternally." -- Sri Ramana Maharshi


Tucson,

Your water analogy is a good one with its different manifestations, but one wonders why the manifestations in the first place?

If there is only one formless ocean of pure awareness or Self, why and how does it unfold, especially if its essence is changeless and eternal?

I understand that a manifestation might not know itself, thus confusingly its identfity as I am this or I am that, rather than just 'I am' - but if there is only this oneness essence, what the hell causes it to manifest it different forms?

The one is changeless, acausual and eternal yet it manifests in forms that are changeable, causal and temporal. This is duality, essence and manifestation, having completely the opposite properties.

I am too an extent playing devils advocate, since off the cuff there is at least one concrete example in science that hints at such a nondualist unfolding, i.e. cell division. An original cell begins to divide and differentiate. The original cell or stem cell is at the forefront of science, which can be grown to manifest into different types of cells.

Brian,

Thats definitely some lateral thinking on tigers and fucking, noted.

But there is something else, tho there is a primitive instict to escape the tiger, there is also a primitive instict to feed our form (i.e. body) - this can only be done by feeding on other organic lifeforms.

I also think Tucson's nonduality posits a sort of pure awareness or consciousness that is the ground of existence. However, the dualistic perspecitive is that such awareness is only possible due to the evolution of matter, specifically a physical brain. The nondualists however, seem to think not only that consciousness came first, but that physical things like brains, are illusory and mere constructs of this one pure awareness or Self that exists somehow independently of a brain.

None of this can be resolved in a way that will satisfy the intellect. There is nothing tangible to hold onto. One explanation just leads to another question. Here is one more series of words that may lead to something better than endless words.

CREATION
Presence moves and as a result space, the result of movement, and time, the measure of movement, are born. A universe manifests as Presence becomes the subject of space and time, thus dualism is established concurrent with the appearance of the universe. Presence has imagined itself as many.
DISSOLUTION
Presence rests and space vanishes as a result of this cessation of movement and time ceases for there is no movement to measure. At this point there are no objects because Presence is no longer the subject of space an time. Dualism is no more and the universe disappears. Presence is but without point of origin or boundary. Some would say "infinite", but maybe 'immediate' is a better word than 'infinite'.

Just this. That's it.

God is flawed!! Why? Because we created him....God didn't create man.

it all goes back to the big bang and how it started. everything else after the big bang has been pretty much establised. wat triggered the big bang? stephen hawkings says gravity, but who knows? existence always existed, but what is past that? nothing. existence is just an illusion of the mind and so is time.

we're here, we're queer. get used to it :P

Tell me the godamn answers!!!!!!!!

Great post! You are very thorough and logical in your reasoning, unlike most people in the world--including non-believers too. I enjoyed it tremendously.

If you belive in "god" then you are a fucking Retard!! He is just a Big fairy tail to me!!

Let's take the totality of "things that exist" as X.

If the so-called GOD created X, then let God = X'.

If X' created X, who created X'?
Let's mark that as X".

Then who created X"?Let's mark that as X"'.
If you know calculus or any of math, or basically, how to count, and you know that there is an infinitude of numbers and counting never stops, then we will have a chain from X (things that exist), X' (the so-called God), X" (God's creator), X"' and so forth... It is endless..

The question is: What started EXISTENCE?

Your arguments about the non existence of God look to come from Ann's Rands Philosphy, that existence exists, and that nothing else matters and nothings else is more important. The philosphy of objectivism. To just accept this philosphy as it is, is to limit one's outlook on life. It is also limited because existence can't just create itself out of nothing, or nonexistence, that is impossible. It had to have a beginning. If you have a watch, you have to have a watchmaker. Even in the science of biology, there's a law, the law of biogenesis, that states, life can only come from life, not from nonlife. Another thing, if existence always existed, why isn't everything perfected by now? Existence would have been evolving for ageless aeons and everything would have evolved into a perfect state, yet we know just by looking at this world there is nothing in it that is perfect. So it had to had to have a beginning somewhere in finite time that was created by some being.

Earl,

your argument and take regarding Ayn Rands
philosphy - namely, objectivism - is wrong.
so apparently you are not too well informed on that subject.

moreover, you said: "existence can't just create itself out of nothing, or nonexistence, that is impossible."
-- who said anything about existence 'creating' itself?? did it not occur to you that its uncreated??

"It had to have a beginning."
-- "had to"?? who says??

"If you have a watch, you have to have a watchmaker."
-- existence is not a watch.

"the law of biogenesis, that states, life can only come from life"
-- existence is not life. creatures are born and then die, but existnece goes on.

"if existence always existed, why isn't everything perfected by now?"
-- what makes you think and assume that it is not perfect??

"Existence would have been evolving for ageless aeons"
-- why would existence have to evolve?? organisms evolve, but existence is prior to, and goes beyond organisms. yet you seem to be equating organisms with existence.

"we know just by looking at this world there is nothing in it that is perfect."
-- hows that?? how do you know that things are not perfect, just as they are??

"it had to had to have a beginning somewhere in finite time that was created by some being."
-- thats a big assumpion. and its an unreasonable assumption. "a beginning" (and "finite time") is a notion that is peculiar only to humans. and its highly unlikely. you seem to be stuck on certain narrow and rigid assumptions that you take to be factual. but thats most likely not the way things really are.

Earl, I don't understand your reasoning, or viewpoint. Why should existence have a beginning? Why can't existence always have existed?

Why should existence, in the form of this universe, evolve into a perfect state? Who are you to tell existence how it should behave?

If God created existence, then God always has existed. How is this different from existence always existing? Something has always existed. Why not call this "existence"? We can see that existence exists, but God is nowhere to be seen.

I think you're making the mistake of assuming that the way your human mind works is how reality is. Just because things are created in our human world, doesn't mean that everything in existence also is created. As tAo pointed out in his comment, existence is not a watch.

".......yet we know just by looking at this world there is nothing in it that is perfect."

--What would be a perfect example or object of a something that is perfect? So, looking at this world, give a perfect example to reference to. This shall be the 'perfect' standard of all standards.

This perfect standard must exist(in our world) because 'we' know just by looking.

No, it's like this. God made everything, and no one made God. He has always existed, and you can't prove me wrong!

I'm just going to say this, on an argument for God, or against God, we are both talking about God from the bible, and in the bible, at the beginning, God created time. there are many things written in the source of our knowledge of God that states that he lives out side of our plane of existence (for lack of a better word) all the rules of science that apply to us, laws of physics, and such, wont be existent in the plain of existence he lives in, we cannot comprehend eternity, as the word itself forms the understanding that those who live within it wont be able to comprehend it. There are things that humans can't comprehend, and everything about life, earth, the universe, and OUR plain of existence, screams to us that if something exists, there must also be some to comprehend it.

On the topic of who created God, and questions similar, well it states in our source of out knowledge of this God that we will not, and can not, as humans understand God, his plain of existence, or how he came to be. Asking who created a being in a realm that we don't even know that creation is the maker of beings is sort of contradictory.

This is just my humble opinion on this matter, this is how I see it, and if I try to deny this, try to convince myself otherwise, which in the past I have before, I get that overwhelming feeling of self denial, I lie to myself.

you are really wrong i dont understand your thinking please your breaking jesus's heart have mercy on your self for he already has mercy on you

Aleina, how do you know I'm breaking Jesus's heart? I'm not aware of any evidence that Jesus even still exists, much less that his heart is broken if a non-Christian doesn't believe in him.

Also, why isn't Krishna's, or Allah's, or Zeus', or Thor's heart being broken because I don't believe in one of these other supposed divine beings?

There are so many gods, so many prophets, so many supernatural presences. Sorry, but I can't devote myself to all of them. So I choose not to devote myself to any of them.

You're welcome to your personal beliefs. You should be equally pleased with allowing me my own.

Does it mention dinosaurs in the Bible...?

If God created EVERYTHING why does it not say in the bible ( a bunch of stories developed by man) that God created other creatures and planets.

and really for those people who are religious , people who speak theer opinions that God does not exist why does it bother you, if you believe in God do much you should not care , it should not change your belief, obviously us saying something is making you wonder, and challenge your faith, so don't get angry at us, just do your research like others

Religion and Atheism have always been at odds. You can throw proof here and there on either side but ultimately, we'll know personally who was right or wrong when we die.

Now how about we spend less time trying to disprove each other and more time focusing on finding an answer.

Make a machine to talk with the dead using whatever sciences would need to be applied, and simply ask previous loved ones, what exists on the other side of life?

God does AND does not exist.
This way, everybody is satisfied.

Very good article, thank you

Your using existence as a god, actually a counterfeit god. Does this give your life meaning?

Give Tim Keller's work Counterfeit gods an hour of your focused time.

Chris, why would I want to read a book about a counterfeit God that untruthfully is called "Counterfeit Gods"? God is the counterfeit, not money, sex, and power.

Have you ever seen God? No. Have you ever seen money, sex, and power? Yes. So what is most real? What can be depended upon?

Not the unseen. What is real. You can keep your counterfeit God. I'll stick with reality. But thanks for the book suggestion. I just prefer to read books that aren't about religious fantasies.

god doesn't exist try praying and see what happends.. bad things happen to everyone and yet he doesnt do anything...its not scientifically possible

Does love exist? What about hate? Democracy? Happiness, sadness, Justice? Good? Bad?

According to Brian's logic, since we cannot see them, they do not exist...

jimbot, all of the things you mentioned are concepts that exist within individual human brains and human cultures, just like the concept of "God" does.

Obviously concepts exist. Where did you get the idea that I deny concepts, subatomic particles, or other things we can't see, but yet exist -- since there is demonstrable evidence for them?

But a concept needs to be rooted in reality if it is to be anything other than a manifestation of human cognition. Neuroscientists can see signs of love, hate, etc. in the brain, so obviously these emotions and thoughts exist of neurological realities. And we can see people behaving in ways that reflect those realities.

Where, though, is the evidence for God? Just because I can think "tooth fairy" doesn't mean the tooth fairy actually exists. There would have to be some evidence that a little creature can take teeth from under pillows and leave money in exchange.

I AGREE WITH MOST OF WHAT IS SAID IN THIS DISCUSSING AND WOULD LIKE TO GIVE MY OWN OPINION OF WHAT I THINK IS HAPPENING INSIDE OF THIS TEMPORARY REALITY CALLED EXISTANCE. THINGS ARE ALWAYS TRING TO COME INTO EXISTANCE ALL THE TIME, HOWEVER, CERTAIN LAWS OR CONDITIONS MUST BE MEET IN ORDER FOR ANYTHING TO EXIST WITHIN TIME. THESE LAWS CANNOT BE BROKEN BECAUSE ALTHOUGH WE LIVE IN AN ORGANIZED CHAOTIC UNIVERS, THIS CHAOS HAS A CERTAIN TYPE OF ORDER. THIS ORDER BEING LIFE DEATH, BRIGHT AND DARK, RICH AND POOR, HAPPY AND SAD. EVERYTHING INSIDE OF TIME HAS A POLAR OPPOSITE EXCEPT FOR ENERGY, WHICH IS THE MOTHER AND FATHER OF ALL LIFE. DOES ORGANIC ENERGY GIVE POWER TO THE CONSCIOUNESS OR DOES THE CONSCIOUNESS GIVE DIRECTION TO THE USE OF ENERGY. THE CONSCIOUS MIND DOES NOT REQUIRE ENERGY, HOWEVER THE PHYSICAL BODY REQUIRES ENERGY BECAUSE IT IS NOT ETERNAL BUT IT IS TEMPORARY. SO, THE QUESTION THAT I BELIEVE EVERYONE IS OVER LOOKING IS FROM WHERE DOES THE CONSCIOUSNESS COME DWELL OR ORIGINATE. PEOPLE REMAIN LIVING WHILE IN A COMMA, HOWEVER HE OR SHE IS MOTIONLESS BUT AWARE IN SOME CASES OF WHAT IS GOING IN THE ENVIRONMENT. WHEN MAN IS ABLE TO PHYSICALLY WITNESS THE CONSCIOUNESS OF MAN COMING AND GOING, THEN YOU WILL HAVE THE ANSWERS YOU ARE LOOKING FOR AND BE ONE STEP CLOSER TO TRUE EXISTANCE AND PURPOSE.

I got the idea from you saying: "So what is most real? What can be depended upon? Not the unseen. What is real."

I concluded that you take only what you see for real, but wanted to clarify just in case. Obviously, you don't.

Neuroscience discovered activity in some regions of the brain and/or raised/decreased substances, when subjects were in love, depressed, when they were shown pictures of people they hated etc. The conclusion that was drawn from these experiments was that emotions exist and that they can be measured, as you say. Oxytocin levels, for example, are higher in people that are in love. We can therefore measure how much in love is someone by measuring his/her oxytocin levels. It follows that if we were able to decrease oxytocin levels, that person would no longer feel in love. At the same time, by increasing oxytocin levels, we could create love potions. All this is theoretical, it might not be indeed so. I doubt that a human person can be treated just like a machine.

But what do you think would be the result of the same experiment if subjects were shown pictures of God, were told to think of God or choosing subjects that believed in God? If there was a detectable change or not, what would the experiment show? What would it all mean? That God exists or that it doesn't?

You say, "And we can see people behaving in ways that reflect those realities". But equally, can't we see how people behave that claim to have God at heart? All the good and bad that has been perpetrated throughout the centuries in the name of God?

Just to note here that I am not a religious person. I don't think that any religion got everything right, but I also don't think that they got everything wrong either. From what I read, I am closer to Taoism/Buddhism than any other religion, however I am not sure that these are religions per se.

From the above, I think we can safely conclude that if God is thought of as an emotion, it necessarily exists, only if someone believes in emotions at all that is. Just as someone cannot prove or disprove the existence of love, one cannot do the same for the god-like emotion. And just as someone that was never in love might think that love does not exist, the same thing holds for God. Not feeling something, does not necessarily mean that this feeling does not exist. And just as love can be felt within a person sometimes, it is the same thing with God, the same person can sometimes feel the presence of God, sometimes he won't. Finally, the god-like emotion cannot be accurately described and transmitted, not only from one person to another, but more importantly within the same person. It will have different meanings and conceptions depending on the person's emotional status over time. Just as any other emotion. But there is a difference here, in that love or hate for example are usually felt towards another person, God, however is felt towards whom? Perhaps happiness/sadness bears a closer relation to God, than love or hate. But then again, one can love or hate oneself or just feel them not in relation to another person or oneself.

And then, there is the God of monotheistic religions. The good, all-loving, caring, omnipotent God. To whom we owe obedience and love. Who will judge us after death. Who we worship. To whom we answer. To whom we owe our existence. I think you have more or less exhausted this topic and I agree. What I want to say is that when thinking about a creator God, you end up with a chicken-or-the-egg paradox. Causality. A creator God comes from our daily experience that for something to be, someone or something must have created it. However, it may not be indeed so. Time plays an important role here, however time is not at all understood. Before Einstein, only some 100 years ago, we began to understand what time is. But we are still very far from grasping it completely. Maybe that's the key.

But your refusal to believe in God is actually a refusal to believe in a certain religion. Probably because of the religious hypocrisy, autocracy, and all the atrocities that were committed in the name of God. Take great care though, because these negative thoughts might cloud your judgment. I was reading Jean Meslier and his "Testament", in which he strongly criticizes the church. Other atheists do that as well. But what they fail to understand, in my opinion, is the fact that this heavy criticism, although directed towards religion and God, is criticism against Existence as well. For example, atheists accuse God of evil in this world. That religious dogmas are incomprehensible, full of fear. However, in the absence of religion and God, would there still not be fear, evil and nature's incomprehension? It is thus not really any religion's fault to speak that way.

What we are really lacking here is definitions. With infinite precision, accuracy and objectiveness. However, since any definition originates from us humans, it cannot be completely objective. This is the point that tucson and tao make above. God is an anthropomorphic misconception, but what if Existence is as well? That is the problem with abstract ideas and concepts. Accuracy and objectiveness. The same does not hold for tangible objects, such as a chair. As hard as it may be, we can find a precise definition and all 7 billion people on earth agree on it.

How we can be completely objective is what we need to talk about. It may be impossible, just as there cannot be a coin with just one side, a string with only one end, a magnetic monopole, good without evil, absolute zero, a mind without a body. However, we can give it our best shot. At this state of mind, God might be trolling there somewhere.

Another thing I would like to note is about the burden of proof. I believe that the burden of proof falls equally to a positive truth as a negative one. You seem to confuse irrefutable proof with strong indication. In that respect, Santa Claus or the tooth fairy may actually exist. There is only strong indication, beyond a reasonable (but not absolute) doubt, that they do not exist.

To me, nothing is certain, nothing is absolute, never was and never will be. And for this, I am absolutely certain. :)

I want to apologize for the long post and my blabbering. "It's not easy to talk when you got so much to say.", as Chris Isaak says.

You spoke that God cannot exist as He must exist in existence. But is there really truth in this? One must first question whether He really does not exist. But consider this, the Lord not necessarily follows the laws of logic that humans do, since He made them, He does not have to follow them. Furthermore, if the Lord does not exist, how did the universe come to be. I can show a house to anyone, and the irrefutable truth is that it must have been built by someone. Without someone to make it, the universe cannot have existed on a whim, considering that the probability for events having such an order as they have now is so small that it is negligible. What exists in existence must have been made, and as the Lord created all, he himself is exempt from said law.

SeraphOfLight,

Even when I was a small child I would ask, "If God made the world, who made God?".

Then it follows, "Who made whatever made God?"

Then you get, "What made whoever made whatever made whoever made whatever made whoever made whatever made whoever made God?"

Maybe there is an infinite succession of Gods?

Maybe what appears is not made by anything? Maybe it simply arrises like a wave at the beach, out of nowhere only to return to nowhere by some inexplicable process that is not personal in any way like a God?

If God, as you say, does not have to follow laws and logic, maybe the appearance of the universe occurs due to a functioning other than a personal God that does not follow laws and logic, the principle of which we do not understand or are incapable of understanding?

Maybe God is what you can't see when you are looking for God because God is what is looking?

Don't ask me.


i like the idea mentioned,,
that god cannot exist,,
because to exist,,
he would have to exist in existence,,
therefore existence would be,,
prelate to god,,
thereby removing god's omnipresent feature,,
without which god would not be god,,

however i would like to suggest,,
that for the word existence,,
we substitute the word god,,
under the assumption,,
that the two mean exactly the same thing,,
and it seems to me the tension is resolved,,

rob, I agree. A personal God doesn't seem to be possible, since a "person" can be distinguished from existence (he/she/it stands out from existence, or we wouldn't be able to recognize him/her/it).

Like you said, existence would have to precede the personal God -- unless "God" is identical with existence. But then, where's the need for the concept of "God"?

Existence simply is. More and more, this seems to me to be the most accurate cosmology, theology, and philosophical position. There's no why or how to existence.

Questions stop at its doorstep. Logic needs to be left behind.

I didn't bother to to read every post but I think about this every day and study it as a hobby. Here is my explanation. Existence is just an idea our brains came up with. The big bang had to happen and the laws of physics down to the quantum had to happen as they did or we couldn't have conceived them. Bare with me. There are likely an infinite possible universes. Each starting with a singularity. At this singularity all laws of physics break down and cannot be measured or understood. These singularities are likely to happen as the result of some super massive black hole and I propose that the actual multiverse is infinitely more vast than our know one. Therefor it is impossible to know what even happens in any other universe but explains why there is existence. Thing had to happen just as theydid for this conversation to take place which seem highly highly improbable but when you take in to account that there could be and infinite number of universes with an infinite number of laws of physics and outcomes it becomes a sure thing. Does this count as a logical explanation of why there is existence as we know it and why there doesn't need to be a god?

Yes, but it just as easily explains why there could be "god" though not a "god" we can conceptualize or understand any more than we can comprehend an infinitude of universes with infinite and various laws of physics originating from one or more incomprehensible singularities or an infinite series of incompehensible simultaneous and successive multiplicities. So, basically I don't think, respectfully, you said anything Zack. Thanks for trying. I don't think I said anything either.

stupid article does not answer a thing

The religious leader said "God is everything, including existence," and then you said that the two of you agreed about God being existence. I'm not really sure why you're having a hard time understanding or accepting that God is existence. Nothing exists outside of God. God is life. He gives life to everything. The only thing you've concluded here is that existence exists. Well, good. You also said that you can't see outside of existence; well, good: God never claimed to be something completely conceivable to us. Basically, you've labeled an attribute of God, and used it to try to say that God doesn't exist. It's sort of like If you had grown up in Mississippi all your life, and never heard of other places like Tennessee or New York or even the United States of America. All you know, all you've seen, all you've experienced is Mississippi. When someone finally tells you that there is a place called Tennessee or the US, you refuse to believe them because you haven't seen or known anything about the experiences of Tennessee or the US. You only know one particular part. Existence (life) is an attribute of God. We experience this directly. He gives it to us. Without life/existence, we wouldn't be. God is because existence is his attribute. Now let's set all this silliness aside and come to God.

Cody, I stand by what I said in this post. You are positing an imaginary god, not a real god.

Existence is real. It can be observed. It can be experienced. If "god is existence," this says nothing, as pointed out in my post. For god to be something real, god would have to be something different from existence.

Otherwise you're just using two different words for the same thing. I could call my dog Serena or Foo-foo. There's still just one dog. Likewise, you're imagining something unseen and unknown that's added on to existence called "god." Well, some people in mental hospitals do the same thing, make up stuff that doesn't really exist.

You're entitled to your religious beliefs, but not to your own reality. If god is real, god should be observable/experienceable/provable.

YOU HAVE TO READ THIS I WANT YOU TO KNOW THE TRUTH
if you believe this modern satanic idea,
go see the divine book documentary it will explain that about 1400 years ago,prophet of god muhammad wrote god's words given to him by revelation in a book named "quran".
now if god does'nt exist,
then explain to me how did holy quran tell about this "bigbang theory" that you just discovered it 1400 years ago to a prophet who didn't even had Literacy?
how did holy quran tells us about two seas,one salty another sweet beside each other without any barrier,and they don't mix together
today we found out about this in Mediterranean sea.
just research about it.
look my english is weak and i can't tell everything i know(i'm persian)so go to www.wakeupproject.com for more information.
satan\lucifer\eblis doesn't want us death,
he want us in eternal flame\hell!
he's our number 1 enemy!
he wants us to be atheist so it can be true,
his desire will be done.
i don't tell you strictly to believe in god.
i'm just saying argument about god's existence is not a simple subject,
so please,
don't accept anything they tell you, just reaserch about it.
go search for it in human history,in our holy books.
this is the end time on earth at least for humans,
and there's a Sedition happening leading by satan himself.and this subject is only one of this satanic schedule.
read miracles that happened in our history from first days of mankind.
if you researched and want to be with me in this subject just let the others know the trurh too,tell them,it doesn't matter how,it doesn't matter who,just tell them the truth which you got researched.
excuse me for my english.
and thanks for reading this comment(i think article:)

God does not exist if every phenomenon in this universe can be ultimately explained without invoking any kind of God. As science has not yet finished its job, so we are not yet in a position to declare that there is no God. There is at least one phenomenon in this universe that will forever defy natural explanation, and for which supernatural explanation will be needed. And it is this: Any entity placed within space and time cannot have any lack of space of time if it is not artificially deprived of them. But as per relativity theory we find that in case of light both space and time become non-existent for it, although it is not in any way artificially deprived of them. This can never be explained in a natural way, and here, and here only, we will need God.

For further reading please see:
i) Who will tell us how space and time are non-existent for light? (http://prespacetime.com/index.php/pst/article/view/436/434)
ii) The Necessity of God & the Uncreated Whole (http://www.scigod.com/index.php/sgj/article/view/227/264)

God created the energy, & matter which existed at the point of the Big Bang. Before the Big Bang only God existed. God is the singularity which stared the big bang which led to the world as it is now. God exists and cannot be defined by laws of physics or any limited time frame. In short we cannot comprehend God, so limitless is his Power.

don,

Are you sure? How do you know?

the existence of god or somesort of cosmic consciousness that predates matter can neither be proven nor disproven - it is purely a theoretical construct. It might be what some want to desperately believe, what others believe they know subjectively to be true - but in neither case is their the semblance of proof for the existence of such a phenomena.

science's job might never be finished. For one thing, the universe might simply be too complex for us to ever unravel it to its core. For another, there might not be a core to unravel. If the universe itself is always changing, and if the apparent laws that govern it are also changable, then they are not laws per se - merely imperfect models of our limited understanding.

In short, there may or not be an absolute reality, and even if there is we are no closer to understanding its nature, be it constant or changeable or conscious or otherwise.

i think that religion is almost like believing in santa claus.only the older, smarter people come to realize that he is not real

" God exists within existence, just like you and I do. This means that God isn't the creator or essence of everything, because Something Else-- existence -- is more fundamental than God."
quote Brian

That is correct "Something Else" does
exist beyond God.

God (Mother Nature creator) is unconscious.

"Something Else" is not.

read the first line god always existed a better question how do a big bang come out of the blue and how do it create order. like if ya wanna see spirituality here on earth fuck the bible look at tarot and numerology, look at famous people, friends you know and look at there numbers. listen to tupac he was a 22 and only 2% on earth are that hehe smarter then all ya. im a 4 btw, ya got alot to learn

Hi,
About what you said, are you sure or are you not ?

Ravo.Madagascar, webmaster of

www.pensee-chretienne.org/madagascar_ravo_txt/Christ.htm

www.pensee-chretienne.org/madagascar_ravo_txt/ph_pangalanes_e.htm

What we can say is that there is awareness first. We really can't take the awareness aspect out of the existence factor. They are inextricably combined.

We simply cannot know how the world is beyond our perceptions of the world no matter how scientifically measured as it will always be measured within the confines of our perception.

The mind is powerful. Hypnotism is real. Drug hallucinations are real. People can be manipulated to actually see/hear/smell/feel objects, sounds, smells, etc that do not actually exist (in our collective reality agreement of what exists).

We could all be very wrong about existence.

Sindy, nicely put. I'd just add that maybe this isn't a matter of being right or wrong about existence, since there is no privileged objective view of reality.

That is, every form of consciousness that exists in the cosmos will have its own viewpoint. Who is to say which is more real or right, and which is less real or wrong?

I'm reading a book about relativity which makes this point. Over and over. It isn't correct to say "objects slow down when they near the speed of light," because the core of Einstein's relativity theory is that there is no privileged position in space-time.

To someone traveling near the speed of light, time and space appear one way. To someone traveling slower, time and space appear another way. One isn't right, and the other wrong. Just different.

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