Some boring research on God.

Been thinking a lot about religion, spirituality, god, etc.  It’s something I think about a lot.  Like pretty much every day.  Recently I’ve been thinking about all the different views there are of what is diety, god, reality.  I decided to take a random sampling of things I could find on the internet when I typed in the word “God” and “Who is god” and “understanding god” and “diety”.  

There’s a lot out there. One of the things that really astounds me consistantly is the effort that people put forward for what they believe.  Building these web-sites can’t be easy.  Sometimes it seems that the anti-(insert religion) sites are even more detailed and must require even more time on the part of the authors. 

Well..  I think dwelling on these things is pretty much useless.  Nevertheless, I have spent the last hour of my life copypasting various articles to this posting.  The reason why is:  I think it’s important to examine what other people believe to understand better what I believe.  I suppose that’s kinda what college is all about, really – listening to other people go on and on about whatever topic so that you can build your own understanding of it.

The problem being thus:  If a person’s understanding is wrong…  what then? What kind of person has the courage to change his or her mind, and how will he or she know when he or she should?  Because whoever told you what you have come to believe for yourself is probably also claiming the absolute truth of that point of view.  We see this in missionary work. It’s also interesting to note the difference in people’s attitudes towards changing their minds when it comes to God.

Well, I have my own answers which I will not divulge at this time.    

This remainder of this article will consist entirely of text found online re: God. 

From Wikipedia: Diety

A deity, god, or borus is a postulated preternatural being, usually, but not always, of significant power, worshipped, thought holy, divine, or sacred, held in high regard, or respected by human beings. They assume a variety of forms, but are frequently depicted as having human or animal form. Sometimes it is considered blasphemous to imagine the deity as having any concrete form. They are usually immortal. They are commonly assumed to have personalities and to possess consciousness, intellects, desires, and emotions much like humans. Such natural phenomena as lightning, floods, storms, other “acts of God,” and miracles are attributed to them, and they may be thought to be the authorities or controllers of every aspect of human life (such as birth or the afterlife). Some deities are asserted to be the directors of time and fate itself, to be the givers of human law and morality, to be the ultimate judges of human worth and behavior, and to be the designers and creators of the Earth or the universe. Some of these “gods” have no power at all—they are simply worshipped.

Some are thought to be invisible or inaccessible to humans— to dwell mainly in otherworldly, remote or secluded and holy places, such as Heaven, Hell, the sky, the under-world, under the sea, in the high mountains, or deep forests, or in a supernatural plane or a celestial sphere—choosing but rarely to reveal or manifest themselves to humans, and to make themselves known mainly through their effects. While a monotheistic God (one god) is thought of as dwelling in Heaven, such a God is also said to be omnipresent, though invisible.

Often people feel an obligation to their God. There are others however that treat their God as something that serves them.

Folk religions usually contain active and worldly deities.

In polytheism (many gods), gods are conceived of as a counterpart to humans. In the reconstructed and hypothetical Proto-Indo-European, humans were described as tkonion, “earthly”, as opposed to the gods which were deivos, “celestial”. This almost symbiotic relationship is present in many later cultures: humans are defined by their station subject to the gods, nourishing them with sacrifices, and gods are defined by their sovereignty over humans, punishing and rewarding them, but also dependent on their worship. The boundary between human and divine in most cultures is by no means absolute. Demigods are the offspring from a union of a human with a deity, and most royal houses in Antiquity claimed divine ancestors. Beginning with Djedefra (26th century BC), the Egyptian Pharaohs called themselves “Son of Ra“. Some human rulers, such as the Pharaohs of the New Kingdom, the Japanese Tennos and some Roman Emperors, have been worshipped by their subjects as deities while still alive. The earliest ruler known to have claimed divinity is Naram-Sin (22nd century BC). In many cultures rulers and other prominent or holy persons may be thought to become deities upon death (see Osiris, ancestor worship, canonization).
Theories and narratives about, and modes of worship of, gods are largely a matter of religion. At present, the vast majority of humans are adherents of some religion, and this has been true for at least thousands of years. Human burials from between 50,000 and 30,000 B.C. provide evidence of human belief in an afterlife and possibly in gods, although it is not clear when human belief in deities became the dominant view.

Some religions are monotheistic and assert the existence of a unique god. In the English language, the common noun “god” is equivalent to “deity”, while “God” (capitalized) is the name of the unique deity of monotheism. Pantheism considers the Universe itself to be a deity. Dualism is the view that there are two deities: a deity of Good who is opposed and thwarted by a deity of Evil, of equal power. Manichaeism, Zoroastrianism, and Gnostic sects of Christianity are, or were, dualist. Polytheism asserts the existence of several gods, who together form a pantheon. Henotheism is a form of polytheism in which one god is worshipped as supreme. Monolatrism is a type of polytheism in which gods are believed to exert power only on those who worship them. Animism is the belief that spirits inhabit every existing thing, including plants, minerals, animals and, including all the elements, air, water, earth, and fire. The anthropologist E. B. Tylor argued that religion originally took an animist form. Theism is the view that at least one god exists. Atheism is either the denial of the existence of gods or God, or the absence of the belief that there are gods or God.

It may not be readily apparent what form a religion actually takes. Religions that avow monotheism may in fact be henotheistic in that they recognize the existence of several echelons of supernatural, immortal, deity-like beings in addition to the supreme God, such as angels, saints, Satan, demons, and devils, although these beings may not be considered deities. Adherents of polytheistic religions, such as certain schools of Hinduism, may regard all gods in the pantheon as manifestations, aspects, or multiple personalities of the single supreme god, and the religions may be more akin to monotheism or henotheism than is initially apparent to an observer.

The many religions do not in general agree on which gods exist, although sometimes the pantheons may overlap, or be similar except for the names of the gods. It is frequently argued that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all worship the same monotheistic god, although they differ in many important details. Comparative religion studies the similarities and contrasts in the views and practices of various religions. The Philosophy of religion discusses philosophical issues related to theories about gods. Narratives about gods and their deeds are referred to as myths, the study of which is mythology. The word “myth” has an overtone of fiction; so religious people commonly (although not invariably) refrain from using this term in relation to the stories about gods in which they believe themselves.

In Buddhism “gods” or devas are beings inhabiting certain happily placed worlds of Buddhist cosmology. These beings are mortal (being part of saṃsāra), numerous and are not worshipped; it is also common for Yidams to be called deities, although the nature of Yidams are distinct from what is normally meant by the term.

The Buddhist Madhyamaka argue strongly against the existence of a universal creator or essential being (such as Brahman), yet Buddhists are not atheist or agnostic – due to these terms being strongly tied to concepts of existence. Some Prasangikas hold that even the conventional existence of universal (monotheistic) deities is a non-existent, whereas others consider that the conventional existence of such a being is an existent.

Some modern Buddhists, especially in the west, believe that deities (and God) exist in the same manner that elves or unicorns do – as an archetypal consensual entity that serves a purpose in the popular imagination; and in this limited sense, God exists.

Though this may seem a rather weak basis of existence for some, as Buddhists (such as the Yogacara) deny any objective existence (of e.g. a chair), and many more deny any sort of essential existence of phenomena at all, the distinction between the existence and non-existence of consensual entities is important to Buddhist philosophy. However, a necessary requirement of Candrakirti‘s (Prasangika) view is that existents must not conflict with essencelessness, and it is generally agreed by them that monotheistic assertions of deity do not make much sense without some assertion of essence, which itself is vehemently rejected, so thereby monotheistic (objectively/essentially existing) gods are non-existent even in a conventional sense. Of course these arguments are more to do with the delineation of the definition of existence than anything else.

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Singular God

Main article: monotheism

In some cases, especially the God of monotheism, or the supreme deity of henotheistic religions, the divine entity is not thought of by some believers in the same terms as deities — as a powerful, human-like, supernatural being — but rather becomes esoteric, the reification of a philosophical category — the Ultimate, the Absolute Infinite, the Transcendent, the One, the All, Existence or Being itself, the ground of being, the monistic substrate, etc.

In this view, God (Allah, Jesus Christ, Brahman, Waheguru, Elohim, etc…) is not a god or deity, and the anthropomorphic myths and iconography associated with Him is regarded as symbolism, allowing worshippers to speak and think about something which otherwise would be beyond human comprehension.

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“Evolved” deity

In the realm of futurist thought, it is hypothetically possible that a civilization could advance so far in its ability to utilize energy that it could create universes at will. This would be indistinguishable from God-like power. This is the presumed power level of a civilization that achieves Kardashev level VII.

From Wikipedia:  ngai

Ngai (Enkai, En-kai, Engai, Eng-ai, Mweai, Mwiai) is the supreme God in the monotheistic religions of the Kamba, Kikuyu and Maasai tribes of Kenya. According to the Kikuyu tradition, he lives on the holy mountain Kirinyaga (Mount Kenya). According to the Kamba, he lives somewhere in a hiding and no one knows where.

From thetruereligion.org: God

Say: He is Allah, the One! Allah, the eternally Besought of all! He begetteth not nor was begotten. And there is none comparable unto Him

[Qur’an 112:1-4]

Monotheism is defined as ‘the doctrine or belief that there is but one God’ – a concept that has been at the core of the Prophetic call throughout human history. This section deals with universal questions such as ‘Does God exist?’, ‘Who is God?’ and ‘What is the purpose of our existence?’

A detailed explanation of pure monotheism (Arabic: Tawheed) is also included to remove confusion from the minds of those who have a polytheistic, pantheistic or anthropomorphic conception of God. One of the unique aspects of Islam is that it is absolutely uncompromising on the Oneness of God. He is the sole creator and sustainer of the Universe, with no other sharing in His Lordship. His attributes are free of all imperfection, and beyond any similarity to His Creation. He, and He alone – not any idol or human being – is worthy of all worship.

Other religions which claim to be monotheistic violate or omit one or more of these principles, and hence fall into idolatry by associating partners with God (Arabic: Shirk). One example of this is the claim that God, the All-Powerful, Unique, Incomparable Lord, was in the womb of a human woman, then was born, ate, slept, and was beaten and killed. The subsequent worship of this ‘flesh god’, who is in fact our beloved prophet Jesus(P) and not God at all, is another violation. It is Islam alone that establishes the pure and unadulterated worship which is acceptable to God, and is the key to salvation.

From answering-islam.de:

What is the fundamental difference between the nature or character of God in the Bible and in the Qur’an?

In the Bible God “draws near”, “comes down” and seeks after us in order to enter into an intimate relationship with us. The whole Bible is the story of God seeking man.

In the first chapters of the Bible about the creation and the fall of mankind we read that after the first sin/disobedience of Adam and Eve they are plagued by their conscience and try to hide from God. God comes to them in the garden and calls out to them, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9)

Man is on the run before God because he knows that he is guilty before God. However, God comes and seeks us and wants to reestablish a relationship of mutual love. It is God who takes all necessary steps to make this possible again. That is the story of the Bible from the first to the last book where we finally read about the new heaven and the new earth: “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people and God himself will be with them and be their God.” (Revelation 21:3)

Finally the desire of God has been established. Read all of Revelation 21, it is a marvelous chapter.

Indeed God is a God who seeks after us, who comes down to be near us. He reveals his character, his heart and his desire to establish a loving relationship with his creation. Will you be part of his people that are mentioned in Revelation 21:3? That is the topic of the Bible, it reveals God to you so that you can respond to him and become part of his people.

In contrast, the Qur’an portrays God as one who is “far”, who is transcendent only. As a Muslim theologian has said, “God reveals only his will, not himself. He remains forever hidden”. Even though he is near as the jugular vein as the Qur’an states, but this is a “technical” nearness, since just as we are not “aware” of our jugular vein most of the time and don’t have a personal relationship with it this only conveys that God is “everywhere” (far and near) like the air that is around us, but in the Bible God doesn’t want to be with us only on the basis of his omnipresence and omniscience because being God he is “everywhere” anyway. No, he wants to be near to us like someone we love.

Islam is about man trying to please God by obeying his will. The Bible reveals God as taking the initiative and coming down to seek after us. The movement is in the opposite direction.

 From allaboutcreation.org:

Does God Exist – A Scientific Inquiry
Does God Exist? The other day I was asked to prove the existence of God. It was a one-on-one conversation with a skeptical friend, who somehow thrust the burden of proof on me. He didn’t want the religious, moral or philosophical arguments — He wanted the scientific “proof.”

Does God Exist – Is a Scientific Approach Possible?
When it comes to the question, “Does God Exist,” there are really only two possible conclusions: God either is, or He isn’t. There’s no half-way. There’s no sliding scale. Whether you’re an atheist or whether you’re a theist, there’s a certain level of knowledge, and there’s a certain level of faith.

I thought for a moment… Can I prove the existence of God — scientifically? In my religious/moral/philosophical experience, He’s been proven to me. However, my friend hasn’t walked the same journey as me. He wants the facts — he wants the naturalistic proof for a supernatural reality.

I came to the conclusion that my friend’s question was a fair one. He deserved my best attempt at an answer. So, I gave it a shot…

Does God Exist – A Scientific Examination of the Evidence
God may not be provable through mathematical formulae or properties of physics, but we live in an era where the evidence of an Intelligent Designer is all around us. Just look through the Hubble Telescope and peer to the edge of the massive cosmos. View the monitor of an electron-scanning microscope and delve into the intricate world of a microscopic cell. Try to comprehend the massive library of complex information inherent in the digital code that turns a fertilized egg into a human being. Study principles of quantum mechanics and investigate the world of extra-dimensionality. Review the nature of your conscience, subconscious, standards of morality, and thoughts of religion. Then, try to reconcile all of these realities with a basic theory of randomness and chaos.

Based on what we know today, I truly believe that atheism (not believing in any kind of god) is a much bigger “leap of faith” than theism (believing that some kind of god exists).

I asked my friend, “Have you really thought about some of the evidences for God? Or, are you presupposing a purely naturalistic world, and closing your eyes to some of the possible evidence? If I propose some observational evidence, are you even open to examining it?”

My friend asked me to go on. So, here’s my attempt at some basic scientific observations that point to God:

  • Causation. God provides the best explanation for the existence of the universe and all that’s in it. (The alternative theory is that “nothing” exploded and resulted in everything that we see.)
  • Order. God provides the best explanation for abstract notions such as numbers, mathematical formulae, chemical-based processes, and natural laws. (The alternative theory is that the chaotic first elements ordered themselves into complex information systems.)
  • Design. God provides the best explanation for the absolute complexity inherent in cosmological, stellar, planetary, chemical and biological systems. (The alternative theory is that random chance engineered apparent design.)
  • Encoded Instructions. God provides the best explanation for the digital DNA code contained in and controlling the functions of all life on earth. (The alternative theory is that complex code, such as binary code running computers, can pop into existence without any kind of programming, testing and debugging process.)
  • Irreducible Complexity. God provides the best explanation for fully functioning biological organisms, systems, and subsystems that couldn’t come about through gradual evolutionary process without totally ceasing to exist at lower, evolutionary levels. (The alternative theory is that biological systems took huge, unseen leaps from simple to complex without any guided process or forward-looking instructions.)
  • Duality. God provides the best explanation for the separate human functions of brain and conscience (matter and mind). (The alternative theory is monism — only matter exists and the human brain only appears to have a separate subconscious ability.)
  • Morality. God provides the best explanation for the existence of love, emotion, altruism, and inherent moral/ethical values throughout the world. (The alternative theory is that unguided materialistic processes evolve higher human consciousness.)

Does God Exist – A Scientific Conclusion
When it comes to the question of “Does God Exist,” there are only two scientific worldviews — Someone/Something did it, or it did itself. Whether it’s the beginning of the cosmos or the beginning of life, the beginning of mankind or the beginning of mind, either Someone/Something is responsible for everything we see or it’s responsible for itself.

“Does God Exist?” Is this really a question for science at all? Actually, it seems this is a matter of forensic science, since we can’t re-create the birth of the universe or the formation of first life in a laboratory. Therefore, we collect the observable evidence in our world and apply our forensic investigation skills to analyze its collective meaning. In the end, we all need to collect and examine the evidence for ourselves. Ultimately, whether couched as scientific inquiry or purely religious/moral/philosophical faith, it’s not a matter for the laboratory. It’s a personal, investigative decision for each and every one of us.

From positiveatheism.org: Why the Christian God Doesn’t Exist

Christians consider the existence of their God to be an obvious truth that no sane man could deny. I strongly disagree with this assumption not only because evidence for the existence of this presumably ubiquitous yet invisible God is lacking, but because the very nature Christians attribute to this God is self-contradictory.
Proving a universal negative

It is taken for granted by Christians, as well as many atheists, that a universal negative cannot be proven. In this case, that universal negative is the statement that the Christian God does not exist. One would have to have omniscience, they say, in order to prove that anything does not exist. I disagree with this position, however, because omniscience is not needed in order to prove that a thing whose nature is a self-contradiction cannot, and therefore does not exist.

I do not need a complete knowledge of the universe to prove to you that cubic spheres do not exist. Such objects have mutually-exclusive attributes which would render their existence impossible. For example, a cube, by definition, has 8 corners, while a sphere has none. These properties are completely incompatible: they cannot be held simultaneously by the same object. It is my intent to show that the supposed properties of the Christian God Yahweh, like those of a cubic sphere, are incompatible, and by so doing, to show Yahweh’s existence to be an impossibility.
Defining YHWH

Before we can discuss the existence of a thing, we must define it. Christians have endowed their God with all of the following attributes: He is eternal, all-powerful, and created everything. He created all the laws of nature and can change anything by an act of will. He is all-good, all-loving, and perfectly just. He is a personal God who experiences all of the emotions a human does. He is all-knowing. He sees everything past and future.

God’s creation was originally perfect, but humans, by disobeying him, brought imperfection into the world. Humans are evil and sinful, and must suffer in this world because of their sinfulness. God gives humans the opportunity to accept forgiveness for their sin, and all who do will be rewarded with eternal bliss in heaven, but while they are on earth, they must suffer for his sake. All humans who choose not to accept this forgiveness must go to hell and be tormented for eternity.

These attributes of God are related by the Bible, which Christians believe to be the perfect and true Word of God.

One verse which Christians are fond of quoting says that atheists are fools. I intend to show that the above concepts of God are completely incompatible and so reveal the impossibility of all of them being true. Who is the fool? The fool is the one who believes impossible things and calls them divine mysteries.
Perfection seeks even more perfection

What did God do during that eternity before he created everything? If God was all that existed back then, what disturbed the eternal equilibrium and compelled him to create? Was he bored? Was he lonely? God is supposed to be perfect. If something is perfect, it is complete–it needs nothing else. We humans engage in activities because we are pursuing that elusive perfection, because there is disequilibrium caused by a difference between what we are and what we want to be. If God is perfect, there can be no disequilibrium. There is nothing he needs, nothing he desires, and nothing he must or will do. A God who is perfect does nothing except exist. A perfect creator God is impossible.
Perfection begets imperfection

But, for the sake of argument, let’s continue. Let us suppose that this perfect God did create the universe. Humans were the crown of his creation, since they were created in God’s image and have the ability to make decisions. However, these humans spoiled the original perfection by choosing to disobey God.

What!? If something is perfect, nothing imperfect can come from it. Someone once said that bad fruit cannot come from a good tree, and yet this “perfect” God created a “perfect” universe which was rendered imperfect by the “perfect” humans. The ultimate source of imperfection is God. What is perfect cannot become imperfect, so humans must have been created imperfect. What is perfect cannot create anything imperfect, so God must be imperfect to have created these imperfect humans. A perfect God who creates imperfect humans is impossible.
The Freewill Argument

The Christians’ objection to this argument involves freewill. They say that a being must have freewill to be happy. The omnibenevolent God did not wish to create robots, so he gave humans freewill to enable them to experience love and happiness. But the humans used this freewill to choose evil, and introduced imperfection into God’s originally perfect universe. God had no control over this decision, so the blame for our imperfect universe is on the humans, not God.

Here is why the argument is weak. First, if God is omnipotent, then the assumption that freewill is necessary for happiness is false. If God could make it a rule that only beings with freewill may experience happiness, then he could just as easily have made it a rule that only robots may experience happiness. The latter option is clearly superior, since perfect robots will never make decisions which could render them or their creator unhappy, whereas beings with freewill could. A perfect and omnipotent God who creates beings capable of ruining their own happiness is impossible.

Second, even if we were to allow the necessity of freewill for happiness, God could have created humans with freewill who did not have the ability to choose evil, but to choose between several good options.

Third, God supposedly has freewill, and yet he does not make imperfect decisions. If humans are miniature images of God, our decisions should likewise be perfect. Also, the occupants of heaven, who presumably must have freewill to be happy, will never use that freewill to make imperfect decisions. Why would the originally perfect humans do differently?

The point remains: the presence of imperfections in the universe disproves the supposed perfection of its creator.
All-good God knowingly creates future suffering

God is omniscient. When he created the universe, he saw the sufferings which humans would endure as a result of the sin of those original humans. He heard the screams of the damned. Surely he would have known that it would have been better for those humans to never have been born (in fact, the Bible says this very thing), and surely this all-compassionate deity would have foregone the creation of a universe destined to imperfection in which many of the humans were doomed to eternal suffering. A perfectly compassionate being who creates beings which he knows are doomed to suffer is impossible.
Infinite punishment for finite sins

God is perfectly just, and yet he sentences the imperfect humans he created to infinite suffering in hell for finite sins. Clearly, a limited offense does not warrant unlimited punishment. God’s sentencing of the imperfect humans to an eternity in hell for a mere mortal lifetime of sin is infinitely more unjust than this punishment. The absurd injustice of this infinite punishment is even greater when we consider that the ultimate source of human imperfection is the God who created them. A perfectly just God who sentences his imperfect creation to infinite punishment for finite sins is impossible.
Belief more important than action

Consider all of the people who live in the remote regions of the world who have never even heard the “gospel” of Jesus Christ. Consider the people who have naturally adhered to the religion of their parents and nation as they had been taught to do since birth. If we are to believe the Christians, all of these people will perish in the eternal fire for not believing in Jesus. It does not matter how just, kind, and generous they have been with their fellow humans during their lifetime: if they do not accept the gospel of Jesus, they are condemned. No just God would ever judge a man by his beliefs rather than his actions.
Perfection’s imperfect revelation

The Bible is supposedly God’s perfect Word. It contains instructions to humankind for avoiding the eternal fires of hell. How wonderful and kind of this God to provide us with this means of overcoming the problems for which he is ultimately responsible! The all-powerful God could have, by a mere act of will, eliminated all of the problems we humans must endure, but instead, in his infinite wisdom, he has opted to offer this indecipherable amalgam of books which is the Bible as a means for avoiding the hell which he has prepared for us. The perfect God has decided to reveal his wishes in this imperfect work, written in the imperfect language of imperfect man, translated, copied, interpreted, voted on, and related by imperfect man. No two men will ever agree what this perfect word of God is supposed to mean, since much of it is either self- contradictory, or obscured by enigmatic symbols. And yet the perfect God expects us imperfect humans to understand this paradoxical riddle using the imperfect minds with which he has equipped us. Surely the all-wise and all-powerful God would have known that it would have been better to reveal his perfect will directly to each of us, rather than to allow it to be debased and perverted by the imperfect language and botched interpretations of man.
Contradictory justice

One need look to no source other than the Bible to discover its imperfections, for it contradicts itself and thus exposes its own imperfection. It contradicts itself on matters of justice, for the same just God who assures his people that sons shall not be punished for the sins of their fathers turns around and destroys an entire household for the sin of one man (he had stolen some of Yahweh’s war loot). It was this same Yahweh who afflicted thousands of his innocent people with plague and death to punish their evil king David for taking a census (?!). It was this same Yahweh who allowed the humans to slaughter his son because the perfect Yahweh had botched his own creation. Consider how many have been stoned, burned, slaughtered, raped, and enslaved because of Yahweh’s skewed sense of justice. The blood of innocent babies is on the perfect, just, compassionate hands of Yahweh.
Contradictory history

The Bible contradicts itself on matters of history. A person who reads and compares the contents of the Bible will be confused about exactly who Esau’s wives were, whether Timnah was a concubine or a son, and whether Jesus’ earthly lineage is through Solomon or his brother Nathan. These are but a few of hundreds of documented historical contradictions. If the Bible cannot confirm itself in mundane earthly matters, how are we to trust it on moral and spiritual matters?
Unfulfilled prophecy

The Bible misinterprets its own prophecies. Read Isaiah 7 and compare it to Matthew 1 to find but one of many misinterpreted prophecies of which Christians are either passively or willfully ignorant. The fulfillment of prophecy in the Bible is cited as proof of its divine inspiration, and yet here is but one major example of a prophecy whose intended meaning has been and continues to be twisted to support subsequent absurd and false doctrines. There are no ends to which the credulous will not go to support their feeble beliefs in the face of compelling evidence against them.

The Bible is imperfect. It only takes one imperfection to destroy the supposed perfection of this alleged Word of God. Many have been found. A perfect God who reveals his perfect will in an imperfect book is impossible.
The Omniscient changes the future

A God who knows the future is powerless to change it. An omniscient God who is all-powerful and freewilled is impossible.
The Omniscient is surprised

A God who knows everything cannot have emotions. The Bible says that God experiences all of the emotions of humans, including anger, sadness, and happiness. We humans experience emotions as a result of new knowledge. A man who had formerly been ignorant of his wife’s infidelity will experience the emotions of anger and sadness only after he has learned what had previously been hidden. In contrast, the omniscient God is ignorant of nothing. Nothing is hidden from him, nothing new may be revealed to him, so there is no gained knowledge to which he may emotively react.

We humans experience anger and frustration when something is wrong which we cannot fix. The perfect, omnipotent God, however, can fix anything. Humans experience longing for things we lack. The perfect God lacks nothing. An omniscient, omnipotent, and perfect God who experiences emotion is impossible.
The conclusion of the matter

I have offered arguments for the impossibility, and thus the non- existence, of the Christian God Yahweh. No reasonable and freethinking individual can accept the existence of a being whose nature is so contradictory as that of Yahweh, the “perfect” creator of our imperfect universe. The existence of Yahweh is as impossible as the existence of cubic spheres or invisible pink unicorns.

Should any Christian who reads this persist in defending these impossibilities through means of “divine transcendence” and “faith,” and should any Christian continue to call me an atheist fool, I will be forced to invoke the wrath of the Invisible Pink Unicorn:

    “You are a fool for denying the existence of the IPU. You have rejected true faith and have relied on your feeble powers of human reason and thus arrogantly denied the existence of Her Divine Transcendence, and so are you condemned.”

If such arguments are good enough for Yahweh, they are good enough for Her Invisible Pinkness.

As for me and my house, we shall choose reality.

From Wikipedia: God

God is the deity believed by monotheists to be the supreme reality. He is believed variously to be the creator, or at least the sustainer, of the universe. [1]

Theologians and philosophers have ascribed a number of attributes to God, including omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, omnibenevolence, divine simplicity, and eternal and necessary existence. He has been described as incorporeal, a personal being, the source of all moral obligation, and the greatest conceivable existent. [1] These attributes were all supported to varying degrees by the early Jewish, Christian and Muslim scholars, including St Augustine, [2] Al-Ghazali, [3] and Maimonides. [2] Freud regarded this view of God as wish fulfillment for the perfect father figure, [3] while Marxist writers see it as rooted in the powerlessness experienced by men and women in oppressive societies.

All the great medieval philosophers developed arguments for the existence of God, [3] attempting to wrestle with the contradictions God’s attributes seem to imply. For example, God’s omniscience implies that he knows how free agents will choose to act. If he does know this, their apparent free will is illusory; and if he does not know it, he is not omniscient. [4] Similar difficulties follow from the proposition that God is the source of all moral obligation. If nothing would be right or wrong without God’s commands, then his commands appear arbitrary. If his commands are based on fundamental principles that even he cannot change, then he is not omnipotent. [5]

The last few hundred years of philosophy have seen sustained attacks on the ontological, cosmological, and teleological arguments for God’s existence. Against these, some theists (particularly fideists) argue that faith is not a product of reason, but requires risk. There would be no risk, they say, if the arguments for God’s existence were as solid as the laws of logic, a position famously summed up by Pascal as: “The heart has reasons which reason knows not of.” [6]

The noun God is the proper English name used for the deity of monotheistic faiths. Different names for God exist within different religious traditions:

  • Allah is the Arabic name of God, which is used by Arab Muslims and also by most non-Muslim Arabs. ilah, cognate to northwest Semitic El (Hebrew “El” or more specifically “Eloha”, Aramaic “Eloi”), is the generic word for a god (any deity), Allah contains the article, literally “The God”. Also, when speaking in English, Muslims often translate “Allah” as “God”. One Islamic tradition states that Allah has 99 names while others say that all good names belong to Allah. Similarly, in the Aramaic of Jesus, the word Alaha is used for the name of God.
  • Yahweh, Jehovah (Hebrew: ‘Yud-Hay-Vav-Hay’, יה-וה ) are some of the names used for God in various translations of the Bible (all translating the same four letters – YHVH). El, and the plural/majestic form Elohim, is another term used frequently, though El can also simply mean god in reference to deities of other religions. Others include El Shaddai, Adonai, Emmanuel. When Moses asked “What is your name?” he was given the answer Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, which literally means, “I am that I am,” as a parallel to the Tetragrammaton Yud-Hay-Vav-Hay. See The name of God in Judaism for Jewish names of God. Most Orthodox Jews, and many Jews of other denominations, believe it wrong to write the word “God” on any substance which can be destroyed. Therefore, they will write “G-d” as what they consider a more respectful symbolic representation. Others consider this unnecessary because English is not the “Holy Language” (i.e. Hebrew), but still will not speak the Hebrew representation written in the Torah, “Yud-Hay-Vav-Hay”, aloud, and will instead use other names such as “Adonai” (“my Lord”, used in prayer, blessings and other religious rituals) or the euphemism “Hashem” (literally “The Name”, used at all other times). Another name especially used by ultra-Orthodox Jews is “HaKadosh Baruch Hu”, meaning “The Holy One, Blessed is He”.

YHWH, the name of God or Tetragrammaton, in Phoenician (1100 BC to AD 300), Aramaic (10th Century BC to 0) and modern Hebrew scripts.

YHWH, the name of God or Tetragrammaton, in Phoenician (1100 BC to AD 300), Aramaic (10th Century BC to 0) and modern Hebrew scripts.

In early English Bibles, the Tetragrammaton was rendered in capitals: “IEHOUAH” in William Tyndale‘s version of 1525. The King James Version of 1611 renders YHWH as “The Lord“, also as “Jehovah”, see Psalms 83:18; Exodus 6:3.
Research in comparative mythology shows a linguistic correlation between Levantine Yaw and monotheistic Yahweh, suggesting that the god may in some manner be the predecessor in the sense of an evolving religion of Yahweh.
  • Elohim as “God” (with the plural suffix -im, but used with singular agreement); sometimes used to mean “gods” or apparently mortal judges.
  • The Holy Trinity (one God in three Persons, the God the Father, the God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit) denotes God in almost all Christianity. Arab Christians will often also use “Allah” (the noun for “God” in Arabic) to refer to God.[citation needed]
  • Deus, cognate of the Greek Ζευς (Zeus) is the Latin word for God, and will be used in Latin portions of Roman Catholic masses. [2] It is also used to denote God by some Deists, Pandeists, Pantheists, and followers of similars non-Theistic beliefs.
  • God is called Igzi’abihier (lit. “Lord of the Universe”) or Amlak (lit. the plural of mlk, “king” or “lord”) in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
  • Jah is the name of God in the Rastafari movement
  • The Maasai name for “God” is Ngai, which occurs in the volcano name Ol Doinyo Lengai (“the mountain of God”).
  • The Mi’kmaq name for “God” is Niskam.
  • Some churches (United Church of Canada, Religious Science) are using “the One” alongside “God” as a more gender-neutral way of referring to God (See also Oneness).
  • Ishvara is the term used for God among the Hindus. In Sanskrit, it means the Supreme Lord. Most Hindus worship the personal form of God or Saguna Brahman, as Vishnu, Shiva, or directly as the Supreme Cosmic Spirit Brahman through the Gayatri mantra. A common prayer for Hindus is the Vishnu sahasranama, which is a hymn describing the one thousand names of God. Ishvara must not be confused with the numerous deities of the Hindus. In modern Hindi, Ishvara is also called Bhagavan.
  • Baquan is a phonetical pronunciation for God in several Pacific Islander religions.
  • Buddhism is non-theistic (see God in Buddhism): instead of extolling an anthropomorphic creator God, Gautama Buddha employed negative theology to avoid speculation and keep the undefined as ineffable [citation needed]. Buddha believed the more important issue was to bring beings out of suffering to liberation. Enlightened ones are called Arhats or Buddha (e.g, the Buddha Sakyamuni), and are venerated. A bodhisattva is an altruistic being who has vowed to attain Buddhahood in order to help others to become Awakened (“Buddha”) too. Buddhism also teaches of the existence of the devas or heavenly beings who temporarily dwell in celestial states of great happiness but are not yet free from the cycle of reincarnations (samsara). Some Mahayana and Tantra Buddhist scriptures do express ideas which are extremely close to pantheism, with a cosmic Buddha (Adibuddha) being viewed as the sustaining Ground of all being – although this is very much a minority vision within Buddhism.
  • Jains invoke the five paramethis: Siddha, Arahant, Acharya, Upadhyaya, Sadhu. The arhantas include the 24 Tirthankaras from Lord Rishabha to Mahavira. But Jain philosophy as such does not recognize any Supreme Omnipotent creator God.
  • Sikhs worship God with these common names Waheguru Wondrous God, Satnaam (True is Your Name), Akal (the Eternal) or Onkar (some similarity to the Hindu Aum). When reciting these names, devotion, dedication and a genuine appreciation and acceptance of the Almighty and His blessings is essential if one is to gain anything by the meditation. Just mechanical reciting of the words brings little advantage to the devotee. Help of the Guru is essential to reach God.
  • In Surat Shabda Yoga, names used for God include Anami Purush (nameless power) and Radha Swami (lord of the soul, symbolized as Radha).
  • The Bahá’í Faith refers to God using the local word for God in whatever language is being spoken. In the Bahá’í Writings in Arabic, Allah is used. Bahá’ís share some naming traditions with Islam, but see “Bahá” (Glory or Splendour) as The Greatest Name of God. God’s names are seen as his attributes, and God is often, in prayers, referred to by these titles and attributes.
  • Zoroastrians worship Ahura Mazda.
  • To many Native American religions, God is called “The Great Spirit”, “The Master of Life”, “The Master of Breath”, or “Grandfather”. For example, in the Algonquian first nations culture, Gitche Manitou or “Great Spirit” was the name adopted by French missionaries for the Christian God. Other similar names may also be used.
  • Followers of Eckankar refer to God as SUGMAD or HU; the latter name is pronounced as a spiritual practice.
  • In Chinese , the name Shang Ti 上帝 (Hanyu Pinyin: shàng dì) (literally King Above), is the name given for God in the Standard Mandarin Union Version of the Bible. Shen 神 (lit. spirit, or deity) was also adopted by Protestant missionaries in China to refer to the Christian God.

See also

General overview

General approaches

Various issues

Specific conceptions

General practices

From bahai.org:

The Bahá’í Concept of God1

The Bahá’í belief in one God means that the universe and all creatures and forces within it have been created by a single supernatural Being. This Being, Whom we call God, has absolute control over His creation (omnipotence) as well as perfect and complete knowledge of it (omniscience). Although we may have different concepts of God’s nature, although we may pray to Him in different languages and call Him by different names–Allah or Yahweh, God or Brahma–nevertheless, we are speaking about the same unique Being.

From ldslastdays.com: (quoting Boyd K Packer) Candle of the Lord

I will tell you of an experience I had before I was a General Authority which affected me profoundly. I sat on a plane next to a professed atheist who pressed his disbelief in God so urgently that I bore my testimony to him. “You are wrong,” I said,”there is a God. I know He lives!”

He protested, “You don’t know. Nobody knows that! You can’t know it!” When I would not yield, the atheist, who was an attorney, asked perhaps the ultimate question onthe subject of testimony. “All right,” he said in a sneering, condescending way,”you say you know. Tell me how you know.”

When I attempted to answer, even though I held advanced academic degrees, I was helpless to communicate.

Sometimes in your youth, you young missionaries are embarrassed when the cynic, the skeptic, treat you with contempt because you do not have ready answers for everything. Before such ridicule, some turn away in shame. (Remember the iron rod, the spacious building, and the mocking? See 1 Ne. 8:28.)

When I used the words Spirit and witness, the atheist responded, “I don’t know what you are talking about.” The words prayer, discernment, and faith, were equally meaningless to him. “You see,” he said, “you don’t really know. If you did,you would be able to tell me how you know.”

I felt, perhaps, that I had borne my testimony to him unwisely and was at a loss as to what to do. Then came the experience! Something came into my mind. And I mention here a statement of the Prophet Joseph Smith: “A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas . . . and thus by learning the. Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, comp.Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977, p. 151.)

Such an idea came into my mind and I said to the atheist, “Let me ask if you know what salt tastes like.”

“Of course I do,” was his reply.

“When did you taste salt last?”

“I just had dinner on the plane.”

“You just think you know what salt tastes like,” I said.

He insisted, “I know what salt tastes like as well as I know anything.”

“If I gave you a cup of salt and a cup of sugar and let you taste them both, could you tell the salt from the sugar?”

“Now you are getting juvenile,” was his reply. “Of course I could tell the difference. I know what salt tastes like. It is an everyday experience-I know it as well as I know anything.”

“Then,” I said, “assuming that I have never tasted salt, explain to me just what it tastes like.”

After some thought, he ventured, “Well-I-uh, it is not sweet and it is notsour.”

“You’ve told me what it isn’t, not what it is.”

After several attempts, of course, he could not do it. He could not convey, in words alone, so ordinary an experience as tasting salt. I bore testimony to him once again and said, “I know there is a God. You ridiculed that testimony and said that if I did know, I would be able to tell you exactly how I know. My friend, spiritually speaking, I have tasted salt. I am no more able to convey to you in words how this knowledge has come than you are to tell me what salt tastes like. But I say to you again, there is a God! He does live! And just because you don’t know, don’t try to tell me that I don’t know, for I do!”

As we parted, I heard him mutter, “I don’t need your religion for a crutch! I don’t need it.”

From that experience forward, I have never been embarrassed or ashamed that I could not explain in words alone everything I know spiritually. The Apostle Paul said it this way:

“We speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor. 2:13-14.)

Not in Words Alone

We cannot express spiritual knowledge in words alone. We can, however, with words show another how to prepare for the reception of the Spirit. The Spirit itself will help.”For when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men.” (2 Ne. 33:1.)

Then when we have a spiritual communication, we can say within ourselves, this is it! This is what is meant by those words in the revelation. Thereafter, if they are carefully chosen, words are adequate for teaching about spiritual things.

We do not have the words (even the scriptures do not have words) which perfectly describe the spirit. The scriptures generally use the word voice, which does not exactly fit. These delicate, refined spiritual communications are not seen with our eyes, nor heard with our ears. And even though it is described as a voice, it is a voice that one feels, more than one hears.

Once I came to understand this, one verse in the Book of Mormon took on a profound meaning, and my testimony of the book increased immeasurably. It had to do with Laman and Lemuel, who rebelled against Nephi. Nephi rebuked them and said, “Ye have seen an angel, and he spake unto you; yea, ye have heard his voice from time to time; and he hath spoken unto you in a still small voice, but ye were past feeling, that ye could not feel his words.” (1 Ne. 17:45; italics added.)

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One Response to “Some boring research on God.”

  1. Pandeism Fish Says:

    This is a great definition of PanDeism extrapolated from Warren B. Sharpe’s “Philosophy for the Serious Heretic: The Limitations of Belief and the Derivation of Natural Moral Principles” (2002):

    God didn’t create the universe, but God became the universe. Then he forgot that he became the universe. Why would God do this? Basically, for entertainment. You create a universe, and that in itself is very exciting. But then what? Should you sit back and watch this universe of yours having all the fun? No, you should have all the fun yourself. To accomplish this, God transformed into the whole universe. God is the Universe, and everything in it. But the universe doesn’t know that because that would ruin the suspense. The universe is God’s great drama, and God is the stage, the actors, and the audience all at once. The title of this epic drama is “The Great Unknown Outcome.” Throw in potent elements like passion, love, hate, good, evil, free will; and who knows what will happen? No one knows, and that is what keeps the universe interesting. But everyone will have a good time. And there is never really any danger, because everyone is really God, and God is really just playing around.


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