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God as the smallest common denominator . . .

Idealist
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5/12/2014 12:59:56 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Instead of arguing about how the large number of gods postulated by various religions is proof that God is a mythological phenomenon, why not think of God as simply a pure universal consciousness? It's sort of like religious pluralism, but in a cleaner and simpler form. Why does the thought of a universal mind which serves as the source for all images of God sound so crazy or threatening? After all, the question of transcendence is a strong reason for believing in a transcendent consciousness.
bulproof
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5/12/2014 1:36:46 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 12:59:56 AM, Idealist wrote:
Instead of arguing about how the large number of gods postulated by various religions is proof that God is a mythological phenomenon, why not think of God as simply a pure universal consciousness? It's sort of like religious pluralism, but in a cleaner and simpler form. Why does the thought of a universal mind which serves as the source for all images of God sound so crazy or threatening? After all, the question of transcendence is a strong reason for believing in a transcendent consciousness.
Why do you require such an entity to exist?
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Keltron
Posts: 161
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5/12/2014 2:07:37 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 1:36:46 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 5/12/2014 12:59:56 AM, Idealist wrote:
Instead of arguing about how the large number of gods postulated by various religions is proof that God is a mythological phenomenon, why not think of God as simply a pure universal consciousness? It's sort of like religious pluralism, but in a cleaner and simpler form. Why does the thought of a universal mind which serves as the source for all images of God sound so crazy or threatening? After all, the question of transcendence is a strong reason for believing in a transcendent consciousness.
Why do you require such an entity to exist?

That's my question as well. Why must we have this albeit sublime, yet anthropomorphic conceptualization to prop up an anachronistic functionalism that no longer makes any sense?
debateuser
Posts: 1,094
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5/12/2014 2:07:47 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 12:59:56 AM, Idealist wrote:
Instead of arguing about how the large number of gods postulated by various religions is proof that God is a mythological phenomenon, why not think of God as simply a pure universal consciousness? It's sort of like religious pluralism, but in a cleaner and simpler form. Why does the thought of a universal mind which serves as the source for all images of God sound so crazy or threatening? After all, the question of transcendence is a strong reason for believing in a transcendent consciousness.

To think of the reasons of existence as a consciousness does not make sense. There are certainly reasons of existence but terming that reason a conciuosness or a deity is just not logical. Its akin to saying that sun is a conciuosness. There is no such claim from any such conciuosness. All we see are human claims of the supernatural. Science does not believe in supernatural or single conciuosness. Science just says that the reasons of existence are natural. If you need a reason of your existence, then why consider that reason to be supernatural?
Scientific Errors In Religion : Atheists are right that religion is a myth

Read this topic on below link:

http://www.debate.org...
Keltron
Posts: 161
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5/12/2014 2:15:09 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
God is a lot like an ugly old painting that we found in Grandma's attic. It doesn't go with any of the decor, but because it was Grandma's we can't bring ourselves to just chuck it, so it's going to have to go somewhere. Maybe in the basement next to the dogs playing poker.
Ice104
Posts: 8
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5/12/2014 2:36:53 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 12:59:56 AM, Idealist wrote:
Why does the thought of a universal mind which serves as the source for all images of God sound so crazy or threatening? After all, the question of transcendence is a strong reason for believing in a transcendent consciousness.

For the precise reason that consciousness is only known to emerge from brains. Any of the attributes of consciousness that you could list, as far as I am aware, are dependent on the existence of a brain. Therefore, this idea that God is immaterial and is just a 'disembodied mind' is at the very least a little bizarre. Provide an example of an instance where a mind has been verified to exist in the absence of a brain.

To summarise, essentially, the thought of some universal mind that is independent of a brain is crazy because to believe that such a thing existed would be anti-scientific.
Mhykiel
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5/12/2014 3:07:20 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 2:36:53 AM, Ice104 wrote:
At 5/12/2014 12:59:56 AM, Idealist wrote:
Why does the thought of a universal mind which serves as the source for all images of God sound so crazy or threatening? After all, the question of transcendence is a strong reason for believing in a transcendent consciousness.

For the precise reason that consciousness is only known to emerge from brains. Any of the attributes of consciousness that you could list, as far as I am aware, are dependent on the existence of a brain. Therefore, this idea that God is immaterial and is just a 'disembodied mind' is at the very least a little bizarre. Provide an example of an instance where a mind has been verified to exist in the absence of a brain.

To summarise, essentially, the thought of some universal mind that is independent of a brain is crazy because to believe that such a thing existed would be anti-scientific.

If you were microscopic in size and we lived on the tip of neuron in a brain. Could you look outward and discern you were in a brain? No the night sky would be a blazed with semi random events and you would have no indication of living in a brain.

Asking for evidence that can not be verified is like me asking you to prove whats inside a black hole.
Idealist
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5/12/2014 12:44:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 1:36:46 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 5/12/2014 12:59:56 AM, Idealist wrote:
Instead of arguing about how the large number of gods postulated by various religions is proof that God is a mythological phenomenon, why not think of God as simply a pure universal consciousness? It's sort of like religious pluralism, but in a cleaner and simpler form. Why does the thought of a universal mind which serves as the source for all images of God sound so crazy or threatening? After all, the question of transcendence is a strong reason for believing in a transcendent consciousness.
Why do you require such an entity to exist?

I don't "require it." I see it all around me, and it's hard to deny the obvious.
debateuser
Posts: 1,094
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5/12/2014 12:57:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 12:44:06 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/12/2014 1:36:46 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 5/12/2014 12:59:56 AM, Idealist wrote:
Instead of arguing about how the large number of gods postulated by various religions is proof that God is a mythological phenomenon, why not think of God as simply a pure universal consciousness? It's sort of like religious pluralism, but in a cleaner and simpler form. Why does the thought of a universal mind which serves as the source for all images of God sound so crazy or threatening? After all, the question of transcendence is a strong reason for believing in a transcendent consciousness.
Why do you require such an entity to exist?

I don't "require it." I see it all around me, and it's hard to deny the obvious.

To think of the reasons of existence as a consciousness does not make sense. There are certainly reasons of existence but terming that reason a conciuosness or a deity is just not logical. Its akin to saying that sun is a conciuosness. There is no such claim from any such conciuosness. All we see are human claims of the supernatural. Science does not believe in supernatural or single conciuosness. Science just says that the reasons of existence are natural. If you need a reason of your existence, then why consider that reason to be supernatural?
Scientific Errors In Religion : Atheists are right that religion is a myth

Read this topic on below link:

http://www.debate.org...
Juan_Pablo
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5/12/2014 1:02:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 12:59:56 AM, Idealist wrote:
Instead of arguing about how the large number of gods postulated by various religions is proof that God is a mythological phenomenon, why not think of God as simply a pure universal consciousness? It's sort of like religious pluralism, but in a cleaner and simpler form. Why does the thought of a universal mind which serves as the source for all images of God sound so crazy or threatening? After all, the question of transcendence is a strong reason for believing in a transcendent consciousness.

I agree with Idealist. God as a universal mind/consciousness makes a lot of sense to me.

I think people resist the idea of God or outright refute it because they see something incompatible about a God that is perfectly just and perfectly good running our universe--which tends to be the kind of God promoted by religions today.

I think God as the universal mind trying to hard to construct a world with the the constrained power he has makes more sense to me. If God is the universe, then it appears he has limitations to what he can do, and for me this answers important questions like "why do people suffer" and "why isn't our world perfect".
Idealist
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5/12/2014 1:26:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 2:07:47 AM, debateuser wrote:
At 5/12/2014 12:59:56 AM, Idealist wrote:
Instead of arguing about how the large number of gods postulated by various religions is proof that God is a mythological phenomenon, why not think of God as simply a pure universal consciousness? It's sort of like religious pluralism, but in a cleaner and simpler form. Why does the thought of a universal mind which serves as the source for all images of God sound so crazy or threatening? After all, the question of transcendence is a strong reason for believing in a transcendent consciousness.

To think of the reasons of existence as a consciousness does not make sense. There are certainly reasons of existence but terming that reason a conciuosness or a deity is just not logical. Its akin to saying that sun is a conciuosness. There is no such claim from any such conciuosness. All we see are human claims of the supernatural. Science does not believe in supernatural or single conciuosness. Science just says that the reasons of existence are natural. If you need a reason of your existence, then why consider that reason to be supernatural?

I'm not sure that I believe in "a single consciousness." All I feel sure of is that a higher order of intelligence exists, and I accept that I'll never likely fully understand it as it is beyond any human ability to truly comprehend. I personally don't think there is anything "supernatural" about it, but as so often happens in these discussions I find myself forced to use phrases common to other people in an attempt to communicate with them. I think the existence of a higher order is the most natural thing there can be. I'm very aware of what science claims, and what religion claims, but I believe they each have only part of the picture.
Idealist
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5/12/2014 1:46:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 2:36:53 AM, Ice104 wrote:
At 5/12/2014 12:59:56 AM, Idealist wrote:
Why does the thought of a universal mind which serves as the source for all images of God sound so crazy or threatening? After all, the question of transcendence is a strong reason for believing in a transcendent consciousness.

For the precise reason that consciousness is only known to emerge from brains. Any of the attributes of consciousness that you could list, as far as I am aware, are dependent on the existence of a brain. Therefore, this idea that God is immaterial and is just a 'disembodied mind' is at the very least a little bizarre. Provide an example of an instance where a mind has been verified to exist in the absence of a brain.

To summarise, essentially, the thought of some universal mind that is independent of a brain is crazy because to believe that such a thing existed would be anti-scientific.

It is readily accepted by the scientific community that conscious can arise from a computer, which is not a brain. Most computational experts see consciousness as an emergent phenomenon dependent only on the amount of computational ability that is present in a system. In other words, if the machine has enough computing power then a consciousness will simply emerge. Considering how little we understand of QM at this point it is highly premature to think that consciousness is limited to brains. A quantum computer could use a planet as its version of a "hard drive." Or a Sun. Or any object made of quantum particles, which includes everything. Now you take Einstein's equation e=mc(2) and we see that energy is equal to matter, so there is really no reason why consciousness couldn't be energy-based. Energy is disembodied. By asking for proof you are using the same tired atheist demand: "Give me proof of your God." There are a lot of things I can't give you proof of, but they are real nevertheless. I feel bad for those who believe they are able to understand the universe despite knowing that at least 95% of what we see as real cannot be sufficiently explained, and that doesn't include all we have yet to discover. I love the study of science, but I'm also aware that it is a tool to be used, not a religion of its own, which is how it is so often treated.

The thought of some universal mind is a learning-tool, much like any other mind-training method which relies on mental projection. It's been common practice for thousands of years for people to go-over upcoming events first in their own mind in order to prepare for the real thing. They are not wasting their times by creating this "imaginary event" which has not even happened yet. It works because we are subjective beings, which is something that science needs to address more fully. Even existentialists feel that there is a purpose to our existence, even though they feel they will probably never know what it is.
Idealist
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5/12/2014 2:17:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 1:02:25 PM, Juan_Pablo wrote:
At 5/12/2014 12:59:56 AM, Idealist wrote:
Instead of arguing about how the large number of gods postulated by various religions is proof that God is a mythological phenomenon, why not think of God as simply a pure universal consciousness? It's sort of like religious pluralism, but in a cleaner and simpler form. Why does the thought of a universal mind which serves as the source for all images of God sound so crazy or threatening? After all, the question of transcendence is a strong reason for believing in a transcendent consciousness.

I agree with Idealist. God as a universal mind/consciousness makes a lot of sense to me.

I think people resist the idea of God or outright refute it because they see something incompatible about a God that is perfectly just and perfectly good running our universe--which tends to be the kind of God promoted by religions today.

Exactly. And all it really leads to is a paradigm in which a great many "believers" are afraid of science because they see it as a threat, and a lot of "science people" are very defensive when it comes to religion because they feel frustrated that they aren't able to "reason" God away in the majority of minds. The meaning of life and how you should live it will always be open questions.

I think God as the universal mind trying to hard to construct a world with the the constrained power he has makes more sense to me. If God is the universe, then it appears he has limitations to what he can do, and for me this answers important questions like "why do people suffer" and "why isn't our world perfect".
Idealist
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5/12/2014 3:13:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 2:15:09 AM, Keltron wrote:
God is a lot like an ugly old painting that we found in Grandma's attic. It doesn't go with any of the decor, but because it was Grandma's we can't bring ourselves to just chuck it, so it's going to have to go somewhere. Maybe in the basement next to the dogs playing poker.

I know a lot of people tend to perceive the reality of existence this way these days, but I still find it deeply saddening.
Idealist
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5/12/2014 3:17:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 3:07:20 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 5/12/2014 2:36:53 AM, Ice104 wrote:
At 5/12/2014 12:59:56 AM, Idealist wrote:
Why does the thought of a universal mind which serves as the source for all images of God sound so crazy or threatening? After all, the question of transcendence is a strong reason for believing in a transcendent consciousness.

For the precise reason that consciousness is only known to emerge from brains. Any of the attributes of consciousness that you could list, as far as I am aware, are dependent on the existence of a brain. Therefore, this idea that God is immaterial and is just a 'disembodied mind' is at the very least a little bizarre. Provide an example of an instance where a mind has been verified to exist in the absence of a brain.

To summarise, essentially, the thought of some universal mind that is independent of a brain is crazy because to believe that such a thing existed would be anti-scientific.

If you were microscopic in size and we lived on the tip of neuron in a brain. Could you look outward and discern you were in a brain? No the night sky would be a blazed with semi random events and you would have no indication of living in a brain.

I like this visualization. Last year a number of well-respected scientists actually took part in a symposium which addressed the idea of whether or not our own world might just be a small part of a larger reality. Of course they didn't mention anything about the larger reality being God. lol

Asking for evidence that can not be verified is like me asking you to prove whats inside a black hole.
bulproof
Posts: 25,203
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5/12/2014 7:31:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 12:44:06 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/12/2014 1:36:46 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 5/12/2014 12:59:56 AM, Idealist wrote:
Instead of arguing about how the large number of gods postulated by various religions is proof that God is a mythological phenomenon, why not think of God as simply a pure universal consciousness? It's sort of like religious pluralism, but in a cleaner and simpler form. Why does the thought of a universal mind which serves as the source for all images of God sound so crazy or threatening? After all, the question of transcendence is a strong reason for believing in a transcendent consciousness.
Why do you require such an entity to exist?

I don't "require it." I see it all around me, and it's hard to deny the obvious.
Sounds suspiciously like confirmation bias. That is precisely how gods came about. There must be something that created all of this and it must be greater than us. Voila god.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Keltron
Posts: 161
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5/12/2014 8:32:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 12:59:56 AM, Idealist wrote:
Instead of arguing about how the large number of gods postulated by various religions is proof that God is a mythological phenomenon, why not think of God as simply a pure universal consciousness? It's sort of like religious pluralism, but in a cleaner and simpler form. Why does the thought of a universal mind which serves as the source for all images of God sound so crazy or threatening? After all, the question of transcendence is a strong reason for believing in a transcendent consciousness.

The problem is that the idea of gods starts with primitive humans deifying natural phenomenon and processes, and the idea now that God is some sort of universal over-mind is just a modern extension of that sort of thinking. I don't have a problem with the conception of a sort of universal consciousness in a strictly metaphysical sense, but I don't see the utility in relating it to the idea of God.

Using the term "God" brings in all the associated anthropomorphic baggage. It's just not a useful term anymore. Perhaps we should try to put aside loaded terms and try to describe things in precise, unambiguous language. Without resorting to "God", what exactly do we mean when we speak of a pervasive universal consciousness?
Idealist
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5/12/2014 9:01:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 7:31:08 PM, bulproof wrote:
At 5/12/2014 12:44:06 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/12/2014 1:36:46 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 5/12/2014 12:59:56 AM, Idealist wrote:
Instead of arguing about how the large number of gods postulated by various religions is proof that God is a mythological phenomenon, why not think of God as simply a pure universal consciousness? It's sort of like religious pluralism, but in a cleaner and simpler form. Why does the thought of a universal mind which serves as the source for all images of God sound so crazy or threatening? After all, the question of transcendence is a strong reason for believing in a transcendent consciousness.
Why do you require such an entity to exist?

I don't "require it." I see it all around me, and it's hard to deny the obvious.
Sounds suspiciously like confirmation bias. That is precisely how gods came about. There must be something that created all of this and it must be greater than us. Voila god.

It's not like that at all. If you take a long walk through the forest without seeing a single animal, and yet observe many signs of their presence there, such as footprints, trails, etc., then it's reasonable for you to assume that the forest is inhabited by animals, no? Is it confirmation bias because you've always been taught that wild animals live in the woods? What I'm talking about is indirect evidence which is physical all the same, and I won't ignore it. After all, a good hunter can follow signs right to the animal who made them. Confirmation can work both ways, and I've seen it do just that. Too often atheists dismiss any mention of a higher intelligence simply because they feel personally sure that it doesn't deserve consideration. There are just as many atheist websites as there are religious ones, and both serve the same purpose of "showing" why their philosophy is the right one. I ignore all of them and take the time to learn on my own.
Idealist
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5/12/2014 9:09:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 8:32:30 PM, Keltron wrote:
At 5/12/2014 12:59:56 AM, Idealist wrote:
Instead of arguing about how the large number of gods postulated by various religions is proof that God is a mythological phenomenon, why not think of God as simply a pure universal consciousness? It's sort of like religious pluralism, but in a cleaner and simpler form. Why does the thought of a universal mind which serves as the source for all images of God sound so crazy or threatening? After all, the question of transcendence is a strong reason for believing in a transcendent consciousness.

The problem is that the idea of gods starts with primitive humans deifying natural phenomenon and processes, and the idea now that God is some sort of universal over-mind is just a modern extension of that sort of thinking. I don't have a problem with the conception of a sort of universal consciousness in a strictly metaphysical sense, but I don't see the utility in relating it to the idea of God.

This is only one postulation. Science also began with extremely simple examples of learning, but has evolved into something much greater. There is no reason to believe that the same isn't possible for the philosophy of creation.

Using the term "God" brings in all the associated anthropomorphic baggage. It's just not a useful term anymore. Perhaps we should try to put aside loaded terms and try to describe things in precise, unambiguous language. Without resorting to "God", what exactly do we mean when we speak of a pervasive universal consciousness?

Yes it does, which is why I am hesitant to use the word "God." It has too many connotations attached. When I refer to a universal consciousness that is my attempt to get away from using the word God as perceived by shepherds and instead think intelligently about whether or not intelligence was a factor in the engineering and creation of of our world. Even Richard Dawkins admitted that the one thing which he found most compelling about the creation argument was fine-tuning, and admitted that the universe had the appearance of design.
bulproof
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5/12/2014 9:50:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 9:01:16 PM, Idealist wrote:
I ignore all of them and take the time to learn on my own.
And the hubris of the implication inherent in this statement is astounding.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Keltron
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5/12/2014 10:22:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 9:09:52 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/12/2014 8:32:30 PM, Keltron wrote:
At 5/12/2014 12:59:56 AM, Idealist wrote:
Instead of arguing about how the large number of gods postulated by various religions is proof that God is a mythological phenomenon, why not think of God as simply a pure universal consciousness? It's sort of like religious pluralism, but in a cleaner and simpler form. Why does the thought of a universal mind which serves as the source for all images of God sound so crazy or threatening? After all, the question of transcendence is a strong reason for believing in a transcendent consciousness.

The problem is that the idea of gods starts with primitive humans deifying natural phenomenon and processes, and the idea now that God is some sort of universal over-mind is just a modern extension of that sort of thinking. I don't have a problem with the conception of a sort of universal consciousness in a strictly metaphysical sense, but I don't see the utility in relating it to the idea of God.

This is only one postulation. Science also began with extremely simple examples of learning, but has evolved into something much greater. There is no reason to believe that the same isn't possible for the philosophy of creation.

Using the term "God" brings in all the associated anthropomorphic baggage. It's just not a useful term anymore. Perhaps we should try to put aside loaded terms and try to describe things in precise, unambiguous language. Without resorting to "God", what exactly do we mean when we speak of a pervasive universal consciousness?

Yes it does, which is why I am hesitant to use the word "God." It has too many connotations attached. When I refer to a universal consciousness that is my attempt to get away from using the word God as perceived by shepherds and instead think intelligently about whether or not intelligence was a factor in the engineering and creation of of our world. Even Richard Dawkins admitted that the one thing which he found most compelling about the creation argument was fine-tuning, and admitted that the universe had the appearance of design.

Have you read any of Amit Goswami's stuff. He proposes that the universe is both self-aware, and made of consciousness.
Idealist
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5/12/2014 10:55:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 9:50:49 PM, bulproof wrote:
At 5/12/2014 9:01:16 PM, Idealist wrote:
I ignore all of them and take the time to learn on my own.
And the hubris of the implication inherent in this statement is astounding.

I'm sorry, but this just sounds like a poor attempt at denigrating another person to make yourself seem somehow morally superior. All I said is that I develop my own opinions which seem right to me instead of simply falling-in-step with the consensus view of what's "proper.". Since when is nonconformism a bad thing in a free society? You don't seem like an overly bad person, but at times the little snippets you use to blithely attack a sincere argument can seem a bit snarky.
Idealist
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5/12/2014 10:56:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 10:22:37 PM, Keltron wrote:
At 5/12/2014 9:09:52 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/12/2014 8:32:30 PM, Keltron wrote:
At 5/12/2014 12:59:56 AM, Idealist wrote:
Instead of arguing about how the large number of gods postulated by various religions is proof that God is a mythological phenomenon, why not think of God as simply a pure universal consciousness? It's sort of like religious pluralism, but in a cleaner and simpler form. Why does the thought of a universal mind which serves as the source for all images of God sound so crazy or threatening? After all, the question of transcendence is a strong reason for believing in a transcendent consciousness.

The problem is that the idea of gods starts with primitive humans deifying natural phenomenon and processes, and the idea now that God is some sort of universal over-mind is just a modern extension of that sort of thinking. I don't have a problem with the conception of a sort of universal consciousness in a strictly metaphysical sense, but I don't see the utility in relating it to the idea of God.

This is only one postulation. Science also began with extremely simple examples of learning, but has evolved into something much greater. There is no reason to believe that the same isn't possible for the philosophy of creation.

Using the term "God" brings in all the associated anthropomorphic baggage. It's just not a useful term anymore. Perhaps we should try to put aside loaded terms and try to describe things in precise, unambiguous language. Without resorting to "God", what exactly do we mean when we speak of a pervasive universal consciousness?

Yes it does, which is why I am hesitant to use the word "God." It has too many connotations attached. When I refer to a universal consciousness that is my attempt to get away from using the word God as perceived by shepherds and instead think intelligently about whether or not intelligence was a factor in the engineering and creation of of our world. Even Richard Dawkins admitted that the one thing which he found most compelling about the creation argument was fine-tuning, and admitted that the universe had the appearance of design.

Have you read any of Amit Goswami's stuff. He proposes that the universe is both self-aware, and made of consciousness.

I've read a bit of it here and there, and I've watched several of his videos. He seems to be an intelligent man with a broad and open mind. When time allows it I plan to read more of him.
PureX
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5/12/2014 10:58:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 12:59:56 AM, Idealist wrote:
Instead of arguing about how the large number of gods postulated by various religions is proof that God is a mythological phenomenon, why not think of God as simply a pure universal consciousness? It's sort of like religious pluralism, but in a cleaner and simpler form. Why does the thought of a universal mind which serves as the source for all images of God sound so crazy or threatening? After all, the question of transcendence is a strong reason for believing in a transcendent consciousness.

It works for me.
bulproof
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5/12/2014 11:08:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 10:55:03 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/12/2014 9:50:49 PM, bulproof wrote:
At 5/12/2014 9:01:16 PM, Idealist wrote:
I ignore all of them and take the time to learn on my own.
And the hubris of the implication inherent in this statement is astounding.

I'm sorry, but this just sounds like a poor attempt at denigrating another person to make yourself seem somehow morally superior. All I said is that I develop my own opinions which seem right to me instead of simply falling-in-step with the consensus view of what's "proper.". Since when is nonconformism a bad thing in a free society? You don't seem like an overly bad person, but at times the little snippets you use to blithely attack a sincere argument can seem a bit snarky.

Precisely because the implication is that the person you were addressing (me) doesn't or hasn't taken the time to come to his own understanding and instead is spoon fed his opinions. That is gross hubris.
From whence then the denigration?
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Idealist
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5/12/2014 11:20:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 11:08:58 PM, bulproof wrote:
At 5/12/2014 10:55:03 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/12/2014 9:50:49 PM, bulproof wrote:
At 5/12/2014 9:01:16 PM, Idealist wrote:
I ignore all of them and take the time to learn on my own.
And the hubris of the implication inherent in this statement is astounding.

I'm sorry, but this just sounds like a poor attempt at denigrating another person to make yourself seem somehow morally superior. All I said is that I develop my own opinions which seem right to me instead of simply falling-in-step with the consensus view of what's "proper.". Since when is nonconformism a bad thing in a free society? You don't seem like an overly bad person, but at times the little snippets you use to blithely attack a sincere argument can seem a bit snarky.

Precisely because the implication is that the person you were addressing (me) doesn't or hasn't taken the time to come to his own understanding and instead is spoon fed his opinions. That is gross hubris.
From whence then the denigration?

To my knowledge I have never implied such a thing. I am extremely careful to use phrases such as "some atheists seem to think" or "some of your remarks seem to indicate" and I do this specifically because I do not wish to label anyone. There are die-hard atheists who I respect far more than many "Christians," and I've never made a secret of that. My implication has always been that I try to walk a middle road, and that I believe the truth can usually be found somewhere in the middle instead of at either extreme. I've consistently made clear that I believe everyone's thoughts should be respected, and that constructive discussion trumps blind argument every time. If you read my posts you will find me defending atheism, gay-rights, and just about every other reasonable freedom that should exist in a free land. If you can point-out any instance of me insulting another person arbitrarily then I am always happy to apologize for such actions.
bulproof
Posts: 25,203
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5/12/2014 11:30:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 9:01:16 PM, Idealist wrote:
There are just as many atheist websites as there are religious ones, and both serve the same purpose of "showing" why their philosophy is the right one. I ignore all of them and take the time to learn on my own.

You were speaking to someone who completely ignores these websites and yet this statement is an accusation that because you do you are somehow superior. Without knowing who I am you have no right to make such generalisations. I call it hubris.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
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5/12/2014 11:36:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 11:30:26 PM, bulproof wrote:
At 5/12/2014 9:01:16 PM, Idealist wrote:
There are just as many atheist websites as there are religious ones, and both serve the same purpose of "showing" why their philosophy is the right one. I ignore all of them and take the time to learn on my own.

You were speaking to someone who completely ignores these websites and yet this statement is an accusation that because you do you are somehow superior. Without knowing who I am you have no right to make such generalisations. I call it hubris.

Please . . . tell me what I said that you believe sounded like an attempt at making myself sound superior? When I spoke of those websites I was inferring that it's not a good thing to accept claims you haven't bothered to verify, no matter what your beliefs. I certainly never insinuated that anyone here uses them, I was merely making a statement about my own habits. How does that make me sound superior?
Keltron
Posts: 161
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5/13/2014 12:21:21 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/12/2014 10:56:38 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/12/2014 10:22:37 PM, Keltron wrote:
At 5/12/2014 9:09:52 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/12/2014 8:32:30 PM, Keltron wrote:
At 5/12/2014 12:59:56 AM, Idealist wrote:
Instead of arguing about how the large number of gods postulated by various religions is proof that God is a mythological phenomenon, why not think of God as simply a pure universal consciousness? It's sort of like religious pluralism, but in a cleaner and simpler form. Why does the thought of a universal mind which serves as the source for all images of God sound so crazy or threatening? After all, the question of transcendence is a strong reason for believing in a transcendent consciousness.

The problem is that the idea of gods starts with primitive humans deifying natural phenomenon and processes, and the idea now that God is some sort of universal over-mind is just a modern extension of that sort of thinking. I don't have a problem with the conception of a sort of universal consciousness in a strictly metaphysical sense, but I don't see the utility in relating it to the idea of God.

This is only one postulation. Science also began with extremely simple examples of learning, but has evolved into something much greater. There is no reason to believe that the same isn't possible for the philosophy of creation.

Using the term "God" brings in all the associated anthropomorphic baggage. It's just not a useful term anymore. Perhaps we should try to put aside loaded terms and try to describe things in precise, unambiguous language. Without resorting to "God", what exactly do we mean when we speak of a pervasive universal consciousness?

Yes it does, which is why I am hesitant to use the word "God." It has too many connotations attached. When I refer to a universal consciousness that is my attempt to get away from using the word God as perceived by shepherds and instead think intelligently about whether or not intelligence was a factor in the engineering and creation of of our world. Even Richard Dawkins admitted that the one thing which he found most compelling about the creation argument was fine-tuning, and admitted that the universe had the appearance of design.

Have you read any of Amit Goswami's stuff. He proposes that the universe is both self-aware, and made of consciousness.

I've read a bit of it here and there, and I've watched several of his videos. He seems to be an intelligent man with a broad and open mind. When time allows it I plan to read more of him.

I read The Self-Aware Universe a number of years ago and found it interesting. I think that Dr. Goswami has his own sort of Eastern flavored God bias. I just wonder what his theory would sound like without that because it actually seems extraneous to what he is saying about a conscious universe. Everyone has their little pet thing I guess.
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5/13/2014 12:41:55 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/13/2014 12:21:21 AM, Keltron wrote:
At 5/12/2014 10:56:38 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/12/2014 10:22:37 PM, Keltron wrote:
At 5/12/2014 9:09:52 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/12/2014 8:32:30 PM, Keltron wrote:
At 5/12/2014 12:59:56 AM, Idealist wrote:
Instead of arguing about how the large number of gods postulated by various religions is proof that God is a mythological phenomenon, why not think of God as simply a pure universal consciousness? It's sort of like religious pluralism, but in a cleaner and simpler form. Why does the thought of a universal mind which serves as the source for all images of God sound so crazy or threatening? After all, the question of transcendence is a strong reason for believing in a transcendent consciousness.

The problem is that the idea of gods starts with primitive humans deifying natural phenomenon and processes, and the idea now that God is some sort of universal over-mind is just a modern extension of that sort of thinking. I don't have a problem with the conception of a sort of universal consciousness in a strictly metaphysical sense, but I don't see the utility in relating it to the idea of God.

This is only one postulation. Science also began with extremely simple examples of learning, but has evolved into something much greater. There is no reason to believe that the same isn't possible for the philosophy of creation.

Using the term "God" brings in all the associated anthropomorphic baggage. It's just not a useful term anymore. Perhaps we should try to put aside loaded terms and try to describe things in precise, unambiguous language. Without resorting to "God", what exactly do we mean when we speak of a pervasive universal consciousness?

Yes it does, which is why I am hesitant to use the word "God." It has too many connotations attached. When I refer to a universal consciousness that is my attempt to get away from using the word God as perceived by shepherds and instead think intelligently about whether or not intelligence was a factor in the engineering and creation of of our world. Even Richard Dawkins admitted that the one thing which he found most compelling about the creation argument was fine-tuning, and admitted that the universe had the appearance of design.

Have you read any of Amit Goswami's stuff. He proposes that the universe is both self-aware, and made of consciousness.

I've read a bit of it here and there, and I've watched several of his videos. He seems to be an intelligent man with a broad and open mind. When time allows it I plan to read more of him.

I read The Self-Aware Universe a number of years ago and found it interesting. I think that Dr. Goswami has his own sort of Eastern flavored God bias. I just wonder what his theory would sound like without that because it actually seems extraneous to what he is saying about a conscious universe. Everyone has their little pet thing I guess.

Most definitely! That's what I've been trying to say over and over again in various ways. There are seven billion people in this world and just as many takes on reality. I thought that Goswami's scientific angle toward quantum mechanics was quite fascinating, but as I said, I didn't go into enough depth to be sure exactly what he was getting at. It basically seemed to be the idea that conscious thought leads to collapsing the waves of probability, and so through enough practice we are able to learn to control future events by how we think about them. There's been a lot of writing done about this subject, and most of it is very subjective, but it definitely tickles the mind. Things like the fact that there's as much space in a bar of lead as there is in outer space. No one really knows what to make of it yet, I think, but it's opening a whole new world of extreme possibilities for those who are really into such things. I myself find it intriguing, but I'm not sure yet to what point.