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Mental images of One God

kowalskil
Posts: 68
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10/5/2014 7:27:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
What is God? According to our ancestors, who recorded their beliefs in the Bible, God is an all-powerful and all-knowing entity, living somewhere outside of our world, who created the world and controls what happens in it. My definition of God is slightly different; I tend to think that God is not an entity outside nature, but nature itself, as postulated by a 17th century Jewish theologian, Baruch Spinoza, in Holland.

Our very distant ancestors were polytheists; they invented the idea of multiple gods. Our less distant ancestors replaced this idea with the mental image of a personal--omnipotent and omniscient--ruler. Most people on earth still believe in a personal God, but some try to develop a more recent mental image of the ruler, formulated by Spinoza. All three descriptions refer to the same everlasting entity, no matter how it is called. It is not a sin to think that laws of Nature are equivalent to God's laws, while praying. Do you agree?

An interesting article about Spinoza appeared in The New York Times, written by a professor of philosophy, Steven Nadler:
http://opinionator blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/25/judging-spinoza/

It generated many interesting online comments. A reader, RMC, wrote: "I know many Christians and Jews who practice their religious traditions although their own beliefs are secular. They make no secret of their sentiments. Spinoza was excommunicated during a time of religious orthodoxy and in that respect his experience is much like Galileo's. When the Catholic Church repudiated its treatment of Galileo, it was not merely saying that the earth revolves around the sun. It was saying that punishing the members of its congregation for thinking for themselves, including about church dogma, was parochial and destructive." With regard to independent thinking, several readers emphasized that traditional religious ceremonies, and respect for legends, do help to keep social groups together, even when people know that biblical legends do not represent historical truth.

Ludwik Kowalski (see Wikipedia)
Ludwik Kowalski, author of "Diary of a Former Communist: Thoughts, Feelings, Reality." <http://csam.montclair.edu...

http://csam.montclair.edu...

It is a testimony based on a diary kept between 1946 and 2004 (in the USSR, Poland, France and the USA).

The more people know about proletarian dictatorship the less likely will we experience is. Please share the link with those who might be interested, especially with youn
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
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10/5/2014 9:15:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/5/2014 7:27:25 PM, kowalskil wrote:
What is God? According to our ancestors, who recorded their beliefs in the Bible, God is an all-powerful and all-knowing entity, living somewhere outside of our world, who created the world and controls what happens in it. My definition of God is slightly different; I tend to think that God is not an entity outside nature, but nature itself, as postulated by a 17th century Jewish theologian, Baruch Spinoza, in Holland.

Our very distant ancestors were polytheists; they invented the idea of multiple gods. Our less distant ancestors replaced this idea with the mental image of a personal--omnipotent and omniscient--ruler. Most people on earth still believe in a personal God, but some try to develop a more recent mental image of the ruler, formulated by Spinoza. All three descriptions refer to the same everlasting entity, no matter how it is called. It is not a sin to think that laws of Nature are equivalent to God's laws, while praying. Do you agree?

An interesting article about Spinoza appeared in The New York Times, written by a professor of philosophy, Steven Nadler:
http://opinionator blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/25/judging-spinoza/

It generated many interesting online comments. A reader, RMC, wrote: "I know many Christians and Jews who practice their religious traditions although their own beliefs are secular. They make no secret of their sentiments. Spinoza was excommunicated during a time of religious orthodoxy and in that respect his experience is much like Galileo's. When the Catholic Church repudiated its treatment of Galileo, it was not merely saying that the earth revolves around the sun. It was saying that punishing the members of its congregation for thinking for themselves, including about church dogma, was parochial and destructive." With regard to independent thinking, several readers emphasized that traditional religious ceremonies, and respect for legends, do help to keep social groups together, even when people know that biblical legends do not represent historical truth.

Ludwik Kowalski (see Wikipedia)

Acts 17:
24: The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by man,
25: nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all men life and breath and everything.
26: And he made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation,
27: that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after him and find him. Yet he is not far from each one of us,
28: for ..In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your poets have said, ..For we are indeed his offspring.'

Jeremiah 10
10: But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation.
11: Thus shall you say to them: "The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens."
12: It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.
13: When he utters his voice there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth. He makes lightnings for the rain, and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
14: Every man is stupid and without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols; for his images are false, and there is no breath in them.
15: They are worthless, a work of delusion; at the time of their punishment they shall perish.
16: Not like these is he who is the portion of Jacob, for he is the one who formed all things, and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance; the LORD of hosts is his name.