Worthy conceptions of God

#1
Perhaps it's best to make another thread but I also wonder what this God of unconditional love is up to that it can't be bothered to set right things in this world.
I didn't want to start another thread about God's intent because I have stated my own ideas umpteen times elsewhere on the forum Sci. But I sense a sort of contempt in your post which is quite unusual for you, and I feel rather sad too. Can a human actually feel sad for and try to defend God? Or do I feel sad for the situation? Or is it all just a way to survive in my head? I honestly don't really know.

This is simply my idea about things, I don't mind if you like it or not, I do find it strange when people get angry about my idea, as some have done.

It sits well with me that whatever is running this thing, set it up for us (it?)to live in without any interference from 'it'. If we are to become love through this long journey, (many lives?)it feels intuitively right that 'God' or whatever your preferred name might be, leaves us to find out for ourselves what the most efficient path is. We might know the theory, but we must walk the walk to set it in stone.

Maybe we will self destruct many times, and while doing so some percentage of us see the end coming and try to avert it. If this 'reality' is all mental as idealists theorise, anything is possible! Atlantis may have been an example of this? Maybe the earth has formed (evolved) the same way as we have but doesn't disappear like we do when we drown, blow ourselves up, poison ourselves, or whatever is our fate this time.

Each time, however, we learn something more, some of us grow a little bit. How this actually works I don't (and possibly can't) know (in this form?) and don't really care, but I see it as a real possibility if we're 'consciousness'.

I really get 'the power of Love' deep down. It has much more 'power' than all the other ideas I hear about what the ultimate reason for living may be, the many podcasts that Alex has about things.

It is somehow not possible to force this knowledge upon us, we have to learn it for ourselves.

Of course, it is possible, but then the wisdom gained is not of the same 'quality' as that learned 'the hard way'. And it is hard. Really hard. As we so often hear about 'coming to earth'. I don't think 'quality' is the right word, or doesn't get across the depth of what I really mean, but it's the best we have at present.
 
#2
I didn't want to start another thread about God's intent because I have stated my own ideas umpteen times elsewhere on the forum Sci. But I sense a sort of contempt in your post which is quite unusual for you, and I feel rather sad too. Can a human actually feel sad for and try to defend God? Or do I feel sad for the situation? Or is it all just a way to survive in my head? I honestly don't really know.
This comes up over and over again. Someone comes up with a useless idea of God, and then promptly knocks it down. It just strikes me as not addressing anything of consequence, it's more like a children's game with toy bricks.

Perhaps the aim should be to come up with a concept of God (if we feel that need at all) which is worthy. Or perhaps we might not feel the need for that concept at all, which would be ok too. Either way, there must be useful approaches as well as futile ones..
 
#4
This comes up over and over again. Someone comes up with a useless idea of God, and then promptly knocks it down
I don't understand this, who are you saying does this? If it's me, that's fine, I won't put a fatwah on you or anything! ;) Just trying to understand what you're getting at.
 
#6
I don't understand this, who are you saying does this? If it's me, that's fine, I won't put a fatwah on you or anything! ;) Just trying to understand what you're getting at.
Sorry, no I wasn't referring to your ideas (though I did quote from your post). There was something of it in the post from Sci, but really it is just something which seems to crop up at random intervals, and from random people.

I suspect that really it comes from trying to reject a stranglehold or monopoly that religions seem to have exerted on ideas in this field. But rather than make a clean break, I feel that there's a tendency for those outside of religion to take broken fragments of ideas from within religion and whine about them. That's what I mean by it not being a constructive approach.
 
#7
Briefly, I don't hold an idea of some separate entity. Perhaps my ideas are more like the scientific concept of the ether, something which permeates (or was said to) everything.

I should add also the important proviso that my ideas here are fluid. It wouldn't make sense to try to construct arguments for or against my ideas, as they are not particularly fixed.
 
#8
So which points do you like and which not. A critique of ideas would maybe help a lot. I might find a different way to say things or your view might help me to see things differently.
Sure thing, happy to share. Let me first say though that I feel exactly like you here in this!:

I have stated my own ideas umpteen times elsewhere on the forum
I kind of feel, "Folks are sick of that guy [me] going on about dualism, let's hear something new out of his mouth". But since you asked, I'll share:

On an emotional level, I react against Sci's condemnation of God, very much as you expressed. It seems uncharacteristically contemptuous of him, as you said. On a rational level, though, I find it hard to reject Sci's judgement: the problem of evil is a bitter one.

Here's the thing, though: I think that there are solutions to the problem of evil, and the one that makes most sense to me is to adopt the perspective of (ditheistic moral) dualism. God is the ultimate good, and our ultimate friend, but He is opposed by an ultimate evil, and thus does not have the power to eradicate evil in one fell swoop (apologies for the gendered view, it simply makes most sense to me).

You (Steve) say: "If we are to become love through this long journey, (many lives?)it feels intuitively right that 'God' or whatever your preferred name might be, leaves us to find out for ourselves what the most efficient path is". This, unfortunately, is, I think, failing to recognise, let alone solve, the problem of evil, because "leav[ing] us to find out for ourselves" effectively reduces to "leaving us at the mercy of not just human wickedness, but metaphysical wickedness too". And as I and others have said already on this forum, I don't think that that means justifies the proposed end (love), and I don't see why an omnipotent God couldn't devise a better, less cruel process of education.

As for which points I liked in Typoz's contribution, it was basically the idea that we are tempted to critique an inadequate conception of God. I'm trying to come up with a conception that makes sense; that eliminates the problem of evil. The tri-omni God of the monotheistic religions is all too easy to dismiss. But my conception has its own problems: dualism is less elegant than monotheism, and it is not clear whether the God who is the ultimate good is also the God who Created this reality, or whether our reality was instead created by wickedness, and it is the God of ultimate goodness who is reaching down into the pit to save us.
 
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#9
I should add also the important proviso that my ideas here are fluid.
I think this is important. The chances of us guessing right or using our limited intellect to work things out isn't very high imo. Brainy as many of us undoubtedly are! :) I think hardened ideas are like being stuck in quicksand.
 
#11
Aargh. So frustrating! I have committed to doing things this afternoon. So I'll have to answer any points later, or perhaps tomorrow.

I knew there was a reason I should sit around and do nothing. Painting the downstairs bathroom is so unappetising! :)
 
#14
One comment on something which was expressed above, the idea of our "becoming love". Here I would differ. I think we are already love. Our purpose would not be to become, but to be.
Aren't both of these claims shading into a category error? They have the quality of various religious ideas in that people assert them, and presumably believe them, but don't really know what they mean!

It doesn't seem unreasonable that the non-material world is a lot more loving than down here often is, but put that way there isn't any category error.

David
 
#15
I also wonder what this God of unconditional love is up to that it can't be bothered to set right things in this world.
Religions that teach that God is a father who will help and reward you if you are "good" and punish you if you are "bad" creates a lot of confusion. That is not what evidential mediums and NDErs say about God. I believe in God because of the evidence - from cosmology, intelligent design, statements by NDErs and statements by evidential mediums.

The physical world was created so spirits could learn from experiences that they cannot have in a non physical realm. We learn best by solving problems, maybe that is why life gives us so many problems.

If the earth civilization was perfect there would be nothing to learn and no point in incarnating.

I don't know why it has to be as hard as it is, but spirits have a pre-life review before incarnating so I think from the spirit's persepctive there is a good reason for it.
 
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#16
If the earth civilization was perfect there would be nothing to learn and no point in incarnating.
Isn't the end goal perfection? i.e. Isn't that the point of learning - to be (or approach) perfection? If so, why do we not go directly there (to perfection) and skip the learning (in imperfection, which is the source of so much suffering and evil)? Could an omnipotent God not have created us perfect from the start?
 
#17
Aren't both of these claims shading into a category error? They have the quality of various religious ideas in that people assert them, and presumably believe them, but don't really know what they mean!
What I expressed there was strongly influenced by NDE reports. Those who express such things may well understand them, but as soon as they attempt to use words already introduce obstacles. I think we need to try to reach beyond the words and try to understand what those people meant when making such statements.
 
#18
You (Steve) say: "If we are to become love through this long journey, (many lives?)it feels intuitively right that 'God' or whatever your preferred name might be, leaves us to find out for ourselves what the most efficient path is". This, unfortunately, is, I think, failing to recognise, let alone solve, the problem of evil, because "leav[ing] us to find out for ourselves" effectively reduces to "leaving us at the mercy of not just human wickedness, but metaphysical wickedness too". And as I and others have said already on this forum, I don't think that that means justifies the proposed end (love), and I don't see why an omnipotent God couldn't devise a better, less cruel process of education.
I am not committed to one position or another on this, so I like to think in terms of possibilities.

1) Clearly most people have much information concealed from them on earth.

2) Eben Alexander claims in his book that there are just tiny nuggets of evil put there by God - presumably to make life on earth challenging.

Given (1), we can't just assume that the whole picture is made available to anyone - even EA. So unless we go along with the Christian idea that this life is a test which you pass or fail, it is maybe more like being at school. You learn to do things by trying and failing, and within reason you aren't punished when you do fail. That leaves the vital question of what it is all for!

A lot of people who claim to have had glimpses of the other side, talk about the existence of many other worlds with life - so maybe when we are ready, we go to take part in the spread of life elsewhere. That still doesn't supply an ultimate goal, but it pushes the problem further away :)

If this life is a training, maybe 'solving the problem of evil' is a bit like 'solving the problem of forced marches in full kit'!

David
 
#19
What I expressed there was strongly influenced by NDE reports. Those who express such things may well understand them, but as soon as they attempt to use words already introduce obstacles. I think we need to try to reach beyond the words and try to understand what those people meant when making such statements.
Agreed, but we need to be careful not to just conceal our lack of understanding in a form of words that doesn't make sense!

David
 
#20
Eben Alexander claims in his book that there are just tiny nuggets of evil put there by God - presumably to make life on earth challenging.
Hmm. Was the Holocaust a "tiny nugget of evil"?

But OK, let's say they are deliberate: this doesn't answer the question I put to Jim, that if the end goal is perfection, then couldn't an omnipotent God create us perfect from the start? Why would God need us to go through this "boot camp" where we have to suffer?

You learn to do things by trying and failing, and within reason you aren't punished when you do fail.
And you might just become the victim of a sadistic, rapist serial killer - the putative tri-omni God doesn't seem to do anything to prevent it. Why would He allow this? See, the problem is, one person's failure is another person's suffering. One human's freedom to (rape/pillage/murder) is another human's loss of freedom (from rape/pillage/murder). Does this make sense?

That leaves the vital question of what it is all for!
Exactly! It doesn't make sense to me unless we posit that evil is existent in its own right and that God is not responsible for our suffering.
 
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