Who Are Human Beings

WHO DO MEN SAY THAT I AM?

I have senses that make me aware of my reality.  I possess a will to survive, reproduce and to love.  I am able to gain knowledge through interactions with the world, and by listening to persons explain what they hold to be true about human life.  I am conscious of a self with deep feelings, emotions and thoughts beyond the sensual. 


Psychology provides us with a mechanical model of human behavior and personality. Psychiatry reduces us to propensities, predispositions and traits.  Modern medicine defines us as biochemical organisms in need of diagnosis for various disorders. 


Governments of the totalitarian, authoritarian, or socialist stripe view human beings as raw material at the service of the more important political state machines.  History has been revised from the once popular view that individuals are active agents in the world to a view in which impersonal forces cause people to react to the inevitable.  Economics precludes the consideration of human behaviors and spirituality from its science of statistical probabilities, which it collates to create theories designed to maximize efficiency. 


Science has de facto declared its objective facts to be good, true, and valuable; it has declared that subjective observations of persons are merely bias, prejudice, and unworthy of consideration, all while attempting to create an impenetrable wall between the observed and the observer.  Industrialization, technology and standardization have sought to rid the world of human idiosyncrasies and individualities with little regard to social customs, traditions and values.  


The internet has given human beings new hope of being restored to our rightful place at the center of creation.  It allows persons the power to fully express their individuality without gatekeepers or a centralized authority that might subjugate, manipulate or disenfranchise them. 

CHILDREN IN CHINA
CHILDREN IN CHINA
CHILDREN IN INDIA
CHILDREN IN INDIA
CHILDREN IN AMERICA
CHILDREN IN AMERICA
CHILDREN IN AFRICA
CHILDREN IN AFRICA
CHILDREN IN PERU
CHILDREN IN PERU
RENE DESCARTES
RENE DESCARTES
THOMAS HOBBES
THOMAS HOBBES
BLAISE PASCAL
BLAISE PASCAL
DAVID HUME
DAVID HUME
IMMANUEL KANT
IMMANUEL KANT
SOREN KIRKEGAARD
SOREN KIRKEGAARD
FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY
FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY

PHILOSOPHY

Rene Descartes (1596-1650) is known as the "Father of Modern Philosophy." He wrote that humans are distinguished by the ability to think. We are, therefore, nonmaterial minds housed in physical bodies. Descartes pronounced: "I think, therefore I am. I am a substance the whole nature or essence of which is to think, and which for its existence does not need any place nor depend on any material thing."



Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) believed human beings were by nature selfish hedonists. His most famous quote is that human life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." Hobbes is considered the founder of materialism, which we will look at shortly.



Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) wrote that the knowledge we possess that we will someday perish from this Earth renders us inconsolable in the deep recesses of our hearts, and that it leads us to seek constant diversion as an avoidance system. We dread the thought of not existing. Human beings are but grains of sand relative to infinity. Pascal studied faith and reason, soul and matter, death and life, infinity and nothing. His conclusion is known as Pascal's Wager: We cannot empirically prove nor disprove that God exists. We must bet on one side or the other. If we bet God does exist, we have nothing to lose.



David Hume (1711-1776) declared that human beings are nothing more than their perceptions. He rejected revelation and any connection between man and any supernatural world. Hume believed if you can't prove it empirically, there is no sense talking about it. He stated: "Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them. Morals excite passions, and produce or prevent actions. Reason itself is utterly impotent in this particular. The rules of morality, therefore, are not conclusions of our reason."



Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) believed that the physical world is an illusion; an illusion which is perceived by humans as a collective delusion that no one will ever have the power to escape due to preconceptions which are taught to us by our parents, teachers and society.



Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) believed that God created humans as spiritual beings, a synthesis of the finite and the infinite, the temporal and the eternal. This paradox creates what becomes an internal conflict between virtue and vice. Kierkegaard wrote that Jesus Christ lived what has inarguably been the only sinless life, and that he therefore represented God on Earth—a revelation of God to man. He said, "What the age needs is not a genius—it has had geniuses enough, but a martyr, who in order to teach men to obey would himself be obedient unto death. I never forget how God helps me, and it is therefore my last wish that everything may be to his honor."



Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) was one of the greatest psychologists to ever write novels. I will only quote him once; one simple sentence that speaks for itself, "If God does not exist, then all things are permissible."



Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) is one of the most influential figures in existentialism (the rejection of God, metaphysics, and the supernatural) and postmodernism (the deconstruction of values, traditions, and social customs). Nietzsche lambasted the concept that objective truth exists; he argued that morality only exists in the minds of individuals and therefore has no truth; he claimed that human hopes for an afterlife were fantasy.



And then there is the timeless William Shakespeare who spoke through Hamlet:

What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason,

how infinite in faculties, in form and moving,

how expressive and admirable in action, how like an angel in apprehension,

how like a god! The beauty of the

world, the paragon of animals; and yet to me, what is

this Quintessence of Dust?

FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE
FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
CHARLES DARWIN
CHARLES DARWIN
KARL MARX
KARL MARX
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR

MATERIALISM

Materialism is the belief that nothing exists except matter, and is therefore akin to Atheism. This means that intellect and emotions are mere chemical processes. Materialism reduces human beings to an assembly of nerve cells that are nothing more than random products of blind chance. Generally, this leads to an assumption that humans are not responsible for their actions, that their childhood, the oppressive society in which they find themselves, or that even the more recently believed chemical imbalances in their brains are to blame for aberrant behavior—if there is such a thing.  Humans are merely apes with thumbs; they have no inherent dignity or worth above that of any other animal. Princeton Professor Peter Singer says, "The notion that human life is sacred just because it is human life is medieval." 



Marxism, which spawned Communism and Socialism, is the political offshoot of Materialism.  Marxism views the human being as the product and subject of labor activity. Karl Marx famously said, “Religion is the opium of the masses.” 



Scientists have determined that the value of the material in an average human being is worth $1.98.  Back in his day, when the same chemicals were worth about half that amount, Martin Luther King famously asked, “But can we explain the whole of man in terms of ninety eight cents? Can we explain the mystery of the human soul in terms of ninety eight cents?” 



George C. Williams, evolutionary biologist, states:  “To some people, we just happened - a chance evolutionary development.   Natural selection or the survival of the fittest is a concept that runs contrary to the divine law of love. This philosophy undergirds Hitler's justification for his "master race" policies. Evolution is a system in which the message is always:  exploit your environment including your friends and relatives so as to maximize our genes success." 



Owen Gingerich, professor of the History of Science and Astronomy at Harvard University, observes: “One consequence of self-consciousness is that we ponder our place in the universe, and we seek to find meaning and to find God. The search for God is subtle, but perhaps it is this long journey, this search, more than anything else, that makes us human. We are the thinking part of this vast and sometimes very intimidating universe, and our quest could well be the purpose of it all."

GOOD THING THEY HAD THOSE THUMBS!
GOOD THING THEY HAD THOSE THUMBS!
PRIMORDIAL SOUP
PRIMORDIAL SOUP
SECULAR HUMANISM
SECULAR HUMANISM

WHO ARE HUMAN BEINGS IN SECULAR HUMANISM?

Humanists believe that the Universe came into existence all by itself, and that human beings have evolved accidentally from what was primordial slime. They believe that the existence of any supernatural God is imaginary and contrary to science, and that all laws, values, and morality are man-made.

Humanism posits that Socialism is the ideal form of economics. It believes that humans have outgrown religion, and that any idea of God impedes human development, that God is detrimental to human growth. Religions that place revelation, God, ritual, or creed above human needs and experience do a disservice to the human species. There is no divine purpose or providence for the human species. Promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful. Human beings are a biological organism transacting in a social and cultural context. Thus, humans should simply enjoy the pleasures of the world, and be blown on the winds of technologies and pharmaceuticals. Heaven is a dream. This world is a fact.

BUDDHA
BUDDHA

WHO ARE HUMAN BEINGS IN BUDDHISM?

Buddhists do not believe in God. The Buddha says that human beings are fictions; there really is no self, only a series of occurrences that appear to be persons. Buddhism accepts what science says about the evolution of man from apes—and posits that humankind is still evolving. A human being may be a reincarnated animal or may be reincarnated as an animal in the future.

Essentially, human beings are seen to suffer because they crave, and if they can eliminate craving they can reach Nirvana, which means they cease to be altogether. So the goal of every human person should be to be extinguished, since life is suffering.

SHIVA
SHIVA
GANESH FESTIVAL
GANESH FESTIVAL

WHO ARE HUMAN BEINGS IN HINDUISM?

Hindus believe that human beings are divine and possess an eternal soul—a soul that experiences spiritual evolution over many lifetimes or reincarnations, some of which may be lived as animals.  Therefore, it follows that Hindus avoid injury to any living thing, that they respect all life unconditionally and completely. Our conscious personalities—our individual selves—are less than fully real and will not exist when we get off the wheel of life and join the ultimate deity. There is a spiritual realm, which is real and permanent that takes primacy over this illusory, temporary world. 


There are 330 million gods and goddesses in Hinduism, and each of them are a part of a single deity named Brahman—who exists in trinity as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Human beings are created, and their lives sustained by a God. Every thought or action a person thinks or does results in karma (consequences for the action).  Humans suffer because of their own negative actions—either in this life, the last life, or the next one. Persons are divided into four groups, or castes.  Only the top three castes are eligible for salvation.  Yoga and meditation are central to salvation for human beings in Hinduism. 

MECCA
MECCA
MEDINA
MEDINA

WHO ARE HUMAN BEINGS IN ISLAM?

Islam teaches that human beings are created by God, the Jewish God to be exact, and are born into an orderly cosmos. Humans are created to both obey and worship Allah (God), and to fulfill Allah's creative work in the Universe. People represent Allah on Earth. Humanity began when God breathed His Spirit into dry mud; this act of God resulted in the creation of man. Since God is the most exalted and sacred being that exists, and mud is the lowest thing of all, human beings are a combination of the two. There is an evil spirit being roaming the Earth named Satan, who is at war with the lower-half of persons. Humans are the only living beings on Earth with free will, and the only beings that can act contrary to their nature. For example, only man will voluntarily fast or commit suicide. Not all humans are viewed as equals, but they are all a part of the brotherhood of man. Persons will be resurrected after death to face judgment. 

THE TOOLS OF JUDAICA
THE TOOLS OF JUDAICA
JEWS WORSHIP AT THE WAILING WALL IN JERUSALEM
JEWS WORSHIP AT THE WAILING WALL IN JERUSALEM

WHO ARE HUMAN BEINGS IN JUDAISM?

Hebrew Scripture states that human beings were formed from dust into the image of God, who breathed life into their nostrils. Human beings were made to rule over the Earth and everything that lives on it. They were made to multiply, fill the Earth with people, and to subdue it. Man was made to work and take care of God's creation; he was made rational and creative. Woman was made from the man and is therefore flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone. She was created to be man's helper and to keep him company. Humans were created as social beings.  Human beings are of few days, days that are full of trouble. People are to meditate upon, and delight in, the laws of God, which are instituted not for His benefit but for the benefit of humankind. The ways that may seem right to a man are not God's ways. Satan is a real personage; he is the adversary and tempter of humans. God loves and cares about human beings, each of whom he personally forms within the womb.  God’s creations are perfect, each and every one.

CHRISTIANS AROUND THE WORLD
CHRISTIANS AROUND THE WORLD
CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS CHRIST
CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS CHRIST

WHO ARE HUMAN BEINGS IN CHRISTIANITY?

Christianity presents the origins of the human race in exactly the same way as Judaism does. Christians are to seek God first, and to serve God above all else. Christian men are to marry Christian women, and when the two are joined together they become one flesh. Sin entered the world through the first man, Adam, and death came through his sin. All human beings sin, and are therefore all deserving of death. Salvation unto eternal life, after death, is a gift given by grace through the sacrifice on the cross of the divine man, Jesus Christ, who was the first person resurrected from the dead. Human beings will face judgment after death and most—those who have rejected Christ as their Savior—will perish in the eternal fire of God.

Christians will be transformed, during this life, into the likeness of Jesus. Satan and his demons are alive on Earth, though they are invisible. Christ offers the power to humans—who believe in and serve His Father—to defeat the wiles of this devil and to resist the temptation to sin. The believer should live a life of repentance, which is contrition over sin and determination to avoid future sin. Repentance results in God's forgiveness and restores right relationship between human beings and God. Prayer—fellowship with God—is stressed as of high import to a Christian person. Faith in God—that He is who He says He is—is a central tenet of Christianity. Life on Earth for human beings is like a vapor: it appears and then it is gone. We are instructed to study God's Word and to worship Him. The Holy Spirit of God will dwell in Believers, and they will represent God on the Earth.


WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?

Man is tiny compared to the Universe, and yet he towers over it. Only humans can see the Universe and comprehend its wonders. Only human beings can do mathematics, create art, invent, build, codify, and write books.


This Hub is a followup to my previous effort entitled What Is A Human Being?

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Comments 126 comments

cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 6 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

This was absolutely fascinating and quite thought provoking. I like how you looked at what human beings are from the perspective of different religions.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

cindyvine— Thank you very much for being my first visitor! I am well pleased by your comments. It is gratifying that such a distinguished guest, and writer, as yourself enjoyed my work here.


RevLady profile image

RevLady 6 years ago from Lantana, Florida

Hi James, I am so happy to be reading another one of your intriguing hubs.

The panorama of perceptions delineating definitions of man by some of the great minds as well as views held by religions, are both interesting and encouraging of the same type of cerebration that prompted the Psalmist to ask, what is man that you are mindful of him?

This is a very informative and stimulating hub. Thank you!

Forever His,


ArchDynamics 6 years ago

King James:

Yet another great Hub. This is kind of the 'Dummies Guide to Religion', if you will - neatly packaged, succinct and easy to read, absorb and digest.

I wish the World Religions class I took in school was as to-the-point as this illustrative Hub!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

What are Human Beings is a very good question and I don't think it will ever be answered. A great hub looking at it at all aspects. Thank you.


OpinionDuck profile image

OpinionDuck 6 years ago

Hi JAmes

Another excellent presentation on history.

I don't agree on a couple of entries.

-----

Hebrew Scripture states that human beings were formed from dust into the image of God, who breathed life into their nostrils. Human beings were made to rule over the Earth and everything that lives on it.

-------

James, as far as I have read, only Adam was created this way.

========

Only humans can see the Universe and comprehend its wonders. Only human beings can do mathematics, create art, invent, build, codify, and write books.

=========

There is no proof for that belief and there is no reason to want to believe it.

If the Earth was the only place in the universe where intelligent life existed, then we would only need our Solar System. Creating the universe in order to create Earth, just doesn't sound intelligent. In fact, even the planets outside of the Earth that are further away from the Sun are superfluoust to our existence. It will take us thousands of years to get any use out of even our own solar system. What then was the point of it being created, unless it is just the result of a lot of stuff just coming together.

Religion didn't have the basic answer that it was the Earth that revolved around the Sun.

The enormous number of objects in the universe, tends to make it more probable than not, there is more life outside of the Earth. Humans could be as unintelligent to them, as single cell organisms are too us.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV

James,

Another excellent ananysis of the human condition in relation to The Creator of all that is ever was and ever shall be. The undoubted exisistance of Christ the Savior of all of mankind's souls. Thank you for your testimony. God bless you Brother in Christ.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD

Exceptional work & writing here, James. I laughed at one of the comments "Dummies Guide To Religion".

That is a powerful quote from Owen Gingerich. Where did you dig that one up?

Thank you for this great Hub.


H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 6 years ago from Guwahati, India

Hi James,

You have nicely described the ethos of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism but again you have rightly said “Humanists believe that the Universe came into existence all by itself, and that human beings have evolved accidentally from what was primordial slime. They believe that the existence of any supernatural God is imaginary and contrary to science, and that all laws, values, and morality are man-made. Socialism is the ideal form of economics”. We the people of 21st Century neither deny the might of God nor the scientific or Humanist belief. What we need a better peaceful life in peaceful Earth and a better globe with friendship and brotherhood. I offer my thanks for such a rich thoughtful hub.


Vladimir Uhri profile image

Vladimir Uhri 6 years ago from HubPages, FB

Thank you, James, great job.


Royal Diadem 6 years ago

James I’m really don’t know what to say about this hub page. I think you identified every philosophical viewpoint there is or known to man. The philosophers that are now dead now know that there is life after death. It’s just people are to controlled by their senses to understand or comprehend the reality of an unseen world that’s why many people do not believe in God, because he cannot be seen. To believe in God means you have to have faith and faith is the substance of things hope for and the evidences of things not seen. (Hebrew 11:1 KJV). If I could see, touch, hear and taste everything I would not need faith. Good Hub page. You are so deep my brother so intellectually deep. I had to use the dictionary on my computer to follow you (smile).


advisor4qb profile image

advisor4qb 6 years ago from On New Footing

LOVE IT!!!! (Philosophy class flashbacks, anyone?!!!)


greatAmerican profile image

greatAmerican 6 years ago

Maybe we take ourselves too seriously and complicate our

existence. I suggest to find the answer to your question, "who are human beings" take a look in a mirror.

Regardless of who, where, or what society we are born into, we are all born intelligent Human beings. All men are not

created equal, but there should be no question such as

"who are human beings". Throughout the existence of man, too many intellects wasted too much time trying to find an answer to that question.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

RevLady— I must say, dear, that your comments are eloquent. What a writer you are! Even in comment boxes.

"What is man that you are mindful of him?"

This is one of my favorite passages in the Bible.

You are most welcome and I thank you for your ongoing support. I haven't gotten around to reading any other Hubs yet and but I will have a marathon Hub reading session very soon and then I'll see what you've been up to in my absence.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

ArchDynamics— It's great to hear from you, my friend. Happy New Year!

Thank you for your gracious compliments. They are warmly received, I assure you.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Hello, hello,— Thank you for coming by and taking the time to read my Hub. I appreciate your comments and you are surely welcome. :)


dusanotes profile image

dusanotes 6 years ago from Windermere, FL

An absolutely blockbuster Hub, James. I was especially struck by two quotations: Fyodor Dostoyevsky said "If God does not exist, then all things are permissible." I believe that is why the Chicago Way currently in vogue in Washington seems so natural to all those who are taking away our Constitutional rights. Nothing matters to atheists.

The other one came from Pascal's Wager: "We cannot empirically prove nor disprove that God exists. We must bet on one side or the other. If we bet God does exist, we have nothing to lose." I would go one step further and say, yes we can. At least those of us who are Christians can prove God lives. "If we've seen the Son you have seen the Father." They are identical in purpose - to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

Thanks, James.

I learn something with each new read.

Don White


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

This was actually quite fascinating. So much to digest here, and I think I'll have to read it again just to make sure it's all rolling around in my head good and proper. I thought the quote from Gingerich was quite profound when he said "We are the thinking part of this vast and sometimes very intimidating universe, and our quest could well be the purpose of it all."

Marvelous, marvelous hub.


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

Astonishing Hub Brother James!

It reveals much work and research, pointing out many opinions of those now sleeping in rest. Some will be called fro the grave for judgment only to reap the pit of fire and others will be judged blameless and they will inherit the kingdom, I hope to be in the latter group. Imagine getting the whole truth and nothing but the truth, from the source which it came. I suspect even the most educated of men will be humbled.

As for proving God exists, He proved to me that he exists through granting me my life at birth and granting me my life time and again where most people would have succumbed to the injuries and Illnesses that I have had knock me down. He simply raised me back up, for a purpose unknown to me at this time, but I await the sign of my season. Those not listening will miss it. May God be with them to open their eyes and ears.

Thank you for such a fine hub!


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND

I can't really add much more to the above comments. A lot of this info took me back to the Truth Project. Wonderful hub!


DynamicS profile image

DynamicS 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

James, very informative post. I appreciate your research and presentation of the info in such precise and well thought out manner.

I have definitely learned something from your post.

One thing that is clear from your post is that as human beings,our complexities of thoughts and perceptions show the free will that God has endow us. Do you think that it was deliberate? I wonder what would happen if all humans thought alike?

Thanks for sharing such great post.

Happy New Year.


satyam12 profile image

satyam12 6 years ago from india

thanks james for making such a nice hub u are a wonderful writer hats off to u, but one thing is for sure that human beings are not created accidently it is properly made by the god pure hands, and every human being is a pure soul first, when the human kind will understand it than the the world will be aideal and peaceful place to live in happy new year james


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

OpinionDuck— Thank you. Technically, you are correct, OP. The Bible does not say how Eve started breathing. It is generally assumed that the breath of life which God bestowed upon Adam He also gave to Eve. But that is not a certainty, since the Word doesn't say.

Perhaps I should have said that humans are the only creatures on Earth capable of discerning the heavens, thus differentiating themselves in an enormous way from apes.

Humans have looked and listened millions of light years into space without finding a tiny trace of any other life. I don't think there is any out there. So, why did God make the Universe so big? To show His mighty powers of creativity. God is infinite. Therefore, man will never find an end to His Universe in either direction. Not through a telescope nor through a microscope.

The idea that the earth was at the center of creation goes back before religion got involved and from a non-religious source: Ptolemy. When Copernicus proved his ideas it was a shocker but shouldn't have been. It was a test of faith is all. God never said Earth was at the physical center of universe. He said Earth was the center of His creation. And so far, He has surely not been proven wrong about that. Just look at the Earth from space and then look at space from Earth. The difference is startling. Only the most cynical observer would not admit it.

I appreciate your visitation. As always, you post great queries that make me put my thinking cap on. I love that about our conversations. :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Tom Whitworth— Thank you very much, Tom, and you're welcome. I tried to present the material from a neutral view. As you know, I do have an opinion of my own. But in this case I was more curious to see what other people think. The question itself I find fascinating.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Very fascinating hub. You presented a lot of new information as there were so many varying views from the philosophers. Some of these philosophers were really way out there. In regard to the various religions, I believe there is a little truth in all of them. I am a Christian but you read some of the same beliefs in most religions. Of course, they miss out on the most important part of Christianity, Jesus, our Alpha and Omega.


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

As thought provoking as ever James


sherrylou57 profile image

sherrylou57 6 years ago from Riverside

Give God all the glory! He is the creator, He said let there be light and there was light. He created us in His own image! I am glad that you believe in Jesus, James!!


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

James, this is a fabulous hub-you should teach comparative religions! I have always been fond of Mr. Kierkegaard, and will continue to do so!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Ken R. Abell— Thank you, Ken. And you are welcome. Here is the source of the quote from Gingerich:

http://books.google.com/books?id=C7g2WSzd6IcC&pg=P...


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

H P Roychoudhury— Thank you for your awesome comments, H P. I agree with you wholeheartedly. You have clearly stated what the world needs and I surely agree with you. I always appreciate your keen insights, my friend from India. I look forward to you visits. And I'll come visit your Hubs soon, too. You are welcome.


OpinionDuck profile image

OpinionDuck 6 years ago

James,

Thanks for the reply and the appreciation of our point and counterpoint.

While, I am not convinced by your arguments on these issues, I do appreciate your replies.

I believe that it was Descartes that said, something like, "man cannot prove or disprove the existence of God". Maybe it was humans instead of man.

While that is true, God could make his existence known beyond any doubt.

Based on the conditions of the world today, I don't believe that God exists in most people. Many of the people that believe in him, seem to be more fearful or going to Hell, rather than of not going to Heaven.

Don't get me wrong, people need their faith and it is a comfort to them, but what good is intelligence without being able to explore everything, including the existence or non existence of God.

As for us not finding other life in the universe, we haven't discovered all of the life here on Earth. Your answer that God was showing his might with the overkill of t universe, gives God a human lack of confidence. Our Solar System would have been enough to impress us, and if not certainly our galaxy would have been enough.

back to you....


motricio profile image

motricio 6 years ago from Bogota DC, Colombia

Excellent!

This is a high quality hub. Its information is so clear and ease to understand, if you have read enough and have seen in humanity its wasted energy and time for years, believing so wrongly that material stuff is more important than feelings.

Thank you very much for this wonderful research James.

- I'm updating the Carnaval de Barranquilla hub James, more info videos related and more pics. =)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Vladimir!!! My old friend. My face breaks into a smile whenever I see your name on my screen. I just think you are a great and wise man. And so, I am honored when you visit.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Royal Diadem— I agree totally with your comments. And I so appreciate the laudations. If you had to use your dictionary—even better! :-)

Thank you very much for warming up my heart today. You have.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

advisor4qb— Thank you!! I see my lady of few words is back. Some imposter posted a much longer comment on one of my other pages. You might want to reset your password. :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

greatAmerican— You may be right, gA. And "look in the mirror" is sound advice. I will not waste any more time, brother. I'm going to move on to other, more concrete topics. I have a few in mind. Thanks for coming and commenting.


itakins profile image

itakins 6 years ago from Irl

James-

Surely,the most important question that we all have to confront ,sooner or later is 'What is a Human Person?.Communism bases itself on supposedly standing for 'The masses'while subjugating the individual Person.

Christianity begins-and ends-with the individual human Person,each made in the image and likeness of God ,and each uniquely gifted .God Himself took the form of an individual human Person- one,just like you ,me and everyone else-in all thingd except sin.He endured death by crucifixion,to redeem each and every one of us.That is a measure of the true value of the individual,regardless of their circumstances or their faults or failings.

Surely ,this must mean,that a society -or an economy -that is not based on the centrality of the human Person,will inevitably collapse.

'Who is a Human Person' seems to me to be an extremely important question, since ,everything else in our lives and in our relationships with others,is shaped by our response to this question.

Excellent hub again.


creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 6 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

It's indeed been a while,James, I thank you for a very enlightening and informative hub. I didn't agree with, but thank God we have our opinions. I'm a Human being and I'm from I Am. Thanks for sharing. Godspeed. creativeone59


eovery profile image

eovery 6 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

Nice hub. Hope everything going good for you.

Keep on hubbing!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

dusanotes— Hey Don! Great to see you, my friend. Thank you for your accolades. They are well received. That Dostoevsky quote is as deep as they came. And in such few words. That comes from an incredible mind that sees beyond the surface.

"If we've seen the Son you have seen the Father."

You know I have no disagreement about that. :-)

You are welcome and thanks for coming to visit. Loved your comments.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Springboard— Yes, I, too, love that quote by Professor Gingerich. I am gratified that you have responded to this piece the way you have. To receive these compliments from a very sharp fellow such as yourself makes it all worthwhile. Thank you for letting me know how you felt about it.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

50 Caliber— Thank you so much for these laudations my brother!!

"I suspect even the most educated of men will be humbled."

That needed to be repeated.

You are welcome, 50. Thank you for coming by and sharing your wisdom with us this day. You are much appreciated by me.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Cari Jean— I love the Truth Project. I went through the training course to lead small group in that but never did it because Nancy got sick about that time and wasn't comfortable with company. That is a fantastic DVD series. Thanks for bringing that to light.


joer4x4 profile image

joer4x4 6 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

Are we really sure we know what we are? Could the question be who are we and how far down to the depth of our souls can we reach to find the answer?

Perhaps "Human" is a condition or a pathway to that end and our free will allows us a multitude of experiences in an effort to learn to use our conscientious (or energy) control our personal 3D environments.

Could it be a dog, insect, tree, or chair is a similar persuit?

Is anything in our world is possible without thought? For someone (or something) had to think of it first before it came into physical existence. Therefore if it exists, does it have conscientiousness? Does it have purpose?

Does it know what it is?

Perhaps we as humans over inflate our egos to the point where our perceptions of reality have become clouded and chaotic.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

DynamicS— How nice to hear from you again. Thank you very much for your kind compliments. And you are welcome, too.

I do believe Free Will to be a gift granted to us by God with the caveat of: there will be blessings and curses for our actions. That is my personal opinion but I tried to be objective in this article. It would be pretty darned boring if everybody was the same. Isn't this world incredible?


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

satyam12— You are welcome. I absolutely love your words you wrote to me. They are beautiful and true. Thank you for leaving them here for all to read. I wish you the best this year in all you do.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Pamela99— Thank you for your always excellent insights. It is a joy to read your comments each and every time you make them. I appreciate this visitation. :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

ethel smith— Thank you, my friend. I appreciate you letting me know you were here.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

sherrylou57— I surely do believe in Jesus, dear. He is my savior and master. Thank you for your wise words.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

lorlie6— Thank you for the fine compliment. I have long fancied myself a teacher of sorts. Maybe I missed my calling. I, too, am a big fan of Mr. Kirkegaard. I have "Works of Love" on the shelf behind me right now.


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

A Fascinating, well done hub, James. I really enjoyed it, thanks.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

OpinionDuck— God could come down and make His presence known beyond a doubt. I have two lines of thought on that. Firstly, that would contravene one of God's core requirements of man: that man exercise Faith. From the stories of Adam, Abram, Noah, Joseph, and on down through the ages, the constant requirement of God is Faith. Not blind Faith. True Faith, which is rewarded. Secondly, God has come down to Earth and made His presence known in the person of Jesus.

During most of the past two millennia I would agree with you that fear of Hell has been a powerful impetus for people to fear (meaning to 'revere and be in awe of' not necessarily afraid as we moderns primarily use that word) God. But I don't think so anymore. It has been years since I have heard the word Hell spoken from the pulpit, written about in popular Christian books, or used in casual conversation among people.

I think God made us intelligent so we can search for truth; search for Him. But He also warns that many people will become puffed up by their intelligence and conclude they are too "smart" to believe in anything they cannot see—lose the humility required to approach God properly.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

motricio— Hello to my friend in Colombia! I am glad to see you back with us. I will check out your updated Hub. Thank you for your compliments and your excellent comments. And you are welcome.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

itakins— Thank you for your tremendously insightful commentary. I agree with every word you wrote. And my hope is that everyone who comes by will stop and absorb your contribution. You are most welcome. I appreciate this visitation.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

creativeone59— I like your new photo! You are welcome. Thank you for visiting and commenting.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

eovery— Thank you. Things are much improved for me lately, thanks. I'll keep on as long as I am able. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

joer4X4— Can I conclude then that for this universe to exist, it had to be thought of first?

I can always count on you to provide intellectual angles not before presented. This makes it a joy to see your name in my in-box. Thanks for these comments.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

carolina muscle— You are welcome. Thank you for reading it and leaving your compliments. I am glad you enjoyed it.


A M Werner profile image

A M Werner 6 years ago from West Allis

You've gone all out on this hub James. I think, if you watch, you'll probably see alot of people referencing material you encapsulated here for their future hubs. So much information and all of it presented so well. Peace.


SEM Pro profile image

SEM Pro 6 years ago from North America

Ah my dear friend, you have once again (perhaps more so than ever) written a hub that inspires the desire for hours worth of conversation. Perhaps the point of such a conversation, or future hub, would be to look at the combinations of beliefs or perceptions we now hold so dear, and how they have transformed or grown over the past few centuries with our maturity. It would still be a mental exercise attempting to explain who we are on one level of understanding - but how can we put words to that which is felt, or known spiritually, or means more to a fulfilling life than our intellect?

Such a conversation might include how Nietzsche's existential beliefs have now come to be defined as "the freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts", negating the bias bent expressed that there is no truth in morality. Or, if you do indeed believe H P R's solution of "What we need a better peaceful life in peaceful Earth and a better globe with friendship and brotherhood", we might want to look at Buddha's teachings of "peace within" and the meditations to attain it as more valid than depicted > 'begin within' an essential path to curing woes, our own, or the world's at large...

No matter how strenuously we attempt to present such diverse opinions, philosophies or beliefs in a nutshell, our own beliefs will indeed be clouded by our own perceptions of them, thus perhaps proving Kant's theory that we are all in this illusion together, or deluded by our preconceived influences.

Since you stated that your purpose for writing such a thorough and awesome hub was to find out how other's think, or what they believe, I will indeed express my favorite of all: "...I never forget how God helps me, and it is therefore my last wish that everything may be to his honor" by the philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard. Received a quote today by him, "It is dangerous to go into eternity with possibilities that oneself has prevented from becoming realities. A possibility is a hint from God. One must follow it." Through my own looking glass of life, without God, everything has turned to c--p, surrendering with honor and good intentions, repeatedly proves "ask and ye shall receive" :)


joer4x4 profile image

joer4x4 6 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

James -

What came first - the chicken or the egg?

Since thought is a result of conscientiousness, is conscientiousness possible without existence (life)?

If one believes in God or one that is greater, does it not have conscientiousness?

If it created us and had nothing but itself, how did it come to know of us and what did it use to create us?

What does that make us?

Very well rounded and thought provoking hub!


OpinionDuck profile image

OpinionDuck 6 years ago

James,

Here is an interesting link

http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/christianity_freew...

God according to your bible, did make his presence known to men after the Garden of Eden. God just doesn't make an appearance at all during the New Testament. God has not made himself known in 2000 years.

I have always thought the story about Moses was strange. Moses wanders the desert for 40 years and even with the guidance of God, he doesn't find the promised land. Addtionally, he shouldn't have been able to destroy something created by God. I can understand the people and the world being primitiva and carving stones, but God being primitive?

I can understand God not making his presence known to unbelievers, but he should make himself visibly known to those that believe in him. Having conversations in your head with God is not real thing.

Human nature has not changed for the better since time has been recorded. Anyone that has children knows that without physical presence, chaos occurs. This is what is happening without God making his presence known.

Just imagine how much worse this country would be, if we used the same faith for a President that we only heard about but never has been seen in public. We would have the same kind of communication we have with God. There would be many people that would have faith that this non present President would be their saviour, but many people would just do their own thing and not included any premise that there really is a president. Some will speculate whether there is a real president or maybe just a giant computer.

I could go on, but you get the comparison.

This scenario sort of breaks down just because the current president couldn't make things any worse than it is, if he were invisible and unknown.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

A M Werner—I surely appreciate this visit from you. Thank you for your kind compliments.

Shalom


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Loved the pictures, the quotes and the topic. As usual, you've written a deep and thought provoking hub.

Just to clarify your statement in WHO ARE HUMAN BEINGS IN CHRISTIANITY?, "Jesus Christ, who was the first person resurrected from the dead"

wasn't Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha resurrected from the dead by Jesus? (John 11:1-46)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

SEM Pro— Well, hello! I am well pleased to see you have paid a visit. It has been a while.

You make an excellent point in your first paragraph that some things, some experiences, some feelings, are ineffable. And the track you are on would make a fine Hub methinks for you to write for us.

As you know, Nietzsche is taken many ways by many people. Overall, I cannot claim to be a fan. Of course I agree with HPR that "What we need a better peaceful life in peaceful Earth and a better globe with friendship and brotherhood." I wonder who could possibly disagree with that? I think Buddhism has many positive benefits to the practitioner and those she interacts with.

Kant, of course, made some fine points. I wasn't really trying to put world religions in a nutshell nor even the ideas of these philosophers. I was only trying to relate how our perceptions of Who Human Beings Are have been shaped by philosophy and religion. This Hub is not meant to be a study of comparative religion nor of philosophy. Only to present ideas from religion and philosophy which directly relate to my subject here.

I love your closing paragraph. The quotes by Kierkegaard and your own expressions are beautiful. Thank you ever much for your contributions here. I hope you are well? I appreciate your preternatural insights.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

joer4X4— The chicken.

I do not think consciousness is possible without life, no.

God (or your higher power) certainly has consciousness.

I believe that God thought of us and the universe he would place us in first and then spoke it all into existence. So, thought preceded action, as it does for us (except for involuntary functions, e.g., breathing while sleeping).

Thank you for your kind compliments. It always interesting to watch your wheels turning.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

OpinionDuck— I checked out that link you provided. Thank you. It lays out pretty well a strict version of Calvinism. Some Christians follow this theology. Many don't. Check out this page.

http://www.the-highway.com/compare.html

I tend to favor a middle road between these two positions, that both ideas are true in various cases.

God does make Himself known in the New Testament. He walks the Earth as Jesus Christ. After that, His presence in the world is made manifest through His Holy Spirit.

The 40 years in the desert were punishment for rebellion. Moses did see the Holy Land but could not enter because of disobedience. The people living in Canaan had been exposed to the true God but chose instead their man-made idols of wood and stone.

Many great lessons are learned in this chaos. I'm sure you have learned many in your own lifetime. There is a purpose for the way this world is. What that purpose is may be somewhat shrouded in mystery as God's understanding cannot be contained in our little brains except in pieces. We are not Him. For a puny person like me to tell God, "Hey! You should have made the world this other way!" is for the clay to instruct the potter. Only the potter knows what he is making out of each piece of clay. They clay doesn't know and couldn't comprehend it anyway. Talk to a lump of clay and say "You shall be a bowl!" and see if it gets it.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

PegCole17— Thank you very much for your warm compliments. I appreciate them; and you for taking the time to read my article.

My understanding is that Lazarus was resuscitated to life in his earthly body and had to face human death again. Jesus was resurrected, meaning, he was the first raised immortal, never to face death again and raised in a new type of body different from a human body. It is the latter that we hope for after death. (Though the former still goes on albeit not after several days as in Lazarus, which is what makes that event so miraculous.)


quietnessandtrust profile image

quietnessandtrust 6 years ago from Carbon Canyon, California

Who are human beings?

They are a physical image of an invisible GOD-CREATOR and the rest is commentary.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

quietnessandtrust— I cannot argue with that. And I dig that cool hat, man. The next time I am in California, we'll have a long cup of coffee and solve the problems of the world. :D


cameciob profile image

cameciob 6 years ago

Hi James, a great hub as usual. But there isn't a clear answer to your question nor a slim chance of agreement between more then two people.

After so many centuries of thinking and writing about this subject here is my humble opinian: because we all are human beings, we see ourselves as human being, we all believe we are human beings, we then have to answer this individualy.


HubCrafter profile image

HubCrafter 6 years ago from Arizona

Hi James:

had to stop by and see another glimpse of that Watkins guy's hubs.

Quite a diorama of world religion you've got here James. Very inviting. Very Pauline. All things to all men. I appreciate the candor and the openness here. The dialogue is so varied. It's marvelous.

Now, to questions and comments.

You commented, "we are the center of his creation". How so? We have so little by way of scripture concerning creation. The bulk of it concentrated in Genesis and an occasional verse here and there in the rest of the books.

I can see clearly that man is the apple of his eye. But does this make him the sole work of creation, the apex of his works. We can discuss this from the lack of information regarding the rest of the universe; it's vast scope and apparent age, etc. But does this lack really lead us to a conclusion?

Let's look at the revelation of the Holy Spirit. Little developed theologically in the old testament. Then dramatically developed in the new. Yet...there is more isn't there? The Person of the Holy Spirit is not yet developed; not as a personality.

When Jesus returns, I believe, there will be more revelation. Some of this will, perhaps, devolve around the Holy Spirit. Certainly, there will be more concerning the Kingdom and the future.

Regarding there being no other life in the universe:

I cannot quote anything one way or the other. I just look up into the vastness of this creation and marvel. But I do not imagine all this complexity and power we witness each night in the starry sky is just a bit of heavenly signage, blinking God is great, God is great. That it has no other purpose than to have the heavens declare his glory (which they do. and splendidly.)

Is man a mere figure to declare God's glory. Yes. He is to declare it. But man's role. Subdue the Earth, multiply. Occupy until I come..that's man's role. Govern, shape and use the Earth as his gift for our needs. Govern, shape and use our gifts to bless one another for his desire.

God is far greater than the sum of the parchments we hold dear. I imagine his universe holds as many surprises as did his Son..when he walked among us.

Didn't our hearts burn within us when he opened the scriptures up to us? How much more does your Father in heaven love you; for you are worth more than many sparrows.

His Name is Wonderful. -HubCrafter


Robert 6 years ago

James,

And they will debate we are but an accident of primordial ooze when such brilliant commentary flows from such a diverse set of beliefs and personality. Sheep will follow one another off a cliff without question, me I am going to ask is that fall necessary? The ablity to reason, create, love, hate, etc falls to beings with free will and intelligence. The fact that our solar system is so perfectly balanced for life to thrive on a small planet merely makes the universe our backyard. Why ponder the material when the spiritual offers so much more. You can't buy eternity at Wal-Mart. We buy lottery tickets with odds in the millions to one to win cash I am going with a little faith to be rewarded with eternal life and the answer to why we are here.


Chris EastMan profile image

Chris EastMan 6 years ago

Exellent hub


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

cameciob— Thank you very much for saying so. I surely agree with you that we all have to answer this question individually. Excellent comments. I appreciate you for coming.


donotfear profile image

donotfear 6 years ago from The Boondocks

Wow, this is a very useful & interesting article written in plain language so that it's easily understood. I'm going to go back & read it more thoroughly so I can absorb a little more. Thanks.


OpinionDuck profile image

OpinionDuck 6 years ago

James

I looked at the web page you left me, but that gives me more questions than answers.

The Holy Spirit is not a visible or even present God, it is a manifestation of what people create in their mind. It is the same mind, that says the devil made me do it.

There is still no answer as to why God simply won't make his presence known beyon a doubt.

In the Garden of Eden, God had only one rule. It was broken and we were punished, because God had emotions.

God banishes us from paradise, which if the rule was not broken would have been all that we would have in life. There was no promise of heaven or hell, just paradise on Earht.

Before Jesus came onto the Earth, the people didn't have any rules whatsover from God. The peop;e just execercised free will. Remember, Moses broke the tablet with the 10 Commandments on it.

We still don't have any real rules from God, just stories about how we should act in certain circumstances. There have been no new stories in two thousand years and the commandments are not authenticaed as those from God. God apparently chose not to renew the commandments.

The comment from Robert about our Solar System. Without being demeaning, I will just say that the solar system just barely works, and it is not perfect by any means. One inhabitable planet in a solar system and possibly in a universe is hardly perfect. It is at best a very low yield scientific experiment.

Just the fact that there are two testaments, three if you include Mohanned, says that God is not perfect. The other interesting fact is that in the first testament, the Jews are the favored people of God, but in the second testament, the Jews are left behind for the Christians, and then the Christians are left for the Muslims.

These are three different groups of people worshiping three different Gods. They are different enough to kill each other over their God.

Genesis, if it were written by God or for God should have had more details to tell us about our world and our place.

There were no details on the paradise in Eden, it was not evident how Eden would have held billions of people. We are not even sure how big Eden was at the beginning, it could have just as well been the name of the planet instead of being called "Earth". There are no details to discern this ambiguity. There is also no details about how and why God put the Tree of Knowldege in the Garden for what pupose?

Did God create religion, or did man create religion?

Is God real, or did man create God?


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

HubCrafter— Welcome to the Hub Pages Community. I see you are off to a flying start! 118 Followers in 5 weeks is an amazing accomplishment. Your titles look great. And your profile is witty and interesting. One of the best. I look forward to reading your work soon.

Very Pauline. That is a fascinating observation. I hadn't thought of that. I am flattered by the comparison. :-)

We are in the center of creation because God prepared the universe for us as evidenced by the order of His work and that we were last before He rested. There was nothing more to add after He crowned creation with us.

I surely agree that we only see through the glass darkly. Much higher levels of revelation are coming when Jesus returns.

Your comments about the universe and creation might require more space than we have here to respond to in depth. God clearly does want to be praised and worshiped. I do think His incredible creativity, which we discover more and more about as time goes on, is a sign that we should consider His creative powers compared to our little machines we build. I think the universe is infinite in both directions to show us that He is infinite.

After reading your outstanding commentary I am all the more anxious to read your articles. I'll be there later today. Thank you for adding your insights to this conversation. Well done.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

Hi Sir James, a very thorough discussion of who are human beings, and great philosophers too, Some are mathematically inclined and surmised that we are just a "thought" while my favorite of them all is St. Augustine who simply struggle to put together Christianism and an intellectual discussion of it, I dont like Rene hehe, because I dont think therefore I am, Before in my confusion I have really struggle, and at one point I believe in materialism and positivism, but then in my heart and belief GOD always existed too, hmm, am carried away,

and thanks for the comprehensive take on "what is human", in every religions,

I wish you a good day, Maita


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Robert— Well, thank you my friend for getting to the nub of the situation. I love that lottery analogy. You are a creative thinker. I'm not going to add much more other than to say I hope the the commenters read your thoughts.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Chris EastMan— Thank you very much. Welcome to HubPages!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

donotfear— You are most welcome. Thank you for reading my humble Hub and leaving your compliments. I am appreciative. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

OpinionDuck— "The Holy Spirit is not a visible or even present God, it is a manifestation of what people create in their mind."

I must disagree. The Holy Spirit is very real to me.

"It is the same mind, that says the devil made me do it."

This is used as a cop-out, to be sure. The devil can't make us do anything. The devil CAN deceive us and tempt us.

God certainly has emotions. But at least in most cases, this is not the reason for punishment. That would be Justice. God's nature precludes Him from being unjust. Disobedience produces consequences.

Before Jesus the Hebrews has lots of rules from God. Even more than we have after Jesus. And the rest of the world had Natural Law written on their hearts by God.

The Ten Commandments are eternal laws. The whole last two thousand have been nothing but a story of good versus evil. And revelation has not stopped either. We have learned much about God since Jesus day.

"One inhabitable planet in a solar system and possibly in a universe is hardly perfect."

Well, of course it is. If it was designed that way and is that way it is perfect.

There are distinct reasons for two Testaments. The first is to show what God expected of people and more so: that people are incapable of perfection. It is a history lesson. God knew how it would turn out. But you know how people are. You can tell them what's right and wrong and what the consequences are but every generation has to make the mistakes themselves. We learn through experience what is true and right.

I'm not going to comment on the Mohammad part of your post. That is another subject that would take a lot of space and I wouldn't claim to be as well-studied in that area.

Genesis: again you want to tell God how OpinionDuck would do things if he were in charge. God told us what He wanted us to know. What He did tell us contains layers of meaning that we each need to peel back like an onion to understand more and more as we seek the truth. Nobody said it was easy. Life isn't meant to be easy.

God is real to me.

Religion is a system of beliefs shared by a group of people. Religions are man-made but based upon divine revelation. What man makes of what he has been shown.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

prettydarkhorse— You amaze me with your depth of knowledge and understanding. It has been a while since I have seen anyone use the word "positivism." That is refreshing. I can see you have a big brain up there.

St Augustine is a favorite of mine, too. I can't agree with everything he believed but hey, I don't believe all of what any person says. Most of his theology is wonderfully on target.

Thank you for your thoughtful comments. It is always a pleasure to interact with you. You are one of my favorite people on HubPages because you are brilliant and sweet. A rare combination. :D


cheaptrick profile image

cheaptrick 6 years ago from the bridge of sighs

Hello James,I believe I'm your newest Fan.

"The very act of observation changes the observed".

Reality is not aprehendable due to our subjective perception.

We attempt to grasp it in the darkness of our brief existence.

IMO the only reasonable life is to Party hard,Chase the Babes and love our Friends lol.

You are Brilliant!thank you for sharing such a rich mind.

...peace...


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

chaeptrick— I really enjoyed the ELP lyrics on your profile. I thought to my self that anybody with those on their profile page must be interesting. I'll be coming over to read your stuff soon.

Thank you for becoming my fan and for your compliments. You have an interesting worldview and one that is shared by many. I must confess, it has its attractions. :D


joer4x4 profile image

joer4x4 6 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

When you run down the street do your lungs not respond?

Does God induce your heart to beat faster before you are startled? Or does your heart respond because your emotions are stirred?

How many involuntary actions do you take for granted when you do not focus on them? When you sit down at your computer do you cross your legs or hold your chin with your had without thinking about it? With proper focus you can find many in a short time. The very fact the we can control our breathing leads us to know we can and do.

Is it sensible to think that when we sleep we lose all control and take it back when we awake? Will a loud noise awaken us if we are fast asleep. If it does were we not conscientious of it? Then what was monitoring for it?

Let's say you need a new deck for your house. In creating the deck you build it to endure the elements for its lifetime. You create it so it could stand alone, survive, and have its purpose. When in years to come the paint peels off will you condemn it to hell of serve it with a fresh coat of paint? Why would God create you any different? Are we truly responsible of our own actions regardless of our perceptions.

Our conscientiousness and thought process are of an abstract nature. They are not physical. There is nothing to touch or see. Yet it gives way to physical matter and the proof is all around is where ever you lay your eyes. Could this be an obvious clue to the nature of reality? If we are truly made God's image, then are we not truly abstract beings?

Now when you read these words on your computer you accept their and your computer's existence. Yet we would deny their conscientiousness despite their purpose and existence. Is it logical?

We see dogs as a lesser species yet can be trained. Learning requires a process of thought that only conscientiousness and intelligence can provide. Is it an accident God is dog in reverse?

Do our egos dismiss the obvious because we “feel” that we are better?

We have so much proof of dinosaurs that existed long before man yet for years of searching there is none of Jesus Christ from a short time ago. Is this peculiar? Did God actually appear before Moses and Noah per the Bible. Does the Bible offer proof or is it an act of faith? Has our faith been taken advantage of for the benefit of man's ego? Is faith a perception of our perceived notion to be led?

“What is a Human Being” and “Who are Human Beings” run far deeper than that we realize. These are fundamental questions to ponder but are the answers external to us or are the symptoms?

Are we afraid to ask for fear of the answers? What are we afraid of? Is this our reason for dismissing and closing our minds to alternate probabilities of what may possibly be true?

I am not try to convince anyone of anything. I am trying to stir the pot of thought as we now face a critical time in the history of humanity. Will we succeed or fail and what will be the symptoms?

Could it be our physical reality is a symbolic representation of who and what we think we are personally and socially?

Are you willing to dare to ask? Are you willing to dare to answer?


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago

James, great hub LOL


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

joer4X4— Yes, they do. No. Yes. God designed my heart and lungs in the first place and then they run on their own.

You caught me. I had my chin in my hand when I read that. :)

Actually, I find that men, trained over millennia as protectors of the household, wake up even at small sounds if they are unusual; whereas women seem to sleep right through them. The mind is certainly still functioning even when asleep, yes.

Well, the deck has no free will or conscious thought. People do. People are told the deal: one set of choices gets you blessings; another gets you curses. But you get to choose. Are you asserting predestination?

I totally agree with your conclusions about the abstract nature of thought.

Are you asking me if my computer has conscious thought? That's an interesting idea. There are those who believe machines are living things. They have a birth; a death; a life cycle. Most can scream in pain (screeching gears). I have known people who name their cars and their guitars. They may be alive. But conscious thoughts? I doubt it.

I don't know if that is an accident, but as a dog lover I can tell you that dogs have plenty of smarts and emotions. I believe them to be very special creatures—with thoughts, yes.

I think God spoke to Moses and Noah. And He speaks to me, too. I believe He did appear to Moses but not in His real self because no man could look at God that way or stand before Him. There are a lot of proofs that the Bible is true yes. Is there any proof that one word in the Bible is not true? Because that would be big news. Does God require faith? Absolutely. That is a cornerstone of His system.

The answers to the questions my two Hubs pose are both external and internal, I would say. I am not the least bit afraid to seek answers, to seek the Truth. We will both succeed and fail, of course. That's the nature of the world we are in. It is a paradox—many paradoxes.

No question our reality is subjective. But no question it is also objective, for instance, it goes on after we are gone. There is no question I can think of that I wouldn't dare to ask or try to answer. I am inquisitive and analytical.

You ask great questions, Joe. I appreciate the conversation.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Tammy Lochmann— Thank you. LOL?

hmmm . . .


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago

Just thought I would tell you I liked your story and not be so long winded. Thought maybe you would appreciate short and sweet instead of an argument.

Got you guessing huh. Again great Hub!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Tammy Lochmann— Oh! I thought you were laughing at me! :D

That was pithy alright. You had me guessing. Thanks for the clarification. Now, I can sleep tonight!


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

Hey sir, thats a compliment coming from you, I would like to say, GRACIAS SENOR, Maita


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

prettydarkhorse— de nada, senorita.


joer4x4 profile image

joer4x4 6 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

James:

The questions were rhetorical. I don't question anyones beliefs. It does make for some deep conversation.

I think we under estimate ourselves as humans and God. I don't think we give either enough credit. Perhaps it's what we have been taught. I think is far more complex than we think it is.

I do think that our physical reality contains many clues as to the nature of reality.

Just becasue we are unable percieve something doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

PS: I think the egg came first:)


GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 6 years ago from California

JAMES! I'm here for you! Man, it has been hard keeping up with everyone here! The more followers, the more hubs to read! AND I have been in the studio working on some new tunes ; I can only imagine how many hubs you get in your e-mail box........

ANYWAY, this hub is really well written....Where are the women in some of these sections (where you feature the men pics)? ha

I think of you often and hope things are getting BETTER 4 U! G


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

joer4X4— Oh. oops! :D

I totally agree with all of your words here—except the egg.

Thanks for the stimulating dialogue.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

GPAGE! Thank you for coming. I know. I am a week behind at least of even seeing who has written Hubs on my list. Maybe I can catch up tomorrow and come to visit yours while I am at it. It has been a hectic time.

I can't wait to hear the new tunes! Thank you for the compliment and for your thoughts. I appreciate it. I looked real hard to find women philosophers and I just couldn't find any! Can you help me out with that? Believe me, I'd rather look at women than those old crusty dudes any day.


GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 6 years ago from California

JAMES! You really made me laugh! I am going to find a woman philosopher! ha

I was wondering about that? Are there any? I will look into it! G


S.S.YOGI profile image

S.S.YOGI 6 years ago from Chengannur

Hello Mr. James,

Your hubs are sensible.Please also see my hubs in the related subjects.

Thank you,

S.S.YOGI


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

GPAGE! Maybe Gertrude Himmelfarb qualifies as a philosopher? Well, you find me one. Hopefully, one who is good looking. That would add a lot to this page. :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

S. S. Togi— Hello and welcome to HubPages. Thank you and you are welcome. I will surely come over and read some of your Hubs.

James


H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 6 years ago from Lone Star State

Makes a person really think about being a human being and what it means. I think every idea and view ever put to script you covered. Thanks for sharing

hc porter


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

H. C Porter— If I make folks think a bit then my intended outcome has come to fruition. This makes me happy.

LOL! (I don't get to use that much.) I don't think I covered every idea ever thought of. If I did I've got an awful lot of wasted trees sitting in my bookcases. But that is nice of you to say. Thank you for coming and you are welcome.

James


bill yon profile image

bill yon 6 years ago from sourcewall

I am man because I exist If I came back as a dog or cat I would be pissed!because I am man because I exist.whats up james?Have you ever heard this one?the "apple" that eve gave adam was from the tree of knowledge,and because adam bit the "apple"sin and death came into the world,meaning man was not meant to have knowledge.what do you think about that?


Randall Stone 6 years ago

Hi James, This has vto be the most complete blog I've ever come across on this subject. Absolutely outstanding and thoroughly thought provoking. I find your totally unobjective stance to the subject absolutely exhilerating for it is so easy to let your own views leak into something like this. I applaud you sir.

Randall


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

bill yon— What do I think about that? I think that Adam and Eve were placed it utter paradise with only one rule to follow. They failed to do it. What they gained from the Forbidden Fruit was the knowledge of evil. They lived in utter good already. Too bad for them and too bad for us. But, we carry on as best we can.

ps I'd be pissed, too. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Randall Stone— I am truly grateful to receive such laudatory comments from you. Thank you very much for the applause. It sounds good. It feels good. It makes the work all worthwhile.

James


Allan McGregor profile image

Allan McGregor 6 years ago from South Lanarkshire

Now you're talking.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Allan McGregor— Hey my friend! I have missed you 'round here. Thanks for letting me know you were still around. I'm going to swing over and see what you've been writing.


bearclawmedia profile image

bearclawmedia 6 years ago from Mining Planet Earth

Science always sets out to prove that things do not exist or can not happen. A scientific theory is just that, a theory that something could happen or does exist. In science a theory is valid until, it is proven not to work. So far science has not been able to prove that there is no creator.

I have some theories about human beings, they are kind, compassionate, considerate, sensitive, fair, honest, ethical, brave. well the list is too long and I doubt any one can prove this is not true. The thought of this gives me faith, hope and charity. Good hub mate!

.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

bearclawmedia--- It is great to hear from you Down Under. Science will never disprove the existence of God since He does indeed exist. I like your short list of human characteristics. And of course your big three fit perfectly within my philosophy of life. Thank you for reading and for your fine comments.


Chris EastMan profile image

Chris EastMan 6 years ago

Great article!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Chris EastMan--- Thank you so much!


stars439 profile image

stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Dear James: This hub was extremely interesting and I learned a lot from it. I really enjoy your intricate details as you describe beliefs with such percision. Fascinating and enlightening this is as all your fine work is. It is no wonder, why our world remains in such rivalry.Certain beliefs seem to be the culprits of certain actions. God Bless you for the wonderful educational information.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

stars439--- I am well pleased that you found this interesting and useful. And I enjoyed reading your words on this page. Thank you for reading and commenting.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Thanks for clarifying that James. Now I understand. Yes, eternal life.


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

James A Watkins, This is truly another wonderful “Masterpiece!” You have well presented some thought provoking commentary here! I totally Luv your observations of the significance of the internet! As you stated: “The internet has given human beings new hope of being restored to our rightful place at the center of creation. It allows persons the power to fully express their individuality without gatekeepers or a centralized authority that might subjugate, manipulate or disenfranchise them. “ This is quite profound, many are not aware of a move to secretly manipulate, oppress and control the rights of many without them being aware….

You have again as always a collective wealth of information for one to process & ponder. From both the secular and religious schools of thought. It is good to know the viewpoints of others without having to necessarily believe what they believe. This serves to help contribute to one building and fortifying a stronger belief system. Which I believe if it is not rooted and grounded in God our Creator and Maker and His principles it is faulty…. How can one ignore; THE GOD FACTOR , “The Author and finisher of our FAITH” and come up with a wise conclusion? In my opinion, it is not possible! A perhaps seemingly probable complex hypothesis of course… it is important to be certain of what and WHO you believe in!

I so believe what you declare about Christianity: “Christians will be transformed, during this life, into the likeness of Jesus. satan and his demons are alive on Earth, though they are invisible. Christ offers the power to humans—who believe in and serve His Father—to defeat the wiles of this devil and to resist the temptation to sin. The believer should live a life of repentance, which is contrition over sin and determination to avoid future sin….. We are instructed to study God's Word and to worship Him. The Holy Spirit of God will dwell in Believers, and they will represent God on the Earth.” WONDERFUL!

Remarkable and fascinating narrative my brother! I as always look forward to and thoroughly enjoy as well as most intrigued by your invigorating and inspiring presentations Professor!!! Thank you as always for sharing much love to you and Blessings from above!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

PegCole17--- I am glad to be of service in any way. Thanks for checking back.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

DeBorrah K. Ogans--- A Masterpiece!? Well, thank you so much, my dear. You have made my day--again!

It is not a bad thing thing to know the viewpoints of those with whom we might disagree, as you say. Yes, it can serve to fortify (perfect word) our world-view.

I am especially happy that you liked my very brief synopsis of Christianity. It is tough to put that in a few words. I did my best. As with the rest.

I am well pleased that you enjoyed my article. This makes me feel good. You are most assuredly welcome.


Robert Jonatzke 3 years ago

James and excellent Hub. A timely subject to be sure as we sit at the precipice of great potential change. Will we ever learn to be as great as our creator intended? Perhaps like all those you cited we should spend more time thinking and less time acting like fools.


Curiad profile image

Curiad 3 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

James, this really boils it down , "If God does not exist, then all things are permissible."

I so agree with you on all points. God gave us free will for the same reason we allow our children to experience life with only a few rules (or should). The basics of morality can be taught, but the reality is that we as humans are allowed to do as we see fit, and if we do what is good and ordained by God, we are given the fruits.

Someone commented that the ten commandments were destroyed by Moses, and that that meant there were no rules. I was of the understanding that after Moses spent over a year on the Mount of Olives, and then destroyed the tablets, that God made a new set and commanded Moses to carry on.

Anyway, this is some awesome writing as usual, and I am so pleased to know you, and read your thoughts, Mark


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

Robert Jonatzke! It is great to see that you are still kicking, my good friend. I am living back up north now, so I haven't been over to visit with you. If you come home, let me know and we'll get together.

As always, I love your remarks. Your words bring a smile to my face because you, brother, you really get it.

God Bless You!

Jim


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago Author

Curiad— Hello Mark! I am so glad that you made it by to see this little Hub of mine. I like this one but it never got the readership that most of my other articles do. I do not know why.

Yes, you are right that God made a new set of Ten Commandments for Moses and the Israelites and Us after Moses broke the originals in disgust and anger. No rules? That is something the human race dreams about I guess. But with no guardrails it is not hard to drive off the cliff. :D

You wrote, 'James, this really boils it down , "If God does not exist, then all things are permissible."'

Is that Dostoevsky?

I am well pleased that we are in agreeance, brudder. Free Will is cool. No one should be without it.

Thank you ever much for the awesome accolades, my friend. It is always a pleasure to have you visit.

God Bless You!

James


Silva Hayes profile image

Silva Hayes 3 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

Thank you, James. Brilliant hub. The quote from Dostoyevsky "If God does not exist, then all things are permissible," is truly frightening to consider. Carry on with your book; wish you all the success in the world. Thanks again.


Curiad profile image

Curiad 2 months ago from Lake Charles, LA.

Very interesting James. It is notable how you explained the individual beliefs without bias and with fact.

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