Friedrich Nietzsche, the infamous German philosopher, in his work "Human, All Too Human," under his 9th aphorism, asserts of the metaphysical world, "For there is nothing at all we could state about the metaphysical world except its differentness, a differentness INACCESSIBLE and INCOMPREHENSIBLE (my emphasis) to us."
He continues, "No matter how well proven the existence of such a world might be, it would still hold true that the knowledge of it would be the most inconsequential of all knowledge, even more inconsequential than the knowledge of the chemical analysis of water must be to the boatman facing the storm."
How could we saying anything POSITIVE about God without having any access to the inner workings of God? Christians are always reminding us, "Gods ways are above ours." Perhaps that is all that could be said and nothing more...
How could we saying anything POSITIVE about God without having any access to the inner workings of God? Christians are always reminding us, "Gods ways are above ours." Perhaps that is all that could be said and nothing more...
Look around you? The trees, birds, air you breathe is all created by who many of us call "God". We do have inner access to God he is within us. Can you clarify what you mean by, " Gods ways are above ours?"
Many of us are still wondering how our Atheists friends cannot believe God created any of this. Who else could create such beauty?
While nature is beautiful at times, it is ugly also. The destruction, and the death of most animals on this planet don't point to the idea of a benevolent creator.
However, that is off topic. How does nature explain anything about the way God works? What his ACTUAL attributes are, vs what we claim they are? How the act of creation HAPPENED? This is more of a technical question than an origin one.
The argument I quoted wasn't directed at God, but I think it applies. It also admits that even if a metaphysical world (or God, when I inserted) could not be meaningfully talked about, even if proven to exist.
You ask 10 people to define "god" and you get 10 differnet answers. To me, "god" is a concept. not a physical being.
@Paul Wingert, thanks for adding yet another "definition."
I think you got the "not a physical being" part right. God is entirely non-physical. No physical thing could create all physical reality. God is ultimate and perfect "source." He is the Zen one-sided coin of "cause" untainted by effect. He is the paramita of beingness.
Paul Wingert stated: "God" is a concept, not a physical being. Amen.
Unfortunately, most people can't handle this reality. They need something concrete and physical to digest. God-as-a-concept is highly plausible, and many highly trained philosophers have been offering their respective opinion on the topic. Personally, I like Paul Tillich's definition of "god": the ground of being. God is like the ground on which we and everything else stands. Without the ground, how can we stand up? Simple enough, huh?
I wouldn't play the philosopher card. Most modern philosophers are atheists or agnostics. Theists only make up about 15 percent of the profession.
Also, what does it even mean to say "God is the ground all being?" Eloquence of expression is not equivalent to establishing the truth of a claim. It sounds great, but what does it mean?
Being a good person doesn't make one automatically correct. You are probably a good person. Imagine you witness a robbery. Your senses fail you, and in the intensity of the moment, you perceive the robber to have a beard, when in fact he doesn't.
The police arrest a man with a beard, who has committed OTHER crimes in the past, though not this one. You identify him as the culprit, and the jury is inclinced to believe he is guilty because he is rugged and scary.
You didn't do anything malicious, and you aren't a bad person, but you would still be wrong in this case as to who actually robbed the store you were in, no matter how sincerely you held to your conviction that the man with the beard was guilty.
Being a philosopher really means that he/she thinks about 'thinking itself.' God or no god, I think how the thinking activity is being conducted. As I said before, god as a concept is highly plausible. It doesn't mean that I know for sure that god exists. It's just plausible. God as a ground of being means: it is that which sustains everything else in the universe. You (and everyone else) can exist because all those sustaining factors came together beautifully. I think it's highly plausible. Don't you think?
He is the alpha and omega, the beginning and end. He is love, kindness, understanding and forgiveness. Here is more information on who is God which is a little more technical.
I read the link. To you it's a definition, to me it doesn't make sense. How do you know there's one God? Maybe there are a host of them? Or maybe the universe was created by something we can't even conceive of? Since there is nothing to say what the correct definition of God is, we are all in the dark.
Only the faithful claim a special knowledge of God but those definitions are based on say-so,not evidence and are thus as meaningless as me claiming the world was created by a giant cream puff. Anyone can dream up a definition-without evidence they're all equally meaningless in terms of truth.
I wrote about my experience with heaven and God. I know there is God and I know there is heaven, we don't have multiple God's. I also know that when I die one day, I will see all that I knew and will also see God again.
With all of the miracles happening everyday and with my own experience with life after death and being able to be here and talk about it. Nothing can change my mind on my belief, just like nothing can change your mind on yours.
Well, I haven't come to any firm conclusions about God (the undefinable one) and the big mysteries of life,as you have, so I don't consider that I have some kind of unbudgable mind set.
I can't imagine that kind of certainty. To me it would be like living in an airtight box,shutting yourself off from possibilities.
AEvans wrote: I wrote about my experience with heaven and God. I know there is God and I know there is heaven. This is all fine and dandy. AEvans knows what God is, and her claim comes from her personal experience. She's convinced, but she can't convince others. There is no further point in arguing this issue. Her stance reminds me of a bumper sticker that says: I know what the truth is. I believe what the Bible says. That settles it. As a student in Philosophy, I know when to stop the discussion, and this is the time. I respect AEvans' personal experience, and I also respect Jane Bovary's very healthy philosophical attitude.
I think this guy has a good attitude. I wish everyone did. Don't get me wrong. I am not saying any one is right or wrong. I am just saying that Mikio is a gentleman and he would be welcome where I live, any day.
By the way, I believe the Bible, too. I have had experience. Still, it's all good and we can be friends.
Sorry, but there is no information there of technical nature or any other nature concerning your God. The website only makes faith based statements about God but never explains any of them or gives reasons for their validity.
He is in our hearts, our mind and soul. He gives us air to breathe and thought. I had my own experience in my life with God and many things happen after that with him so I could not imagine my world without him, just like you can't imagine your world without feeling lost and empty.
Yes, I understand you have deep seeded beliefs in your God, but turning to personal insults does not show you have accepted God into your heart, your mind and your soul, quite the contrary in fact.
If you have accepted God into your heart, your mind and your soul, why are you so fierce, sharp and defensive? You seem angry. God brings peace, doesn't He?
If we could define Him, he would cease to be God.
Last time I checked, He's WAY too BIG, for us to comprehend Him.
I have enough just discovering His presence in my (little) life.
I believe all of Eternity will not be sufficient "time" to fully comprehend Him (define Him, if you will).
Good luck in your quest.
That makes sense considering men created gods.
Yes,if it exists,the realm of God/s is "inaccessible and incomprehensible",so I guess Nietzsche is right.
On the contrary.
He's quite accessible.
He, in fact calls us all to Himself.
It's just people who don't come to Him that's the problem.
I've never been able to wrap my head around the reasoning behind statements such as this one. And I have tried.
How do you think God is calling? Do you honestly believe that, given a voice from above, the average person would choose non belief? How do you explain people who fervently pray for the spirit? How do you explain those who have lost their faith?
It makes no sense. I used to assume the speaker wasn't thinking. But that isn't fair, since we all have brains. I've wondered if the saying 'God works in mysterious ways' is used by believers to absolve themselves and their deity of responsibility for the callous nature of the claim.
What I believe is that the average believer doesn't follow the train of thought to its logical conclusion. They don't put all of their claims together and consider what manner of deity they are presenting to the world at large. Have you ever attempted that? What image arises?
Starting with the statement you've made, I see an impotent being who can't even get an introductory greeting right.
This isn't meant to be an insult, but if someone claims they hear voices IN ANY OTHER AREA OF LIFE, they are diagnosed as schizophrenic.
It's amazing how much tradition and societal norms influence what is considered normal, and what is considered illness.
I was diagnosed with a hemangio pericytoma. They were wrong.
My mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. They were wrong.
I hope you see my point. I would personally be averse to believing a voice from another plane was talking to anyone and I would advise psychiatric evaluation. That doesn't make me right.
LOL! If I had actually heard a god call me, I would answer and go.
So, what words are you hearing from God, exactly, and from where do those words originate so that I can make sure I'm there to hear them?
My friend you can hear them; but you have chosen not to listen to what he is saying. Paul denounced God to and in the end he once again followed his word and was filled with peace and love. You need to find Peace in your life and you would be so happy.
I bet if ATM suddenly found himself blinded, with the voice of Jesus speaking, he'd believe. Paul might not have been the best example to use.
And, how would I know it's the voice of Jesus?
I don't know ATM. You should probably direct that question to AEvans. I bet she knows the answer.
Ha ha ha! ATM! He should make a withdrawal.
But, you were the one who made the statement. Haven't you heard the voice of Jesus?
Not that I am aware of.
My point was, the road to Damascus was a life changing event that could not be attributed to anything else. If you had that, I would think you would know it.
Yes, it could be something else, the alternatives are endless.
Now you are being argumentative for the sake of argument. Read the story.
Or, maybe I'm just saying there are other alternatives, that's not being argumentative. Being argumentative would be to tell others they are being argumentative for the sake of argument.
ATM. If you don't believe his story, then you would attempt to find an alternative answer. You would call him a liar or deluded. Because you don't want to believe him.
What I am saying is, if it happened to you. If you were sitting at your computer, surrounded by a couple of atheist friends. You guys were laughing hysterically about your posts to some believer you were coming down hard on about creationism. Suddenly, a light blinded you, with an accompanying voice that boomed 'Troubled Man, Troubled Man...why do you persecute my children?'
So, there you sit. Blind with your ears ringing. Your buddies are freaking because they heard a voice but no one is there. The voice speaks up again and says 'I'm Jesus, by the way. Have those jerks hanging out with you to drive you over to genaea's house on 1st Street in Annapolis. Ask for aquasilver when you get there. He's praying to me right now. I've shown him a vision of Spanstar laying his hands on you and healing you.'
So, you somehow convince your friends to sober up and drive you there. You guys drive through the night and the next day, get to genaea's which is exactly where the voice said it was aqua is still praying...he sees you, and says ' Jesus told me you were coming and that spanstar could heal you.' Spanstar comes over, lays his hands on you and scales fall off of your eyes and you can see.
You are going to sit there and tell me there is a logical explanation to that? Or that it doesn't necessarily mean what it looks like it means? I'd love to hear it.
It makes sense when faced with supernatural claims to look for natural explanations first. It's not about "not wanting to believe".
Damascus aside,why are people who claim to have made a connection with God often so vague about what that really means?I
Let me start by saying I agree with you. We have to suspend reason to believe in supernatural claims and there isn't much point in that, other than we would want to believe.
But, giving the benefit of the doubt; I would think they were vague because human language is designed to communicate information concerning the physical world. You speak and you give me the tools to create a mental image. However, I can't visualize something as real if I have no experience that backs up your words. It is easy to listen and fantasize, but more difficult to acquiesce to the claim that what we consider to be fantasy is fact.
Fair enough. Kind of convenient though.
If it cant be translated into something communicable to others, then it remains meaningless to all but the person concerned. "Inconsequential knowledge"...back to Nietzsche's square one.
I suppose it is viewed as inconsequential knowledge, to our collective detriment. What is an 'encounter' with the supernatural but the fulfillment of a subconscious need? What is belief in a higher power, if not a despondent belief that humanity will always be selfish and will always find a way to trivialize the needs of others? Belief fills an abscess within the human psyche that, collectively, we have not found a way to address.
It is an angst that only the supernatural could love someone unconditionally. The fact that the monotheistic version of God cannot be perceived as loving all of humanity unconditionally is the result of the actions of humanity. We all observe the reality we exist within and use these observations to envisualize the greater reality.
So, when I perceive a faith in God that devalues the importance of another human being I also see a perception of failure on our part to value that person who holds that view. When I perceive a delusional belief in the truth of some 'supernatural' event there is a corresponding perception in the individual that witnessed it that the reality they exist in has failed them, on some level. Our shortcomings in our interactions with others drive allegiance to religious beliefs.
The hopes and dreams of others are no more 'inconsequential' than are my own. Failure to accept this fact drives everything within this world that fuels the need some have for religion.
LOL! Why wouldn't I want to believe him? What does it have to do with me?
LOL! Sounds like a lot of smoke and mirrors, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
It's obviously a made up story, Emile.
Of course I made it up. It is a what if. You do understand the concept? I say you're too scared to address a what if. The problem is, not everyone is. The question is, why?
That's silly. Any "What if" scenario can be created, so what?
"What if" the universe was sneezed out of a giant lizard?
"What if" we were all a hundred feet tall and had green skin?
"What if" we could all defy gravity?
I don't know. Throw out a complete scenario that involves giant lizards, hundred foot flying people and I'll respond.
I did, however, ask you first. Common courtesy dictates that you address my question. What other explanation can you offer for that scenario, other than the obvious.
You claimed an infinite number of possibilities. Name one that explains it.
That is entirely false. If you're hearing voices in your head and I'm not, then we would refer to a psychiatrist.
LOL! Suspending disbelief and wallowing in religious dogma is not the same as finding peace.
Atheists provide one reason after another, enough to fill a stadium as to why we don't believe in YOUR God as well as all the other Gods out there whom other believers wonder how YOU cannot believe in their Gods and their creation stories.
They would ask YOU who else could create such beauty?
You have "cahones" or you are a "Troubled Man" my friend! Taking on the fire and vengeance of AEvans surely deserves something... :-)
I spent the better part of the last 50 years struggling with this through five religions and a metaphysical discipline, as well as QM.
I finally accepted the statements from all of those sources as each in turn quietly and succinctly pointed out in their holy books and writings, their oral traditions and their teachings that man simply cannot know the "mind" of God, god, gods, Gods, Allah, nor will man ever be able to understand a Unified Theory even should they be able to develop the mathematics to "prove" one.
Nietzsche was a lost soul!
The metaphysical world is not inaccessible and incomprehensible to me. Nietzsche's arrogance made it inaccessible to him. That arrogance is one aspect of ego.
It takes utter humility and perfect confidence. And no, the combination of these two is not an oxymoron. When you get the connection, you will understand.
Strong belief is not the same as "perfect confidence" (faith). Utter humility is not the same as groveling, but humility is the antidote to ego.
Nietzsche did stretch our minds, philosophically, but the result was a bit too much of a distortion and pessimistic, in my view. Nihilism sucks, but humility is divine. Big difference. Ponder on that difference.
Nietzsche talked about God being dead. That idea was reborn for a little while during the 60s, but it was a crock! Why? Because those who espoused the idea couldn't understand why tragedies like the Holocaust could occur if God were a living, active entity. They let their egos blind them to any possible solution, so they went for Nietzsche's idea.
But God's purpose isn't unknowable. God wants His children back. Wouldn't you do everything to rescue your children if they were lost?
God's children were created in His image and likeness, and God is not Homo sapiens!
Physical reality is a product of God's creation, and this is what science studies. Those believers who disrespect science are missing the bigger picture. They think their "interpretation" of the Bible is truth, so they put down anything that disagrees with that interpretation. But could it be ego getting in their way? Could their interpretation be wrong? After all, ignoring reality is tantamount to delusion, and science has reality pegged pretty well. Our technological civilization wouldn't work, if science was mostly wrong.
And yet, I found a biblical timeline compatible with those of science. Imagine that! All it took was humility, faith and hard work. Believe it or not, scientists use these tools all the time. If you look really closely, you'll find them behind every great discovery. Humility not to think they know it all (restraint from prejudging the data), faith that answers can be found, and the hard work that any quest requires.
I appreciate the thoughtful comment. A few observations.
First, Nietzsche being a "lost soul" is not really relevant to the quote I posted, even if true. As to your point about arrogant (speaking of the intellectual realm, and not a personal attack), it seems more arrogant to say we know this special world, despite our human cognitive limitations. Humankind has always been arrogant though, believing the earth was the center of the universe! Maybe we should admit we aren't special.
I also don't see any specific argument supporting your point that the metaphysical world is available to us. You assert the opposite, but I don't know what kind of argument you bring forth that shows we have access. To say God exists, and then say that's WHY we have access is begging the question, because the existence of God is what people are disputing to begin with.
Furthermore, I'm glad to see you don't deny scientific discoveries the way some (not all) theists do. I have no issue with severely questioning EVERYTHING, science or not. It's just rather irksome when a believer tells me the earth was created in 6 literal days, or that the sun stopped, because a literal interpretation of the Bible claims it to be so.
Hope this makes sense.
That seems too complicated. I just love the Lord. That's all.
Nothing wrong with that. The questions that come to mind are what is 'the Lord' in your view? How does 'the Lord' perceive others with views that oppose your own? How are others treated by 'the Lord' from an eternal perspective?
How you answer those questions gives us a more indepth understanding of you, nothing about a supposedly higher being or any presumed higher truth.
My view? I can't see all of God from here, so I guess you have to go with what you can see. How's the view from there?
I don't know. If God exists, it seems that we are the manifestation of God in this reality. God is looking pretty self centered and myopic at this moment, but certainly capable of change for the better.
Well, for now, the view from here looks better. The sun is rising, the birds are singing and the lagoon is alive with wonder. I know the view can be bleak from the window of a 12th floor apartment in the middle of a modern city, where people live in a man made world of concrete steel and glass. From the air, it looks like a blight is eating up God's glorious creation. Our paths are chosen for us by the designers of infrastructure. Folks swim in a sea of of faces they do not recognize, and are carried by the powerful current of a power with no identifiable source. No wonder there is no sense of wonder. It is better just to keep moving and seek wealth, entertainment, and stimulation. If they stop to ponder, they will be depressed by the formless void of uncertainty. There is a yoke of slavery placed around their neck by the industrial behemoth that desecrates the natural world.
Jesus (speaking as God) said, "Behold I stand at the door and knock. Whoever hears, and opens the door, I will come in to eat and drink with them."
I can hear it from here. There is someone at your door. He will help you with your burden and open your heart for love (real love . . . agape love) as you journey through this life. There is no male or female with God, so don't get hung up on semantics. I hope the weather clears up for you, but if it doesn't . . . there is shelter from the storm.
I apologize in advance for being brutally honest. That is, without a doubt, one of the most ridiculous (and I'm sorry to say, most judgmental) responses you could have offered to the questions I posed. You've made me regret asking.
So, are you a psychic? I doubt it. As I stated previously, I am hopeful. That hope does not involve looking down on others in order to elevate myself. My back was not designed to be your stepping stone.
What have you been smoking? Save it for the tourists, honey.
I'll make you a deal. I'll tell the tourists to save their pointless religious drivel for their home state if you'll stop attempting to ingratiate yourself to an imagined deity through ridiculous replies to my posts.
Is that supposed to be clever? You are too slow on your feet to dance with me.
haha. I don't see evidence that you have any rythm. The gyrations you are involved in may not be what you think they are.
What is this? Is it a see who can get in the last stupid word contest?
Congratulations, you win!
Your interjection has had absolutely nothing to do with the topic. This appears to be typical of your participation on every thread I've read your comments on.
Your need to insult others in order to delude yourself into believing you have somehow raised yourself in the estimation of anyone reading your posts is your problem. No one else's.
Wow. Are you new? I only ask because that condescending attitude generally only comes from old-timers around here.
Hey, Why should I put up with the condescending attitude of an "old timer"? I'm not new on the planet. Follow the thread before you jump in the hen house, sister.
I've been to Chicago. The world looks ugly from there. Nothing but buildings, elevated train tracks, buses and grime. People move down here from up there and want to scrape this place clean, too. Stay on your side of the Mason Dixon line, and we'll get along just fine.
First, I no longer live in Chicago, but the city is full of wonderful people.
Second, I didn't say you had to put up with anyone's condescending attitude, I simply acknowledged yours.
Also, I don't know (nor care) where you live, but the war's over and I can roam through this great nation of ours wherever I choose - regardless of what side of the Mason-Dixon line it happens to be on.
Lastly, honey, I sure hope your dance card is full of souls when you meet the Lord, and that he doesn't get too concerned about how obnoxious you were to them to draw them in.
As a post script, I've read through the entire thread, but you're the only one I've chosen to respond to. I was hoping to help stem the flow of blood you're causing to us Christians by making us all look like judgmental bigots.
Carry on, but don't be surprised if you run into some folks who aren't taken in by your folksy 'charm.'
You're not a judgmental bigot? Guess again.
Your approach isn't getting anywhere, either, so what's the dif. You don't know the many ways the Good Lord can work. You are in a box. I don't care if you trust me, or not. i'll do my thing, and you do yours. I'll see you on the other side, and we can compare notes. Meanwhile, you are being haughty and presumptuous as your path through life is being directed on the infrastructure of the ant-christ.
I'm sure that post is meant to appear intellectual. It doesn't.
I'm not a judgmental bigot.
Frankly, I'm not even interested in continuing this conversation. Not quite sure why I began it in the first place.
Enjoy sharing your 'rapier' wit with others who don't recognize its resemblance to that of other 'intellectual' posters.
In my view, the Lord is the Creator of the universe and everything/everyone in it. The Lord perceives others with views that oppose my own as His children - whom He loves and destines only for good. The Lord treats us all in an eternal perspective as they have chosen to treat others during their earthly lives. He desires only good for all of us, but in the grand scheme of things allows us to choose our paths. Whether we need one or several lifetimes to work out our eternity, He offers (as does humanity) countless opportunities for us to become like Him - loving and desirous of only good for those we meet.
Also, in my view, the Lord did in fact create us in His image. We have been trying to return the favor ever since. That's where we've messed up.
ACCORDING TO HINDU MYTHOLOGY GOD IS ---"NARA NARAYAN"---MEANS GOD IS WITHIN THE MAN AND MAN IS WITHIN THE GOD AS TEACHER AND STUDENTS ARE TWO SIDES OF A COIN
To me, God is whatever you believe in; if you feel that the God in you is a hateful god, then your experiences manifest as such. If you feel that the God in you is a loving and forgiving God, then those experiences will show up as well.
If that is all there is to God, then why the space here. If God is only whatever you chose to believe, then His manifestation would be what to you? Love, hate, forgiving are qualities mentioned here. God is pure love. That is not an opinion but a knowledge. Yes, Elizabeth, there are people out here who know God. When you put all of your SELF aside and hand everything to God, with a lowly and contrite heart, then you will have this understanding. Until, then, keep peace with everyone around you.
I know God. I have given my life to Him and he is in control. Over time He has proven Himself to me beyond what could be coincidence. He has opened my mind and I can see his Divine hand in my life and the life of those around me. Often He places on me the duty of showing others His divine hand where they are blind to him. Usually it is one of His sheep gone astray.
I can not explain God to you, and I can not prove his existance to you in any way that would be any good. I can not understand God or know why things work the way they do. I know God because he resides in me and he shows Himself to me constantly, but for you to know God you must get there by faith like I did. It's a long, hard journey, and if you are on the fence it's a tough one. He'll keep trying to persuade you, but your eyes have to be open to it. A logical, scientific mind like mine can be slow to be persuaded, and hard not to question.
Only through time of God constantly poving Himself to me did I finally learn to accept Him. And I don't really worry about whether is wrong or right to be gay or every word of the Bible is true, or whether abortion should be legal. These things are not mine to control. I am instructed to love all of his creatures and I do not judge or question but accept them for who they are. I accept the world for what it is and I love science and have never felt that something I read in a science journal interefered with my belief in God. I just accept that through God all things are possible and I don't need to understand it to love God and to know that He loves me.
Once you give Him the power in your life, you will undertand and you can't understand until that time. It requires that initial leap of Faith.
Wow... that was long winded!
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