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Can we know if god exists or not?

  1. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
    AMAZING THINKERposted 2 years ago

    Who are right, believers or atheists?
    We don't know how the universe works, and science does not yet have all the answers, so all we can do is assume what we believe in is true.
    Some things can't be explained, but does that mean there is no logical explanation?
    These are some questions for you:
    1. Does God exist?
    2. Do we have free will?
    3. What do you think happens after death.
    4. Have you ever witnessed anything supernatural? Any incident that can't be explained or is too good to be a coincidence?
    These questions are brought up so many times here, but I would like to know your opinion.
    Let's find out on what people's beliefs are based on.

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Unknown.  Until proven positive by God himself (if portrayed accurately), unknowable.

      Unknown.  If subatomic particles are truly acting randomly it is possible.  If everything has a cause, then no.

      Nothing outside of normal, everyday events in the natural world.  Note you DID say "what do you think".

      No.  But do you mean "can't be explained" or "I don't know an explanation"?  And considering the odds of winning the lottery, is there anything at all that could be considered "too good to be a coincidence"?

      1. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
        AMAZING THINKERposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        So, you are an agnostic?

        Say we do have free will, and it is not affected by the behavior of atoms in our brains, do you believe that everything has a cause? What do you think? 

        Not talking about the rest of the world; what happens to people when they die? For example; I see the world in my point of view; what happens after death? Will it be just blank, like I am in sleep, only I will never get up?
        If that POV is gone, for me, it's same as end of the universe, right? What do you think?

        Yeah, I meant  "I don't know an explanation?"

        Today I read an article about some weird coincidences. Here is the link: Insane coincidences you wont believe actually happened

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Anyone trying to reason rather than feel their way about the God question is an agnostic.  Defined as someone without belief about a god's existence.

          Say the moon is green cheese, too.  Your will is most certainly affected by the behavior of atoms in your brains; atoms that release the electrons that constitute thought.  Atoms that are part of the chemical structure of your brain and most definitely influence what and how you think.  So when your suppositions are included into the question it becomes meaningless as we already know that your will IS affected by brain tissue, molecules, chemicals and atoms.

          You no longer exist; how can there be anything from your point of view?  A point of view without mind, body or existence of self is a conundrum.

          *shrug*  Concidences, or at least our concept of them, are primarily a matter of probability.  As there can be almost nothing as improbable as the specific collection of atoms that make up the person labelled Amazing Thinker, the idea that some things are too improbable to be considered coincidental isn't worth much.  (Keep in mind that our best information to date is that there is no god to put the Amazing Thinker together.)  You might also consider that most really weird "coincidences" come about only with diligent effort on our part.  Meaning that we make the coincidence into a coincidence.  The cabin boy from the book is an example; it is only through massive research and effort that we "unearth" this "coincidence" - without that effort it would be no coincidence at all.  Now add in that, just like prophecies, if they are vague enough we can always find something coincidental about it as we are making up the story and defining what is "coincidental".

          1. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
            AMAZING THINKERposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            I said the same thing about coincidence in my reply to EncephaloiDead. We don't consider how many times it doesn't happened but only the times it does.
            Philosophically speaking, If everything happens for a reason, and is already planned, so the molecular changes that leads to our decisions are supposed to happen.
            Also, it can be that science is just an explanation to what there is, it's not the "ultimate truth." Just saying!

            1. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              That's the kicker, yes.  If there is a cause (not a "reason" dreamed up by an intelligence, but a "cause") for everything then you have no free will.  A technical point, perhaps, as the cause cannot be determined by us, but a point.

              But.  If some subatomic actions have no cause, as is now believed, then perhaps free will is still possible.

              1. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
                AMAZING THINKERposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Back to the topic of life after death; Do you believe that we are nothing more than a bag of chemicals? Well, we are, but what makes us a living thing? What is life?

                1. wilderness profile image95
                  wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Our sum total information at this time is that life is a chemical reaction.  Nothing supernatural there - no "soul" existing in another dimension, no "mind" occupying another universe, no "god" we are a minute part of.

                  Just a chemical reaction, no matter how repugnant the thought that we are not the most important thing in the universe might be.

                  One day perhaps we'll find that "soul" or "mind", floating in another dimension or something, but until then the total of our information is that we are a bag of chemicals. 

                  Something that might help here is to try and define what "life" is?  Can You?  Can you even make a decent effort?

                  1. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
                    AMAZING THINKERposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    May be it's a form of energy that is not know to science. Soul is just a label!

                  2. 60
                    puellaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    It takes a lot of 'blindness' not being able to see what science can't see either wink and then come here and say that we are not particularly interesting or important in this universe...So wildeness, I ask you, how do you "know" that?

                  3. Psalm139 profile image61
                    Psalm139posted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    human
                    1. mind- will an emotions
                    2. body-flesh
                    3. soul-your identity

              2. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
                AMAZING THINKERposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Even if our decisions are a result of the atom and molecular changes in our brains, what about the external things that affects our decisions; like our memories, and the incidents that lead to those memories?
                Have you seen The Adjustment Bureau?

                1. wilderness profile image95
                  wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Then those changes were caused by something.  If it was memory or some outside force then those things were caused by something.  Right back to the big bang, which may or may not have been caused by something.  No free will.

                  No, haven't seen it.

              3. Slarty O'Brian profile image86
                Slarty O'Brianposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Don't know who told you the behavior of particles have no cause but that's just plain not science.

                And even if that were true how in the world would it give you free will? Do you control it? No. So your free will would be random will. Hardly useful you.

                There is no such thing as random and no such thing as free will. There is will and it is a manifestation of conditioning both genetic and environmental. We choose the things we like but we never choose what we like.

                1. wilderness profile image95
                  wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Actually, some particles do come into and go out of existence without a causal relationship with anything.  There is no cause for their appearance or disappearance.

                  Given: a massive computer, bigger than the whole universe.  Feed into it all every bit of information about every particle or energy beam following the big bang. 

                  IF there is a cause for everything that happens (as opposed to the random appearance of some particles), THEN the entire future of the universe could be calculated and show by that super computer, long before it ever happened.  That we cannot ever have such a computer does not change the basic tenet that the entire future of the Universe was "written" in the first few seconds of the big bang. 

                  And THAT means no free will.  Your every move was dictated by the make up of the universe at the time of the big bang.

                  1. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
                    AMAZING THINKERposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    If big bang was the beginning, what was there before?

                  2. stanfrommarietta profile image79
                    stanfrommariettaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    A causal relation involves two THINGS, the cause and the effect.  That makes causes between things IN the world.  If God is that there is something and not nothing, that makes God beyond cause and effect, because God is not a THING. Things are finite.  So, we cannot use a FIRST CAUSE ARGUMENT. God is a mystery.  The question, "Why is there something and not nothing" is natural to make.  But we are trying to understand using categories, (cause and effect, for example) that apply to things.  But we want to know why there are causes and effects and not nothing. But there is no answer.  Logical positivism tried to say that the question is meaningless because there was no way to determine whether one explanation or another is true or false.  But the question is full of meaning not in the sense that you could provide an answer or not like of relations between things, but that it concerns that you are, that other things are, and no way of getting beyond that is apparent.  That is an "Ultimate Concern".  Which is concern about God.  I have never liked atheism.  It seemed too absolute in its certainty.  It is true, no God being has been ever found, and even if we did, why would we adore it and worship it? Why is there that God and not nothing?  I remember having that thought one day on the playground when I was in first grade. Why is there something and not nothing.  Why am I and not nothing?  What will I be when I die?  Am I really just a finite being? Is my sense of personal identity a kind of illusion that prevents me from knowing who and what I am? Am I the Universe, and my individual consciousness is just a limited perspective of a small piece of that universe sensitive to other parts of the universe? We have all these eyes peering out of the world and seeing other eyes peering out at the world, and we think we are distinct.  Am I the world? Even if I am, why am I and not nothing?

                2. 60
                  puellaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  and many many times, we do not like the what we chose

                  1. Slarty O'Brian profile image86
                    Slarty O'Brianposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    But you are forced to make a choice and then you make the one you like best. What was your point?

                  2. 60
                    puellaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    It may not be/seem to you free will but random? how? I thought that a 'random' occurrence was such because it was independent of mindful biases (aka 'cause'), once your mind, and all its circumstancialities to interpret perceptions, acquire 'knowledge' we still must deal with the application of knowledge and that, my dear watson, is called in all the bibles of the world, wisdom. Wisdom, then, may be the light that makes or rules our choices, as far as an individual's self-reach wink then we still have to deal with a more or less (due to loopholes, hence, inter and mis-inter pretations) regulated communitiy/society/ etc...Still. within all of those limits, we do have some how a 'free' will and, if disregarding wisdom, we fail (according to the sorta rules of our particular social environment...or, if wise or witty, we are OK (aka success except in the financial world wink;
                    So, I boune your question...back to you

          2. stanfrommarietta profile image79
            stanfrommariettaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            When I was in college, Paul Tillich was a leading Protestant theologian. He said that if you believe God exists, you have taken the first step on the road to atheism.  God is your "Ultimate Concern".  Why is there something and not nothing?  I then read a book by W. T. Stace, Time and Eternity, in which he argued that  mystics claim to experience ....  and that nothing you can say or describe in words applies.  Religious language Stace said is evocative rather than descriptive or analytical.  Religion seeks to evoke in you the wonder of your existence, who you are, and what you are to be and what sustains you despite the threat of death. It does this with symbolic, metaphoric language.  It's like watching a movie about some fictitious event. You immerse yourself in the plot.  It is not important whether it is real or not. Your feelings and experience of being and acting in the movie is what is evoked and important.  Poetry is also evocative.  Tillich argued that Christ on the Cross is a criterion to be used to judge idolatry.  An idol demands that you sacrifice yourself so that it can continue to be.  Christ on the Cross, is God sacrificing Himself so that you may be saved.  When the Pentacostal focuses on "Jesus loves you" it doesn't  matter if there is such a being in the universe.  He is beyond the Universe, beyond conception, beyond description.  A God that exists is just another being in the Universe.  Why should we give him our devotion when what concerns us is that there is something and not nothing, that there is a Universe at all.   So, I can sympathize with religion, accept its evocative language for what it does to me and what it points to, while not believing most of the conceptions about God as a Being in the Universe. I am also a scientist, so this is the way I can sort religion and science into different categories requiring different uses of language.

      2. Ericdierker profile image80
        Ericdierkerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Can this be personal proof or must it be one we can "show and tell" "dog and pony" to you.
        Are we talking a Petre dish proof of something that does not fit in a Petre dish or only "acceptable science"?
        If my proof must be valid for your proof I say we just get rid of the twelve man Jury system now!!

        1. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
          AMAZING THINKERposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I just asked you what your beliefs are. I didn't say it has to be something that I will agree with.
          I don't know everything!
          Let's just get rid of the jury; we are not proving anything; we can't!
          This is just an argument to understand each other's beliefs better, and to see things in different perspectives.

    2. EncephaloiDead profile image59
      EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      The fact that science does not have all the answers yet does not mean that what we know about how the universe works is not true to the very best of our ability to explain it. If we find a phenomenon that works consistently, can accurately be measured (if a law) and does not violate other explanations, then we can assume we have something that is true in how it works and how it might affect us.

      As well, even though science does not have all the answers, that does not mean we should jump to conclusions trying to explain a phenomenon that never works consistently, cannot be measured accurately and does violate other explanations with supernatural answers.



      God's materialization and acknowledgement in front of the entire worlds population can only answer that question.



      We each have the will to do things, but our universe usually affects the outcome of those things making it not so "free" of a will. In other words, no matter what we do, it may not turn out the way we wanted or planned.



      We die and our bodies decay, just like every other living thing.



      We as humans aren't able to observe, know or understand anything about the supernatural because we have nothing in our universe to reference it.



      Whatever the explanation and no matter how improbable something may occur, it can occur and probably will occur.

      1. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
        AMAZING THINKERposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        So what do you believe? God exists or not?
        Our bodies decay, but what happens to our "soul?" By that I mean we are living and seeing the world, and have a point of view. What happens to it after we die?
        You are right; everything has an explanation, no matter how improbable it may seem. Coincidence can be explained with the rule of probability! It's just coincidence for skeptics and miracle for believers.

        Go to the link I have posted in my reply to wilderness.

        1. EncephaloiDead profile image59
          EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I have no reason to accept the belief that any gods exist.



          There is no reason to accept the belief that souls exist. The question is then moot.



          The world goes on without us, our point of view is carried in the minds and memories of those we interacted throughout our lives.

          1. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
            AMAZING THINKERposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            I don't believe in it, but I am open to the possibilities, are you?

            1. Paul Wingert profile image79
              Paul Wingertposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              I simply ask this, "Why do we need a god?" Kinda outdated do you think?

        2. stanfrommarietta profile image79
          stanfrommariettaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          No, God does not exist, like you and I and the trees around us exist. What I say next is metaphor:  God is not (a) Being but Ground of Being.  God is that there is something and not nothing.  God is to be discovered in every being. But confusing God with the being leads to idolatry. Idolatry is possible everywhere.  It is when you raise something finite up to be your Ultimate Concern. Most fundamentalist religions sink into idolatry because they are concerned with what is in the world, not that there is a world. And they treat given forms as our Ultimate Concern.  We must sacrifice ourselves that these forms come to be or continue to be.  By fundamentalist I do not limit my comments to Christianity but to religions like islam when its adherants think they must convert you at the point of a gun.  They cannot conceive of a God that sacrifices Himself that you may be.  The same goes for Christian fundamentalists who want to use the power of the State to make women believe a fetus is a human being when it does not yet have all the characteristics of a human being that is partially self-sustaining outside the womb.  They focus on finite forms that we must conform to. They have no real sense of God as beyond and through all forms.

          1. stanfrommarietta profile image79
            stanfrommariettaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            I recently had an experience of a friend who was in the hospital at the ICU.
            I had the thought , God is reality, not the stuff, but that the stuff is and what it is.
            Then it came to me "Thy will be done" from the Lord's Prayer.  It means to me 'accept reality as it is'.  I must accept how my friend is, you might say, As God wills.' By identifying with God's will, the believer can deal with death and dying.
            Then it occurred to me that idolatry is a false God. It cannot save you. You have to save it.  An idol cannot love you unconditionally, assert the meaningfulness of your existence without you preserving it.  An idol demands sacrifices.  But God sacrifices Himself that you are saved. This
            shows that this existence is not all.  God is beyond existence. Beyond understanding.
            Science also concerns what is, what is reality.  It is a way to identify the idolatrous as false reality.

    3. PhoenixV profile image79
      PhoenixVposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      There is always a logical conclusion. If we could conclude there is no logical conclusion, we have arrived at a logical conclusion.

      1. Things exist, sometimes. Absolute necessity is absolute. God is existing.
      2.  Only if we don't use it.
      3.
      4. Reality

    4. Silverspeeder profile image59
      Silverspeederposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      An atheist was seated next to a little girl on an airplane and he turned to her and said, "Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger."

      The little girl, who had just started to read her book, replied to the total stranger, "What would you want to talk about?"

      "Oh, I don't know," said the atheist. "How about why there is no God, or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death?" as he smiled smugly.

      "Okay," she said. "Those could be interesting topics but let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff - grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?"

      The atheist, visibly surprised by the little girl's intelligence,
      thinks about it and says, "Hmmm, I have no idea." To which
      the little girl replies, "Do you really feel qualified to discuss
      God, Heaven and Hell, or life after death, when you don't know shit?"

      1. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
        AMAZING THINKERposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        LOL..I am not interested in learning about s**t!

      2. 60
        puellaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        indeed appropriate! smile

      3. stanfrommarietta profile image79
        stanfrommariettaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Why are there these different kinds of s**t and not nothing?

      4. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
        Kathryn L Hillposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        LOL, The Best!

        I'll tell you a true story about how God helped me find my glasses. I need them to drive. I don't have spares. I couldn't afford to buy new ones, so I told God in no uncertain terms to help me find them. He did after a long desperate search. I looked all over the house trying to deduct where I could have left them. 
              Then I realized I wasn't tuning in to God's invisible spiritual omnipresent essence. I had to let go of my logical thinking. God told me to stop thinking logically and let Him guide me. I was led to do the dishes and while I was doing them, I realized as clear as day how I lost them and where they were. I had no idea before this.
        I got my dogs and walked right up to where they were. They had fallen out of my purse at my neighbor's house. I walked right to where they were: all mangled up (after someone had stepped on them) on the pathway to her house.
        That was God's doing.

        1. 0
          Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          God stepped on your glasses? That wasn't very nice.

          You'd think your God would have not let you lose them. You'd think they wouldn't be mangled. Tell me again how God helped you? You demanded God help you find your mangled glasses. Why not demand he help you afford all the glasses you will every need? Why not demand he help you feed the starving?

          Instead you guys ask for him to help you find your mangled glasses, keys or plan a vacation.

          1. stanfrommarietta profile image79
            stanfrommariettaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            But the Christian says, "Thy will be done".  We don't know why the glasses had to be mangled, they just were. It was God's will.  God is that there is something and not nothing.  God is that something is as it is.  It teaches you not to sugar-coat reality, but to accept it as God's will.  God is the ground of Being, not what is, but that what is, is.

            1. Dr Lamb profile image60
              Dr Lambposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              So your not going to pray for the starving children then?

        2. EncephaloiDead profile image59
          EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          That would be translated to read, "a true story about how a believer can insult every single person who didn't get their prayers answered and lost something or someone far more valuable than glasses."

          1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
            Kathryn L Hillposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Because God works with our requests and our free will in making those requests. Also, If we do not know how to tune into God, who is invisible spirit, we can't perceive his spiritually emanating response.
            We need to be calm, open and receptive when perceiving God and realize God must work in a non material way.
            TWISI

            1. psycheskinner profile image80
              psycheskinnerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              So people whose prayers are not answer deserved it somehow?

              Nice to know my relative painful and terminal disorders are somehow good for them or their own fault.

              1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
                Kathryn L Hillposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                We are talking spiritual science here. Law of Cause and effect, Karma, spiritual evolvement… awareness, persistence, faith and level of feelings of love and devotion to the Creator of our beings. He is not our physical dad!  altho part of Him exists in our physical dad… and Mom… as in us… He loves all of us equally.
                And with more love than we can even handle!
                "The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few."
                Matthew 9:37

                1. EncephaloiDead profile image59
                  EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Spiritual science? Is that like 'military intelligence' or ' jumbo shrimp'?

                2. A Thousand Words profile image80
                  A Thousand Wordsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  I call BS. Little 3 year old girls that get raped have done nothing to warrant such a horrible experience. (Yes, multiple men raped  a 3 year old girl). http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/10 … -year-old/

                  So yea, BS.

            2. EncephaloiDead profile image59
              EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              That looks very much like an incredibly lame justification. Sure, it's easy to project the blame back to the victim because you believe they weren't "tuned into God or receptive when perceiving God"

              That's obviously no problem for God, He's going to "work with your request" to find your glasses because you have God coming in loud and clear on all invisible spirit channels, spiritually emanating responses in a non material way, that we can't perceive.

            3. stanfrommarietta profile image79
              stanfrommariettaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Will you concede you speak metaphorically when you say God is 'invisible spirit'?  There are things invisible, like electricity and infrared light.  And we can think of spirits as like intelligent beings but not visible. We think of God in terms we know, like things in the world, when God is beyond the world.
              Even that is metaphorical.  God is mystery.

              1. 60
                puellaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                the subject in tbis hub is complicated enough to incorporate even more complications by using figures of speech improperly; I am talking about "...God id invisible spirit"...that would not quaify as a metaphor or any onter figure of speech known...If God is 'invisible spirit' or if we say God is 'like an invisible spirit"...we are introducing our ddefinitions...Any figure of speech, precise, evades the definition and introduces an expression for which an intellectual exercise comes to happen and so, within the relevant background, the reader or listener, arrives at an interpretation of that particular fifuere of speech...For example, if a rose is a rose is a rose...the abstraction on all of the following to the first rose is...love or affection...If God is 'like' an invisible spirit, that is what is is...where is the figurative -intellectual puzzle? God IS a puzzle for a definition, but not for interpreting Him...

    5. Phyllis Doyle profile image95
      Phyllis Doyleposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Who are right, believers or atheists?
      This question is so beaten and slammed around that it has become pure annoyance. Who has the "right" answer? We each have our own truths and it is as simple as that.

      1. Does God exist?
      I believe He does. Why? It is my truth.

      2. Do we have free will?
      Most certainly we have free will and everyone should respect that.

      3. What do you think happens after death.
      Rest, reflection, reincarnation.

      4. Have you ever witnessed anything supernatural? Any incident that can't be explained or is too good to be a coincidence?
      Yes.

      1. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
        AMAZING THINKERposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Atheists and believers both have their own beliefs, but if they claim to know everything, they are wrong.
        Can you share that incident with us?

        1. Paul Wingert profile image79
          Paul Wingertposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Who claims to know everything?

          1. 0
            Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Who claims to know everything? Anyone insistent that their opinion is the only valid one on an issue that cannot be known for sure. If they don't think they know everything there is to know on the topic they certainly do a good job pretending that no other opinion has merit.

            You say the idea of God is outdated. Your idea of God may be. However, are your ideas the only ones worth considering? Do your ideas take precedent? Does your understanding of the term invalidate all other thoughts on the matter? God is a big word that has been expounded on by countless individuals in countless societies throughout the history of the human race. We've probably lost more writings on the topic than we have access to.

          2. stanfrommarietta profile image79
            stanfrommariettaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            We can't  know everything.  Our senses, perceptual processes only process a limited information taken in from a particular point of view. Even as we go one through time, discovering new information, there is always more we cannot yet know.  What we know now is formed by putting together things we have learned at different points in the past, but there is always the possibility of being exposed to something new which may require our reorganization of our ideas.  Truth is always relative to finding something new that coheres with what we conceived about other things. We expect it and it coheres as we expected. But that truth may be overcome in the future with our discovering from new points of view new phenomena that do not cohere, requiring a new conception that makes everything cohere again and which allows us to predict something new we  have not experienced before and finding our prediction upheld. So, truth is never final or absolute but relative, but the criteria for it are quite clear.

    6. prithvitheprime profile image59
      prithvitheprimeposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Lovely questions. As you already said we can simply assume how the universe works. Still plenty of explanations and proofs are given by the scientists on this system How it works; but, still it is not complete.
      1. Does God exist?
      Yes, (Why doesn't there is super power controlling all systems around you. I believe there it is; but you can't see God, but you can feel him in you; if you start assuming protons and neutrons are revolving around you it is a fact; scientifically you can't see the protons and neutrons around you but it is there as like that there must be a superpower controlling all the galaxies. As i said galaxies there are still discoveries going on).
      2. Do we have free will?
      As per our life going on; as you trust in god this question cannot come from you. So i assume you may believe in god my answer is yes; we have a free will if we do good.
      3. What do you think happens after death.
      Definitely; a good question; i don't think about death; it's all about soul. Souls can travel well if its a not a evolved soul; it will come back to the earth and rebirth again. If it's a evolved soul it will not come back; and it will join the superpower(means god)
      4. Have you ever witnessed anything supernatural? Any incident that can't be explained or is too good to be a coincidence?
      Yes; i have seen many things supernatural; for me supernatural is something cannot be done by you; but can done by others ( for an instance i can't help a person that he needs some thing. But if you believe that he will get it; he will) (another example is your thoughts can travel; if you are accepting or start believing it; i still cannot find a proof for it; but it's still there)
      As i am sharing it from my life experience; i don't want others to accept it; this is my experience. I love everything around me.

      1. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
        AMAZING THINKERposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Interesting!
        Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
        What do you mean by evolved soul?

        1. prithvitheprime profile image59
          prithvitheprimeposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Evolved means taking everything as just like that (like happiness, sorrow, anger, etc.,) A person who did that will be consider as a monk. His soul will be an evolved one which never cares about anything and love all. As we consider it on scientific terms; your body will be controlled by chakras in you. If you reach the final chakra the person will be considered as monk; in-return his soul is an evolved soul.

          1. 0
            Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Evolved soul seem to equal ethically and morally matured.

      2. stanfrommarietta profile image79
        stanfrommariettaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        The sense of free will, in my view, comes from the fact that we are not conscious of every aspect of our bodies and our thoughts.  We don't observe what goes on in our brains as we think. We are not aware of all the influences on our bodies that may be causing us to act as we do.  This has come to be regarded by cognitive psychologists as the cognitive unconscious.  We are  not conscious of how we think as we think.  If we devise machines to show us what is happening in our brains as we think, and we sit there observing it and trying to correlate it to what we think. We do not observe how we are thinking now.  Take a strip of paper about 1" wide and 20 inches long.  Twist the strip once and join the back side of one end of the strip to the front side of the other end.  Now write on one side "subject' and the other side "object".  Then begin with  "subject "and follow it around keeping on the "same side" and lo! you come to "object".  The subject does not know that it is object.  From a limited perspective the subject and object are distinct. But only if you go all away around do you come to the other.  I think that is what we are doing here when we try to understand free will.  We try to think of what causes us; that we are objects and effects of other objects. But we do not directly observe that before our eyes.  We always have to take a stance where we are object to other objects in view.  That's what is essential to thinking of whether our acts are caused by other things or not.  But then we have a sense of free will because we act and think without knowing ourselves as objects but as subjects acting, doing, thinking.

        1. Slarty O'Brian profile image86
          Slarty O'Brianposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I agree with most of what you say here.

        2. 60
          puellaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          if you do not 'observe' your thoughts or whatever influence them, does that account for 'non-existent' thoughts? does that account for 'tricks' of the mind? or... does that account for simply not being aware of what it really is? or... just not-liked thoughts and so, not read, and so, not accounted for, and so called them non existent, and so...much to say of what we do n ot control, do not undertsand can not explain, so, why or on what base, scientific or not, call it non sense or non existent or s**t as someone earlier said ...
          Mature and evolved? who is mature and evolved? man? scientific minds?

    7. 0
      Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      1. Does God exist?

      I think there is merit behind the belief that some level of consciousness transcends our understanding. But, I don't think religion adequately understands it.

      2. Do we have free will?

      I've heard it argued by people I consider to be intelligent that science has proven free will does not exist. I see no evidence to support the assertion, unless you assume every action by the individual is nothing more than a reaction...which, I suppose, could be followed back through an intricate web to the first reaction (assuming the Big Bang was a reaction to some unknown event). However, that assumption negates the value of every thought, hope or dream by each of us; so, I consider the idea flawed.

      3. What do you think happens after death.

      I assume the energy that animates each of us is reabsorbed and recycled.

      4. Have you ever witnessed anything supernatural? Any incident that can't be explained or is too good to be a coincidence?

      Yes, but no point in expanding. Any thoughts shared usually invite a witch hunt by the self appointed Inquisition of aggressive atheists on Hub Pages. I don't consider my experiences note worthy enough to warrant causing strife to those prone to being offended by unexplainable events.

      1. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
        AMAZING THINKERposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I agree with most of the things you have said.
        If you don't want to share the incident, it's fine, but may be learning what others have to say about it can help you understand it and change your outlook on things.

        1. 0
          Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Sharing serves little purpose. And, what do my experiences ultimately mean? With no more than my experience, with no logical or rational explanation for how any happened, all it boils down to is an unexplained oddity. I have enough respect for my own ability to objectively determine what something is, and is not, to know an unexplained oddity when it happens and enough respect for myself not to go through the motions of sharing for no more purpose than to have some insist i haven't experienced what i have.

          1. 0
            Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            You've never been fooled by a magic trick?

            1. 0
              Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              No. It doesn't matter how intricate the magic trick, we still know there's no such thing as magic.

              1. 0
                Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Right, and yet many feel simply praying works while statistics show it doesn't.

                1. 0
                  Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  That's kind of a left turn in this exchange. I'll play.

                  Have you seen the sharp increase in the price of tea in China? What's up with that?

                  1. stanfrommarietta profile image79
                    stanfrommariettaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Your words on my computer screen.  What is up with that?

                2. 60
                  puellaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  statistics, to be really representing, in any experient, no matter how big or small, needs very little but comprehensive elements; statistics is about the 'average' outcome on a particular size of outcomes studied or accounted for which is called the size of the sample. Any universal conclusion, given in percentages (as statistics does, will have to suffice that the size of the sample MUST be also universal, otherwise, we need to speak the percentage of the universe left out of the sample, and so, limit the results to a certain particular sample (or population being surveyed)...
                  That said, statistics can't say a prayer does not work or that it indeed does work and much less it can say that in a 10% or 20% or 1%  or in any %tage prayers work, or that a medication works...or a cleaner works, or etc; there is no absolute statistics results, because there is no absolutely unbiased population or statistical experiment...That would be the marvelous condition for controlling men wink...cheers, there is still room for happiness in spite of statistical results saying the contrary...Indeed

                  1. 0
                    Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Statistics are meaningless? Right, but I bet if they should that prayer does work you'd be sing a different tune.

          2. A Thousand Words profile image80
            A Thousand Wordsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Rad made an excellent point. And the thing is, we're fooled everyday. We always we think we know what we're experiencing at the time.

            You accidentally bump into a person on a train and forget to say excuse me or I'm sorry. All of a sudden they go off on you with this explosive anger demanding that you apologize. You think you've just met some stuck up whacko, when it in reality it could've been a person that just reached their breaking point of letting people walk all over them and not saying anything back. So is it true that you just experienced a "stuck up whacko?" How often do we make conclusions about people's character/personalities over an initial impression, or only very few encounters and think we know that person and that we experienced the "true" them.

            Or, let's say you go to a psychic for a reading and have the most intense one you've ever experienced. Later it comes out in the news that the person was a mentalist and was just magnificently good at fooling people into thinking they were psychic. What you experienced was real to you, but was it real just because you experienced it?

            Even reality itself is a big illusion. We think we're so different and separate from everything around us, but if you look at everything on an atomic level, what difference is there really? We're all a bunch of protons, electrons, neurons, and empty space. But with the immediate senses, we observe some pretty "clear" distinctions.

            1. 0
              Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Well, true. But coincidence in simply that. And, I'm the first to view a situation and assume there is some cause and effect in play. I've known that since about the she of six. My oddities don't involve anything of the nature you are apparently thinking. I did once think that events were somehow telling me the universe expected us to befriend some guy. Boy, was i wrong. We had a good laugh for a very long time from that experience.

            2. stanfrommarietta profile image79
              stanfrommariettaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              I think people hear voices and are not psychotic.  It is just a quirk of your brain. Ever read Julian Jaynes' "The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind"?   The voices are the right side of your brain talking to the left.  At one time, Jaynes argues, there were societies in which people had idols in their homes to which they would pray every morning, and the idols would speak back to them telling them what to do that day. Their experience of the voices of the gods were real and the advice given often good and useful.  Jaynes think this was a brain that had to think and plan on one side of the brain and then communicate what to do to the other side by what was experienced as voices of the gods.  The gods were vehicles for being able to think.  Later subvocal speech became less and less vivid and we could distinguish speaking out load from the voice in our minds.   But some people may still be born with the capability of hearing voices speaking to them.  It is a form of thinking that once was much more prevalent.

      2. stanfrommarietta profile image79
        stanfrommariettaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        @EmilR: "I think there is merit behind the belief that some level of consciousness transcends our understanding. But, I don't think religion adequately understands it. "
        That's just the way you want to structure the play you are an actor in. But the play is how you want to conceive of your relation to all that is and that there is something and not nothing.

    8. A.Villarasa profile image79
      A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      @Amazing Thinker:
      I leave the question of  who is right ( believers vs. atheists) to God Himself, but until such time that He gives the definitive answer, the debate will rage on and on and on.

      But to answer your questions:
      (1) Does God exist? Not to be too Clintonian about it,  but it depends on what you mean by "God" and "exist".  Since we all have our own varying conceptualization of "God" and "Existence", the answer lies not in objective empiricalization   but in subjective realization. The more pertinent question should be: Would humans have enough time and space to get to  the TRUTHFUL answer? Maybe, if they,  as a specie don't self-destruct first. For any specie to have conjured the practical application of E=Mc2, self-destruction is always a truthful possibility.
      (2) Do we have free will? Of course we do, otherwise we would not be discussing all these issues that neither subvert nor pervert our survivability as a specie.
      (3) What do you think happens after death? The literature on Near-death experience is replete with answers to that question, and I would not be too cavalier (as some people are) as to dispose all of  them into the dustbin.
      (4) Have you witnessed anything supernatural? If you consider the  appearance and the continuing renewal  of LIFE on earth as something supernatural, then WE all have witnessed it. Science is trying mightily to explain how life started on earth, but I must remind you that LIFE having started is  TOO GOOD TO BE A COINCIDENCE. That is to say that as a specie, humans were given the cerebral capacity to be ardent witnesses to the reality of creation.

      1. 0
        Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Wow, you tested 0/4.

        1. We should at the very least have statistical evidence that prayer works. They statistics say no.
        2. Free will is a necessary illusion. We make decisions based on brain chemistry.
        3. Near-death experiences have been rigorously tested and have been found to be false. No information has ever been given that the person couldn't have known.
        4. There is nothing supernatural about reality.

        1. A.Villarasa profile image79
          A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          @RadMan:
          And your post just basically codified you as an atheist, whose empiricist credentials are at most suspect.

          1. 0
            Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Suspect to whom?

            1. Slarty O'Brian profile image86
              Slarty O'Brianposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Theists, of course. wink

            2. EncephaloiDead profile image59
              EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Dishonest people with magical thinking.

              1. A.Villarasa profile image79
                A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Really now BrainDead... and you said you have something meaningful to say?

            3. A.Villarasa profile image79
              A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              @Radman:
              Suspect to all practicing and self-respecting empiricists, some of whom are atheists like yourself.

          2. 60
            puellaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            smiles

        2. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
          AMAZING THINKERposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          @Rad Man
          2. So, humans are like computers?

          1. 0
            Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Does brain chemistry effect our decisions?

            1. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
              AMAZING THINKERposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Of course, but are we programmed like computers? I mean do we think like computers only with complex programs and sensors?

              1. 0
                Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Did I say that?

                1. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
                  AMAZING THINKERposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Free will is a necessary illusion. We make decisions based on brain chemistry.
                  Computers are built with hardware and software runs it. You said we start with a clean slate when we are born, so it's like a computer hardware without software (or basic software). Now all we learn and see and hear; everything that leads to the decisions we make are basically inputs, same as the inputs we provide to computers, and we behave as we are programmed to + more sensory input. How are we different than computers when it comes to free will?

                  1. 0
                    Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Ahhh, we are organic and computers are not. Our brain chemistry is constantly changing a computers does not. I'm not going to defend something I didn't say.

                  2. A Thousand Words profile image80
                    A Thousand Wordsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    We almost aren't. yikes

    9. HowardHsu profile image59
      HowardHsuposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      AT here are my answers to your questions.
      It's very subjective, so if it offended your believe it's not my intention.
      Just want to explain this logically and honestly.

      1. Does God exist?
      My opinion is No, God does not and never existed.
      No one every knew the word "God" until they were told.
      No one even know what the word "God" means before learned about it.

      Let's identify what God is.
      According to texts and religions God is the creator and the lord of everything.
      God basically owns everything, everything good or bad.
      God is almighty, omniscience, and omnipotent.
      If it's true that "God" exist then there wouldn't even be human, devil, or anything that would represent the idea of "bad" or "evil."
      Since the idea of God that God is almighty, omniscience, and omnipotent, then none of the badness or evilness should even exist if God exist.

      If God owns our soul and mind,  then we are all sinless because we are part of God. Because if we have sin then God would have sin. That is not even possible because "God is almighty, omniscience, and omnipotent," so God can never be wrong or do anything wrong like creating sinful souls like human. If we are all sinless then we should all be in Heaven with eternity life and joy.

      We might have sin, but we do not born with sin.

      The fact Bible was written by a man already prove God does not exist.

      So far the ideal God does not exist yet, but super spiritual  that close to the application of ideal God could be there.

      2. Do we have free will?

      Yes, we do have free will.
      If we don't we won't even be asking this question.

      3. What do you think happens after death.

      Our body would return to the earth, and our soul basically disappear.
      A person would be remembered by family, and could live in their hearts.
      If you happen to be someone great then you would probably be remember as long as human culture still exists.

      4. Have you ever witnessed anything supernatural? Any incident that can't be explained or is too good to be a coincidence?

      Can't recall any, but even if there is I believe in coincidence.

      Finally, I could be wrong as I am only a human being.
      We all have choice to believe or not on this issue.

      1. PhoenixV profile image79
        PhoenixVposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I am just the opposite. God should not have allowed the good things like: hope, perseverance, courage, charity, mercy, compassion and all those things that really would not exist without being juxtaposed to all the bad things anyway. Only through despair, adversity, fear, need, etc would we ever know the greatest attributes of mankind.

        But they took them for granted.

      2. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
        AMAZING THINKERposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Actually, we don't know anything until we are told. Hypothetically, Tarzan wouldn't know anything about computers until he is told. He lived away from the civilization and knows only what he learned in the jungle.

        Only when we are told we know that the earth is round and revolves around the sun. And we are taught that dinosaurs existed on earth, If we didn't, we probably wouldn't ever know.

        Look around; Everywhere there are always opposite forces that balance each other; good and bad, day and night, hot and cold, love and hate, life and death, yin and yang, they all balance each other. That's how it works!!

        By disappear if you mean destroyed, than it can't happen; soul is a form of energy, it can't be destroyed, though it may convert into a different form of energy.

        1. EncephaloiDead profile image59
          EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          That's a fallacy, there are far more things that have no opposites than there are things that do.



          Once again, souls have never been shown to exist, they are not forms of energy.

          1. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
            AMAZING THINKERposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Like what?

            By soul I meant life force.

            1. 0
              Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Wood, air, middle, a date. a snowflake, an idea, a character, the universe, omnipotence. Off the top of my head.

              By life force do you simple mean the energy our body uses to stay alive?

              1. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
                AMAZING THINKERposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Wood, snowflake, date etc are objects, and they are destructible. We breath in oxygen, plants breath in CO2, and there is vacuum, the absence of air. We are yet to learn everything about the universe, so there may be some  opposite.
                What do you mean by a character?
                Yes, the energy that keeps us alive from birth till death. The energy that all living things have, even plants and insects.

                1. 0
                  Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  the opposite of air is not no air. Is the opposite of a vacuum air? No because anything can fill that vacuum.

                  What is the opposite of a character in a play?

                  We get that energy from the food we eat. Calling it a life-force or whatever you called it is confusing as it sounds like you are saying it's a soul.

            2. EncephaloiDead profile image59
              EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              What life force? Please explain what that is?

        2. HowardHsu profile image59
          HowardHsuposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          AT your example of Tarzan is perfect.
          When Tarzan was learning new things that he didn't know about.  He could be mislead and also cheated.  Yes, human invented computers, airplanes, etc., so was the idea of God.
          Yes we were told that earth is round and revolves around the sun.  We have proved it in fact so we don't have to believe it's round.
          Maybe dinosaurs existed, but how do you know it's not because of certain radiations that make their "leftovers" (bones or whatever there is) grow large.  When they were alive are they what we thought they are?  Human created the image of living dinosaurs because we never saw a real living dinosaur.  I believe it's pretty close, but not 100% accurate.
          my point of God doesn't exist in my previous post is the following:
          God basically owns everything, everything good or bad.
          God is almighty, omniscience, and omnipotent.
          If above statement about God is true, then we should born with the knowledge about him. We would not even be doubting his existence. No need to ask anyone to believe if it's a fact.
          According to texts and religion believers we should already know God when we are born.
          "So far the ideal God does not exist yet, but super spiritual  that close to the application of ideal God could be there." Another words, there is probably something "Godlike," but far away from the ideal God that's almighty, omniscience, and omnipotent.  We are the living prove of it.  We would not even exist since the almighty, omniscience, and omnipotent creator can never make mistakes, so why do we sinful creatures were created?
          If:
          God = almighty, omniscience, and omnipotent = will never make any mistakes = will never make sinful creatures as human being
          then:
          Human existed = mistake made = "NOT" , omniscience, and omnipotent = the super spiritual that existed does "NOT" fit for the idea of "God"
          Regarding your opinion on forces that balance each other.  Yes there may be some forces that would balance each other, but there are also forces doesn't balance.  In your example, only yin and yang balance, and it's because the theory of yin and yang is that they balance.  If that theory is true we should have equal number of men and women.  Who can prove good and bad, day and night, hot and cold, love and hate, life and death are all balanced?  How do you even know the point of balance?  You can only find the point of balance once you believe it is the point of balance.  I look around I see all the imbalance of forces. 
          Human spent thousands of years to measure pleasure, happiness, sadness, and all positive/negative feelings, but the truth is no one can measure feelings. Therefore, good and bad will never be proven balanced, but only if you believe they are balanced.  We created laws and rules try to balance good and bad, but it's only balanced ideally.  Would you said death penalty is equal to the lives a murder took?  Even if a person took my dog's life, I still don't think death penalty is enough. 
          If you live in the North pole, you don't get the balance of day and night, so is Antarctica.  If you say day and night balance in a general way, no it doesn't because earth revolves around the sun in an angle that is always changing.
          Hot and cold do not balance themselves, but can be balanced by human like heater, AC, or so called "Global Warming." 
          Love and hate will never be balanced in my opinion, since they can't even be measured.  Can you love for your family balance the hate to your enemies?  No, never!  In fact, it's just the image in mind that human created for their own pleasures.
          I strongly disagree the balance of life and death.  They are can never be measured, so how can they be balanced?  A death for a life? Or a life for a death? Life would lose its meanings if balanced to death.
          Souls will disappear just like they appears out of no-where.  You mentioned convert to a different form of energy then the original "souls" disappeared.  The physical energy could be converted or transformed, but it will not be the same thing again.  Your thoughts disappear and soul dissolve then return to nature when the time is up.

    10. A Thousand Words profile image80
      A Thousand Wordsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      1. Does God exist?
      How do you define "God?" If you mean some being that is separate from us with petty and the worst of many anthropomorphic qualities then most certainly not. If you mean that there is something that connects us all and some kind of "higher" reality... then sort of. Not in a mystical way, but from a scientific stand point (and my views actually line up pretty well with a lot of Eastern concepts). Certainly not the Cosmic sheriff man person in the sky watching my every move.

      2. Do we have free will?
      Free will is an illusion. We can make decisions, but we'll likely never know the full extent to which those choices were influenced. We have much going on with ourselves that we're unaware of. Also, everything is connected, EVERYTHING. As such, we can hardly operate independently of some other event because all events affect us and the lives we can live and the choices available to us, etc. We can't even comprehend free will.

      3. What do you think happens after death.
      I haven't the slightest idea. I doubt anything. Everything is energy and atoms and particles. Everything will return to dirt. If there's anything more, I'll let you know if I can. wink

      4. Have you ever witnessed anything supernatural? Any incident that can't be explained or is too good to be a coincidence?
      I've heard a lot of stuff. I've had strange coincidences happen from time to time. For ex., once, I had this Dean Martin song stuck in my head all day. My mother and I then decided to watch a movie on AMC that I'd never seen before. The closing theme to that movie was the song I'd had in my head literally all day. Stuff like that used to happen to me ALL the time. I've heard stories of secular people having some strangely convenient circumstances and believers likewise. Once for a class at my college, I had to take pictures of architecture. I actually ended up running into a woman on campus who was a photographer of architecture while I was taking the photos. It freaked me out a little.

      Now that I'm beginning to understand probability better, though, I think it's not really supernatural in nature, although one day we may come to find that a lot of this stuff isn't really "super"natural.

      wink

    11. Claire Evans profile image88
      Claire Evansposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      1,) Yes
      2.) Yes
      3.) Our consciousness lives on and we will have to be accountable to God for everything we have done.  Those who truly repent will have glorified bodies and be with God forever in paradise.
      4.) Yes.

    12. 0
      Lybrahposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Yes
      Yes
      You go to heaven or you go to hell
      No

    13. 0
      CJ Simonelliposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      "Can we know if god exists or not?" - Yes, during this lifetime we can know God exists through the Holy Spirit (If people think they "know" only because they were taught that God exists, this is not real knowledge of him, they are not yet sealed in him and they can fall away). Yes, we will ALL know God exists after this lifetime when every knee is bowed to him!

    14. DavyCrockett profile image81
      DavyCrockettposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Our society has to many lies circulating to articulate a good answer. We don't do enough research for ourselves nowadays. It's all media filling our heads with ideas that could be equally true or false. I'm on a journey to find out what is true and false for myself. In the mean time I guess I'm a humanist with spiritual accents.

    15. tracypaper profile image61
      tracypaperposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      1. Does God exist?
      I believe that God exists in the sense that man has created him. It is my opinion that when humans began to question their own existence and see themselves as individuals, along with that came the knowledge of their own impending death. And having that sort of knowledge put a serious damper on the ability to survive on a day to day basis. I think the concept of a god and an afterlife evolved out of a necessity to relieve us of the stress and anxiety of our own immortality.

      2. Do we have free will?
      I think the last I heard on this, on a quantum level, no. But I can't recall where I heard this. The gist of it had something to do with being able to measure the micro seconds differentiation between the acting on the "choice" and the choice being made. With the action taking place first. Sorry I wish I could remember where I heard this. I think it was a radiolab podcast.

      3. What do you think happens after death.
      I want to believe that we are reincarnated, preferrably into a parallel universe. I suppose what actually happens is that our energy continues on in a new form. And maybe in a way that is reincarnation.

      4. Have you ever witnessed anything supernatural? Any incident that can't be explained or is too good to be a coincidence?
      I have experienced times in which I felt that something supernatural was occuring but I am also aware of the nature of humans to seek out coincidences.

      All in all, I'm a Mulder. I want to believe. (But not blindly or irrationally)

    16. Evan Smiley profile image85
      Evan Smileyposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      1. Does God exist? Yes. I have spoken with him multiple times, and not just a one-way conversation, where I talk and then hang up the phone.
      2. Do we have free will? Yes.  We are intelligent beings.
      3. What do you think happens after death.  I believe in both heaven and hell; however, I believe there is a forever forgiving God, and that only extreme denial of the Divine will result in damnation.
      4. Have you ever witnessed anything supernatural? Any incident that can't be explained or is too good to be a coincidence? 

      Yes, multiple "coincidences."  I believe in praying specifically, that way you know it is not a "coincidence."  All of my specific prayers have been answered.

      My most treasured divine experience was during high school, I was having trouble with a classmate, he was quite rude, not just to me, but everyone.  And his hostility was becoming too much for me to bare. 

      Everyday he would bother me, and I would pray "Lord, help me deal with this kid.  I can't stand him."  or "Lord, please help me not slap him in the face."  Haha you know, not very content serious, but very honest prayers.

      Well, one evening after a day that had been particularly stressful, I was running through my night time routine and just quickly running through my prayers as I got ready for bed. 

      "Thanks for this day, and oh, help me in dealing with (insert kid's name)."   Just casually tacked on the end of the prayer. 

      Immediately after I had said those words, I hear (not a physical sound, but in my head, in a voice I know was not my own)  "Read my word."  I paused, and just though "Uhg, Evan stop talking to yourself."   And I hear again "Read MY word." 

      In a somewhat exasperated teenager way (I mean I was trying to go to bed)  I pray, "Okay, GOD, read your word? I don't even know where my bible is....."  I look directly to my right, there is the children's bible I received from the church in the 3rd grade. 

      "Oh, what?  You want me to read my 'Adventure Bible?' Read your word?  What, am I suppose to open it up and read the first thing I see" 

      I hear "Read Luke." 
      and think.. "Hm, oddly specific."

      Still resisting, as I flip to Luke, I think "Am I just gonna read the whole book of Luke, I don't have time for that..." 

      And the first page I open to in the book of Luke had a little excerpt saying "Read Luke 6:27-36.

      Here is the passage:

      Love Your Enemies
      27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic[b] either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

      32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

      Though I am a Christian, I certainly don't have the bible memorized.  I didn't know where that chapter was or what it would say.  If ever I have a moment of doubt in my religious beliefs, I remember this moment when I was important enough for God to talk directly to me.  God exists and He always hears us.

      1. EncephaloiDead profile image59
        EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Many of us have much to say and ask God, could you pass along that telephone number please?

        Would it by chance be a toll free 1800 or 1900 number?

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          If there is a number it will be a 1-900 one.  God needs His 10%, after all.

          1. EncephaloiDead profile image59
            EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            1900-TITHING

            1. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Mmm.  Perhaps - do you know the current charge?  $1/minute?  $10?  And is there a human operator breathing into the phone or just a computer generated voice?  The computers don't do much for me...

          2. Psalm139 profile image61
            Psalm139posted 2 years ago in reply to this

            tithing is a way satan makes the church look false
            old testament men always sacrificed their firstborn to GOD..
            god provides

      2. Slarty O'Brian profile image86
        Slarty O'Brianposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        There are neurological reasons for you experiencing what you did. You hear the subconscious, as it were. You did read that passage before, right? You knew about loving your enemy? And isn't it funny that you have to be very specific with prayer? God doesn't understand what you want otherwise? More likely the more specific you are in  your conscious mind the more specific the messages you are hearing from the subconscious.

        In the past I have found it valuable to forget a specific problem I am working on for a while, on a conscious level. Later on the answer seems to just come to me from elsewhere. I'm not a Christian and do not pray. But what works for me seems to work for you too.

    17. Psalm139 profile image61
      Psalm139posted 2 years ago in reply to this

      1. Does God exist? yes,
      2. Do we have free will? yes ..if u r asking i feel strongly that you already know
      3. What do you think happens after death.
      FACT ; your spirit goes one of two places.
      i swear on my life this is true, i used to rebel dope jail suicidal blah
      only GOD can fix me
      4. Have you ever witnessed anything supernatural? yes, i pray in tongues
      orbs..slain in spirit, prophecy

    18. expositer profile image60
      expositerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      1. Does God exist? Yes, God does exists because all absolutes exist. God is the absolute form of the good.
      2. Do we have free will? Yes, we do. When we exercise our capacity for conscious thought and action we are, in effect, freely willing. So in this sense we do have "free will".
      3. What do you think happens after death? That depends. If one is inclined to believe that consciousness discontinues after death, then the word, "happens", cannot apply because the word "happens" necessitates consciousness. Even experiences that one might imagine happening after death such as blackness and nothingness cannot be tenable possibilities because they are experiences of consciousness. If on the other hand, one is inclined to believe that consciousness continues after death, then any speculation is as good as the next. Any conceivable conscious experience could be a legitimate possibility.
      4. Have you ever witnessed anything supernatural? I have not seen anything supernatural in person. However, I have seen these things on TV if that counts for anything.

    19. Ceegen profile image84
      Ceegenposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      "Who are right, believers or atheists?"

      Let everyone be a liar so that God may be true. (Romans ch3 v4).

      "We don't know how the universe works, and science does not yet have all the answers, so all we can do is assume what we believe in is true."

      We know enough that we know the universe operates as if it were a finely tuned machine on a grand scale. If even the slightest changes to gravity were made so that it behaved differently, life would not exist. The universe is comprehensible to the human mind, because it was created by a mind. Things like (again) gravity are not set by the relative observation of humans, they adhere to specific mathematical formulas, and nothing random would give us the complexity these types of things give us.

      "Some things can't be explained, but does that mean there is no logical explanation?"

      If it can't be explained, then how could you logically explain it?

      "1. Does God exist?"

      Yes.

      "2. Do we have free will?"

      Yes, to a point. I have the free will to be good or evil, but I do not have the free will to sprout wings and fly south for the winter. There are limits to what we can do of our own volition.

      "3. What do you think happens after death."

      It is appointed for us to die once in the flesh, and after this, the judgment. There are no second chances at life, so decide now.

      "4. Have you ever witnessed anything supernatural? Any incident that can't be explained or is too good to be a coincidence?"

      Yes and yes, more than once. I'm still alive is all I have to say.

    20. healinghands1668 profile image87
      healinghands1668posted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I do not believe we can know one way or the other. I have chosen a philosophy that comforts me and which feels right to me, but I cannot say for certain if I am right or wrong. I just try to do my best day by day.

      1. 60
        puellaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        it is called agnosticism... it requires a mature mind (in parallel with certai virtues, among them the humility), hence, accepting responsabilities that, whether there is God or not, we, as still the superior living-forms-end in the planet, must behave ethically all the time, and that self-serving behaviour is left for mammals of no mature minds, so to speak, as we do not know what goes on in most of the minds, which oftentimes, include our own
        Do we know, all the time, what we say or think we know? does it matter to really know? free will plays here a good part, as a result of a though process and not as a result of the imperatives of certain needs.
        Free will is not to believe or think entitlement to ever lasting happiness and well being is the goal; it is exerted in contrast with repercusions or consequences and in facing the before and the after of each and every choice of relevance (not for example, i want to wear a blue shirt today...that indeed is of insubstantiality...

    21. 61
      tbHistorianposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
      God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
      God said "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
      Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding;
      For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
      For wisdom will enter your heart And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
      How blessed is the man who finds wisdom And the man who gains understanding.
      The Lord by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens.
      Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” And call understanding your intimate friend;
      He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; He who keeps understanding will find good.
      Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
      The wisdom from heaven above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.
      When you read the word of God, you shall find that which you are seeking.

  2. Terry Franklin profile image60
    Terry Franklinposted 2 years ago

    No you can't know in the sense that there is proof.  That is why it is a belief and you believe through faith not proof.  You don't have to believe in a tree to hit it with your car.  The tree is a fact.  God is not.

    1. Ericdierker profile image80
      Ericdierkerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I will bet you have not made it down every "road" you tried to travel. I wonder what tree you hit.

    2. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
      AMAZING THINKERposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      How can you know anything is real? For all I know, there is a chance that the world around me is not real, and is just my imagination.
      Can you deny that? No!
      You can never be sure of anything, you can't deny in the existence of God. Not that I believe in god, but can't deny it!

    3. Ericdierker profile image80
      Ericdierkerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Terry you are wrong. I can know more than what is tangible. Because you cannot do not say I cannot!

  3. Zelkiiro profile image83
    Zelkiiroposted 2 years ago

    It's interesting how God stopped making public appearances to his followers when video cameras became a thing, and now only communicates through "feelings"...

    1. Ericdierker profile image80
      Ericdierkerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      That is so that only those who can feel know.

      1. Slarty O'Brian profile image86
        Slarty O'Brianposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        But even those who feel can't know with certainty. They can only think or believe they know.

        1. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
          AMAZING THINKERposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          As I said, you can't know anything with certainty. Not even your own identity.
          It is possible that you are in a simulator, and fake memories are planted in your head. How will you know?
          You only know what you remember. Can't rely on memories!

          I won't probably believe in God even if I "see" him. People have all kinds of imaginary friends.

        2. Ericdierker profile image80
          Ericdierkerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Is it possible for you to know what I know with certainty. That sounds like folks saying there is only one true religion. I know.

          1. Slarty O'Brian profile image86
            Slarty O'Brianposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            So you believe. But in fact what ever personal feelings you have, communications you have, could be all in your head and nothing more. Probably are. You can not know with certainty. It is impossible.
            You want it to be true so for you it is.

            But truth is not subjective.

            1. Ericdierker profile image80
              Ericdierkerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              And all that we see could be an illusion. But in this reality I know for sure. And you cannot know for sure that I don't.
              Unless you are clairvoyant -- but that would be the antithesis of your position.

              Truth is subjective.

              1. Slarty O'Brian profile image86
                Slarty O'Brianposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                There was a man a couple years ago who cut another man’s head off on a city bus. As it turns out he felt it was the right thing to do because the voices in his head told him the man was a demon. The only way to rid the world of the demon was to cut its head off.

                The young man who died was anything but a demon as it turns out from testimony by those who knew him.

                Obviously the man who killed him had a mental problem. He wasn’t communicating with anything but his imagination. He’s much better now that he is on his correct meds, feels remorse for what he did, and gets the occasional day pass.

                As a young man I believed in the Christian god and all that comes with it. But I had questions. Eventually I tried eastern meditation. I was able to have out of body experiences, still can.  I attained states of bliss, of just knowing. Of being one with everything. I even talked with god.

                It was easy after a while. But I could not achieve levitation. And I really wanted to so I could prove to myself that it all translated in to reality.

                I soon discovered that I could achieve any state of mind I wanted to. I could even live a Tolkien fantasy as if it was real. All in my head, of course.

                We can talk ourselves in to believing whatever we like.  That’s the danger. The brain is amazing. So easy to manipulate. Dr Persinger found that out with his EM pen, when he was able to make people have life like religious experiences, see demons, aliens, and talk to the living who reported not having those conversations with the individual, and the dead. Someone even said they had the best sex of their lives under the EM pen. So now I believe nothing.

                But what I do know is that when it comes to feeling, it is always suspect. You cannot trust it by itself. And you also have to watch out for confirmation bias.

                Because of that, you cannot be certain that there is a god, you can only have faith that there is, and in that way be certain without the actual ability to be certain. Like I was certain I just knew when I was in that state, and then realized that after that state I knew nothing more than before I entered it.
                When I say I do not believe anything I mean I do not attach myself to ideas that are speculative, and try to work only with facts.

                Does a god exist? I do not believe that it does, but I do not believe that it does not. I cannot know, but my opinion based on my life experience and the facts science has revealed, is that the Christians conscious god at least is probably fantasy.  I’ll wait and see.
                I do not care what the truth turns out to be. All I ever wanted to know is what the truth actually is.  I am more than happy to say I can’t know one way or the other with certainty. And I accept the fact that no one else can either.

                Not of course, unless they can provide real proof. Testimony doesn't cut it.

                And truth is what is left when you stop believing.

                1. wilderness profile image95
                  wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  +1

                  That has to be one of the best dissertations I've ever seen on the nature of reality.  Well done.

                  1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
                    HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    I agree the mind is a truly incredible thing. Where I always have trouble is in trying to understand how such a fantastical thing came about through pure haphazard causation and evolution. These capabilities seem well beyond what survival alone would require. It seems there's a part of us that needs to be convinced of something, or needs to believe there's purpose or meaning, that must be appeased. For reality to be so seemingly straight-forward, these capabilities to depart from actual reality seem more a detriment than an advantage where survival is concerned, yet these capabilities are prevalent throughout humanity. 

                    I understand being skeptical of traditional religious views and such, but no matter how non-sensical beliefs may seem at times, it's the belief of purely unintended/haphazard causation that always seems to fall well short of all that reality actually is when capabilities such as these are discussed. While I get the skepticism, I don't get how the remaining default assumption, pure unintended causation, is seen as an adequate placeholder. Why do we care to manufacture these mind-states? Why must we employ these capabilities to appease ourselves? Why does it matter to us survival machines?

                  2. Slarty O'Brian profile image86
                    Slarty O'Brianposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it.

                  3. A.Villarasa profile image79
                    A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    @Wilderness:
                    Cerebral function(s) that is impacted by disease (be it by biochemical imbalance or organic/anatomic distortion) and or drugs can never lead to factual perception and conceptualization of reality. So Slarty's example of a man "cutting off another man's head" because of his diseased brain/mind  is neither a perspicacious example of nor a levitating desertation of "reality"

              2. Slarty O'Brian profile image86
                Slarty O'Brianposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                "Truth is subjective."

                By the way, is that supposed to be an objective fact? If so it shot itself in the foot, and if not then it is meaningless. Logic is funny that way.

                1. 0
                  Motown2Chitownposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Man, I've missed you!  It's awesome to see your brainiac self back around here.  smile

                  1. Slarty O'Brian profile image86
                    Slarty O'Brianposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    lol. Hi Motown! Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you and yours. Glad to  see you still find what I write amusing. Family and self well I hope. wink

                2. PhoenixV profile image79
                  PhoenixVposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Ah. Someone that enjoys logic. Perhaps you can help me. Because of the football Bowl games being enjoyed in the Greatest Country the world has ever known, I was thinking of creating my own Epimenides paradox. It goes like this.

                  All not-so-bright Cheerleaders always cheer for the opposing team.

                  Cheerleaders cheer their team. If they always cheer another team can they be categorized as cheerleaders? Or is it that they are not so bright? How would you word it?

                  1. Slarty O'Brian profile image86
                    Slarty O'Brianposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Always? That's a problem. Often or sometimes may be a better word. All it takes is one dumb cheerleader, if they exist, to cheer for her own team and you'r sunk if you say always.

                    Besides, she could be getting even with a boy friend, or flirting, and not be dumb after all.

                  2. Slarty O'Brian profile image86
                    Slarty O'Brianposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    By the way, the Epimenides paradox is about self reference. Are you a cheer leader by any chance? If so we might be able to come up with something. But if not then Epimenides paradox would hardly apply.

  4. seotooo profile image61
    seotoooposted 2 years ago

    1. yes, god exist.but no one seen him.because god is a energy who give me and u willpower to do any think.

    1. Paul Wingert profile image79
      Paul Wingertposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      So god is electromagnetic energy or gravity (two forces that life requires)?

  5. schoolgirlforreal profile image77
    schoolgirlforrealposted 2 years ago

    I am going to answer first, and then read other's replies...


    1. Does God exist?

    I think He has to, because I have witnessed some courageous people in my life who put Him first above all
    2. Do we have free will?

    Yes, of course...though if one has prayed not to have it...well that prayer could be answered..
    3. What do you think happens after death.

    I can imagine Heaven or Hell ...being with or without ....a "Godly" presence...eternally
    4. Have you ever witnessed anything supernatural? Any incident that can't be explained or is too good to be a coincidence?

    I have not but I can say that my friend has.
    These questions are brought up so many times here, but I would like to know your opinion.

    Thax for the question!   smile

    1. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
      AMAZING THINKERposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Faith is a powerful thing! Do you know about the placebo effect? It's a medicine and the ingredients are sugar and faith!

      2. Don't get it.
      3. Then I am going to hell tongue
      I will tell you my opinion when the time is right. wink

  6. schoolgirlforreal profile image77
    schoolgirlforrealposted 2 years ago

    OOps! I made an error! I copied too much of the original text, oh well. tongue

  7. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
    HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years ago

    So, are you suggesting that the mind has to, in effect, fool itself into thinking it actually has control in a situation so that mood isn't affected, causing chemical changes that then alter how the brain functions? So, knowing what you know, does that not affect this? You see beyond the illusion and recognize we don't actually have free will. So, how do you cope? Do you 'choose' to not let it bother you? To not get bogged down by the fact that you're actually just a passive observer going through the motions of thinking and deciding and acting, powerless to change anything? Or is it simply in your makeup to be able to handle this information without throwing your brain chemistry out of whack? If that's the case, is the 'necessary illusion' not necessary for you?

    1. EncephaloiDead profile image59
      EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I have no idea what you're rambling about.

      1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
        HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Read back over the discussion between myself and Rad Man. This is actually a discussion that he and I have had well beyond this thread, but there's enough here to follow along I think.

    2. 0
      Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I could get depressed, sit back and say screw everything. But I have people counting on me. I know and understand it's an illusion, but I've got stuff to do and understand that the illusion is necessary. Does knowing that it's an illusion change my brain chemistry? maybe, but I've got a frozen pipe in a wall I have no access to right over my computer. To physics time should be able to been seen forwards and backwards. Meaning the future is already done just as the past is. What if nothing we can do can change the future? It's right there in science.

      1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
        HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        So you're saying you 'choose' not to succumb to depression over the realization that free will is an illusion because you've got things to do and people counting on you? So people who do succumb, in spite of also having things to do and people counting on them, that's just their brain chemistry, different than yours, and its not that they're just giving up where you're not? It's not you being strong, or responsible, willfully, it's just that you have the right make-up where they don't?

        "To physics time should be able to been seen forwards and backwards. Meaning the future is already done just as the past is."

        But it can't. It can't because we exist within time. We experience time linearly. And because we're the ones making the decisions in each given moment, the future is determined, at least in some part, by our actions. The future is determined by all activity and actions that lead to it, be we are part of what determines that. That doesn't mean the future can't be set. It just means we play a role in what it is because we existed and enacted in the moments leading up to it. Assuming, of course, we're not just determined robots.

        1. 0
          Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Have we discussed slices of time before. Physics teaches us that time is distorted by motion. So someone on the other end of the universe moving away from us will have a different now than us. There now will be our future. If they can see our future our future is done.

          http://youtu.be/4BjGWLJNPcA

          1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
            HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Yes, you're right that time is distorted by the speed of the observer, but that doesn't change that in a particular moment of time, when you make something, like say conceiving a child, its your choices that made that happen. And if you had chosen differently, then it wouldn't have happened that way. Because we, the observers/participators, are the ones taking action in the moment, within time, then we do have an impact on the future.

            Yes, if that someone on the other end of the universe is moving fast enough to distort time, their now would be our future, but that doesn't change the actions you took in the moment you made them. Your future is not entirely set because you are a participant. What you do has an impact on the universe around you. Which is why our free will, and our behavior, is such a big deal. That's why a God powerful enough to create the entirety of this universe would have such a vested interest in what we do. Because what we do affects the world around us.

            1. 0
              Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Your almost there, I've said many times that I continue to do my best to make the world a better place and to support those I care for, just as you've described we should do, but if the future can already be seen then our actions are predetermined. The illusion is necessary. While I know the future can be seen from what I've learned from physics I still try to do my best.

              If your God can see the future what would be his interest? From the moment he decided to create this universe he would see the end and us come and go. I'm aware it's a depressing concept and I don't recommend it for everyone, perhaps I should be discussing it in a public forum. I'm not depressed by it however, I find it fascinating. If we were to be able to see the future of a distant alien race in our now slice that future would be our now and real, unable to be changed.

              1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
                HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Right, but if it's as you say and free will is just an illusion, then you don't actually have anything to do with 'continuing to do your best to make the world a better place and support those you care for'. That's just your make-up. If you're right, it's not YOU. I say it IS you. Free will is not an illusion. And whether or not time is set is irrelevant because you and I, like time itself, we are all products of this universe. You are an active participant in this universe who has an impact on this universe. Within time. Within space.

                In your 'distant alien race' scenario, you're right, their future would be our now and we would be unable to change it. But they, the alien participants, did have choices in those moments that they made them. Once they're made, yes, they're set. You can't go back and do it differently. But in that moment they did actually have a choice.

                God's interest is in what we choose to do. How we choose to act. Because what we do does have an impact on the world around us. We ARE a part of the universe. But unlike the rest of the universe, where everything else adheres exactly to a particular set of laws, we can decide and take actions apart from that. That's why I'm always talking about free will being such a volatile element. That's why those early Genesis stories talk about God first creating Adam/Eve (first beings with free will), then having to make adjustments (the flood). Their independent will introduced into an already functioning system changed things. Changed the future. Which is why it says this omnipotent God 'regretted' what He had done. The same goes for Noah and Abraham. He intervened, He tested, because they had minds and wills of their own.

                1. 0
                  Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  If our future is already here then our decision cannot be changed. They seem real and for us and may in fact be real, but we are destined to make those decisions.

                  Not if given the same brain chemistry and set of circumstances does our decisions differ.

                  As I said if God can see the future and every decision we make what's the point? The moment he thought of the universe he would know how events worked out. From our earlier discussion we understand that we can't change the future and the entire universe has already been played out. We are like a pack of wolves doing our best for the pack, only we understand that the universe has already been played out.

                  1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
                    HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    You're still thinking of time as if its this stagnant thing. It isn't, at least not to us. See, we exist within the 'program'. We are active participants. We are not destined. We MAKE the future. At least our part of it. Once it's set, it's set, but you had a say in how it was set because you actually participated in each moment that makes up that timeline.

                    True, at the moment God first thought of the universe He would then know how it worked out, as is. Because no other wills, independent of His, were at work it all played out the one way He knew it would. But then He introduced Adam and Eve, and that changed things. That's why He 'regretted' putting humans on the earth and had to send a flood. He had to account for the changes. The introduction of Adam/Eve, wills that behaved apart from His, changed the future. So then He had to make a change to adjust.

                    It's like writing a program. If the program is all yours then you know exactly how it works and how everything plays out when you run it. But if your program allows for other applications to hook in and send data into it, you can't always account for incoming data because it's not from you. You may have an idea what to expect, but you can't fully anticipate because it's someone else's application that's sending the data. So you then have to make adjustments to account for this foreign data coming in to ensure the desired outcome is still met.

  8. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
    HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years ago

    Slarty O'Brian and HowardHsu,

    I hope you don't mind me combining my response to both of your comments, but the same answer really applies to both.

    By free will, I mean a will free, or independent of, God's. Slarty, you can think of God's will in this context as the natural laws of the universe. If the universe is God's creation then how it behaves is in accordance to God's will. So, for us to have 'free' will means we are able to behave free of natural law.

    In the free will versus determinism debate, both sides agree our brains draw on past experiences, weigh pros and cons, imagine possible outcomes, etc, to arrive at a certain number of choices. The difference comes in what action you actually 'decide' upon. To the determinist the decision you make in any given situation is the only one you physically could have in that moment. Your decision is wholly determined by your brain-state, the situation, past experience, etc. But to the proponent of free will, you actually did make a willful choice to choose one decision over another, and could have chosen differently.

    So, when I say free will, I mean we are capable of behaving according to an actual individual will, and not just by the outcome of a bundle of brain matter adhering to the laws of nature like a rock rolling down a hill. Free will is the equivalent of deciding not to adhere to the laws of gravity and falling up. Of course, its only in the mind, and we're still limited by physical bodies, so we can't 'physically' ignore the laws of nature. But I think our will actually is free to choose, 'free' of pure physical/biological determinism.

    Howard, in answer to your question, God giving us free will still means there's only one way, but I say that with an 'asterisk'. If God truly is the creator of the universe, then the way nature works is the embodiment of God's will. It's a reflection of how God works. All the matter/energy in the universe adheres to a constant set of fundamental laws. These laws determine how matter/energy 'behave'. And the interplay between the two is what makes this universe and suns and planets and life possible. Because matter behaves in accordance to this set of laws, or 'rules'. And as we've found out, our bodies work in much the same way. Complex multi-celled organisms have a genetic code, a set of laws, or 'rules' that each cell in our bodies adhere to. This code determines how each cell behaves, what function it serves, when it divides, and when it dies. Because all matter/energy works in accordance to this single/constant set of laws, the universe as a system works. Because all the cells in our bodies work in accordance to this single code, or set of rules/laws, our bodies as a collective system of trillions of cells work together as one.

    The bible does say that God gave us free will, just not in those words. It's right there at the very beginning. You've got one chapter that explains that all the heavens and earth formed according to His will. So much so that He looked at it all and deemed it 'good'. It all behaved exactly according to God's will/law/rules. Then God creates Adam and sets him in an environment that only consists of one rule. A rule made by this same creator which everything else in existence behaves in accordance with exactly. And he broke that rule. He behaved of his own will, that was in direct contrast to God's will. That one rule. That's when it all changed. That's when it says 'the eyes of both of them were opened' and that's when they gained a heightened sense of self-awareness that made them aware of being naked, where it hadn't occurred to them before. From that point on the whole theme of the bible has to do with the will and behavior of humans being in contrast with their creator.

    To exist with a free will, if you're the only one, there's no issue. But when everyone has a will of their own, there's inevitably going to be conflict. So rules are necessary. So God requires that we acknowledge Him as the creator and respect His rules. We don't have to be robots who do His will exactly. He went through a whole lot of trouble to ensure we have our own wills. We just have to consent to His authority and obey His rules.

    Traffic laws I think make a good analogy. Each of us are free to use the roadways to go where ever we want. But because we're not the only ones using those roads, there must be rules. If it were just you then you could drive the wrong way down freeways, run lights, whatever you want. But because others use those roads too you can't do that. And if others don't respect and follow the rules then they're a danger to others. They're still free to drive the wrong way down the freeway, but there's most likely going to be consequences if they choose to do so.

    So, to elaborate on my asterisk above, Howard, there can only be one way, God's way, or it doesn't work. We're still free to be us, to do what we want, as long as we respect the rules that make it all possible. If we don't then we're like a dangerous driver, or a cancerous cell, that endangers others in the system, or endangers the system as a whole. So, we are welcome to join for all eternity, with our own minds and wills, but we have to respect the rules of the house. If you refuse then they're not going to let you in. Would you take someone into your house if they refused to acknowledge your authority and follow the rules you set that allows them to stay in your house without conflict? This isn't God being mean, it's simply what's necessary.

    Everything could work seamlessly, with no one getting hurt, no pain, and everything working like a well-oiled machine. But that only works if there's no free will, only God's single unchanging will, like the singular DNA code of a body. But because God wanted us to have our own minds and wills, this is necessary. Wielding something as powerful, as creative and destructive, as free will, requires wisdom. And wisdom can't just be given. It must be gained through experience.

    That's my take, anyway.

    1. Slarty O'Brian profile image86
      Slarty O'Brianposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      “By free will, I mean a will free, or independent of, God's. Slarty, you can think of God's will in this context as the natural laws of the universe. If the universe is God's creation then how it behaves is in accordance to God's will. So, for us to have 'free' will means we are able to behave free of natural law.”

      But we are not able to behave free of natural law. That’s the point. Give me an example of doing something free of natural law. You are natural law. How can you behave free of it? But if you think you can then you should be able to give some examples. So let’s start there.

      You are correct in thinking you can draw an analogy between your concept of god and the nature of energy, which is the natural laws we are talking about. Cause and effect is a taskmaster and trying to go against it is impossible. How could you?

      In fact, I am of the opinion that the belief in god is just a mistaken model of nature. Reason being humans seem to have a need to anthropomorphise nature. It’s been a common theme for as long as religion has been around.

      I'd love to have more time to talk about this and answer you point by point, but let's start by you showing me how it is possible to act outside natural law.

      1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
        HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        You're exactly right. If there is nothing but the material in our make-up then it's impossible. Matter can only behave as it behaves, so our brains, being made of matter, can only behave as it behaves. The only way we could actually make a willful choice free of the constraints of natural law is if there is a component of the 'self' that is not physical/material. Like a soul.

        The physical brain would still do its thing, it would still imagine potential outcomes, draw on memories, weigh pros and cons and consider options. In the context of having a soul, the physical body is the vessel through which the spiritual self interacts with the material world and the physical brain retains the physical sense information it has gathered throughout life experience. The soul would be the will that drives us.

        If it is as you say then it's not possible that we actually have any kind of willful control over what we do, reducing us to mere passive observers in life as able to choose our own behavior as a rock is able to choose its path rolling down a hill. That would mean nothing in all of human history, whether it be our biggest triumphs, our biggest failures, or our most horrendous acts, were not actually willfully acted upon, but rather were wholly determined by physics.

        1. Slarty O'Brian profile image86
          Slarty O'Brianposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          No soul is required. Our will is a manifestation of our conditioning. Our individual conditioning which makes us unique individuals. You can’t be a passive observer when the world throws things at you that you have to respond to. It does not matter that it is not free from the influence of just about everything.

          Needs are what drive us to do and to create.

          Why look for magic souls when there is no need and no proof they exist?

          You seem to still think matter and energy are different things. They aren’t. That’s all there is. So what is this soul supposed to be made of?

          Before we knew energy and matter are the same thing we were told by the religious that spirit was energy and matter was base garbage material. The soul was energy. But now what is it? Now they moved it to being something else.

          So what? And where is the evidence that it exists?

        2. Slarty O'Brian profile image86
          Slarty O'Brianposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          "You're exactly right. If there is nothing but the material in our make-up then it's impossible."

          So please give examples of acts that we can do that go against our nature,

  9. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
    HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years ago

    God not knowing IS what makes it consistent. Just like the flood...

    Genesis 6:5-6 - The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.

    He 'saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become' and He 'regretted that He had made them'. This is not consistent with a God who knew what was going to happen. These lines mean He didn't. You don't regret an outcome you already know about.

    Free will is the most misunderstood, or under-appreciated, element in the whole story. Adam/Eve, and everyone born of Adam/Eve, had free will. From that point on there was an element not within God's control on the earth. God, in effect, made a boulder so large even He couldn't move it. He, by design, created beings with their own wills, apart from His.

    The flood wasn't planned, it was an adjustment. It was necessary because the descendants of Adam (sons of God) found the 'daughters of humans' beautiful and of their own free will began to marry and have children by them. This introduced free will into naturally evolved humans (created during day 6 of Gen 1). This was the reason why the flood was necessary...

    Genesis 6:2-3 - the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with[a] humans forever, for they are mortal[b]; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

    Free will is the reason for everything. It's the reason commandments would even be necessary. It's the reason for the flood. It's why God actually had to test Abraham. It's the reason the Israelites had to take land by force. Because free will was running rampant in the world, and being that it's a truly free will, it was outside of God's control. He rewarded, He punished, He would perform miracles, plagues, because, unlike the rest of the natural world that just adheres to His will naturally, humans with free will have to be coaxed.



    Because He can see the ending and can see that events caused by this volatile element will lead to an undesirable outcome. So He then has to adjust to ensure the right outcome.



    Yes, He knows the outcome. But He wouldn't know Abraham's decision unless He created the situation that then caused Abraham to have to make that decision. If the decision didn't exist, God wouldn't know.




    But we're the ones making the choices and the decisions and we can't see the end.



    No we haven't. Because we exist within time. Illusion or not, we still exist within it and our choices are made within it.

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      Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      You appear to say that God can see the end and he cannot? If he can't see the end he isn't omni everything is he? If he can and as you say

      Because He can see the ending and can see that events caused by this volatile element will lead to an undesirable outcome.



      So which is it? Can he see the future or not? He either can or he can't, you admit in some scripture it appears he can't, which means is isn't omni everything.

      And here is where we say goodbye to free will. If the end result has to be the one he wants our will is irrelevant and an illusion.

      1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
        HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Look, I know this is difficult, but I promise I'm not contradicting myself. I'll try to explain.

        God creates the world, first without free will (Gen1). This includes humans, homo sapiens, on day 6, and it was "good". Then God creates Adam. If you'll notice, God immediately shows interest in what Adam will do when He brings animals to Adam to 'see what he'll call them'. Adam is different. So God creates a scenario to test His creation by creating a garden with just one rule, which of course they break.

        Adam and Eve being created and introduced into the world changed things. It changed how the timeline plays out, because now, instead of everything working according to God's will, there's God's will along with the wills of each individual born of this line. Before you had an existence that worked exactly as God willed it, from beginning to end. Then He introduced Adam and Eve, which led to a totally different outcome, which He could see. So, to get things back on track He goes to the point where it all began, the wickedness in humanity, and He sends a flood. A local flood because there's only a small 'pocket' of free-willed humans at this point. But, like a gardener or a scientist, He takes a favorable specimen (Noah) to begin breeding from again. A new batch, so to speak, from this favorable specimen.

        Then comes Babel. Because the only surviving 'free-willed' beings were Noah, his sons, and their wives (presumably), all descendants began again to mate with human women. Then comes Babel. Free will is both creative and destructive. In this case they were being creative, building a tower and a city, using fired bricks and such. Notice how God, in Gen11, comes down to see what the 'children of men' are doing. And, because of what they're doing, He confuses their language and disperses them throughout the land, like planting seeds. Again, something that illustrates outcomes that He didn't know would happen until He made the changes. Then He makes adjustments again, this time by dispersing them.

        Then, like Noah, God chooses a favorable specimen, Abraham, and tests Him to ensure His specimen is behaving as desired. To do so God actually had to create the situation where Abraham would have to choose. Again, He didn't know the outcome until the situation existed that made Abraham make a choice. Abraham passes the test, so God says He'll 'make his descendants numerous'. God is then, again, cultivating from this favorable specimen.

        Yes, He can see past/present/future, all at once. But these regrets, this 'seeing what Adam would call the animals, this 'seeing what the 'children of men' are building, Abraham's test, all of these are clues that show just how unpredictable this free will element really is. Once it's introduced there's a whole series of actions God must take to ensure the desired outcome. These are the stories of the bible. These are the points in our history when God actually did interact with humanity. He had to because they had free will. They no longer just did His will 'naturally'. They were the equivalent of cancerous cells no longer adhering to the DNA code of the body, but rather doing things on their own. So, much like a scientist would do, He would have to test it, and make adjustments accordingly.

        There'd be no point to existence playing out if there were no free will and everything just happened as expected. Free will is what makes sense out of everything. I know it's vastly different than what you've learned, or were taught, but I promise you once you begin to see it in this context the whole thing begins to make way more sense. You can actually begin to see how the world progressed into what we see today. Maybe it'll be in the coming months and years, maybe it'll be decades from now, but mark my words, sooner or later people are going to start paying a lot closer attention to Genesis, and they won't be nearly as dismissive of it as many have been. Stay tuned.

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          Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Actually I was taught and thought we had free will until I started thinking about the universe and biology. Just because the bible says we have free will doesn't mean we do. Those are fascinating stories, there is no doubt about that but, for one to say that God has a desired outcome and manipulates us to get it and at times committed genocide to get it kind of negates freewill. We are not free to have wills if we are told that God kills those who don't do as told. Further if you think God doesn't know what we will do even when he can see the future you would have to admit God is not omni everything.

          Sorry, but it still sounds to me like a story that would be passed down through history to give a certain line of people entitlement. If you were a descendent of Abraham you would feel pretty entitled to think you are God's chosen and you would also think the right thing to do is follow Gods orders to a tee.

          Now if we all have this freewill then what the collective of humanity does would be unknown to God even though he can see the future? Does that make sense to you? Does it make sense to you that God would have to ask Adam to name animals and would think he was complete even though he had already made humanity with males and females? How did he think Adam would produce babies? None of the logic holds up.

          1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
            HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            This desired outcome was not to rob us of our free will. In fact it's all to allow for free will. To make it possible. I think that 'desired outcome' was to actually create Jesus. To create one who reconciles and reconnects the disconnection between God and us that started at Adam. I think that's what Paul means about Adam being the 'first Adam' and Jesus being the 'last Adam'. Because Jesus was the one able to do what Adam could not. He could live a full life without once conflicting with the will of God. Adam and Eve weren't originally intended to procreate or die. Its only after the fall that Eve was to bare the pains of childbirth, and its only after that God said they would 'surely die'. Procreation is only really necessary because of death. I think this was the result because it created the need to 'breed' Jesus. I think that's what these 'chosen specimen' were about. That's what the 'chosen people' were about. That's what all those Mitzvah laws meant specifically for that bloodline were about. Who to breed with, who not to, what to eat, what not to eat. They were about protecting that line and breeding a specific individual. It wasn't a 'desired outcome' to control us, but to bring us closer and to make Himself accessible to everyone.

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              Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              So, you think that story was not intended to direct a tribe of people to behave a certain way? The first thing we learn is that the tribe is different than the rest of people and the rest of people are disposable. The next thing we learn is God didn't want to make Adam a mate but in the end he had to make her from his spare parts after just creating the entire universe from nothing. Then we learn that women are not to be trusted and God has punished them with child birth, meanwhile the other humans had been procreating this wasy for hundreds of thousands of years. Then we learn that it's better to marry a sister than someone not from your tribe. Then we learn that the men must be marked in such a way that they can be identified. Then we learn...

              You fell for that?

              1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
                HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Do I seem gullible to you?

                You may not like the story as you see it, but it does line up rather well with what's observed. For instance, there is an undeniable turn from egalitarian societies to male-dominated societies that's not my imagination. And that happened long before any sort of established religious system. In fact, it's been argued from a psychological standpoint to be a kind of side-effect of this more pronounced ego, with the man's separation from nature being more complete than the woman's, as she is still tethered by child-baring, nursing, menstrual cycles, etc. Whatever the cause, the fact that it actually happened is indisputable. So what's described in those stories can actually be observed in that regard, whether or not you like the way it sounds or think it's fair.

                And I know it's easy to look at these stories from our comfortable chairs in our established modern western societies, protected borders, and policed streets and turn our nose up at all the barbaric talk about killing and enslaving people, as if, like you said, people are disposable. But just as the case in properly understanding any story, it's important to understand the context in which they're set. Maybe you think they should have just been more open-armed and willing to sit around the fire and sing Kumbaya with the other peoples of that region, but if you actually wanted to establish safety and security and continue to provide for your people in that age you had to take it. It truly was survival of the fittest, and those who didn't survive are simply no longer represented in today's world population. You either made it or you didn't.

                Let's think about it in a context that's maybe a little easier to conceive. Let's say there's an evolutionary change in humans that begins to surface. News reports begin to speak of people born in some foreign country who seem to not only be more technologically advanced, they also seem to be incredibly aggressive. As time goes on established societies begin to fall as these people, growing more numerous everyday, don't seem content to simply assimilate into established society. They're like a new Roman Empire expanding their reign by force. The way of life as we've known it throughout our lives is endangered by this new threat. As societies continue to fall so does the economic stability around the world and before you know it you're doing things you never thought you would before to ensure your family is provided for and protected. It becomes inevitable that this threat will soon be at your doorstep and you will have no choice but to fight.

                What I'm trying to do here is give you a sense of the kind of behavioral changes that began to take hold in that region of the world. This region became more and more densely populated by people who were much more aggressive than before and seemed all too willing to just take whatever they wanted, including enslaving or killing every man, woman, and child so that they could take their land and their supplies. This change that first began in the Ubaid culture of southern Mesopotamia spread throughout the world rather rapidly, systematically pushing indigenous cultures who had been established for hundreds and thousands of years near the brink of extinction. Just look at our history and you'll see it's the same story over and over again, with militarized civilizations imposing their will on the 'first nation' people of the world.

                It's easy to knit-pick these stories as you have here because they're set in a time and place that's so foreign to us that we can hardly imagine it. What it's describing may seem horrendous to our fragile modern sensibilities, but the simple truth is these stories took place in one of the most tumultuous times we humans have ever known. So before you make up your mind that this is just some manifesto written up by some bronze age a-holes who just wanted to justify doing whatever they wanted, you might want to first gain a more complete understanding of the material and the context they take place in. In every other case we're all about encouraging informing yourself with facts and gaining proper understanding through education and whatnot, yet when it comes to this all of that just seems to go out the window.

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                  Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Sorry, but if you believe there was in fact an Adam and Eve and a talking snake and if you believe the reason we have multiple languages is because God wanted to confuse us so we wouldn't reach heaven, then yes.

                  Does it matter is it lines up with history? No. There may in fact be some kind of history involved, but that doesn't change that the stories were designed to give this tribes men a sense of entitlement so as to feel invincible when attacking others. Much like Mohammad did with his tribe. We've got God on our side boys.
                  You story reminds me of nazi Germany. People being told they are a superior race and are destined to rule the entire world. An entire nation falls in place and takes Italy with them. Same story over and over. The leader tells his people they have God on their side and they are superior and chosen by God to destroy others. The Japanese were told their leader was a God and invincible. You don't see a pattern here?

                  1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
                    HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Yes, that's what I've been trying to point out. I do see a pattern. Those things you speak of, the Nazis and other stories like theirs, is exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about. A sense of entitlement and a penchant for enforcing their will on anyone and everyone. Yes there's a pattern, and it's a very specific and traceable pattern.

                    This is one gigantic assumption that you seem to feel totally comfortable making ... "There may in fact be some kind of history involved, but that doesn't change that the stories were designed to give this tribes men a sense of entitlement so as to feel invincible when attacking others."

                    Based on what exactly? Absolutely nothing, from what I can tell. It's just the vibe you get and you run with it. You have nothing to support your claims regarding the intent of the writers, but that doesn't stop you. You just make these sweeping generalizations with absolutely no factual data to back it up, completely ignoring the facts that are right in front of you. But hey, religious types have been all arrogant and dismissive for centuries, so what's the harm in making the exact same mistake all over again? Right? There's a pattern there too that you might want to recognize.

                    I know in this modern scientific age these stories seem far-fetched. But the fact is, the people of this region, well beyond just the Hebrew speaking people, told much the same story. The same civilizations that gave us mathematics and astronomy and the written language and civilization also claim across the board that there was a previous ancient age where there were gods who lived extremely long lives, bred with humans, and who actually taught them what they know. Should we just ignore all of this and continue to assume we're smarter and know better? We still don't understand the rapid advancements of Sumer and Egypt and Greece. The things they were able to accomplish unlike anyone before them. The things they knew that we only really get a hint at with what's survived from that age. Yet we're all quick to just dismiss these mythological stories as, "Oh, this must just be their way of reconciling natural phenomena they didn't understand, because, as we all know, they were just ignorant bronze age fools."

                    Typical. But hey, why not? Our history is full of people thinking they knew better, yet end up repeating the same mistakes of the past over and over again. Why break the cycle now when perpetually shooting ourselves in the foot has worked so well in the past?

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          Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          That's the most creative writing I've run across tonight. I'll have to read your posts more often.

        3. A Thousand Words profile image80
          A Thousand Wordsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          So, you're saying that originally humans had no free will... Please do tell what would a valid reason to create humans that do.

          I find your God-is-a-scientist view as disturbing for two main reasons:
          1. That makes us and our souls (and the eternal rest of our souls), and the whole process really, guinea pigs, or I guess mice in a lab.
          2. The fact that He would find our souls/livelihood inconsequential enough to carry out such an experiment.

          Even human scientists have a certain code of ethics they have to follow.
          There must at least be consent and as little possibility of harm as possible for humans anyway.

          Now, the humans without free will were likely happy, or at most ignorant of what it would mean to disobey. That'd be great for us considering ignorance is bliss and Hell wouldn't even be a whisper of a thought in anyone's mind. Everyone would just be walking around mindlessly happy unaware of anything else.

          Now aside from the God-is-a-scientist view, the only other reason I've heard as to why God gave humans free will (or created humans that could practice free will), was because He would find it displeasing to have people who always did what He wanted and that "true" love and willful obedience could only happen if they had a choice. This is why time and time again I have said that this God is selfish.

          What should've been more important?

          His yearn for "true" love, or the livelihood of those that he created?

          Or, if He's a scientist, His curiosity, or the well being of His participants?

          An experiment is essentially supposed to lead to the greater good of the people. This leads to the greater good of God, a greater good for some people, and apparently a horrible ending for many (as it seems to path to Heaven is a narrow one).

          It makes me think of researchers whose goal is their own personal gain/attention. Like that idiot guy that came out with ONE study saying that vaccines caused autism (he later recanted because he'd made up the results, and many sicknesses have resurfaced because people that don't understand the nature of research said "hey, we're not going to vaccinate our kids anymore."

          Or like the spoiled  rich kid bored with all his maids and servants because they bend to his will without effort so he looks for entertainment and is enticed by people that won't give in to him so easily (using other people as tools for his own amusement/ satisfaction).

          1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
            HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            The 'scientist' analogy does come off a bit more cold and clinical than I mean it to, but I'm using it in an attempt to highlight the volatile nature of free will and how it impacts the overall story being told and necessitates the actions being taken.

            While I certainly understand what you're saying, I think free will is very much worth the trouble. To live as you described, blissfully unaware, there'd really be no point. We'd basically just be going through the motions. That, to me, would be cruel. Create us just to be born, eat, sleep, procreate, age, whither, die. For just a handful of decades, for no real reason.

            It's free will that makes our lives what they are. It's what makes our friendships and relationships what they are. Like you said, 'true' love can only happen if there is a choice. It's what makes what we do, and what we don't do, matter. The choices we make, who we choose to spend our time with, what we do with the time we have, the sacrifices we make for others, all of this matters because of free will. Because it's a choice. Free will created the modern world, our art, music, technology, science, but it also created war and greed. It's all the best and worst of humanity. It's all the things we most cherish about being human and it's all the things we most despise. And it's the things we despise that make the things we cherish so cherishable. It's the bad times that make the good times what they are. It's the possibility of failure that makes success what it is, the possibility of pain and hurt that makes compassion and sacrifice what they are.

            I agree with you that the humans without free will were content. In fact, if I'm right about this, this change can actually be seen in our history. And the humans who came before, the tribal cultures, the early horticultural societies, even some indigenous cultures that exist through to this day, they're much more content than 'civilized' humanity ever was. All around the globe these people had a very similar view of the natural world and of one another. These cultures were not male-dominated, they weren't broken up into classes, burial sites and homes were all the same size, they weren't all hung up on possessions, and there was little to no violence or warfare. Land wasn't something to own, but rather belonged to all the living creatures. They're simply content with a simple life living in harmony with nature and don't feel the need to strive for anything more than they have.

            Historically, when that behavioral change came, so too did civilization, as well as male-dominated societies, class stratification, the 'accursed love of possession' as one Roman poet put it, slavery, and warfare. The 4th millennium BC was arguably the most tumultuous period in human history. As the first civilizations formed, before governments and laws ruled the land, as the boundary lines were still being drawn, that region of the world was a very violent place. Only those in power through might, or those enslaved and thus under the protection of those in power, survived. What we see in these modern times as barbaric about those stories of the bible, this is what was necessary to survive in the world that free will created.

            I think this 'fall' that Genesis is describing, and that so many other mythologies of that region are talking about, is when humanity gained our modern, more pronounced ego. An ego that makes us feel disconnected from the natural world, from one another, and even from our own bodies. It's when we began to diverge away from living in harmony with the natural world into altering and trying to control it and everyone in it. It's when we became fundamentally discontent and disconnected. Those behavioral changes we see in our historical record, the shift to male-dominance and class systems and all the rest, I think these were the result of this psychological separation. This emergence of a more pronounced ego. All of this began right where the stories of Genesis are said to have taken place and spread rapidly from there. It's this change that I think is the result of the story Genesis is telling. It's the result of the introduction of free will into an already populated world. It's the knowledge of good and evil.

            I do think having free will means having the capability to reject God. While I don't buy into the eternal damnation thing, I do think there will inevitably be some who will not move on. It wouldn't really be our choice otherwise. I think He does want us to choose Him, but He's not going to force us. In fact I think He went through a whole lot of trouble to make sure we have the capability to choose. I just don't see that as selfish. If you're a God capable of creation, you really only have three choices. No existence, existence where everyone and everything behaves exactly according to your will, or existence with others that have minds and wills of their own. If that's the case then I like the choice He made. I see this lifetime in this finite universe as a means to make free will possible.

            Understand I'm just sharing what I've arrived at in my own personal search for truth and understanding. I'm not trying to advance some religious agenda and I'm not trying to preach to anybody or justify my beliefs. This is just how I honestly see it and why.

            1. Erick Adamantine profile image60
              Erick Adamantineposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Spot on. This pretty much sums up my thoughts as well.

              Thank you for taking the time to thoughtfully, and succinctly put together your perspective. I thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone's posts on here, but your perspective resonates with me the most.

              I've been thinking of this exact thing for awhile now, and so it is no coincidence that I have stumbled upon this very topic in the forum. I see it as no coincidence because these kind of things happen to me every single day, where I am wondering about something, and very soon after, my answer shows up in a conversation, on the news, just by reading things spontaneously on the internet, etc. But anyways…

              I want to change direction for a bit, and I'd like you to reply if you will…

              I believe that the political systems of the world also operate on this knowledge and understanding of freewill, and yet, the state or government, whatever you want to call it, has the ability and 'right' to take your Will away. It has the power too, against your Will; detain, try, take your possessions and family members, threaten, kill, you. I mean, if your Will is truly yours, and is a reflection of who you are, how could anyone besides yourself, make a claim of right to it?

              I believe it is made possible by deception. First, they train us to believe that the state, or whatever you want to call it, expresses a fair amount of credibility, certainty, and worthiness, that is guided the light of 'Reason'. This Reason with a big 'R', is sort of a divined reason, owned by a superior intellect to that of each person's it governs. And it is presented to us by the actual people who make up these divined institutions, that because they are apart of this divined institution, they by association are more fit, of sounder mind, and made worthy (By swearing to God to tell the truth, etc.) to judge the reasonings of other people's, and take their Will away. Via Reason, they claim to have the right to govern, judge, punish, and reward, every action and thought of the rest of the population who uses reason, with a little 'r'.

              I find it very troubling that there are elected and unelected men and women who literally have the power of each person's God-given Will, in their hands. For instance, you may be speeding down the road and get pulled over because you are going above the posted speed limit. By the light of Reason, i.e. laws, you are found to be guilty of driving at unsafe speeds. But science proves irrefutably that every single person is unique. Thus, everyone has their own unique capabilities, abilities, and Will. They are able to operate their vehicle at whatever speed they personally reason to be safe. So how can there be a set of VALID laws that claim the right to establish an enforceable (restriction) speed upon the millions of unique Wills, capabilities, people out there? They say it is for the protection of the entire general population when actually, there is no such thing as a general population because there is no such thing as a generalized human being. How can the light of Reason, truly hold water if everyone is a universe unto themselves completely estranged and separate from the minds and Wills of others? Isn't that the very definition of freewill?

              Even if you command me to jump, do I not have the ability to exercise my own Will, and choose to jump or not? (Proving my power of Will stronger than yours in regards to myself, thus making any judgement I make about myself stronger than any you could formulate). No one can go inside you and make you do (take over your mind) anything you do not want to do. Thus, how can the light of Reason, (lacking the complete understanding of each and every person through and through, and lacking the power over the Will of the individual it is trying to control) enforce anything, or command anyone to do anything? How can anyone claiming to possess the light of Reason punish anyone for not obeying a command of another person, or sign? How can there be truly enforceable, punishable restrictions of choice? When looked at with the light of free will, rules are seen as they really are; suggestions as there can be no valid, enforceable, command to a free Willed person.

              How can someone claiming to have the light of Reason truly ever know with certainty, what any other person is capable of, let alone be able to then make sweeping judgements about the correct speed a person can safely travel, thus enforce a punishment upon them? The only person worthy of punishing you, is You, since you are the ONLY accurate gauge of who you are and what you are capable. Thus, governance via Reason, is a deception which involves you handing over (since they can't take it from you) your right to govern yourself, choose for yourself, exercise your Will, and be the true authority over who you are, what you call yourself, and what you are capable, what punishment or rewards you deserve, over to someone else.

              Strange concept I know, because a lot of people say that without the light of Reason, the whole world would turn to chaos, but isn't that assumption in itself still unverifiable? That assumption to me, reflects the same assumption and attitude of someone who thinks of themselves as possessing the light of Reason because they: generalize humanity as a whole (mistake number 1). And on top of that, views humanity as being irresponsible, and having no natural personal morals and naturally peaceful convictions (mistake number 2). They then go on to say that unless laws are written down and then ''given'' to the people from those who possess the light of Reason, and then enforced, by those who swear to uphold the light of Reason, (to the best of their ability-which means they could get away with murder essentially because ''best'' is subjective) humanity is doomed.

              This is all completely elitist bologna, because I have seen many tribes still peacefully existing today without the existence of written laws or governments. These same people called these tribes, "arrested civilizations." I personally despise this particular system ruled by Reason, and the notion that humans would automatically become barbaric if there were no system of law, and enforcement, holding back the flood waters of chaos.

              As it stands, and is proven everyday, all peoples are deemed by those with the light of Reason, mentally deficient, morally debase, and thus, unworthy of carrying out their own Will without them!

              Yes, according to these people, we actually NEED them!  We actually NEED people who CLAIM( subjective) to be of  higher reason, higher status, higher capabilities, and have the "Right stuff" to govern the rest of us poor, lowly, beasts. Because without them and their law, without their guiding and superior intellects divined with the light of Reason; the right to rule, humanity would destroy itself.

              Does this mean I think I am above the law? Yes. But does this make me immoral and debase, hoping to get away with murder? Hell no. I just believe people ought to have the right to decide for themselves..everything. Do I think rapists, murderers, liars, and thieves should get away with everything they have done? No. But I do not believe that the majority of people are willing to commit these acts on other people, and so they should not have to be ruled over by an elitist gang for protection at the cost of being able to be enslaved at any time against their will.

              I do believe there is a natural moral law that most people live by, and it exists outside of law books, and courtrooms and in the wild. I have seen it. It is called empathy.

              What do you think?

  10. oceansnsunsets profile image88
    oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago

    I think believers are on to something.  However, as we look more closely, almost everyone is definitely believing in something.  We do know how the universe works to some degree, and can work off the little bit we do know from science.  I mean the science we can all agree on even. Assumptions can lead to wrong conclusions.  Of course there are explanations to things, but sometimes people seem to not be able to handle the implications that come with the explanations. 
    1. Yes
    2.  Yes, a kind of free will.
    3.  Resurrection, then facing our maker.  He makes the final call.
    4.  Yes.

  11. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
    HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years ago

    I don't think Abraham incurring God's wrath for not carrying out the sacrifice is consistent with other stories. God's wrath is usually said to come in those cases where 'wickedness' was at play. Abraham choosing to not sacrifice Isaac was not an act of 'wickedness'.



    What I'm saying is that what the bible is describing is a will that is truly free. Meaning, God really would not have known what Abraham would do unless he be put in a situation where he had to make the decision. Because he is not behaving according to God's will, but his own.

    It's not so much that He 'goes back and forth', it's more that He sees all of time all at once, so He sees the result of a change instantaneously. There's one version of a reality where free will had not been introduced, one where it had. The introduction of free will changes how existence plays out. Then there's how existence with free will played out with and without the flood altering the outcome.

    I think of it in the context of a programmer, with the program being existence, existing when that program is in runtime. When all the functions of the program are only what the programmer wrote, then it works as expected with no unknowns to account for. But if that program were open to other applications hooking into it and passing in information, applications not written by the programmer, then there's no accounting for that. The program must then be altered from its original state to handle these potential unknowns coming in so that it still runs as intended.

    1. Slarty O'Brian profile image86
      Slarty O'Brianposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      If he (or anything) can know everything in advance then life is deterministic because the future is already known. If he goes around asking questions back in time he changes things in the future. If we can change his vision of the future then he does not know the future and can not know all in advance. You can't have it both ways.

      1. 0
        Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        That my friend is what I have been attempting to explain to him for years.

        1. Slarty O'Brian profile image86
          Slarty O'Brianposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          It is definitely one of the flaws in the theist model I see over and over again, God sees all and knows all but we have free will to change the future. It's a paradox that they have to go to great length to rationalize. And unless you are a logical person to begin with it is easy to get caught by their complex paradox. They have had centuries to perfect it. lol...

          But a bit of logic blows it away as the impossible rationalization that it is.

          1. 0
            Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            The only explanation I can come up with is a subconscious part of the mind hides the paradox as it's right there in front of their face, but that can't see it.

            1. Slarty O'Brian profile image86
              Slarty O'Brianposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Right. I think the subconscious doesn't get paradox unless the mind is logical and teaches the subconscious to look for them

          2. 0
            Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            I would disagree. I think, if i was in a position to see all of history, at a particular moment for me, I could know what would happen without influencing events in any way. If I can simultaneously observe every moment of your life, how does that imply that I control it?

            1. 0
              Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Here is the paradox. Headly is claiming that God had to ask Abraham to kill his son because he didn't know what he would do. He claims God can't see what humans decide to do thus giving us free will. Someone who can see all of time will be able to see every decision we make from the moment he decides to create the universe.

              1. 0
                Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                I've read Headly's arguments. I'm at a loss. They don't make sense, to me.

              2. Disappearinghead profile image88
                Disappearingheadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                I dont understand him either. When I ask my young kids a question or to do something, I'm not in ignorance of their answer. The question is not always for my benefit, but to get them to think, or to get them to do what I want them to do.

                1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
                  HeadlyvonNogginposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  The point to the whole conversation is the importance of properly understanding how the capability to act contrary to God's will impacts the story being told. To properly understand the narrative and the motivations behind the actions taken, you first have to understand this.

                  We call it 'free will', and maybe that title in and of itself is confusing matters. The point is, all the world acted according to God's will only, up to the point that Adam/Eve were created. From that point forward there were people in existence who behaved according to their own minds and wills, meaning what the world had become, what the Jewish people were told to do, this was not God's ideal model of existence. These were things necessary to survive in an environment created by humans, and not under total control by God. Taking land, enslaving inhabitants, these were the things necessary to sustain a high population of people in that environment. An environment created by the capability first introduced through the creation of Adam/Eve.

                  The Abraham story is an example to illustrate that the capability God introduced into the world through Adam and Eve, which passed on to everyone 'of Eve', truly is a mind and a will apart from His. If there were not then there'd be no need to test Abraham, no need for commandments, judgement, any of that.

                  1. A.Villarasa profile image79
                    A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    @Headley:
                    I totally understand what you are trying to say or explain to these unbelieving folks.
                    I have always thought that the Bible's Old Testament  in its entirety is a narrative of people , starting with Adam and Eve, who from my interpretation of it, were not the very first humans to inhabit earth, but were the first humans to intuit, discern and extrapolate the existence of a Unitary God (a Supernatural, who is above and  beyond  the Laws of Nature)who gave them the ability (free will) to act above nature (supra-natural) but not beyond its laws. The rest of creation, humans and all the other animate species, merely stayed within the confines of nature, because they did not discern or extrapolate the existence of such a Unitary God i.e. their instincts,  pretty much followed what nature expected them to do-- to think and act  specifically within the bounds of nature, not above it.
                    Happily, with Free Will came CREATIVITY; unhappily, EGO soon followed.
                    The interaction of Free will, Creativity, and Ego, is what spurred human civilization to flourish, and within it, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

            2. Slarty O'Brian profile image86
              Slarty O'Brianposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Doesn't matter that you can see all of history but you don't change it. If you can see the future with absolute certainty then it is a done deal. That's the point. If there is a future out there for anything to see then the future is written in stone. Life is already predetermined.

              1. 0
                Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Again, i disagree. Nothing is written in stone until it's done. Sure, the whole idea of wars in heaven, some in a book of life and most everything else espoused by religion can't be argued without the loss of free will but a simple idea of one knowing the beginning, middle and end does not entail the loss of free will, nor does it imply that things are predetermined.

                1. wilderness profile image95
                  wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  If it is not written in stone then God cannot know it and therefore is not omniscent. 

                  But God IS omniscient (knows everything including the future) and thus everything IS written in stone.  And you cannot change it, therefore have no free will.

                  1. A.Villarasa profile image79
                    A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    @widerness:
                    I did not know that you believe in God, and that God is omniscient. Or is that one of your rhetorical flair just getting way ahead of you?