I am positive that this forum post will lead to an argument between an atheist and a Christian, in one way or another. But please, try to refrain your answers and discussions to the question that I am going to ask you.
If you posed the question "What does God look like?" to a few random by-passers on the street, some might tell you they picture him as a gigantic, old man with a huge white beard, who lives in the clouds and watches everything you do, every moment of every day.
Others might tell you they picture him in the image of Jesus Christ. That is, the most widely accepted version for what Jesus supposedly looked like.
While others might even tell you that they picture God being a form of energy, that reigns over our planet and the rest of the universe; a positive, benevolent form of energy that emits from every living being.
So, when you close your eyes and think of God, what do you see? Who do you see? What does God look like?
When I close my eyes and think of God, I do not see anything because God is not limited to a specific physical view or of human attributes. The bible was written by men inspired by God. In this inspiration of what is not truly known, Man basically simplified a concept of something to much more complex and reduced it down to a level that can be processed (as best as possible) with the human brain. This is not saying that God does not exist.. I am saying that God is so far beyond the thinking of those who would limit him to what they would like for him to be instead of what he truly is.
Interesting quandary you've presented. On the one hand, the assertion that the bible was written by men inspired by God is quite debatable. Nonetheless, how is it that such men are inspired by God to write the Bible, yet they are compelled to simplify, a problem encountered due to the assumption God is extremely complex and beyond our thinking. We therefore have no use for something that has been simplified.
The question is then begged, to what purpose did God inspire those men? Why couldn't God inspire complete understanding in those men of what He truly is? He can create a universe, find sets of lost car keys, yet He can't make anyone understand Him.
Obviously, God is not as smart as He looks.
I disagree here a little. I get perfectly what you are saying and for the most part I agree with a majority of it. Often times, simplifying SOME things (not all) makes it easier for people to understand as well as gives something that can be grasped. Evolution, for instance (as well as other areas of science) is simplified (in a way) as to be grasped and understood easily (for those who want to understand and accept it). Evolution explains what happens and gives a simple enough explanation of how it happened. Take the universe for instance. The theory is that there was a big bang from a single atom and everything grew from that. It doesn't really totally state how that ban occurred or how everything grew from that (Which is why a lot of believers keep pressing the issue as to how and what caused it.. well that and the desire to prove God started the bang)
To be inspired by something does not mean the same thing as coming directly from that same source. It means to be inspired by a perception or perspective of how we see that certain thing. Let's take you, for instance (not that I am making a specific comparison between you and God). If five different hubbers were to write their ideas of who you are, you might get 5 totally different works.. It doesn't mean that you directly told any of those hubbers what to write about you or that what they are writing is specifically the truth (which you state often that people are lying about you). It means simply that their work is how they specifically see you.
Now with this idea in mind, it could be the same idea with God. God might not have directly been involved (I know I'm opening a HUGE can of worms here, but all of this scenario is based more on the idea and possibility that God exists, but it not as hands on as people think, not my specific view).
That would be extremely arrogant and selfish of those writers to "dumb down" the understanding God gave them of Himself, unless of course, God told them to dumb it down for the masses, which of course, makes no sense at all.
It's obvious that those men were not inspired at all, but were simply making it all up from their twisted imaginations.
No, we read the same stuff scientists read about evolution, not some dumbed down popsci magazine article.
You can't make that kind of comparison because I actually exist.
In other words, they just made it all up.
Then, anything written about God is utterly useless.
I think the theory states that all matter was compressed to a singularity, not just one atom but all.
I read something the other day about the multiverse theory which does explain how and what started our universe.
ATM: "The question is then begged, to what purpose did God inspire those men? Why couldn't God inspire complete understanding in those men of what He truly is?"
Well, that would take all the fun out of it
I don't know that my brain could handle that kind of info all at once... but what I understand from those scriptures is that God reveals Himself a little bit at a time, and the more information you seek, the more you tend to find (personally speaking).
God inspired no one. People wrote those books to give their men a reason to fight bravely and give them a sense of entitlement. The very same can be said for the Quran. Asking people to kill is no easy task, but asking them to kill for a greater good leaves their conscious in tack.
People will read into the Bible what they want and take away from it that which suits their motives. I don't think a bible is necessary to obtain a sense of entitlement, but like I said, people will take what they want from the bible if they can use it to justify their actions.
Without a religion and afterlife, very few people will be ready to lose their life.
It is the heaven and afterlife the religions promise, that help people to die in a war. Imagine, if Muhammad Atta believed there were no afterlife and heaven with 72 huris, , would he lay down his life just for killing people?
That would seem to say that most soldiers have deluded themselves into believing they will be one of the few to get into heaven. Even knowing that they are leading a lifestyle headed for hell.
Don't think I can agree with that opinion.
I said "(except)very few" and not all.. Bhagat Singh an Indian freedom fighter(and martyr) was an atheist. But atheism is relatively new and confined to a few. There are people who die for their near and dear and "nation" even. But most soldiers are religious followers and hope of afterlife is the most important and comforting factor in their life, especially in the ancient world where people believed "death in war can bring heaven"(irrespective of how they lived. In Indian mythology the most sinful of all, Duryodhana got heaven because he fought and died like a soldier)(crusades are an example where participation can bring absolution of sin and hence heaven). Of course there were mercenaries even among Greek(and also among crusaders), but they didn't go thinking they would die, but that they would get riches and that they will happily here. I am talking about were people go to war "knowing death is more likely".
"be one of the few to get into heaven"
Only the fundamentalists think they alone get to heaven while most people think that a good majority, at least their near and dear get to heaven.
Sorry, but atheism is neither new nor confined to a few. It far predates any religious beliefs (such beliefs are taught, not some kind of instinct) and the believer has become a minority in today's world. While still a large majority in some countries (the US) it is a minority world wide.
Same for soldiers; it is only soldiers from those few countries where religion is prevalent where it can be said that "most" hope for an afterlife. The rest of the world knows better, and soldiers fight (and die) for their country, their friends and their loved ones. For an ideal in some cases - effectively dying for the good of all mankind.
You have mistaken me. I know atheism is not new, say the hunter gatherers of the yore can be termed atheists. Also charvaka/Nastika of India is almost as old as the vedanta. But these were tiny percentages of the world population. The European races, in all its written history, is mostly theistic. Atheism in a mass scale is a new phenomena hardly hundred years old, (Diests are not atheists,neither are a majority, confined mostly to the well educated classes) and even now they do not constitute more than 50%. (Even in France, it's only 33% and I consider all theists as a block). And most theists are believers in afterlife and heaven. That will form the majority in the world.
I do not deny that soldiers die for their country and friends, but nationalism as we know today is also a recent phenomenon(hardly 500 years old). I gave the example of an atheist who died for his country. But the majority die happily because they 'know' there is an afterlife where they will be compensated. In dialogues of Plato, Socrates is made to discuss how to make soldiers willing to die for their country. The same is true of Sun Tzu and other war manuals. If people can see only loss in death, nobody will be willing to die.
What I am saying is that such altruists are rare, they are exceptions of the rule.
Like, believing in it? What motives does one have there?
I should have been more specific in my post, I apologize. I don't know if motive is the right word, when I responded I was thinking more about a person's position on scripture (what the bible says) and how so many (Ministers included) tend to bend and twist scripture to fit their ideology not taking into account the context of the verses quoted, the translation and historical background that it was written in.
Ministers and so many others are merely following what they are taught, which is to lie, to deceive, to tell us how to live and what to believe based on ancient myths and superstitions. Surely, you don't expect them to be honest about anything, let alone the religion that has warped their minds.
The fun? Is that the best you can muster?
No, God does not reveal himself at all. One either reveals themselves or they don't. There is no information about God other than the Bible, which we can all read.
Fun? Well, considering I posted late at night (for me) after a very long day with my 2 kids (under 3) and being 3 months pregnant, perhaps that was the best I could come up with
I don't really understand what you mean when you say that information about God is in the Bible but at the same time he doesn't reveal himself at all?
Doesn't he reveal himself through the fine-tuning of the physical laws and the constants of the universe and the precise configuration of its initial conditions?
What about molecular machines and their complex systems in biological organisms? They require all of their various parts in order to function but that isn't accomplished under the process of natural selection acting on random variations because natural selection cannot help build such systems ;it can only preserve them once they've been built.
What about the Big Bang theory? This theory point to a definite beginning of the universe. Most scientists believe that energy, matter, space and time had a beginning. You can invoke neither time nor space nor matter nor energy nor the laws of nature to explain the origin of the universe.
Or what about the fact that the fundamental laws and parameters of physics have precise numerical values that could have been otherwise? All of these laws and constants somehow conspire in a mathematically awesome way to make life possible in the universe. The expansion rate of the universe for example is fine tuned to one part in a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion.
These are just some examples I can recite for you that reveal God to me, as in behind all of these scientific wonders there must have been a designer, a creator, that is what those examples reveal to me.
1 Kings 19:11-12
"Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice."
Are natural laws fine tuned to give exactly the result we see? Not that we know of; you're confusing result with an implied intent. No intent; the results were random.
On the contrary, natural selection is one of the primary "tools" nature uses to produce those molecular machines. To state otherwise is an indication of ignorance of how evolution works.
Big bang - do you then know and understand the natural laws applicable inside the singularity that gave rise to the universe? Because for sure no one else does.
Fine tuned to one part in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. I would most interested in seeing your mathematical derivation of that number, as well as what "fine tuned" refers to. "Fine tuned" to what purpose or result?
These things may well "reveal" God to you, and give rise to the statement that because of them there had to be a designer, but there is absolutely no evidence of that. Others look at the same thing and appreciate the beauty of it, (a beauty they would find no matter what they saw) but find no cause to believe they were artificially built by a super ET from another universe.
So you are saying the fundamental laws of physics do not have precise numerical values?
Natural selection has nothing to do with the survival of the fittest, thus preserving the very function that allows an organism to survive? How can natural selection be a tool to produce a molecular machine when some of those very machines are unable to function unless they have all of their parts present and working together in coordination with each other?
And further more, how do you explain the Cambrian explosion?
As for the expansion rate of the universe, I'm afraid I can't take the credit for coming up with that number. I was quoting an article titled "Charles S Pierce, Scientific Method and God" by Terry G Pence in Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, vol 49, no. 3 (September 1997) page 160.
As per your last statement, you make my point. When I look at the universe and the world around me I see the design of a creator, but when others look they do not see the work of a creator.
So why don't you see a creator for the "creator who designs", for obviously the one who can design, should have a complex design himself?
Many, if not most, physical constants do not have exact numbers. Pi and e are examples. But the question regarded your claim that the universe somehow required those numbers; there is no evidence for that. The numbers produced the universe we see, not the other way around.
Same thing; natural selection does not produce a change at the molecular level; change produces an opportunity for natural selection to work. You have the cart before the horse again.
And did Mr Pierce give any indication of how he came up with the number or did he just make it up? What does it refer to - your "quotation" gives no indication of that.
I understand you "see" your creator in nature - I said so. I also said that others see nature; implied is that they have no more reason to see God than you do, that you choose to make up a reason rather than look for evidence. You, for instance, ask questions such as "how do you explain the Cambrian explosion?" plainly using it as evidence of God, but ignorance of exact answers to questions is evidence only of ignorance. Not God.
What of it? What is your point?
Through evolution, of course, but it would appear you know very little if anything at all about evolution.
That is the result of ignorance on your part, an appeal to incredulity.
That's because there is no evidence of design, none whatsoever.
I dunno...Harlequin fetuses sure were designed by something--something resembling a mix between a madman and a sadist.
The Bible was written by men, God has never revealed himself, unless you've seen him?
Absolutely not. Those laws and constants do not show gods at all.
No, evolution most certainly has accomplished those things, that is a fact, there are mountains of evidence to support it.
So what? There were most likely other laws and constants that caused the Big Bang.
Not really, if those values changed, there would simply be another kind of universe with different values. No big deal.
Sorry, but none of those examples have anything to do with gods, none whatsoever. There is no logic or reasoning in your conclusions at all, where would get that notion? How do you jump to those conclusions?
Is there a point to that verse?
I see Spirit. The Word says He is Spirit.
Yes, it also describes Him (in Revelation, I think) in imagery like with white hair, etc....and yes, the thought of Jesus comes to mind too; but that's an image drawn from thinking of Him in His earthly form when He lived here on earth.
But I see Spirit.
I have seen the pictures of Gods worshipped by the people of different religions. But I think God doesn't have a partcular form. When I close my eyes to pray, there is always a white colour that fills my eyes. It reminds me of peace and happiness. That's what God is to me.
When I close my eyes and think about God, I see a beggar holding his hands out for spare change, I see a young child shooting herself up with drugs all alone, I see activists feeding a starving child in Africa. I see a mother's love for her child, I see a child's love for his mother and father, I see atheists loving their friends and families, I see muslim families eating supper at the table, I see a swimmer with a bee in her hand swimming to shore, I see a fire fighter holding a child in his arms after rescuing her from a burning building, I see communities working together to help families who lost everything in a tornado disaster. I see a same sex marriage, I see that if there is love, you will find God, because He is in us all.
So it is the good acts and beautiful things you see as god?
I know what you are up to, and I choose to ignore your comments. If you had read all of what I wrote, you would of seen that not all of it was good.
Well the shroud of Torin was proven good enough for me "the real face of Jesus" and this I know, I was led there and also a certain scripture popped up.
As for God I was given a vision I know exactly what he looks like right down to his sandals. This is the truth I say. Others may not agree but I was given a vision.. He was wearing a white robe(actually it was more on the beige side now that I think about my vision) with a gold Sascha brown sandals, he had dark brown hair very good looking and a little beard that matched the colour of his hair and actually brown eyes. His hair was shoulder length.
This is my honest opinion
Good question though, cant wait to hear answers
Have a blessed day
I'm curious - do you picture God with the characteristics your own race or that of the ancient Semitic race? Or even the African races where man supposedly originated?
That is very interesting. Thank you for replying to this post.
We people never know. Well, there are pictures of Him on computers and stuff but people make them up. That is my answer. NOBODY knows what He looks like.
What does God look like? Will we be able to see without our eyes?
New international Bible
I stopped wondering what God looks like when I read this verse in the Bible as I believe this was when Moses was conversing with God.
But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live."
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