I'd like to hear HubLand's opinion about the "god of the gaps".
"But a careful reading of older texts, particularly those concerned with the universe itself, shows that the authors invoke divinity only when they reach the boundaries of their understanding. They appeal to a higher power only when staring into the ocean of their own ignorance. They call on God only from the lonely and precarious edge of incomprehension. Where they feel certain about their explanations, however, God gets hardly a mention."
Neil deGrasse Tyson
(*thanks again for this link Pr0metheus, I'm still referencing it!)
How do you fill your gaps? Why do you feel the need to?
Isn't simply saying, "We don't know that answer yet" good enough?
I don't quite understand the question?
which gaps are we talking about? I don't see any gaps myself; though there may be some that I haven't thought of yet.
Please inform me of my gaps.
Didn't you know....that is it, God has not told you, so you don't know. In some circles, it's called God of the Gaps, the unexplainable. Must be God's work. Apparently, God doesn't want us moving too fast, so he leaves Gaps of unknown knowledge, so imagination can run rampant.
How do you know that he has not told me ????
Maybe this is why I do not know what god of the gaps are.???
Here is an example, jerami:
Isaac Newton’s law of gravity is calculated with equations that predict the planets will ultimately collapse and fall into the sun’s gravity.
He couldn’t figure out why they weren’t collapsing. The equation showed that they should, but they don’t. Newton finally solved the problem by saying god was intervening to keep the planets in orbit.
A century later, a mathematician named Pierre-Simon de Laplace solved Newton’s little math problem. He showed how and why the planets remain in stable orbit, without crashing into the sun, and without god’s guiding hand.
Newton couldn’t understand the entire equation. So, he solved his mystery by saying that the parts he couldn’t figure out are the parts controlled by god.
The point is, why couldn't Newton say, "Just haven't figured it out yet?"
Thank you for the explination. I hadn't heard that before.
So God gaps are anything that even today, In all of our wisdom can not figure out the rest of the equation ?
There will always be understanding that we do not have, I think.
Each time that we figure out that one thing, that we do not know, it seems to raise as many if not more questions than the ones that we answered. yes??
There is no limit to the questions.
There are some people who are content to know that we haven't solved the equation yet. There are others who insist that equations must be solved by filling the "gaps" with god.
Some people leave the gaps empty, others fill them up.
You know what, I just realized I misunderstood the original question.
Maybe I'm not catching your drift quite right still, but I'm not certain that it's fair for us today to try and relate the way we think to the way ancient people thought. I can't even relate the way I think now to the way I thought ten years ago, or worse 15 years ago.
That said, yes today I don't have to know the answers to everything I wonder about. I may speculate, I may pursue answers, but yeah I'm perfectly comfortable with not having perfect answers.
This is the only sort of god there is. Just look at how many charlatans there are here on HP claiming to have some esoteric knowledge. Invariably they are selling something or pushing a church or whatever.
People are - on the whole - scared, and will swallow some crap about living forever if they just hand over some money/go on a ministry/join this church/whatever.
Simple really - after all - we are just animals that can think a little. We cannot even use more than 10% of our brains.
Clever monkeys. But - just clever enough to get us into trouble and a lot of powerful people have a vested interest in keeping the bulk of us at that level. Otherwise education would be our top priority instead of "exploiting resources for financial gain," which is what seems to be our genuine priority - no matter what the Government Inc tells us.
I do not need ti fill my gaps and am happy saying "I don't know." People like Dent and the other religionists point at that accusingly as though there is something wrong with it. "It is not written in stone therefore it is a weak foundation," they will say.
Their egos need an answer - and they need it so bad; they are so scared; they will accept the nonsense that they have accepted because it is soooo easy.
You do not need to understand anything - or try and use your brain in any way to say, "I get my morals from God."
And they have to convince themselves that the obvious paradoxes and conflicts are just god "hiding knowledge from us, and we will understand when we die."
Talk about a gamble.
How would I get any research grants if I said that to a prospective donor?
The latest from science is exciting and may produce answers in as little as two years.
God of the gaps? Only dirty stuff is coming to mind. You'd think there'd be a god for that.
All I can tell you is that being gods of the gaps is what did in the greek and roman pantheon. But you already knew that.
Say you live in a mountain village. You can't see what's on the other side of the mountain, so you imagine what might be there.
One day you are able to travel over, but what you see is not what you had spent a lifetime imagining.
Do you accept what is there, or do you search for a way to justify what you had been imagining?
Well, yeah, I think I'd question it. I do that all the time, go "Why was I thinking it was...." so yeah.
So how are you applying this to your study there on the god of the gaps theory?
See, with that statement you are accepting what you see and questioning why you had imagined it differently.
If you were trying to justify what you had imagined, you would try to find some way to make your own imagination still be correct... somehow.
Here is a rough idea:
1.) Noah built an ark and put all the animals on it. God's will.
2.) Wait... no that's not possible. So then, there were fewer species in those days and they evolved into many more after the flood. Still god's will. (Also a really convenient reason for the extinction of the dinosaurs. They wouldn't fit on the boat.)
3.) OK the whole story is bullshit. But it's still god's will because he inspired somebody to write the story as a metaphor to teach us.
When people can't find an answer, they pull out the god card. But when the answer gets found later, god doesn't seem to go away... he's still lurking around...
I'll post the link I referred to in the OP if you're interested.
The Perimeter of Ignorance
A boundary where scientists face a choice: invoke a deity or continue the quest for knowledge
I leave them open. And slowly fill with observations and musings
I get a lot of mileage out of this graph, it essentially tracks the progression of the gap thing. I'm not sure who originally made it, but this version is my appropriation of one that makes the rounds in anthropological circles.
"Gaps and Transgressions are what I have preacher,
without Them, I have nothing"
Fills the Bill nicely,
don't you think Wyanjen?
The God of the Gaps?
I was always under the impression most religious folk figure God created everything, so to me that would include everything in the Gaps of unexplained territory humankind has been able to figure out.
It's pathetic attempt to apply nothing to something. As in no god, which is nothing, to gaps which contain something, just presently unknown.
As I said early, I've always had followers of God tell me, his everything and in everything.
So, there isn't anything God hasn't created or thought of, including the direction for which people live their life. This one got me the most?
It's freezing rain outside and I'm making a big ol' pot of chili.
I want to wrap a few things up tonight - I've got three half-written articles.
This forum will help me out with one of them
What's up with you? Having fun?
Cool on wrapping things up. It's always nice to complete a hub. I've been working on my two Valentine's Day hubs, plus writing odd pieces into 2 others.
I've complete Hub #1 of the Valentine's Day hubs and almost finished with the #2. So, that's good. Plus the other two I'm working are bigger projects and have no timetable.
The chili sounds great, especially on day like you have. It's chilly here, but no snow or rain in the forecast, at least not for the next few days.
I'm going to stir it up a bit. It's nice to have something simmering away when the weather is bad.
So, let's have a race to see who can finish up their work fastest.
Check back later!
That's not fair. I'm unable to publish 2 out of my 4 hubs under construction. You can publish all 3 without a problem. Two of mine are slated for a publication date.
So, YOU WIN!
What's up Shari? Thank you. Hope you're doing well. I was in your thread earlier, but haven't been back to check it in a while, was writing shortly after I posted.
i havent been around .. buckling in for the snow. . at a friends house in Pa . .snow should be here by midnight. . hows the forecast up by u??
Not bad for at least the next few days. It was a little chilly today, but sunny.
How fun? Tons of snowing coming? Sorry, don't pay attention to national weather. If it's not close, I'm not interested, got other things to deal with.
We have some 'a' that snow there in Indy tonight; been snowing all day. Got God, shelter, food, and family, so we're kinda happily hibernating. ha
....I had to come see what this thread was about.....and I still don't know. Never heard of the "god of the gaps" before, but I think I've heard everything now....
Okay I've had a terrible lag. Got pulled away from the computer for awhile in the middle of my second post.
I'm gonna go read the link. Save me some chili!
I'm chowing down, it's frickin' tasty chili. I won't have enough leftovers for Sunday
So. Before you understood exactly where I was going, and after you figured it out, your answer didn't change. In concept.
"Maybe I'm not catching your drift quite right still, but I'm not certain that it's fair for us today to try and relate the way we think to the way ancient people thought. I can't even relate the way I think now to the way I thought ten years ago, or worse 15 years ago."
Yes! this hits the nail on the head.
Of course the ancient people had different thinking. They did not have hundreds of generations of knowledge to search through when they had a problem to solve.
I remember in the 90's, people were saying that things they learned in college were being taught to their kindergartners.
Final question, then:
If the ancient's best way to explain a thunderstorm was to invent a god, why do we still account for god when we know exactly what a thunderstorm is? And what causes it? And every other tiny detail...
Why doesn't god go away when the gap is filled with actual knowledge?
Ok. I read it. It was the only way for them to not look ignorant. Invoking a socially acceptable higher power to fill in the places they couldn't figure out.
Does this include debating Noah's Ark?
(I'm shaking my head slowly...)
Wow, that was a great article. Gosh I love smart people. His description of the chaos of the universe made me wish I had a high powered telescope.
But what I really liked about the article is that his conclusion is exactly what I've been thinking. Our religious faith keeps holding us back, especially in America.
So what you're getting at is why hasn't our treatment of religion advanced with our scientific knowledge. It'd be interesting to compare the most scientifically advanced countries with their religious tendencies. I know they're all more advanced than us.
Religion in america is quite a problem, isn't it? Huh. I'm not sure I ever made that connection before. I always attributed our collective ignorance to our relative comfort. People were just more interested in materialistic things and having fun I thought.
I don't want to blame it on freedom of religion, but we are so damned proud of that here. You know...
Maybe you're already there, but let me throw this out there. It's our political leaders fault. From the founding fathers on they've been paying lip service to peoples' belief in a god. Even today the ones who don't believe have to pretend to believe. And the ones who do believe use it for all it's worth. And the ones who don't believe but are clever enough to use it anyway are the worst.
Then we've come off of this russian thing where we were really pushing our 'godliness' to make ourselves look so much better than them. And why do our religious leaders hold such vaulted places in the public's eyes? Why do we embrace our religious faith so tightly? Why do we cling to our religion is in effect your question.
Is it our history of wars every few years? Interesting that the other hotbed of religion also has had a long history of war huh?
I think that might be it. I read something recently that spoke of how the original hope was for nothing more than survival, more or less. Not for a fast car or a handsome prince or a fancy house or the latest expensive gadget but for food, shelter, protection. Alternately death was something that was reviled, as I guess it still is for many.
Hope and death. That's Pandora's gift, but that's another subject. In countries where war is such a constant, death is therefore such a plague, of course, being the natural result of war. People forced to deal with alot of death turn to the other extreme -hope. In this case, religious hope, which gives them comfort.
I've never looked at it, but I'd guess the most continuously or regularly war affected places on earth are the U.S., the middle east of course, and parts of south america. At the same time, definitely here and the mideast, I believe we're the most religious. I know some parts of south america are very religious, not sure which really and if they coincide with the overly religious.
.........That's all I got. That and our darned misplaced and stubborn pride in being america. That said, I gotta think other countries which have advanced beyond that have their native pride as well, but they don't seem to cling to their religion so much.
I don't know, but it sure is an interesting question. Can't wait to read your hub! Sorry for rambling so much, I do that sometimes. It just means you made me think!
I just thought of Italy. Which means my theory is probably wrong. Very religious, and yet if I recall right off-hand, also fairly well advanced aren't they? Maybe not, I dunno.
Italy is well advanced in some ways, Australia is very advanced and although a "christian" nation with a prayer before the opening of parliament the rest of the country pretty much ignores religion in reality. We hit well above our weight in medical science for one example.
I couldn't sleep thinking about this. I found only anecdotal evidence really to support my theory of war causing religiousness. Though it seems to be true that the least religious nations are the least warring and among the most advanced with no imminent threat of losing those statuses.
But here's what I came up with.
Our pride in our freedom of religion does tend to perpetuate religion. We're too polite to argue about it. Which makes me have to wonder about myself..
It's an anomaly that for all our comfort and advancement we still cling so fiercely to god, but we do have a wide spread of education ranging between the upper and lower classes. Most americans understand next to nothing about science.
I found some suggestions that america just hadnt fully evolved yet. Alot of religious kooks came here, and we haven't worked our way through that yet.
Africa, the mideast, and parts of south america are the most religious areas. America isn't as bad as them. Suffering and poverty does tend to make people more religious, as does ignorance.
Most of Europe is among the least religious and Australia. They are the nations rising or at the top of the scientific advancement game.
All of that aside, which I realize has little to do with your question, atheism is growing, even in america, and I guess it just takes awhile. Which really in retrospect seems the logical answer to your question. Dunno why I didn't see it sooner.
If what you're on is why haven't we let go of religion since we have so much scientific knowledge now to replace our need for false answers, then I reckon the answer is that we are in the process of doing so.
Did you protestants now stand at like only 50% of the american population in america? That was interesting to me.
The only significant rise in religious affiliation occurred in the 2 or 3 years before the turn of the millenium, lol. Fear, hah!
Anyway, thanks for the brain stimulation.
Hi Pandora Some interesting thoughts here. What interests me as well as what you've said is why have European christians been able to accept scientific explanations of creation etc and keep their faith, whereas a high proportion of American christians seem to need to cling onto their belief that the whole bible is absolute fact (and even make up science to fit)?
To me it's about all or nothing (black and white) thinking - either everything is the bible is 100% true or it's 100% not true. I don't think this kind of thinking is very mature - maybe it's something to do with educational levels or as you say the beliefs of the founding fathers in conjunction with wars?
The kind of approach many christian Europeans have is: I believe in the teaching of Jesus and try to live my life like that. Some of the bible is historically correct but much of the bible is clearly metaphorical and that's ok. It was written when people didn't know very much so we accept that ignorance is a big part of the bible and is very much a commentary on their society at the time.
What they seem to do is balance out different aspects of the bible and evaluate them in terms of new learning. It's not static.
Personally I'm not christian and I love to "not know". Not knowing leaves room to learn and experience all of those precious aha moments! It's nice to know not all americans are religious nuts
Funny, huh? People used to make up gods to explain what they didn't know about science, now we're making up science to explain what we think we know about god. People are crazy.
I'm tired. I may have said that but I didn't mean it that way. I would never purposely say or suggest that the founding fathers were strong religionists. My stance has always been that the most important of the founding fathers -or most of the most important anyway- were not especially christian at all. The movement would have gotten along just fine with pretty much anyone filling the rest of the chairs. I know you're not suggesting otherwise, I just need to clarify that.
Yeah that would be good advancement. Many americans are like that, but as you know, too many aren't.
Imagine how dull the world would be if there was nothing left to learn or discover.
On my way back from the grocery store this morning -I figured I may as well go and get it done since I'm up and since I know I will be crashing very soon- I was thinking more about all of this. Cause it seems in america we're really having a hard time letting go of our god delusion. People are fighting about it constantly over here, and it seems like nowhere else in the world -other than the middle east- is it such a problem. And it is such a problem. Religiously, we're pretty darn near being a third world country. People -christian fundies, I should say- keep threatening war, and frankly, they've got alot of guns.
I think it is like just right now we're in the death throes, you know? Which is why there's so much screaming here. The other 'civilized' nations are older and been through it all. They have reason enough to be quite tired and finished with religion.
But here in america we have all these special circumstances that make us different. Such as being first settled by religious refugees, our pride in our freedom of religion clause, the friggin' major wars we end up in every 20 years or so which cause the people to turn back to religion, the whole godless commies thing and the huge difference in the quality of education between the upper and lower classes. Add to all that the relatively young age of our country, and maybe that's why we're so far behind the other civilized nations in regards to religion and the effects we let it have on our culture.
I really think it's a combination of all of that which makes it so difficult for americans to stop clinging to their god. Plus our politicians play it for all it's worth, all the time. It's gotten so that what smart scientists we do produce leave the country and go work somewhere else. Science here is spurned at every turn! It's amazing how unappreciative of science our people are.
I wish we could live to see the day when these death throes we're experiencing would be finished. Eh, it's hard to imagine, but maybe we'll make it there. I just hope in the meantime that our ignorance and stubborness doesn't cost us too much.
Wordscribe - great post!
Jen, I'm sorry if I rambled all over your thread. I'm not even sure if 3/4's of what I brought up have anything to do with the god of the gaps. I hope I made some sense.
"God of the Gaps". Well, as science continues to advance there are going to be even less places for "God" to take refuge and hide. Damn those pesky geologists for digging around in Mother Earth! Fortunately, the Lord was on his toes and planted a whole bunch of fossils, strata and shifted continents to make it appear the earth is in fact MUCH older than it really is.
And then that pesky DNA discovery came about. Darn it. God was no longer the director of reproduction. His job just keeps getting easier and easier, he doesn't even move the sun around the earth anymore. And so it is, God just keeps getting smaller and smaller with the more scientific knowledge we accrue. His little hidey holes are getting few and far between. Poor Jehovah's not going to have anywhere to hide pretty soon. There will be less opportunities to say God exists because of 'X' phenomenon. The Lord will have to find a whole new hiding place when science suddenly has a rational explanation.
It won't be long until these gaps have been nicely filled. There will still be those who cry: "But what about the South African Chinch Bug reproduction? Gotcha! Praise God." The last of the believers will only have complete ignorance to fight for their belief system, sheer and utter denial (I don't believe in fossil records), or this convenient, elusive thing called "faith", i.e. "I just KNOW in my heart this is really the way the universe works, despite all the evidence to the contrary. I have faith."
The gaps are closing in folks. Jehovah is going from one dark hole to the next, He's running out of vacancies.
Oh so well said. Weekly now we are getting closer to shutting down this madness altogether. It will not matter to some they will believe in holy mud or some other fantasy, but it will provide final proof for the still sane!
Don't count on it.
By the way, I think and hope chiches are a thing of the past; those pesky bugs are no fun at all.
I also believe in fossil records, but I don't believe in the average man's or the average scientist's, even, ability to interpret them correctly.
Believing and understanding are two separate and very distinct concepts. Clearly, you might believe in those things but you most certainly don't have an understanding of them. Hence, for you to simply dismiss them out of hand in favor of your religious beliefs only serves to demonstrate your ignorance of those concepts and your intellectual dishonesty in such matters.
Thanks, Earnest. It's actually a very exciting time. Praise that holy mud! Goodnight.
I put this forum up hoping that people would go on a ramble love it.
I also like a big ol' fight. That didn't happen and I'm kinda disappointed. I didn't get to hear the religious viewpoint which is a bummer. Then again, silence speaks volumes.
The project I'm doing is actually for a different site. I'll do a hub when I'm done with the other. HubPages has the most savvy seculars I've ever met, so this is where I look for opinions & debate.
3/4 of what you said (and more) is exactly on point. You zeroed in on it and then ran with it.
I think YOU should write a hub. Shoot, you've got enough in this forum to do it. You've got a lot of depth here. It will be a few weeks I'm sure before I could get to it myself. I've got too many on-deck that are partially finished.
wordscribe: "His little hidey holes are getting few and far between." nicely done
Thanks, wyanjen and Pandora's Box. I've very much enjoyed reading your posts as well.
I'm counting on it.
You don't believe in a scientist's ability to interpret fossil records yet you believe in an invisible superbeing?
The scientific method which we have built our modern world on adheres to these principals of discovery.
1. consistent (internally and externally)
2. parsimonious (sparing in proposed entities or explanations)
3. useful (describing and explaining observed phenomena)
4. empirically testable and falsifiable
5. based upon controlled, repeatable experiments
6. correctable and dynamic (changing to fit with newly discovered data)
7. progressive (achieving all that previous theories have and more)
8. tentative (admitting that it might not be correct rather than asserting certainty)
This is why your computer does not suddenly wash the dishes.Why your car works etc.
The madness of unsupportable belief can only be explained by deep seated fear. So deep seated the truth, reality, fact, science, and what we see or don't is all thrown away so as to support a no-show fairy that kills and hates.
This really is intellectually dishonest and pathetic in my view.
As religion has no proof of itself other than from itself, it cannot be examined, thus making it absolute bunk!
I just pulled a Buddhist invasion on Brendas christian only forum
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