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XenoFish

God is an Idea

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XenoFish

So. Is god just an idea? Something our ancestors created to give us some stability during a chaotic time or some sense of control in a world we did not understand? If god is just an idea, then that shows how the idea has changed over the ages. From the god/s/ess's to the monotheistic deities of this time, even in the new religious that have come up. Yet god seems to always reflect some aspect of ourselves. If god is just an idea, why do people hold onto it so tightly? That they follow the dictates of others. 

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Will Due

 

God is much more than an idea. But the God idea has been evolving through the ages.

"Do you not know the traditions of Israel relating to the growth of the idea of Yahweh, and are you ignorant of the teaching of the Scriptures concerning the doctrine of God?"

Spoiler

1. Yahweh—the god of the Sinai clans. This was the primitive concept of Deity which Moses exalted to the higher level of the Lord God of Israel. The Father in heaven never fails to accept the sincere worship of his children on earth, no matter how crude their concept of Deity or by what name they symbolize his divine nature.

142:3.4

2. The Most High. This concept of the Father in heaven was proclaimed by Melchizedek to Abraham and was carried far from Salem by those who subsequently believed in this enlarged and expanded idea of Deity. Abraham and his brother left Ur because of the establishment of sun worship, and they became believers in Melchizedek’s teaching of El Elyon—the Most High God. Theirs was a composite concept of God, consisting in a blending of their older Mesopotamian ideas and the Most High doctrine.

142:3.5

3. El Shaddai. During these early days many of the Hebrews worshiped El Shaddai, the Egyptian concept of the God of heaven, which they learned about during their captivity in the land of the Nile. Long after the times of Melchizedek all three of these concepts of God became joined together to form the doctrine of the creator Deity, the Lord God of Israel.

142:3.6

4. Elohim. From the times of Adam the teaching of the Paradise Trinity has persisted. Do you not recall how the Scriptures begin by asserting that “In the beginning the Gods created the heavens and the earth”? This indicates that when that record was made the Trinity concept of three Gods in one had found lodgment in the religion of our forebears.

142:3.7

5. The Supreme Yahweh. By the times of Isaiah these beliefs about God had expanded into the concept of a Universal Creator who was simultaneously all-powerful and all-merciful. And this evolving and enlarging concept of God virtually supplanted all previous ideas of Deity in our fathers’ religion.

142:3.8

6. The Father in heaven. And now do we know God as our Father in heaven. Our teaching provides a religion wherein the believer is a son of God. That is the good news of the gospel of the kingdom of heaven. Coexistent with the Father are the Son and the Spirit, and the revelation of the nature and ministry of these Paradise Deities will continue to enlarge and brighten throughout the endless ages of the eternal spiritual progression of the ascending sons of God. At all times and during all ages the true worship of any human being—as concerns individual spiritual progress—is recognized by the indwelling spirit as homage rendered to the Father in heaven.

1,599

Never before had the apostles been so shocked as they were upon hearing this recounting of the growth of the concept of God in the Jewish minds of previous generations; they were too bewildered to ask questions. As they sat before Jesus in silence, the Master continued: “And you would have known these truths had you read the Scriptures. Have you not read in Samuel where it says: ‘And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, so much so that he moved David against them, saying, go number Israel and Judah’? And this was not strange because in the days of Samuel the children of Abraham really believed that Yahweh created both good and evil. But when a later writer narrated these events, subsequent to the enlargement of the Jewish concept of the nature of God, he did not dare attribute evil to Yahweh; therefore he said: ‘And Satan stood up against Israel and provoked David to number Israel.’ Cannot you discern that such records in the Scriptures clearly show how the concept of the nature of God continued to grow from one generation to another?

142:3.10

“Again should you have discerned the growth of the understanding of divine law in perfect keeping with these enlarging concepts of divinity. When the children of Israel came out of Egypt in the days before the enlarged revelation of Yahweh, they had ten commandments which served as their law right up to the times when they were encamped before Sinai. And these ten commandments were:

142:3.11

“1. You shall worship no other god, for the Lord is a jealous God.

142:3.12

“2. You shall not make molten gods.

142:3.13

“3. You shall not neglect to keep the feast of unleavened bread.

142:3.14

“4. Of all the males of men or cattle, the first-born are mine, says the Lord.

142:3.15

“5. Six days you may work, but on the seventh day you shall rest.

142:3.16

“6. You shall not fail to observe the feast of the first fruits and the feast of the ingathering at the end of the year.

142:3.17

“7. You shall not offer the blood of any sacrifice with leavened bread.

142:3.18

“8. The sacrifice of the feast of the Passover shall not be left until morning.

142:3.19

“9. The first of the first fruits of the ground you shall bring to the house of the Lord your God.

142:3.20

“10. You shall not seethe a kid in its mother’s milk.

142:3.21

“And then, amidst the thunders and lightnings of Sinai, Moses gave them the new ten commandments, which you will all allow are more worthy utterances to accompany the enlarging Yahweh concepts of Deity. And did you never take notice of these commandments as twice recorded in the Scriptures, that in the first case deliverance from Egypt is assigned as the reason for Sabbath keeping, while in a later record the advancing religious beliefs of our forefathers demanded that this be changed to the recognition of the fact of creation as the reason for Sabbath observance?

142:3.22

“And then will you remember that once again—in the greater spiritual enlightenment of Isaiah’s day—these ten negative commandments were changed into the great and positive law of love, the injunction to love God supremely and your neighbor as yourself. And it is this supreme law of love for God and for man that I also declare to you as constituting the whole duty of man.”

 

 

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Mr Walker
23 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

So. Is god just an idea? Something our ancestors created to give us some stability during a chaotic time or some sense of control in a world we did not understand? If god is just an idea, then that shows how the idea has changed over the ages. From the god/s/ess's to the monotheistic deities of this time, even in the new religious that have come up. Yet god seems to always reflect some aspect of ourselves. If god is just an idea, why do people hold onto it so tightly? That they follow the dictates of others. 

In my experience god ( or gods) are/can be, both concrete  entities and concepts, or constructed ideas. Humans do this for, and with, every thing they encounter. Ie the y observe and perceive a real entity like a dog or another person  and then construct inner realities which they attach to that entity However they also construct totally imaginary entities in their minds, for many reasons.

lets just look at the constructs.

Individuals construct perceptions based on their own knowldge, understandings, and beliefs.

So a person from   50000 years ago will construct different gods to a person from today (and if each should encounter a real god the y would ALSO construct very different understandings of its nature)

Yes humans, from a very young age use their understanding and knowledge of self to interpret and construct their understanding of others Thus magical agents in a child's mind have self directed motivation and purpose when they do things like put seeds inside a seed pod (in the child's understanding)

But, also, a powerful entity with no similarity to humans, and no connection with us, in ideas  values etc would not be seen as a god, because gods serve a purpose which can only be realised where the y have something in common with their worshippers. other wise the y would not respond to human needs and entreaties. 

90 % of modern humans still believe in some form of "god" This is because we continue to build these constructs from birth before modern education and knowledge affects our cognition  We adopt or adapt similar beliefs to those around us because those ARE the beliefs around us  We do this with all things, not just religious beliefs eg we only learn to speak the language(s) and absorb the customs and vlaues of those around us from birth until  relatively mature, When we become exposed to a greater variety  through language skills  (like reading,  media and travel) but we are also quite capable of changing our beliefs quite radically 

Edited by Mr Walker
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Will Due

 

If God can be reduced to only being an idea, then so can the idea that God is only an idea.

 

Quote

Man does not naturally relish hard work. To keep pace in his life experience with the impelling demands and the compelling urges of a growing religious experience means incessant activity in spiritual growth, intellectual expansion, factual enlargement, and social service. There is no real religion apart from a highly active personality. Therefore do the more indolent of men often seek to escape the rigors of truly religious activities by a species of ingenious self-deception through resorting to a retreat to the false shelter of stereotyped religious doctrines and dogmas. But true religion is alive. Intellectual crystallization of religious concepts is the equivalent of spiritual death. You cannot conceive of religion without ideas, but when religion once becomes reduced only to an idea, it is no longer religion; it has become merely a species of human philosophy.

 

 

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Guyver

Everything’s an idea.  Everything we experience runs through our brains.  Don’t mean Gods not.

PS.  Will what happened to that complainers thread you ran?

PSS. Please excuse the spam Xeno.

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psyche101
41 minutes ago, Will Due said:

 

If God can be reduced to only being an idea, then so can the idea that God is only an idea.

 

 

 

How does that change the outlook though? 

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GlitterRose
1 hour ago, Guyver said:

Everything’s an idea.  Everything we experience runs through our brains.  Don’t mean Gods not.

PS.  Will what happened to that complainers thread you ran?

PSS. Please excuse the spam Xeno.

There's a complainer's thread?

I miss all the good stuff. 

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papageorge1
3 hours ago, XenoFish said:

So. Is god just an idea? Something our ancestors created to give us some stability during a chaotic time or some sense of control in a world we did not understand? If god is just an idea, then that shows how the idea has changed over the ages. From the god/s/ess's to the monotheistic deities of this time, even in the new religious that have come up. Yet god seems to always reflect some aspect of ourselves. If god is just an idea, why do people hold onto it so tightly? That they follow the dictates of others. 

As an advaita believer myself, the God of Abrahamic tradition is a best and decent stab at understanding the great questions. I think that 'old energy' though has run its course and we are in a transition to a more enlightened 'eastern/New Age' realization of the fundamental nature of Consciousness. A spark of that Consciousness animates all living things and we are gradually learning that All is One in a cosmic consciousness . We are in the process of going from ego individuality to understanding Oneness. 

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khol
4 hours ago, XenoFish said:

So. Is god just an idea? Something our ancestors created to give us some stability during a chaotic time or some sense of control in a world we did not understand? If god is just an idea, then that shows how the idea has changed over the ages. From the god/s/ess's to the monotheistic deities of this time, even in the new religious that have come up. Yet god seems to always reflect some aspect of ourselves. If god is just an idea, why do people hold onto it so tightly? That they follow the dictates of others. 

God is more then just an idea. It seems to be a deep construct that embedds in our minds. It''s a cognitive attempt of the brain to understand its existance. As we evolve and learn more about the cosmos and our place in it that construct will change and we grow as a species. Homo Sapien has been here 100-200,000yrs? Its a blink of an eye on a cosmic scale. Our minds are just beginning to understand not only our existance but our mortality as well

Psyche's post 4 tells it how it is

Edited by khol
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XenoFish
6 hours ago, Guyver said:

Everything’s an idea.

edcf84638ffa552d6ba42d348b5456e6.jpg

Ourselves, the world, reality. The ideas we foster about such thing give us our subjective perception. How we literally view everything. Ideas can change behaviour, depending on what that idea is. The god-idea can be seen as being many things, good, bad. 

We are all built on ideas. 

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Mr Walker
3 hours ago, khol said:

To quote one person a socially accepted pychosis

Belief in gods is not a psychosis 

 First, it is logical and legitimate, cognitively, because no one can prove gods do not exist. One could argue that it is refusal to believe which is a psychosis.

Secondly. it is an evolved cognitive process, which has survived and grown  because of the survival and other benefits it confers on believers.  Thus a sensible, sane, man believes, knowing that belief is good for him, even if  he knows that, what he believes in, may not exist

There is not a mental health professional in the world who would define faith or belief, including religious faith and belief as a psychosis Their professional education would give them a better understanding of the facts about the nature, purpose, and construction of human beliefs.     

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Nostrodumbass

Yes, I believe he is only an idea.

I still recently believed, but I found myself stretched thin to hold on to that belief. I had to make my concepts more and more 'spiritual' to continue without proof. In fact, the answers I had to come up with became so unreal that in the end it approached the truth; he's not real. He slowly disappeared from reality and became what he is; an idea.

The price we pay as a species for our self awareness is realizing the magnitude of the loss when we die. This has driven us to embrace ideas and imagination for comfort and peace of mind when the reality is so simple and finite.

For me that is the core of religion and God even today: To have comfort and peace of mind while facing death.

If an extinction event happened now and destroyed everything and everyone, God would cease to exist because there would be no need for him, and no mind for him to live in.

The chorus goes: "Offer me that deathless death. Good God let me give you my life."

 

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XenoFish

The reason I believe god is an idea is due to chaos magick. Where people can literally create 'spirits'. Useful idea for communication with our subconscious. God is another one of these ideas. One that grew and grew, has taken various forms, based on the needs and wishes of people. It's a functional idea.

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Will Due
9 hours ago, psyche101 said:

How does that change the outlook though? 

 

In my experience, the outlook is changed by looking within first and always.

 

 

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Illyrius
18 hours ago, XenoFish said:

So. Is god just an idea? Something our ancestors created to give us some stability during a chaotic time or some sense of control in a world we did not understand? If god is just an idea, then that shows how the idea has changed over the ages. From the god/s/ess's to the monotheistic deities of this time, even in the new religious that have come up. Yet god seems to always reflect some aspect of ourselves. If god is just an idea, why do people hold onto it so tightly? That they follow the dictates of others. 

Changes of views towards Absolute Intelligence that permeats the universe was changing due to limited capacity of human cognition. Lesser deities of polytheism also are not just mere ideas, they are real entities.

Edited by Mr. Argon
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Podo

God(s) are definitely just ideas, as far as our current body of evidence can reflect. That every culture has the same gods, though, should indicate that there is something common. Everyone has a war god, everyone has a fertility god, everyone has a god of fire, etc. I adhere to the Jungian Archetype argument that these concepts are hard-coded into our brains, and that due to our natural propensity for pattern-recognition we personify the universal concepts into various forms that are then viewed through the lens of culture.

This doesn't mean that these ideas are real, of course; they're merely ideas that play a role in our psychology. It's important for us, as a species, to have heroes, and personified myth figures are easy to relate to and emulate. The problems begin when people start believing that these ideas are talking to them, or commanding them, or generally interacting with them in any way. Nutters, the lot of 'em.

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Podo
2 minutes ago, Mr. Argon said:

You would call Plato or Newton or Paracelsus nutters also?

If they thought that deities spoke to them and told them things? Of course! If you're hearing voices in your head, you need to see a doctor, not begin preaching. That doesn't mean that nothing of value came from these people, or even that nothing of value can come from theists; the vast majority of humanity are theistic in some way, and we still have achieved our wonderful advanced medicine and technology in spite of those beliefs.

Hearing voices in your head is still mad, though.

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Illyrius
37 minutes ago, Podo said:

If they thought that deities spoke to them and told them things? Of course! If you're hearing voices in your head, you need to see a doctor, not begin preaching. That doesn't mean that nothing of value came from these people, or even that nothing of value can come from theists; the vast majority of humanity are theistic in some way, and we still have achieved our wonderful advanced medicine and technology in spite of those beliefs.

Hearing voices in your head is still mad, though.

Well i guess the entire civilization is based on insights of nutters then.*SNIP*

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Podo
2 minutes ago, Mr. Argon said:

Well i guess the entire civilization is based on insights of nutters then. No wonder it resulted in atheistic materialism as the creme of the nutter cake.

Well I mean it pretty much is. But, theist != nutter. Only those who think they hear the voices of their deities are nutters. Most theists are perfectly normal individuals, despite being a tad reliant on mythology.

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Illyrius
2 minutes ago, Podo said:

Well I mean it pretty much is. But, theist != nutter. Only those who think they hear the voices of their deities are nutters. Most theists are perfectly normal individuals, despite being a tad reliant on mythology.

So Socrates was a nutter too?

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Podo
Just now, Mr. Argon said:

So Socrates was a nutter too?

I'm not sure where my statements are confusing you. If you think you hear voices, you need a doctor, no exceptions, no matter who that person is. Hearing voices in your head is mad. It has nothing really to do with being religious; an atheist hearing voices is just as mad as a theist doing so. Hearing voices is not a good thing, man. But, having a psychological condition is nothing to be ashamed of, since it's just a sickness like every other ailment, and it certainly doesn't mean that the individual cannot contribute to society.

Still mad, though.

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Truthseeker007
18 hours ago, XenoFish said:

So. Is god just an idea? Something our ancestors created to give us some stability during a chaotic time or some sense of control in a world we did not understand? If god is just an idea, then that shows how the idea has changed over the ages. From the god/s/ess's to the monotheistic deities of this time, even in the new religious that have come up. Yet god seems to always reflect some aspect of ourselves. If god is just an idea, why do people hold onto it so tightly? That they follow the dictates of others. 

Is their a difference between God and the gods?

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Truthseeker007
17 minutes ago, Podo said:

If they thought that deities spoke to them and told them things? Of course! If you're hearing voices in your head, you need to see a doctor, not begin preaching. That doesn't mean that nothing of value came from these people, or even that nothing of value can come from theists; the vast majority of humanity are theistic in some way, and we still have achieved our wonderful advanced medicine and technology in spite of those beliefs.

Hearing voices in your head is still mad, though.

I kind of like the ancient astronaut theory because it may explain these gods that talked to people and made the humans worship them. Who really were the Anunnaki? Where these stories written in stone just stories and not based on anything real?

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Podo
11 minutes ago, Truthseeker007 said:

I kind of like the ancient astronaut theory because it may explain these gods that talked to people and made the humans worship them. Who really were the Anunnaki? Where these stories written in stone just stories and not based on anything real?

I like the ancient astronaut theory, as well. I just don't think there's enough evidence to prove it, unfortunately.

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