Archives for posts with tag: God

ganditorul

OK, this guy’s stool has four legs… nobody’s perfect…

A few days ago, while talking with a good friend of mine – Lucian Stefanescu, we convened that God has a lot in common with a chair.
Three legged, four legged… take your pick.

Let’s imagine we are part of a thought experiment.
One which allows us to travel through time.

Some ten or twenty thousand years ago, neither ‘God’ nor ‘chair’ existed at all.
The concepts, I mean.

In those times, people were just as able to sit as we are now. And they probably did it. On rocks, on logs…. which ever happened to be around when they felt the need/had the time to rest their feet….
Until somebody had the bright idea of picking up a big enough boulder, carried it to the fire and sat on it. Effectively inventing the very concept of chair.

Same thing goes for God.
I have no way in which to ascertain whether God exists outside our minds or not. Or who of our ancestors had come up with this idea. Or when.
The point being that our faith in Him has been enough for God to produce so many consequences. For our version of God to become real. To shape the very world we’ve built for ourselves.

You see, ten thousand years ago, in pitch black darkness, no one could have stumbled upon a chair while walking through the cave they called home. They could have stumbled upon rocks which happened to exist over there… but not upon any chairs.
Until some of the rocks had been used as such!
Nowadays… it’s not so unusual to trip over a chair. Even in broad daylight. Simply because we’ve build so many of them.

Same thing goes for God.
Ten thousand years ago, we didn’t have the concept yet.
Now, we have to deal with the consequences of us having already ‘killed’ Him.

 

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George Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump are going for a job interview with God.

 

It so happens that I’m old enough to remember the original version of this joke…

Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Al Gore were in an airplane that crashed. In heaven, they found God sitting on the great, white throne. He addressed Al first. “Al, what do you believe in?” Al replied, “Well, I believe I won the election in 2000, but it was your will that I did not serve. I’ve come to understand that now.” God thought for a second and said, “Very good. Come and sit at my left.” God then addressed Bill. “Bill, what do you believe in?” Bill replied, “I believe in forgiveness. I’ve sinned, but I’ve never held a grudge against my fellow man, and I hope no grudges are held against me.” Again, God thought for a second and then said, “You are forgiven, my son. Come and sit at my right.” God then turned to Hillary and asked, “Hillary, what do you believe in?” She replied, “I believe you’re sitting in my chair.

Old enough to remember the political jokes Romanians shared among themselves before Ceausescu, the communist dictator, was toppled during a bloody uprising…

Can’t stop wondering about why so many people continue to make the same mistakes all over the planet…
And how come ordinary people’s initial reaction to arrogance always consists in jokes being thrown at the guy who proudly wears that arrogance!

From an atheist, that is.

Let me clear something, from the beginning.
I’m perfectly happy with the current scientific explanation of how we arrived here. OK, there still are a few gaps that need to be bridged but, on the whole, the story  seems pretty straightforward.

But, on the other hand, me – and a huge number of other, scientifically minded, people – having no need for God as an explanation doesn’t preclude God from existing nor from having caused the ‘Big Bang’ and/or intervening since. In various manners still unknown to us.

And something else.
The God we ‘know’ is a god of our own making.
All sacred texts that guide our religious life have been written by humans, all sermons are officiated by us and, also, all religiously motivated crimes, and religiously fueled heroic acts, have been ‘committed’ by some of us.
My point being that the ‘image’ that we have crafted about what some of us consider to be ‘the ultimate cause’ for everything might be far away from the one “It” has about Itself… if it exists at all, of course.

What Dawkins has to do with any of this?
Well, some 10 or so years ago he came to Bucharest and tried to convince a few of us – about 100 students and some 20 ‘academics’ in two separate conferences, I attended both, that his work is proof enough that God cannot even exist. Period.
Really?
Then what’s the difference between Dawkins and the guys who had set Giordano Bruno on fire? OK, OK, different manners of expression but the very same level of intransigence…

Anyway, I feel a lot better now that I’ve finally figured out the difference between ‘there is no need for a particular something’ and ‘that particular something cannot even exist’.

God thanks

I recently shared this meme, originally posted on FB by Black Atheists.

The broad spectrum of the commentaries made on this subject enticed me to elaborate on it.

There are people who blow people up under religious pretenses and people who blow people up under their own ‘rationale’.

This meme can be interpreted as God praising those who do not use his name when committing heinous crimes.

Who do not misinterpret religious teachings to fit their callously narrow goals.
Who do not make up self-serving nonsense simply because they have enough sleigh of mind and an audience who, for various reasons, is willing to believe anything that might provide some psychological comfort.
Who do not use religious pretexts when horribly mistreating others.

And don’t get me wrong. God doesn’t praise them for what they’re doing – there is nothing to be praised there.

He praises them for what they are not doing.

Using false pretenses, that is.

Some of you will say that yes, it is real because ‘look around you, He made all this’ while others will wonder ‘what happened, I knew you were a cool-headed guy?’.

Well, first of all I didn’t ask ‘Who created the world?’!
Just to set things straight, I don’t need a god to be at ease about how we came into existence.
On the other hand, I don’t know everything so I cannot rule out the possibility that somewhere, somehow, somebody started the whole process that had set the things in motion nor can I be absolutely certain that there is no ‘higher force/authority’ that operates the ‘control room’.  I do not see a plausible role for such a ‘higher instance’ but I cannot rule out its very existence.
(The main reason for why I don’t think it exists is that the moment I accept its existence a question pops up: “how did this ‘higher instance’ came into existence, what made it possible?” and this would bring me back to square one. But I repeat myself, I cannot rule out such a possibility, especially so if I consider the ‘chicken and egg’ conundrum: ‘What if the creator god and its very creation evolved simultaneously and symbiotically?’)

Enough with this metaphysical speculation and back to our more mundane question: ‘is God, as we know it, real or not?’

We kid ourselves for being rational beings. What would a rational person do when confronted with a problem? Try to ‘measure’ itself out of the whole situation, right? What else being rational means if not trying to discover the relations between things?
This way it would be relatively simple to determine if a particular thing exists or not: ‘Does it have any consequences?’.
If the answer is ‘yes’, then it is certain that that particular thing exists. If ‘not’ then we cannot give a definitive answer. (Please don’t fall for ‘if it doesn’t have any consequence it doesn’t exist’. This is a trap. Us not being aware of something doesn’t mean that that something doesn’t exist. ‘The absence of proof is not proof of absence!’)

So does God have any consequences?

‘This guy is nuts!’ some of you might be wondering just about now. ‘First he tells us that he doesn’t believe God created us all and now he asks if God has any consequences. His discourse doesn’t have the least shred of consistency!’
Well… not so fast!

Why did the Ancient Egyptians build the pyramids? Because they thought that was the only way of preserving their pharaohs for the afterlife?
Why did the Ancient Greeks build and used their magnificent temples? Because they believed that was the proper thing to do?

Now can you tell me if AmonRa and Zeus existed or not? Only in the Ancient Egyptians’ and Ancient Greeks’ imaginations, respectively? Are you sure? The Pyramids and the Parthenon seem pretty real to me, even if I haven’t seen any of them ‘face to face’! So AmonRa and Zeus were, and in fact still are, real. At least in the sense that they both had, and still have, palpable consequences.

Same thing with ‘God’! Any of them. Monotheistic, polytheistic … it doesn’t matter. If somebody believes in it strongly enough as to act upon that belief then that God suddenly springs into life. And sometimes there is belief even in absence of a God. What God do Buddhists believe in? Yet they are at least as steadfast in their beliefs as the rest of the religious people.

It seems that ‘belief’ is the actual connection between ‘God’ and reality. Human belief that is.

So please take care what you believe in and how you transpose your beliefs into the real world. The one in which we are going to spend the rest of our natural lives and the one that our children are going to inherit.

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