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Offline Tom Bishop

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Is God possible?
« on: August 26, 2018, 06:12:14 PM »
For a good while in my life I did not believe that the idea of a supernatural God was even possible. However, I have since come to the conclusion that God is possible.

This conclusion was sparked from the following: Is it possible for an alien civilization to be as technologically advanced as to seem to have the powers of a God?

My answer is yes. The television series Star Trek, for example, portrays a universe with civilizations in stages of various technological developments. There are civilizations who have not yet reached the stars, there are civilizations who explore the stars, and then there are civilizations so far advanced that they can appear to manipulate matter with a thought.

If you believe that the portrayal of the Star Trek universe is possible, and that we are on a range of technological prowess which will culminate with us having God-like abilities, then the conclusion must be that God is possible.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2018, 06:34:02 PM by Tom Bishop »

Re: Is God possible?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2018, 07:23:40 PM »
Go even farther:
If our universe is a simulation, God is the Admin.  God could be a human 100 years in the future with access to computers capable of simulating at least part of a universe.

Re: Is God possible?
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2018, 07:31:59 PM »
That is the most atheist version of God I have ever encountered. 'God can only be aliens with technology'.

You are going down the Russian doll theory, where each universe is created by the people in the universe before. The bigger larger one that your universe resides in.



But who makes the first universe and the first aliens? The Russian Doll on the outside. Technology is something that evolves. It doesn't just be. Only god can just be.

Your version also takes away all the things that a God is supposed to do. An initial creator. Someone with a plan for all of us. And someone we can connect to spiritually. All religions, all Gods ... there is a mechanism whereby man can communicate with the deity, via prayer or sacrifice or meditation. God comes from man's inner spirituality. It is his connection to the universe around him and makes sense of something that otherwise cannot be explained. God needs to be eternal, not only forever after but from the beginning too. And we can't just die. An afterlife is important. God gave us mortal bodies but immortal souls. you just stripped out the thing that makes us special. There is no point in a God in a wondrous heaven, if we never get to go. Everyone gets to go. The Vikings go to Valhalla, the Romans and Greeks visit the underworld and cross the river Styx to the Elysian fields. Christians and Muslims go to heaven, Buddists are reincarnated into a better life here on earth. Aliens are just going to let me die! God is about what is inside you, it has never been about what is outside of the universe. If God isn't personal, accessible and spiritual ... there isn't any point in God. Because otherwise God doesn't offer anything, other than the answer to a question that isn't that important anyway.

You are answering 'How are we here?'. Not 'why are we here?'.


« Last Edit: August 26, 2018, 07:40:53 PM by Baby Thork »
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Offline Rushy

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Re: Is God possible?
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2018, 12:15:48 AM »
Tom, it sounds like you've just sort of started thinking along the lines of the ontological argument. That is, you believe God is possible because something very great exists. However, the problem is that you're defining a set of very powerful beings as God. These would be more like god(s) in the Greek/Roman sense. They're very powerful, but they're still really just people. A truly monotheistic styling of God can not exist inside the universe, that is, it's too great to actually fit along with us. God in this sense isn't merely a very powerful being or set of beings, but rather the ultimate being. Very powerful aliens wouldn't be God and they certainly wouldn't be supernatural.

It might be easiest, for example, to imagine God as the universe itself, not a separate entity. You could never become "more powerful than the universe" because this inherently makes no sense, and the universe is the most powerful thing we can conceive of, therefore the universe itself could very well be God. There could be some kind of unimaginably powerful being that exists outside or above the universe, but this no longer matters because it's just an argument about metaphysics at that point.

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Is God possible?
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2018, 07:28:07 AM »
That is the most atheist version of God I have ever encountered. 'God can only be aliens with technology'.

Most religions describe God as an alien with powers beyond comprehension. God is not of this earth. He created the earth. Therefore He is an alien by literal definition.

Quote
Your version also takes away all the things that a God is supposed to do. An initial creator. Someone with a plan for all of us.

Why can't an alien have a plan for you?

It might be easiest, for example, to imagine God as the universe itself, not a separate entity. You could never become "more powerful than the universe" because this inherently makes no sense, and the universe is the most powerful thing we can conceive of, therefore the universe itself could very well be God. There could be some kind of unimaginably powerful being that exists outside or above the universe, but this no longer matters because it's just an argument about metaphysics at that point.

What is the reasoning for it being impossible to be more powerful than the universe you live in? It is certainly possible on a video game server to be powerful enough with the admin commands to bring the entire server down, or for a nuclear weapon to obliterate the building it exists in.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2018, 11:29:38 PM by Tom Bishop »

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Offline Rushy

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Re: Is God possible?
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2018, 07:57:30 PM »
What is the reasoning for it being impossible to be more powerful than the universe you live in? It is certainly possible on a video game server to be powerful enough with the admin commands to bring the entire server down, or for a nuclear weapon to obliterate the building it exists in.

Our universe is existence itself. If something happens within our universe (or if our entire universe is suddenly destroyed) than that's still within the realm of "the universe". What happens elsewhere is irrelevant. Imagine that the server admin in your example goes to lunch and eats a sandwich. Does the server "know"? It does not. The only way for the server to know is for the admin to tell it "I just ate a sandwich". Anything that isn't directly applicable to the server doesn't exist because the admin has to directly interact with it. Therefore, powers outside the use case of the server don't exist from the server's standpoint. The admin's reality is not entirely in sync with the server's reality.

Try to describe something that can happen to the universe without it interacting with the universe. Such a description inherently doesn't make sense, and therefore something greater than our universe, but does not interact with it, isn't a part of our existence.

Re: Is God possible?
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2018, 11:11:56 PM »
Well who created the aliens, who was the inital being or matter that self-existed to create them?

Re: Is God possible?
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2018, 02:26:51 PM »
That is the most atheist version of God I have ever encountered. 'God can only be aliens with technology'.

Most religions describe God as an alien with powers beyond comprehension. God is not of this earth. He created the earth. Therefore He is an alien by literal definition.
No. An alien by definition in the sense you're talking about is "a hypothetical or fictional being from another world."
God - the Judeo/Christian God anyway - is the creator, not a creation.
He is outside time and space.
As for whether a God is possible, I don't know how we would determine that it isn't.
Science may develop to the point where we don't "need" a creator to explain things, we're not far off that now, but science is dealing with "how", religion deals with "why".
I have no idea how you would definitively show that God either definitively exists or that a God is not possible.
"This is literally just a few people talking about it for a brief time every day on their spare time. That鈥檚 the flat earth movement" - Tom Bishop

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Is God possible?
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2018, 09:27:01 PM »
What would you call an alien that doesn't have a planet, and lives in a nebula that is outside of our time and space?

Look at the definition of "extra-terrestrial."

Quote
ex路tra路ter路res路tri路al
adjective

    1.
    of or from outside the earth or its atmosphere.
    "searches for extraterrestrial intelligence"

God is literally an ET. That doesn't imply anything bad or immoral, but that's exactly what he is described as.

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Offline Rushy

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Re: Is God possible?
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2018, 09:27:51 PM »
Tom is right, extra just means "more" and terrestrial refers to Earth. Anything from a place "more than Earth" is an extraterrestrial being.

Re: Is God possible?
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2018, 09:56:43 PM »
What would you call an alien that doesn't have a planet, and lives in a nebula that is outside of our time and space?

Look at the definition of "extra-terrestrial."

Quote
ex路tra路ter路res路tri路al
adjective

    1.
    of or from outside the earth or its atmosphere.
    "searches for extraterrestrial intelligence"

God is literally an ET. That doesn't imply anything bad or immoral, but that's exactly what he is described as.
You moved the goal posts. That is the first time in the entire thread you used the word extra-terrestrial and then decided to claim that is what you said all along.

But you didn't . You opened with 'alien civilization[sic]'.

And if you are going down the route of dictionary definitions
Quote from: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/civilization
civilization
noun
1. an advanced state of human society, in which a high level of culture, science, industry, and government has been reached.
2. those people or nations that have reached such a state.
3. any type of culture, society, etc., of a specific place, time, or group:

This suggests a level of attainment. Civilizations and advanced technologies by definition are things you gradually attain over time through improvement.

Alien 鈮 Extra-terrestrial. Alien just means 'foreign to you'. A Mexican could be an illegal alien. I could pitch to you an alien concept. Neither are extra-terrestrial.

You are looking as far as you can for God, when God is as close as can be. God is not about what is outside of the universe. God is about what is inside you. That is what spirituality is.


spiritual
of or relating to the spirit or soul, as distinguished from the physical nature:
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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Is God possible?
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2018, 09:39:43 AM »
You win this one, Thork.

Re: Is God possible?
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2018, 10:46:01 AM »
???

It is never about winning in the middle fora. It is about exchanging ideas.


I feel God must exist, and He must exist because we exist. And people need God. No civilisation has become anything without a God of sorts. There are no atheist civilisations that rose up anywhere on the planet at any point in history. And that is because religion sets all the ground rules of co-operation. Don't kill other people, don't steal, don't be hurting people unnecessarily ... order from anarchy. And you enforce this by telling people they will face some kind of afterlife retribution if they don't comply (all gods are omnipotent - coincidence?) ... because it is difficult to watch everyone all the time if they live say in a jungle. But if they think God watches them, they behave better. Those with a readiness to accept religion (to comply) survive, and those who don't will be labelled heretics or whatever and killed by everyone else ... because they are doing wicked things. So I'd conclude a predilection towards religion is probably innate in humans.

And then that makes me think, should I believe in God? Its a choice? Am I happier with or without a God? I'm not talking about a rigid religion, I'm talking about being spiritual. And I like the idea that the universe was created. A fluke makes everything you do seem so irrelevant. I like that we are the most important things in the universe and that Gods and Angels or whatever ... we are in their image. Because being on a tiny dot like a grain of sand again for the blink of an eye makes anything do you not important.

And so I don't think anyone can actually be truly atheist ... because you'd kill yourself. Because there is no point in any of the effort you put into anything if you truly believe it is all a fluke and we are meaningless. Even the most ardent atheist must think there is some point to their existence, even if they won't admit it. Because true atheism is absolute nihilism. People do value each other, they value love, they value their lives. They don't think they are worthless.  And I think that comes from evolution. Once you are smart enough to think outside of instinct, you need a reason to bother.

Atheism doesn't bring comfort, or happiness, or well-being, or a sense of self-worth. I don't believe in God because it is the correct answer. I believe in God because it is the answer that makes me happy ... and the answer that must be most compatible with my biology. Spirituality is hardwired into people. It is probably a survival instinct (preventing suicide for example). And sometimes being happy is better than being right.

So back to your OP, I don't see what aliens would bring to a religion, because they would create us for their own ends and they wouldn't care about the actions of any particular individual. We would no longer be important ... just a disposable science experiment. So even if it was the 'right' answer, it isn't the 'best' answer.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2018, 11:09:03 AM by Baby Thork »
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Re: Is God possible?
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2018, 02:03:12 PM »
And so I don't think anyone can actually be truly atheist ... because you'd kill yourself. Because there is no point in any of the effort you put into anything if you truly believe it is all a fluke and we are meaningless. Even the most ardent atheist must think there is some point to their existence, even if they won't admit it. Because true atheism is absolute nihilism. People do value each other, they value love, they value their lives. They don't think they are worthless.  And I think that comes from evolution. Once you are smart enough to think outside of instinct, you need a reason to bother.

you say the existence of god gives your life meaning.  cool, let's assume there's a god.  so what's the meaning?
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Offline QED

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Re: Is God possible?
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2018, 11:56:21 PM »
???

It is never about winning in the middle fora. It is about exchanging ideas.


I feel God must exist, and He must exist because we exist. And people need God. No civilisation has become anything without a God of sorts. There are no atheist civilisations that rose up anywhere on the planet at any point in history. And that is because religion sets all the ground rules of co-operation. Don't kill other people, don't steal, don't be hurting people unnecessarily ... order from anarchy. And you enforce this by telling people they will face some kind of afterlife retribution if they don't comply (all gods are omnipotent - coincidence?) ... because it is difficult to watch everyone all the time if they live say in a jungle. But if they think God watches them, they behave better. Those with a readiness to accept religion (to comply) survive, and those who don't will be labelled heretics or whatever and killed by everyone else ... because they are doing wicked things. So I'd conclude a predilection towards religion is probably innate in humans.

And then that makes me think, should I believe in God? Its a choice? Am I happier with or without a God? I'm not talking about a rigid religion, I'm talking about being spiritual. And I like the idea that the universe was created. A fluke makes everything you do seem so irrelevant. I like that we are the most important things in the universe and that Gods and Angels or whatever ... we are in their image. Because being on a tiny dot like a grain of sand again for the blink of an eye makes anything do you not important.

And so I don't think anyone can actually be truly atheist ... because you'd kill yourself. Because there is no point in any of the effort you put into anything if you truly believe it is all a fluke and we are meaningless. Even the most ardent atheist must think there is some point to their existence, even if they won't admit it. Because true atheism is absolute nihilism. People do value each other, they value love, they value their lives. They don't think they are worthless.  And I think that comes from evolution. Once you are smart enough to think outside of instinct, you need a reason to bother.

Atheism doesn't bring comfort, or happiness, or well-being, or a sense of self-worth. I don't believe in God because it is the correct answer. I believe in God because it is the answer that makes me happy ... and the answer that must be most compatible with my biology. Spirituality is hardwired into people. It is probably a survival instinct (preventing suicide for example). And sometimes being happy is better than being right.

So back to your OP, I don't see what aliens would bring to a religion, because they would create us for their own ends and they wouldn't care about the actions of any particular individual. We would no longer be important ... just a disposable science experiment. So even if it was the 'right' answer, it isn't the 'best' answer.

I appreciate your comments. I have a few questions:

"I feel God must exist, and He must exist because we exist."

Why? Why does the existence of humans imply an existence of God?

"I believe in God because it is the answer that makes me happy ..."

I want to believe things that are true, or most likely true. I think that if I believe as many true things as possible and not believe as many false things as possible, then the decisions I make will align best with reality. Hence, the intention of my decisions will have a better chance of matching the outcome, on average. What do you think is the benefit to believing things based on present happiness?

"And so I don't think anyone can actually be truly atheist ... because you'd kill yourself."

I think you may be confusing atheism with nihilism. I am an atheist, and I do not think about killing myself at all. It may be that we are using different definitions of what an atheist is. My definition:

An atheist is someone who rejects the God claim.

From my understanding, there are four options:

Gnostic theist: you believe in god, and claim knowledge of this belief.
Agnostic theist: you believe in god, but do not claim knowledge in that belief (hence faith is required...most Christian religions fall into this category).
Gnostic atheist: you do not believe in god, and claim knowledge of this belief. In other words, you believe evidence exists which disproves god (some call this anti-theism, or strong atheism).
Agnostic atheist: you do not believe in god, but do not claim knowledge in that belief.

I am an agnostic atheist. The last one. So wait....how can I NOT believe in God but also not have knowledge of this? Well, we call this the null hypothesis. When it comes to existence, the null hypothesis is: things (by default) do not exist until we can prove their existence. This includes: bigfoot, the lock ness monster, the flying spaghetti monster, universe-creating pixies, dragons, etc.

In my view, the only rational position is to assume things do not exist until proven otherwise. Imagine what kind of world we would live in if we assumed anything exists until disproved. It would be chaos. 

Re: Is God possible?
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2018, 01:56:55 PM »
There are different Civilisations unknown to the knowledge of this Man on this small piece of earth. All what you Imagine already exists.
There are GODS with special powers and you too can become GOD if you practice towards it in this life to have the birth of GOD in the next life.
Gods, Devils, humans, animals, trees etc exist . GODHOOD is possible to every human.

Re: Is God possible?
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2018, 03:11:29 PM »
There are different Civilisations unknown to the knowledge of this Man on this small piece of earth. All what you Imagine already exists.
There are GODS with special powers and you too can become GOD if you practice towards it in this life to have the birth of GOD in the next life.
Gods, Devils, humans, animals, trees etc exist . GODHOOD is possible to every human.
[Citation needed].

There is no evidence of other civilisations. I can imagine a purple donkey overload that steals the teeth of children but that doesn't already exist.
Which GODS, what special powers and if you start to think you are GOD, its time to go to your GP. Not start acting out your fantasy.
GODHOOD is exactly that and by definition, is not possible to mortal men.

If I could pull out my eyes and chuck them at my monitor in disgust without repercussions like blindness, I'd have done that in protest at your last post.
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Offline Dr Van Nostrand

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Re: Is God possible?
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2018, 09:48:40 PM »
You should check out the Raelian believers. You get God and aliens all in one.

Rael dot org
Round Earther patiently looking for a better deal...

Re: Is God possible?
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2018, 07:16:35 AM »
Here's another question.

Is no god possible?

I would claim that we need some form of a creator.