Thursday, February 28, 2013

One problem with God

One major reason that I find the Abrahamic concept of God (Jesus, YHWH, Jehovah, El, Lord, Allah, or God) unbelievable.

Why create the Universe? Why create at all? Why act at all?

We have a perfect, all powerful creature. ALL Powerful. Not really really powerful, but Omnipotent. It's will is reality and reality is its will. There is only this creature and there is nothing else. There could be no time, as chronology is a restriction upon an Omnipotent will and the Creature had not created anything yet. It simply existed in perfectly in perfect perfection.

My problem comes in when we consider two things; why creatures, as a whole, act and what is perfection?

Perfection is one of those tricky words that we understand but not really. Usually, when people use the word "perfect" they mean "really really good" or "as good as could be expected". That is because there is really no such thing as "perfect" in the world. It is an exaggeration that we all accept without question because we live in a complex, multifaceted world where things are more or less useful or appropriate depending on circumstance.

Perfection is much simpler, though incomprehensible, word when we introduce Omnipotence. An Omnipotent being could actually be perfect. Without flaw, limit, diminution, weakness, restriction or want. It is and that is enough. This is the situation before creation, according to the Abrahamic faiths. Prior to creation there was perfection and perfection was what there was.

So, why create? Why would God act at all? I read or watch TV or talk when I am bored. I may paint a picture because I can create beauty. I eat because I am hungry. I think for amusement (because I'm bored). Everything I do is to solve a problem or to make something better. Out of a lacking of some kind. Somehow something is missing. Not the case with our Omnipotent Creature, God. Nope, God is perfect and missing nothing and is all there is.

Considering that God was supposed to be all there was and God was perfect then creation would either keep all exactly as perfect as it was (no improvement or diminution) or would make all less perfect. Perfect God would create less perfection. Not that perfect a creator?

So we have an intentionless creation (intention means that God has plans for the future - therefore the present is not what an Omnipotent perfect being wants) which makes no difference in the perfection of all (because He would have to choose that option and not make things less perfect) in order to satisfy no want or desire of any kind (again, perfect being).

Action stems from want, desire, need or deficiency and loss. A perfect, Omnipotent being should have no deficiency or loss and have already satisfied all wants, desires, or needs. That is my problem with the Abrahamic creation myth.
-Josh

Monday, February 25, 2013

What if we were to be Judged?

So, I have always denied being a straight up Atheist. Oh, I am an Atheist but that is not all I am, in regards to metaphysics or the divinity. I am also an "Ignostic" (the view that before we can discuss the question of whether or not there is a "God" we must first properly define the word), and a Scientific Pantheist (a belief that holds that the universe is in itself divine but that there is no Godhead or consciousness. Similar to the beliefs of Spinoza and Einstein).

But sometimes, not often, I like to do a thought experiment. I imagine the most Godlike god concept I can bring myself to posit seriously, The Deist. Deism, the belief that reason and observation of the natural world are sufficient to determine the existence of God but rejecting revelation or interference in the universe after creation. The Deist God, basically, created the universe and then had a sandwich someplace else.

Well, my thought experiment is, assuming the Deistic God were correct, what if It came back. What if we are nothing more then an experiment? What if this deity comes back to judge the petri dish which our universe would be? Not to send out immortal "souls" to Heaven or Hell or what have you, no. To decide if this petri dish was a good deal or a bad deal. What did we accomplish?

I would like to think we would make this imaginary creator happy. Our planet alone has reached its own satellite beyond our protective atmosphere. We have walked on another celestial body. We have created amazing machines which we have used to explore other planets and sent these deep into the recesses of space just to learn. We crossed the great oceans, flew through the skies and then to other planets. There is little real world benefit aside from knowing things - understanding. 

We split the atom and looked inside. Sure we found terrible destruction and devastation but we also learned about the building blocks of reality. We discovered the relationship between matter and energy and broken the universe down to 1.616199 times ten to the negative thirty fifth meters. Infinitesimally small. We explore the nature of reality. We are introspective in the truest sense of the word. Looking to see what makes us up - what makes everything up.

Sure, we still kill for personal profit or power. We bomb women and children in the name of liberty and freedom. I never said that we were done with our travel. Were not perfect. We have not solved starvation or disease. But, we put a damper on it. 

If I were a Deity and I came down to judge mankind I think I would be pleased and proud of my creation. We have used our resources, explored our world, created Gods and Magic, and dispelled it when it became more hindrance than benefit.

I am proud of my species. A bunch of brutally violent, daydreaming, chimps in pants have traveled into space and have worked out the deepest recesses of matter and the nature of reality its self. We have conquered our environment, cooperated with our environment, and been subjugated by it but we have always found a way to move forward. Via force, cooperation or redirection. Human kind has found a way. 

And myself, would this imagined creator deity be pleased with me? That is stupid. My existence is of such little importance that it is only my participation in these grand endeavors, then the results of those which could bless or damn me. Any deity worth the title would not even be aware of my individual existence. We are. Humans. What have we done together? What has this sad little pack animal, evolved from rodents too small to be killed by a meteorite 65 million years ago, been able to accomplishI think a lot.

I am proud of our species and think you should be too.

-Josh