Tuesday, April 15, 2008

God, Yes No Maybe?

How can a caring god be like?

During my own philosophical development one of the things worth thinking about, was to find out what a caring god could be like.

If you assume, that god created the universe.

A thing so perfect as a thing can ever be.

then if he cares about his creation, we can sure make some assumptions about his philosophical values.

If he cares it imperatively means he must have underwent some philosophical development. If not, he would not care.

In every philosophical process you must come by certain milestones.

A a creator of the universe would never support injustice, pain or agony as it makes simply no sense to him. When he asks himself the question: "Why?" he finds out that there is no answer for him. He would always see a way that could avoid it.

All what he created is perfect in itself. Or do you think someone beeing able to create a universe makes mistakes? So all what he created would have exactly the same value for him and never he would harm or kill anything he created.

Someone being able to create a universe has ultimate knowlegde and therefore acts wise.

And if he acts wise

God must have found out, that only happyness, the good, and love make sense.


I tried to save god.

Before my spiritual quest I was raised as protestant christian. When the quest started god had been with all my life. It first started when I noticed the contradictory sides of god in the bible. I asked the first questions, and the answers started to change the picture I had of god bit by bit. Not that I was ever religious, but yet he was an integral part of my spiritual life. So first I modified my image of god. Lets say I tried to repair him, by replacing his non god-like attributes with other believes and philosophy.

But the process of questioning is irreversible, if you dare to question every dogma, it is mercyless, it is a one way street, and once started you can not stop somewhere in between. The further I went the more of my god was falling off, without me beeing able to cram up the holes.

The apple thing
One of the first things I really doubted, was a god that sends humans into enternal comdemnation over eating a apple. Would a god, the creator of the universe, care about a fucking apple?

No. Of course not. A god would never be materialistic as he created matter. If he would like to have an apple, he would just create one.

But a real god would say: "Guys here is paradise, enjoy everthing to to the last bit"

Is god a schizophrenic maniac?
The images of god in the bible are quite contradictory.
The old man in the sky that loves and forgives every sin imaginable or sends you to hell for all eternity. From the guy that heals you through a miracle to a racist and cruel bastard, that demands human sacrifice or that kills first-borns kids for blackmail.
If so god violated his own commandments and commited the first recorded genocide.

Could this be a god?


This would be another human idiot in the sky, that failed to notice gravity.

Gods don't blackmail, do not demand sacrifice, god's don't kill kids for any reason.

God made man after himself?
If you reverse this sentence it means, "man are like god". But then look around at all this brain cancer causing stupidity humans commit every day. So only the mere thought humans could be any godlike is just shocking.

Look what god could look like then!

"There are 2 things that are infinite. The universe and human stupidity. I am not sure about the universe" (Albert Einstein)

What took god so long?
If you think that the old testament of the bible is 3000 years old, but early finding of Homo Sapiens, or modern humans are as old as a 160.000 years old. I mean all those poor bastards that died without his blessing, because he did not manage to turn up in time.

Crucifixion and Love
Would the almighty god, the creator of life and the universe, let his son beeing nailed to a cross, to demonstrate aehm love?

Is this how "Look how much I love you!" looks like to you?

No. Again. Gods don't kill kids and nail for sure nodody on a cross.

Arrogance of Christanity
If you look around in this world you see that almost every human society on this planet has developed some form of religion, some form of god.
Do you see the arrogance in saying:

"Sorry pal, you are believing in the wrong god! "

"Damn..., I almost went to hell without having a clue. Thanks you told me."

Can you see any god around?
When you look around in this world you see an incredible amount of injustice, agony, despair and pain. For many people life is a just an endless struggle to survive from day to day which they are going to loose. Some lives are just endless misery.
The common excuse we now come up with, is that humans are just not capable to see the higher meaning in this.
But if it are kids that suffer, I can tell you

there is no higher meaning.

There simply is no justification, no reason, no excuse imaginable, that could ever justify what is going on.

Gods do not let innocent suffer. I would mean god is sadist.

Who created who?

God received his final blow, when my mind came up with the following thesis.

"If tommorow there are just 2 humans left that have never heard anything of god, I am sure in their society would appear some kind of god sooner or later."

But this means: Humans created god.

`Oh dear,' says God, `I hadn't thought of that,' and promptly vanished in a puff of logic.

At this point I was alone

and the bible not worth more than grimms fairy tales.

In the world of Atheits

I had landed in the world of atheists. And all of sudden the world seem to work out much better.
No more wories about injustice, why the old pal would or would not do the on thing or the other. At this point I started to view with different eyes. And I tried to understand my new world.

It took me a while, until one day that I found out that my admission to the world of atheists had not been for free. I had payed a toll.

One day I came by a friend, that lived and grew up in very traditional katholic country and family. We even visited the church on Sunday together for her to make some short prayer and get some blessing. After a while we talked about god. She was puzzled to hear he was not with me.

She said "For me god is with me. I am never alone"

"Ok", I said "But for me the advantage is, that if I run into problems I do not sit down, pray, and wait until god feels in favor to help me out. I just start and try to change things by myself."

But this made something clear to me:

Not relying on god, makes you probably faster actively handle your problems. You are not waiting for somebody to help you as there is no one to come.

But then I saw....

If you really run into a deep depression that drains all your mental energy, then you are really alone. The thing called hope, which gives us infinite energy when things go really bad, could be dreadfully missed.

To be honest, this is a point I am worried about. So far life was fairly easy for me. Blessed with beeing born in one the richest and most civilized countries in the world, fairly succesfull and lucky in business, sometimes more or less lucky in privat affairs so far. Of course I had my challenges, problems with families and friends, but this is not what I am thinking about. I mean if you really struggle for your mental or physical existance. The point where hope is your last asset. What's hope worth there, can't probably be estimated.

A story from my grandpa came into my mind. My grandpa was in the second world war from the first to the last day. To be precise, if you consider that went in polish cocentration camp after the war, the war wasn't over for him until years after 45.
I am lucky that my grandpa, unlike so many others, never tried to lock out his experiences he made during the war. Allthough he got wounded 3 times, he talks a lot about this time. The stories he tells is not just blood, loss, betrayal and sadness, he also had periods of good times in war, stories about friendship, love and yes, funny stories too.
He was in campaign about France, where he had a fairly good time, but when he got orders to russia, good time was over.
By the time my grandpa entered the war as Atheist and he left it believing in god. What changed his mind was not a rather thoughtful or philosophical process.

For him it was simply observation.

He noticed that a deadly wounded soldier always starts praying and talking to god, no matter how much of an Atheist he was before. No exceptions on this.

And although my atheist world now seemed to work out better than the old world with my christian god before, it was not without doubts and cracks. Something still felt not right.

Gods impudent attempt to sneak in through the backdoor

During the exploration of myself I experienced, that our subconcious is much more than the just the sum of of experience. Our subconcious is the world of dreams in which I had seen the most incredible forms, colors, physics and worlds unknown to life on earth.

Our subconcious inhabits every form that ever was and ever will be

But where does this information come from?

Reptiles never get teached anything about life, yet by the second they are born they now to go for prey instead of trying to chew on grass. So it is possible to transport an incredible amount of knowledge about life in our genes. Good example is our fear about spiders or snakes. Why most of us fear spiders that today for most of us are as harmful as our Teddybears? How many people that fear spiders made ever a harmful experience with them?

So we simply inherited this information through our genes.

This could mean than in our subconscious we could have the knowledge of this world since the first bacteria evolved.

This would explain a lot, but yet it is not the end.

Because that would mean, that the first bacteria came up having absolutelty no information about this world.

But what if information was already contained in the matter from what life evolved?

Then we have all the information of the universe in our subconcious

and hence

we can know about every form that ever was and ever will be.

But this has another interesting consequence.

I had to notice that my prior thesis about

"If tommorow there are just 2 humans left that have never heard anything of god, I am sure in their society would appear some kind of god sooner or later."

=> Therefore man creates god

was wrong.

If the knowledge about god, like the information how to breath or to fear spiders, is passed through our genes, this could mean we have the knowledge about him from our subconscious.

In other words it could mean that God left his foot-print in all matter.

But what unsettled my atheistic world more, was what you can see in life itself.

For life to emerge, an vast number of variables must yield exactly a distinct value. Change one variable and life could not exist in this universe.

Good example is the density anomaly of water, what we currently consider the main prerequisite for life. If, like for most other elements, compact or frozen water would be more dense than its fluid state, ice would sink. This would make the emerge of life by far less probable.

Did you ever try to solve a matrix equation in linear algebra? It can describe systems, where every factor of a the system has an effect on the other factors.
If it are only 5 factors, trying to solve a 5 by 5 matrix can be a challenging tasks. I never tried to solve a 6 by 6 factors matrix, be prepared to spend hours with this. And better focus. Doing one mistake, messing up one creepy sign, and you never get anywhere close to a solution.
It is used to calculate simulations of all kinds and most of the worlds supercomputers spend most their time chewing on this equations.

For life to emerge lets assume the solution to the equation must coercively be 42.

If you look at the universe, what do you think how many factors are involved?

Too many for a human to just understand the number, rather than to calculate the equation.

What is the probability that this equation by coincidence resulted in 42? Again, if you just try to imagine the number of factors involved, the probability is as good as 0.

If the probability is 0 that means someone or something must have solved this equation.....

"Hello again" said god and jumped on the table with cunning smile

There he was again. But this time he appeared different. He was no longer the caring god, the old man listen to prayers, trying to educate his people with love or terror.

He was the faint creator of the universe, the creator of life, but that was about it. No more.

Quite disappointed about god let go on me so easily before, I was reluctant to let god back into life when one day all my observations, loose thoughts and assumptions, that did not make up a clear picture at this time, sublimated in words. Not in mine though....

Transformation into Epicurean

It happened when I one day was strolling over a Goa-Party, a friend of mine had organized. I rarely made these kind of visits, but once in while it is interesting to see. Have you ever been to a Goa-Party? It's like going into the Zoo. The Goa-Scene is a true remain of the Hippie-Culture. The people share mostly leftish thoughts with all their lovely naive ideals about society. As they can not live their ideals in real life, they live them in their parties. And so always these parties are always lovely decorated, mostly with volunteer work. As tolerance not style is the maxim of these folks they warmly welcome everyone.

And everyone comes.

You will probably never see a higher concentration of bizarre and mystic people anywhere outside these parties. Sometimes these people, by their dress, their look, their gaze, their dance, act upon you so strangely, that you don't want to trust your eyes. But then this is exactly what is intended. Not trusting your eyes, opening your mind to overcome everyday reality by substitution with an extraordinary much richer reality is a key part of the game.

Goa is a spiritual way and a society, not just some kind of music.

Even before my friend and I had some interesting talks about spiritual questions and while it got evening again, he gave me little book.

"Epicurus, About happiness" the title said

I gave it a try and became soon truly fascinated.

As taken from Wikipedia "For Epicurus, the purpose of philosophy was to attain the happy, tranquil life, characterized by aponia, the absence of pain and fear, and by living a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends. He taught that pleasure and pain are the measures of what is good and bad, that death is the end of the body and the soul and should therefore not be feared, that the gods do not reward or punish humans, that the universe is infinite and eternal, and that events in the world are ultimately based on the motions and interactions of atoms moving in empty space."

Epicurus lived around 300 BC in Greece and yet for me he sees the whole picture.

"The gods are immortal and blessed and men who ascribe any additional qualities that are alien to immortality and blessedness are, according to Epicurus, impious. The gods do not punish the bad and reward the good as the common man believes. The opinion of the crowd is, Epicurus claims, that the gods "send great evils to the wicked and great blessings to the righteous who model themselves after the gods," when in reality the gods do not concern themselves at all with human beings.
Epicurus' philosophy is based on the theory that all good and bad derive from the sensations of pleasure and pain. What is good is what is pleasurable, and what is bad is what is painful. Pleasure and pain were ultimately, for Epicurus, the basis for the moral distinction between good and bad. If pain is chosen over pleasure in some cases it is only because it leads to a greater pleasure. Moral reasoning is a matter of calculating the benefits and costs in terms of pleasure and pain. Although Epicurus has been commonly misunderstood to advocate the rampant pursuit of pleasure, (primarily through the influence of Christian polemics) what he was really after was the absence of pain (both physical and mental, i.e., suffering) - a state of satiation and tranquility that was free of the fear of death and the retribution of the gods. When we do not suffer pain, we are no longer in need of pleasure, and we enter a state of 'perfect mental peace' (ataraxia).

Epicurus also believed (contra Aristotle) that death was not to be feared. When a man dies, he does not feel the pain of death because he no longer is and he therefore feels nothing. Therefore, as Epicurus famously said,

"death is nothing to us."
When we exist death is not, and when death exists we are not.

All sensation and consciousness ends with death and therefore in death there is neither pleasure nor pain. The fear of death arises from the false belief that in death there is awareness."

Please the the full article here on Wikipedia

At one point Epicurus claims: "Even if gods exist, they do not care about us".

I simply do not have any better word for to describe, where I am today im my spiritual development. A world, where god likely but not necessarily exists, but where god is definately not the caring god, fits my impressions my thoughts best.

Focus on happieness, avoid pain, live a happy life, don't worry about death.

The long way from a christian, to an atheist, to a true Epicurean!

As questioning God is a process that goes on for life, I am curious to see whats next.

1 comment:

Alexander said...

Epicurus is very interesting. Even Nietzsche liked him.

Regarding your spiritual trail I have one annotation: I completely understand and even share ba myself the human need to gain lasting and definite answers which you can rely on for the rest of your life. Unfortunately this is not the case. The only thing you can rely on is that you can't rely on anything. You have to hang in the balance bearing the suspense of not having reliable answers. Just my two céntimos.