On God

Posted Sunday, March 4, 2012, at 12:33 PM
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  • If your God was the prime mover whence came God? The idea of causation depends upon time. An event always comes after its cause. So your idea of a prime mover outside time is incoherent. I don't know how the universe began and I suggest that you don't either.

    Humans are prone to assign agency to unexplained events because this is a good survival characteristic because it is a sensible precaution. There is no need to postulate a supernatural world to account for this trait.

    -- Posted by GordonHide on Mon, Mar 5, 2012, at 7:17 AM
  • God didn't "come from" anywhere. He has always been around. I don't see how people who do not believe in God can smile at times. Do Atheists or Agnostics have anything to look forward to after death? I mean, is this it?

    I believe in God and I know that what awaits me is something much better that this... thank GOD!

    -- Posted by steve47834 on Mon, Mar 5, 2012, at 8:21 AM
  • Albert Einstein did not believe in a 'god' and he referred to the Bible as 'primitive' and 'childish'.

    He criticized religion as 'mythic' thinking that had brought 'boundless suffering' in HW Smith's book 'Man and God's.

    As for your prime mover assertion...You contradict yourself by proclaiming everything must have a creator therefore God must have started. We do not know that everything must have had a creator nor do we know much about history prior to the Big Bang.

    As far as your question of where the laws of the universe come from.... The question is assuming an answer and not valid. We have no evidence to suggest they came from anywhere, but instead the conditions of the universe developed during and in the aftermath of the big bang and that they 'came' from our own studying of those conditions that we are now surrounded in. There is no reason to assume it is the only plausible conditions that could exist without any evidence whatsoever.

    -- Posted by abdcd on Mon, Apr 2, 2012, at 7:00 PM
  • Gentlemen,

    Thank you very much for your thoughts. Thrashing ideas around is the best part of an on-line column. Moreover, if successive Popes can't agree on all points of faith, surely the rest of us will have divergent opinions.

    Let us assume that God does not exist. What meaning is there to life? What reason is there to do good? How does one know what is good and what is bad? How does one face inevitable death?

    How could society successfully function and man rise above the level of brutish animal without a belief in life after death and reward or punishment for the things we do?

    Decades ago, on a TV show called "Barny Miller," Barny asked a fellow NYC Police Officer who was an atheist what he would do if he discovered there was an afterlife and a God. He replied, "Oops."

    Just as the spinning core of the Earth gives direction to the compass needle, belief in God gives direction to life.

    If I live a devout life, secure in my faith, comforted in my suffering, facing death with anticipation, and upon dying passing into nullity, what was the harm? Who lived the more fulfilled life, the believer or the atheist? How has the believer lost anything or been harmed? On the other hand, what if the atheist finds himself saying oops?

    Regarding "proofs" of God. First note that proof is in quotes and the statement that God apparently declines to be proven and apparently requires faith. There is no way to prove God. At best, we can discover God through his effects the way that scientists prove the existence and properties of sub atomic particles through their effects and mathematics.

    There is no doubt that tangible existence moves through time. All things in tangible existence have some cause. If we trace causation backwards, we either come to the first cause or to infinity. If we come to the first cause, what caused it except something beyond tangible existence and time? If we come to infinity, we can conclude either existence exists ad perpetum because it does or because of an infinite God. Which is less likely?

    To other points: Einstein could not accept the ideas of early quantum physicists who insisted that things on the quantum level are purely random and could only be measured by probability. Early quantum theorists believed that by observing or measuring existence was established.

    While Einstein may not have been a devout Jew, or an adherent of an organized religion, or even may have been an unbeliever during much of his life, he insisted to quantum theorists that "God does not throw dice." The universe is not random so quantum existence cannot be random but operate by fixed laws not yet discovered.

    As far as assuming an answer to questions, I must confess I am guilty. I believe that all questions have an answer but I may not know what that answer is. When it comes to the origin of existence and what is beyond life, I believe that it is naive to not consider God among the possibilities. Among the possibilities, I believe that God is more likely than not-God.

    -- Posted by Charles Hear on Thu, Apr 5, 2012, at 8:11 AM
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