Does God Exist?
From a thread in the Philosophy Forum.
Mayor of Simpleton asked:
Are there any premises that could lead to a sound argument, not (merely) valid argument, that gods exist? This means… I am looking for TRUE PREMISES. Please… just the premises. Arguments are just an exercise in validity or plain silly unless the premises are true.
Premise: The Universe is infinite potential energy manifesting as finite kinetic energy, making the universe infinite and finite simultaneously. Objective and subjective simultaneously. In its kinetic reality of cause/effect and distances between points in space, it is bound by time. In the reality of its infinite potentiality, it is timeless.
The idea of random change has infiltrated much of the sciences and modes of thought – so much as to entertain the notion of the primordial soup: the creation of life is often philosophically and scientifically indulged as an accident. This is a colossal contradiction for a life-form whose very intelligence relies on and is defined by pattern recognition. It is irrational to assume that wherefore there are patterns that dictate every other action, the very birth of this order would itself be an accident.
Mayor of Simpleton replied:
I’ll go about it this way… I have a few questions regard to the ‘many premises in one premise’ you have given. I’ll play along, for the most part, but wish to reserve my commitment one way or the other.
“Premise: The Universe is infinite potential energy manifesting as finite kinetic energy, making the universe infinite and finite simultaneously. Objective and subjective simultaneously. In its kinetic reality of cause/effect and distances between points in space, it is bound by time. In the reality of its infinite potentiality, it is timeless.”
Paradoxes? I like paradoxes. Are you possible of the opinion that our perception of time is either an extension into the past (reflective) or into the future (speculative), but the ‘seat of our being’ is in the now (a sort of ‘timeless time’)? Could such a perspective indicate that hard determinism works in terms of past and future tense, but free will is the only option in the here and now? Where are the gods in this one?
“The idea of random change has infiltrated much of the sciences and modes of thought so much as to entertain the notion of the primordial soup: the creation of life is often philosophically and scientifically indulged as an accident. This is a colossal contradiction for a life-form whose very intelligence relies on and is defined by pattern recognition. It is irrational to assume that wherefore there are patterns that dictate every other action, the very birth of this order would itself be an accident.”
Random Change = Entropy?
Accident? (a short term perspective of events that have (perhaps) a hidden cause? Hidden cause simply being that with which our understanding has not yet dealt with or found an answer for?)
What about the simple idea that things are and have come into being as they are at the moment as a reasult of long term accumilation?
Recoginition of patterns… could this not simply be a process we use to gain orientation within a universe of (seemingly) endless possibilities? Our method of placing the infinte (perhaps better said endless) items into the ‘bite-sized pieces’ of the finite (my I should say limited)? Would not a potential ‘coping mechinism’ be at work here and if so, why should we choose to deify it?
Let’s expand… there is more than enough room to do so.
If you look carefully; it is one premise: The universe is infinite potential energy manifesting as finite kinetic energy.
What follows that is merely the explanation of its implication. I must admit I did not connect the dots in that post, just gave a starting point on the implications, because you had specifically asked only for the premise.
mayor of simpleton wrote:
“Could such a perspective indicate that hard determinism works in terms of past and future tense, but free will is the only option in the here and now? Where are the gods in this one?”
Alright. Firstly, I will validate the premise. The Universe that you see before you is finite kinetic energy – it always will be finite, there is no possibility of it ever being infinite in kinetic energy because to become kinetic in and of itself comprises of depth and space, and more specifically, distances. It comprises of an ‘edge’ to the physical Universe, no matter how much or how fast it is growing. It may have started from nothing and exploded out, but there will always be that outer-edge to its growth. This is an aspect of empirical science. ‘Energy is not created or destroyed, merely transformed.’
Which leaves us with the first part of the premise – when energy lies in potential it is infinite. The energy of a cubic centimeter of empty space has been calculated to be one trillionth of an erg, yet empty space is limitless. That is straightforward, but if you need me to explain that further, ask.
So now – the implications:
1. It is simultaneously infinite and finite; Well, that sure would explain the thousands of years of intuitive Eastern wisdom, which, in a nutshell, urge us to drop the finite nature of distinctions, distances and thoughts and focus on the gap between the thoughts until we experience that infinite potentiality. The claim is that there is a different kind of knowledge within that infinite potentiality, but experiencing it requires the use of introspective faculties. What makes the claim worthy of investigation is that it has been corroborated independently by several sources, making it empirically verifiable, albeit with some effort.
2. In its kinetic reality of cause/effect and distances between points in space, it is bound by time. In the reality of its infinite potentiality, it is timeless; Gather that in Eastern wisdom, which is actually not polytheist, God is another term for this unborn – unmanifest… potentiality. This potentiality is not simply an energetic state, but a state of awareness. Of being conscious and still (not riddled with a mass of jumbled cyclic thoughts). In its potentiality, it is timeless and thus ever present. It is simply that the notion of past and future are rendered redundant, because they are elements of kinetic distance, and thereby not wholistic.
3. Objective and subjective simultaneously; That is to say, kinetic reality is about points of view and perspective. Within the realms of a kinetic universe, only subjectivity is possible. Objectivity, however, is to not be saddled with a point of view. As mentioned, several methods of practice are given for a sentient to experience the dropping of ‘points of view.’ It only takes investigation on your part to see for yourself. At this point I can understand that the dropping of points of view seem like an impossibility. But not in an infinite potentiality. It renders the possibility, but also the necessity for Self-Awareness.
Terms like ‘Know Thyself’ aren’t a reference to knowing what ice cream you like or what your favorite color is. It is a reference to Gnosis.
How does one even verify a claim like this? I see no reason why I should accept that the universe is infinite potential energy.
How does one verify anything at all? Every axiom or supposition is a claim based on what? If you look at the arguments of Kuhn and Maslow, the empirical method is one method out of many, and by no means any more valid.
As for the infinite potential energy… where do you think energy comes from?
Why do you ‘accept’ that there is a limited amount of it?
I see no reason why you would accept it is limited any more than you would accept it is infinite.
I would think that the energy was released from a singularity and the potential energy of the singularity at that time was transformed into kinetic energy. Subsequent transfers of energy occur going from kinetic to potential but by obeying the law of conservation of energy there is no missing or added energy (if you account for lost energy from other sources such as heat energy). But all this seems to occur in a system of finite energy and if the universe is manifesting as a finite kinetic energy I’m not sure how you can posit infinite potential energy.
Well, here was my point from the beginning; manifested energy, that is kinetic energy can only ever be finite, but that does not speak for unmanifest energy. You cannot use the finite nature of manifest kinetic energy as proof of finite potential energy, as it is not necessarily so.
Seeing as even empty space is seen to contain energy per cubic centimeter, and that empty space is infinite (because it is after all, pure void), that does posit the possibility of infinite potential energy.
Further to the point, the very fact that any amount of kinetic energy is allowed to create vast distances (thus giving depth and space to the void), it is plausible that kinetic energy could expand outwards continuously and never reach a ‘limit’ as the void that it is filling up is infinite.
Infinite potential energy is no less reasonable or probable than assuming finite potential energy, however infinite potential energy holds a lot more answers for the wisdom of gnosis. You’d be closing yourself off to an entire avenue of investigation for no good reason, especially an avenue that focuses on Self-Realisation.
To add to that, also consider that attempts to apply the second law of thermodynamics to the Universe has never quite worked out, because the Universe is not behaving as a closed-space.
“It has been claimed that the second law means that the universe as a whole must tend inexorably towards a state of entropy. By an analogy with a closed system, the entire universe must eventually end up in a state of equilibrium, with the same temperature everywhere. The stars will run out of fuel. All life will cease. The universe will slowly peter out in a featureless expanse of nothingness. It will suffer a ‘heat-death.’ This bleak view of the universe is in direct contradiction to everything we know about its past evolution, or see at present. The very notion that matter tends to some absolute state of equilibrium runs counter to nature itself. It is a lifeless, abstract view of the universe. At present, the universe is very far from being in any sort of equilibrium, and there is not the slightest indication either that such a state ever existed in the past, or will do so in the future. Moreover, if the tendency towards increasing entropy is permanent and linear, it is not clear why the universe has not long ago ended up in a tepid soup of undifferentiated particles.”
“The reason why our universe remains Ordered is simply because it is part of an infinite perpetual system, and the Second Law of Thermodynamics only applies to Closed systems (not infinite systems)”
Mayor of Simpleton replied:
Eastern wisdom made easy… OK… this is a bit of a reach, but in space there are a lot of gaps between physical bodies and are not a lot of these gaps filled with, well… nothing? Kind of like the ‘chick’ in Sex and the City… they always read ‘between the lines’ of what men were saying. For them most part, there is nothing between the lines of what men were saying. Granted this makes the foundation for TV ratings and self-help books (another concept I just don’t get…).
I’ll stick to the introspection here. Curiosity makes for the birth of gods? Do infinite possiblilities guarentee gods being? Are we inviting gods to be the stuff we find inbetween? God in gaps? I’m getting ahead of myself again…
God is Winnie the Pooh. OK, maybe not… but pú is an ‘uncarved block of wood that has the potential to be whatever’, or so I have heard. Fine…
Why can’t we just say that cause/effect and spatial orientations are all bound by time, thus bound by determining factors? The time is recognized either in reflective (past) or speculative (future) orientations. The ‘paradox’ is that we live (the set of being) not in the limitation of time as we are in the now, the ‘timeless time’ of potential, the yet too be determined, the ‘free-will duty free zone of reality.’ It’s like all of this ‘the eye cannot perceive itself’ or the ‘you cannot run from yourself’ yadda yadda stuff. I have said a few times, that I see this (our reality) as a ‘coin flip.’ On one side is ‘hard determinism’ and the other ‘free will’… problem is the coin landed on its side.
The eastern gods seem to be more of a metaphor, a pantheistic linguistic tool and not the literal supernatural gods with which I am at odds with. My quibble is with the theistic gods. They seem to be rather silent on this issue or just say ‘because it is so.’
On the contrary, Eastern philosophy is quite literal about ‘God.’ Firstly, what exactly do you define God AS?
Aware – Yes.
Singular – Yes.
Omnipotent – Yes.
Omniscient – Yes.
Immutable – Yes.
All-Compassionate – Yes.
Anything else I’ve missed?
The only difference between the Eastern understanding of God and the God of say Christianity is that in Christianity there is an ‘I and thou’ experience with God. You and him. Eastern wisdom says: “Even if there is an I- thou relationship, you remain divided, you remain separate. You can shout at each other, but there will be no communion. The communion happens only when the I-thou division is no more, when subject and object disappear, where there is no I and no thou, no seeker and no sought… when there is unity, unison.”
This communion is by no means a metaphor, but the actual process of Gnosis.
Gnosis, and introspection isn’t a case of ‘reading between the lines’ either. That’s like inferring what is ‘not said’ to you; inferring still requires the use of division.
Religion is sought not for ‘dialogue’ with God, but to ‘Bind Again.’
Yoga means ‘Union.’ (Not referring to the westernization of Yoga where it is used as exercise – too many misconceptions there).
Tantra means ‘Expansion.’
Each of these follow various methods and practices leading back to Unity. This Union is created in realizing that Consciousness in an off itself is a singular ENTITY! That the Universe is a singular Entity. Within it’s kinetic manifestation, there is the opportunity for polytheism. As long as the entities are Self-Aware they can exist within the constructs of the Infinite/Finite paradox with degrees of great power, and still be in ‘Union’ with the Singular Entity that is Consciousness itself. This is what gives the possibility of Hinduism, for example, having more than a million Gods (who are all seen to be elements of One Consciousness). Their individuality is not, however, a metaphor, as much as a kinetic material Universe is not a metaphor.
Which leads back to the premise: The reasoning is that since everything came from the singularity of ‘infinite potentiality’ (thus omnipotent, omniscient, and aware), that singularity is ever-present. ‘Realization’ of this singularity is in effect a realization of yourself (as it is multiplicity that is the illusion).
The multiplicity of kinetic reality is what creates your differentiations as a human being. You start to think of yourself as ‘Greg’ or ‘Nicole’, as limited in this way or that. Moreover, kinetic reality substantiates your limitations. Reasoning alone can’t free you of that, because reasoning functions off multiplicity! (Distances, points of reference, perspectives.)
Which leads to Gnosis:
“I will tell you what a religious man is. First of all, a religious man is a man who is alone— not lonely, you understand, but alone— with no theories or dogmas, no opinion, no background. He is alone and loves it— free of conditioning and alone— and enjoying it. Second, a religious man must be both man and woman— I don’t mean sexually— but he must know the dual nature of everything; a religious man must feel and be both masculine and feminine. Third,” and now his manner intensified again, “to be a religious man, one must destroy everything— destroy the past, destroy one’s convictions, interpretations, deceptions— destroy all self-hypnosis— destroy until there is no center; you understand, no center. Then stillness comes. Completely still.” – J Krishnamurti.
“The Buddha sat under a tree, and let the entire world come to him.” – Buddhist Wisdom.
This last quote in particular needs clear understanding; it is referring to the Buddha becoming omniscient.
It is only rational that to have the capacity to know everything infinitely, you must first drop points of view. Drop the multiplicity of kinetic reality.
The terrifying aspect of Eastern philosophy is the fear of letting go of ‘beliefs’ to be left with nothing. A person is inclined to see being left with ‘nothing’ as to be rendered empty, without purpose, without home. That is the first misconception to be transcended, as to be left with nothing is to be left with everything! Only requires some investigation into what is known as ‘silent knowledge,’ at least as a starting point to understand that it IS possible.
So, in summary of Eastern Wisdom; there is only the singular God. There never was anything else. This kinetic existence is a dream-state of a singular consciousness dreaming multiplicity. Infinite potential manifesting finite kinetic. (Literally).
Mayor of Simpleton replied:
‘Space and energy’ is a literal thing. It is natural and not supernatural. It is not a deity. It is not a literal god. Why must infinite (energy) potential be conscious? And if it is conscious… why must it be a deity?
It stands to reason; out of infinite potentiality (infinite possibility) one possibility was the creation of this Universe. In terms of possibility, it was already INHERENT within infinite potential. You are aware, you are conscious. I am conscious, I am aware – therefore awareness was a pre-existing condition of infinite potentiality. And since infinity is a singularity, its pre-existing awareness is all-encompassing.
You’ve brought up one key difference, that ‘space and energy’ is not ‘supernatural.’
1. Of or relating to existence outside the natural world.
2. Attributed to a power that seems to violate or go beyond natural forces.
3. Of or relating to a deity.
4. Of or relating to the immediate exercise of divine power; miraculous.
5. Of or relating to the miraculous.
Of relative to existence outside the natural world; the natural world is by standard definition the finite kinetic world. Infinite Potentiality is outside of the natural world. It is supernatural in its impossibility – because of its paradoxical nature. By probability it is both impossible for the Universe to have ever been created, and simultaneously completely possible.
Do you get the logic here?
If, out of an infinite number of possibilities, one possibility is taken, then the probability of that possibility is ∞/1. Therefore, the universe being one finite response out of infinite possibility, the probability of its existence is also ∞/1
When we discuss infinity, there are two possibilities:
1. The probability is infinitely non-existent; yet we are here! Yet we exist!
2. The probability of one possibility happening is infinite; meaning it is the utmost possibility!
The first creation in itself was ‘supernatural’ because it was impossible. What happened after creation was ‘natural’, as it is a reference to natural laws of physics. The existence of the universe is a miracle, because of its impossibility/possibility paradox in lieu of ‘infinite probability.’ Infinity is a supernatural phenomenon as it does not conform to the natural world.
That such a phenomenon as ‘awareness’ even exists is supernatural; it does not conform to natural laws at all, but functions within them under the appearance of conformity. Awareness has never been equaled to natural laws; there is no natural law to explain it.
Which leaves your bringing up of the word deity;
1. A god or goddess.
2.a. The essential nature or condition of being a god; divinity.
b. Deity God. Used with the.
Does this hold the presumption that God must be somehow ‘manlike’ but ‘superhuman?’
If you look at the usual references to God throughout history (including the Sun God), what people were worshiping was the source of energy that replenished them. The fact that they gave that source a name and a human form was incidental, as they were relating to it in terms that were ‘social.’ I posited that God is the Infinite Potential Conscious Energy (which is the source of energy that leads to people believing in God and worship). Even in Hinduism, all such deities are sourced back to the infinite unborn potential that is ever-aware. That is God to more than 1 billion people. Then there’s another 1 billion who believe in an old man with a white beard… but, actually they don’t. That’s a representation, but their God is seen to be ‘light.’ In Hinduism also God is seen to be ‘light.’
God is light to at least 2 billion people. Not illumination as we see it, but infinite energy source that is all-aware and supernatural. Seems to really fit into my definition here.
Is there a logical reason why you cannot consider that your ‘awareness’, your ‘sentient nature’, is not a factor of your thoughts? Cannot consider that even without your thoughts ‘awareness’ would still be present?
Some substantial piece of logic that convinces you completely that it is not possible to experience any other kind of knowledge that isn’t produced by ‘thinking’?
Mayor of Simpleton replied:
Perhaps because my ‘awareness’ is limited and I know that my ‘awareness’ can present itself as a finite barrier. My ‘awareness’ is the ability to perceive ‘some’ of my potential, but not ‘all’ of my potential. If this is a finite barrier, why would I care to place a finite boarder on an infinite (energy) potential? A bit ‘egotistical’ to reduce the universe to my level, don’t ya think?
Isn’t this what you’ve been doing by reducing the universe to randomness, and ‘it just happened?’ I would call that reducing it to your level; most people came to that opinion because life seems to ‘just happen’ to them… one day they have a car accident, one day their brother dies… it all just seems to ‘just happen’ without meaning or significance; so the universe also must have just happened. I find that egotistical, certainly.
I am considering possibilities… particularly when we start to speak about ‘infinity,’ it holds several implications, because infinity is impossible to a kinetic natural world that is factored around probabilities! Yet the Universe is not a closed-space.
Now, you said, “My ‘awareness’ is the ability to perceive ‘some’ of my potential, but not ‘all’ of my potential.”
That is not entirely correct, because what you can say is your current awareness is the ability to perceive in a limited sense. But that doesn’t answer my question, which is; what makes you sure that there isn’t a way to lift that limitation? A way that you simply haven’t come across, or tested out yet?
‘Experiencing knowledge’ involves having an experience.
Experiences are a type of thought.
Thoughts are produced by thinking.
Therefore, it is not possible to experience any other kind of knowledge that isn’t produced by “thinking”.
Which step don’t you like?
All of this would be true, IF experiences were a type of thought. However, that is far from true. The arising of consciousness is specifically different to the faculty of inference. That is; Perception. This is the calculation of the information you are receiving. Your perception imputes that the sound is that of a waterfall, and makes a judgement based on the information: “Ah, a waterfall. I love waterfalls!” or “Damn, a waterfall, I can’t stand that annoying noise!” Perception is always subjective and relative to the individual. Perception is not the totality of experience, however.
Feeling a physical sensation, for example, is different to your perception of that sensation. Hearing the sound of a waterfall, for instance, is the arising of hearing consciousness. Only what you compute from that is the realm of thought.
Experiences do not necessarily use the faculty of reasoning. It is incorrect to claim it as thought.
By this, I am specifically referring to the standard definition of thought:
1. the product of mental activity; that which one thinks: a body of thought.
2. a single act or product of thinking; idea or notion: to collect one’s thoughts.
3. the act or process of thinking; mental activity: Thought as well as action wearies us.
4. the capacity or faculty of thinking, reasoning, imagining, etc.: All her thought went into her work.
5. a consideration or reflection: Thought of death terrified her.
Thoughts are restricted to points of reference and distinctions in order to formulate ideas and conclusions. They are limited in the nature of their multiplicity and definitions. Experiences, however, are not – you can have holistic experiences of ‘oneness’ without ‘comparing’ or referring back to other experiences. Of course, a thought could pop up during the experience stating, “seems like I am having an experience of oneness”, but then that thought would end and you could – if you knew how – continue on with that experience without interference from thought. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, a vast avenue of possibility which you closed yourself from by concluding without any validity or merit that all your experiences are thoughts. By doing that, you have restricted yourself entirely to the rational/irrational, cyclic mind of mostly jumbled unnecessary thoughts. Constantly carrying on an inner-dialogue because you believe that is what comprises what and who you are. A drop in the ocean.
You can’t have an experience of ‘infinite potential’ with a thought – it is utterly inconceivable as infinity has no ‘length and width’ so you can only infer. However, you can have an EXPERIENCE of infinite potential. Big difference.
Look into phenomenology of consciousness to see what I mean. There are states of ‘being’ in an experiential level that do not involve thought.