Lexicon: In order to keep avoid confusion. I’ve created a brief lexicon of terms. I’ll be using. (at best a futile gesture but none the less.)
+god little ‘G’: all possible instances of God or gods. This could mean one god such as the Abrahamic religions or a pantheon of gods such as the Greek gods. If I use it at the beginning of a sentence I’ll write it like this +God.
God big ‘G’: a specific instance of *god, where God is a supreme all-powerful entity. There may be sub gods but there is one is above all others.
Theist: Someone who believes in the study and practice of religion. This is specified as an active member of a religion, participating in rituals and regular meeting as well as actively studying doctrine.
Historical theist: The study of religion from a historical or scholarly perspective.
Deusist Somone who believes in *god but does not actively participate or follow a religion. The root of religion is often *god, so why not use the root word for Deism which I was going to use here, but I found it had another use. (One I don’t want to be tied to what I’m saying here.)
Atheist: One who does not believe in the study and practice of religion. That is to say outside a historical or scholarly context.
Adeusist: Someone who doesn’t believe in +god.
Agnostic: Somone who has withheld a definitive judgment of *god’s existence. Whether that be actively (asserting it can’t be known) or passively (waiting for evidence) or apathetic (saying it doesn’t matter.)
There is a second definition of Agnostic I have encountered. Someone who believes in something but they aren’t sure what. This is covered in the Deusist and *god definitions. Again, I don’t care how you understand the word, only that you understand how I use it here.
Spirituality: This is the belief in interaction with a spiritual plain. This is not necessarily connected to *god but may often be associated with it. I won’t be discussing it here, but I an noting it is different from belief in +god or a religion.
The universe: This is the place we exist. No bells and whistles just physical reality as we can understand it. In some instances, the universe described as a sentient being. You may consider this sentience God or a god. In which case this is covered in the +god definition. In other cases, it would not be. For my writing here We will not be concerned about the sentience of the universe and behaving as if it is not.
The four cases of +god.
I’ve thought a lot about God, or the god’s or however you want to take it. I use a singular use of +god to simplify but make no mistake in each of the four cases to be made, it works for one God or an infinite pantheon of gods. It speaks to the four answers I’ve come up with to satisfy the question “Is there +god?” Note the small ‘G’ not a mistake. If we can confirm the existence of one god then likely it’s probable that more than one exists.
Who am I? lots of people many of them way smarter than I have tried to answer this quandary. Surely my musing pale in comparison to those of the mountainous minds who’ve already tread these well-traveled roads. I am nobody, a fool of infinite proportions. Still, I’ve thought about this and I find the answers quite interesting. I thought a few brave souls might trudge through my crazed ramblings and foolish assertions and drive some small amusement at the sheer idiocy of it all. Let me tell you who I am in the light of the question.
Conceptually, I am a believer. I believe in the concept of +god. This concept ‘god’ is an extension of my greatest self. Perfect for that in every situation he would know the right choice and chose the path of greatest good. He shows perfect love for all things and has infinite patience in helping all things learn to be good no matter how horrible they might be. My conceptual ‘god’s’ words are not written in any text. You can only know him through introspection and careful examination of the world around us.
Theoretically, I’m an agnostic. When we discuss the possibility of an actual god. I stand firmly with the answer I don’t know.
In practice, I am an atheist. I will never accept any ‘god’ or entity or deity as the ‘God.’ To be true to my conceptual ‘god’ even in his presence I must never accept him as the God. There is always a possibility that such a ‘god’ would be a pretender trying to manipulate me. I must question everything about this ‘god’ and never give into the thought that he might be the conceptual ‘god’ I believe in.
In this moment I can’t help but think that I’ve probably started a religion. If these words travel far enough, somebody somewhere will see the potential to take this concept and organize it. In which case. Oups.
On to the four cases. You probably have to guess what three of them are. (I told you I was simple, you’ve already figured me out.) But what about this fourth case? What is that? Did I in my simple ways divine something new from the ether!? Well in the interests of showmanship I can’t tell you… Not yet. I must build up to it. Or you can just skip to the section that says: The Forth Case. It’s up to you.
The Fist Case:
We’ve already established and order. We should follow that order after all order is important. Without order, there would be chaos. Let’s talk God! Capital ‘G!’ Or a bunch of little ‘G’s’ whatever you want. No matter what gods you believe in the sum total of all gods should be good. Or at least good for you. If not:
Hello H.P. Lovecraft! Thanks for reading my writings! Glad to see that whole death thing isn’t getting you down.
(Krackow!) Was that thunder? Right sorry ‘G’ I was just getting to it. Case one: Yes! There is +god! Halalua! Praise be! Or where appropriate live in mortal dread. (I’m looking at you H.P.)
Let’s get literal! As in the literal existence of literal gods running around doing +god stuff! Can such gods exist? Yes. Afterall what is a god but a being with a better understanding of reality than us, and sophisticated enough in the mastery of said understanding that they appear godlike to us? Given the vastness of the universe it’s almost impossible for such an entity not to exist and in great numbers. The real question is have they taken a personal interest in us and our planet? Probably not, or if they have it’s more of an observatory role.
But what about a really real God? Like a created the universe and is unmatched in power and understanding of all things? Sure that God could exist too. God could hail from a place beyond our ability to study, and God’s power could be unreplicable in our universe but can have an effect on it. Sure. But can we prove it? Not unless God wants us too.
Even if literal +god is not real, there is still a possibility of +god’s existence. Always just a little beyond the reach of our current capabilities. The unknown is +god’s playground. Until we’ve explored absolutely everything we can’t know for sure. Even then, +god could still lie beyond everything.
The Second case:
And what pray tell is wrong with a little bit of chaos? It’s what shakes things up moves the universe. Created the universe you might say, without chaos, there would be a lot of boring nothing, and nothing good could come of that. No, Vagina. There is no god. I choose now to paraphrase a lie that a journalist once told a little girl for fear that children might be sad if they knew the truth. A lie that was meant to stop children from losing their innocence. To keep them young just a little bit longer and protect them from the coldness of truth, but it’s time to grow up.
It’s time to grow up and realize that a world without +god is amazing and wonderous! Romantic! That is the atheist point of view! Just imagine the greatest painting that ever was, just painted itself. Then you start to see the world through an adeusist eyes. The universe doesn’t need god to be wonderous.
The universe could easily exist without god. Nothing we’ve learned has contradicted that, and I’m certain nothing will.
Even if godlike beings exist, godlike is not +god. whatever they use to affect the universe be it duplicatable or not it’s still working on the basic structures of our universe and that makes it science, not magic.
+God’s playground is the unknown just as a shadows playground is darkness. Shine a light on the darkness the shadow goes away. So too as we learn more about the universe so +god gets smaller.
The Third Case:
Not to sound too much like a gray Jedi but Order and Chaos are both equally important. Two equal forces that have been working in tandem since the beginning to make the universe we see today.
Let’s talk about the greatest answer in the history of answers. The answer that gives me chills every time use it! It’s an incredible answer! While other answers are great, they are the end of a mystery, the final chapter. This one the beginning, it’s an adventure! Full of the promise of wonder and amazement! Three little words, four if you don’t use the contraction. I don’t know.
So why is it we look down upon this simplistic but beautiful answer? Why do we think a person without an answer is a person without intelligence?
It’s too soon to say we have an answer, we need proof. It is the need of the sentient mind to find connections that aren’t there. Apophenia, that’s what the other answers are. People trying to divine a definitive answer but they lack evidence. Pull on the strings of an Adeusist argument and a Deusist argument and it all comes unraveled.
Truth takes time, sometimes eons, we’ve waited this long. Just be patient. But what if there is never a definitive answer? Then that makes truth a journey without end. I can’t see that being a bad thing.
Well, that’s it. We’re done here if you want to know who won, I’ll just roll this twelve-million sided die. Well, what do you know it was the Cthulhu-Jesus-Potato! Good game everybody! I know a lot of you we thinking Jesus-Cthulhu-Zuse, and you were so close. Better luck next time. Good night everybody! Oh, wait! Do you want to know what that fourth case is? Okay…
The Fourth Case:
Good thing nobody will ever know all the crazy stuff I just wrote because you all just skipped to this part. I would like to go on record saying I can’t be blamed for what happens next. it was only a matter of time before someone thought of it. For all, I know it may already be out there…
Here is the story, I was observing a Cat sitting in a box and I mused to myself. What if cats all know the story of Schroedinger’s cat and they all sit in boxes hoping to be the one. The holy cat who is both alive and dead at the same time, and as I put in the flask of poison and the unstable uranium atom and it hits me. What if +god exists in two quantum states? One essentially is a state of existing the other would amount to a state of not existing. Then I closed the box and wrapped it up for Christmas.
Well, there it is, Shroedinger +god. It’s a thing now. It might have already been a thing, but it for sure is one now. So to keep track I may have started as many as four religions and one really weird holiday tradition.
It’s just as likely as the others but I have no idea how it works. It could be that simply exploring the concept of +god constitutes checking, and the answer you come up with is the one the becomes true for you. Or could it be that some deusist might end up with no +god, and some adeusist has an angel on their shoulder? What if the choice the universe makes leads you to your inevitable decision, and we just think we have free will?
Or what if the universe chooses when it ends?
All fascinating questions. I await the myriad of answers.
The Question That Cannot be Failed.
What? Did you think I would pop in like the Oprah Winfrey of religions and bounce out without any more to say? Well, strap in bitches this is about to get weird!
Can you imagine if I ever become known as a great philosopher?
Plato: “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
Descartes: “I think therefore I am.”
Pennington: “Strap in bitches!” (It’s not even mine.)
Never happen, but it’s a fun thought. Anyway on to messing with the collective minds of everybody. Does +god exist? Ask a hundred different people and you might get a hundred different answers, but near as I can tell they’ll boil down to the four answers I have given. Yes, no, I don’t know, and yes and no at the same time. But ask who has the correct philosophy and you’ll always get the same answer. “mine of course.”
Four possible answers all claiming to be correct? How can it be? Surely one must be obviously flawed and easily eliminated. Let’s try.
+God seems an easy choice. I’ll wager a few facts will decimate +God in no time. I’ll even start easy and go with a made up god. Snart the god potato.
Me#1: Snart is not a god, Snart is a potato.
Me#2: Snart is a god and a potato.
1: Potatoes cannot be gods.
2: Not all potatoes, this one is.
1: Prove it.
2: You heard me.
1: Fine! Then I win by default.
2: Oh really? What did you prove?
1: You failed to provide proof. I win. The burden of proof rest on the one making the claim. You claim your potato is a god and fail to provide proof, therefore your claim is false.
2: Not very scientific. When a scientist makes a theory, and another wants to disprove that theory, the second must provide proof before the theory is dismissed entirely.
1: We both know that’s not true, most theories have mathematical proof even if physical proof is impossible at that time.
2: And how many theories were dismissed out of hand because it lacks proof? How many later turned out to be true? I say the burden of proof lies with all who have the stake in the argument. You say Snert is not a god? Then prove it! This is not a soccer game, you don’t win because the other team doesn’t show up. We are arguing a fundamental truth of the universe. You can’t say electrons are positive because nobody showed up to say otherwise. Need I remind you said you could do this. That it was easy in fact.
1: Fine. But I want you to know that I hate you.
2: Duly noted.
1: Your potato is no different than any other potatoes. In every way down to the last molecule, it is one hundred percent potato.
2: It has properties that your science cannot yet understand.
1: I knew you would say that.
2: One would hope.
1: Okay, I’ve taken your potato and I’ve placed your potato. and placed it among a hundred tell me which one is your potato.
2: It’s this one.
1: Ha! I marked your potato! That is not it!
2: I never said I had the ability to recognize Snert. More his essence has left that potato and entered this one.
1: Fine. I will take all the potatoes and turn them into french fries! What do you say to that?
2: Snert fried for your sins! Then Snert transcended beyond our earthly world.
1: Great, so no matter what I say, you just make up an answer.
2: Snert gives them to me.
1: Well this could go on forever.
Is it just me or are both those guys crazy? So what proof could possibly disprove +god? I mean seriously? You rolled a few dice thousand times and each time you asked +god to make them all sixes? Really all you’ve proven is +god does not care about your dice.
Who said that +god is some wish fulfillment machine? The Bible? Big whoop. A book is not +god. You can disprove a book, but not +god.
I know what your thinking. You can’t prove a negative. So let’s go to the opposite, Let’s prove the positive. I’ll spare you another conversation between me and myself.
What proof satisfies +god? Turning water into wine? Why? Wine is mostly water, it’s just a matter of rearranging the atoms and molecules in the correct order. The manipulation of mater is impressive, even wonderous, but not godly.
Imagine instead of accepting these ‘miracles’ as proof we studied them instead? We watched the glass of water as it changed? If We measured the voltage of Zeus’ lightning bolt? If we determined the exact distance Cthulhu’s madness effect kicked in? (I know he’s fiction, I just really like Lovecraft.)
What secrets could we divine if we had total access to the gods? How long until those secrets seemed mundane? What makes a +god a god? Just as I can continue to argue the godhood of a potato, I could argue against an entities godhood no matter how impressive they may seem. Simply put no proof could satisfy godhood.
So the agnostics are right? Sure. You could say that and be absolutely right. ‘I don’t know’ is always a good answer, but it’s not the only right answer.
Lot’s of people seem to have something against the word belief. Like choosing to accept something as true is somehow dirty. Belief, however, is more common than we think. The world as we know it is a construct, your own personal matrix. Inescapable and constant. What we know about the world is mostly arbitrary, most of what we accept as true is just perception. Color, sound, smell, even the present time. All fiction. You believe them, but that chunk of meat in your skull is to blame.
So what of +god? Is it that freaking simple? Yes! When we argue the truth of +god we generally argue the existence of a being so sophisticated as to seem godlike. But what we are really arguing is if there is a being that deserves to have godlike control over our minds.
+God is a concept. Like love or happiness or even Irony. Nobody can tell you +god exists, only you can decide. That is the truth.
So can an adeusist choose to believe and not compromise themselves? You betcha! I will never accept an entity as a god, No matter what. The can send me to a hell do whatever they want. I will not let anyone or anything have that kind of control over me.
No matter what you choose you are right. And what you choose tomorrow that’s right too.
This is a question cannot be failed. There is no wrong answer.
The Final Truth.
There are so many who will only know me as the dumbest person on the planet, and sure I’ll give you that, but before I leave you with your thoughts I leave you something else.
Because much of what we understand is just a movie our brains play in our head. One can say that truth is subjective, one might say the greatest lier is the truth. So speaking in terms of truth is kind of just assuring one’s self the universe around us is consistent and relatable. It has mechanical processes that can be understood but beyond that…
So here is the ultimate truth about +god. Such as it is. God is irrelevant. We spend so much time worrying about this subject, but it’s really inconsequential to us.
Have you ever met a person whos gods didn’t possess the same values? Intolerant people have intolerant gods. People who believe in peace and spirituality so do their gods. If a person commits wrongdoing in their religion, that wrong is much more forgivable than the wrongs they don’t like.
Even when they commit acts of wrongdoing agist their god’s wishes, they still untimely agree that what they are doing is wrong.
The greatest crimes are often committed with one hundred percent+ god approval in the mind of the person doing them.
Why is that?
Religion is bad. That is the call of some. That religious sacrifice sense free will to obey a god. But is religion really bad?
Just as there are terrible examples of all religions there are good examples as well. For this axiom, I only need the idea that if we can eventually prove one good person or one bad person in any given religion proves that the religion is not inherently bad.
So, for instance, we took Joseph Stalin as the example of the one bad atheist, and Richard Dawkins as the good one. We can see that there is the propensity of good and bad in the absence of god.
Now we could argue what is good or bad, but based on what is generally accepted as good and bad. These arguments can be made. Similarly, we can show the same to agnostics.
So here is the argument: So if people can do bad things without god, and do bad things with god, and even do bad things while saying ‘I don’t know.’ Maybe +god or the belief in +god is not the problem.
Could it be +god is a scapegoat for both believers and non-believers alike? Believers blame +god, but is it really +god who wants that land? Or that resource? Or a particular group of people dead? I know what some might say, but again it seems interesting that +god’s wishes align perfectly with yours. If you study religion enough you’ll see that +god is a slave to human desire, not the opposite.
If it’s not +god then it must be religion! Yes, it’s that dam free-will-stealing-insanity-causing sheep making institute of religion. If we just had no +god’s and no religions we would all be free thinking and happy, and nothing bad would ever happen again.
What is religion? Really? That has a lot to do with the individual. Some see it as a sense of community. Some see it as the practice of philosophy. At its core religion is a community of like-minded individuals who have organized into a power structure that serves the greater good of said community.
That’s all well and good, but how do we get from those simplistic and human needs to genocide? Well, first we have to understand that any organization, no matter how well organized is vulnerable to the problems of greed and corruption. As an organization grows in power it becomes more attractive to those who would abuse that power, and the more attractive for those who are in power to abuse it.
Second, we have realized that people are pre-dispositioned to defend our community from a threat. With just these two causes alone it’s possible to take any community to the brink of war.
These are very human drives as well. You could theoretically abolish all religion and still have the same problems. Because we are communal animals who value the strength of our community over the principles of our philosophy.
I’m convinced that with careful examination of the facts we can prove that doesn’t have much effect on our lives at all. Whether it’s because +god chooses not to or because they act in ways too subtle to detect. Maybe +god doesn’t exist, or the coldest truth of all, +god does not care. But whatever the case gods reasoning has yet to be determined.
It is not just that +god has a negligible effect on our lives. +God’s are in and of themselves irrelevant. No matter what the cecimsances you believe are true.
+God does not exist. Therefore your behaviors are your own and +god is irrelevant.
+God exists but has given you free will. Then the point is to exercise your free will and +god is irrelevant.
+God exists and has given you free will, but does not want you to use it. The choice to use free will is up to you. +God is irrelevant.
+God exists but has not given you free will. Then what you are doing is part of +gods plans and +god is irrelevant.
I could go on, but I think that my point is made. I’m sure I have convinced no one. My goal is not to persuade but to put my thoughts down before I lose them. I have made them available to you in the hopes you might enjoy and find a use for them. Even if that use is to strengthen your argument by taking them down.
My philosophy and my logic are far from perfect. I hope they are good enough o entertain and challenge you, but I’m just happy you read this to the end. Thank you.