If this mess of suffering, primarily extremely hostile universe where pretty much everything and everyone is out to kill or devour just for survival counts as a miracle to you… I really need to get ahold of your drug collection.
The universe is many things, for instance it is where I keep all my stuff. It’s where all the pain and misery lives. A miracle it certainly is not.
Belief fills in where knowledge finds its limits, Miz. If you’re looking for evidence of God, or any god, or … well, much of any world beyond this one, you could do worse than “Well, we’re here, aren’t we?”
If you’re not looking for evidence like that, probably the mystery is just that: a mystery. I’m a spiritual skeptic, so, I’m good with that. I don’t throw rocks at people who believe in The Creator, though.
An honest person would stop saying things right there and try to learn more, even if they never succeed. They might even speculate a bit, but once those speculations become unfounded assertions then there’s a problem.
To the point. Whenever I drill down into the “look at the trees” argument with an interlocutor they can never produce the evidence of how doing so makes their claim of a god true.
So I ask you, is it honest to assert one’s claims of a god’s existence where there are holes in our knowledge or should something else be done?
The problem with this line of justification, Aria, is that we know science—which is a methodology for learning, not a belief structure—works. It’s what’s resulted in all of the technological advancement that’s gotten us here. So until it stops working, it’s a methodology we can trust. And the scientific method says you don’t assume anything. So there’s basically two types of things we think exist:
The set of observed data. These are the things we directly measure. We know a Loki exists because I’m sitting in one.
The set of implied phenomena. I know someone made this Loki because the Loki’s existence requires outside action, even if I didn’t directly observe the fabrication.
That’s it. Anything not directly observed can only be expected to exist if the observed data demands it. Note the subtle terminology: the set of implied phenomena, not inferred phenomena. If is the observed data that tells us what must be implied, not us drawing inferences.
If there are multiple possible explanations implied, the one that requires the fewest assumptions of unobserved components must be considered most likely until demonstrated otherwise. In the example of my Loki, there could be a guy out there with a factory who made the Loki… or God could have done it. Direct observation tells us people exist. Direct observation tells us factories exist. Direct observation tells us people use factories to make things. God’s existence remains an unfounded assumption. Thus, we are required to determine God probably didn’t conjure my Loki into existence.
The existence of the known universe is a similar matter. We have multiple theories for the origins of the universe, including (for example) the ideas that the universe as we know it exists as a 3-dimensional ‘shadow’ on the event horizon of a singularity existing in as many as 17 dimensions, or the entire universe is inside a single quantum fluctuation in the fabric of another universe. Or, you know, God.
We know the potential for such shadows on a mass horizon exists from our own observations of the edge of a 3-Dimensional event horizon. We know quantum fluctuations exist from theoretical models, implications from our technologies like jump drives and stargates actually working, and direct observation. God remains unobserved, and an assumption.
Now, the obvious and constant rejoinder to this is ‘well, what made the universe that singularity/quantum fluctuation is in? Where’s the First Cause?’ This is brought out as though we have hit a wall where religion has an answer that the scientific method cannot provide. Yet, it ignores one tiny log in the believer’s eye:
What made God?
Expecting this, the believer will usually calmly (and often smugly) reply that God has always been. God is Eternal. It’s an interesting quality to assume for an entity believed to have created Time, of course—if God made Time, how could God exist before there was ‘before’? But that can be set aside.
The far simpler response is: There is more evidence that existence has ‘always been’, in some form or another, than there is to make that claim for God. That evidence is blatant, it is obvious, and it is inescapable: We have direct observation of existence. We can demonstrate—existential philosophy aside—that existence in some form exists.
We cannot do that for God.
This is a perfectly reasonable question. The problem is that religion’s answer of ‘God did it’ is directly meant specifically to stop attempts to expand those limits. ‘God’ is an unobservable, unmeasurable quantity. It’s an appeal to authority—which, in the end, is what religion is: a means to present a source of authority.
Because God says so.
Why does God want me to do X?
You’re questioning GOD? Shut up and do X!
It’s a means of controlling people. God’s Will, after all, is always presented by people. And somehow, God’s Will is always beneficial to those same people. The True Amarr have a bunch of books that say you should obey the True Amarr? Shocking.
We are a species of builders, able to craft complex devices and program artificial intelligence almost indistinguishable from the real thing. We can code programming language that establishes the most basic rules that govern a simulation’s foundation. This is a direct, observable fact. It is logical to believe that there is a builder behind our existence, too.
There is no denying that the late Jamyl’s return was by divine means. Claims against her rule as one of her corruption are mostly unfounded, however if there was any impurity during her reign, she’s now answered for her sins as we all will when the time comes.
The man knows nothing of scripture and pays at most a lip service to the faith. No, his efforts are selfish in nature, and purely egotistical.
Your place is not to dictate these things to me Khanid, especially one who has forsaken his people to enact sinful practices.
Alizabeth, your grasp of language is even weaker than mine if you imagine that I was speaking anything but plainly. The true leader of the Amarr people is God among all, and our Empress serves in God’s holy stead as shepherd and guardian for all Holy Amarr. To call her a regent is acceptable, as the true and only Monarch is God.
Further, the protections of that Holy office do not extend into the afterlife, so it becomes common practice even for the Empress (or Emperor, should one succeed Catiz) to lament the failings of their predecessors - though out of grace, most do not. At least not publicly. However, hindsight being always clearer than what we perceive in the present, Jamyl was damaged goods. Further, I am absolutely certain that she is as dead as the canned meat they feed the slaves.
Ardishapur, I invite you to inform me where I am wrong.
Arrendis, while I cannot fault your logic I find I must ask a question you appear to have not considered, which is something I find to be fundamental in the reflection on the divine.
That is, if God is manifest in the universe, there are two things we should consider - which you have pointed to, in part.
One: Does God exist as a part of our universe, manifest within it and among us? (I choose to believe this is the case, and that God is a participant observer) Or does God exist outside of our reality, as an external entity defining all but being removed from all?
Two: If God makes their divine presence known, what is the nature of the permanency of the laws God makes? Meaning, is God a being of absolute law, or a being of absolute will?
I’ll expound… if the purpose for God is to create authority, and to add that authority to the universal state so that laws act upon reality and upon society, what is predicated on the permanency of those laws?
Can God make a rock so heavy God can’t lift it?
Well, if God is a being of perfect law, then yes. Yes God can. But then the universal law spoke by God - the rule of God’s immutable law - becomes greater than God in that application. The rock cannot be moved by God. That doesn’t mean a toddler couldn’t move it, or a capsuleer. Just God.
But if God is a being of perfect will, then yes. Yes God can. God can make a rock so heavy that God can’t lift it. Until God changes their mind. Then the rock moves.
I have asked myself whether I prefer to consider myself at the will of a God who - with great consideration and unfathomable wisdom - creates laws which should not, can not, be challenged and that challenging or breaking those laws has severe consequences.
However, the idea of living by the will of a capricious and flighty God makes me fear that perhaps I’d rather live with no God at all. So I can see how you would be so dismissive, as I can only imagine this is how you perceive things to be.
Ardishapur, you stand on poor footing to declare Max Singularity a Heretic while decrying the present Holy Empress of Amarr. Would you like something for the swelling? I could fetch you some ice for your injuries. I believe you must have struck your head and are delusional.
Arrendis, yes. Because, quite frankly, everything else falls to pithy arguments about history, sociology, politics, and theological squabbling over dogma and scrolls which should have faded to dust fourteen thousand times over, were it not for the dedicated efforts of our reverend brother scribes.
I care not for arguments about what opioid religion is for the masses, or the evidence for God in science - I have made my life’s work delving deeper into the sciences and I’ve yet to see a face greet me other than my own reflection.
My faith tells me that I come closer to God by knowing myself and my purpose. That God has a plan, and that its by his laws I must live. And it is good exercise for my faith, my mind, and my heart to reflect upon the question, “By what laws goes God exist?”