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God = the universe

Debate Information

First off I’d like to come clean and state that I’m actually more atheist than anything else. That said, I’d be a lousy philosopher to ignore religion entirely so I’ve spent inordinate amounts of time reading about and contemplating its many avenues of thought and what I’ve determined after decades of analysis is that everyone is correct. No matter your opinion on god, you’re at least metaphorically accurate in our known universe (possibly literally accurate in some unknown universe) 

What I mean is that the universe is capable of doing everything that gods are said to be. It creates life, it’s timeless but contains time, its essence gives rise to laws which absolutely must be obeyed at all times, it has a plan for everyone, it causes all natural catastrophes, and so on and so on. Even destiny can simply be explained by the predetermined outcome as a sum of all prior events which are caused by natural law (the universe) 

The truest perspective on the matter, though, in my humble opinion, can’t ever be obtained by an individual. Imagine two philosophers, one on top of a transparent glass table and the other beneath it. On the table spins a quarter. The philosopher above the quarter says absolutely that the quarter spins clockwise. The philosopher below scoffs and smugly maintains that it rotates counter clockwise. This analogy might seam simple and pointless on its surface but it actually does a great job of describing how subjective interpretation of the universe around us can be. It also makes me wonder if I might have been one of these foolish philosophers arguing about something that they were both correct about. We observe the (at least) four dimensional  world (universe) in three dimensions and from only one perspective. It follows that we could be wrong from any other perspective but still correct. If god = the universe, then it can only be understood by the sum of all perspectives in the universe over the course of an eternity, since that sum would be the closest thing to a four dimensional perspective. Which kinda drives the assumption that only god can truly comprehend god (or the universe if you like) and would explain why no pious man has yet been able to simply explain what god actually is or what its motivation might be

It also insulates the science man from embarrassment in much the same way since it would be unrealistic to expect any single person to have these answers about something they observe in less dimensions than it operates 

Another way to bolster my argument that god and the universe are the same thing and that we’re all correct and incorrect simultaneously, would be to tell the tale of Socrates and Chaerephon (hope I spelled that correctly). Although this tale too is told by a single author and might be subject to flawed reasoning in some other perspective. But it’s a great tale

So Chaerephon was supposedly a friend of Socrates. One day he ventured out to speak to the Oracle of Delphi to inquire who was the wisest man in Greece. To which the oracle responded “there is no one wiser than Socrates”

Chaerephon felt it mandatory to inform Socrates of this, obviously, but Socrates was not pleased by the information. Instead he was in disbelief. He wanted proof so he went out and, naturally, questioned those who were considered to be wise. In his endeavor, he learned that everyone who claimed to be wise actually wasn’t. They only believed they were. 
His conclusion? The oracle was correct. But not because he arrogantly accepted the title out of competitive desire. He believed it because he was the only person who knew he wasn’t truly wise, paradoxically making him wiser than everyone else

Let me know what you think about this. Is God just a metaphor for the universe? Or is the universe a metaphor for God? Or am I way off? 

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  • PlaffelvohfenPlaffelvohfen 2318 Pts   -  

    You're trying to make an argument for pantheism or panentheism ? The first holds that the divine and the universe are identical and the second is the belief that the divine pervades and interpenetrates every part of the universe and also extends beyond time and space... Both seem strange positions after stating you're more atheist than anything... I would have thought you'd go for deism / pandeism, but you seem to include "intent or conscious will" in the list of attribute that this god/universe would have, which is at odds with being an atheist in my opinion... 

    " Adversus absurdum, contumaciter ac ridens! "
  • billbatardbillbatard 133 Pts   -  
    The passion for destruction is also a creative passion. Mikhail Bakunin

  • billbatardbillbatard 133 Pts   -  
    The passion for destruction is also a creative passion. Mikhail Bakunin

  • George_HorseGeorge_Horse 492 Pts   -  
    How exactly does a deity manifest in the form of our universe? What things, like cosmological events, seem to be probable evidence that the universe works under the control of a intelligent, supreme being?
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? " ~Epicurus

    "A communist is like a crocodile" ~Winston Churchill

    We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.~Orson Welles
  • AlofRIAlofRI 1287 Pts   -  
    One reason I am an atheist is what we have found out about the universe.
    Why would any "god" create something that stretches light years into infinity? Why "create" planets and stars so far away, some of them hundreds of times larger than our own, with no inhabitants, that have no imaginable use to us? Why "cause them" to collapse, explode, burn out, when, without our technology we would never know it was happening? 

    Some of us thought at one time that Neptune "ruled" the seas, That Zeus ruled, that Mars ruled, that Odin ruled, that ……… whomever ruled whatever.
    Now we have a "god" that rules the universe … and everything else. 
    Nope, I'm sticking with "the natural god" ….. we COULD call it Mother Nature, or whatever you want. Let's just not divide her up and fight over which part is the REAL part! We've done that with this universal god, and people die.
  • AlofRIAlofRI 1287 Pts   -  
    "It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is, than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring". Carl Sagan

    "It is the experience of mystery - even if mixed with fear - that engendered religion." Al Einstein
  • anarchist100anarchist100 332 Pts   -  
    Do you not believe in aliens?
  • Happy_KillbotHappy_Killbot 4217 Pts   -  

    Pantheism is basically just materialism but with extra steps which serve no purpose beyond the contents of the beliefs that hold them to be true. Pantheism and materialism make exactly the same predictions and conclusions about reality, but with pantheism we need to introduce a god in order to hold this view. The purpose of a god in the universe is unnecessary as it is possible that the universe could exist with or without one, so this is an extra assumption that need not be made in order to have a functional view of the universe.

    On a meta level, the god of pantheism does serve a purpose as it gives meaning to the actual beliefs that hold them, for example the Stoic philosophy is empiricist and materialistic, but some scholars claim that you can not be a true Stoic unless you are a pantheist, as this creates a reason for everything that happens, specifically that the process of physics is ultimately good and for an ultimate purpose.
    Let me know what you think about this. Is God just a metaphor for the universe? Or is the universe a metaphor for God? Or am I way off? 
    The universe is not a metaphor, that second question doesn't make any sense.

    As an atheist, I don't see any way that pantheism makes sense, as it requires extra assumptions that are meaningless, and would necessarily imply some unsavory realities, such as cancer and the deaths of the dinosaurs to be somehow "good" is some ultimate, purposeful sense. I find this to be utterly ridiculous and inconceivable.
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation,
    Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root.
    Through a long process of evolution this life 
    developed into the human race.
    Humans conquered fire, built complex societies and advanced technology .

    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 3702 Pts   -  
    I think that this interpretation does not really say anything. If Universe = god, then you just made a new definition for god, and did not make any factual statement.

    When people talk about god, they mean a pretty specific thing: an existence of an intelligent being that, to some extent, runs the Universe directly, manually. A being that can decide to make some change in the Universe and do so. The Universe itself, as far as we know, is not intelligent (or, at least, has not shown any signs of being intelligent), and every observation we have ever made with it can be explained through physics, or, at least, appears to be explainable through physics (perhaps, some of which we are yet to figure out). There has been nothing that appeared so out of the ordinary following of the laws we have so far discovered that would suggest that the Universe exhibits any conscious behaviors.

    Now, I certainly do not believe myself to be smarter than every single religious individual out there. Many of them are much more smarter than me. Desmond Tutu, for example, is miles above me in terms of smartness, knowledge and intelligence, and he is a deep Anglican Christian believer, and was even the archbishop of Cape Town for a number of years.

    I do think, however, that on this specific question they all are deeply wrong. They may invoke very complex arguments to justify god's existence, but they all are rooted in a shaky foundation. At the end of the day, they try to hide with complex reasoning the naked truth: that there has been no evidence found of any extraterrestrial intelligence in the Universe so far. Nothing tangible, nothing observable, nothing verifiable, nothing experimentally reproducible. You cannot substitute a lack of evidence with some high level sophistry and call it truth; it is not, it is a fantasy. Perhaps a very well crafted fantasy, but a fantasy nonetheless.

    Desmond Tutu would have done much more for South Africa and the world than he has, if he discarded the fallacious religious ideas and instead focused on human rights for the sake of human prosperity, without any consideration for mythical beings. I would also argue that religiousness of the founders of the US was one of the biggest reasons the country ultimately turned on itself and reverted back to the old statist state of affairs. When you root your defense of great ideas on a shaky foundation, then eventually the ideas will fall apart. One day people will dig down to the foundation, find it to be an illusion, and then the whole construction will be undone.
    If your defense of rights is grounded on the concept of "natural rights", which, in turn, are allegedly god-given, then people who do not believe (and justly so) in any gods will be right to question these rights - which is what they are increasingly actively doing now, including even many religious people who believe in a different version of Christianity than the Founding Fathers did.

    Religion has done an immense amount of harm to human civilization and has indirectly led to appearance of extreme counter-religious totalitarian ideologies. I have always believed that the biggest problem with religion is not what it says, but what it does to human mind: it replaces logic with sophistry, concreteness with vagueness. And on this shaky ground, any ridiculous utopian ideology can arise and lead to a bloodshed.
  • ZeusAres42ZeusAres42 Emerald Premium Member 1751 Pts   -   edited February 21
    I thought this might have been advocating for some kind of scientific divine. A Scientific divine doesn't contradict the statement about being an Atheist since an Atheist is someone who doesn't believe in a Theos as depicted in Theism. But it does sound a lot like Deism. I.E some kind of divine that is beyond our human comprehension.

    And I don't think we will ever find out what's beyond us. It's kind of like we're imprisoned in some square room with no entry and no exit. And all we can ever do is ponder and theorize what's beyond this square room.

  • AlofRIAlofRI 1287 Pts   -  
    Do you not believe in aliens?
    There is far more evidence that aliens have visited this Earth, than that a god created it. I would find it easier to believe that aliens exist than that a god exists.
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