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Creation: Why? [Aug. 30th, 2008|01:51 am]
Wise Tits

wise_tits

[hahahasyyke]
Okay, so supposing God exists as the creator, there's a question that pretty much goes unanswered which is "why?"

The most reasonable answer I can think of would be entertainment. There's this existing being chillin' all over all that is, and he's like "Okay, let's do this..." Because it's like this ongoing sitcom that he can get off on watching because we're all clueless creatures, pondering philosophical things and his very existence.

But they say that God is perfect, and though the idea of perfection is pretty ambiguous, I think my understanding of the term would insist there's a huge contradiction. If God, again supposing he exists, is perfect, then he wouldn't NEED or WANT. If one needs or wants something, then everything can't be perfect. If it were, then why need or want? (I'm doing a circle, I know...)

And then there's the whole question, why is it that God's whole existence seems to revolve only around what's going on here on earth? I mean, there's this whole universe, and I suppose there could be more outside of this univers, why don't we hear about God's activity outside of the human race? Why does he only address us?

And back to the whole entertainment theory: How could it possibly be all that entertaining when he already knows what's going on, supposedly. If I go and pick up a movie and knew everything in the movie, word for word, minute by minute, every gesture, every facial expression EXACTLY - EVERY - DETAIL, how is that even entertaining anymore?

None of this is really solid, but the more I discuss one part, it leads me into another.

AND, for crying out loud, WHY do we question every single possibility when we know that no other human could possibly contain a definite answer - and if they COULD, why would we believe them over the other people who think they know the "true" answer to it all?
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Comments:
From: d_h_belmont
2008-08-31 04:16 am (UTC)
I've never agreed with the concept of the Christian God. For as omnipotent as he/she/it is, he/she/it acts and thinks in such human terms, which creates these almost unanswerable questions. I also find it funny how this God, in the Book of Exodus, calls himself a "jealous God", which would suggest jealousy is some sort of aspect of goodness and perfection. What a riot.

To your first question, I turn to an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (AT LAST! MY FIRST POSTED REFERENCE TO STAR TREK!) where Data gets to meet his creator, Dr. Soong, shortly before Soong is murdered by Data's "twin", Lore. Data asked the doctor why he felt compelled to create him. Soong replied "Why does a painter paint? Why does a boxer box? The same need was there with me." One might look at it in the same way with a God. Of course, I think if there was a purpose to our existence it is probably beyond our current range of comprehension.

Oh, if we knew about other life forms across the universe, we'd realize we weren't so special after all and a good portion of us can't stand the idea of having so much in common as a lowly amoeba, so they'd report to the nearest closet and hang themselves.

As for the "universe" not being entertaining, one would have to think that this God came up with the concept of entertainment, too, of course, that ties into the whole thing I said in the beginning.

Finally, I think it's in our nature to question the world around us. Whether it be nature or chance or something else, animals have been given fantastic abilities to defend and attack. For us, humans have been given a brain. We constantly process data and think abstractly. Of course we're going to tackle the impossible questions. Lots of neat beneficial stuff can come out of talks like this.
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[User Picture]From: jesuismeursault
2008-08-31 08:12 pm (UTC)
maybe we should start talking about god like he's more along the lines of someone like zeus. here was a guy with the full range of human emotions and foibles (lust, wrath, envy, gluttony...actually, all the seven deadly sins are represented, haha). he did get bored, though he didn't go around creating worlds or anything; he usually just raped some mortal woman and created demigod bastard children. yeah, i'm getting off topic.

anyway, i've asked some of the same questions that you've posed in this post at various times in my life. usually when i ask a theist some of them, i am eventually given the same answer: god is so perfect and so godlike, that our puny little mortal minds cannot possibly comprehend such perfection. in other words, there's no reason asking questions about it because we won't be able to come up with the answers and, even if we could, we could not ever hope to understand those answers. honestly, i think this is BS, because god is described in strictly human terms, as you mentioned.

as for myself, i don't believe that god exists, so i don't see a contradiction. i do, however, enjoy talking about religion and hearing other people's thoughts on the matter, especially those who believe in it.
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From: d_h_belmont
2008-08-31 09:30 pm (UTC)
Personally, I'm a fan of the flying spaghetti monster.

I hope someday, someone creates a religion where the Gods are actually dumber, weaker, and more flawed then their creations. How does that work, you may ask? The creations were a total accident... AND... I hope in this new religion, they incorporate the plot to "The Gods Must Be Crazy".

I wouldn't call myself a Christian, but I'll have really engaging conversations on biblical matters. The sad thing (or maybe not... maybe it's just irony... but then again, maybe it's not that either) is, more times than not, non-believers know more about and have a better knowledge and critical comprehension of the Bible that those who claim to believe everything in said book.
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[User Picture]From: jesuismeursault
2008-09-01 07:30 am (UTC)
oh, yes, i've found that too. as a non-believer, i have studied the bible and religion much more than any theist i've ever had the pleasure of conversing with, besides my professors, of course. it always bewilders me how little theists will read the bible given that they think it is the most important text in the universe and holds the secret to their salvation. i actually had a discussion with one man and, upon mentioning st. paul (i was taking a christian meets greek class, so had lots of new knowledge on the subject), he retorted with: st. who?. i was shocked to hear this. how can you be so militant and sure about your beliefs and know nothing about what you believe? if i were a theist, i would want to know everything about god and the history of my religion. i want to know everything about it now, but mostly so i can give a better, more informed argument.

and i just saw the gods must be crazy the other day for the first time. great movie...
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From: d_h_belmont
2008-09-01 07:43 pm (UTC)
That movie almost makes me cry; I'm envious of those tribeman. The opening talks about how we created technology and became industrialized with the intention of making life easier, but it only backfired. I agree with that statement completely, but please don't take my internet away. The movie's portrayal is a bit innacurate. By the time that movie had made, those particular tribe (who's name I can't recall at this moment) had already had numerous encounters with "civilization" and were in the midst of being assimilated by it.

The St. Paul thing is hilarious and not surprising... and a little sad, too. What I find obnoxious is how people will claim they "believe everything in the bible" when there's subject matter that contradicts other things written, plus there are things in the bible that are just downright unacceptable in our world today. How many of these people steer clear of women if they're on their periods? How many think it's okay to stone their lazy child to death? What about that contradiction in the Bible where at first, God tells man to be "fruitful and multiply" when supposedly, Adam's mate hadn't been created yet (I'll save the real world explanation for this, as well as anything to do with Lilith for some other conversation)...

Moving on to another "what's in the bible" topic, I think it's fascinating how many Christians have this idea of what hell is supposed to be like and little do they realize that what they're thinking of doesn't come from the bible at all, but instead from Dante's Inferno. Same goes for the seven deadly sins. More evidence they either don't read their bible or don't get it.

No offense to anyone here in this community.
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[User Picture]From: jesuismeursault
2008-09-02 04:21 am (UTC)
i took a problem of evil class once and it was filled with both atheists and theists. it made for interesting conversation. we learned about one theodicy, which was called the soul building theodicy. basically it says that everyone makes it to heaven; some people just take longer than others. it is very eastern. a person continues to live different lives until he/she has attained the perfect relationship with god, then he/she goes to heaven. this can take one lifetime or a thousand. i liked the sound of this theodicy, because it lacked the fire and brimstone that seems a necessary component to christianity. well, other people in the class did not like it. the theists felt that it was BS that both hitler and mother theresa ended up in heaven, though the former would take thousands of years to get there whereas the latter would ascend immediately after death. from what they said, it seemed heaven just would not be enjoyable without the knowledge of others suffering in hell. i found this both amusing and horrifying. what does this say about a person, that he/she cannot be happy for eternity without knowing others are suffering in the eternal fires of hell?

and can't we just include dante's inferno among the writings of the new testament?
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From: d_h_belmont
2008-09-02 05:34 am (UTC)
I first heard of that type of reincarnation a long long time ago. I find it sort of strange that said theists can't accept the idea of Hitler one day joining them in heaven. What about all that preaching about forgiveness? I tend to think that if there is an afterlife, and if it's supposed to be eternal, even the most atrocious crimes against humanity would eventually seem trivial. You would imagine in this lovely afterlife, that all the suffering would be gone, and people would have a sense of peace and tranquility, and so you would think because the victims would eventually have found peace and moved on that these "evil" people wouldn't need to suffer for eternity... um... if someone was in hell for eternity... wouldn't all they just get numb to the pain and horror after a while? After all, it's ETERNAL... unless the suffering just leads to an infinite amount of ennui.

"Yeah, yeah, you're a demon and you're poking me with that pitchfork... and yeah, yeah... it's hot and my flesh is burning... uh, huh. *YAWN!*...

Christianity has an unhealthy obsession with suffering. Maybe I should go write about it in the other post you started.

And to ask your last question, you might as well. I never read inferno, but I read a detailed synopsis, and from what I got from that, it sounded incredibly awful. I don't care how much clever symbolism was stuffed into it, it still sucked. In fact, people used to share my opinion for several hundred years, but then, in recent centuries, it sorta fell back into popularity in terms of how it influences literature and things of that nature.

I want to take that "Problem of Evil" class. I'd have a ball.
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[User Picture]From: jesuismeursault
2008-09-02 06:32 am (UTC)
i like sartre's version of hell in no exit. being surrounded by people you do not want to talk to for all eternity would certainly torture me to no end.

as a general rule, christians (at least the one's i've met) are not that forgiving. i guess their god forgives all (well, sort of, since hell exists), but they do not. and people must suffer in hell for heaven to be good.

i've never read dante's inferno either. i've meant to, but it's a daunting endeavour...
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From: d_h_belmont
2008-09-02 08:04 am (UTC)
That's actually kinda what I've said about hell for years. I wouldn't want to spend eternity with those kinds of people who think they are so much better than everyone else and so narrow minded. I'd find an eternity of interaction with these people extremely frustrating and painful... I don't mean to pick on Christians in this community, in fact, in recent years, I've made close friends with some who are absolutely wonderful... but there are a lot of aspects of that religion, not so much the religion itself but what it really is today in our society, that has caused a lot of grief and irritation.

About four years ago, I was up late and caught one of those... I don't know if I would call it a television show, but it wasn't quite an infomercial, but it was on religious stuff, and here was this Christian minister proclaiming that hell as we knew it does not exist in the bible. In fact, it was what first informed me that a lot of the "hell" elements came from Inferno. In his interpretations, which made more sense to me, "the wages for sin" is death, not death and eternity in hell. The soul is destroyed, and that's that. Seemed like "hell" is a composite of four different places, two of them referring to actual places that served as essentially large garbage dump sites that were on fire, and another being a place for fallen angels. I don't remember what the fourth place was.

Continuing with the idea of people coming forward claiming the common perception of Christian beliefs don't match the bible, there was this article on CNN.com where this Bishop was saying that many Christians had this bad interpretation of the afterlife. He claimed that after death was a sort of "resting period" before the time came to construct the new world, which I have to say, sounds more interesting than the "paradise" concept. Paradise, like Hell, would get awfully boring after a billion years, and this is assuming there is a heaven that matches most people's perception. I would hope that if there is an afterlife, that it involves becoming more than just a ghost in the sky. I would hope that it would be an advancement, a transition to a next phase of existance, much as going from being a zygote to being an actual person.

In fact, if there is supposed to be a purpose to this life, I would imagine it being quite like the nine months of being inside a womb in that this life may be something pre-natal to something on a "higher" plane of existence.

But this is all speculation and thought, nothing I "firmly" believe in or don't believe in.

...And I suppose it was only a matter of time before Samuel L. Jackson showed his face in this community. He's in everything, you know...

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[User Picture]From: jesuismeursault
2008-09-02 11:00 am (UTC)
hmmm...that's an interesting way to think of things. i can't say i've ever considered this life as a kind of development for the next. it's kind of novel, though i personally believe that once we die, that's it. no do-over, no passing go, and no collecting 200 dollars. but it's intriguing, much the same way i found the soul-building theodicy intriguing...
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From: d_h_belmont
2008-09-02 07:43 pm (UTC)
I don't think I have a definite personal belief on what happens when we die, especially since there's no way to prove it one way or another, but when I think about death, I don't see an afterlife there waiting for me. I see it as simply THE END.

However, if there is an after life, then it surely must be connected to this life somehow. Why screw around on Earth for a hundred years and follow it up with an eternity somewhere else if there's no point to being on Earth first? I can't quite describe what we learn or how we grow that leads us to "the next level", except that it's just that stuff we learn in life, and maybe it's a prerequisite for going to the next life, kinda tying it into the whole "soul building" idea to mentioned earlier, and just like with a class, some people advance quicker than others...

Although I kinda find the idea of reincarnation unpleasant. How does one make progress when all the stuff they've learned gets erased and you have to start ALL OVER, learning EVERYTHING ALL OVER again, and doing EVERYTHING THE HARD WAY ALL OVER AGAIN. What if in this life, you were a humble sage, and you almost made it to the next level, but there was something you missed and you have to live again... only in the next human life, you've wound up as Paris Hilton. Good luck getting where you need to be in THAT life. Or maybe the knowledge is still there, but buried. Much as I don't want to believe in reincarnation, sometimes, I get the feeling I've done this shit a number of times before. I think my perspectives on the world and life are definitely atypical for someone my age, and a lot of advice I dole out to people always has that horrible tendency to sound like an after school special or like something an old person would say... but I'm sure we all get that feeling at least once.

But another thing about reincarnation that I find depressing is that while there is something "beyond" this life, it means that at the same time, the connections between loved ones are meaningless, because while I may be with the love of my life here, in the next life, we'd probably be perfect strangers. In fact, I feel it diminishes a lot of things about who we are... unless, of course, those things are carried over, too.

Damn, how does one go about ending a post like this?

How about... like... THIS?
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From: you_lied
2008-09-03 02:28 am (UTC)
Hmm. I'm honestly not very educated on religion at all. I'm not sure how this reply is going to turn out so I'm gonna just start, run with it, and see where I end up.

I believe in God, I believe in Jesus, I believe in being a good person. Don't ask me why, because I don't think I have an answer. It's just something that I feel inside, something I think, something I believe in it. It feels right. I have not always believed, so I have been on both sides. This is possibly some ingrained human defense system where these beliefs are solely for the comfort of my own brain. If so, then so be it.

With that being said I guess I don't care why. If I'm right then I'm gonna have a good afterlife, if God doesn't exist and nothing happens when you die then it doesn't matter anyway, hopefully I lived a good life and enjoyed it, and if I am wrong and there actually is a God but not the one I believe in and I go to hell then the same applies hopefully I lived a good life and enjoyed it and I will be in that hell bitching about how unfair it is because how could I have done right by that God if I never was able to know about it.

My thoughts are feeling very, very scrambled. I'm going to stop because I'm starting to get a bit frustrated with my own brain.
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