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thinkinginpictures
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22 Feb 2018, 1:55 pm

In the ancient world, a deity wasn't neccessarily all-powerful. They also suffered from in-fight and jealousy and several other foul human traits.

What characterized the deities however, was that they were simply exaggerated versions of human traits, personalization of the human psyche.

I believe that the same thing happened to Judaism and later Christianity:

Yahwe, the god of the jews, wasn't alone. He competed with many other ancient gods. You can read that in the Old Testament: "You shall not have any other gods besides me". The word "other" indicates there was indeed more than one deity.

Yahwe won, but not all of a sudden. Yawhe won and became the sole deity of the jews, over many, many generations.

Eventually he became the master and creator of the universe and all-powerful as the writings progressed as does fan-fiction to this day. The Old Testament was no exception. It too was composed of many books, today we would call it fan-fiction or something similar, where the writings are written by the fans and developed and still develops. Like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings etc.

Christianity broke with this tradition of a powerful deity - in a way we tend to forget.

In Christiniaty, Jesus (who is the son of God - or simply God) is not all-powerful. He isn't strong. He was weak. Not only that, the Christian God was portrayed as a weak, poor criminal who was executed for inciting rebellion.

Now, I don't believe Jesus was poor. I believe he was very well-educated and spoke fluid Greek, Aramaic and other ancient languages. Many of the sayings attributed to Jesus, shows signs of a well-scholared philosopher.

But try to think about the fact that he was actually a condemned criminal. And the fact that he died a horrible painful death (the resurrection story, was added much later, people tend to forget that too).

Now, why would anyone hold a criminal weakling as their deity?

The answer is firstly, although Jesus was a criminal, crime is simply breaking the law. And the Roman law was - lets face the facts: Injustice. I'm glad the Roman Empire is gone. If the law says "autistics should be executed for autism", it isn't the autistics who are the problem. It is the law.

Secondly even though Jesus was weak (and dead) the ethics Jesus taught are very valuable. We would be cruel barbarians if we didn't follow the ethics - at least partly - that Jesus taught. Not because Jesus taught them, but because this set of ethics are good for us - as humans, as society.

These include the ability to forgive, to love thy neighbor and taking care of those unable to take care of themselves.

I don't believe in the resurrection of Jesus. At least not the physical resurrection. And maybe Jesus didn't even exist but was simply a combination of many ancient philosophers woven into one. I don't know.

But I do know, if I should choose a deity hold dear, I certainly would NOT pick some kind of alpha-male pretending to be smart (Intelligent Design includes designing physical defects or nasty illnesses) then pretend to be blind and deaf as his followers pray to him.

I'd pick a loving, caring deity who wish me all the best - it would be nice if the deity could grant wishes, but it sure is better than the alpha-male-deity.



kraftiekortie
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22 Feb 2018, 2:53 pm

We WANT Him to be "all-powerful."

His "power" was the bulwark against all the uncertainty in the world, and was a reaction against the apparent anarchy (and decadence) of Roman times which were "overseen" by the ego-driven, vain Greek/Roman deities.

Rather similar, in some respects, to the Reformation, which sought to return religion "back" to its simplest elements. Worship of idols, and the usage of "indulgences" had taken hold of the clerical world, and rendered many of them decadent. We even had Popes who indulged in orgies.

People seem to feel that they are secure under the guidance of an "all-powerful, omniscient, omnipotent" being who is above all ego, all vanity.



thinkinginpictures
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22 Feb 2018, 3:09 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
We WANT Him to be "all-powerful."


kraftiekortie wrote:
People seem to feel that they are secure under the guidance of an "all-powerful, omniscient, omnipotent" being who is above all ego, all vanity.


Putin, Xi Jinping and Kim Jong Un are like this. I definitely don't want any of those to be my god! Not by any chance!

What you describe as "security under the guidance of an all-powerful, omniscient, omnipotent being" sounds more like an evil dictator. More like the devil, that is.



kraftiekortie
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22 Feb 2018, 7:05 pm

That is all that the Christian God is supposed to be.

In essence, people want a Supreme Being who does no wrong.

By the way, I'm an atheist.



Pepe
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22 Feb 2018, 7:16 pm

Guy, you aren't discussing an actual "god"...
You are talking about a concept of a god derived from fallible, ignorant human beings...
Of course the concept is broken...

What we need to do is scrap the crap and start again in defining what a god "should" be, rather than justifying an inconsistent, irrational and outdated concept...

But then, if we do manage to define an Uber-god, how do we justify the mess we find us in?

<thinks to self: A god who rejects responsibility for a messed up system that "he" created and then lets his creation take the fall?...Contemptible......>


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techstepgenr8tion
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22 Feb 2018, 10:27 pm

I was going through a ream of Styxhexenhammer666's lectures on the occult and occult books (every bit as good as his political op-eds) and I think he raised a really good point on this.

Judaism was henotheistic, ie. they believed in other deities - just that they were evil and to be conquered. Therefore the deity who is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent can take all comers. While Greece, Rome, and Alexandria were relatively cosmopolitan and had very synchretic views, such as the idea that everyone's pantheon of dieties mirrored everyone else's pantheon of deities and were to be mutually respected, there probably were a lot of places where people had it in them to make their deity rule all others and it sounds like the Old Testament was one such classic example.

I think it also helps that between 0 AD and 500 AD southern Europe was already heading toward monotheism anyway by way of Neoplatonist pantheism/emanationism so Christianity was also able to shoehorn some of that in albeit they generally took what they liked and then kept the Augustinian grid-iron face-off between Jesus and Satan which put a very Zoroastrian sort of spin on things.


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Piobaire
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24 Feb 2018, 10:10 am

Because having an imaginary friend is more fun when they have super powers.



Pepe
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24 Feb 2018, 6:37 pm

Piobaire wrote:
Because having an imaginary friend is more fun when they have super powers.


:lmao:


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I'm a thinker. Some think I'm a stinker. Pepe le Pew. ;)
Down with big business!...
I'm not here to change the world...There isn't a big enough soiled nappy bin... ;)
Autistic/scout motto: "Give me a better argument and I will listen..."
"Honesty is not a social duty, not a sacrifice for the sake of others, but the most profoundly selfish virtue man can practice: his refusal to sacrifice the reality of his own existence to the deluded consciousness of others."
Truth may be inconvenient but it is never politically incorrect...The Oracle of Truth has spoken...8) I'm a rationalist...Deal with it...:mrgreen:


VIDEODROME
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24 Feb 2018, 7:59 pm

Was Jesus a condemned criminal just to carry out the act of being a 'Scapegoat' for human Sin? Not sure how I even feel about that in terms of teaching Ethics.

As for God, he seems to be part of an expanding Tautology as a character that is powerful but also abstract.

Something something.....

'God is powerful because he created everything.' / 'How can all this exist without a powerful God creator behind it?'

That could be stated a little better, but as our understanding of the world increases significantly, more responsibility for creation gets heaped upon this God being if the story really is that he/she/it is responsible for everything.



naturalplastic
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24 Feb 2018, 8:21 pm

*A* god doesn't have to be all powerful if the deity is part of a polytheistic pantheon of many gods (like the gods of Olympus, or of Valhalla).

But if you are going to be monotheistic, and chuck small gods that look after individual forces of nature, while at the same time not going all of the way to atheism, and go with there being one entity that rules the Universe, and was its creator then your god pretty much has to be all powerful by definition.

He has take care of everything in the Universe by himself after all.



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24 Feb 2018, 10:35 pm

VIDEODROME wrote:
Was Jesus a condemned criminal just to carry out the act of being a 'Scapegoat' for human Sin? Not sure how I even feel about that in terms of teaching Ethics.

Zactly...
VIDEODROME wrote:
As for God, he seems to be part of an expanding Tautology as a character that is powerful but also abstract.

Something something.....

'God is powerful because he created everything.' / 'How can all this exist without a powerful God creator behind it?'

How arrogant these mortals be...

Lawrence Krauss said it nicely by pointing out how humans can't fully understand quantum science because evolution "saw no need" to create a biological entity that could...
It wasn't necessary for the mindless evolutionary procreation process to understand such concepts...

We may not fully understand how and why life, the universe and everything were formed and to what purpose, but we can use our God-given gift of reason to fill in the blanks and to reason he probably doesn't exist... :wink:


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I'm a thinker. Some think I'm a stinker. Pepe le Pew. ;)
Down with big business!...
I'm not here to change the world...There isn't a big enough soiled nappy bin... ;)
Autistic/scout motto: "Give me a better argument and I will listen..."
"Honesty is not a social duty, not a sacrifice for the sake of others, but the most profoundly selfish virtue man can practice: his refusal to sacrifice the reality of his own existence to the deluded consciousness of others."
Truth may be inconvenient but it is never politically incorrect...The Oracle of Truth has spoken...8) I'm a rationalist...Deal with it...:mrgreen:


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27 Feb 2018, 6:06 pm

God is still all-powerful within his ever shrinking gaps. As the gaps shrink, their god becomes smaller :lol:


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bunnyb
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01 Mar 2018, 12:46 am

VIDEODROME wrote:

As for God, he seems to be part of an expanding Tautology as a character that is powerful but also abstract.

Something something.....

'God is powerful because he created everything.' / 'How can all this exist without a powerful God creator behind it?'

That could be stated a little better


I think perhaps you are trying to explain the ontological leap which is I something I have never been able to make. The ontological argument for the existence of God is that God is that which nothing greater can be thought of, ergo He must exist in the mind, even in the mind of the person who denies the existence of God and if he exists in the mind then he must exist in reality because nothing greater can be thought, finis. Which I think is a pretty cr#p argument really.


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01 Mar 2018, 4:27 am

If one believes in evolution, one would by necessity accept that there was a stage in the development towards personkind where the brain was incapable of creating the God concept...

Anthropologists have been able to approximate, based on the discovery of non-essential items such as shell necklaces, and the development of the skull indicating the evolution of the pre-frontal cortex, when the concept of God came into existence...

It was only after the development of the pre-frontal cortex that God came into existence...
From memory, but don't quote me, I think they said this happened about 65 thousand years ago...

In conclusion:
Assuming the anthropologists are correct, God is the manifestation of a part of the evolved brain which happened around 65k years ago...
Thus, humanity begot God...
And is responsible for the existence of an all-powerful being concept...
Not too shabby, huh?... :mrgreen:


_________________
I'm a thinker. Some think I'm a stinker. Pepe le Pew. ;)
Down with big business!...
I'm not here to change the world...There isn't a big enough soiled nappy bin... ;)
Autistic/scout motto: "Give me a better argument and I will listen..."
"Honesty is not a social duty, not a sacrifice for the sake of others, but the most profoundly selfish virtue man can practice: his refusal to sacrifice the reality of his own existence to the deluded consciousness of others."
Truth may be inconvenient but it is never politically incorrect...The Oracle of Truth has spoken...8) I'm a rationalist...Deal with it...:mrgreen:


techstepgenr8tion
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01 Mar 2018, 7:36 am

General animism may have happened sooner and been a biproduct of our own self-awareness at pretty much whatever point that kicked in. Essentially to see motion in ourselves, and then motion in the universe, the intuition would follow that most things would have agency as we would. The God concept would be an expansion on that, possibly catalyzed and strengthened by the expansion of the frontal lobe you suggested (IMHO you may have needed towns or cities for the proper 'our God' concept to kick in), but from archaeologists digging up neanderthal burial sites and the like it seems suggestive that at least the rudimentary concepts of spirits inhabiting nature (ie. other portions of the religious impulse) would indeed antedate this point.


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