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Does it matter if God exists?
Yes 26%  26%  [ 7 ]
No 41%  41%  [ 11 ]
Maybe 22%  22%  [ 6 ]
Sometimes 11%  11%  [ 3 ]
Something I forgot to but on the poll 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 27

Arcanyn
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14 Feb 2009, 1:53 am

I guess you do have a point there; it would be difficult to reason with a being who has an irrational tendency to vaporise those who disagree with it, even if you are much smarter. Nevertheless, if there were gods of lesser sophistication to us, it would still be possible for us to observe their behaviour and deduce their motives, and over time figure out enough of their psychology to be able to perhaps interact with them in favourable ways - even if this involves something much less sophisticated means than reasoning, like manipulating their vanity or whatever. In fact, it would be necessary to do so to ensure best chance of survival, so that you can think "okay, this action tends to make the god have a temper tantrum and make stars go supernova", or "this goddess tends to be less likely to immolate green objects, so if we give her a present, we should make sure it's green".



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14 Feb 2009, 1:58 am

Arcanyn wrote:
I guess you do have a point there; it would be difficult to reason with a being who has an irrational tendency to vaporise those who disagree with it, even if you are much smarter. Nevertheless, if there were gods of lesser sophistication to us, it would still be possible for us to observe their behaviour and deduce their motives, and over time figure out enough of their psychology to be able to perhaps interact with them in favourable ways - even if this involves something much less sophisticated means than reasoning, like manipulating their vanity or whatever.


Its more in line with manipulating dangerous forces like high voltage or intense radioactivity. Lots of experienced scientists have died or been injured by inadequate understanding of the dangers. I would be loathe to get into that.



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14 Feb 2009, 3:08 am

But you might not have a choice in this case - if a god becomes interested in you and what you're doing, you can hardly tell them to bugger off or get a restraining order against them. You'd have to aquire some understanding of their psychology, if you didn't want to accidentally upset them and wind up being magically transformed into a goat (or some other worse fate). Ideally, it would be best if you were able to avoid being noticed by them, but you still need to know the sorts of things the gods are most likely to notice, which is difficult if you're ignorant of their ways. And if you do encounter a hostile god, a Vlad the Impaler with magic powers, sitting tight and hoping that you're one of the lucky ones who he manages to overlook is probably something of a risky strategy - especially if this is a god who roasts entire planets, in which case what you personally do is irrelevant if any of the other 6 billion people on the planet does something to mildly annoy him. Your best shot would be to try to contact a rival god who is willing to protect you; and to do that you have to have some knowledge of the attitudes of the various gods. So, if there were gods, I'd say that there would be no escaping the need to collect as much intel on them as possible to maximise chances of survival; although it would probably be safer (at least initially) to adopt a passive spying approach rather than a direct interaction approach, so as to remain unnoticed for as long as possible.



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14 Feb 2009, 6:23 am

Arcanyn wrote:
But you might not have a choice in this case - if a god becomes interested in you and what you're doing, you can hardly tell them to bugger off or get a restraining order against them. You'd have to aquire some understanding of their psychology, if you didn't want to accidentally upset them and wind up being magically transformed into a goat (or some other worse fate). Ideally, it would be best if you were able to avoid being noticed by them, but you still need to know the sorts of things the gods are most likely to notice, which is difficult if you're ignorant of their ways. And if you do encounter a hostile god, a Vlad the Impaler with magic powers, sitting tight and hoping that you're one of the lucky ones who he manages to overlook is probably something of a risky strategy - especially if this is a god who roasts entire planets, in which case what you personally do is irrelevant if any of the other 6 billion people on the planet does something to mildly annoy him. Your best shot would be to try to contact a rival god who is willing to protect you; and to do that you have to have some knowledge of the attitudes of the various gods. So, if there were gods, I'd say that there would be no escaping the need to collect as much intel on them as possible to maximise chances of survival; although it would probably be safer (at least initially) to adopt a passive spying approach rather than a direct interaction approach, so as to remain unnoticed for as long as possible.


It's like asking what I would do if encountering a strange disease that no one ever encountered before. There is no way to get a quick answer on that one. One has to experiment and millions of people have lost their lives trying to outwit a strange virus, not to speak of a conscious malevolent being. The question is unanswerable.



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14 Feb 2009, 4:44 pm

NobelCynic wrote:
The question I would like to address is why, does it matter; would you do anything differently if you changed your opinion?

well, it does matter for more than one reason, as Orwell stated, the search for the truth, would be one thing that would matter for the sake of it.

Another issue is, if God exists, what kind of God would be? For example, what if God turns out to be the Christian God or better yet, what if God turns out to be the Old Testament God? that would matter much, considering that we would have to please God's wishes on how we should behave and all, or else face the consequences, which would be very unpleasant. If God is more benevolent than depicted in the OT (according to our current western standards) but always the Christian God, it would still matter, in the end, the promise of a paradisiacal afterlife depending on how you live this life is something ought to look for as part of pursuing happiness, eternal life and youth and putting an end to every type of suffering: disease, hunger, death, etc.


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14 Feb 2009, 6:40 pm

Lets say god exists, the only way this would matter, in this lifetime, is if it were an interventionist god that could be persuaded by prayer. Of course the existence of any god has major ramifications if there is an afterlife controlled by said god/s.

More important is the existence of the belief in gods, this does have major ramifications for society and the planet.


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Arcanyn
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15 Feb 2009, 4:16 am

Sand wrote:
It's like asking what I would do if encountering a strange disease that no one ever encountered before. There is no way to get a quick answer on that one. One has to experiment and millions of people have lost their lives trying to outwit a strange virus, not to speak of a conscious malevolent being. The question is unanswerable.


In such a situation you would at the very least want to keep your eyes open and learn as much about it as you can; noting the places where outbreaks of the disease have occurred (so you can avoid them), what symptoms people with the disease tend to show, etc. You'd want to know as much about the disease as you can so that you can avoid contracting it yourself. By observing it from a distance by noting its effects you can still acquire information that may be sufficient to save your life, even if you're not in the business of actively fighting the disease yourself. Likewise, if you were to encounter gods, it would be stupid to just ignore them. Much better to pay very close attention to what they do and how they behave, even if you intend to avoid interaction with them at all costs, so that you might have a better idea of what sort of actions will minimise your risks of being noticed. A god would inevitably reveal quite some information about itself just by interacting with the world (which it would have to do in order for us to know of its existence), and to ignore the information given when it does this would be akin to not bothering to watch any news bulletins when a deadly disease is ravaging the country, and carrying on life as if nothing untoward is happening, and not taking a single safety precaution to avoid infection.



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15 Feb 2009, 5:02 am

To be honest, i wouldn't care wether he existed or not

(Which he doesnt)

I think its just a ploy to scare people into behaving, and its also the worlds best mind control device =3

E.G: They use santa on little kids.
They use god on adults, well, the adults foolish enough to belive in him.

Yeah, its all bolloks in my opinion :)



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15 Feb 2009, 7:06 am

Arcanyn wrote:
Sand wrote:
It's like asking what I would do if encountering a strange disease that no one ever encountered before. There is no way to get a quick answer on that one. One has to experiment and millions of people have lost their lives trying to outwit a strange virus, not to speak of a conscious malevolent being. The question is unanswerable.


In such a situation you would at the very least want to keep your eyes open and learn as much about it as you can; noting the places where outbreaks of the disease have occurred (so you can avoid them), what symptoms people with the disease tend to show, etc. You'd want to know as much about the disease as you can so that you can avoid contracting it yourself. By observing it from a distance by noting its effects you can still acquire information that may be sufficient to save your life, even if you're not in the business of actively fighting the disease yourself. Likewise, if you were to encounter gods, it would be stupid to just ignore them. Much better to pay very close attention to what they do and how they behave, even if you intend to avoid interaction with them at all costs, so that you might have a better idea of what sort of actions will minimise your risks of being noticed. A god would inevitably reveal quite some information about itself just by interacting with the world (which it would have to do in order for us to know of its existence), and to ignore the information given when it does this would be akin to not bothering to watch any news bulletins when a deadly disease is ravaging the country, and carrying on life as if nothing untoward is happening, and not taking a single safety precaution to avoid infection.


Next time I run into a god I'll pay close attention.



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15 Feb 2009, 8:57 am

I answered 'Sometimes' because if you are just going about your everyday life then it doesn't really matter, but if something happens that needs people to act some people may act because they believe in God and want to go to Heaven when they would not have acted if they didn't. Also it matters which (if any) of the many religions is true at death because it makes a difference to what happens or doesn't happen.


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Sand
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15 Feb 2009, 9:21 am

BookReader wrote:
I answered 'Sometimes' because if you are just going about your everyday life then it doesn't really matter, but if something happens that needs people to act some people may act because they believe in God and want to go to Heaven when they would not have acted if they didn't. Also it matters which (if any) of the many religions is true at death because it makes a difference to what happens or doesn't happen.


I find it rather fascinating that people are eager to be transported to an afterlife which, according to all accounts, would be the dullest most boring existence imaginable. They seem totally at a loss for finding a meaning for their life on Earth and express no conception of what a meaningless eternity might be.



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15 Feb 2009, 9:54 am

Sand wrote:
BookReader wrote:
I answered 'Sometimes' because if you are just going about your everyday life then it doesn't really matter, but if something happens that needs people to act some people may act because they believe in God and want to go to Heaven when they would not have acted if they didn't. Also it matters which (if any) of the many religions is true at death because it makes a difference to what happens or doesn't happen.


I find it rather fascinating that people are eager to be transported to an afterlife which, according to all accounts, would be the dullest most boring existence imaginable. They seem totally at a loss for finding a meaning for their life on Earth and express no conception of what a meaningless eternity might be.

Personally I prefer the idea of reincarnation.


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Sand
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15 Feb 2009, 10:00 am

BookReader wrote:
Sand wrote:
BookReader wrote:
I answered 'Sometimes' because if you are just going about your everyday life then it doesn't really matter, but if something happens that needs people to act some people may act because they believe in God and want to go to Heaven when they would not have acted if they didn't. Also it matters which (if any) of the many religions is true at death because it makes a difference to what happens or doesn't happen.


I find it rather fascinating that people are eager to be transported to an afterlife which, according to all accounts, would be the dullest most boring existence imaginable. They seem totally at a loss for finding a meaning for their life on Earth and express no conception of what a meaningless eternity might be.

Personally I prefer the idea of reincarnation.


Although some people claim to have memories of a previous life I find the concept of no value whatsoever. I am my memories and I have no memory of a previous life so if I lose my memories I might as well disappear totally. The mere increase of human population in the past centuries precludes the possibility of a previous life.



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15 Feb 2009, 10:03 am

I never understood when pepople say that if you dont belive in God then why be kind to your fellow man....


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15 Feb 2009, 10:05 am

There are some people who would be kind anyway, but there are also people who would probably need there to be something in it for them in order to be kind. They for some reason see heaven as something they want.


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