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  1. #1
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Did "God" come first or did the human mind?

    I have yet to find a sound justification for why one can assume that "God" preceded the human mind.

    I have asked many this question, wanting to find an answer, haven't received any satisfactory answer as of yet.

    Given that the human mind is proven, I believe that the concept of god rose out of that. Until and unless, this position is falsified [dang hard if ya think about it, cuz we're all limited to the human mind], I hold on to this.

    My greatest awe, fear AND reverence, is for the potential of the human mind. Thus, by extention, of the human being.


    Hence, I'm in awe of our collective imaginations [and its potential: such as conceiving the unexplainable, the beyond, the more, the 'ever-present', the 'ever-goodness', someone greater than us to look out for ourselves, someone greater than ourselves to aim to please, idealize, answer to, as "God"]. I believe that in a way, we as a collective human conscious, are subconsciously fearing the [unknown]limits of our human minds when we conceive "God". It is the mind's limit approaching infinity...this "god".

    My spirituality comes from finding and doing goodness, keeping respect for all (beings, things)around me, at the forefront. I am not nice just because being nice is nice. My niceness has an end in mind; it is because I have an inkling that someone, some-thing, will benefit from my kindness. In this I find my spirituality. Progressing towards a result that helps rather than hinder. As globally as I can conceive.

    If asked, I tell people I do not believe in god, so I guess I can be classified as an 'atheist'. But, the above is a more sound explanation of my position. I also was brought up in Eastern religious philosophy. It [and all other religious works] is highly intriguing for me to read as a philosophical piece. To that end, I believe in certain ways, to the karmic bounce; if only to maintain an overall equilibrium, must it be so (hence, exist).

  2. #2
    Senior Member Grayscale's Avatar
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    Qre:us you seem like a knowledgeble fellow so I am curious about your perspective... out of respect for the OPs request if you would not like to respond that is fine. I don't care to debate, I am just extremely curious about this subject.

    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    Did "God" come first or did the human mind?

    I have yet to find a sound justification for why one can assume that "God" preceded the human mind.
    Wouldn't this apply to many things in the universe, and as an extension of that, the hypothetical creator of the universe? I.e., for example, the countless galaxies that existed not only before we discovered them but before even we existed. Were they not there if we couldn't see them with our own eyes? To me this is an inkling of what God is, it seems too often it is us who does not understand the concept of infinite. I don't understand why belief in God is considered the choice of "faith", it seems to me those who believe otherwise are throwing out the most likely explanation for our present state of being for lack of scientific proof that we can't hope to ever gather.

    I understand where these people come from... we do not want to believe something for nothing, but if God exists He is not just something, and I think existence of God is far more probable than not. We liken such acknowledgement to ignorant belief of a child that his or her parents will live forever because that's the way they want it to be. On the contrary, I think human motive in the matter is to not believe God exists despite the evidence so we can continue believing we are our own, because even wanting to explain our origins is a sub-motive to that. "Faith like a child" refers to the fact that as we get older we are less likely to distinguish between hypothetically infinite from reality of earth.

    Even now here we are, humans, hypothesizing on the existence or non-existence of something far, far, far beyond our comprehension. What man will point to another and acknowledge him superior in every way? Our minds are already made up here, finding faith in the unseen depends how much of our own "insights" we are willing to let go of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    I am not nice just because being nice is nice. My niceness has an end in mind; it is because I have an inkling that someone, some-thing, will benefit from my kindness.
    That is rather... nice of you! I am guessing you want someone else to benefit from your kindness because that strikes you as right? It seems to me that without God morality serves no Darwinian purpose. Kinda like, when the parents are away the kids will play... but does it really make any difference whether we break the lamp if mom and dad ain't ever coming home? From a strictly scientific perspective my life is all that should matter to me, and in fact many people are this selfish but despite that some still concede to an 'arbitrary' moral sense of wrong and right. Who is the fittest of the two? Why do we even have morality is it doesn't fit anywhere in our self-first nature?

  3. #3
    Intriguing.... Quinlan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grayscale View Post
    That is rather... nice of you! I am guessing you want someone else to benefit from your kindness because that strikes you as right? It seems to me that without God morality serves no Darwinian purpose. Kinda like, when the parents are away the kids will play... but does it really make any difference whether we break the lamp if mom and dad ain't ever coming home? From a strictly scientific perspective my life is all that should matter to me, and in fact many people are this selfish but despite that some still concede to an 'arbitrary' moral sense of wrong and right. Who is the fittest of the two? Why do we even have morality is it doesn't fit anywhere in our self-first nature?
    I think there is an evolutionary advantage in (what is commonly perceived as)moral behaviour, being kind builds a stronger community and stronger communities provide better (more stable) environments for our offspring to grow and carry on our genes. It's the gene that is selfish not the individual.

    Anyway, morals from god are just as arbitrary as any other source (unless you have direct communication to god). The bible for instance has a lot of potential moral contradictions, people pick and choose which moral lessons to follow. What people take from the bible is still just as arbitrary as what an atheist might take from philosophy for example.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Grayscale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinlan View Post
    I think there is an evolutionary advantage in (what is commonly perceived as)moral behaviour, being kind builds a stronger community and stronger communities provide better (more stable) environments for our offspring to grow and carry on our genes. It's the gene that is selfish not the individual.

    Anyway, morals from god are just as arbitrary as any other source (unless you have direct communication to god). The bible for instance has a lot of potential moral contradictions, people pick and choose which moral lessons to follow. What people take from the bible is still just as arbitrary as what an atheist might take from philosophy for example.
    Yes, we are all human our interpretation is subjective. I do not quite get the selfish gene though. If I could further my genetics were I to be willing to kill and steal, etc, and get away with it should I do that? My offspring would not likely to suffer in a communal sense and I would have more to give them, so wouldnt the genetic returns be positive?

    I would like to see your responses but I will probably not respond further, Id rather avoid a debate.

  5. #5
    Priestess Of Syrinx Katsuni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grayscale View Post
    Yes, we are all human our interpretation is subjective. I do not quite get the selfish gene though. If I could further my genetics were I to be willing to kill and steal, etc, and get away with it should I do that? My offspring would not likely to suffer in a communal sense and I would have more to give them, so wouldnt the genetic returns be positive?
    That's a relatively recent change in cultural policy. For a long time,y eur children would be punished for their parent's crimes.

  6. #6
    Intriguing.... Quinlan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grayscale View Post
    Yes, we are all human our interpretation is subjective. I do not quite get the selfish gene though. If I could further my genetics were I to be willing to kill and steal, etc, and get away with it should I do that? My offspring would not likely to suffer in a communal sense and I would have more to give them, so wouldnt the genetic returns be positive?
    This is my completely layman understanding.

    Consider three tribes living in one valley

    Tribe 1 - Carries an "altruism gene"

    Tribe 2 - All members act in their own self interest

    Tribe 3 - Carries the "altruism gene" & a "xenophobe gene"

    Tribe 2 swiftly takes advantage of and destroys tribe 1, tribe 3 then uses it's combined resources, structures and ingrained teamwork to defeat tribe 2.

    The valley is now completely made up of altruists.

    Darwin put it this way:

    It must not be forgotten that although a high standard of morality gives but a slight or no advantage to each individual man and his children over other men of the same tribe, yet that an increase in the number of well-endowed men and advancement in the standard of morality will certainly give an immense advantage to one tribe over another. There can be no doubt that a tribe including many members who, from possessing in a high degree the spirit of patriotism, fidelity, obedience, courage, and sympathy, were always ready to aid one another, and to sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over most other tribes; and this would be natural selection. At all times throughout the world tribes have supplanted other tribes; and as morality is one important element in their success, the standard of morality and the number of well-endowed men will thus everywhere tend to rise and increase.
    Is this why versions of the categorical imperative and golden rule seem so intuitive and engrained in most people and religions (and also why xenophobia & in-group thinking also seems so paradoxically rampant)?

    If everyone killed and stole from others would that really benefit your offspring (descendants) in the long term?
    Act your age not your enneagram number.

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  7. #7
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grayscale View Post
    Yes, we are all human our interpretation is subjective. I do not quite get the selfish gene though. If I could further my genetics were I to be willing to kill and steal, etc, and get away with it should I do that? My offspring would not likely to suffer in a communal sense and I would have more to give them, so wouldnt the genetic returns be positive?

    I would like to see your responses but I will probably not respond further, Id rather avoid a debate.
    About 5% of the population is technically sociopathic. They lack empathy for others around them and while on the surface appear to abide by social rules and conventions, underneath can actually cheat others and be okay with it.

    In other words, when the "tribe" combined resources to share as a communal group, the sociopath takes more than his fair share. As long as on the surface the facade of "teamwork" is maintained, the sociopath can go undetected. This serves to get them more resources and thus make them more capable of supporting offspring-thus the selfish gene at work.

    However once a society reaches 20% sociopathic, the entire system breaks down. Too many people are cheating, no one trusts any one else and the reciprocal obligatory ties are dissolved.

    The final story? A little bit of bad is good for the survival of the species.

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