Does God exist?

John S

New member
Introductory Note: I initiate this post in reaction to the thread “Atheists Who Celebrate All The Good That God Causes , , , , ,”. That thread is an example of how not to engage in meaningful dialog. If you want to take part in this discussion, please do so with respect and honesty, SPEAKING ONLY FOR YOURSELF.


The above-mentioned thread is little more than a sad verbal brawl over the question of whether God exists. This argument seems always to be between supernatural theists on the “Christian” side and scientific materials on the atheistic side. I propose to answer the question from the Christian perspectives of modern evolutionary panentheism and traditional apophatic spirituality.

The answer to the question of the existence of God depends on what God you are talking about. If you mean the magical, anthropomorphic, tribal god of the ancient Hebrews who lived above the firmament of heaven (Yes, they believed the sky was a solid dome on top of which Jahweh dwelt in a human-like body with the host of heaven.), then, no, that God does not exist. The fact that not one space rocket has yet to bounce off the firmament should pretty much put an end to any argument about that version of God.

But that is a primitive concept of God. The idea of God has changed (evolved), at least for some of us, as human culture has advanced and understanding of the universe has expanded. (A History of God by Karen Armstrong is a good starting point for exploring this topic.) The passage into modernity that began about 500 years ago has been especially important to this change. With the maturing of science, we no longer need supernatural gods to explain how things happen in the material world. But science is limited to objectively observable reality, so God remains as the name for what lies beyond the capacities of our objective understanding, including the mysteries of existence and the subjective experiences of consciousness and love.

Many modern Christians think of God as the source and ground of being. This is quite abstract and philosophical compared to the anthropomorphic references to God that seem to dominate in the Bible, but, if you look for them, the Bible also contains many abstract understandings of God as in this passage:

Yet he is not far from each one of us, for `In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your poets have said, `For we are indeed his offspring.' Acts 17:27-28 (RSV)

This is one example from the New Testament of Greek philosophy pushing into early Christianity. The core Christian doctrine of the Trinity is, in fact, a Greek philosophical construct. The God of Athanasius was very different from the God of Jesus.

Because I understand God to be the source and ground of being, the “existence” of God becomes axiomatic: because I exist, my being must have a source and ground, and I have defined God to be that source and ground. That does not tell me anything else about the nature of that God, but it removes the question of whether God is real.

I placed “existence” in quotes because my definition of God makes it problematic to say that God exists. If God is the source of being, then some part of God must stand outside of being; that is, God comes before being and being happens within God rather than God happening within being. God is not a being, like you or I, who exists within the material universe. God is the One who gives being to all things, the One from which all opposites arise and in which all opposites are ultimately united. Those opposites include being and non-being. God encompasses both and cannot be said either to exist or not to exist. This is one of the traditional insights of apophatic spirituality: that God transcends all qualities, including the qualities of being and non-being.

Of course, this all depends on you accepting my definition of God. Popular Christianity clings desperately to the idea of God as a human-like supreme being, which ontologically places being prior to or above God and thereby renders God not really supreme. Scientific materialists can accept my definition as far as it goes but would object to the name God and the anthropomorphic baggage it carries, preferring a term such as “natural law”, but I mean more than natural law. Both sides are fundamentalist: Christian fundamentalists refuse to see the objective truth of science, and scientific fundamentalists refuse to see the subjective reality of spirit.

Your thoughts?
 
Introductory Note: I initiate this post in reaction to the thread “Atheists Who Celebrate All The Good That God Causes , , , , ,”. That thread is an example of how not to engage in meaningful dialog. If you want to take part in this discussion, please do so with respect and honesty, SPEAKING ONLY FOR YOURSELF.


The above-mentioned thread is little more than a sad verbal brawl over the question of whether God exists. This argument seems always to be between supernatural theists on the “Christian” side and scientific materials on the atheistic side. I propose to answer the question from the Christian perspectives of modern evolutionary panentheism and traditional apophatic spirituality.

The answer to the question of the existence of God depends on what God you are talking about. If you mean the magical, anthropomorphic, tribal god of the ancient Hebrews who lived above the firmament of heaven (Yes, they believed the sky was a solid dome on top of which Jahweh dwelt in a human-like body with the host of heaven.), then, no, that God does not exist. The fact that not one space rocket has yet to bounce off the firmament should pretty much put an end to any argument about that version of God.

But that is a primitive concept of God. The idea of God has changed (evolved), at least for some of us, as human culture has advanced and understanding of the universe has expanded. (A History of God by Karen Armstrong is a good starting point for exploring this topic.) The passage into modernity that began about 500 years ago has been especially important to this change. With the maturing of science, we no longer need supernatural gods to explain how things happen in the material world. But science is limited to objectively observable reality, so God remains as the name for what lies beyond the capacities of our objective understanding, including the mysteries of existence and the subjective experiences of consciousness and love.

Many modern Christians think of God as the source and ground of being. This is quite abstract and philosophical compared to the anthropomorphic references to God that seem to dominate in the Bible, but, if you look for them, the Bible also contains many abstract understandings of God as in this passage:

Yet he is not far from each one of us, for `In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your poets have said, `For we are indeed his offspring.' Acts 17:27-28 (RSV)

This is one example from the New Testament of Greek philosophy pushing into early Christianity. The core Christian doctrine of the Trinity is, in fact, a Greek philosophical construct. The God of Athanasius was very different from the God of Jesus.

Because I understand God to be the source and ground of being, the “existence” of God becomes axiomatic: because I exist, my being must have a source and ground, and I have defined God to be that source and ground. That does not tell me anything else about the nature of that God, but it removes the question of whether God is real.

I placed “existence” in quotes because my definition of God makes it problematic to say that God exists. If God is the source of being, then some part of God must stand outside of being; that is, God comes before being and being happens within God rather than God happening within being. God is not a being, like you or I, who exists within the material universe. God is the One who gives being to all things, the One from which all opposites arise and in which all opposites are ultimately united. Those opposites include being and non-being. God encompasses both and cannot be said either to exist or not to exist. This is one of the traditional insights of apophatic spirituality: that God transcends all qualities, including the qualities of being and non-being.

Of course, this all depends on you accepting my definition of God. Popular Christianity clings desperately to the idea of God as a human-like supreme being, which ontologically places being prior to or above God and thereby renders God not really supreme. Scientific materialists can accept my definition as far as it goes but would object to the name God and the anthropomorphic baggage it carries, preferring a term such as “natural law”, but I mean more than natural law. Both sides are fundamentalist: Christian fundamentalists refuse to see the objective truth of science, and scientific fundamentalists refuse to see the subjective reality of spirit.

Your thoughts?

Here is God the Father's proof of His existence.

"YOU are the light of the world." - Jesus

He is a light the world can see for themselves. The proof of God is not to be your argument or mine. The proof is to be we ourselves. Lights in the darkness.

But most abdicate
 
Last edited:

Gary Mac

Member
Introductory Note: I initiate this post in reaction to the thread “Atheists Who Celebrate All The Good That God Causes , , , , ,”. That thread is an example of how not to engage in meaningful dialog. If you want to take part in this discussion, please do so with respect and honesty, SPEAKING ONLY FOR YOURSELF.


The above-mentioned thread is little more than a sad verbal brawl over the question of whether God exists. This argument seems always to be between supernatural theists on the “Christian” side and scientific materials on the atheistic side. I propose to answer the question from the Christian perspectives of modern evolutionary panentheism and traditional apophatic spirituality.

The answer to the question of the existence of God depends on what God you are talking about. If you mean the magical, anthropomorphic, tribal god of the ancient Hebrews who lived above the firmament of heaven (Yes, they believed the sky was a solid dome on top of which Jahweh dwelt in a human-like body with the host of heaven.), then, no, that God does not exist. The fact that not one space rocket has yet to bounce off the firmament should pretty much put an end to any argument about that version of God.

But that is a primitive concept of God. The idea of God has changed (evolved), at least for some of us, as human culture has advanced and understanding of the universe has expanded. (A History of God by Karen Armstrong is a good starting point for exploring this topic.) The passage into modernity that began about 500 years ago has been especially important to this change. With the maturing of science, we no longer need supernatural gods to explain how things happen in the material world. But science is limited to objectively observable reality, so God remains as the name for what lies beyond the capacities of our objective understanding, including the mysteries of existence and the subjective experiences of consciousness and love.

Many modern Christians think of God as the source and ground of being. This is quite abstract and philosophical compared to the anthropomorphic references to God that seem to dominate in the Bible, but, if you look for them, the Bible also contains many abstract understandings of God as in this passage:

Yet he is not far from each one of us, for `In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your poets have said, `For we are indeed his offspring.' Acts 17:27-28 (RSV)

This is one example from the New Testament of Greek philosophy pushing into early Christianity. The core Christian doctrine of the Trinity is, in fact, a Greek philosophical construct. The God of Athanasius was very different from the God of Jesus.

Because I understand God to be the source and ground of being, the “existence” of God becomes axiomatic: because I exist, my being must have a source and ground, and I have defined God to be that source and ground. That does not tell me anything else about the nature of that God, but it removes the question of whether God is real.

I placed “existence” in quotes because my definition of God makes it problematic to say that God exists. If God is the source of being, then some part of God must stand outside of being; that is, God comes before being and being happens within God rather than God happening within being. God is not a being, like you or I, who exists within the material universe. God is the One who gives being to all things, the One from which all opposites arise and in which all opposites are ultimately united. Those opposites include being and non-being. God encompasses both and cannot be said either to exist or not to exist. This is one of the traditional insights of apophatic spirituality: that God transcends all qualities, including the qualities of being and non-being.

Of course, this all depends on you accepting my definition of God. Popular Christianity clings desperately to the idea of God as a human-like supreme being, which ontologically places being prior to or above God and thereby renders God not really supreme. Scientific materialists can accept my definition as far as it goes but would object to the name God and the anthropomorphic baggage it carries, preferring a term such as “natural law”, but I mean more than natural law. Both sides are fundamentalist: Christian fundamentalists refuse to see the objective truth of science, and scientific fundamentalists refuse to see the subjective reality of spirit.

Your thoughts?
The God who is a Spirit and that Spirit is Love and man is the temple of is so simple all these complex minds of science and religions who try and figure Him out cant comprehend at all. Those who say there is no God are no different from these religious enterprises, you all makes your own laws to govern your beliefs about a God. But there is one of Love that always has been, and is today, and will be the same tomorrow and man is the recipient of. Love, Holy Love is not a concept, it is the manifestation of and either you have it or you dont.

The bible is not an historical document, it is a religious document that one can make of it just about anything he believes in himself of it. That is why we have so many denominations, which are in reality religious enterprises, non denominations, religious beliefs that cant agree on anything concerning the gods they have developed to control and be in their same image.
 

John S

New member
The God who is a Spirit and that Spirit is Love and man is the temple of is so simple all these complex minds of science and religions who try and figure Him out cant comprehend at all. Those who say there is no God are no different from these religious enterprises, you all makes your own laws to govern your beliefs about a God. But there is one of Love that always has been, and is today, and will be the same tomorrow and man is the recipient of. Love, Holy Love is not a concept, it is the manifestation of and either you have it or you dont.
I think I agree with the core of what you seem to be saying here. It is simple and I do comprehend it--but it is also complex. We are body, mind, and spirit, and our minds want to understand what we comprehend spiritually. Our minds and our drive to make sense of things are God-given and, I think, ought not to be derided or dismissed because the search for understanding is challenging. Truth--and God is the ultimate truth--is found on may levels--physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual--and all those levels have their valid place. There is nothing wrong with trying to figure out what we can. That is part of the spiritual journey, and so is recognizing that there are limits to what we can figure out.

I have two questions for you:
1) Is God a spirit, or is God Spirit? That is, is God one spirit among many or is God the "substance" of spirit that makes up all spirits? Is God as spirit separate from my spirit or is the stuff of my spirit God?
2) What is Love? Is Love different from love?
 

John S

New member
The bible is not an historical document, it is a religious document that one can make of it just about anything he believes in himself of it. That is why we have so many denominations, which are in reality religious enterprises, non denominations, religious beliefs that cant agree on anything concerning the gods they have developed to control and be in their same image.
I pretty much agree, but that is not really the topic of this post.
 

Gary Mac

Member
I think I agree with the core of what you seem to be saying here. It is simple and I do comprehend it--but it is also complex. We are body, mind, and spirit, and our minds want to understand what we comprehend spiritually. Our minds and our drive to make sense of things are God-given and, I think, ought not to be derided or dismissed because the search for understanding is challenging. Truth--and God is the ultimate truth--is found on may levels--physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual--and all those levels have their valid place. There is nothing wrong with trying to figure out what we can. That is part of the spiritual journey, and so is recognizing that there are limits to what we can figure out.

I have two questions for you:
1) Is God a spirit, or is God Spirit? That is, is God one spirit among many or is God the "substance" of spirit that makes up all spirits? Is God as spirit separate from my spirit or is the stuff of my spirit God?
Love is a Spirit. There are many spirits that inhabit man in his thinking and Love is one of them Man is subject to spirits and spirits is what drives man in terms to think as a man thinks.
2) What is Love? Is Love different from love?
Is love different from love? Love is not of self, love is giving up the right to yourself, your own desires to give and help the one in need without agendas other than from the heart. Most go out on impulse instead of the will of God and do thigs to look noble toward man and I have seen this over and over among religious denominations.

Laying down your life to help a brother does not mean going to a grave for him, it means setting aside your own personal needs to help your brother.

People say the love God, love Jesus, but then flat out deny Him to have the love in themselves that Jesus had for man.

Love cant be pout into words, there is no words to describe it, and as illustrated over and over in the bible is you can only see where Love has been. It leaves a trail behind. This is what Moses saw on the mountain, he only saw the back side of Love. Jesus left a trail and all one can see of love is the trail it left. We are no different at all.

People has asked me to prove that I am like Him, all you can see is where I have been and most dont even enquire, and the ones that do usually accuse me of lying, or egotistical, heady. But I can tell you now God never fails, Love never fails and either you are of God and in His same image or you are not.
 
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