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?
 

Our Lord's God

Well-known 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?

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

Well-known 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

Well-known 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.
 

e v e

Super Member
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.


[...]

Your thoughts?
The ancient hebrews were correct about the dome but the modern mind no longer has the wherewithal to understand what that was and what they meant and where it was - in the other world.
 

e v e

Super Member
The topic of the dome is incredible. Plato also knew it. But now moderns are just so darn smart they can’t read anymore. Every ancient text is aware of the dome.
 

e v e

Super Member
The ancient hebrews and their prophets and the most simple hebrew shepherd understood so much as to show moderns to be 5 year olds who don’t know anything by their so limited mindset and I’m including the bible geniuses with their theology phds in that statement.
 

SteveB

Well-known 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.
Sadly, it's too easy to get into those sad verbal "brawls" in the atheist forum.
My experience/observations for the past decade + is that atheists will do whatever they think they can to drag the conversation off topic, and then bury it in mindless banter.

The answer to the question of the existence of God depends on what God you are talking about.
To me the only God is YHVH.
According to Deuteronomy 32:17, all the other gods are demons.




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.
Fyi,
There is no J in Hebrew.
It's the Y, and has a Y sound usage.
And as for your idea of a solid dome, that's not the idea presented in the bible.
According to Isaiah 40:12, YHVH holds the entirety of the heavens in the span of his hand.
According to Isaiah 57:15, YHVH is the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity and yet dwells with the humble and contrite.

It's important to learn an accurate perspective of him, otherwise you do little more than make him an extension of your own ideas and beliefs. And in light of Exodus 20:1-6, he doesn't like it when we make him out to be less than he actually is. This is known as idolatry in biblical language.


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.
According to Malachi 3:6, and Hebrews 13:8, YHVH has never changed, and remains the same.

So, perhaps the problem here is not that God has evolved, but that the understanding of God by human beings is what's evolving.




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:
It's only abstract to those who are not his children and friends.
Abraham seemed to get it, the prophets appeared to get it, as did Moses. Jesus said that he and the Father are One, and those who have seen Jesus have seen the Father.

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.
I disagree.
Even the Orthodox Jewish historian Daniel Boyarin, in his book,
The Jewish Christ
Understood the idea that the biblical narrative shows a manifold expression of YHVH, who describes himself as God and Spirit, husband and friend, and the Son is introduced in Daniel 7, as the Son of Man, who receives the right to rule God's Kingdom forever, from the Ancient of Days.
In the Sh'ma, the word used to describe YHVH, is the word Echad, which is used elsewhere to describe the unity of the man and his wife, the community of people who sought to build a tower to the heavens, in the book of Genesis.

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.
And yet the atheists argue, assiduously and quite poorly that they are an accident of some undefined nature that happened to appear out of nowhere. Ironically, they reject the idea that they are monkeys/apes when pushed for an answer.


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.
Then perhaps you should stop using YOUR definition, and use the definition YHVH has explicitly provided of himself and demonstrated himself in Jesus.
As he says,
He who has seen me has seen the Father.


Of course, this all depends on you accepting my definition of God.
Which, from what I've read would be a serious mistake, and make them like you, and not your god, which sounds like an extension of your own mind and what you can fathom.
We refer to this as idolatry, which is explicitly forbidden.
YHVH has explicitly stated his own definition, and invites us to get to know him, as he is, and has even stated that he will give us a heart to know him. Jeremiah 24:7, John 17:3.
So, why fuss about trying to make a god in your own likeness and image when he's stated that he made us in His own likeness and image?



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?


No. As a matter of fact, we don't "desperately cling" to the idea of a human like idea of God.

We hold to the idea which is explicitly stated in the bible that God is transcendent to the human race and in fact made the human being in his own likeness and image, so that he may engage us on his terms and become our Father who is in Heaven.
 
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