I thought this was quite the interesting thought. I was gonna write this
as a response to one of a other discussions, but thought that I'd like
to get a bigger audience in on this one.
Many, if not all, good atheist believe that God simply does not exist. But I beg to ask the question: "If he doesn't exist and nothing in creation lends to the existence of God, why do we have so many thoughts about God? Are not our thoughts shaped by our environment? If our environment does not support the existence of a God, why do so many of us rule him into the equation? Is it that we are inclined to desire a god. Are we naturally inclined to think about one irrespective of our environment?"
The light bulb was created based on something that already existed, light! So I imagine Ben Franklin was inspired by the sun. Even the delusional has inspiration of thoughts based on things that exist. So why do we think about God if he doesn't even exist?
I guess i'm asking you to explain: why not attribute trees to natural grow rather than some spiritual being. Because, without prior knowledge of a spiritual being, it is not likely to concoct such a story.
I disagree. Even today, we speak of things as if they have their own spirit or will, or judgement, even. There are millions of examples, but here are a few just to be clear.
* Looks like it wants to rain today.
* My batteries are dying.
* I want to kill my computer!
* Frack, I'm running out of gas and there are no gas stations! What did I do to deserve this?!
It's perfectly natural for humans to think of something first in terms of it having spirit or intention, especially if (say) it's another life form. (There was a study posted here I think that pointed to new brain scan evidence showing that brains even categorize automatically whether an object is living or not.) "Spirit" seems to be everywhere to humans, because the easiest way for us to understand and predict how objects or animals will act is by empathizing with them with our empathy circuits.
We can only understand others by projecting ourselves onto them. The source of all conjecture and philosophy is within each of us, or it came from our ancestors who wrote it down or produced stories about it. The way other philosophers have explained this recently, it's natural for us to assume "agency" in other things and life forms.
Who says we originally worshiped spirits of things, there are still worshipers of the items themselves. Look back in history, the further back you go the more "gods" there were and everything had a "spirit". You will have to replace the names in quotes with whatever name was appropriate at the time.
Your premise assumes that your god is the culmination of this, I would say in the end we will likely kill off your god and finally call it nature which is what almost every other god was in the past. The rest of course covering human wishes like love and war, people like feeling like they are being helped and in our eyes only other animals can do this.
I disagree. People have always and still do apply human traits to ideas and objects as Paul mentioned. Cartoon animals have human traits, but we know that they are not real and from where their inspiration was drawn. Donald Duck may walk upright, have hands, speak English and wear cloths, but we know he's only an inspired idea/character.
As I've said, early man made many tools that were useful to him. But who made the other things? He may see that a beaver can build a dam and a hutch, but it can't fashion an arrow head. The beaver eats vegetation which can't do this things, so the beaver is superior to the vegetation. He however could do what the beaver can do and much more, setting him still higher than the beaver. So if there exists things that he or people like himself can't make, it made sense that someone/something even better must have made it. Lets be clear the the Christian God with all his complexities would not have been the God dreamed up. It would have been something much simpler, and probably not called a God per-se but rather just a more advanced being. There have even been god concepts through the eons that were said to be powerful and have special abilities. But one could actually physically visit these beings. However many conveniently lived at the top of a mountain no one could get to or across the sea somewhere. The God concept you follow didn't come about until very far down the line and would be a foreign idea to these peoples. In fact, if you or I were to visit these people we would likely fit their idea of a 'god' pretty well.
But why not say a tree grows naturally? Lack of knowledge. They had no idea the leaves are green due to the chlorophyll. That it takes in carbon dioxide and let off oxygen. That didn't know that different trees and plants have different water, soil and sunlight needs for optimal growth. They didn't know why they grew, just that they did. Granted, over time these things started to become understood. But at first they weren't. Everything seemed to be cause and effect to them so they applied the same to what they didn't understand. The things they did understand was caused by someone or something. So a bigger someone or something had to be at work. A jump to conclusion due only to the fact they didn't have the same info, tools etc that we have at our disposal.
We as humans have already developed the concept of infinity. Nothing is truly infinite in nature, yet we somehow imagined it. Of course, when applied to a sentient being, it becomes riddled with self-contradictions and logical paradoxes.
can you really imagine it? Can you imagine something without a top or something that has no bottom or something that has no end or beginning? Can you truly imagine it? What about imagine it enough to draw a picture of what that might look like. As you said, we have a concept of it birthed out of our numeral system. It is the unreachable number. We have a concept, but it is unimaginable.
I'm not physicist or anything. So i might be wrong. But I would think Einstein would disagree with "eternity is but an infinite stretch of time". Eternity would be the place where there is no time. It is the place which exists outside of time. It would actually be as if time stopped. Assuming if one should surpass the speed of light we would hence enter a realm where there is no time. Funny that the bible also says that God is light and in him there is no darkness. I would concur that God is and exists in light, a place where there is no time. He exists in eternity, which transcends time. But yet he intervenes in time. mad kool!!!
doone, This is often forgotten by theists, though they think they have all the answers and that it can't possibly be wrong we have continued to search for answers and of course the more we find out the more we find out we don't know. Props to those who take the journey.