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How to respond to the "God is energy" belief/claim.

LimitedLight 7 Feb 13

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16 comments

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1

I see several possibilities but I do not support such beliefs or claims.

1

What type of energy? Magnetic, Kinetic, Thermal, Light, Nuclear, Red Bull?

1

It's a meaningless statement. EVERYTHING is energy (or mass, which is a form of energy).

it's like saying "god is existence itself" or "the universe is god" or "reality is god". Well then call it existence, the universe, or reality. Calling it god doesn't add meaning, it muddies the waters. Don't use "god" for things we have perfectly serviceable words for already.

This is an example of a "deepity", an idea or statement that sounds profound, but isn't.

1

Are we not all energy? If God is energy then he is merely my equal.

1

I have to admit that I went through that phase for a short period of time in my life. It was hard for me to give up on god. Pantheistic thinking isn't normally harmful but it is as nonsensical as any other religion. I guess when I read "The God Delusion" it erased the last vestiges of that kind of thinking from my mind.

gearl Level 7 Feb 14, 2018
4

I think people say that because they think that energy can’t be defined or measured. They are ignorant of science. In the same way people use “spirit” or “soul” to describe the human mental and emotional state. They want to mystify things instead of understanding them. Which is annoying !

7

If God is energy, how many joules is he? What work can be achieved with God? Is God any particular type of energy? (Mechanical, Electric, Magnetic, Gravitational, Chemical, Ionization, Nuclear, Chromodynamic, Elastic, Mechanical wave, Sound wave, Radiant, Rest, or Thermal) Can God be converted from type to type? Can God be converted into mass using E=mc2?

What is the procedure for measuring God?

I personally like the intelligence and snarkiness, but I don't think it would go anywhere in my actual conversation.

@LimitedLight Those are not snarky at all. Those are questions that should have a ready answer by anyone making the claim that anything is energy. If they cannot be answered, clearly, the claim is fatuous.

These are super basic physics questions regarding energy. Super basic.

@ScottAHurst Except that most people aren't going to have super basic physics knowledge. I'm a math educator. Physics is part of my department. But I don't teach physics and haven't touched it since freshman year of college. The person that claimed "God is energy" is a musician. I highly doubt he remembers or ever knew joules, for example.

And that they cannot answer should tell them something about their assertion. Even if only dents their confidence a bit.

2

Energy is a construct discovered by physicists to be useful because it is a conserved quantity. Saying "God is Energy" is like saying "God is Angular Momentum". We could just as easily say God is a chair.

Perhaps people use it because they only vaguely understand what Energy actually is and they realize that it is tied in with change of state. "If we can't touch it then maybe it is God."

Also, some may have encountered the Eastern idea of Qi which is often translated in Western terms as "Energy". It is kind of a mistranslated in my understanding.

Could you elaborate on the mistranslation?

@LimitedLight As a western educated scientist (physicist), we use "energy" to specify a very specific conserved quantity in our universe. It isn't something you can see, taste, touch or feel but it a very real thing that helps us describe how our universe works, mainly because it is conserved.

Qi is different. My understanding of it is that is perhaps more than this. I don't know what word to use other than Qi because to me, anyway, it isn't the same as "energy" which is a mathematical construct. Qi is maybe more of a type of "force" and not "energy". Forces cause change and that would be consistent with what Qi does. Energy may have forces associated with it but it is not a force in and of itself.

Sorry, I'm a physics teacher so I reserve energy for something very specific in my field. That is why I say that Qi is mistranslated when folks call it "energy".

4

I just say that it is most likely gas

1

Calling energy God is like pointing at a truck and saying flamingo. It's not the same thing in the slightest.

1

I generally just tell them to be happy with their delusion and get on with my life.

1

...and the "God particle" that the physicists at CERN are looking for would be called that because...

It was shortened from the God damn particle. They call it that because it was so God damn hard to find. It's actually called the higgs boson. They found it a while ago.

The term is NOT what you think it is/means...Google it?

2

This falls into the area of what I call New Age pseudo religious piffle, waffle and drivel that abounds amongst those who like to think they are too hip and cool for ordinary religion, so they indulge in a kind of half-assed science and religion combo. Some of it here too. God is a Creative Process; God is a universal energy constant; God is a spiritual flow; God is a universal awareness...etc. Some people fall for this kind of stuff thinking they are a bit 'sciency' and bit 'up there' spiritual. You push this stuff and it's same old religious crap camouflaged with bad science. Some authors in atheism have really exposed this stuff. As they should.

I think this may be the source for the person from whom I heard it.

3

I need a full tank of God in my car?

1

Ask where to plug in your charger for your phone?

@Atheistman It is entirely possible that you have come to the right place if snark is on your radar. 🙂

1

?? If there is a "god" it would be energy, or from a higher dimension, since we can't see it.

People constantly attribute things that happen because of energy to "god" anyway, which is where the idea came from, probably.
Or from being overawed by aliens, as the Sumerian texts allege.

You mean what Sitchins alleged the Sumerian texts said?

@LimitedLight The origins of human beings according to ancient Sumerian texts [ancient-origins.net]?

@birdingnut If you think I know nothing about what has been alleged to be the beliefs of the ancient Sumerians, you are incorrect. Do you know who Sitchins was? What is at the site you linked that would counter that I said "alleged"?

@LimitedLight I don't really care. Whatever, dude.

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