With reference to "god's plan" and why god would do (or not do) certain things, or allow (or not allow) certain things, I've often heard this idea: that the mind of god is beyond our comprehension, that human logic doesn't apply to god, that as humans we just have to trust that god is doing what's best for us. Understanding is not required: only obedience.
Even when I was something of a believer, I remember being somewhat uncomfortable with this. Now, I call it what it is: a cop-out. An avoidance tactic. Why exactly are we humans not allowed to understand the creator's actions?
Which brings up the question: where does logic come from? For some believers the existence of logic is an indication of a creator -- it somehow exists independently of the mind. But if that is true, why would the actions of a creator not be logical? Why would it be impossible for us to understand the logic in all the pain and death that takes place?
In naturalistic terms, we can indeed grasp it. Life is both wonderful and terrible. Life can be dangerous, exciting, boring, difficult. There is joy, there is pain. There is life, there is death. We can find proximate purpose, even if we can't find ultimate purpose.
The true horror would come from the belief that it was purposely set up this way for us by a loving creator.
I can’t understand why anyone would believe that there is a god who created the universe as a test for humans to see if they were fit for his master plan of an eternal afterlife, like it was a gigantic reality competition. Loving creator he would not be, a sadist would be a more apt description. In any case, why, when we now know using scientific evidence that the age of the world is 5.6 billion years, did he only create humans and other animal life around 6,000 years ago according to the bible.
I agree with you. The thought of all this being part of a plan of some god that made the world as it is, with all its pain and suffering, because it needed tiny little finite beings to obey, fear, worship and love it--or else--is appalling. We can appreciate life because we see it as a struggle; and that everything here is part of that beautiful, and sometimes gruesome, struggle to survive.
Also, it is just downright willful ignorance for Bible believers to think their holy book is some sort of revelation to humans form this god, showing us what it wants of us. This "book" is simply too contradictory and inaccurate in so many ways to have been inspired by any perfect being; but, they are too blind to see this or refuse to acknowledge it if they do have a glimmer of reason try to sneak into their minds.
These issues bothered me when I was a believer, as well. One thing that stood out in my mind is why god does not "abide" by the laws he set set in motion. It is a sin for humans to kill innocent people, but Yahweh could kill thousands of babies and children in a flood. His people could write a psalm saying how sweet it was to bash the heads of the enemy's babies against the rocks. When I asked my pastor about these issues, he said that those babies would grow up to the be the enemy. That explanation flabbergasted me. And babies went to heaven, so that made it fine, too.
"The true horror would come from the belief that it was purposely set up this way for us by a loving creator."
That sums it up nicely.
The whole idea of a god that is beyond comprehension is simply, as you stated, a cop out, because believers have no answer as to why their god would do such crazy and horrid things. With some believers, the more you question them on this, the more bizarre thier explanations become. I feel bad for them.
Yes. I never understood ethics until I freed myself from the "just listen and obey" hogwash. Now I can work out in my mind why some actions are bad -- they hurt others -- or why other actions are good -- they help others. I am happier now, living my life based on comprehensible ethics.
"Logic" is putting value on things by observing or assessing life using our senses and our experiences and then reacting to that. We're born and we experience the world. We learn that touching a hot stove makes us uncomfortable according to our baseline experience. We learn that being a good lil' dude gets us a treat. This is science.
Regarding the concept of "understanding all the pain and death that takes place" – That's experientially impossible. For one, "pain" is subjective. If I stub my toe, I don't care. If my neighbor does, he might double over like he was punched by Mike Tyson. Multiply the possibilities exponentially and the lifetimes it would take to understand "all" are unfathomable.
Also, who is this loving creator and what's the evidence for this being?
" I've often heard this idea: that the mind of god is beyond our comprehension, that human logic doesn't apply to god, that as humans we just have to trust that god is doing what's best for us. Understanding is not required: only obedience."
These types of rationale are a large part of why I am Ignostic. As an atheist I lack belief in Gods, but in reality I lack a hell of a lot more than that, I lack an adequate definition of a God NOT to believe in. Rather the idea of God always boils down to what you assert above.
"that the mind of god is beyond our comprehension, that human logic doesn't apply to god, that as humans we just have to trust that god is doing what's best for us"
Being nonetheless asserted by another human, who obviously cannot understand the God he purports to follow, because they admit in the end it is a mystery.
A question mark God.
I am an Ignostic
I was raised a believer
AS a believer I thought understanding God of the utmost import.
SO I studied that.
Which is why I am today an Igtheist/Ignostic
Ignosticism is an Epistomologic position; it is a set of ideas refuting the importance of determining the existence of God. It claims that knowledge regarding the reality of God is altogether unprofitable.
It is the idea that every theological position assumes too much about the concept of God and other theological concepts; including (but not limited to) concepts of faith, spirituality, heaven, hell, afterlife, damnation, salvation, sin and the soul.
Ignosticism or igtheism is the idea that the question of the existence of God is meaningless because the term god has no coherent and unambiguous definition.
IF you cannot even define what you are talking about, or consider it beyond human understanding, how is it you can claim to know anything about it and keep your intellectual integrity intact?
Really like your post. Especially the last line:
"The true horror would come from the belief that it was purposely set up this way for us by a loving creator."
I'd like to use it as a quote and reference your name when discussing this with my theists friends.
Richard Dawkins used this phrase "cop-out" and "God of the Gaps" that where there are voids our mind can't fill, the answers will always circle back to "... because god."
To me, logic is more instinct, and from instinct we have learned behavior, but somewhere along the lines of questioning why things are they way they are, technology limited the science and reasoning for many things, and learned behavior ended up becoming tradition, or "superstition."
Growing up as a catholic, with a best friend who (still) is a Christian Orthodox, he would reprimand me with things he'd consider 'sin' as not being able to receive "luck" from god, to which later the term he swapped for 'blessing.'
I'd ask him, "what about all those who do good by god and still get punished?"
He'd reply, "well, that's just god testing you, we can't question his ethics, he's GOD!"
"I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned."
That quote is the opposite how theists live.
My sister in law once looked at me incredulously and asked, "You mean you don't believe that God has a plan for you?" I answered with a question, "Did God have a plan for that 14 year old boy who almost escaped from Jeffrey Dahmer but was so drugged and disoriented that the cops found him and took him back to Dahmer's place where the poor child ended up being the main entree?"
Correlates to the "god of the gaps" argument. Whatever cannot be explained through reason or scientific rationale is then relegated to "God's will," which we are ostensibly too stupid to understand.
It's more than a cop-out, it's a method for the deity's subjugated people to passively accept those things that are highly unreasonable or unfair.
For me it is a case of the men in power thought, "I can not answer that, there is no answer for that," and so went unknowable, unfathomable do not question, blind obedience obey obey etc. It is all a load of made up rubbish. If there is a sky fairy out there then it is malicious, vindictive and nasty not something I would want to put my faith in.
This premise of superhuman logic is somehow also connected to Goedel’s incompleteness theorem which states that no system can prove its own logical consistency. Applied to relatively simple systems like a small computer ( logic solver ), this theorem can be proved. Application to a larger system is complicated. But before going further on investigation on a scale of the Universe, we must first resolve the question of Intelligent Design.
"The best cure for Christianity is reading the Bible." SClemens
so don't get me wrong ok, i detest religious ppl almost as much as Yah does
imo find the Jesus Who appropriated all of the Caesar's titles, "son of God, Messiah," etcetc, with two middle fingers turned alla way up at the man! Baptizing ppl in the Jordan in a theocracy is tantamount to sedition, right?
a couple thought questions, that you might relate to yours:
why could a prepubescent teen declare "i hate you" to their parents, the only two ppl supporting them? Arent the decisions of the parents "logical?"
Which of the Decalogue do you have issues following? I guess like at least 5 of these predate Moses, likely from Hammurabi's Code.
So, it might be impossible for you/us to understand the logic in "all the pain and death that takes place" mostly bc of our unique perspective, which naturally suggests to us that things were better yesterday than they are today, despite the reality that life is better right now than it ever has been, by any measure you might care to use, [wikiwand.com] , [moralityindex.com] these are the good old days
ps, "logic" rose about the same time "Jesus" did, more or less, right? Before that most everyone thought "naively," or in what we call the "eastern dialectic" now, hence why Orientals play baseball games to deliberate ties and whatnot i guess. ok peace
"God's plan" originally was the "plan of non-existance." Yes, the plan of non-existance was a non-existent plan in the beginning because there was no existence to have a plan. However, as we scientificly now understand the scientific "Bang" brought about existence and just totally screwed up the original non-existent plan of non-existance.
I do not understand how people cannot understand non-existent flying spaghetti monster sky God have a non-existent plan be non-existent flying spaghetti monster sky God is not know to exist there for must be non-existent and existence just screws up the non-existent plan for total word domination of non-existance in the first place.
God damn word "BANG" just screwed it up for everyone and we have to now exist in pathetic crap no one asked for it in the first place. the biblical text even tells of this word in the beginning. John 1:1 In the beginning was the word, the word was with God and was God. John 1:14 ... the word become flesh.
So, bang and now you are a person in flesh being forced to exist.