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Is 'god' an impersonal force of nature, a 'universal consciousness' similar in quality to other natural physical laws, like electromagnetism or the speed of light?
As such, would it not amount to a 'governing principle' describing and limiting the extent of our freedom of thought and action, much like, say, gravity or heat limit what our physical bodies can do, beyond which it encounters resistance?
If so, did men and women then give human thoughts, feelings, and motives to something which is purely impersonal?
Many scientists now believe something like this could be true.[mindmatters.ai]

Storm1752 7 Dec 23

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1

I hope 'god' is universal consciousness and that we contribute to it in our small way. I think of it as having innate consciousness, like Gaia or the bodily (motor) intelligence of a human being. I think it is impersonal, having a way about it that works and we can fall in with it or not as we please.

5

God isn't. It does not exist, but a false human conception.

If you define 'god' as consciousness, it exists. If everything has consciousness, from the very tiniest particle, to you (very big IFs), everything is 'god.'
So, the line of thought goes, the people who created these religions (and god) were really trying to describe, explain, and understand consciousness, their own and everyone elses'.
That they projected THEIR and everybody else's consciousness into a separate "entity" or "entities" may have been simply a result of their inferior understanding of the nature of the physical universe and what are it's constituent parts.
As our understanding of it--and consciousness--increases, it stands to reason, the closer we get to understanding "reality" itself.

@Storm1752 If you define "god" as a carrot, it exists. But why would you do that? Likewise, why would you define "god" as consciousness?

@Omnedon oh I think that's a little weak as analogies go...

@Allamanda You can define anything as anything, but it doesn't necessarily make sense. Defining "god" as consciousness makes no sense as far as I can see.

@Omnedon I tend to agree but it isn't a new idea, I guess it's related to the idea of inherent life-force in everything (some think even in rocks etc.). Just not carrots. Now maybe potatoes?

@Allamanda Agreed. I think I can get behind the potato god. Who doesn't love carbs?

@Storm1752 I don't mean to be harsh here, honestly. It's an interesting discussion. It's just that in my opinion, defining god as consciousness takes something that we know to exist (consciousness) and conflates it with an entirely different concept. This does not seem to help anything or increase our understanding of anything. Consciousness exists but is not well-understood. However, our understanding is slowly increasing.

@Omnedon This whole discussion proves my point. When we define anything as "god" we are simply forming a human conception. No gods exist except in human minds that wish to believe that the concept means anything at all.

@Omnedon All hail the Mighty and most Magnificent Spud Murphy, aka the Potato, btw, I'm a 'spud' loving person, fried, steamed, mashed, etc, just love and enjoy eating them.

@Storm1752 Consciousness is the emergent property of evolutionary intelligence.

@Now that you have said that, please elucidate. Please clarify and provide the intellectual or evidence basis for such a statement,.

@wordywalt The increase of intelligence in any species is linked to evolutionary development, is it not? Consciousness is relative to an organism's degree of intelligence, hence self awareness.

@Atheist3 You still have not defined what you mean by consciousness or evolutionary intelligence. I still do not know what you are real;ly saying.

@wordywalt I think therefore I am. This sense of 'I am' is what is called self-awareness, the cerebral ability to contemplate ones existence, to be conscious of ones place in time & to extrapolate one's future. If this is not the result of evolution, then how be it?

@Atheist3 Biological evolution, including the evolution of intelligence as a evolutionary advantage, is a fact. I see no reason for applying the concept to the universe.

5

That seems to me to be a contrived, needlessly complex explanation for the rise of religious thought among early people who grappled with things like where the sun went at night and why diseases struck down some people and not others. I don't think these folks who lacked an understanding of heliocentrism and germ theory had developed a framework for natural limits of the universe, a constant speed of light, or some convoluted notion of universal consciousness and applied the "god" label to any of that.

Of course not. They may have just taken what they percieved with their five senses and made sense of it the only way they knew how: through their own very limited understanding...that's why it ended up turning into the convoluted mess we call religion!
Maybe.

5

Anything could be, but I find that I can maintain peace of mind without depending on unsupported imaginings. If evidence emerges, I will adjust my worldview accordingly.

That said, I have no trouble using religious language metaphorically. I value peace and cooperation over war and discord. This doesn’t come naturally. Xenophobia is adaptive. Seeking consonance with fellow humans is a learned skill. It requires practice.

80% of my fellow humans carry worldviews based on god concepts. I feel no obligation to believe as they believe, but I find great value and meaning in finding ways to interact with them peacefully.

When they use the word ‘god’ I find that if I take it to be a metaphor that personifies the entirety of reality, we can continue in peaceful communication, and no one’s worldview is injured.

Intraspecies conflict is what will be at the root of our extinction.
Getting along with groups larger than 150 is unnatural.
It requires compromise.
Compromise requires practice.

That does not mean all the compromise has to come from my side; there’s plenty to go around. Separation of Church and State is a value I will stand firm on. But that doesn’t require me to call my neighbor an idiot, or insult his worldview. I can just remind him to read the Constitution.

skado Level 8 Dec 23, 2019

As I said, 'god' is a word with too much baggage to be useful, except to describe what reality is NOT.

@Storm1752
I understand the feeling.

5

Many scientists? You sound like Trump now...

I'm going by the articles I read.[mindmatters.ai]

4

If so, what does it matter? All of the religious scriptures are still bunk, and no amount of thoughts and prayers are going to change anything.

4

God is a fictional character. My take, if there is anything bigger than us, it's beyond our comprehension. I just revel in the awe and the mystery.

Until it's no longer a mystery... The only reason I would like to live forever is to be able to see the discoveries we will make in the millennia to come.

@HumanistA Ha! Living forever is like always getting the same pussy. Boring!

4

Comparing that kind of hypothetical "force" with actual observable forces reminds me of what Deepak Chopra does when he applies various scientific terms out of their proper context. Electromagnetism and gravity and heat all exist. There is a speed of light. But our freedom of thought and action, and the limits on them, come from our brains and bodies, as far as can be shown.

Your freedom of thought, it seems to me, is limited only by your imagination--your consciousness. Your freedom of action is limited by your physical environment.
So the only difference between you and the fictitious 'god' of some people's imagination is strictly physical; what's the more important thing about you, your body or your mind?
If you think they are one and the same thing, there is nothing to talk about, but THAT'S what these "scientists," from neurophysicists to quantum physicists to every other one else interested in this subject from an objective, 'scientific' point of view, are in a quandry about. There is the body, including your brain, then there are thoughts...what connects the two? Consciousness. The higher up on the food chain you go, the more advanced your thoughts are able to become, until you finally arrive at self-awareness.
This begs the question: is it possible to go still higher?
What about more advanced civilizations on other planets, from other dimensions, or other 'planes' of existence--if they exist?
We can SAY there ARE no such things, just like no fairy cities in the sky or purple dragons in your garage.
That may be true.
Then again, our ancestors thought the Earth, then the Sun, was the center of the universe, and neither are even the center of our Galaxy, which is not even close to being at the center of the universe.
For all we know, there are billions of galaxies.
Think about that.

@Storm1752 Imagination and consciousness are not synonymous. As far as I know, my consciousness is limited by my brain. My imagination is much less constrained, in the same way a simulation on a computer can simulate things that may not exist in the real world. Just because I can imagine something doesn't mean it's true.

Mind and body are inextricably linked. We discover more and more how the one can affect the other, either positively or negatively. Mind and body are not the same thing, but they're part of the same entity and they are connected.

I'm virtually certain that there is other life out there. If so, it probably comes in many different forms. There are not billions of galaxies -- there are hundreds of billions, and trillions of stars. There may be much more advanced forms of life out there. I'm guessing there almost certainly are. Unfortunately we're probably unlikely to encounter it due to the vastness of the universe. But who knows what the future may bring.

But as far as I can tell, none of what you've said seems to advance this concept of "god" as some natural force or principle...

@Storm1752 There are billions of galaxies, and I thought about that. I concluded the universe is very big.

4

Humans consistently give human characteristics to animals, chairs, cars, you name it. Interestingly, in early societies, especially Egypt, had many anthropomorphic deities. In addition, rivers, the sun, the moon, etc., were not symbolic of deities, but were the deities. From there, it was simple step to remove the animal/object aspect and have a non-corporeal deity such as Yahweh--except Yahweh become corporeal in Jesus.

The difference is we know better now. Anyone with a rational brain, that is.
I think there are plenty of scientists today who know as much more about the nature of reality as you and I, as we do than a neolithic caveman.
THAT'S an unsettling thought.

@Storm1752 I know people who are rational in other ways but still believe in Jesus and Yahweh. It boggles the mind. I can see having a general concept of a "higher power," but Jesus . . . nah.

4

The is evidence for electromagnetism and the speed of light. There is none for god.

Here's the article:[mindmatters.ai]

4

This come across similar to the following:
This rock rolled down the hill. Did something make it roll down the hill? Gravity! Did gravity intend to make it roll down the hill? If so, gravity must be a god. facepalm

4

Unless you can prove consciousness amongst those physics, then all you've got is another projection by humans onto the universe and calling it god. Not real scientists but pseudo scientists might go on about this stuff.

4

The basics on god is that god is myth. Thousands of years ago the god idea explained things to a lot of people. Today it is nonsense.

3

God doesn't exist, it's just nature. Nothing more and nothing less.

3

This seems a silly question on its surface. We know some cultures have deified nature. It still goes on.

So the answer to your question is 'sometimes', because anyone can make a god out of anything.

The question is, "Why do they?"

3

Invisible deities are imaginary, made up by humans.

As an atheist, I chose rational thought, not magical beliefs.

I feel comfortable with mystery in life. Science is advancing every year.

I totally agree and that's my point exactly.

3

I've had one and ONLY one "spiritual experience". it was so profound as to make me believe that there is SOMEthing beyond this physical realm we live in. not sure if I remember feeling some/much of what you wrote above as a result of that experience, but I do think it possible that what we humans think of as an "afterlife" or even "miracles" could merely be natural processes, same as physics/geometry/biology/science in general, that we do not yet have an understanding of.

I think reincarnation may well be a 'natural' process, if it's real.
Miracles? Ditto.

3

“God” is just a label. To say that God did all this is just another way of saying that we don’t understand reality and have no idea what it means.

Yes, Universal Consciousness, if there is such, is a natural phenomenon. Giving a human face to universal consciousness might be justified if you consider individual conscious awareness to be an extension of the universal. In that case God is subjective. Of course thinking of God as having a human-like body is nothing but metaphor.

The article from which I extropolated my admittedly [mindmatters.ai] idea:

3

I believe that starting the post of with "Is 'god'" makes the rest irrelevant. The exact same queston could have been asked without inserting the "god" word. Such as "Is there a governing principle that describes and limits the human ability to have freedom of thought and action similar to other universal laws like gravity and heat?"

Inserting the concept of god into the question is superfluous as if there is such a governing principle, there is nothing about it that implies a god any more than gravity or heat does.

I was just saying maybe HUMANS called it 'god,' and built religions around it make it comprehensible. But 'it' was simply consciousness itself.
By giving 'it' human characteristics, then, they only obscured it's true nature.
The article: [mindmatters.ai]

@Storm1752 Just to be clear, are you saying the application of the concept of "god" was purposely put on the concept of panpsychism, or universal consciousness? I would say no. They applied it to much simpler concepts like the lightning that started the fire that destroyed their crops one season. I'm hard pressed to believe that they were staring at their navels and came up with the philosophical concept of universal consciousness that included rocks and trees. The article itself discusses it as a new phenomenon and not generally accepted and makes no historic claims that it affected any culture or philosophical thought in the past.

3

Not any scientists I am familiar with.

The article:[mindmatters.ai]

@Storm1752 LOTTA wooo.... and quantifiers in every single sentence! Not exactly definitive science.......

Mind Mattets Podcasts are produced by a marketing organization known as Morris Creative Services, which is a subsidiary of a larger marketing organization known as, the Quad Organization.

The Mind Matters Podcast features discussions with leaders in the fields of psychology, education, and beyond, with an emphasis on gifted/talented and 2e (twice-exceptional) children and adults. Mind Matters explores parenting, counseling techniques, and best practices for enriching the lives of high-ability people.

I could not find any info on what their criteria for acceptance of research material. Their podcasts are well linked and associated with many well known and established sites.

@Storm1752

The scientists and periodicals in which they published are pretty obscure. They represent an incredibly small contingent of researchers in their fields. Doesn't mean they are wrong, but they are not a convincing set of credentials. I followed several links in several of the associated articles, was not impressed.

3

I believe the typical definition and understanding of 'god' (or 'God' ) isn't impersonal. From my belief and understanding, describing the phenomenon you mention as 'god' lend itself to misunderstandings of what is being discussed. Einstein would refer to God when talking about natural phenomenon and those who understood God differently would claim Einstein to be religious like themselves. I would think we would be better off avoiding the term God in favor of other descriptions - 'natural physical laws', 'governing principles', etc.

In terms of humans personifying the inanimate and nonpersonal, I believe it is clear that humans tend to naturally think in think in this way. We are a pattern seeking species and we will find patterns where none exist. We will also find faces from random patterns. This phenomenon is apparently something we do from an early age since infants are attracted to faces more than other patterns and shapes.

3

We’ve known for quite some time that the universal forces of nature are without conscience and are simply reactions to each other.

Nardi Level 7 Dec 23, 2019
2

The first 2 words are a problem, " is 'god'" no, god isn't. The force of nature already is impersonal, so that doesn't work well. A "universal consciousness" is a stab at mystifying the simple fact of not understanding how our brains work. The fact we use sound, sight, and touch for communication when the brain is functioning should show there isn't a need to have a universal connection when our brains stop working at death or unconsciousness (not sleep)...
Humans all the time give thoughts, feelings, and motives to impersonal items...then the last sentence has the "trump card" "believe" in it.
"See the problem"

Yeah, I see it.
I think of myself as inhabiting a body, but it could just as easily be some other body and it'd still be me.
Or would it?
If I was different in looks, physiology, and circumstances, would I be the same person?
Is there something uniquely ME about me, or am I interchangeable with everyone else?
Are we ALL interchangeable, or is there something uniquely YOU about you?
Btw, I can't speak for "many scientists," but I'm not sure they "believe" consciousness is universal, just that it MIGHT be.

@Storm1752
Still have to use the word believe, a true scientist wouldn't use the word believe. They would say "it isn't proven to be possible and untill it does it can be discarded...

@Storm1752 My friend, the body any of us inhabits is the one made by the union of 1 single sperm cell and 1 single ovum that is ALL there is to it.
The fertilized ovum develops into an embryo, then into a foetus and finally into a human baby, what becomes of that tiny baby is a matter of what it eats, learns and does as it grows, that is the only and major choice we have in life, we cannot inhabit any other body EXCEPT the one we are born as.

@Triphid Agreed halfway... maybe we will be able to inhabit another body some time in the future. It might be a scientific possibility that we haven't discovered. Maybe there will be a great scientist someday who will be able to transfer human conciousness to a computer. Maybe another great scientist will be able to create a body that can effectively host that conciousness. Who knows just yet?

@HumanistA Yes BUT that is still a long way down the track, atm and as it stands, like it or not, the body we get is the body we are stuck with until we kick the bucket.

2

Non of the above. God is a figment of your imagination.

Not talking about 'god' as a 'thing' or 'entity,' but as consciousness. Or are you yourself a figment of your own imagination?
Do I exist, or are you just making me up?

@Storm1752 Sir, Cut me and I bleed, kill me and I die, no figments can ever bleed or die and that is a fact.
As the Latin saying goes, " Cogit ergo sum, " I think therefore I am."

2

Bullsiht! God does not exist in any way or in any form. The rest is just illusion & delusion. Or do you have any evidence? Évidence is everything.

Here I am, I really exist, yes, I have eaten a taco. What more evidence do you need of my existence?

@Word I don't think a post in an internet backwater is going to qualify as evidence.

I have only my own experience as a living, breathing, conscious person. Do I exist? Do you? Does the chair you're sitting in?

@Word he was referring to the existence of god, not you.

@Storm1752 I created Taco God, any person that has eaten a taco is a God by way of eating a taco. Have you eaten a taco? If so, did the taco exist, did you really exist when eating a taco and do you exist after eating the taco becoming a taco God?

@Storm1752 You must exist because something that does not exist can't post questions. Wondering if "I" exist, is a silly use of time.

@Word But you're not god! Unless your delusional. And I'm just going by your medical records. lol

@Atheist3 eating a taco is not delusional. Trying to be your god would be delusional.

@Word And you would luv every minute of it! Send me yer $. 😜

@Word God! Is that you?

@Storm1752 Sure! But that.doesn't mean that your subjective experience exists in the naturalist world.

2

If you are suggesting that our thoughts and nature are in some way limited by the very nature of nature...well, yes. Did humans anthropomorphize nature...well, yes to that, too. But, what need is there to call nature, even if it involves some elementary consciousness, a god? I am not into nature worship and I don't think that nature is into being worshiped.

I'm saying that's what men do when they create religions. Maybe the 'god' I think may exist is the impersonal consciousness all matter down to every single atom has.
I don't KNOW exactly what I'm saying. I'm not trying to start a religion here![mindmatters.ai]

@Storm1752 Basic consciousness is awareness of one's surroundings or environment. All life has a certain level of consciousness. Even AI senses and monitors its environment and to that extent possesses some consciousness. It is simply silicon-based intelligence rather than carbon-based intelligence. Self-consciousness may be nothing more than (neural) feedback loops that allow one to be conscious of one's consciousness. In that case, a certain level of intelligence will automatically and naturally lead to self-consciousness, even potentially and eventually in AI. I don't really think of consciousness as being anything special or mysterious but inherent to life. Now, I suppose you could speak of a collective consciousness of the Universe but it does not necessarily follow that it is centralized into a Supreme Intelligence. In fact, I see no evidence of that, just human projection of human consciousness onto nature. Nevertheless, it does seem that there may be some guiding principles to the formation of the universe and the life within it that we usually refer to as the laws of physics or the laws of nature. This would, it seems, include the characteristic of consciousness endemic to life.

@Storm1752 I didn't read it all and kind of was stopped by this sentence: “Somehow, our consciousness is the reason the universe is here.” That one is kind of 'out there' for me. The world is because we are? Hmmm interesting.

It's not that I'M calling it 'god.' It's that some other people interested in understanding "reality" do, indirectly, by imagining consciousness is centered in a hierarchy, going from the least to the most organized, which must have an apex, a crown.
This is patterned on man-made social structures, right? But it could be an anarchy instead, or a democracy. Or something else. Or nothing.
Maybe we just ARE.
And to suggest we and/or our self-realization are to be "worshipped" is ridiculous, and may betray a misunderstanding of who and what we are, which is everything, so to speak.
Should "everything" be worshipped? Of course not.

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