All About Flavors (of gods/no gods)
(Top Posts - Distance From Belief
in theism - 062601)

From the wide array of belief/disbelief modalities, what's
the best one, the best flavor so to speak, do you think?

Let's look at a few and ponder the ramifications of
each ...

- - -

1 - No God(s)

Technically, as for who first claimed there was a god ...
and who first replied there is no god ... probably occurred
sometime near the advent of totems and objects of deifi-
cation ... rumor has it that the 'no god' bloke was roasted
alive ... hmmmmmm (just a fantasy, but hey, who can
know, really ... could be true, eh?) ...

As for no gods, perhaps a good starting point are the
gods we can mutually agree are mythical. Usually, for
most believers and non-believers, that's quite a large
number.

Ponder at what point does a god transition from mythical
to possible, from 'doesn't exist' to 'disbelief that it exists'.
It seems that point is generally in proximity to our own
personal social/cultural exposure to a particular small sub-
set of the over 1,800 gods cooked up over time.

God by culture, as it were, with Gods close to cultural
views of the one doing the assessing being more diffi-
cult to be called myth, by many.

Many believers claim it's at the point of death, then all
will be revealed and their god will appear. However, even
the near-deathers (a small percentage who have experienced
'visions') have nothing but dreamlike illusions and claims
to offer and most near-deathers experience nothing but
an absence of consciousness regarding their closeness to
death.

All near-deathers have equal amounts of tangible evidence
(none). As far as I know, no one has died and come back
with any tangible evidence. In fact, some have suffered
all-but-death from being frozen, been revived, and have
reported nothing other than an absence of consciousness.

The god that's = nothing can be logically understood to
be = nothing.

A god that might be, but isn't, is the same as all imaginary
beings that might be, but aren't.

A god that requires human imagination to be is a god con-
trolled by human imagination.

In essence, such a god is subordinate to the human, for it's
the human who imposes his/her will upon the definition of
the god.

Even if an aggregation of documents from a particular set
of cultures is used as a source, if the documents are full of
contradictions, lies, and the like, how can one justify a claim
of god revelation in it?

If the documents have the appearance of human construc-
tion in the day and age in which they were written, what
would merit belief when even today we see the likes of
'tarot card reading' (for entertainment only) used to convey
some magic power 'if you believe'?

Should the bible have such a disclaimer? For entertainment
only unless taken seriously, in which case, YIKES!

Some equate gods to other imaginary beings, stating a
striking similarity between all imaginary beings in their
ability to do nothing in the real world and everything in
other worlds, such as an afterlife world or a pre-matter
world or a world in which imaginary beings interacted
with humans in some way.

For example, what if someone claimed invisible dancing
elves existed ... would that be impossible to disclaim?
Would it be logically impossible to refute?

Actually, it would be convincing on some level if one could
have them do something that only they could do.

God folks have their god do nothing that only their god
could do.

Why is there no evidence for god?

Because there is no god.

Why do invisible dancing elves and gods do nothing?

Because they don't exist.

Why do god-folks require faith?

Because god doesn't exist.

Why can't god do anything?

Because it doesn't exist.

Why won't god do anything?

Because it doesn't exist.

Now, one might counter, but it *could* exist. I would counter,
can it exist outside of your imagination? When it does, get
back to me.

Also of note, limits on god - how do they work? One says,
if I do u-v-w and believe x-y-z, I'll be immortal. I counter,
but what if your god sends disbelievers to heaven and
believers to hell, what then?

They counter, but god *can't* do that or god *won't* do that
and I must inquire, why?

After all, god can do whatever it wants, can't it? God could
play with humans like pets, if it wanted to, couldn't it?

They rejoinder, no, god has limits/promises and I believe them.

I'd counter, but humans wrote all that stuff down, and it's
contradictory, so which god do you believe in and how can
you assert that an all-powerful being cannot or will not do
whatever it wants to do?

Are you establishing limits for god, as if you are god over
god?

And so on and so forth.

Anyone can claim anything. Where's the evidence and why
should I believe it?

Dancing invisible elves, for example. If one states one
must bow to one's elves daily, speak to one's elves and ask
for goodies from them, and one tells their children to believe
in the elves and follow the elves or else, is a non-believer
more justified in saying dancing invisible elves don't exist or
I don't believe dancing invisible elves exist or if a dancing
invisible elf shows itself to me, then I'll believe? Seems like
3 ways of saying they don't exist and if they ever do, then
and only then will they be treated as something other than
imaginary beings.

But then, the counter is that they *must* remain invisible.
I'd reply that if they're all-powerful (like is claimed about
that god thingie), they can do anything including appear,
so why don't they?

Invisible dancing elf believers might then reply that showing
no evidence is critical for to show evidence, then we couldn't
choose. I'd say, how does that differ from not existing at all,
and have all the invisible dancing elves claimers over-stated
their case of contact with invisible dancing elves, 'cause now
you're telling me that's just not allowable?

Then, they'd say, no, the invisible dancing elves chose some
humans for contact (the special chosen ones) and that's as
far as they'll ever go on revealing themselves, so there.

Then, I'd say, so, how does that differ from humans just
making the invisible dancing elves up? They'd reply, well,
some people even today claim contact with dancing invisible
elves.

Then I'd reply, so, if that's true, they can show themselves.

They'd reply, well, only if you 'really believe'. I'd counter,
but how does that differ from delusion? They'd counter,
because they're real, you only have to believe. I'd counter,
can they appear without belief? They'd counter, no, you
*must* believe and even then they might not appear.

So, what we're left with is simple - claims and no evidence
of existence, imaginary beings and plenty of evidence that
the belief in the imaginary beings is resulting in human be-
havior designed to treat some imaginary beings as reality
and causing human beings and human children to act in
ways both beholden to some imaginary beings and to peo-
ple who claim association with them.

Also, we're asked to suspend disbelief in order to enter the
'magic world' where magic beings 'appear' or 'make them-
selves known', a world mating to delusion.

God? Same gig, only it's a really big magic being that we're
talking about there.

With the exception of the god generalists who claim all gods are
manifestations of 'the' god, it's impossible to reconcile all the
disparate claims of god with one another.

When it comes to human imagination, there is no speed limit - in
fact, there is no limit of any kind as anyone can believe anything
without one shred of evidence - billions on earth are evidence of
that fact.

The human desire to know all and fill in all unknowns with gods
is one of the most revealing characteristics of that which makes
us human and in that desire, 'til now, for most, magic beings/so-
cial cohesion/desire for immortality/desire to have 'us vs. them'
absolutes have been deemed to be higher priorities than open-
minded search for verity.

- - -

2 - Creators of God(s)

You're not god of god? Some christians see a god of purga-
tory ... do you? Some christians see a god of hell ... do you?
Some christians see a god of 'believe or else', while others see
a god of grace/judgment of human acts - what do you see?

Some christians see a god of condemnation/revenge ... do
you? Some christians see a god of non-intervention in human
affairs ... do you? Apart from the christian angle, some muslims
see a god who likes to be called Allah ... perhaps, by now, you
may be beginning to understand how humans have set themselves
up as the gods of gods ...

4,739 mentions of god in the bible. How many do you think
are true, how many are fiction, and how can you tell the dif-
ference? How many were god's word, how many were humans'
words and how can you tell the difference? Isn't it likely they
were all humans' words and they were all a reflection of the
superstitious nature of the humans who wrote the words?

Code of Hammurabi? Get back to me on how many of these
gods are real, how many are fiction, and how you can tell the
difference and, while you're at it, how the gods in the stele of
Hammurabi differ from the gods in the bible ...

http://eawc.evansville.edu/anthology/hammurabi.htm

- - -

3 - God(s) of Mystery : What's Real & What's 'Make Believe'?

So, you have no answer as to the human differences regarding
god? Let me put it in terms you may be willing to relate to ... of
all the claims regarding god, how can one objectively discern
the truth from the fiction, the valuable from the empty, for to
yield to any of them places one in the mystery world of the
unknown?

In all the god claims, is there any discernable element that would
distinguish any claim from fiction? Is there any 'smoking gun'
that would demonstrate that any set of god claims is valid and
supercedent over any other set?

Put in simpler terms, for your consideration, is your God bigger,
badder, better than all the rest in kind of a "My God is the best
damned God around" kind of way? If so, please provide con-
vincing evidence of your prideful boast. If not, well, perhaps you
would be wise to consider the likelihood that all the God claims
are mere reflections of that which makes some of us, especially
those among us who are unwilling to ponder a natural world of
mystery and wonder, yearn for absolute answers and ultimates
and totality of being/purpose in places where none, in fact, exist.

- - -

4 - God(s) of Private Conviction

You may be shy about your god, when surrounded by dis-
belief or by folks believing in gods not mating to the god
perceived as real by you. In those situations, you might
choose to share thoughts about your version of god without
trying to convince others that your opinion is worthy.

Call it the god of private conviction approach. You believe
in your god but you fear the opposition to your views and
you're not really all that sure your views are the one and
only truth, so you adopt a 'silence is golden' approach but
yet you're tempted to share in some way that conveys your
views while not trying to convince anyone that your views
are "the truth" or "supreme" or "the only way".

You could start it with "Here are my views on god and I'm
not trying to convince anyone, so just keep that in mind as
you hear of my views ..." A good ending might be "... if you
feel you're being convinced by any of my views, don't blame
it on me because I don't want to convince anyone regarding
my thinking there is a god or in thinking that god happens to
mate to my personal views."

- - -

5 - God(s) of Convenience (for use by humans in ways
and manners humans deem to be of merit)

As for what one might present on god, perhaps something
along the lines of the following - I haven't seen it presented
in this way, but no reason it couldn't be, by someone who
was trying to present a liberal god view, revealing their human
weaknesses, their real human goals, and their ability to use
their god view for their own personal ends ...

... [s-a-m-p-l-e] ... "I think there is a god because it would
be nice if there was one (a good one, you know), no one
can prove to me that there's not a good one (as I can just
blow off all the evil god stuff as who really believes that
stuff anyway?), it fits in nicely with that which is considered
to be acceptable in most situations (when done in a low key
manner), it places me in a position for an OK from god in
case I end up in front of god some day (not that I think I
will, you understand), it gives me a feeling of purpose and
destiny (even if it's not true as hey, my standards are not
that high), ...

it gives me someone to feel like I'm talking to (whether it
really exists or not), it gives me a reason to socialize with
co-believers (or folks pretending they believe, like who can
really know, anyway), it gives me a cultural focus for major
events like funerals / weddings / child-rearing, it gives me
really good practice at pretentiousness (comes in handy in
the business world, you know), it mates to what a lot of my
friends & family want folks to think they believe (so why
fight the flow?) ...

it gives me an explanation for life that most folks buy into on
some level, it relieves me of having to think about things when
saying 'god is responsible for it' is so much easier (and it's
really cool the way that folks' faces light up when you credit
god for good stuff, you know?), it gives me something I can
hide behind because most folks who doubt the god thing try
to keep their views to themselves and just kind of turn away
when god things come up (and I like that, not having to de-
fend my views or think much about them), ...

it places me on the side of those who tie god into America /
mom / apple pie / goodness (and I like that), it's like something
I can believe in but not really care about seriously (although I
pretend to care when I'm around other folks that either care or
pretend to care), it really turns christian chicks on (especially
when done in combo with my devilish side - gotta leave 'em
guessing, knowing when to do the pro-god bit and when and
how to play the 'cool' sinner card is key, there), ...

it's something I can ignore/diss/dismiss when I'm around folks
that don't take to it (so long as I'm clever enough not to do so
around folks who are into the god trip), and you know, the
"totality of all that" is that it makes me the most disingenuous
and insincere human I can possibly be (and I like that, especially
getting away with it and being looked up to for it, like I'm the
good guy, you know?) ..."

- - -

So, it's all about flavors and the reality of it all is that god is, in
fact, a manifestation of human imagination and the refutation of
same is simply a matter of approach and degree. Dare to be
willing to face the unknown, and explore, with an open mind,
and in that effort know the only true hope for humankind.

- - -