Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Question To Readers About God

I found my way to Deacon Blue's fascinating blog last night and read this interesting post about God, titled, Balanced, Not Superstitious. It's a good read. I commented:

Me: I don’t know if you’ll agree with this or not, Deacon Blue, and would enjoy hearing your opinion. I think God, evolution, science and math are compatible and not mutually exclusive of one another. I think God likes the latter three and is part of them.

Deacon Blue: I, too, believe that they are entirely compatible. For example, I once read that if you were moving infinitely fast, you’d be everywhere in the universe at once. Now, I can’t recall where I read that (might has been one of Isaac Asimov’s non-fiction books, now that I think about it), but it made me think about God’s unlimited power and omnipresence. How can a being be everywhere and see everything? Being infinitely fast.

Our conversation began with comments toward the end (as of now), and as I asked him, he'll find some links to his past posts which expand on this.

Meanwhile, I'll expand on what he has said with my own point of view, which is yet unfinished as I am searching myself. I imagine that by the time I get old, my opinion will have been further fine-tuned, and when I die, if lucky, I'll find out the answer and it will be good.

I'm thinking that being part of everything and everyone, right down to the individual cell is another way of being omnipresent. But cells die, and God doesn't, so maybe he is moving "infinitely fast" in order to avoid part of his own death.

But, life feeds on death, i.e., nothing is wasted. So even if a cell or body dies, it decomposes, which is both a biological bi-product and a form of energy; not "life" in the living animal or plant sense, but something that exists so that other life can feed off it, or eventually transforms into subatomic particles, aka energy.

I don't know if my thoughts about this is (or has been) mathematically provable, but I suspect it is, and if so, lends credence to God being everlasting and part of everything, for this is how energy is, at least as we understand it, so far.

Here's where it gets dicey for me. God is more than science or math because he has "morals".

But -- are his morals not what we understand them to be, because ours vary and change depending on the historical time period and the cultural backdrop? For example, what is acceptable in one setting is scandalous in another.

No, I suspect God's morals are Truth, a truth so pure that it can be broken down to conform to the law of physics. In other words, the action of one being or entity impacts the action of another. We call this consequences and apply it to our behavior.

My tiny human mind, at best, can see there is truth in love and fairness, which to me, is the lowest common denominator of the Ten Commandments, or in other words, the heart of what they address.

I could have used other words, like justice instead of fairness. Justice changes and is a loaded word, but a child knows what's fair and what's not.

Or I could have included the word peace, but conflict has done a lot to spread humanity from one place to another and led to civilization-building.

Think of this way: if families and tribes were in total peace, there would have been few reasons to leave the place where they began way back in time.

Those who said eff it, packed up and started roots elsewhere, over and over again, expanded humanity to all points on the globe, and were able to try new ideas and invent new things that they otherwise may not have, had they all remained stuck in a conflict-free environment. Plus, one natural disaster could have wiped them out and rendered us extinct.

The downside of conflict is that our war technology will probably kill most of us and the planet in the end.

And I chose the word love. I think love really is one of God's physics-based truths, because it leads to positive consequences, such as loving the environment, yourself, your family, and your neighbors enough to avoid polluting any of them, or it, with your envy, pettiness, bigotry, domination, and trashing the planet.

This is sort of a heavy topic, and I'm curious to know what my readers here (except for the troll) think about my thoughts on this, and their own. Since there are no provable answers beyond faith, please don't be shy about venturing an opinion. Thanks.


  1. Kit,

    Some great thoughts there (and thanks for calling my blog "fascinating"...I've been wondering if I was slipping lately, myself...LOL).

    As I read your post, another thing that lept to mind was evolution for me. Not in the creationism vs. evolution argument, but rather in the "why is life so hard?" argument.

    People have trouble reconciling a loving and merciful God with the nature of the world and humanity and the fact that He lets bad stuff happen.

    Well, I've argued before that the troubles are really OUR doing and it's not His job to clean them fact, it takes responsibility and accountability away from us if He does, making us mere puppets and/or even more irresponsible idiots. Myself, I'd rather see strife and have free will and choices, rather than to be micromanaged by the Almighty. LOL

    But beyond that, I've also argued that I think the afterlife is not an endpoint but another phase of a journey. That is, God has work for us, and there is still room to grow. I think we will progressively become more and more like God. But, Him being infinite, we'll never truly reach His level, but still come ever closer to His image and nature.

    That being the case, our time and sufferings on Earth, no matter how heart-rending and terrible, are drops in the bucket, and a necessary part of our growth.

    After all, evolution in the Darwinian sense isn't exactly peaceful. It involves death, pain, adaption, etc. and often conflict and risk of extinction are the catalysts for evolutionary leaps.

    Anyway, just some random thoughts. Now I need to go add you to my blogroll.


  2. Agreed, God does let bad stuff happen, and it isn't His job to clean up our problems - but I think that in His mercy, He does intervene sometimes. This may seem like coincidence, luck or superstition to some, but I do believe that.

    You said, "I think the afterlife is not an endpoint but another phase of a journey."

    I hope so, and I hope that Heaven is like one long nice vacation... but if there's "work" to do, then the next life could be a continuation of problems and problem-solving. If that's the case and we make it there, at least we won't be bored.

  3. I believe He intervenes as well, just as a parent sometimes, but not always, intervenes to help their children (even when they are grown children). But you've heard the common refrain, I'm sure: If God truly loved, He would simply stop the slaughter in the Sudan, put an end to nationwide famines, etc.

    Personally, I think an eternal vacation would get boring quickly. I'm hoping that our work and education will continue after this world, but I also hope it's very pleasurable and rewarding education/work, and suspect it will be.

    P.S., Based on the "radical autonomist" comment in your disclaimer about comments, I'm guessing a certain Nordic-inspired guy has been here, too. Banned him one myself and he must have got a new ISP or my block must have gotten erased, but I'm tolerating him for the moment until (not "if"...I know it's a "when") he effs up again. ;-)

  4. Brownbelle here. I agree with Deacon Blue; science that is divorced from morality/spirituality is very, very dangerous. Almost every scientific advance can be used for good or for evil. Mustard gas put hundreds of thousands of soldiers through excruciatingly painful deaths in WWI. But the toxin can also be used to temporarily stop the growth of cancer cells.

    Consequences are just a part of our fall from grace...everything comes at a price. Today most people have access to clean water, food that can be fixed in 60 seconds, and more clothing than we need. Getting killed by a bear or dying from the flu is very rare. But the preservatives & chemicals that we put in the food to make it so tasty and easy to fix have been linked to obesity, diabetes, & heart disease. The very same vaccinations that save lives could be engineered to exterminate a certain race while healing everyone else. It's too late to go backwards because once folks get used to doing things the easy way they don't want to start doing more work.

    Deacon Blue hit the nail on the head when he said that the more we figure things out using science, the less we feel like we need God. And that viewpoint of cold, invincible rationality is what's sending the world to hell in a handbasket--not technology or science itself, but science & technology without a conscience.

    In terms of faith, I have always been uncomfortable with the idea that the other half of the world that is non-Christian would be damned to hell. That just didn't sound like my Jesus! My mother comes from a long line of United Methodists but my father hates organized religion. So growing up, I went to church every Sunday but also read books on other world religions and discovered that Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc. in their purest form (that is, when not being used to further someone's political agenda) have everything in common. I just wish that more people could see past their prejudices instead of trying to save people who really don't need to be saved. What happened to the days when the Church took its role as a charitable institution seriously? If people cared more about living their beliefs and less about following doctrine, we wouldn't need Social Security. There are more than enough churchgoing folks in the United States for each community to take care of itself. I feel myself going on a tangent now though, so I'll leave it at that!

  5. KIT, serious topic. I have reached a stage in my life where I can no longer think about God in terms of He or She. I have reached a stage in life where I can see God when I see another being on this planet, human, plant or animal. Even the evil that people do was created by the very essence labeled God. This essesnce, energy, presence, love or spirit that we have come to accept as God is beyond intervening into our world here. I feel there are energies that surround our planet, and us, that can be tapped into that can heal or save us in various situations, unfortunately I think most of us have been trained to ignore these energies. For me, not only is "God" everywhere and no where at once, I believe this Spirit also permeates and is present in everything. Maybe, just maybe, the place for us to seek "God" is right inside our very selves.

  6. I think that God is God, the creator of all things. The beginning and the end. The Alpha and the Omega. Period.

    Very short, but it is what it is, for myself that is. It is a subject that one could think on and try to figure out with our finite logic until the end of time.

    But for myself, being a scientist, I'm not suppose to believe in God, but only science. But in all my studies, I have seen time and time again one thing: the scientific is born out of the spiritual. All of the scientific has always been here, but we as people have come along and "discovered" it. For some reason, we have made our discoveries "king"... and I'm not sure that's a good thing.

    I, being a chemist, and an expert in my field, can't tell you the number of times I have understood some chemical concept based on some spiritual precept, and vice versa. And for that, I am thankful.

    So for me to say God doesn't exist, and science rules everything, is for me to say the chair made of wood is just a chair, and at the same time deny the tree that it was carved from... even to deny the seed that the tree sprouted from...even to deny the tree that produced that seed... and so on and so on and so on.

    The air we breathe is made up of a very precise mix of elements. I don't deny that. At the same time, I don't forget to give thanks to the One who has manufactured the air I breathe.

    Interesting topic indeed. I think we all have a different take on it. And rightfully so.

    I enjoy your blog, and lurk often:)

  7. Great post Decon Blue, thanks KIT for pointing it out to your readers to check it out,

    I like Mr. Blue's point about how religion or science can be used for ill will. I think it's important for people who claim one side or the other to recognize that point. It doesn't matter how smart an individual is or how religious they claim to be, each discipline can be taken and manipulated for either good or bad intentions. In my opinion, it would be wise to for both parties to find ground instead exalting one over the other.

  8. God (IAM) is God! We often try to understand God when that is not what we should desire to do. We should desire to Know and Worship him. For all the famines and bad things we witness have we ever given thought to what God (IAM) does not allow to happen in his mercy?

    Could the famine have been longer, larger and worse if God had not intervened? What evil people has God kept from power or limited to certain power out of mercy?

    Thanks for letting me share. KIT I am so glad you back!

  9. Trying to reconcile God with Singularity is a weighty subject for one post.
    (Altough the "I AM" moment could be said to be the Big Bang - when all laws of Physics were in agreement.)

    Maybe this life is us in our pupal stage of development.
    Maybe after we moult (die), we will find our true mature selves.

  10. Thanks for the post. A good one.

    On this I have never understood the tension between science and God. Now, religion and science? Most certainly. On theodicy...I do not have the wisdom.

    God is the common denominator of the multiverse, the beginning and end, the ruler of these spaces--once we begin to decipher unified field theory we will be one step closer to the some minimal insight into the mystery. Does God care for "us," I don't know. Does God even know that we exist? We would like to believe so on both, but that may account for nothing more than wishful desire.

    chauncey d

  11. I remember years ago while sitting in my multivariable calculus class I was giggling because math class was reminding me just how awesome He is. The sole intention of science is to explain the world around us without faith but physical proof. However scientist constantly use assumptions and theories to stand in the place of concepts that no equations can explain. Theory. This is the scientist’s word for faith.

    Some theories that are easier to understand can be proven by those with limited understanding of the scientific concepts they apply to. Others can only be proven and manipulated by those with a stronger grasp or mastery of physics and mathematics.

    Likewise, there are those who are spiritually mature and some who are still babies in Christ. Now faith works the same way for babies as it does for the mature. But, having more experience or a "mastery" of the understanding of what's possible in the spirit realm, a walking on faith spirit filled person will have better success when applying spiritual principles in their lives because their faith is stronger.

    The scientific minded person has a library full of explanations for why they think the way they do. A spirit filled faith walker has a lifetime of experiences to prove their points. We know that if we dedicate ourselves to the study of scientific matters we can gain a mastery of the understanding of those ideas. It works the same when we dedicate ourselves learning God's word the bible and using our little bit of faith to help strengthen our spiritual perspective.

    There is a life beyond theory but it can only be achieved when faith is introduced.

  12. I agree. I don't know about you, but I always give overly relegious people the side eye. I think that we are suppose to have options. One way to look at shit is not the way it is supposed to be. That is why God gave us freedom of thought.

  13. Alot of food for thought and I love to eat!...LOL

    I really liked some of the comments people had. There was alot of insight there. Things I never thought of, mainly about why God let's things happen and how they could have been much worse.

    It is only human nature to make logic of everything but I learned long ago to throw logic out the window and follow blindly, as we are intended to do. It is called "faith."

  14. I have so enjoyed the comments from you all. Thank you for sharing them, and may God keep you safe.

  15. As usual Kit, a thought provoking post.
    I have never found god outside myself. I have to look within for the devine in this world. I believe it is in everyone.
    When I am going forward searching for truth and doing the next right thing in front of me THAT is when I feel a devine presence in my life. When I am forgiving those who do me harm and when I am asking those I have harmed to forgive me, I know I am in devine presence. Forgiveness is the most wonderful thing that has ever been given to me and the most wonderful thing I have to share. It lets me move forward.

    Hope you and your wee ones are well and have had a good holidays.


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