philosophy of science: meaning and functions (Introduction)

by dhw, Sunday, September 16, 2018, 09:25 (303 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

TONY: Because in our observed experience, like begets like.

Dhw: So did your God “beget” lots of gods like himself, or has he remained unique?

TONY: From a biblical perspective, he is still unique, despite having created other powerful beings. (Elohim literally means powerful ones, and his title literally is "most powerful one"). There is even implications in the Bible that at some point humanity has the potential to become "like god", though to what extent is still unclear.

Previously you thought science was the “best evidence”, but I always get the impression that you regard the Bible as the best evidence! Anyway, we now have your God creating powerful spiritual beings who are like him but less powerful. Why do you think he did that?

TONY: […] The purpose is life, growth, development. There reached a point where it could no longer grow in isolation.

Dhw: “It” presumably means your first cause energy which you call God. So it needed other forms of life to enable itself to grow and develop. Would it be wrong to assume that the only way your God could develop would be through learning from new experiences? In which case, whether he/it started by creating other gods, or simply moved straight to creating material cells is actually irrelevant to the question of purpose.

TONY: I don't think it is irrelevant, from a logical perspective or from a perspective of his development. First, it makes sense that he would create others similar to himself before making those unlike himself.

According to Genesis 1:26 God said: “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness”, so we’re not unlike himself, are we? But in any case, why couldn’t he have created these other superbeings to extend his own experience? Surely Satan must have taught him a thing or two – he really livened things up, didn’t he?

TONY: Second, it makes sense that he would start with a single prototype before trying to create a universe.

Sorry, I’m not sure what you’re referring to here. Single prototype of what? A practice universe? A practice cell? A practice human? I thought these superbeings were different from us.

TONY: Third, from a biblical perspective, he let others do much of the work of creating the universe, but he supplied the power and knowledge.

This, I must confess, is new to me. I thought he did it all himself, but now apparently he created all these other powerful beings as a workforce. Well, at least that explains their purpose. He needed help.

TONY: I don't think it is possible for a living being NOT to seek new experiences. I think if we hit that point, death awaits.

Agreed. Your God, in whose image we are apparently made, was bound to seek new experience. Otherwise, figuratively speaking, he might have been bored to death.

DHW: I have to say I see very little difference between your concept of the “purpose of everything” and my own theistic hypothesis. Your God had had enough of his isolation, and wanted something other than himself to focus on so that he could have a fuller existence. Sort of relieving the boredom, wouldn’t you say?

TONY: That still seems a trivial summary compared to growth.

I interpret your “growth” and "development” as a fuller existence through an expansion of his experience, which could not have happened without him ending his isolation. See above. Why is that trivial?

DAVID: It is trivial in the sense that dhw persists in humanizing God as he imagines God.

dhw: Correction:Your IMAGINED God is much more serious than my imagined God. Why do you trivialize the spectacle as “fun and games”? Tony thinks God wanted to grow and develop (I ask why, and suggest that he may have been bored with his isolated existence). By creating life he will have learned what it is to love, to hate, to enjoy, to suffer, to win, to lose...none of which he would have experienced all on his own as an eternal blob of pure energy. Is this "fun and games"?

DAVID: Yes, we both imagine, because actually knowing God is not possible, since He is hidden. But the most mature way of discovering God is to look at His works, which is the Quran approach. We humans are the pinnacle of his evolutionary work, therefore a major purpose, but as Tony says below, not the entire purpose.

You criticized my hypothesis as trivializing God. You have then completely ignored my response. Why is it trivial to learn about love, hate, enjoyment, suffering etc.?

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