# Where Did 'God' Come From?

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Veteran Member
A newborn child, cold and hungry, cries out to the universe for food and warmth. He is gathered up in his mother’s arms, and is comforted, and fed.

We don’t remember this experience, but it is one we’ve all shared. I believe it leaves us with a sense that we might implore a greater being to come to our aid in time of trouble, and that it is likely the seed of the idea of ‘God’.

On a cold day, I walked out of the apartment ready to shiver. Stepping out of the shadow and into the sunlight, I felt a warmth and comfort, as if I were loved by the Sun. And I understood how easy it was for our ancestors to view the Sun as a god.

In early history people worshiped multiple gods, prayed to them for favors and offered them gifts so that the rains would water their crops, and the river would not flood their homes. By coincidence, this sometimes appeared to work. Psychologists have since discovered that behavior that was intermittently rewarded was more difficult to extinguish than behavior that was consistently rewarded. And so superstition flourished.

But then something new was added. Monotheism took the strong position that there was only one God.

And not only was this the God to pray to and worship, but this God also expected you to follow rules. If you followed the commandments, you would prosper, if not in this life, then in the next.

I remember the preachers from my youth, Oral Roberts and Norman Vincent Peale, teaching that God is a Good God, and that following Him brings both blessings and expectations. I remember the prayer at dinner, “God is Great, God is Good …”.

God became a way to make being good and doing good both valuable and sacred. And that is why the idea is still useful today, even by those of us who use the term in a literary rather than a literal sense.

#### steve_bank

##### Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
Well, if you go by the Old Testament god destroyed the world by a flood because he was unhappy with the way that which he created was going. In that respect Trump was 'god like', blame others for that which he created and went wrong.

A temperamental god at best. In Christian mythology god creates humans, humans who obey go to heaven, those who do not suffer eternally in hell. A dictator.

The Hebrew god was a personification of the male patriarch. Greek gods reflected human attributes.

For Christians god is whatever you want it to be. For Evangelicals god is an avenger.

'Mine eyes have seen the glory of the lord, he is wiping out evil with a great shining sword', or something like that in Battle Hymn Of The Republic.

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Veteran Member
Well, if you go by the Old Testament god destroyed the world by a flood because he was unhappy with the way that which he created was going. In that respect Trump was 'god like', blame others for that which he created and went wrong.

A temperamental god at best. In Christian mythology god creates humans, humans who obey go to heaven, those who do not suffer eternally in hell. A dictator.

The Hebrew god was a personification of the male patriarch. Greek gods reflected human attributes.

For Christians god is whatever you want it to be. For Evangelicals god is an avenger.

'Mine eyes have seen the glory of the lord, he is wiping out evil with a great shining sword', or something like that in Battle Hymn Of The Republic.

Well, you got the good stuff and you got the bad stuff. The fact of the bad stuff does not discount the good stuff. The fact of the good stuff does not discount the bad stuff. It's sort of like history. We only recently took down the statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Mankind is not perfect and neither are the gods we create.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
There are probably as many versions of God as there are believers in God.

#### WAB

##### Veteran Member
There are probably as many versions of God as there are believers in God.

I would say that is almost certainly true.

But, I do agree with the essence of what Marvin is saying here, which Spinoza also said (er...for the most part), in his Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (TTP).

#### southernhybrid

##### Contributor
Imo, almost every institution that humans create has its good positive side and its negative side. So, it makes sense to me that a god can be both good and evil intermittently.

#### steve_bank

##### Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
Well, if you go by the Old Testament god destroyed the world by a flood because he was unhappy with the way that which he created was going. In that respect Trump was 'god like', blame others for that which he created and went wrong.

A temperamental god at best. In Christian mythology god creates humans, humans who obey go to heaven, those who do not suffer eternally in hell. A dictator.
.

The Hebrew god was a personification of the male patriarch. Greek gods reflected human attributes.

For Christians god is whatever you want it to be. For Evangelicals god is an avenger.

'Mine eyes have seen the glory of the lord, he is wiping out evil with a great shining sword', or something like that in Battle Hymn Of The Republic.

Well, you got the good stuff and you got the bad stuff. The fact of the bad stuff does not discount the good stuff. The fact of the good stuff does not discount the bad stuff. It's sort of like history. We only recently took down the statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Mankind is not perfect and neither are the gods we create.

Christians are no bteer or worse than anyone else, despite claiming to be moraly superior ahnets pf a god.

I read Moher Teresa's book. She was remarkable IMO. Motivated by faith to work with the worse wrenched people in India. She had critics.

On the other hand over here scripture was used to justify slavery. One of the most grotesque pictures I saw was an old photo of a church picnic with a lalck person hanging from a tree in the background.

One person hears god telling her to aid the destitute, another hears god say 'hate fags'. Over here Evangelical rhetoric often crosses over to hate speech justified by 'god says....'.

As I see it one's image of god is a reflection of who you are, not the other way around. Kind people see kindness, hateful people see justification of hate.

The Hebrew biblical god is not a god of underseal love. God changed with the Gentile adoption of the bible and evolving into Christianity. Today god is what you make it to be.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
About the thread's title with respect to my belief I'm probably in simulation -

I think the intelligent force(s) had a beginning and will have an end....

Here is an entertaining look at a simulation in the future where a person forgets his true identity and becomes "God" as part of a test:

I think that God doesn't want to be obvious to skeptics.... see: https://www.lifesplayer.com/bible.php

#### DBT

##### Contributor
If a Simulation, it's more likely to be a high tech civilization doing the Simulating rather than a Supernatural God, whatever that is supposed to be.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
If a Simulation, it's more likely to be a high tech civilization doing the Simulating rather than a Supernatural God, whatever that is supposed to be.
In order for "God" to be "supernatural" it just needs to override the normal physics - e.g. create matter, teleport matter, allow walking on water, etc.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
If a Simulation, it's more likely to be a high tech civilization doing the Simulating rather than a Supernatural God, whatever that is supposed to be.
In order for "God" to be "supernatural" it just needs to override the normal physics - e.g. create matter, teleport matter, allow walking on water, etc.

Overide from what state? A physical state? A non physical state?

#### T.G.G. Moogly

As I see it one's image of god is a reflection of who you are, not the other way around. Kind people see kindness, hateful people see justification of hate.
Which nicely explains why believer gods are so adept at being irrational, emotional, divisive problem creators. These gods use their power for personal gratification and are unable to ever solve any problems. These gods never seem to be able to figure things out and implement lasting solutions but instead fix problems with more death and destruction which nevertheless seems to make them very happy.

Non-believer gods tend to be painless, rational problem solvers that act with civility and respect.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
If a Simulation, it's more likely to be a high tech civilization doing the Simulating rather than a Supernatural God, whatever that is supposed to be.
In order for "God" to be "supernatural" it just needs to override the normal physics - e.g. create matter, teleport matter, allow walking on water, etc.
Overide from what state? A physical state? A non physical state?
Normal physics in a simulation could be said to be "physical" - with material "cause and effect" rules....

#### Copernicus

A newborn child, cold and hungry, cries out to the universe for food and warmth. He is gathered up in his mother’s arms, and is comforted, and fed...

It does seem rather obvious that gods are part of how people make sense of their physical reality. They do the same things for adults that parents did for their children, so it makes sense that they would ground their model of reality in their earliest experiences. Parental authority is absolute, and it is the basis for learning about how to interact with other humans--i.e. an authoritarian basis for deciding what is good and bad. More importantly, though, is the fact that we manipulate reality by imposing our will on our bodies. So it makes sense to think of other objects in our environment as agencies that are able to sense and interact in the same ways--by acts of willpower. Animism--imputing minds or "souls" to everything--is the most primitive form of religion. Gods are a reasonably good explanation of external forces of nature, and that gives rise to polytheistic religions in which gods exist as family and tribal units with their own behaviors. They explain why the seasons change and even when they change so that farmers can grow and harvest crops at the proper time. Monotheism arose naturally as a way of unifying complex societies, especially as empires collected diverse communities with competing polytheistic pantheons. Hence, we got precursors to monotheism in the Egyptian and Achaemenid empires, which influenced the Hebrew version of biblical mythology.

So my reaction to the OP is that theism isn't just the product of wishful thinking. It is a very natural way of modeling reality based on early childhood experiences. Over the centuries, this natural, albeit simplistic, model of reality has given way to the realization that natural forces are not really like animacy. Physical objects and forces are not always the product of minds that will physical events to happen. So science has become the natural enemy of religion, because it contradicts the older ways of predicting how reality behaves. Now we understand a lot more about how order naturally evolves out of chaotic deterministic interactions, so it is no longer necessary or useful to model reality on the basis of early childhood experiences. Our models can be much more sophisticated and interesting now.

#### steve_bank

##### Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
As I see it one's image of god is a reflection of who you are, not the other way around. Kind people see kindness, hateful people see justification of hate.
Which nicely explains why believer gods are so adept at being irrational, emotional, divisive problem creators. These gods use their power for personal gratification and are unable to ever solve any problems. These gods never seem to be able to figure things out and implement lasting solutions but instead fix problems with more death and destruction which nevertheless seems to make them very happy.

Non-believer gods tend to be painless, rational problem solvers that act with civility and respect.

I could not have said it better.

#### ideologyhunter

##### Veteran Member
Which nicely explains why believer gods are so adept at being irrational, emotional, divisive problem creators. These gods use their power for personal gratification and are unable to ever solve any problems. These gods never seem to be able to figure things out and implement lasting solutions but instead fix problems with more death and destruction which nevertheless seems to make them very happy.

Non-believer gods tend to be painless, rational problem solvers that act with civility and respect.

Given the fact that (Biblical, anyway) scriptures are crammed with examples of God either being a murderer or getting his chosen peeps to murder, and given the even more confounding fact that the believing community gets hit with just as many catastrophes as us heathens, it's a great farce when the believers try to square how life turns out with their belief in a loving creator. You're prospering? Praise God! Your marriage broke up? God wants me to grow from this and rely more on Him. Your child has cancer? God works in mysterious ways, and man's puny brain cannot comprehend those ways (even though, when you prospered, you seemed to understand God pretty well.)

#### DBT

##### Contributor
Overide from what state? A physical state? A non physical state?
Normal physics in a simulation could be said to be "physical" - with material "cause and effect" rules....

What is the reality of whoever it is running simulations?

#### Copernicus

Overide from what state? A physical state? A non physical state?
Normal physics in a simulation could be said to be "physical" - with material "cause and effect" rules....

What is the reality of whoever it is running simulations?

That's a very clever question, young man, but it's !

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
What is the reality of whoever it is running simulations?
I think it would be a futuristic world whose past vaguely resembles our current world. (Known as "ancestor simulations" when precisely simulating their past)

Various possible scenarios:

The "Roy" game: (skip to 24 seconds) - you're just a player - who forgot their outer identity:

Where the player is the creator God:

Assuming the Christian God exists - they could be ignorant of their original identity:

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
What is the reality of whoever it is running simulations?

That's a very clever question, young man, but it's !
I think each simulation would have less information than its outside world.... and each outer world would have more information than the simulation... so I don't believe that there could be an infinite number of levels....

#### WAB

##### Veteran Member
What is the reality of whoever it is running simulations?

That's a very clever question, young man, but it's !
I think each simulation would have less information than its outside world.... and each outer world would have more information than the simulation... so I don't believe that there could be an infinite number of levels....

Excellent ideas to ruminate! Your alternative leaves room for the Steady State model and/or the BB model. Nice. I prefer the SSM myself. I forget where I first heard of it...or did I dream it...?***

I see two whales adrift in the ocean...impenetrable blackness all around...total darkness...Bill? Who's Bill? etc...

A balm?! What are you giving him a balm for?! It might bite him! Quick, throw it in the pot...

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
A newborn child, cold and hungry, cries out to the universe for food and warmth. He is gathered up in his mother’s arms, and is comforted, and fed.

We don’t remember this experience, but it is one we’ve all shared. I believe it leaves us with a sense that we might implore a greater being to come to our aid in time of trouble, and that it is likely the seed of the idea of ‘God’.

On a cold day, I walked out of the apartment ready to shiver. Stepping out of the shadow and into the sunlight, I felt a warmth and comfort, as if I were loved by the Sun. And I understood how easy it was for our ancestors to view the Sun as a god.

In early history people worshiped multiple gods, prayed to them for favors and offered them gifts so that the rains would water their crops, and the river would not flood their homes. By coincidence, this sometimes appeared to work. Psychologists have since discovered that behavior that was intermittently rewarded was more difficult to extinguish than behavior that was consistently rewarded. And so superstition flourished.

But then something new was added. Monotheism took the strong position that there was only one God.

And not only was this the God to pray to and worship, but this God also expected you to follow rules. If you followed the commandments, you would prosper, if not in this life, then in the next.

I remember the preachers from my youth, Oral Roberts and Norman Vincent Peale, teaching that God is a Good God, and that following Him brings both blessings and expectations. I remember the prayer at dinner, “God is Great, God is Good …”.

God became a way to make being good and doing good both valuable and sacred. And that is why the idea is still useful today, even by those of us who use the term in a literary rather than a literal sense.
What?! God came about over control.

Animism existed as a ritualistic method of trying to control nature. Gods then came about as conscious controller of aspects of nature, but the animal killings were still kept around. It wasn't about good or bad... it was about whether they (god(s)) were pleased or not so that nature would do as was beneficial for humans.

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
What is the reality of whoever it is running simulations?
I think it would be a futuristic world whose past vaguely resembles our current world. (Known as "ancestor simulations" when precisely simulating their past)

Various possible scenarios:

The "Roy" game: (skip to 24 seconds) - you're just a player - who forgot their outer identity:

Where the player is the creator God:

Assuming the Christian God exists - they could be ignorant of their original identity:
This isn't remotely on topic.

#### WAB

##### Veteran Member
*deleted double post! Again...

Last edited:

#### WAB

##### Veteran Member
A newborn child, cold and hungry, cries out to the universe for food and warmth. He is gathered up in his mother’s arms, and is comforted, and fed.

We don’t remember this experience, but it is one we’ve all shared. I believe it leaves us with a sense that we might implore a greater being to come to our aid in time of trouble, and that it is likely the seed of the idea of ‘God’.

On a cold day, I walked out of the apartment ready to shiver. Stepping out of the shadow and into the sunlight, I felt a warmth and comfort, as if I were loved by the Sun. And I understood how easy it was for our ancestors to view the Sun as a god.

In early history people worshiped multiple gods, prayed to them for favors and offered them gifts so that the rains would water their crops, and the river would not flood their homes. By coincidence, this sometimes appeared to work. Psychologists have since discovered that behavior that was intermittently rewarded was more difficult to extinguish than behavior that was consistently rewarded. And so superstition flourished. [<<< ...ahem...]

But then something new was added. Monotheism took the strong position that there was only one God.

And not only was this the God to pray to and worship, but this God also expected you to follow rules. If you followed the commandments, you would prosper, if not in this life, then in the next.

I remember the preachers from my youth, Oral Roberts and Norman Vincent Peale, teaching that God is a Good God, and that following Him brings both blessings and expectations. I remember the prayer at dinner, “God is Great, God is Good …”.

God became a way to make being good and doing good both valuable and sacred. And that is why the idea is still useful today, even by those of us who use the term in a literary rather than a literal sense.
What?! God came about over control.

Animism existed as a ritualistic method of trying to control nature. Gods then came about as conscious controller of aspects of nature, but the animal killings were still kept around. It wasn't about good or bad... it was about whether they (god(s)) were pleased or not so that nature would do as was beneficial for humans.

In case some people - oh I don't know who - missed the whole OP, which JH kindly quoted above, I emboldened that last part. The part where Marvin wraps it up. You can still read the parts I didn't embolden for extra emphasis, but this is only a suggestion to those people - Oh, uh...I'm not going to point any fingers, mind you. Who's judging? What? Me judge? - who may have skimmed it and misunderstood the intent of the post as a whole.

#### WAB

##### Veteran Member
It did it again, but this time I think I know why.

#### WAB

##### Veteran Member
What is the reality of whoever it is running simulations?
I think it would be a futuristic world whose past vaguely resembles our current world. (Known as "ancestor simulations" when precisely simulating their past)

Various possible scenarios:

The "Roy" game: (skip to 24 seconds) - you're just a player - who forgot their outer identity:

Where the player is the creator God:

Assuming the Christian God exists - they could be ignorant of their original identity:
This isn't remotely on topic.

Actually it is, but admittedly, one has to think about it quite a bit.

#### atrib

##### Veteran Member
God became a way to make being good and doing good both valuable and sacred. And that is why the idea is still useful today, even by those of us who use the term in a literary rather than a literal sense.

Humans can be good and do good without needing to rely on instructions from gods. I have never believed in gods, and I have no problem in behaving like a good person and doing good deeds. Calling on gods as the source of morality gives us nothing of benefit, and has the potential to cause great harm when these alleged teachings conflict with the well being of people.

#### atrib

##### Veteran Member
Well, you got the good stuff and you got the bad stuff. The fact of the bad stuff does not discount the good stuff. The fact of the good stuff does not discount the bad stuff. It's sort of like history. We only recently took down the statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Mankind is not perfect and neither are the gods we create.

Is there any concept or advice that the Bible has contributed that have not been or could not possibly be derived from a secular analysis of well being and how to achieve it? Is there any good thing that a Christian can do that could not also be done by a nonbeliever?

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
A newborn child, cold and hungry, cries out to the universe for food and warmth. He is gathered up in his mother’s arms, and is comforted, and fed.

We don’t remember this experience, but it is one we’ve all shared. I believe it leaves us with a sense that we might implore a greater being to come to our aid in time of trouble, and that it is likely the seed of the idea of ‘God’.

On a cold day, I walked out of the apartment ready to shiver. Stepping out of the shadow and into the sunlight, I felt a warmth and comfort, as if I were loved by the Sun. And I understood how easy it was for our ancestors to view the Sun as a god.

In early history people worshiped multiple gods, prayed to them for favors and offered them gifts so that the rains would water their crops, and the river would not flood their homes. By coincidence, this sometimes appeared to work. Psychologists have since discovered that behavior that was intermittently rewarded was more difficult to extinguish than behavior that was consistently rewarded. And so superstition flourished. [<<< ...ahem...]

But then something new was added. Monotheism took the strong position that there was only one God.

And not only was this the God to pray to and worship, but this God also expected you to follow rules. If you followed the commandments, you would prosper, if not in this life, then in the next.

I remember the preachers from my youth, Oral Roberts and Norman Vincent Peale, teaching that God is a Good God, and that following Him brings both blessings and expectations. I remember the prayer at dinner, “God is Great, God is Good …”.

God became a way to make being good and doing good both valuable and sacred. And that is why the idea is still useful today, even by those of us who use the term in a literary rather than a literal sense.
What?! God came about over control.

Animism existed as a ritualistic method of trying to control nature. Gods then came about as conscious controller of aspects of nature, but the animal killings were still kept around. It wasn't about good or bad... it was about whether they (god(s)) were pleased or not so that nature would do as was beneficial for humans.

In case some people - oh I don't know who - missed the whole OP, which JH kindly quoted above, I emboldened that last part. The part where Marvin wraps it up. You can still read the parts I didn't embolden for extra emphasis, but this is only a suggestion to those people - Oh, uh...I'm not going to point any fingers, mind you. Who's judging? What? Me judge? - who may have skimmed it and misunderstood the intent of the post as a whole.

Apparently I need to finish up the though. Beyond the point where we are talking about a god(s) purpose is to control nature, we get to the angry and spiteful god that has shit all to do with kindness and everything to do with dominance. Spirituality transitioned from supernatural that needed to be pleased to help nature move along to using spirituality to enforce control over people.

Kindness? In a Yahweh branch faith? Are we fucking kinding?

#### T.G.G. Moogly

Well, you got the good stuff and you got the bad stuff. The fact of the bad stuff does not discount the good stuff. The fact of the good stuff does not discount the bad stuff. It's sort of like history. We only recently took down the statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Mankind is not perfect and neither are the gods we create.

Is there any concept or advice that the Bible has contributed that have not been or could not possibly be derived from a secular analysis of well being and how to achieve it? Is there any good thing that a Christian can do that could not also be done by a nonbeliever?
To a hardcore believer the group identity is what is most important. In other words, "I must be accepted by my tribe." The woo is simply the most important aspect of the group identity.

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Veteran Member
God became a way to make being good and doing good both valuable and sacred. And that is why the idea is still useful today, even by those of us who use the term in a literary rather than a literal sense.

Humans can be good and do good without needing to rely on instructions from gods. I have never believed in gods, and I have no problem in behaving like a good person and doing good deeds. Calling on gods as the source of morality gives us nothing of benefit, and has the potential to cause great harm when these alleged teachings conflict with the well being of people.

Correct.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
This isn't remotely on topic.
Regarding my talk about simulations - if there is a simulation then I think there is an intelligent force/"God". A reason people have a belief in God could be because he exists. (though I don't think he is obvious to skeptics - meaning that their belief in God isn't very justified even if it is based on reality)

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Veteran Member
This isn't remotely on topic.
Regarding my talk about simulations - if there is a simulation then I think there is an intelligent force/"God". A reason people have a belief in God could be because he exists. (though I don't think he is obvious to skeptics - meaning that their belief in God isn't very justified even if it is based on reality)

I only watched the Alan Watts video and it was pretty cool. I read his "The Way of Zen" when I was in college.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
I only watched the Alan Watts video and it was pretty cool. I read his "The Way of Zen" when I was in college.
I like how it argues that the player is not only the God behind their reality, but they chose to allow suffering in their life.... also I interpret the speech as being about immersive video games.... and like in the "Roy" game the game time is sped up....

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Veteran Member
I really like the 1999 movie "The Thirteenth Floor". It's about these guys creating a simulated reality and then one of them discovers they are in one. I've seen it a couple times now.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
I really like the 1999 movie "The Thirteenth Floor". It's about these guys creating a simulated reality and then one of them discovers they are in one. I've seen it a couple times now.
Yeah I also like ExistenZ, Bliss (on Amazon), Upload (Amazon), Vanilla Sky, Black Mirror, Rick and Morty (S1E4), Inception (I think it is relevant to simulations)... I like how in The Thirteenth Floor you can possess existing characters.... (involves "avatars"?) My beliefs about our possible simulation are partly based on a lot of movies and TV shows.... they are examples of different possible purposes behind the simulation.

#### steve_bank

##### Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
Religion is living in a mental kind of imagined simulation. One adjusts perceptions of reality as being part of a god scenario.

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Veteran Member
Religion is living in a mental kind of imagined simulation. One adjusts perceptions of reality as being part of a god scenario.

Good point. I suspect we all indulge illusions of different sorts.

#### steve_bank

##### Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
Religion is living in a mental kind of imagined simulation. One adjusts perceptions of reality as being part of a god scenario.

Good point. I suspect we all indulge illusions of different sorts.

Apologetics. Throughout hisoy religion has been a major source of amuse of power, control, conflict, death, and destruction.

Illusion and delusion are two different things. Scifi movies are illusions. Believing a god will protect you against a disease is a delusion. Believing ancient Hebrew myths are real is a delusion.

#### T.G.G. Moogly

Religion is living in a mental kind of imagined simulation. One adjusts perceptions of reality as being part of a god scenario.

Good point. I suspect we all indulge illusions of different sorts.

Humans certainly like to pretend. We all do it. When we're watching a movie or reading a novel we're suspending disbelief. We pay actors millions of dollars to pretend for us. Theater is the same thing. I often wonder if being able to pretend is uniquely human, but I doubt it is.

And we have mirror neurons, pretty cool.

People who undergo psychotic breaks are typically experiencing the condition to a destructive end. And the worst pretenders are dead, the ones who think they really can fly off the top of a cliff like a bird. These guys get selected out of the gene pool.

I often tell the story about one of my players when I coached many years ago. He broke his arm when he climbed a tree, opened an umbrella and thought he would be able to float to the ground like he saw in cartoons when he jumped. I watched a lot of Three Stooges growing up but never once thought I could get away with the things they did, like dulling a hatchet hitting Curley on the head. My brain knew that jumping out of a tree with an umbrella was only pretend but some brains don't know that. Natural selection and all.

#### WAB

##### Veteran Member
Religion is living in a mental kind of imagined simulation. One adjusts perceptions of reality as being part of a god scenario.

Good point. I suspect we all indulge illusions of different sorts.

Apologetics. Throughout hisoy religion has been a major source of amuse of power, control, conflict, death, and destruction.

Illusion and delusion are two different things. Scifi movies are illusions. Believing a god will protect you against a disease is a delusion. Believing ancient Hebrew myths are real is a delusion.

Perhaps.

But believing that consciousness - or at the very least the sensation of control and autonomy that everyone feels, is "an illusion" is also delusional, and in a potentially equally harmful way.

Sam Harris goes on about it, and he should know better since he's a freakin' neuroscientist! Two posters at TFT go on about it, and I decided to finally put them on ignore for good, after all these years of hearing that nonsense.

I guess we choose our delusions, or we don't, according to Harris.

What pisses me off more than anything is someone handwaving away such terms as "mind", "consciousness", "I", "self", "autonomy" "self-control", "independent", "free", "freedom", "rights", "liberty", etc.; OR - conflating the meanings of those words with other words which have clear distinctions between them (such as "free" and "freedom" - oy!); or just not being able to discriminate between the use of certain terms as they pertain to epistemology/metaphysics and/or political notions of responsibility and accountability, especially with respect to criminal behavior and/or arrest, incarceration, rehabilitation and/or imprisonment (my head hoits!); AND: people who are either closet classists and/or simply do not grasp the meaning of egalitarianism, pragmatism, utilitarianism, or any other subtle and 'nuanced', methodological, research-based investigative study or experimentation be it scientific, medical {including psychiatry}, historical, academic, or professional relying on quantitative data and generally eschewing subjective opinion and speculation (for example engineering), etc, etc, etc.&...

But what can you do?

#### none

##### Banned
Banned
If you are going to encode those terms with quotes I'm "skeptical".

#### WAB

##### Veteran Member
If you are going to encode those terms with quotes I'm "skeptical".

You should be! I frequently get very confused with all the punctuation. All the "s and the 's & the ,s & the ;s & the []s & the ()s & the {}s & the - _ ^ * s and all the other squiggly litt-el marks and symbols and thes and the ~s...but this one - | i really like. Looks like a wall into which I might be someday compelled to smash my noggin until it breaks like a walnut. Which reminds me...|

#### none

##### Banned
Banned
If you are going to encode those terms with quotes I'm "skeptical".

You should be! I frequently get very confused with all the punctuation. All the "s and the 's & the ,s & the ;s & the []s & the ()s & the {}s & the - _ ^ * s and all the other squiggly litt-el marks and symbols and thes and the ~s...but this one - | i really like. Looks like a wall into which I might be someday compelled to smash my noggin until it breaks like a walnut. Which reminds me...|

YOU'RE bee.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
So, I'm going to do my usual for a first post of a philosophical (and to be fair, with MOST threads) and respond to the OP without even really reading it.

Sorry Marvin.

So, god came from a need, a need to describe the universe it's processes, it's systems and relationships. One of those process relationships is that there are strategies which work, which are not the strategies we were born "feeling" towards. I touch on this in the morality/ethics discussuon. This inevitably will lead any organism so afflicted by the conflict of interest between the drives of their emotions and the realities of social constructions that yield the fact of a "secret/revealed" truth that points to the more useful social constructions

And then the transform from human family creation to God-tribe-birth happens.

It's interesting because even if God were invented by a completely random process, monkeys bleating nonsense in this case, it still is an idea with philosophical function insofar as it is going to have survival value against available alternatives: if you can accept that the universe was created or started at a point in time and was given order and rule by a singular entity, you are much closer to the survival value of "the universe has consistent rules and behavior which can be repeated and studied", which is self-explanatory.

In many ways, though, it came as much from the idea of a "spirit" of a tribe, really the ancient human instantiation of the selfish gene, mashed up against those other things.

#### steve_bank

##### Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
Apologetics. Throughout hisoy religion has been a major source of amuse of power, control, conflict, death, and destruction.

Illusion and delusion are two different things. Scifi movies are illusions. Believing a god will protect you against a disease is a delusion. Believing ancient Hebrew myths are real is a delusion.

Perhaps.

But believing that consciousness - or at the very least the sensation of control and autonomy that everyone feels, is "an illusion" is also delusional, and in a potentially equally harmful way.

Sam Harris goes on about it, and he should know better since he's a freakin' neuroscientist! Two posters at TFT go on about it, and I decided to finally put them on ignore for good, after all these years of hearing that nonsense.

I guess we choose our delusions, or we don't, according to Harris.

What pisses me off more than anything is someone handwaving away such terms as "mind", "consciousness", "I", "self", "autonomy" "self-control", "independent", "free", "freedom", "rights", "liberty", etc.; OR - conflating the meanings of those words with other words which have clear distinctions between them (such as "free" and "freedom" - oy!); or just not being able to discriminate between the use of certain terms as they pertain to epistemology/metaphysics and/or political notions of responsibility and accountability, especially with respect to criminal behavior and/or arrest, incarceration, rehabilitation and/or imprisonment (my head hoits!); AND: people who are either closet classists and/or simply do not grasp the meaning of egalitarianism, pragmatism, utilitarianism, or any other subtle and 'nuanced', methodological, research-based investigative study or experimentation be it scientific, medical {including psychiatry}, historical, academic, or professional relying on quantitative data and generally eschewing subjective opinion and speculation (for example engineering), etc, etc, etc.&...

But what can you do?

We can do what the powerless always do, Eat, drink, be merry for tomorrow we may die...

A sense of control is normal and mentally healthy. Delusion is when one based on a philosophy or religion believes one wilrds some kind of special power.

I knew an educated Christian engineer who told me without his faith he could not get through the day without being plagued with questions. His faith gave him a sense of order and stability. The role of religion and philosophy as well.

WAB

#### Swammerdami

Staff member
What I have gleaned from my readings — although I've never seen it expressed the way that I will in this post — is that there are three types of "god." Their developments should be considered separately.

(1) First are animistic spirits. Just as people are likely to treat animals as conscious by default, so rivers, mountains, trees and forests may be regarded as inhabited by spirits. I don't necessarily regard this as superstitious: when people try to understand nature without the benefit of science, it is normal for "magical" interpretations to arise. These animistic spirits "live" on their own terms, generally without special interest in humanity.

(2) Eventually people began worshiping dead kings or dead ancestors, and asking them for advice. These "gods" are ancestral to and focused on a particular tribe of humans, and are depicted as having human form, so are very different from animistic spirits.

These two types of God can be combined and conflated together. Babylon for example had Marduk as their divine Ancestor-God and Shamash as the God of the Sun. Various conflicting interpretations were in use: Marduk might be equal to Shamash, the son of Shamash, or in an independent pantheon.

(3) Finally monotheism developed (along with abstract philosophies like Buddhism), with principles very different from (1) and (2).

WAB

#### Unknown Soldier

##### Member
Where did God come from? If you're referring to the Judeo-Christian God, then God is a version of earlier pagan gods from places like Babylon. He was revised by Hebrew religious and political leaders to suit the unique culture of the Jews and their interests. This God said he "chose" the Jews to be his people because those were the words that God's creators stuffed into his mouth.

So God as we know him came originally from pagan people and was later retooled by Jews and then Christians to serve their purposes.