God -- Purpose

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Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 02:29 pm
This idea has long been expounded upon to a certain extent so the intent of this post is not to propagate an endless and trivial debate.

I'm sure that philosophers in the past have well asserted the impression that, In a sense, we are the gods of our own lives and we create our own purposes.

Now, In a similar regard, If you were the God of all being, The begetter of all existing species - What purpose would you give your creation and all lifeforms in general? (More specifically humans.)

Just a thought I'm having and I didn't want to ignore it.
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 02:47 pm
Infovore;87465 wrote:
Now, In a similar regard, If you were the God of all being, The begetter of all existing species - What purpose would you give your creation and all lifeforms in general? (More specifically humans.)

Just a thought I'm having and I didn't want to ignore it.

To explore, learn, create, and share.

Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 03:33 pm
God purpose
There are of course several formulations of this general question. This one is phrased in a theistic context.
What is God's purpose for the universe?
How does God act in the world?

In expressing an answer, I think one has to incorporate our current conceptions of the universe and of the operations of the universe.
What is man's place in the universe?

For the ancient Greeks the universe was relatively small, eternal, well ordered and self sustaining (cosmos).

For the Renaissance thinkers nature obeyed Gods laws and everywhere showed evidence of divine (intelligent) design.

Neither of these is the current view of the cosmos; and so the conceptions of God and Gods action that corresponded to these world views is no longer tenable.

The six thousand years of the Bible have given way to a cosmic time scale of 14 billions of years.

The earth instead of being at the center of the universe is an unremarkable small planet at the periphery of an unremarkable galaxy, circling an unspectacular star, in a universe of vast dimensions and billions of galaxies and stars.

Man instead of being a unique creature specially created and endowed with a divine soul is merely one creature among many; the product of an exceedingly long evolutionary process. The Earth is estimated to be 4.5 billion years old, Life 2-3 billion years old, human ancestors 1-2 million years old and all of recorded human history a mere blip on the cosmic expanse.

The development of life has not been a steady progressive upward process, but punctuated by mass extinctions in which 90% or more of all living species have been eliminated. The laws of physics tell us the sun will exhaust its fuel and the earth will be consumed in the resulting red giant of a dying sun.

This then is the modern view of the cosmos and in which one is called to fashion a notion of Gods purpose and Gods action. The old views of an omniscient, omnipotent deity who directly (supernaturally) intervenes in the processes of nature to impose his will violates reason and experience.

The God of "natural theology" is no longer the God of "scriptural authority".

Despite this, I still hold a fundamentally theistic view of the world. My world view basically centers on process philosophy, panpsychism and panentheism. The arc of the universe is long but it tends towards order, complexity, life, mind and experience.

God works not by supernatural means but through the processes of nature. God struggles and suffers with and for his creation. Everything that happens is not the result of divine plan or divine intention. The forces of chaos and disorder must be overcome. God patiently, persistently and lovingly pushes creation forward.

Creation is an ongoing process not a completed act. The universe is in the process of potentiality becoming actuality. Creativity is the ultimate value. Man is part of creation not the purpose of creation. Part of value and aesthetics is learning to live in harmony with nature and with natural process.
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 11:35 pm
Let me use a simi-analogy to explain my point of view.

Create the fish aquarium and let those fishes do as they want. Why would I care what they do? Even if they were to fight, they would ultimately be at a disadvantage, so they would learn without my intervention. Why scold or punish any of them for being fish? I wouldn't place any expectations or goals for any of them. Constantly messing with them anyways would ultimately disrupt their environment and their behavior. Not to mention I might cause disruption if a particular group felt themselves special and wanted to force their control on all the others. So no playing favorites or there will be a feud that would never end.

EDIT ADDITIVE: Also I would never insist that the fishes worshiped or believed in my existence. Why? Because it in no way effects my existence weather or not they did or did not believe. Why should it? Only silly fishes talk about believing in god is the purpose of being a fish.
Reply Thu 3 Sep, 2009 09:22 am
Reply Thu 3 Sep, 2009 12:36 pm
that my 'children' would be much as my 2 year old is... in wonder at all she sees, eats and drinks what she needs when she needs it, expresses her feelings (good or bad) openly and truly, is not afraid to laugh or cry or hug or push away, has so much of a lack of a conscious selfishness that she says anyone's name except her own, does not talk in big fancy words empty of feeling (never has anyone said 'bicycle water with such feeling Smile ) she is free within the safe, but often invisible, protection of my hand, but as she is able I allow her space to grow...

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