Author Topic: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?  (Read 2776 times)

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Offline junebug72

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RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« on: May 08, 2014, 09:17:02 AM »

You mean daddy?  What do you mean when you say "god"?

Life is a gift=God is The Giver.

I mean the source of life.

I mean my comforter.

A power greater than myself.

I see no need to muck that simplicity up with religions.  I can however understand how early humans would.  What I can do is not let those earlier humans have suffered in vain.  You know the ones who died by the hands of the religious. ;)
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Offline Star Stuff

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2014, 09:26:38 AM »
Thank you for displaying that Freud was correct:

"The idea of god was not a lie but a device of the unconscious which needed to be decoded by psychology. A personal god was nothing more than an exalted father-figure.  Desire for such a deity sprang from infantile yearnings for a powerful, protective father; for justice and fairness and for life to go on forever. God is simply a projection of these desires, feared and worshipped by human beings out of an abiding sense of helplessness. Religion belonged to the infancy of the human race; it had been a necessary stage in the transition from childhood to maturity. It had promoted ethical values which were essential to society. Now that humanity had come of age, however, it should be left behind."
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Offline penfold

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2014, 09:45:38 AM »
Thank you for displaying that Freud was correct:


Don't think she did, rather I think you found that it was possible to apply a Freudian analysis to what she said. They are not the same thing.

Anyhow Freud's analysis is palpable bollocks; apart from the fact that it is completely unfalsifiable (and thus of the same intellectual merit as the claims of religion itself), it is also laughably reductive.

The far more interesting early psychologist William James makes the following comment about the Freudian reduction of all God-talk to disguised infantile sexual development:

It seems to me that few conceptions are less instructive that this re-interpretation of religion as repressed sexuality … It is true that in the vast collection of religious phenomena, some are undisguisedly amatory … [ie] ecstatic feelings of union with the Saviour in a few Christian mystics. … Religious language clothes itself in such poor symbols as out life affords … Language drawn from eating and drinking is probably as common in religious literature as language drawn from the sexual life. We ‘hunger and thirst’ after righteousness; we ‘find the Lord a sweet saviour’; we ‘taste and see that he is good’ …[1]

Just because religious people use the language of parenthood to talk of God, does not mean that God can be reduced to a subconscious longing for a father - any more than the fact I say 'bless you' when someone sneezes, or 'oh my God!' when startled, points to some subconscious longing for divinity.

 1. Varieties of Religious Experience Lecture I
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away." - P.K.D.

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2014, 09:52:34 AM »
Read her points again, and see if they can & do indeed reflect parallels of her god idea with a father figure:


Life is a gift = God is The Giver.

I mean the source of life.

I mean my comforter.

A power greater than myself.





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Offline penfold

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2014, 09:56:53 AM »
Read her points again, and see if they can & do indeed reflect parallels of her god idea with a father figure:


Life is a gift = God is The Giver.

I mean the source of life.

I mean my comforter.

A power greater than myself.

Yes there are parallels but that does not entail she is talking about a father! I could equally find parallels between these characteristics and the sun (source of all life - check; comforter - check; power greater than myself - check) - in fact I could argue that the sun is a better analogy than father. But it would be silly to claim that Junebug's idea of God is really a subconscious longing for the Sun - just as silly, in fact, as claiming her idea of God is really a subconscious longing for a father.

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away." - P.K.D.

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2014, 10:03:28 AM »
Yes there are parallels but that does not entail she is talking about a father!

I'm not suggesting that she is consciously talking about/yearning for a father figure, but that such thoughts & beliefs stem from childhood and get mapped onto or morph into knee-jerk explanations for our existence and place in the cosmos.  And it's so easy to remain in said infantile state.



« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 10:05:43 AM by Star Stuff »
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Offline penfold

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2014, 10:09:40 AM »
Yes there are parallels but that does not entail she is talking about a father!

I'm not suggesting that she is consciously talking about/yearning for a father figure, but that such thoughts & beliefs stem from childhood and get mapped onto or morph into knee-jerk explanations for our existence and place in the cosmos.  And it's so easy to remain in said infantile state.

Maybe so, maybe not. I still have no idea how one could prove such a thing - again I could equally invent some plausible sounding story about the Sun rather than a father - what evidence or reason could you provide to prefer your father-story over my sun-story?
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away." - P.K.D.

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2014, 10:20:27 AM »
Because your sun displays none of the characteristics of an earthly father.  Here's an opportunity for everyone to chime-in on some of "god's" characteristics which parallels human fathers.  I'll start with a few:

- Male. (ever notice how god is always referred to as "He")

- In charge.

- Provider.

- Disciplinarian.

- Sits on a throne (includes sofa's & recliners).

- Has strong hands.

- Has a loud booming voice.

- Gets angry.

- Forgives.

- Demands obedience.

- Demands submission.

- Rewards.


.....and I'm sure hundred's more.
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Offline penfold

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2014, 10:36:05 AM »
Because your sun displays none of the characteristics of an earthly father.  Here's an opportunity for everyone to chime-in on some of "god's" characteristics which parallels human fathers.  I'll start with a few:

.....and I'm sure hundred's more.

I can come up with my own list:

- illuminates

- nourishes

- warm

- perfect

- overpowering

- source of life

- Constant

- Unchanging

- Providing structure

- Transcendent

- Unmoved mover

- Source of salvation and re-birth

etc...

But it doesn't really matter what parallels with the idea of a father you can find or parallels with the Sun I can find. We don't need to look far for the 'father' one in any event: God, in the Xian tradition is called Father! Though this, being a conscious rather than subconscious epithet would undermine, rather than support Freud's theory.

I feel you've missed my point so I'll re-iterate:

i) Just because the idea of God and the idea of father share parallels that is not proof that God is merely a subconscious longing for a father. You have not provided a causal link; I could equally argue that modern notions of fatherhood are subconscious acting out of the God-myth! Put formally: correlation is not causation, and your claim is unfalsifiable (a point I've raised twice now with no response).

ii) The analysis is too reductive; the fact that we describe God with the language of authority is not surprising, nor then is it surprising if this language is what refers to other authority figures (like fathers) - but God is a far richer and more diverse concept than that of the father - your analysis ignores this.
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away." - P.K.D.

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2014, 10:43:32 AM »
But we are not born from spherical balls of gas.

Correlation is not causation indeed, but sometimes it is.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2014, 10:49:04 AM »
Because your sun displays none of the characteristics of an earthly father.  Here's an opportunity for everyone to chime-in on some of "god's" characteristics which parallels human fathers.  I'll start with a few:

- Male. (ever notice how god is always referred to as "He")

- In charge.

- Provider.

- Disciplinarian.

- Sits on a throne (includes sofa's & recliners).

- Has strong hands.

- Has a loud booming voice.

- Gets angry.

- Forgives.

- Demands obedience.

- Demands submission.

- Rewards.


.....and I'm sure hundred's more.

I did not define God this way you are. 

Forgives, maybe, I see it more as understanding.  The rest of this list is religion's responsibility; not mine.

Nope I don't refer to God as "He".  Go ahead check it out.  Maybe 2-3 times when I first joined but I have for many years entertained the idea that God is not human therefor male and female may not apply in "It's" characteristics.   8)

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Offline penfold

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2014, 10:52:05 AM »
But we are not born from spherical balls of gas.

So?[1]

Quote
Correlation is not causation indeed, but sometimes it is.

But, I ask again, how would you prove this?

Freud (and you) are making a factual claim. To be a factual claim it must be falsifiable, that is there must be something I can measure which has the potential to show the claim to be false.

This is the problem with Freud, it is all very elegant, but there is no method of falsification - all he provides us with is story and myth.

If you could show me that, for example, people with absent fathers are more likely to believe in God, or that there is less belief in God in matriarchal societies, or that people angry with their fathers are more likely to be angry with God - then I might be slightly more sympathetic to your cause, though none of these would be even close to conclusive.

You can believe what you want, but personally I reject Freud's theories for the same reason I reject God - a complete lack of falsifiability.

 1. Neither, it should be pointed out, are we born of our fathers...
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away." - P.K.D.

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2014, 11:00:33 AM »
Freud (and you) are making a factual claim.

Ahh, then this is what you're getting hung up on.  No, I am not stating that this Freudian concept is "absolute fact", rather, that I think there is significant truth to it.  I hold this (and most all) views tentatively.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2014, 11:16:12 AM »
Freud (and you) are making a factual claim.

Ahh, then this is what you're getting hung up on.  No, I am not stating that this Freudian concept is "absolute fact", rather, that I think there is significant truth to it.  I hold this (and most all) views tentatively.

So you think early humans felt fatherless?  I believe it was/is inspired by the awesomeness of their existence on this beautiful but dangerous planet.

They knew their lives were not completely in their own hands. 
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 11:19:46 AM by junebug72 »
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline Star Stuff

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2014, 11:36:08 AM »

So you think early humans felt fatherless?  I believe it was/is inspired by the awesomeness of their existence on this beautiful but dangerous planet.

They knew their lives were not completely in their own hands.


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Offline junebug72

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2014, 11:56:10 AM »

So you think early humans felt fatherless?  I believe it was/is inspired by the awesomeness of their existence on this beautiful but dangerous planet.

They knew their lives were not completely in their own hands.




I am saying that early humans came up with the idea of God.  I don't think they had daddy issues but rather had an awe of the universe.  I am saying they knew their lives came from/depended on, powers beyond their control. 

I hope this clears it up for you. ;D
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2014, 12:16:25 PM »
I am saying that early humans came up with the idea of God.

Yes, it was pre-scientific humanities "first guess".



Quote
I don't think they had daddy issues but rather had an awe of the universe.

They didn't know about the universe as we do now.



Quote
I am saying they knew their lives came from/depended on, powers beyond their control.

They didn't "know" this, they thought this, out of staggering ignorance and superstition.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2014, 01:02:23 PM »
I am saying that early humans came up with the idea of God.

Yes, it was pre-scientific humanities "first guess".

I don't think they guessed there were great powers at work beyond their control.  I think they were wrong to believe that sacrifices and religious worship would somehow please this power. 





They didn't know about the universe as we do now.

I think they were far more intimate with the "universe" than we are.  We have all these modern conveniences.  They were exposed.  I Imagine a very humbling experience. 



Quote
I am saying they knew their lives came from/depended on, powers beyond their control.


They didn't "know" this, they thought this, out of staggering ignorance and superstition.

How about participating in Naked and Afraid and let's see how you feel then. ;) 
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Offline Star Stuff

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2014, 01:10:03 PM »

I don't think they guessed there were great powers at work beyond their control.
I think they were wrong to believe that sacrifices and religious worship would somehow please this power. 

Interesting how it all comes back to what "you think".  You conveniently get to pick & choose over history what humanity was right & wrong about, so long as it aligns with what you think.




Quote
I think they were far more intimate with the "universe" than we are.  We have all these modern conveniences.  They were exposed.  I Imagine a very humbling experience. 

They may have been more in tune with their immediate earthly environment for hunting & resources, but they had no concept of the universe as we now have thanks to science and our exploration & technology.



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Offline junebug72

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2014, 07:17:11 AM »

I don't think they guessed there were great powers at work beyond their control.
I think they were wrong to believe that sacrifices and religious worship would somehow please this power. 

Interesting how it all comes back to what "you think".  You conveniently get to pick & choose over history what humanity was right & wrong about, so long as it aligns with what you think.




Quote
I think they were far more intimate with the "universe" than we are.  We have all these modern conveniences.  They were exposed.  I Imagine a very humbling experience. 

They may have been more in tune with their immediate earthly environment for hunting & resources, but they had no concept of the universe as we now have thanks to science and our exploration & technology.

OMG Star.  There were and still are powers at work beyond our control.  geeze!  You should show a little more respect for those first humans.  They went through a lot so that we could have what we have today!!!  They could not help that they didn't know what we know which still does not detour belief in God/Gods.  For myself that knowledge you speak of enforces my belief in God and diminishes religious belief. 

Religion is what sucks. >:(   

By the by, your first comment is you doing what you're accusing me of.  You're only refuting my comment because it does not align with what you think.  I am pretty sure, like 99.9%, that the first humans did not have daddy issues.  They had an awe of the universe and the planet.  A respect for the powers of the sun, thunderstorms, tornadoes, etc..  They were desperate.  Desperate people do desperate things like sacrifice life to those things.  Still do.  Not to the same extremes but the religious still sacrifice humanity for their desperation. 

One more thing.  My dad was not a power greater than myself.  We are/were both human.  He did not create life on Earth.  He wasn't even born until 1943.   He was not my comforter.  I had no human comforter.  I had no one but God to comfort me.  That is why my belief is strong and non religious. 

I think between penfold and myself you should reconsider your's and Freud's position on god belief stemming from daddy issues. ;)
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline Star Stuff

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2014, 09:18:30 AM »
One more thing.  My dad was not a power greater than myself.

From your birth, for many years, yes he was.



Quote
He did not create life on Earth.

But he did create your life.



Quote
He was not my comforter.  I had no human comforter.  I had no one but God to comfort me.

I ask everyone to think about this statement and see what stands out.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2014, 09:38:46 AM »
One more thing.  My dad was not a power greater than myself.

From your birth, for many years, yes he was.



Quote
He did not create life on Earth.

But he did create your life.



Quote
He was not my comforter.  I had no human comforter.  I had no one but God to comfort me.

I ask everyone to think about this statement and see what stands out.

So was my mom.  So is the sun, so is volcanoes, thunderstorms, the death of a star, the oceans, nuclear explosions, I can go on and on if you like.

So did my mom.  I created my son's.  Therefor I am just as powerful.  He just created his own, he is just as powerful as me.

What stands out to you?
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2014, 09:46:13 AM »
What stands out to me is that it's quite possible that you seek out the comfort that you never got from your father, and find it in an imaginary father.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2014, 10:11:15 AM »
What stands out to me is that it's quite possible that you seek out the comfort that you never got from your father, and find it in an imaginary father.

Why would I want another father.  My mom did not comfort me either.  In fact they were both a large part of my emotional and sometimes physical pain.

Even if I did believe, which I don't, that my belief stems from parental let downs that still does not explain how early humans defined god/s.  In fact it was those parental let downs that caused me to believe God did not exist for a long time.  How could a god/s let me get hurt this way.  That kind of stuff.   

My belief comes way more from my awe of life and the universe.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2014, 10:15:16 AM »
Gotta go get some produce.  TTYL.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline junebug72

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #25 on: May 11, 2014, 05:48:37 AM »
What stands out to me is that it's quite possible that you seek out the comfort that you never got from your father, and find it in an imaginary father.

I was in a hurry yesterday. 

So let's say you're right.  How did this "imaginary" father comfort me?  Would I have survived w/o it and how?

Why did my belief not stop when my dad and I made up?

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Offline Defiance

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #26 on: May 11, 2014, 08:52:25 AM »
What stands out to me is that it's quite possible that you seek out the comfort that you never got from your father, and find it in an imaginary father.

I was in a hurry yesterday. 

So let's say you're right.  How did this "imaginary" father comfort me?  Would I have survived w/o it and how?

Why did my belief not stop when my dad and I made up?
It didn't comfort you, you comforted yourself, because you made the idea of your own god.
Yes, you would have survived. All you had to say was, "Well even though it's not real, I am a strong human, I can survive without fairytales."
Why would you want to stop believing in eternal life? I know you don't.  Thats why you kept believing. Why would you convince yourself that "This is all there is", seeing as in the past you pretty much depended on the idea of your god.
"God is just and fair"
*God kills 2.5 million of people he KNEW would turn out like this in the flood*
*Humanity turns bad again, when God knew it would*
We should feel guilty for this.

Offline median

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #27 on: May 11, 2014, 10:06:26 AM »

You mean daddy?  What do you mean when you say "god"?

Life is a gift=God is The Giver.

I mean the source of life.

I mean my comforter.

A power greater than myself.

I see no need to muck that simplicity up with religions.  I can however understand how early humans would.  What I can do is not let those earlier humans have suffered in vain.  You know the ones who died by the hands of the religious. ;)

So basically for you, "God" is just electrical signals operating within the limits of biology and natural physics? What do you mean by "a power greater than myself"?

Further, what makes you think that "Life is a gift"? How can you demonstrate that life (as we know it) was given by a someone? Aren't you just assuming?
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

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Re: RE: What do you mean when you say "god"?
« Reply #28 on: May 11, 2014, 10:12:04 AM »
I am saying that early humans came up with the idea of God.

Yes, it was pre-scientific humanities "first guess".

Maybe their second guess. The earlier native people's tended to have a spirit religion that helped them see themselves as part of the land and environment. Somehow they developed healing systems with advanced knowledge of plants, and theorized that this was all part of their planned/integrated environment.

It all gets woven into one big story. Maybe for entertainment, because otherwise they would get bored, and wonder what the point of living in a jungle was.

I think the father-type religions might have evolved with the agrarian communities, who needed more law and punishment.
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.