Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login
The John Byrne Forum
Byrne Robotics > The John Byrne Forum Page of 2 Next >>
Topic: Why Would God Create A World? Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 11996
Posted: 04 October 2018 at 9:12am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Written by Carlo Filice, Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York College at Geneseo:


 QUOTE:
So, back to our current formulation of this question: Given a God, why is the world as we know it here? Why would a divine source produce a world (or many worlds) at all? This is a particularly difficult question for those who conceive of God as a fully blissful and self-sufficient being, which is a typical theological conception of God. What would motivate such a self-satisfied super-mind to imagine from nothing a world not-itself, and realize it? Why not simply rest forever or timelessly in its blissful self-state? 

It’s remarkable that the foundational texts of the major religions have little to say about this. The Book of Genesis simply begins with God’s process of creation, no motivation offered. The only hint as to motive occurs post-Creation, when God observes the various elements created and recognizes their goodness (“And behold it was good…” is written several times in the first chapter). Perhaps such goodness is itself the reason for the Creation; or perhaps not, and such goodness was a surprising byproduct of the Creation. More would have to be said.

The full article is HERE, but I thought I'd pick two pertinent quotes.

People know I don't believe in God.

As a kid, I would ask awkward questions of my teachers, e.g. "What was God doing before he created the world?"

Other than for boredom (and why would an omnipotent being be bored, anyway?) or as part of some experiment, I am not sure why a god would create a world.

I think this is what made the biggest impression on me:


 QUOTE:
Why not simply rest forever or timelessly in its blissful self-state?
Back to Top profile | search
 
Marc Baptiste
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2891
Posted: 04 October 2018 at 9:17am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I hate this answer, but the one thing that I have always come back to is: ENTERTAINMENT.

Marc
Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 112859
Posted: 04 October 2018 at 9:33am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

“Entertainment” is too benevolent. The God of the Old Testament (the one I could believe in, given the state of the world) was cruel, jealous, vengeful, misogynistic, and basically a first class prick.

To understand why he would create the world, imagine a sunny day and a child crouching over an anthill with a magnifying glass.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Eric Sofer
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 31 January 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 2547
Posted: 04 October 2018 at 9:57am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

"Why would God create the world?"
"It's unimaginable to me that He would."

Isn't that a rather strong argument for atheism? When one starts debating God's motivations, I think that first of all, there's no way to understand them, any more than a starfish can discuss calculus. Secondly, one should define God before ascribing motivations, actions, desires, etc. to Him. And you will NEVER get enough agreement to persuade anyone else, I believe.

"Why would God create the world?"
"So he could make beings that could discuss his existence."
Back to Top profile | search
 
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 11996
Posted: 04 October 2018 at 10:15am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Actually, Eric, if I told you I had a pet starfish that does, among other things, discuss calculus, you'd be surprised. 

I am not a deep thinker. Never was. But even as a kid, I was thinking certain things (during religious classes): Where did God come from? Why did he create the world? If he was eternal, what was he doing, as far as 'time' could have meaning, prior to the world's creation?

No teacher could ever satisfactorily answer those questions for me. ;-)
Back to Top profile | search
 
Byron Graham
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 September 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 795
Posted: 04 October 2018 at 11:04am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I think the Eleventh Doctor put it best when he said, "I'm being extremely clever up here and there's no-one to stand around looking impressed. What's the point in having you all?"

I believe God was thinking the same thing.


Edited by Byron Graham on 04 October 2018 at 11:05am
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 112859
Posted: 04 October 2018 at 11:07am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Caught the last few minutes of A DOG’S PURPOSE. In the closing scenes Dennis Quaid’s character realizes his new dog is the reincarnation of a pup he had as a child. Actually. For reals. And thus the movie ends.

I found myself thinking This is the most profound discovery in all of human history! But apparently the movie goes no further with it. It’s just a happy ending, not something that would shake human civilizations to their very core.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Peter Martin
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 11066
Posted: 04 October 2018 at 5:07pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Why not simply rest forever or timelessly in its blissful self-state? 
--------------------------------------------------
Forever is a long time. Given an infinite length of time, it is possible for God to have infinite whims, to have acted on them all... and had them all play out forever.
Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 112859
Posted: 04 October 2018 at 5:19pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Having gods means struggling to understand the minds of the gods, which are very conveniently unknowable.

Having science means accepting the universe as it unfolds itself before us, without the need for a Divine Plan to explain why babies are being raped and your father has colon cancer.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Shane Matlock
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 August 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 1357
Posted: 05 October 2018 at 2:04am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

This cracked me up when I read it in Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk. 

“Centuries ago, sailors on long voyages used to leave a pair of pigs on every deserted island. Or they'd leave a pair of goats. Either way, on any future visit, the island would be a source of meat. These islands, they were pristine. These were home to breeds of birds with no natural predators. Breeds of birds that lived nowhere else on earth. The plants there, without enemies they evolved without thorns or poisons. Without predators and enemies, these islands, they were paradise. 
The sailors, the next time they visited these islands, the only things still there would be herds of goats or pigs. 
Oyster is telling this story. 
The sailors called this "seeding meat." 
Oyster says, "Does this remind you of anything? Maybe the ol' Adam and Eve story?" 
Looking out the car window, he says, "You ever wonder when God's coming back with a lot of barbecue sauce?”

Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 112859
Posted: 05 October 2018 at 7:28am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

"...seeding meat..."

Not a whisper of this on Google.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Robbie Moubert
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar
Evertonian

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1201
Posted: 05 October 2018 at 8:42am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Found an old discussion on the Snopes message board and a reference to Pig Beach on the Bahamas website but nothing conclusive.
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Bill Collins
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 10311
Posted: 05 October 2018 at 9:16am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

I`ve seen a documentary on tv about island hopping pigs,
apparently they can swim quite far.
The main problem i have with that story, is how did the
ever expanding colony survive if they stripped all the
native fauna and flora? Yes, the pigs may eat each
other, but the goats?
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Thomas Woods
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 09 June 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1089
Posted: 05 October 2018 at 9:54am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

If the universe had no life in it, there would be no one
to witness it's glory, it may as well not exist.

This could be part of God's motivation.
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 112859
Posted: 05 October 2018 at 10:04am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Well, see, God created the Universe and the World at pretty much the same time. And what that creation amounted to was the Middle East and some Xmas lights in the sky. The latter for “signs”.

Which is curious in itself, since God created Man after those “signs”, so we must wonder who was reading them.

And that brings us back to a nagging problem with the Big Kahuna. All of Creation seems ro have been brought about so he could have some flawed and ignorant creatures (Hey! He was tired!) to buff his ego.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 11996
Posted: 05 October 2018 at 10:07am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

 Thomas Woods wrote:
If the universe had no life in it, there would be no one 
to witness it's glory, it may as well not exist. 

This could be part of God's motivation.

This brings me back to the question of what was God doing before he created the universe?

I know some scholars (if that's the right word) have said that there was no "before" and that asking that is akin to asking who the bachelor is married to. But whatever we call it (non-time?), the fact is, based on what has been presented to us, there was a God prior to creation. Time, non-time, whatever we call it, there must have been some awareness. So how was he occupying time/non-time prior to creation?

(This is hypothetical, of course, I am not a believer).
Back to Top profile | search
 
Thomas Woods
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 09 June 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1089
Posted: 05 October 2018 at 10:23am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

This brings me back to the question of what was God
doing before he created the universe?

I know some scholars (if that's the right word) have
said that there was no "before" and that asking that
is akin to asking who the bachelor is married to. But
whatever we call it (non-time?), the fact is, based on
what has been presented to us, there was a God prior
to creation. Time, non-time, whatever we call it,
there must have been some awareness. So how was he
occupying time/non-time prior to creation?

---

I've thought about this a lot, and asked myself, how
could an eternal being have a first thought? How could
his thoughts eternally regress? But as I thought on
that more, he is described as knowing all things, all
the time. He knows the beginning from the end. Such a
being would have to have every thought, at all times.
Never is there a moment where he has less information,
he has all information all the time.

Being outside of 'time' or 'beginnings' is impossible
to imagine, but if the above is true, he always knew
the creation and what would happen.
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 11996
Posted: 05 October 2018 at 10:29am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

That one certainly taxes the brain!

It does (and I'm not being awkward, simply raising questions) wondering what the point of prayer is. Obviously, I don't pray. But let's suppose someone prays:

"God, please help me be reunited with the woman I love."
"God, please help this temporary job, which I enjoy doing, become permanent."

If God already knows ALL things (eternally and infinitely), and it is his will that the prayer-giver NOT be reunited with his love, or that the temporary job doesn't become permanent, then what is the point of prayer?

Some (not all) Christians may think these awkward questions. They are sincere. I'm here to have a friendly debate. But if God already knows what will happen throughout all of time, then decisions must already be set in stone. It would appear to make prayer futile.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Thomas Woods
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 09 June 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1089
Posted: 05 October 2018 at 10:39am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

The prayers and the results were both known up front is
all I can say. So I guess the prayers could have
affected things. But I know my unanswered prayers far
outweigh any answered ones.
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 112859
Posted: 05 October 2018 at 10:43am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Prayers are at least insulting to God. After all, he is Omniscient. And Perfect. His Creation is part of his Plan, which is also Perfect. So asking God to do something else — to change his Mind — is asking him to do something LESS than Perfect.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Jabari Lamar
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 18 October 2017
Location: United States
Posts: 228
Posted: 05 October 2018 at 11:17am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Regarding prayer, take a religion like Islam, whereupon God demands that humans must pray to 5 times a day, at specifically designated times, every single day, and tells us exactly what to say during these prayers (essentially telling Him how awesome He is, over and over), and if you say any of them incorrectly, or at the wrong time, or don't follow the proper ritual before or during the prayer, then they don't really count anyway.

Why does He need us to do that? Ego-boost?
Back to Top profile | search
 
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 11996
Posted: 05 October 2018 at 11:20am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Yes, that has crossed my mind.

I don't care what the ants are doing or thinking (if thinking is a thing in ant-world) outside my apartment. Am I not an "ant" to God? Why would he demand worship and praise constantly?
Back to Top profile | search
 
Thomas Woods
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 09 June 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1089
Posted: 05 October 2018 at 11:26am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Why does He need us to do that? Ego-boost?

---

One thing is that it keeps your mind on God rather
than PlayStation, Game of Thrones, partying, and
getting into trouble.

If you are someone struggling with an addiction or
some 'sin' that will only hurt you or others, and
trying to choose a better path by believing in a
higher power, prayer is a good way to keep your eye on
the ball and not fall into disaster.
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Jabari Lamar
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 18 October 2017
Location: United States
Posts: 228
Posted: 05 October 2018 at 11:31am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

And what's wrong with Playstation, Game of Thrones, or partying (not that I personally have a Playstation, watch Game of Thrones, or do much partying these days) as long as I'm not getting into trouble because of any of it?

If I'm just living my life normally, going to work, paying my bills, not hurting anyone, why do I need to my mind on some "God?"
Back to Top profile | search
 
Thomas Woods
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 09 June 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1089
Posted: 05 October 2018 at 11:44am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

And what's wrong with Playstation, Game of Thrones, or
partying (not that I personally have a Playstation,
watch Game of Thrones, or do much partying these days)
as long as I'm not getting into trouble because of any
of it?

If I'm just living my life normally, going to work,
paying my bills, not hurting anyone, why do I need to
my mind on some "God?"

---

It is my belief that 98% of those who believe in the
Bible are not doing anything right. Which could
explain unanswered prayers.

You are supposed to give up all that you have except
the minimal needs. That means no playing games for
hours and hours, while there is someone starving on
the street. No watching Game of Thrones when there are
people in the local hospital in great pain, and many
alone with no one to talk to.

You are supposed to be helping others daily.
Back to Top profile | search | www
 

Page of 2 Next >>
  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You can vote in polls in this forum

 Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login