Reverse Inclusion and God of the Gaps

Tao_Equus

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In my time active here on this site I have lost count of the number of times that I could have described posts I have read as a retreat into the God of the Gaps. Muslims, Evangelicals and Catholics alike have taken vicarious routes to counter the disonance that the human scientific endeavour brings to the question of where is the evidence for god. With claims ranging from delusionsal to desperate to pathetic time and time again we see people trying to claim the truth has always been in their particular favourite old book. This is because the theory of the God of the Gaps brings to the table that, with the exponential growth of scientific study, inevitable day where god has no place left to hide and thus still not being found must be declared a myth. So this effort by the faithful to reinterpret their ancient stories to include modern findings can be seen as the only option left open to them if they are not going to be forced into the last tiny corner.

The bunkum I hear as 'evidence' is invariably so much less than real. Rather it is appeals to credibility based on so called piousness and the flavoured writings of historical thinkers. Thinkers that lived in times that should they have declared non-belief they would, at the very least, have faced financial ruin and often death. It is only in the past 200 years or so that the weight of scientific study has become so great that thinking, educated people can present a case strong enough to mount a defence of non-belief that fascist totalitarian and absolutely self-serving religious authorities cannot counter. This revolution could only happen as the people who embarked on the exploration of objective truth were the affluent sons of the power holding class. The number of greats in the history of science that were church leaders or their children is no accident. Church has always been an institution of power and wealth and historically only the powerful and wealthy had access to education. So this claim that science has always been represented in religion whilst holding true is also highly deceptive. Science can thank religion for the first universities, and perhaps even for the scientific method, but like a child it has grown up and developed its own mind.

The truth is the gaps are shrinking but they will never disappear. The believer creates gaps, or justifications, for their belief regardless of the evidence to support them. Truth is not important to belief, indeed belief is a substitute for truth. So the theory of God of the Gaps seeing god ever reduced till he has nowhere left to hide will never see its ultimate realisation, the death of god. People choose ignorance too often for that ever to happen. The god described in the old volumes that represent the dominant faiths of the world is a near prehistoric appeal to political doctrine, a doctrine of one leader empire, not an assemblage of observational truth that god exists. There is no evidence in anything written in these volumes of social propaganda to show anything other than their design to produce compliant non-thinking obediant citizens that worship elites. This is their only purpose. There is no god in the bible, the koran or anywhere else. There are only effigies of empire. So there is no god of the gaps, for there is no god, god was only ever a proxy notion to represent power as stretching beyond mortality. God is thus nothing more than an instrument of fear.
 
Lol, of course people can't prove that God exists. It's silly for them to try. But people also cannot prove that he doesn't. I mean, there will never be any scientific proof that God does not exist... It just ain't happening any more than proof being found that he does. I just leave it to everyone to decide whatever they will decide, and I do the same.

But just remember, churches can do and have done very very bad things in the name of God, or religion, but science can and has done the same in the name of science. Very very bad things. Just like the church... People the world over, no matter what their beliefs do very very bad things. Being religious doesn't make you inherently evil any more than being a smoker... It's just something that happens. It's just a choice, as is every action that we take.

So... that's pretty much my thoughts on the subject. I'm thoroughly neutral... ;)
 
So the theory of God of the Gaps seeing god ever reduced till he has nowhere left to hide will never see its ultimate realisation, the death of god. People choose ignorance too often for that ever to happen.

I'm feeling brave enough to say that, according to Nietzsche, God is dead; and he is dead because we have killed him.

s.
 
Each to his own perhaps,however, if there is no God the "Big bang tale of creation, is an amazing set of coincidences.
 
2 extremes:
1)There is a God behind the scenes who manipulates events with the aid of legions of angels all to achieve some certain, yet obscure objective with humanity which somehow is a showcase species.

2)There is no God at all, this idea is just a primitive superstition which we are slowly transcending (evolving out of) and all exists due to a bizarre series of chance events which even more amazingly seem to happen consecutively.

(very condensed points above)

IMO the truth will be found in between these 2 extremes.
 
Each to his own perhaps,however, if there is no God the "Big bang tale of creation, is an amazing set of coincidences.


Hello Jean,
There is an opportunity for real understanding here. Shame it would get blown away by a false dichotomy don't you think?
The problem with the word "God" is that it is limiting in scope, and while science is busy with what and how, it cannot fathom why, and here we tend to fill in the gaps with a rather narrow explanation. No wonder Tao has such opportunities available for fun at the religious persons expense :)

My own belief is that there is something quite wonderful, expansive, and utterly integral about reality that blows away the who, what and why of the petty human need for explanation that does little more than validate the idea of the ego, or separation.
 
God is sovereign over all, not just the bits not explained yet by science. In fact, you could think of 'science' as a subset of 'theology.'

God is Ground of Being, to take a phrase from Paul Tillich.

My own belief is that there is something quite wonderful, expansive, and utterly integral about reality that blows away the who, what and why of the petty human need for explanation that does little more than validate the idea of the ego, or separation.


Very nice! :)
 
Each to his own perhaps,however, if there is no God the "Big bang tale of creation, is an amazing set of coincidences.

Hi Jean, if I understand your point, it seems that in your belief, the big bang is proof of the existence of G-d. Is that what you are saying ?

But isn't it likely that the big bang was the manifestation of G-d ? That it was indeed G-d and that the reality that has since transpired is G-d ?
 
...yet... there is no gap, not really... instead, there is an absence of perception or knowledge, and that absence we interpret as "gap", or we fill with "god"...

...sometimes, Tao, all a person has is God... take away God, and the wretches have no succour... take away God, and there is nobody to pray to, no hope for change, no messiah, no hero, no white knight... people need Gods and heroes and champions, they need a better place, a reason for good deeds, seeds of piety sown in our intellectual infancy sometimes become mature and grand philanthropic gestures... people need Gods and heroes, for they are generally weak, and oppressed, and ignorant, and they cannot live without instruction, teachers, leaders, guidance...

sometimes, faith moves mountains... faith inspires, uplifts, brings joy... to deny people this, happiness, and abundance... is that a good thing or a bad thing..?

I like to believe that we (most of us here, at IO) are intelligent enough to accept that our belief systems may be holey, that not eveything makes sense, that our faiths, as totalities, are far from perfect and yet... within these faiths, there is truth, and beauty, and goodness, even if it is overlaid with the misery of kings and bishops who pollute the doctrines with their own agendas...

we know out tenets are just theories, and we know how many times our holy books have been reinterpreted... yet still we believe they have some merit...

as youth, we try to find something or someone, some ideology to make our own, a corner to fight, a cause to trumpet, yet as we age we become more pragmatic and less dogmatic and we see both the good and the bad in our faiths...and in our non-faiths...

the church, conventionally, has never been the priest or the bishop- the church is the congregation, the message not lines of text but a spirit, the power not the pope but the faith, God an essence, and religion a noble intention that inspires noble actions...
 
Namaste Tao and all,

What a lovely thread, congrats to all!

Yes the gaps are getting smaller and to the Atheist this is proving there is no G!d and to the theist it is showing how close science is to finally catching up to realizing there is.

Nice on the limitations Paladin, Yes Atheists have a very narrow view of what G!d is and it is quite convenient that they can prove their definition does not exist.

All incredible contemplations and I have truly never been more comfortably at peace in my beliefs than now.

Tao, I know you are fighting it, but I'm afraid/happy to see your posts and your logical arguments are increasingly moving you closer....I welcome you with open arms my brother...
 
I can see that to equate God with mechanistic knowledge can be a fraught business with the advances of science.

s.
 
That is very true,however to believe is to have faith beyond logic or reason. I fully believe people have free choice not to believe. However people have a right to rationalise whatever faith system they have,and continue their journey to spirituality as they concieve it.
 
In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king it is said, but we live in the land of the blind and the one eyed king hasn't appeared (and no trouser monster jokes:eek:)
All we have, at best, are some that see very dimly, who are moving towards a sensible and rational understanding.
The rest are mired in superstition and misconception (myth-conception).

It is truly deplorable.
 
God is the thing that religious people use to end arguments. It's supposed to be some sort of supremely powerful outside force that wants something which, coincidentally, turns out to be whatever that person's cultural programming demands. But nobody can define precisely what God is. They're sure they know what It wants even though they can't say what It is. So much for cataphatic theology.

This is off topic, but if Divine intervention is possible, then God is truly the cause of Chaos. If divine intervention isn't possible what do we need God for?

Chris
 
God is the cause of chaos... well, at least he kinda has to be if you believe in him, and that he is the three O's... If he has power over all and creates all then surely that includes chaos... among everything else.

Lol, and if you believe in God, then surely you believe that he is the creator, so, in essence, we would need him to exist... Can't have a creation without a creator where God is assumed, now can we, lol.

I don't know what God is up to, though I see what you mean about people that like to pretend they do. For me, God is omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence taken to their fullest and most literal extremes. But that's just my theory taken from what I have experienced and from my unique perspective.

I don't see how anyone will ever really know one way or the other in life, if there is a God, or not. They can have faith that there is, but that's not knowing. They can have faith that there is not, but again, that's not knowing. It's all about faith, either way, and perspective. And in my opinion, no perspective is wrong, just different from the next. It's all part of the show, and the show must go on, lol.
 
Well my OP was so badly written that it did not merit any reply so thanks to all who have. I did not, I feel, achieve what I set out to write in my post. I feel that the science that has been brought to the table these past two centuries is so far reaching that there should have been a paradigm shift of far greater magnitude than we see amongst the global population. Perhaps I am unduly cynical but my feeling is that this is no accident. Religious authorities, I feel, have been working overtime with governments and educational authorities on keeping people stupid. In the UK, for example, there were 28% less science graduates in the 1990's than there were in the 1970's.

What I set out to do in my OP was highlight that this "God of the Gaps" notion only has meaning to non-believers. Believers do not use logic. They do not use a microscope or a telescope but a kaleidoscope of pretty colours cultured and nurtured through years of investment.... and like the gambler believes that investment was always a good one, and demands one more, and one more, and one more. The glimpse of fact that the bookmakers, like the churches, never go out of business, (unless they are over-abused from within), is deliberately ignored. They see no gaps.

Like Paladin I agree that this wonderful, amazing unimaginably huge universe we now see is well beyond our scope to ask why. Yet it is our nature to ask anyway. And it is in the nature of some to think they know the answer. I have felt often that the chagrin I illicit for stating my position that there is no sign of any intervention, interference or design is such that believers think me arrogantly self delusional of a surety of my own gnossis in reaching such a conclusion. They fail to see that I claim nothing like they do, they have the answers, not me. Yet it is me that is deemed arrogant. I only ever state there is no shred of evidence. They say it is everywhere, yet fail to produce any.

For a moment imagine mankind had evolved to this day without religion, that everyone was an atheist that believed that things happen due to cause/effect and increasing complexity within a chaotic system. How hard would it be to sell god? I think impossible. It would never achieve anything beyond an odd little fashionable cult that would soon fizzle out. Religion exists today because of its historical importance in the emergence of societies, indeed religion is nothing else other than an instrument of law. Holy books are books of laws. Were these books dictated by a creator that made a universe that now has a diameter of at least 28 billion light years, and given to a few blade-happy desert wanabees? Yeh when I write it it sounds stupid, an insane notion to countenance. Yet it is the dominant view of humanity. You could never sell it to an intelligent, educated adult. Which is why the religions demand the right brainwash our children, they know religion would die very quickly otherwise.

Francis you brought up the issue of the succour from existential reality that religious belief offers. Whilst there is a part of me that tends to agree that this is good another part of me screams that another word for it is cowardice. It is like a refusal to grow up, like treating ourselves as though we are forever children needing protection from the harsh realities of life....and death. And with the pace of human destruction of spaceship Earth this just seems like the ultimate selfishness to me. Ohhhh we love our children. Buy them any number of bits of colourful plastic produced in the sweatshops of totalitarian countries. Yet we are doing sweet sod all to assure they will have any quality of life in the future or that their children will have a right to life themselves. So this succour is utterly selfish. It is no different from a heroin addiction in that it is a 'fix' against actually accepting personal responsibility for gathering facts and acting upon them for mutual benefit. Religion is only shared for selfish reasons, as a validation by repetition that such selfishness is acceptable and good.

Wil, you get me wrong if you think I am softening toward the notion of god. I grow ever more convinced that religion is just about the most destructive enterprise that could ever be concieved. And it has its tentacles deeply imbedded in every aspect of humanity. When the devil took Jesus to the top of that mountain, where all the lands of humanity could be surveyed, and offered it to Jesus should he come to the devils side, it had to belong to the devil for him to offer it in the first place. Jesus was not crucified to save us from our sins, he was crucified because he refused to indulge in our sins. And as a reminder of what happens should you try to question authority and practice that great misnomer, common humanity. Religion ok's our individual selfishness and wraps it in such sweet glossy metaphor that we even think our suffering is somehow noble. Suffer ye to come unto me. What a total crock of crap.

Anyhow, I'm begining to rant a bit, and I have still failed to clarify my OP, perhaps it has not fully formed yet...
 
Tao... ur OP was fine- or I am a pleb who didn't see its glaring inadequacies...? But that doesn't matter...

... as you probably know, I was raised catholic, but today describe myself as "buddhist"... an old school pal contacted me recently, as he's trying to build a school in Zambia... a catholic school...

... now, in previous posts here I decried religious education, and view it as a form of brainwashing... I have not changed my mind, yet I am currently helping him in his endeavours, and have a scheme to raise him some money...

if I state I am no longer a catholic, and a hater of faith-schools, why am I doing this?

well, because Africa is a mess... because if ppl are to have a chance, then that chance must involve education, and opportunities... because creating this school will mean people in the local community get electricity...

in Zambia, a landlocked country right next to Angola and the DRC, people get educated up to age nine, and then nothing... they can read, but they cannot afford books... most of them get by via subsistence farming. AID's is at 15% of the population, and the average life expectancy for adults is... 47-51 years old. Like any poor place, the intelligent and the talented leave as soon as they can...

I'm involving myself in this project because there's a small solid, kernel of faith-inspired wisdom within me that informs my morality... being pragmatic, I can ignore the catholic aspect should I need to, as I know the project will benefit people, not by the white man's colonialisation, not by infecting people with catholicism, but via the introduction of sustainable technologies, with the projects planned community outreach programmes, by helping to develop infrastructure and job opportunities...

I see religion as a vehicle, and whether that vehicle be a humble bicycle or a gold plated Rolls-Royce does not matter... the vehicle does not matter- all that matters is that mankind has a destination in mind, and, together, all religions aspire towards that same destination, even if they sometimes get blinded by the golden statues and clobbered on the heads by dusty tomes and the weight of tradition... mature faith inspires ordinary people to benevolence, and without benevolence, and compassion, humans are just animals...

yes, it is true that people do not need faith to be decent- but sometimes people need an excuse, or an inspiration, to make their way to our shared destination, and if they hitch a ride on someone's jalopy they get there a bit quicker...
 
Tao_Equus said:
I feel that the science that has been brought to the table these past two centuries is so far reaching that there should have been a paradigm shift of far greater magnitude than we see amongst the global population.
the point is that the paradigm shifts are of huge magnitude, but they are confined to certain sectors of certain types of populations in certain types of society. the reason the shift you are experiencing has not taken place is because of how human development works. it is also the same reason that "nation-building" has not worked in afghanistan. i would advise you to really go and look at spiral dynamics:

http://www.interfaith.org/forum/spiral-dynamics-6715.html
Colors of Thinking in Spiral Dynamics

Perhaps I am unduly cynical but my feeling is that this is no accident. Religious authorities, I feel, have been working overtime with governments and educational authorities on keeping people stupid. In the UK, for example, there were 28% less science graduates in the 1990's than there were in the 1970's.

seriously, mate, you really need to understand the requisite complexity of this system. people are not studying science less because of religion - at least, the numbers concerned don't bear it out, or you'd expect to see (in the UK at least) a lot more churchgoers and a lot less religious people on science courses. i think the relatively low status of science in the pay hierarchy has something to do with it, i think the state of technology available to the mass market also has something to do with it and i think the nature of the way the system treats such things as celebrity, also the relative difficulty of such subjects have a great deal to do with it. spiral dynamics would be of assistance.

What I set out to do in my OP was highlight that this "God of the Gaps" notion only has meaning to non-believers. Believers do not use logic.
nonsense. many of us are bright enough to see that this theory is a dead end and never bought into it in the first place. and besides, if we didn't use logic, we wouldn't be able to construct cogent arguments like wot this is.

like the gambler believes that investment was always a good one, and demands one more, and one more, and one more.
that is actually known as "confirmation bias". look it up. you're subject to it just as much as i am. you believe that you would always go with the evidence and your investment in this belief demands that you define the rules of evidence in such terms as to preclude answers that challenge your investment.

Like Paladin I agree that this wonderful, amazing unimaginably huge universe we now see is well beyond our scope to ask why. Yet it is our nature to ask anyway.
that, for me, is an important - and religious - question as well.

For a moment imagine mankind had evolved to this day without religion, that everyone was an atheist that believed that things happen due to cause/effect and increasing complexity within a chaotic system. How hard would it be to sell god? I think impossible. It would never achieve anything beyond an odd little fashionable cult that would soon fizzle out.
but, according to strict scientism, we all should have evolved to reach this point about 200 years ago, so religion ought not to exist by now. the fact that it continues to is therefore explained as some sort of collusion conspiracy theory, rather than people like you being open to the possibility that it might be a little bit more complicated than you assume.

Were these books dictated by a creator that made a universe that now has a diameter of at least 28 billion light years, and given to a few blade-happy desert wanabees?
why not? they had to be given to someone and you'd have found it a tough job finding *anyone* at the time that *wasn't* a "blade-happy wannabe". i find it encouraging that not only did we prove to be sophisticated enough to learn what we were Told, but also a lot of things that we weren't Told explicitly, because they were implicit in the Texts, to such an extent that people sometimes fail to see that the rules of the system are still operating.

Yet it is the dominant view of humanity. You could never sell it to an intelligent, educated adult. Which is why the religions demand the right brainwash our children, they know religion would die very quickly otherwise.
nonsense. i became religious as an adult, not by being brainwashed as a child. and not by being brainwashed as an adult. clearly, you can "sell" religion to an intelligent, educated adult, because it is not a one-off sale - it requires continuing investment (as you pointed out earlier - and so does a pension) - but, unfortunately, you continue to look for increasingly implausible reasons that apparently sensible people do not act in the way you think they ought to act. personally, it seems to me that you are investing in a hypothesis that is not sophisticated enough to explain the facts available. i personally would also suggest you look at stark and finke on the sociology of religion as the "market". you might find this illuminating.

It is like a refusal to grow up, like treating ourselves as though we are forever children needing protection from the harsh realities of life....and death.
yes, as jews we never face the harsh realities of life and death, do we?

Buy them any number of bits of colourful plastic produced in the sweatshops of totalitarian countries. Yet we are doing sweet sod all to assure they will have any quality of life in the future or that their children will have a right to life themselves. So this succour is utterly selfish.
but tao, this is an incredibly religious message. it is a message i myself have received in a religious way, from a religious source. why should it matter that we came to it different ways, for different reasons? yours didn't prevent me from getting it and mine didn't prevent you! there is *no need* for you to hold religion out as this Big Yet Simple Explanation For Everything That Is Wrong In The World. it's just how people are, in spite of everything that right-minded, sensible scientists, politicians, philosophers - and yes, religious systems - are trying to do.

Religion is only shared for selfish reasons, as a validation by repetition that such selfishness is acceptable and good.
i could say the same about the Big Yet Simple Explanation For Everything That Is Wrong In The World.

Religion ok's our individual selfishness and wraps it in such sweet glossy metaphor that we even think our suffering is somehow noble.
i don't know how you think what you are describing here is actually what religion teaches. i don't know a single religion that teaches such things. i know plenty of people that act as if they did - religious AND NON-RELIGIOUS. you're just not seeing the big picture here, because you're so sure you have the Answer.

sound familiar?

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
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