Does God have a GOD? I wondered that many times. Is it stupid?
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Moldovan, this is a good question and relates to our anthropomorphic concept of the universe, including the concept of God. Concerning the infinite progression of hypothetical levels in spirituality, and thus, the infinity of Gods with their own Gods, it is as elegant as any other abstract concept and it joins higher mathematics where infinities are discussed. The scientist, Lily, who studied the language of dolphins was also known to have done drug experiments on himself. He claimed that under the ef fect of drugs he communicated with beings belonging to higher spheres of spirituality. When he asked them for God, they referred him from one level up to another until infinity. From this he inferred that God must be on some unreachable level. So for him, God was only one, though hypothetical, with no other Gods on any reachable level. WM
You might take a look at James Rachel's The Elements of Moral Philosophy. I think his chapter on morality and religion has direct relevance to your short essay.
Associate Professor of Philosophy
St. Mary's University
I read your page and have added a link to it from my page. I think we have very similar views as far as morality goes. I do have a few comments though.
I'm not sure you are correct in saying that no philosophy serves morality. The philosophy of "ethics" assumes to serve morality. A case can be made, however, that ethics and morality are not the same thing. But as far as I can see, ethics are based on moral tenets. They are the detailed "application" of morality.
Traditionally, god transcends morality. For instance, the Christian god said "Thou shalt not kill." Then he led Moses on a genocidal murder spree, in his name.
He also made a universe where everything must kill and eat everything else. How Morally responsible is that?
No.. Morality is at least half "human empathy", as you say later on in your essay. The other half is the recognition of the patterns of cause and effect. The moral conclusions that are drawn are remedies to otherwise serious human consequences. If I covet another man's wife, I set a whole chain of cause and effect into motion. I involve many different people in my affair. Children on both sides. Husbands or wives on both sides. Family and friends are affected.
Diseases are spread. People could end up dead. So we see this pattern and we ask ourselves what the solution is. The solution is simple. Don't do it.
This solution also agrees with our instinctively empathetic side. We do not want it done to us, and we can "feel" what it must be like to have it done to us, so we put ourselves in another person's position, feel their pain, and opt not to cause it. If we go against our own "feelings" we turn them into guilt.
Now in the case of god, it is usually seen as being incapable of sin, because the definition of sin is the perview of god. God does not have to act in a moral or ethical way. Sin is decreed by a god. It might be a "sin" not to go to church on sunday, but it has no "actual" moral or ethical implications except those imposed on it by the belief in a god. There is no natural cause and effect which make it a bad idea NOT to go to church. Here we have a "superstition" based morality which has no basis in the real world. Were it not for people believing that it is a "sin," no natural cause and effect would threaten you as a "direct" result of not going to church. You could argue that by not going to church, the result is that it leads to degradation of morality, but I do not agree with that assumption.
To me, the real test for morality is when both the practical, and the empathetic sides of the question coincide. So we have two types of morality. The first is "human morality." or "instinctive morality". The second is "imposed morality". Imposed morality is usually god sent, or politically motivated, while instinctive morality is the morality of survival.
> As only the human is sentient/compassionate
I take issue with this statement. I believe that instinctive morality can be seen in most if not all animals. Cause and effect demand certain actions of them. They run into the same social problems we do. They show a great deal of love, playfulness, and compassion. We are, after all, just animals ourselves.
>I think that empathy, compassion, are expressions of superior evolutionary level.
I think I can take a stab at it. :) Empathy is: Making something a part of yourself. On the one hand it is putting yourself into someone else's shoes, but on the other hand, it is: driving a car.
I believe that there are three levels of existence: Instinct, consciousness, empathy.
All three states are basically the same. They are all a form of processed instinct. In the case of consciousness, it is instinct attached to memory. Consciousness invents, refines, transforms. This is not possible without a memory. Empathy is when consciousness has attached itself to something and made it a part of itself.
In the case of the car, you begin with a "feeling" about cars. If you had never seen one while you were growing up, you would have no idea what it is or does. If through a long process of experimentation you finally learned what it was for and how to operate it, you would then have very different feelings toward it than when you first saw it. In fact, your feeling toward it would change every time you discovered more.
As you probably know yourself, (I assume you drive a car.) when you are driving a car, it becomes an extension of yourself. You stop "thinking" about what you are doing. Experimentation stops. Suddenly, the car, the road, and you, are one object. Thought in any great detail, at this point, is destructive.
A musician cannot play and think of every note and every movement. The beginner sounds choppy because too much conscious thought is being used. The thoughts and actions cannot keep up with each other. But thought is a needed step in learning to play the instrument. As time goes by, less thought needed. Eventually, only "EDUCATED" instinct is needed. The instrument, the player, and the music, become one "event." This is empathy. Educated instinct.
Relationships follow the same pattern. Instinctive attraction, a period of conscious exploration, fighting for ground, final understanding, and eventual merger as an almost single unit. Not all attempted mergers are successful in any realm. This is evidenced by the many people who do not learn to drive, can't learn an instrument, and the number of relationships that don't work out.
Any way. I loved your page, and as I said, I am adding link to it.
Have a great day.
The Heretic's Home Page:
Ron Hooft firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your lines Ron. Application of morality -- yes, but how about motivation for morality? Self-interest can be in line with morality but not necessarily be morality itself. I don't know why morality in the universe is never discussed. We take or granted whatever nature throws us, just as the sailing ship on the sea is too busy fighting for survival to "judge" the thunderstorm. Consciousness as instinct attached to memory -- is this sufficient as a definition of consciousness? Animals have memory and instinct and yet their consciousness remains doubtful. There exists an empathy which one can understand but not learn. For instance solidarity with somebody else's suffering. You have it in you or you don't. WM
Got a question for you: Why should I accept to be judged by a higher authority (e.g. God) if I already know that authority cannot be judged itself ?Draghici Cristian
Draghici -- your question already implies that you believe in God. The second question is: "What kind of God?" If you have a simple straightforward faith, then you obey God because of fear or, less probably, you rebel knowing what happened to the Devi when he rebelled. All this concerns of course the anthropomorphic vision of God who represents supreme power but otherwise He is of human essence like you and me.
The other version is the philosopher's and/or mystic's God where the question of God's power is less important because God, in this case doesn't represent power as much as the expression of supreme perfection. Then, when you obey God, you obey what is th best in you.
As you remarked perhaps, in my article I am not personally taking a stand for or against the existence of God. WM
Your thoughts on cruelty are very important -- especially potent for one who lives a in farm-economy governed PA Dutch county. Again, much appreciated.
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