Monday, October 22, 2012
Where is God and What's He Doing?
I just don't know what the deal is with atheists? Two different people yesterday on CARM, one asked "where is God," the other "what is God doing?" I've seen them ask these things before. They just can't think logically about it. I felt like saying "God used to be off inspecting dew drops and making sure sparrows don't fall, but now lately he's taken to playing Parcheesi with the angels, and hanging out at the post office so he can pick up his social security check." Come on, where is God? Use your brain, why do you think they call it "omnipresent?"
Are they trying to get at the idea that an omnipresent mind is unacceptable becuase they can't conceive of it? Or do they just refuse to think about it? Then when I tell them they are thinking of God like a big man in the sky they go "O I am not!" No you just think he's located in a single place. My view is that God is a mind and the universe is a thought in that mind. So God is bigger than the universe and encuposes the entire universe as a passing fancy. That means God is everywhere and yet no where. It also means we can't possibly know where God is. It doesn't matter becuase a better question is "where are we?"
Of cousre that leads to the question "how can there be a mind without a brain?" That's an unfair question becuase they are basing that as a difficulty upon such a limited sample, biological organisms on one planet. God is not a biological organism so there's no reason to expect God to function in that way. Moreover, God is the basis of our entire world. That totally removes him form any such questions. How can we even ask, much less expect an answer? It also raises the issue about the reality of our own lives, and implies a form of determinism. I just think we don't have to live with either option they because they are untenable from an existential stand point. The rules don't have to be the same so God doesn't have decide our every move as we do characters we imagine. We have no choice but to live our lives as though life is real and we are free. Things just work better when we make those assumptions.
This led to the issue about God and Time. My fellow Christians and I posting yesterday were assuming the standard model of big bang cosmology, thus positing that God is outside time. This lead to a great deal of consternation by one atheist, "how can you know that? that's just speculation." Yes, sure but if great created the universe the most efficient way for him to do it would the big bang, which what the evidence indicates. That puts God outside of time becuase he would have to be existent prior to the big bang in order to cause it, he would have to be outside it if he's not subject to it. These are just logical inferences, but this atheist (and many others I've seen) treat logic as though it's cow dung. the only thing that matters is hard empirical data. Then they will turn right around and act like the combustive is a dune deal when in fact there is no empirical evidence to back it and ti's all logical inference from math. Every time I would say something like "God is beyond time, we can't say 'before time' becuase there can't be a "before" before time (no sequential order without time see?). Then he would seem to indicate that this was a "secret answer" for Christians that no atheist would accept. I don't know how he worked out that we were sharing the secret with him.
Then we come to the burning issue "what is God doing?" this makes me wonder "do these guys not have enough to do? Maybe I should tell them about golden age comics?" I mean come on, what's he doing? they can't imagine a couple of things. What would one do if one was everywhere and all powerful? Maybe stuff work right? Check up on all the sparrows to make sure the don't fall out of the sky? Number hairs on people's heads, with six billion (or is it nine?) we have a lot of hairs to count.
Really, be honest now it's this just a big like treating God like a big man? He doesn't have enough to do? How do we know he's not out creating multiverses and stuff? That question is just a function of underrating the concept of God. God is not a big man in the sky who is looking for something to do. We don't have to assume he get's board or that he doesn't' have some higher thing to be doing like meditation or calculating things. It's a very real possibility that he might just be creating lots of other stuff. He could be answering prayers and figuring what to do for and with billions upon billions of creatures in billions upon billions of universes.
Really and truly though I don't accept that God has to figure. I don't accept that he get's board or needs to do things like we do. I have no idea what being God entails and I don't need to know. I can well imagine. But asking the question is like asking what the laws of physics are doing? Or, what is the universal sense of justice doing? Not to equate God with his own creation or make any pantheist implications but it is also a bit like asking what is the universe doing?
I don't really mind them asking these questions, even though they do imply a rather limited imagination. What I really resent is the question begging tone they take to the answers. One such implication that makes, aside from "this is the secret knowledge Christians hide form atheists," is the idea that "you are just making this up." They express like zero amount of faith in logic to be a proper guide or even a tool for excluding contradiction. While at the same time their own world view is about 60% speculation. Then of cousre the question begging:
Christian: God doesn't need to be doing anything he's not like us he doesn't get board
Atheist: Wrong he doesn't exist so he can't do anything!
Christian: so why did you ask?
Atheist: just to show how stupid it is!
Christian: O it show how stupid IT is? I see....
Then of course they throw in the inevitable: who created God?
Christian: he was designed by committee.