He would have to be Jigsaw, the sadistic character in the Saw trilogy who uses morality as a basis for killing people.
I find it odd that Jigsaw is looked at as a sadistic character in horror films, but God is revered despite he too subjects horrors and sufferings for others to test their character. Any conversation with theists on why suffering exists tends to lead to theists claiming that it is part of God’s plan and that he is testing our moral character.
Anyway, what feedback I would like to get back from others is on the disconnect between fictional characters we know to be fictional and those claimed to be real, and anything else that is remotely related to the subject ,“IF God existed.”
If God existed, evolution would have to come to its end, culminating in perfection and harmony. Time will stop, and space will be no more. At that time, our God, born from the womb of our Universe, will have to compete through the process of natural selection with other gods, born from the neighboring universes. Not sure what happens next…
I don’t get it. What is this suppose to be about exactly?
With the Saw movies - almost more than anything - I noticed a fundamental disconnect in morality.
The Saw movies are about a guy, Jigsaw (he cuts jigsaw pieces of flesh out of his victims as a calling card), who sees depravity and immorality in society. So he abducts victims and puts them in horrible circumstances to learn their lessons. The character gets a strong sense of being sadistic and rightly so.
On the other hand, and according to the prevailing concept of who and what God is based on the Abrahamic faiths, we have what Carl Sagan called “the problem of evil” in his book, The Varieties of Scientific Experience; A Personal View of the Search for God. That is, the common conception of God is that he is perfect, knows everything, etc. So when theists are asked to explain suffering, evil, etc we get arguments that are similar to the behavior of God in the book of Job: God is testing our faith. The evils and suffering are a part of his plan to test and better our moral character.
Well, that is precisely what Jigsaw is doing and one can only imagine how theists would respond to depicting God in a similar way, a psychopathic murderer. There is an apparent disconnect that is demonstrated in the two characters. One is looked at as evil and the other the ultimate source and concept of good. Amongst other things, I would like to discuss why that is.
Other thoughts I have thought about and in a similar vein is the argument of intelligent design. Again, we are led that some superior being created us like some watchmaker; we are too complex to have evoloved. Just like evil and suffering, if God existed and is who theists claim he is, then why didnt he make us simple? Surely that is not beyond his powers.
If God is pefect and knows everything then he must be aware of his actions. He must know he is making evil, suffering, complexity, etc. So the natural question in response is: Why? Why didn’t God - if He existed - make us absolute moralists who don’t suffer, cause suffering or evil? If complexity is an argument of design, then why didnt the designer make us simple? See, I would be more inclined to buy the argument of intelligent design if human beings were abnormally simple organisms.
It seem that complexity, suffering, an enormous universe that is chaotic and violent are not signs of an intelligent designer (if so, I would strongly question his intelligence or skills!). Rather, they are signs that there is not a God, especially with the supernatural powers generally ascribed to him.
What I would like from others, are more “what if’s” that challenge the existence of God. Maybe ya’ll can share another example of how God - if he existed - could have proved his existence (Carl Sagan said inscribing the ten commandments on the Moon would have been a good one) or that he was indeed a perfect, all knowing, all powerful being.
I can’t answer your questions, but I can say that God is a human concept, which leads into other human concepts. Early humans, when they first started to think, came up with a god or gods to explain what they could not explain, thus to this day there are still people who say, “I don’t know, put it on your list to ask God when you get to heaven.” Again, heaven and hell are human concepts because people are afraid of death. When you get right down to it, God has nothing to do with it, but rather humans are at the bottom of all this god stuff. It is nothing but the humans and their various concepts of God or gods.
Thus, it is humans that created suffering, “evil”, violence, and alike. Nature has nothing to do with a deity either, but since early humans were not able to explain nature, they blamed it on some sort of imaginary deity. Then humans developed a way to study nature (science) and as the unexplainable became explained, there were fewer gods. However, there are still people who fill in the gaps with a deity or deny science as having the right answer and chaulk it up to some god.
Beyond that and I know this sounds like a dumb answer, esp since I was raised with Christian theology, I cannot give you the theistic answer to all your questions. I never really comprehend them enough to even state them, if that makes any sense at all. I can’t even give you a what if, except… If God existed, there would be more love and compassion in the world and less childish fighting over whose religion is the right religion. It would have straighten out all of that for people from the get go. As is, we still have many human created deities and not one of them is really the same as the other.
But, even my “If God existed” statement is a human concept too. The only way to have love and compassion is if humans give it to each other, so we are right back where we started- the human. So just replace the word “God” in all those questions with the word “humans” and one just might find the answers to those questions. Why didn’t the humans help themselves when it came to Katrina and evacuate the area, instead of staying and dying? Instead of “God killed those humans for this or that reason”, it’s “Humans allowed themselves to die for this or that reason.” or Instead of “Why did God let those people die?” it’s “Why did the humans let themselves die?”
I cannot remember a time that I did not not think this way. Everytime a God question came up from other people, I would turn it back to the humans, because that is what I saw and my added (inner) thought would be, “Maybe if you showed some love to others, you just might see god in yourself and others”, but few Christians or other religious groups would ever accept that idea, because it is making humans gods. It’s either crazy or profound, but that is how I’ve seen it as long as I can remember. Nature, I’ve had a Carl Sagan and Einstein view of it, so to speak. So my god (notice the lower case) concept or any other “religious” concepts has never been that of theists.
Well, I think the “what if God existed” is an important question, and I think the answer is that depending on what it was like it would be hugely important for us to know. If the Christian or Muslem god exists, for example, we are all screwed. I think none of us here feel the odds are good, though some of us are more certain than others it’s not out there. If it were, understanding its nature would seem to be the primary purpose for our lives, since that would be the most direct route to understanding the universe and our rols in it. I’m not sure, TA, that that’s the same question thoughb as what you are asking with regard to the Jigsaw character. It sounds more like a variety of the problem of evil—asking how could the god of most contemporary religions exist and be seen as benign given how the scriptures about him describe his actions, and why don’t believers seen the descrepancy. That’s more a question about why belief is so improtant ot so many people that they turn off their brains to avoid perturbing it. Wish to hell I knew! I still think it comes mostly down to fear and existential angst. If god exists, at least the universe is coprehensible and has meaning and purpose, even if it is largely opaque to us on a dail;y basis. And there’s even a chance we can control it for our benefit through prayer. If it doesn’t exist, well then there’s just the lucky accident of our existence in a dangerous and indifferent cosmos, and I still think that’s a grim and scary prospect, I’m just stuck with believing it’s the truth.
I feel fairly certian that the god of Islam and Evangelical Christianity does not exist anymore than Zeus does. Excuse me while I get a little bit religious here and this is the closest thing of a “what if god existed” you’ll ever get out me and probably the closest I ever get to religious ideology.
IF God exists, it would be more like Spong’s ruach, which I think I covered in one of my recent papers. He states on page 60 of his book, “Why Christianity Must Change or Die” that
“the origin of ruach was an impersonal life force, an experienced “what” not a “who”. The ruach or wind of God was not external. It rather emerged from within the world and was understood as its very ground of, its life-giving reality.
So whatever “It” is, it would be as natural as the wind.
I experience this god, I do not explain this god.
In which case, IF that god exists, Spong is right that we have to live fully, love wastefully, and being all we can be. If god existed, he would probably be like Anthony Freeman’s “God in Us” as goodness, love, knowledge, wisdom,- again all natural things to the human, not the supernatural deity of the theists. Even Freeman’s definition of God in us takes us right back to ruach or Spong’s Ground of All Being, source of life. No worries, I’m not going into the others with similar thought, for I’m sure you get where I’m going with this, but regardless, there is meaning and purpose to this world or at least for life.
My point with all of this is that if god existed or even “what if god existed” it would be something that is as natural as the wind, love, and compassion. The form and density would be the same as the wind even as it resided in the human and everything else in the universe. So, I still stand by my original statement above about it being through the human and nature, not some supernatural being.
First, in relation to Jigsaw and God, I want to know more about why people will not only fail to catch the disconnect between a human conducting God-like actions but why they would continue to believe even if they did. Ya know, it’s like I know Christians who have seen the movie(s) and they completely miss it. They don’t sit there and sing hymns about Jigsaw, “Jigsaw is an awesome God. He reigns from Heaven above.” Likewise, they don’t go, “Wow, this radically alters my perception of God and religion…” I really think there is something to this, what I am going to call the Jigsaw/God dilema (JGD). Why does this dilema exist? The only thing I can think of is that despite the fallacies of qualities attributed to gods there is a natural phenomenon in play that governs religious beliefs.
I mentioned in the thread on how religions are started, that this past weekend was kind of an experiment on religion as a natural phenomenon for me. My girlfriend, my daughters mother and I are all Atheists. Still my 3 year old daughter has imaginary friends (Bubba Tuff), thinks humans are exceptional (lastnite while watching Ice Age she argued with me on humans being animals) and is afraid of death. Those three ingredients are enough to start a religion and it seems to me it that if they did it could create an unwavering belief.
Second, does anybody else have any other dilemas, contradictions, axioms or interesting arguments that challenge the existence of God? The JGD, the argument against Intelligent Design and Sagan’s 10 commandments etched on the Moon are mine, so far.
I like the connection you draw between Jigsaw’s morality & God’s morality. I had a certain level of reverence and respect for Jigsaw unlike many other psycho killers. Both their intentions were the same. The difference is that God is declared flawless while Jigsaw is not. That was my main problem with Jigsaw’s methods. A victim could show complete determination to survive (climbing through a barb wire maze or deciphering codes) and still not survive the challenge. Jigsaw’s challenges were not flawless, they hinged on his ability to judge his victims skill against his creativity. Faith is the seminal factor in why God is not questioned or God’s negative actions are over looked.
I think the problem of your dilemma can be summarized with logic & reason vs. faith. Faith can be deadly. If any decision is declared as God’s it should be carried out without question. I think this backs faith into a corner. Eventually peoples will to survive will be threatened by this chaotic logic and they will abandon and isolate themselves from the concept. I don’t think that faith should necessarily go extinct. If you want to stay mentally healthy, use faith sparingly. Kind of like sugars & fats on the food pyramid. For instance I have faith in the theory of gravity, but not that prayer has significant effects on matter.
The Saw movies are pretty good. You should check them out this Halloween season, Occam.
i think the faith vs reason is sort of what I was getting at with the religion as a natural phenomena observation; that, when fallacies are made into a “faith” that they will become unquestionable, but questioning the same fallacies remains when applied to something not based on religion.
either way my new name for God is Jigsaw. Instead of ending prayers with “Amen” Jigsaw says “let the game begin.”