TED Conversations

Peter Emer

The Lil Project

This conversation is closed.

Is God Real?

Its human nature to seek superiority and its human nature to seek an authoritative entity to take responsibility and control of one's life. So i often wonder if God is just that idea. The idea of a god that is all powerful and all knowing and just superior in everyday than any human being, is the very idea that makes me question the legitimacy of a God. We tend to subscribe to a divine command or an authoritative figure. The creator of the universe gets to set the rules and do anything it likes with its creations like sending them for eternal punishment.

And lastly, everyone that believes in a divine command gets the same satisfaction from believing in something that everyone else gets no matter what they believe in.

I am just interested in the TED community's input on this. I am a student of life, so i take no biases even if it sounds like it sometimes. :)


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Feb 21 2013: If there is no God then surely we are the most irrational of creatures. No other subject has moved individual lives & world history to such an extent. So if there is no God, then why all the fuss ?
    Of course God exists; He's my best mate!

    • thumb
      Feb 22 2013: So there is a God, because, ah, we are assumed to be, rational creatures and, these "fuss" should have a reason.
      Cool opinion.
      In my philosophy, it is called "Reverse Engineering God". You need something, you just make it. Demand and supply.
    • thumb
      Feb 25 2013: Yes we can be be pretty irrational.

      Is it rationale to think your particular theistic interpretation is the right one when there are so many others.

      The more we understand about the human mind/brain, group dynamics, history and anthropology the more we see how we can be mistaken. Cognitive bias. The assumption of agency. Cultural programming.

      About half of human children have imaginary friends. It's not surprising adults can also build a belief system and interpret psychological experiences as evidence for their version of gods or spirits.

      I guess a Muslim or believers in other gods has similar experiences to you and assumes they have some sort of contact or relationship with god.

      Do you see your best mate god regularly. Are there two way conversations like we have with human mates? Or is it a bit more one sided and obscure. Did you get him on film or record his voice, or is it possible this is just going on in your head?
      • thumb
        Feb 25 2013: Hi Obey,
        What you are looking for is a god in a box. Neatly labeled & packaged. If I was to ask you to prove to me that your wife loved you, you couldn't do it. You would present a list of circumstantial evidence, which convinces you, but I could easily dismiss. God is not a one night stand. He takes time & effort to build a relationship with. That relationship is unique & sacred. In your present state of mind, you just won't get it.
        Good to hear from you again.

        • thumb
          Feb 25 2013: Hi Peter. I'm just looking for reasonable evidence that your god concept exists independent of your mind and cultural programming. It doesn't need to be perfectly packaged. Just a little empirical or compelling evidence.

          Concepts are not physical but they do exist within our minds. Just like your god concept exists in your mind. The missing ingredient is any proof that it exists independently of your mind. I'm not claiming love is a person that exists independent of our thoughts.

          We might argue whether the evidence that my wife loves me is sufficient, but I guess there would be sufficient evidence my wife exists independent of my mind. Not so your god.

          My point is really there is evidence my best friends exist independently of my mind, but not your personal god buddy. And the process you used to get to your god belief is the same process and similar type of subjective experiences others use for completely different gods.

          If you spend years reinforcing a god pattern in your mind and interpreting life through a religious lens, reinforced by subjective experiences, its not a surprise that construct becomes unique and profound.

          we know humans have the cognitive machinery to create imaginary friends, so it is highly plausible your god concept, just like all the other different ones other people hold is just a personal mental construct. I can not tell if your god concept, or a child’s imaginary friend exists independent of your mind. But neither can you I guess.

          Any way you are free to belief in your god. Doesn't seem to harm others significantly and seems to bring joy to your life and relationships. Fair enough.

          I just suggest there is not much evidence your best buddy god exists independently of your mind, and as a cultural construct more generally.
      • thumb
        Feb 26 2013: Hi Obey
        We've been through this before elsewhere.
        To me the whole universe cries out of design & intelligent manufacture. I am totally unconvinced by just-so stories of chance over millions of years. The bible is way too complex to have been written by man. Among other things it relates human history over the whole lifespan of the universe.
        That keeps me happy, plus I get to experience God in my daily life
        We both have faith, just depends where you put it.

        • thumb
          Feb 26 2013: The bible or quran, ink on paper, looks exactly like what you would expect men to produce.

          Now if god made a giant floating crystal of some indestructible material that magically answered all questions or carved the words on the moon, now that would give me pause.

          Even with all the codes etc its fairly mundane.

          I suggest we both have beliefs. I might just have less speculative ones in the supernatural department.

          To me life cries out the evolutionary tree of life, where animals survive by eating and killing other living things, And the natural universe is complex beyond human comprehension, but it totally does not look designed.

          If you roll the dice 10 times you will get a series that has a probability of 1/1024 of occurring, but one of those 1024 possibilities had to occur. What is the chance of your parents and their parents and their parents etc meeting. Pretty low. But it happened and its not magic.

          Any way I agree deja vu. All the best.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.