TED Conversations

Bernard White

TEDCRED 20+

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If you were "God" what would you do?

If you were God what would you change?
What would you keep the same?
Or would you destroy yourself?
Would you use your powers for selfless deeds?
Would you use your power for selfish deeds?
Just a few hints.
(Under my definition of God, you have are "all powerful" without logically contradicting yourself!)

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    May 31 2013: We ARE God.. every one of us. What we do every day IS what we would do every day if we were god. Detached from this knowing of who we are and our true power- we walk through life in an illusion that tells us that we are subservient and powerless.

    To "know who you are" is to understand this simple truth. We are fractals, experiencing organic human life through this organism. The same force that created the universe is the same force that is seeing life through our eyes... our true selves- our souls- or spirits- whatever.

    The reversal of this understanding is where most perceive from.. "IF I was god I would act like ______. " So if we would act like who we really are- well.. We would act the same every day, the same as we wish we would act as god.

    Yes, organized religion in all forms is bastardized in many ways.. Look for the commonalities and its very clear that the content of the religion- not its social manifestations, all point to the same universal truth. Choose to follow that trail of crumbs and you'll find what you're looking for. Choose to intellectualize and find fault and details.. thats what youll find.

    This is all to say that if every one of acted like we wish god to act-- since that is truly our role and power here- the world would be exactly the way we envision. Since we choose to act however we like and expect some external persona to fix the world- the world is exactly the way it is. It reflects what we think and do. If we understood that what we think and do is exactly what creates the world we live in- we would:
    1) Understand our power and who we really are.
    2) We would act exactly like we expect god to act.
    3) The world would be as we wish it to be... (because it IS as we wish it to be)

    All we have to do is stop being silly long enough to accept our responsibility. Theres a reason why every spiritual text and elder states clearly "The answer is within you."
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    May 30 2013: If I were God, I would have seen to it that there is no mystery about my being and everyone, particularly human beings can access me to talk to, walk with, make love to and listen to me. No middleman whosoever.
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      May 31 2013: Yet then there are many who might want to kill you, or replace you, or even obey your every command (which would be a negative).
      Excellent reply though!
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    Jun 3 2013: Some of the comments here are evidence that we're better off as humans :D

    Imperfect humans..
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    Jun 4 2013: If I were God...

    1) I would make myself in the image of Maru (that cat that slides through boxes and is all the craze on YouTube, yeah that one!). I would make humans in the image of something else because they don't deserve to be made in the image of my greatness.

    2) I would borrow a lot of ideas from this here comment board. Keep the ones I like, discard the ones I don't. I don't want to have to think of all of this stuff on my own. That would be too much work.

    3) I can't forget to make a Colleen Steen and a Don Wesley so I could be endlessly entertained by their conversations they have with each other. It goes without saying, of course I would be able to understand and speak with them.

    4) The rest I would leave for y'all to figure out on your own! Wii!
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      Jun 4 2013: I respectfully ask you Casey/god, to please leave me out of your plan. Don's ridiculous accusations do not entertain me in any way, shape, or form.......I do not ever feel like I'm having a conversation with him, and I avoid him whenever possible. I feel bad for him, and I cannot do anything about the choices he makes.
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      Jun 3 2013: "it was humour".
      My point exactly. Like I said, It was unnecessary.
      If you really would do what you said : "lock Colleen and Don in a room together", it seems rather cruel (to me) for whatever the reason.
      I'm not talking about "Don", I'm talking about you.
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        Jun 3 2013: I agree Bernard, that the comment was unnecessary, and since it was suggested that I be locked in a room with Don, it felt cruel to me as well!

        It sounded a little like that god of the bible who would punish people for not agreeing with "him"!!!
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          Jun 3 2013: I can only answer for myself Chris.
          You seem to be the one focusing on it, and nobody has taken it out of context.

          If you wanted "Don and Colleen" to work something out "for themselves", why do you continue to participate? Because that apparently IS NOT what you want. I simply replied respectfully to Don's accusations.
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    Jun 3 2013: Hi Bernard,
    If I was a god, which I have no desire to be, I would encourage people to walk their talk, and live life with kindness, compassion and empathy.

    I would keep the golden rules.
    I would change the need to preach and lecture the golden rules without walking the talk.
    I would not contradict myself, as those who preach often do.
    I would seek and encourage peace and harmony in our world and a respect for our environment.

    Thanks for the question Bernard, and I appreciate your exploration of so many topics:>)
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      Jun 3 2013: Seems a bit like "God" at the moment.
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        Jun 3 2013: Well Bernard, the bible says we are all made in the image and likeness of god, so perhaps we all have the opportunity to be god-like?

        I'm out of thumbs for you.......sending you a smile......:>)
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          Jun 3 2013: I sometimes wonder if we are made in the image of God, then doesn't that mean God has all our irrational tenancies as well? Doesn't that mean God has suffers from our optical and cognitive illusions (just like we can)? Doesn't that mean God has emotions just like us?
          This is a "God" I could be convinced of!
          Not the "omnibenevolent omnipotent omniscient" God of the Bible.
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        Jun 3 2013: Since I believe god is a concept, which is accepted by some humans, there is all kinds of speculation Bernard, as we see in every conversation about god/no god......yes?

        Whether or not one believes in a god, is not as important to me as HOW one lives his/her life on this earth......HOW s/he treats other people and our environment. We are HERE....NOW....and to me, it is the life experience that is most important, since that is what I am living in the moment.

        A person can talk and preach about a god all s/he wants, and if s/he is not walking the talk, all the talk is empty, and that is not difficult to perceive in some people.
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        Jun 3 2013: As I said Chris Kelly,
        "If I was a god, which I have no desire to be, I would encourage people to walk their talk, and live life with kindness, compassion and empathy."
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        Jun 3 2013: You are welcome Chris. I responded to Don's accusations with respect, and if you want to call it a "ping-pong match", you are certainly welcome to your own observation and perception.
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        Jun 3 2013: I agree Chris, that our own perceptions are all equally as valid to us as individuals.

        I also agree that we can, or cannot recognize things in others, and often times, what we recognize in others is a matter of our perception of our "self", which, of course colors our perceptions of others:>)

        "Only as high as I reach can I grow,
        Only as far as I seek can I go,
        Only as deep as I look can I see,
        Only as much as I dream can I be..."
        (Karen Ravin)

        Yes indeed....we are each welcome to our own perceptions....each and every one of us.
        Thank you Chris....I am grateful for all those who genuinely offer so much compassion, empathy and kindness:>)
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    Jun 3 2013: I'd quit, too hard.
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    Jun 2 2013: It's tempting to tamper with humanity and earth, but I don't think I would if I could, making the world an instant utopia would only permit humanity to go on doing as we please without regards for the consequences.

    But IF I were to do this here are some of the things I'd do.
    -Give everyone the knowlegde and ability to nurish themselves
    -Bring CO2 levels down to about 300ppm
    -Neutralize the harmful acidity in the oceans
    -Destroy all firearms, missiles, nukes etc
    -Rid the world of organised religion
    -Create peace everywhere
    -Make the whole world ecologically sustainable
    -Stop the possible eruptions of super-volcanoes, deter asteroids and comets heading for earth.
    -Give us contact with E.T
    -Erase all borders


    Well, the list can go on and on and I've probably missed some of the most important things... but still, if I could I wouldn't.
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      Jun 2 2013: Hi Jimmy......nice to see you!
      Perhaps your ideas AND education regarding consequences?

      I truly believe we (humans) are evolving to a point where we realize we can think, feel and make decisions on our own, rather than blindly following those who abuse the earth and each other. So, perhaps we are ready to challenge the beliefs and behaviors of those who abuse our earth and each other?
      I know....always the optimist!!!
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        Jun 2 2013: And it's always nice to see you too Colleen! ^^

        I'm sorry but I don't understand what you mean by "Perhaps your ideas AND education regarding consequences?" it feels like there's something you'd like me to elaborate on, could you elaborate on that? :D

        I know, keep it that way!
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          Jun 2 2013: Jimmy,
          You wrote....."making the world an instant utopia would only permit humanity to go on doing as we please without regards for the consequences."

          I suggested that perhaps we could create more of a utopia, if we were more aware of HOW we were doing it....more awareness and education about consequences.

          So, no, I was not seeking elaboration....I suggest that we can have both an improved world (utopia), AND be mindful about how we create it:>)
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        Jun 2 2013: Ah, I see!

        Yes, agree.
        My perspective is perhaps this one: We can have a utopia and maintain it but only if we learn how to do that, and we won't do that if we're suddenly there and no one understands why and how we did it. Therefore humanity must walk this road together and I would be doing humanity a disservice by magically getting us there.

        (I think we'll get there anyway, eventually)
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          Jun 2 2013: I think/feel that we ARE getting there Jimmy......seems like we agree on that. As evolving, thinking, feeling, multi sensory, multi dimensional humans, I believe we are changing the paradigm.....well......as we evolve, we have been continuing to change.

          It feels like our advanced communication systems are facilitating a huge change right now because we have the opportunity to connect with people around our world....walking the road together as you insightfully point out!

          People have the opportunity to realize that their one little "god belief" may be very different from many other "god beliefs", and perhaps this realization may contribute to us coming more together rather than seperating....acceptance.:>)

          "There", is here, now:>)
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      Jun 2 2013: My only complaint.
      Is I feel that the species would be living a delusion!
      Which I could not bring myself to do.
      Considering nuclear weapons and borders act as deterrents.
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    Jun 1 2013: I think that is a great question-
    It makes me ask myself:
    Why would I expect something outside of me to do things that I am not willing to do?
    That is to ask- Why would I not conduct myself as I would ask anyone else to act?


    My inner landscape is directly reflected in the world around me. This is a power that we exercise whether we choose to understand this or not. We shape our world directly- It simply IS.
    This reality does not require my agreement, acknowledgement, validation or observation- it exists as reality regardless of any false realities and illusions that I might engage and hide behind.

    By shirking this responsibility I contribute any personal discord within myself to what I see around me every day.

    To take this responsibility and cultivate a balanced inner landscape- we cure the world of its sickness.. To walk away from this and expect a deity or personified polarization to clean up my mess while I bask in irresponsibility, is to deny my power as well as my humanity. Further, I would be acting like a spoiled brat.

    As if the world today were a classroom of children that has been unsupervised. Entering the room, an adult finds the room destroyed, the children proclaiming, "We didnt know! No one told us not to destroy the room! It's your fault! Youre an adult and you should clean it up."

    To verify this reality any of us can simply discover who we really are. (not decide which illusion we are most comfortable playing a role in)

    A wise man once said, "Know thyself" and another added "Be The Change You Wish to See in the World"..

    As one of 7 billion human pieces of god.. Ill be inclined to try to follow these wise men's advice rather than expect a religious figure to suddenly appear and fix things.

    Thats what I would do if I was 1/70000000000th of god.
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      Jun 1 2013: You reflect my own thoughts well. :-)
      "Why would I expect something outside of me to do things that I am not willing to do?"
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    May 30 2013: If I were God, I would be love...(respect, care, understand and KNOW)
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    Jun 4 2013: question my paradoxical existence.
  • Jun 4 2013: I would show myself.
    I would destroy anyone who uses my name for their own agenda.
    I would also wonder where i went wrong.
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    Jun 4 2013: I would do a software upgrade (on all makes and models) to human OS2013:)
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    Jun 3 2013: I'd redefine human intelligence, such that any form of anthropocentrism would be a distant memory of astonishing stupidity.

    I would keep the natural world exactly in balance, as it should be, as a self sustaining organism. It would include homo sapiens, but as an intelligent benefactor - not as we are now as an ignorant, destructive pathogen, with exactly the wrong level of 'intelligence'.
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      Jun 3 2013: To be honest I think we do have a "natural world exactly in balance". (May be wrong).
      Why does the "balance" have to be "good"?
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        Jun 4 2013: Balance within a diverse system is good because the 'whole' can exist in unbiased harmony - and one system is more likely to be able to perpetuate itself sustainably without compromising (or destroying) others.

        In other words, the whole should take precedence over the particular, if balance is going to be the outcome.

        What makes you think the natural world is in balance right now, given that the particular (ie our own species) is clearly taking precedence over the whole (ie the planet)?
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    Jun 3 2013: @J.Strobl..........Can't you stay out of my conversations ? I am 81 and I can't help it I am childish :P
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      Jun 3 2013: Well no Helen, I'm sorry. when you call I will answer (if I see it).
      It's just the price we pay for hanging around here on TED. I'm not targeting you or anything it's just when I read something I'd like to comment on, well I simply do...

      You are free to be both 81 and childish if you wish. It does however not grant you any kind of immunity or special treatment.
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        Jun 3 2013: JS...That's ok. I will ignore you from now on.
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          Jun 3 2013: And you are free to do so, I however will not necessarily stop commenting on what you write, and again I'm not targeting you in any way.

          In fact I've left some posts that you've made without a comment even though I've wished to say or ask something about it. For the sake of not ruining your day (which I seem to do).

          Until next time then.
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    Jun 2 2013: Oh, what I offer here "Speaking as God" -- I think, comes from a Comedy routine by Bill Maher. I don't have any documentation of that. But if anyone finds it, you are welcome to post the credit here.

    Comparing "God" to Santa is really instructive. Not because I want to diminish "God" in any way. But it does seem that when it comes to Santa, we start doing many of the things that we are supposed to do all the time anyway (as instructed by religion). And NOBODY believes in Santa! (Except me!)
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    Jun 2 2013: What would I do if I were God? I'd retire. I'd take my pension and go visit some more interesting part of the Universe.

    Things are such a mess here these days. And you expect me to fix that for you? You don't feel any responsibility to do anything HARD for Yourself? And I (speaking as God) get so much of the credit for the big mess you make for yourselves! I mean: "God Bless this!" or "God-D*mn that!" How much of that does a regular Deity have to put up with? And don't get me wrong, but I never gave my "consent" for anyone to use my name and my reputation as justification for any of the crap that goes on down there on Earth! People say I told them to do this! Or I told them to do that! Or maybe I promised them something they wanted! Hey, if you're looking for the "Big Chance," Go buy a Lottery Ticket!" The rest of it you can deal with on your own!

    Since I'm God (speaking as God, that is) I really like that Santa Clause guy! I mean when HE comes around people start treating each other really good. They start planning to give each other gifts. They're generous. They're caring. The spend time with family and plan time together. They ring bells and they sing songs all the time. And all the little kids just can't wait to get their one-night-a-year visit from Santa! But it's the Grown Ups who take responsibility for that! That's how it should be!

    And the thing I like best? All the adults think Santa isn't real. That means the Adults have to step up and take responsibility for things for a change! I mean, can't you see that? THAT was the whole plan from the beginning.

    No, when I come back, allegedly they got this Armageddon thing ready to roll. We gotta fight a big battle where I gotta kill all the bad people and all the alleged "deamons" that made them do bad stuff. And then all the survivors line up and expect to be "Judged." Judged? Just look at what people say about you on Facebook! That isn't enough? Forget that! Peace Out
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      Jun 3 2013: This made me smile. :D
      I think this is probably how I would behave!
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        Jun 3 2013: Bernard, does this mean we are beginning to understand one another? If so, I need to work much harder at it than I have been thus far!

        That's how you keep it real! ;>)
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    Jun 2 2013: If I were God, I would have make myself visible to all human beings, and there would be peace in whole of my universe. :)
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      Jun 2 2013: Dear Noveed,
      Can I come to your universe? Or shall we create your plan here and now?
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        Jun 2 2013: Dear Colleen! No you can only visit my universe for a while because this universe you are living in needs you more because you are so great and always so nice to everyone. :) If it is possible to create such a universe then please start from my country.
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          Jun 2 2013: AWWWW.........thank you Noveed:>)

          If I was God, I would make myself known to all people as well, and I would spread the words of love....kindness and respect for our environment, and all of us who occupy this earth....starting with your country Noveed:>)
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    May 31 2013: i would tell everyone that i don't exist and that they shouldn't live their lives hoping that i'll help or that i predestined them to be whatever they think they should be
  • May 31 2013: I am happy not to be God thank you.
    I am a finite being and can never really fully understand the infinite.
  • May 31 2013: If I were'God',I would try to do anything I could do for children to help them growing up.
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    May 30 2013: Look at this piece by Paul Bloom that Fritzie just posted on the evolution conversation:

    http://www.yale.edu/minddevlab/papers/religion-morality-evolution.pdf
  • May 30 2013: Ok, using your definition, I think I would visit some churches and suggest corrections to doctrine.
  • May 30 2013: If God does really exists, then there is a extremely good reason for the universe to work as it does, so if I was God I would know it and because of that I would leave everything as it is, otherwise I would be failing to do my job properly.
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      • May 31 2013: Sorry, I prefer not to watch videos from you-tube. But just a comment: Devil is just a myth. Devil's existence would be overridden by God's existence, so if God does exist then Devil simply can not be, but if God does not exist then Devil is just a fantasy, so in either case the existence of the Devil is just not possible.
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          Jun 1 2013: So are you saying that if good exists then there cannot be any bad?
      • Jun 3 2013: Hi Mary M:

        No, I did not say that!!! If you read carefully, what I said was: "Devil is just a myth". I don't understand how the meaning of that could be what you state. The source of all good and bad within us, and we must have this very clear, because the day in which we accept as true that bad an evil comes from the Devil, Satan or whatever, we would be just one step away from justifying crime. "The Devil made me do it" would be enough excuse to commit any crime. The Devil did it not them so they are innocent and because of that they are not responsible so don't punish the innocent. Devil is just a poor excuse for misbehavior.
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    Jun 5 2013: So, Bernard, what have you learned so far?
    Care to share?