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The Idea Of God


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"Nature herself has imprinted on the minds of all the idea of God."

-Cicero

 

Whether it's an anthropomorphic ruler figure, impersonal creative force, sentient greater reality or intelligent super being this seems to be the case.

 

Do you agree or disagree?

 

If so what does that mean, or why is this so?

 

Any theories, thoughts, or ideas are welcome.

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This is a slightly different translation of that same quote:

"And so upon the main point all men of all nations are agreed, for the existence of the gods is an idea natural to all, and engraven, as it were, upon the mind. There are different opinions as to their nature, but no one denies that they exist."

This is taken from Cicero's "On the Nature of gods" so I'm not surprised to see such a statement. I believe he was of the belief, and was putting forth the case of the Stoics (and what we might recognize as a Judeo-Christian belief), that morality springs from religion and without it you simply cannot have morality. It disappears. So he needs to establish that the "gods" are basically a universal construct so that morality can be as well.

 

Now I could be wrong on my (very simplistic) summary but I'm pretty sure this is essentially what this work is about.

 

Given that let's just back up a couple of sentences and see the skills of the might Cicero:

 

"For beings of whom there exist interpreters, must certainly exist themselves; interpreters of the gods do exist, so let us acknowledge that the gods exist. But it may be that not everything that is predicted comes to pass. Neither do all sick men recover, and therefore, I shall be told, there is no art of healing!"

Wow. Wouldn't want meet up with that kind of heavy duty logic in a dark debate forum. Oh. Wait. We see this kind of nonsense all the time. Sorry Cicero. No gods for you!

 

mwc

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  • Super Moderator
"Nature herself has imprinted on the minds of all the idea of God of the gaps."

It is indeed very common for people to assign the currently inexplicable to a god's doing. In that sense, the idea does seem to be "imprinted" because we don't like unanswered questions. We have to make up an answer when we really don't know.

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This is a slightly different translation of that same quote

 

Thanks for the context MWC. I'd always assumed shenanigans in the translation seeing as how Cicero was like BC Roman, seemed odd him saying God rather than gods.

 

As for the logical fun and morality argument, nothing new under the sun eh?

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It is indeed very common for people to assign the currently inexplicable to a god's doing. In that sense, the idea does seem to be "imprinted" because we don't like unanswered questions. We have to make up an answer when we really don't know.

 

I get making something up when knowledge is lacking, but why gods? Perhaps to put a human face on things, but mind you it's not only the human like gods of western tradition but other ideas ranging from animism to pantheism.

 

That's what I'm going for here. Just the idea itself, where does that come from?

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  • 2 weeks later...

"gods" are a human construction to explain the universe, not something independent of the human that creates or believes it.

 

the "creator" is the human brain. As part of the evolution of the brain humans wanted to understand things. Combine this with the activities of the more primitive parts of the brain, and voila, we have the ultimate hierarchical order. The answer to where all the gods came from lies in the middle of the head in a gland the size of a pea. Humans, as social animals, are always seeking to determine their status, rank, position. Combine that with the natural tendency to describe things in simplistic anthropomorphic terms (since that is the only experience to work from) and you get all sorts of nonsense. :grin:

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