On Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 12:12 PM, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Sep 7 2012, Roger Clough <rclo...@verizon.net> wrote:
>
> > machines, even computers, IMHO in practice have no intellectual or
>> feeling facilities, are no more than dumb rocks.
>>
>
> Computers may or may not have feelings but that is of no concern to us, if
> they don't it's their problem not ours; however those "dumb rocks" can and
> do outsmart us on a regular basis and the list of things they are superior
> at gets longer every day. The very title of this thread just screams
> whistling past the graveyard.
>
>  > So there is no more communication with God possible than there would
>> be with an abacus.
>>
>
> Now that I agree with 100%, computers are no better at talking to God than
> a abacus is.
>
>   John K Clark
>
>

John,

Bruno makes a valid point, that you attack only the weakest, most ill
conceived, notion(s) of God.  Perhaps you have never bothered to
investigate deeply the true claims of various religions.  If you haven't
you might easily have missed some of the deeper meanings of God, which are
quite different than what you might believe listening only to the most
vocal (fundamentalist or literalist sects).  Many, perhaps even a majority,
of modern religions define God as the self-existent, self-sufficient,
immutable, infinite absolute truth, and the foremost reason and/or cause
for all of existence.  I included some examples below:

Judaism:
   God is an absolute one indivisible incomparable being who is the
ultimate cause of all existence.  The name YHWH literally means "The
self-existent One"
   (from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_in_Judaism )

   The first sentence of the book Genesis begins: "The primary cause caused
to be."
   (from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_nihilo#History_of_the_idea_of_creatio_ex_nihilo)

Christianity:

   The book of John begins: "In the beginning was the λόγος, and the λόγος
was with God, and the λόγος was God."
   λόγος or logos, is the root word from which we get logic, as well as the
-logy suffix as in biology, geology, etc.  It has
   connotations of reason, principles, logic, with no perfect translation
to English.  In Latin bibles it was translated verba, and when translated
to English became "word".

   Philo of Alexandria, a Jewish of the first-century, taught that the
logos was both the agent of creation and the agent through which the human
mind can apprehend and comprehend God.

  "To all of us who hold the Christian belief that God is truth, anything
that is true is a fact about God, and mathematics is a branch of theology."
-- Hilda Phoebe Hudson
  "Geometry existed before the creation; is co-eternal with the mind of
God; is God himself" -- Johannes Kepler

Islam:
  Among the names of God given in the Koran:
  "Al-Haqq", meaning: The Truth, The Real
  "Al-Wāhid", meaning: The One, The Unique
  "As-Samad", meaning: The Eternal, The Absolute, The Self-Sufficient
  "Al-Bāqīy", meaning: The Immutable, The Infinite, The Everlasting
  (from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_God_in_Islam#List_of_99_Names_of_God_as_found_in_the_Qur.27an)

Sikhism:

  The root mantra in Sikhism reads: "There is one creator, whose name is
truth, creative being, without fear, without hate, timeless whose spirit is
throughout the universe, beyond the cycle of death and rebirth,
self-existent, by the grace of the guru, God is made known to humanity."
  (from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikh_beliefs )

Hinduism:

   Brahman, the supreme God, is is seen as the infinite, self-existent,
omnipresent and transcendent reality which is the divine ground for all
that exists.
   In the Bhagavad Gita, “You are the Supreme Brahman, the ultimate abode,
the purest, the Absolute Truth. You are the eternal, transcendental,
original Person, the unborn, the greatest.”
   In the Sri Brahma-samhita, “I worship Govinda, the foremost Lord, whose
radiance is the source of the singular Brahman mentioned in the Upanishads,
being distinct from the infinity of glories of the material universe
appears as the indivisible, infinite, limitless, truth.

“I would say with those who say ‘God is Love’, God is Love.  But deep down
in me I used to say that though God may be Love, God is Truth above all.
If it is possible for the human tongue to give the fullest description of
God, I have come to the conclusion that God is Truth.” He continued, “Then
there is another thing in Hindu philosophy, namely, God alone is and
nothing else exists, and the same truth you see emphasized and exemplified
in the kalma of Islam.  And there you find it clearly stated that God alone
is, and nothing else exists.  In fact, the Sanskrit word for truth is a
word which literally means that which exists, sat.  For these and many
other reasons, I have come to the conclusion that the definition – Truth is
God – gives me the greatest satisfaction." -- Mohandas Gandhi

Buddhism:

   There is the concept of the “All-Creating King”, who declares of
itself:  "everything is Me, the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect
purity ... I am the cause of all things. I am the stem of all things. I am
the ground of all things. I am the root of all things ... There is no other
Buddha besides Me, the All-Creating One."
   (from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kulayar%C4%81ja_Tantra )


The phenomenon of these universal ideas appearing among diverse peoples is
commented in on the Perennial Philosophy, it begins:

"PHILOSOPHIA PERENNIS the phrase was coined JL by Leibniz ; but the thing
the metaphysic that recognizes a divine Reality substantial to the world of
things and lives and minds ; the psychology that finds in the soul
something similar to, or even identical with, divine Reality; the ethic
that places man's final end in the knowledge of the immanent and
transcendent Ground of all being the thing is immemorial and universal.
Rudiments of the Perennial Philosophy may be found among the traditionary
lore of primitive peoples in every region of the world, and in its fully
developed forms it has a place in every one of the higher religions."
(from:
http://www.archive.org/stream/perennialphilosp035505mbp/perennialphilosp035505mbp_djvu.txt)

It may be easy to dismiss some people's definitions of God, but I find it
quite difficult to separate the notion of "self-existent, self-sufficient,
immutable, infinite absolute truth, and the foremost reason and/or cause
for all of existence" from the concept of infinite, uncreated,
self-existent, truth as it exists in Mathematics.  And according to many
thinkers, including Plato, Plotinus, Bruno, Tegmark, that truth may also be
the "foremost reason and/or cause for all of existence."

Platonism (or mathematical realism) is the majority viewpoint of modern
mathematicians.  Computationalism (or functionalism) is the majority
viewpoint of cognitive scientists and philosophers of mind.  Thus the
scientific consensus is that infinite (mathematical) truth is the
self-existent cause and reason for our existence.  Few people today have
realized that this is inevitable conclusion of these two commonly held
beliefs.

Jason

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