This thread was started at the beginning of this year on TED Conversations by Molly Foley. The topics on TED are regularly fascinating and touch on everything under the sun. when it comes to the ‘god’ thing, I couldn’t resist: (BTW there was much more comment than what I have saved here)
Jan 22 2012: Let’s not conflate the notion of religion with the notion of god. In my experience, religions are a combination of tradition, superstition and mythology — all created by humans. God, on the other hand, has been misidentified. God is not some kind of super, magical being, god is a concept. Within each of us, in the executive function of our forebrains, is the capacity to make choices for good or ill. To me, this is the god concept. Forget about man made dogmas. Good is god.
Jan 23 2012: Well said! I don’t think we have the vocabulary to define God. Where does our intelligence and ability to conceptualize come from? Yes, we have physical bodies made up of molecules, and evolution may have developed our brains to a sophisticated enough level to be able to have abstract ideas, such as God, but why? I have no answer other than God.
I watched Drew Berry: Animations of unseeable biology on TED and I wondered if we humans were like each of the entities involved in the cell processes illustrated. Just as they are ‘living a life’ but seem to be completely unaware of and incapable of conceptualizing the big picture of the human body they are constantly building and repairing, we are also caught up in our own limited world unable to conceptualize the big picture of our universe.
Dale Netherton Jan 23 2012: So we don’t have the vocabulary to define God but we have the vocabulary to say we accept a God without being able to define what it is we are talking about. When the definition of God comes up there is always some contention that puts the concept beyond human comprehension yet there are daily conversations centering around this which we cannot know anything about. Seems a rather fruitless endeavor for the believers who are content ot not understand what it is they keep talking about.
Molly Foley Jan 24 2012: Julien Hawthorne, We must talk more. I’ve been going on about this in depth meta-physical cell analogy for months I struggle to explain it in a way that doesn’t make me sound completely delusional. But I can’t help but see all these patterns. I’d be in intro to biology, but it was like there would be another class going on inside of my head. When I saw Drew Berry’s animation, I felt like I finally had a model to explain this almost uncomprehendable philosophical theory. Pleeeease do Email , facebook, or twitter me. firstname.lastname@example.org
George Bailey Jan 24 2012: Brian, I was with you until you got to the last sentence. Of course, it’s OK to mis-identify god as good and to forget that evil exists. I suppose, also, that it is OK to exonerate your concept of god from responsibility for the existence of evil. Religions, however spend as much time defining the antithesis of god as they do defining god.
Frans Kellner Jan 24 2012: George, I don’t share your concern.
Evil doesn’t exist as doesn’t either coldness or darkness, those words refer to a lack of goodness or love, to a lack of warmth and to a lack of light.
Closing Statement from Molly Foley
God: n. 1. A complex abstract concept. 2. The Collective Conscience; the culmination of all thoughts and feelings ever experienced by members of the human species.