Sunday, April 30, 2006

Does God exist

Question: hey.. is god really thr.. any proof of its existence ......... I started beliving.. only fate is thr.. and everythng is predefined fr us.. is tht true... do tell me

My Reply:
Tricky question and there can be no single word answer.

Most ppl in world, barring Atheists have some or other concept of supernatural. If we really think this is the also the most natural thing. Humans always tried to break the limitations which nature internal and external forces it on them, but have never able to score a complete victory. Every time the humans are reminded of their limitations. It is thus the first reaction of the human mind to accept that there is a greater power than he has.

But this may take different forms. Some may try to personify the forces and give them forms; like the fire god, the tree god etc. Some others may not be satisfied by this and thus try to look for a greater bigger all powerful god, who controls and dictates all the things.

Some other may just try to view god as a impersonal, ie., not as conscious person making some decisions, but things just happening as it is their essential nature.

In personal concept, we look at God as a being taking conscious decisions eg: a snake biting. It is consciously doing it. On the other hand, impersonal concept, things just happen, coz it is their essential nature. eg: fire burning something. Unlike a snake, fire does not think whether to burn or not, it simply does.

In these two also there are lot many variations of thoughts possible. Each person held a particular concept of this divinity and thus essentially everyone believes in (his concept of) God. Only atheists do not satisfy this criteria coz they do not have even a concept of god; they borrow a concept of god of someone else and reject it.

So the question one should ask is not whether God is there or not, but whether *his* concept of God is complete or not.

Speaking from this angle, God always exists for that individual, coz he has visualizing a certain concepts as God. The real question is “is that concept of god complete or incomplete

Lets take one example. Suppose a thief is thief in a room. If a child is there, he does not feel that there is a thief trying to steal something. On the other hand if a grown up man is there, he may feel that there is some thief trying to seal something. If there is a Saint in that room, the saint having no concept of ownership may not even feel that someone is stealing his things.

In all the three cases, a person coming a taking something is real, equally real is another person seeing this. But their attitude is completely different and all of these concepts are true for them. What child thinks is true for the case of child; what saint thinks is true for the case of saint. (as long as one does not interchange one’s ideas on others) all of them are essentially true.

In the same manner, for everyone who has a concept of God, god exists for them. God does not exist only for ppl who do not even have a concept of God.

If we think from this perspective, no longer do we think in terms of binary true or false. We realize that all of them are true. Only some are complete, some are incomplete. So we realize that a person does not go from falsehood to truth, but from lower truth to higher truth.

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In his early days, Narendranath (later Swami Vivekananda) a doubt whether there is God and can he be seen used to haunt him. He has met many ppl, but none was able to give him satisfactory answer. Finally, one day he goes to Sri Ramakrishna and asks the same question: “have you seen God?”. Without a moment's hesitation the reply was given: “Yes, I have seen God. I see Him as I see you here, only more clearly.” He later explains that it is not just him, but anyone who sincerely seeks God can see him.

Narendra was astounded. For the first time, he was face to face with a man who asserted that he had seen God. For the first time, in fact, he was hearing that God could be seen. He could feel that Ramakrishna's words were uttered from the depths of an inner experience.

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Arthi has raised an interesting point [in my scrap]. When I say “concept of God”, do I mean to say that God is merely a concept and not an entity?

Before I go into that, we should realize how limited out everyday experiences and senses are and that reality may be much much more than what just appears to our eyes.

With the present eyes we have, we see things only in the visible range. Now suppose instead of these eyes, we are fitted with eyes which see in X-ray range, then I will not see a “person” but will see a skeleton. If I replace them with eyes which can see in infrared range, I will probably see a colorful balloon. Now which of these is true, which is not?

How can you be sure that you are in waking state instead of sleep in which all of this what you see is just a dream. Just think, when we sleep, we may have some dream, and the dream may appear so much real for us. As long as you are sleeping, is there any way we can tell that we are dreaming? No. Only when we are awake, do we realize that we were dreaming. In the same manner, is it not possible that we are actually dreaming now that we are awake? I know it sounds very weird.. but try to disprove that possibility, you cannot!

Anyone remembers the Schrödinger’s cat in the box example? In that, by opening the box, we are not just observing, but in a way determining the state of cat.


We can go on seeing similar examples. These example are not directly related to our topic, but essential in un-conditioning the way we are conditioned to think. What we can understand from all these is that reality is far more than what our limited senses can perceive and that the mind actually plays a LOT more crucial role in making our surroundings than we think it does.

15 Comments:

Blogger Prakash M Kini said...

Most ppl in world, barring Atheists have some or other concept of supernatural

Surya, you are not entirey correct. Atheists have a concept of Supernatural, we only call it the unexplained (and dont use a capital "T" in "the").

9:15 PM  
Blogger Pratik said...

hi surya, i am (still) an atheist, after reading ur post.

U said tht, "they(atheist) do not have even a concept of god; they borrow a concept of god of someone else and reject it"

:-But they also reason out the possibility of the existence of god independently without resorting to other's concepts, and after it failing to make sense reject it.


u have provided a nice analogy of; everyone defining god in their own way, and the way in which a saint, child and an adult may define a theif.
u therefore conclude that a saint may not care if the theif exists, a child is unaware if a theif exists and an adult knows tht he does exists. And hence everyone interprets a FACT in his own way depending on his mind set, and all of them think they are true if they dont exchange their ideas.
and hence u wish to say tht atheists are like the child who dont see the God.

But well, this reasoning can be done in any manner to prove ones point. U are assuming that the theif exists.
I can say tht the person in the room aint a theif. A child sees tht he aint one, but someone else may think he is a theif out of his parenoidness, or their wish to define him.

God is in a similar way an entity created by people, to help themselves in their daily life, to give them hope by calling god someone who controls everything and then praying to him, to overcome ones problems.



On reading ur post over and over again, i interprt what ur saying is tht, what we see is what we want to see subconsiously, and by the x-ray thing u wish to say tht nothing is black or white, it depends on the way we see things.
You have probably acknowledged tht u cant prove god exists, hence u wish to say tht we just cant see it because we dont have the brains, intelect and the sight to see him. it is probably just ur irrefutable FAITH tht god exists, tht u come up with explainations. Hundred years before today theists had differesnt reasons for god existing, and ten years on they will have different resons for him to exist.

11:09 PM  
Blogger Prakash M Kini said...

By 'reasoning', all I can mull upon is, Energy cannot be created nor destroyed. So how did all this come up in the first place? God is a hypothesis for this, something that atheists do not believe in.

You have probably acknowledged tht u cant prove god exists, hence u wish to say tht we just cant see it because we dont have the brains, intelect and the sight to see him. it is probably just ur irrefutable FAITH tht god exists, tht u come up with explainations.
Surya, sorry for taking up space and answering here. But Pratik, You must have heard of Newtons laws. They are applicable in a particular frame of reference only - which is why views of a person riding a motorcycle is different from that of one outside it. Per theists, you have to believe to experience the ultimate truth, which is beyond reasoning. Falling back on my analogy, you dont see that the earth is stationary simply because you are not riding ;)

According to me, atheism is just a respite- an escapade from the problem. We are like that snobbish kid who will not answer and if anyone attempts to give one, we find faults with it. Yes sir, Person a may be wrong; but as long as the wuestion isnt answered, I am as big a moron, if not more. It will be great, if you could appreciate that we have our views, and I being an atheist think atheism is in no way a more reasonable explanation to Life, the universe or Anything.

Hundred years before today theists had differesnt reasons for god existing, and ten years on they will have different resons for him to exist.
100 years ago, if you talked of quantum Mechanics people would laugh at you. 10 years on, maybe a magrathean garganoid will be our pet animal.

Ref:
1. Lila, Robert Pirsig
2. Translations of the Chandogya upanishad, Sw Nikhilananda
3. Zen and the art of Motorcycle maintenance, Robert Pirsig
4. Salmon of doubt, Douglas Adams
5. Does God play dice, Ian Stewart

7:00 AM  
Blogger Pratik said...

well i provided counter arguments to this post, to which u provided counter rguments, so if I argue with ur reply it will be an counter counter counter argument :)

let me just say tht, in the post surya said tht, everyone defines god in their own way.

this shows tht
1)there isnt ne comprehensive all agreeing defination of god.
2) why do everyone define god? only to understand non-understood phenomenon like, reason for existence for humans and hence to make sense of their lives.

theists say tht u have to believe in god to experience it. how can u experience god? in ur hearts, might say a theists.
ppl often say listen to ur herat and not ur mind.
but there isnt ne thing like listening to ur heart. the left part of ur brain is one which works up the logic, and the right part is the one which works up emotions. when u 'experience' god it is just ur emotions.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Pratik said...

We are like that snobbish kid who will not answer and if anyone attempts to give one, we find faults with it.

:-we find faults because there ARE faults.


but as long as the wuestion isnt answered, I am as big a moron, if not more.

:- see, 1000 years back ppl tht god was the person causing floods and droughts and ppl prayed to him to avoid tht. today science has provided an answer tht it is not because of god, and hence tht defination is null. today theists say god exists because then if he does not exist how was the big bang created? maybe in the next 50 years if we come up with an explanation for tht, theists wel say ohh then how did so and so thig happen?? and it will go on and on. so theists will always try to find god in unexplained phenomenons.

It will be great, if you could appreciate that we have our views, and I being an atheist think atheism is in no way a more reasonable explanation to Life, the universe or Anything.

YES atheism (read science) does not have a complete understanding of life and the universe, we dont have a theory of everything, but when we have one, theism will cease to exist, because then these ppl wont have an opportunity to define god in non-understood phenomenon.

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

:-we find faults because there ARE faults.
Even a Jihadi has the same opinion about Hindus. My christian friend thinks the same about pagans.

today science has provided an answer tht it is not because of god, and hence tht defination is null.
Hello! Science can answer the how part. As in why an apple falls on ground -- cause it is attracted by earth. Every body attracts every otehr body. Cool. Why the hell would they do it? Why cant they do something else, like sitting quietly? No science even attempts to answer this. its termed metaphysical or crap :)

and it will go on and on. so theists will always try to find god in unexplained phenomenons.
like you put it, they try to find faults, becuase there ARE faults ;)

YES atheism (read science) does not have a complete understanding of life and the universe, we dont have a theory of everything, but when we have one, theism will cease to exist, because then these ppl wont have an opportunity to define god in non-understood phenomenon.
The way I see it, you will have to come up with something radical to defy the energy conservation law, something of the order of someone pulling stuff out of a hat. which gets you back to square one. My point is theism (belief part) isnt any better than atheism. But then, atheism isnt any inch taller than theism either.

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

let me just say tht, in the post surya said tht, everyone defines god in their own way.

this shows tht
1)there isnt ne comprehensive all agreeing defination of god.

Of course not. Maybe that also indicates that God is beyond any one definition. ;)

2) why do everyone define god? only to understand non-understood phenomenon like, reason for existence for humans and hence to make sense of their lives.
which, may i add, have been elusive to science to date too.

but there isnt ne thing like listening to ur heart. the left part of ur brain is one which works up the logic, and the right part is the one which works up emotions. when u 'experience' god it is just ur emotions.
So, both put togather, let me ask you this: why does right work up emotions only? is there a thermodynamic reason why it cant do logic?

8:27 PM  
Blogger Pratik said...

Even a Jihadi has the same opinion about Hindus. My christian friend thinks the same about pagans.

Dont u think jihadis are crazy. abrahamic religeons base all their faith one their one book. when they argue abt their faith it is only based on their one book, which today has known chinks (evolution etc) where as science does this on logic.


Why the hell would they do it? Why cant they do something else, like sitting quietly? No science even attempts to answer this. its termed metaphysical or crap

exactly what i was saying before. earlier ppl , having not known why tht apple falls would have argued tht it is because of god. after knowing abt gravity, theist will then go one step futhur and say then why does this take place? when science (or they themselves) do not know the answere, they will say, yaa its because of god. ppl will always try to find god in non-understood phenomenon.


like you put it, they try to find faults, becuase there ARE faults

In this case there are no faults , but there is incomplete inderstanding. and theist will always argue abt 'His' existence in this incomplete understanding.


The way I see it, you will have to come up with something radical to defy the energy conservation law, something of the order of someone pulling stuff out of a hat.

In the first (or first few) pages of his book brief history of time , stephen hawking has said tht we are closer to a theory of everything than we think.


Maybe that also indicates that God is beyond any one definition.

Yaa and still ppl believe in someting they cannot define.


why do everyone define god? only to understand non-understood phenomenon like, reason for existence for humans and hence to make sense of their lives.

which, may i add, have been elusive to science to date too.
:-well religeon claims to give a certain meaning to ur life, but i dont believe in heaven and hell as in abrahamic religeon; and also in salvation as in indic religeons. why shud i believe in it, only beccause so and so book says so.

7:45 PM  
Blogger Pratik said...

ONLY BECAUSE SCIENCE DOES NOT GIVE ALL THE ANSWERS TODAY, DOES NOT MEAN WE SHOULD BELIEVE IN GOD.

7:49 PM  
Blogger Surya S said...

Pratik... I am really busy these days... but will surely reply to your arguments some time later.. and will also scrap you back when I do so.

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ONLY BECAUSE SCIENCE DOES NOT GIVE ALL THE ANSWERS TODAY, DOES NOT MEAN WE SHOULD BELIEVE IN GOD.

Of course not. All I am saying is atheism today is as bad as, if not worse, than theists. somehow your argument seems to agree with me, but you dont!

As far as science giving an explanation for everything, it will have to contradict the conservation laws which are the basics to everything science has to say. My point is, there is no explanation for the basis in this frame of reference.

For such situations, I have these words from DnA: "A scientist, spent all his lifetime proving that black is white, and white is black and finally committed suicide at a zebra crossing". Is such a situation forthcoming?

1:24 PM  
Blogger Pratik said...

No, i dont agree tht atheism is as bad or worse than theism. because theism is based on crap, do ne of the books give proof of god, NO, it is only a matter of belief. atheism gives me problems, since our existence does not seem to have a meaning then, but it is better than believing in GOD just to have a meaningfull life. believing in god is only an illusion.

So i rather not believ in god and face the consequences rather than believing in god and have a false sense of security.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Pratik said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, i dont agree tht atheism is as bad or worse than theism. because theism is based on crap, do ne of the books give proof of god, NO, it is only a matter of belief.
Did any of "those" (which?) books promise you they are going to give you proof of God? Dude, for an atheist, I know that in Hinduism atleast, it is proclimed that God is some concept which we realize within ourself. There cant be a proof of God until you realize him (Surya, pardon me not using Him). All these philosophers tell you is how you can go about this realization. In any case, I recommend you better books.

atheism gives me problems, since our existence does not seem to have a meaning then, but it is better than believing in GOD just to have a meaningfull life.
I have to agree with you. And since I havent been initiated by Surya yet, I disagree (for now) to the "believe" part of theism. I dont believe in God. But I think science cannot get there to give me an explanation.

believing in god is only an illusion.
Belief in God is an illusion? maybe. But what about science which, based on absoluteness of energy still cant figure out where this energy came from initially? Isnt it an illusion until it can answer that? I am not arguing based on your arguments, but lets atleast have common standards!

So i rather not believ in god and face the consequences rather than believing in god and have a false sense of security.
Ok! your call ;)

2:20 PM  
Blogger Pratik said...

I guess the only difference in our thinking is that, u think tht science will possibly not come up with a theory of everything. whereas im more optimistic.

10:16 PM  

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