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June 21, 2006

Are We All Gods?

Or should we try to be? This is from a comment below by Jay Saul:Superman.jpg

Go be God/ There's No Time To Waste

Is there a sense in which a disbeliever could/should believe this sort of thing? Certainly eliminating the supernaturals does succeed in clearing the field clear for us -- the only beings left with the ability to write love songs and fire arrows. Nothing wrong, as a rule, with aiming high.

Ãœbermenschen? Has a certain ring. A feeling of invulnerability? Maybe good. Confidence that you can get what you want? Can't hurt.

Eternal life, however, would presumably have to be confined to moments (unless medical advances manage to eliminate the disease thing). Omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience might have to be interpretations of the power of consciousness.

The problem with gods, however, is their flawlessness -- as Carneades, among others, pointed out. Many of our virtues, passions, poems, come from our flaws. Is being human, or being animals, really not sufficient? Or is the point that we need to bucked up?

Posted by Mitchell Stephens at June 21, 2006 4:47 PM


Flawless? Only if you insist on that sort of god. You could aim for being the pretty powerful Greek or Norse type, partying and jealous and angry and lusty... hmmm. We're sort of there already, aren't we?

Posted by: The Ridger at June 21, 2006 7:49 PM

What of the vulnerability of God? Is it a flaw of essnetial attributes of anyone, to be vulnerable?

Posted by: Bonnie Kim at June 21, 2006 7:54 PM

Every waking moment and for that matter, every dreaming moment each of us creates the reality we experience. The fact we do it "naturally" and without trying belies the awesome power of this creation.

Every moment we stand on the edge of the chaos and find the patterns that we use to build our world. And we do it using electrons, and chemicals and (I think) quantum effects to produce a symbolic soup of being. To be alive is to be the creator of worlds.

As far as wasting time, that was a play on words. Outside of our reality, there is no time to waste. In my world anyway.

To me, creating a perfect world is not a matter of creating one where there is no suffering or pain or hate, it is perfect because there are no holes, no missing parts that cannot be filled. Consciousness is funny like that. We create our worlds before we experience them. To control that creation is my north star.

Posted by: Jay Saul at June 21, 2006 10:04 PM

Agreed w/ The Ridger on this. Perhaps flawlessness reserved for monotheistic god(s); ancient texts filled w/ (polytheistic) godflaws across cultures. Perhaps this idea of the omni/uber meant to signify most of all the *spatial* shift in conceptualizing power from poly- to mono-theism, to make it tougher, scarier and not least, *higher* as in above and beyond, meta-ta-physica (and gosh, surprisingly, a whole lot more male-dominated too, no?)

Posted by: JM at June 21, 2006 10:13 PM

"We are as gods and might as well get good at it." - Stuart Brand

Thanks to technology, we have powers that the ignorant savages who wrote the world's holy books would never have dreamed of ascribing to their gods. But we are still in thrall to ancient superstitions and irrationalities. That makes us very dangerous.

Posted by: No More Mr. Nice Guy! at June 22, 2006 5:39 PM

We create the gods to explain human characteristics, behaviours and attributes.

The supreme gods (yahweh, allah, God) are the ultimate human role models created by us. It is hero worship which presupposes a supernatural hero with all our best qualities, to which we are to aspire.

So, yes, I think WE are the gods and we create the gods. We create the ultimate supernatural role model as an abstraction, to inspire us to act like the "perfect being" which we created in the first place. :)

Posted by: beepbeepitsme at June 22, 2006 7:19 PM

We are the gods and durkheim had it right when he stated that by worshiping god we were ultimately worshiping society.

Posted by: jen at November 2, 2006 1:03 PM

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