Inability to Reconcile

Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by Tsing Tao, Oct 13, 2020.

  1. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

    I'm no longer religious. I used to be. I was born Catholic and though I was never what one would call "devout", I still attended church from time to time (of course on the holidays!) and I had what I would call a healthy belief in God. The God from the Bible, or the Catholic religion.

    Then I watched a video a few years back that truly explained the massive and unfathomable size of the universe. I've always been a Sci-fi and Astronomy fan, so this video was right up the alley. I'll post the video at the end of this text.

    I was dumbfounded at the sheer size of the universe. Yeah, I always knew it was massive but I don't think I truly grasped the concept of just how massive it is. What's more, I don't think I actually gave conscious thought to the size of the universe and how it related to the overall concept of the Bible and God that I had faith in. And that's what led me down the path of discord. O' Discordia... (for ye Dark Tower fans)

    And it is discord. My life seems like it lacks the harmony I once had. I cannot reconcile the God of the Bible with the concept of such a massive universe. They seem to me to be incompatible. I cannot develop a theory as to how the two possibilities can co-exist in a logical format. For example, if God has chosen us and we are in his image, am I to assume there are no other examples of us anywhere in the universe? Given the billions and billions of possible homes of life in our own galaxy or even in our local group, how does God, the story of Moses, Jesus, anything in the Bible have any possibility of being even remotely true? Quite simply, they can't says I. Not that I believed them to be actual historical representation before, but now its nothing more than any other fiction I've ever read.

    I'm curious if anyone else has ever had to go through this. As I get older - as we get older, I think it is natural to start to think about what the end of our time looks like and what it means to us. Perhaps that's what this is.

    I've read the posts on this forum lurking quietly because I don't have a lot to add. I've tried to engage some of the posters here or in private messages, but I don't pretend to have the intelligence to understand what is going on or what they are talking about. I listen, I hear, but some of it I can't absorb or don't grasp. Other stuff simply doesn't ring with logic or truth.

  2. maxinger


    Hello Tsing Tao beer.

    I also don't comprehend.

    Talk about the bible. How did people manage to capture sooo many details about what happened hundreds of generations ago?
    How did they manage to document so many details?
    Do remember documents could be destroyed due to whatever reasons.

    Personally, I don't even know anything about my 4 grandparents!!!
    So don't even talk about my grand grandparents!!!

    So what is life after death?
    Will it be like trillions and trillions of pigs / cows / chicken / fish which we have slaughtered?
    They have been slaughtered and totally disappeared from the face of the earth, and from memory.

    Astrologist says there are billions of stars in the universe.
    Surely there is life out there.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2020
    murray t turtle likes this.
  3. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

    It is not my intent to debate the Bible. As for how people managed to capture so many details accurately, who knows that they are accurate.

    Billions of stars in the universe would be woefully understated. Try more stars then there are grains of sand on Earth (as the video states).
  4. gaussian


    Minor correction - astrologists are new age weirdos that think your sign determines your fate. You're looking for astronomers.

    That being said you are referring to the Drake Equation. It is impossible that there is not life out there. In fact, there are probably several advanced societies inside our own galaxy looking at the same stars you are at night.

    This is the problem with following a book written by old men in Mesopotamia 3000 or so years ago after licking toads. The book has good advice (such classics as "don't kill people", "don't covet thy neighbors wife", etc) but I don't believe it should be taken as, for lack of a better term, gospel.

    This jives with your statement above. Would people who on average were less educated than a 5th grader really understand the idea of aliens? There's an interesting blend of the two hypotheses called ancient astronauts. It's possible "God" is actually some alien species that visited us 3000 years ago. Religion serves a purpose to explain the unexplained. The unknown makes people very uncomfortable. That is religion's core purpose.

    I think everyone who goes through a STEM program has to wrestle with the same idea. I think militant atheism is pointless. I've concluded that while the bible is an outdated manuscript for explaining phenomena written thousands of years ago, it's still possible there is a God. The issue is the normal "proofs" you see here and elsewhere (the complexity of the human ear fallacy, the lack of mid-evolution species of half human/half ape, etc) don't actually try to understand it. Moreover, God is so ephemeral that any time you can show God doesn't actually exist a truly religious devotee will simply retreat to another example, or quote the bible saying "you should not test God".

    I don't really subscribe to the idea of the benevolent new testament God. For me the answer was simple. If there is a benevolent God, why is there suffering? There is suffering so God can't be benevolent. Is there an all knowing God? Then why wouldn't a non-benevolent all-knowing God strike down abortion clinics with fire and brimstone? Then he can't be all knowing. So God actually seems more human than spirit incapable of knowing everything and possessing a personality.

    It would seem to me that this logical argument seems point at an all knowing, possible angry God. Suddenly, the ancient astronauts hypothesis begins to make more sense. If it was true then humanity is nothing more than a cargo cult praying to space faring aliens in the sky to visit us once more and gift us with the advanced technology they have.
    cesfx likes this.
  5. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

    Thanks for jumping in. I've always respected your opinions on this forum.

    I'm familiar with the whole ancient alien idea (kinda reminds me of the movie Stargate) and that is certainly a possibility - maybe even more than a coin toss.

    I think I still believe in the concept of a God, but obvious the New Testament concept cannot be (at least from my perspective) so the next thought for me is what this looks like. As an aside, to the question on "if there is a benevolent God, why is there suffering", I'd point you to Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. In it, he talks about the idea of "enemy territory" in reference to the earth and how God does not interfere because we are behind enemy lines. He will interfere once He determines the time is right to "invade" or act. But again, I don't think this likely. It is more likely there is an overall intelligence and that our transition to death is just one that must occur for us to rejoin a source of energy or something like that in the universe before we move on to our next iteration - whatever that is.
  6. nursebee


    29 thousand posts is quietly observing here?
  7. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

    This is your contribution to the thread?
  8. Overnight


    Welcome to the club. Better late than never.

    It is tough reconciling spirituality with the physical universe, when you put things into perspective. Ya' always gotta' have perspective!

    Here's both versions of the interactive scale of everything. The original version has a smaller screen, but little animations which can be neat.

    *hint...every item on the screen is clickable with a little description.* Have fun!
    Tsing Tao likes this.
  9. IF there is a god he must be something. He created this whole Universe out of nothing. LOL
  10. nursebee


    “We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.”

    ― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion
    #10     Oct 14, 2020