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 God's Prime Directive

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The Paineful Truth

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PostSubject: God's Prime Directive   Sat Oct 13, 2007 5:18 pm

Quote :
B. God’s Prime Directive

“If you love something, set it free. If it returns to you, it’s yours. If not, it never was.”
—Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Absorbing this quote, and assuming that God does indeed want our love, consider this simple definition:

Deism: belief in the existence of a supreme being who, by his non-interference, guarantees man's free will. It is up to us to discern the laws of nature and rational morality, and to implement them. He does not exert supernatural influence on the natural laws that govern our universe.

This expresses the core deist belief in a non-interfering (laissez-faire) God, which of necessity has been God’s “policy” at least since the Creation or Big Bang. Think of it as God’s Prime Directive, instituted in order to safeguard our free will. During the years following The Age of Reason until today, those opposing deism were allowed to define it with the commonly used analogy of a watchmaker, who creates and winds the watch setting our natural laws in motion, and then abandons it.

This begs the question, why would God create this universe and then walk away? Does the watchmaker not make the watch for a purpose? This cynical patronizing analogy was so pervasive in the 19th century that it is still used in many dictionaries, but it is not the view of most deists. A much better analogy would be where God (and our ancestors who have gone before?) watches with intense interest from the audience as we play out our improvisational performances on this wonderfully rational stage without strings. The reasons He must not interfere, and why
good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people and how this safeguards our free will, will be addressed in subsequent sections.

The consequence of God’s (laissez faire) policy concerning the universe is that it is composed of natural materials which are subject to natural laws. If nature were to be overridden by supernatural "exceptions", or miracles, man would have no basis for rational thought without the threat of the rug being pulled out from under him at any time, taking away our ability to learn and analyze or even to love. And going hand-in-hand with maintaining a rational world is the independence that free-will requires to make moral choices that are indeed ours, which revelation and miracles would demolish.

While an open-minded person cannot reject the potential for supernatural events out-of-hand, he must assume the rational within the framework of the natural universe he has been placed in, until shown otherwise. The person who elevates faith above reason, rejects the need for reasoned evidence (thus bypassing reason), placing us in the absurd position of being able to justify anything.

So since God does not override or change the rules, all the rules can be combined into one natural law set—one Truth, one reality, one God. Ironically, it is still rational to assume that the totally natural universe was created by a supernatural act. Deists believe that non-interference since the Creation is God's self-enforced Prime Directive.

All this is not to say that faith is not important. In fact, it is of equal consequence with reason. But the head (reason) must decide a course of behavior based on logic, experience and evidence, and then the emotional heart (faith/passion) generates the courage, determination, energy, confidence and will necessary to follow that course. Yin and Yang: natural law rules, faith inspires. To paraphrase Einstein, “Faith without reason is blind, reason without faith is dead”.

The evidence indicates that God has not, and will not, alter or temporarily suspend the rules, and faith motivates us to stay on the path reason dictates while searching for further Truth. Faith as the revealed religions use it is just another word for faith without reason—it is a blind faith. While many believe in miracles and magic which always seem to turn out to be mere misperception and/or slight of hand, those that seek Truth believe in accepting the challenge of mystery with curiosity.

Some declare God to be a political tool. That has often been the case, but only through the use of the god(s) of revealed religions. You can't manipulate people with a deistic God, or the Truth. You can't say this or that act is immoral because God said it was. You can't threaten people with divine retribution or rationalize calamities as such. And the prospect of a reward in the afterlife looses all its influence without first hand divine validation of what it's like or how you acquire it or even that it exists. Putting words in God’s mouth has been used as a political tool as certainly as lies have been, the one being a form of the other.

It is very hard to accept that you will probably never have the security of "knowing" that there is a reward in the hereafter which the established religions appear to offer, but that doesn’t mean that there is no inherent basis for morality or ethical behavior. Enlightened self-interest requires adherence to a rule of law for everyone except anarchists and tyrants. Character is the one requirement for following such a moral code and the support of a group such as a church can help strengthen one's faith—but that faith has to be based on Truth, or it will be twisted to any purpose as history has shown.

As will also be shown, everything is an aspect of Truth, even the emotions, and any soul is vacant if it is based on the justifications of its own vanity. A soul is the only entity that can harbor a lie which, like a parasite left undisturbed, will eventually drain the life from its host.

As deism is being reviewed from its height 200 years ago during the Age of Reason, there will be those who will try to demean it. It was the belief of many of America’s founders, including, arguably the first five presidents. There have recently been many examples of hyphenated deism attempting to dilute its influence, and there have even been those calling themselves deists who promote the belief in an interactive God. It was the philosophy of the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason. Like veritology, it isn’t a cold, detached analysis. Being reasonable by no means excludes passion; reason directs passion, which is in turn required for the motivation to follow reason’s course.

It is a fair extension of this belief that if God does exist, that sentient, self-aware creatures who can contemplate Him/Truth as well as make free choices between good and evil, are the purpose of His creation.
There is one question for the early deists, especially for America’s founders who were deists: What did they mean by divine providence?

They all used the phrase when referring to God’s relationship to their efforts. If they meant that God had preordained the ultimate victory of right and Truth over evil, it would be logically incompatible with deism. However, if it was their belief that some individuals or groups had God silently cheering them on, then who can argue against it? It can also mean that God designed the universe to foster intelligent life, but not what the ultimate fate of that life would be. The certainty, compelled by free will and the Prime Directive, remains: there is no guarantee that good will triumph over evil. The good can never rest because evil never will.

Yin Yang
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PostSubject: Re: God's Prime Directive   Sun Oct 14, 2007 3:24 am

Quote :
The good can never rest because evil never will.

Nicely done, particularly good quote above.

I'm on the same page except, of course, and as always, the differing views of hypenated deism.

If you can "love" chocolate.

Then you can have hyphenated deism.

You have to understand that the nature of the English language is that words are elastic. They get stretched, bent, misshaped.

Again my advice is that you simply accept that with deism, like "love" you will forever have to define your terms in any serious conversation.
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The Paineful Truth

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PostSubject: Re: God's Prime Directive   Sun Oct 14, 2007 12:43 pm

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You have to understand that the nature of the English language is that words are elastic.

But like our friend David realized, you can stretch (or bend) words only so far before they break and can carry no meaning. I know I'm preaching to the choir here (however stubborn you may be politically Whistle ), but the ignorance such a casual use of words promotes, is just one more plank in the wall that we are trying to dismantle.
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PostSubject: Re: God's Prime Directive   Tue Oct 23, 2007 2:57 am

Well, I believe God did all his intervening at the beginning of creation. He made the natural laws in such a way that it requires no new intervention. The righteous can prosper if they defeat evil but if evil defeats the righteous it will never prosper. What I mean is that if the righteous people of Earth win most of the battles against the evil people on Earth then life will evolve and continue on. If life continues on we will eventually leave this planet and discover new worlds. If evil people win most of the battles then mankind will go extinct. On some planets sentient beings destroy themselves and on some planets the righteous prevail, get off their planets, and discover new worlds. Only the righteous can carry us to the next level of evolution and only saint races of the universe are granted access to the heavens. This is Divine Providence.

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The Paineful Truth

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PostSubject: Re: God's Prime Directive   Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:36 am

That's a definition of divine providence I can live with. Nothing is preordained, and God can only hope, like the rest of us, that good will triumph over evil--at least on the individual level. There are those who are good even in the most evil of societies.

"A few blocks away from the northwest corner of the Earth"

Zat Alaska? (Sometimes I take things too literally.)
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PostSubject: Re: God's Prime Directive   Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:15 pm

The Paineful Truth wrote:
That's a definition of divine providence I can live with. Nothing is preordained, and God can only hope, like the rest of us, that good will triumph over evil--at least on the individual level. There are those who are good even in the most evil of societies.

"A few blocks away from the northwest corner of the Earth"

Zat Alaska? (Sometimes I take things too literally.)

No, I don't mean it literally. I use to be a Christian and the flat earthism in the Bible is one of the things that convinced me of the falsehood of it. That's what I was referring to.

My real location is in the lost city of Atlantis.
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PostSubject: Re: God's Prime Directive   Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:35 pm

Feet on the ground, head in the clouds huh.

As Arlo said, "Hail Atlantis"--or did he do Alice's Restaurant.

(When in Rome....)
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PostSubject: Re: God's Prime Directive   Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:42 pm

The Paineful Truth wrote:
Feet on the ground, head in the clouds huh.

As Arlo said, "Hail Atlantis"--or did he do Alice's Restaurant.

(When in Rome....)

How my mind works sometimes it feels like my feet are in the clouds also. Smile
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