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Featured Delusions in a Godless Universe

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by usfan, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. usfan

    usfan Well-Known Member

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    Here is a list of what can only be called 'delusions', IF this is a godless universe :

    1. There is a God
    2. God Created everything and everyone
    3. There is a soul
    4. There is an absolute moral code
    5. There is a heaven and hell
    6. Love is a deeply spiritual experience
    7. Life has purpose and meaning
    8. God has ordained gifts and duties for man
    9. 'Good' and 'bad' are Real and Absolute
    10. God is good
    11. God loves you
    12. God created you for a purpose
    13. God has embedded each soul with a conscience
    14. The choices you make in life have eternal consequence
    15. Angels and devils are real beings
    16. There exists a spiritual dimension.

    Any others?
    Why do people have these delusions, if indeed, this is a godless universe?
    What natural processes would impart such wholesale delusions, on the majority of human beings, in every culture, region, and era?

    I propose a rational examination of the conclusions and implications of the Reality of the universe, once we make the assumptions. This is not necessarily a reflection of what anyone actually believes, but is just the logical progression of the belief.

    The inverse of this assumption can also be examined. I wanted to start simply, at first.

    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~Aristotle
     
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  2. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    People like their stories. And old views of how the universe works stick around.
     
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  3. David T

    David T Well-Known Member
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    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle

    Like having a one night stand without getting married!!!

    I find thoughts mocking the educated entertaining. They get their educated panties all in a bunch which makes it even more entertaining. Idiots.

    NOTE: In a sense the above is Socrates a simple carver is what he was.
     
    #3 David T, Jun 5, 2019
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  4. ImmortalFlame

    ImmortalFlame Well-Known Member

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    To truly examine the implications of a Godless Universe, then first you have to dispose of all of your assertions in the OP which aren't necessarily true. So here we go:

    These are fairly obvious, yes.

    Not necessarily. It's possible for something like a soul to exist in a Godless Universe.

    Ambiguous, depending on the definitions of "absolute" and the standard/model of morality you are using.

    Also not necessarily. It's possible for a heaven and/or hell to exist in a Godless Universe.

    Once again, not necessarily. See number 3.

    Once more, not necessarily. Objective meaning and purpose may still exist in a Godless Universe.

    Obviously, true.

    Depends on definitions. It could also be argued that the existence of God wouldn't render either good or bad to be "real" or "absolute".

    Obviously, true.

    Not necessarily, again. An afterlife could exist in a Godless Universe, and our actions may still play some role in it.

    Not necessarily. You may be able to guess what the response is.

    Finally, not necessarily.

    So, in my opinion, that leaves the following as delusions that exist in a Godless Universe:

    1. There is a God
    2. God Created everything and everyone
    3. God has ordained gifts and duties for man
    4. God is good
    5. God loves you
    6. God created you for a purpose
    7. God has embedded each soul with a conscience

    Although, if we want to be a bit more efficient, we could always just put all of the above assumptions under one heading:

    1. There is a God.

    So, let's explore the implications of the above, going forward.
    Comfort, indoctrination, ignorance, desperation, or simply being mistaken.

    The flawed human brain, which generally seeks simplicity and comfort instead of complexity and truth.
     
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  5. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe you can say that points numbered 4, 6, 7, 9 and 14 can simply be ruled out as part of any "delusion" that may be going on.

    As an atheist, I would argue that we humans in no way require "God" in order to experience "love." For instance, I love many people on an extremely profound level, and do not see where God plays into the feelings I have at all.

    As far as "morality" goes - given a proper definition of what constitutes a "moral" action for us - we can come to what are objectively moral, amoral and immoral actions that can be taken by people. It hinges on the definition and parameters, of course (making it subjective at the start), but after that it is as objective as can be expected.

    Concerning "purpose" and "meaning" - I believe we get to decide our own purpose and our own meaning. What could be better than that? Do you really want to propose that someone "pulling the strings" is a better alternative? Sounds terrible to me.

    And "eternal consequences" come along with existing in the universe by default. Everything that happens that affects anything else has altered the course of the universe permanently in some way.

    My personal opinion is that we humans reached a state in which abstract thought was a more "necessary" attribute of our survival, but that this ability to think abstractly comes with all sorts of side-effects. One of those being that we question our very existence. And most people's minds don't seem to be able to deal with the idea of not knowing the answers to those big questions... and so they make them up.

    Again, in my opinion, they are nothing but a side-effect, or byproduct of our capabilities leading to abstract thought. We "imparted" them onto ourselves. We're to blame. We make up fictions and pretend they answer the questions because it makes us feel more comfortable with our place in the universe.
     
  6. Altfish

    Altfish Well-Known Member

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    I don't agree with some of you starting premis...

    1. There is a God OK
    2. God Created everything and everyone OK
    3. There is a soul OK
    4. There is an absolute moral code OK
    5. There is a heaven and hell OK
    6. Love is a deeply spiritual experience Depends what you mean by spiritual
    7. Life has purpose and meaning No, life still has purpose and meaning without gods
    8. God has ordained gifts and duties for man OK
    9. 'Good' and 'bad' are Real and Absolute Good and bad are real, but not absolute
    10. God is good OK
    11. God loves you OK
    12. God created you for a purpose OK
    13. God has embedded each soul with a conscience OK
    14. The choices you make in life have eternal consequence If you change it to "The choices you make in life have consequence" it still applies
    15. Angels and devils are real beings OK
    16. There exists a spiritual dimension.OK
     
  7. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Using the term 'delusions' for things which have served a real-world purpose over thousands of years in many different cultural environments seems to be a somewhat naive way of thinking imo.
     
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  8. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Tail Wagger
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    Ideas not delusions. Your choices make you align with them.
    Ideas and choices. Its a universe where God is undetectable. Our own gospel writers say God is invisible.
    Yes.

    Believing we exist is a choice. Modern Physics reveals this I think, but its not a new idea. In the New Testament canon there is no word for reality, so they use the words that they have. As reality is to us, truth is to them. The question they ask is will you become truth or not. What will you choose to do with your life? Then you choose not based on what you see but what you want to be. There is not this argument about accepting God's existence and then therefore doing the right thing. Dinosaurs are not related to the choice, nor the age of the Earth nor the material basis of the stars. The arguments that depend upon the existence of God are medieval and come from dark times, when empty headed friars plied the wine trade and controlled towns. It is the other way around. People choose God in order to make the right things happen. They believe by choice, by moral consent, by choosing to spend their time. New Testament writers would say to accept Jesus for a moral reason not one based on historical clues and verified miracles. I think they would not suggest spending your life on Jesus for those kinds of reasons.
     
  9. JJ50

    JJ50 Well-Known Member

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    A mere belief, NOT a fact.
     
  10. Nimos

    Nimos Active Member

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    Because its natural or expected for us to try to explain the unknown. Where does thunder comes from? Maybe some very powerful being living in the skies, well if it is so powerful that it can light up the skies and make it roar, even shatter trees on the ground and cause fire, it must be much more powerful than a human. What should we call such thing and should we fear it?

    Seems to be a rather rational explanation of how to explain something unknown when one doesn't know better. When there is something we can't explain or understand something we just make up explanations. Why does people believe in ghosts? UFOs? Flat earth? conspiracy theories?

    Natural phenomena occur all over Earth and thunder strikes and earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes etc. are just as amazing to all people regardless of where you live on earth. You have to remember that the concept of a God did not just pop into existence. It started by people worshipping nature and over time it transformed into Gods and then finally one all powerful God.

    I don't know why that is not a rather logic development for humans? Start simple and it gets more and more complicated as we get more knowledge.
     
  11. Erebus

    Erebus Well-Known Member

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    Also inaccurate as somebody can simply be mistaken without also being delusional. Not only that but beliefs that conform with a person's religious and/or cultural upbringing generally aren't considered delusions. So even if there is no God, believing otherwise wouldn't necessarily be delusional.

    For the sake of argument though, let's say that there is no God and that believers are therefore deluded. If that's the case then @ImmortalFlame hit the nail on the head. The absence of God doesn't preclude the possibility of an afterlife, soul, demons or other such beings. It may however mean that certain views about them are incorrect. For example, angels and demons would not have had firsthand experience of God. The questions of whether morality is objective or if life has inherent meaning also don't necessarily hinge on the existence of God.

    Humans are both fallible and social animals. We try to understand our surroundings and share our observations and ideas with one another. We do this even when our observations and ideas are in error.
     
    #11 Erebus, Jun 5, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
  12. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    • Apophenia - the experience of seeing meaningful patterns or connections in random or meaningless data. (cf. Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy)
    • Pareidolia - a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus being perceived as significant, a form of apophenia
    • Agenticity - the tendency to infuse patterns with meaning, intention, and agency.
    Man's religious phase will have been the period between the time between when man first developed the intellectual capacity to ask why, and when he got his answers. In between, God did it. The world used to be more steeped in religiosity, but is becoming less so as scientific knowledge progresses.

    I'm glad you started another thread.
     
  13. viole

    viole Metaphysical Naturalist
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    What follows is my rating, under the assumption of a naturalistic universe. Ergo a Universe without spiritual things, whatever spiritual means.

    Delusion.

    Delusion.

    Delusion. With the possible exception of the existence of a certain musical genre.

    Delusion.

    Delusion.

    Delusion.

    Delusion. If that is meant as eternal and absolute meaning.

    Delusion.

    Repeated delusion.

    Double Delusion. Since there is no God, not absolute good or evil.
    Same to state that God is evil.

    Everybody loves me. However, delusion on account of Gods not existence.

    Triple delusion. There is neither God, nor I have been created nor there is a purpose.

    Double delusion. No God nor souls.

    Delusion. Also the idea of free will is a delusion.

    Of course not. Double delusion.

    The mother of all delusions.

    Natural adaptations. Belief in gods or imaginary agencies provides clear survival advantages. We also have other delusions, like that time flows, or that classical physics is true.

    By the way, many people believe in tarots and that black cats bring bad luck. Many believe also in homeopathy and horoscopes. Amazing, the sheer number of them might indicate that we should check the zodiac sign of our spouses before marrying them, lol.

    Rationality dictates that even if a God exist, it is not the one you worship. If you think it is, then you must assume that all the other believers, you count now as being on your side, are all deluded, anyway.

    In other words, your case is self defeating. On pure logical grounds.

    Ciao

    - viole
     
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  14. dingdao

    dingdao The eternal Tao cannot be told - Tao Te Ching

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    I want to take issue with half of this.
    Life has a purpose. The purpose of life is to sustain itself and to reproduce. In order to do this, it will destroy other life, feed off previous life, and sometimes evolution has it disingrate non-biodegradable material.
     
  15. usfan

    usfan Well-Known Member

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    The presumption in a godless universe is materialism. No God. No spirit world. No soul. To premise 'no God!', but allow spirit beings, heaven, hell, and an eternal soul is highly illogical.

    I made the list with the 2 major worldviews in mind:
    Atheistic naturalism/materialism
    Theistic supernaturalism

    The 'no God' part of Atheistic naturalism/materialism would (and should) include the rest of the logical implications, of a godless universe.
    morality is a human construct, to control and manipulate people., in a godless universe. It is not real, but a delusion.. a manipulation.
    See above. How could there be a spirit world, at all, in an Atheistic naturalism/materialism based universe?
    yes. If this is a godless universe, delusion seems quite universal, among human beings.
    why would the human brain be 'flawed?' Would this not be an evolved survival trait, or something? How could believing in delusions improve survivability?
    there are different kinds of love. I tried to address the historical view of a 'spiritual', or soul love. That would be a delusion, in a godless universe.
    How can any moralizing be anything but a manipulation and a delusion, in a godless universe?
    ..but there is no 'a priori' meaning to anything. Everyone chooses what they wish, and there is no standard or right/wrong. Anything and everything just is.. there is no overriding, God ordained 'purpose', as theists can posit.
    Sure, if someone launches us into a nuclear winter, that would affect everyone. I meant it as a spiritual consequence, which is what many theists believe. There might be 'eternal consequences', for thoughts, words, and actions, in a God made universe, but there cannot be in a godless one. The contrast between the beliefs is the exercise, here.
    Why is this delusional tendency so common in man? It seems counterintuitive.
    how does presupposing eternal existence, a Supreme Being, consequence for thoughts, words, deeds, and heaven/hell bring comfort? Neither possibility seems very comforting..
    IF.. this is a godless universe,
    THEN... any belief in supernatural, spirit/soul, meaning, morality, heaven, a Creator.. ANYTHING, could only be a delusion, brought upon us by some unknown natural process. How does pretending that these imaginations have any benefit? Would not it be better to face reality, rather than live under a delusion?
     
  16. usfan

    usfan Well-Known Member

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    We are premising a godless universe, here. The alternate presumption would be another interesting philosophical discussion.
     
  17. ImmortalFlame

    ImmortalFlame Well-Known Member

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    False. It's perfectly possible for the Universe to exist with a spiritual dimension, even if there is no God. There are plenty of atheistic spiritualists (perhaps even some on this forum) who would point this out to you.

    No, you didn't. You started with the proposition only of a "Godless Universe" and the potential consequences of it. In such a scenario, we can only conclude that God-related beliefs are wrong, not any beliefs that are God-adjacent or not necessarily related to a belief in a God or Gods. You merely make the presumption that such beliefs require there to be a God, but you have no basis for such a presumption beyond the fact that the two are commonly linked.

    Again, the OP didn't present the scenario "naturalism/materialism is true", it only presented the scenario of a "Godless Universe". If you wish to debate the possible consequences of absolute materialism/naturalism, such a subject covers far more than just the existence/nonexistence of God, so you would need to specify that.

    This is an assertion, not a fact. It is quite possible to have objective morals, even IF morality is a human construct. Morals can still exist without a God to dictate them.

    Again, see above. You specified "Godless", not "naturalism/materialism based Universe".

    As, to be fair, it would be in a Universe with a God.

    "Flawed" simply meaning "not able to intuit correctly 100% of the time". Our brain serves the function of processing information, but it only does so to the extent that we are able and willing to accept its observations, and with human nature favouring comfort and self-preservation often a "good enough" explanation for what we intuit is sufficient, and often we cling to any answer in lieu of no answer.
     
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  18. usfan

    usfan Well-Known Member

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    How so? How could believing in anything that is objectively false, not be a delusion?
    Those are just more delusions.. remnants from a belief in God, contrived to bring comfort or soothe fears. In a godless universe, morality is a human construct, only. There is no God embedding 'natural law' into everyone. There is no 'higher meaning!' You do whatever you want, and pretend significance, if it makes you feel better. But there is no 'a priori' meaning to anything.
    what natural processes would promote delusional thinking, instead of accepting reality?
    hmm..
    You seem to agree with every point. I think you get the assumption, and the implication of belief. Why do many atheists not follow the logical implications of their beliefs? Why do some want to pretend 'meaning!', love, or morality, or soul? Is is just leftover remnants of the theistic delusion?
    that would not be a 'purpose', as a theist would define it. Serving others, helping the poor, convincing others about God.. a higher 'calling'.. a purpose beyond mere existence, is what the theistic view suggests. That would be impossible, in a godless universe.
     
  19. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Why does something have to be objectively true to have any benefit?

    Myths, fables, aphorisms, etc. aren't true, yet all can offer benefits. You can tell the truth with fiction and lies with facts after all.

    Anyway, the idea that searching for 'objective truth' is intrinsically virtuous is itself a fiction (or as you say, 'delusion').

    Rejecting gods doesn't mean you start 'facing reality', it just means you start constructing new systems of meaning and building a new set of fictions (or mythos) to bring you comfort in the cold, meaningless universe in which we reside.
     
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  20. Erebus

    Erebus Well-Known Member

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    A couple of reasons. Firstly, as I mentioned, beliefs that conform to a person's cultural background aren't typically considered delusional from a psychiatric point of view. Being a Christian for example isn't enough by itself to warrant medication. I'll accept though that there can be grey areas here. There's an old joke along the lines of, "It's fine to talk to God providing God doesn't talk back."

    Secondly, delusions are characterised by a conviction held despite firm contrary evidence. In regards to God, you may well argue that there is insufficient evidence for belief but this doesn't necessarily mean there is strong evidence for God's absence. Even if there is indeed no God, it doesn't necessarily follow that this is something we can know for certain.

    Finally and most simply, there is a difference between holding a delusion and being mistaken. If I misremember Abraham Lincoln's birthday and so end up thinking he was born in 1805, would you consider that delusion?

    Why?

    For what it's worth I personally don't believe morality is objective, nor do I believe that life holds inherent meaning. This is despite being a theist by the way. Even so, I could well be wrong as principles can be true or false regardless of perception. Is it impossible that murder is as objectively wrong as believing that 2+2=5? Perhaps the inherent meaning of life is to multiply. That certainly seems to be the primary goal of most life.

    Furthermore, the presence of God doesn't automatically mean that morality is objective or that life has inherent meaning either. It's perfectly possible that God simply created everything on a whim and then left things to work themselves out.

    I already told you. It's human nature.

    We attempt to understand our surroundings and pass on our ideas. We don't always get it right. If you would prefer a neurological approach to why humans get things wrong, I'm afraid I'm just not qualified to give you an answer.
     
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