God and the Universe

Discussion in 'Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality' started by owls84, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Mod Note: This is a spin off from the Can Non-Christians go to Heaven Thread.

    This is quickly becoming one of my favorite posts.

    When I first read this it was my belief that 'yes non-Christians and Christians could be admitted into heaven' then after reading a few posts it dawned on me that not everyone believes that or wants that. As Bro. Rhit pointed out some religions believe in a form of reincarnation and other believe they you (or your spirit) is again reunited with God.

    I want to talk about the latter of the forms. I sit and spoke to a person about spirituality and he said the following. Most scientists believe in the Big Bang but what they can't figure out is what banged. What if that tiny spec of energy was God? What if it is true, God created the heavens and the Earth? What if it is true that we all contain God? Simply because EVERYTHING was made up of the piece of energy that exploded billions of years ago. The good and evil were just as we hear of in physics, matter and anti-matter. You must have one without the other. When one dies their mass, scientifically speaking, never goes away but becomes another form. It just got me thinking about how people do have different perspectives and how great it is to hear them all.

    You can tell I have been watching some great astrology shows on History. Not to mention some cool physics shows as well. I loved the one with Stephen Hawking that used to come on. This is what I think of every time I watch them now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  2. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    Re: Can non-Christians go to Heaven?

    You better break this off owls into a Big bang Thread b/c I can go down this rabbit hole all day if you want.

    It boils down to a person believing that mind came before matter or matter came before mind and Masons (at least our kind) cannot believe the the latter. Masons must believe that this universe that is made up of matter came from the mind of S.A.O.T.U. and not that matter exploded thus eons later randomly creating our human minds. Then if the universe is created from God how is it we could not have some of Him in us if not everything being Him?

    Brother Owls or anyone, would there be evil or good if none was hear to judge it? If no human or living breathing creature existed what would constitute something good or for that matter evil?

    The universe is 99% nothing just empty space as are humans or any mass. Our body is built like the Eiffel Tower with tons of holes, gaps and spaces but interlocks to create a superstructure that fits with such exact nicety that it can only be the work of the S.A.O.T.U.
     
  3. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    Great Blog from Schrodinger's Kitten

    How The Universe Is

    I apologise for the overuse of really, lots and very in this piece. Anyone wishing to buy me a thesaurus may.

    The universe is mostly nothing. On a galactic scale, it is, indeed, very big. And the lumps of planets and stars in it — even though these are indeed mind-bogglingly big, even when compared to things like Westminster Cathedral, frinstance — are very very rare and very very tiny, relative to the massive amounts of nothing in here. This is the same no matter what direction you look in: just light-years of nothing punctuated by the occasional fiery ball of gas, or a speck of rock. It’s all rushing away from us (maybe Earth smells, or something), spreading out in every direction, so the amount of empty space versus the amount of actual stuff is even increasing. Even if you just look at one of the rocky bits; my favourite rock, our rock, the Earth, really closely... it’s still mostly nothing.

    If you look as close as you can with the best technique we have, you are rewarded with the sight of a dot in empty space. A lot of empty space. 99.99999999% empty space. This is hard to get your head round. In fact if you can, please go and study physics. For the rest of us, imagine the last time you were in a really crowded place. The tube, a bus, a train, Christmas shopping — something like that. All the sweaty, voluminous masses of people. If you took all the actual stuff in them — take out the spaces – they’re smaller than a grain of sand. However, if you take all the people packed together in the entire city, packed like cattle in their moving tins, or milling around in shops, and do the same — they’re, um, still smaller than a grain of sand. Even if you do this in Japan, or one of those other really really population dense countries — grain of sand still wins. In fact, you can do this to everyone in the world. Simultaneously. 6 — approaching 7 — billion (6,000,000,000; there are 9 zeroes in a billion, thanks to our American friends) people. Many. Lots. And when you take out the gaps between them, they – just about approach the size of a grain of sand. Right? Really very much nothing. Lots of nothing.

    But supposing you do look at the bits you have got. As closely as you can. Using some super-duper microscope. What are they? Um, they’re points. Really really small points. Doesn’t matter how much you poke at them, they’re just — little dots. However small you go, they’re still not measurable. Just little blips in the otherwise empty space. And they all look identical, because really, how different can you get in the space of one pixel, say?

    But, they are different. In some kind of way. Some of them attract each other, some of them don’t, some of them require much more effort to move them anywhere. Some of them only travel at one speed. Despite all looking like dots. Some of them refuse to do the same thing as any others of the same type. Some of them explode when they hit others. They are different. Somehow.

    But, um — they’re all the same. You grab an electron — yes, the things that make electricity when they move, those. They are quite common. And you grab any other electron. And they’re identical. Like, they both have a charge of 1.602 176 4 x 10-19 C1. To that many decimal places, yes. They both have a mass of 9.109 382 x 10-31 kg1. Yes, that is very small. But yes, we have measured it. Trust me, I’ll explain later if anyone cares. And you can grab any others, and none will differ in any way. And all the other types — are exactly identical. What are the conformist buggers playing at? How do they know?

    Despite everything being empty space, you still can’t walk through tables (I did try this, when I found out). This is because all the little points mentioned above have Views on where they want to be. And they exert these Views, and repel some points and attract others, though the medium of, um, empty space. Nothing in it. And yet, if you put something in a certain place, a certain distance away, it receives a push that depends on how far away it is and what number it has decided upon for its mass (remember they all look the same, it’s not ‘how big/heavy it is’. It’s just a magic number attached to it). From nothing, yes. These are fields. They do seem nonsensical, however we can’t explain them so we’re just putting up with it.

    The whole putting things in a certain place is a bit traumatic, though. Even though when you examine them, they’re little points, when you’re not looking at them they’re more like a cloud of possible places they could be. But when you look at them again, they’re in one place. Just, not necessarily the one they were in last time. So they moved, right? You find out how they moved, they can’t just teleport. But, um, they’re also a cloud of possible speeds and directions of movement, if you want to look at it like that. They aren’t willing to commit to those either. In fact, if you look at where it is, you can’t tell how fast it’s going or what it’s doing. And if you know what it’s doing, you can’t tell where it is. Sorry. If you are still with me, you are doing better than Einstein on this point, although admittedly he didn’t have it explained by me.

    Except, sometimes, they can teleport. If you accept that you’re not going to know exactly where they are, and just put them in a pen, with sides they can’t get over — imagine it as a hole with very steep sides, and they can’t get up enough speed to go up the sides – they still don’t stay where they’re put. There is a chance they will escape. And if you wait long enough, even things that have a really low probability will happen, so if you wait ages they will escape. Because as previously stated, they’re not actually in one place, they’re spread out as a cloud of locations, and the cloud of locations — goes beyond the walls. So, um, their location can also go beyond the walls.

    Yes, I know. I know. This is why I study physics, to pin those points down and make them behave sensibly.

    link to the site
    http://www.schrodingerskitten.co.uk/articles/how-the-universe-is.html
     
  4. mch4970

    mch4970 Premium Member

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    Re: Can non-Christians go to Heaven?

    That question is a bit broad. You don't put your hand on the stove because it hurts. You don't hit your neighbor because he might hit you back. You don't steal, because you might go to jail. Plenty of evil is attributed to good results vs. bad results for individual and society. It requires not a SAOTU to deem the action evil or good.

    I'm not arguing against ya. Just clarifying.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  5. mch4970

    mch4970 Premium Member

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    Re: Can non-Christians go to Heaven?

    I like
     
  6. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    Re: Can non-Christians go to Heaven?

    I would never take it that way, I have no idea what goes on with God but I do love to talk about it.
    We as humans have a firm grasp on our version of right and wrong, good or evil which we are provided through our perception of reality or nervous system but my question was what is good or evil without the mind to perceive it? Did the breath of life and our brain give birth to the idea of right and wrong and then death takes it from our spirits again? Is good and evil a perception of our minds and nothing more or was good and evil around before and after our minds?
     
  7. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    I think good and evil are perspective. This is like "does a tree make a sound when it falls in the forest with no one around to hear it?" question. Well of course it does. I was watching a show this last week about black holes and they were saying that they are beginning to think that at the center of every galaxy there could be a black hole and the problem is we can't see it.

    This could be looked at in a couple of ways. You say "the universe is 99% nothing just empty space" but the reality is we don't know really if that is true. Plus we all know there is not empty space because sound waves and radio waves are constantly being generated. This is partly where "white noise" comes from when we project a receiver to space. So would you call that "empty"? I don't think there are things we can compute with our minds when it comes to the complexity of space. This is apparent because many of today’s astrophysicists have to use "super" computers to solve complex problems.

    Another way this could look at is how do we know that we are not already in a black hole? Almost like an alternate universe. Funny thing is they asked that question and the response was "We don't know."

    When we look at our definitions of God we get the same responses "We don't know" and this is where faith comes in. We all know there had to be something that created all of this and everything we see. Part of the problem is we are trying to understand it at our level and I don't think that is possible. As far as would there be good and evil if humans did not exist? I would think so. If you look at everything in space and all that we know, it seems that everything has an opposite. We could call a star that collides with another star a fight between good and evil or when a star blows up and sends debris all over space evil. It is all perspective. There will always be an attempt of destruction. Everything has a positive, negative, or neutral charge at an atomic level and even matter has anti-matter. Because of this I say yes, good and evil would exist but it is man that called it this.
     
  8. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    If good and evil is perspective would that make it relative and random to each individuals experience? If good and evil is perspective then their would be no good or evil outside our perception and could be different from man to man right?
    I do believe there are things that we as humans have made right or wrong and lives only in our perspective like stealing or double dipping but I also believe there is an energy that lives outside our perspective that can alter us greatly when it comes into our lives. Evil has influenced men to do horrific acts but good has just as well lead men to combat these acts with the strength, comfort and faith justice provides our hearts. Masons call it Light and opposing force Darkness and we are told that anytime we need to call on that power we just need ask and follow the 3 step program which alludes to the power outside out consciousness. I feel in our first lives our spirit was dumb as a box of rocks and knew only to eat, sleep and procreate but over time the influence upon our perspective by the forces of good and evil our minds have evolved and been passed generation to generation into our current perspective. We still are much to young to perceive the real influence we can have wielding these powers but we are much closer to that understanding than 50,000 years ago. JMHO
     
  9. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    nice to open up with you Brothers great post

    by the way Josh how do you know a tree makes noise when falling if no one is around to hear it?
     
  10. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    I do know it. Sound is a wave of energy that is produced. It can be measured and recorded. Just becuase a human is not there to witness it a recording device could. The energy is still produced when a tree falls that does not go a way.
     
  11. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    the act of measuring changes it, though. maybe there is no sound until measured.

    ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
     
  12. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    The term "sound" is a word that describes the energy created. We made the word but that doesn't eliminate the fact that the energy is produced.
     
  13. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    Read about Erwin Schrodinger's thought experiment. It is all about what observation can do to reality. Even if you record the tree falling this experiment explains the possibility that the tape is blank with no sound until we listen to it.! Quantum Physics is proving observation changes the nature of reality, kinda like how we act different when we know the camera is recording us. Wrap your head around that.
    Read this link it is a great quick overview of the experiment.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger's_cat
     
  14. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    you are correct we made the term "sound" to describe that energy but now apply that same line of thinking to making the energy as well. Are you understanding now? There is no way to prove that a tree makes a sound if nothing is around to observe the sound you can believe it does but how can you know for sure? The current laws of nature we have discovered as humans only take us so far into reality then they break down completely. That is what Stephen Hawking has spent his life trying to do, make Einstein's laws work on the quantum level but in the quantum level it is as the Mad Hatter said in Alice and Wonderland "We are all Mad."
     
  15. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    The act of observing or measuring is a variable in creating the sound to measure take a look at the short video on the measurement problem. Google that by the way and read up on it the measurement problem is a real mind bender.
    [video=youtube;HNmwuIUQ0qY]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNmwuIUQ0qY[/video]
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
  16. Robert Marshall

    Robert Marshall Secretary, Waco 92 Premium Member

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    Re: Can non-Christians go to Heaven?

    Some Middle Age philosophers/theologians like Boethius will outline a very curious understanding of "evil." Evil is nothing. To expand on this, it's important to point out that contemporary thought focused on God, god's nature, and in many instances, His "names." Being was often one of, if not the name given the first attention. The idea was that God was a Supreme Being, but in two ways. First, God was Supreme in that He is in everything that exists in some way because He created. Second, God was BEYOND being, outside of being, because He could possibly be A being created by Himself. Other names include Good, Light, Beauty, etc. Our purpose was supposed to be that we participate in the Good, or God, as much as possible. And so, to be Good was to participate in God to a greater extent and to be evil was to participate in God to a lesser extent. As God is Being, substitute the word Being in there and what you get is: The most existent thing, to the extent that it is outside existence altogether is ultimate goodness, namely, God. The least existent thing is ultimate evil, to the point that it doesn't exist at all, but rather is outside existence in a different, more opposing way.

    That's a long-winded way of saying that evil is nothing more than lack of good.
     
  17. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    I love your response Brother Marshall. I do feel the SGAOTU emanates energy which does effect our lives and as humans, in our efforts to make sense of it all we label things starting with good or bad even the energy from God but if he is the creator of all then bad as we know it is only an instrument of good for God. I personally feel nothing can blur the line of good or evil worse than morals and dogmas gone unchecked. Civil right suppression or the Inquisition can stand for two great examples of morals or dogmas gone wild. I feel the energy from God comes to us in a pure raw energy and we as humans put the spin of bad or good on it by the actions we carry out with said energy. Kinda like the gun is not evil just the jack-ass murdering people with it is, same principle to me God's energy is not good or evil it just is and we label it by how we exert it.
    A quote from Rumi is the one who got this churning again for me it goes
    "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there."
    Jalal ad-Din Rumi
     
  18. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    Re: Can non-Christians go to Heaven?

    1. I believe it is an aspect of God.
    2. He did - see Genesis 1 for further details.
    3. No "if's" about it.
    We can't ...
    1. yes. Genesis 1 - and it was "good" (said statement occurred before humans existed.)
    2. see previous response.
    The mis-notion that the universe is 99% nothing may never be corrected en mass but for what it's worth, those "empty spaces" which everyone has come to call them contain a whole bunch of electromagnetic radiation, hence they are not empty space in the true sense of the word; they are simply matter-less, which is a whole different issue all together.
    I don't put my hand on the "hot" stove because I don't like the damage such an act brings forth. Pain is only one of the consequences of such an act.
    I don't hit my neighbor because I believe such an act is wrong.
    I don't steal because it is a wrong act; not because of jail hanging over my head.

    I do agree with your last statement. I go one step further and say that for most people good and evil are based upon what a person values most in the moment.
    1. They are unperceived concepts/truths.
    2. Nope. Right and Wrong are eternal truths. They exist outside of time and space but manifest in time and space.
    3. Good and Evil are eternal. There is no before or after with eternals.
    A tree falling converts potential energy into kinetic energy in the form of heat and vibration. Evidence is the only way to confirm this. As with all evidence, if you do not know what you are looking for or how to read it, you are apt to deny what is before you.

    I think this is one of the fundamental aspects of Masonic Education. Masons, through study, should be able to interpret life a lot better afterward then initially. Your example of the tree is a good primer for masonic education. Kudos!
    Because what we have defined as a "black hole" is not our experience and we are here to discuss it, which would not be possible if we were experiencing that definition in the now.
    The question though is does such a change invalidate what is measured? I think not.
    The challenge here is applying microscopic aspects to macroscopic realities. Some aspects are not portable and hence warp conclusions out of proportion. This is the main problem with interpreting and making effort to apply quantum physics to every day experiences.
    The problem with applying analogies to explain things is the analogy must be appropriate. The light:no light analogy does apply to some aspects of the good:evil understanding, but it leaves out other important aspects as a result. Duality is not always the only way to think about such things.

    In some cases, evil can be understood as the lack of good. In other cases, qualitative aspects override quantitative aspects.

    In Genesis 2, God said that it was not good that the creature be alone. So he went about correcting that condition. Clearly it was a lack of something.

    In other cases, especially when destructive acts occur through intention to harm, there is clearly more to it then a lack of good. There are other elements involved and to simply quantify it as a lack of good does not do the evaluation justice.

    IMO
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010
  19. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    I'm not sure how any of us would know with confidence that the falling tree made a noise in the forest. We simply must take the soiled bear at his word. After all, it is his alibi. :blush:

    AND, Brother Rhitland, I did follow your post to the end. And, though I did use some of my organic chemistry degree along the way, I managed to get all the way BACK HERE! :001_unsure:

    There is a similar path of OCCASIONAL RETURN to be followed through the history of philosophy (another one of my majors.) Knowing more about that field of science, I prefer to call it The Hedging of the Unified Bet.

    I'm confident we could find enough holes in most theory, stringed or otherwise, to keep this conversation going ... say, perhaps, into infinity?

    Unfortunately, I can't say we venture where no mason's gone before. There was brothers Newton, Locke, and Voltaire you know. And, Newton obtained tenure at a very young age!
     

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