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Author Topic: Can Humans be human without a God?  (Read 12491 times)
Josephine
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« on: February 08, 2005, 04:00:38 »

Well? Can we be human without a God? Or any conception of religion for that matter? What is it to be human? And is religion a human invention, and if so, how could we be human without it? These are questions that plague me. What do you guys think?? rolleyes
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Telos
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2005, 04:16:16 »

I know many atheists who are human.
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2005, 04:16:16 »

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Logic
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2005, 07:05:42 »

Quote from: Telos
I know many atheists who are human.


That sums up a lot, but not objectively.
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alexd
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2005, 09:56:51 »

I would say no due to the fact that to be human is to act within the human condition. Atheists claim to have no intangible means of support but are still subject to the laws of the human condition, including moral law.
If it is appropriate to state that when we act in the image of God we act with love, generosity, sacrifice, courtesy ect. then it is accordingly safe to state that we act under moral law. Without God there would be no moral law other than that within a social structure (which would make it non-absolute). Can we be human without moral law? If there is no moral construct I don't believe it is possible to be human as such; and such a divine moral construct can only come from God. The ethical and moral bounds must be congruent with the actuality of truth, and truth can only be given by God. Atheists, whether they believe it or not are a part of the moral construct seemingly imprinted onto the fabric of reality as a blueprint of God. A part of God exists in every one of us, so to speak.
Without absolute moral truths how can we ever state that we are human? If morality is subjective then we are living out the delusions of our own mind.

Of course morality is just one idea that could be used to attempt to prove whether it is possible to be human without God. But in the end as with all things in philosophy it is subject to your own ideas about what it means to be "human" and your definition of "God".


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Nostic
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2005, 11:04:52 »

I find this to be a rather odd question... intriguing though. This is how I think about it: Ask yourself, can your child be your child without YOU? Or, can a result be a result without a cause?
That's how I look at it anyway...
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2005, 11:04:52 »



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karnautrahl
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2005, 11:19:21 »

I like that answer Nostic smiley.

The flip side Telos is that there are people who believe devoutly in a god, who to my eyes are as inhuman as a naked ape can possibly get. Religous extremists of one kind or another spring to mind.
Though that's a bit of a digression I have to admit. I do not have a belief in a god or spiritual system yet something in me alone dictates what I feel to be right or wrong, not learned from family either to be honest.  Some of those values are honesty, honor, love, open mindedness, etc etc. So I guess I didn't need a religion to tell me what was right or wrong.

Of course I'm going to believe my morals in this respect are right even though a few of my beliefs clash wildly with the views of certain fundemental groups smiley.
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daidaluz
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2005, 15:38:17 »

Quote from: runlola
did God make humans or did humans make God?


           ..ask a boyfriend.  cheesy



    Can humans become God??
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Telos
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2005, 22:12:53 »

Quote from: Logic
Quote from: Telos
I know many atheists who are human.
That sums up a lot, but not objectively.


Okay, so the question to ask would be, "if all the theists died tomorrow (or if all the theists stopped believing in God), would the atheists still exist?" Can atheists exist without theists?

Why wouldn't they? They just wouldn't be called atheists anymore. Everyone could wake up tomorrow and stop believing in God if they wanted it enough.

karnatruhl, good points.
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Tom
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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2005, 22:20:35 »

Believing that God exists or that God does not exist does not seem to be a choice to me. For those who do not believe in God there can still be ideals to try to measure up to.
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Tyciol
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« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2005, 21:44:53 »

Quote from: Telos
I know many atheists who are human.
Speak for yourself, I'm an Atheist and I'm a Daemon Cheesy
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CaCoDeMoN
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« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2005, 08:23:27 »

I think that morality comes from humans, not God. In Bible God comitted many cruel acts, that could be justified only if he would not ba e Creator. But what if he isn't? I can certainly say that I learned morality from my parents, not God.
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element14
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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2005, 19:49:59 »

Quote from: Josephine
Well? Can we be human without a God? Or any conception of religion for that matter? What is it to be human? And is religion a human invention, and if so, how could we be human without it? These are questions that plague me. What do you guys think?? rolleyes


Strictly speaking, while I don't believe in any religion, I'm not an atheist either. I've found in myself a fundumental desire to believe in and submit to a higher power, and I suspect this is the case for general human nature. And a "God" fits this role perfectly.

I must say, while I've been brought up in a Catholic school and have been exposed to much religious ideas (though they never really forced it down anybody's throat), I never related religion with morals or ethics of any sort. (pretty much the contrary, really) I don't exactly know how I developed my own values and sense of morality, but I suspect a large part of it comes within myself -- I might have obtained the ideas from various sources, but then it is what you accept that really counts.

I guess my reply would be "no" for whether humans can be humans without a God, but strictly speaking the question itself is somewhat vague and the context not clear. If you really want an answer it might help to ask yourself what you really want to ask. It's always so easy for a serious philosophical topic to fall back to mere wordplay.

(There goes my first post. Hi everyone ;-p)
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beavis
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« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2005, 06:31:06 »

Quote
Believing that God exists or that God does not exist does not seem to be a choice to me.


A smart person can not choose what to believe. Instead, their beliefs are dictated by what is most likely to be true, which has no choice about it, only predictions.





"Can we be human without a God?" is not a useful question. It has the same answer as "Is there no god?" By definition, we're human. If theres a god, we're human. If theres not a god, we're human. The conclusion is true. The condition is asked. So leave us out of the question and go to one of the many threads already about only god.
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Josephine
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« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2005, 19:58:27 »

wow, excuse me for posting a question. A friend of mine had asked me about whether or not humans could be human without a God because he had a paper due on it.  It got me pondering, so I thought I would ask you guys, to see what you thought about the matter.  So please don't say that my questions are useless, it's not even my question. If you didn't like it, then why bother even answering it.  Anyways, sorry, that just bugged me.
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Tom
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« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2005, 20:07:28 »

The only way we can know ourselves is by comparison with who or what is not part of us. Some people compare themselves with God and find room to improve themselves. Other people look down at animals and just feel superior. Either way, they have defined being human.
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Tyciol
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« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2005, 05:28:54 »

Quote from: element14
Strictly speaking, while I don't believe in any religion, I'm not an atheist either. I've found in myself a fundamental desire to believe in and submit to a higher power, and I suspect this is the case for general human nature. And a "God" fits this role perfectly.
I've had similar feelings from time to time, but I think a Domme would fit the role better for myself.
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beavis
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« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2005, 05:32:31 »

I was thinking:

Can X be X if Y?

is always true. X is always X.

I dont care if people have subjective opinions that are probably wrong, but you abused logic.

But I was drunk, and now I think you meant:

If the existance or nonexistance of god is negated, would Humans be considered Human by the definition of the opposite? How different would they be?

If so, I reacted incorrectly.
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Mikael
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« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2005, 21:41:52 »

It may be of interest to know that the first evidence of religious practices comes from Neanderthal man and very early homo sapiens, meaning that early humans e.g. homo habilis or homo erectus did not carry out religious practices.
This suggests to me that understanding of a concept of God or of life after death (or even the concept of what it means to die) is a product of gaining more advanced brains.  Which could suggest that God is simply a creation of the mind, (though the reasons for this concept arising are debatable).

But then this isn't necessarily the case, the fact that only more developed homo species show signs of religious practices could just mean that a more complex brain is necessary to experience the god that is always there, so this just a little piece of info you might find interesting.
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The AlphaOmega
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« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2005, 06:15:12 »

At this point I would like to simply quote a poem by Nietzsche titled "The Madman".  Now many of you have problaby read this peom, but remember that this is a philosophy forum, not an opinion forum, nor religious.  To comment on someone like Nietsche in this forum allows many different opportunity for philosophical discussion.  Bringing Christ or God into this discussion is perfectly alright, as long as the arguments apply philosophically.  To say "I think this poem is wrong because I believe in the bible" is not a statement that truly belongs here.  I mean no offense, I simply wish to stay on philosophy as apposed to belief, for many of us belief philosophy a stronger belief then belief itself.  On that note, I give you "The Madman"!

   Have you not heard of that madman who lit a landern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place, and cried incessantly: "I seek God! I seek God!"-As many of those who did not believe in God were standing around jus then, he provoked much laughter.  Has he got lost? asked one.  Did he lose his way like a child? asked another.  Or is he hiding?  Is he afraid of us?  Has he gone on a voyage? emigrated? - Thus they yelled and laughed.
   The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes.  "Whither is God?" he cried, "I will tell you.  We have killed him- you and I.  All of us are his murderers.  But how did we do this?  How could we drink up the sea?  Who gave us the spone to wipe away the entire horizon?  What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun?  Whither is it moving now?  Whither are we moving?  Away from all suns?  Are we not punging continually?  Backward sieward, forward, in all directions?  Is there still any up or down?  Are we not straying as hogh an infinite nothing?  Do we not feel the breath of empty space?  Has it not become colder?  Is not night continually closing in on us?  Do we not need to lught lanterns in the morning?  Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God?  Do we smell nothing as yet of he divine decomposition?  Gods, too, decompose.  God is dead.  God remains dead.  and we have killed him.
   "How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers?  What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: whio will wipe his blood off us?  What water is there for us to clean ourselves?  What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent?  Is not the greatness of this deed tooo great for us?  Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?  There has never been a greater deed, and whoever is born after us-for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto".  
   Here the madman fell silent and looked again at his listeners: and they, too, were silent and stared at him in astonishment.  At last he threw his lantern on the ground, and it broke into pieces and went out.  "I have come too early," he said then: "my time is not yet.  This tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering: it has not yet reached the ears of men.  Lightning and thunder require time: the light of the stars requires time: deeds, though done,  still require time to be seen and heard.  This deed is still more distant from them than the most distant stars-and yet they have done it themselves."
   It has been related further that on the same day the madman forced his wa into several churches and there struck up his requiem auternam deo (God is Dead).  Led out and called to accound, he is said always to have replied nothing but: "What after all are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God"?
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Telos
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« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2005, 07:20:25 »

Mikael, you should continue your logic. You are neglecting the latest species of hominid, homo sapiens sapiens, who established the discipline of science and began reducing the concept of God to something that exists in the gaps of our knowledge. During prehistorical times the gaps in our knowledge were quite large - and so were our pantheons.
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Arie
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« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2005, 01:35:56 »

"Touching the infinite... his ways are past finding out"  I feel God changes so much... because we change so much.  Rather, our concept of God changes throughout our growth because of our progression in the social arena and the sciences.  Though our concept of Him changes... He does not change... "sooner or later... God will be comprehended as the reality of values... the substance of meanings... and the life of truth."
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« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2005, 21:51:12 »

I hate the 'god of the gaps' stance that many religious people take, ie those who believe in the 'theory' of intelligent design. Basically, its says that anything science cant explain at this very moment, will never be able to be explained by science. How foolish.  Science is a provisional truth that is always refining but will never be complete. Its truth without certainty.  What its discoveries is true, but its never the whole truth, it can never be the whole truth for certain. Look at history and its relentless ability to explain away 'supernatural' phenomena as natural phenomena.  Those who believe in intelligent design deductively believe in a few other notions that I, and I'm willing to bet that themselves might, find very disturbing. The first is the belief in the finicity of God's capability as an ironic result of trying to prove his omnipotent ability. Simply put, they doubt that God has the ability to create a self-sufficient, self-governing system (known as Nature)...and thus, God himself has to personally and continuously step in and tinker with this system in order to keep it from breaking down.  The second belief is a product of the first.  According to process theology, the only way for God to grant the beings in the universe "free will" is to make the universe itself independently functioning and self-governing. So as a product of believing in Intelligent Design, you not only undermine the power of science and rationality, you also undermine the power of God and ones own free will.

And for the record, according to the most recent studies, signs of morality have thought to have existed millions of years before any religious and philosophical concepts, even before homo sapeins had developed. Many believe it was a product of humans living in groups, having to account for the other members as one would account for himself.

http://0-wos17.isiknowledge.com.bianca.penlib.du.edu/CIW.cgi
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« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2005, 00:10:59 »

I guess it depends on what you consider God to be.  Is it a God, like Zeus? Is it a monotheistic, pluralistic, or even monistic God?  If you are a monist and believe that everything that exists, is God, then the answer is obvious.  If you consider God separate from man, then the answer changes. If God is a creation of man's social conditioning, then the answer is different.  So, I guess it depends in what kind of God are we talking about and believe in.
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genep
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« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2006, 03:43:17 »

"In the Beginning was the word."  

God did not create the word because the word "god" created god, a word, a thought.
God did not create the universe because, words,  language did.
The Supreme Comedy called life: this  mind and its body is just like the word god: words.
And, indeed, nothing but words make the word "universe"   expand just as fast as the words that feed it to create it.
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« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2006, 23:53:01 »

Quote from: genep
"In the Beginning was the word."  

God did not create the word because the word "god" created god, a word, a thought.
God did not create the universe because, words,  language did.
The Supreme Comedy called life: this  mind and its body is just like the word god: words.
And, indeed, nothing but words make the word "universe"   expand just as fast as the words that feed it to create it.


Actually, the quote goes:  "In the beginning was the word.  And the Word was with God and the Word was God."- John 1:1.  Now, in the original greek, it's "In the Beginning was the Logos.  And the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God.  Now, it may interest you to know that the most popular(used) translation for Logos is not "word", but "idea."  At the time of the translation, the word "word" was selected because it made more sense for the premedieval mentality.  But if you use "idea"- then you would read:  In the beginning was the idea.  And the idea was with God, and the idea was God.  In other words, it describes the universe as God's idea- that came into realization as God manifested in the physical.
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