It's just that religious people do in fact discourage thinking, probing too deeply for fear of seeming intellectually inadequate. To scoff at questions of where the Universe came from, how does something emerge out of nothing, is easily applied to God. Where did God come from? How did God emerge out of nothingness?? Would love to hear some answers that don't border on the inane.
I'll take the mystery of an uncreated God over the absurdity of an uncreated universe any day of the week.
How did time, space, and matter emerge out of nothingness? Riddle me that mr science guy. Once you have an answer, so will I.
I had to work through my questions myself. I believe that God guided me.
I don't have all the answers. I do know what I believe. And I do know what I've experienced in a near-death event.
Humans want answers to specific questions. I understand that. And some questions, humans just can't answer.
What a bunch of horse hockey. Scientists are pretending to have all the answers provided by science, all the time.
To scoff at questions of where the Universe came from, how does something emerge out of nothing, is easily applied to God. Where did God come from? How did God emerge out of nothingness??
And if you get those answered, then what?
What would change in your life if you had answers to those questions?
Nobody is scoffing at the questions. What is being scoffed at though, is the hypocrisy of demanding answers for those posed about God and being willing to give science a pass for not being able to answer them when it comes to the universe and singularity.
Double standards generally tend to be scoffed at.
Science scoffs at angels and demons and replaces it with ET's.
Science scoffs at heaven and hell and offers up in their place, multiple dimensions and alternate universes.
All scientists do is remove God and believe the same thing they condemn when God is part of the equation.
Most often it's intellectual suicide to say I don't know--nobody wants that for an answer and it can be a very dull and short discussion. In any case, if you're really interested, the most intellectually rigorous form of I-don't-know that I've come across is in Hans Urs von Balthasar. Try his Presence and Thought: An Essay on the Religious Philosophy of Gregory of Nyssa if you are intellectually fit.
This “Would-love-to-hear-some-answers-that-don’t-border-on-the-inane” from you sounds a lot like this “cognitive origins-of-beliefand-disbelieftraditionally-haven’t-been explored-with-academic rigor” from the article.
Both statements assume a shared understanding of what is inanity or what is academic rigor. It reminds me of Socrates, who many many years ago who insisted that for discussion to continue they should first agree that they are human.
“I’ve never come across any religious discussion dealing with God in which ‘I don’t know’ seems a viable response.”
You’re in one now because I don’t know. I believe to the strongest extent based on my personal analysis on these matters, but I don’t ‘know’. And that’s the problem with this whole thing. A lot of arrogant people claiming wisdom and knowledge beyond their actual inventory.
Kind of a random way to get to the point, but trust me, I’ll get there...
The holodeck/Matrix comparisons have been brought up so I’ll add another. Some years ago I caught a (British?) TV show that had an earthling ripped out of our reality and brought before God. Turn’s out that God was a college kid doing a science experiment in his higher plane of existance and our reality was that experiment. “God” knew no more about his “God” than we new about him.
With that in mind, consider this....
Less than 1000 years ago many still believed the earth was flat and the heliocentric theory was blasphemous. They knew nothing of atoms, quantum physics or genetically modified crops. Most still survived wearing animal skins and gathering food from the surrounding area.
There can be no doubt that we have evolved by orders of magnitude. But when one takes a hard look at what ‘science’ “knows” today, it’s surprisingly little. In a universe so vast that the entire planet is less than an atom in an ocean by comparison, a planet that only recently discovered that other planets exist outside our solar system, a planet that collectively does not yet ‘know’ that life exists anywhere but here....
How can anyone definitively assert something as bold as “There is no God”, much less what he can/did/didn’t do, when that same person cannot with any scientific accuracy show that there are “no” bacteria on Mars?
My point is this. We as a species are not capable of even formulating rational questions pertaining to “God”, much less give definitive answers about him. We cannot predict our own weather but we are purport to to “know” whether or not the entity that is responsible for it even exists? The sheer arrogance boggles the mind.
For the scientifically atheistic minded out there I would ask this...
If it’s perfectly logical to believe that a universe sprang into being from nothingness, poof! there it was!, can you explain how/why an ultimately powerful being is not equally logical?
A question like this cannot be answered in 25 words or less in a forum such as this.
A couple of observations: The term "religion" is vague and embraces a multitude of beliefs. The Christian faith is predicated on certain principles 1) man is not the measure of all things, also intellectually. 2) There is a God who has spoken in a form which man can know with certainty and understand 3) That knowledge embodied in his revealed word can be studied and known systematically. Theology is a science.
The short Biblical answer to your question is God's revealed name is "I AM" Exodus 3:14. It is a declaration of His eternal self existence, the doctrinal term is His "aseitas." Moreover He declares I AM THAT I AM, that is, He is eternally unchangeable in His self existence. Therefore in the context of His word to Moses in Exodus, He has not changed respecting His promise, though 400 years have passed. As God says I AM, so we say HE IS, that name is the name rendered LORD in the Old Testament or Yaweh in Hebrew or Jehovah in English. It is also the Root of Jesus' name Je-sus literally Jehovah-salvation.
Christian theologians have dealt with the kinds of questions you are asking at length. Get a copy of John Calvin's "Institutes of the Christian Religion." After an introduction to the king of France, Calvin addresses exactly the questions you raise in the opening chapters of the Institutes. The books and similar works have been available for centuries.
They are not light reading
” How did God emerge out of nothingness?? “
Spirited: Either the living, personal supernatural Creator has always existed or impersonal, non-lifebearing primordial matter has as naturalists (i.e., ancient and modern pagans) believe.
In the first instance, an eternally existing living Creator transcendent to and discontinuous with His creation created everything including all life-forms. In the second, everything— including all life forms— evolved over time out of non-lifebearing primordial matter that itself emerged out of nothingness.
The former accounts for life, consciousness, mind, conscience and will. The latter does not, nor can it ever.
The first makes sense and can logically account for science. The second cannot account for science since it cannot account for consciousness, mind and will and is therefore nonsense.
“Where did God come from? How did God emerge out of nothingness?? “
In order to even ask that question intelligently, one has to understand the qualities of “nothingness”...even science has no asnwer for that one. Scripture says that God made both the qualities of light and he had to make the darkness as well. It stands to reason he had to make fullness and emptiness as well.
If the God we worship ever had a cause, then we should have to reject that God and worship that which caused God!