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You Can’t Get Rid Of God

August 4th, 2013 | Posted by Dick in Comment | Papers - Things of Understanding

YOU CAN’T GET RID OF GOD
Spinoza says we know how god or truth operate because we have the tool to know – our thinking. However, we don’t really know what god is or why god is. These questions are what computer scientists call the Halting Problem. (Turing).

If you give a computer a question it can’t answer, (like the square root of 2), it will operate forever and/or until it breaks down. We are finite creatures in an infinite reality. We only think god because god is the source of our thinking. We don’t create god by our thinking.

Truth ultimately is a belief. But it can be an intelligent belief, guided by logic, mathematics and the axioms of thought, described by Euclid as ‘equal’ and ‘the whole is greater than the part.’ Equal is the glue that holds all reason and ethics together.

Spinoza says nothing has ever been created, only generated. I don’t create god. Instead, god is generated in my brain. This generation is the source of god as a ‘field of potential.’ I call god, ‘unbounded possibility’ and the Power Set of truth.

I believe this field is beyond time and place (our position in what is called space) and brought into existence by energy. Consequently I don’t create god but rather god expresses itself through me and every thing that exists, like rocks, trees, dogs and so forth.

You can’t get rid of god. It is the information inside all things. Energy gives all things in the universe work to do. Things can either express this work adequately or inadequately. (Only humans do it inadequately). So ‘the purpose of god’ is for us to become a tool to express god. Everything is god (energy and entropy).

When we are addicts, we are slaves of desires and of wants that intoxicate us. The first three steps of AA say instead we can be intoxicated by god. As Spinoza says, we can, ‘taste union with god, produce true thinking in ourselves and share these ideas with our neighbours.’ (paraphrased).

We are not asking god to do our will but rather expressing god in our thoughts and actions. We don’t really have a ‘will,’ but rather adequate or inadequate ideas of the work we do as the tools of god.

All these are responses to excellent questions I recently encountered as I tried myself to learn the lesson of Step 3 of Alcoholics Anonymous.

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4 Responses

  • Tree Fox says:

    Dick,

    It is encouraging to hear that studying Spinoza is helping you overcome worldly troubles. Understanding reality is the greatest joy attainable by the human mind and with this understanding, we can overcome any ‘burdens’ thrust upon us, to the point where we see things not as burdens at all, but as necessary events in an infinite chain of causes generated by Nature.

    When Spinoza demonstrates that the human mind can have an adequate idea of God, he is simultaneously demonstrating that the human mind can ‘really’ know what God is and also why God is. The only thing the human mind cannot grasp is the nature of the infinite attributes which do not fall under the ones we participate in, Thought and Extension. We can, however, know that infinite other Attributes necessarily exist, because Extension is relativity… it is a ‘quality’ of Being, or ‘way’ through which Being expresses itself. It cannot possibly be the only Attribute, because infinitely many things must follow from the Absolutely Infinite Substance in infinitely many ways.

    As for why God is, Spinoza demonstrates that God necessarily exists. When we ask or wonder “why” something exists or occurs, we seek to understand its cause. In the case of Substance (God), it is its own cause, that is to say that nothing exists external to it which could possibly have generated it or from which it derives its own existence. Therefore it should be quite clear that the reason why God exists, is because God is necessary.

    Also, never use the word ‘believe’ when you are speaking. You either know, or you know not. Spinoza leaves no room for ‘belief’ in his thought. The goal is to respond to an individual asking you whether or not you believe in God that no, you don’t believe in God…. you KNOW God 🙂

    Spinoza’s philosophy is entirely a philosophy of knowing… not guessing, not assuming, but knowing. What can we truly know of what we are experiencing? Once we know how reality works and our place in it (and understanding Spinoza’s work will surely lead to this), we become enlightened and come to know ourselves as ever-changing finite expressions of an unchanging supreme being. We learn to see divinity in ourselves and consequently, in all things. Everything begins to shine with a radiant beauty, even supposed ‘bad’, ‘evil’, ‘horrible’ things, which are seen as necessary events generated by the divine. This is human freedom and peace of mind.

  • Dick says:

    Dear TreeFox: I was delighted to get your response to my, ‘We Can’t Get Rid Of God’ piece. I wholeheartedly agree with everything you say except for: “Also never ue the word, ‘believe’ when you are speaking.” You know Spinoza distinguishes between reason and understanding. The highest form of knowledge reason can achieve is belief. (See ‘God, Man & His Well-being in Edwin Curley’s Collected Works of Spinoza, Vol I, Part 2, Chapters I-IV (p. 96-104. Especially see footnote a, p. 102. I have somewhat condensed it as: “I say a strong proof based on reasons, to distinguish it thereby both from opinion which is always doubtful and subject to error and from science which does not consist in convictions based on reasons but in immediate union with the thing itself…science makes us enjoy intellectually…what is in us.”
    Spinoza has three levels of knowledge: Opinion, reason and understanding. The kind of knowledge you are talking about is understanding which is not knowing as most people and philosophers describe it. Understanding is being informed by the thing itself that it exists and has essence. Reason is a stepping stone to understanding that gives us clear and distinct ideas (true belief), of how the thing exists and what it is.
    So to know is not a Mensa exercise but rather knowledge of our immediate union with the thing itself including the thing of all things (the whole) we call God. This is why Spinoza says our duty is to: 1) taste union with God 2) produce true ideas in ourselves 3) share these ideas with our fellows.
    Of course you and I only quibble over words but appear to share the same understanding. The paper on my blog, ‘Spinoza: The Man Who Changed The God Game,’ is one I would love your opinion on. Thanks for writing. In emendation, Dick

  • Orval Lamb says:

    Spinoza’s argument seemed so elegant to me; so irrefutably true: We are not created in God’s image, but rather we create our gods in ours. If triangles could think, they would consider themselves created in the very image of god. If ants could think–and who says they can’t?–they would create an ant god (and who says they don’t?).

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