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Author Topic:   God's motivation
Butterflytyrant
Member (Idle past 2500 days)
Posts: 415
From: Australia
Joined: 06-28-2011


Message 1 of 33 (632798)
09-10-2011 8:44 AM


Hello EvC posters,

I am curious about what the different faiths say about God's motivation to create the universe and humanity.

Why would he/she/they do it?

To get the ball rolling I found one creation myth that should appeal to the scientists among us.

Disclaimer : There are a number of different variations of the myth. This version uses the most common factors of the dozen or so differnet ones I read. Also, on the tiny chance that one of the readers is actually a follower of this particular faith, I apologise in advance if I have made any big errors.

The Mande people of Southern Mali in Africa believe this was all a failed experiment.

The Mande Creation Myth

The creator god Mangala was actually attempting to create a specific type of seed (balaza seed). He failed in the first attempt. Then he made some different seeds, a pair that would become the universe. Then, continuing to experiment, he made many more seeds that became the elements, the four directions and finally the first people. All of this experimenting was occuring in an egg floating in the universe.

One of the humans, Pemba, broke out of the egg. A torn peice of that humans placenta became the Earth. The Earth, created from his placenta was barren so he tried to resturn to the egg. Unfortunatey, the egg had become the sun so he could not go back in. Instead, he stole more seeds from Mangala (the creator god) and planted them on Earth. These seeds were impure because they were stolen and everything that grew from them turned red.

Another human, Faro, was sacrificed to atone for Pembas sins and to purify the Earth. He was cut into 60 pieces and spread accross the Earth. Mangala chose to resurrect Faro and gave him an ark. Mangala also gave him 4 more men and 4 more women. These people were the original ancestors of mankind. The ark also contained all of the plants and animals. Then there was a great flood that washed away all of Pembas imputies. Only Faro, and the people on the ark remained to populate the Earth.

So, the universe was created by accident. God was actually trying to do something else (like the discovery of viagra. It was invented as an angina drug, during testing another use was discovered).

The Earth was also created by accident. A pesky, impatient human created it.

It seems that people were created to fix everything that the escapee messed up.

Sources :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mand%C3%A9_creation_myth
http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/18039750
http://keeperofstories.blogspot.com/...de-creation-myth.html
http://dickinsg.intrasun.tcnj.edu/...html#The%20Mande%20Myth

The subject I am interested in discussing is the motivations of God to create the universe and humanity.

If you have scripture to go on, that is great. If there is no scriptural backup but your faith has some ideas, just as good. If you know the moivation put forward in any other faiths, I would be interested to know also.

This is more of a discussion rather than a debate.

Cheers,

Butterflytyrant


Replies to this message:
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Message 2 of 33 (632799)
09-10-2011 8:45 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
iano
Member (Idle past 19 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


(1)
Message 3 of 33 (632816)
09-10-2011 12:30 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Butterflytyrant
09-10-2011 8:44 AM


This Christian's view.

The top-of-the-tree motivation God has in having created us (and all the rest of it) is founded, I believe, in love's expression. It would seem that the intrinsic nature of the truest of loves (God-type love) is to bring about joy for another. Such love desires to give and so God created beings in order that he could give the very best to them - namely himself. This, for the beings own sake - not for God's own satisfaction (although God would derive satisfaction).

Having decided on that course, God needed to create free-willed beings who could take or leave what it is God had to give. That's not to say God couldn't think of alternatives - but the very best of relationships (relationship is needed in order that the person can recieve the very best there is to receive - God himself) involves a person freely choosing to engage in it.

From there there was the Fall

An outworking of the Fall see's everybody everborn equipped with exposure to what God is about: love, selflessness, joy, peace, contentment of a godly flavour .. and what God is not about: love, selfishness, spite, malice, discontentment of an ungodly flavour.

People experience a hunger for the things that God is about: justice, righteousness, peace, rest and a hunger for the things that God is not about: self-promotion, material wealth, power, position. It is part of the plan.

Everybody will make a decision as to which it is they will remain cleaved to or which it is they will long to be rid of. And God will grant each their hearts desire. Those whose heart's desire is the things of God will get God himself. Those whose heart's desire is the things that are opposed to God will get their heart's desire stripped of the things of God.

This world is the preface. It's end will herald the beginning of the story God had in mind when he started it all. It's a story that will last for eternity.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Butterflytyrant, posted 09-10-2011 8:44 AM Butterflytyrant has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Butterflytyrant, posted 09-12-2011 11:22 AM iano has responded
 Message 9 by GDR, posted 09-13-2011 3:59 PM iano has acknowledged this reply

  
Butterflytyrant
Member (Idle past 2500 days)
Posts: 415
From: Australia
Joined: 06-28-2011


Message 4 of 33 (633089)
09-12-2011 11:22 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by iano
09-10-2011 12:30 PM


Hello Iano,

Sorry for the slow reply. I was caught up in another (probably pointless) debate.

I really enjoyed reading your response. I think you have captured quite a special part of Christianity. I dont think people often think about their chosen Gods motivations.

Not only is it a particularly admirable and becoming sentiment but it very neatly deals with the issue of free will puts the blame of all sin on man.

I am not saying that is a bad thing. It would not be a great religion if it did not cover all of the bases.

If I were not an athiest, I believe that this sort of idea would sit very well with me. It would give me quite a sense of satisfaction. It would make it easier to relate to God.

One of the reasons I was curious about this is because I do not understand the faithful. Of any religion.

Answers like yours help me to understand the other team.

Is this your personal interpretation or is this based on scripture? Is it a particular denominations position?

One thing I have trouble with is this bit (I dont want to start a debate about it, this is my own personal comment)

Everybody will make a decision as to which it is they will remain cleaved to or which it is they will long to be rid of. And God will grant each their hearts desire.

I dont have a choice about whether I believe or not. I have never had any faith. From what I understand, I will never have the chance of entry into heaven. I will never be able to seriously attempt to communicate with God. I was made this way. my hearts desire is to live as a good man. I dont break any serious laws. I love my family. I am a good citizen. But, regardless of how good my life is, if I cannot manage to make a serious attempt at talking to God. I am hellbound. This may not be how your particular variant of the church works though. Many are more flexible. Faith seems to be a requirement though.

I like the idea of religion though. Particularly when it is presented like you have done.

Cheers,

ButterflyTyrant


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Replies to this message:
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Butterflytyrant
Member (Idle past 2500 days)
Posts: 415
From: Australia
Joined: 06-28-2011


Message 5 of 33 (633090)
09-12-2011 11:23 AM


Anyone else?
Anyone else out there have a different motivation for God, or a different religions God?
Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Wollysaurus, posted 09-12-2011 11:35 AM Butterflytyrant has responded

    
Wollysaurus
Member (Idle past 2570 days)
Posts: 52
From: US
Joined: 08-25-2011


(1)
Message 6 of 33 (633092)
09-12-2011 11:35 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Butterflytyrant
09-12-2011 11:23 AM


Re: Anyone else?
I once attended Church with a friend of mine when I was in my "searching" stage (for lack of a better term).

They had a brand new pastor and it was one of his first sermons. It really surprised me, because he began his sermon by stating that we needed to rethink God's omniscience, or at least our definition of it.

His reasoning seemed sound to me, actually. He said that, if we really want to believe that God knows not only all that is but all that will be, he would have known from the start that man would fall, that Lucifer would rebel and that he would have to take terrible actions against Humanity at various points in history. For him (the pastor) this did not jive with the idea of a loving God, and had repercussions in terms of free will as well. Not for man, but for God; see, if God knows everything that will ever happen, God essentially makes no choices, instead just follows a script.

I found it a very interesting sermon. His conclusion was that God was not all knowing, because only a God which did not know the future with precise detail could desire to create and experience the joys of, for lack of a better word, parenthood. If he had known from the start what would happen, he would have already, for lack of a better way of saying it, experienced his own creation in his own mind. So God is creative and loving in this model, as curious and anxious to see what his creation will become as any parent.

I found this particular view to be very appealing. However, most of the congregation did not. He made a lot of people mad and didn't last too much longer.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Butterflytyrant, posted 09-12-2011 11:23 AM Butterflytyrant has responded

Replies to this message:
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Butterflytyrant
Member (Idle past 2500 days)
Posts: 415
From: Australia
Joined: 06-28-2011


(1)
Message 7 of 33 (633212)
09-13-2011 5:05 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Wollysaurus
09-12-2011 11:35 AM


Re: Anyone else?
Hello Wollysaurus,

I agree. That is quite an appealing idea.

There would have to be other interpretations of biblical scripture that would lead to 'unacceptable' ideas.

I am an athiest and actively protest against organised religion.

But I have a favourite priest. The mans name is Peter Kennedy. He was sacked and told to hand over the keys after being a priest for 40 years. 28 of which were in a church in my neighborhood.

The Archbishop claimed that he had "caused harm to ecclesiastical communion in spite of frequent requests from me to do otherwise". And in a statement he said: "This decision brings me no satisfaction as division within the Church is contrary to all that Christ taught."

Father Kennedy stated that he was out of line with Cathloc teaching. He said "we have broken liturgical rules. We have treated people as adults, we have embraced gay and lesbian people, we have women coming into our community to preach."

(Source: http://www.smh.com.au/...on-20090219-8cmq.html#ixzz1Xoya4XkU)

The guy is a legend in my area. He looks after the people that no one else cares about. One of the things that lead to him being sacked was the Micah Project.

This is the mission statement for the Micah Project -

quote:

Vision Statement
Our hope is to create justice and respond to injustice at the personal, social and structural levels in church, government, business and society.

Mission Statement
To respond to people who experience exclusion, poverty, injustice and social isolation so that they may experience inclusion, economic wellbeing, justice and connection within their community of choice.


(Source : http://www.micahprojects.org.au/about-us/guiding-principles)

He now operates a spiritual service called St Marys in Exile (his old church was St Marys) where all but a few of his old church congregation (100's) attend.

Sacking the guy who was doing everything that a priest should be doing and more is not a good thing for the Catholic church. It does not help to have radical ideas.


I could agree with you, but then we would both be wrong

Butterfly, AKA, mallethead - Dawn Bertot

"Superstitions and nonsense from the past should not prevent us from making progress. If we hold ourselves back, we admit that our fears are more powerful than our abilities." Hunters of Dune Herbert & Anderson


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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16085
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 10.0


(1)
Message 8 of 33 (633218)
09-13-2011 5:55 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Butterflytyrant
09-10-2011 8:44 AM


Well, what functions could the universe serve? It is not a toaster or a hatrack or a lawnmower or something else with an obvious function.

Some hypotheses which present themselves:

(1) It's an experiment to find out what a universe with such-and-such laws of nature would do. Granted someone with the ability to make universes, it is not implausible that they'd have the desire --- we would, if we could.

(2) It's an ornament. Clearly the universe is stunningly beautiful, and beautiful things without an obvious function are generally ornamental.

(3) It's a form of reality TV. We sapient beings do such amusing things, like burning one another alive or invading Russia in the winter. Properly edited, it would make fascinating viewing. After all, people watch the History Channel, don't they? What if someone wanted to watch history?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Butterflytyrant, posted 09-10-2011 8:44 AM Butterflytyrant has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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GDR
Member
Posts: 4782
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 9 of 33 (633329)
09-13-2011 3:59 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by iano
09-10-2011 12:30 PM


iano writes:

This world is the preface. It's end will herald the beginning of the story God had in mind when he started it all. It's a story that will last for eternity.

Hi Ian

Last time we corresponded we didn't come to the same conclusions but I sure can agree with all of your beautifully written post.

Thanks
Greg


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)

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GDR
Member
Posts: 4782
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


(1)
Message 10 of 33 (633373)
09-13-2011 7:01 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Wollysaurus
09-12-2011 11:35 AM


Re: Anyone else?
Wollysaurus writes:

His reasoning seemed sound to me, actually. He said that, if we really want to believe that God knows not only all that is but all that will be, he would have known from the start that man would fall, that Lucifer would rebel and that he would have to take terrible actions against Humanity at various points in history. For him (the pastor) this did not jive with the idea of a loving God, and had repercussions in terms of free will as well. Not for man, but for God; see, if God knows everything that will ever happen, God essentially makes no choices, instead just follows a script.

I found it a very interesting sermon. His conclusion was that God was not all knowing, because only a God which did not know the future with precise detail could desire to create and experience the joys of, for lack of a better word, parenthood. If he had known from the start what would happen, he would have already, for lack of a better way of saying it, experienced his own creation in his own mind. So God is creative and loving in this model, as curious and anxious to see what his creation will become as any parent.

John Polkinghorne who was one of the world's leading particle physicists prior to branching out in theology would agree with your pastor. He calls it a world of becoming and believes that He relates to us in time as we experience it.

Here is the first of the 3 parts of a lectures he gave on the topic. The 2 subsequent parts are on you tube as well.

John Polkinhorne

He was at the university near here a couple of years ago and I was fortunate enough to go to all 5 lectures he gave.

I also agree with your pastor in that it is how we experience things and that it is consistent with the scriptures.

Good post.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)

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Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 1046 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 11 of 33 (633529)
09-14-2011 2:26 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Butterflytyrant
09-10-2011 8:44 AM


One is the loneliest number
As an atheist who has occasionally envied congregations for their community, loneliness is the only reason I can imagine for a god to create others.

"The brakes are good, the tires are fair."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Butterflytyrant, posted 09-10-2011 8:44 AM Butterflytyrant has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


(1)
Message 12 of 33 (633530)
09-14-2011 2:31 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Omnivorous
09-14-2011 2:26 PM


Re: One is the loneliest number
Almost.

God and Satan were tailgating and God said "Here, hold my beer and watch this..."


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 1046 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 13 of 33 (633544)
09-14-2011 3:40 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by jar
09-14-2011 2:31 PM


Re: One is the loneliest number
The evidence suggests you may be right: "Watch this!" doesn't usually end well.

"The brakes are good, the tires are fair."

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rueh
Member (Idle past 1739 days)
Posts: 382
From: universal city tx
Joined: 03-03-2008


Message 14 of 33 (633545)
09-14-2011 3:41 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Dr Adequate
09-13-2011 5:55 AM


Hello Dr. Adequate.

Dr. Adequate writes:

Well, what functions could the universe serve? It is not a toaster or a hatrack or a lawnmower or something else with an obvious function.

How would we know? Can we, from our limited perspective of the universe really rule out that the universe has no function? Would a quark that is part of a toaster know that it is not part of a toaster?


'Qui non intelligit, aut taceat, aut discat'
The mind is like a parachute. It only works when it is open.-FZ
The industrial revolution, flipped a bitch on evolution.-NOFX

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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 33 (633547)
09-14-2011 4:14 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by rueh
09-14-2011 3:41 PM


Dr. Adequate writes:

Well, what functions could the universe serve? It is not a toaster or a hatrack or a lawnmower or something else with an obvious function.

How would we know? Can we, from our limited perspective of the universe really rule out that the universe has no function? Would a quark that is part of a toaster know that it is not part of a toaster?

Well to be fair, he did say an obvious function...


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