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By Wellsy
#15080121
I’m trying to determine the contours of what God is conceived to be. Not whether God exists or not but the conception of God.

I at present see a tension between God as the absolute being of reality or God as a more Zeus like figure who has changes in dispositions and is more a temporal being.
I see the Zeus conception arise in the emphasis on us being made in Gods likeness. Cue Feuerbachs criticism that we project an idea of God based on our likeness and thus God is contingent on human qualities we alienate from ourselves and then relate back to ourselves via God.
But God as the absolute sounds more akin to what God would be like but then I don’t know how this conception ties to a loving benevolent God or even an interventionist God.

Thoughts?
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By annatar1914
#15080129
Wellsy wrote:I’m trying to determine the contours of what God is conceived to be. Not whether God exists or not but the conception of God.

I at present see a tension between God as the absolute being of reality or God as a more Zeus like figure who has changes in dispositions and is more a temporal being.
I see the Zeus conception arise in the emphasis on us being made in Gods likeness. Cue Feuerbachs criticism that we project an idea of God based on our likeness and thus God is contingent on human qualities we alienate from ourselves and then relate back to ourselves via God.
But God as the absolute sounds more akin to what God would be like but then I don’t know how this conception ties to a loving benevolent God or even an interventionist God.

Thoughts?


Hello @Wellsy my friend, I guess my best answer given my poor wisdom and intellect especially now is that it is we humans who obviously have a hard time reconciling the ''God of the Philosophers'' with as Blaise Pascal calls Him ''The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob''...

However, when we consider that within Himself, the Christian God is Himself a Community of Persons, United in Perfect and complete Union, and that furthermore His desire as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit wish to communicate their common Love/Essence to their Creation, some of that gap in perception might be bridged. After all, I believe that the Second Person is the Logos, Who came down and Incarnated as a Man, to show us something of His Nature in a relatable way; ''God became Man to make men gods'', as St. Athanasius said.

So Feuerbach is right in one sense that it is a projection; but it doesn't make the projection any less real, especially when the stated desire of this Being is to evolve us into participation into that Being, to make us by adoption what He is by nature. Or putting it another way; what we see in ourselves, our better nature, is the resemblance which we still have with Him, and with His help, can go even further to resemble.

So, the Cosmos is not some dead thing, dead Matter, but in an important manner very personal even if beyond our finite understanding. By ''Scientia'' (for in His likeness we too possess rational intelligence!) we can understand Creation more and more, by the Faith we can understand ourselves and Him, more and more.
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By quetzalcoatl
#15080131
The conception most people have of God is that of a person. We are persons, we relate to persons. Even our dogs are persons, in this sense; we relate to them as personalities. The Protestant hymn says "God in three persons."

But what if God is not a person? What if it is a force, or an energy, or some other form we can't even conceive? My thought is that God is undefined (and undefinable) in an analogous way that division by zero is undefined. It isn't possible to delimit or specify what we don't know. In my scheme, God is a placeholder for everything we don't know or cannot know. The various scriptures and tractae reflect our desire for an order in the universe we want to exist.

If someone asks me if I believe in God, I prefer to think about other questions:

"Is there an implicit order in the universe?"
"From whence does the implicit order originate?"
"Is the universe created?"
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By Godstud
#15080138
God is a creation of man to explain what cannot be explained and to being some kind of meaning to the universe.

That is why every culture in the world has some religion.
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By jakell
#15080235
Wellsy wrote:I’m trying to determine the contours of what God is conceived to be. Not whether God exists or not but the conception of God.

Yeah, well you'd have to get outside of God to do this, and if God is defined as outside of our understanding and perception, then you have a big job in front of you. This is the definition of God I would use and I don't see the point of the concept otherwise - it would be another being in the Universe.

The Christian use of The Trinity is one way to approach this and appreciate the nature of the problem (ie a mystery), other religions might have other solutions, ie Muslims turn to hierarchy and auhoritarianism to keep 'sane', and the Jews need to foster a high IQ to cope with it.
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By Wellsy
#15080482
I have much to think on from the responses.

I am seeing that there might be a history to the possible conflict or identity of God as being as such and God as the supreme being.
https://www.firstthings.com/article/2007/06/002-god-of-the-philosophers

That it seems that theology necessarily engages in different lines of metaphysics and its a question of which seems suitable.
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2015/05/is-god-a-being-or-being-itself/
The assumption underlying much of that thinking (of God as Being Itself) was expressed by Alfred North Whitehead who said that while Buddhism is a metaphysic in search of a religion, Christianity is a religion in search of a metaphysic. That is, the underlying assumption is that the biblical narrative does not give us an adequate, or any, metaphysical world picture, account of reality-itself, but expresses especially transcendent reality in myths, symbols and images which must be interpreted through the lens of some ontology borrowed from outside the Bible. One obvious candidate in early church history was Middle or Neo-Platonism. Another, especially in the Middle Ages, was Aristotelianism. Whitehead’s, of course, was his own organic philosophy of process.


I am very curios to Annatars summary of it being a sort of real ideal waiting to be realized. But then I would wonder if my Marxist inclinations merely give a different language to a similar longing for some sort of future union of humanity. Where Marx spoke of religion as a sort of alienation of humanity's suffering and longing for a truly humane existence. Something not dispelled from critique from someone like Feuerbach but is a call to change the material conditions of human relations.

And my concern with God in too much of a personified version is that I worry that its more readily criticized and does sound more akin to alienation/projection of human consciousness. But Then I’m not sure how comfortable I am with God as the placeholder for being as such although the concept is interesting. I do get i ask a question which can’t have a final answer but even the contours of what we can’t know is more meaningful than nothing when properly synthesized i suspect.

Personally I feel curious about a possible anthropological view of consciousness and religion that gives a rational basis for religion and exemplifies how humans create culture through material means for something far greater than any individual consciousness and has a suprasensous reality although contingent on empirical reality. I see appeal in the aspiration for building kingdom on earth rather than something left for an afterlife. To objectify such ideals in life so its not left a fanciful idea.
By Sivad
#15080540
quetzalcoatl wrote:The conception most people have of God is that of a person. We are persons, we relate to persons. Even our dogs are persons, in this sense; we relate to them as personalities. The Protestant hymn says "God in three persons."


Theologians make a distinction between person and personality. God is a person in the sense that the Ultimate Absolute is an infinitely sentient omniscient intelligence but because God is absolute and infinite, God is not a big subjective personality like a Zeus type figure. God is also impassable and immutable because God is not merely a being among other beings, God is the self-existent ground of all being that transcends being.

But what if God is not a person? What if it is a force, or an energy, or some other form we can't even conceive?


I think in a certain sense that's exactly what God is. I don't believe in a creator god that deliberately intervenes in the universe. I think just the very existence of the divine singularity exerts a metaphysical force akin to gravity that doesn't so much pull as it inspires the world into existence out of nothing. This force is what sustains the world and orders the world and keeps it from collapsing back into the nothing from which it emerged.

This force within the world is called the Logos, it generates and orders and sustains. You can't influence it through prayer or supplication and it doesn't intervene on anyone's behalf, but you can align yourself with it spiritually and when you do you find that it's a living force that imparts strength and inspiration and is the source of all spiritual birth and growth. The obvious analogy is to the Sun as the sustaining source of life on this planet which is why there's so much solar symbolism in Christianity.
By Sivad
#15080542
GOD, gods, and fairies

One of the strangest claims often made by purveyors and consumers of today’s popular atheism is that disbelief in God involves no particular positive philosophy of reality, much less any kind of religion or creed, but consists merely in neutral incredulity toward a certain kind of factual asseveration. This is not something the atheists of earlier ages would have been very likely to say, if only because they still lived in a culture whose every dimension (artistic, philosophical, ethical, social, cosmological) was shaped by a religious vision of the world. More to the point, it is an utterly nonsensical claim—so nonsensical, in fact, that it is doubtful that those who make it can truly be considered atheists in any coherent sense.

Admittedly, I suppose, it is possible to mistake the word “God” for the name of some discrete object that might or might not be found within the fold of nature, if one just happens to be more or less ignorant of the entire history of theistic belief. But, really, the distinction between “God”—meaning the one God who is the transcendent source of all things—and any particular “god”—meaning one or another of a plurality of divine beings who inhabit the cosmos—is one that, in Western tradition, goes back at least as far as Xenophanes.

And it is a distinction not merely in numbering, between monotheism and polytheism, as though the issue were simply how many “divine entities” one thinks there are; rather, it is a distinction between two qualitatively incommensurable kinds of reality, belonging to two wholly disparate conceptual orders. In the words of the great Swami Prabhavananda, only the one transcendent God is “the uncreated”: “Gods, though supernatural, belong . . . among the creatures. Like the Christian angels, they are much nearer to man than to God.”

This should not be a particularly difficult distinction to grasp, truth be told. To speak of “God” properly—in a way, that is, consonant with the teachings of orthodox Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Vedantic and Bhaktic Hinduism, Bahá’í, much of antique paganism, and so forth—is to speak of the one infinite ground of all that is: eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, uncreated, uncaused, perfectly transcendent of all things and for that very reason absolutely immanent to all things.

God so understood is neither some particular thing posed over against the created universe, in addition to it, nor is he the universe itself. He is not a being, at least not in the way that a tree, a clock, or a god is; he is not one more object in the inventory of things that are. He is the infinite wellspring of all that is, in whom all things live and move and have their being. He may be said to be “beyond being,” if by “being” one means the totality of finite things, but also may be called “being itself,” in that he is the inexhaustible source of all reality, the absolute upon which the contingent is always utterly dependent, the unity underlying all things.

To speak of “gods,” by contrast, is to speak only of a higher or more powerful or more splendid dimension of immanent reality. Any gods who might be out there do not transcend nature but belong to it. Their theogonies can be recounted—how they arose out of the primal night, or were born of other, more titanic progenitors, and so on—and in many cases their eventual demises foreseen. Each of them is a distinct being rather than “being itself,” and it is they who are dependent upon the universe for their existence rather than the reverse. Of such gods there may be an endless diversity, while of God there can be only one. Or, better, God is not merely one—not merely singular or unique—but is oneness as such, the sole act of being by which any finite thing exists and by which all things exist together.

Obviously, then, it is the transcendent God in whom it is ultimately meaningful not to believe. The possibility of gods or spirits or angels or demons, and so on, is all very interesting to contemplate, but remains a question not of metaphysics but only of the taxonomy of nature (terrestrial, celestial, and chthonic). To be an atheist in the best modern sense, and so to be a truly intellectually and emotionally fulfilled naturalist in philosophy, one must genuinely succeed in not believing in God, with all the logical consequences this entails.

And the question of God, thus understood, is one that is ineradicably present in the mystery of existence itself, or of consciousness, or of truth, goodness, and beauty. It is also the question that philosophical naturalism is supposed to have answered exhaustively in the negative, without any troubling explanatory lacunae, and that therefore any aspiring philosophical naturalist must understand in order to be an atheist in any intellectually significant way.

Well, as I say, this should not be all that difficult to grasp. And yet any speaker at one of those atheist revivalist meetings need only trot out either of two reliable witticisms—“I believe neither in God nor in the fairies at the bottom of my garden” or “Everyone today is a disbeliever in Thor or Zeus, but we simply believe in one god less”—to elicit warmly rippling palpitations of self-congratulatory laughter from the congregation. Admittedly, one ought not judge a movement by its jokes, but neither should one be overly patient with those who delight in their own ignorance of elementary conceptual categories. I suppose, though, that the charitable course is to state the obvious as clearly as possible.

So: Beliefs regarding fairies concern a certain kind of object that may or may not exist within the world, and such beliefs have much the same sort of intentional and rational shape as beliefs regarding the neighbors over the hill or whether there are such things as black swans. Beliefs regarding God concern the source and end of all reality, the unity and existence of every particular thing and of the totality of all things, the ground of the possibility of anything at all. Fairies and gods, if they exist, occupy something of the same conceptual space as organic cells, photons, and the force of gravity, and so the sciences might perhaps have something to say about them, if a proper medium for investigating them could be found.

God, by contrast, is the infinite actuality that makes it possible for photons and (possibly) fairies to exist, and so can be “investigated” only, on the one hand, by acts of logical deduction and conjecture or, on the other, by contemplative or spiritual experiences. Belief or disbelief in fairies or gods could never be validated by philosophical arguments made from first principles; the existence or nonexistence of Zeus is not a matter that can be intelligibly discussed in the categories of modal logic or metaphysics, any more than the existence of tree frogs could be; if he is there at all, one must go on an expedition to find him.

The question of God, by contrast, is one that must be pursued in terms of the absolute and the contingent, the necessary and the fortuitous, act and potency, possibility and impossibility, being and nonbeing, transcendence and immanence. Evidence for or against the existence of Thor or King Oberon would consist only in local facts, not universal truths of reason; it would be entirely empirical, episodic, psychological, personal, and hence elusive. Evidence for or against the reality of God, if it is there, pervades every moment of the experience of existence, every employment of reason, every act of consciousness, every encounter with the world around us.

All of which is to say (to return to where I began) that it is absurd to think that one can profess atheism in any meaningful way without thereby assenting to an entire philosophy of being, however inchoate one’s sense of it may be. The philosophical naturalist’s view of reality is not one that merely fails to find some particular object within the world that the theist imagines can be descried there; it is a very particular representation of the nature of things, entailing a vast range of purely metaphysical commitments.

Principally, it requires that one believe that the physical order, which both experience and reason say is an ensemble of ontological contingencies, can exist entirely of itself, without any absolute source of actuality. It requires also that one resign oneself to an ultimate irrationalism: For the one reality that naturalism can never logically encompass is the very existence of nature (nature being, by definition, that which already exists); it is a philosophy, therefore, surrounded, permeated, and exceeded by a truth that is always already super naturam, and yet a philosophy that one cannot seriously entertain except by scrupulously refusing to recognize this.

It is the embrace of an infinite paradox: the universe understood as an “absolute contingency.” It may not amount to a metaphysics in the fullest sense, since strictly speaking it possesses no rational content—it is, after all, a belief that all things rest upon something like an original moment of magic—but it is certainly far more than the mere absence of faith.

https://www.firstthings.com/article/201 ... nd-fairies
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By jakell
#15080589
Sivad wrote:One of the strangest claims often made by purveyors and consumers of today’s popular atheism is that disbelief in God involves no particular positive philosophy of reality, much less any kind of religion or creed, but consists merely in neutral incredulity toward a certain kind of factual asseveration. This is not something the atheists of earlier ages would have been very likely to say, if only because they still lived in a culture whose every dimension (artistic, philosophical, ethical, social, cosmological) was shaped by a religious vision of the world. More to the point, it is an utterly nonsensical claim—so nonsensical, in fact, that it is doubtful that those who make it can truly be considered atheists in any coherent sense...


The more fundamentalist atheists do this a lot (ie atheism is just disbelief and nothing else comes from this), and it nearly always comes at at the point where the discussion is going to get deeper - too deep for them and they know it. It's a very shallow, but effective strategy.
I avoid such people nowadays, it's like talking with children who have learned their first debate tactic.

On the other hand there are those who went to the opposite extreme and tried to push atheism+, these repellent types were probably the ones who eventually turned folks away from the New Atheism movement, so I can at least feel grateful to them for that.
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By quetzalcoatl
#15080669
jakell wrote:The more fundamentalist atheists do this a lot (ie atheism is just disbelief and nothing else comes from this), and it nearly always comes at at the point where the discussion is going to get deeper - too deep for them and they know it. It's a very shallow, but effective strategy.
I avoid such people nowadays, it's like talking with children who have learned their first debate tactic.

On the other hand there are those who went to the opposite extreme and tried to push atheism+, these repellent types were probably the ones who eventually turned folks away from the New Atheism movement, so I can at least feel grateful to them for that.


In my personal experience, the largest category of humans are neither believers nor non-believers - at least in the sense I'm getting from the previous several posts. They go to church occasionally, but rarely think about religion. They can't rattle off a single line of scripture. Questions about the nature of God never enter their heads. They don't curse God. They don't get on their knees to implore God, nor do they go too far out their routine to praise Him. They don't particularly mind if you're Catholic, Jew, Mormon, Islamic, or Buddhist, as long as you don't appear too different or too threatening. A militant atheist is infradig, but most people don't really care if you're quietly a skeptic.
#15139980
Wellsy wrote:I’m trying to determine the contours of what God is conceived to be. Not whether God exists or not but the conception of God.

I at present see a tension between God as the absolute being of reality or God as a more Zeus like figure who has changes in dispositions and is more a temporal being.
I see the Zeus conception arise in the emphasis on us being made in Gods likeness. Cue Feuerbachs criticism that we project an idea of God based on our likeness and thus God is contingent on human qualities we alienate from ourselves and then relate back to ourselves via God.
But God as the absolute sounds more akin to what God would be like but then I don’t know how this conception ties to a loving benevolent God or even an interventionist God.

Thoughts?
I should start by apologising if this does not address your question. It is certainly not meant as a rant or sermon.

Surely belief in or acceptance of God as the creator of the universe, one which we are making miraculous about each year. Involves taking a leap of faith and as such admits he is unknowable.

As we have limited concepts to work with any concept of God will be limited. Does the painting know the artist? The loaf of bread the Baker. From a religious perspective God is only able to be understood (not known) by his prophets & manifestations.

As Teilhard De Chardin is quoted as saying "we are spiritual beings having a physical experience, not physical beings choosing a spiritual experience"

I look forward to continuing this conversation.
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By Wellsy
#15140151
Herefordrob wrote:I should start by apologising if this does not address your question. It is certainly not meant as a rant or sermon.

Surely belief in or acceptance of God as the creator of the universe, one which we are making miraculous about each year. Involves taking a leap of faith and as such admits he is unknowable.

As we have limited concepts to work with any concept of God will be limited. Does the painting know the artist? The loaf of bread the Baker. From a religious perspective God is only able to be understood (not known) by his prophets & manifestations.

As Teilhard De Chardin is quoted as saying "we are spiritual beings having a physical experience, not physical beings choosing a spiritual experience"

I look forward to continuing this conversation.

I think I get the analogy being between creator and created, I’ve also seen another point along similiar lines kf incomprehension.
[url]rickroderick.org/307-derrida-and-the-ends-of-man-1993/[/url]
Augustine attempted to develop a rhetoric about God. And then Augustine realised that it was already impasse to use finite human marks and sounds to praise an infinite being, entirely separate from those finite marks and sounds. So he was driven to silence. If one were to take that same picture of language without the thought of developing a rhetoric of God, but left with just with the finite marks and sounds and no inner teacher – Christ the inner teacher – to tell us when our signs worked and when our words referred, then we would have a language that operates by disseminating meaning, by moving meaning, by shifting it.

So I see the futility of it. I see the emphasis on a kind of intuition or experience for faith.
By B0ycey
#15140152
@Wellsy, what do you think of this response?

quetzalcoatl wrote:The conception most people have of God is that of a person. We are persons, we relate to persons. Even our dogs are persons, in this sense; we relate to them as personalities. The Protestant hymn says "God in three persons."

But what if God is not a person? What if it is a force, or an energy, or some other form we can't even conceive? My thought is that God is undefined (and undefinable) in an analogous way that division by zero is undefined. It isn't possible to delimit or specify what we don't know. In my scheme, God is a placeholder for everything we don't know or cannot know. The various scriptures and tractae reflect our desire for an order in the universe we want to exist.

If someone asks me if I believe in God, I prefer to think about other questions:

"Is there an implicit order in the universe?"
"From whence does the implicit order originate?"
"Is the universe created?"


Surely the existence of God, if exists at all, should not be a concept of morality but a concept of creation. We know bad things happen to good people and blah blah blah, but understanding the origins of what created the universe or what keeps it all together, well our best guesses today are merely faith based and they still don't explain why expansion began in any case. So what if God can only be described or understood as a force? What then for the conception of God?
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By Wellsy
#15140162
B0ycey wrote:@Wellsy, what do you think of this response?

Surely the existence of God, if exists at all, should not be a concept of morality but a concept of creation. We know bad things happen to good people and blah blah blah, but understanding the origins of what created the universe or what keeps it all together, well our best guesses today are merely faith based and they still don't explain why expansion began in any case. So what if God can only be described or understood as a force? What then for the conception of God?

Well the tension I have is between the God as a person against the philosophical Being or absolute grounding to everything.
But God as the absolute sounds more akin to what God would be like but then I don’t know how this conception ties to a loving benevolent God or even an interventionist God.

And I vaguely remember the likes of Spinoza and his pantheism as distinct from Herders equivocation of all of nature with God, but instead God is a kind of infinite of attributes which differs from the finite reality which is constituted by two fundamental attributes. In this sense one could imagine like the quote, the orderly reality but I think this is quite dissatisfying. Many try to romanticize nature like Neil Degrasse Tyson speaking of humans being made of star stuff. But this isn’t the same significant source of meaning for ones place in the world or what one should live like or what happens we after we die as the abrahamic religions. If anything man has experienced himself more decentered and insignificant. Especially in the narrowly rational modern world we live.

Even a separation of science and ethics typical to science since Galileo, that the church should not take precedence in figuring out what is the nature of Gods creation. Really God as equivalent to reality is hardly a God with the capitalization.
Religion is so superficial in many that there is barely a comprehension to criticize God other than a condescending dismissal of it as myth like the Roman Gods.
But this is a crisis which I suspect plays a part in my own appeal to Marxism, it offers somewhat of a grounding within modernity not found in liberalism.

I am not one to believe on God, but I don’t think its displacement by modernity is all good. And that there may be some path forward in a more humanized world rather than one which seems largely indifferent to them in the reification and institutional habits of markets. That many people see little more than the mass accumulation of goods is concerning.
By B0ycey
#15140165
Wellsy wrote:Even a separation of science and ethics typical to science since Galileo, that the church should not take precedence in figuring out what is the nature of Gods creation. Really God as equivalent to reality is hardly a God with the capitalization.
Religion is so superficial in many that there is barely a comprehension to criticize God other than a condescending dismissal of it as myth like the Roman Gods.
But this is a crisis which I suspect plays a part in my own appeal to Marxism, it offers somewhat of a grounding within modernity not found in liberalism.


Wasn't Marx against religion not God, calling it the 'Opium of the people"? Nonetheless the book of contradictions (ie The Bible) says that God would be against Capitalism in any case. Doesn't a camel have a better chance going through the eye of a needle than a rich man entering heaven for example?

Perhaps this is the crux. Religion is merely an explanation of the world 2000 years ago and used to control behaviour since then. And today we have another explanation due to our improved understanding. Are either right? Perhaps not. I have my doubts on the Standard Model. So in many ways Science is a religion as it relies on faith also. But there is a difference. Religion tries to enforce an objective morality to control behaviour -which is why Marx was against it I might add. And science is trying to explain things by creating models of known data and getting some perspective that way. And in terms of religion what better way to control behaviour than an all seeing God I might add?

I guess what I am saying is God as a being, human by design, doesn't explain what we can explain such as evolution today. Humans are not special on Earth and the planet wasn't made 6000 years ago. But God as a being is perhaps the best way for people to understand the world better as they can relate to that and understand that in terms of association to their reality. So God as a being is what was written and explained when we didn't know better. But in reality is that going to be God? I doubt it. So I tend to agree with @quetzalcoatl, that if you are going to entertain the existence of God at all, it is better to use God for understand creation than a morality found in religious text that isn't consistent in the behavior of life on Earth at all. Including, as you pointed out in our (humans) behaviour.
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By Wellsy
#15140706
This is going to be a long mish mash post as I'm rushing through it to get to other things but did want to respond.
B0ycey wrote:Wasn't Marx against religion not God, calling it the 'Opium of the people"? Nonetheless the book of contradictions (ie The Bible) says that God would be against Capitalism in any case. Doesn't a camel have a better chance going through the eye of a needle than a rich man entering heaven for example?

Perhaps this is the crux. Religion is merely an explanation of the world 2000 years ago and used to control behaviour since then. And today we have another explanation due to our improved understanding. Are either right? Perhaps not. I have my doubts on the Standard Model. So in many ways Science is a religion as it relies on faith also. But there is a difference. Religion tries to enforce an objective morality to control behaviour -which is why Marx was against it I might add. And science is trying to explain things by creating models of known data and getting some perspective that way. And in terms of religion what better way to control behaviour than an all seeing God I might add?

I guess what I am saying is God as a being, human by design, doesn't explain what we can explain such as evolution today. Humans are not special on Earth and the planet wasn't made 6000 years ago. But God as a being is perhaps the best way for people to understand the world better as they can relate to that and understand that in terms of association to their reality. So God as a being is what was written and explained when we didn't know better. But in reality is that going to be God? I doubt it. So I tend to agree with @quetzalcoatl, that if you are going to entertain the existence of God at all, it is better to use God for understand creation than a morality found in religious text that isn't consistent in the behavior of life on Earth at all. Including, as you pointed out in our (humans) behaviour.

My own speculation would be that there is a lot that makes it difficult for me to reconcile a sense of Marx believing in God of any kind based on his humanist ethics (humans are the basis of all that is important, not God or abstract entities) and his non-metaphysical approach.
https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/en/jordan2.htm
The Marxian conception of nature, of man, and man’s relation to nature disposes of many traditional epistemological problems. Marx neither needs to prove existence of the external world, nor disprove its existence. From his point of view both these endeavours are prompted by false assumptions concerning the relation of man to nature, by considering man as a detached observer, setting him against the world or placing him, as it were, on a totally different level. For man, who is part of nature, to doubt the existence of the external world or to consider it as in need of proof is to doubt his own existence, and even Descartes and Berkeley refused to go to such a length.
This conclusion is of considerable significance for the interpretation of Marxian philosophy. As Marx refused to dissociate nature from man and man from nature and conceived man not only as part of nature but also nature in a certain sense as a product of man’s activity and, thus, part of man, Marx’s naturalism has no need of metaphysical foundation. Moreover, since man knows only socially mediated nature, ‘man’, and not natural reality, ‘is the immediate object of natural science’. To use Marx’s terminology, the natural science of man is logically prior to all other knowledge.[59]

https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/Why%20Marx%20was%20not%20an%20Atheist.pdf
Finally, in everything I say about atheism, the God whose existence I am talking of being denied has nothing to do with infantile conceptions of an anthropomorphic God who watches our every move and does favours for the well-behaved. This kind of conception disappeared from serious theology, let alone philosophy, centuries ago, and for a long time has been maintained only for the comforting of the ignorant and the disciplining of children. An atheism which limited itself to the denial of this kind of God is unworthy of the name. The atheism which I am talking about is the atheism which denies the existence of a God of any kind, including a Deistic, non-interventionist prime mover or a Spinozist Pantheistic God. It was this kind of atheism which Marx denied. Need I repeat however, that this does not at all mean that Marx was a Deist or a Pantheist, but rather that he foreswore all kinds of Theism, Deism and Pantheism, including those that clothe themselves in Atheistic or philosophical garb.
...
He opposed the influence of religion in the working class but only as one of any number of forms in which mysticism manifested itself, among which he numbered also the atheism of his day. He also foresaw a time in the future when God would have no place in human affairs, because that world whose spiritual aroma is religion would have been abolished.

(The above coincidentally makes a point against God as a person like being as childish as opposed to the absolute grounding to reality sense of God or any other concept which takes God's place for a person i.e. Matter or laws of history)
Of course there can be the take in which he opposed the reactionary manner in which religion was used as seen in his critique of how Christianity makes people docile to the status quo.
http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/10867/1/VWills_ETD_2011.pdf
The social principles of Christianity have now had eighteen hundred years to be developed, and need no further development by Prussian Consistorial Counsellors. The social principles of Christianity justified the slavery of antiquity, glorifies the serfdom of the Middle Ages and are capable, in case of need, of defending the oppression of the proletariat, even if with somewhat doleful grimaces69. The social principles of Christianity preach the necessity of a ruling and an oppressed class, and for the latter all they have to offer is the pious wish that the former may be charitable. The social principles of Christianity place the Consistorial Counsellor's compensation for all infamies in heaven, and thereby justify the continuation of these infamies on earth. The social principles of Christianity declare all the vile acts of the oppressors against the oppressed to be either a just punishment for original sin and other sins, or trials which the Lord, in his infinite wisdom, ordains for the redeemed. The social principles of Christianity preach cowardice, selfcontempt, abasement, submissiveness and humbleness, in short, all the qualities of the rabble, and the proletariat, which will not permit itself to be treated as rabble, needs its courage, its selfconfidence, its pride and its sense of independence even more than its bread. The social principles of Christianity are sneaking and hypocritical, and the proletariat is revolutionary. So much for the social principles of Christianity. (The Communism of the Rheinischer Beobachter, MECW 6:231)

But this criticism stems from his implicit humanist ethics in which the denial of the self for the abstract entity of God and life after death instead of a valorization and development of the human being.
This humanism in part seems to derive from his initial Feuerbachian approach.
https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/en/jordan2.htm
Marx would not dissent from some of the beliefs of materialism, but it is doubtful whether he would attach as much importance to them as the eighteenth- and nineteenth- century did or as contemporary dialectical materialists do. For it is right to say, as Marx emphasized in Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844, that ‘consistent naturalism or humanism’ should be distinguished not only from idealism but also from materialism.[1] Marx’s basic philosophic attitude differed from absolute and reductive materialism, the only form of materialism known at the time, and could best be described as naturalism, a classificatory name which he chose himself. In this respect Marx was a Feuerbachian, for it was Feuerbach who declared his indifference to all previous philosophical schools and claimed that his own philosophy, being concerned with man, was neither materialist nor idealist.[2] Nature is a more comprehensive concept than matter. It includes matter and life, body and mind, the motions of inanimate objects and the flights of passion and imagination. ‘Nature’, wrote Santayana, ‘is material but not materialistic’,[3] a comment that might have come from Feuerbach or from Marx.

BUt he also famously criticized Feuerbach's humanism as he simply reversed the subject-predicate of Hegel to show that instead of the mystified form presented in Hegel, God was instead derive from man. But Feuerbach conceived of man in the abstract individual kind, where as Marx conceived of each person as a socialized individual who is accultured to sociocultural history of man based on the present day relations after seeing Stirner's criticism of Feuerbach's deification of man as still just as abstract and alienating as the concept of God.
Feuerbach considered human beings in terms of attributes which are common to all, where as Marx's examination of labor has him identify labor as the essence and precondition to all that is human, it is the singular thing which underpins everything else in both the origins and existence of human beings (man's physical body and ability is itself a product of labor and not solely that of nature).

There is only one person who I am vaguely aware also criticized Feuerbach's criticism of Christianity, with God as the creation of man.
[URL]https://www.reddit.com/r/Christianity/comments/426foa/have_there_been_any_christian_responses_to//url]
There's also a rather explicit response to Feuerbach in the Russian theology I study, particularly in Vladimir Soloviev's notion of "Divine-Humanity." This is a response to Feuerbach's charge that belief in God amounts to the alienation of humanity from itself--that by projecting our best attributes onto the non-existent God, we separate ourselves from the best of what we can be, and consider ourselves nothing in the face of this God to whom we've ascribed all of our own perfections. Soloviev (and other Russians who follow him: Sergei Bulgakov, Nikolai Berdiaev, S. L. Frank, etc.) basically draws on the Orthodox notion of theosis, or deification, to develop a Christian alternative to Feuerbach (who was really popular in Russia at the turn of the 20th century).

Recall that Feuerbach differentiates between "God" and "divinity," where "God" refers to the being, and "divinity" refers to the attributes. His claim is that God doesn't exist, and was only made up to be the bearer of the divinity that we humans have alienated from ourselves. Divinity, in fact, belongs to humanity. This is why Dostoevsky referred to Feuerbach's theology (and it is theology, just of the atheist sort) as a dogma of chelovekobozhestvo, or "mangodhood," atheistic humanism. People like Soloviev drew on Orthodox theology to turn Feuerbach on his head, opposing his theology with the dogma of bogochelovechestvo, or "Godmanhood," "divine-humanity." The doctrines of Incarnation and deification overcome Feuerbach by affirming with him that divinity does belong to humanity--it is properly constitutive of humanity as such--yet divinity is something we possess through self-transcendence in relation to the absolute. Soloviev writes:

The beginning of truth is the conviction that the human person is not only negatively absolute, which is a fact. In other words, a person does not wish to be, and cannot be, satisfied with any conditional, limited content. A person is able to attain positive absoluteness as well, is able to possess the whole content, the fullness of being. Consequently, this absolute content, this fullness of being, is not a mere fantasy, a subjective phantom, but a genuine reality. Thus, belief in oneself, belief in the human person, is at the same time belief in God, for Divinity belongs to human beings and to God, but with one difference: God possesses Divinity in eternal actuality, whereas human beings can only attain it, can only have it granted to them, and in the present state, there is only possibility, only striving.

Remember what the point of Feuerbach's critique is: to advance a humanism that would enable a socialism founded on humanity's best attributes (like love). Feuerbach believed that Christianity is antithetical to humanism because it alienates humanity from these attributes and treats humanity as nothing. The doctrine of Divine-Humanity responds precisely by showing how, in light the doctrine of deification, a Christian humanism not only is possible, but that is the only possible ground for an authentic humanism, because only Christianity allows people to actually attain their divinity. Divinity comes by the grace of the Incarnation, which is the incarnation of perfect personality into human history, so that, by the grace of the Spirit, those who become members of the Body of Christ also become partakers of Christ's perfect personality in the perfect community (sobornost', "conciliarity" or "all-togethernes") of Church (which is not, for Soloviev, coextensive with the Orthodox Church as an institution). This perfect-personality-in-perfect-communion becomes the basis on which socialism is to be constructed, as opposed to the atheistic humanism of Feuerbach, which (according to Soloviev's followers like Bulgakov and Berdiaev, and prophetically foreseen by Dostoevsky) reached its culmination in Bolshevik terror.

This is a sort of religious humanism that I could find some appeal in, although I don't know Soloviev of Russian Orthox Theology well enough to situate his criticism of Feuerbach in relation to Marx's humanism which eschews the metaphysical, methodologically at the very least.
BUt something which is compatible with religious ethics and Marx would be the emphasis on virtue which isn't something confined to Christianity but is derived from Ancient Greek ethics of virtue which emphasizes one's character over one's duty, its a question of who you should be instead of any math like solution to a specific problem. See this for brief summary of virtue ethics as over and above duty ethics: [urlhttps://epochemagazine.org/a-problem-based-reading-of-nussbaums-virtue-ethics-4cacfa3e74d6][/url]
And perhaps also note that the content of what constitutes a virtue changes historically with the community. Christian virtues are quite different from ancient Greece in which excellence in anything was virtuous while, according to Nietzsche, Christian values is based on making a virtue out of impotence and not doing what you wanted where as this wasn't so for the ancient Greeks.
[urlhttps://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/us/brenkert.htm[/url]
Discussion of Marx’s moral views has hitherto been deficient because it has failed to recognise a common distinction between two different conceptions of morality. Because it seems apparent that he does not have a moral theory in one sense of the term ‘morality,’ it is concluded that he does not have a moral theory at all. But this does not follow if there is another sense of ‘morality.’ We must recognise, that is, that the notion of morality is not a simple and unambiguous notion. We must distinguish between an ethics of duty and an ethics of virtue. [26] On the one hand, morality has been viewed as centrally concerned with the duties and obligations one person owes to another. So viewed, morality is characterised by certain notions such as duty, obligation, guilt, justice, rights, etc. On this understanding of morality, to be moral is to act in accordance with certain moral laws and duties, or to be moved by a sense of moral obligation. It is the morality of ‘thou shalt’ and ‘thou shalt not.’ Failure to act in these ways is met with condemnation for moral corruption, for being recreant to duty. In this sense, it has already been suggested, Marx does not have a moral theory. He rarely uses the notions and vocabulary which are identified with this view of morality, If one then assumes that this view is the only (proper) view of morality, one will quite naturally conclude that Marx must have been a scientist. Accordingly, one might further conclude that he condemned capitalism either simply because it was self-destructive, or because it violated various non-moral reasons or values. [27]

However, there is another understanding of morality which should not be forgotten. This is the sense of morality in which morality is linked with certain virtues, excellences, or flourishing ways of living. In this sense, morality is not primarily concerned with rules and principles, but with the cultivation of certain dispositions or traits of character. This view has been expressed in this way: ‘The moral law ... has to be expressed in the form, “be this”, not in the form, “do this” ... the true moral law says “hate not”, instead of “kill not”...... the only mode of stating the moral law must be a rule of character.’ [28] This, I believe, is quite close to Marx’s views.

So when Marx criticizes morality, it is of the individualist duty sort.
I agree that Marx was opposed to religion even of the atheistic sort which was one-sided (ideology) and was a mystification that controlled or misled people.
Although I think the appearance of objectivity of religious morality is no more objective than it ever was when we adopt the humanist position that doesn't appeal to metaphyiscal beings such as God as these have the appearance of objectivity in their universality as they aren't addressed to any particular.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/subject-position.htm
If an ethical claim is not to be either dogmatic or empty, it must be intelligible as uttered from a particular subject position, that is, in terms of who utters it, and some definite relationship of the speaker to the addressee, direct or indirect, upon whom it is to be binding, in some real, historical society. I take ‘subject position’ as inclusive of both the speaker and who the speaker addresses. A set of words taken in abstraction from who utters them to whom, is just that, a set of words, and nothing more, until “picked up” by some subject who meaningfully utters them. Discussions about ethical claims in abstraction from subject position have their place, but so long as they remain in abstracto they cannot constitute ethical claims. Only to the extent that words mediate a relation between living human beings, do they become practical. Leaving aside the question of blame, as well as calling upon a response from some subject, an ethical utterance must also respond to the suffering of some subject.

If an ethical claim which is not situated as the claim of a particular subject position is to have any practical validity at all, then the only logical possibilities are that it has universal validity, or it is an entirely individual claim. For a claim to have universal validity, independent of the social position of the speaker and addressee in some real historical society, it’s source would have to be extramundane: God, Nature, or pure reason, but in conditions of modernity, such extramundane sources are excluded.
...
On the other hand, an ethical principle which is absolutely individual is of concern only for the given individual and has no force for anyone else. So a valid ethical claim must emanate from some particular subject position.

I worry that God has become just as abstract as any other deification when trying to make a universal appeal because its reality extends only as far as a real community of people exist, as opposed to mere beliefs of individuals considered independently of their social origins.
https://scholarcommons.scu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1048&context=phi
Sittlichkeit is dierent from Moralität. Moralität begins with Socrates and reaches its high point in Kant. Moralität is individual, rational, and reective morality. It is based upon individual autonomy and personal conviction. One must rationally decide what is moral and do it because it is moral—because our rationality tells us that it is the right thing to do. This rational and reective component is relatively absent in traditional Sittlichkeit, which is best represented, for Hegel, in the Greek polis before the rise of Socratic Moralität. Sittlichkeit is ethical behavior grounded in custom and tradition and developed through habit and imitation in accordance with the laws and practices of the community. Personal reection and analysis have little to do with traditional Sittlichkeit. Sittlichkeit is ethical life built into one's character, attitudes, and feelings. Furthermore, Moralität involves an ought. It is morality that ought to be realized. This ought is also absent from Sittlichkeit. For it, morality is not something we merely ought to realize or ought to be. Morality exists—it is. It is already embedded in our customs, traditions, practices, character, attitudes, and feelings. The objective ethical order already exists in, is continuously practiced by, is actualized in, the citizen.

As this is the real basis of any morality as it is always based on the relations between people mediated by their shared projects, where there is no mediating project, it is equivalent to strangers in a state of nature
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/Collaborative%20Ethics.pdf
Human freedom can only be attained through mediated self-determination, i.e., participation in projects. A stranger encountered in a public space is to be treated, Kant tells us, as an end in themself, that is, as a project. My relationship to a stranger then is that between two mutually independent ends, or projects. At the same time however, the other is a person, and not just any aggregate of actions, and persons are bearers of ineliminable rights. But the interaction between two individuals is never unmediated, except in the jungle perhaps, the question is always to discern which project defines the relationship relevant to a specific ethical problem. The foregoing review of efforts to devise an ethics appropriate to life in modern, secular nation states, needs to be taken together with my proposal that these efforts can only reach a successful outcome by taking a collaborative project as mediating the relationships between individuals. This leads us to a two-step approach to resolving ethical problems. First we must identify the relevant project and the position of the subjects within that project, or alternatively determine that the subjects must in the given instance be regarded as independent projects. Then we must identify the ethical norms indigenous to the given project(s), which we will do on the basis of a typology of projects and relations between projects. For each paradigm there are specific ethical norms. Every project has its own ethics, according to its self-concept; however, not in every case can such norms be endorsed as rational and reasonable,

The point about independent projects is very clear on what happens in Hegel's Master/Slave dialectic.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/state-of-nature.pdf
What confront each other in the master/slave dialectic are two corporate subjects (families, companies, clans, polois or nations) not two individuals. The master/slave dialectic demonstrates how modern, secular society emerged from traditional communities, not by means of a peaceful agreement but rather through conquest and subsumption of one by the other. When two sovereign subjects confront one another in the absence of effective overarching legal institutions, then conquest and the subsumption of one subject by the other is the only alternative to mutual destruction or withdrawal into mutual indifference. Even the establishment of trade relations presupposes certain mutual recognition, which historically follows from the failure of attempts at conquest or from the expectation of such failure.


Well God as some sort of absolute whether God is replaced by nature, reason, laws of history or what ever are mystifications and examples of man's alienation from himself.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/fromm/works/1961/man/ch05.htm
Alienation (or "estrangement") means, for Marx, that man does not experience himself as the acting agent in his grasp of the world, but that the world (nature, others, and he himself) remain alien to him. They stand above and against him as objects, even though they may be objects of his own creation. Alienation is essentially experiencing the world and oneself passively, receptively, as the subject separated from the object.

The whole concept of alienation found its first expression in Western thought in the Old Testament concept of idolatry.[59] The essence of what the prophets call "idolatry" is not that man worships many gods instead of only one. It is that the idols are the work of man's own hands -- they are things, and man bows down and worships things; worships that which he has created himself. In doing so he transforms himself into a thing. He transfers to the things of his creation the attributes of his own life, and instead of experiencing himself as the creating person, he is in touch with himself only by the worship of the idol. He has become estranged from his own life forces, from the wealth of his own potentialties, and is in touch with himself only in the indirect way of submission to life frozen in the idols. [60] The deadness and emptiness of the idol is expressed in the Old Testament: "Eyes they have and they do not see, ears they have and they do not hear," etc. The more man transfers his own powers to the idols, the poorer he himself becomes, and the more dependent on the idols, so that they permit him to redeem a small part of what was originally his. The idols can be a godlike figure, the state, the church, a person, possessions. Idolatry changes its objects; it is by no means to be found only in those forms in which the idol has a socalled religious meaning. Idolatry is always the worship of something into which man has put his own creative powers, and to which he now submits, instead of experiencing himself in his creative act. Among the many forms of alienation, the most frequent one is alienation in language. If I express a feeling with a word, let us say, if I say "I love you," the word is meant to be an indication of the reality which exists within myself, the power of my loving. The word "love" is meant to be a symbol of the fact love, but as soon as it is spoken it tends to assume a life of its own, it becomes a reality. I am under the illusion that the saying of the word is the equivalent of the experience, and soon I say the word and feel nothing, except the thought of love which the word expresses. The alienation of language shows the whole complexity of alienation. Language is one of the most precious human achievements; to avoid alienation by not speaking would be foolish -- yet one must be always aware of the danger of the spoken word, that it threatens to substitute itself for the living experience. The same holds true for all other achievements of man; ideas, art, any kind of man-made objects. They are man's creations; they are valuable aids for life, yet each one of them is also a trap, a temptation to confuse life with things, experience with artifacts, feeling with surrender and submission.

This is where I have a vague speculation on the social cultural basis and development of consciousness and how it corresponds to the development of conceptions of God. As there is a shift in the ideality of God in material form.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/ilyenkov/works/ideal/ideal.htm
It is quite true that the “real talers” are in no way different from the gods of the primitive religions, from the crude fetishes of the savage who worships (precisely as his “god”!) an absolutely real and actual piece of stone, a bronze idol or any other similar “external object”. The savage does not by any means regard the object of his worship as a symbol of “God”; for him this object in all its crude sensuously perceptible corporeality is God, God himself, and no mere “representation” of him.

The very essence of fetishism is that it attributes to the object in its immediately perceptible form properties that in fact do not belong to it and have nothing in common with its sensuously perceptible external appearance.

When such an object (stone or bronze idol, etc.) ceases to be regarded as “God himself” and acquires the meaning of an “external symbol” of this God, when it is perceived not as the immediate subject of the action ascribed to it, but merely as a “symbol” of something else outwardly in no way resembling the symbol, then man’s consciousness takes a step forward on the path to understanding the essence of things.

But God or Gods of old clearly had a reality to them just as real as money has value today and is objective in it's value and not dependent on any individual's consciousness as it's basis is outside of man. In fact, Marx used Feuerbach's insight on subject-predicate reversal between God and Man to apply the same notion in his particular way to the ideality of money and value.

But to get to your point about science today I think it doesn't essentially solve the problem of alienation and if anything has exacerbated it within conditions of the capitalist production which has pursued science as a means to revolutionizing the industry and production.
Scientism and faith in science although not exactly the same as religion, has become so complex that it requires faith in the experts and institutions that produce the facts that we learn to be facts in the same way we might take the facts spoken by the priest about God and religion to be true not knowing any better because we haven't the time to really explore the matter ourselves.
We are to subject ourselves just as much as the religious person to science and the instrumental rationality of our bureaucratized world.
In fact, the epistemological views associated with the objectivity of science tend to deny the place of human beings as knowing subjects, this is how it maintains its appeal to objectivity which is somewhat functionally true but misunderstands the real basis of how we come to know things.
But knowledge is of course not something developed strictly of the individual to nature or what ever, but is always within projects, Einstein wasn't an independent thinker but one who had the established knowledge of physics and communities of scientists working on problems.
So I wish to emphasize the subject-object relation of Humanity against the one sidedness of science as it is typically understood in it's aversion to subjectivity yet often doesn't always understand logical necessity of thought.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259742845_Reality_of_the_Ideal
"To know an object – and be unable to correlate this knowledge (knowledge of the object!) with the object?! In actual fact, this paradoxical situation arises where a person does not really know an object, but knows something else. What? Phrases about the object. Words, terms, formulas, signs, symbols, and stable combinations thereof deposited in science, mastered (memorized) in place of knowledge of the object – as a special object that exists above and outside reality, as a special world of ideal, abstract, phantom ‘objects’. It is here that an illusion of knowledge arises, followed by the insoluble task of relating this illusory knowledge to reality, to life."

Ilyenkov most probably bears in mind here the ‘third world’ by Popper, populated by ‘linguistic entities’.

The problem of the correlation of knowledge with a thing arises only if they are treated as two primordially different ‘worlds’. Reality (‘world’ number one) seems to be transcendent or ‘the beyond’ with respect to knowledge (‘world’ number three), while the individual consciousness (‘world’ number two) is allotted a part of a medium, correlating ideas with things. All the while truth is being sheltered between the ‘worlds’ like Epicurean gods. Little wonder, then, that Popper considered truth to be a purely relative concept and altogether rejected the existence of absolute truths. However, as Ilyenkov’s disciple S.N. Mareyev noticed, relative truth without the absolute truth is as the North Pole without the South – namely nonsense.

The very concept of truth is different in dialectics and formal logic. The latter demands to eliminate subjectivity – this ideal is clearly pronounced in the title of the report by Popper: ‘Epistemology without a knowing subject’. By contrast, in dialectics truth is understood as a process of transformation of the subjective into the objective, and vice versa. And the ideal is an objective form of a subject’s activity.

And that concludes my many threaded ramble. Take from it what you will as I'm trying to pursue too many different ideas here.
But in looking through it I've stumbled upon some clarification for myself in regards to religion and conception of God and I don't imagine I'll go the route of Soloviev though I'd like to learn more about his position. I suspect Ill forever remain a humanist
Last edited by Wellsy on 03 Dec 2020 13:56, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
By Oxymoron
#15140712
Wellsy wrote:I’m trying to determine the contours of what God is conceived to be. Not whether God exists or not but the conception of God.

I at present see a tension between God as the absolute being of reality or God as a more Zeus like figure who has changes in dispositions and is more a temporal being.
I see the Zeus conception arise in the emphasis on us being made in Gods likeness. Cue Feuerbachs criticism that we project an idea of God based on our likeness and thus God is contingent on human qualities we alienate from ourselves and then relate back to ourselves via God.
But God as the absolute sounds more akin to what God would be like but then I don’t know how this conception ties to a loving benevolent God or even an interventionist God.

Thoughts?


A better question is what is not God.
User avatar
By Julian658
#15140726
God does not have to be real to have some meaning in our lives.
Whether God exists or not is a moot point. In the name of God many things have been done.
Atheists promptly replace God with non-deist belief systems. MAN cannot help himself without some sort of God.
User avatar
By Wellsy
#15140749
Oxymoron wrote:A better question is what is not God.

My initial thought is I am not God.

Julian658 wrote:God does not have to be real to have some meaning in our lives.
Whether God exists or not is a moot point. In the name of God many things have been done.
Atheists promptly replace God with non-deist belief systems. MAN cannot help himself without some sort of God.

Well belief in God today doesn't exist in the same conditions which existed previously and the very attitude of indifference to whether God exists or not itself is likely a product of such times where belief is more complex.
[url]rickroderick.org/paul-ricoeurs-masters-of-suspicion/[/url]
And ah, Ricouer himself is a Christian, and so he says the following: “A Marxist critique of ideology, a Nietzschean critique of ressentiment and a Freudian critique of infantile distress, are hereafter the views through which any kind of mediation of faith must pass”. Now, does that mean that every ordinary religious person has to know these writers and stuff? No… these suspicions have become widespread in our culture. We don’t need anymore, in a way, to be instructed in them, because they permeate our culture.
...
Okay, now, the reason I have spent so much time on these “Masters of Suspicion” – the title of the first lecture – “Masters of Suspicion”… these were critiques that were developed in 19th and end of the 20th century. They have become a common possession of our culture, and they have cut off one of the reservoirs within we might find a coherent meaning for our life. One of the reservoirs being religious faith. Not entirely. It’s not like we can’t go back and have it. It’s that we must have under the mark of complexity… follow me? Under the mark of insecurity. Under the mark of confusion about it. It’s not that you can’t… it’s just under those… marks.

And indeed everyone believes in something even if it is as mundane as money.
User avatar
By Oxymoron
#15140827
Wellsy wrote:My initial thought is I am not God.

.


And your cell that makes up your skin is also not Wellsy, yet it is part of Wellsy.

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