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Posts tagged with God

  • Babylonia
  • Balshazar’s Feast
  • Iran-Iraq War … of 539 B.C.
  • the writing on the wall: “You are weighed in the balance and found wanting, and your Kingdom is handed over to the Medes & the Persians”
  • "the first real press release … we’ve got”
  • Cyrus, King of all the Universe
  • religious tolerance
  • second temple Judaism
  • Alexander the Great
  • Darius
  • Xenophone
  • "We’re not interested in that history, we want one with this message”

by Neil MacGregor

(Source: ted.com)




In AD 312 a pretender to the imperial title by the name of Constantine marched from Gaul … towards Rome…. [V]ictorious … the dominion of the Roman[s] was set upon a radically new path … an imperium christianum….

[O]n the shores of the Bosphorus, what had formerly been the pagan city of Byzantium [became] a Christian capital. Constantine … mark[ed] out the street plan … guided by the figure of Christ following before him … Constantinople….

A seat of empire, to be sure — but hardly a monument to Christian humility.

The leaders of the Church were unperturbed. Scarcely able … to credit the miracle that had transformed them … from a persecuted minority into an imperial elite, they raised few eyebrows at the spectacle of their emperor’s magnificence…. [I]t struck most of them that it would be a waste of time to preach revolution. Far more meritorious … to labour at … order, not egalitarianism…. What were the saints, the angels and the archangels if not the very model of a court…? A Christian emperor … could serve not merely as Christ’s ally in the great war against evil, but as His representative on earth…. In the bejewelled and perfumed splendours of Constantinople might be glimpsed a reflection of the beauties of paradise; in the armies that marched to war against the foes of the Christian order an image of the angelic hosts.

What had once been the very proofs of the empire’s depravity — its wealth, its splendour, its terrifying military might — now seemed to mark it out as a replica of heaven.

[T]he Christ to whom Constantine and his successors compared themselves bore little resemblance to the Jesus who had died in excruciating and blood-streaked agony upon a rough-hewn cross…. [Christ] began to resemble nothing so much as a Roman emperor. Whereas the faithful had once looked to their Messiah to sit in awful judgement over Rome, now bishops publicly implored Him to turn His “heavenly weapons” against the enemies of the empire, "so that the peace of the Church might be untroubled by storms of war."

To [those] in the Church … desperate to see the imperial centre hold, the strident anti-Roman sentiments of St. John’s Revelation had long been an embarrassment. In 338, a council of bishops had sought to drop it altogether from the canon of Holy Scripture. In the East … the more prosperous half of Rome’s empire … the Book of Revelation would not be restored to the Bible for centuries.

Tom Holland, The Forge of Christendom




Without science, explaining why there is something rather than nothing requires explaining every leaf, rock, beetle and star.

Cosmology and evolutionary theory pare the explanation requirement down … we might have to explain only a physical law or three, and everything else … can follow naturally. … [I]t might be that we don’t have to explain why there is matter and energy, perhaps not even why there is three-dimensional space and time or why physical constants have the values they have.

It is also possible, although harder to conceive, that we could explain everything down to nothing: no physical laws, only logic. Putting that another way, it might be that naive mental pictures of nothing are logically impossible.

Aaron C. Brown, reviewing Why There is Something Rather than Nothing by Lawrence Krauss




110 Plays • Download

False Knight on the Road sung by Robin Pecknold




The place where [Satan] was, in my mind, the most successful and first — first successful was in academia. He understood pride of smart people. He attacked them at their weakest.

They were in fact smarter than everybody else and could come up with something new and different — pursue new truths, deny the existence of truth, play with it because they’re smart. And so academia a long time ago fell.
Rick Santorum

(Source: readability.com)




I’m looking for a quote I saw years ago. It went something like this:

Here are two different stories of Creation.

 

The first is that G-d sculpted each and every animal, flower, fungus, gymnosperm, archaeobacterium, and primate individually, like the most colossal micromanager ever known to the Cosmos. 

 

The second story is that G-d was smart enough to write a “computer” program which, from a few simple rules, would evolve not only the stars, galaxies, and planets, but also all of the life-forms mentioned above (as well as whatever’s yet to come).

 

Which Creator would you find more impressive?

I’m pretty sure the writer was an Israeli game theorist. Can anybody help me source this please?




http://academicearth.org/lectures/evolution-of-sex

Is God a man or a woman?

Definitive answer: God is sexless.

The differentiation of organisms into sexes evolved because it increases fitness. Specifically, sex allows species to spread useful mutations throughout the population quickly, thereby avoiding extinction. It’s not useful enough in every species to justify the cost; species with large populations benefit more from sex.

Sex ratios vary. One boy can inseminate lots of girls so 1:1 only happens under special circumstances. Some organisms have more than two sexes. Or just one.

"Females"

What we call "females" are organisms that make regular-sized gametes (eggs)—OK, maybe they got a little bigger in response to the development of "males"—those who evolved to make lots of small gametes (e.g. human sperm).  In species with many sexes, each “mating type” cannot reproduce like with like.

Reproduction v Recombination v Sex

Reproduction (birth) and recombination (meiosis) do both occur in isogamous species, like paramecium. Some isogamous species produce gametes and some do not. Think bacteria v trees v mites v fungi v disgusting parasites. All part of creation.

God

I assume God is not acted on by natural selection—that is, that God does not reproduce, mutate, and have selective mutant offspring killed off.

The usual concept is that God is immortal and unchanging. God doesn’t produce gametes (right, Leda?)—just telekinetically impregnates virgins, whose offspring usually lecture about enlightenment and goodness before passing away childless (right, Linda Fiorentino?).

Summary

Sex is generally much more complicated in nature than it is in humans. Sex evolves because of selective pressures. God does not experience selective pressure or bear new godlings that experience selective pressure. So there would be no reason for God to evolve a sex. So God is sexless.




Is God a man or a woman?

Definitive answer: God is sexless.

The differentiation of organisms into sexes evolved because it increases fitness. Specifically, sex allows species to spread useful mutations throughout the population quickly, thereby avoiding extinction. It’s not useful enough in every species to justify the cost; species with large populations benefit more from sex.

Sex ratios vary. One boy can inseminate lots of girls so 1:1 only happens under special circumstances. Some organisms have more than two sexes. Or just one.

"Females"

What we call "females" are organisms that make regular-sized gametes (eggs)—OK, maybe they got a little bigger in response to the development of "males"—those who evolved to make lots of small gametes (e.g. human sperm).  In species with many sexes, each “mating type” cannot reproduce like with like.

Reproduction v Recombination v Sex

Reproduction (birth) and recombination (meiosis) do both occur in isogamous species, like paramecium. Some isogamous species produce gametes and some do not. Think bacteria v trees v mites v fungi v disgusting parasites. All part of creation.

God

I assume God is not acted on by natural selection—that is, that God does not reproduce, mutate, and have selective mutant offspring killed off.

The usual concept is that God is immortal and unchanging. God doesn’t produce gametes (right, Leda?)—just telekinetically impregnates virgins, whose offspring usually lecture about enlightenment and goodness before passing away childless (right, Linda Fiorentino?).

Summary

Sex is generally much more complicated in nature than it is in humans. Sex evolves because of selective pressures. God does not experience selective pressure or bear new godlings that experience selective pressure. So there would be no reason for God to evolve a sex. So God is sexless.




When I was young, I used to — as an exercise — try to conceive of ∞. We would hear in Sunday School that God is Infinite, that you can’t comprehend God’s Infinite-ness.

I would imagine myself in a spaceship flying out to the edge of the universe. I would imagine all of the stuff we had left behind us, flying at the speed of imagination.

Then I would zoom out the camera, seeing that in fact we had only gotten to the edge of a tiny speck. I would recurse this and try to recurse the recursions until my brain got tired. “Infinity is so big,” I would think. “The Universe is so big. God is so big.”

All of this was on purpose. I wanted ∞ to fill up my mind. I think there are lots of religious people who do this — meditate, in a way, on ∞.

Imagining ∞ as a mathematician is easy in comparison. Using the M.O. of stereographic projection, I can conceive of infinity in an Augenblick.

Nowadays it’s up to me, whether I want to view ∞ as large or small.




The Amazon preview was really funny!

The Amazon preview was really funny!


hi-res