Does God Exist?

Ways to determine Divine Existence and Nature

Intra-page links: [Ways to analyze if 'God' exists]   [A Question of.. Time?] [Determining Divine Nature]  [Metempsychosic/ multiple/ evolving 'gods'] 
[Monotheism] [Christian concepts] [Other God Ideas]

A Modest Introduction, pick one: Illusion, Insanity.. or, Intelligence?

The chair in which I'm sitting doesn't know it is an illusion, so supports my body anyway. The sky doesn't know it is an illusion, and keeps on holding both stars and planets in some fixed relationships, even while we sleep. So we aren't holding them up while we sleep, are we? In short, reality exists, because these things physically exist apart from man's desire concerning their existence. They don't know they are but figments of our imaginations; as if we were gods and thus smart enough to imagine so realistically, star, sky and seat supports! Whatever we sit on to imagine all these things so well, must be.. our brains; for if we can imagine them so masterfully we can sit on our imaginations: why is there so much trouble in the real world?

    People imagine that if you talk about God and they listen, they somehow do you a favor (though you could save your breath and go elsewhere); that you gain something from "God" or from them, if they agree with you; that if you believe, you are something shy of a rational person; that if you don't believe in God, you are somehow superior; that if people disagree about God, well -- it's all the same God idea, so it doesn't matter which depiction of God one believes. Just being sincere, nice to people, is due some reward from "God". Yeah, people who imagine all that, would also consider it right that if you pay your phone bill, the grocery store is supposed to reward you...

    Yeah, and we imagine that the rich hurt the poor too; though it's obvious, no matter how the rich guy spends his own money, someone else poor immediately gets it for food, rent, clothing, etc.; and we imagine the Government bureaucrats who get the rich guy's taxes, who then eat up over half that money with paperwork, hearings, and endless speeches -- that stuff! better helps the poor who thus wait longer and get less?

    How many rich people do you know, who themselves cut the wood, cure it, and then polish the wood on their own yachts; mow their own huge lawns; dust all those art treasures which they rarely even visit, but 5 minutes a month? Don't the poorer laborers do all that? Kinda cushy circumstances, too: much nicer, to mow a nice lawn, than a scratch patch on the south side of Newark. So, then: don't you think a whole lot of people immediately got paid the $260,000 it cost Donald Trump to buy his bride's wedding dress? rich people don't sew dresses themselves, you know. So if he'd given that 260K to charity or the Government, the poor would be waiting years until the laws and speeches and hearings, finished -- and finally the poor would get maybe what.. 10 cents on the dollar?

    Who do you think paid the lawsuits of those people who sued the airlines for ferrying the terrorists on 9/11? As if the airlines were to blame? Do you think the airline presidents get up in the morning and say, "Gee, I'd like to crash a multimillion dollar plane today, and be tied up in court over it for 20 years (i.e., the disaster in the Everglades), so I can make my customers afraid to fly, and nearly bankrupt the company"? So what had to happen? Well, every traveller paid for part of the lawsuit fines via higher fares, less service! And the job loss in the airline industry is so bad because people are afraid to fly: bankruptcy characterizes the industry.

    Closer to home: how else do you think McDonald's was able to pay that stupid woman who sued them because her coffee was too hot, though she was too dumb to wait until it cooled? And who really made it too hot, in the first place? Some poor minimum-wage employee who was in too big a hurry to get the order right and get the coffee in the bag. Probably, because the just-previous customer, complained about the coffee being too cold. Companies are groups of people. Mistakes are made by people. No employee gets up in the morning and says, "Gee, I'd like to burn some old lady's tongue, so she can sue my employer and get millions of dollars, so I can be out of a job!"

    So now think: how did that woman get those millions? One way: all those poor people who eat McDonald's products (poor people eat more junk food, it's a treat for them) -- all those customers, were the ones who paid her, millions! How else could the company get the money? Think hard, now: MacDonald's makes hamburgers. We buy them, so we can eat them. So we the customers, no one else -- we the consumers, are the only ones who paid for her lawsuit, as well as for all other company expenses, employees, etc. So with what brains do we imagine, that this "rich company" got its comeuppance? We got shafted! Can't be another way, unless we don't buy the product. In which case, there would be no company to employ anyone, and thus no lawsuits, either. See? Every dollar spent pays for the poor.. except, when we pay taxes or sue, we fritter away the money on political posturing, paperwork and pontification: so the poor wait longer and get less. Even Donald Trump's bridal gift, did a better job serving the poor.

    Yeah, we imagine a whole lot of things, while sitting on our brains. Trouble is, mentally ill people do that as well...

So, is God an insane figment of our prodigious imaginations, too? Or does God really exist? It's a fair question. Surely it would be insane to expect "God", who by definition must be invisible, to be measurable with 'scientific' instruments, which by nature can only measure stone and bone and dust; and even that, by ASSuming constants, like the rate of carbon decomposition, the rate of tectonic drift, and other very long timeline items -- though nowhere in nature, do constants operate (just try reliably predicting the weather like that).

This "God" question's kinda important, really: if God exists, what if it matters to know which 'kind' of God He/They/It.. is? And shouldn't it matter?

  • If your name is John Jones, but someone insists you reward her for repeatedly claiming your name is Yucky Gertrude Cheese, should you be impressed?
  • Is it even right to pretend that's your name, if you're the Divine Repository of Truth? Is it ever right to lie? Would you want "God" to lie to you?
  • Ok, then: it's logical to suppose, since you yourself don't like being lied to, mistakenly identified (and expected to reward the person who does it);
  • it's logical to suppose, that what some other person gets from a third party, and you're not at all involved in that transaction..
  • it's only logical and right that you don't owe either of them.
  • You didn't ask for those two to cook up something together, so why should you reward them for what they do to each other?
  • Moreover, if you did do something, and you are to be paid in money, but..
  • well, you are 'sincerely' given a pile of rotten potatoes in repayment -- should you accept that? Of course not.
  • Then, why should whoever the Real "God" is, accept what you do not accept?
  • Common courtesy even among humans would lead one to the logical conclusion that God isn't some amorphous mass, but one or more definite Persons with real thinking going on. Hence, real "tastes", for lack of a better word.
  • And if you want a relationship with this Person or Persons, well.. wouldn't it be a colossal waste of time, to just ASSume how deity is? Would you buy a car, unseen, knowing nothing about it? So buying a 'faith' (and even no faith is a faith in "nothing"), whoa: kinda matters more, to kick the tires...

So the purpose of this webpage is to help you think out the question, for yourself. I don't get any Brownie points for writing it; you won't get a gold star if you read it, either. And no bolt of lightning is gonna strike either of us, in any event. But a bolt of Intelligent Insight might be welcome. So this webpage, and its links, are organized in terms of broad concepts: forests, not trees. Dunno if you've noticed, but all "God" arguments tend to degrade into "tree" questions (my-god-is-better-than-your-god, does the trilobite population disprove the Flood); with everyone wandering aimlessly in the Ardennes.. but the panzers are coming! So: you can worry about the trees when you find which is the right FOREST, first. Kinda like using a map: if you don't know where "Illinois" is, you don't concern yourself with the desert highway in Hesperia, California.. right?

    So this page is not to sell you on a particular idea, but instead broadly paints the basic ideas about God, or other macro-level stuff you can use to see what you want to analyze next. Obviously I'm convinced of a particular "definition" of "God"; but I could care less if you buy it, since I cannot be you, nor you me: don't get me wrong, I wish you the best, but -- it's YOUR life. And mine, is mine. Again, neither you nor I get any "reward" if I convinced you -- and I don't even like the idea. People convince themselves. It's called "free will", and it's a wonderful, sacred thing. The Real God, whoever They/He/She/It is, shouldn't need salesmen: but man likes reading explanations. So, the next section succinctly lists unusual ways one can come to realize God does exist. After that, you can start to think out how to narrow down the field to "which type" of God, by examining questions of Nature. You don't need a Bible (or what you consider a holy book) to do this, but it might help.

Of course, the fastest way to find out if God exists, is to Ask Him. You know, like this: "Hi, God, if you're up there I'd like to know you". It's not tautological. If no God exists, you won't get an answer. But if some version of God exists, then you will. It's always right in mathematics, to first assume a postulate, theorem, etc. True. So do that. Assume you'll get an answer. Then, sit back, relax, and watch for the information to come in, piece by piece. Flooding you with proof will kill your humanity, so God presents the data to you a little at a time. And, don't expect some genie-performance, asking God to to be a dog and "go fetch"; you know, asking Him to fix something and if He doesn't, well that's it! No God! Sheesh: Gideon pulled that trick twice, and he never got over it. [Read the whole story in Bible, sometime, not just the happy part. Start in Judges 6, but pay close attention to Judges 8:27-end Chapter 9. Gruesome story.]

    God gave you a brain, and THAT is how you'll be able to perceive Him, ok? Why do people waste years and dollars agonizing over the Does-God-exist question, reading what other PEOPLE say, and focusing on a whole bunch of irrelevant data? Honestly, do you think any relic or age-of-earth data proves anything, pro- or con- "God"? All you'll get from it, is a headache and more questions. Instead, you could just 'call up God' and ASK. He likes science even more than we do, since He invented it, for crying out loud. So, since He more quickly knows what is relevant to answer (relevant to you, relevant to showing you how the relevant data connects).. um, ask the Expert, Him. Seriously: if you wanted to ask me a question, wouldn't you write an email or pick up the phone? So if you want to ask God a question.. just ASK. He's everywhere; so needs no phoneline, lol. And if you don't get an answer, well.. maybe you dialed the wrong number (called on a "god" which doesn't exist, but another version of God is a Real One). People misdial God all the time, and the Real God shouldn't lie, so.. doesn't answer 'prayer' (fancy name for the phone call), either. You don't answer to a name not your own, and for good reason. So try a different 'version' of God, if you think you might have dialed a non-working 'number'.

But for those who want to feel smart cogitating on their own, you have a number of brainstorming options in this page. The first "Intra-page" link at pagetop takes you through 14 unusual analysis paths, which ought to help you reason out this epic question of does God exist. It's best suited to those of mathematical or philosophical bent. It's based on that Fundamental Principle of Empirical Science: When so many data pieces point in the same direction, some larger independent fact is indicated. So, I've had to organize the data pieces into numbered groups, below. Thus, it is easier to see the whole forest of meanings, and avoid entanglement with mere trees (e.g., which universe/evolution/lifeform/god is a "tree" problem, and easily obscures viewing the "forest").

    In what follows, some of the "ways" might appear familiar, so one may be tempted to say, "ah, that's Anselm's argument", etc. Please resist the temptation, because the contents are absolutely not the same: I find those common arguments unconvincing, fuzzy, or just plain stupid. For this reason, well-known argument titles (like Anselm's, TAG, etc.) are not given here; because, those arguments are not used.

    If you just want to skip over the other options and go there NOW, click here --> [Ways to analyze IF 'God' exists]

    Alternatively, if your bent is to see something rather more spectacular and highly technical related to the Bible itself, well.. how about the question of how God of Bible, orchestrates Time itself? It's shocking material, not at all titillating; and you could lose hours in it, before you surface for air. Worse, the time spent could become pretty unpleasant once the meaning sinks in. If you want to go that route, keep reading. If you don't, hit Home Key and see if some link you find at page top, interests you.

A Question of ..Time?

Time doesn't know it's supposed to be an illusion; 'modern' science dubs it a fake component of reality, so it doesn't even get its own technical name: it's now called, "spacetime". Thus time serves no purpose but as an artificial measure of movement. Everything in "spacetime" is relative to everything else, so Time is not extrinsic to matter, but rather is a mere component OF matter. Hence, it really doesn't exist on its own, and all things are possible. So, sigh.. all this Bible and God stuff is just an illusion we 'moderns' think quaint: suitable only for political crusading, children and holidays; else, for the superstitious and foolish to believe and babble about. For if Time is not independent of matter, then there just can't be anyone like "God". We are on our own, whoopee! Lilliput, arise and conquer!

But Time doesn't know all that 'modern' information. So, with ignorant bliss, it keeps on ticking; and, keeps on being provably connected to the Jews in 490-year segments. Of course, the Jews themselves no longer know this about time, so you can't blame them for Time's ignorant obsession. But they used to know. We Christians, also used to know: lots of New Testament verses are based on that 'mirroring' of Time, because Time itself is an essential "redemption" issue.. all over the Bible. But we don't know that: believers, unbelievers, Jews, goy, you-name-it-artificial-division-to-rile-men-up-and-make-them-blind. We're also busy.. boycotting stores that put "Holidays" in lieu of "Christmas", on their window placards. Never mind, that the Real Christ's mass, is in the Bible. Where we can celebrate the sign of Him, anytime.

So even we who claim the Bible is from God, don't bother to check, for example, that what

    • Daniel 9:26 said 600 years prior in a language which died soon after he wrote it;
    • which Matt24 echoed 40 years beforehand (in another dead language);
    • which Rev11:1 predicts will recur, who-knows-how-many-years-hence,
    has been prototypically fulfilled, ever since 70AD. By people who didn't even know those Bible passages. Mostly, during times when no one could even get that Book to look at what it said, dead language or no. [Nerd note: Bible as a whole wasn't available for public consumption beginning sometime after 180AD, until after Gutenberg (which is why the Reformation occurred, so far as I can tell); though sometimes you could get parts of the Book, like a Psalter, part of a Gospel, etc. Even after Gutenberg, it was still so expensive to make a Bible, only upper-class folks had one. Common access to the original-language texts, versus the generally-poor translations, was not available until sometime after the 1850's. We are in a unique period of world history, for not since the first two centuries AD, has the inspired Scripture been so available: and never, so easily available. But no one cares. If you do, then you'll want to carefully study the Bible's history. It is very dramatic, like a kidnap movie: Christopher DeHamel wrote a history of its coming-to-be. You can get it at Amazon for about $50.]

The proof that time's orchestrated in 490-year segments around the Jews, is likewise ignorant of the 'scientific' evidence it doesn't exist. So the proof of fulfillment nonetheless faithfully and dumbly remains, as demonstrated in Jerusalem itself, by the non-disputed existence of two hostile stone structures: the Wailing Wall and the Dome of the Rock. You can link up to the camera facing the Wailing Wall and see it live, from any computer, anywhere in the world. Probably you can do it with the Dome, too. We humans soooo love our old buildings and relics. Never mind, what they might mean. Yet here's a synopsis, to decide if you'd like to investigate further -- via the pagetop links. Because IF it were true that Time is being orchestrated like this, well.. Who but God, can orchestrate TIME? Ergo, not only would you have conclusive proof God exists.. but you immediately know, which "God", IS God. That sure would save lots of angst, huh. [Actually, I have no patience with the arguments which seek to prove God's Existence, so I'm not interested in proving He exists. But proof does become important, when evaluating which God is the Real One. Idea of detecting counterfeit, from genuine. The clamor of a bizillion different definitions of God, would make even the most pro-God person, dizzy. Hence the need of forest analysis, rather than trees. I call it, "due diligence". If it's important to get due diligence on a house or business you'll buy, it's vital to get/do it, about God! End commercial message.]

So Let's take peek at a capsulized version of this 'proof'. Don't worry, it won't be "conclusive" until you yourself spend lots of time on it...

The Stony Tale of the Times

Like Charles Dickens' "Tale of Two Cities", for which he got paid per word (and thus it's a long tale), this tale of one City -- Jerusalem -- is a tale of Two Stones: one signals the worst of times, and the other, the best of times. "BEST", if the Temple is standing; for then God is Dwelling With His People; for only God authorizes the building of THIS Temple. The Temple depicts a future Dwelling INSIDE each person, once God ADDS Humanity to Himself, and pays for sins. This future was depicted by a box patterned after Noah's Ark, but smaller: acacia wood (the main material) depicted Humanity; gold overlay, the Deity (depicting Infinite Perfection, immaterial). So it's a promise of Full Fellowship, not the limited togetherness Israel had, via the Law and its rituals. The rituals were likewise metaphorical, depicting various aspects of this future promise of Full Fellowship. That's what Judaism is based on. So the Temple is the heart of Judaism. It's like losing your life -- no, even worse -- to lose the Temple. Means God has 'left', not totally nor forever, but the fellowship is BREACHED. Now you know why all that bobbing goes on at the Wailing Wall, which is the only Wall Left Today, of that Temple.

So if the Temple is razed, as now -- or, far worse, again like now -- if non-Jews possess the site, it's the worst of times: Jews should Stay Away. So the "worst of times" is forecast and explained, in those Bible passages bulleted above. We're all stone-deaf to them, of course. So let's look at what these Stony Structures 'tell' us by their silence. Which means, we need to take a brief history tour, so we get what's called in theology, "isagogics" (fancy word for relevant histo-cultural information).

The two Stony Structures are really one; except, the later of them is an impostor. Therein lies the problem, and the reason for the claim that time is orchestrated by God in 490 'sets', revolving around the Jews: for, God has promised them Time, accounted in 490-year sets. A few paragraphs down, you will be able to empirically test this claim. For now, just get oriented to the meaning behind the claim: this orchestration plays in the "best" category, only so long as there is no impostor; else it plays "worst", if there is one. Anything between the two extremes, gets Time Debited or Credited, accordingly. At the extreme "worst", the Temple itself will not only be destroyed, but an "impostor" will possess it, and oppress the Jews who live near it. At the other extreme, Israel not only possesses the Temple wholly, but all her enemies are defeated wholly, too. That's quite a promise, and we've all heard promises which are bombast. Let's see if there's any bombast, here.

Further definition of "impostor" clause: Fake gods are impostors, but so is fake spirituality (i.e., faking self out that one loves God, is pro-God, etc., the bane of religiosity). So if the Jews are involved in too much fake spirituality, they get an impostor to take over the One Thing They Recognize As Truly Holy: the Rock in the original Temple's Holy of Holies. This, to mirror back to them, so that they can see their fakeness, and "nacham" (change mind and turn back to God genuinely, usu. mistranslated as "repent"). Everything God does, MIRRORS. It's yet another way of stating the Bible concept of "redemption" (buying back what was lost, damaged, stolen, dedicated, etc. -- perfect picture of what "salvation" means, of how it got accomplished).

So here in 2005, we have an impostor, the Dome of the Rock; it's Islamic, not Jewish, but it's sitting atop that very Rock which was the centerpiece and foundation for, the Jewish Temple. But claiming that Rock, for Islam. [Now you know everything about why the Arab-Israeli conflict, is really happening. It has zippo to do with politics, freedom for one group or another: this thing has gone on for about four thousand years, and it's a never-ending INHERITANCE fight. Cousins fighting cousins over an old inheritance snub -- the Arabs got a lesser promise, than the sons of Isaac, so they feel.]

Back to the historical background: at the time of the Exodus in 1440BC, the first Jewish Tabernacle was a huge moving tent; it represented God's contract with the nation of Israel, among other things. It had this huge box called an "Ark" (legal pledge, proof of a binding agreement, precedented upon Noah's Ark), which was the very essence of what the "Holy of Holies", meant. So 490 years later, this temporary structure was replaced by a permanent one: the firstTemple was built by King Solomon, in 950BC. Just as promised, and at the promised time. King Solomon, moreover, was a promised King. Whose father, was the beginning of promised kings. This father, King David, was born 400 years after the Exodus, to pay back 'time' for the 400 years of slavery, just prior to the Exodus. So this David, becomes King 430 years after the Exodus, which was exactly the same length of time as the "sons" of Israel spent, combined, in Canaan and Egypt (not all the time was in a state of slavery). So as you can see even thus far, this matching of real historical dates to set times which mirror past periods, is rather surprising. But, back to the historical background...

    God (of Bible) had previously told King David exactly how He wanted this Temple made, kinda like He told Noah how to build that Ark -- in great detail. Central to His blueprint for this permanent Temple, was to make that Rock the center of the Most Holy Place in the permanent Temple; the Ark would sit on top of that Rock, and the entire Temple(!) would be built around that Rock. Why? Well, Abraham almost-sacrificed "his only son", Isaac.. right there on that (flat-topped) BedRock. So God wanted to use that Same Rock to pictorially represent, His long-promised (since Gen3:15) salvation: that God would in the future, add Humanity to Himself, and pay using only that Humanity, for the sins of the entire human race.

    So this Rock, on which Abraham almost-sacrificed his promised and only son, is a paradigm of the future "Son" in His Humanity being sacrificed by "Father", to potentially save the entire human race (i.e., last clause in John 3:16). Hence this Rock is the center of the Temple, the Most Holy Place, aka "the Christ" (meaning, Messiah, Anointed One, also Greek word Petra); hence the Rock of Salvation, is a moniker for this Son. Who, at the time, hasn't added Humanity to Himself. So the Rock Itself, is a kind of legal Pledge of a Future, Self-Imposed, Obligation on God's Part. Alone.

    Man has the option of accepting or rejecting this future Action (last clause in John 3:16, again); but man doesn't do anything to help or hurt or forestall or negate it. The action is unilateral, on God's part. That's the "salvation contract", so to speak. Bible likens it to a will: the testator wills a beneficiary to have an asset, but the beneficiary has a right to refuse. After too much time has passed, the refusal becomes permanent. It's a right of refusal, because Love does not coerce free will. Abraham freely and without coercion was willing to offer his promised and only son, just because God asked him to do so; even though, he knew God didn't want human sacrifice. So it seemed to make no sense, but Abraham knew somehow He'd restore Isaac to life, Gen22. Pay close attention to every verse, especially when he tells the servant that Isaac will come back with him. (It's one of the great chapters in the Bible, when you think it over. Awesome faith.) Thus God 'mirrors' this action so all Israel, founded on Abraham through Isaac, could understand better how God would pay for the sins of the entire human race. All Freely. No coercion. Isaac, who was in his 20's at the time, likewise was not coerced. Christ, would likewise not be coerced. Love never coerces free will.

    God, being immaterial, can only be paid by Divine Thinking, since only Infinite Quality Thinking can compensate for offense. Technically, the 'occasion' of sin is met on the Cross by 'occasioned' Divine-Quality Thinking in 'reply', so that the whole 'memory' of the Latter, makes the former, 'smell' good ('beautiful' is another metaphorical description for propitiation). So, like the heart circulates blood, so the soul with this Thinking -- a Human soul! -- His 'heart' (metaphor for soul, emphasizing BELIEVING IN the Truth He knows) will 'sprinkle' the sins, thus sanctifying them (making them set-apart-to-God, beautiful to 'smell' and 'hear', because of the 'sprinkling' of thought on them). Love thinking, at Divine Level, essentially. Hence all the blood sacrifices and especially the Day of Atonement, on which the High Priest sprinkled blood on the Ark, acted as mnemonics of this Promised-Redeemer-Messiah-Rock-of-Salvation.. to Come.

      But can such Divine Thought occur, in a human being? Yep: that's the promise, and it's real bald in flagship passages like Isa53, Phili2:5-10, Eph4:11-16. You can't see how bald, in translation. Pretend, for the moment, that this promise is really in the Bible. [Other websites like the "Isaiah 53" and "RightPT" on Home Page, cover the topic in more detail, but they are very technical.]

      "God" in the Bible, is really Three of Them: we know only their Titles, by which They communicate their Love and Choice of Corporate Relationship (like a family): "Father" (He'll do the judging), "Son" (He'll add Humanity and in that Humanity pay), and "Spirit" (He'll empower the HUmanity to the extent of the Latter's continuing, free-will CONSENT). [The entire mechanic is explained deftly in Isaiah 53:11, but no one translates the entire verse (not all of it is in Hebrew). So just 'trust me', for the moment. This piece is about time, and you have to just get the background, before we can get to the time issue.]

Now that you understand the Jewish meaning of the Rock as a Salvation Pledge and Contract of Relationship with God, let's return to the problem of an "impostor". The much-later Muslims, based on their "Koran", claim it wasn't Isaac who was almost-sacrificed, but Ishmael (the latter was 13 years older, so too old, but hey). The rest of the meaning above, they likewise dispute: to them, Christ was a sinless person, but still a mere herald (akin to John the Baptist), who spent His Time Here merely announcing the coming of Mohammed, 600 years early; Mohammed is portrayed in Koran as a sinner; he pays no sins for anyone; Koran is strident that God has no partners and needs no payment. So for Moslems, this Dome is probably the holiest shrine in all Islam, and people seek to be buried near it, for good luck. You don't make a good hajj (pilgrimage) if you don't go there once in your lifetime. [I don't know why this issue about Abraham is so important, since the Koran never promises the Muslim the Jewish territory, nor is the sacrifice on that Rock ever alleged to save them; nor does it depict divine propitiation. In short, in the Koran, absolutely nothing of the meaning in Judaism, is the same; so why the Rock is even important, I can't figure out. The eternal promise in the Koran is to live in Paradise, a compartment both Koran and Bible note is under the earth. Koran doesn't promise heaven. Bible says only believers were in Paradise, and that only until the Ascension, viz. verses related to Eph4:8-9. So the only people under the earth, are UNbelievers. So the frequent Koranic promise, "In Paradise there will be shade", sounds derisive and mocking: "shade" is a well-known Hebrew and Greek term for folks in Hades, which in Bible, is where people destined for the later Lake of Fire will go. This is a blatant demonic satire of Moslems, and it's very petty. No human is smart enough to get this, even today, without exposure to the original-language texts of Scripture. Which, in 610AD, were under lock-and-key. Only a few portions in translation, were available to Christians. Mohammed certainly couldn't recognize all that wordplay.]

So in the Bible, this Dome qualifies as an archetype of "abomination", a technical term for "impostor". It means an unholy takeover, by the wrong people. So now we are ready for the role of those 490s, and how Time Revolves Around The Jews. But first, why? Because it's a promise that Messiah Will Come, and On Time -- so long as Israel wanted Him. So, time was MEASURED, and when Israel was negative, Time was deducted; when Israel was positive, Time was added. So God is Balancing and Accounting for Time, like an accountant would do a trial balance. The composition of this '490', then, is actually a bundle of subcomponents: "How God 'Mirrors' Time" link at pagetop goes into each of the major components (as best I can find them, so far).

Let's start with the principle of the 490, as expressed most clearly in translation. Put yourself in 586BC. The First Temple had been destroyed. Israel was ejected from the Land; and a young believer named Daniel, of the Royal House of David, was praying for God to forgive the "divorce" (OT vocabulary is largely marital, but translations euphemize). So, via the angel Gabriel, here's part of the answer given, in Dan9:26 (etc). I had to fix the "New Living" translation here, where it differed too much from the original-language 'sacred' Bible texts (known as the LXX and the BHS, among the erudite):

    "NLT Daniel 9:25 Now listen and understand! Seven sets of seven plus sixty-two sets of seven will pass from the time the command is given to return and rebuild [first the Temple and THEN] Jerusalem until the Anointed One comes. It [Jerusalem] will be rebuilt with streets and strong defenses, despite the perilous times. 26 "After this period of sixty-two sets of seven, the Anointed One will be killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing ["killed" is "cut off", as in foreskin; so, CUT A COVENANT, cut off without descendants, are all additional meaning layers]; and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple. The end will come with a flood [of troops], and war and its miseries are decreed from that time to the very end." [Original-language Bible texts are elliptical; the "shub" is distinguished separately, and "shub" always has to do with the Temple -- well, specifically, the Ark's return (i.e., after a battle, after a house is built for it). Hence the wording in the original languages is phenomenally precise and multi-level, taking into account what wasn't then known, that the Decree of Cyrus would be found later and as a result a second decree would be issued by Darius. It also takes into account the later decree by Artaxerxes for Nehemiah. This is all the more significant, since at the time Daniel got this, there was no Ark; Nebuchadnezzar's officials had melted it down to get the gold out of it. So the next "Ark" to be returned, is Messiah. Phenomenal wordplay: the people return so Messiah can 'return'.]

If you have a Bible, notice that there's a sudden switch to the 70th week, in Daniel 9:27. In the original language texts, that sentence is cut off grammatically from the 69 "weeks" enumerated above. So you have no promise about how long an interval passes between Daniel 9:26c (the red text), and the beginning of Daniel 9:27, which is the Tribulation. There might be no interval, or -- more likely, given the judgement nature of 9:26 -- a 50-year interval (God doesn't have to mention it, all Jews know about the 50 years from the Jubilee precedent). Or, an "x" period. It's deliberately ambiguous (which is why no one can predict when the Tribulation will begin).

Still, this passage tallies to the full 70 weeks (490 years), but breaks them into three segments. There's also a fourth segment, in Daniel 9:2, of 70 years, representing the missed sabbatical years, which is why the Temple was razed, inter alia: if you don't take your rest years, you're not trusting in God, so the religiosity is harlotry. Hence the Temple was allowed to be overrun. Since the Temple had 490 years allotted to it, but due to apostacy God had to 'punish' by letting the temple be overrun per His Contract Warning to Solomon back in 1Kings 6:12-14 and 1Kings 9:6-9, the Temple had 126 years remaining at the time it was destroyed (950BC-490=460, but 586-460=126). More about this Contract is in the Legatee Table of LvS4a.htm.

Now, let's see how this 490 has played, in real history you can check, without spending time on the subcomponents (which are covered at length in the "How God 'Mirrors' Time" link at page top):

  • Back in 586BC, when Daniel wrote his book (often in Babylonian court language), there was no such thing as Islam (which started sometime after 610AD).
  • And Daniel was writing, because back in 586BC, Solomon's Temple, built 490 years after the Exodus of 1440BC -- was razed by Nebuchadnezzar. So Daniel was asking God when and if they'd ever have a Temple again, in Daniel 9.
  • God said yep, in 70 years; then, in 516BC, the 2nd Temple was completed on the same spot.
  • But then, razed yet again in 70AD, by Titus ("frieze" of Titus in Rome depicts the event); which was another 586 years later. Does "586" ring a bell?
  • Now the plot thickens: 30AD, was when Christ died; while He was still alive in Matt24, He warned of the Temple's destruction; so, everyone knew it had only 40 years left, after 30AD (40 years is a standard warning period, in the Bible).
  • Now, look: 490 years before He died in 30AD, the last OT prophet, was in that 2nd Temple, warning everyone (Malachi).
  • And 490 years before that, the First Temple was Built.
  • And 490 years before that, Moses began to write Genesis; that was 1440BC, the year of the Exodus.
  • And 490 years before that, Joseph was first enslaved in Egypt.
  • Of course, there'd have been no "Joseph", had Jacob never left Canaan: which he did, 490 years after the Flood. He was fleeing from Esau, cuz his mom encouraged him to steal the blessing: Papa Isaac mistook the fake hairy hands for the other son, and gave Jacob primogeniture rights -- but Esau had already sold them to Jacob for a bowl of lentil stew. You just know fleeing Jacob was unaware of being 490-on-time!
  • God had warned about that Flood by causing "Muth-Shalach" -- "Methusaleh", to you -- to be born. For his name means, the Flood occurs when he dies. Which he did and it did, in 2450BC, for Noah's 600th birthday present. God gave about 1000 years' advance notice, on that event (Methusaleh lived to be 969 years old). Methusaleh didn't get any 490's, since he was nearly double that, already. The 490 starts with Noah, 100 years before the Flood (aka "Noahic Covenant", among the erudite).

  • Well, ooops. I forgot another 490. (There are so many, I miss 'em!) See, 100 years before the Flood, Noah was also older than 490; God then made a covenant with him as well, being as he'd already spent 20 years being laughed at for building this huge BOX, roughly the size of a WWII Liberty class ship; so this prior 490 concerned his newly-born son Shem (as in HaShem, most sacred term in Judaism other than the Sacred Tetragrammaton). So,
  • The number of years between Noah's first son's birth, and Abraham's son Isaac's birth is.. you guessed it, 490 years. Isaac, not Ishmael.

  • You could date Christ's Death by the date the first Temple was destroyed, using Daniel 9. God did that on purpose, to warn everyone when time would end; because the time left for Israel was to be the time left for the world, and time was running out. So using Daniel 9:25, everyone could know within 3 years, when Messiah would be born, because He'd have to declare Himself at age 30 like David did, and would have to finish bearing sins (per Isa53:10-12) by the end of that 490. So the accounting went like this: 490 years in Dan9:25, which includes the leftover 126 years the 2nd Temple had (950-490=460, but it ended 586, so 586-460=126); less 7 reserved years for the Tribulation (Dan9:26); and less another 7 years reserved in case Israel rejected Messiah (which played out during the 7 year, uneven seige of Jerusalem, 64-70AD). All this double-entry accounting is explained in more detail in the "To be or not to be" table in the "How God Mirrors Time" link at pagetop.

  • So, for Christ's year of death, you'd follow the same procedure in the verse, but you'd have to 'mirror' the 70 years the Temple wasn't standing, since it was 'redeemed' by the 2nd Temple being constructed on time. Hence: 586-70 (Dan9:2) -49-434-70, -7 rejection reserve = what we would call 30AD, the year He died. (The 126=70+49+7 reserve.)

  • That 30AD year was the 1000th anniversary of David's retirement as king in favor of Solomon: David died 7 years later at age 77. Christ is the 77th son from Adam. 77 in Biblical numerology is a mathplay on 70 sevens, the 490 accounting measure, and also signifies Perfection (Completion of an obligation). That's why Matthew 1 reconfigures the relevant progenitors in the genealogy to 14; why Luke 3 lists all 77 sons (only one "Cainan" belongs in that list, some scribe later messed up one of the manuscript copies).

  • Based on David, "1000" is another Time accounting 'box' God uses (two 490's and a 70 are 'housed' inside a 1000 and a 50 as God's Basic Time accounting unit); you could more easily figure out His Birth as the 1000th anniversary of the time David became king over united Israel (which is why you get that second 7 year reserve, two bullets up). That's the outer deadline: else, the Kingship would lapse, for the 1000 is related to Kingship/Civilization, in God's Accounting for Time System. So knowing His Birthdate would be fairly obvious, though not directly from Daniel 9. You'd use Daniel 9 to audit your birthyear calculations.

  • Everyone dated "years x" from an important event, so time was measured relative to that event. That's why this Time Accounting System is in sets of 1050 years (490+70+490, and 1000+50), not in our modern BC/AD terms. For that reason, our modern dating is usually off by 3 years, if we apply the Bible's counting. Moreover, Bible accounting intercalates a year, but over long periods like this the intercalation doesn't matter. (It mattered to know about the lack of intercalation for 30AD, to get the chronology of the week of His Death, correct. See PassPlot.htm for that info.)

These aren't just arcane numbers, but real dates you can verify. Quite a lot of weird timing with reference to this Rock, huh. Daniel 9:26 says after Messiah is killed the second Temple will also be abominated and destroyed. Well, it is. So, any Jew knows that. Yet, who among Jews, Christians, anyone.. notices the faithful fulfillment of that prophecy? Verse makes it plain, doesn't it? Messiah becomes the Living Temple (see also Heb6, which references Dan9:26 allusively), having finished paying for mankind. So, since the Jews didn't want Him and He'd finished, He goes away.. then the Temple goes away too, Dan9:26. But He will come back to "regather" them after a very nasty 7-year period also promised them (Dan9:27), which we Christians call "The Tribulation". So, the Jews don't remember about that last 7 years; so they expect to see Him come back right about where the Dome now sits. So, you can wait and watch, if you link your computer to the camera facing the Wailing Wall: many Jewish sites on the internet, do just that. Here is one such site, at (AishHaTorah):Click here. Since it is a live shot, you might get only darkness: Jerusalem time is GMT+2 hours.

Back in the OT, if a Gentile believed in "Adonai" (but called "Christ" in the LXX, term means Anointed One, aka Messias), he was automatically Jewish. It's not racial, though the Jews are definitely blood-sons of Abraham, and get many special privileges as a result. Still, the larger promise is an eternal one, requiring faith in "Adonai", back then; full name now: Lord Jesus Christ. So, now, if a Jew believes in Christ (and many do), he's part of Church. Bigger spiritual benefits, actually. LvS4a.htm will explain all that. God keeps His Promises, and.. as we've seen in part -- He sure seems to orchestrate even Time itself. Links at the very top of the page are all related to this Grand Design, so you can test for sense. For it's really faster to test the proposed Nature of God.. to see if He exists. Again, just like math: you presume true, then work through the 'math' (here, logic, sense, math, coherence, etc.) to see if the 'theory' hangs together.

Quite a lot of "490" timing with reference to this Rock and its people, huh. This 490 thingy pops up a lot before the Temple was destroyed; many more times than the sampling listed earlier in this table. Suffice it to say, you get the hint that "something" is going on with these dates.. Dates which plot a provable timeline based on what seems like fantasy -- until you compare them in history you can check. In which case, Time is not an Illusion; but rather, an Inheritance.

The history of these two Stone Structures is well-documented in many contemporary records, and for centuries; being as, they have been the center of a lot of conflict, for over 3000 years. The most-disputed piece of real estate in history, with more written about it throughout history, than probably any other piece. With Two Stony Witnesses telling us what Time it is, Dan9:26c, Matt24, and preview of Rev11:1. Yet, quietly Hiding in plain sight, every night you turn on TV and hear what happened 'today' in that always-troubled, never-out-of-the-news, Jerusalem.

Figuring out if "God" exists

1. In the universe, there is cause-and-effect, which thus indicates God as ultimate Cause. It doesn't matter if one posits infinite universes which just always existed, a finite number of universes, the Big Bang, gradually-emerging universes, entropy, atrophy, expansion/contraction, evolution (any version), parallel universes, etc. All of these arguments rely on cause-and-effect, and necessarily start with an uncaused Beginning Point. Since cause-and-effect exists, the first (or uncaused) cause is more logically God than nothingness, aka "nihil". [Nerd Note: That Latin term is closer to the English "Nothing!" if you scream it (made famous in Cicero's speeches against the "Cataline").]

2. In the universe, there is animacy and inanimacy, order and disorder (apparent randomness). Inanimacy is less than animacy, so can never produce animacy. Disorder is less than order, so can never produce order. Animacy can die, and thus decompose, as it were, into inanimacy, but inaminacy can never progress to animacy. Order can dissolve into disorder, but disorder can never resolve to order. So, animacy and order are two properties of the cause of the universe, since the unverse has both. So, since disorder must come from previous order, disorder can resolve back towards order. So, animacy can develop/propagate/create, and animacy can devolve/become diseased/die. So, for inaminacy and disorder to exist, there must first be animacy and order. So, the existence of animacy and order more logically points to God than nihil.

3. Oppositeness exists in some kind of spectral balance-toward-equilibrium, no matter what standard of measure one uses. Male/Female, life/death, creating/destroying, health/disease, pleasure/pain, freedom/tyranny, competition/ harmony: these are but a few examples of paradox/irony all throughout both the structure and function of the universe. Moreover inanimacy is but a collection of components which also comprise animacy (e.g., organic elements without the "life" component). So, no form of inanimacy is a true opposite of animacy, but instead is merely non-alive. Oppositeness, then, is a function of animacy, not inanimacy. Forces which seem inanimate derived their "energy" from animacy, as we saw in Proposition #2. So, since the universe is known to be finite, and it exists by means of a hypostasis-of-opposites, infinity must exist, and it must be ANIMATE. "Infinity" cannot mean infinite progression/regression: rather, such progression/regression would be but another form of continuing finity. So, since animacy is known to be finite, its opposite would be infinite (non-progressing/regressing) animacy. So, the true opposite of animate finity must be nonspacetime, a big living-ness in an immaterial "dimension". So, it is reasonable to say: a) science doesn't yet realize it has discovered and measured this immaterial livingness dimension via its finite instruments, or b) science can't detect this immaterial livingness dimension by means of its finite instruments. So, the existence of oppositeness more logically points to Infinite God than to nihil.

4. A set cannot contain itself, but can be contained by a set larger than itself. The largest set which can exist would contain all other sets, but itself is uncontainable, since no larger sets can exist. The largest set which can exist consists not only of material reality, but also of all possible and impossible material realities, all potential and nonpotential material realities, and all of possible/impossible/ potential/nonpotential immaterial realities. This is so, because if the largest set did not also include the impossible/nonpotential/ immaterial, the possible/potential/material could not have existence/order/ change. The largest set which can exist thus more logically points to God than to nihil, since a null set by definition excludes all of the possible/potential/material. Moreover, because a set cannot contain itself, the universe cannot be its own cause.

5. Illusions (and illogic, irrationality) "exist". The existence of illusion is "real", in the sense that the one having the illusion (animal, human) acts/reacts based upon the illusion. The reactor, being real, thus creates real reactions based upon illusion, thus breathing "life" into the illusion and giving it real force in reality. For example, a dog might "imagine" that his tail is some other animal to "catch", so he chases his tail, thus realizing the catching process, just as he would if that tail were another animal. For example, a human might imagine that if he robbed a bank, he would be happy (the illusion being that money buys happiness), so robs the bank, and imagines himself happy, thus realizing via the imagination a pseudo-happiness behavior both he and others mistake for real happiness. For example, a woman can imagine herself pregnant, and as a result, her body will respond and appear pregnant, with all of the biological characteristics of pregnancy being evident except the presence of a fetus in the womb (psychiatrists call this phenomenon "hysterical pregnancy").

In each of these examples, the hallucinator lives in an imaginary world. That world is not ever real, except in the mind of the hallucinator. Moreover, his hallucination is contagious. So, the hallucinator affects his body and periphery via the hallucination; yet, what becomes real still is not as the hallucinator imagines it to be. Again, animacy demonstrates its superior power over inanimacy; moreover, the faculty of imagination which can continue despite contradicting reality must mean that animacy is essentially immaterial, for materiality does not prevent animacy from exceeding factual bounds. Thus we see that the capacity to imagine exceeds the boundaries of material reality, which capacity could not exist if materiality was the sum total of existence. So, the ability to make a reality upon nonreality, the ability to be irrational, to have illusions and act in the real world upon those illusions, more logically points to God than to nihil.

6. Neither thought nor will can be materially read directly in the brain. We can't find any subatomic "thought particles". We do know that the brain is used for thought; we know that when the hemispheres are separated, we can tell a lot about what hemisphere is connected with which types of thought/perception, but thoughts per se cannot be read IN the brain (like one would read DNA, binary code, or a book). Further, given the huge amount of thought in humans, and the smallness of the human brain, were thought material, it could not be stored in such a small space. Further, there are no subatomic "will particles" we can read. We can influence will (e.g., by separating the hemispheres), and we know that the body has an influence on will, but will can, if sufficiently strong, override all other influences against it (i.e., men-in-combat); so much so, that the body changes in accordance with that will. If you tell yourself you are tired, your body will become tired; or, if you are truly tired, but want enough to be energetic, your body will become energetic. So, since a) thought has no discernible material existence, yet is nonetheless demonstrably real, to have thought more logically points to God than to nihil. Moreover, since will, which likewise has no discernible material existence, can change the body, the existence of will more logically points to God than to nihil.

7. Other realities in the universe are demonstrably immaterial (besides thought). The so-called "natural laws" themselves are real, and their effects measurable, but the laws themselves have no mass or energy which can be detected. Thus, we have long assumed that the objects of these laws contain these laws inherently within themselves (imagining the objects to have such laws as inherent properties), but we cannot prove this assumption true, any more than we can prove thought, material. Time, also, has no discernible mass or energy. We thus consider time to be an artificial concept, a way of measuring motion/life, or we consider time to be a property of the objects in the "set" we call the "universe(s)".

All these traditional explanations are premise-level assumptions, rather than proofs. If the "natural laws", and time, are in fact separate and immaterial, all the data we have observed would behave in exactly the same way. Further, since these laws (and time) universally exist, such existence being demonstrated by the effects we can measure, the existence of these laws (and time) is more logically-concluded to be independent of the objects which are affected by them, rather than merely components/properties of the objects. For example, the seemingly-elastic "relativity" of time (e.g., in vector analysis) might instead be explained by counter-interactions among objects of mass alone; that real time is totally unaffected (so, time seems to "slow" or "speed up" between bodies-in-motion only because an independent real time imposes equilibrating force upon the bodies-in-motion). Thus our traditional premises about the nature of these laws (and time) being merely properties of the material universe, are weakly inconclusive. Because our premises are weakly inconclusive, to say that the laws (and time) are separate, immaterial  inventions from God is a superior explanation, since it takes the larger database (including immateriality) into account.

8. "Bad" exists. Typically humans call death, harm, disease, deprivation, war, conflict, loss, weakness, etc., "bad". It's easy to see how "good" and "bad" values have their roots in survival instincts, but if all life has survival instincts, and it does, how can "bad" be an intrinsic property of life? We might explain "bad" as a correction, hence not inherently "bad", improving the stock of life as a whole by testing (so to strengthen), or by destroying the weaker and-now-unneeded elements of it. We thus argue it is not "bad" when viewed on a large-enough scale. Yet, we see that the life-stock does not improve: whether in ants or in humans, there are always many weak/low in the society, and only a few strong/high. We consider man to have "progressed" because he no longer (mostly) lives in caves or must fend for his food, but man has never been able to transcend the universal animal-societal structure of many weak, few strong.

So it is not true that "the fittest" survive, but rather, the weak. It is likewise not true that the life stock actually improves; but rather, the fittest come to dominate, and are always relatively few in number (among the population of the species in question). Such domination always depends on the always-many weak/low of the society, yet at the same time the dominator group causes that society to have a continuing, organized life; and conflict abounds between competing dominators' groups. In short, by 'rising to the top', the so-called "fittest" become the MOST WEAK, for they can then only survive by receiving from the weak: by dominating. Differentiation, which makes for those exceptional 'strong', also makes those same 'strong' more vulnerable to the weak. (Man cannot live without plants, but plants can live without man; an amoeba ingested by man can kill him -- but not, the amoeba.) So, it's not surprising that we never see the strength of the strong truly improve the stock of the weak. For example, disease continues. So those weak who carry the disease nonetheless continue. So, the strength of the strong at most acts as a balance against the the weak; at no time do the weak of a species disappear, until and unless they are all too weak. In short, the "fittest" -- rather than improving the species by surviving in ever-increasing numbers -- instead remain few. So the "fittest" instead have the function of merely slowing self-destruction: they do not improve the species.

This dichotomy (many weak, few strong) should be anti-survival, hence "bad". Instead, it is seen that survival requires "bad". So, survival depends on anti-survival; life, on death; prosperity, on poverty; "good", on "bad". Such a structure must continually move toward self-destruction, not toward improvement, despite any observed balances between "good" and "bad", for the foundation of "good", is "bad". In fact, we see historically, that once the animal/human group collectively gains dominance in an area, the growth of such group to a high-enough prosperity level "tops out" (reaches the top of some invisible, Malthusian, Bell-curve) and instead sows the seeds of its own destruction: tyranny/war tend to follow prolonged prosperity.

So we see that even "the fittest" are internally self-destructive. Moreover, what enables "the fittest" to survive is not only their dominance and hence dependence on the weak of theirs/other species -- but also, the survival of even "the fittest" depends on they themselves being weaker than externals. Again, it's WEAKNESS, not strength, which is essential to survival. Any growth in "strength" tends to accelerate self-destruction, time and time again. Externals are what slow this tendency toward self-destruction, in either the weak or the strong: weather, natural barriers, natural disasters, geographic dispersion, human/animal limitations, and many other events over which the animal/human group in question has no or insufficient control. Absent these externals, a group self-extinguishes, much as a wildfire eventually burns out.

One can posit a randomness to these external limitations, surely. However, is it logical to deem these externals' salutary effects as merely "random" for such a long time? Billions of years? And always just enough to keep life going, despite its own internal nature of self-destruction? Surely the lifeforms themselves are not so conspiratorily organized; there must be some overall external 'prime directive' which not only keeps things in balance, but also makes "bad", good. So, the existence of "bad" is internally-contradictory, and the continued external preservation of life despite its internal contradiction more logically points to God than to nihil. Moreover, since for Infinity to remain homeostatic, bad would have to be continually converted to good, and since finity of itself would not have this converting ability (since finity is the opposite of infinity), the existence of "bad" more logically points to an Infinite God causing the conversion, than nihil.

9. Throughout the centuries, men have claimed the existence of one or more deities. Furthermore, all such claims have a remarkable similarity of "testimony". Virtually every faith takes into account the same information; so much so, it becomes obvious that all these faiths are related: one of them might be the 'parent' faith. Just as a linguistics expert can trace the origins of languages, so also (with sufficient time and diligence) one can trace the world's faiths to a common origin. It becomes a question of finding out which of the world's faiths is the most coherent and all-explaining. Of course, if one of these is also found to be wholly non-contradictory, maybe one has "found God".

Nevertheless, in all cases, deities are said to be creative/causative of man; man is said to have some relationship with these deities which runs along love/hate or reward/punishment lines, with varying degrees of intimacy/impartiality/ personality/impersonality; man is said to have some sort of afterlife; the world we observe is said to be only a portion of reality.

Here's the point: if we look at these claims en masse, the way a juror must evaluate eyewitness/ expert testimony in a trial, despite all the complex differences in these many "faiths", these billions of people throughout time nonetheless are united in their "witness" that some greater Being is "guilty" of existence. Now, let's switch metaphors.  Statistically speaking, when one has a large enough data-population all pointing to the same trend, the fact that individuals within that population might not belong (i.e., are hallucinating), becomes irrelevant, and the trend remains true. After all, both a jury and science operate by means of collected observations. What we have, here, is a gigantic collection of observations, across millenia, made by billions upon billions of people, from every cultural and educational level, from every society. Surely the overwhelming weight of so much observation for so long over so varied an innumerable group indicates some underlying validity to the existence of deity.

Moreover, the following subproposition must be admitted: if deity exists, science could not knowingly measure it by material means, since by definition "deity" is immaterial. In other words, maybe science is in fact observing the existence of (some type of) deity, but doesn't yet know that fact. Further, if man is partly immaterial, science can't yet "know" that, either. So, if man is indeed partly immaterial, HE can "know" of any superior immateriality, particularly if the superior immateriality reveals itself to man by (say) immaterial means. Thus, the welter of observations throughout time might indeed represent the only "measurable" way to know of deity; at least, until such time as science learns whether immateriality is demonstrated via the material instruments it has or will possess.

Such an huge population, taken en masse, repeated in every generation throughout all history, more logically points to God than to nihil.

10. For the relative to exist, there must be some absolute upon which the relative is ultimately based. The relationship may be many levels down/up from the item being relatively valued/evaluated, but the relationship must be grounded at some level into an absoluteness. A quick example: the type of food one eats may vary, so the variation is relative between foods; but the absolute necessity of eating to survive remains. Physical death, in turn, may be relative to physical life, so a different type of life may apply if the physical "version" does not, in which case the "absolute" of "life" is the underpinning of all forms of "life". Moreover, since we see physical life itself is but an unending cycle between matter and energy, it is logical to conclude that immaterial life doesn't really end, either. Thus if relative immaterial life exists, then it must be grounded in Absolute Life, aka, "God". However one defines, "God". Thus there is no such thing as "nihil".

Next illustration of relatives being founded in absolutes: "Truth" is often called "relative", particularly when measuring beliefs. However, whatever the belief is, such a belief is either factually true.. or false. One might believe "god" is made of green cheese, for example. Either "god" is, or is not, made of green cheese. The fact that one might not be able to prove the belief neither validates it nor invalidates it. Relative truth, then, is grounded to absolute truth in the sense of what-percentage-true. Such a relative truth may be more-true than another relative truth, or less-true compared to another relative truth, but all of them are individually grounded in some percentage to the whole truth. Were there no whole truth, there would be no relative truth; in fact, no truth would exist at all, absent a "1st-parent" truth. So 1) absolutes necessarily exist, and 2) these absolutes can be conceived, even if they cannot be wholly proven via the relative truths we think we know. If "God" is Absolute Life, then "God" must also have an Attribute of Absolute Truth, for any relative living truth to even exist. So the fact that any living truth exists relatively, more logically points to "God", than to nihil.

Last illustration: Numbers are always and only founded in absolutes. While "1" is relative to "zero", "zero" itself is an absolute (absolute nothingness) in the real world. The opposite of "zero" is not endless progression/regression, for endless progression/regression is never exclusive; the opposite of "zero" is true infinity (no beginning, no end, no progression); so what's excluded, is real-zero; and we know that in a real world of real numbers, "zero" does not exist. Negative relative values must "subtract" from what positively exists. Positive relative values must "add" to what positively exists. So, the real absolute to which negative/positive relatives relate is more logically true for infinity, versus "zero", and true infinity more logically points to God than to nihil.

11. Will/conscience/personality "overrides" in man cannot be reliably accounted for based on "Survival" or "herd" instincts. Whereas Propositions #5 and #6 dealt with the immaterial nature and superior power of will/thought, this Proposition concerns the sources for man's motives, and the impact of external "competitions" (so to speak) on those motives. Granted, survival and herd-bound instinctual behavior is seen in man as well as animal, but the function of these "overrides" is far more unpredictable in man; and often, based on attitudes superfluous to survival or herd-needs. Behaviouralists have tried to seek connections for these "overrides" in the individual's past or current environment with very limited success. The current Celera genome project cautions against using human genomic data, even once it becomes fully decoded, to predict human behavior in any individual, due to these "overrides", even though determinism is largely accepted to be the cause of human behavior.

One person's taste in behavior, clothing, art, versus another of the same family may be very different, and no cause within the environment or genetic makeup can be attached to account for it. Further, these tastes do not necessarily enhance or harm survival or group-belonging. Most of all, the assessment of importance, the degree of desire to "get right" varies widely for no apparent environmental reason. We humans generally disagree within ourselves, with each other, with our surroundings: the self must willfully override that disagreement. The person simply makes choices, and the environmental conditioning received may or may not influence those choices. Whatever the influence may be, it is only made effective due to the person's WILL that it be so.

This is not to say no correlations exist between will and genetic dispositions/environmental factors. Much research in (for example) politics, religion, criminology, and marketing are accurately predictive of "types" or "groups". An individual's seemingly-unexplained departure from the expected norm can often be traced to given experiences with largely-predictable reactions. However, even a long-conditioned individual can suddenly reverse course simply by revaluing past norms: a drug addict can decide "out of the blue" one day he no longer wants to be addicted, and simply quit; a bright student may suddenly decide that being bright is no longer valuable; a scientist may suddenly decide to become a singer. These shifts in conscience can be due to the simple insight/belief that another course of action is better, and the will then blocks the effect of the past, and the person changes course. Thus, despite the real correlations, the individual is not locked into such behaviors, despite long conditioning, and every influential factor "against" him.

From what sources, then, does man derive such powerful motives? Why can he sustain a will despite strong, material counter-influences? In short, these "overrides" are far more powerful and varied in man, versus animals, even if animals are someday proven to have them. Animals have yet to demonstrate such sheer overriding acts of revaluative will. Such ability to revaluatively override, in man, thus indicates his "personhood", unlike animalhood, is DUAL: that man's source-of-motivation is not wholly material. Thus would be accounted the cause for the incompleteness of material influence, on man. So it is more logical to assume revaluative will comes from God than from nihil.

12. Not only does man have Morality (and other forms of abstract thought), but he also can rebel against it. Of course, it has been long argued that morality is sourced in survival instincts, and that abstract thought is but the cognitive embodiment of the "natural laws" we see apply to all life. However, from what source did these survival instincts and "natural laws" come? Could a material and ungoverned universe "create" them? If we say "yes, they were thus created", why then is there so much rebellion against them, in man? For example, why does man usually rebel at the idea that he is soulless, or derived from primates? The rebellion is always accompanied by a charge that it is not right, so morality is the basis of the rebellion. Further still, rebellion against morality and abstract thought occur on a regular basis in each generation. How could a material and ungoverned universe "produce" the ability to rebel against its own prime directives? Especially, since such rebellion is rationalized, either way?

Man has rebelled against the idea of God, too. Granted, the evidence from Proposition #9 is that man has overwhelmingly concluded "God" exists -- throughout time, in every societal/economic/ educational level. However, he has also universally rebelled against the idea of God. This rebellion ranges from simple, scoffing dismissivness to extreme hostility; from "my-god-is-better-than-your-god" bloodshed, to "Who cares?" In all events, whether individuals/societies are for or against some idea of "God", the idea that "God" is a moral Being Who is the Author and Mediator of Justice remains. Why is such a Being attributed with such qualities? And, in rebelling against whatever idea of "God", why such rebellion? Certainly, if a material and ungoverned universe's prime directives gave 'birth', as it were, to the concept of God so to assure survival and order, then no one would be able to rebel against at least some idea of "God".

It has been said, justly, that the that mere ability to conceive of God is no proof that God exists. Fair enough. It has also been said that if unfairness exists, God must not exist. It is quite often said that since God is (allegedly) not visible to man, then God does not exist. (What constitutes "visible" is of course defined in the mind of the speaker, no two of whom are alike.) Notice how all of these claims are based upon some connection to a reason, the root idea of which is that there ought to be a reason for saying a thing true or untrue. From what source does this standard derive? Where does man get the idea that reason should account for anything? For, even when man rebels, the rebelling is first justified in his mind based on some (correct or incorrect) reason.

In short, the idea of fairness reasoning is always at the root of any kind of moral thinking; always at the root of any kind of rebellion. The entire idea of fairness is an abstract, and no two humans have exactly the same conception of it. Disagreements abound. So, how is it that such disagreements, such rebellions, due to an fairness reasoning, exist, in a material and ungoverned universe? After all, we don't see any animals or plants debate or reason out what's fair: we only see them fight, and win or lose.

The ability to have moral norms/abstract thought; the ability to have them in excess of, or in rebellion to the supposed parent, argues more logically for a universe created by God than by nihil.

13. The universe must reflect its creator. We know that the universe must reflect its creator, since a thing made by something/someone necessarily is a child of the essence of its maker. This is true whether the "creator" is a bundle of computer instructions, a DNA-like "life force" of no personhood, or a person. Further still, the universe is not greater than its creator, so it is not possible for the universe as "child" to be equal to or greater than the (initial, highest) "parent", since the child cannot ever be 100% of such parent's essence. So, if the "parent" is a bundle of life-force instructions, with no personhood, then personhood cannot exist in the universe. Since personhood does exist in the universe, such a fact argues more logically for a universe created by a Personal God(s) than from: a) nihil, or b) a "life-force" bundle of instructions.

14. If God exists, and made man, He reveals Himself to man in a way which makes sense. This would have to be true, if God exists, because we have the ability to reason. If God gives man the faculty of reason, then God must want to reasonably communicate with man. If God wants to communicate with man, then God must want to have a mutually-cognitive relationship with man. For, if He did not want to communicate with man, there would be no way to know of Him, let alone know of him via reasoning. Further, since man is equipped with reason, God must have given man freedom to decide whether to accept or reject one or more aspects of this relationship. So:

  • God must have a plan for man's life which
  • He wants to communicate, and
  • this plan must entail some kind of learning/acceptance, which
  • God has equipped man to be able to "do".
If God has a plan for any man's life, He has a plan for each person's life. This plan must thus be communicable in a way which makes sense, else how can man learn and accept it?

Furthermore, it becomes evident that:

  • emotion, signs/visions/wonders and similar demonstrations which do not require reason would not be the major means of communication, since man is equipped with reason. (We must need reason, if we have it.)
  • Any human limitations in comprehending God need not hinder the successful receipt of this reasonable communication, since God created it.
  • Thus, we also know that God would be able to transcend these limitations, so to reveal Himself to every human being in a way that makes provable sense. (A God who authors reason would obviously approve of reason.)
  • However, we know that unaided human rationalism/empiricism would be insufficient.
  • Therefore it would depend on the individual's need, as to whether emotion/signs/visions/ wonders were also employed by God to facilitate the transmission of any communication.

Finally, the variation in man's perception of God would be accounted for: the revelation given man is not accepted to the same extent and in the same fashion by all mankind. We see in Proposition #9 that the idea of God has always been universal, but the revelation accepted by humankind varies greatly, even though each faith has the same elements. We see from Proposition #12 that many totally reject any idea of God, BUT even the rejections reference the same elements as to what "God" essentially means. In short, the fact that man variantly accepts or rejects whatever revelation is made, is always based on some kind of reasoning process; is always based on an idea of "God" which has at some foundational level, an agreed meaning. So, it makes sense to say that God's plan for each person has been universally disclosed, but is variantly accepted or rejected by each human, at any given point in time.

So the question becomes, is this "God", and this "Plan", as mankind thinks of it, correct? Although every faith has the same elements, the variation and contradiction among the elements of a faith, compared with its siblings, is extreme. For example, does it even matter if one is an atheist? An agnostic? Should it matter that one knows, knows incorrectly, correctly? How should the relationship between "God" and man function? For how long, and with what results? Should the "God" be fair? Could "God" be "God" if not fair? Many would say "no". Should a God who authored an entire universe be non-contradictory? Can a Being called "God" remain "God" (whatever "God" means), if that "God" is self-contradictory by nature? Should such a God be only fair to what/who He/It creates, or should such a God also be fair to Himself/Itself? What benefit does "God" get for creating? What benefit does man get for having a relationship with this "God"?

Every faith in mankind, however ancient or simplistic, offers answers to every question in the above paragraph. Every faith has some definition of "God". In short, there has never been a normal human being who reached adulthood who didn't have some idea of "God". There has never been a normal human being who reached adulthood who didn't decide to accept or reject some idea of "God". So, the question remains: what version of God makes the most sense?

The foregoing propositions and their corollaries together constitute a superior accounting for the whats and whys of the universe we "see", than can be accounted for by nihil. Since the test of a theory is the superiority of what it can accurately account, and these propositions convey a superior accounting, it remains to evaluate "which version of God", to see if such propositions are worthy of being called "theory" or "truth".

Figuring out the Nature of God

Intra-page links: [Ways to analyze IF 'God' exists]   [Metempsychosic/multiple/evolving 'gods']  [Monotheism]  [Christian concepts] [Other God Ideas]  [Back to Home Page]

In assessing the nature of God, there are basically three issues to evaluate. These "Existence" issues, as you evaluate them, will lead you to conclude Attributes of "Nature":

  • Is God a Person(s)? If "no", then "godness" is some kind of life-force, with no will-driven intelligence. If "yes", personhood (will, intelligence,etc) is part of the nature of "godness".
  • Is God Absolute? This question addresses the scope of "godness", be it personal, or life-force. This scope issue must evaluate what characteristics make for "godness" as distinct from some other being-ness. If God is not absolute, it is also necessary to see how many "gods" there are, and who/what "created" them.
  • What kind of relationship does God have/want with man? This question addresses how "godness" and "man-ness" should relate. Answers to this question are largely determined by the answers to the first two questions, so one uses this litmus test after getting tenable answers to the first two, above.
  • All the religions/faiths which have ever existed offer their own answers to these questions. To simplify one's search, it is better to first reason out the questions generically, since if an answer is true, it would not require a particular faith to prove it true: such a faith would be confirmatory and elaboratory, but would not be the sole "witness" to the truth.

    Is God a Person(s)?

    If God is not a Person(s), the animacy, order, design of the universe is a bundle of computer-like instructions. Free will would not exist, since the universe must reflect its creator, and the creator here is absent personhood, hence absent will. In short, if God is not a Person, then we can't be, either.

    Such a conclusion is problemmatic, in light of the data we have. Will, will-driven conscience/ intelligence, asthetics, emotion (required, in finite persons but not possible in infinite persons), irrationality (will choosing against reason), rationality (will choosing reason), faith (will choosing to believe): all of these should not exist. If God is not a Person(s), will-driven conflict also should not exist, since personhood should not exist.

    Thus, to say God is not a Person(s) creates a jamming in the empirical data we have, and much of the data becomes unexplainable, since how can persons come from non-persons (no set can contain itself, and personhood is an advanced attribute necessarily present in the 'parent' set). So it is the more logical, based on the data we have, to say God is a Person(s).

    Is God Absolute?

    If God is not Absolute, we are faced with the issue of multiple deities, none of whom is absolute. Absoluteness might be in the sum total of all of those deities, but since none of them is absolute, how did each such deity come into being? To answer this question, we must first look at what "Absolute" must mean.

    "Absoluteness" requires certain primary characteristics, each of which must be inseparable from the other(s):

  • Infinity. No beginning, no end, not subject to spacetime. It's the Quality of Infinity which 'makes' all Attributes Absolute: Limitless, as well as Unchanging (aka "Immutable"). Further, the Being would be Unsustained (meaning, doesn't have to exert any effort to stay whole, or alive; further, that the Being is completely Independent). Also, Not Emotional (since "emotion" requires change to exist). Also, not corporal, since any 'body' is a beginning and an ending of some kind.
  • Righteousness. Absoluteness has no value apart from Righteousness. This is a structural integrity attribute. Can the entity hold together, despite any and all pressure? Can the entity know what is needed to insure the integrity of anything it creates? Will the entity want this holding-together? In short, it's a competence attribute, and a standards attribute. If what's Righteous is not desired to some extent, or not known to some extent, the viability of the entity or what it creates/oversees would be endangered, to the extent of such willful, or ignorant, incompetence.
  • Justice. This is the 'implementer' of Righteousness, so is likewise an essential component of the Being's Integrity. It's one thing to know and want what is Righteous, but how to carry out such a Standard? Justice insures against the Being becoming unable to implement, preserve, and maintain the function of Righteousness in relationships to Self, others, to anyone/anything the Being creates. Justice insures the structual integrity of creation without compromise to the Being's Own Standards.
  • Love. Shouldn't the Being enjoy being? Lack of Love, to the extent present, would likewise be a threat to its Integrity, so Righteousness and Justice depend on Love. (Hatred hurts, and so, destroys; love pleases, and so, builds). Love cannot survive unless it is independent from externals. To the extent Love is not independent of externals, externals can adversely impact the Being's enjoyment-of-being. So if Love remains toward the 'internals' of Righteousness and Justice, the Absoluteness-of-Being remains a Happy, and Homeostatic Integrity.
  • Veracity. This is not merely the quality of being Truthful, faithful, but the quality of "being" the Truth; without this Attribute, the Deity could not only lie, but could also be mistaken in any analysis or decisions. Moreover, Veracity would have to be Independent within itself, containing all relationship-formulas for all real or potential or non-potential variables: the largest number set, so to speak, of not only variables, but the formulas for relationships between them. So this Veracity would have to be Loved, for Righteousness and Justice to have the requisite Integrity, too.
  • Omniscience, without which the Deity could make mistakes or be complicated by ignorance, absurdities. Veracity, of course, could not exist apart from Omniscience.

  • Omnipotence, without which the Deity could not effectuate all that may be rightly needed or rightly desirable, with respect to Self or others.

  • Omnipresence, without which the Deity could not effectuate any Other Attributes with respect to finite creation. Infinity must not only be "outside" spacetime, but must be superior to it. So, whatever "dimension" Infinity "occupies", as it were, spacetime must be wholly bisected, so to speak, by that "dimension". (Infinity suggests two things: 1) immateriality is finitely-intensive (not extensive at all); and 2) time is intensive, not merely extensive. Unfortunately this webpage shouldn't explore the tantalizing ramifications of these two ideas.)
  • Sovereignty, without which the Deity is not a) a Person, and b) a Person able to choose.

  • Eternal Life, without which the Deity is not a Person, because not Alive. (Infinity is what 'makes' for "Eternal".)
  • If you work through the above "Absolute" Attributes listing, you'll see that, absent any one of them -- or, absent an Absoluteness in any one of them -- "God" would not be Absolutely Perfect. Such a fact begs the question of what the word "God" ought to mean. So, let's next review the concepts of multiple gods, to see if Absolute Perfection should be a litmus test for "God". Further, such review will help to evaluate how many Persons ought to be "God": is it Righteous for there to only be One? 10? 10,000? How many? After all, as we saw from proposition "14" above, if "God" really exists, this "God" will help you reason out the truth.

    Metempsychosic Concepts of God

    "Metempsychosis" literally means 'Change-soul': these are all evolution-like faiths, in the sense that one can spiritually 'progress', gradually or quickly, by means following some lifestyle. (Contrary to a lot of poor scholarship on the subject, what's known as "Gnosticism" is really as old as mankind. It spans #1-#3, below, so it might be the 'grandaddy' of all metempsychosic ideas.) One can, for example, eventually evolve/transmigrate into higher-states-of-being via moral living, coupled with concentration-states (trances, intoned prayers, or chanting). The concentration-states are said to accelerate development of an inner spiritual-rapport type of communing consciousness (terms for this development vary by sect).

    Metempsychosis is commonly called "reincarnation", but the actual term embraces more than that. Still, the idea is spiritual progression, and yes -- usually the next plane-of-existence, if one has progressed, is higher. Like, in a different 'body'. So, even if one doesn't self-reincarnate, any potential change-of-residence for the soul would be metempsychosic. So, ALL gods deemed able to effectuate that change are included under this rubric.

    Interestingly, modern science's 'evolution' is very similarly structured -- without any moral connotations, but rather efficient survival. Some scientists would say that 'morality' is but a version of efficient survival, anyway. So, maybe these concepts are validated by science? Well, let's examine the idea.

      One can basically divide Metempsychosis concepts of Godhood into three 'flavors':

      1. Behind all these evolving-by-reincarnation beings, and presiding over them, is a Supreme Being who Himself/Itself did not evolve. Rather, this Being set in motion an evolutionary process for one or more lifeforms the Being created. This Being is benevolently involved with such lifeforms' advance over the eons of time.

      2. Limited super-beings who somehow always existed or were begotten/promoted/'evolved' from past lives to god-status now help or hurt you in your attempt to 'progress'. Whether you know it or not.

      3. There's no Supreme Being; instead, certain lifeforms gradually evolve on their own into gods. In this version, generally those now in god-states don't assist those below that status. In some versions, you don't even need to know you can progress: you just "do". Eventually.

    In any of these versions, the potential claimed is that you might eventually become a 'god', over maybe multiple lifetimes and multiple lifeforms. (The word "god" might not be used -- maybe "spirit", or some other word is used, instead.) An immoral lifetime usually requires that the next lifetime be more difficult in some way, to 'catch up', make up for the wrongs done in the immoral lifetime. However, in each 'flavor' there are sects which claim that libidinous pleasure (especially sexual pleasure) is the way to achieve this spiritual advance, so such pleasure-seeking would not be considered 'immoral', even if others are inconvenienced, hurt, or (sometimes even) killed in the process. Thus, for such sects, a punishing 'worse' next-lifetime would be one which is more ascetic.

    It's never clear who 'gets' the value of the catching-up you do. Apparently you alone 'get' the value. That poses a problem, for it means that the others wronged are never recompensed for any wrong done them. So those wronged 'get' only the satisfaction of knowing you got punished. Why that's deemed sufficient, since those wronged never get restitution, I don't know. (However, I've heard it explained that there is some kind of law, like gravity, which acts to benefit such harmed beings. So far, that's about all I can get from anyone who'll explain it.)

    All of these ideas have been around forever, so to speak.

    • Historically and currently, this evolving-into-god concept (#1, #3) is the most popular. It spans a whole range of variations, from animism, gnosticism, some forms of Buddhism and Taoism, Scientology, New-Age, Hindusim (and its offshoots).

    • Versions kindred to these (yet not recognized as such) span all of the simple, polytheistic god-myths of history: ancient Greco-Roman pantheons, African deities, etc. Some gnostic sects also belong here. All of these versions are essentially metempsychosic (#2): the "twist" is, it's often the god(s) who causes the soul-change, via 'begetting', rewards or punishments.

    • Science's 'evolution', too, is essentially metempsychosic. Moreover, what we today call "evolution" has been discussed (under other 'titles') since ancient times. Science's 'evolution' technically considers life wholly material, so some individuals in the species transmute -- which is but the material version of saying souls transmigrate (science doesn't yet know if it can "see" a soul). Still, the root idea is the same: progression.
    So, if a) science evidences evolution, and b) man-becoming-god ideas have long been prevalent, might those two points prove such versions of "god" true? Let's see.

    Let's start with #1, the version of metempsychosis which claims One Personal Supreme Being (i.e., Hinduism). This Being manifests Himself/Itself in various visible forms from time-to-time. Further, there's a wide spectrum of sub-beings who all are in various stages of progression, from nearly-one with the Supreme Being all the way down to the lowest of life forms which can evolve. (Avatar down to goat, for example.) This construction is coherent, given the premise. Evolutionary, even, but with a "Daddy" at the top, benevolently watching/helping the lesser ones reach the Goal of Oneness with Him. Creation is thus absolutely accounted-for: so, thus far, #1 is logical.

      Well, maybe the Being is not so benevolent. Problem is, the nature of the Supreme Being is self-contradictory. Most of the #1 versions treat this Being as having in Him (It) some kind of evil as an attribute. This, because the self-contradiction is deemed necessary to the completeness of the Being. In short, good/bad, ying/yang, male/female are all deemed of the same balancing nature, so the Being itself must have the attribute of 'evil' or 'bad' to be complete, absolute. Thus evil in lesser beings is thus accounted-for, as well. [Hinduism in particular has much to say about the necessity of the Supreme Being having an Attribute of 'evil'.]

      Therefore this Being actually practices/authors evil, doesn't merely allow it or withstand it. So any punishment meted out by the Being isn't necessarily 'right', nor does it have to be. Note well: this idea is not like the Biblical sarcasm in which God calls Himself 'evil' to point out the silliness of those who hate Him. In #1, evil is deemed a necessary attribute of any Supreme Being. Further still, the offenses by the lesser beings/souls to the attributed righteousness of this Being are deemed sufficiently atoned for by means of the subsequently worse lifetimes, until such atonement has been caught-up. The root idea, of course, is remedial correction in the errant being/soul(s), due to the Supreme Being's love for them.

      Fair enough: but the Being never receives any recompense for what might be called 'sins'. Granted, it's impossible for the Being to be recompensed by any 'sinners', for the lesser-beings are all so much smaller: what do they have of sufficient value to offer? So, only punishment-for-correction is meted out to those who err, via the next-worse-lifetime. Hence, the Being never receives Justice for wrongs done to the Being. Hence, this Being, although depicted as Absolute Existence (i.e., in Hinduism), cannot be absolutely Righteous. Certainly, to forego one's own Standards in favor of love for some lesser-being is not wrong. Yet it is wrong for the Being not to love Himself/Itself as much: if His/Its Righteous Standards aren't met somehow, the Being is (perhaps unavoidably) masochistic. Masochism is never Love. Of course, it makes some sense that the Being is not absolutely Righteous, since the Being also has an attribute of Evil. Presumably, then, the attribute of Evil is not absolute, either. Even so, what's to prevent the Being from being capricious, sadistic? Especially since "evil" is considered an attribute necessary for completeness? After all, the Being is not compensated for any wrongs done to Him/It. That's consonant with the Being exercising "evil" with respect to Himself/Itself. So, why not also exercise that "evil" toward lesser beings? Especially since "evil" is necessary?

      Hence, the contradiction: the Supreme Being, though claimed as Absolute (everyone and everything is a 'part' of this Being), isn't qualitatively Absolute. If not qualitatively absolute, then how can He/It be quantitatively Absolute? The two go together: infinity is infinity. So, the Supreme Being would not be Omnipotent, Omniscient, etc.

      Thus, although this metempsychosic version of "God" does account for creation, it doesn't account for Absoluteness, despite the holy books' claims. So, either there's no good explanation, or, the version uses 'absoluteness' in the looser sense of "bigger than all the other beings/gods". Or -- as you'll frequently hear from Hindu believers -- God doesn't have to 'make sense', God just "Is". Root concept: This God is so Huge, no one can understand Him/It anyway. (There's a pretty Veda on that topic, but I can't remember where it is right now.)

      Scientific confirmation of a Supreme Being would not be possible, if such a Being is infinite, for infinity has no spacetime characteristics, so cannot be measured empirically. Effects of this Supreme Being's 'work' of course could be measured, but the Being Himself/Itself would be beyond the scope of scientific measuring devices. If the Being is more limited, as the lack of absoluteness suggests, He/It still could not be measured scientifically, unless the Being had physical manifestations. Of course, religions which embrace this concept of an attributively-'mixed' Supreme Being (for lack of a better term), attest to manifestations. Science notes many unexplained phenomena: perhaps some of them are such manifestations. It's not clear, thus far.

    In either #2 or #3 'flavors', there isn't (or need not be) any Supreme Being. Discussion will first consider both categories together, due to their similarities. Then, it will split off to consider #2 and #3 separately, for they also differ greatly.

    Both #2 and #3 are similar with respect to these characteristics: there are multiple gods; they may be organized into some kind of authority-power hierarchy; they may act in concert; they may have no disclosed 'initial' state (i.e., some kind of 'birth'). Further, they usually are evolved or at least 'begotten' from some lower/higher 'parentage', if any kind of (at least middle-range) origin is discussed. In no event do any of these gods constitute a Supreme Being. More will be said about how #2 and #3 categories handle the creation story, after their differences are discussed.

    Now to proceed to the differences. Let's start with #2, a category which is very familiar to people the world over. #2 gods are very personal, very much like human beings. So much so, people usually regard these god stories as allegories of human behavior, much like science fiction is a satire on current reality.

      In #2, no one god is Omnipotent, although there is usually a chief (or most-powerful) god of some kind i.e., Zeus in the Olympic pantheon. These gods have a great deal of personality. They may or may not be organized into some kind of hierarchy. If they are so organized, there is a great deal of conflict among them. These gods tend to be begotten by other gods, as often as, if not more than, evolved. Further, an animal or even a mortal may be deified, as a sort of award for heroic living or heroic tragedy. Or, because it pleases the god out of whimsy to deify the person/animal. Often, gods can also procreate with mortals, thus creating half-god beings. In all cases, they love, they hate, they make mistakes, they do evil things, noble things. Writ large. Sometimes these gods war with each other; sometimes they are friendly. Man is usually caught between the gods' varying inter-god alliances/rivalries. Almost all god mythologies reflect the #2 versions. Some god-structures aren't as hierarchical as the Greco-Roman model, although there is at least some loose system of authority, with someone basically 'at the top'.

      Offenses to the #2 gods are generally quite personal and even emotional: made up for by some sacrifice or heroic deed. More often, sacrifice: some kind of giving-up or loss, often of someone/something belonging to, or dear to, self. Sexual favors or sexual sacrifices frequently top the list of rewards or punishments. Sometimes, the erring soul loses some part of his anatomy -- say, an eye -- to compensate the wronged god. Sometimes, the erring soul loses his true love, his youth, his livelihood, or his life. Sometimes, even, after these payments/losses, the wronged god wants more retribution. Alternatively, other gods who war against the god might aid the 'guilty' soul -- so to defeat or replace the god he 'wronged'. In short, there is always some form of punishment owed the god, but also some blessing one can get, in return for (say) dedication/sacrifice/good deeds. Moreover, a mere mortal can sometimes play these gods against each other, to get more out of them. However, the god(s) don't ever receive objective restitution for the wrong done. Sometimes they 'take' things/people as restitution, but there's no commonly-agreed standard which 'governs'. Any 'justice' is more dependent on balance-of-power alliances, than on 'what's right'. So, of course, no gods are Absolutely Righteous. Power seems to be the more-important 'virtue'.

      #2's version is not particularly evolutionary, except perhaps in a broad or allegorical sense. A god might make a person into a toad for 'bad' behavior. The person doesn't evolve upward over time back into a human state. He has to be changed by some god. Similarly, a human might be begotten of a god, or instead deified by a god -- once that change occurred, he can change himself into anything within his god-powers, or be changed into some other state (but usually can't lose his god-ness) by another, more-powerful god than he. Further still, you don't see folks in the afterlife ("shades") evolving, but they can a) be restored to life 'back among the living', or b) nonetheless be deified. You don't see the gods evolving, either. They usually conquer in some way to add to their powers. Or, lose to a conqueror. Still, in the broad sense of "promotion", that type of progression might be regarded with a similitude to evolution.

      Some other versions of #2 are more proactive, more truly evolutionary, and the dividing line between 'mortal' and 'god' is fuzzier. Here, there may be competition, because the higher ones don't want new 'members', so to speak. In short, one can progress despite being evil. It's power, more than virtue, which makes for advance. However, virtue has its own power, so -- basically a spectrum of good guys vs. bad guys obtains. Without the sharp demarcation of 'gods' and 'mortals' so prevalent in more ancient pantheons. Here, those who want 'you' as an ally will help you. Those who want to stop your progression will try to get in your way. Kinda like real life, but writ large. Oh -- and you don't always know this is what's happening to you, either. You might have to advance enough, in order to get that 'disclosure'. Hopefully, from one of the good guys.

    The #3 gods are markedly different, and conform much more to science's idea of evolution, plus a beyondness-quality science can't yet evaluate. Two characteristics stand out: these beings are harmonious, peace-loving -- and, aloof. Often, the #3 versions depict the higher beings as benevolent; these beings almost always evolved out of war-like states into peaceful beingness. In such versions, these beings tend to be very impersonal, hierarchical-yet-democratic. They sometimes do get mildly involved in helping the lesser souls (i.e., man) to grow beyond their current lifeform/lifetime's limitations. Usually, the being helped had some unusual experience which more-or-less accidentally put him in contact with these gods, who are usually depicted as balls of light, or feel-good consciousnesses. Seldom do these benevolent presences have physical bodies. Seldom do they seek contact with lesser beings. However, in some other #3 versions, these gods in concert seek the betterment of man -- still, though, with a prevailing 'aloofness' quality in their 'help'.

      The aloofness represents a looking-up to the principles of Freedom and Will. Ironically, this looking-up translates into a hive-like, Star Trekkie 'Borg' mindset in these #3 gods. They almost always act in concert, and one gets the impression that they could not and would not act on their own -- more could not, than would not. They share a sort of collective consciousness, which accounts for their jointly-peaceful nature. They even seem passive. They are not particularly creative, as a rule, although some #3 versions have them jointly creating. They are individuals, but function as a group. Only. In short, once one progresses into the group, he loses his self-ness, in favor of oneness with the group. Until that time, he's basically on his own, and may never have contact with these higher beings (well, some #3 versions' beings help those who are nearly-succeeding on their own).

      Predictably, offenses to #3 gods are (generally) impersonally treated. Retribution often has the same character of aloofness as do blessings. Pity seems an important function, but it has no emotion. The idea of love, tenderness, Righteousness is absent, except (perhaps) in a principle-level way, although it is represented as sublime. However, in none of these #3 versions is the god-group recompensed for any wrongs done to them. The punishment is deemed sufficient. So, of course, none of these gods are Absolutely Righteous, either. Not even as a group.

      Animism is thus in the #3 category, and it represents the ultimate in aloofness: it treats "god" as (basically) a lifeforce of which every being is a 'part'. This 'god' is not a Person, but the sum of all beings' life-nesses. Individualism is eschewed. Happiness consists of de-personalizing, in favor of 'oneness' with all life. Personhood is a version of animalhood. So animism is a religious explanation for evolution, plus some immaterial life-force concepts which science can't yet measure. Thus, animism comes closest to evolution. Animism merely uses religious words for the same description as science so far has derived. It goes beyond evolution, in that some versions of animism depict higher states-of-being which science cannot (yet, anyway) measure.

    The 'afterlife' portrayed by either version #2, personal gods, or #3, impersonally-bundled 'lights', is not particularly different from the current life; although #3 (and #1, for that matter) promises an amorphous nirvana quality not typically envisaged in #2. #3 sounds the better, for at least there is a cessation of earthly pain; whether that cessation is worth the loss of self-identity, you decide. In #2, there is no real promise of release from pain, but only the hope of more power; through which gain, presumably, you can better fight those who would cause you pain. Troubling is the fact that one's progression in (#1 or) #3 might take eons: so yes, one doesn't 'die' really, but the exigency of successive lifetimes on (at least) planet Earth is rather cruel. Of course, since no one is Omnipotent, the poor soul who must metempsychose has no recourse to sufficient 'help' out of his hapless condition. #2 offers some relief from endlessly-repeating cruel lifetimes, but also capricious punishment abounds. Conversely, in (#1 or) #3 there is the promise of a harmonious future -- eventually. In the name of Freedom, everyone basically fends for himself. (#2 is harder, because you also never know what god is going to pick on you.)

    So, it's disquieting that there is no Arbiter to insure that this Freedom is beneficial. Of course, that would require an Absolute Being, which we've now seen can't actually exist, in any of the metempsychosic versions of God. So, is there ultimate Justice, somewhere? Not even the gods get paid back for any offenses. What's the value of being a god, then? Sure, love would account for some desire to forego pay-back, but what about the love for Righteousness? Punishment of the guilty party doesn't restore anything to the one wronged -- unless, of course, the one wronged loves to see the guilty suffer, which is a strange kind of 'love', indeed. Sure, one gets punished in this life for wrongs he does, but it all just some law, like gravity? Is every good deed measured by an impersonal force, along some abacus-like scale? What about qualitative differences? What about the person's thinking? Is an impersonal force the mediator among all these less-than-perfect beings? These (#1 and) #2 and #3 versions all have at least some form of justice, true. #2 is the more personally-evaluative, yet the #2 gods are capricious, too. The #3 gods have lost their individuality. Of course, by the (#1 and) #3 versions' standards, the goal of life is to lose one's individuality, so group justice matters: individual justice, does not. The idea that there ought to be some balance between the two would be deemed 'bad'.

    In sum, an all-comprehensive, balanced Righteousness-and-Justice is lacking. So, a Love-for-Righteousness becomes self-punishing. Especially since the gods themselves are never reliably compensated for any wrongs done them. So what value is there in being a god? Is martyrdom or masochism a virtue? Conversely, one might reply that a god can exact any kind of retribution he likes. Fair enough: so, if a god, wouldn't that make for a lot of retribution -- or, a lot of frustration? A god's displeasure is bigger than a mere man's. So, the wrong done the god by a mere man ought to end up meaning whatever the god exacted from the man couldn't be enough to repay the god for his displeasure. Alternatively, one might reply that gods are gods: gods don't need to be repaid. So goes the answer of those who adhere to the #3 or #2 gods-concepts. Again, to the adherents, it doesn't have to 'make sense' that this is the way things are. Some would say this is the way it should be, too. Whether it 'makes sense', or not.

    Now we come to the origins/creation problem. Here we'll consider both #2 and #3 together. Creation is not absolutely accounted for in these #2 and #3 depictions. However, the natures of these gods are not absolute, thus such gods can and do have any and all attributes in harmony (#3); or, (usually in #2) at enmity within themselves or with other gods.

    How such gods came into existence initially is not clear. Representing the #2 version, for example gnosticism and the Greek/Roman pantheons have creation stories which basically begin with some starter-god/goddess; gnosticism also has a contradictory beginning of an initial state of being "one" in some (#3-type) harmonious-light-state-of-togetherness.

    • Usually, in the #2 version, some kind of conflict transpires between the 'parents' and their 'children'. Sometimes, the children win, and either kill or forever imprison their 'parents'. They then take over the universe/world and run it. One seldom hears of the 'parents' again, if the 'parents' are imprisoned.

    • In the #3 version (i.e., per some gnostic sects), some kind of curiousity led to the initially-harmonious beings desiring, and thus taking on, bodies (a version of Pandora's box, essentially). As a result, there was conflict. In the ending-harmonious #3 versions, the conflict was resolved piecemeal (each one progressing on his own), and the gods extant are those who have evolved-to-date into such a happy state.
    These origins are the closest the stories come to revealing any creation 'facts'. They presume some beginning-god(s), but absoluteness is not attributed to them. Almost all the creation stories start with a formlessness (i.e., Chaos). Initial creation (e.g., a big bang, etc.) is usually unstated or presumed prior to the formless state.

    Some #2 and #3 versions depict creation much as nontheistic "evolution" does, with a few more steps at the beginning: the previously-evolved or extant gods, none of whom are (said to be) absolute, either assisted in creation, or jointly created the universe (no one of them being able to do it alone). The #3 harmonious union of the beings is said to constitute an absoluteness, in a Star Trekkie "Borg" sense. So, #3 origins are accounted for that way, if an initial #3 creation story is told at all.

    More commonly, in the #3, the beings just always-existed, but yet evolved, too -- owing to the Pandora's-box curiousity (typically). In short, the number of such beings gradually grew "back" to their former pristine condition, over the eons. There's no "Adam" story for them. The same problemmatic origin applies to the #2 starter-gods, who 'just were'. So they are attributed with some kind of non-beginning, yet can be killed, and can make babies who (at times) are even more powerful than the 'parents'. It's a curious combination of eternality and yet finity. No absoluteness, definite limitations on their abilities, yet no initial 'birth' -- at least, not for the starter group(s).

    So, excepting a shrouded initiality, we do get stories how these #2 starter-gods did things like create 'the world'. In #2, the chief god might have created some things, but other gods created other things: one creating the heavens, the other creating the sea, and so on. Kinda like a corporation, where each god has his own "niche" powers. Some of these #2 gods are begotten of men, of course. The more mortal 'genes' (so to speak) a god has, the lower in the hierarchy he is. Such lower-echelon gods don't seem to have had much role in creation.

    So, the problem with multiple, limited (#2 or #3) gods remains: how and where did they originate? Who or what 'made' them 'begin'? In short, one is left with the same issue as in evolution: what's the uncaused cause? Of course, like many who believe in evolution, believers in these multiple gods say "That's just how it is." No explanation is deemed needed. In short, to these adherents, it doesn't need to 'make sense'. Often the adherents believe, as many in #1 category -- because they have seen (or more often, felt) 'manifestations' of these beings. There are stories from all over the world, in every generation, of such 'manifestations'. Even today. Thus, I guess that is sufficient proof for the adherents -- who thus don't need either the origins, or their gods, to 'make sense'. So, the depictions of these gods as just miraculously being there, often shrouded in the mists of time, with life everlasting, yet having limited powers and limited (often 'mixed-with-evil' natures) goes unexplained.

    As with the Supreme Being, science lacks the instruments to test any immateriality, so to verify if there are any multiple-but-limited 'gods'. So, unless science can prove some manifestation as being due to one or more of these gods -- which many 'gods' believers say are there to see -- science can't prove any of the metempsychosic ideas true. However, the similarity of structure, especially the root idea that one 'progresses' over multiple lifetimes -- is very much scientific evolution's construct. It's not surprising, then, that among believers in multiple gods, #1 and #3 are more popular than #2, in terms of the number of adherents. Frankly, evolution is far less logical, by comparison, since these #1-#3 presume a superior 'parent', whereas evolution is based on the insanity that a set can contain itself (i.e., the inferior ape set can produce the superior, homo sapiens set).

    So, evolutionary science tends to most buttress #3, at least structurally. It might be said to also structurally buttress #1 and #2. Since science doesn't know it can measure anything which is not material -- i.e., doesn't know if it's measuring immateriality manifesting in material ways -- science and evolution can only 'suggest' deity by means of similarity in theoretical constructs.

    So, what's troubling about metempsychosis is likewise troubling about evolution: the lack of trace-back to "Absolute". Without that trace-back, who's to say that the data seen can't be accounted for in some opposite-premise way? Until one can account for the premise (the uncaused cause), all the way down to the 'floor' (if you will) of Absoluteness, the data seen might well have an altogether opposite -- and even superior -- explanation. Of course, we may have proof of immateriality, but don't yet realize our empirical instruments are measuring it. Further, many argue that there is no such thing as Absoluteness, either, although proposition "10" (above) reveals the speciousness of an "everything-is-relative" argument. (Even Einstein was troubled by the idea, and kept trying to rework his "theory of relativity".) So, in the absence of 1) knowing if we are in fact measuring immateriality via material manifestations, or 2) better testing instruments, we are forced to use a sort of faith-logic to evaluate evolution or any "god" description: for immateriality is by definition, invisible.

      "Faith" requires a justifying reason to exist, so "faith" is not a bad word. In fact, "faith" is merely the faculty of believing a thing true or untrue. No human being can learn without faith. Someone tells you something. You decide whether to believe it. You make that decision partly on information you have, and partly on information you lack. Hence, you make up for what you lack by deciding whether the teller is trustworthy. You thus believe or disbelieve in part due to 'faith' in the person giving you information you yourself can't verify (yet). This is how we learned 1+1=2 when we were 5 years old. Our teachers/parents told us it was true. We didn't really know -- we just believed them. So: "faith" is merely a faculty of believing, the last step in deciding what information you want to retain as "true"..or, untrue. Nothing more.

      So, faith and logic are bedfellows. You use logic to decide what is believable. It helps you determine "fit" among the 'facts'. Then, you conclude; then, you believe. Simple as that. Scientists use it all the time: faith and logic go together. Granted, some people believe without evaluating the logic of what they believe -- and we all have done this -- but whatever one believes, one first engages in some kind of justification-reasoning, in order to conclude, "I believe". In short, faith never operates in a vacuum. Maybe the 'logic' is faulty, or even pseudo-logic. Maybe the belief is solely based on the deemed-merit of the teller -- but there is some 'ruling' the mind goes through in all events: "I believe" is based on some (real or alleged) reason. It thus behooves all of us to examine 'why' we believe what we do. Be it on a scientific matter, our work, our schoolwork -- or, what we conclude about "God".

    So: how logical is it to conclude multiple, limited gods? Socrates didn't consider it very logical. Socrates (according to Aristotle) and the Platonists insisted there was only the "One" (Aristotle would later revamp Socrates' concepts to the "unmoved Mover"). To Socrates and many others, everything had to ultimately resolve to an Absolute Being. Thus any "gods" which were multiple and limited would be created by some Absolute Being. Of course, Socrates also deemed Absolute Righteousness to be an Attribute of this Being. (The Greek concept called "dikaiosune" meant both Absolute Righteousness and Justice, all-in-one, just like the ancient Hebrew term, "tsedekah".) He'd say that those who didn't recognize the critical importance of this Absoluteness were still huddled in "the cave". Like poor ol' Glaucon. As you read The Philebus, in which Socrates was explaining the Greek word "elpis" to mean Absolute Future Confidence, he bases all his arguments, on the Greek concept of "agathos": Divine (never human) good. [Bible is horribly translated, mostly because the original-language words differentiate between Divine or human work, Divine or human love, Divine or human good. Translations chop out the Divine meaning in the original words, so when you read it, you think human effort is being discussed.]

    Monotheistic Concepts of God

    So, we can see that the idea of Monotheism is by no means new. No faith has a monopoly on the idea. Sheer logic points to the existence of Absoluteness: many faiths of varying names from time immemorial have thus believed. Today, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are among the most popular monotheistic faiths, although historically there have been many others (Zoroastrianism, B'hai, etc). Technically, only some branches of Christianity are Monotheistic: it depends on whether "one" in the Bible is regarded as solely quantitative. Most versions of Judaism and Islam say "yes". Some versions of Christianity say "yes". Most versions of Christianity say "No, God is Triune", because Three Persons are depicted in the Bible, and the "one" moniker is deemed either qualitative, or 'a mystery'. Some (smaller) versions of Judaism also hold to Triunity. Moreover, some versions of the above religions hold to something like a Two-God union, rather than One, or Three.

    For the moment, we'll just look at "Monotheism" as One Person being God, without any sectarian differentiation. Monotheism as a concept derives from the idea that God is Absolute, or else, not God. Like Socrates, those who believe in Monotheism depict Absoluteness as One-in-Quantityness, because (to them) "Absolute" cannot admit of more than One Absolute Being. To them, the fact that the Being is Infinite likewise precludes the idea of there being more than One such Being. (It's Infinity which 'makes' for Absoluteness.) That Infinity is not corporal, they know.

    Important: Monotheists recognize that "Infinity" is non-spacetime. However, Monotheists all deny that because Infinity is non-spacetime, more than One Person can be Absolute God. To them, Absolute Quality requires an Absolute Quantity of One Person. To them, the One-Personness prevents anything being 'outside' God's control. So, Unitedness-of-Absolute-Persons is considered the worst-of-blasphemies, to Monotheists, because to them that means "God has partners", which thus would diminish Him. Would "Absolute God" be 'diminished' if there were more than "One" such "Person"? Let's see.

    In monotheism of any version, the One Person is indeed Absolute. This One Person is usually called "He" to depict Total Authority, since almost all monotheistic ideas began in the days when women were little more than chattel. However, this One Person is a Spiritual Being, wholly immaterial, wholly Qualitative, so has no mass. So, strictly speaking, is neither male nor female (although some early versions of monotheism ascribe both masculine and feminine qualities to the Person). Thus, the Absolute Attributes mentioned at the beginning of the Nature Section would be deemed to apply wholly and ONLY to this One Person. No "evil" attribute is in this Being. "Evil" is forever unused. The Being, since Omniscient, knows "evil" but never chooses to exercise His Ability to BE evil. This foregoing is forever chosen because the Being's Attributes are such that to choose "evil" is forever repugnant (i.e., due to Righteousness). So the Being will never approve of, nor desire, "evil".

    At this point the discussion must become more sectarian, for even monotheistic versions of Christianity differ markedly from all other versions of monotheism. So, Christianity's "flavor" of a Monotheistic God will be discussed last.

    The other versions of Monotheism, broadly speaking, depict a God of varying aloofness, with an exacting sense of Right and Wrong which those who claim to believe in Him must strictly obey. Balancing this strictness, is Grace: the God blesses, too. So, this God made creation with some personal attention, and also created communication systems so that His Creation could understand Him, despite His Infinity. Note how this God differs from the multiple-gods concepts: He unilaterally chooses to make and have some type of blanket, all-encompassing relationship with His Creation, despite the huge difference between the Creator's Infinity, and the creatures' puny limitations. He thus overcomes these limitations by using dreams, visions, and -- in later versions -- writing. Furthermore, there is generally some kind of 'covenant' or agreement between the God and mankind, which 'covenant' is a list of behaviors that the God orders man to perform in return for a better life before -- and most importantly -- after "death". Generally, some group from among mankind is entrusted with the message of this 'covenant', so to evangelise the rest of mankind. The idea is, for all to come to share in this 'covenant'. Moreover, some kind of happy afterlife is depicted for the 'faithful', but it isn't necessarily in close relationship with the God, and it isn't generally a "heaven" most Western-culture Christians would recognize. Instead, the God is somewhat distant, although always hearing, always responsive. And -- punishing.

    Most versions of Monotheism posit something akin to "Hell", an eternal place of torment for lack of belief -- or, variantly, sins so heinous the person cannot be admitted into the happier afterlife for 'believers' (aka 'righteous' or 'upright'). Some versions of Monotheism have, instead of a totally-separate "Hell", rather a gradient version of the afterlife, with the-least-faithful living in the bottom-grades. In all versions, though, morality and works are paramount. Thinking-sins do count, but body-sins are worse. Moreover, failure to observe particular practices, rituals incurs Divine Wrath. One can get forgiveness: either through some kind of punishment meted out by the God, by various works-pennances; or, simply by sincerely 'repenting' of the wrong. Restitution to the one wronged is stressed, in any event. There are usually many cultural laws as well, which cover daily tasks, marital relations, crime, and financial matters (like whether and how much interest may be charged on money lent out). Infractions vary in severity.

    What's markedly missing from all of these versions is the idea that the God should be recompensed for any 'sins' committed against Him. Sin is spelled out, and so are punishments -- but the God is never juridically compensated. He's not supposed to need to be paid, since He's God. This lack of compensatory provision is a problem, for if this God is Righteous, and sin is an offense -- indeed the coda in any monotheistic idea has a long list of offenses -- how does the God get propitiated? Shouldn't He be propitiated? If man sinning against man carries a long list of precise penalties -- what about man sinning against God? Especially, if God is Holy? This question is never answered.

    Thus all non-Christian versions of God depict a Holy God who never is compensated for the sins against Him by the persons He created. Those persons are merely instructively disciplined, to teach them. This action is of course merciful. Yet, the God is not being 'merciful' to Himself. That is a contradiction: a double-standard, if you will. Just because the God doesn't need anything, an offense is an offense. Justice, even in human courts, metes out punishment based on the offense, not solely based upon whether the person juridically harmed actually incurred damages. "Damages", even in human law, is "extra". A crime, for example, is a crime, even if the victim managed not to be damaged. So, what about the crime of sin against God?

    Thus, God has the contradictory quality of being Righteous Himself, yet never is His Righteousness 'met' by anyone else. Granted, being God and being Righteous, He must be able to withstand any and all offenses against Him, or "Righteousness" cannot be Absolute. However, what is the value of a Righteousness which can't be effectively insured on behalf of the very God Who is Righteous? What value is there in Being God? If God can't 'make right' for Himself, how can He 'make right' for His creation? And if He won't 'make right' for Himself, is God-ness, martyrdom? For surely, the knowledge of any pain in His creatures does not compensate Him in the slightest, but rather is an additional cost, on top of the offense-cost of the sins themselves. So, "Hell" not only doesn't compensate Him, but is the worst-of-costs to Him. Thus, yes, He withstands all -- but wouldn't all He creates be martyrdom, necessarily reflecting His Attribute of never resolving compensation juridically due Himself? So, life is to be fair for others, but not for self? Does that make sense? What's the value of living, then?

    For surely, the nature of God totally affects the quality and nature of all He creates. Moreover, this God is One Person. Alone. Himself. All others are so far beneath Him, what kind of relationship can He have with them? Indeed, most monotheistic versions of God are aloof, fairly impersonal, even mystical. Based on works, yet sins can be atoned by works? -- how can works make up for sins, if God is infinitely Holy? What do works do for an infinitely-Holy, Omnipotent God who can do the works better than all humans put together? Does that make sense? So, again, since creatures must necessarily reflect to some extent the Nature of their Creator, not only must humans reflect a martyr-like quality, but also they must be aloof, lonely. Is this the value of being God? Of being human? Certainly the works requirement is consonant with both martyrdom and loneliness. What does a Holy God get from works? Nothing, of course. This is a God who needs nothing, is Alone, and gets nothing. Does that make sense? Why make creation, then?

    Most troubling of all: is this God really so Absolute? Surely a believer in such a God will say He's Love. That's why He wants no compensation, the believer will explain. Ok, fair enough. So: does this God Love Himself? Well He must, such a believer would reply, for He is Holy. He would Love His Holiness. Ok, fair enough: then why won't He compensate Himself? Is He unable? Unwilling? If unwilling, how is that unwillingness consonant with Love? Especially, for His Own Holiness? How can He even BE Absolute, absent compensation to His Own Beloved Righteousness? Especially since He is Absolutely Alone? If He doesn't compensate Himself, who else can do it? Well, no one -- the believer will reply. Of course -- no one. Then, this God is not Omnipotent, for He can't compensate Himself. Of course He can't, the believer will reply, smiling -- that would not be Righteous, for Righteousness must withstand everything.

    Which is precisely why this One-Person idea of God makes no sense: God can't Righteously compensate Himself, for indeed that would be a compromise to the Righteousness-must-withstand-all Standard. It's a STANDARD. Standards should be met. A Holy God has Standards which should be met. Like, the Standard that He shouldn't be sinned against. That is, if He Loves His Righteousness. And if He does not, then He can't be God. And if He does, then He can't get His Righteousness requited. So, He's not Omnipotent, after all, for the problem of Righteousness-must-withstand-all, which is a valid Standard, creates a 'stone too heavy to lift' -- and God cannot be paid for the cost of creation. So Monotheism cannot be true of ABSOLUTE God.

    Christian Concepts of God

    Christian Monotheism recognizes the problem in purple font, above. It tries to address the problem by deeming "God" as "one" yet in Three 'manifestations', or 'forms', for lack of a better term (I'm trying to avoid theological terms in this piece). So, one 'form' is the Father; another, the Son; another, the Spirit. These 'forms' are all really One Person, says this version of Christianity. Sorta like 'functional divisions', these 'forms' all interact. For the express purpose, especially, of getting compensation for sins. Man is not able to atone for his sins before Holy, Infinite God. An Atoner needs to pay, Who IS sufficiently Righteous. As a Substitute. Just as depicted in the animal sacrifices and the Mercy Seat of the Old Testament.

    The issue of God being requited for offense-to-Righteousness occasioned by sin, as a separate issue from any corrective punishment to the sinner, means the God has to do the work in a way which results in profit, not cost. Else, any such 'work' is yet more martyrdom, and Love does not sufficiently Love Righteousness. Further, if such 'work' doesn't result in pure profit to the God, then Omnipotence is questionnable. After all, as any monotheist would say, if God incurs a "cost", it would 'diminish' Him. Quite true.

    Here, an additional "profit" occurs, because if Righteousness is requited for the offense of sin, cannot the God apply that profit to 'save' the very creation He must have Loved so Much, He created it? After all, this God could have created it as marionettes or pets which could have been denied free will -- or, given instead a limited free will such that they could not sin. Of course, an Absolute God would not create rational beings with only limited free will, because the God's Free Will is not limited (creation must reflect its Creator). Free Will is not the same as Power-to-execute-will. So, it would not be a compromise to create full free will in limited beings. Therefore, it would also not be a compromise to apply any "profit" gained by requited-Righteousness to heal such beings from the effects of their sins -- freely, upon their several consents. In sum, Righteous Standards could be wholly satisfied, in a manner profitable to the God -- and, to creation.

    There would have to be a Human Payor, of course. Thus the God receives the profit without expense.

    • However, this Human Payor would have to be sinless, since any sinner would be too contaminated to become Righteousness of himself.
    • Moreover, the Payor would have to be empowered by the God on a voluntary basis in order to be born sinless, and remain sinless. One refusal by the Payor of such power, one sin -- and the requiting of Righteousness would be voided.

    • Additionally, mere sinlessness is not Infinite Righteousness. The Payor must use the Divine empowerment to become Righteousness. The Payor must keep on thinking Righteously, even while being substitutionally imputed and judged for all sins executed upon the Payor by the God.

    • The value of the imputation and judgement of all sins must include the knowing-pain cost the God incurs, even all the cost of "Hell" for any creatures who refuse to receive 'salvation' offered due to that Payor's payment on their behalf. So, the value of the Righteous Thinking which the Payor must always perfectly maintain is thus the sum of: the anti-value of the sins, the anti-value of the True Judgement for those sins, and the anti-value of all the knowing-pain the God has in His Omniscience. Else, the God is not wholly profitted at no expense to Himself.

    • Next, assuming this Payor successfully completed the Payment Due on behalf of all sinners, should not the Payor be profitted? Of course. In fact, the profit to the Payor should be the entire creation, so that the Payor, who in the first place was willing to make the payment, can likewise receive whatever benefit he wants from the creation he paid for. After all, the God was wholly profitted by the Payor, so need not be further compensated by creation itself. Any further benefit to the God could come voluntarily from the Payor, or through the Payor from creation. That is only Just.

    • Finally, in order for any sinner to receive the benefit of the payment made on his behalf, the sinner would have to consent to the God's terms: believe the Payor made sufficient Payment, or suffer the eternal consequences of turning down such a Gift.

    • Thus, no matter how handicapped, no matter how young, no matter how old or powerful or smart or stupid, every sinner may be restored. Every sinner, then, can be made whole, and thus engage in a profitable relationship with the God. At no cost to anyone.

    So, to implement this salvation, one 'form' of God takes on Humanity: the Son. (Not all monotheistic Christian sects quite agree that Christ was both God and Man during the 1st Advent.) So, another 'form' of God acts as Judge, both imputing and judging all sins upon Christ while He is on the Cross. So, another 'form' of God empowers the Humanity of Christ so He can stay Impeccable. (Again, not all monotheistic Christian sects agree on this point.) The interaction of these three 'forms' of One Person accomplish the Substitutionary Payment for sins. Because the Payor is Humanity, not God, it's a Gift to God, and thus not a compromise to the Righteousness Standard of must-withstand-all. Moreover, because it is a Gift of Righteousness from that Humanity ('developed to that level, due to 'form'-Spirit's Power) -- the Holy Righteousness of 'form'-Father is indeed met. So, Love-for-Righteousness is propitiated. And the Humanity of Christ? He gave it as a Gift of Love-for-God, so correctly deems Himself in no way disadvantaged: He 'withstood all'. After all, one can GIFT Righteousness with no compromise to one's own Righteousness: if the Recipient is equally Righteous. Moreover, 'form'-Father takes the Gift and makes an equal Gift out of it -- to the Christ. So, in a way, 'form'-Father still 'withstood all' -- except that 'form'-Father could have kept the Christ's Righteous Payment. But, being Loving, Chose to make another Gift out of it. Still, all Standards of Righteousness were in fact met, judicially. (What one does with requited Righteousness is a separate matter.)

    So, the 'stone too heavy to lift' got lifted, concludes this version of Christianity.

    Ok, fair enough: but how can salvation be fair, if only One Person did it? "God" is wearing two or three 'hats' in the judicial procedure outlined above. Granted, 'form'-Spirit gifted His Power to the Impeccable Christ, thus insuring His continued Impeccability and Divinely-Righteous Thinking, which His Humanity voluntarily kept willing to have. However, if 'form'-Father is exactly the same Person as 'form'-Spirit, can't Satan aptly yell, "Foul!", since this Cross defeats him, per Hebrews 1? (Christianity has a "Satan", a rebelling angel with millions of like-cohorts. Some other versions of monotheism variantly lack this 'angle' in the story.) Furthermore, given that Christ is God and Man during the First Advent (which is unmistakable in the New Testament Greek), then the Judge, Empowerer, and the One Judged are all the Same Person? So, how is God really getting paid? What's the difference between that circular setup and just hitting some other poor human who has no Deity attributes with all sins -- and judging them?

    This conundrum is a real problem for Monotheistic Christianity sects to answer. They usually resolve it by calling it a 'mystery'. In short, for them, it doesn't have to 'make sense.'

    So, where are we now, regarding Monotheism, as compared to other ideas thus far discussed regarding the nature of "God"? Well, monotheistic ideas are all Absolutes: so, we have the needed trace-back to Absoluteness. Absoluteness logically resolves the initial creation issue, and origins, even better than the metempsychosis concepts did: now we have Deity which is wholly Infinite in all Attributes, and with no evil in Him/It, so it finally makes sense to say this Deity had no beginning.

    Unfortunately, as with with metempsychosis, Monotheism -- even the Christian version -- still doesn't fittingly explain how Righteousness gets compensated. Problem was, with metempsychosis, there was no dependable, Absolutely-Righteous Arbiter. In #1 version, the Supreme Being had "evil" as an Attribute, so couldn't be Absolute Anything, after all. Monotheism corrects that deficiency, by offering the needed Absoluteness -- the Monotheistic "God" always REFUSES sin, evil, etc., and is not even temptible: because, Absolute. Here, in the Christian Monotheistic version, the requiting-of-Righteous Standards "salvation" plan makes sense. Since Absoluteness is limited to but One Person, the One Person still isn't requited. Because only One Person is doing both the empowering and the Judging of sin, to say that Righteousness really got "paid off", is a joke: do you have more money if you simply move it from your left pocket -- to your right pocket? After all, the Humanity of Christ would have been able to make no payment whatsoever if not Divinely-empowered. He only "contributed" His Human Consent and His Perfect Body -- both of which were gifts from the God in the first place, so are no contributions, at all.

    Enter, now, the Biblical God: Trinity. Now, it just so happens that a careful study of the original languages of the Bible clearly and unequivocably depict Three Identical-Essence, Absolute, Independent, Voluntarily-United Gods: you see it everywhere in the original language Bible texts; translations can't translate the wordplay, or mistranslate: because quasi-sexual wordplay is used to metaphorically depict Their Intimacy, so humans have a frame of reference for it (i.e., via deliberate analogy to the "oneness" of marriage). (Bible is the only 'holy book' to depict Trinity, by the way. How Christian sects can construe only One Person out of all the verses in the original languages I cannot fathom. I can see how they can deduce One Person from translations, because translators cover up or reverse all marital, pregnancy, and like sex-related words, except where such words depict humans who sexually sin! Even so, there's little excuse for monotheism: it cannot be holy, as we saw above.)

    Each of these Three have identical Absolute Attributes, just as depicted in the "Is God Absolute" subsection. In fact, this is why Trinitarians mistakenly consider themselves "monotheistic", in an effort to stress the Identical Absolute Nature of Each Person. [Christians have long been confused about what's "monotheistic" and Triune, because the Westminster Creed -- which is NOT from God, but is treated as if it were -- because the Westminster Creed badly defines God as Three IN One, rather than Three (Persons) and One (Nature); though if you think over how the Creed describes the Godhead, you realize it means to say Three AND One. So most Christians don't read their Bibles, and for centuries have called themselves "monotheistic". So to hear them talk, God is this hydra-headed monster, not able to exist Himself, independently of the Other Members of the Godhead; in which case, none of Them would BE Absolute God, get it? That non-Biblical "monotheistic" "Trinity" description bugged me over 30 years ago when I first heard it in college: Holy God being likened to a stupid egg, for crying out loud; now I realize how the description maligns the very God Christians mean to laud. So one day, I really wish Christianity would fix its badly-worded definitions to match the Bible they claim to believe in; especially, since the Bible is so clear!]

    So, They also never will desire "evil". The Attributes are Intensive -- meaning, Qualitative. No mass, of course. Spiritual Beings, of course. Absolute -- Each One. Not hydra-headed, not 'forms' or 'manifestations' -- but Three Separate Persons. "United", hence "one"..due to Love. (The term "one" is used qualitatively in every language known to man, from time immemorial, and the Bible's languages are no exception.)

    In short, They WANT to be together. Forever. Being Infinite, there's no way They will change Their Minds; They illustrate this most commonly in Bible, by using "God" in the singular with a singular verb, or in the plural with a singular verb, to show they have Identical Attitude -- freely. ("Infinity" means no-change, because 'infinity' is a quality which has no spacetime aspects to it.) Being of the Same Attributes, as we saw in the Nature Section, They have total and utter, Timeless Rapport. Unevolved, since Infinite. Not Impersonal, due to the Absoluteness of Their Attributes. Rather, Total and Ultimate Personality. Each One Equal in Nature, Absolute Integrity..serving Each Other..due to LOVE. "Due Disclosure" Link at pagetop explains at length, the origin and nature of this Voluntary, Corporate (hence "united", "one") Structure, with empirical concepts you can test in science (i.e., everything in the universe is in some kind of Hypostatic relationship). [Each webpage offers verses to prove Trinity, but most citations are technical: easiest one to read is in the "Mystery Math Class" table of LvS4a.htm (accessible from "Why God 'Mirrors' Time" link at pagetop).]

    So, not Alone. Not Borg-like. Not Aloof. Not Passive. Not Impersonal. Not Martyrs. Not Unrequited. Not Uncompensated. Yet, Wholly Foregoing: due to Love. Holy Righteousness, all Standards forever Met. Totally Independent of Each Other. No "strings", as it were, in Their Relationship. Free. So, They would be the Ones Most Desirous Of Total Justice -- for the sake of Each Other. Again, due to Love. Especially, for Righteousness. In Themselves. In Each Other. So, a Real And Separate Father can really severally judge a God-Man Son's Humanity. So, a Real and Separate Spirit can severally empower that Humanity, so that Humanity needn't "cheat" by using His Own Separate Son-Deity. Each One, doing it as a Gift to the Other(s). No cheating, no strings, no slanted Justice. Yet complete payment. Just as the Monotheistic Christian sects depicted -- without the juridical injustice monotheism creates.

      If you're poor, you imagine that having money will solve your problems, that you won't have much to do; you assume that with money, you won't have to work anymore and can play all the time. Wrongo. The more you have, the more you have to do, not the other way around. So, when you think of God, think: They would have more to experience together, would be more involved with Each Other, would be MORE.. of everything. Infinitely more! And More Exacting in What They Want. So Love is more Exacting. Infinitely.

    So, how does Trinity better answer things logically? Well, we still have Absoluteness, so the trace-back remains as to creation, origin, nature. We also have full accountability for sins, and full repayment both to the Righteous/Just Standard that payment be made to Holy God, and yet -- due to Love between Equally-Infinite Holy Persons -- each One foregoes, withstands all -- as a GIFT to Another in the "Godhead". So, the withstand-all Righteous Requirement always remains met, as well. ["Angelic Trial" link at pagetop is a very long explanation of the Trial between God and Satan, but in it you'll see this issue covered juridically. LordvSatan5's "Paradox of Merit" table is shorter.] Best of all, Not Alone. What a pity to be "God", yet Alone. Having only finite, puny creation for 'company'. Would that be Perfect? Would that make sense?

      In Truth as well as in science; in evaluating competing 'god' definitions --
      It Must Make Sense, Or It's Not True.
      We all have brains. They need exercise...

    What about creation? How fair is all this to creation? Well, everyone was paid-for -- so no barrier need be between that creation and its United Gods. So, unlike multiple, limited gods, who can't assure Absoluteness; so, unlike monotheistic God-concepts, which also can't assure Absoluteness,
    • this "Trinity" has total Absoluteness -- met.
    • So, intimacy can be had between this "Trinity" and creation which the other versions of "god" can't judicially have.
    • Now, think: what's the point of creating beings too small for full rapport? Would you want only a plant to play with, the rest of your life? Is that 'good'? Of course not.
    • So also, this Cross caused the imputation of Divine Righteousness to all who believe in the Christ (2Cor5:21, prayed for in John 17). So, any 'believer' is as good as God -- by God's own Judicial Act of Exchange (Christ's Righteousness for our sins).
    • As a Gift. Never on any other basis.
    • So, the "Godhead" don't have to live with (as it were) "plants" for 'company'. They chose a way to not only lift the too-heavy Stone, but to lift it up to a compatible-enough Level for Their Own Standards of Rapport.
    • No other story of 'god' accomplishes all of this without compromising Righteousness in some fatal way. Of course, if Righteousness is compromised, then the proferred 'god' story falls apart, logically: rendering any 'faith' in it, untenable. (Test it yourself: the other websites will help you think things out. The longest site also explains the most: pick "ON TRIAL" link at pagetop, and hit Home key after you've uploaded it, so you can begin at the beginning.)

    Of course, science doesn't know if it is proving immaterial "Trinity" any better than "knows" whether it can prove any immateriality of any "god" -- or even, the existence of human "souls". So, we're left with the "observation evidence" of Proposition 9, above, plus our own faith-logic -- which, after all, might just be empowered by Deity so that we can perceive His/Their immateriality. You decide.

    Other Concepts of God

    There are a bizillion concepts of "god" in history. Even today. However, if you work through all of them, you'll find they all can be categorized into the groupings discussed above: essentially metempsychosic (evolutionary, with or without limited/multiple gods); monotheistic (=One Person); Trinitarian (only Bible uses this description). These groupings are broad; details usually end up masking the similarities, so I didn't go into much detail. For example, Wicca is a hybrid of animism and multiple-gods, depending on which version of Wicca one studies. Therefore, if you analyze whatever 'god' version you're reviewing carefully, using logic-tests like those above, you should find out which version of "god" is True. Have fun!

    What kind of relationship does God have/want with man?

    If you still can't determine which version of "God" is true, try 'backing into' the right answer via this question. Ask, "What kind of relationship should a/the Real God(s) want with what He/They create? You can cycle that question through any particular idea of "God" you are examining. Test the answer the sect provides for how much sense it makes: do the attributes depicted mesh with the alleged relationship between these deities and man? Again, if they don't make sense, maybe they are wrong. Of course, if it doesn't matter to you that they don't make sense, decide based on whatever other criteria you prefer.

    From the above Attributes-testing logic, we saw resultant relationships between 'gods' and lesser beings, due largely to the posited natures of the 'gods'. Should there be a correlation between Attributes and resultant relationships? I think so. It doesn't seem logical to say that 'gods' who create won't design some kind of self-likeness/compatibility mechanism in the created beings. What if the lesser beings just always were part of the Divine? Ok, fair enough: isn't that just another way of saying, though, a likeness/compatibility? Does it fit the story given? Are there logical loopholes? Does it matter if there are logical loopholes? I think so. I have a brain. I can reason. Someone gave me that brain so I would use it. So, if there is one or more "Gods", then -- the answer ought to make sense. If it doesn't, then to me -- it can't be the right answer. Because, I have a brain. (I'm correcting Descartes' typo to: "I think, therefore God(s) exists.")

    Notice what kind of analysis I'm not advocating: dates of 'holy' manuscripts, alleged errors in manuscripts, whether prophecies in them came true, how much sense the text makes or how much it seems to contradict other places in the text. Frankly, even experts are divided as to these matters on any 'holy' book. They wrangle for years and years. Centuries, even. These topics have their places, but ask yourself: are you looking for answers? If "yes", and there really is a God(s), won't this God(s) answer your desire to know Him/Them/them? So: do you really need to poke around in arcane matters you'd need 30 years to even understand, let alone validate? After all, if God/gods exists, wouldn't God/gods have to provide a communication method easy enough for even a child to "get"? So: can't you just 'pray' (fancy word for talking to "God", whoever "God" is)? That sure would save a lot of time, wouldn't it? Heck, even children can do that. Leave the brained-out 'scholars' to their ever-blind conundrums.

    Again, have fun! You'll find the Right One(s). Don't give up...