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Author Topic: "Judeo-Christian-Islamic Divinism" concept consultation  (Read 913 times)
GregKaye
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« on: 07/09/09 @ 16:22 »

I have recently produced a webpage on a concept that I have named Divinism and on the sites homepage I have defined Judeo-Christian-Islamic Divinism as follows:
the concept that considers that "God", as conceived within Judeo-Christian-Islamic religions, had a developmental origin.
I also commented:
"Judeo-Christian-Islamic Divinism" may potentially be interpreted to represent a substantial branch of Monotheistic Divinism but this is despite the fact that the most commonly used form of the word for 'God' within the Hebrew texts is typically presented in a 'majestically' plural form, that the Biblical 'God' engages in conversation within what is considered to be a regally pluralised identity ('Genesis' 1:26; 3:22 and 11:7) and that the Christian "Trinity" presents a clearly multi-faceted conception of God.
http://www.divinism.net/
A dedicated page has additionally been dedicated to the concept of Judeo-Christian-Islamic Divinism:
http://www.divinism.net/en/jcid.htm/
and I have included an invitation for the less theistically minded readers of the page to post their thoughts on the topic on this page.
Feedback related to the topic will be gratefully recieved.
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Gareth Southwell
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« Reply #1 on: 08/09/09 @ 06:25 »

Hi Greg,

I'm not 100% sure of the point you want to make here. Are you saying that monotheism is actually, in essence, polytheism? I understand that biblical language often pluralises the divine person (whether it is the trinity, the Elohim, or the royal 'we'), but this can also be understood by tracing the development of monostheism out of paganism, where there were many 'gods' or aspects of one divine reality.

Maybe you could expand briefly and simply?
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GregKaye
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« Reply #2 on: 08/09/09 @ 16:23 »

I guess that the problem is that, on some issues, I can tend to go into an amount of detail.

The central idea of Judeo-Christian-Islamic Divinism is that the "God" of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religions (in whatever way this god may be conceived) had a developmental origin.

There is quite a bit of information that can be mentioned so as to indicate that many of the traditional arguments against this view cannot be firmly held and that may even be seen to be supportive of a divinistic view of God. 
http://www.divinism.net/en/jcid.htm
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Gareth Southwell
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« Reply #3 on: 09/09/09 @ 10:08 »

It sounds like you are arguing for (something like) what has been called Process Theology - the idea that God develops or changes over time. I like this idea, and I think there are (non-monotheistic) parallels. However, to argue that the big 3 religions can best be understood in these terms seems to me to be a theological/historical thesis, and not specifically philosophical. Perhaps you could highlight the parts of your argument that are philosophical, and set them out (briefly) here?

By the way, I appreciate that you have put a lot of work into outlining these ideas on your site, but it would be nice if you could simplify your position so that people at least know what your general position is (and therefore whether it is something that they wish to reply to). You can always add a link to your site for those who want more details.
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GregKaye
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« Reply #4 on: 11/09/09 @ 17:32 »

You rightly note the similarities that exist between Process Theology and the concept that I have proposed.
To my understanding Process theology indicates that God is changeable in that He is affected by things that happen in the course of events.

As far as the Theology of Religion goes, the one major contribution that can be taken from my article on Judeo-Christian-Divinism is that a number of theological points can be made to indicate that there may be little or no validity in various arguments that may be presented to support the idea that God has always existed. 
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Gareth Southwell
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« Reply #5 on: 11/09/09 @ 17:53 »

This is an interesting question, but the problem that you face in arguing that God may not always have existed is that what then created the universe? You would seem then to require some form of alternative explanation - either for the existence of the universe (if the universe is considered to have a beginning), or for the nature of the universe (if God is seen as responsible for its laws, etc.). If God is responsible for neither of these things, then the being in question starts to look less like God (at least, as traditionally conceived).
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GregKaye
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« Reply #6 on: 18/09/09 @ 07:35 »

I have defined divinism, in general terms, to be: the theory that considers existence to contain the creative potential that initiated its own genesis.

(by the way, a lot of this text has been dropped straight in form http://www.divinism.net/ )

This simple definition of divinism can also be taken to be a basis for an understanding of "non-theistic divinism" which might, perhaps, be better described as being "non specifically theistic divinism".

It can be noted that the concept of God can be neatly inserted into the theory of divinism as follows:

Theistic divinism:

the theory that considers existence to contain the creative potential that initiated its own genesis and also considers this potential as being in the possession of a singular god* or of multiple gods*.

Traditional stories of creation tend to recount tales of the creation of the world and that they can certainly be interpreted to describe a wider context of creation within the context of existence. Divinism, in effect, extends the concept of creation so as to consider the very genesis of existence itself.

The theory of Divinism proposes the genesis of existence to be initiated from within existence itself and, in effect, the creative potential for existence is considered to be responsible for the generation of an initial situation of existence.

(It may be considered that an initial situation of existence may certainly be descriptive of the beginning of the universe but may alternately be considered to relate to ae even more extensive context).
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Gareth Southwell
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« Reply #7 on: 18/09/09 @ 09:55 »

Hi Greg,

To say that the creative potential for existence resides within itself is not really saying very much at all. This is basically what science thinks, if we define existence physically: matter (or the physical universe as a whole) contains the inherent properties and building blocks for life (this is the basis for 'abiogenesis' - that biological life comes from matter). So, how is your view different?

Secondly, I hate to carp on about this, but you still haven't really defined what you mean by 'existence'! Do you mean everything? The physical universe? Consciousness? Your argument will be slightly different depending on which of these you emphasise. To say that Sensationism proposes that sensations are evidence of existence is not really very informative if what you mean by existence is 'everything'! If existence means 'everything that exists', then - even if only sensations or ideas exist (no physical world) - then those are 'everything'! So, all you would really be saying is that 'existence proves existence'!

However, if you want to use sensationism to prove that the physical world exists behind our perceptions, then that is more meaningful (but still problematic). The other possibility is that you want to argue that sensationism proves the existence of consciousness. This is a less likely interpretation of your views, but still possible given the lack of specific detail. This would be a sort of idealist position, which saw consciousness as a fundamental and irreducible aspect of reality - thus arguing against a certain type of materialism.

Which is it? I'm honestly not trying to trap you here, I just can't figure out what you are trying to say. I think maybe you have two separate issues here: (a) creative potential is inherent in matter - which, in itself is not a revolutionary idea, but could be interesting if you specified 'how', and (b) the existence of sensation is proof of the existence of 'something' (again, not specified). Perhaps you could expand on these separately?
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GregKaye
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« Reply #8 on: 26/09/09 @ 19:10 »

Hi Gareth,

I personally consider that the statement that existence to contain the creative potential that initiated its own genesis says something quite specific.  You say that this is basically what science says and on this subject and I am curious to know who it is that says this. 

You previously mentioned the view that was widely held of many scientists in which it was conceived that the universe existed in a steady state.  Then Einstein, Lemaître and Hubble came along and science veered to view that the universe began with a big bang.  More recently the theory of supergravity and string theories have come along to provide explanations of the nature of existence but I am unaware of statements regarding the way in which these situations are thought to have got going.  I certainly know of no claim with the effect of saying that existence contains the creative potential to initiate its own genesis.
The definition of Divinism that I have proposed speaks of the genesis of existence.  Existence is clearly understood to be the situation that exists or, in other words, the totality of existent things.  I am unsure, when I have spoken of a creative potential and a genesis, how the term could be understood any radically different way.  I would be interested in suggestions relating to potential ways to tidy up the wording.

Different people understand existence in different ways and yet the general definition of existence would seem to hold firm.  As you know there are some people who, at one extreme, believe that existence exists in a purely material form while, at the other extreme, other people believe that existence exists in some type of immaterial form.  This does not matter as far as Divinism is concerned as the basic concept will work in either extreme. 

Most people are clearly of the view that we live in a material form of existence and string theories have been applied to attempt to explain the way it works.  It is suggested that there are ten non-temporal dimensions the further suggestion seems to be that these dimensions in some way weave amongst themselves.  Statements that I have heard seem to suggest that something similar to the steady state conception of existence (in this case in the guise of the perceived multiverse) is coming back into vogue. 
Divinism relates to the genesis of existence and conceives that its creative potential was somehow able to cause the formation of its initial situation.  It is a deliberately flexible concept.  Existence could have begun in a simple way and then developed into its currently impressive state or alternatively it could have begun in an initially sophisticated state from the start.  Either way, the evidence seems to suggest that things turned out well. 

You mentioned abiogenesis and this is a topic that I also touch on within my site.  Abiogenesis is a change within existence involving the rearrangement of small quantities of physical materials within existence so as to bring life from an "abio" non-living situation.  The genesis of existence involves the bringing forth of an initial situation of existence.  They are topics that have greatly differing natures and yet, remarkably, understandings of abiogenesis have a necessary effect on understandings of existence.


Here's an extract of the text from my site:

As far as the biological sciences are concerned, life appears to be a dizzyingly complex subject. Even if we were to conceive of the most simple possible form of biological life – and by that I mean the most simple possible form of biological life that would have the ability to have substance added to itself and have the ability to organise this substance within itself and to have the ability to then get everything moved around into some form of duplicated arrangement and to have the ability to divide or to be divided and to, thus, have the ability to reproduce and (in this kind of way) to get onto any rung of any conceivable form of evolutionary ladder – even this type of simple life would be, by necessity, complicated. It would be phenomenally complicated. Life is quite simply, quite incredibly and quite phenomenally improbable. However, this is not a fact that should be considered in isolation. Life is a phenomenon that appears to exist within a universal context and the universe, we might do well to note, is quite simply, quite incredibly and quite phenomenally large. It might be interpreted that there may be a connection between these two facts.

But what is the universe? The universe is a place that is governed by a wide variety of physical laws within the context of a wide variety of physical "constants". The situation of the universe is quite cosmologically improbable. In response to this astounding situation it has been logically proposed that there may be a great multitude of universes.

So there you have it. Life is incredibly improbable and yet the universe is quite, inconceivably large. The universe works according to cosmological rules that are of benefit to forms of life that have a high level of energy consumption in a phenomenally improbable way and yet a phenomenal multitude of universes may potentially be conceived. …


In short, there are some pretty steep requirements that must be met if abiogenesis is to reach any workable level of likelihood and this leads logically to the interpretation in which existence is seen to have an extremely remarkable nature. 

Divinism works within this context (the context that admits that existence can be logically interpreted to have this extremely remarkable nature) and theorises that factors within existence were able to cause the formation of an initial situation of existence – an initial situation that was able to lead to, amongst other things, abiogenesis.

If there is a theory that states something along the lines that existence to contain the creative potential that initiated its own genesis then I would like to know about it.  Who said it?  Was it something that was suggested within "science" or "philosophy"?  The steady state concept was a named concept.  What name, if any, has been given to the concept that I have defined?

The concept of Divinism indicates that, from the beginnings of an initial situation of existence, an effectively 'godlike' creative potential for existence was able to come into being in such a way that this creative potential was able to form an initial situation for existence in such a way so as to enable the development of the creative potential for existence.  A distinctly circular mechanism is inferred.  If these views have been expressed elsewhere then I would be grateful for this information.

Sensationism and Divinism are different topics and as such I think will be appropriate if I address the issues related to sensationism on http://www.philosophyonline.co.uk/philosophy-forum/index.php/topic,74.0.html .
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Gareth Southwell
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« Reply #9 on: 26/09/09 @ 22:35 »

Hi Greg,

I said that I didn't think your concept was that different from the current scientific one because it argues that life has developed according to laws and principles that are, in some way, inherent in matter. This is what abiogenesis is.

However, if you think your theory is different, then there are a few points that you need to clarify:

1. Firstly, you talk of the genesis of existence - but if you take 'genesis' here to mean the beginning of everything, then how can everything be its own cause? It makes sense to talk of the genesis of life, because we can talk about the conditions that gave birth to it (i.e. something existed before life), but what are the conditions that gave birth to existence? I'm not sure it makes sense to talk in this way.

2.Furthermore, if we imagine that there was some sort of inherent organising principle in existence, then fair enough, but I would hesitate to call this the 'genesis' of existence itself, as an organising principle is something that modulates an already existing thing (just as the genetic code of a plant is inherent in its seed).

3. I think you are not completely clear about the distinction between existence and life. If - as with the majority view in modern science - you argue for abiogenesis, then I suppose the organising principle which gives birth to life could be inherent in matter, but then this starts to become a scientific matter. How does abiogenesis take place? If you argue that there is a principle inherent in matter which governs it, then you would need to prove this in some way. Furthermore, it seems to me that you would need to account for some difficulties here: is the principle inherent in all matter, or only some? If all, then why doesn't life automatically spring from matter under the right conditions? This form of abiogenesis has been disproved, I think. However, if this form of abiogenesis fails, then it seems that it becomes difficult to account for the development of life through the 'inherent principle' theory. So, I guess, my more specific question to you would be: inherent in what? If you end up saying just generally "existence", then your position is no different, it seems, to the modern form of abiogenesis. However, if, on the other hand, you say (e.g.) "inherent in superstrings", then you need to show why life just doesn't spring into existence from rocks and such when they are in suitable conditions.

I think the third point above is the biggest problem for you.

Just a general request: could I ask that you try to keep your answers a bit shorter so that we can generate more discussion? My eyes aren't what they were! Wink
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CygnusX1
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« Reply #10 on: 27/09/09 @ 17:28 »

@ Greg...

Your ideas regarding "existence" as perpetual, as existing always, and having self potential for creation of matter, and the genesis of life itself, bears some similarities to the Hinduism philosophical school of Samkyha, (one of the earliest recorded dualistic philosophies of mind and matter).

In this philosophy it is Prakriti which is the eternal unmanifest source of existence and creation, and within are contained the three Gunas, sattva, rajas and tamas which remain in a state of equilibrium until the casual agent Purusha acts as the catalyst for creation of material forms.

You may be interested to compare some of your ideas with these?


"One of the Six Schools of traditional Hindu philosophy, Samkhya philosophy is also considered to be the oldest.  Samkhya emerged before the 2nd century b.c.e., and Samkhya-type ideas have been around since at least the 6th century b.c.e, since Guatama Buddha was familiar with Samkhyan-type ideas".
Excerpt taken from : http://www.kheper.net/topics/Samkhya/history.htm

"In Samkhya evolution involves prakriti alone.  The purusha remains unchanged, a mere witness to prakrti's unceasing transformations…"

" Most of the Samkhyan cosmology is concerned with the unfolding of the prakriti principle; or more precisely mulaprakriti or unmanifest root-nature (equivalent to the Greek concept of Hyle or formless matter)…"

" Mulaprakriti is described as "unmanifest" (avyakta), "uncreated" or "unmade" (avikriti), and "the chief one" (pradhana)… It is the original primordial root-nature from which everything else arises through a process of self-unfolding, triggered through the proximity of the purusha or centre of consciousness…"

" Here then we have a theory of creation that begins not with the Absolute Reality itself (as in all the monistic emanationist cosmologies), but with the principle of Unmanifest "Nature".  Because of that, it is probably more correct to understand the Samkhyan theory of creation in terms of an evolution or unfolding rather than an emanation."
Excerpts taken from : http://www.kheper.net/topics/Samkhya/evolution.htm

" Prakriti is the first cause of the universe--of everything except the Purusha, which is uncaused, and accounts for whatever is physical, both matter and force. Since it is the first principle (tattva) of the universe, it is called the Pradhana, but, as it is the unconscious and unintelligent principle, it is also called the Jada. It is composed of three essential characteristics (trigunas). These are:

sattva - fineness, lightness, illumination, and joy;
rajas - activity, excitation, and pain;
tamas - coarseness, heavyness, obstruction, and sloth.[10][11][12]

All physical events are considered to be manifestations of the evolution of Prakriti, or primal nature (from which all physical bodies are derived). Each sentient being is a Purusha, and is limitless and unrestricted by its physical body. Samsaara or bondage arises when the Purusha does not have the discriminate knowledge and so is misled as to its own identity, confusing itself with the physical body, which is actually an evolute of Prakriti. The spirit is liberated when the discriminate knowledge of the difference between conscious Purusha and unconscious Prakriti is realized…"
Excerpt taken from : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samkhya


" Samkhya dualism may be compared with Cartesian dualism which has dominated later Western thought, according to which the basic ontological division is that between minds which are characterised by consciousness, and material things which are characterised by extension and motion."
Excerpt taken from : http://ignca.nic.in/ps_04013.htm

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You are neither earth, water, fire, air or even ether.
For liberation know yourself as consisting of consciousness,
the witness of these.
[The Song of Ashtavakra (Ashtavakra Samhita) Chapter 1.3]
Gareth Southwell
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« Reply #11 on: 28/09/09 @ 09:13 »

Just to chime in quickly: the problem I have with Greg's position on existence is that it is already 'manifest'. In other words, it takes physical existence as a given, and then attempts to show how the creative potential for existence is inherent in it - which, I argue above, is either circular (existence already existing in order to give birth to existence!), or else seemingly a (disproven) scientific hypothesis (i.e. that all matter contains the seed of life).

The Hindu position (the divine unmanifest) is different, in that it considers the divine to pre-exist matter, and that the creation of matter (and eventually life) springs from this unmanifest potential.
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CygnusX1
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« Reply #12 on: 28/09/09 @ 18:27 »

@ Gareth...

The Hindu philosophy of Samkyha is purely a dualistic, (matter is reality), and atheistic philosophy, which posits that matter does in fact exist irrespective of creation and God. In this way it may support Greg's ideas regarding evolutionary existence that is both eternal and perpetual, yet which remains unmanifest or inert until a causal agent interacts to create forms and matter and life etc.

The similarity here is that Prakriti exists and has always existed, and the process of creation and destruction of matter and forms is a cyclical and evolutionary process. Which maybe likened somewhat to contemporary scientific ideas regarding the creation and potential of matter manifested at the quantum level, (i.e. in particle collisions and regarding the search for the elusive Higgs boson etc).


"According to the Samkhya philosophy, the source all reality and experiences is Prakriti or nature. In its pure original forma, it is the unmanifest (avyaktam), primal resource, the sum total of the universal energy. Prakriti is without a cause, but the cause and source of all effects, the ultimate basis of the empirical universe..

The greatness of Samkyha lies in the fact that the evolution of life on earth is depicted not as miracle work of God, but as a creative process passing through different phases of change and transformation. Infact the original Samkhya did not accept the idea of an Absolute Principle or God behind creation. The individual soul or Purusha is the eternal principle which joins with Prakriti, another eternal principle to establish its presence in the material world. The individual soul is immortal. It exists prior to the emergence of other principles and will continue to exist even after the rest disappear.

The Samkhya school was founded by Kapila, who lived in very ancient times, even before the composition of some of the principal Upanishads such as the Svetavatara, Katha, Prashna and Maitrayani Upanishads…"

More here > http://www.hinduwebsite.com/24principles.asp

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You are neither earth, water, fire, air or even ether.
For liberation know yourself as consisting of consciousness,
the witness of these.
[The Song of Ashtavakra (Ashtavakra Samhita) Chapter 1.3]
GregKaye
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« Reply #13 on: 29/09/09 @ 10:39 »

Hi Cygnus,

I was particularly interested in your initial statement regarding: "existence" as ... having self potential for creation of matter.  If you would be willing I would really appreciate the references so that I might take a direct look at the source materials. 
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CygnusX1
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« Reply #14 on: 30/09/09 @ 19:38 »

@ Greg...

Apart from the links and references as given above, here are a few more...

http://www.hinduism.co.za/philosop.htm
http://www.hinduism.co.za/hinduism.htm
http://www.swamij.com/prakriti-purusha-sankhya.htm
http://www.indopedia.org/Samkhya.html
http://www.hindubooks.org/sudheer_birodkar/hindu_history/vedanta.html
http://shivadarshana.blogspot.com/2008/01/oldest-system-of-philosophical-thought.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_philosophy
http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/books_3a.html
http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sak/sak00.htm
http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/index.htm
http://www.ishwar.com/hinduism/holy_bhagavad_gita/
http://www.bhagavad-gita.org/


There are many other links on the web regarding Samkyha, (Sankyha), the best advice is to read and compare as many as you can and thus draw your own conclusions. Note that Samkyha philosophy is very old indeed and predates buddhism and the Buddha himself. Therefore to find a definitive text regarding this philosophy may be all but impossible.

There are also many good e-books at the swami Krishnananda.org, and many other references at the Sacred texts.com websites above.

Good luck with your reading

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You are neither earth, water, fire, air or even ether.
For liberation know yourself as consisting of consciousness,
the witness of these.
[The Song of Ashtavakra (Ashtavakra Samhita) Chapter 1.3]
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