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  1. #1 Angels value 
    sam
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    Hi,
    1-Do sexless creatures like Angels exist in all religions?
    2-What value do they bring to religion, creatures with wings and no sex?


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  3. #2 Re: Angels value 
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    Quote Originally Posted by sam
    Hi,
    1-Do sexless creatures like Angels exist in all religions?
    2-What value do they bring to religion, creatures with wings and no sex?
    Angels are personifications of natural phenomena

    Some are hermaphrodite, some are male, some are female, depending on the phenomena.

    For example a particular Angel can be associated with Air, Water, Fire and Earth.

    It's temperament and sex is simply given to describe the nature of each particular element.

    It enables the religious or spiritual practitioner to fully understand the qualities of natural elements by regarding each element as having characteristics which enable a personification to be formed.

    Angels and their personifications only exist in the minds of humans. They do not exist in reality.

    Unfortunately some people forget or do not realize this and spend all their money and time in attempting to contact & communicate with something which is simply a figment of the imagination.


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  4. #3 Re: Angels value 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sam
    Hi,
    1-Do sexless creatures like Angels exist in all religions?
    Obviously not, however some sort of non-human spirits are pretty common and can be found in the vast majority of religions.


    Quote Originally Posted by sam
    2-What value do they bring to religion, creatures with wings and no sex?
    In the Bible the angels are the messengers and servants of God. I think this means that they are essentially tools created as a means to an end and not as an end in themselves. I would liken them to a non-physical equivalent of computers and robots. Some might ask, "why would God need such a thing?" But that is a nonsensical question. God does not need anything, God has created out of a desire to give of Himself. But anyone who has been involved in a complex creative task can tell you that it is only natural in the process of such a task to create something to handle routine tasks, because the real creative work is not in micromanagement but in organizing the big picture. I don't believe in a God of hand waiving magic but a God that creates from a knowledge of how to accomplish things.

    I also see angels as a logical step in God purpose to create something which is independent of Himself (as something to which He can give of Himself). Consider what an omnipotent being must do in order to create something independent of Himself. He can make anything he imagines a reality, right? But what shall the thing He creates do? If it only does precisely what He imagines then that is not independent of Him in any way but only an extension of Himself. So I think the answer is in automation - that is to create something that acts according to rules that you have put into them. (Isn't that exactly what a computer is like?)

    Acting according to the rules within them is a kind of independence especially when like an AI you have given it some capacity for learning and problem solving. But in the end, they really are nothing more than what you have made them to be. Therefore I think the next step is to create something that not only acts according to rules but whose very existence is arises from such independently operating rules, and this is what I think the physical universe is with its mathematical laws of physics, designed with purpose of giving rise to the spontaneously self-organizing phenomena that is life.

    Any way back to the angels. I don't think wings are really relevant to anything, for angels are not physical living organisms, and so any association of them with wings would be purely symbolic or imaginative. As for sex, that is something that is entirely to do with physical life and therefore has nothing to do with the angels. HOWEVER (and I may be pretty unique in thinking this way), I think it is only logical that angles would be created with the ability to reproduce themselves as needed. Though reproduce wouldn't really be right word for an ability to make additional workers for specific tasks and thus subservient to them. Wouldn't that be the ideals sort of computer -- one that could make whatever additional processors it might need for a task? That seems to me to be exactly the sort of micromanagement task that would logically be automated/delegated. I specifically think that the angel Lucifer was an angel with such an ability.
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  5. #4 Re: Angels value 
    sam
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by sam
    Hi,
    1-Do sexless creatures like Angels exist in all religions?
    Obviously not, however some sort of non-human spirits are pretty common and can be found in the vast majority of religions.


    Quote Originally Posted by sam
    2-What value do they bring to religion, creatures with wings and no sex?
    In the Bible the angels are the messengers and servants of God. I think this means that they are essentially tools created as a means to an end and not as an end in themselves. I would liken them to a non-physical equivalent of computers and robots. Some might ask, "why would God need such a thing?" But that is a nonsensical question. God does not need anything, God has created out of a desire to give of Himself. But anyone who has been involved in a complex creative task can tell you that it is only natural in the process of such a task to create something to handle routine tasks, because the real creative work is not in micromanagement but in organizing the big picture. I don't believe in a God of hand waiving magic but a God that creates from a knowledge of how to accomplish things.

    I also see angels as a logical step in God purpose to create something which is independent of Himself (as something to which He can give of Himself). Consider what an omnipotent being must do in order to create something independent of Himself. He can make anything he imagines a reality, right? But what shall the thing He creates do? If it only does precisely what He imagines then that is not independent of Him in any way but only an extension of Himself. So I think the answer is in automation - that is to create something that acts according to rules that you have put into them. (Isn't that exactly what a computer is like?)

    Acting according to the rules within them is a kind of independence especially when like an AI you have given it some capacity for learning and problem solving. But in the end, they really are nothing more than what you have made them to be. Therefore I think the next step is to create something that not only acts according to rules but whose very existence is arises from such independently operating rules, and this is what I think the physical universe is with its mathematical laws of physics, designed with purpose of giving rise to the spontaneously self-organizing phenomena that is life.

    Any way back to the angels. I don't think wings are really relevant to anything, for angels are not physical living organisms, and so any association of them with wings would be purely symbolic or imaginative. As for sex, that is something that is entirely to do with physical life and therefore has nothing to do with the angels. HOWEVER (and I may be pretty unique in thinking this way), I think it is only logical that angles would be created with the ability to reproduce themselves as needed. Though reproduce wouldn't really be right word for an ability to make additional workers for specific tasks and thus subservient to them. Wouldn't that be the ideals sort of computer -- one that could make whatever additional processors it might need for a task? That seems to me to be exactly the sort of micromanagement task that would logically be automated/delegated. I specifically think that the angel Lucifer was an angel with such an ability.

    Hi mitchellmckain

    So you're saying that it's rather about their utility than the value they bring to religion as religion, and why they are pictured with wings and stuff is only related to their concretization. Fair enough.
    Looking back now I understand the divergence in the approach between us. Being atheist I looked at the angels just as a tool of the religion and I was wondering what does it add to religion, what additional values.
    Well I guess logic is not the right tool to dig in here
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  6. #5 Re: Angels value 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sam
    Hi mitchellmckain

    So you're saying that it's rather about their utility than the value they bring to religion as religion, and why they are pictured with wings and stuff is only related to their concretization. Fair enough.
    Looking back now I understand the divergence in the approach between us. Being atheist I looked at the angels just as a tool of the religion and I was wondering what does it add to religion, what additional values.
    Well I guess logic is not the right tool to dig in here
    I think your premise that religion is designed is unwarranted. Those like Mormonism and Islam which come closest to being designed religions are still not very ammenable to the kind of thinking you have used. So it is not that logic is not the right tool for examining religion but that you are applying it in the wrong way.

    What if I asked what was the value of having barbarian invasions bringing down the Roman empire? From a secular historical perspective that question is nonsensical. The question only makes sense of you adopt a premise like God being the author of history, right?

    We could assume your premise that religion is designed and ask what possible use there could be for angels. For example, it could be a way for a new religion to absorb and take over pre-existing religion, by saying that the god of that old religion is really just one of the angels. But that is just making stuff up because there really is no evidence that this has anything to do with the origin of this belief in angels. But I might wonder if a case could be made for the Djinn in Islam, if it wasn't so clear that Islam adopted nearly all of its beliefs and mythology from Judaism and Christianity.
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  7. #6 Re: Angels value 
    sam
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by sam
    Hi mitchellmckain

    So you're saying that it's rather about their utility than the value they bring to religion as religion, and why they are pictured with wings and stuff is only related to their concretization. Fair enough.
    Looking back now I understand the divergence in the approach between us. Being atheist I looked at the angels just as a tool of the religion and I was wondering what does it add to religion, what additional values.
    Well I guess logic is not the right tool to dig in here
    I think your premise that religion is designed is unwarranted. Those like Mormonism and Islam which come closest to being designed religions are still not very ammenable to the kind of thinking you have used. So it is not that logic is not the right tool for examining religion but that you are applying it in the wrong way.

    What if I asked what was the value of having barbarian invasions bringing down the Roman empire? From a secular historical perspective that question is nonsensical. The question only makes sense of you adopt a premise like God being the author of history, right?

    We could assume your premise that religion is designed and ask what possible use there could be for angels. For example, it could be a way for a new religion to absorb and take over pre-existing religion, by saying that the god of that old religion is really just one of the angels. But that is just making stuff up because there really is no evidence that this has anything to do with the origin of this belief in angels. But I might wonder if a case could be made for the Djinn in Islam, if it wasn't so clear that Islam adopted nearly all of its beliefs and mythology from Judaism and Christianity.
    Hi Again,
    Ok I see, however help me out applying the following approach for a second:
    If "A" is a creature or a thought or anything, when "A" is born he has all degrees of liberty to evolve in history, some restrictions and rules in nature and society etc. shape it along the way. "A" ends up optimized to its function, with a reason for all its characteristics, just like animals in natural selection and us humans in societies, always interacting learning and moving forward. At anytime our behaviors can be traced back to some pool of reasons that might have caused them.
    I look like a partisan of determinism now but I am not, I do believe that randomness exists and is a major player in the shaping process, as a result things move Irreversibly forward but still, looking backward and adding the random effect to the equation correlations can be done.
    Now the Idea of "Angels" in a certain society with certain beliefs has to have existed naturally, filling in some need that existed. what was that need? was it as you said the justification of why believers in previous religions should adopt the new one? what other need could've existed?
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    I died as inanimate matter and arose a plant,
    I died as a plant and rose again an animal.
    I died as an animal and arose a man.
    Why then should I fear to become less by dying?
    I shall die once again as a man
    To rise an angel perfect from head to foot!
    Again when I suffer dissolution as an angel,
    I shall become what passes the conception of man!
    Let me then become non-existent, for non-existence
    Sings to me in organ tones, 'To him shall we return.'

    (Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi - Persian Islamic Sufi mystic poet)

    Trust a scientist to liken Angels to AI and computers lol

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I also see angels as a logical step in God purpose to create something which is independent of Himself (as something to which He can give of Himself). Consider what an omnipotent being must do in order to create something independent of Himself. He can make anything he imagines a reality, right? But what shall the thing He creates do? If it only does precisely what He imagines then that is not independent of Him in any way but only an extension of Himself. So I think the answer is in automation - that is to create something that acts according to rules that you have put into them. (Isn't that exactly what a computer is like?)
    So am I right in thinking that religions believe everything in the physical world is an emanation from God?

    Everything is created as
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    'a logical step in God purpose to create something independent of himself'
    ? (Your words, my italicization)

    Ok so how can something be independent of God if the answer is automaton -
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    'that is to create something that acts according to rules that you have put into them.'
    ????

    Doesn't seem very independent to me.

    And so if everything is Gods creation pre-programmed by God, how come mankind, who are also emanations from God, can behave evil and contrary to how religion supposes Gods people should behave?

    Wouldn't we be like AI as well?

    Your answer might be -
    Quote Originally Posted by (my words)
    because we haven't plugged into the programme God has for us, or downloaded the software (lol)
    So that would then imply we do have a choice and we do have free-will? Therefore we are capable of being independent of God through ignorance or choice, and not adhere to our pre-programmed arrangement God has for us.

    Do you think it is possible then that Angelic beings might also have this choice and decide not to follow the pre-programming and instead rebel, bit like a cell that become cancerous?

    Do you think it's possible that an intelligence can exist without a physical form?
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sam
    Ok I see, however help me out applying the following approach for a second:
    If "A" is a creature or a thought or anything, when "A" is born he has all degrees of liberty to evolve in history, some restrictions and rules in nature and society etc. shape it along the way. "A" ends up optimized to its function, with a reason for all its characteristics, just like animals in natural selection and us humans in societies, always interacting learning and moving forward.
    But I believe in accordance with abiogenesis that life originates in self-organizing physical phenomena. It is the environment itself in the laws of physics which has this potential for evolution. God created the physical universe as a womb of life in which this can happen. Yes God can influence the direction of events to provide the stimulation that is needed to encourage self-organizing phenomena to evolve in the direction of greater potential and ability. The point is that living things have ALWAYS have a hand and free will in the process of their creation and they are never at any point a product of design. The universe and its physical laws are a product of design and thus you could say that the very idea of life itself is a product of design but living things themselves cannot by their very nature be a product of design.

    Quote Originally Posted by sam
    At anytime our behaviors can be traced back to some pool of reasons that might have caused them.
    No that is not correct. Determinism and the closure of physical causity has been shown to be false. Do we have causes originating outside of ourselves? Well yes in the sense that the process of life by its very nature is always radically open to the environment. It evolves and learns in response to environmental events and changes, but this can be called influence rather than cause because it is the living organism that decides how to respond.


    Quote Originally Posted by sam
    I look like a partisan of determinism now but I am not, I do believe that randomness exists and is a major player in the shaping process, as a result things move Irreversibly forward but still, looking backward and adding the random effect to the equation correlations can be done.
    But people will always disagree on whether things are meaningful. What one persons says has a purpose and arises from choice someone else will deny saying that it is only coincidence and randomness, while others say there is no such thing as coincidence. The point is that living things act for their own reasons and we have this experience of free will that we choose our own actions. You are free to dismiss this as an illusion just as some passing alien ship is free to dismiss human beings as a disease infesting this planet. You can believe them if you want but I will not. A living organism without the will to assert its own value doesn't deserve to live.


    Quote Originally Posted by sam
    Now the Idea of "Angels" in a certain society with certain beliefs has to have existed naturally, filling in some need that existed. what was that need? was it as you said the justification of why believers in previous religions should adopt the new one?
    Or there really are such things as angels. It is an extension of the question of theism or atheism. Is God a real being who created the universe or is God a creation of the human imagination? Theist and atheist disagree.



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    Absum ...sigh... It looks like I am speaking to you again. You are too interesting to ignore. I hope it does not end up like the last time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Trust a scientist to liken Angels to AI and computers lol
    Yes I am a scientist. I was always scientist first and theist/Christian second.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    So am I right in thinking that religions believe everything in the physical world is an emanation from God?
    No that is panentheism. There are a lot of scientists who adopt a definition of God such they might say such a thing. But most theists including myself reject pantheism and panentheism to say that God is not the universe but an uncreated being who by His own choice and for His own purpose created the physical universe.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Everything is created as
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    'a logical step in God purpose to create something independent of himself'
    ? (Your words, my italicization)

    Ok so how can something be independent of God if the answer is automaton -
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    'that is to create something that acts according to rules that you have put into them.'
    ????

    Doesn't seem very independent to me.
    Exactly! That is precisely my point.
    1st step: create something whose actions derive independently from rules that you have created them with ->angels
    2nd step: create something whose existence derives independently from rules that you have created -> physical universe and the phenomenon of life.

    Both are a use of the principle of automation. In the first case automation is directly responsible for the actions of the angels. In the second case this automation only provides the basis for self-organizing phenomena which can evolve into living organisms by a process of choice, learning and creativity.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    And so if everything is Gods creation pre-programmed by God, how come mankind, who are also emanations from God, can behave evil and contrary to how religion supposes Gods people should behave?
    Everything is not pre-programmed by God. We are not emanations from God. We have arisen from self-organizing processes and thus we have had a part in our own creation from the very beginning. Our existence is one of choices: we can choose the way of life and greater free will and potentiality, or we can choose the way of death in habits which destroy our potential. God influences the environment to push us out of our stagnation comfort zones to make such choices, and as always some choose the easier way of the simple life (like bacteria and fundamentalists) and others choose the harder way of more complex life (like primates and scientists).


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Wouldn't we be like AI as well?
    Nope. But we can study the mathematical physical laws which are the basis of our physical existence to see the automation that is to be found everywhere around us and in us because of our physical exisence. But what we are, is not simply what something has made us to be. We are the product of the choices we have made, though an inheritance derived from the choices of our ancestors has certainly played an enormous role in the direction of our lives.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Your answer might be -
    Quote Originally Posted by (my words)
    because we haven't plugged into the programme God has for us, or downloaded the software (lol)
    There are indeed may theists/Christians whose theology and attitudes could indeed be characterized in this way. I am not one of them. I utterly repudiate this theology that it is all about obedience to God. I don't believe in a god that wants obedience. That sound to me like the product of those which have made religion in to a tool of power and manipulation. Such a god using dire threats and promises to manipulate us sounds to me more like the devil. I believe in a God of love not a god of power and obedience.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Do you think it is possible then that Angelic beings might also have this choice and decide not to follow the pre-programming and instead rebel, bit like a cell that become cancerous?
    According to Christian theology that is exactly what happened with Lucifer and so the question you should ask is how I reconcile that with my view of the angels. The answer is that even a "programmed" being as I understand the angels to be can be unpredictable and act in ways that are unintended when they interact with beings that have free will. The point is that whatever happened with Lucifer, the real responsibility for the origin of evil and what has become of us cannot be laid at the feet of any angel, fallen or otherwise, but is entirely a result of our own choices. It is we who are ultimately responsible. It we who "created" the devil and not the devil who "created" us. Yes God created the angel Lucifer, but it is our choice to blaim everything and everyone but ourselves that changed his role to one of an adversary.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Do you think it's possible that an intelligence can exist without a physical form?
    It may depend on what you mean by "intellegence", but I would say obviously yes. But unless it began in a physical form it would not be a human intellegence. God and the angels are the obvious examples of this.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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    Humm....well I'm glad you didn't ignore me because I know I can be annoying, and half the time I don't mean to. So thank you for responding Mckain.

    I am just at present contemplating what you've put above and will reply shortly as there are a few things you have written that I'm not sure about.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Trust a scientist to liken Angels to AI and computers lol
    Yes I am a scientist. I was always scientist first and theist/Christian second.
    Archaeologist's all or nothing, black and white, with me or against me, fascist menality would probably interpret this as not a Christian at all, especially because he defines his faith in opposition to science. But I see that as clear evidence that Archaeologist is not a Christian at all but is in a pseudo-christian cult that has transformed the gospel into a legalistic religion of men for power and manipulation. Groups like this don't like the gospel message that salvation is a gift because that provides them no lever with which to control people. So hidden behind deceptive rhetoric they change the gospel from "salvation is a gift" to "salvation is a reward for obedience", and so like with the Mormons and moonies, it is works and their church that becomes the source of salvation rather than God and His grace.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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