[From Kenny Kitzke(2007.12.08)]
<Bill Powers (2007.12.08.0803 MST)>
I changed the title to try to clarify that my human spirit that I perceive in me acts like a PCT “Observer” and is not divine. If it were, I would not be such a messed up human being.
<I’d like to make a suggestion, actually following up on one of Kenny Kitzke’s comments about system concepts and religion.>
I am delighted to follow up on your suggestion.
<Just for a moment, let’s forget about whether there is or isn’t a God, and focus on what it means to ponder that idea.>
As far as I am concerned, we can forget this for as long as we live. I don’t think it is possible today for any man to prove there is a God. It is a belief built by faith upon subjective evidence. If there is a God, I have little doubt that He could prove His own existence to any of us. But, so far, He has not proven that to me. I am more certain that no man can ever prove a God does not exist. This is from logic where you cannot prove a negative.
Yet, we can prove that we exist. We are alive. And, we behave. This is the human behavior that interests me. And PCT explains it better than anything else I have been able to find. That is why I am here. And, this science of human behavior does not depend any more on whether or not a God exists than the science of physics. Further, I do not think the science of behavior depends on whether the humans we are and can study got this way by divine creation or evolution. It is why I think it is a waste of time to discuss God, the Bible, religion, intelligent design, creation, evolution, etc., on this forum. It is not that these topics aren’t interesting or worth debating, it is just that they are superfluous to understanding the science of human behavior on this net.
What discussing them does seem to do is divert discussion from the science and cause conflicts between participants (who take their system variables seriously). The science, the professionalism and the collegial friendships among interested parties has generally suffered from such discussion rather than enhancing any of them.
<When you’re thinking about ideas that affect you, like the dangers from Osama or from Iranian clerics, you tend to put the situation in terms of personal fears and other reactions like anger and outrage. So you argue, “If he did something to me, and threatens to do more, why shouldn’t I just exterminate him and everyone like him? Isn’t it just human nature to protect yourself and your loved ones?”>
<But when you think of God, you don’t think the same way. You ask, “Didn’t God create Osama and the clerics, too? Why did he do that? How can God allow these things to happen when I’ve never harmed those other people? How can I make sense of this situation from the point of view that God would take?”>
Some people do think differently; some don’t. Some believers may ask such questions, to others they many never occur. No thinking will be identical. We are one-of-a-kind specimens. It is very evident that I do not think the same way about God, or how God wants His creatures to behave, as Jim does. Should I straighten him out on CSGNet, or anywhere? I say, no, unless he wants my advice. And, if he does, I say it makes more sense to talk about what God wants His creatures to do (or not do) with Jim privately, not on a public forum like CSGNet. It’s not a contest, is it?
<Now you see yourself as just one of many human beings spread out over the world in the sight of God, and you’re trying to grasp something that you know is beyond you, yet that is still vastly important. You’re trying to find order and goodness in the chaotic relationships that hold among human beings, and in the feelings that war for precedence inside every individual. Revenge or forgiveness? Fear or hope? Peace or war?>
Yep, deep in my human spirit, separate from my active/controlling mind, there is a comparator contest over which system concept I will act/control for: achieving revenge or granting forgiveness. My spirit “Observer” (whatever it is) in me is what is aware of my system perception possibilities and somehow specifies the ones I will use as references for my life. It selects and combines the systems level concepts that synergistically give me a unique sense of purpose I find desirable. I conceive this as an imaginary life long-term purpose concept that feels right for me. It is difficult to describe to others until the lower level perceptions and references articulate observable behavior they can sense.
By the way, Rick misrepresented my human spirit/observer as God. That is not what I said or meant. I am not saying that God can’t observe my actions, my references or the deepest intents of my spirit, but I believe those are mine, unique to me alone, and not God’s.
<When you try to grasp, or accept, God’s view of human affairs, you’re still doing this from a mere human’s point of view, naturally, but you’re starting to get a glimmer of something at a new level, the level I call system concepts. Instead of thinking how to save your own neck, you’re puzzling over how we could arrange our affairs, our principles, so as to save everyone’s neck – even Osama’s. The God-like point of view is not identified with any one person’s affairs but encompasses all of them. When one person runs amok and kills one other or eight others or 3000 others, it is the same problem: something has gone wrong with a human mind that has led to tragedy for a large number of others, just as if the person had been infected by a mutated virus which brought down many others, too. Blame and retribution become irrelevant; what matters is how to fix the problem, cure those affected by it as far as possible, and keep it from happening again. Those tiny human beings are shouting for vengeance, but from the point of view of God, you can say “Leave the vengeance – if any – to Me. Seek out your own salvation with diligence. Tat Tvam Asi.” You say and hear that in whatever language you speak.>
Sure, a person who trusts the Bible can think that way. It is a source of ways to think about life. It is the Book of books, the most read book ever. But, I don’t know of any two Bible believers (who accept it as the infallible word of God and His will for His creatures) who agree on what it says to do in specifics. My wife of over 40 years read it, debate it and pray about it and still understand parts of it differently.
The debates within Christianity are every bit as diverse as those between believers and atheists about how we should live and what to believe. I admit I spend way more time in those debates than in studying PCT. And, those debates can become as nasty as those between two atheist scientists trying to agree on global warming, when life begins or how the universe came into existance.
<If there were a God who could by a simple act of Will cure all the world’s problems, there would be no need for us human beings, nor would there be any understandable excuse for God’s behavior. But if the God-viewpoint is seen as a sketch of an attainable human viewpoint, and if the solutions to the world’s problems remain the responsibility of the human beings who created them, then the God-viewpoint is highly relevant. It shows us a place to stand from which we can move the world. From that point of view we can make perfect sense of loving our enemies, turning the other cheek, doing as we would be done by, going an extra mile with those would would force us to travel the first one, seeking the Kingdom of Heaven within us. Is that what Christ was trying to tell us about? System concepts? I have thought so for a long time.>
He told us about the most difficult things to understand about life and purpose and the consequences of our actions. He lets us choose what to believe. It’s our free will as to whether we are interested in His. A teen in my congregation asked about why God allows evil and sin even in His chosen people? There were a number of answers given. I asked PJ if he would take more pleasure in the applause we give him after his music if the pastor said “clap for the kid or I’ll dis-fellowship you” or if we clapped because we were pleased with PJ’s effort, even if it was not the best we had ever heard? The answer was obvious. And, PJ said so our Father is more pleased if we will (choose on our own) to love others (even enemies) than if we half-heartedly obey Him out of fear of Him. I said Bingo. People are free to try to be like Him or ignore Him. If He is real, it is easy to understand whom He will reward and whom He will punish.
<Why quibble about whether a God really, truly, exists? If he didn’t exist, as someone said in French, it would be necessary to invent him. What matters is the point of view to which we are led when we try to guess what God would want us to do. That’s where we will find, or create, the answers.
Yes, the human behavioral answers are created in our spirit/our observer’s will/purpose and actions to perceive them about ouselves. Unfortunately, however, if God exists, and our answers that please us displease Him, the answer that vengeance is His as related earlier would make me think about my system references.