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A Divine desire for man

Discussion in 'Religion and Faith' started by Neo, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Neo

    Neo Well-Known Member

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    I wonder what people here think of this quote..

    "There is a human desire for God; but there is also a Divine desire for man. God is the supreme idea, the supreme concern and the supreme desire of man. Man is the supreme idea, the supreme concern and the supreme desire of God.
    The problem of God is a human problem. The problem of man is a Divine problem.... Man is the counterpart of God and His beloved from whom He expects the return of love. Man is the other person of the Divine mystery. God needs man. It is God's will not only that He should Himself exist, but man also, the Lover and beloved."

    Wrestlers with Christ, by Karl Pfleger, p. 236.
     
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  2. Mendalla

    Mendalla A Node in the Interdependent Web

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    Can we extend that beyond humanity to all sapient beings (assuming others exist, we certainly have evidence for chimps and at least some whales falling into this category)? If not, why not? What makes our species God's supreme idea as opposed to sapient life being God's supreme idea? Does accepting this mean we are inherently superior to, say, hypothetical intelligent visitors from another planetary system? As someone who has come to realize that we are likely less unique and superior than we think, this kind of spiritually-based humanism concerns me.
     
  3. Neo

    Neo Well-Known Member

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    I believe humanity is the last stage before divinity, where the battle ground of the mind leads to the final release (from material evolution). We came after the animals, just as the animals came after the plants. This isn't to say that travellers from another planetary system could not be superior to us; they've likely already passed through the human stage. Humanity stands at the cross-road between spirit and matter.
     
  4. Luce NDs

    Luce NDs Well-Known Member

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    Allows that the man-gods can demand that the common people be non-sapient ... and thus the reason for wars ... bought on by differing gods ... some physical and some insubstantial ... way out there! And that immaterial item took wisdom with the group ... you can almost smell the naïveté ...
     
  5. revsdd

    revsdd Creation Is A Beautiful Thing

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    No problem with the quote. I would argue that it is one of the primary signs of divine love that God created us not because God needed us, but because God desired us. Thus, we meet no divine need - which means our very existence is a sign of divine love. And to Mendalla - the same could be said for all of creation. I would, however, accept humanity as the "supreme idea" in that the creation of humanity (with wisdom, intelligence and a self-awareness that exceeds all other creatures - and that can be deliberately used for both good or evil) appears to be the culmination of God's creative work in both Scripture and evolution. The argument might be that evolution isn't finished - although even that idea doesn't necessarily contradict a Christian/scriptural worldview that would acknowledge that we are in fact still in the process of "becoming" - whatever it is that we are destined to become
     
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  6. Mendalla

    Mendalla A Node in the Interdependent Web

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    But evolution in no ways guarantees that what comes next is an evolution of us. Assuming we continue on present course, the chance of another mass extinction event that includes us is very distinctly there. But life and evolution won't end there so if a new sapient lifeform that isn't hominid and maybe isn't even mammalian arises in 10 million years, are they then "God's Supreme Idea"? Does us going extinct, by our own hand or other means, invalidate that quote? Because in the history of life on Earth, every dominant group or species has eventually gone down. I see no reason to think that we are exempt from that. If dinosaurs had been intelligent enough to think about themselves as we do, I highly suspect that they would have thought of themselves in similar terms and highly doubt they would have expected that every single non-avian dinosaur would eventually disappear.
     
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  7. Waterfall

    Waterfall Well-Known Member

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    Are animals worried about our extinction?
     
  8. Neo

    Neo Well-Known Member

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    I pondered over the words “God needs us”. Maybe it’s implied that “at this time” God needs us to become “aware of Itself in matter”, as witnessed in Christ? I’m not sure.
     
  9. Neo

    Neo Well-Known Member

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    What if “humans”, or perhaps a more apt word would be “humanoids”, were as a natural a thing as animals and plants in nature? They wouldn’t necessarily look like us, but they would be imbued with ‘self awareness’, which seems to be the primary distinction between us and the animals.
     
  10. revjohn

    revjohn Well-Known Member

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    Okay. You asked.

    The human desire for God or God's is demonstrated by the prevalence of God or God's in ancient societies. I don't think that the drive/desire for God or God's is fading so much as I think we (humanity) is wrestling with how we will define God or God's moving forward.

    The Divine desire for humanity rests on the presupposition that the divine exists. Not such a universally acceptable proposition at present. And out of the variety of starting points for life which range from a deliberate act of creation to happy accident, there can be no consistency of thought that there is any divine will for humanity.

    Clearly, as a Christian, I lean towards the idea that God desired a counterpart and humanity is the best Creation to fill that role.

    Presupposing this to be true we see that anything qualifying as supreme concern/desire automatically is granted God status. I find that inherently problematic as it results in any number of Gods depending on however many supreme concerns/desires exist. It reduces the idea of God to human construct and fails to acknowledge that God, as being, self-defines.

    This is currently one of the reigning theological presuppositions within monotheistic traditions. I think that the further away we get from thinking of God as "person" this will be a thought that falls into disfavour. Certainly, we are seeing more conscious thought that humbles humanity to a state on par with the rest of God's creatures.

    The idea still resonates with where I operate on a theological level (still operate on the presupposition that God is "person") though I question on whether it is precise enough to actually speak of God's desire. I think that it is entirely possible that humanity is not actually the supreme desire so much as humanity may be God's best vehicle to achieve the supreme desire.

    It is very clear from the text of scripture that God seeks other and it is very clear from those same texts that God created humanity to meet that need. Of course, those same texts point out that along the road to meet that goal some of humanity gets sloughed off as so much dead skin.


    Repetition of an idea already discussed. Nice Rhetorical device.

    I quibble with this a smidge. The elevation of humanity to God's counterpart creates problems theologically. Certainly makes it more difficult to think of humanity in humble terms and that comes at risk. Apart from that since I buy the premise that humanity is created by God and God is person I have no serious quarrel with the idea.


    More than a smidge of quibble with these ideas. I reject the notion that humanity is the other person of the Divine mystery as if God is not properly a Trinity but rather a Quartet and humanity the missing figure.

    The notion that God needs humanity does not, I think, find much support in the Biblical text. That God has chosen humanity is, according to the Biblical text, beyond dispute. There are texts that have God repenting the creation of humanity and texts which suggest God has thought about giving up on the human experiment and returning to the drawing board. That God hasn't affirms God's graciousness.

    Forming as a presupposition that idea that God needs humanity allows humanity to develop an inflated opinion of their ultimate value in reality.

    I have no quarrel or quibble with this statement.
    [/quote]
     
  11. revsdd

    revsdd Creation Is A Beautiful Thing

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    There are no guarantees in life.

    There is always a chance of anything I suppose.

    Not likely - but a definite "won't" is probably overstating the case. It isn't absolutely inconceivable that something could happen that would end all life on earth.

    Working from a presupposition that God exists and controls the process and that the process resulted in the evolution of a non-hominid and non-mammalian sapient lifeform, then yes, that species would then be God's Supreme Idea - at that point in history at least.

    The quote is a profession of faith, in that it names a God whose existence cannot be proven. Thus it is a matter of opinion. I suppose that us going extinct might invalidate the quote that "we" are God's "Supreme Idea." However, if "we" have to go extinct in order to invalidate the quote, then "we" will never know that the quote has been invalidated. By definition then (to me at least) it's a rather pointless discussion.

    Interesting quote.

    There haven't been that many truly "dominant" species. In much of the earth's history there have been many species co-existing.

    Humans are the current dominant species. How long we will continue to be what we are is a matter of speculation at best.

    The most dominant species prior to humanity was, of course, the dinosaur. Dinosaurs did not "go down." Most dinosaurs went down, but it is fairly widely accepted today that at least some dinosaurs gave rise to modern birds. You yourself refer to the extinction of "non avian dinosaurs," thus acknowledging that the "mass" extinction of dinosaurs was not a "total" extinction of dinosaurs. Genome research done at Duke University suggests that crocodiles are also believed to have descended from that same line of dinosaurs. So, dinosaurs (or their descendants) are still among us and did not go extinct. They were simply in the process of becoming what they became. The "mass extinction" was not a total extinction, given that there are descendants, but was a part of the process of becoming.

    Prior to the dinosaurs, it's argued that the most dominant species were the trilobites. The horse shoe crab is a modern day descendant of the trilobites. Again - while the term "mass extinction" is used, it was really a becoming.

    I can see lots of reasons that we could be exempt from that. Mainly that we are far more intelligent than our predecessors as the dominant species. That intelligence could be used for self-destruction but it could also be used for self-preservation.

    Hard to know what dinosaurs would have thought beyond finding their next meal.
     
  12. Waterfall

    Waterfall Well-Known Member

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    Why are dinosaurs considered the most dominant species prior to man? Just because they were the largest things on earth? Do we know much about their intelligence? What about the animals in the oceans? Whales, dolphins, etc....?
     
  13. revsdd

    revsdd Creation Is A Beautiful Thing

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    There were no whales during the period of the domination of dinosaurs. Neither were there dolphins. Both evolved later. (Whales began as land animals. They actually still have rudimentary hip bones even though they have no legs.)

    Partly dinosaurs were dominant because of how long they were around - about 175 million years, give or take a few million. Compared to more or less modern homo sapiens at about 200 thousand years.

    Partly dinosaurs were dominant because they were at the top of the food chain. No other creatures could really challenge them. It took a cataclysmic event to knock them off.
     
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  14. Waterfall

    Waterfall Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, I didn't know that whales didn't exist then. So not so much that they were intelligent (of course how would we know that from bones) but able to bully others?
     
  15. revsdd

    revsdd Creation Is A Beautiful Thing

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    Whales evolved about 50 million years ago; dinosaurs went extinct about 66 million years ago.

    Our intelligence adds a whole new dimension to our dominance. We not only bully - we can think up new ways to bully! It's a huge advantage. :sneaky:
     
  16. Mendalla

    Mendalla A Node in the Interdependent Web

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    Whales are mammals and evolved in the period after the extinction of the dinos. The counterparts in the time of the dinosaurs were aquatic reptiles like mosasaurs (which are actually related to modern monitor lizards), ichthyosaurs (which do look remarkably like dolphins), and plesiosaurs (the long-necked beasts that some think are the Loch Ness Monster).

    No, sapients or sentients is the apt word. "Humanoid" still means "human-like". A creature like the space jellyfish in the pilot for Star Trek : The Next Generation could be sapient and sentient but is most definitely not humanoid.

    Really, in the end, all I'm suggesting is that we are not the top of the ladder by any stretch of the imagination save that we have put ourselves there. When you view life as an interdependent web instead of a hierarchy, we are just another animal with a unique adaptation or two that has made us successful and, most importantly, able to think about these questions.
     
  17. airclean33

    airclean33 Well-Known Member

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    Neo post--This Thread--A Divine desire for man".

    • Airclean----Yet it seems no one looks to Gods Word "to understand His Plan". Yet from The beginning till The End . It's there, Man did not make the earth GOD did". Humankind did not even start Mankind" . God did that to", His plan and only His plan, will be at work till the end". In which ,I believe those who listen", an walk with Him", are a great part of that plan". True that God has shown ,Mans time is almost through, For The time of, The Children ,of GOD "is about to begin ". We say Humankind are both flesh and Spirit, I believe we say it that way," because ,we are scared to say" . We are Flesh" and God." what is man" that GOD care's so much"? The answer is easy , we are His" children in whom, He" has great Love". Are flesh will die". Not so, with the Spirit it is of God "there for will never die.' I know I want to spend this time , with a caring Loving Father. If not" you can go with your choice, and your father. May The true GOD" and Father help you with that" choice. airclean33Gord.
     
  18. unsafe

    unsafe Well-Known Member

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  19. Waterfall

    Waterfall Well-Known Member

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    According to 1Timothy 6:10, "God is the unapproachable light" This is confirmed throughout scripture. It seems God makes itself known but limits Human accessibility.

    Is it just Jesus that made God more approachable or can it be others and even ourselves?
     
  20. unsafe

    unsafe Well-Known Member

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    Does it really matter how old the earth or animals that were here in the pass are ----God's Time is not our time ----God is on His own time for the creation of this world and the things in it -----no one can really prove or know for sure just how old this earth and the creatures who existed in the beginning are ----there is only speculation ----Man has drummed up his own theory and Man has taken time lines from the Bible to find out ----Truth is we may be just trying to figure out something that is beyond our capacity -----Just maybe God does not want us to know such things -who knows???/ ---so He says this to keep us guessing -----



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