think about it –
is an integer
“god is dead”
but to me
“god is ‘nothing’
& the world is
from the world
came god and gods,
not the other way
as we might believe
To me, religion is man-made, not god-made. It serves a purpose similar (if not identical) to that of philosophy and science, two other man-made concepts.
There is nothing “natural” to religion, philosophy or science. If the Christian God were natural then every person and culture would have naturally gravitated toward Christianity. That God is not known to people unless they are told about his existence is proof that God is a construct. If philosophy and being a philosopher is natural then it would have been of the same structure across all cultures. Again, the fact that Confucius is considered a philosopher is wholly a Western construct. The word and concept “philosophy” is Western, and completely foreign to Eastern thinking. Yet again, if science was natural it would have been the same across all cultures at all times. The fact we needed to discover and develop it means it is constructed.
The only thing not “man-made” is matter. We are part of the material world. We come from the material. So are we not part of nature? In other words, we are nature-made. And it is nature, ironically, which had made us to believe in things that are man-made and the god-made.
In the beginning was a “big bang”. No one is sure how it happened but it happened about 14 billion years ago (in Earth time, that is). All the material in the universe came from this event. The material in the form of dust slowly gathered to form galaxies, suns, planets and satellites through attraction. The planet we call Earth was formed about 4 billion years ago, a little after the formation of the Sun, the star which gives us the energy for our survival, around which we revolve. Life on Earth began around 1 billion years ago in the form of simple cells. Our species – Homo – is perhaps one to two million years old. Civilisation in the form of societies and writing came about perhaps 20,000 years ago. Recognisable society is perhaps 7,000 years old. We know these things because we are smart.
After I wrote this post I did some reading. And, yes, people do think about what is outside our universe, but have found no evidence for other universes interacting with ours. But neither is there evidence for a god-creater (if you ignore secondary evidence such as the Bible) either.
There is nothing like consilience, the convergence of evidence to something.
In short, the understandable wish to advance the dharma by linking it with the prestige of science might obscure its actual power. The unique force of the dharma lies in its diagnosis of suffering and its causes and its prescription of the path to the cessation of that suffering. In this regard, Buddhism can speak for itself—even in the modern marketplace of ideas. It follows from this that the best way we can help sustain the dharma is to stay true to it. Right about now that might be the most radical we can do.
From the article We are not kind machines
In the past people have marvelled at the intricacy of nature and at times have attributed it to some kind of divine power. ‘How could something so perfect and complex,’ they would ask, ‘be created by chance?’
Now a team of scientists in Russia have shown how electroplating if left unchecked can create structures remarkably similar to structures of leaves, trees, buds and corals, suggesting that the patterns in nature may be following some kind of geometric formula.
The shapes created truly looked like unscented gardens.