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PaulS

We are God - all is God

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Let me say from the outset that this is a line of thought I have been investigating for a little while now and although I do not claim it as my belief, it seems to make the most logical sense out of all the other 'models' Christianity has proposed to me concerning the existence of any sort of 'God'.

The model I am suggesting is that we (and everything that exists) is God.  I find that if I were to adopt this model then all of my questions about evil, wrongdoing, injustice, heartache and pain, love and enjoyment, purpose & existence - can be answered (to my satisfaction anyway).

Why does evil happen? - because it does, just the same as good happens.  We as God are simply experiencing from a human perspective what it is to be amongst that.  All other living and non-living things have their experience also.

Is God love? - No.  Well, no more than God is also hate, laughter, sadness and pain.  These are all human descriptors of our experience and as God is experiencing all of this, God is all of these things too.  When I hate, God is hating,  When I love, God is loving.

What happens when we die? - We continue on as God.  Just as God is the stardust that we come from, so God is the stardust that we return to.  God is eternal and infinite and we continue on into that eternity and infinity, even after this body and consciousness ( consciousness being a by-product of this body) ceases to exist.  Except there is no coming or going - just continuing.  Of course our ego doesn't like to think that and it struggles to maintain some kind of identity, but again, that is all part of the experience of being human.

How does this impact my life today? - I live how I want to gain the most from the experience.  Although this sounds selfish in the first instance, if one stops and thinks about it a lot of the things that help me live a 'good' experience include taking into account others.  We share this planet, we share countries, we share communities, we share families.  We can choose to live however we want and it makes no difference to God, but if we want to have a more pleasurable experience over one less pleasurable, then we will choose in a variety of different ways, to work together.  Not everybody will do this, which is evident in the existence of 'wrong' or 'evil', but these are just emotive terms to describe what we don't like about those things.  

I am also finding it profoundly releasing to imagine that all is God -  that we are all the same God.  The differences that appear between us are, in the big picture of things, totally arbitrary and of very little consequence really.  It makes such things a lot easier to accept or just let be.

Just my thoughts at this point in time.

 

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Paul,

In my view you are pretty close to a more profound understanding in your post postulate .  I would only differ in the sense that in reality there are no opposites such as love and hate, etc. and such human dichotomy.  While human consciousness experiences these things " ( consciousness being a by-product of this body) ceases to exist " as you said, they cannot be God since they are created by human consciousness. Only God actually exists, all else is an illusion. When you love, your human consciousness is experiencing God, when it is absent (love) you call it hate or depression or some other word  and feel alienated  from God and hostile toward the rest of creation. Only Love (complete acceptance of all things) exists, the rest of our human descriptors are only arbitrary points on that continuum created by an evolving human consciousness that is self , not God. They don't exist (the arbitrary points) except in the mind that ceases to exist therefore they are illusion even though they seem convincingly real. This part needs to be experienced rather than reasoned. God cannot hate or experience fear. Rather it is a temporary evolutionary condition of human consciousness that varies in emotions from  emotion levels  of humiliation, anxiety,  hate, trust, forgiveness, understanding, reverence, serenity, through ineffable at which point ones God view is seen as Self. (capital S)

9 hours ago, PaulS said:

Is God love? - No.  Well, no more than God is also hate, laughter, sadness and pain.  These are all human descriptors of our experience and as God is experiencing all of this, God is all of these things too.  When I hate, God is hating,  When I love, God is loving.

So, when you hate, God is not hating, the Paul (self) which is to perish is hating. However,  when you truly love (not in the traditional sense), it is God shining through Paul that is loving, therefor it is said God is Love.

Just a view to consider,

Joseph

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Posted (edited)

I enjoyed Watts, having heard/read him earlier in life. He is a born performer, as the best teachers must be.

It is interesting to note that at the beginning of his piece, Watts says we are God or one with God - which are two different realities. If one is X, there is no need to be one with it since one is already it. I also noted that he spoke of such oneness (or being God) as having a sense of being bound up or intimate with all and assuming some responsibility - as opposed to feeling alien or a stranger and becoming hostile toward all. I recognize that the same feeling of intimacy and responsibility is part of, for example, a panentheistic take on God/man. I wonder if he discusses at greater length how being God and being one with God are the same or different. 

It is an interesting model. I disagree with it and presented that perspective in response to the other two who spoke or wrote about it (given the many holes and contradictions in their presentations). 

However the most basic disagreement comes from experience: I know of no one who thinks, nor have I ever seriously thought, that 'I am God.' We hear people down through the ages talk or write about a openness with God but not so much that "I am God.' One can talk about the necessity to become enlightened but this begs the always unanswered question of why does God not know he is God in the first place. And this is followed by the also always unanswered question, what and why does God need to experience if God is already all? 

This model might provide answers to everything for some but for others God, in this model, is a wack-a-mole: here he pops up as love, then evil, then, oops, now God is injustice, then he pops up as heartache. Yet the question persists: why? And love, in the experience of most of us, is that which can overcome evil and indeed evil 'seems' the absence of love (and is experienced as such by the one who is loved as opposed to having all manner of evil foisted on him), why/how is God the opposite of what God is? Why does God need to experience from a human perspective or any perspective if God is already all? If God is all ,what is there to know or be gained by being 'amongst that'  if he is all that to begin with?

And if evil just happens, where is Watts' idea of assuming responsibility? Does Watts agree here, does Christina from an earlier post? Watts appears to disagree.

If God is the stardust then God is not eternal and infinite.. Our science tell us that the stardust had a beginning (in the Big Bang). If so, the stardust is not eternal or infinite at least on the 'beginning side and perhaps on the 'end' side. Therefore God is not eternal or infinite. 

It seems a pertinent question for this model is, what do you mean by God? If God is everything then it is just as easy to say that God is nothing or, simply, you don't need God in this model. There is the (not) eternal stardust that all is part of and that's all she wrote. It seems, in this model, God is no more than a name for the stardust, correct? Plus, I guess the model assigns some kind of consciousness or mind to the stardust or God, since it experiences. Otherwise it is just a blob that continually, unconsciously reforms.

Anyway, I know this is not yet your belief but it has far to many holes, questions and contradictions to resonate with the experience of many people. 

 

 

 

Edited by thormas

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5 hours ago, JosephM said:

.....they cannot be God since they are created by human consciousness. Only God actually exists, all else is an illusion.

If true then all is not God; human consciousness is not God. If such consciousness is illusion then "We as God are not simply experiencing from a human perspective" because that perspective is illusion and, as Joseph said, not God.

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17 hours ago, PaulS said:

Let me say from the outset that this is a line of thought I have been investigating for a little while now and although I do not claim it as my belief, it seems to make the most logical sense out of all the other 'models' Christianity has proposed to me concerning the existence of any sort of 'God'.

The model I am suggesting is that we (and everything that exists) is God.  I find that if I were to adopt this model then all of my questions about evil, wrongdoing, injustice, heartache and pain, love and enjoyment, purpose & existence - can be answered (to my satisfaction anyway).

Why does evil happen? - because it does, just the same as good happens.  We as God are simply experiencing from a human perspective what it is to be amongst that.  All other living and non-living things have their experience also.

Is God love? - No.  Well, no more than God is also hate, laughter, sadness and pain.  These are all human descriptors of our experience and as God is experiencing all of this, God is all of these things too.  When I hate, God is hating,  When I love, God is loving.

What happens when we die? - We continue on as God.  Just as God is the stardust that we come from, so God is the stardust that we return to.  God is eternal and infinite and we continue on into that eternity and infinity, even after this body and consciousness ( consciousness being a by-product of this body) ceases to exist.  Except there is no coming or going - just continuing.  Of course our ego doesn't like to think that and it struggles to maintain some kind of identity, but again, that is all part of the experience of being human.

How does this impact my life today? - I live how I want to gain the most from the experience.  Although this sounds selfish in the first instance, if one stops and thinks about it a lot of the things that help me live a 'good' experience include taking into account others.  We share this planet, we share countries, we share communities, we share families.  We can choose to live however we want and it makes no difference to God, but if we want to have a more pleasurable experience over one less pleasurable, then we will choose in a variety of different ways, to work together.  Not everybody will do this, which is evident in the existence of 'wrong' or 'evil', but these are just emotive terms to describe what we don't like about those things.  

I am also finding it profoundly releasing to imagine that all is God -  that we are all the same God.  The differences that appear between us are, in the big picture of things, totally arbitrary and of very little consequence really.  It makes such things a lot easier to accept or just let be.

Just my thoughts at this point in time.
 

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Y’all do realize that with all this talk of god=man, consciousness, experiencing etc. you have come full circle back to theism.

The we are god idea is a case of begging the question.  It won’t syllogize.  Steiner takes that idea as far as I have seen in anthroposophy.

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1 hour ago, Burl said:

Y’all do realize that with all this talk of god=man, consciousness, experiencing etc. you have come full circle back to theism.

The we are god idea is a case of begging the question.  It won’t syllogize.  Steiner takes that idea as far as I have seen in anthroposophy.

Don't leave us hanging Burl, spell it out. How has Paul's model come full circle to theism? So too Steiner and anthroposophy?

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2 hours ago, thormas said:

Don't leave us hanging Burl, spell it out. How has Paul's model come full circle to theism? So too Steiner and anthroposophy?

The existence of god as a being is implicit in the language.  Experience vs. non-experience points to individuality.  So do the other terms.

PaulS’ pantheism is a variety of theism, as is your panentheism.  You guys are playing language games.  

I can’t get through Steiner.  Physical bodies, astral bodies, etheric bodies and whatnot.  But it seems related.  Maybe not, but it came to mind.

Manley P. Hall is in the general domain of this god=man thinking too.  Better than Steiner imo and lots of public domain recordings of his lectures on yt and in text.

To use the word god at all points to something capable of creating matter.  If it cannot create matter god is the wrong concept.

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56 minutes ago, Burl said:

PaulS’ pantheism is a variety of theism, as is your panentheism.  You guys are playing language games.  

I agree that they are variations on theism but it is those variations that speak volumes. As for word games, the insights of panentheism are no more games than incarnation, atonement and virgin birth. All are human attempts to understand and speak of the human experience of the Divine. Have at it.

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1 hour ago, Burl said:

If it cannot create matter god is the wrong concept.

This seems to be going down the same rabbit hole of if something needs a creator, then what created God?

I rather like Bart Erhman's 'duh' moment he blogged about at the beginning of the year - here is an excerpt (it is a paid subscription so to copy entirely is a copyright issue):

So here is my “duh” moment.   A rock has no way of recognizing that an animate object such as a dandelion exists.   A dandelion has no way of recognizing that a panther exists.  Now it gets a bit tricky.  A panther has no way of recognizing that a superior intelligence exists.  Yes, a panther does recognize in some instinctual sense that there are things out there to look out for.  But it has no way of realizing that there are people who can engineer sky scrapers, or split atoms, or reconstruct the history of Rome.   It simply is not in its purview.

Humans can and do recognized, analyze, study, think about, reflect on these other forms of life.  You don’t need to say they are “lower” life forms or that we are “superior” to recognize this.  We can understand all these things because in some sense (not all), our cognitive abilities are superior.

But here’s my point.  Suppose you WERE to think (whether imperialistically or arrogantly or not) that we are talking about levels of existence, from lower to higher: rocks, trees, non-human animals, and humans.   The fact is that the lower ones can never know about the higher ones, what they really are, what they are capable of, how they exist, what they do, and so on.  They can’t even conceptualize their existence.

Then what in the blazes should should make me think that I could possibly know if there was a higher order above me, superior to me in ways that I simply can’t imagine?   Not just one order above me, but lots of orders?  If there are such orders, there is no way I could ever know.  Literally.  Duh.

And so really, agnosticism is the ONLY option.  Not in the sense of a shoulder shrug, “Hey, how would *I* know?”  but in the sense of a deep thoughtful response – I have precisely no way to adjudicate the view, one way or the other.

 

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16 hours ago, thormas said:

I enjoyed Watts, having heard/read him earlier in life. He is a born performer, as the best teachers must be.

It is interesting to note that at the beginning of his piece, Watts says we are God or one with God - which are two different realities. If one is X, there is no need to be one with it since one is already it. I also noted that he spoke of such oneness (or being God) as having a sense of being bound up or intimate with all and assuming some responsibility - as opposed to feeling alien or a stranger and becoming hostile toward all. I recognize that the same feeling of intimacy and responsibility is part of, for example, a panentheistic take on God/man. I wonder if he discusses at greater length how being God and being one with God are the same or different. 

It is an interesting model. I disagree with it and presented that perspective in response to the other two who spoke or wrote about it (given the many holes and contradictions in their presentations). 

However the most basic disagreement comes from experience: I know of no one who thinks, nor have I ever seriously thought, that 'I am God.' We hear people down through the ages talk or write about a openness with God but not so much that "I am God.' One can talk about the necessity to become enlightened but this begs the always unanswered question of why does God not know he is God in the first place. And this is followed by the also always unanswered question, what and why does God need to experience if God is already all? 

This model might provide answers to everything for some but for others God, in this model, is a wack-a-mole: here he pops up as love, then evil, then, oops, now God is injustice, then he pops up as heartache. Yet the question persists: why? And love, in the experience of most of us, is that which can overcome evil and indeed evil 'seems' the absence of love (and is experienced as such by the one who is loved as opposed to having all manner of evil foisted on him), why/how is God the opposite of what God is? Why does God need to experience from a human perspective or any perspective if God is already all? If God is all ,what is there to know or be gained by being 'amongst that'  if he is all that to begin with?

And if evil just happens, where is Watts' idea of assuming responsibility? Does Watts agree here, does Christina from an earlier post? Watts appears to disagree.

If God is the stardust then God is not eternal and infinite.. Our science tell us that the stardust had a beginning (in the Big Bang). If so, the stardust is not eternal or infinite at least on the 'beginning side and perhaps on the 'end' side. Therefore God is not eternal or infinite. 

It seems a pertinent question for this model is, what do you mean by God? If God is everything then it is just as easy to say that God is nothing or, simply, you don't need God in this model. There is the (not) eternal stardust that all is part of and that's all she wrote. It seems, in this model, God is no more than a name for the stardust, correct? Plus, I guess the model assigns some kind of consciousness or mind to the stardust or God, since it experiences. Otherwise it is just a blob that continually, unconsciously reforms.

Anyway, I know this is not yet your belief but it has far to many holes, questions and contradictions to resonate with the experience of many people. 

I think Watts is using the term 'one with God' to liken it to what he means as we are God.  Being God is the same as being one with God in that there is only the one, not one and the other. At least that's how I understand what I think he means based on this and his other writings/lectures.

I'm not sure what you mean by your most basic disagreement that comes from experience is that you know of no one who thinks that we are God.  Isn't this pantheism, a several thousand years old way of understanding God?  You said elsewhere that you were familiar with Watts & Tolle - you don't see this in their understandings of God?

Maybe once upon a time as different lifeforms we did know we were God - who knows what 'we' thought when we didn't have self-consciousness.  Maybe as we evolved we came to think we were not God for some reason. Maybe today, as the creature we have evolved into, we are blinded by our ego and consciousness?  Perhaps it is the development of our human consciousness that has gotten in the way of us understanding that we are God.  Knowing the human species evolved from other life forms, and observing that it seems other life forms existing today have no appreciation for God as humans tend to spruke it, I do wonder if God as we generally talk about God today, is just a creation of the human mind.  

Maybe God knows the 'mechanics' of being, but not the 'experience' of being in its numerous different guises, which is a product of the physicality of being?
I'm not sure your 'why' is a question that needs to persist in this model.  Acceptance that other people's consciousness has a bearing on their actions and then in effect the world, seems a simply enough answer to me.  Love doesn't 'overcome' evil, it's just a different way of being.  One that usually we prefer, quite naturally, both at the extremes and all the minor degrees along the infinite spectrum.

I'm not sure God 'needs' anything - God just is.  God is existence and is not trying to gain anything - God is just being God.  You are just being God.

As for the term stardust, I am using that colloquially to relate to the beginning of our known universe and existence as we know it.  That God could be more than stardust, being our eternal and infinite existence, is otherwise implied I thought.

Maybe one doesn't need God in this model.  I don't know.  But does it matter if that is what it is?  Again, is it our ego that says God has to be something else so that we are happy with that understanding?  Like I said, to me the other models don't stand up because they all imply some sort of action on God's behalf which I simply don't see demonstrated in anyway.  That the existence of God could mean that existence itself is neutral, seems much more logical to me.  Presently, anyway.
 

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14 hours ago, JosephM said:

In my view you are pretty close to a more profound understanding in your post postulate .  I would only differ in the sense that in reality there are no opposites such as love and hate, etc. and such human dichotomy.  While human consciousness experiences these things " ( consciousness being a by-product of this body) ceases to exist " as you said, they cannot be God since they are created by human consciousness. Only God actually exists, all else is an illusion. When you love, your human consciousness is experiencing God, when it is absent (love) you call it hate or depression or some other word  and feel alienated  from God and hostile toward the rest of creation. Only Love (complete acceptance of all things) exists, the rest of our human descriptors are only arbitrary points on that continuum created by an evolving human consciousness that is self , not God. They don't exist (the arbitrary points) except in the mind that ceases to exist therefore they are illusion even though they seem convincingly real. This part needs to be experienced rather than reasoned. God cannot hate or experience fear. Rather it is a temporary evolutionary condition of human consciousness that varies in emotions from  emotion levels  of humiliation, anxiety,  hate, trust, forgiveness, understanding, reverence, serenity, through ineffable at which point ones God view is seen as Self. (capital S)

So, when you hate, God is not hating, the Paul (self) which is to perish is hating. However,  when you truly love (not in the traditional sense), it is God shining through Paul that is loving, therefor it is said God is Love.

Just a view to consider,

Joseph

Yes, I see you point there.  It was a lazy use of language on my part.  What I meant by those emotions being God, is that they are a product of the experience of being God and having a consciousness as homo sapiens.  So I liken them to being a part of God but can consider as you say, that they should be regarded as illusory because they are simply the thoughts and emotions we generate from our minds and they actually don't exist (even though as real as they seem to us).  But if they seem real to us, could they not also be part of the experience of being God?

I like your understanding of the word love to mean the complete acceptance of all things.  That makes so much more sense to me than other ways 'love' is presented.  It is not a conscious emotion, but rather it is the ultimate reality perhaps.

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10 hours ago, PaulS said:

So I liken them to being a part of God but can consider as you say, that they should be regarded as illusory because they are simply the thoughts and emotions we generate from our minds and they actually don't exist (even though as real as they seem to us).  But if they seem real to us, could they not also be part of the experience of being God?

In my personal mystical experiences as a temporal creation known as Joseph i (self), while deeply convinced from such that i cannot be separated from God except in my conditioned mind. I have only  been able to experience that connection  in stillness, without fear and in perfect peace of mind which has lead me to believe that while i am sustained by God while experiencing states filled with emotions whether fear, anger. hate,  pride, etc.,  God is not those things as they are created by the created mind which perishes with the using. I  don't see God as a man or woman. While it may seem irreverent, to me, God is closer to an 'it' in human terms. So while it may be fair to say we exist by  'it'  and return to 'it', we can only be 'it' as can all of creation in the sense that there is no other.  So, does God experience our emotional experiences as you ask? It seems to me, i don't really 'know' the answer but i suspect from my experiences that all answers to that question are nothing but fabricated viewpoints perpetuated by self-ignorance. It certainly doesn't seem fitting to say that that which is subject to decay is God.

 

 

 

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Paul,

I thank you for this discussion. Understandably there is not much participation during these strange times but such posts continue the 'sense of community,' are fun and cause one to think.

 

 Perhaps Watts is doing that yet he seems to be rather articulate in his belief, so I would expect he would consistently express it as 'we are God.' Regardless, to say 'I am God' signifies something different than to say 'I am one with God' (at least for many people, theists, panentheists, even ancients who worshipped various gods in all things and I guess even a-theists).

Therefore, the basic disagreement is that not many people actually say or think they are God. They might think of a one-ness or at at-one-ment but it is not that they are actually God: God is conceived as Other. The basic idea of pantheism is that the cosmos is identical with God: all is the cosmos, there is no difference, all is God (or as you expressed it, stardust). I have no problem agreeing that the 'stuff' of the universe, the cosmos, of everything is of the same 'stuff.' However, as stated above, I don't call this God. This goes to my earlier question: what does one mean by the term God? If it is identification with the cosmos, the universe, stardust - you simply don't need the term 'God.' Perhaps the difference is that those who use the name God actually mean Other and to say that I am the fullness of Being, the ground of all is simply not in their experience and, therefore, non-sensical.

I have read some of Watts and Tolle before but as pointed out there still seems to be equivocation in Watts. In addition, Watts speaks of assuming responsibility whereas you seem to be more open ended and it seems that evil or indulging in injustice for example is equal to doing good. Watts, as I hear him, disagrees. I wonder then if the one who assumes responsibility and does good is 'more God' for Watts than he who is unjust?

Whatever kind of lifeforms we were, are or will be, this model states we are God. Does that mean we are of the one Stuff or does it mean something else? And it also suggests 'differences' in the one Cosmos or God: not all know they are God, yet isn't God, God?

As for consciousness: on one hand it blinds us and on the other, it enables us to know we are God? Also just as an aside is mind a by-product of the physical body or is the physical a by-product, a manifestation of mind? Is God just identical with the cosmos, is God just stardust, is God just matter and energy or is there a consciousness in God? If not, how (and why) does matter develop consciousness especially if it blinds us? If some know God while others do not, there is differentiation and inequality in God?

How can God God knows the 'mechanics' of being, but not the 'experience' of being and why are numerous different guises necessary? The cosmos is physical, it is matter and energy, so it seems this physicality is not a by-product but it is God in this model.

The 'why' question remains and as I mentioned once again goes unanswered. If all is God then what is the need for one consciousness to bear on another? All is still God. And another why is, 'Why do we quite naturally prefer love? As you said we do, why? Because it is better, or a fuller expression of God?

If we're God, and there is differentiation in God (some know God) and preference (we naturally prefer love) then it appears that God, or we, need this knowing and preference. Again if God is just the 'stardust' I get it because it is just endless reforming of that stardust but the question does persist and still remains unanswered, why does God, if God is God, need or want or allow all this? If God just is, then there is no need for difference in knowing and a preference of love over evil. Yet there is as you have shown.

 

If God is more than the cosmos (stardust) then we have moved past the definition of pantheism. What is the more than you allow God could be? And if I am God, it is accepted as fact that I am finite. How can I be infinite existence, infinite God and be finite? If it is that my particular stardust or atoms are God then clearly 'I' am not God, nor is my consciousness, nor is my Self. So something might be eternal but it is not us.

 

I don't think you need God for this model and I think it does matter because it seems that as you discuss God, you envision God as more than the cosmos and more than finite man. Thus God is Other than or more than the cosmos and finite creation. 

Some other models do see action on God's part. And it seems that there must be such action on God's part in your model also, since from the infinite comes the finite and it is love (that is God) that is to be done by Paul (see Joseph) to let God shine through where he did not shine before. The act is God, the actor is man and in the coming together there is only the loving (one with, where it was not before God was allowed to be or shine).

Anyway, thanks - it was fun.

 

 

 

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I

14 hours ago, PaulS said:

Then what in the blazes should should make me think that I could possibly know if there was a higher order above me, superior to me in ways that I simply can’t imagine?   Not just one order above me, but lots of orders?  If there are such orders, there is no way I could ever know.  Literally.  Duh.

And so really, agnosticism is the ONLY option.  Not in the sense of a shoulder shrug, “Hey, how would *I* know?”  but in the sense of a deep thoughtful response – I have precisely no way to adjudicate the view, one way or the other.

 

I do love Ehrman and he hits on the reason why positions about God are belief statements - not knowledge. No one can know if there is a higher order, i.e. God, since the very subject is said to be beyond all human categories. And no one says that they can know what is referred to as the Godhead, i.e. God in himself. However, some (many?) human beings believe they can say something about their experience of transcendence, i.e. God and talk about their insights, about their experience. No one knows, no one can offer proof or evidence (for or against God); there is no way to adjudicate it one way of the there.

If we're talking knowing, then I can see why he states that agnosticism is the only option. But if I remember correctly, he then assumes an atheistic stance when he considers belief. Beyond knowing, he simply does not believe in God whereas others do believe in God.  And he does not believe in God primarily because of evil in the world. So he reflects on his experience and on what he witnesses in the world and says, no God. Whereas others reflecting on their experience and after deep thoughtful consideration, say God is and then go on to try to talk about how they experience God in the world.

No rabbit hole or rather two different holes and Bart comments on each.

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