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Roman Republic: Res publica Romana • View topic - Is the Universe "Sacred"? What are the Gods?

Is the Universe "Sacred"? What are the Gods?

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Is the Universe "Sacred"? What are the Gods?

Postby Gaia Cassia Longina » Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:06 pm

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Re: Is the Universe "Sacred"? What are the Gods?

Postby Gaius Florius Lupus » Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:44 am

Salvete, philosophi!

We have to be careful not to confuse the word with the actual thing it stands for. So when we ask the question: "is the universe a god?", we have already a very distinct concept about what a god is for us and what it is not. And this concept may not agree with the concept other people have about a god.
So if we say " The universe is no god, because it has no personality" or "because it has not created itself", then we imply that these are necessary conditions of a god, and we have a totally different discussion.
Therefore I prefer the definition: A god is whatever is worshiped as such. Since pantheists worship the universe as god, it is a god.

Valete!
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Re: Is the Universe "Sacred"? What are the Gods?

Postby Gaia Cassia Longina » Sun Nov 20, 2016 11:18 pm

Salvete,

I agree with you, Lupe. Of course, translations of Cicero are always difficult but I find it more reliable than most out there! I also agree that the many concepts make it hard to find one meaning - therefore, changing any definition we have. But certainly, the Universe must have some forces behind it, whether or not we believe it to be a "god" or not. To me, I believe that everything has a spirit - the Universe, Vesuvius, trees, even art has a bit of "soul" in it from the artist, so while the Universe may not be a god quite like Liber or Diana, it can certainly be seen as having "life" and an energy. So while others cannot define it as a god, others do - which of course, will bring us back to the starting point: what is a god?

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Re: Is the Universe "Sacred"? What are the Gods?

Postby Tiberius Publicius Gracchus » Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:54 pm

This discussion made me think about what I have read about the Universe from a scientific perspective. Is the Universe alive? It certainly is because it contains living creatures. But how much of it is alive? Based on what I have read about modern science, scientists believe that complex life is only possible in planets that meet certain criteria. The planet has to be the right distance from the sun. It has to be made out of the right kind of materials. There are other criteria that scientists debate whether or not are necessary for life, such as having a large moon that creates tides, a planet in the solar system like Jupiter that gets rid of comets and asteroids that could impact other planets. I have also read that such planets have to be located in the right kind of galaxy, in the right part of that galaxy, that does not contain too much radiation. So there may be only small pockets of the Universe that could support life as we know it. If we are in a Multiverse, it might be that only a small number of universes are capable of supporting life.

That being said, ancient civilizations believed that inanimate objects such as lakes and rivers were Gods. However, they are on a planet that is itself alive. Can there be any conscious entities on planets that are completely dead? I am beginning to think that Gods can only exist on living planets. I also believe that if humans hurt the Earth She will take measures to get rid of what is causing Her distress. Not out of malice, but out of necessity. So in my view, the Universe is a God because it contains living creatures, although most of it is not alive, and the few planets and moons capable of supporting life within the Universe are also Gods, and that there are innumerable Gods and Goddesses contained on each of those planets. But we humans will only have experience of the Gods and Goddesses of this Earth, so our focus should be on them.

Most pagan religions view the Earth as a Goddess, but all of the other planets, besides the Moon, were named after Gods. Interesting.
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Re: Is the Universe "Sacred"? What are the Gods?

Postby Gaia Cassia Longina » Mon Nov 21, 2016 8:55 pm

Salve Gracche,

I tend to agree. Have you ever heard of the Gaia Hypothesis? This is similar to your comment about Earth hurting humans if we damage it too much. This is simple action/reaction - wherein, if we use too many fossil fuels, temperatures will rise, therefore causing ice caps melting, oceans rising, and people will be displaced, stronger storms, etc. It is not out of malice, just as a volcano can be considered an entity, but not necessarily "evil." They are not alive, like you say. But they have spirits - they may not be gods because they do not control anything, but you can say with some certainty that they have a spirit. The Universe is not a god in itself, but is an entire new interpretation of this word "god."

Continuing, you say that how can there be "conscious entities on planets that are completely dead?" To answer simply: take the example of the Sun. You cannot say the sun does not have a spirit or is a god to some cultures, because it is! No one lives on it, so according to your comment, it is not a god. However, a lot of cultures would say that it is.

But, for your other comment, that we should only focus on one thing, I tend to disagree - if we only focus on Earth, or any other one thing, we cannot see the whole picture which certainly is necessary for philosophy! (:

C Cassia Longina
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Re: Is the Universe "Sacred"? What are the Gods?

Postby Gaius Florius Lupus » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:54 am

Two remarks about the scientific aspect of the question.

1. Life does not necessarily need to be carbon-based. We do not know what kind of life may be out there in the universe. Therefore the "habitable zone" around a star only refers to life based on the chemistry that we are used to in terrestrial life forms.

2. It is principally not possible that the entire universe is one being. This is due to the expansion of the universe. The farther away an object is, the faster it moves away from us. If it is far enough, the expansion speed reaches the speed of light. The speed of light is also the speed of causality. It means that an object far enough away slips beyond our horizon. It is physically not possible that it communicates with us or that events beyond the horizon can ever affect us.
The farthest galaxies to our left cannot communicate anymore with the farthest galaxies to our right. They are totally separate without a causal relation among each other.
If one part of a being is not able to communicate with another part of it, then it is actually not one being anymore, but two separate beings. If one part of a brain cannot communicate with another part, then it cannot have a single consciousness, but at least two.
Causal connection is a necesary condition for being a single entity. But not all parts of the visible universe are causally connected with each other. Therefore the universe cannot be a single being. One part of this being would not know, what the other does.
Therefore pantheism is not compatible with our scientific knowledge about the universe.

And no, there is no "faster than light" travel that we just have not developed yet, as a way how distant parts of the universe could communicate. It is principally not possible. The speed of light is actually an inappropriate name. In fact it is the speed of causality. And this is a limit that cannot be overcome. What is beyond our horizon, is forever beyond our reach. It is like a separate universe.
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Re: Is the Universe "Sacred"? What are the Gods?

Postby Gaius Curtius Philo » Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:28 pm

"Ignis aurum probat" - Seneca
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Re: Is the Universe "Sacred"? What are the Gods?

Postby Tiberius Publicius Gracchus » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:18 pm

Well there are UFO sightings. There was more reporting on them in the 1990s, but I believe there is something to them. Who knows what they are.
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Re: Is the Universe "Sacred"? What are the Gods?

Postby Gaius Florius Lupus » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:19 am

Warp bubbles belong into the realm of science fiction. I am aware that some theoretical physicists have seriously proposed it, but this people have not understood what the speed of light actually means.
Theoretical physics has made a lot of extrapolations based on our equations, but they forgot that we have no working theory of gravity, so these extrapolations are illegitimate. Fortunately in the last few days a new paper was published about the nature of gravity, which will hopefully put speculations about wormholes and warp travel to rest.

If I am not mistaken, it was Epicurus who already proved that a finite speed of causality is necessary, because otherwise the universe would immediately jump into its final state. It would satisfy all causal interactions simultaneously until no cause is left and no further change in the movement of the particles is possible.

If causality has a finite speed and the universe expands at its extremes with more or less this speed, then no interactions between the extreme points of our horizon is possible. Therefore the universe cannot be a single entity. This disproves pantheism.

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Re: Is the Universe "Sacred"? What are the Gods?

Postby Gaius Curtius Philo » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:32 pm

"Ignis aurum probat" - Seneca
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