Well, I don't think I believe that either. But I prefer Einstein's ideas about God. Consider a few quotes:Heber13 wrote:I have to believe there is a universal truth out there, not something relative to each of us. If I lose hope of that, than that would derail my search for anything meaningful. I do not believe existence is random,
or this one:A man's ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
(Albert Einstein, "Religion and Science", New York Times Magazine, 9 November 1930)
or this one:I see a pattern, but my imagination cannot picture the maker of that pattern. I see a clock, but I cannot envision the clockmaker. The human mind is unable to conceive of the four dimensions, so how can it conceive of a God, before whom a thousand years and a thousand dimensions are as one? (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, 2000 p. 208)
Einstein seemed to have a view that a power, force, energy, or something existed somewhere. He appreciated the order, majesty, and beauty of the world in which we live. He attributed that to a supreme entity of some kind. He just refused to opine about that entity with any detail.What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of "humility." This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism. (Albert Einstein)
If God has to obey certain laws, does that not imply he is not omnipotent? Maybe I would believe something like "God chooses to obey those universal laws." But ultimately, I believe you take it too far here. You seem to have a bit of a black and white attitude here. Either God exists with universal truths, or we all can just do whatever we want? This ignores the entire branch of secular ethics, and the fact that many atheists are benevolent, kind, and charitable. Is universal truth what keeps a person from committing murder? I know that's not what prevents me from doing it. It's because it takes away another's right to live. I love other people and so I don't want to hurt them.Heber13 wrote:I do not believe everyone can just do whatever they want and define right and wrong for themselves. There is a universal right and truth out there of who God is and how many arms He has. There is a universal truth in acting in life that will lead to happiness, that even God must obey those universal laws, or He ceases to become God (a whole other theological discussion).
Faith is a great thing. Is your "evidence" here based on some research, or facts, or is this a personal idea that if there is no universal truth then you think that gives people a license to do whatever they want? I submit that there are countless millions who don't believe in "universal truth" and yet don't feel that they do whatever they want.Heber13 wrote:How do I know this? Faith. I don't know for sure, but there seems to be enough evidence that leads me to believe it, so I go with that and it feels right to me.
Might I suggest another possibility that maybe you haven't considered. You have attributed these similarities and commonalities to a "universal external truth." What if the commonality is no more complicated than the fact we're all humans, share a similar genetic makeup, have the same psychological processes, the same conscience, etc. That is to say, what if these commonalities and parallels are the deepest manifestations of something that transcends the physical, and the best way we can describe it is with religion?Heber13 wrote:But that is just more evidence that something universally true is out there for all the smartest people in history searching for it through all generations, and in many respects all serious the religions boil down to the same core principles, pure religion is loving others and searching to better oneself by believing in something higher than oneself and bringing your life into harmony with "the truth", not defining truth to fit your life. I think that basic concept is the thread that runs through all religions.
I hope I'm not coming across as just arguing. I'm just presenting ideas for consideration. I am open to the idea of "universal truth." But it seems to me there are significant problems with it. Who defines "universal truth" and how can we know it? For just about every "truth" out there, I can think of an exception. Is not committing murder a "universal truth"? What about adultery? Human sacrifice? It seems that for every "universal truth," I would hold dear, some religious person (even ones I used to believe in) broke that truth according to God's command. What does this say about "universal truth"? How are the examples of the prophets' fallibilities different than "everyone can just do whatever they want and define right and wrong for themselves"?