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Author Topic:   Can You define God?
2ndReign
Junior Member (Idle past 2540 days)
Posts: 13
From: Wa
Joined: 05-04-2010


Message 1 of 318 (584636)
10-03-2010 1:24 AM


I don't believe in God personally but for the sake of discussion, I will concede that he does exist for the simple fact how can there be any kind of in-depth discussion on God if we are still arguing weather God exists or not.

Poe said...

quote:
If we cannot comprehend God in his visible works, how then in his inconceivable thoughts, that call the works into being? If we cannot understand him in his objective creatures, how then in his substantive moods and phases of creation?

As humans,we like to understand things. We feel the need to put them into some type of category, to name them. This has been a good thing for our species in many circumstances but in the case of God the ability to define or even name him is an impossibility. Yet that does not mean that it is not worth the attempt to gain some understanding of what God is, only that we must understand before we begin that defining something limits that something, and describing something often gets confused with defining something. You try to define your love of someone by describing why you love them. You attempt to define the sky by describing its properties,etc. So based on this,can you define God? Some if most would say that God is good, merciful, just, loving, and all powerful. All of these are words to describe him. It doesn't make them untrue, it simply avoided the bigger challenge, and that is defining him.


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Message 2 of 318 (584647)
10-03-2010 9:12 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Can You define God? thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
jar
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From: Texas!!
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(2)
Message 3 of 318 (584652)
10-03-2010 10:05 AM


Beyond stating that I believe GOD is the creator of all that is, seen and unseen, no, I can't.

In fact I'd go so far as that any god we can describe is almost certainly not GOD.

We are limited by being human, we simply can't really know or understand GOD.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


(2)
Message 4 of 318 (584663)
10-03-2010 11:22 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by 2ndReign
10-03-2010 1:24 AM


I will concede that he does exist for the simple fact how can there be any kind of in-depth discussion on God if we are still arguing weather God exists or not.

Until we've established that he actually exists, why would we want to have an "in-depth discussion" of God?

The greatest fault with religion/theology is that it doesn't even bother to establish the existence of the thing it claims to study, it just skips ahead to presuming the qualities of that entity. I think the conversation should remain at the level of "does God exist or not" until that issue is settled. And if it's settled on the side of "no, he doesn't" then I don't see what further conversation is to be had, aside from "if God doesn't exist, why is the deluded belief in him so widespread?"

This has been a good thing for our species in many circumstances but in the case of God the ability to define or even name him is an impossibility.

Why? His name is "God", and he could be defined as "the mythical being who is the focus of several of the world's religions and suggested to be the creator of all things." There's absolutely nothing mysterious about God. It's a perfectly simple concept. The sense of "mystery" is really nothing more than the mental tension created by fervent belief in an obvious falsity.


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ProtoTypical
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Posts: 1761
From: Ontario Canada
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Member Rating: 4.3


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Message 5 of 318 (584665)
10-03-2010 11:33 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by 2ndReign
10-03-2010 1:24 AM


Which god are you referring to? There must be thousands of them.

I assume that you are trying to define the one God of the Abrahimic religions. In which case there are probably as many definitions as there are believers.

The only definition that I seem able to accept is that God = the universe and all that it contains. I find this definition useful when reading the bible. It completely does away with all the hoobity-how. Not much use for anything else really.


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straightree
Member (Idle past 2369 days)
Posts: 57
From: Near Olot, Spain
Joined: 09-26-2008


(1)
Message 6 of 318 (584700)
10-03-2010 4:06 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by 2ndReign
10-03-2010 1:24 AM


Can we define God? I supose you will admit that it is equivalent to say Can we know God? If we accept that God exists, we sure will admit that the universe is His creation. Therefore, the progress in the knowledge of the creation, should enhance the progress in the knowledge of the Creator. So, in a way our knowledge of God should also evolve, and in fact I think it evolves, (for those that accept its existence, of course). Nevertheless, I think that we should admit that our reason may be not "equipped to fully understand God.
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ringo
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From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


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Message 7 of 318 (584716)
10-03-2010 6:37 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by 2ndReign
10-03-2010 1:24 AM


Attempting to define God, or even describe God, is what's called "idolatry" in the Bible. If God is as great as He (supposedly) is, any attempt to define or describe Him diminishes Him.

It's like using one word to define another - e.g. "dog" = "animal". You lose a lot of the original meaning. It takes a big description to define a small thing, so no human definition of God (if there was a God) could ever be be big enough.


"It appears that many of you turn to Hebrew to escape the English...." -- Joseppi
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 8 of 318 (584717)
10-03-2010 6:39 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by ringo
10-03-2010 6:37 PM


Isn't that evidence there's no such thing, though?
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ringo
Member
Posts: 14015
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


(1)
Message 9 of 318 (584719)
10-03-2010 6:47 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by crashfrog
10-03-2010 6:39 PM


crashfrog writes:

Isn't that evidence there's no such thing, though?


I'd say it's an indicator, yes.


"It appears that many of you turn to Hebrew to escape the English...." -- Joseppi
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2ndReign
Junior Member (Idle past 2540 days)
Posts: 13
From: Wa
Joined: 05-04-2010


Message 10 of 318 (584721)
10-03-2010 7:28 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by jar
10-03-2010 10:05 AM


I agree,no one can truly describe God or explain what god is. I often hear many different adjectives that describe God but nothing truly says what God is. If you say that God is a spirit,that doesn't tell me what God is but rather it tells me what God isn't.
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2ndReign
Junior Member (Idle past 2540 days)
Posts: 13
From: Wa
Joined: 05-04-2010


Message 11 of 318 (584723)
10-03-2010 7:55 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by crashfrog
10-03-2010 11:22 AM


quote:
Until we've established that he actually exists, why would we want to have an "in-depth discussion" of God?

This is just as impossible as my question.Which is why I conceded this fact for the sake of discussion in order to have one, instead of remonstrating a point that will never be settled.

quote:
The greatest fault with religion/theology is that it doesn't even bother to establish the existence of the thing it claims to study, it just skips ahead to presuming the qualities of that entity. I think the conversation should remain at the level of "does God exist or not" until that issue is settled. And if it's settled on the side of "no, he doesn't" then I don't see what further conversation is to be had, aside from "if God doesn't exist, why is the deluded belief in him so widespread?"

I agree,I don't believe in God for the reason you stated,my question was mainly for those that do believe in God. And for Atheist,the question will always remain at the level of "Does God Exist" but you have those that believe he does exist and IMO some concessions have to be made if you want to have a discussion past that point.

The same question can be put to us,those that don't believe. How can we prove he "doesn't exist?

quote:
Why? His name is "God",

How can you name something that doesn't exist?

quote:
and he could be defined as "the mythical being who is the focus of several of the world's religions and suggested to be the creator of all things." There's absolutely nothing mysterious about God. It's a perfectly simple concept. The sense of "mystery" is really nothing more than the mental tension created by fervent belief in an obvious falsity.

I understand and agree,but you haven't defined him,you've just told me what he wasn't.


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2ndReign
Junior Member (Idle past 2540 days)
Posts: 13
From: Wa
Joined: 05-04-2010


Message 12 of 318 (584724)
10-03-2010 8:01 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by ProtoTypical
10-03-2010 11:33 AM


quote:
Which god are you referring to? There must be thousands of them.

I assume that you are trying to define the one God of the Abrahimic religions. In which case there are probably as many definitions as there are believers.

The only definition that I seem able to accept is that God = the universe and all that it contains. I find this definition useful when reading the bible. It completely does away with all the hoobity-how. Not much use for anything else really.


Yes,this is the God I'm referring to, and I'm not trying to define him,I'm asking those that believe in him can he be defined. And your definition has just given him a limitation. I assume you are talking about the "known" universe,what about what is beyond that?


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 13 of 318 (584725)
10-03-2010 8:03 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by 2ndReign
10-03-2010 7:55 PM


Which is why I conceded this fact for the sake of discussion in order to have one, instead of remonstrating a point that will never be settled.

Ok, but this question won't ever be settled, either. So why trade one for the other? Why skip ahead?

but you have those that believe he does exist and IMO some concessions have to be made if you want to have a discussion past that point.

Why would anyone want to have a discussion past that point?

How can you name something that doesn't exist?

With my mouth. Are the following words really meaningless to you?

"Warp drive"
"Vulcan"
"Lightsaber"
"Hobbit"
"Elf"
"Dragon"

Naming things that don't exist? Child's play. Literally, no more difficult than a child's game.

I understand and agree,but you haven't defined him,you've just told me what he wasn't.

No, not at all. If you go back and read you'll see that every portion of my definition is a positive term describing what God is, not a negative term describing what he's not.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by 2ndReign, posted 10-03-2010 7:55 PM 2ndReign has responded

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2ndReign
Junior Member (Idle past 2540 days)
Posts: 13
From: Wa
Joined: 05-04-2010


Message 14 of 318 (584726)
10-03-2010 8:10 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by straightree
10-03-2010 4:06 PM


quote:

Can we define God? I supose you will admit that it is equivalent to say Can we know God? If we accept that God exists, we sure will admit that the universe is His creation. Therefore, the progress in the knowledge of the creation, should enhance the progress in the knowledge of the Creator. So, in a way our knowledge of God should also evolve, and in fact I think it evolves, (for those that accept its existence, of course). Nevertheless, I think that we should admit that our reason may be not "equipped to fully understand God.

I agree,we are dealing with two concepts,God and Man. Two words that describe two different concepts, God is a divine concept with endless descriptions upon it's superiority in all aspects while man is a much less concept with endless descriptions upon his need and inferiority. The human mind can never begin to understand what is God, instead it translates certain situations, experiences and information tailored and reviled by God to enable humans to deal with the concept of God and how to interact with him. In other words, only God knows himself and only God can describe himself.


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2ndReign
Junior Member (Idle past 2540 days)
Posts: 13
From: Wa
Joined: 05-04-2010


Message 15 of 318 (584727)
10-03-2010 8:20 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by ringo
10-03-2010 6:37 PM


quote:
Attempting to define God, or even describe God, is what's called "idolatry" in the Bible. If God is as great as He (supposedly) is, any attempt to define or describe Him diminishes Him.

It's like using one word to define another - e.g. "dog" = "animal". You lose a lot of the original meaning. It takes a big description to define a small thing, so no human definition of God (if there was a God) could ever be be big enough.


I like this answer. It has bee said that if any one person could describe GOD this person would not be able to put it in words as he is beyond description.


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