Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 107 (8806 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 12-18-2017 5:57 AM
343 online now:
CosmicChimp, PaulK, Tangle (3 members, 340 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: jaufre
Post Volume:
Total: 824,537 Year: 29,143/21,208 Month: 1,209/1,847 Week: 132/452 Day: 6/126 Hour: 0/1

Announcements: Reporting debate problems OR discussing moderation actions/inactions


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
RewPrev1
...
1516
17
1819
...
22Next
Author Topic:   Can You define God?
Phat
Member
Posts: 10254
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


(1)
Message 241 of 318 (675629)
10-13-2012 2:50 PM
Reply to: Message 240 by jar
10-13-2012 10:23 AM


GOD,God, god and X
jar writes:

But defining things is often difficult as the robotics folk have found. Even human have a hard time with many concepts, some simply can't be defined in words at all and so mathematics are used as a better approximation.

If I have heard the argument correctly, Straggler maintains that simply by using the word, GOD, we have already begun to describe an unknowable. We have already began to assign certain characteristics to the concept X. Im thinking that what his argument is is that X remains in question, as if we ourselves were writing the problem. In other words, imagine a math test with one question. (On a blank page) Define X.

Perhaps some think that the question, as it relates to the topic, is better stated as Can You Define X?

Others would argue that it makes no sense to begin the argument by stating that X, if X exists=X. They may argue a case for the non existence of X. Which is fine and dandy, but then would come the question of why they are participating in this thread. Why participate in a thread where X is discussed when you see no need for X?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 240 by jar, posted 10-13-2012 10:23 AM jar has acknowledged this reply

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 242 of 318 (675645)
10-14-2012 1:07 AM
Reply to: Message 108 by Straggler
10-05-2012 1:52 PM


Re: GOD is NOT a god
fixing...

Edited by Jon, : No reason given.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 108 by Straggler, posted 10-05-2012 1:52 PM Straggler has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 1 days)
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 243 of 318 (675722)
10-15-2012 8:41 AM
Reply to: Message 239 by Phat
10-13-2012 7:42 AM


Re: Why not use the term "unknown" to refer to unknowns?
Phat writes:

Not a chance?

How do you go from me saying "absolutely no reason" to hearing "Not a chance"....?

It is philosophically possible that immaterial unicorns exist and I would put your unknowable GOD in that same category.

Phat writes:

On a personal level, I still prefer the terminology, GOD or in my case, Father...but X will do or even "unknown" or unknowable if we are jointly discussing such a concept.

What do you mean by "such a concept"...? Are we talking about a recognisably godly concept? Or are we talking about a concept which is completely devoid of attribute and definition? A concept X.

If the latter I see no possible way of having a cogent discussion about an X.

Phat writes:

Why is this unjustifiable?

Because you can't legitimately hide behind a mask of complete ambiguity whilst covertly defining "unknowns" as things which are recognisably godly by any conventional definition and about which we have a great deal of evidence in the form of human psychology.

Phat writes:

So lets delve further.

If you want to know what I consider to be evidence - As a starting point anything which demonstrably results in conclusions which are superior to those obtained by blind random chance.

Is that so unreasonable?

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 239 by Phat, posted 10-13-2012 7:42 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 1 days)
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(2)
Message 244 of 318 (675724)
10-15-2012 8:46 AM
Reply to: Message 240 by jar
10-13-2012 10:23 AM


What Is GOD?
Like so many pet theories yours is just one personalised self-serving definition layered on top of the next. Throw in some conflation with conventional meaning and we have the recipe for the superficially-coherent-sounding nonsense that we see before us. And at the root of this morass of definitional mayhem is this chameleon-like notion you call GOD.

GOD. A thing which on one hand is completely undefined and devoid of any attributes. A term which when it suits you is, in a very literal sense, completely and utterly meaningless.

And yet despite this insistence that the term has no definition. most of the time when discussing this thing you implicitly imbue this thing with some very conventional godliness. We have the fact that this term is spelt G-O-D with all the conceptual baggage that entails. We have the fact that you are talking about it in a thread titled Can You Define God?. We have the fact that you persistently class this thing in the same company as gods and God(s). We have your personal belief that this thing is the creator of all that is seen and unseen. We have your insistence that belief in this GOD thing qualifies one as a theist (despite it not being a god). We have your assertion that any knowledge of this thing can only come after death. And we have your re-definition of the term supernatural such that GOD and GOD alone (i.e. not Thor or Voldermort or demons or anything else one can conceive of) qualifies as supernatural.

So on one hand we have a term with no meaning about which any belief or discussion is incoherent and completely lacking in cogency. And on the other we have an entity which suffers from all the same problems as all those other gods you dismiss as obvious human constructions. Except you have defined yours as NOT one of those.

Your position is a confused spot somewhere between a rock and a hard place.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 240 by jar, posted 10-13-2012 10:23 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 245 by jar, posted 10-15-2012 9:47 AM Straggler has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 29820
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.5


(1)
Message 245 of 318 (675726)
10-15-2012 9:47 AM
Reply to: Message 244 by Straggler
10-15-2012 8:46 AM


Re: What Is GOD?
You seem to spend a lot of time and effort trying to tell me what it is that I think or say.

There is a difference between something being meaningless and in my inability to describe or define it. My limitations are simply that, my limitations. My limitations though say absolutely nothing about the reality of the object being discussed.

I don't know what conceptual baggage you carry but that is irrelevant to my beliefs or position anyway.

And again, I have not insisted any knowledge of GOD can only come after death, rather I have consistently said that I see no way I can gain actual knowledge while I am still alive of anything supernatural.

I have repeatedly asked you and others about how something that was truly supernatural could be identified as truly supernatural.

Also, I have repeatedly said that I have no problem with you thinking my position is nonsense.

Edited by jar, : appalin spallin left off "ly"


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 244 by Straggler, posted 10-15-2012 8:46 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 246 by Straggler, posted 10-15-2012 2:47 PM jar has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 1 days)
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 246 of 318 (675758)
10-15-2012 2:47 PM
Reply to: Message 245 by jar
10-15-2012 9:47 AM


Re: What Is GOD?
Can you tell us what definition you are using of the term "supernatural"...?

Can you explain how you know that this unknowable GOD is supernatural?

Can you explain why something (e.g Voldermort, demons, Thor etc.) cannot be both fictional/non-existent and defined as supernatural?

jar writes:

And again, I have not insisted any knowledge of GOD can only come after death, rather I have consistently said that I see no way I can gain actual knowledge while I am still alive of anything supernatural.

Many have considered sleep (i.e. dreams) or waking trances as methods of interracting with the supernatural. Can you explain why you think death is any more or less likely to provide such knowledge than dreams or waking visions or whatever?

jar writes:

I don't know what conceptual baggage you carry but that is irrelevant to my beliefs or position anyway.

ALL existing terms have conceptual baggage. The reason you call the object of your belief GOD (and yourself a theist) rather than BILBO or GANDALF or whatever is because you are imbuing this thing you speak of with certain very human-construct-godly characteristics.

If you weren't why would this GOD thing be of any relevance at all in a thread titled "Can You define God?"....

To suggest that your terminology is free from cultural baggage is simply an act of gross denial on your part.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 245 by jar, posted 10-15-2012 9:47 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 247 by jar, posted 10-15-2012 5:59 PM Straggler has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 29820
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.5


(1)
Message 247 of 318 (675777)
10-15-2012 5:59 PM
Reply to: Message 246 by Straggler
10-15-2012 2:47 PM


Re: What Is GOD?
Can you tell us what definition you are using of the term "supernatural"...?

Can you explain how you know that this unknowable GOD is supernatural?

Can you explain why something (e.g Voldermort, demons, Thor etc.) cannot be both fictional/non-existent and defined as supernatural?

I have repeatedly said that anything can be asserted to be supernatural but that I do not see anyway to actually determine if something is supernatural.

Many have considered sleep (i.e. dreams) or waking trances as methods of interracting with the supernatural. Can you explain why you think death is any more or less likely to provide such knowledge than dreams or waking visions or whatever?

Many have claimed they know ways of interacting with the supernatural.

They are welcome to make such claims.

I have never said that death is more or less likely to provide knowledge, what I have said and will repeat for you yet again is that at least as long as I am alive I see no way that I could determine that something actually was supernatural.

Nor have I said that my terminology is free of cultural baggage, I simply have not speculated on what cultural baggage you carry.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 246 by Straggler, posted 10-15-2012 2:47 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 248 by Straggler, posted 10-16-2012 8:42 AM jar has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 1 days)
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 248 of 318 (675806)
10-16-2012 8:42 AM
Reply to: Message 247 by jar
10-15-2012 5:59 PM


Re: What Is GOD?
jar writes:

I have repeatedly said that anything can be asserted to be supernatural but that I do not see anyway to actually determine if something is supernatural.

This of course depends what you mean by 'supernatural'. I have already told you that we can simply examine the entity/concept in question and compare it's attributes to the common definition of supernatural:

quote:
1.
of, pertaining to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal.

2.of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or attributed to God or a deity.


This is how demons and Voldermort and Thor and suchlike are commonly defined as supernatural entities regardless of whether they actually exist or not. But you don't like that because it doesn't fit in with the rest of your definition-based pet theory.....

jar writes:

I define and used those terms, GOD, God and god for the exact reason of the nuance.

Then in the name of "nuance" could you tell us what definition of 'supernatural' you are applying as well?

jar writes:

Nor have I said that my terminology is free of cultural baggage, I simply have not speculated on what cultural baggage you carry.

It's your position, your personalised definitions and your conflation of terminology. So it's your conceptual baggage that is relevant here. And it is very clear that you are flip-flopping at will between two contradictory uses of the term "GOD".

The first use of "GOD" is the blank canvas. The conceptless-concept. The thing without attributes. The term that lacks any definition at all. The term that is literally meaningless. This we can dismiss as incoherent, absurd and lacking in any cogency.

The second is the (conceptually baggaged) use of the term "GOD" to describe something that possess enough godly attributes to qualify believers in it as theists and to which all those other human-construct-gods and Gods can be considered "approximations" (your word). But upon examination this non-god necessarily suffers from all the same human-construct criticisms as those other entities you dismiss as human constructs.

It would be very helpful if in future whenever you use the term "GOD" (whether in this thread or any other) you make clear which of these two meanings you are invoking. It would also help if you stopped flip-flopping between the two meanings.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 247 by jar, posted 10-15-2012 5:59 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 249 by jar, posted 10-16-2012 10:34 AM Straggler has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 29820
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 249 of 318 (675814)
10-16-2012 10:34 AM
Reply to: Message 248 by Straggler
10-16-2012 8:42 AM


Re: What Is GOD?
The issue is whether or not I could actually identify something supernatural. I do not see anyway to define, test or identify something that is supernatural.

You give the definitions:

quote:
1.
of, pertaining to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal.

2.of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or attributed to God or a deity.


and I have said that folk can assert such things but I also believe those definitions tell us nothing about the supernatural object; only about the human perception.

Those definitions simply describe what I have been calling God(s) or god(s). Those definitions don't describe the supernatural object, only the limited understanding of humans.


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 248 by Straggler, posted 10-16-2012 8:42 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 250 by Straggler, posted 10-16-2012 12:58 PM jar has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 1 days)
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 250 of 318 (675836)
10-16-2012 12:58 PM
Reply to: Message 249 by jar
10-16-2012 10:34 AM


Re: What Is GOD?
jar writes:

You give the definitions:

Yeah. You should try it sometime.....

You aren't going to supply us with the definition of supernatural you are applying are you?

Jar - What do you mean by supernatural?

jar writes:

The issue is whether or not I could actually identify something supernatural.

If that is the issue the obvious question to ask is how you know that GOD is supernatural. How do you know GOD is supernatural?

As a point of comparison - The way we know that Voldermort, Thor, demons etc. etc. are supernatural is because we have defined them as being 'unexplainable by natural law'. We have in effect defined them as being "magical".

Are you simply defining GOD as "magical" too?

jar writes:

Those definitions don't describe the supernatural object, only the limited understanding of humans.

What supernatural object? And how do you know this object is supernatural?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 249 by jar, posted 10-16-2012 10:34 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 251 by jar, posted 10-16-2012 1:19 PM Straggler has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 29820
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 251 of 318 (675838)
10-16-2012 1:19 PM
Reply to: Message 250 by Straggler
10-16-2012 12:58 PM


Re: What Is GOD?
I'll try yet again.

I don't know GOD is supernatural and I don't know any way I could actually test something to determine if it was supernatural.

We can test some things and determine they are NOT supernatural. For example, Voldemort is a character in a fiction story.


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 250 by Straggler, posted 10-16-2012 12:58 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 252 by Straggler, posted 10-16-2012 1:31 PM jar has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 1 days)
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 252 of 318 (675842)
10-16-2012 1:31 PM
Reply to: Message 251 by jar
10-16-2012 1:19 PM


Re: What Is GOD?
Can you please tell us what definition of 'supernatural' you are applying?

jar writes:

I don't know GOD is supernatural and I don't know any way I could actually test something to determine if it was supernatural.

So GOD might not be supernatural then?

jar previously writes:

GOD, if GOD exists would really be supernatural, not because you or I believe or assert or claim that it is supernatural but rather because it IS supernatural.

How do you know GOD is supernatural?

As a point of comparison - The way we know that Voldermort, Thor, demons etc. etc. are supernatural is because we have defined them as being 'unexplainable by natural law'. We have in effect defined them as being "magical".

It very much looks like you are you simply defining GOD as "magical" too. Is this the case?

jar writes:

We can test some things and determine they are NOT supernatural. For example, Voldemort is a character in a fiction story.

By conventional definition Voldermort is both fictional and supernatural. What definition of 'supernatural' are you applying such that the term only applies to things that are real?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 251 by jar, posted 10-16-2012 1:19 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 253 by jar, posted 10-16-2012 1:48 PM Straggler has responded
 Message 254 by Phat, posted 10-16-2012 2:10 PM Straggler has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 29820
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 253 of 318 (675844)
10-16-2012 1:48 PM
Reply to: Message 252 by Straggler
10-16-2012 1:31 PM


Re: What Is GOD?
And I have answered which definition I am using many times but I will try yet again.

As I said most recently in Message 249:

jar writes:

The issue is whether or not I could actually identify something supernatural. I do not see anyway to define, test or identify something that is supernatural.

You give the definitions:

quote:
1.
of, pertaining to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal.

2.of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or attributed to God or a deity.


and I have said that folk can assert such things but I also believe those definitions tell us nothing about the supernatural object; only about the human perception.

Those definitions simply describe what I have been calling God(s) or god(s). Those definitions don't describe the supernatural object, only the limited understanding of humans.

Humans like to label things and all those definitions tell us is that humans labeled something as "supernatural"; it tells us nothing about what supernatural really is.

As long as I am just a human, I don't see anyway to define, test or determine if something really is supernatural.


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 252 by Straggler, posted 10-16-2012 1:31 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 255 by Phat, posted 10-16-2012 2:13 PM jar has responded
 Message 258 by Straggler, posted 10-18-2012 8:10 AM jar has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 10254
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 254 of 318 (675847)
10-16-2012 2:10 PM
Reply to: Message 252 by Straggler
10-16-2012 1:31 PM


Re: What Is GOD?
Straggler writes:

What do you mean by "such a concept"...? Are we talking about a recognizably godly concept? Or are we talking about a concept which is completely devoid of attribute and definition? A concept X.

If the latter I see no possible way of having a cogent discussion about an X.

OK, first we have to approach each discussion/argument/philosophical exchange with a framework.

Logically, the starting post in any topic is the initial framework of a discussion.

Thus...Post#1:

quote:
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.

So a couple of questions.

If concept X is devoid of attribute and definition, (in which case the topic would be Can You Define X) we then have a discussion which can go several ways. If discussing it with a proponent of X, one who wishes X to have a definition, we can prove to them that X has no definition, but even by discussing X, we have given it an attribute...namely a proposal for X to exist or a proposal for x not to exist. Jar claims that since X is an unknown, and a belief, then the biblical concept of I Am that I am means that X could itself be a proposal for its own existence. Thus, IF X exists is a valid premise, no?

Additionally, you may see no point to discussing concept X, yet jar or I may in fact see a point to discussing it. Further, since all three of us are in this discussion, as well as others, the idea that it is moot to discuss GOD seems irrelevant.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 252 by Straggler, posted 10-16-2012 1:31 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 259 by Straggler, posted 10-18-2012 8:36 AM Phat has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 10254
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 255 of 318 (675848)
10-16-2012 2:13 PM
Reply to: Message 253 by jar
10-16-2012 1:48 PM


Re: What Is GOD?
And I would argue that the very fact that humans continually discuss both things that we can define and things we can't we are by virtue of being in the discussion acknowledging the value of either GOD, X, or IF. Do you understand my assertion?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 253 by jar, posted 10-16-2012 1:48 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 256 by jar, posted 10-16-2012 2:21 PM Phat has responded

  
RewPrev1
...
1516
17
1819
...
22Next
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2015 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2017