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Author Topic:   Can You define God?
Phat
Member
Posts: 12033
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 76 of 318 (674210)
09-27-2012 5:24 AM
Reply to: Message 75 by Tangle
09-27-2012 2:28 AM


Academic Interest
Dr.Adequate writes:

We'd like a creator of the universe who was good and wise and so forth. We'd also like it if cigarettes weren't carcinogenic and chocolate was slimming. What we want doesn't make any difference to what is the case.

But in answer to your question, clearly if God exists he's different from at least what I would want (I can't speak for you) because if he exists I'd like him to manifest himself rather than hiding and pretending that he's not there.

Tangle writes:

Well, if we can't tell the difference between a god that exists and a god that doesn't exist (either because he never did exist or because he did once but now he doesn't) my conclusion is that God is of academic interest only.

OK...so I have two questions for you, tangle.
1) Hypothetically, would you want a God to exist? If so, what attributes would He/She/It have?

2) If you did not want or need a God to exist,but it were revealed that one or more did, what academic interest would you have in discovering/describing/interacting with He/She/It/Them?


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 77 by Straggler, posted 10-02-2012 12:54 PM Phat has responded

  
Straggler
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Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 77 of 318 (674740)
10-02-2012 12:54 PM
Reply to: Message 76 by Phat
09-27-2012 5:24 AM


Re: Academic Interest
Can I ask you a question Phat?

Assuming that God does exist are you happy with the god you've got? Or would you hope for something better from a supreme being?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by Phat, posted 09-27-2012 5:24 AM Phat has responded

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Phat
Member
Posts: 12033
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 78 of 318 (674744)
10-02-2012 2:31 PM
Reply to: Message 77 by Straggler
10-02-2012 12:54 PM


Re: Academic Interest
quote:
Assuming that God does exist are you happy with the god you've got? Or would you hope for something better from a supreme being?

I always hope for better. More precisely, i believe that what I have got in terms of character is as good as it gets, but what I hope for in blessing can always improve.


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Phat
Member
Posts: 12033
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 79 of 318 (674863)
10-03-2012 3:51 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by ringo
10-03-2010 6:37 PM


God did the job for us
Ringo writes:

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 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.

Thats why God became man. He did the downsizing for us so that we could conceive of Him being close to us. Why is that concept so hard to grasp? Although to be fair, I would not limit God to Jesus the man. I just feel that now I have an envoy.


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 Message 7 by ringo, posted 10-03-2010 6:37 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
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ringo
Member
Posts: 16128
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 80 of 318 (674864)
10-03-2012 4:11 PM
Reply to: Message 79 by Phat
10-03-2012 3:51 PM


Re: God did the job for us
Phat writes:

Thats why God became man. He did the downsizing for us so that we could conceive of Him being close to us. Why is that concept so hard to grasp?


Jesus was an example of what man can be, not a definition of God.

Edited by ringo, : Fixed quote.


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 Message 79 by Phat, posted 10-03-2012 3:51 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 81 by Phat, posted 10-03-2012 4:29 PM ringo has responded
 Message 83 by GDR, posted 10-03-2012 5:31 PM ringo has acknowledged this reply

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 12033
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 81 of 318 (674866)
10-03-2012 4:29 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by ringo
10-03-2012 4:11 PM


Re: God did the job for us
ringo writes:

Jesus was an example of what man can be, not a definition of God.

And yet Jesus was unafraid of idolatry when He simply called God His Father. He knew all of the rules. So why was He so intimate with this vast all powerful Deity? And why was He unafraid of committing idolatry? He apparently knew God quite well.....
This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by ringo, posted 10-03-2012 4:11 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by jar, posted 10-03-2012 4:57 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply
 Message 84 by ringo, posted 10-03-2012 5:49 PM Phat has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 82 of 318 (674867)
10-03-2012 4:57 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by Phat
10-03-2012 4:29 PM


Re: God did the job for us
Idolatry?

Huh?

Remember how YOU are told to pray?

"Our Father..."


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

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GDR
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Posts: 4773
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 83 of 318 (674868)
10-03-2012 5:31 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by ringo
10-03-2012 4:11 PM


Re: God did the job for us
Ringo writes:

Jesus was an example of what man can be, not a definition of God.

This was the conundrum the early church fathers had to deal with. The result was the Trinity which I think was as good a human understanding that they could possibly arrive at, even though there remains considerable ambiguity. Jesus was in their understanding wholly god and wholly man.

Obviously from the NT, Jesus the man was not completely synonymous with the one He called Father. I mean, praying to yourself does sound just a tad narcissistic.

However at the same time the Jews had the understanding that they could be made right with God through the Temple which was representative of Gods dwelling place on Earth. They could bring sacrifices to the altar and find forgiveness.

Jesus however was seen to go around saying that He desired mercy not sacrifice and from a Pharisaic POV committed the blasphemy of forgiving sins. In other words Jesus was acting as a Temple replacement, or the dwelling place of God. (Incarnation)

Of course this all sound more than just a little egocentric and on that basis there is no reason to give any credence to what He had to say, particularly considering that His message was very unpopular in most quarters anyway.

However, if the early Christians were correct when they claimed that Jesus was resurrected in a renewed bodily form, then it is safe to assume that the Father that Jesus served had vindicated the message and the actions of Jesus. IMHO there is no other credible reason for the early Christian movement to get off the ground. This being the case then, what Jesus said is of tremendous importance.

I like the way you phrased your statement that I quoted. I agree that Jesus as man is the example of what man can aspire to be, and I agree that Jesus is not a definition of God, but in another sense I believe that Jesus defined the true nature of God.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


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ringo
Member
Posts: 16128
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 84 of 318 (674869)
10-03-2012 5:49 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by Phat
10-03-2012 4:29 PM


Re: God did the job for us
Phat writes:

So why was He so intimate with this vast all powerful Deity?


You could ask the same question of anybody who claims to have "communion" with God.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by Phat, posted 10-03-2012 4:29 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 85 by Phat, posted 10-04-2012 3:07 AM ringo has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 12033
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 85 of 318 (674904)
10-04-2012 3:07 AM
Reply to: Message 84 by ringo
10-03-2012 5:49 PM


Re: God did the job for us
Ringo writes:

You could ask the same question of anybody who claims to have "communion" with God.

My point is that if it was good enough for Jesus...we shouldn't worry about following His example, unless you are prepared to make the assertion that Christ Himself was a bit crazy.

To place God on some pedestal as totally unapproachable and forever mysterious and unconfirmed only leaves humans with no Deity at all.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 84 by ringo, posted 10-03-2012 5:49 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 86 by ringo, posted 10-04-2012 12:17 PM Phat has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 16128
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 86 of 318 (674944)
10-04-2012 12:17 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by Phat
10-04-2012 3:07 AM


Re: God did the job for us
Phat writes:

My point is that if it was good enough for Jesus...we shouldn't worry about following His example, unless you are prepared to make the assertion that Christ Himself was a bit crazy.


I think we should follow Jesus' example - whether we believe he was the son of God or not - because it was a good example. Thinking he was the son of God might have been a bit crazy but he can still be a good example to us.

Phat writes:

To place God on some pedestal as totally unapproachable and forever mysterious and unconfirmed only leaves humans with no Deity at all.


And if you make Him ungodlike, that also leaves you with no deity at all.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by Phat, posted 10-04-2012 3:07 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 87 by Phat, posted 10-04-2012 6:26 PM ringo has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 12033
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 87 of 318 (674981)
10-04-2012 6:26 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by ringo
10-04-2012 12:17 PM


To define God is to define an Ultimate
Ringo writes:

I think we should follow Jesus' example - whether we believe he was the son of God or not - because it was a good example. Thinking he was the son of God might have been a bit crazy but he can still be a good example to us.

Yeah but what good is a religion with no power and no Deity? All we have left is boy scout merit badges...hardly the stuff to follow devoutly.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by ringo, posted 10-04-2012 12:17 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
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 Message 111 by ringo, posted 10-05-2012 2:25 PM Phat has not yet responded

  
Theodoric
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Posts: 5910
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 88 of 318 (674982)
10-04-2012 6:35 PM
Reply to: Message 87 by Phat
10-04-2012 6:26 PM


Re: To define God is to define an Ultimate
All we have left is boy scout merit badges

Why would you need more?


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.


This message is a reply to:
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jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 89 of 318 (674985)
10-04-2012 7:01 PM
Reply to: Message 87 by Phat
10-04-2012 6:26 PM


Re: To define God is to define an Ultimate
Ah, but why should there even be merit badges?

That is actually what Jesus taught.

But heading back towards the topic, of course man can define god and has done a bang up job over time. Some of them were even pretty neat like Coyote and Nun and Thor and Ganesha.

Edited by jar, : left out "be"


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by Phat, posted 10-04-2012 6:26 PM Phat has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Straggler
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Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 90 of 318 (675017)
10-05-2012 6:51 AM
Reply to: Message 89 by jar
10-04-2012 7:01 PM


Re: To define God is to define an Ultimate
jar writes:

But heading back towards the topic, of course man can define god and has done a bang up job over time. Some of them were even pretty neat like Coyote and Nun and Thor and Ganesha.

So what attributes do all of these conceptual entities share such that they are recognisably godly?

Taking the numerous definitions of god mankind has conceived and finding the common factors would seem as good a way as working out what we mean by "god" as any other.

On this basis the term god refers to a supernatural conscious being that is responsible for the creation or overseeing of some aspect of reality. Something like the following dictionary definition:

1. (Christianity / Ecclesiastical Terms) a supernatural being, who is worshipped as the controller of some part of the universe or some aspect of life in the world or is the personification of some force Related adj divine

Thus things like Thor and Apollo readily qualify as gods. As does the more deistic and ambiguous notion of a supernatural "creator of all that is seen and unseen".

The only real difference between the largely abandoned gods and those that more sophisticated theists advocate these days is the degree of ambiguity attached to the concept in question.


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 Message 89 by jar, posted 10-04-2012 7:01 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
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