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Author Topic:   Can You define God?
Straggler
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Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 30 of 318 (659544)
04-16-2012 2:53 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by 2ndReign
10-03-2010 1:24 AM


Defining "god"
I'll have a go at defining "god".

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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by 2ndReign, posted 10-03-2010 1:24 AM 2ndReign has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 55 of 318 (660335)
04-24-2012 6:56 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by AdminPD
04-23-2012 8:31 AM


Re: Topic Please!
OK. So e are trying to define the Judeo-Christian God specifically. Right?

Well if you take the Old Testament literally then God is the "petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, genocidal, capriciously malevolent bully" that Dawkins talks about.

If you don't take the OT literally then I guess you can pick and choose which type of God you want. Based on the New Testament you could argue a relatively positive God. This God will probably be:

1) The father of Christ (who is himself God)
2) Forgiving
3) Compassionate
4) The source of love
5) The source of all things good (the source of badness and hate is who...?)
6) Whatever the more enlightened members of the Christian faith decide

Or something like that...


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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


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

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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by jar, posted 10-04-2012 7:01 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 91 by jar, posted 10-05-2012 8:55 AM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 92 of 318 (675027)
10-05-2012 9:08 AM
Reply to: Message 91 by jar
10-05-2012 8:55 AM


Re: To define God is to define an Ultimate
Well if they have nothing in common they wouldn't all, including GOD, fall under the category of gods would they?

They are all, including GOD, supernatural beings who control, create or personify some aspect of the world.

This GOD you speak of is a god right? Rather than a vegetable or an alcoholic drink or a sport or a type of accounting package or whatever else.

If GOD isn't a god then A) I'm not sure why you are mentioning him in this thread and B) You should consider calling him something more appropriate like "CHOCOLATE BAR" or whatever.....


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 Message 91 by jar, posted 10-05-2012 8:55 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 93 by jar, posted 10-05-2012 9:26 AM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 98 of 318 (675041)
10-05-2012 11:42 AM
Reply to: Message 93 by jar
10-05-2012 9:26 AM


GOD is a god
jar writes:

No, the GOD I mention as GOD is not really a God or a god.

Huh? So As a self proclaimed believer that GOD is ‘the creator of all that is seen an unseen’ you are actually an atheist are you? And if GOD isn’t a god why on earth are you even raising GOD in a thread about defining the term “god”…..?

It is just an exercise in definitional nonsensicalness to say that GOD isn’t a god.

I’ve provided you with a definition of the term “god” and whilst this GOD concept you talk about is pretty vague it quite obviously meets the criteria of coming under that label.

If you don't like my definition can you provide a different one and explain how this GOD thing you speak of fails to qualify?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by jar, posted 10-05-2012 9:26 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 99 by jar, posted 10-05-2012 11:47 AM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 100 of 318 (675045)
10-05-2012 11:54 AM
Reply to: Message 99 by jar
10-05-2012 11:47 AM


Re: GOD is NOT a god
Go on then. Provide the definition of "god" you are applying. Then explain to me how GOD isn't a god by this definition.

And then explain how you can qualify as a theist without believing in any god(s)

I'm intrigued....


This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by jar, posted 10-05-2012 11:47 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 101 by jar, posted 10-05-2012 12:16 PM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 102 of 318 (675051)
10-05-2012 12:42 PM
Reply to: Message 101 by jar
10-05-2012 12:16 PM


Re: GOD is NOT a god
Simply repeating your previous post in this thread is not very helpful.

Let's start at the beginning - What definition of the term "god" are you applying such that this GOD you speak of doesn't qualify as a god?

(that is after all the topic here)

jar writes:

Humans are limited to understanding or experiencing only that which is natural.

I've never yet come across a god that isn't supernatural.

jar writes:

God(s) and god(s) are human constructs.

In what sense is an unknowable GOD that is 'the creator of all that is seen and unseen' NOT a human construction? I mean if we have absolutely no way of knowing this thing then (even if by some fluke of chance it exists) it MUST be derived from human imagination. How could it possibly be otherwise?


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 Message 101 by jar, posted 10-05-2012 12:16 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 103 by jar, posted 10-05-2012 1:04 PM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 104 of 318 (675058)
10-05-2012 1:17 PM
Reply to: Message 103 by jar
10-05-2012 1:04 PM


Re: GOD is NOT a god
Straggler writes:

Let's start at the beginning - What definition of the term "god" are you applying such that this GOD you speak of doesn't qualify as a god?

jar writes:

And I answered that in Message 101 as well as many, many, many other places.

And I told you that repeating yourself isn't the same as clarifying your position.

jar writes:

God(s) and god(s) are human constructs.

Yet there are lots of human constructions which aren't gods (e.g. hobbits). So try again. What definition of the term "god" are you applying such that this GOD you speak of doesn't qualify as a god?

This is, after all, the topic here.

Straggler writes:

I've never yet come across a god that isn't supernatural.

jar writes:

I seriously doubt that you have ever come across anything that is actually supernatural or that you could recognize such a thing if you did come across it as long as you are human.

Yet all god concepts are supernatural. It's part of what qualifies them as gods. By definition.

Straggler writes:

In what sense is an unknowable GOD that is 'the creator of all that is seen and unseen' NOT a human construction?

jar writes:

It might actually exist and I believe that it does.

Whether by some fluke of chance it exists or not this GOD you speak of is necessarily a human construction because you have defined it as being completely unknowable to humans.

How can the concept of something that is completely unknowable to humans be derived from anywhere other than human imagination?

jar writes:

It really is that simple as I have explained to you numerous times.

Ditto.


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 Message 103 by jar, posted 10-05-2012 1:04 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 105 by jar, posted 10-05-2012 1:30 PM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 106 of 318 (675062)
10-05-2012 1:42 PM
Reply to: Message 105 by jar
10-05-2012 1:30 PM


Re: GOD is NOT a god
What definition of the term "god" are you applying to come to all these assertions?

jar writes:

If GOD exists then it is not a human construct.

Well I could just as legitimately say that if Bilbo Baggins exists then he is not merely a human construction.

jar writes:

All God(s) and god(s) are just human constructs.

Anything defined as unknowable is by definition a human construct (whether it exists or not). How could it possibly be otherwise?

jar writes:

They are different from hobbits because humans designated them a God(s) or god(s).

If humans designated me a god ala 'The Life of Brian' I wouldn't actually be a god would I? Human designation is not the defining criteria here.

jar writes:

It really is that simple.

If you define something as unknowable then it must be imagined because there is no other source you can claim for the notion of it's existence.

It really is that simple.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by jar, posted 10-05-2012 1:30 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 107 by jar, posted 10-05-2012 1:46 PM Straggler has responded
 Message 113 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-05-2012 4:42 PM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 108 of 318 (675068)
10-05-2012 1:52 PM
Reply to: Message 107 by jar
10-05-2012 1:46 PM


Re: GOD is NOT a god
jar writes:

Unknowable is an indication that I cannot define GOD.

But you have. Vaguely. He is the "unknowable" creator of all that is seen and unseen.

jar writes:

Yes, if Bilbo Baggins actually exists then Bilbo Baggins is not a human construct.

Explain to me how this "unknowable" GOD you speak of is any more or less of a human construct than Bilbo Baggins...?

jar writes:

Maybe you are learning.

Educate me oh wise one....


This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by jar, posted 10-05-2012 1:46 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 109 by jar, posted 10-05-2012 2:05 PM Straggler has responded
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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 110 of 318 (675073)
10-05-2012 2:15 PM
Reply to: Message 109 by jar
10-05-2012 2:05 PM


Re: GOD is NOT a god
I will readily agree that you have repeatedly said lots of things. But all of them are just unjustifiable assertions.

jar writes:

I have repeatedly told you that I cannot, at least while I am alive, know anything of the attributes of GOD.

Explain to me how this "unknowable" GOD you speak of is any more or less of a human construct than Bilbo Baggins...?

jar writes:

I have told you repeatedly that I believe GOD is the creator of all that is, seen or unseen.

Sure. And I ask you why that belief is any more worthy of consideration than Gandalf as the creator of all that is seen and unseen.

jar writes:

If Bilbo Baggins exists then Bilbo Baggins would not be a human construct.

Do you agree that Bilbo Baggins is very probably just a human construct?

jar writes:

If GOD exists (I may even have mentioned that to you) then GOD is not a human construct.

Well so you relentlessly assert. But whether GOD exists or not what definition of "god" are you applying such that GOD doesn't qualify as a god?

That is the topic here and you seem very unable to answer it...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 109 by jar, posted 10-05-2012 2:05 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 112 by jar, posted 10-05-2012 4:30 PM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 118 of 318 (675168)
10-07-2012 11:51 AM
Reply to: Message 112 by jar
10-05-2012 4:30 PM


Re: GOD is NOT a god
A supernatural creator of the universe (etc.) is a god by pretty much any conventional definition you can find.

  • Can you supply the source of the definition you are applying?
  • Can you cite the definition of "theist" that you are applying such that you can claim to be a theist who doesn't believe in the existence of god(s)?

    What you have done is invent your own self serving terminology in an act of definitional mastrurbation. But you don't even seem to be able do that whilst maintaining a consistent position. How can you be a theist if you don't believe in the existence of any god(s)?

    jar writes:

    I answered it, you seem incapable of understanding.

    Inventing your own meanings of words and then insisting that you are right isn't really a valid position now is it? You have no problem pointing out the stupidity of this when creationists do it so why engage in this sort of nonsense yourself?


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 112 by jar, posted 10-05-2012 4:30 PM jar has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 119 by jar, posted 10-07-2012 11:55 AM Straggler has responded

      
  • Straggler
    Member
    Posts: 10285
    From: London England
    Joined: 09-30-2006


    Message 120 of 318 (675170)
    10-07-2012 11:55 AM
    Reply to: Message 113 by Thugpreacha
    10-05-2012 4:42 PM


    Re: IF as Objectivity
    If something is unknowable, imperceivable etc. etc. etc. then where did any idea that it exists come from?

    Imagination. Obviously. It cannot, by definition be otherwise can it?

    Now by some fluke of blind random chance one may have imagined something that conceivably exists out there. Maybe there is a place out in the universe called Middle Earth full of hobbits and wizards etc. etc.

    But I would suggest it unlikely.......Wouldn't you?


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 113 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-05-2012 4:42 PM Thugpreacha has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 123 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-08-2012 5:49 AM Straggler has responded

      
    Straggler
    Member
    Posts: 10285
    From: London England
    Joined: 09-30-2006


    (4)
    Message 121 of 318 (675171)
    10-07-2012 12:00 PM
    Reply to: Message 119 by jar
    10-07-2012 11:55 AM


    Re: GOD is NOT a god
    Right. Well I define "GOD" to mean a wafer covered in chocolate. Given that I am sitting here eating a Kit-Kat this makes me not only a "theist" but a GOD-eater.

    Any wally can invent their own private language using common terms and then conflate these to come to their own conclusions whilst proclaiming everyone else to be wrong.

    This is what you are doing here. And you can't even do it consistently!!! Go on - Explain how you are a theist if the thing you believe in isn't a god? What definition of "theist" are you applying?

    Castles made of sand........


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 119 by jar, posted 10-07-2012 11:55 AM jar has responded

    Replies to this message:
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