Defining god.
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20-01-2013, 05:48 PM (This post was last modified: 20-01-2013 06:15 PM by Mr Woof.)
Defining god.
I just came across this query on a philosophy forum and found it a bit interesting.

As I cannot categorically confirm the non existence of god, defined or not defined (ineffable) the best I can really do is ponder a little. Even Dawkins allows God some existential possibility.

A friend of mine, a militant agnostic, sees God? as ones highest personal moral idealism relevant to self and others. I must say I rather like this definition as even if we want to act well, we cannot go beyond how we actually understand things. Can we?

I will only add, that if higher moralities and higher moral Beings exist, I cannot see such as being 'perfect' as perfection suggest an end and stagnant state, which God surely could not be, at least in terms of our cognitive abilities.

This issue, of course, could be elaborated upon in a multitude of areas and all manner of arguments pursued.
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21-01-2013, 06:57 AM
RE: Defining god.
God is an idea? Then why call that idea God?

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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21-01-2013, 07:49 AM
RE: Defining god.
Hey, Woof.

Militant Agnostic eh? Curious.

I would define God as the supernatural creator of the universe.

God has to be supernatural:
1 - Because if it's not, then it's a natural phenomenon/entity and no more a God than gravity.
2 - In order to create the natural universe, an entity would need to have power over it. For example, I cannot create a universe because the rules of the natural universe prohibit me from doing so.

Then there's deities, who may not have created the entire universe, but are still supernatural and have some power over it; like Thor or a tree spirit or Hermes.

Then there's frauds who are just people but they're all like, "Look-a me! I'm, like, a God and junk!"

Anyhoo, we're talking about God creator of the universe.

Whether God's power is absolute, or limited, or was a one-shot deal, or whether God intervenes, or doesn't, or whether he's nice, a right prick, kinda neutral, has a name, a preferred appearance, whether he revealed himself in the ways people claim, whether there's one God, or hundreds, or if every single description of God refers to different manifestations of the same entity; all of that is irrelevant to me because no one can prove any of it. Maybe it's true in whole or in part, maybe it's embellished, maybe it's inaccurate, maybe it's all horseshit. The only question for me is, is there a supernatural creator of the universe or not? That's just a question about the nature of the universe that hasn't been answered yet and likely never will be. It's almost zen.

What God is or what God is like is beyond most people's knowledge (not necessarily understanding) unless God reveals shklerself to you. Even then you have decide if it was God or the after effects of that gas station burrito.

I always liked what Rabbi Kaplan had to say:
Quote:If we define existence as that which God has, because the one thing we can say about God is that he exists, he is, he has a state… he exists in a state of absolute isness, in Hebrew that’s called Yeshut, isness, by in no way shape or form can I define myself relative to those terms. Meaning that’s a level of reality that is completely beyond time, completely beyond space, completely even beyond finite or infinite. God isn’t even infinite, he creates infinite reality and he creates finite reality. He’s beyond both. Which helps solve the problem how…. the philosophers asked how can it be that an infinite God creates finite reality. Judaism doesn’t see a problem whatsoever because God’s not infinite. God’s completely beyond limitation. Infinite reality itself is limited by virtue of the fact that it can’t express itself in a finite way. Finite reality is limited to the extent that it exists within the context of some sort of finite space, finite time. God is beyond both.
-Rabbi Boruch Kaplan

Alternately, God could be Stewie Griffin.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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21-01-2013, 08:53 AM
RE: Defining god.
(20-01-2013 05:48 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  I just came across this query on a philosophy forum and found it a bit interesting.

As I cannot categorically confirm the non existence of god, defined or not defined (ineffable) the best I can really do is ponder a little. Even Dawkins allows God some existential possibility.

A friend of mine, a militant agnostic, sees God? as ones highest personal moral idealism relevant to self and others. I must say I rather like this definition as even if we want to act well, we cannot go beyond how we actually understand things. Can we?

I will only add, that if higher moralities and higher moral Beings exist, I cannot see such as being 'perfect' as perfection suggest an end and stagnant state, which God surely could not be, at least in terms of our cognitive abilities.

This issue, of course, could be elaborated upon in a multitude of areas and all manner of arguments pursued.
"ones highest personal moral idealism"
That's pretty much what humans have come to think of as "god" in 2013. Except they say it as "god is love".
It's essentially meaningless. There is no evidence that "existence" (WHICH REQUIRES TIME) has any meaning outside what we know about about this universe. It's why I am an igtheist. No one can define what the word "god" means coherently. (And BTW, saying god is the "creator", means she "acted" in time, before spacetime). That is meaningless.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein Certified Ancient Astronaut Theorist
The noblest of the dogs is the hot dog. It feeds the hand that bites it.
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21-01-2013, 10:49 AM
RE: Defining god.
I am an agnostic atheist and I thought about how an hypothetical god would be. And I made an analogy with the human body and all of its cells and organs and everything. God could be everything is and has ever been, I don't imagine something outside the physical laws. Maybe could be the universe(s) itself. That includes everything is in nature, good or bad, moral or immoral (in nature there's no such thing as moral, it is a man-made concept).
Anyway, this is just how I 'see' it, it doesn't prove anything.

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Benjamin Franklin
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21-01-2013, 03:09 PM
RE: Defining god.
A god is any 1. supernatural (usually immortal) 2. entity (a living being, in time; usually with some human-like aspect) 3. which is concerned with the welfare and behaviour of humans and 4. has the power to reward and punish 5. which is revered (usually worshipped; usually in ritual) by humans.

A specific god is generally described in great detail by its earthly agents (prophet, shaman, oracle, priest...); it's history and instructions are set down in some lasting format (wall-paintings, scrolls, parchments, vedas...). Specific gods have names, known attributes, requirements and powers.

I don't see any problem with definition. A god is not - in its own cultural medium merely an idea; nor is the spiritual expression of the universe in the microcosm of the human soul, or any such mumbo, a god. Humans have invented thousands of gods over the millennia and all of those gods have a distinct place of origin and historical context. None of them exist in the real world; all of them exist, or have at some time existed, in folklore and belief.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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21-01-2013, 03:11 PM
RE: Defining god.
(21-01-2013 07:49 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Woof.

Militant Agnostic eh? Curious.

I would define God as the supernatural creator of the universe.

God has to be supernatural:
1 - Because if it's not, then it's a natural phenomenon/entity and no more a God than gravity.
2 - In order to create the natural universe, an entity would need to have power over it. For example, I cannot create a universe because the rules of the natural universe prohibit me from doing so.

Then there's deities, who may not have created the entire universe, but are still supernatural and have some power over it; like Thor or a tree spirit or Hermes.

Then there's frauds who are just people but they're all like, "Look-a me! I'm, like, a God and junk!"

Anyhoo, we're talking about God creator of the universe.

Whether God's power is absolute, or limited, or was a one-shot deal, or whether God intervenes, or doesn't, or whether he's nice, a right prick, kinda neutral, has a name, a preferred appearance, whether he revealed himself in the ways people claim, whether there's one God, or hundreds, or if every single description of God refers to different manifestations of the same entity; all of that is irrelevant to me because no one can prove any of it. Maybe it's true in whole or in part, maybe it's embellished, maybe it's inaccurate, maybe it's all horseshit. The only question for me is, is there a supernatural creator of the universe or not? That's just a question about the nature of the universe that hasn't been answered yet and likely never will be. It's almost zen.

What God is or what God is like is beyond most people's knowledge (not necessarily understanding) unless God reveals shklerself to you. Even then you have decide if it was God or the after effects of that gas station burrito.

I always liked what Rabbi Kaplan had to say:
Quote:If we define existence as that which God has, because the one thing we can say about God is that he exists, he is, he has a state… he exists in a state of absolute isness, in Hebrew that’s called Yeshut, isness, by in no way shape or form can I define myself relative to those terms. Meaning that’s a level of reality that is completely beyond time, completely beyond space, completely even beyond finite or infinite. God isn’t even infinite, he creates infinite reality and he creates finite reality. He’s beyond both. Which helps solve the problem how…. the philosophers asked how can it be that an infinite God creates finite reality. Judaism doesn’t see a problem whatsoever because God’s not infinite. God’s completely beyond limitation. Infinite reality itself is limited by virtue of the fact that it can’t express itself in a finite way. Finite reality is limited to the extent that it exists within the context of some sort of finite space, finite time. God is beyond both.
-Rabbi Boruch Kaplan

Alternately, God could be Stewie Griffin.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Thank you for some interesting comments.

I am not really sure about my friend the militant agnostic, nor is he. We don't get far in our debates.

Rabbi Kaplan;s considerations are interesting and not remote from my position (at times) that the god phenomenon would be necessarily ever evolving, in all (our) terms, including morality.

As for god as a creator; I would suggest that a 'god works' may transcend the general secular understanding of creativity and the notions of cause and effect.

My position, largely, is that one can intuit that there may be more to our existential understanding than meets the eye and that much of holy writ, held to explain an ineffable God is, in the main, counter productive.
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21-01-2013, 03:21 PM
RE: Defining god.
(21-01-2013 08:53 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(20-01-2013 05:48 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  I just came across this query on a philosophy forum and found it a bit interesting.

As I cannot categorically confirm the non existence of god, defined or not defined (ineffable) the best I can really do is ponder a little. Even Dawkins allows God some existential possibility.

A friend of mine, a militant agnostic, sees God? as ones highest personal moral idealism relevant to self and others. I must say I rather like this definition as even if we want to act well, we cannot go beyond how we actually understand things. Can we?

I will only add, that if higher moralities and higher moral Beings exist, I cannot see such as being 'perfect' as perfection suggest an end and stagnant state, which God surely could not be, at least in terms of our cognitive abilities.

This issue, of course, could be elaborated upon in a multitude of areas and all manner of arguments pursued.
"ones highest personal moral idealism"
That's pretty much what humans have come to think of as "god" in 2013. Except they say it as "god is love".
It's essentially meaningless. There is no evidence that "existence" (WHICH REQUIRES TIME) has any meaning outside what we know about about this universe. It's why I am an igtheist. No one can define what the word "god" means coherently. (And BTW, saying god is the "creator", means she "acted" in time, before spacetime). That is meaningless.
I think the difference lies in the fact that a good many believers are locked into old scriptural moralities, along with all the ambiguities and restrict them selves from the hard realities of actual existence.
A non believer can be idealistic, from the point of view that their genuine ethical convictions carry them based on rationality. I realise that rationality, so called, is no panacea. It is preferable however to sophistry.
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21-01-2013, 03:45 PM
RE: Defining god.
(21-01-2013 06:57 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  God is an idea? Then why call that idea God?
WEll I suppose you can say atheistic idealism is you like.
By doing so you unjustifiably lock yourself into hard line atheism......IMO Consider
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21-01-2013, 04:06 PM
RE: Defining god.
God is everything I cant yet explain.
Its an explanation.











(except its not)

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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