Let's define God
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28-04-2014, 10:15 AM
Let's define God
I'm rather tired of goalpost shifting, so I want a definition of what God is. I want it specific, complete, and concrete. I want to attach ONE definition to the word "god" so that we can all operate on the same premise. I recall a few threads where after being challenged on my disbelief I asked to get a definition of exactly what was meant by god and was subsequently ignored.

So, how shall we define god? I don't want BS answers, let's hear specifics. Because before we can even begin a discussion we need to have the same vocabulary.

God is energy: so god is the equivalent of mass times the speed of light squared? This is an example of a bad answer, in that god refers to some property of the universe. Such a god does exist, but praying to such a god would be pointless. Energy is indifferent, impartial, and does not possess will. Praying to the fact that objects with mass tend to attract each other, for example, is just silly.

God is love. Another bad definition. Love is dependent on and is a product of brains. So god is a chemical reaction in the brain? Again we are left with the above problem of this not making much sense. If god means chemistry then yes, god exists, but praying to chemistry is silly (although I have been known to implore my titration tubes from time to time).

I would like to establish the one meaning of the word god as this: a supernatural creative being. A single entity who possesses powers that can defy the laws of physics.
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28-04-2014, 10:20 AM
RE: Let's define God
Already tried here, the thing is, it's not possible, because people believe what they want about god, there's no possible definition general enough to include every definition and specific enough not to be useless.

And that makes sense if you think about it, a good definition would allow god to be analysed, and religious people don't want that, that's why most of them shift the goalpost all the time.

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28-04-2014, 10:26 AM
RE: Let's define God
"God" is the infinite entity of human knowledge and undefined phenomenon.

Humanism - ontological doctrine that posits that humans define reality
Theism - ontological doctrine that posits a supernatural entity creates and defines reality
Atheism - political doctrine opposed to theist doctrine in public policy
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28-04-2014, 10:29 AM (This post was last modified: 28-04-2014 10:33 AM by natachan.)
RE: Let's define God
(28-04-2014 10:26 AM)TrainWreck Wrote:  "God" is the infinite entity of human knowledge.

So "god" is the contents of any library then?

Human knowledge at any time is finite. And it's quite possible the entire span of knowledge open to human minds is finite. So, by this definition, god is the finite contents of the possibilities of human knowledge, and can be found in any library.

I tend not to worship books. I like books, but I don't worship them.

Edit:
Quote:and undefined phenomenon

I had this conversation with my father. Just because we don't know something now doesn't mean it's unknowable. That's unproductive. And you are, once again, reducing god to a physical reaction or reality of the universe. Not much sense in worshiping that.
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28-04-2014, 10:34 AM
RE: Let's define God
(28-04-2014 10:26 AM)TrainWreck Wrote:  "God" is the infinite entity of human knowledge and undefined phenomenon.

Hmm, "human knowledge" and "undefined" are incompatible. Try again.

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28-04-2014, 10:35 AM
RE: Let's define God
Impossible to define. The concept of god is 100% subjective.

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28-04-2014, 10:37 AM
RE: Let's define God
But if we want to talk we need to have a common language. Perhaps this should be taken on a case-by case basis. Specific gods can be examined and dismissed, but you are right in that different people mean different things.
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28-04-2014, 10:45 AM
RE: Let's define God
(28-04-2014 10:37 AM)natachan Wrote:  But if we want to talk we need to have a common language. Perhaps this should be taken on a case-by case basis. Specific gods can be examined and dismissed, but you are right in that different people mean different things.

You can try to narrow it down to "how do atheists define god" and "how do Christians define god" etc. You still won't get cohesive definitions, but at least you'll have narrowed it down some.

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28-04-2014, 11:47 AM
RE: Let's define God
God is any sufficiently vague and nonfalsifiable entity labeled "God" by an apologist.

In all seriousness, I don't think you'll actually get a good definition. The whole reason people still believe in gods is because they deliberately leave wiggle room in their concept. Any time you get too close to seeing what their god looks like, they wrap it in a few layers of Mysterious Ways to keep you from peeking.
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28-04-2014, 12:26 PM
RE: Let's define God
We've talked about this before...

What it boils down to is the theists themselves don't actually know what it is they're worshipping. Which kind of undermines their argument really, before we even start on logic and evidence.

When something really awesomely good happens, they call it a miracle from God... When something bad happens they say "God works in mysterious ways", or say something about "God's plan" or it being a "test of faith".

After a major natural disaster, there may be 1000 dead for every 1 pulled alive from the rubble, maybe more. They refer to their survival as "miracles".

But who is to say that God isn't working the other way? If the Bible is true then it wouldn't be the first time he'd murdered thousands and spared only a few in a fit of rage.

Do they ever consider this?

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