Let's define God
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28-04-2014, 12:28 PM
RE: Let's define God
(28-04-2014 10:26 AM)TrainWreck Wrote:  "God" is the infinite entity of human knowledge and undefined phenomenon.



Sure........... that's really helpful. **sarcasm**


*shakes head*

When I want your opinion I'll read your entrails.
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28-04-2014, 12:45 PM
RE: Let's define God
(28-04-2014 10:26 AM)TrainWreck Wrote:  "God" is the infinite entity of human knowledge and undefined phenomenon.

Okay... Aside from the fact you basically just strung some mysterious sounding words together to make it sound clever...

Let's assume that this phenomenon you call God exists, and is able to directly affect our lives.

Wouldn't it therefore warrant a careful, scientific evaluation to determined the nature of this god? Whether he's benevolent, malevolent or indifferent to us?

To put things a different way... Suppose we detect a signal that appears to be the work of an extraterrestrial civilization... Would it be wise to automatically assume they are benevolent and to broadcast our location in reply?

Ancient Greek philosophers were smart enough to recognize that their gods, if real, were capricious, malevolent and sadistic.

If there is a god or pantheon of gods influencing our world then they cannot possibly be benevolent. If they are benevolent, then they are powerless... In which case how can they influence our world?

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28-04-2014, 05:31 PM
RE: Let's define God
God is whatever a person thinks is good and right with none of the bad stuff attached. "God thinks we should do x" means "I when I am my best self think we should do x". Some make the mistake of trying to tie that concept to some book or religion, and oh boy that's where it gets messy. The equivalence starts to be driven in reverse: "The god of the Bible says we should hate this... so I guess I when I am my best self should hate this too?". It gets especially messy when a person is predisposed to hate and bigotry which they are then able to amplify through their book or religion.

But at its heart, I think most people end up meaning "Me, when I am my best self" when they say "God"... even though they wouldn't look at it that way.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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28-04-2014, 06:15 PM
RE: Let's define God
(28-04-2014 10:15 AM)natachan Wrote:  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.

I'm an atheist - it's not up to me to define someone else's god.

To the theist:
Give me your definition and present your evidence. Oh, no evidence? Piss off. Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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28-04-2014, 10:57 PM
RE: Let's define God
(28-04-2014 10:15 AM)natachan Wrote:  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.

It's not simply a matter of finding a coherent, agreed upon definition that can be accepted by everyone. Obviously it is flawed for reasons already state, i.e., people define "their gods" differently, and most often arbitrarily than others.

The real problem, is the "god" concept in nonsensical. It's like being asked to define a thing that cannot be defined. Once you define it, then that definition you used, by definition is wrong.

I realized when I was a very young kid, that the concept of "god" was meaningless in this regard. At least the all omnis concept of "god". But the "god" concept was save for me, as a concept at least, when I considered greco/roman "gods". At least they made some kind of sense to me as actual things that could be defined and fit into the world, and could be made sense of.

Of course, the reality of them was still absent, but the concept could at least be explained, because they fit better into the actual nature of the world. Not really...not exactly...but better than the judeo-christian-islamic "god" concept. They were part of it at least, part of nature. They did supernatural things, true, but the supernatural things they did were part of nature, those natural. Apart of the world, not apart from it. Not the "undefined definition" but as actual parts of the universe and the world, in that they were just larger "people", stronger, and more powerful, and had skills and abilities beyond our understanding, but they were still ...there...And they didn't have to be concerned with this need to be "all-good", "all-loving", or "all-perfect". They didn't need to have ALL the power, or ALL the knowledge...the omnis. Just some...some powers, knowledge, or skills more than us...

The problem is, besides not actually existing in reality (big enough problem on it's own) even if they did exist, why would we call them "gods". They would have just been bigger, more powerful creatures than us. They had bigger more powerful creatures than them. They were called the Titans. It seems the only definition of these things as "gods" is how much larger, and mostly how much more powerful they are than us.

By that note, we are bigger, more powerful creatures than most the rest of life on Earth. By that definition, we could be called the "gods" of this Earth. A lion could be the "gods" of the gazelles. Aliens could come to the Earth, and we would have no reason to not know they are in fact actually "gods" if they were advanced enough, and arguably if they made it here, they would be.

No, this too is a clearly flawed definition of "god". Any definition we have, once we can formulate it, becomes something that is no longer, by definition, "god".

"God" is a thing, that only is not. <------And that, is the best definition of "god" you well ever get.

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28-04-2014, 11:40 PM
RE: Let's define God
We are indebted to Mr. Charles Schultz for the most accurate depiction of god ever rendered, although he may not have recognized it himself for what it was. I've included a helpful label for those who also may have a little trouble recognizing the object of devotion for what it is.

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28-04-2014, 11:43 PM
RE: Let's define God
Saw the title, "Let's define god."

And thought to myself...let's not.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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29-04-2014, 12:38 AM
RE: Let's define God
What's the point? Most people who believe in such an entity don't think it can be sufficiently defined. Why should those of us who don't believe in said entity bother trying?

You can talk to 1,000,000 people and get 1,000,000 different definitions of "god" if you ask enough questions, but never an all encompassing one.

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29-04-2014, 02:24 AM
RE: Let's define God
(28-04-2014 12:28 PM)WitchSabrina Wrote:  
(28-04-2014 10:26 AM)TrainWreck Wrote:  "God" is the infinite entity of human knowledge and undefined phenomenon.



Sure........... that's really helpful. **sarcasm**


*shakes head*

It's "undefined phenomena", not "phenomenon". Weeping

I say a god is a being who comes down from Mount Olympus and fucks unsuspecting maidens. I think we can agree on that.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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29-04-2014, 03:24 AM
RE: Let's define God
The question about how to define God conversely applies to the question 'what are God's limitations?'.

For something to be defined, it must have a limit or limitations. This is the typical argument against the idea of an omnipresent, omniscience and omnipotent being. It would literally be everything and therefore no one thing, or nothing.

So if you can't get the theist to give you a definition of God, ask for their god's limitations. When they say that God does not have any limitations, ask why they are labelling everything in existence as a god when the rest of us call it a universe. Then ask why they are ascribing intelligence to the universe.
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