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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Definition of god...



Written by: wikipedia
God is the term used to denote the Supreme Being ascribed by monotheistic religions to be the creator, ruler and/or the sum total of, existence. Conceptions of God vary widely, despite the common use of the same term for them all.





Or according to Dictionary.com



Written by: Dictionary.com
God

A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.



The force, effect, or a manifestation or aspect of this being.



A being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worshiped by a people, especially a male deity thought to control some part of nature or reality.



An image of a supernatural being; an idol.



One that is worshiped, idealized, or followed: Money was their god.



A very handsome man.



A powerful ruler or despot.





"God" is a term that is used by many to decribe something totally different. Just as "love" I consider the word "god" to be as one of the least defined.



What's your conception/ understanding of "the supreme being"?



Tell me/us... To you: is it a "very handsome, perfect man, ruling the universe"? Or is it more the "universal life force" - as in my personal understanding - that is in all beings and objects that exist/ don't exist... ???


EDITED_BY: FireTom (1139497747)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Midkiff
shadow stranger
Location: Carmi, Illinois
Member Since: 29th Nov 2009
Total posts: 462
Posted:i must say i am truly sorry if i offend anyone but to each his own and i am no part of that i have christians in my family even my brother is christian
EDITED_BY: Midkiff (1268983717)


"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able, and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" - Epicurus

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Teamo
Teamo

Almost again
Location: Finland
Member Since: 22nd Dec 2009
Total posts: 124
Posted:Originally Posted By: Mother_Natures_SonUnicorns are something said to exist within this realm of existance, which goes against all knowledge we have of this realm, making that claim somewhat ludicrous.

How can the burden of proof be asymmetrical if we already established that theres no way of placing any probability on a being who operates in a way that is not observable?


By telling me of any burden of proof, then you do not lie dead centre, you're telling me its more likely there is NOT a god, meaning you're not in the dead centre. Fairies are something said to exist within this realm and as such are subject to very different rules than god. They are also said to manifest themselves frequently, whereas in the infinite nature of god, (not the christian god, the infinite god of possibility) means that theres no reason we will ever see any telltale signs of the creator. If something has the power to create everything, its possible they'd have the power to influence without our realisation.
If your god can be "the god of infinite possibilies" and his definition or attributes shouldn't be restricted, I should be able to do the same with fairies.
How is that different from saying that "Ok, fairies and unicorns maybe don't exist here, but they do exist in a magical fairyland somewhere beyond our existance, where our laws don't apply. And even if they ever did cross into our realm, they and any signs of them would vanish at the second someone tries to detect them."? Does that mere extension to the analogy make the belief that fairies don't exist unjustifiable?
You hold that the existance of this analogous fairyland is a reasonable assumption, but there's no reason to assert that. There's no reason to assume that there's anything beyond our universe, or that there is another level of existance from where an entity can interact with this world while completely avoiding being percieved.
Therefore asymmetricality of the burden of proof certainly applies to that assumption (if not, why not?), and by extension it also applies to any claims you make about the nature of that sort of existance, including god and its possible attributes. To put in the words of the wikipedia article: The claim "God is separate from our reality and wouldn't be applicable to ways of studying our reality." is inextricably dependent upon the controversial claim "There is a reality beyond ours.".
Quote: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance#Argument_from_ignorance

This covers even likelihoods, which you say that in order to create the 'most accurate' picture of reality you tell me that god is less likely to be true.
Yeah, but it doesn't discard the burden of proof, the purpose of which is to determine what positions are more justified than others in a given situation, especially if it's a stalemate like this one. And that is all I'm arguing, I'm not arguing what the actual state of reality is, but what constitutes as a reasonable belief about the subject. And above I've tried to explain why even your specific example of god doesn't escape the asymmetricality of burden of proof. Even the wikipedia page which you cited states that "An important aspect of the ad ignorantiam argument is establishing the Burden of proof."

I admit that the belief that "there probably is not god" is not the dead center. But I still argue that it is a much more justifiable position than the belief that god possibly exists. Again, via asymmetricality of the burden of proof illustrated by the page on wikipedia (or any philosophy books on the subject, incase you doubt wikipedia).
Incase your response is, that "total agnosticism is an even more justified position" (total agnosticism in this case being a state where one will not say anything beyond "I don't know"), to that I would respond that total agnosticism is not a position at all. It's a non-position, the total lack and refusal of taking one. And it suggests that knowledge is needed to absolutely hold any belief, which I disagree with. Further knowledge may change my belief, but the lack of knowledge doesn't prevent me from having a negative belief about a claim. Just like with the issue of fairies in a magical fairyland outside the universe. I have no knowledge for or against the existence of them, but I can still be fairly confident in believing there aren't any. AKA I can take the best position with the limited and possibly insufficient knowledge that I already have. And if further knowledge comes along, I'll intergrate that accordingly and maybe change my beliefs. Would you not agree?
Quote:
..You did give reasons as to why my definition of faith didn't fit in with your own... but you didn't actually state why they are unproductive and trivial..

..I've addressed your use of the word faith several times and I'm not going to end up in one of these discussions where I end up endlessly repeating myself...
In my opinion if a specific definition of the word renders it meaningless, that definition is unproductive. But then again that's just my opinion which anybody is free to object.

And in any case I'm fine with the situation, as I said I don't find it of great importance to go further on this specific route of the discussion either. But just for future reference, the fact that you feel like you have to repeat yourself over and over again isn't necessarily the opponent's fault. I've been on both sides of that coin and been proven wrong, and many others have aswell.
Quote:
But using scientific approaches to something that most likely exists outside our own frame of existance is illogical, science covers what we can discover, not what it is impossible for us to discover.
(emphasis added)
This is a point I didn't feel like pressing before, but I decided I'll throw it out there after all.
Isn't "most likely" a positive assertion on your part? On what basis are you making that if you are trying to make the least assumptions possible?
Quote:In regards to Occams razor, if you have a look at the religion section of that article, you may note that its covered in red flags. "May contain original research" "the neutrility has been disputed" Essentially... this is because it says "disbelief is preferred"The possible biases of the writer or that specific part of the article are completely irrelevant to what Occam's razor means and how it relates to our subject. Look up a philosophical dictionary if you don't like wikipedia.
Quote:My knowledge of occams razor might be a little hazy, but I thought it was about making the LEAST assumptions and creates the least entities.

Neither believing or disbelieving creates 0 assumptions and creates 0 entities, whereas even leaning to one side will create assumptions.
Occam's razor addresses both the amount and complexity of any assumptions made or entities created.
I agree that my position "god probably doesn't exist" does create some assumptions. However they are assumptions I'm comfortable in making due to practicality reasons. As I described earlier, I'm taking the position that I hold most reasonable according to my current state of knowledge.That is because then it has the potential to become more accurate. If I insist on staying in the absolute middle ground with 0 assumptions and accepting no beliefs, I'm stuck in the "I don't know" faze (because in the face of the lack of absolute certainty on anything, saying anything else would be making assumptions regardless of the subject matter), which isn't a position at all. Only when I take an initial position on the subject does it become possible to improve that position (to one way or another), which will result in me having as many correct beliefs and as few false beliefs as possible. Which for me is a goal more worth pursuing than making absolutely 0 assumptions about anything.
Quote:You poison nothing but the well of your own mind. You seem to be confusing "can't be critically discussed" and "can't be empirically ratified" You can't discuss them as a concrete idea, only as an abstract concept.
Abstract concepts don't create matter or have any other direct effect on the physical reality, but you are suggesting that a god would be able to do this. You are clearly not treating him just as an abstract concept, which is the only reason I give statements like the ones you quoted. I have no problem with the unfalsifiability of abstract concepts. I completely 100% agree with the statement "God is a concept", as in "of the mind". But if your posts hadn't implied anything outside of that, I would've left you alone in the first place. Truly abstract concepts don't even have the ability to have any direct implications on the physical world.
Quote:If you say anything can't be discussed for any reason for any reason you're limiting yourself in the amount of inbound information.
When I say something can't be discussed, I'm not saying that it's forbidden or impossible to discuss. I'm saying there's very little point in discussing the issue, atleast from that perspective. I'm not dogmatically refusing to discuss it like you seem to be implying. I'm saying it's a waste of time.
Quote:A gnostic atheist(even one who has removed the burden of absolute proof, like yourself) will do this by ignoring everything that doesn't fit in with their view of the material world... but we aren't talking about the material world... we're talking about spiritual matters of which we can make no judgement because theres no way we'll ever have the ability to test our assertions.
I don't have sufficient reason to even believe there is a "spritual world" of spiritual matters. It's existance is subject to burden of proof just like anything else, and once again the burden lies heavily on the one making the claim that such things exist. The effort to try and escape this by saying "If it existed, we wouldn't be able to make any judgement about it" is useless when you start with an already controversial premise: "If it existed".


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WoodlandApple
WoodlandApple

addict
Location: Australia
Member Since: 1st Dec 2009
Total posts: 474
Posted:from my point of view, I have no idea how the world started, I dont know if there was evolution or something different.

I get annoyed, however with the notion that evolution is tried true and tested, when it isnt. There are huge gaps left fill.

people make huge assumptions based on very little fact when it comes to mainstream religious beliefs. Did you know that more people get executed today in America than during the inquisition? Yet somehow the inquisition is used time and time again to prove that religion creates war and death. More people have died for non religious reasons in the history of man than religious reasons.

People tell me to read more scientif readings, to look outside my faith (which is something I do) well, everyone else can come understand my faith before labelling and criticsing me for it.


sticks and stones my break my bones, but ski patrol will save me.

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Why are you so eagerly asking for (scientific) proof to someone's definition of God?

Can you see air? Can you for that matter (and without technical assistance) prove that air exists and break down its components? Still you breathe it. To me, ID and evolution do not contradict but even compliment each other and neither does dis/prove the existence of God. wink

Assuming for a moment that some alien race spotted this planet and sent a spacecraft, containing all necessary elements to "seed" life on this planet. Would that alone make them "God" to you? Only because they were able to start life on this planet and (un/intelligently) designed it?

Just for a second let us say that there is an individual alien out there who seeded earth.... does that make 'him' God? If "yes" and if that alien would worship some entity, who would then be that entity? "God of God(s)"???

IMHO you can take all the detours and go babysteps in all directions, argue and debate - but you could also take the shortcut and realize God in all there is around and within you.

btdt Discussions about something that can't be properly explained and that has emotional ties often lead to misunderstandings and (unintended) offense. Thanks for contributing Midkiff hug

Having faith is a good thing - why not. Only if you find yourself with the back to the wall, trying to argue about something that in reality needs to be experienced, you notice that something somewhere along the line went the funny way.

wink

I hope that this post is not a full stop to the entire thread and wished for more elaborations on "what God means to you"...


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
Member Since: 1st Aug 2007
Total posts: 2418
Posted:I'm going to have to bow out of this discussion at this point, due to university work piling up around me.

I did enjoy the discussion and I think we both understand one anothers opinions at this point anyway.

I do however find it intriguing that you seem to spend a large amount of time discussing something that is a waste of time... I think you do see that its an interesting topic, even if nobody can in the end be proven correct or incorrect.

Happy travels to all those in this thread. ^_^


Also, this. http://www.vimeo.com/264972

EDITED_BY: Mother_Natures_Son (1269364031)


hug

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Originally Posted By: MNSI do however find it intriguing that you seem to spend a large amount of time discussing something that is a waste of time... I think you do see that its an interesting topic, even if nobody can in the end be proven correct or incorrect.

Guilty as charged redface but completely freak assumption spank wink I don't regard it a waste of time to exchange opinions about the nature of god - ever ... but I do regard it a waste of time to argue about the same topic - always.

Thanks for your input hug enjoy the Uni-work - see you back at some stage smile


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Midkiff
shadow stranger
Location: Carmi, Illinois
Member Since: 29th Nov 2009
Total posts: 462
Posted:lol the discussion of religion and god is always a long one and it can get ugly real fast but still fun to do

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able, and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" - Epicurus

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WoodlandApple
WoodlandApple

addict
Location: Australia
Member Since: 1st Dec 2009
Total posts: 474
Posted:a few quotes I found lately:

In Faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't - Blaise Pascal

There are two ways to slide easily through life; to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking - Alfred Korzybski

Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of faith is to see what we believe. - Augustine


sticks and stones my break my bones, but ski patrol will save me.

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Mynci
Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...
Member Since: 27th Apr 2005
Total posts: 8737
Posted:And a couple of quotes from my perspective to round things off hug

"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." Friedrich Nietzsche

"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one." George Bernard Shaw

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen Roberts

now... who wants to discuss why war is good? wink


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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Midkiff
shadow stranger
Location: Carmi, Illinois
Member Since: 29th Nov 2009
Total posts: 462
Posted:one good thing that religion has done though is morals they have given people morals and codes of conduct

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able, and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" - Epicurus

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:absolutely agreed, Midkiff...

I'm uncertain at this point whether these codes of conduct were invented by religions and if - in this context - we should still use MS-DOS.

wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Midkiff
shadow stranger
Location: Carmi, Illinois
Member Since: 29th Nov 2009
Total posts: 462
Posted:either that or binary if you wanna go back farther but i dont think i'd like religion that far back with burn the heretics and all that crazy censored

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able, and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" - Epicurus

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