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Forums > Social Discussion > God, what's the nature of... ?

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FireTom


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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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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University, United Kingdo...

Total posts: 1762
Posted:God created other Gods? I thought he created Angels, which then rebelled when led by Satan?

Last I checked, Angels were not deities, but then, if they aren't, then why doesn't God just wipe them out? If they *are* then why isn't it equally valid to worship them instead of God? They must surely be equal in power...


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Total posts: 607
Posted:The word "god" can be used to refer to something powerful other than the true Creator. In John 10 the messiah uses it to refer to men, and in other places it is used to refer to angels (and other false gods).

You are correct about the angels (at least in english.) However, these fallen angels have been worshiped by humans, and when that happens it is correct to call them "gods." One can make a god of anything by worshiping it... money, yourself, or a fallen angel. "Angels" are not truly divine. They were created by God like you and me, and they are not equal to God in their power. It is wrong to worship them.

Why is it wrong? Good and evil are properly understood as obedience and disobedience to God. Thus, since God has said to worship only Him and not things that He has created, it is "wrong" to worship angels (whether fallen or not).

(btw, If anyone wants to get technical about it... I am in fact aware of what the word angel really means. I'm just using it as a generic word since that is the way most people use it).


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Daiz
BRONZE Member since Feb 2006

Daiz

Radioactive Member
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Total posts: 106
Posted:Simply a term/name for a "greater being", a belief with no physical form.

I'm gonna cut you up so bad, you gonna wish I ain't cut you up so bad.

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Gremlin_Lou


Gremlin_Lou

member
Location: Manchester

Total posts: 131
Posted:Written Hebrew had no vowels, but the words were still prounced using vowels if you get me?

So, the word Rabbits would have been prounounced rabbits, but spelt, rbbts. So, written YHVH (Yud Hay Vav Hay) is correct, but if it were spoken, there would be vowel sounds. But its never spoken, so its not a problem...

smile


'If your deeds shouldn't be known, perhaps they shouldn't be done, if your words shouldn't be shared, perhaps they shouldn't be spoken. Act with attention, for all your acts have consequences" (Rabbi Judah HaNassi)

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Gremlin_Lou


Gremlin_Lou

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Location: Manchester

Total posts: 131
Posted:Just so you know, there are supposedly two kinds of Angels (malakh). Those created by G-d do not have free will as they are always in His divine presence, and those who were humans who ascended to become Angels, who still have the human capacity of free will, and can choose and can be punished (Elijah, Matat).

'If your deeds shouldn't be known, perhaps they shouldn't be done, if your words shouldn't be shared, perhaps they shouldn't be spoken. Act with attention, for all your acts have consequences" (Rabbi Judah HaNassi)

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FireTom


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Total posts: 6650
Posted:OK - so I understand that the Hebrews fell from all other gods in the time they have been in Egypt... Lou: There is a theory (I stated it somewhere earlier) that Hebrews in fact have been ONE tribe OF/ IN Egypt, who were falling from the polytheistic to the monotheistic belief and therefore they "left" the ancient Egypt. That Mose in fact was a Pharao who led the people of Israel out of the duality, out of the polytheism and therefore (ideologically) out of Egypt... how does that sound to you?

I mean not many would disagree that todays "Palestinians" and Israelis share common heritage (are cousins so to speak) which makes the entire conflict so absurd...

Back to topic. Also in Christianity some worship rather to Mary than to Jesus, as he is "too perfect"... whatever that means. In this we have to differ between the creatures and people who are also created by "the one" (force)... In Hinduism every god is an emanation of the creator, if you worship Hanuman you will also get to the creator through him, as well as if you worship Shiva... God incarnates to earth (some believe) to teach and to help mankind to evolve. IMO this is a projection upon exceptional people with great skills and this can be observed throughout all the cultures.

But to understand the true nature of god (after Hebrew) you have to go through all stages, as shown in the tree of life... To experience all qualities that he/ it consists of...

As we had this in another thread: if we limit the nature of god to something that suits our projection (the ultimate good, the perfect...) are we not falling in the trap of duality? Therefore blindfolded to understand the true nature of god?


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Gremlin_Lou


Gremlin_Lou

member
Location: Manchester

Total posts: 131
Posted:Yeh I saw that theory. Perhaps its true, but there isn't too much evidence to support it, and when you look into it a whole lot doesn't make sense..

Anywho, work now!


'If your deeds shouldn't be known, perhaps they shouldn't be done, if your words shouldn't be shared, perhaps they shouldn't be spoken. Act with attention, for all your acts have consequences" (Rabbi Judah HaNassi)

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FireTom


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Total posts: 6650
Posted:*necrobump*

just stumbled across this one










EDITED_BY: FireTom (1268212643)
EDIT_REASON: pt 2


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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DoktorSkell
SILVER Member since Jan 2005

DoktorSkell

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Posted: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


Fair luna bright, fair luna moon
it shines at night but fades too soon
fair luna moon, fair luna bright
forever we dance
we dance under starlight

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FireTom


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Total posts: 6650
Posted:maybe "he" has no understanding of what it is that 'you' call evil ? wink

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
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Posted:in which case "he" is ignorant,
Then he is not omnicogniscent,


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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Fire_Moose
SILVER Member since May 2007

Fire_Moose

Elusive and Bearded
Location: Scottsdale, AZ, USA

Total posts: 3597
Posted:i heard he was dead....


/shrug


O.B.E.S.E.

Owned by Mynci!

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:well I do not know what "god" means to you... I can only go for what "he" means to me. and in this realm "good/evil" are simply limited angles of perception in time and space.

for me it's not about ignorance as much as it is about encompassing all that life holds and having the patience to wait for the final chapter.

the above interviews do reflect quite a lot of what I came to - after a life-long struggle with conditioned definitions and thus confusion over what that term actually means (to me). neither Christianity nor Buddhism came up with sufficient answers, except for

"don't rely on hearsay..." wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Sister Eleven
GOLD Member since Aug 2009

Sister Eleven

owner of the group property
Location: Seattle, WA, USA

Total posts: 1277
Posted:I think there's an argument to be made that if you're not talking about an omnipotent, omniscient, perfectly benevolent (and metaphysically necessary and personal, I would argue) being, then whatever you're talking about isn't God.

How many of "God's" supposed properties can you tweak before you're talking about something else entirely? Surely if I said that "to me, God was an American president assassinated by John Wilkes Booth and not, as many people conceive, a supreme being at all" you would think there was something wrong with what I'm saying.

But whatevs. I personally think the entire complex of theological questions is tiresome and some of the least important questions one can ask (certainly less important than "did I remember to brush my teeth this morning").


p|.q|r:|::s|.s|s:|:.s|q.|:p|s.|.p|s

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WoodlandApple
BRONZE Member since Dec 2009

WoodlandApple

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Posted:I find it interesting that there is a fair amount of discussion on this topic that covers the 'christian' concept of God.

Intersting because I love it when people who dont believe in God, try to define Him; and tell me what He is or isnt. but if your not a religious person, where do you get the knowledge to define God from?

Surely if you dont believe in God; then you have no basis to describe His personality types....

(not a dig at anyone, or any particular post - just a universal and generalised thought)

As for my definition of God. read the bible shrug


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

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WoodlandApple
BRONZE Member since Dec 2009

WoodlandApple

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Posted:Or Aslan from the lion the witch and the wardrobe, that comes close

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

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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free..., United Kingd...

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Posted:I think the references to the Christian God come mostly from the fact that it is one of the more popular cults with the largest and most organised churches. Also if your arguing religion it's easier to say god than name one in particular as it works as both a concept and gets automatically associated with the christian jehova or Jewish yahweh -

To be fair it doesn't really matter which godling is being discussed they all have equal merit (Zero IMO), either gods can or can't exist and specifying can become complicated and I suppose people are still a bit touchy about blasting religions they aren't too knowledgable on - christianity is fairly well documented in the western world so everyone can join the discussion - whereas other religions may not be fully understood by everyone.

I just view religions as slightly larger cults as I haven't really seen a good distinction between the 2 apart from Cults are supposed to have charasmatic leaders which is something the pope has never struck me as, both have fanatics, both believe in some unprovable faith structure designed to lead you to spread their beliefs for some moral reward, I just think Cults have more fun... until the inevitable gun battle and burning down of the compound.

It's why I find people laughing at scientology so funny it has exactly the same plausibility as catholiscism except it's clandestine and secretive about it's beliefs rather than trying to ram it down everyones throat - they just seem a little more selective about the people who join.


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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WoodlandApple
BRONZE Member since Dec 2009

WoodlandApple

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Posted:^^^Your right. I also have many bones to pick with religion. The trouble is when "you" define your version of God from the christian God for simplicity reasons, familiarity reasons etc; you are misrepresenting the Christian God.

After seening many discusssions on this topic I would say that most westerners do not have a good understanding of the christian God, they have assumptions based on a lot of misinformation.
Quote:
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

Epicurus had a warped sense of who God is. By using this as an example of who God is is you are misrepresenting who God is; not only that you are now furthering the spread of misinformation.

and I know I am being picky, I could easily argue against what I just wrote myself - I just wanted to highlight a point of view that people might not actually be thinking about in discussions about God. When most people talk about God, they have a barrow to push, and the talk more revolves around their own agenda; not the actual topic at hand. Therefore the definition of God gets formed around peoples gripes.

Also, using the correct interpretation of the word 'cult' and its origins - Christianity is not a cult. Catholicism, Anglican, baptist etc. are all technically denominations. Scientology, Mormonism, and things like the solar temple are Cults.


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

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Midkiff
BRONZE Member since Nov 2009

shadow stranger
Location: Carmi, Illinois, USA

Total posts: 462
Posted:the only thing i really have to say is perfect and he created us in his image why are we not pefect so what does that make him?

"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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Midkiff
BRONZE Member since Nov 2009

shadow stranger
Location: Carmi, Illinois, USA

Total posts: 462
Posted:if he is perfect*

"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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Midkiff
BRONZE Member since Nov 2009

shadow stranger
Location: Carmi, Illinois, USA

Total posts: 462
Posted:if he is perfect

"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
BRONZE Member since Dec 2009

WoodlandApple

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Posted:Midkiff, dont fall into the logic trap. You have defined a "logic" problem and seek for the answer outside of the constraints of that way of thinking.

An example of what I am talking about is:

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

this is an old logic problem that has no adequate logical answer, just like the one you posted. Yet because there is no logic answer doesnt mean that therefore there is no chickens or eggs. WHich is essentially the type of answer you are trying to place on your perfect God question.


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

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Pommy Bubbles
GOLD Member since Aug 2005

Pommy Bubbles

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Location: Perth, WA, Australia

Total posts: 20
Posted:Originally Posted By: WoodlandApple
An example of what I am talking about is:

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?


The egg, the chicken is subject to evolution, the chicken we know today was born of another slightly different creature (very slight), which would've come from an egg, from a slightly different creature and so on...


on the God thing, [i can't believe this statement]

as an atheist the best summary of the existence of God i have heard is from southpark

"Maybe beliveing in God makes him exist"

everyone has some concept of God, if your thoughts have some form of existence then so must God


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WoodlandApple
BRONZE Member since Dec 2009

WoodlandApple

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Posted:Originally Posted By: Pommy Bubbles
The egg, the chicken is subject to evolution, the chicken we know today was born of another slightly different creature (very slight), which would've come from an egg, from a slightly different creature and so on...

Thats not a 'logic' answer

it is a practical answer from a Darwinist evolutionary viewpoint. which further proves my point. Dont try to use logic word arguments to prove a point. The real life answer is not to be found in the same context smile


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

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Pommy Bubbles
GOLD Member since Aug 2005

Pommy Bubbles

stranger
Location: Perth, WA, Australia

Total posts: 20
Posted:Logic is only useful when you lack a realistic practical answer.

For me God exists only in the mind of believers

there is no evidence to prove an existence, therefore there is no existance


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Fugee
BRONZE Member since Feb 2010

Fugee

Cooler than bubblegum!
Location: Dallas, Texas, USA

Total posts: 2501
Posted:Prove you love your mum.

Prove fire isn't alive.

Prove that a supreme being isn't real...

EDITED_BY: Refuge Crew (1268632418)


The popcorn extends life... The popcorn expands consciousness...

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WoodlandApple
BRONZE Member since Dec 2009

WoodlandApple

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Posted:well, technically in logic you cant prove a double negative, so its impossible to prove there is no God using logic.

So Pommy bubbles, getting back to the topic, if you dont believe in a God, how can you have a definition of Him?


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

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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free..., United Kingd...

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Posted:Woodland apple that's a terrible argument,

If you don't believe in a god you can have exactly the same definition of him as someone who does believe - because it is a definition not an experience. A definition is a formal passage describing the meaing of a term, in this case that term is "god"

A non-believer can use the same definition but cannot share the same experience OR they can share the same experience but nominate it to a different cause based upon either reason or belief. The essence of the difference is these 2 terms, Faith is essentially a belief without proof (by definition) If proof existed it wouldn't be faith - essentially religion boils down to putting your trust in faith, a cleverly designed paradigm designed to put value to blind obedience. It's no different to the story of the emperors new clothes, the emperor is the "faithful" the weavers are the "clergy" the courtiers are the "congregation" and the "naive" child raises the cry of the atheist. The Emporer is at first dubious then convinced, with that belief reinforced by everyone else saying how fine the clothing is, the more people who agree the stronger the reinforcement until the child is stoned for heresy.

Refuge crew - you can prove you love your mum, you can have a polygraph or a brain scan (using a control to show association)these are accepted systems for testing truth (as believed by the person being tested)
Fire isn't alive - it's a physical process throughly documented as a simple chemical reaction between individual atoms and molecules which obey the laws of brownian motion if it IS alive it has no feelings or sentience as it doesn't have the chemistry associated with either shrug

I would be very interested in putting the pope and a number of religious and non religious people (of different faiths) on a polygraph including questions on the existance of god, if only to see how faith can effect the outcome and how responses will vary to people with the same evidence on a question regarding their belief. Would you have a clear split, would everyone have an inconclusive result... *is off to look to see if it's been done* I know polygraphs are controversial but with a large enough group testing it may yeild interesting results.


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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WoodlandApple
BRONZE Member since Dec 2009

WoodlandApple

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Posted:Mynci, we are after (At least what I interpreted from the topic) is what God means to us - which is experience far more than clinical. all Im saying is that how can God be cruel, imperfect or for that matter kind and perfect etc - if you dont beleive in Him? Surly you would think He is nothing; as you believe He doesnt exist. I thought we werent after dictionary definitions, but what God means to us. If you dont believe God exists how can you give Him attributes?

That may be what faith means to you, but I can assure you that it is not what most people who actually have faith see it. And I would also add that faith is different from religion.


Quote:because it is a definition not an experience. A definition is a formal passage describing the meaing of a term, in this case that term is "god"
I would disagree with this hugely. our experiences are what defines things for us.

A man who climbs a mountain will see it differently than a man who drives up it. Their definition of that mountain will be different.

A climber will look at a knot in a far different way than a sailor - despite the knot actually being the same. A dictionary might give us a definition, but experience puts it into context, and it is what we relate to far more than the dictionary definition.


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

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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free..., United Kingd...

Total posts: 8737
Posted:Originally Posted By: WoodlandApple
Quote:because it is a definition not an experience. A definition is a formal passage describing the meaing of a term, in this case that term is "god"
I would disagree with this hugely. our experiences are what defines things for us.

A man who climbs a mountain will see it differently than a man who drives up it. Their definition of that mountain will be different.

A climber will look at a knot in a far different way than a sailor - despite the knot actually being the same. A dictionary might give us a definition, but experience puts it into context, and it is what we relate to far more than the dictionary definition.

I have to say I don't agree with that, the climber and the driver will both have the same definition of the mountain however they will have a different experience of it which is my point, the definition of a mountain would be the same, a large mass of rock formed by massive techtonic pressures, the experience of conquering it would vary greatly. they still climbed the same mountain, their experiences didn't change the vast immutable rock enough to consider it a different mountain

the sailor and climber on the other hand would probably look at different knots in reality wink however they would both look at them as knots an organised tangle of rope used to secure something, they would both still call it a knot, this would be an example of looking at different reasons for the knots purpose, unless you are saying gods purpose is based upon the person beholding him then this would be a poor example also.

A definition is described thus:
definition   /ˌdɛfəˈnɪʃən/ Show Spelled[def-uh-nish-uhn] Show IPA
noun
1.the act of defining or making definite, distinct, or clear.
2.the formal statement of the meaning or significance of a word, phrase, etc.
3.the condition of being definite, distinct, or clearly outlined.
4.Optics. sharpness of the image formed by an optical system.
5.Radio and Television. the accuracy of sound or picture reproduction.

the overlying concept here is to make clear, if definitions were soley of matter of perspective then they wouldn't be clear and would therefore remain undefined. What you are expressing as definition is in fact a perspective, a variable viewpoint based upon personal experience.

I agree faith and religion are different however all religion is based on faith, not all faith is based upon religion, if religion weren't based upon faith then there would be evidence to support the existence of god(s) whereas there isn't, there is however the BELIEF in the existence of god(s) which makes it a faith.

Experience does not create definition, What you suggest means that If I have never flown I cannot define flight, whereas I can. I can also define a dog having never been one. I have no perspective of flight or dogs, but I can clearly define them.

it may just sound like semantics, but what I think you are really trying to say is how can a non-believer have a perspective of god(s) having never experienced them, to which I would say because we have a perspective of religions, churches and those who follow them and draw conclusions from those. That is where I drew my perspective (of religious faith) and compared it to the story of the emporers new clothes. god is not apparent in the story the evidence comes from those who perceive to see the clothes (god(s)) and their actions. indirect evidence if you will, the way you can spot a planet lightyears way by the wobble of it's star without actually seeing the planet, we know it's there, we can't see it, but we still have evidence to support it's existence. there is unfortunately at this point no god wobble.


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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