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This is probably the first question that runs through my mind when talking about God(ignosticism ftw). What is a god? Is a sufficiently powerful man a god(like Pharaohs)? If the alien-god hypothesis is true, are the extraterrestrials really gods?

 

What are the qualifying characteristics of a god?

 

 

 

 

 

I hereby present my candidacy for godhood.

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No. Not at all. At the beginning of Christianity(Jesus, His disciples, and their disciples), the Law was very much important. They were, after all, Jews. In fact, keeping the Law was a big part of Jes

This is quite a famous debate in the early church. I think the best answer, as you and ydoaPs have demonstrated, is that the Bible contradicts itself on this point.

I tried to cover as broad a spectrum as possible using the smallest amount of space.   Now, in retrospect, I see that I could have just stated: anyone that doesn't believe precisely what I believe a

On a related note, a question my philosophy TA came up with:

 

Suppose we really are living in a computer simulation. Our entire reality is a construct of a supercomputer program in some completely different alien universe.

 

This simulation is programmed by a sweaty computer hacker named Dave. Dave drinks the alien equivalent of Mountain Dew and eats the alien equivalent of Cheetos. He tinkers with the system for fun, and occasionally plays pranks to see what happens.

 

Is Dave god? Does he deserve to be called "God"?

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I think the idea of a benevolent God or at least mono theistic type god is quite modern. At one time God was plural, Gods, and many of them were quite evil or mischievous and even destroyers instead of creators.

 

First for Dave to be a God he would have to be supernatural but to us mere computer programs he would indeed be supernatural so yes Dave is a God. he has total control over everything can resurrect the dead (old programs) change reality to suit his whims and would appear to be both capable of time travel changing both the future and past and super luminal

 

Then again, what are the people who make his computer?


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This is probably the first question that runs through my mind when talking about God(ignosticism ftw). What is a god? Is a sufficiently powerful man a god(like Pharaohs)? If the alien-god hypothesis is true, are the extraterrestrials really gods?

 

What are the qualifying characteristics of a god?

 

 

 

 

 

I hereby present my candidacy for godhood.

 

Do something supernatural and you have my vote.

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In Dave's universe, supercomputers are quite common. He put it together himself, in his parents' basement.

 

So in Dave's universe gods are quite common? So is being able to create something God like behavior? Who created the computer technology in the first place? Who created Dave's universe?

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So in Dave's universe gods are quite common?

 

He wouldn't be a god in his universe. He would be the god of our universe. Just like I would be the god of any simulation I might program (which admittedly would be much, much, much less impressive).

 

Who created the computer technology in the first place?

 

Engineers, I guess?

 

Who created Dave's universe?

 

Why anyone?

 

Or: It's Daves all the way down.

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Alternately, one can ask about the properties that every god must have:

A god is immortal (does not age, although I think gods can kill gods)

A god is (significantly) more powerful than a human.

A god can physically affect this world (if only during its creation).

A god is sentient and intelligent.

A god has his own realm inaccessible to humans.

 

I think those properties are common to all gods (excluding the folks that call everything god, since that makes god a meaningless word)

Edited by Mr Skeptic
real --> realm
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I'm sorry to be petty here but doesn't "Immortal" mean just that you can't die? It has nothing to do with aging. Theoretically, then, an immortal god *can* age. Just not die.

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First for Dave to be a God he would have to be supernatural

 

What does that even mean? Supernatural to me is actually synonymous with nonexistant as I take nature to mean all that exists. If something is supernatural, then it does not occur in nature and thus does not exist.

 

Alternately, one can ask about the properties that every god must have:

A god is immortal (does not age, although I think gods can kill gods)

I don't plan on dying. So far, so good. We might even live in an age where transhumanism is possible in our projected lifetimes.

 

A god is (significantly) more powerful than a human.

I'm more powerful than many humans.

 

A god can physically affect this world (if only during its creation).
Check.

 

A god is sentient and intelligent.

Check

 

A god has his own real inaccessible to humans.
I'm not sure that is an intelligible sentence.
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Is Dave god? Does he deserve to be called "God"?

 

I would say Dave would be a god, but not the God. Being a god is just about power, which Dave would certainly have over our universe. But my concept of God in addition to being all powerful was not created and cannot be destroyed. God exists without regard to time, i.e. does not change. If we are in a simulation, then our universe wasn't created by God, but the "real" one may have been.

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dave is a math god. Does that count?

 

 

That fits Clarke Three Laws:

1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

 

I think #3 is pretty decent in suggesting another option for the definition of a god.

 

~moo

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God exists without regard to time, i.e. does not change.

A god which can't *DO* anything isn't very impressive. I'm not sure that's godlike at all.

 

I think #3 is pretty decent in suggesting another option for the definition of a god.

 

~moo

 

That's actually what I was thinking while making this thread. :D

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I'm not sure that is an intelligible sentence.

 

Sorry, I meant realm. Heaven, Mount Olympus, that sort of thing. Not sure if all gods have one of these that humans can't get to, but all the ones I remember do.

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Sorry, I meant realm. Heaven, Mount Olympus, that sort of thing. Not sure if all gods have one of these that humans can't get to, but all the ones I remember do.

 

I thought humans could go to Mount Olympus. I know they could go to the Underworld.

 

Didn't Elijah go to Heaven without dying?

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I thought humans could go to Mount Olympus.

 

There's a real mountain by that name (several actually), but I think the mythological one was human-proof.

 

I know they could go to the Underworld.

 

Yes, but that's not the place of the gods, its the place of the dead. Going there was not optional for dead folks.

 

Didn't Elijah go to Heaven without dying?

 

Sure, he got a VIP invitation. He didn't go there on his own. I think mooey might have some more thorough info on him, he's fairly important to the Jews. Enoch also got the VIP treatment. Note however, that you can't just go to heaven, it's invitation only.

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That's actually what I was thinking while making this thread. :D

Actually I'm not surprised. You said you're watching Stargate SG1 -- that's exactly what they're doing with this "god" definition. In that show, the gods (and more than one "type" of "god") is a race, creature, person or society (etc) that just is soooooooooo far ahead technologically that for all intents and purposes is a god to the people.

 

They actually deal with this a lot, asking questions like "even if the god is not immortal or not all powerful, isn't it enough that it's *that much more powerful* than I?". At some point, I guess, a powerful enough being would be indistinguishable from a deity.


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The gods weren't limited to being in their own realm, you know. Even Yahweh walked the earth once in a while.

Actually, no. Yahweh, the god of the jews, can't "walk" anything. He's immaterial. It's not even a 'he', it's a sometimes-'he'/sometimes-'them'/sometimes-'it'. And it never "walked the earth" in the metaphorical sense either, until the Christians decided Jesus was the son of god, who walked the earth.

 

That, however, isn't really Yahweh. It was Jesus.

 

~moo

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What of this:

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. --Genesis3:8

 

He walks noisily.

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What of this:

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. --Genesis3:8

He walks noisily.

He did not walk the Earth, Mr Skeptic, he walked the Garden of Eden (heaven).*

 

Snap oh!

 

 

 

 

 

 

* The fact that skeptics and modern theologians sometimes claim that "heaven" in Genesis is an Earthly location (possibly somewhere in Mesopotamia, in the 'fertile triangle') doesn't matter for the context of the bible, where God does not "walk" the Earth. The entire point of the Jewish belief is that God is incorporeal, and is everywhere at once.

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Ok yodaP do something GOD like, rearrange all the planets so we have more than one habital planet in the solar system, cool down Venus and make it Earth like, do something dude!

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* The fact that skeptics and modern theologians sometimes claim that "heaven" in Genesis is an Earthly location (possibly somewhere in Mesopotamia, in the 'fertile triangle') doesn't matter for the context of the bible, where God does not "walk" the Earth. The entire point of the Jewish belief is that God is incorporeal, and is everywhere at once.

 

I thought it SAID in the text that Eden was somewhere in Mesopotamia.

 

EDIT:

"And the name of the third river [is] Hiddekel: that [is] it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river [is] Euphrates."-Gen 2:14

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