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What is a god?


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A God would be omnipotent, as such could not be overpowered.

I think anything else to that would make things a little too Eastern.

But in reference to Western theology, I would say that for Metatron to exist as the voice of God seems nonsensical, because under that situation God, the Christian God (for which there is a Metatron-actin character) is not omnipotent...

 

Quite the issue...

 

Angels, demons, etc... tend to focus on the omnibenovelence/free-will issues.

But to consider simply acting as a voice? Is that to say it's unethical for God to speak for itself to mere mortals rather than through a medium such as Metatron? Curious...

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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

God is u, me and everything. no outside entity. you are yourself God. so ask what am i? not what is God? you will get answer easily.

But I am not immortal, I am not all powerful, I am not even "most" powerful than others. If god is us, then we have a suitable definition for "us" - humans, society, people, person -- we dont' need "god" as a definition. Does that mean that by that definition, God does not exist?

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But I am not immortal, I am not all powerful, I am not even "most" powerful than others. If god is us, then we have a suitable definition for "us" - humans, society, people, person -- we dont' need "god" as a definition. Does that mean that by that definition, God does not exist?

 

I don't think it is the right meaning of Swaha's intervention.

You must see the human race as a whole, not as individuals.

If you consider yourself part of the living beings, you may notice that your body is made of elements of your parents, and of elements of your surroundings. Without that, you are either not born, or dying.

You will pass some of those elements to your childs, they will look frightently like you, they will be "you" (horror), and life will continue. By this process, you are in a sense, immortal. The problem is your "soul" is not transmitable.

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But I am not immortal, I am not all powerful, I am not even "most" powerful than others. If god is us, then we have a suitable definition for "us" - humans, society, people, person -- we dont' need "god" as a definition. Does that mean that by that definition, God does not exist?

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u think so. u have to stop ur thoughts before realising god.


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God cannot be defined by our preconceptions......... he is unconceivable. thats the problem of getting definition. he can only be realised.

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It's an interesting topic, to be sure. I think it is actually possible for theists and atheists to come to some agreement on a root definition of God even if they differ on how "God" acts in every day life.

 

I look at it this way: Take the word "God" and it's synonyms of "Creator", "Supreme Being" and others, and replace that with the phrase "that which is unchangeable".

 

"God", as a concept, refers to the Universe that we no, and the universe that we do not know. We see "God" in action in that which we do know and can observe and guess at "God" in that which we have yet to discover.

 

"God" is a philosophical unified theory. "God" connects various scientific disciplines and philosophies.

 

As I see it, from a common perspective, when the Bill of Rights, for example, decalred a set of inalienable human rights, and attributed their granting to a Creator, it established that they were "that which is unchangeable". Whether they are allowed by the governments of man is immaterial, these rights still exist and always will.

 

As such, whether or not God exists, he exists as a useful shorthand for the limits of human existence as Humanity, being endowed with seemingly infinite potential also has infinite potential for destruction. As we find those limits where humanity can not cross, or should not cross, there is "God" -- real or imagined -- driving fence posts and "keep out" signs.

 

As we progress as a species we find that some of those fence posts were driving by other men, and they are quite capable of being crossed safely... and then there are others that, for time immemorial, we have watch people try and pass unsuccessfully.

 

So, in my mind, be "God" real or imagined, his rules and limitations are the instructions for the continued existence of the species. In that light, you can look at some of "God"s older recorded laws and see that there is a common sense to them and many we would not really question beyond their attributed origin.

 

For instance, looking at the 10 Commandments:

 

1) You shall have no other Gods and you shall make no false idols: This is, at it's heart, a statement of authority. An argument for why you should not question the wisdom of the rest of the commandments.

 

2) You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God: In short, it tells us not to drive our own fence posts.

 

3) Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy: Reflect on these rules often, and go out of your way to do so once a week.

 

4) Honor your father and mother: An appeal to us to respect our parents, and their wisdom. This makes a lot of sense to me, but I see where it might not to someone who grew up in an abusive household. But in that regard, you would find that those parents were not following these commandments... GOTO 1.

 

5) You shall not murder: Self explanatory.

 

6) You shall not commit adultery: This is a longer discussion that I want to get into here, but as you can see in the "Sex" thread, I find wisdom here that I didn't see in my youth.

 

7) You shall not steal: Also fairly self explanatory. But I think at it's root is the understanding that societies that condone thievery are weak societies. In this commandment lies the respect of personal property that is the underpinning of all healthy societies.

 

8) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor: Another fairly self explanatory law. This law establishes the need for truth in public discourse. Like respect for personal property, healthy societies are built of truths. I don't think many people would argue that our legal system works better when ruling on what actually happened, for instance.

 

9) You shall not covet your neighbor's wife (spouse): This rule in part augments #6 as it leads you to confront your desires before they are translated into action. The other part of this is less obvious but just as important: If you are coveting your neighbors spouse you are probably taking your own for granted.

 

10) You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor: Similar to #9 in form and purpose.

 

So, as I see it, "God" in practice is simply the acceptance that there are some rules that we must all live by whether we like it or not, given our immense ability do cause harm.

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I look at it this way: Take the word "God" and it's synonyms of "Creator", "Supreme Being" and others, and replace that with the phrase "that which is unchangeable".

 

Already we're in trouble, if "creator," "supreme being," and "that which is unchangeable" (meaning "anything which does not change with respect to time"?) are being treated as synonyms.

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I think a god is anything you "worship". That is, something that is something that is so important in your life that it becomes the major focus of your actions and motivations. So for many people, money is a god, for others sex, or possibly popularity, and so on.

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Already we're in trouble, if "creator," "supreme being," and "that which is unchangeable" (meaning "anything which does not change with respect to time"?) are being treated as synonyms.

 

When I say "that which is unchangeable" I am saying it with respect to man's relationship to God and his ability to change God. Humanity can not change God.

 

My wording did leave open the misunderstanding, but hopefully that clarifies my stance.

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That's not a definition of "God" then, that's just saying something about "God," a word which remains undefined.

 

Now go read the rest of my post. I have attempted to define "God" there, at least insofar as both atheists and an theists can understand in practical ways.

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I did read it. It seems like you're conflating several different concepts:

 

1) "Creator" (of the universe? in what way?)

2) "supreme being" (supreme how?)

3) "That which is unchanging"

4) "the Universe that we no, and the universe that we do not know." (So, "the universe.")

5) a being with intent, that limits homo sapiens

6) the "Creator" referred to in... the Declaration of Independence, I guess

7) the character depicted in the Old Testament

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I did read it. It seems like you're conflating several different concepts:

 

1) "Creator" (of the universe? in what way?)

2) "supreme being" (supreme how?)

3) "That which is unchanging"

4) "the Universe that we no, and the universe that we do not know." (So, "the universe.")

5) a being with intent, that limits homo sapiens

6) the "Creator" referred to in... the Declaration of Independence, I guess

7) the character depicted in the Old Testament

 

I am not arguing for or against God as a "being" at all. I'm stating that these various concepts of God aren't different in practical terms.

 

Whether God is a being or a long standing anthropomorphic representation of society's survival instinct really doesn't matter in practical terms.

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I am not arguing for or against God as a "being" at all. I'm stating that these various concepts of God aren't different in practical terms.

 

Whether God is a being or a long standing anthropomorphic representation of society's survival instinct really doesn't matter in practical terms.

 

8) "a long standing anthropomorphic representation of society's survival instinct"

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Next we can debate the philosophical differences of between sandwiches, hoagies, grinders and subs.... followed by pop, soda, coke and soda pop.

 

They must all be different things, apparently, because they have different names.

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Those things are all synonyms. Do you think "survival instinct" and "creator being" are synonyms in the same way "soda" and "pop" are?

 

That is the crux of my argument, yes. In practical real-life terms they are all the same thing.

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Next we can debate the philosophical differences of between sandwiches, hoagies, grinders and subs.... followed by pop, soda, coke and soda pop.

 

They must all be different things, apparently, because they have different names.

This is a problem of extensional vs. intensional logic

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extensional_context

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intensional_logic

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Let me put it this way. There could be such a thing as a creator being, without there being a universal "survival instinct," and vice versa. There can be aspects of the universe that do not change with time without there being either of those things. Is "soda exists, but pop does not" a coherent statement?

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Let me put it this way. There could be such a thing as a creator being, without there being a universal "survival instinct," and vice versa. There can be aspects of the universe that do not change with time without there being either of those things. Is "soda exists, but pop does not" a coherent statement?

 

So how do you know that your assertions are true?

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So how do you know that your assertions are true?

 

How do you know any assertions about god are true? Even the simple assertion of gods existence is nothing but an unsupported assertion. I can say God is made of green cheese and it is as supportable as any other assertion.

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So how do you know that your assertions are true?

 

What assertions?


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How do you know any assertions about god are true? Even the simple assertion of gods existence is nothing but an unsupported assertion. I can say God is made of green cheese and it is as supportable as any other assertion.

 

A more apt analogy would be defining "God" as the creator being or as the being made of green cheese, and pretending the definitions are equivalent.

 

Incidentally, "the creator being made of green cheese" is a coherent definition. Though in order to satisfy it, merely being a creator being or being made of green cheese would not be sufficient.

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What assertions?

 

There could be such a thing as a creator being, without there being a universal "survival instinct," and vice versa. There can be aspects of the universe that do not change with time without there being either of those things.

 

You have made two assertions there for which there are no control or method to verify, but you are stating them as a given truth.

 

My suggestion in my previous post is that such assumptions can not be made, and it is worth considering that all of those seemingly disparate items I listed may simply be the same thing as their function in the actual observable world are the same.

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You are the one making an assertion: "creator being" is equivalent to "survival instinct." Unless that is demonstrated, saying "those are not necessarily equivalent" (the only assertion I've made) is literally just a statement of fact.

 

Further, it is pretty easy to imagine them as separable, so I would even say that "they are not equivalent" isn't a particularly bold statement. Suppose there was a conscious being that created our universe. Suppose that being is dead. You see?

 

Note that none of these statements are the same:

 

"Creator being is not necessarily equivalent to survival instinct."

"Creator being is not equivalent to survival instinct."

"A creator being cannot also be a survival instinct."

"The creator being is not also the survival instinct."

 

The first is all I'm really willing to say, since neither "creator being" nor "survival instinct" have been coherently defined in this discussion, IMO. You can define each in terms of the other, but then you may as well just say "flargaloo" is defined as "poppinsmoot" and vice versa.

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