Defining God

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
Belindi
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Re: Defining God

Post by Belindi » March 21st, 2017, 2:08 pm

But Zerubbabel, scientists and their public generalise all the time. They say, we say, e.g. "atoms are (such and such)" they also say "this individual atom which I am talking about is (such and such)". The former is a generalisation of all atoms from an adequate sample, and the latter is about a particular atom.

Scientists and the rest of us also say universals in the form of adjectives, and set together e.g. stuff that is painful, or alive , or electro chemical.

What I mean about abstracting from concrete realities can be as simple as when your obedient dog thinks "I'll return to Zerubbabel because I will get praise from him." That is an example of a generalisation from a limited number of concrete experiences of Zerubbabeldog during a training session. The scientist is not a lot different from Dog. The scientist thinks " if this flask of gas XYZ lights up during N occasions under the same circumstances I may generalise that this gas is flammable".

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Re: Defining God

Post by Rr6 » March 22nd, 2017, 7:53 am

I've laid out the only rational, logical common sense defintion of "G"od or as God clearly in several threads and none have offered any rational, logical common sense that invalidate my givens, as stated. None ever will. imho

1} "U"niverse = "G"od: The Cosmic hierarchy

...1a} metaphysical-1, mind/intellect/concepts ex concepts of Space, Time, God, Universe, Dogs, Toyota's, God Universe etc..
...........spirit-1 i.e. spirit-of intent
associated with relative and absolute truth.............

--------------------------line-of-demarcation-----------------------------------

2}metaphysical-2, macro-infinite non-occupied space, that, embraces-- but does not restrain or constrain --the following.

3} finite phyiscal/energy occupied space Universe aka Uni-Verse ergo G-o-d

......3a} fermions and bosons aka spirit-2 and expressed as frequency associated sine-wave topology ^v^v.

....3b} metaphysical-3, gravity ( ) aka positive shaped curvature of a torus,
...........spirit-3............................


....3c} metaphyscial-4, dark energy )( aka negatives shaped curvature of a torus.
...........spirit-4..................


====================================================
Fiibonacci series is;

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987, 1597

The 55th Fibonacci number has 12 integers. 13 95 83 86 24 45

and if we start with number one, then the 12th integer is 144 and 12^2 is 144 i.e. 12 * 12 = 144

5-fold icosa{20}hedron--- 12 vertexes --- has 30 chords 31 primary great circle planes

4-fold Vector Equilibrium-- 12 vertexes --- is composed of 24 chords.

31 + 24 = 55
....Pi^3 = 31.00 62 7 66

31 + 24.35 = 55.35
Pi^4 /4 = 24.35 22 7 27 585 00 60 93 09 11 00 831 72176

55.35 is half-way between managnese{ Mg } and Iron { Fe ] on the periodic table } in atomic mass.
http://www.ptable.com/

.........Phi = 1.6 18 03 39 88 74 98 94 84 82 04 58 68 34 36 56 38 11 77 20 30
.....Phi^2 = 2.6 18 03 39 88 74 98 9 53 39 42 48 62 51 10 25

..Phi^5 /5 = 2.2 18 03 39 88 74 98 94 79 19 69 51 20 80 67 38

Pi^5 / 5 = prime 61.20 39 36 95 70 56 29 06 52 54 82 62 00 8687
So 61 codons code for 20 amino-acids. .........5-fold symmetry axi of the Icosa{20}hedron........
http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasc.../mole00213.htm

Fibonacci's 60th number is also very interesting to me, at least in context of placing it into dual sets;

15 48 00 87 55 92 0 is 60th Fibonacci number and has the following

15 and there exists 15 golden rectangles in icosa{20}hedron

48and there exist 48 least common denominator right triangle on surface of Vector Equlibrium

00 see Pi^3 = 31.00

87 and there exist 87primary great circles of Universe-- see 4-fold Ve and 5-fold icosahedron

55 speaks for itself

92 chemical elements.

0
===============================================================
Fine Structure Constant ..................................= 0.00 72 97 35 25 69 8
............................Pi^3.00 00 28 75 58 71 12 = 31.00 72 97 35 25 69 7

What follows below is a couple of other numerical tidbits not directly related to the above FSC considerations. In all of the above and what follows, I'm venturing into some possible if not feasible abstract connections between physics, numbers and geometry.

From the above FSC numerical considerations we have Pi^3.00 00 2 87 55 87 11 2

31 left skew + 31 right skew ergo 5-fold icosa's 62 great circle planes

25 great circle planes of VE ergo,

62 + 25 = 87

5 * 5 = 25

10 great planes of icosa has 5 sets of geometric VE { 24 }
http://www.rwgrayprojects.com/Lynn/LynnS54.html

10 * 5 = 50 ie 10 sets of 5 plus one additional set of 5

11 * 5 = 55

Beginning a 0 Fibonaccie 11th integer set is 55.
Beginning at 1 it is the 10th integer set.

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987, 1597[/quote]
"U"niverse > UniVerse > universe > I-verse < you-verse < we-verse < them-verse

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Re: Defining God

Post by Zerubbabel » March 22nd, 2017, 10:39 am

Belindi wrote:... abstracting from concrete realities


You've got that right! But "concrete," which implies tangible, is a misleading metaphor. Energy, motion and force are also a part of reality. Why not simply say "reality"? The duality is abstract or real. It is best to keep that duality clear in order to avoid absurdities like this from the OP: "Abstract thought is a great gift but we became overwhelmed and inadvertently turned it back on itself, creating a concrete being out of the abstract." ... you mean like God speaking the universe into existence?

-- Updated March 22nd, 2017, 10:43 am to add the following --
Rr6 wrote: none have offered any rational, logical common sense that invalidate my givens, as stated. None ever will. imho
I'd bet dollars to donuts that you've got that right!

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Re: Defining God

Post by Belindi » March 22nd, 2017, 6:21 pm

Zerubbabel wrote:
Belindi wrote:
... abstracting from concrete realities



You've got that right! But "concrete," which implies tangible, is a misleading metaphor. Energy, motion and force are also a part of reality. Why not simply say "reality"? The duality is abstract or real. It is best to keep that duality clear in order to avoid absurdities like this from the OP: "Abstract thought is a great gift but we became overwhelmed and inadvertently turned it back on itself, creating a concrete being out of the abstract." ... you mean like God speaking the universe into existence?
I myself am not very happy with 'concrete'. I agree that energy, motion, and force are not abstracted from reality and that 'concrete' doesn't fit them because concrete implies tangible. I don't want to say reality because what reality is, is what we have to know in order to define God.

I think that absolute reality includes the individual and unique event and alsothe universals which we abstract from a sufficient sample of similar individual and unique events.

This is like me saying absolute reality includes not only a physical event such as a cup of coffee but also thoughts about cups of coffee.

I never thought to interpret the OP as you did " you mean like God speaking the universe into existence?" I interpreted that quoted sentence to mean that God was an abstract idea which we had reified, and even jolly well personified.

-- Updated March 22nd, 2017, 6:25 pm to add the following --

For a pantheist there is no problem with reifying God, because nature includes both thoughts and physical reality. And this means that God/ nature is real in either aspect.

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Re: Defining God

Post by Rr6 » March 22nd, 2017, 7:49 pm

Zerubbabel---Energy, motion and force are also a part of reality. Why not simply say "reality"? The duality is abstract or real. It is best to keep that duality clear in order to avoid absurdities like this from the OP:
Hello Zeru, I think your in error duality of only abstract and reality above, in that, we have various levels of observed and not non-quantised, or quantified, reality ergo distinctly different aspects that are beyond{ meta } our observed, physical/energy/time reality. Ive laid them out clearly in my cosmic hierarchy for a few years now and none have ever offered any rational, logical common sense that would add too or invalidate my conclusions.

...1c3} meta[/b-]physical-3{ spirit-3 } gravity has not been quantised nor quantified,

....1c4} meta-physical{ spirit-4 } dark energy has not been quantified nor quantified.

There are also at least two others that I rarely reference, and they are 'virtual particles' and 'dark matter'.

My cosmic hierarchy makes it clear there are three primary aspects of the greatest whole "U"niverse/"G"od.

And at least three primary aspects of occupied space aka Universe/God or as Uni-V-erse/G-o-d

It is rich man go through the eye of needle, than for a high brama intellectual to drop their ego, and consider truth. ;--(

H,mm now I wonder where I heard that one... ( * ? * ) .....

r6
"U"niverse > UniVerse > universe > I-verse < you-verse < we-verse < them-verse

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Re: Defining God

Post by Zerubbabel » March 23rd, 2017, 12:15 pm

Belindi wrote:... absolute reality includes not only a physical event such as a cup of coffee but also thoughts about cups of coffee.
Language is infinitely manipulable and even as I try to maintain a distinction between abstract and real I've caught myself speaking of "the reality of abstract thought." It is in the same undisciplined way that the OP speaks of god becoming a concrete being.

Like the Biblical Adam we go around naming things, real things as well as imagined things. Anywhere we find a distinction, a notable difference, we name it. So when we invoke the thing named "abstract thought" we a declaring a difference between it and other things not so named. It is incumbent on philosophy to make these distinctions clear and to not use the sophistry of painting word-pictures with emotive connotation, - to use each word like a chameleon which changes with it's surroundings.

As I went to drink my coffee I saw a tiny sugar ant in my coffee, I imagined the wide Mississippi river and a tiny individual struggling to get across it. I imagine an escaped slave fleeing the South and seeking freedom. Then out of nowhere a huge finger, a huge oppressive white european finger pulls him out of the river and crushes him on the shore, and crushes his dream of freedom. That crazy idea passes and is now gone. Real or abstract?

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Re: Defining God

Post by Belindi » March 23rd, 2017, 3:54 pm

Zerubbabel wrote:
As I went to drink my coffee I saw a tiny sugar ant in my coffee, I imagined the wide Mississippi river and a tiny individual struggling to get across it. I imagine an escaped slave fleeing the South and seeking freedom. Then out of nowhere a huge finger, a huge oppressive white european finger pulls him out of the river and crushes him on the shore, and crushes his dream of freedom. That crazy idea passes and is now gone. Real or abstract?
There are not two but three aspects to consider.

1. Is any story about the human past as real as e.g. good contemporary reportage? I.e. real in the sense of true. I think there are workable criteria for historiographers.

2. Your thought about the sugar ant, the Mississipi, and the slave was real and true to you. I share so much of your culture that your thought is real and true to me.

3. That the narrative about the sugar ant, the Mississipi, and the slave is constructed from your physical experiences of swimming, the Mississipi ,empathy, and choosing to believe reputable historians necessarily implies that the narrative and its content is real. Abstractions are a subsection of reality.

-- Updated March 23rd, 2017, 3:58 pm to add the following --

It follows that thoughts of God are real, and the people who think thoughts about God are real, but the objective reality of God is not believed by any reasonable historian if only because primary sources including those about God must always be subjected to the criterion of unwitting testimony.

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Re: Defining God

Post by MindfulMystic » March 23rd, 2017, 11:06 pm

I sudmit, that god is definable-only as indefinite...one being without limit, in regards to definition causes an entire limitation of being. Before we became un limiting of limitations-we were limited only by no limits...one with unlimited limits, chose the limit of being unlimited...limited by every un limitation;limitlessly limited through interpretation, and limiting confirmation-allowed ME to exist! More precisely, it allowed my definition of self to define you. There was a time, when time was gone...and here it is again! Time was never there for you, as a matter of fact-there was never time...all that can be there-is "there"..the distance is closed between here, and there. TherE ,is no distance- that is HerE, everything at a distance. Whatever your understanding-it's not as wrong as mine. I understand everything better than it understands it's self, why you ask? When understanding-I don't stand, under/over myself...I don't learn/teach, I don't fail/succeed-I do nothing more than "that"...I think I've moved mountains compared to most, but I could be the least moved by mountains...only the convictions of the motionless can divulge my impact. Could god be-all action participated in without expectations?

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Re: Defining God

Post by MindfulMystic » March 24th, 2017, 12:52 am

Hereandnow wrote:Granted, the manufacturing of 'god', the concept, while certainly, if you will, reified by familiarity and tradition (and all the rest), dissimulates the real. You are right, it creates an illusion, but what is it covering? What is the core condition, the bare essence of religion, or, the primal condition that has given rise the concept? Now that is an interesting question. Who really cares, after all, about all of that medieval foolishness. Wipe the slate clean, do (Husserl) an epoche, then see what the question of god and religion is really about. If you think nothing at all; well, you not looking very hard.
That's the thing of it all, we started thinking "nothing at all", if it weren't for us, we'd still be thinking it-albeit, much more definitive..all of us would still want thinking for ourself, and the we of all would still think of self-as an individual thinker...imagine the mayhem! All or Nothing, a battle of wits-who's being who, and sticks chop-to stick...it was total confusion, when ticks talked the tick.a universe-wide movement, I've brought for your midst! What thing conscious are you, but the thought that you miss...that idea of all-being strong unto grip. Nothing is in our head-bleeding lies, that another her lives...but in ME-she has died;her correspondence passed lip...in a kind of summarization, I want you to consider that you can't think-let alone consider! 5)the universe proves me wrong-everyday, but I still insist it's fault ;) ...I just realized, god is a bitch! Lol...a bitch of nothing!...Nothing is on the line for you sir, shall I patch her through?.?.as per usual, no glitch means yes-1 moment.!."okay chief, what we'll need from you is nothing, and everything from me...a.k.a., the usual ;) ) Apollonius out!

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Re: Defining God

Post by Zerubbabel » March 24th, 2017, 12:31 pm

Belindi wrote: Abstractions are a subsection of reality.
If the abstract is not excluded from the set of things we call reality, I can not imagine what possible thing could be excluded from the set of things we call reality. And I suppose that would include god. By all definitions, including the fundamentalist's, god is real.


Belindi, this is the third (or fourth?) definition of abstract you have offered-up, along with many nuances. I find this indecision to be the norm. When the word "abstract" is invoked it is nearly always used with a meaning based in an emotive connotation, e.g. Lucylu equated "abstract" with "delusion," not with scientific progress as we have touched upon. I think Present Awareness was on the right track with the emphasis on language. I wish she had hung in to develop it. Rr6 might have it defined precisely, but I'm not smart enough to understand his language. Maybe Lucylu will return and offer a definition of the thing she judges to be delusional.

Human language and human abstract thought, or I'll write it: human language/abstract thought, is so incredible and so powerful and so adaptable and so unique that in the hands of homo faber (man the fabricator) we indeed can make thoughts become things. Yet, because this incredible skill we have is so near to us, indeed in our heads during all waking hours, we don't recognize it as the very special thing it is. For us it is just normative and we are blind to it's specialness. It's not just that we don't see the forest because of the trees, we don't even see the trees. It is so normative to us that in modern orthodox thought we even project it out into the animal world, that animals also engage in abstract thought and symbolic language of sorts. The only difference is that we are just slightly better at it, slightly more creative, slightly more adaptable and slightly more eloquent. Given that we humans serve as a god-like mimetic model we should expect chimpanzees to soon begin twisting their own rope and building their own wheels, and planting their own banana trees.

.

Thanks for the Dialog.

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Re: Defining God

Post by Belindi » March 24th, 2017, 1:09 pm

Zerubbabel, I appreciate your thoughts about the power that ability to abstract gives us. I should tell you that I ground my ideas in those of Spinoza. Abstract thoughts would be a subsection of mind which in turn is one of the two aspects of nature with which we are concerned, the other aspect being extended matter.

I've found nothing of mind or physical matter that doesn't fit one of those two aspects of nature. Including space, time, and force which are thoughts of space, time, and force, or they are space, time , and force as physical action.

A lot of what you say in your last about 'abstract' accords with Wittgenstein's dictum that the meaning of a word is its use. We both agree with Wittgenstein I think.

'God' is a proper name , and as such names a person. Spinoza equates God and Nature(Deus sive Natura). I believe Spinoza. However ,as a contributor named Consul has pointed out, Spinoza's division of nature into Natura naturata , the things of nature, and Natura naturans, nature naturing itself; the latter very much resembles the theists' god. The difference between Natura naturans and the theists' god is that theists' god is supposed to inhabit a separate supernatural substance .

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Re: Defining God

Post by Zerubbabel » March 24th, 2017, 5:10 pm

Belindi wrote:Zerubbabel, I appreciate your thoughts about the power that ability to abstract gives us. I should tell you that I ground my ideas in those of Spinoza. Abstract thoughts would be a subsection of mind which in turn is one of the two aspects of nature with which we are concerned, the other aspect being extended matter.

I've found nothing of mind or physical matter that doesn't fit one of those two aspects of nature. Including space, time, and force which are thoughts of space, time, and force, or they are space, time , and force as physical action.

A lot of what you say in your last about 'abstract' accords with Wittgenstein's dictum that the meaning of a word is its use. We both agree with Wittgenstein I think.

'God' is a proper name , and as such names a person. Spinoza equates God and Nature(Deus sive Natura). I believe Spinoza. However ,as a contributor named Consul has pointed out, Spinoza's division of nature into Natura naturata , the things of nature, and Natura naturans, nature naturing itself; the latter very much resembles the theists' god. The difference between Natura naturans and the theists' god is that theists' god is supposed to inhabit a separate supernatural substance .
Wittgenstein makes a valid observation about how language is commonly used, i.e. use is meaning. It is most clearly displayed by the sociopath who speaks words into the collective in order to yield some result. Trial and error over time informs the sociopath what to say in a certain situation in order to get what he wants. The sociopath selects words for affect and these words are entirely divorced from meaning. Wittgenstein tells us that we all have a little sociopath in us.

But I believe that there is another way of using language where meaning is paramount. This type of language demands that meaning is made clear and agreed upon by convention. Disciplined dialog always demands the definition of terms. The Sophist's greatest skill was the continual drift of the originally agreed upon meaning of a term until the meaning has drifted so far from the original meaning (The etymon?) that it buttresses the Sophists argument. So there is always the need to continually define the terms used in dialog.

The language of science, mathematics and engineering demands clear understanding of each variable, each sign and symbol. Without a convention of meaning (and precisely defined units) the hard sciences fall apart. I'm sure Rr6 has precise definitions for the characters he uses. Without precise meaning homo faber can not take his wonderful abstract ideas, which were originally pulled from reality, back into reality and make them work.

Obviously I favor the latter type of language. Through experience I understand the need for precise definitions in science and engineering. Having had direct experience with several sociopaths I understand well when Wittgenstein says use is meaning. And I don't see it as a virtue.

.

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Re: Defining God

Post by Belindi » March 24th, 2017, 6:30 pm

Zerubbabel wrote:
Through experience I understand the need for precise definitions in science and engineering. Having had direct experience with several sociopaths I understand well when Wittgenstein says use is meaning. And I don't see it as a virtue.


I can see the problem, Zerubbabel.
Precise definitions in engineering are ethical and also arbitrary because engineering has a purpose. To bridge a river. To drain sewage by water carriage. To make wings aerodynamic.You can have an actual blueprint if you like.

Scientific definitions are ethical and also arbitrary because science also has a purpose. To use scientific method explain the spread of the TB bacillus in a population. To predict what the weather will be next week. You can have an actual blueprint if you like or a flow chart.

The reason you can't have arbitrary definitions in everyday gossip or in the making of poetry is because those two occupations have no purpose that's common to all the participants. None of the participants knows where the gossip , or the poem, will lead so gossip and creative writing aren't exact sciences or technologies. You can't use a flow chart .

Sociopaths can infiltrate scientific definitions as was done when the Soviet government employed Lysenko and subsequently enforced the idea of environmentally acquired characteristics. And when a rogue researcher deliberately falsifies results. Or when a longitudinal study uses language with faulty logic. Creative utterances and writing can have dishonest intentions of course can't be denied. I am not sure that explicit language cannot be every bit as much a vehicle for dishonesty as creative language.

-- Updated March 24th, 2017, 6:43 pm to add the following --

I think that the most explicit language we know is mathematics, or formal logic. I may have missed your point that creative language is itself inherently open to abuse which maths and formal logic isn't. I propose that the more a language is creative and allows more scope for dishonesty, the more it also allows scope for ethical, moral, and aesthetic progress.

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Re: Defining God

Post by Zerubbabel » March 25th, 2017, 12:09 am

Belindi we continmually misunderstand each other. I'll just try to clarify a few things:

Sociopaths are incapable of lying. Sociopaths are incapable of truth. Truth and lies are the measure of faithfulness to meaning. Truth and lies are nothing to the sociopath who judges his speech entirely by effect. Good speech is that speech which yields the desired effect. Bad speech doesn't. Quite often what others would call "truth" yields ill effect for the sociopath and is therefore bad. Consider the yet-to-be-socialized child who with crumbs on his face says: "I haven't been in the cookie jar." That child has not taken on board the abstract idea of truth but has learned that what one says has consequences - effect. They soon learn the magic word "please" because it is quite often effectual.

Meaningful language, or language based on precise meaning, is not limited to the niche of science/engineering. It is in fact the bedrock foundation of all civilization, or the collective glue which binds all people together. I'm talking about the capacity to make and keep promises and the need for those promises to have firm and understandable meaning. A promise made with amorphous language is no promise at all. Hannah Arendt pens this idea eloquently. (Perhaps because she was a relatively new English speaker is why she clearly defines the words she uses - to be sure she has a convention with her reader even when her definitions are unconventional. If you have read The Human Condition and her unique appropriation of labor, work and action you will understand this.)
“The remedy for unpredictability, for the chaotic uncertainty of the future, is contained in the faculty to make and keep promises … binding oneself through promises, serves to set up in the ocean of uncertainty, which the future is by definition, islands of security without which not even continuity, let alone durability of any kind, would be possible in the relationships between men.”
.

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Re: Defining God

Post by TheAtheologian » March 25th, 2017, 12:44 am

I have generally defined "God" like this:
"An eternal immaterial conscious mind that exists independent of space, time, matter, and energy and is logically necessary, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, immutable, omnibenevolent, and is the foundation of all moral values, mathematics, and other abstract objects."

There is also many other forms of deity, but this is the common conception of God in our modern times.

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