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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.
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Belindi
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Re: Defining God

Post by Belindi » March 25th, 2017, 3:46 am

Thanks for the elucidation, and the quotation. I wrote somewhere in the forum that society is based upon trust and the debt that we owe each other. And that not being trustworthy is to be a parasite.

Your account of sociopathy rings true . In view of what you said I think that sociopathy is sometimes retarded maturation. I guess that some people never attain moral maturity. I wonder if sociopathy such as you describe is inherent and ineradicable. What do you think?

I have been focusing on language as a social function with regard to honest speakers' intentions. Even gossip can be well-intended and not harm the object of the gossip, or if it has evil intent the speaker knows it to be harmful, and can feel remorse. As perhaps a final question to you; do you agree that it's not the explicitness or otherwise of definitions that causes sociopathy as you describe it but inability to feel remorse?

Zerubbabel
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Re: Defining God

Post by Zerubbabel » March 25th, 2017, 2:18 pm

Belindi wrote: I wrote somewhere in the forum that society is based upon trust and the debt that we owe each other. And that not being trustworthy is to be a parasite.

Your account of sociopathy rings true . In view of what you said I think that sociopathy is sometimes retarded maturation. I guess that some people never attain moral maturity. I wonder if sociopathy such as you describe is inherent and ineradicable. What do you think?

I have been focusing on language as a social function with regard to honest speakers' intentions. Even gossip can be well-intended and not harm the object of the gossip, or if it has evil intent the speaker knows it to be harmful, and can feel remorse. As perhaps a final question to you; do you agree that it's not the explicitness or otherwise of definitions that causes sociopathy as you describe it but inability to feel remorse?
When I read this I sense the intent of the author based on my subjective interpretation of the emotive connotations of the words used (trust, debt, parasite). While I agree with the intent of the author and feel a sort of kinship with her, I would want those words made more explicit because each of those three words are a huge topic in themselves. I like Arendt's succinct "capacity to make and keep promises."

I don't know much about sociopathy. I've really only learned enough about sociopaths to know that I just want to avoid them. A pathological liar is compulsive and lies for no reason. The sociopathic liar "lies" (uses language) for self gain. The way I've heard it explained is that the sociopath lacks empathy, or the ability to put one in another's shoes. For the sociopath there is only them-self and the collective(s) which they are not part of. It's them against the world, and the collectives which make up the world are not seen as a collection of other individuals like themself.

BTW I'm actually pro-gossip. In today's world alienated individuals might go off to work to be terrible sociopaths and then return home to family and friends who know nothing of their behavior at work. All they might know is that they bring home a good paycheck. In a former world of a village of 100 one's behavior will inevitably be known by all. That threat of public disgrace is an ethical deterrence. One must lead an unquestionably up-right life to avoid the wagging of tongues.

.

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Barry Sears
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Re: Defining God

Post by Barry Sears » April 3rd, 2017, 7:14 am

I think you are quite lost with the reality of the Universal God concept. I would like to introduce you to the Holy Spirit, Mother Earth. This as a forged form of life, living in a much larger time scale to us, living as a much larger structure to us, provides us with a home and template, for life on Earth

Image

If you are open minded and are willing to consider this view of our World, then I would like to show you how this correlates to our Celestial formation, known as the Father, living in yet another much larger time frame and size. With these physically recognisable structures in mind conceptualising a Universal body of God becomes an easier logical thought.

Belindi
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Re: Defining God

Post by Belindi » April 4th, 2017, 8:15 pm

I agree with Zerubbabel #917.

We seem also to be on the same page regarding gossip. Malicious gossip is like bullying and can take the form of barely legal slander. But not all gossip is malicious. Much gossip, most gossip is for increasing solidarity in a community.

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Joustos
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Re: Defining God

Post by Joustos » June 23rd, 2017, 12:47 pm

Concerned with a definition of God? God (the one God; Allah) is indeed an abstraction, for in history there are many gods, as I realized many years ago. History is polytheistic. Their proper names are ethnic specifications, which belong to the second phase of theism. The many gods we can name are anthropomorphic, that is, endowed (like humans) with intentions or will, knowledge, and emotions. There are no records about the first phase of theism. (I dealt with the pre-history of theism, many years ago. I will mention only essential points.) In he beginning of theism, humanoids used to wander about, searching for food, water, mates, and possibly shelters, and occasionally they were afflicted by stormy weather, floodings, forest fires, erupting volcanos, huge animals, etc. These were overwhelming powers, which they called gods or by other names (theoi; dei; elohim). Probably "god" is the first word they uttered. In time, the gods were conceived as lords of the world, after the social lords or kings, and humans as subjects. Religious practices were invented by some theists who became deeply aware of the divine powers.... A god is an overwhelming power that is ever present or unexpectedly returns: an immortal power in the world. An atheist rejects anthropomorphic gods or the gods of prophets. However, there remains an issue about the Heraclitean Logos (Mind. Reason), adopted by John the Evangelist, that perennially orders the Cosmos, our Universe, or is responsible for its rational processes.

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Re: Defining God

Post by Spectrum » June 23rd, 2017, 11:30 pm

The definition of God can be effectively seen in the following perspective.
  • 1. DNA wise ALL humans are born with an inherent existential crisis [fear related], dilemma, doom.
    http://onlinephilosophyclub.com/forums/ ... =4&t=14794

    2. To deal with above existential crisis, people throughout the ages had established various effective 'balms' to soothe the angst arising from the above existential crisis.

    3. There are two major categories of balms or solutions to the above crisis, i.e. secular or religious.

    4. Within the religious categories [adopted by the majority] we have 1. theistic and 2. non-theistic religions.

    5. In a state of terrible desperation [subliminally], theistic people ended with an effective solution, i.e. believing in a an illusion reified as an active entity that is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omni-whatever which is labelled as God and can resolve whatever problems they face, i.e. the worst being the existential angst.
Definition of God is thus;
  • Within the background of points 1- 5 above, God is an illusion reified as an active entity that is supposedly omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omni-whatever who can resolve whatever problems theists face, i.e. the worst being the existential angst.
A God which is omni-whatever will be able to do anything i.e. create the universe, living things, human beings and putting them into action and thus soothe the terrible existential angst.
But because God is merely a reified illusion by fallible humans, from a rational POV, such an illusory God is often a contradiction, e.g. omnipotent and omni-benevolent but cannot resolve real evils and sufferings.

Theists [faith based] do not give a damn about rationality but will cling to the idea of an illusory God as if it is real [reified] to ensure their angst are suppressed and they feel psychological secured from the angst pulsating within deep in their psyche. This is why SOME [not all] theists will not hesitate to kill any one they 'perceived' as a threat to break/prick their bubble of security.

The idea of a God is reified in a continuum from the crudest 'bearded man in the sky,' to various intermediate concepts of God, to the very refined monotheistic God, then the highest reasoned God by deists & pantheists.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

Belindi
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Re: Defining God

Post by Belindi » June 24th, 2017, 3:30 am

Joustos wrote:Concerned with a definition of God? God (the one God; Allah) is indeed an abstraction, for in history there are many gods, as I realized many years ago. History is polytheistic. Their proper names are ethnic specifications, which belong to the second phase of theism. The many gods we can name are anthropomorphic, that is, endowed (like humans) with intentions or will, knowledge, and emotions. There are no records about the first phase of theism. (I dealt with the pre-history of theism, many years ago. I will mention only essential points.) In he beginning of theism, humanoids used to wander about, searching for food, water, mates, and possibly shelters, and occasionally they were afflicted by stormy weather, floodings, forest fires, erupting volcanos, huge animals, etc. These were overwhelming powers, which they called gods or by other names (theoi; dei; elohim). Probably "god" is the first word they uttered. In time, the gods were conceived as lords of the world, after the social lords or kings, and humans as subjects. Religious practices were invented by some theists who became deeply aware of the divine powers.... A god is an overwhelming power that is ever present or unexpectedly returns: an immortal power in the world. An atheist rejects anthropomorphic gods or the gods of prophets. However, there remains an issue about the Heraclitean Logos (Mind. Reason), adopted by John the Evangelist, that perennially orders the Cosmos, our Universe, or is responsible for its rational processes.
I agree with and like your concise and simply worded account which is accessible to both atheists and believers. Thank you.

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Atreyu
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Re: Defining God

Post by Atreyu » June 25th, 2017, 4:56 pm

The most practical, simple, and correct, definition of 'God' is to regard the entire Universe as a sentient being. Once that is posited, 'God' is simply the Universe.

Very simple and easy-to-understand. The only question is whether or not such an entity exists, i.e. whether or not the Universe is indeed a sentient conscious being, or whether it is really just a big collection of mindless matter-energy....

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Re: Defining God

Post by Spectrum » June 28th, 2017, 11:04 pm

Atreyu wrote:The most practical, simple, and correct, definition of 'God' is to regard the entire Universe as a sentient being. Once that is posited, 'God' is simply the Universe.

Very simple and easy-to-understand. The only question is whether or not such an entity exists, i.e. whether or not the Universe is indeed a sentient conscious being, or whether it is really just a big collection of mindless matter-energy....
That is false logic, i.e.

Sentient
1. having the power of perception by the senses; conscious.
2. characterized by sensation and consciousness.

Your syllogism;
  • 1. Entire Universe is a Sentient Being
    2. God is a Sentient Being
    3. Therefore God is simply the Universe.
You raise the question 'whether Entire Universe is a Sentient Being'
You have to prove 'God is a Sentient Being'.
If you don't have the answers you cannot conclude 'God is simply the Universe' even on a theoretical basis.

The most common path to understand why the 'idea of God' arose within humanity is the concept of 'Cause and Effect'. But the infinite regression of such a concept created cognitive dissonances.
To maintain consonance, theists are forced to jump to the conclusion [without proofs] and define God as the first cause.

The most appropriate question to ask is:
'Why do theists [in quest of consonance] jump to such a conclusion even when there is no proofs to support their conclusions?'
The answer is explained in my earlier post.

So the definition of 'what is God' is most appropriately defined by 'why theists invent the idea of God' as I had proposed earlier.

Definition of God is thus;
Within the background of points 1- 5 above [see earlier post], God is an illusion reified as an active entity that is supposedly omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omni-whatever who can resolve whatever problems theists face, i.e. the worst being the existential angst.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: Defining God

Post by Dark Matter » June 29th, 2017, 2:58 am

A definition is a definition because it establishesomehow boundaries.

Spectrum
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Re: Defining God

Post by Spectrum » June 29th, 2017, 11:51 pm

Dark Matter wrote:A definition is a definition because it establishes somehow boundaries.
Isn't that a linguistic truth?
In Philosophy, boundaries are critical.
Truths are always qualified within boundaries and they cannot stand alone independently in absoluteness.

I have defined God above within psychological and neuroscientific boundaries rather than the theistic's invented illusory boundaries.

The question is whether whatever is qualified within its own boundaries has utility for the individual and humanity or not.
I believe 'God as defined within an illusory boundary' do has its contributions [pros] but as we move into the future, the cons of theism [religious] is outweighing its pros. Thus humanity must do something with the idea of God as imputed into religions.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

Dark Matter
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Re: Defining God

Post by Dark Matter » June 30th, 2017, 2:11 am

Spectrum wrote:
I have defined God above within psychological and neuroscientific boundaries rather than the theistic's invented illusory boundaries.
That's why you are a master of irrelevancy and strawman argumentation:
In spite of the fact that classical theology has always used the concept of “being,” the term has been criticized from the standpoint of nominalistic philosophy and that of personalistic theology. Considering the prominent role which the concept plays in the system, it is necessary to reply to the criticisms and at the same time to clarify the way in which the term is used in its different applications.

The criticism of the nominalists and their positivistic descendants to the present day is based on the assumption that the concept of being represents the highest possible abstraction. It is understood as the genus to which all other genera are subordinated with respect to universality and with respect to the degree of abstraction. If this were the way in which the concept of being is reached, nominalism could interpret it as it interprets all universals, namely, as communicative notions which point to particulars but have no reality of their own. Only the completely particular, the thing here and now, has reality. Universals are means of communication without any power of being. Being as such, therefore, does not designate anything real. God, if he exists, exists as a particular and could be called the most individual of all beings.

The answer to this argument is that the concept of being does not have the character that nominalism attributed to it. It is not the highest abstraction, although it demands the ability of radical abstraction. It is the expression of the experience of being over against non-being. Therefore, it can be described as the power of being which resists non-being. For this reason, the medieval philosophers called being the basic transcendentale, beyond the universal and the particular. In this sense the notion of being was understood alike by such people as Parmenides in Greece and Shankara in India. In this sense its significance has been rediscovered by contemporary existentialists, such as Heidegger and Marcel. This idea of being lies beyond the conflict of nominalism and realism. The same word, the emptiest of all concepts when taken as an abstraction, becomes the most meaningful of all concepts when it is understood as the power of being in everything that has being.

...In the moment in which one says that God is or that he has being, the question arises as to how his relation to being is understood. The only possible answer seems to be that God is being-itself, in the sense of the power of being or the power to conquer non-being.

-- Updated June 30th, 2017, 3:32 am to add the following --

You define God only to discredit your definition, and then claim that by doing so it you discredit theism. That's kinda silly when you think about it.

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Barry Sears
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Re: Defining God

Post by Barry Sears » August 1st, 2017, 7:10 am

Atreyu Quoted

The most practical, simple, and correct, definition of 'God' is to regard the entire Universe as a sentient being. Once that is posited, 'God' is simply the Universe.



I fully agree that the structure of a universe although incomprehensible as a defined space is defined as that of God. The one complete structure that includes all within. As far as we are able to physically construct, within perhaps just a cell of this structure, are thousands / millions of Galaxies, all similar in form and in different phases of their life. Organically produced structures forged by the surrounding energy and conditions they are surrounded by. Each Galaxy with it's own character providing a larger template and energy system for the smaller components. Solar systems produce organically also by the conditions and influence of their surrounding structure. Each component getting smaller and smaller until we, where we are, being able to see this expression of life.

Within the solar system our planet Earth once again forged by the template of the surrounding energy systems and conditions. Organically produced and again living in a life-cycle as a microcosmic structure of the Universal template. A body from head to tail.

Life on Earth forged under the influence of time and by the energy and conditions of the surrounding cosmos. Life on Earth forged by the anatomical structure and energy, of the Earth itself.

These structures in history have been given many names and broken down into parts also given many names, from gods to demigods. Personally I like to use the word body because it seems respectful to global names. Our animal body's on Earth:- The World body. (Mother Earth, the Holy Spirit, Papatuanuku.) Our surrounding Celestial body;-(Milky way, the Father, Ranginui, Nut). You can then comprehend and see the anatomical parts if you wish. All but specks within the Universal body.

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