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    1. #1
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      The Definition of God?

      The widely accepted attributes of God, mainly in monotheistic traditions, are that God is omnipotent (having limitless power), omniscient (having limitless knowledge), omnipresence (exists everywhere), omnibenevolent (has infinite goodness and does not commit evil) is eternal (has no cause of existence) and is immaterial and/or aspatial.

      Do any of you know of other attributes that you think define the concept of God? Do you have arguments for or against the existence of a being that possesses these attributes as a definition?

      The main troubles facing the definition here are the paradox of omnipotence and the problem of evil and suffering. If you don't know what these are, I'll briefly explain them:

      - The paradox of omnipotence states "Could an omnipotent being create a stone that it could not lift?" If the being can make such a stone, then it is no longer omnipotent, and if the being cannot make such a stone, then that being was not omnipotent to begin with. This shows how omnipotence is impossible, and by extension an omnipotent being is impossible.

      - The problem of evil/suffering states that an omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent being would not allow evil and suffering to exist, as to know of suffering and not prevent it is an immoral act. This means that such a being is perfectly good, yet does evil (evil is seen as that which is immoral), which is contradictory. The conclusion is that either such a being does not exist due to contradiction, or that omnibenevolence is not an attribute of God.

      Do you think there are any other problems the defined terms face, whether logical or empirical?

      - - - - - - - - - - - -

      I think now would be a good time to propose my argument that an aspatial/immaterial being could not create the universe:

      "That which is aspatial or immaterial does not have a material, physical form.

      Such an entity could only be described as an idea or a consciousness.

      An idea or consciousness cannot interact with a material, physical entity.

      Therefore, an aspatial God cannot have interacted with, nor created the universe."

      If any of you can point out any flaws or fallacies in this argument, feel free to voice them and I'll do my best to try and refute them or revise my argument.

      Note: by 'consciousness' I do not mean the result of cognitive interactions of the brain, I mean a sentient being that is conscious without having a physical brain.
       

    2. #2
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      Re: The Definition of God?

      Just because we have no proof of it, does not mean there is no proof at all. I can say that about anything here but I'm referring to "An idea or consciousness cannot interact with a material, physical entity," in specific.

      Also, in answer to the title/question; Me. I am my own "God" due to me defining the paths I take and having utmost control overr my life. You are also your own "God". Everyone else, too. Everyone is "God". Everyone is also perfect. No one can be you aswell as you can be, therefore you are the perfect you.

      The subject of "God" is very much an "eye of the beholder" kind of thing.

    3. #3

      Re: The Definition of God?

      I liked Paul Bloom's take on the topic:

      http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...accident/4425/
       

    4. #4
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      Re: The Definition of God?

      Can you give me a run down of what it says in the article over all? I have this problem where reading articles makes me brain dead simply because I hate their layouts and formats to a point of self-destruction.

    5. #5

      Re: The Definition of God?

      Quote Originally Posted by VaanDiablo View Post
      Can you give me a run down of what it says in the article over all? I have this problem where reading articles makes me brain dead simply because I hate their layouts and formats to a point of self-destruction.
      Hit CTRL+A and CTRL+C, and then paste into a wordpad RT File.
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    6. #6
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      Re: The Definition of God?

      What's RT? And won't that just give me the entire web page?

    7. #7

      Re: The Definition of God?

      Rich Text.

      Word will give you the entire page. Wordpad will give you text only.
      Spikey Dokey: In Russia, when you become the admin of an internet forum, you do it until you die.
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    8. #8
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      Re: The Definition of God?

      I see... What are your views on the definition of "God", then?

    9. #9
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      Re: The Definition of God?

      I will always take the stance of my chosen field (religious studies) when it comes to this topic. What you be believe is true for you, that is all that matters. Which is why that article bugs me, its written from the stance that peoples' beliefs are wrong and only the author (Bloom) is correct (and the lack of sited sources, a professor of Yale should do better in that area)

      Now my personal stance is I believe in a Christian (predominately Catholic) God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit but not as separate beings but merely aspects of God) because that is how God and spirituality were revealed to me. That being a God who is beyond time and space who is all knowing (in that God knows all potential outcomes), as to suffering well God gave us free will so if God eliminated that which would cause us to suffer our free will is null and void and so it exist, is genderless (as god is beyond such things).


      That being said I don't think that is the true form of God as no one can truly comprehend the nature or form of God or his influence on reality. I understand much of my understanding of God is influenced by Neo-Platonic school of philosophy and the works of many different philosophers and theologians, that the understanding of God evolved and changed and will continue to do so in all likelihood.
      Last edited by Whitefox; 02-21-2012 at 06:23 PM.




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    10. #10
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      Re: The Definition of God?

      I always love hearing people views on what "God" is. They interest me to no end. Sometimes they contradict each other and make me wonder certain things, sometimes they fit together perfectly like a well wrote book, other times they seem falicifical to a point where I doubt the person's sanity, sometimes they make me doubt my own. "God" and religion are certainly very interesting subjects, I'm just sad for the fact that people can get defensive over them so easily and ruin a good conversation. How is "God" described in the Catholic Bible, the Jewish Torah and the Muslim Qu'ran? Mainly the Bible seeing as it's the wider practiced in England (although around the Wolverhampton area (where I live) it might not be a push to say it's mainly Muslim).

    11. #11

      Re: The Definition of God?

      Quote Originally Posted by VaanDiablo View Post
      Just because we have no proof of it, does not mean there is no proof at all.
      It does mean that we have precisely, exactly, absolutely 0 reason to think there is any proof until you start finding some, though. Which, in all practical applications, is pretty much the same thing.

      Quote Originally Posted by Yami View Post
      I will always take the stance of my chosen field (religious studies) when it comes to this topic. What you be believe is true for you, that is all that matters. Which is why that article bugs me, its written from the stance that peoples' beliefs are wrong and only the author (Bloom) is correct (and the lack of sited sources, a professor of Yale should do better in that area)
      I am endlessly baffled and frustrated by people who find accusations of correctness/falsity to be offensive or unacceptable.

      Unless you think you're literally the most brilliant person alive, ever, and are infallible, then you believe that it's possible to be wrong. People need to stop being childish and actually challenge their beliefs. Sometimes people write from the stance that their opposition is wrong...because their opposition is wrong.

      Quote Originally Posted by Yami View Post
      That being said I don't think that is the true form of God as no one can truly comprehend the nature or form of God or his influence on reality.
      I also hate this cop-out. "I've got an incredibly specific image of this being, what it is capable of, and the specific things it wants from all human beings, ever, always...but of course, no-one can understand it for sure, so I can hand-wave any logical contradictions as "beyond our ken."

      Fun fact. There is no abstract idea that is impossible for humans to grasp, because abstract concepts exist only in the human mind. There are some that are extremely difficult to grasp, but there is none that is impossible. How could there be? What physical, biological limitation could possibly account for these boundaries? Abstract concepts and reasoning are not dependent on sensory information, so there is nothing to say that "truly understanding god" is impossible.

      I want to call out everyone who ever uses that line, and I want them to feel bad and embarrassed so they'll think more before they let themselves slide with such intellectual irresponsibility all the time.

      Using this argument is identical to answering any challenge or contradiction with "Don't worry about it."

      "This part of your argument doesn't make any sense, and isn't supported by anything in reality."
      "Don't worry about it."
      "What? Why not?"
      "Just...don't worry about it."
      "You're not answering my points, and you're not giving me any reason to think they're invalid. Why not?"
      "Don't worry about it."

      "This part of your argument doesn't make any sense, and isn't supported by anything in reality."
      "Well, to be fair, we can never truly understand the nature of God."
      "What? Why not?"
      "Just...we just can't."
      "You're not answering my points, and you're not giving me any reason to think they're invalid. Why not?"
      "I don't know. It's just beyond our reasoning."
      Our world, with its rules of causality, has trained us to be miserly with forgiveness.

    12. #12
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      Re: The Definition of God?

      "It does mean that we have precisely, exactly, absolutely 0 reason to think there is any proof until you start finding some, though. Which, in all practical applications, is pretty much the same thing."

      Touché. But I'm bored of the whole "seeing is believing" stuff. If only the stuff we could see were of any note, etc. then life would be a lot more boring than it already is.

      And isn't your point about "don't worry about it" pretty much the same as just asking "Why?" in response to everything seeing as it can be recursive? And that's where it's problem lies; if it's recursive it's boring if it's boring there's nothing to learn or gain from it, if there's nothing to learn or gain from it it's pointless.

      And while you say there is "no abstract idea that is impossible for humans to grasp" that is both true and untrue. Just because we as a people can eventually learn or do something doesn't mean everyone can.

      e.g. "What physical, biological limitation could possibly account for these boundaries?" you ask? Aspergers? Maybe.... senile dementia? A bit of cerebral paulsey for those trying to grasp the actual motion of grasping? Simple dyslexia? A few I couldn't list due to there being a word limit on the internet. -.-

    13. #13

      Re: The Definition of God?

      Quote Originally Posted by VaanDiablo View Post
      If only the stuff we could see were of any note, etc. then life would be a lot more boring than it already is.
      Observable reality encompasses literally everything you have ever, and will ever, experience. It's more complex than anything you can imagine, and it's capable of surprising you infinitely more than you yourself are. You don't know enough about the world to call it boring; what you might mean is that you're bored. That's on you to change, dude.

      Quote Originally Posted by VaanDiablo View Post
      And isn't your point about "don't worry about it" pretty much the same as just asking "Why?" in response to everything seeing as it can be recursive?
      Not at all. There's no recursion in the strawmen conversations I gave, because one side of each conversation didn't actually offer anything new - and the first side wasn't even asking "why" to begin with, they were asserting something about the other side's argument.

      Quote Originally Posted by VaanDiablo View Post
      e.g. "What physical, biological limitation could possibly account for these boundaries?" you ask? Aspergers? Maybe.... senile dementia? A bit of cerebral paulsey for those trying to grasp the actual motion of grasping? Simple dyslexia? A few I couldn't list due to there being a word limit on the internet. -.-
      Yes, and people without hands can't thumb-wrestle; it doesn't mean that thumb-wrestling is impossible. I don't know what you're getting at here; did you think I said that anyone can do any mental feat, always?
      Our world, with its rules of causality, has trained us to be miserly with forgiveness.

    14. #14
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      Re: The Definition of God?

      Quote Originally Posted by Yami View Post
      as to suffering well God gave us free will so if God eliminated that which would cause us to suffer our free will is null and void
      How does the idea of our free will justify God allowing natural disasters to kill thousands of people?

      Also, does free will not break down when an entity who knows all possible outcomes exists? The entire concept of free will is that we have the ability to decide for ourselves, but if a being already knows what we choose then we don't really have the ability to choose, do we? Because if a being knows the choice then that choice has already been determined and we are not able to choose for ourselves as the choice has already been made, in a sense?
       

    15. #15
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      Re: The Definition of God?

      mani, there is a difference between challenging a person's views and finding them false from the start. I follow the idea of "What a person believes is true to them" because it is, with that I can question and challenge what they believe but reach a better understanding of what they believe and how it affects them because I don't dismiss it out of hand. We could debate all our lives about my personal belief system and some may change or disappear altogether but they may also never, if that is the case it is because they are true to me as those of another are true to them.

      As to your statement about abstract ideas, you are assuming that God is an abstract concept created by the mind of man. If God exist as something utterly beyond humankind than we think of it in terms of our humanity for we are human, not to mention the limitations to perspective added by experience and limited understanding of our surroundings. I am merely stating how I believe God reveled itself to me, but I don't believe this to be a complete or inherently accurate revelations nor do I deny that other faiths or spiritual views are incorrect for I accept they may be even more accurate than my own. This doesn't mean I stop at "I can't understand so why bother" I develop my own spirituality through study and reflection. One day we may fully understand a divine being, or we may never overcome the limitation of human perspective in that regard

      Quote Originally Posted by Rin Tezuka View Post
      How does the idea of our free will justify God allowing natural disasters to kill thousands of people?

      Also, does free will not break down when an entity who knows all possible outcomes exists? The entire concept of free will is that we have the ability to decide for ourselves, but if a being already knows what we choose then we don't really have the ability to choose, do we? Because if a being knows the choice then that choice has already been determined and we are not able to choose for ourselves as the choice has already been made, in a sense?
      We have the means to limit the affects of natural disasters, that we choose to allow people to live in a state where the impact of such is greater is our own choosing essentially.

      Secondly, as I understand (free will is not my particular area of study nor has it ever been save lightly). God knows what potential choices we can make, choices are limited by experience and personal perspective, this doesn't define us for we act in a moment which God who exist outside of that moment and so when you make a decision that potential is defined more or less (I say less because there are futures that choice creates)




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