Debate and Discussion

God
Ludus Pragma at 3:05PM, Aug. 7, 2007
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Since the subject keeps coming up I thought I would be good to have a debate thread devoted entirely towards the concept of god.

Aside from a polite debate where people can rationally express their ideas I hope this thread will provide us with a foundation for future debates by allowing us to define our terms. After all there is a huge range of inter-related but sometimes mutually exclusive concepts about god that can lead to people debating with each other and totally miss each other's meaning.

To be honest I am an atheist and my interest is purely academic.

So, god is…
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:48PM
Rori at 4:26PM, Aug. 7, 2007
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After reading many of the other religion threads, this thread seems like a great idea.

I know I'm not answering the question (yet), but I thought I'd put that in in case someone objects ;D
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:11PM
ozoneocean at 6:18PM, Aug. 7, 2007
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Since the Atheist thread keeps getting hijacked over towards a justification of the existence of divinity… Usually Christian :(

GOD! Well, what about “gods”? There doesn't just have to be a single one. And then does a god have to be a creator? This is ALWAYS an assumption, but not many gods are actually creator gods… Then there's the idea of omnipotence and omnipresence; not many gods posses these abilities either, not even the Judao-Christian-Islamic god. I know a lot of people tend just to accept that this god is, but actually the idea that “he” was is never explicitly stated (as far as I know), and was the subject of serious scholarly debate within the church for centuries. So while there is now a large school of thought that believes “he” is, this isn't necessarily unanimous and hasn't always been the case.

Then we come to the idea of totemic gods, ancestor worship, the veneration of objects, landmarks, and even living people. If someone says that a river is their god, WHO are you to disabuse them of this notion? If you tried to prove that the river wasn't their god, I'd say you'd be pretty silly; it'd be like trying to prove yellow is blue, which is fine as an intellectual exercise but it won't change people's perception. I say this because the assumption of the outsider is often rather rudimentary, primitive and ignorant: A God must equal magical power and supernatural properties. Clearly this is only one definition of a god and a rather limited one at that, you can't just accept that every culture approaches religion in the same way.

That suggests that the idea of godhood is a cultural construction… The trouble with that though is that most things are cultural constructions, so the knowledge that a people's idea of the world is informed by their culture doesn't really further us along in understanding the nature of the world, it just serves to inform us that we should realise our own perceptions are equally mediated: so we should take that into account when attempting to understand these ideas.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
Rori at 6:48PM, Aug. 7, 2007
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Alright. I'll put it this way, when I hear people mention “God” these are the possibilities I think of:

1. The transcendent uber-deity, The One.
a. creator of the universe
b. omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent
Conversion and adherence to laws are very important to this god. This god holds a personal interest in humanity. This god gets more specific depending on the religion.

2. The watchmaker.
a. creator of the universe
This god created the universe, may or may not still exist, and holds no personal interest in the workings of the universe.

3. God as name for phenominae.
a. The collective essence of the universe.
This can be the spark of life, the infinite generation of life, “nature”, somethingness (as opposed to nothingness), the collective soul, etc.
b. the working processes of the universe
This is used by non-religious scientists most often as a poetic device.
c. pretty much anything that exists or can be said to exist, such as specific things in nature (as opposed to nature or the universe as a whole.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:11PM
Rori at 7:32PM, Aug. 7, 2007
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ozoneocean
That suggests that the idea of godhood is a cultural construction… The trouble with that though is that most things are cultural constructions, so the knowledge that a people's idea of the world is informed by their culture doesn't really further us along in understanding the nature of the world, it just serves to inform us that we should realise our own perceptions are equally mediated: so we should take that into account when attempting to understand these ideas.

Hmmm… Someone is going to hurl “relativist” at you (as if that's actually an insult).

The problem is, we're talking about defining a word, so there's got to be some parameters, right? I agree with you that defining the aspects of god gets us into a quagmire. So is there some other way? We often think of god and gods as what they are, rather than how we actually live with the concept.

Like, you can say, “this rock is my god,” but what is your attitude to the rock?

poop! work is over early. catch you later.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:11PM
ozoneocean at 7:53PM, Aug. 7, 2007
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Most of those concepts are simply a classical “Western” way of looking at the subject, in that it's the idea of Godhood from Greek routes, ultimately. -this is also at the base of how we came to Christianity. They might seem like broad definitions that take in a number of points of view, but in reality they're quite narrow and pretty much come from the same source. Which is fair enough, we all have to start somewhere! And it's perfectly valid for you to have that as your starting pint. :)

I just think that's another important thing to be aware of.

What about the Buddha as a god? That one's very complicated… Mythologically he's a transcendent mortal who, originally coming from a sort of humanist reformed Hindu perspective, was adopted into many other cultural belief structures, most notably that of the Chinese traditional pantheon. But the understanding of godhood in this form seems to be that (I'm very ignorant here) his awareness, spirit, what-have-you expanded beyond what is normally mortal limits to encompass understanding of all, but not necessarily in an omniscient way… So rather than fitting into any of the definitions you presented, the form of this godhood is sort of like a human reaching their “full” potential. Personified collective unconscious? I don't know, I'm too ignorant to expand further.

I also think that your ideas of what a “god” would be are rather grand… Most gods tend to be built on a much more modest scale. But it's perfectly valid to start there, as I say. ^_^
___________________________________________________
Rori
Like, you can say, “this rock is my god,” but what is your attitude to the rock?
Exactly! So perhaps it's not what we think a god should be, but the fact that people believe in its existence and/or divinity? (whatever form they think that should take)

I think that leaves us with two paths to go down though:
1: If there could exist a thing that we could call a “god”, what form would it take and why?
2: Seeing as we're all human, divining our understanding of our environment from our senses, cognitive ability, and learned ideas, is it possible for any of us to have some kind of superior outlook, were we are able to see what is objectively true where other's can't? -i.e. to be able to know that other's ideas of what are divine are false.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
mapaghimagsik at 10:36PM, Aug. 7, 2007
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I don't know if there is a god, but if there is, my god is right, while yours is wrong.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
Rori at 11:23PM, Aug. 7, 2007
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To clear up a point, the first two are Western-ish, but the third isn't exclusively. The first also covers arguably 3 billion people through Abrahamic religions alone. If you add in Hinduism (which does have a concept of an all-powerful god along with the many other gods) you get a billion more. Size isn't everything, but it's important to keep in mind.

Buddha is a strange case, all though he does fit into 3c, because that one is vague as hell and everything fits into it ;)

All the buddhists I know (I'm also not an expert on the subject) claim it's non-theistic and that buddha is a man, not a god. But I understand that some elevate him to god-like status. I also think the modifier -like is really important. It may or may not be good that the term “god” is rather inclusive, but it is certainly ripe for intellectual dishonesty-ie, people drawing analogies where there really are none.

Personally, I think the term is too inclusive, and other terms should be used as modifiers to avoid confusion. I would throw the watchmaker out completely, because there is no reason to worship it, and it makes little difference whether it presently exists or not; in many ways it's purely “academic”, a dead god, a plot device. I'd call that a creator god, if anything. The abrahamic god is a personal, living god (and also a creator god), Brahman is the supreme god to some sects of Hinduism (omni-all that), the supreme soul and only substance to others. Still other gods are what you might call “local” (perhaps the humble gods you spoke of), the nature gods, place gods, object and ancestral gods and the like.

I think there's a third question we should ask, as well: what does our relationship and actions toward the god have to do with it's godhood, if anything? Putting aside the idea of existence outside of human constructs, does a god need worship to truly be a god? objectively? practically? how much worship? is it enough to appreciate the god, or is more required? do we expect something from the god in return for our worship? does the god need to have power over us or beyond ours? And if a god exists outside of human knowledge, does it matter?

On #2 I'd say no. We can only know ourselves, and not very well at that.

On #1, do I believe something greater than me exists, I think it is highly likely, do I think this thing is god? no, because I have no way of knowing if something greater than it exists. Much like a dog must see us as god-like beings, with the power of life and death. So maybe that is an answer? That god would be that which is higher than us, but that is less than grand, and says nothing to questions of omni-etc. and world creating/destroying. Sure, my concept of god here is one of uber-deityness, but I can't see how anything else would be worth the effort, personally speaking.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:11PM
deletedbyrequest03 at 5:45AM, Aug. 8, 2007
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I personally don't care at all about religion. I think it poisons us all. It's a sense of false hope for people when they have no one else to help them.

And sometimes, religion can really get to someone's head… (“Allah!!! Allah!!!”)

But anyway, I seriously can't see God as a real concept of how it all begin… I mean, what about the big bang theory? One of my best friends is extremely religious, and she said the whole big bang theory was a myth, and it was an insult to even think that man was once an ape.

Well, what are you going to believe? Some guy that has lived in a black void for all eternity, and suddenly says “Oh, let there be light”, while the big bang theory, while just a theory, is more realistic. It's completely explained, and when I ask someone about God, they tell me I just don't have faith. Well, how can I not have faith if I don't have a clue about my religion?

That's about it.

This year, school's full of BS!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:05PM
tiirikka at 2:54PM, Aug. 11, 2007
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God…

It depends much about the religion what is a god. In some cases it's more human, in other cases it's… something completely else.

So… This is what I've been learned from christian God from different sources so far (it's the easiest one define):

God
* is great, force-like being in everything, which has made anything and is everything. New Testament screams “God is love” in about every page or so. -.-
* doesn't have time. Time is something for creatures like humans or animals, but God doesn't have it. He's out side of that system. Why? Because he is a God. That's why he has always been and will always be, because you can't start something if there's time, neither you can't end anything. I mean, you need time for that. God made time for us. He can control what happens in this time having space, but it doesn't affect him. This is why
* knows everything. beucause as he has no time he sees everything at the same time. People can't do that, God can. Why? because he is a God.
* can do what ever he wants to. But he doesn't, that's why bad stuff happen. He gave people a free will probaply because being eternal being with no time would be hell of a boring if everything would happen exactly as he wanted. because
* has a personality. As a person he wants love and feels like we do, just lot more than we do, since he is bigger than us. He is where all our feelings come from, because he copied things about him to us when he started creating people from monkeys. Yes, I believe he made monkeys to people, I mean, as a timeless being I'm pretty sure he had no rush to make people, stuff in first pages of bible are dreams of people, images which god gave to them, and let's face it, those guys wouldn't have a clue from thingcalled evolution, it wwould be too much for their brains. So God showed things to them in the way they could get it.
* doesn't need force people to anything. It would make free will pointless. He can point the way to go, but person can always do their own choises on everything.



I think that covers it. Not sure, itäs late here, I might have missed something.

Sorry for typos, I hope it's undrestandable.
I am under you're bathtub.
Beware, I'm dysletic Finn, my english doesn't make any sense! D8
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
shaneronzio at 6:40AM, Aug. 16, 2007
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Ludus Pragma
So, god is…

you got it.
that is the answer.
Current Project:CROSS WORLDS NEXUS
Updates Monday, Wenzday & FRIDAY
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:32PM
TnTComic at 6:49AM, Aug. 16, 2007
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Ludus Pragma
So, god is…

A concept created by people to explain things they don't understand.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
SpANG at 7:53AM, Aug. 16, 2007
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I'm a non-practicing Catholic. I find it very hard to believe in God.

Don't get me wrong, I would LIKE to believe in God, but as civilization progresses, science explains what God once did. But there is this little piece of me that still clings to the whole “The universe didn't come from NOTHING” kind of thing. I'm pretty sure that the Bible is a nice STORY and that Adam and Eve were a myth, but what or WHO created the building blocks? Science can only explain so far back.

Anyway (IMO) God is….
- A moral compass
- A way to feel you are here for a reason
- A feeling of security and belonging, even in the bleakest of times

But also is…
- An excuse
- A way to exploit your agenda
- A reason to fight

“To a rational mind, nothing is inexplicable. Only unexplained.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:52PM
Hawk at 1:21PM, Aug. 16, 2007
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SpANG
Anyway (IMO) God is….
- A moral compass
- A way to feel you are here for a reason
- A feeling of security and belonging, even in the bleakest of times

But also is…
- An excuse
- A way to exploit your agenda
- A reason to fight

Best answer I've heard yet. I'm so sick of people on this board focusing on all the bad aspects of religion and pretending the good ones don't exist.

I just really wish the anti-religion people could accept that religion does some good in this world, and the pro-religion people could realize that it does some bad.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
Ronson at 6:50PM, Aug. 16, 2007
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SpANG
Anyway (IMO) God is….
- A moral compass
- A way to feel you are here for a reason
- A feeling of security and belonging, even in the bleakest of times

But also is…
- An excuse
- A way to exploit your agenda
- A reason to fight

- Except that this moral compass is arbitrarily set to ancient writings that were biased to reflect the times.

- Except that the “feelings” for the reason you are here are based on nothing and allow for the elevation of “cognitive dissonance” (the ability to accept two or more contradictory facts as true) to be perceived as a admirable quality.

- Except that most organized religions extend security only to those who have accepted the ancient writings and admire cognitive dissonance and cast out all others.

Hawk
I just really wish the anti-religion people could accept that religion does some good in this world, and the pro-religion people could realize that it does some bad.
They started it!

Actually, I'm not anti-religion. Most atheists I know are not, and only very bitter pre-teens looking to shock claim to be.

I'm anti-religion-shoving-thier-belief-system-down-my-throat-by-changing-my-laws-to-agree-with-their-ancient-writings … but that takes longer to say. :)

If we could all live our lives without worrying about the personal choices others make that have absolutely no effect on our lives, I wouldn't ever complain about religion. But some religions actually have in their rules that they have to try to make us “sinners” stop sinning and do things their way.

Anyway, how about some funny?

JULIA SWEENEY
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
mapaghimagsik at 8:56PM, Aug. 16, 2007
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I think that many people are not necessarily anti-religion, but anti-what religion tends to do. I do not know of many religions that are willing to play well with others, though some people can argue that its more a cultural issue than a religious one.

So God.

If there is a God, or Gods or what have you (I'm a practicing atheist - I know I could be wrong about it, but I have chosen to live my life as an atheist.) I don't think they are interventionist beings.

edit: God made my make typos.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
ozoneocean at 9:33PM, Aug. 16, 2007
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Good on you mapaghimagsik for steering this topic back on to the path ^_^
Ronson, I respect your views, but I really hope no one takes you up on that post because then people will just start up the whole For and Anti religion debate again. Please not that! ANYthing but that! :(

This is just a thread about “god”, whatever that means…

To lay my cards on the table, I'd say that the existence of any actual “god” being or creature (spiritual) is very unlikely. But nothing is impossible, and we don't know very much at all about the universe we exist in- like Einstein said, “As the circle of light increases, so does the circumference of darkness around it”, but it's still unlikely. I would say that most gods could be defined as parts of the building blocks of various cultural heritages, and while they might not be physical realities, they certainly are social realities, and that would be foolish to deny!

And given the fact that humans are social beings and without society and cultural history we are naught but beasts, to outright deny the place of “gods” and yes, even religion, in our world is outright idiotic.

So I accept that your god is real to you.
And this includes the idea of seeing a mortal man as a god such as Emperor Hirohito, or a mountain, a river etc. These physical things, people, animals, whatever, can be seen as being gods because that is what they are culturally perceived to be, they require no manifestations of magical power. And this also accounts for the idea that a “superior” being could be perceived as a god if one were to arrive among us tomorrow.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
Black_Kitty at 12:26AM, Aug. 17, 2007
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It's 3 AM so I may be a bit out of it but I'm rather fond of this Van Gogh quotation:

Vincent Van Gogh
But I cannot help thinking that the best way of knowing God is to love many things. Love this friend, this person, this thing, whatever you like, and you will be on the right road to understanding Him better, that is what I keep telling myself. But you must love with a sublime, genuine, profound sympathy, with devotion, with intelligence, and you must try all the time to understand Him more, better and yet more. That will lead to God, that will lead to an unshakeable faith.

(In the interest of being fair, I just want to say I'm Catholic. Not a very good one but a Catholic none the less.)

Like most people out there, I myself have many different theories about God. But I think the one that I like the best is as follows: if God is love and is alive through words and deeds, then God is not necessarily a being. Rather He is the embodiment of loving deeds, kind words, and noble thoughts. Each time we do something out of love and generosity of the spirit, we invoke what Christians like to call God.

And I word it that way because Christianity did not invent kindness, love, and all those wonderful things. I remember having this discussion with some classmates and what one of my classmates said was true: it pisses people off whenever Christians claim that all virtues are Christian virtues. So by no means am I suggesting that you're all invoking God everytime you're nice to each other. :)

But I like the spirit of the Van Gogh quotation, that there is divinity in goodness and love. Sometimes we get too hung up with how big and powerful God is or what terrifying things could happen should we not do this or that.

3:24 AM! Time for this kitty to go to bed~
  
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:24AM
mapaghimagsik at 1:33PM, Aug. 17, 2007
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ozoneocean
But nothing is impossible…

I mildly pick..

If nothing is impossible, what is that chance that something is impossible? >:)

recess is over. Go back to debating God.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
Mak at 7:48PM, Aug. 17, 2007
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God was:

A way to make people feel better about uncontrollable situations like natural disasters.
A way to keep the “people” from injuring themselves and/or doing stupid things.
A way to make the people feel like they were superior to other people.

God is:

A really good way to make a lot of money telling people how to act while not acting that way yourself.

A way to ensure that people whose lifestyle you do not like are kept in “their place”


But most importantly

God is:

Dog spelled backwards.
I'm a ex-DAT, which means all ya'll are crunchies, and I swing a mean hammer.

Rule 37 should be made rule 1

The civilized would should be ashamed, what good is power if you do not stop things like Darfur??
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:50PM
Rori at 9:26PM, Aug. 17, 2007
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ozoneocean
So I accept that your god is real to you.

It's like accepting that your baby is cute to you! (now stop showing me pictures…)
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:11PM
mapaghimagsik at 10:38PM, Aug. 17, 2007
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Rori
ozoneocean
So I accept that your god is real to you.

It's like accepting that your baby is cute to you! (now stop showing me pictures…)


you sir - er madam - er whathaveyou, have nearly made me snort beer out my nose. I am *so* using that. If you collect laugh points, take 5
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
mechanical_lullaby at 5:41AM, Aug. 18, 2007
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shaneronzio
Ludus Pragma
So, god is…

you got it.
that is the answer.

god is elipses.
well he's been asleep since day seven and he's still out.
looks like someone wore themselves out and needed a nap.
d'aaaaawwwwwwwwwww.




in all seriousness though…
I love learning about religions and what people believe. I hate organized religion. There is something so horribly terrifying that religion does to spiritual things. God is separate from organized religion. and god is a loaded word.

as a pagan… well… imma keep away from that.

god is elipses.
i agree. that is the answer.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:57PM
tiirikka at 1:22AM, Aug. 19, 2007
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SpANG
But also is…
- An excuse
- A way to exploit your agenda
- A reason to fight

So true, that it's sad.
I am under you're bathtub.
Beware, I'm dysletic Finn, my english doesn't make any sense! D8
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
Runosonta at 2:09AM, Aug. 19, 2007
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If I could believe, I'd like to think that gods are a presence of nature. Like a beautiful ancient forest. A lake. A cave. A deer, the wind, and so forth.

But I don't.

So in my opinion gods are a significant part of our culture, heritage and “spiritual life”. Spiritual life as in a part of your brain that tells you you need that stuff. A way to protect yourself.
In both good and bad.
Mostly bad.


When defining a god…
I grew up in a non-fundamentalist Christian country (Finland), so my image of a god is mainly some old dude hanging out in the sky. He can do what he wants. People say he's kind and forgiving but yet he's going to seperate his followers into goodies and hell-goers when the time comes. And all those awful tests of faith? He's a real bastard! Yet pure goodness? Huh? I never got that part as a child, nor do I get it now.

But I also think of the witty Greek gods (I've studied both Latin and Ancient Greek, so they're pretty familiar to me). Powerful but somehow human.

And then come all the rest - Finnish mythology, Asian, African, New-age…

The one god I dislike the most: American Christian God. Nothing personal here, it just is. Right behind comes God of Vatican. I hate them pretty much the same.

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:12PM
Black_Kitty at 8:40AM, Aug. 19, 2007
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Runosonta
People say he's kind and forgiving but yet he's going to seperate his followers into goodies and hell-goers when the time comes. And all those awful tests of faith? He's a real bastard! Yet pure goodness? Huh? I never got that part as a child, nor do I get it now.

I hope I'm not off-topic here but I've always been under the impression that it is not so much that God separates people into two categories. Rather God offers free will and the ability to choose. You can either choose to be with God or not be with God. And since theoretically God is all that is good and wonderful, then supposedly to be away from God would be a hell-ish experience (since you will be removed from all that is good and wonderful.) One could always argue that God should just keep everybody with Him but then that would violate the idea of free will.

I find that this is a frequent complaint when the concept of the Christian God comes up which makes me wonder what exactly people consider as benevolent behaviour. What would be considered divine benevolent behaviour and how different is it from Christian theology? Do benevolent gods serve to fulfill the personal desires of a person (take me to heaven!) or do they uphold the collective desires and values of the people (take only the good people to heaven!)? Or is it a marriage of both? (Take the good people to heaven! …And um, me too.)
  
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:24AM
Shar at 12:44PM, Aug. 19, 2007
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Why do people always start defining god by the christian version >.<…


Anyway i believe god can be defined as a parent for everyone. Someone there to give people support and a feeling of purpose. In a rather otherwhise meaningless existence.

There has and is still being made far too many impressions of what god is. The christian heavenly father, The buddhist sage, The Hinduistic Immense Pantheon etc. The general idea seems to be the same though. Something that provides your life with a purpose. Wheter it is the idea of a afterlife with a numerous amount of virgins to serve you at beck and call or a complete understanding of all there is (Whatever seems more appealing to you etc).

*At black_kitty*

Epikuros had the same question.

"Is willing to prevent evil, but not able? then is he impotent. Is he able, but not willing? then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing? whence then is evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

And is also part of what is called the problem of hell and the problem of evil.

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

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



Finally: God is a concept by which we measure our pain. -John Lennon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7zqDjfuloA
I'm With Shar.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:33PM
Loud_G at 4:31PM, Aug. 19, 2007
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Wow, such a short question, but one which by no means is simple.

To me God is a living being. He is real, he is a person (an individual). He has emotions, he has desires. He has a body. Not an imperfect body like we have, but a perfect one that cannot die. He is the Father of every last person ever born on this earth, specifically the Father of our spirits (that little bit inside us that makes us well us.) He is not to be confused with the Son (IE. Jesus Christ). The Son and the Father are two separate and distinct beings with individual personalities who are merely “one” in purpose. As our Father, God loves us and created a place for us to come, aquire bodies and learn to use them. This earth is merely a bording school for the children of God. He wants us to learn to be like Him. He gave some guidlines, but they are to promote our happiness, not to rule over us like a tyrant. He wants us all to return home to Him. (Because we all lived with Him as spirits before we were born here) He created a plan for our safe return to our heavenly home. He is not a “hands off” kind of person. He takes pride in His work and takes a hand in the world. He is not a figurehead, not an idea, not a tyrant, not a child, not careless. He is a loving Father. A real person. Granted, a person of great power and knowledge, but one who wishes for his children to receive all that He has. God does not hate sinners, but loves all his children. He has put us here to see how we utilize our free will (agency). He will not compromise our freedom to choose because that freedom is so special, so sacred, so important to what we are here to learn.

God does not only love those of the Christian faith, or any specific faith (be it Islam, shamanism, or atheism) all are His children.

As for the “problem of hell” and the “problem of evil”…..
I spoke of free agency above and its ultimate sacredness to God. He allows us to choose how and what we may precisely because he loves us. He is able to prevent any thing from occuring, but we must each be proven individually. We are in this life to learn to be like our Father, God. There-in lies the judgement. God will not inflict eternal punishment on any except those who know the truth and act agaist it anyway. The judgement is not to determine who is evil and who is good, to assign heaven or hell. It is to determine who is ready to progress to the next step. It is more of an entrance exam to the Divine University. It is not about those who fail being punished but about those who pass being promoted.

This is such a deep and intricate concept with many inter-relating subjects that I couldn't possibly go into all right now. (Especially since I tend to go off on tangents and forget where I was…..) :D

That was a lot longer than I had planned and I don't even think I scratched the surface. :P
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*Disclaimer: George may or may not eat violators depending on hunger level and scarcity of better tasting prey.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
Aurora Moon at 7:26PM, Aug. 19, 2007
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posts: 2,630
joined: 1-7-2006
Loud_G
We are in this life to learn to be like our Father, God. There-in lies the judgement. God will not inflict eternal punishment on any except those who know the truth and act agaist it anyway. The judgement is not to determine who is evil and who is good, to assign heaven or hell. It is to determine who is ready to progress to the next step. It is more of an entrance exam to the Divine University. It is not about those who fail being punished but about those who pass being promoted.

Tell that to all the Christains who believe otherwise.
“A Murderer or a rapist is evil and therefore shall go to hell as punishment for being evil!! The same for anybody else who has promicous sex, etc…”
I'm on hitatus while I redo one of my webcomics. Be sure to check it out when I'n done! :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
Black_Kitty at 9:27PM, Aug. 19, 2007
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posts: 1,481
joined: 1-1-2006
Thanks for the URLs, they were cool to read. :D And I mainly talked about a Christian God because that was what was brought up. ^^;;

Shar
"Is willing to prevent evil, but not able? then is he impotent. Is he able, but not willing? then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing? whence then is evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

It always makes me nervous to dispute with big-time philosophers and their quotations because they all sound so smart. ^^;; But I'm going to anyway because I am drunk with delight from meeting James Jean~ <3 (Oh James Jean~ I sigh a girlish sigh deep from my fangirl heart.)

In a way, at least to me, all questions regarding God and His ability to prevent/allow evil comes down to this: which is more important, the eradication of evil or the preservation of free will? Which is more important, the ability to choose or the inability to commit evil? And are you truly doing good if you cannot commit any evil? If you only have one option…do you really have options?

And what does God really want? Does God want us to be good or to choose good? If free will exists and God (assuming He exists and that we are still talking Christian God) did not force the choice upon us, then perhaps there is some reasoning behind that. Perhaps the ability to choose and the willingness to choose good has much to do with what God wants.

I recognize that there are certain problems with that. For one thing, I could be crazy and that there really is no God so this whole issue is silly. One of the reasons I enjoyed reading those URLs is a point that was brought up: are we making informed choices though? Is a divine being really merciful for making human beings, who are supposedly flawed, ignorant, and cannot avoid sinning, responsible for their eternal destinies? By allowing all of us the ability to choose, isn't God putting us all at risk? And is that something a benevolent divine being would do?
  
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:24AM

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