Complex views of God

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Pit, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. Pit JAADD Registered Senior Member

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    I've noticed that definitions of God seems limiting. My belief is, based on limiting terms, is Jewish Apathetic Agnostic Dystheistic Deist. Is there anyone else with related beliefs (That is, complicated beliefs of God), or am I just strange?:shrug:
     
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  3. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    I don't think you're strange; just accurate, and not suitable for the usual discussions at these forums.

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  5. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    You can't be a practicing Jew and a Deist.
     
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  7. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    A serious problem with discussion about "God", not only here on Sciforums but even in the professional philosophy of religion, is that the meaning that people traditionally give the word 'God' collapses together a whole bunch of different concepts, with widely different historical origins, that probably need to be addressed separately and might not belong together at all.

    I take it that's your ethnicity. How does it influence your concept of 'God'? Do you draw your idea of God from Hebrew scripture? Most people in the West do to a greater or lesser extent.

    I take it that refers to God and not to you. God doesn't seem to be all that engaged these days, does he? I love the Latin phrase 'deus absconditus'.

    Are you suggesting that God is agnostic? About what? Or are you referring to your own agnosticism about God?

    If we take the Hebrew scriptures seriously, we are almost forced to go there. It's kind of heretical I guess, but the conclusion is hard to escape.

    In what sense? Since deists historically questioned special revelation while accepting natural theology, this one kind of circles back to the 'Jewish' with which you began. Deism would seem to throw the scriptures into question. Since deism's favoring natural theology left God kind of abstract - first-cause, designer and so on, the idea is certainly consistent with God's having subsequently lost interest in his creation and taken off for parts unknown.

    I'm not sure whether I'm similar or not.

    My basic attitude is agnosticism regarding the possibility of human beings knowing transcendental things.

    I apply that to the philosophical functions, so I freely admit that I don't have a clue what the ultimate source and ground of being is. I don't know why logic and mathematics hold true or why we have these physical laws rather than something else. I can't begin to answer why there's something rather than nothing.

    When it comes to the gods of the various religions, I'm effectively an atheist.

    I believe that there's virtually no likelihood that the unknown and probably unknowable ultimate source and principle of being itself will turn out to be a "person" named 'Yahweh', with a human-like psychology (and perhaps psychiatric problems to go with it), who chose to reveal himself specially to the Jews (or to Mohammed), or that Jesus had anything to do with whatever the answers are. I think of Yahweh and Allah as figures from religious mythology, not unlke Zeus, Ra and Marduk, except with more present-day devotees.

    You're not strange, you're just thinking more deeply than other people. This is a good thread.
     
  8. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    I'm an agnostic atheist, somewhere between naturalistic pantheism and pantheism, and a secular humanist.

    Before anyone decides to challenge me on the relevance of my contribution, remember that pantheism does include a definition of God.
     
  9. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

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    It seems impossible that the Cosmos could be, and yet it is, so then we must rethink. Our bubble has blown out of it but the Cosmos is still the Cosmos. It’s not a solution to say that it all came from another place, for then there is that place to explain just the same.

    Think as one will but there is not a thing to make anything of and so it must all become of a partial nonexistence. Nor can there be any bounds, so it is all everywhere being and becoming, time and time again, all at once, with no beginning and no end to the Cosmos at large, it being its own precursor as a causeless forever system.

    It seems impossible that it all should work, at least around here, but that is of the balance of opposites that nothing provides. Neither absolute frozen stability nor rampantly unstable changeability can dominate the other, and thus structures and lives evolve, energy ever going about its paces.
     
  10. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    Is this god Omniscient? Omnipotent? Are there other Gods? Goddesses? Does it communicate with Humanity?

    Sorry about the additional questions...
     
  11. Wisdom_Seeker Speaker of my truth Valued Senior Member

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    I believe that the word "god" is irrelevant, and it should be accounted as obsolete; “Tao” on the other hand, now that is a beautiful word.

    Haven't you heard?? God is dead!!!
     
  12. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

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    And He was never was.
     
  13. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Can you elaborate on what God is, for you?

    jan.
     
  14. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    The physical universe itself. The problem with calling it "God" of course is that to do so is to effectively anthropomorphise it because people generally can't seem to conceive of the idea of an impersonal God.

    Here's a relevant quote from Dawkins on the matter, which I recently posted in a different thread:

    "The economically useful way to model a person is to treat him as a purposeful goal-seeking agent with pleasures and pains, desires and intentions, guilt, blameworthiness. Personification and the imputing of intentional purpose is such a brilliantly successful way to model humans, it's hardly surprising the same modeling software often seizes control when we're trying to think about entities for which it's not appropriate"
     
  15. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Rav,

    So you define God as the ''physical universe itself"?
    So why do you call it ''God''?



    Of course theres a problem calling it God, because it is NOT God.

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    There is no definition of God within your belief system.
    There is only one definition of God, and that definition encompasses the universe.


    jan.
     
  16. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    Wrong. I am defining God as the universe itself, as everything that exists. Since I've given you a definition then there obviously is a definition to be given.

    Wrong again. There's no requirement that we exist within a universe that exists within God. We could just as easily exist within God itself. In other words, we could view ourselves as a drop in an infinite ocean, and view God as the ocean itself (rather than being that which contains the ocean).
     
  17. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Rav,


    No. You gave a definitiion of what it is you believe, and decided to call it God.
    Here is a basic definition of God.

    Fine. Believe what you want.
    God is God, and what you believe, is NOT God, however much you want
    to assign the name to it.


    When we talk about ''I believe, or, I don't believe in God, we're not talking about that. We have an understanding of what God is, and it is based upon that
    simple definition.


    jan.
     
  18. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    "Pantheism is the view that the Universe (Nature) and God are identical. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal, anthropomorphic or creator god. The word derives from the Ancient Greek: πᾶν (pan) meaning "all" and θεός (theos) meaning "God". As such, Pantheism denotes the idea that "God" is best seen as a way of relating to the Universe. Although there are divergences within Pantheism, the central ideas found in almost all versions are the Cosmos as an all-encompassing unity and the sacredness of Nature."

    You really should know about Pantheism by now, considering how many times it has come up in discussions you've been involved in.

    Yes it is.

    Most people just casually think of the universe as a bunch of space with some galaxies, stars and planets in it. Not only do they fail to appreciate just how incredible it is (because they typically don't learn much about it) they are mostly oblivious to the true depth of the fundamental philosophical question of it's existence. Fewer still would typically appreciate the idea of elevating the universe to the same ontological status that theists assign to God. Yet that's exactly what I do, in a very meaningful way, and it makes my philosophy different from that of a lot of other atheists.

    The universe itself is my God, Jan, whether you like it or not.
     
  19. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    13,968

    The universes is YOUR God. I'm not disputing that.
    But ''the universe'' is NOT the definition of God.
    I'm afraid it's that simple.

    It has nothing to do with whether or not like it.


    jan.
     
  20. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    It is one possible definition of god.
     
  21. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I think that there very different historical forces pushing and pulling on the English word 'God'.

    One of them is the Judeo-Christian tradition. People in English-speaking countries typically can't avoid thinking of 'God' without mixing in some of the qualities of the 'Yahweh' of Biblical tradition.

    Another force is the Western philosophical tradition. There's a tendency to define 'God' as a set of abstractions that typically refer to philosophical functions --> first cause, ground of being, designer, ultimate goal, and so on.

    As for me, I'm an atheist regarding Yahweh. And all of the other gods of religious tradition along with him --> Zeus, Allah, Vishnu, Isis, Marduk, Odin, Cybele...

    When it comes to the philosophical functions, to the rather dry and abstract 'God of the phlosophers', I tend towards agnosticism. I don't really know why there's something rather than nothing, how everything originated, where everything's ultimately headed, what the fundamental ground of being is, or any of that.

    Pantheism doesn't really attract me at this point in my life though, mainly because of another force active within the English word 'God'. Namely the idea that God or gods (however the words are conceived) is/are fundamentally objects of worship. That's probably closest to the original meaning of the Indo-European ancestor of our contemporary English word, before Christianity and philosophy leaned on it.

    I may not know what the ultimate answer(s) to the big questions is/are, but at the same time I don't really sense that there's something there that demands my religious devotion.
     
  22. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    No, it's not that simple.

    Conceptions of God.
     
  23. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    Every time you stop to smell a rose, or marvel at a beautiful sunset, or stare deeply into a starry night sky and feel humbled by the immensity of it all, you're a pantheist.
     

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