Defining what is God.

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by lightgigantic, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    This is a response to Syzygys somewhat antagonistic challenge to define god

    I recall some christian scholar (anyone who can remember their name let me know - something like "Ansell") who said something to the effect that the definition of god is "That enitity to whom no other entity can be be conceived of as greater."

    In otherwords the basis for determining whether one has the correct identity for god as an object of worship is that one should be unable to conceive of any entity that is higher or better than them.(it grants concession that two or more persons may be viewing the same object but from different perspectives, ie a higher perspective and a lower perspective)

    This is the appropriate way to discuss a higher or lower conception of god, rather than the "my god can beat up your god" which is the exact type of mentality which has lead to the common notion of religious principles for the past 1000 years (join a mosque and burn down a church or join a church and burn down a mosque).

    So to get the ball rolling we need someone to come up with a conception of god (its not sufficient to say "I choose the greeks" you have to choose something with qualities that you clearly define - it doesn't have to be an ordained or accounted religion - the only criteria is that nothing should be conceived of as greater or better than your definition)
     
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  3. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    This is an excellent question. Greater and lower are too vague to be considered an objective definition.
     
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  5. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

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    I know that no god can be tastier than the FSM. Sounds like the clear-cut winner.
     
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  7. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    FSM with parmesan. !bam!
     
  8. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

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    Let's start he ball rolling with the omni's.

    Omniscient
    Omnipotent
    Omnipresent

    There is already a stumbling block because a consensus must be reached for the definition of these three.
    For example, in my estimation, omnipotent does not mean that the "entitiy" has the power to bring into being a true contradiction. Onmipotent means the power to do anything which is possible to do.

    Omsniscient as well could be a cause for argument.
    Does omniscient necessarily imply ability to see the future and know what can not be known? I don't think it does.

    Omnipresent - in all places at once. Seems fairly strightforward, correct? That certainly implies a non-corporeal entity, no?
     
  9. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    I can conceive of a god that is the localized aspect of omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience.

    In other words the entire variety of knowable phenomena and the ability to instigate influences within that phenomena can be perceived in a localized, personal form (ie one could look at god, and, if his omnipotent powers permitted it, one could have full acquaintance with everything and anything that the universe could offer in past, present or future)

    BG 11.7: O Arjuna, whatever you wish to see, behold at once in this body of Mine! This universal form can show you whatever you now desire to see and whatever you may want to see in the future. Everything — moving and nonmoving — is here completely, in one place.
     
  10. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member

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    LightGigantic:

    It's St. Anselm of whom you speak. The creator of the Ontological Argument for the Existence of God.
     
  11. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member

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    I'd add to One Raven's definition:

    Eternal.
    Immutable.
    Infinite.
    Necessary.
     
  12. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Damn, you got me!
     
  13. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    These are all super superlatives used by monotheists to create their idea of a single god.

    But what is a generic definition of a god? Why must there be only one god, and why must a god be defined as more powerful than any other? These all sound like arbitrary limitations.
     
  14. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    Here is a generic definition of god, at least for this thread - one to whom no one is better or equal to.

    If you want to get in to a pluralistic definition of god you could leave it at - one to whom I am neither better or equal - but that doesn't address who amongst that group would be th e most outstanding amongst that group, only that they are all effectively gods because they are all better than oneself

    And I will still add that the localized form of eternity, immutability etc, as a more greater conception of god

    PS - thanks for naming Anselm for us
     
  15. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    What's the criteria for judging if something is better?

    Equal is easy, since under scrutiny, no two beings are alike.

    Also, your definition could apply to any sufficiently advanced life form.

    If something is infinite, it cannot be localized.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2006
  16. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    spidergoat

    If something has qualities that makes something with other qualities appear incomplete, it is better
    still, you can say in regards to overcoming the physical demise of the corporeal body, all humans are equal

    It can apply to whatever you can conceive of
     
  17. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Precisely, if a definition can apply to anything one can imagine, it doesn't really mean anything.

    If something is immutable, it can't change or make decisions and therefore it can't be a being.
     
  18. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    spidergoat

    a god that can be conceived of existing is better than a god that is conceived of as not existing (BTW this thread is only looking for defintions of god)

    So if it can be proven that a criminal has made a decision or changed something on his person after performing a crime, he cannot be reprimanded for his activities, since he is now changed and totally different from the person who performed the crime????
     
  19. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    a god that can be conceived of existing is better than a god that is conceived of as not existing.

    Infinite is not existing.
     
  20. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    I interpret immutable to mean unchanging. People change from moment to moment. This is rarely acknowledged by the legal system.
     
  21. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    Anselm’s a priori ontological argument for the existence of God.

    I can’t exactly remember but it goes something like:

    - The God is the greatest of entities (no greater entity can be conceived).
    - We have a concept of the God (the concept God exists)
    - An entity that is real must be greater than one that exists only in our puny little human minds and so then the God exists.

    Kind of stupid huh?

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    Haa! just kidding, it is a good mental exercise but it’s invalid.

    I believe Kant wrote some arguments against it but I can’t remember if that is correct? Basically just put the word “Island” (or better yet Pizza! Or even better *****

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    ) in place for the word “God” and you can see the absurdity.

    Also, if you don’t think square circles are logical (both a square and a circle can be treated as a priori) then other a priori concepts like God (the supreme + anchovy square-circle shaped pizza in the sky) are not logical either

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    Michael
     
  22. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    lg,

    That could apply to a race of beings in another part of the universe who are the most advanced of all races since the BB (assuming for sake of argument there was a BB).

    That doesn't seem to fit the type of qualities we normally expect from gods.
     
  23. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member

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    Michael:

    The traditional Kantian rejection of the Ontological Argument is this: Existence is not a predicate.

    That is to say, Kant denies that existence substantially changes the object of thought. He says that there is ultimately no difference between an imagined object and a real one - that when thinking of either, we cannot tell the difference. I refute this notion in an argument that goes like this, and which I -might- have posted in another thread on SciForums:

    First Part: That Existence is Superior to Non-Existence

    1. All which does not exist is necessarily false.
    2. Falsehood is inferior to truth and is its opposite.
    3. If falsehood is the opposite of truth, then all which is true exists.
    4. Owing from falsehood's inferiority, truth is superior, and therefore existence (as truth exists and falsehood does not) is superior to non-existence.

    Second Part: The Classical Theory

    1. God is the greatest possible being with all perfections
    2. Existence is a perfection.
    3. Therefore, God exists.

    Third Part: Existence is a Perfection by Default

    1. Something can either exist or not exist.
    2. Stemming from the first argument, that which does not exist is false.
    3. Falsehood cannot be conceived as perfection.
    4. Stemming from the first argument, that which exists is the opposite of that which does not exist, and thus existence is truth.
    4. Truth can be conceived as a perfection and is the opposite of an imperfection.
    5. Therefore, existence is a perfection.

    Fourth Part: God is Not Impossible

    1. There exists atleast one perfection (existence).
    2. God is a being with all perfections.
    3. Since perfection is not absurd, it can exist.
    4. God, as a being with all perfections, has no internal inconsistancies as such.

    I could go on from this to get into some of the classical attributes of God being not absurdities, to avoid the notion that every being which exists is God, but let's just see if you think this is a valid argument as is.
     

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