Definition of God - one thread to rule them all

Discussion in 'Religion' started by James R, Apr 11, 2020.

  1. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    If I did it probably because I wasn't looking as nobody seems to be interested in giving a definition

    So
    So 2½ because you poached my Nature one and any others I'm to lazy to look for
    As for to many I said in compiling a dictionary they would need to get at least 30% to be in any dictionary so most of the 1,000s GONE

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    2½ and holding

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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Tiassa:

    I'm not clear on what kind of affirmative thesis you're looking for. Sorry, I'm expected to affirm God? In what way? A strange thing to ask of an atheist. Or are you talking about something different?

    You're entitled to your opinion, of course. What do you think I ought to know?

    To be an expert on criticism of religion, I'd say one has to know something about God. You might disagree.

    I explained in my opening post:

    "....here's a dedicated thread where you can post your preferred definition of God. We'll keep them all in the one place so we can refer to them later and avoid repetitive arguments about definitions. .... Generally, I have found that religious people aren't very good at explaining what their God is, except in very vague terms, so let's hope this helps clarify things."
    There are already disagreements. If there weren't, this thread wouldn't be necessary.

    Deal with him? What do you mean by that? How would you deal with him? Ignore him? Ban him? Refuse to engage with him? People deal with people in different ways. I don't see why we are all obliged to follow your preferences.

    I'm actually puzzled about what you're criticising. I get the impression that you think that a particular evangelisist is outfoxing the atheists on this forum - that we're not "dealing with him" as you would like. If this is a problem, why don't you make a try at "dealing with" him yourself, if you think you can do it better. What would be your preferred method for "dealing with" him?

    Are you referring to the recent (non-)discussion that revolved around Jan Ardena's denial of evolution, or something else? Whose temper tantrum are you referring to?

    That's not what Bowser said, though. If it's what he meant, nobody has prevented him from clarifying or amending what he initially wrote. If, on the other hand, this is a position you want to defend, then by all means go ahead and defend it, but defend it on your own behalf rather than making somebody else your scapegoat.

    The same kind of objection applies to your formulation as it does to Bowser's, as far as I can tell. If God is everything and nothing, then God is not distinguishable as an entity in its own right. Perhaps that is why you conclude that God doesn't do much of anything. I don't disagree with you on that.

    A lot of the rest of your post talks about "What about the theists", but I don't really understand what you mean by that. Do you think it is wrong to ask the theists to explain what they believe and why, in regards to their religions? I don't see what you're getting at. Are we atheists supposed to guess at what theists believe or defend?

    I agree with you that the current thread pretty much assumes that we're dealing with monotheists. They are the ones who tend to refer to God with the capital 'G' rather than to gods with small 'g'. A God is often be defined to be omnipotent; gods often are not, if for no other reason than they have other gods to contend with. In many of the popular polytheisms, there is often an assumed heirarchy of gods, but it is not usually assumed that all gods are one God.

    I think you're making a fundamental error about what gets me angry. It isn't "religious people". If people want to believe stuff that probably isn't true, they are free to do so. I do take issue with them at the point where their unsupported beliefs start having detrimental impacts on other people, however. This has happened often in the history of religion, and continues to happen in many ways today. I also care about the harms these beliefs do to the believers themselves, which is not to say that every stripe of religious believer suffers due to his beliefs. This is because I care about people.

    I do get annoyed at the lies that some religious people choose to tell knowingly. Those people are often hypocrites, because they are the first to claim to have high moral standards (often mandated by their God and their religion), while demonstrably behaving in ways that make a mockery of the lofty standards they espouse. When it comes to lies there are lies of commission and lies of omission. In the context of this forum, avoidance and deflection are ingrained behaviours of some of our more controversial theists. This is not to say that the atheists here are all squeaky clean in that regard, either.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    (continued...)
    We could potentially discuss any or all of those. Apparently, none of our resident theists have much interest in drilling down into the specifics of particular denominations. If you are, why don't you start a thread about it?

    I'm not sure where you got your two and a half year timeline from there, but yes: essentially I'm asking theists in this thread "which God"? Is that a problem?

    In this thread? Nothing, except where the proffered definition doesn't make much sense. See the polite "thankyou"s I have posted to those theists who have actually attempted to respond to the simple question I asked.

    So you're speaking more generally? This is a continuation of your "atheists don't know much about religion" line from the closed thread, is it? Like I said, you're welcome to your opinion. I disagree with you. Firstly, many atheists used to be religious themselves, so they tend to have first-hand experience of at least one religion. I'm one of those myself. Secondly, many atheists - myself included - arrived at atheism after a process of finding out about religions - particularly by finding out something about religions other than the one they were brought up to believe in. That tends to lead to a person becoming interested in what kinds of beliefs and practices are common among different religions and to want to understand both why certain kinds of beliefs are common and how people come to those beliefs in the first place. The end result, in my experience, is that many atheists (not all) tend to end up with a more complete understanding both of their own former religion and of religion in general, compared to the average follower of a religion.

    The arguments that atheists (not all atheists, mind you) make against gods and religions go beyond mere contrarianism ("I don't believe what you believe, so nyah!"). Perhaps you haven't noticed.

    Again, this is your opinion. I find it bizarre that you seem so fixated on my "behaviour", when others on this forum spend their time knowingly telling lies for their religion, preaching that their religion is the One Truth because they say so, and making claims to supernatural knowledge that they know they have no hope of ever being able to support. Do you really think that those people are not already hopelessly entrenched in their beliefs? If they are willing to throw their own proclaimed morals out the window to defend the religion from which they say they derive those morals, what does that say about them?

    The thing is: there are commonalities to religious beliefs, regardless of which God. From an atheist perspective, it is not really necessary to disprove the Lutheran God, then the Baptist God, then the New Age Prosperity Jesus, then Jehovah of the Witnesses, then the Anglican God, then the Presbyterian God, and so on. The relevant arguments tend to apply to all versions of Christianity, and beyond.

    Besides, these days a lot of theists don't even identify with a traditional denomination. They make up their own brand of Christianity (or whatever) as they go along, cherry picking the parts they like from one strand or another.

    Now you're arguing that I'm too smart to be arguing with some of our strident theists here? I ought to be above interacting with them? Sounds a bit elitist and patronising, if you ask me.

    It's great that you're stepping up to defend them, Tiassa, but don't you think that religious people can answer for themselves? If their God is incapable of definition, they can say so. One then wonders what they mean when they talk about God, though.
    ----

    By the way, as I often do, I feel obliged to state clearly that #notalltheists. This should be obvious from everything else I've written on the topic, but I find that some people go out of their way to set up certain straw men.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
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  7. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    Have I missed a definition from the above person you are answering? or is thread still 2½ and holding?

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  8. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    There are innumerable “gods”, but there can only be one God. IOW there can only be one origin of everything, which happens to define God.
     
  9. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    How can you blatantly say theists are incapable of defining God, when I have defined God.
    That is phenomenal.
     
  10. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    That is your opinion.
    Your refusal to acknowledge what is being said forces you to make that decision.
     
  11. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    There was no origin it seems, the universe can only be eternal so we don't need an origin for everything.
    Why should there be an origin?
    No origin no creator ...end of story.
    Alex
     
  12. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not lying Jan, you are and have many times, as well as changing definitions to suit those lies and your agenda. The evidence is there for all to see [and all have commented on your lying] in the closed thread.
    No you are as usual wrong and being obtuse. My definition of god, is a myth dreamed up before the advent of science, by ancient man, to explain the wonders of the universe around him.
     
  13. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    I've given you those details a couple of times, and spelt out for you that we can only go back as far as t+10-43 seconds with any confidence. Before that we can only speculate based on current knowledge. That has also been explained to you.

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  14. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    So you can’t explain it?
    Whatever “it” is, do you accept that it is the origin of everything?
     
  15. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    But you agree there is an “origin of everything “?
     
  16. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    It's all been explained to you Jan, in the closed thread, and more then once..stop lying, stop the pretentious bravado, its there for all to see.
     
  17. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Not sure, why? Are you really genuinly interested? We are not sure whether the universe/space/time is infinite or finite. That is no reason for you or any of your gullible creationist mates to insert some sky daddy myth///or god of the gaps.
     
  18. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    You accept there was an explosion which brought everything into being. Doesn’t that equate to the origin of everything?
     
  19. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    I have never mentioned an explosion. Please learn some science.
     
  20. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Nevertheless you accept that everything, including space and time was brought into bring by the Big Bang.
     
  21. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Plus like all your other "pretend" questions, all of them, all of them again, have been comprehensively answered in the thread that was closed because of your trolling.
     
  22. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    The BB is responsible for everything we see, according to the overwhelming evidence.
    Any more "pretend"questions Jan?
     
  23. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Sorry that was James, in your other thread.

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    The big bang is not an explosion in space, but an explosion of space. There is no centre of the explosion.”

    I take it you don’t agree with him then?
     

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