God is defined, not described.

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Ted Grant II, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. Ted Grant II Registered Senior Member

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    188
    It is very common for arguments about the Existence of God to start by the Believer being asked to define the God that they want to discuss. So, for example, God might be defined as..
    "The Creator of the Universe"

    Lots of other things are defined.

    In the game of Chess, for example, the 'allowed moves' are defined.
    In mathematics, the operators are defined.

    But in the natural sciences, most things are described, not defined. You don't define an elephant, you describe it.
    Even here, people like to define things, such as Species, Kingdoms etc. although such definitions are difficult because the natural world is not so clear-cut as one would like and is often fuzzy at the edges. A horse is not the same as a donkey, but what is a mule?

    Once we define something, we tend to think it is a real thing. But it isn't. There is no such thing as a fish.

    Suppose I define God as the Creator of the Universe, then ask the following...
    Was the Universe created? If so, who created the Universe?
    Answer = God. So I have defined God into existence.

    You cannot describe God, because it isn't available for examination.
    Suppose you claim that your god is a tree.
    You may point at a tree and say, "That is Puliyidaivalaiyamman".
    I say you are pointing at a tree.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
    DaveC426913 and spidergoat like this.
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  3. birch Valued Senior Member

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    the concept of a creator doesn't even make logical sense because it's circular. the concept of some sort of entity/god/demigod which is just another being/product of creation in some larger facet or knowledge makes more sense but no ultimate creator.
     
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  5. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    To describe God as the creator of the universe, no more defines God, as defining you by the content of your post.
    When we attempt to define God, it is for the purpose of discussion.

    We cannot define anything into existence. Things already exist. All we do is mix and match. A pink unicorn is nothing but an amalgamation of existent things. I doubt very much that we can think of something that doesn't actually exist.

    Jan.
     
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  7. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    If one can accept that we cannot see the whole of the universe, and that we cannot see beyond our universe, then the idea that there is something "greater" beyond what we can see makes a lot more sense.

    How is it any different from, say, one of those science classroom anthills - to the ants, if they had the kind of brain required for such thinking, we would be seen as Gods, having given shape an form to their world and providing sustenance and safety.
     
  8. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    The problem here is that you have made assumptions, based on your finite understanding. Another case of amalgamating systems that you are aware of, an coming up with conclusions you're not, and can never really be, within the short window of time of your existence. It works in a lot of ways, but not in that way.

    Jan.
     
  9. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    There can be no definition of a name assigned to an unidentified, undescribed entity. It means nothing more than my forum handle, an ethnic slur or a label on an opaque jar.
    you might as well say: "God is the god we call God; about whom/what we make a lot of unfounded assumptions and unsupported assertions."
     
  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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  11. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    Please define or describe the difference between define and describe.
     
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    A definition is an exhaustive description - exhaustive, meaning considering all aspects.

    I can describe a ball merely as 'red'; but that is an insufficient listing of the properties required to define the ball.
     
  13. birch Valued Senior Member

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    this is just my view. one fact is we didn't create those ants though just as a demigod/or gods may not have created us even if there are properties that may have similarities. i don't think a creator concept as an entity makes sense because it implies certain characteristics as well as who created the creator question though the idea that there are greater beings may exist that may even be able to have power over us or the universe but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the creator of everything either.

    the alpha and omega idea i don't mesh with the idea of an entity or being.
     
  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Please, do tell how it is any way different to what you do? Are you claiming to have an infinite understanding? Are you claiming that you don't amalgamate systems that you are aware of? Are you claiming that you don't come up with conclusions that "you're not, and can never really be, within the short window of time of your existence"?
    FYI - I quote you directly there because what you said isn't a particularly well-structured sentence and thus its actual meaning is unclear.

    My point is that what you accuse him of in his argument is wholly applicable to you and your claims of God, your arguments about God, and in fact your very claim above about his argument. What you are in essence saying, and I don't disagree, is that God is unknowable. Utterly unknowable. Even the reality or otherwise of God's existence is unknowable. To claim (explicitly or otherwise) that God exists is to make "assumptions, based on your finite understanding, another case of amalgamating systems that you are aware of..." etc.

    You are, in effect, Jan, an agnostic theist: you believe God exists but you have no knowledge. Thank you for confirming this. You may think you are not agnostic, but you are. This inability to admit to yourself that you are agnostic might well explain the continued inconsistencies you put forth, as you struggle to lay claim to knowledge while not actually having any.
    Interesting.
    I will look out for this in the future,
     
  15. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    What makes more sense is that there is the possibility of something greater. We don't know, though. We cannot know. We can only deduce based on some premises, and some a priori assumptions, the soundness of which we have no way of evaluating.
    Without knowledge, without being able to evaluate the veracity of a belief, we are necessarily agnostic.
    We would be seen as Gods... i.e. the implication that they have actual evidence of our existence? If so then the analogy breaks down.
    If they can not see us then at best they could simply deduce that there might be something greater. There is no reason for them to conclude that there is, or that if there is then it is "God". Are we to imagine that advance alien species should be considered "Gods", for example, simply because they may be able to do things that defy our abilities?
     
  16. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    10,193
    Sarkus & DaveC426913,

    Why don't you start another thread, where we can discuss these issues you raise?

    Jan.
     
  17. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Well, for starters, because you don't discuss, you preach.
    That's what it's called when someone simply restates their unsuported views over and over, despite refutation.
    Why don't you start a blog?
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
  18. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Things, persons and concepts are not defined: they are identified, delimited, described and explained.
    Words are defined.
    Words are defined within the context of a language, its grammar and structure, and in the terms of reference of the culture that uses that language.
    Whether unicorns exist, or have ever existed, or may exist in some other realm, has no bearing on one's ability to define the word "unicorn" or describe what such a creature would like or explain its cultural/literary origins.
     
  19. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Why do you think it is not appropriate to discuss them here? DaveC raised an apparent inconsistency with your approach to definitions, and th existence of said thing through its definition, while I am raising issue with your hypocritical refutation of an argument, which raises the very pertinent issue of whether one can ever even define or describe something when one has (and can have) no actual knowledge of it.

    We can at best define that thing as a concept of what it might be in actuality, not that we could ever know the veracity of the concept.
    You, as a newly revealed agnostic theist, should surely appreciate that?
     
  20. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    I just don't.
    It's up to either of you. Start another thread or not.

    jan.
     
  21. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    There is no point.
    No progress has been made on this topic in several hundred threads across several posts.
    You make a statement, it gets refuted, you repeat it.
    What good would come from yet one more thread of the same thing?
     
  22. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    The points raised are on-topic. Why should another thread be raised when they can be discussed here? So it's up to you, Jan: either you can discuss and address the points raised, or you can evade and avoid them. Your call.
     
  23. sweetpea Registered Senior Member

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