God is defined, not described.

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

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Yep.
     
    DaveC426913 and Write4U like this.
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  3. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Moreover science has several logical propositions of non-theistic default positions, which are being debated as we speak..
    Tegmark's mathematical universe is but one of them.
     
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  5. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    Can't be arsed.

    Given what?

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

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    Jan Ardena:

    Obviously, I do not agree with you.

    If you don't know any reason you might believe in God, other than God being real, then you're more likely to think that God must be real than to think that God might be a fantasy.

    You say you start by believing and everything else follows from that. You start from theist. It's a presumption, not a conclusion, for you. You've said that.

    You might well have some ex post facto rationalisations for your belief, but you have admitted that your belief isn't based on any of those. So it's fundamentally a "leap of faith", not a belief that is based on any process of rational evaluation. You don't have to say that explicitly; the inference follows from everything you say about your belief.

    For me to be without God, in your terms, God would have to exist.

    If, as by your own admission, you can't ever demonstrate how it is lacking, you might as well give up making that claim.

    I don't want readers to fail to see the wood for the trees, nor do I want to make that mistake myself. It's all well and good to respond line-by-line to posts, but I like to step back now and then and look at the bigger picture.

    You'd do better to try to counter my analyses of your overall positions on things than to simply dismiss them as "idiotic". Your ignoring and dismissing the major points no doubt tends to send readers the message either that you can't formulate any coherent response, or that you actually want to obscure the main arguments by bogging threads down in repetitive one-line recitations of dogma.

    I understand theism. I have direct personal experience of it, for starters.

    Recall, though, that it's not me who is trying to redefine theism here. I'm not telling you what theism is. It is you, the theist, who is arrogantly preaching about what atheism is, in the process seeking to define the term itself in a way that few, if any, modern atheists accept.

    I do admit to some fascination about the lengths you will go to in a futile attempt to defend the integrity of your own idiosyncratic world view. I can never quite tell whether you're writing stuff just to play to some imagined audience, or whether you actually believe what you're writing. With you, there's a kind of studied turning away from certain topics - just a plain refusal to even consider certain ideas in an honest way. Maybe you think that responding honestly to those ideas would weaken your case, or maybe you're mentally unprepared to face up to those things in your current state. I find it entertainingly ironic that you claim that it is the atheists who are in denial.

    At least one of us has to give ideas a fair treatment. You're unwilling or unable to do that, and I'm willing to step in and fill in the gaps that you leave.

    You don't have to read them - unless you want to keep participating in the discussion, that is. But when you simply ignore substantive points that are put to you, as you regularly do, and then post repeats of the same nonsense that has already been responded to (often over and over again), the net effect is that you just end up looking dishonest, or stupid, or both.

    It is dealt with, unless and until there is a response that refutes it in some substantive way. When you ignore things, they stay dealt with; they don't go away just because you refuse to look at them.

    Rest assured, I'm used to that. What you leave out of your posts is often more revealing than what you put in. Just to let you know in advance, I will continue to highlight the things you choose to ignore, wherever relevant.

    Like this, for example, which follows from the part of my previous post that you just quoted:
    You ignored that. Why? Because you have no response? Because you'd rather not think about it? Because, when your position is put in such stark terms it is so obviously ludicrous?

    You just failed Logic 101 again.

    It might well be, if God existed, and the atheists knew it, and they wanted to deny it. But you can't import the assumption that God exists into the definition of atheism. There is no such assumption in atheism.

    While we're on that point, perhaps you'd like to tell your readers how you managed to reconcile your two statements:
    1. For atheists, God does not exist.
    2. Atheism presupposes that God exists/Is.

    Because, on the one hand, you claim that atheists are "without God", by definition, which presupposes that there is a God to be without (i.e. point 2). And, on the other hand, you claim that God is not real for atheists (point 1).

    Tell me: do you think that atheists actually believe God exists/Is, deep down in their little hearts, or not?

    You can speak all you want about your beliefs. That doesn't mean I am obliged to share them.

    Designer labels?

    By the way, you often talk about the "original" meaning of "a-theos" as being "without God". But I read just a few days ago that the original Greek was usually taken to mean "ungodly". The focus there is on the characteristics of the person, not on God (or, more accurately, the gods). We have to bear in mind, of course, that the idea of somebody actually believing that the gods were not real was an incredible idea back then, so the word was often used to describe people who were not considered sufficiently pious.

    What this tell us is what the atheists here have been saying all along: that atheism is not about whether God exists/Is, but rather it is about what people believe about God/gods. Even in it's "original" terms.

    You contradict my own direct statement about what I believe. You can believe something different from me, if you like, but you can't tell me what I believe. How presumptuous you are, not to mention silly. Who are you trying to convince? Yourself?

    Because I have a long-standing general interest in why people believe weird things.

    Maybe one day you'll choose to tell us what you think about it. Or maybe not.

    What other ways are there to perceive, other than via the usual senses?

    If you're claiming I need to open up a whole new method of perception, it would be good if you could explain what that new perception is and how it can be accessed.

    But we've already had some discussion of this, have we not? You claimed there was no special "God sense" that (some) human beings have. Or do I have you wrong on that?

    I'd call it more of an academic interest, but "hobby" is OK if that floats your boat. Put it this way: nobody is paying me to take an interest in this particular topic. Not currently, anyway.
     
  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    31,445
    I wouldn't say that of myself. Like I said, atheism is a conclusion, not a fundamental, for me. It is quite unlike your presumptive theism.

    I really can't say yea or nay. I really don't know whether God exists or not. And neither do you. I'm just willing to admit it, whereas you aren't.

    Moreover, you are making a big claim - that God Is/exists. Therefore, the onus really is on you to provide some kind of argument or evidence to support that claim. If you can't, we're left simply with your bald claim and the bare possibility that maybe you're right.

    I thank you for your compliment that I am arguing strongly. Earlier in the same post, you were labelling my arguments as "idiotic", if I recall correctly.

    There are positive notions of God that are regularly put up in defence of God. But pointing out flaws in those apologies for God is not necessarily an attack on the conclusion, but rather an illumination of the lack of strength in the particular arguments. Something can be true and yet not supported by a particular argument, due to logical difficulties or other problems in the argument itself.

    As for mocking, I make no apologises for gentle mocking of ludicrous or inconsistant positions that some people take on different matters. Satire and lightheartedness can be a great antidote to dogma and intransigence in the face of rationality.

    I should make it clear that I never set out to ridicule people just because they have weird beliefs about one thing or another. I am much more interested in finding out why they hold those beliefs in the first place, and why they cling so solidly to them, often even in the face of overwhelming contradictory evidence.

    When it comes to belief in God, I know may people who believe in God, whom I nevertheless respect for other reasons. You don't have to be stupid to believe in God; a lot of very smart people believe (and have historically believed) in God. Moreover, I respect the rights of people to hold different beliefs, even if those beliefs are sometimes flat-out wrong.

    Once again, you speak as if theism and atheism are set in stone - absolutes that no person can change. And yet, people change their minds about God regularly. When it comes to changing from atheist to theist, or vice versa, usually a person will give some kind of reason for why his views changed, other than a kind of random decision to suddenly "stop being a theist" or similar.

    Can't you offer any reason why somebody might want to covert to theism? Is the best you've got to offer really just "You just have to make the change and see how it goes for you?" You're not much of an evangelist.

    You've already admitted that you can't do that, haven't you?

    You mean, as long as I remain so, I won't believe in God. Well, duh.

    Yes yes. If I start believing in God, that will make me a theist. I get it.

    Did he?

    I fear not, unless some new evidence comes to light.
     
  9. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    11,193
    You'll just say anything. Won't you?

    What are you babbling on about, Dave?

    Jan.
     
  10. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    IOW atheism is what you desire it to be.

    Atheism is simply no belief in God, whereas theism is the opposite. If theism is presumptuous, then atheist is too.

    I know God doesn't exist like pots and pans exist. At least we're both consistent on that.

    No matter what, you're left with atheism. Which defaults to being without God.

    I've never labelled your arguments as idiotic James. Maybe you believe it subconsciously.

    You'd have to point those defences out, as I don't know what you are referring to.

    That's nice to know James.

    How do you know?
    Can you read minds?

    No.
    Either you realise God, or you remain without God. There are no buts and maybes.

    That's right.

    No. I mean there is no God for you.

    First you must accept God.
    Then belief can ensue.

    Yes.

    "Fear" being the operative word.
    What are you frightened of, James?

    Jan.
     
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    26,904
    That's false. Atheism is the default state, and subsequently observational.
    There is no such opposite. There is no such thing as the opposite to no belief in God.
    As noted: not the default status.
     
  12. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    11,193
    Belief in God is natural.
    Unfortunately you cannot currently experience that. Hence you are lacking.

    You're not listening, are you?
    I said you start by accepting.

    Or maybe you can't get pass atheism, so you can't see it any other way, because God does not currently exist for you.

    Seems like you're desperately trying to score some points, but have nothing to say, apart from some old atheist preset lines.
    You're going to have to do better than that.

    Like pots and pans?



    Atheism = no belief in God.
    ATheos = without God.

    Why is this arrogant, preachy, or wrong?

    Or it could be you're not used to theists highlighting the fact that you're not as informed as you think you are.

    Personally I think theists are overly respectful of atheists. I've yet to find an explicit atheist with a clue about God, and theism.

    If you want to insult me just do it. Why pretend you're tryng explain something.

    Really? I think it bothers you, and you have to try and some way to restore the balance.
    It is obvious that you're in denial, and that you reject God. Furthermore, I think you know that, but, you are in denial.

    5 words...

    Like pots and pans James.

    I can see how as an atheist, you could arrive at that conclusion.

    Here's what I actually wrote...

    Atheist = Without belief in God.
    Theist =. Belief in God.
    IOW an atheist does not believe in God.

    I think atheists have forgotten God.

    It literally means without or no God.
    Ungodly could mean the same, if used used in that context.

    Whatever. From an overall perspective, you are still without God, or if you prefer, there is no God for you, or, you don't believe in God. I'm okay with any of those.

    I really don't see the point in designing new meanings, as it makes no difference to your position.

    I didn't say you believe it.
    Do you actually read what I wrote?

    Helens Keller puts it nicely.

    "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart."

    Stop rejecting, and denying God. It is a futile exercise.

    Jan.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Atheism evangelized is a reaction, and subsequently thus invested.
     
  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    7,617
    Belief in God is natural? You said yourself that there was a time when you did not believe in God, but then without reason, you started to believe in God.
    Doesn't sound "natural" to me. Something must have happened that made you believe in God. You had a revelation.

    I can accept that you had a revelation, but that does not prove anything. It was a "personal" experience, a product of the neurons in your brain. As Anil Seth explained this is a hallucination, a "best guess".

    But that does not place you in a position of authority, i.e. knowing for sure by verification.
    Without persistent evidence, your "best guess" remains a guess at best, regardless if you consider it a revelation.

    OTOH, there is no evidence at all for the necessary existence of a God. Therefore, an atheist has no need to make a "best guess" in the first place. There is no need to even attempt to make a "best guess", because without verification your "best guess" is and remains an hallucination, a mental creation of your brain.

    A Tulpa. I do believe in Tulpas, not because they exist in reality, but I accept that people can create Tulpas.

    This may be of interest,
    Does this sound familiar? If so check out this website from the Tulpa community. It's quite interesting and informative. http://www.tulpa.info/

    It can be said that everyone, who has ever talked to themselves, has a Tulpa. A trusted friend with whom you can share you most intimate thoughts. You have identified your Tulpa as God. As have many others and is the reason why religions came into existence.

    Religions are an attempt to control the hallucination (revelation) into a cohesive whole being. But history has taught us that this is impossible without enforcement.

    But that does not make your Tulpa my Tulpa. It's your Tulpa and will remain so forever, you created him and only you can maintain him and as long as your Tulpa remains benevolent, I have no problem with that. It is when your Tulpa tells you to try and convince others that they must believe in your Tulpa, that creates a real problem, because the other person's Tulpa will resist the intrusion and conflict ensues. The infamous "confounding of language".

    So don't argue the case for your Tulpa. No one will accept your Tulpa. It is yours and yours alone.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
  15. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    11,193
    Yes.

    Where did I say this?

    An atheist trying to explain why a person believes in God.
    Hilarious.

    I accept that you are without God.
    I accept you can not know anything beyond your label.

    I never claimed to be an authority.
    I am a theist. That is my claim.

    Without persistent evidence of what?

    Wow! This is the best explanation you have? Pitiful.

    You're an atheist.
    God does not exist as far as you're aware.
    You cannot know if there is any evidence for God.
    One reason is, you wouldn't know whether it was evidence or not.
    Why? Because there is no God, for you.
    Any speculation you make about God, is done through the filter of God does NOT exist.

    The rest of your post is irrelevant.

    Jan
     
  16. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    11,193
    For atheists. Yes.

    You're right. It doesn't seem right. My bad. Atheism is the opposite of theism.

    Irrelevant.

    Jan.
     
  17. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    7,617
    I don't think that Dave bothered to answer that question,so I will.

    God is a figment of your imagination.. Clear enough?
     
  18. river

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    Jan

    Is god or a higher being in all things ?
     
  19. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    Yes. That is the kind of answer I would expect from an atheist.
    Thank you for proving my point.

    Jan.
     
  20. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    What do you mean by "god", and what context are you using "in"?

    Jan.
     
  21. river

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    That all things from rocks to living , have ALL a god or higher being proponet in them .
     
  22. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    I doubt it.

    Jan.
     
  23. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    So, you agree, that atheists come to conclusions about the world through observation and explanation of that which is being observed and which has not revealed any evidence that a God exists..

    OTOH, you admit that you just assume God exists, without any evidence from observation and conclusion of available information?
    Thus you admit that you became a believer without any logical reason or evidence on which to base your conversion to theism?
    The hilarious part is that a theist believes in God, but is unable to explain why he does believe in God.
    Au contrare, I have the same information about God available to me as you do (4 Bibles), which offer no evidence of the existence of God. None whatsoever.
    If you admit your ignorance on the subject, then your claim amounts to a hill of beans.
    The existence of an unseeable, undefinable, mythological being? The only persistent evidence is your blind acceptance of such a being, without "one good reason to do so" (your words).
    Wow! You are the one without explanation whatsoever. Now that's pitiful.
    Nor do you. Can you provide any evidence?
    Nor do you.
    Correct. There is no evidence available on which to base belief there is a God. If there were, I would study it carefully and make my decision if the evidence was evidence of a God.
    Wrong assumption. I have no filters of any kind. It is you who sees the world through the filter of theism.
    As seen through your unfounded and indefensible filter of a self-created imaginary Tulpa (which you have named God).

    You do realize that your God has no resemblance to anyone else's God. Your God is only meaningful to you and not meaningful to anyone else, even if they are theist themselves. In fact this individual interpretation of who or what God is has been the cause for many persecutions and wars. Can you deny that?

    I don't blame you for creating a Tulpa, as long as your Tulpa is benign and does not order you to kill someone who does not believe in your Tulpa.

    What you fail to see that religions are designed to form a common Tulpa into your neural system, to which all must obey, or else Damnation, Hell, Infinite suffering till the end of time. But your Tulpa loves you and you only, which is entirely understandable, it is your self-created Tulpa, your own personal God.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017

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