God is defined, not described.

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

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

    Jan Ardena:

    Yes it does. If it's not true, then it is a false belief. Whether it is learned or dreamt up independently, if it doesn't match the facts it is a false belief. Like I explained, previously. And Sarkus. And Baldeee.

    Yes. A firm false belief.

    Adjustments that are simple for some are apparently very hard for others to make.

    It's correct. As for psychological damage to fragile egos, that's a separate matter. Certainly the fragility of a person's mind should be borne in mind and their false beliefs should be pointed out gently if they are likely to have problems when hit with the reality stick. Possibly some people are too fragile and should be left alone, even if they have certain false beliefs. I applaud your compassion, Jan.

    Who brought up the example of somebody knowing something to be false but still maintaining it is true? That would be a mere case of telling lies, wouldn't it, and telling lies is indeed immoral.

    You don't have to be delusional to tell lies. Lies are usually told knowingly; in fact that's kind of the definition of a lie.

    No. Knowledge is a more complicated matter than mere belief.

    Belief only requires that an individual adopts a certain view of things, right or wrong. Knowledge, on the other hand, requires justification and truth. Knowledge requires us to look at the real world, not just at the person holding the view. Belief, on the other hand, is subjective. This is why it is possible to hold a false belief, but not false knowledge.

    The example was a good one to uncover exactly where your issues lie in the current discussion.

    The fact that you are struggling so with this simple example speaks volumes about you.

    How do you possibly hope to be able to discuss God rationally if your level of logical sophistication can't cope with a discussion about belief in the capital of France?

    I notice you skipped over the most important part of my post, in terms of the current topic, which is fairly typical of you. Here it is again. I suggest you attempt a response.

    Then you skipped an entire post of mine, in which I examined what you said about having reasons for a belief, how one can hold a false belief despite having a reason and why a reason can't turn a false belief into a true belief. I also discussed mistaken beliefs.

    Moving on....
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Where? Link please.

    I don't think you can.

    I'm not angry or hurt.

    And no, my belief (there was nothing so-called about it) was not based purely on what people told me, although when I was a child I did believe what adults told me about God, mostly. My belief was also based on my feeling that there was a God. Of course, now I recognise that such feelings don't necessarily correspond to facts in the world.

    Why does it matter?

    From my point of view, you seem to be contradicting yourself.

    Suppose you came across Wendy and she told you of her belief in Peter Pan. What would you tell her? "Peter Pan is real, because you believe in him"? Or would you say "You can't really believe in Peter Pan, because Peter is not real." Or what?

    It sounds like you'd say "You can believe in Peter Pan, but realise that Peter Pan doesn't exist like pots and pans. Peter Pan exists like God. Peter Pan Is."

    Is that correct? Would it be correct for me to say that Peter Pan Is, but not that he exists?

    I'm trying to get my head around your idiosyncratic terminology here.

    Would the correct statement be that Peter Pan Is, but that Peter does not exist?

    I see. So it is correct to say that Peter Pan Is, in the same way that God Is? They are on the same footing, ontologically speaking?

    I get it. God, also, is not real in the way pots and pans are. So God has the same kind of being that the fictional character like Peter Pan has?

    But Wendy is justified in believing that Peter Pan is real, according to you, otherwise she (and we) couldn't discuss him.

    It follows that all fictional characters are real in this sense, doesn't it?

    It sounds like we're close to resolution on this. You believe God is real in the same way you believe that Peter Pan is real. I think I understand now.

    It follows from what you have said that you will eventually come to understand that God is a fictional character, then.

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

    So you're saying that the existence of atheists proves there is no God, now?
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    There must be, or we couldn't discuss God. Right? God is on the same footing as Peter Pan in that regard.

    We are to understand that God is a fictional character like Peter Pan, but that theists believe the character Is, whereas atheists do not.

    That's right, isn't it?

    It doesn't matter. It's irrelevant to the position of you have taken. I understand now. In this thread, we're only talking about fictional characters, which do not exist objectively, other than as part of some story or other.

    It seems that, actually, all this time we have been talking at cross purposes, and there is a simple resolution after all.

    See, the atheists here have been thinking all along that when you say "God is Real" or "God Is", you are talking about something that has an objective reality outside the realms of fiction. We have been assuming that you think God is more than a mere fictional character.

    Now that you have made it clear that God Is for you in the same way that Mickey Mouse Is or that the Dread Pirate Roberts Is, atheists can get on board with that, no problem. Atheists have no problem with fictional characters.

    Can we close the thread now?
  8. Neddy Bate Valued Senior Member

    Ay, there's the rub,
    For in that idiosyncratic terminology what contradictions may come
    When we have shuffled off this endless thread,
    Must give us pause.
  9. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    There is nothing false about the belief (for whatever reason someone would go that far)...

    ...False or falsehood may refer to: False(logic) Lie or falsehood, a type of deception in the form of an untruthful statement Falsity or falsehood, in law.

    The conclusion, if incorrect could be diagnosed, at best, a false positive. But I wouldn't even give you that.

    A false belief usually occurs from your past, shaping the way one thinks and acts in the present.

    Your theism was based on false belief, because there was no God for you, but you believed in one anyways.

    Your problem is, you now think that what occurred with you, is the same for everyone (still in the same false belief).

    I don't rate your explanations.

    Anyone can and will adjust their comprehension of Paris being the capital of Spain. Because it is not a held belief. One does not represent, or adjust one's life, on account of it.
    If someone does not adjust to it, then you will need to look at that person's reasons.

    Find, if you can, a case where someone maintained their belief, of a similar example, and have no reasons to support that belief. They must only be driven by pure belief, and they must be obviously wrong (just like the example by Sarkus.
    Then we'll take it from there.

    I mean it's not good to categorise something like that example as a false belief. Because for one, it's not. And two, people could get the wrong idea about what a false belief is. They could believe that everything they think mistakenly, or get wrong, is the result of them harboring false beliefs.

    In summary, you could be psychologically damaging someone, for the simple, but gratuitous reason of justifying your house of cards position

    Atheists. They believe, would like to believe, or hold the belief that theism is the result of a false belief. Because for them, there is no God, and they can't comprehend how there can be. Therefore, there can't be (for them) .

    Like I said, I don't rate your explanations. I think they come from the same place as your summaries.

    I think you should find out where your own issues lie, in this discussion. You seem to have a problem with the fact for you, there is no God.

    Most of what you write, is irrelevant. I just skip to the parts that are as relevant as you're able to communicate.

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

    Jan Ardena:

    Yes there is. A false belief does not conform to the facts, to the real situation. That means it is not belief in a true fact; it is belief in a falsehood. Hence, a false belief.

    And false may also refer to not true.

    A false belief is a belief in something that is not true. It can be due to faulty reasoning or incorrect information, or delusion, for example.

    It can, but it doesn't have to. False beliefs based on past errors are just one category of false belief.

    According to what you have said previously, it is impossible that I could have such a belief. Recall that you said is it not logically possible for somebody to believe in God when there is no God.

    Are you flip-flopping again?

    Also, how could there be no God for me when I believed in God? God Is, just like Peter Pan Is. You taught me that.

    You have some issues with logic, and with separating fiction from reality, so I'm not at all surprised that you're struggling.

    What? If a person says "I think that Paris is the capital of Spain", you think they are not expressing a belief they have about Paris and Spain?

    Are you sure you know what a belief is?

    All you're saying that is that in some circumstances people don't place high stakes on whether Paris is the capital of France or Spain. It doesn't matter that a belief is not important or life-changing or something that shapes the way a person lives his life. It's still a belief.

    I'm looking at your reasons for failing to adjust to the idea that maybe there's no God.

    I already talked about reasons in one of the posts you skipped over. Here it is if you want to take a look now:


    See what happens when you ignore things?

    I have no idea what self-driven beliefs would be like, exactly. Mostly people can express what they consider to be their reasons for holding the beliefs that they hold. But there are good reasons and bad reasons. "My best friend told me that Paris is the capital of Spain, and she's always right" is a reason for believing that Paris is the capital of Spain.

    Being able to put up a reason for your belief doesn't mean you don't hold a false belief.

    If you say "No, I think you'll find that the Paris is actually the capital of France", and the person replies "I'd rather trust my friend than trust you on that", they have a reason to maintain their belief. Whether this counts as being driven by "pure belief" (whatever that is supposed to be) is a matter you'll need to explain.

    Like I said, there's no moral fault in holding a false belief. I explained this carefully to you, above. And yet you still seem worried that the person will somehow feel guilty or morally wanting if it is pointed out that they hold a false belief. Is this a more of a personal worry that you have, perhaps?

    Everything you believe mistakenly is a false belief that you have, by definition. Why do you find that upsetting? A false belief is neutral - it simply means believing something that isn't true. It doesn't make you a bad person.

    Such a hypothetical person sounds a bit fragile to me. They apparently can't take it being pointed out that they believed something in error. They sound like the kind of person who would be shaken to core to be told they got something wrong.

    If there is no God, then theism is a false belief. It's not a matter of liking or not liking it; it's just a bare fact. The universe doesn't care what you would or would not like to believe.

    You realise that you can't hold the position that there is a God and there isn't a God, at the same time, don't you?

    If you're still unclear about how to separate subjective belief from objective reality, there's no more I can do for you at this point. I tried to educate you about the difference. Now it's over to you to work on yourself. Note: I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt here and assuming that you have a real issue with this and that you aren't simply trolling. I haven't come across too many who have this particular problem, but who in many other respects seem normal enough.

    There's a big wide interweb out there, so don't take my word for it if you don't trust me. Check it yourself with other sources.

    I think another problem we're running into here is that you seem familiar with religious ideas and philosophy, but your awareness of accepted ideas and definitions from secular philosophy is limited. For example, you'd do well to investigate the modern philosophical positions on knowledge: what it is, how we get it, how it is different from belief etc. Your scriptures won't help you with that stuff; you'll need to read more widely. At the end, you will have a better understanding of what you do and don't know, which will set you up for a more self-aware future.

    I have a problem with how God can apparently simultaneously exist and not exist, at the same time. It's actually a problem that is prior to any discussion of what God is. It's not even primarily about God. If you were to tell me that bananas exist/Are for you, but there are no bananas for me, we'd be having exactly the same discussion.

    Maybe one day, once you've sorted out logic and the objective/subjective distinction, we'll be able to have a more useful discussion about God.

    Your approach to this discussion is barely coherent. It consists mostly of repeating a few mantras and putting your hands over your eyes when you see something that strikes you are too difficult or inconvenient. I have been paying attention to what you leave out and fail to respond to, and it's a interesting pattern. What you fail to reply to looks almost lazy and scattergun, but I don't think that laziness or lack of focus are the reasons why you leave out the things you leave out.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  11. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    Let's help Jan prove this.
  12. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    And you think that theist are so because they have a ''feeling that there is a God''?
    This is how I know you weren't theist.

    That's the point. You are an athiest.

    I dare say she would give more information than ''I believe in Peter Pan''.
    Like I have said previously, I would have a discussion with her, about her belief. Not just make accusations, based on the
    notion that my standard, or the standard I adhere to, is the standard. Anything outside of that, I cannot comprehend.

    You tell me. It's your life.

    Peter Pan, as far as we know, is a ficticious character.
    From you perspective, God, and Peter Pan, are both ficticious characters, so yes, for you, it would be consistent.

    I've already told you Peter Pan exists as a ficticious character.

    Do you think that in some way, Peter Pan is real?

    Real: actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact; not imagined or supposed.

    If I decided to reject, and deny God, eventually, yes.

  13. river

  14. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    Belief: an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof.

    The acceptance of Paris being the capital of Spain, due to a mistake, is not a false belief.
    There's nothing more to say on this.


    To ''believe'' in something, is to accept that thing as true.
    If one makes a mistake in a pub quiz, saying Paris is the capital of Spain, it is not due to a false belief.
    When are you going to realise that you're wrong on this?

    Sorry. I thought you would have realised that I meant to prefix 'theism' with 'so-called'.

    The fool doth say in his heart, there is no God.
    Not calling you a fool, but I think you're fooling yourself.


    Do you know what a belief is?

    Then we differ as to what 'belief' is.

    For you, there is no God.
    You cannot comprehend anything else, so a discussion on what you're looking at, would be futile.
    You can only come to the conclusion, that there is no God.

    The 'belief' would be in the ''best freind'', not the mistaken notion.
    You're somehow unable to comprehend what a ''belief'' is.

    Still not sure why you invoke morality.

    I don't find it upsetting. It's just not as simplistic as you seem to think.

    There is no God, for atheists. James.
    It cannot be any other way.

    I don't.
    God Is, and there is, 'without God'.

    I don't need to go that far, to discuss this with you.

    Thanks for the advice.

    I can see how you would have a problem with that, if you let such a thing bother you.

    Yes. Because you're an atheist, and atheists cannot comprehend God. They think God is the same as bannanas, in the sense that, God is an object. If God exists, then we should all be able to detect God. I do explain, as a theist, that it doesn't work like that. But you won't have a bar of it. Oh well!

  15. river


    How does the believer gather in , non-believers ?
  16. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    That makes me more powerful than god. I can make him disappear with my mind.
    Xelasnave.1947 likes this.
  17. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    The habit of a lifetime.

  18. river

    What makes your god more powerful than the mind ?
  19. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Jan Ardena:

    In your most recent reply, you spend virtually all of your time merely stating that I am wrong about this or that. But you never explain what would be right. Are you unable, or just unwilling, to express your own thoughts on these matters? Mere contradiction is not an argument.

    I think that really you have no answers to this stuff. All you can do is deny and contradict.

    You have nothing to say on this, as far as I can tell.

    Maybe when you're able to explain why you think I'm wrong. Right now, you've got nothing.

    Weasel words.

    Then what are they expressing, when they say that? You need to explain yourself.

    I asked you first.

    So you claim, but right now you've got nothing to offer on what a belief is. Is you had something, you could have put it up for discussion. Mere contradiction and nay-saying is not an argument, Jan.

    You're not offering anything as to what you think a belief is. Who knows what you think a belief is? Obviously, it's some notion that you're unwilling to express; that's all we can say at this time.

    I explained why in the post you're responding to. You ignored that part in your response.

    Maybe. Maybe not. There's no way to know unless you tell us your position. Right now, you've got nothing.

    I didn't mention atheists. I said if there is no God, then theism is a false belief. Try responding to what I wrote.

    You don't realise, or you don't hold that position?

    If God Is for you, and there is no God for me, then aren't you saying that there is a God and there isn't a God, both at the same time? If not, tell me why not. Right now, you've got nothing.

    You prefer to speak from a position of ignorance. I understand.

    You see no problem with it? Tell me why. Right now, you're offering nothing.

    You just ignored some of the previous discussion. I comprehend your view that God is a fictional character like Peter Pan, and I recognise that fictional characters do not exist in the same way that bananas exist. I understand that you can't detect God any more than you can detect Peter Pan.

    We're in agreement on this, as far as I can tell.
  20. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Until you tell me different, yes. Right now you've got nothing.

    How do you identify theists then, Jan? Tell me what your criteria are.

    What would you discuss?

    I didn't ask whether it would be consistent. I asked whether it would be correct.

    I already know what my position is, so you don't have to keep trying to tell me what I think. Try telling me what you think. The conversation will go more smoothly if you open up a bit. Right now, I don't know why you're still having this discussion. If you have nothing to say about what you actually think, and you only want to contradict and deny, it gets a bit boring and repetitive, and it's a waste of everybody's time.

    Yes. Just like God. I get what you're saying.

    No. We agree that Peter Pan is a fictional character, don't we?

    Do you think that in some way, God is real? I assume not, because God is not a "thing", according to you. God does not "occur in fact". God is on the same footing as Peter Pan for you. That's right, isn't it?
  21. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    But you accept that to believe that Paris is the capital of Spain is to believe in something that is not true, that does not conform with fact?

    JamesR: "And false may also refer to not true"
    Jan Ardena: "Obviously."

    So you accept that to believe that Paris is the capital of Spain is to believe something that is false?

    And you see a semantic difference between "holding a belief that is false" and "holding a false belief"?
    Care to explain what that difference is?
    If I refer to a person that is silly, is this not the same as referring to them as a silly person?
    So you tend to give out random answers that you have no inkling about whether they are correct or not?
    If you think you are giving the correct answer it is because you believe it is the correct answer.
    Yes, there is a sliding scale of confidence in one's belief, but that doesn't negate it being a belief.
    Thus when you say that Paris is the capital of Spain, because you think that it is the correct answer, it is because you believe (confidently or otherwise) that it is correct.
    JamesR doesn't seem to be wrong.
    You do, though.

    But whether you think me, JamesR, Sarkus right or not, they have detailed to you quite clearly what they mean by "false belief": a belief that does not conform to fact.
    Whether you disagree with them that that is what a "false belief" actually is, you do now know what they mean when they use it.
    So rather than keep arguing about the semantics, why not just accept their understanding of the phrase when they use it?
    Rather than sidetrack the discussion with the semantics, why not answer their questions and arguments in light of how they understand the phrase?
    I would have thought that much would have been the obvious decent thing to do, no?
    There is no issue of the phrase being used by people to self-identify, so no issues there (unlike other terms).
    So just accept what they mean by the term and respond accordingly.
    If it helps, replace "false belief" with "belief that does not conform with fact" etc, and respond accordingly.
    Can you do that, please?
  22. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    Jan believes there is a god that is real and exists and that will be the basis of his defence to all propositions.
    His faith has proved unshakable and I suggest facts will not change his faith in his god.
    That is not news but we must all by now know these threads will go for pages and nothing will change.
    You can not prove Jan wrong in his view.
  23. river

    What facts ?

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