God is defined, not described.

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

  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Maybe it's a good time for a recap.

    1] Jan has freely acknowledged, innumerable times, that God does not exist. I'm OK with that. Anyone have any objections?

    2] He has replaced that initial assertion with a new belief that God just "is" - a phrase that means something to he and he alone. To the rest of us, it isn't even a complete sentence, so how can we expect to understand what it means to him? I'm OK with that. Anyone have any objections?

    3] Jan asserts that atheists are without God. Indeed, it is just as valid to say theists are without God. Until and unless the issue of God's existence is forthcoming, both are equally, plausibly true. I'm OK with that. Anyone have any objections?

    4] A theist saying I am "with" God is simply a restating of their initial personal, and as yet unfounded, belief. I'm OK with that. Anyone have any objections?

    5] Jan has acknowledged (indeed, said so himself, explicitly) that atheists do not assert that "there is no god", they simply reject the claims that there is. I'm OK with that. Anyone have any objections?

    6] Jan asserts that he believes "in" God. It doesn't have to objectively exist outside his mind for him to believe in it. I believe in the Power of Hope, but that doesn't in any way argue hope into existence as some free-floating objective entity that the rest of you are subject to. I'm OK with that. Anyone have any objections?

    When it comes down to it, Jan's beliefs are quite capable of existing with internal consistency in a universe where there is no God. I'm OK with that. Anyone have any objections?

    So, what's with all the fuss and folderol?
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
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  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    If Jan simply expressed his claims as beliefs, rather than as being objectively true, no one would have an issue. Everyone can hold whatever beliefs they like, whether stemming from an a priori assumption or otherwise. If those beliefs form, or are part of, a logically consistent worldview, even better for that person.
    Discussions can then be held civilly around differences in belief, in why one person holds an a priori assumption, on interpretations of things etc. I.e. an exploration of each other's positions.
    When one simply asserts what the other's position is, though, and almost demands that it be accepted - issues arise.
    When one simply asserts what the base assumption should be prior to the discussion, without any ability to question that assumption - issues arise.

    But, yeah, Jan can hold whatever beliefs he wants. Noone has an issue with him holding them. And yes, they are compatible with a universe in which there is a God, and in which there is not. Because they are simply beliefs, and beliefs don't determine objective reality.
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    I object to Jan's weasel words "God does not exist for you", which imply that existence cannot be discussed objectively, but rather than existence is a purely subjective thing. I object to Jan's relativism when it comes to the issue of existence.

    I object that "God Is" is a smokescreen that Jan puts up to avoid discussing whether God exists.

    I object to Jan's implication that atheists really acknowledge that "God Is" and just deny that God is real. I object to Jan's insistence that "atheism" implies that God is real.

    I object to Jan's assumption that the fact that he believes in God somehow makes God real. I also object to Jan's assumption that the fact that other people believe in God, or that people have believed in God for a long time somehow makes God real.

    Actually, I don't think Jan has acknowledged that. Jan's position on atheists is "God does not exist as far as you're aware" or, equivalently, "God does not exist for you". In both of these statements, his implication is that God is real, nonetheless, and in the second we get a repeat of his relativism. He may agree to the form of words "atheists do not assert that there is no god", but I'll bet he won't agree to the form of words "atheists do not believe there is no god". Because he thinks that atheists believe that God doesn't exist. He thinks that, secretly, deep down, atheists know that God exists, but they refuse to admit this, and are, in fact, all in denial.

    I object to Jan's assumption that his "belief in God" implies that God is real.

    I have no objection to that. Jan can believe whatever he wants and it will be consistent with a universe in which there is no God. As for internal consistency in his belief system, I think there are a few gaps there.

    Mainly the fuss is with Jan asserting that he has more than a belief. He thinks his belief equates to knowledge. The rest of the fuss is about his arrogance in presuming to define "atheism" differently from the way actual atheists define it.
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    He can imply all he wants; it is just as valid to say God does not exist for him. His belief in God does not make it exist objectively.
    And until it steps out of the murky mystery that it is, it only exists in his mind.

    Let him merely assert that God doesn't exist. What do we care how he thinks, as long as it stays in his mind? He's demonstrated that he'll change its meaning if anyone gets too close.

    Just because Jan pretends like he's answered the questions put to him doesn't mean he has.

    I think you're looking to get Jan to acknowledge his own illogic. He won't. You know that. He's had uncountable opportunities.
    We have addressed and refuted and otherwise mismantled every irrational claim he's made.

    What do yo expect to happen next? It's not like there's any reason for Jan to change his vexatious behavior.

    It was Jan who offered up that definition in his own words. (see bottom half of post)

    You're still pretending he's arguing in good faith. He's not. He's out to get your goat.
  8. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    "To be, or not to be, that is the question"?

    To exist (live), or not to exist (be no more).

    If God merely "exists", then God can just as easily not exist. If that is the case, then we're not discussing God.

    For God to be God, God cannot cease to be God. If we want to label God as "existing" then God must "necessarily exist. This means God cannot" not exist".
    So I simply say "God (just) Is"

    In the Bible, one of God's names is "I Am". Ordinarily it would seem incomplete, but it makes sense when you look into it a little more.

    This appeals to essence, as opposed to existence. God is pure spirit, and we are part spirit. We are also "I am", and we "just are" like God. But we are also objects that can cease to be, like any other object.

    So the point of the Shakespeare quote was to illustrate the two sides. On the one hand Hamlet thought it better to die, cease to exist, thereby get away from the problems that beseeched him, but at the same time he was afraid of what horrors may be with him in death (sleep). "To be or not to be, that is the question".

    Now do I believe that God exist like other objects, or we exist? No.
    Do I believe God necessarily exists? Yes.

    But for the sake of argument I am defining God, as necessarily existent.
    Because by all accounts, God is defined, as necessarily existent, and rather than keep writing that, I put simply, that "God Is". Does that make it clearer?

  9. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    I would be very surprised if you didn't think that.

    Never said it did Dave.
    What is objective existence Dave?

    So let me get this straight. You're saying that if I cannot, produce God to you suitability, God is therefore a figment of my mind/imagination? I take it that applies to any theist who cannot produce God to your specific suitability. You may as well just come straight out with God does not exist, period. Because I doubt very much anyone will rise to that occasion.

    This statement cracks me up.

    Why do you think I'm vexed?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  10. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    It doesn't matter that I have explained the difference does it?

    On the contrary. I have maintained that atheists do not accept God.
    But with regards to denying/rejecting God, you could do it for Australia.
    It's that obvious.

    Atheism literally means "without God", and we all know by now what it is to be without something.

    I've never said, nor have implied it.
    It is something you need to invoke, so you can keep bringing it up.

    Again, I have neither said, or implied this. You call me dishonest, but you are the one who is dishonest.

    It doesn't matter whether or not you say God does not exist. You are an atheist, therefore God does not exist as far as you're aware. Fact.

    I think that you cannot possibly think any of your arguments, and objections, carry any weight. You show evidence of this in the way you discuss God. It seems you unashamedly distort what I say to keep your spurious position in tact.

    You say you've gone through all my points and given refutation. But in truth you simply created a strawman, and argued against that.

    You think this because you are without God. And furthermore you need to apply that position to everyone. Truly remarkable.

    Example please James.

    It seems you're a control freak James.
    The word "Atheist" exists, whether there are atheists present to explain it, or not.
    If your version differs from official definitions, I am allows to object. Unless you think that I am somehow not.

  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    I was talking about other people's gods, which are sometimes separate beings rather than aspects of one being.
    Like I said - no one can be "without" your God. So your claim that atheists are without your God is confused.
    As, for those theists that have more than one of those beings that just "are", you cannot be without them.
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Yes. I'm known for being logical.

    Until and unless the existence of God is granted, it is entirely valid that God does not exist for you or for anyone else, but that you simply think it does. i.e it is possible that you could simply be wrong.

    Nor am I claiming you did.

    But it's interesting, because innumerable times you have said that "being without God" (i.e. not believing in God) does imply God's existence.
    I guess atheists have the power to invoke God, but theists do not?

    No, I am saying there is merely no evidence that it does exist outside your mind. So, not "is" a figment, but Occam's razor certainly suggests it "quite possible".

    Your personal belief that God exists for you, is not inconsistent with everyone else's worldview, any more than my personal belief in The Power of Hope is inconsistent with everyone else's worldview.

    You realize those aren't the same words, right?

    I'll user a simpler example: If I said you were being annoying, you would ask why I think you are annoyed?

    See the difference now?
  13. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    A questionn for Jan:

    If you define the term "atheism" as being "without God" etc, and thus, per you, implying that God exists/Is, what word would you use do describe those who do not have the belief that God exists/Is yet has no such implication that God exists/Is?
  14. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    It is not only a matter of the way the majority of actual atheists define it. It is a matter of THE current correct definition.
    In another thread which, unfortunately, was closed partly, if not fully, due to Jan, we went over&over & thru the definition of atheist. Something was mentioned along the lines of allowing atheists to define the word atheist & I am somewhat sympathetic to that. Currently the word has a specific clear definition, regardless of how many agree with it. (Tho granting that when words are misused enough, the accepted meaning changes.)
    While I am not very surprised at any nonsense people come up with, I think everyone defines theist as someone who believes a god or gods exist. From that, atheist, in current English, can mean only someone without that belief or someone who is not a theist. I cannot know how many theists or atheists understand & agree with this extremely simple clear point but I do know the vast majority of linguists agree. To try to make it anything else is absurd.
    In order for atheist to mean anything else, 1st the word theist would have to change meaning and/or the a prefix would have to change meaning.
    Jan recently said "I am a theist. Therefore I believe in god." Backward, of course but hopefully showing he understands the definition of theist. IF he does understand theist, he should be able to understand atheist. IF he wants to understand it.

    I pointed out to Jan that if he wants to use the ancient definition of atheos, that is what Jan would have been called in the time & place of that definition but of course, he simply ignores it.

    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
  15. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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

    On the question of God's existence being "necessary", I think Jan is just repeating the Ontological argument for God. That is, Jan is arguing that God would not be sufficiently Great if he did not have existence as an attribute, because it is greater for something to exist than not to exist, and God is, by definition, supposed to be the Greatest Thing That Is.

    I'm not really interested in delving into what's wrong with the Ontological argument in this thread. Suffice it to say that many philosophers have rejected it, for different reasons.

    The argument that God must exist because he is defined in such a way that his existence is "necessary" or "required" is ultimately a circular one, and it fails for that reason. You can't just define things into existence.
  17. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    We could just as well define Supergod as what created god thereby proving god was created.

  18. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    What do you mean by real?

    It doesn't start with any assumption, it obviously implies that God is, because you cannot be without something, unless the something is present.
    We've been through this.

    I didn't avoid anything.

    If I have ever mentioned God exist, I know what I mean by ''exist''.

    What options?

    No, to both questions.

    So I should reject ''God Is''. leaving only ''without God''?

    The underlying reason is because God does not exist, as far as they are aware. FACT.

    Read above.

    There's plenty of evidence for the existence of God, quite sufficient that God Is, even if one cannot experience it directly. One only needs to google to become acquainted.

    Depends on if they accept those explanations or not.
    Atheists do not accept God, or any explanation of God, so they either reject, deny, or do both.

    I've already explained this James. I observe that there are theists, and atheists.

    It is a fact that there is no God as far as they are aware. How is that preaching?

    You need to elaborate on what you regard as ''real''.

    It's just an assumption to you anyways, because God does not exist as far as you're concerned.

    Why else would I ask?

    Is this meant to be an explanation?
    Try again.

    No it doesn't. You're simply using that as a evasion tactic.

    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
  19. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Where did I use that as a reason for belief in God?

    I never said that it did.

    Maybe you should ask me to clarify things that you don't comprehend fully, before making wild assumptions.

    Why would someone believe that Hilary Clinton is the current President of the US?

    If God does not exist, as God doesn't, as far as you're aware, how can you be convinced that God does exist?

    We have a different comprehension of God, which means we have different world views.
    You need to lay your comprehension out, in detail, then we can talk on both terms.

    Why don't you answer the question?

  20. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Is not accepting an a priori assumption?

    You don't accept God, which is why you're atheist.
    Anything you think after that initial big bang, is due to your not accepting.

    What is ''real'' in this context James?
    A proper account please. Thanks in advance.

    Read above.

    I don't know what you mean by real. But I know you're an atheist, and that God does not exist, as far as you're aware. That is a fact.
    No doubt your perception of ''real'' does not include God. So let's have some fun unpacking that.

    You definitely like to pretend you are.

  21. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    What do you mean by ''have no implication that God...''?

  22. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    What I mean by "no such implication that God exists/Is" is where there is no inherent implication in the word, or the words of its definition, that there is a God that exists/Is... i.e. neither implies God does exist/Is or that God does not exist/Isn't.

    You have stated numerous times that you think "atheist" means "without God" and being "without" something is to imply that the something exists/Is.
    So if "atheist" has the implication, as you keep asserting, that God exists/Is, what word is there for people who do not hold the belief that God exists/Is yet where the word also does not make any implication whatsoever as to whether God actually Is or Isn't.

    Do you think there is a word? Or do you think all possible words will include the implication that God exists/Is?

    For example, is there a word for simply "not holding the belief that God exists/Is" where the definition does not include "without" or any other word that, per you, implies God exists/Is?
  23. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    And by using the word "without" (if we are to accept your intepretation) it introduces the a priori assumption that God exists/Is.
    I.e. By accepting the definition and all it means one must first accept that God exists/Is.
    Such as?
    Not accepting an a priori assumption is not itself an a priori assumption.
    Stating that the assumption is false, though, would be an a priori assumption.
    E.g. If you assume from the outset that God does not exist (or Isn't) then that would be an a priori assumption.
    But the simple non-acceptance that God Is is not an a priori assumption.
    If one starts with no assumption as to the existence / non-existence of God (Is-ness / Isn't-ness) then one is starting with no such a priori assumption.
    James R likes this.

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