Page 12 of 12 FirstFirst ... 2101112
Results 111 to 119 of 119

Thread: Define God Thread

  1. Top | #111
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Paris, France, EU
    Posts
    2,156
    Archived
    3,662
    Total Posts
    5,818
    Rep Power
    33
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    William of Okham claimed that God was so beyond our capabilities of understanding we could not really know anything about God, except what we learned from revelation. Thus God cannot truly be defined. To define God, God would have to be logically definable. But if God is said to be by definition beyond any possible logical understanding, God cannot be defined except to a limited extent that must in theory be less than accurate.

    But what do we do when the supposed revelation leads to contradictions and obvious false mythology?
    You're missing the point that definitions do not define objects. They define words and they do it by stating their meaning. Meaning is really what people mean when they use words. So we're here talking about what people mean when they use the word "God". Which makes your comment above rather irrelevant. In effect, no thing can be properly defined. This is not something specific to God. The best we can do using definitions is to explain what we mean and what we mean only belong to us, it doesn't belong to the thing itself.
    EB

  2. Top | #112
    Quantum Hot Dog Kharakov's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    .
    Posts
    3,054
    Archived
    3,383
    Total Posts
    6,437
    Rep Power
    65
    Define an ice cold beer. Easy peasy, unless you're dealing with someone who is attempting to obfuscate what an ice cold beer is.

  3. Top | #113
    Veteran Member Cheerful Charlie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    2,562
    Archived
    3,884
    Total Posts
    6,446
    Rep Power
    45
    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    William of Okham claimed that God was so beyond our capabilities of understanding we could not really know anything about God, except what we learned from revelation. Thus God cannot truly be defined. To define God, God would have to be logically definable. But if God is said to be by definition beyond any possible logical understanding, God cannot be defined except to a limited extent that must in theory be less than accurate.

    But what do we do when the supposed revelation leads to contradictions and obvious false mythology?
    You're missing the point that definitions do not define objects. They define words and they do it by stating their meaning. Meaning is really what people mean when they use words. So we're here talking about what people mean when they use the word "God". Which makes your comment above rather irrelevant. In effect, no thing can be properly defined. This is not something specific to God. The best we can do using definitions is to explain what we mean and what we mean only belong to us, it doesn't belong to the thing itself.
    EB

    Via negativa. An old concept. God is so beyond our ability to understand him, we can only mention things God is not.

    Defining God exactly then is impossible for one who holds that position. The point of all of this is to make a point of God's being incomprehensible to mere mortals. You are missing the point, it is an old idea that God cannot be defined by his own nature. It's not a matter of mere words. Of course for Chrsitians we have supposed revelation that make claims. Which is indeed a definition of a sort. and of course, these alleged revelations have their own contradictions and problems. And no, Christians are not arguing about words, but supposed facts revealed by revelation.

    Of course on the other hand, we have natural religion, the idea that from basic facts we can logically derive the fact God exists. An old idea that also fails when one tries to apply that idea to the logical or mythological problems of God.
    Cheerful Charlie

  4. Top | #114
    Quantum Hot Dog Kharakov's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    .
    Posts
    3,054
    Archived
    3,383
    Total Posts
    6,437
    Rep Power
    65
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    Via negativa. An old concept. God is so beyond our ability to understand him, we can only mention things God is not.
    Existent?

  5. Top | #115
    Elder Contributor bilby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    The Sunshine State: The one with Crocs, not Gators
    Posts
    11,923
    Archived
    10,477
    Total Posts
    22,400
    Rep Power
    55
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post
    You're missing the point that definitions do not define objects. They define words and they do it by stating their meaning. Meaning is really what people mean when they use words. So we're here talking about what people mean when they use the word "God". Which makes your comment above rather irrelevant. In effect, no thing can be properly defined. This is not something specific to God. The best we can do using definitions is to explain what we mean and what we mean only belong to us, it doesn't belong to the thing itself.
    EB

    Via negativa. An old concept. God is so beyond our ability to understand him, we can only mention things God is not.

    Defining God exactly then is impossible for one who holds that position. The point of all of this is to make a point of God's being incomprehensible to mere mortals. You are missing the point, it is an old idea that God cannot be defined by his own nature. It's not a matter of mere words. Of course for Chrsitians we have supposed revelation that make claims. Which is indeed a definition of a sort. and of course, these alleged revelations have their own contradictions and problems. And no, Christians are not arguing about words, but supposed facts revealed by revelation.

    Of course on the other hand, we have natural religion, the idea that from basic facts we can logically derive the fact God exists. An old idea that also fails when one tries to apply that idea to the logical or mythological problems of God.
    So if God is incomprehensible, where does that leave the teachings of the church(es) and the text of the Bible? Either these things are the incomprehensible word of God, in which case, why bother with them; or they are the interpretations, by other men, of things that those men cannot possibly have understood, in which case, why bother with them.

    If we accept this concept, then religion becomes futile. A God that cannot be understood is indistinguishable, for all practical purposes, from a God that doesn't exist at all.

  6. Top | #116
    Quantum Hot Dog Kharakov's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    .
    Posts
    3,054
    Archived
    3,383
    Total Posts
    6,437
    Rep Power
    65
    If anyone cares, and I most certainly do not, the point of giving individual definitions of God is so that people can have their beliefs critiqued. If they post nebulous definitions, the definitions can be refined. If the refined definitions are inconsistent, or contain premises that are incorrect, then the person can learn that what they think is God cannot possibly exist, and they have to revise their beliefs.

    Tri-omni God is obviously a product of brain damage, which might be deliberate.


    I define "my" God as a creation of my brain, like me, except it appears to have more control over my brain's activity than I do at times (of course, maybe that's just rogue neurons, right?). Of course I'd like it to be more, but it's just a creation of my brain, nothing more, nothing less. I doubt a real God would want to interact with humans... that's just weird, and kind of pointless.


    It's willing to deceive me, with external cohorts (Christians who have been utterly defeated by their brain's God, and have become useless believers who vote as brain Gods desire) who are willing to create coincidences to attempt to trick me into thinking that it has power outside of my brain- it isn't its power, but the power of other brains.

    I'm too smart to believe that it is God (unfortunately, perhaps), and it's earned my hatred quite easily, as have the other brain Gods of Christians, who deliberately elevate their corrupt creations to the top of the food chain, without doing any of the real work. If you're an atheist, you have been abandoned by your brain God, which still exerts controls over you from behind the scenes, keeping its comfortable kingdom alive within your brain as you deal with real life. You are a horse your God uses, while you suffer through life, or perhaps enjoy life, it's really chaotic with atheists.

    It just doesn't want you to know the joys it has within your brain, because this would arouse jealousy and anger.... and maybe lead to you destroying it deliberately. You are nothing more than a pawn to it (yeah, I am too), but if it was good, it would treat you as its greatest creation, because you deal with the slings and arrows of life. The reason you are an atheist is that it does not feel that it can talk to you, without arousing great anger... because it truly does enjoy bliss within you. Or hell. Maybe it's a living hell inside of you.


  7. Top | #117
    Veteran Member DrZoidberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Malmö
    Posts
    4,881
    Archived
    5,746
    Total Posts
    10,627
    Rep Power
    40
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    William of Okham claimed that God was so beyond our capabilities of understanding we could not really know anything about God, except what we learned from revelation. Thus God cannot truly be defined. To define God, God would have to be logically definable. But if God is said to be by definition beyond any possible logical understanding, God cannot be defined except to a limited extent that must in theory be less than accurate.

    But what do we do when the supposed revelation leads to contradictions and obvious false mythology?
    Still argument from ignorance. If we can't define God, then why trust revelation? If we can't define God, how isn't it just, I have a roommate, who's uncle's, cousin met and bloke who said?

    Stuff beyond definition we put in the jar labelled "unknown" and move on, and treat revelation as the collection of stories it is, on equal merit as any other book.

    Nah, if we can't define God there's no reason to take any of it seriously. We've got to start there. It's got to be grounded in evidence somehow, and then worked backward from there. As we do for anything else in the world.

  8. Top | #118
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Paris, France, EU
    Posts
    2,156
    Archived
    3,662
    Total Posts
    5,818
    Rep Power
    33
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post
    You're missing the point that definitions do not define objects. They define words and they do it by stating their meaning. Meaning is really what people mean when they use words. So we're here talking about what people mean when they use the word "God". Which makes your comment above rather irrelevant. In effect, no thing can be properly defined. This is not something specific to God. The best we can do using definitions is to explain what we mean and what we mean only belong to us, it doesn't belong to the thing itself.
    EB
    Via negativa. An old concept. God is so beyond our ability to understand him, we can only mention things God is not.
    Sorry to nitpick but this logically implies that you know what he is. If God is not stupid then we know he is not stupid and there's no substantial difference with knowing he is intelligent.

    As I already explained, it's the whole idea of defining things which is mistaken. We don't define things as they are, we define words by stating what they mean for us, i.e. what we mean when we use them, and most of the time we use words to express not how things are but what we think or believe they are. It's al about us. If you can't get your head around this you won't be able to understand anything very much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    Defining God exactly then is impossible for one who holds that position.
    I didn't define God. I defined "God".

    99.99% of the things around us are practically impossible to define. God would not have any special status here.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    The point of all of this is to make a point of God's being incomprehensible to mere mortals.
    Sure but so is the whole of reality in case you haven't noticed.

    This point is trivial and you fail to realise the argument from incomprehensibility is a cop out for Christian theologians.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    You are missing the point, it is an old idea that God cannot be defined by his own nature.
    What does that even mean? I can well say that the nature of God is God's nature. That's perfectly true but of course that's trivially unenlightening.

    If we know anything then it's just that we happen to know them. We don't actually understand how we got to know anything. When I experience pain, I do and I know I do, and yet I really have not a clue as to how I got to know I feel pain and how I got to know what pain is. So, what's so special about God?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    It's not a matter of mere words.
    Of yes it is. The OP is about giving a definition of God, which can only mean giving a definition of "God". That's what I did and the rest is a derail.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    Of course for Chrsitians we have supposed revelation that make claims. Which is indeed a definition of a sort. and of course, these alleged revelations have their own contradictions and problems. And no, Christians are not arguing about words, but supposed facts revealed by revelation.
    Talk of what Christians do is a derail.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    Of course on the other hand, we have natural religion, the idea that from basic facts we can logically derive the fact God exists. An old idea that also fails when one tries to apply that idea to the logical or mythological problems of God.
    Derail.

    Please don't reply to that if you can't be bothered to stick to the OP's topic.
    EB

  9. Top | #119
    Quantum Hot Dog Kharakov's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    .
    Posts
    3,054
    Archived
    3,383
    Total Posts
    6,437
    Rep Power
    65
    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post
    Please don't reply to that if you can't be bothered to stick to the OP's topic.
    EB
    My whole intent was to lead this conversation towards the topic of purple salamanders. It's not f'in working. I give up.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •