What is God?

Mar 2012
108
0
Whidbey Island, Wa
#21
Yes, grin, I am archaic, biased, and prejudiced... as we all are, whether we choose to own up to it or not. I usually try to overcome those human foibles with critical thinking, empathy, and with adherence to the scientific method, but after a nip or two and the anonymity of online posting, I sometimes let my intolerance show.

Lowering the troll flag, I am really flabbergasted that the most intolerant among us find this book so inspirational and inerrant that they totally accept the violence, hatred, sexual deviation, and injustice that is rife throughout the tome, including the new testament. "The Harlot by the Side of the Road" by Jonathan Kirsch is a book that makes "Fifty Shades of Grey" seem like a Nancy Drew novel by comparison to the perverse stories in the bible.

Oh well, so be it. It's just that anyone that finds joy and inspiration from the willingness to kill your own son to prove your loyalty to an imaginary friend, shouldn't sit in judgement of others who are guilty of far less consequential transgressions.
 
Aug 2012
311
41
North Texas
#22
I am archaic, biased, and prejudiced... as we all are, whether we choose to own up to it or not.
Some more than others. While some are simply in denial, others simply aren't as archaic, biased and prejudiced. After all, why be so? It seems not only self-defeating but unproductive.


I am really flabbergasted that the most intolerant among us find this book so inspirational and inerrant that they totally accept the violence, hatred, sexual deviation, and injustice that is rife throughout the tome, including the new testament.
The Bible is a lot of things. It's history, a civil code, religious instructions, dietary instruction and few other things all wrapped up in one.

Context is important when reading ancient texts such as these. If one doesn't understand or even try to understand the context, then they won't understand it. If they found out that Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, then, without context, they'd never see the beauty of this statement:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
 
Aug 2012
123
0
#23
I saw a film yesterday.. Alefbay-e Afghan (The Afghan Alphabet)..
A simple question there: "What is God.."
No matter what your religion is please feel free to answer..
God is an invention by man to explain his existence and later to control people.
 
Oct 2012
3,915
635
Louisville, Ky
#25
I completely agree, there is no scientific descussion to have about God because there is no science that could ever or will ever prove anything regarding god. God can only exist if something could exist with no proof, since proof is necessary God can not exist in the strictest sense. Just like belief has no place in science, science has no place in belief as well
It might seem the issue comes down to the very nature of scientific theory. When confronted with something unknown, examine, consider, postulate, then produce the analysis.
If however, you come upon a dissenting view it should be considered, examined, debated, and then analyzed again.
Eventually the razor kicks in, and debate becomes pointless, as the data has produced (something akin to fact) which we will call educated opinion, or hypothesis.....maybe.

Having nothing to sway a rational mind toward God, alternatives must come into play. One of these has enough data behind it to be considered plausible.

I see no way to be seriously religious, but well understand the benefits of societal glue...just don't tell me I am wrong 'cause 'yer God said so.
 
Jan 2012
1,975
5
Texas
#27
It might seem the issue comes down to the very nature of scientific theory. When confronted with something unknown, examine, consider, postulate, then produce the analysis.
If however, you come upon a dissenting view it should be considered, examined, debated, and then analyzed again.
Eventually the razor kicks in, and debate becomes pointless, as the data has produced (something akin to fact) which we will call educated opinion, or hypothesis.....maybe.

Having nothing to sway a rational mind toward God, alternatives must come into play. One of these has enough data behind it to be considered plausible.

I see no way to be seriously religious, but well understand the benefits of societal glue...just don't tell me I am wrong 'cause 'yer God said so.
If course not, I would never tell someone they are wrong because God said so. I just don't understand why people are seen as lunatics because they participate in a thing that is very human. I don't like being called a nutcase because I believe in God. I would think it would be an intelligent thing to accept something like God could exist
 
Oct 2012
3,915
635
Louisville, Ky
#28
If course not, I would never tell someone they are wrong because God said so. I just don't understand why people are seen as lunatics because they participate in a thing that is very human. I don't like being called a nutcase because I believe in God. I would think it would be an intelligent thing to accept something like God could exist
It seems to me that few consider others a "Nut job" simply because they have a faith. Usually it is not until the faithful deny factual information in defense of one "God" or another that they might be deemed less than rational.

There may very well be a God, Higher power, Creator....whatever. There is simply no Data to support the theory at this point. No hypothesis can be tested without observation and information that can be objectively evaluated.
 
Jan 2012
1,975
5
Texas
#29
It seems to me that few consider others a "Nut job" simply because they have a faith. Usually it is not until the faithful deny factual information in defense of one "God" or another that they might be deemed less than rational.

There may very well be a God, Higher power, Creator....whatever. There is simply no Data to support the theory at this point. No hypothesis can be tested without observation and information that can be objectively evaluated.
All that people are is not what can be rationalized, my beliefs hold high esteem with me, they should, I recognize that not all people believe in God, that is perfectly fine. but the demand for evidence is really silly all religions are faith based.

Believing in things only because they are probable is absurd to me. You don't need belief or faith in fact, it is proven.
 
#30
Perhaps the question could be posed a bit differently; what would the attributes of God have to be?

Most people have a concept of God that conforms more to Santa Claus than an author of the universe and all that is.
 
Aug 2010
211
12
Reynoldsburg, OH
#32
tecoyah, et al,

Omnipotent --- BUT, not Omniscient. That is a problem. To be all powerful, the prerequisite is to be all knowing. [Ref: (1 John 3:20)]

Omnipotent....but not all that bright.

I mean really, why would you make something like us if you could make anything imaginable.
(FOLLOW-UP)

The mind of the Supreme Being is not knowable by humanity.

(GENERAL COMMENT)

So far, in this thread, the discussion has centered around the "God of Abraham" as the model for "GOD;" whether that be the Hebrew, Christian, or Islamic version. But, none of these three versions is an entity on the scale of the Supreme Being (SB). In these three version, we do not see a description of an entity that exhibits either "omnipotence or omniscience."

In the great works for the three related religions: the Torah, the Bible, and the Koran, there is a description of a struggle between the "forces of good and evil." There are a whole host of players (angels, demons, prophets, false prophets, armies on both sides, Christ, anti-Christ, satan) and a plethora of stories (temptations, challenges, deceptions, and battles), and of course the discussion of time (the thousand year rein) and "end of days," the final discussion, and a day of litigation and reckoning and judgment.

If there is actually a struggle between "good and evil" and the outcome is not predetermined (meaning either side could win), then there cannot be a SB. Whether a SB would create allied subordinate beings, endowed with supernatural powers or insights (like angels, saints and prophets), a challenge from and opposing force, also created by the original SB, could not defeat the original SB.

"IF" Armageddon, the last great struggle between the armies of GOD and SATAN, and this last confrontation is required concept in the belief structure of the religion associated with GOD, "THEN" neither GOD or SATAN represent a SB. An opponent cannot diminish the power of a SB. And by definition, there can only be one SB.

"IF" GOD requires an army to defeat the powers of SATAN, "THEN" GOD is not a SB.

Most Respectfully,
R
 
Nov 2012
174
1
Salt Lake City, Utah
#33
Before we decide on what god is, we need to agree on some acceptance points to evaluate our conclusions by. I have a few thoughts;

First, could we all agree that in order for our conclusion to be viable, our conclusions must be consistent with history, archaeology, and physics (not meaning that a god would necessarily be a physical being, but that a god would follow it's own rules)?

Next, if we compiled all religious texts and documents into one historical volume, could we agree that they were written by human beings? As for their "spiritual" accuracy, could we agree that these are human interpretations/revelations (whether inspired by a god or not)?

And finally, can we (or should we) separate religion (which has been created by man's interpretation of historical events) from our understanding of the existence and nature of a god?

I saw a film yesterday.. Alefbay-e Afghan (The Afghan Alphabet)..
A simple question there: "What is God.."
No matter what your religion is please feel free to answer..
 
Jan 2009
5,841
50
#34
I think the popular definition(s) of who God is are quite egotistical and quite unlikely statistically. To think God cares about a small planet and one species on that planet out of the this whole universe does not make sense to me. I also would rather be with the uncertainty of not knowing the truth than make one up that might be more convenient. I do not mean to offend anyone here, but these are my views.
 
Jan 2012
1,975
5
Texas
#35
I think the popular definition(s) of who God is are quite egotistical and quite unlikely statistically. To think God cares about a small planet and one species on that planet out of the this whole universe does not make sense to me. I also would rather be with the uncertainty of not knowing the truth than make one up that might be more convenient. I do not mean to offend anyone here, but these are my views.
Earth is unique, humanity is unique. There is no other planet out of all the ones we have discovered that has life on it, let alone sophisticated life. The odds that there is intelligent life on other planets are getting smaller

The probability that a planet can sustain life is very low, that it could sustain life long enough for it to evolve from premortalial ooze to the equaivalint to humanity is even lower. I find the notion of life on other planets, particularly intelligent life to be much the same as the notion of God.

there is absolutely no data, there is only stories passed down.
 
Jan 2009
5,841
50
#36
Earth is unique, humanity is unique. There is no other planet out of all the ones we have discovered that has life on it, let alone sophisticated life. The odds that there is intelligent life on other planets are getting smaller

The probability that a planet can sustain life is very low, that it could sustain life long enough for it to evolve from premortalial ooze to the equaivalint to humanity is even lower. I find the notion of life on other planets, particularly intelligent life to be much the same as the notion of God.

there is absolutely no data, there is only stories passed down.
The conditions for life are rare, but given the scope of the universe it probably does exist elsewhere too. Either way, it doesn't suggest the existence of God.
 
Jan 2012
1,975
5
Texas
#37
The conditions for life are rare, but given the scope of the universe it probably does exist elsewhere too. Either way, it doesn't suggest the existence of God.
That is a six one way half a dozen the other way argument. I am not saying there is no life on alien worlds, not am I saying there is no God, both statements seem impossible to prove so they both fit the same realm of unknown status. You could say we could discover alien life, as intelligent as our own, but you could say that about God to. It seems unrealistic to put restrictions on an unrestricted concept.

Time and space are limitless, as are possibilities, I am not too keen on notions that attempt to limit possibilities.
 
Jan 2009
5,841
50
#38
That is a six one way half a dozen the other way argument. I am not saying there is no life on alien worlds, not am I saying there is no God, both statements seem impossible to prove so they both fit the same realm of unknown status. You could say we could discover alien life, as intelligent as our own, but you could say that about God to. It seems unrealistic to put restrictions on an unrestricted concept.

Time and space are limitless, as are possibilities, I am not too keen on notions that attempt to limit possibilities.
Of course it is possible. But there are differing statistical likelihoods. You can't treat everything that is possible the same. It is illogical and most likely stems from a misunderstandings of probability. You can't believe in everything that is possible because doing so would be believing in everything.
 
Jan 2012
1,975
5
Texas
#39
Of course it is possible. But there are differing statistical likelihoods. You can't treat everything that is possible the same. It is illogical and most likely stems from a misunderstandings of probability. You can't believe in everything that is possible because doing so would be believing in everything.
I don't believe in everything that is possible I believe in a few things that is possible and I accept everything as possible.

We know of 786 planets so far, none of them are even capable of supporting life, so the odds of there being life on other planets should reflect that. What data exists regarding God? For probability to even be applicable you have to have some data, there is absolutely none, so the probability can't exist unless you go by actual data the only two data points we have is either he exists, or he doesn't.

Show me some studies that support this low probability.
 
Jan 2009
5,841
50
#40
We know of 786 planets so far, none of them are even capable of supporting life, so the odds of there being life on other planets should reflect that.
The number of planets we know of and whether or not they have life is not the major variable in determining the probability of life in the universe, especially given the very small sample size of planets vs. the scope of the universe. There are conditions for life that could have been produced elsewhere and again it just comes down to scope.

What data exists regarding God? For probability to even be applicable you have to have some data, there is absolutely none, so the probability can't exist unless you go by actual data the only two data points we have is either he exists, or he doesn't.
Of course there are data points. The scriptures say certain things about God- what he did, how he did it, etc. There is the scope of the universe. And then there is logic. It is much more likely that a God does not exist than a God that came to Earth, sent Jesus, made the planet, and on and on. There are such detailed stories and given the historical context in which these writings appeared and what those stories say, it just does not add up.

I am not great at explaining this, so bear with me. But take the following examples and surely you think the first example is more likely than the second:
1) God exists.
2) A God exists who did x, y, z and made a, b, c.

Option 1 is obviously more likely than 2. This is akin to the argument I am making except that I am making one which says that a sentient God who cares about humans does not exist.
 

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