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The meaning of “God”
Posted: 08 August 2007 01:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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“Words are the physicians of a mind diseased” Aeschylus

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” John 1:1]

“Words convey the mental treasures of one period to the generations that follow; and laden with this, their precious freight, they sail safely across gulfs of time in which empires have suffered shipwreck and the languages of common life have sunk into oblivion.“ATTRIBUTION: Anonymous. Quoted in Richard Chevenix Trench, On the Study of Words, lecture 1 (1858).

We could bandy qutotations about endlessly. I would say that words mean nothing to you, so your words mean nothing. You are trapped inside your own subjectivity, your own belief that you cannot communincate but only know what you know directly. So rather than never being alone, you are never anything else.

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Posted: 08 August 2007 09:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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I must agree with the analysis concerning the avenue people take, and the attitude they bring to the table when someone oppose their views.  This is inclusive of you and I.  Have never been one to ride on the coat tail of those of the past nor present.  I am however, dedicated to what I express and acknowledge of my experience.  But in presenting my experience, I realize they are my fragmented situations which conditions of interpretations are circumstanced only by their teeny weeny bit of information. 

What I bring to the table is no different than what anyone else brings..  What is different concerning my presentation is my defiance of conformity; of fitting myself into a mold of standards which signifies there is more than One Life, One Power, One intitiative, One Substance, One Essence, when the reality of any conception of any individual and their conscious awareness of their living is totally, and I repeat, totally dependent upon their entrance into the realm of cognition on this level because of LIFE.

Men defy that which is undefiable.  And that is the power of life which made them living souls.  And in this defiance, they say they are the cause and ability, and effect of their lives because of matter; their physicality, and ability of digesting only the bits and pieces of the knowledge which is revealed, and they are allowed to discover in infintestimal depth.

Dare not to oppose them.  Look at the information we have gathered from our research; from our delving into the atmosphere of the subjects of philosophy and religion, and non-religion.  Look at what we have achieved from the dark ages to the space age they who opose others who think like clones will say.  Yet, who has, in their scientific work, religious work, or humanism or philosophy been able to prevent a blood clog, or heart attack, or their child from an accidents with all the great advanced thinkers dialogues, phases, word placement, and that of physician in the medical and scientific field?  Who can say they do not suffer and struggle as all men, women and children do in this realm of human thought because of words?  No one, yet they say they are different, more advanced because of their color, or money, or their ancestry, or their humanistic intellect, or because I am an American living in a free society, and I have a right to judge anyone according to my freedom of being me? 

They say you, I nor anyone else count, nor anyone elses opinions or attutudes, just their because they are the Po Pot’s, Stalin’s Hitlers.  So we have the game of persuasive interpretation interpretation put on us.  Of playing psychologist, and winding up either apologizing, or ignoring, or belittling, or attempting to destroy knowledge, and enslave man’s thoughts as the Germans did in the W.W. 11 era

Yes, it is a game of deceitful deception of one’s own self which is played. I figured this out concerning myself.  And in so doing I realize others, as myself, have no other choice but to deceive all who come into contact with them.  Yep, Let us enjoy the game of ignorance, for we play it upon no one other than ourselves.

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Never give power to anything a person believes is their source of strength jufa

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Posted: 08 August 2007 10:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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jufa -

Do words float freely between infinity and immortality?

Is the nature of the world simply an illusion, or a metaphorical illusion?

Are we alone in our not-being-alone?

What do you think about these questions? Do you feel you are able to understand me?

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Posted: 08 August 2007 12:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Thoughts, what are they, and where do they come from?  I ask myself.  Are thoughts the essence of life?  What came to me was; thoughts are Consciousness’ vision.  They are the intent and purpose of the conscious vision manifested as substance of Spirit.  Spirit is the nature of Life, and the nature of Life is the structural essence of the entire creation individualized as singularity of thought.  Immobile objects of creation are not excluded.

Thoughts are the foundation of creation.  Words are the structural curves which relate creation to consciousness.  Consciousness is omnipresent.  It is everywhere man is.  It doesn’t matter whether man is conscious or unconscious, Consciousness has always been the underlining essence and substance of mind.  And because Consciousness is omnipresent, words are omnipresent in mind.
Life is the plurality of all manifested vision of divine Mind, yet uniquely individualized as worlds of their own without end.  This is why no individual can live and experience anything but their own world of thoughts.
It is the experience of living which is the umbilical cord which links the nature of the Spirit creation together.  Therefore it is the experience which akin all men to one another, and it is the principle behind the commandment to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” 
This is also the cause why spontaneous action occur which are not logical or reasonable under human intellect, i.e., such as the willingness of sacrifice of one’s life to remove a perfect stranger out of harms way. 
It is also the principle which void free will and choice when the principle of “that ye love one another as I have loved you,” becomes the reality of why the intent and purpose of creation is selflessnessly one.

Of all the infinite varieties of mental words, picture, images, and thoughts the human mind projects, it has never projected into the conscious awareness of mankind a duplicate image of Consciousness.  Why? because Consciousness is an omnipresent metaphor of life.  This is why all forms of symbolism representing deities are metaphorical.  In reality, they are the inner spiritual gifts Life has bestowed upon man “before the foundation of the world.”  So the question belong to the individual to answer.  What is the illusion?

What I think about anything has no bearing on the truth.  To tell you what I think is to tell you a conceptual lie.

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Posted: 09 August 2007 11:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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jufa - 08 August 2007 12:49 PM

Thoughts are the foundation of creation.  Words are the structural curves which relate creation to consciousness.  Consciousness is omnipresent.  It is everywhere man is.  It doesn’t matter whether man is conscious or unconscious, Consciousness has always been the underlining essence and substance of mind.  And because Consciousness is omnipresent, words are omnipresent in mind.

 

I disagree. Consciousness is the foundation of life, not thoughts. Words are not structural curves that relate creation to consciousness - they are straight square lines. Consciousness is omnipresent everywhere except in the gaps-between-thoughts. Words are not omnipresent in mind - when we merge with the Unity and become one with non-duality, all words are gone.

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Posted: 09 August 2007 01:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Wandering, in response to my statement below in quote, you stated also in the same quote

Thoughts are the foundation of creation.  Words are the structural curves which relate creation to consciousness.  Consciousness is omnipresent.  It is everywhere man is.  It doesn’t matter whether man is conscious or unconscious, Consciousness has always been the underlining essence and substance of mind.  And because Consciousness is omnipresent, words are omnipresent in mind.


I disagree. Consciousness is the foundation of life, not thoughts. Words are not structural curves that relate creation to consciousness - they are straight square lines. Consciousness is omnipresent everywhere except in the gaps-between-thoughts. Words are not omnipresent in mind - when we merge with the Unity and become one with non-duality, all words are gone.

I resspect what you say, but how can you separate thought from Consciousness when it is Consciousness which issues forth not only thought life, but the word of life itself?

To bring it down to a level more understandable, what is the foundation of your life if it is not consciousness?  And how could there be a foundation of your consciousness life if you were not consciously aware?  And what is the foundational awareness of your conscious awareness if it is not thoughts issues forth from your consciousness? 

You speak in a confuse logic when you state;

Consciousness is omnipresent everywhere except in the gaps-between-thoughts. Words are not omnipresent in mind

and then establish there is no separation by saying;

when we merge with the Unity and become one with non-duality, all words are gone.

What you have done is to eliminate the word which is the manifestation of the thought.  And thought is the manifestation of the Consciousness.  What links the three to gether is there is nothing to link them together because they are all one and the same.

Allow me to illustrate this in finality by this question.  You are a three dimentional being of one.  Tell me how can you separate your consciousness from your thoughts, and your thoughts from your words and still remain a three dimensional being of one?  Show me the gap of separation and you will have destroyed yourself.

p.s. “Words are the structural which relate creation to consciousness” because it is the curve which produce the dualism you speak of in you post.  A straight line is a continumm of a straight line.  A curve in the line means it is no longer preceeding from north to south, but from north to southwest.  A different element has occured to curve the structure hasn’t it?

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Posted: 09 August 2007 11:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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There are many definitions of God besides the omnipotent but ill-tempered sky-god who seems to be haunting us here. Among them are:

1. The ground of Being (Paul Tillich)
2. The highest imaginable good in every sense, expanded maximally in every dimension (Paul LaClair with help from many others)
3. What Is (reality itself)
4. All that is (the universe and beyond, if there is a beyond the universe)
5. The ideal to which we aspire.

There are others. I think it’s a big mistake to wrap ourselves in the definition of our nemesis. That is crippling. In fact, it has probably done more to cripple non-theism as a force than any other single thing.

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I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

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Posted: 10 August 2007 02:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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PLaClair,
It sounds like you are trying to coopt the word “god” and redefine it, and religion, to match a spirituality consistent with scientific naturalism. Very similar to the sort of language Einstein, Spinoza, and Saga used. I personally like the idea, and I think it should be possible to channel the human need for wonder, mystery, and a sense of conectedness to the world into non-supernatural paths. Unfortunately, I think the traditional notion of what god means, which we have to honestly recognize is what the overwhelming majority of our fellow citizens mean by the word, offers believers some things our supernatural-free spirituality doesn’t. Having a personal God one can petition and thank gives one the illusion that one can control the events of one’s life. This keeps fear at bay. Such a concept of God also makes the larger universe seem friendly, or at least benign, whereas an honest naturalistic evaluation of it suggests a wondrous, beautiful cosmos completely indifferent to human existence. I’ve learned to be ok with the knowledge that random and meaningless events beyond my control may snuff out my life or steal all I care about at any moment, but I don’t blame people for trying to deny this fact. I’m not sure we’ll be able to take the terminology away from our nemesis and redefine it. I’m always conflicted about such language (‘god,’ ‘spirit,’ ‘soul, etc) because it gets its poetry and power from the same history and associations that give it its supernaturalist baggage, and I’m not sure the two are separable. Soudns like you think so, and it certainly seems worth trying. Do you find you have to explain what you mean to others when they assume your use of sucha word as ‘god’ conforms to what most people use it to mean? Or do you just let people think what they will? Is it, perhaps, disingenuous to deliberately take a position that so common a word os ‘god’ can mean what you want it to regardless of its history and contemporary usage?

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Posted: 10 August 2007 09:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Brennan,

It’s very interesting how people react to my use of the word “God.” Die-hard Humanists are dead sure I’m a closet theist and die-hard theists are dead sure I’m an atheist. All of which tells me I’m doing something right.

As much as anything else, I’d like to use the word, to the extent that I do, which is not all that often, to challenge people to think. Another definition of God, a la George Carlin, could be “a place to put your stuff.” God is a repository concept for our most important stuff. Once we realize it’s just a concept, we can understand religious history and the current dynamics of religion better, and use the term to productive ends. If we get lost on either end of the spectrum by trying to reify God positively (theism) or negatively (reactive, angry atheism as opposed to a thoughtful atheism), the enterprise is lost.

Whatever people think the definition of God is or might be, the word and concept hooks into several things, including thought, emotion, experience and a plethora of associations. If we really want to understand what’s going on with everything that surrounds this one little word, we need to look at those things, not just formal definitions. There’s a tendency to try to own words, i.e., to insist that they must be defined in a certain way. I’ve been very critical of Paul Kurtz on this score for many years, and I stand by that criticism. I hope that won’t get me booted out of here.

Interesting enough, the people I have to explain myself to the most are the die-hards within our own ranks. The die-hard theists have no trouble at all understanding that I don’t believe in a sky-god. They absolutely hate what I do, and I think it’s because that approach is their worst nightmare. People who like having assumptions challenged love it. That includes plenty of people who say they believe in God in a traditional or quasi-traditional sense. Again, the point is to get people to think outside their usual conceptions of God. That includes people who don’t believe in a God. I don’t find anything dishonest or disingenuous about it (after all, we’re talking about a concept, not a chicken or a piece of steel), but then of course the integrity is in the details, so you’d have to watch how it’s done and of course draw your own conclusions.

[ Edited: 10 August 2007 09:41 AM by PLaClair ]
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Posted: 10 August 2007 09:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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P.S. Whatever possessed me to use the term “die-hard Humanists?” I’m not sure what term I want to use there. What I know is that some people who call themselves Humanists (atheists, etc.) are very rigid regarding the use of this word. Those are the people I was referring to. Sorry for the sloppiness, but if I’m going to post here, you might as well get used to it.

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Posted: 10 August 2007 10:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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Well, FWIW, speaking as someone with a training in philosophy, I believe first and foremost in clarity of terms. And in philosophical theology, where believers have given their most precise definitions of the term “god” they define it as I have, previously. When attacking my opponents, I am always inclined to give them the strongest case, which is done by the theologians.

I don’t at all agree with the notion of obscuring what we mean by god in order to achieve some form of unity with believers. That strikes me as falsehood, or obscurantism: the appearance that we know what we are talking about when in fact we do not. I certainly agree that in some political discussions a studied vagueness is a good thing. E.g., the US policy towards whether Taiwan is a part of mainland China. We lose either way, so we persist in vagueness.

But when discussing topics carefully, pursuing vagueness for its own sake is self-defeating. That’s why you haven’t got much uptake from people on either end of this debate, I think. The people who care about what the words mean each agree you’re getting them wrong, and you’re doing so in order to mislead, in some sense. Or at least that’s the hypothesis.

I prefer the enlightenment value of clarity and light to studied vagueness. Let’s get clear on the terms we are using, and then argue about what to believe.

Now, all that said, if you want to define god in some other way, of course it’s a free country. You can use words however you want. But my feeling is that you’ll end up simply having a discussion with yourself. Others will be brought into the discussion on the hypothesis that you’re using the terms the same way they are, but they will get disillusioned very quickly.

Recall that the John Lennon song was not attempting to redefine religion or god. It was arguing for “no religion, too”.

As for Kurtz and whether disagreeing with him will get you “booted off” ... have no fear on that ground. None of us Mods and Admins agree with cults of personality, and in fact neither does Paul Kurtz. He’s fair game, as are any of us. So long as you abide by the rules of the Forum, you’re fine here. Post whatever you like. We’re all here to discuss and argue, hopefully in the most clear and insightful way we can. It would be a boring world if we all agreed at the outset.

wink

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Posted: 10 August 2007 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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dougsmith - 10 August 2007 10:05 AM

I don’t at all agree with the notion of obscuring what we mean by god in order to achieve some form of unity with believers. That strikes me as falsehood, or obscurantism

like saying God is energy; or everything? you got to give the argument some credit for creativity. to reduce words to being meaningless doesnt just mean the the new definition cant be proven, but that it cant be disproven either.

PS: kind of like what I did to “truth”! LOL

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Posted: 10 August 2007 02:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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What I see in this conversation, speaking of those which follow my last post, is that some are attempting to categorize the word God as definitive to a particular of certainity belief.  If this is the case, then humanist, atheist, theist, pragmatic can be a substitute for God, being those whom believe in these labeled dogmas believe just as harsh in what they do will change the world for betterment and themselves as well.

Doug is correct when he states

in clarity of terms.

must be the first point of order.  However to believe that point of order means the collective belief of philosophy theology definition renders a true and trust worthy clairy negates what others believe and certainly does not make what the majority state God to be definitive. 

I have found more and more the ‘pie in the sky guy’ mentality is receding further and further into the background.  Yet this genie God still is demanding in the American theme.  Most agrument against the term God are based on this judgmental God, and I myself laugh at them all because even a God whom most in this country believe in, and whom I find other to be opposed too, as someone mentioned, doesn’t give a hoot about us and what we think or do. 

So I ask myself what is the purpose of definition?  From ancient times to present day man’s definition has done nothing to change the order, principles, and patterns of life.  Definitions have only rearrange the infrastructure of the way man manipulate and are manipulated.

From my standpoint, there is no collective God, and then there is.  There is no collective God in the sense that He/She/It is at the beckoning call of so-called believers - whatever that is - Yet there is a collective God in the sense that Life Itself is the God which allows all man’s activities “to be or not to be” in accordance to individual thoughts.

[ Edited: 10 August 2007 02:04 PM by jufa ]
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Posted: 10 August 2007 02:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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i knew someone would obscure the definition of God to being “life.”

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Posted: 10 August 2007 04:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Jufa,

Do you believe in intercessory prayer?

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“It is the tension between creativity and skepticism that has produced the stunning and unexpected findings of science.” ~ Carl Sagan

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