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Is God a meaningful term outside of religious belief?
Posted: 21 February 2010 06:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I’ve carefully avoided posting on this thread because my teeth grit when I see semantic angels micro-dancing.  However, I would have to say that I certainly wouldn’t give up the term “god” and similar even though I’m an atheist.  Otherwise, where would I be when I see something ridiculous and would like to say, “Good lord, that’s idiotic”;  “Good ____ [what?]”  Or, when a moist wine glass slips out of my hand and I would now have to say, ” -____-damn”.  That’s just not strong enough without the adjectival prefix.  smile

Occam

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Posted: 28 February 2010 01:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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There is a science to God actually. Science creates religion, and religion creates happiness.

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“If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” -Voltaire
“It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.” - Thomas Paine
“It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” - Carl Sagan
“It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.” - Baha’u'llah

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Posted: 28 February 2010 03:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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God is the highest thought that arises from the heart. Therefor it is believed. For what the heart does not fear, the Body does not move.
Movement is inexplicable.

Remember what it is to fall asleep, by waking up.

Buddha’s dharmakaya brings light from kalcium in the bone. Believe Truth, or forever wonder in falsehood.

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“If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” -Voltaire
“It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.” - Thomas Paine
“It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” - Carl Sagan
“It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.” - Baha’u'llah

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Posted: 28 February 2010 05:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Sorry, WeeDie, but my first thought on reading both your posts was, “equine excrement.”  I feel they are drivel not worth responding to.

Occam

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Posted: 28 February 2010 05:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Occam - 21 February 2010 06:33 PM

I’ve carefully avoided posting on this thread because my teeth grit when I see semantic angels micro-dancing.  However, I would have to say that I certainly wouldn’t give up the term “god” and similar even though I’m an atheist.  Otherwise, where would I be when I see something ridiculous and would like to say, “Good lord, that’s idiotic”;  “Good ____ [what?]”  Or, when a moist wine glass slips out of my hand and I would now have to say, ” -____-damn”.  That’s just not strong enough without the adjectival prefix.  smile

Occam

This is the most pertinent and streamlined response here.

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Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

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Posted: 01 March 2010 12:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Occam - 28 February 2010 05:43 PM

Sorry, WeeDie, but my first thought on reading both your posts was, “equine excrement.”  I feel they are drivel not worth responding to.

Occam

Nor are they addressing the subject in the OP..

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Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

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Posted: 01 March 2010 07:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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There is a very convincing argument that the term “God,” along with any other metaphysical proposition, is completely devoid of meaning.  Presumably, for a word to mean something it must have a set of conditions which make it either true or false, and thereby by verifiable.  Hence, the meaning of a word/name is found in the conditions which determine its truth (e.g. the meaning of “chair” is determined by the conditions which govern whether a certain sense-perception are deemed to resemble a chair).  Accordingly, if there are no conditions available for verifying the truth or falsity of a proposition, then that proposition/word is meaningless. 

Consider, then, God. The conditions on the existence of God are constructed in such a manner that His existence is not verifiable.  Afterall, is not God such a being that He is not detected through any type of empirical observation.  If not empirical, then what other evidence must we rely on to verify the truth or falsity of the claim “God exists.” It seems that there is none.  Therefore, “God exists” is a meaningless proposition (or so the argument goes).  By that same token, the statement “God does not exist” is an equally meaningless statement because, like the former proposition, its truth or falsity cannot be verified.

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Posted: 02 March 2010 11:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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It seems to me that “God” is being used in this thread “outside of religious belief.”  So, I suspect it has meaning outside of such belief.

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“Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain.” 
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http://theblogofciceronianus.blogspot.com

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Posted: 03 March 2010 11:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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It is as though a lot of people do not like considering the POSSIBILITIES involved in the UNKNOWN.

Consider the possibility that there is a God but that all of the religions have Him/Her/It WRONG.

Science is about expanding knowledge which means admitting that many things are unknown and investigating them.  But making assumptions about them can lead to errors. There was a time when it was not known that there were other galaxies.  Did that ignorance have any effect on those galaxies?

When do atheists consider the “possibility” that there is a God but all of the known religions are full of crap?  Did those religions know anything about galaxies before 1900?  Why should we assume they know anything about God regardless of all of the blather they spew out? 

Atheists spend their time arguing against the various religions’ Paradigms of God(s) but if there is no God then they can’t possibly know anything but even if there is a God that still doesn’t necessarily mean that they know anything that is correct.

Call it the Logic of Agnosticism.  LOL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdTOY-giMy4

psik [608]

[ Edited: 03 March 2010 05:59 PM by psikeyhackr ]
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Posted: 23 March 2010 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Friends,

This is my first post here, but let’s let this stand as an introduction to myself, as a secular humanist. Since the term God as a concept is broad enough, that seems a fair way to get to know me.

From a universalist - non-supernatural perspective, I suppose one could define God as some kind of universal mind or first cause. I don’t find the term God very useful, but I do recognize that when people speak of God, it could be a term that has the same meaning as some concepts shared by non-theists without using the same term. Perhaps universal love, solidarity, or holistic concepts or unity in diversity.

For example, broadly considered, are the “big bang” or “quantum physics” concepts of God with a materialist name?

These concepts that describe primary deep and vast theories of causation or systems echo throughout the history of natural and religious philosophy with various terms, some mystical, some not. I don’t take offense at it.

But at the end of the day, in this modern age, I prefer not to use the term God for natural events and systems. I prefer to describe life and natural (physical) events in more precise terms, but I can appreciate and I would even encourage other terms that might bring people to some since of transcendence with or without God.

Without moments of profound transcendence or empathy with humanity, I think we would all go crazy or risk becoming sociopaths. The natural world is indifferent to us humans, so we must, as humans, care about the human condition and the ecology we live in.

I’ll leave off with two divergent quotes from one of America’s most deeply caring literary giants that illustrates this responsibility.

  “In the big ocean the big fish eat the little fish
    and the ocean doesn’t care”
    —James Baldwin, from Giovanni’s Room

... but…

“The world is before you, and you need not take it or leave it as it was before you came in.”
—James Baldwin

That is Tikkun, and that is my progressive humanism.
peace,
Gary the Grouch

[ Edited: 23 March 2010 10:14 AM by gary100 ]
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Posted: 23 March 2010 01:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Gary, you have a good point that the vastness, unknown and unknowability of the universe and its origins may mean that some people have to have a word like god to describe it.  I know it’s difficult for people to accept their own limitations, but, as Asanta, mentioned in another thread, why is it so hard for people to just say, “I don’t know”? 

And, I get the feeling that you are saying we should stay with the physical world that we can observe, and people, with whom we can relate.

Occam

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Posted: 23 March 2010 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Hi Occam,

Yes. I agree. I think it’s better to say “I don’t know.”

I don’t feel any need to call the “forever” of matter, or the infinity of the universe “God.”
But people do and I don’t begrudge them for it. If they draw from that, some fuzzy notion of infinite love and creativity, that’s okay by me, It’s a better concept than the idea of a literal anthro deity that turns people against one another. Some people find these mysticism inspiring to do good or strive for harmony. I actually find mysticism a bore. That’s just me. But it seems to work in a personal way for some. I find a good nights sleep and frequent naps to be just as “spiritually” healing.

In the thrust of my response,  I used the “God word issue” to lead into the idea, that ultimately, humans have to take responsibility because there is no supernatural something to fix things for us in the empirical world. That seems to me is humanism or naturalism in a nutshell.

“And, I get the feeling that you are saying we should stay with the physical world that we can observe, ... “
YES.

Gary

[ Edited: 24 March 2010 07:23 AM by gary100 ]
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Posted: 12 August 2011 12:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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God makes for an excellent placebo, which I think gives the notion of God value.  When things are bleak, sometimes it makes me feel better to sort of blindly ask into the wind for help.  Whether a strong enough belief in God can exist to produce a worthwhile placebo without a formalized religion can be debated, but I’m inclined to think that it can.

As for the definition of God, there are any number of acceptable possibilities, and I think it makes more sense to catalog them than to look for just one.  Of course, as an atheist, the only value you’d get out of looking for God would be a better understanding of why believers believe.

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Posted: 04 May 2012 06:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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fausinator - 13 February 2010 08:11 PM

I have a theory that God is not a useful term outside of religion.

Don’t tell the scientists in Geneva who have built the largest nuclear collider in search of the particle known as God.

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Posted: 04 May 2012 06:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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TenFold - 04 May 2012 06:52 AM
fausinator - 13 February 2010 08:11 PM

I have a theory that God is not a useful term outside of religion.

Don’t tell the scientists in Geneva who have built the largest nuclear collider in search of the particle known as God.

... not a useful term there, either.

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