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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Linguist View Post
    Because the essence of god incorporates everything and nothing. That's why it's not everything.

    In essence, God is our limited way of envisioning all there is and all there is not on a physical plane with a physical body and a physical mind.
    Why isn't this just garden variety human imagination?

  2. #22
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    When people talk about "God" I generally envision them referring to the mainstream notion of a distinctive being with its own individuality, morals, and ideals, etc. All the various texts and bibles seem to support this stance.

  3. #23
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    When I'm in a theistic mood, one of two definitions usually comes to mind:-

    Either, the ultimate mover, a 'thing' that is responsible for everything that occurs inside the universe. Essentially the cause of all the patterns one can observe in the universe. I usually do this to fill in a mental void for why things occur, since scientific definitions merely record patterns and create a cause and effect chain that becomes a circle (not that that can't be the fullest explanation possible).

    The other, more common definition I use, is as a short term for the natural intelligence that occurs within the universe. I know a lot of people, especially philosophers, like to say that god is the consistency within the universe, the reason there is any intelligibility at all. However, I'm referring to the more common definition of intelligence, mainly that of humans, that seem to naturally occur through processes such as evolution. (Apparently there's reason to believe a lot more intelligence is forming and has already formed within the universe.) It seems, to me, that all this intelligence is attempting to head towards a singularity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Synarch View Post
    But, to me, God is a creative presence at work in the world. A force for goodness. A light in the void.
    You see, I just call that 'goodness'.

    Quote Originally Posted by juggernaut View Post
    Hmmm, I seem to be going in circles here. Why is 'everything' God? Why isn't 'everything' just everything?
    Well, in most languages there's more than one word that essentially symbolize the same thing, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Linguist View Post
    Because the essence of god incorporates everything and nothing. That's why it's not everything.

    In essence, God is our limited way of envisioning all there is and all there is not on a physical plane with a physical body and a physical mind.
    I find this definition of god, or something similar, is only outnumbered (possibly) by the average christian definition.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post

    Well, in most languages there's more than one word that essentially symbolize the same thing, right?


    Certainly. But if that's the case then aren't we all believers in god? Even the most vehement atheist has to concede everything exists because every thing does exist, it's in the definition. I just don't see where/how everything becomes synonymous with god in a truly meaningful way. This way of explaining things strikes me as doing something akin to simply deciding to call red green. We can call red crimson or cerise, but it doesn't seem right to call it green. Doing this with 'god' and 'everything' seems sneaky, or at least semantically disingenuous. Does integrity just go out the door when logic crashes the party?

  5. #25
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Our imagination can only extend to a certain degree, which is why I think it's beyond imagination...

    And the fact that my concept of God is 'typical' doesn't prevent me from sharing it. I don't believe that because I want to be cool and different but because that's how I believe.
    If you are interested in language, words, linguistics, or foreign languages, check out my blog and read, post, and/or share.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Linguist View Post
    Our imagination can only extend to a certain degree, which is why I think it's beyond imagination...

    And the fact that my concept of God is 'typical' doesn't prevent me from sharing it. I don't believe that because I want to be cool and different but because that's how I believe.
    So is the old "greatest possible being", St. Anselm's ontological argument? I have to admit that argument is one of the few that is tough to beat, though Gaunilo's fool does a pretty good job. You don't think it's at all possible that this perception of limitation is just an instinctual drive to keep us moving perhaps? Something to keep us trucking along when we're faced with serious adversity, as our ancestors must have been? Is there any possibility that that might be what's going on?

    I hope I don't seem to be giving you too hard a time, I am genuinely curious.

  7. #27
    Phoenix Incarnate Sentura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juggernaut View Post
    Don't assume I'm making that mistake. The point is that there's still nothing there. If god is just existence, or the sum total of everything, the term itself has no independent meaning and is, therefore, essentially useless. This is why philosophers have such an easy time making short work of these kinds of explanations.
    that is also why i largely don't use the term except in discussions where it is referred to
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by juggernaut View Post
    Certainly. But if that's the case then aren't we all believers in god? Even the most vehement atheist has to concede everything exists because every thing does exist, it's in the definition. I just don't see where/how everything becomes synonymous with god in a truly meaningful way. This way of explaining things strikes me as doing something akin to simply deciding to call red green. It's seems sneaky, or at least semantically disingenuous. Does integrity just go out the door when logic crashes the party?
    I assume at some point, god essentially meant the most powerful being. The most powerful being essentially being the most significant one, to humans at least. Because of this, some people change their definition of god to whatever they see as the most powerful/significant thing that they think actually exists.

    Every definition I've encountered seemed to have personal significance as the lowest common denominator, so it makes sense.

  9. #29
    Senior Member ENFJ_Catholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Linguist View Post
    If you took the whole universe - including everything, and I mean everything, matter, energy, antimatter, everything in any dimension or timeframe and somehow managed to sum it all up (although that's really impossible) whether it be on the physical or another plane, that'd be God.

    But it's not one thing - it's simply everything. And it's not a being (physical or otherwise). It just is. And interestingly enough if you look at all religious traditions, they basically say the same thing in different words.

    God is simply a word denoted to the summation of all space, time, and matter and the lack of all three combined. It is and is not.

    That's why you can't prove or disprove it.
    I like the way you put that, Little Linguist. But I would say there's room for a personal understanding of God. It's not necessarily a pantheistic point of view to understand all creation under "His" control, as in under the natural laws in place. It depends on how one looks at it all.

    And human imagination has its limitations. We humans do have limits whether accepted or unaccepted by us.
    "In the end it is not a matter of reason; it is a matter of love." - St. Thomas More

  10. #30
    Intriguing.... Quinlan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    Well, in most languages there's more than one word that essentially symbolize the same thing, right?
    God is a messy word though, it comes with all sorts of connotations that existence and everything don't. Isn't existence and everything clearer use of language, without all the hellfire and brimstone connotations?
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