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How do you define God?

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libertygrl
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Posted 11/30/11 - 5:17 PM:
Subject: How do you define God?
This is a continuation from another thread. Not to be confused with "Do you believe in God?", although feel free to comment on that question as well. How do you define God?
thedoc
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Posted 11/30/11 - 5:51 PM:

Unfortunately, for discussion, the more I contemplate God the less I can define God. There are many who will gladly tell you what God is, where God is, and What God can and can't do, but they don't really know they're just guessing. Most definitions look more like limits, and that makes me think of a comment made by Bohr to Einstein "Stop Telling God what to do". I will start with this much, I will credit God with creating the universe, and to do that God initiated the 'Big Bang' with all the necessary parameters for our existance. I will add one more point, I do believe that God exists.
libertygrl
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Posted 11/30/11 - 6:04 PM:

my conception of god is consistent with pantheism, which holds, basically, that the whole universe is god. oliver manas wrote about pantheism that "God is not a personality distinct from nature. Deity refers to an indwelling spirit or field of influence inter-woven with the visible physical universe." this makes sense to me. what this means is that everyone and everything in the universe is part of god. is god.

or, as gene roddenberry (the creator of star trek) put it, "As nearly as I can concentrate on the question today, I believe I am God; certainly you are, I think we intelligent beings on this planet are all a piece of God, are becoming God."

it has been argued here before that atheism and pantheism are essentially the same. with that, i disagree. i think where they differ is that pantheism acknowledges a spiritual connection which ties together everything in the universe. such a concept is absent with atheism, i believe.
Re-ed
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Posted 11/30/11 - 7:09 PM:

The definition I like best is one that takes the question of existence out of the picture, by and large.

God is whatever you worship.

Where 'to worship' is to put it at the top of the agenda of one's life. Something or other more or less has to be at the top of one's agenda, unless one is entirely chaotic and directionless. It might be oneself, or happiness, or money, or power, or love, or sex, or knowledge.

Thus all gods have existence to the extent that they are realised, everyone has a god except the unfortunate idiotic (literally), and some gods are better than others.
Thoughtsarethings
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Posted 11/30/11 - 9:48 PM:

God is dog.. Backwards
Thoughtsarethings
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Posted 11/30/11 - 9:53 PM:

Re-ed wrote:
The definition I like best is one that takes the question of existence out of the picture, by and large.

God is whatever you worship.

Where 'to worship' is to put it at the top of the agenda of one's life. Something or other more or less has to be at the top of one's agenda, unless one is entirely chaotic and directionless. It might be oneself, or happiness, or money, or power, or love, or sex, or knowledge.

Thus all gods have existence to the extent that they are realised, everyone has a god except the unfortunate idiotic (literally), and some gods are better than others.


Really though...

My daily priority is getting to work. Work pays me money. I worship money? Money is God?

Re-ed
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Posted 11/30/11 - 10:39 PM:

Thoughtsarethings wrote:


Really though...

My daily priority is getting to work. Work pays me money. I worship money? Money is God?



If your priority is getting there, then presumably transport is your god. But it's your life - how would I know from here?

Play the why game. Why work? Money, Why money? to stay alive (maybe). why stay alive? ... when you get to the end, to the thing that everything is 'for', that is your god. It's not quite as daft as it sounds.

Edit: another way of looking at it is to consider your life from the point of view of being dead. Very traditional philosophy this; what was it all for, what did you stand for, what did you try and do?

Edited by Re-ed on 11/30/11 - 10:49 PM
Thinker13
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Posted 11/30/11 - 10:48 PM:

libertygrl wrote:
This is a continuation from another thread. Not to be confused with "Do you believe in God?", although feel free to comment on that question as well. How do you define God?



My definition: God is by far one of the most powerful inventions of mankind.

Then: Do not be confused with 'one' God. Just for the sake of harmony, people will say : " Your God and mine are same": They cannot be.

The God was created in the image of human, therefore Gods are as powerful, as inventive and as versatile as imaginations of their creators(humans) allowed them to be; no more, no less!

Leibniz's God would be smarter than most.

Moses' God would be angry most of the times--and would vomit fire like dragons. laughing

Hindu Gods would be practically any entity which would make their day to day life easier.

and so and so on...

You can very well do without a God..as Buddhist do.

[ However, this is not my recommendation!]

God was diseased by the time Nietzches wrote 'God is Dead' in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. I do not know if he resurrected himself.

God as a meme has caused more bloodshed and torture than most cruel human beings.

I recommend that you create your own God. You can play with it and change its capabilities at will.



Edited by Thinker13 on 12/01/11 - 10:34 AM
Thinker13
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Posted 11/30/11 - 10:53 PM:

Re-ed wrote:


If your priority is getting there, then presumably transport is your god. But it's your life - how would I know from here?

Play the why game. Why work? Money, Why money? to stay alive (maybe). why stay alive? ... when you get to the end, to the thing that everything is 'for', that is your god. It's not quite as daft as it sounds.



Not necessarily. Play the 'why' game for enough long and this 'why' will be lost like every other 'what' or 'when' or 'who'. The questioning does not end with answer--it starts questioning the questioner; who is, the prime cause of all the questions, because, all questions emanate from him; in the end all questions disappear and so does the questioner.


For most of us: Even if you do not play this 'why' game long enough: "Happiness" would be the answer in my opinion. We all strive, knowingly or unknowingly to get more and more happiness and that is so because happiness is our very nature.
thedoc
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Posted 11/30/11 - 10:55 PM:

Libertygrl, it sounds like your conception is much like the Hindu belief that is exemplified in their greeting. The hands are held prayer like in front of the face with a slight bow, it was explained that this was to acknowledge the existance of God in the other person. God exists in each person but also in everything. I'm not familiar with Pantheism enough to know all the dogma but the idea that God is the Universe, is very close to the mark. Note, I do not limit God to being only the Universe.
Thinker13
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Posted 11/30/11 - 10:57 PM:

thedoc wrote:
Libertygrl, it sounds like your conception is much like the Hindu belief that is exemplified in their greeting. The hands are held prayer like in front of the face with a slight bow, it was explained that this was to acknowledge the existance of God in the other person..



That is called 'Namaskaram' or 'Namaskar'.
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Posted 11/30/11 - 11:24 PM:

Thinker13 wrote:

We all strive, knowingly or unknowingly to get more and more happiness and that is so because happiness is our very nature.


No we don't.

But whose happiness, anyway? I don't find it to be the sort of thing one can accumulate in any case. Personally, I prefer freedom to happiness.
Thinker13
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Posted 12/01/11 - 2:30 AM:

Re-ed wrote:


No we don't.


Your opinion.



But whose happiness, anyway? I don't find it to be the sort of thing one can accumulate in any case. Personally, I prefer freedom to happiness.


You prefer freedom to happiness and in my opinion this 'freedom' is for greater happiness. Anyway, these are my opinions.

The highest freedom is 'Nirvana', which is highest happiness when translated as 'Moksha'. They all refer to a state which is immutable and yet infinitely joyful.
henry quirk
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Posted 12/01/11 - 9:52 AM:

"How do you define God?"

Whether or not he/she/it exists, in any form, I define (deem) 'god': (currently) unnecessary.

In the absence of evidence: I remain apathetically agnostic.
libertygrl
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Posted 12/01/11 - 12:23 PM:

thedoc wrote:
Libertygrl, it sounds like your conception is much like the Hindu belief that is exemplified in their greeting. The hands are held prayer like in front of the face with a slight bow, it was explained that this was to acknowledge the existance of God in the other person. God exists in each person but also in everything. I'm not familiar with Pantheism enough to know all the dogma but the idea that God is the Universe, is very close to the mark. Note, I do not limit God to being only the Universe.

there's a hindu story that alan watts used to tell about how in the beginning, god got very bored and divided up in to all the different people and beings in the world, making it so that everyone would forget that they are a part of god, and throughout time would eventually find their way back to being whole again. this game of "hide and seek" was simply a way of passing the time. it's a metaphor that resonates with me, and is also consistent with the big bang/big crunch theory.
Thinker13
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Posted 12/01/11 - 12:36 PM:

libertygrl wrote:

there's a hindu story that alan watts used to tell about how in the beginning, god got very bored and divided up in to all the different people and beings in the world, making it so that everyone would forget that they are a part of god, and throughout time would eventually find their way back to being whole again. this game of "hide and seek" was simply a way of passing the time. it's a metaphor that resonates with me, and is also consistent with the big bang/big crunch theory.


'Lila' is the word for this play in Hinduism and 'Maya' is the 'unaware', powerful, rigid meta-energy which casts spells of seemingly everlasting illusions because of which everyone keeps on running finding 'whole' of happiness.

lib: I remember your beautiful painting on Lila(Maya)!thumb up
libertygrl
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Posted 12/01/11 - 1:38 PM:

Thinker13 wrote:
lib: I remember your beautiful painting on Lila(Maya)!thumb up

thank you zen
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Posted 12/01/11 - 8:29 PM:

Thinker13 wrote:

Your opinion.


It may be your opinion that it's my opinion, but that's your opinion - I think it's true.

There is a deal of universalising goes on on this site, and I think it is unhelpful.

We all strive, knowingly or unknowingly to get more and more happiness ...


Some folks climb mountains, some meditate, some get drunk. You can say that they are all looking for the same thing if you like, but in doing so the word you use loses all meaning; 'we all strive for whatever...' you might as well say. And when you use that catch-all 'or unknowingly', then in classic psychoanalytic style, you cover all possible counter-examples. The result is that you have said something undeniable- because it is vacuous. Nevertheless, I try to take some meaning from it and that meaning I deny. Your response is to further universalise - "...'freedom' is for greater happiness." fine - everything is for greater happiness, but this tells us nothing - is meditation the same thing then as getting drunk? I think not. Just my opinion though.
libertygrl
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Posted 12/01/11 - 9:27 PM:

Re-ed wrote:
everything is for greater happiness, but this tells us nothing - is meditation the same thing then as getting drunk?

to say that meditation and getting drunk have something in common - ie, the striving for happiness - is not to say that they are identical. bicycles and cars have things in common, too. are they the same? of course not. the idea is to look at the similarity, not to dismiss the similarity simply because they're not two identical objects or pursuits.

presumably, we strive for what we want. in your case, greater freedom, perhaps. it can be assumed, then, that greater freedom brings you happiness. perhaps someone says, "i don't want to be happy. i want to be depressed." it can be assumed, then, as paradoxical as it may sound, that depression brings that person happiness.

of course, happiness can be defined a number of different ways. some may define it as a blissful state. to me, it is, in part, a feeling of satisfaction that comes from having what you want. thus, what thinker said is absolutely true in my view: we all strive for more happiness.
thedoc
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Posted 12/01/11 - 10:32 PM:

On another forum a contributor asserted that every thing a person does is to move in the direction of 'greater satisfaction' by stating that what they must have geven them 'greater satisfaction' than any other possible choice. It's a circular definition therefore meaningless, likewise Happiness can be defined as what a person does, must have made them happy because that is what they did, again meaningless.
libertygrl
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Posted 12/01/11 - 11:12 PM:

i would agree that it doesn't make sense to say that everything we do makes us happy. if that were true, there would be no such thing as unhappy. i think it makes more sense that we strive for the things that make us happy. even that being the case, not everyone finds happiness.
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Posted 12/01/11 - 11:28 PM:

libertygrl wrote:

it can be assumed, then, as paradoxical as it may sound, that depression brings that person happiness.


And if they commit suicide, that death brings them happiness. What, then, is happiness? Whatever you want.

It is a nonsense, apart from anything else, because if I want something, then clearly I am unhappy with the situation. One might more reasonably say that wanting is unhappiness. Then one can make sense of depression as the attempt to deny one's unhappiness, and hence the loss of motivation. Likewise, suicide is an escape from unhappiness rather than a striving for happiness.

Cars, of course are bicycles, but they don't know it.
Thinker13
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Posted 12/02/11 - 5:43 AM:

There is a deal of universalising goes on on this site, and I think it is unhelpful.



You're entitled to your opinion and so am I to mine. Keep on doing things which are 'helpful'; keep on posting, if you want to help!
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Posted 12/02/11 - 6:04 AM:

Re-ed wrote:


It may be your opinion that it's my opinion, but that's your opinion - I think it's true.

Indeed. To a T.




Some folks climb mountains, some meditate, some get drunk. You can say that they are all looking for the same thing if you like, but in doing so the word you use loses all meaning; 'we all strive for whatever...' you might as well say. And when you use that catch-all 'or unknowingly', then in classic psychoanalytic style, you cover all possible counter-examples. The result is that you have said something undeniable- because it is vacuous.

Why is it vacuous? I do not see anything vacuous in a conjecture which states that “Anything anyone does, at any given time is for fulfilling desires and desires are there because of imperfection (known or unknown).”


Nevertheless, I try to take some meaning from it and that meaning I deny. Your response is to further universalise - "...'freedom' is for greater happiness." fine - everything is for greater happiness, but this tells us nothing - is meditation the same thing then as getting drunk? I think not. Just my opinion though.

I think, lib has tried to put already:
‘Getting drunk’ is not same as ‘Meditation’. If you infer that from my proposition, then, there is a communication gap. And may be my sentence was illogical and semantically incorrect; however, I am pretty much clear about what I was trying to state; therefore, all I can do is to rephrase it:
“We all are driven because we need to find greater happiness, joy, more and more of it and that is so because we cannot do anything which gives pain”.
Now, do not come and flail me for using ‘happiness’ as a synonym of ‘pleasure’, because it’s not. However, getting drunk is done to lessen pain or boredom, mostly.
All addictions are because of incessant activity of desire—which is for getting greater perfection, greater happiness.
A certain agent ‘X’, who has wisdom that getting drunk is not going to get rid of ‘boredom’ or ‘happiness’ permanently for him, opts for Meditation and he is called ‘wiser’. Wisdom is all about your choices.
A certain agent ‘Y’, who has not yet realized it might go for getting drunk and might laugh on the wisdom of ‘Y’, but the fact that getting drunk would not permanently remove ‘boredom’, or dissatisfaction or ‘unhappiness’ would not change because of his choices or belief.

There might be a certain agent ‘Z’, who is not interested in any wisdom and for whom ‘Freedom’ is best bet—this freedom is his choice because he might have seen that all ‘wisdom’ binds and this ‘Freedom’ for him is something which leads him beyond all pain and unhappiness and bondage.

Again: In the larger picture: Which has a lot of bullshit in it--like, reincarnation, Karma and a whole lot of other hogwash, I can say, yes, getting drunk is same as Meditation.
Thinker13
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Posted 12/02/11 - 6:13 AM:

Re-ed wrote:


And if they commit suicide, that death brings them happiness. What, then, is happiness? Whatever you want.


No.There is nothing else left as an option to reduce unhappiness, to reduce pain or boredom and hence they commit suicide. This is what they could best do in their context.

Happiness is a state of mind which is desired and which is always desired in greater amounts; no matter how much you get it.

If you want pain as machosists do; psychologists theorize that it is because you get pleasure by inflicting pain upon yourself.



It is a nonsense, apart from anything else, because if I want something, then clearly I am unhappy with the situation. One might more reasonably say that wanting is unhappiness. Then one can make sense of depression as the attempt to deny one's unhappiness, and hence the loss of motivation. Likewise, suicide is an escape from unhappiness rather than a striving for happiness.



Yes. You want because you are unhappy. Not compared to the happiness you had in your life, but rather compared to highest happiness which is your very nature.

Your explication about depression or suicide is to the point. I do not have anything to contend against it!



Cars, of course are bicycles, but they don't know it.


Good humour. thumb up
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