Theist challange: provide a rational definition of god

nigelTheBold
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Theist challange: provide a rational definition of god

In a recent topic, HisWillness floated the idea that, as there is no rational, coherent definition of god, any discussion of god is inherently ridiculous. I think it's rather like debating whether Batman could defeat Superman, myself.

In that thread, I asked a rhetorical question: what is the minimum requirements for a god? Before you can define god, you'll need some rubric by which to judge whether your definition is of god or not. For instance, is it necessary that god created the universe? Is it necessary that god intended to create humans? And so on.

Here's your challange, theists and atheists alike: provide the minimum requirements for god, and present a coherent, rational definition of god that covers the minimum requirements.

After, we'll discuss who would be better against a zombie dragon attack, Wonder Woman or Jar Jar Binks.

{{MOD EDIT:  Moved to AvT -HD}}

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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 I'm really interested in

 I'm really interested in this topic, and rather than take the atheist position, I'm going to try to play along with the theist position.  I'm kind of interested in seeing if I can get anywhere close to a coherent definition.

To begin with, I'll start with the simple definition - god (in lowercase letters).  When I look at the history of gods, I see various creatures, all of whom possessed great power, but none of whom were limitless.  In fact, most of the Greek and Roman gods had serious flaws.  Some gods were quite human in appearance, while other, older gods took the form of dragons or sea turtles, or other such natural creatures.

So, I would think a "god" would have requirements something like this:

* A being capable of interacting with earth and its inhabitants, though it might reside in a place apart from earth.  

* This being would have to be intelligent, though not necessarily vastly intelligent.

* Either through natural ability or advanced technology, this being would have to be able to exert complete or nearly complete control over the environment with respect to humans, though it wouldn't necessarily have to be able to control humans directly.

* It would have to be tremendously long-lived by human standards.

* I suppose it would need to have an interest in interacting with earth.  I mean... hell, if it didn't interact with earth, and lived somewhere imperceptible to humans... we'd be kind of stuck knowing anything about it, and we'd be back at square one, right?

I recognize that this definition could include very powerful aliens who formed naturally through evolution on a different planet.  If we're going to look at "god" comprehensively, I suppose we have to account for a "Stargate" sort of scenario, where the early gods were actually aliens.

I'll see what everybody thinks of this definition before I start messing with the later god concepts of monotheist religions.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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This is awesome. I'd take

This is awesome. I'd take any non-contradicting set of attributes that still met someone's minimum requirements of "god", too. If I'm to take the position that no gods exist, then I would have to show first that no coherent collection of attributes can still be a god, which is what I'm contending.

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 So, Will, what do you

 So, Will, what do you think of my definition?  Forget that it's not Yahweh/Jesus, and let me know if you're an atheist, and if so, strong or weak.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote:I

Hambydammit wrote:

I recognize that this definition could include very powerful aliens who formed naturally through evolution on a different planet.  If we're going to look at "god" comprehensively, I suppose we have to account for a "Stargate" sort of scenario, where the early gods were actually aliens.

I'll see what everybody thinks of this definition before I start messing with the later god concepts of monotheist religions.

I can't argue against aliens that may exist in the natural world. My argument only points out that supernatural beings are nonsense. Believing in advanced aliens is addressing something you could actually say is possible, because they'd be part of the natural world.

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Hambydammit wrote: So,

Hambydammit wrote:

 So, Will, what do you think of my definition?  Forget that it's not Yahweh/Jesus, and let me know if you're an atheist, and if so, strong or weak.


In this case, because we're dealing with something that could possibly exist in the natural world (though unlikely, given little evidence) I'd say I don't believe in these aliens, but I couldn't completely discount them.


But are they gods? They look like aliens to me, seeing as they're part of the natural world.

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I would say God is more of a

I would say God is more of a computer programmer than anything, rather than just some alien.

 

 

 

Also inb4 Eloise

 

 

 


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 So technically, an

 So technically, an "atheist" is not a full-fledged atheist if we agree that the entire historical context of the word "god" is included in the statement "I don't believe in god."  There could very well have been aliens visiting earth thousands of years ago, and though it seems highly unlikely, being a "strong atheist" with respect to this definition would be a little foolish.

We can say, then, that one need not mention atheism except in respect to a god that has been proposed.  Very few people (excepting Ciarin and a few other strange people) believe in gods in the sense that I've proposed, so it's not really necessary to mention not believing in them.

Just to keep playing devil's advocate, I would suggest that a creator of this universe would be enough qualification by a lot of people's standards.  Could we say that a god (in the Yahweh sense) would have to, at a minimum, have created the universe?

Suppose that each universe is a bubble in a multiverse, and there is another universe in the multiverse such that intelligent beings have the capability to create universes.  It might be hard to imagine, but realistically, it might be just a matter of scale.  The universe seems immense to us, but if there is another universe thousands of orders of magnitude more immense, our black holes might be interesting little lab experiments for inhabitants of the bigger universe.

 

 

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I would

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I would say God is more of a computer programmer than anything, rather than just some alien.

List of attributes so far:

- more of a computer programmer than anything

- not just some alien

Both comparatives in relation to undefined objects, so we'll have to keep looking.

I think I get what you mean about this thing being a kind of computer programmer with regards to our universe, but that analogue would have to apply to something before it would be an attribute. Is this computer programmer a part of the natural world?

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Also inb4 Eloise

I think Eloise is going to have the most fun with this one.

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fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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I guess I'll tip my hand on

I guess I'll tip my hand on this.

Attributes of god:

* Able to influence reality (and is thus observable, at least in principle)

* Sentient

* Omniscient

* Omnipresent

I'm not going for the other omnis, because I don't think they are necessary for god. Omnipotence is good, certainly, but it's also a copout. All it means is, "able to do anything," which leads to such great stoner conundrums as, "Can god make a Dallas Cowgirl so heavy that he can't lift her?" And omnibenevolence? What the hell is that, really?

Given those basic attributes, here is my proposed coherent definition of god:

The universal quantum mind.

Hey! Stop snickering. Hear me out.

The universe may be considered as a vast quantum computer. Given that we ourselves have emergent intelligence (I guess), the universal quantum computer may also have emergent intelligence. The only two questions left are, can this emergent intelligence influence other quantum events? Can these influenced quantum events propogate to the extent of influencing non-quantum processes such as evolution?

I reckon it's not much of a god if you have to speculate on its efficacy on non-quantum processes. It's also entirely speculative, relying on our ignorance of the underlying principles of QM, and so is just another form of quantum woo. But, we do have a rudimentary understanding of quantum computing, and viewing the universe as a quantum computer isn't entirely unrealistic. Still, though, everything else is a chain of wild speculation, rather than just wide-eyed speculation.

In any case, the omnipresent universal mind knows when you masturbate. Believe me, it's keeping a list, too, and if you want to get into Quantum Heaven, you'd best not.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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Hambydammit wrote:Suppose

Hambydammit wrote:

Suppose that each universe is a bubble in a multiverse, and there is another universe in the multiverse such that intelligent beings have the capability to create universes.  It might be hard to imagine, but realistically, it might be just a matter of scale.  The universe seems immense to us, but if there is another universe thousands of orders of magnitude more immense, our black holes might be interesting little lab experiments for inhabitants of the bigger universe.

"Hello, Gummunders and Gummanders! You are in for a special treat here at Harbadasher Labs. It just so happens that today, our lead Lord and Saviour, Lab Technician Hrnia, is creating a universe! That's right, Gummands! It's not every tour group that gets to witness the Genesis and Creation of a new universe. If you want a really special treat, come back in 10,000 standard revolutions to witness some of the best religious wars you'll ever see."

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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HisWillness wrote:I think I

HisWillness wrote:

I think I get what you mean about this thing being a kind of computer programmer with regards to our universe, but that analogue would have to apply to something before it would be an attribute. Is this computer programmer a part of the natural world?

 

 

I would have to work out the bugs, but I actually think Nigel is quite close with the quantum computer thing, as for Quantum heaven thing, let's say I'm uncertain about that.

 

 

HisWillness wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Also inb4 Eloise

I think Eloise is going to have the most fun with this one.

 

I don't think she would want you cheating on her with me.

 

 

 


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Hambydammit wrote: So

Hambydammit wrote:
So technically, an "atheist" is not a full-fledged atheist if we agree that the entire historical context of the word "god" is included in the statement "I don't believe in god."


No, not at all. You don't need to know the whole history of a word that is either undefinable or defined in such a way that it's nonsense. You only need to find the minimum requirement for something to be a god.



Hamby wrote:
There could very well have been aliens visiting earth thousands of years ago, and though it seems highly unlikely, being a "strong atheist" with respect to this definition would be a little foolish.


If we were to call those "gods", and not "aliens", then our atheism would be simple skepticism, and thus "agnostic atheism", yes.

Hamby wrote:
We can say, then, that one need not mention atheism except in respect to a god that has been proposed.

It is a-theism, after all.

Hamby wrote:
Just to keep playing devil's advocate, I would suggest that a creator of this universe would be enough qualification by a lot of people's standards.  Could we say that a god (in the Yahweh sense) would have to, at a minimum, have created the universe?


What does it actually say about a god that they created the universe? Does it describe the god?

Hamby wrote:
Suppose that each universe is a bubble in a multiverse, and there is another universe in the multiverse such that intelligent beings have the capability to create universes.  It might be hard to imagine, but realistically, it might be just a matter of scale.  The universe seems immense to us, but if there is another universe thousands of orders of magnitude more immense, our black holes might be interesting little lab experiments for inhabitants of the bigger universe.

This one, I like, because it fulfills the criteria of both being in the natural world and being beyond any hope of our perception. This may be Cpt_pineapple's version of gods.

Hmm. We have described them, they would exist outside of our universe ... but does the possibility not exist that we could visit them? Yes, because they're part of the natural universe. The possibility still exists that we could know these creatures, by using the same physical interface that they do. Thus, we are not agnostic of them, merely ignorant.

For agnosticism to carry, it would have to be impossible for us to gain knowledge of those creatures. But the possibility exists that we might find a way to gain knowledge of any creature that is physical, and inhabits a physical space.

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While i find Hamby's list to

While i find Hamby's list to be reasonably agreeable... i happen to have exceedingly low standards for what constitues "A god"

 

-Abilities/Powers that defy conventional relative knowledge.

 

ie. If some "being" was to possess absolute control over fire, and claims to be a "Fire god" , I would be fine calling him a god, myself. Regardless of how he attains such power. Be it some magical metaphysical power, or incredibly advanced technology, i find it irrelavent.

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nigelTheBold wrote:The

nigelTheBold wrote:
The universe may be considered as a vast quantum computer. Given that we ourselves have emergent intelligence (I guess), the universal quantum computer may also have emergent intelligence. The only two questions left are, can this emergent intelligence influence other quantum events? Can these influenced quantum events propogate to the extent of influencing non-quantum processes such as evolution?



But then you're just describing a property of the universe, like saying mind is a property of a healthy brain, or a face can make a smile. If all "god" means is the collective behaviour of the universe, you're just labeling the sum of physicality "god". Does calling something "god" actually make it "a god"? If you called your cat "god", does that settle the issue that "a god" exists?



Maybe, but you could hardly be said to be agnostic towards it.

 

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HisWillness

HisWillness wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:
The universe may be considered as a vast quantum computer. Given that we ourselves have emergent intelligence (I guess), the universal quantum computer may also have emergent intelligence. The only two questions left are, can this emergent intelligence influence other quantum events? Can these influenced quantum events propogate to the extent of influencing non-quantum processes such as evolution?

But then you're just describing a property of the universe, like saying mind is a property of a healthy brain, or a face can make a smile. If all "god" means is the collective behaviour of the universe, you're just labeling the sum of physicality "god". Does calling something "god" actually make it "a god"? If you called your cat "god", does that settle the issue that "a god" exists?

Maybe, but you could hardly be said to be agnostic towards it.

It's not so much the universe that is god, it is the sentience of the universe that is god. It's not the collective processes of the universe; it is a specific process that provides a distinct self-awareness. Just as the mind is not the entirety of the brain, the sentience of the universe is not the totality of the universe.

But it is god only if it has the ability to influence reality in any way. It'd really suck for the universe if it were self-aware, but unable to influence anything, but it wouldn't be a god at that point, per my necessary attributes.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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 Will, I think we need to

 Will, I think we need to come to a consensus on agnostic.  I haven't been using it in the Huxleyan sense, to mean that acquisition of knowledge of X is impossible.  Agnosticism, to me, is simply a binary state.  Either I have knowledge of god or I don't.  If I don't, I'm agnostic, regardless of whether I could come to have knowledge in the future.

Maybe we need another term?

In any case, suppose our "creator god" is an inhabitant of another universe, and has a way to interact with this universe.  Without knowing what kind of being this thing is, it's impossible for us to say that it is necessarily true that humans could interact with it.  Perhaps in this other universe, matter (or its equivalent?) is arranged such that (like the Terminator movies) it's a one way deal.  The BIG Universe can affect the small universe, but there is no way for the small universe to affect the big one.

(We could say that this violates the laws of the universe... but... you get the picture...)

This scenario could describe what a lot of theists think they mean when they talk about god in the supernatural sense.  It is something that can affect this universe without any means of us affecting it back.  Then again, presumably, if this being is actively tinkering with our universe, the consequences of its tinkering would change its future actions, so in a sense, this universe would be changing that one, though not through physical action.  Instead, the transfer of information would alter the other universe.

(Don't get too excited, Pineapple.  I still don't buy your definition.)

 

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:3

In a great RPG I played once, you discover that worlds, universes, galaxies...everything in your reality is nothing but a computer simulation in another reality. You were all created by an algorithm in a computer, designed to find out the origins of life by creating a "virtual" form of it, only to end up being entertainment for people later on as what was happening in the simulation began being broadcasted.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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nigelTheBold wrote:It's not

nigelTheBold wrote:

It's not so much the universe that is god, it is the sentience of the universe that is god. It's not the collective processes of the universe; it is a specific process that provides a distinct self-awareness. Just as the mind is not the entirety of the brain, the sentience of the universe is not the totality of the universe.

But it is god only if it has the ability to influence reality in any way. It'd really suck for the universe if it were self-aware, but unable to influence anything, but it wouldn't be a god at that point, per my necessary attributes.


Okay, so you're saying that the universe would have to be self-aware like we are, only in a universe-y way? And then it would have to be able to influence ... itself?

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nigelTheBold wrote:Here's

nigelTheBold wrote:

Here's your challange, theists and atheists alike: provide the minimum requirements for god, and present a coherent, rational definition of god that covers the minimum requirements.

and immediately te shan strikes you across the face with his staff.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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HisWillness wrote:Okay, so

HisWillness wrote:

Okay, so you're saying that the universe would have to be self-aware like we are, only in a universe-y way? And then it would have to be able to influence ... itself?

Right! The first bit I an almost see, if I take off my glasses and squint a little, and go all cross-eyed. The second... that seems a little far-fetched. It's not we can't do things like slow down our own heart by concentrating, or hold our breath just because we want to, but we have a physical body that obeys the laws of physics. I just can't see how the universe would be able to do anything similar.

If it weren't for the fact that Queem is all-powerful, I'd doubt Queem's ability to influence reality.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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nigelTheBold wrote:Here's

nigelTheBold wrote:

Here's your challange, theists and atheists alike: provide the minimum requirements for god, and present a coherent, rational definition of god that covers the minimum requirements.

Isn't defining something we know nothing about impossible? Even if you give a coherent definition of something, who decides whether or not that meets the requirements of god? What are the requirements of god? Who approves those? I don't see any way to objectively verify whether the requirements of your challenge are met.

 


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iwbiek wrote:and immediately

iwbiek wrote:

and immediately te shan strikes you across the face with his staff.

Te Shan struck me across the face thirty times. Does that mean yes, or does it mean no? All I did was ask if he'd get the next round, and BAM! My face is a pulpy, bloody mess.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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Hambydammit wrote:Will, I

Hambydammit wrote:

Will, I think we need to come to a consensus on agnostic.  I haven't been using it in the Huxleyan sense, to mean that acquisition of knowledge of X is impossible.  Agnosticism, to me, is simply a binary state.  Either I have knowledge of god or I don't.  If I don't, I'm agnostic, regardless of whether I could come to have knowledge in the future.

Maybe we need another term?

That's "ignorance". If "agnosticism" is "ignorance of gods", I'm fine with that. That would be my misunderstanding. Atheists would still be saying they're ignorant of something they're waiting for someone else to define coherently, though, so ...

Hamby wrote:
In any case, suppose our "creator god" is an inhabitant of another universe, and has a way to interact with this universe.  Without knowing what kind of being this thing is, it's impossible for us to say that it is necessarily true that humans could interact with it.  Perhaps in this other universe, matter (or its equivalent?) is arranged such that (like the Terminator movies) it's a one way deal.  The BIG Universe can affect the small universe, but there is no way for the small universe to affect the big one. This scenario could describe what a lot of theists think they mean when they talk about god in the supernatural sense.  It is something that can affect this universe without any means of us affecting it back.

Hmm. The problem is again with the word "exist", then. We'd have to find a different way for a totally different universe with totally different rules to "exist". If we have no way to ever know anything about this other universe (it being a one-way relationship), then my first thought is that it's completely irrelevant, and the truth or falsity of its existence cannot be shown one way or another. That means we can't know anything about it. If it can affect our world without us ever being able to know, then we're off to the land of Next Tuesday-ism.

But why even call these things gods, when an equal possibility exists that they do these things without purpose? If one moment is the creator of the next, is the first moment a god?

Hamby wrote:
Then again, presumably, if this being is actively tinkering with our universe, the consequences of its tinkering would change its future actions, so in a sense, this universe would be changing that one, though not through physical action.  Instead, the transfer of information would alter the other universe.

There's no reason for us to believe that the alternate universe behaves in such a way as it obeys cause and effect, so it could cause something in our universe without any affect whatsoever on it. In fact, it's carte blanche for that universe. No argument could be made on its behalf.

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fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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nigelTheBold

nigelTheBold wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

Okay, so you're saying that the universe would have to be self-aware like we are, only in a universe-y way? And then it would have to be able to influence ... itself?

Right! The first bit I an almost see, if I take off my glasses and squint a little, and go all cross-eyed. The second... that seems a little far-fetched. It's not we can't do things like slow down our own heart by concentrating, or hold our breath just because we want to, but we have a physical body that obeys the laws of physics. I just can't see how the universe would be able to do anything similar.


So do you figure the universe's current consistency is just a fluke, then? A period of a few billion years where things are all orderly?

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nigelTheBold wrote:Te Shan

nigelTheBold wrote:

Te Shan struck me across the face thirty times. Does that mean yes, or does it mean no? All I did was ask if he'd get the next round, and BAM! My face is a pulpy, bloody mess.

just to be clear, te shan was an early chinese ch'an (zen) master known for using his staff as a freeway to enlightenment.

and, to paraphrase the illuminating words of an ancient sutra carried across the himilayas by bodhidharma himself, he is tired of your shit.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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The questions posed thus far

The questions posed thus far seem to be something like, "can we imagine a situation that we cannot falsify?" Well, yes, of course. We could never apply evidence to something that is sufficiently unfalsifiable. That was the "undefinable" part of my argument.

Given a situation wherein no confirmation could ever be made of something, and that something follows no laws we could know of, someone saying it exists could still be told they were full of shit without breaking a sweat.

If you're more comfortable saying, "that is neither true nor false" rather than "undefined" or "meaningless", then that's fine with me.

If the universe (or universe-within-a-universe, or whatever) is such that gods can't be known by anybody, then being agnostic is what everyone is (by any definition).

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Manageri wrote:Isn't

Manageri wrote:

Isn't defining something we know nothing about impossible? Even if you give a coherent definition of something, who decides whether or not that meets the requirements of god?


As I said, I'm find with a definition of "a god". Any god will do, really. If someone is going to say "No gods exist", then they better be sure that they know what doesn't exist.

 

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I thought we've already been

I thought we've already been through this?

 

God is a Great Moose. Or perhaps a Great Panda.

...Okay, so we're not totally sure which. But He's definitely big, furry and absolutely nobody to be fucked around with. Sticking out tongue

 

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
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HisWillness wrote:Manageri

HisWillness wrote:

Manageri wrote:

Isn't defining something we know nothing about impossible? Even if you give a coherent definition of something, who decides whether or not that meets the requirements of god?

 

As I said, I'm find with a definition of "a god". Any god will do, really. If someone is going to say "No gods exist", then they better be sure that they know what doesn't exist.

But if you're letting people define god in any way whatsoever then I can define my front door as god and have just proven to you gods exist. "I don't believe in god" then becomes "I don't believe in whatever you want to apply the word god to", which is meaningless. There must be some objective way to tell whether something can be called a god or not before we start discussing whether specific qualities of it are consistent with godlyness. We obviously don't have proof of "gods", so we have nothing to compare suggested gods to, and see if they match.

It's like if you're shown a picture and asked "is this a triangle", you know exactly what needs must be met for something to qualify as a triangle, though there are a ton of different looking triangles. With "god" we have absolutely nothing to even start with.

I guess my point is that the word god means absolutely nothing. I don't think it's even possible to begin with a word then try to attach qualities to it. You need to have something new first, then invent a word for it.


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nigelTheBold

nigelTheBold wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

Okay, so you're saying that the universe would have to be self-aware like we are, only in a universe-y way? And then it would have to be able to influence ... itself?

Right! The first bit I an almost see, if I take off my glasses and squint a little, and go all cross-eyed. The second... that seems a little far-fetched. It's not we can't do things like slow down our own heart by concentrating, or hold our breath just because we want to, but we have a physical body that obeys the laws of physics. I just can't see how the universe would be able to do anything similar.

If it weren't for the fact that Queem is all-powerful, I'd doubt Queem's ability to influence reality.

Occasionally I entertain the universe (or earth) as a living thing idea, but I figure that the universe(or earth)-thing would be no more understanding of our goings-on than we understand our cells.

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nigelTheBold wrote:what is

nigelTheBold wrote:

what is the minimum requirements for a god? Before you can define god, you'll need some rubric by which to judge whether your definition is of god or not. For instance, is it necessary that god created the universe? Is it necessary that god intended to create humans? And so on.

1. For an entity to be "God" it's necessary that its description properly correlates with the books and ancient stories. If not, give it another name, "God" is taken.

2. The rest is as the books describe of course. Immanent, sentient, the origin of existence, we are it's image... etc.

NigelTheBold wrote:

 

and present a coherent, rational definition of god that covers the minimum requirements.

You mean I gotta start again!? LOL.

Okay, well the answer, as you already know, is everything.

That easily covers immanence.

It also easily covers we are in its image, absolutely it does, you cannot take away or alter a picofragment of our world, our universe, our history and have the exact same us result. Our identity as humans is completely irrevocably inseparable from the universal identity, ergo our image is god's image.

So what remains is to provide that the universe is sentient, and how sentience can be involved in the origin of the universe.

The latter part is dismissable as a relic of confusing psychological experience of time (blocks of macroscopic changes of state ordered in accordance with the psychological reality which requires them) with evidence of the real objective nature of time. The perceived separation of sentience as existing "now" and the origin of the universe existing "then" is characteristic of psychology, not time.

So that leave us with the other bit. Is the universe sentient? This comes down to what we think sentience is, and admitting a definition of sentience which is inherently dualistic (and lets admit, a just a little narcissistic) as the premise leads quickly to the conclusion that the universe is not sentient. So, what I said about the premise can stand as my argument for now.

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:3

Star Ocean TLH held that the universe had a will, that was the collective conscience of all life. As life evolved, so did the universe supporting it to contain it.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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HisWillness wrote:...If

HisWillness wrote:
...If someone is going to say "No gods exist" then they better be sure that they know what doesn't exist.

An excellent question for a Pantheist to put forward a definition of god, and for Atheists to question.

I'm not going to take a Pantheist's view or "play Devil's Advocate" (no pun intended), but to add an element which your above question would question, I'll
search around for a definition of god to a Pantheist (better than I could provide) and return with it when I find it.

I do this to expand previous definitions to include something more specific regarding a non-personal god.


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Manageri wrote:HisWillness

Manageri wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

As I said, I'm find with a definition of "a god". Any god will do, really. If someone is going to say "No gods exist", then they better be sure that they know what doesn't exist.

But if you're letting people define god in any way whatsoever then I can define my front door as god and have just proven to you gods exist. "I don't believe in god" then becomes "I don't believe in whatever you want to apply the word god to", which is meaningless. There must be some objective way to tell whether something can be called a god or not before we start discussing whether specific qualities of it are consistent with godlyness. We obviously don't have proof of "gods", so we have nothing to compare suggested gods to, and see if they match.

Exactly my argument (the first part, at least). Either we have a term that is completely devoid of definition and meaning, or we have a definition that is self-contradicting (and thus also meaningless).

Manageri wrote:
I guess my point is that the word god means absolutely nothing. I don't think it's even possible to begin with a word then try to attach qualities to it. You need to have something new first, then invent a word for it.

Right. Well, that's the way it works for the sane.

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Below is a snippet from the

Below is a snippet from the link provided.

http://knowledgerush.com/kr/encyclopedia/Pantheism/

"Pantheism, simply stated, means "God is All". It is the view that everything is of an all encompassing God. More detailed definitions tend to emphasize the idea that natural law, existence and/or the universe (the sum total of all that is was and shall be) is personified in the theological principle of 'God'. ..."

Again, this is a snippet. It's NOT complete! Please refer to the link above for more details about God in Pantheism.


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HisWillness

HisWillness wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:

Right! The first bit I an almost see, if I take off my glasses and squint a little, and go all cross-eyed. The second... that seems a little far-fetched. It's not we can't do things like slow down our own heart by concentrating, or hold our breath just because we want to, but we have a physical body that obeys the laws of physics. I just can't see how the universe would be able to do anything similar.

So do you figure the universe's current consistency is just a fluke, then? A period of a few billion years where things are all orderly?

Well, since I'm making this up as I go along, I imagine the universe's current consistency is independent of the sentience of the universe. The sentience is an emergent property of the quantum-computer nature of the universe. The observed laws of physics still apply, orthogonal to any "universe-y" intelligence.

It all seems to fall apart at that point, though. If the universe can influence the specific outcome of quantum events, you have a specialized version of the many-worlds hypothesis in which the universe selects the next specific state of the universe, rather than all universes working out at once. But that seems pretty limited, as all future states are still limited by the current state. That just doesn't seem very god-like to me.

If I understand Eloise's conception of god, this is an extremely bowdlerized (and overly-simplistic) version of her god. And I think from Cpt's comments, it's similar to her god. If I understand Eloise properly, time (and therefore causality) is an artifact of psychology, and not a fundamental property of the universe. The sentient universe then can choose whatever full-state universe (the universal states from the "beginning" to the "end" of time) it wants, just by nudging various instants in time until everything lines up like it wants, which I guess is more god-like.

I just don't quite understand it.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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treat2 wrote:Pantheism,

treat2 wrote:
Pantheism, simply stated, means "God is All". It is the view that everything is of an all encompassing God. More detailed definitions tend to emphasize the idea that natural law, existence and/or the universe (the sum total of all that is was and shall be) is personified in the theological principle of 'God'. ..."


The theological principle of "God" isn't clear, or internally consistent. Are you saying that the universe is a subset of God, or that the theological  principle of God applies to something? Because then, you'd be inconsistent twice.

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nigelTheBold wrote:I just

nigelTheBold wrote:
I just don't quite understand it.


That might not be your fault.


...


Just a possibility.

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Let's ground the problem a

Let's ground the problem a little more seriously: in order to qualify as a god, must an entity be worshipped?

That's closer to the question. If we can think of wacky creatures all day, we're not really hitting the mark if we're just imagining wacky creatures.

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treat2 wrote: An excellent

treat2 wrote:

An excellent question for a Pantheist to put forward a definition of god, ...

BOING! A brain spring musta broke.

I'm not a Pantheist as my quote implied.


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HisWillness wrote:treat2

HisWillness wrote:

treat2 wrote:
Pantheism, simply stated, means "God is All". It is the view that everything is of an all encompassing God. More detailed definitions tend to emphasize the idea that natural law, existence and/or the universe (the sum total of all that is was and shall be) is personified in the theological principle of 'God'. ..."


The theological principle of "God" isn't clear, or internally consistent. Are you saying that the universe is a subset of God, or that the theological  principle of God applies to something? Because then, you'd be inconsistent twice.

I didn't want to extract the entire web page. Check out the link. After, if you find that site's definition is lacking, my suggestion is to google "Pantheis". Pls beware that Pantheism evolved from its original form, and even since Spinoza. In any case,
rather than my winging a Pantheist def it's best to check out the link, and other links, if you want further info.


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treat2 wrote:I didn't want

treat2 wrote:
I didn't want to extract the entire web page. Check out the link. After, if you find that site's definition is lacking, my suggestion is to google "Pantheis". Pls beware that Pantheism evolved from its original form, and even since Spinoza. In any case, rather than my winging a Pantheist def it's best to check out the link, and other links, if you want further info.


The more I read that page, the more confused and less specific the definition became. There was a lot of talk of "higher understanding" and stuff, but I didn't get any actual information. Not surprising.


Eloise is much better at coming up with stuff than whoever wrote that page.

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HisWillness wrote:Let's

HisWillness wrote:

Let's ground the problem a little more seriously: in order to qualify as a god, must an entity be worshipped?

That's closer to the question. If we can think of wacky creatures all day, we're not really hitting the mark if we're just imagining wacky creatures.

To "ground the problem a little more seriously", as said...

Sorry.

Speaking of moderm Pantheism...

Panthists do not worship.

Panthists do not pray.

Panthists do not abide by ancient "texts" or scriptures.

Panthists do not abide by modern day "texts" or scriptures, although they may have read at some of them, OR an interpretation of them.

Panthists do not congregate in a "House of Worship."

The Panthist god is not a "personal god."

The Panthist god does not have a personal agenda.

In that context, the Panthist god does not act with an intention or purpose.

The Panthist god is not a deity, a spirit, or a supernatural being.

A Pantheist would say nature is my God.

A Pantheist would no worship their god any more than a physicist would worship f=ma.

Erronous are the posts seeking an all encompassing unified definition of gods.

Such a definition does not exist.

There are multiple definitions for gods, as their are for many words.

That does not mean the word is undefinable or incoherent.

The word is coherent when it's understood in the context it's being used. The context will lead towards an appropriate definition to those that know the variety of definitions.


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HisWillness wrote:The more I

HisWillness wrote:
The more I read that page, the more confused and less specific the definition became. ...

Start with the post directly above.

Again googling the criteria I provided will assist. Add to the previous Search criteria:
Spinoza
or
Spinoza history

I grant you, Pantheist-speak is not in the least bit obvious, and reading Spinoza's writings is even "worse."

The link I provided is one of many you can google.

However, if I can understand modern day Pantheism, surely you can.

If you truely want to be "serious" than do so, rather than throw your hands up at not understanding a single link you found confusing.


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HisWillness wrote:Eloise is

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise is much better at coming up with stuff than whoever wrote that page.

Which is exactly why I asked her about it.

I've noticed theism in general has a problem with being too vague. I guess it's so they can more easily equivocate things.

After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.

The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
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spike.barnett

spike.barnett wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise is much better at coming up with stuff than whoever wrote that page.

Which is exactly why I asked her about it.

I've noticed theism in general has a problem with being too vague. I guess it's so they can more easily equivocate things.


Other patterns of interest:
1.A collective objective to spew RRS garbage.
2. A collective objective to
remain ignorant while claiming just the opposite.
However, as you can research a large number of subjects at a large number of links, you choose not to, solely to remain ignorant and spew the same garbage time and again.

Plenty other patterns, but I'll wait for more ignorant off topic responses, as usual.


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Okay; I might try a more

Okay; I might try a more sincere effort here:

The Minimum Requirements for a Deity

 - Must have de facto influence over events that occur in the universe; that is, must have influence over events superceding that of the natural laws of the universe.

 - It's influence must be conditional on belief in it's existence. That is to say, it cannot participate in the universe in any way if such participation would be observed by an entity that does not believe it exists.

 

The Coherent, Rational Definition for a Deity

My deity is not a 'first cause' of any sort; it is simply a being that can influence events in ways that the natural laws of the universe would otherwise not allow for under any circumstances presusming that it's actions would only be observed by those who believe that the deity exists. It cannot excerise any action where an atheist is watching or a recording device (which does not have the capacity for belief) is monitoring.

 

 

Hm. I think that's all.

TAKE THAT YOU ATHEIST SCUM!!!

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Kevin R Brown wrote:Okay; I

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Okay; I might try a more sincere effort here:

The Minimum Requirements for a Deity

 - Must have de facto influence over events that occur in the universe; that is, must have influence over events superceding that of the natural laws of the universe.

 - It's influence must be conditional on belief in it's existence. That is to say, it cannot participate in the universe in any way if such participation would be observed by an entity that does not believe it exists.

 

The Coherent, Rational Definition for a Deity

My deity is not a 'first cause' of any sort; it is simply a being that can influence events in ways that the natural laws of the universe would otherwise not allow for under any circumstances presusming that it's actions would only be observed by those who believe that the deity exists. It cannot excerise any action where an atheist is watching or a recording device (which does not have the capacity for belief) is monitoring.

 

 

Hm. I think that's all.

TAKE THAT YOU ATHEIST SCUM!!!

Sorry, not according to Pantheism, which is asalid a religion as any, and supercedes your personal definitions.

As I said, ...
Panthists do not worship.
Panthists do not pray.
Panthists do not abide by ancient "texts" or scriptures.
Panthists do not abide by modern day "texts" or scriptures, although they may have read at some of them, OR an interpretation of them.
Panthists do not congregate in a "House of Worship."
The Panthist god is not a "personal god."
The Panthist god does not have a personal agenda.
In that context, the Panthist god does not act with an intention or purpose.
The Panthist god is not a deity, a spirit, or a supernatural being.
A Pantheist would say nature is my God.
A Pantheist would no worship their god any more than a physicist would worship f=ma.
Erronous are the posts seeking an all encompassing unified definition of gods.
Such a definition does not exist.
There are multiple definitions for gods, as their are for many words.
That does not mean the word is undefinable or incoherent.
The word is coherent when it's understood in the context it's being used. The context will lead towards an appropriate definition to those that know the variety of definitions.


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nigelTheBold wrote:I guess

nigelTheBold wrote:

I guess I'll tip my hand on this.

Attributes of god:

* Able to influence reality (and is thus observable, at least in principle)

* Sentient

* Omniscient

* Omnipresent

I'm not going for the other omnis, because I don't think they are necessary for god. Omnipotence is good, certainly, but it's also a copout. All it means is, "able to do anything," which leads to such great stoner conundrums as, "Can god make a Dallas Cowgirl so heavy that he can't lift her?" And omnibenevolence? What the hell is that, really?

Given those basic attributes, here is my proposed coherent definition of god:

The universal quantum mind.

Hey! Stop snickering. Hear me out.

The universe may be considered as a vast quantum computer. Given that we ourselves have emergent intelligence (I guess), the universal quantum computer may also have emergent intelligence. The only two questions left are, can this emergent intelligence influence other quantum events? Can these influenced quantum events propogate to the extent of influencing non-quantum processes such as evolution?

I reckon it's not much of a god if you have to speculate on its efficacy on non-quantum processes. It's also entirely speculative, relying on our ignorance of the underlying principles of QM, and so is just another form of quantum woo. But, we do have a rudimentary understanding of quantum computing, and viewing the universe as a quantum computer isn't entirely unrealistic. Still, though, everything else is a chain of wild speculation, rather than just wide-eyed speculation.

In any case, the omnipresent universal mind knows when you masturbate. Believe me, it's keeping a list, too, and if you want to get into Quantum Heaven, you'd best not.

This reminded me of Frank Tiplers Physics of Immortality I had read a long time ago and didnt like it much. Didnt know he made more of them, but he did. I guess he's trying to sell books. Here's a critique:

http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/tipler.html

 


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 as far as im concerned

 as far as im concerned this is the only quality a god must posses to be a god, a god must be undetectable directly or indirectly, and it must leave no traces or any evidence of its existence. It is the only thing that fits with all gods that I know of.

 

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.