Agreeing on a defintion of "God" with theists

18 posts / 0 new
Last post
toto974's picture
Agreeing on a defintion of "God" with theists

Hello Everyone, I hope you have a goog day.

Like the title suggests, when we let theists keep deciding , arbitrary, what their favorite deity is, and that they keep changing this definition as the debate goes, we lost.

So, if they add properties like being extra-dimensional, or infinite, and that, without reasonable assumptions or backing from religious authorities, we must tell them.

For example, when they say God is infinite, we have to work trough all the ramifications before continuing. In my mind, saying your god is infinite is close to say it is indefinite, and so, the whole point of discussing is moot. Please correct me if i am wrong.

Your thoughts on this?

Subscription Note: 

Choosing to subscribe to this topic will automatically register you for email notifications for comments and updates on this thread.

Email notifications will be sent out daily by default unless specified otherwise on your account which you can edit by going to your userpage here and clicking on the subscriptions tab.

arakish's picture
Hell, my God is so powerful,

Hell, my God is so powerful, she doesn't even need to exist. And her name is Lysantra Erisatinathis Argolan.


toto974's picture
I hope she's georgous!!! As

I hope she's georgous!!! As for me, I like the goddess Discordia.

Peurii's picture
Many semantic games are

Many semantic games are played with the word "God". Like some post Christians, who have dropped much of the inconvenient dogma, say things like "God" is love. They are perfectly fine to do so, but it's akin to saying that a cat is a dog. The concept that they are alluding to is so different from the regular usage of the word "God", that the meaning of the sentence is lost totally, to me atleast. By employing the word "God" they are keeping all the fuzzy feelings of the bearded guy in the sky, but seemingly doing away with the inconvenient baggage. In effect it is a totally new claim about this new "God", but which seemingly connects through the phenotype of the word to the God of the Christians.

Such claims seem to me to be totally vacuous. I can say that my "God" is hamburgers, but what does it matter at that point? If a "God" is a feeling, who cares? I agree that if someone makes claims about "God" from their personal cherry picking of whatever eastern philosophy they happened to have read from Wikipedia and connected to their post Christian (or what ever) beliefs, they should be pressed extra hard as to what do their words mean at that point, without thinking that the words mean what we, or even they, think they mean.

toto974's picture
The problem isnt' that this

The problem isnt' that this is merely a feeling, at least for a subset of Christians. You know that for some, all of their decisions, political or social ones, are shaped by the very definition of their god. They say God is "love", but add that it isn't what itmeans as we "mere" humans think it is, and so they can impose double standards, and dodge any questions coming to them.

Peurii's picture
I think those people are

I think those people are beyond reason. If "God" is something or the other, what ever or this and that, there is no point in discussing their "God", because their "God" is literally without meaning, ie. the word fails to distinguish anything from something other. The sign has no referent. They just made it up to feel good, and at times attribute what ever to the "God" according to their whims. You can either try to show how their "God" is without a base, or better yet you should just pat them on the head and ask if they want a cookie, and talk about something else instead.

toto974's picture


Showing their "God" is without a base would be very fastidious, so yeah, i'll go with the cookies...

PS: I like your picture^^

Peurii's picture
Yes, it's like with people

Yes, it's like with people who believe in the healing powers of unicorns, or in astrology just because or believe in angels, without believing in the Christian God. It's better just to leave them to their fantasies. Atleast they are not hurting anything other than their own wallets. Or maybe they are by validating "alternative" medicine to others...

Well, thank you. It's my deceiced gerbil in his old days with a monocle, a tophat and a cane. A true gentleman and a scholar he was.

LogicFTW's picture
If we stray away from

If we stray away from commonly accepted and held definitions of words, into our own made up for the situation definitions, then communication collapses. This is especially true if the word that has it commonly held definition change is a key word in a discussion, like "god."

Everyone here is absolutely correct in people changing around definitions is what they use to hold onto their own personal belief system as it blocks or hinders the obvious (to us atheist anyhow) discourse that points to why their reasoning is flawed.

Peurii's picture
You just described most of

You just described most of the research in modern humanities.

toto974's picture
So if we were to agree on the

So if we were to agree on the definition of god, what would it be like, according to the Bible?

LogicFTW's picture


"So if we were to agree on the definition of god, what would it be like, according to the Bible?"

Hmm, well, stepping past the problem that there are many different takes on the "bible" and bible readers only represent a minority of people on this planet, I imagine most bible readers would be GOD = supreme lord, all powerful, all knowing, had a "son" that was named jesus, and takes part in human affairs ~ very roughly 2000 years ago, and since then operated more hidden. That we need to obey his commands (conveniently edited into your language!) That you need to worship him and also never even consider any alternative no matter how compelling real world evidence tells you should consider the alternative.

Sky Pilot's picture


The biblical God = Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews and the God of the armies. The word "God" is simply a title that refers to the series of emperors and high priests who ruled to dominant ancient Middle Eastern empires at various times and who had he Hebrews as their lackeys. Sometimes it was the Egyptian Pharaoh, then the Assyrian, Hittite, Persian, Babylonian or some other ruler.The biblical God character bit the dust for good with the collapse of the Babylonian Empire and the death of its emperor around 530 B.C. He's not ever coming back.

toto974's picture
Oh..., I never thought of

Oh..., I never thought of that. By the way, does the classification of Egypt only applies to the modern world or to the Pharaonic One too?
I think the creation of Yahweh as the unique god of the Hebrews, and the most powerful one is a psychological reaction to their "humble" position.

Peurii's picture
I find it hard to listen to

I find it hard to listen to people who say that their church's interpretation of God is true, when the dogma was invented in the course of 2000 years, the New Testament itself was written in a span of 200 years, only the most popular Gospels made it into scripture and most of Christian dogma is just a blagiarized version of Platonism.

Sapporo's picture
If there was an agreement on

If there was an agreement on definitions before arguments took place, a great deal of them would never take place. It would certainly be wise to focus on definitions first.

Sheldon's picture
"For example, when they say

"For example, when they say God is infinite, we have to work trough all the ramifications before continuing."

I disagree, they are making a claim, and as is always the case they must demonstrate proper evidence to support that claim, or Hitchens's razor applies. We need do nothing.

toto974's picture
Yes, my bad. When i say "we",

Yes, my bad. When i say "we", i mean it in general, when reasonable people want a cordial discussion...

Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.