So what do you mean by God?
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Zaphod, knowing and believing are two different things. At this point you can't know that there is or isn't a creator God. That's why tacking the term agnostic on either theist or atheist seemed redundant to me.
Agreed. which is why tacking on theist or atheist to the term agnostic is redundant to me as well. though I do consider myself agnostic and do tend to lean more atheist than theist. I prefer not to know one way or the other things I can't be sure about.
Like this: "I don't *know* whether God exists or not, but I *believe* that He does.
You don't know and I don't know and they don't know. Why do you "believe" that he does? Because you want to? Because you were taught to?
The God of the Bible isn't omnipresent. His position is fixed. In Heaven. The God of which you speak isn't omnipotent. He can't lie. You and I can lie. He can not. The God of the Bible isn't omniscient. He sent angels to Sodom to see if it was as bad as those praying against it were true. He asked Adam and Cain what they had done.
Guard yourself against religiosity.
Well, none of that applies to me because the personality of God is not based off of the Bible. I believe the God exists as my research has pointed me to that conclusion.
God doesn't exist within Heaven, Heaven exists within God, within His mind. That's what Heaven is.
God can lie, He just freely chooses not to. Just like you possess the ability to kill people, you just freely choose not to.
I am agnostic too and that meaning i don't know for sure that no god exist any more than I know any god does. I am more for believing that the term god was a creation of man and not the other way around. I also believe there is little to any chance any theist group has the idea they are trying to address completely right when it comes to speak of god or gods. With how much the description changes from one group to another, to think any one group has it right would be A. egotistical and B. naive. In all likely-hood if there was some creating force as the term god is often assigned, it, not he or she does not know us all on a personal level and has likely died long ago if not in the creation of the universe unless teh universe and it are one and the same. The way I would if I were trying to push some theist agenda describe such a force would be to call it everything. Thereby like the christian god having no beginning or end while being both at the same time, as everything it would also be all knowing and science would completely work within it.
However all that being said there would be potentially limitless possibilities with how this force could be and as such it is likely that this force would not care about the day to day ramblings, complaints, desires and beliefs of any race of beings that were in its entirety less than comparatively a flake of skin, let alone the ramblings, complaints , desires and beliefs of any individual being..
All that being said the term agnostic applies to me as I am not sure of any of these Ideas and though I lean in several directions as to how things could be, I don't know anything for sure and that's fine. For all I know this other direction I lean could be the case and we could all be in part of one continuous impervious to time loop path that collapses on itself and replays over and over again laying out every possibility at infinite-um. Thereby every little thing every particle, every last quark could be this god or force in its entirety. I don't know this to be the case for sure, but it would make everything ever said about any god true while kind of untrue at the same time. It would also mean to believe in yourself and all of creation
is to believe in god and thereby believing in god could be useful. Furthermore, it would make this force infinite and many times more than all of creation.
Once again all said, the term agnostic sums me up pretty well on its own because I don't know any of this for certain.
Zasphod, I would agree that no theist, including - shudder - myself has or will ever have gotten it all right. At least not in this life. That applies to any human endeavor of an imperfect world, whether science, religion, the arts, love and live in general. You might say Life, The Universe And Everything.
Thanks for sharing your own interesting interpretation, I always like to hear what others believe.
LOL, I am appreciating the HHGTTG jokes being layered in.
In high school I got a note sent home with my report card from my science teacher saying that I was 'an avid reader, but unfortunately not the right books.' I would sit and read Douglas Adams and Frank Herbert all through class. I don't know how I ever passed on schedule, I guess I did as much as I had to. It must have been distracting to try and teach science while I sat in the back corner with tears of laughter, literally, reading about Ford, Arthur, Marvin and Zaphod.
That's odd, the Hitchhiker's Guide was required reading for entering 9th grade in my school system. I did enjoy it though :)
Covering all of the bases so to speak? It does make a lot of sense that you can't denounce something as false that you can't truly prove either way.
A being that is both space less and timeless would be incapable of interacting with beings that do have these qualities by its very nature. It would be about as meaningful for god to be like that as I would be if he/she/it didn't exist at all.
A spaceless and timeless being is not bound by physicality or temporality, and is therefore not contingent upon these nor is it affected by these, especially if said entity brought the Universe into existence. If it brought the Universe into existence, it follows logically that said entity can freely interact with the Universe and entities within it.
No, if a being has no space, then it cannot materially touch a being that does have the property of space unless it can somehow temporarily change how the laws of physics apply to it (and such "magic" is illogical and should never apply to god). If a god is timeless, time also contains the property of motion and change, thus god would be eternal, but would be incapable of action entirely, because without time there can be no motion. Unless you define timeless as not bound to a linear timeline and thus able to move through time freely rather than be completely timeless.
God is an immaterial mind, who can freely will anything to happen. Thus, regardless of his traits, he can intervene within the Universe.
Also, God would *transcend* space and time, and therefore is not contingent upon them. He created them, so how can He not choose to act freely within these boundaries? God doesn't *literally* move when He acts or intervenes within the Universe, rather, He wills something to happen.
"how can He not choose to act freely within these boundaries?"
"He"cannot choose because, for starters, there can be no "act" *outside* these boundaries. Any act must have a beginning, which makes it necessarily timebound. This is a matter of definition, not divine choice.
Even if this god concept you mention is not contingent on time, any action or "will" you attribute to it must be.
There is an interesting non-theistic view of god put forth by former Anglican Bishop Don Cuppitt and his "Sea of Faith" movement. To me, it makes much more sense to view god the same way we view concepts like infinity, bliss, or perfection - ideals toward which we strive. This is the meaning we can derive from otherwise empty or contradictory concepts like omnipotence, omnibenevolence, and similar terms used to describe certain gods.
Short summary: "Just as you should not think of justice and truth as independent beings, so you should not think of God as an objectively existing superperson. That is a mythological and confusing way of thinking. The truth, we now see, is that the idea of God is imperative, not indicative. To speak of God is to speak about the moral and spiritual goals we ought to be aiming at, and about what we ought to become."
For more, the words that follow are from Bishop Cuppitt's book:
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God (and this is a definition) is the sum of our values, representing to us their ideal unity, their claims upon us and their creative power. Mythologically, he has been portrayed as an objective being, because ancient thought tended to personify values in the belief that important words must stand for things. ... Values do not have to be independently and objectively existent beings in order to be able to claim our allegiance. We can, after all, recognize that duty calls or that noblesse oblige without supposing that duty or noblesse are real beings. Indeed, thinking of values as objective beings out there does not help us in any way to progress towards a clearer understanding of the special part they play in our lives. We can do without that mythological notion.
As with values, so with God, because God's status in the language is very close to that of values. God simply is the ideal unity of all value, its claim upon us, and its creative power. (God is indeed the creator, for value indeed makes the world.) But the Platonic notion of God as an objective being, out there in a higher world, does nothing to explain the way he functions as our God, chosen by us, our religious ideal, our life-aim and the inner meaning of our identity. Just as you should not think of justice and truth as independent beings, so you should not think of God as an objectively existing superperson. That is a mythological and confusing way of thinking. The truth, we now see, is that the idea of God is imperative, not indicative. To speak of God is to speak about the moral and spiritual goals we ought to be aiming at, and about what we ought to become. The meaning of 'God' is religious, not metaphysical, even though unfortunately a deeply engrained habit of self-mystification leads most people, most of the time, radically to misconstrue the true meaning of religious language. The true God is not God as picturesque supernatural fact, but God as our religious ideal.
The view that religious belief consists in holding that a number of picturesque supernatural propositions are descriptively true is encouraged by the continuing grip on people's minds of a decadent and mystifying dogmatic theology. In effect I am arguing that for the sake of clarity it should be discarded entirely, and replaced by the practice of religion - ethics and spirituality - and the philosophy of religion. Then religion can become itself again, with a clear intellectual conscience at last.
Does this amount to saying that God is simply a humanly constructed ideal, such that when there are no human beings any longer there will be no God any longer? This question is improper, because it is framed from the obsolete realist point of view. The suggestion that the idea of God is man-made would only seem startling if we could point by contrast to something that has not been made by humans. But since our language shapes every topic raised in it, we cannot. In an innocuous sense, all our normative ideas have been posited by ourselves, including the truths of logic and mathematics as well as all our ideals and values. How else could we have acquired them? Thus God is humanly made only in the non-startling sense that everything is. That is modern anthropocentrism. But even on my account God is as real for us as anything else can be, and more primally authoritative than anything else is.
For the Christian, this task of working out a vision of God takes the more human and concrete form of framing a personal vision of Christ, who is our own ideal alter ego, our true Self that we are to become, our religious ideal actualized in human form. But he too, as Western Christians have always known, is tragic. The image that most reminds us of him is the cross.
When we have fully accepted these ideas and have freed ourselves from nostalgia for a cosmic Father Christmas, then our faith can at last become fully human, existential, voluntary, pure, and free from superstition. To reach this goal is Christianity's destiny, now approaching.
...all the doctrines of faith are not indicatives but symbol-clad imperatives; so that the doctrine of resurrection, for example, does not promise another life hereafter but tells us how to live now a new life that has left the fear of death behind. Rightly understood, the doctrine is not a set of supernatural facts that generate the ethic and the spirituality: the doctrine just is the ethic and the spirituality, with no gap between.
I like this view :) It really meshes with the concepts put forth by the Eastern religions. I'll watch out for that book, it was totally not on my radar.