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Old 06-06-2013, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
6,872 posts, read 3,797,576 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOTaTHEIST View Post
As a new member here I thought this might be a good subject to break in with. As you can tell by my forum handle, NOTaTHEIST, that I am an atheist, which can be literally translated as not a theist (a theist is a person who believes in a god or gods). I don't know, it seems to be make my stance a bit clearer.

So what makes a thing a god? Can a god even be a thing? All "things" we observe in nature have substance/matter, but then most gods are considered supernatural, which only can be described as without substance/matter.

I've been pondering these questions for many years now, and have yet to come to any substantive conclusions. The only three points that always seem to fit with gods are these.

1. It must be worshipped.

2. It can not be composed of the same stuff everything else in nature is composed of.

3. It is generally the subject of some grand religious story.

Number 2 doesn't leave us with much to go on, does it? I will admit some ancient gods were considered natural, but as far as I'm concerned I would never call something a god if it was composed of the same stuff I am. Number 3 might make us wonder if gods are just stories. That they are nothing more than anthropogenic concepts humans invented to explain the difficult and dispel our fears.
I'd add to your list that for a god to 'exist':

4. You gotta have 'FAITH'. The 'faith' thing seems to be the stock answer. Someone wrote on another thread recently that god doesn't have to do anything and that the whole point is you have to have faith. So I take from that, that god has to be invisible and do nothing.....I don't know ...it's beyond me.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
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Something I've learned from this forum is that "god" has approximately 7 billion different meanings. I just don't have time to list them all.
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:09 PM
 
354 posts, read 246,277 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
Simple as in pulled out of thin air with no effort put into thought or substantiation.

I recognize the human desire for simple answers. What we should never lose sight of is that being simple does not make an answer correct. Or even credible.

However in the interests of sticking to the thread topic it is worth pointing out that that does not answer the OPs question in any way. It more begs the question, or avoids it. Saying X is the answer to Y does not actually tell you what X actually is.
Very intuitive. The heart of the real question is this, and probably the way I should have worded it to begin with.

What is a god... composed of? This is a question I've never had a good answer to.
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:12 PM
 
354 posts, read 246,277 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruithne View Post
I'd add to your list that for a god to 'exist':

4. You gotta have 'FAITH'. The 'faith' thing seems to be the stock answer. Someone wrote on another thread recently that god doesn't have to do anything and that the whole point is you have to have faith. So I take from that, that god has to be invisible and do nothing.....I don't know ...it's beyond me.
At this point, it does require faith to believe in a god. I'm not necessarily sure however if being a god requires sentient beings have faith in you. Interesting thought though.
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:15 PM
 
354 posts, read 246,277 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
Something I've learned from this forum is that "god" has approximately 7 billion different meanings. I just don't have time to list them all.
Yes, it's one of the reasons it so difficult to understand why people believe they exist as separate entities. It also lends credence to an opinion that gods are nothing more than human concepts.
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:24 PM
 
354 posts, read 246,277 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
I do not generally find time to engage in hypotheticals. Were someone to evidence the existence of this entity, natural or not, then I might engage in labeling exercises. Until such a point however I see no reason to postulate on a naming convention.
I love hypotheticals. As far as labeling exercises, I tend to agree with you.

Perhaps a better way to ask the question would be this. As per point 1. it must be worshipped.

Would you be willing to worship a natural/material intelligence that created (assuming this was proven) our universe? I would not.
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:18 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,289,313 times
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Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
I do not agree with your post. Therefore it is a non post.
Not even remotely similar to what I am saying. A complete disingenuous misrepresentation in fact.
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:19 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,289,313 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOTaTHEIST View Post
Would you be willing to worship a natural/material intelligence that created (assuming this was proven) our universe? I would not.
Again, while you might love them, I do not really do pointless hypotheticals. If you find such an entity and can evidence the existence of it to me, then I will happily answer the above.

Until then you may as well ask me if I worship Gandalf for all the sense the question makes.
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:53 AM
 
354 posts, read 246,277 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
Again, while you might love them, I do not really do pointless hypotheticals. If you find such an entity and can evidence the existence of it to me, then I will happily answer the above.

Until then you may as well ask me if I worship Gandalf for all the sense the question makes.
That's cool. I'll drop the hypotheticals and ask a direct question, not necessarily to you, that anyone can feel to chime in on.

I take this idea from something Isaac Asimov once wrote. I quote, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

Would anyone (theist or atheist) here worship anything that was proven to be material in nature? I ask this question because it's direct to my point that gods can't be material in nature and must in fact be supernatural (which I take to mean not natural/material). I may in fact be wrong and something that is composed of matter can be considered a god, even though I personally wouldn't call it one.
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Old 06-07-2013, 04:29 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,102,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOTaTHEIST View Post
I take this idea from something Isaac Asimov once wrote. I quote, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

Would anyone (theist or atheist) here worship anything that was proven to be material in nature? I ask this question because it's direct to my point that gods can't be material in nature and must in fact be supernatural (which I take to mean not natural/material). I may in fact be wrong and something that is composed of matter can be considered a god, even though I personally wouldn't call it one.
I would not worship anything natural / material. And I inherently would be incapable of perceiving or relating to anything unnatural / immaterial, which renders any such thing (at the very least) irrelevant to me.

What people actually worship is their own ideas, really. It's a way of being a "legend in your own mind" without overtly fawning over yourself. It's the magic of projection.
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