Who is God?

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by Gatekeeper, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    the wil-radar-thomas scale...

    interesting...

    I don't think this is linear...or circular...it would be interesting to plot though...
     
  2. BlaznFattyz

    BlaznFattyz Active Member

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    you are right in wanting to know and understand a religion first and knowing even other religions to have greater understanding of the one you are looking into. God even asks us to question things, because his He knows His word like seed will go out to the field, and those seeds that find good ground will not return void. So there will be those that may intellectualize their way to christianity, but it will be he spirit that tells you that Jesus is Lord--That is unique to christianity.
    to even understand christianity, with the points you have made, you would have to understand Judaism, then understand christianity in its many stages. coming out of judaism, then christianity laying over pre-existing cultures and religions and creating catholicism which was then spread over the world, and then there are those that would take out all the embellishments to try and bring it to it's basics as they think it was meant to be in the first place which are protestants.
    but if you ever end up as a christian, which i have been for 40 years of my life now, i can tell you that christianity as a title is a religion, but as it is practiced is a spiritual relationship going all the way back to Adam and Eve where you walk and talk with God. And all that christianity does is through the spirit not because we are commanded, but because it springs out of love.
     
  3. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Ah, ACOT, very perceptive. If one understands spirituality one is spiritual (JMHO). I do not know what a rational or empirical knowledge of spiritual would be. I must take time to think on that. So we are kind of "different" sides here. You see the outside (the objective) of spirituality and believe this understanding. I experience what I believe to be the inside and say I do not know anything about it.

    Whitehead, Spinoza, Laotzu, Roshi Ueshiba. The point is not "you must understand all of them". It is that their g!d, like mine, is not in our image. The truth is there is no image of H!r... just H!s presence. Some thing worthy of faith and awe and worship and love and veneration doe not have to be us-like in form or content. On our best days and best behavior we are Divine in our content. And if (as the Rishis teach us) we can ever become the Mind of Chr!st, perhaps our form will take on !ts nebulousness. I do not claim that kind of knowledge. I claim only my experience of g!d.

    If you want we can start a thread on this particular point: "God Does Not Have to be Anthropomorphized".
     
  4. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    wil, probably circular.
     
  5. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    A way to 'see' extra dimensions | COSMOS magazine

    I am thinking it is more like this, and while we are all on different warped planes of existence our thoughts are parralel in some aspects and have adjacency in others due to their proximity...
     
  6. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    Yes I think you got me pegged here, I'm slightly envious of your (all of you) spiritual experience. It is impossible to imagine and it's very likely that I'll never feel it. I wonder very much how it would change the way I look at things. But only slightly, I'm very comfortable with the way I see things and I have my way, as you noted, of observing the universe.

    I think you formulated it well here, and it is what I have read in your previous comments. It's oh so slightly outside my comprehension but I understand YOU.

    Not on my account, I don't feel like I have anything more to ad, but I would gladly listen to other comments on this.

    Wil, yes, the wil-radar-thomas scale would need many more dimensions, I would think.
     
  7. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Well--

    g!d is some thing that exists (at least in my experience). By use of intersubjective vaerification it is pretty safe to say that a lot of other human beings share this experience. What is !t? The experience (I realize this is only an obstensive definition) deserving of faith, awe, love, trust, veneration. I kept that really simple, perhaps too much so.

    Like the definition of "Lita" (my 36 year old mare) when I point at her, I fully understand that you cannot objectively know it. I could rattle off a whole boatload of descriptions or provide a video of her and this would give you enough to know.

    I cannot do that with g!d I am afraid. I could list a whole lot of things H! cannot be. Having a physical form (in the same sense you and I and Lita have) is one of those things. Having the physical reality we call "Fatherly" and "Motherly", ditto (how can Sh!)? Damning all but 144,000, ditto. Having writ the Bible (or the Bahavigad Gita or the Quran), ditto.

    Not as "facts of reality", empirical, perceivable, knowable things. That is why I prefer the metaphors of a Chuangzi or a Chr!st or a Rumi or a Fox or a Besht. The knowldege is not empirical.


    "There is nothing here in the nature of proof. There is merely the confrontation of the theoretic system with a certain rendering of the facts ... Viewed as primordial, he is the unlimited conceptual realization of the absolute wealth ofpotentiality. In this aspect, he is not
    before all creation, but with all creation. But, as primordial, sofar is he from ‘eminent reality,’ that in this abstraction he is ‘deficiently actual’—and this in two ways. His feelings are only conceptual and so lack the fulness of actuality. Secondly, conceptual feelings, apart from complex integration with physical feelings, are devoid of consciousness in their subjective forms." Whitehead, Process and Reality, Part V, Section II (see http://sdcc3.ucsd.edu/~ir118/JOC20/Whitehead_PR_Part5_Final_Interpratation.pdf for what I think are the best 60-odd pages of theology ever written).

     
  8. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    Thanks radar, by realising that distinction between our realities, I made a few posts ago, things are shifting slightly in my perspective. Everything is a bit blurry(ier) and it will be an interesting time read and reread some old stuff on the essence of the divine and religion.
     
  9. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    Backing up a little bit, here is a snip of an earlier post of mine with a rebuttal from Radar:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gordian Knot:
    Thomas I do believe we invent our own religions. Just as I believe that God was made in our image, not the other way around. Every religion that has ever come down the pike has been invented by mortal men. Defined by mortal men. Ordained by mortal men. Justified by mortal men.

    Radar's Response:
    I do not quite agree. Spinoza and Leibnitz and Whitehead did not define g!d in terms of “our image”. You are free to believe what you want. But these three (let alone the thousands of their followers) pretty much disprove your assertion. It really does not matter what you or the vast majority define as “religions”. The fact that these three saw something different is enough to disprove your thesis
    .

    I'm very confused by this response. The fact that these three believed something different certainly shows there is another way to look at the question. My confusion is your conclusion that what they saw disproves my comments. If I may be allowed a moment of humble hubris, what makes their version inherently more provable than mine? What makes the fact that many people follow their thinking different from the many people who believe as I do?

    Man in god's image/ God in man's. How can anyone prove or disprove what we, by definition, cannot prove?
     
  10. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    Didn't you say that every god has been made in the human image? Radar say that those three men didn't make a god in the human image. Wouldn't that mean that not every god is made in the human image. Thus, you would be wrong in that?
     
  11. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Easy. Spinoza saw g!d as "[E]xcept God, no substance can be or be conceived"... meaning the Koismos itself (meaning material and mental stuff) is g!d (See his Ethis E1P14).

    Leibnitz' definition is much more subtle "The first question which should rightly be asked is this: why is there something rather than nothing?" Because Every existing thing has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause. And if the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God. And if the universe is an existing thing. The explanation of the universe is God. (NOTE: nowhere does Leibnitz define g!d as something beyond this).

    Whitehead's is just more esoteric "God is the poet of the world" (Process and Reality pg 386).

    None of these definitions anthropomorphize g!d in any way.
     
  12. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    Ah I see. What you were rebutting was my statement that all Gods are created in man's image. Yes?

    Except I never said that. I said God (singular, & referring to the Christian one; though admittedly I did not make that latter part clear) was created in man's image.

    I then went on to say that all religions (plural) were a construct of mortals. Now many of you may disagree with me, which is cool (big of me, huh?) but I don't think either side can prove the other is wrong.

    I do not disagree with the statement that not all gods are created in man's image. Aren't there some female deities out there?
     
  13. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    So you still think that Spinoza, Leibnitz and Whitehead described a human like deity?
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You may choose to think so, but it's not the case.

    It completely ignores 2,000 years of reasoned and rational insight into the question.

    The Christian idea of God is founded on the Jewish tradition, and again you ignore their own history of theological insight.

    One of my favourite examples is the Divine Name, El Shaddai, 'God the Almighty'. This title would appear to be, in its origins, the designation of a local deity, but it has been transliterated according to a broader and more profound notion of an all-encompassing monotheism, so that in Christianity is is translated as Christos Pantokrator, and the Greek implies one of the qualities predicated of the Divine, omnipotence.

    As regards Divine Names, Dionysius the Areopagtite wrote a tract on this issue in the 6th century, and argues that the Divine Names are human predicates of the Divine Nature, but they do not define them.

    If the Jews created God in the human image, there would be a human image in and through which they worship God, but such images are specifically refuted by the Decalogue. Same in Islam, where not even the Prophet (PBUH) is depicted, let alone God.

    Man is a unity of spirit and matter, mind and body, substance and essence. To say that God cannot be held in mind in any substantial form denies our very substantiality, and God's ability to make Himself known in a comprehendible manner, in or through the material realm. We're back into a fundamental dualism, into philosophical or pseudo-gnostic abstractions that refute Immanence.

    'The Tao that can be spoken is not the true Tao' is an axiom of all the major religions that nevertheless define themselves as theistic, and to do so is not irrational, illogical or unreasonable.

    There's way too much 'easy liberal' (actually fundamentalist in the way it ignores or dismisses the fruits of profound wisdom and refuses to listen to reason) thinking in the manner in which respondents here choose to argue from the lowest common denominator, if indeed an accurate assumption at all.

    I remember when Richard Dawkins ridiculed Evangelic Christians on TV as evidence of the naivety of Christian thought. As one TV critic said, 'it was like shooting fish in a barrel, but I notice Dawkins avoids confronting, say, a Catholic moral theologian.' N'uff said.

    It's easy to make fun of simple people for their simple beliefs, but that does not prove those beliefs are misplaced. Out of the mouths of babes and children, etc., etc.

    Americans fly their flag outside their homes with pride. Should I assume that every patriot is a bigoted, misogynist, racist imperialist? Or do I hold that the flag symbolises a higher ideal, even if many of those who fly it appear to live and act in a manner entirely contrary to everything it represents?
     
  15. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    There is some chapel ceiling....where is that...??
     
  16. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Actually, it was a response to ACOT's question.
     
  17. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It's in Rome. What about it?

    Unless you're assuming it comes under the prescription of the Decalogue, as many do, but then that would be an error — the idea of art had developed somewhat in the few millenia between a nomad people in the wilderness, and Renaissance Europe.

    It's a painting, not an object of worship or veneration. In fact, at the time its critics were loud in their complaint. I think the Pope was the only one who liked it.

    Same with Rublev's icon of the Holy Trinity. In fact icons come a lot closer to transgressing the Decalogue line, but I think the Orthodox Patriarchates are quite robust in their defence. People venerate them in a way they don't the Sistine Chapel or The Last Supper.
     
  18. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    GK, you are entitled to your opinion. But understand, there are many who claim to be Christian (and self-identification may be the only way to make sense of that moniker) who do not define g!d the way you are implying. Not only are there a lot of non-Christians who do not anthropomorphize g!d. A lot of Jews, Christians, and Muslims do not either (see Rosenzweig, Fox and al-Ghazali).
     
  19. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    ACOT said "So you still think that Spinoza, Leibnitz and Whitehead described a human like deity?"

    No I do not. I'm afraid the confusion is coming from my ignorance of some concepts put forth here. Thick headed as I am though, the gist of the responses generally works its way into my head. Now that it has, I believe I see what you and Radar were trying to say.

    Radar, I am only entitled to my opinion if it is based in some version of fact. That is a personal ethic. My facts were in error, so my opinion is not one I was entitled to.

    I know not everyone believes that way......
     
  20. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    The second part of my comment I still hold as valid. That all religions are a construct of mortals. That is a belief, of course, and it cannot be proven, any more than the opposite can be proven.

    There was a wonderful quote I read long ago; I believe it was by a mystery writer, cannot remember who. They said "God is the imaginary friend of adults". That is a profoundly insightful statement to me.
     

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