God or G-d

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Thomas, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Greetings all —
    This has always intrigued me, although I've only ever come across it here.

    And you will know I quite happily write 'God' — because this for me is not a name, or at least not a personal name, but a designation. Indeed, the tendency to capitalise the designation is the only way of distinguishing between the Abrahamic God and the gods of other traditions.

    If I wish to refer to God in the personal sense, then I say 'Father', as Scripture teaches us to do. Similarly I use the term Our Lord in a more general sense, and I readily admit I rarely write 'Jesus' without pause to consider what I am saying.

    In the Christian Tradition, when one says 'Jesus Christ' one bows, but we have been given that name. We do not write 'J-s-s', for example, or 'F-th-r, S-n and H-ly Sp-r-t'.

    The utterance of the Divine Name has a long history in many traditions, not just the Abrahamic, but like so many things, it is largely unknown today. The simple utternace of the Divine Name is a thing of awesome power — not to be undertaken lightly — it is in itself sufficient for salvation "But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name" (John 1:12).

    It girds the Prayer of the Heart.

    To my mind we should be bold. If we believe in Him, then we should pass on the 'good news' and speak His name, as we hope the angels and saints speak ours in his Presence.

    God bless,

    Thomas
    (Lord knows, I've seen that 'get me out of here' look cross people's faces when they suddenly realise that I do actually profess a faith in God.)
     
  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I don't know of any church in the US where folks bow when they say Jesus Christ....so as a 'Christian' tradition it is more local or European? (I've attended many services, funerals, weddings in Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Presbytarian, Episcopalian...)

    G!d stems from the YHWH traditions of not uttering the sacred name. It also came for me from my issues with that old white guy in the sky that I was raised on in primary school and don't believe in.

    God, G!d, Allah, the one.....whatever your designation....is a personal preference, and I have no issues with either.
     
  3. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    When I refer to the Abrahamic god I say "the Abrahamic god", I have no need to capitalize the word god since I don't believe in one and relegate the word by itself to refer to any god.

    It's very much like when people refer to the "bible", I usually ask "which bible?" since there is more than one.
     
  4. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    I just try to spell it with deference to whomever I'm typing to. For most people I type 'God'. For others I use 'G-d' or 'G!d' whatever they prefer. I make no claim to understand it, so there's no particular way for me to spell it. I like to think of the 'G-d' spelling as a way of saying that God is not revealed all at once and possibly not during an entire lifetime; but I don't know if that is why some Jews put in the hyphen. Maybe they just like being mysterious.
     
  5. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    So, how would you spell it with Me?
    ** I don't believe there to be any higher authority/being/divinity/ other than My Higher Self.
     
  6. Ecumenist

    Ecumenist New Member

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    Just keep it simple. If we are taught to have "no other GODS" [spell or capitalize it as ye choose, ignore the implications by pretending they aren't OBVIOUS] before some particular God then Gee, tell us a little of the BIG Picture here which is clearly lost on the majority of believers today, laity and clergy alike.

    Hmmmm ...
     
  7. exile

    exile Interfaith Forums

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    I'm generally pretty care free about using God when I'm writing about God, but God is kind of a big word when spoken and sometimes I wish there was a smaller word for God. I get the feeling uttering the word God is a taboo in most corners, bars of all places. And I'm never preaching when I talk about God. For me God is a concept, and I'm interested in its origins, its development, who it influenced, and even what its worth today. Furthermore I'm an atheist. Yet when I do speak of God people almost always make me out to be religious. And that's funny, because although I do incorporate a lot of religious concepts in my music, I'm not a believer. Being that I have an interest in etymology there's one thing I am certain of, however, God is not a personal name. Jesus is. Allah "the God" is not. I'm not 100% sure about Yahweh and Mazda Ahura. If I'm not mistaken Yahweh is not a the name of God it just means "He who saves" and likewise Mazda Ahura means "Wise Lord." Conclusion: God has no name.
     
  8. NiceCupOfTea

    NiceCupOfTea Pathetic earthlings

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    I dont see what the fuss is really God or G!d makes no difference really that I can see.

    But the name Jesus, well that was not even his name was it, wasnt his name Yeshua or Joshua ?

    So why do we call him Jesus ?
     
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi nijjhar —
    The letter will do (see John 1:12).

    As for what is allowed and what is forbidden, the God I know is the God of Love, and nothing is forbidden when it comes from a good intention ...

    god bless,

    Thomas
     
  10. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    ... and such a person had best be prepared to forbid none of those 'good intentions' from others. Is this the God that you know, or the God that you imagine? I am trying to piece together what you said here:

    >> Should I ask for a proof of this divine reality?
    How can you truthfully say 'know', if you have nothing empirically?

    Matthew 7:7 "Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you; for every one who is asking doth receive, and he who is seeking doth find, and to him who is knocking it shall be opened."
     
  11. exile

    exile Interfaith Forums

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    You can say 'know,' but what would distinguish you from a mental patient that suffers from delusions? A mental patient suffering from delusions believes his notions to be real too.
     
  12. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    The God that I have faith in, but then for me faith is an order of knowing, not an order of not-knowing, as many assume it to be.

    I think it's a reduction of human nature to say that the only thing we can appreciate that which can be empirically measured, don't you?

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  13. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    The broader community (who says who is sane and who is not). Tough, but true.

    Think about how society works. It's not enough for one person to say 'this is true' even if it is. It has to be accepted. It has to be taken on board.

    And what happens when the broader community itself suffers a collective delusion? There's a knotty problem!

    I rather think that cultures probably suffer from various illusions and delusions, some more or less damaging, all the time.

    Scientism, the rejection of everything but the empirical, is one of them. Secularism that cannot see itself as a mode of fundamentalism is another.
    Facebook friends is another ...

    But we have to be careful when we deploy this kind of argument, because it tends to rest on the assumption that "I'm not delusional", which can sometimes tend to turn round and bite one in the arse.

    God bless

    Thomas
     
  14. exile

    exile Interfaith Forums

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    Your right. The only thing that separates a mental patient from a god-fearing or god-loving individual is the fact that the society is collectively indulging in the delusion that god exists. But there's no way to measure how damaging this delusion is. I think that its collective delusions like these that are impeding society's positive development. Until society can collectively agree that "God is dead" we'll never really understand how this idea God came to be and how this idea has effected the world for better or for worse. Moreover exclusive monotheism will continue to hinder society. The idea that I'm the chosen one and that my religion is holier than yours.
     
  15. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    I've seen people here write "G-d" and as far as I can tell it may derive the practise in Judaism of writing the Divine Name...

    In English I write "God" without any qualms..or reservations.

    Of course I respect it if people choose to write "G-d".

    I've also seen people write "god" for God.. I feel less sympathy for that because to me not capitalizing God is a kind of dimunitive..

    We Baha'is also use "Allah" in our greeting "Allah'u'Abha!" meaning God is Glorious.

    ;)
     
  16. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Unfortunate this kind of :p argument hardly does much to advance your cause.
    So the whole premise is ill-founded then. The contrary arguments seem to have the day.
    A specious argument. Some of society's greatest positive developments were advanced by those who profess a religiois belief.
    But society will not make such a statement because the evidence is to the contrary.
    Again, that's an opinion founded on nothing.
    But that is precisely your argument: "You are delusional. I am not."

    God bless

    Thomas
     
  17. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Nor do I.
    So do I.
    Nor does your atheism. You do not respect the diversity of religious belief.
    Nonsense. under communism thinkers were put in lunatic asylums, a method of handling dissent from the 'permitted ideas' you would seem to endorse.
    Which shows the encroaching limitation of the meaning of 'psyche' ...
    OK. But this is after the point.
    No its not. You're basing your argument on an idea as if there had been no progress in thought for the past few thousand years, so you're utterly wrong on that point.

    Nor is the concept of God particular to one race. It is global.

    In fact, according to New Scientist, it's hard-wired into our nature. It's the same spirit of enquiry that gave rise to the sciences, the arts, the humanities ... everything that sets man apart from the animals.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  18. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    And a failure to distinguish between a name, and a designation. Hence the Jews did write Adonai.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  19. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    Would you say that a person suffers by knowing that gravity exists? If there is a force, especially a force that can help, then it is good for a person to know that it exists, correct? I can't see gravity directly, but I can see the effect if I choose to ignore, or I choose to work with it.
     
  20. luecy7

    luecy7 New Member

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    Is God a concept for you, or is God a force in your life and in the world?

    If there is no relationship, then there is no relationship: no communication, no deed, and no interaction. Sure a person can appreciate their fantasy, ignorance, virginity, hope and fear, ancient foreign history, unknown future, and unseen worlds, where there is nothing materially measured except the activity in their mind. With even a promise or a lie, there is something measured.

    Look at your prayer: Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day... Lead us not... but deliver us from evil. How is it that you might pray any of that, and then tell a person to expect no material interaction? Who do you pray to? Is a prayer, a Kingdom, the Earth, this day, leading, and delivering... do you truly think there is nothing physical of these things to see and measure?
     

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