What is God?

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  • It seems to me that people often get into heated debates about whether God exists without ever bothering to answer the question: if he did exist, what would he be?


    And it's a question that matters, because there are so many different conceptions. You might find a debate between a theist and an atheist where both view the other as stupid because (according to the atheist) the theist cannot understand that there is no beardy old man floating in the sky and (according to the theist) the atheist is ignorant of the experience of the divine that he gained during meditation, or something. The point being: there is no meaning to a debate about whether 'God' exists until we've defined what he (or she, or it) would be if he existed.


    So assuming God does exist, what is 'God'? Do you take Spinoza's view and see God as synonymous with nature? Do you take a gnostic view and see 'God' as the experience of gnosis? Do you see him, as Freud did, as synonymous with the oedipal Father or, as Jung did, as a basic necessity of human nature, an archetype in the collective unconscious? Do you take the Bible literally and see Him as the 'Lord of all creation'? Are you a pantheist, a panentheist, a monotheist, a polytheist?


    Discuss!

  • This question was being discussed round a campfire this last summer, and a twelve year old boy said that he thought god was war. When asked what he meant, he just said look at all the war and hate created by religion. God is war.


    I think that is about the most sense I have heard on the subject.

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

  • But oddly, I was thinking about this yesterday. It's too late to go into detail, but I did have an idea..I'll try to explain it when not falling asleep!

  • god is what u want. How can he cause wars . Never know any1 fight over somethin thats not there. Prats they just do it whatever. And in my mind there is no god but each to there own

  • A Muslim dies and finds himself before the Pearly Gates..


    He is very excited, as all his life he has longed to meet the Prophet Mohammed.



    Having arrived at the Gates of Heaven, he meets a man with a beard.


    "Are you Mohammed?" he asks.


    "No, my son. I am Peter. Mohammed is higher up." And he points to a ladder that rises into the clouds.


    Delighted that Mohammed should be higher than Peter, he climbs the ladder in great strides, climbs through the clouds coming to a room where he meets another bearded man.


    He asks again, "Are you Mohammed?"


    "No, I am Moses. Mohammed is higher still."


    Exhausted, but with a heart full of joy he continues to climb the ladder and, yet again, he discovers an even larger room where he meets another man with a beard.


    Full of hope, he asks again, "Are you Mohammed?"


    "No, I am Jesus... You will find Mohammed higher up."


    Mohammed higher than Jesus!


    The poor man can hardly contain his delight and climbs and climbs, ever higher.



    Once again he reaches a larger room where he meets a man with a beard and repeats his question: "Are you Mohammed?" he gasps as he is, by now, totally out of breath from all his climbing.


    "No my son.....I am God. But you look exhausted. Would you like a coffee?"


    "Yes, please my Lord."


    God looks behind him, claps his hands and calls out:


    "Hey Mohammed, two coffees!" :whistle:

  • I was sitting on a bench in town Smoking a Roly the other day and a lady approached me with Pamphlets and the Words "Do you believe in the Lord and a better Future "?


    I replied politely "i dont believe "


    She then replied "So you dont believe in a better future "


    Once again i politely replied "what has the 2 got in common . "


    Not trying to be a smart arse over the conversation as im sure she may be trying her best in a crazey world we live in ,


    But for her to think that Not to believe in Jesus means some of us dont believe in creating a better future is a bit one sided .


    But i hope she continues to be a happy bunny and we can all walk this Plannet without to much conflict .

  • its what makes us surrender our inner selves to something 'external' or 'greater' for the sake of an easy life, something to take responsibility off our shoulders for our actions, its what psychological purpose god serves rather than what form he takes that is most important and illuminating.
    Still even as a passionate anti theist , i do like morningstars formulation, ' god is love, love is energy.' makes me feel all happy- could it be religious euphoria:o

  • If god were to exist then it is existence itself.
    Life (or the perpetuation of successful patterns) in the universe would be the self awareness of 'god' seeing itself from infinite subjective viewpoints.

  • I don't believe there is a God as in the, oft portrayed, mythical being with the long beard looking down on us - me feeling is that God, or god, is your own conscience that tells you the difference between right and wrong.

  • I don't believe there is a God as in the, oft portrayed, mythical being with the long beard looking down on us - me feeling is that God, or god, is your own conscience that tells you the difference between right and wrong.


    This for me too. Choosing Good not Evil is how I always describe it.


    When I have a debate with an atheist I always say it is their right not to believe in the cartoon characters of God or the Devil, that these were characters developed to give medieval people an understanding of Good and Evil, if you dont believe in Go(o)d then you must believe there is no such thing as (d)evil


    Karma.

  • Ahhh, judging by the comments, this is a thread started by someone who studied philosophy to at least first year level at Uni. (I did too.)



    Let me quote Bertrand Russell's "celestial teapot" here.



    "Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time."

  • Did you know that once you reach a certain level of perception of ultimate reality, you can perceive God as God is? You can literally look into the face of God and see for yourself. Because God is a never-ending, changing process, what God is, is always changing so the goal posts are constantly being moved.


    My experience of God is this: God is energy, everything is energy so God is everything; every plant, insect, rock, human, animal, shell, tree, fish, alien, every being, every monster, every angel, planet, star, universe (God is an omniverse), galaxy, sky, cloud, rain drop, snowflake, the wind, the air, all matter, every atom, every cell, every word, the breath, every thought, every process, all action, the elements, the etheric, every molecule, every vibration and all of the space inbetween. God is life. God is a infinite vat of energy.


    God is the perfect balance of opposites; therefore God is feminine and masculine, therefore androgynous. God is light and God is dark. God is love and God is destruction. There really isn't any such thing as evil. What evil is, is the destroyer aspect of Divinity.

  • Hi Persia...............thanks so much for that. It's so close to what I feel about God,but struggle a lot of the time to put into words. I really don't think that religion has a great deal to do with God......strikes me as another way to keep people in line.

  • Hi Persia...............thanks so much for that. It's so close to what I feel about God,but struggle a lot of the time to put into words. I really don't think that religion has a great deal to do with God......strikes me as another way to keep people in line.


    You're welcome. And yes, I agree re the religion thing. Religion is a human construct based on control, power, being right and BELIEF. With spirituality, there is the room for individual interpretation and actual experience where you get to perceive "what is". Beliefs are no more than thought forms with no foundation to them and they are the one thing religion makes everyone argue about all the time. The truth is, with religion, no-one is right because they are not based on pure intent and or truth, they are based on politics. But you know what, everyone has to start somewhere.


    The key is to stay open and never set up camp in one way of understanding or perception because you will miss important things when change comes - and it always does with the other side. I've learned that the hard way.


    Hugs

  • What a load of nonsense. Religion belongs to you, you are the religion and the faith. Every other individual is also the religion and the faith. The only time religion and faith becomes a controversy is when a 'representative' declares that you need a 'third party'(them) to connect you with the unifying aspects of the cosmos...God. Otherwise and unless you are a demoniac person by default then the goodness of the god concept resides inside you and will inevitably emanate from you!


    I see so much of the typical nonsense like this: "Religion is a human construct based on control, power, being right and BELIEF."


    Followed by:"With spirituality, there is the room for individual interpretation and actual experience where you get to perceive "what is".


    Tell me, what exactly is "What is"? Is that some kind of BELIEF?


    Is that not a contradiction in terms? Both quotes from the same individual. When did religion and spirituality drift apart?


    Where does God sit in THAT context? Spirituality without God? God without Religion? Religion without faith? Logical spirituality? Are any of these possible?

  • This question was being discussed round a campfire this last summer, and a twelve year old boy said that he thought god was war. When asked what he meant, he just said look at all the war and hate created by religion. God is war.


    I think that is about the most sense I have heard on the subject.


    Likewise.

  • Even though I don't know if I believe in God... I believe that He is 'that than which nothing greater can be conceived'... taken from the ontological argument. I don't know! I definitely don't think God is a 'being'. More a force.