• staticphoton
    88
    The aim of this topic is laudable, I think, but quite possibly unattainable, as you suggest.Pattern-chaser

    If one believes human reason and logic is capable of describing everything, including God, then one must realize that the evolution of human intellect and reason has peaked, that there is no room for further progress. Because only a mind that has reached the epitome of evolution, and is capable of understanding every aspect of God's creation (the universe) might have a possibility of understanding God. At least to the point of providing a meaningful description.

    However if one believes that homo sapiens is just another link in a continuing evolutionary process, that the super sapiens of ten million years in the future will look back at homo sapiens' intellect in the same way we view the intellect of a house cat... then clearly we lack the capability to formulate an appropriate, meaningful description of the universe, and even less, of God.

    So the real question is, do we have what it takes to come up with a description resembling The Creator of the universe?

    It is really just a matter of faith, of believing. Believing we are the fanciest thing the universe is capable of spitting out, or believing we are just another rung in the ladder. Pick your poison.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    So the real question is, do we have what it takes to come up with a description resembling The Creator of the universe?staticphoton

    Excellent! Rather than trying to describe God, you wonder whether humans are capable of describing Her ... as a good philosopher should! :up: :smile: Thanks for the comments. :smile:
  • PoeticUniverse
    740
    I just have a general aversion to poetry.ZhouBoTong

    Zhou BoTong, trapped in a cave by a poem,
    As by the writing on the wall stranded,
    Was martially both right and left handed;
    Such he slashed rhythms and rhymes from the stone.
  • S
    11.8k
    I think a place to start is can we say that God can be a metaphor for "what is" (aka metaphysics)?schopenhauer1

    No, clearly not, for exactly the same reason that I've given multiple times now, which is that a meaningful distinction between theism and atheism must be maintained if we're to talk any sense. I believe in what is. That doesn't mean that I believe in God. That doesn't make me a theist.

    Honestly, how can anyone fail to see the importance of this?
  • S
    11.8k
    So does this restrict the kinds of propositions about God that one can put forth? I thought I was getting close to consensus with at least some folks, while others were never seeking consensus.uncanni

    If it's not a sensible consensus, then it's not worth it. If the rest of you all agreed that God is a state of mind, then good for you, but that's still a terrible description.
  • ZhouBoTong
    507
    Zhou BoTong, trapped in a cave by a poem,
    As by the writing on the wall stranded,
    Was martially both right and left handed;
    Such he slashed rhythms and rhymes from the stone.
    PoeticUniverse

    Hahaha. Nicely done again.

    Imagine my dismay
    Having smashed the rhymes
    And entered the light of day
    Just to spend my time
    Listening to people rhyme away

    I would definitely score high marks in 4th grade poetry :grin:

    You don't have to answer, but do you get paid for some form of writing? From my amateur, poetry-hating perspective, you really do seem pretty clever in your writing.

    I am also realizing that I don't mind poetry if the purpose is just to have a laugh (and I obviously enjoy some music). But, when someone is trying to make a serious point, I wish they would just make it (even your simple poem above took me two or three reads before I really understood all 4 lines).
  • ZhouBoTong
    507
    which is that a meaningful distinction between theism and atheism must be maintained if we're to talk any sense. I believe in what is. That doesn't mean that I believe in God. That doesn't make me a theist.S

    If it's not a sensible consensus, then it's not worth it. If the rest of you all agreed that God is a state of mind, then good for you, but that's still a terrible description.S

    I hear all that. But I am not convinced that most people in this thread are even understanding what we are getting at...I certainly am not understanding what they are getting at?
  • PoeticUniverse
    740
    your simple poem above took me two or three reads before I really understood all 4 linesZhouBoTong

    I had to first look up the Zhou Botong character on Wiki so that the poem would make a little bit of sense.
  • ZhouBoTong
    507
    I had to first look up the Zhou Botong character on Wiki so that the poem would make a little bit of sense.PoeticUniverse

    Nice. I thought you lucked into all that martial stuff.

    Oh, and I thought it made perfect sense. It is just that figurative language and the grammar of poetry cause me to take longer to understand. I thought it was brilliant (well, clever for poetry anyway, haha) by the time I figured it out
  • PoeticUniverse
    740
    But I am not convinced that most people in this thread are even understanding what we are getting at...I certainly am not understanding what they are getting at?ZhouBoTong

    The adventurous Zhou was back in the light of day, wondering what the descriptions of 'God' had in common, but there was a paradox with the 'Eternal' being timeless and and 'God' seeming to do things in time, this perhaps making for some bad weather in the thread when it became known.

    So, he takes a walk in the woods to clear his head of 'God' and from capital letters beginning verse lines…

    BoTong sights an ominous type of cloud,
    And shakes, hearing thunderous rhymes so loud,
    Just having survived the meters’ melodies
    And scans, and the ten syllables allowed.

    He runs breathless through meadow and forest,
    Fast pursued by the stings of wind and rain;
    On and on he pushes, wild without rest,
    Searching for haven from the forum’s pain.

    The storm chases him till he can go no more;
    He stands helpless, backed up against a door,
    But falls through it before death can touch him,
    Saved by the library admitting him.

    He wanders deep, down the poetic path,
    Aglow in the soft beauty that it hath.
    He sees John Keats kissing Fanny Brawne,
    As he spoke more than words but less than song.

    And Byron, endowing form with fancy,
    While Wordsworth pens his thoughts to Lucy,
    And Shelley, plumbing depths of mystery.
    He reads them all; they grow his poet-tree.

    Deeper still he probes, looking in on it,
    And hears Mrs. Browning reading a sonnet.
    Poetically, he takes them all in, even
    The shadowy Emily Dickenson.

    As soon as the lightning storm is past,
    Zhou Botong enters the courtyard so vast.

    Here the secret garden, half as old as time,
    Where poets live and write their words and rhyme,
    While the nightingale creates the rose,
    By moonlit magic, from their thoughts sublime.

    Literary scenes unfold before him,
    Such as music approaches and surrounds,
    And builds on the vibrance which in one is—
    To fill with beautiful visions and sounds.

    His quick thoughts rise, mist wafting from the dew,
    As living dreams unveil more than he knew.
    From poetry’s light the garden grew,
    Revealing mysterious wonders new.

    There Zhou relaxes, up against a tree,
    Savoring the feeling of the poetry,
    Where all the flowers used in Shakespeare’s plays
    Grow together in a living bouquet.
  • S
    11.8k
    I hear all that. But I am not convinced that most people in this thread are even understanding what we are getting at...I certainly am not understanding what they are getting at?ZhouBoTong

    It's because they don't care. They have different priorities, like sounding creative and profound, even though they're actually just talking uncritical nonsense without realising it.
  • Jimmy
    15
    Definitely a pipe dream unfortunately. I wish I could meet them half way so my parents can stop praying for the inevitable burning flames I'm headed for.
    I don't really know.. I actually do wish I was a true believer considering I'm at my lowest point where Jesus's shoulder to cry on might actually fix everything. I'm going to have to intuitively perceive their god as a vibration of love and unity and just see where it takes me.
  • ZhouBoTong
    507
    but there was a paradox with the 'Eternal' being timeless and and 'God' seeming to do things in time, this perhaps making for some bad weather in the thread when it became known.PoeticUniverse

    As this is almost a direct argument, I would take issue with your use of "eternal", "timeless", "god" and "do things", but as I am probably missing some metaphor, I will leave it alone.

    There Zhou relaxes, up against a tree,
    Savoring the feeling of the poetry,
    Where all the flowers used in Shakespeare’s plays
    Grow together in a living bouquet.
    PoeticUniverse

    I don't dislike things that I have NOT been exposed to (damn, is that a triple negative? oh well, it says what I mean). So are you suggesting if I try shakespeare, dickinson, byron, keating, etc, for a 2nd (or 20th) time, I will change my mind? I am not sure that vague, fictional metaphors will convince me of poetry's value...even if they seem clever and well put-together :smile:
  • PoeticUniverse
    740
    So are you suggesting…ZhouBoTong

    Nah, it's just for fun and because you commented. 'Adonais' by Shelley is one of the best I've come across.

    So, if 'God' is outside of time, as timeless, He can't change or change events, I suppose.
  • god must be atheist
    956
    But it's difficult for themPattern-chaser

    Obviously you have never even seen an atheist. It is easy to talk about the alleged god: "God does not exist." Period.

    Did you see any hardship or difficulty there? There was none. So there.
  • god must be atheist
    956
    Can we come to an agreed description of God, or is that just a pipe dream?Pattern-chaser

    You can come to any agreement, as long as you and the parties you are conversing with agree on something.

    Let me put my vote on this description of god: "An imaginary but non-existent entity that many use as a crutch to fill all kinds of gaps in their philosophical outlook. The tangible benefits of god worship are non-existent. Only spiritual benefits can be measured, but these benefits are counter-balanced and nullified, or displaced by spiritual damages."
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    It is easy to talk about the alleged god: "God does not exist."god must be atheist

    Prove it! No, I know you can't. That's why yours is a faith position, just like mine. But, unlike me, you assert your personal faith position to be factual, without evidence. Your reasoning is fatally flawed.
  • Shamshir
    856
    Obviously he meant atheists prefer to spout polemics rather than explore the subject.

    And like a fish on a hook, you became the example.
  • S
    11.8k
    Obviously he meant atheists prefer to spout polemics rather than explore the subject.Shamshir

    That's not true. You're putting words in his mouth. What he actually said was that it's difficult for atheists to talk about God because there's no generally agreed upon description of God.
  • Shamshir
    856
    You're right about that.
    But don't you think that's a basis for polemics?
  • S
    11.8k
    You could say that about almost anything related to this topic. Who cares? It just sounds like you're trying to poison the well for any criticism.
  • Gnomon
    138
    Can we come to an agreed description of God, or is that just a pipe dream?Pattern-chaser
    Yes. :smile:

    Polytheistic gods, like Zeus and Shiva, have been extensively described over the centuries. But singular capital "G" God, as in monotheism, is generally viewed as undefinable and indescribable. The Jews were so in awe of such a mind-boggling concept that they were even afraid to pronounce the name of God, as-if defining the infinite would be demeaning.

    But, in general, the god concept has always, in all times, and in all cultures, been the ultimate answer to all mysteries . . . to all philosophical questions: How did the world begin? Where did I come from? Why is the world the way it is? Why is the world so imperfect and evil? And to many personal questions : Will I ever be truely loved? Where did my beloved go at death? How can I avoid the evils of tomorrow?

    In recent centuries though, Science has found mundane answers to many of those old philosophical riddles. By describing the physical universe in fine detail, it has almost put philosophers out of their job of answering Big Questions. Meanwhile, astrologers and psychics and fortune-tellers have provided vague-but-effective answers for minor personal uncertainties. So, the only niche left for impractical idealistic philosophers was the quaint category of murky meta-physics : the catch-all for leftover enigmas, not otherwise addressed by pragmatic Physics or sympathetic Psychics.

    But now, Science has whittled the material world down to intangible particles & invisible fields, and found that -- lo and behold -- the foundation of physics is grounded on immaterial metaphysics. So, maybe philosophers, the experts on trans-physics matters, can regain some of their lost stature by looking again at the big questions from the perspective of modern physics and cosmology instead of ancient myths and traditions.

    If God is infinite. If God is ALL. Then any descriptions we might come up with will necessarily be incomplete, and maybe misleading, and always controversial. But Philosophers have never been afraid to go where angels fear to name names. :cool:
  • PoeticUniverse
    740
    But now, Science has whittled the material world down to intangible particles & invisible fields, and found that -- lo and behold -- the foundation of physics is grounded on immaterial metaphysics.Gnomon

    — Extrinsic Shadow, Intrinsic Light —

    Physics, once more direct, is now but an
    Immaterial science of math-shadows,
    While mysticism, once but a fogged notion,
    Claims the direct observation of the Light.

    — The Mystical Realm —

    It said, in my dreams, “Of ever waking,
    It’s hard to convince you, in dream-language,
    As when, in wakeful reality,
    To tell you of that which is beyond telling.”
  • HarryBalsagna
    7
    I am partial to a god with noodly appendages.

    ;)
  • Shamshir
    856
    There's constructive criticism and then there's whining.
    And whining turns discussions in to gang wars.
  • S
    11.8k
    There's constructive criticism and then there's whining.
    And whining turns discussions in to gang wars.
    Shamshir

    And yours falls under the latter?
  • Shamshir
    856
    Figure it out, buckaroo.
  • Gnomon
    138
    Physics, once more direct, is now but an
    Immaterial science of math-shadows,
    While mysticism, once but a fogged notion,
    Claims the direct observation of the Light.
    PoeticUniverse
    :up:
  • Swan
    120
    Atheists love to talk about God. But it's difficult for them, as there is no generally agreed description* of God. It's probably the case that there are as many conceptions of God as there are believers, but are there general beliefs about God that many or most of us share? Come on, let's help the atheists out, by giving them a description of God to play withPattern-chaser

    Good thing sufficient descriptions of god are irrelevant, as well as agreement on them and multiple descriptions of god are not at all necessary for atheism disprove things, but instead just paint a colorful picture that makes the ride easier for the religious folk.

    It is not at all relevant to know what type of "God" they are, only what they are claiming about reality and asserting to be true. Consensus is a religious problem, not an atheist one.

    Atheists that make mistakes usually just don't know what they're talking about but it doesn't discredit the ones that do. So how about talking to atheists that do?
  • 180 Proof
    189
    "The impious man is not he who denies the gods of the many, but he who attaches to the gods the beliefs of the many." ~Epicurus
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