Nature of God

Nature of God

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Michael John

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How to define the term "God"
« on: December 02, 2012, 03:26:17 pm »
I've been watching a number of debates on youtube.com with scientists trying to prove there is no God. The trouble is that they don't define their terms any better than those who try to prove that there is a God. It's hard to prove or disprove something that is not well defined. So this brings up the question on how to define God? Is he a Person or a Principle? Is He a concrete being or an abstract conception? Perhaps we can debate acceptable definitions within various traditions.

For example, is it fair to define God as the logic that maintains the consistency of all facts in the universe? Within some traditions it is said that God's Word is True. But is it fair to say that God is Logic Itself? It would certainly be difficult to prove that there is no logic in control of everything in reality. And perhaps in some sense we could say that God as Logic exists everywhere at all times and is Almightly in that Logic controls all events and knows everything in that Logic implies what facts can exist.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 03:33:58 pm by Michael John »

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veka

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Re: How to define the term "God"
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2012, 03:38:58 pm »
God is the greatest possible being. Traditionally this is understood to mean that God is (at least) omnipotent, omnipresent and perfectly good.
"Denial of knowledge of God is only as cogent as the conception of knowledge on which it is based." - William P. Alston

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Michael John

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Re: How to define the term "God"
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2012, 03:51:08 pm »
God is the greatest possible being. Traditionally this is understood to mean that God is (at least) omnipotent, omnipresent and perfectly good.

The trouble is: what do you mean by being? Is that a physical object? Or do you include abstract principles as something that can have being? I have a tendency to think of being as something that can be described with a proposition. But I would think Logic is not a proposition but forces the propositions to be consistent with each other. Yes, I'm thinking as a logician here, but I think that's what it's going to take when talking about proof of ultimate truth.

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ontologicalme

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Re: How to define the term "God"
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2012, 04:32:55 pm »

Even though i am not a Christian, I think God in the Bible gives a definition:

"I am"  I think that is one of the closest ones.


Craig defines it as a mind ( I think).

Anyhow , God the being , can not be a concept, nor abstract, at least not in the classical sense, as abstracts are even defined as Not being able to enter in causal relations. So God should not be an abstract, but a substance, at this point one starts to talk about the concept of a being (God).

Lennox says God is the Locus of all existence. That might work. 

I think God is existence.

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Michael John

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Re: How to define the term "God"
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2012, 07:18:08 pm »
Anyhow , God the being , can not be a concept, nor abstract, at least not in the classical sense, as abstracts are even defined as Not being able to enter in causal relations. So God should not be an abstract, but a substance,...

I guess the most abstract concept is the concept between true and false. And the question is whether this has any effect on the concrete universe. If the universe can be derived from logical deduction alone, then the abstract has an effect of the concrete universe. Or at least it has an effect on our models by which we understand the universe.

If physic could be derived from pure logic, then perhaps in this sense it could be said that God/Logic created the universe.

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ontologicalme

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Re: How to define the term "God"
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2012, 07:25:14 pm »
Anyhow , God the being , can not be a concept, nor abstract, at least not in the classical sense, as abstracts are even defined as Not being able to enter in causal relations. So God should not be an abstract, but a substance,...

I guess the most abstract concept is the concept between true and false. And the question is whether this has any effect on the concrete universe. If the universe can be derived from logical deduction alone, then the abstract has an effect of the concrete universe. Or at least it has an effect on our models by which we understand the universe.

If physic could be derived from pure logic, then perhaps in this sense it could be said that God/Logic created the universe.

I truly don´t know, but my guess at this moment is that we can model away all we want, as in essence, we are just describing, when it comes to the actual universe, it does its thing unperturbed from our models.

If God exist, God is not an abstract, that is my intuition.

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Michael John

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Re: How to define the term "God"
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2012, 09:05:11 pm »
Quote
I truly don´t know, but my guess at this moment is that we can model away all we want, as in essence, we are just describing, when it comes to the actual universe, it does its thing unperturbed from our models.

If God exist, God is not an abstract, that is my intuition.

Obviously, a thoery of reality is not the reality itself. But if we did have a theory of everything, then I suppose it would have some ontological significance; it would be describing something real. Those realities would be described by some symbols in our equations.

So what does it mean to say God exists? If we were to think that He is some physical object, that would make God a creation. So God is not some collection of particles, He's not a force of nature, He's not space or time or matter or fields. But we can say that God is some sort of Guiding Principle that governs all of these other things. The only possibility that I can think of that makes necessary certain facts is logical deduction. If God deduces something is true, then it is produced of necessity. So I think that logic is at the heart of all the particles and forces in the world. I think the laws of physics can be derived from logic. And I've made some progress in realizing that goal.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 09:09:26 pm by Michael John »

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ontologicalme

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Re: How to define the term "God"
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2012, 06:56:24 am »
Quote
I truly don´t know, but my guess at this moment is that we can model away all we want, as in essence, we are just describing, when it comes to the actual universe, it does its thing unperturbed from our models.

If God exist, God is not an abstract, that is my intuition.

Obviously, a thoery of reality is not the reality itself. But if we did have a theory of everything, then I suppose it would have some ontological significance; it would be describing something real. Those realities would be described by some symbols in our equations.

So what does it mean to say God exists? If we were to think that He is some physical object, that would make God a creation. So God is not some collection of particles, He's not a force of nature, He's not space or time or matter or fields. But we can say that God is some sort of Guiding Principle that governs all of these other things. The only possibility that I can think of that makes necessary certain facts is logical deduction. If God deduces something is true, then it is produced of necessity. So I think that logic is at the heart of all the particles and forces in the world. I think the laws of physics can be derived from logic. And I've made some progress in realizing that goal.

At the risk of sounding repetitive, and even if I don´t want to sound Easternish, if you close your eyes and just stay there logic has nothing to do with that.

Taken in account what you´ve just wrote, I would say God is existence itself, and even if logic would be a manifestation of existence ( God ) it would only one of its attributes.

The only way I can think of expressing existence itself is what is left when one takes away all attributes.

Sorry, if I am not being of much help.

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Michael John

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Re: How to define the term "God"
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2012, 04:17:09 pm »
The only way I can think of expressing existence itself is what is left when one takes away all attributes.

It still remains to be explained why facts in reality are consistent with each other. Why should the laws of physics be the same everywhere at all times? Why should this set of facts over here have anything to do with that set of facts over there? It's the consistency of facts that make the universe comprehendible. Yet that consistency is itself not a tangible things that one can grasp with the hand. Perhaps that consistency is the proof of the hand of God working throughout reality.

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jayceeii

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Re: How to define the term "God"
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2018, 02:08:01 pm »
Your argument appears to be that God can be called a Principle, and the Principle you suggest is Logic. Others would point out that facts are self-consistent, and don’t need to be maintained by God or Logic. However we also don’t know the degree to which entropy or disarray would enter the universe, without God’s ceaseless labors. Possibly even the rocks are being maintained as they are, by God’s dispensation. Even to study a living organism as it is, it may also be subject to God’s forces as its evolution proceeds. Thus strangely I’m coming around to your point of view, though I had thought first to oppose it. Perhaps God should be seen as Logic first, before He is seen to be a Person. I’d add in here though, that humanity cannot be reached by God’s logic. Otherwise the causes of war and crime and how to avoid them practically would’ve been put in religion.

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Maxximiliann

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Re: How to define the term "God"
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2019, 11:48:13 am »
Once Christ was resurrected from nonexistence, he “entered . . . Into heaven itself, now to appear before the person of God for us .” ( Hebrews 9:24 ) This demonstrates a couple of significant elements relating to God Almighty. For starters, he has a location where he resides. Furthermore, he is a Person, not merely some mysterious force that pervades all of reality.
 
 
The Scriptures plainly inform us that God Almighty possesses a body as well as revealing that he is situated in the heavens. (cf. Matthew 6:9; John 4:24; 1 Corinthians 15:44) Put simply, he possesses corporealness and therefore locality.



Understanding that, in fact, each and every heavenly spirit possesses corporealness makes it substantive when the Scriptures refer to God relative to his spirit creatures:



"Micaiah then said: “Therefore, hear the word of Jehovah: I saw Jehovah sitting on his throne and all the army of the heavens standing by him, to his right and to his left." -1 Kings 22:19



"“I kept watching until thrones were set in place and the Ancient of Days [Jehovah God] sat down. A stream of fire was flowing and going out from before him. A thousand thousand kept ministering to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him." -Daniel 9:9,10 (Bracket mine.)
 
 
The Holy Bible additionally explains that our Creator bears a personal name, Jehovah, and even unveils his personality to us. It reveals that his most distinguishing traits are love, justice, wisdom, together with power. ( Deuteronomy 32:4; Job 12:13; Isaiah 40:26; 1 John 4:8 ) The Scriptures informs us, likewise, that he is certainly merciful, kind, forgiving, big-hearted, as well as patient.
 
Personality is the blend of traits or attributes that pattern an individual's unique persona. It is the aggregation of all the attributes--behavioral, temperamental, emotional as well as mental--that represent a distinct individual. It is the manifestation of personal values, hopes, aspirations, principles, and behaviors. In effect, personality is to a particular person as a culture would be to a group.
 
Seeing as personality is the quality or fact of being a person as distinguished from a particular thing or creature it follows that Jehovah God is absolutely a person.

1+1+1=3 NOT 1

"Look out: perhaps there may be someone who will carry ​YOU​ off as his prey through the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ." - Colossians 2:8

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Michael John

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Re: How to define the term "God"
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2019, 06:59:41 pm »
Your argument appears to be that God can be called a Principle, and the Principle you suggest is Logic. Others would point out that facts are self-consistent, and don’t need to be maintained by God or Logic.
I suppose you can take for granted that all the facts are logically consistent with each other. But that might be to discount logic on the one hand while using it to win arguments on the other. Others, however, might find it a source of profound amazement that something as completely abstract as logic can nevertheless dictate what happens in the universe.

Consider the properties of this logic of the universe.

It exists everywhere at all times making sure everything is always consistent. It is Omnipresent.

It has power over all that happens. It is Omnipotent.

Everything that has ever happened in the past is taken into account to determine what will happen. In this sense, it is Omniscient.

So I think it fair to claim that the Logic that maintains consistency of all facts in the universe is itself God.

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jayceeii

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Re: How to define the term "God"
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2019, 06:22:41 pm »
Once Christ was resurrected from nonexistence, he “entered . . . Into heaven itself, now to appear before the person of God for us .” ( Hebrews 9:24 ) This demonstrates a couple of significant elements relating to God Almighty. For starters, he has a location where he resides. Furthermore, he is a Person, not merely some mysterious force that pervades all of reality.
 
The Scriptures plainly inform us that God Almighty possesses a body as well as revealing that he is situated in the heavens. (cf. Matthew 6:9; John 4:24; 1 Corinthians 15:44) Put simply, he possesses corporealness and therefore locality.

Understanding that, in fact, each and every heavenly spirit possesses corporealness makes it substantive when the Scriptures refer to God relative to his spirit creatures:

"Micaiah then said: “Therefore, hear the word of Jehovah: I saw Jehovah sitting on his throne and all the army of the heavens standing by him, to his right and to his left." -1 Kings 22:19

"“I kept watching until thrones were set in place and the Ancient of Days [Jehovah God] sat down. A stream of fire was flowing and going out from before him. A thousand thousand kept ministering to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him." -Daniel 9:9,10 (Bracket mine.)
 
The Holy Bible additionally explains that our Creator bears a personal name, Jehovah, and even unveils his personality to us. It reveals that his most distinguishing traits are love, justice, wisdom, together with power. ( Deuteronomy 32:4; Job 12:13; Isaiah 40:26; 1 John 4:8 ) The Scriptures informs us, likewise, that he is certainly merciful, kind, forgiving, big-hearted, as well as patient.
 
Personality is the blend of traits or attributes that pattern an individual's unique persona. It is the aggregation of all the attributes--behavioral, temperamental, emotional as well as mental--that represent a distinct individual. It is the manifestation of personal values, hopes, aspirations, principles, and behaviors. In effect, personality is to a particular person as a culture would be to a group.
 
Seeing as personality is the quality or fact of being a person as distinguished from a particular thing or creature it follows that Jehovah God is absolutely a person.
mm: Once Christ was resurrected from nonexistence, he “entered . . . Into heaven itself, now to appear before the person of God for us .” ( Hebrews 9:24 )

jc: The phrase “resurrected from nonexistence” is a private interpretation of scripture, and where there is little comprehension of what “nonexistence” can mean, the individual quite happy, even delighted, to think of his mind and essence completely dissolved. The word “itself” is not any kind of descriptor of Heaven! It causes us to attend more closely, but contains absolutely no information about what Heaven is, where it is, or what it is like. “Appearing before the person of God for us” is an interpretation of Paul about the meaning of Jesus’ message. Jesus is ignored here, so the religion becomes Paulianity.

mm: This demonstrates a couple of significant elements relating to God Almighty. For starters, he has a location where he resides. Furthermore, he is a Person, not merely some mysterious force that pervades all of reality.

jc: See how he has to scrounge for any details, for the Bible provides nothing direct! As he scrounges, others can scrounge and come to different interpretations, for God if He was behind the Bible, chose to be vague. Christians should notice this and ask themselves why God would be so vague, for the most likely reason is that they can’t handle the truth.

mm: The Scriptures plainly inform us that God Almighty possesses a body as well as revealing that he is situated in the heavens. (cf. Matthew 6:9; John 4:24; 1 Corinthians 15:44) Put simply, he possesses corporealness and therefore locality.

jc: This is a private interpretation not shared by Christians generally. God certainly does not possess a material body, though taking one on in the Incarnation. The created souls also are not material bodies, but mm disputes this too, saying soul = body + life force. Matthew 6:9 cites the Lord’s prayer, “Our Father, who art in Heaven,” but Jesus said nothing about the nature of God’s existence other than noting His power seemed missing among the human throng. John 4:24 contradicts mm directly with more words from Jesus, “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 1 Cornithians 15:44 is Paul going on about how there if there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body, in reference to humans, not to God. Yet “spiritual body” isn’t described.

mm: Understanding that, in fact, each and every heavenly spirit possesses corporealness makes it substantive when the Scriptures refer to God relative to his spirit creatures:

jc: By “corporealness” we presume a body with a atomic structure. Yet mm is talking “heavenly spirit” and about “spirit creatures,” also not defining what these are. He has said that soul = body + life force, so why is he using this phrase, “spirit creature”?

mm: "Micah then said: “Therefore, hear the word of Jehovah: I saw Jehovah sitting on his throne and all the army of the heavens standing by him, to his right and to his left." -1 Kings 22:19

jc: Yes, Jesus said He could call down the angels. History has not seen this, nor does this scripture or my longing for it to occur draw it down any faster. In any case the angels can only see the Incarnation, not the Invisible God, so Micah’s reference must be to the Lord.

mm: “I kept watching until thrones were set in place and the Ancient of Days [Jehovah God] sat down. A stream of fire was flowing and going out from before him. A thousand thousand kept ministering to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him." -Daniel 9:9,10 (Bracket mine.)

jc: Evidently the angels have some memories of Heaven, but it would be a boring place with everyone just standing around, even if the Lord is there. I also don’t think the Lord needs angels ministering to Him, like a king uses servants. Micah should have told us specifically what he meant was going on. A “stream of fire” is obviously some kind of metaphor, perhaps for the Sun being God’s major manifestation of power around Earth.

mm: The Holy Bible additionally explains that our Creator bears a personal name, Jehovah, and even unveils his personality to us.

jc: If Jesus was God, He can be called YHWH too. The angels can see some of the Invisible God’s powers at work, but not behold Him directly. It’s totally impossible. This is the full meaning of Jesus’ warning, that no one goes to the Father, except through Him.

mm: It reveals that his most distinguishing traits are love, justice, wisdom, together with power. ( Deuteronomy 32:4; Job 12:13; Isaiah 40:26; 1 John 4:8 )

jc: Really you’ve got to stop and write a book about each of these words, since selfish interpretations are possible for all of them. No one really wants to hear about real virtue, which is a sign they’re taking all the selfish interpretations. For instance about love, the creation falls apart unless God loves the greatest best. If He fails in this, the motivation for progress disappears. Christians obstinately insist that God loves every soul the same.

mm: The Scriptures informs us, likewise, that he is certainly merciful, kind, forgiving, big-hearted, as well as patient.

jc: These are presented a second-tier traits, but nonetheless a book should be written about each word, and such books would’ve made a far more useful and believable Bible. In general humans conceive of virtues dualistically. To this way of thinking, a virtue is the opposite of a vice. For instance here kindness is the opposite of unkindness, mercy the opposite of mercilessness, forgiving the opposite of unforgiving, and patient the opposite of impatient. Humans are familiar with unkindness and mercilessness, and they are often unforgiving and impatient. However if there are people who lack these vices, the virtues humans tried to list similarly disappear. Angels aren’t kind, merciful, forgiving or patient, but they are also never unkind, unmerciful, unforgiving or impatient.

mm: Personality is the blend of traits or attributes that pattern an individual's unique persona.

jc: The soul must be freed from greed and selfish attachment, before a genuine personality can appear. This is what Jesus meant saying one must be “born again.” Among humans the personality reduces to sets of likes and dislikes, with no solid basis in spiritual detachment. This wasn’t a teaching that could be included in the Bible.

mm: It is the aggregation of all the attributes--behavioral, temperamental, emotional as well as mental--that represent a distinct individual. It is the manifestation of personal values, hopes, aspirations, principles, and behaviors. In effect, personality is to a particular person as a culture would be to a group.

jc: If we’re going to talk about personality, then we should talk about nobility in personality, and the ability to feel affection after making observations of nobility. To do this would overturn human civilization, where noble traits are hated and persecuted.

mm: Seeing as personality is the quality or fact of being a person as distinguished from a particular thing or creature it follows that Jehovah God is absolutely a person.

jc: Unfortunately the description of personality given here reduces to hand waving, missing the critical elements required to build a Noble Society, or as Jesus said, Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. I disagree a personality has been seen, or that mm has seen God has a personality. If he ever saw God’s personality he’d hate and persecute it. For example he’d hate God if he found God didn’t like the Bible, or said it did not have enough information to guide a world. This is Adam’s sin, making mankind the standard.

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jayceeii

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Re: How to define the term "God"
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2019, 01:54:18 pm »
Your argument appears to be that God can be called a Principle, and the Principle you suggest is Logic. Others would point out that facts are self-consistent, and don’t need to be maintained by God or Logic.
I suppose you can take for granted that all the facts are logically consistent with each other. But that might be to discount logic on the one hand while using it to win arguments on the other. Others, however, might find it a source of profound amazement that something as completely abstract as logic can nevertheless dictate what happens in the universe.

Consider the properties of this logic of the universe.

It exists everywhere at all times making sure everything is always consistent. It is Omnipresent.

It has power over all that happens. It is Omnipotent.

Everything that has ever happened in the past is taken into account to determine what will happen. In this sense, it is Omniscient.

So I think it fair to claim that the Logic that maintains consistency of all facts in the universe is itself God.
The argument begs the question, the error found in, “making sure everything is always consistent.” Logic is a property, not the controlling force. Counterexamples are rife in illogical things, as well. For instance a man is sure he loves his wife and no other, but then divorces her. He clearly isn’t logical, failing to identify his one-and-only at the start.

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Michael John

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Re: How to define the term "God"
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2019, 09:01:56 am »
What question does this beg?