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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 1: Sat Oct 02, 2004 2:32 am
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Define "God"

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In a single sentence (if possible), please provide your definition of the word/term/concept: "God."

For example, "A fictitious human construct," or "A being than which no greater being can be conceived," or "An egomaniacal creature capable of incomprehensible violence," or "Pure Love," or what-have-you.

(Please try to come up with your own definition rather than using one of my examples; thanks).

Again, the question asks for a definition only; not a definition and following tirade . . .

-DTho

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 2: Sun Oct 03, 2004 12:52 am
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Not a single answer in nearly twenty-four hours?!

Oh, come now! This isn't some sort of "trap" (I assure you)! I simply and only want to know (purely out of curiosity) if the forum participants here are "on the same sheet of music."

For example, when the Christian says "God," s/he means something entirely different than the Mormon who says "God," and so-on and so-forth . . .

If you are arguing for or against the existence of God, you (collectively) probably ought to at least agree upon a common definition of the term.

Simply and only my personal opinion,

-Dtho

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 3: Sun Oct 03, 2004 1:27 am
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This topic has been moved from a debate forum to a discussion forum because the question is designed to solicit opinions on the definition of God. Debate among the various conflicting views of God would not be productive, therefore this topic is being left open for personal reflections and individual research on what "God" means for each person.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 4: Sun Oct 03, 2004 1:30 pm
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1. The Supreme Being.
2. The Creator.
3. Any supernatural being greater than man and responsible in some way for the rule or operation of the world.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 5: Mon Oct 04, 2004 1:35 am
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ST88 wrote:
This topic has been moved from a debate forum to a discussion forum because the question is designed to solicit opinions on the definition of God. Debate among the various conflicting views of God would not be productive, therefore this topic is being left open for personal reflections and individual research on what "God" means for each person.


Re: Moving This Thread From the Debate Section

I would respectfully submit that my intentions have been drastically misinterpreted. I had no interest in starting a discussion per se. One of the first rules of debate is definition of terms. You can't really debate the issue of "God" without a mutually-agreed-upon definition of same. I would also argue that it is impossible for the definition of "God" to be subjective; however, it's your forum, your rules, and I acquiesce to that fact.

-DTho

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 6: Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:34 am
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The Moderator privately suggested to me that it might help if I provided my own definition of "God" (along with a little general, but . . . reasonably polite . . . chastisement). Okay. Sure. Why not?

I would define "God" loosely in accordance with Anselm's definition, but with, what I would consider to be, a very significant distinction:

"A being than which no 'greater' being could possibly exist."

The distinction (for me) exists in the absence of our human capacity to conceive of such a being. I believe our ability to conceive implies that we somehow "conjure God into existence" simply because we delude ourselves into thinking we can understand God's attributes, e.g., omnipotence; which, our human minds (I would argue) are incapable of fully understanding.

I would also argue that God's "omnipotence" probably isn't what most people think of when they think of omnipotence given that there are, necessarily, certain things God can't do. But, that's probably a whole 'nother post.

BTW, I'm not nearly as smart as I may appear. If I sound smart, it's just because you haven't gotten to know me yet. I'm, e.g., easily distracted by shiny objects, kittens, and cold beer.

-DTho

P.S. TransW: Thanks for your input. I appreciate you taking the time to address my question.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 7: Mon Oct 04, 2004 9:10 am
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Since this is in the "Definitions and Explanations" subforum, I will give some definitions of God found on the web.

Britannica
Quote:

Deity or Supreme Being.

Each of the major monotheistic world religions worships a Supreme Being, who is the sole god of the universe, the maker of all things, omniscient and all-powerful. God is also good. In ancient Israel God was named Yahweh. The God of the Hebrew Bible also became the God of Christianity, but generic words, such as theos in Greek or Deus in Latin, were often used to refer to him. In Islam the term is Allah.


CARM
Quote:

The supreme being of the universe. He is the creator of all things (Isaiah 44:24). He alone is God (Isaiah 45:21,22; 46:9; 47:8). There have never been any Gods before Him nor will there be any after Him (Isaiah 43:10). God is God from all eternity (Psalm 90:2). In Exodus 3:14, God revealed His name to His people. The name commonly known in English is Jehovah. This comes from the four Hebrew consonants that spell the name of God. (See Tetragrammaton.)

God is a Trinity, knows all things (1 John 3:20), can do all things (Jer. 32:17,27 - except those things against His nature like lie, break His word, cheat, steal, etc.), and is everywhere all the time (Psalm 119:7-12).


Dictionary.com
Quote:

1. God
a. A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.
b. The force, effect, or a manifestation or aspect of this being.
2. A being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worshiped by a people, especially a male deity thought to control some part of nature or reality.
3. An image of a supernatural being; an idol.
4. One that is worshiped, idealized, or followed: Money was their god.
5. A very handsome man.
6. A powerful ruler or despot.
Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

1: the supernatural being conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe; the object of worship in monotheistic religions [syn: God, Supreme Being] 2: any supernatural being worshipped as controlling some part of the world or some aspect of life or who is the personification of a force [syn: deity, divinity, immortal] 3: a man of such superior qualities that he seems like a deity to other people; "he was a god among men" 4: a material effigy that is worshipped as a god; "thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image"; "money was his god" [syn: idol, graven image]
Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University


Infoplease
Quote:

1. the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.
2. the Supreme Being considered with reference to a particular attribute: the God of Islam.
3. (l.c.) one of several deities, esp. a male deity, presiding over some portion of worldly affairs.
4. (often l.c.) a supreme being according to some particular conception: the god of mercy.
5. Christian Science.the Supreme Being, understood as Life, Truth, Love, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Principle.
6. (l.c.) an image of a deity; an idol.
7. (l.c.) any deified person or object.


Merriam-Webster
Quote:

1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshiped as creator and ruler of the universe b Christian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind
2 : a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality
3 : a person or thing of supreme value
4 : a powerful ruler


New Advent
Quote:

1. the proper name of the one Supreme and Infinite Personal Being, the Creator and Ruler of the universe, to whom man owes obedience and worship;
2. the common or generic name of the several supposed beings to whom, in polytheistic religions, Divine attributes are ascribed and Divine worship rendered;
3. the name sometimes applied to an idol as the image or dwelling-place of a god.

The root-meaning of the name (from Gothic root gheu; Sanskrit hub or emu, "to invoke or to sacrifice to") is either "the one invoked" or "the one sacrificed to." From different Indo-Germanic roots (div, "to shine" or "give light"; thes in thessasthai "to implore") come the Indo-Iranian deva, Sanskrit dyaus (gen. divas), Latin deus, Greek theos, Irish and Gaelic dia, all of which are generic names; also Greek Zeus (gen. Dios, Latin Jupiter (jovpater), Old Teutonic Tiu or Tiw (surviving in Tuesday), Latin Janus, Diana, and other proper names of pagan deities. The common name most widely used in Semitic occurs as 'el in Hebrew, 'ilu in Babylonian, 'ilah in Arabic, etc.; and though scholars are not agreed on the point, the root-meaning most probably is "the strong or mighty one."


TheFreeDictionary
Quote:

1. the supernatural being conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe; the object of worship in monotheistic religions
2. any supernatural being worshipped as controlling some part of the world or some aspect of life or who is the personification of a force


Wikipedia
Quote:

God is a name given in English to the one supreme being, especially but not exclusively, in the beliefs of the three major Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) as well as Sikhism and Zoroastrianism. When used as a proper noun, "God" is typically capitalized. The (lowercase) words "god" and "goddess" are derivative common nouns, used to refer to one of the supernatural beings within some religious systems, or superior beings such as the Greek and Roman deities. (See the list of deities for a list from various religions.)

"God" also refers to a panentheistic non-anthropomorphic entity, as in Hinduism (Brahman) and other faiths, an underlying consciousness that pervades the universe, whose immanence makes the universe possible and yet whose transcendance of the universe renders it beyond phenomenal being; the source of all existence; the soul within; a higher power; or even that which is beyond all understanding or definition. In Hinduism in particular it is said to be the source, also, of manifold manifestations of gods and goddesses that are, of course, ultimately reconciled into one.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 8: Tue Oct 05, 2004 1:40 am
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DTho wrote:
In a single sentence (if possible), please provide your definition of the word/term/concept: "God." (Emphasis Added)


osteng: When you say "God," what do you mean? (Not that I don't appreciate the time and research put into the answer). Is there any chance that you and, e.g., ST88 could agree upon a common definition of the term?

If I ask you to support or refute my definition, will this post revert to the debate section? Wink (I'm just yankin' yer chain) . . .

-DT

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 9: Tue Oct 05, 2004 7:31 am
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DTho wrote:

osteng: When you say "God," what do you mean?

Yes, I understood your original question. But, since this was moved here into the "Definitions" subforum, the topic takes on another quality.

I would suggest starting another thread to debate on how people would personally define God. Though I realize that was what you originally meant to do, and the thread got preempted, I'd suggest creating a thread that is explicit in the title about soliciting personal definitions. Also, I sense that perhaps there is an underlying debate question behind simply asking for a definition of God. And if that could be stated, then the topic could also take on more of a debate rather than people simply giving their opinions.

And if you do create a new thread, I promise to give my own thoughts on a definition of God. Smile

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 10: Wed Oct 06, 2004 2:24 am
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otseng wrote:
I would suggest starting another thread to debate on how people would personally define God. Though I realize that was what you originally meant to do, and the thread got preempted, I'd suggest creating a thread that is explicit in the title about soliciting personal definitions. Also, I sense that perhaps there is an underlying debate question behind simply asking for a definition of God. And if that could be stated, then the topic could also take on more of a debate rather than people simply giving their opinions.

And if you do create a new thread, I promise to give my own thoughts on a definition of God. Smile


How . . . noncommittal. Wink

TransW/ST88/Anyone Else: What say you? Anything?

-DT

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