Im finding these views a bit to common in religious debates.Its beyond our comprehension,if its beyond our understanding, then it has no value.
Faith becomes an excuse, a mystery,if you cant explain your god,a god, then it ceases to exist.
What does it look like? i dont know..What gender is it? i dont know..Is it benevolent? i dont know..Is it conscious?i dont know..If we dont know we have to design,describe, it and see if the description makes sense.
Yea, this is a bit of an issue for me too. I don't so much think I must know in any objective sense - it's a case of trying to understand the nature of this belief. For me, it's trying to grasp those who say, "Yes, I believe in God" yet can't or don't define any aspect of that belief
. For many of us, we're left puzzled, trying to wrap our heads around the ideal of believing in no thing that exists (wherein "no thing" is used to describe aspects of that belief).
This isn't talking about the nature of god itself; more in trying to understand, what seems to be increasingly common, a murky sort of "I believe in something - and no, I can describe nothing about this belief
". It sounds as if this is at least close to what you, Xris, is describing. Again, this has nothing to do with "what is" or "is not". It is trying to understand belief systems. Here's an example:[INDENT]Bill: "Blearg is my God, I believe in Blearg"
Sal: "What is Blearg?"
Bill: "Blearg is my God"
Sal: "Can you describe what you believe Blearg to be?"
Bill: "No, but I believe in it"
Sal: "Is Blearg a person, place, thing, being or some other entity?"
Bill: "I don't claim to know what Blearg is"
Sal: "I understand, but what is it about your belief in Blearg that makes Blearg, Blearg"
Bill: "The cosmos doesn't reveal its truths to me; how should I know?"
Sal: "Do you believe Blearg to be our, and the universe's, creator?"
Bill: "I don't know"
Sal: "I'm not asking what you know, I'm curious about your belief"
Bill: "What, you don't think my belief could be based on any knowledge?"
Sal: "I'm not sure, that's what I'm trying to understand"
Bill: "So what's your question?"
[/INDENT]Sal is left trying to figure out just what_it_is
that Bill believes. There's something there, in that belief, but there is no aspect about it which carries any conceptual substance for Sal to latch on to. In this case, what Bill believes in is... really... nothing; for there's no concept in which to set it apart from anything else.
Then there's the "Why can't I call my Dog a Mountain?"-problem[INDENT] Sal: "Do you believe in God?"
Bill: "Yes, I do"
Sal: "What do you believe god to be?"
Bill: "God is life"
Sal: "Isn't life, life? - I mean, what sets God apart from life?"
Bill: "God is life"
Sal: "My head hurts, do you have an aspirin?"
[/INDENT]My guess is that for each person who is a Deist, and believes in some kind of god, that there is some thought or concept that they hold as defining
that god, in their minds. When I, as an atheist learning about the human condition through understanding various belief systems, ask "what is it you believe", many of these types of exchanges ostensibly tell me this person may actually be an atheist since there's no thing (at least that I can pry out) - no concept, no whim or clarifying ideal that sets this ideal of god off as existing within that belief set
Thus, I come back to my original question: An honest question that asks the believer to share what their concept is: What is the nature of your belief in god
? What do you believe your god to be? If you believe god to be our creator, what does he/she/it/they do - if anything - in when not 'creating'? Teach us about your slice of humanity by sharing your concepts... that sort of thing. [INDENT]I'm not going to dispute you nor ask you to justify your basis nor will I try and make you feel silly for sharing such a personal part of yourself. This is an open-ended question that simply pleads for understanding "just what it is
that you believe".
[/INDENT].... I just want to understand where you, as a unique person, are coming from.
Thanks - and sorry for the length of this.