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What is "God" to you?

 
 
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 10:52 pm
A lot of people say they believe in God, but sometimes even those of the same faith seem to have a slightly different impression of what God is. And some people have *very* different impressions.

If you believe in God, whatever faith you are, please describe your particular vision of what "God" is.

If you don't believe in God, but you do believe in something spiritual, please get as close as you can to what the concept of God might be to you.

If you don't have even the slightest thought of a spiritual aspect to things then just say so.

I'm curious to see how many substantially different descriptions are out there. And among those of the same faith, I'm curious to see how much variation there is within the faith.

Thanks,

For myself, I am mostly secular, but with a very slight lean toward the spiritual aspect implied by the elegance of nature itself. I don't tend to think of this as "God" because I don't consider it to be a "thinking" entity, but rather something intrinsic to a universe which produces life, and thought, as a natural expression of itself.

In short, I fall into the "no God" category, but with a slight lean toward the possible spiritual aspect of nature.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 10:58 pm
What vision and which god? LOL
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Mar, 2005 08:29 am
Come on people, there's no right or wrong answer, just your opinion. (I thought this would be an easy question)
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Mar, 2005 08:39 am
Dog spelled backwards?
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Mar, 2005 08:41 am
Good questions, ros. I believe in a higher all-encompassing power which might as well be called 'God' for lack of a better word. My God has nothing whatever to do with any of the anthropomorphic gods created by man in his own image. I don't believe there is any such thing as a true atheist, despite all the people who claim to be atheists. When someone tells me they don't believe in God, I always ask, "What do you mean by 'God.'" And when they tell me, I have to agree with them that I don't believe in that fanciful mythological construct either. But that does not make me an atheist. There is an order to the universe. There is a creative force operating here. What the nature of this force is, I have not the slightest idea. (And I strongly suspect that all the priests and ministers and rabbis and imams don't have any better idea than I; they just talk a good fight.) I stay away from places of worship; I shun them like the plague, in fact. Organized religion is the last refuge of the mentally befuddled, unable to think for themselves and relying on some "wisdom" handed down from people who, at the time, had barely emerged from the Stone Age. This does not make me an atheist.

In sum, I don't believe anyone who takes the time to think about this is, or can be, an atheist. I have absolutely no idea what God is. I am aware of a higher power operating in my life. I choose to call this higher power 'God' simply because a three-letter word rolls far more easily off the lips than, say, 'the Force' or 'Nature' or whatever.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Mar, 2005 08:46 am
cicerone imposter wrote:
What vision and which god? LOL


Whichever you want CI, just pick and go Smile
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Mar, 2005 08:48 am
blueveinedthrobber wrote:
Dog spelled backwards?


I guess I need to create a new category. Would this be the "who cares" category, or the anarchy category?
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Mar, 2005 08:54 am
beats me dude, I was throwing it out there. I don't know what anarchy is.

By the way, do you live anywhere near the Foghat guy who fell down the stairs and died the other day?
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Mar, 2005 08:56 am
Merry Andrew wrote:
In sum, I don't believe anyone who takes the time to think about this is, or can be, an atheist. I have absolutely no idea what God is. I am aware of a higher power operating in my life. I choose to call this higher power 'God' simply because a three-letter word rolls far more easily off the lips than, say, 'the Force' or 'Nature' or whatever.


Sounds similar to my view. Maybe as the discussion grows we can explore the various "flavors" of this particular view (if there are any... they might all be so similar as to be virtually indestinguishable)

It's interesting that you say there aren't any "athiests". When I wrote this question, I was trying to figure out what to ask for from a total athiest, and realized that there was nothing to ask for a description *of*. But I had a hard time imagining a view of things which was totally devoid of even the slightest spiritual apsect. I wonder if there are any people who view the world as absolutely completely totally devoid of even the slightest flicker of "spiritual" (whatever that is) essence. I can certainly picture such a place, but when I do, it doesn't seem "real" to me in some way. It seems almost artificially devoid, as though it were un-natural.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Mar, 2005 08:59 am
blueveinedthrobber wrote:
By the way, do you live anywhere near the Foghat guy who fell down the stairs and died the other day?


It was an accident. I didn't mean to stick my foot out at just that time.
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Mar, 2005 09:01 am
Kiss your rock and roll heaven all access backstage pass goodbye......
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coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Mar, 2005 10:30 am
God is the word I sometimes use when I behold the magnificence of nature. The word "ultimate mystery" might be a better term as used in my signature. Mystery in this sense does not have a solution, but it pervades one's being as we stand in awe of life. God, to me, is a subjective feeling I sometimes get, or a transcendent state of mind outside the field of time where the border between the world and myself disappears. God as something with an objective material reality, like Santa Claus, died somewhere back in my childhood.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Mar, 2005 12:14 pm
I sorta agree with MA, but not the atheist part; I'm an atheist, and there are not any gods in my world. As for the mysteries of this universe, it's because science is a quite recent development relative to the life of this universe and homo sapiens. Can't hope to know everything when this planet is some 4 billion years old and science (what we call science) is less than 3 to 5 thousand years old. The biggest problem I see is the fact that much of what made up this universe during the past 4 to 5 billion years are now gone forever. What we find now are just scratching the surface, and scientists are relegated to "educated guesses." I do not equate our unknown mysteries with any gods or creator; rather, it's our inability to find the necessary artifacts that may give answers or the "newness" of science.
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Mar, 2005 01:04 pm
ros, I suppose I can best sum up God as a still small voice of calm.

And from Emily:

This Is My Letter To The World
Poem lyrics of This Is My Letter To The World by Emily Dickinson.
This is my letter to the world,
That never wrote to me,
The simple news that Nature told,
With tender majesty.

Her message is committed
To hands I cannot see;
For love of her, sweet countrymen
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coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Mar, 2005 08:47 am
Mystery in the sense I'm using it, CI, has no soultion, like the mystery of music; you can tear it apart and analyze it, but the mystery of it is in the listening. I would think that biologists would be infused with this type of mystery more than anyone, in their work, and the deeper they go into biology the more awe they must feel at life itself.

This is an annecdote about one of the earlier astronauts who had one of those internal spiritual experiences while floating up there in his capsule. It was such a strong feeling of unity with the universe that he go only call it god.

Back on the ground he goes on a world tour, meets Kruschchev who takes him aside and asks him, "By the way, when you were up there did you happen to see god?" The astronaut thought of his personal experience and could only say,"yes, I did." Kruschchev replied, "I was afraid of that."

The astronaut then goes to Rome and the Vatican and sees the Pope who also takes him aside and asks the same question. The astronaut thinking the Pope meant god in a literal material sense replies, "No, I didn't." The Pope replies, "I was afraid of that."

I don't know whether the Pope really believes in a literal god or not, but it's his function to act like he does to serve the people, or he couldn't be Pope.

Whether catholics believe in a literal god or not is questionable, but apparantly they think the Pope does, or they wouldn't respect him as the Pope. The problem is that it becomes a vicious cycle of dependence.

All religious leaders from Pope to priest are not really people with a deep understanding of spirituality; they are simply functionaries who carry on the business of the church. If you wanted a catholic with a deep spiritual understanding, you would have to go to a monk or a nun. These people often have a transcendent experience that gives them a whole new take on "god," and they begin viewing the church's symbols and myths as metaphors, which puts them in conflict with the church's literal message. Of course when this happens, they're out.

Maybe the point of this thread is that the term, "god" needs to be sh*t canned because it's so confusing and has so many interpretations, or at least people should realize that you can't expect everybody to automatically understand your usage of the word. I hardly ever use the word, god, because then I have to go into a long explanation, and this usually accomplishes nothing.

I make an exception here, not for the benefit of adults, but because there are probably young people out there who are very confused about religion, especially in this time of polarity, that is, you either believe or don't. They need to know that there is peace of mind, and they don't have to join either camp.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Mar, 2005 10:10 am
coluber2001 wrote:
Maybe the point of this thread is that the term, "god" needs to be sh*t canned because it's so confusing and has so many interpretations, or at least people should realize that you can't expect everybody to automatically understand your usage of the word. I hardly ever use the word, god, because then I have to go into a long explanation, and this usually accomplishes nothing.


Words are sound bites intended to transmit a thought from one mind to another. But they are only as effective as our ability to agree on what thought the word represents. And in most cases it works pretty well. People have strong solid visuals for Cat, Dog, Tree, Rock, Love, Hate, etc. And when it comes to words like "long" and "short" people recognize the need to relate the words to other things for comparison.

Unfortunately, the word "God" is such a strong image to most individuals that it has moved from the Long, Short category to the Cat, Dog, Rock category.

I find it interesting that so many discussions on "God" spring up in which nobody even thinks to define "God" as they are using the term. I've seen several pages of angry thread posts go by before someone says, "oh, you're thinking of *this* God, whereas I'm talking about *that* God". Shouldn't it be a little more obvious that a definition is required pretty early on in the discussion?
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muslim1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Mar, 2005 05:31 am
For me:

He is God, the One and Only;

God, the Eternal, Absolute;

He begetteth not, nor is He begotten;

And there is none like unto Him.


Best Regards.
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material girl
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Mar, 2005 05:51 am
We are all our own Gods,when we pray,we pray to ourselves.
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Mar, 2005 08:00 am
Putting it simply, for me God is the combined inherent goodness in each of us and the devil is the combined inherent ability to be evil. Sort of the angel on one shoulder of humanity and the devil on the other shoulder. Each of us has the ability for goodness and evil. In most cases goodness wins out and the inherent goodness of human nature prevails. We are all God and we are all the devil.
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watchmakers guidedog
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2005 07:48 pm
A few people so far have mentioned the impossibility of being an atheist or the artificial feeling to a universe without a god. I find myself wondering where the hell you're coming from.

I'm an atheist, I don't believe in god, gods, genies, magic, psychics, souls, angels, demons, chi, fate, luck, witches, fairies or feng shui. Correction: I don't believe in their existance outside of the human mind.

I believe in a predictable universe where things always act the same way and can be understood through logic and reason. I believe that I exist. Everything else for me would be supposition.

You can believe in any god, be it an entity or force, that you wish. It doesn't bother me. What bothers me is the arrogance of assuming that with thought people will believe as you do. I can understand that you believe in things that I never will and at least somewhat imagine why. Can't you at least try to appreciate that I don't share the same beliefs as you do?
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