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How Did You Envision God


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Julian,

 

I've read through this thread 3 times now and have yet to find a clear definition as you claim to have presented. I see lots of inferences, analogies and lines of thinking involving commonanity and continuity that frankly I couldn't follow. Perhaps you could restate your definition in more basic terms?

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Julian,

 

Perhaps you could invite someone to debate with you in the Arena? Not I, but someone may take you up on it. If what you say is as logical as you think, you should have no problem there.

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Julian,

 

I've read through this thread 3 times now and have yet to find a clear definition as you claim to have presented. I see lots of inferences, analogies and lines of thinking involving commonanity and continuity that frankly I couldn't follow. Perhaps you could restate your definition in more basic terms?

 

Here:

 

"OK, let me try this, just for fun. Hypothetically, I define god as the pen on my desk. I pray to it, and sometimes it answers my prayers and sometimes it does not. The pen is there, that much is undeniable."

 

It's a hypothetical, but is it not a definition?

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When I was a christian, I envisioned god as a father time/Zeus kinda mix. Definitely older, but not elderly.

 

Now......hm.

 

Well I don't think god has a specific form. No one we would be able to fathom anyway. Such a being would have to take on a form to interact with us.

 

And I imagine that form would be undescribable. Literally. If you were to hang with god, and try to write down their appearance, you'd wind up staring at the blank piece of paper until you decided the blank piece of paper was as close as you were going to get to a description, but now you can't write that down on the blank piece of paper without altering the blank piece of paper.

 

(imagine the hard time I have deciding to draw a picture, when the closest thing I can associate with the supreme being is a quality sheet of blank paper......gets a little intimidating that I'm going to turn it into something else)

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"OK, let me try this, just for fun. Hypothetically, I define god as the pen on my desk. I pray to it, and sometimes it answers my prayers and sometimes it does not. The pen is there, that much is undeniable."

 

Nope, still looking... :shrug:

 

I'm not sure if you're serious or just trying to be clever. It was a fairly straightforward question. Why not give it a straightforward answer?

 

To use such as you provide above, the concept of "god" is diluted to a point of meaninglessness. If "god" is everything, it's the same as saying god is nothing. If god is a pen, then neither "god" nor "pen" have any real meaning in the context they are being shown in.

 

Maybe it's me, but I'd like something a little more definitive in your definitions...

 

IMOHO,

:thanks:

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"OK, let me try this, just for fun. Hypothetically, I define god as the pen on my desk. I pray to it, and sometimes it answers my prayers and sometimes it does not. The pen is there, that much is undeniable."

 

Nope, still looking... :shrug:

 

I'm not sure if you're serious or just trying to be clever. It was a fairly straightforward question. Why not give it a straightforward answer?

 

To use such as you provide above, the concept of "god" is diluted to a point of meaninglessness. If "god" is everything, it's the same as saying god is nothing. If god is a pen, then neither "god" nor "pen" have any real meaning in the context they are being shown in.

 

Maybe it's me, but I'd like something a little more definitive in your definitions...

 

IMOHO,

:thanks:

 

Please give me a straightforward answer: is it a definition or not?

 

Secondly, if one defines god as the pen on my desk, how does that make it meaningless? The fact is that in the context of the definition, god is the pen. What lack of relevant meaning do you see in that?

 

To move on to your first point, I disagree. If god is everything, then god is everything. If everything is divinity, then that is what everything is. What you are trying to say is like saying that if physical matter is everything, then physical matter is nothing. Does that make sense? Expand on your thoughts because they are not exactly too convincing (or even valid IMO).

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I'm not sure I have a real good image of this God anymore. It's more a concept than an object now.

Can you remember how you envisioned him while you were still a christian?

Hmm... not sure. Like a big giant maybe. Or lot like Zeus on a throne. :HaHa:

 

Whenever I think of god I think of Zues. The only image I will ever label to the christian god.

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When I was a christian, I envisioned god as a father time/Zeus kinda mix. Definitely older, but not elderly.

 

Now......hm.

 

Well I don't think god has a specific form. No one we would be able to fathom anyway. Such a being would have to take on a form to interact with us.

 

And I imagine that form would be undescribable. Literally. If you were to hang with god, and try to write down their appearance, you'd wind up staring at the blank piece of paper until you decided the blank piece of paper was as close as you were going to get to a description, but now you can't write that down on the blank piece of paper without altering the blank piece of paper.

 

(imagine the hard time I have deciding to draw a picture, when the closest thing I can associate with the supreme being is a quality sheet of blank paper......gets a little intimidating that I'm going to turn it into something else)

That was very profound White raven. So many do turn God into something just by describing what can't be described.

 

"OK, let me try this, just for fun. Hypothetically, I define god as the pen on my desk. I pray to it, and sometimes it answers my prayers and sometimes it does not. The pen is there, that much is undeniable."

 

Nope, still looking... :shrug:

 

I'm not sure if you're serious or just trying to be clever. It was a fairly straightforward question. Why not give it a straightforward answer?

 

To use such as you provide above, the concept of "god" is diluted to a point of meaninglessness. If "god" is everything, it's the same as saying god is nothing. If god is a pen, then neither "god" nor "pen" have any real meaning in the context they are being shown in.

 

Maybe it's me, but I'd like something a little more definitive in your definitions...

 

IMOHO,

:thanks:

At least Hans sticky note sometimes says "maybe". :HaHa:

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Julian,

 

If god is your pen, how would you describe your pen? If your pen is there, what is its purpose? What are its qualities?

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Please give me a straightforward answer: is it a definition or not?

 

Secondly, if one defines god as the pen on my desk, how does that make it meaningless? The fact is that in the context of the definition, god is the pen. What lack of relevant meaning do you see in that?

 

Ok. No it's not. It's a metaphor. Saying it's a pen doesn't provide any valid information about the oject in question. It's a vapid comparison it adds nothing to the qualities you are trying to attribute to either. Maybe to you, it makes sense. Great. But a definition that only has meaning to one person is fairly useless in discussions such as this.

 

To move on to your first point, I disagree. If god is everything, then god is everything. If everything is divinity, then that is what everything is. What you are trying to say is like saying that if physical matter is everything, then physical matter is nothing. Does that make sense? Expand on your thoughts because they are not exactly too convincing (or even valid IMO).

 

You're free to disagree of course. But if I were to say "everyone's special" it's the same as saying "nobody is special." If god is the universe and the universe is everything there is than "god" is redundant. You may wish to use the title "god" in describing your awe at the majesty of it all, that's cool.

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Julian,

 

If god is your pen, how would you describe your pen? If your pen is there, what is its purpose? What are its qualities?

 

I would describe my pen as a pen. It is black and has black ink in it. The pen is there, that's not debatable. I pray to it, and sometimes my prayers are answered, and sometimes they are not. Those are its qualities (just to reiterate, this is completely hypothetical).

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Julian,

 

If god is your pen, how would you describe your pen? If your pen is there, what is its purpose? What are its qualities?

 

I would describe my pen as a pen. It is black and has black ink in it. The pen is there, that's not debatable. I pray to it, and sometimes my prayers are answered, and sometimes they are not. Those are its qualities (just to reiterate, this is completely hypothetical).

In all honesty, I can't see where you're going with this and I'm curious. So, I'll give a little of my thoughts here...

 

You have described your pen as a pen, which according to Aristotle's Law of identity: A=A. I'm no logic genius, so I can't go much farther than that, but here is this excerpt from here.

 

A is A: Aristotle's Law of Identity

Everything that exists has a specific nature. Each entity exists as something in particular and it has characteristics that are a part of what it is. "This leaf is red, solid, dry, rough, and flammable." "This book is white, and has 312 pages." "This coin is round, dense, smooth, and has a picture on it." In all three of these cases we are referring to an entity with a specific identity; the particular type of identity, or the trait discussed, is not important. Their identities include all of their features, not just those mentioned.

 

Identity is the concept that refers to this aspect of existence; the aspect of existing as something in particular, with specific characteristics. An entity without an identity cannot exist because it would be nothing. To exist is to exist as something, and that means to exist with a particular identity.

 

To have an identity means to have a single identity; an object cannot have two identities. A tree cannot be a telephone, and a dog cannot be a cat. Each entity exists as something specific, its identity is particular, and it cannot exist as something else. An entity can have more than one characteristic, but any characteristic it has is a part of its identity. A car can be both blue and red, but not at the same time or not in the same respect. Whatever portion is blue cannot be red at the same time, in the same way. Half the car can be red, and the other half blue. But the whole car can't be both red and blue. These two traits, blue and red, each have single, particular identities.

 

The concept of identity is important because it makes explicit that reality has a definite nature. Since reality has an identity, it is knowable. Since it exists in a particular way, it has no contradictions.

 

Now, of course, the indentity of the pen includes all characteristics that it has whether they are known or unknown. Maybe on some quantum level, there is a God essence, or Intelligence that causes it to be a pen by the seemingly intelligent attraction of certain atoms. Then you could say that God is part of the pen, but I can't understand you saying that God "is" the pen.

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Ok. No it's not. It's a metaphor. Saying it's a pen doesn't provide any valid information about the oject in question. It's a vapid comparison it adds nothing to the qualities you are trying to attribute to either. Maybe to you, it makes sense. Great. But a definition that only has meaning to one person is fairly useless in discussions such as this.

 

The fact is that it's not a metaphor. If one says that their pen is god, that is not a metaphor, it is a description of their deity. How could you possibly consider it a metaphor? It's ridiculous to do so. I've provided valid information, I've provided its qualities, that makes it a description that is full and acceptable.

 

I say my pen is god. That's not a comparison. That's not a metaphor. That's a valid description that you have failed to address.

 

You're free to disagree of course. But if I were to say "everyone's special" it's the same as saying "nobody is special." If god is the universe and the universe is everything there is than "god" is redundant. You may wish to use the title "god" in describing your awe at the majesty of it all, that's cool.

 

You are making a mistake. Saying "everyone's special" means that "everyone's special"; your view that this makes it homogeneous because of its commonality is not true. Why? Because what is common is that everyone is special, and so the only way that no one is unique is in their uniqueness, which does not change the fact that everyone is special.

 

Moving on, if god is the universe and the universe is god, then what that does is recognize the divinity in everything. Since divinity is everything, everything is divine. This clearly makes it not "describing my awe at the majesty of it all". Furthermore, it isn't redundant, because such a statement implies something to the nature of the universe and divinity.

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In all honesty, I can't see where you're going with this and I'm curious. So, I'll give a little of my thoughts here...

 

You have described your pen as a pen, which according to Aristotle's Law of identity: A=A. I'm no logic genius, so I can't go much farther than that, but here is this excerpt from here.

 

A is A: Aristotle's Law of Identity

Everything that exists has a specific nature. Each entity exists as something in particular and it has characteristics that are a part of what it is. "This leaf is red, solid, dry, rough, and flammable." "This book is white, and has 312 pages." "This coin is round, dense, smooth, and has a picture on it." In all three of these cases we are referring to an entity with a specific identity; the particular type of identity, or the trait discussed, is not important. Their identities include all of their features, not just those mentioned.

 

Identity is the concept that refers to this aspect of existence; the aspect of existing as something in particular, with specific characteristics. An entity without an identity cannot exist because it would be nothing. To exist is to exist as something, and that means to exist with a particular identity.

 

To have an identity means to have a single identity; an object cannot have two identities. A tree cannot be a telephone, and a dog cannot be a cat. Each entity exists as something specific, its identity is particular, and it cannot exist as something else. An entity can have more than one characteristic, but any characteristic it has is a part of its identity. A car can be both blue and red, but not at the same time or not in the same respect. Whatever portion is blue cannot be red at the same time, in the same way. Half the car can be red, and the other half blue. But the whole car can't be both red and blue. These two traits, blue and red, each have single, particular identities.

 

OK, not only is this about physical qualities, but this also shows that an identity can have many facets.

 

The concept of identity is important because it makes explicit that reality has a definite nature. Since reality has an identity, it is knowable. Since it exists in a particular way, it has no contradictions.

 

Now, of course, the indentity of the pen includes all characteristics that it has whether they are known or unknown. Maybe on some quantum level, there is a God essence, or Intelligence that causes it to be a pen by the seemingly intelligent attraction of certain atoms. Then you could say that God is part of the pen, but I can't understand you saying that God "is" the pen.

 

Let me put it this way. The pen is a writing utensil, would you not agree? The pen is a tool, correct? These are descriptions of the pen which are true while independent from its physical "identity" which was described by your link. In this way, you can say that the pen is god while not changing its identity.

 

Here's another way to look at it. While you can say that those descriptions I made are not part of its (physical) "identity", you could also include them. So, the identity of the pen includes being a writing utensil and a tool. Using this, the identity of my pen includes being god. Remember that an identity can be comprised of many different aspects.

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Now, of course, the indentity of the pen includes all characteristics that it has whether they are known or unknown. Maybe on some quantum level, there is a God essence, or Intelligence that causes it to be a pen by the seemingly intelligent attraction of certain atoms. Then you could say that God is part of the pen, but I can't understand you saying that God "is" the pen.

 

Let me put it this way. The pen is a writing utensil, would you not agree? The pen is a tool, correct? These are descriptions of the pen which are true while independent from its physical "identity" which was described by your link. In this way, you can say that the pen is god while not changing its identity.

 

Here's another way to look at it. While you can say that those descriptions I made are not part of its (physical) "identity", you could also include them. So, the identity of the pen includes being a writing utensil and a tool. Using this, the identity of my pen includes being god. Remember that an identity can be comprised of many different aspects.

Ok...I understand what you are saying now. You are saying that your pen is a writing utensil and it's a tool and it's a God regardless of what it physically is, but there is something not right with me on this. A writing utensil connotes something that is used for writing. A tool connotes something that is used to perform work. The word tool is even more general than writing utensil. What does a God connote? It connotes nothing in particular.

 

Honestly...I am really trying to understand you. It seems that you are degressing the pen into nothingness. First it's a writing utensil, then it's a tool, then it's a God? Or, would it be the other way around? First it's a God, then it's a tool, then it's a writing utensil?

 

Let's take something else besides a pen because a pen is a tool and a writing utensil. It is something that is made by us to be used by us. What if we claimed that God is a rose? What characteristics of the rose exist independently of itself? It's not a tool or a writing utensil. I may be wrong, but it seems something that is natural has no qualities that exist other than what it is.

 

Help me out here Julian. I think you have an interesting approach and I would like to follow your train of thought if I can.

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Julian,

 

I think most here would agree that I make an honest effort to understand the views of others, but I have NO idea where the hell you are coming from.

 

You can call it anything you want. Fine. I'm tired of arguing the point. It's not a metaphor? Sure, if you say so. Applying a unique quality homogenously doesn't degrade the uniqueness? Why not.

 

Either way, you have still yet to provide a single piece of information that can actually help anyone. If you're trying to be all Socratic, good for you, but I don't get it.

 

I look at the universe and see nothing but the universe. You look at the same thing and see "the divine"...

 

So the universe is divine? Great, what does that mean?

God is a pen? Super, what does that mean?

 

:shrug:

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Julian,

 

Is this more the school of thought you are coming from? From here.

 

Hegel seems to understand that the focus of traditional logic was to make

"Abstract identity its principle and to try to apprehend the objects of reason by the abstract and finite categories of the understanding."

 

By so doing, traditional logic secured a realm over which the laws of thought could sovereignly rule. Once proper objects of thought have been created through abstraction, the laws of thought certainly apply. Hegel would argue, however, that these laws of thought do not apply when the objects of thought are not such abstract entities. Thus, the laws of thought do not universally rule over all thinking but are only universal when the objects of thought are abstracted from the reality of the phenomenal world. If we turn our attention upon the world of experience, "everything is inherently contradictory." Thus, Hegel posits the law of contradiction, rather than the law of non-contradiction.

As it was for Heraclitus, reality for Hegel is something that moves, thus making any fixed, abstract identity impossible. Things are always becoming and so they must contain within themselves that which they are not. Contradiction is the root of all movement and vitality; it is only in so far as something has a contradiction within it that it moves, has an urge and activity.

 

A little later, he says something that is even more shocking to those who strictly adhere to the traditional laws of thought and imagine them to be the basis of all right thinking.

 

"Something moves, not because at one moment it is here and at another there, but because at one and the same moment it is here and not here, because in this "here", it at once is and is not."

This is an obvious contradiction, and the laws of thought would say that something cannot be here and not here at the same time. Of course, what is behind Hegel's statement is the matter of how we conceive of time. If we think of time and motion analytically, and the continuum of time moves from one fixed, analyzable point to another (i.e., t1, t2, t3 . . . ), thus constituting a present or here, then Hegel is certainly wrong. If that is the case, then something is here (e.g., t4) and not any other place. If, however, there are no fixed points on the continuum that is time, and time is continually moving, then it cannot be stopped and analyzed without making it something other than what it is. If the nature of time, like motion, defies arrest, then Hegel is right and analytic thinking is not suited to understand such things. To think of time as an ongoing continuum forces us to think contrary to the laws of non-contradiction and excluded middle, and understand that something is both here and not here at the same moment.

If motion defies the traditional laws of thought, then all living things violate the laws of thought in so far as they are in constant motion * not in the sense that they experience constant local motion but in the sense that all living things experience perpetual internal motion. This internal motion of all living things prevents them from having any fixed, analyzable point of identity.

 

"Abstract self-identity is not as yet a livingness.... Something is therefore alive only in so far as it contains contradictions within it."

Hegel even attacks the law of identity and claims that the law of identity says very little in itself. The fact that A = A is no more than a tautology and has little meaning. It tells us almost nothing about the identity of a thing. The only way a thing truly takes on identity is through its otherness or what it is not. What a thing is not is as necessary to the identity of a thing as what it is in that what it is not is what gives boundaries, definition, and meaning to a thing. Thus, its otherness must be contained within the very identity of the thing.

 

This is new to me and I would like to know more about it. Maybe you could explain a little more?

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Julian,

 

I think most here would agree that I make an honest effort to understand the views of others, but I have NO idea where the hell you are coming from.

 

You can call it anything you want. Fine. I'm tired of arguing the point. It's not a metaphor? Sure, if you say so. Applying a unique quality homogenously doesn't degrade the uniqueness? Why not.

 

Who said it was a "unique quality"? If you ask someone like me, I would say that it isn't a unique "quality" at all, I would say that it's a universal commonality.

 

Either way, you have still yet to provide a single piece of information that can actually help anyone. If you're trying to be all Socratic, good for you, but I don't get it.

 

I look at the universe and see nothing but the universe. You look at the same thing and see "the divine"...

 

I have said that I do see evidence for divinity. You do not. I don't have a problem with that.

 

So the universe is divine? Great, what does that mean?

 

The meaning is in the statement. The meaning is that the universe is divine, which in itself has quite a meaning.

 

God is a pen? Super, what does that mean?

 

That means that it is possible to have a concept of god that does not "define itself out of existence", which is what EdwardAbbey claimed. That entire point was in response to EdwardAbbey.

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Ok...I understand what you are saying now. You are saying that your pen is a writing utensil and it's a tool and it's a God regardless of what it physically is, but there is something not right with me on this. A writing utensil connotes something that is used for writing. A tool connotes something that is used to perform work. The word tool is even more general than writing utensil. What does a God connote? It connotes nothing in particular.

 

A few things. My pen, while being everything that it is, is a writing utensil and a tool. This is part of its "identity", an idea mentioned prior. Since a pen can be many things, it is not contradictory or illogical if one says that it is "god" as well.

 

A writing utensil is something which writes. A tool is something which is used for something. Those are things which can be ascribed to a pen without any problem (you can consider a pen a weapon without a problem as well). In this way, the label of "god" can be ascribed to a pen as well, and the connotation is what it connotes. I said in my definition that sometimes it answers my prayers and sometimes it does not. Let's be honest, "god" is quite subjective, but you would not agree that with that specific definition, the connotation is not nothing?

 

Honestly...I am really trying to understand you. It seems that you are degressing the pen into nothingness. First it's a writing utensil, then it's a tool, then it's a God? Or, would it be the other way around? First it's a God, then it's a tool, then it's a writing utensil?

 

No, the pen is not changed. It's not "first a writing utensil, then a tool", it's "a writing utensil AND a tool". My hypothetical simply adds something else. Who said you had to number them?

 

Let's take something else besides a pen because a pen is a tool and a writing utensil. It is something that is made by us to be used by us. What if we claimed that God is a rose? What characteristics of the rose exist independently of itself? It's not a tool or a writing utensil. I may be wrong, but it seems something that is natural has no qualities that exist other than what it is.

 

Use whatever you like, the only reason I used a pen in my hypothetical was because that was what I used. The object that is used is meaningless.

 

Let me first address it in relation to my hypothetical, then I'll address it in relation to what I think.

 

OK, a rose's qualities do not make it impossible for one to see it as "god". A rose's qualities are what they are, but who is to say that that discludes any other description? If you define god as a rose which sometimes answers prayers and sometimes doesn't, then a rose's qualities are not contradicted.

 

Also, a rose can be a tool. It can be utilized in different ways.

 

Apart from the above hypothetical, here are a few of my thoughts on this.

 

There are many ways to describe a rose, and those descriptions arise from what it is. For instance, you can call it "beautiful", but you can also call it "regular"; the rose does not change. The fact is that its qualities are what it is, and any description is an expression of those qualities. So a rose IS red, it IS alive, and what we take from that IS an extension of the entity itself.

 

However, what happens when something happens and one of those qualities change? The actual rose didn't change, but its qualities did. What does this mean? To me, it means that the rose transcends the qualities that we can readily sense, its immediately observed qualities are in fact expressions of the true entity.

 

Those last two paragraphs are products of my own views. The hypothetical is something that I posted simply to disprove EdwardAbbey's claims.

 

Help me out here Julian. I think you have an interesting approach and I would like to follow your train of thought if I can.

I think we've touched on some interesting things, and I think that's definitely a good thing.

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A rose's qualities are what they are, but who is to say that that discludes any other description?

 

I didn't...this is what I said after I posted the Law of Identity:

 

Now, of course, the indentity of the pen includes all characteristics that it has whether they are known or unknown. Maybe on some quantum level, there is a God essence, or Intelligence that causes it to be a pen by the seemingly intelligent attraction of certain atoms. Then you could say that God is part of the pen, but I can't understand you saying that God "is" the pen.

 

I happen to believe this, but I wouldn't call the pen God because that would not make sense in a conversation I was having with anyone. If we called everything God, there would be no comprehension about what we were talking about. I couldn't just say, "please hand me that God please, or please pass the God. We would both look at each other like: :twitch:

 

Can you see my confusion?

 

Let's be honest, "god" is quite subjective, but you would not agree that with that specific definition, the connotation is not nothing?

 

I agree here too. The connotation is also subjective (as I think you are saying), so it's only valuable on a subjective level, IMO. There is no way to say that it means the same thing to another person. This is where communication breaks down because what it is, cannot be described. I think it's like the Tao in Taoism or like Brahman in Hinduism (you know more about that than I do). :shrug:

 

Apart from the above hypothetical, here are a few of my thoughts on this.

 

There are many ways to describe a rose, and those descriptions arise from what it is. For instance, you can call it "beautiful", but you can also call it "regular"; the rose does not change. The fact is that its qualities are what it is, and any description is an expression of those qualities. So a rose IS red, it IS alive, and what we take from that IS an extension of the entity itself.

 

However, what happens when something happens and one of those qualities change? The actual rose didn't change, but its qualities did. What does this mean? To me, it means that the rose transcends the qualities that we can readily sense, its immediately observed qualities are in fact expressions of the true entity.

 

I agree once again. I guess I am just a little confused on what your understanding of God is. I feel that God is a necessary quality of the rose, or of anything.

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If we called everything God, there would be no comprehension about what we were talking about.

 

Thank you! That's what I was trying to get acrossed this whole time... :thanks:

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If we called everything God, there would be no comprehension about what we were talking about.

 

Thank you! That's what I was trying to get acrossed this whole time... :thanks:

You're very welcome and I agree with you. I can see what julian is saying (I think!), but there has to be some agreement on what we call things in order to distinguish those things from other things regardless of what may be inherently a part of the things. It is no different than calling all things atoms, molecules or carbon or any other universal commonality that he refers to. That is why he is confusing me too.

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Now, of course, the indentity of the pen includes all characteristics that it has whether they are known or unknown. Maybe on some quantum level, there is a God essence, or Intelligence that causes it to be a pen by the seemingly intelligent attraction of certain atoms. Then you could say that God is part of the pen, but I can't understand you saying that God "is" the pen.

 

I happen to believe this, but I wouldn't call the pen God because that would not make sense in a conversation I was having with anyone. If we called everything God, there would be no comprehension about what we were talking about. I couldn't just say, "please hand me that God please, or please pass the God. We would both look at each other like: :twitch:

 

Can you see my confusion?

 

You say that if god is everything, then everything loses its identity (or something to that effect). Nothing could be more misled. Why? Because as I've said before (IIRC), something can have many aspects to its entire identity. Furthermore, let us look at a comparison:

 

Take any person. For instance, take an Englishman. Now this is someone who was born in England and retains the identity of being English (among other things). However, this Englishman is ALSO a male, and this male is ALSO a human being. As we move from the specifics to the commonalities, we find that there are catagories which include just about everything and everyone. Could you say, "Look at that human being" and still talk about that specific Englishman, who is distinct from other Englishmen? Yes, you could. That this individual IS a human being does not contradict or render meaningless the more specific identities.

 

In this way, you can look upon all things as "god" without losing sight of their specific, distinct and unique individual identities.

 

Does that make sense?

 

I agree here too. The connotation is also subjective (as I think you are saying), so it's only valuable on a subjective level, IMO. There is no way to say that it means the same thing to another person. This is where communication breaks down because what it is, cannot be described. I think it's like the Tao in Taoism or like Brahman in Hinduism (you know more about that than I do). :shrug:

 

The connotation is valuable within the specific definition that I laid out, is it not? You can understand something while not adhering to it, correct? If so, then it is not unreasonable to presume a value and recognize the connotation for the sake of the argument (at the very least).

 

I agree once again. I guess I am just a little confused on what your understanding of God is. I feel that God is a necessary quality of the rose, or of anything.

 

If you agree, then you would be taking the position that the rose's true self goes beyond its physical qualities? Just looking for clarification.

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