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Belief in God

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Faye, Jan 30, 2012.

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  1. Faye

    Faye ^_^
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    Here is a thought.

    Do you agree that God is by definition transcendent (as in, above material reality)? If yes, then God is categorically different from typical, material things.

    As a result, it makes no sense to ask the question about whether or not God exists because non-transcendent things are categorically different from God. Agnosticism and atheism are literally nonsensical positions because they are assuming that asking whether or not God exists is a genuine question. Likewise, believers who argue about the existence of God are also making the mistake of assuming that they are arguing about a genuine question. I think if we accept that God is transcendent, then we cannot have a discussion about whether or not God exists.

    Discuss.
     
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  2. Kmal

    Kmal Well-known member

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    why only discuss material things? is love not immaterial? is faith not immaterial? is thought not immaterial? of course not, love is shown through actions making it real, and concrete. faith is shown through firmness of actions and security. thought, a gift and a realization from the infinite immaterial that which some call God, is shown through every thing. the immaterial controls the material. when realized that the infinite immaterial loves you, in the concrete sense of it being shown, it manifests. it goes both ways though, that when you think the infinite immaterial doesnt love you, or doesnt exist, it manifests, thereby limiting your self in every endeavor, including life.
     
    #2 Kmal, Jan 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  3. OP
    Faye

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    Supposedly no, love, thought, faith, etc. can be shown to be material- even if it is just reducible to the neurons firing in your brain. That is just one position people take, however.

    Are you studying to be a preacher per chance?
     
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  4. Kmal

    Kmal Well-known member

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    @Dragon Are words not but sounds and vibrations in the physical? Would words be to the ear, as food is to the mouth? Are actions not recorded in history? Are actions not controlled by the immaterial? How would immaterial things such as love, faith, and thought exist if this were only a material reality? Is it not the immaterial describing the material right now?
     
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    Faye

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    You're presupposing a mind/body duality. I understand what it is: can you give me any arguments that it is in fact the case? You're also making the additional claim that the immaterial "controls" the material, which is both vague and I'm curious as to why you suspect this. For instance, why couldn't we say that the material controls the immaterial (supposing we want to accept the material/immaterial dichotomy, which we haven't yet)?

    Edit: Another concern is this. If the immaterial "controls" the material, then we're saying that the two can interact causally. If they can interact causally, then aren't they of the same type, meaning they are both material in some sense?
     
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  6. Kmal

    Kmal Well-known member

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    @Dragon if there is material there has to be immaterial, and with immaterial material. without the abstract concept of love, we wouldnt know how to show it in our actions and thus record history for your self. would not the past be immaterial? does it not come from the material moment of now? does that not make it real? its as real as you realize it is. and this is the case with God. the immaterial is infinite because it is not material. thus the gifts, life, everything you can comprehend, you've received from God shows how He loves you in the concrete sense.
     
    #6 Kmal, Jan 31, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
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  7. Phebe

    Phebe Regular Poster

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    I highlighted what I would change - I don't believe that God is above material reality. In my opinion consciousness denotes material reality, and I believe God is ever-present with us emotionally, spiritually, and sometimes physically even when we don't see Him with our natural senses. I believe God is personally with us, though, which for some is a different belief paradigm.
     
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  8. subwayrider

    subwayrider Into the White

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    I don't really believe he exists, but if he does, he must follow his own rules. Nothing exists, objectively, 100% immaterially.
     
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  9. just me

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    darkness?
     
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  10. anarkandi

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    Being a theist or atheist is not a fully logical choice, it's a label which can never capture your true beliefs. I prefer the term agnostic, I don't know what's out there, I'm exploring. And I would love the existance of magic. And new agers see straight through me, I sometimes want to believe in that, too.
     
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  11. just me

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    "Transcendent": now there's a word in itself for you to look at closer. It originally meant "climb over", I do think.
    Even Webster's Dictionary has been changed to be less Christian than when it was written. Nowadays the generally-accepted meaning of the adjective seems to come from the verb "transcend", meaning "to go beyond the limits of; exceed; to surpass; excel."
    "Transcendent" and "transcendental" are both adjectives, though, and "transcendental" means "supernatural; abstract."

    "Transcendentalism" is "a philosophy based on a search for reality through spiritual intuition."

    I get the idea using the words would place us pitting the natural against the supernatural, that is just by looking at the dictionary.
    While being above that which is typical or material, God is all encompassing and has revealed Himself also in the typical and material form. That makes God supernatural and natural, if I may say so. We cannot place God in a box with a label on it unless it says something like "God". If we do, it had best be a large label with an awful lot of things not listed; including things we surely do not fully understand as of now.

    By what measure would one define God, anyway? Even using the "philosophy" side of the meaning of your word, we must use intuition. Using the religious side we must use faith. Faith is the substance of all things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. If we see clearly what we have faith in, can we hope for it any longer? How can we hope for something we have? We grasp the things given us through the Word and the Holy Spirit, and hope for the things we do not have as of yet.

    Questioning also does not get defined fully by the word "doubting". I question things to learn more fully what I am researching. Do not we all? If I question something in the Bible, it leads me eventually to a better understanding of the subject, though I cannot lay claim to having found the answers on my own. I may have received help through the Holy Spirit of God, possibly by studying His Word, possibly giving up something in my life and praying while doing so. I do, however, not question out of doubt. Maybe I learned something through an experience I "had", or maybe someone "shared" with me. Maybe other Christians helped to build me into the man I am. So many things to look at.

    If god is magic, then so I see childbirth, breathing, and many other things in this world and universe. Maybe the sun is magic and the fact we revolve around it to sustain our life on this earth is magic? Naw; I don't think so. Have a good morning to all.
     
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    #11 just me, Feb 1, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
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  12. Optimist

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    Assume with me for just a second there is a God, who set the rules He must follow? If God has to conform to a standard then the standard is by definition higher than himself. And if there is a standard higher than God, there must by definition be a standard giver. So there would have to be another being huger than God in existence.
    And then that would be God...

    Higher than God**
     
    #12 Optimist, Feb 1, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
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  13. Optimist

    Optimist Community Member

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    Have you read Escape from Reason by Francis A. Schaeffer? A few of your ideas seem to ring of his thoughts.
    For those of you who haven't read it, I recommend it. It's a short read and has been critiqued for its lack of length before actually, but is a nice summation of the way man has viewed what rules him over the centuries.
     
  14. Sai

    Sai Community Member

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    why do you always focus on the abrahamic god?
     
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  15. Optimist

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    Well I do because that's the one I believe in... But technically my first post is true of any being we've ever called God.
    To elaborate on that further... God does have to follow "rules". He is the rule.
     
  16. Kmal

    Kmal Well-known member

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    are there rules to infinity? the only rule i can think of would be that it would have to be infinite, and thus nothing finite applies.
    your point on no immaterial existing without material is spot on, as the name suggests. immaterial needs a medium to go through, and that is material. is not the realization of the concept of material and the possibility of there being no immaterial itself immaterial? there is something behind the scenes that is not material but manifests in the material that is giving us everything, for it is everything. it is infinite, and it is God.
     
    #16 Kmal, Feb 1, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
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  17. Optimist

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    Oh and earlier... There was a comment about how love is immaterial but you can see and feel the effects thereof. Well, this is wading into controversial waters and personally I'm a presuppositionalist, but I would argue even if God were immaterial, you can feel and see the effects of Him.
    -puts on Kevlar- alright. Fire away....
     
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  18. just me

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    Those that know me know I am quite original. Never even heard of the guy or the book. My lack of length was time to go to work.
     
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  19. Optimist

    Optimist Community Member

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    Ah but true "originality" doesn't exist. It's all just a mixing of what we already see. A unicorn is a cross between a horse and a narwhal for instance. So maybe you and Schaeffer just looked at the same world, combined it similarly and this this is why you sound a wee bit like him.
    Anyway, it's a good book that relates to this topic a bit...
    And he wrote and did the video series: How Should We Then Live? He lived in Switzerland... Any of that ring a bell? If not oh well
     
  20. just me

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    Yes, I have heard of Switzerland and horses. Narwhales have always fascinated me a bit.

    By original, I mean my mind has not been hammered and watered down with a bunch of books on religion. I may read a commentary on Hebrews by Guthrie, but read such books with anticipation seasoned with much discretion. I do not allow thoughts to influence my mind that I do not feel comfortable with, in other words. I have a comfort zone with my years of studying the Bible, and the writings had best add up to what I see as truth. Some writers seem to get off on a sort of "self-tangent", so to speak, that I read through and fail to let soak in. Make any sense? Don't get me started on the word "original" today, please. Maybe I should have taken care not to use it, but someone years ago on this forum in a word exercise called me the "original iconoclast", so I felt it appropo. I can accept you think I may sound a wee bit like someone else; no problem and no foul.


    BTW, I am glad you are an optimist, as the world needs more of them. Some folk seem to find only negative things to dwell on, and it becomes a bit uncomfortable after awhile. ; )
     
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