What do you mean by god?
A.N. Whitehead suggested there were three main concptions of god: immanence, transcendence and monis

What do you mean by god?
PaulNZ
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#11 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Feb 13, 2012 - 1:46 AM:

God as a reflection of our higher selves, what we aspire to be, enlightened so to speak. That God resides within us all to some extent. God the unconscious mind, or maybe the collective unconscious mind? God can be whatever you want God to be can't it? Surely we don't have to subscribe to a single definition for everyone. In the end, the ultimate unknowable thing surely means that God is a reflection of ourselves doesn't it? What else could it be?

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On Feb 13, 2012 - 7:48 PM, BitterCrank responded: Check out thread in Religion, "I made god again last night." talk about stealing my thunder... wink
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Posted Feb 13, 2012 - 2:07 AM:

Mars Man, I never took those things as "negative points." I read them literally, as if the reader was saying that he "did not find the post helpful". That said, I think you should hurry and give a negative point to that post of mine. You certainly did not find it helpful, given your comment. Whether or not you and the silent member are correct is another matter. I beg to differ, and not only because of the ordinary attachment we all have to our own posts grin. The idea that the three notions being discussed here are mutually exclusive is wrong, and this error should be exposed. I think that's quite helpful.
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#13 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Feb 13, 2012 - 6:27 AM:

Mariner wrote:
Mars Man, I never took those things as "negative points." I read them literally, as if the reader was saying that he "did not find the post helpful".
Thanks for your explanation, Mariner san. As you will surely know, there has been debate on the effective functional difference between what is actually written there, and, well, the effective function that more often than should, arises evidently. We could say, looking at that effective function (as the evidence gives us plenty enough room to conclude) that what should be written there, instead of Approve or Disapprove (as what pops up when the cursor hovers there), or, 'n people found this post helpful (or, n people out of n people...), is n people feel the same way (or, n out of n people feel the same way). You can understand this, right? Like I said, that's what's happening effectively as a function through actual usage.

Mariner wrote:

That said, I think you should hurry and give a negative point to that post of mine. You certainly did not find it helpful, given your comment.
Well, not so fast there, please. I did find it helpful (we can equally say), but simply not in the way that you might have wished me to find it helpful. I can say that I found it helpful because what you wrote offers me the opportunity to demonstrate the fallacy that many practice--as the OPP of this very thread, for example.

Mariner wrote:

Whether or not you and the silent member are correct is another matter. I beg to differ, and not only because of the ordinary attachment we all have to our own posts grin. The idea that the three notions being discussed here are mutually exclusive is wrong, and this error should be exposed. I think that's quite helpful.(bold mine)
And as I have said, this is quite helpful to me.

Now, Mariner san, can you demonstrate that in the year 100 BCE, that a Jewish worshiper would have, or could have, as easy as apple pie, publicly claimed (or even in his own family space, for that matter, pretty much) that YHWH was the same as Krishna; without fully being expected to be stoned to death? Mariner san, you know that the answer to this question is negative. I dare you to go Mecca at that time of the year, get up on a soap box and try to tell those worshipers that Jesus is Allah. Really now, Mariner too many people are just being silly here. And you are not trying to deny that people are being subjected to actual physical harm and danger in Nigeria simply because they don't belong to one of two theist-based religious belief systems? Christianity, in it's original, and even now mainstream published dogma, can never accept Islam; and vice versa.

It is a fact that the three points which prothero gave, are mutually exclusive. Any attempt to politically correctly white wash over the very fact of the distinct seclusiveness of the founding of the information sources from which we have even learned of any dogma at all from, is merely a fool's game. You cannot be a devout, practicing Catholic in good standing with the Stay, and attempt to tell the sheep that the scripture is to be believed over the Vatican on all doctrine issues. You know that, Mariner san! Why deny it?



Edited by Mars Man on Feb 13, 2012 - 6:33 AM
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Posted Feb 13, 2012 - 6:36 AM:

Mars Man wrote:

Now, Mariner san, can you demonstrate that in the year 100 BCE, that a Jewish worshiper would have, or could have, as easy as apple pie, publicly claimed (or even in his own family space, for that matter, pretty much) that YHWH was the same as Krishna; without fully being expected to be stoned to death? Mariner san, you know that the answer to this question is negative. I dare you to go Mecca at that time of the year, get up on a soap box and try to tell those worshipers that Jesus is Allah. Really now, Mariner too many people are just being silly here.


I don't disagree with you, but whether the three notions of the OP are mutually exclusive or not is not at all linked to this. The relationship between the three notions is independent of the attitudes of believers.

It is a fact that the three points which prothero gave, are mutually exclusive.


If you assert this based on the behavior of believers, then you are committing a non sequitur. I also point out that the word 'fact' is clearly being misused in your sentence. It can't be a fact that these notions are mutually exclusive (or that they aren't).

Any attempt to politically correctly white wash over the very fact of the distinct seclusiveness of the founding of the information sources from which we have even learned of any dogma at all from, is merely a fool's game. You cannot be a devout, practicing Catholic in good standing with the Stay, and attempt to tell the sheep that the scripture is to be believed over the Vatican on all doctrine issues. You know that, Mariner san! Why deny it?


You are bringing up yet other issues rather than discussing the three notions. I hope that my insistence in focusing on the subject of the thread is helpful grin.
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Posted Feb 13, 2012 - 6:59 AM:

prothero wrote:
The Eastern Asiatic concept of an impersonal order to which the world conforms. This order is the self-ordering of the world; it is not the world obeying an imposed rule. The concept expresses the extreme doctrine of immanence.


Reification.

2. The Semitic concept of a definite personal individual entity, whose existence is the one ultimate metaphysical fact, absolute and underivative, and who decreed and ordered the derivative existence which we call the actual world. This Semitic concept is the rationalization of the tribal gods of the earlier communal religions. It expressed the extreme doctrine of transcendence.

3. The Pantheistic concept of an entity to be described in the terms of the Semitic concept, except that the actual world is a phase within the complete fact which is this ultimate individual entity. The actual world, conceived apart from God, is unreal. Its only reality is God's reality. The actual world has the reality of being a partial description of what God is. But in itself it is merely a certain mutuality of "Appearance," which is a phase of the being of God. This is the extreme doctrine of monism.


Neither falsifiable nor parsimonious.

Which, if any, of these conceptions is most compatible with science and the modern worldview?


In a way, the first, but so long as one simply wishes to equate the term God with the physical laws of the universe and does not imagine other qualities distinct from these scientific descriptions.
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Posted Feb 13, 2012 - 7:01 AM:

I believe in God because there is too much organization and sense of direction/purpose to the way matter has come together to produce something like the human brain, definitely the most fantastic atomic construction in the Universe, as far as we can see. Agree with Dawkins on everything mechanic, disagree on the assumption that no guiding hand was ever required for the mechanism to work the way it does. He believes it fervently but could never prove it, don't they say opposites attract?

God is what makes a squirrel bury his nuts for later.
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Posted Feb 13, 2012 - 7:24 AM:

Zeck wrote:
I believe in God because there is too much organization and sense of direction/purpose to the way matter has come together to produce something like the human brain, definitely the most fantastic atomic construction in the Universe, as far as we can see. Agree with Dawkins on everything mechanic, disagree on the assumption that no guiding hand was ever required for the mechanism to work the way it does. He believes it fervently but could never prove it, don't they say opposites attract?


God is, presumably, far more complex than the universe. So why is it more likely that God is eternal/came from nothing/created itself than the universe is eternal/came from nothing/created itself?

Your argument is self-defeating.
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#18 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Feb 13, 2012 - 12:00 PM:

prothero wrote:
God
Today there is but one religious dogma in debate: What do you mean by "God"? And in this respect, today is like all its yesterdays. There are three main simple renderings of this concept before the world.

1. The Eastern Asiatic concept of an impersonal order to which the world conforms. This order is the self-ordering of the world; it is not the world obeying an imposed rule. The concept expresses the extreme doctrine of immanence.

2. The Semitic concept of a definite personal individual entity, whose existence is the one ultimate metaphysical fact, absolute and underivative, and who decreed and ordered the derivative existence which we call the actual world. This Semitic concept is the rationalization of the tribal gods of the earlier communal religions. It expressed the extreme doctrine of transcendence.

3. The Pantheistic concept of an entity to be described in the terms of the Semitic concept, except that the actual world is a phase within the complete fact which is this ultimate individual entity. The actual world, conceived apart from God, is unreal. Its only reality is God's reality. The actual world has the reality of being a partial description of what God is. But in itself it is merely a certain mutuality of "Appearance," which is a phase of the being of God. This is the extreme doctrine of monism. - An

A.N. Whitehead

Which, if any, of these conceptions is most compatible with science and the modern worldview?

I see two questions, what I mean personally and the closing question which seems a bit like that game you play as a child with the blocks and holes (without even having read the choices yet).

And still not having read the choices (and because you asked personally) here I how I would see or use the word god or gods.

First of all, not necessarily central to religion or present at all. Religions are too many, too varied to say that. And even if you found a usage you think you understood in the other culture you might well not be "seeing how they see". So also difficult, problematic.

What I see personally is a word or words. And I do with that what I do with anything, I "cut up" the universe with it (that is what "is", not the words, they only draw lines). I talk about the relation of things, I do something meaningful with the words. So my way of seeing is absent our whole fixation on "believing in the existence of", that to me is just how our religions see.

And now looking at Whitehead's choices I see me somewhat in choice one, what is missing though would be something more along the animist lines, or of the world as "sacred process" (a line I still like, it is from the Ishmael books). Or what I also miss is where gods are part of this whole as is anything else, as I am also part of the whole.

His three choices seem quite limiting to be honest.

***

The closing question (also taking some liberties with it):

Science is a method, we impose our meta-narrative on it. Our tradition I think has merely taken the old gods, placed a new one call Reason on a pedestal (the god Reason as opposed to the reasoning ability), and created a new absolutist religion from that. A truly modern worldview, and a healthier view of religion - a true appreciation of it - should attempt to undo that.
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Posted Feb 13, 2012 - 12:14 PM:

And there are three to choose from, imagine that. There is not any particular conflict with sceince until we start to talk about miracles. The Eastern view might have an advantage as miracles can be put off there. We are just lucky, for example, that two common gases can come together to form a liquid which is essential to our survival; this is just the way reality or nature is - we are lucky with design, providence, miracles or anything eles - just luck.

In the Semitic option, presumably, Creation is at some level a miracle.
Pantheism will likely come down somewhere between the two prior positions.

In any case, we might remember that the future of science might tip the scales in any direction and we should not suppose that science will not come to a place where it is no longer useful.

I am inclined to suppose that each position might contain truth and that none is really essentially true.

Where does Whitehead suggest these three views?

prothero wrote:
God
Today there is but one religious dogma in debate: What do you mean by "God"? And in this respect, today is like all its yesterdays. There are three main simple renderings of this concept before the world.

1. The Eastern Asiatic concept of an impersonal order to which the world conforms. This order is the self-ordering of the world; it is not the world obeying an imposed rule. The concept expresses the extreme doctrine of immanence.

2. The Semitic concept of a definite personal individual entity, whose existence is the one ultimate metaphysical fact, absolute and underivative, and who decreed and ordered the derivative existence which we call the actual world. This Semitic concept is the rationalization of the tribal gods of the earlier communal religions. It expressed the extreme doctrine of transcendence.

3. The Pantheistic concept of an entity to be described in the terms of the Semitic concept, except that the actual world is a phase within the complete fact which is this ultimate individual entity. The actual world, conceived apart from God, is unreal. Its only reality is God's reality. The actual world has the reality of being a partial description of what God is. But in itself it is merely a certain mutuality of "Appearance," which is a phase of the being of God. This is the extreme doctrine of monism. - An

A.N. Whitehead

Which, if any, of these conceptions is most compatible with science and the modern worldview?

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Posted Feb 13, 2012 - 12:42 PM:

Mars Man wrote:

Now, Mariner san, can you demonstrate that in the year 100 BCE, that a Jewish worshiper would have, or could have, as easy as apple pie, publicly claimed (or even in his own family space, for that matter, pretty much) that YHWH was the same as Krishna; without fully being expected to be stoned to death? Mariner san, you know that the answer to this question is negative. I dare you to go Mecca at that time of the year, get up on a soap box and try to tell those worshipers that Jesus is Allah. Really now, Mariner too many people are just being silly here. And you are not trying to deny that people are being subjected to actual physical harm and danger in Nigeria simply because they don't belong to one of two theist-based religious belief systems? Christianity, in it's original, and even now mainstream published dogma, can never accept Islam; and vice versa.

It is a fact that the three points which prothero gave, are mutually exclusive. Any attempt to politically correctly white wash over the very fact of the distinct seclusiveness of the founding of the information sources from which we have even learned of any dogma at all from, is merely a fool's game. You cannot be a devout, practicing Catholic in good standing with the Stay, and attempt to tell the sheep that the scripture is to be believed over the Vatican on all doctrine issues. You know that, Mariner san! Why deny it?

Philo of Judea: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philo did (20BC-50AD) try to explain to the literalist jews the allegorical nature of their scriptures, and although he was ignored, wasn't stoned to death. Socrates also tried to explain to the athenians the errors that greek religion had fallen into, although he was of course eventually executed. I don't think anyone is trying to 'white-wash over' the obvious seclusiveness that was often a part of religion in the ancient world. You on the other hand are trying to white-wash over the fact that these deeply spiritual and mystical interpretations of God, and religious doctrines are not in any way modern ideas concocted to 'cling' to old belief systems, but were heavily represented in the ancient world themselves, and you do this in order to back up your own views.

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