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What makes your God a God?

King Phenomenon

Well-Known Member
I’d have to say a lack of physical attributes, as it permeates infinite space. Some of the things in space have physical qualities but on the whole my God is beyond physical.
 

Quintessence

Consults with Trees
Staff member
Premium Member
Academically, gods are that which a person or culture deems worthy of worship. Nothing more, nothing less - something is a thing we say it is because we say it is the thing. That's how language works just in general, really - it's painting the landscape, mapping the territory. So the question really becomes what is the thing that this word/label is pointing at. What is the thing that deification in a culture is pointing at?

And that varies tremendously.

The only major common denominator I've observed for the things cultures designate as worthy of worship (aka, that they deify) is that this worthiness signifies a particular kind of relationship between humans and something that is greater-than-human. It goes without saying that there are forces and powers that are greater-than-human. Navigating relationships with these forces and powers can be essential to our very survival, as well as simply important for establishing life's meaning and purpose in an existential fashion. This is probably why the vast majority of gods up until recently were more or less various aspects of the world around us - our non-domesticated ancestors well understood our dependency upon the greater-than-human nature around us. And as someone reviving and reconstructing that sort of indigenous, polytheistic religious modality in spite of my domesticated upbringing, I do as well.

The gods are my greaters - the multiplicity of reality itself without which I wouldn't even be sitting here typing on this keyboard.
 

PureX

Veteran Member
Assuming gods exist at all, and not just projections from insecure, anxiety-consumed human minds.
Or, perhaps the musings of highly intelligent and imaginative minds ...
Should we not begin the examination with how our minds could deceive itself?
What examination? How do you think you're going to examine anything? If our minds can deceive themselves, and clearly they can, then what good is our mind going to do us in "examining" itself?

Oh! Wait! You want to examine everyone ELSE'S mind! Now I get it. :)
 
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Saggath

Member
What makes my God a God, as opposed to what is generally thought of, or specifically thought by others?

Because of implications carried by the word "God", I prefer either to not use that word for "my" "God", or use different terms. I like Robert Spitzer's term, "Unconditioned Transcendent Reality".

What makes that which I recognize as "God" to qualify for that name or Title is, first of all, "First of All". Firstness. What was first. Also, "natural". I don't know what that means other than that It is not something strange or unlikely, but totally normal. As I continue to read arguments for the existence of God and arguments for the so-called qualities or attributes of God, I am beginning to believe in those that claim God is timeless and spaceless. It might also be thoughtless, by which I mean It does not need to think because off that might be thought It is Itself. Like saying God does not have love, God is love, I would say God has no thoughts, God is thought. Also, contrary to beliefs of others, even atheists, in my beliefs, God is not something to be worshipped. I have reasons for that that take a lot of explaining, so I will leave it at that; maybe later I'll elaborate, but not now.

Do I myself believe God is love? I believe: it doesn't matter. What difference does it make. It's obvious God does not seek suffering. Being an ultimate being, if He sought suffering, it would be ultimate suffering. That doesn't exist, so suffering is not something He is very interested in. If He wanted suffering, there would be a lot more in the world. What about happiness? I won't elaborate on that, but I think He probably does want people to be happy, much happier than we are now, "exceedingly" happy.

In a nutshell, I consider God to be God because It is the First Thing and brought into existence everything that exists. Everything that exists. Which reminds me of "existent, non-existent, and beyond both". Other attributed attributes make Him neither more God nor less God.
 

King Phenomenon

Well-Known Member
What makes my God a God, as opposed to what is generally thought of, or specifically thought by others?

Because of implications carried by the word "God", I prefer either to not use that word for "my" "God", or use different terms. I like Robert Spitzer's term, "Unconditioned Transcendent Reality".

What makes that which I recognize as "God" to qualify for that name or Title is, first of all, "First of All". Firstness. What was first. Also, "natural". I don't know what that means other than that It is not something strange or unlikely, but totally normal. As I continue to read arguments for the existence of God and arguments for the so-called qualities or attributes of God, I am beginning to believe in those that claim God is timeless and spaceless. It might also be thoughtless, by which I mean It does not need to think because off that might be thought It is Itself. Like saying God does not have love, God is love, I would say God has no thoughts, God is thought. Also, contrary to beliefs of others, even atheists, in my beliefs, God is not something to be worshipped. I have reasons for that that take a lot of explaining, so I will leave it at that; maybe later I'll elaborate, but not now.

Do I myself believe God is love? I believe: it doesn't matter. What difference does it make. It's obvious God does not seek suffering. Being an ultimate being, if He sought suffering, it would be ultimate suffering. That doesn't exist, so suffering is not something He is very interested in. If He wanted suffering, there would be a lot more in the world. What about happiness? I won't elaborate on that, but I think He probably does want people to be happy, much happier than we are now, "exceedingly" happy.

In a nutshell, I consider God to be God because It is the First Thing and brought into existence everything that exists. Everything that exists. Which reminds me of "existent, non-existent, and beyond both". Other attributed attributes make Him neither more God nor less God.
Good points
 

King Phenomenon

Well-Known Member
What makes my God a God, as opposed to what is generally thought of, or specifically thought by others?

Because of implications carried by the word "God", I prefer either to not use that word for "my" "God", or use different terms. I like Robert Spitzer's term, "Unconditioned Transcendent Reality".

What makes that which I recognize as "God" to qualify for that name or Title is, first of all, "First of All". Firstness. What was first. Also, "natural". I don't know what that means other than that It is not something strange or unlikely, but totally normal. As I continue to read arguments for the existence of God and arguments for the so-called qualities or attributes of God, I am beginning to believe in those that claim God is timeless and spaceless. It might also be thoughtless, by which I mean It does not need to think because off that might be thought It is Itself. Like saying God does not have love, God is love, I would say God has no thoughts, God is thought. Also, contrary to beliefs of others, even atheists, in my beliefs, God is not something to be worshipped. I have reasons for that that take a lot of explaining, so I will leave it at that; maybe later I'll elaborate, but not now.

Do I myself believe God is love? I believe: it doesn't matter. What difference does it make. It's obvious God does not seek suffering. Being an ultimate being, if He sought suffering, it would be ultimate suffering. That doesn't exist, so suffering is not something He is very interested in. If He wanted suffering, there would be a lot more in the world. What about happiness? I won't elaborate on that, but I think He probably does want people to be happy, much happier than we are now, "exceedingly" happy.

In a nutshell, I consider God to be God because It is the First Thing and brought into existence everything that exists. Everything that exists. Which reminds me of "existent, non-existent, and beyond both". Other attributed attributes make Him neither more God nor less God.
Would you consider spaceless to mean permeating infinite space?
 

SalixIncendium

अहं ब्रह्मास्मि
Staff member
Premium Member
Do you deny that personal gods ARE products of individual minds?
If my views were relevant to the topic, I would answer the question, but any response I provide would be off-topic, because I have no personal gods.

If so, how it is off topic to ask about hos those individual minds are decidie their God is God? We know believers self-justify their beliefs, is that you are your interested in?
I'm not going to continue to derail this thread with this side-track. Since you insist on staying the course, it's now out of my hands.
 

mikkel_the_dane

My own religion
If my views were relevant to the topic, I would answer the question, but any response I provide would be off-topic, because I have no personal gods.


I'm not going to continue to derail this thread with this side-track. Since you insist on staying the course, it's now out of my hands.

I will stop now and ask me to delete my posts if you want me to do that.
 

King Phenomenon

Well-Known Member
You are certain about your uncertainty. That means you are uncertain about your God.


Respect in deabte is earned by following rules of discourse. Not all members have the same skills and abilities, so I give a lot of tolerance. But with repeated mistakes and ongoing disdain by certain dogmatic members that respect gets sabotaged by their own efforts. It's like a credit card, you are issued credit by default, and it's on you to improve it or destroy it.
I hear ya
 

Quintessence

Consults with Trees
Staff member
Premium Member
Transcendence.

Whatever God is, it transcends existence as we imagine it.
What is it about the quality of transcendence that makes something worthy of worship (aka, worthy of deification)?

I'm familiar with some of the theological cases made for deification of the transcendent (as opposed to the immanent, as my tradition teaches) but I'm curious to hear what take you had in mind on this.
 

King Phenomenon

Well-Known Member
What is it about the quality of transcendence that makes something worthy of worship (aka, worthy of deification)?

I'm familiar with some of the theological cases made for deification of the transcendent (as opposed to the immanent, as my tradition teaches) but I'm curious to hear what take you had in mind on this.
Me too
 

F1fan

Veteran Member
If my views were relevant to the topic, I would answer the question, but any response I provide would be off-topic, because I have no personal gods.
Me either. But I'm curious about those who claim some religious experience, which is quite braod and diverse. Do they really have some means to detect, engage, and relate to a god? The questions need to account for all options.
 

PureX

Veteran Member
What is it about the quality of transcendence that makes something worthy of worship (aka, worthy of deification)?

I'm familiar with some of the theological cases made for deification of the transcendent (as opposed to the immanent, as my tradition teaches) but I'm curious to hear what take you had in mind on this.
For me personally, deification is simply an easy cognitive device I can use to quickly grasp with my mind something that is otherwise impossible for my mind to comprehend.

For example, I have adopted the habit each morning as I leave the house to go to work, of consciously and deliberately thanking "God" for the gift of life, the gift of conscious awareness, the gift of humanity (and my fellow humans), and the gift of experiencing these physically. And then I try to take a few minutes to fully allow myself to experience 'gifts' within me, and in the moment. And then finally I try to remind myself to share that feeling of gratitude and comerodery with those I encounter during the day.

But this would be difficult and confusing if my mind had to grapple with the mystery of whatever 'God' is, that's on the 'other end' of that dialogue/prayer, every single morning. So for the sake of convenience, I just allow myself to put some unnamed "God deity" in that conceptual place, so I can get on with the more important part of the ritual, which is to articulate and practice gratitude. The deity thing is just a convenience so I don't have to get hung up on the infinite mystery that actually inhabits that whole 'transcendent realm of being' to which I am being grateful.

And if I were to actually focus on that side or the 'dialogue' in my mind, I would switch to Taoism as my way of relating myself to 'that which cannot be grasped nor controlled'. As a theological/philosophical ideology, I find Taoism to be the most honest, effective, and fulfilling for me. But it's not fast or easy. It takes some deliberation to set aside the 'noise' on my curious and imaginative mind. But once I can do that, and become quiet, it's like breathing in cold, fresh air while standing high on a mountaintop, after climbing up out of a very dark, hot, humid, smelly swamp. :)

It's a sense of deep, cognitive freedom and wonder that I have no need or desire to 'figure out'.
 

Jainarayan

ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
Staff member
Premium Member
What makes my God a God? To me, He is not a God, He is God. He is all there is, He is all that exists. I am a pantheist (God and the universe and all existence are One) and panentheist (God encompasses all, yet transcends all). Hindu philosophy allows for this, and that they are not mutually exclusive. He is everything and everything is He (yes grammatically correct, though a bit formal and stuffy sounding).

So Who is "He"? "He" is Viṣṇuḥ (Vishnu, the ḥ isn't really necessary but I'm a Sanskrit grammar nazi/purist and being pedantic). He is also Śivaḥ (Shiva, the ḥ isn't really necessary but there's that Sanskrit grammar nazi/purist again :p), and She is Tridevī (Trih-devee, triple Mother Goddess). Together as One they are the Godhead for me. But I primarily worship Viṣṇuḥ in His Kṛṣṇaḥ (Krishna) form. It sounds a bit convoluted and confusing but it's actually quite simple. Besides being pedantic I like using all the diacritics and macrons. They look cool. :D :D :D

This is how I envision God. He plays a flute, the music of which draws souls to Him.

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