1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured Why call the great mystery 'God'?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Unfathomable Tao, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. Unfathomable Tao

    Unfathomable Tao Student of the Way

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Messages:
    123
    Ratings:
    +51
    Religion:
    Greek Pagan/Taoist
    It seems that a lot of people have a sense of wonder and mystery from being alive. A sense of wonder and awe toward the universe. Let's call this the great mystery, and am I wrong to say many theists define this mystery as God?

    My question is why call the mystery God? Lao-tzu did not believe we could speak of the great mystery in any truthful terms, and merely called it the Tao to call it 'something'.

    The mystery might really exist, or it might be something of our perception, and actually void of any 'suchness'.

    What makes me an atheist in spite of accepting the Tao, is I do not call the mystery a god. I do not believe the ideas of gods do the mystery justice. I believe the mystery and the universe are much greater than these concepts.

    That is my question for you friends: what causes the mystery to be called god, and people to attach all these human terms and conceptions to the unfathomable?
     
    • Like Like x 8
  2. jonathan180iq

    jonathan180iq Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2014
    Messages:
    4,192
    Ratings:
    +2,528
    You've answered your own question in describing why you don't call it god. Others call it god for the reasons that you don't.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Unfathomable Tao

    Unfathomable Tao Student of the Way

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Messages:
    123
    Ratings:
    +51
    Religion:
    Greek Pagan/Taoist
    Yes and I'm curious about some of those reasons :)
     
  4. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    11,720
    Ratings:
    +8,429
    Religion:
    Mega-Super-Ultra-Orthodox Judaism
    Tao is not G-d, its a creation.
     
  5. Unfathomable Tao

    Unfathomable Tao Student of the Way

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Messages:
    123
    Ratings:
    +51
    Religion:
    Greek Pagan/Taoist
    Well I would agree with you the Tao is not a deity, but neither is it a creation. The Tao te Ching attempts to refute any idea that might depict the Tao as either a divine personage, or the offspring of a divine personage.
     
  6. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    11,720
    Ratings:
    +8,429
    Religion:
    Mega-Super-Ultra-Orthodox Judaism
    So I guess now you know where we diverge.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Unfathomable Tao

    Unfathomable Tao Student of the Way

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Messages:
    123
    Ratings:
    +51
    Religion:
    Greek Pagan/Taoist
    Certainly, and that's alright. I would ask you though, in light of your posts- if you have a view about the Tao? If so, would you explain it more in detail to me? If you'd be so kind.
     
  8. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Messages:
    21,389
    Ratings:
    +15,746
    Religion:
    Druidry

    For the theists who honor God (as in the Abrahamic one-god), quite possibly. I don't honor that god, and I do not see the gods I honor as being "the great mystery." This is likely in part because I do not recognize there as being some "great mystery" thing.



    Because it is unavoidable. You've been attaching human terms and conceptions to it too, with words like "Tao" and "unfathomable" and "great mystery." Human words, human concepts. Still human maps of territory, just like this word "god" that you do not use.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Demonslayer

    Demonslayer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2015
    Messages:
    3,166
    Ratings:
    +2,002
    Religion:
    None
    In the vast majority of cases the answer is, because their parents told them to.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  10. ronandcarol

    ronandcarol Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    212
    Ratings:
    +57
    Religion:
    Christian
    Why call the great mystery 'God'?
    I'm not sure who refers to any mystery as God, except maybe those who don;t know or understand the true God of the universe. In fact the Bible refers to mystery in 1 Cor., No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God--his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. And also when talking about the parables of Jesus, I use parables to teach the others so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled: 'When they look, they won't really see. When they hear, they won't understand.' There is no mystery about God or His creation, He says that if we search with our whole hearts, we will find Him. And He will give us wisdom and understanding if we only ask! His mystery of our salvation has been revealed in his Words to us.

    ronandcarol

     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Kueid

    Kueid Avant-garde

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Messages:
    196
    Ratings:
    +74
    Religion:
    Corre corredor
    for easier mutual understanding
     
    • Like Like x 4
  12. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    11,720
    Ratings:
    +8,429
    Religion:
    Mega-Super-Ultra-Orthodox Judaism
    I only know a few things, I don't study these things. I understand that Tao is an understanding of the rules the universe runs on.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta, Theosophy, Spiritualism
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    16,000
    Ratings:
    +6,119
    Religion:
    Advaita and Spiritualist and Pantheist
    I call it Brahman, it is a more sophisticated concept than the Abrahamic God that is somewhat anthropomorphized. I think for much of human history, where education and information for the average people was limited to say the least, an anthropomorphized God was the concept within reach of their understanding. I think we are entering the next stage in human religious thought evolution in which more sophisticated concepts will become the norm.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Unfathomable Tao

    Unfathomable Tao Student of the Way

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Messages:
    123
    Ratings:
    +51
    Religion:
    Greek Pagan/Taoist
    What makes the Bible an authority on this matter though? I'm not saying you don't have a right to believe it of course, but how would you convince anyone else?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Unfathomable Tao

    Unfathomable Tao Student of the Way

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Messages:
    123
    Ratings:
    +51
    Religion:
    Greek Pagan/Taoist
    That could be, but is it useful to do, considering the pros and cons? It seems like the more anthropomorphized the idea becomes, the more it suits specific people.
     
  16. Unfathomable Tao

    Unfathomable Tao Student of the Way

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Messages:
    123
    Ratings:
    +51
    Religion:
    Greek Pagan/Taoist
    That's fair. I try to be as vague as I can. I try to use words that don't attach much. The word Tao though. I don't know if I want to debate about that one. As for your gods not being the 'great mystery'- yes I can understand that view. Do you believe they are higher lifeforms then?
     
  17. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    70,551
    Ratings:
    +35,580
    Religion:
    Love/Omnism
    In the Bible, Exodus 3:14, God said "I am Who I am" when asked for His name.

    But i a broader sense, often people at least in the West reduce God to an image of an old man floating on a cloud thanks to the Sistene Chapel ceiling. And then they react to that image either positively or negatively. So often but not always the word "God" is an intellectual trap.

    There are concepts of God that don't fall into that trap, but, to me, whatever words work for someone is fine.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  18. Rick O'Shez

    Rick O'Shez Irishman bouncing off walls

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2013
    Messages:
    13,049
    Ratings:
    +4,903
    Religion:
    Guinness
    How about just appreciating the sense of wonder and awe? Why the need to build a load of beliefs and metaphysics around it?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Windwalker

    Windwalker Veteran Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    12,687
    Ratings:
    +8,492
    Religion:
    Love, Light, and Life
    I notice you said "a god". I think when someone says God, it is not necessarily a deity they mean, but exactly what is meant by the Tao. Why use the word God to describe this? Because the word God represents the Absolute, the Ultimate, the Infinite. All those terms could be used as well. God is "Ultimate Good", God is Anglo word for Good.

    That people literalize and anthropomorphize God is simply because it is "above their heads", quite literally. That doesn't mean that is the only way to understand what God means.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Messages:
    21,389
    Ratings:
    +15,746
    Religion:
    Druidry

    It seems to me that the moment something is experienced or perceived by a human, it's already got something attached to it whether a symbol is used to describe it or not (words being a type of symbol). The symbols we call words are used primarily to communicate with other humans, and in that sense, I'm not sure deliberate vagueness serves well. This can depend on context, though, I suppose. :D


    That's not how I would characterize things, no. A couple problems I have with this framing: (1) hierarchical thinking, and (2) biological thinking. For the second, many of the gods I honor are not biological organisms, so it would be inaccurate to call them "life forms." Storm Spirit is not a life form for example, it's an abiotic aspect of our world. Storm Spirit is "higher" only in the sense that its physical location is above terrestrial organisms like us. I'm not a fan of hierarchical thinking; I'm too much of an ecologist for that. The gods just are.
     
    • Like Like x 3
Loading...