Tim Colgan


This conversation is closed.

Who is God?

One thing I've become aware of in these conversations is that TEDsters have many different opinions on who God is. Hopefully this conversation will become a collection of those viewpoints.

Please don't attack other people's ideas. If you want, ask questions for clarification. But be respectful.

And tell us, in your opinion - who is God?

Closing Statement from Tim Colgan

To be continued at


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    Mar 29 2011: God is a structure invented by humans to interpret natural events.
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      Mar 29 2011: LOL

      That has to be the BEST definition I've seen EVER.

      (Many variations and subsets of it, but never summed up like that; It actually fits perfectly even with polytheistic religions as well as with monotheistic religions, and what I'm sometimes referring to as "neo definitions" of God, which are some of the other ones we have here)
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        Mar 29 2011: New age religions tend to fit God into scientific theories and attempt to validate God by some consequence of the natural world.

        They point to things like consciousness and say there is evidence for God or they point to the "weirdness" of quantum physics. Sure that stuff exists and if you wanna replace the currently unexplainable phenomena with the word "God" then you haven't done much you have replaced one term with another. You haven't really proved the existence of a conscious being that pulls the strings of the universe.
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      Drew B

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      Mar 29 2011: Well lets put it this way.

      If it were even the slightest possible chance that there is a hell and its a place of everlasting torment and hate wouldnt you want to make sure there isnt one by checking every possible source of information and proof that God does not exist or does?

      And why who most people who ask themselves this question and go search for answers come back a christian?

      I can see 100% of where your coming from because yeah the whole idea can be denied with logical reasoning but you got to look at where this idea came from and how much we can trust this information. When you search for those facts they cant be denied and once you experience what God does in your life you will know its real. If you dont believe in it you should not have proof but the strongest possible evidence of everything that cant be denied.
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        Mar 29 2011: Drew: Was there a question you wanted to ask of Budimir in order to further your understanding of his beliefs?
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          Drew B

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          Mar 29 2011: yes exactly. Many people believe what he believes just because they have been convinced by a video or somebody else one time. Once they have seen something that makes "logical" sense to their brain, they throw out all the other possibilities and choose not to explore those other paths to make sure they chose the right one. I also kind of asked it in a rhetorical sense to and to bring up questions he could ask himself.
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          Drew B

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          Mar 30 2011: and yes as I right now I am thinking what he is thinking but I have studied a lot but I am not an expert and I am trying to further my knowledge to make sure I'm right
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        Mar 29 2011: @ Drew

        Don't make assumptions about me.

        I've been convinced by years of working with scientific literature and reading philosophy, and not by a video or by having a 2000 year old book reiterated to me a million times..

        I think it's pretty arrogant for anyone to claim that they know the "right" path. Are you saying that your knowledge by some magical circumstance is infallible compared to all other people, including the most brilliant scientists and inventors, just because you believe in God?
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          Drew B

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          Mar 30 2011: no im not. I understand how i mightve came across that way and i apologize but Peop;e who spreads God'sword dont do it because they think "I'm better than you." But they see how many things religion has done for them so they want other people to experience it. They want to see everyone happy that they are willing to give up time and humiliation to try and get you what we believe is the right path. Im not saying your path is stupid and arrogant and that your going to Hell but yes to my belief, I think you are wrong, but also I think I am wrong in some ways too. Because our minds cannot comprehend who or what God is. We will be judged based on what we know and I want as many people to go to heaven as possible. I think every Tedster has respect for other peoples ideas and I think I am responding to very intelligent people. The only thing i can say is if you are not going to believe in God make sure you have checked every possibility that there isnt one because if I was goign to suffer so badly in Hell i want to make sure there isnt one first. Ask yourself this too, Are you happy? My goal is to make people happy and thats by giving them the source of happiness, GOD.
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        Mar 30 2011: Ok so I understand maybe it wasn't your intention to come off that way. Maybe I came off sounding too antagonistic and misread your intention as well.

        In my opinion whether it is God or a scientific theory, all of it is man made structures. However science is more careful to fit observation, fact and measurement into theory so it can predict natural events and mathematically determine them with great precision. It also constantly generates new models to describe reality more accurately. So in my opinion that makes science very useful and because it is fact based reasoning I invest a lot of my trust in what science has to offer.

        Now does that mean that I am a unhappy or amoral person. I would say no to the former and yes to the latter. But my amoral life has nothing to do with my disbelief in a higher being. I know plenty of atheists who are very moral people and have rigid categorical values. You can choose to be moral no matter what you believe in. I choose to be amoral because I don't find specified conduct useful, but I do experience real human feelings, such as love, responsibility, care and compassion. It doesn't mean I don't act on these urges I just don't like following a formal conduct.
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          Drew B

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          Mar 30 2011: yes i do agree with that second paragraph all the way. I also agree with your first paragraph exactly too.

          You said, "science is more careful to fit observation, fact and measurement into theory so it can predict natural events and mathematically determine them with great precision. It also constantly generates new models to describe REALITY more accurately." I agree because thats exactly what science is! It describes REALITY more accurately. In our earth, there is time and we all die and someone has given us the answer to where we are going and how we get there and we, as Christians, choose to believe it because of the undeniable proof there is.
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        Mar 31 2011: Where is the proof though? Once again now we are going to the previous post where you have undeniable proof of something which is quite literally impossible both in science or religion.
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          Drew B

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          Mar 31 2011: read Lee Strobles book, The Case for Christ. start there and expand
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        Mar 31 2011: I don't believe a book will answer the question because there is no such thing as undeniable proof when it comes to fact. And if you are not reasoning in terms of fact then you a reasoning in terms of your imagination.
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      E G

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      Mar 31 2011: Budimir , I don't understand something , you said that God is a structure, how come?
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          E G

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          Mar 31 2011: oh Hello Birdia
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        Mar 31 2011: By "structure" I think he means "a complex system considered from the point of view of the whole rather than of any single part" (definition 3 in http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/structure), because all Gods are defined over something that is considered complex as a whole, and are in essence complex themselves from the viewpoint of their believers.

        First with polytheistic religions that put Gods as a structure around different natural events (sun, lightning, etc.).
        Then with monotheistic religions that put God as a structure around all natural events.
        And nowadays with... if you'll excuse the arbitrary non academic term definition... neotheistic religions... which put God as a structure around natural events that are currently unknown or under explored by science, like consciousness or "energy".

        That's why I just love this definition. I hadn't seen one that fits so perfectly with all definitions of God, at least from an atheists' point of view.
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          Mar 31 2011: Vasil described it very well. Here is a complimentary video.

          I am not a structuralist myself but I agree that structures emerge from the physical world and not from "above."
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          Apr 1 2011: Budimir: Thanks for posting the video on structuralism. It's a concept that I looked into before, but never saw described quite like this before. The shift of focus from the Ideal to the inherent structure as the foundation of concepts is an interesting one. I think it relates to the Steven Pinker quote from before:

          "Consciousness does not reside in an ethereal soul that uses the brain like a PDA; consciousness is the activity of the brain."
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          E G

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          Apr 2 2011: yes it's very interesting the structuralism but I don't know momentaly enough to have an opinion about it.
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          Apr 4 2011: No problem, I;m glad you found the video interesting I was hoping to find another one which is a summary rather than a lecture but I guess this one did it's job.

          Many structuralist thinkers like Steven Pinker have adopted the view of causal reducibility of consciousness. Which is rapidly beginning to be backed up by a lot of research and modern brain scan technology.
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        Mar 31 2011: I think I might be a structualist... the whole thing makes total sense to me. I don't necessarily agree with all explanations presented, but the approach itself sounds like the best one science has going to tackle philosophical issues.
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          Apr 1 2011: Structuralism has some relevant points and if that's what makes the most sense to you then that's cool.

          There are many brilliant structuralism thinkers like Freud, Marx and so on,.

          I gravitate towards post structuralism and instrumentalism where philosophy of science is concerned.
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          Apr 4 2011: Although Soviet Russia was rising to the standard of a 1st world country under the communists, what occured there was not really communism. The government worked much like a big business monopoly.

          George Orwell's Animal Farm makes a brilliant comparison of Marxist socialism with Stalin's interpretation.
    • Apr 20 2011: if God is a structure invented by humans to interpret natural events, then who manage and control natural events? laws of physics? who enforce laws of physics?
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        Apr 20 2011: The laws of nature emerge from the properties of objects, I would even replace the word laws with properties of nature because it's more correct.
        • Apr 20 2011: all the nature has same properties. for example all nature has the property of gravity.
          when a property is common and general inside a boundary it is called law.
          changing name not solve the problem and problem still exist. even by different name.
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        Apr 20 2011: Yes but laws are a human invention constructed by theories while properties are self evident and tangible things at least in the physical sciences.
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    Apr 2 2011: If we are all made up of the same thing, matter, cells and so forth, is it possible that we all have a programme that says we should inherently have faith? If that is the case is it then possible that we all believe in the same entity but call it by different names.

    If a child looks up to the sky and points to the stars and, if we are all made up of the same matter that binds the Universe together then surely when that child reaches out, they touch that star and, if there is another child on the other side of the world who does the same thing then are we not linked by a common bond? If this is so then to me, we are all part of God. God is the combined result of the time and space we live in at this very moment. Ever present ever changing.

    Is it God?” asked the Student.

    The Teacher looked at the Student and after much deliberation spoke. “This cannot be solved with an intellectual conversation it must be discovered and internalised in order to fully understand, however this will I offer you. I hesitate to give it a name. If I say it is God then it becomes a thing and as with most things we want to possess it as our own. Therefore if this God we have created becomes my God and your God, then, by definition we become different having different Gods. It then becomes your God and my God and by nature as individuals we are weak and the ego then wants to be right. So, is my God better than your God? Is your God the only God? Is my God right and if that is so then your God must be wrong. And now we have become separated.

    Can it not be that this thing we speak of be a power, a presence and a strength? Can it not be that it simply is the thing that unites us as one throughout the Universe? After all it has been proven by science that all things as we understand them are made up of one force, Energy. The same Energy that covers the world with water and air. The same Energy that gives heat from the sun. When you raise up your hand to the sky are you not connected to the furthest star in the Universe by this bond we call Energy? Then if this is so, surely if a man or a woman or a child raises their hand to the heavens, are we not connected also. And if this is true are we then not all as one throughout the Universe? And as one can we not share the common thread, which binds together our souls, and from it, gain great power as one and not as so many different souls on separate journeys?
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      Apr 2 2011: Thank you!
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      Apr 4 2011: Thanks for sharing that Lee. Thought the comments about my God/your God the right God/wrong God were particularly enlightening.
    • Apr 20 2011: Dear Lee Wilkinson,
      yes we all have same aerogramme. for example when a baby birth know that should suck breast of his mother or all human need to pray some thing as God. but this not mean same entity.
      each human has separate entity. my entity is mine and yours is yours. I am I and you are you.
      each human has body and soul.
      body is material but soul is not material.
      God created all material and all universe. and when a fetus is 4 month God send from his soul into dead body of fetus and make alive.
      entity is for soul. not for body.
      at the same time we all are from God, and we are not part of God.
      God has no part.
      God is alone and single. and created all things by his power and can disappear all things at a moment but not do this.
      as all things belong to power of God we can say all things is from and for God. but this not mean God has part. God has no composition and no part. God is just one and single and alone.
      if some thing has part then it can not be God.
      we can not understand any thing. we can go to a place when there is at least a way.
      there is no way to we know essence of God.
      experiential sciense just can know material and God is not material.
      for know God we should use sciense but toghether with wisdom. only experiential science never can know God.
      but we can know God a little according to affects and creatures and properties of God while properties are not separate of essence of God. God is just one and single and alone.
      there is just one God. not my God or your God. maybe some one Imagine some thing in his mind and call it his God. but it is his creature of his mind, not his creator. God is creator of all things.
      Energy, Time, Place all are creatures of God.
      why you think our souls are bound together?
      our souls are from soul of God.
      we we sleep our soul leave our body and at morning soul back to body.
      sleep is brother of death.
      like we sleep we die and like we wake up we wake up for Judgement day.
    • Apr 20 2011: after death our body become soil and bone and disappear in earth.
      is it possible our body be collected again from soil? yes its possible. look at yourself creating in inside your mother. your mother eat food. all foods are from plants. and plants make foods by collecting particles of soil. so your body inside your mother was collected from soil. so it is not impossible to this collection repeat again.
      David asked God: how can I come near you? God said: make your night day and your day night. David said: how? God said: not eat at day and not sleep at night.
      dating time of God by his lovers is at dawn. people who sleep at dawn will not visit God.
      die before be dead. kill yourself by killing your wishes. just wish God.
      who make his heart empty of any love, God enter his heart. and he can see God by his eye of heart.
      love of food, love of sleep, love of wine, love of money, love of power and other enjoys and loves.
      when you leave these wordy loves, God enter your heart.
      God said:
      if you come one pace to me I come 100 pace to you.
      the best way to know what is God is to visit him.
  • Jun 6 2011: That God is a human concept is undeniable. Everything we can talk about is a human concept, including physics and whatever other science you want to discuss.

    What seems to be common about the God concept is that it fills a very specific role: It's that which stands for the singularities about existence. For example, it is impossible for anyone in the universe to have a plan for the universe. Thus God is/has the plan. It is impossible for anyone in the universe to know everything about the universe. But God knows everything. It is impossible to have all power or to be everywhere, so that's just what God has and does.

    So, God is just what we (or anything in existence) cannot be. God is thus fundamentally unknowable. And yet because the definition or derivation of God as "the singularity" is so commonly conceived by most any human mind, God is very commonly recognized and "believed in" and we find it easy to reference God commonly. "There must be a God" most would say, and they are both right and wrong. It's correct that there must be this common concept of God because it is a naturally emergent construct of the human mind doing what it does well. But on the other hand, God can have no "real" existence because God's definition is in effect "that which cannot exist in reality as we know it". Yet, one can just as well say from the same singularity derivation, "God encompasses ALL of existence". God's "nonexistence in reality" and "existence as the entirety" are both correct!

    Believers typically focus on God's nature as the entirety and then anthropomorphize the concept to ease discussing God's expression, i.e. the revelation of the universe to humanity. OK, fine, but this "humanizing" of God is one place where Godness gets on a messy and slippery slope toward confusion. Then of course when God's "will" enters the fray, you're in the realm of pure politics, so watch out!
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      Jun 6 2011: So Guy. Do you think the concept of God has any utility for modern (and future) humanity? Or is it something we should get beyond, like mythology?
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        Jun 6 2011: Although most of the semantic arguments I have been involved have been over the usage of "God" and no question I would enjoy abolishing that word from existence... deity is much better..

        Great response Guy
      • Jun 7 2011: the concept of God as you put it Tim, i can't say if we should or shouldn't get beyond, 'cause actually it's a concept (nothing more) that keeps some people sane. but the utility of 'a concept' to some of us does not substantiate a real existence of it out of the minds of the people who has utilized the concept.
        so what i say is that it is something that we WILL get beyond, slowly, gradually and eventually.
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    Apr 21 2011: god is what you belive... its your subconsious mind..you cant find it if you search for it. but you can feel it if u deeply belive in it. our subconsious mind have immense potential, if we can be in subconsious state of mind for a few moments...it can change us from who we think we are to..who we really are.
    • Apr 21 2011: you mean anything we believe is God?
      what you make in your mind is your creature.
      God is your creator, not your creature.
      before you know God better to know yourself.
      who knew himself, Indeed knew his God.
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        Apr 21 2011: i meant god is what u belive it is.... it maybe jesus for someone.. maybe a statue for someone else. we hv got peoples even worshiping sun light...make no mistake... we are creating gods..our own gods that we belive in and maybe someone else not... my point was, what ever it may be..its inside us.
        • Apr 21 2011: so there is many Gods. it is impossible. they are not real God. they are created b mind of people or not true God.
          those Gods you say are not true God and they are created by humans and are deities, not God. God is alone and single and has no mother. if you make a God you are its God, not it is your God.
          if there were more than one God, sure their messengers would come to you and sure there was war between God and our universe was not so calm and working proper like watch.
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          May 15 2011: Ever heard the story of four blinds describing an elephants, each in their own terms different from each other based on part that they get their hand on or can experience.
          I am agnostic and cant claim any ground on existence of God. But as far as Concept of God is concerned, we all are just like those blinds describing same God in our own terms.
          Its widely held belief that Hindus have many Gods, but fact they believe is that there are many manifestations of the same One God expressed and experienced in different ways at different times.
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          May 17 2011: Pranoy and Vineet,
          I agree that God is what we believe it to be. We all may have different beliefs, describe what we believe, and practice rituals and dogmas differently. The energy source is the same for all of us.

          S.R. Ahmadi,
          You are correct..."they are created b mind of people". There is no "war between God and our universe". The wars we experience are caused by people who do not accept other people and their beliefs. Wars are caused by people who do not recognize the interconnectedness of the whole.
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          Jun 7 2011: Colleen, its nice to know that you agree with my comment; however I would have appreciated even more if you had anything more to add to it, or maybe had some argument against it.
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          Jun 7 2011: Hi Vineet,
          I certainly do not have any argument against what you wrote because as I said, I agree with you, and you stated it very well:>) I believe we are energy beings, and I do not use any particular label for myself other than that. I believe, as you said, that we see, hear and experience things differently at different times, and I respect people and their choice to believe in a God, as long as the belief and practice does not harm others.

          I DO NOT believe that god creates war in our universe, nor do I believe that if there is a god, he/she/it will send non-believers to an eternity of suffering in hell. That kind of belief seems threatening and frightening to me. I respect and appreciate those people who believe in a god, and use their beliefs and practices to benefit humankind.
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        Apr 21 2011: even quran is written by a human..so do u belive what described in quran by that human is not god...beacuse u just said..those gods maid by humans are not gods. mate, no one will even talk about god if there were no humans...its us who made that concept of god. because... some things we dont know or failed to explain in this physical world and we belived ourselfs that it might be the god doing that....
        • Apr 22 2011: Quran is not written by any human. even one word.
          Quran is all from God.
          can you prove Quran is from a human?
          Quran has no conflict to science. this is just a little evidence:

          if we can not explain some thing, not mean it not exist.
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        Apr 22 2011: also.. if we can not explain something...it doesnt mean that its the work of god.
        • Apr 22 2011: sure, we not say what we can not explain is work of God.
          now there is 1.5 Billion Muslim on earth and no one of them say there is more than one Quran.
          also there is many other proves for that today Quran is Original and not changed and is not written by Muhammad (peace on him).
          do you know Muhammad (peace on him) was unread until 40 years and even could not write his own name and his job was shepherd and trade. and was not messenger until 40 years.
          Immediately at age of 40 who is unread and even one day had not gone to any school say this amazing book of Quran.
          there is many evidence that Quran is not written by any human.
        • Apr 22 2011: Why does an all powerful being need a book? Why doesn't he just tell us if cares so much that we like him?If he can talk to Mohammed what stopping him from talking to everyone simultaneously? Mohammed duped you man.

          If it were written by an all powerful being you would suppose that maybe that being would apologize for his terrible mistake in the flaw of cell reproduction that is cancer. Instead he wants you to know that if someone is gay he will kill everyone in the town and you should be willing to kill your family members for him.
        • Apr 24 2011: Dear Deaven Morris,
          I appreciate you because you are not proud (assumptive ; assured ; bigheaded) and you "ask question". question cause me not leave TED.
          prophet Muhammad (peace on him) said:
          when someone asked you a question, he has a right on you and this right is removed from you in only 2 condition: reply complete and perfect or say I do not know.

          God not need a book
          we are human and we are in a exam (life of world) which is a part of our total life.
          human need book (like a cheat in a exam)
          human itself should find God by his wisdom.
          messengers are just a cheat in a exam and show help of God to human to find him. this is Love of God. God do not like any one go in Hell. people themselves go to Hell.
          please my post here about why God created human:

          please watch this movie:
          (I do not know Mis. lesley hazelton and this not mean I confirm all his thoughts, but I confirm this movie is most true)

          cancer is also an examination for human.
          God can give health body with no cancer in heaven, but for who succeed the exam.
          God apologize cancer by giving heaven
          I do not know the meaning of "gay" but wine (alcohol) is banned (sin) in Islam. who drink wine is not Muslim and God not accept his worship until 40 days. real Muslim never drink a drop of wine all over life.
          some things is banned in Islam and just Halal food is allowed to eat. for example meat of pork is banned in Islam and some other (but few, not all food)
          not all kind of fish is Halal not not all kind of bird is Halal they should have special signs in their body to be Halal to can be eat. there is many signs for Halal food in nature. for example birds having a extra finger at crus of leg are not Halal and are banned. they are most birds eating meat.
        • Apr 24 2011: also about cancer:
          when a human understand he do "not know" starts looking for who know and this is start of growth of human.
          cancer encourages human to start searching for "who know"

          if you know how to eat, how sleep, how to drink, how to wear, how to speak, how to walk and totally how to life, then you never get cancer.
        • May 5 2011: In reference to Pranor Sundars comment: also.. if we can not explain something...it doesnt mean that its the work of god...

          Exactly. Well said.
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        Apr 24 2011: what? ? your god apologize fr cancer by giving a perfect body in heaven?... man, i would rather like a perfect body on earth and go to hell or wotever.... and why your god discriminates between people who drink wine and eat pork with those who dont. see...if everything in this world is made by god, who u say made humans too, aint wine and pork not made by him? why he hate wine and pork which is a part of creation. i hav heard that not to hate anything in this world...even if its shit cos its gods creation....those rules are made by humans and they say its gods words.
        • Apr 24 2011: Dear pranoy sundar,
          not apologize. but a reward for being patient.
          God never patient anyone. God is assuming (swaggerer)
          "i would rather like a perfect body on earth " you have no choice and power for that. you are forced to have a life in earth as God wants and finally die. you have no power against God.
          "why your god discriminates..."
          this is examination or humans and each doing in world has a result. good deed, good result. evil deed, bad result.
          there is a poem about this:
          if you farm wheat, you harvest wheat and if you farm barley , you harvest barley
          God is just and rewards and punishes.
          wine and pork is made by God, but this is an exam for human.
          human is created by God too. all things is created by God. but God has no creator.
          God not hate wine. just wants human eat and drink all, but not drink wine. this is exam.
          God also gives pure wine in heaven to his friends. there is 3 kind of river in heaven: pure wine, milk, honey.
          why "not to hate anything in this world"? what is your proof?
          you mean you love who God hate him and then God love you?
          for example if some one kill Jesus (peace on him) and you love him? then God loves you?
          we hate wine because God satisfy us and this show we are servant of God and we are submitted to God. if God want us we hate water, we not drink a drop of water to we die.
          this is reason:
          we are not free because we can not escape death and our body is our person and world is prison of a believer. do you know what is secret of becoming free?
          "a good servant (slave ) has potency to be free"
          those rules are not made by humans. are made by God and has been signification to human by messengers of God. and human has no evasion (excuse ) against God by existing Koran:
          God will say you:
          I sent you my letter, why you did not read it?
          also bible is letter of God, but today bible is not original and valid.
        • Apr 24 2011: please watch this movie:
          (I do not know Mis. lesley hazelton and this not mean I confirm all his thoughts, but I confirm this movie is most true)
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        Apr 24 2011: brother, jesus do love the one who killed him. and what he prayed to his father while dying was to...please forgive them for what they are doing because they dont know what they are doing. yeah, my god says not to hate anyone or anything. no matter how bad it is... religions are to spread love and harmony among the peoples. not to create wars. if a god seperates bad from good ...women from men...gays from straights... its not god. what is the sens in your god saying...not to drink wine on earth, i will give it to you when u r in heaven.?..to examine us....? we dont need an examinor....we need a saviour. a saviour who saves us without exams....a saviour who accept the prayers from not only good peoples but also frm bad ones and give them a chance..to love everyone like a father.....no matter if the kid is gud or bad.
        • Apr 24 2011: oh wonderful!
          "please forgive them for what they are doing because they don't know what they are doing"
          this is exactly what Muhammad (peace on him) said about Muslims bothering him. and he was finally killed by poison.
          you are right, all are creatures of God.
          but is not there is difference between who do devil and "don't know what they are doing" and who do devil and " know what they are doing"?
          should not we hate Satan? (Satan is also creature of God), but we should not hate "denying God"?
          be sure believer humans never make war. war is made for them and they have no way but defend. who makes war is Satan (devil or denying God). God knowingly ; purposely ; wittingly wanted to world have war. this is will of God to real good human be known.
          we do not need or want examiner, but God wants this and God is not responsible for anyone. we have no option about this.
          I am in heaven until I obey God.
          what is savior?
          the only savior exist in world is obeying God. no other savior.
          "without exams" is impossible. this is Intend of God.
          can you do one of below?
          1- not eat food of God
          2- find a place God not see you
          3- go out of country of God
          4-when death angle come to extract your soul escape it.
          5-when guard of hell carried you to heaven escape it

          if yes, so you can choice to not have exam.
          but if no, so please try to succeed your exam.
          why say what you have not its power?
          accept of prayers has terms and God not accept any prayers from any one. accept the prayers has terms and first term is believing in God.
          many people (including Muslims) think they are praying, but their prayers is not accepted by God.
          yes "no matter if the kid is gud or bad" because kid has not wisdom. but an adult with complete wisdom matter.
          God send human to Hell and heaven because human has wisdom.
          because wisdom animals have no heaven or hell.
          wisdom is what God is prayed by it and heaven is achieved by it.
        • Apr 25 2011: Dear pranoy sundar,
          what I learned from you is pure Love.

          "the Heart is home of God, so do not settle home of God other than God"
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        Apr 27 2011: i am glad that i was able to teach u something.. if u learned what is love..then make it spread all arround..
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    • Apr 27 2011: Richard, curious to know if you think you have a monopoly on reality? The possibility of God existing is terribly sobering and to make light of it tells me that you are 100% sure that God doesn't exist (at least in the sense of a force to be reckoned with) or you're in silly mood :)
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        May 26 2011: To me, it seems more like he's 100% sure that the God of Abraham doesn't exist. The whole statement doesn't really talk about "God" in general, to which even atheists are "agnostic" towards i.e. they can never say "no" with great confidence... but they can still treat it as an unproven statement, hence, disregard it as you do about any myth or hypothetical creature.
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        May 27 2011: Or maybe he is pretty sure that if God exists, God knows how to enjoy human humor. When you look at a child being silly, how do you feel?
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        Jun 2 2011: What's funny about this?
        He has faith, and that's all he needs, right?

        Augustus Gloop is not bound by the laws of our universe.
        Also, he once impregnated a women by just looking at her, and this yielded a man-god who could walk on water.
  • Apr 1 2011: The more we understand about the universe, its origin, the life and death of tiniest particles to galaxies, stars, and planets, and how life started, the closer we get to God. It is like a journey back to the tree of knowledge in the garden of eden. We are not there yet but we are getting closer every decade.
    • Apr 2 2011: Agree, I cherish this hope too.
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      Apr 5 2011: Thanks for your comment Trung Le. That "tree of knowledge" metaphor always fascinated me. Can you elaborate on your interpretation of that story?
  • Mar 30 2011: I think humans need to believe in something, believers believe that God does exist, aitheists believe that he doesn't . In any case, it is realm of faith. No evidence of existence, but absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. For me God simply is, without corporate religious identity, definition or image."Naming is trecherous" for it is act of devision. there is not merely a division of the world into mind and matter,but as an implication" mind is somehow against matter, body against soul, nation against nation, faith against faith " Believers start to sing and forget about the song, aitheists sometimes aggressive as religious fanatics. It's time to stop all these. God is your way, your path, your choice.You need it- you have it, you don't - God bless you!
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      • Mar 31 2011: I don't think we have anything to argue about, Birdia, I am not preaching, I am not converted myself, but I am not atheist either I"don't know enough " i need the idea of God, becase the world is so beautiful, and I don't find reason for this exuberance, I don't know what was before singularity, hence there is nothing before or since, and list is quite long , why I need a prior reason. Maybe I feel more comfortable with it, but it's me " truth is relative to the mindset you bring to it." As for the messages you receive, I agree with you, they are really distasteful, i don't receive them, maybe God loves you more:) It reminds me the innocent blasphemy that highlites the sense- Karl Marx once said that he was not a marxist, with all probability Jesus Christ might say that he was not a christian. And talking about aggressive atheists, maybe you don't know them, I do, I was born in Sovet Russia, now they are highly "religious" with golden chains and huge crosses, but believe me it has nothing in common with the prior reason I am searching for.
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          Mar 31 2011: Hi Natasha

          I guess Jesus was not a Christian because He is the God Christians follow.

          You are on the right track Natasha, look for reality & don't settle for religion with it's chains & crosses. Find the exciting God who made such a beautiful universe. Ask Him to show you the truth.

          Hi Birdia

          Sorry you're getting spammed. No doubt these folks are well intentioned, but your privacy should be respected.

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          Apr 1 2011: In my opinion Jesus was a true socialist and that''s why I highly respect what he stood for despite the fact that I am not a Christian.

          His ideas were revolutionary for the time.
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          Apr 1 2011: Hahaha, that's ridiculous, can't believe they are doing that. They should throw in some Christian erotica in there, nuns and webcams.

          Anyway I get spammed even worse by "natural enhancement pills and exercises." It's quite embarrassing to open my e-mail in public so consider yourself lucky.
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          Apr 1 2011: What about a Justin Bieber fan page for Catholics? It's borderline approriate and it would probably make a killing.

          Haha, I'm kidding. But yeah Christianity is more or less a business these days so I am not surprised.
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          Apr 1 2011: To quote Homer Simpson "D'oh!"
      • Apr 1 2011: Hi, Peter, thank you for your encouragement! Re Karl Marx, I think he was a bit disturbed by the interpretation of his theory,he was lucky to die before he could see the real feedback. Think about Jesus and his beautiful teaching....No judgement!... /though it looks like judgment :)
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      Apr 3 2011: Thank you Natasha! " absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence "
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        Apr 3 2011: Of course there is no proof that god does not exist, ask any scientist!
        Do not take the "not the evidence of absence" as proof though...
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    Jun 23 2011: For me God is the totality of all that exists.

    God is not male, not female, not neuter. God does not have a personality.

    It does not reward good nor punish evil, because at Its level, good and evil have no meaning.

    It is neither intelligent nor stupid, because It has no use for those qualities.

    It may or may not be "conscious" about the universe. It just exists.

    It wants nothing, It gives nothing.

    It is everywhere, because there is no 'thing' other than It.

    It is nowhere, because there is no special location where It should be found.

    I do not worship God, but I appreciate God, I admire God, because by doing so, I am admiring all this existence, all creatures, all planets, galaxies, humans, animals, birds, art, crime, justice, music, insects, viruses, bacteria, and myself. In effect, everything is God. I am God.

    There is no bliss in God, neither is there pain. Because for God pleasure and pain have no meaning.

    This is my God.
    • Jun 24 2011: "because at Its level, good and evil have no meaning."
      you mean God does not understand what have created?

      "It is neither intelligent "
      who is not intelligent how can create an intelligent human?

      "It wants nothing,'
      why created us and why sent prophets?

      " It gives nothing."
      who give you life?

      "there is no 'thing' other than It."
      what are you? you are God?

      please do not say about God what you do not know.
      you have promise?

      this God is created by you so it is a deity. not true God.
      true God itself can talk and can decide and not need to you decide about what he do or not do.
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        Jun 24 2011: "you mean God does not understand what have created?"
        I don't understand what you mean, but If God created everything, then It created "the good, the bad and the ugly" :) So the good is from God, the bad is also from God. If you say there is "somebody else" who created bad, then your God is not all-powerful. What this implies is that good and bad are relative, made by humans for self-preservation.

        "who is not intelligent how can create an intelligent human?"
        Why should you assume that in the entire, infinite universe humans are "intelligent"? Without knowing what other activities are going on in the universe, how can you assume that our mode of thinking, speech and science is "intelligent"? That's because "we" are here. We are incapable of conceiving of anything outside of our sphere.

        "why created us and why sent prophets?"
        Who told you that God created us? If your God is all-powerful, there is nothing that "he" desires, because he has everything, he wants nothing. Why would he waste his "time" doing something that will not help him in any way? The only explanation of "Why we are here?" that I'm willing to accept is that it is the recreation or play for the "God thing". Other than that there is no meaning of life. What prophets? Who prophets? Oh you mean the human beings who wanted to be the center of attention of everybody else?

        "what are you? you are God?"
        If God is the only substance in the universe, I must be made up of "God particles". So I am God.
        • Jun 26 2011: yes God created both good and bad. then?
          good and bad are selected by human by free will. not created. if you mean decision and Intend is creation then OK human is creator or good and bad. but all the power and mind and decision and all human has is from God. everything human creates is created by God at the same time. it is like a knife in your hand. you cut or knife cuts?
          human is like a knife in hand of God.
          but human has free will.
          God created good and bad to human can know attributes of God.

          "Why should you assume that in the entire, infinite universe humans are "intelligent"? "
          anyway the knowledge and intelligence of a creator is more than its creature.

          "Who told you that God created us?"
          Koran and prophet. if not who created us and everything even atoms?

          "If your God is all-powerful, there is nothing that "he" desires, because he has everything, he wants nothing. "
          he wants somethings. but not for need. because he Intended to we know God.
          God can only be known by his attributes. so created good and bad and human and wisdom and free will to God be known by human.
          does a teacher need to homework?

          "he wants nothing."
          he wants to we obey him. but not because he needs anything.
          why you think the only reason of wanting is need?

          "What prophets? Who prophets? "
          for example Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad (peace upon them).

          "Oh you mean the human beings who wanted to be the center of attention of everybody else?"
          attention by price of being killed and cursed by people?
          no their goal was not attention.

          "If God is the only substance in the universe, I must be made up of "God particles". So I am God."
          you are made of material. and material is created by God.
          if you are God can you create only one atom from nothing?
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          Jul 9 2011: God create light but if we lose or killing the light we will make the dark.
          God create the warm but if we lose or killing the warm we will make cold.
          God create the goodness but if we lose goodness we will make bad.
          there ar'nt my word .they addapted from the Albert Einstein with his teacher.
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        Jun 30 2011: "anyway the knowledge and intelligence of a creator is more than its creature"

        " if not who created us and everything even atoms?"

        "if you are God can you create only one atom from nothing?"

        My friend, why would you assume that a God created all this. It is possible that all this was present since eternity. If your God created this universe, then what was he doing before that? If your God is defined by the act of creation, then he was not God before that.

        I don't have to create an atom because it's already here. It was always here in some form. The laws of physics made the transformation from one form to another.

        " because he Intended to we know God"
        For what purpose?
        • Jul 6 2011: when is eternity?
          time itself is a created thing.
          what is creator of time?
          when you are at sleep dream you are out of time. you see future in dream of sleep.

          "I don't have to create an atom because it's already here."
          universe including atoms has a start time (near 14.5 Billion years ago)
          so what is their creator at first?


          "" because he Intended to we know God"
          For what purpose?"
          to be known itself is purpose.
          God is not responsible to any one.
          God INTENDED to be known.
          this is entity and decision of God.
          for example a human who is both extreme rich and extreme donor when see a poor gives him money, food,...
          this has no purpose.
          the entity (personality) of that human causes him to donor.

          this is like you ask what is the purpose of sky that is blue?
          blue is entity of sky.
          this is sky.
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    Jun 3 2011: S.R. Ahmadi,
    You misquoted me and twisted my words again, in a recent comment.
    I DO NOT appreciate it, and you only weaken your argument.
    • Jun 11 2011: Dear Colleen Steen,
      I apologize misquoting. please clarify you meaning.
  • May 27 2011: In this times,god is a comfort for people who can not accept thei non-existence after dead, its just human ego who demands eternity because that his nature of self preservation. God is also an excuse on whose behalf we hurt others.God is only superstitious word having too much power which still keeps us in the Middle Ages.
    That is god for me
  • May 23 2011: By birth I am Jewish and Methodist. I had "Christians" tell me I was going to hell b/c my parents didn't raise me to follow any religion and I had several "Jehovah witness's" yell at me b/c supposedly the Jews killed Jesus. I wasn't there...why are you yelling at me?

    I don't know about religion, I wasn't raised on religion I don't believe there is a big man in the sky. As long as I walk through life treating others the way I would want to be treated...be a good person and raise my kids the same way...raise them to have love and compassion...to get a good education and to be productive members of society... I KNOW I will be okay without religion.
  • Apr 24 2011: The question posed here is somewhat presumptuous: “Who is God?” rather than “Is there a God?”

    Despite what I write here, please understand that I actually consider the views of others with a great deal of respect. That does not mean, however, that I can share the same view.

    It never ceases to amaze me why so many people feel the need to hold a belief in some kind of all-powerful supernatural being, usually referred to as God, or the equivalent. It seems to me that me that across the millennia mankind has demonstrated a high degree of curiosity. Adapting for survival in all areas of the planet, taming other animals and adapting the immediate environment for his benefit, through cultivation, rearing livestock, discovery and adaptation of minerals, the advancement of science etc. This quest for knowledge, my opinion, has at its core the biggest question of all – where did we come from and why are we here?

    In the days gone by, it is no surprise to me that there were many communities which concluded that there was some kind of “creator”. After all, life as it was understood was full of mystery; with what we would now consider being crazy theories about solar eclipses, or the cause of illness.

    Not surprising, therefore, in our cultures of hierarchy, that we should assume some higher order as the explanation for the big question.

    I will continue to look for rational explanations for the big question, rather than settle for the comfort which results from adherence to sincerely held well meaning (but irrational & divisive) theories of old.
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        Apr 25 2011: .
        Rom 1:19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them.

        Rom 1:20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

        Rom 1:21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn't worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.

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      Sky F

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      Apr 24 2011: Side note:
      I think these presumptuous questions are funny. Like "Did you stop neglecting your child?" is making the assertion that the person at one point in time did neglect their child. Hahahaha. Oh funny timesss.

      Anyway, carry on.
      • Apr 25 2011: Everything has a cause and effect, correct?

        (bear with me)
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          Sky F

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          Apr 25 2011: No! I believe in entropy!

          Nevermind, sure. Go for it.
      • Apr 25 2011: lol...

        Well, how do you think the Universe began, Sky? Entropy explains an infinite regression of space, time and causality?
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      Apr 25 2011: Hi Mick
      When you look in the mirror are you really convinced that you see a random assemblage of atoms that just happened to come together over millions of years ?
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        Sky F

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        Apr 25 2011: First off, it's billions, not millions.

        Ever studied biology? The history of life makes sense starting at the molecular level and moving on up. A lot of it is speculation, because we can't go back in time, but given that naturally occurring cell-like protobionts were given I think it was... two billion years to develop replicable genetic information, I think that's plenty of time to get the ball rolling. Everything else, while seeming miraculous, does make sense, for the most part.

        Just because it's complicated and you don't understand it doesn't mean it's not possible. One might think the internet and computers and all their complexity couldn't have been created by simple men. But... it was.
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          Apr 25 2011: Hi Sky
          I understand how evolutionists think it happened. However the speculation outweighs the solid science as far as I'm concerned.
          I believe in entropy as well; it is a testable scientific theory. Billions of years just gives it more time to work. As Abiogenesis is in direct opposition to the scientific law of Biogenesis, so Evolution is in direct opposition to the scientific law of Entropy.
          The more we understand, the more complex it becomes; to believe in evolution requires too much faith for me.
          The internet/computers etc were designed by men. The programming operates because the language agreed by men has been 'taught' to the hardware, so that it knows how to respond to given commands.
          How did dna get programmed; & how is it that the hardware in the cell understands what to do with the commands? How come the thousands of enzymes are a perfect fit for the nutrients coming from outside? If animal A 'evolves' into animal B, at what stage does the extra coding appear to cover the different features?
          I guess I just don't get it; maybe you can persuade me .
      • Apr 28 2011: Yep. That's good enough for me. At least, as good as all the religious mumbo jumbo.
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    Apr 24 2011: God is the embodiment of the best of all of us and the highest we can potentially reach. Why don't people believe in humanity?
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    Apr 4 2011: The question shouldn’t be who is God. The questions should be about what is God. Asking who is God is an anthropomorphic question and surely it is known that God is not human.
    God as a persona is humanizing the divine and doing this we are doing the same like the Romans or the Greeks or take your pick from history once did.
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      Apr 4 2011: This is a repeated statement, but I will ask the same question in response as Tim did,

      What is God to you?
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        Apr 4 2011: What is God to me?
        Well God to me is beyond my comprehension, I believe I’m not “wired” to understand her or him.
        These words are some of the best (to me) that I have found that give an idea about what is God:
        “How wondrous is the unity of the Living, the Ever-Abiding God--a unity which is exalted above all limitations, that transcendeth the comprehension of all created things.... How lofty hath been His incorruptible Essence, how completely independent of the knowledge of all created things, and how immensely exalted will it remain above the praise of all the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth!”
        The words “his” doesn’t necessarily mean that God is a male by the way.
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        Apr 4 2011: Thanks Birdia. I'll look for Eduard's posting.

        What is God to me?
        Well God to me is beyond my comprehension, I believe I’m not “wired” to understand her or him.
        These words are some of the best (to me) that I have found that give an idea about what is God:

        “How wondrous is the unity of the Living, the Ever-Abiding God--a unity which is exalted above all limitations, that transcendeth the comprehension of all created things.... How lofty hath been His incorruptible Essence, how completely independent of the knowledge of all created things, and how immensely exalted will it remain above the praise of all the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth!”

        The words “his” doesn’t necessarily mean that God is a male by the way.
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      Apr 4 2011: Hi Arturo

      The Christian answer is that Jesus is God. He created the universe and some 4 thousand years later entered time and space as an infant. He left enough information that we can get to know him, and, just to round it off came back from the dead; before rising up into the clouds.

      So he is a Jewish human being in earth's history. He is certainly greater than that, but if we can grasp this, then we can truly know God. Don't believe it ? That's understandable, but at least the evidence is there to check it out, & millions have taken that path & found God.

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        E G

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        Apr 4 2011: Hi Peter........ God is God, His earthly name is Jesus Christ from the christian perspective............ in fact that's amazing , just a God could do it : to come on the earth and to discover Himself to the people.

        I like your very simple and sincere way to present the things.
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        Apr 8 2011: Hello Peter
        Yes, I also believe in Jesus Christ’s message just like the other millions of people do. However I also believe that like other millions of people do, to believe that God created the universe just four thousand years ago falls under what is defined as superstition. The holy Judeo-Christian writings say that humanity has been created in God’s image and likeness. Therefore, don’t you think that we should be able to deduce some of the history of the cosmos? Or you do you think that image and likeness only mean that the people on earth look like a human looking God?
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          Apr 8 2011: Hi Arturo

          It's a question of whether we take the bible at face value. Jesus certainly did, & often quoted the Old Testament. I certainly believe it is the truth, so I reach certain conclusions.

          The first couple of chapters of Genesis tell of the universe being created in 6 days. To me it is plain enough. We also have the family tree of Jesus, both through Mary, & through Joseph. All the names & ages etc are there. It is a fairly simple matter to add them all up & make an estimation of the time from Adam to Jesus. Further, the Jews have a calendar from the beginning; it is now around the year 5700.

          So biblically, & culturally we are getting to around 6000yrs in total. There is also loads of scientific evidence that the world is not the millions of years old that the evolutionist lobby would like it to be.
          Check out :-
          http://www.cross.tv/51495 (Part 1)
          http://www.cross.tv/51496 (Part 2)

          God is a spirit, we are a spirit. I believe that is the similarity. Our spirits are immortal, just like his.

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          E G

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          Apr 9 2011: I also belive that the univers has been created in just 6 days (and in my opinion is a very rational belief).
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        Apr 11 2011: I’ve watched the videos from the links you provided Peter. I found them so interesting that I studied them and I even found out the goal of the entity that produces this kind of work. What the videos are about is called creation science and its main goal is to discredit any science that doesn’t explain creationism. I also found out that in 1987 the US Supreme Court declared creation science as unconstitutional through a case called Edwards v. Aguillard on the basis that it has the only and true purpose of advancing a particular religious belief.
        Peter, please tell me why do you deny the science from the present establishment?
        Please also tell me if you find the next line illogical and why:
        “Religion without science is mere superstition and science without religion is pure materialism.”
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          Apr 11 2011: Hi Arturo

          “Religion without science is mere superstition and science without religion is pure materialism.”

          I find this logical. If a religious belief is in conflict with the real world then it is unlikely to be true or worthwhile. If science denies the possibility of things beyond it's comprehension then how will it's understanding ever reach into these realms.

          It is true that Creationists propagate creation; in the same way Darwinists propagate evolution. Surely the wise man will look at both arguments and reach his own conclusions.

          The scientific establishment is at present materialist, but it was not always so. Science itself moves forward by changing it's mind in the light of the latest data. I believe evolution is wrong because there is no solid evidence that it occurs. (Beyond Micro Evolution). Many scientists are also of this opinion, & thankfully the truth is not established by what the establishment puts forward as truth. It is the case that the establishment carries weight with the courts. Follow the evidence, ignore the personalities.

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        Apr 12 2011: "Follow the evidence, ignore the personalities."

        I like that Peter!

        I found this link in CNN. Tell me what do you think?

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          Apr 12 2011: Hi Arturo
          I have heard this argument. The DNA of monkeys is very similar to ours, there is no disputing that. The DNA of an airliner is very similar to a car. Engines, wheels, suspension, seats etc. Does this show that a car will become an airliner if left for long enough ?
          We live on the same planet as apes, we breath the same air, eat the same food, endure the same temperatures. It would be more amazing if we were not similar, we need stomachs, lungs, hearts etc to survive.
          I am no expert, but we need to wait a while to see if the gene is really broken, or we just don't understand. Some scientists still believe we have lots of junk dna left over from evolution, while others are busy trying to find it's purpose, with some success.
          They say the simple cell is as complex as the space shuttle, & the dna a small part of that, check out the link & ask yourself. "Does this look like the product of mutation & natural selection ?

          On Jesus

          Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

          Mat 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

          He obviously believed in Adam & Eve, & presumably in his own family tree. Never anywhere does Jesus hint that the OT doesn't mean exactly what it says. If you just read it without any interpretation from 'experts', there is no way you will find millions of years, or evolution.

          Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

          Adam sinned, this brought death into the world. Jesus paid the price & saves us. If death was part of the scheme, as evolution states, then we have no salvation.

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        Apr 15 2011: Hello Peter.
        It seems like our conversation is beginning to get more and more complex, especially now that I’m not able to directly reply to your own postings, (and I have yet no idea why.) Perhaps this is my last posting in replying to your ideas.
        I’ve taken the liberty to quote your lines with the idea of keeping track of your suggested concepts.
        [“The DNA of an airliner is very similar to a car. Engines, wheels, suspension, seats etc. Does this show that a car will become an airliner if left for long enough?”]
        You are suggesting evolution on a non-biological entities but I get the gist of your analogy when comparing humans’ evolution with other primates’.

        [“We live on the same planet as apes, we breath the same air, eat the same food, endure the same temperatures. It would be more amazing if we were not similar, we need stomachs, lungs, hearts etc to survive.”]
        It is amazing indeed. At the DNA level humans are barely 1.6 % different to chimps. It’s been suggested that going by genetic differences, humans should be classified as a third species of chimpanzee! However, when comparing the human DNA from different parts of our planet, people are close to being clones!

        [“I am no expert, but we need to wait a while to see if the gene is really broken, or we just don't understand. Some scientists still believe we have lots of junk dna left over from evolution, while others are busy trying to find it's purpose, with some success.”]
        I’m not an expert neither Peter. What I understand of science is from high school, basic college, a few books and the news. I would suggest though checking the government website on the Human Genome Project.
        The gene has been broken Peter, perhaps what you mean is the function of the genes. Over 50% of them are not known what they do.

        [“They say the simple cell is as complex as the space shuttle, & the dna a small part of that, check out the link & ask yourself. "Does this look like the product of mutation & natural selection ?
        I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to say that DNA is the result of intelligent design Peter. If it were of intelligent design our DNA wouldn’t let us have cancer or carry horrible diseases to our kids. If there were intelligence in our DNA we would be able to swim to the bottom of the oceans or fly to space without simply dying. Never the less, yes, the machinery, the function of the cell and its part in DNA reproduction is a miraculous event from a human point of view and I’m willing to bet that God in its infinite wisdom has more wonders for humanity to discover.
        [“On Jesus
        Gen 2:24 ... Adam sinned, this brought death into the world. Jesus paid the price & saves us. If death was part of the scheme, as evolution states, then we have no salvation.”]
        On your last paragraphs, let me simply say that I can’t say that my faith is complete, true and the only one, otherwise I’ll be like those who consider me an infidel, sinful and blasphemous.
        May God bless you Peter. Allah-u-Abha
        • Apr 19 2011: the most important difference of human and ape is wisdom.
          human has good and bad. war and peace and ethical growth.
          no one of animals have wisdom.
          DNA is not important.
          think and wisdom and deciding between good and bad is important
        • Apr 19 2011: human is human because of its wisdom, not because of its DNA.
          animal is animal because it not have wisdom, not because of its DNA
          while ape has not wisdom it is not human, even by DNA 100% similar to human.
          is there any gene for wisdom?
      • Apr 19 2011: Jesus was praying and fasting.
        for who?
        Jesus (PBUH) was not God.
        if Jesus (PBUH) was God so no need for praying and fasting.
        Jesus was a messenger of God. like Moses (PBUH) and Muhammad (PBUH) and Noah (PBUH),...
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    Mar 30 2011: Hi Tim

    Great question. "Who is God ?". Interesting that you don't ask "What is God ?". So by default you seem to assume a "person" somewhat like you & me.
    So the first thing is, has anyone ever claimed to be God with any authority ? Only one that I am aware of.
    There was one who was prophecied about hundreds of years before he appeared. He arrived on time at the correct geographical position. He walked on water, he created food, he turned water to wine, he healed the sick, he raised the dead. Finally, exactly as prophecied, he was brutally murdered, and after three days, he raised himself from the dead. He often claimed to be God & warned us of the implications.
    Now these are massive claims that need to be tested. However the evidence is all there to be tested. I think this is the sensible place to start in a serious way. I initially just shrugged it off as nonsense, and nearly missed the most important truth of all time. The very fact that there are so many pretenders for the title should alert us to the fact that the real deal exists.

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      Drew B

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      Mar 30 2011: 100% agree
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      Apr 1 2011: Hi Peter. Good to see you again.

      A question. You said " I initially just shrugged it off as nonsense...". What made you change your mind?
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        Apr 2 2011: Hi Tim

        How long have you got ?
        1985; 35yrs old. My wife was suffering badly from Asthma & was often close to death, one night she made a promise to God to check him out if she could live through the night. She did & got saved.

        I had always been searching, evolution, Von Daniken, you name it. I pompously assumed the church was a waste of time, & now was stuck with a Christian wife. No problem I thought, I'll just prove it wrong & get her back. When it dawned on me that there was the possibility of overcoming death I thought it safer to give the whole thing a fair crack of the whip. So i shelved my cynicism & kept as open a mind as possible. I reached the point where I couldn't find fault with the bible as it related to the world around me, history, archeology etc. Most of the 'problems' with the bible listed by Atheists do not hold up under scrutiny.
        I still couldn't be certain however. Jesus says that he stands & knocks at the door of our lives, & that if we ask him in he will come in. I took him at his word, & have never looked back. He has answered all my questions & guides me in my daily life. Result !!

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          Apr 5 2011: Peter: Thanks for sharing that. Although we often try to analyze everything rationally, our personal experience is really the foundation of our self. Your personal account highlights that fact.
    • Apr 20 2011: Dear Peter Law,
      you mean Jesus (peace on him) says he is God?
      so why he was praying and fasting? praying who?
      do you have access to original Bible of Jesus(peace on him)?
      which version of Bible you read?
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    Mar 29 2011: Sit quietly and listen, not for words, but for wisdom, that is where God is . . . as a part of us, God lives.

    And like a blanket of winter snow, I will die. Like spring buds, God lives on because God just is.

    God just is and that's all there is.

    In my humble opinion.
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      Mar 29 2011: Can you put it straight for us dumb atheists please?

      Are you saying that for you, "God" is "Every person's own wisdom"?
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        Mar 30 2011: Hmmm . . . good question. Yes, every person's wisdom may be as close to God as we will get.
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          Mar 31 2011: Ah, so it's "Every person's own POTENTIAL wisdom. One which no person will actually achieve."?
  • Jul 24 2011: This question asks "And tell us, in your opinion - who is God?" So I will offer my opinion, rather than attempt to refute any other opinions.

    My opinion is rather mundane, I'm afraid. In my opinion God is (or "gods are", if you are a polytheist) an attempt to explain many puzzling issues in the world by attributing the explanations to supernatural intervention by (a) divine being(s). These explanations probably began as animistic notions, then some of these notions evolved into polytheism, then some of those ideas evolved into henotheism, and some of those into monotheism. More recently the scientific method gradually developed to explain many of the same puzzling issues. The theistic explanations postulate that the world is influenced by supernatural forces (in addition to natural forces), whereas the scientific explanations postulate that the world is influenced only by natural forces. I prefer the scientific method, which has brought us many improvements in health and comfort and technology. Notice that we are communicating with each other via the internet, rather than via prayer.
  • Jun 27 2011: Who is god? Easy:


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    Jun 21 2011: This modern Polish poetry.............
    My God is hungry
    he's just a bag of
    he's got no money
    No lofty silver domes

    Candle's can't help
    hymns give him no
    doctors have no
    for his thin hollow

    Government patrols
    are powerless
    love is the only food
    his lips will bless.
  • Comment deleted

    • Jun 19 2011: Dear Jim Lloyd,
      you speak so that seems 3 Abraham religions had same source and same start time in history.
      please note that:
      Islam started near 1400 years ago in Arabia peninsula.
      Christianity started near 2000 years ago in Rome
      Judaism started near 3500 years ago (Moses (PBUH) birth was 1571 B.C)
      Abraham (PBUH) was near 4000 years ago
      Noah (PBUH) had long age near 2000 years.
      Adam (PBUH) came to earth at near max. 7000 years ago.

      thy had not same origin to be splintered.
      each has its own start. but all from one God
      • Comment deleted

        • Jun 19 2011: "All you have are books that were written by men."
          I have Koran.
          but no human claimed is writer of Koran.
          so for who is Koran?
          Muhammad (PBUH)? he was uneducated and did not write any thing in all his life only at age of 40 started saying some amazing sayings (Koran) that had many conflicts with believes of Arabs and leaded to war by Arabs:
          so who is writer of Koran.
          only one claimed is writer or Koran: Allah in the Koran.

          "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and the evidence you provide is not."
          sure. and extraordinary evidence is Koran.
          it is for 1400 years ago and you know every thing changed so much during 1400 years.
          can you show one error in Koran?
      • Comment deleted

        • Jun 20 2011: Dear Jim Lloyd,
          you compaire a philosopher like Rumi to Muhammad (PBUH)?
          Rumi was an Muslim scientist and all Rumi has is from Koran.
          every single poem of Rumi is interpret of verses of Koran.
          without Koran Rumi is nothing.
          also prophet was uneducated.
          how an uneducated man could say a book that is source for poems of Rumi?
          Rumi is student of Koran.
          also you doubt in history. no problem. but at list one claim should be found in history that show prophet was an educated man or scientist or poet or had scientific connections with other countries. please note prophet had many enemies and made many lies against him and if they could Indeed do that to disprove Koran:

          many wars of prophet was by Arabs:

          so how he could say such book?
          he was shepherd and had a donkey and did not say such things until age 40.

          "So, I believe Muhammad was a gifted poet."
          great Arab poets say:
          Koran is poet but is not poet.
          they tried but finally said we can not say poem like Koran. until today no one claimed can say poem like Koran.

          "many geniuses are self-educated"
          but there is no evidence is for this.
          self educate is for who can write. but prophet could not even write a simple word.
          also how after 1400 years this book is still fresh and no error and scientifically no conflict.

          "He used his knowledge "
          what knowledge. do you know what were the scientific beliefs of that time? silly:
          stars are daughters of God.
          Arabs had 360 deity that prayed them
          they killed cows to make Gods happy.
          earth is flat and nothing is under earth
          also many many silly beliefs.

          "I suspect that you are so trapped in your belief that it is currently impossible to satisfy your request."
          please do not prejudice and show your certain scientific evidence.
  • Jun 11 2011: Fascinating. These comments are coming from human beings from around the world. Ordinary folks, I expect; except for Mr Ahmadi, who writes very much like a very orthodox Muslim Imam. And no problem with that either. But the conversation has been pretty much limited to people talking about Patriarchal religions as though there were no other.
    How about Buddhism? Hinduism? The Patriarchal traditions reject both; Buddhists, because their religion is not about gods, and HIndus because, by Patriarchal doctrine, they are thought to have too many gods. 'Course they do have Brahma, a concept very like the Patriarchal God of Judaism (which started it the Patriarchal idea) and Christianity (which brought in things from every sort of religion in the Roman Empire) and Islam (which really developed in order to tame obstreperous tribes) and worked so well it conquered most of the territories from Spain to Indonesia. They knew how to control. So do Christians who traditionally back up governments.
    The interesting thing to think about is how conditions in the areas they were successful contributed to the definition of God or the very lack of God or for the need of dozens of Gods. What conditions require a single, master overall, a Father of Fathers? Not a mother?? Figure that out and you'll know a lot about the God idea. Not all humans have had the same needs as these tribal peoples from the Near and Middle East who developed the One God concept. Will it continue to work at the end of the 21st Century when people from all over the world can come to TED on the Web and talk about their different beliefs? THAT is unprecedented. There will be consequences. And then? What then?
    • Jun 11 2011: Dear Bill,
      "how conditions in the areas they were successful contributed to the definition of God or the very lack of God or for the need of dozens of Gods. "
      please note that it is not related to conditions of areas.
      better to know before prophet Muhammad (PBUH) start saying amazing sayings at age of 40 (he was uneducated and did not write anything at ll his life) the Arab people had 365 God (statue) and prayed them. and each tribe had a special God (deity).
      the origin of only one God always backs to prophets (Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad (peace on them all).

      also about father it is in Christianity and Muslims consider it a deviation and Muslims believe God is not material at all and so is not human that need a father or mother.

      "who developed the One God concept."
      only prophets. not people themselves. people always tend to create many Gods.
      this difference between Muhammad (PBUH) and Arab people resulted many wars between prophet and Arab people of that time:

      so if you want to seek the origin of one God you concept should study about prophets. especially Final prophet. because about other history is not clear and even changed and paper was not invented to history be recorded clear.
      but about Final history is much better available.
  • May 19 2011: It is very easy to forget that if
    I wish to have an ultimate theory
    (or God, or prime mover, or whatever)
    that explains or covers everything,
    then it should cover everything.

    You know?

    If God is good, how can he/she be
    a God if he/she doesn't encompass
    bad? Or evil? Even of the worst kind?

    I he/she is being which thinks, shouldn't
    he/she be able to "think" thoughts of
    rocks? Atoms? Cows? Dogs?

    You know?

    Shouldn't he/she be able to BE a dog?

    If it is energy, how matter comes
    into picture? Is it not part of God
    too? If my theory explains observable
    how does it cope with unobservable?

    If true "nothing" doesn't exist, where
    am I getting the idea of it?

    Shouldn't my God be at least slightly mad?

    When someone asks something like
    "is Big Bang real?", "who is God?",
    "is there this God and where is he or she?",
    "is it really truth that there is
    nothing but energy and space?",
    looking back at the path I traveled so far,
    all I can do is smile.

    Words are powerful, young Jedi,
    but they are not that powerful.

    That is what I think.
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    Apr 27 2011: It is easier maybe to tell what God is NOT...

    God is not an emotion - He is Emotion
    God is not an attitude - He is Love
    God is not a figment of my imagination - He is the Great I AM - Who was, and is, and Is to come
    God is not a diety - He is THE Diety - The Holy Father in Heaven that sent His Son to take the form of flesh so that He could make a bridge between Himself and mankind - and asked that Son to become a living Sacrifice for us.
    God is not hate - but He is a God of vengence - Obedience is expected
    God is not a Dictator - He gave us free will to do as we please (Though we have greatly abused that priviledge) - But because of this "Free Will Factor" - God also had to create consequences - He did exactly what we do in order to maintain law and order in our societies...It is the cost of disobedience. If this seems harsh...well, too bad. You see, if I want to go kill someone right now, then the law could sentence me to life in prison without parole. I could die in prison. If there is no God, and there is no afterlife...sheesh, then that sure seems harsh....right? Of course not. We are just glad to get those people off the street. But if God says "Obey Me or ELSE..." well, then people call Him a terrible awful diety...and they refuse to follow a God like that. Free Will....but that doesn't mean the consequences go away...whether we deny they are real or not. I don't have to believe I will get bitten if I jump in a pit of vipers...but that doesn't mean I am right.

    But mostly...what God is...even though it sounds strange after all the rest - GOD IS LOVE - He created us to see us blossom. He is the Father that wanted to see great things come from HIS children...and how do we repay Him? We spit on His blessings and throw Him out with the garbage. What a terrible shame we have become so ungrateful.
    • Apr 28 2011: Hello Dear Shawn Hart,
      thanks for your explain.
      I have some questions:
      Love is an attribute of God or God itself is God?
      better to say about God "he" or "it"?
      "He is THE Diety"
      what is your definition of deity?
      why God has son? God has any regeneration? or the meaning of father is creator?
      God is a human?
      the son and father are two or one?
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    Apr 26 2011: I believe [if I can use that word] God is simply what happens. Divinity, or lack of divinity, is what we do with what happens. When we see injustice and fight it, when we see suffering and act with compassion to alleviate it; when we see beauty and celebrate it; when we see ignorance and bring patience and understanding. We impose meaning on what happens, it is not provided by God.

    This idea of God is Universal, Eternal, Omnipresent, Omnipotent. It is not He or She or It, vengeful, jealous, judgemental, wrathful, empathetic, attentive, responsive, loving, or creative. Those things are our responses to the God that is presented to us in our lives.

    There is mystery, but not miracles.

    There are coincidences, but not Cosmic Plans or Destiny.

    Morality can be derived from experience and social interaction. The Golden Rule is good because it works; it doesn't work because it is Good.

    There are three main human motivators: the things we love, the things we fear and the things we are genuinely curious about.

    Heaven, no. Hell, no.
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    Wu Meng

    • +1
    Apr 24 2011: in my point of view, God is a belief in my heart。like the pole star, he show me where i shoud go。under his supervision,i have to review my behavior by the minute.
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    Sky F

    • +1
    Apr 24 2011: God is the entire universe, humans are his eyes, ears, and consciousness.
    • Apr 24 2011: so God needs human?
      or human needs God?
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        Sky F

        • +2
        Apr 24 2011: they're both the same, albeit fractions of a whole.
        • Apr 24 2011: so who created universe?
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          Apr 24 2011: yeah... they both are same. mr.ahmadi...ur problem is, u think of god and human as seperate things. god is inside us not out side...ther is not a question of asking who is greater and who is small... worship and slavory are not the same things.
        • Apr 24 2011: Dear pranoy sundar,
          you are completely right.
          I happy to know such human. you know God very well.
          human and God is one, but Just if there is nothing but God in heart of human.
          for example if some one has love of sleep or food in his heart he is not one by God.
          when there is nothing but God in heart of a human then that human is like a drop in ocean of God and there no more any self between him and God. then that man is same as God. when God intend something say to it be, so it become and that human when intend something say be, becomes. this is when a human kills his self (his wishes and devils, conceit ,...).
          but while a human loves his self more than God, God not let that human near God and that human is separate of God. the the secret of becoming same as God is "Love".
          there is no curtain between you and God but your self.
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        Sky F

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        Apr 24 2011: We did. God did.
        • Apr 24 2011: how we did?
          do you include "we"?
          which part of creating universe was by you? design? engineering? factory? transport? measurement? management? art? or other?
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        Sky F

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        Apr 24 2011: Yes I do include us. Because the fact that we are the consciousness of the universe means that, in a sense, the universe only really exists within our minds. Without us, the universe is invisible and without form. It is our perception that creates it. It's a mutual relationship between what is outside of our heads and what is inside. Without either, there would be nothing.
        • Apr 25 2011: you mean no universe exist out of your mind?
          if all human on earth die. then universe is dissipated?
          or if you die universe disappears?
          you mean universe is like a TV and you can turn it off by your mind?
          so why when you are asleep the universe is not off like a TV off?
  • Apr 20 2011: "God" is a term subjective to each individual.
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    Apr 20 2011: Life is a exam for humans. The one who passes it with great number scores, is the one who is best among his surroundings. God to me is the pure positive energy, wishes others to prosper including the universe.
  • Apr 3 2011: God is a projection into the unknown. An attempt to answer to the unanswerable. For me, God is a concept born of humanities innate need to find earthly meaning, boundaries, stories; to explain and contain life within a framework that not only validates us and our place in the universe, but is within our mental grasp. It's a reaction against the mind boggling enigma of life, and the mystery of time, space, and the infinite. It's a coping mechanism; Our fear of uncertainty becomes denial, wrapped in a security blanket of cosy belief, huddled against the great dark unknown, reassured in the conceit that we have 'the' answer. I'm sorry if some find this offensive. It's not my intention; just an honest attempt to describe what 'God' means to me. Maybe there is a God, maybe there isn't. Who ultimately knows. I'd like to deeply sincerely believe in a good and just God, but I simply can't. It just doesn't ring true, and never really has. The deeper I look into the question, the more unlikely it seems. If someone else believes, that's fine, as long as they don't expect me to as well. Why belief is such an issue mystifies me a little to be honest. Surely how you lead your life is more important than whether or not you believe in God. I try to lead a good honest life, to be kind to others, uphold values I've come to consider worthwhile; respect, consideration, compassion etc. I try to do the right thing because it seems like the right thing to do, not because some higher being ordains it. I like to think others will judge me by how I lived my life, rather than whether or not I 'chose' to believe in God. Not that I understand how you can choose such things; You either believe or you don't.
    • Apr 20 2011: Dear Andrew O'Sullivan,
      during history many people lived. but few knew real God. your idea is right but about deities and about people pray statue.
      many people use God as a projection into the unknown. but not all people.
      please not that you can not escape death.
      all disease has drug but death.
      after death there is no chance to back to this world.
      today is doing and not reward, tomorrow is reward and not doing
      if heaven and hell is true then what you will do?
      so belief is very important.
      we should solve problem of God before death.
      death has no news. death comes immediately.
      thinking about God is more important than eating and life style.
      time is going and life is finishing and death is cumming.
      • Apr 20 2011: If heaven and hell exist, then I'll deal with which ever I have to when the time comes. How can I possibly hope to resolve whether or not God, heaven and hell exist in this lifetime. I can see no compelling evidence to suggest they do, and likewise can't prove they don't, nor want to waste my time with such speculation. Solve the problem of God? What's to solve? Where is the problem?How is thinking about God going to make the world a better place or me a better person? Why would God want me to think about God? To what end? Time is going to be finished and death is coming, I suspect you are right in that respect. I fail to comprehend how pondering God is going to change that one way or the other. If God condemns me to eternal hell because I doubted his existance, then so be it. But it seems such far fetched and outlandish notion I couldn't get worked up about if I tried. There are far more pressing concerns such as eating, life style, and trying to be a good person, do the right thing, have a positive rather than negative impact on those around me.
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          Apr 21 2011: Hi Andrew
          "How can I possibly hope to resolve whether or not God, heaven and hell exist in this lifetime."
          Millions have done just that. Things are entirely different when you realise you are eternal. Friendships become eternal, or potentially eternal, & life becomes much more meaningful.

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        May 1 2011: Hi Ahmadi

        "during history many people lived. but few knew real God"

        Are you implying that some people actually saw God?
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    Apr 3 2011: My God is Eternal, Infinite and Omnipotent. He is within, throughout and beyond time, space, matter or energy...as well as all dimensions, therefor outside human ability (or any science) to quantify or for that matter qualify.

    I believe we are a part of 'him' and as such are accountable to his grace (the gift of life as we know it).
    • Mind S

      • 0
      Apr 3 2011: Hi Wayne,
      You define God in away that makes him an everlasting UNKNOWN. I wonder what is the epistemological significance of a concept based on guesses, hunches and emotional imaginations; a concept that can't be tackled by all systems of scientific reasoning and lies beyond scientific enquiry.
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        Apr 3 2011: What we know of 'him' he has made possible for us to know.

        Epistemological significance cannot contain the smallest part of what I am able to describe and I, like you, are limited by my subjective paradigm. With all due respect, your devotion to science (your god) is to me the glorification of a transient collection of half truths.

        Imagine a single celled organism infinitesimally small, nurtured and protected by an Omnipresent and Omnipotent host. This description is my attempt to meet you in the middle.

        As you are aware everything our science holds as "true" is little more than theory which make sense under those specific conditions we are able to perceive, control and 'reason' with our limited human ability.'
        • Jul 17 2011: Wayne, your the man. You've said it brother. Your God is THE God. The One, Truth itself, Omnipotent, both Immanent and Transcendent, within all of us and beyond all of us. The sense that this God exists and that we are part of it is by definition ingrained in the soul of every human being. It's why we search, explore, create; we're a reflection of this God placed in a finite Created form, creation being by definition limitation.

          I also believe and understand intellectually that this God Created our world and has given us glimpses of his Oneness. These glimpses have been distilled into a system of life both mystical and practical, a guide to spiritual development that aims to bring transcendence to every day life and bring human society to its culmination. This system is the Torah, the Hebrew Bible and the ancient Oral and Written traditions that accompany it. Historically, this system, which has been called Judaism in recent millennia, lies at the core of all we value in modern world and the source of all human development. All the best brother, may God be with you
        • Jul 18 2011: Can imagine a single celled organism within a host. But not an omnipresent host....for that would mean the host is present in the single celled organism as well. I cannot reconcile the plurality with the unity - my imagination is strained.

          Next to that, I also find it difficult to imagine any host nurturing and protecting a single celled organism without anything for itself in such acts - it may happen unintentionally though. And an omnipotent host should not be depending on a single celled organism for anything ....so why nurture / protect ?
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        Apr 3 2011: I believe Wayne is giving the idea what god should be seen as and compared to.

        If you were to think as God in terms of Eternal, Infinite and Omnipotent. Metaphysics is your religion and it is a fair one. It says everything has a relation to everything else. Now isn't that truly omnipotent? With infinite relations in the universe how does one decide which is of value?

        Wayne is correct to bring up the single cell organism, it is this that science even today have very few answers in. Indeed manipulation has become more and more advanced but the ability to change the cell has not. "Intelligent Design" suggest our earthly species is of something much larger. When comparing the cell to the universe you get similar pictures and designs. When fully understanding a cell, which is the building blocks of living organisms, it is thought we will ultimately understand ourselves and the rest of our animal kingdom in entirety.

        Perhaps accidental life is a part of the universe, the universe being so vast and infinite little is understood
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          Apr 5 2011: Nicholas I don't think that what I believe in can be called Metaphysics. This word is not enough.

          When I pray it is not to some aspect of something, some object or phenomena. I do my best to humble myself and open my 'heart' laying bare my intent, hoping that what I need is in alignment with my place in 'his' plan. It has been a long and ongoing journey.

          I do not worry my self with the value you ask of because for me it comes down to six things: breath, eat, sleep, internal stasis, reproduction and elimination. All life as we know it (animal or vegetal...) all the way down to the cell you speak of must perform these six functions in order to remain viable as a species. In doing so life feeds on life and begets life. How blessed are we as an alpha species (in our neck of the woods) to be able to contemplate the correlations in such things? Yet how willfully ignorant and arrogant.
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        Apr 5 2011: Actually if I had read some of your other comments before this one I would not have wrote it as I did, I had the idea you were talking more abstract than you were, it was my mistake to assume such.

        Apologizes Wayne
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          Jul 16 2011: Hey Nicholas, no apology is necessary you did not offend me. Thank you for your insight.
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      May 26 2011: Offtopic:// (let's NOT engage in discussing this here)
      Somewhat of a false dichotomy... there have been many crazier people than Jesus (Moses for example; Even assuming the events in Exodus described in the bible are actual historical events, most can already be explained without God in the picture*). And there's also the possibility that he wasn't crazy in that he intentionally deceived (similarly to Joseph Smith or L. Ron Hubbard). There's also the (IMHO most likely) possibility that Jesus himself was a good common sense man, but was turned into a legend by his followers, which wouldn't be the first such case in history.

      * I once watched a full documentary, but for now, I can only leave you with a plausible explanation of the sea splitting
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    Mar 31 2011: I don´t know. I don´t know who I am, either, even though I spent many hours and a lot of blood, sweat and tears pondering that question, too. Any intelligent person could benefit from asking that once in a while, I think....
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      Apr 4 2011: Thanks Anna, that's in interesting observation.

      Will try to keep asking:
      . Who am I?
      . Who is God?
      • Apr 20 2011: Great,
        who knew himself, indeed knew his God.
        knowing yourself is one of best ways of knowing God.
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          E G

          • 0
          Apr 20 2011: why do you say it ?
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    Mar 30 2011: I'm sorry, but the question is already biased. You're asking _who_ is god, therefore assuming already that a god exists and that is so "person-like" that you can ask "who" that god is.
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      Drew B

      • +1
      Mar 30 2011: He was asking the question to get all the diffrent viewpoints of those who believe that he is a who.
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      Mar 30 2011: Sergio: Please give your interpretation of god. What does the term signify to you?
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        Mar 31 2011: Being an atheist, I don't have my own definition of god. I go by what those who believe gods exists. Traditionally, in western societies, a god is a supernatural being, with supernatural abilities, and usually also omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent. That's essentially what comes to mind when I hear the word.
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    Mar 30 2011: God is infinite surprise

    Copy paste from: http://www.ted.com/conversations/1602/why_don_t_people_believe_in_go.html

    concerning "Pascal's Wager"
    => you can turn this around.
    - Lets assume that my estimate that God exists is 0
    - in probability theory, "surprise value" is 1/x where x is the probability of an event/something
    - So, if I die, I don't expect to meet anything like a god, or heaven or hell...
    - If that does happen, then I would be (1/0 = infinite) Infinitely surprised
    - I consider surprise as a happy emotion
    - Even If I would go to hell, I'll be surprised for eternity
    => I don't need to worry about hell

    (You might infer that I define god as the ultimate surprise, which I must admit, is correct... meaning I still don't think it does exist)

    and another copy paste:
    I will attack ideas, Tim. As I think there are stupid ideas and wrong ideas and dangerous ideas. If a person feels offended by it: that is not my intention, but might be collateral damage.
    [I know letting go of ideas is hard, and adopting new ones might be hard as well; and I can get emotional in debates,... but I will try and be kind to the person, even when i think his/her ideas are -in my opinion- dead-wrong]

    Not attacking ideas might be kind... but stupid.
    (I do imply you try and use not too much false reasoning or fallacies when you are attacking an idea)
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      Mar 30 2011: Christophe: I understand, and for the most part agree with your reasoning, but I really wanted this "conversation" to simply be a collection of viewpoints. There are plenty of other conversations (including my last one) which are oriented towards debate.

      I'm really struck by the diversity of ideas among the TED community and just wanted to get a better grasp of it. And since this is a world community, I think it's useful to understand that there are many viewpoints. So I'd prefer if people don't attack other's ideas here, but merely make a statement of their own.
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    Mar 30 2011: i believe god is proof of nothing. therfore, could be anything, and probably is everything. this thought gives me happiness which couldnt be rationalized by anyone, which may just make my happiness nothing.
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    Drew B

    • +1
    Mar 29 2011: It seems like both of the comments before me showed me shows God in a poetical form. In a literal form God is not a creator but The Creator. We as humans create many stuff and we may be labeled as a creator but what do you call the person who creates everything that we know? That title is The Creator. Now you may be asking who created God. Well if you have strong faith you will come to realize that in the Bible it will say that are our human minds are incapable of this understanding of God. In "God's World" (Heaven or whatever his origin is) there is no creation or creator. There is no creating for there is no need to. Us, as a human race must see stuff being created or being destroyed. In our world stuff must be created and must have been created by something. But why does stuff have to do that in our world? Because God created it that way but when you think of it why does stuff have to be physically "created?" That is how it is in the "realm" of God. But i do agree with lynn eschbach when lynn says God is a part of us because we were made in God's image and likeness. Also God surrounds us because he sent the holy spirit and we receive the Holy Spirit when we are baptized. Th Spirit is what guides us to do right and wrong.
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    Mar 29 2011: God is not a who . God IS.
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      Mar 29 2011: I should have guessed you would catch me on that one Santhip!

      May I ask, in your view, "What is God"?
      • Apr 19 2011: God is alone and single and has no mother and no child.
        God is not human
        God is not material
        God can not be seen by eye of head. but can be seen by eye of heart
        God is first of all first and end of all end
        God is always alive and not need any help
        God can not be defined and can not be described. but as there is no way to say meaning we should use words about God.
        God has no composition
        God has no place
        God is not inside anything and is not on anything
        God did not become powerful after creating all things and was not unable before creating all things.
        not similar to any thing can be said. and not similar to anything can be in mind.
        God was not separate of power before creating and after going creatures will not lose power
        God was Lord before creating and is Lord after creating
        time is a creature of God
        God has not place and quality and description and limit and can not be known by describing him similar to nothing
        how much exists never become old
        God not fear anything, but all things fear God
        God is alive without existed living or describable existing or limited modality or a place God stand in it or a place God is near it.
        but God is alive known by its affects and is a Lord that always has power and kingdom.
        what God wants immediately become exist.
        not limited
        not have parts
        never decade
        God is start of existence without any modality and is end of existence without place.
        all things are vanity but God
        creating and regulation is in his hands
        full of mercy developer of universes
        minds can not catch him
        imaginations can not reach him
        God never become astray
        nothing can reach beside him
        nothing happen for him
        is not responsible for anything
        and never penitent
        never sleep or nap
        all things in universe and sky and on earth and under land is for him.
      • Apr 27 2011: It's downright comical how egocentric humans are. We interpret life, the universe, even God as though we were the center of it all. We express our ideas that God is a figment of our imagination or a necessary psychological construct or a traditional being framed by an old respected world religion. Or we completely dismiss the idea of God because it does jive with our worldview that Science is the great judge -( if something can't be empirically proven it's a myth). The sober fact is that if God does exist then it behooves us to seek it and make sure we're on good terms.
  • Jul 21 2011: This question can be best answered by Bro. Eli Soriano of MCGI with his blog at http://esoriano.wordpress.com/
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    Jul 12 2011: In my opinion, the question is not who, rather, which God ? what God?
    1. You might consider God as the creator in which case maybe a super-intelligent being (or not) which can be blamed for the causative, the roots of universe's principles and laws.
    2. You might consider God as the sum of all physics equation, a rule for a system or the world's mysteries.
    3. You might consider God as a personal being similar to human, like the most religion Hinduism Catholicism Islam etc.
    4. You might consider God as a meme, an idea, which was invented by the humans and replicated until now which is a physical information contained in the brain in the form of patterns.
    I have always seen 1 with apatheism (since this god doesn't matter much, of little significance exist or not, at least for now) to understand 1 by analogy, think of God as player who played Conway's Game of Life, a 0 player game which depends only on the rules and the initial conditions. I have always seen 2 just like most person do, it is simply an interpretation, you could interpret any piece of information however you wish, the physics sure inspires awe, as for taking nature law as a God or not, well that's up to you, and like 1, this one doesn't matter really (it's just an interpretation). And I have always believed 3 is just a species of 4, a meme, an idea that was invented by human and replicated by human, this last God is the pinnacle of religion and I've never believed in personal god, I'd consider it as a delusion.
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    Jul 6 2011: Should the question be 'what' God is, rather than 'who' God is? The word 'who' is applicable to flesh and blood - surely not attributable to an omnipotent creator (if that's what you believe).

    The biblical phrase: "We are all created in God's image" attests to another example of anthropocentrism on a grand scale. Surely it is the other way round: God is actually created in OUR image.
    • Jul 6 2011: if you create something in your Image you are its creator.
      then what is your creator?
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        Jul 6 2011: S.R. - I am an evolutionist first and foremost. To directly answer your question, I was not 'created' as such - but rather 'evolved'. That is my belief.

        I will add that I am agnostic. I do not believe in any God, but do possess a profound yearning for spirituality and reverence, on a personal scale, for things outside my/our normal frame of conscious understanding. This should remain as as it is - in the realms of awe and wonder - despite the onslaught of blinkered and objectivised science. I think adoration and reverence of the natural scheme of things is an essential part of the human condition, but as far as I'm concerned, it need not be ascribed to a God.

        What I, and many other people do, is to apply metaphor to those things that science - or even words, fail to articulate. Metaphor can help explain the unexplainable. Poetry and art does this well. And so can religion, but what starts out as an innocent, searching metaphor, then moves into the realms of ingrained belief and dogma.
        • Jul 7 2011: evolutionist can believe in creator. no conflict.
          evolution needs a creator. evolution happens in special conditions under natural laws and such laws not exist without any controller and designer and law enforcer.
          its like that you only see somethings happen inside a cyclotron and you see some new particles created there. but in what conditions? do not you see a cyclotron made situation ready for happening that happen for particles? evolution also needs many terms to happen.
          without atoms working proper evolution has no meaning.
          God usually created not direct.
          God creates in natural steps.
          God can created miraculously in one moment but does not like to create without natural steps.
          for example God creates human in womb during 9 month while can create a 40 years old human at one moment.
          out of metaphor you should die and if Hell existed after death you will have many problems.
          please note God and religion is not equal to what church says.
          please consider existence of God but not as church says.
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        Jul 7 2011: Sorry - can you clarify? At what point do 'natural steps' finish and what you call 'the miraculous' begin?

        Does your God condemn to eternal hell and damnation, all the people like me who happen to disagree with him? Why should I 'have many problems' just because I think autonomously? Your answer to that question may have some bearing on whether this conversation is worth continuing...
        • Jul 7 2011: "At what point do 'natural steps' finish and what you call 'the miraculous' begin?"
          there two different method of creation.
          they are not two continuous that have a "point" between them.
          the default method of God is creating step by step and by tools. God uses tools and do not want to do works directly. while can do.
          for example all angles are tools of God. or womb is tool of God for creating baby. or soil and water are tools of God for creating a fruit and so on.
          also all tools are created by God.
          God prefers to do anything with tools. while can do without tools.
          but some times it is needed do do works without natural steps and tools like miracles of prophets. for example Moses (PBUH) made a bird with clay and blow it and it became a live bird. this is miracle.

          "Does your God condemn to eternal hell and damnation, all the people like me who happen to disagree with him?"
          yes God punishes who disobey God
          please note God is not a man nor any kind of material

          one day Moses (PBUH) said God:
          I am sick please heal me!
          God said:
          go doctor.
          M: what?! then what people say about me? I am prophet of God! and I should need doctor?!
          yes you think why I created drugs and herbs? they are useless?
          I created them as a tool to people heal with them.
          God: I abominate to do works without tools.

          this is a rule of God:
          "God abominates to do works without its tools"

          "Why should I 'have many problems' just because I think autonomously? "
          because you are the only animal having two gift:
          1- wisdom
          2- free will

          the problems are test. its like problems of a student doing homework. doing home works has good results.
  • Jun 27 2011: Hello,

    I often hear the words design and creation in the greater Ted forum and talks.
    Don't these words imply there is a designer or creator?

    The human world has many "Gods". Some say their god is their belly. Most , almost all world religions have been invented by human thinking. Religions have been used to control an ignorant population for selfish gains. Most are founded on fancyful myths. Most religions inadequately answer life's important questions and believers are left confused , discontented and defrauded of time and wealth.

    But religion's misuse/abuse of people's trust for all human history does not eliminate that the physical universe, all matter and life point to the existence of a designer or creator.

    In recent years, our view into the the physical universe has improved dramatically. This clarified knowledge is exposing beautiful design and complex stable systems in every field of science. It is not a exposing random unreliable disorganized mess.

    When visiting an art gallery we see the works of an artist, we may never meet him, but we know he exists.
    We often meditate on the meaning of these works and at times praise the artist.The universe and life are proof that there is a thinking conscious personage, a designer, a creator. We would not be mistaken to acknowledge and meditate on the these master works.It may move us to utter or think thoughts of praise and gratitude to a grand creator.
    • Jun 27 2011: Kerry,

      Nope, the occurrence of the words "design" and "creation" in TED doesn't mean there is a designer creator. This is a clear example of a non-sequitur.

      That you find complex things, or even well structured things, in nature does not mean there is a designer either. It just means that your conception of what nature is might be wrong. Reality is what reality is. There is no reason whatsoever to think that without a designer, there should be absolute and utter chaos and never ever be any structure, or complex system, anywhere to be seen. Furthermore, the basic idea(s) is(are) philosophically flawed: How did you decide that:

      1. Human artifacts and designs are not part of nature,
      2. Human stuff does not follow natural laws.
      3. That nature alone should be a random unreliable disorganized mess.
      4. That the universe is actually filled with "complex stable systems", despite you start and finish by thinking that such things are not part of nature. Make your mind, are these things part of nature or not?

      Do you see? You have both an intrinsic contradiction (structure cannot be natural, there is structure in nature, thus there is a designer), and a problem defining where to put the boundary between natural and "designed." Whether and where to put the boundary between humans and nature itself. Our division between natural and artificial is ... well ... artificial and egocentric. Using such thing to infer a god is the extreme of egocentrism: we are so not natural that whatever looks, even if slightly, like something we have put together, or more complex than things we have put together, it should be the work of something like us, only much bigger and powerful.

      Here a proposal: since we see at least some complex and stable systems in the universe/nature besides ourselves, why not conclude that thus humans are products and part of nature itself too?

      I hope that came out clear enough.

      • Jun 30 2011: In all respect, I feel the word "creator" or "designer" has replaced with " nature".

        non-sequitur? It may be convenient , but inaccurate.

        My wife has been a graphic designer in an ad agency for 12 years. She designs things. An artist creates works of art. A musician creates music. An engineer engineers things.Different words should be used.
        • Jun 30 2011: I don't think you understood what I said.
    • Jun 28 2011: Dear Kerry Monroe,
      perhaps all humans are stupid.
      people have many superstition even in modern world.
      not anything the majority believe is truth.
  • Jun 17 2011: I think religous beliefs are so tenacious because people need to believe in absolutes, dogmas, etc. to feel secure in the midst of uncertainties. For me, God is not some supernatural Being having human characteristics nor a supreme law-giver, a decider of who will live and who will die, a dispenser of justice. God is ineffable, invisible, yet mysteriously present within. We cannot "know" God. We cannot "touch" God. Any attempt to define God, limits God. God transcends our three-dimensional ways of experiencing and therefore surpasses all understanding, yet we can still be inspired by the presence of spirit within. Ironically, only by acknowledging the limits of our understanding can we be aware of the ultimate mystery of all existence, and it is this mystery that I choose to call God; God is ultimate mystery.
    • Jun 19 2011: we can know God but bot 100%.
      we can know as we can.
      how much of the water of ocean you can drink?
  • Jun 15 2011: "God is a concept by which we measure our pain." -John Lennon
  • Jun 5 2011: Based on comments about God I came into this conclusion:

    God is something we don't know what is it, how does it look like, and what is it made from, and how did he appear, however, (based on religion) we know exactly what he wants and how he thinks. Not quiet convincing to me though.
    • Jun 11 2011: Dear Naiem Yeganeh,
      we can know God as much as we can. but Gos is absolute and unlimited and we can not know it absolute.
      in Islam is said that God has 4 zone of knowing. the zone 1-3 is only for itself and God is alone. humans are allowed to know God in zone 4 as they try and can. it is called nearing to God. near of God means knowing God more and more. near of God does not mean physical near. it is knowing.
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    Jun 2 2011: Well originally, god was a concept designed to keep people in line.
    Then it became a reason to war against each other.
    I think anyone who is presented the facts without any personal bias can easily come to the conclusion that the concept of god is a roadblock in the progression of humanity. Nothing more, nothing less.

    A better question would be what does god do?
    I'd like to know.
    Theists, please elaborate. What does god do?
    The answer to this question will also answer the question originally asked.
    Lance armstrong.
    Nobody knows what or who he is.
    What does he do?
    He bikes.
    He's a biker.
    So, what does god do?
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      Jun 4 2011: Hi Cole,

      I do not think the idea of God was first invented to keep people in line. We are social animals. Being social is part of what enabled us to survive as a species. The community is stronger than the loner. It can hunt mammoths during the ice age. The lone hunter probably could not do that. Being a social animal involves having perceptual abilities that are very sensitive to the moods, intentions, and meanings of others. I think primitive humans experienced non-human reality with those perceptual abilities. When they heard the thunder, they perceived god's anger. When they felt a soft wind blowing accross their neck, they perceived it as the breath of a a nature spirit. They perceived reality as filled with these spirits because anthropomorphic perceptualization provided them with an understanding of reality that fit their social nature.

      Then later, there was an ideaization of God. As people worked on determining what an ideal human life would be like, they attriuted that kind of life to the gods. As there was a movement toward realizing there can be only one perfect ideal, this lead toward monotheism, at least in Jewish, Christian, Islamic line of religions. Karen Armstrong's book called The Great Transformation is very good at laying out this transformation of Religion.

      For most of Human history, before Newtonian science revealed a mechanistic world, atheism as we now know it would have been very hard to conceive. How could the world avoid slipping into chaos without the intellegent guidance of gods continually acting intentionally to keep it organized?

      You ask, "What does God do?" Those who have made it through the Great Transformation say God is the ideal, perfect spirit. If God exists, what God does is love spirit, and since God loves spirit, God serves spirit. (By "spirit", I mean all conscious beings who have cares and concerns. In other words, "spirits" are those beings who have the capacity to suffer and the capacity to enjoy).
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      Jun 5 2011: Hi Cole,

      I did not mean to suggest that religion is never used as a way of controlling other people. I just meant that I do not think that is the original motive behind religion.
    • Jun 11 2011: Dear Cole,
      "A better question would be what does god do?"
      God created all creatures including sky universe material humans animals and all things (unless itself) even time and space and place are created by God. time does not take God (like when you are in sleep dream with no place and time) and controlled and feed and look its creatures.
      all the existence depends on God. why you exist? why material exist?
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      Jun 23 2011: God is not a biker.
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    May 29 2011: To ask "who" God is dilutes the possibilities? Similarly, any of "who", "what", "when", "where" and "how" dilute the possibilities.

    An atheist would argue that there is no God. An agnostic, only that there is no way to know. Each religion, of course, promotes its own spiritual and mystical knowledge. In Christianity, it is taught that their is a triune God, only one of which may be said to answer the "who" question directly, and God Himself, may be known indirectly as someone who is the Father. The complications become apparent rather quickly.

    The question might be better asked: Why is God? There are several more competent to answer that question. Joseph Campbell left us with a body of work that offers many clues. There are many clues in all of the religious texts.

    Reading each of the responses in this thread also offers many clues as to the purpose of God in human society.

    Personally, my belief requires daily exercise in the rejection of all psychological manifestations of fear. At a very simplistic level, call such manifestations such personal weaknesses that would lead to any of the seven deadly sins. In other words, I seek to discover my purpose, one awareness at a time, and have faith that that purpose flows from a power greater than myself.
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  • May 28 2011: ""Who is God?"

    God is manager and controller of all atoms and electrons to work exact and proper to we can have a life and drink water.
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    May 28 2011: personal opinion.

    we have different definition of God, believers and non-believers.

    to the non-believers there definition of God does not exist and sometimes not incline with there lifestyle.that is why they easily jump to a conclusion that there is no God but the truth is there definition of God is unrealistic. (non-believers are good people too, but ofcourse not all. they choose to live a simplified life)

    to the believers, not all but some have been mislead to believe in a God whom will give them an easy life and spoon feed them every good things in this world. its like having a child whos at the right age stil does not how to write and read, not knowing the difference between left and right...
    (believers are the ones but not all has the difficulty of being a good person, confused because of there expectations and demands)

    as long as we acknowledge something good in this world and hold to it, it something that can drive one person to be close to God, to be part of the goodness of God.
    Going back to the question Who is God? its like this, God is Angel and the rest of all of us are Demons which is untrue. it just happen that we choose different path to remain a good person.

    so the question should not be asking WHO is GOD? but HOW to be close to GOD?
    (not in a sense of being close to a specific person but being a better person.)

    Finding ways to be a good person not only in a religious way but in a civilized manner too...
    • May 28 2011: "Finding ways to be a good person not only in a religious way but in a civilized manner too... "
      what is the benefit of being a good person?
      for your benefit in life of world or for satisfaction of God?
      if for your life OK, no problem. but if for God then are you sure God accept any kind of being good as you like.
      for example may you think being homosexual is good. but God does not like it. or other examples.
      even does God accept being good without not believing him?
      its like a high value cheque with no signature.
      is not it better to communicate God before being good and ask him what kind of good he accept?
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        May 28 2011: thank you, s.r , for confirming for me how wrong your god is. any god exsisitng a part from anything but pure benevolence, is a fake. im not trying to convince you of this, nor am i claiming any proof, just mearly my opinon based on obverations. but i think the power of god does not lie in a book and the words used inside it, god is beyond words. imo.
        • Jun 3 2011: Dear Tim,
          "any god exsisitng a part from anything but pure benevolence, is a fake."
          I did not understand you.
          please explain more.
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        May 28 2011: S.R. Ahmadi,
        The benefit of being a good person, is that it is pleasurable to the giver and reciever , and at the same time, contributes to the benefit of the whole of humankind.

        You have brought "homosexual" into your discussion and stated that "God does not like it". That is prejudice, and meant to harm a certain group of people.

        Over and over again S.R. Ahmadi, you are presenting "cheques with no signature" (to use your own words).
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          Jun 2 2011: This made my day.
          It's perfectly fine to imply logic when it comes to disproving OTHER religions, but once the atheists swing by, people retreat back to their stubborn stance where faith is triumphant over logic and reason.

          Faith in god can't be disproven, but faith to an extent that is clearly even to modern theists insanely senseless CAN be disproven?
          Because to me, faith in god is just as senseless as faith in the belief that "god" frowns upon homosexuality.
        • Jun 3 2011: Dear Colleen Steen,
          "The benefit of being a good person, is that it is pleasurable to the giver and reciever ,"
          if we assume the life is limited to this world and death is finish then you are right.
          but I disagree this assume.
          for having pleasurable life after death we should be the version of Good God really accept. the true version is not necessarily the version we think God accept or or the version church or other reference say) each human himself has the responsibility to find God.

          "You have brought "homosexual" into your discussion and stated that "God does not like it". That is prejudice, and meant to harm a certain group of people."
          I say according to Koran. but can you prove it is prejudice?
          you mean we do not talk because all groups should not be harmed? so a judge should not send people to jail because they will be harmed.
          this is talk.

          "Over and over again S.R. Ahmadi, you are presenting "cheques with no signature" (to use your own words)."
          I do not think I have used this term more than 1 or 2 times.
          any way you too can use your own words.

          Dear Cole Barnshaw,
          "Faith in god can't be disproven, but faith to an extent that is clearly even to modern theists insanely senseless CAN be disproven?"
          please explain more. I did not underestand.
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          Jun 3 2011: S.R
          I was not addressing you, I was addressing colleen.
          On behalf of atheism, I was stating that it is fine for one religion to bash another religion and use logic to disprove it, but apparently their own faith can;t be disproven with logic. As if they think they are an exception.

          I was trying to get this across: Christians typically will say, "faith is all I need". They always say it. So do other religions, but most of my experience in terms of debate in this field is with Christians.
          Anyways, they always say that logic can not disprove god because they have faith. Then, they go ahead and attempt to disprove YOUR faith with logic. This is hypocritical.
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        May 30 2011: good point S.R.

        regarding the "homo"-part... ive always believe in this...

        Men are Black while Women are White, vice-versa. and the "homos" etc..etc. are the Rainbow-colored type. They're just here to color up the world.

        ...still sometimes can be a distraction....... well...patience is a virtue...
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          Jun 3 2011: Hello Cole Barnshaw,
          You say you are addressing me? "On behalf of atheism"? That's interesting!

          I don't think it is EVER "fine for one religion to bash another religion" for any reason.

          What exactly are you trying to say young man?
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          Jun 3 2011: yes....
          Behalf - "for the benefit of"
          My point was for the benefit of atheism, I was explaining what I said to s.r

          What exactly are you trying to say..?
          My point was grammatically correct (weird that I even have to argue that) and it seems to me like you're avoiding what I said.

          You criticized many fundamentalist religions when you labeled the belief in god's disapproval of homosexuality as a false principle and stated that it is wrong to believe so.
          You were (in my mind) bashing, you were making senseless statements with negative connotation. Maybe not senseless, but at least hypocritical. But the definition of "bashing" has nothing to do with the subject matter.

          Rather than exploit any minor detail that you think may be interpreted differently by certain people, how about you post a rebuttal, and show me why it's possible for you to disprove S.R's belief with logic, but it is impossible to disprove Christianity (seems like your a christian) with logic.
          I'm curious.

          P.S If you criticize me for assuming your a Christian, I will not respond. It's very fair to make that assumption.
          This post was conceived due to anger towards the hypocrisy that Christians form when they say things like that.
          Unless you are not, in which case I apologize for being so militant.
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          Jun 3 2011: Cole,
          I'm not avoiding anything. I still don't know what you are trying to say.

          I have not criticized religion. I didn't "label" anything. As far as I know, one's sexual preference is not connected to any religious belief.

          If "bashing" has "nothing to do with the subject matter", why do you label it as such?

          No, I am not Christian...perhaps you made a false assumption? If you are curious about something, don't make false assumptions and accusations...ask the question. Perhaps you wouldn't have to be so "militant" to use your word, if you got appropriate information before assuming and accusing.
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          Jun 4 2011: Colleen, my point is not applicable to you, given the things you have just told me, but just for the sake of the topic:

          Common christian point: Faith can not be proven or disproven by logic.
          From what I previously thought, you were a christian who was attempting to disprove S.R's faith in the fact that god did not approve of homosexuality, by using logic ("this belief is prejudice, and is meant to harm certain people").

          This made me furious, because I thought you were going back on your belief that faith is beyond logic, by saying that your logic was greater than his faith in god's disapproval of homosexuality.

          But the circumstances I assumed were not as I had thought.
          My bad.

          As for my comment on how the definition of bashing is not related to the subject matter, may I cite myself "you were bashing (in my mind)". I thought this would make myself clear when I say that in my mind it is bashing but the definition of bashing is not a subject of debate here.

          Perhaps you are making a false assumption by calling me cole?
          My point here being you can not label anything as the 'appropriate information" people take what they see out of context, don't use that against me.
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          Jun 4 2011: Cole Barnshaw,
          I realized from the beginning that your point was not applicable to me. Unfortunately, you did not open your heart and mind to information that might have helped you realize that.

          Does it ever occur to you that you may be talking/writing in circles without having all information? Does it occur to you to ask the questions which may give you appropriate information? You are right..."the circumstances you assumed were not as you thought".

          You identify yourself as Cole...is it a "false assumption" for me to call you that? If you'd prefer something different, make that known. Be clear with your communications.
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          Jun 4 2011: yes it occurs to me.

          But there's this thing called impulse.

          This is ridiculous, I attempted to be diplomatic, but you're telling me to "be clear with my communications" when was just trying to get a point across.

          That is such an immature exploitation, it's not even something that can logically be used against my point.
          I don't know why but you keep forming more and more angles for this argument to continue.
          This doesn't even have anything to do with the original topic. I just wanted to make myself clear to avoid confusion.

          I care about this discussion, so I will no longer engage myself in this petty argument,
          If you care too, I hope you will do the same.
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          Jun 4 2011: Cole,
          It IS ridiculous...thanks for noticing. You were trying to get a point across, however, your point was based on assumptions and false accusations. That is why I advise you to be clear, based on accurate information. I'm not in any way arguing "your point" because your "point" is very unclear, which is why I'm suggesting that you base your arguments on accurate, appropriate information. Yes, I agree with you that your argument is called "impulse"....as you say...ridiculous!
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          Jun 4 2011: Cole, some friendly advice.

          Try to input as much as you output in life, and especially on TED. The way you are arguing, logic seems to be a new word in your developing vocabulary, remember "logic" is a subject and discipline as well as a skill.

          Just relax, and try to get into other people's shoes more often when considering spirituality, religion, "God", and belief systems. These topics are interesting and can teach you a lot about humanity.

          Wise words: The pleasures of ignorance are as great, in their way, as the pleasures of knowledge. - Aldous Huxley

          Genuine ignorance is... profitable because it is likely to be accompanied by humility, curiosity, and open mindedness; whereas ability to repeat catch-phrases, cant terms, familiar propositions, gives the conceit of learning and coats the mind with varnish waterproof to new ideas. - John Dewey

          Now people take ignorance the wrong way too often. Ignorance is simply being unaware or lack of knowledge. My point here is, no one knows everything, and when you create certainties, you best look at them from many perspectives as a self practice of understanding.

          Just advice, take it for what it is worth.
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          Jun 4 2011: "but just for the sake of the topic:

          Common christian point: Faith can not be proven or disproven by logic.
          From what I previously thought, you were a christian who was attempting to disprove S.R's faith in the fact that god did not approve of homosexuality, by using logic ("this belief is prejudice, and is meant to harm certain people").

          This made me furious, because I thought you were going back on your belief that faith is beyond logic, by saying that your logic was greater than his faith in god's disapproval of homosexuality."

          This was my point until I learned that the circumstances did not fit.
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          Jun 4 2011: You "thought"...and that was your point until you "learned that the circumstances did not fit".
          How about if you learn what the truth is, before spending so much time arguing something that is not truth?
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          Jun 4 2011: Nick - I appreciate the advice.
          Logic is just in my opinion the polar opposite of faith. That's why I say it so much.

          But consider this

          The reason I'm not inputing much is because ted isn't what I thought it would be, and it frustrates me to see that even people at ted believe in fundamentalist principles.

          I can't consider god and religion, because I already have, until the age of 13 I was christian.

          And I am cynical, and live by the pessimistic induction.
          Holden Caulfield except with a 3.9 basically.
          It's my biggest flaw, but also my strength.
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          Jun 4 2011: Live Life kid, cynical-ism, pessimism, and/or critical thinking combined better be in the form of nihilism or else it is not worth while, trust me. Life is beautiful in it's natural ways and in the ways people inspect the world.
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        Jun 1 2011: I have heard it said that the Koran identifies being islamic with following a version of the Golden Rule. That would be a true prophetic moment within the Koran.

        The true light of prophesy is the Golden Rule. Only with that rule can any of us distinguish between what is true prophesy and mere human confusion about God.

        You cannot understand what someone else is saying until you are willing to understand what they are saying from their perspective. Consequenbtly, you cannot really understand what God is trying to convey to you by giving you this life until you are willing to submit to the principle that defines God's nature: the Golden Rule. God never does to others what God would not do to God's self, because what God does to others, God does to God's self.

        For God, there is no distance between God and others. While we are each ignorant of what others feel, God has no such ignorance. For us, that ignorance is what defines the boundaries of our "self" that separate us from others. God's self has no such boundary because God has no such ignroance of others. God loves others as God love's God's self because, through God's omniscience, the others are always experienced by God as being part of God's self.

        Only when you are truly willing to submit to the will of God (which is summarized by the Golden Rule) will you be able to begin to distinguish true prophecy from false prophesy.

        True prophets do not say "This is true because it is in this book". Rather they say "This seems to be true because it seems to me that believing this is what is required by the golden rule." They leave open the possibility that future experience will show that the Golden Rule requires something else.

        Your view looks like a prejudice based on an unwillingnes to submit to God's will: the Golden Rule. Engaging in a power struggle in which conflicting groups each claim to have the better book is probably not God's will. The golden rule would seem to offer a better way: Reason.
        • Jun 3 2011: Dear inthegarden beyondthecave,
          you are very clever.
          people talk me from other side of earth by their own Image of God and religion before understand what I mean by God or religion.
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        Jun 5 2011: Hi SR,

        I am sorry if I have been unfair. I have perhaps a little more awareness of the Koran than the average person in my country, but I still know very little. Nevertheless I do have some considerable experience with listening to people who believe their book has no errors within it.

        I do not believe I am clever in the sense sometimes used to attack someone as being capable of manipulating words but uninterested in the truth. Getting at the truth of the questions we are discussing is my sincere wish.

        I did not like the unconditioned assertion you made that God does not like homosexuality. Such assertions shbould not be made lightly. I know good people who are hurt by this kind of comment. We know that thoughtless, mean, and violent people will use your kind of comment to justify cruel, unfair, and/or violent behavior. In my experience, this is the kind of fruit that results from a religiousness that takes an ancient book, rather than goodness of spirit guided by something like the golden rule, as the ultimate guide to what is right or desired by God.

        Ancient books have much to teach us, but only if we can read them as a mixture of insight and error. The Golden Rule, affirmed by both the Bible and the Koran does not only allow us to judge between right and wrong, it morally obligates us to do so. Any approach to ancient books that prohibits us from following that dictate of the Golden Rule when it comes to evaluating alleged prophesy is at odds with that very principle that both the Bible and the Koran affirm.
        • Jun 11 2011: Dear inthegarden beyondthecave,
          "I did not like the unconditioned assertion you made that God does not like homosexuality. "
          you can like or dislike any thing. you have free will.
          but Koran clearly disagree homosexuality. and a nation called "loot nation" all were killed by a disaster because they left their women and become homosexual. the story is clear in Koran and also Islamic law has banned homosexuality.
          please distinguish between Koran and Bible. the today Bible and today Koran have mane many differences and can not be compared. original Bible (what Jesus (PBUH) himself said) is not available today.
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    May 23 2011: My opinion of who God is...

    God would be the force of nature. Many people and religions have called God many different things, but it all boils down to the same idea that collectively, we belong to the same beginning. Whether or not a God is sentient is the true question; since who "God" is could be as simple as the laws of physics.
  • May 22 2011: Why you put "who"?. "God" is not a name, its a VERB.
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      E G

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      May 22 2011: How "God" is a verb? how come it?
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        May 23 2011: i think god just is. if that makes sence.
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      May 24 2011: Yes Suman. That sounds interesting. How is God a verb?
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    May 21 2011: What we should say about God (or not say) is limited by the same moral constraints as what we shouod say about anything else. Speaking is an activity, and like any other activity, it is subject to moral constraints.

    The ground of reason,
    Defines our one and only path
    To wisdom, knowledge, truth, perpetual peace, and life.
    The good is known provisionally, and only very partially,
    Through all our careful applications of The Golden Rule
    To our so very incomplete experience of being spirit.
    But, this is our only knowledge of what is right,
    And so this best but partial knowledge should
    Determine what should count for now,
    Both generally and in specific cases,
    As reason or the methods of science
    And of reason’s other progeny,
    Or what a word should mean,
    (Generally or in a context)
    Like “justice”, “truth”,
    “Equality”, or “know”
    Or “I” or even “is”.
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    May 18 2011: @Nick.........Do not assume that I know nothing about anthropology, socialogy or psychology. I studied theology for nine semesters at Rice University in Houston, Texas, not the usual thing, this was many views, a lot of speculation and subjects from the originall paradigm to Post Modernity. The course included animalistic religions supported by cave art, etc. I have been in psychoanalysis for 17 years and I could probably tell you a thing or two about that subject. I am far from where I would like to be but I am on the way
    You speak as if you were an oracle by saying that God is a delusion......Until you can offer me better rea
    sons than you have so far I won't accept your pronouncements.
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    May 18 2011: The God question will always be around - the more you research about God the less you know. By definition God is a spirit. A spirit is a nonphysical actuality that cannot be seen, feel or touched. The more you ask the more confused you become – this confusion has led many to doubt the existence of GOD.

    I am against that easy conclusion. There is God and he created the world for a purpose - this world was created, if not how did we get here? The scientific answer to that question is laughable; and not until we know how we really get here it is only logical to follow the biblical story.
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    May 18 2011: @Nick..........I really can't express what it is that I do not understand about your post.
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      May 18 2011: Advice then, search engine what you don't understand.

      However if you really want to understand why/how God came to be, you need to study anthropology. Why we need a God, psychology. Why God is important, philosophy. How religion became what it is today, sociology and anthropology. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_scientist (Everyone should read this, not just you.)

      We, people, delude ourselves as apart of survival. Happy driven emotions allow us to survive just as much as nutrition does. If God ideas make you happy, that is more than enough reason to believe in the supernatural. What makes you happy will make your kids happy, no? You teach them God. Thus the traditionalized education of God is practiced and maintained throughout time making billions happy. However, God (as a being) is just another delusion in which progressed us through time. Poor people in history who had very little, knew very little. If you had nothing and was only living to survive til the next day, happy ideas of a creator who loves you is pleasant and justifiable. Still a delusion.

      Today, however, although I am and many argue with Paul, these are all in a sense superficial debates. What matters is not God, but each other. Many religions are foundational in the respects to unity, but very few religions practice such. In fact religions divide the world the most. We need to practice irreligion and ignosticism to unite the world for the better, so all needs are met, so everyone can live a life of bettering themselves in the direction they choose based on open-ended educations and information.

      This isn't possible when we try to decide whether or not God exist. This is only possible when we discover other people are what effect us directly and not abstract philosophies. Understanding yourself, a human being, will allow you to understand the rest of human beings. The only being anyone should believe and have faith in is the human being. We need each other, not God ideas
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    May 18 2011: The best one to speak about GOD is GOD him self

    He is the one who made us laugh and cry
    He is the one who made life and death
    look at the person who give a little, then hardens his heart
    does he have the knowledge of the unseen , to see
    or he never been told by what in the book of Moses
    and Abraham who fulfilled his words
    that no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another
    He is the one who created the pairs, male and female from a drop of sperm
    He is the one who will recreated you after death
    He is the one who give wealth and satisfaction
    He is the Lord of Sirius (the Mighty Star)
    He is the ones who destroyed people of AAd
    The (Judgment) ever approaching draws nigh
    No (soul) but Allah can lay it bare
    Do you then wonder at this recital?
    And will you laugh and not weep
    Wasting your time in vanities
    But fall ye down in prostration to Allah, and adore (Him)
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    May 17 2011: The Best one to speak about GOD is GOD him self
    He is the one who created you and those who came before you

    He is the one Who has made the earth your couch, and the heavens your canopy; and sent down rain from the heavens; and brought forth therewith fruits for your sustenance
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    May 16 2011: This is a good question that's easy to mess up.

    We cannot begin by defining "God" according to superficial names. If we're taking the question seriously, we must take a step back and gain some perspective on it.

    God can only be defined according to one attribute; that of omnipotence. The "omni" in this case includes the universe by default. Logically, there cannot be more than one omnipotent being, since they would not be able to occupy the "omni" in the same place and same relationship.
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      May 16 2011: Is God everything?
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        May 16 2011: A few possibilities Tim.

        God is everything, God made everything and is just a "watcher", or even God made everything and then became everything (some point in time will undo that action).

        There are many interpretations of what, who and why is God.

        My favorite happens to not be any idea of God but naturalistic pantheism. "Naturalistic pantheism is the belief that all of existence is somehow connected and is a source of mystical enlightment, but that there is no conscious god present to muck around with things. The Jedi movement is a good example of this." Not because I am a Star Wars fan, but because it is definitely the most difficult to try and comprehend/explain in an entirety.


        Awesome website.
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          May 16 2011: Interesting note on Jedi:

          According to the 2001 census in the UK
          'Jedi' was fourth largest reported religion in the country."
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          May 16 2011: Paul,
          Could it be that there is one God, or energy source, and we have many different names for it/him/her depending on our human belief system?

          I agree with you again dude, in that "there are many interpretations of what, who and why is God". Could it all be the same, and it is our interpretations that are different? I agree with you that everything is connected. Doesn't it say somewhere that we are all made in the likeness of God? Could it be that we are all part of the connected God energy?

          I believe we are energy beings, and all interconnected with the great source of universal energy:>)
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          May 17 2011: Nicholas: [There are many interpretations of what, who and why is God.]

          This semantic ambiguity stifles progress. Words by their nature have points of exclusion. "God" can only have one definition, not according to any superficial name, but rather according to a single attribute: omnipotence. This crosses language boundaries and clarifies understanding.

          Do we want to reason clearly together, or drown everything in deliberate mystery? I don't.
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          May 17 2011: Hi Colleen
          "Could it be that there is one God, or energy source, and we have many different names for it/him/her depending on our human belief system?"
          Could it not equally be that there is one truth about God and many distortions of that truth ?
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          May 17 2011: Peter,
          Yes...it could be. You call other's beliefs "distortions of truth", just as others call your beliefs "distortions of truth". People have different truths/beliefs, based on what we have been taught, or what we have chosen to explore as humans.
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        May 16 2011: @ Tim: Haha I do not doubt it for a second.

        @ Colleen: "Could it all be the same, and it is our interpretations that are different?"

        The only thing that is similar is the human longing for something great or our metaphysical desires for answers and trying to connect them all together. IF that produces a god depends on the individual.

        God is such a vague word as I keep using it over and over again. To some it is the answer, a reason, a correlation, a connection, the end/beginning, and/or a force.

        No matter what form the God comes in as long as the God is benefiting you and the others around you that God is okay with me. If you are not even following the God but a religion that is supposed to be based on a God then that is not okay with me, then your beliefs can be manipulated by others easier then. Christians claim their God is love, but I do not see that being apparent in the majority of them. Remember the caveman argument? They can be great humanitarians on an individual level/short term but dictators of ignorance in the community/long term respect.
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          May 16 2011: I DO remember and appreciate the caveman discussion...LOL:>)

          I agree that we humans have a longing for something great, and that greatness we need to find in ourselves. Whether or not one believes in a god, we make a choice regarding how we live our lives. Are we on the same page? I think you are a wise young man dude:>)
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          May 17 2011: "Christians claim their God is love"

          Voltaire had an interesting story concerning this. He knew a Chinese immigrant (to France) who had been converted in China to Christianity. He had been taught that Christianity was all about loving one another. When he got to Europe, he was very disappointed that he didn't find the Utopian community he had been taught about.
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        May 16 2011: It's funny because you say dude more than I do on TED, lol.

        Yes, we are on the same page.

        "Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them." "A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool."
        - William Shakespeare


        Edited: Tim great add.

        I fear more what follows greatness than greatness itself.
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          May 16 2011: Glad I can entertain you..you're the only one I call dude because you were using it quite a bit for awhile:>)

          I like the page we're on dude:>) Good quote. I'm not afraid of greatness...you?
          I like to think of myself as a wise fool...or is it a foolish wise person? Whatever!

          "Wisdom begins in wonder"
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        May 17 2011: Tim: [Is God everything?]

        Pantheism is ruled out here in light of the fact that our initial goal is to determine an omnipotent being beyond mere materialism. Matter is governed by certain laws that govern the cosmos. Logic is certain and reducible to mathematical certainties. Logic "stacks," revealing certainties that build upward. Empiricism is an attempt to turn the law of causality into a question-begging fallacy (see Hume’s billiards). It's time to break with this flawed philosophy if we are to make any further progress.

        According to current cosmology, spacetime had a beginning. So then, the law of causality indicates the point prior to that very beginning is a state of nothing (literally “no thing). In fact, we can all know this for certain (atheist and believer alike), and appeals to ignorance are fallacious. Causality reaches out retroactively beyond the limits of the natural universe. Thus, it can be argued that cause is literally “supernatural.”

        There is no matter in this state of nothingness, and no time whatsoever. This equates with the concept of eternity. Eternity is the timeless state outside the universe.

        Regarding the cause of the beginning of the universe, there are 3 options:
        1.) The universe began by chance.
        2.) The universe is a continuous series of causal loops, beginnings, or infinite series of big bangs.
        3.) The universe began by intent.

        The first option is immediately ruled out, since “chance” is not an entity in and of itself. In order to “roll dice,” you must have dice to roll in the first place. And since we’re dealing with a state where there is absolutely no pre-existent material (nothing, or literally “no-thing”), then “chance” is utterly ruled out. Again, “chance” is not some sort of entity (theistic or otherwise), so don’t appeal to it as if it were. The effect (the universe) cannot be its own cause in the same time and in the same relationship.

        The second option is the fallacy of infinite regress.

        Welcome to deism. =)
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          May 17 2011: Interesting, but weak argument.

          You can't assume nothingness at the start. A many-worlds framework offers one alternative.

          Plus if "everything" (give me a better word if you have one) includes both material and immaterial "things" then the pantheistic definition seems to fit best. God is all-powerful, god is everywhere, god is the creator, god is all.

          Any definition less than that seems to fall short of what people attribute to god. Unless you're open to a multiplicity of gods. But that's another conversation ...
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        May 17 2011: Colleen: [Could it be that there is one God, or energy source, and we have many different names for it/him/her depending on our human belief system?]

        That is what I believe. I am convinced that the certain evidence for this being can be back-tracked (deductively; rationally) through first principles of logic, being math-based. Math being the measure of all things measurable.

        Quote: "We do know that the laws governing the natural world are simple. We can write them down in simple equations, we can program computers to simulate them. . .and from great simplicity we derive immense complexity." - Martin Rees

        "Simulation hypothesis" in science is only one such example, as seen in the series, "What We Still Don't Know" with Martin Rees. Science and philosophy are converging. This nexus of academia has encountered evidence of A Being that you cannot suppress through mere forced skepticism.

        Evidence is objective. Persuasion is subjective.
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          May 17 2011: Paul,
          It is what I believe as well, and what I observed with a near death experience. I agree that the laws governing the natural world are simple, and I'm a simple person. The theory that you and I agree on seems very sensible and simple, and "from great simplicity we derive immense complexity". I believe everything is interconnected including science and philosophy, and it is now time for humans to recognize the interconnectedness.
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        May 17 2011: NO
        if he is everything then you are also GOD
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          May 17 2011: Yes. We are all part of the same energy...in my humble opinion:>)
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          May 17 2011: Isn't God in everything AbdelRahman?
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          May 17 2011: @ Coleen.......................I am using metaphor but I see no other way to even speak of God .
          God is a divine fire and we are all sparks of that fire
          I am a panentheist not pantheist.
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          May 18 2011: Hi Colleen

          "You can use whatever word you like Peter:>)"
          Sorry I couldn't get this in sequence. {TED please let us reply to ourselves!}

          OK, if we use spirit then, isn't that equivalent to god ? He is a spirit & we all have a spirit that is "in his image". That makes us all part of the "whole" as I think you believe.
          Where do we differ ?

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          May 18 2011: Hi Peter,
          I percieve the words spirit, soul, god, and energy as interchangable, and I prefer to use the word energy. I percieve us as interconnected energy beings, and there is no "he" (referring to god) in my belief system. That is one idea we seem to differ on. You believe in a he/god and we (humans) are seperate. I believe we are all interconnected with the universal energy.

          Another area we seem to differ on, is your belief that your god, and the dogma you have chosen is the one and only "right" path to take. I base this understanding on reading many of your comments. I believe there are many different paths to take in this life journey, and any path that is beneficial to an individual, while also beneficial to the whole, is good. How we live our lives is the important part, whether we embrace any particular religious or philosophical teachings...or not.
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          May 18 2011: Hi Colleen

          The bible talks of a believer's body being the "Temple" of the "Holy Spirit". As the Holy Spirit is God, then our bodies are inhabited by god. In the final analysis we receive "Heavenly Bodies" which will make the union closer. There is also a human spirit, which inhabits believers & non-believers alike. That spirit is also immortal. My take on it is that ultimately believers' spirits are absorbed into Gods Spirit, & non-believers exist outwith God; but that is just my way of seeing it.

          It is true that I have certain beliefs. They are borne out of searching, just as yours are. Many think as you do, that there are many roads to god;or whatever. Do you believe in eternal life/existance, or what ? Why ?

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          May 18 2011: Peter,
          I'm well aware of what the Bible talks about...I had 12 intense years of it! You can believe whatever you like, and quoting the bible over and over again, does not make it truth. I certainly do NOT believe that those who think the Bible is the only valid source of information are "absorded into Gods Spirit & non-believers exist outwith God". That did not make any sense to me even as a kid.

          I believe the energy that is the core of my being, continues on after the body is dead, which I've stated many times. I believe this because I witnessed it with a near death/out of body experience.
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          May 18 2011: Peter,
          I had 12 years of Bible study while attending Catholic schools. My mother knew the Bible from cover to cover. You know what impressed me the most? She lived her beliefs. She didn't think she was better than anyone else, nor did she constantly try to convert others to her way of thinking/feeling/believing. She did not believe she was going to heaven, while others suffered eternally because they did not believe in the bible. She was unconditionally loving, compassionate, humourous, and joyful, even when facing challenges. That is where my true learning came from.
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          May 19 2011: Hi Colleen
          I was perhaps lucky in that I had no childhood indoctrination to contend with. I came to the bible as a relatively dispassionate adult. I cannot really apologise for mentioning the bible in a site named "Who is God?"
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          May 19 2011: Peter,
          You asked me what I believe in and why. I answered your question. I don't see any apology from anyone is needed.

          The point I was making, is that I learned the contents of the Bible with 12 years of study. My mother, who lived the teachings of the Bible, showed me something more valuable, than simply knowing the verses.
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          May 19 2011: Hi Colleen

          I agree; it's what we do with the information that's important. All books can be used for good or bad. Normally the bible has a beneficial effect on folks; but not always, I must admit. At the end of the day people are just people; bible or no; & people are good at mistakes.

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          May 19 2011: Peter,
          So, we agree that it is what we do with the information that's important, and we agree that people are just people:>) People are people.........who make choices.

          You say your take on it is that "ultimately believer's spirits are absorbed into God's Spirit, and non-believers exist without God". (I changed "outwith" to "without"...hope that was your intended meaning?). That's kind of what the church tried to convince me of...believers would go to heaven and be embraced by God, while non-believers went to hell without God's love.

          The Bible tells us to love one another correct? Is it a loving act to send folks to an eternity of suffering? Logically, what happens to the little child who is born in a region where the bible is not accessable? To hell with him/her? Oh no...that one goes to purgatory...another place where god denies his/her love? These are the kinds of questions I asked myself as a kid because what I was being taught by the church, just didn't seem to make sense. Love my neighbor...ONLY if he/she is Catholic? Believe that I am blessed and will reside in the loving spirit of God because I happen to be born into the "right" family? To me, that just doesn't make any sense. If it does to you...so be it:>)
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          May 20 2011: Hi Colleen

          I know exactly where you are coming from, & wrestle with that myself at times. Further confusion is added by the particular view of the Catholic Church; much of which I cannot get from my bible. I will give my view on it as best I can.
          1. There can be no sin in heaven, or it wouldn't be heaven.
          2. We are born sinful, therefore we cannot go to heaven.
          3. Adam & Eve were perfect eternal beings, but chose to sin & infected us.
          4. The only cure is the death of another perfect eternal being; ie Jesus.
          5. It only works if we personally trust in him.

          We can discuss the fairness of the plan for ever. However god has shown a very real commitment to us by living among us & suffering on the cross. It is his wish that everyone would come to him, but it has to be our choice. I believe he will be fair with everyone, & the opportunity that they had in this life will be factored in. ie a native in a jungle who never saw a bible will not be expected to know what it says. However the bible clearly states that we should believe because of the beauty & intricacy of nature.
          I suppose it really boils down to whether the bible is true or not. If it's not, then we have no problem. If it is, then we should really pay attention to what it says (not what the Pope or Archbishop say it says). There are two clinchers for me.
          a. If god exists, he is a lot smarter than me & worthy of trust.
          b. How else do we get off this planet in one piece ?

          So neither of us knows for sure, but it's always best to remove the baby before throwing out the bath water.

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          May 21 2011: Peter,
          You have given your view on it many times....still doesn't make any sense to me. You say "further confusion is added by the particular view of the Catholic Church...". My perception is that the teachings of the church create the confussion. I do not believe we are "sinful, or "infected". There's another contradiction...the bible says we are made in the likeness of God. How can we be "sinful" and "infected" bad people? What it really "boils down to", is how one interprets the holy books, and how one uses that interpretation in
          the life journey.

          Your beliefs regarding an afterlife are the same as S.R. Ahmadi, who says those who do not embrace the Koran will all suffer in hell. You are both excluding a HUGE number of people, and sending them to hell because they don't agree with you. A loving God simply would not do that. I will never believe that those who do not embrace the Bible or the Koran are destined for an afterlife of suffering.
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          May 21 2011: Hi Colleen
          "I do not believe we are "sinful, or "infected"."
          Perhaps you don't watch the news ? Who ever needed to teach child to be selfish?
          We are all entitled to our belief.

          "You are both excluding a HUGE number of people, and sending them to hell because they don't agree with you."
          I do not believe the Koran. I am sending no-one to hell; & it is irrelevant whether they agree with me. It is true that most will go to hell, because that is our default fate. As I firmly believe that I am compelled by compassion to warn folk. I have nothing to gain personally from people's decisions. What would you have me do ?

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          May 21 2011: Peter,
          Of course I watch the news, and of course we are all entitled to our belief. I agree that it is irrelevant whether others agree with you. If you believe that "most will go to hell", so be it. It just seems like a very unkind belief to me, influences how we live our lives and interact with others. If you are "compelled by compassion to warn folk", believe it is the one and only belief, then you're not very open to others' beliefs, and that's ok if it is your choice.
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          May 21 2011: Colleen

          I believe because of the evidence. I would not be floating about this site if I was afraid of contrary evidence. We all want the truth & if there is evidence that I am wrong, then I want to hear about it. I doubt if the truth is much affected by people's opinions.
          This site is full of smart people who dislike the bible; a bit of a minefield for the likes of me, I enjoy the banter though.
          I believe I will live forever, I have many friends who believe the same, I have many friend who think I'm nuts, but I pray for them anyway & love being around them. I think my outlook on life is productive. It's ok to be different.

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        May 17 2011: Hi Colleen
        If current scientific theories are correct, then energy & matter are the same basic stuff. I understand what you mean, but from my perspective "spirit" would be a better word than energy.

        "In fact, energy can be transformed into massive particles, and mass can be transformed into energy. "

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          May 17 2011: Correct Peter...."energy can be transformed into massive particles (like humans), and mass can be transformed into energy (like the state we are in when not in human form).
          You can use whatever word you like Peter:>)
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          May 18 2011: No Tim
          GOD= The Creator
          we= The Creatures
          the only relation is we have been created by him but He is not the earth He is not the sun he is not us
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        May 17 2011: Tim: [You can't assume nothingness at the start. A many-worlds framework offers one alternative.]

        Then you're simply bumping a finite universe(s) theory back and begging the question. Steady state has been falsified. Thus. there is a beginning to the universe no matter how you interpret it. Please be careful to critically analyze your own alternatives before submitting them.

        Therefore, by deductive logic, there was nothing prior to the something that has been determined to begin (literally "no thing"). Which brings us back to the initial 3 options I gave. Do try again.

        Tim: [Plus if "everything" (give me a better word if you have one) includes both material and immaterial "things" then the pantheistic definition seems to fit best.]

        ^ Are you asking me to sort out your own thoughts and terms for you here? Let's not needlessly over-complicate this. The universe is the something where there once was nothing. Therefore I am totally within rights to reasonably conclude "nothing" as a presupposition.

        Tim: [God is all-powerful, god is everywhere, god is the creator, god is all.]

        Then your version of God is subject to entropy and deterioration. Sorry. You're also making a leap between "creator" and the creation ("all"). Why must the primum movens be the same as that which is created? To suit a pantheistic bias? If they're the same, then all this boils down to is a more decorative version of steady state or infinite regress; both of which are incorrect.
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          May 17 2011: Actually, my preferred word when discussing this is "the totality". "Universe" and "everything" are too limiting. Considering an infinitely continuous multiverse where our universe, at this moment, is merely a cross-sectional slice gives a good model with no beginning nor end. Yes, entropy has always been seen to increase in this universe, but that can be counterbalanced with an entropy decrease in other universes. This seems like a simpler explanation to me (there may be others) compared to assuming nothingness as a starting point and then a random something caused by a cosmic consciousness's hiccup.

          But perhaps your interpretation better suits your cosmogonical and eschatological bias.
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        May 17 2011: Tim: [Actually, my preferred word when discussing this is "the totality". "Universe" and "everything" are too limiting.]

        Because you want to consider the merely speculative "as-if" it were something worth considering, correct?

        You got your science-fiction in my science and vice-versa. "You got your peanut butter in my chocolate!" >;)

        Tim: [Considering an infinitely continuous multiverse where our universe, at this moment, is merely a cross-sectional slice gives a good model with no beginning nor end.]

        So now the merely speculative is worth as much as what we can deduce? "What if" = "What is"?

        Tim: [But perhaps your interpretation better suits your cosmogonical and eschatological bias.]

        Eschatology has nothing to do with this, because we're talking about beginnings of the universe; not the end.

        Where is the assumption of God anywhere within the premise of my proof? No, I began with the finite natural world, and build upward from its observable contrast.

        Maybe if you wanted to debate, then you should not have posted this in the "Questions" category. Hm? You asked, and I answered. It's very simple to think about without the forced ambiguity and cheap loopholes based on pure speculation.
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          May 17 2011: You're right. I took advantage of your presence to bounce off some ideas (debating rather then questioning). Sorry if it upset you. But it was informative for me.

          btw - Just for my future reference. In researching our "debate" I came across the following in Hugh Everett's disertation on "The Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics"


          "Therefore, if one were to define the total entropy to be the negative of the total information, one could replace the usual second law of thermodynamics by a law of conservation of total entropy, where the increase in the standard (marginal) entropy is exactly compensated by a (negative) correlation entropy."
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        May 17 2011: Tim: [You're right. I took advantage of your presence to bounce off some ideas (debating rather then questioning). Sorry if it upset you. But it was informative for me.]

        Conclusively so, I hope. Otherwise, it's all just a waste of time.

        BTW, was the Everett quote meant to signify anything, or are you just being cryptic? Are you using the QM reference as-if it were a theory-of-everything? Bear in mind that quantum theory is composed of several competing theories that are still inconclusive.
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          May 17 2011: Just learning as I go along. The MWI is intriguing to me. Lots of things fit nicely. And hopefully these discussions can serve as future notes.

          The second law of thermodynamics argument keeps coming up in discussions. This is an interesting perspective on it.
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      May 16 2011: I am not persuaded. I do not think that omnipotence is the one attribute by which God must be defined. An omnipotent mafioso would not be God, but would be an omnipotent monster.

      In defining God, we begin with the question, what are we trying to accomplish by defining God? It is only in relation to that question that we can determine what would be the best definition of God.

      God has been defined by reference to various perfections in the past because the purpose of the exercise was to identify the ideal perfect being: God is that than which nothing better is conceivable.

      With that purpose in mind, God has generally been thought of as a spirit (a conscious being with cares and concerns) with omnibenevolence, omniscience, and omnipotence.

      What are you trying to do when you define God solely by omnipotence?

      Perhaps you only mean that any omnibenevolence and omniscience God has is limited by his omnipotence. I believe it goes the other way around: To the extent that there might be any inconsistency between omnibenevolence, omniscience, and omnipotence, it is omnibenevolence that controls the other two. In other words, God's omnipotence does not extend to the power of destroying God's omnibenevolent nature. If it did, God would be less than that than which nothing better can be conceived.

      Once we admit this, then your argument that there could not be more than one omnipotent being fails. To the contrary, there could be an infinite number of omnibenevolent omnipotent beings since, by necessity, they would be perfect allies. (To the extent that you would argue that perfect allegiance entails absolute unity, I would respond that you underestimate God's omnipotence. If God chooses to be a numerical many in perfect allegiance, then it will be so. Here we have hit upon the possiility of a Trinity or even an Infinity).
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        May 16 2011: If you define God in terms of a value judgement (omnibenevolence), doesn't that imply a subjectiveness?

        Good according to who's perspective?
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          May 17 2011: The way out of (selfish) subjectivity is to move, by way of empathy, into intersubjectivity. The way out of limited intersubjectivity is to move by way of universalized, omniscient empathy into universal intersubjectivity which is just another name for objectivity.

          The Good is what is good according to everyone's perspectives. Each person's perspective reveals many aspects that many things have. Generally, each thing in the world, each possibility, each event, etc. has good aspects and bad aspects. Those aspects are the goodness or badness that the thing, possibility, event, etc. has relative to each person's cares and concerns. We get beyond our own selfishness (subjectivity) by admitting that the aspects of value dependent upon ourselves are not the only value aspects of the relevant things, events, possibilities, etc, but that the value aspects that arise out of other peoples cares and concerns are just as real as our own.

          God's omnibenevolence is just in this. God always loves every other being with cares and concerns. God always recognizes the reality of the values that are based upon each other beings cares and concerns.

          God is perfectly omniscient. His knowledge of another's cares and concerns is so totally concrete that they are expereinced by God as God's own cares and concerns. Consequently, the Golden Rule is God's necessary nature. What God does to others, God does to God's self. Accordingly God will only do to others what God would do to God's self.

          God's omnibenevolence is directed at every other being with cares and concerns. Of course, the cares and concerns of different people are often in conflict. Hence, The Good, as known by God, is what is good when all person's cares and concerns have been taken into the account.

          No aspect value is by itself The Good (all things Considered). But every aspect value is truely an aspect value. Subjective value is true value from which The Good (all things considered) is derived.
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          May 17 2011: Tim has a point. IF "The Good" is what is good according to everyone's perspectives, then it is worth no more than 6-billion-plus opinions and therefore subjective to the point of being ridiculous.

          ITGBTC: [Generally, each thing in the world, each possibility, each event, etc. has good aspects and bad aspects.]

          ^ Which is begging the question on so many levels. What objective good? How is this even a "general" rule to begin with? And if uncertain, then how can you assert such yourself with any confidence whatsoever?
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          May 17 2011: Nicholas: [No, it does the opposite. It progresses people into considering that the way they think is not how everyone thinks. More thoughts more progress not vice versa.]

          Then begin from there. Use it as the means; not the ends. You're forcing "many interpretations" into its own final indeterminate. . .instead of using it as a springboard.

          Nicholas: [The only "nature" word's have is what the society that uses that language create a consensus on to be, check out linguistics. "To polish the silverware in a Polish way."]

          I'm proposing a new paradigm. Welcome to TED.

          Nicholas: [No, God has many definitions. This is where you are entirely wrong.]

          Which is another certainty statement on your part.

          "God" is not limited to the English language. Therefore, we can only understand the concept of this being through certain attributes. The strongest case being omnipotence. Thus, omnipotence becomes the litmus test for all supernatural beings who aspire to the title "God."
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          May 17 2011: ITGBTC: [Not at all. I was trying to point to the ambiguity from which the discussion starts so that we can make rational choices about how that ambiguity should be resolved.]

          I have a solution. Go deeper than mere superficial names and titles.

          ITGBTC: [One thing we will note is that there is a question as to what is the most essential feature in defining God.]

          There is no question when those features and attributes are compared.

          ITGBTC: [But that question is not "objectively" answered by Theology either, because there are questions about what exactly we are trying to acomplish with Theology and what are the best methods for accomplishing that.]

          Not really, because once omnipotence is used as the litmus test for all beings who vying for the title of "God," then the field is narrowed dramatically. All pantheons, for example, never make the cut. Why? Because each individual has a point of origin and falls short of the ability of self-sustaining being. Thus, non-omnipotent.

          ITGBTC: [Since theology is generally thought of as being something like the development of a theory of God and related matters,]
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          May 17 2011: ITGBTC: [. . .the question of how we should define God is something that gets answered together with the questions of what we are trying to accomplish with theology and what are the best methods for doing so.]

          Which is begging the question as to what those methods are. I'm here to break the circular reasoning. Are you here to maintain it?

          ITGBTC: [The question of what any word SHOULD mean is never as objective as you want it to be.]

          Then I don't have to trust this above absolute statement at all. Honesty in semantics is rule number 1. Words are all we have. Your very life can and will depend on the meaning of mere words, whether during a trial or in an ER. Yeah, it's all fun and games until you're on life support.

          I'm proposing a practical solution that objectively separates Thor from Yahweh. Omnipotence is the litmus test. Anyone rising to that standard can only rightly be called the supreme being.
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          May 17 2011: ITGBTC: [You confuse the power to enforce a standard of Good with being a standard of Good.] Stop and think. You're begging the question on a "standard of good" to begin with. You're flip-flopping between stating good "as-if" it were objective, and then declaring it subjectively-based on a worldwide scale.

          ITGBTC: [Power is good only in so far as it is useful.] This here is an appeal to utilitarianism. . .phrased as an absolute no less.

          Omnipotence is not a "controlling feature" of God, because we're discussing essential being here. I am saying that it is the defining attribute of very being.

          You also speak of God as if this Being's existence were a given that has already been established. This too begs the question.

          ITGBTC: [If we were to split God in two. . .] Then I face a dilemma: If I choose to follow your pure speculation (as if it had any real value beyond the merely speculative) then the being you propose is not omnipotent, being a hypothetical and contradictory pantheon. Case closed.

          The Holy Spirit and the "omnipotent spirit" refer to the same being. Can a Trinitarian model be proven from a deistic omnipotence? Absolutely, since an omnipotent psyche (self-awareness and self-image) would create a harmonious dualism (A, B) that share an unbroken and living will (C) that take on the attributes of the self and self-image. Three persons, but one essence--or essential nature.
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          May 17 2011: Tim, Nicholas, and Garden,

          Please understand that if you're going to propose a counterargument or an alternative to my proposal, then you must be willing to endorse it as not just merely possible, but probable in order to even qualify as intellectually honest. Why bother considering a half-hearted disagreement when you're not even fully committed to it yourself?

          But I am a certaintist resorting to deductive reasoning. If any counterargument is to stick, it cannot merely be probable. It has to be certain.

          See? In order to counter my deductive certainty, then you yourself must embrace a competing certainty of your own.

          Are you willing to marry yourself to such a thing? If not, then you're pretty much finished here.

          And just in case anyone's thinking about it, "The only absolute is that there are no absolutes," is itself an absolute statement begging the question. So yes, for this reason you're all going to need a better argument.
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          May 18 2011: Helen: [Some of your posts are very astute, but God is not a being.]

          Then you're pushing the assumed definition of "God" into deliberate obscurity. You're fronting with a definition that is more vague, and as a result less trustworthy. Your ultimate Tao is hidden and therefore pure mysticism. If hidden, then I cannot trust those who claim to know it even exists.

          I am offering a more rational alternative here in appealing to something that is knowable.

          In answer to your statement, God is a being based on the fact that the material universe had a beginning. That fact leads to a process of deductive certainty. If a beginning, then by contrast there was "no-thing" prior to that beginning. If non-material, then there is no spontaneous cause. "Chance" is not an entity. "Chance" is merely a clever placeholder for "we don't know."

          Once chance is ruled out, then the only deductive conclusion is intent. "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

          Intent = evidence of a being.
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          May 19 2011: Hi Paul,

          Our differences seem to be multiplying geometrically. Lets see if I can step back so that we might have a listening match (rather than a boxing match).

          You said: "an omnipotent psyche (self-awareness and self-image) would create a harmonious dualism (A, B) that share an unbroken and living will (C) that take on the attributes of the self and self-image."

          Can you expand on this so I might understand what you are saying.
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        May 17 2011: ITGBTC: [I am not persuaded.]

        "Persuasion" is subjective. Evidence is objective. You have no objective reason to object. This is not about your will.

        ITGBTC: [In defining God, we begin with the question, what are we trying to accomplish by defining God?]

        ^ Circular argument on your part. The term "God" must have meaning to begin with. Are you deliberately trying to submerge the discussion in ambiguity?

        ITGBTC: [What are you trying to do when you define God solely by omnipotence?]

        I am trying to simplify everything you've summarized in your post; omnipotence being the umbrella term for everything you've cited.

        - If omnipotent, then capable of omniscience.
        - If omnipotent, then not limited to form.
        - If omnipotent, then the only standard of good by which all else is measured.

        Your use of "omnibenevolence" is rather circular, because it first assumes a "good" within the root of the term itself, which begs the question. How do we know God is omnibenevolent? Through omnipotence. Begin with the "omni" of the universe itself before anything else, and you will then form the relationship that leads to the value judgements (the benevolent).

        Therefore, no contradiction.
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          May 17 2011: @ Paul - I never break down people's writing extensively like I am about to but I will in this case because we are on completely different wave lengths.

          *[There are many interpretations of what, who and why is God.]*

          "This semantic ambiguity stifles progress."
          No, it does the opposite. It progresses people into considering that the way they think is not how everyone thinks. More thoughts more progress not vice versa.

          "Words by their nature have points of exclusion."
          The only "nature" word's have is what the society that uses that language create a consensus on to be, check out linguistics. "To polish the silverware in a Polish way."

          ""God" can only have one definition, not according to any superficial name, but rather according to a single attribute: omnipotence. This crosses language boundaries and clarifies understanding."

          No, God has many definitions. This is where you are entirely wrong.

          God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions (and other belief systems) who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism. God is most often conceived of as the supernatural creator and overseer of the universe. Theologians have ascribed a variety of attributes to the many different conceptions of God. The most common among these include omniscience (infinite knowledge), omnipotence (unlimited power), omnipresence (present everywhere), omnibenevolence (perfect goodness), divine simplicity, and eternal and necessary existence. (Wikipedia)

          "Do we want to reason clearly together, or drown everything in deliberate mystery? I don't."

          You are creating no reasoning by limiting God to a single omnipotence characteristic and mysteries are a part of human philosophies through out time. In fact those mysteries create God in a lot of situations. So, you may feel God is omnipotent, doesn't mean everyone does. God could be don't get me wrong, but just as likely in any other form also.
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          May 17 2011: Hi Paul,You say, "The term "God" must have meaning to begin with. Are you deliberately trying to submerge the discussion in ambiguity?"

          Not at all. I was trying to point to the ambiguity from which the discussion starts so that we can make rational choices about how that ambiguity should be resolved.

          The word "God" is three letters long. It is made of ink or graphite on paper, or sound waves, or pixels on a computer screen. There is no law of nature that I am aware of that connects it to any particular meaning.

          So how should we decide what definition to attach to this material object: the word "God"?

          We could do what dictionary writers do and try to describe how the word has been used in many various contexts. If we are careful, we shall come up with many various shades of meaning. One thing we will note is that there is a question as to what is the most essential feature in defining God. A dictionary writer would not resolve that question because his/her purpose is just to catalogue the actual meanings. The variations result from the fact that poeple argue about what the best theology would be. Thus, the question about what the most essential feature of God is happens to be a theological question rather than a question of lexicography.

          But that question is not "objectively" answered by Theology either, because there are questions about what exactly we are trying to acomplish with Theology and what are the best methods for accomplishing that. Since theology is generally thought of as being something like the development of a theory of God and related matters, the question of how we should define God is something that gets answered together with the questions of what we are trying to accomplish with theology and what are the best methods for doing so.

          It is all a question of what exactly would be best when we decide what meaning to attribute to this three letter word : God.

          The question of what any word SHOULD mean is never as objective as you want it to be.
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          May 17 2011: Hi Paul,

          You said:" If omnipotent, then the only standard of good by which all else is measured."

          You confuse the power to enforce a standard of Good with being a standard of Good.

          Power is good only in so far as it is useful. It's value derives from the value of that for which it is useful. An omnipotent being is good in so far as it possesses all useful powers. Its value derives from the value of all things for which it is useful.

          Omnipotence is not the controlling feature of God because it is merely useful for God. So long as you do not understand what it is that God wants and why God wants it, you cannot answer the question as to what God's most essential defining feature is because you have not hit upon what it is that is the impulse of God''s nature.

          Along with many others, I am arguing that the impulse of God's nature that makes use of God's omnipotence is love (the Holy Spirit): perfect, unblemished, unconditional love for spirit (conscious beings with cares and concerns).

          If we were to split God into two: the Holy Spirit and the omnipotent spirit, which then would be the standard of Good? Which then would be God? If you say the omnipotent spirit would be, the you answer that question differently than the undivided God would answer that question.
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          May 17 2011: @ Paul.....................Some of your posts are very astute, but God is not a being. God by definition is uncreated and is the ground of being and the horizon of all there IS.
          The most intelligent minds I have seen hold that "The Tao that can be named is not the Eternal Tao"

          @ Nick..................You don't make sense either.
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      May 17 2011: @ Paul

      You are most certainly not creating anything new.

      Also since you are the minority you must be the one explaining yourself. Why not start from no god?
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        May 17 2011: Nicholas: [You are most certainly not creating anything new.]

        As they say, "The Devil's in the details," which assuredly aren't new.

        However, the paradigm shift is new, because it asks why certain past philosophies and classical logic were only assumed to be disproven. Is the law of non-contradiction, for example, an absolute? If deductive logic still exists, then why can't we use it to get us out of the rut of vague discussion?

        Why not? All you guys are doing is suppressing truth as if the meandering search for it were the ends in and of itself, rather than the means.

        Are you an existential absurdist Nicholas?
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          May 17 2011: Edited: You are limiting reality and thus you are not worth time.

          Limiting God, understandings, and even definitions.

          As I propose open-ended educations, you propose ignorant fundamental foundations interpreted as a benefit to understanding something that has no foundational facts but philosophies. Certainties create reality in relation (mainly a response) to un-certainties. Too much of either is bad, but more certainty than un-certainty can only prove more beneficial than vice versa. You do not understand reality any better than I do, you are limited to your cognition in reflection/relation to true-reality which creates your actuality. Your actuality creates your interpretations and that is all that you are defending here. That is it, nothing real, nothing of scientific value.

          You are confusing ideas and bending language at your own will to prove your points.

          To add: "What is your goal when it comes to "freedom of thoughts?" Does it mean to blithely "collect" varied opinions but never get anywhere with any one in particular?"

          A huge part of life is to create your own meaning and to not interpret other peoples meanings but to only take them into considerations as a reference of your own thoughts. Live life. This value is so rare but valuable, skepticism is the greatest practice in the world.
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          May 19 2011: Hi Paul,

          You said "If deductive logic still exists, then why can't we use it to get us out of the rut of vague discussion?"

          Does deductive logic find anything that was not in the idea from which the deduction was drawn?
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        May 17 2011: Nicholas: [If by being the devil means you are really wrong.]

        No, it's an old expression; an idiom that means truth is ultimately found in thorough review of the details. Maintaining forced ambiguity and relativism is too superficial to get to the level of details.

        What is your goal when it comes to "freedom of thoughts?" Does it mean to blithely "collect" varied opinions but never get anywhere with any one in particular?
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          May 17 2011: @ Nick ...................Numbers please and where did you get them ?
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        May 17 2011: @ Nick..............Are you absolutely certain that Paul is in the minority. And if so, how do you arrive at that ?
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          May 17 2011: @ Helen,

          The minority in this thread of comments, yes.

          But in reality, no. Those who value critical thinking in respect to cognitive science are of the greatest minority.

          Edited: ".........Numbers please and where did you get them ?"


          ".......You don't make sense either."

          Because this one line helps me in understanding where I do not make sense. I am up for criticism but constructive please.
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        May 18 2011: Nicholas: [You are limiting reality and thus you are not worth time. Limiting God, understandings, and even definitions.]

        Reality must have a defined meaning to begin with. You're killing "understandings" altogether by diluting the meaning of words like "God." You are on the path that leads to anomie.

        Nicholas: [As I propose open-ended educations, you propose ignorant fundamental foundations interpreted as a benefit to understanding something that has no foundational facts but philosophies.]

        "Open-ended" to what end? Please answer and stop being evasive. Please realize that you yourself are pushing a philosophical template--probably without knowing it.

        Nicholas: [Certainties create reality in relation (mainly a response) to un-certainties.]

        The above here is a certainty statement. Now note the irony of it. My goal is very-very minimal. I'm demonstrating the certainty of an omnipotent being with no further specifics beyond that. This model is deism to the core.

        Nicholas: [You do not understand reality any better than I do, you are limited to your cognition in reflection/relation to true-reality which creates your actuality.]

        How do you know this for certain? And please stop with the vague Qui-Gon Jinn references.

        Nicholas: [You are confusing ideas and bending language at your own will to prove your points.]

        Language is non-fungible. You're protesting my "bending" your agenda of equivocation is all.
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        May 18 2011: Nicholas: [A huge part of life is to create your own meaning and to not interpret other peoples meanings but to only take them into considerations as a reference of your own thoughts.]

        But in this end, such "reference" is merely "considered" and goes nowhere. Your form of relativism is cliche to the point of existentialist madness. Your posts do nothing more than sell others on a dead-end in reasoning; stripping meaning of all value whatsoever. I used to be an absurdist. I used to believe this propaganda. All it does is make us both look like we're grunting and screaming at each other incoherently.

        I value your words much more than that.

        Please do yourself the favor of doing the same.

        Nicholas: [This value is so rare but valuable, skepticism is the greatest practice in the world.]

        Skepticism is a means to an ends; not the ends in and of itself. There is nothing wrong with healthy skepticism. But when skepticism is elevated to its own virtue, you learn nothing.

        And I guarantee you've never even utilized skepticism to any useful length. Unlike say, Descartes. In so doing, he discovered a certainty he could build a foundation upon; leading up to God.
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          May 18 2011: Have you read a modern psychology, anthropology, education and/or neuroscience article, and/or scholarly journal? If you had you would of discovered a phrase called "critical thinking" and that is what I am talking about when I refer to actions that should be remained open.

          Your "paradigm" is based off a restricted idea of God. All your logical defenses are being used for an invisible product. I do not have a product, I practice open-endedness and preach it, perhaps it is a "philosophical template" but it is still up for criticism. You keep asking what will I get, what will I receive from my way? I will get more answers, more ideas, more considerations, more theories, more questions, but still why? Great question, it is because I am a critical thinker, it is because I can handle the world's information happily.

          You on the other hand seem to have done the following: You had a faith, realized it was full of holes, learned logic and now are able to defend your ideas better by being against loose ideas and unclear reasoning by your terms. Well your terms are pretty lame. You are tying every idea (that you like) of what God could be into one idea and that is really useless. You are denying cultures, human experiences and life, while I attempt to understand the connections, you feel the connections are apparent and decided they should be connected involving God. Yet you do not consider cognitive science and critical thinking into the debate. CS = our mind CT = how to use it

          Skepticism is a tool/skill. Descartes was not religious, he openly was, but that was during the time in which Galileo was being publicly made an example of. One of the ideas revolving around his death was he was killed by a priest. Also he was one of the first philosophers to create critical thinking in a scientific method.

          We are similar you and I except one key fact. I know I do not know, you think you know.

          I don't know if God is omnipotent, maybe. Just as likely in any other form.
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        May 18 2011: Nicholas: [If you had you would of discovered a phrase called "critical thinking" and that is what I am talking about when I refer to actions that should be remained open.]

        And indefinitely so at that. Look, we get it already. I know what critical thinking is and your statement comes across as deliberately condescending. Just look up the wiki entry. It's a mess. Maybe that's why you resorted to the "read a book" defense. To think critically does not mean to leave an issue open to perpetual doubt forever.

        Nicholas: [Your "paradigm" is based off a restricted idea of God.]

        What God? Hello, you have never attempted to define "God." Your goal is to perpetually drown the term into total ambiguity. In which case, any attempt at discussion would be meaningless. The first step in any discussion about "God" is to come to a reasonable definition. You refuse to even go that far, which isn't intellectually honest at all.
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          May 18 2011: "To think critically does not mean to leave an issue open to perpetual doubt forever."

          It could be, and that is the point of critical thought, to determine whether the issue should be open or closed. Critical thinking is thinking which helps you figure out whether you
          should believe some claim, and how strongly you should believe it.

          Your claim "God = omnipotent" My claim "I don't know"

          ***[Your "paradigm" is based off a restricted idea of God.]***

          "What God? Hello, you have never attempted to define "God." Your goal is to perpetually drown the term into total ambiguity. In which case, any attempt at discussion would be meaningless. The first step in any discussion about "God" is to come to a reasonable definition. You refuse to even go that far, which isn't intellectually honest at all."

          Because "God" doesn't matter. My only mistake was pursing this conversation, not in my referencing, meanings, and/or definitions of "God". I find once we connect all ideas of God we will understand what "God" actually is in relation to human actualities. A crutch, a driving force, an answer, and/or a foundation of religion. A necessary delusion. There is no reasonable definition of "God", everyone interprets that word differently depending on who, what, where, why and when they are/were born on this planet.

          Take your own advice and stop worrying about ambitious ideas of God, because no matter how hard you try unless you are approaching God as an ignostic you are only approaching God as you think God exist. Which again not everyone will believe or want to believe. It just so happens there are more believers than non-believers. That is only because traditionalized religions were more popular than traditionalized education of open-ended information, historically and in the present.
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        May 18 2011: Nicholas: [I will get more answers, more ideas, more considerations, more theories, more questions, but still why?]

        Then you're pushing a double-standard. You're assured you will get more answers and ideas when you should be placing the same skepticism to those above terms as you do to the term "God." Fair is fair. What's more is that you cannot even define "critical thinking" even though you pride yourself in being a critical thinker. You're not even honestly defining the term up front, you just make the pretense of knowing what it means and then patronize others as if they should know better.

        Nicholas: [You on the other hand seem to have done the following: You had a faith, realized it was full of holes, learned logic and now are able to defend your ideas better by being against loose ideas and unclear reasoning by your terms.]

        Sorry, but reason doesn't conform to one's own subjective "terms." Logic and reason are objective. Don't tell me you want logic to be as fungible as "God," do you?

        Nicholas: [Well your terms are pretty lame.]

        Words are all we have. Someday your life can and will depend on mere words. The law of non-contradiction is not open to your aesthetic criticism of it. Either we're going to be honest about the terms we throw around or not.
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          May 18 2011: Technically, logic is fungible.

          I would of assumed by your usage of language you were highly intellectual and that I would not need to define all of my terms. Which is what search engines are for considering we are on computers debating term usages. Critical thought may have many ideas behind it, but it is in the end another skill.

          I referring to terms as the set of conditions or statements of what are required as part of an agreement, as terms and conditions, not actual words.
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        May 18 2011: Nicholas: [Skepticism is a tool/skill.]

        Which is odd, because you were originally elevating it to a virtue in and of itself. Tools are meant for a purpose. That is, if I am to place any trust in the terms you're currently using.

        Nicholas: [Descartes was not religious, he openly was, but that was during the time in which Galileo was being publicly made an example of. One of the ideas revolving around his death was he was killed by a priest. Also he was one of the first philosophers to create critical thinking in a scientific method.]

        Then Hume came along after and overturned it. Critical thinking "post-Descartes" stopped at sense-perception alone, where Descartes earlier had taken it further than sense perception.

        Does your pride in critical thinking end at sense perception? Have you given critical thought to the meaning of critical thought itself?

        I doubt it.
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          May 18 2011: Skepticism is a useful tool that will create virtues.

          The rest is non-sense, I'll leave it like that.
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        May 18 2011: Nicholas: [Technically, logic is fungible.]

        Your statement is phrased as a certainty which is at the same time begging the question. You're not demonstrating why you believe this is so. However, logic is math-based, which I can prove according to classical first principles. You can't cheat reason. Even inductive reason has the "problem of induction" which isn't so easily dismissed. Thus, logic is not fungible; not even in a technical sense.

        Nicholas: [I would of assumed by your usage of language you were highly intellectual and that I would not need to define all of my terms.]

        Well now you're simply flip-flopping. You do need to define your terms up front if your going to take up a career of equivocation.

        Nicholas: [Which is what search engines are for considering we are on computers debating term usages.]

        Yet you yourself just made the claim that logic is fungible. Not according to my search it isn't.

        Nicholas: [I referring to terms as the set of conditions or statements of what are required as part of an agreement, as terms and conditions, not actual words.]

        This above statement makes zero sense.
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        May 18 2011: Nicholas: [Skepticism is a useful tool that will create virtues.]

        ^ This makes zero sense. You have never demonstrated how skepticism suddenly becomes a moral argument in and of itself. Your statement is also phrased as a certainty, which again begs the question.

        Nicholas: [The rest is non-sense, I'll leave it like that.]

        So you're denying Hume's philosophy? I'm simply citing the historical facts here.
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      May 19 2011: He is the Source of all things

      The Supreme being

      He gave us his name,it is written in all the bibles across the planet.



      I follow this faith as it is simple and straight to the point but i love science because it is what it is,"a tool created by us to ask questions of our environment" to quote plasma cosmologist Eric lerner.

      Heres a stupid question someone asked me "What colour was adam and eve"

      You'll be surprised what most people say
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    May 13 2011: My thoughts:

    Language is a very confining notion. The word god is the most transcending one we know of. When we seek the meaning of god it is, I think, not that we really are seeking, but because we want to experience life so the purely physical aspect will resonate with the innermost being of reality, so that we can feel the joy of it.

    People Ultimately take perspective. They are either good or evil, male or female, man or god. God on the other hand is universal he is neither good nor evil, male or female. God has taken no perspective. Once humans say “I am”, they have declared themselves and their position, this is when they become something. God does not say “I am” and so does not have a position.

    When referring to god I think of any religion ever referred to. To me any theory of creation, even scientific, is a belief system because we currently cannot prove it. I believe that all religions (including big bang theory) are one and the same. It is with language that we try to convey the same thing but misunderstand each other.

    A poem from a friend:

    Beware words
    Words betray.

    They blot from our hearts
    What they try to convey.

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    May 11 2011: The Best One to Speak about GOD is GOD him self

    1- No thing is like GOD

    2-GOD does not speak to human directly but to messengers via angels
    Angels listen to GOD and Messenger listen to Angels ,except for the messenger Moses , Allah Spoke to him directly

    our president does not talk to us directly but through media

    3- GOD is not questionable for his acts
    we can not say Why GOD you did that , even if we object , it will not change any thing
    people can not dare to question their boss in small company and they want to question GOD

    4- GOD did not make life just to have a fun with his ability

    5- All people will believe in GOD after death but it will not be accepted

    6-believers will see GOD in haven

    7- disbelievers will never see GOD for ever

    8- GOD gave every man an option to believe or disbelieve he will not force any one
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    May 11 2011: Who is God?

    Allah is the right name for the supreme power, controlling the whole of the universes.
    As far as god is considered, there can be many gods, as worshipped by the ones' who fail to find the real purpose of their lives.

    Its for wise people to know and others to find out as far as they understand themselves first.
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    May 1 2011: Pt2
    Religion being the wrong place in that it would contradict the essence of unity. To discover an entity or a part of an entity as universal as the creator then we'd have to achieve it as one (whole) in order to grasp it. In other words we have to work towards becoming a universal equal (for lack of a better word) to recognize it. First we would have to work on self, conscious self, moral, diversity, free ourself from all prejudice, to attain intent beyond our current unconscious purpose. It only requires conscious and responsible beings to collectively recognize the total sum, this creation, all of it. It takes a certain amount responsibility to become part of a responsible whole.

    To put it more clearly, if we were all to imagine for a moment that nothing existed, you - me - planets - universes, did not exist...then we would not be here to recognize all of creation's Creator. The fact that we are here and exist we should recognize that without us nothing, even a God, will not exist. What does that say? other than We are it, it is us.

    The God we searching for, in my opinion, is the total sum of Creation throughout the infinite universes.
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    May 1 2011: This is a question that no individual can answer to another. No one has the answer except an idea that grew from "hear say" or experience of rational thought. When i say "hear say" I refer to the guidance systems we were raised with by parents or loved ones. In other words we are more likely to be faithful to the idea that was presented by our parents rather than our own concept.

    If we going to analyse who God is, then we must start with the earliest scriptures/myths/teachings to established how mankind progressed in understanding. We will learn that mankind initially held to many Gods and Deities, polytheistic societies, and as time went on certain societies divided into monotheistic i.e. one god. The same way Moses progressed the Hebrew from polytheism so did many Prophets/Messengers teach. However there are some paradoxes or confusion Monotheistism grew. Monotheistism implies - One God yet there are differences. Within the Abrahamic (Semitic) lineage their is veneration to prophets/messengers/manifestations/saints by impervious followers to the degree of deification. In essence it hasn't changed much from Aryan lineage.

    Christianity's doctrine is that their is 'one' God who is three distinct persons/deities. In reality the Jesus is partnered to God or deified.

    Zoroaster proclaimed to ONLY pay attention to one God but in fact Ahura Mazda was a deity among many at the time. Ahura Mazda is an omniscient, but not an omnipotent God.

    Islam taught that their is no deity(s) except Allah (God). Allah is both omniscient and omnipotent. Prophet mohamed is ONLY a messenger. Well technically a messenger and prophet - Nabi and Rasool

    The Bahai's taught their is one God and that Baha'u'alla is a 'manifestation' of God. In reality very much similar to the way Jesus is seen as God's manifestation.

    Having such differences perpetuates confusion and division therefore pertinent to note is that IF one is in search of God then religion is not the place to search. cont...
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    Apr 30 2011: from all these comments, all i can say his whoever god is, he is winning.
  • Apr 30 2011: Many comments reflect abundance of emotions, vacuous statements, wishful, subjective self-thinking thoughts, and religious training/religious upbringing. Parallelly there is deficiency in objective, rational and scientific approach. This could be an indicator that humanity hasn't outgrown its infancy stage.
    • Apr 30 2011: Agree!
      human outgrown today is near 2/27 of its final max. growth.
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        May 1 2011: Hi Ahmadi
        I have a question???

        Can the the term Allah be translated to God? considering that Allah has no gender.


        Does Allah mean Creator or Creation?
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      • May 1 2011: Thanks Richard for your kind words.
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    Apr 30 2011: I define God as an ideal that relates to what we are in the most important aspects of our being.

    There is a category of beings to which we belong. it is the most important category to which we belong. By virtue of belonging to this category we are ends in ourselves. I use the word spirit for naming this category since the usage of that word comes closest to aligning with the category I am talking about. By spirit I mean the kind of beings who are (1) conscious and (2) have cares and concerns. Spirit is consciousness that has cares and concerns.

    God belongs to this category. God is spirit.

    A second category we belong to is rational agents. We are not just spirit, we are beings who serve spirit. We treat the cares and concerns of spirits as reasons for doing things. To the extent we love spirit we are moved by these reasons. We are not perfect rational agents because we do not perfectly love all spirit. We are also imperfect rational agents because we lack knowledge both of all cares and concerns of all spirits and because we lack knowledge of what we should do based on all cares and concerns of all spirits in order to best serve those cares and concerns. Finally, we are imperfect rational agents because we lack the powers necessary to do what is best to serve all cares and concerns of all spirits.

    God also belongs to this category. God is a rational agent. Unlike us God is the perfect rational agent. The point of being a rational agent is to serve spirit. God does not have the defects that make us relatively poor servants of spirit.
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    Apr 30 2011: This is the second half of my definition of God. See the first half below:

    The perfections that set God apart from us are:1) God has omnibenevolence: God loves all spirit infinitely and unconditionally. In other words, God is the Holy Spirit. All the cares and concerns of all spirits enter into God's determination of what to do.2) God has omniscience: God fully knows the cares and concerns of all spirits. God knows them not merely as abstractions, but God knows them so concretetly that God expereinces them as God's own cares and concerns. God also has complete knowledge of what should be done based on all cares and concerns of all spirits to best serve those cares and concerns.3) God has omnipotence: God has all powers necessary to do what is best to serve all cares and concerns of all spirits.

    Thus my Defnintion of God is as follows:God is a perfect rational spirit agent being having omnibenevolence, omniscience, and omnipotence.

    Why should you accept this definition? Because it serves a number of useful purposes. One useful purpose is that the God concept identifies the being we should accept as being the perfect measurer of goodness.While rational spirit agents generally are the measure of all things, God lacks the defects that makes other rational spirit agents imperfect for that task. Thus, God is the measure of truth, and we aspire to become better measures of truth ourselves by aspiring to be more like God in our investigations of reality.

    Our choices as to what methods and concepts we shall use in understanding reality and deciding what is true should be made from a perspective that is as close to the univeral empathetic standpoint of God as we are capable of. The methods and concepts that we should use would be those that are best when all spirits cares and concerns are used to determine what is best.
    • May 1 2011: Dear inthegarden beyondthecave,
      thanks, nice.
      God is higher than perfect.
      God created rational.
      rational is a creature of God, God gifted it to just one creature to find and Know God using it.
      animals not have it. even angles not have it. angles can not do evil doings. just human can.
      wisdom is what God is worshiped by it and Heaven is achieved by it.
      Wisdom is the first thing and most valuable thing God created.
      please read this:
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    Apr 28 2011: God is God. He, She or It is "something" that we've created and/or believe in. It makes us understand why we are here. It's gives our existence meaning.
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    Apr 28 2011: An old Jewish proverb tells us that he is a man that if he lived on earth would be the sort of person whose windows would get broken. Not sure if that counts for anything.
    • Apr 28 2011: Dear James Houston,
      what is meaning?
  • Apr 27 2011: God is the eternal being who not only created our reality but has the only correct perspective of it. He defines Design, Love and Beauty. Jesus Christ is God.
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    Apr 26 2011: God is mystery.
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    Apr 26 2011: the infinite and personal one who makes himself known to and communicate with human beings in different ways.
  • Apr 25 2011: In Praise of God
    When he (upon him be peace) began to supplicate, he would begin with praise and laudation of God (Mighty and Majestic is He). He would say:

    1 Praise belongs to God,
    the First, without a first before Him,
    the Last, without a last behind Him.
    2 Beholders' eyes fall short of seeing Him,
    describers' imaginations are not able to depict Him.
    3 He originated the creatures through His power with an origination,
    He devised them in accordance with His will with a devising.
    4 Then He made them walk on the path of His desire,
    He sent them out on the way of His love.
    They cannot keep back
    from that to which He has sent them forward,
    nor can they go forward
    to that from which He has kept them back.
    5 He assigned from His provision to each of their spirits
    a nourishment known and apportioned.
    No decreaser decreases those whom He increases,
    no increaser increases those of them whom He decreases.
    6 Then for each spirit He strikes a fixed term in life,
    for each He sets up a determined end;
    he walks toward it through the days of his span,
    he overtakes it through the years of his time.
    Then, when he takes his final step
    and embraces the reckoning of his span,
    God seizes him to the abundant reward
    or the feared punishment
    to which He has called him,
    That He may repay those who do evil for what they have done
    and repay those who do good with goodness,27
    7 as justice from Him
    (holy are His names,

  • Apr 25 2011: who is God? by Imam Ali (peace on him):

    Praise is due to Allah whose worth cannot be described by speakers, whose bounties cannot be counted by calculators and whose claim (to obedience) cannot be satisfied by those who attempt to do so, whom the height of intellectual courage cannot appreciate, and the divings of understanding cannot reach; He for whose description no limit has been laid down, no eulogy exists, no time is ordained and no duration is fixed. He brought forth creation through His Omnipotence, dispersed winds through His Compassion, and made firm the shaking earth with rocks.

    The foremost in religion is the acknowledgement of Him, the perfection of acknowledging Him is to testify Him, the perfection of testifying Him is to believe in His Oneness, the perfection of believing in His Oneness is to regard Him Pure, and the perfection of His purity is to deny Him attributes, because every attribute is a proof that it is different from that to which it is attributed and everything to which something is attributed is different from the attribute. Thus whoever attaches attributes to Allah recognises His like, and who recognises His like regards Him two; and who regards Him two recognises parts for Him; and who recognises parts for Him mistook Him; and who mistook Him pointed at Him; and who pointed at Him admitted limitations for Him; and who admitted limitations for Him numbered Him.

    Whoever said in what is He, held that He is contained; and whoever said on what is He held He is not on something else. He is a Being but not through phenomenon of coming into being. He exists but not from non-existence. He is with everything but not in physical nearness. He is different from everything but not in physical separation. He acts but without connotation of movements and instruments. He sees even when there is none to be looked at from among His creation.

    the continue is here:
    http://www.al-islam.org/nahj/ (sermon 1)
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    • Apr 24 2011: Dear Mark Meijer,
      you are right.
      there is no man or dude as God.
      if you want to speak about God there is no way to not use words.
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    Apr 23 2011: God is a person
    • Apr 24 2011: why?
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        Apr 24 2011: good question , He's infinite and perfect , I should have said that He is the perfect person, a reason for why I think that He is a person is the fact that He have identity for example.............
        • Apr 25 2011: many things has Identity. animals have Identity.
          each human has a identity. so now we have 7 Billion God (in form of human) on earth?
          this is polytheism and who has such belief is heathen ; pagan ; polytheist
          as I know God forgive all sins but heathen ; pagan ; polytheist.
          so who created universe. I do not think these Gods on earth can create even one electron.
          please note creation is making from nothing. not from raw material.
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        Apr 25 2011: in my opinion the animals do not have identity because for having identity you have to will , the animals can't will at all, but what I've said is only an example , an reason , do you think that Allah isn't a person?
        • Apr 25 2011: why animals have not will?
          will is Intend, and intend is decide. will (intend) is decide to move.
          for example when a animal decide to walk so it walk. this is intend or will.
          if you mean animals have not wisdom and option between good and evil, yes you are right.
          Allah (God in Arabic language), if you mean from person a human, no God is not a human. but if you mean a thing with attributes (like power, merciful, ....) yes it is.
          person has different meanings.
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    Apr 22 2011: God, to me is God the Father.

    I agree with Terry Givens when he says, "...[the teaching]...That God has a body of flesh and bones is not the revolutionary teaching. God’s physical form is not the point. That God has a heart that beats in sympathy with ours is the truth that catalyzes millions—that he feels real sorrow, rejoices with real gladness, and weeps real tears. This...is an awful, terrible, yet infinitely comforting truth."

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    Apr 21 2011: I believe in something bigger than US, but I think GOD is an intelligence. Explaining would take a book!
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      Apr 22 2011: Christopher: Do you think that humans make up a part of that intelligence or do you consider GOD a distinct being?
  • Apr 21 2011: laws of physics in our universe for humans is like water for a fish in a deep ocean.
    if you ask a fish at the end of a deep and dark ocean: "why our universe has water?" it is like you ask a human "why our universe has laws of physics?"
    maybe the fish reply you: what is water? I do not know water. I not need water. let me do my play. I do not want to believe in sun and its energy and it is not important who created water and me and everywhere is like here. but fish do not know there is air and sun out of water.
    laws of Nature for fish is not laws of Nature for human.

    are the laws of physics at out of our universe same as laws of physics in our universe?

    that fish never seen air. never seen light, never seen sun. and fish do not know sun.
    the story of that fish speaking about sun is the story of human speaking about God.

    Even after all this time The sun never says to the earth, "You owe Me." Look what happens with A love like that, It lights the Whole Sky. ~ Hafiz


  • Apr 21 2011: What would be a better question than who, I think. I have trouble myself with God as a personality, and that's what "who" makes me think of.
    • Apr 21 2011: Better to say what is God. not who is God.
      God is not a person like us. but we can say thing about God.
      so better to say:
      what is God?
  • Apr 6 2011: It Depends on How you want to know God? From which aspect?
    I don't mean that it's Human based Knowledge or people makes God but I mean it's hard ( or impossible) to offer an absolute definition for God.
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      Apr 6 2011: How do YOU know God? Which aspect do YOU know God from?

      There may not be a universal definition for God in your view, but surely, if you believe in God, you have some personal definition of yours.
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        Apr 6 2011: Vasil,

        Fundamentalist will never think as big as someone who is free with thought, try not to overlap question on those who do not do question beyond their own self.

        By being anti-fundamentalist you are going against a lot of people, by being a rationalist you are less likely to be ridiculed.

        Not trying to offend you Vasil, when I had someone say that to me it made me not be upset as much with fundamentalist; instead it made me want to figure out how to simplify that the Abrahamic God is just silly non-sense and stories that were taking FUNDAMENTALLY and not as just literature.

        God as being a force is acceptable, God being a being is not acceptable. (In respects to analytical/critical thought)

        I know I am asking to be targeted now by religious folk, I will respond to any disputes just e-mail me and not make this thread too messy, remember I am allowed my opinion, to attack me is just proving me more right.
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          Apr 6 2011: "Fundamentalist will never think as big as someone who is free with thought, try not to overlap question on those who do not do question beyond their own self. "
          Huh? How did I do that with my question?

          I was just curious to Hesam's personal definition, as per the initial question.
          @Hesam T
          If I looked as if I'm being offensive, I apologize. Didn't meant to be.

          "By being anti-fundamentalist you are going against a lot of people, by being a rationalist you are less likely to be ridiculed."
          And being anti-fundamentalist is not being rationalist? How so?

          "Not trying to offend you Vasil, when I had someone say that to me..."
          No offense taken, but... say what to you? Directly ask for your definition of God?!?
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          Apr 7 2011: Hi Nicholas
          "Fundamentalist will never think as big as someone who is free with thought,"

          You are now 20. Suppose you research your interests for the next couple of decades & come to some firm conclusions, albeit they can be changed if new evidence becomes available. Will that make you a fundamentalist ?
          After all you have already reached the conclusion that fundamentalism is bad, that makes you a fundamental anti-fundamentalist.
          Richard Dawkins is a fundamental Atheist, is he bad ? Or is it really just fundamentalist Christians ?

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        Apr 6 2011: I apologize for my open-endedness,

        "Huh? How did I do that with my question?"

        I wasn't just talking about just the question I am considering all of what I read that you have written. It was meant to be open ended and not directive.

        Questioning is not offensive unless a person considers it to be,

        Being a rationalist you consider their ideals as possible just highly unlikely. The difference from saying no and maybe is the difference between anti-fundamentalism and rationalism.

        "No offense taken, but... say what to you? Directly ask for your definition of God?!?"
        What I said to you is what someone said to me when I was arguing with a person who believes in the Bible and God as a being not a force. When I would try to understand fundamentalism as being more than what it is, you still have to realize no matter what it is just fundamentalism. Instead of questioning it, talk about it. Maybe we should privatize this conversation? E-mail works off my profile1
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        Apr 12 2011: @ Peter

        Yes, all fundamentalist that do not allow new ideas to affect their old ones are bad, it is limiting their personal thought. In history it has limited our human progression!


        I am not anti-fundamentalist, I am a rationalist. I do not say no to the other side of the spectrum but I do not say yes either. God is a great idea; love as force, do good for others. Even Jesus; rich people are evil and help the needy. It is when someone sticks to one book, one story, or one person that there is fundamentalism at it's worse.

        I'll repeat my self again; God is a good idea, the Abrahamic religions are not. Don't just inspire to Jesus, inspire to Jesus-like people in history and today.

        I see black and white and how they make gray. (As apposed to those who say black/white or gray)

        If you are defending fundamentalism you are defending limited thinking to be happy, you are accepting ignorance on a damaging level. That is what I cannot do being a progressive educator, I will never exclude ideas of God, but I will never include the teachings of a religion.
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          Apr 15 2011: Hi Nicholas

          I guess it depends on what you mean by fundamentalist. In my case I guess it means that the bible should be read literally. Many people like to put their own slant on it, to suit their own preferences. They would probably be in the majority, & I guess even I like to water bits down when it gets close to my bone.

          The fact that I agree with the 66 books merely means that this is as close to truth as my search has taken me. It does not imply that I am not open to facts, evidence, opinions from elsewhere. I have been a searcher all my life, & for a while evolution was ok for me. Now I see it as a total hoax. It is built on the fact that variation takes place within a kind, & then extrapolates that all over the cosmos.

          Fruit flies, finches, moths, etc; fair enough, variation within a kind. That doesn't mean abiogenesis ever happened, or that code can appear out of nowhere to change a dinosaur into a seagull. Perhaps I am accepting ignorance on a damaging level, as I don't see the evidence for believing the whole thing. Feel free to enlighten me. I know I am stupid (Dawkins) , & a caveman (Lukowiak), so I won't need reminding.

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        Apr 15 2011: The fact you believe anything in the Bible beyond being a story and stating you are open to new facts and figures is a contradiction in itself.

        I do not discredit faith holders who say God is beyond a holy book, I discredit those who take ONE book and say it has the answers beyond a moral lesson.

        I said cavemen deny evolution, making them the most superior species on the planet by being created that way, I did not say they were any less morally sound than anyone else.

        The details, components, and what effects evolution are still up the in the air I agree, but just by looking at nature itself evolution is everywhere. To deny it is to deny nature.

        A fundamentalist will never open up their ideas to being wrong and will fight to prove they are right, with or with out evidence.

        The Bible is not evidence it is a library of stories. "But it is also eye witness accounts" Yeah hundreds of years after Jesus was supposed to be born.

        You do not need to see the evidence because you did not spend a life time doing the research behind evolution like many have before us and still do today. If it was a hoax it would not be believed true by over 99 percent of the science community who are certificated scientist. I trust their positions on evolution, as well global climate shifting as a result of global warming. No one would waste their life making a hoax credible except a fundamentalist.
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          Apr 16 2011: Hi Nicholas
          Among other things the bible is a book of history, most of it written before it occurred. The narrative of the bible is being played out in the world around us at this moment. That in itself gets my attention.
          The bible was completed by 90AD, or 60yrs after Jesus left planet earth. Much of the new testament penned by eye witnesses.

          It's difficult to get stats on what scientists believe as most sites are biased one way or another. Most scientists probably are un-affected. Plus of course if you believe in creation you will very likely cease to be a 'proper' scientist. This is irrelevant however, it's the evidence that counts. You must have some, please share it.

      • Apr 19 2011: personal definition is what you create it in your mind.
        what you create is your creature.
        God is your creator.
        so what you create is not your creator.
    • Apr 7 2011: The "Who is God" question is fundamental before any discussion about its existence can even start. Nice idea Tim! Maybe this question will help believers realize that it is not their god particularly what atheists don't believe. It is any gods. Maybe they will realize that from an atheistic point of view, their god is but one more imaginary being among many.
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        Apr 7 2011: Hi Gabo ,............ the point is that there are many who talk about the existence of only one God(as me), and from their perspective when they talk with atheistic people they talk of course about one God.
        The problem if there is more gods or not I think is very little an atheistic one.
        • Apr 19 2011: if there was more than one God, their messengers would come to you.
          if there was more than one God, the universe was not such calm and sure there was some war between Gods.
    • Apr 19 2011: who knew himself, knew his God
  • Apr 6 2011: God is safety, God is fairness. The idea of having this magnificent and massive world go without someone, some power to manage doesn't convince me. I believe, it can't, it is so organized that it has to have an organizer behind. Can we have any entity; company run without a manager? let alone our complex universe, not only with the human life, but stars, animals, etc.

    Some believe they can only believe in science and what can be proved to have a scientific rational, that is fine , but we are not only a body, we are a spirit, how can science prove or rationalize soul and spirit?

    I believe in Einstein's words " Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind" " In essence, my religion consists of a humble admiration for this illuminate superior spirit that reveals itself in the slight details that we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds"

    God is science and beyond
    • Apr 7 2011: Leaving aside any discussion about whether the universe is orderly or not, why exactly does an orderly universe need an organizer? Why can't it just be the way it is?
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        Apr 7 2011: Thinking at proportions , the questions I think should be put : why exatcly doesn't and orderly universe (if it is ) need an organizer(more exatcly a creator)?
    • Apr 19 2011: Dear Nevin Elgendy,
      you are right.
      some people say there is no God and this universe is result of big bang and then laws of physics and Darwinism.
      so why our universe has laws of physics?
      who is lawyer of laws of physics?
      is it possible a law exist with no lawyer?
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    Apr 3 2011: No, the question should not be who is God, but what is God?
    The question is too anthromorphic, surely God is not human.
    (My humble opinion of course.)
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      Apr 3 2011: OK Arturo. What is God?
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    Apr 3 2011: It is Sunday morning and I have just come home from church. I am sorry for having this terrible conversation, Mr. Strobl. I am truly ashamed of myself. It is quite obvious I think, that this was a knee jerk reaction. I really do not want to connect with people in this negative way and from now on I will ignore sarcasm and innuendos and stick to what I perceive as reasonable and courteous remarks. Thank you for removing this trash from this forum.
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      Apr 3 2011: God bless Helen.
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        Apr 3 2011: I sincerely appreciate the blessing.
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    Apr 3 2011: In the spirit of TED Conversations, we ask all commenters to contribute to a civil and constructive conversation here at TED.com, and please refrain from insults and personal attacks. Constructive criticism and diverse opinions are welcome, but all posts must adhere to the TED.com Terms of Use: http://www.ted.com/pages/conversations_terms
    Of topic comment threads and comments violating Terms of Use has been removed. Thank you.
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    Apr 3 2011: Our Integrity sells for so little though, in this world, its all we really have.

    It is that very last inch of us, yet in that inch we are truly free.

    Grow up. You know who you are.
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    Apr 3 2011: To Birdia...You are absolutely right .....I cannot stop people from expressing themselves but then neither can you. Right ? And you really don't need to lecture me, but if it makes you feel better, be my guest.
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      Apr 3 2011: Relax Birdia after a while just ignore some people who are not going to be rational to reason under all respects.
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      Mar 31 2011: Word.
      I saw him performing here in Stockholm 9 years ago. Divine rock´n roll ;-)

      This is just a response to Birdia´s comment above and not an answer to the question that started this conversation. But I am reminded of the lyrics of another rock star: "What if God was one of us?" That song always make me feel a little more humble when I approach somebody else, that which many call God might be present in this person in front of me and bless me in a way I can not foresee.
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    • Apr 19 2011: pop is a human like you.
      God is creator of all humans and earth and all sky and nature and all things.
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    Mar 31 2011: You're god Tim.
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      Apr 4 2011: Thanks for the ego boost Nicholas. But last time I checked, I wasn't omnipotent. In fact, I don't even seem to have the power to keep this "question" from turning into a "debate".
      • Apr 20 2011: while human does not have power to escape death he is not free.
        all disease has drug but death.
        human needs many things to survive: air, food, sleep, blood, ...
        so human has very very small power. i.e. no power
        human does not have power to order to a mosquito to go away.
        if a mosquito go into nose it can kill human. (nose has way to brain)
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        Apr 20 2011: @ Tim

        you are god because you have the mental capacities to question what god is, your mental abilities are the most free thing you have as a human. they will take you to the other side of the universe and back if you let them. They would allow you to become anything you want if focused enough. your mind through your consciousness makes you god Tim. As I am god of my thoughts. Also no god in history of literature has been proven to control human nature unless with threats and fear.


        Humans can't escape ANYthing involving nature this is true, but a human can practice discipline in the form of longevity.
        All disease can be learned and master by human intellect.
        Humans have as much power as they dictate they have.
        Humans may not be able to TEL the mosquito to go away, but they can kill, prevent, and/or destroy the entire population or some of the mosquitoes if that was the goal and preset of mind.
        If a mosquito go into nose it can kill human.... so can a nail being forced in by another human. point?
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    Mar 31 2011: God seems to me to be the person that believes in him/her/it.
  • Mar 31 2011: God is Love. Love is God. We are Love.
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      Apr 5 2011: That's nice Melanie. If the word God is the same as the word Love, why do we need the word God?
    • Apr 20 2011: Dear Melanie Simas,
      God is not Love, but Loving God is best thing.
      if you love God, God Love you and and then you become like God.
      when God wants anythings say it be, so it become. and you say be and it become.
      if you want to God love you first you should empty your heart. then God enter your heart.
      it means in your heart should not be love of anything including food, sleep, money, power, being boss, even loving yourself or loving anything else but God.
      just Loving God or loving what God loves it.
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    Mar 31 2011: Hello Tim , I think God is The Reason Itself , I'm saying it for many reasons but and because just being so God could meets all what is known about Him (what's strange is that just God from christianity can be understand as The Reason Itself).
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      Mar 31 2011: Interesting viewpoint Eduard. I think I understand what you mean by "The Reason", but why do you think only the Christian God can be interpreted this way?
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        Apr 2 2011: Hi Tim........ in my mind when I'm thinking at God I associate Him with The Reason, I try to understand Him somehow and I associate Him with it , so I can understand and explain the most things about Him.
        I think that only the Christian God can be interpreted in this way because all I know about Him direct me to this(even though I'm very subjective now) when I read the Bible I can understand Him so without contradictions.
        All other gods have an humanistic representation , He is the single who haven't one (I must say that I don't recognize any representation of this kind, here I can do this in other religions I can't).
        The reason is perfect , right, true and good so if God is The Reason Itself He must be perfect, right,true and good........and now if God is good he can't be a god from pantheism .
        It's easy now to see a link between what's perfect and good with love , so God if He is The Reason He must be love
        ..............and so on about any God qualities.
        The reason is just one because it is perfect (it can't be two and in the same time perfect both) so there is just a God...............the single one who I know that meet all these is the Christian God.
        I'm not trying to praise a God here but in my opinion (with arguments) if there is a God that God is the Christian God.

        You know, sometimes I'm really doubting if I'm doing something good when I'm defending religion but I also know that I'm doing something very good when I'm talking against atheism.
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        Apr 3 2011: Hi Birdia .........thanks.
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    Mar 30 2011: I'm muslim and according to islam God is everything. God can realize people but people cannot do so. God is almighty and he is also kind. One day,finally, people will feel his power and kindness.
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      Mar 31 2011: I'm just curious, why do you are muslim?
      • Apr 20 2011: Dear Eduard Ghiur,
        during history God sent 124000 messenger for people.
        some of them are ADAM, Noah, Ibrahim, Ismael, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad. (peace on them all)
        each messenger had a book from God for people. its letter of God to people.
        when a messenger reach end of his life introduce next messenger by his signs to people can know next messenger by that signs.
        the book of Moses was torah an book of Jesus was Bible and book of Muhammad is Quran (www.tanzil.net). (peace on them all)
        today the original version of books of Moses and Jesus (peace on them) can not be found and during history these books are changed and edited by people. God send one book to Jesus but today there is many different bibles. how many bible God sent to Jesus? and how many today we have? God sent just one bible. today bible is written by people after Jesus (peace on him)
        but about Quran today is just one version of Quran among Muslim people and this version is the original version God sent to Muhammad (peace on him)
        when God decide to send new messenger send new religion and new knowledge and new miracles with that new messenger.
        as Muhammad is newer Messenger after Jesus, people follow Muhammad and become Muslim.
        Christians follow Jesus and Muslims follow Muhammad.
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      Mar 31 2011: Hello Hohammed. I didn't realize that in Islam "God is everything". Thanks for informing me about that. Is that similar to the Hindu concept of God, or is there some difference?.
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        Mar 31 2011: There is a beautiful saying in Islam, something like "God has 99 names". In all the big world religions there are mystic, esoteric paths, that are less fundamentalist and more about the individual transformation. It is very interesting to study. In all monasteries around the world scholars have lived that have contributed to the sciences we know today. The great division between religion and science is a quite modern phenomena.
        • Apr 20 2011: Dear Anna Hoffmann,
          God has many more names than 99 name. but it is still right to say God has 99 name.
          each name of God is an attribute of God and in fact is a law of God.
          for example one name of God is cutter (cutter of seed)
          it means when a seed has needed conditions like soil and water then this name of God comes and cuts the seed and green seedling comes out of seed.
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      Mar 31 2011: Hi Mohammed

      I thought Allah was God ?

      • Apr 20 2011: Allah is Arabian name of God.
        its just name of God in other language.
        God and Allah are the same. but Allah is single and alone. if God means more than one god then it is not Allah.
        the most thing God hate is believing and praying more than one God.
        for example who pray statue (deity) he believe in more than one God.
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    • Apr 19 2011: Dear Birdia Tak Wai Chan,
      what you Imagine is your creature.
      God is not creature. God creator.
      God is not imaginary.
      God sent many messengers for people like Ibrahim, David, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad (Peace be upon all of them) and each messenger had a book from God to people. this book is a letter from God to people. for example book of Jesus (PBUH) was Bible (original bible) and Book of Muhammad (PBUH) is Quran.
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        • Apr 21 2011: Birdia Tak Wai Chan,
          I not understand you. please explain.
          what messages you mean?
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        • Apr 21 2011: Birdia Tak Wai Chan,
          Adam and Eve were humans like us. just they were larger in size and longer in age.
          first time Eve became pregnant, she wondered why she is becoming heavy. she has not see a pregnant woman before.
          Adam had age of near 1000 years.
          they were normal humans like us, not marvelous. but the only pair of human on earth.
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        • Apr 21 2011: Adam had speaking and connection to God.
          why you say Eve was addicted to banana muffins?
          please do not believe any joke about Adam and Eve.
          Eve became pregnant and it was amazing for her.
          all of us are child's of Adam and Eve.
          please respect your parents.
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        • Apr 21 2011: you mean Adam was a coward who feared and feared and feared?
          why you say that?
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        • Apr 21 2011: you build your beliefs on some fictions?
          Adam and Eve are not fiction. may be there is many fiction story about them. but there is also many documents about them better than unreal fictions.
          each mother is just mother for her child's.
          Karenina is mother for her own child's even a child after 1000 year from her generation.
          you say "I might be wrong, ". so you are not sure and maybe Adam was not coward (but I am sure he was not coward). so please respect him at least because you are not sure he really existed or not exist.
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        • Apr 21 2011: I not read fictions. fiction is lie and Imagination.
          you do not know from what source I say Adam existed? but I know you said from fiction. fiction is not true and fact.
          reading fiction is wasting time and life.
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        • Apr 21 2011: why you say: "you are living in a lie"?
          may be around us is many lie. but we are human and we have wisdom and can understand who is saying lie and who is not saying lie.
          I not read any fiction and not get bored of myself.
          reading history or science or thinking is much better than reading fiction. at least history is real facts and fiction is Imagination. I not understand what is benefit of reading fiction. just spending time. life is more valuable to spending it with no learning knowledge.
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        Apr 30 2011: Mr. Ahmadi. I believe you have a mistaken view of prophesy. The books you speak of are not letters from God. They are human attempts to speak for God. Since no Human can fully be God, and since no book can be God, the books always fall short of their purpose.

        Jesus suggested a test that we each have responsibility to use whenever anyone claims to be a prophet. We are to ask if the prophesy comes from the tree that only gives good fruit. But each of the books you mentioned have lead people into errors. Hence, they do not provide perfect food. They did not come from that which only has good fruits.

        This is not to say that they are fully evil. They approximate speaking for God. They were written by those who had gone some distance toward understanding and uniting with God. It becomes our role to find what aspects of them do come from the tree that bears only good fruit.

        Earlier you said, "while a human loves his self more than God, God not let that human near God and that human is separate of God. the the secret of becoming same as God is "Love". There is no curtain between you and God but your self."

        No human can can fully draw that curtain back. The self exists because of oignorance of other spirits. We cannot, like God, directly experience the cares and concerns of all other spirits at once. This separates us from them and separates us from God. To move the curtain aside, we would have to gain the infinite knowledge (direct experience) of all other spirits. That is beyond our capability.

        Even if we could have such an omniscient experience, no human words could express to other humans what we had discovered. The very notion that human words could accurately speak for God is a confusion which is based on the failure to respect what God is. No book written in human words could possibly be the fruit of God. Thus, the books you speak of are not letters from God. They are human attempts to speak for God.

        God's letter to us is the full experience of life itself.
        • Apr 30 2011: Dear inthegarden beyondthecave,
          "The books you speak of are not letters from God"
          I am speaking about Koran:
          do you know it enough to say that?

          "They did not come from that which only has good fruits."
          can you prove this about Koran?

          "To move the curtain aside, we would have to gain the infinite knowledge (direct experience) of all other spirits. That is beyond our capability. "
          knowledge is needed, but as a tool. its not enough. executing knowledge is more important then the knowledge itself. although knowledge is base for good deeds.
          if you know lie is evil and still say lie, then God loves you? you should do your knowledge, then God loves you.
          there is Persian poem can not be translated by same beauty but meaning is:
          "the knower with no deed, is like bee with no honey"

          and doing knowledge is not to be proud, not saying lie, helping poor, taking care of orphans, ... and finally doing all ethics and all goods. then there not remain any more "self" wishes and all is God wishes and then there is no curtain. if you love money more than making a orphan happy, your God is money. your God is what is in your heart. we have such capability!
          "which is based on the failure"
          all is failure but Koran.
          "Koran compared to other books is like God compared to people."

          "God's letter to us is the full experience of life itself. "
          this is a god you created it, not it created you. its a deity.
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    Mar 29 2011: Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10.

    I often say in talks that God is a verb expressed in our thoughts, words and actions; not a noun to be idolized, worshiped and argued about. And like the rain and the sun I believe that God falls to everyone, secular and religious, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Agnostic and/or Atheist. No matter the religion to which you pledge or if you pledge, the spirit resides within you.
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      Mar 29 2011: So... basically... for you "God" is "Every person's consciousness" or to be more precise, "Every person's positive though process"?