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Tim Colgan

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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?

Topics: God religion
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Closing Statement from Tim Colgan

To be continued at

http://www.tedanon.com/

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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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        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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          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?

        http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/10/my-take-jesus-would-believe-in-evolution-and-so-should-you/
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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 ?
          http://www.allaboutscience.org/dna-double-helix-video.htm

          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 ?
        http://www.allaboutscience.org/dna-double-helix-video.htm”]
        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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