TED Conversations

Bernard White


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Can God be defined?

I find that after debating with many people, many don't have a definition of what "God" is. (For even when you go to a church many people have different definitions ; and not many have a "shared definition".) And I find that many people only list Gods, but (and correct me if I am wrong) that listing gods is just like listing various variations of Meats or dogs, you still haven't told me what a "dog" or a "meat" is! Or for that matter : What "God" is!
Also on the same matter, I am genially interested, what is the definition of "existence"?
Because these two issues are vital to the debate : "Does God exist?"
And I hope this question will be taken in good spirit, and that no offence is taken.

Strongly recommend you join my debate on this ( Can we ever design an experiment which can determine whether God exist or not?) on this link : http://www.ted.com/conversations/17451/can_we_ever_design_an_experime.html


Closing Statement from Bernard White

God mostly only have subjective definitions. (And very few have a "shared (objective) definition" of what "God" is!) And usually reflects the moral code of that individual! (And the society's values).
Yet God does hold many mystical properties, and is sometimes defined as emotions such as "Love", which is dependent on the human mind and relies in all of us.
While others choose to define God as being more of a "Personal God", which is external (independent) to the body, A God of intervention.
And other choose to define God as a more of a Impersonal God, one of pure logic and maths. (If I can say that!)
However I will not comment much more, due to the fact that I have a feeling I would not do a good job of it!
This is my closing comment. :D
Hope you liked it!

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  • Apr 4 2013: When you see camel drippings you know where the camel is going; when you see foot prints in the desert you know they are the steps of a guild of merchants and also you know where their headed to; when you see the mountains, tress, etc. you know it is God. God is a supernatural deity within our existence. It is neither human, animal, or spirit. It is something unimaginable
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      Apr 6 2013: Not sure how you get from trees to gods. Probably a fallacious argument.

      Not knowing where trees came from is not a sound argument for the existence of gods.

      Seems like we can imagine something as being unimaginable, and that it interacts with us and cares what we eat and how we treat slaves.
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        Apr 6 2013: " imagine something as being unimaginable".
        Can we? :p. Please explain. I find this hard to accept.
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          Apr 7 2013: Its nearly the same as saying god is omni this and that.

          What does all powerful really mean?
          What does omni present mean?
          Like infinity these are hard for humans to comprehend?

          It practical terms it just means theists can use this god to explain anything they want as it can do anything, even create a universe that looks 13 billion years old, 6000 years ago.

          Nothingness, what is outside of our universe, and the infinite, and the quantum are concepts our poor brains have not really evolved to deal with.

          Im just suggesting some theists define god as something we can not comprehend properly, beyond our ability to understand, that we can not imagine it in detail, as any thing we imagine in detail puts limits on it.

          Then some of them suggest this limitless thing cares about what we eat, wear, and whether we have foreskins. It is kind of odd. The limitless being defined a million different ways by different people and cultures.
      • Apr 7 2013: The idea is we can see the "prints" of God. Nature, the world, even us people are the marks of God's existence. If you think about it; why aren't we humans able to recreate organs in our bodies (yes there are machines, but we can't make a heart with animal skin or what not). The thought of human beings creating ourselves from just clay is impossible. Nothing can't come of nothing.The reason God cannot be human or have human characteristics is because if he did he would need a start or something to create him; God, as I stated before is an ultimate being/spirit that we humans have yet to fathom.
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          Apr 9 2013: My dog can not create universes. neither can I so god must exist?

          Maybe humans evolved via natural processes and imagine gods, demons, nature spirits, elves, trolls, fairies etc.

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