When you think of “GOD” what exactly IS that to you? Everyone has an image of what/who God is, whether they mean to or not. Even atheists have an image of a God that they do not believe in. So what is it for you? Is there 1 God, or many gods? Is God a “personal” one like Christ, or an impersonal force like nature, Tao, ect? A ruler like Yaweh, or a “friend” like Jesus? This question interests me because I often find people debating about whether or not there is a God, but I doubt very much that people are actually debating about the SAME God. In reality, I think that there are 6 billion “Gods” on planet earth because no 2 people “see” the same God in their mind. God is as much our creation, as we are His Creation (if we even ARE a creation). I think it’s obvious to say that no one can truly fathom what/who God is, but I think everyone has a Default God that they regularly picture when discussing the matter. So what is it for you?
@phoggy, God is definitely subjective, like love and morality everyone has these boundaries that the definition falls into and no two boundaries are identical, maybe similar but never exact, I’d say it’s like an ear or a finger print, generally you know what they are at first glance but if you analyse closer you see they are all different.
I personally believe it is an infinite universe and as such there is no objective point of reference to separate anything or to measure size or relevance of anything or anyone, so we are perfectly free to call things as we see it and even if it is completely alien to any other view, or every other view, it is no less valid.
@trek79, I think any viewpoint is “valid” but I also think that each person’s image of God is certainly connected to the way they view Reality, and how they conduct their lives (either consciously or unconsciously), and that’s why it is an important question.
@phoggy, “Reality” is just as subjective as “God”, “Morality” or “Love”. Would you say science is reality? Even science will tell us that any of the observations we make under its principles are restricted by our tools of perception and our paradigm of consciousness.
@trek79, Actually, what intrigues me the most about this question is the fact that it is subjective. I’m not looking for a definition from anyone to try and shape my own definition, it’s merely a point of curiosity. Something to ponder. Reality, God, Love, Morality – it’s all connected. Each concept feeds into the other – and, yes, it’s ALL subjective. It’s a Creation. I’m not at all interested in Objectivity here. I don’t actually think that true Objectivity can exist.
Why did you assume it’s necessary to have an image of… God – but don’t use that word too much, you can use the words divine, natural and love.
Because your only image of the divine is when you are thankful for certain people. And some things, maybe.
Why having an image of your own hate for hope? Having an image for something you’re not grateful for doing and achieving yourself to feel emotionally fulfilled?
For the record, I believe in God. I just keep it so deep inside me that if I’m ever gonna talk about it, it’s going to be with a person that hates talking about it too. And occasionally.
I’d rather be an atheist and agnostic when I’m around people that are atheists and agnostics.
I’d rather be a real atheist and not mention God.
I’d rather be a real believer and mention God.
We’re just people.
Stop philosophizing and call your loved ones.
For me, it’s like, looking at emptiness and aware that this emptiness (but not something inside emptiness) was watching us, or it’s like, looking at the darkness (but not something inside darkness) and aware that this darkness was watching us. Or it’s like there was something watching us (without having a specific shape that could be associated to God).
So, what is your image of God?
– It’s all about the way we define God and trying (practice and practice, again and again) to adjust our awareness to deal with (having image about) God as defined by us. And the rest, somehow we can do it.
As an atheist it’s easy to imagine the idea of god as some old dude shaking a fist at me from thousands of years ago but that would be a shallow argument. I think god is an embodiment of an element of humanity that’s common to all of us. The parts of us that we all share like the need grow and change, to nurture and be nurtured, love and be loved, create and destroy. God is a little piece inside all of us that draws us together and brings out the best in us as a whole. That piece of us is how we explored every part of our planet, its how we went to the moon and cured polio and mapped the human genome and the stars and built great incredible things all over the earth.
When we are imagining (whatever it means), it’s the kind of focusing to something (whatever it is). Focusing to something can be related to a minimum requirement of imagination (imagining), otherwise we are not focusing to anything rather than within emptiness itself, therefore we are not focusing to God (having no image of God).
To deal with it (pointing to something) to the minimum extent, is by focusing to emptiness or darkness, otherwise or even richer than this level, is by having a specific image that closer to solid image.
There are two possibilities related to this case:
– Aware of something
– Feeling of something
Feeling of something is less aware to something and aware of something is less feeling of something.
If we consider this question “what is your image of God?” could be related to “aware of something” then the minimum requirement to do this, is by pointing our awareness to the emptiness or darkness as mentioned above. Otherwise we are not thinking (pointing) to the image (whatever it is) of God, but rather feeling about God.
@dkivioja, I wonder, if you call yourself an atheist, is it just that particular definition or idea of God that you don’t believe in, or is it that you just simply don’t want to call it “God?” Because I think that when people call themselves atheist, I believe many of them are simply saying that they don’t believe in the Old Guy in the White Robe throwing down judgements on all of humanity – or any Authoritative view of God. But what that isn’t God? What if God is actually much more like what you described? If you believe in that, does it still make you an atheist? I actually believe that there really are no atheists, only those who do not believe in a particular image, idea, concept, ect of what/who God is. I believe that God is EVERYTHING. So the only atheist to me, would be a person who literally believes in Nothing. And I get the feeling that doesn’t really apply to you. Thanks for your response!
@phoggy, you can believe what you want, but there certainly are atheists. and agnostic atheists like myself, who have moved past the “guy in the robe” complex and entertain all possibilities. Some of us understand reality differently from you.
what you call god, the sum of all matter and energy in our universe, as well as pocket universes and so on, we call reality.
@phoggy, I’ve always thought of myself as an athiest because I don’t believe in anything that I would consider to be supernatural. How I described my idea of god is, I think, a psychological element of human nature. I don’t think that makes it any less special or removes any kind of grand cosmic connection. The truth of the matter is that i’ll never really know if there’s anything more than the physical world. Our perception of it is all the really matters because we build our own reality mostly in our minds. I like your view on ‘atheists’ because atheism seems extremely limiting when compared to the worldview that you describe.
I imagine that God is Everything, including anything that I cannot imagine- even the things I refuse to imagine. I think that God is the one who thought up the Universe. I think that God Created the Universe. I think that God IS the Universe! Both the sentient and non-sentient parts of it. I think that God is the Creator, the Creation, and the Process of Creation Itself – all three. Christianity gives those three roles names: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But you can call them anything you want – it doesn’t matter. God, to me, is All of It. And I believe these same three aspects are even repeated throughout Creation. We are all doing it. We all think, speak, and act – all the time, every single day. We too are creators, and there is a part of us in all of our creations. God’s creations are just micro expressions of God Him/Her/Itself. Even the creations that you don’t believe can think, speak, or act are expressing God in some way – only we just don’t understand that part of God. I think that any view of God that says he is non existent, is equally as valid as any view that God does exist, because I think God is somehow BOTH. God is both Existence and Non-Existence. God is every view and opinion about God, in addition to any unfathomable view that has not been thought of yet. But when a new idea comes into being that has never been thought of before, I think that is God too. But no idea is the entire picture – or Image – of God.
@phoggy, That sounds close to christianity but it sounds a litle more concerned with the physical universe and at the very least, a litle more open minded. I can respect those things about your world view. It does exhibit a lot of the duality that christianity does. However I think the complicated nature of duality is part of what makes it so easy for non-thinkers to embrace christianity. For deep thinkers certain uses of duality sound platitudinous. I’m just not willing to go any farther than what can be proven empirically. I’m willing to accept that the cosmic connection in the universe may be nothing more than a matter of the fact that all the matter in the universe was once in one place all super heated and condensed. In that way I’m willing to say that all things are one and each other in some way shape or form. That in itself is a beautiful thing whether a or many god(s) exist(s) or not. Other than that god will never be more to me than an abstract concept that represents a facet of humanity’s collective consciousness. Neither one created the other and they always existed as part of each other. We only started to see a difference between the two when we made the distinctions in our minds.
Really interesting thread.
To me god is the unified field (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrcWntw9juM)
I find it unlikely that the underlying energy that makes up and connects everything in the universe (including us as conscious beings) is not in some way conscious also.
@dkivioja, On the related subject of duality – of good vs evil, light vs dark, etc my philosophy is that one is necessary to define the other. Duality is a creative tool. Therefore, nothing is “bad” or “good” but only a reference point by which you form relationships and make sense of the world. A person’s judgement about any of it is their creation. In fact, duality is the concept that facilitates judgement in the first place. And if God encompasses All – that includes both Light and Dark (Yin and Yang) – then God does not judge. Only people who cannot see beyond duality judge. Right now I am one of those people – although ideally some day, some lifetime, I wish not to be any longer.
@manimal, whos the dick fucking it?