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Thread: God's nature - person or force?

  1. #1 God's nature - person or force? 
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    The word god is bandied about a bit, and often it gets used in many ways - but of course when you get down to the foundation, god is defined as being omnipotent, omniscient, etc - so to get the ball rolling, is the foundational usage of god to be understood as ultimately a person or ultimately an energy - - if god is a person, how could he be omnipotent, etc , and if god is an energy, how can energy exist without a source?

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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    since man invented god in his own image, it's obvious that god must be person, only more so


    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  4. #3 Re: God's nature - person or force? 
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    punarmusiko,

    The word god is bandied about a bit, and often it gets used in many ways - but of course when you get down to the foundation, god is defined as being omnipotent, omniscient, etc - so to get the ball rolling, is the foundational usage of god to be understood as ultimately a person or ultimately an energy - - if god is a person, how could he be omnipotent, etc , and if god is an energy, how can energy exist without a source?
    In vedic literature, God is understood in three aspects, bhagavan (the supreme person), param-atma (the localised aspect ot the supreme), and brahman (the impersonal all-pervading spirit).

    Jan.
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  5. #4 Re: God's nature - person or force? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    The word god is bandied about a bit, and often it gets used in many ways - but of course when you get down to the foundation, god is defined as being omnipotent, omniscient, etc - so to get the ball rolling, is the foundational usage of god to be understood as ultimately a person or ultimately an energy - - if god is a person, how could he be omnipotent, etc , and if god is an energy, how can energy exist without a source?

    brownie points for opinions backed by scriptural references
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    I think your error is in equating 'person' and 'human'. There are several definitions of 'person':

    per·son (pûr'sən) pronunciation
    n.

    1. A living human. Often used in combination: chairperson; spokesperson; salesperson.
    2. An individual of specified character: a person of importance.
    3. The composite of characteristics that make up an individual personality; the self.
    4. The living body of a human: searched the prisoner's person.
    5. Physique and general appearance.
    6. Law. A human or organization with legal rights and duties.
    7. Christianity. Any of the three separate individualities of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as distinguished from the essence of the Godhead that unites them.
    8. Grammar.
    ---------1. Any of three groups of pronoun forms with corresponding verb inflections that distinguish the speaker (first person), the individual addressed (second person), and the individual or thing spoken of (third person).
    ---------2. Any of the different forms or inflections expressing these distinctions.
    9. A character or role, as in a play; a guise: “Well, in her person, I say I will not have you” (Shakespeare).

    See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Person and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Person_...ambiguation%29
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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  6. #5 Re: God's nature - person or force? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    The word god is bandied about a bit, and often it gets used in many ways - but of course when you get down to the foundation, god is defined as being omnipotent, omniscient, etc - so to get the ball rolling, is the foundational usage of god to be understood as ultimately a person or ultimately an energy - - if god is a person, how could he be omnipotent, etc , and if god is an energy, how can energy exist without a source?

    brownie points for opinions backed by scriptural references
    8)
    I think your error is in equating 'person' and 'human'. There are several definitions of 'person':

    per·son (pûr'sən) pronunciation
    n.

    1. A living human. Often used in combination: chairperson; spokesperson; salesperson.
    2. An individual of specified character: a person of importance.
    3. The composite of characteristics that make up an individual personality; the self.
    4. The living body of a human: searched the prisoner's person.
    5. Physique and general appearance.
    6. Law. A human or organization with legal rights and duties.
    7. Christianity. Any of the three separate individualities of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as distinguished from the essence of the Godhead that unites them.
    8. Grammar.
    ---------1. Any of three groups of pronoun forms with corresponding verb inflections that distinguish the speaker (first person), the individual addressed (second person), and the individual or thing spoken of (third person).
    ---------2. Any of the different forms or inflections expressing these distinctions.
    9. A character or role, as in a play; a guise: “Well, in her person, I say I will not have you” (Shakespeare).

    See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Person and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Person_...ambiguation%29
    by person I mean having consciousness/intelligence/desire as distinct from energy - for instance it would be strange to call electricity personal
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  7. #6  
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    punarmusiko wrote:
    by person I mean having consciousness/intelligence/desire as distinct from energy - for instance it would be strange to call electricity personal
    Of course all theists believe that God has consciousness and intelligence. Not sure about desire.
    Only Jedi believe in the Force.
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  8. #7  
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    Strip away the at the inessentials
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  9. #8 Re: God's nature - person or force? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    The word god is bandied about a bit, and often it gets used in many ways - but of course when you get down to the foundation, god is defined as being omnipotent, omniscient, etc - so to get the ball rolling, is the foundational usage of god to be understood as ultimately a person or ultimately an energy - - if god is a person, how could he be omnipotent, etc , and if god is an energy, how can energy exist without a source?

    brownie points for opinions backed by scriptural references
    8)
    I think your error is in equating 'person' and 'human'. There are several definitions of 'person':

    per·son (pûr'sən) pronunciation
    n.

    1. A living human. Often used in combination: chairperson; spokesperson; salesperson.
    2. An individual of specified character: a person of importance.
    3. The composite of characteristics that make up an individual personality; the self.
    4. The living body of a human: searched the prisoner's person.
    5. Physique and general appearance.
    6. Law. A human or organization with legal rights and duties.
    7. Christianity. Any of the three separate individualities of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as distinguished from the essence of the Godhead that unites them.
    8. Grammar.
    ---------1. Any of three groups of pronoun forms with corresponding verb inflections that distinguish the speaker (first person), the individual addressed (second person), and the individual or thing spoken of (third person).
    ---------2. Any of the different forms or inflections expressing these distinctions.
    9. A character or role, as in a play; a guise: “Well, in her person, I say I will not have you” (Shakespeare).

    See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Person and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Person_...ambiguation%29
    by person I mean having consciousness/intelligence/desire as distinct from energy - for instance it would be strange to call electricity personal
    Oh...in that case, I don't see how that prevents Him from being omnipotent.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

    http://www.atheistthinktank.net/thinktank/index.php

    Theists welcome.
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  10. #9 Re: God's nature - person or force? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Oh...in that case, I don't see how that prevents Him from being omnipotent.
    in that case the question "is god a person or energy" has as much relevance as asking "is this person english or red-haired"
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  11. #10 Re: God's nature - person or force? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    The word god is bandied about a bit, and often it gets used in many ways - but of course when you get down to the foundation, god is defined as being omnipotent, omniscient, etc - so to get the ball rolling, is the foundational usage of god to be understood as ultimately a person or ultimately an energy - - if god is a person, how could he be omnipotent, etc , and if god is an energy, how can energy exist without a source?

    brownie points for opinions backed by scriptural references
    8)
    I think your error is in equating 'person' and 'human'. There are several definitions of 'person':

    per·son (pûr'sən) pronunciation
    n.

    1. A living human. Often used in combination: chairperson; spokesperson; salesperson.
    2. An individual of specified character: a person of importance.
    3. The composite of characteristics that make up an individual personality; the self.
    4. The living body of a human: searched the prisoner's person.
    5. Physique and general appearance.
    6. Law. A human or organization with legal rights and duties.
    7. Christianity. Any of the three separate individualities of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as distinguished from the essence of the Godhead that unites them.
    8. Grammar.
    ---------1. Any of three groups of pronoun forms with corresponding verb inflections that distinguish the speaker (first person), the individual addressed (second person), and the individual or thing spoken of (third person).
    ---------2. Any of the different forms or inflections expressing these distinctions.
    9. A character or role, as in a play; a guise: “Well, in her person, I say I will not have you” (Shakespeare).

    See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Person and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Person_...ambiguation%29
    by person I mean having consciousness/intelligence/desire as distinct from energy - for instance it would be strange to call electricity personal
    Oh...in that case, I don't see how that prevents Him from being omnipotent.
    by omnipotent, etc I meant all the omni's (omniscient, omnipresent) - energies can be omnipresent (or at least pervasive) yet persons are not, since they are localized (they have a sense of self) - so that leaves us with the q - is god ultimately an energy (that maybe takes the form of a person ) or a person (that maybe differentiates the varieties of energies in this creation)?
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    punarmusiko wrote:
    by person I mean having consciousness/intelligence/desire as distinct from energy - for instance it would be strange to call electricity personal
    Of course all theists believe that God has consciousness and intelligence. Not sure about desire.
    Only Jedi believe in the Force.
    I commonly hear it determined that god is the force behind the universe - the problem with that is that a force must have a source (hence we always have the potency appearing with the potent) - like for instance the source of electricity is not the power socket but the power station
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  13. #12  
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    I sugggest that you stop trying to find the answer. Theist believe that God can be everything, everywhere, paradoxical, unfathomable. So you will not get a logical answer from them. (God is also beyond logic).

    Atheists, on the other hand, do not believe God exists. So they will tell you that God is neither a person or a force, He is just an imagination.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    I sugggest that you stop trying to find the answer. Theist believe that God can be everything, everywhere, paradoxical, unfathomable. So you will not get a logical answer from them. (God is also beyond logic).

    Atheists, on the other hand, do not believe God exists. So they will tell you that God is neither a person or a force, He is just an imagination.
    well summarised !
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    The word god is bandied about a bit, and often it gets used in many ways - but of course when you get down to the foundation, god is defined as being omnipotent, omniscient, etc - so to get the ball rolling, is the foundational usage of god to be understood as ultimately a person or ultimately an energy - - if god is a person, how could he be omnipotent, etc , and if god is an energy, how can energy exist without a source?
    All being consists of forms of energy. Although not all energy is physical energy, which is energy that is part of the one big mathematically structured form we know of as the physical universe. Thus He is nowhere in that sense that he has no spatial locality and yet He is everywhere in the sense that He participates in the universe without regards to any of the usual limitations of space and time.

    God is an infinite form of energy that is transpersonal. He is not only a person, He is more than one person. He is not limited by being a person.

    I also believe that the only consistent definition of omnipotence and omniscience is that all power and knowledge is available to Him as He desires it. In other words, all power and knowledge serves His will and not the other way around so He is not limited by human definitions of omnipotence and omniscience. So for example, God CAN create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it, for He decides what He can and cannot do. He is quite capable of risk, sacrifice and self limitation. He is not restricted to knowing everything but can choose what to know and what not to know. And in giving living things free will God limits His own power, knowledge, and control, granting us the privacy of our own future choices so that He can relate to us as living persons rather than as characters in a book that is already written.

    This too is a part of what it means to say that God is a person. For how can something be a person to you if you are not a person to them? Being a person is partly a relational thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Of course all theists believe that God has consciousness and intelligence. Not sure about desire.
    Only Jedi believe in the Force.
    Correction: "MOST theists believe God has consciousness, intellegence AND desire." Some theists like myself also believe that God's desire/will is different than man's in that is not based upon needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by punarmusiko
    by omnipotent, etc I meant all the omni's (omniscient, omnipresent) - energies can be omnipresent (or at least pervasive) yet persons are not, since they are localized (they have a sense of self) - so that leaves us with the q - is god ultimately an energy (that maybe takes the form of a person ) or a person (that maybe differentiates the varieties of energies in this creation)?
    Conscious is relational. It is always an awareness of something else in relationship to self. But I do not see that as limiting. The human body is localized but not the human self and so not even all human awareness is localized in the manner you suggest. I do not think the limitations of awareness that you perceive are inherent to consciousness. But since God's self is certainly neither limited nor localized, I certainly do not think that God's awareness is limited in the same way as you perceive your consciousness to be or as you perceive your usual human acquaintances to be.

    God has "taken" human form within time and space as the person known as Jesus. But God Himself has an infinite form that includes all the abilities and essence of at least three persons, but this does not mean any kind of limitation to human physical form of either body or mind. God is spirit, which is to say that God is not a part of the web of mathematical relationships which make up the physical universe. He is not made out of cellular tissues, or atoms or the flow of eletromagnetic energies, etc.


    All that said, prasit is nevertheless essentially correct when he said,
    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Theist believe that God can be everything, everywhere, paradoxical, unfathomable. So you will not get a logical answer from them. (God is also beyond logic).
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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  16. #15  
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    (I know I am nitpicking..again)
    Mitch wrote:
    prasit wrote:
    Of course all theists believe that God has consciousness and intelligence. Not sure about desire.
    Only Jedi believe in the Force.
    Correction: "MOST theists believe God has consciousness, intellegence AND desire." Some theists like myself also believe that God's desire/will is different than man's in that is not based upon needs.
    Which of my statements is incorrect?
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  17. #16  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    (I know I am nitpicking..again)
    Mitch wrote:
    prasit wrote:
    Of course all theists believe that God has consciousness and intelligence. Not sure about desire.
    Only Jedi believe in the Force.
    Correction: "MOST theists believe God has consciousness, intellegence AND desire." Some theists like myself also believe that God's desire/will is different than man's in that is not based upon needs.
    Which of my statements is incorrect?
    "Of course all theists believe that God has consciousness and intelligence."

    Einstein might be called a theist but I doubt that your statement would apply to him, and I think there are many others who would call themselves theists who do not believe in a personal God, i.e. that believe in a God with consciousness and intellegence. Of course you may doubt whether they should be called theists as do I, but daytonturner probably would and its what they call themselves that counts.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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