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Undefinable god(s).

  1. May 23, 2003 #1
    [SOLVED] Undefinable god(s).

    Science have proven many times inexistence of concrete gods (like biblical god, or like Zeuses, Apollos, etc).

    To avoid acknowledging inconsistency between observed facts and ANY definition of god(s), religion moved god(s) BEYOND any definition.

    Q: Can undefinable object exist at all? (Note here: not undiscovered object but undefinable object).
  2. jcsd
  3. May 23, 2003 #2

    Les Sleeth

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    Of course, and it doesn't have to be God. Whatever might exist without boundaries cannot be defined, although aspects of it might be described.

    By the way, I'd like to see the proofs which have shown concrete gods do not exist.
  4. May 23, 2003 #3
    Re: Re: Undefinable god(s).

    Recall Ra (Apollo) who used to push Sun across sky not so long ago - just a couple millenia back.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2003
  5. May 23, 2003 #4

    Les Sleeth

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    Re: Re: Re: Undefinable god(s).

    True, and I mostly agree with you regarding mythological gods. The problem is that you lumped the biblical god in there, which may or may not be myth. The OT god, particularly before Moses, seems to have been pagan; but some believe that Moses and Jesus both experienced something else, which they called "God." Did they really experience God (whatever that is)? Well, you cannot prove or disprove that.
  6. May 23, 2003 #5
    Scientific Pantheists worship the universe itself as a non-anthropomorphic Divinity and closely follow scientific progress in order to better understand the object of their worship. Rather being an undefinable object of worship, it is a vaguely defined in the same sense as a heap or being bald are vague definitions. More common mainstream religions present even more vague definitions, but they are certainly not beyond any definition whatsoever. For example, God is overwhelmingly cited as the creator of the universe.
  7. May 23, 2003 #6
    I think undefinable in principle is logically inconsistent. But actual problem is, that religion is unable to define it, and it makes a trick - it says that god is always that which science is unable to define. Easy escape - every time science disproves some aspect of god, new unknown becomes new placeholder of god automagically.

    To argue with religion is like to argue with a child, it always ends with 'but still...', and in a sense, its a correct attitude.

    There have been philosophies that go even further than that, claiming that god is inside universe, simply because you can talk about it, think about it. But there might be 'things', that are beyond logic, beyond definition, beyond comprehension to man, in principle. That you can't even talk about without resorting to logic that fails there. Typical religion will argue that thats talking about god, but its hard topic, other side would say you simply can't talk about uncomprehensible. I think possibility exists by our own logic, that there might be something uncomprehensible by logic. But I'd better stop here.

    I'd only reason like this: 'Can undefinable object exist at all?' contains several components you can't use with 'undefinable' - to 'exist' means to us to be logically describable, same about 'object'. By merely using term 'undefinable' implies it being beyond logic, where terms 'exist', 'object' have no meaning. So, imo, by our logic such claim is nonsensical. But it doesn't end here. Claiming that nevertheless is to merely give intuitive 'feel' that there might be something that you can't think about, talk about, thats beyond our logic. You can't talk about undefinable, and thats the main difficulty. They say you can only experience it, without any ability to put that into words without sounding insane. People who can't grasp the subtle possibility of that 'feel', claim that it IS insane. And then there are people who ARE insane. Its a crazy world, y'now.
  8. May 23, 2003 #7


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    Greetings !
    Since probably nothing is absolute it seems
    likely that there are no things that have no
    explanation. And yet, the very likely fact of
    everything being non-absolute hints at the
    possibility of eventual lack lack of definition.
    (Trying to make sense of a likely paradox is
    probably useless. :wink:)

    Live long and prosper.
  9. May 23, 2003 #8
    "Science have proven many times inexistence of concrete gods (like biblical god, or like Zeuses, Apollos, etc)."

    Good to hear someone knows the evidence! Most people here still question "uh, how could this be proven?"

    I say to them, they underestimate the power of the scientific method, and of general investigation!
  10. May 23, 2003 #9


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    I hope that's not all you say... :wink:
  11. May 23, 2003 #10


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    how about emotions? they are powerful like gods are suppossed to be...
  12. May 23, 2003 #11
    Trying to make sense of a likely paradox is
    probably useless.

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL now yer finding the grove.
  13. May 23, 2003 #12
    Man by his very nature is a creature of belief ... Sorry, the gods have always been there and always will be.
  14. May 23, 2003 #13
    Re: Re: Undefinable god(s).

    We recently (during last ~100 years) learned that Big Bang was (and still is) the creator of the universe. Then what?
  15. May 23, 2003 #14
    The Gift ...

    But doesn't that imply God had a mistress? Hey maybe that's the problem? If we understood that God was sexual in nature, as the whole of nature might suggest, then maybe we wouldn't be so afraid of Him/Her? We might even learn to take it as a great gift.

    And what did God say in the Garden of Eden? ... "Be fruitful, and multiply!"
  16. May 23, 2003 #15
    Just a few points
    Concrete gods do exist. I've seen a number of them myself in places that sell concrete copies of marble statues of Greek and Roman gods for people to put in their yards.
    Science has never proved that God does not exist. They usually say that God is unproveable by physical science. Paradoxically there are a number of religious scientist though they are not in the majority.
    The BIG BANG is a theory not proved and it too is improveable. There is evidence that supports it but it still has many problems left unsolved and unexplained. One example is what happened to all the anti-matter.
    Logic is NOT REAL in your strict materialistic sense or are you backing down from that stance. Logic is no more or less real than mathematics. If Logic and Math are real then why isn't philosophy, music, art, beauty thought etc. real?
  17. May 24, 2003 #16


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    That's a really good one !
  18. May 24, 2003 #17
    Re: Re: Undefinable god(s).

    It can be proved that such a God does not exist (the God defined as the creator of the universe).

    First, why would such a God be needed in the first place, if the universe had existed for all time?
    The argument they follow, is flawed, because the reasoning is as follows: the universe did not exist for all time, hence it must have had a begin, so it must have been 'created', and hence a 'creator' is necessary.
    What does this solve? Well nothing, cause instead of to explain how the universe was created we now have to explain how God was created.
    But then the argument is put in, God was not created, but existed for all time. But that is just wrong arguing, cause it could be said, the universe existed for all time in the first place. Hence no God needed, no creation, no creator.

    Gods existence as creator of the universe is therefore based on flawed reasoning.
  19. May 24, 2003 #18


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    Re: Re: Re: Undefinable god(s).

    Well, for one thing, you could think that
    God created an infinite time.
  20. May 24, 2003 #19
    Re: Re: Re: Undefinable god(s).

    But what of the essence which gave rise to form? Did the material exist before the immaterial?
  21. May 24, 2003 #20
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Undefinable god(s).

    Ummmm...the Biblical god has no special claim on existance that the other gods don't. If you accept the possibility of one, you are sort of stuck with the rest of them.
  22. May 24, 2003 #21
    Re: Re: Re: Undefinable god(s).

    Using Reductio ad Absurdum your assertion here is no less absurd than the Pantheist assertion that the universe itself Is God. Once you start bring up unproven and vaguely defined terms like infinity, anything goes just as it does for the assertion that the universe was created out of nothing. Bottom line, we can no more disprove the existence of God than we can disprove that each of us has an invisible little green elf on our shoulder compelling all of our actions. All we can do is show that such assertions unnecessarilly complicate our descriptions of reality.
  23. May 24, 2003 #22

    Les Sleeth

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    gods, God and religion

    Just so you know where I am NOT coming from . . . I am not religious. In fact, to put it politely, I have a strong "non-attraction" to it. However, for many years I have been extensively involved in studying the source of religion, as well as both belief and non-belief in God. Let me offer a little story to illustrate one theory of mine.

    Say 2000 years ago the cultures around the Mediterranean all believed in a magical island they called Oz which was supposedly in a far away, unknown eastern ocean. No one had ever been to Oz, but there was a profusion of stories about the people who lived there, their culture, their adventures, their wealth, their supernatural powers, etc. The stories about Oz and its people are handed down from generation to generation, and so children growing up just accept the myth without question. And clearly, the stories of Oz really are nothing but myth because no one has ever personally experienced it; that doesn’t mean Oz doesn’t exist, but it does mean those who believe without experience don’t know if it does.

    One day an adventurous young man named Dortheus decides to look for Oz. He goes to the Phoenicians to learn sailing and boat-building skills, builds himself a strong boat, heads south so he can follow the coast of Africa, and at the tip of Africa he heads east as the Oz legend indicates he should.

    Months of sailing go by without sighting land and Dortheus, who can’t take the cold seas any longer, decides to head north. He manages to pass between Australia and New Zealand without seeing them, as well as a number of other islands until suddenly one morning he looks out to see a beautiful island. After landing, he discovers the most wonderful people who call themselves Samoans [okay, if it is 2000 BC, it’s likely 1000 years too soon for the Polynesians to be there]. The people treat Dortheus graciously, attending to his every need.

    All this is nice, but one thing in particular intrigues Dortheus. After he is there awhile he finds out some of the men have developed a special diving skill that allows them to go to great depths on a single breath. Dortheus asks if they will teach him, but they say it takes years of practice and won’t agree to teach unless he commits himself to finishing the training. He agrees and spends seventeen years learning the skill.

    By now he is pretty homesick and decides to return home. Months later he finally makes back, where he is greeted with much excitement. Throngs of people gather to hear the story of Oz, which Dortheus eventually allows them to call it since nobody seems able to accept that the island is really called Samoa. When Dortheus tells them about the wonderful diving skill, they all want to see it. They are amazed to see him dive deep into the Mediterranean to find fish for dinner.

    Of the many people who listen, a few want to learn the diving skill, but the vast majority only want to hear the stories about Oz. Those few who want to learn the diving skill, Dortheus agrees to teach if, as was required of him, they will commit to practicing it as long as it takes to learn.

    After Dortheus dies people begin to spread stories about him. They embellish descriptions of the diving skill to where Dortheus could actually live underwater, swim at an infinite speed, and pass through a shortcut at the bottom of the sea through the center of the Earth right to Oz. Oz too took on epic proportions, now described as made of solid gold, and populated by winged beings. Meanwhile, those few people who’d committed to practicing the diving skill kept at it. They found it was best to do it privately to help them stay focused, and also because some of those who were spreading the grand stories about Dortheus and Oz resented and even oppressed them.

    Now jump ahead 3000 years. Historians trying to sort out what happened back then mostly have the reports of the story tellers because they had been in power, and so had dominated information flow. Of the diving skill practitioners, less than 1% of their stories and writings are preserved, and few people really think that was what Dortheus was about anyway. They think it was magic and the land of Oz. Also, those pretty smart people who recognize that the story teller stuff is nonsense, think everything associated with it is too, even Dortheus. They also look back and see the mythical stories of Oz by the populations of the Mediterranean before Dortheus in the same light as those by people who derived their stories from Dortheus himself, which isn’t exactly correct to do.

    Relating all this to gods, God and religion, people have had “religion” for a long time. It has indeed often included beliefs in various supernatural beings and/or spirits (i.e., gods), and it has also had human intermediaries, such as priests, shamans, witchdoctors, etc. who supposedly acted as liaisons and interpreters for the general population. For the most part, I don’t believe any of these religious types knew what they were talking about. It was made up, a priori as we say, without benefit of any guiding experience to indicate the veracity or fallacy of it. That doesn’t mean this sort of “religion” might not be useful to society in certain ways, but that usefulness also doesn’t tell us anything about the accuracy of the beliefs associated with it.

    Today, ironically, many people are atheists precisely because of religion, because it doesn’t make sense. Unfortunately, they don’t know about the divers. My studies have almost exclusively centered around searching out people who have pursued, and had some degree of success with, what is often called “enlightenment.” These “divers” are in a completely different class than normal religion because they may spend their entire lives practicing diving within. Occasionally someone like Jesus or the Buddha actually attains it completely, and then they are able to help others who are interested in doing it.

    Almost no one knows about this dedicated, very small group of people who have taken the inner path. All you hear about is the 99%+ propaganda of the story tellers, and you therefore conclude there is nothing to it all but delusion. But if you really want to know what Jesus was about, study some of the monastics beginning with the so-called “desert fathers” living as hermits in caves around Palestine and Egypt not long after Jesus’ death. The writings of such people are profoundly different than religion.

    What does this have to do with God? Well, after someone has acquired skill turning inward, they begin to notice something powerful and bright is there. In fact, they report actually “merging” with it, which is why this inner practice has been called union prayer, or in India samadhi (which means union). In the West people have interpreted this as the “God” which so many have believed in; with the Buddha at least, he discouraged any sort of interpretation of it, but instead recommended just letting the experience itself teach one what it is.

    My point is that this subject of gods, God and religion is no simple matter to sort out. There actually may be something to some reports of “God” when it stems from people actively practicing the inner thing. That doesn’t mean all the qualities religion want to attach to “God” are true. I mean, how do they know since they haven’t experienced it? Maybe God is just some organizing force that subtly resides behind things, maybe not.

    So my reason for separating the God of the Bible from pagan gods is because at least some of the description is derived from two people who I suspect had had a direct experience of this force referred to as “God,” and they would be Moses and Jesus.
  24. May 24, 2003 #23
    LW Sleeth, you are still claiming that one experience of gods is more valid than another, with no real objective proof. Instead, you resort to s a summery of mystical thinking in order to back up your claim.
  25. May 24, 2003 #24
    Emotions are selected by evolution because they are just survival traits (by other words, because they help individual to survive, they survived with individual too).

    Most of homos emotions are common for other primates too.

    Primitive emotions (anger, love, joy) are common among almost all animals.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2003
  26. May 24, 2003 #25

    Les Sleeth

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    No, I am saying they are different sorts of experiences. The experience of one's own imagination, where stories are made up about gods and goddesses out of thin air is one type of experience. The person who meditates and experiences "union," then reports some power is present there is having another kind.

    I make no claims about God other than to say all reports of it are not based on the same experience, as you are doing. I am not arguing there is a God, and I would never attempt an objective proof of that. I can offer objective proof that people have and do experience union/samadhi (or claim to). What that experience is cannot be objectively proven obviously since it is purely subjective.

    I am just trying to be somewhat of a scholar here, attempting to sort out all the concepts about gods, God, religion and inner experience which people tend to mush together into one big messy heap.
    Last edited: May 24, 2003
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