'God' and 'god'

Author: keithprosser ,

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  • keithprosser
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    A placeholder - I'll do proper OP later - in the meantime I hope people will comment on the difference beween 'god' and 'God' as they see it.
  • Mopac
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    Full Definition of God courtesy merriam-webster...

    1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as
    a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe
    b Christian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind
    2 : a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality
    3 : a person or thing of supreme value
    4 : a powerful ruler

  • Mopac
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    Note that only one of these definitions specifies capital "G" God as having a meaning distinct from lower case "g" god.
  • keithprosser
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    --> @Mopac
    I think you must have shares in Merriam-Webster... or do they just pay you a commission?

    So that iswhat MW says - what does Mopac think the difference is between god and God?

    Is saying 'I don't think there is a God' the same as saying 'I don't think there is a god'?


  • Athias
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    --> @keithprosser
    I think that the difference between "God" and 'god' could be a matter of semantics or nomenclature. As it concerns semantics, "God" and "god" can simply differentiate between two implied articles, i.e. "the" God and "a" god. As it concerns nomenclature, the difference in case may suggest its being a name. God is a god; Zeus is a god.
  • Mopac
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    In the Arabic language, the difference between illah and Allah.



  • keithprosser
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    --> @Athias
    God is a god; Zeus is a god.
    Would you say that 'Zeus is God' is wrong?

    My view is that God (ie with a capital G) is the proper name of a particular god, like 'Zeus' or 'Marduk', which are also capitalised.  'God' just happens to be confusingly similar to the generic term 'god'!   Thus 'God' never refers to, say, Zeus or Marduk - God always refers to 'yhwh' or his nt equivalent.

    It matters a bit because of questions like 'Did you believe in g/God?'.  A deist or Hindu believes in a god, but not in God. 

    As an atheist, I don't believe in God, and I don't believe in any other god either.  A problem is that people say things like 'money is a god' - does that mean I have to disbelieve in money?   Clearly not, but it's not easy to say - or put into words  - what it is I don't believe in!  

    I think money isn't a god, even if some people do worship it.  Calling something a god doesn't make it a god.  i think something has to have a minium set of properties to qualify as a god.   I'd say if it doesn't have consciousness it isn't a god, however god-like it is in any other respect.  That's why the big bang isn't a god, even if it does have a claim to be the creator of the universe. 
      

  • keithprosser
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    --> @Mopac
    In the Arabic language, the difference between illah and Allah.
    I'm not an Arabic speaker, but that seemsto be true.  I suppose it's the case in many languages that very similar (or identical)words apply, such as Dieu/dieu, Gott/gott etc.

    I would presume that has something to with monotheism - if there is only one god they don't need individual names.  I wonder what the situation is with Hinduism... anybody?

    Judaism may be a special case because it has taboos regarding the name of God - hence today many (not all) jews write G-d.  I hope a Jewish member will enlighten us about that.


  • Mopac
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    --> @keithprosser
    The Supreme and Ultimate Reality is God. 


    In fact, I would go so far as to say that this would be a name of God in English.
    I say a name because we have many names for God.

    The Hindus would probably say Brahman or Om, something like that. 


    But God means The Ultimate Reality. This is not the same thing as a god.

    In fact, an error of atheism is that atheists do in fact have gods, but like the alcoholic who denies having a drinking problem, the atheist denies the influences and passions that rule their life. Someone can deny gods all they want, but if their entire life is centered around playing videogames or collecting comic books and comic book paraphernalia, it is really easy to see what their gods are. To the idol worshipper, these things can be said to hold supreme value.

    So when the atheists deny all gods and even God itself, they are simply ignoring the gods that they do bow down to, and the God that can cure them of their idolatry.






  • Athias
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    --> @keithprosser
    Would you say that 'Zeus is God' is wrong?
    Yes.


    My view is that God (ie with a capital G) is the proper name of a particular god, like 'Zeus' or 'Marduk', which are also capitalised.  'God' just happens to be confusingly similar to the generic term 'god'!   Thus 'God' never refers to, say, Zeus or Marduk - God always refers to 'yhwh' or his nt equivalent.

    It matters a bit because of questions like 'Did you believe in g/God?'.  A deist or Hindu believes in a god, but not in God.
    I agree.

    As an atheist, I don't believe in God, and I don't believe in any other god either.
    Would that also translate into your believing God does not exist? Gnostic atheists have always elided the absurdity of interaction with the non-existent. In other words, if God didn't exist, what information about his nonexistence would be available for anyone to perceive? That is, if God didn't exist, one wouldn't know God didn't exist because God would not exist. So then it begs the question, at least epistemologically, if we acknowledge God, then how does God exist? (Not whether or not God exists.) Does God have an abstract existence? Material? Imaginary?

    Most atheists I've encountered in actuality are just materialists. The irony being that materialism is informed by the physical sciences, which are informed by abstracts (e.g. Mathematics.)

    A problem is that people say things like 'money is a god' - does that mean I have to disbelieve in money?   Clearly not, but it's not easy to say - or put into words  - what it is I don't believe in!
    Yet money has a very real yet materialistically/physically unobservant influence.

    Calling something a god doesn't make it a god. 
    Why not?

    i think something has to have a minium set of properties to qualify as a god.

    Since when do God/gods have formulas?

    Try this thought experiment: let's entertain the notion that the Bible or any tome on deities lied about their descriptions of their god/gods. Let's also consider that I tell you lies about myself: I can fly, I can transcend physical logic, I can part seas, etc. Do I not exist even though you believe me incapable of my claims?
  • keithprosser
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    --> @Athias
    Calling something a god doesn't make it a god. 

    I'm trying to make it harder to play word games.  I hate exchanges like 'you believe in money, money is a god therefore you believe in god so you are not an atheist'.  

    Imagine sorting everything in the world (including imaginary things!)into two piles - 'gods' and 'not-gods'.  What rules would be best to decide which pile to put something? 

    intuitively, Zeus is a god, Biggles isn't, and neither is a pair of spectacles. Can we turn intuition into rules?

    Try this thought experiment: let's entertain the notion that the Bible or any tome on deities lied about their descriptions of their god/gods. Let's also consider that I tell you lies about myself: I can fly, I can transcend physical logic, I can part seas, etc. Do I not exist even though you believe me incapable of my claims?
    I would put you in the not-god pile!  Unless you did have the powers you claim then you'd probably qualfy was a god, ofcourse.  

    The fictional character you described goes in the god pile, but you yourself don't.



  • Athias
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    --> @keithprosser

    I'm trying to make it harder to play word games.  I hate exchanges like 'you believe in money, money is a god therefore you believe in god so you are not an atheist'.  

    Imagine sorting everything in the world (including imaginary things!)into two piles - 'gods' and 'not-gods'.  What rules would be best to decide which pile to put something? 

    intuitively, Zeus is a god, Biggles isn't, and neither is a pair of spectacles. Can we turn intuition into rules?


    Everything we've ever called "gods" have been called gods because we've called them gods. It isn't a word game. Though in the context you present, god is a predicate for that and/or those who are worshiped.

    I would put you in the not-god pile! 
    Even if I'm worshiped?

    Unless you did have the powers you claim then you'd probably qualfy was a god, ofcourse.  
    The Bible states God has his described abilities. The Bible never states that God had to have those abilities to set a standard for other gods. So again, entertain the thought experiment: even if the Bible were lying about God's abilities, would that therefore mean that God did not exist?

    The fictional character
    God is as "fictional" as any other historical character.

    you described goes in the god pile, but you yourself don't.
    I still don't understand how I'm incapable of being a god. You don't want to play word games, yet your standard for that which constitutes "a god" is solely dictated by words.


  • keithprosser
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    --> @Athias
    'God' is a 3-letter word;  more precisely it is the sort of word we call a name.  We use names to denote a particular object. 

    The object denoted has a set of attributes.

    That is to say keithprosser denotes an object that (inter alia) is 5'10"tall, currently lives in Croydon, likes cats etc etc. (obviously etc etc stands for a long list of my attributes I can't be arsed to write out).

    Athias denotes an object with a different set of attributes.   Names are convenient because it is obviously much quicker and easier to say keithprosser than to say 'the object that is5'10" tall,livesin Croydon, likes cats... (etc etc)'.

    The question 'does keithprosser exist?' is a convenient way of asking 'does the object 5'10"tall, living croydon, likes cats etc etc exist'?

    Hence the question 'does God exist'? is really asking if the object with a certain set of attributes exists.  The issue becomes what are the attributes of God?   


  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @keithprosser
    I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god(s) indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

    Or perhaps,

    I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under the logical necessity indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
  • RoderickSpode
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    --> @keithprosser
    I think God and other references that refer to a creator like the Native American's Great Spirit, or the more deistic reference Grand Designer/Master, or maybe even your own Ultimate Reality will have the first letter capitalized. One would just have to get used to the term God normally being a reference for Yahweh.
  • keithprosser
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    --> @RoderickSpode
    I can't find any official ruling, so there isn't a right and wrong here.   My rule is that 'God' (capital g) is the name of the Judaeo-Christian god.  In all other cases it is 'god' (small-g).  That means I shouldn't ever write 'a God' and I will often write 'a god'.

    Where possible I write yhwh or Allah to make absolutely sure what I am referring to.    I sometimes capitalise pronouns that refer to God, but never for gods in general, so its 'He/His' for God (and Jesus), but Zeus only gets 'he/his'.  Capitalising pronouns is not fashionable these days (at least not amongst atheists!) - it's just a habit from my primary school days more than half a century ago!  I find myself not capitalising He/His etc carefully nowadays. 

    I think the important thing is consistency.

  • disgusted
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    --> @RoderickSpode
    God is just another god, an imaginary character invented by humans. Even very primitive humans invented gods, they're not difficult to invent.
  • BrotherDThomas
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    --> @keithprosser



    .
    keithprosser,

    YOUR IGNORANT QUOTE: "My rule is that 'God' (capital g) is the name of the Judaeo-Christian god"

    YOUR CONTRADICTING QUOTE: "Where possible I write yhwh or Allah to make absolutely sure what I am referring to."

    As anyone can blatantly see, you posit that you write the actual name of a God to be absolutely sure in what you are referring to, but yet call the Christian God, "GOD!"  HELLO, anybody home today?!  If you can call the Muslim God "Allah," then you can correctly call the Christian God Yahweh/Jesus!  As I have shown in my post on this topic, GOD IS A TITLE AND NOT A NAME, GET IT?

    You are certainly giving your Hell Bound Atheists a bad name!


    .


  • keithprosser
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    --> @BrotherDThomas
    It's not contradictory when properly understood, Bro.

    An alternate wording is:  When I write 'God' I am using it as the name of the Judeo-Christian god.  In an OT context I often write yhwh (and in an Islamic context I often write Allah) to indicate even more clearly what I mean.

    No doubt that be deliberately misconstrued too!  

    It's heavy duty pedantics to say if 'God' is a name or a title.  I'm not sure it makes any difference when it comes to choosing between writing god or God. 
  • BrotherDThomas
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    --> @keithprosser



    .
    keithprosser,

    It is embarrassingly shown that you are trying in vain to opt out of your misconception of using "God" as a title, and by NOT using said God's specific NAME!  To prevent any misconception whatsoever to the topic at hand regarding a god concept, one uses the NAME OF SAID GOD IN DISCUSSION, PERIOD!

    You are having a hard time in understanding a "TITLE relative to a NAME" when discussing one of the Abrahamic religions! It truly doesn't matter for you as an Atheist because you're going to Hell upon your demise anyway. (Revelation 21:8)


    .


  • Mopac
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    --> @BrotherDThomas @keithprosser
    Arabic speaking Christians say "Allah"

    It is actually pretty disrespectful to say God's name without reverence for the meaning. The Name is not an arbitrary pronouncement of syllables. It has meaning.







  • keithprosser
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    --> @BrotherDThomas
    What you wrote is one step away from word salad.  I can't respond to something that makes no sense.

  • keithprosser
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    --> @Mopac
    It is actually pretty disrespectful to say God's name without reverence for the meaning.

    You believe in an entity that is master of a universe containing a billion billion worlds that has existed for billions ofyears and will exist for billions more; yet he is concerned with the most pettifogging and inconsequential of trivia.

    If there is any god, I doubt he is as much of a micro-managing control-freak as his acolytes are.

    I think the point raised by bro about the contradictory advice given to the apostles is further evidence of the ideological split in the early church between 'Judaisers' and 'Paulines' that has come up before.

    .




  • Mopac
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    --> @keithprosser

    You are going to see what you want to see.

    Anything but the truth.

  • Athias
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    --> @keithprosser
    'God' is a 3-letter word;  more precisely it is the sort of word we call a name.  We use names to denote a particular object. 

    The object denoted has a set of attributes.

    That is to say keithprosser denotes an object that (inter alia) is 5'10"tall, currently lives in Croydon, likes cats etc etc. (obviously etc etc stands for a long list of my attributes I can't be arsed to write out).

    Athias denotes an object with a different set of attributes.   Names are convenient because it is obviously much quicker and easier to say keithprosser than to say 'the object that is5'10" tall,livesin Croydon, likes cats... (etc etc)'.

    The question 'does keithprosser exist?' is a convenient way of asking 'does the object 5'10"tall, living croydon, likes cats etc etc exist'?

    Hence the question 'does God exist'? is really asking if the object with a certain set of attributes exists.  The issue becomes what are the attributes of God?   
    This point is easily countermanded by positing the existence of multiple objects with either identical names/titles or identical attributes (e.g. identical twins/triples/quadruplets, etc.) For example, I share a name with two other members of my family. Would my name then be a necessary reference to my attributes?