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What Does the Word "God" Mean to You?

  1. Pandoras Box profile image67
    Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago

    I was reading an article about a study on nonbelieving pastors, and was somewhat intrigued by a rather tricky way of defining the word "god". Here's a short quote from one pastor.

    “...I still think the word has some value in some contexts. So I think the word God can be used very expressively in some of my more meditative modes. I’ve thought of God as a kind of poetry that’s written by human beings. As a way of dealing with the fact that we’re finite; we’re vulnerable.”

    http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfa … Clergy.pdf

    What do you think about using the word "god" to refer to something which one personally doesn't view as the traditional god, or as a higher consciousness at all? Is it a fair compromise?

    How do you personally define the term "god"?

    I'm not going to argue about it, just interested in hearing peoples' views.

    1. profile image60
      (Q)posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      A term used to add unnecessary complexity to simple ideas.

    2. profile image0
      cosetteposted 7 years ago in reply to this




      i still say "God" even though i don't believe in the Christian one. i do believe in a divine omnipotent spiritual presence (entity) and when speaking of it, say "God".

      1. profile image0
        Deborah Sextonposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        You're right..God is a term used by man to describe the indescribable.

      2. starme77 profile image87
        starme77posted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Me too:) I dont know if I just believe in the presence , but I can feel it too

        1. starme77 profile image87
          starme77posted 7 years ago in reply to this

          when talking to him when I was little I told him , look , I dont really know what your name is , so I'm just going to call you God cause that is what I was taught, I dont get into the whole religious scene , I mean gee if there is one thing religons can agree on is that there is a God or Spriitual presence , they just like to argue who that presence is ,

    3. Maranda Writes profile image60
      Maranda Writesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      The word "God" to me is a synonym.  Just as we call our earthly parents by different names such as Mom, Mommy, Mother, etc; so do we call our heavenly father by different names.  To me, he is God.  To others, he is Jehovah.  And so on....

    4. britneydavidson profile image58
      britneydavidsonposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      The word God means Supreme father of all human beings for all castes and religions. He is only one. He is living very far from sun and star. He is incorporeal.

  2. profile image0
    SirDentposted 7 years ago

    Jesus Christ, The Holy Ghost, God the Father.

  3. WebbyAvatar profile image50
    WebbyAvatarposted 7 years ago

    Height of imagination.

  4. Jerami profile image75
    Jeramiposted 7 years ago

    Good Morning everyone.. Gotta go to work in a few .
    But had to have my forum fix.
       This is a good question that every believer and non believer  should contemplate before settling for a simple answer. This requires some thought. I'm starting by borrowing bible concepts.
       
      When asked who he was, he answered "I Am"   
      He is in everything. He is everywhere. We can not see him yet he sees us and feels us. This is when we feel him.
       He is not just some Santa Clause type fellow that sits over there watching us saying NO NO NO. He is IN everything that we do.
       He IS ..you ..and ..ME .    He is US   but we are not HIM.
       
       Now I'm gettig confused.

       I think that the short answer would have to simply be;
    "HE  IS"
       He IS what we are..    and   "everything" that we are not.

    1. Pandoras Box profile image67
      Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Would I be correct in saying that you view God as an intelligent, sentient or conscious life force?

      1. Jerami profile image75
        Jeramiposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        I think that there is a higher inteligent life source/form that interveins for our human race. I don't know, something like a baby in the womb having its mom as its higher power,
           Being conciousely aware of  it's little universe.
           Not knowing its place in the outside universe out side of where it is. The baby does not know if it will be born into an existence of Love or dispaire.  Unless it is connected in some way to its mothers consciousness.
           Something kinda like this if that makes any scence???

        1. Pandoras Box profile image67
          Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Yes I understand what you're saying, Jerami, and thank you for being willing to share your perspective on it.

          1. Jerami profile image75
            Jeramiposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            Happy to oblidge..  gotta share the computer now so I guess I'm off to work for a while.
               See ya later.

  5. profile image0
    Deborah Sextonposted 7 years ago

    God=All that is, was, or will be.logic and reasoning.not an old man sitting on a throne.

    1. Pandoras Box profile image67
      Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      A sentient being?

      Again, not arguing, just seeking to understand.

      1. profile image0
        Deborah Sextonposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Again: all that is, was or will be..Logic and Reasoning.

        If Intelligence, logic and reasoning feels? OK then.
        Definitely perceives things..Nature perceives, Plants perceives etc.

        And yes..the UNKNOWABLE..cannot be perceived by the flesh

        {EDITED Above}
        This should say..the unknowable ...that can't be perceived by the flesh..
        Don't want anyone to think I was saying Christ was God in the flesh.

        1. Pandoras Box profile image67
          Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          OK then. Interesting perspective. Thanks for being willing to share your views on this.

        2. Pandoras Box profile image67
          Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Your latest edit "..the UNKNOWABLE..in the flesh" indicates something I just wish to clarify. I had thought you were describing a creative, intelligent life force, but the last line you added indicates something more. Not only a sentient being, but a corporeal one as well.

          Not arguing, just seeking to understand what you're saying.

          1. profile image0
            Deborah Sextonposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            I have clarified in the post above..not God in the flesh..
            I was saying Unknowable by the flesh..conscious mind...not that Christ is God in the flesh..

        3. profile image60
          (Q)posted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Did you not notice how your response belies itself?

          1. profile image0
            Deborah Sextonposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            And how did I contradict?

            We are the ID..EGO..and SUPER EGO..are we not?
            We have powers of reasoning right?

            1. profile image60
              (Q)posted 7 years ago in reply to this

              There isn't anything logical or reasonable about gods. We don't all have the power of logic and reasoning, many never developed the ability due to their religious indoctrination.

              1. profile image0
                Deborah Sextonposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                You never understand what I'm saying or trying to get across..which shows that yes, obviously you are lacking in reasoning ability..

                1. profile image60
                  (Q)posted 7 years ago in reply to this

                  Then, it is the communicator who failed to get their point across.

                  1. profile image0
                    Deborah Sextonposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                    No not hardly..if one person can understand the meaning, it's not the communicator..see again not using logic.

              2. profile image0
                Deborah Sextonposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                I agree not everyone does..but most have the ability..

        4. Pandoras Box profile image67
          Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Forgive me Deborah for asking more questions of you. Do you define god as a being people might have a personal relationship with in any way? Is there a "salvation" involved? Is the intelligent, creative, sentient and corporeal being you've described concerned with our lives, and with "righteousness" and "sin"?

          You included the word unknowable in your last reply, but I want to be sure I understand correctly, if you feel like clarifying on these points.

        5. profile image0
          Deborah Sextonposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Deleted

          1. Pandoras Box profile image67
            Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            Thank you for clarifying that point. So you're not saying god is a corporeal being, but god is a sentient force.

  6. Shadesbreath profile image88
    Shadesbreathposted 7 years ago

    It sounds like your non-believing pastors are sort of saying what Pessoa said, which was, roughly: "God exists. It's the adjectives that follow complicating and causing problems."


    God


    Standing alone like that, that works.  It offends no one. Everyone has an understanding of God.  Soon as you add anything, you'll start getting arguments. Whether as a fictitious idea, as just accepting it as a word used to describe the indescribable, a concept to embody the homeostatic whole of the universe,or as something more precise that defines it/Him/Her/Them very specifically and with a name and a complete mythology and set of rules.  Just God works for all people.  Add ONE adjective, even just an article, and you start the fight.

    1. Pandoras Box profile image67
      Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I never really got transcendentalism, but I gotta admit they make lovely, thought-provoking poetry.

      Well, what I felt the pastor I quoted was saying was that god (the traditional) is a man-made concept, but that he personally has learned to use that concept as a focus in his own quest for personal meaning.

      I don't think I mentioned that these pastors or preachers or ministers or priests were all part of a study of anonymous nonbelieving pastors who still pretend to believe their religion. They were all cases of people who studied too much, and so naturally lost their former beliefs.

      What you suggest is interesting, but perhaps impossible given human nature. In effect though I think you're right, and that is what the pastor was saying, more or less. That "god" is the unknown, and perhaps the unknowable.

      Considering the circumstances of these cases though, I have to wonder if the redefined god concept in this pastor's case isn't perhaps more a way of personally rationalizing or excusing his continued practice of his religion.

      1. Shadesbreath profile image88
        Shadesbreathposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        I read once that Mother Teresa stopped believing near or a bit before the halfway point of her life.  It seems like as she grew older she may have come to a new understanding of her beliefs, but I don't want to pipe in what that was specifically because my memory might be all wet.  Suffice to say, her original deep love for Jesus Christ, the one that drove her to want to be "married" to Him, was not the understanding she had when she died.  The middle part of her life was sustained by doing the work of God while bearing the staggering disappointment of discovering her religion was a lie.  At least that's what I got from it.

        1. Cagsil profile image60
          Cagsilposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          And you would be correct Shadesbreath.

          She did stop writing and all religious work, when she herself realized that there was no god via the lies of her own religion.

          1. Jerami profile image75
            Jeramiposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            I don't think that she lost faith in her God; cause he was in her heart.  I think she lost faith in her "Religion"

            1. Pandoras Box profile image67
              Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

              I know nothing of the facts on this, but I think you're probably right. People seem all too adept at being able to hold onto their god even after losing their religion.

              The pastors in this study really didn't though, even though some found new ways to define the word.

              1. Jerami profile image75
                Jeramiposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                I have no knowledge of this either but I Think that the majority of preachers, pastore, etc are similar as most were 1500 years ago.  It was a Job that family connections were able to supply for them.  Too often it is just a Job that if they take it "The Lord" will provide.
                   shame on me for saying that  ... slap,, slap..   
                  Don't get me wrong.  sometimes they realy feel that it is real. And if they realy feel it, they know.  And it is.

                1. Pandoras Box profile image67
                  Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                  Yes you're absolutely right. It was -and I guess it still is - a living.

                  Too bad I can't lie so good. wink

        2. Pandoras Box profile image67
          Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          You know Shades, I think you're the only person who addressed that part of my question, which was -I think- the more interesting aspect of it.

          I have never really looked at mother Teresa. That is very interesting, I'm gonna have to check that out.

          You have to feel sorry for these people. I mean you don't have to, but I kinda do. You devote your whole life to something, the things you taught your children, the people you associate with, everything about your life could be built around this one single false concept. And then you realize it isn't true.

          Some of the pastors in the study were trying to get out, trying to find a new career, realizing at the same time that doing so would cost them everything they know, their friends, even in most cases their spouses and families.

          Some of them figure it's just too late. They have no plans to leave their profession, churches, congregations, they just pretend, and fully intend to go on pretending.

          It isn't really surprising to me, because I've known pastors before who admitted to me that they didn't believe. They tried to justify themselves though, and maybe I was too young then to understand.

          In looking at this study though, I kinda started thinking, why not? It's all a game anyway. People want to feel good, they don't really care about truth or facts and they have little to no appreciation for real honesty. They pay the man, he puts on a good show for them, they leave happy.

          The pastors aren't really happy, though. Some of them are truly miserable in their loneliness. Most of their spouses don't even have a clue, and the pastors feel it necessary to keep up the charade at all times.

          Pretty sad.

  7. tantrum profile image61
    tantrumposted 7 years ago

    GOD : The first Superman

  8. qwark profile image61
    qwarkposted 7 years ago

    God means:.... pain, suffering, ignorance, starvation, squalor, murder, anger, ethnic cleansing, war, death, rage, jealousy, hate, superstition, frustration, bigotry.........and possibly the destruction of most life on this planet!

  9. getitrite profile image79
    getitriteposted 7 years ago

    God is nonsense disguised as salvation.

    1. profile image0
      Deborah Sextonposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Christians believe in salvation not all who believe God IS...believes in salvation..
      Stereotyper..

      1. getitrite profile image79
        getitriteposted 7 years ago in reply to this



        I sense selective reasoning.  Still any concept of God is nonsensical no matter how much one tries to qualify it.

        1. profile image0
          Deborah Sextonposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Selective?..please explain your insult..thanks

          1. getitrite profile image79
            getitriteposted 7 years ago in reply to this



            My explanation is that you used reason to point out the glitch in my assertion about salvation, but you refuse to use reason to see the glitches in your beliefs.  Selective reasoning.

            1. profile image0
              Deborah Sextonposted 7 years ago in reply to this

              What salvation?
              What is your definition of Salvation?
              And people call me vague..

              1. getitrite profile image79
                getitriteposted 7 years ago in reply to this



                                       http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f272/nosselinfea/icons/pferde/karl_wk13b.png

                           

                Just what point are you arguing now?  I agree with you, I understand that some people's definition of God does not include salvation.  So why, then, do I need to explain the definition of salvation?  And just what does that last sentence have to do with anything, except to imply that you are an emotional thinker, rather than rational.  In other words, you don't have to get snippy.

                BTW, If this somehow helps you with the vagueness, then here it is:   
                Salvation-n ~ Preservation or deliverance from destruction, difficulty, or evil.

                1. profile image0
                  Deborah Sextonposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                  Because you wrote this:

                      getitrite wrote:



                      "My explanation is that you used reason to point out the glitch in my assertion about salvation, but you refuse to use reason to see the glitches in your beliefs.  Selective reasoning."


                  You mentioned your assertion about salvation as a glitch then you said there were glitches in MY beliefs..I wanted you to explain what assertions you made and what my glitches are.
                  Why is every question thought of as an argument?
                  And it was vague for me that's why I asked.

                  1. getitrite profile image79
                    getitriteposted 7 years ago in reply to this



                    I'm aware that there are some religions that don't see salvation as a tenet of their beliefs.  There are some religions that don't even have a devil, etc, but the culture, in which I was reared, salvation is the main aspect of the religion.  But, after reading your opposition, I understand that I was looking at it from a micro, and not macro perspective.  I concur.

                    Suffice it to say that the belief in a God makes no sense to me, because there is no real definition of this term then.  Your definition does not change my perspective, for it is your opinion, or the opinions of a Dogma.  There are just some things we don't know yet, and some things we may never know. 

                    Deborah Sexton wrote:

                    "God=All that is, was, or will be.logic and reasoning.not an old man sitting on a throne."

                    Getitrite wrote:

                    Deborah, your definition is kinda tricky, because what you are describing, to me, is The Universe.

        2. profile image0
          Deborah Sextonposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Well, then stop worrying about us who do believe in God..
          Thanks for commenting..

  10. qwark profile image61
    qwarkposted 7 years ago

    god = the antithesis of logic and reason.

    1. profile image0
      Deborah Sextonposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      So your answer to the TITLE question is=Nothing..

      1. Cagsil profile image60
        Cagsilposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Actually, in the thinking you're using yes Qwark thinks is complete nonsense. How if you ask Qwark who is in control of his life? He would say that he is, therefore he is "GOD" of his own life and makes decisions accordingly.

        Just my thought about Qwark. It could be completely off base, but I don't think so. smile

      2. qwark profile image61
        qwarkposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Deborah:
        Correct.
        It means nothing to me except in the areas of concern I listed earlier in this forum.

  11. C.V.Rajan profile image66
    C.V.Rajanposted 7 years ago

    The real and true "me" buried deep inside me and covered hopelessly by my "I"ness.

    1. Pandoras Box profile image67
      Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I like that! Thanks for sharing your perspective.

      That almost could line up with the anonymous pastor the study quoted. God is defined as a search, not a higher being.

      1. C.V.Rajan profile image66
        C.V.Rajanposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Thanks Pandoras, but that's not my own perspective. That's the essence of teaching of Hinduism as expressed in different words by so many Hindu masters.

    2. Cagsil profile image60
      Cagsilposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I'm sorry you have that problem. lol

      1. C.V.Rajan profile image66
        C.V.Rajanposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Amen smile

  12. waynet profile image49
    waynetposted 7 years ago

    It spells the word dog backwards and that is all!

    1. profile image0
      cosetteposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      well, they DO say dog is man's best friend. hmm.... wink

  13. skyfire profile image71
    skyfireposted 7 years ago

    Non-existent entity whose definition/explanation changes as per religion, theist or any random person.

  14. Pandoras Box profile image67
    Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago

    Thanks Maranda for sharing your viewpoint. It seems from this thread and others that alot of people believe in a god, but not really any specific god. Interesting perspective. Thanks for posting!

    1. profile image0
      Deborah Sextonposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      All the same God..don't get confused..God is not knowable by our conscious mind and can only be defined according to comprehension..

  15. Hokey profile image61
    Hokeyposted 7 years ago

    The personal practice of ethics, meditation, and wisdom

                                     smile

    1. profile image0
      Deborah Sextonposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      You're on the right track...

  16. earnestshub profile image87
    earnestshubposted 7 years ago

    It is imaginary, that's what it is.

  17. chigoiyke profile image59
    chigoiykeposted 7 years ago

    my Everything, the supreme being

  18. Hokey profile image61
    Hokeyposted 7 years ago

    Spiritual beliefs are contrary to many structured religious teachings. If you find the word ‘God’ uncomfortable, please substitute this with ‘Life’ or ‘Love’ because truly they are all one and the same.

    It can take time to understand what spirituality really is. Certainly our conditioning hasn’t encouraged the understanding of vital truths. And these truths are: we’ve always been creating our own reality. Our salvation has never been ‘something outside of ourselves’ – this responsibility and connection to life comes from within.

  19. profile image0
    StormRyderposted 7 years ago

    I though it was just a word to yell while having sex??? big_smile

    1. Hokey profile image61
      Hokeyposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Of course you did!  wink

    2. Cagsil profile image60
      Cagsilposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Actually, now a days, that's about all it's worth saying it for. wink

  20. skyfire profile image71
    skyfireposted 7 years ago

    Oh god, baby, No...yeah....yes.
    God always comes first.  big_smile

    1. Cagsil profile image60
      Cagsilposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Actually, "OH" technically comes first. Then again, when a woman could be saying that and at the same time...c*mming at the same time, which means two things actually "COME" before "GOD". lol

    2. profile image0
      StormRyderposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Well if god is a man and like all men he would cum first!! lol

      Can I say that? big_smile

      1. skyfire profile image71
        skyfireposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        big_smile

        Forum censorship, use "COME".  lol

      2. Hokey profile image61
        Hokeyposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Not this God!!!   wink

      3. Pandoras Box profile image67
        Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Dude, you guys totally hijacked my thread and turned it into a public orgy.

        (When I'm having sex, my man is my god. Oh god yes, oh god, oh yes god, yes, yes, yes, oh god!)

        Actually I don't scream god when I'm having sex, but it sounded good.

        Carry on, feel free, I think I'm almost done here anyway.

  21. skyfire profile image71
    skyfireposted 7 years ago

    lol

  22. profile image0
    wordscribe41posted 7 years ago

    People in AA used GOD as an acronym for "good orderly direction".  I like that idea.

  23. Hokey profile image61
    Hokeyposted 7 years ago

    Fear: The Buddhist system of religion do not believe in the concept of a personal God. The theory of Buddhism rejects the notion of an abstract principle of God operating in the universe. They rather believe that the concept of God is a response to fear and frustration. According to the Buddhist ideology, when primitive humans found themselves in a dangerous and hostile world, the fear of wild animals and of natural phenomena like thunder and lightning, they created the idea of Gods to console themselves.

    1. earnestshub profile image87
      earnestshubposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      As it is in all Jungian and post Jungian psychology where the concept of mind/soul is the accepted location of religiosity, or "religiosity of soul"

 
working