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Aaron
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PostSubject: Is god an "It"?   Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:20 pm

Do you believe that god is an "it"? In other words do you believe that god is an objective thing?

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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:55 pm

Doesn't the foundational idea of Panendeism - that the universe is part of God - demand that God be an objective thing?

It's an interesting question though, and I suppose God is an it - even if It doesn't have a concrete, corporeal, form, or exists solely in some energic, over-arching, or quantum state that is beond human perception, It is still an It to some degree because we have designated It so. For example, a triangle is an "it" even if we are just imagining it in our minds, same with God I suppose.
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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:48 pm

Aaron wrote:
Do you believe that god is an "it"? In other words do you believe that god is an objective thing?

Yes.
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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:48 am

Uriah wrote:
Doesn't the foundational idea of Panendeism - that the universe is part of God - demand that God be an objective thing?

Well that's one of the reasons I posted the question in the "General" Deism forum. Some of the members here don't hold to a panendeist conception of god. But beyond that there are also idealist forms of Panentheism and Panendeism that don't view god in objective terms as well.

The way I view it is that "it" is a part of god just as our bodies are a part of who we are but "we" ultimately transcend just the material aspects of our being. We also have minds and souls and spirits that are all immaterial just as god has aspects that are immaterial.

So to answer the question IMO god transcends but includes the objective aspects of being.

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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:44 pm

In my evolving worldview ,G*d intentionally created this universe, so the deity must be "sentient" in some sense. But the Creator of matter cannot be a physical thing, hence not "objective" in the usual sense.

Since IMHO an eternal Creator should be due more more respect than any mere creature, I feel it's inappropriate to refer to G*d as an impersonal "it". So, for my own personal use, I have coined the ambiguous, non-gendered, semi-objective, semi-personal pronouns "S/he" and "He/r" when I refer to the mysterious "thing" that presumably gave birth to the world.

Besides, human nature has a strong tendency to objectify the subjective, to personalize the impersonal, and to realize the ideal. So it's only human to humanize G*d in some way. S/he's my M/ather-in-heaven. Wink


PS---I use the spelling "G*d" to indicate that I'm not referring to any of the traditional humanoid deities.
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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:56 pm

Gnomon wrote:
But the Creator of matter cannot be a physical thing, hence not "objective" in the usual sense.

This raises the question of what matter actually is? It's not little solid bits of particles like most people imagine it to be.

Gnomon wrote:
PS---I use the spelling "G*d" to indicate that I'm not referring to any of the traditional humanoid deities.

Yes I use lower case g with the word god for the same reason.

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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:59 pm

I believe God to be an it in the sense of not having a gender but I believe God to be a person in the sense of being a contious being. I believe God to be a divine mind and minds don't have gender, only bodies do. Sense we are minds and our bodies are kinda just clothes that we wear in a way we are "ITs" too.
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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:08 pm

I find two sides to this question.

One is indeed what God is.

And the other is the definition of the words, or a semantics issue.

So it depends on the usage of God.

If you're just saying, 'Thank God', because grace has come your way, then it's not particularly crucial what pronoun or lack thereof you use.

If you're writing an essay about God then inevitably any term you use would have to be semantically elaborated upon anyway.

As for what God is. Certainly I believe he would transcend both he/she. so technically I'm not sure there's pro-noun in existence for that.

I suppose one could argue that things that don't fall in the limited categories of he/she, are usually classified as it.

But I'm not sure whether it's helpful in an effort to make God not a he or a she in the english language, he then gets put into the same category as rocks and dogs.
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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:35 pm

Schizophretard wrote:
I believe God to be an it in the sense of not having a gender but I believe God to be a person in the sense of being a contious being. I believe God to be a divine mind and minds don't have gender, only bodies do. Sense we are minds and our bodies are kinda just clothes that we wear in a way we are "ITs" too.

My sentiments exactly.
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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:00 am

Aaron wrote:

This raises the question of what matter actually is? It's not little solid bits of particles like most people imagine it to be.
.

We're straying off-topic, but I just posted this on another forum a moment ago:

Quote
I happen to be currently reading the biography of Einstein by Walter Isaacson, so I've been trying to visualize those pesky little wave/particles myself. Albert had a hard time convincing people that energy could travel as a wave without a physical medium like air or water. He insisted that there is no diaphanous "ether" out there in utter space to do the waving. So we are left with the counter-intuitive picture of space-time itself waving up and down. Einstein speaks of space-time as-if it is a physical fabric, but that is just a metaphor for something no four-dimensional "flatlander" really understands, including Uncle Albert himself I suspect.

My own eureka theory is that space-time is composed, not of matter or energy, but of Information. Yes, the stuff that runs around inside your computer in the form of electric particles, and inside your mind as ideas. Information can take physical form, but its essence is pre-physical (or metaphysical if you like).

The conceptual problem here is to accept that something can be both particular (i.e. digital) and wholistic (continuous) simultaneously. Due to the relativity of our perception, we can't see both aspects at the same time. When information looks like a digital particle, we can't see the continuity of the space-time medium, and vice-versa.

One way I conceptualize this puzzle may be similar to your "condensed wave" concept. I imagine a water or sound wave that intersects another wave. Where the waves reinforce each other they form a peak ( a virtual particle or a digital 1), and where they cancel each other they form a valley ( a space or a zero).

What this means to me is that the world is both continuous & discontinuous, analog & digital, physical & metaphysical, real & ideal, depending on how you look at it. I'm going to quit now; the empty space in my brain is becoming more and more discontinuous as I think about such profound paradoxes.

Good luck with your hypothesis.



Is the ethereal "ether" of space-time simply an idea in the mind of G*D?

Is matter merely a wrinkle in the metaphysical fabric of the space-time continuum?

Is G*D just an IT---an Information Technician?
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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:30 am

Quote :
My own eureka theory is that space-time is composed, not of matter or energy, but of Information.

Information incarnate--or Truth.
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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:51 am

The Paineful Truth wrote:
Quote :
My own eureka theory is that space-time is composed, not of matter or energy, but of Information.

Information incarnate--or Truth.

Deepak Chopra says much the same thing. I've always held a fondness for his philosophical theories, it's just his New-Age applications I'm not into. However, as a thinker he is one of the preeminent minds of our modern era.
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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:40 am

Uriah wrote:
The Paineful Truth wrote:
Quote :
My own eureka theory is that space-time is composed, not of matter or energy, but of Information.

Information incarnate--or Truth.

Deepak Chopra says much the same thing. I've always held a fondness for his philosophical theories, it's just his New-Age applications I'm not into. However, as a thinker he is one of the preeminent minds of our modern era.

Thank you. Cool
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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Thu Nov 08, 2007 10:25 am

Gnomon wrote:
My own eureka theory is that space-time is composed, not of matter or energy, but of Information.

Interesting. Some systems theorists refer to information as in-formation. In other words in-formation is the organizing force that actually puts things into the forms that we see, taste, and touch.

My opinion for what it's worth (and that's not much) is that space/time is composed of energy/information/life.

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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Thu Nov 08, 2007 10:37 am

Aaron wrote:
Gnomon wrote:
My own eureka theory is that space-time is composed, not of matter or energy, but of Information.

Interesting. Some systems theorists refer to information as in-formation. In other words in-formation is the organizing force that actually puts things into the forms that we see, taste, and touch.

My opinion for what it's worth (and that's not much) is that space/time is composed of energy/information/life.

IOW, Truth. Cool
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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:23 pm

Quote :
Interesting. Some systems theorists refer to information as in-formation. In other words in-formation is the organizing force that actually puts things into the forms that we see, taste, and touch.

To "inform" is to communicate ideas. To "in-form" is to shape some raw material.

In my essay, I refer to this mysterious ethereal substance as In-Form-Action. Somehow it's both a noun and a verb, raw material and design concept, matter and energy, mind and brain, etc. It's both Platonic Form and physical stuff. Of course it's also hypothetical.

Can you give me a reference to a systems theorist who refers to information as in-formation?
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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:35 pm

Quote :
Deepak Chopra says much the same thing. I've always held a fondness for his philosophical theories, it's just his New-Age applications I'm not into. However, as a thinker he is one of the preeminent minds of our modern era.

I agree. His abstract, philosophical concepts seem to be very similar to Western Deism. But some of his practical applications still have traces of Eastern Hinduism.

But of course, my attitude may be due to ignorance and prejudice, so I'll keep an open mind toward some of the New Age weirdness. Most folks think my deist myths are pretty flakey too.
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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:10 pm

Gnomon wrote:
Can you give me a reference to a systems theorist who refers to information as in-formation?

I've definitely seen Ervin Laszlo use that spelling but Fritjof Capra and Arthur Koestler also come to mind.

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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:52 am

It, Thou, I

Depends on how and why you are perceiving Deity at any given moment. Afterall, if Deity couldn't be all three, isn't that saying Deity can't be one or more of those three? Who am I to deny Deity what it may or may not be at this particular moment, and then this one, and then this one,....

-TC

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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Sun Nov 11, 2007 8:12 pm

Aaron wrote:
Gnomon wrote:
Can you give me a reference to a systems theorist who refers to information as in-formation?

I've definitely seen Ervin Laszlo use that spelling but Fritjof Capra and Arthur Koestler also come to mind.

I have read books by Capra and Koestler, so they might have influenced my concept of "In-Form-Action". Ervin Laszlo's name is very familiar from my reading in cybernetics and systems theory. I think I'll get a copy of The Systems View of the World: A Holistic Vision For Our time , as an introduction to his ideas.

My personal version of Deism is actually an amalgamation of scientific and philosophical concepts clustered around a view of the universe as a functional cybernetic system rather than a meaningless, accidental "confluence of atoms". Even if the existence of G*D is speculative, it is a useful conjecture for those with a desire to understand the world as a meaningful whole rather than a collection of unrelated puzzle pieces.

Religion has always been wholistic in principle, but often particularistic in practice. Only recently has reductionist Science matured to the point where we can glimpse the outlines of the whole system.

In-Form-Action (Divine Will) seems to be the raw material of this cosmic machine; with matter as hardware, energy as the powering current, and digital or analog information as the software. The Designer and Operator of that cybernetic system is the great IT*** in the sky. Or so it seems.


***Information Technician
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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Mon Nov 12, 2007 11:51 am

Gnomon wrote:
I have read books by Capra and Koestler, so they might have influenced my concept of "In-Form-Action".

Ken Wilber calls it "Spirit in action". It's a very similar idea.

Gnomon wrote:
My personal version of Deism is actually an amalgamation of scientific and philosophical concepts clustered around a view of the universe as a functional cybernetic system rather than a meaningless, accidental "confluence of atoms". Even if the existence of G*D is speculative, it is a useful conjecture for those with a desire to understand the world as a meaningful whole rather than a collection of unrelated puzzle pieces.

I VERY much agree.

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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Sun Nov 18, 2007 7:23 pm

Gnomon wrote:


I have read books by Capra and Koestler, so they might have influenced my concept of "In-Form-Action". Ervin Laszlo's name is very familiar from my reading in cybernetics and systems theory. I think I'll get a copy of The Systems View of the World: A Holistic Vision For Our time , as an introduction to his ideas.

I highly recommend another of his books: Science and the Akashic Field, An Integral Theory of Everything. His "A-Field" is similar to what I have called "Universal Intelligence". (He just does a much better job of explaining it!)
Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Wed Jan 09, 2008 3:03 pm

Gnomon wrote:
But the Creator of matter cannot be a physical thing, hence not "objective" in the usual sense. I feel it's inappropriate to refer to G*d as an impersonal "it".

This sums my feelings. I believe God is something that is beyond our understanding (not a cop-out, just the truth). Therefore, assigning God human characteristics, or even expressing God as an "it", may be convenient, but I do not believe that is correct.
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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Wed Jan 09, 2008 3:09 pm

Aaron wrote:
Gnomon wrote:
But the Creator of matter cannot be a physical thing, hence not "objective" in the usual sense.

This raises the question of what matter actually is? It's not little solid bits of particles like most people imagine it to be.

Gnomon wrote:
PS---I use the spelling "G*d" to indicate that I'm not referring to any of the traditional humanoid deities.

Yes I use lower case g with the word god for the same reason.

Current thinking is that Particle Physics, i.e., matter as we understand it today, makes up only 5% of the universe - something called Dark Matter (which we do not know what it is) is 25% and something called Dark Energy (which we don't even have any good theories about) is 70% of the universe.

If we don't even know 95% of "what's out there", how could we begin to describe what made "what's out there"?
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PostSubject: Re: Is god an "It"?   Wed Jan 09, 2008 3:15 pm

CraigC wrote:
Current thinking is that Particle Physics, i.e., matter as we understand it today, makes up only 5% of the universe - something called Dark Matter (which we do not know what it is) is 25% and something called Dark Energy (which we don't even have any good theories about) is 70% of the universe.

If we don't even know 95% of "what's out there", how could we begin to describe what made "what's out there"?

Good question, but I don't think of god as a maker of anything. I see god more as the ground on which everything emerges.

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