Surely the concept of God exists. But the leap from concept to existence itself is the greatest leap of history.
Concepts exist or can exist for anything, and they need not even be consistent. But a concept is a concept and a thing s a thing.
Better to locate the thing and then derive a concept from it. When we create things from concepts, we do the thing a misservice frequently. This is true for things that we can create. Things that pre-exist our creation of them can be described and analyzed only.
What is God?
Concept and existence are the same thing until proven otherwise, are they not?
Phenomenologically, they are different.
No they aren't: we are taught that God is inside and outside of us, that our soul comes from God, that God gave us life. The logic of the concept is the same as the logic of the existent thing. God exists, therefore we exist; We exist, therefore God exists. Our world and it's life, and chiefly our life, is the bond between the abstraction of God and the existent object of God. So they're the same, even phenomenologically.
As we both know, that's what's so frustrating about it. It's completely cyclical and self-reinforcing. But no matter how you slice it, God is simultaneously subject and object, existent and non-existent.
How do you explain the many definitions of what God is?
Last edited by Seak; December 18th, 2008 at 04:33 PM.
There are very, very few where the primary importance of God isn't creation. Sure, there are many stories of many Gods that have done all kinds of things. But in pretty much every single definition of God, he's the one who created everything. The created prove the existence of the creator. Same logic.
I thought so, I was just wondering if there was more to it. Thanks.
Only in the monotheistic religions, of which the big three dominate euro-american cultures like no others.But in pretty much every single definition of God, he's the one who created everything.
I'm wracking my brain (and the internet) for a religion where there is no creation, or where the creation wasn't performed by a god...
I believe that in Gnosticism the creator God of our universe is the Demiurge -- a sort of evil-ish God that wanted to create a reality separate from the pure reality of the Gods (what we call "material" existence). Achieving gnosis, for a human, is to achieve godliness and therefore escape this world into the true world of the Gods (though humans, being children of the demiurge's material universe, are material and therefore unlikely to achieve gnosis). Our reality is just one subordinate creation of the God universe.
In Buddhism it's a little more complicated. The Buddha never answered the questions directly, as I understand it, so the whole thing is supposition based on the tenets of Buddhism. Here's my (probably terrible) understanding of the Buddhist creation theory...
Creation is dictated by samsara (cause and effect force that gives rise to life) via karma (basically, the degree to which one has attained enlightenment), and there are (at least) two sorts of passing that lead to (at least) two sorts of creation.
Individual reincarnation operates on karma, with the goal of life being to achieve a purity of karma such that the nature of reincarnation becomes ever more distilled as we re-live. A movement toward individual purity, that is, as a total and correct conception of the nature of reality -- Nirvana. The theory goes (as I understand it), that when one achieves the purest distilled karmic reality (Nirvana), you become a Buddha. The kalpa (age/era) then ends (that is, the universe [your universe?] effectively ends). Then, the universe is created/reincarnated with the first creation stemming from karmic purity (no worries -- no Armageddon to worry about. it sounds like it's just a fracture of multiple existences). Which is to say, the individual who first achieves the purest karma triggers the end of one universe (their universe, in which their karma is trapped by samsara), and in effect becomes the creator of the next universe -- their universe.
Supposedly, the Buddha didn't want to put it into concrete terms lest it seem like a competition, which is a distraction from enlightenment.
Traditionally (according to some, anyway), the last pure karmic being that formed this universe is Brahma, the creator God from Hinduism. Buddhism is descended out of Hinduism, and the Buddha never commented on the origin story, so it's all up in the air. It's notable that the Devas in Buddhism are the Brahmins, though.
But beyond that, I don't think there's a whole lot of agreement amongst the various sects of Buddhism to give any sort of straight answer on creation. Creation is ultimately self-dictated, but one can only define one's own creation when they've achieved Nirvana, can therefore sidestep samsara, and gain the power of the Devas (literally, the power of Gods) to dictate their own creation.
Putting Buddhism and Gnosticism beside each other like that shows some weird commonalities I hadn't noticed before. Hmmm....
Oh My God.
That's all I can say.