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If there is, I wish someone would explain it to me so I could have it too. I have no idea or concept of anything that could be labeled "a concept of God". I have searched my head for an idea or a concept that I could honestly label that. However, all the alleged definitions for "God" seem to amount to "God is that which created (or caused) everything but God", which is circular. If one can have no concept or idea of anything that a sequence of alphabet letters or sound such as "God" could refer to, then what has he/she other than -- that sequence or sound?

  • What if GOD itself a lie .. – Amruth A Nov 30 '17 at 13:09
  • Concepts usually start small and build as we learn. So you might start with something specific such as: God created the Earth. Then with prayer, repentance a regular Bible reading, your concept can be built up to something much fuller in meaning. – user3017 Nov 30 '17 at 13:14
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    Have you searched online dictionaries or Wikipedia? Questions about definitions of terms are off-topic here because people are expected to google them first. And having a "concept" amounts to little more than properly using the word in sentences, which you do not seem to have trouble with. – Conifold Nov 30 '17 at 20:13
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    @DallasCrenshaw. I believe you're referring to ontology, and the most we can say in that regard is that God is spirit. Granted, it's hard to grasp what exactly a spirit is, but the fact is that the question of ontology is problematic with a lot of things. What is a force?, for example. We know what it does, but we can't say what it is. Even the ontology of matter is much more mysterious than most people realize. However, we get through life without needing to know much about ontology. It's usually enough to know how things affect us rather than what they are. – user3017 Dec 1 '17 at 12:21
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    For may people the whole notion of God is that He cannot be conceptualised. He would be prior to the intellect, and transcend the categories of thought. You probably share Eckhart's view of God. He points out that people who prattle on about God have no idea what they're talking about. They cannot, for God is not a concept. – PeterJ Dec 1 '17 at 13:29
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As mentioned in one of the comments, you should first search for 'different' Gods on different websites and select each God and verify whether there is anything irrational in all those Gods. After that, you could choose one 'Rational God' and ask this question. Otherwise it'd become a beat around the bush.

If you choose one or more things as the idea or concept of God, you will have to regard all the other things as the idea or concept of another God. [We can't rule out the possibility of another God or gods (since there are many similar creations or concepts in this world)]. Which God would you choose then for this question?

If you choose one particular idea, concept, category or religion only as the concept of God, that would also become a folly....since the supplement for that concept and the complement of that concept must be of another God's. Then also there must be another God or gods.

So, when we think of an (external) creator of ideas or concepts (God), some contradictions pop up.

We perceive this world through our senses. Knowingly or unknowingly we admit only the things perceived through our 5 sense organs (Some forms of lights, sounds, smells etc that we can't perceive with our sense organs are amplified or transformed in another form. But they also are for helping these senses only.)

The senses, brain etc create a feeling that there is creation here. Five is a small number. What about the situation if the number of our sense organs were below or above five? Then, would our understanding be like this...? Actually, we can't even imagine such a situation.

If you can imagine these senses, brain etc as somebody's creations, ideas or concepts, you will have to search their bases also. This is not possible with your senses.

The things, ideas and concepts that we understand with our mortal sense organs and brain are never the Ultimate Truth.

So, if you believe (this logic) or not, you will have to assume that there is no creation. When you realize yourself you will understand whether there is any real creation here. Then you wouldn't need to ask this question.

The notion that mAyA has no reality in itself, and that brahman is the only real, allows the sRshTi-dRshTi vAdin to "graduate", so to speak, to ajAtivAda, the view that no creation really occurred ever.

http://www.advaita-vedanta.org/avhp/creation.html

If the aforementioned is difficult to digest, the following mantra would be useful in our daily life.

Isavasyam idam sarvam yat kim ca jagatyam jagat

  • Your reasoning only applies to little gods, i.e. the complement of a little god might be another little god, but the complement of the one true God would be no god at all. People want to believe they measure up to God in some respect, either by imagining they can partake in His divinity or by dreaming up little gods that are easily impressed by good works. However, God is no respecter of persons, and His love is boundless, so by grace alone may we know His blessings. – user3017 Dec 1 '17 at 12:17
  • I didn't mean so. I just mentioned the contradiction that we may arrive at if our assumption was wrong. From your last statement I understand that what you are talking about is an external God. But I had already invalidated its possibility in my answer. The possibility of a little god comes only when God is external. That means there is space or boundary in between God and me. Thank you. – SonOfThought Dec 1 '17 at 13:51
  • But you didn't demonstrate a contradiction. I don't imagine that reality is limited to what I experience by the 5 senses, so your premise is false. The possibility of a little god also comes when we identify with its minuteness, thinking that there is no greater standard than our finite inclinations by which we may be judged. – user3017 Dec 1 '17 at 14:28
  • I was about to delete the word-- 'only' when I saw your comment. But your comment came first. The word-- 'only' is certainly wrong. I meant what we regard as reality changes when we try to understand it through our senses. You can find a verse-- " Anoraneeyan mahato maheeyan Atma/srujantor nihitoguhayam" in Kathopanishad when mentioning the Supreme. – SonOfThought Dec 1 '17 at 14:37
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The idea of god is not necessarily as the creator. The Greeks worshiped a set of idealized personalities that they removed by a couple layers of creation from the ultimate creator of the universe, considering those earlier layers of creators to have been overthrown or destroyed. (This probably just represented a succession of religious that had been tried out and lost currency, only in mythical terms.) That means their pantheon had no meaningful 'God the Creator', leading Plato to invent one in the Timaeus as a philosophical exercise. But they still believed that some sort of supernatural beings had to inherit or co-opt the status of godhood and do the job of being gods.

The idea of God, for Jungians, is the idea that there is something that keeps the world in order, that without some force of ordering the natural state must be chaos. In this theory, the archetype of God is conferred to us by the fact that we are raised by adults into some sort of ordered social structure, and we see that our own natural behavior as children without rearing would be much more chaotic.

Whitehead argues that this notion of God as the ordering force is stronger in Middle Eastern monotheisms than in a lot of other cultures, and bases the faith in natural order that allowed the West to become more demanding of our sciences after we Christianized.

We had had the experience of chaotic paganism prior to Roman occupation, the experience of brutal constraint by Rome, and then by the time we were free again, Rome had made us Christians. We appreciated the fact of order with less brutality, and a faith in ultimate order became our basic natural image of life, even though it fit our actual situation quite poorly.

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There are lots of different ways people talk about a Creator or creative intelligence behind existence or try to define the concept. I'm not sure how helpful these descriptions are. If there is a Creator, perhaps if you go somewhere beautiful in nature by yourself, and ask It. If It exists, perhaps it could tell you in some way that you might find more satisfying than anything someone might tell you to believe. If there is a Creator you probably would not even need to go anywhere special to find it. One interpretation might be to say that the deities, angels, demons, devils, and so forth are elements of our psyches, perhaps other ego states or elements of part of what we might call our "unconscious minds," although it does not necessarily mean they are not conscious or powerless; it just means that you are not usually conscious of them in your mind/body/world. The words and myths could be describing processes in our brains. Prayer can also be thought of as a form of self-hypnosis. You are going into a quiet peaceful state of mind and communicating with other levels of consciousness within your mind. There can be powerful healing and insight gained from that activity. However, it does not seem necessary to me to give it a bunch of labels and words or a religion. Just appreciating music and babies, and beautiful scenery is much more meaningful for some than wordy descriptions, although -what- it means might not be clear. It seems to always remain somewhat elusive if you try to pin it down. It could be something beyond our capacity to fully grasp in our normal states of consciousness or any state of consciousness. You don't even have to call it God. It could just be a felt sense of connection with the universe and your awe and appreciation for it. That is one way of thinking of it. It seems that the character(s) and personalities ascribed to it can take as many forms as there are people.

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    "Consciousness" is the abstract noun form of the adjective "conscious". I think a lot of people are tricked by abstract noun forms of verbs and adjectives. Since abstract nouns are used grammatically the same way as concrete nouns, this makes people think that they have referents too, but they don't. When you say "consciousness", just think of conscious people and animals. – user8159 Dec 2 '17 at 17:43
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Here I will focus on a generic vision of God as "superior entity", without particular reference to any specific religion or property (for instance the fact that it has created everything, that is ageless, and so on).

The tricky part with the concept of God is that is something lying beyond what we can perceive, by definition. If you could completely understand him, you would be on the same level as him (or her, or its!).

A strategy could be the one of thinking something concrete as a reference and comparing where God is on this scale, and repeat this process many times. For instance I might not be able to understand how "smart" God is, but I might take as a reference the smartest person that I know and say: God is smarter than that.

This situation is similar to the trouble in understanding the concept of infinity in mathematics. How big is infinity? You cannot really understand it, since you are a finite being, but you think about a very huge number and point out that infinity is bigger than that.

  • I have heard and read the words "creator and ruler of the universe". I've heard and read the words "That than which nothing greater can be conceived". I've heard and read the words "The great I am". I've heard the words "the infinite incorporeal invisible spirit that created everything but itself". I've read all the words above. But I stiil have no thought of anything "God" could mean. So I still have nothing but words. If you have only words with no thought of anything for them to refer to, then all you have is a bunch of alphabet letters in a row. What else is there? – user8159 Dec 2 '17 at 6:04
  • Then how do you figure out what an atom is, or what DNA is? Chances are that you never been in an experiment lab and you only know about atoms, molecules, DNA thanks to words and explanations. But still you are able to figurate out what these words means. – Rexcirus Dec 2 '17 at 7:53
  • I have mental images, i.e., concepts of atoms. I took chemistry in high school and college. I performed the experiments. I saw that everything worked according to the chemical equations. There were concepts. But that's irrelevant to the fact I have no mental image of anything to label "God". What is there to "God" besides those three alphabet letter in a row? – user8159 Dec 2 '17 at 17:09
  • I haven't quite got the gist of this forum. I'm working on it. I hope I don't get kicked out by inadvertently breaking the rules. – user8159 Dec 3 '17 at 18:47
  • Somebody said "This situation is similar to the trouble in understanding the concept of infinity in mathematics. How big is infinity?" There's only the concept of something getting bigger and bigger. We shouldn't let words trick us just because they can go into an infinite regression. Our brains get to whiriing around trying to think of greater and greater things, till we think we have thought of something greater than everything, but all we have done is made a fool of ourselves. :) – user8159 Dec 3 '17 at 19:01
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There is nothing ambiguous or formally incorrect about the definition of God you described: "God is that which created (or caused) everything but [itself]." I can look at a celery stalk, ask, "did this celery stalk create everything except for itself? No. How about this lobster? No." and proceed this way until I have iterated over every object that exists. If I answered yes with regard to any object, there is a God, if not there isn't. This procedure is practically impossible, but that it is theoretically possible makes for a distinct and intelligible concept.

  • You have only mentioned very conceptual things, such as a celery stalk,a lobster. I have vivid concepts for the rows of letters "celery stalks" and "lobsters". But I have no concept of anything for the row of letters "God". I don't believe you do either. You haven't shown that you do. You've only shown that you believe that you do. I say over and over that if you have some words or rows or alphabet letters but no concept of anything for them to refer to, then what do you have other than a bunch of alphabet letters? – user8159 Dec 2 '17 at 17:23
  • The conception of God I was using was the one proposed in the original post. Its pretty simple to understand, we know what it means to "create" something and we know what "everything" refers to so it is possible to determine whether something has the described properties if we know enough about it. The original claim was that there are no coherent conceptions of god; I argue that the exemplary conception of god "created (or caused) everything but [itself]" is coherent for the reasons I mentioned previously. – Allen More Dec 4 '17 at 18:00
  • I think the issue might be how you are using the word concept, or conceptual. What exactly do you think a concept is? – Allen More Dec 4 '17 at 18:00
  • Allen Moore says "What exactly do you think a concept is? " To have a concept of something for some words to refer to is to be able to imagine something for them to refer to. I cannot imagine anything for the words "creator of everything except itself" to refer to. I know of no reason to believe that you can either. Can you? – user8159 Dec 5 '17 at 4:05
  • Re: the verb "create". We learned the verb "to create" from and only from hearing and reading sentences of the form "X created Y", such as "Edison created the incandescent lamp" where X was one part of the universe and Y was another part of the universe". "That bird created that nest". But it makes no sense to say "One part of the universe named God created another part of the universe called the universe". All I see is the capitalized three letter sequence "God". All our words are learned in terms of the already existing universe. – user8159 Dec 5 '17 at 4:17
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Somebody said "The tricky part with the concept of God is that [it] is something lying beyond what we can perceive, by definition. If you could completely understand him, you would be on the same level as him (or her, or its!)."

I'm sorry, but I can't think that "beyond what we can perceive" makes any sense. I say that because it seems to me that we could have only learned how to use the word "beyond" from cases of usage of "X is beyond Y" in which both X and Y stood for things we COULD perceive. So I don't know why we should think it would automatically make any sense when we can't even perceive anything that Y could stand for.

  • Please understand this: There are different levels of understanding. You may say that the sun rises in the east. You may say that it is wrong...the sun does not rise, the earth is rotating. But both are true when viewing from certain levels. Similarly some people have 'experienced' the reality when they transcended their sense organs. Until you taste sugar , 'sweetness' of sugar is only a word trick. Actually the meaning you adopted for the word--'God' is the cause of your confusion. – SonOfThought Dec 8 '17 at 12:40
  • SonOfThought says "Until you taste sugar , 'sweetness' of sugar is only a word trick." Actually if I had no sense of taste, and somebody else did, I could determine that they have such a sense by giving them various things to taste while blindfolded and questioning them to find out if they can distinguish them. That would show me that they could sense something I cannot. How could I test you to determine if you can imagine anything that "God" could refer to when I cannot? – user8159 Dec 13 '17 at 15:32
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GOD 101

A. Philosophy fails to define God. Let's not use it. Otherwise, this question would not be here.

B. Words fail to define God. Let's not use it. There are two ways comprehend something: by mind or by experience. Concept of God is impossible to understand by mind because mind is a limited system of dualistic values. One can allude to it by using tricks like poetry or abstract definitions, but it pushes you towards experiencing, rather than understanding in definite terms.

C. So, now that we know that we can only experience God, how do we do that?

  1. Take as a working theory the rule that your happiness is a happiness of the Universe, since we are one.

  2. Close your eyes and find the bright area of desire on your horizon. Something that you really, really want to happen.

  3. Throw away the form and focus on the feeling you have about that. Choose to believe, that this will happen. Make an order to the Universe.

  4. Click "Send". In other words, stop worrying about it. Let the Universe handle your order.

  5. Repeat 1-4 as often as possible.

  6. Cultivate unwavering Intent and utter surrender: When something goes not accordingly to your plan, believe that Universe is taking a detour to get you the best results. Take in every experience that Universe trows into your plate. Be grateful. Be patient. Be fluid.

  7. Eventually, (God knows how long) things will turn your way. You will get your confirmation if your belief was clear of doubt.

    INTERPRETATIONS:

    One can call this God, some: Universal Flow, some mechanics of Intent, some – magic. Try it if you dare and this will become your experience of God. Your way of communication. On the way, you will see signs: first occurences in the new pattern to be. Signs make no sense to those who has no direction. Only when your aim is set, you know where you are going – signs start to get into context. It's like if you encounter a road sign: "50 more miles to Sacramento" it makes no sense to you unless you know what Sacramento is and how far it is from where you are going.

  • If you downgrade my answer, please provide explanations hereby. Otherwise it does not look too brave. – Division by Zero Dec 7 '17 at 15:12
  • I read your words. But they don't bring any thoughts to my mind. Are you talking about self-hypnosis? "Choose to believe"? I don't know how to believe that "choosing to believe" is anything but wishful thinking. I can't ignore reasoning. – user8159 Dec 7 '17 at 18:08
  • @DivisionbyZero Votes are anonymous and that's a good thing. You posted some stuff you think valid, but that's not how StackExchange works. Nobody's obliged to tell you why they vote the way they do. I will be open about it: It has poor quality, -1. – Philip Klöcking Dec 7 '17 at 18:18
  • BTW I'm not concerned with philosophy. I'm only concerned with having something I can think of, not just some grammatically correct words. As I keep saying, if you have some words, no matter how grammatically correct, or meaningful-sounding, but nothing to think of for them to mean, except some other words, then all you have is some 'alphabet soup'. – user8159 Dec 7 '17 at 20:26
  • What's the voting process? As I said I don't understand this forum. I can't help it if people say to me "what you said is not valid". I'm just telling people what I cannot do, and that is to imagine anything that "God" refers to, nor believe that anybody can. I don't know whether to call that inability of mine "valid" or "invalid". In fact, why would anybody think it makes any sense to label that inability as "valid" or "invalid"? – user8159 Dec 7 '17 at 20:35

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