1/29/2010                                                                                       View Comments

Disbelief in a NON-thing

By dealdoctor

Still frame from the animated cartoon "Th...Image via Wikipedia

Disbelief in a NON-thing is different from disbelief in an actual thing.

When someone is a believer in the Spirit of God they rarely consider the fact that a spirit of any kind is not a defined thing. Our nouns are people, places or things which might be found and examined in the world in which we live. When we use the word “God” or “Spirit” however we may not consider that belief or disbelief in such an entity does not involve a limited person, place or thing that might be found in our world. So the word God is a very funky word. It does not work well in any context including arguments about its own existence.

What I am saying is that for most of the words we use as we speak to one another a real physical thing comes first and the word is secondary. First there is a real tree and then the word tree that refers to it. You know how could Adam name the animals (grin) if there were no animals there in the first place to be named, what sense would naming them make at all? The thing can be touched and has limited dimensions and a limited lifespan just alike all other things. To simply use a word IMPLIES that it is first real and that includes the world God. Of course there is no real Santa but be careful to use the word IMPLIES there was first a real thing to be named at all.

When we bring in “God” or “Sprit” there is no actual limited physical object that precedes the word we are using. I enjoyed reading once that someone might believe in a spiritual body but exactly what could that possibly mean? Take Casper The Friendly Ghost of TV cartoons of days gone by who could walk through doors but who could also catch a ball when it was tossed to him. Really? You can’t have it both ways. A body is limited and physical and it can catch balls or it can pass through doors untouched but doing both is really not so logical. Right? A spiritual body is not possible it is an imaginary physical body. I mean why do angels need wings anyway. Isn’t it birds in this world that need wings? See it gets really stupid.

Now what about “God”? IF God is a thing to be there then one might believe in God or not believe in God. If a horse was said to be in the barn one might believe it to be there or doubt it to be there but there would be a limited horse in a limited barn that was being evaluated for belief. With God and Spirit, since they are not limited things there is actually no PARTICUALR thing to be believed in or doubted, then believing or disbelieving in God is DIFFERENT.

Atheists quickly say, rightly, they cannot define God and the odd thing is that believers say they also cannot define God. To state any limits for God is impossible because God is NOT a limited thing to be defined to any limits. So here in that God has no DEFINITION both sides, atheist and theist, are in harmony. The Infinite does not do definition very well. God is really slippery. Ghosts seem to wear no one certain shoe size. Papa Bear’s bed might be too big ;Mama Bear’s bed too small ; but God’s bed is really neither big nor small because we are unsure what size is required for a being with no limited body. God is “infinite” and “ infinitely small” at the same time. He knows the full extent of the Universe as a grain of sand and yet is able to know the inner workings of the smallest cell. Sure. Really? Eats fire and shits ice and is going to win an Oscar for acting this year too! Anything else? If you do not need any physical evidence then you can make any statement you want. Religions do just that and then, get this friggin’ argue about who is right!

What does this have to do with us atheists anyway? Well when you do not believe in God you are an atheist. BUT the WORDING is such that one might assume too quickly that God IS something like a horse in the barn that MIGHT be there but in your case you personally do not believe is actually there in the barn due to the lack of evidence. BUT, if God is NOT a thing that should even have a word assigned to it in the first place then someone would be an idiot to believe in God. If there is no tree then to believe that the word tree means anything is just plain stupid. IF this is so, and it is, not believing in God is different from not believing in the horse in the barn. The horse is a real thing that might be there or not. God however never was a real thing to begin with and saying words will never make God real. To be an atheist is to be someone who does not believe in something that is actually nothing at all.

This atheism we have is a different kind of disbelief than ordinary disbelief. Atheism, properly understood has no THING at all in which it does not believe. It is a NOTing of something that NEVER WAS in the first place . I do not believe in Round Squares . I also do not believe in the content of what rocks dream about when they are asleep. Let the word “God “become as empty of content as a thought of a rock when it is asleep. If someone DOES however believe in such things as round squares and the thoughts of sleeping rocks it is up to them to bring forth such things as they claim to be real from their non existence in their own imagination into the very light of day! If someone believes in a yesterday that is coming up next week, well, you get the idea. Such people make about as much sense as round squares, the thoughts of sleeping rocks, fat-skinny people and “God”.

If we do not believe in “God “let’s make sure this “God” we do not believe in not only is a thing that is not real for us but never is a “thing” that never could actually ever BE just like an the word up which could actually never mean down. When the WORD “God” is properly examined and found to be no real definable thing disbelief in any real thing represented by that word God is the only sane position.




38 comments:

webmdave said...

Hey! Don't you be picking on Casper! He was my best invisible friend when I was a kid and we had a LOT of fun together. lol

Great article. I don't think I could have said it any better myself, dealdoctor. :)

webmdave said...

"When the WORD “God” is properly examined and found to be no real definable thing, disbelief in any real thing represented by that word God is the only sane position."

So true! I've always wanted to explain that and now you have!

Thanks!

webmdave said...

This kind of goes along with one of the things I've always said. When I was leaving Christianity one of my family members would say: You;re just rebelling against god!. I would say: How can you rebel against something you don't believe to exist? "It" (this idea or concept) has no authority over me. As an aside, often times people will tell you that you're "following the devil"! I'd have to reply: I'd have to be a Christian to even believe in the devil! : )

webmdave said...

Well, but Doc,

These are nouns, too: liberty, fame, truth, love, aversion, democracy, charity, interest, curiosity, energy, attraction, (a) wish, atheism, flight, power, shyness, fortitude, weakness, serendipity, sense, nonsense, authority, creativity, sight, vision, imagination, intuition, professionalism, pain, degree, temerity, growth, action, cleanliness, education, freedom, (the) hunt, slavery, idea, thought, study (of), disregard, feelings, attitude, life, etc.

We cannot touch these, or hear them, or hold them in our hands. Many of these words mean different things to different people. We cannot even agree, for example, when "life" really begins and ends, or the definition of democracy or atheism. There is no "limited, physical object" that precedes any of these words, yet we all agree that they are useful words--and they are all nouns (some may also be used as verbs or adjectives).

So, while I do agree that God is not real, or good, or particularly useful except in fleecing people or bending them to one's will--it is, in fact, a noun.

webmdave said...

Lisa, I see what you are trying to say, but all of those nouns that you mention are REAL and we know that they are real.

We also know that gods are invented and are NOT real. I know that we cannot prove that there are no gods, but deep down inside, we know that they are inventions of primitive minds and promulgated by those with vested interests.

"God" or "gods" are, of course, nouns, but that doesn't make them "real". They are, today, merely crutches for crippled minds and "souls"; people who for one reason or another need to feel that they are watched over and cared for and will spend eternity with someone/something "up there".

What they should be feeling is satisfaction that they are fulfilling their purpose on the planet, either reproducing themselves and maintaining the species, and/or providing(after death), sustenance for other life forms.

webmdave said...

Amen. I'm stealing this quote.

webmdave said...

I agree with freddieb, most of these words describe observable human characteristics.

webmdave said...

Lisa, point well taken. I will agree that the word God has ALMOST as much reality as the word imaginary. Imaginary reality however seems to have a different feel to it than your list of nouns above do for me. Certainly on one level the word God fits on paper about as well as the word Dog does.

What I am trying to say, perhaps poorly, is those bodiless nouns you mention are a real part of our everyday experience in this world. They are a part of the world of ALL people, believers and non believers alike. All people seem to agree those things are REAL because they are real in COMMON experience for all of us. We might be for them or against them but because they are real we do not debate their reality.

Most all of the words you mention come on a sliding scale and in various degrees and people react to them differently because of personal experience so their definitions are slippery and fuzzy. I am sure you would agree with me however that it would be a rare person who did not accept that all the things listed by you are real even if their definition and appeal vary. We do not , any of us who are sane, say there is no such thing for example as slavery or cleanliness. "I simply do not believe it exists now or ever existed or will ever exist" would not fit very well with the words or your list like energy, growth, or authority. It would be hard to comprehend what someone meant if they did say it. They might not practice it and in that sense they could say they do not believe in say slavery or cleanliness, true. Someone could say they did not believe in Republican principles and that make sense but if they say they do not believe Republicans exist show them a picture of George Bush. In like manner to say they did not believe there was no such reality as slavery, shyness, or vision would be over the top.

If God is in the same category as the intangibles on your list there would be no atheists at all. To say I do not believe in the existence of God would be like saying I do not believe in the existence of action. We all believe action exists but for some reason we do not all believe in God. There is a why for that and it is that God is not real in the same way things on your list of intangibles are real. That is what I am saying in a nutshell. I notice that Santa, elves, and Flying Spaghetti Monsters were also not in your list and I think there is a reason they did not make your list. Square-Rounds and Tall- Shorts are not on your list for the same reason. Not one human being on earth theist or non theists believes these things are real. For me such things are not real but the things in your list are very much real . We ALL seem to know that they are real. BUT we all feel differently about the existence of Santa, elves, and Flying Spaghetti Monster. It seems all people believer alike on so many things. I think the word God goes on that last list with the Flying Spaghetti Monster thats all. Who the hell that is sane would think that FSM is as real as feelings or freedom. Not you or me certainly.

webmdave said...

all of those nouns that you mention are REAL

I disagree about how "real" abstract concepts are that we use nouns to denote.

We use the word "love" all the time, but what we really see are the manifestations of an emotion, not the emotion itself.

The believer believes that he can see the manifestations of "God" through the Bible, the events in his life, and unexplained phenomena. A naturalist (like me) looks for natural explanations for the supposed manifestations.

To make matters worse, things are not what they appear to be, and we can never fully define reality, but we can come up with useful models that give reproducible results. When I am banging my head on the table, I don't stop to realize that the table is 99.9999% empty space because it leaves a lump on my head.

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/richard_dawkins_on_our_queer_universe.html

webmdave said...

dealdoctor, I loved this part: "I mean why do angels need wings anyway. Isn’t it birds in this world that need wings? See it gets really stupid." Yet, according to a 2008 Pew survey, 55% of Americans believe they have guardian angels.

But, I love the mental picture I got when I read your statement. The picture was of an angel flapping its wings about 6,000 miles an hour and getting nowhere because its spirit wings could find no purchase in a real world of material air. You raised a wonderful point that we should perhaps do more with; i.e., how do spirit beings interact with the real material world and actually cause things to happen/change in that real world? As you put it, if you can pass through something solid, then you can’t very well push it around. Intriguing thought.

webmdave said...

Actually, Santa, elves and monsters are also nouns. They are in a category with god. Or with Triton, Mercury, and vampires.

I don't disagree with your point that god is not real. I just disagree that "god" is not a noun.

webmdave said...

Yeah, that has always been the problem for movie ghosts--how to DO anything in the living world.

I'm sure christians will come up with a way to explain that they work through people's minds or with special rays of power or some silly thing like that.

webmdave said...

Well, and ideals--like liberty, democracy, and freedom.

All things that we cannot touch or see in the usual sense of those words.

But still nouns. Just like "god".

webmdave said...

Lisa, I totally agree with you that the word god is a noun. Back in the 70s Catholic nuns I knew insisted that because God was the active spirit of love that God was actually a VERB. There were T-Shirts that said, "God is a VERB". Sheesh!! If I had to decided between the word god being a noun or a verb like the Catholic nuns said year ago I am a noun guy all the way. You and I could not agree more.

It seems that when it comes to god there are those who even believe god is a verb but they have certainly have much more training in theology than education in grammar. Go figure. I guess like Barbie people dress her ( the goddess that is) in whatever they want at the moment. If they dress her they better be quick because that group of Catholic nuns say god is so much about loving action that they preferred to call god a verb. It would be quite hard to dress Barbie while she was running around all over the room but some little girls would probably try. Now Ken would probably be reasonable and just sit there on a big white throne and put on the long white robe every day. I wonder if there are female verbs?

webmdave said...

Lisa said, "Yeah, that has always been the problem for movie ghosts--how to DO anything in the living world." Wow, think about it: a movie ghost. That is a character indeed. Ghost's are not real and any movie with ghosts in it is certainly fiction. So if one was one of those movie ghosts that is double deep over the edge unreal thing to be indeed.

Yet, there in the audience there are people who take it all so very seriously and respond with all the emotions AS IF the "movie ghost" was REAL. Why should I ever again question that people believe in God. Damn God is nothing compared to a "movie ghost". God is merely a holy ghost. Now a "movie holy ghost" that is deep shit. Thanks Lisa, I think I will start saying God is about as real as a "movie ghost". Love it!

webmdave said...

Your post hit home with me, but for a different reason than the other comments above. For me, it spells out the very reason why i cannot be agnostic.

In fact, i don't see how any one can, or at least how there is any significant difference between agnostic and atheist. If you say there still MIGHT be a god then you have to say where is the evidence, what would this being be like. Obviously, this supposed being has left zero evidence for its existence and has zero effect on the world, so what is the difference between such a being and no god at all?

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that i was never a Xtian in any respect. I grew up going to church and Sunday school, but i always assumed at the time that no one else really believed any of it either. Maybe an ex-Xtian agnostic could explain it to me.

webmdave said...

Wizie,

Yeah, the whole idea of Spirits in general just simply does not get much traction in the only world we know. I remember this about Thoreau: "No more satisfying deathbed utterance can be imagined for Thoreau than the reply to a question put gently to him by Parker Pillsbury a few days before his death. Pillsbury was an old abolitionist war-horse, a former minister who had left his church over the slavery issue, a man of principle and proven courage who...could not resist the impulse to peer into the future. "You seem so near the brink of the dark river," Pillsbury said, "that I almost wonder how the opposite shore may appear to you." Thoreau's answer summed up his life, "One world at a time," he said.

Wezie, the only "Flappers" that seemed to work here were in the Roaring 20s and lots of those gals were not angels!

webmdave said...

NonXNonExX:

The fact that there is a "garden" and has a supposed " Invisible Gardner" who can not be detected in by any means whatsoever does certainly verify your position. In a sense agnostic simply is a category of KNOWING which implies a comprehensive knowing which is Infinite. This is the sense Huxley, Darwin's Bulldog, used when he formed the term Agnostic.

Atheism is rather for many a term that deals with belief based on what evidence we have limited though it may be.

With these as working definitions one my be BOTH an agnostic who honestly says they do NOT have infinite knowledge, have been wrong many times, continue to learn but can not say they KNOW there is a God. The funny thing is that HONEST Christian theologians are also Agnositcs in this sense. They know they only believe but do not KNOW for Infinite certainty that there is a God. Christians are for the most part BELIEVERS not KNOWers. There have been Gnostics who were supposed KNOWERS but they did not at all have standard Christian doctrines but rather more mystical experiences in common with mysticism of all religions with its experience of oneness, nowness, conjunction of opposites. In this same sense Buddhists are Non-Knowing Knowers of Something. Yeah, right! This ice cream shop has every flavor for sure.

Once again an Atheist simply does not BELIEVE there is a God and an Agnostic says they do not know there is or is not a god because their own range of knowledge is not INFINITE and they are always open to be PROVEN wrong with more REASON AND MORE EVIDENCE. The poor theist says well i am sorry you just have to believe because all this is based on faith. The Atheist says do you mean credulity and gullibility? What else could you possibly mean by faith that has no evidence but some foolish jump into a dark hole instead of staying on solid ground.

They mystic says , you should try sitting on nails naked for a few weeks thinking about nothing. The atheist says no thanks I'd rather have a beer.

webmdave said...

I'd rather have a glass of red wine, even though i do like thinking about nothing sometimes, but i get your point, dealdoctor. At any rate, regardless of whether one choses to be called an agnostic or atheist or both, the difference between any of two of those positions is greater than the difference between any one of them and Xtianity.

I guess my point is that since any of those three positions seems to acknowledge that any creator or "gardener" obviously has left no tracks, for me there is no practical difference.

If this "gardener" ever sends me a clear signal, though, (like my my spider plants sprouting rose blossoms that smell like pizza) i'll be the first to leave the atheist-agnostic camp. I have supreme doubt that this will ever happen, though. Does this make me an agnostic?

webmdave said...

I'd rather have a glass of red wine, even though i do like thinking about nothing sometimes, but i get your point, dealdoctor. At any rate, regardless of whether one choses to be called an agnostic or atheist or both, the difference between any of two of those positions is greater than the difference between any one of them and Xtianity.

I guess my point is that since any of those three positions seems to acknowledge that any creator or "gardener" obviously has left no tracks, for me there is no practical difference.

If this "gardener" ever sends me a clear signal, though, (like my my spider plants sprouting rose blossoms that smell like pizza) i'll be the first to leave the atheist-agnostic camp. I have supreme doubt that this will ever happen, though. Does this make me an agnostic?

webmdave said...

NonXNonExX:

The fact that there is a "garden" and has a supposed " Invisible Gardner" who can not be detected in by any means whatsoever does certainly verify your position. In a sense agnostic simply is a category of KNOWING which implies a comprehensive knowing which is Infinite. This is the sense Huxley, Darwin's Bulldog, used when he formed the term Agnostic.

Atheism is rather for many a term that deals with belief based on what evidence we have limited though it may be.

With these as working definitions one my be BOTH an agnostic who honestly says they do NOT have infinite knowledge, have been wrong many times, continue to learn but can not say they KNOW there is a God. The funny thing is that HONEST Christian theologians are also Agnositcs in this sense. They know they only believe but do not KNOW for Infinite certainty that there is a God. Christians are for the most part BELIEVERS not KNOWers. There have been Gnostics who were supposed KNOWERS but they did not at all have standard Christian doctrines but rather more mystical experiences in common with mysticism of all religions with its experience of oneness, nowness, conjunction of opposites. In this same sense Buddhists are Non-Knowing Knowers of Something. Yeah, right! This ice cream shop has every flavor for sure.

Once again an Atheist simply does not BELIEVE there is a God and an Agnostic says they do not know there is or is not a god because their own range of knowledge is not INFINITE and they are always open to be PROVEN wrong with more REASON AND MORE EVIDENCE. The poor theist says well i am sorry you just have to believe because all this is based on faith. The Atheist says do you mean credulity and gullibility? What else could you possibly mean by faith that has no evidence but some foolish jump into a dark hole instead of staying on solid ground.

They mystic says , you should try sitting on nails naked for a few weeks thinking about nothing. The atheist says no thanks I'd rather have a beer.

webmdave said...

Wizie,

Yeah, the whole idea of Spirits in general just simply does not get much traction in the only world we know. I remember this about Thoreau: "No more satisfying deathbed utterance can be imagined for Thoreau than the reply to a question put gently to him by Parker Pillsbury a few days before his death. Pillsbury was an old abolitionist war-horse, a former minister who had left his church over the slavery issue, a man of principle and proven courage who...could not resist the impulse to peer into the future. "You seem so near the brink of the dark river," Pillsbury said, "that I almost wonder how the opposite shore may appear to you." Thoreau's answer summed up his life, "One world at a time," he said.

Wezie, the only "Flappers" that seemed to work here were in the Roaring 20s and lots of those gals were not angels!

webmdave said...

Your post hit home with me, but for a different reason than the other comments above. For me, it spells out the very reason why i cannot be agnostic.

In fact, i don't see how any one can, or at least how there is any significant difference between agnostic and atheist. If you say there still MIGHT be a god then you have to say where is the evidence, what would this being be like. Obviously, this supposed being has left zero evidence for its existence and has zero effect on the world, so what is the difference between such a being and no god at all?

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that i was never a Xtian in any respect. I grew up going to church and Sunday school, but i always assumed at the time that no one else really believed any of it either. Maybe an ex-Xtian agnostic could explain it to me.

webmdave said...

Lisa said, "Yeah, that has always been the problem for movie ghosts--how to DO anything in the living world." Wow, think about it: a movie ghost. That is a character indeed. Ghost's are not real and any movie with ghosts in it is certainly fiction. So if one was one of those movie ghosts that is double deep over the edge unreal thing to be indeed.

Yet, there in the audience there are people who take it all so very seriously and respond with all the emotions AS IF the "movie ghost" was REAL. Why should I ever again question that people believe in God. Damn God is nothing compared to a "movie ghost". God is merely a holy ghost. Now a "movie holy ghost" that is deep shit. Thanks Lisa, I think I will start saying God is about as real as a "movie ghost". Love it!

webmdave said...

Lisa, I totally agree with you that the word god is a noun. Back in the 70s Catholic nuns I knew insisted that because God was the active spirit of love that God was actually a VERB. There were T-Shirts that said, "God is a VERB". Sheesh!! If I had to decided between the word god being a noun or a verb like the Catholic nuns said year ago I am a noun guy all the way. You and I could not agree more.

It seems that when it comes to god there are those who even believe god is a verb but they have certainly have much more training in theology than education in grammar. Go figure. I guess like Barbie people dress her ( the goddess that is) in whatever they want at the moment. If they dress her they better be quick because that group of Catholic nuns say god is so much about loving action that they preferred to call god a verb. It would be quite hard to dress Barbie while she was running around all over the room but some little girls would probably try. Now Ken would probably be reasonable and just sit there on a big white throne and put on the long white robe every day. I wonder if there are female verbs?

webmdave said...

Actually, Santa, elves and monsters are also nouns. They are in a category with god. Or with Triton, Mercury, and vampires.

I don't disagree with your point that god is not real. I just disagree that "god" is not a noun.

webmdave said...

Yeah, that has always been the problem for movie ghosts--how to DO anything in the living world.

I'm sure christians will come up with a way to explain that they work through people's minds or with special rays of power or some silly thing like that.

webmdave said...

Well, and ideals--like liberty, democracy, and freedom.

All things that we cannot touch or see in the usual sense of those words.

But still nouns. Just like "god".

webmdave said...

Lisa, point well taken. I will agree that the word God has ALMOST as much reality as the word imaginary. Imaginary reality however seems to have a different feel to it than your list of nouns above do for me. Certainly on one level the word God fits on paper about as well as the word Dog does.

What I am trying to say, perhaps poorly, is those bodiless nouns you mention are a real part of our everyday experience in this world. They are a part of the world of ALL people, believers and non believers alike. All people seem to agree those things are REAL because they are real in COMMON experience for all of us. We might be for them or against them but because they are real we do not debate their reality.

Most all of the words you mention come on a sliding scale and in various degrees and people react to them differently because of personal experience so their definitions are slippery and fuzzy. I am sure you would agree with me however that it would be a rare person who did not accept that all the things listed by you are real even if their definition and appeal vary. We do not , any of us who are sane, say there is no such thing for example as slavery or cleanliness. "I simply do not believe it exists now or ever existed or will ever exist" would not fit very well with the words or your list like energy, growth, or authority. It would be hard to comprehend what someone meant if they did say it. They might not practice it and in that sense they could say they do not believe in say slavery or cleanliness, true. Someone could say they did not believe in Republican principles and that make sense but if they say they do not believe Republicans exist show them a picture of George Bush. In like manner to say they did not believe there was no such reality as slavery, shyness, or vision would be over the top.

If God is in the same category as the intangibles on your list there would be no atheists at all. To say I do not believe in the existence of God would be like saying I do not believe in the existence of action. We all believe action exists but for some reason we do not all believe in God. There is a why for that and it is that God is not real in the same way things on your list of intangibles are real. That is what I am saying in a nutshell. I notice that Santa, elves, and Flying Spaghetti Monsters were also not in your list and I think there is a reason they did not make your list. Square-Rounds and Tall- Shorts are not on your list for the same reason. Not one human being on earth theist or non theists believes these things are real. For me such things are not real but the things in your list are very much real . We ALL seem to know that they are real. BUT we all feel differently about the existence of Santa, elves, and Flying Spaghetti Monster. It seems all people believer alike on so many things. I think the word God goes on that last list with the Flying Spaghetti Monster thats all. Who the hell that is sane would think that FSM is as real as feelings or freedom. Not you or me certainly.

webmdave said...

I agree with freddieb, most of these words describe observable human characteristics.

webmdave said...

all of those nouns that you mention are REAL

I disagree about how "real" abstract concepts are that we use nouns to denote.

We use the word "love" all the time, but what we really see are the manifestations of an emotion, not the emotion itself.

The believer believes that he can see the manifestations of "God" through the Bible, the events in his life, and unexplained phenomena. A naturalist (like me) looks for natural explanations for the supposed manifestations.

To make matters worse, things are not what they appear to be, and we can never fully define reality, but we can come up with useful models that give reproducible results. When I am banging my head on the table, I don't stop to realize that the table is 99.9999% empty space because it leaves a lump on my head.

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/richard_dawkins_on_our_queer_universe.html

webmdave said...

dealdoctor, I loved this part: "I mean why do angels need wings anyway. Isn’t it birds in this world that need wings? See it gets really stupid." Yet, according to a 2008 Pew survey, 55% of Americans believe they have guardian angels.

But, I love the mental picture I got when I read your statement. The picture was of an angel flapping its wings about 6,000 miles an hour and getting nowhere because its spirit wings could find no purchase in a real world of material air. You raised a wonderful point that we should perhaps do more with; i.e., how do spirit beings interact with the real material world and actually cause things to happen/change in that real world? As you put it, if you can pass through something solid, then you can’t very well push it around. Intriguing thought.

webmdave said...

Lisa, I see what you are trying to say, but all of those nouns that you mention are REAL and we know that they are real.

We also know that gods are invented and are NOT real. I know that we cannot prove that there are no gods, but deep down inside, we know that they are inventions of primitive minds and promulgated by those with vested interests.

"God" or "gods" are, of course, nouns, but that doesn't make them "real". They are, today, merely crutches for crippled minds and "souls"; people who for one reason or another need to feel that they are watched over and cared for and will spend eternity with someone/something "up there".

What they should be feeling is satisfaction that they are fulfilling their purpose on the planet, either reproducing themselves and maintaining the species, and/or providing(after death), sustenance for other life forms.

webmdave said...

Well, but Doc,

These are nouns, too: liberty, fame, truth, love, aversion, democracy, charity, interest, curiosity, energy, attraction, (a) wish, atheism, flight, power, shyness, fortitude, weakness, serendipity, sense, nonsense, authority, creativity, sight, vision, imagination, intuition, professionalism, pain, degree, temerity, growth, action, cleanliness, education, freedom, (the) hunt, slavery, idea, thought, study (of), disregard, feelings, attitude, life, etc.

We cannot touch these, or hear them, or hold them in our hands. Many of these words mean different things to different people. We cannot even agree, for example, when "life" really begins and ends, or the definition of democracy or atheism. There is no "limited, physical object" that precedes any of these words, yet we all agree that they are useful words--and they are all nouns (some may also be used as verbs or adjectives).

So, while I do agree that God is not real, or good, or particularly useful except in fleecing people or bending them to one's will--it is, in fact, a noun.

webmdave said...

Amen. I'm stealing this quote.

webmdave said...

"When the WORD “God” is properly examined and found to be no real definable thing, disbelief in any real thing represented by that word God is the only sane position."

So true! I've always wanted to explain that and now you have!

Thanks!

webmdave said...

This kind of goes along with one of the things I've always said. When I was leaving Christianity one of my family members would say: You;re just rebelling against god!. I would say: How can you rebel against something you don't believe to exist? "It" (this idea or concept) has no authority over me. As an aside, often times people will tell you that you're "following the devil"! I'd have to reply: I'd have to be a Christian to even believe in the devil! : )

webmdave said...

Hey! Don't you be picking on Casper! He was my best invisible friend when I was a kid and we had a LOT of fun together. lol

Great article. I don't think I could have said it any better myself, dealdoctor. :)