Talk:God

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Former good article God was one of the Philosophy and religion good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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Photo[edit]

Seriously, 3/4 of the depictions of the capital G monotheistic God are of sects of Hinduism? While calling Hinduism monotheistic is controversial on its own, disregarding that it still seems like undue weight. 03:33, 18 June 2017 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by R3D October (talkcontribs)

Gods are mythical the article should be unbiased and state this[edit]

Call pixies myths, call Santa legendary, Fairy are both, Bigfoot is folklore, religions have no better evidence of existence than pixies! So why why the anti pixie,Santa,Fairy/pro religion stance on these pages. Its just POV and biased!--TobyWongly (talk) 03:07, 7 May 2017 (UTC)

Dont want to upset the god pretenders is not a valid excuse to not follow Wiki Rules!--TobyWongly (talk) 03:08, 7 May 2017 (UTC)

Please cite professionally-published mainstream academic sources for specific claims. Wikipedia is not a pulpit for you to preach from, talk pages are not forums either. Ian.thomson (talk) 03:14, 7 May 2017 (UTC)
I would say the use of the word "conceive" in the opening line of the article already shows that we are talking about the notion of God in monotheism, not an objectively verifiable entity. This notion of God is undeniable and it is upheld by many in current society and remains undeniably important. In short I do not see the problem. (If you think this is unfair to pixies, the pixie article would be where changes should be proposed). Arnoutf (talk) 11:23, 7 May 2017 (UTC)
Oh, forgot to mention, OP has been blocked as a troll. Ian.thomson (talk) 12:29, 7 May 2017 (UTC)
OP's comment is not completely without merit and the article certainly does speak about 'God' as one single (and real) entity. The word God (capitalized) is essentially a name used by any given religion for their god (uncapitalized), it should not be used when referring to more than one god, but the article breaks this rule frequently. Obscurasky (talk) 15:56, 7 May 2017 (UTC)
The article for any given god is Deity. This is specifically for the (not a, the) supreme being that many religions agree upon the existence and even major attributes of (e.g. omniscience), even if particular religions have an additional attribute or two the rest disagree with (e.g. Trinitarianism) and even if all religions disagree over which one this deity favors. The term "God" (capital G) is applicable to Allah/YHWH, Ahura Mazda, Brahman, Nzambi a Mpungu, Olorun, Shangdi, Tengri... Any singular transcendent being within a religion who is regarded as the omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent ground of all being or source of existence; but not non-transcendent figures (unless they are considered avatars or incarnations of transcendent or pantheistic figures, like Krishna). Ian.thomson (talk) 00:00, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
Hello Ian. You're correct when you say the term "God" (capital G) is applicable to any singular transcendent being within a religion, but the point I was making is that it's wrong for the article to use uppercase when not speaking about a 'singular' god. To give an example; the sentence "There are many names for God......." is incorrect (and untrue) because it's using uppercase when referring to God generically. There are, of course, many gods with different names - not one god with many names. Obscurasky (talk) 21:25, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
Ah but you are using logic, you cannot mix reason with irrational beliefs ;-) Unibond (talk) 11:24, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
I think you mean "Ah but you're using original research, you cannot use original research on Wikipedia." Ian.thomson (talk) 11:57, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
There are, of course, many gods with different names - not one god with many names. -- That's your belief, and one that's not shared by most theists and theologians. Ian.thomson (talk) 11:52, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
I misspoke. Should have said adherents believe in many gods, with different names - not one god with many names. In any case the point I was making remains valid - capitalization is inappropriate where the article refers to more than one god (perceived or otherwise) - you can't use the word 'God' (capital G) to talk about the Abrahamic god and Ahura Mazda at the same time. I would also point out that, whatever most theists and theologians believe, Wikipedia is exclusively encyclopaedic.Obscurasky (talk) 19:15, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
Except that this article is about what theologians have written about God -- if you don't understand that, you should be working on a different article. That you can say "the Abrahamic god" is an indication that religions believe that they share a deity in common. Ahura Mazda has been equated with Yahweh and it's not a new thing. We still have individual articles on Yahweh and Ahura Mazda for historical specifics tied to those names, this article is for the generalities that have been affirmed across religions. Your unsourced arguments really sound like suggesting that we scrap the Bread article because Naan and Baguettes aren't the same thing. That or you're being so unclear as to what exactly it is you're suggesting that I have to (rhetorically) ask why you're bothering. Ian.thomson (talk) 00:14, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
@Ian.thomson Please try to remain civil, and refrain from telling editors which articles they should or shouldn't edit. Wikipedia is a community project, open to all. Debresser (talk) 13:29, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
also @Ian.thomson, this article is about the concept of a supreme "God", of course theists and theologians take a view on this concept but so do many rational thinkers as well, indeed it could be argued that the position of almost all theists and theologians is inherently biased Unibond (talk) 13:54, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
The problem of taking a strictly rational approach to this article would reduce the article to: God is the name for a mythical deity (or something similar). The rest of the strictly rational view would be very limited as most arguments are better served in other articles such a religion, deities and atheism. However the wealth of cultural and societal imagery of God cannot be denied and deserves a detailed place on Wikipedia. And yes that wealth is heavily biased by theologian and theist view but that is simply how it is; and that is what you get with more than 3000 yrs of monotheistic state religions (starting to my knowledge with Akhenaten around 1350 BCE). Downplaying that history (albeit biased by theistic dominance during most of it's history - including today) would not be encyclopedic in my view. Arnoutf (talk) 16:16, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
Arnoutf, as Unibond says; this article is about the concept of "God". There's no reason why it should be reduced to 'God is the name for a mythical deity' - besides, God (word) already exists. Otherwise, I completely agree with you; the wealth of cultural and societal imagery of God (as conceived by various religions) does deserve a detailed place on Wikipedia, and I certainly wouldn't want downplay that history.
Ian.thomson, The term "Abrahamic god" is an indication that some religions believe that they share a common god, it certainly isn't an indication that they all do. Some theologians may believe 'all gods are the same God', but I'm not aware of any consensus on the issue - so I maintain that the article is wrong to use the word God (capitalized) when referring, generically, to more that one god. That's not an 'unclear' statement Ian, that's exactly what it says it is. Obscurasky (talk) 18:26, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
God (with a capital G) means the unique god postulated by either monotheism, deism or pantheism, or the main god of henotheism. Other than stating this upfront, you are parsing words. Tgeorgescu (talk) 18:33, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
Saying that God is mythical would ignore philosophy. God is not just a mythical archetype or a worship object; the concept extends to philosophy as well.Music314812813478 (talk) 22:02, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

References to a single, unified, concept of God.[edit]

Following on from the previous section; I'm unsure how to proceed with this. The article contains poor phraseology, in that it contains references to 'God' as one single and unified entity - when actually the references really apply to all monotheistic gods (conceived or otherwise).

So starting at the beginning, the second sentence says "The concept of God, as described by most theologians, includes the attributes of omniscience.........." The problem here is that there's no such thing as a concept of 'God', in the sense of 'God' being one single entity. Each religion has a concept of its own god and, whilst it's fine to list shared attributes, a sensible wording needs to be found which explains that these attributes apply to different conceived gods, not one single conception. Suggestions anyone? Obscurasky (talk) 17:58, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

No changes please. All of the attributes listed in the sentence are completely generally agreed upon by religions and philosophies, although they may remove or add (only up to a few) attributes as they see fit would fit logic better. Music314812813478 (talk) 21:59, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
Also, what all concepts completely have in common is that God is a singular object of worship whose characteristics are debatable.Music314812813478 (talk) 22:21, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand you, but in any case, the point here is that 'God' (in the context of this article) is not a singular object or conception; it's is a reference to all the conceived monotheist gods. Obscurasky (talk) 23:14, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
But pretty much everyone and every sources talk about God like he is something that is singular but whose characteristics are debatable. While they developed in different areas, people have always identified their concept of God with that of other tribes, despite notable differences. Tribes would insist that they were the ones who are correct abour God, which is how religious disagreements begin.Music314812813478 (talk) 00:06, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
There may well be some theologians who believe that all gods are the same entity, but I very much doubt there is consensus on the matter. Do you have a reliable citation to show that "pretty much everyone and every sources talk about God like he is something that is singular" Obscurasky (talk) 11:55, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
i never said "all deities", I said all "Gods with the qualities of omnipresence, etc." Whil e do not have any citation that explicitly says this, it is pretty obvious from reading different sources. They consistently say "According to Christians, God is..." not "the Christian God." We should follow the way they speak about God per the rules.Music314812813478 (talk) 21:08, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

Changes to opening sentence.[edit]

I'm unhappy with Music314812813478's reversion of edits in the opening sentence (and their 'instructions' to other editors are inappropriate). To avoid an edit war it's going to be necessary to establish consensus here;

1. Interpreting the term 'faith' as a general reference to 'trust' is too wooly and requires qualification. Clearly the term is used in the context religious belief ('a faith') and I propose it should therefore be linked accordingly.

2. The capitalization of supreme being is wrong because the term is only capitalized when used as a name or formal title. The article Supreme Being is an article about the name 'Supreme Being', not the description 'supreme being'. I propose it should be written uncapitalized, in the same way that 'principal object' is written. Obscurasky (talk) 23:10, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

1. This is how "faith" is used in the source: faith is clearly a term used in religion to refer to trust in God in this context, as the article in faith says. You are obviously wrong in this regard.
2. Supreme Being should be capitalized because that is always how it is done.Music314812813478 (talk) 00:10, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
Also, there is a reason wikimarkup allows for instructions to other editors.Music314812813478 (talk) 00:11, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
By the way, Supreme Being may be used as an alternative to "God", but it is not a name even though it is always capitalized because the word "the" always precedes it.Music314812813478 (talk) 00:13, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
I concur with Obscurasky on the first point. Linking to faith is quite unhelpful to the reader because that article is way too broad; one might as well link to the Wiktionary entry. I have no opinion on the capitalization issue, but linking to the Supreme Being article seems almost circular, thematically. Incidentally, at Wikipedia we generally use hidden text to make suggestions rather than issue instructions. In any event, like visible text, hidden text is also subject to consensus. RivertorchFIREWATER 05:29, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
The link now goes to the Religious Views section, so now there is no reason to worry about excessive topic broadness.Music314812813478 (talk) 06:49, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
So now we're back to the issue of 'faith', in the first sentence, apearing to describe one single and unified belief system. Using the qualifier 'a' gets around this problem and for the life of me I can't see what your objection is.Obscurasky (talk) 11:48, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
With regard to Supreme Being being capitalized - it certainly is not 'how it is always done'. I have found capitalized examples (when the term is not being used as a name/title) but this is done to show reverence, and only by the religion concerned. It is not a custom we need to follow in an encyclopaedic context.Obscurasky (talk) 11:48, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
I wasn't even instructing editors in the first place. I was just suggesting that they take into consideration the reasons for how the sentences are the way they are.Music314812813478 (talk) 11:27, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
I gathered that, but you used the word "instructions" in your comment above. No biggie. About that link...I think Belief#Religion works better than Faith#Religious views. The latter has no prefatory summary but just dives directly into cataloguing various faiths, while the former summarizes the topic in a way that expands on the content of this article. RivertorchFIREWATER 15:45, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
My issue with the lede "This article is about the concept of a supreme "God" in the context of monotheism" is that in monotheism there is only the one god so it's a bit odd to say he is the supreme god. Supreme being defined as highest in rank or authority / very great or the greatest. Unibond (talk) 16:16, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
What it means is that he is supreme and unmatched (marking a distinction between this deity and the polytheistic deities, which are finite creatures), and is called "God". It does not imply that he is above other lesser gods, becasue "God" is capitalised.Music314812813478 (talk) 21:11, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
My objection is that it does not imply,even now, that there is one unified faith! It talks about trust, which every religion agrees upon! Why would you think it imples a unified faith is beyond me.Music314812813478 (talk) 21:14, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
"Faith" should be used, because a.) Believers are required to trust in God, and "belief" does not give that connotation, and b.) "faith" is the official term. Even "belief" is nowhere near as used in religious texts, by religious people, or when discussing religion.Music314812813478 (talk) 21:17, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
It would only imply a unified faith if it was talking about religion. The way the sentence uses at term, it clearly does not.Music314812813478 (talk) 21:19, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────(It's quite unnecessary to indent further when adding to your own thought.) "Believers are required to trust in God". Which believers and of what religion? That seems like a generalization. "Even 'belief' is nowhere near as used in religious texts, by religious people, or when discussing religion." Source, please. "Belief" is widely used in the field of religious studies, when discussing religion dispassionately, as this article ought to do. RivertorchFIREWATER 22:31, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

"Belief" is distinct from "faith", and thus putting belief instead of faith would change what the source says. We should avoid original research in articles.
All religions encourage believers to trust in God. That should be obvious from the start. As for a source, I do not provide any, but your statement is likewise equally invalid, just so you know. Furthermore, we do not have to cite sources for assertions in the talk page.
"Belief" is not in the source, and refers to attitudes towards practices, religious texts, etc., and can be split to fundamentalism, liberalism, and so on. It is even MORE broad than just "faith", which immediately suggests "God". "Principal object of belief" sound like religions encourage that people should put more belief in God's existence than other things, which is an absurd misrepresentation of Religion's claims. What "principal object of faith" means is that people trust that God will do stuff for them more than they expect other beings to do so: a far more accurate and precise description.Music314812813478 (talk) 00:26, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
Besides, the first sentence describes how believers think of God from their point of view, not the attitude of believers towards God. Believers conceive of God as someone they put trust into, and they automatically think God is real, so the sentence must use faith and not belief. And the sentence is not biased either-quite the contrary in fact, because it says "in monotheism", suggesting that God exists only in monotheism.Music314812813478 (talk) 00:36, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
I'll show here and now why faith is fine. Bank could mean a river bank, or a bank for money, just as faith could mean either confidence or religion. It would be absurd if I asserted "He is swimming at the bank" should be changed to "He is walking at the bank", because the "bank" in the original sentence obviously means a "river bank", right? Likewise it is absurd to assert that "the principal object of faith" implies the existence of only one faith, because it obviously refers to "confidence" or "religious trust", and not "religion", right?

Also, ironically, Obscurasky introduced a problem similar to the one he was trying to correct

"principal object of a faith" implies that believers concieve of God as being the principal object of a single faith!Music314812813478 (talk) 00:53, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
Hmm, no, I'm afraid most of that went over my head. I'm not particularly invested in this article, however, so I'm going to let others continue the discussion with you, if they wish to. A couple points before I go, if I may.
You're very new here, and that's great. Welcome. Please take it in the helpful spirit it's intended when I say that you're not making your points very persuasively. Comments such as "Furthermore, we do not have to cite sources for assertions in the talk page" aren't exactly helping. I asked for a source because you made a claim in support of one of the arguments you made, and I wanted to verify if your claim was true. That's how it works on talk pages. If you're shooting the breeze on a user talk page, that's something else again, but when you're talking about changes to an article, asking for a source is perfectly appropriate. People routinely ask for sources in talk-page discussions, and sometimes they even get them. You seem very impassioned about all this, and that's great too, but you also seem quite certain of everything you're saying, and that always makes me a little wary. I, for one, am far from sure about any of it, and I'm willing to be persuaded by reasoned arguments.
One more thing. Since subtlety didn't work, I'll be direct: please stop it with the indentation changes. The left margin jumping all over the page is making me dizzy. Help:Using talk pages and WP:Talk page guidelines provide guidance on best practices for formatting. Good luck! RivertorchFIREWATER 03:42, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
I am sorry for the indentation changes, you only suggested that it is unnecessary. You never expressed the suffering you endured, so I have to give myself some credit, and suggest that it is partly your fault.Music314812813478 (talk) 04:02, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

Also, thanks for the advice.Music314812813478 (talk) 04:03, 16 May 2017 (UTC)