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God: a definition

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Introduction

Nick Armitt 12 SHN God: a definition The name God has been applied to the Supreme Being who is variously understood in the many different religious traditions. Even within a single tradition, there is often great diversity of thought about God, which has resulted from changing conceptions of God's nature as they have evolved over the centuries. Taoism defines "god" as a permanent Tao, which is considered to be the essential unifying element of all that is. While Aristotle believes that God is the first cause of the world, or the "unmoved mover," Nietzsche believes that the very concept of God is "dead", that God no longer has the power, as it once did, to transform lives. Ms. Smith's position on God is similar to that of the Taoists in that she holds that there is one force, which is invested in everyone and in everything that is the Higher Being known as God. Taoism speaks of a permanent Tao in the way that some Western religions speak of God. The Tao is the rhythm of the universe or the "way" and acts as the Holy Being of Taoism. The Tao is considered unnamed and unknowable, the essential unifying element of all that is. Everything is basically one despite the appearance differences. Because all is one, matters of good and evil and of true and false, as well as differing opinions, can only arise when people lose sight of the oneness and think their private beliefs are absolutely true. ...read more.

Middle

"The chain of causation needs to be grounded in a first cause that it itself was not caused."(Acknill 204) Aristotle holds that there are in the world change, causality, degrees of excellence, and varieties of design. All of these together require a first cause, or a Prime Mover. Aristotle's treatment of the Prime Mover, or first cause, as pure intellect, perfect in unity, immutable and as he said, "the thought of all thoughts," is given in Metaphysics. In his Metaphysics, Aristotle argued for the existence of a divine being, described as the Prime Mover, who was responcible for the unity and purposefulness of nature. God is perfect and therefore the aspiration of all things in the world, because all things desire to share perfection. Other movers exist as well - the intelligent movers of the planets and stars. Aristotle puts forward the theory that there are 47 or 55 celestial spheres, each eternal, and for each of them there is an unmoved mover. The Prime Mover, or God, described by Aristotle is not very suitable for religious purposes, as many later philosophers and theologians have observed. Aristotle limited his "theology", however, to what he believed science requires and can establish. Aristotle's cosmological argument tells us that if we are to avoid infinite regress, we must suppose that this leads us to one or more prime movers that are themselves unmoved and that have the power to move by acting as objects of desire. ...read more.

Conclusion

Smith holds that life would live without God, but life would not be alive. God gives us the ability to breathe in the sweet fragrance of freshly cut grass and God is responsible for our love, our hate, our joy and our sadness. God adds complication to life by giving us happiness and to ensure we fully appreciate the good, God, our unified spirit, counteracts it with bad. Smith also takes on the Shakespearean mentality of "What's in a name?" She believes that whether God is called God, the Tao, Buddha, or Zeus, it still represents the same unified essence of all life. The word is simply a name and does not constrict this spirit, which Smith describes as being as vast and free and moving as the wind, to a specific religion or belief. She holds that all the different systems of faith are actually born of one great force, which has moved different groups into a diverse array of beliefs according to how this wind-like God as affected and been interpreted by them. All four philosophers and philosophies paint the portrait of God differently. This diversity leads to the conclusion that there is no direct knowledge of God based on Perception - seeing, hearing, and the other senses. Knowledge of God is based on intuition, deduction, or induction. This knowledge is a result of perception of the way the world itself is constituted. ...read more.

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