What does it mean when you say "God"?

Those of us who participate on this forum regularly are constantly using the word “God” and expect others to know what we mean when we say that. It is obviously not the case.

We need a ‘sticky’ with as many definitions as can be read in, oh, maybe 10 minutes. :unamused:

I’ve gotten to the point that I hate to use the word, because I know it won’t be understood by more than a few people. If I am talking about anything connected to the concept of “God”, most folks have no idea what I am talking about. I’m guessing, but I’d bet that most others suffer the same problem.

So, in an effort to tidy up, let’s hear your definition of “God”. I won’t put a 25 words or less limit on it, but keep it as brief as possible. If there is enough interest, maybe we can ask Bob to post it as a reference sticky.


Creator and ruler (currently) of the universe, distinct from it. Almighty, benevolent, omniscient, perfect, infinite, self-sufficient (who has in himself his «sufficient reason»), eternal, absolute.

God : noun. 1) Supreme being, possessing mastery of the universe and standing without peer. 2) Rob Halford, lead singer of Judas Priest.

Oh yeah, I have forgotten to say «unique».

A conscious higher-power, or being.

God = One

Your definition appeals to me, but it should be added that such a higer-power cannot be just a superior lifeform (some alien). It must be, at least, as wide as the universe. Do you agree?

Yes, by higher-power I mean a superior being from another dimension, I guess. I would not consider a superior life-form, such as an alien, god. However, I do not believe that this higher-power must be at least as wide as the universe.

“God” when I hear it I think of the Christian god. A supreme being.
“god” on the other had is totally different like it can be used as another word for “the Good”.
But it is a totally ambiguous because it is different for everyone.


My ‘God = One’ post was a bit obscure I know, yet again I’m at a loss for words but your question made me ask myself - and then I found this…thought it describes my picture of God pretty well.

‘And when he sees me in all and sees all in me,
Then I never leave him and he never leaves me.
And he, who in this oneness of love Loves me in whatever he sees,
Wherever this man may live, In truth, he lives in me…’

  • Bhagavad Gita, VI:30,31


Therefore, it should be added: supernatural.


Why try to define something with are words that can only describe the real…

I mean we could say :

god is supernatural…

but what IS supernatural?

god is unreal…

what IS unreal?

before defining what god IS, maybe we should define what god ISN’T.

“God” is the warmth and the unity- all points connected- the center.

“God” is a feeling. When I feel “god”: when I love, when I am kind, when I weep at a small flower opening- the first I have seen since the ground thawed, when I am true and I believe in truth and goodness, when I am healthy, when I feel endeared towards and connected to everyone and everything I see and I can appreciate, value and understand all of it.

So you accept that notions of a deity are purely fantastical?

I suspect that that might take rather a long time. We could start at the beginning of the dictionary and move onwards. I suspect that most people would agree that deities aren’t aardvarks…

When you refer to “God”, are you referring just to a feeling, or are you making any claims about the origin of that feeling?

in not so many words that’s the point I was trying to make is that god is ineffable, undefinable.

we don’t know god and can never know god in this plane of existence. but we can strive to be more god like.

If we don’t know anything about God, how do we know if we’re being like him or not? What is like an unknown?

that’s the ultimate brain twister isn’t it?

we don’t know what or how to describe god, yet it is our goal to try to live as like god as we can.

so the question is of course how can we do that?

simply … don’t live like a human. Don’t thirst for materialism, don’t be a consumer, don’t love one person, love all of mankind, don’t let your anger control you, don’t let your selfishness drive you.

really to be like god is to be the anti-human.

be this way to be like the god I just said nothing of which may be known… ignore the logic, and do as I say anyway…


Don’t donate to charity, don’t play hop-scotch, don’t breath air, don’t talk about theology. Honestly, what’s so special about your list of ‘ways to be like God’, other than they match your personal beliefs on morality, which really have nothing to do with the question? My list seems equally relevant; Surely God doesn’t play hopscotch.
You’re relying on an assumption that God is good, or at least, that God is not evil. As I’ve argued elsewhere, you can’t base everything on very clear ‘God is like this’ statements, while claiming that we can’t know anything about God at all.

Imp said it better and more briefly than I did.