Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Deleting Empty-Bucket Words: God, Spirit, Love

For a long time, I and many others have been frustrated with 3 words: God, Spirit, and Love.

So much miscommunication with only 3 terms!

Because each of those words has so many different contrary meanings--so many contradictory fillings, that in articles, books, debates, group conversations, and dialogues, they almost mean
both nothing and everything.

Each is an empty bucket.

God, for instance, is a series of squiggles and a sound that various groups of humans pour/dump/force opposite stuff into whether it’s gold, pyrite, sludge, or manure.

And this has been going on for thousands of years among billions of humans in various diverse societies and social groups.

Repeatedly, when I’ve stated why I think God is real, atheists have belittled and denied the term as fallacious, while all sorts of religionists have strongly agreed and affirmed the Supreme Being.

But then confused chaos--semantic hell hurricanes up.

What the atheists and the religionists mean by the term is totally contrary to everything I think.

Indeed, often their negative or positive definitions of "God" are so horrific, they exceed all of my worst nightmares.

In the last couple of years, I have documented many detailed examples of this semantic confusion, this empty-bucket-ness. And it only seems to be getting worse.

While the basic definition in the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary:
"God: 1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality,"
is denotative and open enough for myself, it doesn't work for many others.

Since, there is plenty of evidence already given on the confusions, I am going to jump right to suggestions for new terms.

Transcendent Reality, (or Ultimate or Essential) with an emphasis upon the concept that T.U.E.R. is “beyond” matter and energy.

Of course, already a few atheists have responded with the question what is “ultimate”?

That’s why I also mention “transcendent” and “essential,” and then recommend such questioners to the dictionary.

At least “ultimate reality” dispenses with the caricature that most atheists insist

the word “god” means—an “invisible super-omni-man in the sky.”

Where they got this simplistic, anthropomorphic view of God, I’m not sure,
but most theists don't think that is what God means.

I never thought God was an invisible powerful man in the sky,
not even when I was 8 years old, and a devout fundamentalist Baptist.

My new term will also, hopefully, unsettle religionists, and help them realize that I don’t believe in the God of creedal Christianity, Islam, Judaism, or Hinduism.

Love: Compassion, empathy, kindness, benevolence, altruism.

When I say that all humans ought to focus on ultimate reality and be compassionate and empathetic to all others, hopefully, that will be more clear than the old words and phrases.

Wish me luck;-).

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox


Hystery said...

I would argue that what I've been saying about "God" is that it is too limited and too anthropomorphic to mean what I mean, but then, like you, it never signified something limited and anthropomorphic for me in the first place. I suppose that when I began to interact with those who did use "God" in a limiting way, I reacted by engaging in what some might call semantics but which, in hindsight, for me was a kind of spiritual survivalism as I struggled to be free of labels in a polarizing world.

These days I don't feel much attached to any particular word or words for what is, in the end, Ineffable. But I will say that your words, whether I have argued with you or agreed with you, have always been important to me. You may not know how much your own engagement in the conversation has meant to me or how often I have found comfort and encouragement in our conversations. If I have remained grounded in faith during a time when it would have been much easier to drift away, it was, at least in part, because of you.

Daniel Wilcox said...

Hi Hystery,

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, and for letting me know our virtual friendship continues.

And thanks for letting me know our dialog has been an encouragement to you. Sometimes, (on more hopeless days), when I don't receive responses from others, I do get discouraged.

The word "God" definitely confuses and fragments. Recently, I found myself writing to some Christians that I am completely a "hard atheist" to God as they doctrine him.

While at the same time, some atheists were claiming that I am really an atheist, and I needed to explain that on the contrary, I am an intellectually convinced theist.

Semantics! Reminds me of Alice;-)...