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The philosophical God

The philosophical God

Yes, I thought I’d pick an easy one for the next meeting...

We know that the idea of “God” has been an important subject for philosophers for thousands of years. I wonder for how long it’s been an important subject for humans generally? Did we, I wonder, create God with our first iota of consciousness? If so, did God exist before we were conscious?

What about other intelligent species that share the planet; do we see any evidence that they might believe in a God? Elephants and dolphins, for example, exhibit complex social structures and, in the latter case, a language. Could there be an elephantine or cetacean understanding of God?

Aside from such general musings (I always like to get other animals in there somewhere!), my suggestion is for us – as rational philosophers - to consider questions around God. For example, exploring:

· What do we understand by the term “God”?

· How can we converse rationally about the nature and existence of God? What questions can we ask?

· If there needs to be a consciousness to observe reality; does this imply a “God”?

I would like to add the caveat that everyone that attends the meeting respects everyone else’s views – as this could be a sensitive area. I’m interested in us exploring the concept as philosophers, rather than as theologians – ie we should seek to be logical and consistent.However, it’s also important to acknowledge that faith and belief is a personal matter – the intention certainly isn’t to ascertain who is “right” and who is “wrong”.

For anyone that wants to do some reading beforehand, here are some links:

Essay “Philosophical Views of God” by Dr Jan Garrett – a good overview of philosophical concepts: http://people.wku.edu/jan.garrett/philvws.htm

A widely researched and fascinating article about God and Time by Gregory E. Ganssle of Yale University: http://www.iep.utm.edu/god-time/

And for a test of your ability to approach the subject with consistent rationality, try this test from TMP (The Philosophers’ Magazine) online: http://www.philosophersnet.com/games/god.php

(NB: TMP is worthy of a peruse – it’s a great resource and will also lead you to some good philosophy blogs!)

If anyone has any suggestions about associated reading – please share!

Please RSVP as to whether or not you can attend. Also; if you have favourite days for meetings - please tell me. I'll try to book meetings for various days to suit people who are keen to take part.

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  • John E

    Another interesting and enjoyable evening. Thank you to all who took part.

    March 2, 2013

  • Steven B.

    Very enjoyable evening, interesting conversation with a nice bunch of good-natured (or is that "nurtured"?!) people.

    March 1, 2013

  • Lara M.

    Beautiful pub with a lovely atmosphere, riveting company and great conversation, need I say more? Not bad for my first meeting, see you again :)

    1 · February 28, 2013

    • Sherry

      Pleased you could make it Lara! x

      February 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I cannot come on Wednesdays :( I teach a conversation class on Wednesdays.

    January 26, 2013

    • Sherry

      Sorry to miss you Em. I do different days to try to give everyone the opportunity to come to some meetings. We'll do a different day next time.

      February 27, 2013

  • Alan

    I cannot make the 27th as I have another meeting.

    January 26, 2013

    • Sherry

      Very sorry to miss you - and I know I'm tardy responding to your emails. Studies have been taking all my time of late. Will respond properly soon.

      February 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    sorry not to be around for this one - enjoy it and hope to see soon

    February 11, 2013

    • Sherry

      Sorry to miss you Laura, hope we can see you at the next one. :)

      February 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    i am sorry , it seems like i cant find time at all !! i hope in one the meetings i will see you all :(

    February 27, 2013

  • Lara M.

    Really hoping to make this one Sherry, esp as it's not on a Tuesday!

    1 · February 21, 2013

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