It’s hard to discuss things fruitfully when you don’t know what you’re talking about.
I’m not speaking here of out-and-out ignorance, of people pontificating on subjects of which they know little (although there’s plenty of that going around, and I’m sure it was ever thus, and that I’ve contributed to it in my time). I’m speaking of something more subtle: of two people in dialog using the same words but meaning different things by them. Such hidden disagreements can generate quite a lot of heat and confusion, with very little light, and often both disputants go away affirmed in their disdain for the other.
One word which is particularly fraught in this regard is the little word “God”. I was pondering this, yesterday, and found that I’m curious what my readers mean by the word. When you think of God, what is that you’re thinking of? What makes God God? What does it mean to be God?You can answer in the comments, but there are some ground rules. First, anyone can play. If you’re an atheist and say you don’t believe in God, I’m curious to know how you define the God you don’t believe in. However, this is a poll, not an advocacy session. I want to hear what you believe, not why you believe it, or why you think others should believe as you do. Please avoid replying to other folk’s comments, except to ask for clarification. And finally, be polite. If a comment is rude, dismissive, or not on point I will delete it ruthlessly. I’m trying to gather grist for the mill, here, not start a free-for-all.