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1) That's your opinion, there's actually an entire group called "maltheists" who believe God is evil. I guess it has to be true then because that's what they believe? You're implying that because so many people believe God to be good that it justifies him and without a doubt he has to be good. That's a logical fallacy of some sort, can't remember off the top of my head.
2) I disagree on a basic level here, "God is good' or "God is not" are not the only possibilities. Are people "good" or are they "not"? There's no way to say either one objectively speaking. It's all subjective reasoning, it's all opinion. There's plenty of gray area, you're still assuming God is constant. What if he's not constant? What if he's just pretending and telling us he's consistent in every way but he's really just as flawed as we are? Where's your evidence that God is consistent?
3) One, you're assuming I didn't give the robot just as good a brain as I have :P
Two, if I don't make that robot in order to preserve myself and others, then I am limited because I cannot do something. If God does not create a second God then he is limited to not being able to do that. That of course goes into the discussion about the "illusion of choice v.s the reality of choice" that we've been having in another thread by Destinee.
Thanks! ( I always try to put this after my posts btw, just to be courteous, it in no way means that I consider the argument over. I just put it here cause.)
Take your time figuring out what you believe. There’s nothing wrong with trying to reason things out. I wish you all the best in this journey. May your destination be the one you look back on without regret.
I guess there’s not much I can say to this first point. Except, of course, that I disagree (big surprise). And you got it wrong: I do understand how we came to be. I’m not just filling in the gaps. Creationism makes sense to me. There is much more certainty in what God reveals in the Bible than all the ideas of man.
When I reasoned out my belief in God and creation, I didn’t start by saying “the Big Bang makes no sense, how did we really come into existence?” No, I was already rooted in the Bible. I had seen the truth of the Bible and I believed that Jesus was my Saviour. I trusted in God’s Word and when I saw what it says about creation, I believed it. The belief that God created us is something you can’t really reason out with logic alone.
I don’t believe in creation because nothing else makes sense. I believe in creation because I trust in God and His Word.
On the topic of freewill, I guess we can’t really know if God gave it to us or not. We should just be thankful we have it. :)
Anyway, who’s to say the modern man didn’t give the cavemen freewill? The caveman can’t know, only the man does. And if the man gave them a book saying he did, would the cavemen be wrong to believe it? He obviously knows a lot more about what is going on.
In my defense: I just looked up those answers on Google. :P
They don't really make that much sense, do they?
You're just going to have to tell me. I have no idea.
(Well, if anything, at least this has served to humble me.)
Thank you :)
Not much more to say here I s'pose. You've been a great debater, I loved our conversations. I know what you're saying, but I guess at a certain point Theology and Science do have to conflict. I guess it's less of a choice and more of a way of finding how to strike the right balance between the two.
I'm not really sure anymore, all I can say is that more studying is needed. As for the caveman thing, the problem is that in our situation, if the caveman doesn't believe the modern man then the modern man locks him away in an eternity of torment.
My problem is that I feel the consequences for believing or not believing are too much to risk on simple intuition alone. Especially considering that I influence my loved ones in their decisions as well.
I see what you are at now. Maltheism then does not account for all the good that is happening. That is an odd arguement and an old one. If we are so hidh and mighty that we do all the good and God is evil, then what accounts for the good deeds about which we have no knowledge and which happen without our knowledge or consent?
The idea that God is consistent is laid down in several theoriers, bu relating them would mean going a long way back. And seriously, I'm in no mood to do so.
God is not limited by the fact that He won't be able to handle a second God. But that's absurd. Why should there be a second God to preserve us? If one God can create us and provide for us and can doi everything, then why should there be a divison of power?
God can be an amalgamation of Good or bad. I think that's what you are trying to say. A fantastic prospect, but then the chances are as much for this as for God being solely good or solely bad; even less. Read the doxology if you wanna get what I'm aiming at(exclude the part about the holy ghost and son. these do not fit in my belief of monotheism).
Oh yeah, what did you do about the paradox?
1) I never said I agreed with Maltheists, it's just that it seemed like you were saying "Everybody says God is good, therefore he is good" and I was pointing out the flaw in that argument.
2) Can't say anymore about consistency stuff if you don't wanna get into it :P
3) Define a limit, I say a limit is something that prevents one from doing something. Therefore in that context yes, I am limited because I can't make the robot in your analogy and God is limited because he can't make another God. If it makes a little more sense without bringing God into the picture, think about it like this: Omnipotence is impossible (assuming that omnipotents means something has no limits) because it contradicts itself. Because if something has no limits, then it should be able to create something else that has no limits, saying that it either can or cannot do this gives limits to it in different ways.
3) "God can be an amalgamation of good and bad"
Exactly what I was trying to say, thank you! I don't see why it is such a fantastic prospect, quite the contrary. Do you know anything other than God that is NOT an amalgamation of Good and Bad? It seems speaking statistically that the theme of an entity made only of goodness or badness is limited only to God. I don't see why not.
Not sure what paradox you're referring to. The one about Omnipotence being a paradox I described above, if it's a different one let me know!
I mentioned the paradox of the digger wasp in a previous post. Kindly read that and tell me what you think of it.
I can mention the answer(I know it) without a source just now. However, I have the source somewhere and I'll probably tell it to you after I find it(my room's a mess and I have jumbled everything:()
"Here is something for you to ponder over while I'm away:
Digger wasps follow an inherent and instinctive life pattern. A simple search on wikipedia will show you that. The question, or paradox is, from where did the first digger wasp formed learn how to carry out this pattern that is so deeply rooted in their lives? This is something what natural selection cannot answer, because while it pours informative insight in the origin of things, it does not explain the origin of behavior or instinct or any intrinsic and inherent pattern of life. "
I'm putting the above quote there more for my own benefit while writing this :)
Two things about this "paradox"
1) Your argument pretty much boils down to "how can natural selection account for specific behaviors ingrained into living creatures?" am I correct? That's how natural selection works though, different behaviors provide longer life spans and more mating, therefore they spread over a population. Different behaviors can be produced by all kinds of things, genetic influence, reaction to stimuli, etc. Many of these things can be passed down to offspring, if a Digger Wasp decided to do what he did to stay alive, and it worked for him, chances are he was influenced by his genetics. If he stays alive longer because of it, his genetics get passed down. In more complex organisms behavior can be learned by mimicing adults, so if a bear decides to go try out some honey for the first time due to reaction to environmental stimuli, it's little cub comes along and watches, then mimics later.
This is the backbone of natural selection, your example supports it if anything.
2) I read some on wikipedia about the digger wasp :P
I found some interesting information, humans often mistake learned behaviors for free will. Perhaps our own free will is merely a much more complicated set of behaviors? Who's to say? This goes more into what me and Destinee were talking about in her thread though, I'd recommend bringing this conversation there, it's a little more on topic.
Thanks for numbering the paragraphs! :) Keeps it tidy.
1) Power is indeed a flexible term, which is why I asked. OK, I understand your definition. It is thus an ABILITY, that need not be carried out.
Okay, let's think of stuff that's impossible: 1+1 = 2. Is it ever possible that 1+1 = 3? In our frame of reference, no. But imagine if we were in a universe where every time you put two objects next to one another, a third one pops up. In that universe, 1+1 CAN equal 3.
The reason I bring this up is because as you mentioned before, our experience is limited. So when you bring up logical impossibilities, e.g. God creating a rock so big that He can't lift it, i God "lifted" a rock He'd be physical, no? His frame of reference is metaphysical (or so I would imagine). The question doesn't apply. Incidentally, this could be true of the Trinity too, but for me the question would become historical (Trinity affected by pa.gan thought) and textual (proof of the Trinity in the Bible, Christian groups who differ, etc).
2) Agreed that time is generally seen as linear. You might like Iqbal's explanation of time and space in his book, "Reconstruction of the Religious Thought in Islam" (it's in Chapter 2 and it's online).
Exactly. So any time we speak of eternity (or anything to do with the afterlife), we are speaking of it in two ways: 1) Analogical (NOT allegorical); 2) Literal. So eternity is literal, but it is analogy because as you said, our concepts are what makes it 'real'. Conceptually many things are "imagined". We "imagine" electrons. We certainly weren't able to view them when Ernest Rutherford came up with his model of the electron. Any explanation you have of ANYTHING observable, e.g. an electron, is similar to God because they're CONCEPTS. They're used to bridge a gap in our observation. But nobody says: "Electron of the gaps" like they do "God of the gaps". God is a concept that religious ppl think and have always thought is a good explanation of the world (most likely in their eyes; or likely enough to be certain when coupled with mystic and scriptural experiences).
The important thing is although we can't imagine a colour out of our range of colours, we can imagine that ONE DOES EXIST. Does the fact that we can't imagine ultraviolet mean it doesn't exist? Is everything we say about UV rays meaningless because it's all drawn on analogy (of colours)? Of course not. Eventually, all knowledge becomes contextual.
Again, I'm playing devil's advocate here, because I somewhat agree with you, but I'm still iffy :)
3) Okay great! We're certain of self-existence. No doubt in this. Awesome. Now I'd like to ask you: What would you classify self existence under? Which type of knowledge? When you say "self" existence, do you mean the existence of ourr BODIES or of our MINDS (ignore neurology that results in mind)? Would you say "Consciousness"?
I'll continue your next post in this same post, but I'm changing 1 to 6, 2 to 7, etc.
6) Okay, so you're concept of omnipotent is: "God having the ability to do everything" yes? I'd like to add to that (from a religious POV, and what I know if Islam): "God can do anything that does not make Him cease to be God". Creating a rock He can't lift for instance would be ending His omnipotence, therefore He wouldn't do it. Or, you could say that God's omnipotence only applies to what is INTRINSICALLY possible, and creating a rock an omnipotent being can't life is intrinsically IMPOSSIBLE (becasue that would terminate a necessary aspect of God, His omnipotence, which would in turn would render Him not-God so He wouldn't be eternal and therefore it's not possible since God is always God -- "I am what I am"). I only mention these explanations because to me they are reasonable answers. They may not be TRUE, and I think that's what you want to find. You could very well say, "OK, so God as a concept is internally consistent but how do we know He EXISTS?" and then that's where the kicker is, and what I think you're actually looking for. But essentially, in Islamic doctrine, God's ability only applies to things that are intrinsically possible, not impossible. His powerfulness is not His ability (qudrah), but you have a different definition of power than Islamic scholars use.
Back to limitations now. Let's skip God's limitations for a sec and go to our own limitations. What are the limitations of logic and human reason?
But let's remember that we're talking about God's choice, and we're assuming (Since we're talking about God, after all) that His choice is NOT an illusion.
7) Teehee. :D Okay. This is totally gonna be devil's advocate, but that's what makes it fun!!
Think of something you did intentionally and something you did unintentionally. (And please, don't bring up evolution for now. Evolution is not randomness, and randomness does not mean without intention.) Anyways, compare the two. Compare the intentional (made with a purpose in mind) and the unintentional ("made" without a purpose) to something natural. Does nature seem to have a purpose? Whatcha think? Simple as that. It's an impication, after all.
But for this to be pertinent, first you'd have to work on the Creator aspect, and then move on to purpose I think. It could work backwards I guess though.
8) I gotcha, I certainly have difficulty defining morality. It's almost an experential thing though, no? Morality, I mean. At the heart of all knowledge is experience. I don't think that's objective moraltiy per se. Objective morality from my understanding of it means in religion that ethics won't change (morality might depending on situations). Ethics of the thing is that God ordained it, it is right and good, etc. God DEFINES morality, so for us it is objective because a singular being who says the same commands and whose will is perfect says the rules. It generally accords with our inner idea of morality and boom! we gotta nice reaction. I could probably explain this better though.
Okay, so you think morality helps ppl preserve themselves. I agree. It could work with inner morals too (e.g. being true to yourself) because you're 'preserving' your own self. The important things are these:
(i) Morality exists (regardless of who created it and why)
(ii) If you think humans created it, then your own conception of morality is a creation that is bound to change with time, and therefore not universal. So, for instance, if you diss s.ex slaves, then actually your opinion is just to help society and since societies with s.ex slaves have flourished in the past, and current societies with p.rostitutes and the like still flourish, we can safely say that your dismissal of s.ex slavery as immoral, is, in fact, not universal and just an opinion. Therefore, you cannot have any moral beefs with religion, since Christian Europe had a lot of happy and preserved ppl, as do Muslim lands, as have Buddhist and Hindu and etc etc lands.
Also, death and murder being common does not mean ppl thought it was right. Just saying. When you see morality as external and IMPOSED upon us e.g. "You ought not have s.ex slaves" (which I doubt you think is just a personal opinion, but an actual universal law kinda thing), then the source of morality is not internal (though the recognition of it is) but external.
Yep, God being Most Merciful is totally possible, as is God being omnipotent and God being all-knowing. You can't accept (or deny) ANY attributes about God till you accept that He, i.e. a Creator, exists.
You’re welcome :)
And ditto. It was starting to get boring here on Teen Ink before you showed up. I really enjoy talking with you.
And definitely, balance is important. As well as study.
I kind of laughed a little when I saw your latest twist on our “modern man and cavemen” analogy. Sorry, but it was so far off that I kind of had to laugh. Again: sorry. For one thing, h.ell is not an eternal torment. The wicked will just be burned up; they will cease to exist. The Bible is clear on this:
“For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 4:1,3)
Another thing is that it was the sinner’s own choice to end up there. If the cavemen were really rebellious and refused to follow him, wouldn’t the modern man be merciful in ending their wicked lives? They will find no joy in being evil. And God can’t bring sinners to heaven, because why would they be happy to serve God for eternity when they weren’t happy to do it here on Earth?
I guess this is besides the point, but I just thought I’d comment on it. I see what you mean, though.
Anyways, I completely understand how serious this is. I’m glad that you are so intent on uncovering the truth. I’m praying that you will find it, whether it is God or not.
Take your time. I’m patient. :)
And I can relate; my bedroom is really messy. I’m starting to wonder if I even have a floor anymore. I plan to clean up tomorrow and find out. :P
Well, I think we can at least agree on the fact that according to Christian beliefs, if you don't believe in God, he quite literally sends you to hell :P
But yep, gonna look more into it all.
Well, I think we can at least agree on the fact that according to Christian beliefs, if you don't believe in God, he quite literally sends you to h.ell :P
But yep, gonna look more into it all.
Goshamighty Destinee, that got pretty long:)
Anyways, Breece I am ready to answer all your objections, including the one about God being an amalgamtion of good and bad(which I oppose). I might throw in an ancedote, but then that depends. I'll get back to you after I have finished I qbal's book(yup, I am gonna start it!) and have looked at the fundamentals of Islamic Jurisprudence:) Till then, au revior
I knew those numbers would come in handy!
1) Well, the God and Rock thing was an analogy. The gist of the thing is that God cannot create something that he has no power over and still retain the "Omnipotent" part of his description.
As for the hypothetical alternate universe logic conundrum, I was operating under the assumption that God is not part of any "universe" so to speak. Which leads me to my other point, if God operates outside of logic (since logic is a construct of this universe) then how do we know any of our attributes we "know" about him are reliable? He could lie and still tell the truth without logic, he could change on a whim. How do we trust an entity that we have no knowledge of, and exists outside the need for logic to restrain him in any way? And if he is restrained by logic, doesn't that also make him not all-powerful?
2) Hmm, agreed mostly. The thing is that we have instruments that translate things we cannot sense into things we can. Like Ultraviolet, we can't sense it naturally, but we have instruments to augment ourselves. This leads to the argument that our instrument for learning about God is his Scripture, but that leads to my above assertion in topic 1.
So basically I agree with you that God is a reasonable conclusion should we have a large enough body of reliable evidence. However that evidence conflicts with the above problem i mentioned as well as possibly the study of specific individual bodies of evidence (for example I find Islam and Christianity's evidence both widely trustworthy)
3) Consciousness I guess. That's the only thing we can say for absolute I suppose. I'd like to say that given all the evidence i might as well assume that things like my body and mind, people I know, etc. are real. (Some weird, nerdy part of me wondered for a second whether this is like the Matrix and you're entire conversation was designed to make me break out of the illusion or something :P)
6) I define Infinite Power (All-powerfullness, omnipotence, etc.) as having no limitations. Literally as "nothing is impossible through God", however I find this to contradict itself. If God cannot do something because it would make him cease to be him then it is a limitation. If I shot myself I would become dead, therefore I do not choose to shoot myself. However I am still limited by the fact that I cannot stand shooting myself without it having consequences I cannot stand.
On second thought, you can add this, power means that you can choose the consequences of your actions. Omnipotence means there is never an action you can take that you cannot affect the consequences of.
As for the limitations of logic and human reason? Plenty, only as far as our bodies will allow us as far as I'm concerned at the moment. Logic is based in physics if you think about it, cause and effect. Human reason is based on our ability to observe, comprehend, and use logic to deduct.
7) I think you're making an incorrect distinction here. You're confusing purpose with consciousness (not the moral consciousness, the literal state of consciousness). I yank my hand back when there's something hot. That has plenty of purpose, to stop pain and from hurting myself. I didn't "intend" on doing it, but it stills has a purpose. You're rationalization is that conscious choice is different than unconscious choice.
I think the difference you're looking for is purely that we have more memory, higher thought, and awareness of conscious choice.
Let me play the Devil's advocate :P If I had amnesia, am I not responsible for all of my past choices? Do they not mean the same thing anymore? Are they invalid morally? Am I a different person if I never regain my memory? Is it fair to be judged on things one has no memory of doing?
Does God have a memory?
8) Yes, it does.
Fair enough, I can have a problem with it if it conflicts with my current morals though, otherwise what's the point of morals changing at all :)
Fine, commonality does not equal morality. However I still think the most probable explanation is that morality is some part of our brain brought about by natural selection.
True, I can't accept any attributes about him, but I can try and rule out which attributes would be impossible regarding specific views of God(s).
Sorry I took so long, school and stuff. Thanks!
Hope to hear from you soon!
Hope to hear from you soon!
I guess our discussion kind of died, but I just wanted to say that I loved your Matrix reference.
You should let your "wierd, nerdy part" talk more often.
Mine won't be quiet. :D
Yup, good discussion though.
Yup, good discussion though.