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Why is(are) God(s) Omnipotent

An-eloquent-leaf replied...
Aug. 30, 2012 at 10:46 pm


So I actually was going to try to make a quick (Ha! Destinee and you are in this discussion! Why did I ever think that?) reply, but man, your posts are long XD. Anyone care to summarize what's been said so far? (Also, I'm leaving tomorrow for a few days, so the earliest I'd be back on would be Tuesday :) )

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Breece6 replied...
Aug. 31, 2012 at 7:41 am

Hi :D
Best summary is probably the title, it's pretty accurate to the discussion.
Thing to take note of might be our debate on whether "omnipotence" is possible, I say it contradicts itself because an entity without limitations would hypothetically be able to create another entity without limitations, which would therefore cause it to be limited.

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Destinee replied...
Sept. 13, 2012 at 4:12 am

Sorry for the delay! Here goes..
1) The gist of what I'm saying is that God cannot (or will not, whatever) do something intrinsically impossible. God necessarily exists; therefore, it is intrinsically impossible for Him to make Himself poof! disappear. 
I am not sure why you think God does not behave logically. :S Let's distinguish between God's actions/behaviour and God's actual "person" (or essence). God's actions/behaviour would be, in my view, logical, or at the very least, methodical. I say this because a believer, you would obviously think that the Universe is of His making, and there is enough order in the universe to imply that He likes order.
His essence has nothing to do with logic, just like my concept of identity has nothing to do with logic, or my awareness of my self has nothing to do with logic. 
2) Yes, but the instruments are sensing things; they are not consciously processing them in their brains (like we do when we see something). There is a certain amount of faith that goes into believing what an instrument senses...
Okay. Given what you are saying about scriptural evidence and reasonableness (both of which I agree with; I think our thought processes are very similar :) ), let me ask you this:
- What would make you believe in the Christian God? (Or Islamic, if you'd rather answer that. Any sort of personal cosmic concept.)
- What would make you believe in a Creator (deism)?
3) I've never seen the Matrix, haha. :P My point was that the only certain knowledge we have is consciousness. Any other type can be doubted. Even you admit that it's just convenient to believe everything else exists. (Plus I doubt either one of us wants to go mental :) )Which sucks, but it's true. 
So given that consciousness is giving us certainty, and nothing else that I can think of can boast the same (just very high likelihoods), then  the fact that something in the future MAY disprove God or His commands or His books or that we MAY end up understanding free will for instance in a none-supernatural requiring way isn't really a good way to view things. Eh? 
I don't really remember why I brought up this point, to be honest. I had a really good plan but I can't remember. Darn it :P
6) I define Infinite Power as Infinite (never stopping) and Power (which we've defined). I keep mentioning the intrinsically impossible thing; it is not God who is limited, it's our understanding of Him. 
Awesome about logic/human reason. So hypothetically, there could be things that don't seem logical but are, just outside our realm of experience, right? (As in, they'd be logical if we were exposed to other kinds of experiences.) 
7) You need consciousness to have intention. I meant purpose as in intentionally, by a conscious being (e.g. humans). Humans design something intentionally; it has a predefined purpose. 
But hmm......thanks for the correction. Back to the point:
- Compare something you've created consciously (art does nicely) to something unconsciously created (e.g. the shape of your poo :P hahaha just kidding. But seriously). Decide which one is more like nature. Draw a similarity. Will not result in certainty. 
What does amnesia have to do with your past choices? :S You are still responsible for them. I am not sure about how amnesia works outside of the Hollywood world, but assuming you never remember anything, as you become aware of your past life (presumably people will tell you about it), you can still work to fix the wrongs. Memory isn't what makes a person responsible; it's intention and consciousness during/prior to the act. 
If a person has amnesia, they do not have to learn morality again (probably social etiquette is relearned though). I never thought of that before. Interesting...
God having a memory would require that He exist in linear time and have a brain which stores events. 
8) All right, I kinda agree with you on the morality being of evolutionary benefit thing (actually agree with you very much). But something being of evolutionary benefit does not make it moral. Ya see what I'm saying? It may be of evolutionary benefit to kill seniors beyond the age of reproduction (more resources for the rest of us), but I doubt anybody would say it was truly moral. Expedient, maybe. Not moral.
You can have a problem if it conflicts with your current morals, but your morals are the result of your upbringing and probably specifically limited to your society (e.g. the ethical weighing scale telling you the minimum marriage age is definitely a result of your society, since ppl tend to get at least a high school diploma in your society, are overall richer and more secure, dating is acceptable, and therefore marry later). So if you (for instance) think that people should not marry before, say, 15, and that anything younger than 13 is child marriage (I don't know if you think this), then your society has dictated that to you and you cannot impose it on the rest of the world. 
And again, saying anything is wrong is appealing to a universal morality, not a locally-formed one. 

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Breece6 replied...
Sept. 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm

No problem!
1) If we define absolute power as having no limitations, then yes, you are simply pointing out what I have already stated.  God cannot make himself not God, he cannot make himself disappear, he cannot make another entity with limitless power, etc.  He cannot do something that would make him cease to be God.  Therefore he is limited, therefore he is not all-powerful.  
Let's go back to what logic is, logic is the science of reasoning.  Reasoning is based on information acquired through our senses.  We cannot sense God (physically) we cannot derive any information about God except that which he provides for us.  Therefore he could defy logic for all we know (and it often seems like he does considering his existence basically breaks every law we think we know about the universe and its behavior at this point) so I think it's safe to say that we can only trust him through what he tells us (this is assuming he exists, something I'm still not fully convinced of at the moment) and we are trusting what we percieve to be our eternal "souls" (existences if you will), AND those of our loved ones to someone who could be lying his teeth out or may not even exist.  
On the contrary, self awareness and identity have all to do with logic.  "I think therefore I am" is both your identity and self awareness, and it is completely dependent on logic to function.  If the law of identity didn't exist then you couldn't be sure of your own identity and therefore your own self-awareness.  The thing is, logic is simply the study of reason, any reasoning you do will be subject to it.  Any debating outside of it is pointless. 
The possibility of a God who defies logic is real, but there's no use debating his attributes or existence if we assume he does exist outside of logical limitations.'
2) Hmm, that's a hard one.  I guess more evidence would be needed.  Personal contact with me would certainly be a step in the right direction.  I'm not really sure what I want out of life right now, I'm not sure I even feel a reason for God to be there at all.  To wish for longevity feels selfish.  
It's sort of like your parents you know?  You can't imagine yourself without them when you're little, but when you're older you begin to be more content with other things in life, you begin to need them less and less.  You want to spend time with peers instead of them.  I guess I do want more time to spend with the people I love on Earth, but I can't imagine needing anyone else.  That's just at the moment though, personal feelings like this can change ridiculous amounts in short amounts of time.  
I'd like to know your opinion on your same question actually :)
3) Neither have I but at least know the general premise :P  
True, but I could say the same in reverse:  Changing our lifestyles and basing our lives around thousand year old books that MAY be true about a God that MAY exist that MAY not be lying to us that MAY be perfectly good that MAY save us from an eternity of torture (or simply non-existence if you're half.note :P) sounds just as reasonable to me.
You forgot?  Shame Destinee, you should really write all this stuff down y'know, I don't think you do nearly enough writing about this whole philosophy thing :P *sarcasm*
6) Correction, it might not be God who is limited, it might be our understanding of him.  There's really no point in arguing about traits in any form of God since he can defy logic.  
Furthermore, what do we know of someone or something's "essence" apart from through their actions?  To us isn't that all any living or sentient being is, a vessel for which we observe their actions?  All I know about you is from your actions, and vice versa.  All we know about God si from his actions, therefore to establish any certain traits about him we have to establish that they were in fact his actions and even then they could have dual-meanings, they could be purposesfully deceptive, they could be anything if we assume he can defy logic.  
How do we justify surrendering our lives and those of our loved ones to a God that we be sure of nothing on?
7) Hmm, the difference between Art (I'm not too good at art cause of my vision but I'm pretty good at music :P) and the shape of my poo *keeps straight face* is that one requires a higher level of thought than the other.  
Different parts of the brain are stimulated depending on the level of thinking you are applying to a situation, the cerebral cortex is where higher levels of thoughts take place.  It is no surprise that doing something with a purpose feels different than something without a purpose. But that lead to:  What is a purpose?  Is it just the fact that more thought is needed?  There's arguably a "purpose" to everything, it's all subjective.  
Also, why does having a purpose or higher level of thought imply the supernatural?  These are all matters of brain chemistry.  
Ooh, if God having a memory would require him to exist in space-time, then wouldn't having a purpose require him to exist in space-time as well?  Both our products of the brain as far as we know.  :P
8) Here's an interesting quesion, what qualities does a "moral" have to have?  H.itler considered killing people who were imperfect to be moral.  What makes his morals any better or worse than ours?  What about mentally ill people?  Sometimes they have ideas about morals that may seem odd to the rest of us.  What about people who want to bring back the electric chair and make the death penatly less merciful and then the people who think the entire thing is immoral?  What constitutes a moral?  Morals vary so much, who's to say they're not completely subjective?  
Here's a better question, why does similarity in morals exist?  I think the most likely answer is that moral are based on the nature of the human mind, and the society and environment in which we live in.  Everybody has some kind of physical similarities and similiarities in brain chemistry, which accounts for the "universal" feelings.  People live and grow up with different experiences though, accounting for the vast differences that exist.

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half.note replied...
Sept. 15, 2012 at 8:08 pm

I'd love to say that I deligently read every word, but honestly, both your posts were so long that I kind of just skimmed through them. :P
Anyways, I just wanted to mention something I've being thinking about lately that has to do with this topic.
It's about how we percieve and understand God.
I remember hearing this a few days ago:
"Men of the greatest intellect cannot understand the mysteries of Jehovah as revealed in nature. Divine inspiration [the Bible] asks many questions which the most profound scholar cannot answer. These questions were not asked supposing that we could answer them, but to call our attention to the deep mysteries of God, and to make men know that their wisdom is limited, that in the common things of daily life there are mysteries past the comprehension of finite minds; that the judgment and purposes of God are past finding out, his wisdom unsearchable. If he reveals himself to man, it is by shrouding himself in the thick cloud of mystery. God's purpose is to conceal more of himself than he makes known to men. Could men fully understand the ways and works of God, they would not then believe him to be the infinite one. He is not to be comprehended by man in his wisdom, and reasons, and purposes. "His ways are past finding out." His love can never be explained upon natural principles. If this could be done, we would not feel that we could trust him with the interests of our souls. Skeptics refuse to believe because with their finite minds they cannot comprehend the infinite power by which God reveals himself to men. Even the mechanism of the human body cannot be fully understood; it presents mysteries that baffle the most intelligent. Yet because human science cannot in its research explain the ways and works of the Creator, men will doubt the existence of God, and ascribe infinite power to nature. God's existence, his character, his law, are facts that all the reasoning of men of the highest attainments cannot controvert. They deny the claims of God and neglect the interests of their souls, because they cannot understand his ways and works. Yet God is ever seeking to instruct finite men, that they may exercise faith in him, and trust themselves wholly in his hands. Every drop of rain or flake of snow, every spear of grass, every leaf and flower and shrub, testifies of God. These little things, so common around us, teach the lesson that nothing is beneath the notice of the infinite God, nothing is too small for his attention."
I heard this from my dad's album. I had been listening to my iPod on shuffle during art class and this "song" came on. It's actually a reading my dad did called God and Nature. He read from one of Ellen White's books (I'm not sure which), and while I was listening I thought that it related to this very well.
Just think on it, and comment if you so desire.
God bless. <3

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Breece6 replied...
Sept. 20, 2012 at 6:11 am

Lovely article, but I find it to only mean "we cannot understand God and must submit ourselves to him regardless", which is my fundamental problem.  
Wanted to mention something my mother said, wonder what you think about it:
"It's okay to doubt or to think about your faith, as long as you make the right decision"
I think I interpret this as, it's okay to consider your faith, think about it, doubt it even.  As long as you consciously choose to make the right decision (follow Christ) regardless of your doubt.  So even though I consider myself a Christian, I think it's okay to think about it and argue from different standpoints and learn more, as long as I make the right decision when it matters.

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Breece6 replied...
Sept. 20, 2012 at 6:11 am

Lovely article, but I find it to only mean "we cannot understand God and must submit ourselves to him regardless", which is my fundamental problem.  
Wanted to mention something my mother said, wonder what you think about it:
"It's okay to doubt or to think about your faith, as long as you make the right decision"
I think I interpret this as, it's okay to consider your faith, think about it, doubt it even.  As long as you consciously choose to make the right decision (follow Christ) regardless of your doubt.  So even though I consider myself a Christian, I think it's okay to think about it and argue from different standpoints and learn more, as long as I make the right decision when it matters.

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Dynamo replied...
Sept. 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm

And I actually skimmed through halfy's note:) It was long*defensively*

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half.note replied...
Sept. 20, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Yes, ‘tis lovely, isn't it? :)
I think it's fast becoming my favourite article.
It's even had the honour of being posted on Facebook (though it didn't get as many likes as it deserved).  :P
Anyways, I’ve been trying for the past 10 minutes to write a reply, but I’m not being very articulate. I keep rereading what I was writing, and thinking “What on earth am I rambling on about??”
It’s just one of those days where you can’t seem to get your thoughts down how you’d like them.
So I’ll post a reply as soon as I can sort out the jumbled mess that is my brain.

Hehe, your post made me laugh.
“halfy’s note”? That’s a new one. ;)
And you don’t have to be such a tease. I know my posts are always way too long.  :P

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Breece6 replied...
Sept. 20, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Yup, I know dat feel.  Take as much time as you need though!  I know certain people (*cough* Collin *cough*) who take far longer than you to reply :)

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half.note replied...
Sept. 20, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Yeah, Collin's posts (*cough* Destinee *cough*) can become novel-ish. :D

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Destinee replied...
Sept. 21, 2012 at 10:56 am

Hey! In our defence, they're better novels than "The Catcher in the Rye" or *shudder* "The Kite Runner" :P 
Half-note, I think you mentioned somewhere that you live in Alberta? That's so coool! :D I hail from Ontario, but currently I am staying in Quebec.
Breece, I'm not sure if you want me to reply given that you're a semi-Christian now..? As for what your mother said, that's what mine says too :P But the problem is (to me, at least), that the point of doubting/thinking is to figure out the truth, which may or may not be Christianity(Islam). 

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Dynamo replied...
Sept. 21, 2012 at 11:18 am

Seriously, I'm in for it. I can never read long posts, and I think it's better to have a novel "taps the skeleton head on the cover page of The Fear" in your hand than on the net. But this time, I think I read everything but at the same time, I think i didn't read anything. That's the paradox. help me if you can:P
Destinee: Just wondering about this line: "the only certain knowledge we have is consciousness"
Does that allude to sense-perception or sense-data or sense-experience or mystic-experience or an amalgam?*puts on a serious face after reading Doggo's remarks about Robbie*
Half.note: haha, that was a bit intentional. Just teasing:P I like to do that sometimes.:P

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Destinee replied...
Sept. 21, 2012 at 11:25 am

Dynamo, seriously? No idea which one that would fall under, haha. I'm referring to knowledge of the self.

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Dynamo replied...
Sept. 21, 2012 at 11:34 am

I am thinking along the lines: if consciousness is knowledge of the self, then knowledge about the tangible part the self is possible through sense-perception & experience. But about the intangible and impalpable part of the self, we can only possess knowledge gained through mystic-expeience, which may be comprehensive for Iqbal, but isn't reliable for my own self, as all humans are subject to Satan's interjection in mystic experience.:(
That's confusing me:(

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Breece6 replied...
Sept. 21, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Definitely reply please :)  I consider myself a Christian but I'm still consider all my previous points relevant issues.  I still find all the argumetns on Convert Me and this thread very relevant issues with Theism and I still have doubts and questionings. 
Think of it more like this:  I would rather live with some sort of conclusion than not, at this point I choose Christianity.  If I find that there is some inherent problem that a different belief system satisfies then I will consider that one.  So just because I consider myself a Christian doesn't mean that I consider any of my ponderings or problems with Christianity automatically absolved.

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half.note replied...
Sept. 27, 2012 at 11:48 am

Oh, man. Sorry it has taken me so long to reply. Has a week already gone by? Wow, time really flies; especially when you’re busy.
Okay, I’ll begin by making a quick comment on the Ellen White quote I posted:
It’s not saying that man can’t understand God at all, it’s just saying that even the smartest man alive can’t comprehend the infinite and all-knowing God if he doesn’t have faith.
God is not something that doubting finite minds can comprehend.
But she explains that while God is beyond our full comprehension, we can still have faith and learn what he has revealed.
Now I will share my thoughts about what your mother said:
In some ways, I agree with her statement.
We are all at different places in our faith. I’m a strongly convicted Christian, while you still have doubts. That doesn’t mean I’m better than you, it just means that I am in a different spot along the path.
And believe me, I once had doubts. I nearly gave up on Christianity when my parents got divorced and my mom left the church. I stopped going to church, and I even started breaking the Sabbath. :(
But while my doubting was wrong, I don’t regret it. I think I’m a stronger Christian now because I had to go through that trial of making a choice. It was something that God brought me through for a reason.
But though I view it as a blessing, I realize that it was a dangerous situation. I could have easily given up and left the church. I had no grounding and could be easily swayed. That’s the dangers of having doubts; sometimes you’re so eager to find the truth that you end up accepting a lie.
Also, there are some things to think about:
When you are sitting on the fence, no one expects you to jump off without knowing which yard belongs to whom. But my dad once told me something that I will never forget: “The fence belongs to Satan.”
Doubting just for the sake of doubting is something that Satan encourages. Please, don’t be offended when I say this, I’m not trying to call you evil; I just want to help put things in perspective.
I don’t know much about your situation, and I know even less about what is going on inside your heart, but I just want you to consider what I’m saying.
You’ve expressed the desire to be a Christian while keeping an open mind towards other religions. An open mind is a wonderful thing, but it can also be harmful.
To be truly Christian, we must devote ourselves completely to God. You must have absolute faith in Jesus and also follow all his commandments. While this task seems insurmountable, I believe that Jesus can help us achieve it. I’m not there yet, but I’m continually striving to be a better Christian.
Now, I don’t expect you to blindly follow God when you have no strong convictions or reasons to do so. But just keep in mind that kind-of-being-Christian won’t work forever; especially when Jesus is returning so soon. And that is when you’re choice really matters. But when he does return, then it’s too late to make the choice to follow him. We have time now, so we need to make the choice as soon as we can.
And believe me, I speak this words as much to myself as to you.
I know I’m a sinner and that I constantly make choices that draw me away from Jesus. And I know that I must be ready when Jesus returns, but sometimes it’s easy to forget.
Time is fleeting, but God has promised eternal life. You must make the choice to believe while you have the time.
This is a passage of scripture that I think applies really well:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.”
(John 14:12-29)
Oh! How comforting are the words of Jesus!
He promises that if we pray in his name, God will listen. He also promises to send the Holy Ghost to comfort and convict us. But best of all, Jesus promises that he will abide within our hearts if we choose to believe in him and follow him.
Just reflect on these things and let me know what you think.
You are in my prayers. God bless. <3

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half.note replied...
Sept. 27, 2012 at 11:52 am

Yep, that’s right, I live in Alberta. In a small city about 15 minutes away from the capital, Edmonton.
Ontario, eh? That’s pretty far away. I’ve only been to Ontario once, but I never got any further east than Toronto. I just remember going to see Niagara Falls and the CN tower.
But I’ve never been to Quebec. Do you have to speak French, or are you in an English-speaking community?
And how’s the weather in the east?
We’re actually having really nice weather for Alberta. It’s been hitting in the 20 degree Celsius range for the past few weeks. But knowing our crazy, extreme weather, we’ll probably have a good foot or two of snow in a couple of months. :P
Time to stock up on hot chocolate and blankets! :D

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An-eloquent-leaf replied...
Sept. 30, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Gah, I'm sorry I haven't replied to this---this thread is the one you asked for me (well, everyone) to offer my opinion on, right, Breece? Early school/fall is the busiest time of the year for me. I'll try to get on the P&T section more when things settle down in November-Decemberish...I miss debating here, but I just don't have the time :P

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Breece6 replied...
Oct. 1, 2012 at 6:09 am

Yeah, now it's my fault for taking too long to respond :P
1) Yeah, I understand about the Ellen White thing but I still find that we are at the ver least completely dependent on God for information regarding him, which bugs me.
2) I know the fence is a dangerous place to be but I don't feel comfortable coming down yet, I'm working on it though :)
3) God's words are certainly comforting, but one must first accept everything that concludes their authorship first, which I'm still working on.
No problem!  I know what you mean, I'm getting bogged down like crazy.

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