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Thread: Is there anything He can't do?

  1. #1 Is there anything He can't do? 
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    This is NOT a 'can God make a object so heavy that even He can't lift it' thread. This thread is based on what is known about the current god(s) operating in different religions around the world today.

    I do not wish to sound biased and my desire is to stay on the fringes of religion altogether. This is a search for information and I would like the believers in God(s) to show me if the all-powerful side of a supreme being includes the ability to do anything. Right now I scratch my head when I hear statements made about a God who can do this or that. Well, can he/her/it?

    I was told by a couple of religious pedlars who arrived at my front door last year that God (Christian) can do anything. I asked them if their god could die. They were taken aback for a moment but eventually muttered that they thought He could not. I said it was obvious to me then that He can't do everything. I then asked if He could make a mistake after which they left mumbling incoherently.

    I got to thinking if there was anything else God(s) can't or couldn't do. Is there evidence in the bibles of the world that show god(s) capabilities are highly exaggerated or limited? Do things that happen in everyday life indicate a god's inabilities? On a different note.....Is there anything a god is credited for that couldn't have happened or is there something that no god could ever have done?


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  3. #2 Re: Is there anything He can't do? 
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    [quote="zinjanthropos"]

    I asked them if their god could die. They were taken aback for a moment but eventually muttered that they thought He could not. I said it was obvious to me then that He can't do everything. I then asked if He could make a mistake after which they left mumbling incoherently.
    What is death?
    It is change. Change from one state to another. The physical particles break away from their hold but remain as particles. The reality of the physical body is that it is a mass of particles. The soul is not a physical particle (by its description), therefore death (as we percieve it) does not really occur, it is simply the changing tide of matter.

    I got to thinking if there was anything else God(s) can't or couldn't do. Is there evidence in the bibles of the world that show god(s) capabilities are highly exaggerated or limited?
    With all respect ask yourself what the point of your thinking is. If God cannot do anything you can imagine, then He is not God. If you respect that God is God regardless of whether you believe He exists or not, then you have to admit that He can do anything. So, your thinking is nothing but an expression of doubt, based on your belief that it is possible to actually think of something God cannot do.

    Do things that happen in everyday life indicate a god's inabilities? On a different note.....Is there anything a god is credited for that couldn't have happened or is there something that no god could ever have done?
    The answer to all these questions has to be, no, or He wouldn't be God.

    Jan.


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  4. #3 Re: Is there anything He can't do? 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jan ardena
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    This is NOT a 'can God make a object so heavy that even He can't lift it' thread. This thread is based on what is known about the current god(s) operating in different religions around the world today.
    ...
    ...
    The answer to all these questions has to be, no, or He wouldn't be God.
    Zinjanthropos, you really cannot be trying to include all the religious concepts of God for the scope of that would be too great, so I will take what you said to mean that you do not simply mean to point out a logical contradiction but ask what is the nature of this God that the religious keep talking about. I will have to be specific in talking about the Christian God, and in fact I should say that it is even more specific in that it is just this one Christian's concept of God.

    That is in fact, how I usually discuss the conundrum myself. Because I think it points to an important question about the nature of God which is not trivial. My answer differs from the usual Christian response, although truth be told we are all out of our depth trying to answer it. Going beyond the silly logical conundrum is the question of whether God can do anything which limits His own power, whether He can take risks or make sacrifices. The majority of Christianity tends to say no as Jan Arden did, and in fact I have in front of me this tract for a Baptist church entitled "3 things God cannot do". But I think this is symptomatic of the attempt by the institutionally religious to put God in box and make Him their own personal property.

    But if we truly believe in a personal God, rather than a simple abstraction, how can we believe in a God incapable of self-limitation, sacrifice and risk. The problem I guess is the application of simple minded logic that if God did such things would He not cease to be all-powerful and therefore cease to be God. However, I am not sure that God is limited to a single reality so I am not sure simple black and white logic like this can apply to him, anyway. Perhaps He can have His cake and eat it too and any other number of things that would seem a logical contradiction when restricted to a single reality.

    To make this question more pointed we can simply ask whether God can cease to be God. The answer is yes, and in fact He did. God became man. And yet He did not cease to be God. But then after all can you truly cease to be you? No matter what you become, do you not remain you, otherwise in what sense did you become anything else? This clearly indicates that the only limitation here is in human language and logic and not in God, Himself.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    I asked them if their god could die. They were taken aback for a moment but eventually muttered that they thought He could not. I said it was obvious to me then that He can't do everything. I then asked if He could make a mistake after which they left mumbling incoherently.
    But then these persons where not Christian (most likely they were either Jehova Witness or LDS), because Christians believe that God did die. Christians believe that Jesus was and is God and that He died on the cross for our sins. The eccumenical councils specifically explain that Jesus was also fully a man and died in exactly the same way that every man dies.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    I got to thinking if there was anything else God(s) can't or couldn't do. Is there evidence in the bibles of the world that show god(s) capabilities are highly exaggerated or limited?
    Well I would like to point out that there is evidence that God has in the past felt regret and has changed his mind about things. I am refering specifically to the time of Noah, Genesis 6:6, "And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, ..." And in Genesis 8:21, "I will never again curse the ground for man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again detroy every living thing as I have done."

    So I would say that there is nothing that God cannot do. I think he can take a risk in creating man with free will, sacrificing his omnipotence, so that when man took what he was given and turned it toward evil, man made God's deed in creating man a mistake. But this is essential in any kind of God that has the capacity to love. For their is no love without self limitation, sacrifice and risk. Mistakes and forgiveness are an inevitable part of what love is all about.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Do things that happen in everyday life indicate a god's inabilities? On a different note.....Is there anything a god is credited for that couldn't have happened or is there something that no god could ever have done?
    I would say that God cannot make us love Him/Her, because anything She/He made us do would not be love. God chooses to give man/woman the opportunity to live up to our fullest potentiality, but by neccessity this also allows us to dissapoint Him/Her miserably and become the lowest and most foul creature to crawl upon the earth. I do not limit God in any way. There is nothing which She/He does not have the power to do, and what He/She does is a matter of Her/His choice not His/Her ability. But this does not mean that Her/His choices are a matter of whim. He/She acts from a position of superior knowledge and understanding and She/He has good reasons for the choices which He/She makes.
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  5. #4 Re: Is there anything He can't do? 
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jan ardena
    If you respect that God is God regardless of whether you believe He exists or not, then you have to admit that He can do anything.
    Surely then, your god knows the difference between good and evil. Could your god, in your estimation, ever think evil or act evil?

    I think your going to tell me that despite what I or anyone else believes, your god's thoughts and actions do not ever fall into the evil category because no one should question His/Her/It's actions.
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  6. #5 Re: Is there anything He can't do? 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Quote Originally Posted by jan ardena
    If you respect that God is God regardless of whether you believe He exists or not, then you have to admit that He can do anything.
    Surely then, your god knows the difference between good and evil. Could your god, in your estimation, ever think evil or act evil?

    I think your going to tell me that despite what I or anyone else believes, your god's thoughts and actions do not ever fall into the evil category because no one should question His/Her/It's actions.
    I say that He can. I think good and evil has to be a choice. On the other hand, it may depend on how you define good and evil. I think that good and evil can be defined apart from God. I think that evil is desire without regard for others and persuing those desires at the expense of others. However, this and any other such definition of evil is not without its difficulties, therefore, it is understandable that many define good and evil in relation to God. Good is seen as anything in accord with the will of God, while evil is anything in opposition to God's will. According to this, God would be incapable of evil by definition.

    I think we have to conclude that we can in principle define good and evil apart from God, for otherwise to say that God is good would be a meaningless tautology. But it maybe that in practice, with the limitations of human language and human understanding, defining good and evil is most clearly and reliably made in reference to God.
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  7. #6  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    As I glance back over this thread I can't help wondering How many angels can you fit on the head of a pin?
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  8. #7  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    As I glance back over this thread I can't help wondering How many angels can you fit on the head of a pin?
    This seems to imply that we are arguing trivialities. I do not see that at all. Although the speculation here quite thick as it must be, the goodness of God is no trivial issue. Of course, this could just be one of your attempts at humor and it just fell a bit flat.
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  9. #8  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Well, I had a good laugh. And my God, if he exists, had a quiet chuckle also.
    However, it is intended to state more seriously, not that you are arguing about the trivial, but that you are arguing about the unknowable. This turns it into an intellectual exercise, which is the equivalent of the angels on a pin head debate.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Junior Cuete's Avatar
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    Saint Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologiae states that God is infinity himself, therefore He is unable to create infinity...

    This doesn't mean he is limited. Because he is infinite he was never created, not even by Himself... he just IS.
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  11. #10  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    I get the feeling that if God were to take up golf, and who's to say he/she/it hasn't, would shoot an 18 every time out. A 300 score in bowling, bat a 1000 in baseball, 9 darts, etc.....perfection everytime.

    Is god capable of imperfection? Not that anyone strives for imperfection but for us its a foregone conclusion, we make mistakes. Imperfection, or whatever negative drawback you can think of..... is it possible for a god to screw up?

    Do you think a god is exempt from the Heisenberg Principle? Can a god tell me the velocity and position of a particle unerringly? Are gods above and beyond the laws of known physics? Hey, its a science forum, no?

    Would a god argue the unknowable?
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Is god capable of imperfection? Not that anyone strives for imperfection but for us its a foregone conclusion, we make mistakes. Imperfection, or whatever negative drawback you can think of..... is it possible for a god to screw up?

    Do you think a god is exempt from the Heisenberg Principle? Can a god tell me the velocity and position of a particle unerringly? Are gods above and beyond the laws of known physics? Hey, its a science forum, no?

    Would a god argue the unknowable?
    This is what I belive:
    God is perfection, we aren't: we have the free will to screw up.
    As God created the universe, he isn't part of it, he's outside the universe itself. Therefore, he is beyond the laws of physics, which doesn't mean he messes with them, he respects this laws because he made them...
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  13. #12 Re: Is there anything He can't do? 
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    zinjanthropos,

    Surely then, your god knows the difference between good and evil. Could your god, in your estimation, ever think evil or act evil?
    Ask yourself, what is evil. What do you regard as evil and why do you regard it as such??

    I think your going to tell me that despite what I or anyone else believes, your god's thoughts and actions do not ever fall into the evil category because no one should question His/Her/It's actions.
    Before we test your prediction, lets discuss evil; what and why it is.

    Jan.
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    zinjanthropos,

    I get the feeling that if God were to take up golf, and who's to say he/she/it hasn't, would shoot an 18 every time out. A 300 score in bowling, bat a 1000 in baseball, 9 darts, etc.....perfection everytime.
    He could if He wanted to, but that is not perfection. If you understand scriptures, then you understand that perfection is God, and whatever He does is absolutely correct at all times. I know it is a difficult concept to understand, especially for the proud.

    Is god capable of imperfection?
    You ask that as though perfection is something different to God, hence you have not understood the concept of God.

    Imperfection, or whatever negative drawback you can think of..... is it possible for a god to screw up?
    What makes you think reality is dualistic? If God (hypothetically) screws up, what/who is available to test it against?

    Can a god tell me the velocity and position of a particle unerringly?
    There are probably some gods who can, it would depend on what their particular duty is.

    Are gods above and beyond the laws of known physics? Hey, its a science forum, no?
    From my understanding of gods, I would say no.

    Jan.
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    I believe that God can't sin...
    He is above everything for He created everything... He wrote the laws of physics so He controls them... and I bet He even knows the number of atoms that create the whole universe, and the distance between any two of those atoms, and the angle formed by any three of these atoms and... and... and....
    it is just beyond our understanding....
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  16. #15 Re: Is there anything He can't do? 
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jan ardena
    zinjanthropos,

    Surely then, your god knows the difference between good and evil. Could your god, in your estimation, ever think evil or act evil?
    Ask yourself, what is evil. What do you regard as evil and why do you regard it as such??

    I think your going to tell me that despite what I or anyone else believes, your god's thoughts and actions do not ever fall into the evil category because no one should question His/Her/It's actions.
    Before we test your prediction, lets discuss evil; what and why it is.

    Jan.
    How I define evil is meaningless. I could ask for a definition from every forum member and no two would be alike. This thread is about what a god can't do. According to everything I've ever heard, God(s) can do anything. So can any god exhibit evil tendencies? I don't mean one god for evil and one god for good. Can a good god be evil, and to be fair, can a bad god be good? If you answer no then he/she/it cannot do everything, it's as simple as that. If the answer is yes, I would be interested to hear of an example, as would everyone, I assume.
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  17. #16 Re: Is there anything He can't do? 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos

    How I define evil is meaningless. I could ask for a definition from every forum member and no two would be alike. This thread is about what a god can't do. According to everything I've ever heard, God(s) can do anything. So can any god exhibit evil tendencies? I don't mean one god for evil and one god for good. Can a good god be evil, and to be fair, can a bad god be good? If you answer no then he/she/it cannot do everything, it's as simple as that. If the answer is yes, I would be interested to hear of an example, as would everyone, I assume.
    This is getting a bit silly. Now you are confusing could with would. Of course there are some idiots that think that a capability for evil is a rare talent. Balderdash, evil is the occupation of the most unimaginative minds. Evil is easy and boring. It is easy to destroy. It takes talent to create. Destruction leaves behind it ugliness and desolation. Creation leaves behind beauty, fascination, inspiration, enjoyment and excitement. Why do we love a story of murder and evil, because the story is a product of creation.

    Can God do evil? There is no ability which he lacks. There is no ability to do evil. The ability to do evil is indistinguishable from the ability to do good. Good and evil is a matter of choice. But there is no reason to do evil - not really. Evil is really a childish thing, even though it can become a habit which is like a disease. Evil is the ultimate mistake and foolishness. Evil is a turning toward self-destruction fueled by a twisted combination of self-love and self-hatred. The self which is loved is an illusion and the self which is hated can neither be destroyed nor escaped, thus evil is essentially futile and pointless. If it is so pointless then why does it exist? Evil derives from a profound laziness -- an unwillingness to see error in oneself and correct it -- thinking that pretending it isn't there is so much easier. Evil is a web and snare of lies and self-delusion.

    God can do evil but he has no reason to do something so pointless, therefore he doesn't.
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  18. #17  
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    A "god" can do no evil. I say this because my perspective of "gods" is anthropogenic. People define what "gods" are capable of and therefore when a "god" commits an evil act, people justify the act by allowing for the fact that the "god" is the creator, omniscent, etc. and therefore has a "plan" that mere humanity is not aware of.

    Thus, the killing of innocent women & children via terrorist acts, natural disasters, wars, genocides, crusades, jihads, inquisitions, fire from the sky, mudslides, tsunamis, etc is not evil. If a man kills an entire family because a drug dealer is living in their apartment, even the most hardlined of anti-crime supporters would agree that the deaths of the innocent wife and child (particularly the child) would be henous.

    However, if it is accepted that a "god" sent Hurricane Katrina to the sinful city of New Orleans and the gambling boats of Mississippi, then we somehow allow that a "god" has a special perogative.

    A "god" can do no evil.
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  19. #18 Re: Is there anything He can't do? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Quote Originally Posted by jan ardena
    zinjanthropos,

    Surely then, your god knows the difference between good and evil. Could your god, in your estimation, ever think evil or act evil?
    Ask yourself, what is evil. What do you regard as evil and why do you regard it as such??

    I think your going to tell me that despite what I or anyone else believes, your god's thoughts and actions do not ever fall into the evil category because no one should question His/Her/It's actions.
    Before we test your prediction, lets discuss evil; what and why it is.

    Jan.
    How I define evil is meaningless. I could ask for a definition from every forum member and no two would be alike. This thread is about what a god can't do. According to everything I've ever heard, God(s) can do anything. So can any god exhibit evil tendencies? I don't mean one god for evil and one god for good. Can a good god be evil, and to be fair, can a bad god be good? If you answer no then he/she/it cannot do everything, it's as simple as that. If the answer is yes, I would be interested to hear of an example, as would everyone, I assume.
    On the contrary, how you define evil is paramount to the question you pose, otherwise how do we know how to guage a response.

    Just for the record, "gods" and "God" are different.

    Jan.
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  20. #19  
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    Just for the record, "gods" and "God" are different.
    Only in the mind of the superstitious.
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    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Jan... You seem focused on the Christian god. I am trying hard not to pick on any religion. I have nothing against them whatsoever. But since you want to talk about the Christian god, then I'll ask you another simple yes or no question

    Does the Christian god love Satan? or does He hate him/her/it? I would think God, in this case, cannot hate any creation of His no matter how diabolical that being may be. He either loves Satan or hates him and I believe Him to be incapable of one of those emotions when it concerns Satan. As I said, I believe the Christian God loves Satan and cannot hate him, am I wrong?
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    I guess God would love Satan if he/she/it existed... the problem is that Satan isn't an entity, is just the absence of goodness, the precense of evil
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  23. #22  
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    Going back to God being perfect.....does that mean He can never feel sorry for or regret anything He's ever done? If I was born physically handicapped then I guess I shouldn't expect God to feel sorry for me. If everything is part of the plan then there is no reason for God to feel the least bit sorry about anything.

    Depressing talk and I'm sorry. On the lighter side...can God laugh or show a sense of humor? Where's the yuk-yuk? Anger....most gods have that in spades. No problem being angry, its a god's right but just once I'd like to see a god break into a chuckle.

    Gods can't feel remorse or crack a smile. This creating of worlds must be serious business. I wonder if the gods are pleased when everything's perfect but their serious sides tell me that they know perfection hasn't been accomplished as yet. Maybe its just another thing a god can't do.
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    I don't concieve a boring God of course... I guess a boring God wouldn't have the creativity to do all this, he should be witty and clever (but that's just me).

    The old testament describes a powerful, punishing and even angry God, which I guess was a good way to make people obey back then.

    The new testament presents a God who loves you like his child and forgives everything.

    But the truth is that, God isn't human and one can't expect him to have "emotions" as we do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Does the Christian god love Satan? or does He hate him/her/it? I would think God, in this case, cannot hate any creation of His no matter how diabolical that being may be. He either loves Satan or hates him and I believe Him to be incapable of one of those emotions when it concerns Satan. As I said, I believe the Christian God loves Satan and cannot hate him, am I wrong?
    Mixing black and white logic with questions about love and hate? Now I have seen everything. Love and hate are not mutually exclusive! Suppose you have a son that turns out to be a rapist and a serial killer, do you hate him or do you love him? God is generally described as hating the sin but loving the sinner. No matter how much God loves Lucifer, angel of light, for the person He made him to be, God hates everything that Satan has done and become.

    As an aside, which is not directed at you zinjathropos, I sometimes find it amazing how for many atheists, their logic and reason sort of short circuits when it comes to questions about God or religion. Though I don't really think it is their logic, exactly, which is at fault. I think it is a matter of perception. Our perception is a screen or filter which translates the raw data of the senses into the symbolic form of language. So for many atheists, the fact they have chosen not believe in such things has become a part of the filter of their perception, so that perfectly obvious data in the normal course of life is blatantly ignored. Now remember that I only said many atheists not all, so I do not mean this to be any form of argument that you can only be an atheist if you are not fully perceptive of all human experiences! And of course, this same perceptual blindness applies equally well to the majority of religious people as well. In fact, I am quite sure that it applies to all human beings in various degrees or maybe it is not the degree which varies so much as the particular areas of human experience to which we are blind.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Going back to God being perfect.....does that mean He can never feel sorry for or regret anything He's ever done? If I was born physically handicapped then I guess I shouldn't expect God to feel sorry for me. If everything is part of the plan then there is no reason for God to feel the least bit sorry about anything.
    I should stop replying to your post since apparently you are ignoring me (if you want a private conversation you can use messages). I already posted an example in the Bible of where God felt remorse and was sorry. Since you seem to be doing a good job of arguing that a perfect being capable of a meaningful relationship implies that God is also capable of such things as being sorry (as I have done also), I don't think this means I need to defend the "perfection" of God. The majority of issues here seem to be a lack of clarity in the use of adjectives like "perfect" in the human language. None of these are adequate descriptions of God. No human words can "capture" God they can only point towards something beyond them.
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Depressing talk and I'm sorry. On the lighter side...can God laugh or show a sense of humor? Where's the yuk-yuk? Anger....most gods have that in spades. No problem being angry, its a god's right but just once I'd like to see a god break into a chuckle.

    Gods can't feel remorse or crack a smile. This creating of worlds must be serious business. I wonder if the gods are pleased when everything's perfect but their serious sides tell me that they know perfection hasn't been accomplished as yet. Maybe its just another thing a god can't do.
    Are you talking about God or those missionaries you met? Since it seems the answer to to all these questions are too obvious to bother responding to.
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    zinjanthropos,

    Jan... You seem focused on the Christian god.
    This is not the case, and I have given no reason for you to think this.
    Personally, I don't recognise the the term "Christian god" as a viable term. Its either "God" or not.

    Does the Christian god love Satan? or does He hate him/her/it?
    "Hate," more often than not, leads to destruction in this world, would you not agree. It is this aspect of the emotion which is negative. There are cases though, where hate is justified, and its justification is based on actions rather than the person causing them. It can even create positive reactions, by allowing the targeted person to see the error of their ways, and check their future actions.
    God may well hate Satan's actions, but still love him, but doing everything in perfection.

    I would think God, in this case, cannot hate any creation of His no matter how diabolical that being may be.
    Why would anyone "hate" their offspring/creation?

    As I said, I believe the Christian God loves Satan and cannot hate him, am I wrong?
    I don't think it is a matter of right and wrong, but one of putting things in the right context, then take it from there. It seems as though you are trying to create paradoxes with Gods character and personality (despite your belief status), but are not willing to take into accout, the actual (described) character and personality of God.

    Jan.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I sometimes find it amazing how for many atheists, their logic and reason sort of short circuits when it comes to questions about God or religion. Though I don't really think it is their logic, exactly, which is at fault. I think it is a matter of perception. Our perception is a screen or filter which translates the raw data of the senses into the symbolic form of language. So for many atheists, the fact they have chosen not believe in such things has become a part of the filter of their perception, so that perfectly obvious data in the normal course of life is blatantly ignored.
    I don't quite follow, Mitchell. What questions are those that an atheist's logic short circuits? How exactly is an atheist's logic different than regular logic, anyway? What obvious data is there, exactly, that is blatently ignored? Thanks
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    My apologies to those I have not personally answered. I have only been in front of my computer for only a very brief moment or 2 in the last few days. I have an avocation that takes up a lot of my time after the working day. Anything I've posted lately was done on the spur of the moment. To tell you the truth I really haven't put a lot of thought into my words but I knew there was probably enough there to strike a chord with somebody. Normally I dislike getting involved in this kind of exercise, arguing about religion.

    Inferences have been made towards my religious leanings. Some have indicated that I am atheist even though I have not claimed to be one. Are my questions stereotypical of an atheist? Why can't a religious person ask the same?

    Contradictions, paradoxes, perceptions and the unknowable. Yes I tried to throw that stuff in there deliberately but only to stimulate response. I was just hoping to show that the side of God we take for granted is also subject to scrutiny.

    I come to query God, not praise Him.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I sometimes find it amazing how for many atheists, their logic and reason sort of short circuits when it comes to questions about God or religion. Though I don't really think it is their logic, exactly, which is at fault. I think it is a matter of perception. Our perception is a screen or filter which translates the raw data of the senses into the symbolic form of language. So for many atheists, the fact they have chosen not believe in such things has become a part of the filter of their perception, so that perfectly obvious data in the normal course of life is blatantly ignored.
    I don't quite follow, Mitchell. What questions are those that an atheist's logic short circuits? How exactly is an atheist's logic different than regular logic, anyway? What obvious data is there, exactly, that is blatently ignored? Thanks
    I don't blame you for feeling a bit puzzled about this. It was an impression that came to me in response to zinjanthropos failing to see the perfectly obvious fact that love and hate are not mutually exclusive and trying to use either-or logic on them. There was another example recently in this forum of someone who insisted that people involuntarily and neccessarily use logic and evidence to determine what they believe. Targeting atheists (initially) with the comment was perhaps an unwarranted leap (which I am not sure I can fully explain) and apparently my subsequent attempts redeem myself were insufficient.

    Let me attempt again to redeem myself by saying that a flaw of this kind may be easier to see (because they stand out) in the statements of some atheists because at least they try to use logic in first place. The majority of religious don't bother much with logic and are so immersed in their own peceptual filter that one might wonder if there is any substatial apprehension of objective reality (if such a thing really exists) at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Inferences have been made towards my religious leanings. Some have indicated that I am atheist even though I have not claimed to be one. Are my questions stereotypical of an atheist? Why can't a religious person ask the same?
    Another misunderstanding caused by my blundering. I identified the type of thinking as atheist without even thinking that you were an atheist yourself. Nothing wrong with the questioning at all, ouch, forgive me. I think it is just when you post on a topic that someone has thought long and hard about, they can come down a bit hard on statements in which they see poor logic. But the truth is that they love the questions for it gives them a chance to put these thoughts into words and are appalled to find that their reaction is stifling discussion.
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    From what I gather from the responses is that it is impossible for god to be human. Some will argue that Christ was god in human form and I say form maybe, but human, no! We are in god's image but we are not god, so it is written.

    Jan questioned why anyone could hate their offspring(can god hate satan) in deflecting my statement. I found that a direct reference to a human quality. Usually a discussion about what god can't do, even with logic behind it, is met with a response declaring god is above anything human. Therefore using reason or human thought to even begin questionning god's motives or abilities is useless. Well it works both ways.

    If god is above all human reasoning then there isn't much sense arguing about it. I fail to see the logic of it but that is what confronts the naysayers or anyone in contradiction of someone's religious faith. I don't like being criticized for my logic when I am up against that because I can't win (I can handle it though). God apparently isn't, nor does he possess anything remotely human in his character. He is flawless and perfection deified, beyond investigation.

    Can he/she/it become totally human in every respect? No, because then he/she/it wouldn't be god, would they?
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    zinjanthropos,

    From what I gather from the responses is that it is impossible for god to be human.
    A human being made of flesh and blood...go on..

    Jan questioned why anyone could hate their offspring(can god hate satan) in deflecting my statement. I found that a direct reference to a human quality.
    Why?
    Everyone knows what a human being is.
    Love and compassion is not the material that makes us human, as their are people for whom these ideals are non-existent. However, I believe it is the stuff that brings us to the platform of a realised, intelligent human being.

    Usually a discussion about what god can't do, even with logic behind it, is met with a response declaring god is above anything human.
    Okay.

    Therefore using reason or human thought to even begin questionning god's motives or abilities is useless.
    Whoever says this deserves to come here and have their views thouroughly looked into. The human being is the perfect vehicle for understanding God, and any reasonable person knows that to question is a excellent way of understanding.

    If god is above all human reasoning then there isn't much sense arguing about it.
    How can God be above human reasoning, when humans have been reasoning about God since time immemorial?

    I fail to see the logic of it but that is what confronts the naysayers or anyone in contradiction of someone's religious faith.
    There is an obvious link between God and the (God-based) religious faith of humans, but they are not the same thing.

    I don't like being criticized for my logic when I am up against that because I can't win (I can handle it though).
    Learn to put things in the right context, as it really does help to create a clear mind.

    God apparently isn't, nor does he possess anything remotely human in his character. He is flawless and perfection deified, beyond investigation.
    Common-sense will tell you that if someone creates something, then some aspect of the creators character will be invested in the creation.

    Can he/she/it become totally human in every respect? No, because then he/she/it wouldn't be god, would they?
    Good thinking.

    Jan.
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    Thanks for the reply Mitchell, that cleared it up for me.
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    Well Jan, at least we somewhat agree on one thing...God can't become human in every respect.

    Is there anything else He can't do?
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Well Jan, at least we somewhat agree on one thing...God can't become human in every respect.

    Is there anything else He can't do?
    Well if that is what Jan meant then she is in conflict with the eccumenical councils and I disagree with Jan. But then reading over Jan's post I see nothing to warrant your conclusion.

    God did become human in every respect. And yet he did not cease to be God. This clearly implies that the catagories of "human in every respect" and "God" are not mutually exclusive categories. Some interpret this to mean that man can become God. I think that man is in some sense potentially God, but that potentiality is only real in a relationship with God, and even so, that to actually become God would require infinite time. So in reality I do not think that man can become God, even though God can and has become man. God is infinite actuality and man is infinite potentiality. In fact, I think that all life has infinite potential, for it is the nature of life that it can be creative of itself, learning and becoming more than it is. Although in reality living things usually die or become extinct and may require help in realizing much of their potentiality.

    Whether an atheist or not you seem to be enthralled with the idea that the idea of a God which can do anything is logically impossible. Many Christians would in fact agree with you because they would like to limit God in this way. I disagree. I think God has the ability to do anything which is not a logical contradiction. But a logical contradiction is only a lack of clear thinking not a limitation of any sort on the abilities of God. For example many Christians think that God cannot do anything which contradicts their interpretation of the Bible. I think this is absurd.
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  35. #34  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    So in reality I do not think that man can become God, even though God can and has become man.
    I will refer to God as a male from now on....less typing.

    In no way shape or form can God become total man in every respect. To do so, and this is what I was trying to intimate, He would have to end His godlike existence. He would be like you and me, where faith in something is a personal choice. He would not possess the knowledge to prove his decision right or wrong.

    So if He really did become man once or twice then was the universe left godless for a period of time? You would have to think God kept his finger on the pulse, something no man can do today.

    Man cannot become God? Who knows, might happen someday.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    So in reality I do not think that man can become God, even though God can and has become man.
    I will refer to God as a male from now on....less typing.

    In no way shape or form can God become total man in every respect. To do so, and this is what I was trying to intimate, He would have to end His godlike existence. He would be like you and me, where faith in something is a personal choice. He would not possess the knowledge to prove his decision right or wrong.

    So if He really did become man once or twice then was the universe left godless for a period of time? You would have to think God kept his finger on the pulse, something no man can do today.

    Man cannot become God? Who knows, might happen someday.
    Ah but you making assumptions about God that are unwarranted. You assume that God is one and cannot become two. God is one but He is also infinite (Christians like to say that He is three), so I see no difficulty in Him becoming two.

    Anyway the essential question here is still whether God can limit himself (like make a log so heavy He cannot lift it)? For even if God became two (or was already two) and one of Him become only a man. Does it not mean that He had to be able to limit himself. I say that he can do this and that He did so (not for the first time). He sacrificed His absolute power to some degree when He created life with the ability to make choices on its own, and when man chose evil, He felt regret, and then ultimately He became a man Himself to show us the way back.

    There may be a logical contradiction in my idea of God, but you have not found it yet, so keep trying. It is hard to fight a conception that is nearly pure imagination, which is all that our knowledge of God can really be since we don't exactly have Him on a lab table where we can dissect Him. We have religious tradition and the scriptures but these hardly have the careful detail of a scientific or even philosophical text.

    (Remember star trek's transporters taking apart your atoms and reassembling them in another place? Well what if a surge of energy casued it to reassembled two copies of you in two different places? The point is, we can imagine becoming two even if we cannot really do it. Sure, in our case the two copies would soon become different with different life experiences but God is a different matter. But then again maybe you never really become seperate persons, linked with a common spirit or something. Maybe when one copy dies then everything that copy experienced comes to you in a dream and the two again become one. )
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos

    Well Jan, at least we somewhat agree on one thing...God can't become human in every respect.

    Is there anything else He can't do?
    A human being is known by their physical form, God has many forms (from descriptions), and He also has a human form.
    Our human form is a temporary demonstration of the real human form of God, which is spiritual by nature.

    Jan.
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    After pondering this dormant thread for a couple of weeks I've come to the conclusion that God cannot become anything He creates. To do so He would have to give up being God, its that simple. If God decided to become a rock then I have no doubt He could almost accomplish but not quite transform himself into a piece of inanimate matter. As far as I know there isn't a sentient, let alone divine, chunk of stone in existence. Same goes for any animal He wishes to become. Anything He becomes will never be a true representation of what He's trying to be. He has to maintain some semblance of being God lest He lose His divinity.


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  39. #38 God is unknowable 
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    God created the whole universe which is billions of light-year big. He existed since time begun. Man existed less than hundred thousand years ago and lived (not created) in a planet less than a light-second across.

    How can we hope to comprehend Him? (if He really existed, of course) How can virus comprehend man?
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    After pondering this dormant thread for a couple of weeks I've come to the conclusion that God cannot become anything He creates. To do so He would have to give up being God, its that simple. If God decided to become a rock then I have no doubt He could almost accomplish but not quite transform himself into a piece of inanimate matter. As far as I know there isn't a sentient, let alone divine, chunk of stone in existence. Same goes for any animal He wishes to become. Anything He becomes will never be a true representation of what He's trying to be. He has to maintain some semblance of being God lest He lose His divinity.
    I am not sure what you mean by "God cannot become anything He creates" unless it means He cannot become anything at all, for if He becomes something then did He not create it by becoming it.

    It is clear that you believe that God is some sort of person since you use words like "decide" and assign him the property of "sentient." Why do you think this? Why not just an inanimate force or an abtract law or principle, like a unified field theory that explains how the universe came into being and has become what it is? If God simply refers to what created the universe then why not a unified field theory?

    You also assign Him this property you call divinity. What does this mean? What is it about God that makes him divine. What makes you think there is a God at all?

    Could God be less than anything He created? Could I be created by Him and yet imagine anything greater than Him? If he were finite, limited, or incapable in any way that I could imagine then could I not then imagine something greater?

    Is the reason you think that "God cannot do anything which means He loses is divinity" because this is a logical contradiction?

    You think that God is a person but does this mean that He is like a human? Is He confined to a particular place at any one time or could He be everywhere at once (omnipresent as we say)? The big bang supposedly created not only space but time, so how is time any different? So is God confined to the present moment or can he be at any point in time He chooses or even at all times at once?

    Imagine that you have these two devices. The first one allows you to instantly move around in time and space in any way you like, or change the flow of time or stop it. So that you could jump a little ways away but back a little in time so that two of you exist at the same time. So in fact, you could multiply yourself into an army in no time at all. The second device allows you to change yourself into a beautiful diamond and the device could change the diamond back into you but if you are a diamond you can no longer operate your device. So the second device apears to be useless. But is this true? You stand by a clock and make a plan to change yourself into a diamond exactly when that clock advances by five hours, then you immediately jump a meter away and into the future by five and a half hours so you see the diamond there where you were. Now you can take the diamond and do what ever you want with it knowing that at any time you can go back (with the diamond) to where and when you picked up the diamond, change the diamond back into yourself then jump back in time to just before it is time for you to turn yourself into a diamond and do it. Got any problem with that?

    Are you sure that God could not do something like this, especially if He is already everywhere in time and space?
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    MM... In one hand I have God...in the other I have ????. God created the universe from what? If it is as simple as Him snapping his fingers or by whatever means then I personally have trouble with that. But that's me. Really, if you want to say everything is because God made it so and accept it and move on, then that is your prerogative.

    I do find it difficult to believe that god occupies every niche of space and time and possibly somewhere else we haven't heard of.

    So if what I understand, you are saying that regardless of what anyone thinks, the universe, anyplace or anything is not a part of god but the almighty himself for I should be able to find him no matter where I look.

    Somewhere this must deviate because I'm not sure if it is even me typing this post anymore. My thoughts, fingers, keyboard, cyberspace, etc. is God?

    By your reasonong God occupies every niche out there. Well that must mean he is also matter. He may be but my whole premis is that if He wants to be anything He created He would have to give up being God.

    Ah..now I see where you're coming from...if everything is god then I'm asking Him to change into something He already is. took me a while...I'm slow.

    Ok then, can He become nothing?
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    zinjanthropos wrotte:
    God created the universe from what?
    We do not have name for that, it's before the Big Bang.

    Somewhere this must deviate because I'm not sure if it is even me typing this post anymore. My thoughts, fingers, keyboard, cyberspace, etc. is God?
    Is it you or your fingers that type the keyboard?

    Ok then, can He become nothing?
    By the definition that God can do anything, YES.

    By his other characteristics:
    He cannot be weak. He cannot be ignorant. He cannot be stupid. He cannot be a loser. He cannot be surprised. He cannot be lost. He cannot mutate. He cannot be better. He cannot be worse.
    He cannot find the last decimal of pi.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    MM... In one hand I have God...in the other I have ????. God created the universe from what?
    Energy. I believe that energy is the substance of all being.
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    If it is as simple as Him snapping his fingers or by whatever means then I personally have trouble with that. But that's me.
    I do not believe in this! I have many times ridiculed the idea that God's creation of the universe was as simple as the literal description in the Bible even. It is an ancient religious text not God's how to manual. This idea of snap your fingers magic is based on the idea of some more powerful being granting wishes. So it may be that God has an infinite supply of energy (which is not Him) which He can give any form he chooses by an act of will and knowledge of what that thing is to the tiniest detail. Or it may also be that he creates tools to which He can allocate the more tedious parts of the task like spritual computers or robots (and perhaps that is what angels are) and it is only with the aid of these tools that He creates things.
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Really, if you want to say everything is because God made it so and accept it and move on, then that is your prerogative.
    But I never say this. God created the universe because it is the cradle of life and the essential nature of life is that it makes its own choices. So much of the universe is the way it is not because God made it so, but because that is the way it developed under His care. A child is its own being. The parent contributes a lot, but not everything the child is can be explained by what the parent did.
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    I do find it difficult to believe that god occupies every niche of space and time and possibly somewhere else we haven't heard of.
    So if what I understand, you are saying that regardless of what anyone thinks, the universe, anyplace or anything is not a part of god but the almighty himself for I should be able to find him no matter where I look.
    But God is Spirit not matter. Spirit and matter can occupy the same space at the same time. In fact, spirit and spirit can occupy the same "space" at the same "time" because spirit does not really "occupy" space and time. Space and time are just relationships. And these relationships only apply to the energy out of which the physical universe is composed. Therefore space and time only relates the various parts of physical universe. Our bodies and mind occupy a particular space and time because they are part of the physical universe. Spirits are connected to things by the choices they make. As the creator it is only natural that the Spirit of God is connected to every part of the universe. But God is NOT the universe or anything in it!
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Somewhere this must deviate because I'm not sure if it is even me typing this post anymore. My thoughts, fingers, keyboard, cyberspace, etc. is God?
    No your actions are your own. It is only that the presence of God cannot be escaped. There is no way to hide from him.
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    He may be but my whole premis is that if He wants to be anything He created He would have to give up being God.
    And I say that God can give up being God, in the sense that He can give up things which he has but which are not really Him, like His power and knowlege. But doing this requires the context of time, and so what He becomes is only within that context of time, which does not affect his existence outside of time.

    Look I will be honest. Christology certainly has some serious logical difficulties. And you are certainly poking around the roots of these logical problems. We are expected to accept the idea that God became fully man in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. But anytime we say that "this" becomes "that" we are simultaneously asserting both sameness and difference. How can God become an infant that is truly a human infant in every way and yet still be God. The infant must still be God, otherwise how can we say that God became the infant. And yet if the infant is God then how can we say it is truy a human infant in every way.

    Yet these difficulties are not insoluable. We also become. We experience both continuity and change at the same time. Due to an accident we could loose our sight or our legs or even part of our memory or mental capacity. When the changes are severe it can be difficult to see how this could be the same person, but nevertheless it is clear that we can lose many things and still be who we are. What about those things we have lost? Are they gone forever or are they just waiting somewhere temporarily separated from us? I think God becoming the infant Jesus must have been something like this.

    Is this easy to believe? No. I must admit, it is a pretty tall tale to swallow. But that does not mean it isn't true.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Ah..now I see where you're coming from...if everything is god then I'm asking Him to change into something He already is. took me a while...I'm slow.
    Everything is not God. God may in some sense be everything. But He created the physics universe precisely to NOT be Him, that was the point. He created something other than Himself in order to give birth to life as something He could nurture and care for and give to.
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Ok then, can He become nothing?
    No. No more than you can. "Can He become nothing" can only mean, "can He cease to exist". Spirit exists outside of time, although it can create its own time, but it cannot create time in which it doesn't exist. This is a logical contradiction. Besides there really is no thing that you can think of that does not exist, because your thinking of it gives it existence as a thought. Asking whether something exists is a nonsensical question, the real question is not "whether it exists" the real question is always "what is it?"

    How about "the present king of France". You understand what I mean, and I do mean something. The fact that the France we know has no king simply means that "the present king of France" is not a person you will encounter if you travel to France. It is an idea which I could put in story, in which case it would become a character in my story.
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    MM.....Are you saying God :

    1. Is not a being because he is not energy nor matter and for this reason cannot become totally human

    2. Cannot occupy the same space and time as myself in the physical world because he is a spirit who needs to create His own time in order to at least coexist with me.

    3. Cannot, metaphorically speaking, snap his fingers but He still is capable of anything.

    4. Did not create energy, it was here when He arrived. What came first I'll leave to philosophers to argue.

    5. Cannot become nothing nor create a time when nothing exists

    6. Is not existence but requires it in order to operate.


    Whatever either of us meant to say, there is no proof to back any of our statements up. I find it interesting to question people's beliefs but at the same time I realize I'm not going to change a mind that's made up. That makes it easy to be inquisitive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    MM.....Are you saying God :

    1. Is not a being because he is not energy nor matter and for this reason cannot become totally human
    God is a being. God is energy. But God is not matter because matter is a physical manifestation of energy which God created.
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    2. Cannot occupy the same space and time as myself in the physical world because he is a spirit who needs to create His own time in order to at least coexist with me.
    He can occupy the same space and time as yourself and since He created the universe He did create the time which you experience and so naturally He can share it with you, but this does not make Him the same as you and it does not affect His existence outside of this time He created.
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    3. Cannot, metaphorically speaking, snap his fingers but He still is capable of anything.
    He can do anything. He can easily arrange things to happen at a snap of His fingers even without knowing how it was done by delegating the task to created tools like the angels.
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    4. Did not create energy, it was here when He arrived. What came first I'll leave to philosophers to argue.
    He never arrived. He exists outside of any sense of time. Since all this infinite supply of energy was completely under His power then it can be considered a part of Him in the same sense as our fingernails or hair is a part of us. The hair and fingernails are not us and they can be cut off and cease to be part of us.
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    5. Cannot become nothing nor create a time when nothing exists
    You probably cannot create time without also creating space. Whether you can create a time and space with nothing in it, sounds contradictory, after all there would be space and time in it wouldn't there?
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    6. Is not existence but requires it in order to operate.
    This statement is nonsense. There is no possibility of a thing not having exitence so I find no meaning in calling it a requirement.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Whatever either of us meant to say, there is no proof to back any of our statements up. I find it interesting to question people's beliefs but at the same time I realize I'm not going to change a mind that's made up. That makes it easy to be inquisitive.
    You can say that again!
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    Mitchell, I think you are erring in your use of the word "energy", in the same way that New Age beliefs frequently misuse it. Energy is a characteristic of the physical Universe. We think of the supernatural as employing some form of "energy", because we can only conceive of these things as causing motion and change of some sort. But conversely, in the realm of the supernatural there is an infinite supply of "magic" or ability to change the material Universe, then it really doesn't have the same characteristics as "our" energy. If it has parallel characteristics, then what prevents the "energy" of the spriit world having an analogue to matter as ours does in our Universe?

    For how long this will be available, I don't know, but I post it anyway.


    It's more than likely that Reuben Bolling is satirising the whole concept of God, but in reality he points out the logical flaw of attributing perfectly logical constraints based on mathematical certainties. God makes 1 + 1 = 3, and of course the first thing that happens is that the Universe is destroyed, but only our "1+1=2" Universe. "It's just a little different", says God, and from His point of view maybe it is.

    Mitchell and zjan have talked about the logical consequences of whether God "can" change himself into something else, utterly or partially, and lose his Divinity etc. Mitchell said God "died on the Cross", and yet clearly He didn't - even prior to His Resurrection - because then the Universe was without God for three days, and how would He have come back, then? In fact, of course, any attempt to impose Aristotelian logic on the situation - of Jesus being God and not being God, of God being in three parts, but also One, and Infinite, of God dying and yet not dying - pretty much misses the point of why it was philosophically so described in the first place. The entire point of describing Jesus as God, as co-eval with God, as separate from God, as divine, as human, is because each and all of these dichotomies violate Aristotelian logic. Some thing cannot be simultaneously something different to that thing, that's why God is simultaneously God (god) and Jesus (human). The Trinity or three-in-one is designed specifically to violate the rule, The Whole is Greater than the Part. Any hard and fast rule applied to God that involves the existence of infinity, of the passage of time, of limit of space, is automatically precluded. Those violations of Aristotelian logic were chosen in order to show that God is outside "all of that" - that He is truly "unknowable" in the ultimate sense.
    "It is comparatively easy to make clever guesses; indeed there are theorems, like 'Goldbach's Theorem' which have never been proved and which any fool could have guessed." G.H. Hardy, Fourier Series, 1943
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    Mitchell, I think you are erring in your use of the word "energy", in the same way that New Age beliefs frequently misuse it. Energy is a characteristic of the physical Universe.
    prove it! I have a masters in physics and nothing in my training suggests any so called misuse. Perhaps you are using a logical positivist definition of energy, but logical positivism has been proven not to be viable. We may be used to thinking of energy in terms of the mathematical relationships of physics but the sameness of energy in many different forms makes it easy to abtract a similar kind of sameness beyond those mathematical relationships to a wholely non-physical concept of energy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    We think of the supernatural as employing some form of "energy", because we can only conceive of these things as causing motion and change of some sort.
    Do you think that way? I do not. I think of energy as the potentiality and substance of being. Motion presupposes space and time, so I certainly do not think in the manner which you suppose.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    But conversely, in the realm of the supernatural there is an infinite supply of "magic" or ability to change the material Universe, then it really doesn't have the same characteristics as "our" energy. If it has parallel characteristics, then what prevents the "energy" of the spriit world having an analogue to matter as ours does in our Universe?
    Now do you believe in this "magic" as you call it or are you just trying to ridicule with a caricature.

    Energy is the stuff that makes up all the things we know in many different forms. Physical energy is distinguished simply by the fact that it is all ultimately part of a single form tying all its parts together with the mathematical relationships of space, time and "action". Your question implies that there is something in energy itself abstracted from the physical universe which impels it to take the form of matter. This is unwaranted. Energy tranforms from one form to another without any inclination of its own or any memory of what it has been. Energy could be given a form superficially like matter in the spiritual world but since matter as we know it involves all the physical-mathematical relationships which connect it to the rest of the physical world it really would not be the same thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    Mitchell and zjan have talked about the logical consequences of whether God "can" change himself into something else, utterly or partially, and lose his Divinity etc. Mitchell said God "died on the Cross", and yet clearly He didn't - even prior to His Resurrection - because then the Universe was without God for three days, and how would He have come back, then?
    You automatically equate dying with non-existence, I do not. We considered the question of whether God could cease to exist, so if that is your interest refer to that portion of the conversation.

    I am afraid I don't follow your discussion of Christology in the light of Aristotelian logic, so I cannot comment on it. But it is highly likely that I disagree with your reasoning whatever that may be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    prove it!
    I was really complaining that you used the word "energy" in a way that I would not have.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I have a masters in physics and nothing in my training suggests any so called misuse.
    I look forward to your paper in Physical Review on the properties of energy in Heaven. Energy is an element of science, of physics, and to apply it to the metaphysical was erroneous, in my view.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Now do you believe in this "magic" as you call it or are you just trying to ridicule with a caricature?
    I don't believe in the "magic", but neither was I caricaturing. I was using a different term than energy, which has scientific meaning, and spirit, which has religious meaning, in order to focus on the fact that properties of energy in the material world cannot be analogised in the realm of God.

    If you didn't follow what I was saying about Aristotelian logic, why don't you comment on the God-Man cartoon instead?
    "It is comparatively easy to make clever guesses; indeed there are theorems, like 'Goldbach's Theorem' which have never been proved and which any fool could have guessed." G.H. Hardy, Fourier Series, 1943
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    I look forward to your paper in Physical Review on the properties of energy in Heaven. Energy is an element of science, of physics, and to apply it to the metaphysical was erroneous, in my view.
    If the post was in under the physics section it would certainly behoove me to clarify the difference between my usage of the term "energy" with the usage in physics. But being in the religious section I thought the compatablility with the usage in physics was sufficient to stand without clarification. But of course and explanation of terms always helps in promoting better communication and greater understanding so I would not dream to refuse to explain my usage of the term when asked. However my statement, clearly does not qualify as scientific in any way shape or form. So these ideas are most like to be published in something devoted to philosophy, religion or the metaphysical implications of modern physics. And I am not likely to publish them in a journal of any sort since I am not that interested in the academic approach of chewing over the same old ideas written by other people.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    I don't believe in the "magic", but neither was I caricaturing. I was using a different term than energy, which has scientific meaning, and spirit, which has religious meaning, in order to focus on the fact that properties of energy in the material world cannot be analogised in the realm of God.
    So I explained how it can be related (not by analogy but by abstraction). I was asserting that it was essentially the same stuff in a different form. It was appropriate because I was talking about God creating the physical universe and the universe is clearly composed of energy in many different forms. If it really bothers you, you can call it something else like "pre-energy" if you like, but I do not see the need. However, calling it magic was clearly an attempt to ridicule.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    If you didn't follow what I was saying about Aristotelian logic, why don't you comment on the God-Man cartoon instead?
    I didn't comment on the cartoon because it is a little silly. "1+1=2" is a statement using a collection of symbols with a certain meaning in the context of a framework of rules. Even I can change this to "1+1=3" by changing the context or the meaning of the symbols. It has nothing to do with the physical structure or properties of the universe, which only depends on the framework of rules in mathematics in so far as how we understand and express this physical structure.

    Furthermore, the basic premise behind the claim of the philosophy major, that because God cannot do something which is a logical contradiction then the idea of God's omnipotence does not make sense, is flawed. A logical contradiction is simply an unclear meaningless thought and the only thing it proves is the inablility to communicate an idea properly.

    Behind this cartoon is a clearly religious message that arguing with an all-knowing and all-powerful God is a silly thing to do. But to me it expresses more about some Christian's fustration with philosophy majors than anything about the nature of God.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I was talking about God creating the physical universe and the universe is clearly comosed of energy in many different forms. .....you can call it something else .....if you like, but I do not see the need. However, calling it magic was clearly an attempt to ridicule.
    Mitchell, you may consider me more objectionable than objective, but I simply do not see Silas's intent as ridicule. Here is what he said.

    But conversely, in the realm of the supernatural there is an infinite supply of "magic" or ability to change the material Universe, then it really doesn't have the same characteristics as "our" energy.

    Notice, first up, that he does not call it magic he calls it "magic". The quotation marks clearly indicate, to me at least, that he is not talking about magic in the conventional sense, but is seeking an acceptable term for this presently unknown, undefined, indetectable something, that you choose to call a form of energy.
    He is uncomfortable with that usage and offers an alternative - a process you have said you accept, even if you feel it is unecessary.
    Indeed he even gives a definition for this "magic": something that has the ability to change the material Universe in a way that is outwith the normal physical laws. (Italicised words are implicit in the context.)

    In short, this is sympathetic to the concept you are seeking to portray by offering what Silas seems to feel is a more useful terminology. It certainly does not ridicule.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    In short, this is sympathetic to the concept you are seeking to portray by offering what Silas seems to feel is a more useful terminology. It certainly does not ridicule.
    Very well I accept Ophiolite's third party judgement in this matter. I guess I was seeing something that was not there.
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    What Ophiolite said.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    If the post was in under the physics section it would certainly behoove me to clarify the difference between my usage of the term "energy" with the usage in physics. But being in the religious section I thought the compatablility with the usage in physics was sufficient to stand without clarification.
    Of course. I over-reacted and was being excessively pedantic.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I didn't comment on the cartoon because it is a little silly. "1+1=2" is a statement using a collection of symbols with a certain meaning in the context of a framework of rules. Even I can change this to "1+1=3" by changing the context or the meaning of the symbols. It has nothing to do with the physical structure or properties of the universe, which only depends on the framework of rules in mathematics in so far as how we understand and express this physical structure.
    First, remember it's only a cartoon, not a philosophical discourse. Secondly, bringing the symbology into it is somewhat missing the point. When God made 1 + 1 = 3, he changed logic and the Universe was destroyed. What happens in the cartoon is explicitly something only God could do.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Furthermore, the basic premise behind the claim of the philosophy major, that because God cannot do something which is a logical contradiction then the idea of God's omnipotence does not make sense, is flawed.
    Quite right, let us from now on only have characters in our narrative art who all agree with each other, never say anything illogical or poorly founded, and let's eliminate all conflict. IT'S A CARTOON!

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    A logical contradiction is simply an unclear meaningless thought and the only thing it proves is the inablility to communicate an idea properly.
    I think your definition is unclear and meaningless, but there's nothing meaningless about properly formulated logical contradictions.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Behind this cartoon is a clearly religious message that arguing with an all-knowing and all-powerful God is a silly thing to do. But to me it expresses more about some Christian's fustration with philosophy majors than anything about the nature of God.
    It doesn't strike me as particularly religion-based, and I'm not certain Ruben Bolling is a Christian at all. As I pointed out, I think the cartoonist thought that he was satirising religion. God-Man appears fairly regularly in the strip, though come to think of it it's generally humanity's attitude to God that Bolling is examining.

    "It is comparatively easy to make clever guesses; indeed there are theorems, like 'Goldbach's Theorem' which have never been proved and which any fool could have guessed." G.H. Hardy, Fourier Series, 1943
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    IT'S A CARTOON!
    You are the one who asked me to comment on the silly thing. Exactly what did you expect when you asked. "Uuuhh.... yeah I guess you are right.. uuhhhh..... belief in God is stupid ..... should have figured that out ...uuuhh ....I guess I am pretty stupid huuhhh.......?"

    Now your second cartoon actually made me laugh on the sixth panel ("Intellegent Design for Dummies"). This one was much more obviously a parody.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    After pondering this dormant thread for a couple of weeks I've come to the conclusion that God cannot become anything He creates. To do so He would have to give up being God, its that simple. If God decided to become a rock then I have no doubt He could almost accomplish but not quite transform himself into a piece of inanimate matter. As far as I know there isn't a sentient, let alone divine, chunk of stone in existence. Same goes for any animal He wishes to become. Anything He becomes will never be a true representation of what He's trying to be. He has to maintain some semblance of being God lest He lose His divinity.

    jesus is god. jesus was human and divine. and did he give up being god? no. the holy trinity is still intact.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chamilton333
    jesus is god. jesus was human and divine. and did he give up being god? no. the holy trinity is still intact.
    Thanks for confirming that God can't do everything. He cannot give up being God...... I wish I'd have said it that way, so simple.
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