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Featured A God Problem

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Quintessence, Mar 25, 2019.

  1. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    The New York Times doesn't usually run pieces of interest on the topic of religion, but there was an opinion piece in there today that I felt was worth sharing. It discusses the problems inherent to classical monotheism but also couches it in the philosophical history of the idea by a few well-known thinkers. It provides some interesting and valuable context for those of you who might be perplexed by the logically contradictory one-god as often characterized by followers of various Abrahamic traditions. I'd suggest reading the article in its entirety, but to highlight a paragraph or two:

    "Does the idea of a morally perfect, all-powerful, all-knowing God make sense? Does it hold together when we examine it logically?

    ....

    What about God’s infinite knowledge — His omniscience? Philosophically, this presents us with no less of a conundrum. ... if He knows what we know, then this would appear to detract from His perfection. Why?

    There are some things that we know that, if they were also known to God, would automatically make Him a sinner, which of course is in contradiction with the concept of God. As the late American philosopher Michael Martin has already pointed out, if God knows all that is knowable, then God must know things that we do, like lust and envy. But one cannot know lust and envy unless one has experienced them. But to have had feelings of lust and envy is to have sinned, in which case God cannot be morally perfect.

    ...

    It is logical inconsistencies like these that led the 17th-century French theologian Blaise Pascal to reject reason as a basis for faith and return to the Bible and revelation. It is said that when Pascal died his servant found sewn into his jacket the words: “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob — not of the philosophers and scholars.” Evidently, Pascal considered there was more “wisdom” in biblical revelation than in any philosophical demonstration of God’s existence and nature — or plain lack thereof."
    Full article - Opinion | A God Problem

    Thoughts? What are your favorite logical inconsistencies from classical monotheism? Are there oddities from other types of theism that have also caught your attention?
     
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  2. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    The notion of a static god that intervenes in temporal matters. The consequence is either gods must change or gods cannot intervene.
     
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  3. viole

    viole Metaphysical Naturalist
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    Pascal was right. Reason is corrosive for faith. Either there is God or reason. The two cannot coexist.

    To paraphrase Descartes:

    God: you don’t think. Therefore I am.

    Ciao

    - viole
     
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  4. 1213

    1213 Well-Known Member

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    I have understood that sin means that person rejects God, or lives without God. I think it Is not probable that God rejects Himself. :)

    When God is the one ho has defined what lust means, He probably knows what He is talking about. And by Bibles definition, one doesn’t have to lust, to know what it means.
     
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  5. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Where applied exclusively to god-concepts like that of classical monotheism, I'm generally inclined to agree. Though it does depend on what one means by "faith." And besides, reason doesn't characterize the majority of human experience, so if forced to choose between one or the other, I would blame no one for picking the one that dominates our life experiences.
     
  6. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    In philosophy, there are different kinds of knowledge. One of those is experiential knowledge. I suspect that the author of the article had this in mind when it comes to being all-knowing. In order to be all-knowing, this must also include experiential knowledge. Therefore, the one-god must have experienced lust personally in order to be all-knowing, which is inconsistent with being morally perfect.
     
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  7. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    Logical Inconsistencies:

    Allowing evil does not bring about good.

    Why would an all loving God refuse to interact with God's creations?

    Why leave things in the hands of faith based on a book written in ancient past?

    Why would an all powerful God command God's creations to slaughter wicked peoples and split the spoils judiciously?

    War does not make one great, so end the war against evil with omniscience.

    That the innocent must pay the price of the guilty to be redeemed.

    Why isnt moral law established in nature?

    If God exists, then why must we know him through words only?

    Nature is brutal if not handled so well.

    Why must humans have to do God's bidding of executing judgment, and establishing law?
     
  8. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    The traditional Abrahamic religions are reaching the end of their two millennial run. They no longer meet the intellectual and spiritual needs of a quickly advancing humankind.

    I see New Age and non-dualism (God and creation are not-two) as the religion of the future. We are a ray of the One Consciousness learning that is what we are = God-Realization; Self-Realization.
     
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  9. Cassandra

    Cassandra Active Member

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    Religions have always known that and have rather built in inconsistencies to work for them. It allows them to create different messages for all occasions. They even turned inconsistencies into a proof of God, and called it wonders. Whenever something is not explainable they call it the mystery of God, or the power of God. That is what "supernatural" means. God does not abide by Laws, God makes the laws and makes exceptions whenever he sees fit. And God does not abide to human logic or wisdom either, the books claims. It even says for the world believers are fools. They covered it all.

    Why not? After all, as far as I am concerned, God is a fantasy product en in fantasy there are no limitations. That actually is the fundamental attraction to believers. That is what makes them believe that God can save them, no matter how unethical or improbable that is. That is what gives them hope. Like Jesus says, with God the impossible is possible. He is supernatural after all.

    Abrahamism is not a logical world view like the Greek philosophers created. It is something created by religious traders to sell well on the religious market. It relies heavily on emotional arguments. People want to realize that in the Roman empire religion was commerce. On every street corner in Rome there were temples from all over the empire competing with each other. There were fierce religious trade wars between the Greek en the Jews for the favor of the believers, even leading to huge death tolls in the Roman cities. Monotheistic religion only developed into a more respected theology when it became the official ideology of the Jewish Kingdom, Roman empire and Arab Empire. They had intellectuals iron out all the controversies and inconsistencies in the most far-fetched explanations, but explanations non the less

    And who cares what is in the book. The common believer has no idea. Nor does he spend much time on reflecting on it. Nor does he believe all the stuff he hears. If it would dawn to people how unethical the underlying ideologies really are, how much they promote slavery, inequality, and endless conflicts, and how much blood they shed to expand their markets in the trillion dollar trade they would be appalled. But luckily most are simply good people who want to live a good life and want to believe in something that is good. So let them. The world does not become better if you change believers into disappointed cynical atheists. They will simply fall for other belief-based "religions", like Scientology. It is much better to keep the old traditions alive and let them mature further.
     
    #9 Cassandra, Mar 25, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
  10. David T

    David T Well-Known Member
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    Logical inconsistencies isnt a "monotheism " issue its called normalacy that happens to manifest in monotheism.

    So the real question what and why is that? It's easy to play make believe and look at monotheism and Poke at it for inconsistencies. It exists just prelevant in science as monotheism. "Laws of phyics" comes instantly to mind. There is no external abstraction outside physicality thus what is obseverved is not dictated to or governed by anything. Pure intellectualized stupid inconsistent logic simply replacing God with another set of words. So what.... Monotheism is normal.
     
  11. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg Ocean Immersion
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    That makes it all fall apart.

    Foreknowledge of an event does not mean you caused it to happen.

    Also it may be there is no evil at all, just as darkness is absence of light, evil is absence of good.

    It is then that the meaning of free will and why we are created at the end of darkness starts to unfold.

    Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

    Regards Tony
     
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  12. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    OK, before tackling this "God Problem" we have to know exactly what philosophy is before addressing it...

    PHILOSOPHY.....

    1. "the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.
    2. a theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behavior."
    So this means that limited human knowledge and understanding are being applied to a Being of unknown qualification, form or ability. It is based on assumptions about a Being that humans do not even know but who like to think they do....based on what? :shrug:

    If 'one of the kinds of knowledge' that humans possess is based on 'experience', then why does an "all knowing God" need experience of things he can know without experiencing them? How is that even logical?

    If God created sexual attraction in all species as a means to perpetuate the lifeforms that he created here (including us) then why does he need to experience that attraction to program reproductive behaviors into his creatures? Does a computer programmer have to personally participate in bloodshed in order to program an avatar to commit violence or murder on a video game?

    God as the Creator has demonstrated balance in all things....."for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction"......science knows this....correct? So for every action there is an opposite. Do I have to experience bad to practice good? Do I have to experience sex to have a desire for it? Do I have to die to know what death is? Do I have to eat garbage to know that it tastes bad?

    The one God that I worship knows more than all the philosophers in this world put together...in fact their knowledge is so puny as to evoke a shake of the Creator's head and a laugh under his breath IMO. Like trying to teach ants quantum physics....or a group of ants competing with one another to be the most intelligent.

    Why do humans imagine themselves to be anything more than what God designed them to be?......well-educated, well-qualified......janitors. :D

    Being made "in God's image" only meant that we would have the necessary qualities to take care of what the Creator had consigned into our care here on earth. Having a level of intelligence above what other creatures demonstrate however, has not made us" like God" in our present imperfect state...in fact we are our own (and every other creature's) worst enemies. No one has messed up their environment quite like we have.

    Scripture tells us that this is not the life God intended for us and that he has taken the time for humanity to experience the greatest object lesson that they will ever have. We are proving, beyond a shadow of a doubt that we cannot manage our own affairs down here, of our own free will, without guidance from the Creator. The more we shun him, the worse our situation becomes....morally, spiritually and environmentally.

    So the next time anyone is tempted to think a little too much of human intelligence....please think again. o_O
    I believe that this present situation is taking us all somewhere.....perhaps not where the majority wish to go.
     
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  13. bobhikes

    bobhikes Nowoligist
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    A simple response would be God's Knowledge is not Human Knowledge. Lust, envy, hate love are all human terms for human experiences God can be above them as in God's knowledge they don't exist. God can be omniscient but human's can't be, thereby human knowledge is lacking. Morality itself refers to human's acting accordingly with other humans not God. Usually the definition of sin is to act against Gods wishes, which imply god just see's it as an act opposing his rules, not as envy, greed, lust or murder. Thou Shall not kill is a command for us, the who, why and how you killed the person is not relevant in gods view.
     
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  14. Jollybear

    Jollybear Hey

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    I question the assumption that God must know everything.

    Also, for God to know lust is not the same as knowing sin. I also question that assumption. God created lust, therefore its not sin. Sin is channeling the lust in the wrong direction. Example, rape.

    God knows no sin.
     
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  15. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    God is unchanging but God’s message changes over time. God intervenes in every new age with a new message that is suited for that age.
     
  16. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    Or human reason is fallible so some humans just think they are reasonable when in fact they are not.

    There is a reason for everything God does and it makes sense.

    If God is All-Knowing, All-Wise and Infallible, humans questioning God’s reasons for what God does is not reasonable.
     
  17. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    That is just a human conception of what All-Knowing means. God is not a human, therefore God does not KNOW like a human would know. God simply knows everything. HOW God knows everything is not something any human can grasp, because God is immeasurably exalted above all created things, transcends and is independent of all His creatures.
     
  18. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    God allows evil but God does not cause evil. God gave humans free will so they could choose to bring about good.
    Why would He? How could He?
    We don’t have to rely an ancient book. We have new scriptures written by Baha’u’llah.
    I don’t know that He did that.
    That is not God’s job. God has entrusted that job to humans.
    That is not so. If the innocent pay a price at the hands of the guilty there is recompense in the afterlife.
    Because nature knows of no morality. Morality only applies to humans.
    We can also know Him through intuition but if we want to know about God we have to read the Word of God.
    That’s true. We must learn to handle it better.
    Because there has to be stability and order in the world, based upon rewards and punishments.

    “The Great Being saith: The structure of world stability and order hath been reared upon, and will continue to be sustained by, the twin pillars of reward and punishment…” Gleanings, p. 219
     
  19. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein ᛘᛁᛏᚾᛁᚴᚼᛏ᛫ᛋᚢᚾ
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    One of the biggest problems with the omnimax idea of a deity is that once you point out a fallacy, its followers will start going on about how above and beyond this being is to our comprehension. They make it so abstract as to be non-existant. That alone shows that the entity they're talking about is imaginary. It's basically a rhetorical tool. We can't comprehend it and it's beyond all imagining but we're supposed to believe that this being revealed itself to us, and cares for us as individuals. It's transcendent of the entire universe, ineffable, incomprehensible and immutable but yet still acts within the phenomenonal universe? What? But when we point out that this doesn't make sense, we're just told we can't understand it. We're seeing it in this thread already. Whatever. It's garbage and a waste of time. This being only exists in the minds of those thinking about it. It's just a concept, not a real entity.
     
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  20. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    Negative. Nothing that interacts temporally can be unchanging.
     
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