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Featured A God Problem

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

  1. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    Nope, they might have been the first to give us an accurate depiction of the One True God, but there have been several more depictions since then: The NT, the Qur’an, and the Writings of the Bab and Baha’u’llah. All of them pretty much concur on the Attributes of God.

    Here is a brief list of God's Attributes: Eternal, Holy, Unchanging, Impassable, Infinite, Immaterial, Omnipresent, All-powerful, All-Knowing, All-Wise, Self-Existent, Self-Sufficient, Sovereign, Righteous, Benevolent, Compassionate, Loving, Gracious, Merciful, Just, Forgiving, Patient.
     
  2. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    Why do you think that an infinite transcendent God is constrained by logic (by what humans think is logically possible?)
    How can logic have power over God? God created humans with the capacity to use logic to determine what is true and false and for solving problems in general, God did not create the capacity for logical thinking so humans could analyze what God can and cannot do. For eons I have been discussing this with an atheist who thinks God can only do what is logically possible AND that God should be able to do anything that is logically possible. What he is essentially saying is that God should do whatever is logically possible just because he can.
    I can go along with the idea that God is governed by Himself, but I cannot conceptualize a God that is governed by anything or anyone else. God is fully self-sufficient and fully self-subsistent.

    I do not believe that God is personal in the sense that God can be known directly by humans or that God can have a personal relationship with humans. I believe that God can only be known through His Manifestations (Messengers) and that we can only relate to God through His Manifestations who essentially act as mediators between God and man. During the Dispensation of Jesus Christ, Jesus was the only mediator between God and man (1Timothy 2:5).
    What many people do is that they try to understand God in human terms, but God is not a human so there is no way we can compare the mind of God with the mind of a human. God’s knowledge is all-encompassing in that it surrounds all things at all times, so God knows everything before, during and after it has occurred in the material realm of existence where time is measured by the sun. There is no time as we know it in the spiritual world; time as measured by the sun only exists in the material world.
     
  3. EverChanging

    EverChanging Well-Known Member

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    Do you not believe that God has any regularities in his character? If not then he is just Chaos and purely random. If he has regularities then he is governed by some sort of logic.
     
  4. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    I did not mean that we cannot understand anything about God, I meant we cannot understand the Essence (intrinsic nature) of God because it is beyond anything that can ever be recounted or perceived. However, we can understand what we need to know, which are the Attributes of God and God's Will for us.

    I do not presume God exists without evidence. I believe the Messengers of God and the scriptures revealed by them is evidence of God's existence.

    God can be trusted above all else.
    I cannot explain that it in few words but it is explained in scripture.
    The purpose of our existence and how God fits into its fulfillment is summarized in the Short Obligatory Prayer.
     
  5. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    I am not sure what you mean, governed by logic. Can you elaborate upon that?
    God does have regularities, in the form of unchanging Attributes, but God transcends all His Attributes.
     
  6. EverChanging

    EverChanging Well-Known Member

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    It means that God has coherence and a character and attributes -- things which govern his mode of relating and being and acting.

    What do you mean that God transcends his attributes?
     
  7. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    By that token, I see no reason to presume that there is a God at all, nor even an upside to belief in its existence - or even of the idea of such.

    If you say so. I by my turn find the whole idea not just unconvincing, but inherently exotic.

    I can only tell you that, for whatever reason, such a prayer does not apply to me.
     
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  8. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    Yo, Trailblazer! I hope you're having a great day.

    I go back to what I said:
    IF God exists and
    IF God is all-powerful and all-knowing and
    IF sin exists
    THEN it can exist ONLY because all-powerful all-knowing God (a) invented it and (b) continues to let it exist.

    Given the conditions precedent, there is no other possibility.
    IF God is all-powerful and all-knowing THEN that can't be right.

    Instead, being all-knowing, God already knew exactly what you and I would think, say and do before [he] made the universe; and there is no possibility consistent with God being all-knowing by which we can deviate, even by the width of an electron, from what God has always known we'd think, say or do.

    If we could then God is NOT all-knowing.

    And if God is NOT all-knowing then God is NOT all-powerful, since, when you're all-powerful, one snap of those all-powerful fingers will make you all-knowing.

    (True, this would only be correct were God smart enough to think of it, but although God is not called All-intelligent, let's assume [he]'s smart enough to realize that, being all-powerful, [he] can be all-knowing and all-intelligent any time [he] likes.)
     
  9. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    All the attributes of God still originate with the Pentateuch and Judaism.
     
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  10. Komori

    Komori Member

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    When speaking of the personalist idea of God that most people have in their minds, this is an argument that can be used to show the logical incoherence of such an idea, but its use ends there. To use this argument against the conception of God that we find in esoteric Islam is, so to speak, a category error. It represents the problem of envisioning God simply as a being like us, just a lot better, or to assign to Him attributes which are simply better versions of human attributes. When envisioned in this way, God is merely an abstraction of Man, and thus the criticism of apophatic theology which claims that it relegates God to mere abstraction is baseless. The reality is that God is not a being among other beings but transcends being and non-being entirely. He is beyond all names and attributes. He is beyond association (shirk) or relation with any thing, whether matter, energy, space, time, or change, etc., etc. He is beyond all conceptions and may not be grasped by any intellect. He is beyond both positive and negative qualities and all categories. The definition of God as "an omnipresent, omniscient, etc. being" is utterly wrong, for God transcends these appellations entirely. God is in reality the originator of all attributes that have been attributed to Him.

    Imām 'Alī lays it out succinctly:
     
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  11. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    a God problem......?

    I don't think God has problems

    does He have a problem with Man?
    no

    it's the other way around
     
  12. viole

    viole Metaphysical Naturalist
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    That was a serious mistake, if he wants to keep existing.

    Ciao

    - viole
     
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  13. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Why? How is the existence of God (or other gods) contingent upon humans?

    Hmm. Maybe I should make a sister thread on non-theist problems...
     
  14. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    And just what makes it illogical? I have faculties for both making judgments and making them known. What makes judging God's actions "illogical"? Isn't it only logical that I apply my own moral lens to anything I see any other thinking being in the universe doing? Why wouldn't I? Isn't it more illogical to simply refuse to use your moral lens to assess the activities of one particular being? Why should God get a free pass? You have no good reason for this.

    Let's get something straight... I don't think I can get away with it... I CAN get away with it. Can. There is nothing, and no one to stop me from judging God. Not even God himself. Even if He exists, He's not going to stop me. Why don't you go ahead and ask Him to? I'll wait.

    Again - you're going to have to explain this. You don't just get to assert something like this and pretend everyone agrees.

    How can one demonstrate the truth of any of this though? I am not just going to take your word for it.

    Again, you only assert this without really having anything to back it up. I say that, if God exists, He is subject to moral judgments. See what I just did there? Exactly what you did. I asserted something. So it is just as valid as what you stated. If you don't need to demonstrate the truth of your claims I may as well make some of my own... you certainly can't stop me.

    Then the Bible is useless from the standpoint of describing God - and we are agreed on this point.

    No scripture will ever meet the burden of acting as actual proof. Not ever.
     
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  15. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    I understand, because I have said the exact same thing myself. I often say that I wish God did not exist, for my own personal reasons, but it has nothing to do with what I want or like. From my perspective, God simply exists and there is nothing I can do about that so denying it will not change the reality. To me, the concept of God as the Supreme Being makes perfect logical sense, but that is no doubt because I know why God exists, as revealed by Baha’u’llah.
    I appreciate that you have humility which is a very important quality, but I think that you are more important and wiser than an earthworm, because you have a soul which gives you the capacity to reason and understand your relationship to the rest of creation. Whereas I do not believe in many gods, I do believe that the cosmos is crowded with angels, and they exist both in this material world and in the spiritual world.
    I like what I heard on a video that was posted here by a Muslim. There is no compulsion in religion, so everyone does not have to believe. The Qur’an says that God could have made us all one people, meaning He could have made us all believers, but there is a reason God does not do that. God wants us to use our own innate ability to reason and sincerely search for the evidence of His existence. God only wants us to believe by virtue of our own free will choices and that is why God does not reach out to us and draw us near to Him.

    I came to believe in Baha’u’llah when I was only 17 years old. That was over four decades ago. I cannot say exactly WHY I was so convinced, that was a long, long time ago. I was not even searching for God; God was the furthest thing from my mind, since I was not raised in a religious home. Thus God was an enigma and I had no emotional connection to God.

    As far as I can recall, I believed the claim of Baha’u’llah because I was drawn to the teachings of the Baha’i Faith, since they made sense to me and I could see their value for individuals and society. Thus I had a love relationship with the Baha’i Faith, the idea of the oneness of mankind, universal peace and the brotherhood of man. But I was not connected to God or Baha’u’llah.

    Owing to serious personal problems I had to resolve, I fell away from the Baha’i Faith for many decades and I started to hate God. But about six years ago, I decided it was in my best interest to take the Baha’i Faith seriously and make peace with God. This has been a process but I am making some progress. I have done all this work through participation in various forums. They have saved my life. Before I came to forums I was very isolated socially, except for going to work. Now I have connections with various people I have met and I continue to make connections with new people. This has helped me learn and grow spiritually. I do not think that humans can progress in complete isolation.
     
  16. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    Yes, God has all of that so I guess God is governed by logic in that sense. :)
    It means that God has attributes but God is above all his attributes; in other words, God cannot be defined by his attributes. God can be described but the Essence of God (His intrinsic nature) can never be known.

    To further elaborate, transcendence means that God is apart from, and immeasurably exalted above, all created things. God transcends and is independent of all His creatures. God exercises undisputed sovereignty over the world of being,all existence is dependent upon Him, and from Him is derived the source of the sustenance of all things.

    If you don’t mind my asking, what is a NonRealist Episcopalian? Do you believe in the Trinity doctrine?
     
  17. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    I reason that there is an upside to believing in God since I believe God exists with absolute certitude, and I believe that the Purpose of my existence is to know and love God and obey His commandments, thereby becoming my True Self.
    I never thought of it as exotic, but now that you mention it, it kind of is exotic... I know that the idea of Messengers of God is not convincing to atheists, and that is the main reason they are atheists.
    No, it wouldn’t apply to you unless you believed in God. There can be no knowledge of God without what was revealed by the Messengers and there can be no love for a God we do not know anything about. Moreover, even if we know God, there can be no connection to God unless we love God because God never forces His Love upon anyone.
     
  18. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, my life is very stressful right now, has been for a very long time, but some things are starting to look up a little. One day at a time is my mantra.
    I do not understand your logic. o_O

    Briefly, I believe that God is responsible for all of existence but humans evolved over time and at some point humans became a species separate from animals. Because humans have a soul, humans are instilled with two natures; a higher spiritual nature and a lower material nature. Heck, it is just easier to post the quote that explains this:

    “In man there are two natures; his spiritual or higher nature and his material or lower nature. In one he approaches God, in the other he lives for the world alone. Signs of both these natures are to be found in men. In his material aspect he expresses untruth, cruelty and injustice; all these are the outcome of his lower nature. The attributes of his Divine nature are shown forth in love, mercy, kindness, truth and justice, one and all being expressions of his higher nature. Every good habit, every noble quality belongs to man’s spiritual nature, whereas all his imperfections and sinful actions are born of his material nature. If a man’s Divine nature dominates his human nature, we have a saint.” Paris Talks, p. 60

    So God instilled in us the capacity to sin, but God also gave us free will so we can choose to sin or not sin. God is not responsible for our choices because we have free will to choose. God wanted it to be that way because by making moral choices we develop our character, we become who we are in this world and who we will be in the afterlife.

    Yes, God allows sin to exist because it teaches us the lessons we need to learn in order to develop our character. Sine we also learn and grow by interacting with others, the sinfulness of others tests us and makes us stronger if we survive the tests.
    Why can’t it be right? Why can’t an All-Knowing and All-Powerful God instill in us a higher nature and a lower nature and free will so we can choose to act according to either nature?
    I agree with all of the above, but how does that make God responsible for human sin?Do you think that what God KNOWS humans will do determines what humans will do?

    Here is my view: God knows what we will do because God is All-Knowing, but God does not cause it to happen, we do. Thus we play out our own script according to what God already knows we will do. God does not play out the script by causing things to happen; we cause things to happen by virtue of the free will decisions that we make and the actions that follow. God knows how the script will play out before it plays out because God is omniscient.
    God is also All-Wise, because it would not work very well for God to be All-Knowing if God did not know how to apply all His knowledge.
     
  19. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    Humans cannot stop God from existing by what they think about Him.
    I have never heard anything more illogical in my entire life. :rolleyes:
     
  20. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    It is logically impossible for you to know as much or more than a God who is All-Knowing unless you are All-Knowing or more than All-Knowing, and it is logically impossible for you to be as wise or wiser than a God who is All-Wise unless you are All-Wise or more than All-Wise. As such, for a human to judge anything that God does is illogical.
    You are funny. :) But of course you can judge God, and because God gave you free will, so God is not going to stop you. Been there done that, but you should at least realize that is illogical, for the reasons I stated above. I finally realized it.
    I explained it above. Let me know if you do not understand.
    Now you are cooking with gas, as the old expression goes. But of course you should not take my word for it.
    What I have that you do not have is scriptures to back up my claims about God. There is NO OTHER WAY to know anything about God. God is the judge so God cannot be subject to moral judgments by humans. That would be illogical. God is not a human being so God is not subject to morality.

    morality: a personal or social set of standards for good or badbehavior and character, or the quality of being right and honest:MORALITY | definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary
    I would not say it is entirely useless, only that the Qur’an and the Writings of Baha’u’llah are much more useful because they are more authentic and more straightforward.
    I never claimed that scripture was proof of God’s existence. There is no proof. There is only evidence. Scripture is evidence, not proof. If God could be proven to exist, God would be a fact.

    Evidence: the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid: https://www.google.com/search

    Proof: evidence or argument establishing or helping to establish a fact or the truth of a statement: https://www.google.com/search
     
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