1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

God's power

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Corban, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. Corban

    Corban Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Messages:
    159
    Ratings:
    +9
    This question was raised in my post titled God, where is he. someone made the point that God could disobey true principles, they said God could create matter, which goes against the law of conservation of matter, so here is my question

    It has been brought to my attention that God does have to follow natural laws, so Let me ask this question, and i would love to have an answer from anyone that says God does not follow natural laws, If i gave God a math test with only one question as follows: what is one plus one, what answer would God write down, would He put two. i hope so since that's right and God is all knowing, but does He have to put two, what if He wanted to put five, would He be right. now i'm not talking well if God had one apple and and I gave Him another how many would he have, and you say well He could just create three more apples so He would have five, no, that would change the question, i'm talking simply one plus one, God would write two, because it is true and God is a God of truth, and the fact that one plus one equals two is a true principle. Now does that limit God, no truth is not limiting it is enobling, God is not limited by the fact that one plus one is two, so if asked he would have to put two, that is not limiting it enobles him to follow that true principle. Just as me knowing that murder is wrong does not limit me by not letting me kill people, it enobles me because now i'm saved from the bad consequences of disobaying a true principle
     
  2. kc8tbe

    kc8tbe Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    25
    Ratings:
    +0
    You might enjoy reading the "Golden Compass" series by Phillip Pulman. It reflects a pantheistic view of God in which God's (or rather God's archetype's) primary function is to illuminate the truth.

    Your argument is a bit incoherent.
    It's a bit of a non-sequitor. Would you mind rephrasing the question in terms the rest of us can understand? Complete sentences would be a good start (no hard feelings) :wink:
     
  3. LCMS Sprecher

    LCMS Sprecher Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Messages:
    211
    Ratings:
    +1
    This is good that this has become a new forum thread; should draw a bit more discussion. If God can do anything, what prevents Him from true creation? That is the true creation of everything (including matter and energy). If God is controlled by physical world laws, then He is not all-powerful. This would destroy one of the three aspects that make God, God.
     
  4. Paraprakrti

    Paraprakrti Custom User

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,123
    Ratings:
    +53
    I follow that God and His energies co-exist eternally. The law of conservation of energy still applies. God creates material forms by manifesting them, though the fundamental energy always exists whether or not it is manifest.


    God does not have to follow natural laws.

    Consider this...

    On the relative platform, one plus one equals two. But on the absolute platform, everything is ONE. One plus one equals ONE. Five is one and one is five. I follow "acintya bheda bheda tattva" philosophy. That means, "inconceivably one and many, simultaneously".
    God can write the answer as five or as seventy-two. Still, God's answer is correct.
     
  5. kc8tbe

    kc8tbe Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    25
    Ratings:
    +0
    Errr... true creation? As opposed to fake or genuine imitation creation? Clearly I haven't been keeping up my studies of religious lore. Please expplain, LCMS Sprecher.

    In this case, the law of conservation of energy could still be made to apply, but not in the way that I think Paraprakrti is suggesting. The 2nd law of thermodynamics states that the amount of energy in a closed system is constant. In other words, energy can be converted between different forms (i.e. matter, light, heat, chemical bonds, electricity, etc.) but cannot be created or destroyed.

    How does this apply to Paraprakrti's argument? Paraprakrti asserts that the tangible universe (e.g. the universe we are aware of) is not a closed system but rather an open system. It, and this realm of God/unmanifest-energy are a part of a larger, closed system. Imagine a giant beachball containing two tennis balls. The two tennis balls are open systems tangent to each other. One is the tangible universe, the other is God. Both are in the closed system of the beachball. God can transfer energy between the two tennis balls, but we can only see one of the tennis balls. So to us it appears as if God is creating/destroying energy, when in fact the energy in the beachball remains constant.

    So Paraprakrti's argument is flawwed. It allows God to appear to us to be capable of violating the 2nd law of themodynamics. But in Paraprakrti's reality, God is still limited by the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

    No... on the absolute (e.g. non-euclidean) platform, one plus one still equals two. Five and one is still six. "inconceivably one and many, simultaneously" may describe a democracy, an multicellular organism, or a conditionally convergent series. But it does not describe mathematics.
     
  6. LCMS Sprecher

    LCMS Sprecher Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Messages:
    211
    Ratings:
    +1
    True creation is a name used by me, it is not a term used in religious lore. If God did just use present matter and energy to create the world, then is he really God? Can't he be just an alien then, who has the ability to make things out of matter (all Star Trek TNG fans remember the replicators that can materialize food from raw matter). You reduce God to being just a normal being who just has a technological level that is not available to us. Keep in mind that God not only created the universe, he put the physical laws in place to govern that universe. Without such laws there would be chaos. Therefore, the laws of this world are for us, not for Him.
     
  7. kc8tbe

    kc8tbe Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    25
    Ratings:
    +0
    I see. Then under your argument, Corban's paradox would fall under the category of ad absurdium. God would not break his own physical laws - not because he is unable to, but rather because he doesn't want to. Being as perfect as he is, God fashioned the physical laws so that he would never have to/want to break them. The concept of God violating one of these laws just to prove that he is all powerful is therefore absurd; God can more effectively demonstrate his omnipotence by not breaking his physical laws.

    Your response is certainly the most parsimonious and logically sound solution to Corban's question thus far. However I submit another solution: God doesn't exist. I contend that though both of our solutions are of similar logic, mine is more parsimonious than yours.
     
  8. Paraprakrti

    Paraprakrti Custom User

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,123
    Ratings:
    +53
    And in my explanation energy is not being created nor destroyed. It is always existing. It is just that it is at times manifest, and at other times unmanifest. When it is manifest it is converting between different forms. When it is unmanifest it is not. Regardless, the amount of energy is constant.


    In your tennis ball analogy, God would more likely be the beach ball. God is not within the system, He transcends it. The fact that the material energy is sometimes unmanifest does not constitute that it is an open system. I have heard this argument before regarding how the individual souls are injected into the material energy. The fact is, the spiritual energy which acts upon the material energy is never a constituent of it. There is no loss of energy in the material world when the spiritual energy is not present because the spiritual energy has no place in the closed system. It does not make up any part of it.


    No. Refer to everything I wrote above.


    Many is One, this mathematics transcends euclidean and whatever you are considering when you write "non-euclidean". There is really no argument against this. You either accept the concept or you do not.
     
  9. Paraprakrti

    Paraprakrti Custom User

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,123
    Ratings:
    +53
    Exactly. I agree.
     
  10. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,464
    Ratings:
    +96
    God obeys the laws He has formed for our existence. He sees the end from the beginning, and He has no need to break any of the laws He has formed, nor will He ever. KNow, however, that He operates on a different level, and He has laws that we know not of. He can appear to defy gravity or some other law, while all the while simply obeying a higher law that we have no knowledge of.
     
  11. Mr Spinkles

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Messages:
    10,985
    Ratings:
    +1,676
    dan-- if God can do anything, He can destroy evil and suffering in the world without encroaching on our free will even if that seems illogical.....the fact that there is evil and suffering in the world, then, must mean that God is not all good.

    On a sidenote, I do not think it would be illogical for evil to be destroyed without taking away our free will (do we really WANT the ability to do evil, anyway?)

    On a side-side note, I do not think we have free will at all...but that is another debate.
     
  12. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,464
    Ratings:
    +96
    Your right, He could; but He won't. It would destroy His plan. He put us here to deal with evil. It's the only way we could grow to be more like Him. Without contrast there is no quality in anything. Our lives would be meaningless in a perfect world. Adam and Eve knew no joy, for they had never felt pain (prior to the fall), and we would be the same, emotionless people stuck in a rut of non-progression, if we were to have evil removed. He is all good. He gave us evil so that we could become like Him, and we chose to accept.
     
  13. Mr Spinkles

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Messages:
    10,985
    Ratings:
    +1,676
    If God is all powerful, it is not the only way we could grow to be more like Him. If it is "the only way" then God is not all powerful--His power is limited.

    If our lives were meaningless, it would not be a perfect world. A perfect world would be one where there is no evil/suffering but yet there is still meaning. If you are saying God can't create a perfect world that has meaning, then you are saying He is not all powerful.

    If God is all powerful, He can allow us to know joy without having to feel pain.
     
  14. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,464
    Ratings:
    +96
    But He doesn't want to. He wants us to suffer so we can appreciate joy. He wants us to fail so we can appreciate achievement. He wants us to hurt so we can appreciate pleasure. He set these boundaries long before we were born, and He will abide by them because that's the way He designed the plan. It was His will that we progress this way, and to argue that He should have done it differently is ludicrous. He did it the way He wanted to do it.
     
  15. Mr Spinkles

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Messages:
    10,985
    Ratings:
    +1,676
    You are contradicting yourself in two ways, dan. First off, if God were truly all powerful we wouldn't need to suffer to appreciate joy--He could just snap His fingers, and we would appreciate joy and life would have meaning etc.

    Now, if God is all powerful and chooses to create a universe where A) evil and suffering exist as well as joy and meaning

    over B) a universe devoid of suffering/evil and full of meaning/appreciation of joy then that means God has chosen a universe where evil exists, and therefore He is not all good. That's all I'm saying.
     
  16. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,464
    Ratings:
    +96
    And since when do you have the right to nail conditions onto God? I do not recall that "if/then" statement as part of revealed truth or anywhere in the annals of scientific research. Oh, it must be a conclusion that you've drawn on your own and now you're trying to pawn it off as truth. Prove that statement to me and I'll prove mine to you. You'll have trouble, as it's nothing more than an inference, and inferencial evidence is the weakest of all.
     
  17. Mr Spinkles

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Messages:
    10,985
    Ratings:
    +1,676
    I am not the one nailing conditions on God--you are. You say He is all powerful, then you say this all powerful being is *forced* to take action A in order to accomplish B. Forced by whom, I might add?

    Besides it is not an inference, it is simple logic. If God is all powerful, He can accomplish anything He wants without having to do things He doesn't want. If God is all powerful, He makes the rules, He decides what can and cannot be. If logic says that growth is only possible through suffering, it is because God says that logic says that.
     
  18. kc8tbe

    kc8tbe Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    25
    Ratings:
    +0
    Paraprakrti, we seem to agree that it is possible to create a universal model or metaphor in which God's actions are not in violation of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. But to what end? It still doesn't answer Corban's questions: if God is all powerful, can he break his own rules? Currently, I feel LCMS Spreecher has the best explanation that incorporates the existence of God.
    Would this be the same branch of mathematics that deals with "how the individual souls are injected into the material energy"? Can anybody back Paraprakrti up on this one?

    Dan, Mr_Sprinkles is correct. He does not have to "nail conditions on God", the bible does that. It states that [1] God loves us and that [2] God is all powerful. Here is the "proof" based upon that bible.

    Point: Mr_Sprinkles asserts that if 1 and 2 are true, humans would not need to suffer.
    Counterpoint: Dan asserts that God's love is subjective; the suffering imposed on humans is so that they may appreciate joy.
    Counterpoint: Mr_Sprinkles points out that if God were all powerful he would find a way for humans to appreciate joy without suffering. Dan's previous counterpoint violates 2.

    Is this a conclusion that Mr_Sprinkles drew on his own? Yes, Mr_Sprinkles arrived at this conclusion with the brain that God gave him. And I back Mr_Sprinkles up 100% on this one.
     
  19. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,464
    Ratings:
    +96
    First off, I didn't say forced. If you want to put words in my mouth I will not respond, as that is immature and unbecoming of an intellectual person. What kind of person do you want me to think you are?

    Secondly, He made a plan, and that plan makes it necessary to go through A to get to B. Why He did it is a completely ludicrous question, as I have no idea what goes on inside His head. He did it, and if you want to tell Him he could have done better, that's your problem, but it does nothing to prove your point.

    Again, I do not recall using the word subjective. Would you care to justify your putting words in my mouth so that your argument makes sense?

    And this is a fallacy. What right do you or he have to tell me what God WOULD do. I agreed that He COULD, and that's all that we can ascertain from the Bible. If you think you know God well enough to decide how He WOULD respond to a situation why don't you just share with us the nature of His being? He could have done that, but He didn't.

    Congratulations, you both can be wrong together.
     
  20. Mr Spinkles

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Messages:
    10,985
    Ratings:
    +1,676
    Please accept my apologies for using a word you yourself did not use. However, you did say:
    This implies that although God does not want evil/suffering, God is forced by some other powers beyond Himself (logic?) to allow evil/suffering in order for us to be more like Him. This is logic, plain and simple: if God is all powerful, evil/suffering is NOT the "only way" for Him to fulfill His desires. Think about it!

    If God didn't want there to be evil/suffering, why would He make it necessary when He could just as easily make it not necessary? The only answer is that that is His will. Since evil is the exact opposite of good as defined in our language, a God who wills evil cannot be wholly good.

    I am not saying God exists and He is not wholly good. I am only pointing out that the Christian beliefs on God are contradictory, if we sit down and apply logic to them.

    A God who does not want evil/suffering to exist needlessly WOULD find a way for humans to appreciate joy without suffering, if He had the ability to do so.

    I know this goes against your beliefs, dan, but this is a debate forum.

    Also-- dan, let's remember everyone has different opinions. Let's have a debate without getting huffy. I apologize if I have offended you in any way.
     
Loading...