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Featured Monotheists: How do you know that your god is the most powerful being?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Hubert Farnsworth, May 17, 2019.

  1. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    Suppose for the sake of argument that the Judeo/Christian/Islamic god exists and that it has performed many great feats of strength and power as described in the various sacred texts. How could we possibly know that this god is not simply a puppet on the string of a greater god or goddess who is more powerful than this god? Suppose the super-deity decided to purposely delude the Judeo/Christian/Islamic god into thinking that he is in control of the universe, when in fact, he is not, and is simply a creation of a more powerful deity?

    I understand that this is a far-fetched thought experiment. Yet it is a valuable one in that it shows how we can never ultimately prove that the claims of a monotheistic religion are true.
     
  2. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Whenever you follow a particular theological perspective, there are certain premises that are simply granted by matter of definition. For example, if you are a monotheist at all, "god" by definition must be and can only be a singular entity. Monotheism in of itself does not posit "god" must be the most powerful being, but classical monotheism does. It is not a matter of "knowing" the god of classical monotheism is the most powerful being, it is simply the case by matter of definition. If you reject that theological perspective, then... well... that's that. There's nothing more to be said about it, really. Matters of definition have never been about proof, but about mapping the territory. But they are true to those who hold to them.
     
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  3. Shad

    Shad Veteran Member

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    This was similar to a early "Christian" idea that the OT is from a minor god while Jesus and the NT is from the God. It was one way some Christians reconciled the drastic differences between the texts.

    *By difference I mean the theme and acts. Jesus is a hippy compared to the OT.
    *Use of "Christian" reflect mainstream dominance in the present in text and views

    *I remembered the name; Marcionism

    Marcionism - Wikipedia
     
    #3 Shad, May 17, 2019
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
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  4. Epic Beard Man

    Epic Beard Man Bearded Philosopher

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    First, define powerful for purposes and context for this discussion.
     
  5. Pete in Panama

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    To what end are you presenting your arguments, is there some truth you want to bring out or is it that you're just equating "argument" with "quarrel"?
     
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  6. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    I explained why. I am presenting them to show the impossibility of proving a monotheistic religion to be true.
     
  7. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    For this discussion, I am referring to "power" as the amount of control a being has over events in the universe.
     
  8. Gerry

    Gerry Well-Known Member

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    Do you imply that it would be easier to prove that a polytheistic religion is true?
     
  9. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily. Polytheism has its problems as well. For instance, a single god could change forms and appear as different gods. But that's a different discussion.
     
  10. dianaiad

    dianaiad Well-Known Member

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    No, we can't.

    But then you can't prove that there isn't a deity that fits properly in some monotheistic belief.

    I believe...to the point that it were proven that the God I believe in actually exists, that my behavior wouldn't change. Or at least, I hope it wouldn't...

    Anyway, I believe that God is Who I think He is...but not from any objective or 'scientific' evidence. There are other ways to come to learn things.

    There is the scientific method (which works in religion, too, slightly modified), or 'science,' and then there is religion. They are two entirely different things, different methods of approaching things. Those who ignore subjective evidence for God are just as bad as those who insist that their scriptures explain everything.

    Scriptures (whatever they are to those who believe in them) do not explain the 'how' or 'what' of anything. They only explain 'why.'

    Science doesn't even TRY to explain 'why.'

    Don't use science to explore whether or not there is a God. Don't use scriptures as a science text.
     
  11. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    What makes you think that the 'why' must necessarily exist?
     
  12. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson ζει

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    You forgot something. Don't get up, ... I fixed it for you.

     
  13. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen Veteran Member

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    Why is Christian in quotes?
     
    #13 Father Heathen, May 17, 2019
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
  14. Firemorphic

    Firemorphic Activist Membrane

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    Well, as I've said here (which got no reply from you): Why I Could Never Be a Christian (or Muslim)
    Monotheism is ontological also, not numerical.
     
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  15. InChrist

    InChrist Free4ever

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    The purpose of God's revealed word in the scriptures is so that we can know what we otherwise would be unable to know about God the Creator.

    I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me...Isaiah 45:5

    For this is what the Lord says— he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited— he says: “I am the Lord, and there is no other. Isaiah 45:18

    Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. Isaiah 46:9
     
  16. Pete in Panama

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    Pse correct me if I'm misunderstanding you, but it sounds like the criterion for truth that you're using is that which is acceptable to you. If everyone on this thread is likewise already going their own way on this no matter what, it kind of makes further discussion pointless.

    Some folks might like say, a scientific consensus. After all it's what we use to prove global warming. Then again you probably wouldn't be interested given the fact that only about an eighth of scientists are declared atheists. If we could agree on a common goal --say, "truth"-- maybe we could team up on the same side, pool observable realities that we agree on, and go where reality leads us.

    Interested?
     
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  17. Firemorphic

    Firemorphic Activist Membrane

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    That'd be Gnostic Dualism, a bait-and-switch where the Abrahamic God is anthropomorphized and put in a framework where it's equivalent is above it. We've had that way, way, way back in the 3rd/4th century already.
     
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  18. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you that they cannot be proven false either. But if something can be proven neither true nor false, it is basically indistinguishable from the imaginary. As Nietzsche put it in Aphorism 225 of Human, All To Human: A Book for Free Spirits, Part 2:

    "A Christian who happened upon forbidden paths of thought might well ask himself on some occasion whether it is really necessary that there should be a God, side by side with a representative Lamb, if faith in the existence of these beings suffices to produce the same influences?"
     
  19. Firemorphic

    Firemorphic Activist Membrane

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    No, you've just described the beliefs of Sethianism......................................................
     
  20. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Well-Known Member
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    My view and that of the Baha'i Faith is that there is only one 'Source' of all of Creation some call Gods. The different religions have their own description and beliefs of the 'Source' and describe their own cultural belief in God' or God(s).
     
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