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The 'Trinity' of Religious Contradiction

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Ceridwen018, May 24, 2004.

  1. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Orthodox,

    The logic is this: You believe that god created everything, correct? Do you also believe that god created the concept of logic? I am going to assume that you do for now. If you do indeed believe all of this, then you must also believe that god could have made this world differently than how he did. He could have created anything he wanted, and made it follow whatever rules he wanted, those rules being logic or not.

    That said, we must recognize that contradiction is founded on the basis of logic. A square cannot be circular on account of because those are contradicting concepts, and we know they are contradictory because they do not follow the laws of logic. If, however, god had created different laws besides those of logic, then a circular square might not be contradictory, because it might fit in with these new rules. Do you see what I'm saying?

    If you do not believe that god created the laws of logic, but rather that logic exists outside and apart from god as a constant, then even by your defintion (god can do nothing contradictory), god is still not all-powerful. This is because he has rules that he is forced to follow. He is forced to work within the laws of logic-- the laws of logic become his border of power and his limitation. He cannot transgress them.

    However, it is illogical to think that god did not create the laws of logic, and here's why: You believe that before god, there was nothing, correct? How can there be laws for nothingness? A law does not exist if it has nothing to govern. The laws came about when god began creation, and were therefore created by him.

    The reasoning behind our definition of 'all-powerful' is this: 1) dictionary.com (hehe, that was meant to be humorous) 2) something is in control of everything, the question here is what? Are the laws of logic in control, or god? If god cannot breach the laws of logic, then the laws of logic are in control of everything. To say that god can do anything, as long as he remains logical, is to call him all-powerful compared to humans. The problem here, of course, is that god is not human. To say that god is limited by the laws of logic, is to imply that the laws of logic were not created by god and therefore exist without him. By that we can also conclude that the universe existed without him, because something must be present for a law to exist. For a law to exist without something to govern, something else must have created it.

    I feel like I'm rambling here, but I think I've gotten all of my ideas out of my head-- if sporadically.
     
  2. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    And one other thing--

    You believe that god must be rational and logical? Then explain miracles. Miracles are either illogical, or explained by science and therefore not miracles, but this is actually a different thread, so I'll stop there with that.
     
  3. Paraprakrti

    Paraprakrti Custom User

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    It depends upon the perspective. From a relative viewpoint we perceive evil. But from the absolute perspective everything is perfect. Basically, to us there is evil, but to God everything is good. Although, God realizes that we suffer and so He asks us to give up materialistic life and return to Him. Also, evil is simply an ignorance of God. God allows us to be ignorant out of our own desires. God is all-powerful and thus has the ability to fill our ignorance with knowledge, but He does not force it upon us.
     
  4. Runt

    Runt Well-Known Member

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    I just thought of an alternate (and vaguely amusing) explanation… and one that would NOT create a contradiction! Just recognize that this is purely a logical game for me, and does not reflect my true opinions on the subject (which I stated earlier).

    First, an analogy:

    -I am perfectly capible of walking into the kitchen to grab a snack
    -I am hungry
    -I do not want to be hungry.

    The problem here is not whether or not I am ABLE to get a snack. It is whether or not I am WILLING to get a snack despite the fact that I am hungry and I don't like being hungry.

    Laziness... not inability.

    Perhaps God is like me: lazy to the point that he does not do the things he is perfectly capable of doing. He doesn’t like evil in the world, but his dislike is not enough to compel him to do anything about it. It is a minor nuisance, so minor that he ignores it despite the fact that it would take no effort on his part to eliminate it. After all, compared to God’s infinite life, the time in which humans are able to exist and be evil is but an eye-blink. So why bother doing anything about it?

    Therefore, it is perfectly possible for God to be all-powerful and for there to be evil in the world despite his dislike of evil, if he is lazy.
     
  5. reebs

    reebs New Member

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    I do not think God is lazy. I believe he is so much smarter than us that we cannot even begin to question his actions. God wants what is best for all humans. He knows what is best for all humans because he is all mighty and all powerful. Maybe the evils in the world exist so that we can learn and grow and become a better person. Everything happens for a reason and maybe by putting evil in the world, God is challenging us to take that evil and make something good of it. God does not live our lives for us. He simply throws obstacles and barriers in our way. It is our job to see the good and not the evil in things. By doing this, we can become more mature human beings.
     
  6. Runt

    Runt Well-Known Member

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    But see, by saying that you are going against one of the premises of the "Trinity of Religious Contradiction": you are saying that God is NOT opposed to evil being in the world. If that is so, then it is still possible for the other two to be true. What we are contending (and I was trying to find a way around) is that those three things CANNOT all be true at the same time, because there would NOT be evil in the world if God was all powerful and was truly opposed to it.

    You understand?
     
  7. Mr Spinkles

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    There are problems with this analogy on two levels. First of all, in this analogy technically you do "want" to be hungry, or at least do not care about being hungry as much as you care about other things (like not doing any work). So your top priority is not to get rid of your hunger, but to not waste your energy on such things.

    Now, if the argument above does not satisfy you, I think this will: if God can do anything, He can make things happen without doing ANY work, so laziness isn't an excuse at all.

    Think about it--if one were to be truly all powerful (have the ability to do anything), then one would be able to accomplish anything one wants (like get something to eat) without it having undesirable results (having to get up and go get the food). Make sense?
     
  8. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Also, laziness is one of the seven deadly sins ( I think). Therefore, if god were lazy, he would be sinful...I don't think we're going to get too many Christians to take up this argument!
     
  9. chamberlain

    chamberlain Member

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    Dont confuse laziness with not interfering with our free will.
     
  10. Runt

    Runt Well-Known Member

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    I can't believe I'm bored enough to try to argue with you (again, let me point out that I don't really believe anything I'm saying)... oh well, here goes.

    What if it is a similar case for God? What if our lazy God wanted free will and wanted there to be no evil, and wanted free will just a little more, andb was too lazy to design a reality in which both things he wanted could exist simultaneously? Then his top priority is not to get rid of evil, but to preserve free will while at the same time being as lazy as possibe. Besides... if he was truly all-powerful and truly opposed to evil, he COULD just redesign himself so that he is not irritated by it so much! But if he's too lazy to redesign anything... well...

    *hugs her lazy God*

    Of course... this:

    Completely cancels out my arguement. (I thought about that, by the way, but hoped nobody would notice... :p)

    Damn... the Trinity still stands! :p

    But come on, admit I got CLOSER to breaking it than some others did!

    Well, they would just have to deal with it! After all, they said that God created mankind in his image, right? Well, then mankind should therefore reflect every reality about God... so what does that say about God if humans are slothful, sinful, evil... mortal... ?
     
  11. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    "Well, they would just have to deal with it! After all, they said that God created mankind in his image, right? Well, then mankind should therefore reflect every reality about God... so what does that say about God if humans are slothful, sinful, evil... mortal... ?"

    Tsk, tsk-- Runt, my dear, that thinking is much too logical for christians. You see, when they said we were made entirely in god's image, what they really meant was that we were made *kind of* entirely in god's image!
     
  12. Orthodox

    Orthodox Born again apostate

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    Hey Ceridwen,

    In a fit of madness I have decided to continue posting on this thread. My exams are almost over so I should be able to reply promptly from now on.

    You said:

    As I had said, God is rationally self-consistent. Logic and rationallity are intinsic parts of his nature meaning that he did not create logic but it has an uncaused existence as part of God's nature. (Note: don't make the same mistake Sartre did by confusing self-caused with uncaused - see being and nothingness). The argument that God should be able to violate the rules of logic make no sense when one accepts (at least for the purpose of argument) that the Christian God is rational by nature.

    The rules of logic stem from God's rational self-consistency. Therefore there has never been a time when they did not exist just as there has never been a time when God did not exist.

    You also said:
    I disagree with the definition given by the dictionary that all-powerful means the ability to do anything. Here is an analogy to demonstrate the fallacy of saying such a thing. It is like saying; an unbeatable, always triumphant soccer player isn't an unbeatable, always triumphant soccer because he hasn't beaten and triumphed over his own unbeatable-always-triumphantness. An all-powerful thing does not become less than all-powerful because it cannot beat themself. If it could beat itself it would no longer be all-powerful.

    You asked "are the laws of logic in control or is God". The laws of logic are essentially an expression of God's nature. So God is in control of everything, and allows certain things, as permitted by the expression of his own rational self-consistent nature. The laws exist as an expression.

    Orthodox
     
  13. Runt

    Runt Well-Known Member

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    Sigh, but logic and the Bible are so FUN when paired with one another! Why don't the Christians see this? I think if God really did give humanity the Bible, he did it so that we might exercise the intellect he gave us by playing logic-games with the infinitely amusing Bible.
     
  14. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Orthodox,

    Yay! You're back!

    First of all, I would like to point out quickly (in case you didn't see it) that the trinity has been clarified a bit: instead of 'god is all-powerful', it has been changed to 'god can do anything', which was the original intent, but hopefully now our issues with semantics can be calmed.

    I understand what you are saying about logic being god's nature, not necessarily existing separate from him. This of course explains how the laws of logic could exist before creation.

    It would be very easy for me to write all of this off, by saying that because god cannot transgress the laws of logic, he technically cannot do anything, and therefore the trinity still stands-- but that would serve no purpose other than to frustrate you and stagnate this debate further, so lets discuss this deeper.

    The new question of the hour, and I hope this won't get too far off topic, is: Why is it unacceptable for god to be limited by the laws of logic, or his 'nature'?

    It seems to me that by applying a distinct 'nature' to god, we are humanizing him. How do we know if he has a nature at all? Sidenote: How do you know that god must be rational in the first place-- I'm not trying to poke at you here, I'm genuinely curious as to how you've reached that conclusion.

    Everything in the universe is logical, and therefore the nature of everything in the universe is to be logical, so for god to be logical is to relegate him to the status of 'just another part of the universe'. Granted, a highly influential part, but a uniform and common part all the same. Your theory makes me think of people who believe the earth and human life were created by highly advanced aliens. These supposed aliens are also bound by logic, which is their nature, as well as possessing great power by way of unprecedented technology. The difference does not seem that huge to me.

    Another thing-- do you believe that god can be proven and explained scientifically? If god is truly logical, then in this logical universe he should be able to be explained--I'm not saying right this minute or anything, but eventually, do you believe that science could explain god?

    Another sidenote: what's up with miracles? Miracles are defined as such on account of because they are illogical and unexplainable. If you think that miracles must be able to be explained by science because everything is logical, then there is not need to attribute them to god in the first place.
     
  15. Mr Spinkles

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    Orthodox--

    The unbeatable soccer player, I would assume, does not wish to beat himself... now, please make sure to correct me if I am wrong on this, but can we safely assume that God would never want to "beat" Himself either, by going against His nature (remember, you said God is rationally self consistent)?

    So, you are basically saying that God made the universe the way He did because it conforms with God's own nature and also His will, *which are one and the same*. God is logical, and therefore He created the universe to be logical (after all, He doesn't want to go against Himself).

    The problem is that with logic comes evil and suffering. For example, as you say Orthodox, it is illogical for evil to be destroyed, and still have free will (actually, I would contend that even without evil free will still exists...just to a lesser extent). Not only that, but pain and suffering come about because of God's/the universe's logical nature (much suffering is the result of logical, natural phenomena like earthquakes and floods). If God could or wanted to defy logic, He would step in and stop famine, disease, etc. But (as I understand your argument) He is logical, and He wants the universe to also be logical.

    Given this information, we can conclude that being logical is more important to God than destroying evil and suffering. This is perplexing, since evil is normally defined as that which is opposed to God, and God (supposedly) created the universe according to His own nature/will (which is why He made it logical).

    Not only that, but because God's nature and His will are one and the same, it is inherent in God's very *nature* to prioritize logic over evil/suffering in mankind. Destroying evil and suffering is not God's number one priority, nor is that His nature....this seems to contradict other characteristics of God's nature (namely, that an all good God's top priority would be for only good to exist in the universe).

    Ok, this the rest of this is very important, think about this for a moment: God's nature and will (as you have indicated) are not only all good, but totally logical as well. If you are correct, then it must be perfectly logical for something to be both logical and devoid of evil. There is nothing illogical about being totally logical, and totally devoid of evil. This goes against your argument that it is not logical for the universe to be both logical and devoid of evil/suffering.

    Now, here is where some big problems come in: if the universe can be both logical and devoid of evil, and STILL be logical, why does the universe contain evil and suffering? And why would God allow evil and suffering, but not allow anything to be illogical? Both evil and non-logic go against His will and His nature, after all.

    Orthodox, do you see how many problems arise with the Christian definition of God? The God that Christianity describes does not make much sense to me. I prefer to 'beleive' in the universe. The universe can be kind or cruel, just or unjust......the bottom line is that it simply "is" and we should feel awed and fearful of it, but shouldn't expect it to live our lives for us. But when we start describing a seperate entity that is also not seperate (because it is omniscient) and is all good yet allows evil and is all poweful yet cannot do some things, we just make things more complicated on ourselves.

    I'll bet you and I can find more common ground than we realize. In fact, I'll bet you and I have very similar attitudes towards the universe in general....just different ideas in our heads which describe and explain those attitudes.
     
  16. Orthodox

    Orthodox Born again apostate

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    Yeah I did see that. I would just like to add this to begin with: Although I think it impossible for God to do somethings (sin, go against himself), I do not think that he cannot snap his fingers and do away with sin (of course, whether he can keep us free at the same time is a different issue).

    Ok, I'll try to not get too far off topic. It is not unacceptable to me (if thats who meant) for God to be "limited" by his own rational self-consistent nature.

    As I have demonstarted earlier, being truthful (another part of God's nature) is not a limitation but an unlimitation. When telling an untruth one is constricted in choice of statment by whatever the truth is in that matter. However, truth is whatever truth is. Untruth is far more like a jail than truth is. Similarily something logical is far more free than something illogical. Something logical is, in fact, able to be A. Something illogical is not able to be A, or for that matter B. Somethiong illogical has to be everything and nothing at once. It cannot be truthful without also being untruthful. It is not free to be anything, as it must be at the same time everything. Logic says A cannot be not-A. Illogic says A cannot only be A because it must also be B. A, as it is known, as a distinctive thing becomes extinct, for it becomes everything else and nothing at all at the same time. No longer is anything possible because everything has become anything and anything is impossible to have on it's own. God cannot do anything in an illogical universe because he must do everything and also not do it at the same time. Like with truth illogic is a jail while logic is freedom.

    Firstly, I am not "applying a distict nature to God". The nature of God is first revealed in nature, and second revealed in the Bible (which is "God breathed"- I Peter ??:??- will find out). Secondly, couldn't the truth be that our natures are just "images" (though self-corrupted ones) of God's nature? We may not have "hummanised" God, he may have just made us similar to him in some small way.

    I have not just made up logic, it is obviously part of the functioning of our universe. It is also self-evidently trancendental (as demonstrated earlier). This for one thing speaks of a divine expression of rationally self-consistent will. Also, the bible supports this by such statments as "it is impossible for God to lie", implying that there is a confliction in God telling a lie, not just because he doesn't want to but becuaes it goes against him somehow. This means God's nature is something fixed and not something other than itself. He is therefore rationallly self-consistent. (I'm getting tired as it's 2am here so if you want more just ask).

    Mmmmm.... I think you have me confused. God is not part of the universe, the universe is part of his creation (not part of him - that would be pantheism). God is not logical because the universe is, the universe is logical because he is. Once again, God is not part of but creator of the universe. (Remember, God is prior to the rules of logic ontologically, but the rules of logic are prior to God epistemologically).

    I believe God's role in this universe can be proven to an extent (this is a totally different subject but I will not venture to bring it up without you changing the direction of the thread first) but he cannot be explained. As I said above, he is not part of this finite universe, it is part of his creation. Just as a ball cannot explain a ball-maker neither (in a much greater sense) can a universe explain a universe-creator. We can catch glimpses of the genius of the maker and his natue poured out into his creation but we cannot hope to explain a supernatural thing through the study of natural things.

    I do believe however, that science can definatley show God's existence to be necessary to the existence of the universe and the individual parts of it.

    Ahhhhh.... I think we talked of this before when you said that virginity and conception were illogical together (in reference to the Virgin Birth). This is a confusion of logical laws and natural laws. Let us use the "water into wine" miracle as a example. There is something unnatural about water turning into wine instantly however, there is nothing illogical about it. Let's remember what the laws of logic are:

    1. A is not non-A
    2. A is A
    3. Either A or non-A

    A liquid cannot be wine and water at the same time, it cannot be what it is and not what it is at the same time and, it can only be something or non-something, nothing else. So water being turned into wine is not illogical, just unnatural. Natural laws bind natural things, they can be broken by the supernatural.

    So miracles are just this, unnatural not illogical. They do not conflict with God's nature only the natural laws he has put in place.
     
  17. Orthodox

    Orthodox Born again apostate

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    spinkles,

    I'll reply to your post in a few hours. I have to get some sleep. Don't worry a retort is coming mate!

    orthodox
     
  18. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Orthodox,

    Yet there are also verses in the bible which tell of god decieving and lying. I will find them and post them right away.

    I don't see how he could be called 'creator'. By your theory, he really didn't 'create', on account of because through following logic, there was only one way that the universe could turn out. Creation, to me, implies original design, and if god is bound by a logical nature, he could only 'create' a logical universe.

    Go for it--direction changed! If anyone still wants to talk about the trinity then please do so, but I don't think a little side convo about science proving god will bug anyone...plus, it's still relevant, not to mention intensely ineresting and important.

    But his creation is an expression of himself-- if it is finite in nature, than so must he be, as they are both bound by logic.

    .

    The problem here, perhaps is that it doesn't seem you can explain supernatural things through the study of anything.

    Hit me!

    Still thinking about this one.
     
  19. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Orthodox,

    Yet there are also verses in the bible which tell of god decieving and lying. I will find them and post them right away.

    I don't see how he could be called 'creator'. By your theory, he really didn't 'create', on account of because through following logic, there was only one way that the universe could turn out. Creation, to me, implies original design, and if god is bound by a logical nature, he could only 'create' a logical universe.

    Go for it--direction changed! If anyone still wants to talk about the trinity then please do so, but I don't think a little side convo about science proving god will bug anyone...plus, it's still relevant, not to mention intensely ineresting and important.

    But his creation is an expression of himself-- if it is finite in nature, than so must he be, as they are both bound by logic.

    .

    The problem here, perhaps is that it doesn't seem you can explain supernatural things through the study of anything.

    Hit me!

    Still thinking about this one.
     
  20. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    crap! double post! please delete!
     
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