Hans Jonas on omnipotence
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28-09-2012, 10:06 AM (This post was last modified: 28-09-2012 10:41 AM by Vosur.)
Hans Jonas on omnipotence
Yesterday I wrote the first religion exam in 13th grade and it went very well. The text of the exam was a speech written by Hans Jonas, a deceased jewish philosopher. The speech was about the Holocaust and the question as to why god could have let this happen. He adresses the omnipotence vs omnibenevolence in the following way (summary):

1. There are three attributes ascribed to the jewish deity: omnipotence, omnibenevolence and comprehensibility.
2. Comprehensibility of god is an integral part of the jewish tradition and can therefore not be disregarded.
3. Omnibenevolence cannot be disregarded either. [no argument delivered for this one]
4. Therefore the attribute that has to be disregarded is omnipotence. God wanted to help the Jews, but he couldn't, because he is not omnipotent.

In the last exercise, we had to critically evaluate his 'solution' to the problem and point out the flaws contained in it. First of all, omnibenevolence is not part of the Torah. Quite the opposite, actually, Isaiah 45:7. Second of all, omnipotence cannot be disregarded, because, according to his own book of faith, it's one of the most fundamental attributes of god. Third of all, god apparently didn't have a problem with his limited power when he, you know, created the world or when he supposedly freed the Israelites from their enslavement. The creator of the world couldn't destroy a few concentration camps or convince Hitler to let the Jews go, just like he did with the pharaoh? Sounds legit.

I'm puzzled as to how educated people like him come up with dumb explanations like that. It's like he didn't even think this through for a second. Just like every philosopher who made an argument for god's existence in the past, i.e. moral argument, cosmological argument, teological argument. I mean, they can be refuted within a matter of seconds because the flaws are so obvious.

#sigh

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28-09-2012, 02:52 PM
RE: Hans Jonas on omnipotence
A view weeks ago, i saw a part of the movie "God on trail", a movie how deals exactly with this problem.
One of the prisoners how's a member of that "trail", claimes that god has change the sites.
He is now the god of the german-oppressors.
I saw only a small portion of the whole movie, but what i saw was impressing.
Its free on youtube.

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28-09-2012, 02:59 PM
RE: Hans Jonas on omnipotence
Glad the dude marking your paper was omnibenevolent anyhow!Wink
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28-09-2012, 03:34 PM
RE: Hans Jonas on omnipotence
What also gets me is how anyone thinks omnipotence can be removed and you still have god. Without omnipotence, at best there would be just another species in the universe with possibly greater abilities in certain respects. God *poof* gone.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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28-09-2012, 03:53 PM
RE: Hans Jonas on omnipotence
Yes this argument is terrible and not very sound at all.

Crazy theologians.

I think he was feeling very emotional when he wrote that down, addressing not the logical or rational aspects of the holocaust, but the frustration the jews felt at the time with their religion.

In other words if god doesn't work then, rationalize, reinterpret, and relabel things selectively.

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28-09-2012, 03:58 PM (This post was last modified: 29-09-2012 04:35 PM by fstratzero.)
RE: Hans Jonas on omnipotence
I'd say in context with the time he was merely irrational due to his emotions.

His cognitive dissonance forced him to redefine god to continue to believe in him.


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rationalization_(making_excuses)

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28-09-2012, 05:10 PM
RE: Hans Jonas on omnipotence
If god were omnipotent, he would stop people from using that awkward construction : "First of all, second of all, third of all".
Why not just First of all, secondly, third ?

Tongue

Good job.

He needed him some Ignosticism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignosticism

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Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things" (KJV)

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28-09-2012, 06:04 PM
RE: Hans Jonas on omnipotence
The theist's job is to never admit that the logic doesn't work by confusing the issue with layer upon layer of distractions.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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28-09-2012, 06:35 PM
RE: Hans Jonas on omnipotence
(28-09-2012 02:52 PM)Marco Krieger Wrote:  A view weeks ago, i saw a part of the movie "God on trail", a movie how deals exactly with this problem.
One of the prisoners how's a member of that "trail", claimes that god has change the sites.
He is now the god of the german-oppressors.
I saw only a small portion of the whole movie, but what i saw was impressing.
Its free on youtube.
Yeah, I've seen that movie a few months ago. It was great. Yes

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28-09-2012, 06:45 PM
RE: Hans Jonas on omnipotence
omnipotence doesn't relate to chariots that involve Iron as well.. but I guess that is just obvious right? Throughout the bible Yhwh is not omnipotent, omniscient, or omnibenevolent.

You don't even have to mention the holocaust.. the same thing happens IN the bible. he lets his chosen people get enslaved in Egypt, then when he hears them praying, he suddenly remembers the convent he made.. He either forgot or just really didn't give a damn until.. it got to that point of enough, where he had to punish innocent children to spite a King he let enslave the people.

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