How can God have a nature?
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08-07-2014, 12:10 PM
RE: How can God have a nature?
(08-07-2014 01:37 AM)Youkay Wrote:  The word "nature" has different meanings and can be used in different ways, and you know it well.

Apart from the use that you suggested, nature can also just mean properties or it could mean inclinations.

"My nature is to be good to others". It doesn't mean I can't be mean to other people. Not at all. There are absolutely no restrictions within that sentence.

Getting hung up on language and specific words is a childish way to argue a position.
If God was supernatural, then God would have no inclinations whatsoever. An inclination implies a bias or influence toward certain actions, feelings, character traits, etc. - which would be indicative of an imperfection because there should be nothing that could influence or bring about a bias in a perfect being.

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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08-07-2014, 12:57 PM
RE: How can God have a nature?
(08-07-2014 08:36 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(08-07-2014 01:37 AM)Youkay Wrote:  The word "nature" has different meanings and can be used in different ways, and you know it well.

Apart from the use that you suggested, nature can also just mean properties or it could mean inclinations.

"My nature is to be good to others". It doesn't mean I can't be mean to other people. Not at all. There are absolutely no restrictions within that sentence.

Getting hung up on language and specific words is a childish way to argue a position.


Yes Youkay you do have a nature but you are part of nature. You exist. I don't see how your criticism is relevant since I am using the term "nature" in the same way that theists are using it, to denote the attributes of some existent.

Also theists are explicit in saying that God exists outside of existence. To exist is to have a nature and to have a nature is to exist. Existence is identity so when a theist says that God exists apart from existence then he is saying that he exists apart from identity.

This is not an issue of semantics but of metaphysics.

I would like to point out that the traditionally God is not said to reside outside existence but is existence itself. God's essence is his existence. This goes back to the Tetragrammaton YHWH, which can be translated as "I Am Who Am" or "I Am That Is". However we do say he exists outside physical space and time, ie observable realtity.

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08-07-2014, 01:07 PM
RE: How can God have a nature?
(08-07-2014 12:57 PM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  I would like to point out that the traditionally God is not said to reside outside existence but is existence itself.
God is existence...

Hmm. I could have sworn God is love. Consider

Or was it God is truth... Huh

Or God is the way.

Or God is light.

Wait, God said "I am". So then, God simply is...


...nonsense. Tongue

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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08-07-2014, 01:51 PM
RE: How can God have a nature?
(08-07-2014 12:57 PM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  I would like to point out that the traditionally God is not said to reside outside existence but is existence itself. God's essence is his existence. This goes back to the Tetragrammaton YHWH, which can be translated as "I Am Who Am" or "I Am That Is". However we do say he exists outside physical space and time, ie observable realtity.

But extrapolated to its consequences, that gives you deism, as the realm of the supernatural recedes to cosmogony.

God is the universe.
The universe exists.
Therefore God exists.

Might be a valid syllogism, but by removing the (incoherent) qualities, you've also removed the possibilty of knowledge of and interaction with God as a discrete phenomenon, separate from the universe as a whole. Which rather obviates religion as we know it.

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08-07-2014, 02:34 PM
RE: How can God have a nature?
(07-07-2014 10:53 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  Theists are always saying things like "the nature of God is such and such" or "it is within the nature of God" to do certain things. They also say in the same breath that God's nature is incomprehensible. But if God is supposed to be supernatural then he could not have a nature.

Everything that exists has a specific nature, a set of attributes that are its identity. To exist is to have identity. That is what it means to be natural. But to be supernatural is to be outside of nature which means to have no identity. If something has an identity then it is natural or has a nature and can't be supernatural. But theists claim that God both has a nature and is supernatural.

How is it that anyone can overlook such glaring contradictions?

Well, all gods/goddesses are like that. Zeus, Athena, etc., = all powerful / continually fucking up. Conflict drives the story line or, at least keeps it interesting. Wink

Anyway, "god" is a metaphor for "all that is"... "the force" comes to mind. Human beings seem to be situated apart from this "all that is" or force/god and only privy to it's power if certain criteria is met. Might be a contradiction but really only an acceptable duality... as such, god is also all men. Which is why he's conversely so fucking powerful and such a complete fuck up.

We see god behaving like a jealous, conniving, spoiled child, having temper tantrum after temper tantrum whilst ego-maniacally demanding worship ... when he doesn't get it, watch out. Likewise, we are shown a "merciful" and forgiving god who promotes the golden rule and loving thy neighbor. Duality abounds.

Also, writing styles change with multiple authors and interpretations of oral traditions over several hundreds of years and these are fictional characters; contradictions are to be expected. Shy

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08-07-2014, 06:37 PM
RE: How can God have a nature?
(07-07-2014 10:53 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  Theists are always saying things like "the nature of God is such and such" or "it is within the nature of God" to do certain things. They also say in the same breath that God's nature is incomprehensible. But if God is supposed to be supernatural then he could not have a nature.

Everything that exists has a specific nature, a set of attributes that are its identity. To exist is to have identity. That is what it means to be natural. But to be supernatural is to be outside of nature which means to have no identity. If something has an identity then it is natural or has a nature and can't be supernatural. But theists claim that God both has a nature and is supernatural.

How is it that anyone can overlook such glaring contradictions?

Yes ! To have a "nature" means it doesn't have some other nature. A person has a personality, and not another personality. It all refutes "infinite" anything. It also begs the question of where the structure of Reality came from, inside which it MUST exist. That ain't no god.

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09-07-2014, 08:43 AM
RE: How can God have a nature?
I was just thinking about a conversation I had with my sister about a week ago and realized she had said something that fits right in with this thread.

I had pointed out that her god created evil, but despite that it says so in the Bible, she was insisting "no he didn't". Her rationale was "God cannot do anything that contradicts his nature". Unfortunately, I missed that opportunity to explain that her god cannot have a nature. Instead, I went off on the "if God existed before anything else, then he created everything else including evil" tangent. I may have to revisit that subject with her. Smile

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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