The Nature of God
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01-10-2013, 09:31 PM
RE: The Nature of God
(11-09-2013 01:07 PM)Shawnzy Wrote:  Personally, i see a big flaw in this. In Christianity, they believe that Yahweh is the most perfect being to ever exist. To them, he fulfills all the requirements of a god (omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence). And not only that but he is morally 'perfect' and just in all his ways no matter what.

That is the Jewish view and Christians inherited that view from the Jews. Christians don't have their own creation story, theirs is the Jewish creation story.

Quote:But what really bothered me was the fact that a perfectly whole god had to make anything at all.

According to neither Judaic or Christian theology did God have to make anything, rather he chose to do so. There is no inherent contradiction in such a choice.

Quote:Christians believe that before we were created there was nothing else as far as the universe in concerned. The most perfect state of being would be a time when only god existed. If he is the perfect god that Christians claim him to be, the best state of being HAS to be a time when only he exists, since to bring anything else less perfect into the equation (like angels or humans), would put a huge black stain on his existence, since we are not perfect. So, this means that god made existence/the universe less perfect by binging us into it, which to me completely contradicts his nature.

In Genesis 1:31 it says: God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

That was before the the Fall. The prelapsarian state was essentially perfect. According to the creation myth man and the world became imperfect after expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

Quote:Also, why would a perfect god feel like he has to share love with us? Isn't the perfect god perfectly whole on his own?

You are introducing the idea of compulsion into the myth. In both the Christian and Judaic interpretations of the myth God is exercising a choice.

Quote:I don't see at all how sacrificing that amount of quality in human imperfection could possibly make him more whole/satisfied, and I don't see how anything else could make him more whole since he is already in perfection.

Again you are inventing your own version of the creation myth and arguing against that. The prelapsarian state was perfect (the Hebrew is conventionally translated as "very good" but it is made plain that there is no sin, no wanting, no shame, no disease, no death, for all practocal purposes perfect).

The myth doesn't say that the act of creation was supposed to make Yahwh more whole or more perfect and that possibility is ruled out by the concepts of perfection and wholeness. A perfct being--by definition--can't be improved. Yahweh simply chose to create--that is the myth.

Quote:To me, this is evidence that Yahweh is an invention of humans, because of how shamefully anthropomorphized he is (like him having so many emotional properties in common with humans) He couldn't possibly even want or need love if he is god. He shouldn't want anything right?

But according to the myth Yahweh doesn't want or need love (or anything for that matter)--that is your embellishment of the myth.

Quote:I'm curious to see what you guys think of this. It's still a pretty fresh thought in my mind. Please point out any flaws i may have in my thinking. Consider

Well you are really just slashing at straw men. You aren't addressing the creation myth as it is understood by most Christians and Jews.

Don't you think that in the 2000+year history of the Torah/Old Testament much ink has been spent on criticising and defending the creation myth? I think it speaks of naivete and perhaps even conceit to think that you have arrived at an original critique. But the situation is even worse than that: you are critiquing a misunderstood and distorted vesrion of the creation myth.

I don't think that sloppy research and sloppy thinking should get any sort of special exemption merely because it is notionally atheistic. That you have been "thanked" for this is itself remarkable; it amounts to a legitimation of antiintellectualism or at least faux intellectualism. You didn't even bother to read Genesis 1-3 or even check an introductory text on Christian or Jewish theology to make sure you have understood the myth.
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01-10-2013, 09:53 PM
RE: The Nature of God
(12-09-2013 07:32 PM)SeventhSon Wrote:  It's fascinating that so many religious people seem to have a strange dream-like infatuation when it comes to god. For example, Christians don't seem to acknowledge that, for Satan to exist, god must have created him, and therefore an all-knowing, all-powerful god that creates "pure evil" is thus evil itself, or at least has evil tendencies.

Again, like the OP you hacking at an internet factoid version of Christian mythology rather than the actual myth as it is understood by most Christians. According to that myth God didn't create Satan, Satan is supposed to be a rebellious angel.

Also the Serpent is introduced in Genesis 3--a book of the Torah--so why you single out Christians and fail to even mention that they obtained the foundations of their theology from the Jews escapes me. You should really be asking why Yahweh put the serpent in the Garden of Eden and at the same time deemed it "very good".
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01-10-2013, 10:24 PM
RE: The Nature of God
(01-10-2013 09:53 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
(12-09-2013 07:32 PM)SeventhSon Wrote:  It's fascinating that so many religious people seem to have a strange dream-like infatuation when it comes to god. For example, Christians don't seem to acknowledge that, for Satan to exist, god must have created him, and therefore an all-knowing, all-powerful god that creates "pure evil" is thus evil itself, or at least has evil tendencies.

Again, like the OP you hacking at an internet factoid version of Christian mythology rather than the actual myth as it is understood by most Christians. According to that myth God didn't create Satan, Satan is supposed to be a rebellious angel.

Also the Serpent is introduced in Genesis 3--a book of the Torah--so why you single out Christians and fail to even mention that they obtained the foundations of their theology from the Jews escapes me. You should really be asking why Yahweh put the serpent in the Garden of Eden and at the same time deemed it "very good".

The Bible says nothing about the creation of angels.
A theological *system* which asserts their deity is the creator of all of reality, assumes the deity created the angels. Christian theology does not describe angels as having existed infinitely.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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01-10-2013, 10:27 PM
RE: The Nature of God
(13-09-2013 08:08 PM)Mike Wrote:  You can't describe God like describing a person or a thing. Because according to some Muslims, Christians, Deists, Pantheists and Panentheists, God don't have any kind of body, shape and form. It is not even a spirit. If you ask Muslims esp. the Kalam scholars or Sufis, they will said we can't ponder the dhat (nature, reality, self, essence) and sifat (attributes) of God. Thus, God is actually unknowable, that automatically turn into a special kind of agnosticism.

Judaism is the "root stock" of Christianity and Islam so I don't understand how you can mention " Muslims, Christians, Deists, Pantheists and Panentheists" in the same breath--so to speak--and fail to mention Jews. Huh So "Deists, Pantheists and Panentheists" rate a mention but Jews--the progenitors of Christianity and Islam--are quietly excused.

What distinguishes the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) from deism, patheism and panentheism is that the former place special emphasis on special revelation, in particular on the contents of scripture which purportedly have divine origin. Scripture in these instances is supposed to provide an epistemic route for knowledge about divinity. So what you wrote is half-true and a result of your careless grouping. The Reformed Theological tradition is explicit on the idea that there are (fundamentally) three sources of knowledge: reason. experience and scripture.

Your conclusion then that "God is actually unknowable, that automatically turn into a special kind of agnosticism" cannot be said of the three Abrahamic faiths. Lastly you are presenting a false dichotomy: complete knowledge vs. no knowledge. All of the Abrahmic faiths propose that God is ultimately ineffable but that does not amount to saying man has absolutely no knowledge of God. Man is supposed to have some knowledge of God by virtue of scripture which can be construed as God telling man about himself.

Your post contained errors of fact and an infomal logical fallacy but no one--on a forum that is supposed to be devoted to clear thinking on matters religious--pointed this out. I have observed this groupthink on other similar fora and it is ironic and disturbing. Ironic because we criticise the religious for behaving like sheep yet such behaviour can also be demonstrated in our ranks; disturbing because it seems to suggest more concern with the appearance of knowledge, thought and criticism rather than its actual practice.

Any shit argument and factoid will do so long as it is at least notionally atheistic or antitheistc?
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01-10-2013, 10:28 PM (This post was last modified: 01-10-2013 11:48 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: The Nature of God
(01-10-2013 10:27 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
(13-09-2013 08:08 PM)Mike Wrote:  You can't describe God like describing a person or a thing. Because according to some Muslims, Christians, Deists, Pantheists and Panentheists, God don't have any kind of body, shape and form. It is not even a spirit. If you ask Muslims esp. the Kalam scholars or Sufis, they will said we can't ponder the dhat (nature, reality, self, essence) and sifat (attributes) of God. Thus, God is actually unknowable, that automatically turn into a special kind of agnosticism.

Judaism is the "root stock" of Christianity and Islam so I don't understand how you can mention " Muslims, Christians, Deists, Pantheists and Panentheists" in the same breath--so to speak--and fail to mention Jews. Huh So "Deists, Pantheists and Panentheists" rate a mention but Jews--the progenitors of Christianity and Islam--are quietly excused.

What distinguishes the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) from deism, patheism and panentheism is that the former place special emphasis on special revelation, in particular on the contents of scripture which purportedly have divine origin. Scripture in these instances is supposed to provide an epistemic route for knowledge about divinity. So what you wrote is half-true and a result of your careless grouping. The Reformed Theological tradition is explicit on the idea that there are (fundamentally) three sources of knowledge: reason. experience and scripture.

Your conclusion then that "God is actually unknowable, that automatically turn into a special kind of agnosticism" cannot be said of the three Abrahamic faiths. Lastly you are presenting a false dichotomy: complete knowledge vs. no knowledge. All of the Abrahmic faiths propose that God is ultimately ineffable but that does not amount to saying man has absolutely no knowledge of God. Man is supposed to have some knowledge of God by virtue of scripture which can be construed as God telling man about himself.

Your post contained errors of fact and an infomal logical fallacy but no one--on a forum that is supposed to be devoted to clear thinking on matters religious--pointed this out. I have observed this groupthink on other similar fora and it is ironic and disturbing. Ironic because we criticise the religious for behaving like sheep yet such behaviour can also be demonstrated in our ranks; disturbing because it seems to suggest more concern with the appearance of knowledge, thought and criticism rather than its actual practice.

Any shit argument and factoid will do so long as it is at least notionally atheistic or antitheistc?

Islam CLAIMS to be "Abrahamic". In fact, it is not.
Also, in fact the very notion of "salvation" is actually not a Hebrew concept, and could be seen as antithetical to Hebrew culture.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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01-10-2013, 10:35 PM
RE: The Nature of God
(01-10-2013 10:24 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The Bible says nothing about the creation of angels.

I didn't state or imply that it did.

Quote:A theological *system* which asserts their deity is the creator of all of reality, assumes the deity created the angels. Christian theology does not describe angels as having existed infinitely.

Yes and that is an answer to what?

The point is that neither the Bible nor any mainline theology states that God created Satan. The finitude or otherwise of angels is irrelevant to that point. The myth is that angels being possessed of some conception of free-will have the capacity to rebel against their creator and one of them is supposed to have done so. Thus Satan.
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01-10-2013, 10:41 PM (This post was last modified: 01-10-2013 10:53 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: The Nature of God
(01-10-2013 10:35 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
(01-10-2013 10:24 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The Bible says nothing about the creation of angels.

I didn't state or imply that it did.

Quote:A theological *system* which asserts their deity is the creator of all of reality, assumes the deity created the angels.
Christian theology does not describe angels as having existed infinitely.

Yes and that is an answer to what?

The point is that neither the Bible nor any mainline theology states that God created Satan. The finitude or otherwise of angels is irrelevant to that point. The myth is that angels being possessed of some conception of free-will have the capacity to rebel against their creator and one of them is supposed to have done so. Thus Satan.

Bullshit.
Catholic Theology (their Catechism) clearly states their god created the angles, and names their orders.
They say their god created ALL the angels, and that Satan is a fallen angel.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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01-10-2013, 10:58 PM
RE: The Nature of God
(01-10-2013 10:28 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Islam CLAIMS to be "Abrahamic". In fact, it is not.

That is a matter of theological debate. I don't understand how a matter of theology can be categorised determinantly as a fact if you don't believe that scripture is a product of special revelation. Is Judaism "Abrahamic"? The truth of that would depend of the historicity of Abraham and fidelity of scripture in relation to his biography. So what you are suggesting is that we assume that the Torah is factual when we discuss Islam but when we discuss Judaism and Christianity we assume that it is nonsense.

It is not a fact that Islam or Judaism are "Abrahamic" and you can only suggest otherwise by rendering the concept of facticity meaningless. Talk of the facticity or otherwise of the "Abrahamicity" of Islam versus Judaism is just garbage and I don't care that you have a thread dedicated to the topic (a textual monument to simple-mindedness). What is or isn't Abrahamic isn't with the domain of fact it is a language game and nothing more.

Quote:Also, in fact the very notion of "salvation" is actually not a Hebrew concept, and could be seen as antithetical to Hebrew culture.

So where did I state or imply that salvation is a Hebraic concept? I don't recall posting that Judaism is subset/superset of Christianity. I described Christianity and Islam as descendants of Judaism. A conceptual descendant has some properties of its parent and some unique to itself--that is what it means to be a descendant and what the metaphor of "root stock" implies. Do I really need to explain this?
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01-10-2013, 11:04 PM
RE: The Nature of God
(01-10-2013 10:58 PM)Chippy Wrote:  That is a matter of theological debate. I don't understand how a matter of theology can be categorised determinantly as a fact if you don't believe that scripture is a product of special revelation. Is Judaism "Abrahamic"? The truth of that would depend of the historicity of Abraham and fidelity of scripture in relation to his biography. So what you are suggesting is that we assume that the Torah is factual when we discuss Islam but when we discuss Judaism and Christianity we assume that it is nonsense.

It is not. It's simply a matter of historical reality.


(01-10-2013 10:58 PM)Chippy Wrote:  So where did I state or imply that salvation is a Hebraic concept? I don't recall posting that Judaism is subset/superset of Christianity.

Saying Judaism is the "rootstck" of Christianity implies there is a congruent conceptual flow.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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01-10-2013, 11:21 PM
RE: The Nature of God
(01-10-2013 10:41 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Bullshit.
Catholic Theology (their Catechism) clearly states their god created the angles, and names their orders.
They say their god created ALL the angels, and that Satan is a fallen angel.

Yes, according to all of the mainline denominations of Christianity God created the angels. I know that. The point which you are doing your best to avoid to score some cheap point is that Satan is what an angel became. The supposed nature of Satan is not intrinsic to angelic beings (else they would all be Satanic). Satan is a deviant angel, a so-called "fallen angel". Satan's originary state is angelic--because he is an angel. Being possessed of some sort of contra-causal free-will he became evil, he was not created that way. Thus the myth avoids the misdirected charge that God created Satan. God created the angel that became evil. The myth is predicated on a parent-child relationship. The metaphor is that the parent(s) bears and raises a good child but it becomes evil but we can't blame the parent(s) because they did all they could to raise a good child. That is the archetypyal core of the myth. It works as an archetype because it was created in a prescientific age so it was taken for granted that if a child was reared well the parents are blameless for its crimes as an adult. That is the "logic" of Satan as a fallen angel and the nonculpability of God. So saying "oh but god created Satan" misses the point completely.
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