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Author Topic: Religious reconciliation: 'Omni-' properties, the afterlife and Universal Love?  (Read 3667 times)

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blackie

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Alright, let me try to step you through this again:

* Omnipotence means God controls all - (#16) - a statement you agreed to.
* Fee-will and the ability to reject God's covenant - as well as other acts in the Old testament - show the capability for Humans to defy God's will
* ergo - God does not control all
* ergo - God is not Omnipotent, for God (willfully or not) does NOT control all.

Do you have a counter-supposition for this train of statements?  If so - then you need to provide for me a counter set that reconciles how God can control all but not the will of Man and still control All.
What if you look at it from a pantheistic perspective?

Your supposition implies that god and humans are separate.

If God is all, wouldn't anything a human decides to do be "god's will"?
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theCelestrian

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Alright, let me try to step you through this again:

* Omnipotence means God controls all - (#16) - a statement you agreed to.
* Fee-will and the ability to reject God's covenant - as well as other acts in the Old testament - show the capability for Humans to defy God's will
* ergo - God does not control all
* ergo - God is not Omnipotent, for God (willfully or not) does NOT control all.

What if you look at it from a pantheistic perspective?

I would posit that a pantheistic view of God and Universe is not a representative view of the Abrahamic faiths (as this is tends to much more of an Eastern philosophy/metaphysical viewpoint), but if you wish I'm sure we can discuss the possibilities and see where this leads us.

Your supposition implies that god and humans are separate.

It does - but the supposition, as is the point of the thread - is representative of the contemporary beliefs of the faithful.  A core metaphysical viewpoint of most Western religions and spiritual philosophies follows the model of God as Universal Architect, with the Universe and it's contents His resulting creation, often summarized as The World as Artifact.

A pantheistic perspective has a few other resulting questions regarding the perfection or ultimate goodness of God when attempting to fit this idea into a western dogma.

sample / example:

1. God is perfect
2. All things are a part of God
3. Human beings are a part of God
4. Human beings are imperfect

If God is all, wouldn't anything a human decides to do be "god's will"?

Then this would invalidate 17(a). Human beings possess free-will - as the Human will would in fact be God's will.  Again, this view is a more eastern kind of philosophy - and in fact is a core tenant of Hinduism, who believe that all things are merely aspects of Brahman, or the "eternal self," who is Universal, Eternal, boundless and indescribable.

It's an interesting notion, and it's also one that I've heard presented by a couple of Christian speakers.  In an attempt to reconcile free-will with God's Omni properties, they liken free-will to that of centrifugal force - a fictional observation as a result of the observer's frame of reference.  This position posits that like this force, free-will is "valid" from our frame of reference because our limited minds/souls are incapable of experience the Universe and it's properties in a comprehensive manner that God (apparently) is able to.

As such - from a "truth statement" perspective - both would hold true from our frame of reference:  Humans, as a result of their experiencing of space and time have this thing we refer to as "free-will" - the ability to make choices.  However, in the comprehensive context of God, where space and time are experienced in a fundamentally different and comprehensive manner, this "free-will" is in fact, and illusion.

« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 01:26:46 PM by theCelestrian »
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If God is above human understanding, thus preventing him man from ascribing attributes to his creator, then how does this individual even recognize God's presence in their life?
God is everything in the Universe, so while we can understand parts of the Universe we cannot understand the whole.  We can recognize God's presence in our lives by simply looking around and seeing stuff that exists in the Universe.  We can get a deeper understanding by studying science and learning more of the most concrete rules that we physically cannot break.
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I don't see how giving us free will makes G-d less Omnipotent.

Alright, let me try to step you through this again:

* Omnipotence means God controls all - (#16) - a statement you agreed to.
* Fee-will and the ability to reject God's covenant - as well as other acts in the Old testament - show the capability for Humans to defy God's will
* ergo - God does not control all
* ergo - God is not Omnipotent, for God (willfully or not) does NOT control all.

Do you have a counter-supposition for this train of statements?  If so - then you need to provide for me a counter set that reconciles how God can control all but not the will of Man and still control All.
Like I said before, we are free to act however we wish so long as we do not break the basic laws of physics set by God at creation.  God controls the rules of the universe, but does not reach down and cause certain people to behave certain ways with some kind of controlling arm.  God "controls" us via science by setting physical restrictions, but that is the limit in my opinion.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 05:59:26 PM by Admiral Naismith »
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theCelestrian

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If God is above human understanding, thus preventing him man from ascribing attributes to his creator, then how does this individual even recognize God's presence in their life?

God is everything in the Universe, so while we can understand parts of the Universe we cannot understand the whole.  We can recognize God's presence in our lives by simply looking around and seeing stuff that exists in the Universe. 

Hmmm.... let me see if I can distill to explore why this doesn't quite sit right with me:

1. God is everything in the Universe,
2. God understands the "whole",
3. Humans are in the Universe,

therefore:

A. Humans must be God. (#1 and #3 -> A)
B. Humans must understand the "whole" (#2 and A -> B)

If human beings are God, then how is it that all humans don't claim to "feel God's presence?"  Moreover, why would supposed aspects/parts of God constantly use Okham's Razor when addressing this - claiming that it's a far simpler explanation that the Universe is a collection of discrete mechanical processes that are independent of "God's hand/maintenance?"  (Again, not a knock - just honestly seeking clarity and answers)

It seems to me that you're also Affirming the Consequent with the fundamental implication/premise that, "God exists because the Universe is God therefore God exists," in order for this viewpoint to function.  It is a potential that I am misreading this, and if so I apologize.  However, how can we refine what you said in order to avoid this potentially negative reading from a logical standpoint?

I must admit that if this thread has shown me anything, is that I did not realize just how pantheistic Judaism can be - and I (apparently incorrectly) considered this a hallmark of the Eastern philosophies

We can get a deeper understanding by studying science and learning more of the most concrete rules that we physically cannot break.

Does this give us deeper understanding of God and His true being, or clarity in the mechanical ruleset set forth by the constraints of this physicality/reality?

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I don't see how giving us free will makes G-d less Omnipotent.


Alright, let me try to step you through this again:

* Omnipotence means God controls all - (#16) - a statement you agreed to.
* Fee-will and the ability to reject God's covenant - as well as other acts in the Old testament - show the capability for Humans to defy God's will
* ergo - God does not control all
* ergo - God is not Omnipotent, for God (willfully or not) does NOT control all.

Do you have a counter-supposition for this train of statements?  If so - then you need to provide for me a counter set that reconciles how God can control all but not the will of Man and still control All.

Like I said before, we are free to act however we wish so long as we do not break the basic laws of physics set by God at creation.  God controls the rules of the universe, but does not reach down and cause certain people to behave certain ways with some kind of controlling arm.  God "controls" us via science by setting physical restrictions, but that is the limit in my opinion.

Interesting.  I appreciate the fact that you're not being afraid to grip the questions and attempt to answer them head on, regardless of whether or not each of us agree with the viewpoints/premises of the other.  For that I give you credit.

I want to first however, call your attention to this:

God "controls" us via science by setting physical restrictions, but that is the limit in my opinion.

You used a very interesting word here:  limit - indicating that there is some "boundary" that God is either unwilling or unable to cross.  So my response to this, unfortunately, is another question:

Can a being that which is Omnipotent and Omniscient have limits?
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Humans are part of God just as much as everything else in the universe is part of God.  Whether people claim to "feel God's presence" or not has never interested me.  I think that just by existing you are feeling God's presence.  Whether one is sensitive to the fact or not is another question.  I'm not one of those who claims to "feel God in my heart" or some nonsense like that.  As far as "God understands the whole", I don't think that its valid to ascribe human traits to God so I don't think that's a valid question for me.  God is the whole.  These things may be valid for Christians, but I'm not a Christian, nor do I subscribe to their anthropomorphized beliefs about God.

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Does this give us deeper understanding of God and His true being, or clarity in the mechanical ruleset set forth by the constraints of this physicality/reality?
It gives us a better understanding of the most basic unbreakable laws of God.  Can understanding the laws of God give us a deeper understanding of God?  Perhaps.  I guess that's up to the individual to decide.

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Quote from: Admiral Naismith on Today at 08:00:40 AM
God "controls" us via science by setting physical restrictions, but that is the limit in my opinion.
You used a very interesting word here:  limit - indicating that there is some "boundary" that God is either unwilling or unable to cross.  So my response to this, unfortunately, is another question:

Can a being that which is Omnipotent and Omniscient have limits?

Poor wording on my part perhaps, but I'll refer you to earlier where I do not subscribe to anthropomorphizing God.  However I believe that when the laws of physics were set God then essentially stepped back and let things unfold how they would unfold.  There's no maintenance involved because the universe is self maintaining so far as I understand.  I'm going to have to say "I don't know" to a few things, because I simply do not know, and don't think anyone truly can know.  But I do suppose that the universe was created, the physical unbreakable laws were set, and things unfolded so that we exist today with free will and that the Torah is a written "history" of the Jewish/Hebrew people.



I'll talk about one example that I kind of like to consider.  God "hardening Pharaoh's heart" to Moses' petitions.  I believe that God here is simply just the universe, and it's an analogy to describe how many people react to folks making demands to a person who believes he is superior to others.  Like when we petition our government officials to stop screwing with our gun rights and Nancy Pelosi goes and pushes for more gun control legislation.  Does God "harden Pelosi's heart"?  Well sort of.  It's a story thats been told time and time again, except Moses and the Hebrew slaves were able to revolt and escape tyranny in Egypt.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 06:24:21 PM by Admiral Naismith »
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I haven't forgotten about your responses.  I am, however, taking the weekend to mull your positions/statements over. :)
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Your patience is appreciated.  I wanted to take some time to digest what you're saying here to ensure I can get the best possible readings of what you've written to make your case.  I think you have interesting points here, so I'll be sure to point those out as I go over this.  I will also endeavor to keep the context of things I'm quoting as whole as possible.



Whether people claim to "feel God's presence" or not has never interested me. I think that just by existing you are feeling God's presence.  Whether one is sensitive to the fact or not is another question.

This is an interesting position again because I think this skirts dangerously close to affirming the consequent:

  • If God exists, you feel God's presence because you are part of God
  • God exists.

therefore:

  • You feel God's presence.

What about those, like Moses, who God (allegedly) spoke to directly? Is existing the only way to feel God's presence?  Is there a stratification in feeling/not feeling his presence?

I understand the jist here, and I also acknowledge that you properly qualify this as a personal opinion, but this first two statements would seem to fly in the face of individuals that resolutely deny the physical/spiritual/tangential/etc experience of God in any shape or form - and thus making the third statement both unnecessary and impossible.  I also understand why the possibility of someone not feeling God's presence is of no Interest/consequence to you, because you have already made that assertion for them in your second statement.

Can a portion of God deny its existence?  I'm reticent to use any analogies because I suspect they would be summarily dismissed as "ascribing human emotions/logic/parameters to the discussion," but it raises some interesting questions.  Now, more overtly pantheistic faiths (like Hindu) *do* ascribe to this, as the Brahman deliberately splinters it's consciousness ("gets lost in itself") for a period 3 Kalpas (a deliberately and absurdly long number), after which is coalesces, takes a "breather," and goes at it again.

However, I don't think that would be representative of Judaism, would I be incorrect in this statement?


The Whole vs. The Artifact


I acknowledge your position (and DTC's as well) that you believe anthropomorphizing God is fallacious.  However, would it be that inaccurate when the Book of Genesis (I believe) describes that God gave Adam and Eve a soul "not unlike his own?"  If our eternal soul is not unlike his, then is it really that far-stretched that some traits would be off?

... or is this an inaccurate translation/misinterpretation?  At this point I want to ensure that all bases are covered rather than make an assumption.

However, what I'm struggling with here is this duality of God both as discrete Creator/Architect and as the Artifact itself.  Let me show the statements that I think is best representative of this:

God as the Whole
Humans are part of God just as much as everything else in the universe is part of God.
God is the whole.
God "hardening Pharaoh's heart" to Moses' petitions.  I believe that God here is simply just the universe...[truncated for relevance]

God as the Architect
Quote from: Admiral Naismith
However I believe that when the laws of physics were set God then essentially stepped back and let things unfold how they would unfold.
There's no maintenance involved because the universe is self maintaining so far as I understand.
But I do suppose that the universe was created, the physical unbreakable laws were set, and things unfolded so that we exist today with free will and that the Torah is a written "history" of the Jewish/Hebrew people.

I will also freely admit that this could simply be a result of my lack of understanding, but it does seem that the pantheistic position is used as a good "catch all" when potentially sticky subjects like the seemingly emotional motivation of God are raised, but then at the same time, God is then spoken (as you have in some of the quotes above) as being seperate from the artifact that is the Universe, when relating to questions regarding to God's Omni properties - as when you said:

Quote
However I believe that when the laws of physics were set God then essentially stepped back and let things unfold how they would unfold.

How can something "step back" from itself?  Can you step back from your being/physicality?  I can understand stepping back from a situation, a location, but when I have read your posts, I start to see/read a resulting postion/truth statement like the one below: 


"When the All-knowing, All-powerful God created God, God stepped back from God and let the laws of God maintain God, as God is self-sustaining."


Right? Because "God is the Universe," I should be able to use the two terms interchangeably without any loss/conflict in meaning or consistency.  Perhaps, again as I mentioned, this doesn't read strange to you, but again I'm having a hard time reconciling the two positions, since other pantheistic faiths do not ascribe God as a discrete creator either in their texts or their language structure when speaking of God(s).



This is a very interesting discussion - hopefully we can continue working through these point and see if I might be able to glean a little bit more understanding of the aforementioned points.




edit: conscious -> consciousness

« Last Edit: January 25, 2010, 08:23:09 PM by theCelestrian »
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