Talking about God

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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zefan13
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Talking about God

Post by zefan13 »

The God of Philosophy and the God of Theism often turn out to be different things, and this is partly why some religious debates persist--because it turns out that the debaters are really just talking past one another.

For example, I find, more and more often, that the traditional way of beginning a debate about the Problem of Evil does not always sit well with theists. Usually one assumes that, when we talk about God, we talk about an omni-God, i.e., an entity with qualities of unlimited magnitude (e.g., omnipotence, omniscience, omnibenevolence, etc.). I've noticed some people rebut that such an assumption is misguided, hence the debate to follow goes in entirely the wrong direction. When we talk about God, they say, we talk not about something with unimaginable properties, but rather about something with superlative qualities, i.e., something that has qualities that supersede those of all other things, but are not necessarily unlimited.

To put it another way, God is certainly "better" than all its creation, but not to an unlimited extent. God, too, may have limits placed on Him, hence, e.g., His apparent inability to prevent any and all evil.

Does anyone find this plausible? Does limiting God, in any sense, effectively defeat the very notion? Does anyone hold such a view of God?
duszek
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Re: Talking about God

Post by duszek »

So God is limited because unable to prevent evil ?

I disagree with "unable".

Before Adam and Eve had disobeyed there was no evil.

So God WAS able to prevent evil by not giving the choice to them.

But he did give them a choice.

For reasons we will perhaps understand one day.

Was He FORCED in any way to give them a choice ? I don´t think so.

Would He be able to change this and to take the choice away from human beings ?
I don´t see why not.
He could just turn humans into animals. He could take away from them the ability to distinguish between good and evil.
zefan13
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Re: Talking about God

Post by zefan13 »

duszek wrote:So God is limited because unable to prevent evil ?

I disagree with "unable".

Before Adam and Eve had disobeyed there was no evil.

So God WAS able to prevent evil by not giving the choice to them.

But he did give them a choice.

For reasons we will perhaps understand one day.

Was He FORCED in any way to give them a choice ? I don´t think so.

Would He be able to change this and to take the choice away from human beings ?
I don´t see why not.
He could just turn humans into animals. He could take away from them the ability to distinguish between good and evil.

No, I'm suggesting that some would argue that God is unable to prevent evil because He is limited in the first place. It's the other way around.

The point is that, when, say, an atheist tries to deny God's existence because He apparently is not omnipotent (because He clearly cannot prevent evil in the world), a theist might rebut that God is not omnipotent in the first place. He is certainly superior to us--His creation--but not to an unlimited extent. The scope of God's power need not be unbound, just beyond our own. Is such a rebuttal plausible, do you think?
duszek
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Re: Talking about God

Post by duszek »

zefan13 wrote:

No, I'm suggesting that some would argue that God is unable to prevent evil because He is limited in the first place. It's the other way around.

The point is that, when, say, an atheist tries to deny God's existence because He apparently is not omnipotent (because He clearly cannot prevent evil in the world), a theist might rebut that God is not omnipotent in the first place. He is certainly superior to us--His creation--but not to an unlimited extent. The scope of God's power need not be unbound, just beyond our own. Is such a rebuttal plausible, do you think?
But why is God limited then ?

You seem to be saying: because he apparently is not omnipotent, because he clearly cannot prevent evil in the world.

So it is NOT the other way round, Sir.

Before we establish which way round it is we cannot go on, can we ?

:::::::::::::::::::::

But if you prefer to leave it open and to look at something else, I am not forcing you.
I will think about the other point you are making.
duszek
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Re: Talking about God

Post by duszek »

Being simply better than his creation is not really God-like enough, I would say.

Because then theoretically something can show up and surpass God and what will we end up with ?
tillingborn
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Re: Talking about God

Post by tillingborn »

zefan13 wrote:Does limiting God, in any sense, effectively defeat the very notion?
Well, it puts the kibosh on the ontological argument.
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