• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

Featured Did God determine his own nature?

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by Everybodyknows, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. Something else

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Vicomte13

    Vicomte13 Well-Known Member

    +1,373
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Others
    They have a source, him, just as your opinions and preferences limit you. COULD you eat liver for dinner? You could. But you don't like it, so you don't. Nothing limits you but you.

    When God made the universe, there was no-one to limit him but himself. His Son was there beside him, learning from him, aiding and assisting him, indeed building to the plans (if we accept the way that it is depicted in John, et al) But the thing that set the plans was God, not because of an external necessity - for if there were any necessity, then God would not be the Most High God, and would not be so interesting to me (I would then want to study the most high God, though I may not have any written revelation from him). Assuming that there is no God beyond God, then God is limited by internal preference - not necessity, preference - his own opinion. Like you and the liver you could have for dinner, but didn't, and won't, because you don't like liver. Could you train yourself to like it? Probably. But why would you?

    Thus it is with God, a fortiori.

    The source of the opinions and preferences is, for him, similar to the way they are for you: because you like it that way, because he likes it that way. God is emotional. He is not simply impassive and unmoved. The God who revealed himself to the Hebrews, and then the Son who revealed himself to the Jews, are both emotional beings, not simply impassive precepts.

    (Or we can discard what is written about God and just make up what we wish. Nothing stops us in that.
    One of the reasons that I START with God in, and as, Nature, is because the physics are not very much subject to capture by the opions and fables of men. Men can make up all sorts of things about God when it comes to matters of the mind, but when it comes to gravity, God is very predictable, and human will cannot override him (though he sometimes changes an outcome in a miracle - the toddler who falls 20 stories, lands on his diaper in the mud and is unharmed. It's impossible, given velocities and hydrostatic shock - but it happened a few years ago in Manhattan. That's a miracle - God waived the laws of physics because it pleased him to do so. If the God of physics were subject to human capture and imagination, it would happen a lot more often than that.

    But the physics cuts through the fog and is very reliable - self-executing laws, unlike the moral laws, and yet from the same source.

    In all cases because he wants it that way, not of necessity, but as a matter of his unbridled opinion. God to us, mutable to him - but he already chose what he likes, so we should not be surprised that, if he didn't like "liver" 4000, or 4 billion, years ago, he still doesn't like it.

    Queen Elizabeth does not like soup. Therefore soup is not served at Buckingham Palace. It doesn't kill her. It's just soup. She doesn't like it. No more, but also no less. So it is too with God and his laws.

    Sometimes this is represented as evil "stinking in his nostrils" (wind again). Being God, he could decide that it doesn't stink, and it wouldn't. But being God, he is not of the sort who changes himself to suit his created works. He could, but he doesn't want to.

    There is no deeper "why" with liver, or with God.

    I think that many don't like the idea of an emotional or opinonated God, and prefer the impassive God (which is not the God of the Scriptures), because what if we're on the wrong side of an opinion of his?

    We often are: this is called "sin".
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  2. Vicomte13

    Vicomte13 Well-Known Member

    +1,373
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Others
    So, to summarize the above more curtly. The source of God's opinions is him. He is not BOUND by them, but he prefers them. They are not contingent on anything at all.
     
  3. YouAreAwesome

    YouAreAwesome ☝✌

    +867
    Christian
    Married
    Is the question: Given some initial conditions, are the consequences of those initial conditions necessary? Or is the question, what are the initial conditions?
     
  4. Vicomte13

    Vicomte13 Well-Known Member

    +1,373
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Others
    Here's the way I have thought about these issues.

    Angry, sometimes, at the terrible things in the world, I have thought "If I were God, I would..."

    And then, as I follow the thought through, I conclude (with great irritation) "...understand why I made things the way they are, understand the final outcomes and roots of things, and would not change anything because I would be doing it all for my own reasons."

    Which doesn't change MY mind that things are often really pretty terrible, and if I were God, or a lesser god, I still want to mitigate or change that...thought I grant that if I knew what God knows I probably wouldn't want to. Then again, I might, because God is not a computer but a personality, and I already know that God's personality is not the same as mine.
     
  5. Vicomte13

    Vicomte13 Well-Known Member

    +1,373
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Others
    Holy Spirit is Holy Breath. Go to Genesis 1. What is "hovering over the face of the waters" or "much fluttering the face of the waters"? Some translations say "a wind from God" or "a mighty wind", others, the Spirit of God.

    Move forward to Genesis 2: God makes Adam out of powder, then he breathes into his nostrils and Adam becomes a breather, a nephesh. We like to translate this word as "living soul", but the word is literally "breather".

    When God decides to destroy the land creatures, saving those only on the ark, he drowns them all with water. Thus he baptizes the land, washing it clean of the uncleanliness of blood all over it, and he smothers the breath from all breathers with water, all at once.

    When God gives the animals to Noah and mankind as food, after the Flood, he forbids the eating of the blood, for the blood is the life. Why is blood life? It carries the breath of life to the body, and back out.

    In the Psalm, the Psalmist notes that God gives us breath, we live. God withdraws his breath, we die.
    Our hearts can skip a beat, but it is impossible for us to skip even one breath. We MUST have the very next breath in order to continue to live. Miss one, and that is the moment of our death. In every case without exception for every living creature. Breath IS life.

    Now then, coming forward, when Jesus speaks to Nicodemus of the spirit, he speaks of the wind blowing where it will.

    And then at Pentecost a mighty wind is heard before the tongues of fire.

    And when Jesus says "receive the Holy Spirit" to the apostles, he physically breathes upon them.

    Jesus never said to worship the spirit. We decided that, because we have emphasized Father, Son, and the breath that comes from them - the Holy Spirit - and collectively called them "God" that we should therefore worship all of them.

    But Jesus taught us to pray: "Our FATHER, who art in Heaven", and Jesus is said to have prayed to HIS God. He told us to do the same.

    We were not told to worship the Holy Breath. We were told it would animate us. We were not told to worship the Son. We were told, by God from the sky, to LISTEN to Jesus and to FOLLOW him, and Jesus told us to obey him and pray to the Father.

    It's really quite simple, if we actually LISTEN to Jesus (as we were told) and then follow HIM and don't add all sorts of things to it that we like.

    If you were to pick up my copy of the Bible, you would find that every word spoken by Jesus, the Father, Elohiym, YHWH or a prophet speaking as God (using the "I" when speaking of God's actions) - those words are highlighted. They are about 8% of the total words in Scripture

    Then would would find that I have a compilation of just those words, taken out.

    Then you would find another compilation in which God's duplicative utterances on the same things are all lined up.

    And then you would find that, when arguing from the Bible about a mandatory principle, I never do anything but quote the words of God directly. Never a prophet, never an apostle, just God. For as Jesus said to Satan: "Man...lives by every word that proceeds forth out of the mouth of God." So that's what I have found - the words actually pronounced out of God's mouth using holy breath to carry them.

    This makes a different set of beliefs - a clearer one without very contradictions - then the cut and paste approach that seems to be very popular.

    And of course I don't start with the Bible, because why the Bible, not the Koran? Or why any of them.
    God's existence has to be proven first, and then the tie between the proven God and the Christian Bible...or Koran...or whatever established before it is worthwhile reading any text as a divine revelation. If there's no God it's a book of fables. If there's only one God then only one Holy Book can be most accurate - and that doesn't mean any are.

    Those concrete things proven and settling on Christianity, the logical thing to do is to look at what GOD said, not what people said about God.

    And instead of trying to force meaning onto the text, I first read EXACTLY what it says.

    I'm a lawyer by profession. I have trained many young lawyers in contract law and litigation. One of the first things that intelligent people do, when they take a text in hand, is try to interpret it, to tell me what it means.

    I have used the expression so many times I could trademark it: "Don't tell me what it MEANS, tell me what it SAYS." I will decide what it means by what it says. I will not have another mind presume to tell me what to think about words. I will hear/read the words myself, directly, and I will determine what those words me. If everybody in the room hears/reads the same words and comes to the same meaning, that means it was well written...that is IF what everybody gets from it is what the writer intended to say.

    But if different people think it says different things, then the interpretive arts and reasoning come out.

    I find that when I just stick to the words of God - what God said - that they are usually very direct and clear, and they don't need interpretation. I find that the human authors conveying their own thoughts are often inconsistent and meandering, and that they differ in shades or details from what God says.

    So I have to make a choice. is the book ITSELF Holy, or is it only Holy because God is quoted in it? I think the latter, because the former is idolatry and has no basis in reason. It's an assertion, one that I do not accept.

    So, since the reason the Bible is Holy is because God's words are in it, I cut to the chase and go THERE, and I warn people who are Biblically inclined beforehand that I simply do not accept the words of Paul or Peter or David or Solomon or some Psalmist as binding authority. I respect the authority of the words that came out of the mouth of God - and the Scripture always identifies those. So to persuade me, you have to use THOSE words, or I won't accept the argument as really coming from God.

    Usually people dig in and quote Paul at me at that point, and then I call them idolators worshipping a book, and the conversation ends. I don't really care what people believe. I care about the Truth.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  6. YouAreAwesome

    YouAreAwesome ☝✌

    +867
    Christian
    Married
    Fair enough. Can I clarify a few things:
    1. Do you believe there is more than this universe, or are you a naturalist who invokes God pantheistically into the very physicality of our universe (I'm not asking if you are a pantheist by the way)? Maybe I should ask the same question this way, do you believe any facet of God is external to this physical universe?
    2. How do you think about heaven?
    3. Where are angels right now?
     
  7. Everybodyknows

    Everybodyknows The good guys lost

    796
    +758
    Australia
    Christian
    Married
    I don't know. Initial conditions only really make sense for something with a beginning. I can't see how we can logically apply initial conditions to God. What's your take on the necessity of God?
     
  8. tulipbee

    tulipbee Worker of the Hive

    +225
    Christian
    Private
    what did the universe look like before the big bang?
     
  9. Vicomte13

    Vicomte13 Well-Known Member

    +1,373
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Others
    1. Way up the thread, in my response to the OP, I talked about pantheism. For me, pantheism is obvious. God is AT LEAST that which is omnipotent, omnipresent and eternal. Natural Law is that. Therefore, God is AT LEAST the Natural Law, and pantheism is true, as far as it goes.

    The question for me is whether that explanation it complete. To to secularist or the naturalistic pantheist, that is as far as they feel it is necessary to go. But I think this is incomplete, because intelligence, mind - ours at the very least - is a clearly visible and obvious aspect of the universe, and natural law doesn't explain that. The "mind as a meat machine" hypothesis doesn't work. So the existence of mind demonstrates science ("SKEE-ence" - the ability to know, as contrasted with "SIE-ence" - the systematic study of phenonena). Humans, at least, are scient, and that gives rise to the question as to whether the Pan-Theos - the natural law which is the God who drives nature - is scient, or omniscient. The fact of our science demonstrates that yes, at least to the extent that we exist and think, nature is scient - and thinks about itself (like right now through us). That's interesting. What converts Pan-Theos, which is rather self-evident, into Theos, is the omniscience to go along with the omnipresence, omnipotence and timelessness that Natural Law already manifests.

    Now, it could be that Pan-Theos is evolving towards Theos (and perhaps, then, the next creative "Big Bang"). It would be easier to believe that if (a) there were enough gravity to close the system , leading to an eventual "Big Crunch" to precede a subsequent Big Bang - a closed-system diesel-engine universe, and (b) the skies were noisy with the chatter of extraterrestrial life. But apparently there is not nearly enough gravity to close the system, and the skies are silent, so it seems increasingly likely that the system is open and that our Earth is the only place in the universe with biological life.

    The diesel-engine universe is more comforting to the pantheistic, naturalist mind, because then the universe itself is eternal, going through endless cycles of cycles, and has no need of a starter. Our present universe, then, would be a unit on a number line stretching infinitely in both directions, through an endless series of Big Bangs and Big Crunches. The closed-system universe of endless cycles of cycles is what the Hindus postulated. Contemplating it leads to a soul weariness and a desire to escape the circles of the world. The apotheosis of that desire to escape is found in the Buddha's annihilation of the soul in the state of nirvana. But apparently there is not enough gravity to close the system, so apparently the universe is not a cycle of cycles, and this returns us to the most disturbing issue for the naturalist pantheist: existence out of nothing is hard to accept. Endless cycles of cycles obviates the problem elegantly. But the scientific evidence shows that it isn't true.

    The evidence we have suggests that the universe came out of nothing and will expand forever: a ray, not a unit on a number line. The evidence further suggests that the only place in the universe where there is life is hear. There are lots of planets and stars, but there are lots of grains of sand on the beach: the plethora of those things does not imply that life "must" arise on one because of sheer numbers. Life doesn't spontaneously arise on the surface of the sextillion sand grains on the earth, and conditions here are favorable for it. There's no particular reason other than that it makes a better story to expect that those glowing sand grains across the skies give rise to life either. And the silence of the skies seems to rather confirm this verdict.

    That, then, leaves the pantheist with the certitude of a God here - lying inn or behind the Nature - but no way to explain the existence of the God before the Big Bang. That lends itself towards the possibility of theism, but won't prove the case to a naturalist.

    As for me? Well, I experienced three direct miracles and talked with God - or something I took to be God - several times directly, out of the air. So I have actual data that answers the question for me: pantheism is true, but incomplete. "I work on my nature through my nature" is what God said to me. That much was already obvious. The important part is that there is MORE than simple pantheism: there is a real mind behind the law. It IS, and it KNOWS it is. That is the difference between a naturalistic pantheist, and a theistic pantheist. I am the latter.

    Having confirmed Theos through the happy circumstance of miracle, the question of WHO Theos is was most important to me. God and I discussed physics and the limitations of what he will and won't do (for me). We didn't discuss religion. How one goes from encountering God to deciding that the God one encountered is the one Jesus spoke of is a different chapter. Your questions currently deal with physics and geography, which is where my native religion lies. To get to the further stuff about morality and Jesus, or Mohammed, that is all later in the process, for me anyway, and not currently on the table.

    Let me answer your other questions.

    2. "Heaven" is the skies. In Hebrew there is one word: Hashammayim. In the Hebrew hieroglyphic pictographs this word is a sentence of pictures that says:"The Breath Cuts-in-Two Chaos (depicted as waves) ) from Chaos, and the Mighty Arm and Hand (of God) is upon the Chaos/Waters". So the pictures that form the word "Skies" in Hebrew also echo the overlying story of the sheet that divides "waters" from "waters". There is no OTHER word in Hebrew that means some supernatural place. When Elijah is taken up, it is into the skies. Genesis tells us "In summit [when] Powers fattened the skies and the land..." ("In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth".

    In Greek it is the same. There is one word: Ouranus (Uranus). It means "sky". It's the name of the original sky god, who looked down at the earth goddess, Gaea, and they conceived the various other gods. People have been personifying nature in all cultures. Generally one can see the things that we call by different names in the religions of old.

    As far as the Christian Heaven goes - a place to which the "souls" of people "go" - none of that was revealed by God in Scripture, and nobody can point to a specific saint to whom God revealed that in words. Rather, it is an amalgamation of words in Scripture and the old religions of the West. If you are asking where I think the spirits of people and animals go when we die, I would say that all I CAN know about that is what God has revealed, He hasn't revealed a thing to me about that directly, so I have to trust that what he revealed through the source I trust - Jesus - is true. What Jesus revaled is different from the traditional Christian die and go to Heaven, or die and go to Hell mythos. Jesus did not reveal that. He revealed something a bit different. Christians abuse me when I say exactly what Jesus said, so I am reticent to tell Christians what they are already supposed to know unless I am asked to, and unless they promise beforehand that they won't abuse me.

    3 Where are the "angels" right now? To answer your question, we first have to define what we are looking for. "Angel" is an English word, an adoption from the Latin "angelus", which is itself an importation of the Greek word "aggelos". It means "messenger" or "newsbearaer" (Thus, the English "evangel" is the Latin "evangelus", which is imported from the Greek "euaggelos" - which is to say "eu'" , which is the prefix for "good", and "aggelos" which is "message" or "news". The euaggelos - the evangel - is the composite word "good message" or "good news".)

    In Hebrew, the word is "malach" (as in Malachi - was that prophetic messenger a flesh and blood man?), and it means "Messenger".

    So, just as with wind/breath/spirit I will use the word God used directly - messenger. An angel is a messenger. Sometimes he uses men, and sometimes he uses non-biological temporarily corporeal spirits (remember, we men are breaths/spirits breathed INTO flesh, but when we die, the spirit/breath goes on with its consciousness and memories even as the body crumbles back to powder).

    So, the intelligent beings that god breathed out into the open air and space, not into physical bodies, we can call "Spirits". They are "Angels" only when God sends them carrying a message. Note, that God sometimes speaks a message directly and his breath travels directly with the message - this is God's Spirit - a Holy Spirit - carrying the message, not another Spirit that will go on as a separate being. The Holy Spirit, or at least a Holy Spirit, is sometimes an angel. Men who carry a message from God are angels when they do it. Again, was the "Prophet" Malachi (Messenger) a man at all, or was he a SPirit sent from God. And was that Spirit God speaking directly, or was that Spirit a separate, permanent incorporeal being named "Messenger" (Malachi)? The question is unanswerable, but the point is that "angel" means messenger, so there are different possible answers to your question.

    What YOU mean is: where are the incorporeal, permanent Spirits, such as Gabriel or Raphael or Michael - the named spirits who carry messages. Also Satan and his demons who are, likewise, beings of spirit - malign ones to us (particular as they animate diseases within us, as the gospels show).

    I can only answer directly on what I know: the spirits that have talked me were intelligent, invisible beings capable of comprehending my thoughts, pressing thoughts into my mind. The being I identify as God is also capable of directly taking command of my physical body and controlling it, and parts of it.

    I cannot see any of these things unless I am allowed to. Whether that means they are all around but invisible, like most of the electromagnetic spectrum (visible light is a very small piece of it), or they are elsewhere and come here, I cannot say. Obviously I know that there is a place somewhere in the sky where the resurrected Jesus is - the Apocalypse according to John tells me that. But on an ongoing basis where are the Spirits called angels, or the Spirits called Demons. Here. There., Perhaps points in between.

    I would suppose that if as discussed above, earth is the only planet that has life on it, they may be more concentrated in these parts than out there in the Cosmos, as God is present directly thorugh his law everywhere, but Spirits with minds can only interact with other minds where there are minds. Also, Jesus told us that each tiny child has an angel that looks always at the Father's face, and that Churches, too, have angels. Demons apparently don't like dry, arid, barren spaces without living things in them, because you can't tempt a sand pile: it's going to follow God's Natural Law automatically, and you can't get it to disobey, or make it sick, or kill it. Thus Jesus, at their request, cast them into pigs (who, then so distraught with being possessed, stampeded into the water and smothered out their own breath with the water rather than stay possessed by theis foreign and evil breaths.

    I think I have answered these questions. If not, I am, of course, available to continue to try to do so.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  10. Everybodyknows

    Everybodyknows The good guys lost

    796
    +758
    Australia
    Christian
    Married
    Did the universe always exist? The universe has a beginning, its existence and properties are contingent on God. God has no beginning. To answer your question, the universe looked like a thought in the mind of God before the big bang.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017
  11. Everybodyknows

    Everybodyknows The good guys lost

    796
    +758
    Australia
    Christian
    Married
    Isn't that just necessity of the definition rather than necessity in the absolute sense. If a dog was different from what we have defined as the essential characteristics of a dog then we wouldn't be able to call it a dog. But it's us who have made the definition based on what dogs are. It doesn't mean that it's necessary for dogs to exist or if in some other reality dogs were of a different essence that we couldn't label that a dog. If God had different attributes we would still call him God.

    I'm also not seeing how something can be necessary of its not contingent.
     
  12. RC1970

    RC1970 post tenebras lux

    +1,416
    United States
    Protestant
    Single
    You might consider one of these books:

    "The Existence and Attributes of God" by Stephen Charnock
    "Knowing God" By J.I. Packer
    "The Attributes of God" by A.W. Pink

    These were the most helpful to me, along with various thoughts of Thomas Aquinas and Aurelius Augustine.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  13. Vicomte13

    Vicomte13 Well-Known Member

    +1,373
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Others
    Maybe. If there is ultimately enough gravity for the expansion to stop and for the universe to collapse back in on itself in a Big Crunch, which then sets up the conditions for the next Big Bang to immediately follow, you have a diesel engine universe, with each new universe being the resolving of the collapse back to zero of the previous one. With an infinite regression (and progression), the universe always was and always will be - a number line of once and future universes - and there is no necessity of an external creator to "start it" any more than there is a need for a God to create God.

    Robert of Okham, the famed originator of "Occam's Razor", did not really say "The simplest solution that fits the facts is the best solution." That's an interpretation of what he meant. What he actually SAID was something like "Non sunt multiplicanda entia sine necessitate", which is to say "Entities are not to be multiplied without necessity."

    If the universe itself its an eternal cycle of bangs and collapses, a diesel engine, and it contains within itself, on its matter and energy the inevitable principles that cause it to behave as it does, and to inexorably evolve, then it contains within itself all of the necessities for its existence. IT always was and always will be. An external entity, "God", is not required to start the system, because there was no beginning to it.

    This is, in quasi physical terms, the great Hindu intuition about the cycles of cycles of cycles, for which the Buddha devised an escape.

    The question is answerable: is there enough gravity to slow and halt the expansion, or not?

    Apparently not. So the universe, therefore, is not a diesel engine, but had a beginning that was not predicated upon an earlier ending, and looks to have no end at all, unless electrons and anti-electrons, the lightest neutrino and its anti-neutrino counterpart, the photon and (if it exists at all) the graviton actually do finally decay. There is no evidence they do, and the physicists tell us that, mathematically, they CAN'T (so it would take a God to do it). Since these stable particles can't decay, everything will fly every further apart, order and energy will wind down to entropy and endlessly attenuate (never to zero), matter will decay to fundamental particles, and fundamental particles to sunparticles, until all that is left are those stable particles, separate and not part of anything, flying off. The "ray" universe had a definitive starting point and cannot end.

    That would appear to require God to start it and give it laws, because it is only eternal in the forward direction - a ray, not a number line like the diesel-engine universe.

    The ray universe is of necessity theistic: you need the additional entity to start it.

    The tangible evidence is that our universe is a unitary ray, and not a diesel engine.
    And that would seem to require a God who is not simply Pan-Theos, but Theos.
     
  14. Vicomte13

    Vicomte13 Well-Known Member

    +1,373
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Others
    Maybe. If there is ultimately enough gravity for the expansion to stop and for the universe to collapse back in on itself in a Big Crunch, which then sets up the conditions for the next Big Bang to immediately follow, you have a diesel engine universe, with each new universe being the resolving of the collapse back to zero of the previous one. With an infinite regression (and progression), the universe always was and always will be - a number line of once and future universes - and there is no necessity of an external creator to "start it" any more than there is a need for a God to create God.

    Robert of Okham, the famed originator of "Occam's Razor", did not really say "The simplest solution that fits the facts is the best solution." That's an interpretation of what he meant. What he actually SAID was something like "Non sunt multiplicanda entia sine necessitate", which is to say "Entities are not to be multiplied without necessity."

    If the universe itself its an eternal cycle of bangs and collapses, a diesel engine, and it contains within itself, on its matter and energy the inevitable principles that cause it to behave as it does, and to inexorably evolve, then it contains within itself all of the necessities for its existence. IT always was and always will be. An external entity, "God", is not required to start the system, because there was no beginning to it.

    This is, in quasi physical terms, the great Hindu intuition about the cycles of cycles of cycles, for which the Buddha devised an escape.

    The question is answerable: is there enough gravity to slow and halt the expansion, or not?

    Apparently not. So the universe, therefore, is not a diesel engine, but had a beginning that was not predicated upon an earlier ending, and looks to have no end at all, unless electrons and anti-electrons, the lightest neutrino and its anti-neutrino counterpart, the photon and (if it exists at all) the graviton actually do finally decay. There is no evidence they do, and the physicists tell us that, mathematically, they CAN'T (so it would take a God to do it). Since these stable particles can't decay, everything will fly every further apart, order and energy will wind down to entropy and endlessly attenuate (never to zero), matter will decay to fundamental particles, and fundamental particles to sunparticles, until all that is left are those stable particles, separate and not part of anything, flying off. The "ray" universe had a definitive starting point and cannot end.

    That would appear to require God to start it and give it laws, because it is only eternal in the forward direction - a ray, not a number line like the diesel-engine universe.

    The ray universe is of necessity theistic: you need the additional entity to start it.

    The tangible evidence is that our universe is a unitary ray, and not a diesel engine.
    And that would seem to require a God who is not simply Pan-Theos, but Theos.
     
  15. jesus316

    jesus316 All Truth is in Jesus

    787
    +303
    United States
    Christian
    Private
    We cannot use human reasoning to determine God's nature. It's like asking what is the sound of one hand clapping.
     
  16. YouAreAwesome

    YouAreAwesome ☝✌

    +867
    Christian
    Married
    Are there essential characteristics of God and non-essential characteristics? Or are all essential? If there are non-essential characteristics do they flow from the essential characteristics? For example, if God says "Eat your veggies" to a person, I would think this speaking is non-essential, because He would still be God if He had not said "Eat your veggies". So those essential things, those necessary things, I would also call His initial state, His fundamental state, His essence, Who He is, those things we call His attributes, or "the necessity of God".

    I'm not sure how to find God's attributes from within a purely theoretical framework (a non-biblical framework). It seems to me there is:

    1. no reason to believe He is all-powerful, rather, He just needs to be powerful enough to create the universe.
    2. no reason to believe He is omnipresent.
    3. no reason to believe He is omniscient.
    4. no reason to believe He is omnibenevolent.
    5. no reason to believe He is eternal.

    If we introduce the Bible or our experience into the discussion, it's a completely different question.
     
  17. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

    +5,023
    Anabaptist
    Yahweh chose how to reveal Himself to man. Everything concerning creation, the universe, the earth, all life - all by Yahweh's choice, simply, with no other influence at all, not even possible to be.

    There is nothing outside of Yahweh, nothing beyond Him, nothing instead of Him to chose from.
     
  18. Everybodyknows

    Everybodyknows The good guys lost

    796
    +758
    Australia
    Christian
    Married
    Ok I understand. The term 'fundamental state' makes more sense. That's what I was getting at before when I was saying to consider his attributes apart from his acts.

    I imagine you would agree that he doesn't have power (control) over his own nature. So then what does all powerful mean. He has power to create? He has absolute power over all he creates?

    In his fundamental state what is there to be omnipresent in? Does he exist in some kind of space/universe/realm with dimensions within which he is present everywhere? Omnipresence only makes sense once he creates a universe to be omnipresent in.

    In his fundamental state what is there to know? In this case omniscience would just be knowing himself.

    In his fundamental state who is there to be good to? I suppose he would be good to himself. Once other beings are created benevolence makes more sense because it's more a relational concept.

    He's eternal in that he exists. He didn't make himself exist and can't make himself not exist. Existence I believe is his most fundamental attribute.

    Sure, how do you think the Bible changes things?
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  19. YouAreAwesome

    YouAreAwesome ☝✌

    +867
    Christian
    Married
    Placing Him at the beginning of all we know and experience grants He has the power to create. But it doesn't prove He has absolute power over all He creates. I can create a fire, but I can't always stop it burning. I don't see a theoretical reason for Him being all-powerful over all He creates, even in the sense of the potential or capacity to do anything.

    Omnipresent within Himself, of course, but omnipresent in this universe is yet to be shown. (I'm still toying with the idea that there may be an alternate space-time reality that is separate to our own, where time and space each operate differently and more like a how we experience dreams, and in that alternate-space-time-dimension He exists everywhere within it; but again, while I think this makes sense to people's experiences, it is not a theoretically logical finding -- as in, I'm not sure with only purely logical reasoning we will end up believing something like that).

    True, unless there are other things that are uncaused and just exist... must there only be one uncaused thing?

    True.

    Interesting. Makes some sense.

    The Bible appears to make statements about certain attributes of God. For example Jesus told us to love each as He loves us. John spends all that time with Jesus learning from Him and then writes in his letter, "God is love". So Biblically, I think there is a strong case for God being omnibenevolent. Whether omnibenevolence is a contingent attribute is not clear, but it definitely seems to be an attribute. The Bible makes it clear God is eternal, that He knows everything, that He holds everything by the power of His word, that He created everything etc. So when I wrote all those "no reason to believe He is..." statements that is because I wasn't referring to the Bible as a source of knowledge. If we refer to the Bible we can accept certain attributes. As for necessary attributes, it's not so clear I suppose. Nor is it clear why He is as He is.
     
  20. ToBeLoved

    ToBeLoved Well-Known Member Supporter

    +4,171
    Non-Denom
    Private
    But God created all and the universe. So then are you saying that God created a universe and put laws in thar universe and then put Himself inside it?

    I don’t see that as happening.
     
Loading...