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Switch to Forum Live View Is God omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent?
5 years ago  ::  May 24, 2009 - 9:49PM #1
Hobbes
Posts: 93

 


I am considering Anselmian theism, which states that God is a being than which none greater can be thought. From this thesis has come the assumption that God is perfect, and that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent.


One counter argument is rather famous: If God is omniscient, then He knows human suffering exists. If God is omnibenevolent, He wants to end our suffering. If God is omniscient, then He would end human suffering. Human suffering continues. Thus, God is either not omniscient, and does not know suffering exists, and, I would say, not omnipotent, because omnipotence would necessarily entail omniscience, and, thus He cannot stop our suffering, or God may be omniscient and omnipotent, but not omnibenevolent.


I would like to explore these concepts, assuming the historical accuracy of major events in the Old Testament, which, I think, contradicts the idea of omniscience, which, in turn, would contradict omnipotence. It is clear too, I believe, that if the Old Testament is historically accurate, then omnibenevolence is certainly out of the question. And, since God is not omnibenevolent, then He is not perfect.


I would appreciate comments on my view that a perfect god, i.e., omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, cannot exist.


SPECIAL NOTE: Because of my occupation, after this week, I may not be able to respond at times for several days. I apologize for this, but I will respond as quickly as my occupation permits.

The unexaminned belief is not worth believing
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5 years ago  ::  May 25, 2009 - 8:44PM #2
Bob Wells
Posts: 112

How are we defining perfect? How are we defining God? If the definitions of God and perfect do not line up how do we know what to drop?

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5 years ago  ::  May 25, 2009 - 9:05PM #3
he-man
Posts: 3,869

Okay Mr. athiest you said in your profile, "and question everything, especially our own civic and religious "leaders." Which I find quite commendable. The reasons that we are here is to uphold our beliefs. You have a lot to learn, if you are truly open minded about your beliefs and the statements you have made.


Let me assure you, "That the Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some men, [like you], count slowness, but is patient toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.  2 Peter 3:9


If you imagine that as a nontheist you can comprehend what the PLAN of God entails, you are sadly mistaken. The only way you can come to an understanding of God is through His Son, the Messiah.


I am indeed sorry if you have been led astray by so called religious "leaders", who, themselves, are Blind guides and if leading the blind both will fall into the pit. Leave them behind. Mt 15:14


Now, concerning the omniscient or having infinite insight and knowledge, you have already broken that rule by trying to limit the power of God.


Bluntly,"Does not the potter have power over the clay...to make one person with honor and another to dishonor? Ro 9:21


You are the clay, God is the potter, and you are turning things upside down and you are saying that He, who made you, did not make you, and even though you were formed by Him,you say  He has no understanding? " Isa 29:16


Isaiah put it very plain, " And therefore will the Lord WAIT that He may be gracious to you, and therefore He will be exhalted, that He may have MERCY upon you, for the Lord is a God of judgement: Blessed is everyone that WAITS for Him. 30:18


 





1Ch 25:5  All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer (chozeh= to see) in the words of God, to lift up the horn.
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5 years ago  ::  May 25, 2009 - 10:32PM #4
Hobbes
Posts: 93

 


Hello Bob. You wrote:


"How are we defining perfect? How are we defining God? If the definitions of God and perfect do not line up how do we know what to drop?"


I'm not sure how to answer this. I'm referring to Anselmian Theism, which is meant to be a definition of God, as far as any definition can be offered, I suppose.


I am questioning the popular conception of God, which is based on the Anselmian Thesis as stated in my post. I am suggesting that the popular belief of an omniperfect God (omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent) is internally inconsistent (self contradictory). Thus, I am challenging the popular concept of Yahweh.


I am interested in how theists circumvent the seeming logical inconsistency, if they want to maintain the popular belief.

The unexaminned belief is not worth believing
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5 years ago  ::  May 25, 2009 - 11:51PM #5
Hobbes
Posts: 93

 


He-man, your condescension indicates that you fear atheism. It seems, as well, that you may have an aversion to civil discourse. Of course I have a lot to learn. He who thinks he knows it all, is a fool.


 Your defense of Yahweh contains no counter argument to my post. You only hurl quotes and scripture references at me. 2 Peter 3:9, for example, does not offer any logical evidence that I am wrong. Your argument is the logical fallacy of argumentum ad invidium (argument from fear). I am not frightened, though you must be. If you want to convince me, then you need to offer valid, logical arguments in defense of your belief in Anselmian Theology.


 Your second argument, that I imagine I can comprehend what the "PLAN of God" entails, tells me that you simply don't understand my argument. Perhaps I was not clear enough. I do not believe Yahweh exists. If I do not believe Yahweh exists, how do you suppose I would believe there exists a "PLAN of God?"  Thus, it is impossible that I would be "sadly mistaken," if I don't have such an assumption in the first place.


 Concerning religious leaders leading me astray,  it is a hollow argument, having only the quality of reflecting your own beliefs. You can find a brief history of my evolution from religion here (scroll down the page to The Renaissance of My Life). If you read it, you will see that I began to question my own beliefs, which I realized were no more than what I had been taught, as a child, to believe. What the followers of other religions believe, just a fervently as I believed my theology (and you, yours), was, in the same manner, a matter of inculcation. Thus, I realized that I had no more reason to believe my theology was true any more than I had to believe theirs false.


 Your third argument, out of Isa 29:16, is not a counter argument to my original challenge. It is quite simply a statement that you believe what it says. Carefully reread my first post.


 Your final argument is clearly another argumentum ad invidium. Leave the hollow threats aside. I am eager to read some sound, logical, counter arguments from you.


 Peace, brother.

The unexaminned belief is not worth believing
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5 years ago  ::  May 26, 2009 - 10:11AM #6
he-man
Posts: 3,869

My explanation is quite simple, as you have stated yourself, you are an AntiChrist and have equated your own reasoning as the logical approach to the questions you have asked.


The mere fact that you are asking questions, exposes the fact that you are seeking to find an answer and that your logics are lacking in endurance. Perhaps that is good for it says, "Seek and you shall Find,"; but the answer may not be what you expected!


What you are asking can not be debated in theology (θεολογια the words of God) without a religious belief! I am assuming that your assumptions are based on facts that you do not understand,. By your proposals in your first statement you are lacking in knowledge of reasoning. You are not aware of the purposes of the things that are happening today, and that happened in the days of Abraham, which you have already admitted to ignorance in the field of the study of God's word, or belief.


 Theology does not begin with the question of whether God exists. ...many of the methods of theology are the same as those employed by historians, students of language and literature, philosophers, and others.


Theology resembles a science to the extent that orderly, critical intellectual procedures are employed in the study of its subject matter, but it differs radically from the natural and even from the human sciences because its ultimate subject matter, God, is not accessible to empirical investigation. Theology is a study of the word of God, believing that only thus can one avoid the danger of approaching God as a mere object of investigation, or more properly called “theanthropology”, because its subject matter is not God in isolation, but rather the divine and the human as they are related to each other and for whom the Bible is divinely inspired.


 Anselm (1033-1109) known for his view of faith and reason: "Faith precedes knowledge," his ontological argument, and his interpretation of the atonement; wrote 1. Monologium, 'speaking alone' 2. Proslogium, Discourse on the Existence of God and 3. Cur Deus Homo.  


The 11th-century theologian St Anselm is a good example of a theologian who used the method of rigorous logical argument. 


In his Proslogion, Anselm sought to prove the existence of God from the concept of a perfect being, and in Cur Deus Homo he argued that, given the existence both of a benevolent God and of the sinfulness of humanity, the Christian doctrines of incarnation and atonement may be deduced by logical necessity. Few theologians have been as rigorously logical as Anselm, but most have aimed at logical coherence.


 A quite different method can be observed among Reformation and post-Reformation Protestant theologians, who have attempted to base theology on the Bible alone. In its crudest form, this has meant a constant appeal to the Bible to prove theological assertions. [Amen]


 With the development of biblical studies, however, this type of theology has become much more sophisticated. The method is, first of all, to establish the biblical text from the manuscripts and variant readings and, next, to subject this text to the closest scrutiny, taking note, for example, of linguistic considerations, literary sources, and historical background.


 This constitutes the work of exegesis, which aims at ascertaining as far as possible the meaning that the writer intended. The theologian must then go on to ask how the original meaning of the text has been developed in the course of doctrinal history, and what it might be taken to mean in the theologian's own time and cultural situation. This step involves hermeneutics, the science of interpretation.


 Some hold that interpretation is itself a creative, innovative act, not just the transposition of meaning from an ancient to a modern context. Even a transposition intended to reproduce the exact meaning of the original text may result in substantial changes. It is also important to notice that many of the methods of theology are the same as those employed by historians, students of language and literature, philosophers, and others.


 Christian systematic theology is subdivided into the doctrine of God (theology in the strictest sense); Christology, the doctrine of the person of Christ; soteriology, the doctrine of salvation; anthropology, the doctrine of humanity; pneumatology, the doctrine of the spirit; eschatology, the doctrine of the “last things”, or the end of time; and ecclesiology, the doctrine of the Church. Further divisions are sometimes made, but truly systematic theology always emphasizes the unity and mutual implication of the various parts.


 The distinction is between natural theology, which is based on reason and common experience, and revealed theology, which is based directly on revelation. Similarly, a distinction should be made between apologetics—the attempt to state religious belief while taking note of, and responding to, objections and criticisms—and dogmatics, the straight exposition of beliefs.


 The rise and development of religious doctrines is the subject of historical theology, which has important implications for current theological speculation. Somewhat less central to the theological enterprise are several disciplines in which insights are derived from systematic theology but applied to various specialized problems. In moral theology, the insights of faith are applied to questions of moral conduct.


 Because of the variety of these issues, moral theology tends to become an interdisciplinary task. When the problems are connected with social and institutional aspects of human life, one may speak of social theology and even political theology. Pastoral, or practical, theology has to do with the exercise of ministry in such matters as counselling and the cure of souls.


 "Theology," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2009


 Phlip 4:5) Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

1Ch 25:5  All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer (chozeh= to see) in the words of God, to lift up the horn.
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5 years ago  ::  May 26, 2009 - 6:13PM #7
Hobbes
Posts: 93

 


He-man, my goodness, you must have nothing else to do. I wish I had that kind of time, but I will do my best.


I'm an anti-Christ? Wow! Thanks. It's the first time I've been so honored. However, I see that I am still right in my belief that those who have no argument will always resort to name-calling. Very sophomoric. I think you could do better.


 "The mere fact that you are asking questions, exposes the fact that you are seeking to find an answer and that your logics are lacking in endurance"


 My "logics???" And, I am not seeking "an answer." I am seeking many answers. To be honest, I am writing a novel. That is why I have posed these questions on this site. Having read much about the subject at reliable sites on the Web, I decided to get up-to-date views of the average Christian. Thus, your argument, as all before, is flawed.


 "By your proposals in your first statement you are lacking in knowledge of reasoning . . ."


 I'm glad to find someone who knows it all. However, if you want to educate me, you will have to make more sense than you have already displayed.


 "What you are asking can not be debated in theology without a religious belief!"


 False argument again. I am exploring how Christians can hold contradictory beliefs in their minds at the same time, where, obviously, both cannot be true, but the believer believes them anyway, never questioning the conflict. If any particular belief is internally inconsistent, one can show it is false by presenting a logical syllogism. I am holding that the common belief in an omniperfect god is not possible. I'm not sure how many times I need to state that, but it is my argument.


 "Theology does not begin with the question of whether God exists"


Without questioning the very foundation of your belief, you will never know if it is correct, or if it contains inconsistencies. And you still avoid addressing my argument.


 "Theology resembles a science to the extent that orderly, critical intellectual procedures are employed in the study of its subject matter . . ."


 Actually, theology is nothing like science in any form. Science needs evidence, belief does not. Science follows the scientific method, religious belief does not. Science contributes beneficial discoveries and innovations to society, religious belief does not. Science investigates the origins of live and the universe, religious belief does not. Religion is only useful in placating human insecurity. The greater the insecurity, the stronger one holds on to untenable beliefs. Give me a logical argument for the existence of an omniperfect God. So far, you are simply condescending.


 ". . . God, is not accessible to empirical investigation"


 Of course not. But, then, neither are unicorns.


 "Few theologians have been as rigorously logical as Anselm, but most have aimed at logical coherence"


 Yet Anselm constructs a straw god (same as the fallacious straw-man argument). Both Anselm, and you, begin with an unprovable, and I would say, false premise (Yahweh exists). From that false assumption you build your theology on that assumption. Descartes did something along the same line, as do most, if not all, believers. An argument can be valid, but false.


 "Protestant theologians, who have attempted to base theology on the Bible alone. In its crudest form, this has meant a constant appeal to the Bible to prove theological assertions"


 Yet, you do almost the same, pointing out various scriptures and quotes from various theologians. Theologians can give only their arguments based on a belief, usually an inculcated belief learned as children, and built upon throughout their lives. In the end, it is still a belief, untenable, and unprovable.


 I say untenable in the assumption that you are writing about the god Yahweh. I'm not sure you are, because you haven't laid out any argument for its existence. You just assume, just like most others.


 Yes, translation is a tedious and most difficult thing. I appreciate your knowledge in that area, however, in the final analysis, the interpretation could still be wrong, and/or the writer may not have been telling the truth. Just because the text in question is very old lends not a molecule of evidence to its truth. Besides, much of the Bible, as we know it today, has no extant, original text, and we do not know who wrote it.


But, the Bible and other theological writings simply do not address my argument. You seem to be avoiding it by expounding on how great your knowledge is of theological interpretation and  translation. I appreciate the history of translation, but I'd prefer my questions to be addressed.


 The bottom line is that you do not intend to address the question on the table. If this is the case, there is no need for you to waste your time pontificating on your beliefs. You can't convince me by quoting scripture or something that some theologian said. Those are only opinions, and useless for my purpose.

The unexaminned belief is not worth believing
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5 years ago  ::  May 26, 2009 - 10:33PM #8
he-man
Posts: 3,869

That is not name calling. You stated yourself, that you were an athiest, that is a non-theist and means that you are an anti-Christ. You seem to have a problem with justifying the wrath of God.It might do you a little bit of good to read "The Ezekiel Option", by Joel C. Rosenberg, fiction but earth shattering.


God is the creator of all things, else how could anyone be tested by evil? The idea that there exists anything capable of setting itself up as God's opponent would be considered overly polytheistic—you are setting up the devil to be a god or demigod.


You will note that reading Isa 14, verse 4, "That you will take up this proverb against the "King of Babylon" and say, "How has the oppressor ceased, the golden city ceased," it becomes clear that this is the King of Babylon and his nation that is being spoken of here.


While this mythological information is available today via translated Babylonian cuneiform text taken from clay tablets, it was not as readily available at the time of the Latin translation of the Bible.


Thus, early so-called Christian tradition interperted the passage as a reference to the moment a demoniac  being was thrown from heaven. Lucifer became another name for a mythological Satan and has remained so due to so-called Christian dogma and popular tradition. 


The existance of God is not debatable and even though you are not knowledgeable of the plan of God, you are a partaker in the plan of crucifying Christ and will share the same boat as those in verses 11 & 12 unless you repent.


God's Plan


 


Ps 20:1 Regarding completion. A Psalm. Pertaining to Daueid.


 


2 O Lord, in your power the king shall be glad, and at your deliverance he shall rejoice greatly!


 


3 The desire of his heart you gave him, and of the petition of his lips you did not deprive him. Interlude on strings


 


4 Because you anticipated him with blessings of kindness, you set on his head a crown of precious stone.


 


5 Life he asked of you, and you gave it him— length of days forever and forever and ever.


 


6 His glory is great by your deliverance; glory and magnificence you will bestow on him.


 


7 Because you will give him blessing forever and forever and ever you will make him glad with joy through your presence,


 


8 because the king hopes in the Lord and in the mercy of the Most High he shall not be shaken.


 


9 May your hand be found for all your enemies; may your right hand find all those who hate you.


 


10 Because you will make them like an oven of fire at the time of your presence. OThe Lord you will confound them in your wrath, and fire will devour them.


 


11 Their seed you will destroy from the earth, and their offspring from sons of men,


 


12 because they turned evil against you; they devised a plan, plans which they will never be able to realize, (Codex Sinaiticus)



Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:


 

1Ch 25:5  All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer (chozeh= to see) in the words of God, to lift up the horn.
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5 years ago  ::  May 27, 2009 - 7:41AM #9
Hobbes
Posts: 93

  He-man, give it up. You are afraid of discussing the logic or illogic of an omniperfect god. Your insecurity must be very deep indeed for you to continually ignore my question hurl the thoughts of others at me. You need to take a course in critical thinking.


 It takes courage to face the fact that you could be wrong, that your beliefs are not logical.  Are you a member of the Westboro Baptist Church? Your rants, like Fred Phelps', are rather monomaniacal. Me thinks he protests too much against gays. Perhaps you ARE Fred Phelps? How do you feel about gays, he-man?


Had you been born in India, you would most likely have been a Hindu, or a sheik. Had you been born in Southeast Asia, you would most likely have been raised a Buddhist; in Afghanistan, a radical Muslim, and you would have been just as convinced as to the truth of those religions as you are to your beliefs now. Therefore, what you believe to be the theological truth is more a function of where you were born (what society), and to whom. But that's sound logic, and critical thinking doesn't appear to be your forte.


 Never mind. I suspect another rant is coming. I'll move on.

The unexaminned belief is not worth believing
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5 years ago  ::  May 27, 2009 - 9:21AM #10
he-man
Posts: 3,869

May 27, 2009 -- 7:41AM, Hobbes wrote:


  He-man, give it up. You are afraid of discussing the logic or illogic of an omniperfect god. Your insecurity must be very deep indeed for you to continually ignore my question hurl the thoughts of others at me. You need to take a course in critical thinking.


 It takes courage to face the fact that you could be wrong, that your beliefs are not logical.  Are you a member of the Westboro Baptist Church? Your rants, like Fred Phelps', are rather monomaniacal. Me thinks he protests too much against gays. Perhaps you ARE Fred Phelps? How do you feel about gays, he-man?


Had you been born in India, you would most likely have been a Hindu, or a sheik. Had you been born in Southeast Asia, you would most likely have been raised a Buddhist; in Afghanistan, a radical Muslim, and you would have been just as convinced as to the truth of those religions as you are to your beliefs now. Therefore, what you believe to be the theological truth is more a function of where you were born (what society), and to whom. But that's sound logic, and critical thinking doesn't appear to be your forte.


 Never mind. I suspect another rant is coming. I'll move on.



Gee, I could be wrong but, “now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?” Ac 26:6; Ro 8:24 


God hates fags? I do not know Fred Phelps but I can tell you what the Bible says about Fags and Lesbians:


For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: In like manner and also the males having left the natural use of the female, were inflamed with the lust of them for for each other, males with males the indecency working out, and the recompence, which it was proper, of the error of them. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a worthless mind, to do those things which are not fitting; Ro 1:26, 27


1 Thess 4:3) For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; (4) that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, (5) not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; (6) not overstepping the rights of and defrauding his brother in the matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all these things, even as we also told you before, and have fully testified. (7) For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. (8) Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given to you His Holy Spirit.


2833 κνηθομενοι lustful, libidinous, lubricious  κνηθω prurient, lecherous,


(in the sense 'having a craving'): from L. prurient-, prurire 'itch, long, be wanton'.


 A Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim Baptist, etc? All of those that you mention plus most others, believe in an supernatural evil force, or of reincarnation, which opposes God and the Bible does not teach.


You are confused by the mythological figure of Agathodaimon (Greek) the cosmic Christos, the serpent of eternity, which after the fall of the Mediterranean became a Satan to those superstitious people.

1Ch 25:5  All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer (chozeh= to see) in the words of God, to lift up the horn.
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