The "God exists" paradox

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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Prof Bulani
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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Prof Bulani » January 18th, 2020, 7:22 pm

creation wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 5:25 am
How do you define the word 'idealistic'?

Is something 'idealistic' even possible?

If yes, then why is my definition of God not idealistic?

But if no, then absolutely every definition of God that you call "idealistic" is not even possible to be true from the outset. So, from your perspective, ONLY those definitions of God that you do not call "idealistic" are even possible to be true.
Idealistic is defined as characterised by idealism; unrealistically aiming for perfection. That should answer your question.
Can you please explain how, to you, the Mind is not an intelligent and autonomous agent? I might need to actually explain more fully what the Mind is exactly?

What does the word 'Mind' mean, to you, exactly?


Where does the collection of all 'reference material' exist, or where did it come from? Is that thing a living entity?

And, what is the 'collection of reference material', or just a 'body of knowledge', if it is, as you say, not a living entity, itself?

If a 'body of knowledge' is not changing, and thus a living thing, or entity, in and of itself, then what is 'it'?
I went back to the other thread and reread your description of "Mind". I may have misunderstood it the first time. What I now understand is that "Mind" is (and just explain it if I'm still wrong) the aggregate of human thought, knowledge and creativity. If this is so, this aspect of God would have been a recent development (only existing after the appearance of humanity) and is only located on planet earth. Even so, such a definition allows God to exist, albeit partially for 13.8 billion years, and then undergoing a shaky development of the other part in the last perhaps 200,000 years. The Mind as I understand from your definition is only as persistent as the human species is, and only as developed as human thought, knowledge and creativity is. And while we can describe this Mind as intelligent and autonomous, it is far from anything ideal. Neither aspect of this definition of God is eternal, neither could be considered benevolent, neither aspect even approaches the vicinity of what can be called perfect.
Obviously, there is absolutely nothing that exists, which is above, beyond, or separate from the Natural. So, how are you defining 'supernatural' here?

For all you, and I, know "theists" might actually be very interested in anything that backs up and supports their beliefs.

My definition of God might actually be far more inclusive of things than you could have ever imagined being possible, previously.
Are you not familiar with the commonly used definitions of God? God is not commonly defined as a being that is possible. God is always commonly defined as being supernatural and idealistic. Your definition of God is not common. I assumed this was obvious to you.
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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by creation » January 18th, 2020, 9:04 pm

Prof Bulani wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 7:22 pm
creation wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 5:25 am
How do you define the word 'idealistic'?

Is something 'idealistic' even possible?

If yes, then why is my definition of God not idealistic?

But if no, then absolutely every definition of God that you call "idealistic" is not even possible to be true from the outset. So, from your perspective, ONLY those definitions of God that you do not call "idealistic" are even possible to be true.
Idealistic is defined as characterised by idealism; unrealistically aiming for perfection. That should answer your question.
So, it could be argued that you only like to look at and discuss the definitions of God that are idealistic, correct?

If yes, then that way your belief that God could not exist could never be refuted. Obviously, if only what is being looked at and discussed are the things that are literally unrealistic anyway, then your beliefs could never be logically disputed, nor refuted, Then, to you, you will always be right and correct, correct?

Prof Bulani wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 7:22 pm
Can you please explain how, to you, the Mind is not an intelligent and autonomous agent? I might need to actually explain more fully what the Mind is exactly?

What does the word 'Mind' mean, to you, exactly?


Where does the collection of all 'reference material' exist, or where did it come from? Is that thing a living entity?

And, what is the 'collection of reference material', or just a 'body of knowledge', if it is, as you say, not a living entity, itself?

If a 'body of knowledge' is not changing, and thus a living thing, or entity, in and of itself, then what is 'it'?
I went back to the other thread and reread your description of "Mind". I may have misunderstood it the first time. What I now understand is that "Mind" is (and just explain it if I'm still wrong) the aggregate of human thought, knowledge and creativity.
Thought is held within the brain. Thoughts are the collection of input from the five senses, from bodily experiences. The Mind is not the brain.

The Mind is, therefore, certainly not the aggregate of thought. Human thought individually is held within brains. The aggregate of human thought is therefore held with human brains, and more correctly also in writings. Knowledge is a part of human thought, along with views, beliefs, assumptions, values, opinions, et cetera. All of this is held within human brains, expressed in speech and/or writings, or in what they have created also, it could be said.

The Mind is a very different thing than the brain. There are as many brains as there are human bodies. There is only one Mind though, which each human being has, or has access to.

The Mind is always completely OPEN, and it is from this OPENNESS where human beings learn, understand, and reason anything, and everything.

The brain just collects and stores knowledge, or information. The Mind, however, is what allows the learning of absolutely anything. Although it is commonly said there is a human mind, there actually is not.

The brain is intellect. 'Intellect' just being the knowledge one has already gained.

The Mind is intelligence. 'Intelligence' just being the ability to learn, understand, and reason absolutely any and every thing.

Everyone is absolutely different in intellect. But, everyone is absolutely the same in intelligence. Although, and very sadly, intellect can all to easily close of the our intelligence, and everyone is at different stages of being between closed and being open.

Every human being is born completely open to absolutely anything. Every human being as they age closes of this openness, and ability to learn anything, with the intellect that they have gained, along the way.
Prof Bulani wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 7:22 pm
If this is so, this aspect of God would have been a recent development (only existing after the appearance of humanity) and is only located on planet earth.
Your understanding of what I was saying and meaning was wrong, which I have explained, but only in a tiny fraction of, so what you said here is missing the mark.
Prof Bulani wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 7:22 pm
Even so, such a definition allows God to exist, albeit partially for 13.8 billion years, and then undergoing a shaky development of the other part in the last perhaps 200,000 years. The Mind as I understand from your definition is only as persistent as the human species is, and only as developed as human thought, knowledge and creativity is.
The Mind is an openness that exists. In human beings the Mind is allowing human beings to keep learning and discovering. The Mind combined with the amazing human brain which collectively it appears is able to gather and store seemingly more and more of learned knowledge continuously, and devise ways to keep learned knowledge stored outside of the brain, both together work in ways of understanding and revealing more about the Universe, Itself. The physical Universe, which exists forever, creates all creatures, which evolve until one has evolved enough with the ability to gather and store new knowledge, all the time. The Mind, which exists forever, allows an evolved enough creature to keep learning and understanding more, all the time.

The Mind is what allows the Universe to eventually evolve into something which could allow It to come to 'Know Thyself'.
Prof Bulani wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 7:22 pm
And while we can describe this Mind as intelligent and autonomous, it is far from anything ideal.
As I already suggest, if you are only looking for things that are unrealistic anyway, then what for?

So, you do not find a Mind, which has existed eternally, and just waits patiently for a species to evolve with enough knowledge to finally answer the question, 'Who am 'I'?' as being far from anything ideal, then that is a sure sign, then 'I' am already HERE-NOW, revealing Thy Self.
Prof Bulani wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 7:22 pm
Neither aspect of this definition of God is eternal, neither could be considered benevolent, neither aspect even approaches the vicinity of what can be called perfect.
Obviously, you are seeing things very differently than me.

To start with, your interpretation of what I said and meant was wrong to begin with. So, the rest of what you wrote here has completely misconstrued and taken out of context what I am meaning.

For example, the definition of God I have provide is eternal, is very benevolent, and is perfect.

You have not even questioned nor even challenged me on my definition yet. You have made an interpretation, and then just followed on with that assumed interpretation.
Prof Bulani wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 7:22 pm
Obviously, there is absolutely nothing that exists, which is above, beyond, or separate from the Natural. So, how are you defining 'supernatural' here?

For all you, and I, know "theists" might actually be very interested in anything that backs up and supports their beliefs.

My definition of God might actually be far more inclusive of things than you could have ever imagined being possible, previously.
Are you not familiar with the commonly used definitions of God?
If there is a signal of just how much a human being is so closed off to the actual Truth of things it is in questions just like this.

Until you tell me what are the "commonly used definition" of God are, TO YOU, then I will never know what are the "commonly used definitions" of God, TO YOU.

Are you aware that there are some human beings who are NOT 'you', and so they live in different places, they are at different ages, to 'you', they speak different languages, than 'you', they have experienced completely different things, to 'you', so there is NO "commonly used definitions" of 'Anything'.

But feel free to share with me, and us readers, what are the "commonly used definitions" of God, that 'you' know of.
Prof Bulani wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 7:22 pm
God is not commonly defined as a being that is possible.
Okay.

But I do NOT really care about what are supposedly "common" definitions.

For me, I look at what is possible, if I am looking for things that could possibly exist.

I did not arrive at a definition of God, from looking at what is impossible.

Obviously to look at things logically, and reasonably, then what has to be looked at are things that could logically and reasonably be possible.
Prof Bulani wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 7:22 pm
God is always commonly defined as being supernatural and idealistic.
I have already suggested WHY you are hanging on very tightly to this definition of God. It would literally kill 'you' if what you believe is true, was proven to be actually wrong.
Prof Bulani wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 7:22 pm
Your definition of God is not common. I assumed this was obvious to you.
And your sarcasm speaks loudly.

If you see any discrepancies between my definition of God, and what are the "common" to you definitions of God, (which you like to refute), then go ahead and explain those supposed discrepancies, and if I see that those to "supernatural and idealistic" definitions fit in perfectly with my definition, then I will tell you how they can be seen the same, and then you can try to prove how they could not exist. I have already invited you a couple of times now already to challenge me on anything here. So, what are you waiting for?

My definition may not YET be common. This is because my definition my be a new one. Which might even actually be true, right, and correct. Until I am seriously questioned and challenged on my definition, then we will never know if my definition actually proves the God, which is commonly held to be true, exists or not.

I will say this again, my definition is NOT at all that much different from the so called "commonly" held definitions of God, even those definitions, which you believe are "supernatural and idealistic" ones. You have already admitted my definition of God means God exists. Therefore, because my definition also includes those definitions you class as "supernatural and idealistic" that means that that 'God' exists too.

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Pattern-chaser » January 19th, 2020, 9:38 am

Prof Bulani wrote:
January 17th, 2020, 3:56 pm
Starting from the point of theist and moving to the point of theist proving the existence of God invariable results in that theist changing their own definition of God. They can prove the existence of a "realistic" God, but in doing so it forces them to dismantle their "idealistic" God. The process forces the theist to come to the realization that the idealistic definition of God is logically incoherent.
There are lots of assumptions here. For a start, and IMO, of course, it is a rash theist who seeks to "prove" the existence of God. It's not that we doubt our beliefs, only that we acknowledge how little we know of God. For She exceeds us in ways we don't know or understand. How could we know enough to "prove" Her existence? I don't think we could, and I think the expectation that we can or could is little more than conceit on our part.

Next, having attempted to prove the existence of God, your theist "invariably" changes their beliefs (their definition of God). Is this the response of a typical theist? I would suggest not, although I offer no proof. 😉

Then you tell us that your example theist can prove "the existence of a "realistic" God". I disagree. Proving the existence of God, realistic or not, is quite impossible, as I understand the matter. God's existence is a matter of faith*.

Finally, I have confronted your argument, examined my own definition of God, and found no need to change it in the light of your findings. In my case, at least, your musing simply do not apply. Perhaps my own theism is especially different from other theists? Possible, I suppose, but I don't think so.... 🤔

* - I believe there are some theists, many of them American scriptural literalists, who assert that God has physically objective presence in the spacetime universe that science describes so well. As a believer, a theist, I find this assertion rash, reckless and impossible to verify or justify. 🤔
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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Prof Bulani » January 19th, 2020, 12:45 pm

@creation

I don't have a belief in God anymore than I have a belief in Spiderman. God is a fictional character. Any definitions of God I allude to are definitions of God either specifically proposed by theists, or definitions of God generally defined in mainstream (like dictionaries).
creation wrote:The Mind, however, is what allows the learning of absolutely anything.
creation wrote:The Mind is intelligence. 'Intelligence' just being the ability to learn, understand, and reason absolutely any and every thing.
creation wrote:The Mind, which exists forever, allows an evolved enough creature to keep learning and understanding more, all the time.
Your definition of Mind, from what you said, is the ability to learn. Fair enough, I'll go with that. The ability to learn exists, and it could be argued that this ability exists independent of organisms with the capacity to learn, and therefore is eternal. Cool.
creation wrote:You have not even questioned nor even challenged me on my definition yet. You have made an interpretation, and then just followed on with that assumed interpretation.
You seem somewhat disappointed that I haven't challenged your definition of God. There's no need to. I've pointed out that your definition is very different from what God is commonly defined as, and that no theist (including yourself, since you're also not a theist) would adopt such a definition.

However, I'm never going to argue that your definition is wrong. I'd argue that it's either logical or illogical, that it either allows for the possibility of such a God to exist or not. But if I were to assert or even imply that your definition was wrong, I would be implying that there's a right definition of God.

All definitions of God are to be evaluated on their logical validity. If a definition is logically inconsistent, the subject of that definition cannot possibly exist. And evaluating the logic of definitions of God is all I intend to do here.
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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Prof Bulani » January 19th, 2020, 1:12 pm

Pattern-chaser wrote:
January 19th, 2020, 9:38 am
There are lots of assumptions here. For a start, and IMO, of course, it is a rash theist who seeks to "prove" the existence of God. It's not that we doubt our beliefs, only that we acknowledge how little we know of God. For She exceeds us in ways we don't know or understand. How could we know enough to "prove" Her existence? I don't think we could, and I think the expectation that we can or could is little more than conceit on our part.
These "rash" theists are often referred to as philosophers. Among them are well-known names like Thomas Aquinas and Rene Descartes. I don't know if you'd refer to them as rash, but they certainly are rare.
Next, having attempted to prove the existence of God, your theist "invariably" changes their beliefs (their definition of God). Is this the response of a typical theist? I would suggest not, although I offer no proof. 😉
I intend to delve into some of those well-known theists who attempted to prove the existence of God and point out the transitions on a case by case basis.
Then you tell us that your example theist can prove "the existence of a "realistic" God". I disagree. Proving the existence of God, realistic or not, is quite impossible, as I understand the matter. God's existence is a matter of faith*.
If this were true, God would simultaneously exist and not exist, making God self contradictory. Existence is never contingent on subjective belief, ever.
Finally, I have confronted your argument, examined my own definition of God, and found no need to change it in the light of your findings. In my case, at least, your musing simply do not apply. Perhaps my own theism is especially different from other theists? Possible, I suppose, but I don't think so.... 🤔
What is your definition of God? I'll also scroll through the thread and try to find it, but you'll proudly find it faster than me.
* - I believe there are some theists, many of them American scriptural literalists, who assert that God has physically objective presence in the spacetime universe that science describes so well. As a believer, a theist, I find this assertion rash, reckless and impossible to verify or justify. 🤔
Interesting, since defining God in physical and objective terms is precisely what allows for verification and justification.
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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by creation » January 20th, 2020, 8:23 am

Prof Bulani wrote:
January 19th, 2020, 12:45 pm
@creation

I don't have a belief in God anymore than I have a belief in Spiderman. God is a fictional character.
If this is what you believe, then so be it.

Prof Bulani wrote:
January 19th, 2020, 12:45 pm
Any definitions of God I allude to are definitions of God either specifically proposed by theists, or definitions of God generally defined in mainstream (like dictionaries).
creation wrote:The Mind, however, is what allows the learning of absolutely anything.
creation wrote:The Mind is intelligence. 'Intelligence' just being the ability to learn, understand, and reason absolutely any and every thing.
creation wrote:The Mind, which exists forever, allows an evolved enough creature to keep learning and understanding more, all the time.
Your definition of Mind, from what you said, is the ability to learn. Fair enough, I'll go with that. The ability to learn exists, and it could be argued that this ability exists independent of organisms with the capacity to learn, and therefore is eternal. Cool.
creation wrote:You have not even questioned nor even challenged me on my definition yet. You have made an interpretation, and then just followed on with that assumed interpretation.
You seem somewhat disappointed that I haven't challenged your definition of God. There's no need to. I've pointed out that your definition is very different from what God is commonly defined as, and that no theist (including yourself, since you're also not a theist) would adopt such a definition.
But you must have MISSED the part where I have pointed out to you that my definition is just about the EXACT SAME as those definitions of God either specifically proposed by theists, or definitions of God generally defined in mainstream. I also made it clear that it is because of your misinterpretation of what I am saying, and especially what I am meaning, that you have just continued on with your wrongly assumed interpretation as though it was the right and correct one.
Prof Bulani wrote:
January 19th, 2020, 12:45 pm
However, I'm never going to argue that your definition is wrong. I'd argue that it's either logical or illogical, that it either allows for the possibility of such a God to exist or not. But if I were to assert or even imply that your definition was wrong, I would be implying that there's a right definition of God.
Great point you made known here.

So, does my definition of God allow for the possibility of such a God to exist?

If no, then why not?

But if yes, then are you aware that my definition of God fits in very close, if not, then exactly with the so called "common" definitions of God, which so called "theists" use? (This is of course besides the absolutely illogical and impossible ones. But I think what will be found is most of the ones that you class as being the illogical or impossible definitions are the ones I say are very close or even exactly the ones that fit in with my definition).

Now, if you would like to find out if this is true and correct or not, then let us proceed.

But if you do not want to provide some, so called, "commonly" held definitions, to see if they fit in with my definition or not, then so be it. You must not really be that inquisitive to find out.
Prof Bulani wrote:
January 19th, 2020, 12:45 pm
All definitions of God are to be evaluated on their logical validity.
And when you start providing them, then we can start discussing them on their 'logical validity' or not. But you just professing they are "logically invalid" without providing the actual example, does not say nor reveal nothing at all.
Prof Bulani wrote:
January 19th, 2020, 12:45 pm
If a definition is logically inconsistent, the subject of that definition cannot possibly exist.
Since you have not said that my definition is "logically inconsistent nor logically invalid", then that would suggest my definition of God could possibly exist, logically.

Now, if you provide a supposed "logically inconsistent or invalid" definition of God, then we can see if it logically fits in with my definition, and, if that definition does logically fit in with my definition, then that will mean either my definition is logically impossible to exist, or the supposed "logically impossible" definition could logically be possible to exist.

Finding out which one is which might be rather interesting, do you think?

Or, do you believe that you know what the outcome will be already?

Have you already made up the outcome?
Prof Bulani wrote:
January 19th, 2020, 12:45 pm
And evaluating the logic of definitions of God is all I intend to do here.
Great, then let us start doing that.

So that I am not seen as leading this in anyway at all I would prefer you to put forward those supposed "common" definitions of God, which you would say would not fit in with my definition.

You have alluded to the fact that God existing is not logically possible. So, let us find out if this is actually correct or not, once and for all, time.

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Thomyum2 » January 20th, 2020, 6:12 pm

Prof Bulani wrote:
January 19th, 2020, 12:45 pm
creation wrote:You have not even questioned nor even challenged me on my definition yet. You have made an interpretation, and then just followed on with that assumed interpretation.
You seem somewhat disappointed that I haven't challenged your definition of God. There's no need to. I've pointed out that your definition is very different from what God is commonly defined as, and that no theist (including yourself, since you're also not a theist) would adopt such a definition.

@creation's definition of God may not be a 'commonly' held one, but I don't think it is without precedent. It brings to mind the Christian Science Church's definition of God, as was written by its founder, Mary Baker Eddy, more than a hundred years ago: The great I Am; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; Substance; Intelligence.

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Prof Bulani » January 20th, 2020, 6:20 pm

creation wrote:...my definition is just about the EXACT SAME as those definitions of God either specifically proposed by theists, or definitions of God generally defined in mainstream.
No, it isn't.

Here's your definition: God is defined as the Universe, and the Mind. The Mind is the ability to learn.

Here's the mainstream definition: God is defined as the omnipotent, eternal creator of the universe, a spiritual being in form, invisible and all-knowing, and the final judge of morality and justice. Other popular definitions of God include benevolent, demanding of worship, intolerant of disobedience and grantor of petitions.

Neither the Universe nor the Mind is eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, in spirit form, created the universe, has an opinion about sin, demands worship or judges immorality. The only attribute the Universe shares with the mainstream God is that they may both be considered omnipresent (although God is often described as existing beyond the bounds of the universe). The Mind, being an ability and not an entity in itself, shares no attributes with God, which is defined as a entity.

What are the similarities you are seeing between your definition of God and the mainstream definitions?
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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Prof Bulani » January 20th, 2020, 6:47 pm

Thomyum2 wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 6:12 pm
@creation's definition of God may not be a 'commonly' held one, but I don't think it is without precedent. It brings to mind the Christian Science Church's definition of God, as was written by its founder, Mary Baker Eddy, more than a hundred years ago: The great I Am; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; Substance; Intelligence.
I agree. There are many that share @creation 's concept of God. What I said is that his definition isn't similar to the mainstream definition of God. Even the list of attributes of God you've listed here doesn't correspond to creation's definition. Mind is the ability to learn. It isn't a store of knowledge or center of thought, it's the ability that allows learning to occur. That's not what is being referred to when Eddy refers to God as "Mind".
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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Pattern-chaser » January 21st, 2020, 4:47 am

Prof Bulani wrote:
January 19th, 2020, 12:45 pm
If a definition is logically inconsistent, the subject of that definition cannot possibly exist.
...unless we consider life-the-universe-and-everything to be the reference, the master, and our opinions about it to be just that? We are not so blinded by our own self-importance as to think something either exists or not based on whether we can define it right, right? 🤔
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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Prof Bulani » January 21st, 2020, 4:34 pm

Pattern-chaser wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 4:47 am
Prof Bulani wrote:
January 19th, 2020, 12:45 pm
If a definition is logically inconsistent, the subject of that definition cannot possibly exist.
...unless we consider life-the-universe-and-everything to be the reference, the master, and our opinions about it to be just that? We are not so blinded by our own self-importance as to think something either exists or not based on whether we can define it right, right? 🤔
Where do you think the definition of the word "exists" came from? We get to determine what fits the definition of that word because we created the definition, and the word itself. If God cannot be defined as something that fits with the definition of exist, then whatever is being referred to as "God" in that circumstance cannot be classified as what we have defined as "exists".

If you cannot define God, then don't. Just don't make any claims about God either. And that includes the claim that God exists. Because that claim requires God to have a definition.
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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by gad-fly » January 22nd, 2020, 12:41 pm

Call the reality governing God’s existence and our existence respectively as R1 and R2. We know about R2 but not R1. Likely they are different. In R2, we cannot find out how life comes about, and we are tempted to believe that we are created by some God, but is God in R1 also created by someone else in turn? Not necessarily. God may have permanent existence, or he may have come around accidentally, as when ferrous oxide comes about when a meteor containing iron drops into an atmosphere containing oxygen. Thus God in R1 may have no beginning and no end, or may have a beginning but no end. In this sense, life for God in R1 may not be relevant as what we understand as life, which must also involve death. In this respect, we cannot categorically deny God’s existence simply on what we cannot exist.

Take earthquake. Until recently, we could not understand how it comes about. It is in order for the challenged mind to speculate on various causes. In turn, the inquisitive mind will take over trying to shoot down each cause one at a time. It would be futile to ask: If earthquake shakes us, what shakes earthquake, and what shakes that which shakes earthquake, and come to the conclusion that there is no cause on earthquake, and that it can come and go as it pleases.

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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Terrapin Station » January 22nd, 2020, 12:49 pm

gad-fly wrote:
January 22nd, 2020, 12:41 pm
Call the reality governing God’s existence and our existence respectively as R1 and R2. We know about R2 but not R1. Likely they are different. In R2, we cannot find out how life comes about, and we are tempted to believe that we are created by some God, but is God in R1 also created by someone else in turn? Not necessarily. God may have permanent existence, or he may have come around accidentally, as when ferrous oxide comes about when a meteor containing iron drops into an atmosphere containing oxygen. Thus God in R1 may have no beginning and no end, or may have a beginning but no end. In this sense, life for God in R1 may not be relevant as what we understand as life, which must also involve death. In this respect, we cannot categorically deny God’s existence simply on what we cannot exist.

Take earthquake. Until recently, we could not understand how it comes about. It is in order for the challenged mind to speculate on various causes. In turn, the inquisitive mind will take over trying to shoot down each cause one at a time. It would be futile to ask: If earthquake shakes us, what shakes earthquake, and what shakes that which shakes earthquake, and come to the conclusion that there is no cause on earthquake, and that it can come and go as it pleases.
How does God talk in that case not wind up just being the creation of fantasy/SciFi fiction?

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Scottmilligan
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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by Scottmilligan » January 22nd, 2020, 1:05 pm

God is existence itself who bestows his existence upon other things which exist and upholds their existence. We can understand this through seeing that the essence of a thing and its existence are necessairly separate. For example, if you were to say that the existence of a thing was included in its essence then you would be stuck with saying that that thing has necessary and thereby eternal existence because it is the very nature of the thing to not not exist. Now if God is existence itself then we can ascribe to him many of the dicine attributes traditionally attributed to him. So existence must of necessity be eternal. To be eternal means to be without change. But to exist as matter or to exist within time is by definition to be changeable. This is because change is merely, as Aquinas points out, to go from a state of potentiality to actuality. So I am potentially in the future and now am actually in the future. But anything which does not possess necessary existence must be upheld by existence itself in order for it to progress into the future. This means God must not have any potentiality since to have potentiality by definition involves the possibility to change so therefore he id pure act. Now every material thing is composed by definition of act and potency so God cannot be material. But to not be material and to be eternal is to not exist within spacial dimensions since to exist in spatial dimensions would involve Existence itself existing within an external world. So God is spaceless. If he God is pure act then he is the cause of all change since no thing can actualise itself without first being actualised by another. But since he is the first actualiser, as pure act itself, he bestows the actualisation which other things use. Now this means that all the actualising capacity of any thing originally derives from God. And since power is merely the ability to actualise something, for example a bomb can only explode by having potential to explode before exploding actualised by another and another and so on, God must be all powerful because he contains all possible actualisations imaginable since everything derives its actualising capacity originally from him and could not have it without him, and thereby God has all power imaginable. I could go on but you get my drift :p

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LuckyR
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Re: The "God exists" paradox

Post by LuckyR » January 23rd, 2020, 2:25 am

Scottmilligan wrote:
January 22nd, 2020, 1:05 pm
God is existence itself who bestows his existence upon other things which exist and upholds their existence. We can understand this through seeing that the essence of a thing and its existence are necessairly separate. For example, if you were to say that the existence of a thing was included in its essence then you would be stuck with saying that that thing has necessary and thereby eternal existence because it is the very nature of the thing to not not exist. Now if God is existence itself then we can ascribe to him many of the dicine attributes traditionally attributed to him. So existence must of necessity be eternal. To be eternal means to be without change. But to exist as matter or to exist within time is by definition to be changeable. This is because change is merely, as Aquinas points out, to go from a state of potentiality to actuality. So I am potentially in the future and now am actually in the future. But anything which does not possess necessary existence must be upheld by existence itself in order for it to progress into the future. This means God must not have any potentiality since to have potentiality by definition involves the possibility to change so therefore he id pure act. Now every material thing is composed by definition of act and potency so God cannot be material. But to not be material and to be eternal is to not exist within spacial dimensions since to exist in spatial dimensions would involve Existence itself existing within an external world. So God is spaceless. If he God is pure act then he is the cause of all change since no thing can actualise itself without first being actualised by another. But since he is the first actualiser, as pure act itself, he bestows the actualisation which other things use. Now this means that all the actualising capacity of any thing originally derives from God. And since power is merely the ability to actualise something, for example a bomb can only explode by having potential to explode before exploding actualised by another and another and so on, God must be all powerful because he contains all possible actualisations imaginable since everything derives its actualising capacity originally from him and could not have it without him, and thereby God has all power imaginable. I could go on but you get my drift :p
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