Let me say that I do not purport speak for the LDS faith…
It seems unreasonable to think that anybody, except perhaps Thomas Monson, and there are people who consider themselves Mormons who’d even disagree with that, I expect.
Nor do I think that this is the forum of a religious debate.
Why not? Religion is a favorite topic on Omninerd, many of the regulars have an interest in it, though from widely differing perspectives. This particular topic is a religious one, too, specifically inviting discussion of differing views on the nature of the divine.
Why can’t all powerful and all knowing simply mean that one can know and control all laws such that one could do things that “appear” to be inhuman?
Because that would violate the “all” part of the terms “all-powerful” and “all-knowing”. Someone who’s “all-knowing” would, implicitly, know everything, not merely “everything that one being could possibly know”, or some such qualified description. That’s why most theologians take it for granted that anything that’s not logically impossible (like a married bachelor, or making pi equal 3) is within the scope of divine power. Some even go further and declare that changing the laws of logic is itself within the power of the divine, though I think that rapidly becomes incoherent.
No; let me put it back onto you, why not, why can’t a god be an advanced being that does now all and is all powerful, in the sense that knowledge is power?
A being that’s within space-time, subject to its laws, is simply a powerful alien—it’s the sort of scenario that the Stargate movies and TV series’ posited. There’s no grounds to worship such a being, other than fear.
I simply believe that we do not know all the physical laws and constraints that govern this world and that many are yet to be discovered and learned; where as God does know them and manipulates them (for a lack of better words), like we do to fly a hunk of metal through the sky, to obtain desired outcomes.
“We don’t know everything, therefore, we know nothing.” Nonsense.
We do know some things quite certainly, things which put severe limitations on what’s possible even for your “advance alien” deity. The limitations imposed by the speed of light on causality, for example. It’s not possible to know about anything outside one’s own past light cone or affect anything outside one’s future light cone. The limitations imposed by quantum uncertainty imply that chaotic systems, like weather patterns (so, hurricanes and earthquakes) are outside the knowledge of this being.
show me a cow that is more advanced than a human and if we can not agree on that point then we’ll just part ways, you worshiping your cow and I my God ;)
A disingenuous response. He claimed that worshiping an advanced alien is similar in kind to worshiping a cow or another human. If you can’t agree that his cow is more advanced than a human, you don’t part ways with him worshiping his cow and you worshiping your god, you part ways each worshiping different cows.
One can make a case that a supernatural deity, like that claimed by mainstream Christians, is legitimately deserving of worship—if such a being existed, and was truly the ground for morality and such, as they claim, then there’s room to argue it. For a merely preternatural deity, like yours, there’s no such justification. Bill Gates’ wealth makes him vastly more powerful than I, his philanthropic efforts make him worthy of admiration (even if his corporate legacy is evil), but there’s no reason I should worship him.
Steve Jobs is another very powerful man. At least to Apple fanatics, he’s a major source of good things—he’s the creator of their “iLives”, as it were. One might argue that your deification of this hypothetical advanced alien is of the same quality as their deification of Jobs, differing only in the degree of power held by the object of worship—not a difference of substance.
I meant to suggest that for the argument of creationism that perhaps all that God did to do to create the world was to use physical laws in the first place… and that matter at it’s most fine state is still being discovered.
That’s all well and good, but everything we’ve seen of physical law suggests there’s really no need for this “god’s” participation. It all works just fine on its own.
This incessant effort to insert “god” into cosmology seems to me to put the cart before the horse. All of the supposed information theists of any stripe have about the gods comes from ancient legends. There’s no more reason to think the Bible (or the Book of Mormon) true than the Homeric Hymns, the Vedas, the Book of the Dead, or any other collection of ancient myths.
What we’ve learned of history, archaeology, geology, biology, physics, and even computer science means that all of that stuff is suspect, and really needs to be held in abeyance until we’ve got better evidence. Trying to interpret every new scientific discovery in the light of those old myths is foolish.
A being that’s within space-time, subject to its laws, is simply a powerful alienâ€”it’s the sort of scenario that the Stargate movies and TV series’ posited. There’s no grounds to worship such a being, other than fear.
OK… I’ll discuss this a bit. But to be upfront it does get annoying how my comments do get distorted from the intent, which perhaps is the point; to make religious thoughts/beliefs appear ridiculous.
I still don’t quiet understand how by defining a God as:
one can know and control all laws such that one could do things that “appear” to be inhuman?
and how that contradicts the all knowing/all powerful part. I am saying that God does know all and thereby making him all powerful. I merely trying to take some mysticism out of God; which in my opinion is what leads to a sort of “fear” type worship. I don’t think that God is unapproachable and that it is healthy to try to understand who He is and what our relationship to him is. Using our logical brain to do that, which He gave us, is not blasphemy.
That’s why most theologians take it for granted that anything that’s not logically impossible (like a married bachelor, or making pi equal 3) is within the scope of divine power. Some even go further and declare that changing the laws of logic is itself within the power of the divine, though I think that rapidly becomes incoherent.
I agree, that’s why I would rather here a theologian just say I don’t know. I think that’s part of being human, that we can’t know all things or how God can do some things that appear unnatural to the laws of physics. I’m not sure that we know we have and understand all the laws of physics, hence out continued science field and experimentation.
A being that’s within space-time, subject to its laws, is simply a powerful alien
So again your definition of a god has to be an unnatural one, that I just can’t comprehend nor do I think I have to swallow even if you are trying to say that is what most theologians are try to sell.
it’s the sort of scenario that the Stargate movies and TV series’ posited. There’s no grounds to worship such a being, other than fear.
I can’t talk to that as I’ve never seen Stargate. But I will say that I don’t believe in fearing God in terms of freight.
I never said that. In fact I’m saying the opposite. That we should be able to make inferences and deductions from what we do know in order to make progress. By doing so some theories will be proven wrong while other upheld. I’m saying that God knows all and we don’t, that simply. Not that we know nothing nor that because we don’t know all we can’t make any conclusions. That would be ridiculous.
Bill Gates’ wealth makes him vastly more powerful than I, his philanthropic efforts make him worthy of admiration (even if his corporate legacy is evil), but there’s no reason I should worship him.
I’m not saying that either… We’re talking one attribute here that I said I believe that God has. I never attempted to list and define all of what God is in this thread nor was my point to say that all should worship him because he is all powerful. This is the sort of derailing of the intent of my post that I’m getting at. I was just responding to Barry’s comment on God being metaphysical or having no mass. To which I replied to say that I believe that God is a physical being. Perhaps I’m wrong on the whole thought that God working within the laws of physical to such a perfect degree as to work wonders but oh well, I not worried about being wrong on that and its only my opinion/personal belief.
Again I don’t think that God’s purpose is to make sure that everything works out just as he want’s it to and we are little chess pieces in His game of humor. I believe he created this world and has let pieces fall where they may for our own experiences and good. I know this is going to invoke the whole “What sort of God is one that allows war and horror to prevail?” arguments. My point is either you support the idea that God allows things to happen for our experience or we are chess pieces and our life is meaningless. I accept the former. Sure the next logical step is to show within the Bible all the times that God has stepped in (the flood, parting the red sea, etc…) but I’m not trying to explain everything and all things here nor am I trying to convince you to believe.
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