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God's What?

  1. Jun 21, 2005 #1
    I think this has a formal name, to which I do not know, so I will try my best to explain these statements which I argue to be a contradiction of God.

    Define "God" as all powerful, all knowing, and all loving.

    Premise: Their is pain and suffering in the world

    1. If God is all knowing and all loving, He knows of the pains of the world and would want to stop them. Therefore He is not all powerfull.
    2. If God is all powerful and all loving, He has the capability to stop pain and suffering. Therefore he is not all knowing.
    3. If God is all powerful and all knowing, He knows of the pains of the world and can stop them. Therefore he is not all loving.

    Sorry if this isn't formal enough. I'm curious to hear everyone's thoughts on this. I want to see another side of thinking besides my own.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 22, 2005 #2


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    "Human's wisdom compares to God's wisdom is a kind of madness!"
    So maybe his definition of pain is different from yours.maybe it's not pain at all.I think We should first have a definition of pain base on the purpose of our existence!
    And then I think if we could prove that he's not all knowing,all powers, and all loving, we should really reconsider our beliefs.I mean somehow it could disprove God!I prefer not to talk about it anymore before you'd answer my question.

    (you know for example parents force their child to eat some biter drug or go to school,the child thinks it culdn't be the worse and it's a pain but the parents force him to do it because they want him to get health or be educated!the child doesn't know the value of education when he's too small.)
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2005
  4. Jun 22, 2005 #3


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    This is the fatal flaw in your argument - to presume you understand Him and to presume that His actions are constrained by your logic. Have you heard the expression "God moves in mysterious ways"?

    He gave us free will so that we could try to work out our own problems. That can't happen without some pain and loss. To do so would reduce us to clockwork machinery - something that can't be loved.

    Think about parenting your child. When your toddler insists on using his balloon as a chair, despite your warning him that it'll pop, do you remove it so it doesn't happen? Or do you let him pop his balloon and land on his butt?

    A child cannot learn without experiencing cause and effect. Are you being an unloving parent because you let your child experience loss and pain?

    (Disclaimer: I speak as Devil's Advocate, and profess no personal belief in God or His motives.)
  5. Jun 22, 2005 #4

    Doc Al

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    This is often called the Argument from Evil.
  6. Jun 22, 2005 #5


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    That doesn't make sense, how would knowing the pains of the world and wanting to stop them equate to "therefore he is not all powerful"? Did you mean to say that he cannot stop them?

    Again, this makes no sense. You say "He has the capability to stop pain and suffering." What has that got to do with him not being all knowing?

    Here I assume you are inferring that he is not all loving because he can stop the pain but won't. The god in the christian bible is a mean, egotistical, vengeful, spiteful god. That is why I choose not to believe in the biblical version of God.
  7. Jun 22, 2005 #6


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    Its theological name is 'Theodicy', there is a whole discipline in theology focusing on this issue.

  8. Jun 22, 2005 #7
    You choose not to believe in the biblical God because you don't like him? Wicked, I choose not to believe in Tony Blair!

    Jameson's points did make sense, if you accept some easy-to-deduce axioms (axia? axi?). In point 1, if God is all knowing and all loving He would stop pain, so that He doesn't suggests He cannot (if He could and didn't, He would not be a loving God), and therefore that He is not all-powerful. In point 2, if God is all powerful and all loving, then He must not know the pain of man or He would end it. In point 3, if God is all powerful and all knowing, He knows the pain of man, can end it, but chooses not to so is not loving. This is the most contentious... God might be a 'tough-love' kinda guy.
  9. Jun 22, 2005 #8


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    Yep, he's not my kind of god. My god is a nice guy.
  10. Jun 22, 2005 #9


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    Your argument is essentially correct. This is the reason I'm an atheist. The usual counter-arguments I see involve changing what the words "love", "pain" and "suffering" actually mean. However keeping our common sense definitions of these words... the argument is solid.
  11. Jun 22, 2005 #10
    I see the reasoning in teaching someone a lesson, but we are talking about a much grander scale with much worse things than popping a balloon. When someone dies, he/she will not be able to learn a lesson, as that person is DEAD. If I shoot you because you stole something of mine, what lesson did you get out of that?

    I am saying that if the defined God knows of all the pains and wishes to stop them but does not, then the only logical conclusion is that He is unable to stop these things.

    If the defined God wants to stop pain and suffering and has the power to this, but does not, the only logical conclusion is that He is not aware of the pain and suffering.

    The reason I did not say the Christian God is because there are so many arguable points about His(Christian) qualities. For this reason, I defined the God in my first post by only three attributes.

  12. Jun 23, 2005 #11


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    Please clear up something:
    1."do you think that human is all knowing ,too?"
    If he's not ,so you shouldn't expect yourself to understand what God does!because for sure when you're not all knowing you can't understand someone who knows everything!
    IF he's, so he doen't need a God!
    2."what do you mean when you say he's all knowing?"
    I think all knowing means he knows everything>I mean he knows past,present and future.he knows what will happen in future!"suppose you know the future.so you should know what will happen to the rubber in the future.so if you know the rubber won't repent if you give him another chance, will you still give him a chance?!"

    my God is a nice God too.If he's not nice why we should worship him.when he's not nice,so how can he be just?and when he's not just,he'll send us to hell anyway.so let's cheat on him as much as possible! :wink:
  13. Jun 23, 2005 #12
    If humans are not all-knowing and so cannot assume to know the properties of God then nothing we are told about God is necessarily true, including that we cannot understand him. All the information we have about God comes from humans. While Moses and Jesus' disciples may well have had the privilege of an audience with the man himself (or his son if different), everything we know about those encounters is heresay (heresay resembles heresy, no?). If we cannot assume to know anything about God because we are not all-knowing, then that includes his very existence, so we cannot assume he exists. Therefore reject God and embrace nihilism.
  14. Jun 23, 2005 #13
    Everything I am saying is limited to my own personal knowledge, and I am not pretending to know everything, but that doesn't mean I cannot rationalize things the best way possible for me. To say that simply because I am not all knowing I cannot know anything is not a philosophy I am going to live by.

    As for all knowing meaning God knows the future, I would debate this. I think it is a logical paradox to say that God could know the future but still allow of to have free will, and I just simply do not konw how people can say that. These logical paradoxes are usually explained and maintaned through faith, which is fine, but puts the discussion at a dead end. I cannot disprove your faith, as faith is belief without proof.
  15. Jun 23, 2005 #14
    It's no paradox if you define 'free will' in a sensible way - i.e. the ability to base a decision on experience rather than external pressures. God may know our experiences and know which path we will take without butting in and telling us what to do. Even external constraints do not necessarily constitute a lack of free will as prescribed by God. If God existed and granted us free will, the logical interpretation of this is free from him .
  16. Jun 23, 2005 #15
    You are implying that our experiences define our actions, or rather that if all of our experiences are known, that by some formula our next move may be determined. I just disagree with this.
  17. Jun 24, 2005 #16
    Well i know in military stuff, when they r using spies, they do make a complete psychological profile..
    They study him closely in order to rpedict what hsi enxt move would be if we put on him this pressure or that or a combintion of this or that...

    And they can do it..

    If u've a close friend, u know what u should do to avoid his anger, or to make him accept something...u know him very well that u can understand every move..and that is why u can sometimes predict what's gonna happen next...

    And now if we say God is supposed to lvoe us and he knows us very well, and he doesn't interefere in our decisions, yet we've probably some obvious solutions and ways to take, but he cna predict how we r goin to think it..

    Why can't he, if some close study by pro psychiatrists can...
  18. Jun 24, 2005 #17
    Those studies are a way of guessing the most probable move that person would make, based on our limited knowledge of the mind. I just don't think really knowing a person would tell you all of that person's exact future actions.
  19. Jun 24, 2005 #18
    No, you can't predict their actions on their past experience alone. That is not what I meant. But past experience is the biggest contributing factor to a decision that needs to be made. If you touch an electrical socket with wet hands, the chances are that next time you have wet hands you'll avoid electrical sockets.

    None of which matters to make my point. By 'free will', as granted by God, it is logical to assume it means that we do not simply perform those actions God wishes with no choice. This does not mean that God doesn't know the future. If he is all-knowing, then he knows EVERY contributing factor to any decision ever made, and so know what decision will be made, and so know the future.

    God knew Eve would take the apple. I mean... he put a goddam talking snake in the garden of Eden, a snake he KNEW was up to no good. He punished Adam and Eve for a crime HE SET UP! Let's call this what it is: ENTRAPMENT! If it wasn't for the fact God doesn't actually exist, I'd be calling for his resignation right now.
  20. Jun 24, 2005 #19
    There's a stupid comment i've , but i can't help it... it annoys me every time people mention it was an apple..It wasn't an apple, it's not written what kind of fruit it was..
  21. Jun 24, 2005 #20


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    don't laugh but I think being able to predict the next move is somehow in contrast with
    Heisenberg's principle!
    and not important what kind of fruite it was.I think God wants to show human that he has the athourity.I mean they didn't obey God's order,so they're sent out of heaven but instead of it they got freewill!
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