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Is God all that Powerful?

  1. Apr 25, 2003 #1
    From the "closed" thread, https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1307&perpage=15&pagenumber=23" ...

    If God is all that powerful He doesn't have to prove anything! ... He just "has" to be! ... And therein lies your answer.

    If we couldn't "question" the fact that we exist (as God Himself exists), then we couldn't acknowledge anything now could we?

    So why do we tempt Him to prove that He exists, when all we need to do is prove to ourselves that "we" exist?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2003 #2
    Great lines. They belong in the philosophy room.
  4. Apr 25, 2003 #3


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    If God is all that powerful He doesn't have to prove anything! ... He just "has" to be! ... And therein lies your answer.

    If we couldn't "question" the fact that we exist (as God Himself exists), then we couldn't acknowledge anything now could we?

    So why do we tempt Him to prove that He exists, when all we need to do is prove to ourselves that "we" exist?
    Big Ifs. Rather, this is a cyclic argument that brings no information. If we say that God is All powerful, then that actually places God outside of the realms of reasonable discussion, may it be proof or disproof. Why should God obey your petty laws of reason and logic? So, we in fact make the assumption in all discussions to limit God's power, be it by saying God doesn't want to do x, or he is inherently constrained to do y etc. I made this point previously.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
  5. Apr 25, 2003 #4
    Thanks! I have no problem if they want to move it. Except that it might last longer here? ...
  6. Apr 25, 2003 #5


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    It is not always a good thing for a thread to last long....
  7. Apr 25, 2003 #6
    Or yours? ... Isn't the fact that we exist, and that we have the ability to question it, proof enough? Because that's the whole point, if God is a god of reason (as Lifegazer says), then don't you think He'd want us to come to understand Him through reason? If on the other hand, we demanded proof of Him all the time, how reasonable do you think that would be?

    Whereas if somebody wanted to pick a fight with you, wouldn't it require a lot more constraint to back down, rather than go all out and let them have it? So maybe this is where the "real power" lies?
  8. Apr 25, 2003 #7


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    No it isn't. (As though you were expecting me to say something else?)

    Why do you think he is a god of reason? Why do you think so many reasonable people do not believe or understand him? Why do you think he would want or desire understanding? Why do you think that the desire of reasoned understanding precludes the idea of objective evidence? We do you think that you already understand God in this way?

    Very reasonable. Simply because a lot of people think so, and thus we are made to demand proof of him all the time. If God is a god of reason, then we being his creations, everything we think, including rejecting him, must be reasonable too. That is, if we really express what he wants...

    Why does God have to be constrained? I get the feeling that the whole point of an all powerful god is to be free from constraints. Where we are constrained by our fear of punishment, or inbred cultural feeling of conscience, god has to made do with himself. Is it really reasonable to create an all powerful that cancels itself out? I can be all powerful, but I use all my power to be not all powerful....
    Makes sense?
  9. Apr 25, 2003 #8
    That's entirely up to you.

    Maybe it isn't necessary, so long as we learn how to be reasonable and get along with each other. In which case why does God require proof?

    What is the best (and hence reasonable) way to deal with a spoiled child? By not giving into his demands.

    Well, what might seem to be a great deal of effort on our part (the ability to show constraint), requires little effort on His? Thus giving even more testimony to "His Capacity." Whereas each one of us (potentially) has the power to destroy the whole world. But does that mean we should? The power to sustain life is much greater than the power to destroy it. Because if you did, who would appreciate it?

    So not only is God the god of reason, but also the God of Love, because He really does care about our "puny little existence."
  10. Apr 25, 2003 #9


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    Because we do. Or more specifically, because I do. IMHO, belief or otherwise in God is a highly personal affair, and I would not like to say whether there is an absolutely right answer. The right answer is that which you agree with. If you are happy to have a God based solely on faith, then good for you. But I always want more. There is no justification for you make an argument for a disbeliever on the basis that no proof = proof.
  11. Apr 25, 2003 #10
    It's not based soley upon faith. It's based upon reason and applied experience. I for one don't believe in saying things which are unfounded. How reliable would that be?

    From the thread, https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1469&perpage=15&pagenumber=5" ...

    There's your proof right there or, at least the beginning of it. Also, if belief in God is such a "highly personal affair," then why do we need to get science involved? It's like I said, if you can't acknowledge the truth for yourself, then you will "never" know anything.

    Now does that sound like an absolute truth? How can you possibly say otherwise? Not without declaring what you're saying is absolute! And there you have it, another absolute truth! Therefore I must have a better grip on reality than what a telescope could possibly provide. Honest!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
  12. Apr 25, 2003 #11
    Theists and/or atheists debating what God can and cannot do is like two blind men arguing about the colour of the sunset I think Greg was right as you quoted, the simple logical contradiction of God creating a stone so big he can't lift it will never persuade a Christian to stop believing. It is easily escaped with, God doesn't necessarily abide by our logic. As if he was God, he would have no reason to abide by any laws (would you:wink:)

    Theists assume the position of believer, therefore, believing God is omnipotent. With this in mind the question "Can God make a stone so big he can't lift it" is an impossible or paradoxical question. As any contradiction of God's omnipotence is illogical. It's comparable to saying, can God make a perfectly spherical cube, as this is an impossibility by any stretch of imagination. If you can't imagine a man doing the action in question, then asking if God can do it is foolish [as one would naturally assume you could, at the very least, imagine a man doing all the things God could possibly do], just because God is God doesn't mean He can contradict common sense and make the impossible possible, if you know what I mean.

    It's fun to ask, but any believer with a shred of common sense can escape the question. The debates will always rage, with no side giving or taking, until science finally disproves/proves God's existence, I'm hoping for the former. One must choose sides, and one must also give whole-heartedly to that side, if "Can God make a stone so big he can't lift it" could persuade a believer, than what is to persuade that same person right back just as easily? Worthless debates, fun nonetheless.

    EDIT: SP, Grammatical Errors, Clearify
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2003
  13. Apr 26, 2003 #12
    That was not Greg's quote by the way, it was dr_death's. And what about the laws of consistency? How could we possibly acknowledge anything if there was no consistencey to it? If He was the God of Love, then why would He forsake us by being inconsistent?

    Why would I assume that? Do you know something more about God than I do? Either God exists or He doesn't exist. If He does, then there must be some "consistent" means by which to identify Him, and not just by sitting on the fence and gawking at everyone who wants to dispute it. Or, maybe that's it? ...

    Then are you one of those worthless people who sits on the fence? Do you find something to gain by watching people argue? Ah, this must be one of those vicarious things right? Perhaps like what the "vicar" (priest) does behind the curtain, when he catches wind of a real "juicy story?" Well, that does sound a little too perverse now doesn't it?

    And what do you mean by, "I keep my Bible in a pool of blood so its lies can't affect me."
  14. Apr 26, 2003 #13


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    1. Reason is based on fundamental axioms which are partial equivalent to faith. as shown in thread you linked to. Applied experience varies from person to person, and defines who we really are. You are echoing my assertion that belief or otherwise in god is a personal matter of faith here.
    2. Of course, you snipped the response to that. Recognition of truth is not inborn, since we have no measure of truth other than that we have. We can never say that whatever we recognise as truth is absolutely true, simply as a limitation of human nature. Rather, we can only recognise truth in abstract entities that we self-construct - we can only link them to reality with imperfect perceptions. Hence we get the significant difference between inductive, and deductive logic.
    3. Because I want to. Because my personal experiences etc tell me to. I need to involve science, because science is innately involved in my relative concept of truth. We do not have to, but as a personal system, I believe we do. My experiences lead me to believe that. My truth is different from your truth. Understand?
    4. Because it isn't. It is what I feel is correct. It is my view, from my experience, of how the world works. It may work differently. Our whole system of logic, on which my system is based on, may be wrong. It is never absolute truth. Your grip of reality is only what your limited view has provided. And that includes my evaluation of yoaur limited view. I can say that I have a high probability of truth, or that I am close to truth, but I am never absolutely true. It's called being realistic. Accepting your limitations.
    5. No one's views are worthless. No one. No opinion has such absolute value.
  15. Apr 26, 2003 #14
    You may not assume this, nor was I specifically addressing you, as I did not say YOU would assume...all you are doing by debating things, as such, is wasting time (theists firstly, don't want to hear your arguments most of the time, and secondly aren't going to change because of your measely logic). Debating wether God can do impossible things is also worthless, seeing as how impossible things imply just that, impossibility no matter who/what you are.

    Making incorrect assumptions about me, with no basis, what I believe is not being debating, nor do I stand by and watch people debate. It seemed obvious, to me at least, that I was insinuating I enjoy debating theism...

    I'm not a believer, it simply means, AS IS BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS, I think the Bible is full of lies, the blood part is just to give it a little spice.

    What does Time and space come to gether in the here and now! mean:wink:
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2003
  16. Apr 26, 2003 #15
    Yes, this is a "core belief," and yet it also effects the way we interact with the surrounding world as well.

    Then how do you know 1 + 1 = 2? Does somebody have to tell you this is so?

    I take science into account as well. The only problem I have is that so much of it is dry and bland and, unless I have a specific interest in it, I find that it's not related to my own personal experience, which I consider more important. After all, this is really the only reference point any of us has. And hence the recognition of truth "being inborn."

    Truth comes in many forms, and affects each one of us differently. Now why can't that, although it's somewhat general, be considered an absolute?

    You're just a pile of dog poo and you know it! Just kidding!:wink: While the whole thing is, if we're going to argue for or against God, then we are speaking about absolutes. No buts about it! And I guess that would be an absolute statement as well? Of course if we could conveniently find a way to set God aside, then it would it be much easier to say we can't assess the absolute value of things.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2003
  17. Apr 26, 2003 #16
    By implying the whole thing is useless, you're saying I'm wasting my time and everyone else's. Hmm... Now where have I heard this before? I used to know this person, or so I "imagined," that I had a falling out with several years ago who said almost the exact same thing. While he also had this thing about assuming different aliases ...

    From what perspective? Sounds like you don't have much regard for either side. In which case I can see why you find it useless. So what's your point in debating? It sounds like you're contradicting yourself.

    You're not a believer in the Bible, or you're not a believer in God? Like I said, it sounds like you don't have much regard for science either? In which case I still assess you're sitting on the fence and getting your jollies out of the whole thing. And, that you're not very honest!

    It means we "exist" in the moment. As does everything else.
  18. Apr 26, 2003 #17
    What perspective? I haven't addressed a second perspective, such as science. My point in debating is to help stop the useless debating of people's beliefs. Christianity alone has been around for well over 2000 years, it is basically the same as when it started, so how do you figure you are going to change anything? Why destroy people's hope in life, if it's what they want to believe.

    I'm not a believer in what the Bible says or God. Again, science hasn't been addressed, I have no idea how you get the idea I have no regard for it.

    I was being sarcastic, you may have noticed that that last part about what your signature means did not pertain to the matter at hand:wink:
  19. Apr 26, 2003 #18
    i understand GOD is all the physically existing which is:
    therefore if GOD cannot do it then no one can!!!
    God is neither good nor evel
    God is also good as evel
  20. Apr 26, 2003 #19


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    1. Notice word "interact". This is correct. And because our interactions are based on our internal view, we can be no means say that belief in God is not a highly personal thing.

    2. In fact, someone does. The universe does. We notice that in the real word, when we put one and one objects together, we get two. We internalise this as an axiom. But this is not "truth". There is no way you can ever prove that 1 + 1 = 2. This is a fundamental axiom, that we assume to be true. (alternatively, this is an internal definition, that we create as that and is neccessary self consistent, but not neccessarily true in the rea world)

    3. But without recognising it, you are in fact repeating what I said. I recognise as true that science is neccessary. You recognise as true that science is not, is even irrelevant. This is based on personal experience. Hence, this suggests strongly that there is no common absolute truth between us, and that the recognition of what we each call truth is something we gain by experience. Do you see?

    4. Because it affects and is received by each differently. Because it is strictly unacheivable. Because then, it is classified as relative, or virtual, not as "absolute".

    5. That is irrelevant, unless if you can show me so. It is as far as I know illogical to form a disproof by assuming none existence, or proof by assuming existence. I am saying that by classifying God as a question of absolutes, then we can not be talking about reality. Because truth etc are only relevant without the conceptual universe within our minds, and there is no reason a conclusion we make is reflected "out there". Based on our limited perspectives, we all try to match our conceptual universe to the real one, but without measure that can never be acheived. The purpose of communication is to fit these universes together, to get closer to the real universe as closer brings rewards. But whatever we do, we are always infinitely far from it - it is an unreachable goal. God, or disbelief of god hence can only be based on faith.
  21. Apr 26, 2003 #20


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    Shock, horror, I agree with dock! From what I know, I believe that if god exists, God must neccessarily be neutral.
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