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Old 03-18-2010, 02:07 PM
 
1,736 posts, read 1,837,981 times
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Is God limited in influence and authority?

Main Entry: 1om∑nip∑o∑tent
Pronunciation: \-tənt\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin omnipotent-, omnipotens, from omni- + potent-, potens potent
Date: 14th century
1 often capitalized : almighty 1
2 : having virtually unlimited authority or influence <an omnipotent ruler>
3 obsolete : arrant
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In heaven before the earth was formed Satan wanting to be God would explain Satan's motivation for rebellion but what was the draw for the 1/3 of his fellow angels?
They could not be said to want to be Gods because they would be just exchanging one God or master for another. What motivated them to turn from God?
If God has unlimited influence, one would think that He could influence more than 2 out of 3 of His angels and the vast majority of humans yet most think that hell will be more populated than heaven and that God loses more souls than he wins.
Can you tell us what happened to His virtually unlimited authority and influence over the 1/3 of angels that would not accept this authority?
His unlimited authority and influence seems to be limited 2/3 of angels and some would say, most of mankind is also unaffected by His great influence and they certainly do not give Him authority.
[SIZE=2][/SIZE]
Further[SIZE=2], [/SIZE]do you know why God would bring these traitors to earth to pester mankind instead of sending them straight to hell[SIZE=2]?
[/SIZE]That seems like rather a strange move and history has shown it to be rather unprofitable for both God and man.

[SIZE=2][/SIZE]Regards
DL
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
1,082 posts, read 2,035,296 times
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Did you ever see the 1986 movie Children of a Lesser God, starring Marlee Maitlin and William Hurt, about a deaf woman? It's been 24 years since I saw it, but I recall from a line of dialogue in the film that the title came from a poem by Yeats, who said that if we were created by a god, then surely we're children of a lesser god, because an omnipotent god wouldn't have created a world -- marvelous as it is -- with so many flaws and so much suffering. At the time, I found that to be a profound and moving notion. (I just tried to search for the Yeats poem, but didn't get any hits, so maybe I misremembered the source.)

I no longer believe in an anthropomorphic God as described in the Bible, but if such a God does exist, then either he isn't omnipotent (i.e., he has limited influence and authority), isn't motivated by what we would call pure love (because he could have created a world without suffering if he so chose), or is so inscrutable in his reasons for creating suffering that our simplistic human interpretations are so far off base as to be of limited value. The only god that possibly is consistent with present scientific knowledge, as far as I can see, would fall into the third category, and I therefore wouldn't call it an anthropomorphic god.
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:34 AM
 
1,736 posts, read 1,837,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HonuMan View Post
Did you ever see the 1986 movie Children of a Lesser God, starring Marlee Maitlin and William Hurt, about a deaf woman? It's been 24 years since I saw it, but I recall from a line of dialogue in the film that the title came from a poem by Yeats, who said that if we were created by a god, then surely we're children of a lesser god, because an omnipotent god wouldn't have created a world -- marvelous as it is -- with so many flaws and so much suffering. At the time, I found that to be a profound and moving notion. (I just tried to search for the Yeats poem, but didn't get any hits, so maybe I misremembered the source.)

I no longer believe in an anthropomorphic God as described in the Bible, but if such a God does exist, then either he isn't omnipotent (i.e., he has limited influence and authority), isn't motivated by what we would call pure love (because he could have created a world without suffering if he so chose), or is so inscrutable in his reasons for creating suffering that our simplistic human interpretations are so far off base as to be of limited value. The only god that possibly is consistent with present scientific knowledge, as far as I can see, would fall into the third category, and I therefore wouldn't call it an anthropomorphic god.
Yeats and perhaps yourself, God aside, may be looking at reality in the wrong way.

Think like Darwin when He discovered the Galapagos Islands.
Would you think that he thought he found a perfectly evolving system or do you think he thought that he found a screwed up creation?

Remember that evolution only works because it creates errors and from these errors the fittest arises.

Error then does not mean imperfection.

I look around and see evolving perfection. What do you see?

Regards
DL
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:10 PM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
19,865 posts, read 18,340,994 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatest I am View Post
Yeats and perhaps yourself, God aside, may be looking at reality in the wrong way.

Think like Darwin when He discovered the Galapagos Islands.
Would you think that he thought he found a perfectly evolving system or do you think he thought that he found a screwed up creation?

Remember that evolution only works because it creates errors and from these errors the fittest arises.

Error then does not mean imperfection.

I look around and see evolving perfection. What do you see?

Regards
DL
They probably are not even errors, but developments we humans don't think much of. But from our human perspective the world is pretty faulty. I find it outright depressing because of its primitive principles at times.
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:42 PM
 
1,243 posts, read 1,316,743 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatest I am View Post
In heaven before the earth was formed Satan wanting to be God would explain Satan's motivation for rebellion but what was the draw for the 1/3 of his fellow angels?
They could not be said to want to be Gods because they would be just exchanging one God or master for another. What motivated them to turn from God?
Hatred of goodness.
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:09 PM
 
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According to theologians, God is omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), omnipresent (always everywhere) and omnibenevolent (perfectly good, always).

This implies that God knows about suffering and unhappiness (omniscience implies this), wants to fix it (omnibenevolence means that he/she/it (I don't believe in the capitalization of pronouns) is solely good-hearted and implies that he (I dropped the she and it for my convenience) would want to fix all wrong) and has the ability to fix it (omnipotence means he can do anything). So why is there still suffering and unhappiness?

Some would answer that it's part of some master plan and it's better that way. But omnipotence would mean that God can still fix this pain and carry out his plan. Others would say it "builds character," whatever that really means. Again, though, if he is to be omnipotent, he could fix all wrong and still give character.

The Bible contradicts itself, forcing me to distrust its information in general. But even if you still implicitly trust the Bible, there are only two possibilities to the whole God thing. One, God is real but not necessarily omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and omnibenevolent, two, God is not real. In either case the authors of the Bible (or at least some of them) were delusioned or liars (their tellings are not true, either they told them knowing they were telling untruths or not).
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:47 PM
 
Location: alabama
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God (being God) means that there are some things he cannot do.

Such as lie.
Being unjust.
Character is not something that can be given(IMHO), it has to be built.

God didn't make robots hegave man a free will...to do what he wants...wrong choices cause pain.
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
1,082 posts, read 2,035,296 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatest I am View Post
Yeats and perhaps yourself, God aside, may be looking at reality in the wrong way.

Think like Darwin when He discovered the Galapagos Islands.
Would you think that he thought he found a perfectly evolving system or do you think he thought that he found a screwed up creation?

Remember that evolution only works because it creates errors and from these errors the fittest arises.

Error then does not mean imperfection.

I look around and see evolving perfection. What do you see?

Regards
DL
The meaning of "perfection" varies according to context. For example, is a sledge hammer perfect? Perfect for what -- breaking down drywall (yes), pounding stakes into the ground (yes), pounding finishing nails into fine furniture (no), or performing brain surgery (emphatically no)? Is a species perfectly evolved for the environmental niche it occupies? Perhaps -- but environments change, and what is perfectly evolved for a niche today might not be so in a thousand years, or even 30 (look at what's happening to the polar bear as the Arctic warms).

So, in a sense, I do look around and see evolving perfection, but it's always a moving target. Those individuals born with genetic mutations that are favorable to the current environment will survive in greater numbers than those that don't have them, but as the environment changes, different genetic mutations become favorable.

Some would argue that human beings, through technology, have removed ourselves from the process of biological evolution. Individuals who wouldn't have survived in more primitive times survive today. One commonly cited example of a "flaw" is that our spines evolved for animals that walk on all fours. The fact that we evolved to walk upright is what causes so many of our back problems. What was once a perfectly evolved feature for a given use is now a flaw because it's no longer used the same way. Genetic diseases that typically flare up in middle age or later are also flaws that evolution doesn't weed out, because people usually have had children and passed on the gene before the disease hits. We may reach a point where it's possible to repair genes before the diseases hit. Maybe biological perfection eventually will become possible via medical technology. Futurist Ray Kurzweil thinks so.

Then there's the more subjective type of perfection. For example, is Beethoven's Ninth Symphony a perfect piece of music? Maybe. Many people regard it as the greatest piece of music ever written. Is "Bridge Over Troubled Water" a perfect pop song? Maybe. Is it the equal of the Ninth Symphony? That depends on your criteria. If your criteria stress musical complexity, then the Ninth clearly is better. If your criteria stress emotional impact, that depends on the listener. Both pieces of music give me shivers whenever I hear them.

Someone probably will bring up spiritual perfection. That's an even harder one to define. As we age, we mature in our spiritual development (if we're lucky, and if we work on it). Some individuals do indeed seem to reach a place of spiritual peace and harmony with our world, which one might call perfection. I don't believe the term "spiritual" is limited to a religious context; others might disagree.
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
1,082 posts, read 2,035,296 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmm...mabeynot View Post
God didn't make robots hegave man a free will...to do what he wants...wrong choices cause pain.
But often right choices cause pain, too. Have you ever heard the saying, "No good deed goes unpunished"? I find it overly cynical (but funny), and I don't let it stop me from doing good deeds, but sometimes unethical people do take advantage of me. I learn not to trust them again.

We have a family friend in her forties. She a devout Christian, a really kind and generous woman. About three years ago, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She battled that, and seemed to have beaten it. But then cancer appeared in her stomach. It's been going on for over a year now, and she's been suffering a long, slow, excruciating decline. We were told she'd be dead by last October. She rallied a bit. Then we were told she wouldn't live to see the new year. She's still hanging on, but she's not getting better. Her mother and her sister both died of ovarian cancer in their forties. So I have to ask myself what makes more sense: Is there a supposedly loving, benevolent, omnicient God who presumably is hearing the prayers of her and her family, yet chooses not to intervene, even though they're devout Christians and good people? Or does her family simply carry an unfortunate genetic defect that predisposes the women to ovarian cancer that slowly and painfully kills them in middle age? The latter makes sense, impersonal and harsh though it may be. The former makes no sense.
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:51 PM
 
Location: alabama
200 posts, read 258,874 times
Reputation: 55
I am sorry to hear about this womans misfortune, and my prayers go out to her family and friends.

What makes sense depends upon your POV. Sin is like a terminal cancer, it is a slow debilitating and fatal disease. If she is what you say she is, the woman is in paradise, much better off than if she would have survived. Was her family line predisposed to cancer?...probably.

The bible says that a mans days are numbered, even the hairs on you head are numbered. We had a man a church I used to got to (I have since moved), that was cured of cancer (stage four). I have seen prayer work wonders. But even though it may seem like a cop out...it is Gods will be done...not mine.

Sometimes children think that their parents are unfair or unjust.
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