Supposed so at Cain's idea.
By far one of the best classes I took at a Baptist University was a Philosophy class, and one of the best discussions we ever had was answering the question "Does God have to follow rules? Does God have any limitations?"
I'd say the answer would be yes. In this instance God being the Judeo-Christian God. The simplest was just an elementary adage in the form of the question "Could God create something (like a rock) so dense/heavy that he cannot move it?"
I think one interesting limitation of Gods that comes purely by logical necessity is that God can never know Sin. Since God is perfection and is flawless, he knows what sin is, in concept, but since God cannot sin it's something he can never know. I always found that idea interesting.
Something else that I'v hypothesized about God is that he can never predict how a human will react. I do believe I've either alluded to it before or spelled it out but my idea goes like this: God knows the cause and effect relationships and repercussions of every possible scenario regarding every possible choice made by human beings in any given situation simultaneously. BUT, because by logical necessity we must retain free will God can never know how I will react presented with any choice.
A simple illustration would be as if I had choice X presented to me. I have option A, and option B to choose from. God knows how my life will be changed, as well as the web of causality that will result world wide because of said choice. Thing is that God cannot know beforehand what I 'll choose. What will REALLY cook you noodle later is considering the utterly MASSIVE amount of knowledge that entails, since we're talking about the hypothetical repercussions stemming form every single choice made by billions of people world wide, no matter how insignificant it seems. God is big indeed.
>>Pic unrelated, on a school computer, it's all that is in my image folder atm.
some thing i've wondered about is the love of god. what i know of love is that acceptance plays a vital role in things. if god cannot possibly fully understand a person, his alleged love for all creation is rather blind and unconditional, as opposed to fully understanding and accepting. given that he cannot know the sin in us, he should not be the one to judge humans either.
God understands because he became mortal, so that he could understand pain, suffering, loss, ect. So I wouldn't say it's blind or unconditional. Plus God is the "father" of all creation, so he loves like any parent would.
I believe that God obeys his own logical limitations, he can not make a square circle. Could he make a rock to heavy to lift? Well if you take the trinity into consideration, certainly. I doubt Jesus had super human strength (although he did Hulk out in the temple).
I believe that God the father, being infinite, omnipotent and omnipresent is incapable of being on our plane of existence. The only way something can conceivably be in two places or two states of being at once is if it is unobserved (Schrodinger's cat). Observations can be made by anything, you or I. A tree, water; if something is in contact with another particle, however minuscule it is being obseverved/interacted with.
Could he assume a physical manifestation? I'm certain he could, but wouldn't that limit him as it limited Jesus?
In essence: the Father couldn't exist on our plane of existence because the infinite would be bound by physical limitations and laws that he wouldn't break.
The topic of free will is difficult, although I agree with your position. He knows all of the choices and outcomes, yet doesn't know which we shall choose. There was a study done in 2008, revealing through fMRI that we make our decisions 7 seconds before we are conscious of them. This opens up a whole new can of worms; if our brain recognizes our choices and decides 7 seconds before we do them, does that mean that everything we do is preordained? Imagine if you would a fight. Before your opponent even throws his punch your brain has already decided to duck/block/run whatever. Before you know what the teacher is going to say, you know what to write. (http://exploringthemind.com/the-mind/brain-scans-can-reveal-your-decisions-7-seconds-before-you-decide)
Its a tad disconcerting.
Zubus got that covered fairly well. He knows because part of the trinity became mortal. Although I do see where you are coming from.
No. 20308 - GoetIncubus - May 10th, 2012 - 12:32 AM
I always liked that maxim on god's non-omnipotence (the rock so heavy he can't move it), but I remember someone posting it but looking at it from the opposite direction, in a sense - God, being omnipotent, can create a situation whereby there is a rock that is so heavy he can simultaneously lift it and not lift it. If you're literally capable of ANYTHING, it makes sense that even logical paradoxes can be voided.
No. 20309 - ZebusVampire - May 10th, 2012 - 8:39 AM
Indeed, since God occupies a space outside of time and space. I remember asking a friend that was a pastor if God existed inside of time. The reason I asked is because I was wondering if because of the concept of time dilation, given Gods age it would be logical that millenia pass as mere seconds. And he said "If he wants to." and my mind was blown. The other one I forgot to mention in my original post is that my professor asked us if God could make it true that God doesn't exist. That was another fun headscratcher.
doesn't really make sense that a god can and cannot lift something.
how would that work in front of one mortal observer who cannot comprehend it? the fact that a god would have to change him, physics, or time to understand it is in itself a limitation. creating loopholes to explain it is exposing the limitation right there
a god must live by rules because even a claim to omnipotence is a rule.
That's exactly the point. If an entity is omnipotent, it would make sense that it is capable of creating a scenario where it both can and cannot perform a certain action without that being a logical impossibility - otherwise, it's not truly/completely omnipotent. How it would look/work to an observer doesn't really factor into it, and it's irrelevant whether you define the ability to create such a scenario is a loophole, or if you think having to make a loophole means you're somehow not really omnipotent. If something is truly omnipotent, it can do ANYTHING - including violating a logical progression like that.
I hate paradoxes...
The omnipotence paradox represents reductio ad absurdum, with the conclusion that there can not be an actual omnipotent being.
Can an omnipotent being create a stone so heavy that it cannot lift it?
If yes: the being has a weakness (being unable to lift the stone) and his power is limited, or becomes limited.
If no: the being's power is already limited, since there is an action he cannot perform.
The question is flawed from the beginning; the allegedly omnipotent being has proven not to be omnipotent due to the logical contradiction present in both possible answers.
Very astute observation. I think that when my professor asked he was more trying to get the ball rolling on asking tough questions about God since we were at a conservative, Southern Baptist University
I haven't had the chance to look at that yet, busy all the time, but I have my doubts about it. I'm very mistrusting by nature of science and modern medicine. I can see how such a thing is possible of course, but I'm not sure it's our brain autonomously making decisions for us without our consent? You're kind of leading into another question, that being who are we really? Just our brains? Or our essence/soul/personality/whatever.
In a kind of spooky experiment, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences reveal that our decisions are made seconds before we become aware of them.
In the study, participants could freely decide if they wanted to press a button with their right or left hand.
The only condition was that they had to remember when they made the decision to either use their right hand or left hand.
Using fMRI, researchers would scan the brains of the participants while all of this was going on in order to find out if they could in fact predict which hand the participants would use BEFORE they were consciously aware of the decision.
By monitoring the micro patterns of activity in the frontopolar cortex, the researchers could predict which hand the participant would choose 7 SECONDS before the participant was aware of the decision.
“Your decisions are strongly prepared by brain activity. By the time consciousness kicks in, most of the work has already been done,” said study co-author John-Dylan Haynes, a Max Planck Institute neuroscientist.