Is God omniscient or limited?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by BlackHeart, Sep 18, 2003.

  1. mikie8

    mikie8 Well-Known Member

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    the problem with quantum pyhics is the harder and deeper we look the more we disturb what we are looking at even light has an effect .so an all seeing all knowing diety who designed the quantum universe will know the preordained path of these particals .but if a diety is all knowing then our path is already set in stone and free will dont exist and we just act out a pre written script .boring :O
    time is not a constant we all percieve time seperatly
     
  2. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    namaste Thomas,

    thank you for the post. :p

    fair enough.

    fair enough. using this rather broad definition, i'd ask for you to consider that this could apply to a non-theistic tradition. you don't have to agree to it as a principle, rather, for the sake of conversation.


    my apologies. i think that this represents a fundamental difference in our world view. generally speaking, the western world has what is known as a mechanistic world view. everything was made from something else, you can find the smallest bit of it and it was made for a purpose.

    this is expressed quite well in the modern device called the computer. i shall, for the sake of brevity, presume that you are a) conversant with how a computer works b) know the history of the machine to a small degree. if this isn't the case, please let me know and i'll fill in the gaps.

    the pc is working in a binary way. 1 or 0. On or Off. Y or N. A or B.

    new technologies, however, have changed the way that computers work. there is a mathmatical concept called Fuzzy Logic which has been applied to computers, in particular things like fans and atmospheric control systems. this is a fascinating field of exploration and, as you'll read and discover, a tremendous potential lies herein.

    http://www.emsl.pnl.gov/proj/neuron/fuzzy/what.html

    i'll post a snippet from the site:

    Fuzzy set theory implements classes or groupings of data with boundaries that are not sharply defined (i.e., fuzzy). Any methodology or theory implementing "crisp" definitions such as classical set theory, arithmetic, and programming, may be "fuzzified" by generalizing the concept of a crisp set to a fuzzy set with blurred boundaries. The benefit of extending crisp theory and analysis methods to fuzzy techniques is the strength in solving real-world problems, which inevitably entail some degree of imprecision and noise in the variables and parameters measured and processed for the application. Accordingly, linguistic variables are a critical aspect of some fuzzy logic applications, where general terms such a "large," "medium," and "small" are each used to capture a range of numerical values. While similar to conventional quantization, fuzzy logic allows these stratified sets to overlap (e.g., a 85 kilogram man may be classified in both the "large" and "medium" categories, with varying degrees of belonging or membership to each group). Fuzzy set theory encompasses fuzzy logic, fuzzy arithmetic, fuzzy mathematical programming, fuzzy topology, fuzzy graph theory, and fuzzy data analysis, though the term fuzzy logic is often used to describe all of these.

    a more comprehensive reading can be done here:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-fuzzy/


    i believe that i had stipulated that previously for the sake of our convesation. however, God is only one of 6 potential 1st Causes and is not the default position.

    hmm... i would disagree. one of the reasons that we can put so much trust in science is that it can falsify itself. if a theory is proven wrong, it is discarded and a new one is adopted, until it is proven wrong. this is a very good method of establishing trust. man never claims to know everything that there is to know. we do, however, claim that we can know what we can observe to a reasonable degree of accurracy.

    the television show reference, though, is a bit though to take without any sources :) not saying that you're wrong mon ami, rather, i would like to learn for myself. that's how we Buddhists do things :)

    hmm... don't we have any Calvinists on this board yet? in any event, they are Christians and they don't really believe in free will like you are describing in the least.

    i, however, believe that it is fact.
     
  3. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep Well-Known Member

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    Mind is the thing.

    The discussion has entered into very subtle depths.

    May I just contribute this thought:

    We are all here minds exchanging views on God and existence. If there were no mind like ours and we ourselves don't have a mind like the ones we are all using now, all our exchange would be more than irrelevant, being that there is no mind to see irrelevancy at all -- except that mind distinct from ours that is or might be present.

    Now what?

    It seems obvious then that mind is existence, effectively.

    No mind = non-existence. If we don't have a mind we don't exist for ourselves to ourselves; and we won't discuss about any mind that might be existent to be mindful of us; although he might be present to be mindful of us, but we ourselves being without a mind won't be mindful of nothing.

    As a humor respite, may I bring to your attention:

    What is mind? Mind is not matter.
    What is matter? Never mind.

    Susma Rio Sep

    PS hahaha.
     
  4. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Susma,

    Bertrand Russell said that his parents would say that very same phrase to him repeatedly.. he eventually quit laughing after the 100th time or so...

    you've basically described a version of the Anthropic Principle here... and i happen to agree with it :)
     
  5. Septegram

    Septegram New Member

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    True. A being with infinite power must take responsibility for everything that happens, including the bad stuff. Further, there is no excuse for an omnipotent deity, since It could fix anything and everything.

    How does that work? Why must there be a single, supreme deity for the Universe to make sense? For that matter, why assume that a deity is required at all for the Universe to make sense?

    Septegram
     
  6. Manesdracon

    Manesdracon New Member

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    First there was God... Now then, what is that God? And if we would be able to capture such an undefinable, almighty 'thing', then would it not essentially be a false definition, in the form of being incomplete since it is on itself limited to our limited language and limited perception of 'that which is' (which we can't even quite proof to our individual being on itself)?

    Alright... So let's take it for granted that existence actually exists, and therefore take God for granted as 'creator' (whatever that may mean).
    Let's just in other words say, existence is 1 (it is 'TRUE', it 'is') and nothingness is 0 (it is 'FALSE', it 'is' not). Considdering I just spoke of 'nothingness' I suppose I have already proven it's relativity as 'non-existing', after all, did I not speak of it, and therefore made it 'be'?
    Paradox is what is implicated here by these two factors of 'false' and 'true', or rather I would say, by the 1, by the one that is ('true'). Existence implcates the existence of nothingness when one looks at it as absolute (beyond its movement in forms; or states); as time passes things come to be and things come to 'be-not', they end, but if one looks at this 'movement' as a whole being, capturing both that which is and which is not, one comes to see that existence is constantly implicating itself (being and not-being = being and not-being, etc).
    What it comes down to is that God is the 'cause'... God is the almighty implicator that set off 'existence'... Since everything we speak of exists to a certain level (else we would not speak of it), it is an 'attribute' of God; a logical consequence of the beginning.

    So yes... I think everything is limited to the limitationless nature of God, in other words there is free will and 'divine will' at the same time (whatever it may be). Is the door to your house not a part of your house, even if it cannot cover it's full definition? Yes, God is both limited and omniscient, just as well as He is both good and evil. To define as omniscient is a relative form of limititation on itself and another argument for the existence of all(!) things, to a certain level.

    Greetings!
    /Jeroen
     
  7. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    God and Dad

    You know what is funny? When we were babies and tiny children, DAD knew everything. When we were teen agers and young adults, dad knew nothing. When we are old and feeble, we wish DAD was around to tell us what we still don't know.
     
  8. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep Well-Known Member

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    I am a dad now, have been for some good numgber of years. My own dad died some years back. Without disrespect toward him, in all modesty, I would say that I know more than he knew were he around today; because we here grew up in circumstances where we have been privileged to know more and better than he was in -- and his mind habits had been unavoidable barriers to his knowing as much as fast and as better as we have been privileged to in our own times nowadays.

    What I miss from my dad is his experience of life and his insights into life.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  9. JJM

    JJM Well-Known Member

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    ______________________________________________________________


    I don't feel that a diety would have to be limitless. But If he says he is then who are we to question. He doesn't have to be all loving but if he says he is why not belive him. Is their some sort of sceme in his head or are you just doubting his existence. As for knowing all that one is simple. If you create somthing you should know how it works right so if he created everything wouldn't he know everything. It seems obvious to me.
     
  10. JJM

    JJM Well-Known Member

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    I know I just wrote something but I can't help but reply to this. If saints are like small gods then that would mean That all people in heaven have some power over our live which isn't true. The Idea behind praying to a saint is that he or she is close to God and therefore can personally take your request before him. I've always seen the lesser gods of other religions as misinterpretations of angels. Rather than figments of the imagination.
     
  11. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    If I cause you to stumble, then I am the guilty party

    I believe that the "Saints" are much too busy to be worrying about us...after all that is God's job?

    In my youth I was told that Mary would leave a window open, for those who could not enter the gates of heaven.

    Now, I love the power of Moms, but please consider...saints, Mary, anyone but God, cannot judge us, nor can they bypass judgement on or in our behalf. We stand alone at the end.

    Now, asking a person on the other side to petition, in our behalf, is not wrong. That is like me asking my Mom to tell my Dad what I think, when I can't tell him myself, or My telling my Mom, and my Mom going ahead and telling my Dad, without my knowledge or request. My point is, if you ask of a finite being, they might miss the request, then you feel dejected. So to remove that potential, ask of the infinite Being...

    This is one of those times when you can and should bypass the chain of command, and go right to the top.

    "Put your hand in the hand of the man from Galalie"...as the old song goes.
     
  12. JJM

    JJM Well-Known Member

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    I don’t want to fight over the whole praying to saints issue I just wanted to state in my last passage that they where nothing like lesser Gods. But to this quote there is something that I don’t understand if heaven is timeless then how could the saints be busy. And if they have endless time to help people and they spent their whole lives doing it wouldn’t they still enjoy such a thing. I don’t want to argue about weather or not we should go up the chain of command so please don’t reply to that. It just doesn’t make sense that someone in heaven (saints) wouldn’t care about us.
     
  13. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    I agree with you on the part about people in heaven still caring for us here. As for the rest JJM, that is just my opinion, nothing set in stone. I happen to come to that series of conclusions by comparing my religious upbringing with that of other demoninations, and passages in the Bible.

    I am interested in hearing what others (like yourself) have to say...:)

    The jury is still out, so to speak.

    v/r

    Q
     
  14. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Don't worry about it, JJM - this is a place for civil and respectful discussion, not for hardcore debate and flames. :)

    If you're not comfortable with discussing any particular topic, then no one will be allowed to draw you into it here.

    And if you do feel like discussing something, then this is a safe place to open up your thoughts. :)

    And welcome to comparative-religion.com, JJM - you too, Quahom1, in case I haven't greeted you already. :)
     
  15. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep Well-Known Member

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    I can believe anything...

    Praying to the saints: I can do that; I believe that. I just prayed to St. Christopher to help me solve the problem of poor idling and stalling with the car. So far so good.

    But Christopher has been de-canonized. Anyway whoever is up there available to take over his job. But Christopher is the patron saint for voyagers; in this age of motor vehicles he should also be versatile accordingly for troubleshooting with car engines.

    I can believe anything in the name of religion, except that I won't hurt others much less kill for it. And I won't die for it either.

    And if the beliefs are contradictory, I mean the doctrines, not the practices unless in their respective schedules, I can still accept them on the basis of mystery.

    However, if any religion requires you to hurt others even just by snubbing others, or to die for it; then it should not be for anyone. I draw the line there.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  16. JJM

    JJM Well-Known Member

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    Thank you I,Brian for that warm welcome. But it’s not that I’m uncomfortable with the subject I just wanted to put emphasis on what my original post’s point was. It was a reply to this:


    I was just trying to say that saints are in no way like lesser gods. As for my opinion on praying to saints. It seems to work for me and I don’t think that in anyway it violates the second commandment unless you don’t realize what I’ve stated before. That is that they don’t actually do anything and only through the power of God are prayer to them answered. That is where the problem lies when people believe that the saints themselves through their one power answer their prayers. While I don’t really pray to anyone other than Mary because I don’t know much about the others lives. Usually if I pray to a saint I try to make some sort of connection to their life so because I haven’t taken the time to study many of them I don’t pray to many of them. If someone feels more comfortable praying to God himself that is perfectly OK. As for St. Christopher, wasn’t he de-canonized because it’s believed he never really carried Christ over a river? All that means is that they aren’t absolutely positive he is in heaven. Not that he defiantly isn’t. From what I’ve read of him and my personal belief I’m sure he is.
     
  17. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep Well-Known Member

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    Are you Catholic, JJM?

    Are you Catholic, JJM? Because you have a graphic below your name -- an avatar they call that? -- that is a monstrance.

    Here's a funny anecdote:

    Once a bishop was putting the Sacred Host already inserted into the circular glass case inside the display cavity of the monstrance. He dropped the circular case with the Host already installed within it. The contraption fell on the altar, tripped over the edge onto the floor, and continued rolling down the steps onto the aisle and kept rolling toward the front door of the church.

    ”Somebody stop that darn thing”, he hollered.


    I thought you were Muslim.

    Muslims and Jews, they have the same attention for ritual and toilet cleansing by washing with water of their lower groin areas and functional apertures. Very hygienic, commendable, much better than Christians who limit themselves to wiping, and also occasion the slaughter of trees thereby.

    Jews and Arabs, they come from the common forefather, Abraham, didn’t they? Why all that killing among the Jewish Israelis and the Arab Palestinians? How long is that family feud going to continue on and on?


    Susma Rio Sep
     
  18. JJM

    JJM Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I am catholic. I don't understand the remander of what you wrote. What does your "anecdote" have to do with the previous subject. Why did you think I was muslim and in what way does this discussion have anything to do with islamic and jewish people fighting. Are you just trying to change the subject. Any way I think that Jews and Muslims should imbrace the simularities in their faith and stop fighting. I have heard that Israel will only allow any one who is noe Jewish to be a citizen is that Correct? If so I understand the Palestinian anger.
     
  19. brucegdc

    brucegdc Moderator

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    I believe that Israeli citizenship is open to people of all faiths. In fact, there are (if I recall correctly) a half-dozen Arab members of the Knesset. Researching the applicable law (I'm an inveterate researcher) shows Israeli citizenship may be acquired in several ways - one of which is moving there permanently (as well as being born there). There is a glaring disparity, though, that any Jew or first or second descendent of a Jew automatically qualifies for citizenship if they so desire.

    None of which brings this anywhere back on topic, and should probably be over in politics.

    Now, back on topic:

    Is God omniscient or limited? I don't think it matters so much (Santa Claus is omniscient - he knows when you've been bad or good, etc). Whether God is all-knowing shouldn't have much impact on our lives. All-capable (or omnipotent) is another question...

    .... Bruce
     
  20. Adamante

    Adamante Member

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    Nogodnomasters said:
    So a whole knew concept must be introduced. The problem still exists, god who is perfect deliberately made an imperfect being. God who is good, created evil. God who is all powerful can defeat evil at any time, but does not. This is absurd.

    I really like the way this was put. It's a neat snapshot of things I've considered as well, but this is much more organized than my own thoughts. Nicely done!

    I also believe the answer to this question lies in our observation of our surroundings. I can't say for certain that any book with reference to any Almighty being is not partial to some way of thinking or believing that has little or no evidence to support it. I know I limit myself, but I have to follow the discoveries of science as we reverse engineer everything from our planet to the galaxy to the universe.

    God does not have to be all-knowing to be the creator, but he must know enough. What is power to all of us anyway? Is he all-powerful? He can do anything? Can he create something that has free will, where not even he would know what choices would be made? If he can not create that, he is not all-powerful. If he can create it, he is not all-powerful. Either way, if he can create anything, then he can create situations where not even He would know the outcome. I think this is where man lay. But also, power can be thought of as strength...and perhaps there is little debate over the strength of a being who could create a universe as violent as ours. From light, to gravity, to stars, to black holes, and even the atom...His strength is not in question to me.
     

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