Is God omniscient or limited?

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

  1. Victor

    Victor Silver Haired Member

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    I know of no mind that can comprehend the mind of the Almighty, be that God or the Universe. We are even oblivious to the nature of death and what follows in the afterlife... and this in itself becomes a matter of personal comprehension. We have only two things to use in creating a belief concerning this issue. 1) Personal experience be it physical or metaphysical; 2) that which others have conceived of and left for our consideration. (Biblical text, social practices, etc.) Life and death are the simplest of concepts and we have come to no proof of either except that, for a time, we seem to exist! We do not even know if we are an extension of a god-mind or individual, random collections of nuclear matter!

    And what of good and evil? If we are prisoners of Karma, there is no such thing! If we are pre-destined we are lost in a cycle that is already complete! There are no choices! And this level of existence is not a certainty! And if we must concern ourselves with concepts of Paradise and Hell, what proof do we have that either exists? Who determines what punishment man will suffer? These are nothing more than human concepts. In the end we can debate and play our little games, but we are human and imperfect, and imperfection cannot conceive of perfection!

    I am, in the Living Christ;
    Victor
     
  2. Sacredstar

    Sacredstar Well-Known Member

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    Just sharing some other views.......

    And what of good and evil?

    All is within...is it not?

    Augustine said in one of his letters that evil actually means less good, and I read elsewhere that the true translation of hate actually means to love less.

    "If we are prisoners of Karma, there is no such thing!"

    For me Karma is part of cause and effect, cause and effect is now proven by the latest breakthroughs in new science and new biology. Cause and effect is the natural law of the universe and can be found in scripture, when we look for it. You reap what you sow, is another example of cause and effect. From the studies that I have done of the letters between St Jerome, Augustine and others, I found a passage that relates to these spiritual laws that are hidden within texts. The passage stated that these laws were not made clear because at the time in Egypt people were killing and maiming themselves for transgressing the spiritual laws. So it was decided for the benefit of humanity, to not bring these to the fore. So what the bible calls judgement and retribution, I call cause and effect. Our own bodies are also a good barometer of this cause and effect for we are these universal laws.

    Another good example is the history of great nations, as soon as they have tried to control and dominate others their civilisation begins to fall, once again cause and effect. Control and domination of any description is against spiritual law. So my view is wherever there is control and domination in religion it has not come from GOD but from man.

    "If we are pre-destined we are lost in a cycle that is already complete!"

    Well my experience is that free will of the soul chooses its journey pre-incarnation and free will also determines it once we get here, unless we totally surrender to the soul and divine will. With the Grace of GOD we are given a choice to honour GOD or not.

    "And if we must concern ourselves with concepts of Paradise and Hell"

    Both are within and the Pope went on TV to confirm this a few years ago.

    "what proof do we have that either exists?"

    Well I experienced hell and now I experience heaven on earth.

    "Who determines what punishment man will suffer?"

    The soul chooses pre-incarnation what it wishes to experience for purification of the soul.

    "we are human and imperfect, and imperfection cannot conceive of perfection!"

    Well I AM realising my perfection and perfection in all things. For beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder and when you see all through GOD's eyes everything is perfect! For we are co-creators!

    It is man that told us we are imperfect not GOD.

    "Parents are just the guardians of the soul, a precious gem born to shine. It is the guardians responsibility to ensure that gem is not reshaped but allowed to BE its natural state."

    Soul and Spirit are two different things, soul is immortal and through evolution and purification unites with pure Spirit of GOD. Each human being as a soul and the divine spark of GOD within, this divine spark grows larger and larger the more we surrender control of human self to divine self.

    Love beyond measure

    Sacredstar
    I AM ~ Christ is within me
     
  3. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Hello Victor and Sacred.

    Very interesting points made here. I'd like to look at the first thought presented by Victor about man being unable to comprehend the mind of God or the Universe. I seem to recall that prior to the issue of the "Tower of Babylon", God commented about how man, if left to his own devices, could accomplish anything (but not neccessarily for the better). It seems to also be fact that man is the only animal that contemplates his own death (years before death is knocking on the door). Some animals of high intelligence appear to sense death being near, but man ponders it. And what of life? Besides man, is there any other animal attempting to re-create it artificially?

    And life, is the pondering of the possible. Here is an interesting anecdote:

    What constitutes basic life? On earth life requires oxygen as a catalyst, fuel to maintain the functioning life support system, and energy to drive or motivate that system. We need air to breath, food to maintain our bodies, and energy to automate our bodies...without any of the three, our support system fails, and we die. So, is FIRE alive? It requires the exact same things, or else it dies. It begins, grows, wanes, and dies out. My point is that man conceived of that abstract concept. No other earthly animal has spoken up or written about it.

    Karma, could merely be the indirect application of Newton's second law of inertia, or a matter of physics, the pebble in the pond theory, action vs reaction.

    Sacred makes an interesting point about evil being the absence of good. Again their is clue to this concept in the laws of physics. Cold is the absence of heat. Absolute zero is the absence of energy. Without energy, there is no life.

    A brain dead human, can be physically kept alive (indefinately), but without energy in the form of Alpha through Delta waves generating from the brain, the tools needed for the body and "spirit" to animate the body and exhibit character, is impossible.

    Scripture (Judeao/Christian) implies that we were once perfect in every way, but that we fell from grace, by our own choosing (free will). And with our fall from grace, came the infirmaties that plague us to this day. But it also implies that we willfully brought it upon ourselves, and that we can rid ourselves of the imperfection by turning back to the Creator. Now perhaps this will not happen in our own life times, but eventually mankind will make it back (with the proper amount of healthy humbleness...not the whoa is me kind, but rather the "I know who and what I am" kind).

    After reading your thoughts, Victor, I am reminded of Ecclesiastes' "Nothing new under the Sun". His story was almost satyrical however, and you appear to be serious.

    There is so much more to "life" than being born, breathing, and dying. And since we can conceive of the abstract, and Jesus stated that as we believe, so it shall be, unequivicably, then I submit we already know that there is an afterlife, and how we live now, will determine our "fate" then.

    It is OUR choice, after all.

    v/r

    Q
     
  4. Victor

    Victor Silver Haired Member

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    Quahom1:
    Thanks for your inspired post... I quote the following from it:"It seems to also be fact that man is the only animal that contemplates his own death (years before death is knocking on the door). Some animals of high intelligence appear to sense death being near, but man ponders it."

    What Fact? We know nothing of the sort about other animals since our ability to communicate with them is almost nil! Animals generally communicate in a manner conducive to our own abilities. It says nothing of our understanding their language. (The porpoise, whales, etc) Consider the elephant who has a 'graveyard' already prepared for them. I would not dare to agree with you on this subject.

    As to the rest, I am merely dealing in generalities. I happen to be a Christian believer; intellectually, spiritually, and in life experiences. There is, God! That Entity is dualistic in nature. That which is the power and strength of God is the Holy Spirit, the creator of all things, the giver of life. God IS, beyond that I cannot go. I have no difinitve knowledge of the Creator. I do have, however, an intimate, physical relationship with that Entity which constitutes a total of my life experiences in concert with that Being. To know of certain aspects of God I may turn to meditation, prayer, and study. To know that the infinite nature of God exists, I may go to Hubble to see the extent of, and the continuing reality of, a creation that is still in its beginning phase within the confines of our known universe.

    That scientifically proven FACT illuminates me to the knowledge that all of this is not an 'accident' but rather a carefully planned and logically conceived
    creation that teems with life and all of its inherent possibilities. It is NOT chaos or without definite order. Though mentioned, I do not totally believe that 'predestination' is a desire of the God-head (Living Entity) for it refutes man's ability to choose (free-will!) To restrict our total being, (mind, body and spirit) to the Pauline concept of pre-destination, is to limit the human spirit, and this I heartily refute! So in point, I am at odds with the 'Church.'

    I agree that good and evil, hot and cold, etc are human concepts and may vary within the scope of individual consideration. Please consider this: In the beginning there was a void and all things were without form. This would lead us to assume that before the creation began, time did not exist. Time was part of the creation, unknown in form and meaning until MAN conceived of it to temper his own existence! Philo agrees, and who am I to disagree with one of the first centuries' greatest minds?

    May we continue on other points? It is refreshing and I do not mind scholarly debate though I am ignorant in many things. I am, as always, yours:
     
  5. Sacredstar

    Sacredstar Well-Known Member

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    Dear Victor

    "What Fact? We know nothing of the sort about other animals since our ability to communicate with them is almost nil! Animals generally communicate in a manner conducive to our own abilities. It says nothing of our understanding their language."

    Well animal healers, animals communicators and people like myself would agree to differ with you. Animals have a wonderful way of communicating their needs and desires if you understand their language. And some humans not only understand their language but also their wisdom and the messages that they bring from GOD too!

    In our innocence it is easy to judge.

    Onwards and upwards

    Sacredstar
     
  6. Abogado del Diablo

    Abogado del Diablo Ferally Decent

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    I definitely communicate with the animals that live with us. They may not reciprocate with "words" but they often understand what I'm saying and exhibit a significant sort of foresight and reason and even problem solving ability. They also empathize with our moods.
     
  7. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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  8. Victor

    Victor Silver Haired Member

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    There is no indication that Adam knew all the animals, he merely named them! Whether or not he 'spoke' their language is mythological treatise, there is nothing theological or anthropological to indicate such a medium was ever established. At that point, the 'animals' were supposidly vegetarian, they were not meat eaters. (Pardon my mispellings) Fossey did, in fact, establish contact with the mountain gorillas using their 'sign.' Whether she learned their 'spoken' language, I do not know. Whales and Dolphin still excel in communication and we are far from understanding them, nor have we managed to 'alphabetize' but a small part of their language. Of course, we have not even begun to decipher the 'celestial' tongue (the music of the spheres.) Sorry, but I am only about once in a while. Doing extensive research on Ephesians!

    In the Living Christ, I am;
    Victor
     
  9. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    The implication is that Adam had an innate knowledge of all the animals. To have an innate sense of something, or someone is to "know" it/them unequivacably (as defined by current day standards). I am no Adam, yet I understand the language of my dog, my cats, and my ferrets. I understand when they are hungry, when they are tired, when they are frightened, when they want to play, and when they just want to be held.

    When the alarm goes off in the morning, they jump on me, lick my face, in short they know that the sound they hear means I should get up, and they see to it that I do.

    They also know that I am over them. Have you ever noticed that an animal will not hold your gaze for long? They always turn their eyes away first.

    I think Victor, that if I have an understanding of the animals in my life, then surely Adam did as well. And did not Genesis specifically declare that Eve spoke with the serpent?

    I am intrigued about your reference to researching Ephesians. I would like to hear more upon your conclusions.

    v/r

    Q
     
  10. Blue

    Blue Member

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    Is God omniscient or limited?

    Yes - if you have within your personal faith such a concept as an entity that is all-powerful

    Limited? - Yes, if that is part of your perosnal 'God' concept.

    The point I am making?
    Simply, that God can be whatever you want your concept of 'God' to be.

    The fact is surely that there is no evidence for a God beyond your personal Faith.
    If there is evidence beyond your personal affirmation, where is it? What form does it take? It cannot be words written by human beings in sacred texts... because in the final analysis, they are just words.

    Surely 'God' only exists in the heart (and soul?) of a believer. That requires no proof, nor necessitates proof, or evidence, beyond the personal feelings and affirmations of the believer. If this was not so, there would be no necessity for the word 'Faith', we would have material and concrete evidence beyond self.Is God omniscient or limited? God IS all-knowing, if you conceive of it so. God is limited, if you conceive it so. YOU are the validator. There are no validations beyond yourself and your feelings.
    Is that not the case?
     
  11. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Good Evening Blue,

    God is what one conceives of, is that what you mean? If so, then that could mean that we are God, and our concept of God is a matter of convenience.

    I'm not smart enough to be God, and I'm not about to assume that awesome responsibility. However, I am smart enough to know not to let another Human Being play God over me. So the logic you present seems lacking.

    My imagination is expanding, not all encompassing. I have a mind of great capacity, however it is finite, due to the fact that it has a beginning. Though God may have "known me before I was stitched together in the womb", there was a time when I did not exist, until God thought of me.

    I can not be so arrogant as to think that I have conceived of the Almighty. If you think so, then you are braver than me.

    v/r

    Q
     
  12. mirrorinthefog

    mirrorinthefog Well-Known Member

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    I agree. God can be limited and limitless, existant and non-existant all at the same time, depending on how we look at it.
     
  13. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Blue, that was rude of me. I have no right to imply arrogance of anyone, except me. And at times I have plenty.

    v/r

    Q
     
  14. Blue

    Blue Member

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    Blue, that was rude of me. I have no right to imply arrogance of anyone, except me. And at times I have plenty.
    ==========
    Not at all, Quahom1.
    I don't think and didn't think you were being arrogant ot accusing me of arrogance, or any combination.

    I think you misread though.

    I answered the posted points.
    If God is all-powerfrul YOU have to conceive of a God first, and then believe it is all-powerful.
    Same if you believe in a God and conceive of it as limited.

    You fall down by positing a 'God' beyond yourself.
    That is rather foolish and irrational. I too conceive of a 'God', but I know I am being affective and irrational. It just happens to be my personal belief. I ahve absolutely no material evidence. No one else does either, even someone like Professor Flew, who at 81, now says he believes in an 'Intelligence'behind all things. Even he says he can only demonstrate this to his OWN satisfaction.

    Any God beyond a personal affirmation has to exist beyond yourself in the objective and material domain. The fact is there is no evidence.
    If you say there is, please post that evidence. I think I will be able to show you that you are only affirming your own affective beliefs.

    That's all I was saying. ;)
     
  15. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Thank you for taking no offense. Yes, After 50 years of espousing Aethiesm, the good professor has now admitted to becoming agnostic.

    I think that God is like our parents. Though we did not conceive of them, they were already there, before us. It is we who had to develop an understanding of who and what they were to us, even though they already existed.

    One of the hints of the signature of God, I believe can be seen in the helix of a DNA string of a fruit fly (among other things). If one were to read the entire string at a page a second, it would take two years to complete. If one compared it to the DNA of another fruit fly, they would be nearly identical (one fly could be white with red eyes an the other green with blue eyes).

    You mentioned musical spheres (celestial language), awhile back (at least I think it was you). It should be simple to decipher. Music is math, and math is the universal language. A sequence of units arranged to form an out come, or a solution (such as the helix of a DNA strand). The units can't be random, else there would be no two of anything, ever. And since the units are never random, then they must be guided by something...

    The "proof" here could be the opposite of order. The entropy effect in the universe. Without constant guidance, all would break down to its simplest form. We see clues here on earth every day. Just look at a broken down jalopy of a car, and watch as the years whittle away at the paint, metal, rubber and such.

    Perhaps the greatest hint of the hand of God is in the simple fact that we, can not create life from non life. We can mix all the right ingredients, we can apply the proper amount of electricity, we can place the "primordial soup" in a perfect environment, and...nothing happens.

    Oh, perhaps one day we will be able to create something that mimics life, or perhaps we already have, but we don't have the "breath" of life to put into an inanimate object, and make it live. Some one else does.

    And frankly, I don't think we want that knowledge as humans.

    You did challenge me to prove God exists, and I can't, to your satisfaction. An equally difficult task would be for you to prove to me that He does not Exist.

    For everytime I see a circle, or a sphere, I see the signature of God...no beginning and no end. No points of weakness. No chink in the armor.

    v/r

    Q
     
  16. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Perhaps I've misunderstood, but I think Blue has said that he(?) does 'believe' but he goes on to say that he did not arrive at belief through objective reasoning. And he suggests that no one else can get there through objective means either. If I'm understanding, he is saying that no one can have objective knowledge of God; it will always be a personal knowledge and limited by our own conceptions. But I don't think he is saying that this is wrong or a reason to not believe in, or know, God.

    I agree wiht you Q, God is evident to me in everything I see. And the more I learn about the facts of biology and the theories of physics, the more I see God. But this is not the same as rational proof. I agree with Blue on this. Even if I have a very real personal revelation or experience a miracle first hand, this will not be evidence for God to anyone other than myself.

    Now, I do believe in a God beyond myself. But I also realize that at the deepest level this is a choice, based upon things that are very real to me, but a choice nonetheless. Even if I see the handwork of God in DNA, which I do, this is not objective. It is faith. Blue calls it foolish and irrational. I agree with the irrational part, but not with the foolishness. But then, I've also heard the saying "a fool for Christ," so maybe even the foolish part applies.

    respectfully,
     
  17. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Good Evening Lunamoth, and Blue.

    Interesting points you have both made. I believe you are both focussing on the concept of "intution", or the knowledge of something with no abservable steps that logically lead one to the knowledge, combined with abstract thought (again, another variant of intuition). Your thoughts lead me to consider this question: Is man sentient? If so, can it be proven beyond reasonable doubt? If so, how? If the same rules we apply to proving the existence of God were to be applied to the existence of Man, then the conclusion that we are sentient beings is a subjective, rather than an objective one.

    Things that make one go "Hmmm"

    v/r

    Q

    If life is but a dream...then who is the Dreamer?
     
  18. Blue

    Blue Member

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    Thankyou for a sensitive understanding of my points, Lunamoth:
    Perhaps I've misunderstood, but I think Blue has said that he(?) does 'believe' but he goes on to say that he did not arrive at belief through objective reasoning. And he suggests that no one else can get there through objective means either. If I'm understanding, he is saying that no one can have objective knowledge of God; it will always be a personal knowledge and limited by our own conceptions. But I don't think he is saying that this is wrong or a reason to not believe in, or know, God.
    You are quite right. My theistic notions are of my personal affective nature and nurture; and that is all I can say. As such they run counter to my profession, my objective and scientific understandings, reason and rationality.

    Even Professor Flew who has criticised in its broadest sense ''religion" and spiritual concerns all his life, now says he is personally convinced of an 'intelligent' entity behind the universe... after 81 years of life devoted to objective concerns. He doesn't claim rationality for these beliefs (do look him up via Google or whatever)... it his 'feeling' about the matter, and he still maintains his life long criticisms of all organised religions and faiths.

    In fact this is indeed, Lunamoth, all that anyone can claim, because the seat of faith lies in the heart, the affective nature and nurture of the individual. How they personally validate those responses is also entirely their personal matter. How could one criticise, insult, deride such sincerely held spiritual beliefs?

    What is not justifiable is to proselytise or project these personal responses as some kind of ultimate truth beyond the ego/self... in terms of 'spirit' in general or any particular 'God'.

    I have never said that a Professor Flew - or anyone else, does not have a right to their personal faith. Remember, if their faith had objective evidence testable and verifiable by others logically, empirically and repeatedly, there just would be no necessity for the term 'faith'. Faith is concerned with that which is believed... That bears no necessity of proof beyond self validation. It is validated in the heart of the believer... whatever the belief.

    You come to a God or Gods through the heart and feelings, not through cognition, because that entails objective proofs beyond yourself, beyond your heart.

    Thanks for your interpretation of my views and the warmth of your responses.
     
  19. Sacredstar

    Sacredstar Well-Known Member

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    "You come to a God or Gods through the heart and feelings, not through cognition, because that entails objective proofs beyond yourself, beyond your heart." posted by blue

    But some people gained their faith through the proof/evidence of their experience but I also agree with the statement above, it is different for every unique person.

    Love beyond measure

    Kim xx
     
  20. Blue

    Blue Member

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    Is man sentient? If so, can it be proven beyond reasonable doubt? If so, how? If the same rules we apply to proving the existence of God were to be applied to the existence of Man, then the conclusion that we are sentient beings is a subjective, rather than an objective one.

    Thanks for the comments, Quahom 1.

    Let's examine what is says.
    Is human kind sentient? I thought this word meant something like " capable of perception and feeling"? Does this not apply to creatures as well as ourselves?
    Does not an amoeba display 'sentience' when it avoids an electrical charge on a slide and instead prefers to move towards a food source?
    This is a complicated concept, agreed.
    I think 'sentience' was intended to suggest that human kind has a refined sense of 'self-regard'. This is undoubtedly true. Humanity's sense of self-regard and contemplation of its 'condition' does seem to have been a genetic preference/development, not shared perhaps by an amoeba, or even an ant or whatever. We may hypothesise that other creatures, like dolphins, gorillas, chimpanzees, some birds, etc., display some evidence of this, but none so far as 'developed' as in human potential and achievement.
    Proof and evidence of this I leave you to judge, but it seems to me to be patently obvious in all psychological, biological, and scientific investigations in general, unless you can show and evidence differently. Chimpanzees do not produce philosophical treatises concerning their condition, even though they do elementary planning ahead and contemplative perception of a number of things, evidenced through observational perceptions and investigations of our own and an almost perfect genetic match sharing over 97% of our DNA...
    ===
    Secondly... why should any hypothesised God concept be subject to any personification... with relation to the self-regarding nature or anything else? How can we apply similar measures as we use about Humanity to a God? Are Gods not above all that in most perceptions and definitions of various Gods?

    You mention 'intuition'?
    Intuition bears no necessity of truth in itself beyond oneself. Intuition is in fact most unreliable in any application to the world or domain beyond self.
    It may be a police investigator's intuition that tells him, or her, the dirty individual with blood down his clothes committed the crime... but thank goodness we have recourse to reason and objective investigation which might show that the delightfully mannered little old lady, who wasn't even around at the time of the initial investigation, was the guilty party.;)
    Sometimes we have to resort to intuition, but we have to always be aware of its limitations... I hope!
     

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