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Have We Misdefined God?

stubs
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9/16/2013 1:09:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I myself, as well as many others on this site often use Anselms definition of God as, "The greatest conceivable being." I know that this definition is typically used when defending the classical God of theism, but is this definition true for the God of the Christian bible? I think sometimes what we do with this definition is make God like the best possible superhero we can think of, and I don't think that's what the bible describes God as.

Yoram Hazony is president of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and he has this to say about people defining God as "perfect."

"I"d start with this: Is it really necessary to say that God is a "perfect being," or perfect at all, for that matter? As far as I can tell, the biblical authors avoid asserting any such thing. And with good reason. Normally, when we say that something is "perfect," we mean it has attained the best possible balance among the principles involved in making it the kind of thing it is. For example, if we say that a bottle is perfect, we mean it can contain a significant quantity of liquid in its body; that its neck is long enough to be grasped comfortably and firmly; that the bore is wide enough to permit a rapid flow of liquid; and so on. Of course, you can always manufacture a bottle that will hold more liquid, but only by making the body too broad (so the bottle doesn"t handle well) or the neck too short (so it"s hard to hold). There"s an inevitable trade-off among the principles, and perfection lies in the balance among them. And this is so whether what"s being judged is a bottle or a horse, a wine or a gymnastics routine or natural human beauty.

What would we say if some philosopher told us that a perfect bottle would be one that can contain a perfectly great amount of liquid, while being perfectly easy to pour from at the same time? Or that a perfect horse would bear an infinitely heavy rider, while at the same time being able to run with perfectly great speed? I should think we"d say he"s made a fundamental mistake here: You can"t perfect something by maximizing all its constituent principles simultaneously. All this will get you is contradictions and absurdities. This is not less true of God than it is of anything else.

The attempt to think of God as a perfect being is misguided for another reason as well. We can speak of the perfection of a bottle or a horse because these are things that can be encompassed (at least in some sense) by our senses and understanding. Having the whole bottle before us, we feel we can judge how close it is to being a perfect instance of its type. But if asked to judge the perfection of a bottle poking out of a paper bag, or of a horse that"s partly hidden in the stable, we"d surely protest: How am I supposed to know? I can only see part of it.

Yet the biblical accounts of our encounters with God emphasize that all human views of God are partial and fragmentary in just this way. Even Moses, the greatest of the prophets, is told that he can"t see God"s face, but can only catch a glimpse of God"s back as he passes by."

This also doesn't even mention that in the bible we see a God who regrets his actions, specifically in the case of creating man. We see a God who looks to change his mind several times. We see a God who looks like he can be negotiated with.

I just want other peoples opinions on this topic.

Thank you
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
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9/16/2013 1:10:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/16/2013 1:09:03 PM, stubs wrote:
I myself, as well as many others on this site often use Anselms definition of God as, "The greatest conceivable being." I know that this definition is typically used when defending the classical God of theism, but is this definition true for the God of the Christian bible? I think sometimes what we do with this definition is make God like the best possible superhero we can think of, and I don't think that's what the bible describes God as.

Yoram Hazony is president of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and he has this to say about people defining God as "perfect."

"I"d start with this: Is it really necessary to say that God is a "perfect being," or perfect at all, for that matter? As far as I can tell, the biblical authors avoid asserting any such thing. And with good reason. Normally, when we say that something is "perfect," we mean it has attained the best possible balance among the principles involved in making it the kind of thing it is. For example, if we say that a bottle is perfect, we mean it can contain a significant quantity of liquid in its body; that its neck is long enough to be grasped comfortably and firmly; that the bore is wide enough to permit a rapid flow of liquid; and so on. Of course, you can always manufacture a bottle that will hold more liquid, but only by making the body too broad (so the bottle doesn"t handle well) or the neck too short (so it"s hard to hold). There"s an inevitable trade-off among the principles, and perfection lies in the balance among them. And this is so whether what"s being judged is a bottle or a horse, a wine or a gymnastics routine or natural human beauty.

What would we say if some philosopher told us that a perfect bottle would be one that can contain a perfectly great amount of liquid, while being perfectly easy to pour from at the same time? Or that a perfect horse would bear an infinitely heavy rider, while at the same time being able to run with perfectly great speed? I should think we"d say he"s made a fundamental mistake here: You can"t perfect something by maximizing all its constituent principles simultaneously. All this will get you is contradictions and absurdities. This is not less true of God than it is of anything else.

The attempt to think of God as a perfect being is misguided for another reason as well. We can speak of the perfection of a bottle or a horse because these are things that can be encompassed (at least in some sense) by our senses and understanding. Having the whole bottle before us, we feel we can judge how close it is to being a perfect instance of its type. But if asked to judge the perfection of a bottle poking out of a paper bag, or of a horse that"s partly hidden in the stable, we"d surely protest: How am I supposed to know? I can only see part of it.

Yet the biblical accounts of our encounters with God emphasize that all human views of God are partial and fragmentary in just this way. Even Moses, the greatest of the prophets, is told that he can"t see God"s face, but can only catch a glimpse of God"s back as he passes by."

This also doesn't even mention that in the bible we see a God who regrets his actions, specifically in the case of creating man. We see a God who looks to change his mind several times. We see a God who looks like he can be negotiated with.

I just want other peoples opinions on this topic.

Thank you

You sinners haven't misdefined God. You have no idea who God is.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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9/16/2013 1:13:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/16/2013 1:09:03 PM, stubs wrote:
I myself, as well as many others on this site often use Anselms definition of God as, "The greatest conceivable being." I know that this definition is typically used when defending the classical God of theism, but is this definition true for the God of the Christian bible? I think sometimes what we do with this definition is make God like the best possible superhero we can think of, and I don't think that's what the bible describes God as.

Yoram Hazony is president of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and he has this to say about people defining God as "perfect."

"I"d start with this: Is it really necessary to say that God is a "perfect being," or perfect at all, for that matter? As far as I can tell, the biblical authors avoid asserting any such thing. And with good reason. Normally, when we say that something is "perfect," we mean it has attained the best possible balance among the principles involved in making it the kind of thing it is. For example, if we say that a bottle is perfect, we mean it can contain a significant quantity of liquid in its body; that its neck is long enough to be grasped comfortably and firmly; that the bore is wide enough to permit a rapid flow of liquid; and so on. Of course, you can always manufacture a bottle that will hold more liquid, but only by making the body too broad (so the bottle doesn"t handle well) or the neck too short (so it"s hard to hold). There"s an inevitable trade-off among the principles, and perfection lies in the balance among them. And this is so whether what"s being judged is a bottle or a horse, a wine or a gymnastics routine or natural human beauty.

What would we say if some philosopher told us that a perfect bottle would be one that can contain a perfectly great amount of liquid, while being perfectly easy to pour from at the same time? Or that a perfect horse would bear an infinitely heavy rider, while at the same time being able to run with perfectly great speed? I should think we"d say he"s made a fundamental mistake here: You can"t perfect something by maximizing all its constituent principles simultaneously. All this will get you is contradictions and absurdities. This is not less true of God than it is of anything else.

The attempt to think of God as a perfect being is misguided for another reason as well. We can speak of the perfection of a bottle or a horse because these are things that can be encompassed (at least in some sense) by our senses and understanding. Having the whole bottle before us, we feel we can judge how close it is to being a perfect instance of its type. But if asked to judge the perfection of a bottle poking out of a paper bag, or of a horse that"s partly hidden in the stable, we"d surely protest: How am I supposed to know? I can only see part of it.

Yet the biblical accounts of our encounters with God emphasize that all human views of God are partial and fragmentary in just this way. Even Moses, the greatest of the prophets, is told that he can"t see God"s face, but can only catch a glimpse of God"s back as he passes by."

This also doesn't even mention that in the bible we see a God who regrets his actions, specifically in the case of creating man. We see a God who looks to change his mind several times. We see a God who looks like he can be negotiated with.

I just want other peoples opinions on this topic.

Thank you

The Bible says, and I quote, "As for God, his way is perfect". So, the Bible doesn't avoid defining God as perfect.
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
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9/16/2013 1:15:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/16/2013 1:13:10 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 9/16/2013 1:09:03 PM, stubs wrote:
I myself, as well as many others on this site often use Anselms definition of God as, "The greatest conceivable being." I know that this definition is typically used when defending the classical God of theism, but is this definition true for the God of the Christian bible? I think sometimes what we do with this definition is make God like the best possible superhero we can think of, and I don't think that's what the bible describes God as.

Yoram Hazony is president of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and he has this to say about people defining God as "perfect."

"I"d start with this: Is it really necessary to say that God is a "perfect being," or perfect at all, for that matter? As far as I can tell, the biblical authors avoid asserting any such thing. And with good reason. Normally, when we say that something is "perfect," we mean it has attained the best possible balance among the principles involved in making it the kind of thing it is. For example, if we say that a bottle is perfect, we mean it can contain a significant quantity of liquid in its body; that its neck is long enough to be grasped comfortably and firmly; that the bore is wide enough to permit a rapid flow of liquid; and so on. Of course, you can always manufacture a bottle that will hold more liquid, but only by making the body too broad (so the bottle doesn"t handle well) or the neck too short (so it"s hard to hold). There"s an inevitable trade-off among the principles, and perfection lies in the balance among them. And this is so whether what"s being judged is a bottle or a horse, a wine or a gymnastics routine or natural human beauty.

What would we say if some philosopher told us that a perfect bottle would be one that can contain a perfectly great amount of liquid, while being perfectly easy to pour from at the same time? Or that a perfect horse would bear an infinitely heavy rider, while at the same time being able to run with perfectly great speed? I should think we"d say he"s made a fundamental mistake here: You can"t perfect something by maximizing all its constituent principles simultaneously. All this will get you is contradictions and absurdities. This is not less true of God than it is of anything else.

The attempt to think of God as a perfect being is misguided for another reason as well. We can speak of the perfection of a bottle or a horse because these are things that can be encompassed (at least in some sense) by our senses and understanding. Having the whole bottle before us, we feel we can judge how close it is to being a perfect instance of its type. But if asked to judge the perfection of a bottle poking out of a paper bag, or of a horse that"s partly hidden in the stable, we"d surely protest: How am I supposed to know? I can only see part of it.

Yet the biblical accounts of our encounters with God emphasize that all human views of God are partial and fragmentary in just this way. Even Moses, the greatest of the prophets, is told that he can"t see God"s face, but can only catch a glimpse of God"s back as he passes by."

This also doesn't even mention that in the bible we see a God who regrets his actions, specifically in the case of creating man. We see a God who looks to change his mind several times. We see a God who looks like he can be negotiated with.

I just want other peoples opinions on this topic.

Thank you

The Bible says, and I quote, "As for God, his way is perfect". So, the Bible doesn't avoid defining God as perfect.

He's the perfect killer of the flesh of man and the destroyer of this world.

Amos 4
13: For lo, he who forms the mountains, and creates the wind, and declares to man what is his thought;

Isaiah 45
7: I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe, I am the Lord, who do all these things.

Deuteronomy 32
39: "`See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.

Isaiah 45:7
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.
stubs
Posts: 1,887
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9/16/2013 9:33:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/16/2013 1:13:10 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 9/16/2013 1:09:03 PM, stubs wrote:
I myself, as well as many others on this site often use Anselms definition of God as, "The greatest conceivable being." I know that this definition is typically used when defending the classical God of theism, but is this definition true for the God of the Christian bible? I think sometimes what we do with this definition is make God like the best possible superhero we can think of, and I don't think that's what the bible describes God as.

Yoram Hazony is president of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and he has this to say about people defining God as "perfect."

"I"d start with this: Is it really necessary to say that God is a "perfect being," or perfect at all, for that matter? As far as I can tell, the biblical authors avoid asserting any such thing. And with good reason. Normally, when we say that something is "perfect," we mean it has attained the best possible balance among the principles involved in making it the kind of thing it is. For example, if we say that a bottle is perfect, we mean it can contain a significant quantity of liquid in its body; that its neck is long enough to be grasped comfortably and firmly; that the bore is wide enough to permit a rapid flow of liquid; and so on. Of course, you can always manufacture a bottle that will hold more liquid, but only by making the body too broad (so the bottle doesn"t handle well) or the neck too short (so it"s hard to hold). There"s an inevitable trade-off among the principles, and perfection lies in the balance among them. And this is so whether what"s being judged is a bottle or a horse, a wine or a gymnastics routine or natural human beauty.

What would we say if some philosopher told us that a perfect bottle would be one that can contain a perfectly great amount of liquid, while being perfectly easy to pour from at the same time? Or that a perfect horse would bear an infinitely heavy rider, while at the same time being able to run with perfectly great speed? I should think we"d say he"s made a fundamental mistake here: You can"t perfect something by maximizing all its constituent principles simultaneously. All this will get you is contradictions and absurdities. This is not less true of God than it is of anything else.

The attempt to think of God as a perfect being is misguided for another reason as well. We can speak of the perfection of a bottle or a horse because these are things that can be encompassed (at least in some sense) by our senses and understanding. Having the whole bottle before us, we feel we can judge how close it is to being a perfect instance of its type. But if asked to judge the perfection of a bottle poking out of a paper bag, or of a horse that"s partly hidden in the stable, we"d surely protest: How am I supposed to know? I can only see part of it.

Yet the biblical accounts of our encounters with God emphasize that all human views of God are partial and fragmentary in just this way. Even Moses, the greatest of the prophets, is told that he can"t see God"s face, but can only catch a glimpse of God"s back as he passes by."

This also doesn't even mention that in the bible we see a God who regrets his actions, specifically in the case of creating man. We see a God who looks to change his mind several times. We see a God who looks like he can be negotiated with.

I just want other peoples opinions on this topic.

Thank you

The Bible says, and I quote, "As for God, his way is perfect". So, the Bible doesn't avoid defining God as perfect.

I agree that the bible says that, actually multiple times, but I think we are talking about perfect in a different sense. I have no problem with saying his way is perfect, but then someone also saying that he himself is not "perfect" because he doesn't fit the definition of a maximally great being. As I pointed out before, God seems to change his mind. If God does this, would that mean he is not perfect? And if so, does it even matter?
AeneasPhebe
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9/16/2013 10:49:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/16/2013 9:33:23 PM, stubs wrote:

I myself, as well as many others on this site often use Anselms definition of God as, "The greatest conceivable being."

I agree that we should use the Bible's definition of God solely.

I know that this definition is typically used when defending the classical God of theism, but is this definition true for the God of the Christian bible?

No, we cannot fully concieve God. In that definition there are many problems as:
1. We do not know every conceivable thing as a collective
2. We cannot truely imagine what a God is fully like
3. Biblically we cannot understand God unless He gives us imformation.

I think sometimes what we do with this definition is make God like the best possible superhero we can think of, and I don't think that's what the bible describes God as.

Agreed. God is not a superhero, he is a parent.

"I"d start with this: Is it really necessary to say that God is a "perfect being," or perfect at all, for that matter? : : :

Job 11:7
Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?

I'd would start with this: Can you even know what perfection truely is? At what standard is it set? How do you even know that standard is correct?
I think God sets perfection and things are perfect is they do the will He created them for.

The Bible is the ONLY reference in this matter:

Matthew 5:48
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

I think this says God is perfect and we can also be perfect to Him.

Genesis 17:1
I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

Deuteronomy 32:4
He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

What would we say if some philosopher told us:

That is your first mistake, let the Bible say and not men.

Acts 17:18
Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.

How am I supposed to know? I can only see part of it.

You will not know, all you can do is revere scripture and walk by it.

Yet the biblical accounts of our encounters with God emphasize that all human views of God are partial and fragmentary in just this way.

The Bible is not just encounters with God but God speaking to us. They are partial but fully true.

Even Moses, the greatest of the prophets, is told that he can"t see God"s face, but can only catch a glimpse of God"s back as he passes by."

Do you need God's image? God told you that you are in His image.

This also doesn't even mention that in the bible we see a God who regrets his actions, specifically in the case of creating man.

If you was in war and a little girl was walking to you with a bomb and she did not know it and could not understand to drop it or stop coming to you, you must kill her or you be killed, you swould do it but you would be sorry for it and be repented about it. Let's also say that killing her stop the people you are fighting from fighting and you save your peoples lives as well as your enemies. This is the case with God here. God knew by creating man His glory would be established but many would die and rebel. He would have to kill them and it made him sorry for it but for the sake of the ones who would find His glory, it was worth it.

We see a God who looks to change his mind several times. We see a God who looks like he can be negotiated with.

Is God being negotiated with or is God negotiating with man? God knows the outcome but it is man that does not. God wants to love and give to His servants , so He entertains them.

then someone also saying that he himself is not "perfect" because he doesn't fit the definition of a maximally great being. As I pointed out before, God seems to change his mind.

Examples...

If God does this, would that mean he is not perfect? And if so, does it even matter?

He is perfect because He is the meaning of the word. I think it matters, I would rather serve a perfect and just God than one who is not.
stubs
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9/18/2013 4:01:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/16/2013 10:49:23 PM, AeneasPhebe wrote:
At 9/16/2013 9:33:23 PM, stubs wrote:
then someone also saying that he himself is not "perfect" because he doesn't fit the definition of a maximally great being. As I pointed out before, God seems to change his mind.

Examples...

Deuteronomy 23 ----> Isaiah 56

let me know if you want more
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
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9/18/2013 5:30:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/16/2013 9:33:23 PM, stubs wrote:
At 9/16/2013 1:13:10 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 9/16/2013 1:09:03 PM, stubs wrote:
I myself, as well as many others on this site often use Anselms definition of God as, "The greatest conceivable being." I know that this definition is typically used when defending the classical God of theism, but is this definition true for the God of the Christian bible? I think sometimes what we do with this definition is make God like the best possible superhero we can think of, and I don't think that's what the bible describes God as.

Yoram Hazony is president of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and he has this to say about people defining God as "perfect."

"I"d start with this: Is it really necessary to say that God is a "perfect being," or perfect at all, for that matter? As far as I can tell, the biblical authors avoid asserting any such thing. And with good reason. Normally, when we say that something is "perfect," we mean it has attained the best possible balance among the principles involved in making it the kind of thing it is. For example, if we say that a bottle is perfect, we mean it can contain a significant quantity of liquid in its body; that its neck is long enough to be grasped comfortably and firmly; that the bore is wide enough to permit a rapid flow of liquid; and so on. Of course, you can always manufacture a bottle that will hold more liquid, but only by making the body too broad (so the bottle doesn"t handle well) or the neck too short (so it"s hard to hold). There"s an inevitable trade-off among the principles, and perfection lies in the balance among them. And this is so whether what"s being judged is a bottle or a horse, a wine or a gymnastics routine or natural human beauty.

What would we say if some philosopher told us that a perfect bottle would be one that can contain a perfectly great amount of liquid, while being perfectly easy to pour from at the same time? Or that a perfect horse would bear an infinitely heavy rider, while at the same time being able to run with perfectly great speed? I should think we"d say he"s made a fundamental mistake here: You can"t perfect something by maximizing all its constituent principles simultaneously. All this will get you is contradictions and absurdities. This is not less true of God than it is of anything else.

The attempt to think of God as a perfect being is misguided for another reason as well. We can speak of the perfection of a bottle or a horse because these are things that can be encompassed (at least in some sense) by our senses and understanding. Having the whole bottle before us, we feel we can judge how close it is to being a perfect instance of its type. But if asked to judge the perfection of a bottle poking out of a paper bag, or of a horse that"s partly hidden in the stable, we"d surely protest: How am I supposed to know? I can only see part of it.

Yet the biblical accounts of our encounters with God emphasize that all human views of God are partial and fragmentary in just this way. Even Moses, the greatest of the prophets, is told that he can"t see God"s face, but can only catch a glimpse of God"s back as he passes by."

This also doesn't even mention that in the bible we see a God who regrets his actions, specifically in the case of creating man. We see a God who looks to change his mind several times. We see a God who looks like he can be negotiated with.

I just want other peoples opinions on this topic.

Thank you

The Bible says, and I quote, "As for God, his way is perfect". So, the Bible doesn't avoid defining God as perfect.

I agree that the bible says that, actually multiple times, but I think we are talking about perfect in a different sense. I have no problem with saying his way is perfect, but then someone also saying that he himself is not "perfect" because he doesn't fit the definition of a maximally great being. As I pointed out before, God seems to change his mind. If God does this, would that mean he is not perfect? And if so, does it even matter?

I didn't know Bibles could speak?
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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9/18/2013 6:19:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/16/2013 9:33:23 PM, stubs wrote:
At 9/16/2013 1:13:10 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 9/16/2013 1:09:03 PM, stubs wrote:
I myself, as well as many others on this site often use Anselms definition of God as, "The greatest conceivable being." I know that this definition is typically used when defending the classical God of theism, but is this definition true for the God of the Christian bible? I think sometimes what we do with this definition is make God like the best possible superhero we can think of, and I don't think that's what the bible describes God as.

Yoram Hazony is president of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and he has this to say about people defining God as "perfect."

"I"d start with this: Is it really necessary to say that God is a "perfect being," or perfect at all, for that matter? As far as I can tell, the biblical authors avoid asserting any such thing. And with good reason. Normally, when we say that something is "perfect," we mean it has attained the best possible balance among the principles involved in making it the kind of thing it is. For example, if we say that a bottle is perfect, we mean it can contain a significant quantity of liquid in its body; that its neck is long enough to be grasped comfortably and firmly; that the bore is wide enough to permit a rapid flow of liquid; and so on. Of course, you can always manufacture a bottle that will hold more liquid, but only by making the body too broad (so the bottle doesn"t handle well) or the neck too short (so it"s hard to hold). There"s an inevitable trade-off among the principles, and perfection lies in the balance among them. And this is so whether what"s being judged is a bottle or a horse, a wine or a gymnastics routine or natural human beauty.

What would we say if some philosopher told us that a perfect bottle would be one that can contain a perfectly great amount of liquid, while being perfectly easy to pour from at the same time? Or that a perfect horse would bear an infinitely heavy rider, while at the same time being able to run with perfectly great speed? I should think we"d say he"s made a fundamental mistake here: You can"t perfect something by maximizing all its constituent principles simultaneously. All this will get you is contradictions and absurdities. This is not less true of God than it is of anything else.

The attempt to think of God as a perfect being is misguided for another reason as well. We can speak of the perfection of a bottle or a horse because these are things that can be encompassed (at least in some sense) by our senses and understanding. Having the whole bottle before us, we feel we can judge how close it is to being a perfect instance of its type. But if asked to judge the perfection of a bottle poking out of a paper bag, or of a horse that"s partly hidden in the stable, we"d surely protest: How am I supposed to know? I can only see part of it.

Yet the biblical accounts of our encounters with God emphasize that all human views of God are partial and fragmentary in just this way. Even Moses, the greatest of the prophets, is told that he can"t see God"s face, but can only catch a glimpse of God"s back as he passes by."

This also doesn't even mention that in the bible we see a God who regrets his actions, specifically in the case of creating man. We see a God who looks to change his mind several times. We see a God who looks like he can be negotiated with.

I just want other peoples opinions on this topic.

Thank you

The Bible says, and I quote, "As for God, his way is perfect". So, the Bible doesn't avoid defining God as perfect.

I agree that the bible says that, actually multiple times, but I think we are talking about perfect in a different sense. I have no problem with saying his way is perfect, but then someone also saying that he himself is not "perfect" because he doesn't fit the definition of a maximally great being. As I pointed out before, God seems to change his mind. If God does this, would that mean he is not perfect? And if so, does it even matter?

The God of the Bible definitely does not describe a maximally great being lol If that is what you are implying, then I agree 100%.
AeneasPhebe
Posts: 213
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9/18/2013 7:25:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/18/2013 4:01:06 PM, stubs wrote:
At 9/16/2013 10:49:23 PM, AeneasPhebe wrote:
At 9/16/2013 9:33:23 PM, stubs wrote:
then someone also saying that he himself is not "perfect" because he doesn't fit the definition of a maximally great being. As I pointed out before, God seems to change his mind.

Examples...

Deuteronomy 23 ----> Isaiah 56

let me know if you want more

Deu. 23 thru Isaiah 56?
Deu. 23 and Isaiah 56?
Why not post the specific changing of mind?
The_Fool_on_the_hill
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9/19/2013 12:04:12 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/18/2013 6:29:31 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
Life will treat you how you expect it will. That's God.

The Fool: If that were true we couldn't ever have surprises.

<(89)

Surprise!!
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
AnDoctuir
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9/19/2013 12:06:50 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/19/2013 12:04:12 AM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 9/18/2013 6:29:31 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
Life will treat you how you expect it will. That's God.

The Fool: If that were true we couldn't ever have surprises.

<(89)

Surprise!!

Well you don't have to take it so literally :P
stubs
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9/19/2013 7:54:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/18/2013 7:25:13 PM, AeneasPhebe wrote:
At 9/18/2013 4:01:06 PM, stubs wrote:
At 9/16/2013 10:49:23 PM, AeneasPhebe wrote:
At 9/16/2013 9:33:23 PM, stubs wrote:
then someone also saying that he himself is not "perfect" because he doesn't fit the definition of a maximally great being. As I pointed out before, God seems to change his mind.

Examples...

Deuteronomy 23 ----> Isaiah 56

let me know if you want more

Deu. 23 thru Isaiah 56?
Deu. 23 and Isaiah 56?
Why not post the specific changing of mind?

No, ready Deut 23 and then Isaiah 56. Also read through Jeremiah there is a theological tension between God telling them there is inevitable judgment and then also telling them to repent in order to avoid the (inevitable?) judgment.
stubs
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9/19/2013 7:55:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/18/2013 6:19:51 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 9/16/2013 9:33:23 PM, stubs wrote:
At 9/16/2013 1:13:10 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 9/16/2013 1:09:03 PM, stubs wrote:
I myself, as well as many others on this site often use Anselms definition of God as, "The greatest conceivable being." I know that this definition is typically used when defending the classical God of theism, but is this definition true for the God of the Christian bible? I think sometimes what we do with this definition is make God like the best possible superhero we can think of, and I don't think that's what the bible describes God as.

Yoram Hazony is president of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and he has this to say about people defining God as "perfect."

"I"d start with this: Is it really necessary to say that God is a "perfect being," or perfect at all, for that matter? As far as I can tell, the biblical authors avoid asserting any such thing. And with good reason. Normally, when we say that something is "perfect," we mean it has attained the best possible balance among the principles involved in making it the kind of thing it is. For example, if we say that a bottle is perfect, we mean it can contain a significant quantity of liquid in its body; that its neck is long enough to be grasped comfortably and firmly; that the bore is wide enough to permit a rapid flow of liquid; and so on. Of course, you can always manufacture a bottle that will hold more liquid, but only by making the body too broad (so the bottle doesn"t handle well) or the neck too short (so it"s hard to hold). There"s an inevitable trade-off among the principles, and perfection lies in the balance among them. And this is so whether what"s being judged is a bottle or a horse, a wine or a gymnastics routine or natural human beauty.

What would we say if some philosopher told us that a perfect bottle would be one that can contain a perfectly great amount of liquid, while being perfectly easy to pour from at the same time? Or that a perfect horse would bear an infinitely heavy rider, while at the same time being able to run with perfectly great speed? I should think we"d say he"s made a fundamental mistake here: You can"t perfect something by maximizing all its constituent principles simultaneously. All this will get you is contradictions and absurdities. This is not less true of God than it is of anything else.

The attempt to think of God as a perfect being is misguided for another reason as well. We can speak of the perfection of a bottle or a horse because these are things that can be encompassed (at least in some sense) by our senses and understanding. Having the whole bottle before us, we feel we can judge how close it is to being a perfect instance of its type. But if asked to judge the perfection of a bottle poking out of a paper bag, or of a horse that"s partly hidden in the stable, we"d surely protest: How am I supposed to know? I can only see part of it.

Yet the biblical accounts of our encounters with God emphasize that all human views of God are partial and fragmentary in just this way. Even Moses, the greatest of the prophets, is told that he can"t see God"s face, but can only catch a glimpse of God"s back as he passes by."

This also doesn't even mention that in the bible we see a God who regrets his actions, specifically in the case of creating man. We see a God who looks to change his mind several times. We see a God who looks like he can be negotiated with.

I just want other peoples opinions on this topic.

Thank you

The Bible says, and I quote, "As for God, his way is perfect". So, the Bible doesn't avoid defining God as perfect.

I agree that the bible says that, actually multiple times, but I think we are talking about perfect in a different sense. I have no problem with saying his way is perfect, but then someone also saying that he himself is not "perfect" because he doesn't fit the definition of a maximally great being. As I pointed out before, God seems to change his mind. If God does this, would that mean he is not perfect? And if so, does it even matter?

The God of the Bible definitely does not describe a maximally great being lol If that is what you are implying, then I agree 100%.

Yeah I think I agree. Atleast in the terms that most on this site use.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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9/19/2013 8:00:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/19/2013 7:55:45 PM, stubs wrote:
At 9/18/2013 6:19:51 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 9/16/2013 9:33:23 PM, stubs wrote:
At 9/16/2013 1:13:10 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 9/16/2013 1:09:03 PM, stubs wrote:
I myself, as well as many others on this site often use Anselms definition of God as, "The greatest conceivable being." I know that this definition is typically used when defending the classical God of theism, but is this definition true for the God of the Christian bible? I think sometimes what we do with this definition is make God like the best possible superhero we can think of, and I don't think that's what the bible describes God as.

Yoram Hazony is president of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and he has this to say about people defining God as "perfect."

"I"d start with this: Is it really necessary to say that God is a "perfect being," or perfect at all, for that matter? As far as I can tell, the biblical authors avoid asserting any such thing. And with good reason. Normally, when we say that something is "perfect," we mean it has attained the best possible balance among the principles involved in making it the kind of thing it is. For example, if we say that a bottle is perfect, we mean it can contain a significant quantity of liquid in its body; that its neck is long enough to be grasped comfortably and firmly; that the bore is wide enough to permit a rapid flow of liquid; and so on. Of course, you can always manufacture a bottle that will hold more liquid, but only by making the body too broad (so the bottle doesn"t handle well) or the neck too short (so it"s hard to hold). There"s an inevitable trade-off among the principles, and perfection lies in the balance among them. And this is so whether what"s being judged is a bottle or a horse, a wine or a gymnastics routine or natural human beauty.

What would we say if some philosopher told us that a perfect bottle would be one that can contain a perfectly great amount of liquid, while being perfectly easy to pour from at the same time? Or that a perfect horse would bear an infinitely heavy rider, while at the same time being able to run with perfectly great speed? I should think we"d say he"s made a fundamental mistake here: You can"t perfect something by maximizing all its constituent principles simultaneously. All this will get you is contradictions and absurdities. This is not less true of God than it is of anything else.

The attempt to think of God as a perfect being is misguided for another reason as well. We can speak of the perfection of a bottle or a horse because these are things that can be encompassed (at least in some sense) by our senses and understanding. Having the whole bottle before us, we feel we can judge how close it is to being a perfect instance of its type. But if asked to judge the perfection of a bottle poking out of a paper bag, or of a horse that"s partly hidden in the stable, we"d surely protest: How am I supposed to know? I can only see part of it.

Yet the biblical accounts of our encounters with God emphasize that all human views of God are partial and fragmentary in just this way. Even Moses, the greatest of the prophets, is told that he can"t see God"s face, but can only catch a glimpse of God"s back as he passes by."

This also doesn't even mention that in the bible we see a God who regrets his actions, specifically in the case of creating man. We see a God who looks to change his mind several times. We see a God who looks like he can be negotiated with.

I just want other peoples opinions on this topic.

Thank you

The Bible says, and I quote, "As for God, his way is perfect". So, the Bible doesn't avoid defining God as perfect.

I agree that the bible says that, actually multiple times, but I think we are talking about perfect in a different sense. I have no problem with saying his way is perfect, but then someone also saying that he himself is not "perfect" because he doesn't fit the definition of a maximally great being. As I pointed out before, God seems to change his mind. If God does this, would that mean he is not perfect? And if so, does it even matter?

The God of the Bible definitely does not describe a maximally great being lol If that is what you are implying, then I agree 100%.

Yeah I think I agree. Atleast in the terms that most on this site use.

So I take it you've ditched the Plantinga's MOA?
stubs
Posts: 1,887
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9/19/2013 9:20:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/19/2013 8:00:34 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 9/19/2013 7:55:45 PM, stubs wrote:
At 9/18/2013 6:19:51 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 9/16/2013 9:33:23 PM, stubs wrote:
At 9/16/2013 1:13:10 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 9/16/2013 1:09:03 PM, stubs wrote:
I myself, as well as many others on this site often use Anselms definition of God as, "The greatest conceivable being." I know that this definition is typically used when defending the classical God of theism, but is this definition true for the God of the Christian bible? I think sometimes what we do with this definition is make God like the best possible superhero we can think of, and I don't think that's what the bible describes God as.

Yoram Hazony is president of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and he has this to say about people defining God as "perfect."

"I"d start with this: Is it really necessary to say that God is a "perfect being," or perfect at all, for that matter? As far as I can tell, the biblical authors avoid asserting any such thing. And with good reason. Normally, when we say that something is "perfect," we mean it has attained the best possible balance among the principles involved in making it the kind of thing it is. For example, if we say that a bottle is perfect, we mean it can contain a significant quantity of liquid in its body; that its neck is long enough to be grasped comfortably and firmly; that the bore is wide enough to permit a rapid flow of liquid; and so on. Of course, you can always manufacture a bottle that will hold more liquid, but only by making the body too broad (so the bottle doesn"t handle well) or the neck too short (so it"s hard to hold). There"s an inevitable trade-off among the principles, and perfection lies in the balance among them. And this is so whether what"s being judged is a bottle or a horse, a wine or a gymnastics routine or natural human beauty.

What would we say if some philosopher told us that a perfect bottle would be one that can contain a perfectly great amount of liquid, while being perfectly easy to pour from at the same time? Or that a perfect horse would bear an infinitely heavy rider, while at the same time being able to run with perfectly great speed? I should think we"d say he"s made a fundamental mistake here: You can"t perfect something by maximizing all its constituent principles simultaneously. All this will get you is contradictions and absurdities. This is not less true of God than it is of anything else.

The attempt to think of God as a perfect being is misguided for another reason as well. We can speak of the perfection of a bottle or a horse because these are things that can be encompassed (at least in some sense) by our senses and understanding. Having the whole bottle before us, we feel we can judge how close it is to being a perfect instance of its type. But if asked to judge the perfection of a bottle poking out of a paper bag, or of a horse that"s partly hidden in the stable, we"d surely protest: How am I supposed to know? I can only see part of it.

Yet the biblical accounts of our encounters with God emphasize that all human views of God are partial and fragmentary in just this way. Even Moses, the greatest of the prophets, is told that he can"t see God"s face, but can only catch a glimpse of God"s back as he passes by."

This also doesn't even mention that in the bible we see a God who regrets his actions, specifically in the case of creating man. We see a God who looks to change his mind several times. We see a God who looks like he can be negotiated with.

I just want other peoples opinions on this topic.

Thank you

The Bible says, and I quote, "As for God, his way is perfect". So, the Bible doesn't avoid defining God as perfect.

I agree that the bible says that, actually multiple times, but I think we are talking about perfect in a different sense. I have no problem with saying his way is perfect, but then someone also saying that he himself is not "perfect" because he doesn't fit the definition of a maximally great being. As I pointed out before, God seems to change his mind. If God does this, would that mean he is not perfect? And if so, does it even matter?

The God of the Bible definitely does not describe a maximally great being lol If that is what you are implying, then I agree 100%.

Yeah I think I agree. Atleast in the terms that most on this site use.

So I take it you've ditched the Plantinga's MOA?

Ehhh, I think you have a good refutation of it, but if you're asking if I would still use it to win a debate with someone else, absolutely. I think it can still be used to win debates so I haven't ditched it in that sense. And I'm also not sure if I ditch it in theory either. I'm still contemplating in my head. I think he is more good, more powerful, more just ect. than anyone else. But it's hard to say, to put in Dr. Craigs, "If you could think of anything better than God, than that would be God." but that's really tough because I think a lot of us have ideas in our head that would make God "better" (in quotes because it would be our idea of better) than how He is described in the bible.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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9/19/2013 11:07:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/19/2013 9:20:35 PM, stubs wrote:
At 9/19/2013 8:00:34 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 9/19/2013 7:55:45 PM, stubs wrote:
At 9/18/2013 6:19:51 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 9/16/2013 9:33:23 PM, stubs wrote:
At 9/16/2013 1:13:10 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 9/16/2013 1:09:03 PM, stubs wrote:
I myself, as well as many others on this site often use Anselms definition of God as, "The greatest conceivable being." I know that this definition is typically used when defending the classical God of theism, but is this definition true for the God of the Christian bible? I think sometimes what we do with this definition is make God like the best possible superhero we can think of, and I don't think that's what the bible describes God as.

Yoram Hazony is president of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and he has this to say about people defining God as "perfect."

"I"d start with this: Is it really necessary to say that God is a "perfect being," or perfect at all, for that matter? As far as I can tell, the biblical authors avoid asserting any such thing. And with good reason. Normally, when we say that something is "perfect," we mean it has attained the best possible balance among the principles involved in making it the kind of thing it is. For example, if we say that a bottle is perfect, we mean it can contain a significant quantity of liquid in its body; that its neck is long enough to be grasped comfortably and firmly; that the bore is wide enough to permit a rapid flow of liquid; and so on. Of course, you can always manufacture a bottle that will hold more liquid, but only by making the body too broad (so the bottle doesn"t handle well) or the neck too short (so it"s hard to hold). There"s an inevitable trade-off among the principles, and perfection lies in the balance among them. And this is so whether what"s being judged is a bottle or a horse, a wine or a gymnastics routine or natural human beauty.

What would we say if some philosopher told us that a perfect bottle would be one that can contain a perfectly great amount of liquid, while being perfectly easy to pour from at the same time? Or that a perfect horse would bear an infinitely heavy rider, while at the same time being able to run with perfectly great speed? I should think we"d say he"s made a fundamental mistake here: You can"t perfect something by maximizing all its constituent principles simultaneously. All this will get you is contradictions and absurdities. This is not less true of God than it is of anything else.

The attempt to think of God as a perfect being is misguided for another reason as well. We can speak of the perfection of a bottle or a horse because these are things that can be encompassed (at least in some sense) by our senses and understanding. Having the whole bottle before us, we feel we can judge how close it is to being a perfect instance of its type. But if asked to judge the perfection of a bottle poking out of a paper bag, or of a horse that"s partly hidden in the stable, we"d surely protest: How am I supposed to know? I can only see part of it.

Yet the biblical accounts of our encounters with God emphasize that all human views of God are partial and fragmentary in just this way. Even Moses, the greatest of the prophets, is told that he can"t see God"s face, but can only catch a glimpse of God"s back as he passes by."

This also doesn't even mention that in the bible we see a God who regrets his actions, specifically in the case of creating man. We see a God who looks to change his mind several times. We see a God who looks like he can be negotiated with.

I just want other peoples opinions on this topic.

Thank you

The Bible says, and I quote, "As for God, his way is perfect". So, the Bible doesn't avoid defining God as perfect.

I agree that the bible says that, actually multiple times, but I think we are talking about perfect in a different sense. I have no problem with saying his way is perfect, but then someone also saying that he himself is not "perfect" because he doesn't fit the definition of a maximally great being. As I pointed out before, God seems to change his mind. If God does this, would that mean he is not perfect? And if so, does it even matter?

The God of the Bible definitely does not describe a maximally great being lol If that is what you are implying, then I agree 100%.

Yeah I think I agree. Atleast in the terms that most on this site use.

So I take it you've ditched the Plantinga's MOA?

Ehhh, I think you have a good refutation of it

Thank you. I'm fairly convinced that the MOA is non-starter...

, but if you're asking if I would still use it to win a debate with someone else, absolutely. I think it can still be used to win debates so I haven't ditched it in that sense.

The argument gets straw-manned a lot by Atheists who don't understand it, so I can see why you would still use it to win debates.

And I'm also not sure if I ditch it in theory either. I'm still contemplating in my head. I think he is more good, more powerful, more just ect. than anyone else. But it's hard to say, to put in Dr. Craigs, "If you could think of anything better than God, than that would be God." but that's really tough because I think a lot of us have ideas in our head that would make God "better" (in quotes because it would be our idea of better) than how He is described in the bible.

Fair enough. I think the idea of a Maximally Great Being is more of a pipe dream... If there is a God, I bet he is way greater than us, but the idea that he would be absolutely perfect seems far-fetched.
stubs
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9/20/2013 11:34:34 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/19/2013 11:07:01 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Fair enough. I think the idea of a Maximally Great Being is more of a pipe dream... If there is a God, I bet he is way greater than us, but the idea that he would be absolutely perfect seems far-fetched.

I also think, especially in the old testament, the writers rarely describe God as being something. They like to write in terms of Gods actions. They say things like God saves, God redeems, God judges ect.
JayLewis
Posts: 41
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9/28/2013 5:37:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Theologians throughout history (especially Augustine and certain medieval theologians) have often spoken of God in the negative sense. What I mean is that theologians describe what God is not in order to describe who God is. For example, since God cannot lie (negative) He must be absolute Truth (positive). If God cannot sin (negative) then He must be holy (positive). If he commits no error (negative) then He must be inerrant (positive). Even though we "see through a glass dimly" (I Corinthians 13:12) we can still know God by what He has revealed about himself in His Word. God has given us a biblical revelation (the Bible) that has stood the test of time. In it we see God's ways, works, wonders, and eternal plan to redeem sinful men through His Son.
AndersonHunter
Posts: 47
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9/28/2013 7:17:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/19/2013 11:07:01 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 9/19/2013 9:20:35 PM, stubs wrote:
At 9/19/2013 8:00:34 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 9/19/2013 7:55:45 PM, stubs wrote:
At 9/18/2013 6:19:51 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 9/16/2013 9:33:23 PM, stubs wrote:
At 9/16/2013 1:13:10 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 9/16/2013 1:09:03 PM, stubs wrote:
I myself, as well as many others on this site often use Anselms definition of God as, "The greatest conceivable being." I know that this definition is typically used when defending the classical God of theism, but is this definition true for the God of the Christian bible? I think sometimes what we do with this definition is make God like the best possible superhero we can think of, and I don't think that's what the bible describes God as.

Yoram Hazony is president of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and he has this to say about people defining God as "perfect."

"I"d start with this: Is it really necessary to say that God is a "perfect being," or perfect at all, for that matter? As far as I can tell, the biblical authors avoid asserting any such thing. And with good reason. Normally, when we say that something is "perfect," we mean it has attained the best possible balance among the principles involved in making it the kind of thing it is. For example, if we say that a bottle is perfect, we mean it can contain a significant quantity of liquid in its body; that its neck is long enough to be grasped comfortably and firmly; that the bore is wide enough to permit a rapid flow of liquid; and so on. Of course, you can always manufacture a bottle that will hold more liquid, but only by making the body too broad (so the bottle doesn"t handle well) or the neck too short (so it"s hard to hold). There"s an inevitable trade-off among the principles, and perfection lies in the balance among them. And this is so whether what"s being judged is a bottle or a horse, a wine or a gymnastics routine or natural human beauty.

What would we say if some philosopher told us that a perfect bottle would be one that can contain a perfectly great amount of liquid, while being perfectly easy to pour from at the same time? Or that a perfect horse would bear an infinitely heavy rider, while at the same time being able to run with perfectly great speed? I should think we"d say he"s made a fundamental mistake here: You can"t perfect something by maximizing all its constituent principles simultaneously. All this will get you is contradictions and absurdities. This is not less true of God than it is of anything else.

The attempt to think of God as a perfect being is misguided for another reason as well. We can speak of the perfection of a bottle or a horse because these are things that can be encompassed (at least in some sense) by our senses and understanding. Having the whole bottle before us, we feel we can judge how close it is to being a perfect instance of its type. But if asked to judge the perfection of a bottle poking out of a paper bag, or of a horse that"s partly hidden in the stable, we"d surely protest: How am I supposed to know? I can only see part of it.

Yet the biblical accounts of our encounters with God emphasize that all human views of God are partial and fragmentary in just this way. Even Moses, the greatest of the prophets, is told that he can"t see God"s face, but can only catch a glimpse of God"s back as he passes by."

This also doesn't even mention that in the bible we see a God who regrets his actions, specifically in the case of creating man. We see a God who looks to change his mind several times. We see a God who looks like he can be negotiated with.

I just want other peoples opinions on this topic.

Thank you

The Bible says, and I quote, "As for God, his way is perfect". So, the Bible doesn't avoid defining God as perfect.

I agree that the bible says that, actually multiple times, but I think we are talking about perfect in a different sense. I have no problem with saying his way is perfect, but then someone also saying that he himself is not "perfect" because he doesn't fit the definition of a maximally great being. As I pointed out before, God seems to change his mind. If God does this, would that mean he is not perfect? And if so, does it even matter?

The God of the Bible definitely does not describe a maximally great being lol If that is what you are implying, then I agree 100%.

Yeah I think I agree. Atleast in the terms that most on this site use.

So I take it you've ditched the Plantinga's MOA?

Ehhh, I think you have a good refutation of it

Thank you. I'm fairly convinced that the MOA is non-starter...


, but if you're asking if I would still use it to win a debate with someone else, absolutely. I think it can still be used to win debates so I haven't ditched it in that sense.

The argument gets straw-manned a lot by Atheists who don't understand it, so I can see why you would still use it to win debates.

And I'm also not sure if I ditch it in theory either. I'm still contemplating in my head. I think he is more good, more powerful, more just ect. than anyone else. But it's hard to say, to put in Dr. Craigs, "If you could think of anything better than God, than that would be God." but that's really tough because I think a lot of us have ideas in our head that would make God "better" (in quotes because it would be our idea of better) than how He is described in the bible.

Fair enough. I think the idea of a Maximally Great Being is more of a pipe dream... If there is a God, I bet he is way greater than us, but the idea that he would be absolutely perfect seems far-fetched.

This begs the question...If God himself is imperfect, then why punish his creation for the imperfection he created them with? We know that if there is a God, he isn't perfect. How do we know this? Because absolute perfection could not deviate in such a way that's counter to it's own absolute perfection. The fact that humans are imperfect provides, in my opinion, proof that a God would also be. So, how can an imperfect God expect anything but imperfection from his creation? So, what theist have become left with is the "God is greater than all things" or "God is the greatest possible good" arguments. Well, OK. So why should anyone follow this God who kills his own creations and then has the audacity to call murder a sin. Thankfully, there is absolutely no reason to believe this child like nonsense which is now being parsed by it's own to such a degree that the arguments are becoming more and more compromised in the hope of not seeming blatantly nonsensical...something they didn't mind for a very long time.

AndersonHunter
Posts: 47
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9/28/2013 7:21:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/28/2013 5:37:27 PM, JayLewis wrote:
Theologians throughout history (especially Augustine and certain medieval theologians) have often spoken of God in the negative sense. What I mean is that theologians describe what God is not in order to describe who God is. For example, since God cannot lie (negative) He must be absolute Truth (positive). If God cannot sin (negative) then He must be holy (positive). If he commits no error (negative) then He must be inerrant (positive). Even though we "see through a glass dimly" (I Corinthians 13:12) we can still know God by what He has revealed about himself in His Word. God has given us a biblical revelation (the Bible) that has stood the test of time. In it we see God's ways, works, wonders, and eternal plan to redeem sinful men through His Son.

Judaism and Hinduism have stood the test of time twice that of Christianity. So, by that argument, we should all be Jews or Hindus. I wish people would stop with the "test of time" assertion.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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9/29/2013 4:04:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/28/2013 7:17:49 PM, AndersonHunter wrote:
At 9/19/2013 11:07:01 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 9/19/2013 9:20:35 PM, stubs wrote:
At 9/19/2013 8:00:34 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 9/19/2013 7:55:45 PM, stubs wrote:
At 9/18/2013 6:19:51 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 9/16/2013 9:33:23 PM, stubs wrote:
At 9/16/2013 1:13:10 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 9/16/2013 1:09:03 PM, stubs wrote:
I myself, as well as many others on this site often use Anselms definition of God as, "The greatest conceivable being." I know that this definition is typically used when defending the classical God of theism, but is this definition true for the God of the Christian bible? I think sometimes what we do with this definition is make God like the best possible superhero we can think of, and I don't think that's what the bible describes God as.

Yoram Hazony is president of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and he has this to say about people defining God as "perfect."

"I"d start with this: Is it really necessary to say that God is a "perfect being," or perfect at all, for that matter? As far as I can tell, the biblical authors avoid asserting any such thing. And with good reason. Normally, when we say that something is "perfect," we mean it has attained the best possible balance among the principles involved in making it the kind of thing it is. For example, if we say that a bottle is perfect, we mean it can contain a significant quantity of liquid in its body; that its neck is long enough to be grasped comfortably and firmly; that the bore is wide enough to permit a rapid flow of liquid; and so on. Of course, you can always manufacture a bottle that will hold more liquid, but only by making the body too broad (so the bottle doesn"t handle well) or the neck too short (so it"s hard to hold). There"s an inevitable trade-off among the principles, and perfection lies in the balance among them. And this is so whether what"s being judged is a bottle or a horse, a wine or a gymnastics routine or natural human beauty.

What would we say if some philosopher told us that a perfect bottle would be one that can contain a perfectly great amount of liquid, while being perfectly easy to pour from at the same time? Or that a perfect horse would bear an infinitely heavy rider, while at the same time being able to run with perfectly great speed? I should think we"d say he"s made a fundamental mistake here: You can"t perfect something by maximizing all its constituent principles simultaneously. All this will get you is contradictions and absurdities. This is not less true of God than it is of anything else.

The attempt to think of God as a perfect being is misguided for another reason as well. We can speak of the perfection of a bottle or a horse because these are things that can be encompassed (at least in some sense) by our senses and understanding. Having the whole bottle before us, we feel we can judge how close it is to being a perfect instance of its type. But if asked to judge the perfection of a bottle poking out of a paper bag, or of a horse that"s partly hidden in the stable, we"d surely protest: How am I supposed to know? I can only see part of it.

Yet the biblical accounts of our encounters with God emphasize that all human views of God are partial and fragmentary in just this way. Even Moses, the greatest of the prophets, is told that he can"t see God"s face, but can only catch a glimpse of God"s back as he passes by."

This also doesn't even mention that in the bible we see a God who regrets his actions, specifically in the case of creating man. We see a God who looks to change his mind several times. We see a God who looks like he can be negotiated with.

I just want other peoples opinions on this topic.

Thank you

The Bible says, and I quote, "As for God, his way is perfect". So, the Bible doesn't avoid defining God as perfect.

I agree that the bible says that, actually multiple times, but I think we are talking about perfect in a different sense. I have no problem with saying his way is perfect, but then someone also saying that he himself is not "perfect" because he doesn't fit the definition of a maximally great being. As I pointed out before, God seems to change his mind. If God does this, would that mean he is not perfect? And if so, does it even matter?

The God of the Bible definitely does not describe a maximally great being lol If that is what you are implying, then I agree 100%.

Yeah I think I agree. Atleast in the terms that most on this site use.

So I take it you've ditched the Plantinga's MOA?

Ehhh, I think you have a good refutation of it

Thank you. I'm fairly convinced that the MOA is non-starter...


, but if you're asking if I would still use it to win a debate with someone else, absolutely. I think it can still be used to win debates so I haven't ditched it in that sense.

The argument gets straw-manned a lot by Atheists who don't understand it, so I can see why you would still use it to win debates.

And I'm also not sure if I ditch it in theory either. I'm still contemplating in my head. I think he is more good, more powerful, more just ect. than anyone else. But it's hard to say, to put in Dr. Craigs, "If you could think of anything better than God, than that would be God." but that's really tough because I think a lot of us have ideas in our head that would make God "better" (in quotes because it would be our idea of better) than how He is described in the bible.

Fair enough. I think the idea of a Maximally Great Being is more of a pipe dream... If there is a God, I bet he is way greater than us, but the idea that he would be absolutely perfect seems far-fetched.

This begs the question...If God himself is imperfect, then why punish his creation for the imperfection he created them with?

Maybe he is punishing his creation for how imperfect we are, not just for being imperfect?

We know that if there is a God, he isn't perfect. How do we know this? Because absolute perfection could not deviate in such a way that's counter to it's own absolute perfection. The fact that humans are imperfect provides, in my opinion, proof that a God would also be.

I agree 100%. Which being deserves to be called perfect? One who:

a) Creates other perfect beings

or

b) Creates imperfect beings

So, how can an imperfect God expect anything but imperfection from his creation? So, what theist have become left with is the "God is greater than all things" or "God is the greatest possible good" arguments. Well, OK. So why should anyone follow this God who kills his own creations and then has the audacity to call murder a sin.

That's another reason I don't take the God of The Bible serious. Killing is supposed to be wrong, but God killed more people than Satan in The Bible lol That's like a Nazi trying to tell me to be good, I would just laugh...

Thankfully, there is absolutely no reason to believe this child like nonsense which is now being parsed by it's own to such a degree that the arguments are becoming more and more compromised in the hope of not seeming blatantly nonsensical...something they didn't mind for a very long time.

JayLewis
Posts: 41
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9/30/2013 2:35:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/28/2013 7:21:48 PM, AndersonHunter wrote:
At 9/28/2013 5:37:27 PM, JayLewis wrote:
Theologians throughout history (especially Augustine and certain medieval theologians) have often spoken of God in the negative sense. What I mean is that theologians describe what God is not in order to describe who God is. For example, since God cannot lie (negative) He must be absolute Truth (positive). If God cannot sin (negative) then He must be holy (positive). If he commits no error (negative) then He must be inerrant (positive). Even though we "see through a glass dimly" (I Corinthians 13:12) we can still know God by what He has revealed about himself in His Word. God has given us a biblical revelation (the Bible) that has stood the test of time. In it we see God's ways, works, wonders, and eternal plan to redeem sinful men through His Son.

Judaism and Hinduism have stood the test of time twice that of Christianity. So, by that argument, we should all be Jews or Hindus. I wish people would stop with the "test of time" assertion.


This is not necessarily the case if you consider historic Christianity to be a continuance (not a divergence) of ancient Judaism. The church in the Old Testament was defined in political, ethnic, and linguistic terms. However, with the coming of the long-awaited Messiah in the New Testament this ancient church has expanded to include members of all nations, tongues, tribes, and ethnicities [see Revelation 5:9-10].
AndersonHunter
Posts: 47
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10/1/2013 7:22:47 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/30/2013 2:35:50 PM, JayLewis wrote:
At 9/28/2013 7:21:48 PM, AndersonHunter wrote:
At 9/28/2013 5:37:27 PM, JayLewis wrote:
Theologians throughout history (especially Augustine and certain medieval theologians) have often spoken of God in the negative sense. What I mean is that theologians describe what God is not in order to describe who God is. For example, since God cannot lie (negative) He must be absolute Truth (positive). If God cannot sin (negative) then He must be holy (positive). If he commits no error (negative) then He must be inerrant (positive). Even though we "see through a glass dimly" (I Corinthians 13:12) we can still know God by what He has revealed about himself in His Word. God has given us a biblical revelation (the Bible) that has stood the test of time. In it we see God's ways, works, wonders, and eternal plan to redeem sinful men through His Son.

Judaism and Hinduism have stood the test of time twice that of Christianity. So, by that argument, we should all be Jews or Hindus. I wish people would stop with the "test of time" assertion.


This is not necessarily the case if you consider historic Christianity to be a continuance (not a divergence) of ancient Judaism. The church in the Old Testament was defined in political, ethnic, and linguistic terms. However, with the coming of the long-awaited Messiah in the New Testament this ancient church has expanded to include members of all nations, tongues, tribes, and ethnicities [see Revelation 5:9-10].

The argument, as usually asserted, is that the mere continuous nature of Christianity and it's following somehow lends credence to it's validity. However, the longevity and sustainability of a religion does not prove the correctness of that religion. As I stated, Hinduism and Judaism have 4,000 years of continuous, sustained practice and devotion. If you are determined to use NT Christianity as a revised continuum of Judaism, then you are still left with Hinduism. What in Christianity, other than its own assertions, make it any more valid than Hinduism? Again, the longevity of nonsensical stories does not prove the validity of said stories.
JayLewis
Posts: 41
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10/2/2013 9:13:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/1/2013 7:22:47 AM, AndersonHunter wrote:
At 9/30/2013 2:35:50 PM, JayLewis wrote:
At 9/28/2013 7:21:48 PM, AndersonHunter wrote:
At 9/28/2013 5:37:27 PM, JayLewis wrote:
Theologians throughout history (especially Augustine and certain medieval theologians) have often spoken of God in the negative sense. What I mean is that theologians describe what God is not in order to describe who God is. For example, since God cannot lie (negative) He must be absolute Truth (positive). If God cannot sin (negative) then He must be holy (positive). If he commits no error (negative) then He must be inerrant (positive). Even though we "see through a glass dimly" (I Corinthians 13:12) we can still know God by what He has revealed about himself in His Word. God has given us a biblical revelation (the Bible) that has stood the test of time. In it we see God's ways, works, wonders, and eternal plan to redeem sinful men through His Son.

Judaism and Hinduism have stood the test of time twice that of Christianity. So, by that argument, we should all be Jews or Hindus. I wish people would stop with the "test of time" assertion.


This is not necessarily the case if you consider historic Christianity to be a continuance (not a divergence) of ancient Judaism. The church in the Old Testament was defined in political, ethnic, and linguistic terms. However, with the coming of the long-awaited Messiah in the New Testament this ancient church has expanded to include members of all nations, tongues, tribes, and ethnicities [see Revelation 5:9-10].

The argument, as usually asserted, is that the mere continuous nature of Christianity and it's following somehow lends credence to it's validity. However, the longevity and sustainability of a religion does not prove the correctness of that religion. As I stated, Hinduism and Judaism have 4,000 years of continuous, sustained practice and devotion. If you are determined to use NT Christianity as a revised continuum of Judaism, then you are still left with Hinduism. What in Christianity, other than its own assertions, make it any more valid than Hinduism? Again, the longevity of nonsensical stories does not prove the validity of said stories.

Question: how does the longevity of Christianity prove its veracity? Response: Either its message of grace and salvation has blinded people for thousands of years or its message is true. There isn't any other option. Historical evidence: 1. The spread of christianity over time from an obscure eastern sect to a worldwide religion shows that it is a message that has been accepted by billions as good news So the sheer numbers of christians throughout history testify to the truth of Christ's claims. When examining the history of the other major religions of the world we see that many of these religions spread by the use of the sword. However, christianity spread organically through the sending out of missionaries and the migration of people throughout the Roman empire and beyond 2. The source documentation for the reliability of the gospels are astounding. Compared to other ancient works the amount of ancient documents we have of the four gospels is unbelievable (see chart on http://carm.org...). All of the gospels were written by the second generation after Christ. The apostle Paul told his writers that there were over 500 witnesses who had seen the resurrected Jesus, and he told them that if they doubted his message they could just talk to these witnesses. 3. If Christianity wasnt true then how could it spread so rapidly throughout the pagan empire of Rome. Rome completely outlawed Christianity and many times sought to exterminate it, yet it still spread exponentially. Like I said earlier these christians did not spread their religion by the sword nor was it a quasi-politcal religion, rather they spread this gospel of grace by loving those the Romans deemed "unlovable" and winning over the pagan roman citizenry by their acts of mercy. Read a brief history of what early Christianity was like here: http://www.earlychurch.com....

MadCornishBiker
Posts: 23,302
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10/2/2013 10:07:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/16/2013 1:09:03 PM, stubs wrote:
I myself, as well as many others on this site often use Anselms definition of God as, "The greatest conceivable being." I know that this definition is typically used when defending the classical God of theism, but is this definition true for the God of the Christian bible? I think sometimes what we do with this definition is make God like the best possible superhero we can think of, and I don't think that's what the bible describes God as.

Yoram Hazony is president of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and he has this to say about people defining God as "perfect."

"I"d start with this: Is it really necessary to say that God is a "perfect being," or perfect at all, for that matter? As far as I can tell, the biblical authors avoid asserting any such thing. And with good reason. Normally, when we say that something is "perfect," we mean it has attained the best possible balance among the principles involved in making it the kind of thing it is. For example, if we say that a bottle is perfect, we mean it can contain a significant quantity of liquid in its body; that its neck is long enough to be grasped comfortably and firmly; that the bore is wide enough to permit a rapid flow of liquid; and so on. Of course, you can always manufacture a bottle that will hold more liquid, but only by making the body too broad (so the bottle doesn"t handle well) or the neck too short (so it"s hard to hold). There"s an inevitable trade-off among the principles, and perfection lies in the balance among them. And this is so whether what"s being judged is a bottle or a horse, a wine or a gymnastics routine or natural human beauty.

What would we say if some philosopher told us that a perfect bottle would be one that can contain a perfectly great amount of liquid, while being perfectly easy to pour from at the same time? Or that a perfect horse would bear an infinitely heavy rider, while at the same time being able to run with perfectly great speed? I should think we"d say he"s made a fundamental mistake here: You can"t perfect something by maximizing all its constituent principles simultaneously. All this will get you is contradictions and absurdities. This is not less true of God than it is of anything else.

The attempt to think of God as a perfect being is misguided for another reason as well. We can speak of the perfection of a bottle or a horse because these are things that can be encompassed (at least in some sense) by our senses and understanding. Having the whole bottle before us, we feel we can judge how close it is to being a perfect instance of its type. But if asked to judge the perfection of a bottle poking out of a paper bag, or of a horse that"s partly hidden in the stable, we"d surely protest: How am I supposed to know? I can only see part of it.

Yet the biblical accounts of our encounters with God emphasize that all human views of God are partial and fragmentary in just this way. Even Moses, the greatest of the prophets, is told that he can"t see God"s face, but can only catch a glimpse of God"s back as he passes by."

This also doesn't even mention that in the bible we see a God who regrets his actions, specifically in the case of creating man. We see a God who looks to change his mind several times. We see a God who looks like he can be negotiated with.

I just want other peoples opinions on this topic.

Thank you

The vast majority of beings definitely misdefine God because they see him as part of some mystic Trinity of Gods, when in reality he is a completely unique being, the creator of all that exists whether in heaven or in earth.

How would I define him.

I am sure that any whom know him as well as I, would define him as follows:

The Epitome of Love: As our creator he loves all of his creation and does what is best for it, whether it likes it or not. Everything he does is for the benefit of that creation, and especially for humanity.

The Epitome of Wisdom: His wisdom by far exceeds eh wisdom of any of his creation, even his Angelic sons, even than his own son,, the only one he created all alone, who was obedient enough to actually want to come to earth and inhabit a perfect human body, knowing that he was going to have to suffer mental and physical torture, and die a sinful death. All because of his love for his Father and for humanity.

The Epitome of Justice: A god who could do things the easy way, but for the sake of the eternal future of his creation has forced himself to allow time to settle a very important issue, whilst protecting humanity as much as possible without violating the rules of perfect justice, not only done, but being seen to be done.

The Epitome of Mercy: His mercy and patience, both connected qualities, are clearly illustrated in his tolerance of Israel for centuries, before finally, for the sake of all humanity having to turn his back on then and set up a new Congregation, the 1st Century Christian. Add to that his tolerance of the Apostatising of the Christian Congregation, inclining their torture and murder of any who tried to stand up for the smallest of his truths, until, again, time ran out and he had to allow his son to set up a replacement for them before it was too late.

The Epitome of Power: despite the fact that his self imposed limitations have set limitation to what eh feels able to do, his power is still such that eh has been able to protect the essence of his truths, despite Satanically inspired efforts to corrupt it. For thousands of years he as successfully limited Satan's activity, for our sakes, without violating Satan's right to a fair trial. He still protects his servants to this day.

The Epitome of humility: Despite being an all powerful being he has allowed Satan the opportunity to prove his case, along the way he has even allowed humans to argue with him with no thought of suppressing, or bullying them. The perfect example of which is, of course, Abraham's argument with him over the judgement of Sodom and Gomorrah, as recorded at Genesis 18:22-33.

That is the closest I can come to a "Character reference" for God using human language.
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
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10/2/2013 3:41:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/2/2013 10:07:02 AM, MadCornishBiker wrote:
At 9/16/2013 1:09:03 PM, stubs wrote:
I myself, as well as many others on this site often use Anselms definition of God as, "The greatest conceivable being." I know that this definition is typically used when defending the classical God of theism, but is this definition true for the God of the Christian bible? I think sometimes what we do with this definition is make God like the best possible superhero we can think of, and I don't think that's what the bible describes God as.

Yoram Hazony is president of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and he has this to say about people defining God as "perfect."

"I"d start with this: Is it really necessary to say that God is a "perfect being," or perfect at all, for that matter? As far as I can tell, the biblical authors avoid asserting any such thing. And with good reason. Normally, when we say that something is "perfect," we mean it has attained the best possible balance among the principles involved in making it the kind of thing it is. For example, if we say that a bottle is perfect, we mean it can contain a significant quantity of liquid in its body; that its neck is long enough to be grasped comfortably and firmly; that the bore is wide enough to permit a rapid flow of liquid; and so on. Of course, you can always manufacture a bottle that will hold more liquid, but only by making the body too broad (so the bottle doesn"t handle well) or the neck too short (so it"s hard to hold). There"s an inevitable trade-off among the principles, and perfection lies in the balance among them. And this is so whether what"s being judged is a bottle or a horse, a wine or a gymnastics routine or natural human beauty.

What would we say if some philosopher told us that a perfect bottle would be one that can contain a perfectly great amount of liquid, while being perfectly easy to pour from at the same time? Or that a perfect horse would bear an infinitely heavy rider, while at the same time being able to run with perfectly great speed? I should think we"d say he"s made a fundamental mistake here: You can"t perfect something by maximizing all its constituent principles simultaneously. All this will get you is contradictions and absurdities. This is not less true of God than it is of anything else.

The attempt to think of God as a perfect being is misguided for another reason as well. We can speak of the perfection of a bottle or a horse because these are things that can be encompassed (at least in some sense) by our senses and understanding. Having the whole bottle before us, we feel we can judge how close it is to being a perfect instance of its type. But if asked to judge the perfection of a bottle poking out of a paper bag, or of a horse that"s partly hidden in the stable, we"d surely protest: How am I supposed to know? I can only see part of it.

Yet the biblical accounts of our encounters with God emphasize that all human views of God are partial and fragmentary in just this way. Even Moses, the greatest of the prophets, is told that he can"t see God"s face, but can only catch a glimpse of God"s back as he passes by."

This also doesn't even mention that in the bible we see a God who regrets his actions, specifically in the case of creating man. We see a God who looks to change his mind several times. We see a God who looks like he can be negotiated with.

I just want other peoples opinions on this topic.

Thank you

The vast majority of beings definitely misdefine God because they see him as part of some mystic Trinity of Gods, when in reality he is a completely unique being, the creator of all that exists whether in heaven or in earth.

How would I define him.

I am sure that any whom know him as well as I, would define him as follows:

The Epitome of Love: As our creator he loves all of his creation and does what is best for it, whether it likes it or not. Everything he does is for the benefit of that creation, and especially for humanity.

The Epitome of Wisdom: His wisdom by far exceeds eh wisdom of any of his creation, even his Angelic sons, even than his own son,, the only one he created all alone, who was obedient enough to actually want to come to earth and inhabit a perfect human body, knowing that he was going to have to suffer mental and physical torture, and die a sinful death. All because of his love for his Father and for humanity.

The Epitome of Justice: A god who could do things the easy way, but for the sake of the eternal future of his creation has forced himself to allow time to settle a very important issue, whilst protecting humanity as much as possible without violating the rules of perfect justice, not only done, but being seen to be done.

The Epitome of Mercy: His mercy and patience, both connected qualities, are clearly illustrated in his tolerance of Israel for centuries, before finally, for the sake of all humanity having to turn his back on then and set up a new Congregation, the 1st Century Christian. Add to that his tolerance of the Apostatising of the Christian Congregation, inclining their torture and murder of any who tried to stand up for the smallest of his truths, until, again, time ran out and he had to allow his son to set up a replacement for them before it was too late.

The Epitome of Power: despite the fact that his self imposed limitations have set limitation to what eh feels able to do, his power is still such that eh has been able to protect the essence of his truths, despite Satanically inspired efforts to corrupt it. For thousands of years he as successfully limited Satan's activity, for our sakes, without violating Satan's right to a fair trial. He still protects his servants to this day.

The Epitome of humility: Despite being an all powerful being he has allowed Satan the opportunity to prove his case, along the way he has even allowed humans to argue with him with no thought of suppressing, or bullying them. The perfect example of which is, of course, Abraham's argument with him over the judgement of Sodom and Gomorrah, as recorded at Genesis 18:22-33.

That is the closest I can come to a "Character reference" for God using human language.

God will destroy your flesh because of all the lies you speak about Him. We saints know a completely different Creator than the one you're trying to lie about.
MadCornishBiker
Posts: 23,302
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10/2/2013 4:24:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/2/2013 3:41:51 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 10/2/2013 10:07:02 AM, MadCornishBiker wrote:
At 9/16/2013 1:09:03 PM, stubs wrote:
I myself, as well as many others on this site often use Anselms definition of God as, "The greatest conceivable being." I know that this definition is typically used when defending the classical God of theism, but is this definition true for the God of the Christian bible? I think sometimes what we do with this definition is make God like the best possible superhero we can think of, and I don't think that's what the bible describes God as.

Yoram Hazony is president of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and he has this to say about people defining God as "perfect."

"I"d start with this: Is it really necessary to say that God is a "perfect being," or perfect at all, for that matter? As far as I can tell, the biblical authors avoid asserting any such thing. And with good reason. Normally, when we say that something is "perfect," we mean it has attained the best possible balance among the principles involved in making it the kind of thing it is. For example, if we say that a bottle is perfect, we mean it can contain a significant quantity of liquid in its body; that its neck is long enough to be grasped comfortably and firmly; that the bore is wide enough to permit a rapid flow of liquid; and so on. Of course, you can always manufacture a bottle that will hold more liquid, but only by making the body too broad (so the bottle doesn"t handle well) or the neck too short (so it"s hard to hold). There"s an inevitable trade-off among the principles, and perfection lies in the balance among them. And this is so whether what"s being judged is a bottle or a horse, a wine or a gymnastics routine or natural human beauty.

What would we say if some philosopher told us that a perfect bottle would be one that can contain a perfectly great amount of liquid, while being perfectly easy to pour from at the same time? Or that a perfect horse would bear an infinitely heavy rider, while at the same time being able to run with perfectly great speed? I should think we"d say he"s made a fundamental mistake here: You can"t perfect something by maximizing all its constituent principles simultaneously. All this will get you is contradictions and absurdities. This is not less true of God than it is of anything else.

The attempt to think of God as a perfect being is misguided for another reason as well. We can speak of the perfection of a bottle or a horse because these are things that can be encompassed (at least in some sense) by our senses and understanding. Having the whole bottle before us, we feel we can judge how close it is to being a perfect instance of its type. But if asked to judge the perfection of a bottle poking out of a paper bag, or of a horse that"s partly hidden in the stable, we"d surely protest: How am I supposed to know? I can only see part of it.

Yet the biblical accounts of our encounters with God emphasize that all human views of God are partial and fragmentary in just this way. Even Moses, the greatest of the prophets, is told that he can"t see God"s face, but can only catch a glimpse of God"s back as he passes by."

This also doesn't even mention that in the bible we see a God who regrets his actions, specifically in the case of creating man. We see a God who looks to change his mind several times. We see a God who looks like he can be negotiated with.

I just want other peoples opinions on this topic.

Thank you

The vast majority of beings definitely misdefine God because they see him as part of some mystic Trinity of Gods, when in reality he is a completely unique being, the creator of all that exists whether in heaven or in earth.

How would I define him.

I am sure that any whom know him as well as I, would define him as follows:

The Epitome of Love: As our creator he loves all of his creation and does what is best for it, whether it likes it or not. Everything he does is for the benefit of that creation, and especially for humanity.

The Epitome of Wisdom: His wisdom by far exceeds eh wisdom of any of his creation, even his Angelic sons, even than his own son,, the only one he created all alone, who was obedient enough to actually want to come to earth and inhabit a perfect human body, knowing that he was going to have to suffer mental and physical torture, and die a sinful death. All because of his love for his Father and for humanity.

The Epitome of Justice: A god who could do things the easy way, but for the sake of the eternal future of his creation has forced himself to allow time to settle a very important issue, whilst protecting humanity as much as possible without violating the rules of perfect justice, not only done, but being seen to be done.

The Epitome of Mercy: His mercy and patience, both connected qualities, are clearly illustrated in his tolerance of Israel for centuries, before finally, for the sake of all humanity having to turn his back on then and set up a new Congregation, the 1st Century Christian. Add to that his tolerance of the Apostatising of the Christian Congregation, inclining their torture and murder of any who tried to stand up for the smallest of his truths, until, again, time ran out and he had to allow his son to set up a replacement for them before it was too late.

The Epitome of Power: despite the fact that his self imposed limitations have set limitation to what eh feels able to do, his power is still such that eh has been able to protect the essence of his truths, despite Satanically inspired efforts to corrupt it. For thousands of years he as successfully limited Satan's activity, for our sakes, without violating Satan's right to a fair trial. He still protects his servants to this day.

The Epitome of humility: Despite being an all powerful being he has allowed Satan the opportunity to prove his case, along the way he has even allowed humans to argue with him with no thought of suppressing, or bullying them. The perfect example of which is, of course, Abraham's argument with him over the judgement of Sodom and Gomorrah, as recorded at Genesis 18:22-33.

That is the closest I can come to a "Character reference" for God using human language.

God will destroy your flesh because of all the lies you speak about Him. We saints know a completely different Creator than the one you're trying to lie about.

I speak no lies, it is you who does.

1 Timothy 6:2-6 "..................

Keep on teaching these things and giving these exhortations. 3 If any man teaches other doctrine and does not assent to healthful words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, nor to the teaching that accords with godly devotion, 4 he is puffed up [with pride], not understanding anything, but being mentally diseased over questionings and debates about words. From these things spring envy, strife, abusive speeches, wicked suspicions, 5 violent disputes about trifles on the part of men corrupted in mind and despoiled of the truth, thinking that godly devotion is a means of gain. 6 To be sure, it is a means of great gain, [this] godly devotion along with self-sufficiency."