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God: Anthropomorphic or Nonexistent

NotArrogantJustRight
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2/11/2010 1:51:03 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I apologize for the lack of creativity on my own part. This passage was expertly composed and puts a great perspective to the age-old paradox question regarding the existence of a god. Comments regarding your perspective are greatly appreciated.

Ludwig von Mises, Human Action:

Scholastic philosophers and theologians and likewise Theists and Deists of the Age of Reason conceived an absolute and perfect being, unchangeable, omnipotent, and omniscient, and yet planning and acting, aiming at ends and employing means for the attainment of these ends. But action can only be imputed to a discontented being, and repeated action only to a being who lacks the power to remove his uneasiness once and for all at one stroke. An acting being is discontented and therefore not almighty. If he were contented, he would not act, and if he were almighty, he would have long since radically removed his discontent. For an all-powerful being there is no pressure to choose between various states of uneasiness; he is not under the necessity of acquiescing in the lesser evil. Omnipotence would mean the power to achieve everything and to enjoy full satisfaction without being restrained by any limitations. But this is incompatible with the very concept of action. For an almighty being the categories of ends and means do not exist. He is above all human comprehension, concepts, and understanding. For the almighty being every "means" renders unlimited services, he can apply every "means" for the attainment of any ends, he can achieve every end without the employment of any means. It is beyond the faculties of the human mind to think the concept of almightiness consistently to its ultimate logical consequences. The paradoxes are insoluble. Has the almighty being the power to achieve something which is immune to his later interference? If he has this power, then there are limits to his might and he is no longer almighty; if he lacks this power, he is by virtue of this fact alone not almighty.
DATCMOTO
Posts: 6,160
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2/11/2010 3:58:20 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/11/2010 1:51:03 AM, NotArrogantJustRight wrote:
I apologize for the lack of creativity on my own part. This passage was expertly composed and puts a great perspective to the age-old paradox question regarding the existence of a god. Comments regarding your perspective are greatly appreciated.

Ludwig von Mises, Human Action:

Scholastic philosophers and theologians and likewise Theists and Deists of the Age of Reason conceived an absolute and perfect being, unchangeable, omnipotent, and omniscient, and yet planning and acting, aiming at ends and employing means for the attainment of these ends. But action can only be imputed to a discontented being, and repeated action only to a being who lacks the power to remove his uneasiness once and for all at one stroke. An acting being is discontented and therefore not almighty. If he were contented, he would not act, and if he were almighty, he would have long since radically removed his discontent. For an all-powerful being there is no pressure to choose between various states of uneasiness; he is not under the necessity of acquiescing in the lesser evil. Omnipotence would mean the power to achieve everything and to enjoy full satisfaction without being restrained by any limitations. But this is incompatible with the very concept of action. For an almighty being the categories of ends and means do not exist. He is above all human comprehension, concepts, and understanding. For the almighty being every "means" renders unlimited services, he can apply every "means" for the attainment of any ends, he can achieve every end without the employment of any means. It is beyond the faculties of the human mind to think the concept of almightiness consistently to its ultimate logical consequences. The paradoxes are insoluble. Has the almighty being the power to achieve something which is immune to his later interference? If he has this power, then there are limits to his might and he is no longer almighty; if he lacks this power, he is by virtue of this fact alone not almighty.

Isaiah 55:9
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
The Cross.. the Cross.
NotArrogantJustRight
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2/12/2010 11:31:59 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/11/2010 3:58:20 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:

Isaiah 55:9
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.


I'm curious, as a religious person how would you refute the seemingly insurmountable paradoxes of Mises' statement? How can a being be both omnipotent and omniscient concurrently?

If, according to Isaiah, God's ways and thoughts are "higher" than mine, what is the methodology I am missing?
Ryft
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2/13/2010 1:25:54 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
The argument presented by Ludwig von Mises regards a deity who is temporally bounded; the paradoxes therefore do not inhere in the Christian God, leaving me with nothing to respond to (since I do not invest energies defending deities I don't acknowledge).
GeoLaureate8
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2/13/2010 1:41:19 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
"To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, God, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no God, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise."

-Thomas Jefferson

[1]http://www.nobeliefs.com...

This is something I have been wanting to get across for a while now. Either God is an anthropomorphic, corporeal entity, or he is non-existent. And Jefferson espoused upon this point nicely.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Ryft
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2/13/2010 1:48:46 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Jefferson's remarks and yours are based on metaphysical naturalism, which is question-begging (fallacy). As a presupposition upon which you build your views, that's fine. As an attempted critique against the existence of God, that's fallacious.
GeoLaureate8
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2/13/2010 2:42:02 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/13/2010 1:48:46 AM, Ryft wrote:
Jefferson's remarks and yours are based on metaphysical naturalism, which is question-begging (fallacy). As a presupposition upon which you build your views, that's fine. As an attempted critique against the existence of God, that's fallacious.

Material existence is observable. Immaterial existence is not, nor can anyone provide a definition of "immaterial" that has any meaning. I am not presupposing material existence if it is observable.

And even though I believe the Universe is holographic, I would never attempt to assert a dual paradigm of material/immaterial. I cannot conceive of such thing that exists with no qualities of existing or a substance with a quality of "immaterial."
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
DATCMOTO
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2/13/2010 3:48:24 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/12/2010 11:31:59 PM, NotArrogantJustRight wrote:
At 2/11/2010 3:58:20 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:

Isaiah 55:9
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.


I'm curious, as a religious person how would you refute the seemingly insurmountable paradoxes of Mises' statement? How can a being be both omnipotent and omniscient concurrently?

If, according to Isaiah, God's ways and thoughts are "higher" than mine, what is the methodology I am missing?

We must begin by humbling ourselves to an intelligence that exeeds even our imaginations.

I believe most of these so-called paradoxes are really only semantic gymnastics.

And I am not religious, I'm a son of the Living God.
The Cross.. the Cross.
PervRat
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2/13/2010 4:07:09 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/13/2010 3:48:24 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
We must begin by humbling ourselves to an intelligence that exeeds even our imaginations.

Oh, I'm pretty humble to the intelligence of Stephen Hawking.
NotArrogantJustRight
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2/13/2010 8:47:46 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/13/2010 1:25:54 AM, Ryft wrote:
The argument presented by Ludwig von Mises regards a deity who is temporally bounded; the paradoxes therefore do not inhere in the Christian God, leaving me with nothing to respond to (since I do not invest energies defending deities I don't acknowledge).

So the Christian God is not temporally bounded? I'm not sure how this term applies to the existence of a deity. I would appreciate further explanation.

Does God exist on a different dimension? Does he consist of atoms or particles? Is he an actual being or simply an energy field?

Unless the scientific laws we know and understand are completely incorrect (which is certainly plausible) God must exist in some sort of tangible, measurable entity or he would not been able to have accomplished such things as creating the universe. Which I suppose is the basis for faith.
mattrodstrom
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2/13/2010 10:11:10 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/13/2010 1:41:19 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
"To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, God, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no God, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise."

-Thomas Jefferson

Awesome.

How can one reason about "other" realms??

You can't.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
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2/13/2010 10:12:22 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/13/2010 1:48:46 AM, Ryft wrote:
Jefferson's remarks and yours are based on metaphysical naturalism, which is question-begging (fallacy). As a presupposition upon which you build your views, that's fine. As an attempted critique against the existence of God, that's fallacious.

As a strike against the "belief" in god, it's just fine.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Ryft
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2/15/2010 2:19:42 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
GeoLaureate8 wrote:

I am not presupposing material existence if it is observable.

That is not the issue. Presupposing that material existence is the sum of all existence is the issue, the question-begging fallacy at the bottom of Jefferson's comment. In order for one to assert that talking of immaterial existences "is to talk of nothings," one must first presuppose metaphysical naturalism. To put it another way, his comment holds water only if metaphysical naturalism is true. But it would be viciously circular to assume its truth when investigating whether or not it's true.

NotArrogantJustRight wrote:

So the Christian God is not temporally bounded? I'm not sure how this term applies to the existence of a deity. I would appreciate further explanation.

It means that the Christian God does not experience time as a linear sequence of events, the way we do (i.e., he does not have a 'past' or 'future'). In the words of Aiden Tozer, "In God there is no was or will be, but a continuous and unbroken is. In him, history and prophecy are one and the same." And Charles Spurgeon, "With God there is no past, and can be no future ... What we call past, present, and future, he wraps up in one eternal now." Ergo, arguments predicated on a deity having a future, such as that by von Mises, do not apply to the Christian God.

NotArrogantJustRight wrote:

Unless the scientific laws we know and understand are completely incorrect (which is certainly plausible), God must exist as some sort of tangible, measurable entity ...

How does that follow? Scientific laws are descriptive statements about how the physical universe operates; they are not normative statements about the nature of existence.
GeoLaureate8
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2/15/2010 2:29:13 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/15/2010 2:19:42 AM, Ryft wrote:
GeoLaureate8 wrote:

I am not presupposing material existence if it is observable.

That is not the issue. Presupposing that material existence is the sum of all existence is the issue, the question-begging fallacy at the bottom of Jefferson's comment. In order for one to assert that talking of immaterial existences "is to talk of nothings," one must first presuppose metaphysical naturalism. To put it another way, his comment holds water only if metaphysical naturalism is true. But it would be viciously circular to assume its truth when investigating whether or not it's true.

Ok, before we can go any further talking about whether immaterial realms or entities exist, define and describe "immaterial."
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Ryft
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2/15/2010 2:52:03 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/15/2010 2:29:13 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:

Ok, before we can go any further talking about whether immaterial realms or entities exist, define and describe "immaterial."

The prefix "im-" is negating the adjective "material"; i.e., that which is not materially composed (matter).

(P.S. I am heading to bed. Further replies won't be until tomorrow.)
NotArrogantJustRight
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2/15/2010 9:49:21 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/15/2010 2:19:42 AM, Ryft wrote:

[Not temporally bounded] means that the Christian God does not experience time as a linear sequence of events, the way we do (i.e., he does not have a 'past' or 'future'). … Ergo, arguments predicated on a deity having a future, such as that by von Mises, do not apply to the Christian God.

This is assuming humans are temporally bounded. There are numerous experiments showing that time is not quite the impenetrable barrier we all seem to believe it to be. Most suggest that the human brain experiences "time jumps" many times throughout an ordinary day. Regardless, the dimension of time has no relevant impact on the paradoxes brought forth by Mises.

For example, if I were able to jump through time at will, it is with some certainty that I would be able to find out virtually anything asked of me. In the Christian God's case, his immunity to the temporal scale allows him to pry into the "present" of any given time thus giving him a sort of omniscient quality. But being omniscient, one would know exactly what and how things take place throughout eternity. It would be like reading a book. Someone reading a book has no ability to change the storyline and thus has no power over the story, let alone omnipotent power.

At 2/15/2010 2:19:42 AM, Ryft wrote:

NotArrogantJustRight wrote:

Unless the scientific laws we know and understand are completely incorrect (which is certainly plausible), God must exist as some sort of tangible, measurable entity ...

How does that follow? Scientific laws are descriptive statements about how the physical universe operates; they are not normative statements about the nature of existence.

Science gives answers to general problems and questions whether of a physical or non-physical nature. It delves very deeply into the how's and why's of existence, consciousness, the unknown, and the un-explainable. As we currently understand, in order for an entity to positively affect another entity it must have the ability to transfer energy. The ability to transfer energy is coupled with mass. If an object has no mass, it has no energy. If an object has no energy, it cannot be omnipotent.
Reasoning
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2/15/2010 10:28:58 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
That is the single most powerful argument against the existence of God that I have ever heard. It seems to follow directly from praxeology.

Can anyone come up with a good counter argument?
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
Ore_Ele
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2/15/2010 10:56:30 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/15/2010 10:28:58 AM, Reasoning wrote:
That is the single most powerful argument against the existence of God that I have ever heard. It seems to follow directly from praxeology.

Can anyone come up with a good counter argument?

photons. And don't even go into "photons have mass because of momentum or E=MC2"...

Actually, go into it, it'll be fun.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Kinesis
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2/15/2010 11:04:45 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
This is assuming humans are temporally bounded. There are numerous experiments showing that time is not quite the impenetrable barrier we all seem to believe it to be. Most suggest that the human brain experiences "time jumps" many times throughout an ordinary day. Regardless, the dimension of time has no relevant impact on the paradoxes brought forth by Mises.

For example, if I were able to jump through time at will, it is with some certainty that I would be able to find out virtually anything asked of me. In the Christian God's case, his immunity to the temporal scale allows him to pry into the "present" of any given time thus giving him a sort of omniscient quality. But being omniscient, one would know exactly what and how things take place throughout eternity. It would be like reading a book. Someone reading a book has no ability to change the storyline and thus has no power over the story, let alone omnipotent power.


I would like to here a counterargument for this, because it seems at first glance to be a crushing blow against God's existence.
Ore_Ele
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2/15/2010 11:21:25 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/15/2010 11:04:45 AM, Kinesis wrote:
This is assuming humans are temporally bounded. There are numerous experiments showing that time is not quite the impenetrable barrier we all seem to believe it to be. Most suggest that the human brain experiences "time jumps" many times throughout an ordinary day. Regardless, the dimension of time has no relevant impact on the paradoxes brought forth by Mises.

For example, if I were able to jump through time at will, it is with some certainty that I would be able to find out virtually anything asked of me. In the Christian God's case, his immunity to the temporal scale allows him to pry into the "present" of any given time thus giving him a sort of omniscient quality. But being omniscient, one would know exactly what and how things take place throughout eternity. It would be like reading a book. Someone reading a book has no ability to change the storyline and thus has no power over the story, let alone omnipotent power.


I would like to here a counterargument for this, because it seems at first glance to be a crushing blow against God's existence.

It makes an assumption that "his [God's] immunity to the temporal scale allows him to pry into the "present" of any given time thus giving him a sort of omniscient quality"

This doesn't give God the ability to "know" everything, but the ability to "find" anything out. And even then, the definition of "omniscient" is still a little blurry (as is omnipotent), whether it truly means to know "everything" or to know "everything that is possible to know"
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Reasoning
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2/15/2010 11:23:41 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/15/2010 10:56:30 AM, OreEle wrote:
At 2/15/2010 10:28:58 AM, Reasoning wrote:
That is the single most powerful argument against the existence of God that I have ever heard. It seems to follow directly from praxeology.

Can anyone come up with a good counter argument?

photons. And don't even go into "photons have mass because of momentum or E=MC2"...

Actually, go into it, it'll be fun.

I was referring the the OP.
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
Reasoning
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2/15/2010 11:26:13 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Could we posit that God upon coming into existence instantaneously removed all of his felt unease by creating the universe and making all of his interventions into it and now exists idle in a state of perfect contentment?
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
InquireTruth
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2/15/2010 11:30:33 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Unless the scientific laws we know and understand are completely incorrect (which is certainly plausible) God must exist in some sort of tangible, measurable entity or he would not been able to have accomplished such things as creating the universe. Which I suppose is the basis for faith.

Lol. The laws need not be incorrect in order to not apply to the object of your scrutiny. Imagine that a game designer creates a world where matter could be both created and destroyed. Do you think it would be correct reasoning for the entities of that created world to wonder why the designer is not bound by his own programming?
Reasoning
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2/15/2010 11:32:59 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/15/2010 11:30:33 AM, InquireTruth wrote:
Lol. The laws need not be incorrect in order to not apply to the object of your scrutiny. Imagine that a game designer creates a world where matter could be both created and destroyed. Do you think it would be correct reasoning for the entities of that created world to wonder why the designer is not bound by his own programming?

Entities in a video game can't wonder silly goose.
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
Ore_Ele
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2/15/2010 11:34:03 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/15/2010 11:04:45 AM, Kinesis wrote:
This is assuming humans are temporally bounded. There are numerous experiments showing that time is not quite the impenetrable barrier we all seem to believe it to be. Most suggest that the human brain experiences "time jumps" many times throughout an ordinary day. Regardless, the dimension of time has no relevant impact on the paradoxes brought forth by Mises.

For example, if I were able to jump through time at will, it is with some certainty that I would be able to find out virtually anything asked of me. In the Christian God's case, his immunity to the temporal scale allows him to pry into the "present" of any given time thus giving him a sort of omniscient quality. But being omniscient, one would know exactly what and how things take place throughout eternity. It would be like reading a book. Someone reading a book has no ability to change the storyline and thus has no power over the story, let alone omnipotent power.


I would like to here a counterargument for this, because it seems at first glance to be a crushing blow against God's existence.

Another issue is that it doesn't make logical sense unless we toss out free will altogether. Example - God could go to tomorrow and tell me what shirt I wear then come back to today and let me know. Now if I have free will and the ability to make my own choices, then I can choose to wear a different shirt. And wham bam, God's actions made a change. And so the future isn't written, however, if it is written, then nothing has any power to change it and so the entire concept of "power" becomes meaningless.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Ore_Ele
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2/15/2010 11:35:01 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/15/2010 11:32:59 AM, Reasoning wrote:
At 2/15/2010 11:30:33 AM, InquireTruth wrote:
Lol. The laws need not be incorrect in order to not apply to the object of your scrutiny. Imagine that a game designer creates a world where matter could be both created and destroyed. Do you think it would be correct reasoning for the entities of that created world to wonder why the designer is not bound by his own programming?

Entities in a video game can't wonder silly goose.

They may someday as we work on AI.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Ore_Ele
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2/15/2010 11:35:29 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/15/2010 11:23:41 AM, Reasoning wrote:
At 2/15/2010 10:56:30 AM, OreEle wrote:
At 2/15/2010 10:28:58 AM, Reasoning wrote:
That is the single most powerful argument against the existence of God that I have ever heard. It seems to follow directly from praxeology.

Can anyone come up with a good counter argument?

photons. And don't even go into "photons have mass because of momentum or E=MC2"...

Actually, go into it, it'll be fun.

I was referring the the OP.

Sorry, I thought you were talking about the post right above you.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
popculturepooka
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2/15/2010 11:35:33 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/15/2010 11:26:13 AM, Reasoning wrote:
Could we posit that God upon coming into existence instantaneously removed all of his felt unease by creating the universe and making all of his interventions into it and now exists idle in a state of perfect contentment?

I don't think any theist would accept that God came into existence.
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Ore_Ele
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2/15/2010 11:39:50 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/15/2010 11:35:33 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 2/15/2010 11:26:13 AM, Reasoning wrote:
Could we posit that God upon coming into existence instantaneously removed all of his felt unease by creating the universe and making all of his interventions into it and now exists idle in a state of perfect contentment?

I don't think any theist would accept that God came into existence.

Not spontaneously, at least.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
InquireTruth
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2/15/2010 11:44:27 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/15/2010 11:32:59 AM, Reasoning wrote:
At 2/15/2010 11:30:33 AM, InquireTruth wrote:
Lol. The laws need not be incorrect in order to not apply to the object of your scrutiny. Imagine that a game designer creates a world where matter could be both created and destroyed. Do you think it would be correct reasoning for the entities of that created world to wonder why the designer is not bound by his own programming?

Entities in a video game can't wonder silly goose.

They certainly can if they are programmed to. There is a box that you are not thinking outside of.