I know , but that was what i was argueing with. People can very easily lose focus when discussing God. As you say, just looking at the good things at the expense of the bad. If God were truly fair we would all live exactly the same amount of time. No cancer, no heart disease, no random accidents.
Things like love, compassion etc are all attributed to God, but when its pointed out theres evil (whether you call it that or not) in the world, its EVERYBODIES fault except God. The obvious point is that God made everything, including us. He made some of us nasty cusses as well. This is passed off with muddy-watered-rubbish like, "its the devils work", or "its man that has the self determination to be evil". So why did God allow the Devil to do his work then. He's God, he created the ENTIRE UNIVERSE, surely zapping Lucifer is a relatively simple task? Or to NOT give humans the ability to be evil.
Wouldn't the world be a nicer place if God just did a bit of prep work first?
------------------ Occam's razor is not for shaving with.
I have basically heard the same reasoning about omnibenevolence vs. omnipotence, and I generally agree with that reasoning. I think we DO have self-determination, which means that we have the potential to do great good and great evil--it's our choice. That also makes us responsible for our own actions. WHY, someone might ask, were we given free choice if we are so prone to misusing it? Wouldn't it have been better to just create a world of people who weren't capable of doing bad things (wouldn't it have been better to, as it has been put, "zap Lucifer"?) Well, yes and no. Sure, the world would be a lot more "pleasant" if we didn't have free choice, and if nothing were cappable of going against God's will. But it wouldn't be a very stisfying happiness. We would be mere automatons, really, and we wouldn't be able to do much. Newton once said that "every action has an equal and opposite reaction". If we human beings are to have the potential to love fully, and to do great good, we must also have the potential (whether it is acted upon or not) to hate and to do great wrong. To really, fully exist, I think we had to have free choice, free will--but by definition that means we must be able to choose whether or not we will follow God's will. That means that God cannot have the power to "control" us (and that's the end of omnipotence). Why any rational person at all would choose to disobay God, and why that potential to do evil as well as good was actualized, I certainly do not know. That is it's very own question outside of the question as to whether we have free will and what that free will might mean.
But why couldn't God give us free will, but also not want to do bad things. Its still free will. There are a lot of things we don't generally do, but COULD. Because we don't, doesn't mean we don't have free will. For example, self harm. People do, I know, but most of us do not desire to harm ourselves. Presumably God gave us the desire not to self harm, without taking away free will.
Newton was referring to motion & not human nature, so it doesn't really apply.
Unless I am mistaken, I thought that the question above was what everyone was going to talk about. But it seems you're all talking about "God's" CHARACTERSTICS instead of wether or not God IS the Universe. If I may write breafly on this topic: "God IS the Universe". This refers to Pantheism in which God is identified as the objects which make up the universe. A practicioner of an eastern religion(like Buddism) may for example hold up a rock and say, "This is God", or "You are God", "I am God", "That tree over there is God". IOW God IS everthing and everything IS God. It is not the same as saying the spirit of God is IN you, me, the rock, the tree. It sort of puts a whole new bent on wether or not God has certain characteristics like omnipotence or omnisience. But there are other ways of understanding God also. One is the western concept of God in which we can easily discuss wether God is omnipresent, omnisient, etc. This God is the supernatural deity of the Bible and the Quran who reaches down from the outside and meddles with physical law(miracles), and our "free-will". I think that when you are discussing "Is Universe God?", then you may be talking about this western view of God. Anyway I will be watching to read some of your interesting comments. PM
quote:God is omnipresent / the universe is by definition omnipresent...
Not so. God/Jehovah is not omnipresent, though he is aware of everything going on in the universe. He has a location, according to the Bible, there is a place where he sits on a throne with creatures around him in his presence. His Holy Spirit, the spirit of Jehovah the father and Jesus the son is multi-present throughout the universe wherever he is sent by Jehovah God or his son Jesus.
quote: God is omnipotent / the universe by definition contains all the power and is therefore omnipotent...
Again false, at least so far as creationists believe. The universe cannot think, make decisions, create or act outside of the control of God.
quote: God is omnicogniscient / the universe gives us the answers if we ask the right questions (Data from experiments) therefore since all knowledge is derived from the universe it is omnicogniscient...
Nay again. To be cogniscient, is to be intelligent and able to think and do. The universe perse cannot think. Only certain beings in the universe can do this.
quote: God is omnibenevolent the universe containing all the good things is omnibenevolent...
Nonee! Only animate beings within the universe are benevolent. By definition, the whole universe/everything existing is not benevolent, and that includes all space.
[This message has been edited by buzsaw, 11-08-2003]
The word pantheism comes from Greek. Pan: all and theos: God. In pantheism, all reality is viewed as being infused with divinity. God is primarily impersonal, since Jupiter or a Black Hole are hardly personal to us. (most of us,perhaps) In viewing much of the religious beliefs of the major denominations and offshoots, I usually decuce my reasoning by comparing several varied sources within that context. For example, Nine out of Ten believe that The word is God, which means that the impartation of truth existed in a defineable(by words) form before the book was actually written. One out of ten say that the word was a god, but their organization has been around a mere 200 years and has changed its internal theology numerous times. Additionally, the JW viewpoint warns them about searching outside their own literature for truth or even debate. I, on the other hand, am unafraid to search many differing sources. So the pantheists have a belief also. Is the Universe God? Well...what is god to you? To me, it is the One God of Israel which I believe became a person. If Lake Michigan is one body (of water) and I fill a glass with it, it may be true that the glass is not the lake, but it is also true that the lake is in the glass fully, and that the lake and the glass are still one body (of water)....