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Author Topic:   IS There only one god?
Peter
Member (Idle past 1966 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 1 of 20 (47675)
07-28-2003 6:59 AM


The bible has this::

'Thou shalt have none other gods before me.'

Doesn't that just mean 'I am the Boss God' rather than
'I am the only God'?


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by compmage, posted 07-28-2003 7:29 AM Peter has responded
 Message 3 by Parasomnium, posted 07-28-2003 8:29 AM Peter has responded
 Message 11 by doctrbill, posted 07-28-2003 10:37 PM Peter has acknowledged this reply
 Message 12 by THEONE, posted 07-29-2003 1:03 AM Peter has acknowledged this reply

    
compmage
Member (Idle past 3196 days)
Posts: 601
From: South Africa
Joined: 08-04-2005


Message 2 of 20 (47678)
07-28-2003 7:29 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Peter
07-28-2003 6:59 AM


Peter writes:

Doesn't that just mean 'I am the Boss God' rather than
'I am the only God'?

Yes and then there is also the part in Genisis where God says something like, "They are become like on of us, knowing good from evil."

I'll look up the verse if you want.

------------------
He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife.
- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy


This message is a reply to:
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Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 739 days)
Posts: 2191
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 3 of 20 (47684)
07-28-2003 8:29 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Peter
07-28-2003 6:59 AM


Peter,

It depends on what kind of god you mean. Logically, there can be at most one omnipotent god. This can be demonstrated by reductio ad absurdum: Let's assume there are more than one omnipotent beings. Now, one of them, god A, can want to do something another one of them, god B, doesn't want to happen. Then, either god A has his way and god B is unable to stop him, or god B prevents whatever it is god A wants to do. Either way, one of them is not omnipotent. This contradicts the original assumption that both are omnipotent. Therefore there cannot be more than one omnipotent being.

Be my guest in trying to demonstrate that even one of them is too much for the discerning mind.

Cheers.

[This message has been edited by Parasomnium, 07-28-2003]


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Peter
Member (Idle past 1966 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 4 of 20 (47685)
07-28-2003 8:29 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by compmage
07-28-2003 7:29 AM


I'm familiar with that ... it also mentions something
like 'next thing you know they'll eat from the
tree of life and become immortal!!' -- which kind
of puts the kibosh on a claim when I first started posting
here from someone who said that there was no death before the
'fall'.
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Peter
Member (Idle past 1966 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 5 of 20 (47687)
07-28-2003 8:49 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Parasomnium
07-28-2003 8:29 AM


I was trying to leave omnipotence out of this -- I
don't think there is any reason to assume that the god
described in the bible IS omnipotent in any case.

With regard to your comment on two omnipotent gods --
does omnipotent mean that they always do whatever they
want to, or that they are capable of doing whatever they
want to?

Like -- I am capable of communicating via the internet, but
if someone deliberatly stops me from doing so I cannot. That
doesn't stop me being internetpotent.


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 Message 6 by Mike Holland, posted 07-28-2003 9:38 AM Peter has responded

    
Mike Holland
Member (Idle past 325 days)
Posts: 163
From: Sydney, NSW,Auistralia
Joined: 08-30-2002


Message 6 of 20 (47694)
07-28-2003 9:38 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Peter
07-28-2003 8:49 AM


Who says a god has to be omnipotent?

Omnipotence has its own problems - If God can do anything, can He create a rock too heavy for Him to move?

Contemplating these absolutes like omnipotence or omniscience is just as mind-boggling as trying to contemplate infinite time or infinite space. The human mind was not designed for it. I would rather go back to messing with my model trains.

Mike.


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 Message 5 by Peter, posted 07-28-2003 8:49 AM Peter has responded

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Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 739 days)
Posts: 2191
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 7 of 20 (47712)
07-28-2003 10:53 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Mike Holland
07-28-2003 9:38 AM


What's the fun of being a god and NOT being omnipotent? They'd have my resignation soon enough...

The stone God made but cannot move has been worn down to a pebble, I think, due to overuse. In my opinion, it's an example of playing with words, not of demonstrating anything worthwhile. But the reductio ad absurdum I sketched still holds, even if omnipotence is reduced to the logically possible. So, I think there IS something to be gained by contemplating omnipotence.

Furthermore, to say that the human mind in not designed for concepts like infinity, is to reverse things. I think that ideas like those to do with infinity are the product of the mind, rather than something out there which defies our attempts to understand it.

Cheers.


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Peter
Member (Idle past 1966 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 8 of 20 (47713)
07-28-2003 10:58 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Mike Holland
07-28-2003 9:38 AM


I dunno who said God had to be omnipotent -- wasn't me.

All I asked was, according to the bible, is there the suggestion
that god is simply one of many.

He says 'Thou shalt have no other god before me.'

Suggesting that there are other gods, but that Moses et al.
should put Him first. It doesn't even suggest he is the
most powerful god there is!!.


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Peter
Member (Idle past 1966 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 9 of 20 (47715)
07-28-2003 11:00 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Parasomnium
07-28-2003 10:53 AM


The Greek gods had a LOT of fun, and none of them
were omnipotent -- just extremely powerful.

Similarly the norse gods -- and they can even be
killed in combat!!!
Hard to manage unless you are a dead shot with the 'ole
hawthorne arrows -- or are as mighty as the midgard serpent,
but doable.

It's not the question I asked here though -- so let's not sidetrack
things yet


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Jake22
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 20 (47768)
07-28-2003 3:34 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Peter
07-28-2003 10:58 AM


Hey. My impression is that, according to a biblical/Christian point of view (omitting any discussion of original Hebrew, etc.), a "god" is something elevated to a position to be worshipped. I don't have a Bible handy, so forgive any technical slip-ups, but Baal is a "god" of the OT. He is considered a deity, although according to the Bible he was no more than a human construct (demonstrated by the episode of Elijah/Baal's prophets and starting a fire with waterlogged wood).
As it relates to the 10 commandments, I believe christians see that particular command as forbidding the Israelites to elevate an object or idea to a position where they rely upon it instead of Yahweh. In short, I guess God was saying (according to modern Christians) to put their trust in him and not their own constructs. For instance, take the golden calf. Moses was on Sinai for so long that the people began to doubt God. (I think it was God they doubted, maybe it was the fact that Moses was God's messenger..I don't remember. In any case, they built the calf as a substitute for Yahweh, to be their "god," so it was forbidden. There is no implication for modern Christians that these "gods" were actual deities.
Does that make sense? I'm not trying to argue this position (although I do believe it), but I hope it did answer your question in light of Christian belief. A quick note is that the commandment is more accurately translated as, "you should have no other gods in my face."
Jake
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doctrbill
Member (Idle past 807 days)
Posts: 1174
From: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Joined: 01-08-2001


Message 11 of 20 (47800)
07-28-2003 10:37 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Peter
07-28-2003 6:59 AM


Peter writes:

Doesn't that just mean 'I am the Boss God' rather than
'I am the only God'?


This is just a sampling of things to come at my website:

"Thou shalt not revile the gods" Exodus 22:28

"Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord" Psalm 86:8

"the LORD ... is to be feared above all gods" Psalm 96:4

"worship him all ye gods" Psalm 97:7

This subject gets very interesting and, strangely enough, is one of the least understood by fundies; right up there with what the universe is made of: Primal Elements

db

------------------
Doesn't anyone graduate Sunday School?


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THEONE 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 12 of 20 (47811)
07-29-2003 1:03 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Peter
07-28-2003 6:59 AM


quote:
The bible has this::
'Thou shalt have none other gods before me.'

Doesn't that just mean 'I am the Boss God' rather than
'I am the only God'?


This is the second commandment given to Israelites. It forbids them to accept any being, entity or object as a deity and call it a god. It also forbids Israelites to accept any being, entity or object as a mediator between God and man ("Thou shalt have none other gods before me" and yes "before me" is the correct translation).

Most Jewish Rabbinical literature extends this prohibition to Jews and non-Jews alike. Others maintain that a non-Jew may accept another being as a deity or mediator, as long as he does not actually worship it as an idol, and also believes in God. They base it on the verse "Lest ... you be drawn astray and worship them, the ones God your Lord has allotted to all the gentiles ..." (Deuteronomy 4:19)According to the second opinion, Christianity may be a permissible religion for non-Jews, and it may be in fulfillment of God's ultimate purpose.*

* Cf. Yad, Melakhim 11:4 (only in Rome, 1475, and Amsterdam,1703, editions); quoted in Ramban , Torath HaShem Temimah (in Kithvey Ramban, Jerusalem, 1963) p.144; Teshuvot Rambam 58; Kuzari 4:23; Teshuvot Rivash 119; Akedat Yitzchak 88.

This is based on writing of Aryeh Kaplan.


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THEONE 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 13 of 20 (47812)
07-29-2003 1:17 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Jake22
07-28-2003 3:34 PM


quote:


  1. a "god" is something elevated to a position to be worshipped.
  2. but Baal is a "god" of the OT. He is considered a deity


1. That is called idolotry. God is always worshipped and he is the only one to be worshipped at all times. (according to Judaism of corse)

2. Baal simply means "Master" in hebrew and has nothing to do with God.


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doctrbill
Member (Idle past 807 days)
Posts: 1174
From: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Joined: 01-08-2001


Message 14 of 20 (47816)
07-29-2003 2:26 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by THEONE
07-29-2003 1:17 AM


Baal simply means "Master" in hebrew and has nothing to do with God.

Baal is the untranslated form and it often appears that way. It is translated in a variety of ways. These are a few of them; followed by the number of times they are rendered as such in the King James Version:

wife 1
married 1
married wife 1
lord 2
be married 2
be husband 3
marry 4
master 5
husband 11
owner 14
man 26

Baal was, once upon a time, the storm god of Canaan. Use of the word apparently evolved over time. There is evidence that Yahweh was once referred to as Baal, Hosea 2:16; and Hebrew women referred to their husbands as baal, a term of respect (see above).

db

------------------
Doesn't anyone graduate Sunday School?


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THEONE 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 15 of 20 (47819)
07-29-2003 3:02 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by doctrbill
07-29-2003 2:26 AM


The god of Caanan was Baali Looks like hebrew word Baal but not quite the same.
quote:

Hosea 2:16 :: King James Version (KJV)

16 And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali.


As far as different translation of word Baal. You are right, just like any hebrew word it has multiple meanings. Most common use of which is Master. Regardless of KJV translation methods.


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