Gen. 1:27

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 13 2012 12:48 PM

disclaimer:  I offer very little from scripture to support this post. I am offering it as a philosophical statement. I do not recommend basing one's theology on philosophy.

Joshua G:
Please point out where my thinking is flawed. In my mind,

Not only is that outside of the purpose of the forum Big Smile, it is impossible "in your mind" If you can not comprehend it, you can not entertain even the possibility, much less the feasibility. I won't try the impossible.

Joshua G:
However, since God is omnipresent and eternal - there has always been existence. Therefore, non-existence (or absolute nothingness) is a non-reality.
You are now talking about the attributes of God. There is a big disconnect between stating the attributes of the artist and the attributes of the artwork. God frequently uses physical props to accomplish his works but is in no way limited by the laws of Physics that you and I are under.

One of my favorites is Moses versus Pharaoh's magicians. Moses casts down the "rod of God" (a prop) and it turns into a serpent (a miracle outside the laws of nature.) Quite impressive! But the magicians can apparently reproduce (at least in appearance) this "miracle."  The trump card is played when God's serpent swallows up the magicians serpents, and they are no more.  Show is over, Moses takes up the rod of God and leaves. The magicians are standing around without their magic sticks. Their's have gone into the "nothingness" that truly exists, outside of our existence. I can sit and wonder how the magicians pulled off the miracle of changing their sticks into serpents, or I can marvel and rejoice that my God is sovereign over all. It isn't difficult to comprehend that kind of a god creating something out of nothing.

 

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Silver Hawk | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 13 2012 1:04 PM

Super Tramp:

disclaimer:  I offer very little from scripture to support this post. I am offering it as a philosophical statement. I do not recommend basing one's theology on philosophy.

Joshua G:
Please point out where my thinking is flawed. In my mind,

Not only is that outside of the purpose of the forum Big Smile, it is impossible "in your mind" If you can not comprehend it, you can not entertain even the possibility, much less the feasibility. I won't try the impossible.

Joshua G:
However, since God is omnipresent and eternal - there has always been existence. Therefore, non-existence (or absolute nothingness) is a non-reality.
You are now talking about the attributes of God. There is a big disconnect between stating the attributes of the artist and the attributes of the artwork. God frequently uses physical props to accomplish his works but is in no way limited by the laws of Physics that you and I are under.

One of my favorites is Moses versus Pharaoh's magicians. Moses casts down the "rod of God" (a prop) and it turns into a serpent (a miracle outside the laws of nature.) Quite impressive! But the magicians can apparently reproduce (at least in appearance) this "miracle."  The trump card is played when God's serpent swallows up the magicians serpents, and they are no more.  Show is over, Moses takes up the rod of God and leaves. The magicians are standing around without their magic sticks. Their's have gone into the "nothingness" that truly exists, outside of our existence. I can sit and wonder how the magicians pulled off the miracle of changing their sticks into serpents, or I can marvel and rejoice that my God is sovereign over all. It isn't difficult to comprehend that kind of a god creating something out of nothing.

 

  Cool,    I get it now. All we have to do is dub our rant a philosophical statement, then it is no longer outside the guidelines. Outstanding !

 

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 13 2012 1:16 PM

Silver Hawk:
All we have to do is dub our rant a philosophical statement, then it is no longer outside the guidelines

For those poor souls who don't know the difference between philosophy and theology, a rant and a postulate, maturity and childishness, 

I offer two very scary statements of Jesus:

Mark 9:23   ....."Everything is possible for him who believes."

Matthew 17:20     ."...Nothing will be impossible for you."

Have you reached Nirvana?  Grasshopper?  Wink

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Silver Hawk | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 13 2012 1:28 PM

Super Tramp:
Have you reached Nirvana?  Grasshopper?
No. But with your help I have discovered how to bypass the rules. My hat's off to you.Yes

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 13 2012 1:50 PM

Silver Hawk:

Super Tramp:
Have you reached Nirvana?  Grasshopper?
No. But with your help I have discovered how to bypass the rules. My hat's off to you.Yes

You can learn a lot from me  ......  

I strive hard to provide great examples; some are positive and others are positively negative. 

You will have to learn how to think before you post.  Good luck.  Wink

 

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Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 13 2012 2:33 PM

Super Tramp:

One of my favorites is Moses versus Pharaoh's magicians. Moses casts down the "rod of God" (a prop) and it turns into a serpent (a miracle outside the laws of nature.) Quite impressive! But the magicians can apparently reproduce (at least in appearance) this "miracle."  The trump card is played when God's serpent swallows up the magicians serpents, and they are no more.  Show is over, Moses takes up the rod of God and leaves. The magicians are standing around without their magic sticks. Their's have gone into the "nothingness" that truly exists, outside of our existence. I can sit and wonder how the magicians pulled off the miracle of changing their sticks into serpents, or I can marvel and rejoice that my God is sovereign over all. It isn't difficult to comprehend that kind of a god creating something out of nothing.

You are clearly reading into the text. I do not see how this event proves that absolute nothingness (or non-existence) exists. In fact, the very statement: non-existence exists is nonsensical.

 

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Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 13 2012 2:38 PM

Super Tramp:

Silver Hawk:
All we have to do is dub our rant a philosophical statement, then it is no longer outside the guidelines

For those poor souls who don't know the difference between philosophy and theology, a rant and a postulate, maturity and childishness, 

I offer two very scary statements of Jesus:

Mark 9:23   ....."Everything is possible for him who believes."

Matthew 17:20     ."...Nothing will be impossible for you."

Have you reached Nirvana?  Grasshopper?  Wink

I'm not sure what exactly you are trying to get at here, but I would like to add that there are true impossibilities - even for God. God is only capable of doing everything that is possible. God cannot make Himself cease to exist nor could He count to the last possible number, for example.

 

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Silver Hawk | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 13 2012 2:48 PM

Joshua G:
God is only capable of doing everything that is possible.
You failed to mention that God can not lie. Titus 1:2  in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago, (New American Standard Bible) 

I do offer Scriptural support...so I see no need to offer a disclaimer. It applies to Logos. I think the Bible is still in all packages.

 

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 13 2012 3:12 PM

Joshua G:
I'm not sure what exactly you are trying to get at here

Joshua, I was referring o Silver Hawk here. Not continuing our line of discussion. That is why it doesn't make much sense. But, then again...

Joshua G:
God cannot make Himself cease to exist nor could He count to the last possible number, for example.

As I said in my first response today, I can not make clear to your mind that which you can not imagine as possible. But your outlook is a western perspective. Not everyone in the world has difficulty with the idea of God accomplishing his own death. (Some say that is what God did on the cross.) Not everyone has difficulty believing God can truly forget the knowledge he has of our sins. The Greco-Roman mindset is not the only thought process out there. 

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Silver Hawk | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 13 2012 3:21 PM

Super Tramp:
Joshua, I was referring o Silver Hawk here. Not continuing our line of discussion. That is why it doesn't make much sense.  
It makes no sense, No matter whom you are addressing.

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Ruminator | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 13 2012 3:32 PM

In considering if God "created the Universe" or just the "formed the sky and dry land" which stands by synecdoche for "the whole sky/dry land system" (KOSMOS), I think it is important to realize how incorrectly Gen 1:1 is commonly rendered - as an independent assertion - when grammatically, and logically, it is a *dependent* clause.

When God began to create heaven and earth, and the earth then was welter and waste and darkness over the deep and God's breath hovering over the waters, God said "Let there be light." And there was light.
--Moses, Bereishit (בְּרֵאשִׁית, "in the beginning") Genesis 1:1-3, (translated by Robert Alter)

Oddly, follows others and employs "create" and "heaven" and "earth" which are, to my estimation, merely traditional and unfaithful to the Hebrew; I would have used "made" and "skies" and "dry land". "God" for ELOHYM is also kind of weak, but you get the idea about the dependent clause.

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Ruminator | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 13 2012 3:35 PM

Another:

When God began to create heaven and earth—the earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind from God sweeping over the water—God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light” (Gen 1:1–3, NJPS).

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 13 2012 4:07 PM

Joshua G:

Super Tramp:

One of my favorites is Moses versus Pharaoh's magicians. Moses casts down the "rod of God" (a prop) and it turns into a serpent (a miracle outside the laws of nature.) Quite impressive! But the magicians can apparently reproduce (at least in appearance) this "miracle."  The trump card is played when God's serpent swallows up the magicians serpents, and they are no more.  Show is over, Moses takes up the rod of God and leaves. The magicians are standing around without their magic sticks. Their's have gone into the "nothingness" that truly exists, outside of our existence. I can sit and wonder how the magicians pulled off the miracle of changing their sticks into serpents, or I can marvel and rejoice that my God is sovereign over all. It isn't difficult to comprehend that kind of a god creating something out of nothing.

You are clearly reading into the text. I do not see how this event proves that absolute nothingness (or non-existence) exists. In fact, the very statement: non-existence exists is nonsensical.

While I was on board with your earlier observation, I think you are taking it too far at this point. Are negations, of themselves, substantive? I doubt it, at least in many/most cases...except for the concept of nothing itself. And it is at this point where one begins to need to define terms. What is meant by "nothing". Is it lack of substance (i.e. material) or is it also lack of concept (idea) as well? I certainly think that for most people, it is the former.

Does saying the emperor has "no clothes", by your definition, mean that he is certainly clothed? Even when he is clearly naked, such that even a child can SEE it?

But at this point, I must speak to a truism regarding all existence...which is that it is precisely what YHWH SAYS IT IS, and it has NO dependence on our reason. This doesn't mean that YHWH is unreasonable. HE and His existence, purpose, and will, by definition, establish reason--i.e. His intention and will IS reason. Some people think "evil" is irrational and that its existence rules out God. In sad and humorous irony, He will rule out THEIR existence for the very reason that they hold to their false reasoning.

I think absence is absence...in other words it is "not there-ness" and unexistence. I mean absent in all contexts, not merely a specific one--as in "not visibly here because it is unseen there". SPEAKING of something is not the same thing as existence. SPEAKING of something's absence does not give it existence...it is acknowledging non-existence.

All that said, I still think that in the context of Gen. 1, there is plenty of case for something other than ex nihilo...thus, I can agree with your first observation and not your second. I think you were right, but for the wrong reason. LOL

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Ruminator | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 13 2012 4:16 PM

>>>All that said, I still think that in the context of Gen. 1, there is plenty of case for something other than ex nihilo...

Try "EX hUDATOS"... it's Koine...

2Pe 3:5  For this they are wilfully ignorant of: That the heavens were before, and the earth [DRY LAND] out of water [EX hUDATOS] and through water, consisting by the word of God:
 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 13 2012 4:16 PM

Big SmileSemi OT. When I was 9 or so I learned a useful(?) syllogism:

Nothing is better than heaven.

A doughnut is better than nothing.

Therefore, a doughnut is better than heaven.

Moral: be careful with nothing.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 13 2012 4:24 PM

Silver Hawk:

Super Tramp:
Joshua, I was referring o Silver Hawk here. Not continuing our line of discussion. That is why it doesn't make much sense.  
It makes no sense, No matter whom you are addressing.

You are incapable of supporting your statements without readers coming to agreement with you that the Bible is God's word and that God can not lie. You have no clue what a philosophical argument is. Try one of these:

 

  • If the Apostle Paul could sin, how do you know he did not lie to Titus when he claimed God could not lie? How can Paul, a mere mortal, vouch for an eternal God's record of honesty? 
  • If God really could lie, how do you know he wouldn't lie to us about his "inability to lie?"  I always doubt the salesman that starts with, "Now I wouldn't lie to you..."
  • If God is truly sovereign, why can't he save all lost people since he says it is his will that none perish?  According to a Muslim I converse with Allah can tell a lie because his sovereignty frees him from being bound by his own promises. Does that mean the God of the Bible is weaker?

 

These are the types of questions you can not answer without relying on some measure of faith (trust?) in the Bible being true. If someone is open to questioning the truth of the creation account, why not question Titus 1:3?  Who are we to decide which parts of the Bible are lies and which are true. Which parts are fairy-tales and which are not? Josh McDowell correctly stated, "Jesus Christ was either:

 

  1. a crazy madman  
  2. a liar and a fraud
  3. truly the Son of God and God incarnate.

 

There are a myriad of apologetics resources in Logos to debate these issues with non-believers that won't accept your Bible verses as divinely inspired. There are several Logos resources on the way that show us the rest of the world does not think with the  Anglo-Saxon's Western Civilization's version of Crusader Christianity. Were this a theological discussion, I would probably agree with 90% of any poster's views. Philosophically it is wrong to say a "God" can't sin, or lie, or die, or change along the way, or be mistaken.  (That is probably why the God of the Bible calls some "vain babblings.")

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Ruminator | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 13 2012 4:42 PM

EPISTEMOLOGY for some is "ya get your info from an EPISTLE!"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistemology

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 13 2012 4:46 PM

Joshua G:
but I would like to add that there are true impossibilities - even for God. God is only capable of doing everything that is possible.

These would probably spark theological debate but they are so interesting:

 

  • Consider how a Triune God knows the date and hour of the return of Jesus Christ while he also does not know it.
  • Consider how an all-knowing God can not remember my sins when I can still remember them.
  • Consider how an all-knowing God can repent himself of something (like the making of man or the exodus of Israel.)
  • Consider how Christ could be forsaken by the Father in his darkest moment on the cross.
  • Consider how an eternal God could truly die and resurrect again from the dead.
  • Consider why a God would elevate mere mortals to be joint-heirs and judges of the angels.

 

None of this makes philosophical sense. But it is all in that precious Bible.  Angel Some believe it, some don't. Devil

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 13 2012 4:54 PM

Super Tramp:

You are incapable of supporting your statements without readers coming to agreement with you that the Bible is God's word and that God can not lie. You have no clue what a philosophical argument is. Try one of these:

  • If the Apostle Paul could sin, how do you know he did not lie to Titus when he claimed God could not lie? How can Paul, a mere mortal, vouch for an eternal God's record of honesty? 

Wink

Super Tramp:

  • If God really could lie, how do you know he wouldn't lie to us about his "inability to lie?"  I always doubt the salesman that starts with, "Now I wouldn't lie to you..."

I refer readers to my final comment in this post.

Super Tramp:

  • If God is truly sovereign, why can't he save all lost people since he says it is his will that none perish?  According to a Muslim I converse with Allah can tell a lie because his sovereignty frees him from being bound by his own promises. Does that mean the God of the Bible is weaker?

See above...even though I believe YHWH abides by His promises. He is, however, certainly able to fabricate what we might call "loop-holes"--in many cases, these exist mainly because we simply don't comprehend YHWH's intent when He speaks, even though we think we certainly do. This circumstance can balloon all the way to the reality that we simply don't know God, in the face of (in spite of) assertions about the certainty of the gospel.

Super Tramp:

 Philosophically it is wrong to say a "God" can't sin, or lie, or die, or change along the way, or be mistaken.  

I think you are likely wrong on this point. What you say might be true if the starting proposition is "God may not exist"...but starting from the premise, which is absolutely just as valid (in fact, is even moreso), that He does exist, can remove some of your philosophical concerns--or, at least I think it can. Big Smile

 

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 13 2012 5:00 PM

Super Tramp:
 

None of this makes philosophical sense. But it is all in that precious Bible.  Angel Some believe it, some don't. Devil

Again, in consideration of my final comments in the above post, I think your definition of "philosophical sense" is too limited. Using the definition of "reason" that I spoke of earlier (a couple of posts above or so), I think a philosophy that is biblical is not only sensible, but is ultimately the only sensible one possible. Some relegate that idea to faith, but I personally find it to be eminently reasonable.

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