God can do anything!

The other day a heard someone day “God can do anything”. It really drives me mad when people say such outrageous things.

If God exists, there are many things God cannot do. I thought it would be fun to brainstorm and make a long list of things that God cannot do. Please feel free to add to the list and to comment on why you believe God CAN do some things.

God cannot:
• Break rules that he has made.
• Be outside of logic
• Be anything else other than God
• Be only good (For example; He created beings that opposed him - evil)
• Be only “Love” (I just hate it when people say “God is Love”. The bible teaches us that God has many more emotions other than love)
• Love unconditionally (He sent his son on the condition that he die for our sins. Besides this, there are many other conditions God made for man. I will post a thread on how I think all love itself cannot be unconditional)

The above is a shitty start, but whatever. I figured we would get some fun responses and much more intelligent responses at that.

Ohh boy, you’ve opened a can of worms now…

In advance, I will tell you what counter-arguments will arise.

Many on these forums will argue that God is outside of logic and reason, and even outside of existence itself. Don’t ask me to clarify how.

There will also be the counter-argument that God is undefinable, and as such, cannot be refuted. Good luck. Reasonable and logical arguments against such claims don’t work, because God is outside of logic. :wink:

I am a bright, by the way, and think the likelihood of God in almost any conceptual sense is highly unlikely.

I agree with the first three, however they can all fit into the first one.

The last two I can show logic against.

First off, God did not create evil, he only created Love. He did create a being with a choice mechanism and this being created evil of his own volition. Now as far as proving this or even you proving that he created Evil, well that’s going to be difficult. I can however show much connected and faceted logic without contradiction that would suggest that my assertion is true by first showing you the contradiction of a being creating two opposing forces which would divide him and diminish his power to a null.

How is this different than God creating a universe with the potential for evil? Although God wasn’t involved directly in it’s creation, it seems he would be an accomplice to it for even allowing its potential.

I don’t think you are that dorky of a dude! :laughing:

Great way to phrase it. In this sense, I might be a bright as well.

There’s only one way to find out.

the-brights.net/

:wink:

Is there any rebuttal to “If God created everything, everything includes evil”?

I hope someone can give me a run for my money, because this point hits home for me and I can’t see any way around it.

I’ll give it a shot.
No, you schweinhund, ye of little faith, you heathen!!! God created only good and - and - and - evil is - evil is SATAN!

Hm. I guess that didn’t really work out.

Victor Hugo wrote something interesting about evil; I returned the book to the library so I’ll have to loosely paraphrase it:

There are three kinds of evil, in order of increasing evilness; The absence of good, the negation of good and the destruction of good.

Nietzsche said: spirit is life cutting into life itself - by it’s suffering does it increase it’s knowledge. This suggests that God (even though dead) does indeed act evilly, but for the sake fo increasing the knowledge of the good.

In a dark corner of the Christian doctrine, God did create Satan, who was a very precious angel to him, and he gave him free choice. Satan used this to rocked off away from God into the dark chaos-void, to delight in his own light instead of in the light of God. Supposedly this was very evil of him.
So God created evil indirectly.

Supposing God created other beings who then created evil.

Is that the same as “God” creating evil?

And, in the world of “light and dark”, everyone prepares “good” food, including God (why not?), and eats … which eventually results in a “bad” load of crap.

Food is “good” … crap is “bad”.

Butt it is all necessary.

And isn’t this just a matter of the mind’s perspective?

Were it not for pooping, our body wouldn’t be able to make room for more great food and lots of fun eating.

So, to shorten it a bit, were it not for Satan, our mind wouldn’t be able to appreciate God …

… Even if the Jesus story is a bunch of hooey. Ah, but the things we do to placate our mind!

Which reminds me – with regard to your original question, another thing God cannot do is die, not if he is eternal, he can’t.

I know that flies to a degree in the face of Christianity.

But please, correct me if I’m wrong.

The case for evil has not been made yet. The case for God has not been made yet. The case for everything having been created hasn’t been made either. I’m not sure how to touch this topic.

DD:

I can think of many concepts, call them “God”, and if you have any sense at all you would have to accept the possiblity of the existence of those concepts. Whether or not you insist on clinging to concepts of “God” when I provide my own definition is your problem.

Because of God, the material universe exists. That is one simple definition (by ONLY this definition, ignoring every else you’ve ever heard about God, you can’t possible insist that this is highly unlikely).

God=Necessity for material universe. Further define God according to whichever scientific principles you choose. It’s just a word.

DD:

It’s true that there are many definitions of God that cannot presently be refuted by evidence. But that doesn’t mean these concepts exist outside logic… that’s just you insisting that the logic of the scientific method the only kind of logic (and that anything that cannot be scrutinized according to the ability to be falsified by testing is, by default, not logical) I wrote a lengthy post to you awhile back to explain this and you keep on about it. It’s very frusterating…

I really think you are holding yourself back by associating “God” with the image you’ve always known him as. Then you memorized the athiests’s argument against this God, and now you are in a state of forever insisting that that God doesn’t exist in terms of science. You are totally right. But that doesn’t mean that unscientific concepts of God (from a time before science) don’t refer to something that science can one day prove.

Science doesn’t presently provide any perfect knowledge… you know.

I truly think you still naturally perceive words as being real things. Once you get past that hurdle you can think in order to control words, they no longer control how you think.

And now I’ll try to respond to some of your comments, Bdhanes:

I am not sure how to respond to this because it suggests a pretty limited concept of God. I’ll ask you “Why not?” and then respond to your answer.

You mean that God cannot be understood in anyways besides by man’s logical thought? Or that God cannot act in anyway except in accordance with some higher logic with which everything follows?

Well… yes, obviously. A is A. B is everything that A is not. A cannot be be B. A cannot be everything that A is not.

Are you a christian? Why are these discussions always limited to the modern Christian’s concept of God?

With playfulness, perhaps?

I reserve that for ‘real life’ when I want to impress somebody. Here, I hope to engage in meaningful arguments(the kind I can’t have in real life)

This looks like fun!

Can you give me an example of this? People are likely to confuse rules He has made for man with these rules you’re talking about. Certainly, God isn’t going to break a promise, but a covenant is the only kind of rule I can think of that God makes for Himself.

True enough, though being outside of logic doesn’t count as ‘something’.

Depends on what you mean. God became a man, after all. He cannot cease to be God though, if that’s what you mean.

Here, you’ve departed from what is necessary to what you think might be the case. The first three that you make are all logically derivative of the most basic things we apply to God’s existence. This one, though, is contingent on a few things that may or may not be true. For example, God may not have created any evil beings. He may have created free beings, and ‘beings that opposed Him’ may be something that came about sometime later, through acts of free will.

The Bible says God is Love, so it means something. But yes, as we humans understand Love to be a particular emotion felt on particular occaisions and not others, God cannot be just that. This verse is a mystery to me.

Technically, what you’ve shown here is that God does not love man unconditionally, but not that He can not. Technically, you haven’t shown that God has conditions for Love, you’ve shown that God punishes, and that the depth of one’s relationship with God is conditional. One can love someone even as they punish them, even as they are estranged from them.

dorkyd00d

God creating Evil, and God creating the potential for evil are not the same thing at all. If the ‘potential’ for evil is filtered through a free being, He’s not even an accomplice in any fair sense.
Consider. You push a rock down the side of a mountain, it leads to a landslide, and many people are killed. You may not be a murderer, but you are negligent.
Now consider, you have a child, do your best to raise it, and despite your teachings, your offspring goes off and murders a bunch of people. You are not negligent at all. Why? Because your child chose to do those things, and the free choice of another being breaks your chain of culpability to the act. This is something we know naturally, I think.
Having a child is creating a potential mass-murderer. This cannot be denied. Is having a child then evil? Are your parents guilty of whatever wrongs you’ve done, or do you own those things (I’m assuming you’re of age here)?

bdhanes

See above. If later on in life, you get cancer, your parents did not ‘give birth to cancer’, and saying they gave birth ‘to the potential for cancer’ is technically true, but in a way that divorces them from all responsibility.

Tristan

No cases for anything have ever been made, then. But don’t let that stop you! :slight_smile:

As a nihilist, I agree with that, but for the purposes of this argument, those points I raised should have been addressed. Am I supposed to take God as a given, and then argue his characteristics; what he can and can’t do? First, this character has to be addressed, then his potential can be inducted. Or in the very least, a Christean theme for this “God” character could be established from the beginning so those who are familiar with that concept can offer a sensible counter-argument.

Are you not going to reply to my post in the “Does atheism deserve to be an -ism” thread, Tristan?

Tristan

Philosophical discussions are a lot like Fight Club I suppose- you choose your own level of involvement. I would say, based on the opening post of this thread, which cites the Bible as a reference, that a Christian conception of God is what we’re operating with, yes.

Yea.

Being as that’s the case, I guess, I still believe that a case for who God is should be made, then what [he] cannot do should be pretty obvious.

But everyone KNOWS what the word God means. :confused: Or at least has a basic understanding of classical theism.

But here goes - God, as thought of by classical theism is a non-physical (we’ll leave Jesus out of this for now) being, who is very powerful, very knowledgeable, morally perfect, and worthy of worship. Seems simple enough to me.

Off course, but this is a philosophical discussion, and as such, we must be precise.

What is he, if not a physical being?

You have to be more precise. “very” depends on perspective. A bee is very powerful to an ant. Do you mean omnipotent?

Again, this is very imprecise. Omniscient maybe?

I think Omar destroyed this concept. He is morally perfect because he is mighty, not because he adheres to an objective moral system.

worth is subjective. I am worthy of worship in the eyes of my 2 year old.