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The 7 - Random - What is God?
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Jaguar
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#41 Posted on 22.9.04 1057.30
Reposted on: 22.9.11 1057.31
And of course, for some people, belief that the Bible has survived all these years without changing (through translation and whatnot) requires a large amount of faith. So much in fact, that it is much easier to have faith in just God than it is to have faith in the Bible or the churches.

God is immutable and out of our control. The Bible and the churches however, are clearly affected by the hands of man.

I think this is why you get a lot of people who say they are "Spiritual" but not religious. Having faith in God is one thing. Putting your faith in a book? Seems outright disastrous.

-Jag

(edited by Jaguar on 22.9.04 1159)
PalpatineW
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#42 Posted on 22.9.04 1522.31
Reposted on: 22.9.11 1522.37
    Originally posted by Jaguar
    And of course, for some people, belief that the Bible has survived all these years without changing (through translation and whatnot) requires a large amount of faith. So much in fact, that it is much easier to have faith in just God than it is to have faith in the Bible or the churches.

    God is immutable and out of our control. The Bible and the churches however, are clearly affected by the hands of man.

    I think this is why you get a lot of people who say they are "Spiritual" but not religious. Having faith in God is one thing. Putting your faith in a book? Seems outright disastrous.

    -Jag

    (edited by Jaguar on 22.9.04 1159)


Well, the entire theory of God came from this "book," so I'd say it's not disastrous at all.
spf
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#43 Posted on 22.9.04 1527.43
Reposted on: 22.9.11 1528.21
    Originally posted by PalpatineW
      Originally posted by Jaguar
      And of course, for some people, belief that the Bible has survived all these years without changing (through translation and whatnot) requires a large amount of faith. So much in fact, that it is much easier to have faith in just God than it is to have faith in the Bible or the churches.

      God is immutable and out of our control. The Bible and the churches however, are clearly affected by the hands of man.

      I think this is why you get a lot of people who say they are "Spiritual" but not religious. Having faith in God is one thing. Putting your faith in a book? Seems outright disastrous.

      -Jag

      (edited by Jaguar on 22.9.04 1159)


    Well, the entire theory of God came from this "book," so I'd say it's not disastrous at all.

Considering that the book is riddled with contradictions about the nature of that God and how exactly he wants us to live, I'd say there's potential for it causing problems on this mortal coil. Mainly due to the really ugly attempt to meld the old Jewish tradition onto the new teachings of Jesus. They don't meld together very well, and leave one with a muddled picture of what "God" wants of you, thus causing there to be a booming business for people who are more than happy to interpret it for you.
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#44 Posted on 22.9.04 1840.34
Reposted on: 22.9.11 1841.30
I'm interested in knowing what the religious people here think of Greek Mythology?
Jaguar
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#45 Posted on 22.9.04 1903.00
Reposted on: 22.9.11 1904.22
    Originally posted by PalpatineW
    Well, the entire theory of God came from this "book," so I'd say it's not disastrous at all.


If you mean, "Entire Christian theory of God" then I would agree with you.


-Jag
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#46 Posted on 22.9.04 2218.30
Reposted on: 22.9.11 2220.06
    Originally posted by fuelinjected
    I'm interested in knowing what the religious people here think of Greek Mythology?


It was a polytheistic way of explaining the world around them. Not unlike many other cultures trying to figure out the world with limited scientific knowledge. As the Greek scientific view of the world expanded many were moving towards a monotheistic view.

Spf, there is confusion about the tachings of Jesus. As a Jew his views really came from the old testament. They weren't that new.
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#47 Posted on 23.9.04 0010.52
Reposted on: 23.9.11 0011.32
    Originally posted by Jaguar
    And of course, for some people, belief that the Bible has survived all these years without changing (through translation and whatnot) requires a large amount of faith. So much in fact, that it is much easier to have faith in just God than it is to have faith in the Bible or the churches.

    God is immutable and out of our control. The Bible and the churches however, are clearly affected by the hands of man.

    I think this is why you get a lot of people who say they are "Spiritual" but not religious. Having faith in God is one thing. Putting your faith in a book? Seems outright disastrous.

    -Jag

    (edited by Jaguar on 22.9.04 1159)


The Bible is affected by the hands of man? How exactly do you mean this *other* than translations or the versions that "paraphrase"? (You're not trying to make this out to be a George Lucas film are you? )

I think the reason people *are* spiritual (without wanting to being called religious) is because they accept that there are some things where the only answer is a Divine Creator, however they don't want to be held to any edicts, etc. If you claim to be spiritual but cannot point to the teachings laid down by that God, you're making yourself a "God". Your morality is based only upon what you believe is good.

    Originally posted by DrDirt
    You have to realize that the wink, wink, nudge, nudge is often a way for people to deal with a subject that makes them a bit uncomfortable. Humor in general, and sarcasm in particulary, are ways to deal with these things.


See I did get that. But if a person is only going to contribute by saying "HEY!!! I think you're an idiot for believing that garbage because God is Santa Claus", or by saying "I think you're a pencil neck geek and here's a clever quote associated with Christianity to try to throw it back in your face", but don't have any proof or want to contribute anything or even want to listen, doesn't that make me an idiot for arguing with them? (Of course, I have a rather strong minded child who likes to try to argue everything, so maybe I'm a little sensitive)

The other thing that amazes me in this thread is how many people are beating on pastors (I'm going with pastors although the implication is anyone with strong beliefs). Simply incredible. A pastor to me is someone who believes what is written in the Holy Bible. He's studied it, much as a professor of science has studied science. But suddenly I should be cautious if he believes in something too strongly? Don't get me wrong. At some point(s) I'm most likely checking both their work to be sure they aren't leading down a false path, but ...

    Originally posted by spf2119
    Considering that the book is riddled with contradictions about the nature of that God and how exactly he wants us to live, I'd say there's potential for it causing problems on this mortal coil. Mainly due to the really ugly attempt to meld the old Jewish tradition onto the new teachings of Jesus. They don't meld together very well, and leave one with a muddled picture of what "God" wants of you, thus causing there to be a booming business for people who are more than happy to interpret it for you.


See that last part is what I'm talking about. It's either one of two things
a) If I argue with you, you can throw your hands up in the air and say "SEEE!!"
b) You're talking about people who try to manipulate the word of God. Take those people and have them point to what they're talking about biblically. Look at who exactly are they glorifying. Themselves? Run. God? Check your Bible.

If your excuse for not "believing" in God is people, better check your excuses. "That ol' Jebediah there, I was this close to believing in God, but he was an idiot so forget about it".

About contradictions, if indeed you are referring to the Old Testament "vs." the New (DD eludes to this well), Jesus was to quote a song by David Phelps, The End Of The Beginning (davidphelps.com).

Anyways, it's late, I started typing this waaay too long ago (someone's probably replied in the meantime) and my wife is going to wonder what happened to that "I'll be there in a few minutes" thing, so...
devineman
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#48 Posted on 23.9.04 0056.09
Reposted on: 23.9.11 0056.49
    Originally posted by DrDirt
      Originally posted by fuelinjected
      I'm interested in knowing what the religious people here think of Greek Mythology?


    It was a polytheistic way of explaining the world around them. Not unlike many other cultures trying to figure out the world with limited scientific knowledge. As the Greek scientific view of the world expanded many were moving towards a monotheistic view.




Why do 90% of the current societies think that their beliefs are enlightened and the old ones are laughable. It reminds me of a glass ceiling type thing (no pun intended), these guys created society as we know it today and we look down on them as unknowledgable cavemen.
Didn't mean to pick on Dirt but i think the quote just fitted

The answer I would give is that God is whoever or whatever you want him/her/it to be. Everybody has a different view of their spiritual creator which suits them.
My own personal theory (in all seriousness) is that the Bible was like Monty Python's The Life of Brian. Just a guy in the wrong place at the wrong time who was made out to be something special by one guy then chinese whispers came into play, and there you have it INSTAGOD!!!!

For the best way of ending the religous argument with many Christians is to ask if God has omniscience, how did he not see the whole Lucifer thing coming??
JustinShapiro
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#49 Posted on 23.9.04 0215.45
Reposted on: 23.9.11 0218.54
Felix culpa?
PalpatineW
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#50 Posted on 23.9.04 0255.37
Reposted on: 23.9.11 0257.21
    Originally posted by Jaguar
      Originally posted by PalpatineW
      Well, the entire theory of God came from this "book," so I'd say it's not disastrous at all.


    If you mean, "Entire Christian theory of God" then I would agree with you.


    -Jag


Since we're talking about "God" here, I'm assuming we mean roughly the same deity. The Bible, as Christians know it, also includes the Old Testament, or Torah, as the Jews know it. (Forgive me for any mistakes; I'm not well-versed in Judaism)

Islam, the only other monotheistic religion, also recognizes many prophets of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Also, it post-dates Judaism and Christianity, and thus I consider it an offshoot of said creeds.

So, I would contend, the entire monotheistic concept can be traced to Judaism and the Bible/Torah (Talmud?)

I mean, sure, you can disagree with any of the holy books. Bible, Koran, etc. But I think your original comment was kind of like saying "Evolution is great, but this 'Origin of Species' thing is just ridiculous." The idea of God didn't spring from a vacuum.

(edited by PalpatineW on 23.9.04 0357)
SirBubNorm
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#51 Posted on 23.9.04 0750.33
Reposted on: 23.9.11 0751.39
    Originally posted by JMShapiro
    Felix culpa?


Interestingly enough (I say that because I hadn't really hit that particular depth of thinking until a month ago), that's the thing I've been struggling with as of late.

Here's a link for those who don't know what Felix culpa (ksu.edu) is (I hadn't heard that specific term before)


    This view thus denies that God's plan in creating the world in the first place was for a happy life in Paradise for Adam and Eve and their descendents, which the first parents destroyed the prospect of by their rash act, thus causing God to default to Plan B, as it were, and to intervene to remedy, eventually, the miscarriage of His original plan


As a parent, why do I have children? And do I not at some point, expect that they're going to do stupid things? And that at some point they're going to have to stumble and fall? And don't I at some point, even when I see they're going to be stupid, have to step back and let them learn for themselves? And at some point, if I have to give me life for them, would I do it? Does that mean that they're unhappy (that's odd, so *everyone* is unhappy???)?

Honestly though, the Plan A and Plan B thing confuses me. I don't remember seeing anything in there where God went to a Plan B. He said from the start that if they ate from the Tree of Life, He was going to give they the boot. (Or as a parent "Don't touch that, it's hot")

See the whole thing is, in order for us to be perfect, he would have had to create a whole bunch more Gods. Is that preferable to spending time with people who aren't perfect? I guess I don't know (and that's the part I struggle with), but apparently the assumption is, among the philosophers is that it is. Does that mean he didn't see this whole thing coming? I just don't see that part.

    Originally posted by devineman
    For the best way of ending the religous argument with many Christians is to ask if God has omniscience, how did he not see the whole Lucifer thing coming??


Who says He didn't? Or more specifically, where biblically does it say He didn't?

Anyways I need to get my son to school.
vsp
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#52 Posted on 23.9.04 0815.05
Reposted on: 23.9.11 0817.37
    Originally posted by SirBubNorm
    But if a person is only going to contribute by saying "HEY!!! I think you're an idiot for believing that garbage because God is Santa Claus"

    Originally posted by vsp
    God is Santa Claus for grown-ups.


At least get my fucking quote right.

I haven't been throwing post after post into this thread because it's turning into a pointless argument. I provided an opinion, neatly summarized in six words in response to the original poster's question, and backed it up twice when challenged. I could rant for twelve pages and not convince the faithful that there is no God, or that their conception of God is wrong; they could rant for twelve more and not convince me that there is one or that my conception is wrong. There's no Magic Argument that's going to make the other side slap their foreheads and say "MAN, how could I not have seen THAT?"

This type of thread also pops up at regular intervals, and I don't feel like reciting my entire manifesto of beliefs every time it appears.

    Originally posted by SirBubNorm
    The Bible is affected by the hands of man? How exactly do you mean this *other* than translations or the versions that "paraphrase"?

Isn't that enough?

There's a children's game called Whisper Down The Lane, where a message is relayed person-to-person down a long row of people, and the message that emerges at the end is usually somewhat different from the original content.

Now take a book that's thousands of years old. Translate it through different languages over the centuries, and figure in how difficult it is for even talented translators to retain all of the meaning and nuances of the original while changing languages. Duplicate it by hand over and over again (as the printing press wouldn't be around for another millenium-plus). Figure in the lack of widespread literacy for centuries, making it easier for errors and alterations (intentional or otherwise) to propagate.

Now _you_ tell _me_ which of the 4,381,739 competing translations and versions of the Bible is the "correct" and "original" Bible, and why I shouldn't laugh at the people who thump a particular version and claim that every word therein is the Literal Word Of God down to the last period and comma, and ESPECIALLY if it's in English.

(edited by vsp on 23.9.04 0634)
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#53 Posted on 23.9.04 1132.27
Reposted on: 23.9.11 1134.28
I don't want to get into it too deep, in part because I've been avoiding this particular thread, but there really isn't much of a problem translating the Bible. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and the New Testament was written in Greek. While, obviously, the Bible has been copied and recopied many times, each translation into a new language is usually done from the original source language. Additionally, I know for a fact that in order to be ordained, a Lutheran minister (sorry, I can't speak for any other ministers or priests) has to have a firm understanding of both Hebrew and Greek in order to be able to read the source himself. While there are in fact several different translations into English alone, the difference are really mostly semantics, i.e., the St. James Bible is written in old-style verse, while the NIV translation is written in a more colloquial style.

Edit: In response to your last point about people who swear up and down about a particular version, you are right. There's really no point in saying "My translation's right, and yours is wrong!" It's a stupid, invalid arguement, unless you know Hebrew and Greek and can really take the arguement to the mat.

(edited by Tenken347 on 23.9.04 0935)
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#54 Posted on 23.9.04 1558.50
Reposted on: 23.9.11 1559.02
    Originally posted by PalpatineW
      Originally posted by Jaguar
        Originally posted by PalpatineW
        Well, the entire theory of God came from this "book," so I'd say it's not disastrous at all.


      If you mean, "Entire Christian theory of God" then I would agree with you.


      -Jag


    Since we're talking about "God" here, I'm assuming we mean roughly the same deity. The Bible, as Christians know it, also includes the Old Testament, or Torah, as the Jews know it. (Forgive me for any mistakes; I'm not well-versed in Judaism)

    Islam, the only other monotheistic religion, also recognizes many prophets of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Also, it post-dates Judaism and Christianity, and thus I consider it an offshoot of said creeds.

    So, I would contend, the entire monotheistic concept can be traced to Judaism and the Bible/Torah (Talmud?)

    I mean, sure, you can disagree with any of the holy books. Bible, Koran, etc. But I think your original comment was kind of like saying "Evolution is great, but this 'Origin of Species' thing is just ridiculous." The idea of God didn't spring from a vacuum.

    (edited by PalpatineW on 23.9.04 0357)


Well, my point comes in two parts, one of which you negated. The first part was that I assumed by "book" you meant the Bible as it is known today, which would make you wrong because the Jews believed in God a long time before the Bible was ever written. But if you're counting the Torah and such then that's my fault for misunderstanding. The second part is an extension of the first. If the Bible is to be believed then there were people believing and even conversing with God before the Torah or the New Testament was ever written. So to say that the Bible originated the theory of God is about as silly as saying that Evolution didn't exist until Darwin wrote it down.

-Jag
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#55 Posted on 23.9.04 1601.46
Reposted on: 23.9.11 1602.24
    Originally posted by vsp
    I provided an opinion, neatly summarized in six words in response to the original poster's question, and backed it up twice when challenged.


Occam's Razor is back up? Can we agree that for science to be the right answer (eventually), a million random coincendences had to happen in order for us to be living and breathing right now? On the other hand, for me to believe in God and creationism, I've got to believe there is a Divine Creator. Tell me how Occam's Razor supports the million random coincidences rather than the simple 1 Divine Creator?

I apologize if I didn't complete your quote and that you felt that strongly that those two words made the quote accurate. I try to include the source if I'm actually trying to quote though. (You'll notice that your original didn't include the "You're an idiot" thing, although a followup might). Anyways, my point was and is this: If someone (and I wasn't trying to point fingers) is going to make me out to be simple-minded because I believe in "fairy tales" (my words not yours), they'd better be prepared to back it up especially when it comes to something I believe in strongly. If you didn't realize it, realize it now. That is the tone of your original and secondary post.

    Originally posted by vsp
    This type of thread also pops up at regular intervals, and I don't feel like reciting my entire manifesto of beliefs every time it appears.


If you didn't want to discuss this in the first place, why did you get involved?
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#56 Posted on 23.9.04 2138.32
Reposted on: 23.9.11 2138.42
You know, I SWORE i wouldn't get in this thread. I replied privately to the troll who started this at the beginning laying out my ideas, just in case they were serious. But these discussions never are logical or rational but get off on one person or another's bias.

I mean, take me. I am a divinity school graduate and a decon at my church. I believe the Bible is inerrant (and I see no contradictions and would welcome a PM thread on that) and that Jesus Christ died as a substitutionary attonement for my sins.

BUT THAT WASN'T THE TROLL.

It was "What is God" and posed some questions.

IF there's a God, then God has to be all-powerful and all knowing and all everywhere and everytime - because if God isn't that, then I can't define God as less than that. For goodness sake, I am almost omnicient, omnipotent and omnip[resent. But God has got to be all of them. If that's the definition, then there can be only one. (because if there's more than one, then God isn't "all" powerful, but only over other beings who aren't co-gods.

The other question was "Can God act in an unethical manner" and my answer is that God is all knowing and all everywhere/everytime and so God's decisions regarding a decision are based on God's plan which may not be understandable to people with limited knowledge and understanding. (example: God allows a terrible dictator to exploit and terrorize a cultural group for a number of years so that a planned outcome is able to happen at a later date - it doesn't seem ethical, but it is, according to God's morality.

We can snipe back and forth and say that one's person's faith is this or that. We can promote our own faith and denegrate the faith of others. But that shouldn't be our focus here.

Yes, if you're a Christian, it's your main job to spread and tell others of your faith. Yes, if you're a member of some groups (say, a Buddhist), your job is to tolerate other faiths because your beliefs say that faith might be as valid as your own. Yes, if you're an athiest, you often feel that it's your mission in life to remind others that God doesn't exist.

But I can tell you, from years of moderating religion forums that if we CHOOSE to hurt each other over this TROLL topic, we'll just learn to dislike each other and want to cause pain to the others. I can tell you that I applauded when Chris pulled this topic and, well, unapplauded when he replaced it.

the Santa Claus comments and the denegration of the Bible and my beliefs hurts. But not as much as knowing that it doesn't have to be that way. My suggestion: Stop the thread before really hurtful things are said.

I'm not trying to moderate, just speaking from experience.
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#57 Posted on 24.9.04 0523.39
Reposted on: 24.9.11 0525.32
    Originally posted by SirBubNorm
    <
    Who says He didn't? Or more specifically, where biblically does it say He didn't?.


To be fair though, it doesn't say God is a three legged Czechoslavakian leprechaun named Bob either but that doesn't make it false

(edited by devineman on 24.9.04 0724)
vsp
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#58 Posted on 24.9.04 0655.56
Reposted on: 24.9.11 0657.16
    Originally posted by SirBubNorm
    Can we agree that for science to be the right answer (eventually), a million random coincendences had to happen in order for us to be living and breathing right now? On the other hand, for me to believe in God and creationism, I've got to believe there is a Divine Creator. Tell me how Occam's Razor supports the million random coincidences rather than the simple 1 Divine Creator?


Because I believe that over billions and billions and billions of years, the likelihood of those coincidences setting up an environment where life as we know it could evolve naturally is _greater_ than the likelihood of an omnipotent cosmic being existing outside the natural framework and shaping the universe as he/she/it sees fit.

Occam's Razor isn't "the simplest solution is the correct one." It's "don't overcomplicate when it isn't necessary." An orderly, natural universe without divine interference is X; one with a deity manipulating things is X + Y. Do we know every last detail about how X works? No. But when the things that we do know about how X works are logically consistent, or at least generally prove to be once we learn more over time about them, is it simpler to assume that (a) the things we don't know about X play by similar rules as those that we do, or that (b) there's NECESSARILY a Deity Y mucking with things?

I can't declare firmly that God _doesn't_ exist, because I can't possibly know that for sure. Negatives can't be proven, particularly when they're Omnipotent Omniscient Invisible Cosmic negatives. But I have no reason to believe that God or Gods _do_ exist, either. If you choose to see a Divine Hand at play in the universe, enjoy.

    Originally posted by SirBubNorm
    (You'll notice that your original didn't include the "You're an idiot" thing, although a followup might). Anyways, my point was and is this: If someone (and I wasn't trying to point fingers) is going to make me out to be simple-minded because I believe in "fairy tales" (my words not yours), they'd better be prepared to back it up especially when it comes to something I believe in strongly. If you didn't realize it, realize it now. That is the tone of your original and secondary post.


There is a difference between stating an opinion that something is fictional and stating an opinion that people are simple-minded for believing in it.

I stated the former. You _projected_ the latter. There are lots of understandable reasons why people believe in various religions, visible even to non-believers like myself. I respect others' beliefs even if I do not share them, and if someone states beliefs contrary to my own, I don't overreact as if they'd just taken a raunchy shit in my morning tea.

If, for instance, I state that "Santa Claus is a fictional character," am I calling anyone who believes in Santa an idiot? Hardly. Because I know quite well that many children are raised to believe in Santa, actively encouraged by parents, peers and society to believe in Santa, surrounded by images of Santa wherever they go in their daily lives, are given evidence (presents under the tree, disappearing milk and cookies, etc.) to support the existence of Santa, and are not likely at a young, impressionable age to question all of the above.

At some point, children tend to gather up the logical inconsistencies in the Santa story and say "Heeeeeeeeeey, this doesn't add up"... and at that point, the response from parents and society is usually "Okay, you're right, but don't spoil it for your little brother."

The difference between God and Santa is that much of contemporary American society _continues to perpetuate_ the "God exists" meme throughout adulthood. Children who question are often confronted by parents who are still firm believers. And why not? The unanswerable questions that God is meant to answer (creation, purpose, meaning of life, death, bad things -> good people, yadda yadda) are just as bedeviling to adults as they are to children.


    If you didn't want to discuss this in the first place, why did you get involved?


Because this thread asked a simple question, looking for opinions, and I provided mine. It was challenged, and I clarified it further. When it degenerated into a Prove Or Disprove The Existence Of God debate team, largely because of you, I left until my posts were mischaracterized _again_ as flamebait.

(edited by vsp on 24.9.04 0603)
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#59 Posted on 25.9.04 0901.01
Reposted on: 25.9.11 0901.20
    Originally posted by AWArulz


    BUT THAT WASN'T THE TROLL.

    It was "What is God" and posed some questions.

    IF there's a God, then God has to be all-powerful and all knowing and all everywhere and everytime - because if God isn't that, then I can't define God as less than that. For goodness sake, I am almost omnicient, omnipotent and omnip[resent. But God has got to be all of them. If that's the definition, then there can be only one. (because if there's more than one, then God isn't "all" powerful, but only over other beings who aren't co-gods.

    The other question was "Can God act in an unethical manner" and my answer is that God is all knowing and all everywhere/everytime and so God's decisions regarding a decision are based on God's plan which may not be understandable to people with limited knowledge and understanding. (example: God allows a terrible dictator to exploit and terrorize a cultural group for a number of years so that a planned outcome is able to happen at a later date - it doesn't seem ethical, but it is, according to God's morality.


Thank you for your post and PM.

I may have articulated myself badly and i was stupid to not realise how the thread would turn out.I honestly did not mean to troll however as your post is the only one that answered my question as it was intended.
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