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God Rules

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0 posted 01-01-2003 10:23 PM       View Profile for Caelestis   Email Caelestis   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Caelestis

I've been wondering lately, about wether or not a god, perhaps even one that is omnipotent, would be governed by any laws.  I would like to believe that a god would still be governed by the laws of logic.  For example, could a god be soley blue and soley red simultaneously?

I'm agnostic, and I'm not directly discussing the christian god, but I'd like to hear wether the christians here believe that their god can do "anything", or "anything that can logically be done".

In my opinion, a god who is not governed by logic could not be understood in the least, so it's usually best to assume that a god would have to be.  This may seem like a silly question at first, but if god created the universe, would he not also have created any such logical laws, and if so, why couldn't he break them?
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1 posted 01-01-2003 10:28 PM       View Profile for Caelestis   Email Caelestis   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Caelestis

This is somewhat of a spin-off from the Free Will and Omniscience thread, in which the topic of wether or not a god could create a rock so big that it could not lift it.

If you are to assume that a god would be governed by these laws, then a rock that big simply could not be created.
Member Rara Avis
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2 posted 01-01-2003 10:40 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

When I was a child, much of what my mom and dad did was incomprehensible to me. Had I understood the concepts of logic at the time, I'm sure I would have said they were grossly illogical. I mean, they took showers and brushed their teeth without anyone even making them do it!

Is God bound by logic?

Whose logic did you have in mind? Yours?
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3 posted 01-01-2003 11:14 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Well this explains much Ron... you grew up with illogical parents... heh...showers... go figger...

A better question may be -- what is logic -- in this universe?
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4 posted 01-01-2003 11:48 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos


     This can be a complex issue (to us). I like very much what Ron said however.  And I guess I stand in much the same place, philosophically speaking.  I am not agnostic, for I think that God has adequately revealed himself to us through nature, through Jesus Christ, and through scripture, and can be really known by those who desire the truth.  But to balance this, I think that our knowledge of God is definitely limited by our  humanity.  We are not the deity.  He is.  So it does not surprise me that our "logic" can not wholly contain his.  As Ron mentioned, God is doing things that we might count as illogical because we don't really yet have the knowledge or capacity to grasp them, as a child does not have the knowledge or capacity to grasp adult behavior.
     But also comporting with the analogy of a child and an adult Father, is the idea that it would be wrong to imagine the child knowing nothing of adult behavior simply because of his child-like mind.  In fact, there is nothing that the child really knows that did not come from his Father or other adults, either biologically or psychologically.  I think the Christian idea, is that laws of logic, laws of nature, and moral laws in the universe, reflect the character of God.  It's not so much that he is bound to them, as it is that they are bound to him.  But the very fact that they are contigent upon himself, would explain why in the Christian world-view, logic is a reflection given to the human mind, of a Personal God who is rational.  That's why the Christian can dismiss absurdity (creating a rock that you can't lift, for example) as something foolish and unlike God's mind because it is illogical, and at the same time be open to the possibility of the "supralogical", or "extralogical", or even just logic without all the information, explaining certain propositions.   The contigency of laws of logic, and the fact that they are derivative, tells us that God is not necessarily bound to them as we sometimes imagine that he should be, or either that they may not be given in their complete form.  That's where Miracles and the like come in.  At first glance, he seems to be a God who can break, or suspend, or bend the natural laws for his own purposes.  But to be truthful, I really don't feel that he does so, or ever has.  I could be wrong in this.  But C.S. Lewis once wrote that, "in the whole history of the universe the laws of nature have never produced a single event.  They are the pattern to which every event must conform."  If this is the case, then for God to perform miracles, he only needs to feed in unforseen events or facts, not change laws.  Gravity will always have a different effect on a rock, than a firing rocket, but the pull and "law-likeness" of gravity does not change.  Now you might say that the ability to feed events into nature from the outside is breaking a law.  But that is the whole question isn't it?  Naturalism takes for granted that nature cannot be "violated" (for lack of a better word here).  The Christian message is that there is a higher law that nature was meant to recieve God's interjections, that she has in the past (history), and that she will again in the future (prophecy).  
     I know I went a long way off the topic.  Why did I bring these things up, and what do they have to do with logic?  The idea about God's relation to natural law illustrates a similar relation God may have with logic.  He has data that we know not of, and knowledge that we have not attained, which if we knew might end up being perfectly logical, and fill out what we so desperately lack.  This is the proposition of a middle ground between a person being God with absolute knowledge, and being an agnostic.  It is a point of recieving and being in need all at the same time.  Which in my opinion is where God desires us to be in life.  It keeps us humble, yet also from the point of despair ... confident, yet aloof from the trap of self reliance ... always seeking wisdom, yet above the vacuum of total skepticism.  


[This message has been edited by Stephanos (01-02-2003 01:00 AM).]

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5 posted 01-03-2003 08:43 PM       View Profile for fractal007   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fractal007

"In my opinion, a god who is not governed by logic could not be understood in the least, so it's usually best to assume that a god would have to be."

Am I to understand that logic is the sole power in the universe and that it somehow existed before the universe itself, let alone the humans who "discovered" it, did?

And also, are you arguing that God must follow logic and thus logically he must be able to contradict logic, which is his creation?  You state that a God not governed by logic would be incomprehensible.  Emotion is not governed by logic.  Is it incomprehensible?  But then, emotion isn't a god.

As far as God being able to do anything, I recall trying to answer that question in the affirmative a while back.  I got very far, but still found myself implicitly saying that he cannot create a rock so large that he cannot lift it.  I argued that that question was invalid since God is not restricted by any physical laws.  However, is that not also saying that he cannot do it since He is not restricted?  

I personally believe God is something of an author of the universe.  He has his own liscence to do whatever he chooses with either it or himself or anything else he owns or creates.

As far as breaking logical laws goes, perhaps God can indeed contradict himself by choosing to be green and red on the same day.  If those laws are just another part of the canon of his created universe then perhaps breaking them would be conceivable to someone not a part of that universe.  We all have eyes.  What would life be like as a creature without eyes?  Imagine that, living without a visual system.  Can you imagine that?

"If history is to change, let it change. If the world is to be destroyed, so be it. If my fate is to die, I must simply laugh"

-- Magus

[This message has been edited by fractal007 (01-03-2003 08:51 PM).]

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