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The Double Standard of the “God of the Gaps” argument

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posted on Jul, 5 2016 @ 10:31 AM
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For the record when I say the word God I’m not bringing in any other notion of God, from any particular type of Religion. I’m just thinking of the strict definition of the word God, which is “The Creator.”


It’s seems a fairly logical statement to say, that something always existed and that whatever it is, is eternal…

Many scientists when speaking of or to believers in a God, in conjunction with creation and the unviverse etc…invoke this typical phrase “the God of the Gaps”, or the magical “Fairy Dust”, the great “Sphaghetic Monster” etc etc…but isn’t this just in reality a double standard…?

Allow me to explain…there’s really essentially only 2 options…

(1) God always existed, is eternal and helped form and guide everything we know and see around us in the known universe…

(2) The very substance of the universe always existed, is eternal, and somehow unaided, and without any partiucular type of guidance, and by some unknown mechinasitc procedure, that science has yet to explain, manged, on its own, to form everything we know and see around us!!!

Now just have a think about those 2 options for a monment.

You see, depending on how you look at it, option 2 could be viewed as the real “Sphaghetic Monster”, or another form of “Fairy Dust”…

Science is trying to uncover how the universe works, but its defualt position is rooted in a form of option 2. What this amounts to, is that mainstream science is looking for the answer, in the form of a random happenstance and mechanistic solution. Science is of course searching for the answers, but in this field it’s searching for an answer whilst simulatanously being grounded in option 2.

Science doesn’t claim to know how the unverse works in it’s entirety, and is of course searching for the answers. But why rigidly stick to a solution revolving around option 2, when they don’t really know how everything works. Surely it’s better to not rule out option (1) if all is not known etc…

But yet science continues to bash people over the head with this “God of the Gaps” phrase, as if they have some higher intellectual authority over the truth of things…when they clearly don’t

Where’s the double standard?

Science has already filled “The Gap”, by searching for a solution that’s’ rooted only in searching for a mechanistic, uniaded and unguided uninverse. This is really just another form of Gap, except it’s the “Science of the Gaps”…IMO


edit on 5-7-2016 by Joecroft because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 5 2016 @ 10:36 AM
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a reply to: Joecroft

The god of the gaps argument exists because "god" isn't objectively defined thus there is a logical loophole that allows a believer to continue to push the goal posts back on what god is and isn't as new science is discovered. If you believers would bother to properly define what god is and can do, then the god of the gaps argument wouldn't exist.



posted on Jul, 5 2016 @ 10:59 AM
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Your dilemma is a false dilemma. A logical fallacy.


Description: When only two choices are presented yet more exist, or a spectrum of possible choices exists between two extremes. False dilemmas are usually characterized by “either this or that” language, but can also be characterized by omissions of choices. Another variety is the false trilemma, which is when three choices are presented when more exist.


There are plenty more options than what's been presented. And even the (2) that are presented, in them there are concrete statements, but they are coupled with varying interpretations. To break it down you can say for instance:

(1) God is eternal

That can be an option. But just because he's (or "it" is) eternal doesn't necessarily it's guided us at all.

(2) The Universe is eternal

Again, there's a lot of added stuff in there. But out of the two options you present, there are only two distinctions that can even be taken from them.

And now a list much longer can be added on to that:

(3) The universe is an illusion

(4) God exists but has had no contact with man

(5) God exists in many forms

(6) Many universes exist

(7) A simulation is running and non of us exist

And so on and so forth.

Your original argument makes a leap of logic, an assumption and fails at that point because it bases everything off of that assumption. The only thing I could think of that wouldn't be that kind of false dilemma, is perhaps: (1) God exists. (2) God doesn't exist.

Even then you might have problems.




It’s seems a fairly logical statement to say, that something always existed and that whatever it is, is eternal…


We don't know this at all, it's certainly not proven or conclusively decided. Science tells us our universe had a beginning, which implies it very likely could have an end.

There are also many varying spiritualistic interpretations of reality and our existence. In essence, a debate to whether we exist at all, exist in a simulation, religious debate of the nature of reality, scientific debate about the nature of reality, so on and so forth.

A naked scientific interpretation of the universe and existence is: we know nothing, and everything is possible until proven impossible. But the most important variable is our lack of knowledge.

To have and admit zero knowledge, and go from there is a scientific interpretation of the evidence around us. Religion is offering us insight without evidence. And factor in politics into religion (which has had a huge impact on shaping various religions over their histories) and suddenly the information used in religion is then corrupted, so not only is it lacking evidence, the claims made (which may have even had supporting evidence at one time) become more and more based in fiction. In which case anything could be said.
edit on 5-7-2016 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 5 2016 @ 10:59 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t
Never gonna happen. If religion can't move the goal posts, and re-define god as necessary, they're sunk.



posted on Jul, 5 2016 @ 11:08 AM
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originally posted by: Klassified
a reply to: Krazysh0t
Never gonna happen. If religion can't move the goal posts, and re-define god as necessary, they're sunk.

Well of course. I just didn't say that to try to remain a bit civil here.



posted on Jul, 5 2016 @ 11:09 AM
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a reply to: Joecroft

my opinion is that most religions are the ones with the double standard in this regard :

the " god of the gaps " argument arose because we can now explain a whole slew of phenonemon which were previously attributed to " gods "

further - religions are guity of special pleading , wherein :

they claim that " everything must have a creator " , but " god does not require a creator "

they cannot have it both ways

thats it - the " god of the gaps " preciscley describes the current limits of our inderstanding - as the religious accept that things previously attributed to " gods " have mundane explainations - but continue to insist that thier " god " exists " somewhere " just beyond our measurments and observations



posted on Jul, 5 2016 @ 11:31 AM
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Science can know there is a God.
If science is a person.
Religion and God are both legalistic and political notions.

God is commonly typified as a person as in "what is Gods plan"?
So illusionistic as it implies the Godhead thinks and wills and plans and expects as a personhood.

Science is commonly a replacement for an idea of God by substituting a testing parameter and body of knowledge for a belief system. You then wind up needing to belief it and arguing with a projected God believing person who must believe the opposite.

a reply to: Joecroft



posted on Jul, 5 2016 @ 02:07 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t



Originally posted by Krazysh0t
The god of the gaps argument exists because "god" isn't objectively defined thus there is a logical loophole that allows a believer to continue to push the goal posts back on what god is and isn't as new science is discovered.



But science is declaring that the universe came about unaided and by some mechanistic process, without knowing how it works or whether that starting premise is even correct or not…Isn’t that also a “logical loophole”…?

Plus doesn’t science also push back the goal posts in light of new evidence etc…why can’t Religions about God, be aloud to do the same thing…

But anyway, didn’t you read line ONE of my OP…???



Originally posted by Joecroft in the OP
For the record when I say the word God I’m not bringing in any other notion of God, from any particular type of Religion. I’m just thinking of the strict definition of the word God, which is “The Creator.”


I’m only defining God as the Creator, I’m not bringing in any other specific religious notions about God into it play…except 1, or perhaps 2, if you include being eternal…



Originally posted by Krazysh0t
If you believers would bother to properly define what god is and can do, then the god of the gaps argument wouldn't exist.



For the premise of this thread, I’m not bringing in any other religious notions about God into my argument…other than that which is universally accepted throughout most/ALL religions. Which is, that God is primarily defined as “The Creator”…and is of course eternal…


- JC



posted on Jul, 5 2016 @ 02:17 PM
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originally posted by: Joecroft
a reply to: Krazysh0t
But science is declaring that the universe came about unaided and by some mechanistic process, without knowing how it works or whether that starting premise is even correct or not…Isn’t that also a “logical loophole”…?


Nope, science isn't doing that at all. The answer to the "god" question and intelligent design as it concerns science is "I don't know." There isn't enough evidence yet to say one way or the other. HOWEVER the evidence seems to suggest that the processes happened without intelligent direction. That doesn't mean that is the case though.


Plus doesn’t science also push back the goal posts in light of new evidence etc…why can’t Religions about God, be aloud to do the same thing…


Erm... How about an example of what you are talking about here?



Originally posted by Joecroft in the OP
For the record when I say the word God I’m not bringing in any other notion of God, from any particular type of Religion. I’m just thinking of the strict definition of the word God, which is “The Creator.”



I’m only defining God as the Creator, I’m not bringing in any other specific religious notions about God into it play…except 1, or perhaps 2, if you include being eternal…


Apparently your definition of "strict" and science's definition of strict isn't the same thing because even what you are talking about here isn't properly defined by science. God could be a computer or god could be an intelligent being or god could be something else completely. So no, you are still aren't strict enough when just trying to identify if the universe had a creator or not.


For the premise of this thread, I’m not bringing in any other religious notions about God into my argument…other than that which is universally accepted throughout most/ALL religions. Which is, that God is primarily defined as “The Creator”…and is of course eternal…- JC



Not all religions define god as a creator. Plus, not all religions believe god created the universe the same way. Also, as I said earlier there are still many possibilities that haven't been defined yet to explore this possibility.

The ultimate problem with god is that it is to subject to confirmation bias. People have determined that god exists FIRST then look for the evidence. Instead of building the evidence then building an idea to support it which science does. In order for science to define god, it must define all the components that make god up first.



posted on Jul, 5 2016 @ 02:21 PM
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a reply to: boncho



Originally posted by boncho
Your dilemma is a false dilemma. A logical fallacy.

Description: When only two choices are presented yet more exist, or a spectrum of possible choices exists between two extremes. False dilemmas are usually characterized by “either this or that” language, but can also be characterized by omissions of choices. Another variety is the false trilemma, which is when three choices are presented when more exist.

There are plenty more options than what's been presented. And even the (2) that are presented, in them there are concrete statements, but they are coupled with varying interpretations. To break it down you can say for instance:

(1) God is eternal

That can be an option. But just because he's (or "it" is) eternal doesn't necessarily it's guided us at all.

(2) The Universe is eternal

Again, there's a lot of added stuff in there. But out of the two options you present, there are only two distinctions that can even be taken from them.

And now a list much longer can be added on to that:

(3) The universe is an illusion

(4) God exists but has had no contact with man

(5) God exists in many forms

(6) Many universes exist

(7) A simulation is running and non of us exist



But you’re just not thinking straight…IMO

Some of the things on that list just help to defuse the issue…and some of the others, either fit into options (1) or (2) anyway…

Of course one can add extra caveats to it…but that would just be an extra long list, that would essentially just fit into the two main options I’ve already outlined…

The two options being, either (A) God is the creator who is responsible for all we see and know…And (B) There is no God, everything around us just happened by some mechanical process i.e. there is no creator God…


And like I stated in my OP this is about only defining God as the creator, which is how God is universally defined throughout the majority of religions…I’m not taking the definition any further than that, with the exception that in addition God is eternal…




Originally posted by boncho
Your original argument makes a leap of logic, an assumption and fails at that point because it bases everything off of that assumption. ]The only thing I could think of that wouldn't be that kind of false dilemma, is perhaps: (1) God exists. (2) God doesn't exist.


But science is also already making an assumption itself, in that the universe is just somehow only mechanistic, and unguided, i.e. there’s no God/Creator…

You said above that the only thing that wouldn’t be a false dilemma, is (1) God exists. (2) God doesn't exist.

But within that statement you just made, which you said wouldn't be a false dilemma…One still has to define what they mean by God…

You can’t have the statement (1) God exists. (2) God doesn't exist. and state that’s it not a false dilemma…And then turn around and say the it’s a false dilemma when someone states roughly the same thing, eccept defines what God is in the process…

In fact, you’re statement, above is pretty useless, unless we try to define God with some type of starting premise…Guess what; I already did that in my OP…God is defined universally as the Creator…that’s the starting point…




Originally posted by Joecroft
It’s seems a fairly logical statement to say, that something always existed and that whatever it is, is eternal…





Originally posted by boncho
We don't know this at all, it's certainly not proven or conclusively decided. Science tells us our universe had a beginning, which implies it very likely could have an end.


But this is the real fallacy.

Science tells us that matter can neither be created nor destroyed…which logically implies that matter (in some form or other) always existed and is eternal. The universe that we know did have a beginning and may even have an end, but the substance, the atoms and matter itself doesn’t come to an end…according to science…




Originally posted by boncho
There are also many varying spiritualistic interpretations of reality and our existence. In essence, a debate to whether we exist at all, exist in a simulation, religious debate of the nature of reality, scientific debate about the nature of reality, so on and so forth.


But those aspects still either lead to option (1) or (2) eventually…IMO




Originally posted by boncho
A naked scientific interpretation of the universe and existence is: we know nothing, and everything is possible until proven impossible. But the most important variable is our lack of knowledge.


Yes, I agree science is on a quest for knowledge and is trying to understand how our universe works which is great…but within that search…is the forgone conclusion, that it has to be down to a mechanistic process without any guidance to it…when that is neither known nor proven…




Originally posted by boncho
To have and admit zero knowledge, and go from there is a scientific interpretation of the evidence around us. Religion is offering us insight without evidence.


But I’m not talking about Religion here…I’m invoking the possibility (in this thread) that there is a God that is a creator, that is maybe outside of any other type of definition…

Plus science hasn’t provided conclusive evidence that the universe is the result of an unguided mechanistic process…

That’s the double standard I’m talking about…


- JC



posted on Jul, 5 2016 @ 02:25 PM
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a reply to: ignorant_ape



Originally posted by ignorant_ape
my opinion is that most religions are the ones with the double standard in this regard:


This isn’t about religion…as I mention in line ONE of my OP…



Originally posted by Joecroft in the OP
For the record when I say the word God I’m not bringing in any other notion of God, from any particular type of Religion. I’m just thinking of the strict definition of the word God, which is “The Creator.”


Although having said that, just like science changes upon new evidence…Religions should also be able to do the same…




Originally posted by ignorant_ape
the " god of the gaps " argument arose because we can now explain a whole slew of phenonemon which were previously attributed to " gods "

further - religions are guity of special pleading , wherein :


Yes, and maybe some of those Religions contain falsities, but maybe some have some deep core truths, that just get dismissed etc…Can we in all honesty declare the universe to be a product of some unknown mechanistic processes only, and yet dismiss all other aspects about God (which may or not be true) to be completely false…?



Originally posted by ignorant_ape
they claim that " everything must have a creator " , but " god does not require a creator "

they cannot have it both ways


Well, something had to exist in the beginning…and with God being eternal, he doesn’t require a creator…Also if you’re going to go down that root, then what created or brought about matter to begin with…

So we’re back to the starting premise in my OP…IMO…which is “Something always existed eternally…”



Originally posted by ignorant_ape
thats it - the " god of the gaps " preciscley describes the current limits of our inderstanding -…


But at the same time science is pasting in it’s own “God of the Gaps” by pouncing that things raised through some form of unguided mechanistic processes. That’s the presumed methodology by which science is searching for answers, even though science doesn’t really know how it works…


- JC



posted on Jul, 5 2016 @ 03:26 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t



Originally posted by Krazysh0t
Nope, science isn't doing that at all. The answer to the "god" question and intelligent design as it concerns science is "I don't know." There isn't enough evidence yet to say one way or the other. HOWEVER the evidence seems to suggest that the processes happened without intelligent direction. That doesn't mean that is the case though.



Well if science isn’t doing that at all in your opinion, and the answer of science is that “I don’t know”; then why do many scientists constantly use the response of “the God of the gaps” so frequently…especially in debates about the existence of God…???




Originally posted by Krazysh0t
Apparently your definition of "strict" and science's definition of strict isn't the same thing because even what you are talking about here isn't properly defined by science. God could be a computer or god could be an intelligent being or god could be something else completely. So no, you are still aren't strict enough when just trying to identify if the universe had a creator or not.


It’s not so much strict, but more a case of the universal definition of God, (that the majority of religions share) a starting premise if you will…otherwise how can a discussion even get up and running to start with…? With the point being to keep it as simple as possible…surely you can understand that right…?




Originally posted by Krazysh0t
Not all religions define god as a creator. Plus, not all religions believe god created the universe the same way. Also, as I said earlier there are still many possibilities that haven't been defined yet to explore this possibility.


The majority of Religions define God as the creator, that’s also how God is primarily defined in most dictionaries…



Originally posted by Krazysh0t
The ultimate problem with god is that it is to subject to confirmation bias. People have determined that god exists FIRST then look for the evidence. Instead of building the evidence then building an idea to support it which science does.



But there’s only 2 options though, not having evidence for one doesn’t mean it’s not true. Added to which science doesn’t have conclusive evidence that the universe is only mechanistic in nature or has no “intelligent direction” a you put it…As you mentioned in your own post…

So how can science take the higher intellectual ground by using statements like “he/she believes in the God of Gaps”, when it could be equally argued that science is following it’s own gap, for which it has no conclusive evidence for…

Science can bring with it, it’s own set of bias too…Just research all the overturned scientific theories both past and recent and you’ll see what I mean…



Originally posted by Krazysh0t
In order for science to define god, it must define all the components that make god up first.


But science can also try to extrapolate information, by using verifiable facts along with reason and thought experiments. Science doesn’t know what dark matter is, but that isn’t stopping them from proposing ideas about it…

We don’t have all knowledge as to how the universe works, but science is already leaning towards the no “intelligent direction” viewpoint…about the universe…

Shouldn’t we only declare we know, after conclusive evidence has been found, And I mean in relation to the no “intelligent direction” of the universe viewpoint…? My point is that science is defining it from that perspective, even though it doesn’t know all parameters…


- JC



posted on Jul, 5 2016 @ 03:35 PM
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originally posted by: Joecroft
a reply to: Krazysh0t
Well if science isn’t doing that at all in your opinion, and the answer of science is that “I don’t know”; then why do many scientists constantly use the response of “the God of the gaps” so frequently…especially in debates about the existence of God…???

Because the God of the Gaps argument is used when someone pretends to know the answer to a question that science doesn't know the answer to. That's the point.


It’s not so much strict, but more a case of the universal definition of God, (that the majority of religions share) a starting premise if you will…otherwise how can a discussion even get up and running to start with…? With the point being to keep it as simple as possible…surely you can understand that right…?

There is no universal definition of god. You just made that up in your head.


The majority of Religions define God as the creator, that’s also how God is primarily defined in most dictionaries…

Irrelevant. Definitions have to stay consistent across media. The definition isn't consistent and is too vague in most characteristics.


But there’s only 2 options though, not having evidence for one doesn’t mean it’s not true. Added to which science doesn’t have conclusive evidence that the universe is only mechanistic in nature or has no “intelligent direction” a you put it…As you mentioned in your own post…

So how can science take the higher intellectual ground by using statements like “he/she believes in the God of Gaps”, when it could be equally argued that science is following it’s own gap, for which it has no conclusive evidence for…

Science can bring with it, it’s own set of bias too…Just research all the overturned scientific theories both past and recent and you’ll see what I mean…

Science isn't following a gap. I really have doubts you understand what the god of the gaps argument is actually saying. It is a way of labeling a description of god as a logical fallacy because the evidence to make that description doesn't exist and we really don't know if it is true or not. God of the Gaps isn't a statement of belief. It's a statement of disbelief. Disbelief doesn't mean the opposite of what is believed is true though.


But science can also try to extrapolate information, by using verifiable facts along with reason and thought experiments. Science doesn’t know what dark matter is, but that isn’t stopping them from proposing ideas about it…

That's because there are calculations in math that require dark matter to exist. If it doesn't then much of our science would be wrong, so it is assumed to be true. But science is careful to explain that it hasn't been proven to exist yet. There is a difference.


We don’t have all knowledge as to how the universe works, but science is already leaning towards the no “intelligent direction” viewpoint…about the universe…

That's because processes like evolution (which tends to follow the rules of recursion) seem to be self-sustaining and not need an intelligent designer to manipulate them. Hell, whenever we attempt to circumvent evolution (intelligently I might add) we ALWAYS do it better than nature's way.


Shouldn’t we only declare we know, after conclusive evidence has been found, And I mean in relation to the no “intelligent direction” of the universe viewpoint…? My point is that science is defining it from that perspective, even though it doesn’t know all parameters…


- JC

Science hasn't defined it though. You've even admitted that science is merely leaning in that direction. So to now say that science has declared it true is intellectually dishonest.



posted on Jul, 5 2016 @ 03:54 PM
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a reply to: Joecroft

I agree with the basics of your argument


We don't know what came before the 'Big Bang.' Speculation suggests that something existed prior to it in the form of branes, cyclical collapses/expansions or 'bubbles.' We often seem to be dealing with concepts of infinity and singularities our current knowledge can't quite relate to or fully comprehend.

It's where we are right now and the 'gaps' are there to be filled.

The subtle difference is how science specifically addresses the stuff we can measure; things that we *know* to exist. We can measure red shift and *know* that galaxies and nearly everything else is moving away. Science has looked at why space isn't a blinding vista of infinite stars. Scientists have identified different classes of stars and know they have predictable lifetimes.

God isn't something that can measured, predicted or even identified.

As much as SCIENCE is propelled by trying to fill the gaps, it's much more rational than a solution that 'God did it.'



posted on Jul, 5 2016 @ 05:08 PM
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a reply to: Joecroft


Pr 8:22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.


The me in context of Prov 8 is Wisdom. Jesus, the Son of God is the full wisdom of God.

Good post.

If everything is made from eternal material (i.e The LORD God Almighty, the Creator) then man in his 24/7 construct and quantum can not register the age of the material with the instruments of men, until they can understand what the measurement of eternity is.


edit on 5-7-2016 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 5 2016 @ 07:37 PM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: Joecroft

The god of the gaps argument exists because "god" isn't objectively defined thus there is a logical loophole that allows a believer to continue to push the goal posts back on what god is and isn't as new science is discovered. If you believers would bother to properly define what god is and can do, then the god of the gaps argument wouldn't exist.


I dunno, I agree with Dr. Chuck Missler that the more we learn about quantum mechanics, the nature of reality and the time domain, the easier Genesis reads. Modern Physics and cosmology has explained things that is ages past had to be reconciled by a God of the gaps, not so much with the cutting edge of sciences today.



posted on Jul, 5 2016 @ 07:39 PM
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a reply to: boncho

The universe as we know it actually is a digital simulation. It's made up of indivisible units or matter and time called quanta. And these particles are held together by electrical properties. The universe is finite, and it's not analog.



posted on Jul, 5 2016 @ 07:39 PM
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a reply to: Joecroft


when I say the word God I’m not bringing in any other notion of God, from any particular type of Religion. I’m just thinking of the strict definition of the word God, which is “The Creator.”

But doesn't limiting the definition to "creator" introduce a notion?

I'm with Boncho farther down, about limiting choices.



posted on Jul, 5 2016 @ 09:46 PM
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a reply to: pthena



Originally posted by Pathena
But doesn't limiting the definition to "creator" introduce a notion?



Hey Pathena

I’m not trying to limit God in any way, it was merely just for the purposes of this discussion.

Because once you start adding extra criteria to Gods definition, it becomes harder not only keep track of, but to also discuss it in a straight line. For example, people will start to drift, by talking about a flood, or how could those plagues have happened scientifically and so on and so forth…


- JC



edit on 5-7-2016 by Joecroft because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 5 2016 @ 09:57 PM
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a reply to: Joecroft



people will start to drift, by talking about a flood, or how could those plagues have happened scientifically and so on and so forth…

Thanks for clarification. Now that I look at it again, perhaps 2) is broad enough to cover something not "always existing" but coexisting, not as creator, but as ( I can't think of a word to put here ).




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