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Jealousy and wrath are not emotions

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posted on Aug, 7 2016 @ 10:07 AM
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a reply to: windword

I was wondering if the same analogy theory of jealousy and wrath being used is equally applied when this "God" is called positive adjectives like loving, good, merciful and just?

Or are the positive emotions literal and the negative only described as approximate analogies?

It's in line with the hypocritical nature of Christianity to emphasise the good and rationalize away the bad (aspects of Yahweh).

Yahweh at least is honest when he admits to being good and evil, his minions should take a page from his honesty and stop saying God is 100% good when God doesn't even say that.

But hey, Satan is always a good patsy for the evil that is correctly applied to Yahweh in Judaism.

What a fascinatingly incorrect interpretation of Judaism has Christianity produced in its theology of hypocrisy.




posted on Aug, 7 2016 @ 10:08 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Can I just make an observation?

You replied to another member that God doesn't have emotions. That would mean that it/she/he can't be jealous or feel wrath and are just assuming human emotions to describe what it/she/he had done.

How do you know it/she/he doesn't have emotions? Isn't that a assumption on your part?

ETA: Also, to prove that it/she/he does or does not have emotions, you would have to prove the existence of God/s.
edit on 782016 by TerryDon79 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 7 2016 @ 10:26 AM
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a reply to: TerryDon79
This is a point which the more philosophical theologians have been making since the earliest days of the church. The "impassibility" of God is part of standard church teaching, and mentioned in a number of formal doctrinal statements.
I covered the argument very briefly in the OP. Human emotions derive from our physical nature, and they have a controlling effect on the will. They are like an almost external driving force. A God who created the world should, by definition, be "above" such things, so it isn't really possible to say that he is subject to emotions.

A common line of argument against the Biblical God is that (1) he is subject to emotions like jealousy and wrath, and (2) these emotions are not appropriate for a true God. I can think of one ATS member (not yet appearing on this thread) who almost specialises in pressing that line of attack. This thread is accepting the second premise while challenging the first.


ETA: Also, to prove that it/she/he does or does not have emotions, you would have to prove the existence of God/s.

On the contrary. If there is no God, then the premise of this thread "There is no God experiencing emotions" is proved automatically.
In any case, I don't need to prove the existence of God for this thread, because it is part of the implied premises of a discussion about theistic theology.
Please read the sticky thread "Going beyond Religion 101".



edit on 7-8-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 7 2016 @ 10:28 AM
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Now on with a reply that TerryDon79 questions.

If God had not emotions like wrath and anger then how could he have Compassion (also an emotion).

God created emotions in us as he himself is an emotional being. However in his perfection his emotions cannot be distorted by sin as ours are.

So he can be angry and not sin, he can love with perfect conditions, he can judge without perversion and execute judgement without those emotions interfering.


edit on 7-8-2016 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 7 2016 @ 10:34 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

You actually made some very valid points. One thing I would like to address is this.


A God who created the world should, by definition, be "above" such things, so it isn't really possible to say that he is subject to emotions.


should, but doesn't necessarily have to. That would be putting human restrictions on a supreme being.

God/s could have MORE emotions than humans, but decided to just give us SOME of them. God/s could have 3 different emotions for happiness. Or sadness. Or whatever emotions.

ETA: I won't derail by going into the "prove there's a God" stuff.
edit on 782016 by TerryDon79 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 7 2016 @ 10:40 AM
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originally posted by: TerryDon79
should, but doesn't necessarily have to. That would be putting human restrictions on a supreme being.

It's really an attempt to understand what a supreme being would be like. His supremacy would be compromised if he could be "controlled" by anything else, and human emotions are like controls.



posted on Aug, 7 2016 @ 10:44 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

But there are humans who experience emotions, but are not swayed by them. Surely the same thing could be accurate for God/s?

It also brings up another argument/matter of debate:

If God/s created man "in his image", wouldn't that mean that emotions came from it/her/him?



posted on Aug, 7 2016 @ 10:49 AM
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originally posted by: ChesterJohn
how could he have Compassion (also an emotion).

God's love is not quite the same thing as the human emotions which go by that name.
In fact the New Testament has a separate word for it- The love expressed by God and those who imitate him is AGAPE, while there is a different word for the semi-sexualised romantic sentiment which Hollywood likes to call love.
When people criticise the Biblical God for not displaying love, what they are doing is measuring him against the human definitions.

I would say that the love of God is unemotional in one sense. The human emotion called love is very capable of subduing the reason. The love of God does not subdue his reason. They go together.



posted on Aug, 7 2016 @ 10:55 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI


A common line of argument against the Biblical God is that (1) he is subject to emotions like jealousy and wrath, and (2) these emotions are not appropriate for a true God. I can think of one ATS member (not yet appearing on this thread) who almost specialises in pressing that line of attack. This thread is accepting the second premise while challenging the first.

Here is the Wikipedia definition of Personal God
Personal God

A personal god is a deity who can be related to as a person instead of as an impersonal force, such as the Absolute, "the All", or the "Ground of Being".

In the scriptures of the Abrahamic religions, God is described as being a personal creator, speaking in the first person and showing emotion such as anger and pride, and sometimes appearing in anthropomorphic shape. In the Pentateuch, for example, God talks with and instructs his prophets and is conceived as possessing volition, emotions (such as anger, grief and happiness), intention, and other attributes characteristic of a human person. Personal relationships with God may be described in the same ways as human relationships, such as a Father, as in Christianity, or a Friend as in Sufism.

A 2008 survey by the Pew Research Center reported that, of U.S. adults, 60% view that "God is a person with whom people can have a relationship," while 25% believe that "God is an impersonal force."

And from the Pew Research Center

More than nine-in-ten adults (92%) say they believe in God or a universal spirit.
...
Even among those who are not affiliated with a particular religious group, seven-in-ten say they believe in God or a universal spirit. Indeed, more than a fifth of selfdescribed atheists (21%) and more than half of self-described agnostics (55%) say they believe in God or a universal spirit.
...
For example, nine-in-ten (91%) Mormons think of God as a person with whom people can have a relationship. This view of God is shared by large majorities of Jehovah’s Witnesses (82%) and members of evangelical (79%) and historically black (71%) churches. Fewer members of mainline Protestant churches (62%), Catholics (60%) and Orthodox Christians (49%) share this conception of God. And half of Jews, along with 45% of Buddhists and 53% of Hindus, reject the idea that God is a person, saying instead that God is an impersonal force. Muslims are divided on this question, with 42% saying God is an impersonal force and 41% saying God is a person.

So there's got to be some sort of sliding scale or something, between God as a person and God as an impersonal force. If the premise is that there is one and only one God, then somewhere along the scale, discussion of the Biblical God has slipped past a point, and the Biblical God is no longer being discussed but rather some other hypothetical God.

Polytheism, on the other hand can allow that the impersonal unknowable Absolute, "the All", "Ground of Being" is, and at the same time personal and or national gods can exist, being somewhere between the Absolute and the nation/tribe/person as an intermediator.

To take an intermediator and identify it/her/him as the Absolute is probably, in my opinion, some sort of error.
edit on 7-8-2016 by pthena because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 7 2016 @ 10:57 AM
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originally posted by: TerryDon79
But there are humans who experience emotions, but are not swayed by them. Surely the same thing could be accurate for God/s?

If he is not being swayed, he is not experiencing emotions in the negative sense, which is my main concern here.
In that case, the formula in the OP- "they are the expression of his will"- would seem to cover the situation as well as any.


If God/s created man "in his image", wouldn't that mean that emotions came from it/her/him?

I normally associate "in his image" with human intelligence and self-awareness. In Genesis the immediate consequence is that man is given dominion over the earth.



posted on Aug, 7 2016 @ 11:04 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

If you can "please God/s" or "anger God/s", then it/she/he must have some form of emotions.

Pleasing someone/something makes it pleased.
Angering someone/something makes it angry.

You could argue a positive and negative emotion by each of them.

Pleased=Positive
Angered=Negative

Yes, it might not be the same as human emotion, but it would still be emotion.



posted on Aug, 7 2016 @ 11:06 AM
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a reply to: TerryDon79

Only if "God" is a person. Which it isn't.
God is not a person, or like a person, or any of those things. God - if it exists - is indescribable.


Horses, though, and apes and dogs and cats and elephants and dolphins and whales - they have emotions, just like people do.

"God" is not a sentient thing.



posted on Aug, 7 2016 @ 11:09 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

see you went to the Greek to explain what is plain in the English.

Are you not just being god in place of God to determine what his words are and say?

Consider these verses on God's perfect unadulterated emotion of compassion

Deut 13:17 And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers;
1Kings 8:50 And forgive thy people that have sinned against thee, and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee, and give them compassion before them who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them:
Ps 86:15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
Ps 111:4 He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion
God already loves Israel but what he is doing is having compassion a side emotion of love.

I just love it, many newer more accurate versions, according to you, change compassion to love in Ps 111:4, while other versions replace it with merciful or pity. You are among great company of those who pervert God's word not preserve them.

Now if you just believed that God preserved his words to all generations you would teach correct doctrine on God's emotional perfection and his ability to use them without prejudice.




edit on 7-8-2016 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 7 2016 @ 11:10 AM
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originally posted by: pthena
To take an intermediator and identify it/her/him as the Absolute is probably, in my opinion, some sort of error.

I don't think the question can be settled by taking an average of people's opinions.
I begin from a different starting point.

The central thread of the Bible is that people are dealing with a God who communicates. Communicating involves a level of self-awareness, so this self-awareness and the ability to communicate are the key elements in what I would define as "Personal God". Add in the exercise of conscious will, which is part of the content of what is being communicated.

If a speaker says to us "I created the world", AND we trust the speaker, then we are stuck with the logical conclusion that the creator of the world is capable of speaking.
We are not identifying him as the Absolute. He has identified himself as the Absolute.
edit on 7-8-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 7 2016 @ 11:13 AM
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originally posted by: TerryDon79
If you can "please God/s" or "anger God/s", then it/she/he must have some form of emotions.

Pleasing someone/something makes it pleased.
Angering someone/something makes it angry.

The same things can be expressed in terms of will.
Doing what he wants.
Not doing what he wants.



posted on Aug, 7 2016 @ 11:18 AM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

So how could God/s have created us "in his image" if it/she/he doesn't have an image?

Also, if the argument is "no one knows what God/s is as it/she/he is indescribable", wouldn't that make this thread, and everyone who replied (including the OP), a moot point?

It would also make every religion an invalid concept as no one, ever, would "know what God/s want".

(BTW, I'm an athiest. Yes, I'm in a debate about a Christian God. I believe the whole thread is based on the assumption that the Christian God exists.)



posted on Aug, 7 2016 @ 11:20 AM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI

originally posted by: TerryDon79
If you can "please God/s" or "anger God/s", then it/she/he must have some form of emotions.

Pleasing someone/something makes it pleased.
Angering someone/something makes it angry.

The same things can be expressed in terms of will.
Doing what he wants.
Not doing what he wants.


But you only do things that someone (yes, someone. I don't know a better word) wants to make them happy. You also don't do things to not make them angry.



posted on Aug, 7 2016 @ 11:31 AM
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originally posted by: TerryDon79
Also, if the argument is "no one knows what God/s is as it/she/he is indescribable", wouldn't that make this thread, and everyone who replied (including the OP), a moot point?

I would phrase that as "God is not accurately describable", the consequence being that we do the best we can with inaccurate descriptions. "We see as in a glass, darkly".



posted on Aug, 7 2016 @ 11:31 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI



That is not really what I am saying. My case is that God is describing how he needs to treat certain situations, and that gets translated into human language with words like "jealousy" and "wrath", because those are the nearest words that people can find.


Okay, so what you're saying then, is that ancient Hebrew projected the concept of "jealousy and wrath" onto God in certain situations. I would imagine those situations would be something like Adam & Eve's expulsion from the Garden, The Flood, The Tower of Babel and Sodom and Gomorrah. But, it cannot be attributed to battle and civil punishment, or anything that requires the hand of man to affect God's jealousy and wrath, because those things are never appropriate and are always corrupt when applied by humans to humanity.



I haven't even been discussing whether jealousy in marriage is a good thing. For the purposes of this topic, what matters is that it has enough real existence to be available as a metaphor. (Incidentally, nobody suggested that "wrath" was part of the marriage metaphor)


Wrath is the action associated with the emotion of jealously. They can't be separated.

From your OP:



The setting of what the Old Testament calls the “jealousy” and “wrath” of God is the relationship between God and his people. It’s based on the fact that he brought them into existence and keeps them in existence.

It follows, from this, that he has a claim on them, in addition to the more fundamental claim which follows from his role as the Creator of life. This claim is described as “jealousy”. They are instructed not to make or worship graven images, or any other kinds of gods, “for I the Lord your God am a jealous God” (Exodus ch20 v5). When he shows Ezekiel an image brazenly planted in the courtyard of his own house, at the northern gateway, he calls it “the image of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy” (Ezekiel ch8 v3).
This language is associated with the kind of loyalty expected in a marriage relationship, and the prophets frequently express it in those terms.


To me, this means that you're saying that the relationship between a husband and wife is the same as between God and his people. Therefore, if a wife places anything above her husband's commands and wishes, her children's needs for example, then that is the same as "idol worship" and she has provoked her husband's jealously and is deserving of being on the receiving end of his wrath. The husband is justified in that he is imitating God.

I reject that notion in its entirety.



posted on Aug, 7 2016 @ 11:38 AM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI

originally posted by: TerryDon79
Also, if the argument is "no one knows what God/s is as it/she/he is indescribable", wouldn't that make this thread, and everyone who replied (including the OP), a moot point?

I would phrase that as "God is not accurately describable", the consequence being that we do the best we can with inaccurate descriptions. "We see as in a glass, darkly".


But the best descriptions of God/s is there are emotions involved.

Pleasing God/s
Not angering God/s

Why would God/s need pleasing, or not angering, if they didn't have any emotional responses?

Also, if God/s didn't have any emotions, it/he/she wouldn't care about humans and caring involves emotions. Wouldn't you agree?

So if God/s doesn't care, why would it/she/he need/want pleasing or not angering?



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