It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Originally posted by Monts
The only real argument that stands against God creating the universe is the idea that the universe expands and contracts infinitely, or there are countless universes being constantly popped into existence. The problem with both these ideas is that they imply the concept of infinity, which can't exist in our 3 dimensional universe.
I personally believe that my conscious mind is all the proof I need that there is some kind of God. If everything is just random chances and accidents, there would be no way I would be here consciously experiencing my world from my body's perspective. Why am I only experience this body's experience and not someone elses'? If I am here consciously experiencing this world, why would my conscious experience end when I die?
A great book to read about this subject is Lee Strobel's "The case for a creator". It covers almost all the topics and evidence pointing to the existence of a creator. And if anyone is wondering what "solid evidence" there is, DNA is that evidence. Even in the most primitive single celled organisms, the sheer amount of information held and processed in DNA is just incredible- too incredible to be the product of chance.
My only question about God, is what is God?
The problem is.....you can`t CHOOSE who or what GOD is. The clay cannot shape the potter.
Originally posted by tothetenthpower
........I had several of these same experiences over that year, by the end of them I came to the realization that I was conversing with myself, or my soul for that matter.
The topics at hand always seemed mundane and somewhat out of place, but later on they became very clear. Things like my husband's cancer and my son's immune defiency I was about well before they happened, although not exactly in those terms.
Later I began having experiences where more than one person was present. It could only be described as a panel of judges sitting high while I stood low. However there was never a sense of them being more important than me, they were helpfull, insightfull and showed me a path to enlightenment which I still to this day follow.
I hope my description makes some sense to you, as it has certainly changed my life. I have always wondered who the panel was, Angels? Demons? Who knows.
But they've had an impact on my life, and have led me to where I am today, and for that I am thankful.
Originally posted by Republican08
Don't want to be a nuisance but.
OT you're threads borderline on Redundancy but still, there each 'unique' and very well.
Star and Flag
Originally posted by troubleshooter
....The unity of Spirit with our spirit is a similar relationship.
Those who have encountered the God who entered our history will know what I mean...
...this relationship, this union of spirit/Spirit can be personally known...
...within this relationship objective proofs become unnecessary...
...and spiritual speculation ceases...
...because the New Creation has already begun.
It is the relationship we were designed to have in the beginning...
...and that you will try to fill with substances and obsessions untill you know it yourself.
The first stage Fowler calls Intuitive-Projective faith. It usually occurs between the ages of three and seven, and is characterized by the psyche's unprotected exposure to the Unconscious. Imagination runs wild in this stage, uninhibited by logic. It is the first step in self-awareness and when one absorbs one's culture's strong taboos. The advantages of this stage are the birth of imagination and the growing ability to grasp and unify one's perception of reality. Stage one is also dangerous, though, in that the child's imagination can be "possessed" by unrestrained images of terror and destruction from the unconscious, and the exploitation of the fertile imagination by enforced taboos and indoctrination.
The second stage is called Mythic-Literal faith, in which symbol and ritual begin to be integrated by the child. These symbols, however, are one-dimensional. Only literal interpretations of myth and symbol are possible. The runaway imagination of stage one is here harnessed, and linear thinking becomes normative. Found mostly in school children (although one can maintain this state for life), stage two persons have a strong belief in the justice and reciprocity of the universe, and their cosmic powers are almost always anthropomorphic. Objective distance and critical evaluation of myth or symbology is impossible. Fowler describes a person in this stage as being both "carried and 'trapped' in" their own narrative. Stage two can be dangerous because the relentless belief in reciprocity forces the individual into a strict, overcontrolling perfectionism; their religious system will without doubt be either legalistic or else, in the case of abuse, the child may be convinced of his or her own irredeemability.
The third stage is labeled Sythetic-Conventional faith. The majority of the population finds its permanent home in this stage. Usually arising in adolescence, this stage demands a complex pattern of socialization and integration, and faith is an inseparable factor in the ordering of one's world. It is a stage characterized by conformity, where one finds one's identity by aligning oneself with a certain perspective, and lives directly through this perception with little opportunity to reflect on it critically. One has an ideology at this point, but may not be aware that one has it. Those who differ in opinion are seen as "the Other," as different "kinds" of people. Authority derives from the top down, and is invested with power by majority opinion. Dangers in this stage include the internalization of symbolic systems (power, "goodness" "badness") to such a degree that objective evaluation is impossible. Furthermore, while one can at this stage enter into an intimate relationship with the divine, one's life situations may drive one into despair (the threshold to the next stage). Such situations may include contradictions between authorities, the revelation of authoritarian hypocrisy, and lived experiences which contradict one's convictions.
The fourth stage is known as Individuative-Reflective. This is primarily a stage of angst and struggle, in which one must face difficult questions regarding identity and belief. Those that pass into stage four usually do so in their mid-thirties to early forties. At this time, the personality gradually detaches from the defining group from which it formerly drew its identity. The person is aware of him or herself as an individual and must--perhaps for the first time--take personal responsibility for his/her beliefs and feelings. This is a stage of de-mythologizing, where what was once unquestioned is now subjected to critical scrutiny. Stage four is heavily existential, where nothing is certain but one's own existence, and disillusionment reigns. This stage is not a comfortable place to be and, although it can last for a long time, those who stay in it do so in danger of becoming bitter, suspicious characters who trust nothing and no one. But most, after entering this stage, sense that not only is the world far more complex than his or her stage three mentality would allow for, it is still more complex and numinous than the agnostic rationality of stage four allows.
Stage five, Conjunctive faith moves one from stage four's rationalism to the acknowledgement of paradox and transcendence. It is in this stage that, in Washburnian terminology, one chooses regression in the service of transcendence. In this stage a person grasps the reality behind the symbols of his or her inherited systems, and is also drawn to and acknowledging of the symbols of other's systems. This stage makes room for mystery and the unconscious, and is fascinated by it while at the same time apprehensive of its power. It sees the power behind the metaphors while simultaneously acknowledging their relativity. In stage five, the world, demythologized in stage four, is re-sacrilized, literally brimming with vision. It is also imbued with a new sense of justice that goes beyond justice defined by one's own culture and people. Because one has begun to see "the bigger picture" the walls culture and tradition have built between ourselves and others begins to erode. It is not easy to live on the cusp of paradox, and due to its radical drive towards inclusivity, the mind struggles to assimilate and integrate faster than it can work through its cultural and psychological baggage. It is an overwhelming, ecstatic stage in which one is radically opened to possibility and wonder.
Stage six, the final stage, Fowler calls Universalizing faith. While in the previous stage, one glimpses a unitive view of reality, but feels torn between possibility and loyalty, and may even neglect to act on its new understanding out of a regard for self-preservation. In stage six, any such apprehensions dissolve and one becomes an activist for the unitive vision. Fowler describes it best, when he writes:
Persons described by stage six typically exhibit qualities that shake our usual criteria of normalcy. Their heedlessness to self-preservation and the vividness of their taste and feel for transcendent moral and religious actuality give their actions and words an extraordinary and often unpredictable quality. In their devotion to universalizing compassion they may offend our parochial perceptions of justice. In their penetration through the obsession with survival, security, and significance they threaten our measured standards of righteousness and goodness and prudence. Their enlarged visions of universal community disclose the partialness of our tribes and pseudo-species. And their leadership initiatives, often involving strategies of nonviolent suffering and ultimate respect for being, constitute affronts to our usual notions of relevance." (Fowler, 200)
Specific arguments against omnipotence...
Some of the arguments against omnipotence are plain silly and stupid. Can God create a spherical triangle? Saying that omnipotence requires the ability to do logically impossible things is stupid. God cannot turn truth into a lie. If humans define a triangle as a two dimensional object formed by the intersection of three lines, it makes no sense to ask if God could make one that was spherical. When one says that God is all-powerful, one means that God is able to accomplish all that He desires to do. Even an all-powerful being cannot do what is impossible by definition. God can do many things that are humanly impossible. However, there are some things that even an all-powerful being cannot do.
Can God create a rock He cannot lift? Since an all-powerful being will always be able to accomplish whatever He sets out to do, it is impossible for an all-powerful being to fail. The above atheistic argument is arguing that since God is all-powerful He can do anything - even fail. This is like saying that since God is all-powerful He can be not all-powerful. Obviously, this is absurd. An all-powerful being cannot fail. Therefore, God can create a rock of tremendous size, but, since He is all-powerful, He will always be able to lift it. The ability to fail is not a part of omnipotence. The Bible makes it clear that God is able to do anything He wants to, and that nothing He wants to do is too difficult for Him to accomplish.4 This is the true meaning of omnipotence.
Could God think of a time when He was not omnipotent? If He can't think of it, He isn't omnipotent, but if He does think of it then there was a time when He wasn't omnipotent? This question is quite similar to the rock question above. The answer, of course, is that God can never think of a time when He wasn't omnipotent. God has always been omnipotent. His inability to contradict His divine character does not mean that He isn't omnipotent.
Conclusion The atheist distorts the biblical definition of omnipotence in order to "prove" that God cannot exist. Contrary to their claims, omnipotence does not include the ability to do things that are, by definition, impossible. Neither does omnipotence include the ability to fail. By defining omnipotence as requiring one to have the ability to fail, atheists have defined omnipotence as being impossible. Of course, an omnipotent God would never fail.
These kinds of arguments are clearly illogical and even silly, although they are commonly used by inexperienced atheists. Most intelligent atheists have dropped these kinds of arguments long ago.
Originally posted by Ishmaael
......Ask this question to any person who believes in the infallibility of God: Can God create a stone so massive that he/she cannot lift?....
Question: "Could God create a rock so heavy He could not lift it?"
Answer: This question is frequently asked by skeptics of God, the Bible, Christianity, etc. If God can create a rock that He cannot lift, then God is not omnipotent. If God cannot create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it, then God is not omnipotent. According to this argument, omnipotence is self-contradictory. Therefore, God cannot be omnipotent. So, the question, could God create a rock so heavy He could not lift it? The quick answer is "No." But the explanation is far more important to understand than the answer...
This question is based on a popular misunderstanding about the definitions of words like "almighty" or "omnipotent." These terms do not mean that God can do anything. Rather, they describe the amount of God's power. Power is the ability to effect change - to make something happen. God (being unlimited) has unlimited power, and the Bible affirms this (Job 11:7-11, 37:23; 2 Corinthians 6:18; Revelation 4:8; etc.). Therefore, God can do whatever is possible to be done. God cannot, however, do that which is actually impossible. This is because true impossibility is not based on the amount of power one has, it is based on what is really possible. The truly impossible is not made possible by adding more power. Therefore, unless context indicates otherwise (e.g. Matthew 19:26 where man's ability is being shown in contrast to God's), impossibility means the same thing whether or not God is involved.
So, the first part of the question is based on a false idea - that God being almighty means that He can do anything. In fact, the Bible itself lists things God cannot do - like lie or deny Himself (Hebrews 6:18; 2 Timothy 2:13; Titus 1:2). The reason He cannot do these things is because of His nature and the nature of reality itself. God cannot do what is not actually possible to be done, like creating a two-sided triangle, or a married bachelor. Just because words can be strung together this way does not make the impossible possible - these things are contradictions, they are truly impossible in reality. Now, what about this rock? A rock would have to be infinitely large to defeat an infinite amount of lifting power. But an infinite rock is a contradiction since material objects cannot be infinite. Only God is infinite. There cannot be two infinites. So the question is actually asking if God can make a contradiction - which He cannot.
Originally posted by urwatu8
reply to post by Phenomium
The problem is.....you can`t CHOOSE who or what GOD is. The clay cannot shape the potter.
Of course the clay shapes the potter. Have you never looked at an old potter's hands? They are totally the result of years of contact with the clay. Like the Grand Canyon is the result of holding in the Colorado River for all those years.
I have always suspected that God is the end result of evolution. The final evolved being who transends time and space. God beyond time starts time and becomes the seed that grows into God. As for the Grand Canyon, that doesn't even apply to the example, it doesn't love or feel, and the shape of it, is a result of chaotic generations of erosion. I was speaking of the GOD and human relation....there are many things that get shaped by chaotic events that don't apply to this example.
“The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion.”
Arthur C. Clarke