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Classical Theism?

 
 
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 06:20 pm
So I'm a little confused about something. I'm reading this philosophy book and its talking about classic theists, who believe that God is all powerful, exists beyond time, all that, which I completely agree with. But what I don't really understand is that they believe (some but not all classic theists) that God cannot interfere with the world because it would mean him coming alongside himself in order to interfere, and that cant happen because he is all powerful. If that is so, How is it that miracles occurred? Do those count as interference with our world?
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VideCorSpoon
 
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Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 08:11 pm
@doyousee,
Your references to God sound like a scholastic or rationalist/empiricist account of God. Descartes, Leibniz, and Spinoza for example all have a conception of an "all perfect being" incorporated into their treatises, whether it be the Meditations or the Monadology
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NeitherExtreme
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Sep, 2008 01:12 pm
@doyousee,
doyousee? wrote:
So I'm a little confused about something. I'm reading this philosophy book and its talking about classic theists, who believe that God is all powerful, exists beyond time, all that, which I completely agree with. But what I don't really understand is that they believe (some but not all classic theists) that God cannot interfere with the world because it would mean him coming alongside himself in order to interfere, and that cant happen because he is all powerful. If that is so, How is it that miracles occurred? Do those count as interference with our world?

Yes, according to that train of thought (which I always called Deism), miracles would be out of the question. In my opinion, such Deism has little to do with the tradition religious thinking, and more to do with western philosophy and atheism. In my opinion, it was Deism was really just a premature form of atheism, essentially taking any idea of an inolved and acting God out of the picture, and atheism simply takes it the final step and does away with God altogether.

Personally, I don't understand the argument against miracles, etc. If God wanted to create a world in which there would be thinking, acting, and responsible beings other than himself, I don't see anything contradictory in His interacting with them through the physical world that He made.
Arjen
 
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Reply Mon 8 Sep, 2008 04:42 pm
@NeitherExtreme,
jgweed
 
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Reply Mon 8 Sep, 2008 06:56 pm
@Arjen,
Without the benefit of knowing the source of the argument, it may be that traditionally some theists argue that the godhead is outside of time, and cannot have a past, present, or future. Thus, an immutable and omnipresent godhead cannot operate in time, and perhaps even know objects in time.
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Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Sep, 2008 05:29 am
@doyousee,
doyousee? wrote:
But what I don't really understand is that they believe (some but not all classic theists) that God cannot interfere with the world because it would mean him coming alongside himself in order to interfere, and that cant happen because he is all powerful.


Good, honest question.

My advice would be to not try and rationalize elements whose basis lies in the human heart. Like many elements of theism, belief and adherence has so much more to do with emotion, outlook and inner need than logic, per say. As I believe theistic outlooks to be man-made and subject to a hundred trillion interpretations, it's no surprise that contradictions exist in extremis.

It comes down to faith, yes? Have thee faith? Of course such questions can only be answered for oneself; therefore, answer that question for yourself and you'll be well on your way to resolving such contradictions. Find a devout theist who can give you an answer and find a considered atheist and do likewise. Look, read, talk, debate, research, pray and think it through.

Hope this helps Smile
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