Sat 13 Mar, 2004 05:19 pm
If God is said to be omnipotent then, by definiton, there is nothing He cannot do.
So, He must be fully capable of committing suicide, right?
If there be a God and He does, I wonder if we go with Him?
Well, that's the end of THAT question.
BTW, if God is reality, He both exists and doesn't exist at the same time. Otherwise He would be limited by an ontological dualism (i.e., that he cannot be A and not-A at the same tme). If that is so, the notion of His ending his existence makes no sense.
Even if I was omnipotent I couldn't make odd numbers even. There is a semantic flaw in your question - can you see it?
What makes you think He hasn't already?
Speaking as a mere atheist I raise the interesting possibility for Christians to argue that "Jesus" was in fact "God commiting suicide". This is perfectly logical
given (1) God knows what's going to happen and (2) Jesus was "God incarnate". Other interesting consequences seem to follow such as the irrationality of refusng suicides burial in sanctified ground etc....
If God is and has always been, then no, God can't commit suicide.
Suicide is a pretty complex subject, try this less complex paradox on for size: If God is omnipotent, then he could create a boulder so big that even he could not pick it up. But this leaves us with two options, either he can or cannot create that boulder. If he can, then he isn't omnipotent because there could be a boulder that he couldn't pick up. If he can't then he's not omnipotent because there is something he can't do. So I think God can't be omnipotent if we take omnipotent to mean 'there's nothing he can't do.' But if we take omnipotent to mean 'he can do anything that is possible' then God can be this sort of omnipotent without any problem.
Back to suicide: It just seems impossible to kill something that is supposed to be omnipresent, so I think God is unable to commit suicide.
<<<Even if I was omnipotent I couldn't make odd numbers even. There is a semantic flaw in your question - can you see it?>>>
If all powerful does not mean making an odd number even then the semantics applies to either end of the argument. It is like arguing over the a priori nature of mathematics if there is no mind to conceive of mathematics. What does a word mean but what we say it does. So, it only becomes a matter of corresponding words "in our head" with whatever exists "out in the world". And then arguing over how "rational" the conjunctions are.
Words are just symbols we invent. They do not possess a magical or mysterious power to exist independent of that.
Your awareness of language implies you might like this.
God must exist because He can't do otherwise. If the idea of God as Creator is true then He can't die; He is a cycle, a uroboro. If God is a story then He exists until we stop telling the story, and He can't change that.
Where did people get the idea that a god must be omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, or omni-anything else?
Why couldn't he commit suicide, or maybe just spend a couple thousand years in therapy somewhere resolving his anger problem and his ambivalent attitude toward his creation??
Where did people get the idea that a god must be omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, or omni-anything else?
The question was "if God is omnipotent...
" - I'd say that's a safe bet on where the idea of God being omni- anything came from; the assumptive nature of the question.
It was your definition - "nothing he can't do". Well sorry but simply logic can tear holes in that.
You can set up definitions that preclude outcomes else they invalidate the definition - then any attempt to resolve things creation an unsupportable contradiction.
The famous Turing Halt Tester problem showed maths has areas where answers can't be known - you can't say anyone can fill the holes.
And saying "If all powerful does not mean making an odd number even then the semantics applies to either end of the argument" just simply isn't a valid or meaningful English sentence - in my book its gobbledgook. You need to define the argument first - show it has ends and show semantics can invert the logic - none of which you remotely did!
Excellent question! I do believe in an individual choice to live. Which one of us really had that choice at all? We didn't. Our parents had sex and produced another life into this world. I know for a fact that I had absolutely no choice about whether I lived, just my parents. I may choose differently, which should be an option to all, free choice.
I completely understand individuals in crisis who think they cannot get beyond this as an illegal act, only to protect life that is worth a chance, by legal commitment to a mental health facility that may offer them help in which they need.
I do believe there are other people who are making a decision about life. They are not acting in crisis at all. They never asked to be born and are not willing to life life given to them. Should this be an individual decision? Yes, I think so.
Religion and burning in Hell means nothing to me at all. All books of the Bible were written by an individual who actually could read and write in an illiterate society. We all know how word of mouth can and is distorted.
If, after serious evaluation, not crisis, I decided that I no longer wish to live, I feel this as an individual choice that should be recognized. People completely flipping out without time to think are a very different thing. I would expect family to respect my choice. I did not chose to live. I should have a choice to die. It isn't like I am going to live forever anyway! I wont. I would only die as I wish, not as nature will take me.
This is a very difficult concept to distinguish in today's psychology. It is not accepted that anyone knowingly chooses to end life without being labeled with some sanity problem that may or may not exist at all. I don't honestly think there is a sanity problem at all if someone has completely thought the subject over and made a choice of life or death. For others it is a sanity issue, which is difficult to evaluate a psychological problem that can be helped or someone who has serious wishes to end life.
Life really is choice. I knowing chose to bring two children into this world. I have to give them the right to end the choice I made for them as they wish, but not out of some crisis situation, but serious evaluation. I often feel guilt for even giving them life under today's pressure on them.
Did I do right by them? Sometimes I say, no, I did not. If my children embrace life, then I did do the right thing. This is often a tough call made way too late by young adults who see the world in an idealistic way giving birth to children who are forced to live in whatever circumstance life may give them. We do not see life the same as we grow older.
People often fight for 'The Right to Life', but what exactly is the life going to live that they seem to feel so strongly about the fact that you have a pulse and breathe. Too much idealism is placed on a living individual that may not want this at all after infancy.
I feel too much is placed on life and not enough on individual choice as whether or not you wish to live the life given to you. Death is inevitable and we never know exactly when out time is up. I get sick of humans dictating to people how they are wronging others and will rot in hell by a carefully considered decision to end their own life.
Given the fact that we had no choice at all with the beginning of our life, is it really that unreasonable to call anyone who does not wish to live insane or severely depressed and will see the light at the end of the tunnel, even if they don't wish to?
If we chose to live, then I could agree, stand up to your decision. I do not agree with leaving children who need parents. You made an obligation to another life, so live up to it. Adult children who live independently, I feel differently about. I feel that we should respect the choices of the individual with no guilt. Living isn't all that, really!
All books of the Bible were written by an individual who actually could read and write in an illiterate society.
I would doubt that. :wink:
If there is a god, which I highly doubt, he/she/it probably took a look at what happened to the earth and commited suicide a long time ago. That would explain the high number of unanswered prayers, and the dauntingly growing presence of religious lunatics in the world.
<<<It was your definition - "nothing he can't do". Well sorry but simply logic can tear holes in that>>>.
There are two kinds of words and two kinds of definitions. There are words that denote meaning [hammer, apple, mountain] and words that merely connote an existential point of view [freedom, justice, God]. How does one go about being rational or logical about the latter? I could no more denote the meaning of God...or to delineate his powrs...then I could encompass human freedom [objectively, essentially, univerally]. My meaning thus was derived from how most religionists envelop God: as omniscient and omnipotent. Then, given that assumption [their assumption], I posed my question.
<<<And saying "If all powerful does not mean making an odd number even then the semantics applies to either end of the argument" just simply isn't a valid or meaningful English sentence - in my book its gobbledgook. You need to define the argument first - show it has ends and show semantics can invert the logic - none of which you remotely did!<<<
This was my point---attempting to suggest that, respecting things like God and religion, language is constued largely in terms of its use value for particular people in particular contexts. Wittgenstein, for example, noted those things that can and cannot be said with human language. Perhaps I was clumsy or confusing in expressing my own rendition of that but what I was trying to convey is that very often meaning itself becomes a mere tautological expresssion of "reality". If God is construed as "all-powerful", then there can be no limits to what he can do. Period. What, after all, does human logic have to do with God?
Mile, you are mistaken with your post! So many years ago, most people were illiterate. Those of more elite classes were not. The common person, such as myself, was illiterate during times of Biblical writing. I am not debating the Bible or the writings, but learn the history of the people of the time of these writings.
Honestly, most people of working class were illiterate. If you look it up, you will see the truth of this date in which the Bible was written. There are vast differences in needs of yesterday and today. The majority of people were among working class that never had to learn written language, although it was available. It never applied to the majority.
Don't make the mistake of comparing people of today to those of so many years ago. Things have changed a lot. There are still, to date, illiterate societies. People of the past, when the Bible was written had no need to read or write.
Their physical labor was in demand to put food on the table. This was time consuming for them, as would be asking me to further my education with teen kids and work demands would be to them. I really don't feel up to getting my MBA! Do you honestly think that learning to read and write, by adults of Biblical times, was any less demanding when their work to provide for family did not require this?
Has anything really changed? It hasn't! We do what is necessary today to provide for our family, with no time for excess education, as people of the past lived. I don't know about anyone else, but I have a family to deal with, as I am guessing people of Biblical times did as well. I don't have the time or energy left to get my MBA. People of Biblical times probably weren't much different than me. Standards are so much higher than in past centuries. Understand that!
People of wealth and extreme poverty are probably equal in number in civilized society, both minorities. The majority are like all of us. Someplace in the middle who do what we have to in order to survive. That is what we all do, no matter how many centuries have passed. We have work and family obligations that do not allow us to do much beyond survive financially and give to family what we are able to.
To my research, Jesus spoke to the common person, the illiterate, demanding something better. He was loved by the majority, yet hated by a wealthy minority who saw him as a problem. At that time, religion and government were the exact same thing. Today things are different, but more evolved that writings of Biblical times. In the past, only by those educated enough, meaning wealthy, were able to write and record words that were given generation to generation. You can only imagine how fact can be flawed in this case.
How did Jesus die? Was this an exception to the times? Crucifixion was very common at that time. Was he really the Son of God or only a savior to the common people, who were the majority, just as today. I understand the feeling of the people due to this conviction of government who spoke out demanding rights for the majority, working people.
Don't we all need someone with enough guts to stand up for us working people at the expense of our own life? Martin Luther King did this for a just cause, oppression. Jesus did the exact same thing, which is interpreted so many screwy ways by Christians who cannot agree on much of any Biblical writing.
This is why I don't give any religion all too much credit. They don't have a clue what they are even preaching! Truth does prevail, but today does not, only because we have no clue what the truth of Biblical times and the record through books of Bible contributed by many, really is about and do not understand the true meaning. This is unreasonable to expect us to at this late date in time.
I do believe Jesus lived and was loved by the common person, as most of us are just that. I do not believe that the Bible can be taken literally. I still have a bit of a problem with this idea of a flood and taking a pair of every animal. Like you can really catch them! Very doubtful. It very well may be truth that a man built a boat and tried to salvage animal life.
What is God? Could what we see as God be an alien life form of advanced technology that people could not explain? Maybe so. Is there a use for belief in a God, no matter what religion? Absolutely, they do try to bring out the best in humanity and I do feel this is a worthy goal. Did people of the past act in better ways towards other for fear of Hell? If people of today did, the the world was a better place because of it.
I am Agnostic in belief. I see a lot that disproves religious beliefs. I have yet to see anything that disproves the origin of a solar system where one planet is capable of life. How was it created? Was it created? If it were not created, then why does anything exist at all? I cannot answer these questions and rule out a higher being, yet am not religious.
I do not believe Christian beliefs are anything more than any other religious belief. I do strongly feel religion gives so much more than it will ever take from humanity. It really doesn't matter what religion. The teachings are the same, be a better person and strive for this your entire life, which is something I can believe in, no matter whether a God exists or not.
I do not believe that there is any for of Hell beyond life that we live every day. I do not believe that humans possess a soul that my loving dog, who has committed no sin and never will, that will pass to some sort of wonderful afterlife, minus my beloved dog because she has no soul, just arrogant humans. I don't believe there are ghosts. I don't believe in reincarnation of souls to live another life. What's that? Some sort of recycling bin that I do with glass and plastic and put on the curb as garbage?
If my dog has no soul, I firmly believe that I don't either. I don't believe there is Heaven or Hell. If I decide to take my own life, it is my life to take, with no repercussions of some imaginary afterlife of punishment or reward. Rewards in life are earned by intrinsic value of helping others with no compensation. Your ills will come back to bite you in the butt.
Once dead, you will remain that, as I see it. What ever presence you may think you have probably only exist in the minds of those who remember you. What will they remember you for? Good or bad?