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View Full Version : If God is infinite, is there any point in trying to comprehend Him?



universe
10-09-01, 11:40 AM
If finite minds cannot grasp infinite ideas and happenings, why try? Are we really even getting the truth if it is so far out of our ability to understand?

Does the inability to understand God mean God does not exist? Does this inability suggest that we are wasting our lives trying to follow Him?

blackhaw
10-09-01, 12:25 PM
Here is my 2 cents.

First I think that it is not so much as us trying to understand or fathom God as God showing Himslef to us. We cannot fully fathom God yes but we can understand Him in part because He helps us. I think of it like a Father trying to teach a child mathmatics. The child might not be able to understand Calculus but he can grasp 2+2 after some teaching from his father. Now God is a lot bigger and more complex so we can never fully understand or learn all of God there is to know but we can learn about Him to a point becasue He teaches us about Himself.

"If finite minds cannot grasp infinite ideas and happenings, why try?"

I think we should try becasue God wants us to try. Jesus said the greatest commandment was "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy MIND." Mt. 22:37.

"Does the inability to understand God mean God does not exist?"

I do not think that if we can't understand something it does not exist. That to me does not seem to follow logically.

"Does this inability suggest that we are wasting our lives trying to follow Him?"

Only if we could not understand Him at all (even with help) or if He was not trying to help us understand.

questian
10-10-01, 08:28 AM
I found this from an article that may be of some help.

If God is omniscient, then that God knows everything that has happened, is happening and will ever happen and there can only be one way this will unfold. God can't change anything in the universe without first knowing that he would do so, thus altering his (his?) knowledge of the universe. Therefore, God has no free will and is therefore, not all-powerful. If God had free will, then he could change something that he wasn't supposed to. If this happened, then God would change his unchanging knowledge of the universe, meaning that he didn't really know what was going to happen. This opens a paradox. If God is all-knowing, then he knows what he will do and has no choice but to do so. If God has free will, then God can't be all-knowing. In either case God is being deprived of one of the requirements to be God.

http://fcg.enviroweb.org/mediawatch/collegian/atheism.html

jhamrick
10-10-01, 09:01 AM
Is that supposed to be logic? No offense, but that is rediculous. If God is GOd, I would assume he could be, do, change, or affect anything in anyway he wanted. Wouldn't you think that?

Don't you find the irony in trying to disprove a being, who is by definition limitless, by putting limits on him?

jhamrick
10-10-01, 09:11 AM
Now, in response to the original question.

If we admit that there is a creator, then don't we naturally question why he created us? And don't we also then wonder what it is that created us? And more and more questions follow, about our existance, our creator, afterlife and such.

And if we have all these questions, couldn't we assume that our creator placed them there?

And if he placed those questions, wouldn't it make sense that he would want all of us to seek the answers?

questian
10-10-01, 10:38 AM
God is omnipotent.
God can change anything.
God can change himself.
Therefore, God can not be God.

or

God is rational.
God is can change anything.
God can change reason.
Therefore, God is not rational.

and

God is the creator of the universe.
A creator has a need for a creation.
A perfect being has no needs.
God had a need, therefore God is not perfect.

jhamrick
10-10-01, 11:16 AM
questian, I know that stuff is supposed tobe profound, but in the light of the subject matter it really doesn't make sense.

We are discussing a creator whom we have no power over, yet you keep giving your "logic" of what he can or cannot be.

In your last post you assumed that your definitions for
omnipotent
change
rational
reason
perfect
and need were correct and universally accepted. I disagree with you in this context on all counts.


If GOd is GOd, he can do whatever he wants to do, and doesn't have to answer to anyone.

questian
10-10-01, 11:34 AM
"The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reasoning."
- Voltaire

Very well then, answer these two for me:

1. What are YOUR definitions of these words?
2. How do you reconcile Malachi 3:6 "For I am the Lord; I change not." with his ability to do whatever he wants?

If we cannot even agree on the same definitions there is no point continuing the debate.

Twonky
10-10-01, 11:40 AM
Originally posted by questian
2. How do you reconcile Malachi 3:6 "For I am the Lord; I change not." with his ability to do whatever he wants?

He's not saying he can't change, just that he's not going to change.

I definately understand you logic, but again, if you are accepting that God is who the Bible says he is, then you can't get into the 'immovable object/irresitable force' debate. Since WE don't know the answer, how can you build an argument on that?

jhamrick
10-10-01, 12:52 PM
My definitions would have to be in context to be understood, and I'm not creative enough to get into that right now.

Secondly, you quote a bible verse, and ask me how I reconcile that. So do you believe the bible then?

Anyway, the bible is, to this point, not a subject in this debate. Re-read the original question, and you will see no biblical definition of God was given, nor any specific God.

I can argue with you about your bible question if you would like, but that is not the topic of this thread, and you're not gonna agree with me anyway.

questian
10-10-01, 01:12 PM
My definitions would have to be in context to be understood, and I'm not creative enough to get into that right now.


I assumed that since this was a CHRISTIAN site, we have been discussing God in a CHRISTIAN context, although you may broaden it to encompass whatever definitions YOU feel apply.


Secondly, you quote a bible verse, and ask me how I reconcile that. So do you believe the bible then?


No, but evidently you do. I was asking your insight as to why it doesn't jive with your statements.


Anyway, the bible is, to this point, not a subject in this debate. Re-read the original question, and you will see no biblical definition of God was given, nor any specific God.


Again, a CHRISTIAN interpretation of God necessarily draws it's arguments from THE BIBLE.


I can argue with you about your bible question if you would like, but that is not the topic of this thread, and you're not gonna agree with me anyway.


Any definition of God outside of the traditional Christian viewpoint cannot be properly termed so. If you want to take up a broader view of God, fine, but save the confusion and state your position.

jhamrick
10-10-01, 01:30 PM
My position is this.

This is a new topic. I am only posting on the subject of this topic and what has already been posted.

You jumped the gun. you started arguing with points that hadn't even been established yet.

You try to argue higher points without creating a basis from which to start and this makes it impossible to successfully debate.

At these times I could just as easily say "because the bible says so", but without first laying the foundation, it doesn't carry much weight does it?

Unfortunately, this is what you have done. Unless we stick to the topic at hand, and argue fromthe foundation up, our debate is meaningless.

questian
10-10-01, 02:14 PM
If this topic is dead, is there any point in trying to continue it? :(

jhamrick
10-10-01, 02:29 PM
Well, we could go back to the original question, with no presumptions or anything, and actually discuss THAT question. I'm all for that.

We can't though establish that the Jesus was God, without showing that there is a GOd, and so on.

This question assumes that there is a GOd, and God is infinite.
That's all we have to go on.

Sweet_Release
10-10-01, 03:08 PM
Just because we do not understand something does not mean that it does not exist. Just because we have an inability to understand everything about God, does not mean that he does not exist. The bible says in Psalm 14: 1 "...the fool saith in his heart, there is no God..."
Its not always up to us to try to understand God's ways. The bible says that his ways are far above our ways. His understanding is as high as the heavens.
Instead of spending all of our time trying to understand and comprehend God, we should spend that time worshipping him. He inhabits the praises of his people, the bible says.
There's nothing wrong with wanting to know about God and the way he does things. Remember, we can always ask "how?", "where?", "when?" , and "what?" but we can never ask "why?"
the bible says in Romans 8:28 that all things work together for the good of them that love the lord and all those that are called according to HIS purpose. The bible says in the book of Ecclesiastes, if im not mistaken, that there is a time and a season for everything. To be honest with you, in MY opinion, knowing there is a time and a season for everything is really all the understanding and comprehension that we need to know.
Now, im not saying that we cannot understand the bible or what God is trying to convey to us. It is up to us to study. We are commanded to study out the Word of God. the bible says that God's people(us) are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. and that we are to study to show ourselves approved unto God.
I think that if one wants to try to understand God and his ways more, they need just read the Word of God. We may not understand all the scripture but the Lord will surly open up our understanding, wisdom, and knowledge through the scripture. Just keep an open mind but most of all a willing heart.