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Kierkecraig

What makes God, God?

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Grief.

This sounds like the is-there-a-rock-so-heavy-that-God-can't-lift-it kind of question.

If I ever have a vision of the Almighty, I'm sure I that I will-know-it-when-see-it without being able to define it.

Beowulf

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Omniscience; Omnipotence; Immanence; and Noncontingency

PS: Beowulf- I once read an atheist who framed that question, "Can God microwave a burrito so hot that even He can't eat it?" Cute...

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What attributes must a being have in order to be called God?

Aside from the usual attributes (like all powerful, etc.), I suggest these:

[*]Has and uses creative power

[*]Benevolent

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Noncontingency

Did you throw that one in to eliminate the LDS God? Just curious.

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Omniscience; Omnipotence; Immanence; and Noncontingency

Actually, if someone just had the first two, I don't think I'd be saying "No you're not God!"

I think I'd just let 'em be... :P

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If Omnipotence and Omniscience are necessary attributes, then how do you define Omnipotence and Omniscience?

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I do to. I've been in some long conversations about that. Their ability to deconstruct that word to fit their views left my head spinning....

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Omniscience; Omnipotence; Immanence; and Noncontingency

PS: Beowulf- I once read an atheist who framed that question, "Can God microwave a burrito so hot that even He can't eat it?"  Cute...

Random, I need a little help with the terms "Immanence" and "Noncontingency".

These terms are not common language among non-Catholics and my little cheap Webster's isn't up to the task of clarifying them.

I'm interested in the Catholic ( a Catholic's?) perspective on this.

Have you read C.S. Lewis' "The Problem of Pain"? He does a nice job of discussing the conflict between omnipotence and omnibenevolence (which you didn't mention but still...)

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Yeah, that's pretty much it. By the way, I do know Latter-day Saints who don't think that Heavenly Father is contingent...

(edit) It's not a rhetorical trick though- I sincerely believe that God must necessarily be non-contingent, and so believed before I was a critic of LDS theology.

That's alright. Seeing as how there is no ex nihilo in the Bible and seeing as how there is Theosis in the Bible, God, by Biblical definition, must be contingent.

On a more humorous note, I perceive that trinitarians believe that God is either an egg, a cup of water, or a milkshake.

Now I had an extraordinarily good milkshake once, is God now in me? :P

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Seeing as how there is no ex nihilo in the Bible and seeing as how there is Theosis in the Bible, God, by Biblical definition, must be contingent.

Not true. God's works must be. But not God.

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Omniscience; Omnipotence; Immanence; and Noncontingency

PS: Beowulf- I once read an atheist who framed that question, "Can God microwave a burrito so hot that even He can't eat it?"

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On a more humorous note, I perceive that trinitarians believe that God is either an egg, a cup of water, or a milkshake.

Now I had an extraordinarily good milkshake once, is God now in me? :P

Analogies for the Holy Trinity are invariably lame. Throw rocks at them.

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On a more humorous note, I perceive that trinitarians believe that God is either an egg, a cup of water, or a milkshake.

Now I had an extraordinarily good milkshake once, is God now in me? 

Analogies for the Holy Trinity are invariably lame. Throw rocks at them.

Didn't I do that just now? :P

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Certainly you did.

My own father used the analogy of one man who was a father, a son, and an uncle. That, of course, would be Modalism. D'Oh!

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I like the some of the words of Joseph Smith

We here observe that God is the only supreme governor and independent being in whom all fullness and perfection dwell; who is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient; without beginning of days or end of life; and that in him every good gift and every good principle dwell; and that he is the Father of lights; in him the principle of faith dwells independently, and he is the object in whom the faith of all other rational and accountable beings centers for life and salvation. (Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith 2:2)

(Joseph Smith, Encyclopedia of Joseph Smith's Teachings, edited by Larry E. Dahl and Donald Q.Cannon [salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997], .)

In knowledge there is power. God has more power than all other beings, because he has greater knowledge; and hence he knows how to subject all other beings to Him. He has power over all. (Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 Vols. 5:340)

(Joseph Smith, Encyclopedia of Joseph Smith's Teachings, edited by Larry E. Dahl and Donald Q.Cannon [salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997], .)

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I like the some of the words of Joseph Smith

We here observe that God is the only supreme governor and independent being in whom all fullness and perfection dwell; who is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient; without beginning of days or end of life; and that in him every good gift and every good principle dwell; and that he is the Father of lights; in him the principle of faith dwells independently, and he is the object in whom the faith of all other rational and accountable beings centers for life and salvation. (Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith 2:2)

(Joseph Smith, Encyclopedia of Joseph Smith's Teachings, edited by Larry E. Dahl and Donald Q.Cannon [salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997], .)

In knowledge there is power. God has more power than all other beings, because he has greater knowledge; and hence he knows how to subject all other beings to Him. He has power over all. (Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 Vols. 5:340)

(Joseph Smith, Encyclopedia of Joseph Smith's Teachings, edited by Larry E. Dahl and Donald Q.Cannon [salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997], .)

Great Googly-Moogly! I like some of those words as well! I'm not sure I understand the "principle of faith dwelling independently in God" thing, and the notion that he is omnipotent because he is omniscient implies a quality contingent upon another quality, which therefore couldn't be "omni" (I think). But

We here observe that God is the only supreme governor and independent being in whom all fullness and perfection dwell; who is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient; without beginning of days or end of life; and that in him every good gift and every good principle dwell.

Rawk on, Joseph!

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What attributes must a being have in order to be called God?

From lds.org:

From latter-day revelation we learn that the Father and the Son have tangible bodies of flesh and bone and that the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit, without flesh and bone

Gods must be human personages and be made of either flesh and bones or spirit.

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We here observe that God is the only supreme governor and independent being in whom all fullness and perfection dwell; who is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient; without beginning of days or end of life; and that in him every good gift and every good principle dwell.

I'd be interested in how he reconciles this statement with some of his other teachings (such as D&C 130:22 or the King Follett Sermon).

Does anyone know if Mr. Smith posts here on occasion? :P

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If Omnipotence and Omniscience are necessary attributes, then how do you define Omnipotence and Omniscience?

Main Entry: om

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The Joseph Smith quotes were very nice.

But Random's picking up JS' idea of power being dependent on knowledge is spot on.

It certainly DOES define how JS viewed God, especially in light of the famous King Follett discourse about God being an exalted man.

In other words *virtually* all-powerful, but perhaps not absolutely so (God can't microwave a burrito so hot that.... etc., etc.).

Beowulf

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OK, serious effort to answer the question now, K. Unfortunately, my answer includes a lot of "i don't knows" in it...

OMNIPOTENT:

There are lots of different thoughts on this. Most center around what concepts may or may not govern God's behavior.

Is God governed by logic? (Can He microwave a burrito so hot that He can't eat it? Can He get lost?)

Is God governed by morality? (Can He tell a lie?)

Is God governed by the laws of physics or other universal laws? (Can He do something that physically can not be done? I think typically LDS would tend to put creation ex nihilo in this category)

Does the fact that God can accomplish task X mean that He can do so without effort? (Can God create the world with the blink of an eye, or does it require more effort from Him?)

Does God violate natural laws when He acts, or does He act in harmony with them? (Did He create the earth out of nothing, or did He use the principle of gravity to gradually draw the materials together?)

OMNISCIENCE:

Same sorts of issues here. Does God know everything or only everything that can possibly be known? Can He simultaneously know the exact position and momentum of an electron (which would violate Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle)? etc.

Lots of questions. IMO, not a lot of answers. Many, maybe even most, theologies leave a good bit of room for interpretation in this area. Trying to nail down what God can and can't do typically results in a lot of speculation.

While we're on the topic, though, it might be fun to speculate also about Random's Noncontingency. Now that physicists are seriously speculating about the existence of parallel universes, is it possible that other universes might not be contingent upon God? Or does He have to be the creator of all universes to be truly considered "God"?

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Noncontingency means He's not in any way dependent on anything else.
Does this mean that he cannot added upon by others or just that he doesn't need it, but may receive it anyway (it's not a necessary part).

I am thinking of glory and how his glory is increased in some way by others coming to him. In one sense therefore, he is dependent for some of his glory from others.

Can God be God without being a Creator? If so, isn't he dependent in a sense on his creations? Without his creations, he is not a creator. Without someone to be God for, can he be God? How can he be the ultimate in Love and Sacrifice if there is no one to love or sacrifice for?

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