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Does LDS Doctrine Actually Reject "Creation Ex Nihilo?"


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On 5/13/2017 at 2:04 PM, clarkgoble said:

The big bang is incomplete. Since the late 1970s physics has been all about inflationary models that postulate a multiverse. String theory and Loop Quantum Gravity are the two main theories attempting to reconcile relativity and quantum mechanics and both include a form of a multiverse. That's not to say a multiverse is empirically supported yet. A big problem with string theory is that it doesn't really make much by way of testable predictions. Yet among physicists both the big bang and the multiverse are typically accepted.

Given the multiverse, there's no incompatibility between the big bang and Mormon cosmology postulated uncreated spirits. 

The Big Bang is certainly accepted. There's plenty of hard evidence for it.  The multiverse is a speculation that is essentially untestable.  The idea comes as an extension of pure mathematics, but that's about it.  I think some scientists are looking for some kind of evidence, but to the best of my knowledge there is none.  At all.  Here's an interesting quote:

For a start, how is the existence of the other universes to be tested? To be sure, all cosmologists 
accept that there are some regions of the universe that lie beyond the reach of our telescopes, but 
somewhere on the slippery slope between that and the idea that there are an infinite number of universes, 
credibility reaches a limit. As one slips down that slope, more and more must be accepted on faith, and 
less and less is open to scientific verification. Extreme multiverse explanations are therefore reminiscent 
of theological discussions. Indeed, invoking an infinity of unseen universes to explain the unusual 
features of the one we do see is just as ad hoc as invoking an unseen Creator. The multiverse theory may be 
dressed up in scientific language, but in essence it requires the same leap of faith.

— Paul Davies, A Brief History of the Multiverse

So, do you believe in the multiverse?  I don't.  Although I did have the thought that multiverse would be convenient to thoroughly test all of Father's children.  Say, for example, you were tempted by a range of things from A to D, but never E to Z.  So, your multiverse doppelgangers get tested and tempted in those other versions of the universe.  And it's all YOU.  

But there's no evidence, either physically or theologically, for this.

And it doesn't really matter, either.

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4 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Poor little signs.  I see them marching around protesting but there is nothing on those placards.  B:)

 

That happens to me after nighttime meds...the letters rise up a bit off the page, turn lots of colors, and then start line dancing for a bit.

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6 hours ago, Calm said:

That happens to me after nighttime meds...the letters rise up a bit off the page, turn lots of colors, and then start line dancing for a bit.

Wow dude-  sounds like some good stuff ;)

But more seriously when you think that in English we have 26 little symbols which in various combinations we use to allegedly "correspond to"or  "represent" or "point to" every single experience, thing or thought humanity has ever had- every nuance or flicker, the idea that that is possible is itself pretty crazy.

26 letters for every thought ever thought?  Every experience a human has ever had?

I ain't buyin' it!  

 

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On 5/13/2017 at 2:04 PM, clarkgoble said:

Given the multiverse, there's no incompatibility between the big bang and Mormon cosmology postulated uncreated spirits. 

That's not to say there aren't criticisms people make. But those usually relate to the notion of infinity as it relates to Mormon theology rather than how physics relates to Mormon theology.

Given the ambiguity of possible ways of thinking about things I would hold there usually a way to construct whatever you want to believe into some theory which is compatible with just about anything.

If God had a father he could have had his own big bang and Eloheim his, and theoretically we could as well.  You throw a little Hinduism\Buddhism in there with idea of successive cycles of creation and destruction and you could make Mormonism fit just fine if you wanted to - successive universes each one with its own God.  You just have to postulate that God waited a while after the Big Bang to go down and organize matter unorganized.  Perhaps the story could run that that was the time when God was organizing intelligences into spirit children.  After all he needed spirit children to teach them how to create universe and did not want to do it without Jehovah and Adam, so the creation of spirits would have to happen in the spiritual creation supposedly after the big bang but before the creation of the earth.

So our cosmology could be compatible with ex nihilo if you postulate a successive God generations as First Causes, it could be compatible with multiverses as we are discussing, it could also be compatible with cycles of creation and destruction.

There is always a way to paste together whatever story you want once you make it supposedly historical and scientific instead of about personal spiritual experience.

But we know that it is at least allegorical "insofar as the man and the woman are concerned"

Edited by mfbukowski
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8 hours ago, Stargazer said:

The Big Bang is certainly accepted. There's plenty of hard evidence for it.  The multiverse is a speculation that is essentially untestable.  The idea comes as an extension of pure mathematics, but that's about it.

I think it involves more than just pure mathematics. (Depending upon what you mean by that) Remember that Linde postulated it way back in the 70s well before supersymmetry was extended to become string theory. Also the arguments for it come out of vacuum energy.

But I certainly agree that as currently formulated it's not testable. It is however a very widely believed theory among physicists.

Quote

So, do you believe in the multiverse?  I don't.  Although I did have the thought that multiverse would be convenient to thoroughly test all of Father's children.  Say, for example, you were tempted by a range of things from A to D, but never E to Z.  So, your multiverse doppelgangers get tested and tempted in those other versions of the universe.  And it's all YOU.  

I think a multiverse is necessary theologically in order to deal with the big bang. Also we should be careful not to conflate the idea of the multiverse with the multiple worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. I don't think we need assume the multiverse entails all possibilities in quite the same ways a MWI does.

 

Edited by clarkgoble
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To make this post I needed to refresh my memory:

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One non-LDS scholar's conclusion is apt:

Creatio ex nihilo appeared suddenly in the latter half of the second century c.e. Not only did creatio ex nihilo lack precedent, it stood in firm opposition to all the philosophical schools of the Greco-Roman world. As we have seen, the doctrine was not forced upon the Christian community by their revealed tradition, either in Biblical texts or the Early Jewish interpretation of them. As we will also see it was not a position attested in the New Testament doctrine or even sub-apostolic writings. It was a position taken by the apologists of the late second century, Tatian and Theophilus, and developed by various ecclesiastical writers thereafter, by Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Origen. Creatio ex nihilo represents an innovation in the interpretive traditions of revelation and cannot be explained merely as a continuation of tradition.[1]

https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Mormon_view_of_the_creation/Creatio_ex_nihilo#Question:_How_did_the_mainstream_Christian_view_that_God_created_the_universe_out_of_nothing_originate.3F

So, the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo is philosophical, not biblically canonical. It was made in order to declare God sovereign over all things, with no equal. While Mormons reject creation ex nihilo they absolutely hold God above all things.

Regarding God's greatness and philosophically, here is a Deist argument regarding God. Who is greater, a God who creates His creatures to fix themselves or a God who creates creatures who depend on Him to be fixed? Who is the greater creator?

It is difficult to answer that under creation ex nihilo. The logical answer is that the first is the greater creator: He who created creatures who can fix themselves. But, obviously, biblically, such is not at all the case. God's creatures most definitely need God to be "fixed".

Switch gears to creation ex material. If God's creatures have always existed then God simply gave them form or purpose. "Power", if you will, to actually progress by do things. One thing they could not do is become perfect like unto the Father. It is not in their nature. god therefore negates no justice to "save them" as they are not perfect like unto Him. But He does save them and that is because of His mercy; not justice. In Mormonism, there was one, "like unto God" (Abraham 3:24) who would become the Savior of the creatures who could not be perfect on their own.

So, under creation ex material, Mormonism retain the supremacy of the Father, the "greatest [intelligence]", His boundless mercy to make imperfect creatures perfect through the boundless mercy of the Atonement of His Only Begotten Son who was "like unto God" from the beginning.

I kinda really like this creation ex materia stuff. :)

Edited by Darren10
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4 minutes ago, Darren10 said:

Regarding God's greatness and philosophically, here is a Deist argument regarding God. Who is greater, a God who creates His creatures to fix themselves or a God who creates creatures who depend on Him to be fixed? Who is the greater creator?It is difficult to answer that under creation ex nihilo. The logical answer is that the first is the greater creator: He who created creatures who can fix themselves. But, obviously, biblically, such is not at all the case. God's creatures most definitely need God to be "fixed".

The interesting argument made by process thinkers is which is greater? A God who is maximally unaffected by others (as in creation ex nihilo) or a God who is maximally affected by others (as in process theology). I'm not sure we can say one is logically right as all the arguments hinge upon hidden premises. That's the problem of any argument about God - what counts as greatest usually reflects the biases of the person making the argument.

Edited by clarkgoble
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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

Given the ambiguity of possible ways of thinking about things I would hold there usually a way to construct whatever you want to believe into some theory which is compatible with just about anything.

There are constraints though. I think those constraints due to what we know of the natural world can be significant such as how it affects the "no death before the fall" crowd.

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1 hour ago, clarkgoble said:

There are constraints though. I think those constraints due to what we know of the natural world can be significant such as how it affects the "no death before the fall" crowd.

Nah, that’s no a problem.

There was no HUMAN concept of death and it's significance til the fall. Rorty takes care of that. 

Carbon may have been recycling through other organisms but again all those ideas are human concepts anyway. Science is a human invention as are all human ideas.

No human death til there were humans

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57 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

 

There was no HUMAN concept of death and it's significance til the fall. Rorty takes care of that. 

Carbon may have been recycling through other organisms but again all those ideas are human concepts anyway. Science is a human invention as are all human ideas.

No human death til there were humans

God or other beings weren't human? And I'm assuming you aren't accepting Talmage's idea of pre-adamites?

Edited by clarkgoble
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19 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Because of our previous relationship etc.  I take your posts seriously and try to answer them seriously as a kind of responsibility I feel.  

But sorry this was nonsense to me.

I just wish we could actually communicate for 5 minutes.

But poor Clark is pretty good at deciphering my impenetrable prose.   He just likes talking about words pointing to stuff I can't experience. ;)  Poor words, their little arms are getting tired pointing so much.

I keep looking for what they're pointing at but I guess I just need new glasses.  :crazy:

I shouldn't have posted last night. 

English dictionaries say that Thursday is a noun which means it is a person, place, or thing. It seems obvious to me that English speaking people have considered Thursday to be a thing for some time. As I said to Clark, I was trying to ascertain what we mean by nothing and by thing. It seems like you need to think the dictionary is nonsense too.

What part of speech is Thursday in your opinion, if it is not a noun?

In order to make sense out of the English language, it seems to be necessary to understand that immaterial concepts have to considered as things. We know that ideas can be powerful too when they are agreed upon in large numbers. Can nothing be powerful? You are free to dismiss my ideas as nonsense. But according to the dictionary, even nonsense is a thing. 

The problem I have communicating with you is that you object to words and expressions that have been commonly used a certain way for centuries. You have asserted that expressions like divine nature, which is even found in your own Scripture, are meaningless at best and folly at worst. I just want to use common dictionary English. Maybe you don't see it, but you can be a little imperious in the way you casually dismiss as nonsense, commonly accepted English terminology that can not squeeze into your philosophical box.

Rory

Edited by 3DOP
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5 minutes ago, 3DOP said:

 

 

Double post.

Edited by 3DOP
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20 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

In what sense? There's a famous argument between the philosophers Carnap and Heidegger over just that. They tended to talk past one an other since Canap only wanted to think in terms of an empty set. Whereas for Heidegger the key part was being not a thing for nothing.

Sorry I didn't reply. I had to make an emergency trip to L.A., my Mom is in the hospital. I'm beat after 14 hours of driving.

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6 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

The interesting argument made by process thinkers is which is greater? A God who is maximally unaffected by others (as in creation ex nihilo) or a God who is maximally affected by others (as in process theology). I'm not sure we can say one is logically right as all the arguments hinge upon hidden premises. That's the problem of any argument about God - what counts as greatest usually reflects the biases of the person making the argument.

And this mirrors the immanence / transcendence issue. A transcendent God is unaffected by others while an immanent God would be affected by others.

A God who is fully transcendent would not be interactive with his children and could not be regarded as a "Father" who, for example, hears and answers prayers. And so there is the view that an immanent God is not as "great" as a transcendent God.

I agree and don't think any of these distinctions can be justified in any way whatsoever. This whole mode of thinking derives from Platonic Idealism ultimately

I think you are saying is the process thinkers have exposed the fallacy of this distinction- is that what you are saying?

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1 hour ago, rodheadlee said:

Sorry I didn't reply. I had to make an emergency trip to L.A., my Mom is in the hospital. I'm beat after 14 hours of driving.

I am in LA- if I can help in any way, PM me.

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2 hours ago, 3DOP said:

I shouldn't have posted last night. 

English dictionaries say that Thursday is a noun which means it is a person, place, or thing. It seems obvious to me that English speaking people have considered Thursday to be a thing for some time. As I said to Clark, I was trying to ascertain what we mean by nothing and by thing. It seems like you need to think the dictionary is nonsense too.

What part of speech is Thursday in your opinion, if it is not a noun?

In order to make sense out of the English language, it seems to be necessary to understand that immaterial concepts have to considered as things. We know that ideas can be powerful too when they are agreed upon in large numbers. Can nothing be powerful? You are free to dismiss my ideas as nonsense. But according to the dictionary, even nonsense is a thing. 

The problem I have communicating with you is that you object to words and expressions that have been commonly used a certain way for centuries. You have asserted that expressions like divine nature, which is even found in your own Scripture, are meaningless at best and folly at worst. I just want to use common dictionary English. Maybe you don't see it, but you can be a little imperious in the way you casually dismiss as nonsense, commonly accepted English terminology that can not squeeze into your philosophical box.

Rory

I am not going to respond to this other than to make it clear that I read it and have decided not to respond

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4 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

God or other beings weren't human? And I'm assuming you aren't accepting Talmage's idea of pre-adamites?

God died on earth?  God's concept of death was known among dinosaurs?  Did God reveal it to them or did he only reveal Genesis to humans?  What other beings did you have in mind who read Genesis?   Is Genesis the actual words as spoken by God or did he reveal it to humans?

Would you regard Talmage as a qualified anthropologist by today's standards?  Why should anyone accept his view of pre-Adamites?

That there were humanoids who did not have speech as we know it today, I think is indisputable.

That language and concepts as we know language today developed over time is indisputable in my opinion.

I believe the story of the Tower of Babel is an allegorical tale describing that language no longer describes human experience.   I believe God can communicate to us non-linguistically in what might be termed "spirit-to spirit" communication, which if one wants to be allegorical one can describe as "Adamic language"

Religion is not about science, ever.  Any historical idea that is relevant to spirituality is a statement based on faith.  "The atonement happened in 33 AD" (approximately) is dependent on the belief that there WAS an atonement.  The truth or falsity of that statement is dependent on one's religion.  A Muslim would find that a false statement, a Christian would find it true.

"Mormons believe the atonement happened in 33 AD" is a statement about Mormon beliefs and is easily verified empirically.

"Jesus of Nazareth, who is spoken of in the Gospels, died in 33 AD" is an historical statement to be verified or not verified according to historical evidence that there WAS a Jesus AND that he died in 33 AD

"Jesus atoned for my sins" is a statement of faith.  So is "Jesus atoned for my sins in 33 AD".   If there was no historical Jesus he could not have died in 33 AD regardless of whether or not he performed the atonement

"The Book of Mormon is a document about history" is a statement of faith- there is insufficient historical evidence for a non-Mormon to believe it as historical.  Why is that? Because it is a faith based statement.  Qualified historians will differ on its truth or falsity depending on whether or not they are Mormon.

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9 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

The interesting argument made by process thinkers is which is greater? A God who is maximally unaffected by others (as in creation ex nihilo) or a God who is maximally affected by others (as in process theology). I'm not sure we can say one is logically right as all the arguments hinge upon hidden premises. That's the problem of any argument about God - what counts as greatest usually reflects the biases of the person making the argument.

Well, I flat out reject the crux of Deism so I view God as interactive. While God has all things He somehow progresses in glory from interacting with humans/mankind/His children. Therefore I view God the Father as the greatest of all and getting greater still.

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5 hours ago, 3DOP said:

I shouldn't have posted last night. 

English dictionaries say that Thursday is a noun which means it is a person, place, or thing. It seems obvious to me that English speaking people have considered Thursday to be a thing for some time. As I said to Clark, I was trying to ascertain what we mean by nothing and by thing. It seems like you need to think the dictionary is nonsense too.

What part of speech is Thursday in your opinion, if it is not a noun?

In order to make sense out of the English language, it seems to be necessary to understand that immaterial concepts have to considered as things. We know that ideas can be powerful too when they are agreed upon in large numbers. Can nothing be powerful? You are free to dismiss my ideas as nonsense. But according to the dictionary, even nonsense is a thing. 

The problem I have communicating with you is that you object to words and expressions that have been commonly used a certain way for centuries. You have asserted that expressions like divine nature, which is even found in your own Scripture, are meaningless at best and folly at worst. I just want to use common dictionary English. Maybe you don't see it, but you can be a little imperious in the way you casually dismiss as nonsense, commonly accepted English terminology that can not squeeze into your philosophical box.

Rory

"It seems obvious to me that English speaking people have considered Thursday to be a thing for some time." - Sure, it's the "Day of Thor", or "Thor's Day". just like a birthday. It's a marked event reoccurring once per week.

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18 minutes ago, Darren10 said:

"It seems obvious to me that English speaking people have considered Thursday to be a thing for some time." - Sure, it's the "Day of Thor", or "Thor's Day". just like a birthday. It's a marked event reoccurring once per week.

Yes. It is some thing that is not made out of matter.

Edited by 3DOP
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3 hours ago, Darren10 said:

Well, I flat out reject the crux of Deism so I view God as interactive. While God has all things He somehow progresses in glory from interacting with humans/mankind/His children. Therefore I view God the Father as the greatest of all and getting greater still.

Deism usually involved an god who only starts things off. However the more pantheistic views, first with the Stoics then the type of platonism common in late antiquity, and in modernism with Spinoza, have a God similar to the deists yet very involved in the universe.  He is the universe or at least they are related in a strong way. (This is the type of deism that Einstein held to for instance) 

 

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