Are We Smarter Than God?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Sandy Zalecki, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. I have to admit I’m a bit of a Facebook addict. I have some justification, at least in my mind, for my addiction. My husband and I live way out in the country, our kids are grown, and his business takes him away from home occasionally so I spend a lot of time at home alone. Facebook is the way I connect with the outside world and stay in touch with friends.

    Sometimes the posts I get really makes me wonder what kind of world we actually live in. I remember one of them was entitled “Are we Smarter than God?” This person’s assumption was that through science man has been able to achieve a status higher than the almighty himself. I found myself thinking “How arrogant! To God the planet is nothing more than a spec of dust and if God wanted to He could send it careening out of orbit and off into space with just the flick of his finger. Man would surely be doomed if He did such a thing!”

    Thank God His care for us is above our arrogance and pride. He has perfect knowledge of us yet He still loves us. Psalm 139:1-6 says, “Lord, You have searched me and know me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord,,, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful me; It is high, I cannot attain it.”

    Isn’t it wonderful to know that Jesus cares so much about us? He knows our every intimate detail of our lives. He knows our motives, desires, and words before they are expressed. He knows His servants completely. He even has the hairs on our head counted. (Mat. 10:30)

    I rejoice every day that even though God is so strong he could literally destroy us with the flick of His finger, He does not. He cares for us so much that He knows everything about us, loves us beyond all human comprehension, and keeps us in His thoughts constantly.

    “How precious also are Your thoughts to me O God!

    How great is the sum of them!

    If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;

    When I awake, I am still with you.

    Psalms 139: 17-18
  2. I think a big problem is that when discussing God with an Atheist and perhaps some Agnostics, we will both use the same word -- God -- but we don't seem to have the same agreement on what and who God is.

    Usually, at least with the New Atheist group, their definition of God is that He is a supreme being that inhabits Himself above the world...probably in the sky. According to their definition, God is a sort of supreme genus or component to the universe.

    Here's the crazy thing...going strictly by their definition of God, I agree with them -- this version of God does not exist. God is not A thing or AN individual. I don't think it's even valid to consider Him as a "being." Going by St. Thomas Aquinas's definition, God is "ipsum esse subsistens" meaning He is the substantial act of 'to be' itself. He's not an item within the world or even an item itself as He is the author of item itself.

    With all the Greek illustrations of the gods and the misunderstanding of the divine trinity (three persons in one), I think people fall into this trap of mistaking God for something else. And when this happens, it tends to breed questions like "Are We Smarter Than God?" or the very popular "Isn't God narcissistic if He demands we worship Him?"

    The underlining truth of what God is and what God is not needs to be addressed when confronted with these questions that suggest that man is capable of being better.
  3. God Himself said it best "I am that I am."
    The ancient Jews understood that God was "other", the He had His unique nature that was impossible to understand and difficult to accurately describe, and that His existence was outisde of and superior to the existence they were familiar with.
    dUmPsTeR likes this.
  4. Lysander, greetings - I am new here

    I found your contribution intriguing and agree greatly. For the concept of a vague God, prescribed in science, can construct moral pathways that can at times resemble our own in scripture, yet the path of faith is obviously superior revealed in our personal relationship with Christ.

    I have debated many atheists and though I find them often highly efficient in protecting moral theory from intellectual foundations, they are simply unaware of the foundation that supports all morality and virtue which is Christ Jesus.

    I find that the debate is easily derailed by objectivist’s who will force the discussion to arrive at a provable scientific method, which resolves to earthly philosophical truths, yet I am quick to move the conversation to not what is provable but what isn’t. For if we cannot in conversation prove God’s existence within their train of deductive thought, then we must with strategy, also realize quickly that they cannot prove that God does “not” exist.

    Once the white flag is raised on both sides from secular provable methods, then an interesting conversation can begin for what “might” be. Yet shall prayer, love and wisdom all play a critical role when dealing with very often times the intellectual atheist.
    LysanderShapiro likes this.
  5. Welcome, Fiction. Nicely put.
    By the way--excellent avatar. I love Bastiat.
  6. This thread helps remind me how small I am, Not The Great I Am. And yet, what incredible potential we have being Gods' children. Many don't even consider what are potential could be.

    Yes, I've also debated atheist. They seem to consider themselves to be God. They don't accept the bible, even though it's the most published book and we can show them prophecy that has come true. It also has information showing how to keep clean and what to do with people that are possibly contagious. It also helped us get over the plaque in Europe.

    It's also why I don't recommend seeing psychologist. All too often they tell you to essentially be God. I've seen how they can bring ruin to many peoples lives.
  7. Thank you so much Lysander for the warm welcome

    It’s always a blessing when Bastiat is recognized
  8. Greetings dUmPsTeR
    I agree with you in totality, as for me I can boast, that I was nothing without Him, I am worth nothing without Him, and can accomplish nothing without Him, for Christ Jesus is everything regarding value. Shall your attention to God’s equipping His children with potential provide me incessant motivation to fight the good-fight of faith even more.

    Shall your wise assertion of fulfilled eschatology be one that must be explored on the premise of faith, which the secular objectivist will reject before the great publish of the ages is even cracked open, yet I agree with your whole statement completely, as it is highly evident that God has delivered to us all much profound prophecy in His word that has manifested since the days of the major/minor prophets and even now this day.

    I will take your wise advice to heart. Shall the Spirit of the living God move the human spirit and mind to restoration, yet secular science will simply explore chemical reactions in the brain, and then give diverse advice, yet I admit readily that I am most unqualified to recommend or denounce a doctor’s visit.
  9. In my experience, the appeal to moral authority argument never works with intelligent non-Christians. It's too easily refuted.
  10. I concur – Most atheists reject authoritarianism, and will rest morality strictly upon the non-aggression principle. I find the NAP virtuous, yet as a Christian I am bound to the obedience of Christ as well.

    I wish deeply to persuade the atheist to know the loving power of Christ, yet so many have endured deep attacks. It is my goal to show the love of Christ.
    LysanderShapiro likes this.
  11. Yes, welcome Great Fiction, and may all your visits here be filled with a love that can only come from God, YHWH. And with anything I post, of course please filter it through your spirit, and feel free to test it and myself. For I am not perfect, and I make mistakes. My life is wrought with them. Good intentions gone bad I'm afraid. But I am grateful that God has blessed me with intelligence that I can learn from those mistakes. Here I go, rambling on and I hope my words aren't idle chatter as a gong banging.
  12. dUmPsTeR, your prodigious kindness and honestly is readily received. Thank you immensely

    No need to apologize as I find your writing style to be honest and direct.

    I predict you have reached many for the cause.
  13. I believe actions can show forth well, sometimes without a word, and yet I try not to let my right hand know what the left is doing. It's, of course you know already, not about us as individuals, but how we show a love and giving that can only come from Him(YHWH).
  14. How exactly did you find them “highly efficient”? Because I haven’t heard a single reasonable argument on their part - and I include here atheistic celebrities such as Dawkins and Hitchens.

    And what exactly do you mean by “moral theory”? And by protecting it “from intellectual foundations“? Because to me it’s obvious that morality doesn’t have anything to do with intellectuality. Claiming otherwise would mean shooting yourself in the foot: defeating your own argument.

    By the way, welcome.
  15. Could you give some examples? Because that’s news to me.
  16. Thank you immensely for the warm welcome

    In contrast to our virtuous faith in Christ, would you agree that secular metaphysics must use an intellectual scientific method to rationalize how the individual will traverse through evidential deduction to arrive at a philosophical truth? This philosophical truth then would define grounds for what can be or what cannot be moral? This is indeed a complex task to rationalize unto a solidified set of rules and many in secular society make it their mission to prescribe these boundaries unto extreme complexities, which can vary.

    Yet shall truth revealed by the Holy Spirit transcend all secular thinking
  17. You make me feel embarrassed. Because it wasn’t a warm welcome. But here it is: welcome brother, and let me hug you dearly :)

    I think that’s our problem, right there:
    1. is our faith virtuous? Do our deeds rise to our words? Let alone God’s words?
    2. how much of our faith do we put in Christ and how much in other people just like us?

    In regard to the second point, saying that Genesis is a reflection of worldly paradigms for me it’s absurd to the highest possible degree. Especially since those paradigms are naturalistic (i.e. purposefully excluding God).

    Sorry, but that question is loaded:

    1. No, I wouldn’t agree that “secular metaphysics must use an intellectual scientific method”. And the reason for that is in the bold. In my view, for example metaphysics and physics shouldn’t have anything in common. But unfortunately, they do (see the big bang theory).

    2. What exactly is the relation between “philosophical truth” and “scientific method”?

    3. What exactly is the difference between the “philosophical truth” and the truth? In my view, the truth is true regardless if in philosophical context, scientific context or whatever context.

    Sorry, but I can’t agree with that either. Instead, I think God defined what’s moral and what not. In our hearts but also in the Bible.
  18. Conservative Christians often argue that God is the only source of moral authority, and therefore in the absence of belief in God, we cannot have morality.

    This is fairly easily refuted by, 1) the clear observation that "morality" varies greatly across human societies (both in time and space), which necessitates that morality is subjective; and 2) that leads to the obvious conclusion that humans develop their own morality, oftentimes based on what works to maintain a functioning society.

    For me, this is consistent with how I believe God has created us with true free will.
  19. #19 LysanderShapiro, Nov 13, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
    I think this is one of the most fascinating subjects -- I commend you for bringing it up :)

    Where does the objective sense of morality come from if not God? For instance, most of us believe it is objectively wrong to abuse someone or that racism is evil.

    It's true that we have free will, but this doesn't mean that our own will aligns with His, and I'm not convinced that this means morality is subjective.

    If it means standards within morality are subjective, then that may be true depending. For instance, primitive tribal cultures are not immodest in wear less clothing--within their culture, they are abiding by modesty. However, if one culture commits infanticide like in China, to argue that it's merely their culture isn't right, because it neglects the objective truth that the infants killed had unique souls that can never be brought back.
  20. Our morality comes from our experiences as a social organism. It comes from what works toward functioning societies.

    And racism has not always been seen as objectively wrong throughout all human history. In fact, western societies oftentimes cited their Christian faith as justification for their racism.

    It means our morality is subjective. Looking across human culture and history, that's a self-evident fact. God's morality however is objective. But as you note, God's morality is not ours. If God simply imposed His morality upon us, then we would not have true free will.

    But you're looking at it from your POV. The very definition of "subjective" means your POV differs from others'.

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