Thread: Is God Rational?
January 26th 2011, 07:30 PM #1
Is God Rational?
In response to a question, let's ask if God is rational.
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Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth! As much as I did enjoy the review of The Amazing Atheist on how badly he botched the arguments of Aquinas, I am glad it's over in the sense that I no longer have to return to that video, a video I believe my wife was also getting annoyed with.
However, in all of this, a reader who identified himself as Rolo asked a question.
I do appreciate the compliment and I do hope I can help with this question and if you have some further questions about what I say, feel free to ask.
There are some philosophers who would disagree with what I say, like Descartes. However, it is my stance that God cannot do that which is illogical. Now note by illogical, I mean something that is necessarily contradictory. We all act in ways that to some people seem illogical, without violating any law of logic. It could be that we are acting without proper thinking in some cases, but not always.
I say this because I do not believe a contradiction can exist in the real world for it is impossible for something to be and not be in the same time and in the same sense. I have yet to see a strong case for any event being otherwise. I cannot for instance know that two plus two equals four and non-four.
Throughout the Scriptures, we are invited to know God. To know God means that there are truths about Him that can be known. We Christians accept that God exists, for instance, and that He exists in Trinity and has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ. Of course, if a reader wishes to paint the Trinity as a contradiction, they are free to do so, but it is a failed attempt. The earliest formulators of the Christian creeds on this topic made sure to avoid contradictions.
How can we know God if God is contradictory? A contradiction is something that cannot be known and a point I make to atheists when asked if anything could disprove God's existence is to be shown that there is a necessary contradiction in the doctrine of God. Note that there are apparent contradictions, but not necessary ones. Apparent ones are more like contradictions you think you see when you watch a murder mystery. How did the killer commit the crime when they were miles away? It seems like a contradiction at first until you study it.
As for being rational, that would depend on what is meant. Can we say God has a thinking process? Not in the sense that He thinks on things to find out what he doesn't know, for He already knows all things. Does He think to feel better about something? No. That would be change. Does He think on something so He'll know to deal with it? That would make him temporal as well. God simply knows all truths eternally. These he knows by knowing Himself. In knowing Himself, He knows all ways being can be and is.
Note also that when God reveals Himself, He makes the claim that what is said is true. He is the God of all truth. I believe this is a valid claim and a true one as well, but it only makes sense if he does not contradict. Now some of a more presuppositional bent might say that I'm using man's reason.
This is not going to work however, for our minds are creations of God and our reasoning powers. They are not invalid and we are invited to use them to come and see Him as He is. There is not man's reasoning and God's reasoning. There is simply reasoning. There is good reasoning and bad reasoning however.
But doesn't Isiaah 55:8-9 say His thoughts are not our thoughts.
Question. Why is that being said? If you look at the context, it is about how God judges those who go against Him and rewards those who live righteously. Our thoughts would be that the wicked should be punished and we want them to be punished and God ought not have mercy on them. We should be careful when dealing with evil people that we do not become like Jonah.
God however says let them come forward and repent so they will live. Your thoughts may be on their destruction, but I am thinking of their salvation. My way of dealing with people is better than yours for even if they don't repent, my judgment is perfect judgment from an eternal perspective.
The verse is not saying anything about God's mind ontologically, but only on the outworking of God's mind to us.
I conclude then that the reason God invites us to know Him is that He can be known. I do not mean to say He can be comprehended. No one should have a problem with the idea of knowing God. Those of us who are married know that we know our spouses, but at the same time, we are still learning new things about them. Couples who have been married for fifty years are still learning things about their spouses.
I hope this answers the question.Check the blog of Apologiaphoenix!
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January 27th 2011, 06:43 AM #2
Re: Is God Rational?
AP I agree that God cannot do that which is logically impossible but I find it really hard to explain why this is so to the average Christian. If I say "it is impossible for something to be and not be in the same time and in the same sense" the response will be "but God can do anything!" How would you respond to the believer who thought that the claim that God's cannot do what is logically impossible is a restriction on his omnipotence?"We have all our beliefs but we don't want our beliefs; God of peace, we want you." Aaron Weiss
January 27th 2011, 09:19 AM #3
Re: Is God Rational?Check the blog of Apologiaphoenix!
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