God the Deceiver - Heretical?


#1

I believe that God created 4.5billion year ‘history’ of the earth as an after-thought to the creation of the first man. That, time being the 4th dimension, past and future are much like the backdrops of space that God created for us to live our earthly lives on. Like distant space, which is there, sort of, but it makes no difference since we’ll never go there, so it’s more of a backdrop, distant past is only there in a theoretical sense that God ‘made this history’ for us.

Some have told me that this makes God a Deceiver and that it is blasphemous and heretical. Is it really heretical? Has the church condemned these ideas? Or is it just a case of scientists trying to make theological pronouncements?


#2

That’s certainly an interesting idea. I don’t know that it would make God a “deceiver” if it were true. I can’t think of any Church documents that condemn this idea, so it’s probably not heretical. :shrug:


#3

That is the current argument - God would make a universe with the appearance of age? If so, then He would be a deceiver and the argument goes from there.

What we have to consider is that man can only know so much about the universe and its workings. We are limited by our 5 senses, 3 dimensions and time. After gathering raw data we have to use our reasoning skills to figure out what it means.

Much like a flatlander has no knowledge of the 3rd dimension we do not know or experience others if they exist. (which physics is theorizing they do)

Making a statement about God the deceiver based on what we think we know is dangerous.

We should keep an open mind and keep gathering the data approaching it with humility not arrogance.


#4

Moved to Apologetics where it belongs.
MF


#5

Of course if God decieves us that would make him a deceiver but he has not deceived us nor done what you suggest in your opening sentence.
God cannot deceive.


#6

I don’t see it as deception either. Whether the past is a afterthought to the present or not doesn’t, in my humble opinion, make it deceptive. Space-time is all ‘made up’ in God’s imagination anyway, and whether he made up the dinosaurs as an afterthought to man or as a ‘pre-thought’ doesn’t make them any less real, IMO.


#7

Also lots of things in nature kind of are deceptive… rainbows for example… it looks like they’re real things standing on two points on the ground but they are just illusions. Also it looks like the sun moves and the earth stands still.

I don’t think those things make God a deceiver either… at least not in the sense that God does anything wrong.


#8

My question is, why would God pit our faith against our reason, forcing us to choose between them? That certainly is not what the Church teaches.


#9

It might not be heretical, but it could be classified as “really silly”. Try and refute the following argument and you’ll see why.

I believe that God created everything last Thursday. All “history” before that is merely an after-thought to the creation of us just as we are. All our memories are created. What we “remember” didn’t really happen. They’re only in a theoretical sense as part of the “history” God made for us. All history books, etc., same deal. See the problem? Why would God create all these things?

Occam’s razor would lead us to conclude that if the earth is missing naturally-occurring isotopes with short half-lives, only containing those with long half-lives, that the earth is really old. Sure, God could have created the earth instantaneously, but why would He create only isotopes with long half-lives? Similarly for distant stars. Sure, God could have created “starlight in transit”, but why would He create evidence of supernova explosions that never happened (e.g. SN 1987A?)


#10

So what’s the problem with this? Who are we to question why God would do that? It seems perfectly reasonable to me.

Is Occam’s razor a Christian principle? If not, why would I be interested in what it says? Not trying to be difficult, just asking. :shrug:


#11

It’s not pitted against my reason. My reason allows me to see that past and future and present are all equally present to God, and that he isn’t limited to creating time sequentially from present to future. Does that go against your reason?


#12

This isn’t about God existing outside of time, nor about God’s omnipotence, it’s about the configuration he chose for his material creation. The world of which we are a part works under certain rules which we have discovered to great depth and tested to great precision. Evaluating the evidence we have gathered by those rules leads to an age of the universe somewhere around 15 billion years, and an age of the earth around 4.5 billion years. If God actually made the world 6000 years ago (or whatever the number is) and created fake evidence of an older creation, that is pitting faith against reason.

Nature is supposed to point people to God (the Church teaches this), but if God did things your way then nature would point people away from God.


#13

I didn’t say that God made the world 6000 years ago. All I said is that distant pre-history was an after-thought to the creation of man. God didn’t ‘create the world’ at any point in our time. He created it from beyond time. Whether in God’s sequencing, he created man first then dinosaurs later, or all of them at the same time, makes no sense. He made (and makes) it all at once. God still holds 50,000,000BC in existence as much as He holds 3000AD in existence. But the whole point of making the distant past and the distant stars was to give mankind a backdrop. In order to create mankind’s world, he had to give it a distant past, distant future, distant horizontal, vertical, and forward and backward.


#14

So why are you not a believer in Last Thursdayism? You can’t answer “Christian revelation”, because in Last Thursdayism Christian revelation never really happened, your memory was just created with the “experience” of learning of Christian revelation. Why in fact do you choose Christianity over Last Thursdayism? You in fact have no basis without bringing in some principles of logic and reason.

Is Occam’s razor a Christian principle? If not, why would I be interested in what it says? Not trying to be difficult, just asking. :shrug:

Occam’s razor is a principal of logic and therefore a principle of reason. Now Catholicism says that reason has a capacity for discerning the truth, and so you should be interested in it on that basis. Moreover, you need to use it in order to prefer Christianity over Last Thursdayism.


#15

If God created everything before last Thursday ‘as an afterthought’ it doesn’t mean Jesus and the other Christian events didn’t really happen. It just changes the order God made them in. Of course, if I didn’t really do the actions I remember doing before last Thursday, God won’t hold me accountable for them. Doesn’t matter anyway, since I went to confession since last Thursday. I’m not sure if Last Thursday ism is true or not, but I believe Jesus existed. So if God created the past last Thursday, the past must still be real. More real than dinosaurs? I’m not sure. What does real mean?

Occam’s razor can be disproved easily with a single counter-example. Just think of anything that turned out more complicated than it had to be, and its disproven as a logical rule. Rather, it’s just a rule of thumb which can’t prove anything. You never know when Occam’s Razor will be correct or incorrect. I don’t like it for that reason. I don’t think it has any place in reason.


#16

Which is why I said “or whatever the number is”.

All I said is that distant pre-history was an after-thought to the creation of man. God didn’t ‘create the world’ at any point in our time. He created it from beyond time. Whether in God’s sequencing, he created man first then dinosaurs later, or all of them at the same time, makes no sense. He made (and makes) it all at once. God still holds 50,000,000BC in existence as much as He holds 3000AD in existence. But the whole point of making the distant past and the distant stars was to give mankind a backdrop.

Then it’s a false backdrop, for it claims (by our God-given reason) to be one thing, when it is really something else.

And yes, I understand God did not create in time, but rather that time was part of his creation. But why not let reason identify that creation-point (the Big Bang, presumably) rather than invent a creation-point that goes against reason? Why did God fake the Big Bang, for instance, if the real creation-point was something entirely different?


#17

Interesting theory which allows us to keep Man at the center of creation as opposed to an evolutionary blip on the screen of a massive evolutionary chain. This allows us to say that God’s primary intent was to create mankind.

However, from a theological perspective, this doesn’t seem to fit with the account given in Genesis.

1-God created heaven and earth.
2-God created the stars, etc…
7-God creates humanity.

But given this, it still doesn’t mean God’s primary intent was not to create humanity or that humanity is not his crowning acheivement. Because he says after he created humanity that he considered it “very good” (Gen 1:31) as opposed to just “good”.

God bless,
Ut


#18

I never said anything was ‘fake’ or ‘false’. You would have to define ‘fake’. Isn’t all of space-time something God made for us to live in, like a holodeck? It exists how God wants it to exist and we live in it according to God’s rules. God determines how everything appears to us. Is that real, fake? It’s real to us, to God it’s real in the sense that a holodeck is real to the people standing outside it, but it’s a created thing, not absolute reality. There is a deeper level of reality beyond spacetime, and outside of the holodeck. You’d have to define your terms more clearly.


#19

Fake or false in the sense that our God-given reason, which has allowed us to measure and understand the physical laws with which God has endowed material creation, come up with an answer regarding the timeline of the universe and the earth entirely different from the real answer.


#20

Okay… but my own god-given reason shows me that these timelines are something else. So one of us has to be wrong. How come if my reason is correct, you call it fake, and if yours is correct, you call it real? It’s not God’s fault if you aren’t advanced enough to grasp these ideas.
Like it’s not God’s fault if you set out on a hike to get to the base of the rainbow, which can be clearly seen to end, say, 10 miles away.


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