Is the Christian God self-contradictory?


#1

Please explain your answer, especially if it is affirmative.


#2

The poll quesion is not sufficiently defined.

For example, God is both merciful and just. Those are (on the surface) self-contradictory properties. But He is also loving and good, which are not contradictory.


#3

like a square-cirle! how did you know what i was thinking?

Quite active tonight aren’t we?


#4

I’m not much into philosophy, but I assume you mean does omnipotence contradict omnipresence contradict omnibenevolence contradict omniscience, etc. I would say No, these do not contradict, but they must be properly defined. Or does transcendence contradict immanence, does God’s love contradict God’s justice contradict God’s mercy, etc

I’m not prepared to get into that. But I know some atheists (Michael Martin, The Case Against Christianity) argue these attributes do contradict, but he defines them in such a way that they would.

I’m not sure the purpose of this poll since All Christians would answer No, and some or many atheists and skeptics would answer Yes. The poll results would break down according to theists vs. non-believers.

Phil P


#5

[quote=atheos_sum]Quite active tonight aren’t we?
[/quote]

Augustinian types faster than I do, that’s for sure (and I do 90+ wpm).


#6

Well, you’re right, these poll choices are perhaps not carefully worded. But, unlike George Gallup. I don’t get paid for these things, so it reflects in the quality, unfortunately.

I could imagine atheists and other non-believers answering in the affirmative: an internally valid argument, after all, could be untrue, and the Christian God, even if logically coherent, could still be non-existent. So, I guess the purpose of this thread is to discuss the so-called “contradictions” of God: His Justice vs. His Mercy, omni-everything, and so forth.

My position, by the way, is that since God is so totally simple, Justice, Mercy, Truth, Beauty, Goodness, and everything converges into the absolutely simple Love of God.


#7

[quote=PhilVaz]I’m not much into philosophy, but I assume you mean does omnipotence contradict omnipresence contradict omnibenevolence contradict omniscience, etc. I would say No, these do not contradict, but they must be properly defined. Or does transcendence contradict immanence, does God’s love contradict God’s justice contradict God’s mercy, etc

[/quote]

Most certainly.

Even though you say you’re not much into philosophy, but I think you must have some sort of idea as to how these attributes must be defined in order to not be contradictory. How can you avoid ending up with a square-circle, without manipulation?

I argue, and have argued on this site, that they do contradict, and I wouldn’t manipulate these definitions or anything of the sort.

See this thread if you want the long version.
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=50614


#8

[quote=atheos_sum]See this thread if you want the long version.forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=50614
[/quote]

I briefly browsed your input to this thread. You confuse foreknowledge with compulsion. This confusion is nothing new, and is not really relevant to this thread. Please feel free to open a new discussion dealing specifically with this tired old topic.


#9

[quote=DavidFilmer]I briefly browsed your input to this thread. You confuse foreknowledge with compulsion. This confusion is nothing new, and is not really relevant to this thread. Please feel free to open a new discussion dealing specifically with this tired old topic.
[/quote]

Could it be?

No. It’s the same old anti-confusion confusion.

If you read more of the thread, you would have seen that I actually did cover that ground, quite sufficiently if I may say so myself.

If by “compulsion” you mean that God is the cause of human actions. They are distinct concepts yes. But both apply to our omniscient, omnipotent, creator-of-all, deity of deities.


#10

The survey at the top of the thread really is inadequate, obviously.

God isn’t self-contradictory, but the love within God generates some pretty challenging appearances.

God is so non-self-contradictory and what appears to us to be so radically consistent, that His perfect justice prohibits the presence of non-perfect beings before Him and so a special, “non-filtered” presence of God before non-perfected beings actually destroys the non-perfected beings. See Exodus 33:20.

God is so non-contradictory, that to solve this problem, grace had to be purchased from God’s perfect justice, so that the Son had to be tortured and killed in the place of the pain we would have had to have suffered had the saved gone to Hell instead (although I don’t think that there is a quantity equivalence, as taught, for instance, by the radical, somewhat Calvanistic Harald Camping, who teaches that Christ suffered some kind of invisible, astonishing level of discomfort equal to, say, 10 billion eternities in Hell, if 10 billion are saved).


#11

[quote=DavidFilmer]The poll quesion is not sufficiently defined.

For example, God is both merciful and just. Those are (on the surface) self-contradictory properties.
[/quote]

That’s why in His mercy He gives us the sacrifice which we offer up to appease His justice:thumbsup: .


#12

LoL!


#13

[quote=atheos_sum]If you read more of the thread, you would have seen that I actually did cover that ground, quite sufficiently if I may say so myself.
[/quote]

Oh, well, if you’ve pleased yourself, then it is self-evident you mustn’t be wrong.

To answer the poll, no, when properly understood, there are no qualities of God that are self-contradictory.

– Mark L. Chance.


#14

[quote=mlchance]Oh, well, if you’ve pleased yourself, then it is self-evident you mustn’t be wrong.

[/quote]

if you say so.

your word against mine.

what? no theodicy? no defense? no evidence? no warrant?

i’ve been in another thread with you and you hardly ever seem to provide evidence or warrant for you claims.


#15

Yes.

1 God is immortal

2 Jesus is God

3 Jesus died on the cross
These three are not logically consistent. Drop any one of them and the remaining two are consistent.

rossum


#16

How can you avoid ending up with a square-circle, without manipulation?

The irony of your statement is delicious.

The fact is that terms have no meaning besides what we give them. The fact that atheists give a different meaning to the same term does not itself indicate that the Christian conception is self-contradicting. Both sides can refer to the other side as “manipulating” terms. Christians, though, have no interest in using atheistic usage of terms to prove atheism self-contradictory, so we don’t put our own meanings in atheist mouths.


#17

[quote=rossum]Yes.

1 God is immortal

2 Jesus is God

3 Jesus died on the cross

These three are not logically consistent. Drop any one of them and the remaining two are consistent.

rossum
[/quote]

No, because you are leaving out necessary aspects of the definition. Jesus is God with a human nature and a divine nature. Human nature is physically mortal, divine nature is not physical at all. Both natures are present in Jesus. Your set up is in error because you don’t distinguish between what it means to be God, and what it means to be God Incarnate (Jesus).

A proper setup would be this:

God has a Divine Nature.

Divine Nature is immortal and non-physical.

Jesus has a Divine Nature and a Human Nature.

Human Nature is mortal and physical.

Jesus died in his physical, Human Nature.

Jesus’ Divine Nature did not die.

Atheists really need to read the Summa Theologica before they start making statements about how “illogical” the Christian concept of God is.

I know, I used to be the hardest atheist around.


#18

Is the Christian God self-contradictory?

Not to Christians, and that is all that matters!

peace,
cheddar


#19

[quote=Ghosty]No, because you are leaving out necessary aspects of the definition. Jesus is God with a human nature and a divine nature. Human nature is physically mortal, divine nature is not physical at all. Both natures are present in Jesus. Your set up is in error because you don’t distinguish between what it means to be God, and what it means to be God Incarnate (Jesus).

A proper setup would be this:

God has a Divine Nature.

Divine Nature is immortal and non-physical.

Jesus has a Divine Nature and a Human Nature.

Human Nature is mortal and physical.

Jesus died in his physical, Human Nature.

Jesus’ Divine Nature did not die.
[/quote]

From what you say it seems that my second statement should have read “Part of Jesus is God and part isn’t” and my third statement should have read “Part of Jesus died on the cross and part didn’t”. I have never seen either of those two on the signboards outside churches, while I have seen both of my original statements there.

Atheists really need to read the Summa Theologica before they start making statements about how “illogical” the Christian concept of God is.

Maybe so, but why tell me this? Not all non-Christians are atheists! Had you looked at my profile you would have seen that I am Buddhist. In numerical terms Christianity is closer to atheism than Buddhism is:

Atheism - 0 gods
Christianity - 1 God
Buddhism - 30,000+ gods (but they aren’t important)

rossum


#20

[quote=rossum]From what you say it seems that my second statement should have read “Part of Jesus is God and part isn’t” and my third statement should have read “Part of Jesus died on the cross and part didn’t”. I have never seen either of those two on the signboards outside churches, while I have seen both of my original statements there.

rossum
[/quote]

Well, you won’t read those statements on signboards outside churches because that’s not what Christianity teaches.
As human beings, we tend to view things from our own experience being human. We have one person for one nature. Every human person has one human nature. That makes it difficult for us to initially understand concepts like the Trinity or the two natures of Christ.
The Trinity has three Persons with one divine nature. The divine nature cannot be divided, so each Person possesses the fullness of the divine nature, so each Person is God. Because there is one divine nature, there is one God.
Christ, God the Son, the second Person of the Trinity, has two natures–one human, one divine. He is fully man and fully God, not part man and part God. He is a divine Person, so everything He did was done by God (whether done in the divine or in the human nature). He is not a human person, but rather a divine Person with a human nature. When His human nature experienced death (the separation of body and soul), He died, because actions are performed by persons, not by natures (I eat; my human nature doesn’t). God died on the cross, meaning the human soul of God the Son was separated from the human body of God the Son, not that God ceased to exist. Because the divine nature cannot die, it was necessary for God to take on a human nature if He was going to die.
Certainly, this is complicated, difficult to understand, impossible to fully grasp, and different from our common experience. But self-contradictory? No.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.