The Existence of other gods: My predicament


#1

If God is infinite, and we aren’t infinite, than he must’ve done things before we existed, or else he just was and did nothing.

Something must have caused him to create us, and that something must have come from an outside source, meaning there are other beings besides God!

A perfect, infinite being does not one day decide to create an entire world and universe without an outside source altering that perfection, or at least thought.

Can someone help me out here?


#2

[quote=kyle8921]If God is infinite, and we aren’t infinite, than he must’ve done things before we existed, or else he just was and did nothing.

Something must have caused him to create us, and that something must have come from an outside source, meaning there are other beings besides God!

A perfect, infinite being does not one day decide to create an entire world and universe without an outside source altering that perfection, or at least thought.

Can someone help me out here?
[/quote]

I recall a funny story that sort of answers your question.
Q: What did God do before he created the earth
A: Nothing. He didn’t have the time.


#3

[quote=kyle8921]If God is infinite, and we aren’t infinite, than he must’ve done things before we existed, or else he just was and did nothing.

Something must have caused him to create us, and that something must have come from an outside source, meaning there are other beings besides God!

A perfect, infinite being does not one day decide to create an entire world and universe without an outside source altering that perfection, or at least thought.

Can someone help me out here?
[/quote]

I posted this in another one of your threads but I think it applies here:

Remember, God exists outside of time so it’s not like He was hanging out for a long time before making us. The only way to describe Him is “He is.” By creating this universe He also created time. We can’t put chronology on God outside of our universe. He only has chronology when He interacts with this universe. So outside of this universe you can’t say “He was” or “He will be” becuase that implies chronology which implies time. Since there is not time, He just is.

It’s really hard to imagine. But once we are in heaven it will make sense. Imagine a fish who spends his entire life at the bottom of the sea. There’s no way he could imagine what it’s like to be in the air. I could try and describe being out of water to him, but he would never be able to really understand until he experienced it himself. Likewise, we have been immersed in time our whole lives so we cannot imagine what no time is until we experience it for ourselves.


#4

[quote=Genesis315]I posted this in another one of your threads but I think it applies here:

Remember, God exists outside of time so it’s not like He was hanging out for a long time before making us. The only way to describe Him is “He is.” By creating this universe He also created time. We can’t put chronology on God outside of our universe. He only has chronology when He interacts with this universe. So outside of this universe you can’t say “He was” or “He will be” becuase that implies chronology which implies time. Since there is not time, He just is.

It’s really hard to imagine. But once we are in heaven it will make sense. Imagine a fish who spends his entire life at the bottom of the sea. There’s no way he could imagine what it’s like to be in the air. I could try and describe being out of water to him, but he would never be able to really understand until he experienced it himself. Likewise, we have been immersed in time our whole lives so we cannot imagine what no time is until we experience it for ourselves.
[/quote]

Even if he “just is,” what caused him to “do?” It must have been an outside source, right? Something that “is” is unchangeable. If you leave a rock that “just is” on the ground and nothing comes along to change it, that rock will continue to “just be.”


#5

[quote=kyle8921]Even if he “just is,” what caused him to “do?” It must have been an outside source, right? Something that “is” is unchangeable. If you leave a rock that “just is” on the ground and nothing comes along to change it, that rock will continue to “just be.”
[/quote]

Again, you’re throwing in time. Nothing could have “caused” Him because nothing is before or after. You keep implying that he was doing or not doing stuff beforehand. There is no beforehand. He simply is and does.


#6

[quote=Genesis315]Again, you’re throwing in time. Nothing could have “caused” Him because nothing is before or after. You keep implying that he was doing or not doing stuff beforehand. There is no beforehand. He simply is and does.
[/quote]

I can’t accept that answer though, knowing that one is out there! I wish I could write a letter to the new pope, and see what thinks about these thoughts:

How can a perfect “is” do things without having an outside source to alter this perfect “is,” thus causing him to “do?” Other omnipotent beings must exist along with God."

That’s exactly what I’d ask. I wonder what he’d reply…


#7

Saying that God “just is” is not quite the proper way of putting it. Yes, his essence is “to be.” If “to be” were a regular verb, we could say that He be’s to an infinite extent. But to our ears, existence sounds passive, and there is nothing in God which is passive. In Thomistic philosophy, God is all Act, no potentiality.

Whatever God “does” is not done as a series of “events.” He knew from all eternity that He would create–the universe, men, angels. There is in God no passage of time between the decision and the action. Time and space are a part of creation, not of God.

So, as an infinite perfect Trinitarian Being, why did God need to create? Answer: He didn’t. But he sees (from all eternity–i.e. with no passage of time for a ‘decision’–that creation is good, so he creates.


#8

[quote=kyle8921]I can’t accept that answer though, knowing that one is out there! I wish I could write a letter to the new pope, and see what thinks about these thoughts:

How can a perfect “is” do things without having an outside source to alter this perfect “is,” thus causing him to “do?” Other omnipotent beings must exist along with God."

That’s exactly what I’d ask. I wonder what he’d reply…
[/quote]

He is also perfect do. He is all act as well as all being.


#9

[quote=JimG]Saying that God “just is” is not quite the proper way of putting it. Yes, his essence is “to be.” If “to be” were a regular verb, we could say that He be’s to an infinite extent. But to our ears, existence sounds passive, and there is nothing in God which is passive. In Thomistic philosophy, God is all Act, no potentiality.

Whatever God “does” is not done as a series of “events.” He knew from all eternity that He would create–the universe, men, angels. There is in God no passage of time between the decision and the action. Time and space are a part of creation, not of God.

So, as an infinite perfect Trinitarian Being, why did God need to create? Answer: He didn’t. But he sees (from all eternity–i.e. with no passage of time for a ‘decision’–that creation is good, so he creates.
[/quote]

If there is no passage of time, how did he “know” from all eternity that He would create? What was stopping Him from doing it? How long did he wait, and why?

If God is infinite, then why not just get everything over with now?

I guess there are some things that man will never know.


#10

[quote=kyle8921]Even if he “just is,” what caused him to “do?” It must have been an outside source, right? Something that “is” is unchangeable. If you leave a rock that “just is” on the ground and nothing comes along to change it, that rock will continue to “just be.”
[/quote]

Yeah, but then what caused that outside source to cause our God to do anything? Another outside source? You’re talking yourself into infinite regression.

(which is impossible)


#11

You might want to read St. Mary of Agreda’s depiction of God. I think it’s right here: geocities.com/Athens/Ithaca/7194/book1c2.html

Here’s a relevant excerpt:

I understood, that the Most High was in the quiescent state of his own being, when the three Persons (according to our way of understanding things), decreed to communicate his perfections as a free gift. For greater clearness, I must remark, that God comprehends in Himself all things by one indivisible, most simple and instantaneous act. He does not go on from the understanding of one thing to the understanding of another like we do, distinguishing and perceiving first one thing by an act of the understanding, and after that proceeding to the knowledge of others by their connection with those already known. God knows them conjointly all at once, without before or after, since all are together and at once contained in the divine and uncreated knowledge and science, just as they are comprehended and enclosed in his infinite Being, as in their first beginning.


#12

[quote=kyle8921]I can’t accept that answer though, knowing that one is out there! I wish I could write a letter to the new pope, and see what thinks about these thoughts:

How can a perfect “is” do things without having an outside source to alter this perfect “is,” thus causing him to “do?” Other omnipotent beings must exist along with God."

That’s exactly what I’d ask. I wonder what he’d reply…
[/quote]

There can be only one omnipotent being. If there is another omnipotent being, then one must have power over the other, and then the other is not omnipotent. Alternatively if neither has power over the other, neither is omnipotent, since some being is outside their power.

A further thought: God is unchangeable. God’s ‘decision’ to create is present in him from all eternity. Since God has no before or after, every act of God, with respect to himself, is “now.”

If an outside source could cause God to create, it would mean that some aspect of God went from potentiality to actuality. If that occurred, God would not be God, since He is all Act.


#13

[quote=kyle8921]If there is no passage of time, how did he “know” from all eternity that He would create? What was stopping Him from doing it? How long did he wait, and why?

[/quote]

Well, we will never understand this fully. But I think a reading of Frank Sheed’s “Theology for Beginners,” and “Theology and Sanity,” would be of some help. The trouble is that in thinking of God, we keep trying to anthropomorphize Him.

What was stopping Him from doing it? Nothing. He did it! He created. (Note that I use the past tense only from a human perspective. From God’s perspective, he simply creates.

Also, keep in mind that the phrase “from all eternity” does not indicate an infinite passage of time, but rather an infinite simultaneity. For God, all events are now.


#14

[quote=JimG]There can be only one omnipotent being. If there is another omnipotent being, then one must have power over the other, and then the other is not omnipotent. Alternatively if neither has power over the other, neither is omnipotent, since some being is outside their power.

A further thought: God is unchangeable. God’s ‘decision’ to create is present in him from all eternity. Since God has no before or after, every act of God, with respect to himself, is “now.”

If an outside source could cause God to create, it would mean that some aspect of God went from potentiality to actuality. If that occurred, God would not be God, since He is all Act.
[/quote]

So God never changed, an no outside force made him create. Did he just get bored with eternity and decide to create? And that’s what I don’t get. What caused God to go from potential to actual? Something on it’s own that is eternal and perfect would not have this desire unless something changed withit in, or an outside force caused it.


#15

[quote=kyle8921]So God never changed, an no outside force made him create. Did he just get bored with eternity and decide to create? And that’s what I don’t get. What caused God to go from potential to actual? Something on it’s own that is eternal and perfect would not have this desire unless something changed withit in, or an outside force caused it.
[/quote]

You keep applying time to God. You keep saying He changes over time. He didn’t become bored. Look, we cannot comprehend what it means to be outside time. There is no cause. Like someone else posted, God does and God is–no before and after.


#16

[quote=kyle8921]I can’t accept that answer though, knowing that one is out there! I wish I could write a letter to the new pope, and see what thinks about these thoughts:

How can a perfect “is” do things without having an outside source to alter this perfect “is,” thus causing him to “do?” Other omnipotent beings must exist along with God."

That’s exactly what I’d ask. I wonder what he’d reply…
[/quote]

I think part of the problem is that you are seeing an ‘outside’ to God. God exists inside and outside of everything. There is no outside to God.

Have you ever considered that even quantum physics have not explained certain dualities like time and existance? There is uncertainty here; I think that uncertainty exists because we cannot understand the mind of God.


#17

[quote=kyle8921]If God is infinite, and we aren’t infinite, than he must’ve done things before we existed, or else he just was and did nothing.

Something must have caused him to create us, and that something must have come from an outside source, meaning there are other beings besides God!

A perfect, infinite being does not one day decide to create an entire world and universe without an outside source altering that perfection, or at least thought.

Can someone help me out here?
[/quote]

If it makes you feel any better, recall that He created the Angels first. The Angels could have been created outside time also and may have interacted with Him. The rejection of Him by some (1/3?) of the Angels may have led to the creation of the universe and us as a reaction. Just speculation.

MJW


#18

God, properly speaking, is existence itself. So everything that exists is somehow the result of His creative act. That being said, time itself is a creation of God’s. Time did not exist before He created it; so to say that He did nothing before He created us implies a temporal understanding of God, and the very nature of God denies such an understanding.

St. Augustine attempted to explain this:

“There was no time, therefore, when Thou hadst not made
anything, because Thou hadst made time itself” (Confessions, Book XI, chap. XIV, 17).

So, for all of time, God has been a creator.

The first man to theorize the Big Bang, a devout and holy priest named Father Lemaitre, echoed this theological position when he contended:

“If the world has begun with a single quantum, the notions of space and time would altogether fail to have any meaning at the beginning; they would only begin to have a sensible meaning when the original quantum had been divided into a sufficient number of quanta. If this suggestion is correct, the beginning of the world happened a little before the beginning of space and time.”

This is a scientific theory that is a consequence of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity (1917). It is instructive to see the unity of faith and reason in this instance.

So the immutability (unchanging-ness) of God holds because change is more or less a consequence of time, something that God has complete sovereignty over as Creator. He is not bound by or concept of space and time, which is the result of our presence in a universe defined by such notions. God’s existence is beyond physical explanation and beyond our ability to understand.


#19

[quote=Seeks God]I think part of the problem is that you are seeing an ‘outside’ to God. God exists inside and outside of everything. There is no outside to God.

Have you ever considered that even quantum physics have not explained certain dualities like time and existance? There is uncertainty here; I think that uncertainty exists because we cannot understand the mind of God.
[/quote]

I agree with SG,

Kyle you are trying to apply modern science terms to understand God, that doesnt work.

There is a scientific term you are using:
“Stimulus”

stim·u·lus cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/AHD4/JPG/pron.jpg ( P ) Pronunciation Key (sthttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/AHD4/GIF/ibreve.gifmhttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/AHD4/GIF/prime.gifyhttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/AHD4/GIF/schwa.gif-lhttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/AHD4/GIF/schwa.gifs)
n. pl. **stim·u·li **(-lhttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/AHD4/GIF/imacr.gifhttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/AHD4/GIF/lprime.gif) [list=1]
*]Something causing or regarded as causing a response.
*] An agent, action, or condition that elicits or accelerates a physiological or psychological activity or response.
*] Something that incites or rouses to action; an incentive:
[/list] (dictionary.com)

This term is used in science to describe earthly things. In fact most of the so called “science” is used to try and denounce or disprove God, the bottom line is a lot of those so called “scholars” “scientists”, “experts”, etc are nothing more than confused individuals who think they can play God and understand more than God.
Another thing is we simply cant comprehed what “infinte” means. And as G315 says time is not infinite, it is finite. God takes on no such restrictions like time, space, etc.


#20

[quote=JimG]Saying that God “just is” is not quite the proper way of putting it. Yes, his essence is “to be.” If “to be” were a regular verb, we could say that He be’s to an infinite extent. But to our ears, existence sounds passive, and there is nothing in God which is passive. In Thomistic philosophy, God is all Act, no potentiality.

[/quote]

I think “I AM” is how He put it.

Simply amazing how one could study those two little words their whole life and never scratch the surface.


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