Saturday, April 5, 2014

If God is omnipotent, can He create a rock that He cannot lift?

If God is omnipotent, can He create a rock that He cannot lift?  Does the existence of objective morality prove the existence of God? Is the anthropic principal proof for the existence of God?  Why is the universe intelligible?

I've been thinking about all of these questions lately, and I think I just stumbled on a single answer that deals with all of them...

The first question can be rephrased like this-  if God is all powerful, can he create a logical inconsistency?  Can he declare that 2 + 2 = 5?  I have long held that He cannot, but this is not a limit on his power, but a constraint that logic puts on reality.  As Tobias noted in "The Battle for Moriah"-  "Logic is the form of truth, truth is the matter of logic."  So logic and truth are interdependent!

As for objective morality-  a lot of people seem to argue that the fact that there is an objective moral law implies that there is an objective moral law giver.  So if you agree that the fact that Hitler shipped Jews to concentration camps was wrong, despite the fact that many Germans agreed with it, that even though cultural values can shift some things are wrong anyway-  than you agree that there is an objective moral law.  But the thing is, I don't want a God who dictates morality-  I want a God who is Himself subject to morality!  I don't believe that God can declare that genocide is right any more than He can declare that 2 + 2=5.  I know that I just opened a whole different can of worms, but I'm going to keep going...

The Anthropic principal is the idea that Earth seems so perfectly, uncannily suited for human life, it must have therefore been created for it.  The response is, of course, that human life sprang out of this environment, rather than the environment being created for us. But people can extend it further and talk about how actually all of the physical laws in the universe seem fine tuned towards the sustaining of life!  That if any law were off by just the slightest degree, the whole universe wouldn't work properly... and so we couldn't then exist.  Therefore God must have dictated the laws of physics so that everything could work. Naturalists, who don't believe in God, have had to address this extremely unlikely principal as well, and have posited that maybe there are actually billions of universes, in what is called the "Multiverse", and that since there are then only one of them would have to have the qualities necessary for life, and that one is, of course, the one we happen to live in.  But that is mere speculation, of course.

Then there's Einsteins famous quote "The most unintelligible thing in the universe is that it is intelligible."  Like what are the chances that life could evolve completely by accident, to a point where it could not only discuss these questions, but actually discover the answers?  

Anyway, I am not going to bother trying to prove the existence of God on any of these grounds right now.  But I think I had a cool insight- Jesus is the "Word made flesh".  In greek the word "Word" is "Logos".  As in "Logy" at the end of many scientific disciplines titles, (biology, anthropology, etc) or as in Logic.  So if Jesus is the Logic....

It says that all things were created through him. So then all things should be logical.  And they are!  And being created in His image and likeness, we have the ability to comprehend them.

But wait, there's more!

God the Father's proper name in the Bible is YHWH-  likely a derivation of the verb "to be".  In other words, his proper name is "Existence"  (hence I am who am.)

So everything that exists exists because the Father exists, and nothing could exist without the Father.  But because the Father exists, the son necessarily exists- hence eternally begotten by the Father, but is con substantial with the Father.... you can't have existence without logic.

Which makes me wonder if the laws of morality are like the laws of Physics or Math or Logic-  necessities of existence- and thus found in the Word?

But on the other hand, the Spirit is personified wisdom... maybe that is where the morality is seated?  This still gives it a necessary existence, that cannot be dictated.  That way morals just are what they are.  And the more we respond to the Spirit, the more our own will will conform to that of God.

But then consider that God is love-  what is morality if not love applied logically and with wisdom?

Which taps into another question.. about the nature or conscience.  Maybe rather than determining morality, conscience discovers it, and just as the mathematical part of our brain can compute better if it is trained, so our conscience has to be trained so that it can recognize the truth of morality.

I have a suspicion that someone could write an entire PHD thesis on these ideas-  but for now I will just submit them to the void and see what insights come back!

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