Author Topic: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it  (Read 6190 times)

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Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #45 on: October 29, 2015, 11:20:55 AM »
This question presupposes an anthropomorphic god.

This thread is causing my brain to recall Logic 101. My head can not take it. That was a long, long time ago....

Yes, this is all fascinating, but quite over my head. Thank God for the Orthodox argument of of "reductio ad mysterium." (If that's such a thing.)


Selam
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Offline RobS

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #46 on: October 29, 2015, 11:30:05 AM »
This question presupposes an anthropomorphic god.

This thread is causing my brain to recall Logic 101. My head can not take it. That was a long, long time ago....
Just leave logic at the door. Problem solved.
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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #47 on: October 29, 2015, 11:34:41 AM »
This question presupposes an anthropomorphic god.

This thread is causing my brain to recall Logic 101. My head can not take it. That was a long, long time ago....

Yes, this is all fascinating, but quite over my head. Thank God for the Orthodox argument of of "reductio ad mysterium." (If that's such a thing.)


Selam
I wouldn't sweat some of this hifalutin theology you may come across. As Aquinas said after whatever mystical encounter he had, "All that I have written seems like straw."

Just live out the Gospel. It's all we can do.
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance.

Offline Rohzek

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #48 on: October 29, 2015, 12:11:42 PM »
As much as I respect any Church Father, I cannot help but disagree with the notion that God both exists and doesn't exist. It seems to me that whoever holds such a position treats existence as a quality rather than as a matter of ontology. In which case, I'll simply defer to Immanuel Kant who so eloquently thrashed such a notion (mainly concerning Anselm's proof).
"Il ne faut imaginer Dieu ni trop bon, ni méchant. La justice est entre l'excès de la clémence et la cruauté, ainsi que les peines finies sont entre l'impunité et les peines éternelles." - Denise Diderot, Pensées philosophiques 1746

Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #49 on: October 29, 2015, 01:11:04 PM »
This question presupposes an anthropomorphic god.

This thread is causing my brain to recall Logic 101. My head can not take it. That was a long, long time ago....

Yes, this is all fascinating, but quite over my head. Thank God for the Orthodox argument of of "reductio ad mysterium." (If that's such a thing.)


Selam
I wouldn't sweat some of this hifalutin theology you may come across. As Aquinas said after whatever mystical encounter he had, "All that I have written seems like straw."

Just live out the Gospel. It's all we can do.

Amen to that brother. Thanks.


Selam
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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #50 on: October 29, 2015, 01:11:14 PM »
I was right. 
OC.NET is full of temptations, but in temptations we are enforced, remember about the thread "Temptation in the Desert: Rachel Weisz and the Undoing of Mor Ephrem". OC.NET helps in becoming unpassionate.

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Offline wgw

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #52 on: October 29, 2015, 02:32:55 PM »
Since human free will is a gift of divine free will, then I find it hard to believe that the gift will prevail over the giver. Perhaps it's the "God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it" idea. Again, I am not arguing that God will violate human volition and force His love on anyone. But I do hold out hope that His love is so compelling that perhaps even the demons themselves will be restored by it.

Atheistic logic, which is flawed and biased against God, has imagined a lot of scenarios to prove that God does not exist.

Yet, logic cannot prove a negative, and imagination used in this bent way certainly delights the Evil One.

And then remember that whatever mountain that God can create, He can certainly move it, no matter how heavy. And even more incredible, God gave us the power to move mountains in His name if we have only a little faith. And think how many impressively heavy boulders and rocks will be present in that mountain.
Logic has its limitations.   Even Mr. Spock learned that in the first Star Trek movie. :P 



Assuming you are talking about Star Trek: The Motion Picture, there is a scene absent from the theatrical cut on Netflix but present in other versions, where Commander Decker says, aprospos to this conversation, "Of course!  We all create God in our own image!"
« Last Edit: October 29, 2015, 02:34:29 PM by wgw »
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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #53 on: October 29, 2015, 02:33:52 PM »
I think the real question is, Can a rock lift a god so large he can't make it?
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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #54 on: October 29, 2015, 02:35:49 PM »
I think the real question is, Can a rock lift a god so large he can't make it?

Or, can a lift rock a god too large to make it through the escape hatch?
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Offline Papist

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #55 on: October 29, 2015, 02:37:12 PM »
I think the real question is, Can a rock lift a god so large he can't make it?

Or, can a lift rock a god too large to make it through the escape hatch?
Or how many rock lifting gods can dance on a head of lettuce? Answer: Penguine
« Last Edit: October 29, 2015, 02:37:24 PM by Papist »
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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #56 on: October 29, 2015, 02:46:59 PM »
Since human free will is a gift of divine free will, then I find it hard to believe that the gift will prevail over the giver. Perhaps it's the "God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it" idea. Again, I am not arguing that God will violate human volition and force His love on anyone. But I do hold out hope that His love is so compelling that perhaps even the demons themselves will be restored by it.

Atheistic logic, which is flawed and biased against God, has imagined a lot of scenarios to prove that God does not exist.

Yet, logic cannot prove a negative, and imagination used in this bent way certainly delights the Evil One.

And then remember that whatever mountain that God can create, He can certainly move it, no matter how heavy. And even more incredible, God gave us the power to move mountains in His name if we have only a little faith. And think how many impressively heavy boulders and rocks will be present in that mountain.
Logic has its limitations.   Even Mr. Spock learned that in the first Star Trek movie. :P 



Assuming you are talking about Star Trek: The Motion Picture, there is a scene absent from the theatrical cut on Netflix but present in other versions, where Commander Decker says, aprospos to this conversation, "Of course!  We all create God in our own image!"

I remember that scene.
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #57 on: October 29, 2015, 03:10:18 PM »
I think the real question is, Can a rock lift a god so large he can't make it?

Or, can a lift rock a god too large to make it through the escape hatch?
Or how many rock lifting gods can dance on a head of lettuce? Answer: Penguine

Penguins can't fly, but they can slide off rocks and swim in the sea, which is cool.
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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #58 on: October 29, 2015, 05:42:29 PM »
There is nothing wrong with logic. Logic proceeds from the very nature of God, and we humans use and rely on logic every day of our lives. It is precisely cults which downplay the value of logic.  You can use valid logic in an argument, but the argument can still be bad. The problem isn't with the logical premises, but with the argument itself.

Offline RobS

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #59 on: October 29, 2015, 07:32:50 PM »
As much as I respect any Church Father, I cannot help but disagree with the notion that God both exists and doesn't exist. It seems to me that whoever holds such a position treats existence as a quality rather than as a matter of ontology. In which case, I'll simply defer to Immanuel Kant who so eloquently thrashed such a notion (mainly concerning Anselm's proof).
Well you have to agree first that God is transcendent and that God isn't limited by logic, hence why the OP's statement must be turned on its head as a paradox.

All our descriptions of God fall short, God must be beyond all description, wholly other, unnamable, ineffable, and on and on.

Moreover God cannot exist because that would limit God by his being, which would raise being higher than God. But God, as transcendent, can also be. That doesn't make God just any other thing within the universe, I'm just pointing out that as a transcendent "being" God can freely participate in being and non-being.

But these sorts of discussions I feel distract from what Christians confess, that is who is Jesus Christ? What does that mean in regards to our relationship with God? Is Christianity, or more precisely Orthodoxy, the only way to authentically unite ourselves with God, to share in the life of the Holy Trinity?

I say less on making arguments for God, which are totally superfluous, and focus more on becoming like Christ because that's the best argument you could make.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2015, 07:42:39 PM by nothing »
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Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #60 on: October 29, 2015, 09:02:13 PM »
This is actually an interesting question, but it is flawed because if God cannot lift any rock then He is not All-Powerful. It's like asking "can God not be God"? No, He cannot not be God, but that's not a limit, but rather a lack thereof. Anyway, as the saying goes "God can do everything He wants, but will not do everything He can". It's a matter of will, not of power.

Why is God not capable of limiting His power (and I mean, by this, not 'Why is God not capable of choosing not to exercise His power?' but rather, I mean 'Why is God not capable of eliminating some of God's potential to act in a certain way?')?
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Offline Rohzek

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #61 on: October 29, 2015, 10:30:45 PM »
As much as I respect any Church Father, I cannot help but disagree with the notion that God both exists and doesn't exist. It seems to me that whoever holds such a position treats existence as a quality rather than as a matter of ontology. In which case, I'll simply defer to Immanuel Kant who so eloquently thrashed such a notion (mainly concerning Anselm's proof).
Well you have to agree first that God is transcendent and that God isn't limited by logic, hence why the OP's statement must be turned on its head as a paradox.

All our descriptions of God fall short, God must be beyond all description, wholly other, unnamable, ineffable, and on and on.

Moreover God cannot exist because that would limit God by his being, which would raise being higher than God. But God, as transcendent, can also be. That doesn't make God just any other thing within the universe, I'm just pointing out that as a transcendent "being" God can freely participate in being and non-being.

But these sorts of discussions I feel distract from what Christians confess, that is who is Jesus Christ? What does that mean in regards to our relationship with God? Is Christianity, or more precisely Orthodoxy, the only way to authentically unite ourselves with God, to share in the life of the Holy Trinity?

I say less on making arguments for God, which are totally superfluous, and focus more on becoming like Christ because that's the best argument you could make.

I agree that God is transcendent. I just wouldn't begin to treat existence itself as a quality. I would rather just point to the issue of cognitive limits of human understanding than to go as far as to say: "God exists and doesn't exist." There really isn't a reason to begin to treat existence as a quality in order to describe God's ineffability.
"Il ne faut imaginer Dieu ni trop bon, ni méchant. La justice est entre l'excès de la clémence et la cruauté, ainsi que les peines finies sont entre l'impunité et les peines éternelles." - Denise Diderot, Pensées philosophiques 1746

Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #62 on: October 29, 2015, 11:21:37 PM »
As much as I respect any Church Father, I cannot help but disagree with the notion that God both exists and doesn't exist. It seems to me that whoever holds such a position treats existence as a quality rather than as a matter of ontology. In which case, I'll simply defer to Immanuel Kant who so eloquently thrashed such a notion (mainly concerning Anselm's proof).
Well you have to agree first that God is transcendent and that God isn't limited by logic, hence why the OP's statement must be turned on its head as a paradox.

All our descriptions of God fall short, God must be beyond all description, wholly other, unnamable, ineffable, and on and on.

Moreover God cannot exist because that would limit God by his being, which would raise being higher than God. But God, as transcendent, can also be. That doesn't make God just any other thing within the universe, I'm just pointing out that as a transcendent "being" God can freely participate in being and non-being.

But these sorts of discussions I feel distract from what Christians confess, that is who is Jesus Christ? What does that mean in regards to our relationship with God? Is Christianity, or more precisely Orthodoxy, the only way to authentically unite ourselves with God, to share in the life of the Holy Trinity?

I say less on making arguments for God, which are totally superfluous, and focus more on becoming like Christ because that's the best argument you could make.


One cannot simply say who Christ is.  Who Christ is cannot be separated from what the Trinity is (which requires some understanding, some reflection, some poetry on who God - used in the appropriate sense as the first person of the Trinity - and who the Holy Spirit is).  And who the Trinity is requires an understanding of what salvation is and by what we are saved (and, I'd add, that this is essentially because if the great work of God - used either in the sense of the first person or in the sense of the Trinity collectively - is salvation, as most Orthodox, and most apostolic, Christians would say, then one must understand soteriology, as salvation is the core act of God, which - I would argue - means it is, in some sense, what God is).  This, however, cannot be separated from ecclesiology, as - if St. Paul's words mean anything - the Church is the Body of Christ, and is - in some sense - Christ, which consequently demands that to speak either of the Church or of God, one must speak of both.  All of this, of course, requires an understanding of Eucharist as it relates to each of these three areas and in itself, as Eucharist is also the Body of Christ, and consequently can't be separated from any discussion of either the Trinity or of the Church (or, indeed, of soteriology as Christ would seem to have the central role in this area).


This is a very long way of saying, no discussion of the nature of God - or, in fact, of any other fundamental area of theology - can actually be separated from any other.  One cannot speak truthfully about one area without - at least - always keeping the others in the back of one's mind.  To compartmentalize theology, even such an essential element as who Christ is, is to destroy theology.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2015, 11:27:26 PM by JamesRottnek »
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Offline IoanC

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #63 on: October 30, 2015, 05:19:06 AM »
God does not exist in the sense that He could possibly not exist. God exists in the sense that God IS. I tend to agree with those who say that anthropomorphic understandings of God's mode of being or what He can do are flawed. God can only be approached through mystery and His mode of being is infinitely transcendent (unreachable by intellect). God is not concerned about whether we can prove that He exists or not, but how we relate to Him. There is evidence of God, but not proof. Evidence means that God has already revealed Himself. Proof means our intellect can discern God's transcendence which it cannot. God couldn't care less about whether He make a rock He cannot lift. God only cares about what He actually wants to do which is sufficient because He is God and everything He does is perfect. God is simple, but the human intellect makes Him complicated by trying to discern Him instead of relating to Him as He is.

Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #64 on: October 30, 2015, 05:35:58 AM »
God does not exist in the sense that He could possibly not exist. God exists in the sense that God IS. I tend to agree with those who say that anthropomorphic understandings of God's mode of being or what He can do are flawed. God can only be approached through mystery and His mode of being is infinitely transcendent (unreachable by intellect). God is not concerned about whether we can prove that He exists or not, but how we relate to Him. There is evidence of God, but not proof. Evidence means that God has already revealed Himself. Proof means our intellect can discern God's transcendence which it cannot. God couldn't care less about whether He make a rock He cannot lift. God only cares about what He actually wants to do which is sufficient because He is God and everything He does is perfect. God is simple, but the human intellect makes Him complicated by trying to discern Him instead of relating to Him as He is.

There's a problem with the idea that God's "mode of being" is "infinitely transcendent."  The Incarnation.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2015, 05:36:09 AM by JamesRottnek »
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Offline IoanC

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #65 on: October 30, 2015, 05:36:18 AM »
After all, what is more important? Whether God cannot cannot lift a rock, or whether He can lift any? Of course, it's whether He can lift any rock. That's what glorifies Him. Or, is the fact that God cannot be evil a limitation? Not at all, but a quality. Yet, God has made at least one "rock" He cannot lift and that is the human free will which is man's alone. God has already accomplished all things possible and impossible, but not in the way that we would prescribe for Him.

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #66 on: October 30, 2015, 05:37:57 AM »
God does not exist in the sense that He could possibly not exist. God exists in the sense that God IS. I tend to agree with those who say that anthropomorphic understandings of God's mode of being or what He can do are flawed. God can only be approached through mystery and His mode of being is infinitely transcendent (unreachable by intellect). God is not concerned about whether we can prove that He exists or not, but how we relate to Him. There is evidence of God, but not proof. Evidence means that God has already revealed Himself. Proof means our intellect can discern God's transcendence which it cannot. God couldn't care less about whether He make a rock He cannot lift. God only cares about what He actually wants to do which is sufficient because He is God and everything He does is perfect. God is simple, but the human intellect makes Him complicated by trying to discern Him instead of relating to Him as He is.

There's a problem with the idea that God's "mode of being" is "infinitely transcendent."  The Incarnation.

But God did not take human form in order to limit Himself, but to transfigure His human nature in an infinite way. Christ is Divinely Human, not Humanly Divine.

Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #67 on: October 30, 2015, 07:31:08 AM »
After all, what is more important? Whether God cannot cannot lift a rock, or whether He can lift any? Of course, it's whether He can lift any rock. That's what glorifies Him. Or, is the fact that God cannot be evil a limitation? Not at all, but a quality. Yet, God has made at least one "rock" He cannot lift and that is the human free will which is man's alone. God has already accomplished all things possible and impossible, but not in the way that we would prescribe for Him.

Except that qualities are limitations.  If you want to set up that God has no limitations, a better line of argument, then, would be that God has no qualities.

If I have the quality of being human, these means by definition that I do not have the quality of being a dog (and consequently, cannot - truly - act like a dog; I cannot act like a dog because I am limited, by the quality of being human, from thinking as a dog thinks and feeling as a dog feels - the most I can hope for is to imitate the dog).  If I have the quality of being a good person, to such an extent that I cannot do wrong, then I am limited from doing wrong.  Even if wrong is also defined as a quality (that is, that no act in itself is 'wrong' but rather that 'wrong' is a state of being, or an extension of a state of being) I am still limited, and unable to be wrong, if the qualities of 'wrong' and 'good' are incompatible.

To say that God has the quality of being good is to say that God cannot have the quality being evil.  God is, then limited.
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Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #68 on: October 30, 2015, 07:34:56 AM »
God does not exist in the sense that He could possibly not exist. God exists in the sense that God IS. I tend to agree with those who say that anthropomorphic understandings of God's mode of being or what He can do are flawed. God can only be approached through mystery and His mode of being is infinitely transcendent (unreachable by intellect). God is not concerned about whether we can prove that He exists or not, but how we relate to Him. There is evidence of God, but not proof. Evidence means that God has already revealed Himself. Proof means our intellect can discern God's transcendence which it cannot. God couldn't care less about whether He make a rock He cannot lift. God only cares about what He actually wants to do which is sufficient because He is God and everything He does is perfect. God is simple, but the human intellect makes Him complicated by trying to discern Him instead of relating to Him as He is.

There's a problem with the idea that God's "mode of being" is "infinitely transcendent."  The Incarnation.

But God did not take human form in order to limit Himself, but to transfigure His human nature in an infinite way. Christ is Divinely Human, not Humanly Divine.

Christ is neither Divinely Human nor Humanly Divine.  Christ is the God-Man and Man-God.  He is both perfectly divine and perfectly human, simultaneously, without confusion, intermingling, or consumption of one nature by the other.  To say that he is "Divinely Human, not Humanly Divine' is to say that the Incarnation is really just the Logos putting on flesh, as though it were a garment.  That is heresy that undermines the very basics of the understanding of Christology, which can be found in On the Incarnation.

And does it matter if God took "human form in order to limit Himself?"  Does the reason God took human form necessarily limit the effect of taking human form?  (And, here, I would re-iterate, that God did not 'take human form;' that's blasphemy and heresy: God became Man.)
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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #69 on: October 30, 2015, 08:38:39 AM »
After all, what is more important? Whether God cannot cannot lift a rock, or whether He can lift any? Of course, it's whether He can lift any rock. That's what glorifies Him. Or, is the fact that God cannot be evil a limitation? Not at all, but a quality. Yet, God has made at least one "rock" He cannot lift and that is the human free will which is man's alone. God has already accomplished all things possible and impossible, but not in the way that we would prescribe for Him.

Except that qualities are limitations.  If you want to set up that God has no limitations, a better line of argument, then, would be that God has no qualities.

If I have the quality of being human, these means by definition that I do not have the quality of being a dog (and consequently, cannot - truly - act like a dog; I cannot act like a dog because I am limited, by the quality of being human, from thinking as a dog thinks and feeling as a dog feels - the most I can hope for is to imitate the dog).  If I have the quality of being a good person, to such an extent that I cannot do wrong, then I am limited from doing wrong.  Even if wrong is also defined as a quality (that is, that no act in itself is 'wrong' but rather that 'wrong' is a state of being, or an extension of a state of being) I am still limited, and unable to be wrong, if the qualities of 'wrong' and 'good' are incompatible.

To say that God has the quality of being good is to say that God cannot have the quality being evil.  God is, then limited.

Not having attributes that are negative is not a limitation because negative attributes are by definition limiting while good attributes are by definition infinite.  We have to take into account the quality of attributes, not only the quantity. 

Offline Amatorus

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #70 on: October 30, 2015, 08:41:30 AM »
After all, what is more important? Whether God cannot cannot lift a rock, or whether He can lift any? Of course, it's whether He can lift any rock. That's what glorifies Him. Or, is the fact that God cannot be evil a limitation? Not at all, but a quality. Yet, God has made at least one "rock" He cannot lift and that is the human free will which is man's alone. God has already accomplished all things possible and impossible, but not in the way that we would prescribe for Him.

Except that qualities are limitations.  If you want to set up that God has no limitations, a better line of argument, then, would be that God has no qualities.

If I have the quality of being human, these means by definition that I do not have the quality of being a dog (and consequently, cannot - truly - act like a dog; I cannot act like a dog because I am limited, by the quality of being human, from thinking as a dog thinks and feeling as a dog feels - the most I can hope for is to imitate the dog).  If I have the quality of being a good person, to such an extent that I cannot do wrong, then I am limited from doing wrong.  Even if wrong is also defined as a quality (that is, that no act in itself is 'wrong' but rather that 'wrong' is a state of being, or an extension of a state of being) I am still limited, and unable to be wrong, if the qualities of 'wrong' and 'good' are incompatible.

To say that God has the quality of being good is to say that God cannot have the quality being evil.  God is, then limited.

If God is omnibenevolent but also omnipotent, that means also he must be omnimalevolent. And after all He does let the Devil exist. But the problem is our sense of what is "good" and "evil" is defined entirely by our minds and limited universe, or rather what God has told us so. Our very perceptions of what a quality is, like seeing the sky is blue or what is big or what is hot or cold etc. is defined by our own extremely limited and often pre-defined conceptions. Is your red the same as my red? We don't know. God is only as infinitely good as He defines hmself because morality has been defined by Him. He is Infinity.

Offline IoanC

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #71 on: October 30, 2015, 08:43:10 AM »
God does not exist in the sense that He could possibly not exist. God exists in the sense that God IS. I tend to agree with those who say that anthropomorphic understandings of God's mode of being or what He can do are flawed. God can only be approached through mystery and His mode of being is infinitely transcendent (unreachable by intellect). God is not concerned about whether we can prove that He exists or not, but how we relate to Him. There is evidence of God, but not proof. Evidence means that God has already revealed Himself. Proof means our intellect can discern God's transcendence which it cannot. God couldn't care less about whether He make a rock He cannot lift. God only cares about what He actually wants to do which is sufficient because He is God and everything He does is perfect. God is simple, but the human intellect makes Him complicated by trying to discern Him instead of relating to Him as He is.

There's a problem with the idea that God's "mode of being" is "infinitely transcendent."  The Incarnation.

But God did not take human form in order to limit Himself, but to transfigure His human nature in an infinite way. Christ is Divinely Human, not Humanly Divine.

Christ is neither Divinely Human nor Humanly Divine.  Christ is the God-Man and Man-God.  He is both perfectly divine and perfectly human, simultaneously, without confusion, intermingling, or consumption of one nature by the other.  To say that he is "Divinely Human, not Humanly Divine' is to say that the Incarnation is really just the Logos putting on flesh, as though it were a garment.  That is heresy that undermines the very basics of the understanding of Christology, which can be found in On the Incarnation.

And does it matter if God took "human form in order to limit Himself?"  Does the reason God took human form necessarily limit the effect of taking human form?  (And, here, I would re-iterate, that God did not 'take human form;' that's blasphemy and heresy: God became Man.)

Christ is only God-Man, not Man-God. And it is capital G and capital M at that. Man is man-god, small m and small g. God did not become man in the sense that man is man, but in the sense that He took on a human nature that is His alone and that He transfigures without intermingling.

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #72 on: October 30, 2015, 10:03:54 AM »
I just wanted to add what I've been saying about Kant. This comes from Critique of Pure Reason. He is talking about the ontological argument here, but he is attacking it specifically from the angle that existence or being is not a quality, which I think many here have assumed. In short for those who don't understand the terminology, predicates = qualities:

Quote
I should have hoped to put an end to these idle and fruitless disputations in a direct manner, by an accurate determination of the concept of existence, had I not found that the illusion which is caused by the confusion of a logical with a real predicate (that is, with a predicate which determines a thing) is almost beyond correction. Anything we please can be made to serve as a logical predicate; the subject can even be predicated of itself; for logic abstracts from all content. But a determining predicate is a predicate which is added to the concept of the subject and enlarges it. Consequently, it must not be already contained in the concept. 'Being' is obviously not a real predicate; that is, it is not a concept of something which could be added to the concept of a thing. It is merely the positing of a thing, or of certain determinations, as existing in themselves. Logically, it is merely the copula of a judgment. The proposition, 'God is omnipotent', P 505 contains two concepts, each of which has its object -- God and omnipotence. The small word 'is' adds no new predicate, but only serves to posit the predicate in its relation to the subject. If, now, we take the subject (God) with all its predicates (among which is omnipotence), and say 'God is', or 'There is a God', we attach no new predicate to the concept of God, but only posit the subject in itself with all its predicates, and indeed posit it as being an object that stands in relation to my concept. The content of both must be one and the same; nothing can have been added to the concept, which expresses merely what is possible, by my thinking its object (through the expression 'it is') as given absolutely. Otherwise stated, the real contains no more than the merely possible.
"Il ne faut imaginer Dieu ni trop bon, ni méchant. La justice est entre l'excès de la clémence et la cruauté, ainsi que les peines finies sont entre l'impunité et les peines éternelles." - Denise Diderot, Pensées philosophiques 1746

Offline RobS

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #73 on: October 30, 2015, 11:16:35 AM »
I'll try to get around to this more when I feel better, I take being, as such, as not a thing. In other words, in virtue of what makes beings as beings *is* not another being. Being and nothing (although I'd write that as no-thing) are the same. There lies the ontological difference.

So I would say that things are, but things are grounded in no-thing (Being). That to me seems the crucial cue I take from Heidegger and which is why Kant is fundamentally in error by forgetting this difference.

And to James, I'll get to you later. My questions were more framing the discussion in a way that moves us away from arguments for God (which really aren't arguments of the true God that Christians claim).
« Last Edit: October 30, 2015, 11:17:52 AM by nothing »
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #74 on: October 30, 2015, 11:49:38 AM »
God does not exist in the sense that He could possibly not exist. God exists in the sense that God IS. I tend to agree with those who say that anthropomorphic understandings of God's mode of being or what He can do are flawed. God can only be approached through mystery and His mode of being is infinitely transcendent (unreachable by intellect). God is not concerned about whether we can prove that He exists or not, but how we relate to Him. There is evidence of God, but not proof. Evidence means that God has already revealed Himself. Proof means our intellect can discern God's transcendence which it cannot. God couldn't care less about whether He make a rock He cannot lift. God only cares about what He actually wants to do which is sufficient because He is God and everything He does is perfect. God is simple, but the human intellect makes Him complicated by trying to discern Him instead of relating to Him as He is.

There's a problem with the idea that God's "mode of being" is "infinitely transcendent."  The Incarnation.

But God did not take human form in order to limit Himself, but to transfigure His human nature in an infinite way. Christ is Divinely Human, not Humanly Divine.

Christ is neither Divinely Human nor Humanly Divine.  Christ is the God-Man and Man-God.  He is both perfectly divine and perfectly human, simultaneously, without confusion, intermingling, or consumption of one nature by the other.  To say that he is "Divinely Human, not Humanly Divine' is to say that the Incarnation is really just the Logos putting on flesh, as though it were a garment.  That is heresy that undermines the very basics of the understanding of Christology, which can be found in On the Incarnation.

And does it matter if God took "human form in order to limit Himself?"  Does the reason God took human form necessarily limit the effect of taking human form?  (And, here, I would re-iterate, that God did not 'take human form;' that's blasphemy and heresy: God became Man.)

Christ is only God-Man, not Man-God. And it is capital G and capital M at that. Man is man-god, small m and small g. God did not become man in the sense that man is man, but in the sense that He took on a human nature that is His alone and that He transfigures without intermingling.
It might help if you define this term "Man-God" so we can understand how you're using this term, how it differs from "God-Man", and why Jesus is only the latter but not the former. Otherwise, I fear that you're merely talking past your audience.
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #75 on: October 30, 2015, 11:52:46 AM »
God does not exist in the sense that He could possibly not exist. God exists in the sense that God IS. I tend to agree with those who say that anthropomorphic understandings of God's mode of being or what He can do are flawed. God can only be approached through mystery and His mode of being is infinitely transcendent (unreachable by intellect). God is not concerned about whether we can prove that He exists or not, but how we relate to Him. There is evidence of God, but not proof. Evidence means that God has already revealed Himself. Proof means our intellect can discern God's transcendence which it cannot. God couldn't care less about whether He make a rock He cannot lift. God only cares about what He actually wants to do which is sufficient because He is God and everything He does is perfect. God is simple, but the human intellect makes Him complicated by trying to discern Him instead of relating to Him as He is.

There's a problem with the idea that God's "mode of being" is "infinitely transcendent."  The Incarnation.

But God did not take human form in order to limit Himself, but to transfigure His human nature in an infinite way. Christ is Divinely Human, not Humanly Divine.

Christ is neither Divinely Human nor Humanly Divine.  Christ is the God-Man and Man-God.  He is both perfectly divine and perfectly human, simultaneously, without confusion, intermingling, or consumption of one nature by the other.  To say that he is "Divinely Human, not Humanly Divine' is to say that the Incarnation is really just the Logos putting on flesh, as though it were a garment.  That is heresy that undermines the very basics of the understanding of Christology, which can be found in On the Incarnation.

And does it matter if God took "human form in order to limit Himself?"  Does the reason God took human form necessarily limit the effect of taking human form?  (And, here, I would re-iterate, that God did not 'take human form;' that's blasphemy and heresy: God became Man.)
Might we want to let the speaker define his words rather than redefine them based on how we read them and then charge the speaker with teaching heresy?
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Offline RobS

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #76 on: October 30, 2015, 12:00:31 PM »
Or we can stop using ridiculous terms like "God-Man" or "Man-God".
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

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Offline IoanC

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #77 on: October 30, 2015, 12:14:11 PM »
God does not exist in the sense that He could possibly not exist. God exists in the sense that God IS. I tend to agree with those who say that anthropomorphic understandings of God's mode of being or what He can do are flawed. God can only be approached through mystery and His mode of being is infinitely transcendent (unreachable by intellect). God is not concerned about whether we can prove that He exists or not, but how we relate to Him. There is evidence of God, but not proof. Evidence means that God has already revealed Himself. Proof means our intellect can discern God's transcendence which it cannot. God couldn't care less about whether He make a rock He cannot lift. God only cares about what He actually wants to do which is sufficient because He is God and everything He does is perfect. God is simple, but the human intellect makes Him complicated by trying to discern Him instead of relating to Him as He is.

There's a problem with the idea that God's "mode of being" is "infinitely transcendent."  The Incarnation.

But God did not take human form in order to limit Himself, but to transfigure His human nature in an infinite way. Christ is Divinely Human, not Humanly Divine.

Christ is neither Divinely Human nor Humanly Divine.  Christ is the God-Man and Man-God.  He is both perfectly divine and perfectly human, simultaneously, without confusion, intermingling, or consumption of one nature by the other.  To say that he is "Divinely Human, not Humanly Divine' is to say that the Incarnation is really just the Logos putting on flesh, as though it were a garment.  That is heresy that undermines the very basics of the understanding of Christology, which can be found in On the Incarnation.

And does it matter if God took "human form in order to limit Himself?"  Does the reason God took human form necessarily limit the effect of taking human form?  (And, here, I would re-iterate, that God did not 'take human form;' that's blasphemy and heresy: God became Man.)

Christ is only God-Man, not Man-God. And it is capital G and capital M at that. Man is man-god, small m and small g. God did not become man in the sense that man is man, but in the sense that He took on a human nature that is His alone and that He transfigures without intermingling.
It might help if you define this term "Man-God" so we can understand how you're using this term, how it differs from "God-Man", and why Jesus is only the latter but not the former. Otherwise, I fear that you're merely talking past your audience.

God-Man means that Christ is primarily Divine/God and secondarily Human, that His Divine nature leads His Human one. He has both, but in a certain order. Man-God would mean the opposite -- being primarily Human and secondarily Divine.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #78 on: October 30, 2015, 01:23:42 PM »
God does not exist in the sense that He could possibly not exist. God exists in the sense that God IS. I tend to agree with those who say that anthropomorphic understandings of God's mode of being or what He can do are flawed. God can only be approached through mystery and His mode of being is infinitely transcendent (unreachable by intellect). God is not concerned about whether we can prove that He exists or not, but how we relate to Him. There is evidence of God, but not proof. Evidence means that God has already revealed Himself. Proof means our intellect can discern God's transcendence which it cannot. God couldn't care less about whether He make a rock He cannot lift. God only cares about what He actually wants to do which is sufficient because He is God and everything He does is perfect. God is simple, but the human intellect makes Him complicated by trying to discern Him instead of relating to Him as He is.

There's a problem with the idea that God's "mode of being" is "infinitely transcendent."  The Incarnation.

But God did not take human form in order to limit Himself, but to transfigure His human nature in an infinite way. Christ is Divinely Human, not Humanly Divine.

Christ is neither Divinely Human nor Humanly Divine.  Christ is the God-Man and Man-God.  He is both perfectly divine and perfectly human, simultaneously, without confusion, intermingling, or consumption of one nature by the other.  To say that he is "Divinely Human, not Humanly Divine' is to say that the Incarnation is really just the Logos putting on flesh, as though it were a garment.  That is heresy that undermines the very basics of the understanding of Christology, which can be found in On the Incarnation.

And does it matter if God took "human form in order to limit Himself?"  Does the reason God took human form necessarily limit the effect of taking human form?  (And, here, I would re-iterate, that God did not 'take human form;' that's blasphemy and heresy: God became Man.)

Christ is only God-Man, not Man-God. And it is capital G and capital M at that. Man is man-god, small m and small g. God did not become man in the sense that man is man, but in the sense that He took on a human nature that is His alone and that He transfigures without intermingling.
It might help if you define this term "Man-God" so we can understand how you're using this term, how it differs from "God-Man", and why Jesus is only the latter but not the former. Otherwise, I fear that you're merely talking past your audience.

God-Man means that Christ is primarily Divine/God and secondarily Human, that His Divine nature leads His Human one. He has both, but in a certain order. Man-God would mean the opposite -- being primarily Human and secondarily Divine.
Is this a definition you constructed out of your own understanding of the Incarnation, or was this given to you?
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Offline Maria

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #79 on: October 30, 2015, 03:28:35 PM »
This is actually an interesting question, but it is flawed because if God cannot lift any rock then He is not All-Powerful. It's like asking "can God not be God"? No, He cannot not be God, but that's not a limit, but rather a lack thereof. Anyway, as the saying goes "God can do everything He wants, but will not do everything He can". It's a matter of will, not of power.

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The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

Offline Maria

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #80 on: October 30, 2015, 03:40:05 PM »
God does not exist in the sense that He could possibly not exist. God exists in the sense that God IS. I tend to agree with those who say that anthropomorphic understandings of God's mode of being or what He can do are flawed. God can only be approached through mystery and His mode of being is infinitely transcendent (unreachable by intellect). God is not concerned about whether we can prove that He exists or not, but how we relate to Him. There is evidence of God, but not proof. Evidence means that God has already revealed Himself. Proof means our intellect can discern God's transcendence which it cannot. God couldn't care less about whether He make a rock He cannot lift. God only cares about what He actually wants to do which is sufficient because He is God and everything He does is perfect. God is simple, but the human intellect makes Him complicated by trying to discern Him instead of relating to Him as He is.

There's a problem with the idea that God's "mode of being" is "infinitely transcendent."  The Incarnation.

But God did not take human form in order to limit Himself, but to transfigure His human nature in an infinite way. Christ is Divinely Human, not Humanly Divine.

Christ is neither Divinely Human nor Humanly Divine.  Christ is the God-Man and Man-God.  He is both perfectly divine and perfectly human, simultaneously, without confusion, intermingling, or consumption of one nature by the other.  To say that he is "Divinely Human, not Humanly Divine' is to say that the Incarnation is really just the Logos putting on flesh, as though it were a garment.  That is heresy that undermines the very basics of the understanding of Christology, which can be found in On the Incarnation.

And does it matter if God took "human form in order to limit Himself?"  Does the reason God took human form necessarily limit the effect of taking human form?  (And, here, I would re-iterate, that God did not 'take human form;' that's blasphemy and heresy: God became Man.)

Christ is only God-Man, not Man-God. And it is capital G and capital M at that. Man is man-god, small m and small g. God did not become man in the sense that man is man, but in the sense that He took on a human nature that is His alone and that He transfigures without intermingling.
It might help if you define this term "Man-God" so we can understand how you're using this term, how it differs from "God-Man", and why Jesus is only the latter but not the former. Otherwise, I fear that you're merely talking past your audience.

God-Man means that Christ is primarily Divine/God and secondarily Human, that His Divine nature leads His Human one. He has both, but in a certain order. Man-God would mean the opposite -- being primarily Human and secondarily Divine.

I agree. God-Man refers to Christ as the Incarnate God. Before Christ's Incarnation was proclaimed at the Annunciation, Christ was the Pre-Eternal Incarnate God, as He walked with Adam in the Garden of Eden, visited Abraham as one of the three Angels, and then appeared as an Young Man or Angel in the raging furnace  with the Three Youths.

Man-God has the Arian connotation that Christ was not always God. This was condemned as a heresy.

And yes, God's eternal existence is beyond our understanding because we have no concept of eternity nor of existence. Our life is but a fragile breath that can be taken away at any time.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2015, 04:08:17 PM by Maria »
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

Offline Papist

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #81 on: October 30, 2015, 03:53:17 PM »
Can God make a polygon that is both a square and a triangle?
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

Offline RobS

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #82 on: October 30, 2015, 03:56:10 PM »
Can God make a polygon that is both a square and a triangle?
Yes
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance.

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #83 on: October 30, 2015, 04:05:11 PM »
Can God make a polygon that is both a square and a triangle?
Yes

That would not be God, but the devil, as he is the shapeshifter.
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

Offline RobS

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #84 on: October 30, 2015, 04:08:12 PM »
Can God make a polygon that is both a square and a triangle?
Yes

That would not be God, but the devil, as he is the shapeshifter.
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance.

Offline Theophania

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #85 on: October 30, 2015, 04:13:12 PM »
Can God make a polygon that is both a square and a triangle?
Yes

That would not be God, but the devil, as he is the shapeshifter.

What?
It's common knowledge that you secretly want to be born in early 17th century Russia.  As a serf or a royal, I know not.  Chances are serf.

Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #86 on: October 30, 2015, 04:16:24 PM »
After all, what is more important? Whether God cannot cannot lift a rock, or whether He can lift any? Of course, it's whether He can lift any rock. That's what glorifies Him. Or, is the fact that God cannot be evil a limitation? Not at all, but a quality. Yet, God has made at least one "rock" He cannot lift and that is the human free will which is man's alone. God has already accomplished all things possible and impossible, but not in the way that we would prescribe for Him.

Except that qualities are limitations.  If you want to set up that God has no limitations, a better line of argument, then, would be that God has no qualities.

If I have the quality of being human, these means by definition that I do not have the quality of being a dog (and consequently, cannot - truly - act like a dog; I cannot act like a dog because I am limited, by the quality of being human, from thinking as a dog thinks and feeling as a dog feels - the most I can hope for is to imitate the dog).  If I have the quality of being a good person, to such an extent that I cannot do wrong, then I am limited from doing wrong.  Even if wrong is also defined as a quality (that is, that no act in itself is 'wrong' but rather that 'wrong' is a state of being, or an extension of a state of being) I am still limited, and unable to be wrong, if the qualities of 'wrong' and 'good' are incompatible.

To say that God has the quality of being good is to say that God cannot have the quality being evil.  God is, then limited.

Not having attributes that are negative is not a limitation because negative attributes are by definition limiting while good attributes are by definition infinite.  We have to take into account the quality of attributes, not only the quantity.

So are actions not inherently evil?  That is, is there no action which is evil, that evil is only a quality?
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Offline Maria

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #87 on: October 30, 2015, 04:17:15 PM »
Can God make a polygon that is both a square and a triangle?
Yes

That would not be God, but the devil, as he is the shapeshifter.

What?

That is a very impolite response, Kelly, and a sign of not being properly educated.

Haven't you ever read Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown?
Most high school or college students have read this short story of the shapeshifting devil.
http://www.online-literature.com/poe/158/

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Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

Offline ZealousZeal

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #88 on: October 30, 2015, 04:18:17 PM »
God did not become man in the sense that man is man, but in the sense that He took on a human nature that is His alone and that He transfigures without intermingling.

Could you explain what you mean by this, please? If God did not become man in the sense that we are, then what was redeemed for us?
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Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: God cannot make a rock so heavy that He is unable to lift it
« Reply #89 on: October 30, 2015, 04:18:24 PM »
God does not exist in the sense that He could possibly not exist. God exists in the sense that God IS. I tend to agree with those who say that anthropomorphic understandings of God's mode of being or what He can do are flawed. God can only be approached through mystery and His mode of being is infinitely transcendent (unreachable by intellect). God is not concerned about whether we can prove that He exists or not, but how we relate to Him. There is evidence of God, but not proof. Evidence means that God has already revealed Himself. Proof means our intellect can discern God's transcendence which it cannot. God couldn't care less about whether He make a rock He cannot lift. God only cares about what He actually wants to do which is sufficient because He is God and everything He does is perfect. God is simple, but the human intellect makes Him complicated by trying to discern Him instead of relating to Him as He is.

There's a problem with the idea that God's "mode of being" is "infinitely transcendent."  The Incarnation.

But God did not take human form in order to limit Himself, but to transfigure His human nature in an infinite way. Christ is Divinely Human, not Humanly Divine.

Christ is neither Divinely Human nor Humanly Divine.  Christ is the God-Man and Man-God.  He is both perfectly divine and perfectly human, simultaneously, without confusion, intermingling, or consumption of one nature by the other.  To say that he is "Divinely Human, not Humanly Divine' is to say that the Incarnation is really just the Logos putting on flesh, as though it were a garment.  That is heresy that undermines the very basics of the understanding of Christology, which can be found in On the Incarnation.

And does it matter if God took "human form in order to limit Himself?"  Does the reason God took human form necessarily limit the effect of taking human form?  (And, here, I would re-iterate, that God did not 'take human form;' that's blasphemy and heresy: God became Man.)

Christ is only God-Man, not Man-God. And it is capital G and capital M at that. Man is man-god, small m and small g. God did not become man in the sense that man is man, but in the sense that He took on a human nature that is His alone and that He transfigures without intermingling.

If Christ "took on a human nature that is His alone" then he is not human. 

You've undermined the entirety of Christology, that is, On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius.  "God became Man that Man might become God."
"Homosexuality has been a popular topic, but not Satanic trances."

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011