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Author Topic: How does God act in the world?  (Read 1902 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 24, 2010, 09:31:33 AM »

Some theories on how God acts in the world. Are any necessarily incompatible with Orthodoxy?

1. Deism: God created matter in the very beginning, and gave matter certain properties such that matter acted according to well-defined natural laws, such that the universe can now develop without the direct interference of God. Anything seemingly miraculous is due to God-given natural laws we humans haven't yet recognized.

2. Radical theism (or "occasionalism"): Everything that happens, is due to God's direct action, not due to a natural cause. The sun does not cause water to evaporate. God causes the water to evaporate. The observation that when the sun shines on water, the sun causes water to evaporate, is due to humans mistakenly thinking that "x causes y", when actually "God causes x" and "God causes y". God causes the sun's existence, and God causes the sun to shine on water, and God causes the water to evaporate.

3. Via Secondary Causes: God is the primary cause (or "direct cause") of the mere existence of nature, but God acts through nature in order to fulfill his will. These acts of nature, or secondary causes, make up the web of cause-and-effect in the natural world. Secondary causes are natural causes. If God wants water to evaporate, then God would act through the sun as a natural cause, rather than directly causing water to evaporate.

4. Via Persuasion: God "persuades" nature to act in ways consistent with his will, but he can't force nature to act thus. This fact would explain why natural disasters (killing hundreds or thousands of people) exist: God is good, but God can only persuade nature to act in certain ways. Likewise, God can only persuade humans to act in Godly ways (thus accounting for human evil, while maintaining God's goodness). God persuades nature towards greater and greater levels of "enjoyment".

5. Via Quantum "Randomness": God acts at the quantum level. At the level of electrons, photons, and quarks, there is a degree of unpredictability. If photons traveling through space could hit position A, B, or C, and if quantum theory can predict that the photons, on average, will hit B 80% of the time; A, 10%; and C, 10%, then God acts in determining how exactly that percentage is achieved.
    For instance, let's say in one experiment that the first photon hits B, and the second photon hits C, and so on, until 80% hit B, and 10% each hit both A and C individually. In another experiment, the first photon hits C, and the second hits A, and so on, until the 10%/80%/10% distribution is achieved. Both experiments are consistent with the predictions of quantum theory, but what determines which photon goes precisely where? Why did the first photon in one experiment hit B, and in another experiment, the first photon hits C? Quantum theory can't explain that particular observation, and it is at this level that God can act. In other words, God can be the reason behind the different actions of the first photons. God's action thus does not violate the laws of physics, but his action does affect the world.

6. Mind-Body model: God acts on the world like a human mind acts on the human body. One's mind directs and controls the body, by using the body's chemistry, organs, and limbs. Likewise, God is the Great Mind, and the universe is his body. God's consciousness permeates the universe (like our consciousness of sensations permeates our body, thanks to nerve cells).

7. Information-Source: God acts like a choir director in relationship to a choir. God is the source of "information" on which the choir acts. The choir has a definite interest in following the information given by the choir director, and its voices are tuned accordingly.

(Alister McGrath, Science and Religion: A New Introduction, gives a nice summary of these positions.)
« Last Edit: October 24, 2010, 09:32:53 AM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2010, 10:55:47 AM »

I believe the most commonly held view re. this topic in Orthodoxy is pan-entheism:

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Panentheism

I'm not sure if any of your examples fit into this model.
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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2010, 12:08:22 PM »

(2) has been satisfactorily refuted by Thomas Aquinas in dialogue with certain Muslim sects.

I think that, from an Orthodox perspective, the first revealed fact that we must keep in mind is that the Uncreated and the Created are radically different in their substance (that if we could talk of substance in the ordinary sense about God).  There is a radical difference between Uncreated and Created.  The Created, which include Nature's laws, is sustained by God's will solely. It's clear though that God's will is not an authoritarian one that determines how things have to be and forbids everything else. It's clear from the observation of both human will and quantic behaviour that God gives us *possibilities*, not railtracks.

The tendencies in these possibilities seem to have an inertia of their own. Thus, pre-Fall Nature would have remained the same if human conscience had not interfered. Likewise, this fallen world inertia makes it to tend to a certain direction: enthropy and decay. The "big secret" which is implid in the narrative of Genesis is that it seems to have a close correlation between human consciousness and the trend of the possibilities of Nature. Not that we can have absolute control over it, like a person moving a ball with her hand, but we can influence it, much like we can change the course of a flying ball with a bat.  Human consciousness seems to have a kind of "gravitational force" over Nature if we take Genesis seriously and that would probably be in quantic (or even smaller) level.

So, as to how God influences the world, I'd say that His will keeps it existing, but what He wills not a clockwork universe, but a universe of possibilities where there is room for the sensient part of creation to act in synergy with Him if each individual hypostasis of that conscience so wishes.
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2010, 04:53:21 PM »

(2) has been satisfactorily refuted by Thomas Aquinas in dialogue with certain Muslim sects.
....
So, as to how God influences the world, I'd say that His will keeps it existing, but what He wills not a clockwork universe, but a universe of possibilities where there is room for the sensient part of creation to act in synergy with Him if each individual hypostasis of that conscience so wishes.
Has #2 (occasionalism) really been refuted?

How does belief that God keeps the world existing moment by moment, different from occasionalism, which says that all events are caused by God himself?
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2010, 07:08:53 PM »

(2) has been satisfactorily refuted by Thomas Aquinas in dialogue with certain Muslim sects.
....
So, as to how God influences the world, I'd say that His will keeps it existing, but what He wills not a clockwork universe, but a universe of possibilities where there is room for the sensient part of creation to act in synergy with Him if each individual hypostasis of that conscience so wishes.
Has #2 (occasionalism) really been refuted?

How does belief that God keeps the world existing moment by moment, different from occasionalism, which says that all events are caused by God himself?

Now that you mention it, I really don't see the distinction either.
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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2010, 08:37:27 PM »

Shooting from the hip here. But I would say occasionalism makes god directly responsible for every action in nature. While Orthodoxy holds to a beginning action that sets creation in motion. Similar to someone winding a clock. Once wound the winder is not necessary after the initial motion.
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« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2010, 10:18:15 PM »

Shooting from the hip here. But I would say occasionalism makes god directly responsible for every action in nature. While Orthodoxy holds to a beginning action that sets creation in motion. Similar to someone winding a clock. Once wound the winder is not necessary after the initial motion.

Hmm, this sounds like a prime mover type argument (i.e. deism). So how are intermittent miraculous interventions (e.g. walking on water, raising the dead, healing the blind) explained using this framework? Are they just natural phenomena that we have yet to understand? What about answered prayers?
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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2010, 01:15:22 AM »

Why did the first photon in one experiment hit B, and in another experiment, the first photon hits C? Quantum theory can't explain that particular observation, and it is at this level that God can act. In other words, God can be the reason behind the different actions of the first photons.
Quantum theory is based on probabilities. So are you saying that God is playing dice with the universe?
In other words, that the Universe is just one big gambling casino?
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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2010, 06:58:11 AM »

Why did the first photon in one experiment hit B, and in another experiment, the first photon hits C? Quantum theory can't explain that particular observation, and it is at this level that God can act. In other words, God can be the reason behind the different actions of the first photons.
Quantum theory is based on probabilities. So are you saying that God is playing dice with the universe?
In other words, that the Universe is just one big gambling casino?

50$ on black! Cheesy
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« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2010, 09:07:05 AM »

Shooting from the hip here. But I would say occasionalism makes god directly responsible for every action in nature. While Orthodoxy holds to a beginning action that sets creation in motion. Similar to someone winding a clock. Once wound the winder is not necessary after the initial motion.

Hmm, this sounds like a prime mover type argument (i.e. deism). So how are intermittent miraculous interventions (e.g. walking on water, raising the dead, healing the blind) explained using this framework? Are they just natural phenomena that we have yet to understand? What about answered prayers?

Those natural phenomena are explained be the appearance of Christ in the flesh. God entered creation at the time of the incarnation and eventually left it again in the ascension of Christ.
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« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2010, 10:09:12 AM »

Shooting from the hip here. But I would say occasionalism makes god directly responsible for every action in nature. While Orthodoxy holds to a beginning action that sets creation in motion. Similar to someone winding a clock. Once wound the winder is not necessary after the initial motion.

Hmm, this sounds like a prime mover type argument (i.e. deism). So how are intermittent miraculous interventions (e.g. walking on water, raising the dead, healing the blind) explained using this framework? Are they just natural phenomena that we have yet to understand? What about answered prayers?

Those natural phenomena are explained be the appearance of Christ in the flesh. God entered creation at the time of the incarnation and eventually left it again in the ascension of Christ.

Ok, I chose miracles done by Christ as an example, but what about miracles before that? All those miracles in the OT where God 'intervened'? How can we interpet the partiing of the seas, the flood, the plagues, mannah from heaven, etc. while using the type of God that you describe? You referred to the miracles of Jesus as natural phenomena, so do you believe there is a natural explanation (described by physical laws yet undiscovered, or perhaps quantum physics) for such miracles that Jesus did?
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« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2010, 04:52:48 PM »

I believe the most commonly held view re. this topic in Orthodoxy is pan-entheism:

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Panentheism

I'm not sure if any of your examples fit into this model.
I think Panentheism tells more about how God is related to the world (how "close" He is to the world), rather than how God actively relates to the events in the world.

Panentheism would be consistent with all seven models of how God relates to the world, except perhaps #7.
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« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2010, 05:02:29 PM »

Why did the first photon in one experiment hit B, and in another experiment, the first photon hits C? Quantum theory can't explain that particular observation, and it is at this level that God can act. In other words, God can be the reason behind the different actions of the first photons.
Quantum theory is based on probabilities. So are you saying that God is playing dice with the universe?
In other words, that the Universe is just one big gambling casino?
Yes, one could say that God is playing dice...but God controls the specific outcomes.

If I roll a die, there is a 1/6 chance of getting a "1", or of getting a "6". If I roll a die a billion times, I should get very close to getting "1" a (1 billion/6) times, or of getting a "6" (1 billion/6) times.

But what determines whether the very first roll is a "1" or a "6"? Is a pure "chance", or is it possible that God might actually act in that case? Perhaps the "miracle" is that I roll a "1"? In which case, the miracle would only be known by God, not by me. But maybe my getting that "1" leads to events not possible if I had gotten a "6"?

Maybe there is an outside observer to my die roll, who has decided that if I roll a "1", he will donate his liver when he dies, whereas if I roll a "6", he will eat pizza for dinner. I roll a "1", he donates his liver, saving the life of a young boy, who grows up to cure cancer. Did God cause my first roll to be a "1"? Who knows?
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2010, 06:11:57 PM »

Why did the first photon in one experiment hit B, and in another experiment, the first photon hits C? Quantum theory can't explain that particular observation, and it is at this level that God can act. In other words, God can be the reason behind the different actions of the first photons.
Quantum theory is based on probabilities. So are you saying that God is playing dice with the universe?
In other words, that the Universe is just one big gambling casino?
Yes, one could say that God is playing dice...but God controls the specific outcomes.

If I roll a die, there is a 1/6 chance of getting a "1", or of getting a "6". If I roll a die a billion times, I should get very close to getting "1" a (1 billion/6) times, or of getting a "6" (1 billion/6) times.

But what determines whether the very first roll is a "1" or a "6"? Is a pure "chance", or is it possible that God might actually act in that case? Perhaps the "miracle" is that I roll a "1"? In which case, the miracle would only be known by God, not by me. But maybe my getting that "1" leads to events not possible if I had gotten a "6"?

Maybe there is an outside observer to my die roll, who has decided that if I roll a "1", he will donate his liver when he dies, whereas if I roll a "6", he will eat pizza for dinner. I roll a "1", he donates his liver, saving the life of a young boy, who grows up to cure cancer. Did God cause my first roll to be a "1"? Who knows?
No.
The fact is that if you knew all of the forces that went into the shaking of the die, you would be able to predict the outcome. Since you do not, you revert to probability theory and say that on average, one out of six times, it will turn up a 1. This in effect is a smoothing out of all of the almost random forces that go into the process. 
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« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2010, 09:44:30 PM »

Shooting from the hip here. But I would say occasionalism makes god directly responsible for every action in nature. While Orthodoxy holds to a beginning action that sets creation in motion. Similar to someone winding a clock. Once wound the winder is not necessary after the initial motion.

Hmm, this sounds like a prime mover type argument (i.e. deism). So how are intermittent miraculous interventions (e.g. walking on water, raising the dead, healing the blind) explained using this framework? Are they just natural phenomena that we have yet to understand? What about answered prayers?

Those natural phenomena are explained be the appearance of Christ in the flesh. God entered creation at the time of the incarnation and eventually left it again in the ascension of Christ.

Ok, I chose miracles done by Christ as an example, but what about miracles before that? All those miracles in the OT where God 'intervened'? How can we interpet the partiing of the seas, the flood, the plagues, mannah from heaven, etc. while using the type of God that you describe? You referred to the miracles of Jesus as natural phenomena, so do you believe there is a natural explanation (described by physical laws yet undiscovered, or perhaps quantum physics) for such miracles that Jesus did?
I'm sure god has the ability to control outcomes if he wills. But I also believe that natural circumstances tend to also play a large part in the OT miracles. I've seen the parting of the seas explained as a nature event. Like, a volcano explosion in the Mediterranean sea that drew all the water away and gave the Jews a chance to cross. The water could have receded just like in the tsunami in 2005. Why must we make miracles out to be as if fairy dust is used. The outcome is the same either way. A miracle was preformed at the correct time that it was needed. The actual mystery of "how" it was done doesn't matter. If we knew how we wouldn't need a god. We would be one. laugh
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« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2010, 04:45:51 AM »

Some theories on how God acts in the world. Are any necessarily incompatible with Orthodoxy?
................. New Introduction[/i], gives a nice summary of these positions.)

For God this world is a dream or just an imagination, for us it is a reality.

The essence of the entire message of God, Bhagavad Gita, is to develop the highest state in which you can be in the state of continuous enjoyment and happiness through entertainment. If you can enjoy the problems also, such continuous state of happiness is possible. The human being has always the worst tendency to pick-up negative things only in the life and go on brooding over those things. Either you should avoid thinking about those negative things (dhyayato vishayaan …) or you should be able to enjoy those negative things also like the dish of chillies in meals.

Avoiding the thinking of negative things in the life is impossible since they touch and penetrate the mind in the practical life. Therefore, the only alternative way is to enjoy those things also and be happy in every minute of life. Such state is called as Brahmi sthiti (Eshaa brahmi sthitih …), which means that you should continuously enjoy your life containing both positive and negative things like God enjoying His creation containing both good and bad.


You become equal to God in this state of enjoyment (Enjoying both +ve and –ve things in life) and this is the only possible monism (advaita). You are in the state of maintained creation and you are enjoying the creation like God (if you enjoy both good and bad in the life). You are not in the state before creation, in which you cannot be equal to God since He is creating everything and you cannot create anything.

You are not in the state of final dissolution of the world in which He is destroying everything and you cannot destroy anything. You are in the best state of maintenance of creation in which you cannot be differentiated from God since you are enjoying the creation like God. There is no trace of difference as long as the aspect of enjoyment of the world-cinema containing both scenes of happiness and tragedy is concerned. Even the extreme tragedy, the death, is not an exception to such entertainment (sthitvaasyaamantakalepi …).


Krishna followed this (continuously enjoying life containing both positive and negative things) in His life and His preaching, the Gita, was perfectly implemented in His practice. He was enjoying His own death while the foot was bleeding, hit by the hunter. He consoled the hunter and removed his tension over the incident. He enjoyed the genocide of His family members as a spectator in the end.

 He enjoyed the defeat in the hands of the enemies like Jarasandha, who flew away to construct a new city in the island present in the ocean. He enjoyed while Shishupala was repeatedly scolding Him and was never subjected to any tension. He enjoyed while He was called as the thief of butter in other houses. Except entertainment and enjoyment, even a trace of tension could not touch Him in His entire life.

You may say that God is enjoying the world-cinema since He is away from it. You may differentiate from God by this, stating that you are participating in the cinema. This cannot be accepted since God also entered the world-cinema as Krishna and participated in it like you. The only difference is that He is acting in the role, where as you are living in the role by completely identifying yourself with it. Such divine knowledge applies to you also and Shankara preached this.


The God is detached from the drama because He differentiated Himself from the role. You can also detach yourself from the role by identifying yourself as the soul of pure awareness. The detachment and its continuous knowledge are the ground for entertainment and enjoyment in the drama forever. Thus, the philosophy preached by Shankara is perfectly applicable as far as this state of entertainment through detachment is concerned.

The perfect monism between God and a realized soul is achieved (Matbhavamaagataah…). This means that the soul and God are exactly equal as far as the detached enjoyment is concerned and this does not mean that God and soul are one and the same.


The difference between God and soul is clear when the two states viz. before creation and the end of creation are concerned. Even during the present state of maintenance of the world is concerned, God controls the entire world where as the soul is a part of the world and is controlled by God. The producer and director of the cinema is the total boss and can control even the running state of the cinema. But, his servant sitting along with Him as the spectator of the cinema is exactly in equal state with Him as far as the entertainment and enjoyment through detachment is concerned. The producership, directorship and control over the running of the show etc. are not relevant points and cannot differentiate the servant as far as the limited angle of entertainment is concerned.


If you close your eyes serving the boss without seeing the cinema, you are hurting the boss, because he will be happy if you enjoy like him seeing his creation. Therefore, God is not pleased with those who run away from the cinema and engage themselves in His praise only. Your enjoyment of His creation without any tension shows that you are totally appreciating His work and talent in creating this universe. If you are suffering due to some aspect in the creation,  that shows that His work is defective. Your tension indicates your dislike to some part of the creation. If you enjoy with every item and situation in the world, you have appreciated His creation totally in every direction. God will be extremely pleased with such state.
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« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2010, 03:08:18 PM »

^ yuck
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« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2010, 05:42:45 PM »

I believe the most commonly held view re. this topic in Orthodoxy is pan-entheism:

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Panentheism

I'm not sure if any of your examples fit into this model.
I think Panentheism tells more about how God is related to the world (how "close" He is to the world), rather than how God actively relates to the events in the world.

Panentheism would be consistent with all seven models of how God relates to the world, except perhaps #7.

I like this quote from the orthowiki page:

"Most specifically, these Churches teach that God is not the "watchmaker God" or mechanical God of philosophy found in Western European Enlightenment. Likewise, they teach that God is not the "stage magician God" who only shows up when performing miracles. Instead, the teaching of both these Churches is that God is not merely necessary to have created the universe, but that His active presence is necessary in some way for every bit of creation, from smallest to greatest, to continue to exist at all."

The definition of Pan-entheism here seems to imply God playing a type of 'passive activism' role.
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« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2010, 05:45:39 PM »

Panentheism would be consistent with all seven models of how God relates to the world, except perhaps #7.

#1 could be perhaps placed under the term panendeism.
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« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2010, 10:11:54 PM »

I believe the most commonly held view re. this topic in Orthodoxy is pan-entheism:

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Panentheism

I'm not sure if any of your examples fit into this model.
I think Panentheism tells more about how God is related to the world (how "close" He is to the world), rather than how God actively relates to the events in the world.

Panentheism would be consistent with all seven models of how God relates to the world, except perhaps #7.

I like this quote from the orthowiki page:

"Most specifically, these Churches teach that God is not the "watchmaker God" or mechanical God of philosophy found in Western European Enlightenment. Likewise, they teach that God is not the "stage magician God" who only shows up when performing miracles. Instead, the teaching of both these Churches is that God is not merely necessary to have created the universe, but that His active presence is necessary in some way for every bit of creation, from smallest to greatest, to continue to exist at all."

The definition of Pan-entheism here seems to imply God playing a type of 'passive activism' role.

For God this entire universe His own imagination or dream only, hence He watches His own dream like a cinema only and not get affected by it. He watches the movie (this entire creation) impartially without getting affected by it.

He founded the rules of justice and those who obey it get good fruits and those not get bad fruits (results). GOd is not responsible for the selection of a particular person to good or bad action. Full independence is given to each person. He can select good or bad and he will receive corresponding result, good for good bad for bad. God just watches it impartially.

God is not excited when given the good fruits or bad results to the people. He is impratial.

But some body loves Him and like to see Him, touch Him and co-live with Him, then GOd enters into His own imagination in human form. He comes to this world in human form by entering the Most deserving devotee existing on the earth known as 'Son of God'. God need a medium to interact with Human beings. Hence He enters a deserving devotee existing on the earth known as SOn of GOd and comes to this world.

The direct preaching of right spiritual knowledge and direct clarification of doubts is the primary aim of human incarnation. Nothing can be achieved if the knowledge is imperfect or incomplete. While serving this primary aim, other secondary aims like desire of devotees to see, touch and live with God are also accomplished. If you go to Delhi to attend a seminar on behalf of your job, you have served the primary aim. You may purchase a sari for your wife in Delhi and this is a secondary work. There is nothing wrong with the secondary work as long as the primary work is not disturbed.

If GOD speaks from heaven then tension and anxiety will be created in the minds of people and people will not listen the divine knoweldge due to excitation. Hence GOD comes in human form, by entering the Son of GOd. By this people can approach Son of God very easily without get disturbed or excited and clear all their spiritual doubts in a most convenient manner.

When you see such Son of God you have seen the absolute GOd in Him, when you have touched such Son of God you have touched the unimaginable God. Thus this is the only way to see, touch and co-live with God, since the original God or aboslute GOd is uniamgiable and invisible to us.
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« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2010, 01:36:10 AM »

^Agree to disagree, I suppose... Roll Eyes
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« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2010, 11:08:01 AM »

^Agree to disagree, I suppose... Roll Eyes

Following is not a copy paste...........

God will not get affected by any incident in this world, since for Him this world is a dream only!

But He enters into HIs own creation by coming in human form..

Why He comes in human form?

1. To preach and uplift the human souls through His divine knowledge

2. To undergo the punishments of His devotees on to Him and to relieve them

3. To fulfill the desires of those devotees who long to see Him, touch Him and talk to Him...
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« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2010, 01:48:20 PM »

^Agree to disagree, I suppose... Roll Eyes

Following is not a copy paste...........

God will not get affected by any incident in this world, since for Him this world is a dream only!

But He enters into HIs own creation by coming in human form..

Why He comes in human form?

1. To preach and uplift the human souls through His divine knowledge

2. To undergo the punishments of His devotees on to Him and to relieve them

3. To fulfill the desires of those devotees who long to see Him, touch Him and talk to Him...
If God is not affected, as you say, by any incident in this world, then why would God choose to come in human form, as a result of the "desires of those devotees who long to see Him"?

It would seem that God is afftected by what happens in this world. Huh
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« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2010, 01:51:27 PM »

I believe the most commonly held view re. this topic in Orthodoxy is pan-entheism:

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Panentheism

I'm not sure if any of your examples fit into this model.
I think Panentheism tells more about how God is related to the world (how "close" He is to the world), rather than how God actively relates to the events in the world.

Panentheism would be consistent with all seven models of how God relates to the world, except perhaps #7.

I like this quote from the orthowiki page:

"Most specifically, these Churches teach that God is not the "watchmaker God" or mechanical God of philosophy found in Western European Enlightenment. Likewise, they teach that God is not the "stage magician God" who only shows up when performing miracles. Instead, the teaching of both these Churches is that God is not merely necessary to have created the universe, but that His active presence is necessary in some way for every bit of creation, from smallest to greatest, to continue to exist at all."

The definition of Pan-entheism here seems to imply God playing a type of 'passive activism' role.
I agree that to say "God's mere Presence is necessary for creation to exist, moment by moment" strongly implies the idea that God is immanent/within/permeating His creation (as well as simultaneously being transcendent/without/beyond His creation).

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« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2010, 12:26:00 AM »

^Agree to disagree, I suppose... Roll Eyes

Following is not a copy paste...........

God will not get affected by any incident in this world, since for Him this world is a dream only!

But He enters into HIs own creation by coming in human form..

Why He comes in human form?

1. To preach and uplift the human souls through His divine knowledge

2. To undergo the punishments of His devotees on to Him and to relieve them

3. To fulfill the desires of those devotees who long to see Him, touch Him and talk to Him...
If God is not affected, as you say, by any incident in this world, then why would God choose to come in human form, as a result of the "desires of those devotees who long to see Him"?

It would seem that God is afftected by what happens in this world. Huh

God is not affected at all. Why, because all actions of God are unselfish. Hence is not bound by any of the actions HE takes. Only slefish actions binds. God is unselfish. He is not affected by any action. He can come down to fulfil the desires of His devotees, that act is selfless. Again one more factor, He is coming down to carry the sins of DESERVING DEVOTEES on Him. He is carrying the sins of others and undergo all the pain by Himself upon His body the same way other wise those devotee would have undergone to, save those devotees! This is the highest level of unselfishness act!

His primary aim of coming is to preach divine knoweldge which nobody else can do other than God Himself.

Hence He comes down. GOd is impartial and hence He comes down in EVERY HUMAN GENERATION. You have to meet such God in human form of your generation for getting the right direction through the divine knowledge He preaches.....
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« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2010, 12:32:49 AM »

I believe the most commonly held view re. this topic in Orthodoxy is pan-entheism:

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Panentheism

I'm not sure if any of your examples fit into this model.
I think Panentheism tells more about how God is related to the world (how "close" He is to the world), rather than how God actively relates to the events in the world.

Panentheism would be consistent with all seven models of how God relates to the world, except perhaps #7.

I like this quote from the orthowiki page:

"Most specifically, these Churches teach that God is not the "watchmaker God" or mechanical God of philosophy found in Western European Enlightenment. Likewise, they teach that God is not the "stage magician God" who only shows up when performing miracles. Instead, the teaching of both these Churches is that God is not merely necessary to have created the universe, but that His active presence is necessary in some way for every bit of creation, from smallest to greatest, to continue to exist at all."

The definition of Pan-entheism here seems to imply God playing a type of 'passive activism' role.
I agree that to say "God's mere Presence is necessary for creation to exist, moment by moment" strongly implies the idea that God is immanent/within/permeating His creation (as well as simultaneously being transcendent/without/beyond His creation).



God has to come in human form in every human generation since, the world is misled by false preachers who bend the truth. Human preachers cannot preach the truth. Human preachers preach a little truth with lot of ignorance or falseness so that massess of people will get attracted to them and listen them. If truth is spoken then all the massess will run away and disappear. Thus God allows these false preachers who introduce a very little truth and huge amount of ignorance so that atheism will not grow in the society. Once such people become devotees then these people can be taught a higher level preaching. At the highest level GOd Himself comes and preaches divine knoweldge directly, it contains full truth and the truth will be very harsh and hence the people listening and following the GOd Himself in human form is very very very few!!!!
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« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2010, 12:43:01 AM »

I believe the most commonly held view re. this topic in Orthodoxy is pan-entheism:

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Panentheism

I'm not sure if any of your examples fit into this model.
I think Panentheism tells more about how God is related to the world (how "close" He is to the world), rather than how God actively relates to the events in the world.

Panentheism would be consistent with all seven models of how God relates to the world, except perhaps #7.

I like this quote from the orthowiki page:

"Most specifically, these Churches teach that God is not the "watchmaker God" or mechanical God of philosophy found in Western European Enlightenment. Likewise, they teach that God is not the "stage magician God" who only shows up when performing miracles. Instead, the teaching of both these Churches is that God is not merely necessary to have created the universe, but that His active presence is necessary in some way for every bit of creation, from smallest to greatest, to continue to exist at all."

The definition of Pan-entheism here seems to imply God playing a type of 'passive activism' role.
I agree that to say "God's mere Presence is necessary for creation to exist, moment by moment" strongly implies the idea that God is immanent/within/permeating His creation (as well as simultaneously being transcendent/without/beyond His creation).



God has to come in human form in every human generation since, the world is misled by false preachers who bend the truth. Human preachers cannot preach the truth. Human preachers preach a little truth with lot of ignorance or falseness so that massess of people will get attracted to them and listen them. If truth is spoken then all the massess will run away and disappear. Thus God allows these false preachers who introduce a very little truth and huge amount of ignorance so that atheism will not grow in the society. Once such people become devotees then these people can be taught a higher level preaching. At the highest level GOd Himself comes and preaches divine knoweldge directly, it contains full truth and the truth will be very harsh and hence the people listening and following the GOd Himself in human form is very very very few!!!!

No. God came to earth as man only once.
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« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2010, 12:43:21 AM »

You do understand that Christians do not share your belief that "God comes to every generation in human form"?

We believe He only appeared ONCE in human form and that was Jesus.
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« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2010, 03:54:21 AM »

You do understand that Christians do not share your belief that "God comes to every generation in human form"?

We believe He only appeared ONCE in human form and that was Jesus.

OK. But if you think that GOd came only once then it put Jesus as partial. Jesus is impartial and comes in every human generation. The same Jesus comes here in Human form. THEN question is how to recognise Jesus in Human form. You can recognise Jesus in human form from His divine knoweldge He preaches. Knowledge is the sign of God. Nobody else can preach wonderful divine knowledge. Knowledge and quality of knowledge shows that it is Jesus who is speaking through the present human form of God.

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« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2010, 06:41:35 AM »

You do understand that Christians do not share your belief that "God comes to every generation in human form"?

We believe He only appeared ONCE in human form and that was Jesus.

OK. But if you think that GOd came only once then it put Jesus as partial. Jesus is impartial and comes in every human generation. The same Jesus comes here in Human form. THEN question is how to recognise Jesus in Human form. You can recognise Jesus in human form from His divine knoweldge He preaches. Knowledge is the sign of God. Nobody else can preach wonderful divine knowledge. Knowledge and quality of knowledge shows that it is Jesus who is speaking through the present human form of God.



Ok, so next you're going to tell us that you're the new jesus of this generation and you're here to preach to us lost souls, right?
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« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2010, 06:55:38 AM »

You do understand that Christians do not share your belief that "God comes to every generation in human form"?

We believe He only appeared ONCE in human form and that was Jesus.

OK. But if you think that GOd came only once then it put Jesus as partial. Jesus is impartial and comes in every human generation. The same Jesus comes here in Human form. THEN question is how to recognise Jesus in Human form. You can recognise Jesus in human form from His divine knoweldge He preaches. Knowledge is the sign of God. Nobody else can preach wonderful divine knowledge. Knowledge and quality of knowledge shows that it is Jesus who is speaking through the present human form of God.



Ok, so next you're going to tell us that you're the new jesus of this generation and you're here to preach to us lost souls, right?

Your question is a very important one and i have to answer it from any angles. Many people asked the same questions to me serveral times. I give the following answer to them...

 I gave the spiritual knowledge.  The devotees started telling that it is very special and never heard or present in any book.  They started calling Me as Datta. Some of the devotees were pressing Me to show the miracles which were spontaneously expressed.  Therefore, I stated that Datta possessed Me and gave this knowledge and also showed miracles.  What is wrong in my statement?  because this is the concept of any human incarnation.  Gita says that God possess a human body for His divine mission.  I did not believe or declare simply based on the words of devotees unless I had my own proof since I am basically a scientist.  Science never denies the practical proof and it gives a logical explanation of any truth.

 Such logical explanation coincides with scriptures and therefore the truth is constitutionally valid.     When the devotees raised some points believing Me as human incarnation, I answered those points assuming that I am a human incarnation, because such points relate to any human incarnation in general.  The answers are valid whether I am the human incarnation or not.  Devotees have repeatedly stated that My knowledge is special and wonderful.  This statement of devotees is the basis on which I developed the subsequent analysis.  The special and wonderful knowledge can be given only by God as per Veda and Gita.  This means that God entered my self and is speaking.  When God enters the human body, that is the human incarnation as stated by Gita and Bible (Manusheem Tanum, God in flesh).  

This does not mean that God has become the human body.  God is in the human body.  The concept of human incarnation is only this much.  Such God given through human body to the devotees is called as Datta. This concept of double personality pacifies the jealousy of even higher devotees.  They accept this and their jealousy is pacified. Even such higher devotees cannot tolerate if  I say that I am the God.  Even though Krishna told  Arjuna that He is God,   He also told in Gita that the God entered human body (Manusheem Tanumaasritam) and also clearly stated that God has not become the human body (Avyaktam Vyakti…).  This means that the God present in the body  of Krishna spoke “I am God” and this statement is not uttered by Krishna.

 Arjuna was higher but not highest devotee.  Gopikas were highest devotees, who believed that Krishna is God, who came down directly to the earth.  Krishna made their belief become true because for them God pervaded all over the three bodies including the external gross body.  God super imposed (Adhyasa of Sankara) Himself on the gross body as a human being super imposes His self on the gross body. In the case of God the super imposition is with knowledge due to necessity and in the case of human being the super imposition is due to ignorance.   For them there is no need of any clarification and hence no need of Gita.  But if that concept is revealed to Arjuna, Arjuna will totally reject it because he was a higher devotee and not the highest devotee.  

The highest devotee is only one in millions.  Higher devotees are many like Arjuna.  Therefore, Gita is Universal and is not necessary for Gopikas.  When Uddhava tried to preach the concept of this dual personality (God as possessor and the human being as possessed), Gopikas rejected him totally.   Even this clarification does not pacify the jealousy of some people because they cannot tolerate even the presence of God in a particular human body only.  They want the presence of God in their bodies also. This is the highest degree of jealousy.   Since such highest jealousy is a common point to every human being, the Advaiti revolts against the human incarnation by generalizing that God is in every human body and gets the support of majority.   This is the revolution and the formation of the union of people, who feel that they were suppressed.

  This is communism revolting against capitalism. This is politics in philosophy.  This is a special situation because philosophy enters every subject.  The degree of philosophy (Ph.d.) can be taken in any subject.  Therefore, you have philosophy in politics which is general and normal.  Even though I also felt that this knowledge is wonderful, I never said it because it will be misunderstood by the ignorant people as self praise.  Therefore, if the devotees stated this and if their statement is correct, there is no doubt that I am the human incarnation based on the concept of at least this  dual personality as per the analysis related to higher level of devotees.

 Such analysis can be extended even to the highest devotees, which prevents them  from  falling  down to the higher level from their highest level.    This concept of dual personality will at least fix the devotee to the higher level preventing from further fall. The people who fall down from this higher level also, believe God but not the human incarnation. They say that either no human being is God or every human being is God.  Either the concept is totally rejected or is extended to every body.  Let no body be rich or let every body be rich.  There should not be one richest person.  They hate the richest person and gradually they hate even any richer person.  They want equality of every human being.

 This is good in economics or sociology (Pravrutti).  But the subject of spirituality (Nivrutti) is completely opposite to the subjects of the world (Durmeti Viparite Vishuchi--Veda).  Sankara had to act like a communist even in the spirituality because in that time the country was filled with atheists of communist-psychology in pravrutti and for them Nivrutti was totally absent.  Hanuman is also an incarnation of Siva like Sankara, but he followed the extreme capitalism in spirituality, which is quite opposite  as said in Veda.  The spiritual knowledge was given by Krishna to Arjuna, when Arjuna fell down on the feet of Krishna with complete surrender as a servant. Krishna said that one should become servant of Guru before receiving the spiritual knowledge (Tat Viddhi Pranipatena….).
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« Reply #31 on: October 30, 2010, 08:43:55 AM »

You do understand that Christians do not share your belief that "God comes to every generation in human form"?

We believe He only appeared ONCE in human form and that was Jesus.

OK. But if you think that GOd came only once then it put Jesus as partial. Jesus is impartial and comes in every human generation. The same Jesus comes here in Human form. THEN question is how to recognise Jesus in Human form. You can recognise Jesus in human form from His divine knoweldge He preaches. Knowledge is the sign of God. Nobody else can preach wonderful divine knowledge. Knowledge and quality of knowledge shows that it is Jesus who is speaking through the present human form of God.



Ok, so next you're going to tell us that you're the new jesus of this generation and you're here to preach to us lost souls, right?

...Devotees have repeatedly stated that My knowledge is special and wonderful...
Isn't that what defines a "devotee", someone who thinks that his/her teacher is special and wonderful?

So it shouldn't be surprising that your devotees would say that your knowledge is special and wonderful.

However, if a devotee of Jesus, were to say that your knowledge is special and wonderful -- that would be something. Cool
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« Reply #32 on: October 30, 2010, 08:56:52 AM »

Dear Swami,

The present divine incarnation whom you seek may be found in London in the person of a London Pakistani.   As this article shows even children spontaneously recognise him.   You should leave Stamford and go to make your obeisance to him and learn from him.  Your search is at an end.  He lives in London.

When  you get to London maybe you could log in here and tell us how he accepted you as his devotee.

See
http://www.einterface.net/gamini/Mumheis.html
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« Reply #33 on: October 30, 2010, 08:57:24 AM »

But we are Christians, and so we don't believe the Gita is spiritually (if in any way) worth the paper it's written on. If you want to prove anything to us, you'll have to do so from the Bible and the Church Fathers. Divine revelation has a place in Orthodox Christianity, but anything outside the Church must be at least suspect.
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« Reply #34 on: October 30, 2010, 09:25:16 AM »

But we are Christians, and so we don't believe the Gita is spiritually (if in any way) worth the paper it's written on.
Actually, many Christians do believe the Gita is worth much, much more than the paper it's written on. The Gita's teachings on the Avatar may be seen as foreshadowings of Christian teachings on the Incarnation.
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« Reply #35 on: October 30, 2010, 10:53:20 AM »

But we are Christians, and so we don't believe the Gita is spiritually (if in any way) worth the paper it's written on.
Actually, many Christians do believe the Gita is worth much, much more than the paper it's written on. The Gita's teachings on the Avatar may be seen as foreshadowings of Christian teachings on the Incarnation.

Indeed.
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