Now WHY does this not surprise anyone? We don’t much CARE what Aquinas or other so-called “scholars” have to say about faith if it disagrees with what the BIBLE says about it. You either accept that the Bible is the inspired word of God or you don’t. Obviously, you DON’T.
AS, it seems to me that in your first argument that God is not a “Being”, that you said, "a phenomenon with intelligence behind. Whence cometh that intelligence?
The ancients didn’t live by the Bible alone, and neither do the people today purporting it.
No, the “ancients” didn’t live by the Bible alone. They didn’t have it. And many of them lived extremely ungodly lives. Thus God choose a man who served him to start a nation (a people, if you will) who would learn how God wanted them to live. God’s instructions were written, and were collected to form the Bible, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (one of the three persons of God). The Spirit was mentioned many times in the OT as “coming upon” the prophets, and giving them the words to say.
What some apologist says, no matter how accurate he may be in other instances, does not have the authority to change what God says. I believe that there are many non-biblical truths, because the Bible doesn’t tell us everything. There are also un-biblical pronouncements, not truths, because they are contrary to the Bible. The Bible says - indeed, God says Himself, “I AM WHO I AM.” In Revelation He is also called the “Alpha and the Omega - the beginning and the end - the one who is and was and is to come.” And if He were not a Being, the Bible would not refer to Him constantly as “He” or “Him”.
Because I went to the source (the Bible) instead of those who talk about it (much as I go to the Constitution instead of whichever judge creatively misinterpreted it; or someone who said that a judge did so). “Everyone already talking this way?” Hogwash. I listen to preachers, theologians, apologists (Mom mentioned Dr. Ravi Zacharias; he’s as sharp as a razor), and have read a number of books which address the nature (actually, supernature) of God, and I never heard any such claim before you opened your mouth and repeatedly denied what the Bible actually says.
Not that I expect you’ll change; you’ll dig in your heels till doomsday, insisting you’re right because you found sources that agree with you (or that say that certain sources agree with you) as if it were the last word in spite of the screamingly obvious evidence to the contrary.
He said His name is I AM. He cannot lie. Case closed.
And you’re a layman, with no philosophical training, at least none that you’ve conveyed to me. This is a philosophical debate. I mean, to hit on this again, St. Augustine was essentially adapting Plato to make this point.
Not about this, you admitted it.
There are plenty of niches in philosophical and theological debates, And if you’ve never read:
St. Aquinas (Or Thomistic metaphyics in general)
Paul Tillich ( who greatly popularized it among non-Catholics in America)
Then I’m not surprised.
… And you sidestepped it again.
Being Itself, how does “I AM” contradict it? You don’t address this, how come?
You can’t claim crap about me FC, when you can’t even answer my central objection to your “evidence”.
Heh, I have no dog in this fight as an agnostic, but I Just automatically wanna wade in swingin’ at AS and his smug, arrogant attitude. Given the existence of God, the scholastic musings of the most learned of theologians would be of no greater value than the mad rantings of an ignorant delusional in determining the nature of God. God would of necessity be far too vast for human speculation to have any meaningful perceptions to offer. Hence, religion rests on faith, not knowledge. I expect that kind of arrogance from slim, but I am surprised at you FC. If theres more in the universe than you can imagine then everything you can imagine is in the universe, correct? How much more true would that be of an infinite Devine entity?
It isn’t arrogance; I read the Bible and I believe God when he says His name is I AM. Whatever else God is (and I never said he was only this, and specifically said otherwise), He, by His own name, tells us that he is indeed a being.
I haven’t found time to read your links. I suspect, y’all are really talking past each other about a rather incomprehensible thing. That’s why I asked for clarification earlier. You didn’t respond to it. This statement seems to answer my question – and I’m not sure anyone really disagrees with anyone at all.
You said that God is not a “being.” That seems to be the point of the whole discussion y’all are having. Yet right here, you say it does not prevent God having consciousness or His own qualities. Isn’t that kind of the definition of a “being”? A conscious, independent and sovereign entity? Certainly the nature of God’s being is up for debate or maybe undebatable because it’s unknowable, but regardless of His form, if He is conscious, then I have to think He is a being.
“You are reading too much into the article. Its purpose was merely to show that God is Pure Existence, it was not meant to discuss or demonstrate anything else. However, the fact that God is Pure Existence does not imply that creatures are simply existence. In other places of his Corpus, Thomas explains that while God is Pure Existence, creatures are beings which have existence. Thus, creatures are composits of essence and existence, while God is simply Existence.”
Thomas is, of course, St. Aquinas. Linus here is attempting to boil down what the dumb ox himself said.
1 You didn’t originally claim “Being itself;” you claim “not a being.” I proved otherwise with the very name of God, and you claim that “it isn’t inconsistent with ‘being-itself,’” and that therefore, He isn’t a being at all, and de facto His name is in fact not true.
Now, maybe you missed this the first time, so I’ll repeat: I AT NO TIME SAID THAT GOD WAS ONLY A BEING AND NOTHING ELSE.
But His name screams BEING no matter how hard you try to lawyer-talk it to death.
The only thing you’re right about is that we’re probably both wasting our time.
2 You didn’t dispell jack. I proved with the SIMPLE language of the Bible that God is indeed a being, and you responded with appeal to authority (uncertain authority; I didn’t look at the links, but you actually quoted Aquinas and not just someone who was (creatively?) interpreting what he said, I missed it), even though GOD IS THE ULTIMATE AUTHORITY. 3 Hahahahahahahahaha! Get the lumber out of your own eye!
4 Neither of those are in my Merriam-Webster unabridged.
You mentioned that I’m a layman. Here’s a newsflash: That doesn’t disqualify my understanding of the Bible. God made it to be simple to those who truly seek Him. Certainly the simplicity of the language and definitions are on my side (you can’t get any simpler than God’s name being (there’s that word again) the verb to be; which is TOTALLY consistent with Him- well, being a being). Not directly related, but I think there’s more than a little relevance to this scripture:
Yeah, I really don’t see what y’all are arguing over. Finite, infinite, all of being itself or whatever, when I think of a being, I think of a conscious sovereign will. I hear a lot of folks who seem to think God is some mindless force that is everything in existence – it lacks any will at all. I could be wrong, but I think that’s kind of what folks here when you say God isn’t a being. Yet by my definition and probably everyone other theist here, you’ve still defined God as a being, and this is a lot more argument than there ought to be. I mean, God is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient, and those traits are really kind of the same thing you’re saying (however God physically or metaphysically manifests Himself). No one here is disputing those qualities.
I remain a bit confused by this discussion. FC, Susanna, PD, care to comment?
I know, and this doesn’t work to dissuade what was claimed, because it doesn’t fit the definition of Being at work.
The definition of Being Aquinas is using (which comes from Aristotle) can be found here.
A Being’s existence is in some way limited, it is dependent upon other things, and they have qualities that philosophy calls accidents:
“[E]xistence is twofold: one is essential existence or the substantial existence of a thing, for example man exists, and this is existence simpliciter. The other is accidental existence, for example man is white, and this is existence secundum quid.” — De Principiis Naturæ, 1.
A Human is like this, even an Angel is like this. God is not, because he, according to Aquinas, has an existence that is the same as his essence (he generates himself, dependent upon nothing) and he has no qualities we can call “accidents”:
Yes I did, this isn’t about the argument, this about claims you made about me in making the argument.
1. I did not move the goal posts,
“Being itself” is what the argument is called.
2. I did not make the term up.
The term has existed for centuries, and is utilized by philosophers to name this standpoint, regardless of whether they agree with it.
3. I’am not “double talking”
This how philosophers talk, even the ones trying to disprove the position of God as being Itself.
They’re defining existence, being, substance, etc. drilling them down epistemologically, to explore the claims involved.
I didn’t call you a layman to suggest “your viewpoint is invalid”. I’m said that because you made this accusation of me, when I wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary. I was simply using rhetoric you apparently weren’t familiar with.
When I then provided sources to show that philosophers do in fact talk on the issue this way, you only used that as cudgel to claim “I’m digging in my heels”.
No, I’m dispelling your accusation of me. Not the claims on God, ME. Because you made me & what I was doing the argument, right alongside the discussion of Being.
Never said it did, it rather disqualifies your claim about what I was doing.
I wasn’t lawyer talking, I wasn’t double talking. This is the debate.