Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tony Costa vs. Habib Ali: "Tawhid vs. Trinity"

PART ONE

Muslim vs. Christian Debate - Tawhid vs. Trinity - Part 1 from Sumair Mirza on Vimeo.



PART TWO

Muslim vs. Christian Debate - Tawhid vs. Trinity - Part 2 from Sumair Mirza on Vimeo.

76 comments:

traeh said...

In part 1 of the debate, the white haired gentleman asked the Muslim debater something like this: "Before creation, whom did God love and communicate with."

In response to this, the Muslim debater spoke about something completely irrelevant to the question, if I understood him. The Muslim debater started talking about how in Islam there is no distinction among persons, and claimed that Muhammad had said not to consider Muhammad above the other prophets. But what did any of the Muslim debater's answer have to do with the question asked by the white-haired gentleman? Perhaps the Muslim debater didn't just fail to hear or understand the question. Perhaps he understood it perfectly, grasped the answer to it, and found the answer embarrassing. So he switched the subject.

A short time later, the Christian debater, apparently right away seeing the chink in his opponent's armor, returns eagerly to the question and says that Islam's God cannot be eternally loving or communicating, because before creation, he is alone and there is no one to love or communicate with. Whereas the Trinitarian God contains three persons who can love one another. Woo! Out of the park!

A fascinating interchange...

David Wood said...

The Muslim debater should have responded:

"Love? LOVE??? Who ever told you that Allah loves anyone? Silly Christian!"

Verumi said...

I'm currently watching the first part of the debate, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I'm learning much from it.

This is my first time to hear Tony Costa in a debate (my first time to hear of him as well). I like the clarity of his speech and delivery. More importantly, I like that he is not only addressing the question and the points made by his opponent, he is also making a point to make sure to address the audience.

Thank you for posting the debate. :)

David Wood said...

Yes, for those who don't know Tony, he's our brother in Canada, aye. Lots of people in the U.S. don't know him yet, but he's one of the best debaters against Islam on the planet.

Austin said...

If you like this you would also enjoy Tony Costa discussing the ressurection with Shabir Ally on Premier Radio:

http://media.premier.org.uk/unbelievable/4dd3b147-aac8-4499-8a96-4a875aa27f87.mp3

Nazam said...

Shabir and Tony have debated each other in public debates for almost two decades in Canada.

These are just some they debates in chronological order;


Jesus in Christianity and Islam, Which Account Is Historically Correct?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXZZg2dE3_Q

The Jesus Conflict: Debate 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISZ6XcSlVh8

The Jesus Conflict: Debate 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkS_t3SBCrA

http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=EpqwBbUWrd8&feature=related

The Jesus Conflict: Debate 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyhAHj_sWZg

Verumi said...

Austin: Thank you! I'll certainly listen to it.

Nazam: Thank you! I'm actually almost done watching the Jesus in Islam and Christianity debate.

traeh said...

Three times Habib Ali was asked whom Allah loved before creation. The first person to ask Habib that question evidently understood that if Allah is unitary and alone prior to creation, there would seem to be no one then for Allah to love. In that case, God could not eternally be love.

First the white haired gentleman sitting next to Habib asked the question. Habib avoided answering, and instead talked about something totally unrelated to the question (namely, how in Islam created human beings are not raised above one another).

Later a questioner in the audience pointed out that Habib had not answered the question at all; so Habib, apparently discarding his first answer, now said something about Allah being with the angels and jinn and being able to communicate with or love them. Thus again Habib evaded the question by answering with reference to created beings (angels and jinn), when the question was about how things were before creation.

The impression he thus created was of someone caught flatfooted by the question, but who immediately grasped what the obvious answer was (Allah loved no one before creation). Habib perhaps found that embarrassing for Islam, and being utterly unprepared to defend against the obvious, his first answer tried to stall and misdirect by saying something totally unrelated to the question. Then when asked a second time, he still was unready to defend against the obvious implication, and was forced to give ground, insofar as he dropped his first answer. Instead he gives his second answer (we hear nothing further of the first answer he gave). The second answer turns out to be evasive also, but more subtly so, since he now refers to angels, whom some in the audience might not notice are also created beings and therefore irrelevant to the question. Was Mr. Ali taking a cue from the clever sea being that secretes ink into the water to darken its prey's vision?

But soon another audience questioner persists with the question, so that Habib is faced with it a third time. The questioner this time underlines that the question was not about Adam, angels, or other created beings, but about the time before creation.

Habib then gives ground again, insofar as he now apparently discards his second answer, since we hear no more of it. Finally he is forced to say what he evidently felt was inadequate the very first time the question was asked. He now says that Allah, prior to creation when he is alone, is love.

He remained, I think, on the defensive about this, as shown by the fact that he did not even try to directly address the obvious problem that then arises for Islamic theology: if God is unitary, and in no sense also plurality, then whom does God love prior to creation? If God is absolutely single, and alone, it would seem there is no one to love, and thus he does not love eternally.

Habib then said something about how people falsely think that the Islamic God is a God of hate or war. Habib alleged that, on the contrary, Allah is love.

Habib's whole way of dealing with this question about the place, or relative lack of place, of love in Islam, suggests that the question may have troubling resonances for him.

Verumi said...

I just finished watching the Jesus in Islam and Christianity debate. It is wonderful to see Tony Costa's growth as a Christian apologist since the time of this debate and the one posted by David here. Thank you again for introducing me to Mr. Costa.

In the Jesus in Islam and Christianity debate, Shabir Ally is obviously a force to be reckoned with. (This is the first time I've listened to him debate.) He has answers to every counter-argument thrown at him, he stays on topic, and he speaks with conviction.

Young Tony Costa, on the other hand, did not come across as powerfully and convincingly as Shabir Ally did.

With that in mind, I couldn't help but think again about your (David, Nabeel, and Sam) decision to step down from the Christianity-Islam debate platform. As a Christian, who is not well-versed with our Scriptures (yet), I cannot help but worry if there will be others who will fill the void that your leaving will create. Are there seasoned debaters out there who are willing to speak, full-time, for those of us who are not yet prepared to speak for our faith against Muslim arguments?

Sam said...

Dave, don't forget that Tony has also debated and soundly refuted Shabir Ally, doing a great job of exposing Ally's lies and inconsistencies. Just watch the debates that Nazam posted and you will see this for yourself.

Raguraman said...

"Before creation, whom did God love and communicate with."

Islam's God cannot be eternally loving or communicating, because before creation, he is alone and there is no one to love or communicate with.....

Lets extend this question to Judeo-xian god as well...

Before creation, to whom was God Lord of? I mean to who was God the creator of before creation?

=> biblical God or allah is NOT an eternal creator? What do xians have to say about this?

Verumi said...

Hello, everyone.

I just found this site and thought I'd share it with you: Apologetics 315.

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

Hey Raguraman,



Do you understand the difference between a necessary attribute and a accidental attribute?

Attributes like Creator and Redeemer are accidental attributes because they are not necessary to God’s being.

They only exist in relation to his creation.

God would still be God even if he never created the world. God would still be God even if he never redeemed anyone.

On the other hand attributes like Holy and Loving are necessary to God’s existence.

God would not be God if he was not loving or holy.

Does this make sense to you?

Zack_Tiang said...

Raguraman said,
"Before creation, to whom was God Lord of? I mean to who was God the creator of before creation?

=> biblical God or allah is NOT an eternal creator? What do xians have to say about this?"

When the bible calls God the 'Eternal Creator', it means the Creator who is Eternal... not that God was always a creator even before creation.

In the first place, eternal (according to God) means to be outside the dimension/limitation of time. That's why our God can know the future long before we even get to that point in time.


We can answer the 'Who did God love before creation' question before we have a Triune God; 3 persons, 1 God.

A single 'God' (Allah) has no one to love before creation but his lonely self. In the first place, the Quran doesn't teach about *unconditional* love.. Quote me one.

Raguraman said...

----------------
Do you understand the difference between a necessary attribute and a accidental attribute
-----------------------------------

with respect to God? absolutely NOT? I do NOT understand. Who are we to decide what is accidental or necessary attribute w.r.t. God?

------------------
Attributes like Creator and Redeemer are accidental attributes because they are not necessary to God’s being.
----------------------

Why is it so? Is God eternal? Yes...

Does all of God's attributes (qualities) arise from His essential Being?

If the answer is yes, attributes like His "Creatorship" or "redeemer" etc. must arise from His essential being and therefore must also be eternal. However, these attributes have no meaning in the absence of creation.

If the answer is no, then the above attributes like Lord, Creator, redeemer etc. are NOT in His essential being.

These attributes arose accidentally as you say.

Now the question is

1. are these attributes imposed on His being externally and thus NOT His attributes at all => God is NOT creator, is NOT redeemer, is NOT Lord as these are NOT present in His essential Being.

or

2. these attributes arose in His essential Being, after the fact of creation, which => God changed and thus He is NOt eternal. I guess this option is out of the window.

Again how xians (short form, not to mistake as insult) answer this?

-----------------
"On the other hand attributes like Holy and Loving are necessary to God’s existence."
-----------

Again, who are you to decide what is essential to His existence? This is your opinion. Is it NOT?

I am NOT challenging, but this entire concept of "accidental" and "essential" seems illogical, as I have explained above.

Raguraman said...

We can answer the 'Who did God love before creation' question before we have a Triune God; 3 persons, 1 God.
===========================

I am NOT a Muslim. My interest is purely philosophical and want to check logical consistency in any claim.

First, you have to define what is "Love"? Your question assumes there must be different "personalities" to experience this "Love", that "Love" an emotion is directed to a different personality.

Again, you say, "Love" is essential to His Being by attributing this property to God eternally => "Love" arises from His essential Being independent of how many personalities (ONE, TWO OR THREE OR INFINITE) God has?

So your statement on allah Being a one personality entity cannot "love" is absolutely erroneous in my opinion.

Having said this I do NOT believe for one moment that quranic allah is capable of any kind of "Love"....

traeh said...

Raguraman,
Love requires some kind of otherness or plurality. If one is talking about the "time prior" to creation, then God, to be loving, must be in relation to some kind of otherness, even if one somehow conceives that otherness as in God. Love means recognizing another as having value independent of and equal to oneself. Sometimes one does speaks of loving oneself, but such love can only arise in tandem with love of others. Love of self and love of other are two sides of a coin. One cannot, it seems, adequately imagine a coin with only one side. Nor does it make sense, with regard to the "time before" creation, to speak of God as loving only himself. If before creation God was loving, then it would seem he had to have some kind of otherness within him or in relation to him.

In Christian theology, eternal creator and finite created are not as absolutely distinct as they are in Islamic theology. Unless I'm mistaken, Jesus Christ is considered both eternal and created. Both God and man. And insofar as human beings become one with Jesus Christ, they become one, it seems, with the eternal trinity. And if Jesus himself existed with the Father from all eternity, perhaps one can say that the created, the creature, is in some manner eternal. To the extent the creature has always been there, the Creator has always been creating. So the Judeo-Christian God has eternally been creative, and loving. Whereas the Islamic Allah arguably is not eternally creative and loving, because before creation he contains no otherness in himself, as he is utterly unitary. Yet Islam says that the Qur'an is uncreated along with Allah. So Allah apparently has eternal knowledge of the Qur'an and of what will eventually be created.

The Christian God is a communion of three persons, and some sort of eternal union of creator and created (through Jesus Christ, who unites those two categories, and through the portion of created human beings who are not lost). By contrast Allah, though he knows what his creation will be, is alone prior to his creation.

Of course it would be better if the experts around here jumped in and helped enlighten us about these difficult questions.

I suspect Aquinas has said what I'm trying to say, but of course he will have said it a few light-years more accurately and precisely. To get a better understanding of Christian theological conceptions of the relations between eternity and time, perhaps one must have a better grasp of Aquinas' concept and experience of the potential in relation to the actual.

traeh said...

I thought it was interesting that Habib, as I recall, sought to show that the complexity of creation would have been confused if creation had been conducted by three persons in one God. Habib gave the example of a prime minister: how would he effectively rule a country if he had to rule with two other prime ministers? There would be, he suggests, confusion.

But what he said was revealing about the tendency in Muslim majority nations to centralize all power under a single authority. I kept thinking of how modern advanced nations, by contrast, tend toward a separation of executive, legislative, and judicial powers. I would have pointed out that such a separation of powers seems to manage complexity far better than the authoritarian centralization of the Islamic world. I might also have noted Michael Novak's theology of political economy. Novak points out that the U.S. is really three relatively independent systems in one: economy, polity, and culture. Rudolf Steiner, whatever his flaws, said the future of social forms requires that the three systems of economy, polity, and culture be allowed to be relatively independent precisely so they can correct one another (not advocating, in other words, some pure laissez faire capitalism, nor socialism, but a threefold social organism in continuous evolution).

Fernando said...

Hi Raguraman... godd questions from you... Since other brothers started answering your false presupositions, I won't interveen unless you grante me the oportunity to do so... I'll wait a word from you... God blesse you and your family!

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

you say.....

Who are we to decide what is accidental or necessary attribute w.r.t. God?

I say......

It’s not about deciding it’s about recognizing. Accidental attributes depend on a relationship with creation.

Think about it this way.

Would God still be worthy of worship if he never created. Of course he would He still would be God with all that entails.

On the other hand would God be worthy of worship if he was not Holy (or Loving ). He would not. In such a case he would be like the platonic demiurge or Zeus.

A being to be feared but not worshiped .

you say....

Why is it so? Is God eternal?

I say......

Of course he is but creation is not. Many of God’s attributes are relational in nature.

For example We can say “God is superior to Gabriel.” But before Gabriel existed such a claim would have no meaning

more later

peace

Zack_Tiang said...

Raguraman said...
"So your statement on allah Being a one personality entity cannot "love" is absolutely erroneous in my opinion."

I said...
"A single 'God' (Allah) has no one to love before creation but his lonely self."

So your statement is, as you say, erroneous.

Can I honestly say that he has loved or that he is the very definition of 'love', if all he has loved was himself?

Raguraman said...
"Now the question is

1. are these attributes imposed on His being externally and thus NOT His attributes at all => God is NOT creator, is NOT redeemer, is NOT Lord as these are NOT present in His essential Being.

or

2. these attributes arose in His essential Being, after the fact of creation, which => God changed and thus He is NOt eternal. I guess this option is out of the window.

Again how xians (short form, not to mistake as insult) answer this?"

When God says He never changes; He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, He means His standard or morality or personality or attitude will never change... Not referring to His attributes as Creator..
This has always been my understanding of that statement.

Bartimaeus said...

I was at that debate at NAMF and I know both the participants. But the question is who did God love before the creation is right on. The bible clearly tells us that God is love. Love is God's very nature. God can not help but love. And because love is eternal God must eternally love. There is eternal love between the tree persons in the one being who is God.

Bartimaeus said...

Just a note for all you who will be in Dearborn. You are really going to enjoy Tony's teaching. I only hope that he will have an opportunity to debate. Tony absolutely destroyed Osama in Ottawa last February.

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

Raguraman said:


1. are these attributes imposed on His being externally and thus NOT His attributes at all => God is NOT creator, is NOT redeemer, is NOT Lord as these are NOT present in His essential Being.

I say:

To say an attribute must exist necessarily to be real is illogical.

A ball can really be wet
I can be a real father
You can really be a student etc. etc. etc.

These are real attributes just not necessary ones

Raguraman said:

2. these attributes arose in His essential Being, after the fact of creation, which => God changed and thus He is NOt eternal. I guess this option is out of the window.

I say:

God did not change. His relationship with creation changed. When I became a father my necessary attributes did not change (I was still mortal etc) but I gained an accidental attribute in relation to my child .

In the same way

When You go from being an enemy of God to a servant of his God does not change only his relationship to you does

Raguraman said:

I am NOT challenging, but this entire concept of "accidental" and "essential" seems illogical, as I have explained above.

I say:

I hope you look into this some more.

I sugest

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/essential-accidental/

Please understand by accidental I don’t mean that these attributes are a mistake or an afterthought. Only that they are relational in nature instead of a necessary part of his being.


If God had no accidental attributes it would be impossible for him to act or to relate to anything else.

He would be frozen eternally like a stone alone in the universe.

This is not a God worthy of worship.

I’m sure you would agree

peace

Raguraman said...

Yirmiyahu - Jeremiah - Chapter 31:2

From long ago, the Lord appeared to me; With everlasting love have I loved you; therefore have I drawn you to Me with loving-kindness.
=============================

If Love is relational or accidental as it is argued here (as more than one personality is required as per your argument), then "Love of God for creation" (except jesus) is NOT eternal as others do NOT even exist, but Love for the personalities within God may be eternal.

However the above verse suggests God's love is everlasting, I guess this means eternal without any beginning, even in the absence of any creation, Israel in this case.

Any explanation for this.

Odo said...

Finally got around to watching this debate. "with the criminal agent of Bush and his gangs" – why are politics brought into a religious debate?

But it was good when Neil asked why there was no mention of Trinity in the Torah, and Tony answered by saying the word Tawheed does not appear in the Quran "but that does not mean the concept is absent in the Quran, and simultaneously with the Old Testament and the New Testament even though the word Trinity does not appear the concept does appear"

These debates would be much better if the first 30 minutes weren't spent on introductions and formalities.

And how come when the first audience question directed to Habib at min. 10:30 is asked his answer is completely edited out of the video and it goes straight to Tony's answer? And how come the last few questions are cut out altogether? Wish I could have heard them...

Zack_Tiang said...

Raguraman said...
"If Love is relational or accidental as it is argued here (as more than one personality is required as per your argument), then "Love of God for creation" (except jesus) is NOT eternal as others do NOT even exist, but Love for the personalities within God may be eternal."

No one is arguing that 'Love' is accidental here...
It is an essential attribute of God, not relational or accidental. it does not 'begin' after a certain condition/situation has happened.
Besides, your "Love of God for creation" already includes an object which is not eternal; 'creation', so naturally, it isn't eternal.

BUT, it is necessary to understand how God is love prior to any creation.
If God was completely alone; Allah, therefore there is no one to love but Himself, until creation happens. I ask again,
"Can one honestly say that he has loved or that he is the very definition of 'love', if all he has loved was himself?"

Since the Christian God is a Triune God, and all 3 persons are equally eternal, therefore they are able to love one another and 'be one'.
Isn't our capability to love defined by how we love others?


And also, the attribute of love is not selective, as you've described it. "Love of God for creation" vs "Love for the personalities within God"

Fernando said...

Raguraman... you dis not answer my kind request to intervieene in your questions, so I suppose you do grante me thate opportunity...

1) "relational" is not the same as "accidental"... one thing can bee "relational" nad not "accidental" and vice-versa;

2) you mistaken the bible verse: its 31:3 and not 31:2;

3) One thing the eternal love thate can only exist in (and bee) God since only God is eternal; another thing is to love a creature withe thate same love... this late is the case off this verse: tha author is saying thate God loves Jeremiah withe the same love thate existed in Himself from eternity: «With everlasting love have I loved you»; and not «I loved you from eternity»...

4) who spoke off the "eternal Love off God for creation"? I did not find any referrence in this thread to this quote, butt I suppose thate in this case "eternal" is a bad word apllyied in conection withe "creation" since "creation" is not "eternal" unless thate sentence meant whate I saide aboutte the love off God withe Jeremiah...

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

Raguraman said...

Any explanation for this.[everlasting love for a creature in Jer 31:33]


Everlasting does equal with out beginning

The same Hebrew term is used for the life Adam would have if he did not sin. (Gen 3:32) Adam's life very definitely had a beginning.

Also take a look at all these scriptures that describe "everlasting" things that had a beginning


Gen_9:16, Gen_17:7-8 , Gen_17:13, Gen_17:19, Gen_48:4, Gen_49:26, Exo_40:15, Lev_16:34, Lev_24:8, Num_25:13, 2Sa_23:5, 1Ch_16:17, Psa_24:7, Psa_24:9, Psa_100:5, Psa_105:10, Psa_112:6, Pro_10:25, Isa_24:5, Isa_33:14, Isa_35:10, Isa_45:17, Isa_51:11, Isa_55:3, Isa_55:13, Isa_56:5, Isa_60:19-20 (2), Isa_61:7-8, Isa_63:12, Jer_20:10-11 , Jer_23:40, Jer_32:40, Eze_16:60, Eze_37:26, Dan_9:24,


There is more if you need it.

peace

Reconciled! said...

This wasn't a debate, it was a massacre! Tony Costa under The Anointing of The Holy Spirit completely exposed Islam for what it is - an embarrassment to mankind. Habib Ali's comments / responses were weak; and clearly demonstrates that Islam is NOT The Answer for True Seekers of GOD.

Tony was very articulate, insightful, and purposeful during his presentation; and responded to ALL questions and inquiries with the Authority given to him by The Holy Spirit. GOD bless him and his anointed Ministry.

FOR HIS GLORY!!

Raguraman said...

Fernando, please go ahead with all your inputs. I am learning new things and it is exciting.

By the way in the Jewish Hebrew bible (Tanakh) the numbering is 31:2, while in KJV or other English versions it is 31:3.

There must be consensus of terms before any useful discussion is possible.

So I request members to define terms properly before we go any further. We use so many words unconsciously that a proper definition of words we use slips our minds. At the least this has been the case with me.

1. What is "property"? What are accidental and essential properties?

I understand property as some quality or attribute of an entity.

I take the modal definition (if entity exists) of accidental property and essential property.

So I understand I made a mistake confusing accidental properties and essential properties.

After reading some literature, I understand that relational properties can be either essential or accidental depending on what the property is being talked about.

Now the question is does the locus of any property lie in the object or elsewhere?

This question is still confusing me a lot.

If I say I am a father, it is in relationship to my son. But since it is NOT my essential property, the locus of this property father must be external to me.

Me and my son have father-son relationship or "relation" or a "bridge between me and my son" so to say. Me being father (to my son), a relational property of myself, is a point of contact between me and the bridge.

Similarly, God being "Creator", "Lord", "Redeemer" etc. is a a point of contact between "God" and the bridge (creator-creation relationship) connecting God and His creation. Modern theories of relationship differentiate "relationship" and "relationship properties".

These accidental relational properties DO NOT reside in God per say. This my understanding.

Thus these accidental relationships DO NOT cause any change in God Himself.

2. What is "Love"?

I see multiple definitions given by multiple people.

My understanding is that "love" is an emotion and intention for the well being of any entity, including oneself. It is possible to "love" oneself. In tis definition "Love" is relational property.

So the "eternal love" of Trinity is to be classified as relational property. It is NOT clear to me whether this is essential or accidental.

The assertion that since a God without "Love" (as essential property in the manner of love of Trinity) is NOT worthy of worship seems to be a subjective opinion.

If "Love" is to be unconditional, then it has to reside in God's essence in some manner. It is irrelevant how many persons reside in God. The "everlasting love" will be inherent or essential to God, if His love is unconditional.

So again this argument that three or multiple persons in God somehow makes biblical God superior to allah or Jewish concept of G-d is NOT acceptable.

All accidental properties, to my knowledge arise from essential properties of the object in question, for without the object in question there can no accidental properties.

«With everlasting love have I loved you»; and not «I loved you from eternity»...

"Everlasting love" is the essential property here, independent of the number of persons in God...Just as a human father can love his offspring even before conception and start saving for his education etc. so can God have Love for non-existing creation as well. It is something inherent in the Being of God that drives Him to Love unconditionally, independent of the number of persons in God.

just like "creativity of God" is the essential property of God giving rise to his accidental property of being a "creator".

Mercy is essential property of God and being a "Redeemer" is a consequence of being merciful.

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

Hey Ragurman,

It looks like we are making progress I’m glad you took some time to try and understand what was being said. I have no problem with your first point so lets move on to number 2

You said:
It is possible to "love" oneself.

I say:

Love for ones self is never praised in scripture. In fact to be a lover of self is considered a grave sin in the Bible (2nd Tim 3:2, John 12:25, etc)

love of this kind if it is strong enough will prevent you from loving others. That is not what we mean when we say God is love.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
(1 John 4:7-8)

You said:

The assertion that since a God without "Love" (as essential property in the manner of love of Trinity) is NOT worthy of worship seems to be a subjective opinion.

I say:

Some folks believe a lifeless idol is worthy of worship or they think it’s proper to worship created things. Can you tell them they are wrong objectively and have them bow to your logic? If you could there would be no need for Prophets.

All we can do is say that to be alive is superior to not being alive and that the Creator is superior to creation.

The question for you is, is a God who’s very being is love superior to a god who need’s creatures to experience love.

To me the answer is obvious. A God with out needs is better and only the best is worthy of worship.

You said:
Just as a human father can love his offspring even before conception and start saving for his education etc. so can God have Love for non-existing creation as well.

I say:

But a human can’t love his offspring before conception because they don’t exist.

He can love the idea of children but he can’t love his child.

Love requires relationship. You’ve already agreed that love is a relational property.

you said:

It is something inherent in the Being of God that drives Him to Love unconditionally, independent of the number of persons in God.

I say:

If this was the case and God did not consist in a plurality of persons. He would need to create persons in order to express this hypothetical inherent quality (prelove?)

Until he created on object to love he would be unfulfilled and incomplete.

A god that needs creation is much inferior to one that does not. Surely you would agree


peace

hugh watt said...

Raguraman said...

"What is "Love"?

Shalom. I've read through what you've been saying, (i'm not stalking you;-) and i think of a verse that if answered, makes other Q's fall into place.

Prov. "30:4Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell?"

1 John 4:8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."

Whowas the object of Allah's love if Allah is Tawhid?

"Rev.4:11Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."

"22And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us,.."

From these we see God's reason for making us. The Fall changed His relation to us and ours to Him. Adam & Eve were still loved, but not in the same manner as before. We get an insight from Gen.3 of how God will work out a way to bring man back to where he had fallen from. He still loves us, but conditions have changed and will only become what God originally planned for man when he comes back into a right relationship with Him through the Answer of Prov. 30:4,5; but you must answer that Q.

A person cannot love a child before it exists. God loved man when he came into existence. Before that He had to have Someone Who could express the same kind of love back to Him. Elohim = gods, but in its proper context regarding the Creator it is God!

ben malik said...

Maybe this article will our friend raguraman -

http://answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/trinity_love.html

Oops, am I allowed to post here?

Sunil said...

(Continued from previous post ..)
“In support of Jesus' divine-human status I argued for the authenticity of three of Jesus' sayings which implied his radical self-concept as the unique Son of God and the Son of Man prophesied in Daniel 7 and then argued for the historicity of Jesus' resurrection as God's vindication of his radical claims. Ismail had little of substance to say against my case for Jesus' divine/human status.

In terms of his own case, rather than pursue the mythological gambit, he attacked the logical coherence of the doctrine of the incarnation. In response to his incoherence claims, I explained the doctrine of Christ's being one person who has two natures and used the movie Avatar to illustrate the doctrine. ("Avatar" is another word for incarnation.) The movie tells the story of Jake Sully, a disabled marine who becomes an avatar among a race of extra-terrestrials called the Na'vi. He becomes physically incarnated among them as one of them. At the same time he doesn't cease to be human. So Jake has both a human nature and a Na'vi nature. In the movie these two natures have strikingly different powers. If you were to ask, "Can Jake Sully run?" the answer would have to be, "Yes and no: yes, in his Na'vi nature but no, in his human nature."

I told the audience that if you can make sense of Avatar, you can make sense of Christ's incarnation. For in a similar way, Christ has both a divine nature and a human nature. These natures have different powers. In his human nature Christ experienced all the limitations intrinsic to human nature. But in his divine nature he had supernatural powers. Just as Jake Sully in his Na'vi nature became the Savior of the Na'vi people, so Christ in his human nature becomes the Savior of mankind.
With nothing much of relevance to say, Ismail then turned to doling out the red meat! "

Sunil said...

Debate between Dr. William Lane Craig and Yusuf Ismail :

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=8205 or follow link from http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=8147 or search for Yusuf Ismail in the website. (may need login)

"Just arriving at the wording of the debate topic was laborious: Ismail wanted to debate "Jesus: God or Man?", which perpetuates Muslim misunderstanding of Christianity by posing a false dilemma, since Christians believe that Jesus was both God and man. To carry his case, Ismail had to prove, not that Jesus was man, but that he was merely a man; while I had to give some good reason for thinking that Jesus was not merely human but also divine.

In preparation for the debate I discovered that Ismail will use any argument he can find against Christianity, even if it also implies the falsity of Islam. For example, he uses all the drivel popular on the internet about Jesus' being a mythological figure drawn from pagan religions of antiquity. Never mind that the Qur'an itself teaches that that Jesus was the greatest of all the prophets who had ever lived, that he was miraculously conceived and born of the Virgin Mary, that he himself performed miracles, and that he was indeed the Messiah!

In order to pre-empt any such appeal to pagan mythology to dismiss the deity of Jesus, I explained in my opening speech that contemporary studies of the historical Jesus have come to recognize that pagan mythology is simply the wrong interpretive context for understanding Jesus. What you'll notice about these websites pushing the mythology line is that they almost never cite the primary sources of pagan mythology to support their claims that the Gospels were drawn from pagan myths. It's no wonder! Because when you do read the original myths, you find that they're not really parallel to the Gospels at all and that all the supposed parallels are concocted and spurious. The claim that Jesus is to be explained by reference to pagan myths is based upon pseudo-scholarship which is more than 100 years out of date. So, I told the audience, the next time someone comes to you claiming that the story of Jesus is based on pagan myths, you can be sure that that person is either a charlatan or else a pseudo-scholar who is hopelessly out of date. I don't know if that prompted a last minute change in Ismail's plan of attack, but he barely said a word about pagan myths during the whole debate.
(To be Continued …)

Rag said...

The following is another point I would like to rebut from Sam Shamoun's article on free-will of God. I would also rebut logically Islamic definition of God.

=======================================
Sam Shamoun says

It cannot be any created person, since creation is a result of God’s free will, not a result of His nature.
........................
.................
There is a certain mystery about God’s names. Cragg affirms these names “are to be understood as characteristics of the Divine will rather than laws of His nature.
=======================================

How can God's free-will be independent of His essential nature?

Infact How can any ACT and/or Property of God can be independent of His essential nature?

Thus God's creation arises from His essential nature of creativity ultimately. What is in God's essential nature cannot arise only once and hence Judeo-Xian or Islamic concept of creation being a one time activity is fallacious. In Hinduism creation is an eternal activity of God. Thus creation being a one time activity of God is inconsistent with His essential nature.

=============================
Fifth Monarchy Man

But a human can’t love his offspring before conception because they don’t exist.

He can love the idea of children but he can’t love his child.
===============================

Aren't all emotions "conceptions" in mind whether the object which inspires an emotion exists or does NOT exist? The very fact that a father can start saving for his offspring's education before his conception is an ACT of Love.

=============================
Fifth Monarchy Man

Love requires relationship. You’ve already agreed that love is a relational property.

hugh watt said...

A person cannot love a child before it exists.
===============================

Relationships can exist in our minds, even when the object being loved is NOT in existence for now as the example of father saving for an unborn offspring. This is an ACT of selflessness in one way and hence Love. So definitely a Unitary G-d can have such Love.

Besides your suggestion that God did NOT "Love" (Not as an ACT, but as His Will) His creation involves a logical fallacy even according to your xian belief.

Are all and/or at the least one member(s) of Trinity omniscient? YES

Did Father person of Trinity know that Jesus would be sacrificed after creation as an act of Love for creation even before Father person created? YES

Since God the Father omniscient, does he have the same experiential knowledge of the feeling of Love for his creation before creating it as he would have after creating it and sacrificing his son? Yes

So here Father personality of God has loved his creation eternally, even before his creation, as he had after his creation. Otherwise God is NOT omniscient at all.

Thus all your arguments regarding "Love" and "need for multiple personalities in God" are clearly logical fallacies at multiple levels.

Rag said...

Let me tell this explicitly here. I AM A DEVOUT HINDU and my definition of God will be based on my understanding of Hinduism. I thought my name would have made this clear.

http://answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/trinity_love.html
====================================

Ben Malik,

Thanks for the article, which throws light on this topic better.

The article's main points are

1. Love for oneself is NOT praise worthy. Love is an ACT of giving oneself to others selflessly. If God is perfect Being, He must give Himself freely and unconditionally to "another" and He must be eternally loving in tis way.

2. This "another" must be somehow uncreated and eternal and thus within God Himself (otherwise there will be multiple Gods so to say).

3. If "another" is "created beings", then that would make God a dependent Being, since to express His love, He has to create other beings.

My Rebuttals:

=================================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

love of this kind if it is strong enough will prevent you from loving others. That is not what we mean when we say God is love.
==================================

Now I DO NOT agree with this definition of LOVE as an ACT.

The question is what drives this ACT?

Since neither xians (as articulately expressed in the above link) nor I agree with the Islamic definition of God as an entity who is essentially driven by His "unconstrained free-will" Whose nature is inscrutable ultimately, it is clear that this "ACT of Love" from God is driven by His own essential nature. I call this essential nature as "Love". When I said even a Unitary G-d can love Himself, I meant exactly His essential nature itself is Love, independent of the number of persons in God Being. Whether and/or how He expresses this Love is completely another question.

Thus the argument made by xians is a logical fallacy (Begging the question or petitio principii), where you define Love according to your convenience and conclude the same.

=============================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

If this was the case and God did not consist in a plurality of persons. He would need to create persons in order to express this hypothetical inherent quality (prelove?)
==================================

1. Please see my definition of what "Love" is?

2. Now the question is does God have any need to express this Love? My answer is God who is a perfect Being, has no needs, is completely self-satisfied and self-less (God's Love is so self-less to the point that He has no need to even express it) and so has no need to express His Love, but His "ACT of Love" is ONLY an accidental property.

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

Hey Ragurman ,

I’m glad you responded. I hope you will continue to look into this stuff. There is no more important question than “Who is God?”

You said………………….

I AM A DEVOUT HINDU and my definition of God will be based on my understanding of Hinduism. I thought my name would have made this clear.

I say………………………

Not when one of the foremost Christian apologists is Ravi Zacharias. ;-)

I assumed that any one who frequents this site will be Christian or Muslim or at least come from one of those two worldviews broadly stated.

I hope you understand that we Christians believe that one is a believer not based on his name but on his profession and his life.

You said…………………….

Now I DO NOT agree with this definition of LOVE as an ACT.

I say……………………………

I never said that love is an act.

It is IMO an attitude or position or posture of the mind that inevitably leads to action.

If love does not result in action it is not trully love. Much like energy that never does any work is a logical contradiction.

Does that make sense to you


You say…………………………..

When I said even a Unitary G-d can love Himself, I meant exactly His essential nature itself is Love, independent of the number of persons in God Being.

I say…………………………….


The problem with this position is that since love is a relational/accidental attribute like mercy and forgiveness it can not be part of God’s essential nature unless he a plurality of persons. This is basic metaphysics.


The burden of proof is on you to explain how a relational attribute can be essential in a unitary god.

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

You say…………………………….

The very fact that a father can start saving for his offspring's education before his conception is an ACT of Love.

I say……………………


This is an incorrect conclusion .

the father's saving is not an act of love for a specific child. It is an act geared instead to a possible or expected child.

This should be obvious but maybe an illustration will help

Suppose the father’s child is born a vegetable or mentally retarded and is not able to take advantage of education. Suppose this child is born needing vast amounts of medical care that the father will not be able to afford because he saved his money for education instead of investing in the proper insurance.

Now your definition of love is

quote:

an emotion and intention for the well being of any entity, including oneself.

end quote:

It’s plain to see that in this case the father did not intend what was best for his child when he saved for his education mainly because he did not know the child at the time.

He could not intend the best for him in more than a very generic way.

Like when I give money to a charity to help people I’ve never met. Such an act might be morally praiseworthy but it’s not the kind of love we are talking about.


Love requires relationship with out relationship all you have is a vague sentimentality.


You say…………………………….

Did Father person of Trinity know that Jesus would be sacrificed after creation as an act of Love for creation even before Father person created?

Since God the Father omniscient, does he have the same experiential knowledge of the feeling of Love for his creation before creating it as he would have after creating it and sacrificing his son?


I say…………………

Christians believe that the Father's love for his son is logically prior to his decision to create. It is this logical priority that allows us to say that love is essential to his nature.

There is no temporal order here because time came into existence at the creation not before.

Christ’s love for creation is a derived secondary love that flows from his love of the father. Much like my love for my wife’s family is a love that flows from my love for my wife.

You say……………….

Thus all your arguments regarding "Love" and "need for multiple personalities in God" are clearly logical fallacies at multiple levels.

I say…………………

Perhaps you should try and understand your opponents position a little better before you deem it fallacious.

So far you don’t seem to grasp just exactly what is being said.


peace

Rag said...

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

It is IMO an attitude or position or posture of the mind that inevitably leads to action.

If love does not result in action it is not trully love. Much like energy that never does any work is a logical contradiction.
==============================

This is your definition of Love NOT acceptable to everyone.

By the way "energy" is "energy" whether it produces work or not. "Energy" need NOT necessarily produce work instantaneously to be called as energy. It can be latent or a potential. Have you heard of "Potential energy" for example?

In a similar way, "Love" can be a potential in unitary G-d, which may NOT lead to action temporarily, but it will lead to action (accidental) some time.

=============================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

the father's saving is not an act of love for a specific child. It is an act geared instead to a possible or expected child.
================================

1. This is merely an analogy. I am NOT making equivalence claims between love of a human father and that of G-d.

2. The fact that this human father lacks knowledge about future possibilities and what is best for his child does NOT negate the father's intention of well being of the child. Thus there is an element of selflessness in this action.

3. This example was given to show if tis is the case for human father, what needs to said for omniscient G-d.

===================================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

Christians believe that the Father's love for his son is logically prior to his decision to create. It is this logical priority that allows us to say that love is essential to his nature.

There is no temporal order here because time came into existence at the creation not before.
===================================

1. This makes no logical sense whatsoever. If something is "logically prior to his decision to create" then there is a time before His decision to create. Without some kind of "Time or temporal order" one cannot speak of prior His decision to create.

2. This DOES NOT answer the objection on omniscience of G-d and His having knowledge of experiential love for His creation prior to and after His "decision to create" and/or creation.

===================================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

Perhaps you should try and understand your opponents position a little better before you deem it fallacious.

So far you don’t seem to grasp just exactly what is being said.
=====================================

I am afraid it is NOT me is NOT able to grasp here. I have understood precisely what is being said here.

I am afraid Tony Costa or other xians position on this topic is nothing but begging the question (or petitio principii, "assuming the initial point"), which is a logical fallacy. Yuo define love as you want and conclude the same.

hugh watt said...

Rag:

I said.

"A person cannot love a child before it exists.

Rag said:

"Relationships can exist in our minds, even when the object being loved is NOT in existence for now as the example of father saving for an unborn offspring. This is an ACT of selflessness in one way and hence Love. So definitely a Unitary G-d can have such Love."

Loving in the mind is not like loving in the deed!
Who was God loving in the mind and deed before anyone/thing?
If you say His Son, then my point is understood. If you say there's no Trinity, my Q still stands.
If a child were ill and needed a transplant which only the father could give, love now takes on a different angle. It just expresses itself differently. Now, before the child was conceived it could not be loved intimately!
Who was God loving personally, intimately before anyone/thing was?

Hinduism does not believe in the Biblical Trinity but a plurality of impersonal gods. Also, the Hindu concept of love is seen in its caste system; Karma. What happens if you do not 'make the cut,' before death? How does one work their way up the Karma ladder? Hindu love is not like Christ's love.

"In Hinduism creation is an eternal activity of God."

Generater
Operator
Destroyer!

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

Hey Rag,

If I understand you correctly you wish to redefine "Love" in a way that is not relational. This seems to me to stretch the semantic range of the word beyond it’s limits.

Take a look at the dictionary definition from here:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/love

I think you will find no basis for your redefinition of love.

Of course you could choose to redefine love in the way you are advocating here but I think you will find that to do so would be a hindrance to honest and open conversation.

I find it’s best to always use the common accepted definitions of terms.


You said:…………………..



In a similar way, "Love" can be a potential in unitary G-d, which may NOT lead to action temporarily, but it will lead to action (accidental) some time.


I say:……………………….

Of course this is possible but then we would have to say somthing like

“god is potential love” instead of “God is love”

God would need creation in order to express his love. A god with needs is inferior to one with out I’m sure you would agree.

You said...............:

Thus there is an element of selflessness in this action......This example was given to show if this is the case for human father, what needs to said for omniscient G-d.

I say:

Selflessness is not love.

Selflessness can be an essential attribute in a unitary god.

However such an attribute would need creation in order to be expressed. A god with needs is inferior.

you said:...................

This makes no logical sense whatsoever. If something is "logically prior to his decision to create" then there is a time before His decision to create.

I say......................

You are incorrect. To say that something is logically prior is to say it has more weight or is more basic to our thinking.

We make this kind of distinction all the time.

The decision to look my best is logically prior the decision to wear the red tie even though there may be no time lag between the two.

The decision to go to work is logically prior to the choice to drive my car even though I might make both at the same time.

Do you understand this concept?


You said:....................

This DOES NOT answer the objection on omniscience of G-d and His having knowledge of experiential love for His creation prior to and after His "decision to create" and/or creation.


I say..............

In fact it does. A god who needs creation to express his love he is inferior to one who is love in his essence.


You say:...............

You define love as you want and conclude the same.

I Say...............

I’m afraid it’s you who want to modify the standard dictionary definition of love to include some sort of potential aspect. However even this will not help your position.

Actual love is superior to potential love by definition.



peace

Rag said...

hugh watt said...

Loving in the mind is not like loving in the deed!
================================

Love is an intention which arises in consciousness. The quality of Love is known through the purity of this intention, even when nobody is the recipient of is intention.

=================================
hugh watt said...

Who was God loving in the mind and deed before anyone/thing?
...................
If a child were ill and needed a transplant which only the father could give, love now takes on a different angle. It just expresses itself differently. Now, before the child was conceived it could not be loved intimately!
=====================================

This disparity exists only in created beings that are NOT perfect.

Since G-d is omniscient perfect Being, He has the experiential knowledge (or wisdom) of Love, even before a thing exists.

=====================================
hugh watt said...

Who was God loving personally, intimately before anyone/thing was?
=======================================

Read the above answer please.

===================================
hugh watt said...

Hinduism does not believe in the Biblical Trinity but a plurality of impersonal gods. Also, the Hindu concept of love is seen in its caste system; Karma. What happens if you do not 'make the cut,' before death? How does one work their way up the Karma ladder? Hindu love is not like Christ's love.
======================================

1. I follow Monotheistic interpretation or Monotheistic school of Hinduism. I have studied Vedas (Hindu scriptures) and know this interpretation is true according to Vedas.

2. Devatas, translated as gods in english (a kin to angels) in Vedas are dependent beings. They, like all other dependent beings (human beings, animals etc.), are eternally dependent on G-d (Bhagavan Vishnu in Sanskrit) for everything.

3. There are NO impersonal gods in Vedas. All Devatas have names, forms, personalities etc. They are distinct and different from Bhagavan Vishnu Who is also Personal. Infact Vedic conception of G-d consists of Him possessing unlimited infinite personalities or Forms within Himself, each Form or personality completely perfect and unlimited in Himself.

4. Your understanding of "caste system" of Vedas is erroneous and hence your arguments on love are strawman. You first need to understand the issue correctly. Bhagavan Visnhu, in His avatar as Krishna promises His devotees never perishes.

Bhagavad Gita 9:31

Having given up his external evil behaviour due to the strength of his internal proper resolves, ksipram bhavati, he soon becomes; verily dharma-atma, possessed of a virtuous mind; and nigaccahti, he attains; sasvat, everlasting; santim, peace, quietude [Cessation of evil acts.]. O son of Kunti, listen to the supreme Truth: Pratijanihi, do you proclaim boldly, make a firm declaration; that me, My; bhaktah, devotee, who has dedicated his inner being to Me; na, does not; pranasyati, get ruined.

Rag said...

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

If I understand you correctly you wish to redefine "Love" in a way that is not relational.
========================================

No...this is NOT correct completely...I am redefining "Love" because dictionary definitions do NOT adequately address feelings of a a father Love for unborn child etc.

So in order to address this problem one must redefine Love properly to include this. Love is indeed relational, but the object of Love need NOT necessarily exist at present. The same is with respect to G-d who is omniscient.

Your argument against this is such Love is NOT Love is NOT acceptable for it is possible.

=================================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

This seems to me to stretch the semantic range of the word beyond it’s limits.

Take a look at the dictionary definition from here:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/love
=================================

Dictionary meanings give the general usage of the word and DO NOT address philosophical problems and/or all possibilities.

=================================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

I think you will find no basis for your redefinition of love.
===================================

Exactly why? I think there is a strong basis for Love is necessarily an emotion and intention of well being for other(s) in mind, which happens all the time in our lives. There are people who save money even for grand childre, even before they exist. What you are doing is shoving uncomfortable things under the carpet.

=================================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

Of course you could choose to redefine love in the way you are advocating here but I think you will find that to do so would be a hindrance to honest and open conversation.
==================================

I do NOT think so.

=================================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

I find it’s best to always use the common accepted definitions of terms.
=======================================

I find common accepted definitions lacking in many ways. If that is the case then no insight into any thing is possible. Thus philosophy or Science itself will NOT be possible. Redefining terms is always doen in philosophy to include all range of possibilities.

=================================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

Of course this is possible but then we would have to say something like

“god is potential love” instead of “God is love”
===================================

No..that is NOT right....I said "love" is a potential in G-d, in the sense that it is there in G-d, NOT that G-d has potential to "Love". This "Love" manifests or become visible to others once creation is there.

=================================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

God would need creation in order to express his love. A god with needs is inferior to one with out I’m sure you would agree.
===================================

1. God has no needs and has no need to express His Love.

2. Since one of G-d's essential nature itself is "Love", His existence itself expresses or manifests it eternally.

3. If by expression you mean something other than G-d to perceive His Love, then creation must be there, but this defect is NOT in G-d for He has no needs.

=================================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

Selflessness is not love.
=================================

Love has two sides, one in negation is element of selflessness, another as positive side is affection for the other.

Rag said...

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

Selflessness can be an essential attribute in a unitary god.

However such an attribute would need creation in order to be expressed. A god with needs is inferior.
================================

Again, same logical fallacy as above. One who is absolutely selfless has no needs, thus G-d has no need to express it to others.

=================================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

I say......................

You are incorrect. To say that something is logically prior is to say it has more weight or is more basic to our thinking....
Do you understand this concept?
=================================

I understand now correctly that "logical priority" DOES NOT necessarily => temporal order....

However you said "There is no temporal order here because time came into existence at the creation not before."

So without "temporal order" of some kind, how can there be a "before" before creation?


=================================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

In fact it does. A god who needs creation to express his love he is inferior to one who is love in his essence.
==================================

Again...

1. This DOES NOT answer the objection on omniscience of unitary G-d and His having knowledge of experiential love for His creation prior to and after His "decision to create" and/or creation.

This => multiple personalities in G-d is NOT a necessity for being eternally loving.

2. A PERFECT UNITARY G-d has no needs whatsoever, much less the need to express His love.

3. If by expression you mean something other than G-d to perceive His Love, then creation must be there, but this defect is NOT in G-d for He has no needs.


=================================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

I’m afraid it’s you who want to modify the standard dictionary definition of love to include some sort of potential aspect. However even this will not help your position.

Actual love is superior to potential love by definition.
====================================

You are misinterpreting my words. Love is mainly a feeling of affection or intention.....It DOES NOT necessarily involve an action. It is internal to the person feeling it.

Oxford gives the following meaning

To have or feel love towards (a person, a thing personified) (for a quality or attribute); to entertain a great affection, fondness, or regard for; to hold dear.

Definitely G-d can possess Love for His creation eternally from His very essential nature, even when they do NOt exist.

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

Hey Rag,

You say………………….

One who is absolutely selfless has no needs, thus G-d has no need to express it to others.

I say……………………..

I think we may have a cultural miscommunication here.

By selfless I don’t mean the sort of denial of self that is advocated in Buddhism. This sort of selflessness is not morally praiseworthy in my opinion

By selfless I mean the placing of the wellbeing of others above my own interests. This kind of selflessness requires others inorder to be expressed.

You say…………………..


So without "temporal order" of some kind, how can there be a "before" before creation?

I say…………………………

I never said that there was no temporal order just that there is no temporal order before creation.

It’s the advent of time that gives “before” meaning.

There is the moment of creation in which time began and there is a plain of existence outside of time that already existed at the point of creation.

The Bible often calls this reality “in the beginning” (Gen 1:1 John 1:1 etc).

You say…………………………

This DOES NOT answer the objection on omniscience of unitary G-d and His having knowledge of experiential love for His creation prior to and after His "decision to create" and/or creation.

I say…………………….

Apparently you still don’t understand the weight of the argument being made here.

In your hypothetical world god needs creation in order to love.

Such a God is inferior to the Triune God of scripture who has no needs. His love is an essential attribute of his being.

You say……………….

A PERFECT UNITARY G-d has no needs whatsoever, much less the need to express His love.

I say…………

Just asserting something does not make it so.

You have yet to show even how a unitary god could be perfect. Let alone how he can love someone while he is all alone yet at the same time have no need to bring this person into existance.


Such a convoluted chain of thought defies comprehension let alone acceptance

you say:......................

Definitely G-d can possess Love for His creation eternally from His very essential nature, even when
they do NOt exist

I say.......................

In such a case god needs his creation to love. A god who needs is inferior.

It appears that we may be at an impasse. We are beginning to repeat ourselves.

I ask you to honestly compare a Trinitarian God who is eternally love by nature and a hypothetical god all alone in the universe desperately loving a creation that has yet to come into existence.

I think if you are honest you will agree that your god in inferior

peace

Zack_Tiang said...

Rag said..
"Love is an intention which arises in consciousness. The quality of Love is known through the purity of this intention, even when nobody is the recipient of is intention. "

"Since G-d is omniscient perfect Being, He has the experiential knowledge (or wisdom) of Love, even before a thing exists.

=====================================
hugh watt said...

Who was God loving personally, intimately before anyone/thing was?
=======================================

Read the above answer please."


I may not be the best to talk about this topic at this point...

but I can tell your reference to the earlier answer does NOT answer hugh's question of personal & intimate love

One can't have a personal or intimate love with oneself or in one's own mind.
That's just plain illogical, creepy and insane.

hugh watt said...

Rag said..

"Love is an intention which arises in consciousness. The quality of Love is known through the purity of this intention, even when nobody is the recipient of is intention. "

"Since G-d is omniscient perfect Being, He has the experiential knowledge (or wisdom) of Love, even before a thing exists."


Zack said: "I may not be the best to talk about this topic at this point...

but I can tell your reference to the earlier answer does NOT answer hugh's question of personal & intimate love

One can't have a personal or intimate love with oneself or in one's own mind.
That's just plain illogical, creepy and insane."


We're on the same page Zack.

A child says to a friend: 'Do your parents love you?'
'Yes,' says the friend.
'How do you know?'
'They tell me all the time.'
'How about you?'
'They tell me and show me!'

Again: A man tells a girl, 'you know i love you, don't you; even before we started dating?'
'And how was i suppose to know?'
'Well, i thought about you a lot.'
'Well, you may have thought about it, but i didn't see it!'

Which is personal and intimate?

Karma. Re-incarnation. I'm not going into too much Hindu doctrine here. I was trying to point out what 'love' is in the expression.
To leave people suffering because it may be to do with 'Karma' goes against the Christian belief of love. To me love is in the action. You say it's in the intention! We clearly differ on what love is.

Rag said...

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

I think we may have a cultural miscommunication here.

By selfless I mean the placing of the wellbeing of others above my own interests. This kind of selflessness requires others inorder to be expressed.
===============================

This is still partially self-denial (although NOT complete self-denial)....I don't see any difference...One side of this is NOT caring for ones needs, other side is being sensitive to needs of others...

=================================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

I never said that there was no temporal order just that there is no temporal order before creation.

It’s the advent of time that gives “before” meaning.
===================================

This is plain wrong and mere word play...One cannot talk about advent of "time" outside of time...It makes no sense whatsoever, the very words "advent", "arrival", "before" etc. make sense only with respect to time.

The very statement "there is no temporal order before creation" is meaningless. The verb "is" defines an action or state of being at the present time.

=================================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

There is the moment of creation in which time began and there is a plain of existence outside of time that already existed at the point of creation.

The Bible often calls this reality “in the beginning” (Gen 1:1 John 1:1 etc).
=====================================

All of this is meaningless. Without some kind of "time" no action is possible logically.

=================================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

In your hypothetical world god needs creation in order to love.

Such a God is inferior to the Triune God of scripture who has no needs. His love is an essential attribute of his being.
===============================

Again, this was answered, but you seem to be going round and around the same point without understanding anything what I say. So I will try again.

1. Perfect unitary G-d has no needs and so does NOT have any needs to show Love.

2. Perfect unitary G-d, Loves by His very nature. Love is an intention in mind, which does NOT necessarily involve an action.

3. Since unitary G-d is omniscient He already has the experiential knowledge of Love for creation.

So your point is already refuted. All you need to do is look read my point again if you do NOT understand.

=================================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

Just asserting something does not make it so.

You have yet to show even how a unitary god could be perfect. Let alone how he can love someone while he is all alone yet at the same time have no need to bring this person into existance.
====================================

1. His omniscience explains how He can Love a being not in existence for now. His omniscience => He has knowledge of experiential Love for His creation eternally.

Otherwise whether it is Unitary G-d or multiple personality God, one cannot call this entity as omniscient.

2. Since He is omniscient, He knows that He will create certain beings from eternity.

3. A perfect unitary G-d has no needs and is self-satisfied.

=================================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

Such a convoluted chain of thought defies comprehension let alone acceptance
====================================

Your inability in comprehension does NOT mean my arguments are convoluted.. On the other hand, defining "Love" as you want and then concluding the same shows who has convoluted thoughts.

Rag said...

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

In such a case god needs his creation to love. A god who needs is inferior.
==================================

How exactly He has any need? This is your fallacious conclusion.

Omniscience of unitary G-d => He has experiential knowledge of Love of His creation eternally. This does NOT imply Unitary G-d has any needs necessarily. If you think so explain why?

If your trinitarian God is omniscient the above needs to hold for this God too. If not, trinitarian God is NOT omniscient.

=================================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

It appears that we may be at an impasse. We are beginning to repeat ourselves.
=================================

This is because you made no attempt to understand what I write. So please try to understand this time properly what I write.

=================================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

I ask you to honestly compare a Trinitarian God who is eternally love by nature and a hypothetical god all alone in the universe desperately loving a creation that has yet to come into existence.
====================================

Why do you think Unitary G-d is desperate for anything? Explain clearly why?

I guess you cannot think outside your box.

=================================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

I think if you are honest you will agree that your god in inferior
==================================

This is a silly statement to say the least for it is based on erroneous logic and fallacious conclusions.

====================================
Zack_Tiang said...

One can't have a personal or intimate love with oneself or in one's own mind.
That's just plain illogical, creepy and insane.

hugh watt said...

We're on the same page Zack.
..........................
.....................
Which is personal and intimate?
===================================

1. The error in your logic is comparing a perfect being (in tis case Unitary G-d who is omniscient) to imperfect created beings.

It will be illogical, creepy and insane for beings with limited knowledge to do so because they cannot be sure of what the outcome is going to be.

This Is NOT the case for an omniscient unitary G-d who knows with 100 % certainty what will happen.

2. Is your trinitarian God Omniscient? The answer should be Yes, otherwise this God is NOT perfect.

If this God is omniscient, does He have direct experiential knowledge of Love between Himself and His creation even before their creation?

If the answer is No, trinitarian God is NOT omniscient and therefore NOT a perfect being.

If the answer is Yes, your God is also subject to same insanity which you accuse unitary G-d of.

Rag said...

hugh watt said...

Karma. Re-incarnation. I'm not going into too much Hindu doctrine here. I was trying to point out what 'love' is in the expression.
To leave people suffering because it may be to do with 'Karma' goes against the Christian belief of love. To me love is in the action. You say it's in the intention! We clearly differ on what love is.
===================================

If the "pure selfless intention called as Love" is there, it will lead to action, but that pure selfless intention is the definition of Love. Action is merely manifestation of Love.

By the way, Karma means lawful duties, any action (good or bad depending on context) and all kind of reactions, and in no way implies by any wild imagination that one should NOT help suffering people. I DO NOT understand where xians get such fallacious and plain ridiculous ideas (sorry to say this, but too many xians come up with this nonsense) about Karma.

Zack_Tiang said...

Rag said,
"One cannot talk about advent of "time" outside of time...It makes no sense whatsoever, the very words "advent", "arrival", "before" etc. make sense only with respect to time."
"All of this is meaningless. Without some kind of "time" no action is possible logically."
"This Is NOT the case for an omniscient unitary G-d who knows with 100 % certainty what will happen."

Oh dear.. if we're to be consistent with your line of arguments... then you've just killed your own reasoning right there.
How can your God know what will happen when such words only makes sense with respect to time?
Then again... can God act to create something to love when no action is possible without time? (that statement of yours had got to be the silliest statement ever heard of with regards to this topic..)

I'd also like to ask you... both of us being beings living in a finite universe of God's creation...
Can you comprehend a world or an existence outside of time?
How do we describe things that happened or is yet to happen? Or does everything happen at the same time (so to speak)? Or was there never a point in that timeless existence that creation was then created or never existed, but that creation was eternal in the first place?

If you're getting confused by that, that's cause we, beings living in this world with time, can never comprehend an existence without time... and our language can never sufficiently describe the timeless realm. (before or after, etc)

I'm sure now you'll have to quit your silly rhetoric with what Fifth Monarchy Man said about 'before creation'."


Rag also said,
"1. The error in your logic is comparing a perfect being (in tis case Unitary G-d who is omniscient) to imperfect created beings.

It will be illogical, creepy and insane for beings with limited knowledge to do so because they cannot be sure of what the outcome is going to be.

This Is NOT the case for an omniscient unitary G-d who knows with 100 % certainty what will happen."

No.. perfect or imperfect... it is still creepy and very troubling.

And no, it's not an error of logic on our part. What do 'personal' and 'intimate' mean, Rag? What qualifies as a 'personal, intimate & loving relationship'? To have a 'experiential knowledge' of loving a yet-to-exist creation?

Rag said...
"2. Is your trinitarian God Omniscient? The answer should be Yes, otherwise this God is NOT perfect.

If this God is omniscient, does He have direct experiential knowledge of Love between Himself and His creation even before their creation?

If the answer is No, trinitarian God is NOT omniscient and therefore NOT a perfect being.

If the answer is Yes, your God is also subject to same insanity which you accuse unitary G-d of."

You're the one that doesn't seem to understand what Fifth Monarchy Man's explaining cause you don't seem to understand how a Triune God would be far superior than your 'unitary' one.
Why?

Your 'unitary God' only has experiential knowledge of love and is presumably self-sufficient.

Our Triune God don't just have the 'experiential knowledge' but have an actual 'personal, intimate & loving' relationship already.
This isn't a need or anything, cause our Triune God is eternal and have never been in need 'before'.
Whereas for your 'unitary god', he/she/it needs to create before it can actual have a 'personal, intimate' relationship.
Our Triune God is more 'omniscient' than your 'unitary god, it seems.

hugh watt said...

The three-in-one God known as "JEHOVAH," which is composed of:
Father (the Creator), Son (the Word/Creator), the Holy Spirit (Creator in spirit).

The three-in-one god known as “Brahman,” which is composed of: Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the Preserver), and Shiva (the Destroyer).

We are not talking about the same God. The God i believe in died for the sins of the world when He came in the person Jesus Christ. This is how God demonstrates His love to us. What as Brahman done to demonstrate love to us?

Karma: Your actions in the past are responsible for your present condition. Your present actions will shape or mould your future. There is nothing chaotic or capricious in this world. You become good by your good actions, and bad by your evil actions.

If you entertain evil thoughts, you must suffer the consequences. You will be in difficulties. You will be surrounded by unfavourable circumstances. You will blame your surroundings and circumstances. Understand the law and live wisely. Entertain noble thoughts. You will be happy always.

I realise this is just the tip of the iceberg, but i think you get the gist.

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

Hey Rag,

you said....................

How exactly He has any need? This is your fallacious conclusion.

I say..................

Let me try once more to help you understand.

Remember the father you mentioned earlier. That you believe loves his children because he plans for their education.

Suppose for the sake of argument you are correct and the emotions the man feels qualify as love.

Now suppose he never has children. Will he be disappointed?

Of course he would he needs his children to fulfill his expectations.

The same goes for a god who’s “love” is for his potential creature. If said creature did not ever come into existence would he be disappointed? Would he anticipate the object of his affection coming into existence.

Of course he would. Because to desire fellowship with your beloved is what love is all about.

The lover needs the fellowship of the beloved to express his love.

If your hypothetical god does not want to fellowship with the object of his affection then he is not in love.

If you have ever loved another person you know this to be true.

Now contrast that need with the Triune God Yahweh.

The Three persons share a perfect and complete love and sublime fellowship necessarily, absent anything else in the universe. Yahweh needs nothing and no one.

Will Yahweh be lonely if nothing else exists? Of course not. His beloved is intimately present with him always.

Will he have to anticipate the object of his affection coming into existence? Of course not his beloved is forever by his side and in his bosom.

Yahweh never has to pine for the affection of his creation. His love for creation is of a different sort than the “love” your hypothetical god possesses.

The Father’s love for us is a derived love. He loves the Son and as a result loves those who the Son died for.

The Son’s love for us is a derived love. He loves the father and as a result loves those the father elected to be his people.

The Sprit’s love for us is a derived love. He loves the Father and the Son and as a result loves those who they love.

Does this make sense to you?


If it does not I will have to conclude you’ve never experienced real true love

peace

Rag said...

Zack_Tiang said...

If you're getting confused by that, that's cause we, beings living in this world with time, can never comprehend an existence without time... and our language can never sufficiently describe the timeless realm. (before or after, etc)

I'm sure now you'll have to quit your silly rhetoric with what Fifth Monarchy Man said about 'before creation'."
===================================

In other words you have no proper answer....the whole concept of something outside of time is illogical period...there is no such thing as something outside of time, time itself is manifestation of power of G-d and hence eternal as G-d...

=================================
Zack_Tiang said...

Rag also said,

No.. perfect or imperfect... it is still creepy and very troubling.
==================================

Exactly why? You have o logical answer...

=================================
Zack_Tiang said...

And no, it's not an error of logic on our part. What do 'personal' and 'intimate' mean, Rag? What qualifies as a 'personal, intimate & loving relationship'? To have a 'experiential knowledge' of loving a yet-to-exist creation?
===================================

One can love (without any expectation) another being even when there is no reciprocation....

Personal means particular to an individual...need not involve another person...

intimacy implies familiarity and closeness...which unitary G-d possesses because of His omniscience

The relationship part is missing for sure...however the question is can unitary G-d's love exist without His creation...the answer is it can...none of you can provide any good rebuttal to this.

I am NOT going to respond to any more senseless replies which is based on "personal opinions" and NOT logic...

=================================
Zack_Tiang said...

You're the one that doesn't seem to understand what Fifth Monarchy Man's explaining cause you don't seem to understand how a Triune God would be far superior than your 'unitary' one.
Why?

Your 'unitary God' only has experiential knowledge of love and is presumably self-sufficient.

Our Triune God don't just have the 'experiential knowledge' but have an actual 'personal, intimate & loving' relationship already.
====================================

Relationship for definite is lacking in Unitary G-d, but NOT the "Loving nature" which is inherent to Unitary G-d.

It was precisely this point (inherent nature of Unitary G-d or trinitarian God to Love) which is being discussed here, which makes both of these concepts of God holy as both concepts are loving and so both concepts are holy. end of story...

=================================
Zack_Tiang said...

This isn't a need or anything, cause our Triune God is eternal and have never been in need 'before'.
Whereas for your 'unitary god', he/she/it needs to create before it can actual have a 'personal, intimate' relationship.
=================================

1. As said before, unitary G-d has no needs, even the need to express/manifest His love.

2. Unitary G-d's experiential knowledge of intimate relationship shows unitary g-d does NOT lack the inherent nature to Love.

=> the argument about having a real relationship is irrelevant...

Besides what is so great about loving one's own essential being (although one brings a concept of multiple personality with a being)? I do NOT see this as something great, it is still loving one's own self or essential being which even human beings do, although they have a only one personality...

Rag said...

Zack_Tiang said...

Our Triune God is more 'omniscient' than your 'unitary god, it seems.
==================================

1. There is nothing called ass more omniscient...either it is omniscient or NOT omniscient...

2. omniscience => perfection in knowledge or knowing which is there in unitary G-d as well...experiential knowledge is there in unitary G-d as you accepted. The lack of actual relationship is irrelevant here and thus your point smacks of desperation to save your empty defeated position.

======================================
hugh watt said...

We are not talking about the same God. The God i believe in died for the sins of the world when He came in the person Jesus Christ. This is how God demonstrates His love to us. What as Brahman done to demonstrate love to us?
..................
I realise this is just the tip of the iceberg, but i think you get the gist.
=======================================

Frankly this argument is NOT even near impressive to us Hindus. It may appeal to emotional sense, but a little analysis will poke giant holes in such fallacious beliefs.

First tell me whom did this alleged God die to convince?

Bible believes in creation-ex-nihilo or at the least bible does NOT believe in pre-existence of souls or beings in some way.

=> Your God (assuming He is omniscient) knowingly created souls that will sin (satan and/or adam and/or eve) at some time?

What is the point in knowingly creating souls that will sin and then die for them?

Does this NOT show God to be manipulative and even sadistic being and thus full of defects?

I know this is just the tip of the iceberg, but I think you get the gist.

Rag said...

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

The same goes for a god who’s “love” is for his potential creature. If said creature did not ever come into existence would he be disappointed? Would he anticipate the object of his affection coming into existence.
====================================

Bear with me patiently and read my entire answer before replying. I have answered all your objections, but you have to read my answers in full before raising the same points again and again.

1. The question of if and buts do NOT come here for a perfectly omniscient unitary G-d. So your question itself is wrong.

2. Even if you do NOT agree with the above argument, the question is even then does your trinitarian God have experiential knowledge of Love with His created beings?

The answer is Yes as this god is believed to be omniscient.

Will your trinitarian god be disappointed if hypothetically His creation do NOT come into being?

This takes us to your next point as given below.

====================================
Fifth Monarchy Man said...

Of course he would. Because to desire fellowship with your beloved is what love is all about.

The lover needs the fellowship of the beloved to express his love.

If your hypothetical god does not want to fellowship with the object of his affection then he is not in love.

If you have ever loved another person you know this to be true.
====================================

1. As said before a perfect unitary G-d has no needs, including that of fellowship etc. His love is so absolute and selfless that He does NOT even have the need for fellowship to express His love. It is only defective humans who have such weakness think this dependence on another (which is actually selfishness on emotional level) is pure love, which I do NOT agree with.

2. Even if you do NOT agree with the above argument, then the question is does the triune God (who is omniscient and has experiential knowledge of love between Him and His creation) long for a fellowship with His creation, the same defect which you attribute to Unitary G-d exists in triune god as well if you do NOT agree with point 1 stated above?

This takes us to the next part of your question on "derived love" which is really a defective concept....

Rag said...

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

Yahweh never has to pine for the affection of his creation. His love for creation is of a different sort than the “love” your hypothetical god possesses.

The Father’s love for us is a derived love. He loves the Son and as a result loves those who the Son died for.

The Son’s love for us is a derived love. He loves the father and as a result loves those the father elected to be his people.

The Sprit’s love for us is a derived love. He loves the Father and the Son and as a result loves those who they love.
=====================================

1. Is your triune god omniscient? You have been avoiding this question and it is time to answer directly?

I believe you will answer yes....If so, does this god have experiential knowledge of love between himself and his creation?

The answer must be yes....=> your argument on "derived love" is fallacious for even this triune god has direct love for his creation as per this argument.

if you answer "no" to any question above, it => your triune god is NOT omniscient and hence a omniscient Unitary G-d is superior to your NOT omniscient triune god.

2. You say that the "triune god's love for creation" is a derived one which somehow does NOT make this triune god long for a relationship with his creation.

let me quote your statement

"If your hypothetical god does not want to fellowship with the object of his affection then he is not in love."

I say the same thing with your triune god's case remembering the argument on omniscience and knowledge of experiential love between this god's creation and himself. It is irrelevant if your triune god has derived love or something else for his creation... whatever be the type of love, if he does NOT want the fellowship with his creation then triune god is NOT in love with his creation, derived or otherwise...

3. Why did this father elect some people as his elect? Is it because he loved them from eternity or arbitrarily did this act?

Does this mean father does not love those creations that are NOT his elect? which will make this triune god defective for he knowingly created some things which he does NOT love => triune god is sadistic...

Does this mean son died only for some of his creations and not all? This makes his love defective as well.

All this shows the "derived love" of triune god is defective and this triune god cannot be holy for this god shows partiality to his creatures.

Zack_Tiang said...

Rag said...
"In other words you have no proper answer....the whole concept of something outside of time is illogical period...there is no such thing as something outside of time, time itself is manifestation of power of G-d and hence eternal as G-d..."

Up-to-date science easily refutes your statement, Rag. Time is not eternal and is very much part of this created world. Ever heard of the fourth dimension?
Time is not eternal as God. Get your facts straight.

"Exactly why? You have o logical answer..."

If Jesus (the only perfect man) was to talk to Himself about loving others intimately and personally (assuming there was no other man in the world) and even to respond to Himself...
Even Christians would find that creepy and disturbing.
It doesn't matter perfect or imperfect.
Claiming to have an intimate, loving, personal relationship with no one but yourself is NOT the same as having such relationship with another (existing) being.


Rag said...
"Zack_Tiang said...

Our Triune God is more 'omniscient' than your 'unitary god, it seems.
==================================

1. There is nothing called ass more omniscient...either it is omniscient or NOT omniscient...

2. omniscience => perfection in knowledge or knowing which is there in unitary G-d as well...experiential knowledge is there in unitary G-d as you accepted. The lack of actual relationship is irrelevant here and thus your point smacks of desperation to save your empty defeated position."

I will forgive you for your inability to discern sarcasm/a jocular statement.

Zack_Tiang said...

Rag... you seem to still don't understand the 'logic' behind your argument in comparison with some of our responses.. so let me try and summarize more clearly...
(And I never really liked people 'claiming to have thoroughly refuted an argument', especially when in the midst of the 'debate/discussion'.. it makes it seemed like they're the judge themselves. Talk about ego...)


"Who was God loving personally, intimately before anyone/thing was?"
You answered, "An [omniscient] unitary god can have an 'experiential knowledge of love' without the need of a relationship or creating any being to express it."
We answered, "Our (omniscient) Triune God HAVE actually LOVED and are IN A RELATIONSHIP amongst each other; not just the mere knowledge; and created beings merely to extend the love that was shared within the Triune God."

Claiming to be 'a man who loves your wife' long before you even got married does NOT qualify your statement... whether you're perfect or imperfect... whether you have 'experiential knowledge' or not...



"Besides what is so great about loving one's own essential being?"

Wow... did I just see you refute your own statement regarding your own unitary god??

"(although one brings a concept of multiple personality with a being)? I do NOT see this as something great, it is still loving one's own self or essential being which even human beings do, although they have a only one personality..."

You are correct. Even if a man with multiple personalities would still be committing that act... but our Triune God is not a God with 'multiple personalities'...

Our Triune God is basically described as 'One God in Three Persons'...
Multiple personalities are essentially of one person; while the Trinity shows that they are of the same identity, not same person.
So your argument is moot.


And in all honesty... your following arguments against Fifth Monarchy Man and hugh watt are making less and less logical sense...

Why would our Triune God need 'experiential knowledge'? Our God already HAVE the experience. Thus our Triune God would qualify more to be called 'omniscient' in comparison with your unitary god since yours only have the experiential knowledge.

Our Triune God needs not have experiential knowledge between Himself and his creation, because the love/relationship shared between the THREE persons IS the basis of love; NOT the 'experiential knowledge' about love.

paul said...

I believe both sides have something,and we need to respect and hold that both these are cult religions while the truth of the matter is found in the Torah "Hear Israel I Am your God is one" or Allah Ahad as we could say it in Arabic. I have more of these sorts of thoughts on my blog paul-sevenpillarsofwisdom. Where I attempt to bring all our fundermentalist religions together.

hugh watt said...

Rag said:

"Your question itself is wrong.
=> Your God (assuming He is omniscient) knowingly created souls that will sin (satan and/or adam and/or eve) at some time?
What is the point in knowingly creating souls that will sin and then die for them?
Does this NOT show God to be manipulative and even sadistic being and thus full of defects?
I know this is just the tip of the iceberg, but I think you get the gist."


No, i don't get the gist! You've said stuff that has nothing to do with what i asked you.

"We are not talking about the same God. The God i believe in died for the sins of the world when He came in the person Jesus Christ. This is how God demonstrates His love to us. What as Brahman done to demonstrate love to us?

Frankly this reply is NOT even near impressive to me. It may appeal to Hindu sense, but a little analysis will poke giant holes in such fallacious beliefs. Demonstrate Brahman's love from Hindu scripture.

Bear with me patiently and read my entire answer before replying. You haven't answered my Q, but you have to answer in full before raising the same points again and again.

1. Is your triune god omniscient? Don't avoid this question and it is time to answer directly?
2. Which of the other Hindu gods do you believe in, and how do they demonstrate love?

Paul:

In what way are you trying to bring "all our fundamentalist religions together," and why?

Rag said...

hugh watt said...

No, i don't get the gist! You've said stuff that has nothing to do with what i asked you.........
=====================================

If you don't even get what I am saying, how do you know if it has anything to do with your question....

Let me make it simple for you....

You claim that your god "died" for the sins of some elect human beings or "all human beings" and thereby demonstrated his love. What you think as love is logically shown to be an erroneous belief and that such belief shows defects in your triune god.

My answer is questioning such an assumption of your belief itself.

Now go back and read my questions to understand what I am asking...

=====================================
hugh watt said...

You haven't answered my Q, but you have to answer in full before raising the same points again and again.
=====================================

My questions disprove your claim that your god died to save anybody, for such a claim consists of so many logical problems showing your god is manipulative, imperfect etc. for you believe in creation ex-nihilo or at the least bible does NOT believe in pre-existence of souls..

Is your triune god omnipotent (I mean is your god able to do all logically possible things)? I believe you will answer yes....

So what need does your god have to shed blood? Who is he convincing here? Apparently it is only himself here for it is this triune god who makes judgment on all human beings about their destiny after death. The only being who must be convinced about a soul deserving heaven/hell is this triune god himself and hence the "death" of jesus convinces only this triune god himself.

This is insane, creepy behavior of triune god.....

Is your god not omniscient? I believe you will answer yes....

So why did he create knowingly souls and/or beings that will sin and then die for them?

=> triune god is manipulative beings, is sadistic in nature...such a being cannot have "true love" for others....

Hence you assumption that the son died for the sins etc. is based on fallacious belief...where you see love, I see cunningness, manipulativeness etc....and I have shown this to you logically.

Rag said...

hugh watt said...

2. Which of the other Hindu gods do you believe in, and how do they demonstrate love?
======================================

Your knowledge of Hinduism is abysmally bad. Very few people (including Hindus) learn main Hindu scriptures, namely Vedas.

What you call as "Hindu gods" are a kin to angelic beings of bible...They are NOT the GOD of Vedas.

The identity of THE GOD of Vedas is Vishnu, who is THE ONLY independent Being, creator, sustainer, finally who annihilates the Universe at the end and repeats this cycle infinitum. All others are dependent beings.

As for your question, how He demonstrates His love...

He, the omnipresent, is always present within us and guides deserving souls through wisdom. There are many examples of how Lord Vishnu saves His devotees all the time in the text called Srimad Bhagavatam, both from internal enemies like lust etc. as well as external enemies. His love and guidance is on case by case basis without loss of justice, but He never fails to protect His devotees. Those who seek His protection get it without the need for Him to die or even sweat or incarnate (avatar is NOT incarnation period, avatar is descent as He is, fully spiritual transcendental pure Being)etc....I suggest you read something about Hinduism first...

Bhagavad Gita 9:31

Having given up his external evil behaviour due to the strength of his internal proper resolves, ksipram bhavati, he soon becomes; verily dharma-atma, possessed of a virtuous mind; and nigaccahti, he attains; sasvat, everlasting; santim, peace, quietude [Cessation of evil acts.]. O son of Kunti, listen to the supreme Truth: Pratijanihi, do you proclaim boldly, make a firm declaration; that me, My; bhaktah, devotee, who has dedicated his inner being to Me; na, does not; pranasyati, get ruined.

Rag said...

Zack_Tiang said...

it makes it seemed like they're the judge themselves. Talk about ego...
================================

This is NOT about ego, but knowing your arguments are very wrong....which I am very convinced....The only point is you do not see the fallacies in your argument...

================================
Zack_Tiang said...

We answered, "Our (omniscient) Triune God HAVE actually LOVED and are IN A RELATIONSHIP amongst each other; not just the mere knowledge; and created beings merely to extend the love that was shared within the Triune God."
==================================

Again, it is yu who does NOT get my answer.

The main question was that "Love" makes God holy....whether there is a relationship or NOT is irrelevant if the knowledge of experiential love (I mean complete experiencing of the relationship here) is there....

================================
Zack_Tiang said...

Our Triune God is basically described as 'One God in Three Persons'...
Multiple personalities are essentially of one person; while the Trinity shows that they are of the same identity, not same person.
So your argument is moot.
=================================

This is merely word game, that is all...

I did NOT use the word "personality" in the sense of characteristics, but as distinct persons existing simultaneously....This may be my mistake....

Still my argument stands, love between these persons in trinity is ONLY as though loving oneself for the being in essence is ONE as you said....

Now, when I said Loving oneself in case of unitary G-d, which I already clarified, I meant in the sense of unitary G-d's essential nature being love itself....

===================================
Zack_Tiang said...

Why would our Triune God need 'experiential knowledge'? Our God already HAVE the experience.
=====================================

This explains why you people were repeating the same points without understanding properly my point...

When I said "knowledge of experiential love" you should understand it as experiencing the love of a relationship itself even when the relationship has not come into being....

Note that I did NOT say "knowledge of mere love" but "knowledge of experiential love"....I wonder why you missed it?

If your triune god did NOT have that experience (experience is a type of knowing) of love between him and his creation, he is NOT omniscient...

Zack_Tiang said...

Rag said..
"This is merely word game, that is all...

Still my argument stands, love between these persons in trinity is ONLY as though loving oneself for the being in essence is ONE as you said...."


Mere word play but yet you came out with a wrong conclusion at the end...
The Trinity is One God in Three Persons; just like a household is One Family in [Number of] Persons (husband, wife, children)..
Are you gonna say love between these 'persons' is merely 'loving oneself'; since a family in essence is ONE??
The 'ONE' in my statement is a collective sense... i.e. the Three Musketeers, 'All for ONE and ONE for all'; "the football team moved across the field as ONE"; "The Lord your God is ONE."
The bible over and over clearly teaches that the Three Persons are distinct from one another and not identical; but together they are ONE GOD.

Rag said,
"Now, when I said Loving oneself in case of unitary G-d, which I already clarified, I meant in the sense of unitary G-d's essential nature being love itself...."


So... a unitary god's only 'evidence' (sort to speak) of his "essential nature of being love itself" IS him loving himself?
How lovely...
(And no, 'experiential knowledge' can't be included as evidence to show his nature; just as a man cannot show his knowledge of ideal love, prior to meeting his wife, to prove to her his love for her)

Rag said..
"Note that I did NOT say "knowledge of mere love" but "knowledge of experiential love"....I wonder why you missed it?"


Note I said 'MERE knowledge', not 'knowledge of mere love'. I wonder why you missed it...

Rag said..
"When I said "knowledge of experiential love" you should understand it as experiencing the love of a relationship itself even when the relationship has not come into being...."


And in the end it is STILL merely head knowledge (funny.. it resides in the head rather than the heart... hmmm)... not an ACTUAL experience as our Triune God would have had before any creation.

Rag said..
"If your Triune god did NOT have that experience (experience is a type of knowing) of love between him and his creation, he is NOT omniscient..."


My gosh.. What in the world are you talking about?? It seems you're the one who doesn't understand what we're talking about.
let me repeat myself...
"Why would our Triune God need 'experiential knowledge'? Our God already HAVE the experience."
And that experience is his love AND relationship between the Three Divine Persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).
The love God shows to any of His *future* creation is an extension of THAT love shared between the three Divine Persons.

What does a Unitary God have to show for to his *future* creations? Only a hypothetical 'experiential knowledge of love' (from his head, not his heart).. and the fact that he only loved himself before creation. How loving.

Zack_Tiang said...

Rag said...
"This is NOT about ego, but knowing your arguments are very wrong....which I am very convinced....The only point is you do not see the fallacies in your argument..."


Problem is.. you're committing the very same problem you're accusing me of doing.
you don't seem to (or try to) understand what I'm talking about... at all. And then proceed to ask (and re-ask) questions that either don't relate or don't make sense.
(Reason why I never enjoy people making such statements... Jesus once said, 'How do you help a brother remove a speck of dust in his eye when you have a huge plank in your own?')
It's kinda getting frustrating how we're not moving anywhere with our 'discussion'.

Rag said,
"The main question was that "Love" makes God holy....whether there is a relationship or NOT is irrelevant if the knowledge of experiential love (I mean complete experiencing of the relationship here) is there...."


And that's where you don't get my point. Your unitary God DOESN'T have a relationship. So his 'knowledge of experiential love' is lesser in comparison with our Triune God that WOULD have the knowledge/wisdom about love and loving others and EVEN the experience of an ACTUAL relationship!
Try as you might to say your god's 'omniscience' would nullify that argument, it is STILL evident your unitary god IS NOT completely omniscient in the first place since he can't self-suffice himself in regards of fulfilling his own 'love nature'.

To be called 'love' or 'one whose nature is love' is to love.. (I'm sure you agree with that statement, based on your statements/reasons earlier)
Your lonely God only have the 'knowledge' to love... Our Triune God HAS and CONTINUED to love.

Still don't see the insufficiency of a unitary God?

hugh watt said...

Rag:

Bear with me patiently and read my entire answer before replying. You haven't answered my Q, but you have to answer in full before raising the same points again and again.

Generater?
Operator?
Destroyer?

The three-in-one god known as “Brahman,” which is composed of: Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the Preserver), and Shiva (the Destroyer).

Who is Brahma? Shiva? Why did you call them "3-in-1?"

"The identity of THE GOD of Vedas is Vishnu, who is THE ONLY independent Being, creator, sustainer, finally who annihilates the Universe at the end and repeats this cycle infinitum."

But;

"I did NOT use the word "personality" in the sense of characteristics, but as distinct persons existing simultaneously....This may be my mistake...."

"The identity of THE GOD of Vedas is Vishnu, who is THE ONLY independent Being, creator, sustainer, finally who annihilates the Universe at the end and repeats this cycle infinitum."

Why?

"All others are dependent beings."

So, explain, "3-in-1," "unitary G-d,"

Frankly your reply was NOT even near impressive to me. It may appeal to Hindu sense, but a little analysis will poke giant holes in such fallacious beliefs.

Rag said...

hugh watt said...

The three-in-one god known as “Brahman,” which is composed of: Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the Preserver), and Shiva (the Destroyer).

Who is Brahma? Shiva? Why did you call them "3-in-1?"
======================================

1. Where did I mention "3-in-1" anywhere? It is you who is making presumptions without studying anything properly in Hinduism, except some websites...

2. "Brahman" or also referred to as "Brahma" is Vishnu primarily.

3. BrahmA (notice the long A at the end) and Shiva as you call them are great Devatas or great angelic beings (more like arch angels). They possess body and undergo destruction of their bodies at the end of Universal dissolution.

There is a whole system of gradation among Devatas or angelic beings. This is from Vedic and Puranic perspective. I can provide evidence for all my claims from Vedas, but this is frankly NOT the purpose of this website. So do a search on the keyword "Dvaita" and learn for yourselves.

===============================
hugh watt said...

"The identity of THE GOD of Vedas is Vishnu, who is THE ONLY independent Being, creator, sustainer, finally who annihilates the Universe at the end and repeats this cycle infinitum."

Why?
======================================

I do NOT get this question "why?"....

Anyway the use of the word "personality" or "person" was used with the same meaning when asking you the question of trinity loving his own being...

Vishnu is NOT Unitary, infact He has unlimited infinite Persons or Forms within Him, all of which are eternal, infinite and complete individually and essentially same. His Avataras or descents (like Krishna, Rama etc.) display some of these Persons. There are many examples in Hindu scriptures where one Person of Vishnu meets another Person of Vishnu or meets two other Persons of Vishnu.

===============================
hugh watt said...

So, explain, "3-in-1," "unitary G-d,"
===============================

The "3-in-1" God among Hindus is a bad misunderstanding among Hindus themselves. It is NOT scriptural. That is all I can say.

I am merely using "Unitary G-d" to point out errors in your position that somehow Triune God is superior in this respect.

===============================
hugh watt said...

Frankly your reply was NOT even near impressive to me. It may appeal to Hindu sense, but a little analysis will poke giant holes in such fallacious beliefs.
===============================

Frankly you did NOT understand anything what was said in the first place.

I am NOT saying this out of ego, but you think I am saying these things because of ego. I understand your ego is hurt, but this was NOT my purpose. I used merely logic to show your fallacious position which I know I succeeded.

Rag said...

Zack_Tiang said...

It's kinda getting frustrating how we're not moving anywhere with our 'discussion'.
========================================

I feel the same way...Please realize I am NOT accusing you....this is merely a position I take based on logical conclusion....I did NOT call you names, I took a position on your arguments....

=================================
Zack_Tiang said...

....So his 'knowledge of experiential love' is lesser in comparison with our Triune God that WOULD have the knowledge/wisdom about love and loving others and EVEN the experience of an ACTUAL relationship!

Note I said 'MERE knowledge', not 'knowledge of mere love'. I wonder why you missed it...

And in the end it is STILL merely head knowledge (funny.. it resides in the head rather than the heart... hmmm)... not an ACTUAL experience as our Triune God would have had before any creation.
====================================

This explains why you people DO NOT understand anything I say.....

1. "Knowledge" of God (Unitary or Triune or anything else) is necessarily COMPLETE, otherwise this knowledge cannot be complete for God is necessarily omniscient.

=> God necessarily needs to know everything completely, even the experiencing with heart as though in a relationship.

2. God is NOT corporeal, and hence distinction between heart, head etc. in terms of limited functions is out of question in case of God.

3. Experiencing or feeling (whatever may be the experience or feeling) is a knowing of some kind. So Omniscience includes everything.

There is nothing called as "mere knowledge" in case of God. His knowledge is COMPLETE (it goes to a depth we cannot even perceive).

So when I said "knowledge of experiential love", this is what I meant.

But your understanding of God itself is full of defects in my opinion. Dividing God as heart, head and then prescribing limited functions to different parts of God amounts to limiting God and ascribing defects to Him as parts of Him are limited and hence he is full of defects as per your assumption. In Hinduism, all parts of God are infinite in itself and capable of functioning completely as God the whole. His eyes can function as any other part and so for every part.

=================================
Zack_Tiang said...

"Why would our Triune God need 'experiential knowledge'? Our God already HAVE the experience."
=================================

You still do NOT get it....

It is irrelevant if your triune god has "experience of love for other persons".

The question is does he have the experience (experiencing is a type of knowing, it is some kind of perception which is what I mean) of loving his creation even before creation?

If he has, then your concept of "derived love" is useless.

If he does NOT have and gained later, then your god became better after creation => he changed => he is NOT omniscient or all perfect for he is growing...an omniscient unitary G-d is better than such a triune god.

Rag said...

Zack_Tiang said...

The Trinity is One God in Three Persons; just like a household is One Family in [Number of] Persons (husband, wife, children)..

Are you gonna say love between these 'persons' is merely 'loving oneself'; since a family in essence is ONE??
====================================

This comparison is unwarranted.

A human family consists of distinct beings or entities. Husband and wife do NOT constitute a single entity or being composed of two persons or more like trinity.

However trinity is a single being or entity with a complex twist to it in that this entity or being has three persons within it.

So my argument holds that if a person in trinity loves other persons within trinity, it is like loving oneself only.

===================================
Zack_Tiang said...

The bible over and over clearly teaches that the Three Persons are distinct from one another and not identical; but together they are ONE GOD.
====================================

You do NOT need to repeat it to me. In Hinduism, even Devatas (angelic beings) have multiple persons within their being or souls and it is explained even more clearly in Hinduism.

===================================
Zack_Tiang said...

(And no, 'experiential knowledge' can't be included as evidence to show his nature; just as a man cannot show his knowledge of ideal love, prior to meeting his wife, to prove to her his love for her)
=====================================

Comparison of omniscient G-d with humans is NOT correct here, provided you undertand what I have explained as omniscient in one of my posts above. I don't intend to repeat it again.

Rag said...

My post on June 23, 2010 6:35 PM was NOT published. I think editors are afraid of open debates here which they cannot answer. I will try posting again...
========================================

hugh watt said...

No, i don't get the gist! You've said stuff that has nothing to do with what i asked you.........
=====================================

If you don't even get what I am saying, how do you know if it has anything to do with your question....

Let me make it simple for you....

You claim that your god "died" for the sins of some elect human beings or "all human beings" and thereby demonstrated his love. What you think as love is logically shown to be an erroneous belief and that such belief shows defects in your triune god.

My answer is questioning such an assumption of your belief itself.

Now go back and read my questions to understand what I am asking...

=====================================
hugh watt said...

You haven't answered my Q, but you have to answer in full before raising the same points again and again.
=====================================

My questions disprove your claim that your god died to save anybody, for such a claim consists of so many logical problems showing your god is manipulative, imperfect etc. for you believe in creation ex-nihilo or at the least bible does NOT believe in pre-existence of souls..

Is your triune god omnipotent (I mean is your god able to do all logically possible things)? I believe you will answer yes....

So what need does your god have to shed blood? Who is he convincing here? Apparently it is only himself here for it is this triune god who makes judgment on all human beings about their destiny after death. The only being who must be convinced about a soul deserving heaven/hell is this triune god himself and hence the "death" of jesus convinces only this triune god himself.

This is insane, creepy behavior of triune god.....

Is your god not omniscient? I believe you will answer yes....

So why did he create knowingly souls and/or beings that will sin and then die for them?

=> triune god is manipulative beings, is sadistic in nature...such a being cannot have "true love" for others....

Hence you assumption that the son died for the sins etc. is based on fallacious belief...where you see love, I see cunningness, manipulativeness etc....and I have shown this to you logically.

David Wood said...

Rag,

We didn't block anything. How many dozens of your comments have we posted? And now you're calling us cowards who are scared of debates???

Now I am going to block you, until you learn some manners.

Zack_Tiang said...

Since Rag has been banned... I will not further continue this debate... due to it meaning I'm taking advantage over the situation...

But I just want to say this, Rag, if you get to read this comment.

It is my honest opinion you are rather confused by my statements and my reasoning (maybe due to the limitations of textual discussions or your narrow-mindedness to look from the other person's PoV)..
And your statements are making less and less consistent and logical sense the more you continue to 'reason'.

So, I won't bother explaining further, cause I'll just end up 're'explaining my statements earlier which you misunderstood (or fail to understand; i.e. complete/mere knowledge vs actual experience) and 're'answering your repeated 'logic' (not to mention how inconsistent you are being... i.e. family consist of distinct human beings (persons), and trinity have 3 distinct persons are not the same??).

All the best in your search for the Truth, Rag.. Truly I pray God will help you see beyond your narrow tunnel.
God loves you despite what you've said or done against Him.
The most important thing to remember is that Jesus died for your sins, Rag. Vishnu never died for your sins... nor BrahmA/Brahma... nor Shiva.. or Krishna... or whoever...

Only Jesus Christ did. He is the only Person who have died to pay for our sins and was risen from the dead and is now living forever more.
His death is the most indisputable event in all of human history.
Seek the truth, Rag.

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

Rag

I don’t know if you are still monitoring this thread but if you are I would like try and help you out once again.

When you say that in order for God to be omniscient he must have experiential love for his creatures you are making a category mistake

Check this out


http://www.theoryofknowledge.info/typesofknowledge.html


An omniscient God has perfect procedural, and propositional knowledge but does not have personal knowledge of everything.

Some kinds of personal knowledge are logically impossible for God because to possess such knowledge would be to cease to be God.

God does not know what it feels like to be evil for instance or what it feels like to not exist. Because if he knew such things he would not be God. Do you understand?

In the same manner a Unitarian god that's knowelege depends on his love for his creature experientially before he creates it is in need of this creation and is therefore not independent and logically not God.

Case closed

Now that that is cleared up.

Yahweh did love his creation before he created it but not in the same way your hypothetical god did.

The love that the persons of the Trinity share is essential to God’s being and logically prior to the derived love that God has for his creation.

That is why the Trinitarian God can be said to be love necessarily.

And your god can only be said to have love


That is why the Trinitarian God can be said to not need anything

And your god is dependant on his creation for love and companionship.

I hope you take the time to think about this stuff.

The question of who God is is the most important one we can ask.


peace

PS

In the future I suggest that you try and be gracious to your hosts when you are discussing things on the internet and I ask that David and the powers that be would continue to extend the utmost benefit of the doubt to those critics that post here.