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Is God Designed?

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  • Is God Designed?

    Who made God?

    Link

    -----

    Does the designer need a designer? Letís plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    Iím not a proponent of Intelligent Design, but sometimes in this discussion, a claim comes up that if the universe needs a designer, well surely the designer must be so much more complex. If so, does He not need a designer? Many Christians get stumped by this line of argumentation that seems convincing, but it really isnít.

    For one thing, why would an atheist want to make this argument? If you want to say complex things need designers, then the theist can say ďThere you go. Then a designer is needed for the world we see around us.Ē It doesnít help that they usually ask ďWho made God?Ē rather than ďWhat made God?Ē

    But if you want to bypass that as an atheist and say that complex things donít need designers instead, then you have an argument that says God is a complex thing that needs a designer and complex things donít need designers. Take one option in this argument and you damage your position. Take the other and you destroy the very argument youíre making.

    But it gets worse for this argument. It is still often assumed that God is a complex thing, which is understandable since most Christians today donít study philosophy at all. Most of what we know about God then comes from Scripture, personal experience, and what we hear in church, not that those are all bad, but many times we read Scripture through our own bad philosophical lenses and the information from the other two isnít often the best.

    One of the ideas about God that has been held for centuries is that God is a simple being. Some of you reading that will be stunned. After all, you cannot really comprehend God. How can a being like that be simple? Simple doesnít mean easy to understand. It means just not composed of parts. Itís easy to understand this in material terms.

    For instance, I am writing this on a computer. You can take apart my computer bit by bit and if youíre really skilled, put it back together. If you went through a junkyard of computers, you could hypothetically take some material you find there and build your own computer.

    That works with material realities, including you and I, but how do we apply this to things that are immaterial. Humans might be composed of several materials, but what is something like an angel composed of since it is immaterial? In this case, an angel has its own nature and its own existence. Those are two things. The nature exists first in the mind of God and then it is granted existence by God.

    Then you get to God. God is no combination whatsoever. What it means to exist, to be, is what God is. He has no limitations on Him. Asking what made Him is like asking what created existence. Itís a nonsense question.

    Note also that this is not an argument for the existence of God at this point. Itís just an explanation of the nature of God. Being an atheist doesnít mean you have to believe it, but you should stop trying to use a bad argument.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters

  • #2
    Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    Who made God?

    Link

    ----

    But if you want to bypass that as an atheist and say that complex things donít need designers instead, then you have an argument that says God is a complex thing that needs a designer and complex things donít need designers. Take one option in this argument and you damage your position. Take the other and you destroy the very argument youíre making.
    I'm not sure I follow this part. Could you unpack this a little bit more? I think I see what you're getting at, but I'm not sure.

    That God is complex and that complex things need causes at least as complex as they are is an argument that Dawkins has used for years. I agree that it's a bad argument.

    But it gets worse for this argument. It is still often assumed that God is a complex thing, which is understandable since most Christians today donít study philosophy at all. Most of what we know about God then comes from Scripture, personal experience, and what we hear in church, not that those are all bad, but many times we read Scripture through our own bad philosophical lenses and the information from the other two isnít often the best.

    One of the ideas about God that has been held for centuries is that God is a simple being. Some of you reading that will be stunned. After all, you cannot really comprehend God. How can a being like that be simple? Simple doesnít mean easy to understand. It means just not composed of parts. Itís easy to understand this in material terms.

    For instance, I am writing this on a computer. You can take apart my computer bit by bit and if youíre really skilled, put it back together. If you went through a junkyard of computers, you could hypothetically take some material you find there and build your own computer.

    That works with material realities, including you and I, but how do we apply this to things that are immaterial. Humans might be composed of several materials, but what is something like an angel composed of since it is immaterial? In this case, an angel has its own nature and its own existence. Those are two things. The nature exists first in the mind of God and then it is granted existence by God.

    Then you get to God. God is no combination whatsoever. What it means to exist, to be, is what God is. He has no limitations on Him. Asking what made Him is like asking what created existence. Itís a nonsense question.

    Note also that this is not an argument for the existence of God at this point. Itís just an explanation of the nature of God. Being an atheist doesnít mean you have to believe it, but you should stop trying to use a bad argument.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters
    I think Plantinga pointed out that something can be complex as far as its properties but simple in terms of its substance or essential nature. I think the argument can be made that this is the case with God since God is immaterial and His substance is not made of parts. An analogy would be my consciousness which is essentially immaterial and thus simple but has many complex properties.

    Comment


    • #3
      What is difficult about the first part?

      For the second, I would disagree with Plantinga some. He doesn't hold to divine simplicity the way that I do.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
        What is difficult about the first part?

        For the second, I would disagree with Plantinga some. He doesn't hold to divine simplicity the way that I do.
        I think I understand that part now. The word "then" was ambiguous. Also, I'm not aware of many atheists who make the argument that complex things need designers, only that complex things need causes at least as complex as the effects. That was another slight confusion.

        Even if Plantinga holds to a different idea of divine simplicity than you do, doesn't the same point about properties and substance hold? Anyway, I think it was Mortimer Adler who made that point and not Plantinga, although who it was is largely irrelevant, IMO,

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm going on Dawkins's argument on who made God? If he says God is complex and therefore needs a designer, then complex things need designers and thus, DNA and everything else needs a designer. If they don't, then one could hypothetically say God is the exception.

          I am not clear on Plantinga's view on the matter. I just know he isn't as strong on it as I would prefer he be.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
            Who made God?

            Link

            -----

            Does the designer need a designer? Letís plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

            Iím not a proponent of Intelligent Design, but sometimes in this discussion, a claim comes up that if the universe needs a designer, well surely the designer must be so much more complex. If so, does He not need a designer? Many Christians get stumped by this line of argumentation that seems convincing, but it really isnít.

            For one thing, why would an atheist want to make this argument? If you want to say complex things need designers, then the theist can say ďThere you go. Then a designer is needed for the world we see around us.Ē It doesnít help that they usually ask ďWho made God?Ē rather than ďWhat made God?Ē

            But if you want to bypass that as an atheist and say that complex things donít need designers instead, then you have an argument that says God is a complex thing that needs a designer and complex things donít need designers. Take one option in this argument and you damage your position. Take the other and you destroy the very argument youíre making.

            But it gets worse for this argument. It is still often assumed that God is a complex thing, which is understandable since most Christians today donít study philosophy at all. Most of what we know about God then comes from Scripture, personal experience, and what we hear in church, not that those are all bad, but many times we read Scripture through our own bad philosophical lenses and the information from the other two isnít often the best.

            One of the ideas about God that has been held for centuries is that God is a simple being. Some of you reading that will be stunned. After all, you cannot really comprehend God. How can a being like that be simple? Simple doesnít mean easy to understand. It means just not composed of parts. Itís easy to understand this in material terms.

            For instance, I am writing this on a computer. You can take apart my computer bit by bit and if youíre really skilled, put it back together. If you went through a junkyard of computers, you could hypothetically take some material you find there and build your own computer.

            That works with material realities, including you and I, but how do we apply this to things that are immaterial. Humans might be composed of several materials, but what is something like an angel composed of since it is immaterial? In this case, an angel has its own nature and its own existence. Those are two things. The nature exists first in the mind of God and then it is granted existence by God.

            Then you get to God. God is no combination whatsoever. What it means to exist, to be, is what God is. He has no limitations on Him. Asking what made Him is like asking what created existence. Itís a nonsense question.

            Note also that this is not an argument for the existence of God at this point. Itís just an explanation of the nature of God. Being an atheist doesnít mean you have to believe it, but you should stop trying to use a bad argument.

            In Christ,
            Nick Peters
            So, what is god made of, nothing?

            Comment


            • #7
              God is spirit. What are numbers made of?
              If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
                God is spirit. What are numbers made of?
                And what exactly is spirit?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JimL View Post
                  And what exactly is spirit?
                  What is anything made of? What is matter ultimately 'made of'? Fields of force? And what are they 'made of'? Causal dispositions? What is consciousness 'made of'? Are you a physicalist?

                  If there is a God, then God would be the basis of what things are ultimately made of, so asking what God is made of would make no sense. God would have aseity, would exist a se, independently, self-sufficiently as the ground and reason for things that are made of other things.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jim B. View Post
                    What is anything made of? What is matter ultimately 'made of'? Fields of force? And what are they 'made of'? Causal dispositions? What is consciousness 'made of'? Are you a physicalist?

                    If there is a God, then God would be the basis of what things are ultimately made of, so asking what God is made of would make no sense. God would have aseity, would exist a se, independently, self-sufficiently as the ground and reason for things that are made of other things.
                    Ex nihilo nihil fit

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JimL View Post
                      Ex nihilo nihil fit
                      So, how do you have an entire universe spring from nothing in your worldview? A quantum vacuum is still something. A multiverse is not scientifically testable. And what would be the cause for a multiverse? An eternal multiverse is more comlpicated than God. It can't explian morality or the fine tuning of the universe. And what do you care anyways? I don't go troll Hindu forums and bug them about the logical isues of reincarnation.
                      If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
                        So, how do you have an entire universe spring from nothing in your worldview?
                        It doesn't, in my view.

                        A quantum vacuum is still something.
                        Sure is.
                        A multiverse is not scientifically testable.
                        Not testable, but reasonable.

                        And what would be the cause for a multiverse?
                        The substance out of which each particular universe emerged.
                        An eternal multiverse is more comlpicated than God.
                        I don't think so at all. The idea of multiverse conforms to our knowledge of existing things, of existence, the idea of an eternal god that speaks matter into existence, doesn't conform to anything we know.

                        It can't explian morality
                        No, only we can do that, because morality has only to do with us.

                        or the fine tuning of the universe.
                        That's for us to figure out. For one thing, if there are infinite many universes, then it isn't all that surprising that one of them, or many of them, are fine tuned just like our own is.

                        And what do you care anyways? I don't go troll Hindu forums and bug them about the logical isues of reincarnation.
                        So it doesn't bother you that people believe stupid stuff and go about spreading it like a virus? I'll bet that if belief in the spaghetti monster was being spread across the country you'd have plenty to say about it.
                        Last edited by JimL; 12-18-2019, 12:32 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JimL View Post
                          Ex nihilo nihil fit
                          That's a non-sequitur. Non-responsive to any of the questions I asked.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jim B. View Post
                            That's a non-sequitur. Non-responsive to any of the questions I asked.
                            Get used to it with JimL.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jim B. View Post
                              That's a non-sequitur. Non-responsive to any of the questions I asked.
                              My answer to your questions is that "nothing is made of nothing."

                              Comment

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