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Are gods also bound to the laws of physics like energy, gravitation and time?

They may have a different perception of these concepts. But are they actually bound by their laws?

Or do they break their laws if they don't like it? And start over again?

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Keelan Nov 10 '17 at 13:42
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With our present understanding of the universe, the answer is very probably. Any god that exists has only ever acted within the laws of physics.

More precisely, regardless of your definition of a god, there is no extant evidence that the laws of physics have ever been violated.

Now, there are a number of reasons why we may find that this isn't true:

  1. we have an incomplete understanding of the laws of physics (almost definitely true)
  2. we aren't aware of every event ever (definitely true)
  3. there have been violations that we haven't witnessed (not unreasonable)
  4. the gods exist but haven't bothered to do anything (both scientifically and theologically tricky)

What we can reasonably safely say though, is that any regular action that a god takes in our bit of spacetime e.g. answering prayers, either doesn't violate the laws of physics or the gods are being super sneaky about the violations.

Edit. As Arthur has correctly pointed out in the comments, this answer assumes the existence of a god or gods. This assumption was present in the question so I felt it reasonable to answer with that assumption intact.

For the record, I do not rule out the possibility that there are no god or gods. Though any clear determination in that regard would render Philosophy.SE much less fun.

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    Or they do not exist at all. That's also a possibility. – Andrei Geanta Nov 10 '17 at 10:27
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    @Arthur That's unlikely to be a reason why we eventually find that the laws of physics have been violated. It has a high probability of being the reason why we've no evidence of a god violating them. But that wasn't the question. – Alex Nov 10 '17 at 10:33
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    Yes. Sorry. I was referring to the last part. - What we can reasonably safely say though, is that any regular action that a god takes in our bit of spacetime e.g. answering prayers, either doesn't violate the laws of physics or the gods are being super sneaky about the violations. I agree that if we start from the premise that God exist, then my comment is redundant. – Andrei Geanta Nov 10 '17 at 12:38
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    Your comment is very good. But I felt the need to highlight that possibility also, even though the OP (perhaps) is not considering it. Other readers might. – Andrei Geanta Nov 10 '17 at 12:46
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    @Arthur Fair point. I've addressed this (ish) with an edit. – Alex Nov 10 '17 at 13:02
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Finite gods might be. But on a standard idea, God (I use the singular for familiarity) can do anything that is not logically impossible. Since it is logically possible for the laws of physics to be other than they are, an omnipotent God could change them - hence is not bound by them. Descartes btw believed that God was not even bound by the laws of logic and could do the logically impossible : God created logic and could change it. But this is an add-on to the answer.

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Imagine you sit down to play a game of chess. If you've ever played chess, you know, for example, that the rook can only move in a straight direction parallel to one of the edges of the board. Nothing physically prevents you from moving the rook in ways that violate the rules, but if you do, you're not really playing chess any more.

From my point of view, that is the sense in which God is "bound" by the physical laws of the universe.

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Yes absolutely. You cannot have a universe or anything that is allowed to act outside of the laws of the universe. Or your universe wouldn't be. For instance, everything that you have is nothing. That can start the universe that is a God. Consciousness all the consciousness in your Universe even at the start the simplest thought that is your god. And he's acting within the rules of the universe. To be everything and to be the consciousness he would have to act within the rules and he couldn't do those things outside of the universe laws wouldn't be possible.

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