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Questions tagged [theology]

Theology is the field of study and analysis that treats of God and of God's attributes and relations to the universe; the study of divine things or religious truth; divinity.

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56
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21answers
14k views

Is the “omniscient-omnipotent-omnipresent” definition of God consistent?

God is commonly defined as an omniscient (infinite knowledge), omnipotent (unlimited power), omnipresent (present everywhere) entity. Is there any logical inconsistency in this definition? I have ...
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15answers
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Does a negative claimant have a burden of proof?

I have often heard it said that the burden of proof is on the positive claimant but not on the one making a negative claim. A person claiming, "God exists" has a burden of proof but not a person ...
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6answers
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Is God either immoral or not omnipotent?

The usual (Christian) justification for suffering/evil in the world created by a benevolent God is freedom of the will. However, the more interesting question is not about the source of evil (which ...
33
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14answers
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What should a rational person accept as a miracle?

I was reading through this collection of short essays from theologians, scientists and thinkers each responding to the question "Does the Universe have a purpose?" which was suggested to me in a ...
5
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4answers
307 views

How do theologians and apologists justify the exclusiveness of their specific belief system w/r to similar but distinct belief systems?

There are several arguments for the existence of God. Whether you agree with them or not, all of these arguments argue only for the existence of a supreme being/first cause. None of them provide ...
3
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1answer
421 views

Is there a suppressed premise in Anselm's Ontological Argument?

Source: 5 minutes 20 seconds juncture; Lecture 1, Video 4 (transcription); MITx: 24.00x Introduction to Philosophy; by MIT Associate Prof Caspar Hare PhD (Princeton) [...] Suppose God existed in ...
7
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7answers
535 views

How would you know if nonobservable entities exist?

Nonphysical entities cannot be observed. Therefore such entities cannot be verified by observation. How could statements like "God exists" be even considered true? Why would anyone appeal to the ...
17
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8answers
3k views

What is the point of creating for an omniscient being?

I read a book about determinism and free will that argued an all knowing / all powerful God and free will are incompatible, because if God knows our future then our actions are determined, hence no ...
6
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17answers
2k views

How can a belief in God be reconciled with modern science?

My question is this: How can someone living in such a world and age possibly believe in God? To elaborate, I think I understand where religion and the belief in supernatural stems from. It was our ...
21
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13answers
8k views

Evil thoughts without actions?

Can a thought without a corresponding action be morally wrong? More fully, under which approaches to morality do thoughts, in and of themselves, carry moral significance? In particular I'm looking ...
9
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5answers
38k views

What is the difference between Philosophy and Theology?

In attempting to wrap my mind around the basic vocabulary, concepts, and methods of philosophy, I find myself wondering what the difference is between a philosopher and a theologian. Theology (link ...
3
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2answers
629 views

Does existence precede quiddity? [closed]

Is there an undisputed argument for the existence of God as, for instance, Avicenna's and Mulla Sadra's metaphysical argument, which state that "existence is ontologically prior to essence"? Some of ...
47
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12answers
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Does Pascal's Wager contain any logical flaws or fallacies?

Blaise Pascal's famous wager was that even if the existence of God cannot be determined through reason, a rational person should wager as though God exists, because living life accordingly has ...
9
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9answers
4k views

Why are there so many religions and gods? [closed]

Why are there so many religions and gods all over the world? Come to think of it, when the idea spread, why did people develop different gods and beliefs rather than follow the same one? If the idea ...
3
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6answers
486 views

Is God free to make decisions?

God is omniscient, that means He knows the only one future. The only one future will become the only one past after some time. Thus we are sure that this future is really only one. It will be ...
3
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3answers
7k views

What do necessity and possibility mean in Aquinas' Third Way argument for the existence of God?

In his famous Summa Theologica, the Scholastic theologian Thomas Aquinas presents Five Ways to demonstrate the existence of God. Here is Aquinas' Third Way, the argument from contigency: The third ...
48
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26answers
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How can one not believe in god as the root cause of the universe?

How can you lack belief in the existence of god? I define god here as prime cause. As the world is a sum of collections of events, causally linked to the past through time, then there must be a ...
82
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31answers
8k views

What would it take in a book to convince a rational person that it had been written by or directly inspired by a god?

Many of the world's religions are based on a book or text that adherents claim to have been written by or directly inspired by a god, perhaps omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent. My question is ...
32
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18answers
7k views

What is the purpose of the universe?

There are two extremes known as creationism vs evolutionism. Let's consider creationism for a moment, and imagine that God exists, and he/she has created us. The question that obsesses my mind after ...
19
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11answers
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Does the impossibility of an infinite regress prove God exists?

I'm strictly discussing one aspect of God: God as the First Cause. I am excluding all other qualities of God defined by any religion or belief system -- including the notion of God as a sentient being....
25
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4answers
4k views

Where is the weakness in the ontological proof for God's existence?

I read the ontological proof for God's existence. As much as I understood, it says that if you consider that existence is part of essence, then the most complete essence should also exist. Now, I see ...
15
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13answers
10k views

Is God subject to logic?

If someone claims that God is beyond logic then how do we know he is beyond logic ? (as we lose all the methods to know whether the claim is true or not?) Logic is the use and study of valid reasoning,...
14
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14answers
1k views

Why should I believe my own conclusions?

Consider the metaphysical question of whether God exists (just as an example). There are, and have been throughout history, billions of atheists, billions of Christians, and billions of people with ...
2
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3answers
199 views

Once it happened, an event was necessary?

What would happen to an event in the past, if time itself ceases to exist? Without time, has what existed (such as the writing of this sentence) never happened? A total disappearance of space-time ...
7
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4answers
808 views

How does Plantinga's defense of free will align with omniscience

I've been reading about Plantinga's defense of free will and I can see how omnipotence is aligned with the existence of evil. What evades me, is how he resolves the conflict between foreknowledge and ...
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5answers
1k views

Why can there only be one necessary being, as opposed to two or thirty seven?

I was reading about apologetics the other day and read as part of the causal argument for God's existence that there cannot be more than one necessary being (cause), meaning that there is only one God,...
11
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5answers
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How does Schopenhauer maintain idealism without God?

In Berkeley's idealism God holds the world together, enabling us to avoid chaos and experience a shared, orderly reality. But Schopenhauer is an idealist and an atheist. How can we then explain the ...
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3answers
530 views

Does God have the power to make identical universes through different means?

The easiest way to explain this question is with a thought experiment: Consider God, the ultimate of everything, who is wholly omnipotent (all-powerful) and omniscient (all-knowing). Let's just say, ...
4
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2answers
4k views

God's paradoxes and their implications [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is the definition of God consistent? As many of you, I've come across a few paradoxes of all sorts, from logic to math, linguistics and so forth. Some of such involve God or, ...
4
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5answers
352 views

Is theism necessarily 'faith-based'?

Reading this question recently posted, an assertion was made that theism and atheism are both "faith-based" positions. Ignoring the argument regarding atheism, I feel the initial premise deserves a ...
4
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7answers
1k views

When people say I need evidence to believe in God, what constitutes 'evidence'?

In the debate of whether or not God exists, which is often used to ridicule those that do believe in God as simple idiots who have no brains, the premise if often thrown out the there is no 'evidence.'...
2
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5answers
221 views

In Pandeism, was God capable of knowing the outcome of his annihilation?

Although Pandeism deals with an omnipotent and omniscient God, it still troubles me to think God would annihilate himself for no purpose. My latest conclusion was, God did have a purpose for his ...
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4answers
546 views

What can suffice as a scientific proof for God? to what domain can such a proof belong to? [closed]

"Scientific" theories require proof, and there are certain guidelines and standards for the proofs to be acceptable to the "scientific" community in that domain (Algebra, Computer Science, etc.). ...
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11answers
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Does punishment from god contradict the idea of free will?

In various religions it is often preached that god has given humans free will. But at the same time those religions preach that there is punishment for sinning. Assuming a god does exist, and god ...
8
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7answers
7k views

Is it possible to be truly unbiased?

I was pondering this question: Inductive Argument Against Believing Anything I his argument, the OP suggests that, in the position of choosing a system of belief where there are multiple, large ...
6
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3answers
528 views

How does Descartes use god in his Meditations?

How does Descartes use god to avoid answering certain questions directly?
6
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1answer
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How does Descartes determine that the idea of God has more objective reality than finite substance?

Descartes's third meditation, which sets out to prove the existence of God from previous considerations, confuses me greatly. Descartes appears to be trying to make an argument that the source must ...
3
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2answers
404 views

Can strong omnipotence be decomposed into logically possible and logically impossible aspects?

A lot of debate in the "omnipotent being" or "omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent, etc." being debate revolves around the definition of the terms. I consider the "strong form" of ...
3
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6answers
607 views

Does the presence of free-will allow for the possibility of evil in a world with a benevolent God?

The Problem of Evil is to understand how God can allow evil in the world if He is omni-benevolent (all-good), as someone who is all-good would not knowingly allow evil to occur where they could ...
2
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2answers
696 views

Is a materialist afterlife possible?

Given a materialist view on things (the mind cannot exist separate from the body), it seems on the surface that an afterlife is possible. However, the SEP entry on afterlife seems to provide some ...
35
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21answers
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Asserting that Atheism and Theism are both faith based positions

I am recently testing an assertion that I have concluded namely that atheism is a faith based position just like theism is a faith based position. The reason I arrived at this conclusion is that ...
13
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3answers
555 views

Are systems of logic that don't follow or extend garden-variety FOL possible?

As I know all humans share a unique logic and even less-educated people uses same common sense in their statements. For example, it is rational for anybody that if P is correct then P or Q is correct ...
11
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16answers
10k views

Does the notion of an all-powerful God conflict with the idea of free will?

In Abrahamic religions, God is often believed to be wholly omnipotent. People also seem to believe that humans have "free will", especially insofar that they feel they are in control of their own ...
8
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3answers
799 views

How do proponents of the Cosmological argument respond to the nature of time?

How do proponents of the Cosmological argument respond to the nature of time? Is asking what occurred before the Big Bang like asking what is north of the North Pole? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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3answers
560 views

Can there be Creation Ex Nihilo?

In Christian & Islamic Theology, one could argue that there can't be Creation Ex Nihilo since 'before' Creation there was God. In Philosophical Naturalism (which is not Physicalism - it subsumes ...
4
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5answers
630 views

If I am infinitely old , can I have a father?

If I am infinitely old , can I have a father ? And can I have a brother that is infinitely older than me but younger than my dad ?
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3answers
647 views

Why would a God create animals that manifest homosexual behavior if he thought that homosexuality is a sin?

There are some people who think that homosexuality is a choice. They would argue that we can make this choice because we have free will. I will focus on those who think this way because of religious ...
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4answers
908 views

Does Wittgenstein's Tractatus establish serious bounds for discussions of the supernatural from a modern point of view?

In today's mathematics, we have many variants of logic (propositional, first order, higher order, fuzzy logic, etc.). These are all self-consistent formal systems that are based on some set of axioms. ...
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4answers
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How can being able to conceive of something “perfect” imply its existence?

In this question and reading about the ontological argument elsewhere I have discovered that there is (and has been) a lot of discussion about it, and that it was taken very seriously. Can someone ...
8
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4answers
290 views

What is a miracle, and why should it influence our metaphysical beliefs?

There's a question on this site regarding what a rational person should accept as a miracle, but the question and its answers seem to take the definition and categorization (as well as consequence) of ...