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Ask the Patriarch 47
Holy Paradox

from Deamond Darkener

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I just found out about your site, and I agree totally with your comments.

I don't know if you already heard this but it might interest you, it's a dialogue that I had with a priest, that caused me to get kicked out and grounded.

Me: Is it true that God is all powerful like the bible say ?

Priest: Sure my son.

Me: Then that means he can create everything ?

Priest: Yes indeed, he created the universe, earth, sun and weather that we all appreciate.

Me: That also means that he can do everything ?

Priest: again yes indeed, he can give life and death, he is all powerful

Me: Then... if he is all powerful, that he can create and do everything, can he create something that even he wouldn't be able to destroy?

That's the point he kicked me out

Anyway I guess he wasn't able to answer. I also ask the question to other priest that told me that we shouldn't try to understand and have faith (another way to say "shut up and believe")

There is other funny question funny to ask if god created us, who created god? (I got a funny answer like god created himself.)


The Patriarch replies:


Thank you for writing.

What you have described in your dialogue is one of several paradoxes that have been found by considering the range of powers of a supreme deity.

Various medieval Christian scholars considered these, and solved the problem - at least to their own satisfaction by defining God's perfection to be such that such a paradox could not arise.

Essentially they defined the apparent problem out of existence.

The standard way of dealing with this type of paradox today is to claim that God is beyond human understanding. Apparently, we only think there is a paradox because we just don't understand the true nature of God..

Again, this amounts to defining the problem out of existence.

It's a satisfactory solution as long as you are prepared to not think.

It's only monotheistic religions that are forced into this kind of paradox - and into this kind of wishful thinking to eliminate the paradox. Religions with a pantheon of gods seem quite accepting of the fact that their gods are not all-powerful, but have weaknesses.

As for the question of who created God, the standard answer is that God is eternal, and so did not require creation, at least in the main monotheistic religions. However, it is interesting that most of the pantheistic religions do include stories of their gods creation.

Regardless of whether a religions god(s) are eternal or were themselves created, they are really nothing more than an unnecessary complication in the overall creation story.

Best wishes