Category Archives: God

A Rational God

A Rational God

Is there a concept of a rational God that we can believe in? One of the greatest obstacles to a belief in a divine being in this scientific age is the apparent conflict of belief with reason. It seems like a lot of people compartmentalize their lives into the rational part that believes in the dictates of science, and the religious part that believes in magical beings. They switch their consciousness effortlessly between these “compartments” depending on the circumstances, perhaps only vaguely aware of the inherent conflicts betweens them.

Before you can really begin to investigate this problem you have to first figure out what you actually mean when you say “God.” As George H. Smith writes:

 Knowing what one is talking about is of inestimable value in any dialogue, so the theist, before he sets out to explain why we should believe in god, must first explain what he means by the word “god”.

Atheism: The Case Against God, George H. Smith, p. 29

Unfortunately the many attributes associated with the Christian God are hopelessly imprecise, contradictory, and in the end mostly unintelligible. For example most Christian theologians attempt to defend these three aspects of God: Continue reading

Burning Bush Plant

What Question Would You Ask God?

Anne Foerst writes in “God in the Machine: What Robots Teach Us About Humanity and God“:

“What does it mean to be human? How can humanness be defined? Can we ever come up with criteria that distinguish us from animals – or, for that matter, from robots? And what exactly is our place and our purpose on this planet, in our sun system, in the universe? Are humans special, or are they just another random species on an insignificant planet?”

As computer scientists make great advances in the field of Artificial Intelligence the day looms when such questions may become crucial. No one knows when our technology will reach the point of either reproducing real intelligence, or mimicking it so accurately that even experts may have difficulty discerning the difference.

As early as 1950 Alan Turing proposed the possibility of creating a test to distinguish between human and machine intelligence. Today this is known as a Turing Test and various forms have been devised for commercial use on the Internet to try to weed out “bots,” or computer programs that attempt to imitate humans in leaving comments with thinly disguised spam to sell everything from smut to stocks.

One has to wonder if there might be a possibility of a kind of Turing Test for God. After all, if you were hiking in the Rocky Mountains and a bush started to glow and voice came out of the bush, would you have a good trick question or two to ask in order to make sure that the voice was the genuine article?

In Exodus 3 Moses has a pretty good question. He asks God what his name is. Apparently names had very significant meanings in ancient times so his question may be far more penetrating than we would at first suspect. The traditional translation of the original Hebrew is that God replied that, “I AM THAT I AM.Exodus 3:14

Some hold that “I AM” signifies God’s unchanging, and perhaps unfathomable nature. In the footnotes of the NIV translation they give an alternate answer which is, ” I will be what I will be.” This reflects the fact that the verb is in the future tense.

Author Joseph J. Dewey writes that he believes that Moses understood the answer to be something like, “I am becoming that which I decide to become.”

“Here is how they translate the name in Exodus 3:14:

“What about his name? What shall I say to them?

Then Elohim spoke to Moses: I shall come to be [just] as I am coming to be. And He said thus shall you say to the sons of Israel, I shall come-to-be has sent me to you.”

Then the translation has a footnote which reads:

“I shall come…coming to be, literally I AM BECOMING WHO I AM BECOMING, or traditionally rendered as I AM THAT I AM, the name Yahweh is derived from this verb meaning BECOME, BE or COME.”

“One thing we know for sure. God did not tell Moses that He did not exist, but will exist in the future. Nevertheless the future tense even makes sense in light of the true meaning mentioned in The Immortal which was: ‘I AM BECOMING THAT WHICH I DECIDE TO BECOME.‘”

“When you make a decision around some goal of becoming that decision relates to what you will be in a future time or what you shall become.”  Joseph J. Dewey, I AM BECOMING

Perhaps unlike the static, unchanging “I AM” vision held by a majority of believers, God is a being that is always becoming something new, evolving, and changing with its creation? Perhaps even more revolutionary is the idea that God was not always the God that we imagine it to be.

“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” -Isaiah 43:19

Whatever the case, the next time someone meets God in the burning bush, he will need a better question. God has already heard that one.


Is God Perfect?
Being God
What Is God?
Who Is God?

Closed Canon or Closed to God?

Both Judaism and Christianity consider their canons to be closed.

biblical canon or canon of scripture is a list of texts (or “books”) which a particular religious community regards as authoritative scripture.

Most … canons … are considered “closed” (i.e., books cannot be added or removed), reflecting a belief that public revelation has ended and thus some person or persons can gather approved inspired texts into a complete and authoritative canon …
-Biblical canaon, Wikipedia

Judaism and Christianity both have closed canons, bearing in mind that both may have sects that differ in some details of what they include their canon (contrast Catholicism vs. Protestantism). Both however believe that revelation of new ideas, principles, or even commandments are ended which is just another way of saying that they would have a difficult time listening to God if it chose to do “a new thing.”

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. -Isaiah 43:19

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. -Revelation21:5

Believers in these traditional religions often scorn any sort of ideas they consider “New Age” as being an affront to God and based on individuals who are not humble enough to accept what has already been given by God (and if the real truth be known, often distorted and twisted by men).

New revelations add to the old and change the perspective of the past works, but they are not tossed aside. -Joseph J. Dewey, The Sign of Initiation, January 23, 2000

Those on the cutting edge of the age past are often left behind as the new age begins to dawn.
-Joseph J. Dewey, Answers Through Principles Part II, February 20, 1999

It seems to me that declaring communication (revelation) from God as being “closed” speaks more to the act of men closing their minds, than of God choosing to only do “old things.” If it is an affront to God to look for new things isn’t it just as much an affront to presume to tell God to, “Just shut up for now, you’ve already told us enough!”