Guest Post: Omni This, Omni That! So What?

Dave Gardner is a long time reader of this blog. He is a retired public school math teacher, and he and I were in a writing group that helped polish my two novels, Cross Examined and A Modern Christmas Carol.

For the moment, let’s assume that God exists, the iconic Judeo-Christian God. He is an omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipresent, and omnipotent supernatural being who can do anything. Think about that for a moment: God can do anything. With the snap of his fingers (or whatever ritual he used) God created the heavens and the earth and everything in, on, above, and below it. He knows the past, present, and future of the universe, the galaxy, the planet, and every living thing. But this causes a problem.

If that’s the case, if God can do anything—anything!—then there’s nothing remarkable about anything he does. He didn’t have to practice 10,000 hours to achieve mastery of his talents. He didn’t have to sacrifice anything to achieve his level of mastery. God. Can. Simply. Do. Anything.

It reminds me of a short story I read many years ago. A baseball team has been dwelling in the standings basement for years and the manager is desperate to find a player who can help produce a winning season, and he finds him. This player has the amazing ability to hit a home run every time he comes to bat! Every time. The manager is ecstatic, the player’s teammates are elated, the fans go wild. Every game is SRO. Game after game he hits home runs and the team soars to the top of the standings.

Then something happens. The fans begin to tire of the sameness, the predictability of his at bats and the endless winning. They begin to lose interest. Hitting home runs is what the player does and it’s no longer remarkable. As a matter of fact, he’s become tedious and boring.

It’s much the same thing with God and all his omnis: if he can do anything, then his works inspire no awe, no wonder, no amazement. He simply hits home run after home run, and nothing he does is remarkable.

So, what is remarkable? That science can give us theories and explanations on the evolution of the universe, galaxies, planets, and life itself, all without reference to a supernatural being, and it does so clearly and scientifically. That takes enormous effort, brilliance, and resources, and it’s not at all inevitable.

And that, indeed, is remarkable!

If Jesus had been an actual historical figure we have a thorny paradox.
Either this Jesus was a remarkable individual
who said and did a host of amazing, revolutionary things
,
but no one outside his fringe cult noticed for over a century.
Or he didn’t

and yet shortly after his death, tiny communities of worshipers
that cannot agree about the most basic facts of his life
spring up, scattered all across the empire.
The truth is inescapable:
there simply could never have been
a historical Jesus.
— David Fitzgerald, author of Nailed

 

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  • Castilliano

    Reminds me of something that I may have picked up in the comments here:
    Greatness is measured by deeds done and obstacles overcome. So if Yahweh is the greatest possible being, Yahweh has done the greatest possible deed(s) and overcome the greatest possible obstacle(s). The greatest deed would be to create all existence, and the greatest obstacle to doing that would be to not exist, so Yahweh must both be the Creator and not exist.
    While believers will disregard this conundrum (it’s more a counterapologetic against those trying to define god into existence), I appreciate that if they say Yahweh has never faced an obstacle it does make Yahweh seem kind of dull.
    “So Yahweh’s never experienced struggle? Earned success? Girded against failure?”
    Cue shift to Jesus and the incoherent Trinity.

    I do find it odd that the OP seems to tie drama & struggle to remarkableness. Something feels off about that. Yes, the home run batter is dull, but he remains remarkable, even exemplary as far as batters go. If anything, his mastery shows a flaw in the game.

    I’m also reminded of “One Punch Man”, a superhero bored by being too super for his foes. It’s on Netflix, and worth a watch for its meta-commentary on the superhero genre and heroism in general (if one is into either of those).

    • Kevin K

      I don’t know if this is supported biblically or not, but it seems to me that the whole Satan rebelling “incident” seems to indicate a struggle. But…thinking counter-intuitively…what if it was Yahweh who was thrown out of heaven? And Satan is in charge “up there”?

      Seems to me the evidence in the form of the malarial mosquito supports that narrative. What if the victor didn’t write the history book in this case?

      • Kodie

        Drawing people in with all the sick promises always seems to me like something a satan would do. What does he really want souls for? They don’t know.

      • But the bad guy being in charge could very well be the victor. This so-so, tantalizing, frustrating world is just the kind of mean trick that the Dark Lord would play on us, no?

        • Kevin K

          Exactly. There’s far more evidence for that particular scenario than the other.

        • Kodie

          I think the general idea is that one sells their soul to the devil for something, but if he could get you to offer it for free and get you to pay him for the privilege, I mean, which one is evil genius?

      • Lark62

        I think that makes more sense than anything in the wholely buybull.

        But I still think if a deity exists, she can’t stand idiots, brown nosers, mindless praise and cruelty. She wrote the bible to identity all of the above. Anyone who believes the bible, thinks it’s a guide to morality or worships the genocidal maniac described therein goes straight to hell for an etetnity of Leave it to Beaver reruns.

        Seriously. Christian praise is like the worst blind date ever.

        “I love your dress. Your smile is great. Your eyes are the most beautiful ever. You have a great laugh. I love your elbows. You are wonderful. I like your pimples.”

        “Waiter, could I have a glass of cyanide, please?”

        What deity would put up with that shit?

        • Kevin K

          Ha! And, according to Pascal, you can “fake it til you make it”, as if the deity in question can’t see right through insincerity!!

    • Rudy R

      Good argument I haven’t seen before. The proposition that an omni-god created everything in the world is incoherent. A being that creates demonstrates a need to fulfill a desire, which is the antithesis of omnipotence. Theists would argue that God created humans to share His love, but again, God is attempting to fulfill a desire.

  • Kevin K

    Of course, when you look around, what you see is that the claim of Omni properties is not supported by the evidence in front of us.

    An omniscient god would not let Trump, Hitler, Stalin, and Richard Dawkins be born. An omnipotent god would put an impenetrable force field around his chosen people — the Romans would have been routed during the Jewish Wars (which wouldn’t have happened in the first place because Israel would never have been penetrated). An omnibenevolent god would not force humans to believe in it as a requirement for a blissful after-death experience. An omnipresent god would be … well …. present.

    If there is a god or gods, it/they definitely are not described by any kind of omni property.

    • SparklingMoon,

      God Himself has established one law for the angels in heaven and another one for man on the earth. In His Kingdom of Heaven, God has given no choice to the angels. Obedience is
      inherent in their very nature. They are unable to disobey. They are not subject to error or forgetfulness. But human nature has been given the choice to accept or reject. Since this freedom has been conferred from on high.

      It is explained by Mirza Ghulam Ahmed in his writings that there are two systems of law. One law of divine decree governs the angels in heaven, and this makes it impossible for them to commit sin, while another law of divine decree governs the people of the temporal world and gives them the choice of good and evil from on high. But when a person seeks strength from God for the power to overcome evil, then with the support of the Holy Spirit he becomes able to conquer his weakness and safeguard himself from committing sin, as is the case with the Prophets and Messengers of God. In the case of those who have been guilty of sin, asking for forgiveness can deliver them from the consequences of sin and they are spared from chastisement, for when light arrives, darkness is dispelled. Those evildoers who do not beg for forgiveness, that is to say, who do not seek strength from God, continue to suffer punishment for their offences.

      If the divine law was to become so oppressive that every adulterer were to be struck by lightning, and every thief were to be afflicted by a disease whereby his hands would become rotten and fall away, and every rebellious one who denies God and His religion were to die of the plague, then before the passing of a week, the whole world would put on the garment of righteousness and virtue. Thus, the Kingdom of God is surely established on earth, but heavenly law has bestowed this much freedom that evildoers are not immediately seized with punishment. Nevertheless, punishments are meted out as well.

      • Kevin K

        Oh do please fuck off.

        There’s no god, no heaven, no hell. No punishments, no rewards. When you’re dead, you’re fucking dead.

        • SparklingMoon,

          There’s no god, no heaven, no hell. No punishments, no rewards. When you’re dead, you’re fucking dead.
          —————————————————————————————-
          God Almighty says in His revelation:

          ”Has not He Who created the heavens and the earth the power to create the like of them? Yea, and He is indeed the Supreme Creator, the All Knowing. Verily His command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, ‘Be!’, and it begins to be. So Holy is He, in Whose hand is the kingdom of all things. And to Him will you all be brought back”. (36:82-84)

          ”Does not man see that We have created him from a mere sperm-drop? Yet lo! He is an open quarreller! And he coins similitude for Us and forgets his own creation. He says, ‘Who can quicken the bones when they are decayed?’ Say,‘He, Who created them the first time,will quicken them;and He knows every kind of creation full well.” ( 36:78-80)

          All religions have told that there would a kind of life after physical death (either a person accepts this conception or rejects it). Islam sets forth the high philosophy that everyone is bestowed a kind of body in the grave which is necessary for experiencing delight and torment. We cannot say for creation of what material that new body is made, for this mortal body becomes dead and no one has observed it coming alive in the grave. The earthly body is often cremated or is preserved in museums and is kept outside a grave for long periods. If this body were to come alive, people would observe it and yet the Holy Quran affirms that a dead person comes alive. One has, therefore, to accept that a dead person is revived with a body which we cannot see. May be that that body is created from the imperceptible qualities of this body. After that body is bestowed, human faculties are revived as this second body is much finer than the first body. It experiences visions very widely and all the realities of the hereafter become visible to it as they are. Wrongdoers then suffer not only a physical torment, but also a torment of despair. Thus it is an agreed principle of Islam that the torment or comfort of the grave is also experienced through a body, and this is the demand of reason also inasmuch as experience has affirmed that the spiritual faculties of man do not manifest themselves without a body. (Ruhanikhazain)

        • Michael Neville

          All religions have told that there would a kind of life after physical death either a person accepts this conception or rejects it.

          Not all religions do this. Many animists believe that the death of an individual is a straightforward end to their existence. Regardless, while the vast majority of religions proclaim various forms of afterlife, none of them can offer the least evidence that such afterlives exist.

        • SparklingMoon,

          This kind of spiritual matter that belong to third unseen world are always opened to prophets by God Almighty and we should follow them.

        • Michael Neville

          How do we know which “prophets” are instructed by a figment of your imagination and which ones are just reaching for all the power they can seize?

        • SparklingMoon,

          The truth of every Prophet (as) can be verified in the following three ways: First, with the help of reason: When a Prophet or a Divine Messenger appears, one should see whether or not human reason testifies that there is a need for his coming at that particular time and whether or not the prevailing human condition requires the presence of a Reformer. Second, prophecies of earlier Prophets(as): One should find out if any earlier Prophet(as) had made a prophecy in support of this Prophet, or in support of any Prophet who would come at that particular time. Third, Divine succour and support: One should find out whether or not such a claimant enjoys Heavenly support. These are the three hallmarks or indicators that form the accepted criteria for identifying a true appointee of God. (Ruhanikhazain)

        • Michael Neville

          There are always people who think the times call for a reformer. There has never been even a millisecond when people have thought “everything’s just hunky-dory right now, nope, no reformers needed today”.

          Prophecies are generally so vague that any later “prophet” can’t point to one or more and say, “the great prophet Arglebargle prophesied my coming to reform you people.”

          All prophets claims heavenly support and often sneer at other prophets as liars for their claims of heaven support. Joseph Smith is revered by Mormons as a prophet to whom God spoke directly, most everyone else thinks he was a charlatan who founded a church to get rich and to screw as many women as he could. Marshall Applewhite was considered a prophet by the Heaven’s Gate cultists, few other people would agree.

          No, you haven’t shown how we can tell real prophets from false prophets.

        • SparklingMoon,

          Joseph Smith is revered by Mormons as a prophet to whom God spoke directly,
          —————————————————————————————-
          Jesus was a follower of Moses and Mosaic Law according to his own sayings and he was appointed by God Almighty as a Messiah according to the prophecies of Old Testament for the people of Israel of his time to bring them back to the original teachings of Mosaic Law. The teachings of Mormonism are against the teachings of Moses as its beliefs are based on the principles of Trinity. The founder Joseph Smith, wrote:

          “The fundamental principles of our religion are … concerning Jesus Christ that He died was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.” In addition to the above, follower of Mormon believe unequivocally that: (1)Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and the Son of our loving Heavenly Father. (2) Christ’s Atonement allows mankind to be saved from their sins and return to live with God and their families forever. (3) Christ’s original Church as described in the New Testament has been restored in modern times.

          It is a divine tradition of God Almighty to reveal in his next revelation the true teachings of his previous prophets to guide their followers. God Almighty 1400 years ago in His revelation of the Quran had told the followers of Jesus the true teachings of their messenger and clearly rejected the false notion of Trinity : (4:172-173) ”People Of the Book! exceed not the bounds in the matter of your religion, and say not of God anything but the truth. Indeed, the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was but a Messenger Of God and the fulfilment of glad tidings which he conveyed to Mary and a mercy for Him. So believe in God and His Messengers and say not: There are three gods. Desist, it will be the better for you. Indeed, God is only One God. His Holiness brooks not that He should have a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. Sufficient is God as a Guardian. Surely, the Messiah would never disdain to be accounted a servant of God, nor would the angels who are close to God. Those who disdain to worship Him and consider themselves above it will He gather all together before Himself”. (5:73-75) ”Those certainly are disbelievers who say: God is none but the Messiah, son of Mary: whereas the Messiah himself taught: Children of Israel, worship God Who is my Lord and your Lord”.

          It is absurd to think that the God Almighty Who in His revelation of the Quran had already rejected the notion of Trinity (and told many times that Jesus was just a messenger who called the people of Israel towards One God Almighty) and the same God Almighty in these days makes a revelation to Joseph Smith to translate golden plates and again spread the false notion of Trinity among his people to misguide them again.

        • JP415

          Are you a member of Toastmasters International? You must have learned your eloquence from somewhere.

        • Kevin K

          “God Almighty” says nothing, because no such thing exists. Get off your knees.

      • Kev Green

        This is nonsense since it ignores the biggest problem with your God. Free will requires full information. I’m not being offered a legitimate choice if I don’t have any evidence to support which of the many versions of God is real. An actual loving God would be obligated to give us that information. However, if one accepts Christian (or Islamic) theology, then the vast majority of people are going to Hell, not for disobeying God, but for failing to worship the right version. Or in other words, you have to show God exists before you start talking about all the inconsistencies that arise from assuming He does.

        • SparklingMoon,

          I’m not being offered a legitimate choice if I don’t have any evidence to support which of the many versions of God is real. An actual loving God would be obligated to give us that information.

          ———————————————————————
          Firstly, the recognition of God Almighty is the sole purpose of a religion. All prophets appeared to help their people to recognise their Creator God Almighty. It is explained by Mirza Ghulam Ahmed in his writings that the true purpose of adopting a faith is that one should acquire a certainty a God, Who is the fountainhead of salvation. The soul, being God’s creation, loves Him naturally and instinctively. God has created in human soul a desire that it shall not find true comfort and tranquillity in anything other than its meeting with God. Love obviously grows stronger between two beings according to the closeness of their mutual relationship. For instance, a mother loves her child and a child loves its mother because it was born out of her blood and was fostered in her womb. Souls are bound to God in the relationship of the Creator and the created. Salvation, in fact, is the abiding peace and happiness which man, by his very nature, hungers and thirsts for, and which is achieved through personal love and recognition of God, and through a perfect relationship with Him—a relationship in which the fire of love is ablaze on both sides.

          Secondly, it is the task of the Divine Books and the Prophets to appear whenever people become unmindful of the belief in the existence of God and His Oneness and fell victim to all kinds of polytheistic tendencies. It was revived thousands of times but it lost its lustre as many times and became hidden from people’s eyes. But whenever it was lost, God sent a servant of His to rediscover it in its pristine purity. In this manner, darkness and light have alternately held sway in the world. The truth is that since man is prone to error and forgetfulness and is unable to show steadfastness in his practice of Divine injunctions, he is always in need of someone to remind him and revive his faith. In this age God Almighty has appointed Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to fulfil this purpose.He has told: The actual mission for which God has appointed me is to remove the estrangement that has come between man and his Creator and reestablish a relationship of love and sincerity between him and his Lord. He has also appointed me to put a stop to religious fighting by proclaiming the truth, to create religious harmony, to reveal the religious truths that have long remained hidden from mortal eyes, and to display the true spirituality that lies submerged under the darkness of selfish passions. I have also been sent to demonstrate practically, and not just in words, how Divine powers enter man and how they are manifested through prayer and concentration.

        • Otto

          God always needs prophets (or other people) to do his bidding, he can’t do one goddamn thing himself.

        • Kev Green

          Seriously? As soon as you mention that you’re just quoting the latest guy to claim that they’re special and that they have special insight you only made the situation worse in regards to the quote you were replying to.

        • Michael Neville

          Firstly, the recognition of God Almighty is the sole purpose of a religion.

          The sole purpose of a religion is to give power to the people running the religion.

        • SparklingMoon,

          The sole purpose of a religion is to give power to the people running the religion.
          ——————————————————————-

          It would be much wiser to judge religions at their nascent stage rather than later, when through human interpolation they become mere ruins of their noble beginning. Their beginning is noble but also humble. The noblest living example of religious teachings are the prophets themselves. It is they who are rejected and ridiculed and made the target of merciless hostility. The same goes for the early believers whose integrity, dedication and willing sacrifice in the cause of truth finds no parallel in the later period. Those who inherit their faith without paying the price of sacrifice corrode the noble values of religion surreptitiously and work beneath the surface like worms.

        • Michael Neville

          So Joseph Smith was being humble when he announced that “Heavenly Father” wanted him to marry as many women as he desired? Smith, who invented the Mormon Church, “married” at least 28 women. But he was a piker compared to his successor, Brigham Young, who had 50 wives. Was Young also being humble?

        • SparklingMoon,

          All prophets had told some signs of next coming prophets to recognise their truth. I do not know either any signs had been shown by God Almighty to prove the truth of these both person. Mirza Ghulam Ahmed had also claimed to have revelation and to be a Reformer and Promised Messiah of this age in eighteenth century

          The truth of his claim had been confirmed by God Almighty Himself and He fulfilled the prophecies of previous prophets. For example we read in the New Testament, Jesus (peace be on him) narrating the Signs of his second coming said: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light.” (Matthew 24:29)

          The Holy Quran says about this end time: “And the moon is eclipsed. And the sun and the moon are brought together.” (75:9-10). The Prophet of Islam(saw) also told the sign of sun and moon to recognise the truth of promised Messiah of this age: ” lunar and solar eclipses on the specified dates of the month of Ramazan would serve as Signs of his advent. In the holy book of the Sikhs,Sri Guru Garanth Sahib, it is written: “When Maharaj will come as Nahkalank, the sun and the moon will be his helpers.”

          God Almighty fulfilled this sign of the eclipse of sun and moon to recognise the truth of the Reformer of the age. Mirza Ghulam Ahmed after having revelation, claimed to be Promised Messiah of this age in India to the end of 1890 C.E. The solar eclipse of April 6, 1894, was visible form a vast area of Asia including India. In the following year 1895 C.E lunar and solar eclipses again occurred in the month of Ramazan on the 11th of March and the 26th of March respectively. These eclipses occurred in the West. They were not visible from Qadian, but when the eclipses occurred, the dates in Qadian were the 13th and the 28th of Ramazan respectively.

          A Messenger or an Elect of God—who is commissioned for the reformation of mankind — if what he says is the truth and does not suffer from deceit or fraud, since human reason does not require miracles to accept the truth. But as man is naturally susceptible to doubts and suspicions, he may suspect that the claimant is motivated by some selfish motive, or is himself a victim of delusion, or is trying to deceive others. Although what the Messenger says may be true and self-evident, people sometimes do not pay attention to him because they consider him to be an ordinary and insignificant person. Sometimes, the temptations of one’s baser self are so overwhelming that even if a person understands the message to be true, he is so overwhelmed by the impure passions of the baser self that he finds himself unable to follow the path which the preacher and the guide wishes him to tread and at times his own inherent weakness holds him back. This is why Divine wisdom has made it essential that those who are chosen by God should be accompanied by signs of His succour. Such signs are manifested in the form of Divine mercy and at times in the shape of Divine chastisement, and it is because of such signs that the chosen ones are known as ”Bashir” Bearer of glad-tidings ” and Nadhir” Warner.

        • Michael Neville

          The truth of his claim had been confirmed by God Almighty Himself and He fulfilled the prophecies of previous prophets.

          How do you know the “truth of his claim had been confirmed by God”? That’s what EVERY prophet says. So why is your prophet any different from Joseph Smith or Marshall Applewhite? The Muslims who don’t share your sect say that Ghulam Ahmad cannot be a prophet because Muhammad was the last prophet. Why should I accept your word over that of non-Ahmadiyya Muslims, especially when I think you’re both wrong about prophets?

        • SparklingMoon,

          Mirza Ghulam Ahmed and his followers believe that prophet of Islam was the last prophet of Law and God Almighty has completed and assembled his revelation of Law in the form of the Holy Quran but they also believe that God Almighty will continue to send his messengers to reformer His people to bring them back to His true teachings. Other Muslim people says that the previous Jesus who appeared two thousand years ago for the people of Israel, will step down with his same old body from somewhere above to reform Muslims. The coming time of the Reformer was the middle of the eighteenth century according to all prophecies of scriptures but no old Jesus appeared according to their human made wishes. God Almighty sent Mirza Ghulam Ahmed on time according to His promise as a promised Messiah with the attributes of Jesus to reform.

          Secondly, God Almighty told prophet of Islam(sa) a sign of truth for the Reformer of this age and he further informed us in his sayings that for Our Reformer there are two Signs which have never appeared before since the creation of the heavens and the earth, namely, the moon will be eclipsed on the first night in Ramazan (i.e. on the first of the nights on which a lunar eclipse can occur) and the sun will be eclipsed on the middle day (i.e.; on the middle one of the days on which a solar eclipse can occur), and these Signs have not appeared since God created the heavens and the earth.” ( Sunan Darqutni, kitabul eidain, chapter: salat-ul-kasoof-ul khasoof wa haitahuma)

          Mirza Ghulam Ahmed has said: we are not concerned with how often solar and lunar eclipses have occurred in the month of Ramazan from the beginning of the world till today. Our aim is only to mention that from the time man has appeared in this world, solar and lunar eclipses have occurred as Signs only in my age for me. Prior to me, no one had this circumstances that on one hand he claimed to be Promised Reformer and on the other, in the month of Ramazan, on the appointed dates, lunar and solar eclipses occurred and he declared the eclipses as signs in his favour. I am the Promised Messiah and I am the same person who was promised by the prophets. There is news about me and my age in the Torah and the Gospel and the Holy Quran, it is stated that there will be eclipses in the sky and severe plague on the earth.

          God has manifested this Sign in the sky to testify my truthfulness, and He manifested it at a time when the Muslim clergies named me Dajjal (Anti-Christ), biggest liar, infidel and even biggest infidel. Although there are many proofs from Almighty God for vindicating my truthfulness and more than a hundred prophecies that have been fulfilled to which hundreds of thousands of people are witnesses, but in this revelation, this prophecy has been mentioned specifically. I have been given such a sign which was not given to anybody else from the time of Adam to the present time.

      • Lark62

        Do you actually believe that shit?

        My 10 year old could come up with a more coherent fairy tale.

      • RichardSRussell

        That which may be adduced without evidence may safely be ignored without regret.

      • Damien Priestly

        -> “It is explained by Mirza Ghulam Ahmed in his writings…”

        Oh him…yeah that guy! That does it for me — I’m thinking about not being an atheist anymore !!

        For those who don’t know — I believe SparklingMoon is an Ahmadi Muslim, from Pakistan maybe? Although Ahmadi’s can’t say they are Muslims in Pakistan or they may be killed…so be careful please, Sparkling !! You spout religious nonsense — but we still don’t want you to be harmed by religious zealots 🙂

        • JP415

          I hear that Mirza Ghulam is doing an interview with Oprah for her book club.

      • Max Doubt

        “God Himself has established one law for the angels in heaven and another one for man on the earth. “

        Yet here I am, a mere mortal, and no god has ever even had the courage to demonstrate it is more powerful than I am. In the case of me vs gods, I remain unchallenged.

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/018d9075880fa729e0a61595800a6b259c3a2af784920b918da65f10a38caecc.png

        • SparklingMoon,

          Yet here I am, a mere mortal, and no god has ever even had the courage to demonstrate it is more powerful than I am. In the case of me vs gods, I remain unchallenged.
          ———————————————————————————————————-

          Every human being, however wealthy he might be, must ultimately drink from the goblet of death, contrary to his desire. Observe, therefore, how the manifestation of the command of this true God is visible , for when His commandment comes, no one can ward off their death for even a second. We observe with our own eyes that God’s Kingdom is in operation on the earth. According to His law, our lives come to an end and our conditions change continuously. We experience hundreds of types of comfort and pain. Thousands of people die by God’s command and thousands are born, prayers are accepted, signs are manifested and the earth produces thousands of varieties of vegetables, fruits and flowers by His command.

          Every particle of the earth is as much under the control of God as every particle of heaven is within His Kingdom. Both heaven and earth display a grand manifestation. Among the things of the world some are made obedient to divine laws and others are subject to divine decree, while others still are bound to the obedience of both. The clouds, wind, fire and earth are all immersed in the obedience and glorification of God. Every particle of the earth, the mountains; every droplet of the rivers, the oceans; every leaf of all the trees and plants, including their every element; every particle of man and beast recognise God, obey Him and extol His praise and glory. God Almighty has said that everything in the earth glorifies Him and proclaims His Holiness, as does everything in heaven.

          A person who disobeys the commandments of divine law is still bound by the orders of divine decree. No one is beyond the realm of these two dominions. Everyone is bound to the heavenly kingdom in some form or other. It is true that on account of the purity and corruption of human hearts, heedlessness and divine remembrance prevail in the earth by turns, but God has not willed for this ebb and flow to occur arbitrarily, but in accordance with divine wisdom. Just as night follows day, periods of guidance and impiety alternate according to the law and will of God, not by themselves. Despite this, everything hears His voice and extols His holiness.

          There is no doubt that His Kingdom definitely reigns supreme. Every wrongdoer has shackles around their wrists and chains around their feet, but divine wisdom has softened its law to a degree that these shackles and chains do not manifest their constraints immediately. However, if man persists in his wrongdoing, they cast him into such torment, in which a wrongdoer neither lives nor dies.

          There are two systems of law, one which relates to the angels, in that they have been created for obedience alone, with their obedience being characteristic of their bright nature. They cannot sin, but they cannot progress in virtue either. The second system of law relates to human beings, in that, by their nature, they can be guilty of sin, but they can also make progress in piety. Both these natural laws are unchangeable and as an angel cannot become human, so too a human cannot become an angel. Both these systems of law are unchangeable—they are eternal and immutable. The law that operates in heaven cannot operate on earth, nor can the law that operates on earth be made applicable in respect of angels. If human faults end in repentance, man can become much better than angels, for angels lack the capacity to make progress. Human sins are forgiven through repentance. Divine wisdom leaves some individuals free to commit sin so that thereby they should become aware of their weakness and may be forgiven through repentance. This is the law which has been prescribed for man and this is what best accords with man’s nature. (Ruhanikhazain)

        • Max Doubt

          “God Almighty has said that everything in the earth glorifies Him and proclaims His Holiness, as does everything in heaven.”

          Nonsense. I have powers and abilities far beyond those of whatever god you imagine. No gods have ever beat me in a contest. No gods even have the guts to take my challenge. How about your god? Looks like a useless piece of imaginary shit to me.

        • JP415

          Goblet of death? How about a coffee mug instead? Goblets are a little pretentious for my taste.

      • Michael Neville

        God has given no choice to the angels. Obedience is inherent in their very nature. They are unable to disobey.

        That’s not what Christians believe. Satan and one-third of the angels disobeyed.

        • SparklingMoon,

          That’s not what Christians believe. Satan and one-third of the angels disobeyed.
          ——————————————————————————————-
          In holy scriptures usually different terms like Satan, Devil, Ablees etc. have been used. These words do not talk about any deity but represent the absence of God’s attributes in a human practice. The attributes of God like Mercy Goodness Grace, Holiness,Righteousness, Justice, Love etc, are an eternal part of human nature and to walk in the light of these attributes is called an angelic life and a paradise for a person. When a person ignores these holy Attributes of his nature then he is considered to be a follower of Satan or Devil etc. The name of ‘Lucifer’ that is used by religious people for an angel or in the Quran it has been called by the name of ‘Iblees’ is used symbolically for the attribute of ”Pride” that sometimes become a hindrance for a person to obey God Almighty. Pride is certainly an attribute of human nature and help to keep self respect and to make progress but when it is used improperly to confront the prophets of God Almighty then it becomes a hindrance to have guidance.

          In man’s nature and composition there have been included two forces and they are both opposed to each other and it is so in order for a person to be tried and tested and, with a successful outcome, to become deserving of God ‘s nearness . Of the two forces, one pulls man towards goodness and the other invites man towards evil. The force that pulls towards goodness is called ‘angel’ and the force which invites towards evil is called ‘Satan’. In other words, There are two forces which work on a person, one calls towards good , and the other towards bad . Someone may not like the use of the terms ‘angel ‘ and ‘Satan’, but he wouldn’t be able to deny the existence of these two types of forces within man.

        • Michael Neville

          Why do I hear bagpipes when reading your comment?

  • sandy

    If god can do anything and humans are his pet project then he certainly wouldn’t be sitting on the sidelines watching all the evil take place over the last several thousand years. I’ve said this before, “if you were god, what would you do to make the world a better place?” We all have answers to this, but god? radio silence.

    • Joe

      And the theist is unable to say this is the best possible place, because there are several obvious ways it can be made better.

      • sandy

        Yes, it’s so obvious there’s no god due to such a mess this world is in. In fact, we humans show ourselves to be better omni’s than Yahweh or Elohim or El Shaddai or Jealous or I Am or Jesus or ……

    • The Christian’s answer is to ask how you can be so arrogant as to judge God … but then that presupposes God.

      • Michael Neville

        I’m not President of the United States but that doesn’t stop me from judging presidents. Nobody thinks I’m arrogant when doing so. So why is it arrogant to judge some theists’ favorite deity?

        • Because they have to have some word to fill in the blank: “You can’t say mean things about my belief in Jeebus because that’s ___.”

      • Otto

        They also ignore the fact they they are judging God.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          Yes, somehow the mysteriousness of god makes it impossible to judge him as being cruel…. but the same insufficient data is fine for judging benevolence. Makes perfect sense.

  • Joe

    We humans have devised a method of weighing cost/benefit before we perform an action. Omnipotence (especially paired with omniscience) renders that irrelevant. Therefore I don’t buy theist’s arguments regarding God’s lack of action. Any action God could take, like healing a cancer patient, should have already been taken.

    • Pofarmer

      Which is also why prayer is futile, even IF God were real.

  • skl

    I don’t get that ending quote by David Fitzgerald.

    • Kodie

      Are the words too big?

      • Kevin K

        skl has an atheism-shaped hole in its heart.

    • sandy

      Read it again, it’s not that complicated.

    • Joe

      Either Jesus was a miracle worker that nobody noticed, or a nobody that people noticed as a miracle worker.

      • skl

        “Either Jesus was a miracle worker that nobody noticed, or a
        nobody that people noticed as a miracle worker.”

        That’s not a bad way of summarizing it, but the “it” doesn’t
        make sense to me for at least two reasons:

        1) Jesus’ not being widely noticed at the time doesn’t justify the conclusion that “there simply could never have been a historical Jesus”, and

        2) In fact Jesus has been noticed widely (i.e. about 2 billion followers today) 2,000 years later.

        • Lark62

          Yeah, but apparently god himself came down to earth and taught for 3 freakin years. And nobody noticed. What a screw up.

          It wasn’t until a few decades after he kicked off that Paul started talking about him (but never quoting him).

          Paul + No Jesus – we would have Christianity

          Jesus but No Paul – we would not have Christianity.

          Your deity is pretty pathetic.

        • Pofarmer

          Jesus was working through Paul.

          Checkmate atheists.

        • Joe

          1.) Somebody performing miracles and preaching to thousands didn’t get noticed? Why?

          2.) Mickey mouse is more recognisable than Jesus.

        • Otto

          1) It is not that Jesus wasn’t widely noticed…he was not noticed at all…period.

          2) That is like saying 14.8 million Mormons ‘noticed’ the Golden plates…it is an inane statement…even for you.

        • Greg G.

          It’s the Goldilocks problem. Jesus was too small to be noticed in 30 AD but became famous in the 2nd century. It’s like somebody wrote stories in the late first/early second century and people believed them.

        • Pofarmer

          1) No one is saying that’s the case.

          2) kind of blows up your point, since NOBODY after supposedly 30 AD or so would have noticed Jesus at all. All they noticed was stories about him.

        • skl

          “1) No one is saying that’s the case.”

          No one, it seems, except the quoted David Fitzgerald.

        • Pofarmer

          Let’s just copy down what that Fitzgerald quote.

          If Jesus had been an actual historical figure we have a thorny paradox.

          Either this Jesus was a remarkable individual

          who said and did a host of amazing, revolutionary things,

          but no one outside his fringe cult noticed for over a century.

          Or he didn’t—

          and yet shortly after his death, tiny communities of worshipers

          that cannot agree about the most basic facts of his life

          spring up, scattered all across the empire.

          The truth is inescapable:

          there simply could never have been

          a historical Jesus.

          And your summary

          Jesus’ not being widely noticed at the time doesn’t justify the
          conclusion that “there simply could never have been a historical Jesus”

          That’s not what Fitzgerald is saying.

          If your reading comprehension is that bad, I’m not sure we can help you.

          Or you’re just a disingenuous weasel.

        • skl

          Obviously, we disagree.

        • Michael Neville

          Bringing people back from the dead, curing incurable diseases and blindness, taking a stroll across a lake, these sorts of things get noticed and talked about. If Jesus had a reputation for curing leprosy then lepers would be beating down his door to get cured. Somehow the leper community didn’t know or care about Dr. Jesus’ Instant Leprosy Cure™. Which says one or more of three things: (1) Lepers were kept uniformed about Jesus’ power or (b) lepers didn’t want to be cured or (iii) Jesus didn’t cure lepers. Which one seems most reasonable to you?

        • skl

          “Which one seems most reasonable to you?”

          Irrelevant.
          The truth is sometimes what seems most unreasonable.

        • Michael Neville

          Damon Runyon wrote: “The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.” In a similar way, the most reasonable explanation is the one most likely to be right. So unless you’ve got strong (and here’s the word you Christians hate with a passion) evidence to show otherwise, I’m saying that Jesus didn’t exist is the most reasonable explanation.

        • Pofarmer

          Examples?

    • Jim Dailey

      I am also confused. The article goes through questions about “Omnis”, then the end quote is some unsupported (in the article) assertion about the historicity of Jesus.
      Either issue is worthy of discussion, but cramming them together looks like the poster pasted the wrong quote by accident.

      • Kevin K

        The postscript often doesn’t relate to the post. If it bothers you so much, don’t read it. Problem solved.

        You’re free to discuss either the post or the postscript, as you wish. It’s a free blog … well, unless you get banned for proselytizing.

      • The ending quote has no direct tie-in with the post. It’s just food for thought. Sometimes, it provides a nice wrapup but not this time.

        • Lark62

          And how long has skl been hanging around? And he just figured this out?

  • JustAnotherAtheist2

    On a related note, I just love it when theists say something to the effect of, “he didn’t have to create you.”

    Uhhhh…. so what? How does this negate any responsibility after choosing to do so? Of course, there’s also the oddly implied-yet-ignored acknowledgement of your subpar circumstance.“The rapist didn’t have to let you live, so shut up and appreciate what you got.”

    Color me convinced.

  • Machintelligence

    If God is truly omni-everything and perfect in every way, why does he want to be worshiped?
    Also there is a hole in your analogy: if a player was able to hit a home run with every at bat he would soon hold the record for most intentional walks.

    • Kevin K

      True that.

  • RichardSRussell

    The real trick behind the “omni”s is that they’re mutually incompatible. You can have, at most, only a single ultimate characteristic. Heck, you could even run one of them against ITSELF (“Can God make a rock so heavy he can’t lift it?”) to see that one of those superpowers must lose any contest between them and so not be so “ultimate” after all.

    But try it as a thot experiment. Omniscience: God knows everything, including how every moment of future history will play out. Omnipotence: God can change everything, including any future moment of history. So which is it? See? It’s fun. YOU try it!

    • Pofarmer

      How about if I just have a Johnny Walker Red?

      • Michael Neville

        Peers down nose at Pofarmer as one contemplates bottle of The Macallan 12 Year Old.

        • Pofarmer

          Don’t contemplate, share.

        • Michael Neville

          It’s only 0814 here. The Sun is nowhere near the yardarm. But come over tonight and I’ll be happy to share with you.

        • Otto

          You can’t be drunk all day

          unless you start in the morning

        • Michael Neville

          It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPCjC543llU

      • RichardSRussell

        You can have, at most, only a single malt.

    • Zeta

      Just like a square circle which has incompatible attributes cannot exist, a deity with incompatible attributes also cannot exist. Apologists have long been touting such a deity without even realizing this fact.

      • epeeist

        Just like a square circle which has incompatible attributes cannot exist

        Square circle? Piece of piss, just use the Chebyshev norm instead of the Euclidean one.

        • Zeta

          Thanks for pointing this out. It is certainly true in “Taxicab Geometry”. But it will be very tiring if one has to mention Euclidean norm (How many ordinary folks know what it is?) each time one talks about a circle or a square (in the sense that most people understand them) or when quoting the value of pi as 3.14159265. Even most mathematics textbooks don’t do this.

        • epeeist

          But it will be very tiring if one has to mention Euclidean norm

          It is a nice one to use when a theist says that god cannot create a square circle. Something else we can do better than god…

  • Doubting Thomas

    I find it humorous that even though apologists claim that god can do anything they spend a large amount of time explaining why it appears he does nothing at all.

  • JP415

    If God is omnipotent, then he has no motive for doing anything. Most human actions are undertaken to fulfill some kind of desire — either physical (for food, water, sex, sleep, etc.) or emotional (for companionship, respect, entertainment, etc.). And desires in turn have the evolutionary advantage of keeping us alive. If a being has no threats to his survival, then what would motivate him to do anything at all? What would he even want?

    • Kodie

      If god’s not content with his own company, and you know he’s deeply disappointed with ours, what is this stupid religion even about?

      • Pofarmer

        Guilt and self loathing?

        • epeeist

          Existential angst…

    • Yep. Before God created the universe, things were perfect. (Obviously, since God was in charge.) So why would he want to rock the boat with creation, especially since, given his clairvoyance, he could see that the whole project would be a clusterfuck?

  • Rational Human

    If God is good by virtue of his unchanging “nature”, why is it worthy of worship to simply be what you are? By the same token, this God supposedly created us with a “sinful nature”, and punishes us for acting according to our nature. We are what we are, he is what he is. We are what he made us to be.