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Does God Ever Change His Mind?

Posted by Anonymous User 
Anonymous User
Does God Ever Change His Mind?
September 24, 2007 07:55PM
It would seem counter intuitive that an omniscient being would ever need to rethink a situation. However, if person prays for something to happen (or not to happen) aren't the beseechers in effect asking God to change His preordained outcome?

For example, parents might pray that their child survive cancer. Presumably an all-knowing God already knew that the kid was slated to die. The parents' prayer is essentially asking God to reconsider and give their child a pardon of sorts. That means God is capable of questioning His own judgment. On the other hand, if God knows in advance that the kid would recover, then prayers really don't change God's mind and prayers are simply exercises in futility.
Re: Does God Ever Change His Mind?
September 26, 2007 05:50PM
I think it depends on whether or not God gave us free will.

Calvinists would agree with you.
Anonymous User
Re: Does God Ever Change His Mind?
September 26, 2007 07:15PM
tuk22 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I think it depends on whether or not God gave us
> free will.
>
> Calvinists would agree with you.

Tuk,
I was attepting to ask a question rather than state an opinion. But Calvinists would agree with what, "prayers are simply exercises in futility", "God is capable of questioning His own judgment" or something else I wrote?

I am not sure why you suggest free will is an issue here. No child or parent wants cancer.
Re: Does God Ever Change His Mind?
September 26, 2007 07:46PM
Prayer is meaningful to a Calvinist, but ultimately it is an exercise in futility because God has already decided whether or not He will answer your prayer. They even think that their actions or beliefs cannot save them from God's wrath. We are either saved or not, and that decision was made at the beginning of time, by God.

If free will exists, how could there be a pre-ordained outcome? Knowing the outcome doesn't mean God is causing the outcome. An all-powerful God must know all possible outcomes, not just the one people freely choose.
Anonymous User
Re: Does God Ever Change His Mind?
September 26, 2007 07:59PM
tuk22 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Prayer is meaningful to a Calvinist, but
> ultimately it is an exercise in futility because
> God has already decided whether or not He will
> answer your prayer. They even think that their
> actions or beliefs cannot save them from God's
> wrath. We are either saved or not, and that
> decision was made at the beginning of time, by
> God.
>
> If free will exists, how could there be a
> pre-ordained outcome?

I don't see that they are mutually exclusive. In some aspects of life, humans might exercise free will. In others the outcome if pre-ordained. I may have the will to live a healthy lifestyle so as not end up young and dead like Janis Joplin or Jim Morrison. However, it's pre-ordained that I can't live to 200 no matter how much I will it.

If it isn't will or God's divine plan, then what other explanation are there for events that happen? If it's not either of those two, then you are suggesting things happen that are not in God's nor our control. Meaning God is something less than omnipotent.

Knowing the outcome doesn't
> mean God is causing the outcome. An all-powerful
> God must know all possible outcomes, not just the
> one people freely choose.
Anonymous User
Re: Does God Ever Change His Mind?
September 26, 2007 08:25PM
God never changes His mind. He has limitless directions to take. He goes whichever way He chooses. Only His will is free. Ours is not.
Anonymous User
Re: Does God Ever Change His Mind?
September 26, 2007 08:47PM
Commander In Cheap Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> God never changes His mind. He has limitless
> directions to take. He goes whichever way He
> chooses. Only His will is free. Ours is not.

CiC,
If humans don't have free will, then why are you always complaining about the liberal agenda, gays, Democrats, etc? If God is really controlling everything, then He must have selected the liberal agenda and created gays and Democrats. So who you are to complain and question God?
Anonymous User
Re: Does God Ever Change His Mind?
September 26, 2007 09:52PM
What God?
Anonymous User
Re: Does God Ever Change His Mind?
September 27, 2007 06:30PM
Commander In Cheap Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What God?


How MANY gods do you worship? Not counting your favorite god "non sequitur" whom you invoke constantly.
Re: Does God Ever Change His Mind?
September 28, 2007 02:40AM
Worship God, question Satan.

--
Georgeous

http://img2.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/bacbafa493.gif
Anonymous User
Re: Does God Ever Change His Mind?
September 28, 2007 06:54PM
Re: Does God Ever Change His Mind?
October 01, 2007 05:54PM
Commander In Cheap Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>Only His will is free. Ours is not.

Tony,

This doesn't seem like the more 'common' Christian believe that God has given us free will. However, it is logically consistent with an omniescence omnipotent being. However, since all our actions and all the so-called 'good and evils' going on about the world, our thoughts, down to the minute interactions between wavefunctions of the more fundamentalistic aspect of the universe or beyond, would by this, inevitably be "God's Willing".

Hence aren't the universe but an extension (think of it as a limp of this god-being) to exert its will? If you think more in this direction, ultimately, wouldn't you find all that "Jesus came down to save us from hell" and stuff like that to be quite superfluous? i.e. what's there to be saved, when all are already pre-determined?...i.e. God sacrificed Himself to Himself to circumvent a rule HE HIMSELF made?


> God never changes His mind. He has limitless
> directions to take. He goes whichever way He
> chooses.

Does God perform his thinking and choosing in real time? Does it do it randomly, or with some purpose? Or is it a one-thought/action Static being? --> this would be elaborated on in the following discussions...

Firstly: How does such a timeless powerful being (effectively a closed isolated system) attain any purpose or motivation to do things without outside influence? Why isn't it STATIC instead so to speak? (A bit of a poor attempt to link with the thermodynamics concept there)..

A God thinking in real time, making decisions as events unfolds could not be compatible with the concept of its omniescence and omnipotent properties. Since it should already have known what it would think or do later on. Everything would had been already determined at its first 'thought' in a sense. Hence I would have to think that it could NOT possibly have a 'flowing' thought!!!

Take the ideal case (ignoring the statistical random nature revealed by QM) for which every action as a particular distinct outcome which an omniescence omnipotent being should be aware. Any small subtle shift in that being's first execution/invocation (?) of 'events', any difference in outcome at any point of time later on should be known perfectly to it. If it have wanted it any differently (no matter how subtly different), it doesn't have to refine the course of evolving event as it progress and unfolds. It could have determine straight from a single decision at the 'beginning' so to speak. I.e. The span of that singluar desire should span through eternality and through out all possible existance.

Hence isn't this 'God' thing which you've described nothing more than a Static being? Since time to it must have no relevance. It does not have to refine any of its first decision(s), and it could not have any NEW ideas or NEW purpose in its STATIC-life that it couldn't have thought of in the very 'beginning'. <--- So does 'living' or 'thoughts' have any meaning to such an existance? Also, is its 'ACTION' (which has effect through eternality and all of existance) meaningful to even be identified as such; when it is infinitely much more useful to think about things by the way they unfold and progress temporarly...Actions tends to lose its meaning when you remove the vital canvas of time.


But then alternatively:-

Could this God be less than the idealised "omniescence omnipotent" being, and hence have some degree of freedom to make "ACTUAL" decisions, and operate and function in a dynamic manner? Which is more compatible with that of a personal fatherly god being looking down upon humanity as most theistic would imagine.

...have to stop here now...got a test to study..=D
I apologise if my English and the Flow of my response is confusing.

Cheers,
Wade



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/01/2007 06:15PM by Wade.
Re: Does God Ever Change His Mind?
October 03, 2007 09:41PM
Events happen because an omnipotent God is the foundation for everything. This includes both subjective terms; good and evil. However, your OP is flawed because you seem to think that if God answered a prayer this would imply a mistake on God's part. That isn't necessairly true. Praying to God could be a mistake on our part, and God answering our prayers could in fact be God allowing us to make a mistake. Or, God's creation is open to suggestion. Maybe He designed the universe in a way that has the possibility to change/adapt to our desires/prayers.
The OP refers to God's omniscience as it relates to prayer, not to God's omnipotence.

If God is omniscient then God knows the future. Thus, God already knows when a prayer will be said and what the prayer will be about. He also knows what will happen in the aftermath of the prayer before the prayer is ever prayed.

If God doesn't know these things then God doesn't know everything and is not omniscient.
Re: Does God Ever Change His Mind?
October 04, 2007 07:49PM
Henry wrote, The OP refers to God's omniscience as it relates to prayer, not to God's omnipotence.

Omnipotence implies omniscience and omnipresence.

Henry wrote, If God is omniscient then God knows the future. Thus, God already knows when a prayer will be said and what the prayer will be about. He also knows what will happen in the aftermath of the prayer before the prayer is ever prayed. If God doesn't know these things then God doesn't know everything and is not omniscient.

Right.
Anonymous User
Re: Does God Ever Change His Mind?
October 04, 2007 08:57PM
tuk22 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Henry wrote, The OP refers to God's omniscience as
> it relates to prayer, not to God's omnipotence.
>
> Omnipotence implies omniscience and omnipresence.
>
>
> Henry wrote, If God is omniscient then God knows
> the future. Thus, God already knows when a prayer
> will be said and what the prayer will be about. He
> also knows what will happen in the aftermath of
> the prayer before the prayer is ever prayed. If
> God doesn't know these things then God doesn't
> know everything and is not omniscient.
>
> Right.

Tuk,
Then people praying don't have free will. God already knew that they would pray and he knows the future. The people can't avoid praying and the aftermath was already preordained. So to pray or not to pray is exercise in futility.
tuk22 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Henry wrote, The OP refers to God's omniscience as
> it relates to prayer, not to God's omnipotence.
>
> Omnipotence implies omniscience and omnipresence.
>


I don't follow you. In what way does omnipotence imply omniscience?


> Henry wrote, If God is omniscient then God knows
> the future. Thus, God already knows when a prayer
> will be said and what the prayer will be about. He
> also knows what will happen in the aftermath of
> the prayer before the prayer is ever prayed. If
> God doesn't know these things then God doesn't
> know everything and is not omniscient.
>
> Right.

Then people who pray, pray when God knows that they will pray and they can pray at no other time. The words they say in their prayers are the words that God knows they will say and no other words can be said. What happens after they pray is what God knows will happen after they pray and nothing else possibly can happen.

If this is true, then God doesn't answer prayers (except perhaps in some trivial sense) because there is no need for him to. The future must unfold according to God's perfect knowledge about how the future will unfold.
Re: Does God Ever Change His Mind?
October 05, 2007 04:25AM
Maybe the prayer is required for the future to "unfold according to God's perfect knowledge about how the future will unfold." If God eternally knows the prayer, wouldn't he also eternally know its answer?

--
Georgeous

http://img2.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/bacbafa493.gif
Georgeous Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Maybe the prayer is required for the future to
> "unfold according to God's perfect knowledge about
> how the future will unfold." If God eternally
> knows the prayer, wouldn't he also eternally know
> its answer?

The future cannot "depend" upon any action. It must unfold in the way in which an omniscient God knows today and has known forever that it will unfold. It cannot unfold in any other way.

If God knows today that someone's two-year-old daughter will recover from a serious life-threatening injury in 2010 then that little girl will recover from that injury at that time no matter what else happens.
Re: Does God Ever Change His Mind?
October 05, 2007 09:38AM
Henry M. Paulson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The future cannot "depend" upon any action. It
> must unfold in the way in which an omniscient God
> knows today and has known forever that it will
> unfold. It cannot unfold in any other way.

Cause and effect?


> If God knows today that someone's two-year-old
> daughter will recover from a serious
> life-threatening injury in 2010 then that little
> girl will recover from that injury at that time no
> matter what else happens.

That doesn't make much sense. It's like you expect God to know the future but not the present.

--
Georgeous

http://img2.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/bacbafa493.gif
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