Sunday, April 19, 2009

On Omnipotence and Omniscience, Or a Response to The Prophecy I &II

Well, sure. This is pretty fluffy too. But what the hey- fluffy is good, right?

I just watched the movies The Prophecy and the Prophecy II, and aside from strengthening my conviction that Christopher Walken is the creepiest guy ever (in a good way, mind you), these movies got me asking some questions. Here is a brief synopsis of the movie(s) if you are unfamiliar with them.

1. If God is omnipotent and omniscient, how could a "war in heaven" ever happen, unless God wanted it to happen? Sure, yeah- the movies are 100% made up bunk, but there are people who believe that "Lucifer" was an angel who was cast out of heaven because he fomented an uprising against God. So the question stands.

2. Are angels corporeal beings? Beings of spirit?

3.Why would God "need" angels to do anything for God? Re: omnipotence and omniscience.

4. If angels have no "souls", but obviously have a measure of free will, what is a "soul" anyway?

5.When an angel "dies", where does it go?

6. Where did angels get the reputation of being "good"? If they do God's bidding, they are really just neutral actors. The one recorded instance of an angel acting on his own will gives us a version of the "creation of Hell" story.

The movies, of course, never really answer any of these questions. Nothing else answers them very clearly, either. All of these questions could be as easily applied to other religious ideas. Omnipotence and omniscience are particularly problematic- really, you could substitute about anything unsavory for "war in heaven" and really have the same outcome. Why is there war,famine, plague, teabaggers (sorry-had to put that in there), etc? If God knows/controls all, why the bad stuff? A lot of people answer with the old, "God's will is inscrutable" stuff, but that holds no water with me. I could almost buy it if it wasn't for this nagging conscience thing we have that makes us see things as "good" or "bad" instead of all just "God's will". Why make us like that? Why make us agonize over things, when we just as easily could have been programmed to respond with indifference? Unless, of course, God isn't benevolent, but is omnipotent and omniscient...

That's the answer I always arrive at. If I believe God exists, and is omniscient and omnipotent, I also have to believe God is malevolent, or best-case, neutral. Otherwise, I've got to conclude there is no God, or that God has limits, and can't make all of the bad stuff go away. Which isn't really what the movies were trying to get at, I suspect, but nevertheless, they make a good case for one of these answers.

The whole thing is such a house of cards. Of course, it doesn't help that I am skeptical by nature, but sheesh. How could anyone be all right with these internal contradictions? It was hard enough just suspending disbelief long enough to watch the movies. I can't imagine how hard it would be to suspend disbelief long enough to live by this stuff.

It's Been a While- Random Stuff Roundup

Yeah, I know. Seven months. That's a long time. I've been busy. Besides, I'm sure all three of you have found other amusements on the web. What has been inspiring me lately? Here's the list:

Retro Renovation

I love 20th century history- its one of my passions. I stumbled across the following website a while back, and I can honestly say I'm in love.

Save The Pink Bathrooms

A sister project from the folks at Retro Renovation, I love looking through the bathroom pics. I can't wait to upload the pic of my gram's sweet 1960's upstairs pink bathroom.

Marina Style Safeway Stores

Again, a tangent off of my 20th century love-a-thon. I've always liked those swoopy 60's rooflines. Now, I realize I'm not alone. We've got an old Marina Safeway building in our town that's standing vacant. I wonder if it is for sale? Perhaps being a grocer is in the cards for me...

Marina Safeway pic

Japan Cat Network

I love Japan. I love cats. What, then, was not to like in the CatFancy article I read about this awesome organization in Japan that is helping feral cats? I may have to take them up on their offer for the "volunteer vacationer" deal where they find you free accommodations in Japan if you volunteer part time while there.

Japan Cat Network

That's it for the "fluffy stuff". Spring has sprung, and hopefully I'll be lest tired/grouchy/beat down, and more prone to post.