Struggling with Meaninglessness

searching meaning in meaninglessness

The Limited Power of God

with one comment

This is a continuation from previous post … On The Concept of Infinity and Irrationality.

Based on my previous argument, if you believe in omnipotent power and infinity, that means you accept that it is either:

  • Irrational To Believe In God


  • God Is Irrational

    However, if you reject omnipotent power and infinity, it leaves you with only one option:

  • God Exists But He Is Not Omnipotent And Has Limited Power

    I personally believe in logic and rationality, hence i will go with this option and reject omnipotent and infinite power. This gives the picture that God is actually a being who has massive but limited power. He will have intelligence which are similar, but far more superior than human being.

    The comparison between God and Human Being is comparable between a Human Being and an Ant. There’s only enough strength for an ant to carry object which is 10x to 20x its body weight. Perhaps an ant could carry a mosquito, but certainly not a cockroach. However, this cockroach could effortlessly be lifted up by Human Being even by a single finger alone. Although human being are strong, our power is limited, and we can’t carry extremely heavy object such as a car with our bare arms. That shows human being is strong in comparison with ants but not universally strong and do not have infinite power.

    Therefore, a God which is compatible with out logical and rational mind may have superior power and ability to create the universe and human being, but can’t control every single detail of His creations.

    But how powerful is God? What is the extent of his power? What is the scale of his power from 1 to 100? I don’t know. But let’s deduce this problem from another point of view. Let’s look at miracles.

  • There’s absolutely no recorded incidents of verified miracles on the earth apart from the Bible and Quran. There are no sights of angels, no water turned to wine incidents (apart from illusionary tricks), no evidence of sun misbehaving, no miracle healing where lost limbs are recovered – basically no magic. When there are no miracles which defy the law of science happened in the times of modern humanity, it leaves us with two options:

    • God has the power to perform miracles, but for some unknown reasons, He didn’t want to show it to us but only to the people and places in Bible. Hence, only Bible has recorded history of miracles.
    • Bible is packed with faerie tales and bedtime stories. There is no miracle and God is unable to defy his own natural laws (science) which he had created that govern his creations.

    Let’s expand on the latter option. In other words, no matter how powerful God is, He will have to respect the inner working nature of his creations. It is just like we human being can’t fill in water into a car and expect it to move. Human being has designed the car to move on petrol and we can’t simply just put in any form of liquid and expect it to move. We have to obey the inner working of the car even though we are the cars’ ‘master’.

    Hence, a God most probably can’t simply move the sun around or mutate cells in our body. Or perhaps he could. However, a limited power God can’t do things as he likes with magic or super powers. He will have to do it through science, the tool he created to govern his creations. (For example, perhaps there’s a part of our brain which could communicate wirelessly with God’s computer. So, through this part of our brain, God could effortlessly modify our genetic codes and then give us diseases. This part of our brain will be inherited generation over generation. Basically, everything works scientifically.)

    I do not know how powerful God is. I do not know whether does He has any control over science. I do not know whether does He has any influence on our daily lives, watching us from other dimensions (perhaps He has a computer and software to monitor us like data, who knows). But all i’m trying to say is, it would certainly make more sense to human being that a God has limited power because this concept of divine being would not contradict Himself, logically and rationally. We could easily slip in this concept of God into our mind and understand him. Then, we will have less arguments between religion and science because science will ultimately proved to be his creations to govern the world.

    I’m not bothered by the fact that a limited power God contradicts the description of God of the holy books. I’m more concerned with my ability to reason and think than to blindly believing everything a book says.

  • Seeing God As Human-Like.

    I anticipated few rebuttals coming in my way. One of them will be – i’m guilty of defining God as a “fact in the world” and as though He could be “empirically investigated”. He exists outside of time, and nobody can ever understand His mind and His plan.

  • That is exactly the reason why i think that a person can only choose to either

    1. Have Faith in God – believing in Him no matter how rational and irrational things are.


    2. Thinking reasonably and logically by using our human mind.

    You can’t have it both ways, unless you are a progressive religious person who dare to challenge the Bible (just like Galileo) by admitting that there is flaw in Bible of interpreting God and his creations. If you are trying to logically and rationally explain God’s illogical actions (like splitting the river or moving the sun around), then you will fall into many logical traps and contradictions (infinity paradox for example) which will caused the existence of God seemingly illogical, which exactly defeat the purposes of logical reasoning.

    More importantly, you are also as guilty as me of indirectly treating God as Human-like yourself as though His actions could be proven logically… am i not wrong?

    (I have observed that in many science vs religion arguments, religious people tend to use logical argument first in the first few round of debate, but slowly retreat to use ‘faith’ argument as they are losing out, which abuse the concept of infinity. As Stephen Colbert once said, “It is unfair because God is on my side”. In other words, you can say anything regarding infinity to escape.)

  • Another rebuttal would be – perhaps God is so powerful that He could do things which are rational and irrational at the same time. He acts just like an atom in Quantum Mechanics. He behaves in a totally random and unpredictable behaviour but has an ultimate purpose eventually.

    I don’t know how to refute this to be honest. But isn’t this an Einsteinien and Spinoza’s type of God rather than biblical God?

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    Written by elan85

    May 14, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    Posted in Philosophy

    One Response

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    1. “verified miracles” is an interesting choice of words. Most mythologies contain miracles and even some historical figures are claimed to have powerful abilities. Certainly I can agree that stories and semi-historical writing don’t confirm that a miracle happened, but I see no reason this would not also apply to the Torah, Bible, and Koran. The Children of Abraham do put a lot of coins into the idea of miracles but thats a bit of a cultural aspect. Hindu and Buddhist teachings suggest that as you progress siddhi or special powers may come to you but cultivating them is simply a distraction from recognizing the divine whole and its illusions.

      A number of people written about from the first centuries BC and AD are said to have healed the sick, lame, blind and raised the dead. A couple are even said to have rose bodily into heaven. So I don’t put much stock into these events as basis for factual sources.

      For Prez '24

      May 15, 2008 at 12:03 am

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