How impersonal is the god of classical theism?

Ficciones

Active member
Sometimes when I describe my metaphysics to Christians they claim that my view of nature is compatible with classical theism, a view in which God is impersonal.

But how impersonal is impersonal? I'm talking about an it, not a He - nature as something on the whole mindless and purposeless, with no more conscious intent and will than a potato. Whereas the classical theist seems to mean by "impersonal" something more like standoffish, and Spock-like.

If anyone here considers themselves a classical theist, I'd appreciate your thoughts on this matter.
 

Authentic Nouveau

Well-known member
Strawmanning again?

Why are undereducated atheists obsessed with vernacular not found in the Bible. Like "theist"

The Scriptures call your religion heathen.

You must have never read the Bible nor attended a church funeral


23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Pretty much the total opposite of the atheist ring leaders.
 

Ficciones

Active member
Why are undereducated atheists obsessed with vernacular not found in the Bible. Like "theist"

Right, well, this has nothing to do with classical theism, but what language is the root of the word "theist" from? And what language were the gospels written in? Ironically, the word "theist" is closer to Biblical language than almost any other word in your post.
 

Whateverman

Active member
how impersonal is impersonal? I'm talking about an it, not a He - nature as something on the whole mindless and purposeless, with no more conscious intent and will than a potato. Whereas the classical theist seems to mean by "impersonal" something more like standoffish, and Spock-like.
Atheist here.

I'd actually agree with your Christian interlocutor a bit. There's no need for divine impersonality to be potato-like. When most people use the word "impersonal", they're referring to something with the capability of acting personably, but not acting that way. Spock was very much impersonal.

It's a bit of a stretch to label a potato as impersonal, as it has no ability to act personably. It also has no ability to diffract light like a prism, but no one wastes time labelling potatoes as "aprismatic" (or "monochromatic")

Where we might agree, though, is that the Christian God is portrayed as the opposite of impersonal. He's someone who listens to and answers prayers, who gets down to the level of the individual and actively guides them along. He's supposed to be far more personal than Spock ever was. The God of Christian scripture is a personal God, and any Christian who argues differently must ignore two thousand years of Christian thought and philosophy in order to do this.
 

Authentic Nouveau

Well-known member
Strawmanning again?

Why are undereducated atheists obsessed with vernacular not found in the Bible. Like "theist"

The Scriptures call your religion heathen.

You must have never read the Bible nor attended a church funeral


23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Pretty much the total opposite of the atheist ring leaders.
 

ReverendRV

Active member
Sometimes when I describe my metaphysics to Christians they claim that my view of nature is compatible with classical theism, a view in which God is impersonal.

But how impersonal is impersonal? I'm talking about an it, not a He - nature as something on the whole mindless and purposeless, with no more conscious intent and will than a potato. Whereas the classical theist seems to mean by "impersonal" something more like standoffish, and Spock-like.

If anyone here considers themselves a classical theist, I'd appreciate your thoughts on this matter.
Atheists say there is something Natural and Impersonal on the other side of the Big Bang; what they have is an Impersonal Creator. They have a Creator whether it's only a Force of Nature, so they don't have a God even when they have a Creation Story...

You also have a Creator but don't have a God. However much your Creation Story is a Religion to you, it cannot be a God, because a Creator includes a Designer in it's definition in order to be viewed as a God. Your viewpoint shouldn't have anything to do with Theism at all, though you may have a Creation account. If you include any determinism in your Creation Story, then you have Theism, because you have a Determiner...
 
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Whatsisface

Active member
Atheists say there is something Natural and Impersonal on the other side of the Big Bang; what they have is an Impersonal Creator. They have a Creator whether it's only a Force of Nature, so they don't have a God even when they have a Creation Story...

You also have a Creator but don't have a God. However much your Creation Story is a Religion to you, it cannot be a God, because a Creator includes a Designer in it's definition in order to be a God. Your viewpoint shouldn't have anything to do with Theism at all, though you may have a Creation account. If you include any determinism in your Creation Story, then you have Theism, because you have a Determiner...
Not necessarily. There is still so much we don't know.
 

Furion

Member
Sometimes when I describe my metaphysics to Christians they claim that my view of nature is compatible with classical theism, a view in which God is impersonal.

But how impersonal is impersonal? I'm talking about an it, not a He - nature as something on the whole mindless and purposeless, with no more conscious intent and will than a potato. Whereas the classical theist seems to mean by "impersonal" something more like standoffish, and Spock-like.

If anyone here considers themselves a classical theist, I'd appreciate your thoughts on this matter.
Interesting. If your God be no different then a tater, would you not be God of your God?

It wouldn't be a God if God didn't know how many hairs are on your head, or cells in your body.

Perhaps turn it on its head and explain how a God couldn't be personal, and vastly more astoundingly brilliant then you could conceive? Would a God be so weak so as not to hear your heartbeat?

The biblical language explains things far more insightful then I hear in these arguments around here. Consider a paraphrase: ..the eyes of the Lord search to and fro upon the face of the earth to show Himself strong to a heart that is perfect before Him..

Sounds like God has discriminating tastes when it comes to men's hearts.

The scriptures speak great deal about mens hearts.

I would consider if there is a God, does He even care I exist?

If it's a tater, then no.
 

Bob Carabbio

Active member
Sometimes when I describe my metaphysics to Christians they claim that my view of nature is compatible with classical theism, a view in which God is impersonal.

But how impersonal is impersonal? I'm talking about an it, not a He - nature as something on the whole mindless and purposeless, with no more conscious intent and will than a potato. Whereas the classical theist seems to mean by "impersonal" something more like standoffish, and Spock-like.

If anyone here considers themselves a classical theist, I'd appreciate your thoughts on this matter.
Those who feel GOD is "impersonal" have never met Him, nor been Born Again of the Holy Spirit, and indwelled by the Holy Spirit. I find Him to be intensely personal, and involved in almost every aspect of my daily life.

"Classical Theist", of course, is a completely meaningless term.
 

5wize

Active member
Atheists say there is something Natural and Impersonal on the other side of the Big Bang; what they have is an Impersonal Creator. They have a Creator whether it's only a Force of Nature, so they don't have a God even when they have a Creation Story...

You also have a Creator but don't have a God. However much your Creation Story is a Religion to you, it cannot be a God, because a Creator includes a Designer in it's definition in order to be viewed as a God. Your viewpoint shouldn't have anything to do with Theism at all, though you may have a Creation account. If you include any determinism in your Creation Story, then you have Theism, because you have a Determiner...
I wouldn't use the term "creator" then because that implies sentient will. The nature an atheist finds themselves part of is developed or formed from nature itself. The term created has a Frankenstein connotation.
 

5wize

Active member
Sometimes when I describe my metaphysics to Christians they claim that my view of nature is compatible with classical theism, a view in which God is impersonal.

But how impersonal is impersonal? I'm talking about an it, not a He - nature as something on the whole mindless and purposeless, with no more conscious intent and will than a potato. Whereas the classical theist seems to mean by "impersonal" something more like standoffish, and Spock-like.

If anyone here considers themselves a classical theist, I'd appreciate your thoughts on this matter.
Isn't that just Deism? Or is Deism another term for classical theism?
 

SteveB

Well-known member
Sometimes when I describe my metaphysics to Christians they claim that my view of nature is compatible with classical theism, a view in which God is impersonal.

But how impersonal is impersonal? I'm talking about an it, not a He - nature as something on the whole mindless and purposeless, with no more conscious intent and will than a potato. Whereas the classical theist seems to mean by "impersonal" something more like standoffish, and Spock-like.

If anyone here considers themselves a classical theist, I'd appreciate your thoughts on this matter.
I have no idea what you define as classical theism.
Considering that classical, as it's used in university and college courses refers to ancient Greek, and other cultures, I'd say that classical theism is talking about the ancient gods.

Biblical christianity and Judaism has a very personal, and intimate God in YHVH.

He's a Father, a husband, a friend, a confidant, a trusted advisor, a dependable advocate, someone who takes his promises seriously, and will back up the people who believe him and fight for them.
 

5wize

Active member
He's a Father, a husband, a friend, a confidant, a trusted advisor, a dependable advocate, someone who takes his promises seriously, and will back up the people who believe him and fight for them.
The God of the Bible is none of those. That is how we know Christianity is not the truth.
 

Authentic Nouveau

Well-known member
Not necessarily. There is still so much we don't know.
Besides lacking wisdom, Show us something you know that God doesn't know.
Those who feel GOD is "impersonal" have never met Him, nor been Born Again of the Holy Spirit, and indwelled by the Holy Spirit. I find Him to be intensely personal, and involved in almost every aspect of my daily life.

"Classical Theist", of course, is a completely meaningless term.
You hit it out of the park.

During the chorus it is almost impossible for people to stay seated.

 

Authentic Nouveau

Well-known member
The God of the Bible is none of those. That is how we know Christianity is not the truth.
Jesus says

John 8:44 44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
 

5wize

Active member
Jesus says

John 8:44 44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Agreed. And anybody that believes the God of Abraham is not the God of jealousy, murder, deceit, and human destruction is a liar as well and would have us all worship such a beast.
 
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