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Why did God create?

JamesRottnek

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Why did God bother with creating anyone or anything if He doesn't have some sort of emotional or spiritual need for His creation?
 

Asteriktos

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I was just saw something about this a day or two ago, but I can't find where now ... argh!  Anyway, the basic jist of it was that it was just a natural result of God's love and creativity, though there was no discussion of why now, as opposed to billions of years ago, or billions of years in the future... *shrugs*  but then that wasn't the point of the text... 
 

Asteriktos

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NicholasMyra said:
Asteriktos said:
though there was no discussion of why now, as opposed to billions of years ago, or billions of years in the future...
There was no time before creation.  ;D
No, but God apparently waited 9 billion years after creating the universe to create the earth, then he waited another 4 billion years to create humans...
 

Achronos

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Asteriktos said:
NicholasMyra said:
Asteriktos said:
though there was no discussion of why now, as opposed to billions of years ago, or billions of years in the future...
There was no time before creation.  ;D
No, but God apparently waited 9 billion years after creating the universe to create the earth, then he waited another 4 billion years to create humans...
Love blooms in time.

Nevermind, I'll live the poetics to Nicholas.
 

Shanghaiski

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JamesRottnek said:
Why did God bother with creating anyone or anything if He doesn't have some sort of emotional or spiritual need for His creation?
It was because He loved.
 

JamesRottnek

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NicholasMyra said:
Because God is love, and it is an act of love to allow the things which can be to be.
Then why would He not cause everything conceivable to immediately come into being?  And why are there not dragons and walking, sentient televisions?  If I can conceive of them, then they could be, so according to your reasoning, God is refraining from an act of love. 

But would this really contradict the idea that God has needs that only His creation can fulfill?  If God had to create to express His love, then He had a need to have more to love.
 

NicholasMyra

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JamesRottnek said:
Then why would He not cause everything conceivable to immediately come into being?  
What if he did?

JamesRottnek said:
If I can conceive of them, then they could be
Oh?

JamesRottnek said:
If God had to create to express His love, then He had a need to have more to love.
He could express his love in Trinitarian relationship even before creation.
 

JamesRottnek

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NicholasMyra] [quote author=JamesRottnek said:
If God had to create to express His love, then He had a need to have more to love.
He could express his love in Trinitarian relationship even before creation.
[/quote]

Precisely.  So, if He was able to express His love prior to creation, then how can you say He created because He loves, unless He had a need for more love?
 

Cavaradossi

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JamesRottnek said:
NicholasMyra said:
Because God is love, and it is an act of love to allow the things which can be to be.
Then why would He not cause everything conceivable to immediately come into being?  And why are there not dragons and walking, sentient televisions?  If I can conceive of them, then they could be, so according to your reasoning, God is refraining from an act of love. 

But would this really contradict the idea that God has needs that only His creation can fulfill?  If God had to create to express His love, then He had a need to have more to love.
Wait, you mean that walking sentient televisions are not real? If they aren't give it twenty years and Japan will have invented them.
 

scamandrius

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There's an old joke attributed to St. Augustine which goes along the lines of asking "What God was doing before creation?"  answer: "thinking of punishments for people who dare ask such questions."  I can only imagine the fires of Gehenna that await you, James.  ;D
 

DavidH

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I like St. John of Damascus' answer to this question: "Because the good and transcendently good God was not content to contemplate Himself, but by a superabundance of goodness saw fit that there should be some things to benefit by and to participate in His goodness, He brings all things from nothing into being and creates them."
 

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In the beginning there was God, at rest.

.  <--[God,infinitely within.]

God had a thought. Thus, giving birth to possibility/expansion, and becoming...

0 <--[God, infinitely without.]

God realized himself as One, becoming...

| <--[God realized.]

God desired differentiation, so he created.

|| <--[Duality]

The realization of separateness, giving birth to a triad: The Thing>The Other Thing>The Knowledge of Difference...

▲ <--[Triune.]


Solved.

Oh... Why did he do it?

Who cares...








 

NicholasMyra

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JamesRottnek said:
NicholasMyra] [quote author=JamesRottnek said:
If God had to create to express His love, then He had a need to have more to love.
He could express his love in Trinitarian relationship even before creation.
Precisely.  So, if He was able to express His love prior to creation, then how can you say He created because He loves, unless He had a need for more love?
[/quote]
I think you're confusing need with desire.
 

PeterTheAleut

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Babalon said:
In the beginning there was God, at rest.

.  <--[God,infinitely within.]

God had a thought. Thus, giving birth to possibility/expansion, and becoming...

0 <--[God, infinitely without.]

God realized himself as One, becoming...

| <--[God realized.]

God desired differentiation, so he created.

|| <--[Duality]

The realization of separateness, giving birth to a triad: The Thing>The Other Thing>The Knowledge of Difference...

▲ <--[Triune.]


Solved.

Oh... Why did he do it?

Who cares...
You do realize that you're posting on Faith Issues?
 

Babalon

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PeterTheAleut said:
Babalon said:
In the beginning there was God, at rest.

.  <--[God,infinitely within.]

God had a thought. Thus, giving birth to possibility/expansion, and becoming...

0 <--[God, infinitely without.]

God realized himself as One, becoming...

| <--[God realized.]

God desired differentiation, so he created.

|| <--[Duality]

The realization of separateness, giving birth to a triad: The Thing>The Other Thing>The Knowledge of Difference...

▲ <--[Triune.]


Solved.

Oh... Why did he do it?

Who cares...
You do realize that you're posting on Faith Issues?
Yep. Just being silly.



 

JamesRottnek

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DavidH said:
I like St. John of Damascus' answer to this question: "Because the good and transcendently good God was not content to contemplate Himself, but by a superabundance of goodness saw fit that there should be some things to benefit by and to participate in His goodness, He brings all things from nothing into being and creates them."
That sounds a whole lot like "God was bored being by Himself, and so He created creatures with whom He could interact," which would be a statement that God needs His creation, on some level.
 

JamesRottnek

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NicholasMyra said:
JamesRottnek said:
NicholasMyra] [quote author=JamesRottnek said:
If God had to create to express His love, then He had a need to have more to love.
He could express his love in Trinitarian relationship even before creation.
Precisely.  So, if He was able to express His love prior to creation, then how can you say He created because He loves, unless He had a need for more love?
I think you're confusing need with desire.
[/quote]

If you have a desire, you have a need.  If you desire, you are unfulfilled on some level or in some aspect of yourself.
 

Cantor Krishnich

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I also used to wonder about this. But we should not ponder on the question too much....thats probably what happened to alot of the atheistic and agnostic Swedish "theologians" (if you know what I mean). No offence to any Swedes who might be reading this). :)
 

Achronos

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Cantor Krishnich said:
I also used to wonder about this. But we should not ponder on the question too much....thats probably what happened to alot of the atheistic and agnostic Swedish "theologians" (if you know what I mean). No offence to any Swedes who might be reading this). :)
What?
 

mountainman

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a little bit Of "we don't need to know this" is good for us you know....

There is "before" and "after" creation only for those who are created, not for God who is uncreated.  For Him, all is at once, not linear, this is why we can only meet Him in the moment, not in the past and not in the future.  Speculation about before creation as well as speculation about after the end (what will it be like in the future age) misses the mark on this.  The mystery of that "time" before creation is unaccessible to us.  The question perhaps should be why does God create the circumstances I find myself in each moment, or why does God cause our paths to cross the paths of another on any given day?

In regards to the point: if I can conceive of it why has God not created it?  Well in a sense he has, for whatever has not been manifest in nature can be manifest in our imagination, and as a type of co- creator corresponding to the experience of the tree of knowledge we are often able to bring our imagination into existence.  But you could ask the same question like this:  how is it God did not create sin given that we can conceive of evil and are able to sin?  I'm sure this has been discussed a lot on this forum.
 

JamesRottnek

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Cantor Krishnich said:
I also used to wonder about this. But we should not ponder on the question too much....thats probably what happened to alot of the atheistic and agnostic Swedish "theologians" (if you know what I mean). No offence to any Swedes who might be reading this). :)
Why would a belief that God has needs cause one to cease believing in God?
 

JamesRottnek

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NicholasMyra said:
JamesRottnek said:
If you have a desire, you have a need.  
Not really. You have a motivation.
At the very least, someone or something who/that is perfect, has no desire.  If you are truly perfect, you lack nothing.  If you lack nothing, you have no desire for anything.
 

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JamesRottnek said:
NicholasMyra said:
JamesRottnek said:
If you have a desire, you have a need.  
Not really. You have a motivation.
At the very least, someone or something who/that is perfect, has no desire.  If you are truly perfect, you lack nothing.  If you lack nothing, you have no desire for anything.
Be careful about attributing human emotions to God.
 

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JamesRottnek said:
DavidH said:
I like St. John of Damascus' answer to this question: "Because the good and transcendently good God was not content to contemplate Himself, but by a superabundance of goodness saw fit that there should be some things to benefit by and to participate in His goodness, He brings all things from nothing into being and creates them."
That sounds a whole lot like "God was bored being by Himself, and so He created creatures with whom He could interact," which would be a statement that God needs His creation, on some level.
St. John of Damascus is saying that because God is so transcendentally good He willed to create other intelligent beings to share His goodness with. This sounds more like the motive was a self-giving love expressing itself rather than boredom.
 

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JamesRottnek said:
If you lack nothing, you have no desire for anything.
Not really. I don't lack a toilet, but that doesn't mean I don't desire a pure, 24 kt golden toilet seat.
 

JamesRottnek

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DavidH said:
JamesRottnek said:
DavidH said:
I like St. John of Damascus' answer to this question: "Because the good and transcendently good God was not content to contemplate Himself, but by a superabundance of goodness saw fit that there should be some things to benefit by and to participate in His goodness, He brings all things from nothing into being and creates them."
That sounds a whole lot like "God was bored being by Himself, and so He created creatures with whom He could interact," which would be a statement that God needs His creation, on some level.
St. John of Damascus is saying that because God is so transcendentally good He willed to create other intelligent beings to share His goodness with.
But, in that case, it would seem as though God felt a need to share His goodness.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
JamesRottnek said:
NicholasMyra said:
JamesRottnek said:
If you have a desire, you have a need.  
Not really. You have a motivation.
At the very least, someone or something who/that is perfect, has no desire.  If you are truly perfect, you lack nothing.  If you lack nothing, you have no desire for anything.
Be careful about attributing human emotions to God.
The greater danger it seems to me is to attribute God to human emotions.

 

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JamesRottnek said:
DavidH said:
JamesRottnek said:
DavidH said:
I like St. John of Damascus' answer to this question: "Because the good and transcendently good God was not content to contemplate Himself, but by a superabundance of goodness saw fit that there should be some things to benefit by and to participate in His goodness, He brings all things from nothing into being and creates them."
That sounds a whole lot like "God was bored being by Himself, and so He created creatures with whom He could interact," which would be a statement that God needs His creation, on some level.
St. John of Damascus is saying that because God is so transcendentally good He willed to create other intelligent beings to share His goodness with.
But, in that case, it would seem as though God felt a need to share His goodness.
Any answer to questions about a transcendental God will necessarily be limited but I believe St. John's answer remains the best possible answer to the question of "Why did God create?"

I see where it could seem to hint at a need in God to do something as if He were lacking but we are saved from tangents like that by putting St. John's answer in context with the rest of the Tradition.

We are taught that God is perfect and lacking in nothing (or else He would not be perfect) therefore there is no need to read in such an interpretation into St. John's words.
 

Cantor Krishnich

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Achronos said:
Cantor Krishnich said:
I also used to wonder about this. But we should not ponder on the question too much....thats probably what happened to alot of the atheistic and agnostic Swedish "theologians" (if you know what I mean). No offence to any Swedes who might be reading this). :)
What?
Sweden has the highest population of atheists in Europe. They also have one of the highest literacy rates and the Lutheran Church of Sweden has one of the highest rates of students in their seminaries in Europe (usually they are students who dont have desire to become clergy or religious and just want to either fill in their credits for a degree or want more knowledge to justify their atheistic arguments.) Some people even say atheism is become a part of Swedish culture. At least, this is what my Swedish colleague says. If you look at statistics and the history of modern Sweden, these statements prove to be correct.

Of course, we shouldn't think that education is evil or that we shouldn't think about these things but I think that we shouldnt think about them too much. In the end, no matter how much we study, we can never fully understand God (he is beyond human reasoning). Its this same drive to try to know the "history of God" that could drive some people to Atheism. Instead of trying to know God (in these types of things), we should try our best to fear/worship God our Creator.

Remember what happened to when they people in Shinar tried to built the Tower of Babel and tried to make a physical stairway to heaven...God came down from heaven and confused the tongues (Genesis 11: 1-9).

Its an interesting question and I too have wondered about this question but I try not to fully ponder on this matter especially because as a new convert (will  be chrismated in 5 days) I dont have enough knowledge to completely back up my beliefs or answer the new questions that develop in my head.

       
 

minasoliman

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James,

I think the problem is precisely that you're defining God with human emotions.  First you talk about desire and need.  When God has a "desire" it is a human word used to express something about God that is in the end hard to express, and not something that literally equates human desire.  Therefore, it does not follow that desire means need.  God is not in need of anything, and yet He desires.  It is a great mystery of godliness that is hard to express, yet felt when we enter into a personal relationship with God.

Second, is that you're defining God with human limitations, particularly TIME and SPACE.  What was God doing before creation, or what was God doing all this time waiting until humans were created, or if God is infinitely love, why can't I see everything around me created possible?  All of these questions if dissected are invalid to begin with.  God is timeless and spaceless, beyond such limited concepts.  Therefore to say what was God doing "before creation" is ASSUMING God exists within time.  Asking why can't I see everything God created is ASSUMING you can see the whole universe as God sees it.

What do we know?  We know that we are unable to understand things outside of the time we're cruising along in as well as the space we can see.  We also know that there might have been things going on before the time of the Big Bang, let's say, and we also know that the known picture of the universe is not the whole universe itself.  Therefore, in all of that, we can't even fathom the depths of His own creation (we can't even fathom all the different types of matter that exists), then we're unable to formulate a question of where, what, when God did things to begin with, unless we're talking about God incarnate, who brought Himself within time and space for us that we may believe in Him with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
 

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Cantor Krishnich said:
Sweden has the highest population of atheists in Europe. They also have one of the highest literacy rates and the Lutheran Church of Sweden has one of the highest rates of students in their seminaries in Europe (usually they are students who dont have desire to become clergy or religious and just want to either fill in their credits for a degree or want more knowledge to justify their atheistic arguments.)
Hold on there buckaroo... some of us just find this stuff interesting :)
 

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Once I get caught up on getting some PMs and emails written I might come back to this issue as it seems like most times, everyone is agreeing more than they think and unfortunately so.

The question is a loaded one which needs to be examined.

None of the answers to it in the thread are or should be remotely satisfying.
 

JamesRottnek

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minasoliman said:
James,

I think the problem is precisely that you're defining God with human emotions.  First you talk about desire and need.  When God has a "desire" it is a human word used to express something about God that is in the end hard to express, and not something that literally equates human desire.  Therefore, it does not follow that desire means need.  God is not in need of anything, and yet He desires.  It is a great mystery of godliness that is hard to express, yet felt when we enter into a personal relationship with God.

Second, is that you're defining God with human limitations, particularly TIME and SPACE.  What was God doing before creation, or what was God doing all this time waiting until humans were created, or if God is infinitely love, why can't I see everything around me created possible?  All of these questions if dissected are invalid to begin with.  God is timeless and spaceless, beyond such limited concepts.  Therefore to say what was God doing "before creation" is ASSUMING God exists within time.  Asking why can't I see everything God created is ASSUMING you can see the whole universe as God sees it.

What do we know?  We know that we are unable to understand things outside of the time we're cruising along in as well as the space we can see.  We also know that there might have been things going on before the time of the Big Bang, let's say, and we also know that the known picture of the universe is not the whole universe itself.  Therefore, in all of that, we can't even fathom the depths of His own creation (we can't even fathom all the different types of matter that exists), then we're unable to formulate a question of where, what, when God did things to begin with, unless we're talking about God incarnate, who brought Himself within time and space for us that we may believe in Him with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
On your second point, what I'm assuming you are responding to is not my actual belief.  I do not really believe that God should have created sentient televisions.  Rather, I was responding to an argument that God creates because He loves all that is possible to create.

On your first point, so God "desires" but doesn't actually want?  Then you cannot say He desires.  Don't use words that are extremely wrong.  If God desires, then He desires, and if He doesn't desire, then why does He do anything?  Does He flip a coin all day to decide whether or not to do something?

Anyways, orthonorm, I am interested in hearing from you.
 
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