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  #101  
Old 05-14-2019, 10:38 PM
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The God of the Bible, like virtually all religions, is just like a (badly behaved) human -- not just needing worship but expressing many emotions, getting frustrated that things don't go his way etc etc.
Omnimax god is a later concept. And that's the real question: How can we square omniscience and omnibenevolence with what it actually says in the bible?

But answering the actual OP question: very egotistical. The bible is pretty clear that god has many jerk-ass tendencies and should be feared.
  #102  
Old 05-15-2019, 05:58 AM
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I'm not sure what "narcissism" would mean when applied to a deity, at least a Supreme Being like the God of Jews, Christians, or Muslims.
That he "thinks he's God"? Well, duh: He is.
That is another example of 'begging the question'. The God of the Abrahamic faiths, if he exists, only 'thinks' he is God; the laws of contingency apply to him, as well. Even if He doesn't believe it, God himself had a creator, and that creator had a creator, and so on.

In fact, God may or may not be an atheist with respect to His own creator. Perhaps he's right, perhaps not. I don't suppose we, or He, will ever find out.

In fact, I'm not sure that the idea of an omnimax god even existed when the Bible was written - God was just the most important of all the gods, at least in the early, henotheistic sections. At one point, He was even married.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asherah
  #103  
Old 05-15-2019, 08:17 AM
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I'm not a theologian and I am not a Catholic, but I have had the pleasure of speaking to a Catholic minister about this and will do my best to represent that faith.

During a Catholic mass the worshiper ingests consecrated bread and wine, which has the effect of literally inviting Jesus into your soul. This is not based on scientific evidence, but on longstanding papal authority which in turn interprets the Eucharist as related by the Bible (Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:17-20; I Corinthians 11:23-25; John 6:47-67).

Unfortunately for agnostics, the physical mechanism behind transubstantiation (if one exists) remains elusive.

~Max
It doesn't remain elusive for agnostics, it doesn't happen. Catholics who believe it does are delusional.
  #104  
Old 05-15-2019, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by eburacum45 View Post
That is another example of 'begging the question'. The God of the Abrahamic faiths, if he exists, only 'thinks' he is God; the laws of contingency apply to him, as well. Even if He doesn't believe it, God himself had a creator, and that creator had a creator, and so on.
Not sure what you're on about here. The God of the Abrahamic faiths is eternal and does not have a creator.

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It doesn't remain elusive for agnostics, it doesn't happen. Catholics who believe it does are delusional.
When you claim to know that it doesn't happen, you are by definition not an agnostic, at least about that, though you may still be one in the broader sense.
  #105  
Old 05-15-2019, 01:01 PM
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That he has an excessive need for admiration? Now we're sort of begging the question: Why does he want/need people to worship him?
This one, and the 'why' is that it's just part of his personality to crave adulation. We see this in people all the time - it's why people photoshop and filter their pictures on facebook to make themselves look better than they are. (And also why they use facebook at all, if they're not explicitly doing it as a way to keep in touch with distant family/friends.) Many people like adulation because the validation makes them feel good. God could be similarly needy.

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This may work for gods in polytheistic or henotheistic settings, but it doesn't make sense for the Almighty as conceived of by most monotheists, who doesn't have such limitations.
Whether or not the Christian god is almighty is a matter of debate - I'm not convinced that an omnipotent god would have had to arrange for Jesus's murder in order to forgive people, mostly because by definition no omnipotent god would need to arrange a murder in order to forgive people. But this a different discussion - I was trying to come up with a reasonably complete list of why *any* god (or non-god) would demand worship, not just all-powerful or all-good ones.

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6) Sort of the opposite of this: God knows that people have a built-in tendency to worship something, and so he wants them to worship him rather than something more dangerous like a human being, an institution (like the State), or the Almighty Dollar.
An interesting notion - though you'd think that "don't worship bad things" would be clearer and just as effective. (Also not everybody is compelled to worship, as atheism demonstrates.)

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Probably several other possibilities, such as my #6 above, or my suggestion earlier in the thread that maybe worship makes God "feel good" or get something analogous to emotional pleasure from it.
That's narcissism.

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But maybe all of these suggested reasons are too transactional. They're all based on the supposition that God derives some benefit as a result of being worshiped, or that the worshipers do. But maybe that's the wrong way to look at it, or at least not the full picture. Maybe worship is an end in itself, rather than a means to an end. Maybe worship (whether by humans or by angels) happens because it's somehow right or fitting or aesthetically pleasing.
But why is it right, fitting, or aesthetically pleasing? Or rather, in whose opinion? Because those are all value judgements. And (imho) there's no such thing as objective value - value is always in the eye of a beholder. So who's saying that groveling in sackcloth and ashes is good and pretty? The god? If not the god, who?

It's an interesting notion to say that the god likes people groveling on their knees not because it feeds his ego, but because he thinks kneeling people are beautiful. Of course if that was how it works then it wouldn't matter who or what the groveling was directed towards - groveling at the feet of a golden calf is as pretty as groveling at the base of a cross, after all.
  #106  
Old 05-15-2019, 01:16 PM
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That's narcissism.
It's not narcissism for a human being to feel good or get pleasure from being told "I love you" or "You're beautiful" or "Dude, that was a bitchin' guitar solo you played."

It might be narcissism for a human being to insist on being told such things. But in the post I replied to, you said you were talking about reasons a deity might want people to worship them, not reasons why a deity might insist that people worship them.
  #107  
Old 05-15-2019, 01:18 PM
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Not sure what you're on about here. The God of the Abrahamic faiths is eternal and does not have a creator.
He's probably referencing the fact that some of the (fallacious) arguments for god being necessary posit that the universe needs a preceding cause, and that preceding cause is God. Such arguments are fallacious because if the universe needs a preceding cause then so does God, and God's preceding cause is a turtle, and it's turtles all the way down.

Of course, if you're not making that argument and instead you're just saying that god is eternal and always-existing because you say so, then that's another matter. When one makes up fiction they can attribute whatever attributes they like to the characters in their fiction.

(I'll note that in my personal opinion entities that have always existed are inherently nonsensical. Presuming that God has a perfect memory, what does he remember himself doing for all that time? What was his first memory? He must have one...but can't, because there's no way to get from his first memory to the present day. Living one day at a time you can't get from infinity ago to now.)

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When you claim to know that it doesn't happen, you are by definition not an agnostic, at least about that, though you may still be one in the broader sense.
In common parlance, "agnostic" means "atheist that doesn't like the term".
  #108  
Old 05-15-2019, 01:21 PM
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It's not narcissism for a human being to feel good or get pleasure from being told "I love you" or "You're beautiful" or "Dude, that was a bitchin' guitar solo you played."

It might be narcissism for a human being to insist on being told such things. But in the post I replied to, you said you were talking about reasons a deity might want people to worship them, not reasons why a deity might insist that people worship them.
Choose the term you like, but it's still the deity wanting the praise because it takes personal pleasure in the praise due to the praise feeding his ego.

You can argue that it's not a bad thing to enjoy your ego being bolstered. I'll counter by saying that the thread is about a deity that needs to be worshiped.
  #109  
Old 05-15-2019, 01:23 PM
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Not sure what you're on about here. The God of the Abrahamic faiths is eternal and does not have a creator.
[Jarvis Cocker]Are you sure?[/Jarvis Cocker]
More to the point, is He sure?
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