Bible Discussion: GOD CAN'T... NOR CAN YOU

GOD CAN'T... NOR CAN YOU
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Libertarius
2003-11-16 11:12:12 EST
Do you believe in an all-knowing, omniscient deity with
divine foreknowledge of everything that is to happen?
If so, you cannot believe that such a deity can do or
make happen anything new or different from what he
has always known would happen, because with such
a move he would paradoxically contradict himself.

Of course that also works for the so-called "free will"
for humans. You cannot do anything different from what
the omniscient divine foreknowledge has foreseen since
the beginning of time. If you could, that would also
contradict divine foreknowledge.

So either "God" and the whole Universe is constrained by
divine omniscience, or divine omniscience cannot exist.

Libertarius
===========




Geoff
2003-11-18 08:55:55 EST

"Libertarius" <Libertarius@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net> wrote in message
news:3FB7A1DC.78E6FCED@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net...
> Do you believe in an all-knowing, omniscient deity with
> divine foreknowledge of everything that is to happen?
> If so, you cannot believe that such a deity can do or
> make happen anything new or different from what he
> has always known would happen, because with such
> a move he would paradoxically contradict himself.
>
> Of course that also works for the so-called "free will"
> for humans. You cannot do anything different from what
> the omniscient divine foreknowledge has foreseen since
> the beginning of time. If you could, that would also
> contradict divine foreknowledge.
>
> So either "God" and the whole Universe is constrained by
> divine omniscience, or divine omniscience cannot exist.
>
> Libertarius
> ===========
>
>
>
flawed logic
free-will and foreknowledge can happily co-exist. You can do whatever you
like. God knowing what decision you are going to make does not limit your
options. Works the same for foreknowledge of His own decisions.
try again

G



Libertarius
2003-11-18 12:15:59 EST


Geoff wrote:

> "Libertarius" <Libertarius@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net> wrote in message
> news:3FB7A1DC.78E6FCED@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net...
> > Do you believe in an all-knowing, omniscient deity with
> > divine foreknowledge of everything that is to happen?
> > If so, you cannot believe that such a deity can do or
> > make happen anything new or different from what he
> > has always known would happen, because with such
> > a move he would paradoxically contradict himself.
> >
> > Of course that also works for the so-called "free will"
> > for humans. You cannot do anything different from what
> > the omniscient divine foreknowledge has foreseen since
> > the beginning of time. If you could, that would also
> > contradict divine foreknowledge.
> >
> > So either "God" and the whole Universe is constrained by
> > divine omniscience, or divine omniscience cannot exist.
> >
> > Libertarius
> > ===========
> >
> >
> >
> flawed logic
> free-will and foreknowledge can happily co-exist.

===>Only in an illogical mind.

> You can do whatever you
> like. God knowing what decision you are going to make does not limit your
> options.

===>Can you contradict divine foreknowledge by doing something
DIFFERENT than what he has always known you were going
to do? THINK, MAN!

> Works the same for foreknowledge of His own decisions.
> try again

===>Can HE contradict HIS OWN divine foreknowledge
by doing something DIFFERENT than what he has always
known he was going to do?

THINK, MAN!

Libertarius
==========


>
>
> G


Geoff
2003-11-20 10:17:38 EST

"Libertarius" <Libertarius@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net> wrote in message
news:3FBA53CF.B4E5022D@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net...
>
>
> Geoff wrote:
>
> > "Libertarius" <Libertarius@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net> wrote in message
> > news:3FB7A1DC.78E6FCED@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net...
> > > Do you believe in an all-knowing, omniscient deity with
> > > divine foreknowledge of everything that is to happen?
> > > If so, you cannot believe that such a deity can do or
> > > make happen anything new or different from what he
> > > has always known would happen, because with such
> > > a move he would paradoxically contradict himself.
> > >
> > > Of course that also works for the so-called "free will"
> > > for humans. You cannot do anything different from what
> > > the omniscient divine foreknowledge has foreseen since
> > > the beginning of time. If you could, that would also
> > > contradict divine foreknowledge.
> > >
> > > So either "God" and the whole Universe is constrained by
> > > divine omniscience, or divine omniscience cannot exist.
> > >
> > > Libertarius
> > > ===========
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > flawed logic
> > free-will and foreknowledge can happily co-exist.
>
> ===>Only in an illogical mind.
>
> > You can do whatever you
> > like. God knowing what decision you are going to make does not limit
your
> > options.
>
> ===>Can you contradict divine foreknowledge by doing something
> DIFFERENT than what he has always known you were going
> to do? THINK, MAN!
>
> > Works the same for foreknowledge of His own decisions.
> > try again
>
> ===>Can HE contradict HIS OWN divine foreknowledge
> by doing something DIFFERENT than what he has always
> known he was going to do?
>
> THINK, MAN!
>
> Libertarius
> ==========
>
I understand what you are suggesting, but define 'foreknowledge' - it means
knowing what is going to happen. if i do something 'DIFFERENT', then God
KNEW i was going to do something different. It can be a difficult idea to
get your head around, but God knowing exactly what I'm going to do with my
life in no way controls my actions or removes my free-will.
As for His own decisions, its not that He CANNOT change them but that He
DOES NOT change them. God is perfect. He makes the correct decision first
time round and it doesn't need to be changed. I realise that scripture
records people pleading for God to change His mind on things and in mercy He
sometimes does so, but foreknowledge can foresee that anyway.
I can see that you enjoy disputing Biblical concepts, but I think you've
outwitted yourself with this one



Libertarius
2003-11-20 10:57:18 EST


Geoff wrote:

> "Libertarius" <Libertarius@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net> wrote in message
> news:3FBA53CF.B4E5022D@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net...
> >
> >
> > Geoff wrote:
> >
> > > "Libertarius" <Libertarius@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net> wrote in message
> > > news:3FB7A1DC.78E6FCED@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net...
> > > > Do you believe in an all-knowing, omniscient deity with
> > > > divine foreknowledge of everything that is to happen?
> > > > If so, you cannot believe that such a deity can do or
> > > > make happen anything new or different from what he
> > > > has always known would happen, because with such
> > > > a move he would paradoxically contradict himself.
> > > >
> > > > Of course that also works for the so-called "free will"
> > > > for humans. You cannot do anything different from what
> > > > the omniscient divine foreknowledge has foreseen since
> > > > the beginning of time. If you could, that would also
> > > > contradict divine foreknowledge.
> > > >
> > > > So either "God" and the whole Universe is constrained by
> > > > divine omniscience, or divine omniscience cannot exist.
> > > >
> > > > Libertarius
> > > > ===========
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > flawed logic
> > > free-will and foreknowledge can happily co-exist.
> >
> > ===>Only in an illogical mind.
> >
> > > You can do whatever you
> > > like. God knowing what decision you are going to make does not limit
> your
> > > options.
> >
> > ===>Can you contradict divine foreknowledge by doing something
> > DIFFERENT than what he has always known you were going
> > to do? THINK, MAN!
> >
> > > Works the same for foreknowledge of His own decisions.
> > > try again
> >
> > ===>Can HE contradict HIS OWN divine foreknowledge
> > by doing something DIFFERENT than what he has always
> > known he was going to do?
> >
> > THINK, MAN!
> >
> > Libertarius
> > ==========
> >
> I understand what you are suggesting, but define 'foreknowledge' - it means
> knowing what is going to happen. if i do something 'DIFFERENT', then God
> KNEW i was going to do something different.

===>That makes no sense.
It would NOT be "different", if he knew in advance
what you were going to do.

> It can be a difficult idea to
> get your head around, but God knowing exactly what I'm going to do with my
> life in no way controls my actions or removes my free-will.

===>It is not CAUSED by "God knowing", it is caused by the fact that
foreknowledge implies complete and absolute determinism.

> As for His own decisions, its not that He CANNOT change them but that He
> DOES NOT change them.

===>You are playing with words. He does not because he cannot.

> God is perfect. He makes the correct decision first
> time round and it doesn't need to be changed.

===>That is the same thing.
However, Genesis talks about a "God" that does change
his mind. E.g. he says Adam would die the day he eats of the
forbidden fruit, then he realizes he did not die, so he chases
him out of his garden, later he is "sorry he made man", decides
to kill off ALL life, then he tells Noah to build an ark and
save a few samples, as if the samples would not behave the
same way the rest of the world behaved before the destruction
by the "flood".

> I realise that scripture
> records people pleading for God to change His mind on things and in mercy He
> sometimes does so,

===>Of course THAT "God" does.
But the deity of the Bible is often depicted as one who is
NOT omniscient or omnipotent.

> but foreknowledge can foresee that anyway.

===>So, it is all predetermined, if you believe in omniscience.
But that excludes omnipotence!

> I can see that you enjoy disputing Biblical concepts, but I think you've
> outwitted yourself with this one

===>"Outwitted" YOU, not myself.
There is no way you can refute my point, in fact you
appear to support it with your examples, obviously
without realizing it. -- L.




Abigail Holtz
2003-11-26 21:32:50 EST

:> > "Libertarius" <Libertarius@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net> wrote in message
:> > news:3FB7A1DC.78E6FCED@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net...

:> > > Do you believe in an all-knowing, omniscient deity with
:> > > divine foreknowledge of everything that is to happen?
:> > > If so, you cannot believe that such a deity can do or
:> > > make happen anything new or different from what he
:> > > has always known would happen, because with such
:> > > a move he would paradoxically contradict himself.
:> > >
:> > > Of course that also works for the so-called "free will"
:> > > for humans. You cannot do anything different from what
:> > > the omniscient divine foreknowledge has foreseen since
:> > > the beginning of time. If you could, that would also
:> > > contradict divine foreknowledge.
:> > >
:> > > So either "God" and the whole Universe is constrained by
:> > > divine omniscience, or divine omniscience cannot exist.
:> > >
:> > > Libertarius
:> > > ===========

Hello.

Why do you assume that omniscience means foreknowledge? I have always
assumed it just means knowing everything it is POSSIBLE to know.
Obviously free will and perfect foreknowledge cannot coexist logically,
but why should they have to? G-d created the universe, He designed the
laws of physics, and He has been here from the beginning, so He has seen
everything that has happened. In addition, I believe He knows everything
that happens, whether it's a blade of grass dying, a drop of water
falling, or the inner words of a child too choked up to pray aloud. I
don't think He knows everything that will happen in the future in a
psychic sense, but I would certainly trust His predictions more than
anyone else's. He's making them based on a wealth of information that
it's impossible for human beings to fully comprehend.

To illustrate: let's say I want to plant an indoor garden. I haul in
hand-picked soil, I control the temperature and climate, I carefully
select each seed I'm going to plant, and I have read everything ever
written on each species I plant very carefully. In addition, I have
grown all these plants before, in an almost identical indoor garden in my
old house.

Next door, my neighbor has planted a garden in his backyard, using a
"wildflower seed mix" and without paying much attention to weeding out
the plot of land first.

Who do you think is going to be better situated to predict how their
garden will grow? I'm not psychic, but I bet I can predict almost
exactly what's going to happen in my garden, and I'm better equipped to
control the results than my neighbor.

This, of course, is not an very exact analogy, but I think it captures
the spirit of the difference. Human beings are like my next door
neighbor: we have very limited knowledge of our environment and therefore
only limited control over what happens to us. Also, we do not have all
the information we need to predict the future. G-d has not just better
knowledge, but PERFECT knowledge of every single thing that happens in
the world, perfect knowledge of how the world works (because He is the
one that designed it), and perfect knowledge of everything that has come
before.

Certainly a deity that can express difficulty deciding whether to tell
Abraham that He is going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, who expresses
doubt that creating humanity was a good idea, and who feels He must
prevent Adam from eating from the tree of life (and is apparently WORRIED
that Adam might "become like one of us") does not appear to have perfect
foreknowledge. But that doesn't mean He doesn't know everything there is
to know. It's just that the future is still mostly undetermined, so it's
not in the realm of things that are possible to know perfectly.

--
Best regards,

Abby

Libertarius
2003-11-27 10:59:36 EST


Abigail Holtz wrote:

> :> > "Libertarius" <Libertarius@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net> wrote in message
> :> > news:3FB7A1DC.78E6FCED@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net...
>
> :> > > Do you believe in an all-knowing, omniscient deity with
> :> > > divine foreknowledge of everything that is to happen?
> :> > > If so, you cannot believe that such a deity can do or
> :> > > make happen anything new or different from what he
> :> > > has always known would happen, because with such
> :> > > a move he would paradoxically contradict himself.
> :> > >
> :> > > Of course that also works for the so-called "free will"
> :> > > for humans. You cannot do anything different from what
> :> > > the omniscient divine foreknowledge has foreseen since
> :> > > the beginning of time. If you could, that would also
> :> > > contradict divine foreknowledge.
> :> > >
> :> > > So either "God" and the whole Universe is constrained by
> :> > > divine omniscience, or divine omniscience cannot exist.
> :> > >
> :> > > Libertarius
> :> > > ===========
>
> Hello.
>
> Why do you assume that omniscience means foreknowledge? I have always
> assumed it just means knowing everything it is POSSIBLE to know.

===>OK. So, you don't believe in divine OMNIscience.

> Obviously free will and perfect foreknowledge cannot coexist logically,
> but why should they have to? G-d created the universe, He designed the
> laws of physics, and He has been here from the beginning, so He has seen
> everything that has happened. In addition, I believe He knows everything
> that happens, whether it's a blade of grass dying, a drop of water
> falling, or the inner words of a child too choked up to pray aloud. I
> don't think He knows everything that will happen in the future in a
> psychic sense, but I would certainly trust His predictions more than
> anyone else's. He's making them based on a wealth of information that
> it's impossible for human beings to fully comprehend.

===>Well, that is ONE solution, if you want to make such a compromise.
Obviously, to you it does not mean foreknowledge.
So, you agree with my point.

> To illustrate: let's say I want to plant an indoor garden. I haul in
> hand-picked soil, I control the temperature and climate, I carefully
> select each seed I'm going to plant, and I have read everything ever
> written on each species I plant very carefully. In addition, I have
> grown all these plants before, in an almost identical indoor garden in my
> old house.
>
> Next door, my neighbor has planted a garden in his backyard, using a
> "wildflower seed mix" and without paying much attention to weeding out
> the plot of land first.
>
> Who do you think is going to be better situated to predict how their
> garden will grow? I'm not psychic, but I bet I can predict almost
> exactly what's going to happen in my garden, and I'm better equipped to
> control the results than my neighbor.
>
> This, of course, is not an very exact analogy, but I think it captures
> the spirit of the difference. Human beings are like my next door
> neighbor: we have very limited knowledge of our environment and therefore
> only limited control over what happens to us. Also, we do not have all
> the information we need to predict the future. G-d has not just better
> knowledge, but PERFECT knowledge of every single thing that happens in
> the world, perfect knowledge of how the world works (because He is the
> one that designed it), and perfect knowledge of everything that has come
> before.
>
> Certainly a deity that can express difficulty deciding whether to tell
> Abraham that He is going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, who expresses
> doubt that creating humanity was a good idea, and who feels He must
> prevent Adam from eating from the tree of life (and is apparently WORRIED
> that Adam might "become like one of us") does not appear to have perfect
> foreknowledge.

===>EXACTLY correct.
The GENESIS ("J") author did not think YHWH was an omniscient being.
And the EXODUS author makes YHWH forget that those patriarchs
already knew him by that name, as he introduces himself to Moses.

> But that doesn't mean He doesn't know everything there is
> to know. It's just that the future is still mostly undetermined, so it's
> not in the realm of things that are possible to know perfectly.

===>Glad to see we are basically in agreement.
YOUR "GOD" is more like the deity of the "J" author,
not the same as the all-knowing (omniscient) deity of others,
found especially in the Christian literature. -- L.


Abigail Holtz
2003-11-27 13:01:01 EST
In article <3FC61F68.1B6F3896@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net>,
L*s@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net says...

:===>OK. So, you don't believe in divine OMNIscience.

I guess not. I believe in G-d knowing everything that it's possible to
know, which doesn't include perfect foreknowledge of a future that's yet
undetermined.

:===>Well, that is ONE solution, if you want to make such a compromise.
:Obviously, to you it does not mean foreknowledge.
:So, you agree with my point.

Yes. I just don't think it disproves the existence of G-d, or is reason
to disbelieve Him.

:> But that doesn't mean He doesn't know everything there is
:> to know. It's just that the future is still mostly undetermined, so it's
:> not in the realm of things that are possible to know perfectly.
:
:===>Glad to see we are basically in agreement.
:YOUR "GOD" is more like the deity of the "J" author,
:not the same as the all-knowing (omniscient) deity of others,
:found especially in the Christian literature. -- L.

I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that I'm Jewish. Nah,
probably it's just coincidence. <grin>

--
Best regards,

Abby

Libertarius
2003-11-27 19:27:26 EST


Abigail Holtz wrote:

> In article <3FC61F68.1B6F3896@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net>,
> Libertarius@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net says...
>
> :===>OK. So, you don't believe in divine OMNIscience.
>
> I guess not. I believe in G-d knowing everything that it's possible to
> know, which doesn't include perfect foreknowledge of a future that's yet
> undetermined.

===>From your spelling of "GOD" it is obvious you are not a
Christian. So, you obviously disagree with the "New Testament"
writers, e.g. Matthew 19:26, who insist:
"with God all things are possible."

> :===>Well, that is ONE solution, if you want to make such a compromise.
> :Obviously, to you it does not mean foreknowledge.
> :So, you agree with my point.
>
> Yes. I just don't think it disproves the existence of G-d, or is reason
> to disbelieve Him.

===>No, it only disproves the existence of ONE KIND
of "GOD", i.e. the omniscient one with perfect divine
foreknowledge.

> :> But that doesn't mean He doesn't know everything there is
> :> to know. It's just that the future is still mostly undetermined, so it's
> :> not in the realm of things that are possible to know perfectly.
> :
> :===>Glad to see we are basically in agreement.
> :YOUR "GOD" is more like the deity of the "J" author,
> :not the same as the all-knowing (omniscient) deity of others,
> :found especially in the Christian literature. -- L.
>
> I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that I'm Jewish. Nah,
> probably it's just coincidence. <grin>

===>It seemed clear right away.
One wonders, though, where the
"NT" writers got that notion about
with God all things being possible.
Is that one of the Gentile notions? -- L.


Abigail Holtz
2003-11-28 00:47:27 EST
In article <3FC6966E.ECBD5097@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net>,
L*s@Nothing_But_The_Truth.net says...

:===>From your spelling of "GOD" it is obvious you are not a
:Christian.

Ah. Yes. It's probably not necessary, as "God" isn't G-d's name, but
it's something I do more for myself than for religious reasons, to remind
myself of who I am and where I am. In a forum like this, one encounters
a lot of Christians, good and bad.

With the good ones, you tend to focus on how much you have in common,
which can, many times, lead to a lot of disappointment.

Judaism and Christianity have a lot of surface similarities, and
obviously, a close historical relationship. But despite that
relationship, they have ultimately evolved into two completely different
belief systems that have very little in common at their core. It's easy,
when I'm talking to a genuinely good, decent Christian, to focus on those
similarities. But usually, there will come a point in the discussion
when I am forcefully reminded that this is a person who has a worldview,
a system of ethics, and ultimately a way of thinking and being that is
different, sometimes diametrically opposing, and even, frankly...alien...
to mine. And so I've realized that while these are good people, while we
worship the same G-d, and while we should be working together to make the
world a better place, it's best if I keep that in mind, otherwise we can
end up offending one another or creating misunderstandings.

I realize that I will never fully understand where they're coming from.
I don't have the background, I don't think in the same ways, and I don't
have the right to assume that I understand their beliefs completely or
can know how they think or feel about an issue or belief.

I hope I don't sound chauvinistic -- it's not a matter of, "I have to
stand out as Jewish." I'm trying for greater empathy, not less, but I
think that before we can work with or around our differences, we have to
make sure we understand the differences themselves.

:So, you obviously disagree with the "New Testament"
:writers, e.g. Matthew 19:26, who insist:
:"with God all things are possible."

Yes, I suppose. I believe that G-d CAN break the laws of physics if He
should so choose, but that He doesn't. I believe that He accomplishes
even miracles within the rules He has set. For example, whether or not
you actually believe that He actually parted the Reed Sea to allow the
Israelites through, the text says that He did so with a strong wind.

Now, is it likely that a wind could ever be strong and directed enough to
part an inland sea? Probably not, but the point is that it's POSSIBLE.

:> :> But that doesn't mean He doesn't know everything there is
:> :> to know. It's just that the future is still mostly undetermined, so it's
:> :> not in the realm of things that are possible to know perfectly.
:> :
:> :===>Glad to see we are basically in agreement.
:> :YOUR "GOD" is more like the deity of the "J" author,
:> :not the same as the all-knowing (omniscient) deity of others,
:> :found especially in the Christian literature. -- L.
:>
:> I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that I'm Jewish. Nah,
:> probably it's just coincidence. <grin>
:
:===>It seemed clear right away.

Really? Darn.

Oh well, I've been told I'm too irreverent to ever pass for a Christian,
anyway.

:One wonders, though, where the
:"NT" writers got that notion about
:with God all things being possible.
:Is that one of the Gentile notions? -- L.

I think it is something of a Gentile notion, yes, more than it is a
Jewish notion, but on the other hand, before the world became associated
with our concept of G-d, whether through Judaism or Christianity, I don't
believe very many cultures had concepts of all-powerful deities.
Polytheism tends to limit the roles of divine beings. So, I'm not
entirely sure where it came from.

It's a simple question, but a complex subject, I think.

First, bear in mind that I can't speak for all Jews, here. This
discussion represents my opinion and mine alone, unless I quote someone.

I think that ultimately, emotional distance increases the perception of
power. If we are emotionally distant from our parent or ruler, it must
be because they are so different, so far beyond our comprehension, so
powerful that we CAN'T be any closer. And vice versa -- the more
inconceivably powerful something is, the more distant we are from it.

Jewish doctrine doesn't engage in the same sort of theological
speculation about the nature of G-d that much of Christian doctrine does.
We got as far as "He's G-d, He's good, He desires goodness from humans,
and He cares about us," and left it at that. We've generally been far
more concerned about what He WANTS than what He IS.

I think the Christian conception has to do with a number of things. This
is just speculation based on talks with Christians, but while many of
them seem to feel very close to Jesus, I think having him around as a
sort of intercessor tends to distance them emotionally from G-d. Little
Christian kids sing, "Jesus loves me," then go to church and hear
readings from the "Old Testament" and listen to the priest talk about how
the G-d of the Old Testament was vengeful, but the G-d/Jesus of the New
Testament is merciful. And plus, if you don't have Jesus, G-d sends you
to hell. The emphasis is on how far humanity is from G-d. There's no
way a human being can bridge that gap, except through G-d's grace. That
understanding of grace is perhaps the only truly and thoroughly original
Christian concept.

I think that the subconscious result is to associate Jesus with a warm,
human, loving idea of deity, and to picture G-d as more remote. G-d,
then, becomes a figure of fear and awe (and therefore must have
incredible, awesome power, since He determines the future of one's soul
for eternity) while Jesus becomes the focus for affection. Most
Christians seem taken aback when I talk about Jewish "affection" for G-d
-- it's not a word they would use in relation to G-d -- but to the Jewish
people, He is a deity worthy of the greatest awe and respect, a parent
and king, but He is also our covenantal partner, as well as (to steal a
line from Mel Brooks) an old friend. We argue with Him, we joke with
Him, one rabbi even sued Him! There's a certain tenderness there
that I've never noticed in Christian writings or prayers. Judaism does
not emphasize distance from G-d, and therefore our perspective on Him
doesn't have the same sort of unbreachable gap that Christianity has, so
there's less of a need for Him to be as incomprehensible and
unapproachable, and therefore, perhaps, He can be less powerful.

I think that having only one deity, or one face to our deity, or however
you want to say it, and therefore combining the affection and love with
the respect and awe, rather than assigning them to multiple faces, makes
G-d a closer figure, and that makes it harder to view Him with the same
sort of incomprehension that a totally omniscient being requires.

That's not to say that we think we understand Him completely, of course.
He's still powerful enough that the distinction between "complete"
omniscience and omnipotence and the sort with which I'm crediting Him is
largely academic. But the Bible does make it seem unlikely that He knows
everything in advance, and I don't recall any examples of Him actually
breaking any laws of physics after He finished creating the world.

Second, Judaism does not provide any definite answers about what happens
after death. Most Jews believe that there will be some sort of
resurrection, but some believe that the only immortality one has is
through the memories of the people whose lives one has touched. In any
case, it's a question that we can't answer definitively. In general, we
don't respond to death with the idea that it's somehow a good thing, that
the person has "gone to be with G-d." We have lost that person, pure and
simple, and the world is made less by their absence. We hope that there
will be some way that the separation is not eternal, but we don't know.

Also, we don't believe in a G-d who is vengeful enough to have a hell.
Most Jewish tradition that claims that there is a resurrection claims
that the righteous will be resurrected, the wicked won't. It's that
simple. G-d, if He resurrects people at all, is not cruel enough to
resurrect the wicked simply for the purpose of punishing them. After the
Holocaust, many people wanted to believe in a hell for Hitler, but one
can't really find much support in Jewish tradition for it.

But, in Christianity, there's a need for salvation so overwhelming, the
human condition of damnation is so profound, that you need a G-d capable
of anything, apparently, to solve the problem. Also, the Christian
eschatological scene is so much more overwhelming and dramatic, and
Christian ideas of heaven and resurrection are so much more complex, that
G-d needs to be able to do the impossible.

So, this has been a long-winded answer to a short question, but yes, I
think it is a Gentile notion in that it's Christian and possibly Muslim,
but specifically so, not just generally Gentile.

But I could be completely wrong about all of this, and perhaps you should
ask a Christian.

And if I may ask, just where do you fit into the religious spectrum?

--
Best regards,

Abby
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