CommanderSouth

And now, infinite regression has me up till 2 in the morning...

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Sometimes I wish I could be content to understand that it is probably not possible to see outside of our "box".

But I sit here and try to figure out how God is either A) Always God, which seems to go against ye olde King Follet discourse, or B) Not always God and seems to not answer where everything came from.

Any thoughts? I'd imaging "Deal with it" is nigh approaching :)

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No beginning, no end. Infinitely infinite. If there was a time when nothing exists, then that time is too mind-boggling for our wee brains to comprehend or contemplate.

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You are trying to get answers to something where there are no answers to give. Joseph Smith made one brief statement, and we've spent the last 175 years trying to fill in the spaces with speculation.

The fact is, there are key pieces to the puzzle that are missing, and without them, we cannot fill in the puzzle sufficiently to say, "Ahhh, it is a pretty country scene!"

Our minds cannot handle giant things. Can you imagine the size and scope of our solar system, with planets and billions of asteroids, etc. that go for billions of miles from one edge to the other? If not, then how can you contemplate our galaxy, with its 100 billion stars, billions of solar systems, black holes, quarks, super strings, novae, etc? And then, how could you begin to contemplate a universe with 100 billion galaxies, each with 100-200 billion stars, etc? Infinite numbers of stars explode, creating new matter and new stars in an endless cycle that began (for us) 14 billion years ago, and who knows what is on the other side of the Big Bang?. Galaxies continually expand and crash into one another, creating new creations from the wreckage.

If one cannot mentally or visually conceive these things, then how are we going to understand infinite regression?

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I do more or less believe that this is one of those things that we simply will not know the answer to in mortality. At the same time I have also found it to be an intriguing and important concept as well.

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

I have oft been told not to worry about such things because it is not pertinent to salvation. This scripture sometimes make me wonder if knowing the origin of God is indeed important. That being said it may not be important in this mortal experience.

WARNING: What follows is pure and wild speculation

One intriguing theory I have on this is actually helped along with an analogy I read recently on one of these forums, I unfortunately don't recall which and therefore can't properly give the contributor credit. Essentially the analogy is made that an acorn will grow into an Oak tree because it is in it's DNA. Therefore one could argue that the acorn and the Oak are the same thing.

In the book of Abraham we are exposed to the idea of eternal intelligences that can neither be created nor destroyed. If one were to view intelligences as Gods in an embryonic state, or even man for that matter, and certain intelligences do go on to become Gods are they necessarily changed? The concept of an unchangeable God gets interesting here. Suppose for instance we speak of an individual person, it suits my point well enough to use myself. When I was born I was much smaller, and in many ways different than I am today... and yet I am still me and this could be seen as no change.

Now for the wilder part of the narrative that is far from refined and really can't even be backed up. Based on the idea that there are constant laws of cause and effect, laws refined into commandments for us to reap positive effects and avoid negative ones. Laws that simply are and always have been, always will be. Suppose an eternal being (intelligence) were to learn all of these laws and master them. Through the application of these laws this being realized perfection. When perfection was realized this being wished for all of the other intelligences to also achieve perfection and formulated a plan to help them get there.

In this theory the original God would be the intelligence that mastered the laws that are. Another wild speculation would be to say that "the laws that are" are the original God existing from everlasting to everlasting and that those who would be perfected and become one with god are those who learn to abide by the laws that are and use them wisely in only ways that bring a fullness of joy.

It is far more likely that neither of these theories is accurate and when our minds are expanded upon outside of mortality we will be able to comprehend things that we cannot now comprehend, kind of like a two dimensional being trying to understand a cube.

Along this line a fourth dimension such as time could become a factor in understanding God. If we all have access to a great urim and thummim and past and future become irrelevant because we can see them all... it becomes more clear how in this context something that has not yet happened may be considered as good as happened and therefore a "future" God may also be considered God already and therefore always was, is, and will be. Of course this is also hard to wrap the mortal mind around because it wreaks of destiny as opposed to fore-ordination and agency.

I know this doesn't answer your question. I don't believe it can be answered, but it may give you something to ponder or help you in some way.

All the best.

Edit:

Upon reading this post I also wanted to add the idea that indeed with intelligences being eternal Our Heavenly Father has always existed and has always been God as far as we are concerned... even if He "started out" as an intelligence. In some ways this makes it irrelevant if there were others before Him or not.

Edited by SpiritDragon

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Now for the wilder part of the narrative that is far from refined and really can't even be backed up. Based on the idea that there are constant laws of cause and effect, laws refined into commandments for us to reap positive effects and avoid negative ones. Laws that simply are and always have been, always will be. Suppose an eternal being (intelligence) were to learn all of these laws and master them. Through the application of these laws this being realized perfection. When perfection was realized this being wished for all of the other intelligences to also achieve perfection and formulated a plan to help them get there.

In this theory the original God would be the intelligence that mastered the laws that are. Another wild speculation would be to say that "the laws that are" are the original God existing from everlasting to everlasting and that those who would be perfected and become one with god are those who learn to abide by the laws that are and use them wisely in only ways that bring a fullness of joy.

The problem with this theory is that if one intelligence could do this, then any other intelligence could do this as well, which would mean that there is potentially no need for God to save us. The we could, of ourselves, take on a physical form and achieve perfection without going through the test of mortality and the grace of Christ. This is false. We know it's false. No intelligence can achieve exaltation without being granted it.

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The problem with this theory is that if one intelligence could do this, then any other intelligence could do this as well, which would mean that there is potentially no need for God to save us. The we could, of ourselves, take on a physical form and achieve perfection without going through the test of mortality and the grace of Christ. This is false. We know it's false. No intelligence can achieve exaltation without being granted it.

I more than agree that the theories are beyond stretches, and still it is helpful to minds like mine to theorize. The act of engaging the mind and refining theories I believe is one of the ways we come to understand more complex topics. Eventually we may feel we have a theory refined to the point it can be taken before the Lord for ratification in prayer. Obviously these theories are not there, nor are they intended to be. And while I have also seen the same flaw in the theory that you point out about other intelligences "figuring out" how to realize perfection and thus not having to go through the same channels as every one else (which we don't believe to be the case at all) it doesn't prove that this could not still be the case. If one intelligence was innately gifted above others it would be able to do things others could not. You can think of it like knowing how to run, but still not being able to run as fast as Usain Bolt. In this example Bolt has the right application of training principles, effort, and genetics on his side... not that what he has done can never be done again. My point is simply that just because one did it/can do it does not necessarily equate to others can too. This particular point is evident in the idea that only Christ could be the Saviour, not that others didn't know what was involved or even have desires to do it, but because only Christ could.

Edited by SpiritDragon

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The acorn analogy I read was posted by rameumptom in the is priesthood god's or gods? thread.

I'm not at all suggesting that ram has any oddball theories such as I have postulated... just giving credit where it is due. Also reading ram's version is a bit better than my quick redo of it.

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it doesn't prove that this could not still be the case.

Sure it does. If we're going to theorize about things they still have to fit within the scope of what we do know. Otherwise the speculation is not useful. We may as well randomly throw out any old theory then, which isn't helpful.

Let's see...we're all lab rats in an alien race's experiment and God was given His power by those aliens.

Here's one someone actually told me they believed. There are a myriad of different supernatural creatures out there with various powers, and the Holy Ghost is just one of them whose power happens to be the ability to give us warm fuzzies in order to deceive us.

Just throwing out random theories may be entertaining, but I don't see it as useful unless the theories actually make sense within the scope of revealed gospel truths.

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Hello. As you said, in the first part of your sentence, "A) Always God" is where I would end that sentence. When God said, "I AM" He meant it. Always God period.

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Sure it does. If we're going to theorize about things they still have to fit within the scope of what we do know. Otherwise the speculation is not useful. We may as well randomly throw out any old theory then, which isn't helpful.

Let's see...we're all lab rats in an alien race's experiment and God was given His power by those aliens.

Here's one someone actually told me they believed. There are a myriad of different supernatural creatures out there with various powers, and the Holy Ghost is just one of them whose power happens to be the ability to give us warm fuzzies in order to deceive us.

Just throwing out random theories may be entertaining, but I don't see it as useful unless the theories actually make sense within the scope of revealed gospel truths.

Indeed theories need to have grounding and follow sound doctrinal principles. The point is that it is just as much speculation that just because one being is capable of doing something that others can do it to. We have a precedence here with Christ as the example of a being capable of doing that which others could not. What I am saying is that the possibility of others being able to do the same is also unproven and therefore the original theory is not disproven by a new theory that someone else might be able to do the same thing. (This of course referring to the concept that if one intelligence mastered the laws that are that any other could also... we just don't know)

I am not preaching it as doctrine by any stretch. But CommanderSouth asked for ideas and I presented some. Exposing holes in theories is great. We do need to look for falsehoods and expose them. But this is not a flying spaghetti monster theory. As I've discussed the point that one could do it does not prove another could as well, and therefore does not disprove the theory. Sure other holes likely exist in the theory, and I'm open to hear them. But to simply fire back with "sure it does" and than list other unrelated points is weak.

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Indeed theories need to have grounding and follow sound doctrinal principles. The point is that it is just as much speculation that just because one being is capable of doing something that others can do it to. We have a precedence here with Christ as the example of a being capable of doing that which others could not. What I am saying is that the possibility of others being able to do the same is also unproven and therefore the original theory is not disproven by a new theory that someone else might be able to do the same thing. (This of course referring to the concept that if one intelligence mastered the laws that are that any other could also... we just don't know)

I am not preaching it as doctrine by any stretch. But CommanderSouth asked for ideas and I presented some. Exposing holes in theories is great. We do need to look for falsehoods and expose them. But this is not a flying spaghetti monster theory. As I've discussed the point that one could do it does not prove another could as well, and therefore does not disprove the theory. Sure other holes likely exist in the theory, and I'm open to hear them. But to simply fire back with "sure it does" and than list other unrelated points is weak.

Oh come on. Your idea contradicts several gospel doctrines. I'm not of a mind to list them, particularly when they're not exactly obscure. And I'm not interested in arguing. You can call my response weak. Whatever. Align theories within known gospel doctrine or it's not useful. That's my point, and it's valid.

Edited by church

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Oh come on. Your idea contradicts several gospel doctrines. I'm not of a mind to list them, particularly when they're not exactly obscure. And I'm not interested in arguing. You can call my response weak. Whatever. Align theories within known gospel doctrine or it's not useful. That's my point, and it's valid.

I'm sorry if I have upset you. I never wish to argue either. I truly am open to having holes in the theory exposed. It is a valid point that any teachings align with known gospel doctrine, but a theory is in nature an unknown. If God revealed the nature of the origin of God there would be no need or desire to form theories because we would have revealed truth. Indeed if we can clearly disprove a theory with known doctrines than we can safely assume the theory is flawed and discard it. Even if the theory is wrong, which I have spelled out clearly is a decent probability, if learning has taken place in the process of debunking the theory than it is not a waste of time. It is certainly a more productive endeavor to be thinking about these things and studying them than watching the latest reality TV show.

I truly apologize if my comments have come across as argumentative. I certainly have felt that your comments have been rude and condescending which has likely inflated my tone in response. The first post exposing one possible problem with the theory is fine enough, but would come across less abrasively if you were to ask how the theory explains the supposed problem rather than attack it outright. The next post simply seemed to be an angry and inflammatory assault that didn't even appear to have taken in the possible resolution to the suggested problem by saying that now we are just making theories out of thin air... because supposedly explaining one possible solution to a problem within the theory makes it less valid than it was to begin with?

I absolutely have no intent of harboring ill will or causing contention. But I haven't yet seen the theory disproved. I'm not overly attached to the theory, but I am attached to a more inquisitive approach to debunking it, such as what about such and such... how can we explain XYZ in place of saying it is completely and utterly stupid because it goes against doctrine that I can't come up with right now.

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I'm sorry if I have upset you. I never wish to argue either. I truly am open to having holes in the theory exposed. It is a valid point that any teachings align with known gospel doctrine, but a theory is in nature an unknown. If God revealed the nature of the origin of God there would be no need or desire to form theories because we would have revealed truth. Indeed if we can clearly disprove a theory with known doctrines than we can safely assume the theory is flawed and discard it. Even if the theory is wrong, which I have spelled out clearly is a decent probability, if learning has taken place in the process of debunking the theory than it is not a waste of time. It is certainly a more productive endeavor to be thinking about these things and studying them than watching the latest reality TV show.

I truly apologize if my comments have come across as argumentative. I certainly have felt that your comments have been rude and condescending which has likely inflated my tone in response. The first post exposing one possible problem with the theory is fine enough, but would come across less abrasively if you were to ask how the theory explains the supposed problem rather than attack it outright. The next post simply seemed to be an angry and inflammatory assault that didn't even appear to have taken in the possible resolution to the suggested problem by saying that now we are just making theories out of thin air... because supposedly explaining one possible solution to a problem within the theory makes it less valid than it was to begin with?

I absolutely have no intent of harboring ill will or causing contention. But I haven't yet seen the theory disproved. I'm not overly attached to the theory, but I am attached to a more inquisitive approach to debunking it, such as what about such and such... how can we explain XYZ in place of saying it is completely and utterly stupid because it goes against doctrine that I can't come up with right now.

I'm responding in detail so we don't end up despising each other or something. :) There's an obvious bit of emotional escalation here, so let's smooth it over. I appreciate your efforts to do so above, and your apologies.

You may be reading things into my posts that I'm not intending. I may be doing the same. I admit that my last post was a bit annoyed. For that I apologize.

However, the previous posts were not annoyed, but legitimate attempts to point out logical flaws I saw. You taking them as rude and condescending is unfair. Accordingly your responses came across to me like you were only interested in arguing the point rather than actually discussing it. And you are reading things into it that I didn't say.

I never said it was completely and utterly stupid, for example. I said it doesn't align with known doctrine. Why do you translate that to me calling it completely and utterly stupid? I apologize if it sounded that way, but I promise you, I did not mean it. I think the theory flawed. It's obviously intelligently thought out and holds some merit. But it's flawed.

I accept your point above, however, that the discussion of flawed theories can be useful, if approached carefully. It can also be a breeding ground for some pretty negative things (not that I'm applying that to your theory, but just generally).

But to simply fire back with "sure it does" and than list other unrelated points is weak

This sort of comment wasn't exactly welcoming further discussion and is wherein I got a bit frustrated myself. I did not "simply" fire back. I don't think the points are unrelated to what I was trying to say. And I don't think the response was inherently weak. I made a sincere effort to try and show how going outside known doctrine can lead to any extreme.

That being said, I do in fact, think your response concerning Jesus setting a precedence for unique intelligences was an insightful and interesting point. I don't think it solves the problems, but it is interesting.

And as far as your conversion of my "I'm not of a mind to list them," to "I can't come up with right now".... also somewhat inflammatory. "I am not of a mind to" means I am genuinely disinterested in discussing it further because it feels like you only want to argue its merits. I find that surprising because you've admitted yourself several times that it's a bit out there. Regardless, my interest in the theory has waned because of the contention.

I really have no interest in arguing this sort of thing. I'll point out doctrinal discrepancies that I see if there seems to be interest. Otherwise, feeling like others are frustrated at me, and feeling frustrated myself, just really doesn't appeal to me.

So forgive me for what you perceived in my posts, I'll forgive you for what I perceived in yours, and I'll see you in other threads...or perhaps even later on in this one.

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I'm responding in detail so we don't end up despising each other or something. :) There's an obvious bit of emotional escalation here, so let's smooth it over. I appreciate your efforts to do so above, and your apologies.

You may be reading things into my posts that I'm not intending. I may be doing the same. I admit that my last post was a bit annoyed. For that I apologize.

However, the previous posts were not annoyed, but legitimate attempts to point out logical flaws I saw. You taking them as rude and condescending is unfair. Accordingly your responses came across to me like you were only interested in arguing the point rather than actually discussing it. And you are reading things into it that I didn't say.

Apology accepted.

All I wanted to accomplish was to give CommanderSouth something to think about in the first place. I like to think the conversation was still more or less agreeable at first. I also agree that the spirit of contention has infiltrated and the spirit has left this conversation. For my contribution to that (inadvertent as it may be) I apologize and own that.

If you would at your leisure dismantle the theory piece by piece I would actually be interested. I have nothing vested in the theory really. Again if my comments came across as hostile it was only because I felt you were being rude and dismissive, which left me feeling like getting points across with more assertive language. A sad byproduct of us being unknown anonymous internet entities perhaps, and not conversing in person. Any how I think we can move past this incident without housing any deep-seated anger issues toward each-other. Thanks for being willing to deflate the situation with me.

I never said it was completely and utterly stupid, for example. I said it doesn't align with known doctrine. Why do you translate that to me calling it completely and utterly stupid? I apologize if it sounded that way, but I promise you, I did not mean it. I think the theory flawed. It's obviously intelligently thought out and holds some merit. But it's flawed.

I believe it was the "Oh come on" in my world this is a dismissive statement meant to suggest that something is too ridiculous to even be worth discussing or completely and utterly stupid.

I accept your point above, however, that the discussion of flawed theories can be useful, if approached carefully. It can also be a breeding ground for some pretty negative things (not that I'm applying that to your theory, but just generally).

Thank you.

This sort of comment wasn't exactly welcoming further discussion and is wherein I got a bit frustrated myself. I did not "simply" fire back. I don't think the points are unrelated to what I was trying to say. And I don't think the response was inherently weak. I made a sincere effort to try and show how going outside known doctrine can lead to any extreme.

That being said, I do in fact, think your response concerning Jesus setting a precedence for unique intelligences was an insightful and interesting point. I don't think it solves the problems, but it is interesting.

My apologies for the inflammatory words (not intended as such). It seemed to me that your initial comment put forth the argument that because others could master the laws that are this proved the entire theory false. In the subsequent post I explained how this wasn't necessarily the case to which you responded by saying "sure it does" and then followed the "sure it does" with comments unrelated to the topic of just because one being can do something doesn't mean others can, but by my perception jumping ship to talk about any old theory that is ridiculous while avoiding the actual points to the existing conversation. At this time I felt you had a tone suggestive of anyone entertaining the thought being stupid, especially by comparing it to far more obviously flawed theories that again seemed irrelevant to the conversation at hand other than as tools to emphasize the stupidity of the theory as posted. I saw this as a weak point, as it did nothing to address the concept being discussed while being used as the defense for "sure it does."

And as far as your conversion of my "I'm not of a mind to list them," to "I can't come up with right now".... also somewhat inflammatory. "I am not of a mind to" means I am genuinely disinterested in discussing it further because it feels like you only want to argue its merits. I find that surprising because you've admitted yourself several times that it's a bit out there. Regardless, my interest in the theory has waned because of the contention.

While it's true that converting "I'm not of a mind to list them," to "I can't come up with right now" is somewhat inflammatory it served its point as a contrast to how the discussion could be going in a more civil tone. Taking it as a stand alone is out of context as I was stating we should try to be more careful how we discuss the topic so as not to be inflammatory that we should avoid this very tone while in its place using thoughts such as... have you considered this angle?... No... but what about this... aww, I hadn't thought of it that way.

I am sincerely sorry for contributing to upset feelings. Perhaps we will both have learned to tread even more carefully in our conversations so as not to cause contention.

I really have no interest in arguing this sort of thing. I'll point out doctrinal discrepancies that I see if there seems to be interest. Otherwise, feeling like others are frustrated at me, and feeling frustrated myself, just really doesn't appeal to me.

So forgive me for what you perceived in my posts, I'll forgive you for what I perceived in yours, and I'll see you in other threads...or perhaps even later on in this one.

It takes a big person to offer apologies of any degree. I applaud your efforts for a peaceful resolution as opposed to continued attacks to keep pride intact.

CommanderSouth I also sincerely hope that you can find some use in the theories I've presented, remembering of course they are just that, theories . I never meant to cause discontent in your thread.

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Sometimes I wish I could be content to understand that it is probably not possible to see outside of our "box".

But I sit here and try to figure out how God is either A) Always God, which seems to go against ye olde King Follet discourse, or B) Not always God and seems to not answer where everything came from.

Any thoughts? I'd imaging "Deal with it" is nigh approaching :)

Alright then,... "deal with it!" :D

Seriously though, I've been to Avraham Gileadi's website and have since purchased two books: Isaiah Decoded: Ascending the Ladder to Heaven and Apocalyptic Commentary of the Book of Isaiah. I think you'd be interested in what he's presenting, at least food for theory. I just wanted to know more about Isaiah when I saw it referred to.

Isaiah Prophecy - Home

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The problem with this theory is that if one intelligence could do this, then any other intelligence could do this as well, which would mean that there is potentially no need for God to save us. The we could, of ourselves, take on a physical form and achieve perfection without going through the test of mortality and the grace of Christ. This is false. We know it's false. No intelligence can achieve exaltation without being granted it.

The reason that this is not true because the only way to do this is to develop Christ-like attributes, it requires the ability to empathize with another to the point of being able to obtain experience vicariously. One's ability to obtain vicarious experience is dependent on one's ability to have the pure love of Christ, the ability to empathize and really know someone.

If God inherited all that His Father had, that would require that God knew His Father completely. To know someone that well requires love, empathy and charity. Without those characteristics a person is left to learn on their own. That is what Satan wanted. He couldn't give into the idea that in order for him to have all that the Father has he would have to submit to His will. He would have to admit that he couldn't do it by himself. Satan still tries to deceive people that they could do it on their own, that was his argument in the premortal world.

Eternal progression is based in being connected, in an intimate way, to all those in the Celestial Kingdom to the point that any of their advance is shared. Like sharing a single bank account, as soon as one adds their name to the account, all that was done before is theirs as if it is their own and always has been. This is why this life is a test of faith, love and willingness to submit to the will of God. To whatever degree a person cannot do that, they will fall short of inheriting all past experience and will have a limit to their progression.

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If you would at your leisure dismantle the theory piece by piece I would actually be interested. I have nothing vested in the theory really.

Very well. Though I don't know that a piece-by-piece dismantling of it is an accurate description of the following. But I can express ideas that conflict with it and make it highly suspect.

First, the DNA analogy - The problem with this theory is that it is based on a supposition that the acorn-to-tree potential lies in the intelligences. We don't know this. In fact, the idea that we are gods in embryo is clearly based on the idea that we are children of God. We become the children of God when we are born as spirit children to him. Previous to that, we don't really know how we relate to God. We don't know much about intelligences. It's possible that intelligences also include the basis for all living creatures... We just don't know. The idea that all intelligences have the potential to become Gods is not supportable in scripture. If it is supportable elsewhere, I'd be interested to see it.

Most LDS thinkers fairly easily accept the idea of eternal future. You never hear much on the idea of our existence stopping, and it is fairly doctrinally clear. Moreover, and more important to this discussion, is the idea of progeny. It's easily accepted that we will be gods, raise spirit children to become gods, who will raise spiritual children to become gods, etc., etc... But in reverse there's a trend to question this idea.

So let's think through this:

We know that there are an infinite number of intelligences. How do we know this? Because we have been promised endless progeny. This time each one of us that makes it to the celestial kingdom. Assuming then that we help our spirit progeny also attain eternal life, along with the obligatory endless progeny, etc., etc., etc... But only one couple gaining eternal life with the promise of endless progeny is enough. There is no end to the amount of intelligences out there to become spirits.

The sheer number of infinite argues against the potential of only one in infinity being capable of self-exaltation. There's a chance, but that chance is so astronomically small that it is practically worthless, numerically speaking.

As you pointed out, Christ does set some precedence for uniqueness. However, He only set a precedence of uniqueness in that He was given the power to do so. (Hel 5:11) The power to redeem us was given to Him by our Father. So this sets no precedence for taking power upon oneself. We know that He still had to fulfill all righteousness, the same as all of us, and be obedient to the Father to gain eternal life. The power the Savior had, as near as we know, was given to Him by the Father.

Moving on. When considering the astonishing concept of an infinite number of souls becoming an infinite number of Gods and creating infinite worlds for infinite spirits to populate. And then upon their exaltation they have infinite spirit children who create infinite worlds, etc.... the chances that our God is the very first of this infinite number is astoundingly improbable.

An argument for our God being the first is a concept based in either human arrogance or some sense of apology to other faiths' precepts. If the first, it stems, ultimately, from man's need to be special, and that our God is the best, the first, the top of the chain. And it implies that when and if we become gods, that our children, upon languishing in mortality, must necessarily worship a lesser god than we do. Yet we will be the creator of their world, creator of their universe, creator of their souls, and even literally fathers and mothers to their spirits. Follow this forward a billion or so generations and it becomes meaningless to those mortals, in the same way that it should be meaningless to us. Why does our God need to be the first to have all glory, power, dominion, and be worthy of our ultimate worship, honor, and love?

But will it make us lesser gods? Will a billion generations down the inheritance lessen those gods a billion times more? Will they not be considered, as with us, inheritors of all glory, power and dominion?

I'm not sure I follow why one would explore ideas like this as if there is some sort of inherent problem in God being a son as well -- Like it lessens God to make Him a son. But how can we presume to take away that glory from the Father? Being son's of God is to our glory. I would content that the implication of our having the blessing of a loving Father, but God does not, is actually degrading to him, not enhancing. Idealizing God as Fatherless disparages Him.

But the ultimate problem with the theory is it's based on the false idea that we can abandon doctrine because it's no longer emphasized. I've gone on about this in another thread, but I'll recap here. It is doctrinal, despite what the apologetic naysayers argue, that God was once a mortal man. This was taught by prophets and apostles. It has never been repudiated or disavowed. It is doctrinal. God was once like us. Why it's popular to ignore teachings of previous apostles and prophets is beyond me. It's as if to some that anything stated before 2011 doesn't count anymore. I'm not buying into that trend.

Trying to work God having been a mortal man once into self-exaltation causes numerous problems. The theory implies that God, of His own volition, took upon Himself a spirit body, then took upon Himself a physical body in a mortal form, then died and took upon himself a Celestial body. If this is the case, Why? Why go through the mortal experience if there is no test to be given, if there is no God to obey, no ordinances to fulfill, etc., etc...

There are also plenty of teachings in accordance with God once being a man that teach that God became God through obedience. So who did he obey? The theory supposes universal laws. Once again, if so, then we could theoretically do the same. Just obey the law and become exalted without God. But we cannot. We must obey God's law and keep His ordinances. This is the eternal law. I suspect you are somewhat accounting for laws in the idea, but what about ordinances?

One could fairly easily explain away something like baptism (though one could argue the case on it, I'm sure), but I'll cut to the point quicker. Doctrinally (specifically scripturally) we know that no one may be married or given in marriage after this life (Matt 22:30). Marriage is an ordinance that must be attended to in mortality. (This is true of all ordinances, but we'll stick to marriage because it makes the quickest point). So this creates problems for the idea of God's self-exaltation. How did He get married? If He didn't, how is He exalted? How could it be a requirement for us but not for Him?

Either way, the theory presumes that either God took these ordinances upon Himself, or did not require ordinances. There is no precedence for that. Even Jesus fulfilled the law, and He did not take ordinances upon Himself.

Finally, concerning the original post and the concern with infinite regression. The contention against infinite progression is solely based on the philosophy that there must be a starting point of any given thing. But this is unsupportable and unprovable. So what's the point it trying to support or prove it from a scientific or logical standpoint? Resolutions will never be provided by quibbling over something that cannot be proved. So instead of approaching infinite regression from a mortal wisdom point of view, does it not make a whole lot more sense to turn to the wisdom and revelation of prophets and apostles for how it all works?

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Very well. Though I don't know that a piece-by-piece dismantling of it is an accurate description of the following. But I can express ideas that conflict with it and make it highly suspect.

First, the DNA analogy - The problem with this theory is that it is based on a supposition that the acorn-to-tree potential lies in the intelligences. We don't know this. In fact, the idea that we are gods in embryo is clearly based on the idea that we are children of God. We become the children of God when we are born as spirit children to him. Previous to that, we don't really know how we relate to God. We don't know much about intelligences. It's possible that intelligences also include the basis for all living creatures... We just don't know. The idea that all intelligences have the potential to become Gods is not supportable in scripture. If it is supportable elsewhere, I'd be interested to see it.

Let me preface everything I have to say with the point that my intent is not to be contentious, but to explore the ideas.

Indeed, we just don't know everything about intelligences and God (this is why it would be classified as theory). However, I think it is fair to say that if we are currently mortal, and we were previously spirits and intelligences that now have the promise of becoming Gods in the future it is safe to say that at least some intelligences go on to become Gods or become one with God. This is all that is relevant here. Whether all intelligences have the potential to become gods or not does not stop the possibility of others. Perhaps if we thought of intelligences more of as seeds and acorns as a specific kind of seed. Not all seeds will grow into oak trees, only the acorns will. Not all the acorns will grow into strong Oak trees, only those with the right conditions to allow for this progression. Thus if some intelligences were more on par with dandelion seeds or any other seed than those with the possibility of becoming oak trees it becomes apparent to me that these intelligences are not the ones we are concerned with. We can rest assured that if we have the promise of celestial glory and godhood (being oak trees) that we are or were intelligences that do have that potential.

Most LDS thinkers fairly easily accept the idea of eternal future. You never hear much on the idea of our existence stopping, and it is fairly doctrinally clear. Moreover, and more important to this discussion, is the idea of progeny. It's easily accepted that we will be gods, raise spirit children to become gods, who will raise spiritual children to become gods, etc., etc... But in reverse there's a trend to question this idea.

So let's think through this:

We know that there are an infinite number of intelligences. How do we know this? Because we have been promised endless progeny. This time each one of us that makes it to the celestial kingdom. Assuming then that we help our spirit progeny also attain eternal life, along with the obligatory endless progeny, etc., etc., etc... But only one couple gaining eternal life with the promise of endless progeny is enough. There is no end to the amount of intelligences out there to become spirits.

The sheer number of infinite argues against the potential of only one in infinity being capable of self-exaltation. There's a chance, but that chance is so astronomically small that it is practically worthless, numerically speaking.

As you pointed out, Christ does set some precedence for uniqueness. However, He only set a precedence of uniqueness in that He was given the power to do so. (Hel 5:11) The power to redeem us was given to Him by our Father. So this sets no precedence for taking power upon oneself. We know that He still had to fulfill all righteousness, the same as all of us, and be obedient to the Father to gain eternal life. The power the Savior had, as near as we know, was given to Him by the Father.

There is no doubt that it is a stretch by the numbers to end up with one out of an infinite number. The question is, is it any more of a stretch than to believe that an infinite number of eternal beings known as intelligences exist and one other eternal being also just happens to exist who is capable of giving them bodies and helping them progress to become like him, but no other like him existed naturally. The whole point is trying to figure out where did god zero (for lack of a better term) come from. Obviously, we don't know... again why some theorize.

Moving on. When considering the astonishing concept of an infinite number of souls becoming an infinite number of Gods and creating infinite worlds for infinite spirits to populate. And then upon their exaltation they have infinite spirit children who create infinite worlds, etc.... the chances that our God is the very first of this infinite number is astoundingly improbable.

An argument for our God being the first is a concept based in either human arrogance or some sense of apology to other faiths' precepts. If the first, it stems, ultimately, from man's need to be special, and that our God is the best, the first, the top of the chain. And it implies that when and if we become gods, that our children, upon languishing in mortality, must necessarily worship a lesser god than we do. Yet we will be the creator of their world, creator of their universe, creator of their souls, and even literally fathers and mothers to their spirits. Follow this forward a billion or so generations and it becomes meaningless to those mortals, in the same way that it should be meaningless to us. Why does our God need to be the first to have all glory, power, dominion, and be worthy of our ultimate worship, honor, and love?

But will it make us lesser gods? Will a billion generations down the inheritance lessen those gods a billion times more? Will they not be considered, as with us, inheritors of all glory, power and dominion?

I completely accept that God says we will have ALL that he has. It will be a full sharing of glory, and happiness. This particular theory has no problem accepting our God as the billionth in a line since god zero. I agree where anyone falls within the overall geneology of the infinite eternal family has no bearing on the godliness of said being.

I'm not sure I follow why one would explore ideas like this as if there is some sort of inherent problem in God being a son as well -- Like it lessens God to make Him a son. But how can we presume to take away that glory from the Father? Being son's of God is to our glory. I would content that the implication of our having the blessing of a loving Father, but God does not, is actually degrading to him, not enhancing. Idealizing God as Fatherless disparages Him.

I too see no problem with God having parents. The point of the theory is to explain the concept of god's origins. The trouble with infinite regression always being, "where did His parents come from?" One possible explanation is that somewhere in a chain of events hard to understand is that one god came to be without parentage. How? we don't know... I mean even if this theory were to hold up we step it up to the question, "where do the intelligences come from?" Eventually we either need to accept that God simply is, or is not.

But the ultimate problem with the theory is it's based on the false idea that we can abandon doctrine because it's no longer emphasized. I've gone on about this in another thread, but I'll recap here. It is doctrinal, despite what the apologetic naysayers argue, that God was once a mortal man. This was taught by prophets and apostles. It has never been repudiated or disavowed. It is doctrinal. God was once like us. Why it's popular to ignore teachings of previous apostles and prophets is beyond me. It's as if to some that anything stated before 2011 doesn't count anymore. I'm not buying into that trend.

No argument here. Our Heavenly Father was a man. As for every single God that came before Him, we don't know... but it does seem fitting that all gods were once mortals as we are.

Trying to work God having been a mortal man once into self-exaltation causes numerous problems. The theory implies that God, of His own volition, took upon Himself a spirit body, then took upon Himself a physical body in a mortal form, then died and took upon himself a Celestial body. If this is the case, Why? Why go through the mortal experience if there is no test to be given, if there is no God to obey, no ordinances to fulfill, etc., etc...

There are also plenty of teachings in accordance with God once being a man that teach that God became God through obedience. So who did he obey? The theory supposes universal laws. Once again, if so, then we could theoretically do the same. Just obey the law and become exalted without God. But we cannot. We must obey God's law and keep His ordinances. This is the eternal law. I suspect you are somewhat accounting for laws in the idea, but what about ordinances?

One could fairly easily explain away something like baptism (though one could argue the case on it, I'm sure), but I'll cut to the point quicker. Doctrinally (specifically scripturally) we know that no one may be married or given in marriage after this life (Matt 22:30). Marriage is an ordinance that must be attended to in mortality. (This is true of all ordinances, but we'll stick to marriage because it makes the quickest point). So this creates problems for the idea of God's self-exaltation. How did He get married? If He didn't, how is He exalted? How could it be a requirement for us but not for Him?

Either way, the theory presumes that either God took these ordinances upon Himself, or did not require ordinances. There is no precedence for that. Even Jesus fulfilled the law, and He did not take ordinances upon Himself.

Again these points all hit at the crux of the matter. If God was once a man... how did a man once become god? We sure don' know. Somehow it happened. It is against the commandments for us to have incestuous relationships, however in the time of Adam and Eve there was no other way and provisions were made so that it was okay. Perhaps special rules apply during seasons of origin.

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Let me preface everything I have to say with the point that my intent is not to be contentious, but to explore the ideas.

I completely accept that God says we will have ALL that he has. It will be a full sharing of glory, and happiness. This particular theory has no problem accepting our God as the billionth in a line since god zero. I agree where anyone falls within the overall geneology of the infinite eternal family has no bearing on the godliness of said being.

I too see no problem with God having parents. The point of the theory is to explain the concept of god's origins. The trouble with infinite regression always being, "where did His parents come from?" One possible explanation is that somewhere in a chain of events hard to understand is that one god came to be without parentage. How? we don't know... I mean even if this theory were to hold up we step it up to the question, "where do the intelligences come from?" Eventually we either need to accept that God simply is, or is not.

No argument here. Our Heavenly Father was a man. As for every single God that came before Him, we don't know... but it does seem fitting that all gods were once mortals as we are.

Again these points all hit at the crux of the matter. If God was once a man... how did a man once become god? We sure don' know. Somehow it happened. It is against the commandments for us to have incestuous relationships, however in the time of Adam and Eve there was no other way and provisions were made so that it was okay. Perhaps special rules apply during seasons of origin.

You gave excellent answers and I hope I don't detract from what you said.

I think one of the pivotal concepts in this discussion is the possibility for inheriting ALL. Without that concept, God has to be the so-called "God-zero". Inheriting ALL means taking on everything that the Father has, in that there is nothing lost or diminished in it's glory or importance as if the person receiving the inheritance is the one who did it in the first place. Once one can appreciate that concept then it is perfectly acceptable that our Father in Heaven at one point was not "God-zero" but now is.

To be "one" with God and Christ is based in the idea that the 'sum of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts'. Christ taught this lesson so many times, 'a house divided cannot stand', (Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand), "if ye are not one ye are not mine", "that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me", etc.

We understand the definition of "one God" in the verse D&C 20; "Which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end. Amen." Obviously, "one God" can involve more than one individual and as the Lord's prayer suggests it can involve us too, that we may become "one". How?, by inheriting ALL that God has.

In other words, the growth to having ALL requires unity and the combination with others. By definition, it cannot be obtained individually. We, individually, do not have that potential. The "acorn" that turns into the tree, has to have Christ like traits, which is to love others as self (becoming one with others).

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Sometimes I wish I could be content to understand that it is probably not possible to see outside of our "box".

But I sit here and try to figure out how God is either A) Always God, which seems to go against ye olde King Follet discourse, or B) Not always God and seems to not answer where everything came from.

Any thoughts? I'd imaging "Deal with it" is nigh approaching :)

After reading a couple posts, I think the question of "What is a God?" is pertinent.

I think that it was Joseph smith that said that to have no end, one must have no beginning. That'll probably just keep you awake longer tho, might be as annoying as trying to find out where a circle begins and ends.

Anyways just a couple thoughts.

Edited by Blackmarch

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You gave excellent answers and I hope I don't detract from what you said.

I think one of the pivotal concepts in this discussion is the possibility for inheriting ALL. Without that concept, God has to be the so-called "God-zero". Inheriting ALL means taking on everything that the Father has, in that there is nothing lost or diminished in it's glory or importance as if the person receiving the inheritance is the one who did it in the first place. Once one can appreciate that concept then it is perfectly acceptable that our Father in Heaven at one point was not "God-zero" but now is.

To be "one" with God and Christ is based in the idea that the 'sum of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts'. Christ taught this lesson so many times, 'a house divided cannot stand', (Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand), "if ye are not one ye are not mine", "that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me", etc.

We understand the definition of "one God" in the verse D&C 20; "Which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end. Amen." Obviously, "one God" can involve more than one individual and as the Lord's prayer suggests it can involve us too, that we may become "one". How?, by inheriting ALL that God has.

In other words, the growth to having ALL requires unity and the combination with others. By definition, it cannot be obtained individually. We, individually, do not have that potential. The "acorn" that turns into the tree, has to have Christ like traits, which is to love others as self (becoming one with others).

I see no detraction here Seminarysnoozer. I agree completely that we all become one with God, and therefore although we could be any overly large number in a line of "personages" to become gods (very intentional little g) we become one with God (very intentional big G) and therefore like you say could very much be considered God-Zero, which is a fitting designation for our current Heavenly Father as long as we aren't too caught up in the idea of his individual personage being "the first," which is simply irrelevant because He is One with God and is God now (and if we accept the idea of being gods in the making, we can accept that He always was god as well... just as we accept that a man was a boy and still always a man, at least as far as being a man can also refer to being human as a race)

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I wrote this for a book but it to me as a child seemed as plausible as anything I was told (though worded better now since my vocabulary got better)

"What we think of as God, and all the names we give to it (and I refuse to think something so grand would be confined to something as limiting as a human form-with gender and weakness our species has) came from somewhere we cannot understand. Cannot fathom, it came here and resides, or even is-this universe. For I also refuse to believe I can put the divine in such an understanding box, if it is indeed all knowing and all powerful. No mortal could understand that kind of power, so to limit it to something we can understand underminds what it is, and at that point it is no longer a God but a tool.

A tool to make humans feel better about dying and about following religion.

This too was a thought I had written here at about 2:45 am

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