Christianity in a nutshell

dmiclock
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Christianity in a nutshell

Hello All,

I wanted to thank you all for the opportunity to partake in some of the discussions recently, and I would be remiss if I didn't take an opportunity to spread God's Word. So I ask you to please lend me your eyes and your mind for just a few minutes and read below:

God created this universe and everything in it, including each one of us. Because He wanted to, and He could.

We were created with free will, a conscience that convicts us, and the law written on each of our hearts.

We were created to seek Him and reach out for Him - though He is not far from any of us.

Sin entered the world via our free will, and as such so did death, dissease, aging, etc..

God hates sin.

God is Just, and as such must punish those who break His laws.

God Loves all of us, even though we're all sinners.

When we choose to sin, we reject God and show contempt for all He has given us.

God calls us to repent from our sins and put our trust in Him. This means more and more, we strive to sin less and less.
As a result we become better people, not perfect people.

Jesus came to preach the Gospel, and take the punishment that each one of us deserves for our sins.
The wages of sin is death.

Christianity is different in the respect that all other religions are "Work Righteous" meaning that the more good things one does, the better the chances he/she goes to heaven. We get heaven not because we're good people, but because we're wretched sinners who accept the fact that our sins are paid in full for through the blood of Jesus.

It may not make sense to yo, and you may not like it, but....
Have a Merry Christmas.

All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of His covenant.


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todangst wrote: Are you

todangst wrote:
Are you really this obtuse? Or is it deliberate?
Deliberate. I suppose I should have put a Eye-wink to signify playfullness, but I thought the parenthetical statement following it would do the trick. I apologize.
Though, actually, I'm sure there will be others that see this as an apparent loophole. Perhaps a better analogy would be to point out how sodium (a soft silvery metal that reacts violently with water) and chlorine (a green, toxic gas) can combine to form table salt (a white, cubic crystal). 


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Pikachu, First of all,

Pikachu,
First of all, thank you once again for your answer. I've been trying to wrap my brain around the argument and I think I'm getting the gist of it. However, the term "powerset" is new to me, and I just want to make sure I've got it. Given 

S={a,b,c}

then the powerset of S would be

Ps={{a},{b},{c},{a,b},{a,c}{b,c}{a,b,c}}

Do I have this right? Or would the empty set be one of its elements?


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rackitycoon

rackitycoon wrote:
Pikachu,
First of all, thank you once again for your answer. I've been trying to wrap my brain around the argument and I think I'm getting the gist of it. However, the term "powerset" is new to me, and I just want to make sure I've got it. Given

S={a,b,c}

then the powerset of S would be

Ps={{a},{b},{c},{a,b},{a,c}{b,c}{a,b,c}}

Do I have this right? Or would the empty set be one of its elements?
Consider God sitting there in heaven asking himself: Am I omniscient?

How would god answer that question?

If he is omniscient he would of course "know" the answer, right? Well....

What if he wasn't omniscient and what if one of the things he did not know what the fact that he isn't really omniscient. In this case he would believe he is omniscient but he would be mistaken.

Consequently, the fact that he believes he is omniscient cannot be taken by himself as proof that he really is. If he knew he was omniscient he could of course take it as proof as omniscient he would never believe something that isn't true but the problem is that this is exactly the question he is pondering!

The point is God can never truthfully convince himself that he is omniscient. Sure, he might be omniscient but he has no way of knowing he is you might say. However, it isn't that easy. For one thing if you say "omniscience" means that he knows everything that is logically possible you face two problems.

One, it isn't logically possible to know that he is omniscient so consequently, he cannot know that. However, he might still be omniscient though even though it is logically impossible to know he is omniscient. Since omniscience only includes the things that is logically possible, the knowledge that he is omniscient is excluded and so it doesn't destroy anything.

The other problem is worse. It is logically impossible to know everything that is logically possible to know. This essentiallly demolishes omniscience when defined as "knowing everything that is logically possible to know".

If you want a proof of this latter claim, look at this:

Assume it is logically possible to know everything that is logically possible to know.

Then consider the set S of all pieces of knowledge that is logically possible to know. We must have a set here, if it isn't a set then it is certainly impossible for God to know it all.

Now, omniscience means that if K is a proposition that is logically possible to know and it is true then K is a member of S.

Consider a subset U of S and consider the proposition K = F(U) = "God knows that all propositions in U are true".

It is certainly logically possible to know and it is also certainly true. Consequently, K must be a member of S.

However, that means we have a one-to-one mapping from the powerset P(S) to a subset of S and that is logically impossible.

A powerset of S is the set that has all subsets of S as members. For example if S were the set {a,b,c} then P(S) would be the set { {}, {a}, {b}, {c}, {a,b}, {a,c}, {b,c}, {a,b,c} }

Notice that while the set S has three members, the powerset has 2^3 = 8 members and is always strictly larger, i.e. 2^x > x is always true.

It turns out it is true even for infinite sets. N is a set of countable infinity being the set of natural nubmers. P(N) is the set of subsets of natural numbers and is not countable. N has aleph0 members, P(N) has aleph1. It is impossible to find a one-to-one mapping between a powerset and the original set. The reason why it is impossible is that the powerset is always strictly larger. Infinity doesn't help.

Thus, we reach a contradiction. Here we have a mapping between the set S of all things god knows and its powerset. We must conclude that it is not logically possible to know everything that is logically possible to know.

Ok, you perhaps want a proof that there is no one-to-one mapping between a set and its powerset also.

Consider a set X and the corresponding powerset P(X).

By definition any member U of P(X) is a subset of X.

Let us assume that there is such a one-to-one mapping between the set and the powerset:

I.e. there is a mapping X -> P(X) which is one-to-one and has an inverse mapping going the other way.

I.e. we have an element x of X and f(x) gives a subset U of X and a mapping g(U) going the other way giving a member x of X. These two mappings must both span their respective sets, so every element of X must correspond to one and only one subset of X and every subset of X must correspond to one and only one element of X.

Now, consider an element x which is such that x is not a member of f(x), i.e. the resulting subset of X does not contain the element x. I will use A e B to indicate that A is an element of the set B below and A ne B to indicate that A is not an element of the set B.

Let us collect all such elements in a subset. I.e. all elements x such that x is not element of f(x) form a subset D of S.

Since f is one-to-one there must be an element d that correspond to this set D, right? I.e. that f(d) = D = { set of all x such that x is not element of f(x) }

Is d element of D?

if d is element of D then d must be one such x that x is not element of f(x) so d can not be element of D.

However, if d is NOT element of D then d satisfies the condition and so it follows that d must be one of the x's and so d must be an element of D.

This is contradiction and so we must conclude that a mapping such as f(x) does not exist.

Thus there is no one-to-one mapping between a set and the powerset.

This in turn then shows that since god being omniscient "proves" that such a one-to-one mapping exist, we must conclude that god cannot be omniscient.

God had no time to create time.


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dmiclock wrote: 4. Yes

dmiclock wrote:

4. Yes God is just and the idea of eternal damnation is hard to comprehend. However, if we are to claim He is Good, then He must also be Just (a Good Judge wold never let a crminial off the hook), and in being that - sinners will be punished. Peple have a hard time with this because we either look at evil as relativistic, or we rationalize it away as being just who we are. However, our consciences tell us otherwise.

 

People have a hard time with eternal torture. The christians view of justice is very black and white, there are absolutely no degrees. In our society one clearly gets a different punishment for littering then murder. We attempt to find a punishment that matches the crime. However the bible does not make this sort of distinction. An example would be someone who has never harmed anyone, but chooses a different faith. This person is burning eternally along with someone who has killed people without remorse. In a system like this I can use my heart as well as my reason to see that this is not just.

Quote:

5. The Gospel is important for a number of reasons. A common misconception among Christians and non-Christians alike is this idea that it's unfair for those who never heard the Gospel to go to Hell. On the surface that does sound horrific. However, the Biible never says that. All people will be judged according to the Law. The same one that is written on all of our hearts. (Shaun - you asked about keeping the Sabbath and no false gods, and yes we all have this). Simply put, we are here for a purpose, we know right from wrong, people who do wrong will be punished. Jesus preached the gospel messge of repentance and trust. He paid our fine, and he rose from the dead, not only to prove who he was, but to remind us that we are eternal beings, there is life after death, there will be a judgement.

The gospel message must be spread, and those who have heard it, and don;t accept it have no excuse. Jesus' actions on earth was the proof and, still is the proof of who He was. Consequenetly, there are still some on this site that argue the actual historical existence of Jesus, when that debate has been put to bed for centuries.

 

Well this creates a huge loophole. If one can get 'grace' for just being a religiously ignorant good person. Or in this case not being exposed to the gospel. It defeats the purpose of becomming christian altogether. Grace could allow a jew or even a muslim into heaven if this were true, which puts the whole salvation through jesus deal just a more secure route to heaven but not the only route. However this view is not a popular one among christians. I can tell you that among 90 million plus baptist world wide that one can ONLY go through heaven by way of christ alone. No christ, no heaven. If you are stuck on some island without any exposure to the gospel you have been born just to burn. Even you can see how unjust and cruel this is.

Quote:

6. God didn't punish Himself on the cross. He's the judge, He paid the fine you owed for the sins you commit. If you choose through your free will not to accept that then you are not damned and punished by Him for not accepting Him, you are simply denied access to the eternal life that is already yours.

 

One of the most interesting things I see in christianity is something you see throughout many ancient beliefs. The drive for immortality. People are still just as obsessed about living forever as they ever were. Christianity's ultimate reward for you is to live forever in a paradise. You know what they say about things too good to be true. One thing I gotta say about islam, they got paradise right. A place I can spend eternity with a concubine of virgins, is paradise.

 


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I'd prefer 72 sluts.

I'd prefer 72 sluts.


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Pikachu, if you had any

Pikachu, if you had any idea how much intelligent women turn me on, you wouldn't pull all that logic out in public.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Books about atheism


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dmiclock wrote: 1.

dmiclock wrote:

1. Morality comes from our ability to determine right from wrong, and our free will to act on it.

Where, then, do right and wrong come from? Why is it (deemed) right to save a drowning man and wrong to murder a passer-by? The theory of evolution can answer this question, but apparently Christianity cannot.

dmiclock wrote:
2. If you belive in evolution as the fundamental process for the vast speciation of the planet then, the concept of man's sinnfullness is diffcult to grasp. Think of it this way, if cells serve a purpose for a body, then you serve a purpose for the universe.

What is the evidence to support such a belief?

dmiclock wrote:
3. God didn't get preferences from anywhere. Created in His likeness means we were created with the same attributes. Anything contrary to this is sin.

If Christianity cannot explain how preferences came about, it seems to me that we must abandon it in order to understand life and the universe.

dmiclock wrote:
4. Yes God is just and the idea of eternal damnation is hard to comprehend. However, if we are to claim He is Good, then He must also be Just (a Good Judge wold never let a crminial off the hook), and in being that - sinners will be punished.

If god has to punish you for your sins, how can he let you off the hook? Does he need to punish you or not?

dmiclock wrote:
5. The Gospel is important for a number of reasons.

If there is an omnipotent god and the gospel is important, then why has he not communicated the gospel to everyone?


dmiclock wrote:
6. God didn't punish Himself on the cross. He's the judge, He paid the fine you owed for the sins you commit.

What is the use of a fine if the culprit does not need to pay it?


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1. Quote: Consequently, the

1.

Quote:
Consequently, the fact that he believes he is omniscient cannot be taken by himself as proof that he really is. If he knew he was omniscient he could of course take it as proof as omniscient he would never believe something that isn't true but the problem is that this is exactly the question he is pondering!

The point is God can never truthfully convince himself that he is omniscient. Sure, he might be omniscient but he has no way of knowing he is you might say.

You seem to confuse "belief" and "knowledge" which is "properly justified true belief." If God knows that He is omniscient, then He is omniscient, because He holds a true belief.

At any rate, I don't understand what the problem is. God knows Himself through Himself. God is both the knower (the Father), the known (the Son), and the knowledge (the Holy Spirit) or truth. As Aquinas writes, "Since therefore God has nothing in Him of potentiality, but is pure act, His intellect and its object are altogether the same; so that He neither is without the intelligible species, as is the case with our intellect when it understands potentially; nor does the intelligible species differ from the substance of the divine intellect, as it differs in our intellect when it understands actually; but the intelligible species itself is the divine intellect itself..." (ST, I, 14, 2)

God does not need to "convince himself" that He is omniscient. He sees Himself with perfect clarity. God's belief that He is omniscient is not "evidence" for His omniscience. But this belief is surely included in His belief set. Or are you saying that there may be things that God does not know that He does not know? But that, too, is impossible. For God is pure actuality and everything is knowable to the extent that it is actual; hence God is supremely knowable. "Whence it is manifest that He knows Himself as much as He is knowable; and for that reason He perfectly comprehends Himself." (ST, I, 14, 3)

Further, because all created things pre-exist in God as in their first cause, He knows them, too, e.g., "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account." (Heb 4:12-13)

2. What will happen to your proof if we say that God is aleph-infinity, where "infinity" can itself be an aleph of any depth? That is, we assign God the limit of

aleph0, alephaleph0, ...

Of course, God's infinity is not the infinity of either magnitude or multitude but of "infinite greatness."


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dmiclock

dmiclock wrote:
Quote:
[Immaculate Wrote:]That is just twisted.
No its not, its true. You see most people don't consider themselves sinners. Most will say they are good people. Are you a good person? Compared to who? Do you lie? Do you steal? Do you harbor hate for anyone unjustly? Have you committed adultery? Do you take the Lord's name in vain? That's 5 of the 10. How'd you do? Lets play IF. If the Bible is true and If you were to die tonight would you be guilty or innocent? Would you go to heaven or hell.

Woah.  Woah-woah-woah-woah.  Who in the hell are you to judge who I am based on a fictional character's rules?  You know what, I've killed people.  Put fucking bullets into them and ended their lives.  Does that mean I'm going to hell?  Isn't that one of the really big no-nos?  If your answer is yes, then fuck you, pal, and fuck your god, too.   I am a good man, and I don't have to compare myself to anyone else or anyone else's false precepts of a god.  I do my duty to the best of my ability, I live my life according to the Soldier's Creed, I am an honest man, I am a trustworthy man, I have never cheated on any of my girlfriends, not even my ex-fiancee during that fiasco.  

 However, I do not accept a fictional character in a made up storybook as my own personal savior.  I refuse to believe that you can honestly believe that an all good and loving god would refuse me entrance into heaven.  God defies logic, reason and science, plain and simple.  I put my faith and trust in things I can prove are there.  I have faith that my SAW and my M4 are here.  I clean them nearly every day, I've shot them, they've saved my life downrange.  God didn't.  If he really did help along those who trusted in him, I'd be dead and those seventeen Hadji motherfuckers would be alive because they sure do love god.  They love him so much they come around the corner with their AK in one hand, blazing away.  They don't take cover, they don't aim their shots, they just pull the trigger and spray.  If its god's will that they die, so be it, if its his will I die, all the better, they believe.  If those 17 hardcore believers are taken down by one athiest, odds are with me.  

So no, buddy, I'm not going to hell.  But we're not going to heaven, either.  Hell, you know what, I'll make a deal with you.  When I die, I'll have Scotty beam me aboard the starship Enterprise and you go meet St. Peter at the Gates.  Later on, we'll swap stories and see who's more full of shit.  My answer - neither of us will even exist to swap stories, we'll both be too busy decomposing and being dead.  


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So you are here as another

So you are here as another counter to the "no atheists in foxholes" myth. Smiling


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dchernik

dchernik wrote:

1.

Quote:
Consequently, the fact that he believes he is omniscient cannot be taken by himself as proof that he really is. If he knew he was omniscient he could of course take it as proof as omniscient he would never believe something that isn't true but the problem is that this is exactly the question he is pondering!

The point is God can never truthfully convince himself that he is omniscient. Sure, he might be omniscient but he has no way of knowing he is you might say.

You seem to confuse "belief" and "knowledge" which is "properly justified true belief." If God knows that He is omniscient, then He is omniscient, because He holds a true belief.

At any rate, I don't understand what the problem is. God knows Himself through Himself. God is both the knower (the Father), the known (the Son), and the knowledge (the Holy Spirit) or truth. As Aquinas writes, "Since therefore God has nothing in Him of potentiality, but is pure act, His intellect and its object are altogether the same; so that He neither is without the intelligible species, as is the case with our intellect when it understands potentially; nor does the intelligible species differ from the substance of the divine intellect, as it differs in our intellect when it understands actually; but the intelligible species itself is the divine intellect itself..." (ST, I, 14, 2)

God does not need to "convince himself" that He is omniscient. He sees Himself with perfect clarity. God's belief that He is omniscient is not "evidence" for His omniscience. But this belief is surely included in His belief set. Or are you saying that there may be things that God does not know that He does not know? But that, too, is impossible. For God is pure actuality and everything is knowable to the extent that it is actual; hence God is supremely knowable. "Whence it is manifest that He knows Himself as much as He is knowable; and for that reason He perfectly comprehends Himself." (ST, I, 14, 3)

Further, because all created things pre-exist in God as in their first cause, He knows them, too, e.g., "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account." (Heb 4:12-13)

2. What will happen to your proof if we say that God is aleph-infinity, where "infinity" can itself be an aleph of any depth? That is, we assign God the limit of

aleph0, alephaleph0, ...

Of course, God's infinity is not the infinity of either magnitude or multitude but of "infinite greatness."

Naaaaaa... God is an atheist. Deal with it. Peace

God had no time to create time.


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MattShizzle wrote: So you

MattShizzle wrote:
So you are here as another counter to the "no atheists in foxholes" myth. Smiling

 Exactly.  I've been shot at, blown up, all that other good shit, and I'm still here not because of some fictional character in a really big book, but because I am a well-trained professional.  


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Quote: Quote: 2. What will

Quote:
Quote:
2. What will happen to your proof if we say that God is aleph-infinity, where "infinity" can itself be an aleph of any depth? That is, we assign God the limit of

aleph0, alephaleph0, ...

Naaaaaa... God is an atheist. Deal with it.

So, you are not going to defend your argument? Very disappointing.


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Quote: Where, then, do

Quote:

Where, then, do right and wrong come from? Why is it (deemed) right to save a drowning man and wrong to murder a passer-by? The theory of evolution can answer this question, but apparently Christianity cannot.

Right and wrong are derivations of good and evil, as I think you will agree. The standards of good and evil are tied to being itself and what nature is, springing from God (even in philosophy, without revelation or Christianity). Evolution cannot answer this question, necessarily. It might give an answer (which I see no reason why it does, antropological explanations notwithstanding), but it would be incomplete, as it only gives a partial account for any change. Christianty can give an answer (I find it strange you would not see it coming), which would be that God, as the source of nature and being, is the source of morality; further, in Christianity, it would be Christ as God revealing the moral law with the Holy Spirit providing actual and sanctifying grace to know and do the right.  

Quote:

If god has to punish you for your sins, how can he let you off the hook? Does he need to punish you or not?

God punishes sin as a requirement of His justice. However, sin is also its own punishment, as it kills the soul and denies one the Beatific Vision.

Quote:

 

If there is an omnipotent god and the gospel is important, then why has he not communicated the gospel to everyone?

Well, He has. First, through natural reason, He gave everyone the brains to know the good/act morally, and likewise grants sufficent grace to all men to attain salvation (through Christ's sacrifice on the Cross). Second, He gave the Gospel to His Church to evangelize to all men. Christ's Church is the supreme aid and vehicle by which men attain salvation.

 

Quote:

What is the use of a fine if the culprit does not need to pay it?

What is the use of a pulling the trigger on a fire extinguisher to put out a fire? Christ's sacrifice was for all men and satisfies for all sin, but it was not applied to all men. Our cooperation with God's grace applies the merits of Christ's sacrifice to souls, in our acts of faith, hope, and love working in the Sacraments of His Church.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom

StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael, thank you for

StMichael, thank you for your comments. I will not address them here as this thread is about dmiclock's beliefs. Your beliefs probably contradict his, so it would not be meaningful for you to pick up where he left.


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dchernik wrote:

dchernik wrote:
So, you are not going to defend your argument? Very disappointing.
I have the right to take vacations.
dchernik wrote:
2. What will happen to your proof if we say that God is aleph-infinity, where "infinity" can itself be an aleph of any depth? That is, we assign God the limit of

aleph0, alephaleph0, ...

"Infinity" doesn't exist except as a mathematical concept.

The "paradox" appear because you presume infinity can actually exist.

There are many problems involving infinity. Another is this:

Contemplate a set of infiinitely many identical balls. The chance that you pick any particular ball is uniform as there are no difference among them - they are all identical. So the chance that you pick any particular ball is exactly 0 since 1 / infinity equals 0. Howver, P(X) = 0 implies that the event will never happen and yet some ball will be picked, so while the chance that that ball being picked is 0 it still can get picked!

That is a contradiction and the contradiction is due to the fact that you claim that there is something called infinity that can actually exist in the real world. Remove that premise and the example just boils off into a fog of impossibility. It is not possible to actually have an infinite set of balls all alike.

Again, with that lamp thing. It is not possible to actually switch an infinite number of times. You can never actually reach 2 minutes in that switching - only approach it. At some point you stop switching and the 2 minutes timer passes and time's up and you didn't switch an infinite number of times. Whether it is on or off at that point is then exactly 50 percent chance either way. It makes no difference if it was initially on instead of off.

A similar problem is with other infinity paradoxes. Like you can divide a finite time interval into an infinite number of intervals all infinitely small. Well, to do that you would have to cut an infinite number of times. Since infinity doesn't exist in the real world you cannot actually do that and so at all times you only have a finite number of intervals with finite lengths.

That infinity does not exist except as a mathematical concept also implies that an infinite god does not exist.

dchernik wrote:
You seem to confuse "belief" and "knowledge" which is "properly justified true belief." If God knows that He is omniscient, then He is omniscient, because He holds a true belief.

First, let me examine what we mean by knowledge.

A person might tell you that he knows P, what does he attempt to convey by such a statement as opposed to simply telling you P?

Well, for one thing you might say he believes that P is true and he is aware of something that causes him to belive it really is the fcase that P is true.

Thus, for someone to know P we must have a requirement that P must be true. If someone told you that Jennie is 10 years old when in fact you have reliable knowledge that she is 12 you would say that he was mistaken and that he in fact did not know that Jennie is 10 years old, he only believed he knew.

Another requirement is that it is not enough that you happen to be right. If you say "I know I will roll a 4 on the dice" and then happen to roll 4 on the dice we would again think that it wasn't really true knowledge. It was a lucky guess or hope rather than actual true knowledge.

Into this frey also comes Gettier and all his various examples of people who have justified believes that happen to be true but where it is not reasonable to call them knowledge. I would say that all such cases can be reduced to a scenario where you jump to a conclusion which is normally reasonable to jump to but which in the scenario Gettier has set up is not reasonable. Thus, they fail on the justification of the belief just as the dice rolling example above. I know there are people who object to that view and they say that if you see something that looks like a dog and you then think "there is a dog there" you are not making an inference based on assumptions but I think that is exactly what you do. You get sensory input indicating an image of something that looks like a dog in front of you and you then make an inference that it must be a dog. This is an inference even if it is a basic inference made on the more or less raw input data (visional input) from your eyes.

Normally if you see something that looks like a dog and acts like a dog you can reasonably jump to the conclusion that it is a dog. Gettier then set up the example that in reality the dog is a robot dog that is dressed up to look like a dog but which isn't and the person seeing the dog is unaware that such robot dogs are available. He will then jump to the conclusion that it is a dog even though it isn't. Gettier then says the statement is true because there really is another dog hiding in the bushes out of view of the man so there is a dog, thus the statement is both justified and true he says.

Well, not really. For one thing the real dog hiding in the bushes is not the dog the man see. So when the man thinks to himself "there is a dog there" he means the robot dog that is visible to him and not the real dog hiding in the bushes. Secondly, it is - as I said - an inference - and the inference is based upon the false premise that if something looks like a dog and acts like a dog then it is a dog. This premise is normally true and normally it is reasonable to make an inference on such a premise but in the Gettier case the scenario is deliberately constructed in such a way that that premise is false and so the belief is not justified.

We might therefore conclude that justified true belief IS equivalent to what we normally think of as "knowledge". However, the considerations above does make it intrinsically impossible to know that you know P.

If P is true and S is a person who believes that P is true and also have justification for believing that P is true then S knows P. However, can S know that he knows P?

To know that he knows P it must be true that he knows P. To find out if it is true that he knows P we really have to find out if P is really true or not. How would we find that out? Well, the justification procedure that S used to know P can be followed and since the premise is that S knows P then we can safely assume that P is true and that S has a proper justification for believing P.

The other criteria is that S must have a justification for believing that he knows P. This is trickier. The justification procedure used justifies P but it does not and cannot justify that he knows P, any such attempt would be circular. The end result is that although you can possibly know stuff, you can never know that you know them, i.e. you can never be absolute certain that they really are true. The reason is of course that if your method of justification is flawed, then you could use the same flawed mechanism to find out if you knew that you knew P but since it was flawed it wouldn't be reliable. Thus, you must at some level just trust that the justification is not flawed and that trust prevent you from ever being 100 percent confident that you know that you know.

Now that we know a little bit about what it means to know stuff, let us consider a potentially all knowing being. By definition this being is supposed to know everything.

That is, every statement X that is true is such that the being believes X.
For every statement X that is not true is such that the being does not believe X.

It appear simple enough - this is close to the definitions given by W. L. Craig.

Can this being know that it is all knowing? To know that it would have to know that it knows all true statements and that it doesn't believe in any false statements. Even if it does, can it ever know this?

Let us picture two possible scenarios:

Scenario A:

G is all knowing. He knows he is all knowing. He correctly believe he is all knowing and because he believes he is all knowing and he is all knowing he can conclude he is all knowing. Simple as that.

Scenario B:

G is not all knowing. He does not know he is not all knowing and in fact he believes he is all knowing. He is mistaken but is there any way that he can find out and know that he really isn't all knowing?

No. For G it would be impossible to find out if he is in scenario A or B, there is no test he could device that would necessarily yield different result in the two scenarios and then allow him to make a conclusion.

Of course, it is possible that he ask a question where he believe the answer is P and then upon investigation he finds out the real answer is not-P. In this case he will know with certainty that he is in scenario B and he is not all knowing. However, if no such question appear during his investigation, then he will never be able to tell.

Conclusion is that he will never be able to know with certainty that he is all knowing. At best he can state "It appears to me that I am all knowing and if that is true then I am truly all knowing". However, he can never say "I am all knowing" and if he did he would not be honest.
dchernik wrote:
God is both the knower (the Father), the known (the Son), and the knowledge (the Holy Spirit) or truth.

T=G³

* T=Trinity
* G=Gods
dchernik wrote:
As Aquinas writes, "Since therefore God has nothing in Him of potentiality, but is pure act, His intellect and its object are altogether the same; so that He neither is without the intelligible species, as is the case with our intellect when it understands potentially; nor does the intelligible species differ from the substance of the divine intellect, as it differs in our intellect when it understands actually; but the intelligible species itself is the divine intellect itself..." (ST, I, 14, 2)

Aquinas declared strongly god cannot do the impossible, but create married bachelors for example, and such puzzles as the rock paradox are waived away as word games, but it really is not. It merely shows naive omnipotence is incoherent, the word means nothing. More nuanced start to destroy that concept. If god cannot control logic and is subject to logic, then can we say god is indeed really omnipotent? All powerful. No because he is limited by logic. Some make dodgy assertions, god is logic et al, but the question remains, if god is logic, why does it limit him still? Its a problem of meta-logic to explain why. Why can't god change his nature such that limits no longer apply logically to himself? Where does that internal limit come from? And we get into other dogmas, god's simplicity that are problematic here. Simplicity means god has no essences, plural, just one essence. How can omnipotence, logic, intelligence et al be one thing?

So this question properly handled, opens up all sort of things most theologians wish would just go away. Basically the nature of logic and its relationship to god . And just what is logic and where does it come from if it is indeed so powerful god has to obey logic.
dchernik wrote:
Further, because all created things pre-exist in God as in their first cause, He knows them, too, e.g., "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight.
That is a god that is omniscient and creates the world, being omniscient, when contemplating making a world, will see the future. If he sees 13 billion years hence there will be a man named John Smith who commits a murder on June 13, 2004, he has a choice, allow that act to occur or instead, tweak his initial starting condition such that Smith does not commit murder. When yiu think of it,all our acts are then so desigend by god,when I say creation of all,I mean all our acts to the smallest possiblephyical degree. We have no free will and cannot have free will. It is impossible in such a world. But what about moral evil? All our morally evil acts then are god's doing contradicting claims god is all good. For centuries, xians and moslems have claimed god is ouside and beyond time. There is no past or future for god, only one big now. If he created all now, at once, all our acts to the smallest, again, we have no free will. God as omniscient, must foresee all our acts, personally and purposely, before we even e ist, and all acts depend on the starting initial conditions god intends to use to create a new world. Thus all acts are gods doing, not ours. We decide nothing. God decides all acts that will occur. He foresees all and allows or disallows all acts he forsees. Free will is utterly impossible in principle if god creates all and is omniscient or omnipotent. Since this is the sort of god all religions have, which is the god of revealed holy books, the god of 4.3 billion believers is impossible. For me, omnipotence and omniscience and claims god is all good and created all is key to strongly disproving god cannot exist.

God had no time to create time.


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It's nice to see you back,

It's nice to see you back, Dmitri, although I'm saddened that you're trotting out the same arguments we discredited before.

I'll assure you that nobody here will let you use illogical definitions to allow god to define himself into logical existence.   Aquinas has been failing for a long time.

And Pikachu, it's very nice to see you weigh in on this.  Thanks for bringing a learned mathematics voice to the table.

 

 

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dmiclock wrote: . God

dmiclock wrote:
. God became man in the person of Jesus Christ. He lived a sinless life which proved to all that it can be done. .

 I do not have the exact verses on me as I am on the run here, but I am sure it says somewhere in the bible that "God spoke to his son (Jesus)", Jesus prayed..."Oh Lord.....something.." What I am getting at is that there are clearly two entities here, and you can't have it both ways saying that Jesus was the Son of God and that he is God himself who "transformed" into a man to make a point.

-If indeed Jesus was the Son of god, was he conceived after Mary gave birth to him? so does that imply he did not exist before that? If he did exist before that, why isnt it mentioned in the Old Testament that "And God and his Son, Jesus said let there be light..so on and so forth. (instead of "God said let there be light&quotEye-wink

-To be honest I have a hard time believing the Son of God argument.

Cheers


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I don't know what the

I don't know what the argument was beforehand, but I can answer this a bit.

Quote:

I do not have the exact verses on me as I am on the run here, but I am sure it says somewhere in the bible that "God spoke to his son (Jesus)", Jesus prayed..."Oh Lord.....something.." What I am getting at is that there are clearly two entities here, and you can't have it both ways saying that Jesus was the Son of God and that he is God himself who "transformed" into a man to make a point.

Except that Jesus is not God "transformed" into man, but is both God and man at the same time. I also see no reason why these passages (I am further unsure of which you speak) indicate two seperate entities. The Son of God is God and there is no difference. "God from God, light from light, true God from true God." It has to do with the doctrine of the Trinity.

Quote:

If indeed Jesus was the Son of god, was he conceived after Mary gave birth to him? so does that imply he did not exist before that? If he did exist before that, why isnt it mentioned in the Old Testament that "And God and his Son, Jesus said let there be light..so on and so forth. (instead of "God said let there be light"

Jesus as the Son of God existed from eternity. He assumed a human body and soul which was conceived in the womb of the immaculate Virgin Mary.

The Old Testament has God revealed generally in His unity, not as Trinity. However, sometimes Christ is spoken of (or speaks Himself), as is the Holy Spirit mentioned. It could further be argued, though not necessarily, that God is spoken of as Trinity in Genesis in the "Let us create man in our own image" or "The Spirit moved across the waters."

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael

StMichael wrote:
Quote:

Except that Jesus is not God "transformed" into man, but is both God and man at the same time.

. The Son of God is God and there is no difference. "God from God, light from light, true God from true God." It has to do with the doctrine of the Trinity.

OK....

Sorry, no personal offence to you but as a rational human being do you really want me to beleive that what you just explained is a fact and not some fable cobbled up by some bored "story tellers"  (for lack of a better descritpion) in the middle east circa 100-200AD? What you want me to accept as the ultimate truth is that a seemingly normal human being, Jesus, who I beleive existed 2000 yrs ago, and was not unlike you and me, and ate drank and made merry like any other human being, and who prayed like any other religious nut was God himself? so what was he praying to himself???

This is a common trick used by religions across the world, that when you cant explain something, make it sound mysterious that only the chosen few will understand the complexity of it all. Holy Trinity!! give me a break!

It is gobbledygook like this that has us atheists like myself say alright see ya later and say hi to Jesus when you see him, and you know he probably was a good man and wanted to help people, but never intended people to worship him. That's what happens in most of the cultures and religions all around the world, take Mohammad, Buddha, and most probably if I am correct in my arguments, a few years after Bush's death a few of his fanatical supporters will probably start worshipping him and a few hundred years later consider him God. Think about this...


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dchernik

dchernik wrote:

Quote:
Quote:
2. What will happen to your proof if we say that God is aleph-infinity, where "infinity" can itself be an aleph of any depth? That is, we assign God the limit of

aleph0, alephaleph0, ...

"Infinity" doesn't exist except as a mathematical concept.

The "paradox" appear because you presume infinity can actually exist.

There are many problems involving infinity. Another is this:

Contemplate a set of infiinitely many identical balls. ...

Do you imagine God as a set of infinitely many identical balls? Smiling I made it clear in my earlier post that God's infinity is not the infinity of either multitude or magnitude but of "greatness." This translates into completeness of being, perfect nature, and perfect happiness. Or we can think of it in terms of the absoluteness of power which manifests itself in the ability to beget a Son equal to the Father in all respects, as well as in the ability to create ex nihilo.

Quote:
That infinity does not exist except as a mathematical concept also implies that an infinite god does not exist.

God does not have that kind of infinity.

However, the infinity that we are dealing with is the infinity of true statements that God must know. This is an actual infinity and it can exist: "1 is a number," "2 is a number," ... God knows this infinitude not by enumerating it one by one, for in such a way an infinite cannot be known, and besides, not all infinities can be counted, but by containing it within Himself in its entirety, all at once. And I argue that His capacity to know these things is aleph-infinity.

Quote:
Thus, you must at some level just trust that the justification is not flawed and that trust prevent you from ever being 100 percent confident that you know that you know. ...

A: G is all knowing. He knows he is all knowing. He correctly believe he is all knowing and because he believes he is all knowing and he is all knowing he can conclude he is all knowing.

God knows Himself by vision; He sees Himself. But how does He know that His vision is completely reliable? After all, God cannot examine Himself to find out. For if His vision is imperfect, then He may either fail to find the answer or err altogether.

Quote:
B: G is not all knowing. He does not know he is not all knowing and in fact he believes he is all knowing. He is mistaken but is there any way that he can find out and know that he really isn't all knowing?

There is a different way for God to arrive at the knowledge of this matter. This is to invoke the doctrine of divine simplicity. God is His own knowledge and His own understanding. God's understanding is God; therefore, there is no aspect of Him (or an aspect of the world, for that matter, again, because God's effects pre-exist in Him as in the first cause), of the existence and properties of which God is not aware. In other words, the act of God's intellect is His substance; it subsists in itself. Hence God is justified in holding the true belief of His omniscience -- because He sees all of His (fully knowable) essence, being in fact that essence, and because of His unity -- that there is nothing else besides God and His creation.

Quote:
If god cannot control logic and is subject to logic, then can we say god is indeed really omnipotent? All powerful. No because he is limited by logic. Some make dodgy assertions, god is logic et al, but the question remains, if god is logic, why does it limit him still?

God is not limited by logic, nor is He "logic"; He simply does not need logic, as we do. He is one simple being. However, because we know of God by privation and remotion (that is, often we know what God is not rather than what He is), there is no reason not to ascribe to Him obedience to the laws of logic for the sake of our understanding, prayer, and the like.

Quote:
And we get into other dogmas, god's simplicity that are problematic here. Simplicity means god has no essences, plural, just one essence. How can omnipotence, logic, intelligence et al be one thing?

Everything has one essence. Essence means nature. You, too, have one essence: e.g., "rational animal." White color looks simple, but actually contains within itself the entire spectrum. LIkewise, God is a simple unity, but in order to understand Him we must split Him up into properties, such that we can know what He is.

Quote:
When yiu think of it,all our acts are then so desigend by god,when I say creation of all,I mean all our acts to the smallest possiblephyical degree. We have no free will and cannot have free will. It is impossible in such a world. But what about moral evil? All our morally evil acts then are god's doing contradicting claims god is all good.

This particular problem deserves a separate thread.

P.S. Hambydammit, we are having a serious discussion. Calm yourself.


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I'm pretty chill,

Cool

I'm pretty chill, thanks!

I'm just not getting involved because you're doing the same thing you did months ago, which is use multiple definitions to "prove" untenable points.

Example: You are presented with a mathematical proof that an infinite god cannot exist.

Response: Yeah, well, infinite doesn't mean infinite the way you mean it.  It means infinite in the way god is.

Duh.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Great. Poison the damn well.

Great. Poison the damn well. You have no idea what you are talking about. My point is that this "mathematical proof" is faulty, for two reasons: (1) it uses a wrong idea of infinity (yes, I fully agree that God is not composed of an infinite number of balls; and that He is not a lamp; and that He is not infinitely divisible, not being a body, etc.); (2) to the extent that it is correct, that is, given that God must know an infinity of propositions, it is solvable by postulating that God's mind can contain intuitively, not discursively, an aleph-infinite number of truths.


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Your post was absolutely

Your post was absolutely ridiculous on a number of grounds.

Quote:

Sorry, no personal offence to you but as a rational human being do you really want me to beleive that what you just explained is a fact and not some fable cobbled up by some bored "story tellers"  (for lack of a better descritpion) in the middle east circa 100-200AD?

Yes, I do. And the most you have proven is merely that the idea is not something you like, not that it is not rationally coherent. Second, it would be quite silly in my opinion if one were to say that Jesus Christ was a story 'cobbled up' in the Middle East 'circa 100-200 AD.' First, because Christ is referred to among contemporaries. Second, because the earliest Christian authorities are far before 100 AD. Third, because Christ's disciples all died horrible deaths as martyrs not for a 'fanciful tale' when they could have just as easily confessed to its fabrication rather than die. They died. Fourth, why would the Christians make up something that would be utterly hated and despised by the Greeks, the Romans, and the Jews (almost equally)? Why would they not, if they wanted mere fancy, to create something in harmony with the times? The Romans were syncretists and would accept any religion as long as it would maintain that religious truth was merely syncretistic or political. The Jews would have tolerated the Christians had they accepted Jesus as a politically dominant Messiah, not as a crucified saviour. The Greeks would have accepted the Christians had the Christians not maintained a crucifixtion with a material body upon the Cross, but rather some gnostic idea of a spiritual, secret truth. However, the Christians opposed all three camps and maintained a true Christ, both truly God and man, who died upon the Cross, suffering for humanity's sins, and who was the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Not a particularly good way to go, in my opinion. However, despite all opposition throughout history, the Church and the faith it promotes did not merely survive in some corner, but was spread throughout the world and His Church (started with ignorant Galillean fishermen) outlasted all empires created by man. Further, in every age, the Church has had to battle for its survival against kings, against emperors, and against all manner of heresy and unbelief and sin (within its own members, even). Even further, despite having sinful members who destroy the Church, the Church does not merely survive but claims to be 'holy.'

Quote:
 What you want me to accept as the ultimate truth is that a seemingly normal human being, Jesus, who I beleive existed 2000 yrs ago, and was not unlike you and me, and ate drank and made merry like any other human being, and who prayed like any other religious nut was God himself? so what was he praying to himself???

Our Lord prayed in His human nature and submitted His human will to His divine will. He did pray to God, to His Father in heaven, submitting His human will to God's so that they acted in perfect harmony; His prayer brought about our salvation and was an example to our own submission of will.

Is it not more odd that He would die? His own death and sacrifice on the Cross was His perfect submission to God and brought about the satisfaction for all sins.

Quote:
This is a common trick used by religions across the world, that when you cant explain something, make it sound mysterious that only the chosen few will understand the complexity of it all. Holy Trinity!! give me a break!

I did explain it. It had nothing to do with making it sound mysterious. The Trinity is a mystery, true, but that does not mean it is irrational. Christ was the same person as the Second Person in the Blessed Trinity; that was my only point. I did not want to make it much too long.

Quote:
It is gobbledygook like this that has us atheists like myself say alright see ya later and say hi to Jesus when you see him, and you know he probably was a good man and wanted to help people, but never intended people to worship him.

Frankly and patently untrue. All writings about Christ and belief about Him in the early Church clearly indicated belief in His divinity. Further, Christ Himself called Himself God and praised those who worshipped Him.

Quote:
That's what happens in most of the cultures and religions all around the world, take Mohammad, Buddha, and most probably if I am correct in my arguments, a few years after Bush's death a few of his fanatical supporters will probably start worshipping him and a few hundred years later consider him God. Think about this...

This is truly silly. First, it is a bad comparison because Mohammed and Buddha even are not worshipped as God. Most religions do not even have a comparable idea of the worship we believe we owe to God (partly because of different ideas of God). Second, I doubt anyone will worship President Bush (and I find no grounds for this comparison). Third, even the pagan divinities were never worshipped with the adoration we give to Christ, nor were they conceptualized as gods in the same way. Fourth, point to a person in the last few thousand years (post Christ) of recorded history who was elevated to such a divine status over time (not counting those who might have called themselves gods initially).

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote: .

StMichael wrote:

. Further, Christ Himself called Himself God and praised those who worshipped Him.

I will reply to your comment in detail later, but can you cite your sources for the above claim? Maybe a few verses from the Bible where Jesus actually called himself God? Here is the condition though, it has to be a verse where Jesus actually says it, not a third party account of an apostle calling him God.

18Once when Jesus was praying in private and

his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who

do the crowds say I am?”

19They replied, “Some say John the Baptist;

others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the

prophets of long ago has come back to life.”

20“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do

you say I am?”

Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.”

LUKE 9:18

So then that's where the above story ends, Peter doesnt claim that Jesus is God or even his son, he says that Jesus is the Messiah. I dont read anything about Jesus correcting him and saying "Look now Peter, i am God" now do we?


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Ophios wrote: Quote: God

Ophios wrote:
Quote:
God is Just, and as such must punish those who break His laws.
Question: Do you honestly think eternal tourture is just?

 

You chose your own punishment. Isn't that what the RRS and Blasphemy Challenge is all about? 


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Quote: You chose your own

Quote:
You chose your own punishment.

 

So I can say, if we meet in the after-life just as Ammit gets ready to eat your soul, that it was your choice?  Is god too lazy to give me the evidence I need, becuase in the end it is up to him. Not unless he doesn't know everything, or he's not all powerful. Then why the heck is he punishing me forever for something as simple as me not believing him. how is that just? and how is it just to punish finite "sins" forever? 

Maybe it is your choice, when you freeze in hel (Yes, Hel), I'll walk by and hang my head, "But it was his/her choice."

 

Quote:
Isn't that what the RRS and Blasphemy Challenge is all about?

I don't know, I did participate in it?

 

Just in case you missed it again (as you did the first time). 

Do you honestly think eternal tourture is just?

 

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Well, I don't know what

Well, I don't know what happened. I wrote a rather long response to the question of just punishment and Christ's divinity in Scripture, both of which just randomly disappeared. Therefore, my response this time will be much attenuated.

To the first question, God's punishment is just because by sin human beings choose a created good over God, the perfect Good. This choice is, in reality, a choice for unhappiness (happiness being possible only in God). Hence, the punishment is somewhat self-inflicted. Second, while God does punish according to the finite aspect of sin to fulfill justice, this is perfectly acceptable in so far as it is necessary in order to ensure a complete justice (punishing hereafter injustices in this life). The greater punishment in sin, however, is "self-inflicted."

In response to the question of Christ's divinity. Look even at that chapter in Luke, where God declares Christ to be His beloved Son. Look anywhere else in the Gospel, where Satan calls Him the Son of God, or where at His baptism in the Jordan, He is called God. I will merely cite here the Catholic Answers article on this subject:

"Christ’s divinity is shown over and over again in the New Testament. For example, in John 5:18 we are told that Jesus’ opponents sought to kill him because he "called God his Father, making himself equal with God."

In John 8:58, when quizzed about how he has special knowledge of Abraham, Jesus replies, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I Am"—invoking and applying to himself the personal name of God—"I Am" (Ex. 3:14). His audience understood exactly what he was claiming about himself. "So they took up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple" (John 8:59).

In John 20:28, Thomas falls at Jesus’ feet, exclaiming, "My Lord and my God!" (Greek: Ho Kurios mou kai ho Theos mou—literally, "The Lord of me and the God of me!&quotEye-wink

In Philippians 2:6, Paul tells us that Christ Jesus "[w]ho, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped" (New International Version). So Jesus chose to be born in humble, human form though he could have simply remained in equal glory with the Father for he was "in very nature God."

Also significant are passages that apply the title "the First and the Last" to Jesus. This is one of the Old Testament titles of Yahweh: "Thus says Yahweh, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, Yahweh of armies: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; besides me there is no god’" (Is. 44:6; cf. 41:4, 48:12).

This title is directly applied to Jesus three times in the book of Revelation: "When I saw him [Christ], I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand upon me, saying, ‘Fear not, I am the First and the Last’" (Rev. 1:17). "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the First and the Last, who died and came to life’" (Rev. 2:Cool. "Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to repay every one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the beginning and the end" (Rev. 22:12–13).

This last quote is especially significant since it applies to Jesus the parallel title "the Alpha and the Omega," which Revelation earlier applied to the Lord God: "‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty" (Rev. 1:Cool. "

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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I always like arguing with

I always like arguing with you, dmitri. Seriously.

I accuse you of changing the definition of infinity so it will fit your model, and you say:

Quote:
(1) it uses a wrong idea of infinity

And you say I'm the one who doesn't know what he's talking about.

For this to have any meaning, you have to explain to us what this new definition of infinity is. If you can't properly define it, it has no meaning.

Quote:
God's mind can contain intuitively, not discursively, an aleph-infinite number of truths.

I'm going to try to work my way through this statement..

If god knows everything intuitively, not discursively, then that means he can't know anything discursively, which means he's not all powerful, right? Furthermore, it means he's incapable of using logic, right? Is this how you get around the fact that your concept of god is logically impossible?

Kind of weak, if you ask me. 1) My concept of god will not fit into a logical model. 2) Therefore I can define him in a way that prevents him from using logic. 3) Therefore he is transcendent of logic.

Oh, and I like how you throw a nice sounding Hebrew letter onto the word "infinity" to try to make it sound like you have a new definition, even though you've refused to say exactly how your brand of infinity is different from the brand that refuted your argument.

Keep plugging away, dmitri, and by all means, keep resorting to insulting me. Insults are the last resort of the defeated, you know.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Quote: Quote: (1) it uses

Quote:
Quote:
(1) it uses a wrong idea of infinity

And you say I'm the one who doesn't know what he's talking about.

For this to have any meaning, you have to explain to us what this new definition of infinity is. If you can't properly define it, it has no meaning.

How can I teach you if you don't even read my previous posts? For the third time:

"I made it clear in my earlier post that God's infinity is not the infinity of either multitude or magnitude but of 'greatness.' This translates into completeness of being, perfect nature, and perfect happiness. Or we can think of it in terms of the absoluteness of power which manifests itself in the ability to beget a Son equal to the Father in all respects, as well as in the ability to create ex nihilo." (Omnipotence follows upon the completeness of nature, because something can act only insofar as it is in actuality, and power is the principle of action. Hence God, Who is pure actuality, has unlimited (infinite) power.)

Another way to look at it is through omniscience. God knows Himself fully, and He also knows both the actual world and the infinity of unactualized possible worlds.

Or through love: God wills Himself to Himself, loving Himself in so doing; in addition, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (Jn 15:13)

God is unlimited in being; nothing contains or constricts him and "that which is without any blend of potentiality is without bounds to its perfection." It is also unique. Aquinas writes that "Every actuality inhering in another takes limitation from that wherein it is: for what is in another is therein according to the measure of the recipient. An actuality therefore that is in none, is bounded by none... But God is an actuality in no way existent in another: He is not a form inherent in matter; nor does His being inhere in any form or nature; since He is His own being, His own existence. The conclusion is that He is infinite." Or "There cannot be conceived any mode in which any perfection can be had more perfectly than by him, who is perfect by his essence, and whose being is his own goodness. But such is God: therefore anything better or more perfect than God is inconceivable. He is therefore infinite in goodness." (SCG, 1, 43) In short, when the limits are removed, capacity is unlimited.

Quote:
If god knows everything intuitively, not discursively, then that means he can't know anything discursively, which means he's not all powerful, right? Furthermore, it means he's incapable of using logic, right? Is this how you get around the fact that your concept of god is logically impossible?

Intuitively means all at the same "time." God does not reason from A to B to C, either logically or causally; He knows A, B, and C, and the relations between them all at once. "God sees all things in one (thing), which is Himself. Therefore God sees all things together, and not successively. ... Now the term discursive reasoning is attained when the second is seen in the first, by resolving the effects into their causes; and then the discursion ceases. Hence as God sees His effects in Himself as their cause, His knowledge is not discursive." (ST, I, 14, 7)

That's why God does not need logic. Logic is a means of deriving conclusions from premises, salve veritate. God does not need to do that in Himself, because He is a simple unity, and He sees Himself with perfect clarity; God does not need to do that in relation to the world, because He already knows all the premises and conclusions and how they are related with each other. In the latter sense God knows logic, but only in order to deal with His creation. Logic depends on the logical structure of the human mind. God does not need logic in order to be Himself.

Intuitive knowledge is superior to discursive knowledge and belongs to God.


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Quote: How can I teach you

Quote:
How can I teach you if you don't even read my previous posts? For the third time:

"I made it clear in my earlier post that God's infinity is not the infinity of either multitude or magnitude but of 'greatness.' This translates into completeness of being, perfect nature, and perfect happiness. Or we can think of it in terms of the absoluteness of power which manifests itself in the ability to beget a Son equal to the Father in all respects, as well as in the ability to create ex nihilo." (Omnipotence follows upon the completeness of nature, because something can act only insofar as it is in actuality, and power is the principle of action. Hence God, Who is pure actuality, has unlimited (infinite) power.)

Another way to look at it is through omniscience. God knows Himself fully, and He also knows both the actual world and the infinity of unactualized possible worlds.

Or through love: God wills Himself to Himself, loving Himself in so doing; in addition, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (Jn 15:13)

God is unlimited in being; nothing contains or constricts him and "that which is without any blend of potentiality is without bounds to its perfection." It is also unique. Aquinas writes that "Every actuality inhering in another takes limitation from that wherein it is: for what is in another is therein according to the measure of the recipient. An actuality therefore that is in none, is bounded by none... But God is an actuality in no way existent in another: He is not a form inherent in matter; nor does His being inhere in any form or nature; since He is His own being, His own existence. The conclusion is that He is infinite." Or "There cannot be conceived any mode in which any perfection can be had more perfectly than by him, who is perfect by his essence, and whose being is his own goodness. But such is God: therefore anything better or more perfect than God is inconceivable. He is therefore infinite in goodness." (SCG, 1, 43) In short, when the limits are removed, capacity is unlimited.


Since it is a proof by making a set of premises leading to an absurdity it is important that we make note of all premises we make. The idea is that since we reach an absurdity at least one of the premises must be false and we must find out which ones.

P1 - God exist.
P2 - God is omniscient.
P3 - By omniscient I mean he knows everything that is logically possible to know.

Sure, this also includes that God could possibly know things such as "how to sin" and "how to play soccer" etc. Some people will argue that God cannot know these things but as they are irrelevant to the proof itself it doesn't matter if you include them or not. The definition above can therefore be restricted as much as you want as long as it is reasonably different from regular mortal beings who are not omniscient. If you make a definition that implies that yourself or someone else is omniscient then the definition is clearly false.

P4 - All the things that God knows can be placed in a set SK. So if God knows K then K is a member of SK.

Now, consider a subset S of SK and consider the knowledge K "God knows that he knows everything in S". This is effectively a mapping from the set of subsets of SK - let us call that set pSK which has all the subsets of SK as members.

P5 - God knows K, i.e. God knows that he knows everything in S for any subset S of SK.

This defines a mapping as I said and the mapping is 1-1 it must therefore have an inverse "All the things God knows that he knows when he know K" = S.

The problem is that such a mapping is absurd, neither it nor its inverse can exist since pSK is strictly larger than SK (this is always true as proven by Cantor, any power set is strictly larger than its base set). Thus, we have reached an absurdity.

Before I start to look for which of the premises is false, it might be worthwhile looking at how the parallell proof goes for someone like myself who is not omniscient. This is easy, the point is that even if I know everything in K I might not know that I know it since I am not omniscient. For example I might know infinitely many things - that all odd numbers are odd, there are infinitely many of them and so I can wthout blinking say that the number 143298709813629087162938761984736298164320986101 is odd, yet, exactly because there are an infinity of them I cannot know that I know this for each of them, that would imply that I have infinite memory storage and me being just a plain simple mortal cannot know this, I don't have time to learn that since I don't live forever and it takes time for me to learn things. Therefore there is no 1-1 mapping for me since it is only a selected few subsets S which is such that "I know that I know everything in S" it is not true for any subset S of SK and therefore the absurdity does not arise in my case.

However, for God being omniscient one would expect that he does know these things for any subset S and thus the absurdity is reached.

Ok, so which one of the premises is false?

P5 is clearly true - it is the only thing that separate an omniscient being from a non-omniscient being. If P5 is false you are essentially saying that God isn't omniscient and thus we have been able to show that God isn't omniscient.

P4 must also be true. All the pieces of knowledge that God knows can be placed in a set.

P3 is also true. I think it is a very reasonable definition of omniscience and as I said it also give room for variations if you insist on that, they are irrelevant to the proof itself so it doesn't matter - for this proof - whether God knows how to sin or not.

Thus, P1 or P2 must be false. I.e. God either do not exist or he is not omniscient.

QED.

Quote:
Intuitively means all at the same "time." God does not reason from A to B to C, either logically or causally; He knows A, B, and C, and the relations between them all at once. "God sees all things in one (thing), which is Himself. Therefore God sees all things together, and not successively. ... Now the term discursive reasoning is attained when the second is seen in the first, by resolving the effects into their causes; and then the discursion ceases. Hence as God sees His effects in Himself as their cause, His knowledge is not discursive." (ST, I, 14, 7)

Some general remarks here about time might be in order.

First. Yes, contingent finite beings CAN experience an infintie number of moments in time. We do that every day. Every second can be divided into an infinite number of "moments".

The reason why this is possible is that a "moment" isn't a real actual thing. Whenever time is involved it is always in the form of time intervals and while once again you can have infintiely many by making the intervals infinitely small it is us who bring that infinity into the model by supposing we can divide the time interval again and again infinitely many times.

True, there might not be a reason why you should stop after N divisions but even if you divide it N times you still have only divided it a finite number of times. You can never actually reach infinity.

However, when saying "you can do it an infinite number of times" we do not literally mean you can do it an infinite number of times but we mean that there is no boundary, there is no number M such that you have to stop after you have divided the time intervals M times.

Sorting this out then, the conclusion is that yes there are an infinite number of "moments" or "ifinitely short time intervals" through every second.

Secondly, it is most likely true that time is finite in that there is a certain time limit T that we cannot move further back in time. As such T is a barrier or boundary. However, it is also quite possible that we can never reach this boundary, only approach it closer and closer by going back in time or investigating events of the past.

I.e. all events have a time t which is later than T but never equal or earlier than T.

If this is the case then we can set that time T as 0 and say that all valid times are times t for which t must always be greater than 0. So valid times can be 0.5 or 0.1 or 0.01 etc while 0 or -0.5 or -20 is not valid points in time.

In this case it makes no sense to say that there was a "before" time. Only times after T is valid points in time. Given any valid tine t you can always find an earlier time such as t/2 or 0.01 * t which is smaller than t and thus earlier but they are still strictly positive and you can never reach a time t = 0 or negative time.

This implies that while time might be finite it is still without a boundary in a sense. Yes, the time = 0 is like a wall but since you can never reach that wall and only approach it, it doesn't act like a wall.

From this we can conclude that all valid points in time is finite and that time is finite. Yes, the future might be "infinite" but that is ok since the future doesn't exist (yet) and all valid points in time of the future will still be finite times. You will never actually reach infinity.

Thus, while infinity might be a useful concept it can only apply to non-existent things such as the future or "if I divided the time interval an infinite number of times I would get infinitely small time intervals". Since you can never actually do that an infinite number of times it is not a problem that such a procedure would end up with infinitely many infintiely small time intervals. Instead all existent things turn out to be finite. However, finiteness does not imply boundedness and in particular time appear to be unbounded and finite. Unbounded time cannot have a first "mover" or "first event" since there is no "first". The possible points in time does not have a first value for the same reason that the set (0,infinity) does not have a smallest value. (0,infinity) is the set of all real x such that x > 0. (note that it is greater than and not greater than or equal). The set [0,infinity) has a smallest value of 0 of course.

Another observation is that as it appears that only finite things exist then an infintie being such as God appears very unlikely to exist. Existence implies limitations and it must be so because it is by its limits that we can sense that things exist. If a rock filled up all of the universe so that all valid points of the universe would contain the rock, we wouldn't sense that there was a rock there as no point would be different from any other point.

To exist therefore implies to be limited and so an unlimited god cannot exist.

Quote:
That's why God does not need logic. Logic is a means of deriving conclusions from premises, salve veritate. God does not need to do that in Himself, because He is a simple unity, and He sees Himself with perfect clarity; God does not need to do that in relation to the world, because He already knows all the premises and conclusions and how they are related with each other. In the latter sense God knows logic, but only in order to deal with His creation. Logic depends on the logical structure of the human mind. God does not need logic in order to be Himself.

Intuitive knowledge is superior to discursive knowledge and belongs to God.

Logic, as well as the description of natural laws, is a way to decrease the number of possibilities. Imagine a dice. You throw the dice, and there are six possible outcomes. Without logic, without natural laws, without some rules that can be applied to that process, the number of possible outcomes of throwing a dice are infinite:

The dice could vanish.
It could land on any edge.
It could transform into any object.
It could show any number, for example, 4711.
And so on ...
With a normal dice, under normal circumstances, you have six possibilities and not more. The probability that it will show a six is 1:6.

Without logic, without rules, the probability that a dice will show a six is 1:infinity. With six possibilities, you can sucessfully guess the right number. Without logic, you can't. The probability that the dice shows a six is so near to zero that we can say: it is zero.

Now the argument is: The world could not exist without god. But logic cannot be applied to god. That's the same as saying: The dice could not show any other number than a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or six, but logic or rules cannot be applied to that dice. If this would be true, it is possible that anything happens, so even the probability that the dice shows a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 is infinitely small, it is zero. If you say that "it could not happen" or this is impossible, you are applying rules (and therefore, logic) to the act of throwing the dice. You are contradicting yourself. It is impossible that the dice will vanish, but everything is possible.

The same is true for god: It is (logically) impossible that the world could exist on its own, but logic cannot be applied, so everything is possible, even that the universe as we see it now has started to exist last friday, and we have false memories about the past. So without logic, the probability that god created the universe is zero. It would be more likely to win every lottery in your life, it would be even infinetely more probable that this will happen than the probability that god exists. It would be infinitely improbable that god exists and has any attribute.

Without applying logic and reducing the infinite number of possibilities it is absolutely improbable that god exists, which is the same as saying that it is impossible that god exists.

That god is beyond comprehension might be true. But look again at that dice: It is beyond comprehension, too, because we do not know everything about that dice. But even knowing this, we still can apply logic to the dice and its existence. And we know without room for reasonable doubt that a dice exists and that it will show one to six numbers after having been thrown.

The same goes for god: Even if god cannot be fully understood, his existence is not beyond comprehension. You cannot claim that it is logically necessary that god exists and that we cannot apply logic to that at the same time. Either, it is wrong that it is logically necessary that god exists, or it is wrong that logic cannot be applied to god. If it is true that logic cannot be applied to the existence to god, we can safely conclude that god does not exist, due to that infinite high probability that anything else is true.

So any reason for gods existence is with nearly 100% certainty false if logic cannot be applied to him or his existence. And because we deal with infinite improbability, we can even omit the word "nearly".

So if logic cannot be applied to gods existence, god does not exist with 100% probability. Anyone who believes that we cannot apply logic to gods existence must be a strong atheist. If he isn't, than because he contradicts himself. To say that contradictions exist is really another way to claiming that everything is possible and that gods existence is so close to impossibility that we can conclude with certainty that god does not exist. If you want to exlude that and make god even remotely possible, you have to reduce the infinite amount of possibilities, which is only possible if logic can be applied.

You can, of course, argue that god might exist, if you say that god is beyond logic (which is not the same as claiming that god is beyond comprehension, don't confuse one with the other). But you have to admit that this might not be the case with the same amount of probability.

If logic cannot be applied to god, strong agnosticism is the only logical possible conclusion. Its is impossible to know if god exists or does not exist, every belief about that is infinite improbable. Strong atheism is a as true as theism or agnosticism, truth, therefore, does not exist. There cannot be applied any truth-value to the claim that "god exists", you can use any argument for theism, atheism, and agnosticism. Without logic, there is only confusion, and theists who claim that god is beyond logic are very, very confused.

Because it is absurd that god is infinitely improbable, is possible, all at the same time, if god exists, he would know about this necessary confusion about that matter. The only way, if a god exists who is interested that we believe he exists must make himself known to us beyond that confusion. Because god is not known to us beyond reasonable doubt - doubt that is "emitted" from theistic confusion - we can safely conclude that such a god does not exist, which tips the scale in favour of atheism.

Therefore, if logic cannot be applied to god, than this is all the reason I need to conclude that god does not exist (or does not care if we believe in him or not, which justifies atheism as well).

God had no time to create time.


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Pikachu, interesting

Pikachu, interesting thoughts, as usual.

I'm certainly not going to tackle the entire post, as I don't feel like swimming in logic circles today.  I did see s few points where I think I might disagree, but only on fine logical issues, not with your overall conclusion.

Ther eis this that stuck out to me;

Pikachu wrote:
Another observation is that as it appears that only finite things exist then an infintie being such as God appears very unlikely to exist. Existence implies limitations and it must be so because it is by its limits that we can sense that things exist. If a rock filled up all of the universe so that all valid points of the universe would contain the rock, we wouldn't sense that there was a rock there as no point would be different from any other point.

I've been talking to theists of varying kinds, reading theology of various types, and thinking about theology in many other ways for quite a while.

This analogy is somewhat flawed, and I'm imagining some pantheists (or even a panentheist, if one could be found) reading this and seeing the fallacy here.  Now remember, I'm not a pantheist (nor a panentheist) and am not a theist.  And I know that what you are addessing is infinity,and not the concept of omnipresence, but they are related here.

I think I understand dchernik's points to some degree (not that i agrew with him), and I'll play devil's advocate (or would it be God's advocate in this context?) for an idea that has always intrigued me about theology.

If God were everywhere, truly omnipresent, then would we notice God? Would noticing anything be noticing God? This is what I think is going on when theists talk about God being infinite.  They may not actually understand infinity as a technical term, but they understand the concept of omnipresence to mean the same thing in their using "infinite."

So, if God were omnipresent, then that wouldmean that we are part of God.  So there would be no way to see it as God because tehre would be no other object to perceive it from--that observation is correct.  But This does not really knock over the theologian who wants to argue for a mystical omnipresent God, while it will knock over the hastly thrown together god of the "omni-" type.

Thus, I agree with your ananlysis, pikachu, of this God of the perfections, the God that must be all this and omni that, but it doesn't touch what I think many theists are trying to say but use the wrong words for.

So, what I'm saying here is that while you are using similar words (dchernik and pikachu), I think that you are thinking different things as antecedents for those words.  

dchernik, are you saying that God is actually infinite or that God is simply everywhere and unlimited in power? Is God omnipresent or infinite?  Omnipresence does not necessitate the other.

Shaun 

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


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I don't know what else to

I don't know what else to add to my argument, since you have not replied to anything I've asserted. You have simply stated your argument from powersets for the third time. Again, first, the intellectual capacity of God's could be aleph-infinity, and since the set of all subsets of aleph-infinity is also aleph-infinity, a one-to-one correspondence could be established.

Second, I write that "God is His own knowledge and His own understanding. God's understanding is God; therefore, there is no aspect of Him (or an aspect of the world, for that matter, again, because God's effects pre-exist in Him as in the first cause), of the existence and properties of which God is not aware. In other words, the act of God's intellect is His substance; it subsists in itself. Hence God is justified in holding the true belief of His omniscience -- because He sees all of His (fully knowable) essence, being in fact that essence, and because of His unity -- that there is nothing else besides God and His creation." This means that God does not miss any truth either within or outside Himself.

Third, God does not need logic in His own inner life. If God had never created, but remained alone as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, then He would not need logic in order to be God. Logic was created along with the world which is diverse not simple and has multiplicity of things rather than being a perfect unity, and along with human beings. A similar problem is this: since God is one, and the Trinity is three, does it mean that mathematics and numbers are prior to God and in a way define Him? No, because the "one" that we are talking about is convertible with "being," and yet for our comprehension we have to ascribe a sort of privation to God by saying that He is a unity.

Quote:
Existence implies limitations and it must be so because it is by its limits that we can sense that things exist. If a rock filled up all of the universe so that all valid points of the universe would contain the rock, we wouldn't sense that there was a rock there as no point would be different from any other point.

It is strange that you still imagine God as having extension in space-time. God is a spirit; He is infinite only because He lacks all ontological (not physical) limitations, such as on power, knowledge, love, simplicity, unity, immutability, eternity, and so on. Existence does not imply limitation, since the actual infinites in the list in the previous sentence are certainly conceivable and do exist in God.


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ShaunPhilly, you may want to

ShaunPhilly, you may want to take a look at this: http://www.ccel.org/a/aquinas/summa/FP/FP008.html


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StMichael

StMichael wrote:

Quote:

. Fourth, point to a person in the last few thousand years (post Christ) of recorded history who was elevated to such a divine status over time (not counting those who might have called themselves gods initially).

I am reiterating my claim that when a leader is revered by his/her followers to a fanatical extent, then they feel that the highest possible respect that they can bestow upon him is to elevate his status to that of a God.

Lets take Islam for example. Islam teaches that there is one God and he sent down many prophets; Adam being the first prophet and Abraham, Isaac, Jesus, Solomon, David being others while as Mohammad is the last in the line of these prophets. It also says in the Koran that there will be no other prophets being sent down anymore.

As is always the case with human ambition, after Mohammad's death, it soon became apparent that there is no clear successor to hold the status that Mohammad held. This caused the schism in Islam as we know it today, and is made conspicuous by the shia-sunni violence in Iraq.

The two sects, Shias and Sunnis, differ in their beliefs as to who succeeded Mohammad as the torch bearer of Islam, while holding most other common beliefs like the sanctity of the Koran and a belief in one God. (Both sects also consider Jesus a prophet and do not blieve in his divinity or that he was crucified - they believe that it was Judas who was crucified; giving Jesus an opportunity to escape and be summoned up to God. They also believe in his eventual return)

Sunnis are an overwhelming majority consisting of about 80% of all muslims worldwide, while shias are a minority in all countries except Iraq and Iran, which have about 60% and 95% Shias. Being a minority, shias have always been persecuted from the beginning.

Now this analogy brings me to my point that I was trying to make -that Jeus was considered a God by christians because of their fanatical reverence for him.

Like I mentioned, shias were persecuted right from the beginning becusae they claimed Ali should be the successor of Mohammad. While as the Sunnis thought that Abu Bakr should be that person instead. Now both sides quarreled and gave convincing arguments and produced various sermons as evidence; but ultimately they parted their ways. Ali's followers were adamant that he is the chosen one, and hence were persecuted for doing so, and many left Arabia fro other countries like Iran, Irak, Syria, bahrain to practice their love for their leader (sound familiar...hint hint).

Now comes to my conclusion, as i mentioned, when a persecuted people love their leader to a frenzy that all rational thought is clouded, they elevate their leader to the status of a God. Now, Shias, followers of Ali, are also split into many sects, and one sect called the 'Allawis' do consider Ali to be God. Like christians, they also claim  various verses and teachings from Mohammad to claim that Ali is God. Please follow this link to read more about them (http://atheism.about.com/library/FAQs/islam/blfaq_islam_alawis.htm) That is the reason I gave a little bit of history to where they came from. Their numbers are not exactly known but they do have a considerable number of followers in Syria, approximately 2-3 million.

(poor grammar noted, will edit later)


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ShaunPhilly wrote:If God

ShaunPhilly wrote:
If God were everywhere, truly omnipresent, then would we notice God? Would noticing anything be noticing God? This is what I think is going on when theists talk about God being infinite.  They may not actually understand infinity as a technical term, but they understand the concept of omnipresence to mean the same thing in their using "infinite."
So, if God were omnipresent, then that wouldmean that we are part of God.  So there would be no way to see it as God because tehre would be no other object to perceive it from--that observation is correct.  But This does not really knock over the theologian who wants to argue for a mystical omnipresent God, while it will knock over the hastly thrown together god of the "omni-" type.

If you say: He is omnipresent and all around us but He is also ontologically transcendent & infinite so you really can't say He has a location.

Then he has contradicting attributes and cannot exist. If he has no location he is not omnipresent - period. Omnipresent entails to be present at every possible location. If he has no location he isn't present in every possible location and so he is not omnipresent. This god cannot exist as he is assumed to both have and not have the same property (located at point X). He is even assumed to both have and not have this property for every possible X. It can't get more illogical than that. Your god is an abomination to logic.

Because time and space are essentially the same thing. If you argue he is omnipresent in space he must also be omnipresent in time and if he is not omnipresent in time he cannot be omnipresent in space or at least you must give a reason why you think he can be omnipresent in space but not in time if that is what you think. I.e. you must explain how it is possible or why we should buy that argument.

 

So, if God is tied to our time then it makes sense to think he cannot be omnipresent either. Thus, the question is - where is he? If he is located in some planet circling around a star some X lightyears away from us - the nearest star apart from the sun is Proxima Centauri which is around 4 lightyears away then God cannot possibly know what you are thinking until X years after you thought it. What good does it then do? Even worse? If he wants to interfere he cannot interfere until another 4 years after that. So he knows you plan to murder someone and then show up with a miracle 8 years after? That is a bit too late. Well, this sort of explains why he could work miracles in OT time but not in present time though, he was presumably much closer then and so could work his miracles immediately. It doesn't make much sense to pray to him in current time though.

God had no time to create time.


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Sorry for taking the time

Sorry for taking the time to reply everyone...

 I would say that it should be obvious that if there is a god he must be constrained or limited in some way. The old "Can god create a rock so heavy he can't lift it" argument is usually countered by "God cannot create things that cannot exist" and that implies a limitation:

God can only do that which is logically possible for God to do.

This raises the question about whether God precedes logic or logic precedes God.

If God precedes logic then he isn't really constrained and so he has "voluntarily" put on this straight-jacket of logic for some unknown reason (God moves in mysterious ways) but why would he do that? It doesn't make sense.

If logic precedes god or they are both of the same origin sort of then god has always been constrained by logic and so he can no more create a square circle than I can fly by flapping my wings. Thus, he is not unlimited even if some theologians claim he is, he is at a minimum limited by logic.

However, this creates more problems for God. One thing is that "God can do everything that is logically possible" is itself logically impossible so that means that God cannot do everything that is logically possible. Sure, you can enumerate anything and you can always claim that God can do those things, but no matter how you enumerate there are always things that should be in your list but isn't and God cannot do all of those - including those things you do not enumerate.

It is a fact that it is impossible to set up a list of all things that is "logically possible", whatever such list you set up there will always be elements that are not in the list. The set of "logically possible things to do" is not a countable set.

For the same reason God cannot know everything it is logically possible for God to know. So much for omniscience.

So, God is absolutely not infinite and not unlimited. He has limits and lots of them.

Indeed, I don't think there is anything in the universe that is infinite - but that's just me. Other people disagree and think it is possible that there are infinite things in the unvierse and if so God might be one of those. However, as I don't think there is anything infinite and God is assumed to be infinite he does not exist. On the other hand, if you accept that God is limited so he isn't infinite any more then you might posit a God somewhere like a superman who is more powerful than us but not omnipotent etc. Question is, where is he and why should we acknowledge this guy as god.

One thing is also that god is assumed to be omnipresent but omnipresence - just like omnipotence and omniscience - has its own problems. Time and space are essentially the same thing so if you are omnipresent in space you must also be omnipresent in time. This means that you know the future because you are there already and that means God has infallible knowledge of future events. However, that also means that neither God nor us have free will. Thus, if you think we have free will and are responsible for our own actions then you must conclude that God cannot be omnipresent. He must have a "now" and "here" and view the world from that point in spacetime. Further, he cannot have infallible foreknowledge.

So, a god without omnipresence, foreknowledge, omniscience and omnipotence, what kind of god is that? If you then also find out that he is not creator of the universe then what is left? Why should we call him god?

God had no time to create time.


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Actually, I owe dmitri an

Actually, I owe dmitri an apology. I said earlier that I wasn't getting involved in this argument, and then I went ahead and did.

I am henceforth removing myself again from this discussion, as I am not interested in digging through the voluptuous posts, simply to reiterate that defining god into existence by re-defining words is nothing but a circular argument. It's just too much work for too little reward.

 

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Pikachu,  Understand that

Pikachu,

 Understand that it is not my god at all.  I agree with you.  I was trying to clarify what i saw as a miscommunication of concepts going on.

But I never did say that the God I was describing was transcendent.  A pantheistic God is essentially indistinguishable from the universe itself.  What I think happens is taht some people take this idea of the entirety of the universe and abstract from this unimaginably vastness "infinity" and say that God somehow fills that infinite space.  

Again, I agree that his God with all the absolute faculties and attributes is absurd. I just have a feeling that when you and I use the words "god is infinite, eternal" and so forth, we have a different idea than many theists do.  I think we are literally thinking different things and using the same words, but I could be wrong about that.

  I gues I was thinking something more like Paul Tillich's "ground of Being" type of omnipresence, which I think is interesting, but nonetheless meaningless.

Shaun 

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Ohh i understand

Ohh i understand now.

ShaunPhilly wrote:
I just have a feeling that when you and I use the words "god is infinite, eternal" and so forth, we have a different idea than many theists do.

To me the idea that god is eternal appear kinda futile to prove for the theist and on the whole uninteresting.

If time is not infinite and so has only been in existence for a finite period of time then "eternal" can only mean "as long as time has existed" and so even if God were to be eternal he would still be finite if eternity is finite.

The theist then have the following options:

1. He can claim that God's time is infinite and that God's time is somehow different from our time. He can even make some bible quotes to "prove" this claim.

Unfortunatley, if God's time is completely different from our time and not attached to it in any way then by definition God cannot act in our world in our universe in our time. So, if God is to be ruler and omnipotent in our universe his time must coincide with our time in some way and if those times coincide they are the same time and so God's time cannot be infinite unless our time is also infinite - which it most likely isn't.

2. He can claim that God is "outside of time" whatever that is supposed to mean and that the finiteness or infiniteness of time is irrelevant to God. Unfortunatley, "outside of time" is as meaningful as "north of the north-pole" and doesn't make sense in any way.

3. He can accept that God's time is finite and abandon the idea that God has been around before time (again a meaningless description since "before" time makes as much sense as "north of the north-pole&quotEye-wink. He can then claim that God is eternal since he has been around as long as time has been around. However, in that case God cannot be said to be creator of the universe, at best he has been around as long as the universe itself. Even that is unlikely though as the very early universe was most likely in such a state that it wasn't really inhabitable by any sentient being.

Add to all this that the only reason why we are supposed to assume that this God person exist in the first place is that there are many people who really wish very hard that it was true but they don't have a single shred of evidence to support their case and I think the conclusion is given.

God had no time to create time.


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God is infinite in that He

God is infinite in that He has no limitation by any potency - He is pure being without limitation.

Likewise, God is eternal because He is without the limitation of time.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

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StMichael wrote: God is

StMichael wrote:

God is infinite in that He has no limitation by any potency - He is pure being without limitation.

Likewise, God is eternal because He is without the limitation of time.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

If God is eternal and is the first cause, then an infinite amount of time would have passed before he got around to creating the universe. Since an infinite amount of time has not passed, and eternal god could not have created it.

God had no time to create time.


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Quote:  If God is eternal

Quote:

 If God is eternal and is the first cause, then an infinite amount of time would have passed before he got around to creating the universe. Since an infinite amount of time has not passed, and eternal god could not have created it.

That does not follow. Eternity is, by defintion, not an infinitude of time but absence from limitation by time in God. Second, an eternal universe does not negate the necessity of God for its creation and sustaining in existence. Third, if by your last premise that an infinite amount of time has not passed you are alluding to Big Bang theory, I wonder how one could likewise hold a purely atheistic theory in combination with Big Bang.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

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Definitions: God has the

StMichael wrote:
That does not follow. Eternity is, by defintion, not an infinitude of time but absence from limitation by time in God.
I have never heard that definition of eternity before.

The definition of eternity on dictionary.com is:
  1. Time without beginning or end; infinite time.

Stop guessing or making things up.

God had no time to create time.


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StMichael wrote:Second, an

StMichael wrote:
Second, an eternal universe does not negate the necessity of God for its creation and sustaining in existence.
Definitions: God has the property, among others, that he is the creator (= the cause) of the universe.

The universe is the set of all existing things.

(P1) Any thing that exists or begins to exist cannot have a cause (to be defended later).
(P2) The universe began to exist or exists eternally (either one must be true).
(C1) Therefore, the universe cannot have a cause (from (P1) and (P2))

(P3) If god exists, he is the cause of the universe (true by definition).
(P4) But the universe cannot have a cause (that is (C1)).
(C2) Therefore, god does not exist (from (P3) and (P4) by modus tollens).

The only premise that we have to defend is (P1).

StMichael wrote:
Third, if by your last premise that an infinite amount of time has not passed you are alluding to Big Bang theory, I wonder how one could likewise hold a purely atheistic theory in combination with Big Bang.
Definition: A cause is an existing thing that causes another existing thing either to exist or to change its way of existence.

If A causes B, we must presuppose that A and B both exist. To say that A did not exist is the same as to claim that B did not have a cause. Because the universe is the same as the set of all things that exist, any cause must exist and, therefore, belongs to the set of all things that exist. Any cause that we add must exist and is therefore part of the universe. Therefore, the set of all things cannot have an existing cause. Therefore, the universe cannot have a cause.

If A exists, but B does not exist, A cannot be the cause of B, because this would be the same as to claim that A had an influence on something that does not exist - and therefore, A is not a cause. Therefore, the claim that A caused B to exist is incoherent for all A's and all B's.

God had no time to create time.


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I would point out that the

I would point out that the popular use of eternity is not the same in religious or philosophical discourse. I quote Wikipedia: "While in the popular mind, eternity often simply means existing for an infinite, i.e., limitless, amount of time, many have used it to refer to a timeless existence altogether outside of time. There are a number of arguments for eternity, by which proponents of the concept, principally Aristotle, purported to prove that matter, motion, and time must have existed eternally."

Quote:

Definitions: God has the property, among others, that he is the creator (= the cause) of the universe.

The universe is the set of all existing things.

I do not necessarily agree with the second definition.

Quote:

(P1) Any thing that exists or begins to exist cannot have a cause (to be defended later).

You seem to recognize that this lacks justification. Why do you not give any?

It seems utterly contrary to reason to hold premise 1; "something does not come from nothing."

Quote:

(P2) The universe began to exist or exists eternally (either one must be true).
(C1) Therefore, the universe cannot have a cause (from (P1) and (P2))

That follows from the premises, but the premises beg the question.

Quote:

(P3) If god exists, he is the cause of the universe (true by definition).
(P4) But the universe cannot have a cause (that is (C1)).
(C2) Therefore, god does not exist (from (P3) and (P4) by modus tollens).

Only assuming the faulty premises. It does not get you anywhere.

Quote:

Definition: A cause is an existing thing that causes another existing thing either to exist or to change its way of existence.

For argument's sake, I will assume the definition to be true (I see some possibility for error, but I see no problem now in accepting this).

Quote:

If A causes B, we must presuppose that A and B both exist. To say that A did not exist is the same as to claim that B did not have a cause. Because the universe is the same as the set of all things that exist, any cause must exist and, therefore, belongs to the set of all things that exist. Any cause that we add must exist and is therefore part of the universe. Therefore, the set of all things cannot have an existing cause. Therefore, the universe cannot have a cause.

This is misleading and it coincides precisely with the reason I was hesitant to equate the universe with the set of all existing things. God is an existing thing and the cause of all other existences. This argument merely proves that, for all existing things to exist, there must be at least one necessarily existing cause of all things. This argument is in my favor as it is the proof for God's existence. As things exist, they require a necessarily existence to sustain/create them. It is clear that there are possible existences (the chair can cease to exist, as can my dog) and this requires a necessary cause. Thus, God is logically necessary because real things exist.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

 

 

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StMichael wrote:I would

StMichael wrote:
I would point out that the popular use of eternity is not the same in religious or philosophical discourse. I quote Wikipedia: "While in the popular mind, eternity often simply means existing for an infinite, i.e., limitless, amount of time, many have used it to refer to a timeless existence altogether outside of time. There are a number of arguments for eternity, by which proponents of the concept, principally Aristotle, purported to prove that matter, motion, and time must have existed eternally."

If god is outside time then he's outside space = outside the universe:

P1. The universe is all there is, by definition.
P2. There can be nothing "outside" of the universe, because of (1).
P3. The theistic God is "outside" of the universe.
C1. Thus, He cannot exist.

StMichael wrote:
It seems utterly contrary to reason to hold premise 1; "something does not come from nothing."

P1. [nothing] has no attributes.
C1. Therefore [nothing] is not constrained.
C2. Therefore [nothing] can change.
P2. There is only one [nothing].
C3. When [nothing] changes it becomes [something].
C4. There is no reason to think [something] cannot come from [nothing].
C5. Either there was never [nothing] or [nothing] is the 1st cause.

Either the universe always existed or God is [nothing].

StMichael wrote:
As things exist, they require a necessarily existence to sustain/create them. It is clear that there are possible existences (the chair can cease to exist, as can my dog) and this requires a necessary cause. Thus, God is logically necessary because real things exist.
Existence consists of space, time, matter and energy. The last two are really the same, as Einstein proved with his highly popular formula, more famous than any other formula. Matter/Energy is in constant motion, otherwise, it wouldn't exist.

Time must necessarily exist. No actual things can exist unless time exists.

If time exist then space must also exist - they are really the same thing.
If time and space exist then vacuum exists.
If vacuum exists then energy must exist. We know that vacuum have energy.
If you have time, space and energy you have a universe.
It follows then that if time is necessary then the universe is also necessary.

 Be aware that im writing an atheistic book in french. The cosmological argument is one of my favorite.

God had no time to create time.


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StMichael wrote: God is

StMichael wrote:

God is infinite in that He has no limitation by any potency - He is pure being without limitation.

That is an oxymoron.

Again, to exist is to exist as something, to have identity.

Which is to say, to have limits

An 'unlimited being' is an oxymoron.

 

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dchernik wrote: How can I

dchernik wrote:

How can I teach you if you don't even read my previous posts? For the third time:

"I made it clear in my earlier post that God's infinity is not the infinity of either multitude or magnitude but of 'greatness.' This translates into completeness of being, perfect nature, and perfect happiness.

What do you even think that means?

 

Quote:
 

Or we can think of it in terms of the absoluteness of power which manifests itself in the ability to beget a Son equal to the Father in all respects, as well as in the ability to create ex nihilo."

Ah.

To create existence out of nothing.

Then you're 'god' is not an existent.

I.e. this 'god' is beyond existence.

Ergo it has no limits.

Ergo, no identity.

Ergo, incoherent.

 

  

Quote:

God is unlimited in being; nothing contains or constricts him and "that which is without any blend of potentiality is without bounds to its perfection."

"unlimited in being"  

  I.e. beyond limits

I.e. without identity.

i.e. incoherent.

Thank you, both of you theists posting in this board, for reaching the same  conclusion.

You're "god" is defined in such a manner that it is incoherent. 

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Quote: If god is outside

Quote:

If god is outside time then he's outside space = outside the universe:

P1. The universe is all there is, by definition.
P2. There can be nothing "outside" of the universe, because of (1).
P3. The theistic God is "outside" of the universe.
C1. Thus, He cannot exist.

This is an unproven assumption that the universe is all there is 'by definition,' as likewise that there can be nothing outside of the universe. How do you substantiate this premise? God, as the cause of all other existences, is the necessary existence for the universe. You basically, in fact, assume that God does not exist to prove that He does not exist (which is incorrect).

Quote:

P1. [nothing] has no attributes.
C1. Therefore [nothing] is not constrained.

Now, this inference is highly subjective. In what sense are we using the term 'constrained'? You make it seem that it is a substance actually existing, which 'nothing' is not; non-being cannot exist. It cannot be a subject of change, as it is nothing.

Quote:

C2. Therefore [nothing] can change.

Here, then, is the incorrect assumption that nothing is actually a substance in which change can occur. However, non-being cannot exist and, hence, cannot change.

Quote:

P2. There is only one [nothing].

That is contradictory. As non-being, it cannot have quantity at all.

Quote:

C3. When [nothing] changes it becomes [something].

Even in the proof, this conclusion is unwarranted. What is a 'change' in nothing? There is no premise that would prove that nothing, if changed, becomes something.

Quote:

C4. There is no reason to think [something] cannot come from [nothing].
C5. Either there was never [nothing] or [nothing] is the 1st cause. Either the universe always existed or God is [nothing].

Thus, these conclusions are flawed.

Likewise, it would not follow to the final conclusion that 'either the universe always existed or God is [nothing].' In your proof, your premises do not support C4 or C5. C5 is particularly problematic for your claim, as that cannot be inferred at any length. In fact, your premises would dictate that the universe, as something (which arises, presumably, only from nothingness, according to C5), is equivalent to nothing. Thus, the universe does not exist (which is obviously false).

Secondly, have you utterly rejected your previous statement that the universe requires a necessary cause for its existence? That statement and the current proof fundamentally contradict each other, in that the universe requires a necessary cause for its existence and that it requires no cause.

Thirdly, the proof for the necessary existent cause of the universe is a proof for the existence of God which has been seemingly ignored.

 

Quote:

Existence consists of space, time, matter and energy.

Things that possess existence can likewise exist in space, time, energy, and matter, but are not identical. Existence is obviously a different quality from either a singular substance possessing any of these qualities individually (does an idea exist? does the idea of space exist? if we meant 'to exist' as 'a material entity' there ought to be no difference between an thought bag of money and actual money), nor can existence be defined as a conglomerate of these qualities in a thing (again, as things are said to exist which do not have these qualities together).

 

Quote:

 The last two are really the same, as Einstein proved with his highly popular formula, more famous than any other formula. Matter/Energy is in constant motion, otherwise, it wouldn't exist.

While I know Einstein proved that matter and energy are equivalent, I find it silly to imply that he proved that existence is merely a matter of energy and matter in motion (as further it is unclear where you get the premise that if matter/energy is not in motion it does not exist, as this is unsubstantiated). On a sidenote, I think the Pythagorean formula or many other formulas could gain that title of 'most famous formula.'

Quote:

Time must necessarily exist. No actual things can exist unless time exists.

This is an assumption/assertion without justification. Existence does not assume time at all.

Quote:

If time exist then space must also exist - they are really the same thing.

Frankly, you have done nothing to prove that they are. However, even if we assumed that they were, they are only so in a particular sense (according to special and general relativity).

Quote:

If time and space exist then vacuum exists.

Okay, total assertion without evidence.

Quote:

If vacuum exists then energy must exist. We know that vacuum have energy.

Not necessarily, but this is likewise unjustified.

Quote:

If you have time, space and energy you have a universe.
It follows then that if time is necessary then the universe is also necessary.

Wonderful, but your premises beg the question on many levels.

Quote:

 Be aware that im writing an atheistic book in french. The cosmological argument is one of my favorite.

This is irrelevant to our discussion. I don't see why you ought to bring it up; I am composing a Mass setting for a 'Missa Regina Angelorum' and reading Saint Vincent Ferrer's 'Treatise on the Spiritual Life.'

Quote:

That is an oxymoron.

Again, to exist is to exist as something, to have identity.

Which is to say, to have limits

An 'unlimited being' is an oxymoron.

First, God has an essence, which is His existence. There is no oxymoron. God is 'I am.'

Second, 'unlimited' and 'limited' has many senses. You are using univocal meanings where they do not apply. God is unlimited in that He does not have potentiality in respect to any other thing; He does not rely on any other thing for His existence, He has no cause, He has no division in Himself.

Third, just because a thing has an essence does not necessarily imply a 'limit' in the sense you imply (refer to #2).

Quote:

What do you even think that means?

God is infinite in the sense that He is not limited in His existence. God has no cause and has no potency. He is pure act, pure existence. His essence and existence are identical.

Quote:

Ah.

To create existence out of nothing.

Then you're 'god' is not an existent.

I.e. this 'god' is beyond existence.

Ergo it has no limits.

Ergo, no identity.

Ergo, incoherent.

 

To create something 'ex nihilo' does not imply non-existence. Rather, it implies that the cause exists. It does not imply that the cause is 'beyond' existence, but only that the cause is necessary. Further, this implies that God 'creates' existence, which God does not do. God creates existent things as an necessarily existent cause; God's existence is the cause of other existences. God does not create existence in creation 'ex nihilo.'

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.