"Case Against Faith" Response, Part I.

RhadTheGizmo
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"Case Against Faith" Response, Part I.

Original Article: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/paul_doland/strobel.html

This will probably be among one of my last threads here... I believe that I have found that which I came here to discover-- just have some loose ends to tie up. I appreciate all of you who helped me with my learning, it's definitly been an experience. So, here is my response to the Case Against Faith.

Granted, I am speaking from my own perspective, not from someone else's. I have been, what you might call a 'skeptic' for as long as I can remember, and it is in asking questions that I realized the point of making choices. The objective facts are the same for most everyone, what you choose to do with them.. is a different issue.

A few definitions before I start, feel free to cross reference them with the dictionary. Make sure to cross reference those words within the definition which might be important to understanding the first. So, here we go. I state these, because.. well-- if we all have our own definitions, that might be kind of hard. So I'll be using the language as prescribed by the dictionary. No descriptive linguistics here! (Maybe some).

Reason: 1) Basis for a belief
2) Statement given as justification
3) Sound Judgement; Good sense
Rational: 1) Having or exercising reason, sound judgement, or good sense
Irrational: 1) Not in accordance with reason; utterly illogical
Logic: 1) A particular method of reasoning
2) The system or principles of reasoning applicable to any branch of knowledge or study
Evidence: 1) Grounds for a belief
2) That which tends to prove or disprove something
Tends: 1) To move or extend in a certain direction
Prove: 1) To establish the truth or genuineness of
Semantics: 1) The study of meaning
Empirical: 1) Derived from or guided by experience or experiment
Necessary: 1) Being essential, indispensable, or requisite
Sufficient: 1) Adequate for the purpose; enough
Assumption: 1) Something taken for granted; a supposition
Assertion: 1) A positive statement or declaration, often without support or reason
Axiom: 1) Self evident truth that requires no proof
2) Logic, Mathematics: a proposition that is assumed without proof for the sake of studying the consequences that follow from it
Fallacious: 1) Deceptive; misleading
2) Disappointing; delusive
3) Containing a fallacy
Fallacy: 1) A deceptive, misleading, or false notion

About the Author of "The Case Against Faith"

He seems very logical.

(What, you were expecting more? It was a well structured critique as well as fair in my view.)

He ask questions of the author and his interviewees. These questions appear to be valid for, in one way or another, the interviewee and the author just assume that all reading will accept just because they are given a response. Furthermore, some apparent, common sense, contradictions spawning from the statements that the book makes, are equally challenged. Both these methods of argument I consider valid, so I'm not going to be saying that they are not; I will address to all things I can. So, here I go, I will try to make my answers small, assertions simple, logic clean, and reason clear as I can. (Furthermore.. I will try summarize his arguments his quotes-- therefore I can address what I understand as the spirit of his argument). I do not necessarily write this response to give answers, merely ask more questions, that is.. after all, what I do many times. If you grow tired of not finding a straight answer to the original objection, for instance "Since Evil and Suffering Exist, A Loving God Cannot", then look at the end of each section.. there I will write my understanding of it, but I really feel as if my point by point response will give a more complete picture from which to understand my position. Whether representative of truth or not, this is a map of my reasoning at this point in my life.

Objection 1: Since Evil and Suffering Exist, A Loving God Cannot
(Interview with Dr. Peter John Kreeft, Ph.D.)

Quote:
In fact, Templeton says that suffering was a major reason why he turned away from the Christian faith, noting a photograph of an African woman holding her dead baby, who had died of starvation due to severe drought, in her arms. God allowed all of this suffering when all that the woman needed was a little rain. How can there be a loving God if He won't even send a little rain? (p. 14).


Quote:
For one, Kreeft says that finite humans are not capable of understanding the plans and reasoning of an infinite God. Kreeft illustrates his point with an analogy:

Imagine a bear in a trap and a hunter who, out of sympathy, wants to liberate him. He tries to win the bear's confidence, but he can't do it, so he has to shoot the bear full of drugs. The bear, however, thinks this is an attack and the hunter is trying to kill him. He doesn't realize this is being done out of compassion (p. 32).


This accurately sums up the argument of Strobel: God knows better than us, we cannot comprehend why these things happen.

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God may well know better than I, and what appears to me to be injustice could all be a part of a greater plan. I am imperfect, and cannot know that which a perfect God may know. However, Kreeft's argument that I cannot know what eventual good may come from some suffering is a fallacious "argument from ignorance."


Agreed. While his answer may be correct, this argument does little to advance the debate since the answer to a valid question is that the answer cannot be comprehended. If this answer were multiplied and given for every question, you might see where this sort of response would lead to.

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The bottom line is that if I am like the bear of Kreeft's analogy, unable to see the greater good to come from apparent injustice, then God should not be surprised that I see apparent injustice as genuine injustice.


Granted. He should not be 'surprised'.

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For there is no reason to assume that there is a greater good to come from injustice.


Granted as well. While I tread lightly on any assertion that there is "no reason" for any assumption, I will accept this assertion because I can think of no counterexample. If one sees something that seems like "injustice" they will not automatically assume that is, in fact, "justifiable".

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It may sound like Strobel, Kreeft, and I are using this woman as a debate tool[...]But these are real issues being raised, and they need to be discussed.


Agreed.

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To explain how suffering can lead to a greater good, Kreeft offers the analogy of when his daughter pricked herself and suffered a small amount of pain, but learned from it (p. 41)[...]A valid explanation for a little pain doesn't explain extensive, intense, and apparently gratuitous pain.


This might be where I would lay down my first contention. If I give an example:
A person asks me, "Look at all this death in Iraq. How can the U.S. be justified in such a war?"
I would answer, "The death in Europe during World War II was 100 fold, would you ask this same question of that war?"

What is valid for one instance of pain is not necessarily valid for another, yet, the element of truth (if accepted in the first explanation) can be applied to the second that being:
Pain or suffering, no matter to what extent, is not reason enough to assume that pain and suffering are not without reason or justification; even as the number of death, no matter to what extent, is not reason enough to assume that war is not without reason or justification in a particular case.

Quote:
Why have I been fortunate, while so many others have not? Arguing that there must be no God because of the suffering in the world is sometimes called an "argument from outrage." But should one not be "outraged" at the injustice of the world?


Indeed.

Yet, even as you pointed out something earlier as fallacious, so this thing would be fallacious if its purpose is to win an argument. It does not make a logical conclusion, merely that makes the assertion that one should be outraged at such injustice. In this I agree, but if the purpose of it was to imply that there cannot be justification for something that "should cause outrage", then for that I cannot agree.

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Moreover, the fact that the poorest often suffer the most is, to me, very significant. In a debate with William Lane Craig, Corey Washington develops the point:


Significant?

Quote:
Relatively speaking, people really didn't suffer.


The disgust I find at one individual dying in a horrible way and another individual dying in a horrible way is not magnified by their socio-economic standing. I realize you may be saying, "as a whole" opposed to individually, and if this is what you meant, I would agree. The fact that their are nations of so much excess that they seem to burst at the seems while there remains nations in our world that are as they are, is a problem that I think needs addressing.

I cannot say I have an answer to correct this state of affairs.. but some day, perhaps I can help in some significant manner.

Quote:
So you have to think about what Craig is saying. God's going to allow the innocent, the weak, and the poor to suffer, so the rich can show their colors, can be courageous, and develop themselves into moral beings. That sounds kind of sick to me actually. I think this is totally incompatible with Christianity as you read it. Remember the proverb was that, "The meek shall inherit the earth," not that they shall be destroyed by it.[1]


However.. this statement seems to imply something that I don't believe is relevant to the central question. Let me present it you this way:

If God allows a rich, successful man, to suffer at the hands of another man, so that the one man gets his head sawed off as he screams for the other to stop; would that god be more or less loving than one who would allow such a thing to happen to a man of less riches?

If you mean those instances of suffering apart from the direct actions of another individual-- such as famine, natural disaster, or the such-- then I would suggest that if you accept that letting a rich man be harmed by another is not more or less a reflection on ones character than if that character let a poor man be harmed by another, then I would only go to point to my even earlier statement. When it comes to suffering as a result of natural elements, it is only as an indirect result of the order than humans have set up themselves. It is not that there is not enough food or resources to support or move all individuals into certain areas of greater resources, it is that nations keep people in and others out. There is a unequal dispersal of resource and space because that is what people, as a whole, have created. One might counter, "there is no way that industrialized nations can take in all citizens of these other nations"-- and that might be true.. a sudden influx of a group of people skilled in only non-industrialized tasks, would most certainly put a large burden on the receiving nation. Yet.. once again, this system is as it is merely as a result of the man made system itself.

In my view, "Man" is as much responsible for a person who dies from famine as a man is responsible for killing another. Feel free to disagree. I am stating these things to present reasoning, not to give answers.

Quote:
But God could solve the problem, or at least mitigate it a great deal, by sending more rain. Is this really too much to ask of a compassionate, miracle-working God?


I can only point to my earlier question. Would a god who mitigates pain by 'sending rain' be more or less loving even though, at the same time, he doesn't mitigate the pain of every other individual in a less general sense (murder, rape, torture, etc)? Both would be equally as easy for a God of infinite power? I have not stated my belief on God's personality.. or my understanding of the human condition, merely that these actions that you say increase your un-understanding of the possibility of an infinite are not necessarily the only rational conclusion to reach.

In my opinion it would be as hard to understand a god who 'allows' extreme suffering on the grand scale, then it would be as equally hard to believe in a god who 'allows' extreme suffering on the small scale.

Quote:
Kreeft says he purposely let his daughter bleed a little, for the learning experience--the greater good to come.


I really do not understand this man if this story is actually true. I would hope that if I was a parent I would not 'let' my kid touch a stove and then follow that up by not tending to his wound just because he will 'learn better'. I would pull his hand away. I would consul him. For he trusts me and would let me tend to his wound.

Quote:
The fact that a Christian would save the child if he could implies that Christians don't really believe that an apparently needless death serves any greater good.


Not necessarily.. As with the example of the father and their child: if harm is caused, I will tend to the harm for the harm is real and needs tending too. This would not change the fact that my child may have learned from the experience.

Whether or not their is "good that can comes from bad" exists independently (I would contend) from the "whether one should help to mitigate the bad."

Quote:
Kreeft, of course, claims that injustice not rectified in this life will be rectified in the next. He quotes Mother Teresa, who said, "In light of heaven, the worst suffering on earth, a life full of the most atrocious tortures on earth, will be seen to be no more serious than one night in an inconvenient hotel" (p. 47).


This I think belittles pain.

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In other words, in the grand scheme of eternity, the dead baby's needless death is "no biggie."


This I think belittles eternity. For mathematically.. finite life is insignificant next to infinite.

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But doesn't that make this life on Earth rather pointless?


I believe even an atheist would agree with this statement: we are living now, in the present, whether or not mathematically the existence of this time is insignificant to the existence of time itself, does not change the fact that life is real, present, and significant in this one.

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To defer to a person's unverifiable condition after death in order to find any resulting greater good appears remarkably forced--it is tantamount to admitting that there is no greater good to be found.


I must admit.. I always felt that in a moment of suffering, the statement "it's for the greater good" to be insensitive even as other: "it was there time", "you can't change life". In general, I feel, as though, in a moment of suffering, ones purpose should be to be there.. not to make sense of it.

We can now, living apart from it all, with the clarity of mind to look backwards and forwards with thought and deliberation, look at all things and find 'greater good' if we wish too.

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For we have to take it entirely on faith that this otherwise seemingly needless suffering resulted in any greater good at all.


While I have not defined my concept of this 'greater good' yet, I will in time.

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A related question concerns the existence of evil. Kreeft says that the complete elimination of evil would eliminate free will and the chance for true love, and claims that some evil and suffering is necessary to make us who we are:


This I think is a odd statement for him to make.

Quote:
It's like that old Twilight Zone television show, where a gang of bank robbers gets shot and one of them wakes up walking on fluffy clouds at the golden gate of a celestial city. A kindly white-robed man offers him everything he wants. But soon he's bored with the gold since everything is free, and the beautiful girls who only laugh when he tries to hurt them, since he has a sadistic streak. So he summons the St. Peter figure. "There must be some mistake." "No, we make no mistakes here." "Can't you send me back to earth?" "Of course not, you're dead." "Well, then I must belong with my friends in the Other Place. Send me there." "Oh, no, we can't do that. Rules you know." "But I thought I was supposed to like heaven?" "Heaven? Who said anything about heaven. Heaven is the Other Place." The point is that a world without suffering appears more like hell than heaven....


This on the other hand.. is a great analogy but not used in the manner in which he did. I will refer to it later.

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But you have to think of the consequences of everything you try to improve.


If God could have 'improved' anything, I think he would have. I think he uses this word rather haphazardly.

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Every time you use force to prevent evil, you take away freedom.


This, however, I agree with.

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If Kreeft believes that an Earth without pain and suffering would be like Hell, what exactly does Kreeft believe Heaven is like?


Once again. I don't agree with the way he used it... for this very reason. But.. I will refer to it later.

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Kreeft also asserts that simply recognizing "evil" as being "evil" in and of itself is a good argument for the existence of God. If there is no God, then there is no absolute definition of what is evil and what is not evil (p. 34).


I think you give a good enough response to this one. "The fact that many concepts don't have an ultimate meaning in a godless universe does not mean that they are without meaning to our biological nature." That is not to say that I don't believe there to be a validity in the concept he touches on, but more on that later.

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Why, then, is it necessary for us to lack absolute proof of God's existence? And what about Satan? Satan, when he chose to rebel against God, had absolute proof of God's existence. And yet he was still free to choose not to follow God. Again, why is it necessary for humans to lack absolute proof of God's existence?


More on this in my section response.

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God is often called our "Heavenly Father." If somebody's earthly father moved to another country and left no forwarding address, but left a few clues lying around as to where to find him, would we consider this earthly father worthy of seeking?


No. More on this in my section response.

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And during this quest, at times beliefs that were held as unquestionable by the majority have been proven false.


Yup.

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And Kreeft must, of course, also realize that 90% of all human beings that have ever lived have not believed in his God. Kreeft seems likely to believe that the followers of Buddhism, Hinduism, pagan religions, and so on are completely wrong, but he is happy to accept their members just for the moment to "prove" how "snobbish" atheism is.


In his defense.. I believe it would have been "snobbish" for a person to come along during the time when 90% of the world believed the world was flat and proceeded to tell them it was round, and that they were irrational, and that only those claiming the world was round were rational.

Because.. the concepts necessary for proving the world was round were not understood, therefore not accepted, at that time. To call someone irrational because they don't understand that mathematics posited the world was round before sailing or space travel 'saw' it, does seem terribly 'snobbish'.

I am not saying that Atheist are like this, merely pointing out that if an Atheist proposed to 'prove' to a theist that they are stupid for not understanding, or accepting, theories that have not been 'proven' themselves.. they would be equally as snobbish.

"To be an atheist", however, is no more "snobbish" then "to be a Christian".. one is just "being". So yes, I would agree with you in some respects that Kreeft is a bit "snobbish" himself, because this is the very thing I think he meant for people to accept.

RESPONSE: Theist choose to address this issue in many ways. Each way would seem to contain a bit of ambiguity sown into the fabric of its position. I will try, the best I can, to relate my position. As much as some might say that my positions are inherently contradictory to the writings of the Bible, I do not believe them to be. I believe them to be supported by the Bible, even as others understand their understandings to be. The question might come up, well then how do you know which is right? And truth be told, I do not. I merely have made the choice to live by those things I have chosen to live by through reasoning-- even as you do.

If you would like to argue the points of the Bible, If you feel that they are inherently contradictory, then I will read your contention and respond; however, you must give the one verse you feel to be most clear in its contradiction to the position I state. This is the only way I can see it be done.. otherwise people will just say: "Look at bibleiscontradictory.com." And I will.. but, how could I get around to all of it? I might be able to address all the questions of the site, but to transport those questions here would grow this thread exponentially.. as well as, even then, not satisfy the one who contested first.

Would it not be more efficient to just take one of your choice to present?

SUMMARY (Objection 1: Since Evil and Suffering Exist, A Loving God Cannot): I have accepted the Bible as truth. I have accepted that the God written of in its pages, is a real God. As such, I must address this objection within the context of that God, and not any other.

The words used very frequently to describe the Christian God by Christians are: loving, creator, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent.

I would agree these are our perceptions of him. As a Christian I accept that he is loving, for if he were any other than there would be no reason, that I can think of other than fear, to care for such a God. As a Christian I accept that he created all things, for if he did not then he is not God. As a Christian I accept that he has the capacity to do everything logically possible, for logically impossible things are logically impossible... while one might like to think a "square circle" could be created, it cannot logically be so since both the square and the circle are words designating concepts solely in the human mind. As a function of omnipotence, I, as a Christian, accept that he has the capacity to know all things, for omnipotence designates capacity for anything. As a Christian, I accept that existence, in all forms, is only sustained by his presence, and therefore, he is present (in some sense) in all things existent.

These are things I have chosen to believe in. So how do I make such concepts agree with the existence of suffering and evil in our world?

Here is my reasoning:

I believe the biggest problem within this debate is that both sides seem to automatically assume, or concede, the proposition that evil is a direct result from God, or in some way related to his wanting for it to go on longer, I do not believe this to be the case. I do believe it to be a reasonable argument to say that 'love' could not have existed without 'choice'. God, being a loving God, wanted that which he created to have to ability to love him back. Thus, freewill was placed into that which he created.

I further believe it to be a reasonable argument that, as a function of freewill, as a function of our heightened stated of consciousness, we are curious beings. We are. I do not believe history would give an example of a "non curious" being, for curiosity is the means by which we live.. it is the reason we attempt to crawl, taste food, walk, and so many other things. I am not discounting the possibility that these could be things as instinctual as a reflex.. yet I believe them both to be equally improvable or untestable theories. Furthermore, I am not saying that free will is curiosity, just that it is a necessary result of freewill. We wish to experience what we have not experienced.

And here is where I move to analogy to present my position:
If a father watches over his son, giving him all those things which are good for him, does this mean that the son will not wants those things which the father cannot give? Of course not. One asks the question.. one wants an answer. Yet, even as a parent cannot explain the experience of being burned by fire, so God could not explain the experience of being apart from him; for the very words used in the descriptions of burning and apartness, would require experience to understand. Or is one born with the innate ability to understand the concept of 'hot', 'burn', 'sting'.

The concept of sin is not one that brings about punishment from God but of de facto separation. Even as one must leave a house to try and live life on his own, so one must leave god to try and live on his. This is how I interpret the seemingly decreasing, direct interaction, interaction that God did with regards from the beginning of the Bible, where it was God having a direct conversation to Cain or the fire cloud above the Hebrews, and the end, where God had to become man to interact.

While many would like to think that we are more civilized now than thousands of years ago, it does not change the fact that we are perhaps even more barbarous now than then. Is killing someone because they are of a different race more or less barbarous than killing indiscriminately?

As a whole, humanity has long since continued on its journey to explore the experience of life as is. I know this might sound like I'm saying, "If only we would all serve God perfectly, then everything would be fine", I do not believe so. It is possible that I could be wrong however, I believe that it is so far removed from where we are that it does not seem a realistic goal. You, even I, explore those things we should not, and do those things we don't feel as if we should do. "I do what I do not want to do.." as Paul once wrote. All evil in the world is a direct result of our actions (as a whole), not of God's. God means only to sustain us until our curiosity runs out and our final choices are made.

Who knows when that might be. When it does come, and the story has been told, one will have made the choice, explicitly or implicitly through their life, which thing he cherishes more. If it his independence, then so be it, God will grant them their independence. If it be dependence, then so be it, God will bring them home. The desire to experience life away from God will no longer be existent, even as a child who has burnt himself enough will not longer wish to explore the curiosity of touching fire.

Hell.. you might say, is an apparent, common sense, contradiction to the concept of a loving God. I would probably agree with you on this point. I cannot imagine that if Man, to live, needs God to sustain him, how God, who is all-loving, can sustain an individual for the purpose of eternal torment/torture.

Yet, the belief in hell (of this sense) is not necessitated by scripture. Yes, there is a concept of "hell"-- but not necessarily one of eternal torment/torture. Feel free to disagree with me, and point out the particular part of scripture you feel to be most obvious on your point.

As I have stated before, when the time comes that our curiosity has been fulfilled, our choices will have been made, the story complete, we will live forever or die forever, wiped from existent by "eternal fire".

These are my thoughts. Part II will come, in time.


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RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
todangst wrote:
caseagainstfaith wrote:

 
First, our "free will", if it exists at all, has huge amounts of limits. So, if you were to argue that God doesn't want to limit our free will and therefore, as an unfortunate consequence, we have evil in the world --then the vast amounts of limits we obviously do have on our "free will" disprove this assertion. Everything that we do, from the most "good" to the most "evil", -- and even merely think about doing -- is shaped by what we even can do, and by our drives, instincts and personality. All of these factors, our physical limits, drives, instincts and personality, HAD to come from somewhere. (Unless you want to assert that they self-arise, which I don't think you do.) So, if we assert that they did come from somewhere, then either it was natural or supernatural. In a nutshell, if it was natural, then atheism is right, if it was supernatural, theism is right. But, as I've said several times herein, if theism is right and God, the supernatural, and the soul exist, the "buck" necessarily must stop with God. If, as Todangst says, if everything exists *by* God's fiat, then everything *IS* per God's fiat.



Precisely.

And here is another point that theists simply refuse to even acknowledge, let alone respond to:

 


I thank you for predicting what I will and will not do before I do anything. Smiling Give me some credit.

Prove me wrong and I will give you credit.

I've made these arguments hundreds of times, no theist even attempts to respond to the argument.

 

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 I am a theist. So either this statement needs some qualification like "many" or "most".. or it would be inaccurate.

It's still ALL, seeing as you haven't responded to it either! All you are doing is talking about my prediction, and not the argument itself.

 

Quote:
The theist claims that the reason we have free will is because god wanted us to 'choose' him freely. If this is the reason for free will, given that free will already has limits, there is no reason why people ought to have the freedom to commit any evil action, such as rape or murder, that has nothing to do with the free choice to follow or not follow 'god'.

 

Quote:

I addressed this somewhat with COF. "Freewill" is the ability to choose a "will".

Ergo, one limit is your ability to choose from only the options that exist before you, only options that you know about, etc.

And so on.

Next, your will is limited by physical law. 

Quote:
 

"Will" does not have limits (at least within our understanding of freewill)..

Of course our wills have limits.  There are things we can't think, hings we can't consider, and things we can't do.

Physical law is a limit on our will.

So you have not dealt with the argument before you. You are merely denying that our wills have limits, when they clearly have limits.

A limit is a boundry condition, something we cannot surpass. Our sum total of limits can be used to define what we are.

To be a human means that you can't glide on the air. It means that there are a host of things you cannot do.

And our will, our sense of autonomy, itself has limits. We can't desire what we don't know about. We can't avoid making mistakes, or poor decisions. We can't do things that violate our physical limits nor can we do what violates physics itself.

These are limits on our will.

I cannot steal the moon, or steal an idea from your brain. These are potential 'sins' that could exist, given an omnipotent, omniscient creator. Yet they do not. Ergo there are possible 'sins' that do no exist.

Ergo, since no sin is necessary (i.e. all potential sins are conteingent upon an omnipotent creator) then every 'sin' that is not 'required' as per your theology, points to a serious problem in your theology. 

So, seeing as you hold that the reason for free will it to 'choose god', you must explain why rape and murder exist, WITHOUT appealing to free will, as this argument fails for 2 reasons.

1) the free will argument fails because an omnipotent, omniscient creator must be perfectly responsible for every element that would be involved in making a 'choice' in the first place. This obviates free will, unless you concede that 'god' can 'do the impossible' 

2) Neither rape or murder are necessary in order for there to be a free choice to 'follow god' or not. 

 

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I "will" to fly. I cannot. This is not a limit on my "will".. this is a limit on my capabilities as a human in a natural world.

 

 You're subtly moving away from the actual argument before you. However, let me say that even this is wrong, you can't will for things you don't know about, etc., as I covered above.

 

But more importantly, by trying to run down this side avenue, you're not dealing with the argument before you. It has to do with acts like rape and murder, and why we have the free will to CHOOSE these options, ie., why do these options even exist,  when we already do NOT have the choice to do other possible things, like steal ideas from people's heads.

 

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Granted.. perhaps god could have "limited" the capabilities, and parameters, of a human in a natural word. But.. for instance.. to limit such things as "rape" and "murder".. would require (from my understanding of logic) a natural law that would not allow sex and would not allow movement..

Two problems.

1) You're placing a limit on omnipotence. Tsk tsk.

2) I can imagine ways to prevent rape and murder without eliminating sex or movement myself, so why couldn't a god?

 
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So.. god limits functions.. but not will.

This is wrong in two senses.

First, in the sense that the actual argument uses the concept: our ability to make selections only from options that your 'creator' created.

And even in your second, topic changing sense, of simply considering sheer desire,  devoid of action. Even in this sense, you are limited in what you can imagine. Again, this limit would be created by your 'god'

So leaving aside that your second sense of the term has no relation to the actual argument (the existence of possible options to choose from) it still is invalid.

I do hope that you now move from using this defense and return to dealing with the argument before you.

Kudos to you for at least copying the argument and responding... but I need you to now get the actual point of the argument and try and respond to that.

That is where you will have difficulties, I'm afraid. 

 

Quote:

I think you might be trying to back me into a corner where I will admit that God could have created "freewill" only within the realm of choosing or not choosing him.. and not for anything else such as "who else you love... who you would like to have a relationship with.. etc etc etc" and that this would be the "better" of the two options.

 

Back you into a corner? Yes! That is the point! Kudos to you, at least you got the argument. That's rare.

What I am doing is forcing you to follow the necessary logical ramifications of your own claims. If free will exists to justify X, and not Y, then how can you justify Y if Y exists?

And in your theology, free will exists for 'choice' of 'god'... and not for rape or murder.

 

Quote:

I don't think you can.

Actually, I think I have.

Quote:
 

 I don't think you would believe so either.

Ah, and here I thought you were getting my point.

If free will exists so that 'man can choose god', leaving aside that this is impossible (i.e. since omnipotence leads to perfect responsibilty for whatever it is in you that choose anyway!) then the free will argument for theodicy fails, because there is NO purpose to murder in this system.

All murder can do is wreak havoc on the ability of others to enact their own free will!

 

Quote:
Even worse (and notice how every theist argument ends in an "and even worse&quotEye-wink an action like murder deprives the free will choices of another.

 

Quote:
I haven't ended any of my arguments with "and even worse" Smiling

I'm constantly amazed at how often I am misread. I am saying that every theist argument, when deconstructed, leads to even bigger problems when you review the original problems with it.

Quote:
 

"Free will" does not deprive another of "free will".

Yes it does.  If you have the free will to murder, and you murder a person, how does that person have free will anymnore 

 
[quote ]"Freewill" to me, would seem as the concept of freedom. I have freedom. If I'm killed at the hands of another.. it does not take away from the fact that I have freedom

Yes, it does. You're dead. No more abilty to choose anything. 

If you were going to choose to follow god tomorrow, and someone murdered you today, you'd lose your freedom to choose god.

Please, think this one over. If we can't agree even here, I see no reason to continue. 

  

Quote:
So, there is no reason for murder in this theological system.... free will does not require it, and it actually serves to lessen the opportunity for others to actualize their free will!

Quote:
 


It doesn't "lessen" it "removes" the ability to actualize their free will.

That is what I mean. It lessens the opportunity for others, in that it shortens their life spans, reducing the number of opportunities to 'follow god'

Quote:

 
Because.. well. they're dead.

And therefore, deprived of the opportunitey to enact their free will.
 

Quote:

The opposite of "freewill" is not "no freewill" but "some freewill".

No, the opposite is 'no free' will. THat's that opposites mean. 

Not sure how you can have 'some free will' unless by that you mean compatibalism vs libertarian free will.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


caseagainstfaith
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todangst wrote:

todangst wrote:

Well, who DECIDES what is impossible in the first place in your theology?

This is the question you must answer.

Is it 'god'? If so, then your 'god' is the one responsile for the limit being as it is, in the first place! So to speak of limits is preposterous.

If it is not 'god', then whoever created these limits IS god.

If nothing created them, if they are eternal, then there's no need for a god.

No theist answers because to answer is to be refuted.

 

Though I've heard you use essentially this argument before, I can't remember it being put so succinctly. Well played, my friend.

 

EDIT:  Though, I have heard some theists try to argue that there is another option, though it isn't really.  They will try to say that whatever "limits" God has, are inherent in his nature; and God cannot change his own nature.  But that of course really isn't any different than your last option, that there is then no need for a God.  But, they'll somehow try to argue that there has to be this God to exist so that these "limits" can be connected to something.  Of course that's nonsense, but, they'll try to argue it.


RhadTheGizmo
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I am going to try and make

I am going to try and make an all encompassing thread. First, I will state why I feel uncomfortable with how this thread is developing. Second, I will respond to your responses.

Tod wrote:
Checkmate. Nicely played, Case.

COF wrote:
Well played, my friend.


If you think of this thread as a game to be won or loss-- then I will much rather not have it. I'm not saying you are.. just saying, IF you are, let me know.

I'm doing this for the sake of knowledge.. whether I "win" or "lose" is of little importance to me.

Tod wrote:
The fact of the matter is, if you don't know, you can't use the fact that there are some cases where ignorance is overcome as a reason why you should still hold to your position!

Tod wrote:
Sounds ridiculous, but a theist must answer "YES, I WOULD!" if he wishes to be consistent, for this is precisely what he believes his 'ever flowing fountain of moral goodness' does to some of his beloved creation.

Tod wrote:
The outcome for the theist is that he can no longer decide what is really good or what is really bad!

Tod wrote:
So you're argument fails.

Tod wrote:
So the free will defense doesn't even work, provided the theist could argue for free will in a divine system. And he can't do this anyway.

COF wrote:
In any case, you still can't deal with the problem that it is implausible for a perfect being to need "temporary" imperfections in order to bring about a future perfection!

COF wrote:
But that is demonstrably false.

COF wrote:
Your argument is simply and flatly demonstrably false.

Tod wrote:
If a theist starts with first principles: omnipotence and omniscience, he must end in a world of magic, where there are no problems of evil, etc. However, this would force the theist to admit that his religious claim is false.

Stop stating that the end is necessary a necessary end. If I accept these assertions as fact, then I have no reason to debate; if you accept these assertions as fact, then you have no reason to debate.

Unless your purpose in this conversation is to show me that these are necessary ends. In which case.. you must argue so, not prematurely state them as fact.

So.. with that stated (do not respond to this part, I was just meaning to share my perception of these. You are within your right to do so, of course, I just do not agree with these instances of your conversation) I will continue.

COF wrote:
People would still die in natural disasters.

Rhad wrote:
I could simple contend that all people could be concentrated into areas where such sorts of natural disasters do not occur.

COF wrote:
And your posulation of people being concentrated in areas without natural disasters, despite the fact that there is no such place on earth, nor could we all fit if there were, is an "ad hoc" argument without merit.

www.worldbank.org/ieg/naturaldisasters/maps/
The majority of this planet does not have natural disasters.

Rhad wrote:
These things are not "bad" in and of themselves.. neither do people need to die as a direct result from them.

COF wrote:
Give me a plausible scenerio where everybody on earth could be protected from natural disasters.

Move everyone into areas not directly affected.

COF wrote:
And, as Todangst pointed out, even if you could, it would be like putting a toddler in a room with a snake and a stick and saying, "I gave the kid a chance".

No. I would contend its more like bringing two people into my home, a warm fire burning.. and one decides to push the other into the fire, or sits in the fire on his own.

Rhad wrote:
Here.. they are called disasters because people die and billions of dollars of damage are created. I would imagine.. in some other place.. they would just be called.. "really big storm".. "twirling black cloud".. "giant wave".

COF wrote:
For one, I always thought that heaven was a spiritual realm where there was no physical air to make physical storms.

That's nice that you thought that. I never contended I did. Feel free to use the bible to argue your point of view. Then I will merely relate my understanding, or concede.

COF wrote:
What possible difference could it make if they exist or not?

Ask a scientist. This would seem to be a theological question as well as a scientific one. If storms serve no purpose, why do they still exist? If you say "everything that exists is not necessarily necessary for the functioning of our planet as is (meaning, it as a habitable planet)", then that will be fine. IF you say this, I will do some research of my own and come back to you with an answer. I will wait until you actually say this.

Rhad wrote:
One can easily alleviate the affects of "bad" now and still assume that there will be "good", experentially, latter. Why can I not tend to my sons burn, yet still be able to say, "Well, now you've learned."

COF wrote:
What you are saying is, that there is no "good" to come from more "bad" after some point.

Yes.
COF wrote:
That the burn the child got was sufficient lesson in itself, and therefore continued "bad", continuing to let the child suffer, has no value.

"Burn" = "Sufficient (experience)"
Agreed.

"Continuing to let the child suffer, has no value."

If by this you mean:

"Continuing to let suffering continue after sufficient experience has come has no value."
Then agreed.

COF wrote:
But then you are implicitly admitting that not all bad results in eventual better good.

Of course. I never said the opposite.

COF wrote:
By the way, this is essentially how Mother Teressa thought, the fucking bitch. If you think she helped aleviate sufferring, you've been lied to.

Can't say I've studied Mother Teressa much.

COF wrote:
But, see, if God really does reward sufferring, then she was right.

I do not believe that God rewards suffering. I just to be clear, I never stated that I did.

Rhad wrote:
I made it very clear these years, the 60 or more years I live, are insignificant when placed next to cosmic eternity itself.. that does not mean that it is not significant to me, now.

COF wrote:
But it really shouldn't be! If you have Bill Gate's money, a few million missing somehow won't hurt him in the least. If you have an infinite lifetime, why should these "60 or more years" mean a fucking thing to you?

Relating life to money seems awfully shallow in my opinion. Money is worthless, it only has value because we give it value. Life, on the other hand, has some inherent value. All things being equal, I would give all of Bill Gates Money to live an extra day.. heck, an extra minute.

Every minute is significant to me in that minute.. whether I live forever, or I live only for that minute.

Rhad wrote:
I know that might seem cold, comparing people to an arm, but analogies are all the same in that they are ambiguous.

COF wrote:
For a doctor might have to sacrifice an arm for he isn't perfect and can't avoid loosing something in order to save something more valued.

Not quite. There is nothing in this statement which requires the doctor to be imperfect.. only that the patient has imperfections. You might contend that "imperfections created by God".. and perhaps this is where the analogy breaks down. For I did not specify that the harm this patient suffers was caused by himself.

Why was he given such an ability? (In the case of the analogy, by the doctor) to both will and act upon said will. Because to limit ones will, or action upon himself, would be logically contradictory to our concept of freewill.

COF wrote:
But God, by being perfect, doesn't have the limitation of imperfection, requiring him to have to accept some bad to get good.

He, himself, is perfect and not limited in his ability to do anything. Yes, he has chosen a particular system, one which allows for freewill and therefore the existence of "imperfect choices". God is not working on himself, he is working on us, freewill-ing individuals that harm ourselves.

COF wrote:
So, the instant you bring up a limited human analogy, you have lost the point.

Granted. .if I am saying using an analogy that presents a limited man as God-- then my analogy would not be fully valid.

Rhad wrote:
And if by "spiritual essense" or "soul" as in.. something that can exist apart from the brain-- no, I do not believe so.

COF wrote:
I'm confused here. How can you have life after death, if you concede that there is no non-physical soul?

I think your assuming that I hold an idea true.. that when you die.. you go straight to heaven, some "essence" goes to heaven-- so that you are consciously there even though you have no body.

I do not believe so. I believe that in order to be conscious.. you must have a body. "After-life"? No.. I do not believe in an "after-life". Merely "life".

"After-life" refers to implies for some unnatural concept. "Eternal life" does not necessarily do so-- for it does not necessarily require some sort of "unnatural" concept... merely the belief the things that allow to be conscious now, can be held so, indefinitely.

And if you say that "eternal life" is somehow an "unnatural" concept.. then either you are distinguishing yourself from the basic things that allow you to be (matter/energy) or you are discounting the possibility that the basic things that allow you to be (matter/energy) have not 'indefinitely' existed.

COF wrote:
Okay, so what is "consciousness"? I've asked whether it is physical or nonphysical, and you seemed to accept it being physical. Which is quite strange for a theist, I've never heard a theist to hold such a position, and seems to eliminate life-after death.

"After-life" yes.. "eternal life" no. What I mean by this is that.. any life after death.. will be within the same construct that life and consciousness exist now.


So.. while you may die.. then be resurrected.. you 'life' after you die will be of the same physical nature as it is now. "After-life" seems to imply something different.

COF wrote:
But, my main question is, how does "consciousness" operate?

Don't know.

COF wrote:
What rules makes "consciousness" choose one option over another?

Don't know the rules. Just know that I am "conscious" (conscious being a human concept), and that I am under the illusion that I can choose one option over the other.

COF wrote:
And where did the design of this operation come from? It came from God, right?

Design of the operation? Yes. I would have to agree with this.

Rhad wrote:
Your actions are limited by what is physically possible.. your "will" is not. I can "will to fly by flapping my wings".. does this mean I can fly by flapping my wings? No.. merely that I "will" it.


COF wrote:
Well, first, if this was an accurate statement, why not have more limits on physicality? Why not prevent me from killing you and taking away your free will, if I could still "will" for you to die?

I made a clear distinction between those things that limit you physically and those other type of limitation. "Physical limitation" are those limitations that are generally applicable, for instance:

I can't fly by flapping my wings. But neither can you.
I can not mind meld my hand to the size of a wrecking ball, and neither can you.

There are generally applicable physical limitations.

For God to do this to and individual he would have to limit "movement".

Generally applicability does not allow for one to say "You may control you hand and make a fist, you may swing the fist harshly, you may swing it as many times as you want; UNLESS, your intent is to do harm."

This is not, I beileve, "generally applicable" as defined by the legal community.

It would be as if a law were created that:
"You may worship on any day you wish in any manner that you wish; UNLESS, your intent is to worship Jesus."

There is no "exclusion" to physical laws. There are "exclusions" to these.

So therefore God could: 1.) Limit all movements that might cause harm even though their purpose is not to cause harm. or 2.) Make an exclusionary rule. Which would not limit "freewill" but would limit our ability to act upon "freewill" even though the "action" is physically possible.

Granted. We would not know it is physically possible (if it were created as such).. yet you might see the conflict this would create in the mind to know you have will, and that you can do it, but not in certain situations.

It would be as if you could fly by flying your wings.. except when you want to.

..weird.

COF wrote:
But, secondly, its not an entirely accurate statement. For we can only imagine to a certain extent beyond our experience. We can imagine flapping our arms and flying to Pluto, because we have the knowledge that flying, to some degree, is possible. And we have the knowledge that Pluto exists. Granted, different people have a stronger imagination than others. But, nobody a 200 years ago couldn't have possibly imagined, "gee, it'd really be cool if somebody would invent the computer so I can surf the web and play World of Warcraft!" These concepts were so far removed from the experience of people 200 years ago, that they couldn't really even "will" to surf the web or "will" to play World of Warcraft.

This is my concept exactly about freewill. Perhaps I may use your wording in the future. At the beginning one could not imagine "Hey, I wonder what life would be like if I did thing other then what I was told was good for me" and so this, our world now, would be the product of that exploration even as the "computer" is the product of the exploration into electricity, and.. well.. to be honest, I don't really know what sort of explorations led to a computer.

This statement could be taken further.. even if you were not participant in the original exploration, does not mean you do not willing use its products.

Rhad wrote:
Yes.. I arose myself.

COF wrote:
Are you joking, or is this a serious assertion?

Heh.. I was joking. Sorry.


END PART I.


BEGIN PART II.
Rhad wrote:
Ability is not limits, as I contested to tod, it is merely ability.

Tod wrote:
I.e. the abiliyt to do something, or not do something
So it speaks to limits

It can be used to speak to limits. And IF (!) I had used the word in such a way that implied limits, then this would be contrary to the concept of "omnipotent".

I did not! Please.. show me where I have, perhaps I am wrong.

And if you cannot find such a place THEN do not keep stating contentions as if I did I made such a statement in the first place.

I said, over and over again, God has the ability to do everything.

How is this phrasing speaking towards a particular limit?

Tod wrote:
Here's the problem: if your 'god' follows physical laws, then he no longer is god. Whatever determined the laws is god.

If nothing determined them, then there is no need for a god in the first place.

So it's kind of important.

Rhad wrote:
Once again.. ability and limit.

Tod wrote:
Once again, a distinction without a difference. To be able or unable speaks to our limits.

And none of this is really the key point here.

Why, oh why, do you keep saying this.

Perhaps I just have a hard headed.

BUT if god has the ability to do everything, yet choose not to do something, this is not the same as saying he is limited in the first place.

EVEN AS, I have the ability to kill a fly and I choose not to does not mean that I do not have the ability to kill the fly.

Tod wrote:
Here is the actual issue before you.

You say that omnipotence is limited in that it can't do the impossible.

Well, who DECIDES what is impossible in the first place in your theology?

"Impossible" is a human concept. We say things are "impossible" because we are limited.

FURTHERMORE!, for the the ungth-teenth-time, I did not say that "omnipotence is limited in that it can't do the impossible".

Perhaps! I said that God cannot do what is "logically impossible", because "logic" is merely a human concept, based of assertions, assumptions, deductions, that God doesn't necessarily need to accept.

You say. "God. Create three sided square"
He says. "Huh?"

Please tell me you see the foolishness in this command.

Tod wrote:
Is it 'god'?

God decides what is impossible for you.

Tod wrote:
If so, then your 'god' is the one responsile for the limit being as it is, in the first place! So to speak of limits is preposterous.

To speak of limits of God, yes. To speak of limits for you and me, no.

Quote:
If it is not 'god', then whoever created these limits IS god.

If nothing created them, if they are eternal, then there's no need for a god.

No theist answers because to answer is to be refuted.

God has no limits. You DO. (Former based off of Christian theology, the latter is based of scientific evidence.)

"No theist answers because to answer is to be refuted."
Indeed.. because it is "Begging the question." If I answer the question as you wish me to, I will need to concede that which is one of the points of the conversation in the first place!

That is why I'm challenging your haphazard use of words and concepts. (In my opinion)

Tod wrote:
And here is another point that theists simply refuse to even acknowledge, let alone respond to:

Rhad wrote:
I thank you for predicting what I will and will not do before I do anything. Smiling Give me some credit.

Tod wrote:
I've made these arguments hundreds of times, no theist even attempts to respond to the argument.

Tod wrote:
It's still ALL, seeing as you haven't responded to it either! All you are doing is talking about my prediction, and not the argument itself.

You say all of this even though you *know* that I gave a response.. for you responded to my response. Whether you thought the response was valid or not.. does not discount the fact that I find these statements neither joking in manner (as I originally was) or honest.

Now to move on.

Tod wrote:
The theist claims that the reason we have free will is because god wanted us to 'choose' him freely. If this is the reason for free will, given that free will already has limits, there is no reason why people ought to have the freedom to commit any evil action, such as rape or murder, that has nothing to do with the free choice to follow or not follow 'god'.

Rhad wrote:
I addressed this somewhat with COF. "Freewill" is the ability to choose a "will".

Tod wrote:
Ergo, one limit is your ability to choose from only the options that exist before you, only options that you know about, etc.

...

Are you trying to insinuate that because you can only "will" based on things you aware of is a limit on "will" itself?

That is reaching... that is really reaching. I don't say that often.

Thats like saying a hammer is limited because I cannot use it hammer on something that doesn't exist yet.

This is not the manner in which limited is should be used, for it is not a limit on the hammer (the tool), but a physical limit of the thing you wish to use it on not existing yet.

Freewill (a tool) is not limited by its inability to be used on something that is not known or believed or considered.

Quote:
And so on.

Next, your will is limited by physical law.

Once again. As I stated to above.. the exact thing that I stated. EXACTLY:

"Freewill" is the ability to choose a "will".

Your will is not limited by physical laws.. your actions are.

And if you ask, as COF did, why didn't God put more limits on actions-- then I refer you back to COF.. I made the whole argument back there about generally applicable laws, physical laws, and the conflict that would arise in allowing "will" and restricting it with "non generally applicable laws".

Tod wrote:
Of course our wills have limits. There are things we can't think, things we can't consider, and things we can't do.

Name one thing that you can't think of. Sticking out tongue

Name one thing that you can't consider. Sticking out tongue

As for "things we can't do".. I already stated.. "will" is something apart from "do". "Do" is action.. "will" is mental.

Tod wrote:
Physical law is a limit on our will.

Stop making me repeat myself on things I already stated as haphazardly, either purposefully or not, constructed assertions.

Physical law does not limit "will".. it limits "action".

Tod wrote:
So you have not dealt with the argument before you. You are merely denying that our wills have limits, when they clearly have limits.

Are you using my definition of will? The one which I have explicitly STATED, or are you using your own?

Because if you continue to use your own.. I will stop addressing your contentions because it will merely be a:
"Freewill" means this.
No it doesn't, it means this, and therefore its contradictory.
It's not contradictory because "Freewill" means this.

No it doesn't, it means this, and therefore its contradictory.

And forever and ever.

I will have to keep on contending your use of the word-- because you are "begging the question".

Point of issue: Is freewill limited?
Assertion: Freewill is the ability to "will" anything.
Your Contention: Freewill is limited by physical laws.
My Contention: Freewill is not limited by physical laws for my ability to "will" is not dependent on whether the "will" can be actualized in the real world.
Your Contention: Freewill is limited by physical laws.
My Contention: You are merely reasserting your contention using some 'unstated' definition of "Freewill".

Or perhaps this is called a strawman argument... I don't know. I sense something afoot!

Tod wrote:
A limit is a boundry condition, something we cannot surpass. Our sum total of limits can be used to define what we are.

To be a human means that you can't glide on the air. It means that there are a host of things you cannot do.

Physical limitation. Agreed.

Tod wrote:
And our will, our sense of autonomy, itself has limits. We can't desire what we don't know about.

Agreed. This is not a limit on freewill. Freewill is a concept, it is a tool. Much like science, it is nothing unless applied to something. Is science limited because it doesn't consider things not considered?

This is a logical axiom.. for by definition we cannot think on something that we don't consider. For the moment you think on it, you consider it.

This is not to say that freewill (concept/tool) is limited.

Tod wrote:
We can't avoid making mistakes, or poor decisions.

You cannot "avoid" making a mistake.. because a "mistake" is something for which you did not avoid.

You cannot "avoid" poor decisions because "poor decisions" are ones that would have to be made in order to define as poor in the first place.

Now.. if by this you mean I can't avoid killing myself, which would be a mistake and a poor decision, then.. I think thats rather odd assertion.

Tod wrote:
We can't do things that violate our physical limits nor can we do what violates physics itself.

Once again.. not a limit on "freewill"-- it is a limit on "actions".

Tod wrote:
These are limits on our will.

No they are not.. they are a limits on the actualizing of your will.

I "will" to drink this water.. before I actualize the "will" and drink it.

Tod wrote:
I cannot steal the moon, or steal an idea from your brain. These are potential 'sins' that could exist, given an omnipotent, omniscient creator.

You can "will" to steal the moon. You can "will" to steal an idea from my brain.

These are things that could bring about potential harm if God wanted to make them possible.. but in order to do so.. he would have to have made changes to the "generally applicable laws" which limit your ability to steal the moon or steal my ideas.

Can you think of just a few of those generally applicable laws that would need to be done away with?

Tod wrote:
Yet they do not. Ergo there are possible 'sins' that do no exist.

I have no doubt that there are 'sins' that have not been experienced. I made sure to define this in my FIRST post.. in that 'sin' is 'any action or thought' which is a function of your 'will' to be independent from God.

Tod wrote:
Ergo, since no sin is necessary (i.e. all potential sins are conteingent upon an omnipotent creator) then every 'sin' that is not 'required' as per your theology, points to a serious problem in your theology.

No sin is necessary within existence. Every sin that I would accept as 'necessary' to existence itself would seem to contradict the theological principal of coming 'sinless' world as well as the concept of an omnipotent God.

I do not contend thats any sin is necessary or unnecessary.. merely that sin exists now. Then, I try to think of a way in which there could have been a place where there was 'no sin' and 'no possibility for sin' yet still those things I cherish, such as freewill, ability to move.

If I could think of a way.. then I would be smarter than God.. and therefore God could not be an omniscient, omnipotent God.

Yet.. I have to think of a way. Neither have you shown a system in which it could have been.

It's easy to say. "Look.. here are the concepts of omnipotent and omniscience. God could have found a way!"
Response: "What way can you think of?"
Response2: "I don't know. But he could of!"

This is an argument of ignorance. And.. if you say:

"I have shown you way, you just haven't accepted!"

And you don't back that up with the specific points that I left uncontested.. then thats seemingly dishonest. (in my opinion).

Tod wrote:
So, seeing as you hold that the reason for free will it to 'choose god', you must explain why rape and murder exist, WITHOUT appealing to free will, as this argument fails for 2 reasons.

1) the free will argument fails because an omnipotent, omniscient creator must be perfectly responsible for every element that would be involved in making a 'choice' in the first place. This obviates free will, unless you concede that 'god' can 'do the impossible'

2) Neither rape or murder are necessary in order for there to be a free choice to 'follow god' or not.

No.. I hold the reason for "freewill" is so that one may "freely will". ONE of the benefits of being able to "freely will" is love. Love for God... love for a wife.. love for anything.

1) Once again.. I gotta contest a lot of you uses of words. First.. "impossible" is a man made concept. We say its "impossible" to fly with your hands.. because.. well.. we deem that its impossible to fly with your hands. Is this to say that God cannot? No.. because as I asserted before (and continue to do) God can do what is "humanly impossible". To say that there is such a thing as "Godly impossible" for an omnipotent God.. would be counter intuitive.

If you are asking me if I think God can do what is "humanly impossible" then yes, I do believe so.

I do believe him to be omnipotent and omniscient. I do believe that he is responsible for every element of the system from which you practice "freewill".

Mainly.. brain mechanics, genetic structure, water bonds... etc. These are general, systematic, concepts.. I believe that he knew where they would lead.. and knew the choices you would make based on the system.

2.) Like I said.. BEFORE.. with COF.. and-- also refered you to this point BEFORE.. if you can imagine a way in which rape and murder are limited by generally applicable "physical laws", in the same manner that you stealing the moon or flying is limited by generally applicable "physical laws", yet, at the same time, not creating more a logical downside (such as the limitation of movement or the limitation of freewill).. then so be it.

I will admit you are smarter than God, and therefore God cannot exist as I think of him.

DO NOT, make an argument of ignorance and say "He is omniscient, I am not, surely he could have done something!"

I'm asking you to make a logical argument.

Rhad wrote:
I "will" to fly. I cannot. This is not a limit on my "will".. this is a limit on my capabilities as a human in a natural world.

Tod wrote:
You're subtly moving away from the actual argument before you. However, let me say that even this is wrong, you can't will for things you don't know about, etc., as I covered above.

No I am not.. the definition of "Freewill" is at the center of this argument. And if you feel that I have no always stated this to be.. then say so-- and I will copy and past all places in which I did. And you will paste all the places where I did the opposite and defined it as something else.

Once again.. you bring up the "can't will for things you don't know about" which I addressed earlier. This is a logical axiom. I cannot consider what I do not consider. It is not a limit.

Tod wrote:
But more importantly, by trying to run down this side avenue, you're not dealing with the argument before you.

Beh. Look above.

Tod wrote:
It has to do with acts like rape and murder, and why we have the free will to CHOOSE these options, ie., why do these options even exist, when we already do NOT have the choice to do other possible things, like steal ideas from people's heads.

Once again. I made a proposition earlier.. addressings this option. Using my defition (and I believe a definition most scholars of 'freewill' would agree with, make a logical argument in which these things did not have to exist yet freewill and the only limits on the actualization of free will are generally applicable laws; furthermore, that the downside does not supercede the upside.

Rhad wrote:
Granted.. perhaps god could have "limited" the capabilities, and parameters, of a human in a natural word. But.. for instance.. to limit such things as "rape" and "murder".. would require (from my understanding of logic) a natural law that would not allow sex and would not allow movement..

Tod wrote:
Two problems.

1) You're placing a limit on omnipotence. Tsk tsk.

2) I can imagine ways to prevent rape and murder without eliminating sex or movement myself, so why couldn't a god?

You excluded the support of that assertion within that post.

1.) I am not limiting God, merely saying that with the change of parameters would come the logical (which is a man made concept) change to other things.. or perhaps the elimination of all things. I clearly stated that God could have made rape and murder not exist.. but would the logical consequence of a world that started off like that.. be better or worse then what is possible now.

Once again.. this point here.. is not for contention.. it is just a restating of my earlier response.

2.) Alright. God for it. And when you do. I will state the consequences (logically) of your decisions.

Valid answer is not: "Rape and murder do not exist. There... its done."

That is not a logical answer. Either you will restrict movement.. or you will restrict the necessity of generally applicable laws as the only limitation to the actualization of freewill.

Go for it.

Rhad wrote:
So.. god limits functions.. but not will.

Tod wrote:
This is wrong in two senses.

First, in the sense that the actual argument uses the concept: our ability to make selections only from options that your 'creator' created.

No.. our ability to make selections is limited to those things which our 'creator' has not generally restricted.

If you see these two statements as the same, fine, they are in some sense, I am just clarifying the meaning so as to pull from it later in some manner I have not agreed to.

Tod wrote:
And even in your second, topic changing sense, of simply considering sheer desire, devoid of action. Even in this sense, you are limited in what you can imagine. Again, this limit would be created by your 'god'

Name one thing you cannot imagine.

Once again.. a logical axiom. For once you state it.. you have imagined it. This is not a limit.. this is a self-evident piece of circular logic which does nothing to progress your argument.

Tod wrote:
So leaving aside that your second sense of the term has no relation to the actual argument (the existence of possible options to choose from) it still is invalid.

It does.. once again.. I state that the term "freewill" is at the center of this conversation.

Tod wrote:
I do hope that you now move from using this defense and return to dealing with the argument before you.

I hope you stop using certain, important, words with your own definition even though I have explicitly stated the definition I am using, and you have not done the same.

If I say freewill is the ability to "will freely". Great.

If you say freewill is the ability to "will and actualize will freely". Great.

But then.. we can't continue the conversation anymore.. because since this word is of such central important-- there would be no point in continuing unless one of us conceeded a definition.

Tod wrote:
Kudos to you for at least copying the argument and responding... but I need you to now get the actual point of the argument and try and respond to that.

I need you to get the point that you Begging the Question and making a Strawman argument.

Which is why I keep contesting your use of words when I have explicitly stated one way.. and you have not.

Which is why I seem to be going off track.. because for every strawman argument contains concepts which I have not agreed to.. which you are trying to make me concede in order that you may tear it down.

Rhad wrote:
I think you might be trying to back me into a corner where I will admit that God could have created "freewill" only within the realm of choosing or not choosing him.. and not for anything else such as "who else you love... who you would like to have a relationship with.. etc etc etc" and that this would be the "better" of the two options.

Tod wrote:
Back you into a corner? Yes! That is the point! Kudos to you, at least you got the argument. That's rare.

That is why I'm saying it is a strawman argument.. you are trying to have me accept a certain type of reasoning (that you believe is necessary based on your definition of key terms).. so that you can close the clamp down.

I have not accepted your definition of key terms.. I have explicitly stated otherwise numerous times as well as explicitely stated my definition of the key terms (way back in the first post).. and have kept consistent with my usage.. even though you keep on falling back onto some unstated definition of these key terms, mainly: freewill.

Tod wrote:
What I am doing is forcing you to follow the necessary logical ramifications of your own claims. If free will exists to justify X, and not Y, then how can you justify Y if Y exists?

If free will exist to justify X, and not Y, then how can you justifiy Y if Y exists.

Seems like a bit of simple logic. But you misstating what I've said consistently.. and I will now state again.

Here.. let me integrate it.

You are trying to get me to say that I believe this.

Freewill exists to justify X, and not Y, and therefore I cannot justify Y because Y exists. Therefore.. Faith!

What I have stated.. over and over.. and over.. again ad naseum, is this.

Freewill exists to justify (allow) X (X=a choice of will)

Physical law exists as the only limitation the actualization of X.

I do not need to justify Y.. because Y is merely the actualization of (X) not limited by physical law.


Once again.. I challenge you to think of a scenario which allows freewill.. as well as only limit it within the construct of physical laws (and yes.. you can choose whatever you want to be those physical laws.. (meaning.. generally applicable))

Make sure you first read my contention with COF.. that a generally applicable law cannot state (by definition) that a certain action is allowed in all cases but one where intent is not Y.

Doesn't matter what Y is in this case.

Once again.. you are omnipotent.. so you can do away with the need of generally applicable physical laws and just make laws that must (as in there is no choice) be obeyed.

However.. as I stated before in my contention with COF. If you leave freewill within this construct.. then you have the problem of:

"I can fly.. but not when I want to."

Type of scenario.

Which is fine.. if you want to make that so-- you are God afterall. But.. it seems like it would be an obvious, explicit, limitation on the actualization of *any* will contrary to the *law* of God.

Tod wrote:
And in your theology, free will exists for 'choice' of 'god'... and not for rape or murder.

Freewill exists for the ability to 'choose' in general. I've already addressed this.. in detail.. many times.

Rhad wrote:
I don't think you can.


Tod wrote:
Actually, I think I have.

Heh.

Tod wrote:
Ah, and here I thought you were getting my point.

I get your point. I get your argument. I get where your argument leads. I get that your argument is based of ones accepting of a particular type of reasoning. I get all these things.

Tod wrote:
If free will exists so that 'man can choose god'

No
Tod wrote:
... leaving aside that this is impossible (i.e. since omnipotence leads to perfect responsibilty for whatever it is in you that choose anyway!) then the free will argument for theodicy fails, because there is NO purpose to murder in this system.

Once again.. I have not accepted your system.

Furthermore.. the concept, which you touch upon, which is that of God knowing what you will choose before you choose it-- I have conceded. But as I stated back then.. this is a heavy philosphical question.

To draw it down to a narrow spectrum.

If I know someone will choose a particular course of action, I absolutely, 100% know, does that mean I have taken his choice?

God created a system.. in which people can choose certain course of action... he knew that this system would lead to all sorts of choices as to courses of action.. does that mean that the person never had the choice?

This would seem counterintuitive.. but once again.. a deep philosphical question. We can continue if you like.

Tod wrote:
All murder can do is wreak havoc on the ability of others to enact their own free will!

This I will address in final.

General wrote:
Quote:

Even worse (and notice how every theist argument ends in an "and even worse&quotEye-wink an action like murder deprives the free will choices of another.



Quote:

I haven't ended any of my arguments with "and even worse" Smiling

I'm constantly amazed at how often I am misread. I am saying that every theist argument, when deconstructed, leads to even bigger problems when you review the original problems with it.

Then show so.

Rhad wrote:
"Free will" does not deprive another of "free will".

Tod wrote:
Yes it does. If you have the free will to murder, and you murder a person, how does that person have free will anymnore

First off.. I said "free will" does not deprive another of "freewill".. I never said "the actualization of freewill" cannot depreive another person of "the actualization of freewill".

"Freewill" is a concept, a tool, it cannot be deleted since you merely use the concept.. it is not solely yours.

Rhad wrote:
"Freewill" to me, would seem as the concept of freedom. I have freedom. If I'm killed at the hands of another.. it does not take away from the fact that I have freedom

Tod wrote:
Yes, it does. You're dead. No more abilty to choose anything.

A bit of clarification.. "have freedom".. it should be "freedom still exists". Obviously I can't "have" anything.. since I am dead.


Tod wrote:
If you were going to choose to follow god tomorrow, and someone murdered you today, you'd lose your freedom to choose god.
Please, think this one over. If we can't agree even here, I see no reason to continue.

Once again.. I will agree.. again.

If you take away the means by which I actualize freewill (life) today I will be unable to actualize freewill tomorrow.

This seems like another one of those axioms.. a self evident piece of circular logic.

Tod wrote:
So, there is no reason for murder in this theological system.... free will does not require it, and it actually serves to lessen the opportunity for others to actualize their free will!

Rhad wrote:
It doesn't "lessen" it "removes" the ability to actualize their free will.

Tod wrote:
That is what I mean. It lessens the opportunity for others, in that it shortens their life spans, reducing the number of opportunities to 'follow god'

Once again.. "reducing the number of opportunities" one has to "actualize freewill" is not "lessing freewill".

This is an incorrect connection.

It is as if I would say.. "reducing the number of opportunities" one has to "use a hammer" is "lessing the hammer".

I said it "removes freewill" because it does.. that person no longer has freewill.. since he is dead.. even as a person cannot "have" a hammer.. for he is dead.. he has no possesions.

(ancient civilizations might disagree with me since they believe that within the concept of an afterlife one still cares about material things from the "before life&quotEye-wink.

Rhad wrote:

Because.. well. they're dead.

Tod wrote:
And therefore, deprived of the opportunitey to enact their free will.

Look above for clarification on the distinction I am making.

Rhad wrote:
The opposite of "freewill" is not "no freewill" but "some freewill".


Tod wrote:
No, the opposite is 'no free' will. THat's that opposites mean.

Not sure how you can have 'some free will' unless by that you mean compatibalism vs libertarian free will.

No.. that is not what opposite means. Opposite refers to contradiction.

I further limited to Logic.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Square_of_opposition

The opposite of all is not "none" but "not all". (or some)
The opposite of "freewill" is not "no freewill" but "not freewill".

This is a basic structure of logic. Which allows you to make a simple conclusion.

So once again I state. The (logical) opposite of "freewill" is not "no freewill" but "some freewill".

Albeit my first statement is still true (arguably), I don't think the statement is as relevant to the argument as I wanted it to be.

So I end with this bit of clarification.

You may be dead.. this does not effect "freewill".. "freewill" still exists.. your ability to use it does not.

(COF Just made an edit.. so quickly. God has no limits.)


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Rhad, you're missing the

Rhad, you're missing the point on every argument I've made.

 

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
 


If you think of this thread as a game to be won or loss-- then I will much rather not have it.

That's not what is going on.

What is going on is that you are forcing us to endless repeat the same points, and this  frustrates those who have to endlessly repeat the same points  in new ways. We thank each other when one of us find a way to make the points even more succintly.    

That's all.

 

Rhad wrote:
Ability is not limits, as I contested to tod, it is merely ability.


Tod wrote:
I.e. the ability to do something, or not do something
So it speaks to limits

 

Quote:

It can be used to speak to limits.

Ability speaks to limits. Period. What are you able to do, what are you not able to do.  Can we please drop this now, as it has no real significance anyway?

 

 


Tod wrote:
Once again, a distinction without a difference. To be able or unable speaks to our limits.

And none of this is really the key point here.

 

Quote:

Why, oh why, do you keep saying this.

Because you're not dealing with the key point here. The key point is below. 

  

Tod wrote:
Here is the actual issue before you.

You say that omnipotence is limited in that it can't do the impossible.

Well, who DECIDES what is impossible in the first place in your theology?

 

Quote:

"Impossible" is a human concept. We say things are "impossible" because we are limited.

You're not answering the question: who decides what is impossible in the first place in your theology?  That's the question. Who creates the limits?

 

Quote:
 

FURTHERMORE!, for the the ungth-teenth-time, I did not say that "omnipotence is limited in that it can't do the impossible".


Perhaps! I said that God cannot do what is "logically impossible",

I hope you realize that that is precisely the same as saying 'omnipotence is limited..."  so I will credit you with conceding the point here. Let's move on then.

 

Quote:

because "logic" is merely a human concept, based of assertions, assumptions, deductions, that God doesn't necessarily need to accept.

Well then, if that is the case, then you have conceded that 'god' is beyond logic. Ergo, you must concede that your 'god' is incomprehensible - beyond logic.

Thank you.

 

Tod wrote:
If so, then your 'god' is the one responsile for the limit being as it is, in the first place! So to speak of limits is preposterous.

 

Quote:

To speak of limits of God, yes.

I agree.  

 

Quote:
If it is not 'god', then whoever created these limits IS god.

If nothing created them, if they are eternal, then there's no need for a god.

No theist answers because to answer is to be refuted.

 

Quote:

God has no limits. You DO. 

Ok then, you've conceded that your god is incoherent and incomprehensible.

Here's why:

to exist is to exist as something, to have identity. We call this a set of limits. These limits give an entity its identity, its character, its nature.

If something is defined as beyond limits, beyond 'logic', then it follows that it has no identity.

It cannot be referenced as an existent at all. It is beyond human comprehension.

If 'god' is defined this way, then it follows that the theist must concede that he is without any rational basis for his belief. 

 

Adieu. 

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I no longer give you the

I no longer give you the benefit of the doubt. I no longer believe you to be a person searching of intellectual sincerity within the context of this conversation.

I believe that you are retarded by your want to win this argument and your want to exercise certain argumentative strategies.

This want, I believe, is outweighing your ability to see the purpose of this conversation as an exploration into reason.. as opposed to merely, 'I'm gonna win, this is how I'm gonna do it.'

I could state the evidence for my belief within the context of this conversation but I do not wish to do so, nor would it do any good. The important thing, to me, is that I believe so.

Ergo, I will no longer converse with you. For you are neither my friend nor someone I wish to rationalize with-- ergo, there is no reason to continue speaking.

If this was a formal debate, perhaps there would be some reason to believe that winning is more important then correctness. This however, is not a formal debate.

Take this any way you feel you must.


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On the ontological status


On the ontological status of free will.

(or why free will is limited)

To exist is to exist as something, to have a nature.

We call this the axiom of identity. A=A

To exist, therefore, it to exist as something and not something else.

A does not equal NOTA

This means that to exist is to have limits.

By definition, anything that exists has limits.

'Free will' exists, ergo, it has limits, a nature. It is what it is, it is not what it is not.

This is a limit.

Your argument that 'free will is not limited, because we can wish for anything", therefore misses two points.

1) Free will, as an existent, has limits.  

2) But this is UTTERLY MOOT for the conversation we are having!

The ACTUAL argument is that our pool of possible options to actually choose from is limited. This is what is meant by saying that our 'free will' is limited.

Please just reword it this way: the number of possible real options we can choose is limited.

 
So let's deal with that, and just delete everything that is off topic.


Tod wrote:
The theist claims that the reason we have free will is because god wanted us to 'choose' him freely. If this is the reason for free will, given that free will already has limits, there is no reason why people ought to have the freedom to commit any evil action, such as rape or murder, that has nothing to do with the free choice to follow or not follow 'god'.


 
Tod wrote:
Ergo, one limit is your ability to choose from only the options that exist before you, only options that you know about, etc.

...

Quote:


Are you trying to insinuate that because you can only "will" based on things you aware of is a limit on "will" itself?

That is reaching...



The actual argument before you is that our 'will' is limited in that we can only choose from a limited set of options.  So, if our free will already has constraints in the sense that we cannot choose options that do not exist, the next question is: Who decides this in your 'theology'? Your god.

So your 'god' already limits what you can choose...   so the next question is: why not limit rape or murder, and still grant us free will to do anything else?

See?
   
    
Now look: You write this:
 

 

Quote:

I have no doubt that there are 'sins' that have not been experienced.



You are able to follow the actual point before you.

Let's stick to it.
 

Tod wrote:
Ergo, since no sin is necessary (i.e. all potential sins are contingent upon an omnipotent creator) then every 'sin' that is not 'required' as per your theology, points to a serious problem in your theology.



Quote:

No sin is necessary within existence.


We are talking about sin as at the conceptual level, as a potential.


Quote:

 Every sin that I would accept as 'necessary' to existence itself would seem to contradict the theological principal of coming 'sinless' world as well as the concept of an omnipotent God.

Then why would your god create a universe where they could potentially occur?


Quote:

I do not contend thats any sin is necessary or unnecessary.. merely that sin exists now. Then, I try to think of a way in which there could have been a place where there was 'no sin' and 'no possibility for sin' yet still those things I cherish, such as freewill, ability to move.



You're contradicting yourself... you've held that 'god' can do anything, and now you are saying that god cannot do X, because there would be no Y.




Quote:

If I could think of a way.. then I would be smarter than God..


You don't need to come up with a way, merely accept that there must be a way, by definition, if
there is an omnipotent god


Quote:

It's easy to say. "Look.. here are the concepts of omnipotent and omniscience. God could have found a way!"
Response: "What way can you think of?"
Response2: "I don't know. But he could of!"


Sane Response 2: I don't have to think of a way. It follows, necessarily, given the definition of omnipotence and omniscience.

"god" can do anything at all
X is a thing to do
ergo
god can do X
 
QED.

Quote:


This is an argument of ignorance.



No, it is not. Responder 2 isn't saying "I don't know, ergo X" He's saying "it follows, necessarily, from Omnipotence and omniscience that god can do anything, even the logically impossible, because these are limits only for us,  not 'god'
 



 

Tod wrote:
So, seeing as you hold that the reason for free will it to 'choose god', you must explain why rape and murder exist, WITHOUT appealing to free will, as this argument fails for 2 reasons.

1) the free will argument fails because an omnipotent, omniscient creator must be perfectly responsible for every element that would be involved in making a 'choice' in the first place. This obviates free will, unless you concede that 'god' can 'do the impossible'

2) Neither rape or murder are necessary in order for there to be a free choice to 'follow god' or not.



Quote:

No.. I hold the reason for "freewill" is so that one may "freely will".


But according to your own argument, free will is not limited by the fact that you can't do what you will, ergo you've refuted yourself here... there's no need for an actual rape or murder! You can just 'will it', freely, without doing it.

So you've refuted yourself anyway.

See?

Quote:


1) Once again.. I gotta contest a lot of you uses of words. First.. "impossible" is a man made concept. We say its "impossible" to fly with your hands.. because.. well.. we deem that its impossible to fly with your hands. Is this to say that God cannot? No..



I agree with you. NO 'limits' on god.


Quote:


 because as I asserted before (and continue to do) God can do what is "humanly impossible". To say that there is such a thing as "Godly impossible" for an omnipotent God.. would be counter intuitive.



Agreed, agreed, agreed, agreed! AGREED!

And again, by accepting this, you must concede that your 'god' concept is incoherent.


Quote:


2.) Like I said.. BEFORE.. with COF.. and-- also refered you to this point BEFORE.. if you can imagine a way in which rape and murder are limited by generally applicable "physical laws", in the same manner that you stealing the moon or flying is limited by generally applicable "physical laws", yet, at the same time, not creating more a logical downside (such as the limitation of movement or the limitation of freewill).. then so be it.



I don't have to imagine it. It's utterly unnecessary.

All I have to do is show that a ramification of your own god claims is that 'god' can do anything at all....

And you've stated that.

Ergo, rape and murder make no sense at all, and refute the existence of such a god.

 

All  the rest is moot... if you want me to deal with anything you think I've missed, please repost that, briefly.

 

 

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RhadTheGizmo wrote: I no

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

I no longer give you the benefit of the doubt. I no longer believe you to be a person searching of intellectual sincerity within the context of this conversation.

 

And I believe that you are throwing tantrums. Grow up.

 

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One reason then, for why I

One reason then, for why I no longer deem it fruitful to converse with you.

Quote:

We call this the axiom of identity. A=A

To exist, therefore, it to exist as something and not something else.

A does not equal NOTA

This means that to exist is to have limits.

By definition, anything that exists has limits.

If by limits you mean, definitive limits, yes.

A cannot be "not A"

God cannot be "not God"

These are the only "limitations" required by your axiom.

And yet you go off and apply it the concept of "He must have limits" or "He's incoherent".

So.. if I "limit" him by using the word "God". Then so be it. I do not think this was your point you had hoped to make. For if it was then that my sentence above would have sufficed, yet, you continued, and in continuing haphazardly used concepts and language.

 (In my opinion of course.  Other people may judge however they wish.)


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RhadTheGizmo wrote:One

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

One reason then, for why I no longer deem it fruitful to converse with you.

Oh stop it already. You're bigger than this.

Quote:

We call this the axiom of identity. A=A

To exist, therefore, it to exist as something and not something else.

A does not equal NOTA

This means that to exist is to have limits.

By definition, anything that exists has limits.

Quote:

If by limits you mean, definitive limits, yes.

That is what I mean. To be an existent is to be something. This means 'limits'. To define something as 'beyond limits' is to say that we cannot identify it, we cannot speak of it.

This is basic ontology. The part of metaphysics that speaks to the nature of things.

Quote:

A cannot be "not A"

God cannot be "not God"

These are the only "limitations" required by your axiom.

And yet you go off and apply it the concept of "He must have limits" or "He's incoherent".

It's not 'going off'.

First, you can't refer to 'god' as "A" in the first place if 'god' is beyond limits. He cannot be any "A". He can only be a "Not A"

 

If you don't believe me, perhaps you'll believe this little known christian theologian.... Saint Augustine:


St. Augustine wrote:


What then, brethren, shall we say of God? For if thou hast been able to understand what thou wouldest say, it is not God. If thou hast been able to comprehend it, thou hast comprehended something else instead of God. If thou hast been able to comprehend him as thou thinkest, by so thinking thou hast deceived thyself. This then is not God, if thou hast comprehended it; but if this be God, thou has not comprehended it.

So it's not my idea... it goes back to Saint Augustine.

 

Quote:

So.. if I "limit" him by using the word "God".

You do limit him by doing that, but as a human you have no choice, because you cannot refer to things without limit.

 

Quote:

Then so be it. I do not think this was your point you had hoped to make.

I don't think you've actually got the point yet, but you will.

 

Quote:

For if it was then that my sentence above would have sufficed, yet, you continued, and in continuing haphazardly used concepts and language.

 

I have not choice but to accept your terms, in order to show how they contradict. Employing them does not grant them ontological status. Please see Augustine's points.

 

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Oh how, oh how, am I being

Oh how, oh how, am I being pulled back into this thing.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

One reason then, for why I no longer deem it fruitful to converse with you.

Quote:
Oh stop it already. You're bigger than this.

This seems like a compliment. I'm baffled. Fine, I will return one. I think you to be very intelligent. What that might mean coming from a 23 year old film/law student.. who knows.

Tod wrote:

We call this the axiom of identity. A=A
To exist, therefore, it to exist as something and not something else.
A does not equal NOTA
This means that to exist is to have limits.
By definition, anything that exists has limits.


Quote:

If by limits you mean, definitive limits, yes.


Tod wrote:
That is what I mean. To be an existent is to be something. This means 'limits'. To define something as 'beyond limits' is to say that we cannot identify it, we cannot speak of it.
This is basic ontology. The part of metaphysics that speaks to the nature of things.

I never said he was "beyond limits" I said he had "no limits". I did not expect for you to use the fact that I use a word to define him with (God), that you would hold that as a "limit" in the sense I believed we were using it.

For if thats the case.. I lose the moment I say omnipotent God. Or furthermore.. if I say omnipotent anything. For nothing can be "omnipotent" for the moment you define a particular thing as omnipotent it would be "limited" by this axiom. A "limit" equivalent in relevance to a "limit on power".

Quote:

A cannot be "not A"
God cannot be "not God"
These are the only "limitations" required by your axiom.
And yet you go off and apply it the concept of "He must have limits" or "He's incoherent".


Tod wrote:
It's not 'going off'.
First, you can't refer to 'god' as "A" in the first place if 'god' is beyond limits. He cannot be any "A". He can only be a "Not A"
If you don't believe me, perhaps you'll believe this little known christian theologian.... Saint Augustine:

From the book I am in the midst of reading, I gain the impression that Saint Augustine is intelligent.. this is not to say that I will accept all he says. But I will read.

Quote:
St. Augustine wrote:
What then, brethren, shall we say of God? For if thou hast been able to understand what thou wouldest say, it is not God. If thou hast been able to comprehend it, thou hast comprehended something else instead of God. If thou hast been able to comprehend him as thou thinkest, by so thinking thou hast deceived thyself. This then is not God, if thou hast comprehended it; but if this be God, thou has not comprehended it.

So it's not my idea... it goes back to Saint Augustine.

To say that I cannot comprehend and to say that I cannot "fully" or "completely comprehend" are two very different things. You are stating the former, I would agree with the later. If I were to say I can "fully comprehend God" then, as St. Augustine rightly implies, this would be to say that an finite mind can fully comprehend infinite thing.

But even as one makes use of a concept, a symbol in the case of mathematics and infinite, so one can use a imperfect comprehension to further the equation.

A concept of God can be "coherent" even if it is not a full representation of truth.. even as a scientific theory can be "coherent" even if it is not a full representation of truth.

Quote:

So.. if I "limit" him by using the word "God".


Tod wrote:
You do limit him by doing that, but as a human you have no choice, because you cannot refer to things without limit.

Like I said before. I assumed these two limits would not be held as equal.. but once again.. I am perceiving that you are using them as such.

A 'definitive limit of concept' and a 'limit within that concept'.

A cannot be "not A"

This is a definitive limit of concept. A logical axiom, necessary to have any coherent conversation.

On the other hand. Our conversation was of limits within the concept.. not of the word itself.

I said God is omnipotent. If we say that definitive limits (in accordance with the equivalency of words) is on par with all other limits.. then I cannot say that he is omnipotent.

And if THIS was the point you were trying to make, and you will not concede that there is a difference, then I will once again take my leave-- for we cannot have a conversation when our thinking on this particular issue (of the limits of language and the limits within a particular concept) is so at odds with the eachother, and neither of us is willing to concede.

But if this becomes the case.. in which both state our opinions and our unwillingness to concede a particular point for the debate. (I cannot do it.. for I do not believe it to be so) then at least it is an end of debate.

Unlike my former debate is that debate "would go nowhere", this would be "an end".

Two very different things.

I'd much rather you agree (or concede).. and then we can get back to the point of issue.

But if there other route. So be it... it is definitely better than "would go nowhere".

Quote:

Then so be it. I do not think this was your point you had hoped to make.

tod wrote:
I don't think you've actually got the point yet, but you will.

Once again.. a compliment. I'm baffled. I will return in kind. Your avatar is nice.

Rhad wrote:

For if it was then that my sentence above would have sufficed, yet, you continued, and in continuing haphazardly used concepts and language.


Tod wrote:
I have no choice but to accept your terms, in order to show how they contradict. Employing them does not grant them ontological status. Please see Augustine's points.


I have read them. and written my opinions on aforementioned points.


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RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:


Quote:
Oh stop it already. You're bigger than this.

This seems like a compliment. I'm baffled.

Why are you baffled? I've complimented you previously. And I don't recall insulting you at all.

Quote:

Fine, I will return one. I think you to be very intelligent.

Thank you. We both are smart. So's CAF.

Tod wrote:
To be an existent is to be something. This means 'limits'. To define something as 'beyond limits' is to say that we cannot identify it, we cannot speak of it. This is basic ontology. The part of metaphysics that speaks to the nature of things.

Quote:

I never said he was "beyond limits" I said he had "no limits".

But they are functionally the same. To have no limits is to be beyond any limit. If you prefer, I will say "no limits".

Quote:

For if thats the case.. I lose the moment I say omnipotent God.

Well, can you show how 'beyond limits' differs from "no limits"?

No, I don't think you can, because they are functionally the same.

But does this mean that you 'lose'?

Well then St. Augustine loses too.

Anyway, you've said that this is not about winning or losing. So let's just say that we are pursuing knowledge here. What we've learned is that one cannot hold that god is 'without limits' and be a positive theologian at the same time. In other words, you can't define 'god' as without limits, and hold that 'god' is comprehendable.

So you must rely on negative theology.

Don't know what that is? Ask. I'll tell. I can talk about it.

Quote:

Or furthermore.. if I say omnipotent anything. For nothing can be "omnipotent" for the moment you define a particular thing as omnipotent it would be "limited" by this axiom.

To define something as beyond limits merely means that it is beyond human comprehension. That means that you cannot refer to'' it', or make arguments for 'it' or even call it 'it' which is why I keep putting 'god' in quotes, as you must have noticed.

But can you have faith in 'it'?  Sure. That's what negative theologians do. They hold that their claims are based in faith.

After all, who in the history of the world makes more claims for god than... St. Augustine!

quote=Tod] .
First, you can't refer to 'god' as "A" in the first place if 'god' is beyond limits. He cannot be any "A". He can only be a "Not A"
If you don't believe me, perhaps you'll believe this little known christian theologian.... Saint Augustine:

Quote:

From the book I am in the midst of reading, I gain the impression that Saint Augustine is intelligent.. this is not to say that I will accept all he says. But I will read.

Good, because I'm using his argument and last I checked, he believed in 'god'

Quote:
St. Augustine wrote:
What then, brethren, shall we say of God? For if thou hast been able to understand what thou wouldest say, it is not God. If thou hast been able to comprehend it, thou hast comprehended something else instead of God. If thou hast been able to comprehend him as thou thinkest, by so thinking thou hast deceived thyself. This then is not God, if thou hast comprehended it; but if this be God, thou has not comprehended it.

So it's not my idea... it goes back to Saint Augustine.

 

Quote:

To say that I cannot comprehend and to say that I cannot "fully" or "completely comprehend" are two very different things. You are stating the former, I would agree with the later.

To be able to partially comprehend requires that it be an existent, have an identity and be part of nature. All three are interconnected. So it can't be that 'god' is 'partly comprehendible' because that would necessitate that 'god is comprehendible"

So, again, to exist is to exist as some 'thing'. To be, is to be something. To have an identity, a character, a nature.

A=A.... A does not equal NOTA. We call this the 'limit' for A. Whatever this may be. For example, you are person, ergo, you have a nature, an identity.. limits.... by limits I don't mean 'things you can't do" I mean.... properties, attributes... what I mean is that you are made of flesh, not stone or stucco or tree bark. You are X, not Y. You are person, not a tree, or a star.

Do you and trees and stars share some elements? YES. So it's not mutually exclusive, of course. Every existent likely shares some elements of existence. 

(I bet you never thought the identity property you learned in math would ever be of importance again, right?!)

 

******************** 

To speak of something is to speak of its limits, its attributes... to comprehend what you are I must be able to delineate you from other things that you are not.

This all goes back to Kant and Hegel - to say that X is something, is to also say that X is not everything else that it is not.

So, if we define "X" as 'beyond everything" or "not everything else" then we are left with "X" as a cipher... something undefinable.

You wouldn't want to say that "X" = nothing. So you're left with saying that "X" is undefinable.

Quote:

If I were to say I can "fully comprehend God" then, as St. Augustine rightly implies, this would be to say that an finite mind can fully comprehend infinite thing.

 The problem is that you can't comprehend it at all, because there is no commonality between you and "it"... everything in the universe is ruled out... there is no identity, no limits, no nature for you to comprehend.

 

Quote:

But even as one makes use of a concept, a symbol in the case of mathematics and infinite, so one can use a imperfect comprehension to further the equation.

The problem is that a mathematical infinite actually has a limit! It has a nature, we can even define it in a finite formula. It refers to s a series of numbers, etc.

So the analogy to infinities in mathematics will not work, because it refers to something with identity - math.

Quote:

A concept of God can be "coherent" even if it is not a full representation of truth.. even as a scientific theory can be "coherent" even if it is not a full representation of truth.

No, because the concept of 'god' is not even potentially comprehendible...

 

These are the most basic axioms of the universe: the axioms of existence and the axiom of identity. They are necessarily true, and they are defended through the strongest possible defense there can be: through retortion.

From these necessary axioms it follows that to exist is to have limits.  To be something: A=A.

To define something contra-limits or 'without limits' is to say that you cannot refer to it at all meaningfully.... you can only define it negatively, devoid of any universe of discourse.....

 

If you want a further explication on that, just ask.

 

 

 

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


RhadTheGizmo
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It is now 2am and I must

It is now 2am and I must have my rest.  I have read you post.. and I will think on it as I sleep.. respond to it in the morning.

As a sidenote: My bafflement was not that you gave me a compliment in general.. but rather one so specific as to imply thay you have a concept of what is "above" or "below" me.  To say that I am intelligent.. does not speak to character. To say that something is "above" or "below" me, at least in my opinion, does.

So I thank you once again.  Take care Tod. 


RhadTheGizmo
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Tod wrote:

My one and only bump for this thread.

 

Tod wrote:
To be an existent is to be something. This means 'limits'. To define something as 'beyond limits' is to say that we cannot identify it, we cannot speak of it. This is basic ontology. The part of metaphysics that speaks to the nature of things.

Quote:

I never said he was "beyond limits" I said he had "no limits".


Tod wrote:
But they are functionally the same. To have no limits is to be beyond any limit. If you prefer, I will say "no limits".

Look. Perhaps we are just not being clear enough with out language. I admit, I am at fault in some respects.

When I say "no limits", I am speaking within the "God concept" already.. I am not considering limits from outside the use of the word.. "God" may have no limits, God does-- the former is a place holder.. the latter is refering to a concept.

Perhaps there is no difference between the two, only a gut feeling. I will concede that they are the same.. use beyond limits or no limits.. as long as you concede that me saying this refers to all limits other than the limit of the word itself.

On another note.. I think something is coming clearer to me now. When I say "no limits" I am speaking of God.. in actuality.. as an actual "entity" he cannot have limits otherwise I cannot say he is "omnipotent". However, this is not to say that he cannot represent himself in a limited way or that cannot speak of him in a limited way for the purpose of a conversation. This is not to say that by me using words to describe him or that he has the ability to represent an aspect of himself in a limited that in actuality he is my description or that limited representation.

Quote:


For if thats the case.. I lose the moment I say omnipotent God.


Quote:
Well, can you show how 'beyond limits' differs from "no limits"?

No, I don't think you can, because they are functionally the same.

Conceded. I may not feel "comfortable with it" but I concede.. just make sure you refer to my previous statement about my limitations of this concept.

Quote:
But does this mean that you 'lose'?

Lose my rationality.. because "omnipotent God" would a contradictory statement since the use of the word "God" is already limiting him.

Quote:
Well then St. Augustine loses too.

He's not infalliable. Smiling

Quote:
Anyway, you've said that this is not about winning or losing. So let's just say that we are pursuing knowledge here.

Indeed.

Quote:
What we've learned is that one cannot hold that god is 'without limits' and be a positive theologian at the same time. In other words, you can't define 'god' as without limits, and hold that 'god' is comprehendable.

You will have to explain positive and negative theologians 'precisely'.

I will however restate my position that I can say God is "without limits" in actuality.. but talk about him within the context of certain limits. For instance.. I talk about him within the context of logic. For me.. he is limited by logic. Does that mean he is? No.. according to my previous statement that he is "without limits".. he cannot be limited by logic.

However, since logic is the only means by which I can speak rationally of a concept.. and furthermore, I cannot understand anything to be existent if it is "illogical".. I use it.

But once again.. me limiting God to logic in the course of our conversation does not mean that God is necessarily limited to logic.

Quote:


Or furthermore.. if I say omnipotent anything. For nothing can be "omnipotent" for the moment you define a particular thing as omnipotent it would be "limited" by this axiom.



Quote:
To define something as beyond limits merely means that it is beyond human comprehension. That means that you cannot refer to'' it', or make arguments for 'it' or even call it 'it' which is why I keep putting 'god' in quotes, as you must have noticed.

Conceded. Conceded. Conceded. Once again.. refer to my previous statement. I apologize if all this confusion came about because I was not considering the use of logic and a particular word as a "limit" in the sense I thought the conversation was aimed at.

Quote:
But can you have faith in 'it'? Sure. That's what negative theologians do. They hold that their claims are based in faith.

Mine is a faith. I'm not sure how my faith can be based on faith. That would seem like a circular bit of logic from which there is no escape. My faith is based off reason, not proof. I'm sure many other theist are of the same mindset.. even though they haven't thought it through (neither do I feel it necessary to challenge them).

Quote:
After all, who in the history of the world makes more claims for god than... St. Augustine!

I 'unno. Pope John Paul the II did a lot of claiming.. I hear.

Tod wrote:
.
First, you can't refer to 'god' as "A" in the first place if 'god' is beyond limits. He cannot be any "A". He can only be a "Not A"
If you don't believe me, perhaps you'll believe this little known christian theologian.... Saint Augustine:


Quote:

From the book I am in the midst of reading, I gain the impression that Saint Augustine is intelligent.. this is not to say that I will accept all he says. But I will read.


Quote:
Good, because I'm using his argument and last I checked, he believed in 'god'

Just because he believes in God, and just because he appears intelligent to me in general, does not mean he cannot be mistaken in a particular case.

Quote:
St. Augustine wrote:
What then, brethren, shall we say of God? For if thou hast been able to understand what thou wouldest say, it is not God. If thou hast been able to comprehend it, thou hast comprehended something else instead of God. If thou hast been able to comprehend him as thou thinkest, by so thinking thou hast deceived thyself. This then is not God, if thou hast comprehended it; but if this be God, thou has not comprehended it.

So it's not my idea... it goes back to Saint Augustine.

Quote:

To say that I cannot comprehend and to say that I cannot "fully" or "completely comprehend" are two very different things. You are stating the former, I would agree with the later.


Quote:
To be able to partially comprehend requires that it be an existent, have an identity and be part of nature. All three are interconnected. So it can't be that 'god' is 'partly comprehendible' because that would necessitate that 'god is comprehendible."

I will deal with this in a moment.

Quote:
So, again, to exist is to exist as some 'thing'. To be, is to be something. To have an identity, a character, a nature.

Yes.. I admit that I 'limit' God in these respects. His identity is God, his character is loving, his nature is to create. These are general concepts by which I deal with God. As I stated before, and again here, this does not necessarily mean that God is fully limited to my understanding of him, or by the definitions which I comprehend him. Augustine is right in this sense, if God is this which I have stated, and only this, then it is not God, for if it was, then he would be finite in actuality, not merely posited as that way for the purpose of conversation.

Quote:
A=A.... A does not equal NOTA. We call this the 'limit' for A. Whatever this may be. For example, you are person, ergo, you have a nature, an identity.. limits.... by limits I don't mean 'things you can't do" I mean.... properties, attributes... what I mean is that you are made of flesh, not stone or stucco or tree bark. You are X, not Y. You are person, not a tree, or a star.

These this is where I disagree. Granted.. you can say all these things when you replace (A) with (me)... but that is merely because you are defining A. When I say God.. I am not saying (A)=(God who is loving, who is nature is creator, etc). I am saying.. merely.. that (A)=(God). God is a place holder. A symbol much like the symbol representing infinity. A definition beyond that is our limited comprehension of him for the purpose of conversation-- and, while these limited comprehensions might be correct, they are not fully descriptive... even as a picture does not fully portray the place that's photo was taken.. and even as the symbol for infinite does not fully portray the concept of infinity.

Quote:
(I bet you never thought the identity property you learned in math would ever be of importance again, right?!)

Curses.

Quote:
This all goes back to Kant and Hegel - to say that X is something, is to also say that X is not everything else that it is not.

Agreed.

Quote:
So, if we define "X" as 'beyond everything" or "not everything else" then we are left with "X" as a cipher... something undefinable.

You mixing around words. We agreed that X cannot be "not X". So.. in the sense of this sentence.. even if I agreed that God is "Beyond everything".. then according the axiom.. he cannot be "not beyond everything"-- not, as you said, "not everything else".

This is the same difference as saying.

X is defined as "(more than an apple)" or "not (not more than an apple)".

as opposed to.

X is defined as "(more than an apple)" or "(not an apple)".

Understand my problem? You argued the latter.. while I perceive the axiom to only apply to the former.

Before you say I am make a distinction without applicabilty.. let me just say this. It might be possible that you are using the word "beyond" as a word which necessitates the "exclusion" of that which it is beyond. Yet "beyond" can be used in the exclusive sense as well as the inclusive.

Quote:

If I were to say I can "fully comprehend God" then, as St. Augustine rightly implies, this would be to say that an finite mind can fully comprehend infinite thing.

Quote:
The problem is that you can't comprehend it at all, because there is no commonality between you and "it"... everything in the universe is ruled out... there is no identity, no limits, no nature for you to comprehend.

Once again.. I think you are misusing the axiom. Please try to more fully explain if you see my point as invalid or mistaken.



Quote:

But even as one makes use of a concept, a symbol in the case of mathematics and infinite, so one can use a imperfect comprehension to further the equation.

Quote:
The problem is that a mathematical infinite actually has a limit! It has a nature, we can even define it in a finite formula. It refers to s a series of numbers, etc.
So the analogy to infinities in mathematics will not work, because it refers to something with identity - math.

It is an "irrational number" in the context of math for the very reason that it cannot be refered to in a "series of numbers" because the moment you put a 1, or a 2, or a 9, down.. it doesn't matter how many numbers are following it.. or what numbers.. you have already begun incorrectly defining infinity.

To say that 10000000......~
Is to say that the number continues (it's "zeroes" continue) infinitely It is not to say that the number itself is infinity.

Math restricts a incomprehensible concept into a symbol (inherently limited) for the purpose of further an equation. Yes.. the symbol has an identity.. the thing itself.. does not, at least not one comprehensible.

Quote:


A concept of God can be "coherent" even if it is not a full representation of truth.. even as a scientific theory can be "coherent" even if it is not a full representation of truth.



Quote:
No, because the concept of 'god' is not even potentially comprehendible...

"God" is not potentially comprehendible.

the "Concept of God" is.. for it is a concept.. by its nature it is limited by the people creating the concept.

I can say that a "concept of God" is that he is the FSM. Does that mean that 'God' is? Or does that mean I am creating a construct from which to think of him?

I liken this to a road with no end. If you knew.. to a certainity.. that science would never fully comprehend anything.. would you still support science in its journey of gaining "place holders" for the benefit of humanity?

I liken my journey to that.. with the concept of God and with other things.

I do not believe that I will ever "comprehend" God.. yet I do I can "comprehend a concept" of God.. changing it as I go along.. and while it may have truth to it.. it will never be fully representative.

(This is not to say that I am willing to do anything with my concept.. Saying "God".. and starting from the ground up. I start form the biblical concept of "God".. not the FSM. Which is why if one were to say.. "Look.. the Bible states that Gods nature is loving.. it also states that his nature is not loving." Then I would see that as a serious contradiction within the biblical concept of "God".. and consider it to be illogical. There are other means by which one could try and show that logically, the biblical concept of God is illogical.. which, I guess is what we are talking about. Well.. actually right now were talking about "limits".. and the way I've been using it.. and the way you've been using it.. and how, perhaps, we haven't been clear. Or I haven't.)

Quote:
From these necessary axioms it follows that to exist is to have limits. To be something: A=A.

Definitive limits. Yes. A=A. God=God (within the context of our conversation that is.) This is his 'only' limit in actuality.. he cannot be (not God). (Logically speaking of course Smiling

Quote:
To define something contra-limits or 'without limits' is to say that you cannot refer to it at all meaningfully.... you can only define it negatively, devoid of any universe of discourse.....

Feel free to define the concepts of positively and negatively in a concise manner. Yet it may not be necessary.. tell me what you think of what I'm saying.


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RhadtheGizmo

RhadtheGizmo wrote:


Quote:
All of these factors, our physical limits, drives, instincts and personality, HAD to come from somewhere.

Hm.. DNA perhaps? Which yes.. I believe was a system put in place by God.

 

hello all, sorry if i'm intruding on your conversation. i've tried to read through everything so forgive me if i'm repeating a point that's already been finished.

Rhad, I'm trying to get a better idea of what you mean by freewill. DNA is a parameter of human existance.  The necessity to eat is eat to survive and believe anything is a parameter of human existence. The fact that some people have more access to mobility is a parameter of human existence.

1. Cystic Fibrosis, caused by inheriting recessive alleles from both parents, is one of the worst things that can happen to a human.  This mutation is not malicious, i.e. it is not a being with an intention or purpose to destroy the life of a human-just a random, tragic occurence. Yet, God put in place this system of DNA being a parameter of human life. A person's choices if he has cystic fibrosis are severely limited. his decision to reproduce is limited. his decision to wants to eat healthy and enjoy life for another 20 years is limited because he won't, unless he's lucky enough to get a lung transplant that works (and if he's lucky enough to afford health insurance).  Because of his DNA, his choices are severely and tragically limited.

2. to say to people that millions of people could just "move" so that they wouldn't have to face a natural disaster is a bit naive. In the 2004 Tsunami in Southeast Asia, which killed 100,000+ human beings, left children parentless, parents, childness, etc. there were in fact people who could get on planes and leave. And they did. The tourists with access to jet planes got the hell out of there. 

 

Wouldn't you say that at the very least, God, simply by nature of where one was born/what resources that child/what DNA he/she ended up with, was born has access to, grants more free will to some people than others? 

 

Also a point which has not been brought up is that, Adam an Eve didn't ask to be born. Neither did you or me. This was not their choice.  


RhadTheGizmo
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Quote:

Quote:
All of these factors, our physical limits, drives, instincts and personality, HAD to come from somewhere.

Quote:
Hm.. DNA perhaps? Which yes.. I believe was a system put in place by God.


Quote:
hello all, sorry if i'm intruding on your conversation. i've tried to read through everything so forgive me if i'm repeating a point that's already been finished.

No problem. I'll attempt to give a clear answer-- one that represents my reasoning as well as summarizing part of this whole conversation.

Quote:
Rhad, I'm trying to get a better idea of what you mean by freewill. DNA is a parameter of human existance. The necessity to eat is eat to survive and believe anything is a parameter of human existence. The fact that some people have more access to mobility is a parameter of human existence.

I do not mean freewill as in.. you are free from all things "necessary" for your survival. Yes.. you need to eat to survive.. but you don't need eat.. you need to eat to survive... nor do you need to "will" it. ("Will", according to the definition present in this conversation, is a thing that predicates "action".)

Quote:
1. Cystic Fibrosis, caused by inheriting recessive alleles from both parents, is one of the worst things that can happen to a human. This mutation is not malicious, i.e. it is not a being with an intention or purpose to destroy the life of a human-just a random, tragic occurence. Yet, God put in place this system of DNA being a parameter of human life. A person's choices if he has cystic fibrosis are severely limited. his decision to reproduce is limited. his decision to wants to eat healthy and enjoy life for another 20 years is limited because he won't, unless he's lucky enough to get a lung transplant that works (and if he's lucky enough to afford health insurance). Because of his DNA, his choices are severely and tragically limited.

Another concept that has been hashed out within the course of this conversation is "freewill" is thing that can only be applied to thing you know of. So while someone's range of knowledge may be limited by something, this is not to say that there "freewill" is limited.. merely that that which "freewill" can be applied to is limited.

Furthermore, the point of issue here is not whether God could have made it so that "mutations" did not happen, or whether he could have made it so that "rape" or "murder" could not happen, but whether or not such actions would have logical consequences for other things.

The question is not whether God "could have done something" but rather he was "negligent in creating this thing (the world, as is, if he does in fact exist)" . If it can be shown in such a way that he was negligent.. then he would not be God. For "negligence" stipulates that one could do something else where are more "objectively better" situation could have come about. All this is considered in a logical construct.. for instance, one cannot say that "he is omnipotent, omniscient, ergo he could have! even though I can't think of a way."

In this case.. I would ask.. could you consider some of the ramification if such as a generally applicable law, such as mutation, were not existent?

Quote:
2. to say to people that millions of people could just "move" so that they wouldn't have to face a natural disaster is a bit naive. In the 2004 Tsunami in Southeast Asia, which killed 100,000+ human beings, left children parentless, parents, childness, etc. there were in fact people who could get on planes and leave. And they did. The tourists with access to jet planes got the hell out of there.

The point of issue in this particular place was not whether it was possible at that point of time.. but whether the "situation" created was a necessary result of initial creation or whether it was a product of a system man chose to create.

Quote:
Wouldn't you say that at the very least, God, simply by nature of where one was born/what resources that child/what DNA he/she ended up with, was born has access to, grants more free will to some people than others?

No.. per my definition above, it does not.



Quote:
Also a point which has not been brought up is that, Adam an Eve didn't ask to be born. Neither did you or me. This was not their choice.

Once again.. I'm not saying that "freewill" is "ability to make it so what you will".. for things are necessary within nature. Such as the necessity to eat to survive, to be created/born in order to exist... these are necessary things in accordance with nature.. as stated before (within the course of this conversation).. "Freewill" does not refer to the "actualization of freewill"... yet, the ability to "freely will".

Hope I got to all your questions.


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If a single being as a

If a single being as a consequence of God's creation has access to the understanding that it would have been better/there would have been less pain if that being didn't live in the first place, then His system comes into question.  Some people (probably most) who commit suicide would have rather not been faced with the choice between life and death in the first place.  They can imagine a possible world where it would have been better if they hadn't existed at all--then they wouldn't be faced with that possiblity of death and their family and friends wouldn't have had to deal with that loss.  

The absense of natural selection may have many logical consequences, in this world, but that does not mean it is the best possible system of the advancement of life in a world of thinking, feeling beings.

Why is a world where things like rape and murder are possible worth preserving in the first place? Is it better that God created the world, or would it have been better if he didn't.  There are some people with life experiences such that they believe the latter. 


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hello wrote:

hello wrote:

If a single being as a consequence of God's creation has access to the understanding that it would have been better/there would have been less pain if that being didn't live in the first place, then His system comes into question. Some people (probably most) who commit suicide would have rather not been faced with the choice between life and death in the first place. They can imagine a possible world where it would have been better if they hadn't existed at all--then they wouldn't be faced with that possiblity of death and their family and friends wouldn't have had to deal with that loss.

I don't not understand your point in this. Do you mean to say that if someone "perceives" that the world would be better if he, personally, had never existed.. that this calls into question God's system? I do not agree. "Perception" is not what is being used in the course of this conversation.. I can say I "perceive" anything-- whether I that "perception" is logical or not is a different issue.

Quote:
The absense of natural selection may have many logical consequences, in this world, but that does not mean it is the best possible system of the advancement of life in a world of thinking, feeling beings.

I do not understand your point here either. If no 'natural selection'.. I would contest that we would have died off a long time ago.. to a point that there would be no thinking, feeling beings at all. Logically, all knowing that he was, God knew man was to full (as a function of freewill/curiousity construct), and therefore did not create a type of being that could "only" survive in a perfect world with limitless resources (as a function of his presence).. but also an "imperfect" one (in which man pushes God away).

Quote:
Why is a world where things like rape and murder are possible worth preserving in the first place? Is it better that God created the world, or would it have been better if he didn't. There are some people with life experiences such that they believe the latter.

I'm sorry if I'm not being clear. Let me try again.

I'm not saying that God could not have made "rape and murder" physically impossible things to do. Yet.. I'm positing that all "bad" is the an inherent danger of a particular "good". I am not saying that this particular "bad" will always "exist" (I argued why earlier).. but rather that bad was inherently possible because of the "good."

Consider for a moment.. can you think of something that is "purely" bad. The moment you say "X action".. I will say.. that is only possible because of "existent/movement/-X".

I posited a few possible scenarios:

God could have restricted freewill.
God could have restricted action by generally applicable laws (physical laws.. which are the only limitations, now, of freewill actualization).
Or, God could have restricted action by non-generally applicable laws, and not freewill. (which would lead to an "explicatly" apparent restriction of "choice". For one could do things, as long as there intent was pure. I used the example. e.g. You can fly by flapping your wings, just not when you want to. Although this would be, e.g. You can move your hands in a certain motions in all cases but those in which your intent is anything other then what God wants.)

On a side issue: One may "believe" what ever they wish.. but once again, I'm asking for a logically applicable basis.

 On a tertiary note: I do not mean to belittle "beliefs" or "perceptions" in any way, shape, or form.  I realize that "beliefs" and "perceptions", no matter in what matter they were formed, are very powerful things.  So.. I just wanted to make that clear.


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RhadTheGizmo wrote:

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

hello wrote:

If a single being as a consequence of God's creation has access to the understanding that it would have been better/there would have been less pain if that being didn't live in the first place, then His system comes into question. Some people (probably most) who commit suicide would have rather not been faced with the choice between life and death in the first place. They can imagine a possible world where it would have been better if they hadn't existed at all--then they wouldn't be faced with that possiblity of death and their family and friends wouldn't have had to deal with that loss.

I don't not understand your point in this. Do you mean to say that if someone "perceives" that the world would be better if he, personally, had never existed.. that this calls into question God's system? I do not agree. "Perception" is not what is being used in the course of this conversation.. I can say I "perceive" anything-- whether I that "perception" is logical or not is a different issue.
Whether perception is logical or not, it is all we have access to when we deal with the world. the fact that someone can imagine that the world would have been better if he hadn't existed brings up some questions: 1. is God's creation a good thing--is it better that he created the world instead of not creating it? 2. was it necessary for god to create the world? 3. could God have created a better world where people would not question their own existence.


RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Quote:
The absense of natural selection may have many logical consequences, in this world, but that does not mean it is the best possible system of the advancement of life in a world of thinking, feeling beings.

I do not understand your point here either. If no 'natural selection'.. I would contest that we would have died off a long time ago.. to a point that there would be no thinking, feeling beings at all.
1. maybe god could have created a better, even more sophisticated mechanism for the advancement of life. I can imagine one, so doesn't that mean a better one is possible? 2. maybe it would have been better if there were no thinking, feeling beings at all. Some thinking and feeling beings seem to think so anyways.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Logically, all knowing that he was, God knew man was to full (as a function of freewill/curiousity construct), and therefore did not create a type of being that could "only" survive in a perfect world with limitless resources (as a function of his presence).. but also an "imperfect" one (in which man pushes God away).

can you explain this? i don't understand.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Quote:
Why is a world where things like rape and murder are possible worth preserving in the first place? Is it better that God created the world, or would it have been better if he didn't. There are some people with life experiences such that they believe the latter.

I'm sorry if I'm not being clear. Let me try again.

I'm not saying that God could not have made "rape and murder" physically impossible things to do. Yet.. I'm positing that all "bad" is the an inherent danger of a particular "good". I am not saying that this particular "bad" will always "exist" (I argued why earlier).. but rather that bad was inherently possible because of the "good."

so the question here is, is the good in the world sufficient for a belief in an all-good God-Creator?

Just because 'all bad is the inherent danger of a particular good' doesn't mean that God's creation was justified, much less successful. So, beauty or good don't have meaning without pain or suffering? Does that justify the creation of the world and life?


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hello wrote: If a single

hello wrote:

If a single being as a consequence of God's creation has access to the understanding that it would have been better/there would have been less pain if that being didn't live in the first place, then His system comes into question. Some people (probably most) who commit suicide would have rather not been faced with the choice between life and death in the first place. They can imagine a possible world where it would have been better if they hadn't existed at all--then they wouldn't be faced with that possiblity of death and their family and friends wouldn't have had to deal with that loss.

Rhad wrote:
I don't not understand your point in this. Do you mean to say that if someone "perceives" that the world would be better if he, personally, had never existed.. that this calls into question God's system? I do not agree. "Perception" is not what is being used in the course of this conversation.. I can say I "perceive" anything-- whether I that "perception" is logical or not is a different issue.

Quote:
Whether perception is logical or not, it is all we have access to when we deal with the world.

Tis true.  That is why I said I do not belittle perception.. merely that a conversation cannot go anywhere if all we are speaking of is pure perception.  Otherwise it would be this, for example:
I perceive God to exist.
I don't.
Okay.. good stuff, lets get some pizza.

Of course this seems strange.. because people ask "why?"-- and it is through the description of "why?" where logic is used, or some sort of reasoning.  If neither of these things.. a conversation cannot be had.

Once again.. not belittling someone's perception.  Someone can perceive something clearly yet not be able to describe it in any particular way.  Yet.. it does no good here-- at least to me-- in this conversation.  I would respect the perception and try to speak with him where he/she is.. for instance.. a suicidal person, I would, just, be there, for whatever they need.  It doesn't matter to me whether they can explain to me how they perceive things.

Quote:
The fact that someone can imagine that the world would have been better if he hadn't existed brings up some questions:

For him/her.. not for me.. for me to come with the same questions he must make me perceive the "better world" as well.
Quote:
1. is God's creation a good thing--is it better that he created the world instead of not creating it?

I would need to be explained this better creation through logic.. not merely saying "A world where we were all happy.. we all stayed with God peacefully.. and we all had freewill.. and we all could move freely.. and we were always curious.. but never for things bad."  Etc.  This is not an explanation but a description, an assertion, with no basis-- and thus I would challenge it, and you would explain, and if you could explain it in sufficient length that I would understand, then I would ask the same question.

Quote:
2. was it necessary for god to create the world?

Nothing is necessary for God (if he is omnipotent that is). (Tod would get on my case for this one, perhaps, because it's like saying he has no limits.  However, I am just making a general statement with regards to the necessary and omnipotence.  This is not to say that we do not limit God (by logic) within the course of a conversation.. because, I ask, how else would we be able to discuss him rationally? I can appeal to your emotion.. but.. that's difficult to do through text.

Quote:
3. could God have created a better world where people would not question their own existence.

Do you mean purpose? or actual existence? I do not question my existence.. I question my purpose perhaps.  As for the first part of the statement.. that is one of the questions on the floor-- Could he have?

Quote:
The absense of natural selection may have many logical consequences, in this world, but that does not mean it is the best possible system of the advancement of life in a world of thinking, feeling beings.

Quote:
I do not understand your point here either. If no 'natural selection'.. I would contest that we would have died off a long time ago.. to a point that there would be no thinking, feeling beings at all.

Quote:
1. maybe god could have created a better, even more sophisticated mechanism for the advancement of life. I can imagine one, so doesn't that mean a better one is possible?

You can imagine one? Please due tell and explain.  But once again.. it cannot be simple "A one where mutation only allows for good mutations."  For this would get us into the concept of the need for "generally applicable laws/physical laws" in a "freewill" society.  Furthermore, we must also take into consideration that mutations that bring about "bad" things (anemia for instance) have benefitial, evolutionary effects (such as, its more common in people from Africa America because it helps lesson the sickness, as well as ability to be passed on, of malaria). So if only "good" mutations could occur.. then such things like this would not be able to come about.

So it would have to be more specific in application.

Quote:
2. maybe it would have been better if there were no thinking, feeling beings at all. Some thinking and feeling beings seem to think so anyways.

Perhaps it would be better if there were no thinking, no feelings.. perhaps. I make sure to clear this up, that God could have made such a world.. but while "bad" feelings would have been wiped away.. so too would "good" feelings.  For "bad" feelings are merely corrupted "good" ones (in my opinion).

This is an assertion for the moment. and if you wish me to expand I will do so as best I can.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Logically, all knowing that he was, God knew man was to full (as a function of freewill/curiousity construct), and therefore did not create a type of being that could "only" survive in a perfect world with limitless resources (as a function of his presence).. but also an "imperfect" one (in which man pushes God away).


Quote:
can you explain this? i don't understand.

Alright.. here is the logical progression.
God knew all.
Therefore he knew that curiosity is a function of freewill.
God knew that curiosity leads to question and that questions lead to a want of answer.
God knew that the question would arise, "I wonder what life would be like a little "farther" from God?"
God knew this question would lead Man away from him. (For how does one explain a concept that requires experience to fully understand? Such as.. "burned".)
God thus knew that Man would push him away. And that what was once perfect would be corrupted.. for that was what Man was interested in.
So.. God knew that if he created man to only survive in a perfect world.. he would quickly. (Such as a domesticated bird let out into the wild).
So.. God created Man in such a way that he could adapt to a changing world.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Quote:
Why is a world where things like rape and murder are possible worth preserving in the first place? Is it better that God created the world, or would it have been better if he didn't. There are some people with life experiences such that they believe the latter.

I'm sorry if I'm not being clear. Let me try again.

I'm not saying that God could not have made "rape and murder" physically impossible things to do. Yet.. I'm positing that all "bad" is the an inherent danger of a particular "good". I am not saying that this particular "bad" will always "exist" (I argued why earlier).. but rather that bad was inherently possible because of the "good."

Quote:
so the question here is, is the good in the world sufficient for a belief in an all-good God-Creator?

No.. I do not believe this is the question.  What is "sufficient" in terms of "sufficient for a belief" is decided on an individual basis.  I'm merely building a logical construct to discuss God logically.  Since this forum is about "rational" and they call theist "irrational".. I am attempting to challenge this concept to see if I truly am irrational (in this case), or they are just merely calling me that.

On a more personal note.  Just as the original corruption of man (I believe) was based of him wanting to know what corruption was (corruption being life away from God)... that the only necessary belief one needs in order to be saved is a belief that this is not all there is, we were meant for something bigger and better.  And furthermore, does not hold onto anything here on earth (action, feeling, activity) of such importance as to say "I want this, I want it this way, and I will not give it up."

I do not believe in a hell of torture.

I truly believe that the question is merely one of whether you want to be dependent on God or whether you wish to be independent.  This choice is voiced, explicitly or implicitly, through ones life and beliefs.  If you wish independence.. when the time comes-- God will give you independence (which.. in the logical case of Christian Theology, would be non-existence)... and if you wish to be dependent on him, then so be it.  I do not believe that you necessarily need to be aware of this choice.. it is just.. there.

If one thinks about it.. the more he/she will become aware of what they think on the matter.

Quote:
Just because 'all bad is the inherent danger of a particular good' doesn't mean that God's creation was justified, much less successful. So, beauty or good don't have meaning without pain or suffering? Does that justify the creation of the world and life?

No.. I did not say that "beauty or good" don't have meaning without "pain or suffering".. I just said it was an "inherent danger" within whatever mechanism allows concepts of "beauty or good" in the first place.  It is not something that was necessary.

Justify the creation of the world?


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i will think about how to

i will think about how to address the idea of the parameters of the better world, but if you hold that this is the best that it could possibly be then yes, the question still stands, was God justified in creating this world?  If this is the best it could be maybe it would have been better if he hadn't created it in the first place. Sorry if this sounds fatalistic--its an earnest question.

 

Could it have been better maybe if he just let all of the souls stay in heaven, or wherever they arose from?

 


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The idea of "souls" is one

The idea of "souls" is one I don't wish to touch.. since most people understand it in a way that I do not (the one your thinking of is not necessitated by Christian Theology, if I am correct in my assumption of how you view the idea).

But let me address.. somewhat. If a soul, or a body, whatever it maybe.. God would still be working within the same construct-- (Freewill, etc.)-- where it would still be a question of IF God gave freewill, would he RESTRICT it's actualization by forcing a soul/body to remain in a 'perfect' place.. when that is not what it wanted.

He could do whatever he wanted.. the question is (within the construct of christian theology) why did he choose not to force?

I'm not saying that he needed too work within this construct.. (for this would put a limit on God).. but merely that he chose to (for a reason not in contention at the moment) or, that I am limiting him to such a construct because it is the only way I can understand it (Christian theology that is, not the world).

This is the world we have, the one we live in, the question is "Why this one?"

Yes.. I guess you are right.. Was God justified in creating this world? This is a valid quesiton.

I know some Christians (or theists) in general like to think of God micromanaging things.. I choose not too believe so, at least in the same sense they do.. miracles and sending plagues upon us (modern day).

I believe he is more like a father watching his sons and daughters explore evil ('evil' being 'life apart from God'-- he sustains us.. for we are still existent.. but he will not force you back to him).

Nobodies perfect.. we're all exploring the corruption of our fathers.. and their fathers fathers.

As CAF once expressed in a story.. just because we weren't participants into the original exploration into a particular thing, does not mean that we don't willingly play with the product of that exploration.

(In his example it was computers. It mine, it's evil.)

We hurt eachother.. Man.. with the things we have done to this earth and the social structures we have created. Imperfect, exploring participant that I am in this world, I still try to alleviate some of the pain we have caused as a species to others of our species (as well as our world).

(I was speaking very.. "Christian" in the previous statement.. my perception of things.)

Alright.. so I'm off for awhile. Might be a few days. I'll respond to things when I get back. Maybe I'll have internet access where I'm going.


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hello wrote: i will think

hello wrote:

i will think about how to address the idea of the parameters of the better world, but if you hold that this is the best that it could possibly be then yes, the question still stands, was God justified in creating this world?

 

Yes, that question remains given the premises, but even the premises themselves are faulty... the argument that anything is required or necessary contradicts omnipotence/omniscience.

The problem of 'evil' is a fatal problem for theism, and all 'solutions' end up making the problem worse... 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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Sorry I've been absent from

Sorry I've been absent from this thread, I'm out of town this weekend, and haven't had time to catch up with threads. 


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Since RtG asked about

Since RtG asked about motivation, is it just a game?  -- I thought I'd mention a bit of my history.  You can read more in my about Paul Jacobsen page on my site.  But, basically, for the first 40 years of my life, I basically bought into "Pascal's Wager" -- that it is better to believe "just in case".  And yet, it was a wager I just wasn't able to take, for even when I would try to "talk to Jesus" and say that I was a believer, I always suspected I was saying it bacause I wanted to believe it, not that I really did believe it.  But I went to church for years, and did try praying to Jesus and all that.

 So, when I first started to get involved in these kinds of debates, though I'd debate on the skeptic side, I still wanted the theist to "win", to finally give me a good reason to be a believer.  But I also wanted to theist to understand why what I had heard so far wasn't compelling to me.  For, perhaps, if the "true believer" REALLY understood why I wasn't able to believe what I had heard so far, they might finally be able to reach down and find a good reason to be a believer.  So, I'd push the believer pretty hard, and they would be convinced I was an asshole and that I "just didn't want to believe".  When in actually, it was exactly the opposite, I wanted to believe so much that I wanted to beat a good answer out of them!  They didn't see it that way, though.

 But, there did come a turning point where I felt like I had heard pretty much every theistic argument, at least every significant one.  And that if they hadn't convinced me so far, they probably never would.  So it was at that point that I finally decided that I am, indeed, an atheist.  But it was pretty scary at first, the Pascal's Wager deal kept bugging me -- what if I'm wrong and saying I'm an atheist is just making my eternal hell all the worse?

So, now, at this point, I find it highly unlikely that a theist is going to give me an argument that I will find to be a good argument.  But, of course, I have to confess that the mind is an imperfect biochemical machine, one that is not totally predictable.  So in that sense, I cannot say for certain that you or some other theist could never present an argument that I find to be a good argument.    I'm just saying that I find it unlikely.

 So, what is my motivation now for these kinds of debates?  Ya know, I don't fully know.  I suspect probably in my subconscious I still have some "infantile desire" (per Todangst's definition) that you WILL indeed convert me.  But my conscious mind will never let me accept a poor argument.  Perhaps it is just a game -- of my own mind -- that you just happen to be a participant in.  But, as long as you choose to continue the conversation, I will not let pass what is, to me at least, a bad argument.

 


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motivation for belief in

motivation for belief in god? i think that people in general take themselves too seriously for their belief in a particular worldview to be a game. (this is not to say such things should or not be taken seriously; it's just that they do. this website exemplifies this fact)

in any case, i don't think RtG is wagering eternal damnation. he says above he doesn't believe in a hell of torture. 


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I'd swim across a river of

I'd swim across a river of shit to hear a good theist argument. They just don't exist.


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Well, I'm back home, so I

Well, I'm back home, so I can continue the conversation, if RtG is still, um, "game"... <g>  Seriously, I know that he left some posts that I hadn't reponded to as yet, but, he's been absent for a couple of days.  Maybe just taking the weekend off, which is of course fine.  I just wasn't sure he was wanting to continue.

 


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Heh.  Yah.  I'm sort of

Heh.  Yah.  I'm sort of traveling about.. I'm finally held up in a hotel that has internet.. so I'll be able to reply at least once a day-- just not tonight.  I'm sort of worn, lots of traveling as of late.  Yes.. please, continue.  I'm pretty sure I've made the last post on all points.  Hello, Tod, and CAF.. so please, it is on your side.

 I'm really interested in Tod's response.. because, we are in an interesting in the conversation since I almost dropped out for a moment.

 Hello, CAF, I'm still interested in yours as well.

I think all of you are coming from a different point of view.. and.. well.. don't know how to explain it.

 CAF.. thanks for giving me some insight.. I will hope to respond in more depth when I got some more time.

 So.. I look forward to reading the next.  Take care.


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RhadTheGizmo wrote:  

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

 

I'm really interested in Tod's response.. because, we are in an interesting in the conversation since I almost dropped out for a moment.

Last we spoke I demonstrated that your own claims led to you having to accept that 'god' was an incoherent term. That's checkmate.... granted, a checkmated board still has pieces on it, but the games over.

 

Did you have a new question on something else?

 

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On 1/31, RhadTheGizmo left

On 1/31, RhadTheGizmo left a long post with responses to me and to Todangst. In the interests of brevity, I will leave the responses for Todangst for him, as it seems he has responded to those points already anyway.

Rhad wrote:

That's nice that you thought that. I never contended I did. Feel free to use the bible to argue your point of view.

Don't act like I should know what you think the Bible says. For your information, all the major Christian denominations, aside from (I think) the Jehovah's Witnesses, say that heaven is a spiritual, non-physical realm. You are free to disagree of course, but if you're going to hold a non-standard view, don't expect me to know it.


Rhad wrote:
Ask a scientist. This would seem to be a theological question as well as a scientific one. If storms serve no purpose, why do they still exist?

Pull your head out. You are the one that claimed that storms that can't hurt anybody exist in heaven. If so, they are not "disasters" so who gives a flying fuck if they exist or not?


Rhad wrote:
COF wrote:
But then you are implicitly admitting that not all bad results in eventual better good.

Of course. I never said the opposite.

Okay, but then you've lost a reason for arguing for the existence of extreme "bad", like the cliched holocaust.

Rhad wrote:

Relating life to money seems awfully shallow in my opinion. Money is worthless, it only has value because we give it value.

You are being naive. Lots of people die every day because the don't have sufficient money to avoid death. And, even among people who have sufficient money to avoid dire circumstances, your economic status still places tremendous limits on what you can and cannot do. I am upper-middle class, so I can do lots more than 99% of the world. I have far more ability to exercise my "free-will" than 99% of the world. And yet, I still have far less ability than, say, Bill Gates or the king of Saudia Arabia. And, even though I can afford better healthcare than 99% of the world, BG and the king can afford better healthcare, and will potentially survive situations that I won't.

Rhad wrote:

Life, on the other hand, has some inherent value. All things being equal, I would give all of Bill Gates Money to live an extra day.. heck, an extra minute.

But you (allegedly) have INFINITE life! You can't have any more than infinite! The fact that you raise this argument shows to me that you really know you do NOT have infinite life.

Rhad wrote:

Not quite. There is nothing in this statement which requires the doctor to be imperfect.. only that the patient has imperfections. You might contend that "imperfections created by God".. and perhaps this is where the analogy breaks down.

It doesn't matter whether the doctor or the patient is imperfect, a perfect God wouldn't be imperfect himself, or create imperfect creations.


Rhad wrote:

I think your assuming that I hold an idea true.. that when you die.. you go straight to heaven, some "essence" goes to heaven-- so that you are consciously there even though you have no body.

I do not believe so. I believe that in order to be conscious.. you must have a body. "After-life"? No.. I do not believe in an "after-life". Merely "life".

Then, how, exactly, does someone live forever, after having his brain smashed in an auto accident, or shot full of holes, or burned up in a fire, etc.?


COF wrote:
Design of the operation? Yes. I would have to agree with this.

Which means that "consciousness" can only do that per the design of operation! Which means that free will could only be an illusion!

Rhad wrote:
So therefore God could: 1.) Limit all movements that might cause harm even though their purpose is not to cause harm. or 2.) Make an exclusionary rule. Which would not limit "freewill" but would limit our ability to act upon "freewill" even though the "action" is physically possible.

You ignore other possibilities, like at least: 3) Design the system such that there can be no physical harm. Like make us all non-physical like most theists argue that heaven will be like.

Rhad wrote:
Granted. We would not know it is physically possible

By definition of an omnipotent creator, anything is possible.

 

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

The majority of this planet does not have natural disasters.

OH, PLEASE!!! The majority of the world may not be a "hotspot" of natural disasters, but there is NO PLACE that has NO natural disasters. Seriously, if you are going to post such a ludicrous claim, it makes me wonder if you have any intention of honest debate. And for you to charge me and Todangst as not being interested in honest debate, well, this rather stinks of hypocricy.

Rhad wrote:

No. I would contend its more like bringing two people into my home, a warm fire burning.. and one decides to push the other into the fire, or sits in the fire on his own.

When you or someone in your family dies in an unexpected storm, don't come crying to me. Theists invariably wind up arguing completely heartless arguments, in order to exhonerate their diety. Jeez, go fuck yourself.  I'm done with this charade of yours.


RhadTheGizmo
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Tod wrote: Last we spoke I

Tod wrote:
Last we spoke I demonstrated that your own claims led to you having to accept that 'god' was an incoherent term. That's checkmate.... granted, a checkmated board still has pieces on it, but the games over.

Heh, let me just point out once again that you seem to really enjoy the act of prematurely claiming (through implication) your arguments to be uncontestable.

In anycase, you are incorrect.  The last part in the conversation was my post right before "Hello" entered the thread.  I was addressing a couple things with your argument. 


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Quote:

Quote:
Jeez, go fuck yourself. I'm done with this charade of yours.

If feel the need to be done, so be it. I cannot change the way you perceive me or my argument; or whether you accept my points as valid or not.

Take care CAF. If ever you still want me to respond to your last post, just let me know (If I'm still around), otherwise.. I will leave as is.

[edit: Nevermind, I'll address the points now.]


Rhad wrote:

That's nice that you thought that. I never contended I did. Feel free to use the bible to argue your point of view.

CAF wrote:
Don't act like I should know what you think the Bible says. For your information, all the major Christian denominations, aside from (I think) the Jehovah's Witnesses, say that heaven is a spiritual, non-physical realm. You are free to disagree of course, but if you're going to hold a non-standard view, don't expect me to know it.

I didn't expect for you to know it.  I was just addressing a point, stating my view, and leaving the option open if you felt it important enough to need addressing.

This board is not about whether I belong to a "mainstream" denomination or not (Seventh Day Adventist), but whether my theism is irrational or not.

So, I stated my belief, I believe it can be supported by the bible (Theism within the Bible) and I left it up to you whether it was an important enough of a point to address, if not, we would have moved on.

Rhad wrote:
Ask a scientist. This would seem to be a theological question as well as a scientific one. If storms serve no purpose, why do they still exist?


Quote:
Pull your head out. You are the one that claimed that storms that can't hurt anybody exist in heaven. If so, they are not "disasters" so who gives a flying fuck if they exist or not?

Point out where I did so?

I stated that 'disasters' are merely called 'disasters' because they hurt people.

But, now that you state something, I will agree to some exten.  In heaven I do not believe people "will be" hurt by such natural phenomena, not that they necessarily "can't get hurt".


Rhad wrote:
COF wrote:
But then you are implicitly admitting that not all bad results in eventual better good.

Of course. I never said the opposite.


Quote:
Okay, but then you've lost a reason for arguing for the existence of extreme "bad", like the cliched holocaust.

I don't know where you got that from.  I was talking about the existence of pain as a whole (metaphor-ed by the parent/child metaphor), I was addressing individuals instances of "bad" only so far as to say that I would alleviate pain and suffering I saw to be existent.

I thought I made both these distinctions very clear.  You cannot collapse the distinctions and argue as if they are the same, I have accepted they are the same, or have argued that they are the same.  For in all three of the cases I have stated differently.

And if you would have said "No there is no different, no distinction that could be made".. I would say, "the death of a family would seem unjustified until put into the context of a war."  I'm not saying that the death of the family in the war is justified.. merely using the metaphor as an example of the importance of distinguishing the individual instances from the whole.

Rhad wrote:

Relating life to money seems awfully shallow in my opinion. Money is worthless, it only has value because we give it value.


Quote:
You are being naive.

You are being arrogant.

Now that we have both slightly insulted each other, what has this added to the conversation?

Quote:
Lots of people die every day because the don't have sufficient money to avoid death.

That was not the point of your argument.  Why would I address that point here?

And, even among people who have sufficient money to avoid dire circumstances, your economic status still places tremendous limits on what you can and cannot do.

Once again.. not the point you were making at the time, nore what I was addressing.  You were equating money with life.. saying that just as one should not, or would not, care if they lost a couple million dollars if they had Bill Gate's money.. so one should not care if they lost 60 years of life or not.

This is what I was addressing... so do not change point midstream.

Quote:
I am upper-middle class, so I can do lots more than 99% of the world. I have far more ability to exercise my "free-will" than 99% of the world.

Nor was the point about free-will.

Quote:
And yet, I still have far less ability than, say, Bill Gates or the king of Saudia Arabia. And, even though I can afford better healthcare than 99% of the world, BG and the king can afford better healthcare, and will potentially survive situations that I won't.

Once again, not what I was addressing.

Rhad wrote:

Life, on the other hand, has some inherent value. All things being equal, I would give all of Bill Gates Money to live an extra day.. heck, an extra minute.


But you (allegedly) have INFINITE life! You can't have any more than infinite! The fact that you raise this argument shows to me that you really know you do NOT have infinite life.

Rhad wrote:

Not quite. There is nothing in this statement which requires the doctor to be imperfect.. only that the patient has imperfections. You might contend that "imperfections created by God".. and perhaps this is where the analogy breaks down.


Quote:
It doesn't matter whether the doctor or the patient is imperfect, a perfect God wouldn't be imperfect himself, or create imperfect creations.

Or create a system which allows for imperfection.


Rhad wrote:

I think your assuming that I hold an idea true.. that when you die.. you go straight to heaven, some "essence" goes to heaven-- so that you are consciously there even though you have no body.

I do not believe so. I believe that in order to be conscious.. you must have a body. "After-life"? No.. I do not believe in an "after-life". Merely "life".


Quote:
Then, how, exactly, does someone live forever, after having his brain smashed in an auto accident, or shot full of holes, or burned up in a fire, etc.?

No matter which/way you die, the energy/matter that was a part of you is still existent.  Even as it was put together once (as so with your development through pregnancy), so all these things could be put back together.  I am merely stating a theological idea which assume that God will give physicality to an individual once again. (And that we will never be"non-physical" entities.)


COF wrote:
Design of the operation? Yes. I would have to agree with this.


Quote:
Which means that "consciousness" can only do that per the design of operation! Which means that free will could only be an illusion!

Unless the operation was created to allow for freewill.

Why create a necessary condition from where none exists?

If this point is meant to suggest that since "God knew that freewill coupled with the ever-changing environment would lead to X Y Z as choices, therefore freewill is just an illusion."

Well thats points been argued more than once.

Its not that I don't see an interesting question.. but, I would always counter with one particular theoretical.

If you knew 100% that a particular person was going to choose to do a particular "simple" thing in a particular case, have you taken away that persons choice?

Philosphical question that people still talk about.

Rhad wrote:
So therefore God could: 1.) Limit all movements that might cause harm even though their purpose is not to cause harm. or 2.) Make an exclusionary rule. Which would not limit "freewill" but would limit our ability to act upon "freewill" even though the "action" is physically possible.


You ignore other possibilities, like at least: 3) Design the system such that there can be no physical harm. Like make us all non-physical like most theists argue that heaven will be like.

Whether we are "non physical" or "physical".. the logical problems still arise when weighing freewill vs limitations on actualization of freewill.

If we were to be non physical, then does that mean we would be able to move at all? or not be able to touch each other? Whether non physical or physical the logical problem still arrises if you believe either of these to be existent in the construct.

Rhad wrote:
Granted. We would not know it is physically possible


Quote:
By definition of an omnipotent creator, anything is possible.

Yup.  But, we are speaking within a logical conversation (for that is all we have when it comes to "rational" debate).. so one must exhibit how it would be logically possible to do something.

 

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

The majority of this planet does not have natural disasters.


Quote:
OH, PLEASE!!! The majority of the world may not be a "hotspot" of natural disasters, but there is NO PLACE that has NO natural disasters.

Evidence?  Also.. definition? Are we defining "natural disaster" as any natural weather/tetanic phenomena that has the potential to cause harm?  I gave you a link to look at.. I was addressing your contention that I have no evidence for a particular statement, I showed that I do have at least some basis (you may not consider it much) but at this point and time.. you have none.

Quote:
Seriously, if you are going to post such a ludicrous claim, it makes me wonder if you have any intention of honest debate. And for you to charge me and Todangst as not being interested in honest debate, well, this rather stinks of hypocricy.

I never charged you, I charged Tod.

I merely asked you a question.. to which answer would direct me to a particular choice regarding the debate.

Rhad wrote:

No. I would contend its more like bringing two people into my home, a warm fire burning.. and one decides to push the other into the fire, or sits in the fire on his own.


Quote:
When you or someone in your family dies in an unexpected storm, don't come crying to me. Theists invariably wind up arguing completely heartless arguments, in order to exhonerate their diety. Jeez, go fuck yourself. I'm done with this charade of yours.

Why would I come crying to you? I would 'cry' to some other family member, or some friend, or 'cry' to myself..

But don't worry, I understood what you mean.. just merely pointing to the fact that you state statements that serve no purpose whatsoever.

As per your point.  I was not making a 'heartless' argument.. I was readdressing a point, as well as addressing a new one.

1.) That God directly causes pain.  I was arguing that no, man directly causes pain. (The argument is longer than this, but it was the central point).
2.) You used a metaphor that was not consistent with (1) even thought (1) had not been resolved within the conversation.. and so I reformulated your metaphor.

So.. where is the problem at? Once again.. sorry that you feel in whatever negative way you do.


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RhadTheGizmo wrote:

One of my personality flaws is that, after beating my head against an irrational theistic argument, I tend to eventually get annoyed. I may, or may not respond to your post.


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Sobeit. 

Sobeit. 


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Bump for the above.

Bump for the above.


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I will respond to your last

I will respond to your last post to me, and attempt to refrain from telling you to go fuck yourself... Laughing

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
This board is not about whether I belong to a "mainstream" denomination or not (Seventh Day Adventist),

Don't know much about the SDA's, but, I understand that many of you are vegetarian. After turning vegetarian, but before renoucing Christianity, I considered trying out a SDA church to see if I liked it. I pass by a SDA church on my way to work, and it crosses my mind to go to services there just once to see.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
But, now that you state something, I will agree to some exten. In heaven I do not believe people "will be" hurt by such natural phenomena,

Which proves my point, that a perfect God should be capable of creating a system where people aren't hurt by natural disasters! Thereby proving that it is not necessary, if God exists, for disasters to exist here. Thanks for supporting my argument!

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
not that they necessarily "can't get hurt".

So, what happens if you do get hurt? Does God just keep resurrecting you? Kinda reminds me of the movie _Groundhog Day_, where Bill Murray's character tries to kill himself, and he just wakes up again.... Or maybe like _Death Becomes Her_, where, you can never die, but only get one body.  And so any injury you get you have to live with for eternity.


Quote:

I said:

Okay, but then you've lost a reason for arguing for the existence of extreme "bad", like the cliched holocaust.

You responded:

I don't know where you got that from. I was talking about the existence of pain as a whole (metaphor-ed by the parent/child metaphor), I was addressing individuals instances of "bad" only so far as to say that I would alleviate pain and suffering I saw to be existent.

Go back to your original post starting this thread. You quoted my paper where I said: "A valid explanation for a little pain doesn't explain extensive, intense, and apparently gratuitous pain."

And you said that was where you started to take exception to my arguments. But now you are agreeing with me.


RhadTheGizmo wrote:
You were equating money with life.. saying that just as one should not, or would not, care if they lost a couple million dollars if they had Bill Gate's money.. so one should not care if they lost 60 years of life or not.

But the concept is really still the same, if you have an infinite amount, or at least extremely vast amount, of something, gaining or loosing a small amount, percentage wise is no biggie.

Next, I see that you quoted a section from me, and yet didn't respond to it. So, I'll requote myself:

Rhad wrote:
CAF wrote:

But you (allegedly) have INFINITE life! You can't have any more than infinite! The fact that you raise this argument shows to me that you really know you do NOT have infinite life.

Next:

Rhad wrote:
CAF wrote:

It doesn't matter whether the doctor or the patient is imperfect, a perfect God wouldn't be imperfect himself, or create imperfect creations.

Or create a system which allows for imperfection.


??? Was that what you were meaning to say? If so, you are correct, a perfect God wouldn't create a system which allows for imperfection.

Quote:

I quoted you saying:


I think your assuming that I hold an idea true.. that when you die.. you go straight to heaven, some "essence" goes to heaven-- so that you are consciously there even though you have no body.

I do not believe so. I believe that in order to be conscious.. you must have a body. "After-life"? No.. I do not believe in an "after-life". Merely "life".

I responded:

Then, how, exactly, does someone live forever, after having his brain smashed in an auto accident, or shot full of holes, or burned up in a fire, etc.?

Your response is:

No matter which/way you die, the energy/matter that was a part of you is still existent. Even as it was put together once (as so with your development through pregnancy), so all these things could be put back together.

But what you don't see is, you are really contradicting yourself. The matter and energy that is in my body now, has certainly been in other people's bodies before me. Almost certainly, parts that had been part of my body are now part of your body and vise-versa. Most noticably I loose skin and waste matter every day. But I loose blood and everything else over time. I'm not sure it is true or not, but I've heard it claimed that we replace every cell in our body on a regular basis. Regardless of that being true or not, I do know it is at least partially true, I'm certain that a fair number of our cells have to get replaced from time to time.

The point I'm getting at is, if "ME" was exactly the matter/enegy that is in my body, everybody is everybody, and everybody is nobody. What really keeps "ME" being recognizable as "ME" from day to month to year isn't really the exact matter/energy I have. Its that while the matter gets changed out, it remains in a "similar enough" pattern, that I retain my personhood.

I'm saying that it is silly to speak of "ME" still existing after my brains are destroyed, by your claim that the matter and energy will still exist, for the matter and energy are immaterial -- it is the pattern of the matter and energy that is important.

So, in theory, a diety could put that pattern back together after it is destroyed. But so, in theory, could an advanced technology, like Star Trek's transporter. If say, God, or a transporter, would put together a hundred copies of the same pattern that exists right now as "ME", which of these hundred copies would be "ME" then?


COF wrote:
Unless the operation was created to allow for freewill.


We've gone round and round on this, I'm going to let this die for now. I might make a separate post later.

Rhad wrote:
If we were to be non physical, then does that mean we would be able to move at all? or not be able to touch each other? Whether non physical or physical the logical problem still arrises if you believe either of these to be existent in the construct.


But you've already conceeded that God can make heaven where things like natural disasters don't hurt anybody, so, you've already conceded this isn't a problem! Also, as per Todangst's argument, you said "the logical problem arrises", GOD CANNOT HAVE A "LOGICAL PROBLEM" DOING ANYTHING, if God Himself defines what is and what isn't "logical"! Or, if things are logical in and of themselves, then you have no need for a god.

Rhad wrote:
But, we are speaking within a logical conversation (for that is all we have when it comes to "rational" debate).. so one must exhibit how it would be logically possible to do something.

This is like the guy searching for his keys under the light, even though he didn't loose them there, but there is no light where he lost them! It makes no sense to have a "logical" debate about God if God is "beyond" logic!

Rhad wrote:
Are we defining "natural disaster" as any natural weather/tetanic phenomena that has the potential to cause harm?

What else would it be? Well, no, I guess that is just a "potential" disaster, until it actually DOES harm. Now, of course you could bicker whether it deserves to be called a "disaster" if only a small number of people are killed. But its a "disaster" to them or their families.

Rhad wrote:
I gave you a link to look at..

Of natural disaster HOTSPOTS, meaning places PARTICULARLY prone to them, that has NOTHING to do with the fact that they happen everywhere.

Well, that's all I got time for now. I may respond to more, later.


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caseagainstfaith wrote: I

caseagainstfaith wrote:

I will respond to your last post to me, and attempt to refrain from telling you to go fuck yourself... Laughing

Heh.  Thanks.  Smiling

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
This board is not about whether I belong to a "mainstream" denomination or not (Seventh Day Adventist),


Quote:
Don't know much about the SDA's, but, I understand that many of you are vegetarian. After turning vegetarian, but before renoucing Christianity, I considered trying out a SDA church to see if I liked it. I pass by a SDA church on my way to work, and it crosses my mind to go to services there just once to see.


Heh.. vegetarianism. Yes, many. I'm chuckling because it seems to be a rather well known aspect of anyone who has ever heard of SDAs. I find it interesting..

Try it out, once.  Might find it interesting, might find it more of the same. I don't believe its more of the same.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
But, now that you state something, I will agree to some exten. In heaven I do not believe people "will be" hurt by such natural phenomena,


Quote:
Which proves my point, that a perfect God should be capable of creating a system where people aren't hurt by natural disasters!

The system is already in place.. yet we choose to be seditary, and choose to set up walls and socio economic systems which force others to be in the wake of some natural phenomena thus creating a disaster. In heaven, in the presence of a God with perfect foresight, in which every individual trusts his word, could easily avoid not be in the wake of such things, ones would always be willing to help each other.. a tsunami would just be a really big wave, an earthquake a footmassage.

I don't mean to belittle these things.. I know how horrible they can be-- but merely making the point that these things, in and of themselves, do not kill people.. they are just natural phenomena.

If God says.. don't jump off the cliff.. you'll die.  Then the person will not jump off the cliff.. for he/she knows that what God knows is best.. and he would have no curiosity to do things contrary to explicitly stated things because, he/she knows where that path would lead.

Quote:
Thereby proving that it is not necessary, if God exists, for disasters to exist here. Thanks for supporting my argument!

The disaster is not.. the phenomena I would suggest is.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
not that they necessarily "can't get hurt".


Quote:
So, what happens if you do get hurt?

"not necessarily" was just meaning to point out that this was not my point in the paragraph.  I do not see why pain would need to be absent from heaven.  It is a natural mechnism.. fatigue, pain, scratches, why do away with them?

Quote:
Does God just keep resurrecting you?

Will we be able to die? I don't believe we will do anything in which would cause our death.

Big difference.

Quote:
Kinda reminds me of the movie _Groundhog Day_, where Bill Murray's character tries to kill himself, and he just wakes up again....

Great movie.. heh.

Quote:
Or maybe like _Death Becomes Her_, where, you can never die, but only get one body.

Heh.. not a good movie.

Quote:

I said:
Okay, but then you've lost a reason for arguing for the existence of extreme "bad", like the cliched holocaust.

You responded:
I don't know where you got that from. I was talking about the existence of pain as a whole (metaphor-ed by the parent/child metaphor), I was addressing individuals instances of "bad" only so far as to say that I would alleviate pain and suffering I saw to be existent.


Quote:
Go back to your original post starting this thread. You quoted my paper where I said: "A valid explanation for a little pain doesn't explain extensive, intense, and apparently gratuitous pain."

And you said that was where you started to take exception to my arguments. But now you are agreeing with me.

No.. I'm drawing a distinction.. one I meant to draw at the beginning, and I thought I did.  The distinction is between "pain" on an individual level and the concept of "pain" on a universal level.  "Pain" on an individual level I can alleviate. "Pain" on a universal level I cannot.  I can judge what is "necessary pain" to reach a particular conclusion on an individual level.. I cannot on a universal level.

The Universal aspect of pain does not mean I will not alleviate pain on individual level.. this does NOT mean that I do not believe some "Good" can come from the Universal level.. not that I believe the "Bad" was necessary for something "better" to come about.

We're just on a long walk from perfect to perfect.

The only thing that is leading us through this particular circle is curiosity.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
You were equating money with life.. saying that just as one should not, or would not, care if they lost a couple million dollars if they had Bill Gate's money.. so one should not care if they lost 60 years of life or not.

Quote:
But the concept is really still the same, if you have an infinite amount, or at least extremely vast amount, of something, gaining or loosing a small amount, percentage wise is no biggie.

And I'm saying the concept is not the same.  Whether I have an infinite amount of kids or just two.. "percentage wise" loosing a "million" will be no biggie.. but does that mean that it experientially will be "no biggie"? Statistics are a cold hearted mistress. Percentages as well.

A minute of life when related to infinity may be "no biggie" when looking on it from the outside.. but.. I will never be on the outside.. I'm always inside-- every minute is significant to me.

Next, I see that you quoted a section from me, and yet didn't respond to it. So, I'll requote myself:

Rhad wrote:
CAF wrote:

But you (allegedly) have INFINITE life! You can't have any more than infinite! The fact that you raise this argument shows to me that you really know you do NOT have infinite life.

No.. I was using your metaphor to express a point.  My point remains the same whether I have 60 years of life or infinite.  The value of Life, however, cannot be equated with money, ever (in my opinion).

Next:

Rhad wrote:
CAF wrote:

It doesn't matter whether the doctor or the patient is imperfect, a perfect God wouldn't be imperfect himself, or create imperfect creations.

Or create a system which allows for imperfection.


Quote:
??? Was that what you were meaning to say? If so, you are correct, a perfect God wouldn't create a system which allows for imperfection.

This would be a discussion of freewill.  I must predicate this statement with the fact that I am restricting the concept of God into the construct of logical cause and effect.  God decided to place "freewill" into Man.. this "freewill" allowed for individual imperfection.  This is not to say that the system itself is "imperfect".. for the system is just a mean to do something-- in this case, create a functioning world with freewill, whose only restriction of actualization is the applicability of generally applicable physical laws.

Quote:


I quoted you saying:
I think your assuming that I hold an idea true.. that when you die.. you go straight to heaven, some "essence" goes to heaven-- so that you are consciously there even though you have no body.
I do not believe so. I believe that in order to be conscious.. you must have a body. "After-life"? No.. I do not believe in an "after-life". Merely "life".

I responded:
Then, how, exactly, does someone live forever, after having his brain smashed in an auto accident, or shot full of holes, or burned up in a fire, etc.?

Your response is:
No matter which/way you die, the energy/matter that was a part of you is still existent. Even as it was put together once (as so with your development through pregnancy), so all these things could be put back together.


Quote:
But what you don't see is, you are really contradicting yourself. The matter and energy that is in my body now, has certainly been in other people's bodies before me.

Certainly? I don't know.. theres a lot of matter/energy out there.  I think it might be safe to say that none of your matter and energy has made its rounds yet.  Its possible either way I suppose... but I digress.

Quote:
Almost certainly, parts that had been part of my body are now part of your body and vise-versa. Most noticably I loose skin and waste matter every day. But I loose blood and everything else over time. I'm not sure it is true or not, but I've heard it claimed that we replace every cell in our body on a regular basis.

I've heard this as well.

Quote:
Regardless of that being true or not, I do know it is at least partially true, I'm certain that a fair number of our cells have to get replaced from time to time.


Quote:
The point I'm getting at is, if "ME" was exactly the matter/enegy that is in my body, everybody is everybody, and everybody is nobody. What really keeps "ME" being recognizable as "ME" from day to month to year isn't really the exact matter/energy I have. Its that while the matter gets changed out, it remains in a "similar enough" pattern, that I retain my personhood.

The only thing (that I can think of.. granted.. if consciousness is merely a brain thing) that keeps you you is your brain.. and whether it remains in a "similar enough" pattern to retain your personhood.  And for this very reason.. "similar enough" pattern.  It does not matter what matter/energy.. merely that the pattern is "similar enough".

I believe, crazy as it may sound, that the resurrection entail the reconstituting of the physical in a "similar" enough pattern as so that you are still you.  Physical.. not non physical. Even as matter/energy is perceived to be eternal by you.. so I believe that that matter/energy that make you you could be held true indefinitely.  This is eternal life.. not eternal "after-life".

Quote:
I'm saying that it is silly to speak of "ME" still existing after my brains are destroyed, by your claim that the matter and energy will still exist, for the matter and energy are immaterial -- it is the pattern of the matter and energy that is important.

Thats why I stated even before my last statement: "So all these things could be put back together".  You will be You.. mentally.

I do not know what you mean by matter and energy being immaterial.  When did I say that? Matter and energy are existent even after you are not.  Matter and energy just need to be reconstituted into your pattern to make you the same.

The sci-fi concept of transportation.  Heh.

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So, in theory, a diety could put that pattern back together after it is destroyed. But so, in theory, could an advanced technology, like Star Trek's transporter.

Heh.. I wrote all the top before I got to this.  Indeed.

Quote:
If say, God, or a transporter, would put together a hundred copies of the same pattern that exists right now as "ME", which of these hundred copies would be "ME" then?

If this happens.. let us argue this point. Smiling If this happened! I would definitely question my concept of God as I now understand him.

Rhad wrote:
If we were to be non physical, then does that mean we would be able to move at all? or not be able to touch each other? Whether non physical or physical the logical problem still arrises if you believe either of these to be existent in the construct.


Quote:
But you've already conceeded that God can make heaven where things like natural disasters don't hurt anybody, so, you've already conceded this isn't a problem!

Did not.. said I do not believe that they "will be" hurt.  I did not say that they "could not".

Quote:
Also, as per Todangst's argument, you said "the logical problem arrises", GOD CANNOT HAVE A "LOGICAL PROBLEM" DOING ANYTHING, if God Himself defines what is and what isn't "logical"!

Todangst would want me to have a logical conversation about God in which I cannot use logical arguments.  That me saying God cannot "logically" do something is the same as saying that God "cannot" do something.  God can indeed do something that is "illogical" but.. I would not be able to comprehend it, furthermore, if he did do such a thing, then my understanding of this world would be severely hampered as well.. for to see "illogical" things going on at a regular basis would make me question "predictability" in the first place.

To say that God is omnipotent is to say that he "could" make is so that an apple falls down because of gravity sometimes even though none of the elements changed.  Yet, if this were the case, we would be severely hampered in comprehending anything.

This is why I am talking logically... as for who defines what is "logic" or is not-- God does not-- we do. Or would are you saying that the existence of logic itself is absolute evidence of God?

Quote:
Or, if things are logical in and of themselves, then you have no need for a god.

Things are logical in and of themselves.  It is a methodology in which we can understand the world.

Rhad wrote:
But, we are speaking within a logical conversation (for that is all we have when it comes to "rational" debate).. so one must exhibit how it would be logically possible to do something.


Quote:
This is like the guy searching for his keys under the light, even though he didn't loose them there, but there is no light where he lost them! It makes no sense to have a "logical" debate about God if God is "beyond" logic!

When did I say he was beyond logic? And even if he CAN BE "beyond logic" it doesn't necessarily mean that he acts in "illogical ways".  Furthermore... we cannot have a "logical" debate about God.. then what was your paper based on?

Rhad wrote:
Are we defining "natural disaster" as any natural weather/tetanic phenomena that has the potential to cause harm?


Quote:
What else would it be? Well, no, I guess that is just a "potential" disaster, until it actually DOES harm. Now, of course you could bicker whether it deserves to be called a "disaster" if only a small number of people are killed. But its a "disaster" to them or their families.

I agree. If one person dies it could be considered a disaster to that family-- whether it would be considered a disasters by the rest of world is a different matter.  So its not about "huge disasters" that this question is about.. but merely "death" in general?

Rhad wrote:
I gave you a link to look at..


Quote:
Of natural disaster HOTSPOTS, meaning places PARTICULARLY prone to them, that has NOTHING to do with the fact that they happen everywhere.

Natural disasters or natural phenomena? I can probably admit right now that I cannot find a place in the world which lacks any sort of natural phenomena which do not have the potential to kill someone.

Nice to have you back.  Happy to see you didn't tell me to F off. Smiling Take care CAF.


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Cut through the fog?

Hello. I am new to this forum and have been reading up on this thread. I'm going to let you know right off that I haven't read every word. I am sure you each feel this way already, it seems that you just keep repeating yourselves. So am going to try to sum up what I think the two sides are saying. Both should correct me if I am wrong, I am purposefully not including the supporting arguments right now.

Theist (RtG):

1. God is Omnipotent and Omniscient. We (humans) have free will and these two premises are not in conflict.

2. Free will has no limits.

3. Free will is the freedom to “will” to do anything. (this is one point I am unclear on. Is “to will” equivalent “to want”? Or “to choose”? Or something else?)

Atheist:

1. If God is Omnipotent and Omniscient, then there is no room for free will.

2. Free will is limited.

3. Free will is the ability to make your own choices. (I could be wrong with this simplification)

From these points it would seem that the atheist argument is basically that given (a) god is omniscient and omnipotent and (b) omnibenevolent (a loving god) then he/she/it could have done a better job, he could have maintained free will for humans while still providing us with a better existence.
The theistic argument is that no he couldn’t have done a better job, this is as good as it gets. Reasoning being that any improvement in circumstances would come at the cost of free will.
Let me know if I have summed this up well. I feel like there has been so much said by both sides that we need this simplification to see where we are. If I have this about right then I would like to throw in my 2 cents but I don’t want to waste anyone’s time by propagating misunderstanding or addressing non-issues.

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Robert A. Heinlein


RhadTheGizmo
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My Name is Chelsea

My Name is Chelsea wrote:
Hello. I am new to this forum and have been reading up on this thread. I'm going to let you know right off that I haven't read every word. I am sure you each feel this way already, it seems that you just keep repeating yourselves. So am going to try to sum up what I think the two sides are saying. Both should correct me if I am wrong, I am purposefully not including the supporting arguments right now.

Welcome.  Thanks for your attempt.. we definitely keep on stating these points over and over again.. back and forth back and forth.  So perhaps a bit of bullet points will help.  Just as a helper. Smiling

Quote:
Theist (RtG):

1. God is Omnipotent and Omniscient. We (humans) have free will and these two premises are not in conflict.

I believe he is omnipotent.. I believe this gives him the capacity to be omniscient, however, it does not necessitate his omniscience.  Yet, I have conceded the purpose of this conversation that he has exercised that capacity to be omniscient. Yes, I do not believe they are in conflict with freewill.

Quote:
2. Free will has no limits.

Freewill has no limits.  The actualization of freewill does.

Quote:
3. Free will is the freedom to “will” to do anything. (this is one point I am unclear on. Is “to will” equivalent “to want”? Or “to choose”? Or something else?)

I believe "will" predicates "want" as well as "choice".  But if I had to choose one that is more similar to the "will" and perhaps perfectly interchangeable.. "to want" might be accurate.

Quote:
Atheist:

1. If God is Omnipotent and Omniscient, then there is no room for free will.

2. Free will is limited.

3. Free will is the ability to make your own choices. (I could be wrong with this simplification)

I'll leave this up to one of them.  Although its seems Tod has disappeared off the planet.

Quote:
From these points it would seem that the atheist argument is basically that given (a) god is omniscient and omnipotent and (b) omnibenevolent (a loving god) then he/she/it could have done a better job, he could have maintained free will for humans while still providing us with a better existence.

Yes.

Quote:
The theistic argument is that no he couldn’t have done a better job, this is as good as it gets.

Yes.  Not the state we are in at this moment.. but the system, yes.

Quote:
Reasoning being that any improvement in circumstances would come at the cost of free will.

Any "perceived" improvements would come at the cost at some "benefit".  And so.. I ask for some logical construct in which a "better system" could have existed. I do not disagree that God could have taken away something considered "bad".. but that taking away this "bad" would create some sort of logical drawbacks.

The argument has come up that "god does not have to be logical".. and its used against me.. but, if I do not speak of logic, or am allowed to use logic, how can I argue anything in the first place? God may not be "bound by logic".. this does not mean that he might not have chosen to act within a "logical construct".

Quote:
Let me know if I have summed this up well. I feel like there has been so much said by both sides that we need this simplification to see where we are. If I have this about right then I would like to throw in my 2 cents but I don’t want to waste anyone’s time by propagating misunderstanding or addressing non-issues.

Feel free.  Always nice for someone else to join......

Still wondering about Tod.


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A better place

Quote:


Quote:


The theistic argument is that no he couldn’t have done a better job, this is as good as it gets.


Yes. Not the state we are in at this moment.. but the system, yes.
Quote:

Reasoning being that any improvement in circumstances would come at the cost of free will.


Any "perceived" improvements would come at the cost at some "benefit". And so.. I ask for some logical construct in which a "better system" could have existed. I do not disagree that God could have taken away something considered "bad".. but that taking away this "bad" would create some sort of logical drawbacks.

The argument has come up that "god does not have to be logical".. and its used against me.. but, if I do not speak of logic, or am allowed to use logic, how can I argue anything in the first place? God may not be "bound by logic".. this does not mean that he might not have chosen to act within a "logical construct".


Good to have a bit of clarification. After a few very long pages of back and forth, with quoting and such it is a bit hard to really grasp it all at once.

OK then.
Here is an attempt at how god could have done things better, without changing our current level of free will. These changes would not create a perfect world, I am not quite up to that, what with being a mere human and all, but I think the world would be better.
Changes:
1. Female control over ovulation = we only get pregnant when we want to, a lot like birth control methods but no technology needed and much more reliable. This would be good because it would prevent overpopulation. I won’t enumerate the many problems resulting from overpopulation for the sake of brevity but if you like I could in another post.
2. Better birth canal: As a woman this is an improvement near and dear to my heart. If we could pop kids out with out quite so much pain, difficulty, and mother mortality that would be great.
3. Better immune systems: Our immune systems are incredibly impressive and I am very grateful to mine but quite a bit gets past them.
4. Limb regeneration: Eliminate suffering from loss of limb. Starfish do it, why not us?
That is a start and now I have to go.

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Robert A. Heinlein


RhadTheGizmo
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My Name is Chelsea

Quote:

The theistic argument is that no he couldn’t have done a better job, this is as good as it gets.


Quote:
Yes. Not the state we are in at this moment.. but the system, yes.

Quote:

Reasoning being that any improvement in circumstances would come at the cost of free will.


Quote:
Any "perceived" improvements would come at the cost at some "benefit". And so.. I ask for some logical construct in which a "better system" could have existed. I do not disagree that God could have taken away something considered "bad".. but that taking away this "bad" would create some sort of logical drawbacks.


The argument has come up that "god does not have to be logical".. and its used against me.. but, if I do not speak of logic, or am allowed to use logic, how can I argue anything in the first place? God may not be "bound by logic".. this does not mean that he might not have chosen to act within a "logical construct"; also, even if hasn't, I would lack anyway of knowing that he 'hasn't' without a logical argument in the first place.

If God did not decide to not act in a logical manner, or create the universe in a illogical manner-- we would have.. well, I'm not sure what we would have. Point is, must use logic to converse to either a) show that Christian God/universe construct can be logical or b) that it cannot be. Smiling (for the conclusion of this argument, the answer, would legitamize the label of "irrational", objectively, be placed on me (or someone who holds the same construct of exactly the same construct of belief.)



Quote:
Good to have a bit of clarification. After a few very long pages of back and forth, with quoting and such it is a bit hard to really grasp it all at once.

Indeed.

Quote:
OK then.
Here is an attempt at how god could have done things better, without changing our current level of free will. These changes would not create a perfect world, I am not quite up to that, what with being a mere human and all, but I think the world would be better.
Changes:
1. Female control over ovulation = we only get pregnant when we want to, a lot like birth control methods but no technology needed and much more reliable. This would be good because it would prevent overpopulation. I won’t enumerate the many problems resulting from overpopulation for the sake of brevity but if you like I could in another post.

Heh.. I feel uncomfortable commenting on this, for many reason, but one being that I don't know much about female ovulation. I will think on it.. and if need be.. do some research. Sticking out tongue

Quote:
2. Better birth canal: As a woman this is an improvement near and dear to my heart. If we could pop kids out with out quite so much pain, difficulty, and mother mortality that would be great.

The pain and difficulty are, I believe, more relevant to the idea of an "improved system" since "mother mortality" has to do with the larger concept of "death" in general.. and has a lot more avenues to go down. Once again.. I will think on this (it's almost 2am here).. and if necessary.. do some research. Although.. I'm sure I'm going to have a grand time explaining to my roommate why I'm reading up on female ovulation or the birth canal since I am neither in the medical field, pornography industry, or deem myself to be inherently interested in these things-- even as I am not inherently interested in how my own urine tract works.

Quote:
3. Better immune systems: Our immune systems are incredibly impressive and I am very grateful to mine but quite a bit gets past them.

This isn't as specific as I'm going to need. The other two were great... to say "better" without stating how, would make my job of addressing your point (in either to concede or challenge) incredibly broad.

Quote:
4. Limb regeneration: Eliminate suffering from loss of limb. Starfish do it, why not us?
That is a start and now I have to go.

Alright.. I'll think on this one as well. I go to sleep now as well.

 [edit] Might need an extra day.  It's a sunday and my mind is sort of out of it.. I'm just lazing around the dorm, contemplating when I should begin homework.


RhadTheGizmo
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Hey Chelsea. Sorry that

Hey Chelsea. Sorry that your catching me at the end of my tenure here at RSS...

I'm pretty conflicted about it, but it seems to always come down to the fact that this place makes me tired. As you said.. it seems like a quagmire. I'm countering a claim that theist are necessarily irrational.. and thus try to relate a logical construct in which one would not be.

It is a completely different point then trying to make an argument that God exists. I think people are failing to see that.

And after 212+ posts.. I'm just tired for it seems as if I'm the only one to concede points for the "sake of argument". The arguments seem to go like this:

A: Your wrong!
B: Why?
A: Because you believe (X)!
B: No I don't, I believe (Y).
A: You can't believe (Y) because of (Z)!
B: I believe that you are misintepreting concept (Z), but, let me concede for a moment (Z). How does that (Z) apply to (Y) since (y) is also possible within (Z).
A: No.. only (Y) is possible!
B: No its not, let me explain.
A: No its not, let me explain.

I'm tired. I'm not assuming anything about evolution, big bang, string theory, anything (you will find that theories from the massive amount of areas of science and logic are used all over the place), merely setting up a construct of logical, theistic belief.

But I wished to present an response to your questions before I left, I'm sorry if they're not completely explanatory.

Quote:
OK then.
Here is an attempt at how god could have done things better, without changing our current level of free will. These changes would not create a perfect world, I am not quite up to that, what with being a mere human and all, but I think the world would be better.
Changes:
1. Female control over ovulation = we only get pregnant when we want to, a lot like birth control methods but no technology needed and much more reliable. This would be good because it would prevent overpopulation. I won’t enumerate the many problems resulting from overpopulation for the sake of brevity but if you like I could in another post.

I believe the problem here would be that to give conscious control over something we consider, now to be, involuntary.. would present two problems.

First. We, as conscious beings, don't seem to be very "instinctual". We learn most of our abilities.. from walking.. to talking.. to moving.. to playing sports.

Something like, ovulation control would be an ability that's skill resided solely in the mind of an individual and could not be learned through "trail and error" as physical skills are, nor, do I believe could it be "taught" in a qualitative manner as math is, since one would have to "qualify" such things as "think", "try", "feel".. etc. in order to "teach" a something that is "internal, mental ability."

Granted.. its possible.. perhaps.. for some people to learn. Yet I don't believe it would be likely for all. We have enough problems teaching people geometry.. how would "teach" all people to control there ovulation? And if we could not teach all people... then those that "could not" learn would be sterile forever?

Granted.. you might say.. it could have been "instinctual". Yet.. instinctual pertains to always existent in an entity. If this were the case, and since "ovulation" is not limited by generally applicable rules (such as lifting a table is limited by a persons capacity of movement).. then would you think it to be more or less better for ages 1-13 being able to control when ovulation begins? There are reasons I believe.. that in our society (apart from God) we restrict the rights of this age group.

I'm not trying to belittle the stuff associated with ovulation and birth for a woman.. but you must understand that I am a guy and perhaps cannot perfectly emphasize with you as to the pain and frustration of these two things.

Quote:
2. Better birth canal: As a woman this is an improvement near and dear to my heart. If we could pop kids out with out quite so much pain, difficulty, and mother mortality that would be great.

"Better"? "To pop kids out" would seem better.. but what sort of things would be required to "pop kids out"? Wider birth canal would require that your general bone structure change. Less tension in the birth canal would create more of a problem with keeping a baby inside a uterus. (Think of a ballon.. the more tension on the end point, the less likely air would be to come out). True.. perhaps at the time of birth the birth canal could just completely open up.. yet.. I'm not sure I have enough knowledge in this sort of thing to say what sort of things would be necessary for it.

Birth.. seems.. highly complex. My explanation in this part may be severly lacking...

Quote:
3. Better immune systems: Our immune systems are incredibly impressive and I am very grateful to mine but quite a bit gets past them.

This isn't as specific as I'm going to need. The other two were great... to say "better" without stating how, would make my job of addressing your point (in either to concede or challenge) incredibly broad.

Quote:
4. Limb regeneration: Eliminate suffering from loss of limb. Starfish do it, why not us?
That is a start and now I have to go.

Once again, my knowledge of why a starfish can regrow limbs is limited-- in fact, non-existent.

Yes.. I will present a question. First off.. this would have to be an involuntary thing. I don't believe one would believe that the starfish "consciously" makes "regrow limb". Therefore, I think we would have to be the same.. and if not.. then once again.. the problem of "teaching" a "mental ability" or of controlling an "instinctual" behavior.

So.. is the system of a starfish that allows it to regrow a limb involuntarily similar to ours? I would venture to say no.

Could our systems been made similar enough as to allow for the same ability without any logical drawbacks? For instance..

I wish I could jump like a frog. A.) To jump like a frog my bone structure would to change or else risk the quick deterioration of my bones based off of this extreme jumping. b.) If my bone structure did not change, but their nature as breakable, "soft", changed from not breakable, "soft", then they would not repair themselves to breaks in the same way as they do now.

I do not know how they would repair themselves or deal with the stress uniquelly existent in humans.

Anyways.. I'm really disappointed in my response in this post.. I'm just plain tired.

But.. let me give you a summary of my thought before wishing you the best in finding whatever you are searching for (whether it is God or something else, happiness, contentness, satisfaction, heh, I'm not limiting it to this forum). (Let me further state.. that I have gained knowlegde of things here.. about thought, atheists, theists, rationlization, theory, semantics, descriptive language, prescriptive langauge, confusion, fallacy, etc.. but-- I never changed my original position for all these methods were used to confuse the issue more and take onto side tangents.. nevermind, I'm getting sidetracked.  I have gained knowledge... and realized how selective knowledge can confuse an issue.  Even as selective, yet dogmatically held as "all there is", knowledge about evolution creates a quagmire of a conversation about evolution.

It seems to be a prevelant ill in conversations here.. for it seems that everyone has "selective knowledge", domatically held as all there is, of things based on logic as opposed to focusing on logic itself.. when logic (to me, seems to be) nothing but a methodology of assumptions, deductions, inferences.

"Fallacies" pertain to the ability to convince.  Not the validity of logic.  Yet, people keep on throwing them all over the place.  "Probability" is linked directly to "plausibility" when not de fact link exists apart from comparison to other things.

And so the thing moves on and on.

A believe in circular logic is no irrational (as many people would contend here), for circular logic is valid.

So if someone points out that I am irrational for using circular logic than I would, as I tried to do many time, point out that (according to their definition) they would fall underneath the concept of irrationality as well.  For belief in the purposeful-ness of interaction between me and you is based on circular logic.  That being, "The world is real". The only way to "prove" this assumption is through circular logic. 

Anyways.. I'm really getting sidetracked now, but since If igured it is my last post.. I dediced to make it worth it.)

Back on track: I do not believe there is such a thing as a "systematically bad" when it comes to nature. We like to say.. oh, look at how genetic disease A comes along or B comes along. Yet A and B are not the system.. they are products of the system.  The system would be the ability of "mutation".  This "systematic thing" allows for countless benefits to a changing environment that also allows for genetic disease A and B to come along.

Now.. without mutation, or if mutation was structured in a different way, those are arguments. 

But that course of arguments seems to lead to this:

To say that "mutation" could have been made in such a way as to not let "bad" come about.. well.. thats complex-- because "anemia" is a "bad" mutation.. but it also helps to deal with "malaria" which is extremely useful in places where malaria is prevelant.

Any case.. its complicated.

Perhaps I don't understand it.

Perhaps I'm just trying to rationalize it all.

I don't know.. yet this is the end of my online conversations through text. From now on.. heh, it's only person to person conversation. Always felt better in that sphere anyways.

Good day... and best of luck.

Sincerely,
The un-marked Theist.
RtG


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RhadTheGizmo wrote: I

RhadTheGizmo wrote:


I don't know.. yet this is the end of my online conversations through text. From now on.. heh, it's only person to person conversation. Always felt better in that sphere anyways.

 

I didn't get a chance to respond to your last post to me.  Well, if you come back by, let me know, and I respond to it. 


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Hey CaF. I meant to give

Hey CaF. I meant to give best wishes to you as well.

(Tod as well).

If you have a response and wish to post it for the benefit of others, that's always good, but, as for me, heh.. I believe nada mas.. porque tengo problemas con este medio... (I think my spanish is horrible).

Best wishes again.  (Heh, I'm not even suppose to be on right now! Definitely definitely, this is the last response. Just wanted to give best wishes.. since I forgot.

Sidenote: I think I'm going to give vegetarianism some more thought.... on my own I mean.  The SDA church encourages it.. but doesn't state it as a basis for salvation.. in fact, I don't say that any particular belief "must be held" in order to partake in salvation.  

Heh.. which I guess is what I like about the church.  It's more.. "We believe A based on B, but if let use always be open to the idea that we may be wrong on A and must always be willing, or open, to change A (Belief) in accordance with progressive understanding of B (Bible)." 

I just go the step further and say that we maybe wrong on B as well. I however, don't hold it against the church that they don't mention that logical conclusion that B might be wrong.  I just considered it infered by them stating its a "belief".

(This is something I have trouble with morminism (which states you must believe there way, as they state it, or else X happens).. as well as catholicism to a certain extent (partaking of mass for instance).  I know there might be a rational to there beliefs.. I just feel uncomfortable with making these judgements about a theological concept of "salvation" which itself is only judged by God.)

Anyways.. I'm outta here.

Take care, and again, Best Wishes.

RtG. 


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RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Sidenote: I think I'm going to give vegetarianism some more thought.... on my own I mean.

 May I recommend a couple of books, from a theist persective:  e, Is God a Vegetarian? by Richard Young and Carol Adams and Judaism and Vegetarianism by Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D.  These are the ones I have in my Strobel article.  I could also point you to other works from a humanist perspective, but you might be more interested in these, at least for starters.


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Heh, I can't help it.. once

Heh, I can't help it.. once my email says "new entry in (X) thread".. I have to check it out.

And I can't help myself but respond to certain type of comments. (This is not to say that I will continue a debate, I've told myself I will not, but I see no ill in responding to this).

Thanks CAF for the suggestions. I'd be interested in the humanist perspective as well, books I means, or online articles (since they are cheaper).

The theist perspective I understand to some extent (to what extent I'm not sure.. but like I said, I hope to look into it more).. the humanist perspective on the issue however.. not as much (only those concepts I came across in a general, humanist, conversation about vegetarianism in a classroom discussion.).

Let me know. And thanks in advance if you choose to do so (that way I don't need to make one more post. Smiling

Take care, best wishes-- again.

Gone, now, I think, yes.


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I will just respond to your

I will just respond to your response to me for the exercise and for the benefit of anyone else who might be interested.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:



But I wished to present an response to your questions before I left, I'm sorry if they're not completely explanatory.

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OK then.
Here is an attempt at how god could have done things better, without changing our current level of free will. These changes would not create a perfect world, I am not quite up to that, what with being a mere human and all, but I think the world would be better.
Changes:
1. Female control over ovulation = we only get pregnant when we want to, a lot like birth control methods but no technology needed and much more reliable. This would be good because it would prevent overpopulation. I won’t enumerate the many problems resulting from overpopulation for the sake of brevity but if you like I could in another post.

I believe the problem here would be that to give conscious control over something we consider, now to be, involuntary.. would present two problems.

First. We, as conscious beings, don't seem to be very "instinctual". We learn most of our abilities.. from walking.. to talking.. to moving.. to playing sports.

Something like, ovulation control would be an ability that's skill resided solely in the mind of an individual and could not be learned through "trail and error" as physical skills are, nor, do I believe could it be "taught" in a qualitative manner as math is, since one would have to "qualify" such things as "think", "try", "feel".. etc. in order to "teach" a something that is "internal, mental ability."

Granted.. its possible.. perhaps.. for some people to learn. Yet I don't believe it would be likely for all. We have enough problems teaching people geometry.. how would "teach" all people to control there ovulation? And if we could not teach all people... then those that "could not" learn would be sterile forever?

Granted.. you might say.. it could have been "instinctual". Yet.. instinctual pertains to always existent in an entity. If this were the case, and since "ovulation" is not limited by generally applicable rules (such as lifting a table is limited by a persons capacity of movement).. then would you think it to be more or less better for ages 1-13 being able to control when ovulation begins? There are reasons I believe.. that in our society (apart from God) we restrict the rights of this age group.

I'm not trying to belittle the stuff associated with ovulation and birth for a woman.. but you must understand that I am a guy and perhaps cannot perfectly emphasize with you as to the pain and frustration of these two things.


I think you are looking at this from the wrong direction. You are asking if we could do this now? No we can’t, we aren’t “designed” correctly. But a very minor change at the moment of creation and we could. Just give us conscious control over the release of the hormone that triggers ovulation and there you go.

In response to your age objection, I am talking about when an individual cycle begins not when menstruation begins overall. This would not be a “teach” thing it would just be something women do. Like conscious control of any other part of our body.

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2. Better birth canal: As a woman this is an improvement near and dear to my heart. If we could pop kids out with out quite so much pain, difficulty, and mother mortality that would be great.

"Better"? "To pop kids out" would seem better.. but what sort of things would be required to "pop kids out"? Wider birth canal would require that your general bone structure change. Less tension in the birth canal would create more of a problem with keeping a baby inside a uterus. (Think of a ballon.. the more tension on the end point, the less likely air would be to come out). True.. perhaps at the time of birth the birth canal could just completely open up.. yet.. I'm not sure I have enough knowledge in this sort of thing to say what sort of things would be necessary for it.

Birth.. seems.. highly complex. My explanation in this part may be severly lacking...


It is severly lacking J it mostly seems like you are grasping at straws.
In order to make birthing easier our pelvises would need to be slightly changed, just that one small change and things would be easier. It would affect nothing else except birthing.

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3. Better immune systems: Our immune systems are incredibly impressive and I am very grateful to mine but quite a bit gets past them.

This isn't as specific as I'm going to need. The other two were great... to say "better" without stating how, would make my job of addressing your point (in either to concede or challenge) incredibly broad.


Our immune systems could be more like that of a crocodile. Crocs get in fights, get open cuts and they live in nasty stagnant water, yet they still don’t get infections. Obviously “god” has already given them a better immune system, why not us? I don’t know exactly how theirs is better, I am not an immunologist, but I believe this example shows that it can be done while working with in the current system.

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4. Limb regeneration: Eliminate suffering from loss of limb. Starfish do it, why not us?
That is a start and now I have to go.

Once again, my knowledge of why a starfish can regrow limbs is limited-- in fact, non-existent.

Yes.. I will present a question. First off.. this would have to be an involuntary thing. I don't believe one would believe that the starfish "consciously" makes "regrow limb". Therefore, I think we would have to be the same.. and if not.. then once again.. the problem of "teaching" a "mental ability" or of controlling an "instinctual" behavior.

So.. is the system of a starfish that allows it to regrow a limb involuntarily similar to ours? I would venture to say no.

Could our systems been made similar enough as to allow for the same ability without any logical drawbacks? ...



Yes I think they could. Scientists are working on how this could be accomplished. If scientists can envision a way to do it now, even though they can’t get it to work then god could have done it from the start. Not only that but you are still looking at this wrong. You are saying that god is limited, that he would have to do this the same way.

I am sorry you are going. You have been fun to talk to.

Also I feel like you have sidestepped the main argument. I have suggested 4 ways we could have been better “designed” so that life would be better without infringing on free will, or giving up any “benefits”, this being your original question. Therefore it doesn’t matter whether you or I can come up with a way to make these things work but surely god could? If women were better designed to give birth the whole process would be less painful and I can’t imagine how you would argue that painful childbirth is beneficial.

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Robert A. Heinlein


RhadTheGizmo
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Quote: I think you are

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I think you are looking at this from the wrong direction. You are asking if we could do this now? No we can’t, we aren’t “designed” correctly. But a very minor change at the moment of creation and we could. Just give us conscious control over the release of the hormone that triggers ovulation and there you go.

I'm only judging from now because to start from a point zero would require me to create a whole system.  Not only 'ovulation' but 'woman' and what defines 'woman' and 'man' and.. etc etc etc.  Obviously this would take much more time than I think I have in my life... so, I use the system we have now and consider what consequences changes, to the system we have now, would entail.

You may not agree that I must do this, but I hope you understand that it is a reasonable way to address the question.

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In response to your age objection, I am talking about when an individual cycle begins not when menstruation begins overall. This would not be a “teach” thing it would just be something women do. Like conscious control of any other part of our body.

Because of the way I'm address the question I see it differently than you.  While we do not "teach" all things that a person can consciously control.. all things consciously controlled do have a common factor of "trail-and-error".  A baby learns to crawl because he wishes to move without help.  He learns to walk because crawling is inefficient.  At each one of these steps the baby is encouraged (to some extent) to continue in their trail and error learning.. crawling and walking are not innate abilities.

Now.. like I said, I am not a woman and therefore my perspective on this issue is somewhat limited, yet, I do not see how it would be an objectively better thing to have ovulation (and it's corresponding, fundamental right to birth [at least in the US]) dependent on a "trail-and-error" system, one that is initiated by time table that sole manipulation is based on individual curiosity and want (which can further be affected by the particular surrounding culture.)

It's fine.. that one might say in the U.S., now, within our culture it would be great if all women had this.. and that all women would decide to begin 'trail-and-error' at a reasonable age.. and that they would not be severely, negatively affected by surrounding influences...

But, would you equally say this of all cultures both past and present?

I know you may not agree with me with my idea of "trail-and-error".. but I cannot think of an instance in which an ability is come to by any other means then these three: instinctual, trail-and-error, instructional.

Humans do not have many instinctual abilities besides involuntary actions-- to give them any more might be a danger to themselves based off their limited cognitive abilities.

Trail-and-error is centered, usually, around movement and bodily control.

Instructional is centered, usually, around conceptual ideas not related to bodily control.

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It is severly lacking J it mostly seems like you are grasping at straws.
In order to make birthing easier our pelvises would need to be slightly changed, just that one small change and things would be easier. It would affect nothing else except birthing.


You seem to make this statement rather absolutely... studied much on the issue? Or just assuming? I was just making speculation.. your statement does not seem to be doing the same thing.

On another note.. the concept of "grasping at straws".  I do not pretend to be able to prove God on the basis of logic or necessity.. rather that logic or necessity does not warrant a disproval of God.

A belief in his existence, or lack there of, can both be rationally based.  That was the purpose of this thread... to explore this idea.

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Our immune systems could be more like that of a crocodile. Crocs get in fights, get open cuts and they live in nasty stagnant water, yet they still don’t get infections. Obviously “god” has already given them a better immune system, why not us? I don’t know exactly how theirs is better, I am not an immunologist, but I believe this example shows that it can be done while working with in the current system.


These are indeed very complex systems.. yet the reason I don't believe the given example applies well is that the crocs are nowhere near the same in anatomical and physiological structure as humans/primates.

To say that this is an example that it could work within our current system is an assumption I do not agree with.

Yes.. complex idea.. I, like you, am not an immunologist, yet.. nonetheless, I still contest your the connection you make between these two things.

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Yes I think they could. Scientists are working on how this could be accomplished. If scientists can envision a way to do it now, even though they can’t get it to work then god could have done it from the start. Not only that but you are still looking at this wrong. You are saying that god is limited, that he would have to do this the same way.

If Scientist are ever able to do this without severe side affects.. I would need to severely re-evaluate my beilef.

Diseases are evolutionary.. losing an arm is not.  Therefore it would seem that 'regrowing' an arm would have no systematic drawbacks... we shall see though.

How bout we wait on this one? Scientist are trying to create transdimensional matter as well........... why address it until its done?

As for me limiting God... I have already stated that I am.  As Tod rightly points out.. without limits.. how can we speak of such an entity? I therefore limited him to the construct of "logic".  My logic is based off my perception of the world and the inferences and deductions that exist therein.

If I did not do this, as it seems many atheist do not, then I could say "God is unlimited he could have done X, even though I cannot state how."

This statement is as meaningless in the course of a conversation as saying... "The Universe is infinite and therefore has no end, even though I cannot state how it does not have an end."

They are nothing more than perceptions-- valid in their own right as perceptions, but nothing more.  They are both inexplicable beyond their own premise.. and both exist outside the bounds of small, circular, logic.

X=X=X=X.....=X

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I am sorry you are going. You have been fun to talk to.

Also I feel like you have sidestepped the main argument. I have suggested 4 ways we could have been better “designed” so that life would be better without infringing on free will, or giving up any “benefits”, this being your original question. Therefore it doesn’t matter whether you or I can come up with a way to make these things work but surely god could? If women were better designed to give birth the whole process would be less painful and I can’t imagine how you would argue that painful childbirth is beneficial.

Been fun to talk with you as well.  Heh.. you might think that I'm coming back with this post.. but I'm just taking a moment within my layover at an airport to respond.  Nothing makes time go by faster than writing with purpose.

Take care C.


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RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Quote:
As for me limiting God... I have already stated that I am. As Tod rightly points out.. without limits.. how can we speak of such an entity? I therefore limited him to the construct of "logic". My logic is based off my perception of the world and the inferences and deductions that exist therein.

If I did not do this, as it seems many atheist do not, then I could say "God is unlimited he could have done X, even though I cannot state how."

This statement is as meaningless in the course of a conversation as saying... "The Universe is infinite and therefore has no end, even though I cannot state how it does not have an end."

They are nothing more than perceptions-- valid in their own right as perceptions, but nothing more. They are both inexplicable beyond their own premise.. and both exist outside the bounds of small, circular, logic.


I am not going to respond to your objections to specific examples because it would be pointless with this greater issue between us. Also until you have a better understanding of biology I don’t thing my explanations with convince you. Using my own logic, knowledge and perceptions I feel sure I could cast doubt on many aspects of subjects for which I have no understanding. Physics would be a safe place to start.

It is true that without limits we cannot speak of god. So you give him your own limitations. If I gave god my own limitations he couldn’t be responsible for creating anything much less doing a better job of it. If you are going to throw out suggestions because you do not understand them then we just aren’t going to get anywhere.

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Robert A. Heinlein


RhadTheGizmo
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What particular aspects of

What particular aspects of biology do you speak of?

 Particular to the immune system.. I claimed only as much ignorance as you claimed. When it came to birthing.. I asked for you to support your argument that "a less painful birthing would only require the existence of wider hips or a wider birth canal."

And that these things could exist without any other contingent changes.

A real world example would help to support the assumption as well as some sort of scientific study.

I have not seen a scientific study.. and as for real world example, I do not know of any bipedal, upright, who examples and instance of painless birth.

As for the "limits" objection.  I think you misunderstand what I am saying:

I use limits in order to speak of him.  I do not mean to say that "God" MUST be existent within my limits or that my limits are absolutely correct.  Merely that they are the limits I place on him.

As it is.. the limits I assume are: 1.) He is all powerful, 2.) He choses to act in a constitent, logical/rational manner, 3.) He is all-loving.

Anyways... heh.. I keep on being drawn back here for some reason.  A temporary thing I believe.