Caner admits god is not all powerful?

Hambydammit
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Caner admits god is not all powerful?

I have to post this before I forget it.

Kelly just asked him, "Could god have created a world in which free will exists, but people's actions would only cause harm to themselves?"

Caner said, "No."

There you have it. Liberty University big-wig admits god is not all powerful. Can we go home now?

 

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

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"But that doesn't exist." 

"But that doesn't exist."  Was his answer.  **Dumbfounded Silence** is ours

 


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I thought he said, "No," 

I thought he said, "No,"  (pause) "because that couldn't exist"

somebody should check the recording

 

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He's not as smart as I

He's not as smart as I thought he was going to be.


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Yeap, I heard it. I don't

Yeap, I heard it. I don't know if he even realized he just refuted God's omnipotence.


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caner answered that

caner answered that correctly, if God were to make people with free will, He would have to make Himself not omniscient, free will can only exist if God doesn't know man's next action, so that doesnt make him deny God's omnipotence, God doesnt go outside of His character, plus, if God wasn't omniscient, then He wouldn't be God, He knows what He is doing, also caner was right when he said that God didn't make that world, He made this world, the Bible also says that God cannot lie, but does that make Him not omnipotent? no. He is in charge of what He does, and doesn't do


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That logic doesn't follow.

That logic doesn't follow. Even if you know what someone is going to do, it doesn't effect their free will. So God would still be omnipotent and omniscient. The whole idea is that he has a plan so that no matter what anyone does, in the end there will be an apocalypse during which the truth will be irrefutably revealed to all. After which there will be an oppurtunity for redemption. There's always free will it's just that God doesn't seem to have much respect for the choice of not doing things his way. As far as a world in which people have free will but what they do would only harm themselves: well the way it's worded, that cannot exist. People only being able to hurt themselves is a condition. Their will is not completely free. It contradicts itself. Even if the proper intereptation of the question is a world in which people could only harm themselves, it's still a stipulation. Their free will is fettered, because some people want desperately to hurt others.


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devinasheville

devinasheville wrote:

caner answered that correctly, if God were to make people with free will, He would have to make Himself not omniscient, free will can only exist if God doesn't know man's next action, so that doesnt make him deny God's omnipotence, God doesnt go outside of His character, plus, if God wasn't omniscient, then He wouldn't be God, He knows what He is doing, also caner was right when he said that God didn't make that world, He made this world, the Bible also says that God cannot lie, but does that make Him not omnipotent? no. He is in charge of what He does, and doesn't do

 

And you've failed to address the crux of the question as well.

Could we have freewill without HIV and tsunamies and eartquakes and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome? I reckon we could, especially if omnipotence and omnicience comes into play here. Thus, there is NO reason for such things - unless we attribute it to simple nature or a god who does NOT care about our suffering.

The main point, and the point Caner largely failed to address, IMO, was that we DON'T require situations in which the innocent must suffer in order to preserve the universal theistic cop-out of freewill. We could EASILY have freewill without HIV or hepatitus or Ebola or Parkinsons or Alzheimers or breast cancer. 

It would take a special, sadistic fuck to come up with such cruel things.

Now the standard cop out is that humans brought this upon themselves by their own freewill - but who gave us the freewill, who made the rules of what burns you, who made HIV, who made cancer - and WHY? Have you ever sat down and simply asked why and how? If you ever get the guts to do that, more often than not, it'll be the end of your faith.

Frankly, I don't find comfort being in an AntFarm. 

 

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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Let's consider the question

Let's consider the question in a little more depth. That is, let us draw a picture of this "world in which free will exists, but people's actions...only cause harm to themselves." For the benefit of direct comparison, let's even take the Garden of Eden situation and apply these constraints to it.

First of all, what kind of limitation is required for one's actions to only harm themself? And if I do not have the capacity to harm another, do I have the potential to form a good relationship? If so, where is the free will in only being able to interact with others on a positive level? A prerequisite has already been set before I engage anyone that I am not able to harm them in any form, thus my actions are limited and my free will severely impaired.

So then what sin can I commit? What offense? What crime? All those listed for example in the ten commandments are either crimes against God or crimes against my "neighbor" so-to-speak. But according to our model, my actions may "only cause harm to myself."

Biblically, it is very clear that God considers himself the party chiefly offended in all offenses, else Jesus Christ could not have walked about forigiving sins as he did. Could I forgive a thief who robbed my neighbor? Of course not! I am not the offended party. Even a crime against myself would logically also be a crime against my creator on account that if I am indeed created, I am not my own (which is also iterated in scripture.

So then, there are no sins left to commit in our hypothetical world! If I am not offending my fellow man or my creator, even myself, I cannot sin! It is a paradox. It is tantamount to saying "Could God create a world with free will without free will?" No you say? But doesn't that contradict God's omnipotence? Of course not! A paradox is still a paradox regardless of whether you tag the phrase "Could God..." onto the front of it.

So Ergun correctly stated that God could not have created a world in which free will exists, but people's actions would only cause harm to themselves.

But for the sake of argument, I will even take this one step further. Let us now suppose there exists a hypothetical sin which does not offend another human or God and that is the sin that I am capable of committing thus satisfying the prerequisite of free will that I be able to sin or do good as I please. I am now the only one offended and the only one harmed by this act (although why anyone would commit it I am not sure). We now have a world with some free will and I am the only one harmed by my actions. Is that a world worth creating? Is that a world worth living in?


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Oh, I soooooooooooooo need

Oh, I soooooooooooooo need to reply to DMC's post.

Quote:
First of all, what kind of limitation is required for one's actions to only harm themself? And if I do not have the capacity to harm another, do I have the potential to form a good relationship? If so, where is the free will in only being able to interact with others on a positive level? A prerequisite has already been set before I engage anyone that I am not able to harm them in any form, thus my actions are limited and my free will severely impaired.

Your free will is already severely impaired. My free will, for instance, dictates that I wish the Carpathian mountains to suddenly switch place and be located within the Swiss Alps. Is that possible? No.

My free will, for another example, also dictates that I should also be located within the chapel when the supposed Orthodox Easter miracle happens. Can I do that? No, I cannot, because I would be immediately stopped by the others when trying to enter.

And examples could continue, both on implicit limitations, and on explicit limitations.

Non-limited free will means omnipotence. And, from what we know, no human has that.

Quote:
So Ergun correctly stated that God could not have created a world in which free will exists, but people's actions would only cause harm to themselves.

No, he didn't answer correctly. Because God could have created Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, and he could have NOT put the tree of knowledge in there. Therefore nobody would have brought sin onto the face of the Earth, as Adam and Eve could have done nothing to disobey God's orders.

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We now have a world with some free will and I am the only one harmed by my actions. Is that a world worth creating? Is that a world worth living in?

Hell yes, that is! This way perhaps the son of my father's cousin would not have died being hit by a loser who has committed the sin of drunk driving.

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DMC
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  Quote: Your free will

 

Quote:
Your free will is already severely impaired. My free will, for instance, dictates that I wish the Carpathian mountains to suddenly switch place and be located within the Swiss Alps. Is that possible? No.

My free will, for another example, also dictates that I should also be located within the chapel when the supposed Orthodox Easter miracle happens. Can I do that? No, I cannot, because I would be immediately stopped by the others when trying to enter.

And examples could continue, both on implicit limitations, and on explicit limitations.

Non-limited free will means omnipotence. And, from what we know, no human has that.

You obviously fail to grasp the scale of limitation that our hypothetical world would have as opposed to the actual world we live in. Careful reading of my first post will show why. Pointing out our already limited free will, that is the lack of omnipotence does nothing to address the legitimate logical conclusion that I expressed.

Quote:
No, he didn't answer correctly. Because God could have created Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, and he could have NOT put the tree of knowledge in there. Therefore nobody would have brought sin onto the face of the Earth, as Adam and Eve could have done nothing to disobey God's orders.

Without the Tree of Knowledge, there would have been no free will. The Tree, and more specifically the accompanying command made it possible for Adam and Eve to sin. Without it, Satan could have run rampant with temptation and it would never have made any difference because there was no alternative to being good.

They didn't know the difference between good and evil and so would have been incapable of committing either, except for the one and only command they had. To obey was good and to disobey was evil. What you just described, "NOT [putting] the tree of knowledge in there" is a world without free will.

 

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Hell yes, that is! This way perhaps the son of my father's cousin would not have died being hit by a loser who has committed the sin of drunk driving.

And yet, in a world with those limitations no positive interaction could occur either, leaving you and everyone else without the ability even to care that he died.

You still don't get it. The possibility of tragedy, death, calamity, and sickness comes hand in hand with the ability to love and hate. God created a world with just enough free will to make it a choice. He made it as simple as it could be. One command and one only. If you would disregard for a moment that they did in fact fail to keep this only command you would see that this was the best it could possibly be. This was the world that you would have asked for.

To say otherwise as you have, suggesting that God withhold the Tree of Knowledge, is paradoxical. You cannot have free will and not have the possibility of failing.


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devinasheville

devinasheville wrote:

caner answered that correctly, if God were to make people with free will, He would have to make Himself not omniscient, free will can only exist if God doesn't know man's next action, so that doesnt make him deny God's omnipotence, God doesnt go outside of His character, plus, if God wasn't omniscient, then He wouldn't be God, He knows what He is doing, also caner was right when he said that God didn't make that world, He made this world, the Bible also says that God cannot lie, but does that make Him not omnipotent? no. He is in charge of what He does, and doesn't do

Quote:
the Bible also says that God cannot lie

We are not adressing what God said he would or would not do. We are not adressing what the Bible says he will or will not do. We are talking about capabilities or "powers". 

If you put the word "all" in front of "power" that means capable of anything. So in order for a claimed deity to take the atribute "all powerfull" it must incorperate lying otherwise you have set a limit on it which contradicts the usage of the word "all".

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He is in charge of what He does, and doesn't do

Isnt it amazing how an ambiguous statement like that dodges any criticism that may put a claimed deity in a bad light. Using ambiguity to back up ambiguity is very typical for the believer.

Dont feel bad, believers of other Abrahamic gods do the exact same thing. When faced with illogical statements they prop them up with ambiguity. Playdough responses give the believer everything they hope for but never leads them to logic.

Go look up the word "all", I'd hardly think "cant" is an atribute of a claimed being who is "all powerfull".

"ALL" IS IN DIRECT CONTRADICTION TO "CANT" 

 

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DMC, your reply was

DMC, your reply was soooooooo very predictable.

Quote:
You obviously fail to grasp the scale of limitation that our hypothetical world would have as opposed to the actual world we live in.

No, I think it is you who fails to grasp the limitations that our hypothetical world would NOT have.

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Careful reading of my first post will show why.

Careful reading of your post has only shown that you are placing more limitations than need be. I will explain shortly:

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And if I do not have the capacity to harm another, do I have the potential to form a good relationship?

Yes, you always have the right to love somebody if you consider him/her worthy of your love. I don't love Oprah, for instance, but I do love my girlfriend. There is no sin related to any of these actions.

Quote:
If so, where is the free will in only being able to interact with others on a positive level?

You can interact on a negative level as well. Telling someone that you do not love him/her isn't a sin, yet, if they have love for you, that is a negative thing. It doesn't bring any harm to them. Also, if I tell you that you are ugly (hypothetical situation, of course), I am interacting with you negatively, but that brings no harm to you. If I spank my child's bottom for being a pain in the arse and doing all sorts of bad things, as a correction method, I am not doing any harm to him, but yet I am interacting on a negative level. If I, as a haircutter, cut someone's hair, I am interacting with him on a negative level, because I take something from him, yet it doesn't harm him.

Quote:
So then what sin can I commit? What offense? What crime? All those listed for example in the ten commandments are either crimes against God or crimes against my "neighbor" so-to-speak. But according to our model, my actions may "only cause harm to myself."

Indeed, that was the actual point of the question. Nobody would be able to commit sins anymore.

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Could I forgive a thief who robbed my neighbor?

Yes, of course I can forgive someone for doing that. The thief is also my neighbour, and if that thief happens to be stealing because he's got nothing to eat, and nobody would help him, forgiving that thief is just as scripturally neighbourly as is helping the robbed one recover the goods.

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It is a paradox.

A man that cannot sin is a paradox? For you maybe, but not for me. Do not extend your limitations over other people (such as you did with not being able to forgive the thief).

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"Could God create a world with free will without free will?"

You know, it's a really good thing that theists are finally getting the point of the "rock paradox".

 

So there you have it. We go on with your reply.

Quote:
Pointing out our already limited free will, that is the lack of omnipotence does nothing to address the legitimate logical conclusion that I expressed.

Actually, it has more to do than you've realized. You are arguing that such a hypothetical world would severely reduce our free will (which isn't necessarily true, as I pointed out, but let's say it is so). So I'm arguing that our free will is already severely reduced, so my conclusion would be that it wouldn't make much of a difference.

Quote:
Without the Tree of Knowledge, there would have been no free will. The Tree, and more specifically the accompanying command made it possible for Adam and Eve to sin. Without it, Satan could have run rampant with temptation and it would never have made any difference because there was no alternative to being good.

OK, so if Adam and Eve could have only been good, why isn't there free will? Because free will (as I pointed out in the first paragraph of my original response, through examples, but you totally missed the point) doesn't mean "the ability to do both good and evil", as theists would take it, but "the ability to consider any course of action independently of anyone, with limitation only to the natural conditions to which the subject of free will is bound to". therefore, Adam and Eve would have had the free will to do anything that they pleased (as God originally told them). Consider what God said: "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat" (Genesis 2:16). So they had the free will to consider whether they would eat an apple, or a pear, whether they would run around or build a kite, whether they would bathe in the water, or watch the butterflies fly, etc. They can still choose. Free will.

Quote:
They didn't know the difference between good and evil and so would have been incapable of committing either, except for the one and only command they had. To obey was good and to disobey was evil. What you just described, "NOT [putting] the tree of knowledge in there" is a world without free will.

As I demonstrated directly above, your point is null here. But if you admit they didn't know the difference between good and evil, since we're here, let me ask you something:

If they didn't know what is good and evil, how would they possibly know that it's a bad thing to disobey orders?

Quote:
And yet, in a world with those limitations no positive interaction could occur either, leaving you and everyone else without the ability even to care that he died.

Why would such positive interactions not occur? Am I not free to express my love for someone? Am I not free to give a woman flowers? Am I not free to buy someone that I respect a really expensive gift, as a token of my appreciation? Well, yes I could...

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You still don't get it. The possibility of tragedy, death, calamity, and sickness comes hand in hand with the ability to love and hate.

No, you are wrong. It doesn't come hand in hand. I don't love you, but that doesn't mean that I hate you. False dichotomy. And between us there has been no death, tragedy, sickness or calamity. I am simply indifferent on you. Q.E.D.

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God created a world with just enough free will to make it a choice.

"Less" free will also means making choices. Not having the ability to shoot someone also made it a choice before gunpowder was invented, and that can be said about pretty much all negative ways of interaction between humans.

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He made it as simple as it could be.

No he didn't. Because if I have an Angelman's syndrome, or a Down syndrome, I am severely limited. Could God have made us simply some energy spheres floating around, and not dependent on to millions and millions of parameters, in which if one goes wrong, the whole system is screwed up? You call that simple? Because I don't.

Just because YOU cannot imagine something simpler, that doesn't mean that others cannot.

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One command and one only. If you would disregard for a moment that they did in fact fail to keep this only command you would see that this was the best it could possibly be. This was the world that you would have asked for.

No, it's not the world I would have asked for. Really. You have absolutely no idea what a perfect world means for me. And judging by the limitations you have demonstrated in having until now, you will never be able to understand such a world.

Quote:
To say otherwise as you have, suggesting that God withhold the Tree of Knowledge, is paradoxical. You cannot have free will and not have the possibility of failing.

Oh yes you can. Google "Angelman's syndrome" or "autism", I think they're two perfect examples.

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Our main disagreement stems

Our main disagreement stems from the fact that you believe that there is a great deal of potential activity outside the dichotomy of good and evil and I do not. I will revise my model and allow you that, "they had the free will to consider whether they would eat an apple, or a pear, whether they would run around or build a kite, whether they would bathe in the water, or watch the butterflies fly, etc." The whole point is that God was not interested in how we would spend our time being good, but whether we would be good at all. What we would choose! Without that potential the existence of deciding in what manner we would be good today is a dry one indeed, at least in my eyes.

I was mistaken to assume your ideal world at the end of my post. In all honesty though, it would have been my ideal world. I used simple in a philosophical sense as should have been evident from my usage and I do not wish to take this into a "well-why-are-we-created-this-way-instead-of-..." direction considering that it begins to wander fromt the point of the thread. When I said "He made it as simple as it could be" I meant He made it as simple as it could be while preserving free will. I thought that too was evident. Moreover, I will stick to my assertion that you cannot have free will without the possibility of failing. Consider the following quotes by C.S. Lewis:

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We shall see how silly it is to ask as somebody once asked me, "Why did God make a creature of such rotten stuff that it went wrong?" The better stuff a creature is made of -the cleverer and stronger and freer it is- the better it will be if it goes right, but also the worse it will be if it goes wrong. A cow cannot be very good or very bad; a dog can be both better and worse; a child better and worse still; an ordinary man, still more so; a man of genius, still more so; a superhuman spirit, best-or worst-of all.

Quote:
Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently He thought it worth the risk. Perhaps we feel inclined to disagree with him. But there is a difficulty about disagreeing with God. He is the source from which all your reasoning power comes: you could not be right and he wrong anymore than a stream can rise higher than its own sourc. When you are arguing against him, you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on. If God thinks this state of war in the universe is a price worth paying for free will-that is, for making a live world in which creatures can do real good or harm and something of importance can happen, instead of a toy world which only moves when he pulls the strings-then we may take it it is worth paying.

Lastly, let me restate my analogy about you forgiving a man who robbed your neighbor for clarity. My point was not to ask if you could bring yourself to forgive said thief, but that said thief has no need of your forgiveness. You could give it but it would make no difference. He has not committed any offense against you! The point of that was to ask in essence, who is God to forgive sins unless he is the party chiefly offended in all offenses. And subsequently, there is no offense that harms only a man's self which negates the possibility of Kelly's hypothetical world. Paradox. Period.


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oh wow i cant believe we're

oh wow i cant believe we're even arguing over what caner said. he called himself an idiot and spent zero time proving gods existance.


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American Atheist

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He's not as smart as I thought he was going to be.

I had to leave because I felt embarrassed for him on some level. I was also embarrassed for my former self who was brainwashed into believing the same things.

STILL, I wonder why Sapient, Rook and Kelly didn't press him harder. He just blathered on and on and on and on, saying things that made absolutely no sense. If their goal was to let him hang himself, fine, but neither he or his fellow brainwashees were challenged very much. It kind of reminded me of the Democratic Party's strategy in 2004 (one Dem strategist called it "political judo&quotEye-wink, which failed miserably.

What freethinkers heard was a guy making a complete fool of himself.  What fundy Christians heard was a beautiful sermon, solidifying their core beliefs. 

If RRS had some other strategy I missed, I'd like to know what it was. *shrug*

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Iruka, what you missed was

Iruka, what you missed was Brian Flemming dragging his bleeding  theist ass across barbed wire later in the program.

Sapient said at some point that they were taking it easy on him so that he wouldn't get too defensive before Brian could get a hold of him.

Having said that, there were several times when I was trying not to jump out of my chair, wishing that someone would ask the next question that would corner him, so I definitely know where you're coming from.

Politics is a crappy game sometimes.  I would love to get the really big names in xtianity to come here, but they won't if they know it's just going to be a gang rape, so in a away, I almost would rather keep the debate going rather than completely pwn someone right off the bat.

 Tough call, either way.

 

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DMC wrote: Let's consider

DMC wrote:

Let's consider the question in a little more depth. That is, let us draw a picture of this "world in which free will exists, but people's actions...only cause harm to themselves." 

First of all, what kind of limitation is required for one's actions to only harm themself? And if I do not have the capacity to harm another, do I have the potential to form a good relationship?

Why not? Why are you placing limits on what a 'god' could do?

And why do you presume that humans must be precisely as they are... why must there be humans at all? Why not merely 'spiritual' entities? 

Quote:
 

If so, where is the free will in only being able to interact with others on a positive level?

Why even have positive and negative at all? Why must existence necessarily be prescribed this way, if there is an omnipotent, omniscient creator?

It seems that you assume that some things mut be precisely as they are, but to say that god is the 'omnipotent, omniscient creator' is to deny that anything needs to be precisely as they are...

Quote:
 

 A prerequisite has already been set before I engage anyone that I am not able to harm them in any form, thus my actions are limited and my free will severely impaired.

But this begs the question that free will must include the ability to harm others in the first place.  Otherwise, since our free will is necessarily limited, in that we can only choose from viable options to begin with, it makes no sense to talk of limits on free will as impairments on free will.

For example, is it an impairment on our free will that we cannot fly to the moon by swinging our arms, or a limitation?

Now, we must examine the theistic justification for free will... don't you  hold that we 'have free will' so we can 'choose god'. Well, if this is the case, then why should free will include the abilty to harm others, particularly when this ability actually takes away the free will of others, when harm leads to murder. 

 

Quote:

 So then what sin can I commit? What offense? What crime? All those listed for example in the ten commandments are either crimes against God or crimes against my "neighbor" so-to-speak. But according to our model, my actions may "only cause harm to myself."

 

Why just those crimes? Why not more, or less? Why can't I steal the moon, or steal ideas from your head.

And and why have we come to the 'proper' amount of possible crimes?

Does this concern you at all? 

 

Quote:

 Biblically, it is very clear that God considers himself the party chiefly offended in all offenses, else Jesus Christ could not have walked about forigiving sins as he did.

How exactly does it make sense for an all intelligent, mature, god to be insulted or hurt at all, let alone by the acts of his own creation, for which he is perfectly responsible for in the first place? 

 

Quote:
 

Could I forgive a thief who robbed my neighbor? Of course not! I am not the offended party. Even a crime against myself would logically also be a crime against my creator on account that if I am indeed created, I am not my own (which is also iterated in scripture.

Again, you presume that there is harm, and that there is a need for the harm to be readdressed... but these assumptions themselves need to be questioned.

Would you be harmed by the evil intent of one ant against another?  Would you seek to respond to the harm by eternally torturing the ants?

 

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So then, there are no sins left to commit in our hypothetical world! If I am not offending my fellow man or my creator, even myself, I cannot sin!

Um... why is sin required in the first place?

IF you say "coz of free will" you've just sent yourself into a spiral.

 

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It is a paradox.

Isn't that just a pleasant euphemism for saying 'big problem'?

 

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 It is tantamount to saying "Could God create a world with free will without free will?" No you say? But doesn't that contradict God's omnipotence? Of course not! A paradox is still a paradox regardless of whether you tag the phrase "Could God..." onto the front of it.

Why is 'god' unable to violate the law of contradiction? (I'm assuming you are employing it in a metaphysical sense here, and not in a logical sense.

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 So Ergun correctly stated that God could not have created a world in which free will exists, but people's actions would only cause harm to themselves.

No. There's nothing correct about that claim. There's not even a logical contradiction in holding that a god who already places limits on free will, could change the nature of the limits.

And of course, we could debate whether omnipotence allows for internal contradiction, but it's not necessary here.

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But for the sake of argument, I will even take this one step further. Let us now suppose there exists a hypothetical sin which does not offend another human or God and that is the sin that I am capable of committing thus satisfying the prerequisite of free will that I be able to sin or do good as I please. I am now the only one offended and the only one harmed by this act (although why anyone would commit it I am not sure). We now have a world with some free will and I am the only one harmed by my actions. Is that a world worth creating? Is that a world worth living in?

Why not? You simply assume it isn't (by implication).

And why do you define free will as the ability to sin, when theologically, the supposed need for free will is to choose god... 

Again, I think there are a lot of assumptions that go unnoticed in your view (hey, that's true of all of us).

 

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DMC wrote: Our main

DMC wrote:

Our main disagreement stems from the fact that you believe that there is a great deal of potential activity outside the dichotomy of good and evil and I do not. 

This is completely moot. What matters is whether an omnipotent, omniscient creator COULD make it so, and there is no reason why they answer isn't YES.

Again, you're key problem here is that you operate under the Panglossian error: you assume that what is, must be, yet, at the same time, believe in a 'creator' upon which everything that exists, exists contingently.

contradiction. 

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Quote: Why even have

Quote:
Why even have positive and negative at all? Why must existence necessarily be prescribed this way, if there is an omnipotent, omniscient creator?

You are mistaken. Existence is not prescribed by positive and negative or good and evil else that would make me a dualist. The important distinction between the two is this: good and evil do not exist as independent opposing forces. There is good and the perversion thereof. God created a world without evil in it, but not the inability of a creature to become evil at which point I would direct you back to my first C.S. Lewis quote. And look! We are back to our argument of free will which we obviously define differently and I rather more strictly.

You are not showing how a better world as you describe it could logically exist simply that "God is omnipotent and so it must be possible else he is not."

Quote:
It seems that you assume that some things mut be precisely as they are, but to say that god is the 'omnipotent, omniscient creator' is to deny that anything needs to be precisely as they are...

Not so. God is obviously a self-limiting character. Why else would he send his son whom he claims to love as a sacrifice instead of simply pardoning humanity out of his omnipotence. Apparently there are rules that govern His interaction with his creation. There must be something in the character of God that forbids such things. So the only thing I am assuming, is that the creator of both worlds is the same. If we are going to throw in a hypthetical god as well then have fun.

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How exactly does it make sense for an all intelligent, mature, god to be insulted or hurt at all, let alone by the acts of his own creation, for which he is perfectly responsible for in the first place?

Now I did not explain how God was the offended party; simply that it is evident that he was, or believed himself to be. As to how it is that this is so, I will try and explain.

I simply do not see how God giving a single command and explicitly stating some of the consequences of disobeying it leaves him responsible for their disobedience. We are not in some sick cosmic game of Mao in which we must guess the rules and suffer the consequences when we guess wrongly. It is now, and even moreso then was very clear what the rule (singular) was. So the last clause of your question is erroneous. I would also here refer you back to my first quote of C.S. Lewis.

It makes perfect sense for the creator to be offended (distinction should be made here between your use of insulted or hurt as they do not necessarily apply) by the acts of his creation. When they sin, even against each other or themselves they are breaking rules set down by the Creator and it is His will being acted against. I could go into more depth here but that is the basis of it.

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Would you be harmed by the evil intent of one ant against another? Would you seek to respond to the harm by eternally torturing the ants?

Faulty analogy. If I created the ants and apparently love the ants on account of that then I would certainly be party to their misdeeds. Your second question is a gross oversimplification and not common to the content of this thread.

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Um... why is sin required in the first place?

IF you say "coz of free will" you've just sent yourself into a spiral.

Let me refer back to my first paragraph. One needs not create good and evil, only good which then has the possibility of being perverted (which is what evil is, perversions of good). If all creatures are then limited from the creation of evil then free will is gone. The key element here is not whether you have choice to do one thing or the other as you suggest, but that a creature as the choice of how to relate to its creator. All other "free will" as you would still call it is trivial and insignificant especially in the eyes of God. This choice is the driving force behind creation in the first place.

If we disagree at this point it is because we cannot reconcile our definitions of free will, which is fine but the benefit of continuing discussion in light of that is somewhat diminished.

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Isn't that just a pleasant euphemism for saying 'big problem'?

No. I meant paradox.

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No. There's nothing correct about that claim. There's not even a logical contradiction in holding that a god who already places limits on free will, could change the nature of the limits.

I have pointed out that these limitations are outgrowths of God's own character as opposed to arbitrary rules he sets. If that is all they were then you would be correct.

Quote:
And why do you define free will as the ability to sin, when theologically, the supposed need for free will is to choose god...

My definition and your statement (which is correct) are not contradictory in the least. This seems obvious to me so if you could explain the supposed problem between them a little further I'd respond.

Quote:
This is completely moot. What matters is whether an omnipotent, omniscient creator COULD make it so, and there is no reason why they answer isn't YES.

Again, you're key problem here is that you operate under the Panglossian error: you assume that what is, must be, yet, at the same time, believe in a 'creator' upon which everything that exists, exists contingently.

As I already stated, my only assumption is that the same God created our world and would be creating the hypothetical world. Therefore some things can and must be the same. I've explained this in more detail above.

 

 

 


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I see Todangst's opinion is

I see Todangst's opinion is somewhat similar to mine, so I hope he won't mind me answering DMC.

Quote:
You are mistaken. Existence is not prescribed by positive and negative or good and evil else that would make me a dualist.

Actually, that was precisely his point as well.

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The important distinction between the two is this: good and evil do not exist as independent opposing forces.

It is a very good point, but what needs to be added is that they don't even exist as dependend opposing forces. What isn't good isn't necessarily bad. so what you further added:

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There is good and the perversion thereof.

...isn't necessarily true, as another status exists: that of indifference. Some facts are neither good, nor bad. I am neither good to most oh the people in the world whom I don't know, nor bad to them, I am indifferent to them, and they to me.

Besides, let us assume that this false dichotomy is real, what do we define as being good? I find it more likely that we define "bad" first, as it is far more easy to define and far more independent (though it is dependent itself) than good. We could therefore state that it is "good" that is a perversion of "bad", not the opposite way around.

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God created a world without evil in it, but not the inability of a creature to become evil

You are contradicting yourself here. God didn't create a creature that is directly "evil", true, but giving them a possibility to become evil, it means that the concept of evil already existed. And since nothing could be created "ex nihilo" without the intervention of God (according to religion), it means that it is God that has created the concept of evil in the first place.

Quote:
You are not showing how a better world as you describe it could logically exist simply that "God is omnipotent and so it must be possible else he is not."

An improvement to this world as religion describes it would simply be the absence of Hell. But that would still have many many problems (not that those problems aren't on today as well - http://www.abarnett.demon.co.uk/atheism/etiquette.html - I like the 8th item best, you'll see why)

Quote:
Not so. God is obviously a self-limiting character.

It isn't that obvious to me, though... can he limit himself out of existence? If so, perhaps he already did that... what challenge could he ever have had until now?

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Why else would he send his son whom he claims to love as a sacrifice instead of simply pardoning humanity out of his omnipotence.

That's... a very good question. Atheists all around are trying to answer that in a logical manner, but, and here I quote Dawkins, only two words come to mind to describe such a thing: "barking mad".

Quote:
Apparently there are rules that govern His interaction with his creation. There must be something in the character of God that forbids such things. So the only thing I am assuming, is that the creator of both worlds is the same. If we are going to throw in a hypthetical god as well then have fun.

Well there goes his omnipotence, out the window...

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I simply do not see how God giving a single command and explicitly stating some of the consequences of disobeying it leaves him responsible for their disobedience.

It has to do with the omniscience vs. free will problem... which even today constitutes one of the fundamental differences between theists and atheists.

Also, as an analogy, when a parent leaves a boiling pot of water on the stove, and the little kid pulls it down and dies of being burnt, do we hold the parents responsible? Yes, we do.

Quote:
We are not in some sick cosmic game of Mao in which we must guess the rules and suffer the consequences when we guess wrongly. It is now, and even moreso then was very clear what the rule (singular) was. So the last clause of your question is erroneous. I would also here refer you back to my first quote of C.S. Lewis.

I would again refer you to Barnett's site, more precisely here: http://www.abarnett.demon.co.uk/atheism/eden.html.

Do have fun answering the problems there. Before you do, it's pointless to argue on the road you just took.

Hambydammit or deludedgod, I'm not sure which one (or even if one of them) had a three questions in a follow-up about Adam and Eve and their fruit of knowledge, that can be just as well be placed here.

Quote:
It makes perfect sense for the creator to be offended (distinction should be made here between your use of insulted or hurt as they do not necessarily apply) by the acts of his creation. When they sin, even against each other or themselves they are breaking rules set down by the Creator and it is His will being acted against. I could go into more depth here but that is the basis of it.

I think Todangst is trying to say that God knows forehand of everything that is about to happen. This way he knows that in 2000 years he should feel insulted. So how the heck can he be insulted, if he already knows forehand everything? In the light of omniscience, there are a few concepts that have no point at all:

- being insulted

- hoping

- getting mad (unless you get mad at yourself)

- being disappointed

...and the list could go on. You're omniscient. You know the future exactly. What are you therefore hoping for? a miracle?

Quote:
Faulty analogy. If I created the ants and apparently love the ants on account of that then I would certainly be party to their misdeeds. Your second question is a gross oversimplification and not common to the content of this thread.

Though I agree that the analogy is indeed a bit faulty, the answer to it proves a personal answer. I for one wouldn't care about them much. And the second question isn't a gross oversimplification, as Todangst's referring to Hell, an analogy with what humans are about to receive.

To sum it up, people are being punished with eternal torture with something that God knew they would do even before they were created.

But yes, this hasn't much to do with the point of the thread.

Quote:
One needs not create good and evil, only good which then has the possibility of being perverted (which is what evil is, perversions of good).

Definitions are killing us. False dichotomies are too. Let me refer you to my first paragraphs as well.

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If all creatures are then limited from the creation of evil then free will is gone.

The free will is gone only in the problem of choosing between good and evil. As I pointed out (and hoped for you to have understood), free will doesn't refer only to the problem of good and evil. So therefore only a tiny part of the free will would be gone.

Quote:
The key element here is not whether you have choice to do one thing or the other as you suggest, but that a creature as the choice of how to relate to its creator. All other "free will" as you would still call it is trivial and insignificant especially in the eyes of God. This choice is the driving force behind creation in the first place.

So you are referring to free will only in relations with God. OK then, let me give you an example of why your logic is faulty:

Let's assume that you play the role of Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg, and you attempt to assassinate Hitler. You do as the plan and push the bomb briefcase right next to Hitler. Let us also assume that Hitler's assistant doesn't move the bomb right next to the oak table support, so that the assassination, when carried out, is successful. Let's also assume that you don't leave the building, but that you stay there, making sure that the deed is done correctly and sacrificing yourself for freedom and an end to oppression. Let's also assume that the attempt doesn't happen in 1944, but in 1940. Let us assume that in the rush to plan your assassination attempt, and in the obvious stress that everything must go perfectly, or your life is in vain, you simply forget to go to Church and ask forgiveness for what you are about to do.

In this situation, it is unclear to me whether you would go toHeaven, or to Hell. Arguments are as follows:

For going to Heaven: you have just killed a tyrant that is about to senselessly murder many innocents, thus denying them life, and denying life (the great gift of God) to all those that should be born out of those innocents. You have killed one, indeed, but you have saved hundreds of thousands, even millions, if we are to count up to the present day only. Who knows how many more would have been born out of those even further on.

For going to Hell: you have just murdered. It wasn't self defense, it wasn't defending anyone of your close friends or any loved ones, you have just murdered someone that has done practically nothing on you. Also, since you knew that you will die, and you stayed there to die, you have also committed suicide, and you have also committed premeditated murder. Quite some heavy sins. One more argument is that you have no way of knowing, at that time, that Hitler won't repent right that instant and order a stop to all war and killing and wouldn't spend the rest of his life acknowledging that he was wrong and praying for forgiveness, as one of the most devout God-people that one is about to meet (It's true that we know he didn't do that, but could you know at that time, since you cannot foresee the future?).

So, what's the conclusion? Where does Claus dwell, in Heaven or in Hell?

The so-called choice God gives some people is quite difficult. How would you know which path to take? Will you sin, but become a martyr, or will you not sin, and watch thousands of innocents die, knowing that you could have saved them by simply killing ONE person.

 

Other parts of the post aren't worth repeating the same answer to.

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i more or less believe in a

i more or less believe in a combination of free will and determinism.  god by definition probably knows everything that's going to happen ahead of time (not being bound by linear temporality), and we by definition do not know what's going to happen ahead of time (being bound by linear temporality). 

the best way i can illustrate it is by using a discussion that took place in one of my classes the other week.  someone raised the issue of free will vs. determinism, and said "if everything we are going to do is written in stone, then how could we possibly have free will?"  and i said, "we don't have access to the stone." 

so from god's point of view (or rather, god as we have embodied him in order to understand him) existence is deterministic.  but from our point of view, it seems as though we have free will.  when we make decisions, change our lives, and recreate ourselves, we are genuinely making decisions in the world, regardless of whether or not all of these changes have been etched into some metaphysical stone for all of eternity.  it's free to us, and that's all that should matter to us.  

so yeah, both free will and determinism seem to coexist.   


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Hambydammit wrote: Iruka,

Hambydammit wrote:

Iruka, what you missed was Brian Flemming dragging his bleeding theist ass across barbed wire later in the program.

Sapient said at some point that they were taking it easy on him so that he wouldn't get too defensive before Brian could get a hold of him.

Aw, fuck!!!!!  I should have known something was up.  I guess I did on some level. PTHTHTHT 

Hambydammit wrote:
Having said that, there were several times when I was trying not to jump out of my chair, wishing that someone would ask the next question that would corner him, so I definitely know where you're coming from.

Yeah, exactly. Smiling

Of course, I haven't played the game as long as the core members and others have.  

Hambydammit wrote:
Politics is a crappy game sometimes. I would love to get the really big names in xtianity to come here, but they won't if they know it's just going to be a gang rape, so in a away, I almost would rather keep the debate going rather than completely pwn someone right off the bat.

Tough call, either way.

 

Yeah, now I need to hear Brian Flemming's questions and won't be able to for awhile...Damn.  Damn! Damn! Damn!  Eye-wink

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jmm, your point is so

jmm, your point is so invalid, that I don't even know where to start from. No offense. I'm going to just take it paragraph by paragraph, and start with something that we both agree on:

Quote:
god by definition probably knows everything that's going to happen ahead of time (not being bound by linear temporality), and we by definition do not know what's going to happen ahead of time (being bound by linear temporality).

Now comes the things that make your point invalid:

Quote:
someone raised the issue of free will vs. determinism, and said "if everything we are going to do is written in stone, then how could we possibly have free will?"  and i said, "we don't have access to the stone."

Two possibilities exist here: that we don't have access to SEE the stone, and that we don't have access to MODIFY the stone. Since I'm not sure which one you mean, I'm going to take them both:

1. you don't have access to modify the stone: you don't have access to modify the constitution of your country either, but you must respect it. More than 99% of the population will NEVER have access to modify it thorugh their whole life. Or the rules at your workplace, or whatever. If not, consequences will happen, same as with religion. So this situation is invalidated by reality itself.

2. you don't have access to see the stone: the people before Newton didn't have access to see the law of gravity, but they were all bound to respect it, nobody being able to simply choose to not respect it. So the point is again invalidated by reality itself.

Quote:
so from god's point of view (or rather, god as we have embodied him in order to understand him) existence is deterministic.

OK, we therefore agree on this one, but then you state:

Quote:
but from our point of view, it seems as though we have free will.

So it SEEMS that we have free will. Today it SEEMED that it's going to be a nice spring day where I live, but that doesn't change the fact that aftera while it started raining like hell. What it SEEMS to you has no relevance to reality. Reality simply doesn't much care about what it SEEMS to you.

Quote:
when we make decisions, change our lives, and recreate ourselves, we are genuinely making decisions in the world, regardless of whether or not all of these changes have been etched into some metaphysical stone for all of eternity.  it's free to us, and that's all that should matter to us.

No, that's not what should matter to us. If my actions are pre-recorded, let's take the following situation:

Supposingly that I am sitting at a table with you. I have a pair of scissors in my hand. At a certain point in the next 5 minutes, I am faced with an option: should I stick the scissors in your neck, and kill you, or should I not?

If God has it "in stone" that I will choose to kill you, it would appear to me that I am making the choice to kill you, but that doesn't change the fact that someone else (whoever created that "stone&quotEye-wink actually decided for me. Because if it is "written in stone" I cannot change my option, can I? If I choose not to kill you, it measn that what's "written in stone" isn't correct, which cannot happen.

So I have no other option than to kill you. However, that is a sin. I will be punished for it in eternal life.

Summing it up, someone else makes a decision for me, but I am being punished for it. That is the actual problem that we should be concerned with when talking about determinism and free will.

If you didn't understand this argument, feel free to tell me. I'll draw it for you.

Quote:
so yeah, both free will and determinism seem to coexist.

They only SEEM to coexist... they don't actually coexist.

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Rigor_OMortis wrote: jmm,

Rigor_OMortis wrote:

jmm, your point is so invalid, that I don't even know where to start from. No offense. I'm going to just take it paragraph by paragraph, and start with something that we both agree on:

no offense taken.

Quote:

Quote:
god by definition probably knows everything that's going to happen ahead of time (not being bound by linear temporality), and we by definition do not know what's going to happen ahead of time (being bound by linear temporality).

Now comes the things that make your point invalid:

Quote:
someone raised the issue of free will vs. determinism, and said "if everything we are going to do is written in stone, then how could we possibly have free will?" and i said, "we don't have access to the stone."

Two possibilities exist here: that we don't have access to SEE the stone, and that we don't have access to MODIFY the stone. Since I'm not sure which one you mean, I'm going to take them both:

1. you don't have access to modify the stone: you don't have access to modify the constitution of your country either, but you must respect it. More than 99% of the population will NEVER have access to modify it thorugh their whole life. Or the rules at your workplace, or whatever. If not, consequences will happen, same as with religion. So this situation is invalidated by reality itself.

2. you don't have access to see the stone: the people before Newton didn't have access to see the law of gravity, but they were all bound to respect it, nobody being able to simply choose to not respect it. So the point is again invalidated by reality itself.

i meant that we neither have access to see it nor modify it. it's a kind of bogus example to begin with, since there's probably no stone floating in the sky somewhere. to compare the constitution to the supposed predetermined actions of my existence doesn't work, because they're vastly different things. you can physically see the constitution; i have a copy of it. i cannot, however, see what i believe to be my collective predetermined actions. also, the constitution changes, we all know that. it's impossible to say whether or not my predetermined actions change in the eyes of god or not - they certainly change in my eyes.

Quote:

Quote:
so from god's point of view (or rather, god as we have embodied him in order to understand him) existence is deterministic.

OK, we therefore agree on this one, but then you state:

Quote:
but from our point of view, it seems as though we have free will.

So it SEEMS that we have free will. Today it SEEMED that it's going to be a nice spring day where I live, but that doesn't change the fact that aftera while it started raining like hell. What it SEEMS to you has no relevance to reality. Reality simply doesn't much care about what it SEEMS to you.

sure, it seems to me that i have free will. i cannot access a realm where my actions are predetermined, but i can imagine one, and it makes sense to me. that has a great deal of relevance to reality. as i've said in other posts, what seems to us to be the case is going to have to be way off in the grand scheme of things in order to make any sense. we're embodied beings speaking of the unembodyable. again, this is a bad example. comparing the weather to having the free will to make decisions doesn't work, because they're totally and completely unrelated phenomena.

Quote:

Quote:
when we make decisions, change our lives, and recreate ourselves, we are genuinely making decisions in the world, regardless of whether or not all of these changes have been etched into some metaphysical stone for all of eternity. it's free to us, and that's all that should matter to us.

No, that's not what should matter to us. If my actions are pre-recorded, let's take the following situation:

Supposingly that I am sitting at a table with you. I have a pair of scissors in my hand. At a certain point in the next 5 minutes, I am faced with an option: should I stick the scissors in your neck, and kill you, or should I not?

If God has it "in stone" that I will choose to kill you, it would appear to me that I am making the choice to kill you, but that doesn't change the fact that someone else (whoever created that "stone&quotEye-wink actually decided for me. Because if it is "written in stone" I cannot change my option, can I? If I choose not to kill you, it measn that what's "written in stone" isn't correct, which cannot happen.

So I have no other option than to kill you. However, that is a sin. I will be punished for it in eternal life.

i'll go ahead and say that you should definitely not stick scissors in my neck. haha.

but seriously, the fact that our actions seem free to us should be what matters to us. i fully believe that a philosophical life is a lifelong process of working through the seeming/being distinction, ideally progressing more towards being and farther away from seeming as you go along. but let's face it, the full truth and being of things is unattainable. you should know that if you've read your Heidegger closely.

if god has it "in stone" that you will kill me, then the best way i can put it is, the part where it says "so-and-so will stick a pair of scissors into so-and-so's neck on such-and-such a date" is there as a result of your decision to do so. in other words, it is in stone having taken your decision into account - now the deciding factors of that decision, be it mental illness, misfiring synapses or what have you, that's another debate altogether and irrelevant to this thread.

Quote:

Summing it up, someone else makes a decision for me, but I am being punished for it. That is the actual problem that we should be concerned with when talking about determinism and free will.

If you didn't understand this argument, feel free to tell me. I'll draw it for you.

Quote:
so yeah, both free will and determinism seem to coexist.

They only SEEM to coexist... they don't actually coexist.

i don't think that anyone makes your decisions for you, nor my decisions for myself. i believe that god has distances himself from us more than most people think. he clearly doesn't appear to us empirically, and rarely appears to us mystically or otherwise. as Augustine said, he's a circle whose center is everywhere, and whose circumference is nowhere. that's still inaccurate, but it at least begins to illustrate how hard it is to understand. as a christian of almost 10 years, i feel that i've only had true communion with god on two occasions. the rest of the time i'm left blind in the wilderness. we have documentation throughout history of this being the case more often than not.

and i'm fine with that. i don't expect god to literally be over my shoulder 24 hours a day. he's distant, he's very far away. i'm given no reason to believe that god is obligated to hold my hand throughout all of this. much of my journey has been alone - "alone with him", as some existentialists would say.

but anyway, in my opinion, free will and determinism coexist, not on our plane of consciousness, but in the grand scheme of things. the fact that my will SEEMS to be free is all that can possibly matter to me in the end, because i can only imagine an existence where my actions are verifiably predetermined - i cannot live it, it doesn't exist, it will never exist.

 

 

 

 


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Quote:i meant that we

Quote:
i meant that we neither have access to see it nor modify it. it's a kind of bogus example to begin with, since there's probably no stone floating in the sky somewhere. to compare the constitution to the supposed predetermined actions of my existence doesn't work, because they're vastly different things. you can physically see the constitution; i have a copy of it. i cannot, however, see what i believe to be my collective predetermined actions. also, the constitution changes, we all know that. it's impossible to say whether or not my predetermined actions change in the eyes of god or not - they certainly change in my eyes.

Granted. I will therefore scrap this method of comparing it to what you have in reality. My only attempt to make a point is that your conclusion that "we don't have access to the stone" doesn't change the fact that it is there (taken, of course, in a non-literal sense). But we go on:

Quote:
sure, it seems to me that i have free will. i cannot access a realm where my actions are predetermined, but i can imagine one, and it makes sense to me. that has a great deal of relevance to reality. as i've said in other posts, what seems to us to be the case is going to have to be way off in the grand scheme of things in order to make any sense. we're embodied beings speaking of the unembodyable. again, this is a bad example. comparing the weather to having the free will to make decisions doesn't work, because they're totally and completely unrelated phenomena.

Again you have rejected my example, I will have to just state my point directly (note to self: try not to speak in metaphors from now on): as above, just because it SEEMS that you are subject to something doesn't mean that you are actually subject to it. Anyway, this point will become irrelevant when we analyze your answer to my next question:

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but seriously, the fact that our actions seem free to us should be what matters to us. i fully believe that a philosophical life is a lifelong process of working through the seeming/being distinction, ideally progressing more towards being and farther away from seeming as you go along. but let's face it, the full truth and being of things is unattainable. you should know that if you've read your Heidegger closely.

I gave you a simple situation, this answer is irrelevant to it.

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if god has it "in stone" that you will kill me, then the best way i can put it is, the part where it says "so-and-so will stick a pair of scissors into so-and-so's neck on such-and-such a date" is there as a result of your decision to do so. in other words, it is in stone having taken your decision into account - now the deciding factors of that decision, be it mental illness, misfiring synapses or what have you, that's another debate altogether and irrelevant to this thread.

You fail to realize that it is exactly those deciding factors that are ALSO set "in stone". So I have no control on them. Even if, let's say, the stone is "erased" as time passes, that doesn't change the fact that whatever facts led to my condition are still there.

So let me rephrase it in a simple way: Man is faced with decision A or B. God knows man will take decision A. Can man take decision B?

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i don't think that anyone makes your decisions for you, nor my decisions for myself.

Answer the question above.

I will have to tall you that the vast majority of people do not understand the difference between an explicit condition and an implicit, necessary condition. If you do not understand such a difference, then omniscience actually has no opposition to free will. That, however, doesn't change the fact that they are logically incompatible.

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i believe that god has distances himself from us more than most people think. he clearly doesn't appear to us empirically, and rarely appears to us mystically or otherwise. as Augustine said, he's a circle whose center is everywhere, and whose circumference is nowhere. that's still inaccurate, but it at least begins to illustrate how hard it is to understand. as a christian of almost 10 years, i feel that i've only had true communion with god on two occasions. the rest of the time i'm left blind in the wilderness. we have documentation throughout history of this being the case more often than not.

I have a question: what were you before being a Christian? I am not to assume, of course, that your total age is 10 years, so please answer.

You now know the Christian doctrine. You also know about Satan. I therefore ask you another question: how do you know that your experiences of "communion with God" weren't, actually, induced by Satan? And how do you further know that they weren't induced by the Islamic devil, in order to stray you from the true God, Allah (metaphorical)?

Since you have the documentation throughout history of that being tha case more often, I therefore ask you, would it not bother you at any time that "this might not be right?"

What I've come to saying: "The biggest argument against religions together is the fact that they actually exist" - now doesn't it worry you the least that you might be worshipping the wrong god?

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but anyway, in my opinion, free will and determinism coexist, not on our plane of consciousness, but in the grand scheme of things.

"The grand scheme of things" is a concept that is incompatible with an omniscient, omnipotent God. What would be the purpose of that? God can do anything he pleases to (being omnipotent), and knows everything beforehand. It would be like telling a joke that God has already heard billions of times. He might laugh, out of social spirit, but a social spirit towards whom?

To whom must God prove this "grand scheme of things"? To whom is God accountable for?

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the fact that my will SEEMS to be free is all that can possibly matter to me in the end, because i can only imagine an existence where my actions are verifiably predetermined - i cannot live it, it doesn't exist, it will never exist.

I have no problem with your pre-defined environment, but if everything you do is predetermied, then why are you accountable for it? Why are you sent to Heaven or Hell, if someone/something has already pre-determined your course of life? THAT's the problem.

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Rigor_OMortis wrote:

Granted. I will therefore scrap this method of comparing it to what you have in reality. My only attempt to make a point is that your conclusion that "we don't have access to the stone" doesn't change the fact that it is there (taken, of course, in a non-literal sense). But we go on:

oh, i know that this doesn't change the fact that the stone is "still there". what i'm saying is, it cannot be a factor in our process of decision making due to the fact that we have no access to it, and are therefore uninfluenced by it.

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Again you have rejected my example, I will have to just state my point directly (note to self: try not to speak in metaphors from now on): as above, just because it SEEMS that you are subject to something doesn't mean that you are actually subject to it.

yeah, these examples always get really hairy. i started it with the stone example, and i shouldn't have (though it's a pretty common analogy in these discussions). i'll try to refrain if at all necessary from now on. and i agree that just because something seems to be the case doesn't necessarily mean that it's actually the case. i'll get more into this in a second.

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jmm wrote:
but seriously, the fact that our actions seem free to us should be what matters to us. i fully believe that a philosophical life is a lifelong process of working through the seeming/being distinction, ideally progressing more towards being and farther away from seeming as you go along. but let's face it, the full truth and being of things is unattainable. you should know that if you've read your Heidegger closely.

I gave you a simple situation, this answer is irrelevant to it.

it may be a tad meandering, but i don't think it's irrelevant at all. i'm saying that for humans, it's often very difficult to distinguish seeming from being.

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You fail to realize that it is exactly those deciding factors that are ALSO set "in stone". So I have no control on them. Even if, let's say, the stone is "erased" as time passes, that doesn't change the fact that whatever facts led to my condition are still there.

So let me rephrase it in a simple way: Man is faced with decision A or B. God knows man will take decision A. Can man take decision B?

it's not a matter of "can man take decision B", it's a matter of "in this situation, man will not take decision B." yes, i know that seems like a bullshit answer, and i freely admit that it's probably very inaccurate. up to now it's the best way i've learned to think about it, though. the bottom line is, i do not believe that we are bound by "the stone", but that we rather define the stone. there is no stone separate from our decisions. god just has access to it, and he's limited himself from altaring it.

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I will have to tall you that the vast majority of people do not understand the difference between an explicit condition and an implicit, necessary condition. If you do not understand such a difference, then omniscience actually has no opposition to free will. That, however, doesn't change the fact that they are logically incompatible.

i understand the difference. beyond that, i also agree that free will and determinism are logically incompatible.

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I have a question: what were you before being a Christian? I am not to assume, of course, that your total age is 10 years, so please answer.

i was a weak agnostic before i became a christian shortly after my 18th birthday. i am now 27.

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You now know the Christian doctrine. You also know about Satan. I therefore ask you another question: how do you know that your experiences of "communion with God" weren't, actually, induced by Satan? And how do you further know that they weren't induced by the Islamic devil, in order to stray you from the true God, Allah (metaphorical)?

my experiences with god very well could have been hallucinations, and yes, even induced by satan or the Islamic devil inorder to deter me from Allah. but now we're getting entirely too Cartesian, don't you think? i try my best to steer clear of the "evil genius" analogies, but i will agree to the possibility that my communion with god was not real. it just seems to me that it was.

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Since you have the documentation throughout history of that being tha case more often, I therefore ask you, would it not bother you at any time that "this might not be right?"

sure, it bothers me all of the time. i live in a fairly steady state of doubt concerning god. the path that i've chosen has not been one of wine and roses, but rather one of fear and trembling.

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What I've come to saying: "The biggest argument against religions together is the fact that they actually exist" - now doesn't it worry you the least that you might be worshipping the wrong god?

it worries me more that i may be worshipping nothing than worshipping the wrong god. when i was younger i used to think to myself, "how can i know that when i pray to Jesus i'm not actually praying to Allah or Buddha?" and other similar things. again, it's Cartesian (i.e. ridiculous). it's the evil genius. i avoid him.

beyond that, i think it's wholly plausible that one could worship a different god than myself and still be worshipping the "true god." now i'm not necessarily one of these "all paths lead to god" folks, but i think it's far less rigid and far more complicated than we can grasp.

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"The grand scheme of things" is a concept that is incompatible with an omniscient, omnipotent God. What would be the purpose of that? God can do anything he pleases to (being omnipotent), and knows everything beforehand. It would be like telling a joke that God has already heard billions of times. He might laugh, out of social spirit, but a social spirit towards whom?

To whom must God prove this "grand scheme of things"? To whom is God accountable for?

when i refer to "the grand scheme of things", i'm just talking more or less about our perspective plus god's perspective. he doesn't have to prove this scheme to anyone, nor is he accountable for anyone. i'm honestly not sure what you're trying to say here.

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I have no problem with your pre-defined environment, but if everything you do is predetermied, then why are you accountable for it? Why are you sent to Heaven or Hell, if someone/something has already pre-determined your course of life? THAT's the problem.

i feel as though i'm accountable for it because the fact that god knows what i'm going to do has no bearing on my decisions to actually do whatever it is i'm going to do. he's perfect, therefore he cannot be bound by the same things we are, although the two realms seemingly intersect at the moment of death.

 

 

 


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Quote: oh, i know that this

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oh, i know that this doesn't change the fact that the stone is "still there". what i'm saying is, it cannot be a factor in our process of decision making due to the fact that we have no access to it, and are therefore uninfluenced by it.

jmm, I'm not sure how you keep missing such an obvious flaw in your argument. Man's perception of his own reality is completely removed from the existence of that reality, and furthermore, man's perception of his own reality is in all ways irrelevant!

If I don't see a skunk crossing the street, my perception of reality is that there's no skunk. This perception, while perfectly valid, in no way changes the fact that I'm about to have skunk musk all over the underside of my car.

Your mistake is one of perspective. From man's perspective, it might seem as if we have free will, if we never perceive a force that has already predestined our actions. This is irrelevant if a force has done just that.

Second, semantic sambas do not change the reality of foreknowledge combined with creation. A being who creates a thing, knowing with certainty what will happen to the creation, is completely and uniquely responsible for the creation, absolutely independent of the creation's knowledge of its predestination.

Dance around the definitions all you want, but you cannot avoid this necessary truth simply by looking at it from a different vantage point.

 

 

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Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
oh, i know that this doesn't change the fact that the stone is "still there". what i'm saying is, it cannot be a factor in our process of decision making due to the fact that we have no access to it, and are therefore uninfluenced by it.

jmm, I'm not sure how you keep missing such an obvious flaw in your argument. Man's perception of his own reality is completely removed from the existence of that reality, and furthermore, man's perception of his own reality is in all ways irrelevant!

If I don't see a skunk crossing the street, my perception of reality is that there's no skunk. This perception, while perfectly valid, in no way changes the fact that I'm about to have skunk musk all over the underside of my car.

Your mistake is one of perspective. From man's perspective, it might seem as if we have free will, if we never perceive a force that has already predestined our actions. This is irrelevant if a force has done just that.

Second, semantic sambas do not change the reality of foreknowledge combined with creation. A being who creates a thing, knowing with certainty what will happen to the creation, is completely and uniquely responsible for the creation, absolutely independent of the creation's knowledge of its predestination.

Dance around the definitions all you want, but you cannot avoid this necessary truth simply by looking at it from a different vantage point.

 

 

i don't feel like i was dancing around definitions at all.  i would hesitate to say that man's perception of his own reality is completely removed from the being of that reality.  that's a ridiculous thing to say.  we are affected by our perceptions, however false or inaccurate they may be.  not some metaphysical pie in the sky prototype of our existence.  let's not get neoplatonic.

the skunk example is yet another terrible illustration, but let's work with it:  if you initially miss the skunk, just don't see it, then you're going to hit it.  the skunk resided in a state of temporary inaccesibility.  upon hitting him though, you're going to realize that he was there all along, and will subsequently be affected by hitting him (cleaning the car, being more watchful for skunks, etc.).  

my "predetermined actions", however, exist in a realm of permanent inaccesibility.  it's not like i can turn on the blender, stick my hand in the blades, puree my hand and then reference the stone - "well i'll be damned.  says here that i was going to do it anyway.  guess i had no choice."  it's just not the way things work, and it's futile to operate under the assumption that they could.

you say that my mistake is perspective, but i say that's where i'm correct.  i'm only speculating about god knowing my actions ahead of time.  i don't know it to be a 100% fact.  it certainly isn't verfiable.  i don't empirically perceive god, i.e. the force that has predetermined my actions.  therefore he and his supposed predeterminations have no affect on my experience as a human being.  

as far as god being responsible for his creation, i'm reluctant to use such language.  i mean sure, i'm responsible for the things that i do and create, but to place responsibility on someone presupposes a sort of accountability or liability - i.e., a student is responsible to his teacher for turning in his homework, a worker is responsible to his boss for showing up to work and doing a satisfactory job, a murderer is responsible to the judicial system for committing murder.  i don't know if god fits this bill.  who would he be accountable to?  

i know that it seems ludicrous, but i think this is just a result of embodying god, who is eternally unembodied.  we give him human characteristics, human emotions, and then ultimately - human responsibility.  and it just doesn't work.   

the bottom line is, i was not compelled to become a christian through these types of arguments.  i became a christian through a mystical, supernatural, divine, gnostic experience - whatever you wish to call it.  it had nothing to do with human logic and rationality.  it was the absurdity of it all that kept me from being a christian for so long, and it's the absurdity that hinders me to this day.  

so as a result, it's highly unlikely that anyone is going to convert me to atheism through logical discourse.  i'm not trying to convert any atheists, by the way.  that's not why i signed up here.  i signed up here because i watched the show with Caner and i became interested.  from post #1 i've made it clear that i'm a strong advocate of the personal, subjective experience on one's own terms.       


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Quote: i would hesitate to

Quote:
i would hesitate to say that man's perception of his own reality is completely removed from the being of that reality.

The same error again. Nobody's even approaching plato here. The premise is that free will exists. The rebuttal is that omniscience destroys all possibility of free will.

I get what you're saying. Really. You're saying that individually, people do not know what they are going to do, and they make decisions as if the outcome is not known. However, if god is omniscient, people have the illusion that their perception affects their reality, when in fact, everything about their life is unalterable. Each decision they come to, every choice they make was known billions of years ago, and there is absolutely nothing that they can do to change this fact. So their perception of free will has no effect on the universe. The universe WILL do exactly what god designed it to do, without even the slightest alteration. Any deviance from god's plan would mean god was not omniscient.

Now, just to play devil's advocate, your argument would be correct if and only if there is not an omniscient creator, but one necessarily cancels the other out. I'm truly sorry you can't see this.

Likewise, you completely missed the point of the skunk analogy. I don't know how else to explain to you that the point of the whole story is that the perception of reality does not affect reality for one who is not in control of it.

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my "predetermined actions", however, exist in a realm of permanent inaccesibility.

How many different ways are you going to say the same thing, and how many ways do you need to be shown that it's incorrect?

The fact that predetermined actions exist in any realm whatsoever proves that predetermined actions exist. Therefore, predetermination is inescapable.

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i'm only speculating about god knowing my actions ahead of time. i don't know it to be a 100% fact. it certainly isn't verfiable. i don't empirically perceive god, i.e. the force that has predetermined my actions. therefore he and his supposed predeterminations have no affect on my experience as a human being.

This is as close as you've come to making sense. True, you're only speculating about god knowing anything. True, it isn't verifiable. True, you can't empirically perceive god.

After that, though, you fall off the logic bus. The correct conclusion is:

Therefore, god either doesn't exist, or does not, or cannot interact with this universe.

Any of those conclusions debunk Christianity, and you can go about your life not worrying about big brother in the sky.

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as far as god being responsible for his creation, i'm reluctant to use such language.

I can understand your reluctance. If he's responsible, then he's a real dick.

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who would he be accountable to?

A pointless question. Responsibility and accountability are two different words, and it's a mistake to use them interchangably. I can be responsible for something without being accountable to anyone for it. Read your definitions more carefully. In this discussion, "responsible" means "chargeable with being the author, cause, or occasion of something."

You can say that you'd rather use another definition, but that will also be a pointless argument. If the following statement is true:

God created everything that exists.

Then, by definition, God is responsible for everything that exists. Use any word you want. The word is not the point. The meaning of the word is the point. God is the author, cause and occasion of the universe. This is what "responsible" means.

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i know that it seems ludicrous, but i think this is just a result of embodying god, who is eternally unembodied.

Pegged it. Ludicrous.

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we give him human characteristics, human emotions, and then ultimately - human responsibility. and it just doesn't work.

You're right. It creates a contradiction because of the supposed attributes of god. Where you fail completely is in missing the obvious point that god therefore does not exist as described.

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the bottom line is, i was not compelled to become a christian through these types of arguments.

That speaks to a certain level of intelligence. Good for you.

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i became a christian through a mystical, supernatural, divine, gnostic experience - whatever you wish to call it. it had nothing to do with human logic and rationality.

I agree that it had nothing to do with logic and rationality.

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so as a result, it's highly unlikely that anyone is going to convert me to atheism through logical discourse.

I believe you. You admit freely that you have no use for rationalilty.

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i'm not trying to convert any atheists, by the way. that's not why i signed up here. i signed up here because i watched the show with Caner and i became interested.

Out of curiosity, what are you trying to do?

Since this is the "Rational Response" board, and you've admitted that you're irrational and that your arguments are illogical, surely you don't expect anyone to pat you on the back, do you?

Why are you even presenting your case, if you don't expect it to accomplish anything?

Actually, lets go back to something you said...

Quote:
i'm only speculating about god knowing my actions ahead of time. i don't know it to be a 100% fact. it certainly isn't verfiable. i don't empirically perceive god, i.e. the force that has predetermined my actions. therefore he and his supposed predeterminations have no affect on my experience as a human being.

1) You admit you don't know for certain that something you read in the bible is correct.

2) You admit you cannot empirically prove god.

In other words, you have doubts about the veracity of the bible.

Good!

The question is, why would you not subject these doubts to the same degree of skepticism that any other highly doubtful claim would get?

Why does your mystical experience get a free pass from logic?

Are you not aware that people the world over have been having deep and convincing mystical experiences for millenia? Before anyone ever invented the name Yahweh, mystics had been contacting various spirits, and casting spells, and praying for rain... for thousands of years!

What about the monks who achieve a state of transcendence through meditation? Are you going to say that they dedicated their entire lives to this, but did not have a convincing "mystical experience?" How arrogant of you to assume that the rest of the population is so dumb, and you have it exactly right, because your mystical experience "felt real."

Pheh.

And theists have the balls to call skeptics arrogant.

 

 

 


 

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jmm, I think there's really

jmm, I think there's really something that you're really really missing.

Quote:
it's not a matter of "can man take decision B", it's a matter of "in this situation, man will not take decision B." yes, i know that seems like a bullshit answer, and i freely admit that it's probably very inaccurate.

I asked a very simple question. Believe me, it cannot get any simpler than this. I asked you whether man CAN or CANNOT take decision B.

If the stone already exists and is there to stay, what does the man define? Because he simply will not take any decisions other than what's on the stone. That means that there is a kind of force that makes man simply not take any decision other than the word of stone. If there wouldn't be one, then there should be at least one example of situation in which someone or something didn't take that path.

A decision occurs every instant of time that is not less than Planck's minimum timespan. So judging only from last year, there are gazillions of entities, each acting on decision over that infinitesimal timespan. That would make a huge stone, trust me. Considering the many relation between elements (for instance, if a few mollecules of potassium cyanide decided to form inside of me, I'd be VERY dead), any alteration of just one decision would render the whole stone useless, as time will simply take another course. That rock that I dug out of my garden and threw to the side of the street today might be just the rock that a biker might hit tomorrow and die, and that referring to human scale, and not going to the depths of atomic scale.

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i'm saying that for humans, it's often very difficult to distinguish seeming from being.

That's just fine. A schizophrenic cannot, in many times, distinguish between what SEEMS and what IS, but that simply doesn't change the fact that something IS and something else just ISN'T.

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i understand the difference. beyond that, i also agree that free will and determinism are logically incompatible.

Then what can possibly make you still claim that they are both "online" in our world ?

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my experiences with god very well could have been hallucinations, and yes, even induced by satan or the Islamic devil inorder to deter me from Allah. but now we're getting entirely too Cartesian, don't you think? i try my best to steer clear of the "evil genius" analogies, but i will agree to the possibility that my communion with god was not real. it just seems to me that it was.

So you agree on this possibility. Since you still do consider your spiritual experiences real, there has to be a cause for which you do that. Would you please share it?

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sure, it bothers me all of the time. i live in a fairly steady state of doubt concerning god. the path that i've chosen has not been one of wine and roses, but rather one of fear and trembling.

I don't quite get it. Why do (some) people choose a path that is obviously difficult? It is true that sometimes the easiest way may not be the correct way, but that doesn't mean that the most difficult way is necessarily the correct one.

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it worries me more that i may be worshipping nothing than worshipping the wrong god. when i was younger i used to think to myself, "how can i know that when i pray to Jesus i'm not actually praying to Allah or Buddha?" and other similar things. again, it's Cartesian (i.e. ridiculous). it's the evil genius. i avoid him.

beyond that, i think it's wholly plausible that one could worship a different god than myself and still be worshipping the "true god." now i'm not necessarily one of these "all paths lead to god" folks, but i think it's far less rigid and far more complicated than we can grasp.

Whlist I do agree that you have many things to waste in a life worshipping nothing, that, however, is still far better than eternal torture, don't you think?

Almost all religions are mutually exclusive: if you're a Christian, you cannot enter the Muslim's Heaven, and vice-versa. It doesn't matter necessarily what YOU as a person thinks when you're talking about revelation and revealed truth.

Quote:
when i refer to "the grand scheme of things", i'm just talking more or less about our perspective plus god's perspective. he doesn't have to prove this scheme to anyone, nor is he accountable for anyone. i'm honestly not sure what you're trying to say here.

I'm trying to say here that this "grand scheme of things" is completely pointless for a God. What will it give him? What will it show him? Where will it lead him?

Quote:
i feel as though i'm accountable for it because the fact that god knows what i'm going to do has no bearing on my decisions to actually do whatever it is i'm going to do. he's perfect, therefore he cannot be bound by the same things we are, although the two realms seemingly intersect at the moment of death.

It doesn't matter what God is bound to. It matters what humans are bound to. We know what we're bound to, and this is one of the things. We know we're not bound to break the law of gravity simply by wishing it, we know we're not bound to resist an impact with a comet, we know we're not bound to function under body temperatures higher than 42 degrees Celsius, we know we are bound to principles of logic, etc. It doesn't matter whether or not God is bound by these... because God doesn't get sent to Hell for an eternity.

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i would hesitate to say that man's perception of his own reality is completely removed from the being of that reality.  that's a ridiculous thing to say.

No, actually, that is the true thing to say. Haven't you seen anyone dying? Haven't you seen his perception simply going away? Does that change the fact that the world is as we see it to be? No, it doesn't. Remove man, and whatever is here will continue to exist.

Quote:
the skunk example is yet another terrible illustration, but let's work with it:  if you initially miss the skunk, just don't see it, then you're going to hit it.  the skunk resided in a state of temporary inaccesibility.  upon hitting him though, you're going to realize that he was there all along, and will subsequently be affected by hitting him (cleaning the car, being more watchful for skunks, etc.).  

my "predetermined actions", however, exist in a realm of permanent inaccesibility.  it's not like i can turn on the blender, stick my hand in the blades, puree my hand and then reference the stone - "well i'll be damned.  says here that i was going to do it anyway.  guess i had no choice."  it's just not the way things work, and it's futile to operate under the assumption that they could.

I'm going to work with these two paragraphs, because they try as a team to make a point that is invalid again.

You're dismissing the example with the skunk-under-the-car because you are made aware, after the accident, of its consequences. Then you give an example that goes exactly the same way, but suddenly the rule doesn't apply to it anymore.

Two questions: how do you know it doesn't work that way? and if it actually doesn't work that way, how does it work?

Quote:
you say that my mistake is perspective, but i say that's where i'm correct.  i'm only speculating about god knowing my actions ahead of time.  i don't know it to be a 100% fact.  it certainly isn't verfiable.

Well, it's perfectly verifiable:

John 16:30, John 21:17, Matthew 17:11, Psalms 139:1-4, Proverbs 15:3, Job 21:22, Isaiah 46:10, Genesis 11:5, Genesis 18:21, Deuteronomy 8:3

Saying that the Bible is wrong is practically denying the only actual reference that we have of God (note I have referenced both OT and NT).

Quote:
i don't empirically perceive god, i.e. the force that has predetermined my actions.  therefore he and his supposed predeterminations have no affect on my experience as a human being.

That DOESN'T CHANGE THE FACT THAT YOUR ACTIONS CAN BE PRE-DETERMINED. A schizophrenic has ahllucinations which he cannot tell of being real or false, but that deosn't change the fact that they are illusions. Same with you: you might have the illusion that you have a free will, but that doesn't change the fact that someone/something only generates this impression.

Quote:
as far as god being responsible for his creation, i'm reluctant to use such language.  i mean sure, i'm responsible for the things that i do and create, but to place responsibility on someone presupposes a sort of accountability or liability - i.e., a student is responsible to his teacher for turning in his homework, a worker is responsible to his boss for showing up to work and doing a satisfactory job, a murderer is responsible to the judicial system for committing murder.  i don't know if god fits this bill.  who would he be accountable to?

How about this: a parent is responsible for supporting, educating and helping the kid in development TOWARDS THE KID, who later has the right to say "Papa, you've raised me to be a complete loser... Thanks a lot!" or, even worse, "Papa, you've raised me to be a drunkard and murdering my wife in an access of drunken fury, because that's the way you were, too. Thanks. From my prison cell I salute you." (prison cell - metaphor for Hell)

Quote:
i know that it seems ludicrous, but i think this is just a result of embodying god, who is eternally unembodied.  we give him human characteristics, human emotions, and then ultimately - human responsibility.  and it just doesn't work.

Well, don't blame us atheists! We don't even think your God exists! Blame your Bible, that's the one attributing human characteristics (e.g. "jealous God"...) to him. We know full well that just doesn't work, we're only hoping that one day theists will also come to know that. And understand it.

Quote:
the bottom line is, i was not compelled to become a christian through these types of arguments.  i became a christian through a mystical, supernatural, divine, gnostic experience - whatever you wish to call it.  it had nothing to do with human logic and rationality.  it was the absurdity of it all that kept me from being a christian for so long, and it's the absurdity that hinders me to this day.

Then why on Earth are you still attached to your religion? Tell me, I want to know.

Quote:
so as a result, it's highly unlikely that anyone is going to convert me to atheism through logical discourse.

So that makes you...

Quote:
i'm not trying to convert any atheists, by the way.  that's not why i signed up here.  i signed up here because i watched the show with Caner and i became interested.  from post #1 i've made it clear that i'm a strong advocate of the personal, subjective experience on one's own terms.

Do not worry. Nobody will care much if you remain a Christian. I, like you, am here because I'm interested in knowing what others think, why they think like that and what are the conditions that have make them think like that.

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okay, i'm just going to bow

okay, i'm just going to bow out of the "omniscience destroying free will" argument for now. i think we both get what the other is saying, we just disagree. and i'm fine with that. if i find a better way to articulate myself later, i'll pick it back up. right now it would probably be counterproductive.

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
i'm only speculating about god knowing my actions ahead of time. i don't know it to be a 100% fact. it certainly isn't verfiable. i don't empirically perceive god, i.e. the force that has predetermined my actions. therefore he and his supposed predeterminations have no affect on my experience as a human being.

This is as close as you've come to making sense. True, you're only speculating about god knowing anything. True, it isn't verifiable. True, you can't empirically perceive god.

After that, though, you fall off the logic bus. The correct conclusion is:

Therefore, god either doesn't exist, or does not, or cannot interact with this universe.

Any of those conclusions debunk Christianity, and you can go about your life not worrying about big brother in the sky.

i disagree with you. i don't think those are the only two conclusions. to say that this conclusion leads to only two options is bonehead logic on the order of Blaise Pascal or C. S. Lewis. at least Lewis gave 3 options to his conclusion - lord, liar, lunatic. no, it's far more nuanced than "therefore god either doesn't exist, or does not, or cannot interact with this universe." i myself have concluded that god interacts with the people of the universe, just far less than people would like to believe. like i said, i feel as though i've truly communicated with god on two occasions. that's fine by me. that throws no wrench into any of my "machines".

Hambydammit wrote:
Quote:
we give him human characteristics, human emotions, and then ultimately - human responsibility. and it just doesn't work.

You're right. It creates a contradiction because of the supposed attributes of god. Where you fail completely is in missing the obvious point that god therefore does not exist as described.

i fully agree that god does not exist as described. our descriptions are probably going to be very innacurate. it's just our way of understanding something that's impossible or at least very difficult to understand.

Hambydammit wrote:
Quote:
so as a result, it's highly unlikely that anyone is going to convert me to atheism through logical discourse.

I believe you. You admit freely that you have no use for rationalilty.

i never said that i have no use for it whatsoever, just that it's not the be-all end-all litmus test of human experience.

Hambydammit wrote:
Quote:
i'm not trying to convert any atheists, by the way. that's not why i signed up here. i signed up here because i watched the show with Caner and i became interested.

Out of curiosity, what are you trying to do?

Since this is the "Rational Response" board, and you've admitted that you're irrational and that your arguments are illogical, surely you don't expect anyone to pat you on the back, do you?

Why are you even presenting your case, if you don't expect it to accomplish anything?

well, i signed up here after watching the show with Ergun Caner. i was intrigued with what you guys are doing over here, and i wanted to sort of get out some thoughts i had on the show. i didn't necessarily intend to post more than once or twice in relation to friday's show, but i soon realized that this is a pretty active board with quite a few interesting forums. so i decided to stay a while, throw some ideas around, that sort of thing. i like to establish dialog with people who are much different than myself in terms of belief.

as far as accomplishing something, i would just like to break a few stereotypes that you guys seem to have about christians. you guys seem to be speaking to this christian archetype that does not represent every christian. for instance, i don't believe that the bible is infallible.

also, i'm not a young earth creationist. i believe that god set the mechanism that we've come to understand as evolution by natural selection into place, billions of years ago. i believe that man will someday go extinct, just like every other living creature has or will.

i'm not opposed to gay marriage. i believe that this type of prejudice is the result of an idiosyncratic and altogether irrelevant reading of the bible.

unlike most christians, i know ancient greek, and i read the new testament primarily in greek.

and the list goes on.

Hambydammit wrote:
Quote:
i'm only speculating about god knowing my actions ahead of time. i don't know it to be a 100% fact. it certainly isn't verfiable. i don't empirically perceive god, i.e. the force that has predetermined my actions. therefore he and his supposed predeterminations have no affect on my experience as a human being.

1) You admit you don't know for certain that something you read in the bible is correct.

2) You admit you cannot empirically prove god.

In other words, you have doubts about the veracity of the bible.

Good!

The question is, why would you not subject these doubts to the same degree of skepticism that any other highly doubtful claim would get?

oh, trust me, i have. in fact, i'm so highly critical of the bible and of god that i've found myself without a church. these sorts of questions are typically unwelcome, but i've refused to stop asking them. so yes, i do subject these doubts to a high degree of skepticism, and the result is - i have no place to fellowship.

Hambydammit wrote:
Why does your mystical experience get a free pass from logic?

Are you not aware that people the world over have been having deep and convincing mystical experiences for millenia? Before anyone ever invented the name Yahweh, mystics had been contacting various spirits, and casting spells, and praying for rain... for thousands of years!

my experiences don't get a free pass from logic. i've subjected them to a high degree of skepticism, and my end conclusion is that they are irrational and illogical. but as i've stated before, human rationality and logic are not the end-all be-all litmus tests for understanding human experience for me.

and yes i'm fully aware that people have been having mystical experiences for a long time, even before the time of christ.

Hambydammit wrote:
What about the monks who achieve a state of transcendence through meditation? Are you going to say that they dedicated their entire lives to this, but did not have a convincing "mystical experience?" How arrogant of you to assume that the rest of the population is so dumb, and you have it exactly right, because your mystical experience "felt real.

at this point, i think you're putting words into my mouth. how did i ever even hint at any of this? i made no assumptions that the rest of the population is so dumb and that i have it exactly right. this is you speaking, not me.

Hambydammit wrote:

Pheh.

And theists have the balls to call skeptics arrogant.

again, i've called absolutely noone arrogant.

it's like a regular corn field around here with all of these straw men.

 

 

 

 

 


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Since you're bowing out of

Since you're bowing out of the discussion, I'm not going to respond point for point. Rather, I'll make a couple of general observations for the benefit of those who will continue with this thread, if it is to continue.

I think it's safe to conclude, without putting words into your mouth, that you have doubts as to the validity of the bible. You have admitted that you do not know:

a) if god is omniscient.

b) if god interacts often with the world

c) if Yahweh/Jesus/Jehovah/Holy Spirit is the one(!) true god.

Ok, I guess I am going to call bullshit on a couple of things. Respond if you must.

First, it's fine and dandy to say that I have not provided enough options and compare me to C.S. Lewis and Pascal -- IF you demonstrate that there are other options, which you haven't, so either put up or can it.

(And, remember, Lewis left out the 4th option -- Myth. It's the same mistake you're consistently making.)

Ok, back to generalizations...

It's fine to admit doubt. Caner did a marvelous job of admitting doubt. What you, and Caner, and Pascal, and Lewis, and every other thoughtful theist has consistently done, however, is insist on overlooking cognitive dissonance, logical impossibility, and physical improbability on the subject of god, simply because you WANT to believe it's true.

The difference between a good scientist and a theist is that a scientist goes on the assumption he's wrong until he's proven correct! You have leaped over piles of contradictory evidence and assumed yourself to be correct, and are scrambling in seventy directions at once (seventy times seven?) to make the facts fit the conclusion.

Again, the question is begged, WHY GIVE THE PASS TO RELIGION?

The stock answer? Because there are other ways of knowing things than logic/science/empiricism, of course!

The nail in the coffin for that answer? How do you know that? If you can't provide a reason for knowing that, you are reduced to irrationality. Since any reason you could give would have to be logical, you are at an impasse.

JMM, I've continued this discussion with you because I sense the budding of a thinking skeptic in you, and I hate to see someone with the potential for so much good thought waste away in the never-never land of mystical experiences "proving" anything. Please do some reading about the science of mysticism. There are good, scientific reasons for the kinds of experiences you had. God didn't do it. Electricity in your brain did. Chemicals did. You just happened to be in a situation where people attributed it to the boogey man in the sky.

Oh, and JMM, please do something for yourself, for me, and for everyone else in this country. If you believe that there's nothing wrong with gay marriage, and you can see that the world is not 6000 years old, STAND UP IN YOUR CHURCH AND TELL PEOPLE! Don't go along with it just because you'll be unpopular. Don't you think there has to be a line drawn somewhere? Wouldn't god approve if you tried to stop the suffering of people who are being discriminated against for no good reason?

If there was a parable about your life, do you think God would reward the man who knew that the church was misguided, but did nothing to change it?

 

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Hambydammit wrote: Since

Hambydammit wrote:

Since you're bowing out of the discussion, I'm not going to respond point for point. Rather, I'll make a couple of general observations for the benefit of those who will continue with this thread, if it is to continue.

I think it's safe to conclude, without putting words into your mouth, that you have doubts as to the validity of the bible. You have admitted that you do not know:

a) if god is omniscient.

b) if god interacts often with the world

c) if Yahweh/Jesus/Jehovah/Holy Spirit is the one(!) true god.

i'm not bowing out permanently, i'm just trying to rethink the language i'm using so i can better articulate myself. i sound like a broken record, and that's never good. if i truly believe what i say, then i'll be able to find other ways to say it.

do i believe that god is omniscient? the short answer: no.

does god interact often with the world? i can't speak for the world, but i personally don't think he interacts very often with me. i could very well be a minority.

yahweh/jesus/jehova/holy spirit are all names and embodiments that we've constructed over the millenia for the purpose of understanding this thing that we seemingly can't understand - god. i'm pretty open to the possibility of buddha, krishna, or allah being the true god for someone else. again, these are all embodiments, and they're going to be wildly inaccurate in a broad sense.

Hambydammit wrote:
Ok, I guess I am going to call bullshit on a couple of things. Respond if you must.

First, it's fine and dandy to say that I have not provided enough options and compare me to C.S. Lewis and Pascal -- IF you demonstrate that there are other options, which you haven't, so either put up or can it.

(And, remember, Lewis left out the 4th option -- Myth. It's the same mistake you're consistently making.)

the thing is, i did demonstrate that there were other options. i did so by providing my own:

jmm wrote:
i myself have concluded that god interacts with the people of the universe, just far less than people would like to believe.

you can't just overlook my words and then accuse me of not saying anything.

Hambydammit wrote:

Ok, back to generalizations...

It's fine to admit doubt. Caner did a marvelous job of admitting doubt. What you, and Caner, and Pascal, and Lewis, and every other thoughtful theist has consistently done, however, is insist on overlooking cognitive dissonance, logical impossibility, and physical improbability on the subject of god, simply because you WANT to believe it's true.

i haven't overlooked cognitive dissonance. i'm not completely sure how you're applying it here. i've always thought of it in more of an interpersonal way. please expand on this if you wish.

i freely admit that god is logically impossible.

i freely admit that the story of christ is physically improbably, but not necessarily the "existence of god" in general.

Hambydammit wrote:
The difference between a good scientist and a theist is that a scientist goes on the assumption he's wrong until he's proven correct! You have leaped over piles of contradictory evidence and assumed yourself to be correct, and are scrambling in seventy directions at once (seventy times seven?) to make the facts fit the conclusion.

i don't operate under the assumption that i'm correct. i'm very much open to the possibility that i'm wrong. how couldn't i?

i think you're assuming these things about me because you've constructed this "archetypal christian" in your head, so therefore every christian must fit that mold.

please point out evidence where i've suggested that i'm operating under the assumption that i'm correct. i'll gladly concede the point if you can find it.

Hambydammit wrote:

Again, the question is begged, WHY GIVE THE PASS TO RELIGION?

The stock answer? Because there are other ways of knowing things than logic/science/empiricism, of course!

well, when you put it like that it seems rather overly simplistic, just like most radical ideology, be it theistic or atheistic. yeah, there are other ways of knowing things besides logic, science, and empiricism. i have no problem with that, and i'd be glad to expand on it later if needed.

Hambydammit wrote:
The nail in the coffin for that answer? How do you know that? If you can't provide a reason for knowing that, you are reduced to irrationality. Since any reason you could give would have to be logical, you are at an impasse.

i would hardly consider this the nail in the coffin. i don't know that. nor have i ever claimed to. it merely seems to me to be the case at this point in time. no, i cannot provide an empirical answer to a non-empirical question. and yes, this "reduces" me to irrationality. that's the thing, though, irrationality is the key to the whole thing. yes, to you any valid answer to this question would have to be logical, but as i've said before, we need to expand the spiritual, metaphysical, and logical pallet. i'm willing to do so, and until you are willing to do so, then you're reducing yourself to the same hardheadedness as Pascal and Lewis.

Hambydammit wrote:
JMM, I've continued this discussion with you because I sense the budding of a thinking skeptic in you, and I hate to see someone with the potential for so much good thought waste away in the never-never land of mystical experiences "proving" anything. Please do some reading about the science of mysticism. There are good, scientific reasons for the kinds of experiences you had. God didn't do it. Electricity in your brain did. Chemicals did. You just happened to be in a situation where people attributed it to the boogey man in the sky.

i'm already one step ahead of you - i'm already a thinking skeptic. i'm not, however, "wasting it in never-never land of mystical experiences." again with the sensationalism. i'm very much in tune with the science of mysticism. have been for at least a few years now. i have no problem agreeing that there are good, scientific reasons that explain my mystical experiences. things don't typically just happen outside of the laws of nature. i know that electricity in my brain did it. i know that chemicals did it. the thing is, i think that to say "electricity and chemicals did it" doesn't at all discount the explanation that god also did it. where you are mistaken, though, is that i was in a situation where people attributed it to the "boogey man in the sky." i was very much NOT part of any sort of religious community when the first (and by far the most powerful) of these experiences took place.

Hambydammit wrote:

Oh, and JMM, please do something for yourself, for me, and for everyone else in this country. If you believe that there's nothing wrong with gay marriage, and you can see that the world is not 6000 years old, STAND UP IN YOUR CHURCH AND TELL PEOPLE! Don't go along with it just because you'll be unpopular. Don't you think there has to be a line drawn somewhere? Wouldn't god approve if you tried to stop the suffering of people who are being discriminated against for no good reason?

If there was a parable about your life, do you think God would reward the man who knew that the church was misguided, but did nothing to change it?

oh, i have expressed my views to christian communities i've been a part of in the past. i live in a suffocatingly conservative part of the country, though, so these things (as well as their advocates) are swiftly dismissed 100% of the time. sure, god would probably approve if i tried to stop the suffering of discriminated people, but i can only do so much in my given situation. i'm close friends with some gay people. that's all i can do at this point.

haha, i don't think there will ever be a parable about my life, but in the even that it happened, i think god would pity the man who was outnumbered and subsequently overpowered in trying to change the world.

 

 

 

 


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If God does not affect your

If God does not affect your existence, (the universe) then:

a) God does not exist.

b) God exists, but cannot affect your existence (the universe)

c) God exists, but does not affect your existence. (the universe)

Your option,

d) God exists, and sometimes interacts with the world

is not a valid option, because the world is your existence, and by interacting occasionally with it, god would be contradicting the premise.

If you want to get really nitpicky, you can say,

d) God exists, but never interacts with the world in a way that is verifiable to me.

I won't disagree with that, but you must then concede that as a logical being, you must conclude that since you cannot verify any of god's interactions with the world, either:

a, b, or c,

so your option becomes reduntant.

 

I admit I could have worded my options better. Sorry for any confusion.

Quote:
do i believe that god is omniscient? the short answer: no.

Fine. Logically, you should not believe in the Christian bible, then, because god's omniscience is one of the central points.

Quote:
does god interact often with the world? i can't speak for the world, but i personally don't think he interacts very often with me. i could very well be a minority.

Once again, skepticism is trying to peek through. Why not admit that you had a neat chemical experience triggered by a rather extraordinary set of physical circumstances?

Quote:
i'm pretty open to the possibility of buddha, krishna, or allah being the true god for someone else. again, these are all embodiments, and they're going to be wildly inaccurate in a broad sense.

SO WHY FOLLOW CHRISTIANITY!?! Christianity says all the other gods are not only false, but evil! You're quietly allowing others who do believe in their own self righteous bigotry to go about their business unimpeded. Why must you assign your faith to a being you admit you don't believe in?

Quote:

i freely admit that god is logically impossible.

i freely admit that the story of christ is physically improbably, but not necessarily the "existence of god" in general.

So, if you must believe in a god, why the Christian one? If it's demonstrably false, why not believe in one that could possibly be true? That's the cognitive dissonance I'm talking about. Surely you can reason to a god that could possibly exist, couldn't you?

Quote:

i don't operate under the assumption that i'm correct. i'm very much open to the possibility that i'm wrong. how couldn't i?

i think you're assuming these things about me because you've constructed this "archetypal christian" in your head, so therefore every christian must fit that mold.

Really good point. I do assume you to be an archetypal christian, because it wouldn't be an archetype if it wasn't mostly true. Again, I ask you... IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IT, WHY DO YOU FOLLOW IT?? Find a spiritual belief that has a nice god, who doesn't fuck with people so much if you must believe, but why support such an evil bastard, and a religion that does so much harm, and actively supports things you don't agree with (gay marriage ban, for instance!)

Quote:
please point out evidence where i've suggested that i'm operating under the assumption that i'm correct. i'll gladly concede the point if you can find it.

The belief in a supernatural being that is logically impossible can only be demonstrated by assuming the conclusion to be true. You believe that god exists, and you try to find evidence to fit the conclusion. This is backwards reasoning, and it's illogical.

If you were to start from scratch and try to reason your way to god, you would fail, because god defies reason. Therefore, you are ASSUMING the truth of god.

Quote:
i would hardly consider this the nail in the coffin. i don't know that. nor have i ever claimed to. it merely seems to me to be the case at this point in time. no, i cannot provide an empirical answer to a non-empirical question. and yes, this "reduces" me to irrationality. that's the thing, though, irrationality is the key to the whole thing. yes, to you any valid answer to this question would have to be logical, but as i've said before, we need to expand the spiritual, metaphysical, and logical pallet. i'm willing to do so, and until you are willing to do so, then you're reducing yourself to the same hardheadedness as Pascal and Lewis.

Twice now you've compared me to Pascal and Lewis, and neither time have you given any basis for it. I'll get mad if you do it again.

You're the one with the crazy conclusion. You must justify it if you're going to tell me that my insistence on rationality is, um... irrational.

That's just the thing, jmm. You believe that there is some other way to acquire knowledge. You have no valid evidence for the belief. I am not being hard headed for refusing to believe you unless you provide evidence. Your claim is, after all, extraordinary! You're saying that there is a way to demonstrate that valid, real truths (knowledge) can be acquired without the use of logic, and yet logic is, by definition, the description of the way we acquire knowledge. That will require extraordinary proof indeed, and I would be a fool to believe you based solely on your word.

I'm not going to quote the rest of your reply. Suffice it to say that once again, if you understand the science of mysticism, and still insist that it was god, then you are begging the question of "why not natural explanations?" To answer, "Because god did it," is ASSUMING THE CONCLUSION and making the facts fit. The facts fit perfectly without god. Why do you need him?

Pardon me for assuming(!) the circumstances of your mystical experience. Nevertheless, we're still back to the question of why you assume god if god is not necessary.

Since we're quoting old dead guys with theories, why are you avoiding Occam?

As to the parable of your life, I live in a very conservative christian part of the country, too. So does Iruka, so do a lot of us. We're doing what we can to end the bigotry. I would encourage you to find ways, even if it doesn't involve direct confrontation with your church.

Oh... and for Flying Spaghetti Monster's sake, stop going to church! You don't believe in that god... you admit it! Stop condoning such bigotry and anti-science thinking!

 

 

 

 

 

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Hambydammit wrote: If God

Hambydammit wrote:

If God does not affect your existence, (the universe) then:

a) God does not exist.

b) God exists, but cannot affect your existence (the universe)

c) God exists, but does not affect your existence. (the universe)

Your option,

d) God exists, and sometimes interacts with the world

is not a valid option, because the world is your existence, and by interacting occasionally with it, god would be contradicting the premise.

this makes no sense.  what is the basis of the premise?  i'm not sure how "d) God exists, and sometimes interacts with the world" contradicts any sort of premise.  to say that options a, b, and c are the only feasible options makes absolutely no sense.  based on my personal experience, "d) God exists, and sometimes interacts with the world."  please flesh this out, if you have time.  

Hambydammit wrote:

If you want to get really nitpicky, you can say,

d) God exists, but never interacts with the world in a way that is verifiable to me.

I won't disagree with that, but you must then concede that as a logical being, you must conclude that since you cannot verify any of god's interactions with the world, either:

a, b, or c,

so your option becomes reduntant.

well, let me rephrase my conclusion in your words:

d) God exists, and sometimes affects my existence (the universe).  

to say that God exists, but never interacts with the world in a way that is verifiable to me would contradict my own personal experience.  my experiences with God are verifiable to me, but not to you.  on the other hand, your (hypothetical) experiences with god are verifiable to you, but not to me. 

at this point it seems as though we need to flesh out the idea of verification, because i can foresee this as our next stumbling point.

i am speaking of a personal, subjective verification.  i am the only person who could possibly experience my encounters with God, and i am therefore the only person who can verify my encounters with god.  furthermore, i can only verify those incounters to myself.  if, in the future, you were to have an encounter with god, then you would be the only person who could verify the encounter, and you could only verifiy it to yourself.  

now as far as a more objective sort of verification goes, i think it can materialize (to a certain point) later by establishing dialog with others who have had similar experiences.  this is more or less the fundamental personal function of the local church. 

Hambydammit wrote:
jmm wrote:
]do i believe that god is omniscient? the short answer: no.

Fine. Logically, you should not believe in the Christian bible, then, because god's omniscience is one of the central points.

i don't believe that God is omniscient because knowledge and awareness are inherently human characteristics.  to say that god has knowledge of everything there is to know assumes a great deal about the nature of god:  1) it assumes that experiences somehow applies to god, 2) and that god somehow underwent a learning process (unless all divine knowledge is a priori - but that opens up a host of other problems) just to name a few.  these sorts of characteristics and limitations are inherently human.  so to say that god is omniscient essentially gives god human characteristics, and is therefore inaccurate and unreliable.  (this is the paradox of Christ, by the way - the unembodyable becoming embodied).  

to put it mildly, i don't think that god has any sort of external relation to knowledge, in the same way that a rock has no external relation to itself - it is itself fully a rock, but not just any rock, this particular rock.  (kind of) similarly, God is fully what we have come to know as "knowledge".  he doesn't have the same sort of external relationship to it as we do.  

also, to say that i "believe in the christian bible" is an oversimplification.  i don't take it as the infallible word of god.  in short, i believe it to be a literary collective of how certain people experienced god.  of course it's going to be fallible.  it was written by men, and men are fallible. 

Hambydammit wrote:

jmm wrote:
does god interact often with the world? i can't speak for the world, but i personally don't think he interacts very often with me. i could very well be a minority.

Once again, skepticism is trying to peek through. Why not admit that you had a neat chemical experience triggered by a rather extraordinary set of physical circumstances?

i am very skeptical, and i freely admit that i had a neat chemical experience, but it wasn't triggered by "an extraordinary set of physical circumstances".  i cannot put my finger on what triggered it.  

as a philosophy student, i constantly seek out the metaphysical underpinning of my experiences.  yes, i had a chemical reaction, and yes, this chemical reaction caused me to feel a certain way - namely, that i had communicated with God.  but what caused the chemical reaction?  a physical condition?  misfiring synapses?  okay, what happened beyond that?  i'm not really sure, but at this point in my life, it seems as though the metaphysical underpinning of my mystical experiences is God.   

Hambydammit wrote:
jmm wrote:
i'm pretty open to the possibility of buddha, krishna, or allah being the true god for someone else. again, these are all embodiments, and they're going to be wildly inaccurate in a broad sense.

SO WHY FOLLOW CHRISTIANITY!?! Christianity says all the other gods are not only false, but evil! You're quietly allowing others who do believe in their own self righteous bigotry to go about their business unimpeded. Why must you assign your faith to a being you admit you don't believe in?

christianity doesn't say that all other gods are false and evil - certain passages of (fallible) scripture do.  and i understand that on a very basic level, but when Jesus says that he is the way, the truth, and the life, and that no man comes unto the father but by him, i can't help but think that a perfect God (there i go with my embodiments again) would recognize someone who had never heard his name, but worships nonetheless.  

why must i assign my faith to a being that i admit i don't believe in?  you're putting words into my mouth again.  i never said that i didn't believe in Jesus Christ.  on the contrary, i've confessed my faith from post #1.     

Hambydammit wrote:
jmm wrote:

i freely admit that god is logically impossible.

i freely admit that the story of christ is physically improbably, but not necessarily the "existence of god" in general.

So, if you must believe in a god, why the Christian one? If it's demonstrably false, why not believe in one that could possibly be true? That's the cognitive dissonance I'm talking about. Surely you can reason to a god that could possibly exist, couldn't you?

i probably believe in what we know as "the christian God" largely as a result of cultural bias.  we live in a "christian nation", therefore i most readily identify the God of my mystical experiences as expressly christian.  i don't believe that the true spiritual journey ends with identifying yourself as "christian", "buddhist", "muslim", or "hindu", but rather that it only begins there.  you must then begin to strip away all cultural, social, and mythological biases, and work towards the truth and being of God and existence.  i'm 27 years old, and i feel as though i've only just begun this journey.  

Hambydammit wrote:
jmm wrote:
i don't operate under the assumption that i'm correct. i'm very much open to the possibility that i'm wrong. how couldn't i?

i think you're assuming these things about me because you've constructed this "archetypal christian" in your head, so therefore every christian must fit that mold.

Really good point. I do assume you to be an archetypal christian, because it wouldn't be an archetype if it wasn't mostly true. Again, I ask you... IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IT, WHY DO YOU FOLLOW IT?? Find a spiritual belief that has a nice god, who doesn't fuck with people so much if you must believe, but why support such an evil bastard, and a religion that does so much harm, and actively supports things you don't agree with (gay marriage ban, for instance!)

 i think if you looked a little harder, you would see that your archetype is more flawed than you think it is.  

if i don't believe christianity, why do i follow it?  i do believe it.  when did i say that i didn't believe it?  find evidence where i say that and i'll concede the point.  

i don't really think the purpose of religion is to find a nice god, but rather to follow God as best you know him.  to say that God fucks with people is quite a stretch.  i don't think that God fucks with people.  is the world fucked up?  sure.  there are certain scientific laws that the world must follow, regardless of whether or not God exists.  cells mutate, people get cancer.  viruses form, people get AIDS.  the body wears out, people die.  sometimes it's painful, sometimes it's quite peaceful.  life is pain and death, and a few flashes of joy in between if you're lucky.  and i'm fine with that. 

i don't think that the christian god has a problem with gay marriage, but i think that christians have developed a problem with it.  big difference.  

Hambydammit wrote:
jmm wrote:
please point out evidence where i've suggested that i'm operating under the assumption that i'm correct. i'll gladly concede the point if you can find it.

The belief in a supernatural being that is logically impossible can only be demonstrated by assuming the conclusion to be true. You believe that god exists, and you try to find evidence to fit the conclusion. This is backwards reasoning, and it's illogical.

If you were to start from scratch and try to reason your way to god, you would fail, because god defies reason. Therefore, you are ASSUMING the truth of god.

well sure, we all assume our conclusions to be true, if only tentatively.  scientists will even admit to that. 

i don't try to find evidence to the conclusion that God exists, but rather i found a load of evidence, and concluded that God exists.  my "reasoning" is probably more inside-out than backwards.

of course i would fail if i started from scratch and tried to reason my way to God.  i thought we established this way back.  God defies reason; i am tentatively assuming the truth of God.  true, and true.  geologists tentatively assume that the plate tectonic theory explains much of the nature of the physical earth, just like Wegener tentatively assumed that continental drift explained much of the nature of the physical earth decades before.  

Hambydammit wrote:
jmm wrote:
i would hardly consider this the nail in the coffin. i don't know that. nor have i ever claimed to. it merely seems to me to be the case at this point in time. no, i cannot provide an empirical answer to a non-empirical question. and yes, this "reduces" me to irrationality. that's the thing, though, irrationality is the key to the whole thing. yes, to you any valid answer to this question would have to be logical, but as i've said before, we need to expand the spiritual, metaphysical, and logical pallet. i'm willing to do so, and until you are willing to do so, then you're reducing yourself to the same hardheadedness as Pascal and Lewis.

Twice now you've compared me to Pascal and Lewis, and neither time have you given any basis for it. I'll get mad if you do it again.

You're the one with the crazy conclusion. You must justify it if you're going to tell me that my insistence on rationality is, um... irrational.

That's just the thing, jmm. You believe that there is some other way to acquire knowledge. You have no valid evidence for the belief. I am not being hard headed for refusing to believe you unless you provide evidence. Your claim is, after all, extraordinary! You're saying that there is a way to demonstrate that valid, real truths (knowledge) can be acquired without the use of logic, and yet logic is, by definition, the description of the way we acquire knowledge. That will require extraordinary proof indeed, and I would be a fool to believe you based solely on your word.

i'm sorry, i won't compare you to Pascal or Lewis anymore.  i only did that because Pascal and Lewis are still two of the most revered figures in christian logic (oxymoronic, i know), and i felt that your premise was just as narrow as Pascal's Wager or Lewis' "Lord, Liar, Lunatic" trilemma.  but i do apologize and it won't happen again.  

i know that my claims are extraordinary and that my conclusions are crazy, and i do believe that there are other ways to acquire knowledge besides human rationality and logic.  but i'll either search out an existing thread on the topic or start a new one if needed to keep this thread half way manageable.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Actually, jmm, I think

Actually, jmm, I think we're pretty much done.

based on this sentence:

Quote:
i know that my claims are extraordinary and that my conclusions are crazy, and i do believe that there are other ways to acquire knowledge besides human rationality and logic.

I don't see how we can keep talking and expect to gain anything. For whatever reasons, you insist on believing in a conclusion and making the facts fit, no matter how irrational, and I simply cannot argue with you other than to tell you that's crazy.

Since you already admit it's crazy, we're at an odd sort of agreement, where both of us say your beliefs are extraordinary, illogical, and lacking evidence, but you believe them.

I will point out that you have less than a clear understanding of science if you think that geologists start with a conclusion and then try to make the facts fit. Plate techtonics was a theory developed after observing many phenomena, and learning a great deal about the planet. But, I don't think this is a point worth arguing, since you see nothing wrong with starting at an arbitrary end and working backwards.

At any rate, I don't really know what to say except I'm sorry I wasn't able to demonstrate your errors clearly enough for you to understand. Perhaps if you stay on these boards long enough, someone else will have more luck.

 

 

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

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Actually, jmm, I think we're pretty much done.

based on this sentence:

Quote:
i know that my claims are extraordinary and that my conclusions are crazy, and i do believe that there are other ways to acquire knowledge besides human rationality and logic.

I don't see how we can keep talking and expect to gain anything. For whatever reasons, you insist on believing in a conclusion and making the facts fit, no matter how irrational, and I simply cannot argue with you other than to tell you that's crazy.

Since you already admit it's crazy, we're at an odd sort of agreement, where both of us say your beliefs are extraordinary, illogical, and lacking evidence, but you believe them.

I will point out that you have less than a clear understanding of science if you think that geologists start with a conclusion and then try to make the facts fit. Plate techtonics was a theory developed after observing many phenomena, and learning a great deal about the planet. But, I don't think this is a point worth arguing, since you see nothing wrong with starting at an arbitrary end and working backwards.

At any rate, I don't really know what to say except I'm sorry I wasn't able to demonstrate your errors clearly enough for you to understand. Perhaps if you stay on these boards long enough, someone else will have more luck.

 

 

come on now, don't condescend to me.  i'm not trying to fire you up, i just want to establish a dialog.  this is fun to me, and very enlightening.  i said that i would search out another thread or start one if need be on the topic of the different types of knowledge aquisition.  that was kind of the point of the sentence you quoted - and you conveniently left that part out.  

you've committed a host of logical fallacies in this thread alone, yet they seem to somehow slip beneath the radar since you have home field advantage, so to speak. 

well, if you're not interested in continuing our dialog, then that's your decision.  i hope you'd change your mind. 


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If you say: jmm

If you say:

jmm wrote:
you've committed a host of logical fallacies in this thread alone

then you have to say what those logical fallacies are, point them out and demonstrate that they are actually logical fallacies. Otherwise you're just hurling insults and casting aspersions on the other person.

My question is if god knows what you will do in advance then is it possible for god to not create the people who will harm others? Does god have to create the murderers and the child molesters and those types? Why not just create the people he knew would do good things and not create the people he knew would do bad things?

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


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Honestly, I don't have time

Honestly, I don't have time right now to pick through all of the posts, but it's quite obvious that noone here is going to keep him in check, simply because he's "one of the gang" and I'm a theist.  Besides, it looks like he's done with this thread, so I don't really want to waste an hour picking through his posts if he's not even going to read it.  We'll see. 

 

 


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Actually, I'm really

Actually, I'm really interested in knowing what logical fallacies I've committed.  Outside of wording a couple of things poorly (which I've freely admitted!) I can't find any.  If you'll point out what you think are fallacies, I'll be glad to examine your claims.

I wasn't condescending, I was speaking honestly.  I can't have a rational dialog with someone who admits to being irrational, and considers it to be not only ok, but somehow correct.

I'm not the one who used the words irrational and crazy to describe your arguments.  You were!  I simply acknowledged that you were correct in saying so.

 

 

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

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Actually, I'm really interested in knowing what logical fallacies I've committed. Outside of wording a couple of things poorly (which I've freely admitted!) I can't find any. If you'll point out what you think are fallacies, I'll be glad to examine your claims.

I wasn't condescending, I was speaking honestly. I can't have a rational dialog with someone who admits to being irrational, and considers it to be not only ok, but somehow correct.

I'm not the one who used the words irrational and crazy to describe your arguments. You were! I simply acknowledged that you were correct in saying so.

 

 

Okay, I'll go through it in detail tonight.  I have a ton of shit to do between now and then though, so it may be tomorrow before I'm able to post it.