Debating "God" is an incoherent term [Mod Edit]

Gavagai
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Debating "God" is an incoherent term [Mod Edit]

This is a reply to another post of Todangst's wherein he claims that the term "God" is incoherent. (This particular post of his was brought to my attention by my friend Sodium. Sodium hasn't seen any decent replies to Todangst, so I offer this one.)

Todangst starts out by telling us that he’s shown that certain terms having to do with immateriality are “necessarily incoherent”. As it turns out, he hasn’t shown this at all. (See my short essay here to see why.) He now makes two attempts to show that the word “God” is incoherent. The first attempt involves showing that the concept of a disembodied person (i.e. a soul) can only be defined negatively and is thus incoherent. Since on most versions of theism, God is a disembodied person, those versions of theism would be incoherent if Todangst is right. The second attempt involves showing that various attributes belonging to God contradict themselves or observed features of the universe.

But neither of Todangst’s attempts are successful. I’ll begin with the first. Todangst says that the concept of an incorporeal person (i.e. a soul), like that of immaterial substance, “contains an internal contradiction: to be a person is to exist as something, some thing, not 'no thing'.” Now it may be that souls don’t exist. Many contemporary analytic philosophers think they do. Most naturalistic philosophers don’t believe in them. But leaving aside the reasons for thinking that they exist, is the concept itself really incoherent?

No. Some analytic philosophers think that the concept of a soul may involve locative, hyperspatial entities. On these definitions, a soul would be located in a n>3D region of space. And other philosophers believe that the concept of a soul involves spatial entities that exist in zero-dimensional regions of spacetime. But for the sake of argument, I’ll assume with Todangst that the concept of a soul involves nonspatial entities. Thus, the concept of a soul is defined as follows:

'x is a soul' means by definition '(i) x is spatially nonlocative, and (ii) x is capable of consciousness'.

The main reason Todangst says the concept is incoherent is because he thinks that it can only be defined negatively. Well, even if Todangst were right about this (he’s not), this doesn’t imply that the concept is unintelligible. Certain denizens of the universe are defined in only negative terms and we have a perfectly intelligible conceptual grasp on them. For example, a point in space is defined as something lacking spatial dimensions. We could never in principle get a clear mental image of what such entities are supposed to look like (anything we imagine is extended). We can’t think of any positive attributes they have (mass, color, shape, etc.) This doesn’t mean the concept is incoherent.

In any case, Todangst hasn’t even shown that such definitions, of necessity, are negative. One might say that points in space nevertheless have positive attributes like being a place possibly occupied by point-sized objects. Similarly, one may say that a soul has the positive attributes of being conscious, being possibly embodied, being substantival. So Todangst’s first attempt to show that “God” is incoherent doesn’t even get off the ground.

His second attempt is even worse. He thinks that God is incoherent because any event that God “judges” is fundamentally something that God “Himself” planned out in minute detail. On this view, God causes absolutely everything. There is no room for random events or genuinely free actions. Every movement of your limbs, for example, is controlled by God. So really, God is judging nothing but that which he’s already fully determined to happen, and as a consequence millions of people are being roasted in hell for things they had no choice about. A very evil and incoherent God indeed. The problem with this is that Todangst is arguing only against a particular, highly qualified Calvinist or Thomistic picture of God. I would join him in rejecting such views. And so would the vast majority of theistic philosophers. If Todangst really wants to say that the Calvinistic view of God provides an argument for the incoherence of the concept of God simpliciter, he’ll be forced (oddly) to defend highly controversial theological frameworks for understanding what God is like. He has to argue that Aquinas was correct; he has to argue that Calvinist interpretations of passages in Romans are correct. Given the swirling black hole nature of theological disputes, I doubt that Todangst is thrilled about the prospects of playing the theologian. In which case, he should re-title his post to read: The Calvinist’s use of “God” is an incoherent term. To which the response is, most theistic philosophers already knew that.

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I really am an ignorant

I really am an ignorant dumbfuck.  Between your's and Todangst's posts, my head threatens to shrivel up.


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You know, I am going to

You know, I am going to leave the extra dirty work here to Todangst, because he's far more qualified than me to address this, but I do have a very simple question for you.

Instead of trying to poke holes in Todangst's statement that a "immaterial," "supernatural," and "god" are incoherent, why don't you just give us a positive ontology for one or all of them?

 

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

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Hambydammit wrote: Instead

Hambydammit wrote:

Instead of trying to poke holes in Todangst's statement that a "immaterial," "supernatural," and "god" are incoherent, why don't you just give us a positive ontology for one or all of them?

Two things:

1. He did give a positive ontology - he said "Similarly, one may say that a soul has the positive attributes of being conscious, being possibly embodied, being substantival. So Todangst’s first attempt to show that “God” is incoherent doesn’t even get off the ground."

Add to this that he said that some theologians consider the soul "may involve locative, hyperspatial entities. The problem is that Todangst/deludedgod give some bizarre response that these are second order characteristics. Then this leaves the question for them - what then do they say are first order characteristics which define something that exists? I want to see them define existence in such a way that doesn't contradict their current worldview.  At first they said that something must be physical and spatially located.  This then means on their view that time cannot exist, and it also means that the spatial dimensions don't exist, because they are neither physical or spatially located.

2. Why does he have to play at deludedgod and togangst's game and refute their argument in the way *they* want him to? What is wrong with finding other problems with the argument that deludedgod/todangst didn't foresee? The response above is certainly permissable and apt


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Sorry, that's a no-go

Sorry, that's a no-go ontology. Because it's actually been proved false:

Dualism has long since been debunked

Non-cognitivist arguments part 2

Mod: I edited the names of the links to stop them stretching my page!!

Actually, as I showed and explained, substance dualism has been debunked for so long that I am suprised that people still adhere to it. If you can give me the name of even one cognitive neuroscientist, neurobiologist or neurologist who takes it seriously, I will be very suprised. The scientific fields which study the brain, despite not having the answer as to how the conscious process works or the mind cohesively formed with full understanding, have, as I explained, amassed enough information and evidence to overwhelmingly crush the notion that it is depedent on substance dualism. I mean, the guy who came up with this nonsense has been dead for 500 years. (actually, anyone in need of amusement should read about Descartes life, just on a side note) Surely you can offer me something a little more,you know, fresh, and scientifically sound. Substance dualism is neither.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Deluded,

Deluded,

My essay makes it clear that I was taking up the question of whether the concept of soul is coherent, not whether a soul exists.

Cheers,

Gavagai

P.S. Neuroscientists or neurophysicians who have endorsed dualism of some sort include Hameroff, Beauregard, Schwartz, Eccles (and here), Stapp, MacKay and others. For more information on dualism, see the New Dualism.

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Correction: Stapp is

Correction: Stapp is actually a physicist (he's just very involved in neuroscience).


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Yes, but to show the soul is

Yes, but to show the soul is coherent, you must give it positive ontological status, otherwise, as I explained in the other thread using set theory, the soul is incoherent. The ontological status you attempted to assign it was being conscious. However, as I demonstrated, consciousness and the mind are not properties of the immaterial, this antique and odd view is falsehood. I am not a neuroscientist, I am a molecular biologist, however, I could qualify for neurology, being that I have completed my degree in the subject. The soul is not the domain of the conscious experience.

And, begging pardon, but, having studied physics for a long time, I have never come across the notion of a "zero-dimensional" region of space-time. There is such thing as 0-dimension topological space in mathematics (it's necessary to solve the Poinecare conjecture) however, this is theoretical physics we are talking about now, and the space-time continuum to which you are referring to is quite different from the 0-dimensional set of mathematical topology. It's a contradiction in terms. Space-time continuum is comprised of physical dimension. The number is under debate. Some believe 2 (membrane) some believe 3, some believe the universe is comprised of 11, and some believe 26. It is odd that you brought up that some "theologians" consider the soul to be "located" in >3 dimensional space. Presumably, you are referreing to hypothetical brane hyperspace. So, bearing that in mind, If I were to draw an isomeric quantum plot, could you point to a curled, compact-dimension in hyperspace and say "this is the location of the soul"? That theologians think that they have the necesseary expertise to make these physics statements is almost funny. Hence:

Let us look at some basic theoretical physics to see why:

The universe is composed of a sheet of space-time, as shown:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/22/Spacetime_curvature.png

Space and time are inseparable, they cannot be broken from each other. One cannot exist without the other, they are one and the same. On the surface of the space time continuum are bodies of matter which distort the field of the continuum. Space time is a Euclidean “Cartesian theatre” with a pseudo-Reinmann manifold in which events take place. This is seemingly problematic, since every GUT theory predicts that the fundamental composition of matter, that is, if we could peer into the heart of the quark, is the same substance as space time itself, on the order of the Planck length.

The most open question in QM and theoretical physics today is the number of dimensions needed to describe the universe. For this, we turn to the physics concept of branes. Where a brane describes a dimension, and the unfortunately named p-brane denotes the number of spatial dimensions. To find the number of dimension to describe an object is simply {p+1) since we always add one time dimension. There are many dimensions that may be needed to explain the universe. The space time continuum in which events take place is a 3-brane, with three spatial dimensions and one time dimension, at least as traditionally described. Some theories predict it is a membrane, which would imply the universe is holographic.

In the competing GUT theories, physical matter is of the same substance as the space-time continuum, except that it exists in a different number of dimensions, hence they are different. And this is what gives the distinction between matter and the space time continuum in which events take place. The number of dimensions. This is an open question seeing as almost all theories describe physical matter as having compact dimensions. M-Theory predicts 11 dimensions, another form of string theory (the least plausible) predicts 26.

http://ftp.kermit-project.org/cu/record/23/18/11c.gif

As we can see from this picture, physical matter, as predicted at the fundamental level, while of the same substance as spacetime, exists in more dimensions, and as such, is still different from spacetime. String theory requires many tightly curled up dimensions that exist only at the subatomic level (you can see them here in this drawing).

http://physicsweb.org/objects/world/12/12/20/pw-12-12-20fig1.jpg

In this topological model, the fundamental unit of the particle is the 10-brane (with an extra dimension to accommodate time). Only three of these dimensions will be noticeable at the macroscopic world.

The spacetime continuum is a four dimensional absolute Euclidean referential, a kind of sheet on the surface which events take place. These events are orchestrated by bodies of matter, which exist in a number of dimensions which remains open. While for the space time continuum we have only to choose between two competing theories, the popular 3-brane and the new membrane (holographic universe theory), the number of dimensions of physical matter is much more open.

In short, we can view the space-time continuum as a 4D stage on which matter acts. The fundamental unit of both is the brane, a unit of mathematical topology which dictates dimensional frame of reference. The space time continuum can either have three or four dimensions. As for matter, it is much more open. We have predictions for 10, 11 and 26 and several others of lesser renown. Despite both being comprised of branes, matter is still different from space-time since it has many more branes. The addition of extra branes means that physical matter suddenly becomes an object which influences the 3-brane space time continuum, rather than the space-time continuum itself. However, despite both being comprised of branes, to equate them would be a clear fallacy of composition.

Supernatural/spiritual by its own accord is decribred as atemporal. This is totally antithetical to the notion of matter from branes. All branes must have a time dimension. Even a 0-brane has a time dimension. Any object of branes obeys the laws of naturalism, the laws of the quantum at the subatomic level and the laws of Neweton at the macroscopic level. To say that "supernatural" is a "different kind" of matter can only be described as a cop-out, as such a notion is in and of itself contradictory to the concept of supernaturalism.

So, in the last two schematics, one being a hyperbolic quantum plot, the other being an isomeric quantum schematic, we are presented with a theoretical insight into quanum compact dimensions. Being that you hold that the soul may be present in these higher dimensions, could you kindly point to the strings and tell me where the soul is located?

PS thanks for the links. Although I really had to laugh. Quantum Consciousness is...well, I'd call it stupid, but that would be a rather kind understatement. Quantum electrodynamics does play an important function in the brain (electron tunnelling in Voltage-gated channels) so in a sense your conscious experience does depend on Entanglement laws. But that is not what the QC people are referring to. They are endorsing Wheeler's Quantum paradox solution of consciousness causes collapse, and New Age pot-smoking hippies hailed him as a guru, to which he replied, in disgust "where there is smoke, there's smoke". . Just because we cannot know the definite state of the cat in the box and have to draw a wavefunction does not mean the cat is in a definite state. I think that CCC is saying not that the cat is not in a definite state without an observer, but instead that there is no way to know the definite state without an observer. But that's obvious! 

In Wheeler's Information solution, which says the only predicate for WF collapse is information expressed in the particles, not an observed. This gets around the problem you posed. CCC is problematic because it leads to an infinite regress of conscious observers, possibly up to God himself. But that's just ridiculous in terms of parsimony. If you look up "breaking Occam's Razor", you'll find a picture of a person looking into a box with a cat.

For parsimony, put money on quantum information theory (It from bit), since in that picture, there are no wavefunctions to collapse, since it is impossible to isolate a system of information (For example, in the box with the cat, a single air molecule entering or escaping would collapse the WF). Far from collapsing the wavefunctions, there are no wavefunctions to collapse. Since all bodies capable of existing in multiple quantum states emit information, wavefunctions do not exist, and this is the epitome of parsimony.

 

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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croath wrote: Hambydammit

croath wrote:
Hambydammit wrote:

Instead of trying to poke holes in Todangst's statement that a "immaterial," "supernatural," and "god" are incoherent, why don't you just give us a positive ontology for one or all of them?

Two things:

1. He did give a positive ontology - he said "Similarly, one may say that a soul has the positive attributes of being conscious, being possibly embodied, being substantival. So Todangst’s first attempt to show that “God” is incoherent doesn’t even get off the ground."

Add to this that he said that some theologians consider the soul "may involve locative, hyperspatial entities. The problem is that Todangst/deludedgod give some bizarre response that these are second order characteristics. Then this leaves the question for them - what then do they say are first order characteristics which define something that exists? I want to see them define existence in such a way that doesn't contradict their current worldview. At first they said that something must be physical and spatially located. This then means on their view that time cannot exist, and it also means that the spatial dimensions don't exist, because they are neither physical or spatially located.

2. Why does he have to play at deludedgod and togangst's game and refute their argument in the way *they* want him to? What is wrong with finding other problems with the argument that deludedgod/todangst didn't foresee? The response above is certainly permissable and apt

1. Gavagai's "positive ontology" with its "theologians may say"s, its "may involve"s,  its "being possibly embodied" and "being substantival" (relating to a substance - not being a substance) reads like a firm, definite maybe. Using intentionally vague terms doesn't serve one who is trying to provide a coherent definition of something.

2. You mean he's not obligated to use logic? That's the only "game" I see todangst and deludedgod playing. 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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Jc, Please go back and read

Jc,

Please go back and read my post carefully. I briefly noted that philosophers "may say" or "have said" such-and-such about the soul; but I dismissed those views for the sake of argument and assumed with Todangst (quite explicitly) that a soul should be thought of as nonspatial. You must have missed this part of my post.

Further, my use of modal properties wasn't "intentionally vague". It's a fact that you have the de re modal property of being possibly such that you are 2 inches shorter. 

 For that matter, nothing in my post was "intentionally vague". If you don't understand something, say so, and I'll be happy to explain it for you. 

 Cheers,

Gavagai 

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.

 

Deluded,

That was a long read. Unfortunately, the assumption you began with is incorrect. So I would stop you right there. Let me relay a message from philosophy to science: positive ontologies are not necessary for conceptual analysis. See the essay I just wrote on this for a helpful introduction, "Two Different Senses of Ontology".

The rest of your post is basically a summary of many things that a lot of people already know from learning STR and GTR and their implications, elementary quantum mechanics, and higher dimensional mathematics. My response: I agree with nearly all of it, thanks for the refresher. You finally ask at the end if I can kindly point to a string where the soul is. Since good scientists know that it's impossible in principle for humans to point to strings, I will be generous and assume you meant your question rhetorically. What you probably meant to ask me was "where is the soul?" But this question is off-target since I've been assuming with Todangst this whole time that the concept of a soul involves a spatially nonlocative entity. Please go back to my post and read it carefully to see for yourself.

In response to your P.S., Hameroff is trained in the neurosciences. You're right, there are a lot of new age nutcases out there; he is not one. In any case, I'm not endorsing the work of any of the neuroscientists I linked to. (I personally am somewhat inclined towards physicalism about humans.) You asked to see "just one" neuroscientist who adheres to dualism, and that's the only reason why I subsequently posted their names.

Take care,

Gavagai

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Gavagai wrote:

Gavagai wrote:

This is a reply to another post of Todangst's wherein he claims that the term "God" is incoherent. (This particular post of his was brought to my attention by my friend Sodium. Sodium hasn't seen any decent replies to Todangst, so I offer this one.)

Todangst starts out by telling us that he’s shown that certain terms having to do with immateriality are “necessarily incoherent”. As it turns out, he hasn’t shown this at all. (See my short essay here to see why.) He now makes two attempts to show that the word “God” is incoherent. The first attempt involves showing that the concept of a disembodied person (i.e. a soul) can only be defined negatively and is thus incoherent. Since on most versions of theism, God is a disembodied person, those versions of theism would be incoherent if Todangst is right. The second attempt involves showing that various attributes belonging to God contradict themselves or observed features of the universe.

But neither of Todangst’s attempts are successful. I’ll begin with the first. Todangst says that the concept of an incorporeal person (i.e. a soul), like that of immaterial substance, “contains an internal contradiction: to be a person is to exist as something, some thing, not 'no thing'.” Now it may be that souls don’t exist. Many contemporary analytic philosophers think they do. Most naturalistic philosophers don’t believe in them. But leaving aside the reasons for thinking that they exist, is the concept itself really incoherent?

No. Some analytic philosophers think that the concept of a soul may involve locative, hyperspatial entities. On these definitions, a soul would be located in a n>3D region of space. And other philosophers believe that the concept of a soul involves spatial entities that exist in zero-dimensional regions of spacetime. But for the sake of argument, I’ll assume with Todangst that the concept of a soul involves nonspatial entities. Thus, the concept of a soul is defined as follows:

'x is a soul' means by definition '(i) x is spatially nonlocative, and (ii) x is capable of consciousness'.

The main reason Todangst says the concept is incoherent is because he thinks that it can only be defined negatively. Well, even if Todangst were right about this (he’s not), this doesn’t imply that the concept is unintelligible. Certain denizens of the universe are defined in only negative terms and we have a perfectly intelligible conceptual grasp on them. For example, a point in space is defined as something lacking spatial dimensions. We could never in principle get a clear mental image of what such entities are supposed to look like (anything we imagine is extended). We can’t think of any positive attributes they have (mass, color, shape, etc.) This doesn’t mean the concept is incoherent.

In any case, Todangst hasn’t even shown that such definitions, of necessity, are negative. One might say that points in space nevertheless have positive attributes like being a place possibly occupied by point-sized objects. Similarly, one may say that a soul has the positive attributes of being conscious, being possibly embodied, being substantival. So Todangst’s first attempt to show that “God” is incoherent doesn’t even get off the ground.

His second attempt is even worse. He thinks that God is incoherent because any event that God “judges” is fundamentally something that God “Himself” planned out in minute detail. On this view, God causes absolutely everything. There is no room for random events or genuinely free actions. Every movement of your limbs, for example, is controlled by God. So really, God is judging nothing but that which he’s already fully determined to happen, and as a consequence millions of people are being roasted in hell for things they had no choice about. A very evil and incoherent God indeed. The problem with this is that Todangst is arguing only against a particular, highly qualified Calvinist or Thomistic picture of God. I would join him in rejecting such views. And so would the vast majority of theistic philosophers. If Todangst really wants to say that the Calvinistic view of God provides an argument for the incoherence of the concept of God simpliciter, he’ll be forced (oddly) to defend highly controversial theological frameworks for understanding what God is like. He has to argue that Aquinas was correct; he has to argue that Calvinist interpretations of passages in Romans are correct. Given the swirling black hole nature of theological disputes, I doubt that Todangst is thrilled about the prospects of playing the theologian. In which case, he should re-title his post to read: The Calvinist’s use of “God” is an incoherent term. To which the response is, most theistic philosophers already knew that.

Your problem is that you are stuck on establisments of claims, not provable fact and you confuse the two.

"God" is a term that religions use to define a "super being".

What you and every other "God/god/deity/super natural" claimant fail to provide is evidence for it's existance.

One can define somthing without proving it exists.

"Allah" is the god of Islam. It has been claimed for 1700 years. But it is still an innochearant term because there is nothing to back it up, it is just a claim.

For over 3,000 years the ancient Egyptians believed in their "coherant" claim of "Ra" the sun god, but it still died. Why, not because a litteral "god in the shape of a sun" existed, but because people got tired of it.

There are two issues.

"Coherant" in a claim ony in that it has been repeated a billion times.

And "coherant" which is what really matters, it that which can be backed up.

When your "God/god/deity/ super natural being/ " can be difined in the same testable falsifiable repeatable demonstrable way that miosis can, then you might have something.

"God" is inchoherant like claiming Harry Potter can fly around on a broomstick. Sure you can claim it all you want, and millions may be aware that you claim that Harry Potter can fly around on a broomstick.

But, IT IS inchoherant in terms of any REAL evidence that would back that claim up. THAT IS THE DIFFERANCE.

Fiction is choherant in that is fiction, but can not be taken as such as fact.

George Washington existed but how real is the "Cherry Tree" story other than a fable? 

 

 

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Hi Gavagai I was just

Hi Gavagai Smiling

I was just wondering, does this soul that exists in the Neverland dimension with the Peter Pan god, suffer from senile dementia ?

 



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gavagai wrote: 'x is a

gavagai wrote:

'x is a soul' means by definition '(i) x is spatially nonlocative, and (ii) x is capable of consciousness'.

Errrr isn't "spatially nonlocative" a negative definition?

So really you are then left with your n>3D souls. Which is a rather intersting  position and one which would seem to be incompatible with a whole range of laws of physics. For starters if souls can affect the normal 3D universe, which they must be able to do, then there must be somekind of energy exchange between "thier space" and our space, no change can occur without an exchange of energy of  some kind (this is why energy and time are complimentary and linked properties in quantum theory) so where does this energy come from? Or where does it go? If soul in "soul space" affects our space then surely this violates the conservation of energy? 

 


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evil religion wrote: Errrr

evil religion wrote:
Errrr isn't "spatially nonlocative" a negative definition?

So really you are then left with your n>3D souls. Which is a rather intersting position and one which would seem to be incompatible with a whole range of laws of physics. For starters if souls can affect the normal 3D universe, which they must be able to do, then there must be somekind of energy exchange between "thier space" and our space, no change can occur without an exchange of energy of some kind (this is why energy and time are complimentary and linked properties in quantum theory) so where does this energy come from? Or where does it go? If soul in "soul space" affects our space then surely this violates the conservation of energy?

 

While I agree entirely, I do feel obligated to provide a popular belief on this. Ghosts, or disembodied souls, apparently decrease the temperature around the area they inhabit (rather, when they "try to manifest themselves&quotEye-wink. Some people carry the same belief that the OP has and support this as their claim.

In other words, they believe that the exchange of energy would be the decrease in temperature that is required to "manifest" themselves.

Not that I believe it, but this would be the only evidence to support such claims.


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Evil,Quote:Errrr isn't

Evil,

Quote:

Errrr isn't "spatially nonlocative" a negative definition?

Sure, I'll give you that.

Quote:
So really you are then left with your n>3D souls.

Attentive readers can plainly see that I made only a passing reference to these; I assumed with Todangst that the concept of a soul should involve something that's nonspatial. Your objection that follows is therefore irrelevant. (And in any case, it's a very weak one.)

It seems that you missed the more substantive parts of my post: (1) it's not obvious that concepts involving only negative attributes are ipso facto unintelligible, and (2) regardless, there are positive attributes involved in the concept of a soul.

Best,

Gavagai

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I find dualism incoherent

I find dualism incoherent for the following reason:
Dualism tries to have two different substances that are at the same time separate and the same time connected. Dualism has them separate by definition, but if there is no causal connection them atleast one substance is transcendent and meaningless.

So you are left with monism and can choose between 'matter' as the fundamental susbstance of mentality as the fundamental substance. (like Berkeley) Either way it's monist.


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Gavagai wrote:  Todangst

Gavagai wrote:

 Todangst starts out by telling us that he’s shown that certain terms having to do with immateriality are “necessarily incoherent”. As it turns out, he hasn’t shown this at all.

Actually, I have. 

 

Quote:

(See my short essay here to see why.)


The errors in that essay were pointed out there.

 

Quote:

He now makes two attempts to show that the word “God” is incoherent. The first attempt involves showing that the concept of a disembodied person (i.e. a soul) can only be defined negatively and is thus incoherent. Since on most versions of theism, God is a disembodied person, those versions of theism would be incoherent if Todangst is right. The second attempt involves showing that various attributes belonging to God contradict themselves or observed features of the universe.

But neither of Todangst’s attempts are successful.

Actually, they both are.

Quote:
 

 I’ll begin with the first. Todangst says that the concept of an incorporeal person (i.e. a soul), like that of immaterial substance, “contains an internal contradiction: to be a person is to exist as something, some thing, not 'no thing'.” Now it may be that souls don’t exist. Many contemporary analytic philosophers think they do. Most naturalistic philosophers don’t believe in them. But leaving aside the reasons for thinking that they exist, is the concept itself really incoherent?

No. Some analytic philosophers think that the concept of a soul may involve locative, hyperspatial entities. On these definitions, a soul would be located in a n>3D region of space.

Unless you show me how a soul can exist as right angles to itself, this assertion is meaningless.

Quote:
 

And other philosophers believe that the concept of a soul involves spatial entities that exist in zero-dimensional regions of spacetime.

zero dimension = nothing. 

 

Quote:

But for the sake of argument, I’ll assume with Todangst that the concept of a soul involves nonspatial entities.

 

You've entered a realm of incoherency.

Quote:
 

Thus, the concept of a soul is defined as follows:

'x is a soul' means by definition '(i) x is spatially nonlocative, and (ii) x is capable of consciousness'.

 

Your just repeating the same errors in new ways! To say that something has no location is to call it nothing.

 

  Please stop wasting my time.

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croath wrote: Hambydammit

croath wrote:
Hambydammit wrote:

Instead of trying to poke holes in Todangst's statement that a "immaterial," "supernatural," and "god" are incoherent, why don't you just give us a positive ontology for one or all of them?

Two things:

1. He did give a positive ontology - he said "Similarly, one may say that a soul has the positive attributes of being conscious, being possibly embodied, being substantival. So Todangst’s first attempt to show that “God” is incoherent doesn’t even get off the ground."

False, because his claim steals from naturalism.

 

Quote:
 

 Add to this that he said that some theologians consider the soul "may involve locative, hyperspatial entities.

Which leads to the same sort of gibberish.

Either he locates it somewhere, which steals from naturalism.

Or he locates it nowhere, which leads into incoherence.

 

 

 

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Gavagai

Gavagai wrote:

Evil,

Quote:

Errrr isn't "spatially nonlocative" a negative definition?

Sure, I'll give you that.

Then you see your own error. 

Quote:
So really you are then left with your n>3D souls.

Quote:
 

Attentive readers can plainly see that I made only a passing reference to these;

In other words, you concede that you don't have anything here either.

Quote:
 

 It seems that you missed the more substantive parts of my post: (1) it's not obvious that concepts involving only negative attributes are ipso facto unintelligible,

 

Actually, it is. Ipso facto. A term that intends to make a reference, defined solely negatively, that rules out any universe of discourse, is meaningless.

 You never actually respond to this point. You simply raise issues related to terms that supposedly do not make any refernce at all.

Quote:
 

and (2) regardless, there are positive attributes involved in the concept of a soul.

Which steal from naturalism.

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Gavagai wrote:   His

Gavagai wrote:
 

His second attempt is even worse. He thinks that God is incoherent because any event that God “judges” is fundamentally something that God “Himself” planned out in minute detail. On this view, God causes absolutely everything. There is no room for random events or genuinely free actions. Every movement of your limbs, for example, is controlled by God. So really, God is judging nothing but that which he’s already fully determined to happen, and as a consequence millions of people are being roasted in hell for things they had no choice about. A very evil and incoherent God indeed. The problem with this is that Todangst is arguing only against a particular, highly qualified Calvinist or Thomistic picture of God.


False. A god defined as omniopotent and omniscient necesarily is perfectly responsible for every parameter of existence, which in turn decides all future events.

I make this argument in detail in my thread. Please read the argument you are responding to, before wasting my time any futher,  seeing that, as usual, your responses do not even deal with the actual argument before you:

 

No need of abstruse reasonings? Well it ought to be, in fact, it must be so, if in fact this 'judge of rightousness' requires an awareness of his existence as part of salvation. Yet, how can we reconcile the idea of a just and good creator who judges his creation for being precisely as he created to be? An omnipotent, omniscient creator (leaving aside that contradictin) must necessarily be the ultimate sufficient cause of every action and every passion of every human (indeed, even the cause of the existence of action and passion). Such a creator is therefore, necessarily, a perfectly responsible creator.

Theists may balk at this claim, and ask for a reference to justify it. I offer up the argument of a little known theologian, Thomas Aquinas. He writes, in Summa contra Gentiles: ...just as god not only gave being to things when the first began, but is also, as the conserving cause of being, the cause of their being as long as they last...; so he also not only gave things their operative powers when they were first created, but is also always the cause of these things. Hence if this divine influence stopped every operation would stop. Every operation, therefore, of anything, is traced back to him as its cause. (III, 67)

So, if this perfectly responsible creator, which is necessarily perfectly responsible for every parameter of existence being precisely as it is, judges his own creation and finds it wanting, what can a sane person call this but a mockery of justice, a clear contradiction? And, furthermore, if the said 'judgment' (and we can no longer properly call it judgment) leads to an infinite torture of infinite intensity and infinite duration, what can we call this but the ultimate expression of evil?

The most common response here from the theist, is of course, "free will". Yet this cry is made in contradiction to the theist's own secondary attributes for his 'god', which necessarily lead to a perfectly responsible creator, ultimately responsible for the existence of every event. If said 'creator' created free will, shaped its parameters, along with every parameter of of the beings and the environments within which they operate, this creator's role as a perfectly responsible creator obviates 'free will'. A theist is forced to cry out 'paradox' and thus concede incoherence. In other words, a theist is forced into abstruse reasonings and distinctions....

Aquinas, again from Summa contra Gentiles, simply accepts the problem, in fact, he actively refutes those who deny it:

"God alone can move the will, as an agent, without doing violence to it... Some people... not understanding how god can cause a movement of our will in us without prejudicing the freedom of the will, have tried to explain... authoritative texts wrongly: that is, they would say that god 'works in us, to wish and to accomplish' means that he causes in use the power of willing, but not in such a way that he makes us will this or that. These people are, of course, opposed quite plainly by authoritative texts of Holy Writ. for it says in Isaiah (26:12) "Lord, you have worked all our work in us." Hence we received from god not only the power of willing but its employment also. (III
88-89)

Luther also recognized the same problem:

Luther, in de Servo Arbitrio:

"I did not say 'of compulsion' ... a man without the spirit of god does not do evil against his will, under pressure, as though he were taken by the scruff of his neck and dragged into it, like a thief or a footpad being dragged off against his will to punishment; but he does it spontaneosly and voluntarily (II, Cool

However, Luther is at least compelled to respond in some fashion. His response, however, is that one ought to simply take it on faith that this somehow makes sense!

"The highest degree of faith is to believe he is just, though of His own will he makes us proper subjects for damnation and seems, (in the words of Erasmus) 'to delight in the torments of poor wretches and to be a fitter object of hate than for love." If I could by any means understand how this same god... can yet be merciful and just, there would be no need for faith. (II, 7).

But what of those who further press Luther on the matter? Surely, at some point, he'd give a response. After all, as Bulter, (above) notes, There is no need of abstruse reasonings and distinctions, to convince an unprejudiced understanding, that there is a god who made and governs the world, and will judge it in rightousness." So let's see the clear, concise, non abstruste response that any 'unprejudiced' mind will glady accept:

"It is not for us to inquire into these mysteries, but to adore them. If flesh and blood take offence here and grumble, well let them grumble; they will achieve nothing: grumbling will not change god! And however many of the ungodly stumble and depart, the elect will remain" (II, 6)

So, the response amounts to this: begging the question that this 'god' exists anyway, and special pleading the problem away. I would have to say that this response is a fine example of a 'prejudiced mind'.

Had we been able to press Luther further, no doubt his response would have been the same as his 'god's':

Romans 9:18-24

Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' "[a] Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

Even the christian 'god' 'himself' is at a loss as to how to respond to the problem of evil!

 

All of your imaginary responses to my arguments on this board do not even address my arguments.

1) Your response to my points vis a vis the incoherence of terms like 'immateriality' were based on your basic inability to grasp that the argument dealt with terms attempting to make a reference, ergo your response about terms having meaning sans reference was both a non sequitur and a basic blunder.

2) Now, here, you fail to even read the argument at all.... 

 

Please read more carefully and please stop wasting my time. 

 

 

 

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Todangst, Before we proceed

Todangst,

Before we proceed any further, would you mind changing back the title of my post to what it originally said? It's unfair of you (or whoever) to change it like that. Thanks.

Cheers,

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Gavagai

Gavagai wrote:

Todangst,

Before we proceed any further, would you mind changing back the title of my post to what it originally said? It's unfair of you (or whoever) to change it like that. Thanks.

Cheers,

Gavagai

 

It's unfair of you to make the claim to begin with... seeing as your arguments are so off the mark as to be non sequiturs.. you haven't even demonstrated an ability to read my arguments here. 

As for arguing that 'souls' have attributes, do I really need to point out to you that you are begging the question of immateriality being coherent by making these assertions, (i.e. holding that these attributes are immaterial?)  or, simply unconsciously stealing from materialism?

I made a point of refuting both erroneous assumptions in the very essay you think you are responding to... again, you're wasting my time here. 

 

 

 

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Todangst,If you're

Todangst,

If you're confident in your arguments, you wouldn't need to unfairly change the title of my post. I don't think anything you've said in response to me here is plausible, but before I respond to any of it in detail I would like to know that the moderation is going to be fair. Please change the title of my post back to what it originally said before we proceed any further.

Thank you.

Take care,

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I have to ask something

I have to ask something before my head explodes:  I keep seeing a few phrases thrown around, namely "your claim is invalid because it steals from naturalism", and "give a positive ontology". 

Firstly, how exactly is one supposed to make claims about things supernatural without using natural language?  Supernatural, as we understand it, is an irrational force acting upon a rational world.  They are not totally separate, one simply transcends.  The more I read these debates between todangst and gavagai, the more I realize that this is a sort of catch-22:  if a supernatural claim is made, it's automatically invalidated because it "steals from naturalism", but is the person making the claim supposed to devise a whole new language with which to convey these concepts?  Would this too not be dismissed as incoherent?  If you are not (by your narrow parameters) going to consider anything a valid answer, then what is the point in even taking part in these threads?  Why not just come right out and say "no answer is going to be satisfactory to me"?  

 Also, why use the term "positive ontology"?  As opposed to a "negative ontology"?  Come on.  


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Gavagai

Gavagai wrote:

Todangst,

If you're confident in your arguments, you wouldn't need to unfairly change the title of my post.

I am confident that you haven't even read my argument correctly, let alone provided a response that makes your original title of this thread accurate.

 

 

Quote:

I don't think anything you've said in response to me here is plausible,

Your arguments are pretty bad, hence your assessments of your arguments do not concern me.

 

 

Quote:

but before I respond to any of it in detail I would like to know that the moderation is going to be fair. Please change the title of my post back to what it originally said before we proceed any further.

Thank you.

Take care,

Gavagai

By all means, leave. Responding to your arguments involves either 1) correcting basic errors in your reading comprehension or 2) pointing out the obvious a second time. 

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jmm wrote: I have to ask

jmm wrote:

I have to ask something before my head explodes: I keep seeing a few phrases thrown around, namely "your claim is invalid because it steals from naturalism", and "give a positive ontology".

Firstly, how exactly is one supposed to make claims about things supernatural without using natural language?

That is precisely the problem, yet positive theists refuse to let this stop them.

Quote:
 

 Supernatural, as we understand it, is an irrational force acting upon a rational world. They are not totally separate, one simply transcends.

Your claim is contradictory.

Quote:
 

 The more I read these debates between todangst and gavagai, the more I realize that this is a sort of catch-22: if a supernatural claim is made, it's automatically invalidated because it "steals from naturalism", but is the person making the claim supposed to devise a whole new language with which to convey these concepts? Would this too not be dismissed as incoherent? If you are not (by your narrow parameters) going to consider anything a valid answer, then what is the point in even taking part in these threads? Why not just come right out and say "no answer is going to be satisfactory to me"?

Becuase that's not the issue.

The issue is this: theologians have given us a definition that leads us into incoherence, and theologians for the most part, have accepted this. Even a famed positive theologian like Aquinas conceded that there is no 'way' to speak of a god directly.

Quote:
 

Also, why use the term "positive ontology"? As opposed to a "negative ontology"? Come on.

Agreed. There is only 'ontology'. Negative ontology is meaningless unless there is a universe of discourse, and 'positive ontology' is redundant. 

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Todangst,Your refusal to

Todangst,

Your refusal to practice fair moderation suggests that you aren't interested in civil discourse.  I have responses to everything you've said, but I before I proceed any further I would like the title of my thread to be changed back to how it was. I hope some of my atheist friends here will chime in and encourage you to change it back for the sake of fair moderation.

Please change it back.

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Gavagai

Gavagai wrote:

Todangst,

Your refusal to practice fair moderation suggests that you aren't interested in civil discourse

Changing a word in the heading proves that?

You don't seem capable of even grasping the points of this discussion accurately, so your threats to leave do not concern me.

By the way, a 'point' in geometry is not defined in solely negative terms. It has a universe of discourse: space, and is used as a contradistinctive. Tsk tsk.

You're in way, way over your head if your argument relies on such basic blunders! The first part of your 'argument' relied on stealing from naturalism (or simply begging the question that there were immaterial characteristics!) This is the type of error I already deal with in my essay.

And part two of your response shows you didn't even read my essay.

So, please, if you wish to find some way out, take it... our 'discourse' involves nothing more than me correcting your errors.

 

 

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Todangst,  Before we

Todangst,

 Before we proceed any further, please change the title of my post back to the way it was originally. Thanks, I appreciate it.

Cheers,

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Gavagai wrote: Todangst,

Gavagai wrote:

Todangst,

Before we proceed any further, please change the title of my post back to the way it was originally. Thanks, I appreciate it.

Cheers,

Gavagai

 

You don't seem capable of even grasping the points of this discussion accurately, so your threats to leave do not concern me.

By the way, a 'point' in geometry is not defined in solely negative terms. It has a universe of discourse: space, and is used as a contradistinctive. Tsk tsk.

You're in way, way over your head if your argument relies on such basic blunders! The first part of your 'argument' relied on stealing from naturalism (or simply begging the question that there were immaterial characteristics!) This is the type of error I already deal with in my essay.

And part two of your response shows you didn't even read my essay.

So, please, if you wish to find some way out, take it... our 'discourse' involves nothing more than me correcting your errors.

 

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Tod, I wasn't threatening

Tod,

I wasn't threatening to leave. I intend to stay here, and I'll respond to you as soon as you provide a fairly moderated forum within which I can do so.  Please be fair and change the title back.

Cheers,

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Gavagai wrote: Tod, I

Gavagai wrote:

Tod,

I wasn't threatening to leave. I intend to stay here, and I'll respond to you as soon as you provide a fairly moderated forum

You have one. Your title is false, so I changed it. You haven't even demonstrated an ability to read my essays accurately, let alone 'refute them.'  

 

 

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Todangst, Fair moderation

Todangst,

Fair moderation does not involve changing any sentence you think is false.  (Otherwise, forums like this would be kind of boring, don't you think?) Please be fair and change it back to the way I orginally had it before we proceed any further with the discussion.

Thanks.

Gavagai

 

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Gavagai

Gavagai wrote:

Todangst,

Fair moderation does not involve changing any sentence you think is false. (Otherwise, forums like this would be kind of boring, don't you think?) Please be fair and change it back to the way I orginally had it before we proceed any further with the discussion.

Thanks.

Gavagai

 

Bye Gav. Unless you give me a reason to change it back, it will remain as is... 

 

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Reason: fair moderation

Reason: fair moderation requires it. If you disagree with something I say, we can argue about it. But it's unfair to change the titles of my posts without telling me. Please do the right thing and change it back.

Thanks.

Gavagai

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Always a reason...

Always a reason...


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todangst wrote: Unless you

todangst wrote:
Unless you give me a reason to change it back, it will remain as is...

I'll give you a reason. I haven't read through the thread, but if I were to guess who was loosing the discussion, it would be you, todangst. 


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MrRage wrote: todangst

MrRage wrote:
todangst wrote:
Unless you give me a reason to change it back, it will remain as is...

I'll give you a reason. I haven't read through the thread, but if I were to guess who was loosing the discussion, it would be you, todangst.

 

Loosing? Then I'll have to tighten it up...

 Can you give me an actual reason?  If you haven't read through the thread, how can you comment?

Please see the history Gav and I have before commenting further. 

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I love internet

I love internet debates 

 

 

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote: I

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I love internet debates

 


 

 

 

 

Yes. This is pretty much an 'internet debate'.  

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todangst wrote: Loosing?

todangst wrote:

Loosing? Then I'll have to tighten it up...
Can you give me an actual reason? If you haven't read through the thread, how can you comment?
Please see the history Gav and I have before commenting further.

Oh, I'm sure you holding your own, and I write that without any attempt at sarcasm. I'm talking about appearances. I said what I did because people who are losing arguments tend to resort to mischaracterizations (at least put a note saying the title is your opinion for goodness' sake). Or, if they have the ability, will alter things to their liking.


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Not to butt in, but I think

Not to butt in, but I think that if you really look back, you'll see it's more complicated than that.


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MrRage wrote: Oh, I'm sure

MrRage wrote:
Oh, I'm sure you holding your own, and I write that without any attempt at sarcasm. I'm talking about appearances. I said what I did because people who are losing arguments tend to resort to mischaracterizations

 Read Gav's replies to my essays.

Count the number of mischaracterizations.

Then, you'll see the method to my madness.

I've not changed the headings of any other of his threads, even in cases where he doesn't even provide an argument in support of the conclusion that titles the thread.... just making a point here: see how annoyed he is?

Now, multiply that by 2 dozen, the number of mischaracteriziations in his replies to my essays....

I see no reason for the discussion to continue anyway seeing as he does not even bother to read my arguments before responding to them, check the lengthy reply I posted to see this demonstrated.

 

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ABx wrote: Not to butt in,

ABx wrote:
Not to butt in, but I think that if you really look back, you'll see it's more complicated than that.

 Yep. 

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todangst wrote: Read Gav's

todangst wrote:
Read Gav's replies to my essays.

I have. I agree with you, todangst, that it doesn't address the point. Gavagai's assertion that points (I guess he means in Euclidean space?) are defined negatively made this former math grad student laugh.

todangst wrote:
Count the number of mischaracterizations.
Then, you'll see the method to my madness.
I've not changed the headings of any other of his threads, even in cases where he doesn't even provide an argument in support of the conclusion that titles the thread.... just making a point here: see how annoyed he is?
Now, multiply that by 2 dozen, the number of mischaracteriziations in his replies to my essays....

I see no reason for the discussion to continue anyway seeing as he does not even bother to read my arguments before responding to them, check the lengthy reply I posted to see this demonstrated.

Well, I don't know if they're mischaracterizations, maybe misunderstandings. Anyway, I doubt I'll change your mind. I don't normally gripe about moderators, but if you want to have the reputation of a heavy handed moderator...it's not my site.


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Let's review:

Let's review:

Quote:

Some analytic philosophers think that the concept of a soul may involve locative, hyperspatial entities. On these definitions, a soul would be located in a n>3D region of space.



This assertion is meaningless unless one explains how an entity can exist at right angles to itself!

Saying something 'belongs to another dimension' is the sort of spooky nonsense that identifies an argument as pseudo science, unless you can say what it means to say that something exists in another dimension, you are simply providing yet another rule out! "Not found in our 3 dimensions"

P.S. Stating that cosmology speaks of other dimensions does nothing to demonstrate that a 'soul' can be 'other dimensional'.

Quote:

Other philosophers believe that the concept of a soul involves spatial entities that exist in zero-dimensional regions of spacetime. Thus, the concept of a soul is defined as follows:

'x is a soul' means by definition '(i) x is spatially nonlocative, and (ii) x is capable of consciousness'.



Two errors here.

1) No location at all, or 'Zero dimensions' in the "Vilenkin sense" (Alex Vilenkin proposed, in contrast to the Hartle-Hawkings boundless model, an initial state of no-dimensional nothingness) is yet another way to speak of nothing. Ergo to state that 'something' takes up zero dimensions is to speak in contradictions, ergo, incoherence.

(points have location by the way, so you can't be 'pointing' to points but to zero dimensional nothing, i.e. non existence)

2) To assert that the 'soul' is 'capable of consciousness' steals from naturalism, unless one can speak of consciousness sans matter/energy. What does it mean for something to exist, and have effects on matter, if it is not matter nor energy?

Quote:

The main reason Todangst says the concept is incoherent is because he thinks that it can only be defined negatively.

Not quite. It is incoherent because it is an attempt at reference that fails, because it rules out any universe of discourse at all.

Any attempt at reference, which fails, leads to incoherence.

Quote:

Certain denizens of the universe are defined in only negative terms and we have a perfectly intelligible conceptual grasp on them.



Because we have a universe of discourse for them, ('not wet' speaks to the set of all 'dry' things&#39Eye-wink or because they are contradistinctives (i.e., the word 'nothing&#39Eye-wink.

Any negative definition that attempts to make a reference that excludes any universe of discourse at all is meaningless.

Quote:

For example, a point in space is defined as something lacking spatial dimensions.

Points are not defined solely negatively:

http://library.thinkquest.org/2647/geometry/intro/point.htm

Points have location, for example, such as a point a line.

You've commited a basic blunder in elementary geometry.

Quote:

In any case, Todangst hasn’t even shown that such definitions, of necessity, are negative. One might say that points in space nevertheless have positive attributes like being a place possibly occupied by point-sized objects.

Please see the above correction.

A concept to be a concept either has ontology or exists as a contradistinctive.

Gavagai wrote:

His second attempt is even worse. He thinks that God is incoherent because any event that God “judges” is fundamentally something that God “Himself” planned out in minute detail. On this view, God causes absolutely everything. There is no room for random events or genuinely free actions. Every movement of your limbs, for example, is controlled by God. So really, God is judging nothing but that which he’s already fully determined to happen, and as a consequence millions of people are being roasted in hell for things they had no choice about. A very evil and incoherent God indeed. The problem with this is that Todangst is arguing only against a particular, highly qualified Calvinist or Thomistic picture of God.

 
No, your claim is false. The argument deals with any god defined as omnipotent and omniscient, such a 'god' is necesarily is perfectly responsible for every parameter of existence, which in turn decides all future events. This is the actual argument.

I make this argument in detail in my thread. Please read the argument you are responding to, before wasting my time any futher, seeing that, as usual, your responses do not even deal with the actual argument before you:

 

No need of abstruse reasonings? Well it ought to be, in fact, it must be so, if in fact this 'judge of rightousness' requires an awareness of his existence as part of salvation. Yet, how can we reconcile the idea of a just and good creator who judges his creation for being precisely as he created to be? An omnipotent, omniscient creator (leaving aside that contradictin) must necessarily be the ultimate sufficient cause of every action and every passion of every human (indeed, even the cause of the existence of action and passion). Such a creator is therefore, necessarily, a perfectly responsible creator.

Theists may balk at this claim, and ask for a reference to justify it. I offer up the argument of a little known theologian, Thomas Aquinas. He writes, in Summa contra Gentiles: ...just as god not only gave being to things when the first began, but is also, as the conserving cause of being, the cause of their being as long as they last...; so he also not only gave things their operative powers when they were first created, but is also always the cause of these things. Hence if this divine influence stopped every operation would stop. Every operation, therefore, of anything, is traced back to him as its cause. (III, 67)

So, if this perfectly responsible creator, which is necessarily perfectly responsible for every parameter of existence being precisely as it is, judges his own creation and finds it wanting, what can a sane person call this but a mockery of justice, a clear contradiction? And, furthermore, if the said 'judgment' (and we can no longer properly call it judgment) leads to an infinite torture of infinite intensity and infinite duration, what can we call this but the ultimate expression of evil?

The most common response here from the theist, is of course, "free will". Yet this cry is made in contradiction to the theist's own secondary attributes for his 'god', which necessarily lead to a perfectly responsible creator, ultimately responsible for the existence of every event. If said 'creator' created free will, shaped its parameters, along with every parameter of of the beings and the environments within which they operate, this creator's role as a perfectly responsible creator obviates 'free will'. A theist is forced to cry out 'paradox' and thus concede incoherence. In other words, a theist is forced into abstruse reasonings and distinctions....

Aquinas, again from Summa contra Gentiles, simply accepts the problem, in fact, he actively refutes those who deny it:

"God alone can move the will, as an agent, without doing violence to it... Some people... not understanding how god can cause a movement of our will in us without prejudicing the freedom of the will, have tried to explain... authoritative texts wrongly: that is, they would say that god 'works in us, to wish and to accomplish' means that he causes in use the power of willing, but not in such a way that he makes us will this or that. These people are, of course, opposed quite plainly by authoritative texts of Holy Writ. for it says in Isaiah (26:12) "Lord, you have worked all our work in us." Hence we received from god not only the power of willing but its employment also. (III
88-89)

Luther also recognized the same problem:

Luther, in de Servo Arbitrio:

"I did not say 'of compulsion' ... a man without the spirit of god does not do evil against his will, under pressure, as though he were taken by the scruff of his neck and dragged into it, like a thief or a footpad being dragged off against his will to punishment; but he does it spontaneosly and voluntarily (II, Cool

However, Luther is at least compelled to respond in some fashion. His response, however, is that one ought to simply take it on faith that this somehow makes sense!

"The highest degree of faith is to believe he is just, though of His own will he makes us proper subjects for damnation and seems, (in the words of Erasmus) 'to delight in the torments of poor wretches and to be a fitter object of hate than for love." If I could by any means understand how this same god... can yet be merciful and just, there would be no need for faith. (II, 7).

But what of those who further press Luther on the matter? Surely, at some point, he'd give a response. After all, as Bulter, (above) notes, There is no need of abstruse reasonings and distinctions, to convince an unprejudiced understanding, that there is a god who made and governs the world, and will judge it in rightousness." So let's see the clear, concise, non abstruste response that any 'unprejudiced' mind will glady accept:

"It is not for us to inquire into these mysteries, but to adore them. If flesh and blood take offence here and grumble, well let them grumble; they will achieve nothing: grumbling will not change god! And however many of the ungodly stumble and depart, the elect will remain" (II, 6)

So, the response amounts to this: begging the question that this 'god' exists anyway, and special pleading the problem away. I would have to say that this response is a fine example of a 'prejudiced mind'.

Had we been able to press Luther further, no doubt his response would have been the same as his 'god's':

Romans 9:18-24

Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' "[a] Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

Even the christian 'god' 'himself' is at a loss as to how to respond to the problem of evil!

 

All of your imaginary responses to my arguments on this board do not even address my arguments.

1) Your response to my points vis a vis the incoherence of terms like 'immateriality' were based on your basic inability to grasp that the argument dealt with terms attempting to make a reference, ergo your response about terms having meaning sans reference was both a non sequitur and a basic blunder.

2) Now, here, you fail to even read the argument at all....

 

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

Books on atheism.


CrimsonEdge
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Just to clarify something...

Just to clarify something... points (on a graph) have one dimension... correct?


Textom
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todangst wrote: Gavagai

todangst wrote:
Gavagai wrote:

Todangst,

Fair moderation does not involve changing any sentence you think is false. (Otherwise, forums like this would be kind of boring, don't you think?) Please be fair and change it back to the way I orginally had it before we proceed any further with the discussion.

Thanks.

Gavagai

 


Bye Gav. Unless you give me a reason to change it back, it will remain as is...

 

I have a reason to change the title back (and leave thread titles as-is).

I was away for a few days.  When I came back, I couldn't find the thread I had been following and thought it had been deleted. Then, when I saw this thread, I couldn't tell at first why it looked like the other one and wasn't sure if Gav had changed his position with a new thread.  I just now picked up the thread of what was going on--having had to invest much more time in the task than usual.

The job of a thread title is to help the users retain the context of the discussion.  Changing thread titles breaks the communicative function and makes users get lost.

 

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


todangst
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Textom wrote:

Textom wrote:

The job of a thread title is to help the users retain the context of the discussion.

There's a reason for the change. In addition, his calls for 'civil discourse' are disengenuous considering that his idea of 'civil discourse' is toss insults at people for disagreeing with him. (See the thread cited below).

So let's just stick to the conversation. Please read my above reply to Gav's post, and see precisely why his arguments all fail. 

 You can see the same thing going on here:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/atheist_vs_theist/8697?page=3

 Where Gav again blunders, and agaiin fails to respond, despite, at least in this case, recognizing that he may just not be accurately grasping the points before him....

To begin to debate someone's points, you must first illustrate the ability to accurately represent them... Gav has failed to do this in each of the (at least 3) threads he's dedicated towards responding to my arguments....  

 

 

 

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

Books on atheism.